Honestly, I Will Start to Write About Baseball Soon

Question: Why is that with the tight security that a Vice President has to be under, he is still allowed to go hunting with armed private citizens? Some things you have to give up when you are part of the administration. For example, having to sell stocks that you own. This is done to keep you from appearing like you are profiting from political decisions. Of course there is no law which keeps you from pushing for a war with faulty intelligence, which would profit your former company (Halliburton) more than any other by providing no-bid contracts.** So I guess this whole sell your stocks deal isn’t fool-proof.
(**Fairness in media requires me to mention that there are no specific links to Cheney and Halliburton during his time in the White House, so it could just be an incredible coincidence. Kind of like beginning your career in the Nixon Administration and then appearing to be unethical and secretive 30 years later. I’m sure that’s just another coincidence.)

If I was RICH Cheney’s press secretary I would have spun his human hunting incident this way.
“It was not the Vice President’s fault that he didn’t handle the post-peppering better, as he was wearing a WWJD bracelet at the time. This bracelet affected his decision-making. The WWJD stands for What Would Jayson (Williams) Do? The Vice President has since stopped wearing the bracelet, as in retrospect, the former New Jersey Net center isn’t the best role model in this type of situation.”

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Since I live in Indiana, I thought I would weigh in on the Mike Davis resignation.

Mike Davis was selected as the interim coach when Bob Knight was fired because the players at the time threatened to leave, if he wasn’t made co-coach. (John Treloar was the other part of the co-head coach equation, now a forgotten figure assistant coaching at LSU.) Mike Davis was never the right guy for the job for many reasons.

Davis’ recent statement that Indiana needs to bring in a new coach with ties to the Indiana is partially true. There is a strong faction of IU fans who believe that Bob Knight is a Christ-like figure. Hiring one of the General’s former players would pacify this group for a couple of years. This group seems to have forgotten that during the 90’s, Knight’s team at IU consistently underachieved and was a flop most of the time in the NCAA tourney. (It also should be mentioned that Cheney and Knight have similar hunting targets, but that’s another story.)

Davis was never a good fit on the public relations front, as he is a poor speaker. Considering that fund-raising is a big part of any college coaching job, not connecting with alumni at banquets is a problem. Race is involved in this case, as most of the alumni at IU are white, so unless you are extremely successful on the court, being a minority heightens the pressure. Also, IU has traditionally had lots of white players as stars, but since Davis took over, all of his top recruits were black. This is another thing I think a lot of IU fans have had a hard time dealing with. (Sorry, I know a lot people don’t want to hear this, but it’s the truth.)

While not making the tourney was the biggest factor in Davis being vilified by most IU fans, a close second for why he was unpopular with the fans was his failing to recruit top high school hoop stars from Indiana. Davis was a good recruiter, but he seemed to focus on getting players from his home-state of Alabama. In a state where high school basketball is a religion to many, it is disheartening to have a roster consisting mainly of non-Hoosiers. This was never more magnified than this year, as the best prep big-man (Greg Oden) since Shaq and probably the greatest Hoosier high school hoop talent since Oscar Robertson, signed with Ohio State.

While it might not be as great of a gig as IU fans believe, I would argue it’s still one of the 2 best jobs in the Big 10. Bloomington has the most knowledgeable and passionate fans in the league. It’s a basketball school in a basketball state. Its practice facilities are top-notch. (Assembly Hall is abysmally designed arena to watch a game, but that doesn’t affect the players.) I would rate only the University of Illinois as slightly better job in the Big 10, as it’s the only major university in a state with incredible high school talent, especially in Chicago and Peoria.

The person most IU fans dream of being their new coach is Steve Alford. Currently, Alford’s team at Iowa is leading the Big 10 conference, which even makes him a hotter commodity. As an Iowa grad, I hope Alford ends up at IU, as I think he’s a mediocre coach. He’s an average game tactician and a below average recruiter. This season the Hawkeyes success mostly has to do with the senior talents of Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Alford has been lucky that the state of Iowa has produced quality players like these 2, along with other starters Adam Haluska and Mike Henderson.

It’s perfect timing for Alford to leave, as next year’s Hawkeyes will be lucky to have a winning record, after losing 4 starters. IU, on the other hand, has a very talented roster. I can understand that Alford’s always dreamed of coaching his alma mater, but most Iowa fans can tell you that his tenure at the school has been disappointing for the most part. With Alford’s reputation as a player and his dad’s contacts as legendary high school coach, I would guess he would return the school to being a consistent Top 20 team. At this point, I just hope that the constant distractions that the IU job opening creates, doesn’t derail the chemistry that Iowa has, as Brunner and Horner deserve better than that.

3 thoughts on “Honestly, I Will Start to Write About Baseball Soon

  1. 1.  Regarding guns around the VP: There are always guns around the VP, these are held by police and secret service folks mostly. These people have been vetted by the Secret Service so as to not present a threat. Would any of them suddenly decide to go postal (can we use that term again?) and shoot the VP? Not likely, nor is it likely that a long time friend will shoot him. So the risk is in an accident that might occur. Well, accidents sometimes happen. But we’ve never had a VP shot by accident, and this is the first time that the sitting VP shot anyone by accident, so I’d say that it is a rare enough occurrence that you can let a VP have that enjoyment.
    Only 100 people get killed in hunting accidents annually. Here is some data on hunting risks vs others (from Bicycle helmet saftey industry)
    Activity # Fatalities per 1,000,000 exposure hours Skydiving 128.71 General Aviation 15.58 On-road Motorcycling 8.80
    Scuba Diving 1.98
    Living (all causes of death) 1.53 Swimming 1.07 Snowmobiling .88
    Passenger cars .47
    Water skiing .28 Bicycling .26 Flying (scheduled domestic airlines) .15 Hunting .08

    Lots of stuff is more dangerous than hunting. I am not a hunter, I don’t own any guns, but I certainly think even the VP should be able to hunt if he wants.

  2. 2.  I agree with most of what you say here, except I still feel that the Prez or VP shouldn’t be allowed to hunt with others. If you have that job, you either hunt on your own (with Secret Service protection) or you give it up while you’re in office. Think about if another hunter starts to shoot at the direction of the VP. The Secret Service would be put in a horrible position by this. I’m not against hunting (well, maybe this cage raised quail hunting where you ride up in your cars on a private ranch), but I just think you have to give up some things if you want to hold these jobs.

    I can tell you that I have no problem having Cheney quit, so he go hunting on a daily basis. Our country would be better off for it.

  3. 3.  Everyone forgets what a mess Iowa has been recently. Stevie boy almost had his head handed to him the last few years. Yeesh. Kool aid drinkers are the worst at Indiana.

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