Monday, December 21, 2009

Reactions to Brittany Murphy's Death

I'm sure most - if not all - have heard about Brittany Murphy's untimely passing over the weekend. I'm also sure you've heard many people talk about how tired they are of hearing about her death.

I'm not.

What I am tired of is hearing about how other people are tired of hearing about Murphy's death.

The fact is she had many fans. People are interested in hearing news about her. She died. Many want to know all of the details surrounding her death. If you don't like it, change the friggin' channel.

I literally have only heard about it from Facebook - nothing else. Nothing on the channels I watch on TV, nothing from the radio stations I listen to and nothing from the Web sites I frequent (except for Facebook). If you don't want to hear about it, don't.

People also said they were tired of hearing about Brett Favre, but ESPN and ESPNRadio's ratings were noticeably higher during their in-depth coverage of all his retirements/comebacks.

And every time a celebrity dies a young death, I always hear people complain about the news coverage, saying things like, "Young people die every day. How come they don't devote this much coverage to them?"

The answer to that question is those young people weren't in Clueless OR 8 Mile.

Sure, it's sad when people die, but in reality, you don't care all that much if a kid dies from malaria, AIDS or whatever. If someone tells you Tom Hanks was dead, you'd race to the remote control to find out more. If a kid in Nicaragua passes, you say "Oh. That's sad," and then you go back to what you were doing.

I know Brittany Murphy was no Tom Hanks, but the comparison is still valid. You don't know anything about those other kids dying, but you do know quite a bit about Brittany Murphy. It's the news' job to bring noteworthy information to the masses. And a celebrity's death is noteworthy.

The fact is celebrities are a figurative part of our families. We pay to see them in theaters, we pay to watch them at home. They might be in our homes more often than some literal members of the family.

When a family member dies, nobody expects the family Christmas card to give equal coverage to deaths across the country. Why do you then expect CNN to give a 20-something from Mobile, Alabama, the same play as somebody you've actually heard of?

It doesn't make sense, and neither does the "what about all the others?" argument.

In conclusion, the news can only repeatedly give you the information you let it. Change the channel or go to a different Web site. If you don't, then you're to blame for the constant coverage.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dancing: The Double Standard

This last weekend my wife and I attended a couple of work-related Christmas parties. We enjoy going to these kind of parties: music, great food, great conversation and an open bar (not for everyone, but my wife and I had all the Sprite we wanted).

These Christmas parties also revealed something to me about my wife that I wish I'd known before.

She loves to dance.

This creates a problem, because I like dancing about as much as Bush likes Bin Laden, Obama likes Hannity or anyone likes attending Florida Marlin games.

However, I've also discovered I'm not alone in this. I've found most guys at these events share my opinion of dancing being the lowest form of communication. But the only problem is women have NO idea why guys feel this way.

Let me give you some insight:

1. Why dance? We are so much more comfortable sitting and talking about sports and the like.

2. Dancing puts ourselves out there while everyone is watching what we do.

3. In regards to #2, please don't tell us nobody is watching us or nobody cares. We know both of those are not true, because we also talk about how stupid the one or two guys on the dance floor look dancing to "Billie Jean." If we're doing it, other people will are doing it, too.

But the title of this entry is Dancing: The Double Standard, so why is it a double standard?

Getting away with dancing is not about talent. It's about gender.

If a girl wants to dance, it's fine. Even if she looks bad dancing--as long as she doesn't look like Elaine Benes--she's just one of the gals havin' fun!

If it's a guy, even he's good (unless he "Michael Jackson" good), other guys still think he's a dork.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thoughts on college football for this weekend

This is a pretty big weekend for college football. 

After this weekend's games, we'll have the match-up for our national championship game. It could be Florida-Texas, Alabama-Texas or one of many other options. Nothing has been decided yet, which is one of the reasons college football is awesome, but I digress...

The only game that matters to this little piggy is the one taking place at 8 p.m. EST: Texas-Nebraska.

While it's not completely out of the question (Texas beat a 6-5 Texas A&M team by the skin of its teeth), chances are still slim, as Texas is heavily favored in this one. If you have read this blog before you are probably quite aware of my fanship of the Mountain West Conference. And any MWC fan should be pulling with all of his/her might for Nebraska to make an upset. 

But can you imagine the ramifications of a Texas loss in this game?

TCU - a Mountain West Conference team - would have a very good chance of playing in the championship game. Remember when no team from the MWC or WAC even had the chance of playing in a BCS game? That seems so long ago now, as some talking heads on ESPN are comparing TCU and Texas, saying TCU is more deserving.

TCU beat Utah at home and went out and beat Clemson and BYU on the road, while Texas has only a win at Oklahoma State to its credit. Sure, it's not Texas' fault it has been a down year for the Big 12. But it's also not TCU's fault it's not Texas' fault. 

Obviously, I feel TCU is more deserving of shot at the title than Texas, but it doesn't matter. Without a loss against Nebraska, TCU has absolutely no chance at getting that shot. It's a shame TCU had this amazing season the same year five other teams did the same.

The only drawback to a Nebraska win is the effect it would have on another non-automatic-qualifying team: Boise State. 

Nebraska winning would almost surely eliminate Boise State's chance at a BCS bowl. There are only 10 slots for BCS bowls, and seven teams automatically qualify this year, leaving only three spots open for at-large teams. 

Certainly, the loser of the 'Bama-Florida game will be one of those. If Nebraska wins, Texas will be one of them, too. With only one slot remaining, you are asking organizations run near-exclusively by money to go with Boise State over the likes of Penn State, Iowa, Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech or Cincinnati (if they lose their title games).

Unfortunately, the BCS isn't about putting the best teams together. It's about ensuring sellouts, both tickets and merchandise, so Boise State might be on the outside looking in for the second straight season. 


Florida 28, Alabama 24 Alabama is considerably improved this year, but Florida's defense and Tim Tebow will make the necessary plays to get to another championship game.

Nebraska 20, Texas 17 I'll be honest. This one is obviously more about wishful thinking, but with the Cornhuskers' defense allowing only 11.1 points/game, it's not impossible.

Cincinnati 41, Pittsburgh 30 How a team like the Bearcats ended up with two quarterbacks like Tony Pike and Zach Collaros is beyond me, but unless the Panthers can force Cincinnati to go to its third-string QB, this one goes to the Bearcats.

Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 21 Clemson's defense is very good, but any pressure thought to be on Georgia Tech is removed when it remembers most people will be watching the Texas-Nebraska game instead.