Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Important Stuff

In these tumultuous days, one of the most pressing issues in the nation is...the college football system? Wait, really? Well, apparently it's important enough that Congress has to get involved. That's right: Congress is going to hold hearings on the BCS system.

Quite frankly, it is a ridiculously dumb system. The manual ranks up there in the list of national secrets. However it's worked out it favors a few of the college football divisions and leaves the rest out. So if you're in one division and do kind of okay, you'll outrank a team that has a perfect record (and possibly a much better team) but is stuck in a division that is not as "notable" (whatever that word means in this context). There are have been several examples of this in recent history; Utah in 2008 and Boise State a few years back.

Now there have been several arguments about why they shouldn't change the system, too many and too moronic to list out. The simple fact remains that Division I football is one of the major college sports that does not have a playoff. In fact, most of the other sports and Division II and III football have playoffs, and I don't see a mass collapse there. Basketball, for example, seems to eke out a meager existence with it's playoff. Don't see why football can't.

What's even dumber than the system is the fact that Congress has to get involved. Seriously folks; the system is so blatantly idiotic that a sixteen year old (namely me) figured it out after trying to divine the formula for the rankings (it was a very slow weekend and I had just finished my math homework and was still in a mathematics mood). And now Senator Orrin Hatch (representing Utah, the state with one of the teams that got the shaft) has brought this to attention, citing violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. And while this has been a problem for years, it's not exactly the most pressing issue we've got to deal with in the nation.

At least it's good they're "attempting" to "fix" the "problem." If they can resolve this, health-care, the financial crisis, Iraq, etc. should be a piece of cake, right?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Put Your Pants Back On, Partner

if you've been following the news, you will have noticed a few things. For one, mother nature won't shut the freaking faucet off on the East Coast of the United States. But perhaps the biggest piece of international news that's made the headlines is the ruckus up in Iran.

Iran, to say the least, has been "pretty interesting" (that's my analysis of the situation) in recent history. Ever since we sniffed communism on Mossadegh in the 1950s, the very spiky ball that is current Iran was set in motion.

Everyone has heard that story and the story of the 1979 revolution, where a group of people decided the best way to make friends with the world was to storm an embassy. Everyone remember the extremism. It is interesting to note, like many other revolutions, that the initial period before the fundamentalists took over saw much participation by moderates who were very much in favor of the Western ideals of democracy and basic liberties seen in many western states.

Other revolutions have functioned fairly similarly. The French Revolution was mostly dominated in the intermediate stages by the Girondins, a moderate group of middle-class folks who were in favor of some change, but not the wild shenanigans that would come later. People forget that the Russian Revolution didn't just spring from a dictatorial tsarist regime to a dictatorial communist regime without some sort of "in-between" period. It's not like everyone was all about the more extreme communist system.

So let's not get too excited about Iran here. The fan's still on, and the shit's still in the bucket.