Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How not to win a debate

I guess Navy football and homeschooling are the topics motivate me enough to actually post on my blog.  Here is my latest that I am sending to the editors of the Virginian Pilot:

In my experience on the debate team at Maury High School (Go Commodores!), I was taught a couple of fundamental rules when debating a topic:

1.  Give compelling reasons and facts to sway people to your view.
2.  Make sure that the facts are indeed factual and true.
3.  Ensure that the facts that you cite are relevant to the argument that you are making. 

With that in mind, let’s review the Virginian Pilot’s editorial on February 21, 2015 that was most decidedly against homeschoolers and the Tebow bill that has currently passed in both houses and is awaiting a decision from the Governor.

The article can be found at:


The editorial seems to be hung up on the fact that homeschoolers would be eligible for sports at school.  While this is true, it is a narrow view of the bill.  The bill would ALLOW not require local school districts to make all school activities open to homeschoolers.  This may surprise the Pilot but there are other extra-curricular activities besides football and basketball at high schools.  Things like debate, forensics and drama are a few that come to mind.

The editorial also seems to take umbrage with the fact that Tim Tebow shopped around to get to the best school for him to play football at and then his mother rented an apartment in that school district to make him eligible.  Review my third rule: THIS FACT IS IRRELEVANT to homeschooling.  If the Pilot is mad at people “gaming” the system so be it but this has nothing to do with homeschooling.  Anyone can shop and move into any district that they want their child to play football for.  That has nothing to do with homeschooling.  I am sure the editors at the Pilot know parents that have used Grandma’s address so little Johnny could go to a different school.  

I am failing to see the “wave of entitlement” that this bill grants homeschoolers.  If your argument is that homeschoolers will now move to school districts for their kids to play in, it’s a non-argument.  Anyone can do that.

When the Pilot is ready to give me a valid reason to be against this bill, I would encourage them to use the three rules that I learned on a Norfolk public school debate team and come up with a legitimate argument.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Army-Navy Game

Wow.  What can I say?  Navy wins AGAIN! I am glad we won but an honest analysis of the game says that Army lost it more than Navy won it.  To lose on a fumble while making a final drive for a TD to try and win the game was a real heartbreaker and I honestly feel for the Woops.

That game once again proved that it doesn't matter what the records are or who has the better team, that game never goes according to script.  On paper, the game should have been over by halftime but Army had other ideas.  Their defense shut down Navy's offense for the most part but despite all of their yardage they couldn't convert them into points.

I can't believe I am writing this but Navy's defense won the game.  The offense had been carrying us through the season but when they had to deliver defense did.  

The football gods seemed to be pulling for Army.  With 29 seconds left in the half, a team with no passing game managed to get in FG range and the ball hit the upright but still managed to go in to tie the game.  I was not a happy camper during halftime.

I watched the game at a classmate's house with other families with my USNA company having a mini-reunion in Norfolk.  According to my wife, my behavior was much better than normal.  

As much as people keep pointing out the fumble, I have not heard a lot of talk about the missed FG.  If Army makes the previous FG, they were well within range to kick and win in the last two minutes.

Another highlight was seeing the patch of HSC-84 Red Wolves on uniform of Navy's QB MIDN Reynolds.  My oldest son immediately said "Dad, look at his patch" and my brother almost simultaneously texted me the same thing.

My father was the commanding officer of what was then HCS-4 during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and took the squadron to the Gulf for the war. Does anyone know the selection process for the patches?  Do the players get to pick them?

In the end, the CINC trophy is now:

Anyone who watched the game can see why it is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.

To top of the weekend, the Redskins had a great comeback against Baltimore and were victors of the "Beltway Bowl" and kept their play-off hopes alive.

Until next year, let's keep the rivalry strong and play hard.
Army, I will be rooting for you next year.....against Air Force.

Go Navy!!
Beat Army!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Navy-Air Force Game

OK.  For starters, let me go on the record and say that I could not be more thrilled that Navy was able to beat Air Force at Air Force on the path to regaining the Commander-in-Chief's cup.

On a side note, Air Force, we sell out Navy-Marine Corps Memorial stadium when we play any home game let alone another service academy.  I saw a lot of empty seats there in Colorado Springs, what's up with that?

That being said when you are 2 for 10 on third down conversions and you punt six times and your opponent punts once, you probably shouldn't be surprised if you don't when the game. 

I am NOT saying that the defense did not play with effort.  The fact remains that we could not stop the Air Force offense.  Barring the three turnovers we probably would have been taken to the woodshed or at least lost by two scores. 

But like every rivalry game, there is only one stat that matters and that's the score.  Since we probably should have one last year's game, I don't feel guilty taking this one away. 

Congratulations Navy on a good win and what may lead to you salvaging this season.  Normally I would say the CINC's cup is in the bag but after what Army did to Boston College who knows.

 And Air Force don't ever forget:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My reaction to this football weekend

Ok.  Let's start with the positives.

1.  USC lost to Stanford.  I always appreciate a good rivalry especially when the underdog manages to win.  As an added bonus we no longer have to hear about USC and Lane Kiffin talk about making a run for the national championship.

2.  Va Tech got taken to the woodshed by Pitt.  Any talk about Tech making a run for the national championship will now officially be terminated.  Now best case scenario is that they win the ACC and subsequently lose the bowl game because that is their move.  In other bad news for the Hokies, they have dropped out of the AP top 25 for the first time since 2010. 

3.  Dallas got thrashed by Seattle and the Pats lost to the Cardinals which pretty much destroyed everyone's week 2 bracket.

Now the negatives:

1.  The replacement refs for the NFL can only be described as TERRIBLE.  Time for Goodell to end this charade and get the real refs back. As proof, courtesy of Steve Czaban who pointed me to Deadspin's top 21 mistakes of week one.  I am sure there will be another one for week 2. 

2.  While I don't believe the Redskins deserved to win the game in St. Louis, that was a terrible way to lose it.  It will be a long flight for Josh Morgan who by the way is a Virginia Tech graduate which explains pretty much EVERYTHING and according to wikipedia may or may not be "the dumbest player in the NFL."

Now let's talk about Navy football.

While we all look forward to the Navy Bird Dog breaking down the game, here are my thoughts:

As a Navy fan, when I looked at the schedule and saw we were playing Notre Dame and Penn State I was  pretty sure we would start the season 0-2.  However, at no point in time did I think we would be outscored by a total of 84-17.

By the second half, I found myself like Seinfeld watching the game not for enjoyment but out of spite.

It is hard to judge where we really are as a team.  Maybe we aren't that bad.  Maybe those teams are really that much better.   I have a hard time with that perspective.  It was just 2010 where we almost beat South Carolina and just last week Air Force nearly beat Michigan in the big house.  (As a side note: chances of getting CINC's cup this year not looking good)

So I guess the "real" season starts this Saturday against VMI.

I will hold off on the panic button for now.  But if we struggle against the Keydets, it may be time to warm it up. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I have a question

Yeah, I'm back from my summer slumber of not blogging.

Sometimes, providence or the heavens or fate or whatever you want to call it work out in your favor.  I am of course referring to the debacle previously known as the Navy-Notre Dame game in Ireland.

I had an engagement that prevented me from watching the event live as it unfolded and I think we can all agree that was a good thing.  Watching that game live would have put me in a foul mood. 

If you haven't seen or read about it yet SPOILER ALERT: Navy got its ass kicked on national television with a final score of 50-10.  That's right! Unless you had Navy +41 you lost your bet. 

To be honest, I got home at 1230. Fired up the computer and scanned through the first quarter.  I have watched enough Navy football to see once the score hit 20-0 the game was over.  So I did the smart thing, skipped to the end, checked the score, confirmed we were embarrassed and deleted the file off my computer.

No one likes to lose 50-10.
No one likes to lose 50-10 on national television.
No one likes to lose 50-10 on national television with the entire country watching because it is the FIRST game played of college football.

Which leads me to my question:


Seriously, we can lose by 5+ touchdowns at home.  I don't need to fly a team across the Atlantic to do it.  I don't see how this helps Navy.

I had no expectation that we would win the game.  I did have an expectation that it would be a competitive game and NOT be over at the end of the first quarter.

As an alum, I am embarrassed.  Not only did we lose but the lead of every SportsCenter was "Irish Crush Navy."

I think the the wheels on the car that Johnson built have officially fallen off.

I am not looking forward to all the BS redemption stories for Penn State in our next game.

I am not saying it's time to hit the Panic Button.  I am saying get ready to.    

P.S. If anyone can give me anything POSITIVE about Navy's team I would really appreciate it. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reality check for PSU

As I was driving home listening to the radio some Joepologist (credit to Steve Czaban for the phrase) couldn't understand why the NCAA had to get involved and didn't see what good would come from punishing PSU for the next four years.  He couldn't understand why the NCAA would destroy "northeastern football" and damage the identity of central Pennsylvania. 

Now I am the last person in the world to support the NCAA.  But this isn't about what good will come from this.  It is about PSU supporters like this radio caller still not getting it.  What Sandusky did and Joe Paterno ALLOWED is so egregious and such a huge travesty that it makes "northeastern football" irrelevant.  Football is a game.  This destroyed people's lives. 

Hey PSU supporters, let me spell out what Paterno's legacy is.  You may find this hard to believe but a majority of Americans don't follow college football and probably had no idea that Penn State played it.  But guess what at least 90% of all Americans know now?  They know that there was a football coach named Joe Paterno that covered up a child rapist and allowed him to continue to abuse children for years.  When people say Penn State for the next 25 years that is what they will think of.

This is Paterno's legacy.

Deal with it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Not Positive

Tonight I was told that I was not a positive writer by my wife.
I, of course, immediately sent her to this blog (which I still don't think she has read) as proof of my positive and cheerful attitude.  A quick check on of this blog shows that I have been very positive about RSS feeds, ODU joining CUSA and Navy football.

Sure I've complained a little about light rail, city government and elections but most people that know me would say that I could be described as a "glass is half full" kind of guy. 

In addition, I am very excited and positive about the summer.  It means a couple of things:
1.  Taking kids to the pool
2.  Volleyball
3.  Fun

So the next time, someone accuses me of not being positive, I will simply smile and promptly send them to this post .