Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Relax Folks, Christianity is just fine in America

I'm probably going to cheese a few folks off, but nobody reads my stuff anyway, so...
Despite being a Christian, albeit one of a more liberal strain, I've never gotten on board with those who think that Christianity is under attack in the US. 

While I would agree that Christianity is persecuted and under attack in countries where Christians are in the minority, I tend to disagree that it's under attack in America: where the majority of the citizens identify at least nominally as Christians; where there are thousands of mega churches each with congregations in the tens of thousands bringing in tens of millions of dollars in weekly tithes and offerings; where there are God knows how many Christian media outlets raking in and spending billions of dollars to get the Word of God out to anyone who wants to hear it. 

There are millions of churches in this country, all operating out in the open. Anyone interested in what they are providing can walk right in. No one will arrest seekers or believers or chop off their heads.  Bibles don't have to be smuggled into America. Hell, you can buy one at the dollar store for a fiver.

Does this sound like a religion under attack and being persecuted?  Maybe the studies coming out that say that fewer and fewer people are attending church regularly and more apt to be spiritual but not religious, but I doubt that it spells the end of Christianity in America. 

What it is, is that there is a certain segment of Christians in this country that want freedom of religion...but only for Christians.  Yes, the first amendment of the Constitution allows for freedom of religion, all religions, not just Christianity.  If the Founding Fathers, whom so many of US Christians with a persecution complex, claim founded this country on Judeo-Christian principles, were so bent on making this country into a Christian nation (which I do not believe), why didn't they add a clause into the Constitution granting Christianity special protections to the exclusion of other faiths? 

I don't see Christianity going away in the US, anytime soon. It's just that there are Christians who don't want other religions to play in what they think is THEIR sandbox, when it ACTUALLY belongs to all religions, as well as those who don't believe at all. Then again, what the hell do I know?

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Advocate's 2015 City League Preview

     The 96th campaign of Pittsburgh City League football begins tomorrow afternoon with a 3:30pm game at Cupples Stadium featuring the two teams predicted to be at the bottom of the standings by most polls:  Carrick and Westinghouse.  But the real interest in D8 this season is concerning the top teams in the league.  No fewer than three schools have a shot at hoisting the hardware on November 7th.  Allderdice, University Prep, and Brashear, the defending champions, all have the talent to get the job done.  And as far as Your City League Advocate is concerned, it’s almost too close to call.  All three teams have very good offenses that can light up the George’s scoreboard almost at will.  
    Allderdice spotlights the Jackson twins: quarterback  James and receiver Tim; who also were the mainstays behind the Dragon hoop team’s incredible run to the PIAA semifinals.
    Brashear responds with quarterback Therran Coleman who recently issued a verbal commitment to Pitt.  He’ll be supported by three year starter Khalil Sanders at running back and Qu’ran Powe among others at receiver.
    And University Prep can’t be left out with recent Perry transfer signal caller, Shawn Rutherford under center, (yes, he is related to past Perry great, Rod Rutherford. Shawn is Rod’s cousin.) and he’ll have a potent receiver to throw to in highly ranked and recruited Kenny Robinson.


    ***Allderdice***

   The Dragons made it to the City Championship title game three of the past four years, but they have not been to able to win the elusive title that has escaped their grasp since 1967.   Last year was the ‘Dice’s best season in years.  Led by the Jackson twins,  the Dragons blew through the City League posting a perfect 5-0 record and outscoring their competition 209-49.  Included in that romp was a 36-0 blowout of  Brashear.  A fact that was not lost on the Bulls.  After defeating Carrick 40-12 in the semifinals,  the Dragons faced Brashear in the championship game, and maybe the Dragons took their opponents lightly, or maybe the coaches decided to try something different, but the Bulls doubled down on the twins, forced turnovers, used their potent running game to jump out to a quick lead and before the Dragons could wake up, Brashear was hoisting the City League hardware for the seventh time.  
    The Jackson twins return for one final shot at the title.  QB James, who has recently committed to Toledo threw for 1,282 yards and 19 TD’s last year.  WR Tim caught 10 TD’s and averaged 18.3 yards/ reception.   They will be helped by hard-running junior running back Jeremiah Hardrick who scored 10 TD’s as a sophomore.  
   One major concern for the Dragons this season is the loss of almost their entire starting offensive line from last year. Only their center returns for this season.  With a mobile quarterback like James Jackson who is good at buying time for his receivers, this might not be a big problem.  However, this could affect their running game.  If the young offensive line can step up, the Dragons have a very strong chance to finally grab that elusive City title.   
    Allderdice opens their season with two straight non-league road games at Hampton and Wheeling Park (WV), before taking on Perry in their City lid-lifter.  Games with major playoff implications include:  Brashear on September 24; and U-Prep on October 15.  A third non-league game against Indiana on the road closes out the non-City portion of the schedule.

    ***Brashear***

   The Bulls started last season 1-3 including losses to U-Prep (41-34) and Allderdice (36-0) and were seemingly out of the City playoff chase.  But they took advantage of a weak second half schedule to roll off three straight wins in a row to grab a #3 seed in the playoffs.  Once there, they pulled two big upsets.  First, rolling over U-Prep, 27-8 in the semifinals, and a most unexpected romp over Allderdice, 42-14 to grab the championship right from under the Dragon’s noses.  RB Khalil Sanders ran for TD’s of 30 and 43 yards in the win, and he’ll be back this season to anchor the Brashear running game.  Therran Coleman returns for his senior season as the starting QB, and like the ‘Dice,  the Bulls will also be facing rebuilding their offensive line as well.   Other contributors for Brashear include: Qu'ran Powe (WR/DB), DeVaughn McNary (WR) and Ronnie Wilkens (RB/LB).
    The Bulls open their season with a home non-league game against Imani Christian on Friday night.  After a game against Carrick the next Thursday, Brashear plays the toughest stretch of their City schedule with games against U-Prep on the 18th and Allderdice on the 24th.  They will finish their regular season with two road games against WPIAL competition:  Armstrong and Franklin Regional.



  ***Carrick***


 The Raiders will be coming into the 2015 season with a new coach, and hopefully a new attitude.  Carrick finished last season 1-4 in the City and 1-8 overall.  Their lone win came against Westinghouse 20-16.  However, due to an altercation between the ‘House and Perry last October that resulted in the Commodores being removed from the playoffs, Carrick found themselves with an unexpected berth in the playoffs against Allderdice.  And despite their unusual circumstances, the Raiders gave the Dragons a scare in the first quarter, scoring first and moving the ball pretty well against the eventual runner-ups before the Dragons’ superior numbers and talent took over.  Taking over the beleaguered Raiders is former long- time Keystone Oaks assistant coach Ed White.  White brings a system that stresses attention to detail and fundamentals.  And he’s expecting his charges to improve week by week with the ultimate goal of returning to the City Championship, a title that hasn’t called the South Hills school home since 1983. Senior running backs Elijah Reed and Marsai Howard are the prime movers in the Carrick offense, and Allderdice isn’t the only team in the City relying on twin magic.  Sophomores Taylor and Tyler Thornton will also be counted on to bring stability to the Raiders at receiver and offensive line, respectively.  The competition for QB will include: senior Lloyd Wood, Oveon Monroe and freshman LJ Orbovich.
    Carrick opens their schedule with an Friday afternoon matchup against City rival Westinghouse.  Road games against Knoch of the WPIAL and Wheeling Park as well as a home game against Imani Christian round out the non-D8 portion of the schedule.


   ***Perry***


   The once proud Commodores have fallen on hard times lately.  Last season, they finished the season, 2-5. In 2013, they were 3-6. The last City title Perry had won was in 2012.  
   While they had qualified for the playoffs, the fight they had against Westinghouse not only caused their season ending game against Brashear to be postponed, it also knocked them out of  playoffs contention.  Exit Ken Wright, who coached Perry for one season.  Enter Craig Aguglia, who spent the last two years at Carrick, where he accumulated a record of 2-15.  Aguglia will be battling low roster numbers, good players transferring to other schools and a general malaise that has settled over the program.  With Shawn Rutherford transferring to University Prep, the quarterbacking duties will fall to senior Tala'l Rogers.  Tyree Jackson, Ray Dean, Kenyatta Thomas and Evan Moore will be contributing on the offensive line, which Aguglia considers to be one of the bright spots of this Perry team.  Richard Giles, a standout running back who scored 14 touchdowns two seasons ago for Avonworth, will be toting the pig behind that line.  Despite Aguglia’s less than stellar record at Carrick, it must also be said that he didn’t exactly have that much to work with.  It looks like that isn’t the case at Perry.  The Commodores will open their season with a pair of non-league road games against Slippery Rock and Gateway, and then the City portion of the schedule with three straight games against last season’s playoff teams: Allderdice; U-Prep and Brashear one after the other after the other.  Easily the hardest early season schedule in the City League in 2015.   If they can survive that meatgrinder, they should be in a position to grab a playoff spot.


    ***University Prep***


    U-Prep was formed in 2011 as a co-op team formed of players from Obama Academy, University Prep, and Pittsburgh Sci-Tech. From their founding to 2014, they have made it to the City Championship game every year, winning the title twice.  2015 found that streak broken with the Wildcats on the outside looking in due to a 27-8 defeat at the hands of the eventual champion, Brashear Bulls.  Once again, U-Prep looks to be one of the favorites to win City gold in 2015.  The Prep started 2014 winning four straight and looked to be cruising towards yet another berth in the title game until a 15-8 loss to Allderdice spolied their bid for an undefeated league season.  Coach Lou Berry says that the ‘Cats have been working hard in the weight room
during the off-season to get their players ready for the grind ahead.  Especially knowing that in the City League, players are often called to play on both sides of the ball.  With the departure of All-everything quarterback Ron Brown, U-Prep will be handing the keys of the offense to Shawn Rutherford, cousin of Rob and recent transfer from Perry. Rutherford should be one of the tallest and strongest of the City’s signal callers at 6-3 and 225lbs.  He threw for 781 yards and his favorite target for this season will be junior receiver, Kenny Robinson, who averaged 19.1 yards per catch last season.  Robinson is already on the radar of such local colleges as Pitt and WVU.
    U-Prep will also have an experienced offensive line protecting their QB.  Seniors Juwan Hutchinson, Khai Jackson and Jaseem Campbell will be working the trenches.
    U-Prep will open the season on the road at Maple Grove (NY).  They will also play non-league tilts against the WPIAL’s  Mars High School as well as a home game against Imani Christian. Games of note include Brashear on September 18, and Allderdice on Oct 15.  


   ***Westinghouse***


   The Bulldogs are once again trying to revive the tradition that includes 35 City championships, still the most titles won in the history of the City League.  However they haven’t brought the championship to Homewood since 1996.  They haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2001, and haven’t beaten a league opponent since 2012.  They are easily the smallest school in terms of enrollment in the City League at 184 boys.  And year in and year out, they suit up against schools that are as much as 4 times their size.  Two years ago, they petitioned the WPIAL to be allowed to join that league for football.  The WPIAL refused, citing scheduling issues.  Once again, they are requesting to join.  The WPIAL will make their decision in December.  But for now, the ‘House will suit up and do battle against larger City schools with deeper rosters  and try as hard as they can.  It is the Advocate’s hope that the WPIAL will allow the Bulldogs to join for football.  It is safe to say that joining D-7 as a AA school will not be an easy task, because while the ‘House would finally be playing schools closer to their size, they’d be going up against schools that have more resources, in many cases.  But at least they won’t be playing schools with six and seven hundred boys to choose from.
    The Bulldogs went 1-7 overall  in 2014, but encouraging signs were found.  In 4 of their 7 losses, they were within 14 points, and in 3 of them, they had only lost by less than 7, including a 7 point less to playoff-bound U-Prep. Their lone victory was a 38-0 thumping of Saltsburg.
    Senior Darnell Jordan shifts over from running back and will start at quarterback.  The running back competition has four solid candidates in: Brandon Kelly, Tyrese Williams, Brian Jackson and Ayonde Lucky.  On defense, the ‘House has some solid players: defensive tackle Jamon Miyares, linebacker Keyshawn Brooks and cornerback Tyree Carlins.
    Westinghouse opens its season in what could be a pivotal matchup against Carrick Friday afternoon. After a game against U-Prep, the Bulldogs play three straight non-league road games against Wheeling Central Catholic, Hollidaysburg, and Saltsburg.  Coming back into City action, the ‘House finishes with Brashear, Perry and Allderdice.

    The Advocate’s prediction:
Frankly, it’s too close to call.  If you were to put a gun to the Advocate’s head and force him to make a decision, he’d tell you to pull the trigger.  Brashear, Allderdice and U-Prep all have stud quarterbacks and great receivers.  All of them can run the ball.  ‘Dice and Brashear have issues with their o-lines.  U-Prep has a stable offensive line.   
    Allderdice knows that this is their last chance to win a title with the Jackson twins, and their next chance may be a ways down the road.  The Jacksons will be damn hard to replace.  They also want to erase that humiliating defeat at the hands of Brashear as well as bring the hardware back to Squirrel Hill.   Brashear knows that the last time a City League team repeated was when they did it back in 2007 and 2008.  They know how hard it is to repeat and as the defending champs, they’ll be getting everybody’s best efforts.  U-Prep wants to get back into the title game, and they have the horses to do it.
   Therefore, the Advocate will close his eyes, grit his teeth and regretfully go against his Allderdice bias.  He predicts that the title game on November 7 will be between U-Prep and Allderdice and the Wildcats will pull out the win in a squeaker.  And God have mercy on his soul for not having faith in his Dragons.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Take on Michael Vick and the Steelers.

My Michael Vick take:  First, I'll say that I love dogs. My family raised German Shepherds when I grew up. I still have the stitches on my arm from when one of our dogs latched on to it. Doesn't affect my love for dogs. 

But while I love dogs, I'm not one of these people who treats their dog like a child. I didn't put little outfits on them. I didn't obsess over how they looked or what they ate. I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on boutique doggy treats or fur-lined designer collars, or other doo-lollies that people lavish on their pets. One, they didn't have those things when I was growing up in the 70s, and even if I had a dog today, I wouldn't do all that. I loved them, I cared for them, gave them tons of affection, they were a part of our family, but they were still just dogs. If my house were on fire and I had a kid and a dog, and I could only rescue one of them at a time, I'd get my kid first and if I had time, I'd get the dog. I can always get another dog. 

What Michael Vick did was disgusting and vile and despicable.  If he had done any of that shit to any dog I had, I'd probably hunt him down.  I do not condone one thing he did to those dogs.  

But he served his time according to the laws of the land, he paid his debts, he's turned his life around and as far as we know, has stayed on the straight and narrow.  He'll have to live with his actions for the rest of his life.  And he damn well knows it. And there will be people who'll always remind him should he ever forget.

There will always be people who will never forgive him for what he's done.  He could come to them in sackcloth and ashes, plead  for forgiveness and slit his wrists and bleed out before them, and they still would not be satisfied. And that's their right, I would never tell a person what to believe in this case. 

 Maybe I'm too forgiving. Maybe I'm a patsy.  But I believe that even in the case of a Michael Vick, or anyone who committed a heinous crime, that if they made an honest and sincere effort to change their ways, and can provide tangible proof to that effect, I have no problem giving the benefit of the doubt.  If they do the same thing again, that's another story.  

I can live with Michael Vick as a member of the Stillers, because while I love the team, I don't love them so much that I have this fanciful notion that every player on the team is a righteous Boy Scout/superhero standing for truth, justice and the American Way.  They are human beings, some of which came from very bad places and backgrounds who had a ton of fame, wealth, and money dumped on them.  More than they had ever seen in their lives. Do you expect people who came up under those circumstances to know what to do when they come into more fame and wealth than they ever saw in their lives in one moment?  Not everybody can make that adjustment.  Can you?  I'm not saying that every player is a thug, a wife-beater, a dog fighter or a malcontent, but I'm also not naive enough to think that every player is a nice, upstanding, church-going paragon of virtue with a wife, 2.5 kids, an SUV and a home in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and a drooling Lab. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a business, in the brutal and barbaric business of playing football, the modern version of Roman gladiators.  Face it, the business of pro football is filled with humans that are good, and humans that are bad. Just like my job, but 65,000 people don't crowd around and pay top dollar to watch me drive or walk around a parking garage making sure nobody steals it.  I don't see these players as role models, or people for whom I or any children that I would have had, to aspire to.  They are football players playing a violent, nasty sport in front of tens of thousands of people who live vicariously through 'their team.' Gears and cogs in a machine that are replaced when they break.  The players know it, and any fan with a clue knows it.

 If the Stillers think Michael Vick can help them to win, which, like it or not, is the ultimate goal, that is their decision to make. They don't need my permission, nor will they suffer if I boycott the team. Michael Vick didn't do anything to me. He doesn't have to apologize to me. Just as the Steelers don't have to defend or apologize for their actions to me.
Watch if you want, or not. Protest if you want, or not. But stick to your principles if Big Ben goes down in a heap, and Michael Vick ends up leading this team to the playoffs.  Do you root for the logo or the player wearing it?

Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 City League Nonconference Schedule.

Well, boys and girls, it's coming up on high school football season. Training camps will be opening soon, and Friday nights in Western PA will be echoing with the popping of pads, screaming cheerleaders and bands playing fight songs. And of course, I'll be along to cover the upcoming season in the City League. This is the traditional first post for the season, the rundown of the non conference schedule for the league.   
  The City League released their 2015 football schedule, and the most interesting development for the D8 schools is the return of the WPIAL to City League schedules for the first time since the 2012-2013 school year.

    Disclaimer:  This schedule information comes from the Post-Gazette website and the Pittsburgh Public schools website at http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/Page/1427
 
    Each City school will play at least one school from the WPIAL’s Greater Allegheny Conference (GAC) (AAA) this season.  Allderdice and Brashear have two GAC schools on their schedules while the other four schools will play one.   Greensburg Salem is the odd man out in that they won’t be playing any City League schools in 2015.

****City vs GAC****
All games played at the WPIAL school.

Allderdice @ Hampton  Sept 4
                @ Indiana     Oct 9

Brashear  @ Armstrong  Oct 16
                @ Franklin Regional  Oct 23

Carrick     @ Knoch   Sept 18

Perry        @ Gateway  Sept 11

University Prep @ Mars   October 12

Westinghouse  @ Hollidaysburg  Sept 25

    And for the first time ever (as far as I know)  the City’s JV football teams will also face off against WPIAL competition as the GAC’s JV squads will travel to Cupples Stadium to play their City League opponents.  Those games will take place on Saturday mornings during the season.

    City League teams will also be facing a slate of non-D7 opponents this season.  Slippery Rock has become one of the City’s go-to teams in the last couple years as well as the usual West-By-Gawd Virginia suspects, Wheeling Park and Wheeling Central Catholic.  No City teams have scheduled Linsly Academy this season, but three teams have scheduled home games against former WPIAL school Imani Christian.  I’m guessing that the attempt to co-op with Wilkinsburg must have fallen through.   University Prep will be making trips into the Buckeye State to take on perennial powers,  Bishop Hartley out of Columbus (The same team that crushed Perry in 2013), and the Steubenville Big Red.


****City vs Non D7 & D8****

Allderdice @ Wheeling Park, WV  Sept 11

Brashear vs Imani Christian Sept 4

Carrick  vs Imani  Sept 25
               @ Wheeling Park, WV Oct 16

Perry @Slippery Rock  Sept 14
         vs  Imani  Oct 9

U-Prep @ Bp. Hartley, OH  Sept 4
            @ Steubenville, OH  Oct 23

Westinghouse @ Wheeling Central  Sept 18
                        @Saltsburg  Oct 2


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day 2015. A Solemn Reminder.

    On my way up to the Legion to get ready for Memorial Day, I was wearing my Vinson ball cap, and I ended up talking to a man who did two tours as a Marine in Vietnam.
    He was very proud of his service, but I could also feel the pain in his voice as he spoke about the buddies he left behind. He occasionally broke down in tears between moments of lucidity. He was cycling through his emotions in a way that made me really feel for him.
    That war did a number on him. All I could do was listen as he spoke. I'm breaking down as I write this. Tears were forming in my eyes as my heart went out to this man. 
     I can't possibly understand what he went through, he saw so much shit. And all I could do was listen. I felt helpless. I wanted to take his pain away.  I hope and pray that he can find the peace he deserves. 
    Much respect to all those who saw combat and ended up leaving a little of themselves on those battlefields. Much respect to those who paid that ultimate sacrifice.
    I'm not some flower sniffing leftover hippie that has fond memories of the sixties. I'm not a pacifist. But may we one day learn the futility of war and lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside and study war no more. 
    God, grant eternal peace to the souls of all those who died in the line of duty, and also to the families they left behind. Amen.

A solemn Memorial Day to you all. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All this...over a T-shirt?

     A couple days ago, Under Armour, the next big athletic gear company put out a shirt that showed an image of four basketball players erecting a basketball hoop in a way that mimicked the historic scene of Marines raising the American flag over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. After a firestorm of criticism by military vets, the company pulled the shirt and issued an apology.
I'm a bit conflicted regarding this issue. I tend to try and see both sides of an issue before spouting off about it. As people who know me know, I am a vet, though not a Marine. And I can definitely see where some, maybe a lot of vets might get bent out of shape about this image supposedly parodying the flag raising on Iwo Jima. If I were a Marine or a relative of one of the Marines who were a part of that historic event, I probably would be a bit ticked off about this.  But I'm neither.
      But that image of the flag raising has been parodied more than once. I seem to remember around the time of the Iranian hostage crisis, a political cartoon surfaced that showed Marines in that same famous pose, sticking the flagpole up Ayatollah Khomeini's ass. I'm sure that at that time, no one, especially military vets would have objected to the scene at Iwo Jima being used for that purpose.
     But I also do think that maybe some of my vet brothers and sisters may, just may, be accused of doing some of the things that we tend to rip others for, namely throwing the PC flag and coming across as a bunch of whiners. It is certainly their right to complain that this shirt design bears a similarity to one of the iconic scenes of World War II, and American history in general, and they some how see this as mocking that moment in history and equating basketball to going to war. And rather than be seen as mocking Iwo Jima, Under Armour has the right to pull the shirt and cut their losses.  It's not like they are going out of business anytime soon because of one shirt.   
     But if there is one thing that us vets love to crow about to anyone who'll stand still long enough to listen, is that we fought for this country's freedoms, including free speech and free expression, and that includes speech and actions that we might find distasteful and offensive.  Personally, instead of getting all bent out of shape about a matter that I deem trivial compared to so many other issues that Vets can lend their voice to resolving, I would have just not bought the shirt. 
     As I've said before,  the flag raising scene at Iwo Jima has been parodied before.  And no doubt, it will probably be parodied again.  Now if a group of basketball players were to go to the Marine Corps Memorial in DC  and attempt to replace the flag with a basketball goal, then I would make a stink, and those fools would have to fight off the entire Marine Corps, who consider that monument sacred space.  Good luck with that! 
     But looking at this shirt,  all the design is doing is mimicking the pose of the flag raisers.  It isn't making a political statement, it isn't desecrating or profaning the flag.  It may be in bad taste and the person or persons who made the decision to approve this design should have given more thought to what they were doing, but to me, a vet who admittedly isn't a Marine or a relative of those brave men who raised that flag, I can't get all that geeked up about this.  
    Now, I think that maybe my veteran brothers and sisters should focus their 'Angry Facebook Veteran' powers, as awesome and nasty as they can be,  on much more important matters. 
     Maybe, like getting the government to properly fund the VA, so that it can better perform the function of taking care of its wounded and broken service members when they come home from the wars and conflicts that our leaders seem so hell bent to get us involved in.  
     Maybe we should vent our spleens at our elected officials to stop sticking their damned noses in every other region's business, so that we don't have to send our already stretched to the limit military into every damned trouble spot on the planet.  
     Maybe we should use our very loud and very salty voices to call our military leaders to task about such thorny issues bedeviling the Armed Forces such as the alarming number of suicides occurring among our deployed personnel and the issues of sexual assault against our female service members.  
     Maybe instead of crowing about how salty and badass we are, or were, we could use some of that saltiness and badassery to address the way more serious issues regarding our military.  But what the f**k do I know? I was just an E-4 Navy cook  who made shit on a shingle and flipped sliders.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The State of the Scribbler, 9 years on...

It's nine days late, but better late than never.  The Moonlight Scribbler celebrated its ninth year of existence on April 6th, and while the Greatest Blog No One's Ever Read hasn't been updated since January, it still exists and I have no desire to retire it.  This thing has been a repository for all the various debris that accumulates in my fractured mind, and has no other place else to go.  And while Facebook has largely replaced the Scribbler in terms of quickie posts about my admittedly warped view of the world around me,  this place is still home, my little patch of digital real estate on the Interwebs and I feel that it's important to have a spot like this.

As Spring gives way to summer, I will try to add to it as and when.  I currently have no plans for the Scribbler's 10th anniversary next April.  I was thinking of throwing a swank invitation only party at the hippest club in Pittsburgh with cutting edge music, top-shelf booze and hot and cold running A-list celebs, but being that I'm the most unhip person I know, I don't go to clubs, most of what passes for music these days gives me a headache, and the various antics of celebrities bore the hell out of me, maybe I'm just better off staying at home with a mix and match six-pack watching the Mindy Project on Hulu.  Oh yeah, I'm very easy to entertain.

I'm also thinking about creating a logo for the Scribbler in time for the tenth anniversary.  I'd like to find a way to have one made at low cost, (preferably free) that can be put on t-shirts, caps, beer coozies, etc.  I could think about making this thing into a personal brand. Imagine, creating a brand for a blog that no one reads!  Brilliant!  Not one of the dumber ideas I've had.  Believe me, I've had worse.

Well, in closing.  Happy 9th anniversary to this little labor of love of mine.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Toole Time.

I find it interesting that Andy Toole has been Robert Morris' men's hoops coach for going on five years now.

RMU is generally known as a stepping stone program where young assistants get their first shot at being a head coach at a program that doesn't get a lot of media scrutiny and the administration doesn't put too much heat on them to win, then after three or so years of success, some program a couple of steps up from the NEC comes along, dangles a bunch of money in front of the coach, and off they go.

I definitely would have thought that after beating Kentucky and St. John's in consecutive years, (granted, both UK and St. John's were down, playing in the NIT, and really didn't care, but still...) some school from a higher level would come calling and swept Coach Toole away from Moon Township, but he's still there. He even signed a three year extension to keep him coaching the Bobs until 2018, but we all know that college coaching contracts aren't really worth the paper they're printed on.

After all, Mike Rice signed an extension at RMU, just before Rutgers came calling. I just wonder whether Toole is waiting for the right gig to come along, or is he satisfied coaching at the low D1 level. I mean, legends like former Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan who coached there for 49 years and 830 wins come around only once in a lifetime. I would assume the former. Maybe if RMU pulls off another big upset in a postseason tournament, this might be the year that he goes to a higher profile program, but for now, Colonial Nation can sit back and enjoy the continued success of the hoops program under Toole Time.