Archive for the ‘acc’ tag
I tweeted (or whatever) about this earlier, and while I rarely mention sports, especially regional sports, on this site, I felt this topic deserves a brief airing.
Of course, I realize that every football fan has his or her own notions about how such and such a game should be called from the sidelines. The coach either ran too much or not enough. The coach should have gone for that fourth-and-two play. The coach should have kicked the field goal. And on and on. And while preliminary rebuttals may come that coaches know more about what’s going on down on the field than someone listening to a game on the radio or television, but what I’m about to mention seems to me basic and impenetrable logic.
My alma mater, Clemson University, has been either mediocre or just above average in football since 1991 when it then had a national championship and six ACC titles under its belt. The current coach, Willaim “Yaba Dabo” Swinney, took control of the team midway through the 2008 season when Clemson ousted Tommy Bowden, who, at least in coaching, seems to be a shell of his father. Swinney and Bowden followed prior coaches Tommy West and Ken Hatfield.
At least since Bowden, and perhaps prior, the coaching and play calling has been, by and large, predictable and uninspired. The team’s 16-10 loss today at Boston College seems to be a case in point. Granted, Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker had a bad day in the air going 21-39 for 176 yards, but what I saw was way too many predictable calls and a lack of urgency in the face of looming defeat.
The very first drive makes the case: a run on first down for no gain, a run for 5 yards, an incomplete pass and a punt. When, as a team, you are on the road in a hostile environment, it seems to me the last thing you want to do is to come out with such a conservative, sluggish and unimpressive start, such that, it seems Clemson set itself up for a fall from the start. Throughout the game, as it turns out, Clemson, as Boston knew it would, tried to establish the run with Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper. Clemson mostly failed, however, tallying only 86 total yards on the ground against the best rushing defense in the ACC. Even in the second half down 16-10 and having scored only a defensive touchdown, the conservative play continued. Not counting the final two drives late in the fourth quarter when Clemson pretty much had to throw the ball, the Tigers only threw three times on first down versus nine rushes on the same down in the second half. Granted, one series of rushes resulted in a field goal in the first half, but that was it for the offense. And when the Tigers did choose to throw the ball, they lined up in the shotgun, which, again, is predictable coaching. The only schemes that I saw that even halfway attempted to mask calls was a few play actions passes behind center.
Of course, now at 2-3 in the ACC and 4-4 overall and with three conference games left, the Tigers still have a tough road to hoe going forward, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Clemson gets another mediocre and mostly meaningless bowl bid come December, if any. Woeful games such as the one Saturday leave a fan wondering just what the heck the Tigers, or any other team who seemed so ill-prepared for the next game, was doing the entire week prior to game day. Maybe one of my journalism cohorts in the Clemson area can help me with that one!
ABC News and The Associated Press report that the Atlantic Coast Conference has pulled baseball tournaments from being played in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 2011-2013 in light of the Confederate battle flag being flown on the State House grounds. For years, the NAACP, which I argued here was all-but irrelevant today, has imposed “economic sanctions” (The organization seems to have dropped the term “boycott” to describe its sanctions) on South Carolina for its continued presence of the Confederate flag on the grounds. The flag was placed there via a bill passed by an all-white legislature in 1962. Since, the NAACP has lobbied for the state to remove the flag. In 2000, lawmakers did take it down from the State House dome — it was formerly third from the top, under the state flag and the United States flag — and place it on a memorial site honoring the fallen during the Civil War. But to remove it completely from the grounds and place it in a museum would require separate legislation.
The State newspaper on Thursday published a telling letter to the editor from a writer describing himself as a “white Republican and graduate of an SEC school.” He had this to say on the topic:
Here’s what I’ve concluded after searching my soul. I don’t need to wait for the NAACP to make me understand that the Confederate flag deeply offends a huge percentage of the population of South Carolina and thus needs to be removed from the State House grounds. A person’s celebration of culture, history and heritage need not needlessly offend many of our fellow citizens. — Jay Glasgow, letter to the editor writer, July 16, 2009
In retort, a commenter on the newspaper’s Web site wrote (parenthesis mine):
Making an honourable (sic) symbol that many BRAVE (using all caps makes points more valid, doesn’t it?) men fought and died under a so called symbol of racism does not make it so. This flag at the monument is historically correct as it is a battle flag … I challenge you to stand up to the tyranny that manifests itself today to those who condemn our people who struggled against an invading army in a war that both sides should have avoided. … The real intelligence here Mr. Bubba (another commenter) is seeing that our heritage is being attacked and doing something about it. Black soldiers also fought for the Confederacy ,too.The monument educates the public on the REAL history of this struggle. — By Pawmetto
Some, like the following, again make the claim that the war was not about slavery:
A little history lesson: The succession of the southern states was about a lot more than slavery. The southern states had every right to succeed. It was that right that convinced the states to unite in the first place. — Pammiesue
Unfortunately, the writer, while stating the war was fought for “a lot more than slavery,” never gets around to mentioning any other causes.
I was going to let some of these comments go, but I should digress for a second. First, the Confederate soldiers, by and large, weren’t brave necessarily (some of them probably were), they were conscripted, or made to fight, by the first draft ever passed in American history. They were green (just like a lot of Northern fighters) and many of them abandoned the army. At one period, the South had an abundance of arms and equipment, but not enough men to use the stuff! It’s not exactly as if able-bodied men were flocking from their farms and families to join the Confederate cause. Most of them were forced to fight, and most of them didn’t even have a dog in that fight, as the Confederate cause was largely that of the slave owners. One of the first sentences a professor uttered to us during a Civil War class at Clemson University was, “The Civil War was caused by slavery and anti-slavery.” So, while states’ rights was an issue later, it wasn’t the issue. It was the reciprocal issue arising from the slavery question as a consequence. Northern lawmakers, of course, couldn’t allow slavery to expand into the western territories because they knew how corrosive a system slavery was to establishing any semblance of an industrial society. A minority of northerners had staunch moral objections to the peculiar institution, but most simply rejected slavery because of the former problem. Nor could lawmakers allow the South to invade parts of South America with intentions of setting up an entire sphere for slavery, in what would have been known as the Golden Circle, an ironic title in itself, since the kingdom would have been borne on the weight of black folks’ shoulders. And to speak on the black soldiers, most of them, as soon as they could, defected to the Union side, and again, like most of the white soldiers, they were made to serve. By that point in the history of slavery in America, I would imagine that at least some of the slaves had developed an institutional mentality, the same that long-time prison inmates develop, which suggests they are happier inside the institution (jail, plantation) than outside in the free world because it’s all they had known.
But back to the comments. Here’s another responding to the letter to the editor:
Applause for your thoughts, Mr. Glasgow! Sadly, most South Carolinians don’t have the intelligence to see as clearly as you do. SC will drown in its ignorance before aknowledging (sic) the error of leaving the flag up. — bubba
Finally, the most enlightening comment I’ve read thus far on this topic came from Sammy in response to another article about the NAACPs “sanctions” against South Carolina, who was noting, like The State’s letter writer, that the flag should be removed for good:
… a personal favorite moment of mine was when some guy in a car saw my anti-Bush bumper sticker and screamed “America! Love it or leave it!” He of course had a confederate flag on his truck. The irony was rather delicious. — Comment by Sammy, reader of ABC News article