Rest In Peace Bryan Pata:
Since the last post UM’s football season got a lot worse, it didn’t get worse because of something as meaningless as a loss to Maryland, it got worse in a way that actually matters as defensive lineman Bryan Pata was murdered in his apartment’s parking lot. Pata was one of the few Canes who had actually improved his NFL Draft status this year, more importantly he sounded like a really good guy. I don’t just mean that people have been saying great things about him because he died, you can’t just make up on the spot the amount of praise his friends and family heaped on him in the media.
Also, I’d like to commend 2 other universities on handling Pata’s murder with particular class over the weekend. First off, the University of Maryland held a moment of silence before their game with Miami, as well as wearing the same #95 tribute stickers on their helmets as the Canes had. On top of that the Maryland football players gave their per diem pay for gameday food to the Pata family in a truely classy act. The other schoold that deserves to be commended is Florida State. They also wore the #95 stickers in tribute to Pata during their game with Wake Forrest. Pata’s brother is a walk on senior on FSU’s team.
So, at a time like this when even arch rivals are putting aside their differences I figured the media would take a temporary break from characterizing the U with stereotypes that haven’t been relevant for a decade. To the media’s credit I must admit that they did do this, with one classless exception. Before Pata’s mom had the chance to bury her son Mike Celizic of MSNBC wrote an article about how this incident would serve as a great time for the University of Miami to reevaluate itself and the kids it recruits. The problem is that we’ve already done that, 10 years ago, and we were successful in becoming the best team in the nation (until recently) while also having the least off the field incidents of any powerhouse team in America. For example:
-We just came off of a 4 stint of having no players arrested, sadly most decent teams can’t make that claim.
-Our 2005 team graduated 21 players, that was a total higher than any other team.
-Our 2004 graduation rate was 84%, the national average was 58%.
Despite all this there’s still at least one guy in the media who finds it necessary to take shots at a program that has become the example of what all major college football programs should strive to be and at a time when the team is still grieving their teammate and friend. It’s things like this that make me wish we didn’t even bother to clean up the program in the first place, at least then we’d deserve the rebuke the media loves to heap on us.
Before I finish this rant here are a couple of links you should check out. First, Celizic’s article can be found here.
And, more importantly here’s an interview with Celizic on the Dan Le Batard show. Dan basicly lets the guy know how stupid he is, so it’s good listening.
I’ve got a few things to say about the elections, but I’ll try to keep them short.
-Back to checks and balances:
In Bush’s time as president he has only vetoed one bill. This is in large part due to Republican domination of the House and Senate. Let’s face it, as president when people in your party are sending bills up to you there’s rarely any reason to veto anything, they get their add on spending packages and you get to pass legislation you wanted anyway. My main problem with this lack of vetoes is that it has led to Republicans being able to get any pet spending project passed by putting it into a bill as a rider. Riders will be a problem no matter what party is in power, but having a split in power between the legislative and executive branches should at least slow this down.
Wow, you’re really got to hand it to Howard Dean. A lot of people don’t like him, but his plan to wage an election in all 50 states has really made progress. This became truly clear to me when I heard that Heath Shuler had won a seat in the House as a Democrat. This really surprised me because Heath is a Conservative Christian. Sure, the Dems already had some rather conservative people in their party, your Joe Leiberman and the like, but people like Heath are different, he’s spoken in Southern Baptist churches, he’s the quintessential conservative Christian whom you’d expect to have an “R” in front of his name. His social stances read like a Republican platform even. I’m not sure exactly what this means, but I do find the conservative Democrat phenomenon intriguing.
-What difference between the parties?
This observation is linked to the one above. If we’ve got a lot of new Democrats that look like Republicans, and many prominent Republicans who look like Democrats (Arnold, Giuliani) exactly what is it that engenders party loyalty in Republicans and Democrats. It seems more and more like professional sports where you're really just cheering for a uniform and a logo since the players are basically interchangeable.