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Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.

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Doing politics in business

Quite a few NFL players have been deciding to take a political stance during the National Anthem. There’s nothing illegal about that, it’s their right. It’s not a new thing either. A few years ago then St. Louis Rams players decided to come out of the locker room showing the ‘Hands Up’ gesture. Last year Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the National Anthem to protest minority rights and has now been joined by, it seems like, everyone in the NFL.

Well, there are a few that haven’t fallen into the victim mentality. Here we have Alejandro Villanueva who was the only member of his entire team to come out of the locker room for the Anthem. VILLANUEVA ANTHEM

Now, the only business I’ve ever been in charge of myself was when I was a kid and mowed lawns. But I’ve observed some of my relatives as they ran their small businesses. And I’ve worked for a fair number of private companies (along with some government agencies). Customer Service is stressed quite heavily, even in government believe it or not. Rule #1 in Customer Service is Don’t Piss Off the Customer.

If you do 20 good things no one is likely to notice. Piss off one customer and 20 people hear about it. How many of you won’t do business with a certain company, or know someone who won’t do business with a certain company, because of a bad experience. Gordon Graham has a good little story about it. It goes something like this: He and his wife went to Sears to get a washer, set up delivery for a specific day and time frame. His wife was there, Sears wasn’t. Instead of rescheduling the delivery, they cancelled the order and got the washer from a competitor. I quit eating at Pizza Hut because of the poor customer service at multiple locations (in two different countries!). I quit using Barnes and Noble because of their customer service among other issues. I don’t buy books from Tor anymore either.

All of the places I’ve been employed have had a policy where if the employee does something to embroil the employer in a controversy the employee can expect to be fired. Making your employer look bad is a good way for the employer to lose business. If the company loses business, they have to let employees go. Or might even go out of business all together.

Apparently there aren’t many good business leaders in the NFL, because by continuing to allow their representatives (the NFL players and coaches) to piss of their customers (the fans). But then again, maybe they aren’t worried about it. The NFL actually had really good paid attendance last year. I’m not sure if that actually translates into butts in seats or merchandise sold, but their attendance was it’s best ever.

attendance nfl

We’ll have to see if that continues. Last year there was lots of gloom/doom early, and the protests were the most often cited for those no longer watching, but there were other issues as well, like off field player conduct and the NFL’s response to it.

Yes, occasionally police officers get a little over zealous, but more often than not the incident is the result of really poor and oftentimes intentional actions on the part of person who gets shot/beat by the police officer. If Michael Brown would have simply stepped up onto the sidewalk to get out of the street, he would be alive. If Alton Sterling wouldn’t have decided to fight with officers he would be alive. He’d probably still be in jail because he was a felon in possession of a firearm, but he’d be alive. Of course he had a history of making poor decisions, so this one wasn’t really a surprise.

I, for one, am planning on putting away my jerseys for awhile as these spoiled brats are pissing me off a little. I wonder how many of them have any experiences outside of North America and the annual NFL London games? Things aren’t exactly rosy out there.

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Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty

Horns Up

College football hotbeds are scattered across the country, from Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Michigan. When you think of the greatest college football programs in the modern era, those schools come immediately to mind. But none of them did what North Dakota State did from 2011-15 and that is to win five straight national championships, in NDSU’s case at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly known as Division I-AA). In fact, nobody at any level of college football has ever won five straight. The Bison did it with a unique toughness, including farm kids from the Midwest who were used to working 18-hour days before taking one step on the Fargo, N.D., campus. They did it with a work ethic and an unusual devotion and love to their hard-driving strength and conditioning coach. It didn’t come without some hard knocks. The Bison went 3-8 in 2009, one year after becoming fully eligible for Division I athletics after making the transition from Division II. They lost their head coach during the 2013 title run, a change that was met with resistance and tension within the coaching staff that filtered down to the players. From 2011-15, Alabama won 62 games, Florida State 58, Oregon 57 and Clemson and Ohio State 56 each. North Dakota State, with its collection of lightly-regarded players primarily from the states of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, won 71. Since moving to Division I, NDSU went 8-3 against bigger FBS schools with wins against the likes of Minnesota (twice), Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado State. They had some stars, like in 2011 when a quarterback from Bismarck Century with a few scholarship offers decided to stay in-state and attend NDSU. Four years later, Carson Wentz was the second overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Draft. The national media paid attention. ESPN’s “College GameDay” came to Fargo two straight years and the network developed a love affair with the city. “Horns Up” is a story of a football program that came out of nowhere. It’s a story nobody could have predicted.

Continue reading “Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty”

Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence

Bison Football

Today the name North Dakota means football – thanks to the North Dakota State University Bison, the dominant team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II.

Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence chronicles the NDSU Bison’s remarkable rise from the bottom of the standings to the upper echelon of Midwestern college football history.

Follow the Herd through 30 historic seasons! Sportswriter Ed Kolpack traces the Bison program from its rebirth in 1962 until today. Here’s every triumph – the magic of the veer offense, championship seasons and postseason bowl games, all-American honors and the dynamic support of the NDSU Team Maker Club.

Bison Football is a story of athletic talent and expert guidance, hard work and brilliant strategy. Kolpack invites players, coaches and fans to reflect on the glory days and occasional missteps in their own words. They reminisce about their days together and share lifetime memories with every Bison fan.

Together, their comments…plus Kolpack’s expert eye-witness reporting…paint a vivid portrait of the NDSU Bison tradition, from great expectations thirty years ago to its victories in the ’90’s.

Continue reading “Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence”

C’mon Man!

bison_2One of the things I’d love to see come Monday Night Football would be one of the commentators use the C’mon Man! segment about FBS teams scheduling NDSU. They will come into your house, push you around, beat you up, take your pride, take your money and walk out with a win.

Whenever an FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) team puts an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) team on the schedule the expectation is an easy tuneup game to get some players some experience and confidence brewing. You can’t do that with NDSU! It’s been pointed out before by different sites and once again today that FBS teams need to quit scheduling NDSU. I think the Big 10 gets it, as they’ve sent out a directive that their teams aren’t to schedule any new FCS games. And no FBS team has come calling play the Bison until 2020 (Oregon).

The thing about NDSU is they aren’t your typical FCS team. They aren’t even your typical elite FCS team. You should basically just consider them a Power 5 program that’s been limited to 63 scholarships. They have won 5 straight FCS National Championships (and appear to be on their way to #6 if they keep playing like this) and their last six FBS contests. There are a couple of cupcakes in there (Minnesota wasn’t that good, Kansas was pretty terrible, and Iowa State made Wentz, Crockett and Emanuel look pretty good), but they also beat a Kansas State team that was the defending Big 12 Champion and went on to win the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Now they beat an Iowa team that is the defending Big 10 West Champion and ranked in the top 15 (#11 Coaches poll and #13 in the AP Poll). Those are a couple of good teams. Continue reading “C’mon Man!”

It’s a Tribal thing

I see Manchester United’s bus was attacked by West Ham fans as it tried to get into the stadium. Rioting sports fans is nothing new. In fact England is somewhat notorious for its ‘(soccer)football hooligans’.

It happens here in the States and Canada as well. Last year at a Monday Night Football a Vikings fan was beaten by some 49ers fans.

In the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there were high school teams that refused to use the locker rooms at a couple of the schools located on tribal lands (cough, New Town, cough, cough) due to safety concerns. The teams would arrive on the bus in their gear, play the game, and then go from the field/court to the waiting bus outside and drive off. While I didn’t see it personally, I heard that at least once someone was shooting at one of the buses as it rolled out of town (I think that was in Parshall).

The thing is, this bad behavior isn’t necessarily a racial or ethnic thing, despite protestations otherwise. It’s a Tribal thing. But not as in ‘their just a bunch of uncivilized indians’, but rather who or what you identify with. It’s people who identify with Team X and attacking the symbolism of the ‘Other’. It’s also usually conducted by younger people, in their teens and twenties. Usually this is limited to vocal taunting and gestures, but occasionally we’ll see it make news headlines when it becomes physical.

Fandom isn’t necessarily geographic in nature either. Though local areas generally are more supportive of a team, you will frequently find fans of that team in far flung places as well.

A couple of years ago I attended a MN Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. None of us is a Vikings fan. But after attending a couple of Chiefs games in KC because my Brother-in-Law is a Chiefs fan, my Father-in-Law wanted us to see a NY Jets game as well. The couple sitting next to us were Viking fans, as could be expected. But they weren’t from Minnesota. No, they flew in from New York City to watch the Vikings play. They didn’t even have any ties to the MN area.

In today’s world, at least in the US, we often choose our tribe rather than being born into it. Sometimes that tribe is the local one, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s loyalty to the team, sometimes it’s loyalty to a particular player. But once we’ve made that choice we can sometimes become overly passionate about it and lose focus on being good people. Attacking someone or something because they are perceived as ‘Other’ isn’t limited to sports either. Anything with fans falls into this same trap, though it might not always be physical in nature. Though sometimes it goes beyond mere heckling to harassment and even libel/defamation (See Sad Puppies 3 where several ‘news’ organizations had to retract ‘articles’ regarding Larry Correia).

Continue reading “It’s a Tribal thing”

That was quite a team

Back when I was just entering college at North Dakota State University they were a Division II powerhouse. The football team was the Team of the Decade in D-II, with 7 appearances in the Championship game, winning 5, from 1981 to 1990. There were some really good players to come out of those teams. Jeff Bentrim broke Walter Payton’s TD record and played a little in the CFL. Chad Stark and Doug Lloyd got invited to camp with some NFL teams. Stacey Robinson was on two Superbowl winning teams with the NY Giants. Phil Hansen played in three straight Superbowls with the Buffalo Bills. Casey “Gus” Bradley is the current headcoach of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

NDSU finally moved up from D-II, but because of the way the NCAA splits up football the Bison play in the lower tier D-I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). During their transition years they were arguably one of the best FCS teams out there, but were ineligible for the post season. When they finally became eligible they had an off year (3-8) before starting one of the most amazing runs in post season history of any college football team at any level. In 2010 they lost a heartbreaking overtime game at Eastern Washington, the eventual National Champion. Since then they haven’t lost a post season game, winning the last 5 FCS National Championships.

Many people around here consider the 2013 team to be the greatest FCS Football team ever constructed. They not only went undefeated throughout the season to win their 3rd consecutive championship, they did it by shocking D-I FBS Kansas State, the reigning Big 12 Champion and eventual winner of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl over Michigan.

That 2013 Bison team was loaded with talent.

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Continue reading “That was quite a team”

Silly Season Is Upon Us

It’s the Silly Season. No, I’m not talking about politics, I’m talking NFL draft. There’s always lots of speculation about what teams are going to do. While a lot of pundits talk about what teams need and who they should go after the teams themselves don’t always have the same outlook. But an FCS Quarterback as the overall #1 pick in the draft? Come on.

carson wentz

Continue reading “Silly Season Is Upon Us”

History made

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NDSU just made a little bit of history on January 9, 2016. They became the only team to win 5 consecutive NCAA Football National Championships. It’s something that’s never been done before, at any level. Sometimes the term ‘Dynasty’ gets thrown around a little too freely in athletics. In this case it may be a little understated.

I don’t think you can really call this ‘surprising’. I wrote before about the tradition that NDSU has winning. They have done it for a long time, with lots of different coaches and lots of different players at two different levels.

I think the most impressive thing about this year’s team was how they limited every one of the teams they played in the post season this year to a season low in yardage. Every single one. Continue reading “History made”

Tradition of Excellence

Yesterday as I was looking around the internet at speculation about what today’s FCS Football rankings might look like after 6 of the top 10 ranked teams lost I came across this article about programs suffering through disappointing seasons that mentioned Wyoming’s Craig Bohl. And it got me thinking about some of the past NDSU Bison coaches and the success (or lack thereof) they had at other programs, and how much of NDSU’s success is simply the culture here, the tradition of winning if you will.

Bison helmets

Since 1965 NDSU has won 12 National titles at Division II and Division I (FCS) levels and 28 conference titles. Since its inception in 1894, NDSU football has 671 wins, good for 37th all time and a winning percentage of .642.  Since the rise of NDSU Dominance in 1963 under Darrell Mudra the team has gone 476-134-4 for a winning percentage of .775.

Continue reading “Tradition of Excellence”

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