Thursday, July 28, 2011

Drexel Cancels Abortion Course Mid Trimester

Drexel University has decided to cancel its controversial course on abortion after just 7 weeks.  Drexel made local headlines when they decided to offer a course that solely focused on the topic of abortion, now amid national criticism the university has decided to end the course. 

Drexel is a university that has routinely done things a little differently to get noticed.  The school has long lived in the shadow of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and other Big 5 schools.  Drexel has been run on trimesters instead of semesters and they have placed an emphasis on internships. 

The recent decision to shutdown Abortion 101 by President John Anderson Fry was difficult.  "Drexel University is committed to offering courses you cannot find anywhere else.  However in this case university administrators realized that the offering of the course was not well thought out but rather started on a whim.  Rather than let the course run through the rest of the trimester we decided it was best to end things as soon as possible. We just wanted this problem to go away and did not want to deal with this for years to come."

14 students were enrolled in Abortion 101, taught by Professor Maureen Roe. The students will receive their money back for the course and a free course to be used in the future.  The course consisted of freshman and sophomores.

In recent weeks the course had drawn protesters to 34th and Market St. in Philadelphia.  There was confusion as to what was being taught in the course and both pro life and pro choice protesters were concerned about the course.

Pro Life activist Moucho Vil Derra stated "Drexel should know better than to have course on abortion.  You can't talk about that stuff in schools it ain't right."  Pro Choice activist Mary Thurston did not want students to be steered against abortion. "I don't know what they are teaching those kids but it better be that abortion be good."

One Drexel University administrator discussed the protests on the condition of anonymity.  "These people are out here on their bullhorns for 6 hours a day protesting about a course they never attended.  Imagine if they put this much effort into finding a job.  I assure you that Drexel was allowing the students in the course to make their own informed decision but once again we have given into political correctness." (I heard they ran a similar headline in the past but I never found the story)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing

Do not propose or get married in your favorite place.  Michigan recently announced that you can have your wedding ceremony and reception at Michigan Stadium (The going rate is $6K for a one hour ceremony).  While Michigan is certainly not the first team to offer weeding ceremonies and they have yet to build a cemetery near by like FC Schalke 04,  I suggest you stay away.  Cynics and glass half empty types like myself warn you not to disrupt the force of a place you love for someone you love.  Not only is it usually a bad idea because the girlfriend or finance will hate you for it but say things go wrong.  Let's break it down.

You propose:  She says no.  You have a very unwanted memory drudged up every time you watch your team play.  The situation is intensified when you enter the stadium.

You get married on the fifty yard line.  She divorces you.  Denard Robinson breaks free into the secondary, 40, 45, your ex wife is banging your best friend.  Do not mess with a good thing.  It's bad enough thinking heartbreaking losses, don't torture yourself further.

Seriously though I would be curious if an actual marriable girl would want to get married inside a stadium? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Captain Crunch

I come to you this evening with what I hope upon hope is the last that we'll hear about Derek Jeter skipping this week's All-Star Game and festivities in Arizona. Of course that's too much to ask, but let the record show just how blown out of proportion this whole pseudo-controversy has already been to this point. 24 hours from the time this post freshly hits NAGAYT it will hopefully be old news. But since that day has not yet come, and the only thing on TV tonight is the ESPY Awards (no thanks), here I am - and hopefully, here you are.

If you've paid attention to the "there's nothing else to talk about so let's make something out of nothing" sports media and blogosphere in the past four days, you'd think that Derek Jeter lit an elementary school on fire while calling the First Lady a ho and slapping five with Casey Anthony's lawyers. But I guess that's what happens when you give a forum to people who like to regurgitate conventional wisdom without facts or perspective. So allow me to provide a brief rundown of the whole situation:

Yes, the fans voted him into the All-Star Game to start at shortstop for the American League. And no, his production over the first half of the season (.270 AVG/3 HR/24 RBI, with a .683 OPS that is the lowest of any regular on his team) did not warrant such a selection. Yes, he had just come off a 3-week DL stint due to a calf strain and was clearly not moving like he was 100%. But no, he had not missed any of his team's six games played since his return. Yes, he simply could have opted not to play the All-Star Game and still shown up and hung out for it. And yes, above all, he was coming off a 5-for-5 day on July 9 in which he did something rather historic (for the view that Kevin and I were fortunate enough to have in person for #3,000, take a look here).

The rest of the story, I'm sure you know. The Captain was a no-show in Phoenix, prompting the backlash from seemingly every corner of the baseball world. Such is life when you're the most visible athlete playing for the most high-profile team in the only major professional sport that is in season right now. People, even fellow All-Stars, saying "oh, I'd never skip the game, it's my obligation" haven't spent the past month in Derek Jeter's shoes. And this idea that "oh, this was the chance for so many fans across baseball who ordinarily don't get to see Jeter to cheer him at the All-Star Game and congratulate him on his 3,000th hit" is complete garbage. The majority of baseball fans, especially the less-sophisticated majority, are tired of hearing about Derek Jeter. Take it from me, a guy who has watched or listened to 85-90% of Yankees regular season games over the past decade - Derek Jeter gets booed nearly every time he steps to the plate on the road. And while it's not quite at A-Rod level, the booing is pretty intense. People in National League cities boo him especially hard during interleague play. So now all of a sudden I'm supposed to believe that the assortment of fans in Chase Field were ready to gush all over Derek Jeter when he got announced? Uh-huh. And if so, would it have been just because of the 3,000th hit? I bet that if he went to the All-Star Game stuck on 2,999 he'd have gotten the hell booed out of him - which, for the record, is what happened to all the other Yankees in attendance, save for Home Run Derby champion Robinson Cano.

Did Derek Jeter owe it to baseball to be present at the All-Star Game? No. His job is to help the New York Yankees win as many games as possible in the 2011 regular season and then to win 11 more games in the postseason. That's it. And it's important to not overlook the role played by A-Rod's recent knee surgery and expected 4-6 week recovery time. Had Jeter played in Phoenix and tweaked his calf injury, the Yankees would be faced with a left side of the infield consisting of Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena day-in and day-out for the next month or so. Jeter's reason for not playing was basically the same as that of Mariano Rivera, who had pitched only once in the week leading up to the All-Star break due to a triceps issue, but I haven't heard one ounce of criticism sent in Mo's direction. To me, it's the same issue for both of them - they weren't going to play in the game, and being able to take the invaluable three-day break from baseball is pivotal for an aging player on a team with lofty expectations that is going to rely heavily upon him from here on out.

Now I know there's a lot of venom headed Jeter's way simply because of who he is and who he plays for. People were all over Facebook and Twitter during the All-Star Game, eager to point out that 3 out of the 4 All-Stars not present (regardless of whether they were going to play) were Yankees. And no, #2's plight wasn't necessarily helped by his being spotted hanging in Miami with Minka Kelly during the All-Star break. But you know what? This is a guy who, for 16 years, has busted it down to first base on every ground ball that he's hit. He's basically never had a public slip-up despite dating celebrity after celebrity, doing big-time endorsement after big-time endorsement, and consistently being one of the most recognizable athletes in sports. He has always put the team first and sought to minimize his own accomplishments and moments. His Turn 2 Foundation has, since 1996, been making a difference in steering countless young lives onto the right track.

Yet people have come to hate him over the years for supposedly being made of Teflon. Too perfect, too polished, too prepared, too clean. So they try to manufacture some selfish corner of his personality and point at the 2011 All-Star Game as evidence for it. I ask you, however, if he truly were selfish, wouldn't he have jumped at the chance to absorb all the attention that was supposedly to be bestowed upon him down in Phoenix? Wouldn't he have wanted all of Major League Baseball to convene to worship at the Shrine of Jeter, for all of his peers from across both leagues to come up to him and personally congratulate him on his milestone? Instead, he took a step (ok, half a step) back from the spotlight in an effort to gather himself for a grueling stretch of 25 games in 25 days between now and August 8th, a stretch of games that will do a good deal in shaping up the AL East race. And what happened? The spotlight found him anyway, as it always tends to do. But come 7:05pm on Thursday night in Toronto, sports fans everywhere would be wise to take this "issue" out of the spotlight - and off of their minds. Because you know there is only one thing that will be on Jeter's mind by that point, and that's finding a way to beat the Blue Jays.

ESPN Announces New Programing Lineup

Denise Austin,Tony Randall, Chuck Norris, and Suzanne Somers are coming back to ESPN Programing. ESPN has decided to bring back paid programming to fill their 24 hours of coverage across ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN News.

“We finally realized how difficult it is to fill the 24 hours news cycle on 3 cable networks. Customers can only hear about Brett Farve’s retirement and penis so many times throughout the day” Said one ESPN rep

ESPN has decided to fill 8 of the 24 hours on ESPN and ESPN 2 with Paid Programming. Only live games will override the planned change of paid programming so no worries WAC Football fans. In addition to the paid programming, ESPN will add coverage of previously seen on ESPN 3 to regular cable TV. This will mean addition games and additional sports genres will be added. Sports like Men’s rugby will once again appear on ESPN.

One ESPN network executive warned that network favorites such as First and Ten, Around the Horn, SportsNation will be terminated with extreme prejudice. The Sports Reporters and Pardon the Interruption are expected to be retained. ESPN News is expected to run highlights and news for 24 hours straight. ESPN Classic will remain largely unchanged.

Fan reactions were mixed. Jimmy from Jersey said I won’t be able to get through my day without breaking stories such as Deron Williams may play in Turkey if there is an NBA lockout. This is something that needs to be discussed every five minutes and every ESPN personality should give his opinion on the matter. The paid programming and actual live sports events will severely cut into discussion time.

Doyle from Texas had another take. I cannot stand to watch ESPN unless there is a live event I need to see. This new programming initiative should be positive because things cannot get any worse then they are right now. Paid programming with the bottom line running across the bottom of the screen sounds like a plan. I just want sports news and live events the talking heads must be stopped.

ESPN is expected to phase in the new changes starting August 1 of this year.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Interview with Kevin James

NAGAYT has been very busy recently and for that we apologize. However, we are back with a vengeance today as we have landed an interview with Kevin James, star of the new movie Zookeeper. Zookeeper is opening nationwide July 8th.

NAGAYT: Mr.James, you got your first big break with King of Queens a show that drew just enough ratings to hang on for 9 seasons. Did you think the show would get cancelled sooner?

James: Yes actually, we were out of ideas in Season 4 or so and were constantly coming up with new versions of the same story line. The show was supported by a funny Jerry Stiller and hot Leah Remini. I was playing the fat guy role for a long time and it got old quickly, but CBS kept writing the checks so I kept showing up. New characters were being rotated on the show to try to keep things fresh, but after 9 seasons the gig was up.

NAGAYT: Well I certainly enjoyed King of Queens and occasionally watch in syndication but it hard to see how the show hung on for as long as it did. It never had great ratings but kept making the cut. The success of King of Queens led to movie roles for you. Have you enjoyed working in film versus television?

James: Well television was great but it ran its course. I enjoy working in movies now, there is always something new.

NAGAYT: Your movies have been universally panned by critics, but the majority of them have achieved box office success. Does it bother you that critics have given you negative reviews?

James: I made Paul Blart Mall Cop. I have no defense. Did you see that movie?

NAGAYT: Unfornuately yes, but I couldn’t watch it in one sitting because it was so bad.

James: That movie made $219 Million and the budget was under $30 million I think.

NAGAYT: Well I do not know how that happened but it certainly makes you a bankable star to a degree. Is it all about the money though?

James: I’m a fat white guy in Hollywood and I’m making some solid money in the business now. I’m just as surprised as you are about it but befriending Adam Sandler has really helped my career. As far as being all about the money though, I wouldn’t say that. I think its about making family friendly films with goofy premises and seeing if the American public can still be suckered in.

NAGAYT: Your new movie is Zookeeper and it looks a lot like Dr. Doolittle. How is it different at all?

James: I’m a zookeeper as opposed to a doctor. I’m also a white and make less money than Eddie Murphy.

NAGAYT: That is it?

James: In a nutshell. Hollywood is not trying anymore.

NAGAYT: In the trailer a gorilla wearing a polo shirt goes to the bar and helps you pick up girls. How does the audience avoid from gauging their eyes out during this scence?

James: Well if you go see the movie you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

NAGAYT: Fair point. So have you started working on your next project yet?

James: Yes. It’s called Here Comes the Boom. Saliva is doing the whole soundtrack for us. I star as a high school biology teacher who moonlights as a mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to save the school's music program.

NAGAYT: Wow that sounds like an Academy Award right there.