Monthly Archives: August 2017

Nixon and college football coaches–peas in a pod

Richard Nixon was infamous for being the most paranoid man to be President of the United States.

He was also the biggest football fan who ever occupied the White House.

In 1969, Nixon traveled to Fayetteville to watch the game between #1 Texas and #2 (Associated Press)/#3 (United Press International) Arkansas, known colloquially as “The Big Shootout”. The game was for the UPI national championship, since the coaches would not take a poll after the bowl games, while the winner would not only earn a trip to the Cotton Bowl as Southwest Conference champion, it would have the inside track to the Associated Press championship. The AP would vote again after the bowl games.

After Texas rallied from a 14-0 deficit with two fourth quarter touchdowns to win 15-14, Nixon went to the Longhorns’ locker room and presented a plaque to coach Darrell Royal and his players. The presentation incensed Penn State coach Joe Paterno, whose Nittany Lions were in the midst of a 21-game winning streak. Paterno felt his team should be national champions in the UPI.

However, Paterno screwed his own team by refusing to accept a Cotton Bowl bid, instead opting to take Penn State to the Orange Bowl vs. Big Eight champion Missouri. The Nittany Lions went to the Orange Bowl the previous season, defeating Kansas 15-14 (how ironic)

Two years later, Nixon called Dolphins coach Don Shula at 4 a.m., a little less than 10 hours after Miami defeated the Baltimore Colts to win the AFC championship. Not only did Nixon want to wish the Dolphins well–Nixon had a compound in Key Biscayne–he suggested a play to Shula, a down-and-out pass from Bob Griese to Paul Warfield.

Listening to Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star on 810 AM in Kansas City this morning, it hit me why Nixon loved college football.

Today’s college football coaches are as paranoid as Nixon.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who is eccentric to say the least, refuses to issue a depth chart, fearing it will give his opponents an unfair advantage.

Come on, Jim, this is a football GAME played by young men between the ages of 18 and 22, not the nuclear launch codes.

So what if Florida, this week’s opponent, knows your starting nose guard? What’s the big deal? Jim, if Michigan is the better team, Michigan will win. If not, the Wolverines lose. Simple as that.

Les Miles, who was fired at LSU last September, was notoriously secretive. He shut the media out of practice and never, ever divulged injury information.

There are now HIPAA laws governing injury reports, but that was started before HIPAA was in place.

The father of hiding injury information? Bill Snyder, the walking definition of “paranoid” and “control freak”.

Ask Snyder about an injury question, and you will be dressed down by Kansas State’s sports information director. Snyder won’t do it himself. He’s not Nick Saban. Bill Snyder also closed practice tighter than a drum when he got to K-State in 1989, which wasn’t uncommon in the Big Eight–Tom Osborne did it at Nebraska way before anyone knew who the hell Bill Snyder was.

Snyder wouldn’t know what to do in the NFL, which requires injuries to be disclosed. Of course, some coaches–Bill Belichick and George Allen come to mind–have abused the injury report by putting way, way, way too many players on it. Tom Brady being on an injury list, other than 2008, when he suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the year vs. the Chiefs, is preposterous. Unless Brady can’t walk, he’s playing. GIVE ME A BREAK.

Nick Saban is the ultimate control freak. On the other hand, he isn’t as evasive as Miles, Harbaugh or some others. Maybe Miles and Harbaugh learned it from Bo Schembechler, who cut out media access to practice in an era where that was unheard of.

I really don’t care to watch football practice. I saw enough of those at LSU to know just how tedious they are. On the other hand, I understand why the media needs some access. They are doing their jobs as REPORTERS, and they are REPORTING on something their readers really want to know about.

Harbaugh and Florida coach Jim McElwain are engaged in a pissing contest in advance of Saturday’s game in the Dallas Cowboys’ Arlington Stadium.

McElwain refused to name a starting quarterback for most of the days leading up to the game. Since McElwain did not, Harbaugh refused to name his starting QB. This morning, McElwain capitulated and named freshman Felipe Franks. Yet Harbaugh refuses to say anything, and he’s likely going to keep the media guessing until kickoff at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday.

Kansas coach David Beaty won’t name a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game vs. Southeast Missouri. Come on. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI? Who are you trying to fool, Beaty? Kerkhoff said it best: the Jayhawks really don’t have a starting QB. If Beaty can’t settle on one two days before a game against a lower level team, it say Kansas has nothing at the most important position.

Why do college football coaches feel the need to be so evasive?

I understand they are under tremendous pressure to win. But they are getting compensated very well to do so. Many college football coaches are the highest paid employees in their respective states. Nick Saban makes over $8 million a year, 20 times what the President of the United States earns.

There are days when I miss being at LSU. There are others where I don’t. Honestly, I’m glad I’m not putting up with it anymore.

Houston flooded? Texas Rangers say too bad

The Texas Rangers have always been a low-rent, low-class organization in my mind.

The stunt the organization pulled this week simply confirmed it yet again.

The Rangers were scheduled to play a three-game series in Houston against the Astros. While Minute Maid Park, the Astros’ home field, was not flooded, most of Houston was, and every major route in the city was flooded and impassable. Also, the resources of the Houston Police Department and other first responders, already stretched beyond the breaking point, would have been stretched worse to provide security at Minute Maid for the games.

The simple solution to this problem would have been for the Rangers to host the series this week, then go to Houston in September when the Astros are scheduled to come to Arlington for the final time in 2017.

Easy. A lot easier than if the teams were not in the same division, since each team visits the other teams in the league not in their division only once per season.

The Rangers said hell no.

Their excuse: they did not want to “inconvenience” their fans who held tickets for the September series by switching on short notice.

Excuse me, Jon Daniels (Rangers general manager), but what do you think Hurricane Harvey did to the people of Houston? That’s not an inconvenience. That’s what’s called a catastrophe.

Just how catastrophic would it have been if a few thousand Rangers fans could not have attended the series this week? NOT AT ALL. On the inconvenience scale, it would rate at most two out of 10.

THREE games out of EIGHTY-ONE. How many people attend all 81 home games of an MLB team’s schedule? Not many. Likely only those who are retired or not working because they can afford not to work. And even some of those people would probably need a night or two away from the ballpark.

So what if fans don’t show up? The White Sox and Orioles played a game in front of NOBODY two years ago when there were riots in Baltimore following the Freddie Gray shooting. Many a European football match has been played in front of an empty stadium due to hooliganism. Fans are not necessary to play a game. If nobody wanted to show up in Arlington, let them watch it on television.

Instead, MLB forced the Astros to play their “home” games in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. If the floods weren’t injury enough, MLB insulted the Astros by forcing them into MLB’s worst facility (if not, it’s the second worst; only the Oakland Coliseum rates that badly) and playing in a city which does not deserve to even have an MLB team. The Rays have proven year after year after year they don’t care, always finishing at or near the bottom of MLB attendance.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred proved himself a gutless coward. GUTLESS COWARD.

All Manfred had to do was exercise his “best interests of baseball” clause and forced the Rangers to switch dates with the Astros. And if the Rangers didn’t want to play the games in Arlington this week? Fine, they would have forfeited.

Instead of Manfred doing the right thing, he kicked Houston while it was way, way down. As bad as that is, you don’t want to see what I’m going to say about Manfred if he ever approve the designated hitter for the National League.

If this had been the National Football League and it had been the Texans and another AFC South team playing a regular season game, Roger Goodell would have told the team scheduled to play in Houston that it would have to host, and they would have to go to Houston later in the year. That’s that. No appeal.

Had the Saints been scheduled to host Carolina in week one of 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, I’m sure Paul Tagliabue, Goodell’s predecessor, would have asked the Panthers to play in Charlotte, then travel to either San Antonio or Baton Rouge later that season, and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and then-coach Jon Fox would have had no problem with it whatsoever.

Instead, Rangers GM Daniels uses a cheap, petty excuse to screw the Astros, who are running away with the American League West. Texas is below .500 and only in the wild card race because the DH league is a whole bunch of mediocrity, except for the Astros and Indians at the top and the White Sox, Athletics and Tigers at the bottom. How else would the Twins go from 59-103 in 2016 to leading for the second wild card spot this August 31? If the Rangers played in the National League, nobody in Dallas/Fort Worth would give a damn.

Why am I not surprised by the Rangers’ pettiness? It’s in their orginazational DNA.

It began in 1968, when the Rangers were still the second incarnation Washington Senators.

The team was purchased by a Minneapolis businessman named Robert Short. Short was exiled from the Twin Cities in 1960 when he moved the Lakers to Los Angeles, then made a nice profit by selling them to Jack Kent Cooke in 1965. Cooke and later Jerry Buss turned the Lakers into one of professional sports’ iconic franchises.

Short probably wanted to buy the first incarnation of the Senators and move them to Minneapolis, but Calvin Griffith beat him to the Twin Cities in 1961 and renamed the club the Twins.

The second incarnation of the Senators were a laughingstock, just like the first team was after Walter Johnson retired in the late 1920s. The Senators were fortunate in that the Kansas City Athletics were just as terrible and kept the new Senators out of the cellar many years.

Somehow, Short convinced Ted Williams, probably the greatest hitter who ever lived, to manage the Senators. Williams led Washington to 86 wins in 1969, the franchise’s only winning season in the nation’s capital, and was AL Manager of the Year. Washignton hosted the 1969 All-Star Game at RFK Stadium.

Yet Short only cared about the almighty dollar, and he thought he could not make enough of them in Washington.

Near the end of the 1971, cheapskate Short conned owners into allowing him to move the Senators to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and play in a mionor league stadium halfway between the two cities.

Arlington was just another town on the Dallas/Fort Worth Turnpike (now Interstate 30) not too far from where the new DFW Airport was being built. It had Six Flags, but not much else.

Ten of the AL’s 12 owners at the time–the White Sox (John Allyn) and Orioles (Jerold Hoffberger) said no–let Short take baseball out of Washington. This greatly angered commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who despearately tried to get Short to sell. Yet Short showed he was just as egotistical as he was cheap, refusing an $8.5 million offer from grocery magnate Joseph Dazansky so he could put one over on the nation’s capital.

Williams quit after his first season in Arlington. He hated Dallas/Fort Worth and especially hated the shithole that was Arlingon Stadium, where more than 40 percent of the seats were aluminum bleachers in the outfield, where it was hot enough to fry eggs most days. Whitey Herzog was hired following Williams, but Short thought it was a big mistake from the start.

Herzog said it best when at his first press conference he declared “This is the most horseshit excuse for a Major League team I ever saw”.

Unfortunately, Whitey, the Rangers are still a horsehit organization.

Short forced Herzog to pitch 18-year old David Clyde less than a month after his high school graduation. Clyde eventually became an alcoholic, developed arm trouble, and eventually flamed out of MLB by 1981. The only reason he isn’t considered the worst #1 overall pick in MLB history is because at least he played in MLB, unlike Steve Chilcutt (1966) and Brien Taylor (1991).

Herzog was fired with 24 games to go in 1973 and replaced by Billy Martin, the same Billy Martin who would be hired and fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Martin led the Rangers to 84 wins in 1974, but the better news was Short sold the Rangers to Brad Corbett, a local pipe salesman.

Corbett’s ownership was just as horseshit as Short’s, and the Rangers were pretty terrible for 15 years, save for a season of contention here and there (1977 most comes to mind).

Then came George W. Bush, future governor of Texas and 43rd President of the United States. His predecssor, Eddie Chiles, left the son of the then-POTUS the gift of Nolan Ryan, who was offered a boatload of cash to come north on Interstate 45 from Houston.

Bush turned the Rangers into a semi-respectable outfit. Ryan filled decrepit Arlington Stadium every time he pitched, including once when my brother, father and I watched from the left-center field bleachers for Ryan to face the Brewers in what turned out to be his final season, 1993.

Yet Bush 43 made one gigantic mistake.

The Rangers got a new stadium under Bush’s ownership. Arlington Stadium was demolished in 1994, about 15 years after it should have been.

The bad news? NO ROOF.

Let’s see: we’ll build a new baseball stadium in Dallas/Fort Worth without a roof after fans have suffered for 22 years in the extreme heat in Arlington Stadium, a shithole where many fans had to burn the butts–literally–on metal benches.

I visited the new stadium in Arlington, currently called Globe Life Park, once, in 1996. It was better than Arlington Stadium, but much crappier than Kauffman Stadium, and certainly nowhere as good as PNC Park, which I visited in 2005.

The Rangers are correcting Bush’s gigantic mistake by building a new stadium with a roof, set to open no later than 2021. But the Rangers should have got it right the first time.

If that were the Rangers’ biggest problem, I wouldn’t have such a beef with them.

But it isn’t.

In 1999, when Ryan was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he went in wearing a Rangers cap on his plaque. It turns out the Rangers offered him financial inducements to wear a Rangers cap, even though he pitched four career no-hitters with the Angels and played nine seasons with the Astros. I don’t care if he collected his 5,000th strikeout and pitched two no-hitters with the Rangers.

Last I checked, it’s called bribery when financial gain is offered in return for a favor. If it happened in a political arena, the briber and the bribee would both be in federal prison. Instead, Ryan is a hero in Dallas/Fort Worth, even though he is from south Texas and played the longest with the Astros.

In 2002, the Hall of Fame said enough was enough and told Gary Carter his plaque would have him in an Expos cap, even though he wanted to wear a Mets cap on his plaque. Now the Hall of Fame determines the team cap on the plaque.

Wade Boggs tried that shit when he wanted a Devil Rays(??!!) cap instead of the Red Sox. The Hall of Fame said no.

Too bad the decision is not retroactive. Reggie Jackson should be wearing an Athletics cap, not a Yankees cap.

Catfish Hunter had it right when he insisted on a blank cap on his plaque, not wanting to offend the Athletics or Yankees. Greg Maddux (Cubs and Braves) did the same.

The Rangers continued their reign of error by signing former crack whore Josh Hamilton, the former #1 overall pick who was banned from baseball for a time for extreme drug usage.

It hired Ron Washington, a former admitted coke junkie, as its manager.

And now this.

There are some teams I just will never like.

The Reds are one. Pete Rose can get fucked, and Marge Schott should rot in deepest hell.

The Cubs? Obnoxious fans. Just because your team won its first World Series in 108 years does not mean you rule the earth.

The Marlins? Jeffrey Loria is a fuckwad. Jose Fernandez killed two other people because of his abject stupidity. He is not a hero. Besides, I can’t stand Miami to begin with. I despise the Heat. Dolphins and Panthers just as much.

The Texas Rangers fall into that club.

I hope the Lord has something nice in store for this dirtbag crew, who gave a giant middle finger to their in-state neighbors just because they couldn’t handle a very minor inconvenience.

One overhyped event down, one to go

The solar eclipse came and went Monday. Could not see a damn thing in Russell, where it was overcast. Good. I’m glad. I was in my basement working on something Frank needed done when the eclipse passed.

Now it’s on to the other overhyped happening of August 2017, not counting Patrick Mahomes’ performance in the Chiefs’ exhibition vs. the Bengals the other night, or the Royals’ playoff chances.

McGregor-Mayweather.

UFC fighter Connor McGregor faces boxer Floyd Mayweather this Saturday in Las Vegas.

Count me out.

I have never, ever watched UFC, unless it happened to be on while I was in a Buffalo Wild Wings, and even then, I did my best to ignore it, playing trivia and trying to watch other sporting events–even if the other events included the NBA (good Lord).

I don’t like Mayweather. He has a long history of domestic violence. He is boastful to the point where Muhammad Ali was downright humble. I didn’t watch one second of his fight vs. Manny Pacquiao two years ago, and there’s no way in hell I’m watching this farce.

Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa usually shows UFC cards, but it will not be televising the McGregor-Mayweather fight.

Mayweather’s promoters contorl the pay-per-view rights, and his fights are routinely far, far higher to buy than a typical UFC card. It would cost the consumer $99.99 plus tax to watch the fight–if it is availlable on their cable system, that is. It won’t be on the cable systems in Russell, Hays and northwest Kansas. Too freaking bad.

I recall two years ago there were scores of angry people who came into Buffalo Wild Wings at Zona Rosa hoping to see the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, only to find out B-Dubs wasn’t carrying it.

I have done all I can to tune out McGregor-Mayweather. The hype is going to ramp up signifcantly between tonight and the fight, and it won’t subuside until the fight is reviewed ad nauseam Sunday and Monday.

The next total solar eclipse is in 2024. Oh boy. At least Kansas and Missouri are far from the path of totality.

Enough of the eclipse!

I’m in Kansas City right now, where I have been since 4 p.m. Wednesday.

I am ready to get the hell out of dodge and return to the prairie.

The eclipse is now scheduled to arrive in Missouri in less than 21 hours. The hype machine has been in full gear for months, but it has been in turbo since the beginning of August.

Many in the area turned their attention away from the ecliipse for three hours last night when the Chiefs played the Bengals in an exhibition game. When the game ended shortly after 9 p.m., it was time for many to drop everything and worry about the weather for tomorrow.

It would be very funny to me if clouds blocked out the eclipse. It would really be too bad for those who spent hundreds of dollars on a hotel room for one night, thinking they would see a total eclipse. I can’t wait to see how the people react if there are clouds obscuring the sun. You know what? It’s the weather. You know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re dumb enough to lay out exorbitant amounts of money to witness an eclipse, it’s your own fault.

If you’re spending $500 to $700 for a hotel room for one night, you have tons of money to burn AND you need to find something better to burn that money on. For $700, you should be able to take your family to a Chiefs game and still have money left over for a meal after the game.

I gave brief thought to staying over and watching with Robb and Dawn, but they’ve got too many issues in their lives. Good. Now that I think about it, I’m making the right move going home. In fact, I’m going to stay up through the night so I am fast asleep at 1 pm when the eclipse is supposed to be over the region.

Beatlemania paled in comparison to the hype for the eclipse. The Beatles were not bigger than Jesus, as John once claimed. But they were well worth the money spent on tickets. I can’t say the same about the money wasted to try to see an eclipse, which will last less than THREE MINUTES.

I will be so happy by Tuesday afternoon. The eclipse will be over, and the media will have to focus on something else.

Mandatory and play do not go together, Little League

The Little League World Series began Thursday and continues through next Sunday.

I refuse to watch, unless it happens to be on at a sports bar, where I don’t have control of the televisions. But usually I have enough to distract me, including trivia and other sporting events.

I refuse to watch for one primary reason.

Mandatory play.

In most levels governed by Little League International, including the 12-year old level, which is the age group for teams in the LLWS, everyone who is listed on a lineup card must get into the game for meaningful action.

If a team has 13 or more players on its lineup card, every player must (a) bat at least once, or (b) play three consecutive outs on defense. And three consecutive outs means just that; a fielder can drop three fly balls or let three balls go through his legs, but he has to stay out there until three outs are recorded.

If a team has fewer than 13 players on its roster, then everyone must either bat once or play SIX consecutive outs.

A coach who violates this rule is subjected to severe penalties, and the player(s) who did not get into that game must start the team’s next game.

It happened in a regional game in Connecticut this summer. The coach of the New Hampshire state champion refused to insert the one player on his team who had yet to play. The commissioner of the New England region ruled if the coach violated the rule, he would be suspended for his team’s next two games.

What made this ridiculous is New Hampshire trailed 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth–the last inning–with runners on the corners.

The coach refused.

Good for him.

Let me see: I’m going to bat someone who has yet to play just to satisfy a stupid rule when he represents the winning run. Okay then.

The mandatory play rule is asinine. I don’t care if the kids are 12 years old.

It’s a fact of life some kids are just not as talented as the others. It may be some kids hit their growth spurt earlier, it may be a kid is just not naturally talented, whatever.

If the greatest heartbreak in a kid’s life is not getting into a Litlte League game, then that kid has a great life.

How many Little League players are going to make their high school varsity? I would say less than one third.

How many of those who make their high school varsity are going to play in college? Less than five percent.

And how many players in college (or high school) are going to play professionally (and by professionally, I mean the minor leagues)? Less than one percent. And very, very, VERY few are going to make it all the way to Major League Baseball.

Starting in high school, NOBODY has a right to play. NOBODY. There are tens of thousands of high school varsity players across the United States who see little or no action in their careers. It’s not anything against them. It’s a fact of life.

Mandatory play in Little League is another symptom of the participation trophy culture of the United States. Just like parents complaining their son or daughter didn’t play.

I think mandatory play should be abolished, period. But if Little Leasgue insists on keepig it, it should be outlawed for use in state, regional and World Series play. Teams should be able to use their best players at all times when their seasons are on the line. And coaches who refuse to abide by it need to be applauded, not punished, for upholding the spirit of the National Pastime.

I wasn’t good enough to play baseball when I was very young. I tried, but it was futile. I gave it up. It’s not good to quit, but I knew I wasn’t coordinated enough. It’s simply a fact of life I deal with.

No kid should be discouraged if he doesn’t play. It’s all about the team.

Kansas doesn’t have to worry about it anyway. No team from the Sunflower State has ever played in the LLWS. The only area with teams sanctioned by LIttle League are in the southeast corner, and those are grossly overmatched in the Midwest regoinal.

Is there an immunization for eclipse fever? Sign me up!

Eclipse fever has overtaken Kansas City.

Check that, eclipse fever overtook Kansas City months ago. Eclipse fever is now raging throughout much of Missouri, especially along the western edge of the state from Kansas City to the far corner where the state borders Iowa and Nebraska.

You cannot turn on any of the four local network stations and not hear something about the eclipse, which occurs Monday. Most of northern Missouri is in the path of totality, with St. Joseph scheduled to be in totality for two minutes, 38 seconds.

There are estimates of over one million people flocking to Kansas City, St. Joseph and countless small towns in the far northern reaches of the state to view the eclipse, which is dangerous for the human eye unless proper eclipse glasses are worn. Regular sunglasses won’t work. And certainly do not try taking picutres or videos of the eclipse. Anyone who does will go blind and not know it.

In Kansas City, only areas north of the Missouri River–Platte and Clay counties–will have totality, and it won’t be as long as it will be farther north. I’m guessing there will be gigantic traffic jams on Interstate 29 with people stopping to watch. I’ve suggested Missouri Western State University, where the Chiefs hold training camp, open its stadium to let people watch.

Elaine Mercer, one of my supervisors at work, is going to watch from Carrollton, where she and Frank used to live (and still own the newspaper, the Carrollton Democrat). Carrollton is scheduled to have totality for two and a half minutes, too.

The only place in Kansas in the path of totality will be Doniphan County, the farthest county northeast in the state. Russell and Hays will be in the 93 percent range. I’m not watching. NO.

I don’t see what the big fuss is. I saw an eclipse in 1984 when I was finishing second grade. I want to be able to see, even if I’m blind without my contact lenses or glasses.

It reminds me of all those who went crazy over Haley’s Comet being visible in early 1986. It’s not that big a deal to me. I’m not into astronomy. I only know what I learned in school (and playing Buzztime trivia). That’s it. I don’t own a telescope, I don’t look at the horoscope, and I never got attached to watching the space shuttle launch and land, except when I watched it in school. The only time I can remember watching a shuttle launch was in seventh grade at Arabi Park Middle, mostly because it was the first one after the Challenger explosion.

Hotels in Kansas City and St. Joseph are absolutely gouging people who are coming to the area to view the eclipse.

If you thought hotel rates in the area were outrageous for the two NASCAR weekends at Kansas Speedway, you haven’t looked at the rates for this Sunday night.

The “budget” hotels in the area are charging at least $250. Some of the classier hotels downtwon are charging up to $750.

Seven hundred fifty bucks. And that’s not for a hotel in the path of totality.

Someone who is paying over $800 to stay in a hotel and then go watch an eclipse has money to burn. Still, it’s a gigantic waste of money. That person would be better off buying Chiefs tickets.

I’ll be so happy Tuesday when the eclipse is over and people have to start talking about something else.

How cheap can you be?

This fucking sucks. I was writing a nice post on the most overrated 12-1 college football team in the history of the sport, the 2007 Kansas Jayahwks, and the stupid WordPress app on my iPad crashed, taking all the work with it. SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.

Maybe I’d be better off doing the KU football one on my computer. That way it will autosave. Besides, I’ve still got time for that one.

I am having a terrible, terrible time of it. I had hell to go through yesteday at the driver’s license bureau in Hays. I didn’t have the proper documents. The REAL ID law, which took effect for Kansas driver’s licenses August 1, is complicated. I had to go to Hays because in Russell, you can only take care of your driver’s license EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY. That’s it. Thank you, Sam Brownback, for being such a tight-fisted asshole that rural residents either have to drive long distances to renew their licenses, or have to do it on a particular day, which may or may not be convenient for them.

Kansas is also cheap because it won’t give you a new license immediately. You have to get a temprorary one on a thermal sheet of paper and it is mailed to you two weeks later. What is this, a 1990 fax machine? Kansas is too cheap to purchase laminating machines to do it then and there? In Louisiana, I walked out with my new license card a few minutes after filling out hte paperwork and taking a new picture.

I don’t know if Brownback belongs on the Mount Rushmore of cheapskates, but he certainly is in the running.

I would definitely have include Charles O. Finley, the former owner of the Athletics who screwed his players royally by serverely underpaying them, which in turn led to pitiful teams, save for the teams which won three consecutive World Series from 1972-74, and that was only because most of the players came up through the team’s farm system. When it came time to pay Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers and the others, they all bolted, knowing Finleey was a cheap bastard.

Another person who would be etched in granite on the Mount Rushmore of cheap bastards is Joe Dean, LSU’s athletic director from 1987-2000. His penny pinching ways fucked LSU fans over good, giving them football coaches Curley Hallman and Gerry DiNardo, and men’s basketball coach John Brady. Thank God for Mark Emmert. Emmert, who became LSU’s chancellor in 1999, told Dean in no uncertain terms he was conduing the search for the coach to replace DiNardo, which led to Nick Saban leaving Michigan State for Baton Rouge and LSU’s program returning to college football’s upper crust. Had Dean been allowed to hire DiNardo’s replacement, who knows what would have happened.

I’d have to seriously consider Royals owner David Glass, who ran the team like a Walmart store. Walmart is known for cheap shit, and the Royals were pretty much the same until recently.

At least I have a few weeks to take care of the driver’s license. It’s aggravating nonetheless.