Here are some things that daze and amaze me.
Aren’t you amazed that the Pittsburgh Public Schools lowered the G.P.A for athletic participation when the levels of academic achievement are already appalling, atrocious, mind boggling, and all of the other definitions of negativity that we can think of. We can’t blame John Thompson or Mark Roosevelt for this garbage pickin’ academic achievement plan. They should have hired a surgeon instead of a new superintendent to stop the internal bleeding and the fiscal, social, and educational bloodletting that our student-athletes are experiencing. Forget about a syllabus, what they are creating is a “sillybus.” Busing kids all around the freakin’ city for what? Just to create the illusion that they are being educated.
Hey, you can’t blame athletic director Mike Gavlik for this nonsense of an education plan. Now the WPIAL will have some real live “blocking dummies” to practice on while getting “their” student athletes ready to earn scholarships to attend some of most illustrious institutions of higher learning in the US. All our kids have is the “Pittsburgh Promise” which basically will have a surplus of funding for the next couple of decades or so because most of our “great athletes” possibly will not even be equipped to pass their SATs to even get into college, well except the college that I attended and truly love, CCAC (Community College of Allegheny County). Going to CCAC is fine but future student athletes will be held to standards of pseudo and diluted achievement or in this case being told that you don’t have to be smart but you can play anyway and there is no penalty for non-achievement. The best reward for failure is hey, more failure. The thing that stands out to me is that parents will make it over to Cupples Stadium or the individual schools to see their children compete, yet will not get up off of their “rusty dusty’s” at home to demand that homework assignments be completed or mosey on up to the schools demanding excellence and achievement for their children. It is not “kosher” seeing Dick and Jane run as a part of the course catalog for our seniors. Are you amazed or dazed?
The city of Canton, Ohio not only has to be amazed and dazed, they have to be flat out K’Od in regards to the NFL Hall-of-Fame game being cancelled for 2011. The entire population of Canton is almost directly or indirectly connected with the yearly NFL “spectacle.” Although only an exhibition, it is one of the few events that endear all of us to the game of American professional football. Over five years ago I wrote a column titled; ‘Christmas in Canton’ where I talked about the social and economic impact that one event has on the population of Canton annually. When you look at New York in November, you generally think of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day mega parade. In December it’s the Mt. Everest-like Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center or ‘Junkanoo’ if you have ever lived or traveled in the Bahamas. When one thinks of the beginning of the yearly football wars, Canton always springs to the front of my mind.
Robert Wang of CantonRep.com wrote a prophetic article titled; Hall of Fame means money, jobs for county on Aug 02, 2010. In it he says; “The city of Cleveland lost one of its greatest economic assets: LeBron James. The impact is estimated to be losses in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars for the region. Now, on top of the demise here of several thousand local manufacturing jobs during the last decade, imagine what the economic damage might be if Stark County were without its crown jewel: The Pro Football Hall of Fame. Roughly 200,000 people a year who go through the Hall of Fame’s turnstiles would not be visiting the county and spending money at local hotels, restaurants and shops. Without the annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, Stark County would have a million fewer visitors per year, and at least $27 million less would be spent locally during late July and early August. Without the Hall and the Festival, Stark County would offer roughly 300 fewer full-time jobs, according to a 2005 study.
See lads and lassies, the NFL and the NFLPA are playing a serious “game” with the lives of common folk. People are running across the “economic” middle with no helmets leaping up to catch errantly thrown “paychecks” with no protection and with the telephone number of the local unemployment office stitched across the back of their “uniforms.” There will be no “unnecessary” roughness calls against the NFL powers-that-be or the NFLPA because with “real” jobs there is no “instant replay” and as we all know in the “real” workplace, only the strong survive.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)