Keeping up with the News (sort of…)

The stoic and proud Centennial Bridge, linking Davenport and Rock Island.

After a few days with the family, it’s good to be back in front of the computer screen and catch up on the events that was.  I didn’t realize how much I miss not being near a good reliable computer in contrast to my sister’s slow-as-molasses PC.  If I’m fortunate enough, I hope to invest in a laptop for my birthday in January.

Big 12 Commish Dan Beebe. No, he shouldn't get credit for "saving" the Big 12 (minus 2). He's still a dead man walking.

Oh, that $10 million exit penalty fee that Nebraska and Colorado is to pay to the Big 12?  It didn’t exist.  It was a “threat” if that’s what you want to call it!

Texas pulled a two-step spin move on the Pac-10 and decided to remain in the Big 12.  Well, not actually “remain” in the league, but wrangled themselves a better TV deal that will give them an opportunity to create their own network.  As Texas gets the better of the deal, schools like Iowa State and Kansas State will say that with two less teams in the league, the 10 remaining schools will get a bigger share of the media profits.

That’s all well and good, but it’s only a short-term fix for an evolving issue that will be long-term:  the future of athletic conferences and the push to form super-conferences as a way to lock out smaller leagues from being involved in the BCS for college football and March Madness for college basketball.

Many fans were griping over Senators Harkin and Grassley possibly getting involved in the fray to protect Iowa State.  Maybe a history lesson is needed here.  From 1934 until 1977 Iowa and Iowa State didn’t play each other. Iowa, in particular, didn’t see the need to add ISU to their schedule.  It took the late Bill Reichardt, former Hawkeye standout, local clothier, and state senator, to push the renewal of the rivalry through the Iowa Legislature.  It was by that effort that the Hawks and Clones are playing today.

People vote for elected officials to "take care of them" as well as "take care of what they love" including their schools.

So to say that elected officials need to stay out of sports and deal with the oil spill is hypocritical in my book.  Sports like boxing and horse racing has traditionally been besieged with corruption, illegal practices, and other issues in which the government had to step in and enforce rules in order to better regulate these sports.  It is a matter of “institutional control”.  If Congress and the feds have to probe and regulate sports like horse racing and boxing, then they have the time to should inquire about the ineffectiveness of entities like MLB and the NCAA, if said entities are unable or unwilling to police themselves and their sport.

Most countries have a “minister of sports” that are charged with ensuring that everyone “play by the rules.”  The United States doesn’t have a “sports minister”, but it shouldn’t be an excuse not to have some oversight if the leagues and organizations that run the sports leagues we watch can’t seem to get their acts in line.

The Des Moines Register has begun a short series of articles addressing what the future of the Golden Circle (Des Moines and the surrounding 6-county region) will be.  What do we need to have in make life better here in the capital city?  There are a few things I think we need to address first before asking for money to build a new transit mall for DART ( it wouldn’t hurt to consider some of the buildings south of downtown and use some ingenuity with these buildings).

First of all, let’s get the Birdland Park/neighborhood levee deal taken care of.  It’s makes no sense to try to attract people to move and live in Des Moines if we can’t take care of the residents who are already here. The good folks in the Birdland neighborhood or low-lying areas should not have to for another flood before something can be done to protect them.

I have more suggestions, but that will wait for now.

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