What Do They Know? Bandwagon Fandom and Arm Chair Coaching – Super Bowl 49

I watched this year’s NFC Championship Game with my brother and even with my new-found appreciation for Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, I stood tall rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. My brother was rooting for the Packers and Oliva Munn’s boyfriend. The Packers took a 16-7 lead into the fourth quarter of a game where the Seahawks, uncharacteristically, had more turnovers than your neighborhood bakery shop. Regardless, I told my brother—with Richard Sherman-esque confidence—that the Seahawks were going to win the game. And when a perfectly gift-wrapped pigskin express package landed into Jermaine Kearse’s mitts to seal an overtime win, I looked at my brother and said the phrase that every younger brother lives for: “Toldja so.” JOINING THE BANDWAGON I don’t think I’ve held such care for an NFL team not called the Lions as I have for the Seahawks, and I can’t shy away from my ever-growing… Read More…

Joe D’s Final Countdown: The Going to Work Pistons, a Retrospective

Ten years after the Detroit Pistons won their second NBA Championship Title, all looked dull and dreary for the then teal and blue (and sometimes purple?) ‘Stones. They had talent. They had a new arena. They had Grant Hill and they had Jerry Stackhouse. But it wasn’t enough for them to compete for championships, or even playoff spots. The NBA was a bottleneck of a select few dynasties who seemingly controlled the league with free agent superstars. Two-time championship owner (and world’s biggest Pistons fan) Bill Davidson needed some sort of spark to bring another group of winning guys together. His answer was appointing recently retired Detroit star guard Joe Dumars as President and General manager of the organization. Joe D would take the all-but-irrelevant Pistons and fix them up with some new jerseys, new players and a new formula; a formula that would result in another championship for Bill… Read More…

Opening Day: A Benchmark or 1/162 of a Season?

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…” –T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I always liked that mileage marker that Eliot used.  For many of us in education, we measure our lives in years teaching–or perhaps by an unforgettable group of students (good or bad!).  My sister Katie, a managing editor of weekly magazines for over 20 years observed that teachers at least had closure, that there is time to take a step back and assess what’s been done.  When Katie was finishing one magazine for print, the following two weeks’ magazines were well under-way. And for twenty-five years, I was able to observe in the bittersweet holiday of Labor Day the balance between school beginning–with all the extra work “breaking in” new students–with the beginning of the football season.  And as a lifelong Lions fan, the two greatest days of the season were… Read More…