Video And Photos: Westboro Baptist Church Tried To Protest At Funeral Of Soldier Who Was An Aggie, A&M Fans Respond With Maroon Wall

Instagram user Emily Husk notes the following, “Lt. Col. Tisdale funeral. Aggies forming a barrier bt the church & #Westboro Baptist Church protestors. You can’t tell by the pic but tons of #Aggies are here.”

Photo Courtesy @micahgrace

Photo Courtesy @thrushiebaby

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Good Morning Generation

It appears that Texas A&M finally finished its due diligence last night and is prepared, at last, to leave behind the Big 12 for the greener pastures of the SEC.  I cannot praise the move enough by A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and this is just another in a series of disastrous moves that will eventually lead to the Big 12’s demise.  Let’s evaluate a couple of the issues involved here and see if we can draw any conclusions on the state of college football as a whole.

First up let’s tackle the issue of money.  Many proponents of the Big 12 and commissioner Dan Bebe have made it a point in recent weeks to inform us that A&M likely will make less money as a result of an immediate departure to the SEC.  While true, this ignorant assessment fails to see the whole scope of what’s at stake.  It is true that the Aggies will likely earn perhaps five million dollars less in the initial years of their new conference membership.  However, what situation would you rather be in right now?  Would you rather be Texas Tech or Kansas making $17 million as opposed to $12 million next season but unsure if your conference is going to last another calendar year?  Or would you rather be Texas A&M foregoing the chance to make $17 million, but ensuring that you’re school is in the most sure thing investment in college football?  A&M is taking the safe return, the least risk, and, most importantly, the promise of long-term profits and success.  It’s like choosing to invest in junk bonds (Big 12) or treasury bills (SEC).  You take the safe money every time.

The next obvious question is how long can the Big 12 possibly endure as a conference, or at least as an BCS AQ conference?  This sucks to admit, but it’s true.  This conference will matter as long as both Texas and Oklahoma remain members.  The schools are too big, too important to the history of the sport to keep out of the national title picture.  And while they’ll likely now battle the Big East every year for the title of worst BCS conference, they’ll still retain that all important automatic qualifier status which will allow them to live on as a conference.  Of course this all goes out the window if Oklahoma jumps ship for the Pac-12 leaving Dan Bebe and Texas wondering what the hell happened.  Remember this though, there is no way UT leaves the conference.  It is literally set up to cater to their every want and desire and because the profit structure rewards them far more than the other schools, they have absolutely no incentive to leave.  The AQ status is just a throw-in to the abundance of gifts the Big 12 already lays at their feet.  While it might be true UT could survive as an independent, it won’t make any amount near what they currently do in the Big 12 and they’ll be nowhere near as successful as the Golden Domers at Notre Dame.

Now that A&M’s move is official, it’s time to start considering possible candidates to replace them.  The BCS has a contract stipulation that AQ conferences must have at least 10 teams to keep their status.  SMU has made it known publicly through multiple outlets that they would be more than happy to accept an invitation to replace A&M.  Of course they would!  SMU also wishes that bribing college athletes was legal and that Eric Dickerson was still at tailback.  Hey Pony fans I’ve got three words for you:  not………gonna………happen.  In my mind there’s only two schools that have a real shot at replacing them.  The first, and most logical choice are the Cougars of BYU.  The school has a terrific sports program that rivals schools like Stanford, UT, Michigan and Nebraska in terms of the amount of success they achieve in nearly every single sport.  Most importantly they could hang in football but not be a big enough threat to UT and Oklahoma’s supremacy.  That makes way too much sense though and Bebe has proven over the years that common sense is not his prerogative.  That man likes to take things personally.  It is with that thought in mind that I think he goes with a different school whose mascot happens to be a cougar.  Houston, will you accept this rose and join the Big 12?  I may be way off base with this but my gut instinct is that Bebe is going to make this move strictly to rub it in Texas A&M’s face.  The TV market in the city of Houston is too large to be ignored and I believe Bebe is going to try to give the Aggies the finger on their way out the door by adding the only other school that can possibly generate interest there.  Like I said though, BYU makes way too much sense and we’ll see if Bebe can put away his stubborn pride and prove me wrong.  What’s funny though is that all of this assumes BYU would even want to join them in the first place.  Two years ago, they’d have jumped at the chance.  Now?  Not so much.

So what does this move signal for the state of college football in general?  In my own humble opinion, this is the second move in a sort of class warfare currently taking place.  Call it the French Revolution of college football.  By now we all realize that college sports exist for the sole purpose of making money.  If you still believe in the amateur sports concept you are a fool and need look no further than the way ESPN makes tens of millions off a little league baseball tournament.  It’s a fact.  And just because it’s a fact doesn’t mean it’s wrong either.  However, like with men who can no longer tolerate the oppression of the ruling class, there comes a breaking point.  Is A&M really supposed to sit idly by as their number one rival makes unbelievably more money than they do, soley for existing?  How are they supposed to stare at themselves in a mirror as an instituion when their rival calls all the shots and purposely makes it more difficult for them to succeed?  There comes a point when a man, or a school, has to stand up for his pride, money be damned.   It’s embarrassing what The University of Texas did to the Big 12 and it’s embrassing to all the other top tier schools in that conference that suffered as a result of their selfish interests.  How does a conference honestly let the University of Nebraska walk out the door without so much as whisper to try to get them back?  That school has five national championships in football for god’s sake.  Texas has four.  This is what happens when an elite ruling class completely neglects what made them successful in the first place.  This is what happens when the rich try to get richer while giving the finger to the middle and lower classes.  This is what happens when you ruin a good thing.

The Big 8, now the Big 12, now the Big 9 could have and should have been the best conference in all of collegiate athletics.  No one matches their success in both football and basketball.  And now it’s slowly dissolving before our eyes.

It’s a damn shame.

Generation Y, where this just might be Federer’s last chance at a grand slam.  All hail the king.

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Good Morning Generation

Apologies for the lack of posts yesterday.  I’ll make it up to you today.  It’s a quick hits type of morning:

-On the A&M situation: I want so badly for that school to get out of Texas’ shadow and into the SEC, but this attempted realignment reveals what still dominates the decision-making process in college football.  For those who haven’t read yet, the potential move by Texas A&M to the SEC is not being delayed because the SEC presidents don’t want them, it’s actually being delayed so that ESPN can make sure it doesn’t breach contractual obligations it has to both conferences.  Basically the WWL is making sure the Big 12 can’t come sue them and the SEC when this is all said and done, thus the delay.  Once they can figure out how best to get around the wording in the contracts, the move is a done deal.  I’d personally like to see the Big 12 cease to exist as a conference, but that all depends on what the University of Oklahoma decides to do.  Unfortunately that likely means the worst AQ conference in the country with UT and Oklahoma taking turns every year going to the BCS for winning the conference.  And you think the Big East is bad?  Wait until the Big 12 South features UT, Okie State, Houston, Baylor, SMU, and Rice.  And that’s only slightly better than a future Big 12 North of Oklahoma, Mizzou, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Tulsa.  The Big 12, where I want to wager that UT and Oklahoma win the rest of the Big 12 titles until the conference eventually disappears.

-This is the number one argument that comes up in the post-steroid era when discussing a player’s HOF candidacy:  “I don’t agree with the people who say the steroid era tarnished every players’ legacy, but I understand where they’re coming from on this.”  That is such a crock of s— and anyone who makes that argument no longer deserves to have their sports opinion matter (I’m looking at you Mike Greenberg).  In the wake of Jim Thome’s 600th home run last night the tinier Mike tried to make the case this morning that he understood where people were coming from when they discounted his home run achievements because of the steroid era.  He of course then tried to backtrack on his words and say that he personally didn’t believe in that, but again, he understood where they were coming from.  The dude may as well have slapped a hand-written endorsement on that flawed logic and called it his own.  Look, Jim Thome is and should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He destroyed the game statistically and by all accounts is one of the all-time nice guys in the sports world.  What more do you ask for?  Are you really going to not let this guy in because he didn’t play twenty years earlier?  These idiot sportswriters do know that baseball players in the 70s and 80s were just as guilty of using performance enhancers, right?  I’m tired of baseball’s archaic and biased system of pick-and-choose-justice determining the legacies of former players.  Get a clue baseball writers.

-I want to put this on paper right now: my pick to win the NL is the Milwaukee Brewers.  I think their roster is more complete than either the Giants (they might miss the playoffs at this point and their offense is somehow worse after the Beltran addition) and the Phillies (still don’t trust their offense or their bullpen).  Sorry to all the baseball writers back east fantasizing every night about a Philly/Boston final.  Not…gonna…happen!

-The European soccer season has commenced and I am in love.  The big predicament I find myself in is that I don’t have a team to root for yet.  Here’s a basic rundown of my thought process.  I immediately am crossing off any one of the “big teams.”  I rail on Red Sox and Yankees fans in the US and thus it wouldn’t make any sense for me to become that guy when it comes to soccer.  This immediately crosses off the following teams: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid.  Next, my debate basically came down to the fact that the team has to be in the English Premier League so that I can actually follow them.  That eliminates all the German and Italian powerhouses.  So basically what it came down to in my mind is one of the following three teams: Fullham, Tottenham, or Everton.  The pro for Fullham is that they have my favorite player in American Clint Dempsey, the con is that they’re easily the worst of those three teams.  The pros for Tottenham are that they’re easily the best of those three teams (assuming they keep Modric) and they actually have an outside shot of winning this year, the cons are that Bill Simmons already laid claim to that team as his own and I’m all about being an original.  And finally with Everton, the pros are that they have America’s goalkeeper Tim Howard and Landon Donovan played their on loan last season, but the con is that when I watch that team play I just cannot fall in love with them.  I guess what I’m saying is that if anyone has any suggestions on who to root for, I’m all ears.

Generation Y, where 13 different winners in the last 13 majors excites us as much as having to watch C-SPAN for the next 12 hours.

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