Monthly Archives: November 2015

How ‘Fargo’ is Scary Smart

 

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

—–
Jabberwocky, from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871).

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The Art of Owning It (First Draft)

 

 

It’s time to reinstate the draft.

Not the traditional one, where we send kids to die in the name of suchandsuch in the middle of Whogivesafuckistan.

Instead, the draft needs to reverse polarities; people would be drafted into political office.

Think about it. You would decimate PACs, which should be as illegal as yellow-cake uranium. Lobbyists wouldn’t know where to draw their crosshairs — or even whether a draftee could be bought. Hell, honest people would dread it like jury duty. Even better.

Joe Moglia gave me the idea. Joe Moglia is the head football coach of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, a little team tucked in a little school tucked in little Conway, South Carolina.

I’ve been to Conway. When the water isn’t in the humid humid air, it’s flooding your basement. Rocks don’t like to live in Conway. Unknown

The Chanticleers were a mediocre team at best. The school didn’t have a football team until 2003. Its stadium, fully packed, seats only 9,200, less than half many Texas high schools.

But the Chanticleers (a Middle English word meaning roosters) 200px-CoastalCarolinaChanticleershad heart. Made the playoffs a few times, and managed a so-so 4-5 record — not that the tiny conference is even eligible for the major Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) playoffs.

Then along came Joe.

Joe didn’t live and die by sports. In fact, he spent 17 years moonlighting in banking while he knocked around small southern schools, which weren’t quite used to — or didn’t quite believe in — life outside a gridiron.

Joe does. Every Wednesday during the season is “No Football Wednesday,” in which Moglia talks to players about life during and after sports: how to manage your money; find a job; deal with predators.

He has signs that dot the arena: BAM. It’s an acronym for Be A Man. But Moglia told a local news crew that BAM wasn’t about hitting harder, running faster or barking louder. “It’s about taking a stand, respecting the other guy’s and admitting when you’re wrong,” he said.

In other words, Moglia wants his players to own it.

How difficult, that lesson must be. We’ve mistaken an apology for owning our part, contrition for correction. Sorry isn’t the final word on owning it. It’s the first word of a thoughtful  acceptance speech. Do pollsters really wonder why Donald Trump and Ben Carson lead GOP polls? They may be nuts, but at least they own their insanity like crucifixes.

But like I said, kids at Coastal have heart, and they heard Moglia. For three years running, the Chanticleers have been Big South Conference champs. Their winning percentage is 76%. Next year, the FBS will promote Coastal Carolina to the big-league Sun Belt Conference, meaning, one day, the roosters could crow about a national championship.

Who would deem it impossible, especially for Moglia? One day, you’re a father of four, holding two jobs to make ends meet. The next, you’re on ESPN’s Sportscenter highlight reel.

Bam.

Let’s start that draft list with M’s…

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