DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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NO, I’M SORRY, LIFE DOESN’T GIVE OUT PARTICIPATION TROPHIES – GROW UP

Where did we go wrong? The next generation of “adults” have been raised to believe that everyone is a winner. Um … everyone is not a winner. There has to be a loser. That’s how this works. I understand that all of us aren’t into sports, but that’s no excuse not to brace your children for the reality that is life. If we all got what we wanted just for waking up and putting on clothes, though, the world would be chaos. Everyone would be in their dream job, married to their celebrity crush, and financially very well off.

For those of us born before 2000, we can remember a time when there was no gray zone. If you didn’t win, you lost. And you may have been sad, you may have cried, but you learned from that. You learned that you had to be better. Or you would not win. You would not get a trophy just for being there and taking the team picture.  No one would lie to you about your potential in that particular field. Life was good.

Then, at some point earlier this century, someone decided that their kid was not a loser. And no one could tell them that they were a loser. Parents started putting their children’s feelings in a perfect little bubble so they could never be sad. But then school started, and those kids had a social awakening and life, as they knew it, was over. Enter the participation trophy. Return the sheltered children to where they belong – in a fantasy. In my head, the participation trophy is something that will be heavily examined by the future humans of Earth. Much like our fascination with the caveman and their discovery of fire.

In my (limited) experience as an adult, here is how the real world works once one outgrows their youth, laid out in several fun and traumatizing scenarios:

  • Missed Project Deadline
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Declined for a Promotion
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Late to Work
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Waiting in Line for the New iPhone, but they Run Out
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Failure to Meet your Goals
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Rejected by Your Crush
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be dating them

In summary, you get in trouble, possibly fired, and have to suck it up because the world doesn’t care about your tears. I could go on, but I believe those get my point across. Participation does not teach lessons, it prevents important lessons from being learned. And outside of youth recreational competitions (sports, spelling bees, science fairs, chess tournaments, mini golf, the arcade down the street, etc.), it doesn’t really apply. Losing is a good thing! It’s an external factor giving immediate feedback that what we did did not work. Which leads to progress and change and, eventually, winning! For real, though, like in a way that you actually earned. And that is the most rewarding feeling ever.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who actively promotes the “participation” game, tell them to stop it! Or, better yet, share this informative post with them so they can understand why they should stop it. The kids will thank you, but more importantly the world will thank you. Thanks for reading!


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LIFE LESSONS FROM GAME OF THRONES

If you’ve never seen Game of Thrones, what’s wrong with you? Read this, learn your lessons, then park yourself in front of a television for the next week to catch up, binge-watching style, with the rest of humanity. For all the GOT faithful, I’m about to strike a nerve with a bunch of you, but I actually liked the way that it ended. How else would you have wrapped that up? Kill everyone? I guess then the lone dragon could summon dinosaur friends and kick off history. That would be a fun twist to our species! You could be a Targaryen, or a Stark, or a Lannister, or a Dothraki…probably wouldn’t be an Unsullied though. I’m guessing that part of the peace initiative would have included putting an end to torturing small children so they could be hard-core warriors.

For a few minutes there I was trying to figure out which house I descended from and then I remembered that I definitely made that up. Thank goodness for online quizzes. I’m a Greyjoy so that answers my questions. I always wanted to be a sailor, better put in my two-week notice at work tomorrow, then buy some ships and an isolated island. And probably a suit of armor because my people love to fight.

Anyways, watching the series helped me learn some valuable life lessons that I feel compelled to share…despite my people being on the more selfish side. Look at me breaking molds and forging my own path in life. My mom would be so proud.

Some Battles Are Not Worth Fighting

If the dead are coming, run! There’s no need to fight death. That’s a losing battle and the things you see will scar you forever. If you must stay, befriend a slightly psychotic girl who fears nothing, then find an amazing hiding place.

Maximize your Time Each Day

You can get anywhere in a day if you really want to, or if you are a television director and have lost touch with reality – across the castle, across town, across the ocean…doesn’t matter, it’s all the same.

Trust your Gut

Arya was with one man and decided she’d rather spend the rest of her life on a ship sailing to the end of the Earth. Gendry clearly did not keep her coming back for more.

Politics are Everywhere

There’s always going to be a small group of people making decisions in “your best interest”. Names are the only thing that really change – glad our long lost ancestors gave our government a solid template to copy.

If You Want to be in Charge, Get a Dragon

This seems self-explanatory. Find a dragon, train it (like a dog I’m assuming), and learn how to fly it. You’ll help save the environment by not using fuel so that will make people happy, but if they aren’t buying in you can threaten them with fire…from your dragon. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Being Cold is Mental

Like OG eskimos, a significant amount of characters lived in winter all year round…on purpose. I’m hoping that stone structures are surprisingly warm, despite their gray and freezing look. What if the whole story was just a delusion from a frost-bitten, almost frozen wildling?!

Act Confident

No one in the show seemed to be suspicious of a stranger dressed in black and wearing a hood. Confidence will get you far, even into a heavily guarded castle without anyone giving you a second thought.

Lead by Example

The head honchos of war frequently appear at the front of a battle sans helmet. Seems unsafe. I also find this interesting since all their henchmen do have helmets. Who is correct? Probably the henchmen, who tended to survive.

Everyone is Human

Battles never seem to start until after the staring contest is over. Is this because they are all hoping one side will surrender and they won’t have to spend hour after bloody hour fighting for their lives? Dunno. Seems like just getting the thing started will make it end quicker.

Treat Other People’s Things Like your Own

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect for other people’s property. Specifically castles. Is it possible to win a war without destroying every piece of infrastructure in a city? My gut says yes, but the show says no. If I’m going to take it, I want to be able to use it. Otherwise it’s just a pile of stone and bricks.

Everyone Can be an Influencer

Constant drinking is a sign of great wealth and power – alright, check, I’ve got that going for me at least. Look out world! 

Know When to Move On

In certain situations, it’s best to cut your losses and move on. Not calling out anyone specifically, but if a dragon is lighting up your city, it may be best not to watch from the tallest window in your castle. Just saying – a white flag works well too.

Materialism is Alive and Well

Metal chairs with zero padding are most desirable and you should stop at nothing to own one.

Always Apologize

Even when a building is collapsing, you have time to hug, make up, reconcile your lifelong differences, apologize, forgive, kiss, go through every detail of how you get here, make a baby, etc. Might I suggest getting out and saving yourself?

Small Talk is Underrated

Some people are not good at small talk. That’s ok – just throw some ridiculous statement onto the table and see how people react. Need a suggestion? The king of small talk, Tyrion Lannister, has you covered: ‘I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel’. I have so many questions.

Walls Only Divide People

Our ancestral tribes had a wall to keep the dead, and the wildlings, out of their country. How did the dead and the wildlings feel about this though? Well, they tore part of it down so I’m thinking not great. Side note: where did the wall come from? Did someone build it? Did nature put it there? How does it not melt when winter ends? It’s ginormous!

Know your Worth

Jon “The Virgin” Snow was supposedly an outcast and undesirable at the start of the show, yet had zero trouble picking up the only wildling who knew what makeup was and Westeros’ most eligible bachelorette like a pro. He knew he was worth it. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who hasn’t watched GOT, shame them. Then make them watch it. Otherwise, take the wisdom from the people of Westeros and go forth into the world. Thanks for reading!


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