Matthew and Me

I’ve needed some encouragement lately and it’s come in the unlikely form of certain Twitter interaction, namely with @walterthsalter. I landed in Boston two Sundays ago feeling pretty low and found this mashup in my Dropbox.

Me x Matisyahu.

I had literally just revisited Spark Seeker with my kids the week before, after a couple years’ hiatus. It sort of broke me down. Apparently Mr. Burgess had done the remix years ago only to send it now. I mean, exactly right on time. Thought I’d pass it along.

Two grey beards.



Written and performed by sintax.the.terrific and Matisyahu. Remixed by David W. Burgess.

Today’s blong here:

of venisonshine


Bison on Ice

Yeah, I have a song for every occasion. Even North Dakota State football upsets.

But guess what? NDSU isn’t a small upstart and its win yesterday against Iowa wasn’t an historic upset. And it’s not just because, in talent, as has been observed, they can line it up with the “big boys.” They are the big boys.

And, by “big,” I mean “1/8 viking.”

North Dakota State designed its punt rush after a Capital One Card commercial.

They forge their own helmets.

The quarterback’s wristband cheat sheet is written in rune.

The Fargodome doubles as a smokehouse in the offseason.

“The pigskin” is not euphemistic in North Dakota.

They’re not an FCS team. Holy crap. They’re not.

Quick primer. Historically, the biggest colleges in the country played football at the NCAA Division-I level. Oregon. Notre Dame. Alabama. Michigan. Florida State. Ohio State. University of Phoenix Online. (I believe that’s where Larry Fitzgerald played his college ball.)

Below that was a Division I-AA. Furman. Georgia Southern. Richmond. William & Mary. JMU. Montana.

Below the Division I levels were Divisions II and III and something called an NAIA. Apparently, the College of Charleston is very proud of all the basketball national championships it won at the NAIA level, against basketball teams taken from 6 small colleges, two group homes, and a chess club.

A few years ago, a semantic slight of hand attempted to conjoin Division I and Division I-AA into a single Division I with two subdivisions: The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). See how that’s different than just Division I and Division I-AA? Obviously.

Anyway, like the FBS, the FCS has private and public colleges. But, some of those public colleges are the biggest educational institutions of their respective states. Delaware. Maine. Montana. Montana State. North Dakota State. Institutions where either (1) the name of the college is a State or (2) is the name of a State plus the word “State” or “Tech.” Think Michigan and Michigan State. Or Georgia and Georgia Tech. Or Devry and Devry Institute. Granted most of these public FCS institutions are located in less populated states but these are still the flagship schools of a card-carrying member of our great Union.

And, lookey here at NDSU’s “FBS” victim list:

Colorado State
Kansas State
Iowa State

See a pattern. Middle of the country states. Dimly populated. White, I mean, errr . . . well coached. Sounds a lot like NDSU. Oh except those 6 schools are willing to actually play big time football and take the losses and failure that come with it.

ESPN staff writer, Austin Ward, expertly observed:

Playing a brand of physical, old-school football that wouldn’t look out of place in the Big Ten, the Bison were deserving winners over Iowa.

Right. Because it’s NOT out of place. NDSU is from the exact same dang place.

For a long, long time, nobody cared about Division I-AA/FCS football. But, then it became increasingly clear that television exposure and the opportunity to upset a major FBS school could raise a school’s admissions and money profile through FCS football success similar to a good run in March Madness.

And, when people started caring, these publicly funded FCS institutions were well-suited to capitalize.

North Dakota State University is one such example. À la 5 straight national championships. 5?! Even shameless Appalachian St. had enough collective pride at 14,000 students a year and state funding, to go FBS after only three straight championships.

All of this applies equally to the Delaware’s and Montana’s and Montana Jr.’s of the world as well. How else could Joe Flacco be so elite?

Which is all fine. But, this advantage that comes with size and the support of either half or nearly all of a state’s population and coffers, should temper their pride in success against less comparably postured institutions. It, however, only seems to inflame it.

A major state institution has two options. Either (1) qualify your arrogance over winning multiple National Championships by beating private schools an eighth your size and “upsetting” Corn Pone University D-I schools or (2) move up to FBS with all the other large state schools.

NDSU will accumulate a 6th championship this year in a row and then swear they did something.

I initially visited this topic upon the poor unsuspecting NDSU fan base a few years back when my beloved and properly designated FCS Furman Paladins met the Bison in the playoffs. As you might suspect, they generally flew into a nordic rage although some were quite generous. I appreciated the exchange in all its color.

And, so I apologize for fishing the bison carcass out from under the frozen surface just to put it right back on ice.

But, it has to be said. No one else apparently is willing to throw a flag.

Performed by sintax.the.terrific. Music produced by Fab.
Today’s blong here. Updated and final version of the original with new third verse:

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein do not reflect the views of Furman University or even its football team. They are exclusively the ramblings of a too compulsive fan acting entirely alone. As in, without any friends to speak of.


Convict Tree

convict tree

My office tree.

Steroids? Check.

Dog fighting? Check.

Bountygate? Check.

Child abuse? Of course.

Nothing says God’s grace at Christmas like sports’ scandal.

Performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s blong here:

Tree Trim


Will You?

As always, this is dedicated to all the men who have some difficulty planning Valentine’s Day. Wait, that’s redundant. To all the men.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my beautiful and gracious wife.


Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by juiceboxjackson.

Today’s blong here:

Be Mine


State Fair

So apparently you enrich Uranium by centrifuging the atomic material until it separates into two distinct isotopes. The fission of one of those isotopes is particularly effective in creating heat/energy. And at a certain enrichment level, bombs.

Poetically, the nuclear deal with Iran, itself, is a little like a centrifuge. Or maybe that Gravitron ride at the state fair.

Centrifugal Ride

You better hope it keeps spinning. But, you’re face is going to look like this the whole time:

spies like us

In other words, it is in everyone’s interest that the agreement continues but we’re going to feel pretty queasy the whole time.

It’s an interim arrangement that is better than none at all and which creates significant transparency. But, what in the world is Iran’s endgame?

No weapon’s grade program? Forever?

About the odds of doing this:


or of not enjoying a paper plate of Deep Fried Butter balls. South Carolina State Fair, son.

deep fried butter

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced Haralduz7.

Today’s blong here:



White Flag

Sometimes you just can’t improve on the Onion. They do North Korea better than anyone. If you haven’t heard, North Korea claims to have conducted three nuclear weapons tests this last week.

Some of my thoughts on the ambitions of an armorized North Korea, previously, here and a retread of the blong below.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by pumpknFoot.

Today’s song blog here:

Shining Star


For Life

Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today.

I’ve done a handful of Penn State related posts and songs over the last 18 months about it all. Mercifully, this might be the last.

Our sentencing structure is so weird. He received a minimum of 30 years without possibility of parole with a maximum of 60 years. At his age, it’s plainly a death sentence.

But as a matter of principle and equity, it has always struck me as strange that we treat, somewhat less severely, acts which sexually torture a victim and create permanent psychological, and sometimes physical damage, from murder in the first degree. I’m not sure it’s reasonable to view the relative wrongs differently. Retribution, of course, cures neither — death nor damage.

And, I’m not a vindication guy. But, to the extent our criminal justice system is designed to administer punishment in proportion to the relative heinousness of the various possible crimes, I’m just saying that 45 counts of child sexual abuse feels a lot more like life without the possibility of parole than it does anything else.

These things are typically and stringently dictated by the statutory system in the relevant jurisdiction. I mention it illustratively. This differential in treatment is built into the underlying policy of our sentencing schemes — that on average we tend to say the conduct of a person like Sandusky is somehow less worse than a mass murderer.

I suspect his victims have had days where they would adamantly disagree.

There has been nothing lighthearted about the songs related to this topic. But, among them, this one seemed most wistful. Hopeful, maybe, even.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by Diaz from Hungary.

Today’s song blog here:

Dorm Dreams


Vin Diesel

Update and possible disciplinary action in the muffed Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation.

My original thoughts here.

New song tonight.

Performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by Jordan Santana.

Today’s song blog here: