If you think that is bad you should hear Pryor's thoughts on the whole chicken or the egg theory. Now that will blow your mind.
(EDIT) OT: Jim Tressel, Molder of Young Men's Minds
Yeah, that every chicken murders.
I would have tried to take that class when I was in college. Not everything needs to be hard science.
Personally, I like that he is actively involved with the academic side of the university as well. I can't see Rodriguez taking the time, for better or worse, to teach a class in-season at Michigan.
Woody Hayes was an ardent supporter of academia as well, and was extremely proud that he was a tenured professor at OSU.
I love RichRod and wish him all the best, but if he teaches a class, let's hope it isn't English grammar.
You're either a Slate.com-level contrarian ninja or just way more glass half-full than I'll ever be. Your attempt to douse my rival-mocking with a tepid shower of Flandersian smiliness will not stand!
I'm not going to bother looking into what Hayes actually taught at OSU, though his being a tenured professor there has as much to do with academics at OSU as it does with the man himself.
But Tressel is "actively involved in the academic side of the university" in the sense that he "is actively manipulating the system to ensure that his football players can get course credit for questions like 'when do we ring the bell?'" I'm glad Rodriguez doesn't do that. Lloyd never did either.
EDIT: I'll -1 myself for assuming that the purpose of the course was to give easy A's to football students. I should have known Tressel was a slicker PR operator than that.
Come on dude, not everything needs to be negative. The course is open to the student body and the required scouting sessions at local high schools probably preclude athletes from taking the class in season.
Read "The War as They Knew It," Woody really tried to be a calming force in the extremely polarizing Vietnam era on OSU's campus. His stature was such that he could talk to students in a way no authority figure could anywhere in the state.
BTW, in addition to some PE classes that were a haven for every school's athletes before Communications became the major of choice, Hayes would teach mandatory (not for credit) classes in grammar to incoming Freshman athletes. When he was tearing up yard markers, he used the King's English. The F-bombs were always used properly.
I'm sure Woody really cared about teaching. I'm not questioning that. (I'm suspicious that the benign and apolitical gloss you're putting on his time during the Vietnam era is a bit of a distortion, but I don't know much about the subject).
But on what basis did the university tenure committee decide to extend that honor to him? I'm not talking about just letting him teach a class or giving him an honorary doctorate - tenure's no small matter in academia. It reflects poorly, in my opinion, on the academics of a university that they would would tenure a guy with no formal qualifications and no publcations just because he was a great football coach who liked to teach. I can't see Michigan doing that.
Really, "The War as They Knew It" is a great read. It basically takes the Ten Year War between Bo and Woody and sets it against the social background on the time. Woody was perhaps the ultimate establishment figure and never could figure out why students acted the way they did protesting the Vietnam War, but he was able to help calm the student body down after Kent State:
“When. . .Kent State happened. . .we had 5,000 National Guardsmen on the Ohio State campus. . .The only administrator that I saw during that whole time of all the unrest and broken windows and tear gas, whatever, that got the students to listen, was Woody walking on the oval,” remembers Rex Kern.
Obviously, it's from Rex Kern, but there are other accounts of him addressing the student body in the aftermath.
As for the tenure thing, if your university has a PE program (which Michigan still does--link below), is there a better candidate than a head football coach at a major university to teach many of the general courses? A big-time coach can probably talk about practical applications of team psychology, training, game theory, and athletic administration much better than someone who earned a traditional Ph.D.
If there are any football players in Tressel's class the course should be investigated. This sounds like a powder-puff course if I've ever heard of one! Of course, I would take it too just like I took Sports and Daily Life in Ancient Rome, the same course that has been questioned in connection with athletes taking it. But, unlike Sports and Daily Life, what kind of higher learning could Tressel be instilling in the average college student other than some inspirational speaking (which does have value)?
Zone Left - What would make you say that Rodriguez wouldn't take the time to teach a class? If anything, I think he'd jumpt at the chance but I can't see the University ever putting the offer on the table.
Very few big-time coaches still teach formal classes, and when you hear most coaches talk about the demands of a modern program, I can't blame them. Universities care about academics, but I think few would deny a request by a coach to teach a single class that would probably be very popular and about which the head coach is an expert--at least not in the offseason.
They did a story on this course for Gameday or some media outlet. Interesting facts about the course:
Only one football player has taken it and he got a B at the time.
Students are required to go to high schools and break down game film. I know this gives him an advantage in having some recruiting work done for him. But precludes football players from taking the class, plus they won't wake up for the morning class anyway. Students interviewed did not consider it a blowoff class.
Tressell doesn't have to teach this class. He could pass go and collect is 3 million per year. The fact that he gives his time to the general student body, even a small amount, is saying something.
Hate that the Sweatervest beats us, and plays boring football. He runs a relatively clean program, doesn't stuff his recruiting classes and all in all is a worthy adversary.
It's just a minor point to you that Tressel is using university resources to have students break down high school film that, as you say, is pretty useful for the football program? You're right, I didn't know that. With his knowledge, his class looks less like an eligibiity flotation device and more like a sheer vanity project, with some value added for the football team. What the hell value is he actually giving to the university apart from the football team here?
Also, I don't care how many fucking times the media repeats it, I'm not buying that Tressel is oh-so-squeaky clean. The state of Ohio is like a giant goddamn sleeper cell with regard to outing any impropriety on behalf of OSU, so you'll never know if they commit serious violations unless the NCAA gets subpoena power. The Buckeye version Rosenberg and Snyder would probably be murdered. Senator Tress must have gone through a serious change of heart if he's all the sudden Mr. Straight and Narrow. Sure, I'm biased, and I know that Tressel would only be in like the 30th percentile of hijinks in the SEC. But these responses are just more evidence for the fact that every piece of shit Jim touches turns to gold in the minds of the public at large.
The state of Ohio is like a giant goddamn sleeper cell
Columbus is large for a college town and is full of would-be hangers-on who want to have a piece of the Buckeyes by giving money to players and thus "owning" them ("own" was the word used by the guy who gave money to Troy Smith)...Youngstown is full of mobsters and general corruption and it's hard to have success there w/out the same thing happening.
Here's a Jim Tressel story for you: I used to work with a woman whose grandson was a good-but-not-great high school football player (he's now a preferred walk-on at Toledo). She wrote Tressel a letter telling him about her grandson and her hope that he could play at OSU. Now, Tressel must have known that the kid was not Big Ten material, but not long after the letter went out, Dick Tressel showed up at the kid's high school and talked to the kid about his future. The kid also got an invitation to the OSU football camp, a great opportunity to showcase his skills. Tressel gained nothing (from a purely selfish perspective) by trying to help this kid but he did it anyway...I'm sure you can come up with a cynical explantion of what Tressel did here (as with his class) but cynical reasons can be read into any good act.
Columbus is large for a college town and is full of would-be hangers-on who want to have a piece of the Buckeyes by giving money to players and thus "owning" them ("own" was the word used by the guy who gave money to Troy Smith)...
I don't think this has anything to do with the size of Columbus. This paragraph could apply to any big-time athletic program, regardless of the size of the city it's in (well, L.A. probably does provide a particularly extreme range of potential violations, I guess.) I know Youngstown is supposedly run by the mob, but I'm not sure why this should make Tressel seem less shady.
As for your anecdote, as much as I want to dig up a self-serving explanation, you're probably right that this was Tressel just doing something nice. I'm sure hes done numerous nice things over the course of his ife, and he's not an amoral sociopath. (This really is a good thing to remember, but let's not take it too far - I bet Rick Neuheisel, for instance, has also done some solids for people over the years. Maybe even Kiffin has ... but I wouldn't bet the farm on that last one.) Dude's still shady, and it frustrates me to no end that everyone thinks he's a saint.
Is that a coaching staff in a big town (or a mob town) is constantly playing defense to keep agents and hangers-on at bay. I think that coaches in that situation deserve some slack. The issue is whether they know about it or should know about it (Bush at USC) or whether it's something that could slip under the radar (Jalen Rose gets a $500 handshake).
As to Kiffin and good works, my understanding is that he once saw a lame dog in the road and, after thinking about it for awhile, decided not to run it over.
I know what you're saying, but I'm saying that the problem of hangers-on and agents is no worse in Columbus than it is for any other top-level program, except for maybe the two in L.A. Tressel shouldn't get any more slack than any other major head coach in this regard.
And as for Youngstown ... yeah, it's a mob town. And Tressel built a hugely successful program there. I understand that Tressel had to manage a lot of outside influences there, and he managed to do so mighty successfully. There's a lot of room for interpretation in that word 'manage' though.
I think RR is a better coach, and that very soon, if not this year, we will be competitive with OSU. However, everything I have seen points to Tressel being a good, if boring guy.
Actually, I think that RR and Barwis have more in common with Tressel than Lloyd did with Tressel. I'm not going to comment on the points of simlarity, because it bothers a number of mgoreaders and has gotten threads of mine vaporized. More than that, I think that RR & Barwis & most of the players are being pretty circumspect, in order to avoid bad PR, given the University of Michigan's culture. But I am convinced that our team, following the coach's lead, has had a significant culture shift that brings it much closer to Tressel's values.
I'd actually be interested in hearing your reasons for that opinion (and not in a 'give me your evidence so I can attack it' way - just interested.)
This topic is verboten at mgoblog. And I've made peace with that. But if you do a little digging, about some of the players, and the coaches, and priorities, it is there to see. Look at Denard, and Roh, and Mealer, and Barwis, and Tressel, and you'll find it. It's just, UofM has such a bias against this, culturally, and so many fans here don't want to hear about it, I think I've come to agree with the mods that it's best just left alone. Look at all the grief Tebow got at this board because of faith issues. If Denard went more public about faith, you'd see a lot more cynics here, and a loss of many fans. It's kind of sad, but if you don't travel in Christian sub-culture, this stuff is pretty invisible. It's not something TV or the NFL or the NCAA wants to see publicized. But I guarantee you, behind closed doors, this is a major shift on the UofM team.
Yeah, I thought you were talking about some Rodriguez shadiness akin to Tressel's YSU days, and I wanted to hear it in the interest of avoiding hypocrisy.
I'm not really interested in the religious beliefs of our coaches or players. I will say this: I am instinctively suspicious of anyone in a public position who seems to need to broadcast their faith, as Tressel seems to with his highly visible team prayers, etc. I respect the Michigan guys who are Christian all the more for keeping their beliefs private, and thus in my opinion, more sincere.
As for Tebow, there's an admittedly blurry line between being open about your faith and seeming to assert the superiority of your beliefs, and I think Tebow engendered criticism because a lot of people found him on the wrong side of that line. I do not buy for a second that there is an anti-Christian bias at work- as a thought experiment, just imagine what the national reaction would be if Tim Tebow was on camera talking about how god didn't exist and the Bible was a myth ad nauseum.
/Not sure if this is one of those comments that's going to get erased.
Stephen, you make good observations. And, as a devout Christian, I have taken heat from many directions on this board when faith has come up, sometimes deservedly so, because this board is not mgochrist and I may have overstepped common sense.
Yet faith is not a private matter; it is the essense of a person. We all have faith in something, and it defines us all.
The question is one of civility and what is appropriate. This is not a time and place for evangelism, but conversely expecting a Christian to shed themselves of any public display of their faith is a double standard not demanded of other faiths or pure secularism. We all know the line when we cross it, whether Muslim or Christian or deist or secular humanist.
And, IMO, I don't think Tressel crosses it.
I put up a post asking about Michigan and Spirituality, and it was vaporized. I was clear that I'm not interested in questions of right or wrong (because I know where I stand.) I was not interested in exposing private beliefs, but rather, in discussing public statements of faith. Examples would be the Mealer story, the Roh service trip over Spring break, the kneeling of Denard after a TD, Barwis inviting players to his church, etc. To me, these issues are "public," because they were made public. What could be more public than Denard's kneeling, or Brock's t-shirt, or Roh saying that his pre-game ritual was reading Scripture? However, the response was pretty snarky, and the post vaporized. Of course, I was irritated, but like I said, it has made me a bit sensitive. I would like to know more, and was hopeful I could find source mtl. here. Prob. not gonna happen.
p.s. I believe that faith is indeed, a public matter, but that there is a big difference between witnessing and proselytizing.
p.p.s. Still remember fondly your Screwtape Letters adaptation.
Good comments, thanks. Indeed, many players who come from shattered environments have embraced faith to salvage untenable situations, and so we do see that at times in football.
I am glad you remember the Screwtape adaptation! I forgot about that. I just went and looked it up - I remember writing that at a Panera one afternoon while waiting for a delayed appointment.
What's the difference between witnessing and proselytizing? It seems that witnessing involves some type of public display of faith (which makes the choice of verb, which normally has a strictly individual connotation, somewhat odd.) To the non-Christian, the idea of 'witnessing' something meaning 'telling others about something' is counter-intuitive ... we at least to me it is.
I would like to respond to your public/private discussion, however, and I can possibly admit that there's a better terminology out there. Roh's service trip, Barwis' church: they're not public in the sense that, even though public knowledge of these things hasn't been supressed, they're also not actively being trumpeted in media outlets. This is similar to Roh's reading of scripture before games - as far as I know, it came up because someone asked him in an interview what he did before games, and he gave the answer. I certainly don't expect the kid to lie. Now, Mealer's t-shirt is the sort of thing that might kinda bug me, since it's obviously an attempt to advertise Christianity (even merchandise it, for that matter.) But ... the Mealers have been through some really awful things, and Brock, you know, learned to walk again. So they get a pass. Brock's T-Shirt could say Glory to Xenu or Mama Grizzly and I'd just kind of shrug. Denard taking a knee? Also fiarly innocuous - the only reason I don't like it is because I always wonder for a split second whether he's actually hurt. I've never understood the thanking god for making atheletic achievements possible thing that Denard does, but I suppose if you think that everything that happens is because god makes it happen it makes some rudimentary sense (actually, expanding the concept of god in such a way, making god synonymous with everything that happens in the universe, is the kind of philosophy I might be able to get on board with ... almost Buddhist, really.)
So anyway, I still don't have a clear definition between public and private. Maybe witnessing and proselytizing would be a good distinction, but it seems to me that your understanding of witnessing might embody the sorts of things that I would consider ostentatious. It is a mushy area in between, to be sure: like, wearing a small cross necklace is kind of 'public,' but not at all obnoxious (witnessing?), whereas Mike Singletary's huge wooden cross makes it obvious that he's either kind of a douchebag or mentally ill (proselytizing/making sure something to chew on is handy?)
Why do overt displays of Christianity offend you? I have never been offended by overt displays of anyone else's beliefs; in fact, I tend to get intrigued and have had more than one riveting conversation about faith from a different perspective from such prompts. The degree to which witnessing or evangelism or any other public activity where you try and persuade one person to a different point of view (politics, sports, dietary choices, war, etc.) are supposed to be part of the fascinating dynamic of a free country, with the important caveat to always be respectful and courteous.
When I see a bumper sticker insulting Christianity, for example, I have never wanted to stop that speech or demand that it be removed. I may get annoyed or, more likely, want to debate someone, but to abridge expression, to think it would be a good thing for those statements to be restricted? It has never occurred to me.
The reason I, Stephen, and other believers reject the public/private distinction that is so popular is that, despite the fact that such a schizophrenic existence is impossible, it is an attempt to marginalize spirituality, pure and simple. And faith has its fundamental expression in the community (which is why we attend quaint things like church). Anything that is reduced to the time you're sitting in a Barclounger in your family room and when you're sleeping is minimized in a normal life.
you're responding to me. I think you're responding to some real or imagined secular enemy of Christianity. The whole discussion above is about how displays of Christianity as such do not bother me a bit, but can become obnoxious once they cross over into statements of either moral arrogance or insincere self-glorification (or both.) And no one's trying to abridge your right to free speech, so you can save that tangent for another talk.
You seem to have this embattled sense that you're but a victimized minority - that society is out to "marginalize sprituality" and I think this is utter nonsense. Maybe it's not exactly the way you like it, but American society is absolutely permeated with messages of Christianity. Any compromises made to the general public acceptance of Christian beliefs is, as you say, part of the price of living in a free country.
Dear god, you really think I was saying that I have a problem with people going to church? Let SRK do the talkin' for you - he seems able to transcend rote talking points and actually engage in critical thought.
I think we'll stick to football.
Is it just because, or is there some significance?
LOL, no. I am just a lover of Tolkien, and, of course, his friend Lewis. That is a picture of Gothmog from the movie version of Lord of the Rings, and his quote, during the siege of Minas Tirith, is paraphrased at bottom: "Fear. The city is rank with it. Let us ease their pain. Release the prisoners!"
I will try to respond. This post is definitely going to fall in the tl;dr category, but it is for me, as much as for you, and I figure only you and Meechigan Dan will find this. Also I haven't read the other response from Dan yet, so as not to prejudice my response. This is clearly way off topic, so could be vaporized at any time. Possibly because this is buried in a thread more than a day old, it won't be found quickly by the OT/PC police.
First, full disclosure. I am a pastor, and a committed Christian (i.e., it is important to me. It isn't just a job, or a ritual position. I believe the Bible is true, and normative for my life.)
For those coming from my spiritual position (not just pastoral position,) it is a key goal to see others become followers of Jesus Christ. Converts to Christianity, if you will. The reason is at least twofold. First, it is a command of Jesus ("Go and make disciples of all nations . . . Matthew 2819 & 20.) Second, we believe this has eternal consequences (the Heaven or Hell thing.) If I believe that trusting in Jesus has huge implications, for the positive, I would want others to know this, and to have the same thing. It is key to understand this, because I believe this is a motivating factor for Denard and Roh and Barwis and Mealer.
Early followers of Jesus said, "We can't help talking to others about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4.) They were so excited, they wanted to share the good news. They believed that what they had would make a huge difference to others. A life and death difference. True believers today, still feel the same way.
Here's an analogy. If I was given the cure for AIDS, would I want to share this with others? Which others? Would I want to keep it under my hat? Just share with those I knew personally? What would I do with the information? To me, the obvious answer is, well of course: I would want to get the cure out to everyone as fast as possible. Even if some were offended.
The challenge is, how do we (true believers, that is) share this information in a way that gets out there, but isn't completely offensive. In their own ways, I think that Brock, and Denard, and Roh, and Barwis, are trying to give credit to God, and point others to God, but not to beat them over the head with it.
Let's look at some specifics.
- Roh did not make a big deal out of sharing his pre-game ritual. But when he was asked what he did, he was honest. He could have "hid" his answer by saying, "I just meditate by myself" or "I need some quiet time to focus." Those answers would have been true, but not as clear. Every Christian faces this challenge. Am I embarrassed about my faith? Will I be ridiculed if I tell them the real answer about what I was doing? Actually, this is true for each of us, in a different. If my wife asks, "what are you doing?" I can answer, "reading some articles on the internet" or, more truthfully, "wasting time obsessively reading about Michigan football." Going back to Roh, the thought behind his answer is, I think, opening a door for those who are interested to hear more. If you are upfront that you have faith, people can follow up on this, if they want to. (or, conversely, ignore it, if they're not interested.)
- In today's article by Maisel (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=5653344) there is a quote from Denard: "I'm in the right place at the right time," Robinson said, "right coaches, right place and right teammates, God willing." Denard makes a point of mentioning God, but not preaching.
- When he scores a TD, Denard kneels. Why? I think he is publicly saying, in a subtle and humble way, "I want to give God glory and credit, and thank him for the speed and ability he has given me."
- In his t-shirt (ironically sold in the mgostore,) Brock wanted to say, it is God giving the healing, and God who gets the credit and the glory. True enough, Brock worked hard, but he doesn't take credit for the walking . . . he gives the credit to God. I haven't done an exhaustive search, but at least one of the articles out there really explores the spiritual dimension of the Mealer family. In fact, IIRC, this was what lead Elliot to go to Michigan.
- Barwis (and RR) have to be more circumspect than players on the team. In their position as official spokesmen for the program, they just can't preach at all. But they can influence those who play. I don't know the link (it was in a response to my vaporized post,) but in USA Today August 2009, there was a quote from a player about a bunch of guys going to Barwis' church (in Saline? not sure . . . going from memory.)
All of these are examples of "witnessing," as Christian sub-culture uses the word witness. They are not overt and obnoxious, but they are attempts to give credit and glory to God, and to attribute success to Him, and not to themselves. This actually is an extension of when the Bible says to "always be prepared to give an answer for the hope within you." (from 1 Peter.)
Proselytizing, on the other hand, carries the connotation of forcefully seeking to convert others, often with dubious special inducements. If missionaries, or pastors, or others, try to use material goods, or some other benefit, to cause people to become Christians, something has gone wrong.
I know Lloyd goes to church, but from my perspective, he may have been just a bit too private about it. I strongly suspect that RR, and Barwis, and Tressel, the topic of the OP, are more overt, without going over the line. Other examples who come to mind would be Kurt Warner and Tony Dungy. Dungy actually gave a talk at my daughter's high school last month. He has been pretty upfront about his faith.
Now here is where things get very interesting for you, Brabbs. We're switching gears back to football. Somewhere in the last month, I read about a recruit who was very excited about the spiritual life on the Michigan team (the existence of a chaplain, I think?) In essence, this recruit was saying that the spiritual life at Michigan gave them a big leg up in recruiting. I am really beginning to wonder if this aspect of the coach's life really helped Michigan in recruiting Denard and Roh, and possibly others. This is getting into socioeconomic and cultural factors, but I strongly suspect that a significant number of athletes come from a background where faith is very important. If so, they would definitely consider spiritual life on the team as part of the mix in going to one school rather than another. I had tucked it away in my mind, but I think this has really been part of Tressel's appeal to some recruits. I think I saw something (one of the pre-season Michigan Minutes, a barbecue in Fred Jackson's house?) where the coach talks about a sister in ministry in Louisiana. Anyway, it makes me wonder if this isn't part of the hidden reasoning behind some of the coaches RR has chosen for the team. It is one thing (and a very important thing) to be a good coach. But as far as working together and socializing together, if you share the same values and commitments, it makes life much, much easier. Both for athletes, and for coaches.
Peer pressure is a weird thing. I was part of a fraternity at Michigan. Have some great memories. But I didn't care for some of the peer pressure. When you're strong, it doesn't matter. But it makes life a lot easier if you're not under pressure to "score" or to "get wasted" etc. My point isn't about judging others. It is about me. I can completely believe that a committed Christian (say, Roh, or Mealer, or Denard,) would rather be with like-minded teammates and coaches, rather than with guys who are trying to out do each other in how many girls they can do, or how much they can drink, or whatever. As much as we joke about the song girls at USC, that isn't everyone's cup of tea. As an aside, I wonder about the subculture at MSU. Whatever.
One other thing: I'm also sure this Christian subculture isn't monolithic and homogenous at UofM.football. It's just that I think it is now an acceptable and significant subset of the MIchigan team.
BTW, this Christian subculture isn't unknown at MIchigan and the football team, either. Bill McCartney, who founded Promisekeepers, was a prominent part of Bo's staff, before heading to Colorado.
Also worthy of note: most true believers, if mature, will own up to being sinners, and therefore, hypocrites. You have to remember, in the Bible, David was a murderer who had sex with tons of women, and got another man's wife pregnant, Moses was a murderer, Peter was spineless, Paul was a murderer, etc., etc. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't mean your perfect, or even close. It means that you know you're a screw up, and you need forgiveness and God's help, because you'll never be able to manage your life on your own.
The challenge, as you have clearly stated, is how much of this should be "public." My guess is that both coaches and players are open with each other, and off the record, but are pretty careful about what they say publicly. As you note, this is a fuzzy and difficult line to walk. They don't want to be crucified like Tebow.
My hunch is that if Michigan should do very well, even beat OSU, even win a MNC, things will open up a bit in terms of how much the coaches and players talk about faith. Right now, they can't afford any criticism from the "liberal media" or "liberal UofM Profs & students." (quotes are sarcasm . . . there is no monolithic culture for either the media or for UofM.) But getting back to my point, RR, Barwis, and the team would have a lot of leeway and a pretty long leash if the beat OSU and finished out at 10 - 2, allowing some to speak their mind more freely.
I don't know that I really answered your questions. I'm willing to try again sometime. I just have been thinking about these things, and how they are actually a very positive factor for the future. Positive in terms of faith, sure, but also positive in terms of recruiting. It is one thing for Mealer to come to Michigan because of faith. But if Roh, if Denard, actually chose Michigan partially for this reason, what a huge issue. Beneficial for us. But also a very interesting and explosive topic.
Wow, this is a way, way, way, way, overlong post. FYI, I enjoyed writing it, even if you don't make it all the way through. I'm cutting and pasting it for myself, because this is definitely (for mgoblog, that is) a vaporizing worthy response!! I have other things to do, so you'll have to excuse typos and grammar mistakes.
Wow, a very interesting read and said with a generous heart. Thanks.
Indeed, "church" is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.
This is really fascinating. It seems like you're a fairly intelligent, nice guy ... but it also seems that you honestly believe that the majority of people living in the world today will suffer eternal torture when they die because they don't have the right religious beliefs (as you say, the whole 'heaven and hell thing.') I would venture to say that any expression of Christianity, or religion more broadly, that begins with the assumption that non-believers are subject to some horrible fate is inevitably offensive, and really a negative - one might even say evil - force in the world. Please let me know if I'm mistaking your beliefs in heaven and hell.
But, if it's gonna help us with recruiting, I can't completely knock it. Keep on Jesusin' on, Rod and Barwis.
I apologize if my tone was patronizing in my earlier post; I didn't mean it to be. That's why Stephen is a pastor and I am the one who sits in the pew.
Almost all Christian theologians that I know are able to quite soundly (from a Biblical point of view) describe "Hell" as humans being allowed the reality of their choice of the self over God. As C.S. Lewis describes it:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.
Lewis describes Hell as a place where the doors are locked from the inside. There are no pits and fires and demons lashing the backs of sinners for time eternal, just the full realization of choice. Lewis writes a book about Hell called the Great Divorce (quoted from above) that describes Hell as having regular bus rides to Heaven, and occasionally people take the trip, but they never want to stay.
I'm more confident of the outcome for those who leave their lives in God's hands, and less sure of the outcome for those who don't. But I'd always choose the sure thing, if possible.
Here's an analogy, weak, but an analogy nonetheless. If I want to fly to Detroit, I want to book a flight that is going from Chicago to Detroit. I don't want to go to a ticket agent and say, "give me your cheapest tickets. All planes go to the same place anyway, so I know I'll get to Detroit.." Ya know, that plane just might end up in Detroit. (And no Hell jokes intended with the destination.) But I'd rather be confident in my destination.
Or to use another analogy, it's like that cheesy old game show, "Let's Make a Deal." If I know door 1 goes to "heaven," and don't have a clue about door 2 and door 3, I guess I would choose heaven, and encourage others to go through that door. Finally, none of us will know in this life (for absolutely, positively sure) where door 2 & door 3 lead to.
I don't feel the need to guess or know God's mind on everything. I'm comfortable leaving the fate, if you will, of humanity, in God's hands. After all, God is God, and I am not. But where God has made his ways and mind clear, well, wouldn't it make sense for me to want other people I care about to have the same thing? Now, this is all predicated on my belief that the Bible is true. That's something I can't convince anyone else of (well, not completely, but it's a discussion beyond me and this board.)
At any rate, I now am getting too far "OT" even for me. I'll agree with the end of your e-mail: if faith issues bring better players and coaches to Michigan, it's all a good thing. Keep on Jesusin, RR, & Barwis & Denard et al.
An interesting movie on this whole topic of Christian witness by athletes is "Chariots of Fire." Actually, the true life story of the lead character, Eric LIddell, who won an Olympic Gold Medal, but gave all the credit to God, and what he did as a missionary in China, is fascinating. It turns out there were a bunch of Chinese missionaries and ex-pat businessmen in a Japanese prison camp in 1943, I believe. Many of the missionaries behaved very badly, but LIddell did an incredible job of shaming them and leading them, and helping the camp. A simple starting place is the Wiki article. He still is the most popular athlete ever in Scotland, almost 100 years after the fact.
There were some pretty strong reactions on the board that were very anti-religious. I'm suggesting that's part of the UofM culture, not the national Zeitgeist.
Yeah, there can be some of that in Ann Arbor. In this case of this board, I think part of it is that there are a fair number of young adults who post here, and some of them may not have reached the level of maturity to be able to discuss these things in a civil matter.
At any rate, I think that's a really interesting observation about the culture of the team. I hadn't really thought about it before but yeah, I think you're right. (Lloyd Carr was/is a religious man himself, but was more quiet about it when he was coaching.)
An unfortunate connection has been established between devout Christians and far-right politics, so the legacy of being a generally left-leaning university has probably led to a suspicion of Christianity as a whole by some people. But I still think this can be exaggerated. Some of the conflict comes from non-religious people who believe that the things that concern religion and the things that don't can be neatly separated, while religious people like Dan up there who claim that religion is the true essence of a person say NSFMF.
In sum: perhaps Denard will bring peace to the land.
i hate him too, would love to have his success though.
but... 375 secondary violations in 10 years and some pretty shady stuff. not ban hammer illegal, but just enough around the edges to be far from squeaky clean.
i guess it helps that the academic side of the university does not seem to mind the athletic success as they go to great lengths to protect what goes on.
So you think that Michigan stretching for an extra 20 minutes a week is serious while you calling recruits during no-contact periods (which you guys do a ton - recruits everywhere have so testified) is no big deal?
And honestly, for a lot of the guys on the football team, i would think a formal class in training them to be football coaches or football strategy would be more benficial long term for their actual careers (pro football player, agent, scout, high school football coach) than another class in 18th century Siamese literature. this is an instance I wish the NCAA would get off their high horse and be real... if you got students who are in all liklihood going to be professional athletes or associated with professional athletics, then why not let them get a degree in such with courses in weight training, marketing, contract law, sport specific strategy / history, communications, nutrition, etc. instead of "general studies"
Unless you wAnna teach 18th century Siamese literature
I understand that the concept of a liberal arts education is often attacked, and I'm not going to bother getting into that here. I'll just say that I disagree with the premise that the content of every class in college should have real-world application (this is obviously not the case, not even in professional schools - ask any lawyer how much of the substance of law classes is useful in their daily life.)
I think it's insulting to suggest that athletes don't deserve a college's best effort to develop the analytic, critical, and communicative skills that are difficult to foster and astoundingly adapatable to almost any future profession. If that's a high horse, so be it.
EDIT: Also, let's not denigrate General Studies just because it sounds lame. Unless I'm mistaken, it's LSA without the language requirement, and academically more difficult than a lot of other majors out there.
General Studies is actually difficult because you aren't narrowing your field of expertise. And half o your credits still have to be above the 300 level, so it's not like they are taking a bunch of intro courses. Here's the specifics for anyone who's interested:
The following requirements for the BGS degree have been designed to ensure that they are consistent with current LS&A academic policies and regulations while at the same time offering to individual students in the program maximum flexibility for determining the content and direction of their undergraduate education.
- Completion of at least 120 credits (130 credits with a secondary teaching certificate) indicating at least 60 credits of courses elected at the 300 level and above (or equivalent).
- No more than 20 credits of upper-level courses from a single department can be counted toward the minimum 60 credits required for the BGS degree. If an academic department has several divisions (and therefore division numbers), a BGS student may count up to 20 credits of upper-level courses from each division toward the minimum total 60 credits of upper-level courses. Not more than a total of 60 credits of courses (upper-level and lower-level) elected in all divisions of a department taken as a whole can be applied toward the 120 credits required for a BGS degree. Of the 60 upper-level required for the BGS degree, at least 40 upper-level credits must be completed in LS&A courses
- At least three divisions must be represented in the 60 credits of upper-level course work required for the BGS degree.
- Completion of the total academic program in good academic standing (overall minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for all courses and at least a 2.0 GPA in all successfully completed upper-level course work).
- Completion of the LS&A composition requirements. This requirement includes first-year writing requirement and the upper-level writing requirement usually elected in a department in which a student is completing some upper-level courses.
- Completion of the LSA Race & Ethnicity requirement. The requirement is met when, at some point before graduation, the student has received credit for one course from a list of approved courses. Students who are working towards a BGS degree may elect a course to meet the Race & Ethnicity requirement that also counts among their 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above.
- Completion of the LSA Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The requirement is met when, at some point before graduation, the student has received credit for one full QR (QR/1) course or two half-QR (QR/2) courses from a list of approved courses. Courses approved to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirement develop proficiency in using and analyzing quantitative information. Students who are working towards a BGS degree may elect a course to meet the QR requirement that also counts among their 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above.
in terms of real world job skills than what is the use? You 'll end up with some menial job with a degree. Useless I say.
I have a general studies degree, so
I know the relative value of said degree---it is approximately zero.
I love the arts, history,literature, etc, as much the next person, but in this economy you better acquire a degree that provides you with plenty of practical skills.General studies degrees are a luxury.
Says the guy with 8th-grade writing skills. I hope you're an engineer.
Football players take it but only one has ever received an A...I have a feeling that that "pop quiz" wasn't graded.
My buddy who went to tOSU tried to get into that class: impossible, harder to get into than John U. Bacon. And that class was pretty awesome.
I don't care much for the vest, but if Rodriguez or Gerg or McGee taught coaching college football, you bet I'd find a way to get in within my four years at school. I would love to see Coach Rod give a winter semester class on the finer points of the spread option.
there was a blip about this last year during "the game." i didn't understand why this didn't count as practice time. couldn't UM have a class taught be Barwis called "20 minute stretching?"
Apparently all one has to do is wear a sweater vest and the media will embrace anything you say or do as a positive.
You really think Tressel's staying up prepping syllabi, building lesson plans, even assessing papers, etc.... I'll tell you all right now, that's the work side of it all, and it's never fun. You may love history, or art, or coaching football, but no one loves all of that crap.
Naturally he has a team of assistants or grad students that do all of the facilitation, and he just goes in and talks some ball, and leaves it to them to mold it into a cohesive learning experience. Don't buy the fluff-- it's not the dedicated academic pursuit that we're being led to believe.
Granted, he's still gotta run a football program, so I'll give him that. He's got another job to do, and that's taking care of all those
well-paid I mean student athletes that need his attention every day. Plus it's a well-calculated move to follow in Woody's footsteps (he also taught) to build up his homer Buckeye legend.
Gotta run-- gotta study for a big test this week on choosing the right sweater vest.
You're probably right that Tressel spends minimal time preparing for this course. This is why the moniker Senator Tressel is so appropriate. The man is a consummate politician, and damn near everything he does reeks with PR insincerity.
Let's just be real. Tressel is a stand up guy. If he was our coach he would be revered (we might be frustrated with him like we were with Carr because he is generally ultraconservative). I would be one of the students on a waiting list for that class for sure. I hate everything about Ohio State and especially it's fans, but I respect the Vest and he looks like he would be a nice Grandpa.
likely get As, is something to be respected?
Yeah, and Michigan's standard freshman football player courseload is multivariable calculus, anatomy, linear algebra, and finance.
It's not an easy class. Only one football player has ever received an A in it.
I'm not saying he is enriching the world with this class or doing anything special with it. Every school has blow off classes like bowling and sports history etc... The fact that he is doing this when he does not need to, is something that can be respected. Maybe it's a PR stunt, but I doubt it because what is the point? The odd chance that you will wind up on Gameday with a little blurb about it?
is that Jim Tressel punches Dolphins. Oh wait, that's Patrick Chung.
Ray Bentley said he tried to interview Tressel and he was a real jerk until the cameras turned on. Then he was all smiles. Figures.
Bentley also said MSU wins by 2 touchdowns this weekend!
Bo taught a class like this for the football players at UM, it was unlisted so it was hard to get in to. I know this because a faimly friend in the electrical engineering department at UM took the class in the 1970's. He was the only non football player in the class and the text book for the class was the Michigan play book so he had to do the entire class without the text book. The class covered everything about designing an offense and defence and had plenty of value for anyone who intended to go into coaching at any level after graduation. I would assume OSU's class was something like this.
Without further details/evidence. Sorry.
I think you're kind of looking for something that's not there. (Some people are calling for NCAA investigations? For what, exactly?) So what you're saying is that Tressel, the football coach at a school, has decided to teach a class about football? Who cares? Did you ever think that maybe he just likes teaching? I've taught some college classes, and it's really enjoyable.
Jim Harrick got in big trouble for having a class like this and giving his BBall players A's even though they didn't attend. It's probably not a good idea to have players attend. Otherwise, I don't care how OSU separates its academic programs from continuing learning centers.
I would ask people to leave Tressel out of threads unless there's something particularly egregious. That way I can just quietly hate his guts without having to defend the view publicly or reconsider it introspectively.
Plus, it's Sparty week. C'mon, how about a rehash of how MSU avoided crushing everyone in the Fulmer Cup on a technicality?
It's too bad he can't teach them how to read.
Peter King, IMHO, is the most full-of-crap sports commentator on the planet. He loves spewing this kind of nonsense. This is part of his strategy to kiss up to the Tressels of the world to get more access. Don't misread this, I think Tressel is far less obnoxious than the Danny Hopes of the conference - he has said next to nothing negative about us - he knows better.
Tressel happens to coach our main rival, and they've had recent success against us. I don't hate him, but I don't like some of the crap that goes on down there.
Personally, I'm more irritated by the antics of Lynch, Dantonio, and Hope than Tressel.
Jim Tressel, Molder of Young Men's Minds
I'm not sure how OSU can rationalize their head football coach teaching a course that results the decaying, or crumbling to dust, of young men's minds. That is an astounding level of neglience, and possibly maliciousness, on the part of OSU's administration.
Wow, I really need to get my mind out of the gutter. At first glance I mis-read the title as saying " Jim Tressel, Molster of Young Men's Mind's". I was like what the hell!! Than I did a double take and realized my mistake, lol.