Al Franken is a political commentator, a media personality, a Bill O’Reilly adversary, an author and soon he could be adding yet another title to that bulging list: United States senator. Seriously? Franken appears (stress the word “appears”) headed to an official victory over incumbent Norm Coleman to represent the state of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Republicans can not be pleased by this almost stunning development (stunning in the sense that few probably thought it was possible in the days, weeks and months leading up to the Nov. 4, 2008 election.
Archive for January 5, 2009
I’ve always been a huge college basketball fan. Growing up in the state of Michigan it has always been primarily about Michigan and Michigan State basketball. But, there are a few other college basketball games (or rivalries) that seem to intrigue me. One of these rivalries is the Braggin’ Rights game between non-conference, border rivals Illinois and Missouri. I think it’s a fun game to watch because the fans travel for the game, split the arena and display their school colors and support for their teams. The Braggin’ Rights game (a marketing name that works really well and brings recognition to the game and to the teams while being played on ESPN) has been dominated in recent seasons by Illinois, and this all leads me to a piece written by Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock. When I saw his headline “Time to end Braggin’ Rights rivalry” I was stunned into reading it (the mark of an effective headline). Unless I was missing something, the basic premise of Whitlock’s column was that since the game has been mostly dominated by Illinois that Missouri should quit the rivalry and look for someone else to play (he suggested St. Louis). Missouri comes from a strong basketball conference (Big 12) while Illinois also is a member of a strong basketball league (Big 10). This rivalry is a natural one for all the right reasons. Just because Illinois has been hungrier and has wanted it more does not mean Missouri should give up, run and hide. Thankfully, the Missouri head coach (Mike Anderson) and athletics director (Mike Alden) both were seemingly admant in staying in the rivalry. College basketball needs games like these – particularly in a slow month like December. The Big 10 has not fared well in the Big 10-ACC challenge, but the league fights on. This is major Division I sports. This is not Division II athletics where some teams have tons of money and other schools don’t or where some schools are huge while others are tiny. I applaud Missouri for wanting to stay in the rivalry and for its desire to hold up its end of the Braggin’ Rights game. Running from the rivalry would be nothing to brag about.