Posts Tagged Nerds of the Round Table

Guest Blogger, Chris Ferrell

Welcome once again Chris Ferrell from Nerds of the Round Table

Chris Ferrell is guest blogging for me once again. Chris was my first guest blogger way back in January 2, 2010. Chris and I share a love for movies. His site is about movies, comic books, video games and much more. His first guest post was about the now canceled SciFi channel show, Battlestar Galactica. It remains one of the most popular guest posts to date.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Nerds Of The Round Table, please do so after you read his post.

As always, it is a great honor for me to be able to have a guest blogger, especially one who is willing to do it more than once.
Readers, as a favor to me please show Chris the courtesy of leaving a comment. Thank you very much.


The Changing Landscape of College Athletics

I’m happy to be back providing a guest post for Tom once again. The first time I guest posted for Tom was probably close to two years ago and its been a lot of fun seeing how much Tom’s site has grown up in that time. I like to think its all because I was the first guest blogger… haha. All joking aside I’d like to thank Tom for the opportunity to come back again. I’ve become known for my posts about a variety of nerdy topics such as comics, video games, movies and things like that, but don’t worry today I’m here to flex my writing muscles a little bit and write about a topic I don’t blog about but am very interested in.

If you’ve been watching ESPN lately I’m sure that you’ve seen all the talk of conference realignment. The landscape of college sports is rapidly changing and it may become unrecognizable a few years from now. But what has started this seismic shift and how will everything end up?

Football and basketball schools have generally been separated into conferences. For instance there have been conferences like the Big 10, Big XII, and the Big East. Conferences were geographic groupings of schools. For instance the Big East was generally schools on the East Coast of the US. Grouping schools by geographic location would help to keep travel costs lower and provide for regional rivalries. It is this conference system that is now breaking down now.

The beginning of the breakdown of the conference system can probably be traced back to 2004-2005. It was during this time the ACC began their initial raid of the Big East conference. In 2004 then powerhouse schools Virginia Tech and Miami departed the Big East for the ACC. Then in 2005 Boston College also departed for the ACC. This left the the Big East to scramble and try to find more school to fill the gaping void that was left behind. Louisville, South Florida, and Cincinnati came over from Conference USA and UCONN moved their football program up to Division I-A. This was able to save the Big East conference… at least until 2011.

Since that point conferences realignment has been a major off-season topic each year and has steadily gained more steam. Recently the Big XII was lost teams to the Big 10 and the Pac 12 (12 teams for now). It has become popular to add more teams to the conference ranks, and the thought is that a 16 team super conference would be ideal. But why are schools trying to band together to make such large conferences? Pardon the simple answer, but in essence its all about the money.

The conferences share income from things like Bowl Games and the NCAA tournament. For instance, if a team from the Big East wins the Orange Bowl there would be say $12 million that goes to the winning school. A portion of that goes to the conference and is split between the member schools. There’s a lot of money to be had and split among schools. The more bowl games your conference goes to, the more money you make.

But, perhaps the biggest money driver is the huge television contracts that are being awarded to athletic conferences. ESPN recently bid on and won the rights to the ACC television rights. How much did they pay to have 12 years exclusivity to ACC athletic events? Estimates say the cost was about $155 million a year and over the 12 year contract that adds up to about $1.86 billion! That’s a lot of money and you can see why the conferences might want to realign.

The problem is realignment requires stealing from other conferences which in turn damages schools that might not rank as high in national perception. I’m an alum of West Virginia University and a rabid fan of Mountaineer sports. Thankfully, I’m one of the lucky fans, WVU is known fairly well across the country due to its recent successes on the football field and basketball court. My hope is that in the current conference shuffle WVU will be able to stay in a large conference be that the SEC, the ACC, or maybe even another reloaded Big East. Being relevant in the national spotlight gives WVU a chance to move on to a bigger and better things.

But what happens to some of the schools that aren’t lucky enough to be a big draw? Schools like Baylor are left to scramble. No slight to Baylor but outside of their Women’s basketball program what athletics are they known for right now? That hurts them when it comes to conference realignment. Conferences will not want to pick up schools that do not have success in the revenue producing programs such as men’s football and basketball. This leaves those schools out in the cold. Their only choices then are to try and move to a lesser conference or attempt to go independent.

One of the other issues that conference realignment brings into play is that it will kill of some traditional rivalry games. There are many rivalry games that could go away. The rivalry closest to my heart is the Backyard Brawl, established in 1895. This is the game between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Since 1991 this has been an in-conference game between the two schools. However, with Pitt’s pending move to the ACC the future of the Backyard Brawl is in doubt. WVU is unlikely to move to the ACC and it looks likely that WVU will either move to the SEC or stay in the Big East when it merges with the Big XII. Personally, I’m hoping for the SEC.

The nature of college football today is that if you lose one game you probably don’t stand a chance of going to the National Championship game. Its become an unofficial rule that if you are in a major conference the best tactical option is to schedule a weaker opponent in your out of conference games. A win is more likely and in turn your chance to play for a National Title stays high. Pitt and WVU are rivals and its been proven anything can happen when the two teams meet on the football field. Without the conference tie-in between the schools that mandates they shall play each other there is nothing making this game occur. In fact common sense would be to not play the game and schedule a weaker school to ensure a win and higher rankings in the football polls. The same would be possible for other rivalry games such as Texas and Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout/Rivalry. Rivalry games are going to become less and less common due to the changes in conference affiliation and the current landscape of college football.

Overall, college athletics has become big business and the focus has shifted from the student athlete and in some cases the event itself to how much money a game can bring to a school. Schools are prioritizing the best way to make money off of athletics and the student athlete being lost in the shuffle. Its a shame because the student athlete is what makes the schools and the conferences money. My biggest worry is that this increased emphasis on conference affiliation and its monetary benefits could irreparably damage college athletics. This is supposed to be a game not a cutthroat business and I hope that everyone can keep that in mind as all this conference realignment takes place.

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Guest Blogger, Chris Ferrell

Introducing Chris Ferrell from Nerds of The Round Table

Our first guest blogger is Chris Ferrell. When you are finished reading his tribute to one of the great science fiction shows of our generation, Battlestar Galactica; click on over to his site and read more exciting posts. In addition, it would be a great gesture if you left comments below. His guest post is a sacrifice for him and a great honor for me to be able to have a guest blogger. As a favor to me show Chris the courtesy you might want shown to you if you were a guest writer on someone else’s blog. Thanks.
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TRIBUTE
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If you guys have seen my site, you’ve probably realized that I am a huge fan of the re-make of Battlestar Galactica that launched in 2003. But in all fairness, it took a while for this show to catch on with me. I remember back in 2002 when I heard about the upcoming relaunch of Battlestar Galactica, the first thing that went through my head was, ‘Oh this is going to be just as lame as the original. Why are they even bothering.’  For that reason I didn’t watch the mini-series or season one when they first aired. Yes, you read that right, I was not originally on the Battlestar Galactica bandwagon.

I was home on summer vacation from my freshman year of college when I finally gave the show a try. My Dad had watched the mini-series and season one and was telling me how great the show was. Since I was unemployed for a good deal of that summer I gave it a chance. The mini-series was slow burning but at the end I was having a lot of fun.

What really got me hooked though was the first episode of season one entitled 33. The basic gist of this episode was the the remnants of humanity had escaped the Cylon massacre but they were running for their lives as the Cylons attacked them every 33 minutes. I thought this episode was brilliant with edge of the seat excitement and trying to figure out if humanity would escape.  At the same time this episode really highlighted one the main differences between humanity and the Cylons. The Cylons had no breaking point; as machines they could just keep coming while humans gradually began to weaken and fall apart.  33 was a great episode for getting hooked on the show.

From that point on I was hooked. I watched all of season 1 in about 1.5 days. Now here is where you might need to beware if you haven’t seen the show I’m going to talk about a couple of the cliffhangers. The season 1 finale was hell on me.  William Adama has been my favorite character in the series and to see him betrayed, shot, and at death’s door made for a cliffhanger that was ridiculously intense for me. Luckily, I only had a few months before my favorite show would return to TV. Battlestar Galactica became famous for me with its mid-season and end of season finales. They always had big cliffhangers.  And of course the then SciFi channel would put the show on break for a minimum of 6 months before the next episode would air. It was like a punch in the gut at the end of season 2 when the Cylons invaded New Caprica, and it was a long 12 months trying to figure out what would happen to the remnants of humanity.

Season 3 was probably worse in the cliffhanger factor. Not only had 4 of the final 5 Cylons been revealed but the fleet was trapped in nebula and somehow Starbuck had returned from the dead! I had another almost year to sit there and wonder how all this had happened. What was the significance, had I missed the clues that hinted that Chief Tyrol was a Cylon? How was it possible that Saul Tigh the biggest toaster hater in the fleet was a Cylon? And also, how the hell could Kara Thrace return from the dead, was she the 5th and final Cylon?

And if you thought that was bad, they really ramped it up for the season 4 mid-season finale.  After years of looking for Earth, humanity and the Cylons putHumanity Finds 'Earth' aside their differences to avert another Armageddon.  In doing so they find the way to Earth courtesy of Starbuck and her Viper. Its a joyous moment and you’re left thinking everything is coming to a good close. Finally the remnants of the 12 Colonies will have a home. The crew is celebrating and the ‘Old Man,’ Admiral Bill Adama, is able to recover from the sense of betrayal he has received after discovering his best friend is a Cylon.

Then, the remnants of humanity land of the surface and find a devastated nuclear wasteland. The supposed paradise of Earth is instead a death sentence to anyone who would dare settle on the planet. At humanity’s landing site there are shattered buildings and broken bridges. The cityscape is eerily similar the cityscape of New York City and in fact the broken bridge looked strangely like the Brooklyn Bridge.  Had the crew of Galactica found our Earth after a nuclear disaster? We were left with this cliffhanger for a year before some of the answers started to trickle in. And even then we were left with a good deal of questions.

When Battlestar Galactica returned again, I was excited. This was going to be the end, according to the promos during the course of the season “all would be revealed.” The writers had done a great job of seeding little bits of the plot throughout the series that would finally be answered. An example being the Opera House vision shared by Caprica 6, Roslin, and Athena. The meaning behind that and the explanation of why Hera was so special would be coming soon.  But before that could happen the end of the world had to happen again.

After finding a nuclear devastated Earth all hope was lost within the fleet. Even the strong willed Bill Adama was lost.  The combination of the destroyed Earth and the betrayal of his best friend had shattered him. On board Galactica the military discipline that had been so rigidly in place vanished with the hope of the Old Man. Not only that but Starbuck finds her own dead body on the surface of Earth leading the viewers to ask, what the frak is she? Needless to say when Battlestar Galactica returned it came back with a bang.

Despite President Laura Roslin’s absence as the president the fleet is able to continue forward in hopes of finding a new home. It is at this point that tensions with the allied Cylons reach a boiling point.  Some of the humans within the fleet will not abide the Cylon presence anymore. The Vice President of the Colonies, Tom Zarek, with assistance from Lt. Gaeta on Galactica stages a coup to overthrow the government. Admiral Adama is forcibly removed from command and the Quorum of 12, Battlestar Galactica’s version of the Senate, is executed.  Bear in mind, this is happening in the midway point of the 2nd half of season 4. Needless to say this kind of action was incredible to watch despite it’s stretching over a few episodes. Eventually Adama regains command of his ship, and executes the leaders of the coup before imprisoning the other military members who participated.

(continued on page 2)

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2009 End Of The Year Wrap Up!

Hard to fathom the first decade of the 21st century is almost over. Doesn’t it seem that time has sped up? The work day still seems long for those who are working but time as a whole is going by faster to me. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re in your thirties.

2009 End Of The Year Wrap Up! This is the post where I respond back to questions or responses that I have mentioned in previous posts. I have been lucky to get at least one comment on almost every post that I published, however because I don’t have a large following or even lots of people subscribed, lots of post go ignored. Many of you know what I mean. You ask a question and nobody answers.

Regardless, here are the updates. Oh, don’t forget to stop back next year, same date for 2010’s update! Happy New Year to my friends half way across the globe!

October 1, 2009
Desktop Screenshots: I had asked if anyone who wanted to would send in a screenshot of their desktop. One person emailed me their desktop. You can still email your screenshots if you like. It’s never too late to comment or email me about any post. This was sent in by Steve Jarvis.
Lake District of Windermere

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October 2, 2009
Michael Jackson Tribute Album: I came up with a list of artists I would like to see sing Michael Jackson songs on a tribute album. Some people liked my ideas and a few came up with their own.

Fiona Apple – Human Nature
Jennifer Hudson – Will You Be There
Beyoncé – Whatever Happens
Justin Timberlake – The Way You Make Me Feel
India Arie, Marsha Ambrosious (from floetry) or Musiq Soulchild – You Are Not Alone
John Mayer featuring Christina Aguilera or Pink – The Way You Make Me Feel
Norah Jones – Human Nature
U2 – Stranger In Moscow

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October 25, 2009
Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered: This is a post based on Arsenio Hall’s Things That Make You Go Hmmm. A listed a few things that if you took the time to think about them, they just don’t make any sense. 69Times added What happens to your rug if you spill carpet cleaner? to the list. Thanks.

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October 30, 2009
Your Favorite Blog Post On Your Blog: Because the more links you have pointing to your blog means a greater chance of getting placed higher on search engine rankings, I created a post allowing all visitors to post a link to their favorite blog post from their own blog. Several people responded.

Blog: Nerds of the Round Table http://nerdsoftheroundtable.com
Post: BSG Season 4 Soundtrack (http://nerdsoftheroundtable.com/2009/09/04/bsg-season-4-soundtrack/)

Blog: The JazzMonger http://thejazzmonger.wordpress.com
Post: Maurice White, Penguins & Single-Parent Homes (http://thejazzmonger.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/maurice-white-penguins-single-parent-households/)

Blog: The Sexy Geek Files http://www.thesexygeekfiles.com
Post: My Blogalicious Weekend: (http://thesexygeekfiles.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/myblogaliciousweekend/)

Blog: Miss Viola’s Blog http://www.missviolas.wordpress.com
Post: Five ways to redeem yourself (http://missviolas.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/five-ways-to-redeem-yourself/)

I really wish more people would add to this list. It may not be much but it could be the start of lots more people visiting your blog. This is a well visited page but people are not leaving their information. The four people who have left their information can tell you that they receive visitors from my site.

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November 11, 2009
Honeymoon Help: I created a poll and asked for ideas for where April and I should honeymoon. I received 8 responses but as you know I surprised April with a wedding in Las Vegas on December 14th. Honeymoon was also in Las Vegas. We stayed there until December 24th.

2 votes for Rio de Janeiro
2 votes for Kauai, Hawaii
1 vote for Cornwall, England
1 vote for London, England
1 vote for Tokyo, Japan
1 vote for Rome, Italy

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November 26, 2009
Life’s Most Embarrassing Moments: I used Kanye West as an example for most embarrassing moment, but I fear he might not be done. He’s still young. Many people left their most embarrassing moment and I promised to leave mine here.

I was sitting on the toilet, I think I was 13. Don’t know why I forgot to lock the bathroom door. Even though I’m in my bedroom’s bathroom and no one ever comes down to my room; that day somebody did. My friend’s father had a collection of Penthouse Forum magazines. He brought one over to me and I was reading it while going to the bathroom.

In walked my mom. Any normal startled individual would have quickly hid the book, cupped his crotch and yelled, “GET OUT” or something like that. Instead I stood straight up and put the magazine behind my back. First, I stood naked (with and erection) in front of my mother. Second, the bathroom for obvious reasons didn’t smell all that great and third she came in and grabbed the magazine from me and my aunt peeked in to see what was going on. Even after my mom left and closed the door behind her, I was still standing there frozen. To make matters worse my mother blamed my father for having filthy magazines in the house where I could get to them. My most embarrassing moment also got my father in trouble for something he had nothing to do with.


This was time consuming. Maybe I won’t do this next December. I do want to take this time to thank all who have visited my blog. Morning Erections wouldn’t be the same without you! I am overwhelmed and eager to continue blogging. I hope my content gets better as I go and I will see you all next year. Be safe and Happy New Year!

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