State College reminded that bear patrols don’t pay for themselves

I think residents of the borough of State College may be rethinking their shortsighted decision to not enact a bear tax. No tax = no bear patrol.

State College police follow black bear out of downtown without incidentCDT
There he goes again, seeking out food or perhaps employment. It was barely 4 years ago that this happened, why haven’t they learned?!

By the way, anybody want to buy a rock that scares tigers?

PREVIOUSLY: Book ‘em Lou. One count of being a bear.

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A look at Pennsylvania dialects

Pennsylvania’s dialects are as varied as its downtowns — and dahntahnsPatriot-News

The bottom line is few kitchen tables can be as linguistically cluttered as a Pennsylvania table when the family comes to town.

Based solely upon pronunciation and grammar, researchers generally split the United States into a number of linguistic regions. Those regions come together in Pennsylvania — which makes the state kind of a crossroads of the English language.

Thanks in part to immigration patterns and relative geographic isolation, Pennsylvania is home to six — count’em six — distinct English dialects.

My Pennsylvania friends and readers may enjoy the article linked above. It would be fun to learn more about linguistics.

I’m pretty sure the greater DC dialect, if it exists, if the most homogenized in the United States. I think there used to be a distinct dialect for D.C.’s gold coast, but that is probably just about gone.

Oh and its soda, not pop. More on that sometime soon.

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Bruce Boudreau fired and I ponder whether I am coach killer

Friday, I went my first (only?) Washington Capitals game of the season. It was an uninspiring effort that saw a 0-0 game in the first period quickly turn into a 3-0 New York Rangers lead. The Caps were playing without passion and the Rangers rather easily converted little mistakes into goals. Goalie Michael Neuvirth did not have a good game, but what was in front of him was the bigger problem. Though the Caps got goals from Troy Brouwer, John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin (first at home), they still lost 6-3. We pondered the fate of Bruce Boudreau after the game, so after Saturday’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres I was not shocked this morning when I learned that Bourdreau had been fired and replaced with another rookie NHL head coach, Caps legend Dale Hunter. That is certainly a transition that fans can approve of based on sentimentality, but I don’t know if Hunter’s perceived toughness in the locker room can be enough to get the Caps to the elite they should have reached already.

Surely, there are those who believe that Ovechkin, who was clearly not on the same page of Boudreau, is a coach-killer. Maybe he is, I would not argue otherwise. However, I’m beginning to wonder, if I am a coach killer myself too.

I have now seen the final home games of 3 D.C. head coaches or managers:

Jim Riggleman quit after a bottom of the ninth win during a stretch which the Washington Nationals had won 11 of 12. I found out on the Yellow Line as it pulled out of L’nfant Plaza.

I was at Frank Robinson’s final game at Nats manager too, back in 2006. We knew he was leaving though, it was announced his contract was not picked up. Oddly enough, I was at his final home game with Baltimore in 1991.

I think Mike Shanahan, Flip Saunders and Ben Olsen ought to hope I don’t go to any of their games anytime soon.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Turkey and all the trimmings, a fire in my parents fireplace and football on TV is makes for America’s greatest holiday. We rule.

* * *

YES, SIR, OFFICER OBIE, I CANNOT TELL A LIE, I PUT THAT ENVELOPE UNDER THAT GARBAGE:

Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” is one of my Thanksgiving traditions, I usually hear it on DC 101, but I got out the door late. I always work on Thanksgiving (time & half, plus the holiday pay!) before heading over to my parents house. After I get there, I always have my turkey before my turkey

I always have my turkey before my turkey

* * *

FOOTBAW

I am not the pro football fan I was before college, but I love me some NFL on Thanksgiving. The resurgent Detroit Lions host the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Good to see the Lions doing well, because the talk of them losing their Thanksgiving game was unfortunate. The second game is the Miami Dolphins visiting the Dallas Cowboys, so get ready for lots of references to this:

The one downside of the first two games are the likely throwbacks to be worn by the home teams. The Cowboys will be wearing blue fauxbacks from 1960 that remind you why they changed to their silver helmet and white at home look. The Lions will probably just wear utterly plan helmets and jerseys. What they ought to wear is anything from 1964 or so to 2008.

Sadly, Nickelback will play the halftime show of the first game. Why not have a crappy Detroit band instead of a crappy Canadian band?

The night game is the San Francisco 49ers coached by Jim Harbaugh visiting the Baltimore Ravens coached by Jon Harbaugh. Nice. Hard to believe it took the NFL until the 21st century to figure out people might want to watch more football after dinner. The Ravens don’t have

The Oatmeal, which works a little blue, has a comparison of Thanksgiving as a child and as an adult.

* * *

OVERFILLED TURKEY FRYER = CHINA SYNDROME

There is a William Shatner safety deep fried turkey video out this year, but I much prefer the UL one that didn’t need CGI to remind us that overfilled

* * *

Turkey!

CARVING THE BIRD

The best way I have seen to carve a turkey came from this 2008 Times video:

* * *

YOU CAN START THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS WHEN ED McMAHON SAYS SO (WITHOUT SAYING IT)

Thanksgiving means that Christmas is coming. As far as I am concerned, there should be no mention of Christmas until the late third quarter (when I used to eat a turkey leg on the couch) of the Cowboys game when the “Holiday Greetings from Budweiser” came on

They ran it until 1996 and I think they broke the social contract when they replaced Ed.

* * *

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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UPDATED: Might have jumped the gun on this: Wait, Sue Paterno is not welcome at Penn State campus pools?!

UPDATED: Maybe the story didn’t quite go down like it was originally reported:

Penn State Pools Closed Over Break To Everyone, Not Just SuePaOnward State
So, maybe somebody pulled a fast one on the Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim, perhaps as “revenge” for breaking the Jerry Sandusky story. We’ll see.

ORIGINAL POST:

It just gets worse at my alma mater:

Sue Paterno told she can’t use Penn State University pool to swimPatriot-News
Have people lost their minds? They kicked out Sue Paterno, a distinguished alumna, from the campus pool. What did she ever do wrong?

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Blue White Roundtable is back but not the same

After a post-scandal hiatus, I’m back. Adam Collyer of Black Shoe Diaries sent the questions:

BSD: The Penn State offense has struggled week in and week out throughout the course of the season. The implementation of the wildcat formation by interim Head Coach Tom Bradley appeared to signal a shift in offensive philosophy from the rest of the year. What did you think?

WFY: I think you can only credit the implementation as Tom Bradley’s in the sense that he let the offensive coaches do it. I think it was pretty sharp, catching Ohio State off guard with it, but they can’t do that against Wisconsin now. I don’t know that making Wisconsin have to prepare for it, given they have almost certainly played wildcat teams already this season, makes much of a difference either. I am sure it can be effective, but if the Badgers suddenly see Matt McGloin out wide they know what’s coming and it probably isn’t a pass.

BSD: In his Tuesday press conference, Coach Bradley indicated that the team is working on some new offensive wrinkles for this weekend’s game against the Badgers. What do you expect those wrinkles to be? How effective will they be?

WFY: Throwing to the tight end/third wideout? The tight end/wideout catching it? Pitches to the outside?

I figure they will throw from the wildcat to keep the Badgers honest, but if I were them, I’d play it as a run everytime and dare Penn State to beat them with a WR throwing the ball.

Ultimately, I think the Nittany Lions offense will be as effective as Silas Redd makes it and since he’s still hurt, that is a major concern.

BSD: Did you notice any differences between the defensive game called by Bradley and the defensive game called by Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden? Should expect anything different?

WFY: The biggest difference I saw was Sean Stanley in coverage. It worked! However, I think putting the defensive ends in coverage is so special that it should never be done again. Otherwise, I did not notice anything significantly different, other than Devon Still not getting his usual 1.5 tackles for a loss. He had the flu I think.

BSD: Wisconsin’s offense has been very impressive. How do you contain Montee Ball and Russell Wilson?

WFY: Fire. Lots of it.

Contain is the right word, because I do not believe they can be stopped. The offense putting together sustained drives would be the best solution, but I am skeptical they can do it with Redd still hurting.

BSD: Predictions.

I still won’t care as much about the game as I would have in October. I might start wearing Penn State clothes again. Matt Millen will say something intelligent about the situation and praise the team. The Nittany Lions will play really hard regardless of what Wisconsin does. Brett Bilema will still be a jerk. Camp Randall Stadium will still inexplicably have a rug instead of grass. There will be mentions of State Street being an okay place to spend some time. I’ll wish I had gone to the 2006 or 2008 games when I had a friend going to grad school there. There won’t be as much sportsmanship in Madison as Columbus this year, but that’s okay. UniWatch will snub this game as one of the “best looking” on Sunday morning because of the scandal. Guido D’Elia will shed a single tear when “Jump Around” comes on and wish he had thought of it. Wisconsin wins 31 – 20 and we get over it because the thought of seeing “2011″ on the skyboxes isn’t a real welcome one.

The Roundtable

JoePa’s Doghouse
Nittany Lions Den
The 50-Yard Lion

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Returning to the land of Penn State blogging, but for how long?

I have not blogged in the last two weeks since I wrote my tirade about Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. My reaction has gone to shock, anger, numbness to increasing ambivalence about my university and its football team. Sure, I have watched the Nittany Lions (the Nebraska game a day later) and all of that, but the passion is not what it was on say, October 30 or so. Will it come back? I cannot say. I don’t know if a Big Ten title, change of administration, new season, trip back to Beaver Stadium or whatever will re-ignite the way I feel. Maybe, I’m just going to see the games as something to watch on TV, rather than a part of my lifestyle. I was pleased the Nittany Lions won on Saturday, but nowhere near as excited as their last win over Ohio State in Columbus.

Some things I have noticed:

Tom Bradley has not taken a misstep yet as interim head coach. He is saying and doing the right things. I would not object to him given the job permanently, though it is a mortal lock that won’t happen because Intercollegiate Athletics is going to be completely turned over. It is a shame that people who apparently had no idea of what was going on are going to suffer because of Sandusky being a monster and the powers that be not doing enough about it. If Rodney Erickson can be take over as president, I don’t see any reason based on what we know today, that Bradley can’t be head coach.

David Joyner, the acting athletic director and until recently, Trustee has the job locked up. Power has swung back to the board after 16 years of Graham Spanier as university president and 45 years of Joe Paterno as head coach and they will want to hold on to it. Having one of their own running Intercollegiate Athletics will do that.

Boosters, like Terry Pegula, will have power to write more than a check moving forward. Their influence is going to start counting now, just like at other programs.

I’m more sad for Sue Paterno than Joe over the end of his career and cancer diagnosis. I wish him well though and hope that someday, he’ll be able to get a “Joe Paterno Day” at Beaver Stadium after the legal process is over.

Jay Paterno has handled the situation very well from what I have seen. Also, if Yale has a coaching vacancy (which they might) don’t be shocked if Jay psuhes hard for that job.

Matt McGloin has also impressed me with his handling of the situation. He’s matured an awful lot over the last year on and off the field. I am pulling for him.

Rob Bolden will leave the program, book it.

Stephfon Green is playing really hard and well right now. I’m glad to see it, he nearly threw it all away, but clearly learned from the experience.

Ohio State is wearing gray pants again. Good job, Buckeyes.

I have a bunch of silly questions for a guest prognosticator, but I don’t feel like asking them. While that feature is always trivial, I don’t feel like asking them. I usually prefer to laugh through stuff, but don’t think I’ll bother.

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Intercounty Connector now open to I-95; toll free preview through Dec. 3

MARYLAND ROUTE 200Maryland Intercounty Connector opens to Laurel – Dr. Gridlock, The Post
I-270 to I-95 takes 20 min. on ICCWTOP The newest portion of the Intercounty Connector (MD 200), between MD 97 Georgia Ave. and Interstate 95 opened this morning. While a connection to US 1 near Laurel remains to be completed, the bulk of the road and critical I-95 to I-270 link is now operational.

It is unclear from the previous articles if the toll free preview that runs through December 3 is for just the new section or the entire roadway. I’ll try to figure that out later today.

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11-11-11 The great #11′s of DC sports

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, let us remember the greats who have worn #11 as part of Washington D.C. teams. The argument can be made that #11 is the most prolific number in D.C. annals — worn by two Hall of Famers, retired by two teams and currently worn by a face of the franchise.


Elvin Hayes – Washington Bullets 1973-1981 (Hall of Fame)


Mike Gartner – Washington Capitals 1979-1989 (Hall of Fame)


Mark Rypein – Washington Redskins 1986-1993 (Super Bowl XXVI MVP)

Today, there is a great #11 who is still active


Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals

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May no act of ours bring shame

upsidedownpennstateflag
That headline above is the first line of the last verse of the Pennsylvania State University Alma Mater, sung before football games among other places. Due to the apparent actions of one and the inaction of many, my university, not just the football program, has been shamed to an extent that is unfathomable.

I have spent the last several days trying to process the indictments against former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. For years, Sandusky is alleged to have abused boys in unspeakable ways. He will have his day in court (provided he doesn’t kill himself) and perhaps I will address him at the conclusion of his trial. My focus here is on what the administration of my university did not do in the face of apparent evil.

In 2002 Sandusky, who had retired in 1999 but retained full access to the program as an emeritus professor, was allegedly caught by a graduate assistant in a football building shower with a boy committing a horrible crime. The distraught graduate assistant reported it to head coach Joe Paterno, who reported to his superior Tim Curley that something had happened. Whether Paterno reported the specifics is unclear. Curley reported the alleged incident to university vice president Gary Schultz, who oversees campus police. Other than a slap on the wrist that was unenforceable, Sandusky faced no formal sanction or even an investigation from campus police. The higher the allegation went up the chain of command, the less serious it was taken.

The grad assistant and Paterno respected the chain of command of the closed culture of the football program and university, and it failed him. I can only imagine how often he has second guessed himself the last 9 years. Curley and Schultz are facing perjury charges and have taken administrative leave after giving testimony that the grand jury felt contradicted the grad assistant and Paterno. It is beyond my understanding that they have not yet resigned outright. Why Schultz chose not to have the campus police investigate the situation is beyond comprehension. Why university president Graham Spanier went along with this is also something I cannot understand. Even if they were unwilling to proceed legally, they could have used the power that the university has to keep Sandusky off campus and away from the program. Were they really worried about due process within the university’s own rules and regulations? What were they worried about? Would Sanduksy complain to the Faculty Sen
ate or sue them and thus bring scruntity upon himself? Unbelievable! I feel a tremendous amount of anger and contempt towards the administration for doing NOTHING. Sandusky, apparently continued to use the football program facilities until LAST WEEK.

Next up is Paterno. For the last 4 decades, he has portrayed himself as the conscience of college football and has largely acted accordingly. This, combined with winning more games than any other Division I coach, gave him tremendous power over not just his own football program, but the entire university. He has been bigger than the university since at last 1983 when after winning Penn State first consensus National Championship, he challenged the university to make itself better and went and raised hundreds of millions of dollars to serve that end. Paterno may have been bigger than the university even earlier, perhaps when he said this at commencement in 1973 in reference to Richard Nixon crowing Texas as the 1969 National Champion before the bowl games with Penn State ranked #2:

I don’t understand how Richard Nixon could know so much about college football in 1969 and so little about Watergate in 1973

To paraphrase his own words:

I don’t understand how Joe Paterno could know so much about Watergate in 1973 and so little about what was going on in the football building in 2002.

While Paterno was apparently responsible in accordance of the law, that is not good enough! Someone so powerful, who was educated by Jesuits and the Ivy League, and who asserted his moral authority so many times before is compelled to do more than than Paterno did. He had the power and he chose not to use it. He could have done more! He chose not to and that is why he needs to step down immediately.

When the scandal first broke, I felt Paterno needed to resign, perhaps 50% because he did not do enough and 50% because he was the only administrator with any moral authority left and could use that one final time by leading the way for the others in doing the right thing for the university. At this time, he has neglected to do so. Frankly, I don’t really care about his legacy any more, because people create their own legacy and this is part of his whether he likes it or not, whether it is fair or not. He failed to live up to the values he preached in a most critical time. Free tattoos, cars, cash for recruits and all the other recent scandals are ultimately trivial compared what apparently occurred at Penn State.

The predator will have his day in court. The alleged victims…may they somehow find peace and strength after their ordeals that no one had the temerity to stop. The university has been shamed not only by an alleged predator, but by those who did not stand up to him. They should and will pay with their careers and good names. Penn State will need to find its way again with stronger people, stricter rules and more compassion. It will likely never be the same. Maybe it never actually was what they told us.

- William F. Yurasko
Class of 1999

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