Saturday, October 12, 2019

Top 5 Reasons to Watch College Game Day, Even If Not a Football Fan (and Sig Ep Salute to John Goodman Today)

(*PS added*)

First of all, like I have a choice, in this house - my husband already has on his Michigan State shirt from the moment he woke up (playing Wisconsin today) lol.

And what else is there to watch on Saturday morning besides cartoons, if you're an adult? (Well, okay, we all watch cartoons every now and then, like Sponge Bob. And there's a new one called Mighty Mike I've watched recently, about a pug, that I watch as a as a pug parent, because their brand of CGI animation gets the pug expressions right - but shhh, don't tell anyone lol).

But the truth is, even if you don't care much for football (me), you watch for other reasons:

#5) What will make Desmond Howard laugh :)

I love people that laugh easily, and Desmond is one of those people - he the first one to laugh at whatever event happens live - funny, awkward, scary, or just plain weird, it doesn't matter - it prompts Desmond to laugh, he can't help himself.

Everyone's sitting there speechless, with their mouths open, like, "What just happened?" - and Desmond just starts giggling at the awkwardness of the situation itself - and thus manages to smooth it all over with his contagious laugh :)

#4) The "You Had One Job" segment, in which someone within the sports industry will have unfortunately embarrassed themselves by somehow botching their "you-had-one-job" shining moment - they're not all play moments (sometimes the band, the cheerleaders, the crowd, the stadium staff are included) - and they get better as they count down :)

#3) To see the ridiculous, random, and hilarious signs from the crowd in the background ...

Hey now, step off Harbaugh - he's most likely my cousin, and I'm pretty sure he never pays for a dang thing, as the head coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines lol

Okay, so - according to a few years ago, I'm supposedly somehow likely distantly related to the Former San Francisco 49-ers coach, current University of Michigan Wolverines coach (and former Western Kentucky University coach),as well as former Michigan star quarterback and Rose Bowel champion, Jim "Mr. Khakis" Harbaugh, as well as his brother, Baltimore Ravens coach, John Harbaugh - through my great-great-great grandmother, Martha Harbaugh, whose parents immigrated to Maryland in the 1700s.

Do you see a family resemblance between us?

Yeah, no - though that's a crappy, fuzzy cell phone photo - we don't see a resemblance either lol. Like I said, very distantly related lol.

Back to the signs - half the time you're like, "What does that even mean?" But it still makes you laugh :)

Thank God that CGD has apparently finally established some crowd control and put the kibosh on political and politico-religious signs right up front/on camera, this year, as well as particularly nasty/mean signs rather than ridiculous trash talk - the political, condemning religious, and general meanness of signs was getting out of control.

(Purely religious signs are apparently still allowed camera time - IF - they are hopeful and positive rather than condemning and/or politically associated.)

CGD is known for funny sports trash talk, not nasty, mean, political BS - and Desmond and Kirk Herbstreit are not social media fans and anti-cyberbullying advocates. Thus, exerting a bit more crowd control is a good thing so we can return to normalcy and at least all get a break from the nasty political climate for a couple of hours when watching this show :)

#2) Which mascot head 84-year-old ESPN CGD commentator and former coach, Lee Corso, will choose for the win ...

That man is 84 years old and still as tough AND silly as ever. However, during this exchange between Lee (who had chosen the LSU tigers) vs Matthew McConnaughey (Texas Longhorns fan), my money was still on Lee ...

#1) Speaking of Matthew McConnaughey, the top reason to watch College GameDay is to see who the guest picker will be and what they will do on live TV - and this week, they are in Baton Rouge for the LSU/Florida game, and hat the guest celebrity picker (at the end of the show) will be the much beloved resident of nearby New Orleans, actor/comedian/musician, John Goodman.

Who doesn't love John Goodman, I ask you?

Whether it's his TV role that shot him to stardom Roseanne ...

... who not only survived, but miraculously managed to nearly single-handedly carry the show with continued strong ratings, despite Roseanne's - erm - abrupt dismissal (and total public insanity), and a show name change to The Conners.

Or you're a Coen Brothers' movies fan, maybe it's his memorable big-screen performance as a Coen Brothers' movies featured actor, particularly as Walter in The Big Lebowski ...

(Even when he tries to play a jerk or psycho, you still can't help but like him.)

Or his 28 appearances on Saturday Night Live, hosting it 13 times (third place at number of times hosting, behind only Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) ... to include memorable cameos as "friend" of Monica Lewinsky and Ken Starr paid political plant, Linda Tripp ...

Though hard to find clips, the here's a link to one of the old-opens from SNL in 1998 with John Goodman as Monica Lewinsky's "friend" and "whistleblower," Linda Tripp, who secretly recorded her conversations with Monica Lewinsky for Ken Starr, admittedly for money (which she used to get plastic surgery) in attempt to get Bill Clinton impeached - hilarious both because it's proof of how Republican definitions of impeachable offense, hearsay/admissible evidence, political conspiracy/hack job, and whistle-blower protection laws are not only politically biased and change if it's someone in their party - and because it's just hilarious in general.

And of course, his recent stints as Rex Tillerson. Here's one, during better times for former Exxon Oil CEO, Rex, as Secretary of State (before Trump fired him via Twitter), with his oil buddy, Vladimir Putin (whom he affectionately calls "Puti." ;) ...

He is on my list of celebrities who have never let fame go to their head and appear genuine, and you could totally see as your best friend next door/more genuine type of people. (Examples on this list include Jimmy Fallon, James Cordon, Maya Rudolph, Rebel Wilson, Emma Stone.)

We knew that he lived in New Orleans (which gives him extra points, one of my favorite cities in America, which we may visit at Christmas), but weren't sure if he went to college/why else he's at the LSU/Florida game?

Turns out he actually went to Missouri State and is just an LSU fan (Baton Rouge is just an hour from NOLA) - but what we didn't know until today is that John Goodman is a member of the same college fraternity my husband pledged - Sigma Phi Epsilon - John Goodman's a Sig Ep, too :)

(Not to be confused with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, also sometimes called Sig Eps).

The Sig Ep creed is "building balanced men" - which apparently means different things to different colleges and different regions, but it's important that you have well-rounded interests, not just one thing.

For example, in the Midwest and Mid-South (and most regions), Sig Eps value being strong in both mind and body, both smart and athletic (i.e., John Goodman was on football scholarship at Missouri State at the time), as well as a bit of a bad ass when pushed that you don't want to mess with - including athletes Orel Hersheiser, Bill Brown, Rich Gannon, Sean Casey, John Matusak, Bobby Hurley, John Fina and basketball creator, James Naismath were Sig Eps - as well as military pilots and astronauts, including highly-decorated air force pilot (from Detroit, like my husband) Ivan Kincheloe, Major General Anthony McAuliffe, astronaut Karol J Bobko

Also true in the Midwest/Midsouth (like John Goodman), but particularly true for northeast and West, Sig Eps are known more for strong minds, being smart and also funny, rather than smart and athletics - examples are WSJ editor, Robert Bartley, as well as Dr. Seuss and Conan O'Brien's sidekick, Andy Richter, are former Sig Ep, as were actors Carroll O'Conner and Joe Don Baker.

Though Sigma Phi Epsilons were founded in Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia, the Sig Eps today are of both political parties, to include current and former politicians in both parties in many states - but they are are most often moderates rather than extremists, on both political sides.

However, northern and more urban chapters are predominantly moderate liberals, and were among the first fraternities to accept Jewish brothers as members, as well as people of color.

For example, my husband, a Sig Ep at Michigan State, had 6 Jewish brothers, 3 African American brothers, 1 East Indian brother, and 1 Muslim brother (from Iran, in fact, in the 80s), and even 1 openly gay brother - which was a huge deal in the 1980s - all MSU athletes with straight A's, mind you.

Again, as is the national trend, they are typically known for being liberal in bigger cities - thus in 2014, they were the very first former college fraternity to openly accept LGBTQ brothers nationally as a policy - as long as you represent the core fraternity character values :)

HOWEVER - there are still some colleges in the Midsouth, Midwest, and especially Deep South where Sig Eps have a notorious reputation for racism, aggressive/dangerous hazing, and aggression towards women - thus, much like other campuses where these events have been increasing since 2007 - the Sig Eps have have been kicked off Southern campuses 17 times for extreme hazing, drug-date rape/aggression towards women, and racism. As you can see in this link, these incidents are mostly in chapters in the mid and deep south.

The most notorious of these incidents was performed by 3 Southern Si Eps at the University of Mississippi's campus in 2014 - for admittedly putting a noose around the neck of the statue of James Meredith ...

... who in 1962, became the first African American student to attend college at Ole Miss, whose first day of attendance received international media attention for needing to be escorted to class by the federal troops for his own protection and to ensure he was allowed to class ...

Exactly how full of racist hate are you, if even Ole Miss finds you too racist???

My husband was horrified and completely ashamed that anyone from his frat, in any region, would do these things; and thus, he does not mention he's a Sig Ep while living here in Kentucky or deeper South because he doesn't want any association with that noise/those type of people.

As an officer for his Michigan State chapter, he helped kick out a few pledges and frat brothers by frat jury, deciding that despite their socioeconomic status or what the police decided to do/overlook, they took sexual assault seriously, and if they independently felt their behavior with women or people of color was inappropriate, unacceptable, inappropriate, and incompatible with fraternity character values and representation - they were out of the fraternity - regardless of what the authorities or university itself chose to do :)

If fact, despite Michigan State's recent sexual assault problems - which so disgusted Mark and his brothers, especially the way MSU covered up for Dr. Larry Nassar, that they refused to wear/watch any MSU alumni gear for 2 years until there was staff turnaround.

Mmy husband tells a specific story, confirmed by 2 of his frat brothers, where they caught a Sig Ep visiting from another university sexually assaulting a woman in the act, when they heard her screaming for help and that he'd locked her in his room, busting down the door.

The girl refused to go to the authorities or either university (MSU or the university he was transferring from), knowing what happens when you do (and rightfully fearing the guy's privilege and power) and half-blaming herself for being alone with him and having a few drinks.

Mark and his brothers felt partially responsible, because the woman felt safe to be alone in the frat house with the new pledge, because she trusted them - at the time, the Sig Ep reputation with women at Michigan State was stellar.)

So the brothers had a meeting, told him they knew there was no chance for his Sig Ep-ship to transfer to MSU, they knew he had done this, and they gave him a chance to turn himself in to campus authorities at both universities.

Of course, he didn't - and repeatedly declared his innocence.

Because they felt partially responsible because the girl trusted them, as well as because they didn't want to see him rape again, they turned him in to campus authorities themselves.

However, as per usual, both universities pointed fingers at the other for jurisdiction, and campus authorities ultimately blamed the victim for being alone with him and drinking, so nothing was done - and they turned the other way because of the rapist's wealthy-family status and good grades, despite eye witnesses - exactly what the girl feared would happen and why she didn't come forward herself

Thus, not only did my husband and his brothers make sure the rapist did not transfer to MSU and was kicked out of their fraternity nationwide - but they delivered their own brand of MSU/Detroit vigilante justice that rapist will never forget, too ;)

It always amazing to me that everyone from the victim to bystanders are the ones left carrying around all the responsibility, guilt, and shame for rest of their lives - everyone but the rapist or abuser themselves, and their dysfunctional "family" of enablers :(

Regardless, this news that John Goodman was also a Sig Ep made my husband happy, there's a brother he can be proud of - so my husband, who sends a big Sig Ep salute and some sort of secret handshake he refuses to share with me, but it's all good lol.


PS - I just discovered that Desmond Howard got in a bit of language trouble in August and had to issue an apology - but I actually found it hilarious - but then I got the joke.

It's not his own, his quoting a Wayne Brady/Dave Chappelle skit, which is a parody of the Denzel Washington/Ethan Hawke movie, "Training Day," in which Denzel Washington play a dirty cop, abusing his power and trying to straight-laced Ethan Hawke dirty/take him down with him.

Wayne Brady and Dave Chapelle both had shows on Comedy Central. Dave Chappelle (back when still essentially sane and funny) had a reputation for sometimes being difficult and pushing the censor envelope, but Wayne Brady was a clean-cut, clean-mouthed comedian, always playing it safe.

Dave invited Wayne on his show as a guest star, where they made a parody of the Denzel Washington movie,"Training Day" - the point being that Hollywood was asking the audience to suspend their disbelief too far, asking them to believe that famously clean, good-guy both onscreen and off, Denzel Washington, was now playing a he dirty psychopath cop in Training Day - by doing the same with their own reputations.

Thus, clean-cut, good guy, Wayne Brady would now play Denzel's bad-boy character, and foul-mouthed, sometimes offensive, Dave Chapelle, would play Ethan Hawke's straight-man character, in total shock and horror about Wayne's behavior lol.

As they ride through town, Wayne gets out like a semi-automatic and just starts shooting people, and being that the character is also a pimp, says out the car window to some prostitutes who didn't give him enough money (referring to himself in third person): "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch? Am I gonna have to get up out of this car and choke a bitch?"

For the more ignorant/racist white people who don't understand that black people don't have individual personalities the same as we do - the reason it's funny - is that asking the audience to believe that Denzel Washington OR Wayne Brady could ever say or do any of these street thug things is absolutely absurd and hilarious - it's asking the audience to suspend their disbelief too far.

Okay, so Desmond Howard - who, like Denzel Washington and Wayne Brady - is also known for being a mild-mannered, clean-mouthed, extremely friendly and nice/good guy that everyone loves - is also a former Heisman trophy winner as a star wide receiver from the University of Michigan, right?

Well, though they're getting better, at the beginning of this year, Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines were terrible. I mean, terrible. No, really (Sorry, cousin Harbaugh.)

So when his colleague, Rece Davis, asks him what it's going to take for Michigan to make a splash and beat their archrival, Ohio State, this year - Desmond jokingly responds with a reference to the Wayne Brady skit: "I don't kn ... is Desmond Howard gonna have to choke a bitch?"

Note that Rece, Herb, and even Lee Corso laughed - and that is because they know that would be so out of character for Desmond and got the joke/reference.

C'mon, people - and I'm talking to both the conservative racists AND the liberal women who got upset - lighten up!

The entire point of that Wayne Brady/Dave Chappelle sketch and Desmond's joke was how ironic and unbelievable it was that someone like Denzel Howard, Wayne Brady - OR Desmond Howard - could ever do street thug things!

Not that Denzel, Wayne, or Desmond couldn't whup some ass, if they wanted to (and have) - it's just that they're good guys, on screen and off :)

Which of course you would already know, if you weren't racist, the only black people you knew personally and well weren't the ones you saw on the news, and understood that just because people have black skin doesn't mean they don't have individual personalities, just the same as we do.

Okay - quicker translation for the ignorant, racist sort of white people mentioned above, who were the most upset by the joke - it's the same as asking the audience to believe Tom Hanks was dirty cop and psychopath in a movie - get it now?

The mere fact that we have to explain this joke and reference to so many white people who thought he was serious and didn't get the joke - because they don't understand that just because people have black skin doesn't mean they don't have individual personalities, just like we do - is proof that racism is still very much alive and well. 

I didn't see CGD that day, we were out and about, I just now heard about it and watch the clip - and I LMAO - but that's because I get the joke/reference, have black friends, and understand that they have individual personalities the same as us and don't all engage in violent, street thug behavior, and that Desmond Howard is an anti-thug - sorry you didn't get the joke!

Nevertheless, Desmond had to issue the first CGD apology of the season - oh, but there will be more - there always are - just not usually from Desmond. He's usually just the guy laughing at all of it :)

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