Bret Bielema, Oregonlive, DirecTv Present ‘Songs That Never End’

rob lowe from video

Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out

We’ve all been there — stuck at a party, a ceremony or even on the phone when somebody gets on a rant and just doesn’t know when to shut up — or at least change the subject. Body language, fidgeting, glazed-over eyes, even yawns are to no avail. The perp just keeps on keepin’ on. “Songs That Never End” are the subject of this week’s Three-and-Out, and our three singers are Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema, and DirecTv featuring Rob Lowe.

Bielema and his Crusade to Slow Down the World. As reported by ESPN’s Ted Miller, Bielema isn’t about to let last year’s embarrassing drive to put the brakes on the no-huddle up-tempo (NoHUT) offenses stop him from making disingenuous arguments to slow the game down to a speed more compatible with his waddle.

Bielema is bursting with concerns over health.

from video

Bielema is bursting with concerns over health.

Last year he cited the tragic death of Cal Bear Ted Agu during a team workout (that did not involve NoHUT offense) as a reason for the need to slow the game down.

Now, San Francisco 49er linebacker Chris Borland has decided to retire after one year in the NFL due to health concerns, and guess what! It’s a reason to slow down the game!

Borland played his college ball at Wisconsin under Bielema, and it was decidedly not in a NoHUT environment, so it’s a bit of a challenge to make the connection. Miller presented a number of options for improving player safety, including establishing player weight limits, since there is a fair amount of evidence that weighing 300 pounds plus is not necessarily a good thing for a person’s health.

And speaking of 300 pounds plus, it would be no surprise if Bielema himself — a cardiac arrest looking for a place to happen — is pushing 400. Somehow Bielema preaching about health issues reminds me of the time I was subjected to an environmentalist rant performed by a guy smoking a cigarette. The only thing Bielema should be concerned about slowing down is his trips through the buffet line. It has now been more than a year since the alleged rape that led to the expulsion and banning from campus for up to ten years for three former Oregon basketball players. But like the song that doesn’t end, just keeps going in circles over it. John Canzano recently called for the dismissal of Duck basketball coach Dana Altman because of the incident, and only this past Friday O-live’s Jeff Baker piled on with an earth-shattering piece entitled, “Oregon isn’t the only school with sexual assault issues” — with a picture of Altman as the lead photo. (Sorry, but I’m not going to grace this piece (or Canzano’s) with the dignity of a link.)

Despite having to put up with continual yapping, Altman remains focused.

Kevin Cline

Despite having to put up with continual yapping, Altman remains focused.

Let’s put this in perspective. The University of Oregon has about 24,000 students. Most of the students — as is the case for most universities — are ages 18 through 24. Here’s a newsflash, John and Jeff — that is the age when hormones are most active, and for many, full adult judgment is not quite all the way there yet.

Throw in the fact that approximately 2% of our society is sociopathic, and now “shock” us with the news that there is a possibility that an issue of sexual assault might pop up here and there on a college campus with tens of thousands of young adults with those raging hormones? What’s next, guys? A headline stating that “Oregon isn’t the only campus where gasoline and matches produce a flame?”

Baker insinuates that Altman’s $50,000 NCAA Tournament bonus may have been a factor in not dealing with the situation fast enough to meet O-live’s expectations. With Altman’s $1.8 million annual base salary, are we to believe that $25,250 after taxes (In my day job I’m a CPA, so I can figure these things out.) is sufficient motivation to risk his career?

You would have to be stupid to believe that anyone smart enough to make $1.8 million per year would be stupid enough to risk it all for that sort of relative pocket change.

Unlike Florida State, the University of Oregon passed harsh judgment and punishment on the young men involved. And rightly so, because their actions were highly inappropriate. Whether Altman and the UO Athletic Department exercised perfect judgment at all times is debatable, but in the end they did what was right — and they did it expediently. And if their judgment has not been perfect in everything they have done in their lives, then we should all welcome them to the human race.

Short of providing sex and relationship education and investing heavily in saltpeter and chastity belts, there is little more that can be done at this point. Canzano, Baker et al., need to find some fresh material to write about and get on with life.

DirecTv and Rob Lowe. We have Cool Rob Lowe, who watches DirecTv. We have Creepy Rob Lowe, Meathead Rob Lowe and Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe, all of whom watch cable TV. So does Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe. The irony here is that DirecTv’s broken-record ads air during Pac-12 sporting events on television.

Directv Meatheads continue to shun the Pac-12 Networks.

from video

DirecTv Meatheads continue to shun Pac-12 Networks.

And we all know what DirecTv does not have — Pac-12 Networks. Maybe it would do DirecTv more good to take the money that it spends on endless Rob Lowe-Whose-Acting-Career-Has-Descended-to-DirecTv ads  and spend that money on buying into the Pac-12 Networks.

But DirecTv doesn’t always make the best decisions. The company is currently facing FTC charges of deceptive advertising — and yet the Rob Lowe ads keep coming at us.

Like the Song That Doesn’t End, Bret Bielema, Oregonlive and Directv/Rob Lowe just can’t seem to give it up. A dedication is in order. C’mon, you had to know it was coming.

For Bielema, DirecTv, Lowe and Oregonlive’s Canzano and Baker — and their fan clubs — here is a link to the 10-hour version.

Top photo from video


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Mike Merrell

Mike Merrell

Mike (Editor-in-Chief) is a 1970 graduate of the University of Oregon where he attended the Honors College and received all-conference honors as a swimmer. After college, Mike ran for the Oregon Track Club and narrowly missed qualifying for the US Olympic Trials in the marathon. He continues his involvement in sports with near-daily swimming or running workouts, occasional masters swim competition (where he has received two Top-10 World rankings), providing volunteer coaching to local triathletes and helping out with Mike lives on 28 acres in the forest near Sandpoint, Idaho, where he has served as a certified public accountant for most of his working career. His current night job is writing novels about Abby Westminster, the only known illegitimate daughter of Britain's finest secret agent who has to bring down arch-villains plotting dastardly deeds. And, yes, Abby is also a DUCK!

  • Drex Heikes

    Canzano always wants Oregon coaches fired. It’s his signature move.

    He wanted Bellotti fired after a slow start to what ended up a 10-3 season. He wanted Chip Kelly fired early in the Seastrunk case, which the NCAA later found was a minor violation. Now Altman.

    Who’s next? George Horton? Mike White? My money is on Helfrich.

    Where are the facts showing that Altman deliberately concealed the alleged misdeeds to further the team’s chances in the NCAA? Speculation doesn’t count.

    I don’t read Canzano anymore but if memory serves, the Lane County DA advised the University to do nothing to the players until investigators completed their work–and they didn’t do so until after the tournament. I might add that they failed to find criminal wrongdoing.

    At this point, a Canzano call for your head is valuable for its counter message: It’s a clear sign you’re doing a good job.

    Given his abysmal track record, I can think of just one person here who should be fired.

  • Great piece, Mike. It’s unbelievable that Canzano and Co. are writing for “traditional” Oregon newspapers. These “journalists” are treating anyone associated with Oregon athletics as enemy combatants. Meanwhile, their respective “newspapers” just blindly dish this stuff out. Why would anyone fire Altman? Not only is the quiet, well spoken Nebraskan a gentlemen and well respected coach, he is one of the winningest college basketball coaches alive today. Also, to lump an entire program in with those “alleged” criminals is just a poor interpretation/understanding of the facts with a pinch of witch hunting. I’ve stopped reading some of these traditional Oregon papers because some of their writers have gone beyond the pale, surpassing traditional journalistic ethos and adopting an “Off with their heads!” attitude to the slightest human err or folly. I’m not saying they should grab their pom-poms, but they aren’t even giving the U of O, or those who represent her, a day in court, so to speak. Excellent observations. Thanks.