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

Mike Merrell FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

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.

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.

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.

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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