Category Archives: 07 | Cargument of the Week

Cheating…

So, some NFL sources are saying that 11 of 12 Patriot footballs were under inflated during their absolute drumming of Indy… 11 of 12 seems like 10 too many to be an accident.

Now, TheLongTalk will be the first to admit that football is not my forte. TLT knows a bit about the game… mostly due to 12 and 90 answering a barrage of questions during every game they watch with me… but that’s about it.

However, this post isn’t about football it’s about cheating and what cheating does to a win… which is to say, it taints it. Like a heavy does of vinegar taints an ice cream sundae… completely and irreversibly.

If the New England Patriots cheated, and it seems they did, then their win… even if properly won… is now and forever forward irreversibly tainted.

The same way Lance Armstrong’s wins are worthless, the same way Barry Bonds home-run record is meaningless. The same way Marion Jones track records and many medals are nothing more then a footnote under her huge P.E.D. headline.

A win accomplished by cheating is tantamount to a lose.

So, what has one gained when they’ve cheated their way to victory? In professional sports, the answer is MONEY, FAME, and STACKS & STACKS of MONEY.

Lance became a media sensation and multimillion dollar endorsement machine by winning and it seems he became a winner by cheating. There are real world, tangible, upsides to cheating and so… cheating will never end.

If the stakes are adequately high, someone involved in the endeavor will attempt to cheat. It’s a fact of life on this small blue dot spinning in that large black vacuum. Cheaters will try to use cheating to win if winning means anything at all.

That doesn’t meant that every single game or enterprise is tainted by cheating. Not every game has a cheater playing it, but some games do… and if a cheater is playing, they might not always cheat.

Surely some cheaters are talented athletes on their own merit and don’t need to cheat during every outing… but when the going gets tough, the cheat gets cheating.

So, if cheating is a fact of high stakes competition… which TLT would prepose that it is… then what can be done about it?

Thus far this post hasn’t really been a argument… we’re not in a car and there’s been no arguing… but here’s where things might get argue-ish.

TheLongTalk would purpose that there are only two courses that can be taken to address cheating in professional sports.

1. PUNISHMENT: There are not rules that can rule the cheater. No lawless that can make the lawless, lawful. People who ignore the rules, will ignore any new rules added. The only thing to do is to punish the cheater… severely.  Minor rule infractions with well established consequences should be handled like minor rule infractions, but cheating should be treated like an affront to sports as a whole. When a player cheats… SIDE NOTE: When is it that rule breaking ends and cheating begins… that player should have the hammer brought down on them, there should be no mercy.

OR

2. ENDORSEMENT: Who is it that the old saying goes… if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Since there will always be those among us who seek to gain by illicit measures, why not encourage everyone to take those same measures. If you want to re-level the playing fields in a P.E.D. world, doesn’t everyone need to be using P.E.D.’s. The only way to ensure that someone isn’t getting an unfair advantage is to make sure everyone is getting an unfair advantage.

So what do you all think? How can cheating be addressed, what does “cheating” really even mean? Is it an issue or is it so wide spread that it all ends up coming out in the wash?

Let’s hear your take on TheLongTalk’s insanely long and rambling manifesto.

Cargument Argument of the Week

Here it is… When is it acceptable for an athlete to quit on his team?

TheLongTalk’s Take:  It’s acceptable for an athlete to throw in the towel only after the organization has.  When your Ownership has made it clear by slashing salary, by juggling coaching staff, by making terrible money saving/momentum killing trades, by moving out of their original city, then it’s acceptable for the athletes on the team to call it a day and hit the showers.   The fans shouldn’t expect the players to put themselves through hell for a team that hasn’t made any effort to improve.

But the tricky thing about that answer is, it’s entirely subjective.  Who’s to say when a team has tossed in the towel.  TheLongTalk can’t imagine an Owner ever actually saying, “Our team is done trying, it’s time to give up.” …. unless that owner was Donald Sterling.

Cargument Argument of the Week

Because writing a rule book without any gray areas would be nearly impossible, human judgment is necessary for almost every sport.   That’s the main reason those other guys, the ones not playing and wearing the striped shirts, are on the field.   However, there are many rules that are not open to interpretation, they are clear-cut, black and white.   Did the ball go through the hoop?   Did the player cross the goal line?   Was their any time left on the clock?   Foul or fair?   In or out?

If all human error, by referees in these clear-cut calls, could be removed from a sport and technology put in place to make sure that the correct call is made the first time on every basket, strike, foul, touchdown, etc. would you support the change?

TheRoadto90’s Reply:

I’m going to answer no on this one. To me, part of what is great about sports is when refs. make mistakes. I’m sure #12 would be quick to point on that Michael Jordan “clearly” pushed off Byron Russell, which should have led to a foul, which means Jordan doesn’t make that critical shot.

But then we’re left without the debate. Was it a foul? Was this another example of Jordan getting “ever” call to go his way, etc. etc.

Who doesn’t love yelling at the screen, “that was a TERRIBLE call!” If we reduce balls and strikes and touchdowns to a robotic decision, we lose the human side of decision, which, while it is prone to error, makes the game what it is.

I’ll take my blown calls any day, just as long as they’re not against my team!

TheLongTalk’s Take:

Plant TheLongTalk’s flag clearly in the technology camp.   It makes no sense to support errors in a game, even when they’ve always been a part of the game.   Bacteria has always been a part of life, but if I get a cold I’m going to try to kill it.   If a clear-cut call is made incorrectly by humans, but can be made correctly by technology… then call your IT guy and get on it.

You’ll still have referees on hand for gray areas of the game, so if the technology makes the wrong call – 404 Error style – they can overturn it.   If it was a foul ball it should be called a foul ball.   If the player stepped out of bounds, they should be called out of bounds.   If it wasn’t a touchdown because the ball didn’t cross the goal line, it shouldn’t be called a touchdown.   If the computers can call the game better then the humans, let them call it.

Cargument Argument of the Week

This weeks Cargument is a simple one…  Who wins in a battle between Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes?

#12 with the Right Answer:

TLT and RT90, Wow.  This is way before my time.  I have no idea…really I don’t.  I guess I am showing my youth and TLT’s age.  I’m going to say Leonardo, for no other reason than I remember him more, and I’m a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Possibly the best name ever for a group of superheros/crime fighters.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help #12

TheRoadTo90’s Reply:

Boy, I must admit, I don’t even remember Snake Eyes. Let me Google him.

Well, it’s a good thing I did. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know) Snake Eyes defeated Cobra Commander single-handedly. I never remember any one of the Turtles defeating Shredder all by themselves.

I’m going to have to go with Snake Eyes on this one, for that reason alone.

TheLongTalk’s Take:

This one is a tough one… Snake Eyes is a lone wolf with mad ninja skills.  He’s tough and super serious. (forget about making him laugh, he doesn’t even talk)  On the other four fingered hand is Leonardo, the team leader and go-to turtle for a team of master’s… trained by a sewer rat.  He doesn’t fool around and don’t get between him and his pizza.

TheLongTalk would have to say this all depends on the situation.  Take the fight into the sewers and Leo wins, but put them on the surface or heaven forbid – in the Vietnamese jungle… Snake Eyes would wipe the floor with our half shelled hero.  In the end TLT suspects this would come down to age and experience… Snake Eyes is a battle hardened bad a$$ and Leonardo’s just a teenager.  GO JOE!!!

Cargument Argument of the Week

This weeks question will keep us in the Holiday spirit and looking at the floor of our local mall…   How much found money is to much to keep?

A few stipulations
– The money you find has been lost by someone, your profit will be their lose
– The money has no identifying markers, it can’t be tracked back to it’s owner
– The only person you can return the money to is a security guard, that will probably just keep it himself

TheRoadTo90’s Reply:
I would love to say that I’d return any amount of money found, but let’s be realistic here. There are two ways to look at the situation, in my opinion. It’s someone’s money – return it. Or, sometimes it seems like an extra blessing from God, like when you find a $20 floating around the WalMart parking lot.

I guess the location and size of the find also have to be factored in. $20 in a parking lot, with no one in clear view? I say take it. $100 in a store, like your local Zales, where it’s very clear who would have lost it, or due to the size of the find, return it.

There’s a wishy washy answer if I ever heard one.

TheLongTalk’s Take:
A found dollar, or maybe even five, is something TheLongTalk wouldn’t worry about hanging on to, but if it’s $10 or more TLT’s going to take it to the security guard.

If the guard takes it that’s his issue, if the person comes back looking for it… it’s their lucky day… but the money’s not in TheLongTalk’s hands anymore.

#12 with the Right Answer:
TLT, this answer is part of what’s wring with America.   And that problem is having the circumstance determine what the right thing to do is.   Why is it any more right for you to keep $5 than $10?   The circumstances, in this case how much money is found, should not determine what we do.   To truly be people of integrity we need to turn the penny we found on the floor into the security station just as much as we do the $1000 cash laying on the floor.   How much is too much to keep?   ANY AMOUNT!   The fact that we even have to ask this question is part of what is wrong in the world today.   I was at a music festival one time and found 2 one dollar bills on the ground, what did I do?   Marched across the campground and turned it in to the security station.   I must admit, I will probably keep a quarter I find on the ground, but and paper found goes straight to the security station.   And that my friends, is the right answer.

Cargument Argument of the Week

Here’s a simple Holiday argument…  White meat or dark?

TheLongTalk’s Take: The only correct answer to the above question is dark meat.  It’s more flavorful, it’s more colorful, and most of it comes from the drumstick which everyone knows is the second best stick after the actual instrumental drum stick… is TheLongTalk lying RT90?  The truth is it wouldn’t even matter if it all tasted the same TLT would still go with dark meat, because like Salma Hayek it’s exotic.

White meat when done properly, meaning not dry as the Sahara Desert, is OK in a pinch.  However on white meats best day it’s still better cold then it is hot, so on the actual Turkey Day go for the dark selection.  If you’re making an after Thanksgiving sandwich, TheLongTalk still advices finding some tasty drumstick… but if that fails then white meat is acceptable.

TheRoadTo90’s Response: TheLongTalk is sadly mistaken in his support of dark meat.

White meat is the king of the white meat/dark meat battle. Unless of course, you like slimy meat. You see, I’m a big food texture freak, so I CAN NOT STAND dark slime-filled meat. I’ve never liked it.

There is something about tearing into a piece of (somewhat) juicy white meat. Pour a little pepper on top, and you’re good to go!

Now, give me that drumstick and I’ll beat some sense into TheLongTalk!

#12 with the correct answer: First of all, I cannot tell you how surprised I am that a topic between white meat and dark meat has stayed clean for so long.  Anyways, #12 is impartial when it comes to the color of the turkey meat.  It’s all the same bird ladies and gentlemen and when #12 gets some meat, he likes variety.

#12 is a all for equality so the white gets just as much love as the dark.  I have no preference.

RT90, I don’t get the food texture argument.  How can texture bother someone so much?  I’ve never been affected to eat or not eat food because of the texture.Who cares about the texture, its all about flavor.  And for #12, I want to taste some dark and some white on turkey day!

I’ve never gotten this argument.  I have some friends who used to look for white meat or dark meat chicken nuggets at McDonalds because they would only eat the white meat, and not the dark.  Are you kidding me?  Who cares!  It’s all the same bird, and it tastes almost exactly the same.  So on turkey day give some love to both camps and enjoy.

Cargument Argument of the Week

Cargument Argument of the Week

This first Cargument Argument of the Week is an oldie, but a goodie.  The ever popular and always exciting… Should we stop for directions?

TheLongTalk’s Take: When TheLongTalk’s lost TheLongTalk stops for directions, cliché’s be damned.  TLT wants to get back on track, fast.  So the answer is obvious, you should stop for directions at the next gas station.

If you’re rocking a GPS, then TheLongTalk can understand the desire to figure things out for yourself and keep-on-keeping-on, but short of TomTom tech. it’s insane to keep heading in the wrong direction.  If you’re lost right now, why on Earth wouldn’t you be even more lost in 3 minutes?  Get directions, get on track, get to where you’re going.

#12 with the Correct Answer: When by myself, I never have, nor never will ask for directions.  Being lost is too fun to ask for directions.  Now if I am with my wife or with other people and we need to get somewhere fast, then I suppose, eventually, maybe, possibly I would stop and ask for directions.  But, when by myself I am rarely in a hurry to get from point A to point B, so getting lost is fun.  I use to live in Indiana and one day I took a wrong turn and thought I could take another turn to get back where I was supposed to be.  Confused?  Apparently, so was I because I got lost, and did I stop for directions?  Nope.  Did I turn around?  Nope.  I kept exploring (always keeping in mind the general direction I thought I had to go) and found an awesome berry farm (#12 loves berries and fruit).  It was a great find and something I never would have discovered if I had stopped and asked for directions instead of enjoy being lost. Stop and ask for directions?  Where’s the fun in that?

TLT, I understand why you would want to stop and get directions.  If we had listened to your directions instead of mine we would still be lost in a Wyoming forest…

TheRoadTo90’s Reply: I’ve never personally actually had to stop for directions often, but under the right circumstances, I’d say stopping is a must.

Close to out of gas? Stop, hopefully at a gas station
In a rough part of town? Get somewhere less rough and stop.
Impatient significant other with you? You bet your butt you better stop.

Got a full tank in a safe location with no other obligations? Feel free to explore.

Let’s all remember that it was I who insisted I knew the right way home from a trip to Philly, but everyone else didn’t get on board with me. I’d like to remind us all how that trip turned out.

Just sayin’…