1. Arizona Iced Bill

In a decision that took longer than it should have Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (not to be confused with former SNL actor Jim Breuer) vetoed SB 1602, which would have allowed businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers. Why Brewer waited so long to veto the bill we will never know, but considering a few days ago she said she had until Friday night to make a decision she must have felt the pressure to do something now. Aside from a few state congress members (note, not federal congress members) who realized after the fact what they passed was wrong, this was a business decision. Arizona has sun, deserts and golf plus Spring Training. the last thing MLB needs is protests during spring training. In addition, Arizona is hosting this little thing called the Super Bowl next January. Brewer knew passing that law meant no Super Bowl, an event that brings millions in revenue and exposure. Screw business leaders out of money and her term as Governor could be short lived.

My hope is that Michael Sam is named MVP of next year’s Super Bowl. (Before you laugh, Malcolm Smith, this year’s MVP, was a 7th round pick in 2011; and a 6th round pick by the name of Tom Brady has a won a few of them too)

The anarchist in me (maybe that’s not the right term) would have wished the bill passed. Not because I agree with it, but to see the NFL scramble to find another location in a year. Considering the amount of angst they took for playing a SB game in NY/NJ, I’m sure the media would have had a field day.

Lastly, one of the star player’s of Phoenix’s WNBA team is openly gay as is some of the fan base. Would have been interesting had the bill passed and someone with deeply religious ties didn’t want her to play.

2. Book Smarts never equate to Survivor Smarts

Last night began season 1 million of Survivor. As a loyal fan, I’ve watched almost every season. Sometimes, we’ll start and never finish because the season is a dud or we get so backlogged, etc. For some the attraction is the location of the show (note: due to budget cuts, Survivor basically uses the same island chain over and over again), but for me it’s the game play (or lack thereof). This season features Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. It was fitting that the hidden immunity idol was in the water so CBS could make the girl from the beauty team strip down within the first 30 minutes. (Also, when she said she was from Silicon Valley, I wasn’t sure if she meant Bay Area or where she got her breasts – hey-o).

As I said, I’m a gameplay person and wouldn’t you know it, the Brains crew out thunk itself at both tribal councils. After falling twice on the part of the challenges they should have excelled at – the puzzles, they voted off the two people who could have them avoid future tribal councils. First was the president of the Miami Marlins (been a stellar year for them) who was already thinking way too far ahead in the game and the poker player who could have been on the beauties team. Now they are left with 5 basically unathletic people including one who sucks at puzzles. Looks like Probst and Co may have to change the game up earlier than expected.

My main issue with people on Survivor is too many vote of the annoying person early on rather than getting rid of the weak link. Often the weak link makes it to the merge, hides in the background and then wins because he/she overcame the odds. If you don’t win Tribal Council, you don’t have the chance to stay in the game longer. The goal should be to get the merge, then exact your plan.

3. The Magic of Disney

With a toddler running my household (my wife won’t admit it but my kid knows to flash a smile and suddenly he’s up to his eyeballs in Doritos), my television stays on Disney or Disney Junior every morning.  What amazes me is not the power that Disney has over kids or that Mickey Mouse is still a dominant force, but the creativity at Disney HQ.

– Nickleodeon comes out with Dora, Disney steals the format and puts Mickey as the lead character.
– How do you make Peter Pan relevant? come up with 3 kids who battle Captain Hook on Neverland island. (I could write a whole blog post on Jake, but I don’t know if John will ever let me come back)
– Toy Story for girls? Doc McStuffins
– need another princess who ties into the other ones? create Sophia, the once poor citizen whose mom caught the King’s eye and suddenly got an upgrade in life. Her amulet allows her to talk with animals and other princesses. (Also for $25 you can buy the amulet and pretend to talk to the same things)

Anyway, in the last year Disney has launched 4 new shows: Sophia, Henry Hugglemonster, Ella the Elephant and Sheriff Callie. And as far as I can tell the other shows aren’t going anywhere. And kids love them. This also doesn’t include the shorts that go in between shows so that you have no excuse to change the channel to check up on a game or convince your kid the show is over. (Disney also rarely runs commercials so your kid is hooked for 23 minutes at a time)

Now the way to see if the show is a hit is once the stuffed animals, toys, etc. hit the shelf.

I just want to sit in a Disney Jr. planning meeting during pitch week to figure out how they come up with hit after hit after hit.

My one complaint: Disney needs to give me a heads up when they change the schedule. I need to be prepared when Mickey will air at 8 instead of 7:30 am, so I know when to use Netflix or the DVR. Hell hath no fury like a 3 year old who can’t watch Mickey.

4. Cinderellas and the Ball

In roughly a week, conference tournaments from across the country begin which is the appetizer for the Big Dance. 31 teams get automatic bids and roughly 10-12 will hear that they don’t deserve to make it because their conference is terrible. As someone whose worked at a school where the conference tournament was a big deal, I beg to differ.  I’ve campaigned for years that teams that win the autobid should get the right to play in the first round (or second round or round of 64).

As VCU, Wichita State and FIU have shown, mid major conferences don’t deserve the shaft and have proven to belong. They work all year to win their conference only to be told, “technically you’re in, but not really” Imagine being the nerdy kid (I don’t have to imagine that hard) and all year working up the courage to ask out the hot girl to go to prom. She says yes but you find out she meant the pre-prom because the guy with average looks and grades but wealthier family is taking her to prom.

When you watch kids from Vermont, Southern, etc jump around and celebrate next week, remember this is their “One Shining Moment”

4. #FaceofMLB

For roughly 3 weeks, MLB has been running a FaceofMLB contest via twitter.  All 30 teams picked a player and he went head-to-head against another player. David Wright vs. Eric Sogard made the finals.

What jumped out to me was a few things:
1. Jeter, the greatest living ballplayer ever, lost to Jose Bautista
2. somehow a Met made the finals (and he’s taking on an Oakland A)
3. of the 30 teams, only 2.5 African-American players made the cut (what does Jeter count as?) and a majority of white players were among the honorees. I know the number of african american ballplayers has dropped recently but one would figure that the face of MLB would be more diverse. Is it a socioeconomical thing that two white players (one of which is more of a platoon guy) made the finals? (btw, my personal twitter account supports Wright while my work account supports Sogard)
4. The Brewers nominated Ryan Braun. he lost 93% to 7% (I think). Was nominating the devil not an option for the Brewers? seriously you have 25 players on your team and Ryan Braun is whom you nominate?


Thanks for reading, sorry it was too long.  If you liked what you read follow me on twitter @okerland If you didn’t, you’re probably a Michigan or USC alum (actually an alum would be impressive).

someone else is doing this tomorrow, unless John tells me there’s demand. I did have 5 more topics to discuss.




  1. Dubs never writes about Doc McStuffins! And as father of three, I’m obligated to remind you it’s Sofia, with an F, and I like dropping a letter and calling her “Sofia the Fist,” who is an adorable newbie princess but also an enforcer for people who owe Disney money. She sends a lot of business to McStuffins, if you know what I mean.

    If Dubs were here, he’d be heralded the pinch-bloggers as John Oliver types. And he surely would have linked to Jon Stewart’s awesome “morally repugnant” take on his dear home Arizona. Here’s a link — found it by Googling “morally repugnant”:

    Good stuff filling in!

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