Cyber Monday > Black Friday

There we were, coming back from turkey day at Grandma’s Thursday evening, and we passed a Walmart.  The lot was full – completely.  The time was about 9:00.  Thanksgiving Day.  Sorry, but this seems wrong to me.  All those workers, called into their retail jobs on the holiday.  All those shoppers, elbowing each other aside in search of $20 savings on a blow drier or coffee maker when they should be home annoying their in-laws.

Time was, Black Friday actually took place on Friday.  I can recall various family members getting up at 5:00 in the morning to head out for daybreak shopping!  Now, in our obsessive excessiveness, we have to start in the night before.  And at Midnight, 2:00 am, etc.  There ought to be a law:  Congress can’t tackle the tough items like the budget and immigration; how about we restrict Black Friday to Friday.  When the sun is shining.  (Beemsville recognizes this could be construed as anti-capitalist, but the President surely doesn’t care about such labels anymore and neither do we). Continue reading

B1G… WTF?

Well, the Big 10 Conference (B1G for you noobs) has added Maryland and Rutgers.  Welcome, Turtles and New Jersey-ites…

 

Does anyone like this move?  Is anyone excited?  We can’t really find them.  Maryland fans don’t want to leave their regional ACC rivalries, but they understand why it’s a good move financially.  They’re broke after all and had to cut seven sports last year.  This is basically what ESPN talking head and Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt said on the radio:  “don’t like it; understand it.”  Are you looking forward to that sub-500 Illini-Turtles football clash?  I know I am (we might be able to actually, you know, beat them).

Rutgers opinions are pretty similar.  They understand the financials and certainly understand the tenuous situation of the Big East.  On the other hand, they’re worried about winning games in football and basketball, and who can blame them.  Rutgers has been a lot better in football the last several years, but the Big East has also been substantially weakened.  It will be an uphill battle to bowl eligibility for them.  In basketball, well, good luck there. Continue reading

At least it’s Hoops Season

Fighting Illini fans have watched their football team implode, with the Orange and Blue in the midst of a long conference losing streak that’s not likely to end soon.  But across the street at the Assembly Hall, the basketball team looks intriguing.  The old Central Illinois saying once again rings true:  At least we have basketball…

The football team’s offense is just terrible.  Not much hope of scoring or moving the ball.  The venerable one checks in with his analysis here.  It ain’t pretty. At A Lion Eye, Robert breaks it down (again) with clear emphasis on recruiting misses and general unluckiness with offensive lineman.  This, right here, is the key.  Until we upgrade the line, it doesn’t matter what system you run, who calls the plays, etc.  No time to throw it and few holes for running backs.  And all you have to do to get better is win some recruiting battles for O-linemen in your home state.  If Beckman and company want to keep their jobs, they must address this trend first.  Until then, like many others, I just don’t have a lot of time and patience for this team.

On the other hand, John Groce has been building something.  In seven months on the job he’s already accomplished two things his predecessor either couldn’t or wouldn’t do.   1) Bring in a top recruiting class and win some recruiting battles.  2) Run a fast break and transition offense. Continue reading

Chicago Gangnam Style

Somewhere in their prison cells, the two most recent former governors of Illinois are smiling.  President Obama and his campaign team have done it; they’ve taken the body politic of Illinois and especially Chicago and captured the nation’s highest office.  Again.

In Beemsville we’re just grateful it’s all over.  We’re not even in a swing state and we’re tired of the ads and talking points.  And once more, we’re both humbled and intrigued that our home state can provide such a fine crucible for political leadership.

Do you doubt the wisdom of running a Chicago Style campaign?  When it’s so obviously the winning formula?

First off you focus in on the urban centers.  Duh.  That’s where all the people live.  Leave the rubes in the sticks to their grain liquor, bible thumping, and such.  Like this. It’s become more and more difficult for the Republicans to combat due to point #3 (below).   Second, you must raise lots and lots of cash for divisive adds.  Former Govs Blago and Ryan knew this well, and it eventually led to their demise (just imagine what either could have done with Super PAC laws on the books…)  Both political parties were successful here. Continue reading