Saturday, November 20, 2010
Lately my Arkansas peers have been trying to compare their football program with that of Michigan's. The number of "Michigan Sucks" I have heard recently has been absurd. Those of you who know me well know that I do not take that lightly. However, I will let the numbers do the talking. For good measure, I've included a head to head comparison of Denard Robinson and Ryan Mallett. Also, I have limited the scope of my comparison to football and will not dive into comparing the two institutions in any other fashion.
*Note - Before anyone makes any claims about Big 10 vs. SEC competition, lets remember that from 1915-1991 Arkansas played in the Southwest Conference against: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU, TCU, Houston, Texas Tech and Rice
M leads Ark 1-0 after Michigan won the 1991 Citrus bowl 45-31
M: 109.901 (largest in the country)
M: 884–305–36 (.736) (Highest wins and win percentage in NCAA history)
Ark: 661–447–40 (.593)
M: 19–20 (.487)
Ark: 12–22–3 (.324)
Heisman Trophy Winners
M: 3 (Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson)
College Football Hall of Fame Inductees
Current NFL Players
M: 31 (Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Jake Long, LeMarr Woodley, Zoltan Mesko, Steve Hutchinson, Dahani Jones, Steve Breaston, Braylon Edwards)
Ark: 16 (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis, Ken Hamlin)
M: 3 (Tom Brady x2, Desmond Howard)
Football Player Graduation Rate
Number of D-1 Programs in the State
Michigan: 5 (Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan) (Bonus: D2 4-Time National Champions Grand Valley State University - '02,'03,'05,'06)
Arkansas: 1 (University of Arkansas)
Number of Professional Sports Franchises in the State:
Michigan: 4 (Pistons, Red Wings, Lions, Tigers)
The reason I include the previous two statistics is because it factors into atmosphere and perception. I have gotten dogged lately for some of my comments regarding SEC football. My point is that in Arkansas, there are no other in-state teams to cheer for. The closest teams to Fayetteville outside of the Razorbacks are in Kansas City, Dallas or Memphis, which are all over four hours away. This is much different from the state of Michigan, where there are five D-1 college and four professional teams that are battling for position within a fan's sport space. Additionally, there is the added factor of in-state rivalries, as well as the proximity of rivalries in adjacent states (Notre Dame and Ohio State). If I am feeling inspired later this year, I'll write an extensive blog post on these topics
Ryan Mallett vs. Denard Robinson
Denard: 6', 197 lbs, Sophomore (First Season Starting)
Mallett: 6'6", 238 lbs, Junior
Mallett: 166.5 (4th)
Denard: 63.3% (37th)
Mallett: 67.3% (11th)
Mallett: 2967 (7th)
Denard: 30 (16 Passing, 14 Rushing)
Mallett: 28 (24 Passing, 4 Rushing)
Denard: 1538 (2nd) (NCAA Single Season QB Rushing Record)
Mallett: -20 (Really?)
Denard: First QB ever to Pass for 1,500 yards and Rush for 1,500 yards in the same season.
- The Victors - best fight song in college football
- Michigan vs. Ohio State - Greatest rivalry in all of sports. Started in 1897 and has been played 106 times. Michigan leads the all-time series 57–43–6
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I apologize for the lack of updates recently, I've been lacking creative inspiration.
Arkansas has been treating me well. The weather was holding out in the 60's up until Saturday. I get strange looks around campus when everyone else is bundled from head to toe and I'm still in shorts and short sleeves. One of the many benefits to being from Michigan.
Last Saturday was the last Arkansas football game here in Fayetteville. I know I've written about my disappointment in SEC Game Day, and I have to say that feeling persists. I understand that its hard to get excited when the last game is against powerhouse UTEP, but Game Day is Game Day. I'll take my Big 10 football any day. On a happier note, I've been really excited about how many Michigan games have been an ABC/ESPN. I've only had to watch 2 games on my computer.
Last week we had officer elections for next semester. For a new group participating in elections for the first time, I was impressed with how smoothly it went. There were bumps along the way, but those will be ironed out in the coming weeks when the Bylaws are revisited. I'm very excited to work with our new board, and have been planning a Transition Retreat for the last couple days. In putting this whole event together, I forgot how much I love doing event planning/programming.
For the last week or so I've been reading Decision Points by George W Bush. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. As someone who marched down Pennsylvania Ave during Bush's second Inauguration with a sign that read "Worst President Ever", I have to say I'm impressed. Its easy to demonize W and the decisions he made (especially when you are young and impressionable by the Main Stream Media). The book is organized thematically, as opposed to Clinton's book which was chronological. The book has a lot of W's voice, which makes it an easy read.
Reading Decision Points has also renewed my interest in going into politics in the future. Everything is so fluid and exciting. At every point in the book I imagine myself in the situation and it excites me. I'll hopefully look into opportunities next year. I'm hoping Brett Vasicek can get me a job with new Michigan governor Rick Snyder.
I'm excited to go back to Michigan for Thanksgiving, even if its only for a couple days.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I feel like recently everyone has been making a bucket a list lately. For those of you who have been living under a rock, a bucket list is a list of things someone wants to do before "kicking the bucket".
I've made a couple of these throughout the years, but they've been lost from the various times that I have picked up and moved my life. Sadly, when college-aged students write these, they tend to revolve around alcohol and sex. I'm going to move beyond those. Here is what I've come up with so far:
- Be on the receiving end a giant check
- Be a part of a flash mob
- Be an extra in a Hollywood movie
- Visit every state
- Have a Ben & Jerry's flavor named after me
- Have my picture on the front page of a major newspaper
- Throw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game
- Run a half marathon
- Go to a Newcastle United match in England
....and that's all I could come up with right now. I'll be adding to it as I continue my travels.
What's on your Bucket List? Best answer (as judged by me) wins a prize!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Recently I had a friend ask me to read her application for a leadership position. One of the questions on it was to "use 3 words to describe yourself/leadership style". I do really like the question, however, I think there are some really good answers, and some terrible ones.
In the near future when I am elected Emperor of the World this question will appear on all official applications. Any responses that include: responsible, organized, integrity, respectful or similar words will be thrown out. To me it shows a complete lack of creativity, and panders more towards what the candidate assumes I would want to see.
But do not fret, for I have devised some stellar answers to this ultimate question:
How many times have you sat in a meeting where the same topic is talked in circles countless times? If you're like me the answer is thousands. Some people would rather debate a problem ad nausium instead of taking the next step to devising a plan to deal with it. By replying "forward thinking" you're telling your future boss (me) that you are not a circle talker, but instead focused on solutions.
Let me preface by saying I strongly dislike being forced to sit down and write goals. However, being a goal oriented person implies that you're not some schmoe just looking to fill the status quo.
This is a personal favorite of mine because the person reading the application will be caught completely off guard thinking that you contracted a rainforest disease on Spring Break. However, the word infectious stands for a concept that I believe strongly in: "Positivity is Contagious". This positivity can be exemplified in many ways such as body language, laughter, jokes, camaraderie or even something as simple as smiling.
How many situations have you been in where everything goes 100% according to plan? If you answered anything other than 0, you're lying. The ability to go with the flow is paramount when dealing with high pressure situations.
These words play an especially large role when looking at working with large non-profit organizations like.... an international fraternity or the YMCA (both employers of mine). This allows you to encompass all those traits that I said not to use into one catch-all. In addition, it shows servant leadership - be it serving a community, organization or cause. This answer also screams good character.
A couple last pieces of advice on how to answer the question.
1. Don't make up words. Always double check to make sure your advective+suffix actually exists. Nothing worse than trying to apply to a leadership position and you make up a word like "respectableness".
2. Stay away from words that imply control. By these I mean "Compulsive", "Obsessive", and "Anal Retentive". While you're point may be that you have a strong attention to detail, these words invoke images of some of the worst people to have in a group situation
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This week I'm lucky enough to have Steven Fleming, another Phi Delta Theta Consultant here with my in Fayetteville for recruitment. Steven is not only a great friend an consultant, but also very knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition; he's taken on the role of psuedo-staff nutritionist.
As many of you can imagine, trying to stay in shape and eat correctly can be difficult while on the road. Many of us don't have access to kitchens to prepare our own food. This leads to lots of eating out, which obviously isn't the healthiest choice. There's only so much Subway someone can eat. Steven turned a couple of us on to the Paleo diet, which centers around trying only eat things that were around 10,000 years ago. More or less, the diet tries to cut out simple carbs: breads, pastas, potatoes and rice.
Do you have any idea how much of these things we consume everyday? I a typical meal is was possible for me to eat all four of these things. Think about all the things this includes: sandwichs, pasta, french fries, mashed potatoes, sushi, stir fry...the list goes on and on. If you don't believe my try it for a day.... even try it for a single meal.
I've been eating lots of meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts. Salads have become one of my biggest friends. I never in my life thought that would be the case (you have to watch out for the dressing though). I won't bore you with all the scientific reasons with why it works, because to be honest I don't 100% understand it myself. Those of you who know me know that I'm not much of a science person.
This new diet has me feeling great. It, coupled with going to the gym three days a week and running 4 days a week, has allowed me to drop close to 20 pounds since I've been here.
My goal is to run a half marathon and become an Iron Phi at some point this year. I need to figure out where and when I'm going to be certain places to make sure I can actually do it. Also, Props to my chapter brothers John Hacker and Karl Cran for already joining the Brotherhood of Athletes this summer
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
This past weekend was my first experience with SEC football atmosphere. Coming from a large football school, I was interested to see how football saturdays compared in a different part of the country. Here are a couple of my observations:
- The game started at 6PM, and most people didn't seem to start tailgating till around 1-2PM
- The Parents Club provided food for the alumni and undergraduates here at the Phi Delt house
- A lot of their pre-game festivities fell more into the "tail-gating" category in parking lots, even for students
- Walking down the sidewalk with red solo cups in completely normal, which my Ann Arborites consider a mortal sin
- There was a more-or-less single file line down the sidewalk for students to get into the stadium... not the angry mob I'm used to
- A majority of fans (students included) left by halftime
- Students don't have a "student football T-shirt", or a "Go Greek" shirt
- Most students wear polo's, button downs or blazers to the game. And Everyone wears red, one of the advantages of only having one dominant color
- The Arkansas game wasn't even on TV and was blacked out on ESPN3.com
- They lit off fireworks after EVERY touchdown.... against powerhouse Tennessee Tech.
- I was of course wearing my white Michigan jersey around the house and asked repeatedly about Ryan Mallett. I'll be happy as long as our games continue to be on basic cable.
I didn't actually attend the game, as I didn't want to spend money to go watch a beat down. I'll be looking for tickets for the next couple games here, including Alabama, so I can give you the rundown from inside the stadium. Another weird football thing - they play two games in Little Rock, on the other side of the state. That leaves students with roughly 4-5 home games here in Fayetteville.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So I've been in the beautiful city of Fayetteville for almost a week now. I've spent my time meeting with the colony members, PNMs, and campus leaders. I've always been fascinated by how Greek Communities differ between campuses. Below are a couple interesting facts I've found:
- Chapters down here are HUGE. Sorority rush just finished up and almost all of the the chapters have over 100 new members. The largest fraternity, Kappa Sigma, is well over 200 men.
- However, the reason for that is they have fewer chapters. Arkansas has 13 IFC chapters and 8 NPC sororities as opposed to 31 fraternities and 16 sororities at Michigan
- Fraternities down here actually have "formal rush" similar to sororities. Groups of PNM's are lead from chapter house to chapter house and as the rounds press on, more and more people are cut.
- At the end of fraternity recruitment, PNM's pick up an envelope with only one bid in it based on mutual selection
- Much of fraternity recruitment is done over the summer. Chapters hold large events in large feeder areas (Fort Smith, Little Rock and Dallas). Some guys are committed to joining before they even step onto campus.
- The alumni support for our colony is incredible. There is a group of local alumni that attend every colony meeting. Its unlike anything I've experienced. I also have a meeting with Skip Rutherford, who is the Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock.
- Having a house owned by the University is an interesting situation. We have a Graduate Assistant that acts like an RA, minus the "community programming". Also during move-in I had to fill out the same kinds of forms I did when I first moved into Bursley.
- The amount of guys who know coming into school that they want to rush is much higher than I'm used to.
- Girls planning on rushing actually move-in early and rush takes place the week before classes start. The girls know where they got bids to before they go to their first class. I think this makes a lot of sense as opposed to monopolizing the first 2.5 weeks of class.
Just thought some of you might like to know. Comments Welcome
Monday, August 23, 2010
So this morning I got news that one of close friends, Gabe, had committed suicide back in his home country of Sweden. Details are scarce and this time but the news hit me pretty hard as we were co-counselors for weeks at a time. It inspired me to write this post, not only as a memorial to him, but as a reminder for everyone else.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
So I finally arrived in Fayetteville after my two six-hour drives from Oxford, OH to Arkansas. The drive itself was pretty uninteresting. I scanned for radio stations the entire trip. The highlight was driving right next to the St. Louis Arch.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So this past month has flown by. Tomorrow the staff is heading to Purdue for a training visit. I'll be returning with a few others Tuesday night, spend Wednesday morning packing my materials and hitting the road to Fayetteville Arkansas. I plan on stopping for the night to stay with one of my chapter brothers in St. Louis. In total, the drive is going to take about 12 hours.
Monday, August 9, 2010
A week ago today we were wrapping up the Emerging Leaders Institute, which is our largest undergraduate leadership conference with close to 400 participants. We as a staff logged incredible hours over the 5 day affair. After one of the days I was unable to spell my name backwards and had no idea what day it was. After we finished on Tuesday morning, the consultants had the rest of the day off, and needless to say we slept most of the day.