Posted by: cali4dre | September 18, 2009

Here’s your tip: Take some responsibility, Notre Dame

Beautiful Campus, Ugly Lawsuit

Beautiful Campus, Ugly Lawsuit

If you haven’t heard by now, there is a storm a brewing over an accounting mistake pitting David against Goliath.  Take a second, read it through, and tell me you can’t at least see both sides of the argument before settling on your own verdict. If you don’t want to click, here’s a quick recap: Notre Dame University fired, and is now going forward with a lawsuit against, a catering employee over an accounting error made in the employees favor.  Not just any old error, mind you, an error costing the school over $29,000 because of a careless slip of the finger and lack of proofing someone’s work.  Now it comes down to who’s responsible for what, and Notre Dame is on the offensive. 

As the story goes, Sara Gaspar saw this error as it appeared magically (ok, quite unexpectedly) in her account after performing a catering job per her usual duties.  Nothing special about this job whatsoever, most likely deserving of the tip amount Notre Dame claims should have been paid, $29.87.  Instead Ms. Gaspar’s account ballooned by $29,387, and it’s obvious the 3 was punched by an account-type on their 10-stroke keypad instead of the decimal point, located just below the 3.  Ms. Gaspar claims to have called several times to alert the University of the generous error, and eventually she was told there was no mistake by a “supervisor” and they would pass the message along to HR.  Can’t figure out why HR, they don’t make accounting tips under “tips” for work performed, but I guess it was handled more a complaint as she mentioned there was a “problem”.  That was an understatement for sure.  At this point it appears she’s either dumb like a fox or truly thought she would get away with the extra $29,357.13. 

ND stays true to form: Looking for a fight!

ND stays true to form: Looking for a fight!

When the University finally realized the error only a month later, Ms. Gaspar informed the University she had none of the money left.   She had already spent the money on medical bills she had recently racked up and a five year old Jetta.  Sensible purchases for someone in her struggling position, but non-sensible logic as to whose money she was spending.  She acted in a hurry, perhaps a little too hastily, but how was she to know it wasn’t her lucky day?  Her thinking was she had finally received a break, the University of Notre Dame was providing a boost to her livelihood the next few months and it wasn’t anywhere near Christmas season yet.  Imagine what they were gonna do then!! 

So we arrive at the point where mud is now being slung at Ms. Gaspar by the University in a series of condemning statements and a shiny new lawsuit, asking not only for THEIR error to be reconciled by Ms. Gaspar but for her to cover THEIR attorney’s fees.  Surprisingly I didn’t see anything about interest owed, however, but perhaps they can work that in as well.  GIVE ME A BREAK Notre Dame!!!  Unbelievable!!  At this point one has to think to themselves “How is this even possible??”  Not only has Notre Dame demonstrated their incompetence while suggesting they are are an institution of higher learning, they now decide their only remedy to the situation is to clog the court system with this totally lopsided case.  And by lopsided, I mean a billion dollar institution versus an employee they already fired over this issue, who was living paycheck to paycheck to begin with while taking care of her mother. 

Excuse me, Touchdown Jesus, how could you let this happen??

Excuse me, Touchdown Jesus, how could you let this happen??

I’m not familiar with the actual statutes in place for this type of situation, so I’m just taking an educated guess here.  With total disregard to Ms. Gaspar’s failed “attempts” at notifying the University right away, shouldn’t she be in the clear as it was an error made under “Tips” and not under “Wages”?  It appears she has a leg to stand on, but to no one’s surprise she says she is having a hard time finding representation on the case, and it’s obvious that the girth of the University of Notre Dame and it’s team of lawyers is the only reason.  And of course Ms. Gaspar is now suffering from depression and despair over this, can you blame her?? 

Upon Further Review, the University of Notre Dame should take the loss and allow Ms. Gaspar to keep the money because it was THEIR mistake unfortunately made in an indefensible cost code, Tips.  I think they could make up the missing $30,000 by FIRING their accounting person not for the original error and oversight, but for causing all of this ruckus and dragging the wrongly fired employee in the first place back through this mess.  If they didn’t hire anyone to replace them for 6 months, they would easily replace that loss.  And Notre Dame comes out looking like the bigger person/entity here.  It’s a Win-Win-Win.

Advertisements
Posted by: cali4dre | September 17, 2009

Tebow next Savior… of the Jag’s franchise

 

I lost a lot of respect when I saw the Crocs...

I lost a lot of respect when I saw the Crocs...

The debate picking up steam in northern Florida, specifically Jacksonville-metro and all of Florida Gator territory, is the state of the Jaguar franchise and the timing of their native son entering the NFL.  I use the word timing because at no time has the Jaguar’s franchise been in worse shape off the field, having lost over 17,000 season ticket holders over the past two seasons.  Yet their collegiate counterpart has seen nothing but the greatest success winning multiple National Championships and compiling players that could probably run the Jags right off the field head-to-head (speed and talent wise, perhaps not the professional skill level of course). 

 

The unequivocal leader of this team the past four years has been The Christian Soldier, he who can do no wrong, Tim Tebow.  He showed the nation something special his freshman year when he displayed pure heart and determination each time he touched the ball.  He gave up his body and ego all year long as they used him much less as a quarterback and much more as a fullback/battering ram. None of that has changed over the past four years; not after winning two national championships, not since becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, and not since becoming a celebrity with a cult following all around the world, where several of his missionary trips have taken him.  He is the perfect role model for our youth, a consummate team player and a beaming light of what used to be the norm and now is the exception. 

 

Definitely NOT according to Mel Kiper Jr.

Definitely NOT according to Mel Kiper Jr.

The critics want to poke at the fact that he is not a true QB, lacking pocket presence, a strong arm, proper mechanics, and the vision required to succeed in the NFL.  While this may be true for now, Tebow has taken these criticisms to heart and devoted his Senior year as much to becoming a better NFL prospect at QB as he will concentrate on the ultimate prize of winning a third BCS Championship during his tenure.  This past Spring I listened to Tebow go one-on-one with Mel Kiper, Jr., the NFL Draft guru whose word is believed to be as close to truth as there is in evaluating collegiate talent.  Kiper Jr. respectfully examined for Tebow the knocks on him (those listed above), and Tebow humbly took those suggestions as part of a debate on Kiper Jr. incorrect opinion.  As Kiper Jr. suggested Tebow would make a better split-end/tight-end in the NFL, Tebow disagreed outright and stated he will work hard to ensure he is a QB at the next level.  Again the passion and determination showed up in his voice during the healthy debate.

 
Failure sees Tebow and runs the other way

Failure sees Tebow and runs the other way

So why is this coming up now all of a sudden?  Why are we discussing the draft position of a questionable QB in September, seven months ahead of the 2010 NFL Draft?  Simple economics, that’s why.  As mentioned earlier, Tebow happens to be from a city whose franchise is falling apart at the seams.   Reports of players quitting on coach Jack Del Rio last year, added to the already diminishing season ticket holders and overall attendance figures, have led to reports that all of the 2009 season home games will be blacked out.  I would appear the novelty of being a new NFL team as long worn off by now, especially after expectations were set so high at the franchise’s inception when they made the playoffs 5 years in a row after their inaugural season in 1995.  With David Gerrard’s flashes of brilliance diminishing and an aged defensive unit starting to break down, the horizon seems bleak at the moment. 

 

Yo LeBron... call me!

Yo LeBron... call me!

Upon further review, the Jags could be in such desperate times that they may reach a bit and pay extra attention to the “value added” aspect of gambling a first round pick on a middle-to-late round prospect.  There are enough first round busts floating around to argue that this wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to begin with, and perhaps by the end of the season it won’t be a stretch at all.  The Jags passed up on taking a QB in this year’s draft, but who’s to say they shouldn’t next year?  The real stretch is trying to compare this to the Cleveland Cavaliers drafting Lebron James, who is a once in a lifetime talent.  In no way is Tebow in James’ league amongst his peers entering the professional ranks; LeBron was (and still is) head and shoulders above his draft class.  But in terms of regional marketing ability in the northern Florida region, he definitely has the same cult following and mass appeal that could alter the state of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. 

 ***My verdict: Jags, go ahead and take Tebow with an early pick… because if you don’t, someone else will!

Posted by: cali4dre | September 16, 2009

No Way Jorge

Do you know who I am? Do you know who I work for??

Do you know who I am? Do you know who I work for??

Unbelievable.  What was Jorge Posada thinking when he elbowed his way past Jesse Carlson last night?  Or was he?  No one will ever accuse the Yankees of taking the high road, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, as a catcher you should be the first to understand the unwritten rules of the game.  The Yankees hit TWO Toronto Blue Jays batters prior to the pitch that whizzed past Posada’s backside in the 8th innings.  This is a common occurrence in baseball known as protecting your own interest, or better yet, just getting even.  Posada chose to ignore the obvious and made it personal, evidenced by his immediate reaction to reportedly mouth the words “you don’t want to do that”.  It was enough that the benches almost cleared right there, no harm no foul, let’s move on right???

 

Oh no, not Jorge Posada.  Apparently he’s way too special to be a part of such a natural occurrence in baseball.  Something I didn’t realize being a fan of his workman-like attitude as a catcher and classic baseball disposition.  The guy looks like he could have played in any era.  So to my surprise what happens?  Posada ends up scoring on a double by Brett Gardner, and as he passed Carlson he throws out his left elbow towards the reliever.  It was so blatant, even home plate umpire Jim Joyce called it “…very unsportsmanlike … It was a cheap shot.”

 

MMA is just not for me coach

MMA is just not for me coach

Benches cleared as Gardner and Posada began to tussle, and Gardner was consumed by a pile of Yankees jerseys that had a much shorter distance to join the melee.  Gardner reportedly felt his arms get pulled down before receiving a blow to the head that left a very large welt.  Looking at the replay it seems very unlikely that Posada got the damaging blow in, but Toronto catcher Rod Barajas and Yankee reserve outfielder Shelly Duncan were involved in separate showdown towards the end.  Later Posada made a very interesting comment, proving he knowingly made the poor decision by letting his own ego get ahead of his team and moral obligations.  “I don’t want my kids to see that. … Fight in the middle of the field, benches clearing — that’s a bad example.”

 

Not only did he set a terrible example for his own kids, Posada’s Yankee followers in the stands chose to make poor choices with dangers consequences.  A an idiot Yankee supporter decided to throw a full soda bottle out onto the field and hit third base umpire and crew chief Darryl Cousins in the knee.  He received a bruise bad enough to keep him from returning to the game, as a three man crew finished off the last inning and a half.  X-Rays taken were negative.  On a side note I hope they find this person and ban them for life, they are not true baseball fans just because they have tickets that close to the field.

 

Maybe Jorge just needs a hug??

Maybe Jorge just needs a hug??

Upon further review, besides the obvious in regards to fighting, Jorge Posada’s Yankees are on track to runaway with the AL East and are heavy favorites to reach the World Series.  They have so much more to lose than the Blue Jays, who by mid-season were trying to unload their top 5 richest contracts as a concession to the season.  What the Yankees don’t need is their star catcher injuring his hand in a fight, suspended for a week of important season ending games, and getting other players involved in his personal disputes.  His teammates are not going to let him fight alone, and Jorge should know that by now unless he’s so insecure that he feels he needs to test them.  For a 24 year old rookie maybe this mistake happens and you learn from it. But for a 38 year old veteran and World Series champ, I’m very very disappointed Jorge.

Posted by: cali4dre | September 15, 2009

Chargers Show Up Late in Oakland

Knee looks ok to me...

Knee looks ok to me...

The NFL has a knack of reminding us just how much parity there can be in a league with a firm salary cap in place (yes, I’m talking to you MLB).  Even the biggest underdog can rise up and play inspired football on any given week, and with a few lucky bounces going their way, can triumph over a highly favored team.  Last night’s MNF double-header on ESPN gave us two perfectly scripted dramas filled with suspense, adversity, more suspense, comedy, and full resolution in the form of multiple game winning drives.   In no way did we expect the Bills to hang with the Patriots in a low scoring Game 1, but Tom Brady finally shook off the rust and, with the help of a timely fumble, capitalized twice in the final three minutes to win a nail-biter.

The bigger surprise occurred in Oakland during Game 2, the final game of the opening week of the 2009 NFL season.  Out came the Raiders, playing as if they themselves were the AFC West favorite and Super Bowl contender that had traveled up the coast from San Diego.  Not once during their current 11 game losing streak to the Chargers did the Raiders come out and completely dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball like they did last night.  Heck not once did they dominate ONE side of the line of scrimmage in their 10 previous matchups.  It was as if all the talent accumulated during their stretch of early first round draft picks were living up to their potential all at once, making the Raiders appear to be a legit contender.  The Raider Defense penetrated early and often, frustrating the likes of Charger QB Phillip Rivers into an unsportsmanlike behavior penalty.  At least for the first half, the Raiders actually looked as scary as the fans that root for them!
 
 
You tell them to put on their Sunday finest...

You tell them to put on their Sunday finest...

And after thoroughly dominating the first half what did the Raiders have to show for it?  A tied ballgame at the half.   It’s fair to say the Chargers played absolutely terrible in that first half, and their saving grace was two forced turnovers by the Raider O and an iffy video review that kept four extra points off the board (the ball did touch the ground as it shifted).  Again, this was a tale of two different halves for the Raiders.  JaMarcus Russell looked unusually comfortable in the pocket and felt little pressure, but when forced to make decisions and accurate throws in the 3rd quarter the story changed significantly.  The Raiders had a much tougher time  more moving the ball on the ground as the Chargers D-line finally started fighting back after getting run over in the first two quarters.  They were still not able to put a lot of pressure on Russell in the passing game, and we have to compliment the play calling that allowed Russell to get rid of the ball quickly in most situations.  Russell’s decision making was limited to half the field most of the time, and he connected very successfully with TE Zack Miller up the middle for 6 catches and 96 yards.

 

Good decision... until he throws it

Good decision... until he throws it

The real problem occurred on 2nd or 3rd and long, passing situations that left much to be desired from the former #1 overall pick at QB.   Russell looked great in the first half checking down to his running back after his quick reads were unavailable, but when dump-offs weren’t going to cut it the ball started flying all over the field.   And I mean ALL OVER the field including the sidelines.  I saw at least a half dozen passes to receivers in either man coverage or flat out wide-open, especially on the up-and-out routes to the sideline, that not only weren’t catchable but the receivers couldn’t even make an effort because they were so far off.  The passes he did get close seemed to be 50/50 chances for either team, and Charger defenders dropped several passed that should have been turnovers.  In the last minute of the game, Russell’s last bad throw  strung out Johnny Lee Higgins on a pass that left him on the turf for 5 minutes after a jarring, legal hit applied by Chargers safety Eric Weddle.  

 

I think he's talking smack while he throws the ball

I think he's talking smack while he throws the ball

Upon further review, the Raiders looked to be a real contender through their first two quarters of the season, and at times in the second half as well.  But the Chargers were just too strong, even after losing two starting offense lineman and playing out of a hole the entire game.  Darren Sproles proved his worth as a franchised player with LaDainian Tomlinson never really got it going against a team he usually dominates. Each had a touchdown last night, but it was a stellar 4th quarter performance by Phillip Rivers that sealed the victory for the Chargers.  Rivers also proved his worth with another victory after signing a contract worth up to $93 million contract extension in the off-season.  He’s gonna earn every penny if the Chargers continue to show up late to division games against big-time underdogs.

« Newer Posts

Categories