Posted on: March 1, 2009 7:37 pm

A Tale of Two Cities

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," according to Charles Dickens.  And the New Jersey media.  Today's literary exercise is to compare two columns, in the same state, discussing the same event, namely the hiring of Tim Pernetti as Rutgers' AD.  Our candidates for best and worst?  Harvey Yavener of the Trenton Times and Fran Wood of Newark Star Ledger.  First let's look at each writer's professional experience.  Yavener's been writing about Rutgers football since at least 1993 and discusses speaking to Pernetti when he was a player.  Wood's familiarity with Rutgers sports?  More of a generalist I suppose.  Exhibit A?  Her column prior to this one was entitled, "Chimp Attack: Was help delayed by 911 operator?"

Sources?  Yavener has interviewed Pernetti as a player, and has seen and spoken with him on almost a weekly basis during football season since 2001.  Wood?  Don't know if she's ever spoken to Pernetti.  Fear not, she relies upon an editorial previously written by the Star Ledger.  The author of this editorial?  The anonymous Star Ledger editorial staff.  Apparently they feel that they are so famous they don't need to identify themselves anymore.

Yavener's opinion?  "Specifically, Pernetti's appointment seems to assure that Greg Schiano stays at Rutgers, stays firm to the mutual pledges he and Mulcahy shared, stays firm to the principles he articulated each time a Miami or a Michigan or any other high-profile program came after him with lucrative offers." 

Wood's opinion?There can't be many people who weren't stunned by the news of a chimpanzee attacking a friend of his owner. But there's a little-noticed footnote to the story that, to me, is almost as troubling -- a 911 operator's delay in responding to the victim's frantic call for help.

Oops! Sorry, wrong editorial.  Here's the right one.  But perhaps the most salient information about Pernetti is that he's an FOG - or Friend of Greg. Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano and Pernetti have known each other since Pernetti's high school days, when Schiano was his coach.       .   .   .The Star-Ledger's Thursday editorial said the board "fumbled" the hire and called the search for a new athletic director "a sham."

Yavener's bottom line?  Since Pernetti has been involved with the program through it's darkest, laughingstock days, he will bring a unique and worthwhile perspective to the job.

Wood's?  Pernetti is a FOG (Friend of Schiano) and shouldn't be the Rutgers AD because he blew his nose in a copy of the Star Ledger before the Papa Johns Bowl.

YOU MAKE THE CALL.  Who's right?  I agree with Yavener and part of what Wood says.  I agree that Pernetti is a friend of Greg Schiano.  The nose blowing incident?  I have a different take.  To me, this is evidence of the substantial diplomacy skills Mr. Pernetti will bring to the job.  Rather than using the Star Ledger for other personal hygiene needs as has been suggested by numerous Rutgers' fans, Mr. Pernetti found, while not the best use for the Star Ledger, a useful one nonetheless.  This shows his sensitivity to environmental issues and his stance on recycling will make Rutgers a "greener" place.  Truly there is much more to Tim Pernetti than meets the eye.

Category: Fantasy Football
Tags: Rutgers
Posted on: February 25, 2009 1:52 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2009 2:18 pm

A Call to Arms

Now they've gone too far.  As the eloquent Popeye the Sailor once said, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!"  Not content to deprive Rutgers of its best athletic director in history, Dick McCormick (which means only Dick up front but George Xanadu in back pulling the strings) have botched the search for a new AD.  Now don't get me wrong.  I like Tim Pernetti, Kelly Mehrtens and Mack Rhoades, and think they would all make good AD's.  My point is how they were selected.  The answer?  Via the same smarmy, cesspool like machinations that got Bob Mulcahy fired.

Aditi Kinkhabwala of the Bergen Record blew the whistle on it in her blog today.  In Aditi's words:

The sort-of search for an AD

I learned some interesting and I learned some stupefying things about Rutgers' AD search yesterday. Then again, after the way the firing of the last AD was engineered, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

Let's start with Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick's convening of a 15-member search committee last month. Guess what? Fourteen of them did no searching. Several members confirmed to me yesterday that they met once, when folks from Parker Executive Search (hired Jan. 12 at a cost of $58,000 plus expenses) polled them on what traits and experiences they felt the new athletic director should have. That was it. They didn't see resumes, they didn't go through bios, they never met anyone. Two members I spoke to had no idea how many applicants Rutgers even had and tomorrow's meeting with the three finalists will be their first exposure to any candidate. Good to see Rutgers using all its bright minds.

So it was McCormick, search committee chair Philip Furmanski and Board of Governers treasurer Bruce Fehn who conducted the interviews. Two candidates told me, almost verbatim, that it was clear it was McCormick's show; he asked the majority of the questions (none of which were particularly outside-the-box, one candidate told me), he outlined what he wanted (a teammate, a couple candidates said) and he didn't notify the candidates he interviewed whether they'd be coming back this week until TWO DAYS after he was supposed to. The candidates had been told they'd know their second-round fate Wednesday. Parker Search made the calls Friday. I can't imagine being left hanging like that.

So those of you RU faithful who haven't been concerned about the Mulchahy fiasco because perhaps it's just one politician getting fired by another, or because you didn't particularly like Mulcahy guess what?  It's much larger than Bob Mulcahy.  The underhanded dealings of this poor excuse for a university president and his handlers no longer threatens the career of just one person.  It threatens the entire university.  Exactly how long are you going to played for fools, RU supporters?  A 15 man search committee?  That's means Dick.  And don't forget George, who's official title is  CINCDICPAC (Commander in Chief of the Pack of Dick, and his cronies) If you're going to pick the AD yourself come out and say so.  But don't lie to the public and say you're relying upon a 15 man committee to make the pick.  And despite that this incompetent can't even follow up with potential candidates as promised.  All of you RU faithful who want to know why more experienced candidates weren't involved? Would you want to work for this fool?  Much less would you trust your career to him after what happened to Mulchahy?  How many top notch AD candidates wouldn't even consider Rutgers because of these incompetents running the show?  The cesspool is expanding people.  What will it suck in next?

I've seen many comments saying, let's move on, we might get a better AD than Mulcahy, blah, blah, blah.  BALONEY!  This situation is not going away, it's not getting better, it's getting worse.  And it will continue to do so until McCormick and Zoffinger are ousted.  This is the State University of New Jersey, not some private men's club.  Alumni, supporters and taxpayers all have a right to know what's going on because they're using our money to do it.  What else do you need to convince you? Botched firing of Mulcahy. Botched hiring of new AD.  What's next?  Botched completion of Rutgers Stadium?  Botched renewal of Stringer or Schiano's contract?  How many things does the Dick squad have to screw up before he and his handlers get the ax?

I'm sick of this crap.  The spring game's coming up.  I'm looking for people willing to take a written petition, man a booth or walk around the stadium and get signatures the old-fashioned way.  Enough of this internet petition BS.  We're going old school, pen to paper.  I don't give a damn if I only get my signature.  At least I'll be able to say I tried.  It's time to open up a spinach-fortified can of whoopass.  Send me a PM if you're interested.




Category: NCAAF
Tags: Rutgers
Posted on: February 22, 2009 12:47 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2009 6:38 pm

So What Are We Looking For In A New AD?

Having been encouraged to put finger to keyboard again by friends (who were encouraged by alcoholic beverages to make this recommendation) I offer this update of The Barbarian Report.  Although the Star Ledger hasn't given me much material lately (apparently they're too worried about survival as evidenced by the merging of their Trenton bureau with the Record), journalistic integrity or lack thereof continues to abound in other places as well.  Is Kenny Britt a prima donna?  I don't know, I've never spoken with Kenny.  Aditi Kinkhabwala, who has, doesn't think so.  All I can say is I've never seen this kid preen, gloat or do anything to embarass his team or an opposing player during a game.  Could Schiano be entitled to more credit for this than Kenny?  Maybe because no RU player engages in these antics.  As for the latest journalistic falsity, Aditi notes a blog that claims that Kenny was suspended this year for insurbordination.  The blog is WRONG.  Sources close to the team indicate that the suspension had nothing to do with insurbordination or anything remotely prima donna like.  Amazing how all these people who are seeing Britt for the first time are parroting this prima donna line when the reporters who covered him for three years never mentioned this problem.

On to the new AD.  I find it extremely difficult to figure out what we're looking for in a new athletic director because we still haven't been told what was wrong with the old one.  I assume that building a successful football program was a good thing and we want to continue this.  Otherwise, as one sage poster noted, we'll have a wonderful stadium with 55,000 empty seats.  The question of money looms large in the selection.  First, RU needs someone who can get it.  The football program is sound, now Rutgers has to build a bigger fan base to support it and expand it further.  Double decking both endzones would probably bring capacity to around 70,000, which I believe Schiano once mentioned was the ultimate goal.  However, I doubt this will ever happen without a substantial alumni fundraising operation.

The other impact of money could have played in the dismissal of Bob Mulcahy.  I heard it expounded well for the first time by the sage poster noted above.  It's called the Big Donor Theory.  Now even though I still feel Mulcahy was correct in cutting some of the non-revenue generating sports, there may be a big donor or donors for these sports that feel(s) differently.  And these donors, along with the infamous George Xanadu (That's not his last name?  Sorry I get my Z sounds confused) were responsible for the firing.  So the thinking goes, if the new AD agrees to bring back big donor's sport, big donor agrees to be, well, a big donor again.  If the new AD brings back one or more of the cut non-revenue sports, this theory gains some validity in my book.   So we're looking for an AD that can raise money and will agree to bring back (your choice) crew, fencing, men's swimming and diving.  Where's the money for this sport come from?  Why Big Donor of course.  My money's on the crew team.  There have been stories that enough money was raised to fund the crew team on a year to year basis but that Mulcahy wouldn't do it unless there was a permanent endowment.  Mulcahy's thinking probably was, I don't want have to cut this sport again two years from now if the money disappears.  Personally I'd like to see the crew team back as long as there is money to support them.  The oldest varsity sport at one of the original colonial colleges deserves to stick around if at all possible.  I still haven't figured out how this gets around Title IX problems though.  Is big donor gonna kick in more money for women's sports too?

What's the last thing we need in an AD?  Somebody who doesn't believe what happened to Mulcahy will ever happen to him.  And that my friends is the tough sell.

By the way Fire, if you recognized yourself in the above, it is purely coincidental.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 18, 2009 12:14 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2009 5:40 pm

I Have A Dream

Don't get excited.  It's nothing as lofty as Dr. King's hope for an end to segregation.  My goals are much more modest.  My dream is a newspaper that's neutral about Rutgers football.  They don't have to pro-Scarlet Knights.  Just neutral.  You know, reporting facts correctly, not having political vendettas, not being a mouthpiece for a disgruntled, out of state Bob Mulcahy wannabee.  That's all.

Sigh.  What has triggered this longing for a newspaper instead of scandal sheet?  Come on, you already know by now.  So let's get into it.  What's the latest piece of pure unadulterated sewage published by the Star Ledger?  Not content on depriving Rutgers University of the best athletic director in its history, the SL has now weighed in on what qualities the new AD should have.  No they didn't come right out and say his initials should be GZ.  But they did pick up two of Georgie's pet peeves and espoused them as their own.  What a surprise.

The Star Ledger in its infinite wisdom has come up with five qualifications for the new AD.  In typical SL fashion, three are reasonable while the other two are garbage.  You see this way the SL can claim that their coverage is "balanced."  Let's start with the three no-brainers. 1. Must be able to raise money. 2.  Must improve the RAC .  3.  Must inspire coaches to obtain Big East supremacy.  Now who could argue with those?  What a thoughtful column.  The SL is supporting Rutgers right?  In fact any seven year-old sports fan could have come up with these.  What's the alternative?  We want someone who can't raise money, definitely won't improve facilities, and tells RU coaches NOT to win?  Didn't take any thought at all to come up with these.  But they do provide the subtle camouflage of a "balanced" piece.

Now let's look at what this column is really about.  Next qualification?  Must reinstitute the six cut sports.  You remember the six sports that Bob Mulcahy recommended cutting and Prez Dick McCormick and the Board of Governors agreed to, then fired Mulcahy for cutting?  Yeah those.  Men's lightweight crew, men's heavyweight crew, men's and women's fencing, men's swimming and diving, and men's tennis.  Now who could be against this?  I'm not.  I think it would be great to have these sports back.  Why did Rutgers lose them  in the first place?  Was Bob Mulcahy accidently struck with an oar in his childhood and hated crew?  No, two reasons.  The State of New Jersey cut $80,400,000 from Rutgers' budget.  And, Title IX says a university must provide equal sports opportunities for men and women.  Under the prior setup, Rutgers spent much more on the men.  So how, O wise Star Ledger do you propose bringing these sports back?  Are you going to make an $80,400,000 donation?  Are you going to get Title IX repealed?  No.  So why bring this up again?  Hey isn't this one of things George Zoffinger had a hissy fit about?  Oh yeah.

Qualification #2.  Just say no to Greg Schiano.  Like he's some kind of illegal drug or something.  What's the supposed problem?  Greg Schiano pushed for the stadium expansion.  What's wrong with this, it's not funded by a single taxpayer dollar?  Oh, the Star Ledger, that bastion of fiscal responsibility that's almost bankrupt is upset that Rutgers is issuing bonds to fund the construction.  And this is Schiano's fault.  Hmm I seem to recall that the Governor of New Jersey promised $30M in loans from NJ, then backed out after the voters voted down his stem-cell research project.  See the gov's thinking was if the people won't support an religious hot potato like a stem-cell research project, they obviously won't support expanding Rutgers' Stadium.  Yeah, I never understood that one either.  So the gov said don't worry, I will personally  raise the $30M myself.  And  then went out and raised $1M.  So since this all happened after Rutgers was halfway through the expansion and had a huge whole in the ground, Rutgers not surprisingly had to find the funds somewhere.  Did they cut any other sports?  Did they take money away from academics?  No, they issued bonds to make up the difference.

Yep, clearly Greg Schiano's fault.

Wait a minute.  Wasn't Georgie Zoffinger the only Board of Governors member who was against the expansion, even when the gov was promising $30M in loans?  Yeah, that's why I thought.  So SL your latest journalistic endeavor is nothing more than a rehash of Georgie's pet peeves. Why don't you just come out and say that Zoffinger should be made AD?  You're not really fooling anyone you know.  Seriously, give George a by line.  Show some journalistic integrity.  Here are the five criteria for Rutgers AD that you really propose:

1.  Must be a supporter/donor/graduate of Penn State.

2.  Must not live in New Jersey in order to avoid paying NJ taxes.

3.  Must be on record saying that Greg Schiano will go to Penn State when Joe Paterno retires.

4.  Must be disgruntled because Mulcahy originally got the AD job over him.

5.  Must have Star Ledger in his back pocket as his personal public relations firm.

Jerry Izenberg where are you?  We miss you dearly.


Posted on: January 12, 2009 10:13 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2009 10:14 pm

So Sometimes College Football Isn't All Money

Yes, many Rutgers fans are still angry about the firing of AD Bob Mulcahy.  And  at the repeated stupidity and falsity of newspaper articles that still contend that Mulcahy did something wrong or unethical, despite the fact that an internal investigation exonerated him but found the people that fired him, (Pres. Dick McCormick and the Rutgers Board of Governors) guilty of negligent oversight.

But I digress.  For me one of the greatest advertisements for Rutgers football are the young men (so named because they are much more than the common "football players" one encounters on most college gridirons today) that Greg Schiano recruits, teaches and sends out into the world.  Next time you see a Rutgers football game, see if you can find one, just one, instance of a player mugging for the camera or engaging in some selfish self-promoting antics that are common today.  You won't see it.  Jeremy Ito came the closest after kicking the most important field goal in Rutgers' history, which beat then #6 Louisville, and put Rutgers football on the map.  What did Ito do?  When the ESPN "eye in the sky" camera went wizzing by on its overhead cables, Ito had the unmitigated audacity to point at it.  Asked after the game if Schiano had anything to say about it, Ito indicated that the head coach made him understand that he was not pleased.  Why you may ask?  Because in the Schiano/Rutgers' world it's about the team, not individuals.  But make no mistake, these teams are made up of some very impressive individuals.  Compare these to some other teams, whose lineups include more convicts than offensive linemen.

Here's a story I heard from poster NDRooster on the Rutgers' Scout Board.  I copied it verbatim, as it needs no further explanation.

        "I am writing this after doing a lot of thinking about the dismissal of Mr. Mulcahy I am not a Rutgers graduate, nor do I pretend to know the intricacies of big time college football and what it takes to run a top notch football program.  I am writing as a father of a son, who at best finds it difficult to promote good role models for him to look up to and ones that he can relate to.

             Look around the country at the college football programs that have for years been looked upon as the most successful in terms of winning and you will find for the most part that the student athletes brought in lack character and self discipline.  Miami , Florida State, Florida , USC, and even Notre Dame, the supposed standard of a clean upstanding program, have had issues with their student athletes ranging from drunk driving to sexual assault and violence against women.  Graduation rates at many of these schools are at best secondary to their success on the field. 

             Now look at Rutgers , have we heard or read about a single incident in the past 8 years of one of our students being arrested for anything?  How about the graduation rate, consistently in the top five throughout the country, not a single NCAA violation.  Rutgers has not only been a bastion of a clean program, yet some in the press, most notably the Star Ledger, a paper in my opinion that should be celebrating all that is good about our State University, instead of tearing down all the success and pride the football program has given to New Jersey, a state that with all of our corrupt politicians finally has something we can call our own and be proud to do so.

            In my humble opinion, the firing of the man who brought in a coach who not only has brought our program from the dregs of college football to the verge of becoming a national power, in a way not seen in many places, cleanly.  Putting education ahead of success on the field, which holds his players to higher standard then most big time programs out there.  While working on a shoe string budget until recently. 

            My question is why?  Why do we allow a University President, to fire a man who is fully responsible for all I have mentioned?  Why do we allow a man, who gives no explanation as to why he felt it necessary to let go the man who raised a program from the ashes, continue to get away with this?  I have first hand experience with the type of high character players Rutgers has brought into this program, let me explain.

            When Rutgers defeated USF, who at the time was the number two team in the country, my son and I made it down to the field, Ryan Blaszczyk, the starting center, came up to my 8 year old son and handed him a wristband he wore during the game.  While that is generous, that was not the most amazing thing.  I sent a letter to the school thanking Ryan, as it had a profound effect on my son as you can imagine.  In response, Ryan’s father contacted me and we met at a game 2 weeks after.  He was kind enough to take my son after the game to meet Ryan, who in turn took my son and introduced him to many of the players, who all autographed a football for him.

            While this does not seem very important or impressive to some, to an 8 year old boy it is something he will never forget.  Remember, these are 18-22 year old young men who after a win are looking for a party to get to, or dinner with their parents, yet they found time to give a young boy an experience he talks about to this day, and I am sure will for the rest of his life.

            This is just one of many examples of the types of young men Coach Schiano and Bob Mulcahy have brought into this program.  But this is never talked about, instead we are barraged with negative articles and witch hunts attempting to tear down something, for a change that we can be proud of.

  Why, do we take one of the few things that are good stories about this state, and attempt to expose the program as something it is not?  Those who are responsible should be ashamed of themselves, the President should be ashamed of himself for caving into negative publicity written by two hacks who during their so called investigation into the Rutgers program neglect to look into all the good that has been brought about by Mr. Mulcahy  and his hire Coach Schiano.  From where I stand it is unfair and irresponsible.  

New Jersey and its people have something to be proud of  for a change, regardless of what has been written, I challenge the Star Ledger and its two hacks to do their job and look at the issue as a whole rather then from one side that in my opinion was ment to drum up interest in a non-story.  I blame the President and the board as well for showing what this state has never been accused of, not having a backbone.  Shame on all of you for allowing this to happen!"

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Rutgers
Posted on: December 22, 2008 6:18 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2008 9:57 pm

What the Hell is This? An Olive Branch?

Alright, so I didn't exactly spring from my bed this morning.  And thanks to the Internet we don't have to tear open the shutters and throw up the sash to find out what's going on.  So what to my wondering eyes did appear?

A miniature sled with eight reindeer?

My best friend on the lawn with a case of beer?

No, it was the Star Ledger offering Rutgers Christmas cheer.

Believe it or not, I read an article in the SL today which I felt was well researched and actually informative.  Bob Braun today hit the presses with an article about why Rutgers gets so little support from Trenton even though it's the State University of New Jersey.  Braun's theory?  That Rutgers and the State Government are still relative strangers.  He cites as evidence the fact that Rutgers only became the state university in 1956, was a small private college prior to that, and despite the State U. designation has been the target of such depredations as having it's medical school taken by the state, and McGreevey's failed attempt to split Rutgers into three universities.

My favorite statement is, "The problem is not some philosophical struggle over whether Rutgers should have big football.  It does, and it is enormously popular .  .   ."    Take that Mark DiIonno.

Now before we all sit down cross-legged and sing Kumbaya, there are some things in the article that I disagree with.  Braun correctly notes that Rutgers is chronically underfunded and has never been treated with the same respect by New Jersey as say the schools of Michigan or Nebraska.  We differ in that he feels this will never happen and that the success of the football team will never translate into  anything.

In response I would rely upon the sage words of Thomas V. Papathomas, Dean of Busch Campus, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering.  The good Dean recently sent a letter to his students, rallying them to RU's defense against the unfavorable coverage by the Star Ledger.  Dean Papathomas' list of Rutgers' accomplishments are not all due to football success.  But you can see some that have been affected by it.

- A complete reorganization of undergraduate education for a more efficient
and effective way of engaging faculty and students.
- Improvements in engaging undergraduate students in research: Byrne
first-year seminars that engaged 221 faculty volunteers (including the
President and most of his Cabinet), Aresty program for undergraduate
research, well supported Honors Program, among others.
- Breaking records in academic fundraising.
- Breaking records in numbers of application for admission, as well as
visits by prospective students.
- Welcoming the largest first-year class in three decades.
- Record-high SAT scores by incoming students.
- Maintaining high academic quality as well as diversity
(ranked in the top five universities for commitment to diversity by the
DiversityInc magazine)
- Ranked 3rd in the nation for the academic achievements of athletes.
- Launch of the Rutgers Future Scholars program (for excellence among
underrepresented groups and low-income students)
- Breaking records in research and training funding by federal, state and
private sources.
- Last year, Rutgers had two Goldwater Scholarships and its first Whitaker
Fellowship, but also four Gates Cambridge Scholarships. Only Harvard had as
many Gates Cambridge Scholars.

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"> if (getCookie("HideSigs") != 1) { document.writeln(''); } </script>So unlike Mr. Braun, I feel that RU's football success has translated into some very good things for the University.  Nonetheless Bob, a tip of the cap for a fair and well researched article.  Could this be the beginning of New Jersey's State University and largest newspaper actually working together for a better New Jersey?  Both obviously have more pressing concerns than responding to each other's allegations.  Nah, probably not.  But hope springs eternal

Oh and here's the link, Bob.  I don't want your big, bad legal department coming after me.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 21, 2008 11:44 am
Edited on: December 21, 2008 11:51 am

SL Bullies Rutgers' Rival and Scout Boards

I'd really like to stop writing about the Star Ledger.  Honestly.  But they just keep giving me such good material! 

Alright let's recap. Unfair, misleading articles written by the SL manufacture a "scandal" in the Rutgers' Athletic department.  A politically motivated hatchet job follows resulting in the firing of Bob Mulcahy, the best Athletic Director in Rutgers' history.  Outraged Rutgers' fans organize a boycott of the Star Ledger and its advertisers.  Fans also take out an ad in the Star Ledger to set the record straight.  The Star Ledger tries to bury the ad in the back pages of the County section, despite promising placement in the front section.  Rutgers' fans demand placement where promised.  (They got it too!  Check out today's Ledger!)

Well here's the latest.  As of this morning the Star Ledger has threatened both the Rutgers' Scout Board (State of Rutgers) and the Rutgers' Rivals Board (Scarlet Nation).  These two hotbeds of insurrection were the birthplace of both the Star Ledger boycott and the Rutgers' ad mentioned above.  Why the threat?  Because Rutgers' fans are unfairly quoting Star Ledger articles on the boards.  Unfairly?  Like misquoting them, or taking them out of context to distort their actual intent?  No that's a newspaper trick.  The Star Ledger's angry because fans are quoting the entire article correctly.

I kid you not.  You'd think they'd be happy since their work is getting wider distribution.  But no, that's not good enough.  The SL wants Rutgers fans not to quote the articles, but to only post a link.  You see they hope then that the readers click the link and go to the Star Ledger board.  This apparently makes their advertisers happy, (whom one could assume are now unhappy due to the boycott?).  What's even more ridiculous is that on at least the State of Rutgers board (and maybe Scarlet Nation, I'm not sure) one of the moderators posts links to every Star Ledger-Rutgers related article daily.  So the link IS there on the website.  I guess this is not good enough for the SL though.  It apparently wants every single fan who posts a quote from the SL on either of these boards to include a link.

Savvy advertising move.  Right now between the two boards, there are 900 fans on line.  Just think of 900 links to the Star Ledger.  Somehow I don't think that any Rutgers fans are going to comply.  It's much easier to just stop reading the Star Ledger altogether.  I wonder how the advertisers will feel when that happens?  And just think of 900 fans writing to advertisers asking them to support the Rutgers' boycott.


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Rutgers
Posted on: December 21, 2008 1:21 am
Edited on: December 21, 2008 1:24 am

Let's Play The Josh and Ted Game

Due to the approaching holidays, let's lighten up a little.  Let's play an enjoyable game seen often in the Newark Star Ledger and played often by the SL's crack investigative journalists, Josh and Ted.  Now In Josh and Ted's defense (I'll be referring to them by the first names since they're not important enough to commit their last names to memory), they didn't invent this game.  This has been an old newspaper ploy for ages.  But, Josh and Ted have added some interesting wrinkles which I'll discuss while we're playing.

Here's how it works.  Publish a fact that is either misleading, incorrect, or irrelevant to the issue at hand.  For our game here's the fact.  The Star Ledger despite being based in Newark, despite being the "lead" New Jersey paper, does not have any minorities in its 31 management teams.  Interesting fact, especially since the population of Newark is only 26% white.  To me this fact is irrelevant to the discussion of why Bob Mulcahy got fired.  So it qualifies for the Josh and Ted Game.

Now based on that fact offer a slew of opinions in order to influence public opinion.  Also repeat the same opinions over and over.  So let's see, we'll offer an opinion that the Star Ledger is racist based on this one fact.  Unfair?  Yes.  Based on one fact to make a sweeping generalization about a whole newspaper?  Uh huh.  See that's the beauty of the game.

Next is the fun part.  You just sit back and wait for other media outlets to pick up your story and and quote both your "fact" and the opinion you spun off from it as a factual story.  Like the New York Times headline saying "Star Ledger Accused of Racism."  And that ladies and gentleman is how news is made.

Ted and Josh's refinement to the game?  Usually if a newspaper's original fact is wrong, they bury a correction somewhere in the paper saying that it was incorrect.  No one sees it because it's buried, and the public already has the opinion, based on your now false fact in their mind anyway.  So, using the "retraction" option, you can even use untrue statements to bolster your opinion.  Josh and Ted have taken it a step farther.  They deserve a lot of credit because they've greatly simplified the game.  Here's their refinement.   If you get called on a bogus fact, don't print a retraction.  Just act like it never happened.  Don't print any letters to the editor from people you have maligned.   And most importantly, continue to reprint your bogus opinion.  Have other writers on your paper write articles referring to your original article.  Have columnists from your paper comment on it on your webpage.  Rewrite articles about the same thing with no new facts.  Just keep the story going.

T&J are masters at this game.  One irate reader stated that since Bob Mulcahy lined his pockets with Rutgers' money he deserved to go.  There hasn't been one shred of evidence the Bob Mulcahy took a cent.  In fact Mulcahy stated after his firing that every penny was accounted for.  Of course Josh and Ted never said this, because they'd get sued.    But it only takes a few erroneous facts to support an opinion that a scandal is brewing.   And New Jerseyans are familiar with scandals, so this reader saw "scandal" "Rutgers athletics" "Mulchahy fired" and he concluded that Bob Mulcahy is a thief.  Isn't this a fun game?  You can ruin a person's career  if you really want.

Well let me leave you with more facts so you can play this game with your friends.  The Star Ledger is owned by Advance Publications.  Advance Publications is owned by one, S.I. Newhouse, Jr.  Syracuse University is the home of S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.  Last year the S.I. Newhouse family and foundation donated $15 million to Syracuse University.  Ok here's the opinion.  The Star Ledger has been instructed by their owner to write only disparaging articles about Rutgers University, especially the Athletic Department in light of the fact that Scarlet Knights have crushed the Orange in football six years in a row. 

Oh relax.  It's just a game.  Right Star Ledger?

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Rutgers
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