The Pacific

Kish and I have enjoyed The Pacific, the new drama series on HBO.  It is extremely well done, and I particularly like the idea of using interviews with actual World War II veterans about the battle that will be portrayed to provide the introduction and framework for each episode.  With The Pacific, as with any realistic “war movie,” I am shocked and amazed by the violence, the bloodshed, the hours of boredom alternating with the long adrenalin-drenched minutes of freakish horror, and ultimately the simple heroism of the American boys — and boys they were — who were shipped to unknown overseas lands to fight and die in the most brutal conditions imaginable. 

The Pacific theatre of World War II is interesting on many levels, not the least of which is the clash of two cultures that really didn’t understand each other.  One of the only drawbacks to The Pacific I have noted (and we’ve only watched the first two episodes so far) is that there is no representation of the Japanese point of view.  That is too bad, because the Japanese perspective on the war truly is fascinating.  If you want to get a good sense of how and why the Japanese fought, and what their culture was like leading up to and including the war years, read The Rising Sun by John Toland, which is one of my favorite books.

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Here’s another reason why the Big Ten is a very attractive option for schools in other conferences — it takes its monetary proceeds from events like the NCAA Tournament, pools them, and then splits them equally among all 11 teams in the conference.

This article from the Columbus Dispatch explains that, for every team to make the 2010 NCAA Tournament, and for every win by a Big Ten team in the NCAA Tournament, the conference will get $222, 502.  Every one of the 11 schools in the Big Ten therefore will get $20,227 for each of the five teams to make the Tournament and for each of the nine wins the Big Ten teams have achieved so far in the Tournament.  That totals to close to $300,000 for each school, which is a nice thing to add to the bottom line in these tough economic times.  And because the Big Ten splits the proceeds equally, rather than following more of an “eat what you kill” methodology as some conferences do, even poor Northwestern, which has never qualified for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, gets the same portion of tournament-related money as does perennial NCAA Tournament participant Michigan State.

Most of the non-athletic news about colleges these days is about money, about cuts in state subsidies and tuition hikes.  (Ohio State, for example, recently announced an 7 percent tuition hike after holding the line on tuition for three years.)  Is it any wonder that Big Ten schools are seriously considering expansion of the conference as a means of (relatively) painlessly increasing revenue?  And, should it really be a surprise that schools in other conferences are hoping they get the invitation to join a conference that both generates lots of revenue from its fans and athletic teams and then splits it equally?

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont.)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is (Cont)

Keep The Big Ten As It Is