The Game, 2010 Edition (A Weather Update)

Weather conditions clearly can influence football games, and The Game is no different.  The most celebrated example is the 1950 Snow Bowl, when a freak blizzard hit the day of the game and Michigan won 9-3.  That loss led to the firing of Ohio State’s coach and the hiring of Woody Hayes — and the rest is history.

This morning it is cold in Columbus — and more importantly from a football standpoint, there is a sharp, frigid breeze blowing from the west.  It was tough to make headway when Penny and I turned west on our walk, and I would expect that the wind also would make it tough to pass, or punt.  According to The Weather Channel forecast, the wind is expected to be blowing at 17 mph from the west come game time.

Jim Tressel tends to get very conservative when the wind is a factor; if that tendency holds true to form I expect Ohio State will really focus on running the ball.  Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez, on the other hand, has nothing to lose.  Windy or not, I think we will see the full Michigan playbook today.

Volt Buying

Recent car-buying statistics tell a sobering tale about car sales.  The federal government has purchased 25 percent of the Chevy and Ford hybrids that have been sold since President Obama took office — at least 14,584 hybrids in the last two years.  Auto manufacturers no doubt are happy about the government’s decisions, because consumer demand for the vehicles is falling — for the third year in a row.

In the meantime, the government has committed to buy the first 100 Chevy Volts that roll off the assembly line.  Who else is buying the Volt?  GE, for one.  It can’t resist the chance to get a $7,500 per vehicle rebate, funded by the federal government.  Other big corporations that have corporate fleets are expected to follow suit.

Whatever you think of the merits of a Volt (and the car is viewed by some as too expensive, too small, and too limited in its range, among other issues) it is just wrong for the government to subsidize the sale of particular cars — especially when the cars are built by a manufacturer that is largely owned by the government.  In this instance, the subsidies also are benefiting large corporations like GE that don’t need taxpayer assistance, and will allow them to curry favor with the Obama Administration and its “green initiatives” at a discount.  GE is making billions of dollars in profits.  Why are taxpayers helping GE buy cars?  And shouldn’t the Chevy Volt succeed or fail on its own merits?  Why should the federal government subsidize a car that could turn out to be a lemon?