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MAC Roundtable: Week 9

MacRoundTableAdmittedly, the MAC blogosphere has been an evolving little gem over the last several years. I guess as the MACtion on the field hit fever pitch, the MACtion on the web stepped up their game as well. What has also evolved is the MAC Roundtable. It’s not like King Arthur’s with turkey legs and wenches running around in corsets, because let’s be honest: turkey legs are a gigantic pain in the ass to eat and the service region for the MAC doesn’t lend itself well to females capable of squeezing into anything other than a giant rubbermaid trash can (Exception: the state of Indiana and BSU specifically). Have you seen some of the slumpbusters from Michigan and Ohio? Gooo. I’d rather spend an evening with a lit piece of sandpaper. But I digress.

The host of this week’s roundtable is HustleBelt, the MAC home on SBNation, the blogging network that has essentially swallowed up almost every blog site of note. (NOTE: OTP is not on SBNation, hence why I said “almost”) HB provides the MAC with a nice home over there and there are a couple of network sites like BullRun and Red and Black Attack. Though we are not a part of the SBNation empire, we do maintain some great relationships with sites over there, and even did some well-received writing for the aforementioned HustleBelt in the summertime as a lead up to MAC football. It’s a high quality site, but there’s just so much other MAC chatter. Does anyone really care about the WMU depth chart or Ron English’s weekly comments? I’m sure the dozens or so fans of those programs like it, but to each their own. On to HB’s Q’s and our remarkably amazeball A’s. Off we go…

1. It’s rivalry week with Bowling Green taking on Toledo and Miami taking on Ohio. What is the best rivalry in your opinion in the MAC and why?

Of course the best rivalry is the one between the beloved Ball State Fighting Football Cardinals and OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU. It’s for a trophy for chrissake. I don’t see a trophy for the WMU-EMU game, though perhaps they should be. Might I suggest a log? What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, or rolls over your neighbor’s dog? What’s great for a snack and fits on your back? It’s log, log, log. It’s log, log. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood. It’s log, log. It’s better than bad, it’s good! Everyone wants a log. You’re gonna love it, log. Come on and get your log. Everyone needs a log. Log. Log. Log. From Blammo! But really, I can’t think of a great MAC rivalry as it really is contingent on who is good, and at least in recent memory, that’s been BSU and OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU. There’s a lot on the line when these two meet, and hell, twice in the last five years, a loss would have meant the end of BCS dreams for the programs.

2. NIU has opened up in the 18 spot in the last-first BCS standings, albeit behind Fresno State. If both teams manage to win out, should both teams bust the BCS or just one of them and which one? (put aside the MAC bias for a moment)

I have to veto the premise of the question as OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU will not, as stated, “win out”. If, and it’s a big if they both do, then OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU will probably land the BCS bid, more so because they at least played a couple of decent teams before their flaming garbage pile of conference play. Fresno’s entire schedule has been said blazing trash, so neither has a strong case but OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU has the least crummy of the two. But again, it’s a moot point because the Huskies are getting beaten on November 13th.

3. What has been your biggest surprise/storyline thus far this season  and why?

Obviously I’m biased, but BSU’s performance has been pleasantly surprising. I think most thought the Cards would be good, but nowhere near the level of dominance they’ve shown. Short of an unimpressive speedbump againt Kent, and the North Texas loss, the Cardinals have looked as dominant if not more so than OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU and everyone is collectively messing their pants over Jordan Lynch and the Huskies both in conference and on the national level. We talked about it before, but it’s a damn shame the nation apparently only has eyes for one MAC player at a time, because Keith Wenning has looked just as good though different, from Lynch. Only one gets Heisman mentions. Only one gets ESPN splash pages. Only one gets Gameday mentions. Of course, as mentioned above, that could all change on November 13th, which makes that game and the run up to it the biggest storyline of the year in the MAC. These two programs are on a collision course for a MAC West title and it’s about to go down like a drunk freshman.

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Chirps From the Nest: How to Use the Internet

Chirps from the Nest 200Sometimes we hear a song or watch a video that inspires us, and sometimes we watch a movie that makes us want to change the world. Sometimes, this happens more than once in a week and takes your life by storm. This past weekend was fall break for Ball State and that was the perfect opportunity for me to browse my Netflix and YouTube to watch things other than the fox video (although that is still admittedly a weak spot for me).

The first thing I stumbled across was another wonderful Kid President video. If you haven’t heard of Kid President, YouTube the shit out of him. You won’t be disappointed. Through his quirky kid humor and innocence, he inspires people to make the world a better place. Watch his latest video and movement, #Socktober.

So my next question is, what are we actually using the Internet for? What led you to read this post? Are you a die-hard Ball State fan looking in every outlet to brush up on your football stats and trash talking? Were you wasting time on Facebook or Twitter instead of whatever work you were supposed to be working on? I’m not complaining that you’re reading this, but what can we learn from the Internet so that it is not purely for entertainment?

Kid President really speaks to this in his Socktober movement. Instead of wasting time by watching Miley Cyrus videos (okay, we can do that sometimes), why don’t we help the less fortunate? Use the Internet to find an organization that you feel passionate about and help them. If we can make it happen, let’s do some good for those in need.

One of my childhood Christmas traditions was going to the Dollar General with my mom and little sister to pick out presents and basic items needed to live, and then driving them to the local women and children’s shelter. It was always fun to pick out the cutest robe or slippers for the little girls, but I never really understood what that meant. I knew these women and children came from abusive homes and were in the shelter for their own protection, but it never occurred to me that while I come home and have the dilemma of which pair of slippers to put on, these ladies might not even have one pair to warm their feet.

As if Kid President didn’t flood me with enough feelings about helping those in need, I then stumbled across the movie Unconditional. The film is a Christian drama inspired by the true stories of Joe Bradford, who grew up in a rural area of Tennessee. When he developed kidney disease, Joe and his wife Denise were forced to move to a low-income area of Nashville. When they arrived, they were confronted by the needs of the underprivileged children in their neighborhood. Joe and Denise began to reach out to them and many of the fatherless children embraced Joe, who became known as “Papa Joe.” The movie also follows the story of Samantha Crawford. When her husband Billy is tragically killed, Sam loses her faith and will to live. A death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe, her oldest friend. As Sam watches Papa Joe care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to believe that the love of God is always reaching out to her.

Now whether or not you believe in God, Unconditional depicts the reality that is life in the projects. Committing crime in order to survive begins in childhood. Education opportunities are at an all-time low. The comforts of life and technologies as we know them don’t really exist for these people in extremely low-income housing. I think this ties directly with what Kid President is saying, too.

It’s time we use the Internet to make the world a better place. Instead of sharing a picture on Instagram of what you had for lunch (guilty as charged), share a picture to raise awareness for an issue in this world and/or for an organization trying to make a difference. If you don’t have the financial means to donate to an organization, at least spread the message of the group to your Facebook friends or Twitter followers as surely somebody will feel inclined to donate. The holiday season is right around the corner and what better time to start thinking about those in need? Let’s use the Internet to make this old world a better place to live in.

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