Monday, December 9, 2013

Maybe NC State is the new Duke of ACC football

At a holiday party last week, I was asked about NC State’s dismal football season.
“Dismal?” I responded. “Yes, dismal indeed.”

So what do you think of the coach?
“Same thing I thought last fall when he was hired. Ask me in three years—now two—and I’ll tell you though the jury is deliberating.”

What did you think about his effort this fall?
“The record speaks for itself, but some of the play calling, especially the Monte Kiffin-like-onsides-kick fake punt against North Carolina and some other play-calling leads me to believe that he was in over his head this year. I’m not a coach, but been watching it long enough to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Other plays?
“Well, in that same game, when Carolina turned it over early, we ran four straight plays to the right and scored. It looked too easy. But there were no more runs to the right until late in the game. Going left was not successful. I just didn’t understand that play calling. My daughter always wants to know why teams run the ball where the defenders are. ‘Because they’re football coaches calling the plays,’ I tell her.

Anything else make it dismal?
“Sure, remember that opening game? Louisiana Tech? We’re up 24-7 at the half and a few thousand of my closest friends join me in the parking lot for food, drink and conversation. We were having so much fun we forgot to return to the game. It was out of control anyway. We won 40-14, but next thing I hear is the new coach chastising the fans, not to mention the monetary contributors to the program, for not watching the second half from our seats in the stadium. Dumb move on his part.”

Yeah, but he apologized later and encouraged more support inside the stadium.
“Right, but there’s a policy against outside food and drink, and the damn music on the PA system is too loud to allow for good conversation. So what does the coach do? He plays Richmond to a too-close-for-comfort result of 23-21 just to keep us in the stadium. It takes a 48-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining to beat a team that’s Division 1-AA and finished the season at 6-6, better than our 3-9 but come on! If you’re going to play a team that you’re supposed to beat, don’t keep it close just to keep us in the stadium.”

What about the rest of the season? The coach says one play in the Clemson game made a difference for the rest of the season?
“One play? Really? If we score on that play, that end-around where the runner is said to have stepped out of bounds, it makes it closer but Clemson has a program the Wolfpack is nowhere near. Maybe instead of 26-14, it’s 26-21 or 33-21. Momentum is important but that one play didn’t make or break the season. Heck, we killed one of those directional Michigan teams the next week and then called it a season. The rest of the games, except for North Carolina, weren’t even close, and I’m not sure if we punt instead of doing the Monte Kiffin thing, that we can win that game.”

Anymore thoughts about this season?
“Yeah. I’m told by the coach that we were really, really inexperienced. Hmmmm. So the two-deep chart this year that had 75% of the players on the team that defeated Florida State in 2012 was inexperienced and not capable of better than 3-9. Come on coach. Don’t blame it on inexperience when there’s more to it.”

So you have doubts about the new coach?
“He’s not really new, just new to the Wolfpack this year, and by the time he got to the end of his freshman season, he was a sophomore, and it showed. He called my home twice before the last game to thank me for my support. Twice, not just once, the phone call went something like, ‘Hello, this is Wolfpack football coach Dave Doeren wanting to thank you for your support this season and to remind you that we play Maryland at home in our last game this Saturday. Our seniors need your support, so please be there.’ Those calls, that message wasn’t what I needed that week as we prepared for a gathering of 20 for Thanksgiving, a time to say thanks, not to ask for forgiveness. I think that’s what Dave wanted. Sounded like it, anyway. Sophomoric at best.”

Did you go to the Maryland game?
“Sure did. My daughter and I went. Tossed two of our four tickets in the trash; couldn’t find two others who cared enough. It was cold and windy and with absolutely no one near us to break the wind or to help stay warm, we left during the halftime. We were down 34-14, and the band was introducing the seniors—the band seniors—playing instruments in their last football game. They probably wanted to leave too. Never have understood why band members, cheerleaders, and dancers performing during their last football game are recognized. Why not honor all soon-to-graduate regular students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher attending their last football game.”

So, what about next year?
“I love to watch college football, and the Wolfpack is my team: Class of ’77; member of the Wolfpack Club; Lifetime Rights seat holder. So I guess I’ll ante up and get the tickets. Seven home games but get this: We open with Georgia Southern on Labor Day weekend Saturday. Okay, the Eagles were 7-4 this year and beat Florida at Florida but the Gators were 4-8 this season, only slightly better than the Wolfpack. We lost our last eight; Gators lost their last seven. I’m bracing for an opening day disaster. Then Old Dominion is in Raleigh. They were 8-4 but lost to East Carolina, Pitt, Maryland and North Carolina. So did State. The last one was something like 80-20. So, while ODU’s not my choice of opponent, the game could be another Richmond, competitive and probably come down to a last second field goal for State to win, another “keep’em in the seats” game. And we also play Presbyterian at home. Not sure of when, but are we are really looking forward to having the Blue Hose?”

You’re gonna buy tickets to those games? 
Shouldn’t State pay you for attending them?
“Good idea but I’m sure that’s not going to happen. These are money games. It used to be that State played at Georgia, at Penn State, at Nebraska for money, getting a large check to play there. Now, we play Presbyterian, ODU, Richmond, and Louisiana Tech at home for money, charging high ticket prices and paying those teams a pittance. On the other hand, the conference home games are Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Not too bad.”

So, what’s your prediction for next year?
“We play at Clemson, at Louisville, at North Carolina, and at Syracuse, all four probable losses. And, we play at South Florida, 2-10 this year, third game of the season next year.Let's see, Wake Forest gets a new coach. Georgia Tech, BC, FSU at home with the three supposed no-brainers…I’m guessing right now, we’re maybe 5-7, possibly 6-6 but no better and could be 4-8. Conference wins? One, maybe, Wake Forest. And, in 2015, it’s not much better unless we get a lot better. We actually play those money games at South Alabama and at Old Dominion. And, if neither of those are canceled in favor of an additional home game, we’ll have just six games at home, if we can find a couple of financially strapped suckers to come to Raleigh. My guess is the six-game season ticket will cost as much as the eight this year or the seven next. Got to make payroll.”

So you were expecting better than 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the conference this year?
“I have always been optimistic about Wolfpack football. Now I’m not so much. That could change with the wind. This year was a miserable season. Wolfpack fans deserve better, a lot better. I really don’t want to talk about it. Bad season, bad record, some bad first-year coaching, players in trouble with the law, no bowl game, and, Duke (not Carolina) was always in the headlines for good football. Duke football good! Can you believe it?!? Maybe NC State is the new Duke when it comes to ACC football.

So, tell me again, what do you think of your coach?
“The jury just started deliberations. Call me in a couple of years and I’ll let you know the verdict.”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Syllabification: eve-ry-where or everywh-ere? pleas-ure or plea-sure? re-think or reth-ink?

Syllabification: to break a word down into syllables in speech or writing
reach: reach
rethink: re·think
pleasure: pleas·ure
everywhere:  eve·ry·where
It’s not every morning I read print edition of The News & Observer with intent to find mistakes. Usually the mistakes jump off the page at me. When that happens, the morning coffee with my wife and The N&O includes more of those errors and less of the actual news/opinion content of the paper which, today, is not much anyway. This post is about the mistakes, not the content, so, please, read on...
Back in my youth, growing up in Sanford NC, what I learned at the dining room table every morning at breakfast and every evening at dinner was more of my academic education than what I learned in K-12. I remember more of what my parents taught me than what was presented by those wonderful under-paid teachers.

Mom was the stickler for grammar, definitions, and spelling. Dad taught practical applications. Both educated us in social skills (some took with me; some didn’t) and philosophy. My guess: With my five siblings and me, Mom’s lessons had a greater lifelong impact. She corrected grammar (until we got the hang of it and then used it incorrectly just to needle her); she instructed us to “look it up” for a definition instead of offering the meaning of a word. She also taught us to spell by sounding words and understanding the syllables.

Syllabification should be taught daily in K-12. It is a great way to teach pronunciation, spelling and, just as important, hyphenation, or where a word can be split at the end of the line using a “-“ between syllables. We see that more today in printed newspapers and magazines—those that hit the driveway in the morning or are delivered to the mailbox later in the day—not the website “online” editions where justified type (even margins on the left and right) is a thing of the past.

Which brings me to the point of this post: Printed newspapers and magazines are not immune to the laws of syllabification but, for some reason, sometimes the rules are ignored. It may be editors who are at fault or some flawed program that automatically hyphenates words at the end of a line when the entire word will not fit. With justified columns, words are syllabified to help with economy of space or to fit more in within the limits of the paper on which the words are printed. These broken words from the right of one line to the left of the next line should only be separated at the correct syllable break. One syllable words do not break. Multiple syllable words should break at the syllables. See examples above.

(5th & 6th lines top)
(4th & 3rd lines bottom)
Newspapers, of course, have different rules than the rest of us when it comes to a lot of things, too many to include here. I’m not sure how this happened, but in the Wednesday, Oct 30 edition of The N&O, without an extensive examination of the newspaper, I came across these four wrong hyphenations at line-breaks:

reth-ink (1st & 2nd lines)

reach: re-ach
rethink: reth-ink
pleasure: plea-sure
everywhere:  everywh-ere

They can blame it on budget and personnel cuts and automatic syllabification programs, but if The N&O wants to be used in the education process, proper syllabification should be followed when hyphenating words.

By the way: syllabification: (syl·lab·i·fi·ca·tion)
From time to time, I still misuse “I” and “me” in speech. It is easy to do and was a regular correction at the table growing up. (If I agree my nephew, which I don't, it’s not how I say it but what it means even if I say it incorrectly.) But, shouldn’t a Harvard Law School grad get it right all the time? In his October 21 Rose Garden excuse for the mishaps of the website, President Obama said, quoting from November 4 edition of Time magazine which is the same thing he said on one of the national newscasts the evening of his speech, “Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working.”

To his credit, during the same speech, he said “nobody is madder than I am” which is correct. It’s “I” and not “me” because by using “me” he was saying that nobody is a madder except Obama. What? A madder? Well, according to the Oxford dictionary, a madder is a scrambling or prostrate Eurasian plant of the bedstraw family, with whorls of four to six leaves. Now that’s a description I’ve not heard when referring to President Obama. Is it just me? Or, is it I?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keep "Redskins" nickname but change the logo!

Washington Redskins
The political correctness scrimmage in our nation’s Capital over the use of the name “Redskins” and the logo that accompanies it is nothing new. While use of the nickname apparently offends the Oneida Indian Nation, there must be a reasonable solution for both the native Americans who protest along with their namby-pamby friends and the owner and loyal fans of the National Football League team that calls Washington DC home even though the home stadium is in Landover MD.

The uproar, fueled by the no-good-doers in the liberal media who also can be described regularly as self-righteous, is really silly, in my opinion, but then I’m far from being American Indian or any other minority so I’m told I can’t relate. The political correctness movement has been going on for years, dating back to who-knows-when psychologists, sociologists and tree huggers who believe in building self-esteem by taking away others' rights and desires. It’s stupid.

Many years ago, when coaching baseball in a recreation league, I was asked by one of the parents of the 6-8 year olds playing on the team, “Who’s in charge of getting the trophies?” She said her child deserved a trophy for playing. I disagreed, expressing that trophies and material rewards were for the winners and not for the participants. Their reward, I reminded the mother, was good instruction for improvement in play (I think I did a good job), encouraging words from the coach despite lack of ability (by both players and coach), and a hug from Mom and Dad along with, “We sure are proud of you trying so hard.” She pressed on, saying that the trophy would help build her daughter’s self-esteem. I stood my “Scrooge-like” ground. There were no materialistic self-esteem building rewards for the bunch that had less than a .500 record that season. But I did tell each player of the enjoyment of participating with them in America’s game. Most shrugged their shoulders, turned to parents and asked, “Can we go for ice cream now?”

Self-esteem and political correctness are part of the reason the United States is not as tough as it once was. We are so darn concerned with building self-esteem in others and saying all the so-called right things that we forget to take care of ourselves and we stop short of honest and straightforward communication. You don’t have to be vulgar or mean to communicate but talking while walking on egg shells has always been ridiculous. Speaking of that, considering the lousy state of our elected officials in Washington, I suggest that the owner of the Washington Redskins would gladly drop “Washington” to escape the terrible embarrassment associated with it. Landover Redskins has an interesting ring to it.

Stanford Cardinal (tree logo)
There have been plenty of colleges and universities that have dropped reference to native Americans. The best example, I believe, is the Stanford Indian (singular not plural) which changed in the 1970s to the Stanford Cardinal (the color and not the bird) and the mascot is a tree, appropriate for a California university. Probably had something to do with self-esteem and political correctness, though I can’t see why “Indian” is offensive except for the caricature used at the time. So, change the caricature/logo.

Cleveland Indians
In Florida, the Seminole Tribe has embraced the Florida State Seminoles. It must build the self-esteem of the native Americans in the Seminole Tribe. The Atlanta Braves are still the Atlanta Braves with a tomahawk logo and the tomahawk chop, stolen from the Florida State Seminoles. The Braves once had a laughing “Brave” as its logo along with Chief Noc-A-Homa who lived in a teepee in the left field bleachers and was the official mascot for the Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves. Not sure of the Boston Braves but the Chief was let go in 1986. The Cleveland Indians have a logo/mascot worse than the Landover Redskins. That Cleveland Indian has some great teeth! But he looks happy so don't worry.

Even with the crap going on in Congress and the White House, the primary talk in DC is the application of perceived and manufactured-by-the-media pressure on Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, to drop the nickname and the logo of what appears to be a somewhat old but dignified native American. I know of none who appear that way today; it’s a historical view. There’s a lot of great history with the franchise. Summarized from Wikipedia, the team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston in 1932, and played in Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team (that went to Milwaukee and Atlanta). In 1933, the team moved to Fenway Park and changes its name to the Boston Braves. They relocated to Washington in 1937. Today, the Washington Redskins, win or lose, are a rallying point in DC, a place that needs a rallying point because neither the Capitol with the current elected occupants nor the White House with the current elected occupant are.

Maybe there needs to be a change, but dropping Redskins would be counterproductive. It has been suggested dropping Redskins for “Snyders.” Stupid, I say. Redskins must stay; fans rarely use the entire word, shortening it to ’Skins. Enough of this self-esteem and political correctness stuff. However, there is a side of me that understands how the Oneida Indian Nation feels. While not a minority by any stretch of one’s imagination, in a way I’m Jewish. My Dad’s mother and father were Jewish which made my Dad Jewish but my Mom was of English descent and a Southern Baptist, to boot, and I understand being Jewish passes to off-spring through the mother, or something like that. But, as a non-Jew, I’ve felt picked on plenty of times. Not sure why, but so be it.

Anyway, using the rule of not complaining without a solution (though I'm not complaining), here's my solution to all those self-esteem, political correctness freaks: Keep the name, Washington Redskins, but change the logo. Here are my two suggestions:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

O Tempora, O Mores: Thank you, Barry Saunders

…the meaning of words is to communicate, not elevate education…
—text in an email from one of my nephews
Barry Saunders is a columnist for The News & Observer, and a damn good one at that. I do not agree with everything he says in his writings, but this week, he penned a piece that warmed the cockles of my heart, as my Dad often said. Headlined, Proper language is dead, and I don’t feel good about it, Saunders opined about improper grammar used in writing and conversation. He didn't just offer his opinion; he gave examples.

Most of Saunders cases-in-point were familiar due to my Mother and her demand for proper grammar. Sitting around the breakfast, lunch or dinner table, enjoying a delicious meal and the standard family banter, my brothers and sisters (and Dad) were careful not to misuse “sit and sat” or “I and me,” or to make any grammatical infractions. But it happened, and in mid-sentence, Mom would correct us with little hesitation.

At Mom’s funeral in 2007, as I motioned at her inside her casket, I purposely concluded a eulogy of sorts with, “As she lays in front of us…” to which the congregation in the First Baptist Church of Sanford was quick to correct, “LIES in front of us…”

After reading and enjoying Saunders criticism of the butchering of the English language, I sent him an email of praise:

My mother thanks you from her grave; AC Snow probably thanks you; and, I thank you for today’s column: Proper language is dead, and I don’t feel good about it.  The column was excellent and should be required reading at all levels of education. However, near the end you wrote: Wouldn't it be nice if, someday soon, 1 million English teachers, parents and students descended upon Washington arm in arm to demand that proper spoken and written word use be adhered to?

Ending a sentence in a preposition is a no-no, even today with many English instructors and scholars dropping that requirement. You should have written: Wouldn't it be nice if, someday soon, 1 million English teachers, parents and students descended upon Washington arm in arm to demand that the spoken and written word adhere to proper use? (By the way, isn't correct AP-style to spell out numbers one through nine?) Any chance you could convince the writers and editors at The N&O to stop ending sentences with prepositions?

Many years ago, back in 2005, I read in an article in The N&O a quote from Gene Nichol, a person with whom you should be quite familiar. Here’s what he said as he tried to down-play his rumored move from UNC-Chapel Hill to William & Mary: "I agreed after a lot of thought to be one of the finalists. I love it here. I'm not on the market. I'm not seeking another job. I have a long relationship with William & Mary. It's this unique school. It's a strong public school, which really is more of the format of a small liberal arts college. I think I'm staying. No one loves North Carolina more than me."

Saying, “No one loves North Carolina more than me” is incorrect unless he meant, “No one loves North Carolina more than no one loves me.” He should have said, “No one loves North Carolina more than I.” My respect for Nichol was low before his statement, and it was confirmed after it. After further consideration, maybe he meant what he said.

I sent Mr. Nichol’s quote to renowned grammar expert James J. Kilpatrick who was kind enough to respond with: “Thanks, in a way, for your e-mail. I am aghast, or something near it, at the thought that a fellow who messes up on nominative and objective pronouns may become the president of William and Mary.  O Tempora, O Mores!  To what is the world coming?”

Thanks again for your column. However, while you may have pleased a few, you may have offended the masses. Keep up the good work!

PS—If for some reason you are unfamiliar with the phrase O Tempora, O Mores, “look it up,” my mother would say!

No response from Saunders was expected; none came. He must have been laughing at some very stupid and dumb comments posted beneath his column and didn't have time to respond to me or anyone else who took the time to praise his work. That’s okay.

I forwarded the email and the web link to Saunders' column to several friends and foes including one of my nephews, a young writer who skirts the rules of grammar quite often and sees no wrong in it. He responded quickly and somewhat defensively, it appeared to me.

NEPHEW: I enjoyed your letter much more than the column. As an intellectual, you know I agree to some degree and enjoy the occasional rhyme. However, serious question I would like you to put some serious thought into: What is the aim of said adherence or even pedantic adherance (sic) to these rules? (He loves the word “pedantic” as he has included it in several follow-up texts. I believe he feels that way about rules in general.)

MY RESPONSE: To keep the education level of our citizens high. Words have meaning, just as I noted in the example of Gene Nichol. Maybe he was thinking highly of himself and purposely said it that way though he’s not smart enough to have done that.

NEPHEW: Your point is taken but the meaning of words is to communicate, not elevate education. And no one was unclear with what the author meant there, whether he broke a rule or not. 

So, based on the words of my nephew, Saunders was off base with his column. Maybe we shouldn't worry about the English language and correct grammar therein. Words are for communication, says my nephew, not for elevation of education. He should tell that to the educators/teachers in his life, including, at the very least, his PhD Dad, Mother, two sisters, a brother-in-law, an aunt and an uncle. Words are not to be used to elevate education, he says, just to relay meaning even if the meaning is not what it is supposed to be, I guess.

Thanks again to Barry Saunders for his column. Keep it up. Better education makes for a better citizenry, and you, sir, are helping in that effort.
If you've not read this Barry Saunders column, here’s the link: Proper language is dead, and I don’t feel good about it. It was posted to The N&O’s website Sunday, August 18, and it appeared in the Monday, August 19, 2013 print edition.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Carolina Hurricanes are just a second-user

UPDATE, Sunday, June 9, 2013: For an good update on NC State's position, read the article in the Sunday, June 9 edition of The News & Observer: NC State counters Hurricanes' claim in PNC Arena dispute. And, for an even better understanding, look for and listen to sports radio host David Glenn explanation at David Glenn Show.


So, Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford told N&O hockey beat reporter Chip Alexander in the “CanesNow” blog of June 4, 2013: "This is a unique situation. We came when people were talking about building (the) building. ... This building might not have been built if (the Hurricanes) hadn't have come along. Certainly the $40 million that (Canes owner) Pete Karmanos put into it to upgrade the building helped get the building going. With that being said, we respect the fact that N.C. State gets priority dates. Saturday is important to them, Wednesday is important to them because those are televised ACC games. But we don't respect the fact that they tie up half the dates during the winter to play a minimal amount of games."
Mr. Rutherford may be trying his best to be a comedian but the punch line is on him. The $40 million donation from Mr. Karmanos used toward the building of the Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) was done so in his best interest and not that of NC State University. The building might have been completed faster than expected but the upgrade was to accommodate his hockey team and NHL standards. It was not in the best interest of NC State basketball as the hockey design pushed the fans away from the playing floor, reducing the home-court advantage, and increasing operational costs. His money also was used to build a facility with seating way beyond NC State’s requirements. The building would have been built without Mr. Karmanos $40 million, and it would have been just fine for NC State basketball, as originally intended. It would not have seated as many as it does today, but that would have been okay.
As far as Saturday and Wednesday being important to NC State, I ask this question in all seriousness: What TV schedule has Mr. Rutherford been studying? In the time the Hurricanes have been in Raleigh, ACC Basketball games have been played and televised on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. ACC football is played and televised Thursday and Saturday. With the expansion of the Atlantic Coast Conference do not be surprised to find ACC basketball played all seven days/nights and football stepping outside the Thursday and Saturday schedule. While the Hurricanes have a contract with the NHL, NC State has one with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Neither the Hurricanes nor NC State can dictate to their respective leagues when games will be played. That’s up to the leagues and their respective television partners who, whether you like it or not, pay most of the bills (at least in the ACC; maybe not so much in the NHL) and therefore have a lot of say-so in the date and time for games. For the benefit of recruiting and expanding its popularity, NC State needs all the TV exposure it can get; to try to dictate dates and times of kickoffs and tip-offs would be detrimental to that end.
Let’s face it. That a college team and a professional team are using the same building is tough for scheduling. I’ve not looked thoroughly but my thought is there is no other major college team in the nation that shares an arena 100% of the time with a professional team. And, when you throw in a shared parking lot for football and hockey, the situation here is very unique. The NHL wants to complete its schedules in June; the ACC completes its basketball schedule in August and sets TV times for football throughout the season, sometimes just a few days before the game. The ACC, with a huge TV contract from ESPN, is seeking maximum exposure in basketball and football for its members, and being flexible in establishing kickoff times for football and dates and times for basketball is extremely important to the success of the conference. It’s also in the contract between the league, its members and ESPN.
One thing to remember, Mr. Karmanos brought his $40 million to the table long after the plans were in the works to build the ESA for the primary purpose of NC State basketball games. If the University had not started the project, if NC State University had not convinced the General Assembly to match the money raised by NC State University, no one would have ever had the thought of asking the Hartford Whalers to move to North Carolina. So, that the Hurricanes are here is not because Mr. Karmanos wanted to move to Raleigh and asked for an arena to be built for his hockey team. The Hurricanes are in Raleigh because NC State decided to build an arena and some know-it-all civic leaders thought the best way to build it was to seek a second user which was not necessary. And, that’s what we have with the Hurricanes, a second user.
This is not about who uses the building more for its purpose. It's not about attendance figures. It's about what's right. And what's right is NC State University's desire many years ago to build a new and larger facility for its men's basketball team. That's how it started, and that's how it should be viewed. If this were NC State's facility, the fans would not be over-charged with outlandish prices for food as we now see because that happens to be the way of the professional sports world. And, it would have the warmth as it should have as the home of the Wolfpack than just being another building that's not as special as it should be for college basketball. It's a professional atmosphere with a college team playing on a frozen floor. Now that's cold.
Mr. Rutherford also said to the N&O: We respect the fact that N.C. State has priority dates and rightfully so.” If Mr. Rutherford has such respect then he should dig in his heels and tell the NHL to back off. He should tell the NHL the Hurricanes are thankful to call Raleigh home and that you have a commitment to NC State that must be honored and that means waiting until the ACC has its schedule in place, especially for basketball, even in August. Otherwise, to paraphrase the great philosopher, Lewis Grizzard: “Delta is ready when you are to take you back to Hartford.”