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February 2nd, 2002:

One month in

Well, I started this thing a month ago. Didn’t know how long I’d be able to keep it up, didn’t know if I’d run out of things to say or would find it a chore. So far, it’s been mostly fun and a lot easier than I thought to find things to say. As a bonus, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from a few other bloggers, both local and elsewhere. And I must say, being cited favorably by another blog is a bigger kick than I thought it would be.

I’ve written a lot more about politics than sports, which surprises me somewhat. Guess there hasn’t been all that much on the sports pages that was moved me to comment. I’m sure that will vary over time.

Anyway, I’m happy with what I’ve done so far and hope to keep it going for as long as I can.

A different kind of voting scandal

The ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for men’s college basketball is smaller by one today. Seems Utah coach Rick Majerus had been delegating his voting duties to an assistant, and said assistant had been voting for the Temple Owls, who currently stand at 6-12. According to Majerus, the unnamed assistant was “unaware” of Temple’s poor record this year.

Okay, let’s take a closer look at this. First of all, the guy had Temple at #9 this week. I can understand a throwdown #25 vote, but how can you claim that a team is one of the top ten and not know what their record is? Even worse, this vote wasn’t a one-time thing. Temple had been getting votes since December 23, when they were 3-7. Even more damning, they had been climbing in the polls. That means this guy had voted them higher every week, again without knowing their record.

It’s easy to make fun of the “computer geeks” who rank teams by complicated formulas, but at least they always know how many games each team has won and lost, and against whom. I understand that Majerus had family problems that caused him to delegate his vote in the first place, but frankly if he didn’t have the time for it – even to check what his assistant was doing in his name – he should have asked to be relieved of the duty. Since he didn’t as far as I’m concerned he should never be burdened with this responsibility again.

And back to politics

Score one for the Harris County Democrats, as a ruling from the 14th Court of Appeals knocks out a GOP challenger for the 270th District Court bench. I still think that technicalities should not eliminate otherwise legitimate ballot applicants, but the court’s ruling that “it is not unfair to require a candidate who files for office and swears that the application is correct to bear the consequences for an error of application” is certainly reasonable.