March 2007 Archives

go coach for a rec team, brother

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What happens when you don't get along with your coach? Sometimes you get singled out for harder work at practice. Sometimes you lose playing time. Sometimes you aren't allowed to wash Coach Sean's car. And sometimes, if you're a Stanford swimmer, your records are expunged from the books.

Coach Skip Kenney was mad that Michael McLean took a summer internship in 2005, instead of making voluntary offseason workouts his main priority. NCAA rules forbid coaches from forcing athletes to practice out of season, nor can coaches punish athletes for not practicing in the off-season. So, in addition to making McLean practice at 4:30 AM, apart from his teammates, and banning him from some away meets, he pulled any mention of McLean's accomplishments out of the 2006-07 team media guide. Four other swimmers received similar treatment, presumably because they crossed Kenney in some way.

According to his biography on Stanford's official site, "Skip Kenney stands alone among his peers for his accomplishments in the pool and his character away from the pool."

(Note: Swimming has an unusually high concentration of parents and coaches named Skip. I worked for a Skip and coached against at least two others. Perhaps that's an unavoidable side effect of a sport that requires club memberships and allows parents to stroll the decks holding cocktails during competitions. Actual captain's hats are still thankfully scarce.)

From my experience as a swim coach, this whole thing seems unthinkable. Not just because it's a huge ethical lapse by the coach, but because swimmers are absolutely obsessed with personal records and meticulous accounting of their best times. Parents of five-year-old swimmers will carry around cards listing every time they got all year. I've had a parent call me at home to tell me about how relay splits more accurately reflect his daughter's freestyle speed than her individual event times. Teams give out stickers, towels, gold stars, and, on one case, iron-on penguin patches to commemorate best times. How did Kenney ever think that messing with the record books would go unnoticed on a swim team?

There's no way Kenney is going to get fired over this, petty as it is, because he's simply too successful. I think an appropriate remedy, besides a fine and suspension for Kenney, would be for the athletic department to cancel these "voluntary" summer workouts for at least 2007, if not beyond. Even though IT'S DIVISION ONE SWIMMING, you still have to follow the rules. Or you might as well go coach for a rec team, brother.

Nice work by Tom FitzGerald, a fine Chronicle sportswriter and Sean Keane supporter from way back. The moral of this story is that, as usual, Stanford sucks.

sean keane @ sf comedy club, 3/24

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O, ye that lament the absence of Sean Keane from the stages of San Francisco, weep not. For I will be doing a feature set when Dan St. Paul visits the the San Francisco Comedy Club on March 23rd. The show will feature some other as-yet-undetermined funny people, will start at 8, and cost ten dollars. The San Francisco Comedy Club has beer and wine, ample seating, and a fake-brick backdrop. What's not to like?

I'll be headlining at the SF Comedy Club on some Saturday night in the near future as well, so watch this space for any new updates. Also, if you like baseball, the Bible, Bob & Tom, or flash animation, check out this cartoon by Mr. St. Paul called, The First Baseball Game. Mr. St Paul's promotional bio is after the jump.

eli manning vs. wayne palmer


After watching the NFL season and the first twelve hours of 24, I can't help but notice the parallels between New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and fictional President of the United States Wayne Palmer.

Palmer vs. Manning Wayne_Palmer_S6.jpg
Code name The Citadel Elisha
More successful older brother David Peyton
Who endorses Jack Bauer's renegade anti-terror efforts, Allstate Insurance Direct TV, Gatorade, Adidas, MasterCard
Rose to his prominent position because of... People blindly hoping he'd be like his brother, only with less terrorism People blindly hoping he'd be like his brother, only with more postseason success
Succeeded President Charles Logan, who resigned from office in disgrace. Logan's wife was very outspoken, and a little bit crazy. Kurt Warner, who loses his job to a hotshot first-round QB every year. Warner's wife is very outspoken, and a little bit crazy.
Tortures... Suspected terrorists New York Giants fans
Natural rival Arabs Philadelphia Eagles
Imposing backup Hardass vice president Noah Daniels Fatass second-string QB Jared Lorenzen
Disciplinarian named Tom Chief of Staff Tom Lennox, who wants to roll back most of the civil liberties protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights Coach Tom Coughlin, who requires his players to arrive to meetings five minutes early
Over the heads of his associates Rhetoric about civil liberties 85% of his passes
Ally named Pierce When armed commandos attack Wayne, he is saved through the intervention of Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce When Eli was making a playoff push in 2005, he was aided by the strong linebacker play of Antonio Pierce
Standard unit of time 60 minutes 60 minutes
Which in reality lasts 60 minutes Three hours, fifteen minutes
Past incompetence Blew brother's re-election campaign by having an affair with a married woman, while her husband (Wayne's boss) recovered from a stroke. The boss died, his sister-in-law was murdered by Wayne's mistress, and the mistress subsequently killed herself. Threw three interceptions against only ten completions in a 23-0 playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Notable giveaways Unspecified major concessions to the Chinese government in exchange for the release of Jack Bauer 44 interceptions and three lost fumbles in three seasons
Unbalanced trades Wayne turned over Jack Bauer and $25 million to Abu Fayed in exchange for the location of known terrorist Hamri Al-Assad The New York Giants traded QB Philip Rivers, a 2005 first round pick, and third round picks in 2004 and 2005 to San Diego in exchange for Manning
Trade aftermath Fayed detonated a suitcase nuke in Valencia, killing upwards of 12,000 people. Meanwhile, Hamri Al-Assad had rejected violence, and was pursuing political solutions to his goals San Diego went 14-2 in 2006, while three of the players obtained in the Manning trade went to the 2007 Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, the Giants lost their first playoff game in consecutive seasons
Uninspiring quote "I don't know if I'm the right man to lead this country." "You feel pressure when you're in a situation where you don't know what you're doing."
Lives and dies by... A bomb The bomb

If the Wayne-Eli connection continues, expect the government to continue its lackluster anti-terror efforts through at least Hour 18. Then, in the fourth quarter of the day, Wayne will return from the hospital and govern his best, making good reads and aggressive orders. He'll be aided by CTU's replacement for the late Agent Curtis, wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

Unfortunately, the first part of the day has been so screwed up that his late heroics will be useless. The three remaining bombs will explode, killing Jack Bauer and half of California before midnight, but Wayne will do an excellent job directing the "hurry-up" early-morning relief effort.

It was a week ago that I first got the idea for this post. I sneezed, and then sneezed again. I always sneeze twice, but this time, I started to ponder the duality of my sneezing. Had I always sneezed twice? Does everyone sneeze more than once? It seemed like the double-sneeze was common, but was it really?

It's not the first time I have mused about sneezing in this space. Internet resources on the multiplicity of sneezing were lacking, and any friends I tried to survey about their own sneezing habits were violently disinterested. Still, I pressed on, googling for sneeze resources, until a bit of dust flew up and made me sneeze.


So now, thanks to the vagaries of seasonal allergies and the wonders of the Observer Effect, I am only sneezing in groups of one these days. Maybe this is a lesson, and I need to compose blogs about overeating, struggling to build a comedy career, and celibacy.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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