My fam had to say goodbye to longtime badass Molly today, but Molly rocked at her good long life.
Foggy Night, New Orleans, Louisiana, at Blue Pueblo | via Tumblr su We Heart It - http://weheartit.com/entry/97667486
How the SEC Destroyed Southern Miss — and Could Kill Football
Ask the old-timers, and they’ll tell you about the wins over top ten TCU and Houston teams, or about the long-ago 58-14 mollywhopping of Florida State, but their faces really light up when they start talking about beating Alabama, or Ole Miss, or Mississippi State, or LSU, or Auburn. So then you know what matters to old Southern Miss fans, and you understand why a university so used to winning in the shadow of the Southeastern Conference could think it was a good idea to hire a twice-failed aging dinosaur of an assistant: SEC people said it was a good idea.
The Ellis Johnson post-mortem is stunning not just because he inherited a 12-2, top 20 program and immediately went 0-12 with it, but also because that winless 2012 result was the program’s first losing season of any sort in two decades, and only its sixth in the seventy-five years since the arrival of Reed Green, its first great head coach. When Southern Miss went 1-11 in 2013, after firing Johnson and replacing him with Todd Monken, it completed its first back to back losing seasons since 1933 and 1934; the one win was its lowest two-season victory total in all 101 of its years. To open this year, Southern Miss lost, 49-0, to Mississippi State, against whom the Golden Eagles have an all-time winning record; it was the first time State had pitched a shutout in the rivalry since the first edition of the game in 1935, when Southern Miss was called State Teachers College.
The football program at the University of Southern Mississippi is at death’s door for the only time in its history, with only faint signs of potential resuscitation visible to people like me, who care enough to look. The story of how it got to this point is a cautionary tale not just for those who love the historically resource-strapped yet successful program, but also for those who love American football, despite all its flaws. Football’s greatest threat is the existential crisis posed by sub-concussive brain injuries, but the kind of thinking that pushed my alma mater into a bizarre dystopia is hastening the onset of a concurrent apocalypse that nobody sees coming.
Basically, the SEC is going to kill football.
News is now not just outside newspapers, it is outside newsrooms. It is impossible for humans to filter efficiently the vast numbers of images, videos, tweets and updates created and shared by humans, bots and devices. By 2020, according to consultants Gartner, there will be 20bn devices connected to the internet, and they will all have something to say for themselves. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and what’s next are and will continue to be making editorial decisions on our behalf. Costolo taking his first editorial stance is significant because he was public and unapologetic about removing material that he felt did cultural and economic damage to Twitter. The Facebook algorithm, and other sorting processes, are both more opaque and less accountable. The decline of the newspaper, and the subsequent closure or shrinking of newsrooms, not only leaves news unbound, it also removes the culture of editorial filtering. Centuries of human debate over cultural values, expressed in everything from intrusive splashes to grandiose editorials, are disappearing to be replaced by a black box.
Accountability is not part of Silicon Valley’s culture. But surely as news moves beyond paper and publisher, it must become so. For a decade or more, news organisations have been obeisant to the power of corporate technology, nodding and genuflecting at the latest improbably impressive magic. But their editorial processes have something to offer technologists too.
Transparency and accountability have to accompany the vast, important role our key information providers now play in society. It is understandable why platforms such as Facebook strenuously resist being labelled as “publishers”, but it is no longer realistic. It takes very little narrative imagination to grasp the ethical complexities ahead; every policeman wearing a camera, every terror cell with a Twitter feed, every face in a crowd rendered recognisable.