You know it must be the end of the year when the only thing on tv is bowl games. The NCAA seems to go a little overboard with the amount of games that they want to get in before they finally get to that National Championship, and I am happy that they have finally put together a little playoff system to prove to everybody that the four teams they have picked deserve to be there. But the lead up to it and the payoff afterwards is a little ridiculous. It seems that every team that won at least six games is given the opportunity to attend one of these prestigious bowls. I was even told that if they keep on adding games at the rate they are going, they will need to lower their requirements to make sure that there are teams playing in all of the bowl games. But there are a lot of corporate sponsors out there and they need to make sure that their products get seen on any of these major television events. The next time you watch a game try to see how many times they are able to have product placement as the game goes on. After watching the Orange Bowl last night, I have a sudden urge to drink Gatorade while talking to people on my At+t phone, wearing my Nike shirt, and Ander Armor shoes, going to the Hard Rock Cafe in my car with the protection of Goodyear tires, and paying for it all with my Capital One credit card. This is without even talking about the commercials I saw during the game, or the sponsors that the announcer told me about. I sure am glad that the NCAA is a non-sponsor organization and doesn’t need all of these corporate sponsors to help their student athletes get that degree in communications that they need.
Speaking of commercials, you know it must be the end of the year when you see advertisements for health improvements in the newspapers, and television. Now these might be out there all the time, and it is only this time of the year that I think about them, but there seems to be a lot of commercials for diets, and gym memberships. I do agree that it is important to be healthy and I am glad that people take this moment in life to resolve to be better about their health. Of course, they usually start this new trend that day after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and eating tons of food devoid of any nutrition. It is only a matter of time before a lot of us give up on these resolutions and go back to the lifestyle we are more comfortable with, but I am sure that there are a few people out there that achieve their goals, and become more healthy. To those people I applaud you. I think the thing that would help the most would be that we resolve to make this change throughout the course of the next year. At least this gives us twelve months to feel better about ourselves, and we stumble a little bit in the beginning, we can pick ourselves back up and try to work on that improvement later on. Lately, I have also been seeing commercials for plastic surgery as well. I do not think that these are timed well. People do not go into the new year thinking that they will work on looking and feeling better and go straight to the surgeon. They start with the gym and the diet. If the plastic surgery commercials came out a month later then they would be more impactful to those that did not do well on their resolution, and they might be more willing to go with this option. I still think it is better to keep on working at that healthier lifestyle because in the long run you will be better off for it. Just remember that it is all about the baby steps, and you can’t make huge changes in the midst of a midnight, ball-dropping kiss.
You know it must be the end of the year when you start to see the skeletons of dead trees piling up in the parking lots of your local libraries. Okay, they might not always happen in the library parking lots, but for some reason, it is the place I always picture this drop off place being. It is some parking lot that is no longer in use because more people go there during the warmer months or because people just don’t go there much anymore. There is usually a big wood chipper sitting nearby, waiting to send them to that big compost heap in the sky. If you go at the right time, you might even see a bunch of boy scouts standing around hoping to learn how to use a wood chipper, but in reality, that is what the scout masters are there for. The bring the boys so they can point the customers to the place where they can put their dead trees, as if it isn’t already obvious. I am proud of the boy scouts though this year. They have made great strides to make sure that their program is more sustainable by allowing girls to join. I know that there are a lot of people that will disagree with me, but girls should be given the opportunity to learn about the wood chipper just as much as the boys should. When I was working with the Experiential Education program at my last school, we did not think about whether it was appropriate for girls. We just thought about what would be the best experiences that we could bring to our students, and where would they get the most out of that experience. Life experiences are not a gender specific topic, and it might actually help the socially awkward kids that gravitate to boy scouts become more comfortable mixing with each other. As long as that mixing takes place outside of the tents of course.