How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers

mag-article-largeI really enjoyed this scathing review of the public finances supporting professional athletics in this country, particularly the NFL. It is available to read for free at The Atlantic.

Not being a fan of pro-athletics, many of these facts were news to me. I knew public subsidies were often used to build stadiums, but I did not know that the State of Louisiana outright bribes the Saints to stay in town. I knew many leagues were privately owned, but I did not know that the league itself was a non-profit entity. How was that ever allowed to happen?

Pro-football coaches talk about accountability and self-reliance, yet pro-football owners routinely binge on giveaways and handouts. A year after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Saints resumed hosting NFL games: justifiably, a national feel-good story. The finances were another matter. Taxpayers have, in stages, provided about $1 billion to build and later renovate what is now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (All monetary figures in this article have been converted to 2013 dollars.) The Saints’ owner, Tom Benson, whose net worth Forbes estimates at $1.2 billion, keeps nearly all revenue from ticket sales, concessions, parking, and broadcast rights. Taxpayers even footed the bill for the addition of leather stadium seats with cup holders to cradle the drinks they are charged for at concession stands. And corporate welfare for the Saints doesn’t stop at stadium construction and renovation costs. Though Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal claims to be an anti-spending conservative, each year the state of Louisiana forcibly extracts up to $6 million from its residents’ pockets and gives the cash to Benson as an “inducement payment”—the actual term used—to keep Benson from developing a wandering eye.

Archer Vocabulary: aquiline

I found that after writing the first “Archer Vocabulary” post, I not only quickly internalized the definition of “bailiwick,” I found myself trying to use it in sentences. So whether anyone else is reading this or not, it’s a potentially fantastic way for me to expand my word choice.


Season 1 – Episode 8 “The Rock”
After a botched job in San Marino, Mallory Archer finds herself on a video call with Len Trexler, head of ODIN, ISIS’s chief competitor in the world of espionage and security contracting. What starts as a verbal assault softens into a schoolgirl’s yearning as Mallory begins to list Len’s physical features. Read more

The Auburn Creed as a classroom management tool

Students in my classroom will learn the Auburn Creed (at the very least the first six lines) because I feel they are a very elegant way of stating otherwise common classroom rules. If a student doesn’t tell the truth, he will be reminded that without honesty, it is impossible to earn the respect of his classmates. If a student turns in sloppy or careless work, she will be reminded that only hard, diligent work will result in reward.

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.”

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

-George Petrie (1945)

Archer Vocabulary: bailiwick

Archer Vocabulary

If you enjoy edgy, animated comedies, I hope you’ve checked out Archer on FX. Intelligence agency ISIS boasts a motley crew of vain and arrogant secret agents and incompetent support staff that spoofs many popular espionage tropes in an anachronistic modern day New York City.


Season 2 – Episode 6 “Tragical History” ISIS is facing a cyber attack and all hands are on deck scrambling to find a solution. In an attempt to shut down the mainframe computer, the agents must disable a batter backup secured behind a door that is controlled by the virus-infested mainframe. Agent Sterling Archer, the sauve seducteur, has no help to offer his fellow field agent, Lana Kane, and is sipping bourbon. Read more

Dropbox is the best file sync tool

dropbox_logoDropbox should be every teacher’s best friend. How many times have you needed to print a file only to realize that you forgot your USB drive at home? Tired of having to email files back and forth to yourself from school and home? Read more

Chef Corey – Age 5-6

Below are pictures of my first steps to becoming the impeccable bon vivant I am today. I plan to make each of these, thoroughly photo-documented along the way of course.

A Letter to the Editor re: Peavine Road

busybody-1I would like to voice strong opposition to the efforts to designate the Peavine Road section of TN-101 as a scenic parkway. The primary motivation behind this movement seems to be a desire to place restrictions on the amount and kinds of outdoor advertising allowed which will supposedly reduce distracted driving and protect property values. What such a designation would actually do is undermine important free market principles by barring private citizens from earning money on their own property.

Residents of Fairfield Glade have voluntarily chosen to live in a community that imposes strict covenants on property owners. Those living along Peavine Road have no similar restrictions on the use of their land, and in a tough economy, some have chosen to supplement their income by allowing advertising on their property. The agreements between property owners and those they choose to do business with should not be subject to subversion by outside parties.

One can be dissatisfied with the amount of outdoor advertising they see along Peavine Road, but an appropriate response to that is not to pursue measures that would restrict property owners’ rights without compensation. In fact, I maintain that drivers should be focusing on their immediate surroundings on the road instead of fixating on advertisements or otherwise taking in the natural scenic beauty that apparently exists just behind every billboard.

There are many locations in Cumberland County where one can enjoy nature and its beauty including the Cumberland Mountain State Park, the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area, as well as the views supplied by most roads that branch off of Peavine. The yards of private property owners need not be added to the list.

“For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV

Corey Shepherd

Just testing a Spotify plugin

The Substitute Survival Series

Having started my career in public education as a substitute teacher, I know firsthand the many challenges that can present themselves. Regardless of the grade level, the articles below will provide valuable information and resources to make your substitute teaching engagements enjoyable and educational.

Whether you are considering becoming a substitute teacher or have already begun and would like a little extra guidance, the information in the articles below will guide you in the right direction. Please feel free to comment on any of the articles with your personal experiences including successes or failures in the classroom.

  1. Getting Started
  2. When Will I Be Called?
  3. Your First Call!
  4. Face to Face With the Students
  5. The End of Your First Day

The End of Your First Day [Substitute Survival]

exhausted-300x225[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]

So you’ve made it through the day. The students were fed. No fires were started. Time to head home, right? Not quite.

One of the most important things to do before leaving the school is to leave a note for the regular teacher. You don’t have to detail every second of your day, but a brief summary of where you put completed papers, any work there was not time for (teachers often overplan for substitutes), and notes on any severe behavior problems should suffice. Please try to keep the tone of the note positive, and make sure to note the positive accomplishments of students as well.

A great thing to attach to the note is one of your business cards (you do have business cards, right?), that way if the teacher was satisfied, they may request to have you as their sub again in the future.

Before you leave the building, make sure to sign out, return any name tags or identification badges you may have, and personally thank the staff member who made the call. It is this same person who holds the keys to your continued work as a sub at their school.

[This post is part of a series on Substitute Survival]