Posts Tagged ‘University of Maryland’

Obama’s Remarks At UMD: Good But Not Profound

Photo Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Allow me to be somewhat cynical.

Last night I was driving home from a weekend out in Pittsburgh, the four hour trek gave me a lot of time to think and to catch up on podcasts and other pieces of audio. I loaded my iPod with a couple of recent speeches that President Obama delivered: the recent address to the joint-session of Congress and his speech at The University of Maryland from last Thursday.

I wanted to make sure I had a chance to hear both speeches, the joint session address has been newsworthy thanks to a certain impromptu comment from Representative Joe Wilson. It was almost Kanyesque the way he interrupted Obama’s remarks. I also wanted to hear his speech at UMD because someone at work told me it was one of the best speeches he delivered to the young audiences and it made The Pumpernickel say, “Whatever you may think about the health care debate, the man can give a speech. Not only that; he has the ability to inspire people.”

Sounds like a hell of a speech.

So I was listening to the UMD speech as I was cruising down I-76, and it consisted mostly of the same health care message points delivered in the joint-session address I heard previously. It doesn’t come at too much of a surprise, Obama is hard on the trail spreading his message and pleading his case so one could expect to hear a lot of the same points he spoke a week earlier in Congress. He did work his message to make more of an impact to the younger crowd; my ears perked up when he said, “under my plan, if your parents have health insurance and you’re currently on their policy, you will automatically be able to keep your coverage until you’re 26 years old.” As a quarter-lifer I know how health insurance becomes a sudden worry when you graduate from college.

It’s just that I thought I was going to hear something inspiring, the buzz around me led me to expect another profound, mind changing oration. While the speech was well delivered and Obama did a great job in speaking with the young audience (always cool to acknowledge the teeny-bopper that says, “I love you Obama!”), it’s the same message he’ll say at his next stop on the health-care reform trail.

Now I’m an Obama supporter and I  somewhat understand the idea and plans Obama’s putting forth, I just didn’t think that his particular speech is going to be in his Top-5 greatest spoken word moments as I personally come to expect. I’ll say that since I’ve been somewhat isolated from the political scene recently the expectations were mine alone, built up by the people around me. I’m sure to most others the speech was nothing more than the 24-hour news story of the day.

Barack Obama is a great speaker, I thought the best moment in his UMD speech was at the end when he retold the origins of his, “fired up” slogan/chant. He is an impassioned orator who’s complete body of work should inspire all of us around the country. I guess I am just not as super-enthused like The Pumpernickel who ended her post with, “I feel blessed to be living in Washington, DC at this time in our nation’s history, and to be part the American future President Obama says I will help him to create.”

Am I proud to be living in our Nation’s Capital? Hell ya (especially after spending the weekend in Pittsburgh!) Do I believe we are living in a historic time of change? Absolutely.

I hope however people look past the rockstar appeal Obama has and actually listen to what our President has to say after they are done snapping photos of him. Health care is a very important issue in this country and I hope young Americans pay attention to it.

I feel blessed to be living in Washington, DC at this time in our nation’s history, and to be part the American future President Obama says I will help him to create.

Sports Chatter: The Terps Do Better Than Expected

Subject: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 11:35 AM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

You know what got me excited today?

The start of March Madess. The network is down in my office today so e-mail is problematic, printers don’t work, however internet is ok. So everyone is working on their brackets for the Office Pool- to which I am managing this year.

I have to say that DC dodged a bullet with Maryland making it in there- Were we really going to be excited for an American team that mostly likely will be done by Friday? However Maryland is also playing that day and we could be without a DC team before the first weekend. I have a feeling our expectations should be with NIT domination rather than NCAA domination- did you see Mason is a 7 seed over there, maybe they can make a Cinderella run and get into the NIT Final Four!

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 4:44 PM EST

Yeah maybe-I’d give them a much better chance than either UMD or American. In the post I’m putting together right now (which will feature some of our not so great teams, and our two dancing ones) I put it out there that I think American has the better chance of an Upset than UMD. I just don’t believe in the Terps-sure they are hot…but I don’t know. Bad feeling. and Cal (from what I’ve heard) is a fairly solid team.

Villanova (who American plays)-well sure they are Big East-but not every Big East team is going to advance. WVA, Marquette, Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, Louisville-these teams will advance. Last year, American played Tennessee tough-real tough. Some of that is going to carry over this year-and we could see our very own Mason part II-at least until they play UCLA in the next round or Texas/Duke a round after that.

Okay-I’m dreaming. American has no chance-but it wont’ stop me rooting for them.

Can you send me the NIT brackets? I have to think Georgetown is in there too, right? GW probably is in that third tournament-if anything. Ugh they were so bad this year!

Subject: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:27 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Well the first day of games is over, I have to say things aren’t looking so good with my bracket in my office pool. Like you I thought Maryland kinda barely made it into the field and were set to bow out- and they pulled off the upset you didn’t think was going to happen. 

I was watching the game and I have to say the Terps looked good. Their man Grievis Vasquez did what he had to do and racked up 27 points- but I really thought with just him they couldn’t pull it out.  

But you know what- college basketball is all about 3 pointers and even though Cal (the one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation) got off more than Maryland, they had the better completion percentage. Looks like Turtle Power was able to throw the Bears off for a game.  

Sad to see American take another bow but it wasn’t like we saw it coming. Villanova wass pretty much playing a home game. Do you think Jeff Jones will be lured away to another team? He’s certainly shown himself to be a contender.

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:45 PM EST

Thankfully my brackets are in tact-sure I thought MD wasn’t going to pull of the upset, which is exactly why I put them as winning in my bracket ;-) I’ve learned to go against my gut on close games, and it has worked out pretty well so far.

Yeah Maryland did look good, and Memphis didn’t look so hot in their opener-so the optimistic Terps fan is going to start thinking “Hey-we can do this!” (That’s a CBS message board with some optimistic UMD fans waxing poetic about a possible upset.)

It is this person’s humble opinion that, no, you can’t. Memphis is awake now and will not take UMD lightly. Expect Memphis to come out of the gate running, Maryland to keep it interesting-but never really have a shot at winning. Just saying, you may want to stay in on Saturday night after the Maryland game-lest you get caught up in what seems to be a UMD tradition in College Park-rioting.

And yes, very sad to see American drop the ball against ‘Nova-A gallant effort, to be sure, but ask John Feinstein and George Mason how far gallantry will get you. Still-they had ‘Nova on the ropes for a while and did their school, their fans, their conference and their city (our city) proud. Next year Golden Eagles, next year. They now have a legacy of at least playing tough in the tournament-with last year’s near upset against Tennessee and this year’s “much closer than it looked” game against a Big East power house basically on a home court.

Will Jones leave? I don’t know-he had a good career at UVA before he came to American, and frankly has turned that program right around. Back to back NCAA appearances and Patriot League championships speak highly of his abilities, and he has been there 9 years now. So he’s probably ripe to be picked. I guess it will depend on the offer and his loyalty to American. He’s the winningest coach in their history and so he’s got a nice little set up there, for sure. He might just want to keep doing what he’s doing rather than move on to a project that is too big for him.

Okay must sleep. Long day of basketball…I mean, uh…work….tomorrow.

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