Posted in College Football

Rivalry Week

Nearly 10 years ago I put together an article on a new defunct blog of mine covering the rivalry. games of the year 2009. I’ve decided I’m going to revive the article and do some minor tweaking.

For your reading pleasure, I present to you, Rivalry Week 2009.


The First game i bring to you is the Border War. Anyone who deals with a rivalry knows that its just a straight out fight, and what better to fight over then an Indian War Drum & the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Missouri and Kansas have been fighting this war since 1891. Dan George summed up the rivalry by stating “It’s more than the schools — it’s a state thing going back to the Civil War, when William Quantrill‘s Confederate guerillas burned Lawrence and murdered nearly 200 people. Neither Missouri nor Kansas folks have forgotten it.”

This game did not see play during Rivalry Week. Since then Missouri has moved into the SEC and got to play a wonderfully exciting game against what is most likely the worst Arkansas football team in the school’s history. Hopefully they’ll get this game back on the schedule for next season.

 Next on the list we have the Iron Bowl. For those of you not around the south, the Iron Bowl is THE rivalry of rivalries. When people think of Alabama playing against Auburn, they equate it to things such as the North fighting against the South… The Axis versus the Allies… some even go as far as to compare it as the battle of good and evil. It gets intense around here and some people tend to get hurt while waiting for the weekend or in this horrid case because of CBS wanting to grab some ratings, Friday to come around for the game to be played to give the fans the bragging rights they have truly earned. The series originated in 1893 with the two schools playing against each other in Birmingham, Alabama (that’s where the iron came from). The Crimson Tide currently lead the rivalry 45-36-1. Auburn took the W last season but with little comfort as the Tide went on to win the National Championship.

Now I bring you “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”. Words that could only be used to describe the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game. The rivalry between these two schools also began in 1893.  The heated rivalry goes all the way back to truthfully 1891 when UGA began to mock Tech for its choice of school colors. The fire only burned stronger as time passed by with UGA once again offending the Yellow Jackets in 1919 by having a parade celebrating UGA’s return to football while making fun of Georgia Tech students for continuing to play football during war time. With only 70 miles between the schools (UGA in Athens, and GA Tech in Atlanta) the schools are in constant competition against each other not only for recruits, but for state funding and for recognition from their home state as well. The winning school of the years football game receives the Governor’s Cup Finally, I just really like the name given to this rivalry.

Next up on the Rivalry list we have the Texas Longhorns, and the Texas A & M Aggies. These being the two oldest public schools in the state of Texas, their rivalry is a natural one. Texas and A & M have been competing against each other since 1894, but their rivalry has been adjusted to spread bragging rights based on all sports rather then just football. in 2004 a points system was introduced. Points are awarded for all sports in which both schools maintain an intercollegiate team. Each sport is worth one point, which is awarded to the winner of the head-to-head matchup between the two teams. If the head-to-head matchup ends in a tie, each team receives ½ point. In baseball, the team that wins the regular season three-game series is awarded one point. In sports where the teams meet twice during the season — currently softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball — each contest is worth ½ point. If the universities do not compete in head-to-head regular season competition, the university that places higher at the Big 12 Conference Championship will earn the point. Should the universities tie in Big 12 Conference Championship competition the point will be split between the two schools. In the sport of track and field, multi-school meets do not count as head-to-head competition. There are a total of 19 possible points, with 10 points needed to win. In the event of a 9½ to 9½ tie, the winner of the previous year will retain the title for the following year. Since A&M has left for the SEC, Texas has removed A&M from their schedule. I wonder if Jimbo Fisher could get this rivalry going again.

And for the next big game, we have Virginia Tech at Virginia playing for the Commonwealth Cup. This match up rolls back to 1895 when the schools started playing each other. From what I’ve gathered, aside from just a game between people from really close places to each other, there’s not much to this. With the Va Tech Shooting, the rivalry became even less intense. Many fans on both sides of the rivalry have reported a lessening of hostilities between the two universities while maintaining the same intensity of the rivalry in the wake of the Virginia Tech Massacre. According to The Washington Post “students in both camps are more apt to think of themselves as simply Virginians.” UVa students were amongst the first university students to lend support to the comrades at Virginia Tech in the wake of the shootings. Likewise, the connections between the two university’s populations are often very close. Prior to the 2007 football contest in Charlottesville both college’s bands participated in a joint performance. However, the intensity of the rivalry was still as spirited as ever, with both sides cheering passionately for their own team as a berth to the ACC Championship game was on the line. “…there was the sense among Tech students that fans of U-Va. – an institution founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson – looked down their noses at the mountain-ensconced Hokies of Blacksburg. Hokies were “hicks”; Cavaliers were “snobs.” But after the shootings in April, something changed. U-Va. students and faculty members wrote condolence letters, held a candlelight vigil and even painted the campus’s fabled Beta Bridge with a pro-Hokies phrase.” — Jonathan Mummolo, The Washington Post U-Va.’s student newspaper reported that students in Charlottesville were even sporting Hokie sweatshirts on occasion in observance of the tragedy. The University’s Z Society went so far as unveiling a 65′ x 120′ Virginia Pride flag featuring both UVA and VT logos on it during the annual football game, and it was noted that the two fan bases had never been so close as they were after the shootings. “Since the tragedy, it hasn’t been so odd to see a Wahoo wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt. Since April, transfer students haven’t felt so awkward saying they used to attend school in Blacksburg. Truly, Hokies and Wahoos have never been so together.” — Eric Kolenich, The Cavalier Daily.

Next up on the list is Pittsburgh playing at West Virginia in The Backyard Brawl. This rivalry rolls back to 1895 when the first game was played. The rivalry basically exists because, you guessed it, the schools are basically in each other’s back yard. Pittsburgh currently leads the series 61-37-3. The 1921 edition of The Backyard Brawl was the first football game to be broadcast over the radio airwaves. Other than the 2007 Pitt team knocking the then number two ranked West Virginia out of the BCS National Championship game, there hasn’t really been much to fuel this rivalry then, they’re competing for the same stuff as GA-GA tech. As other things have changed since 2009 so has this rivalry game. This year West Virginia played Oklahoma during rivalry week.

Another heated rivalry taking place this weekend is the Holy War. The fierce rivalry between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars. The big thing that fuels this fire is…..dum dum dum… religion.  Utah is the Mormon capital of the world, so to no surprise, BYU is a Mormon owned school. Utah, being a state owned school, is non-secular. BYU fans accuse Utah fans of being drunks, although many of Utah’s fans are also Mormons, and alcohol is against the Mormon code. Many non Mormon Utes fans love to mess with BYU fans by drinking lots of coffee, swearing and generally going against the Mormon code. The series started in 1895 ( or 1922 according to BYU) Utah leads the series 53-33-4 (or 50-30-4 depending on when it started).  The two schools are approximately 50 miles apart, so its not uncommon for them to constantly compete over recruits, fans and funding. The rivalry began to change in 1993, during Ron McBride’s fourth season as head coach, the Utes won their first game in Provo in twenty-two seasons and their first since LaVell Edwards became BYU head coach. Utah’s kicker, Chris Yergensen, had already missed two out of three field goals on the day. This time, however, Yergensen did not miss and kicked the game-winning 55-yard field goal (the longest of his career) as time expired.After the win, Utah fans and players attempted to tear down the north end zone goalpost at what was then Cougar Stadium. Cougar players returned to the field to protect the goalpost from being torn down. About the incident, Lenny Gomes, a BYU nose guard, said, “Typical Utah bullshit. All those guys think that’s all there is to life. But when I’m making $50–60,000 a year, they’ll be pumping my gas. They’re low-class losers.” The remark is still remembered in rivalry history today.The 1994 season was McBride’s best, as he led the Utes to a 10–2 record and a top-10 finish in national rankings. The Utes and Cougars also staged one of the best matchups in the rivalry’s history, meeting for the first time as top-25 ranked teams. The Utes won the game 34–31, which was coincidentally the same score of their meeting a year before. Utah ran its rivalry winning streak up to three games a year later, with a 34–17 win at BYU. The Utes and Cougars would trade wins and losses the next couple of years, before the 2000 season. During the 1999 edition of the Holy War, Utah recorded its fourth consecutive win in Provo. Early in the fourth quarter, Utah scored a touchdown when quarterback T.D. Crowshaw completed a four-yard-pass to Donny Utu to put Utah up 20–10. In celebration, Utah cheerleader Billy Priddis ran along the visitor’s sideline with a large “U” flag. An unidentified BYU fan ran onto the sideline and tackled Priddis from behind. Priddis turned around and started punching the fan. He landed seven or eight punches before security separated them. About the incident, Priddis said, “”There’s 65,000 fans here, does he think I’m not going to retaliate?” Utah had another undefeated season in 2008 and defeated BYU 48–24. By doing so, they captured another invitation to a BCS game, where they were matched up with the highly favored Alabama. Utah beat Alabama 31–17 for their second BCS victory in five years. BYU’s team slogan in 2008 was “Quest for Perfection,” and T-shirts bearing that slogan were made widely available. However, BYU’s quest for a perfect season ended at TCU, and Utah, who did finish with a perfect record, created red shirts bearing the Utah logo and the slogan “The Quest Perfected.”

This next rivalry is near and dear to my heart as I have an ex-girlfriend who is a big Clemson fan. Naturally I pull for South Carolina (Shout out to my boy Darian Stewart #24) every year since then in the Battle of the Palmetto State. Stick with me people because the next might get long and boring, but it is needed to completely understand where it all came from. Unlike most major college rivalries, the Carolina-Clemson rivalry did not start innocently. In fact, the seeds of bitterness were planted even before Clemson became a college. The two institutions were founded 88 years apart: South Carolina College in 1801 and Clemson Agricultural College in 1889.South Carolina College was founded in 1801 to unite and promote harmony between the Lowcountry and the Upcountry. It closed during the Civil War when its students aided the Southern cause, but the closure gave the politicians an opportunity to reorganize it to their liking. The Radical Republicans in charge of state government during Reconstruction opened the school to blacks and appropriated generous funds to the University, much of which was embezzled. These actions caused the white citizens of the state to withdraw their support for the University and view it as a symbol of the worst aspects of Reconstruction. The Democrats returned to power in 1877 following their decisive electoral victory over the Radical Republicans and promptly proceeded to close the University. Sentiment in the state favored opening an agriculture college so the University was reorganized as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1882, the college was renamed to its antebellum name, South Carolina College, which infuriated the farmers because they felt that the politicians had frustrated the will of the people by deemphasizing agriculture education, even though the school still retained the department of agriculture. Benjamin Tillman emerged in the 1880s as a leader of the agrarian movement in South Carolina and demanded that the South Carolina College take agricultural education more seriously by expanding the agriculture department. In 1885, Tillman was convinced of the superiority of a separate agricultural college by Stephen D. Lee, then the President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, and subsequently Tillman would accept nothing less than a separate agriculture college in South Carolina. He offered the following reasons why he felt that it was necessary to have a separate agriculture college outside the confines of Columbia:

Mississippi A&M featured practical training without unnecessary studying of the liberal arts.

Mississippi A&M provided poor students work-scholarships so that they could attend the college.

There were too few students who studied agriculture at the College to justify an agriculture college there.

The College was a place “for the sons of lawyers and of the well-to-do” who sneered at the agriculture students as if they were hayseeds.

The students at the College lived a life of luxury as compared with the sweat and toil endured by students at Mississippi A&M.

There was not enough farm land near the College to allow for proper agriculture study.

The Conservatives, who held the reins of power in South Carolina from 1877 to 1890, replied to each point made by Tillman:

The most advanced agriculture educational research was being conducted at the University of California and at Cornell University, both of which combined agriculture colleges with liberal arts colleges. Additionally, a separate agriculture college would be more expensive and result in an inferior product.

The work scholarships attracted the lowest quality of students who only cared about obtaining a college degree, not about an education in agriculture or mechanical studies. Furthermore, there was little advantage of attending a college only to pitch manure and grub stumps.

The constant attacks by Tillman on the College caused many to doubt whether state support for the institution would continue. As a result, the enrollment numbers were not impressive, although the numbers of students taking agriculture and mechanical classes increased from 34 in 1887 to 83 in 1889. Over half of the students at the College were the sons of farmers, though most did not study agriculture as Tillman wished. John McLaren McBryde, President of the College, correctly predicted that most students of an agriculture college would not go back to work the farm after graduation. While some students at the College were the sons of the well-to-do, the majority were poor.Tillman was bolstered in 1886 when Thomas Green Clemson agreed to will his Fort Hill estate for the establishment of an agriculture college. Yet, Tillman did not want to wait until Clemson died to start a separate agriculture college so he pushed the General Assembly to use the Morrill funds and Hatch funds for that purpose. Instead, the legislature gave those funds to the South Carolina College in 1887 which would use them along with a greater state appropriation to reorganize itself as the second University of South Carolina and to also greatly expand the agriculture department. After this victory for South Carolina, in January 1888 Tillman wrote a letter to the News and Courier that he was retiring from public life.It was less than ninety days when Tillman reemerged on the scene upon the death of Thomas Green Clemson in April 1888. Tillman advocated that the state accept the gift by Clemson, but the Conservatives in power opposed the move and an all out war for power in the state commenced. The opening salvo was fired by Gideon Lee, the father of Clemson’s granddaughter and John C. Calhoun’s great granddaughter Floride Isabella Lee, who wrote a letter on her behalf to the News and Courier in May that she was being denied as Calhoun’s rightful heir. Furthermore, he stated that Clemson was egotistical and “only wanted to erect a monument to his own name.”In November, Lee filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to contest the will which ultimately ruled against him in May of 1889.The election of 1888 afforded Tillman an opportunity to convince the politicians to accept the Clemson bequest or face the possibility of being voted out of office. He demanded that the Democratic party nominate its candidates by the primary system, which was denied, but they did accept his request that the candidates for statewide office canvass the state. Tillman proved excellent on the stump, by far superior than his Conservative opponents, and as the Democratic convention neared there was a clear groundswell of support for the acceptance of Clemson’s estate. He was so effective because of his “ability to awaken popular passion and prejudice” when the populace by and large mistook “prejudice for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation.” Tillman pitted “the poor against the rich, tenant against landowner, hireling against employer, country against town, all of South Carolina against Charleston and Columbia, upcountry against lowcountry, white against black, do-somethings against do-nothings, and outs against those in power” so that “he could rile them up and then appear as their champion.” In addition, the Conservative leadership was aging and its appeal to the past glories of South Carolina during the antebellum period meant little to the emerging younger generation.Tillman explained his justification for an independently controlled agriculture college by pointing to the mismanagement and political interference of the University of South Carolina as had occurred during Reconstruction. The agriculture college, as specified in Clemson’s will, was to be privately controlled and thus would be able to prevent any “possible invasion by the negroes”. With declining cotton prices, Tillman preyed upon the farmer’s desperation by stating that the salaries of the college professors were exorbitant and it must be a sign of corruption. Consequently, the legislature was compelled to pass the bill to accept Clemson’s bequest in December of 1888, albeit with the tie-breaking vote in the state Senate from Lieutenant Governor William L. Mauldin. Thus was reborn the antagonistic feelings of regional bitterness and class division that would plague the state for decades. Having achieved his agriculture college, Tillman was not content to sit idly by because what he really desired was power and political office. After winning the 1890 election and becoming Governor, Tillman renewed the attacks on the Conservatives and those who had thwarted his agriculture college. He saved the coup de grâce for Senator Wade Hampton III, a South Carolina College graduate and Confederate General during the Civil War, who “invoked Confederate service and honor as a barrier to Tillmanism.” Tillman directed the legislature to defeat Hampton’s renomination for another term in December of 1890, thereby finishing what Sherman had left undone in 1865.While campaigning for Governor in 1890, Tillman leveled his harshest criticism towards the University of South Carolina and threatened to close it along with The Citadel, which he called a “dude factory.” Despite the rhetoric, Tillman only succeeded in reorganizing the University of South Carolina into a liberal arts college while in office. It would eventually be rechartered for the last time in 1906 as the University of South Carolina. However, Clemson Agricultural College held sway over the state legislature for decades and was generally the more popular college during the first half of the 20th century in South Carolina. The rivalry started in 1896.

Next up, the Colorado State – Wyoming Border War. Nothing is really special about this rival aside from rivalry based on location.  In 1968, the ROTC detachments of the respective schools initiated the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the “Border War” each year. The boot was worn in the Vietnam War by Cpt. Jeff Romero, Sr., a Colorado State graduate and Army ROTC instructor at CSU between 1967 and 1969. Each year leading up to the Wyoming-Colorado State game, the game ball is carried in a running shuttle relay by the ROTC detachment of the visiting team down US 287 to the Wyoming-Colorado state border, where the home team’s ROTC detachment receives it and runs the game ball to the stadium hosting the game. The trophy is guarded by the ROTC unit of the past year’s winning school during the game. This game was played on October 26th this year. Wyoming took the W.

Off now to the Duel in the Desert and the Territorial Cup. The “Territorial Cup” also known as the “Duel in the Desert” is the rivalry between ASU and UA and is among the nation’s oldest and most heated rivalries, including the oldest trophy in college football. The winner of the game is then given possession of the Territorial Cup until the game is played the next year. In the modern era of the game, it is played on the day after Thanksgiving (and in recent years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to accommodate network television coverage). The rivalry dates back to before Arizona was admitted as a state, and was a U.S. Territory. In the early history of Arizona, a resentment between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson emerged. The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 as the state’s first university. The same year, Tempe Normal School was founded as a small teacher’s college in the farming community of Tempe, just east of Phoenix. Over the years, Tempe Normal School evolved into Arizona State Teacher’s College, then Arizona State College at Tempe, and eventually Arizona State University. Although both athletic programs have been consistently in the top 20 in the Director’s Cup standings for the past decade, the two schools have featured a difference in athletic strengths. The rivalry started in 1899.

The Bedlam Series is, like most other intrastate rivalries, a rivalry that goes beyond one or two sports. Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have rivalries with other schools, though most of those rivalries are limited to one or two sports at the most. When the Bedlam Series gained Ford and the Bank of Oklahoma as corporate sponsors, the series became much more formalized. A points system was adopted in order to award a winner of the all athletic competitions combined between the two schools. A crystal bell trophy is awarded to individual Bedlam game winners (such as football), in addition to a trophy for the overall series champion for that year. The “Bedlam Bell” is modeled after the bell clapper in Old Central, the oldest building on Oklahoma State’s campus. For a time, the actual bell clapper was a traveling trophy for the two schools, until the popularity of this tradition waned. Like many other things since 2009, things have changed. This game was played on November 10th with Oklahoma edging out the W.

Moving on, we have the Washington-Washington State rivalry. This one seems so boring that I’m just going to use the Apple Cup Wikipedia entry to fill this slot in. The Apple Cup is the annual college football rivalry game between the two largest universities in the U.S. state of Washington; the University of Washington (UW) Huskies and the Washington State University (WSU) Cougars. It is traditionally the final game of the regular season and takes place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving at Husky Stadium in Seattle during odd years, and WSU’s Martin Stadium in Pullman during even years. From 1950-80 (except for 1954), WSU hosted the game at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium. The WSU Cougars won three of these fifteen games in Spokane (1958, 1968, 1972), and have won six of the fourteen played at Martin Stadium (1982, 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2008).Before 1962, the teams played for the “Governor’s Trophy.” The game was renamed the “Apple Cup” in 1962 because of Washington’s famous apple crop. The Apple Cup trophy has been awarded to the winning team ever since. With the recent lengthening of the regular season schedule to 12 games, there was a movement change the date of the Apple Cup from the weekend before Thanksgiving to the weekend following. This would have allowed a bye week sometime during the season. In the 2006 season, both teams played 12 straight weeks without a break, leaving the two teams noticeably fatigued. For the first time, the 2007 edition of the Apple Cup was played two days after Thanksgiving. The Apple Cup has been sponsored by Boeing since 2007.The first rivalry game was held in 1900 and resulted in a tie between UW and WSU. From 1900 to 2008, there have been 101 games between the schools. The Huskies hold a 64-31-6 advantage. UW’s longest winning streak has been eight games, achieved twice: (1959-66 and 1974-81). WSU has never won more than two consecutive Apple Cups, but the Cougars have won back-to-back games on eight separate occasions: (1929-30, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1982-83, 2004-05 and 2007-08). This game was played on Friday with Washington getting the W.

With the Mississippi State vs. Mississippi Egg Bowl I was expecting more of a feud to have started the rivalry then anything else. So, with the same boring info I bring you more Wiki info. Early in the series, Mississippi State dominated, and had only lost five times in the first twenty-three contests. When Ole Miss beat MSU, then known as Mississippi A&M College, 7-6, the Ole Miss fans rushed the field, some trying to tear the goalposts down. A&M fans did not take well to the Ole Miss fans celebrations, and fights broke out. Some A&M fans defended the goal posts with wooden chairs, and several injuries were reported. To prevent such events in the future, students of the two schools created the “Golden Egg”, a large trophy which has been awarded to the winning team each year since 1927. The trophy is a large football-shaped brass piece mounted to a wooden base and traditionally symbolizes supremacy in college football in the state of Mississippi for the year. The footballs used in American football in the 1920s were considerably more ovoid and blunter than those in use today and similar to the balls still used in rugby; the trophy thus, to modern eyes, more resembles an egg than a football. The awarding of the “Golden Egg” was instituted in 1927 by joint agreement between the two schools’ student bodies. Mississippi State took the egg home this year.

Next up we got the Toledo – Bowling Green Battle of I-75. This one is a little more interesting then the last ones (enough that I’m not just going to give you stuff from the Wiki then be done with it.) These two schools are only about 20 miles apart from each other, making the pressure to get recruits and fans from the local area much harder then some others. The winner of the battle is awarded the Peace Pipe Trophy (yep that’s right, a Native American peace pipe). The rivalry between UT and BGSU goes back to 1919. The games were (and to an extent still are) marked by a passionate fan following and a hatred for the respective opponent. In 1935, fans rioted following a 63-0 blowout win by UT and as a result, BGSU removed the Rockets from their athletic schedule until 1947. That year, the smoking of a six-foot peace pipe was instated as a gesture of goodwill between the two teams at half-time of their annual basketball match. The peace pipe would be kept by the winning university until the teams played again the following season. The tradition came to an abrupt and unpleasant end in 1969 when the pipe was stolen from the UT offices. It was never recovered and the thief never caught. In 1980, the Peace Pipe trophy was reinstated when a scale-down replica was fashioned and placed on top of a trophy created by former UT football player Frank Kralik. Kralik donated the trophy to the university to be given to the winner of each year’s football game, which like many other college football rivalries is usually the last game of the regular season for both teams. Nowadays, ESPN annually broadcasts the Peace Pipe game, allowing it to reach a wide audience outside of northwest Ohio. Though the two schools play in different divisions in the Mid-American Conference, they have yet to meet in the MAC Championship Game. This game got moved way away from Rivalry Week. It was played on October 6th with Toledo taking the W.

With the next teams and their rivalry, I hold little interest in. The fact that they are 12 miles apart and both in the same city, I find entertaining, aside from that, more Wiki read. The UCLA–USC rivalry is the college rivalry between two universities located in Los Angeles, California: the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.The athletic competition rivalry between the two schools is among the more notable in NCAA Division I sports because both schools are located within the same city. The campuses are only 12 miles apart. The sheer proximity of both alumni and students, and the likelihood of encountering each other and interacting on a daily basis make this one of the most intense college rivalries in the United States. USC is one of the top teams in the country in college football, and recognizes 11 of its teams as National Champions. UCLA has only one team recognized as a National Champion.Quite often, the winner of the football game has won or shared the Pacific Ten Conference title in football. A berth in the Rose Bowl game has been on the line many times as well for both schools. Since the formation of the Pacific Coast Conference in 1916, USC has won or shared 37 conference titles and UCLA has won or shared 17 titles.Washington is third in overall conference titles with 15.Since the 1959 season, when the Pacific 10 Conference was formed as the Athletic Association of Western Universities, through the 2007 season, the schools have won or shared 33 of the 48 conference titles. USC has won 17 championships outright, shared eight and gone to the Rose Bowl or BCS bowl 21 times. UCLA has won six championships outright, shared five and gone to the Rose Bowl eight times. The schools have shared the championship between them three times. Both teams have spoiled conference and national championship runs for the other. USC was already an established national football power under Howard Jones and had begun a major rivalry with Notre Dame when UCLA joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1929. Los Angeles Times Sportswriter Braven Dyer predicted on the day of the first football meeting on September 28, 1929, “In years to come, this game will probably be one of the football spectacles of the West” USC dominated the early games (so much so, that after the first two games, the series was suspended for five years and they did not play each other from 1931-1935) until UCLA established itself. By the late 1930s, star players such as Kenny Washington, Jackie Robinson, and Bob Waterfield enabled UCLA to be competitive. With the hiring of Hall of Fame Coach Henry “Red” Sanders, UCLA became the more dominant program in the 1950s, culminating in their 1954 National Championship. A famous quote was attributed to Sanders regarding the rivalry, “Beating ‘SC is not a matter of life or death, it’s more important than that.” But Sanders died suddenly of a heart attack, and shortly thereafter, John McKay took over a struggling USC program and returned it to national prominence. For most seasons from the mid 1960s to the end of the 1970s, the two schools were the top powers on the west coast. In the 15 Rose Bowls played from 1966 to 1980, USC or UCLA played in 12 of them. Even with the rise of Don James’ Washington Huskies in the 1980s and early 90s, UCLA or USC still went to the Rose Bowl seven times between 1981 and 1995. In the 1990s and until the hiring of Pete Carroll by USC, UCLA was the dominant team, winning 8 straight from USC from 1991-1998, before USC then won 7 in a row from 1999-2005. The 13-9 win in 2006 at the Rose Bowl allowed the Bruins to keep the record for consecutive wins in the rivalry. I have such little interest in this rivalry that I didn’t even bother to read over it for corrections. USC is playing Notre Dame during  Rivalry Week this year. This rivalry played out last week with UCLA taking the win.

Florida vs. Florida State is the next rivalry on the list. Not much going on here aside from state pushed interstate rivalry. here’s the history: The University of Florida has been fielding an officially sanctioned football team since 1906. Though Florida State University (then known as “Florida State College”) played football for several years around 1900, it became a women’s college in 1905 and remained so until 1947, when the football team was re-established. Almost immediately, pressure began building for the Gators to play the new team in-state. Some believe that it took an act of the Florida state legislature to force the contest to take place. This is not exactly true – a bill demanding a UF vs. FSU football series was proposed in 1955 but was voted down. However, the schools bowed to pressure from state leaders and agreed to schedule a yearly series starting in 1958.One of the conditions that the University of Florida put on the agreement was that the contest must always be held in their home stadium, Florida Field in Gainesville. Since 1964, however, the game site has alternated yearly between the Gators’ field and the Seminoles’ home turf of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.

Rice and Houston are the next match up in their competition to take home the Bayou Bucket. The Houston–Rice rivalry (also referred to as the UH–Rice rivalry, Rice–Houston rivalry, or the Rice–UH rivalry) is a cross-town college rivalry between the University of Houston and Rice University. The universities are located approximately five miles from each other in Houston’s “Inner loop” area. It is one of the few NCAA Division I cross-town rivalries, especially between institutions that field Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The rivalry has existed in a more official capacity since Houston joined the now-defunct Southwest Conference in 1971, in which Rice was a charter member. Since the breakup of that conference in 1995, the rivalry has continued. In 2005, Rice joined Conference USA, of which Houston was a member, and has again made the rivalry more relevant for conference titles as well. Football is the largest focus of the rivalry and is the sport in which the competition between the two institutions has run the longest. Both teams are part of the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and have both been part of the Conference USA athletic conference since 2005. The competition includes an annual regular-season football game between the schools. It has existed since 1971, when Houston joined the now-defunct Southwest Conference, of which Rice was also a member. The winner of the game wins the Bayou Bucket. Houston leads this series 24–9. Although the last Southwest Conference football game was part of the series, the teams did not compete against each other in football from 1996 to 1998 as the universities realigned themselves with other conferences. Although the first official meeting between the teams in football didn’t take place until 1971, a scrimmage took place between the inaugural 1946 Houston Cougars team and the Rice Owls. The Owls, having played football since 1914 and being a part of the Southwest Conference, were a much more experienced and accomplished team than the Cougars. In a front of a crowd of thousands, the Owls easily defeated the Cougars. Made famous from football games between the two rivals, University of Houston students often wear red shirts with the words “Ruck Fice” to UH-Rice games. 5 miles apart from each other.. does that not say, “hey I wanna mess with you and take your recruits fans and basis of how you exist” to you? In the oddest rivalry game situation I’ve seen, These teams opened the 2018 season playing against each other. Houston took the win.

Notre Dame and Stanford are next on the list. This rivalry is young and not really considered a major rivalry so there’s not much to it. The Irish have a minor rivalry with the Stanford Cardinal (for the Legends Trophy, a combination of Irish crystal with California redwood). The two teams first met in the 1925 Rose Bowl, then played each other in 1942 and again in 1963-64. The modern series began in 1988 and has been played annually except in 1995-96. Notre Dame leads the series 17-6. When the game is played in Palo Alto, it is usually the last game on Stanford’s schedule (as has been the case since 1999), one week after the Cardinal plays arch-rival Cal in The Big Game. This game was filled on September 29th. The Irish took the W.

I finish up with Arkansas and LSU in the Battle for the Golden Boot, an aged old tradition since 1996. I myself was unaware that this was even a rivalry, but I guess everyone needs a rival. Here’s the background on the two teams playing each other. The Arkansas–LSU rivalry, now known as The Battle for the Golden Boot, is the annual college football sports rivalry game between the teams of the University of Arkansas, the Razorbacks, and Louisiana State University, the Tigers. Although the first game between the two teams occurred in 1901, the rivalry between the teams intensified after Arkansas’ entrance into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1992, and later in 1996 with the first awarding of the “Golden Boot” and the official titling of the game “The Battle for the Golden Boot”. The game is now generally played on the day after Thanksgiving. The two teams have played 53 times since 1901, and as of the 2008 contest, 17 consecutive times after Arkansas’ induction into the SEC. During that time, LSU has won 33 games of the series while Arkansas has won 19, including the latest meeting in 2008, between the two teams. Arkansas and LSU have twice ended the game in a tie, in 1906 and the 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic. Arkansas and LSU began playing each other in 1901, when LSU claimed a 15-0 victory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1906-1936 (with the exception of 1918) and 1953-1956, the two teams played each other during regular seasons on a yearly basis. In addition, the two teams have played each other at the end of the regular season in the Cotton Bowl Classic twice, on January 1 of 1947 and 1966, the former being the second tie in the series while the latter ended in a 14-7 LSU victory. In 1992, LSU and Arkansas resumed their annual rivalry when Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference after leaving the Southwest Conference. The teams played each other four times in the conference before the introduction of the Golden Boot trophy in 1996. Beginning in 1996, the victor in the rivalry between Arkansas and LSU received the Golden Boot, a trophy that weighs approximately 175 pounds and is generally considered the heaviest “trophy” awarded in all of college football. The trophy itself stands a little over 4 feet tall, is molded out of 24-karat gold, and resembles the outline of the states of Arkansas and Louisiana connected, thus making a boot shape. Since 1996, the game has been set on the day after Thanksgiving, and has been played on alternating years in Little Rock, Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium, which is the secondary home stadium for the Razorbacks, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at Tiger Stadium. The series has generally represented an important battle in the SEC Western Division, with either Arkansas or LSU representing the division in the SEC Football Championship Game in many seasons. LSU won the inaugural “trophy meeting” in 1996, 17–7, and for the next six years, the trophy changed hands every meeting, beginning with LSU in 1997. After Arkansas’ “Miracle on Markham” victory in 2002, LSU won the rivalry and the Golden Boot four consecutive times from 2003 to 2006. The trophy returned to Arkansas’ possession on November 23, 2007 when the Razorbacks beat then top-ranked and eventual BCS National Championship game winner LSU 50-48 in three overtimes in Baton Rouge; the victory was the first for former Razorback coach Houston Nutt in five tries in Tiger Stadium. Arkansas successfully defended the Golden Boot again in 2008 with a spectacular come-from-behind victory in the last minute of game play. Like all other great rivalries since 2009 this one got changed. The addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC has caused some issues with scheduling. The Tigers played this game on November 10th. With the previous info on the Razorbacks I don’t feel the need to mention that LSU got the win in this one, but I will anyways. LSU took the W.

Reading back over these and taking a look at the schedule now has make me very sad for Rivalry Week. Since I live in my own bubble, my teams rivalry is still carrying on strong, so I assumed everyone else’s has. I don’t know if its because of Conference restructuring or scheduling for television, but it makes me sad for those who are not getting to participate in rivalry week because of scheduling conflicts.

Enjoy football this week. Its probably the best week in football aside from that week in January when Alabama wins the College Football Playoff trophy. Roll Tide!

Posted in Opinion, Tech

MoviePass – Red Flags Are Rising

Not too long ago MoviePass started a too good to be true plan. See one movie a day for $10 a month. The way it worked is they send you a MasterCard and you swipe it as your payment after you check into the movie. It took forever to get the card mailed to you, but once you had it the possibilities felt endless. The ability to see a movie on your own time then go see it again with a friend essentially for free was awesome. This not only increased the number of times I went to the theater from approximately once every three to four months to two to three times a month. Since I wasn’t paying for tickets, I found myself spending more money at the concession stands. There’s no doubt in my mind that this new subscription service was a benefit for both the movie theater and myself.

With ticket prices in my area ranging between $8.75 and $10.75 purchasing nor than one ticket in a month becomes a cost for MoviePass. MoviePass pays full price for tickets. When you check in, the cost of the ticket is transferred to your MoviePass MasterCard to use as your payment method. With people going as far as seeing a movie a day for the month to get the most out of their money, it became quickly obvious that MoviePass needed to start looking at changes in their process. This is where red flags started to show up.

Red flag number one – MoviePass introduces a change to pricing. New members would have to pay for a year up front. The monthly payment option went away. This really wasn’t that big of a deal in the beginning. Most people wouldn’t put a second thought to this since it is common practice for many subscription services.

Red flag number two – MoviePass starts a store for MoviePass merchandise. This was the typical stuff. T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, all carrying the MoviePass logo. This was a little outside of the typical business than MoviePass typically competes in. This did cause me to raise an eyebrow.

Red flag number three – MoviePass makes adjustments to what your subscription really means. MoviePass starts to limit the number of times you can go see a movie to one time.  This starts to become a big deal to me. I’m happy to go see a movie by myself  and then see it later with friends. This has an impact on my process and has me to start looking around at other options.

Red flag number four – MoviePass starts adding surging pricing for “popular movies” and “popular times”. The definition of these groups of words seem to be unclear, so i’ll define what I’ve found so far monitoring the situation. Popular movies – These seem to be any movie that hasn’t been out for a month or more that isn’t advertising through MoviePass. As for popular times, I originally thought essentially any time out side of typical work hours, but I’ve found that the middle of the day on Wednesday seems to qualify for popular times. This really felt like a final straw but I decided to feel out pricing. Initially I found that movies came with an extra fee of $2.55. This is a quarter of the subscription price so it would make me flinch at a ticket purchase but its not so bad. Over this weekend, surging prices have ranged from $3.50 to $6.00. This  comes to over half the subscription price. If I were to go see Teen Titans Go To The Movies, and that was the only movie I went to see this month, that ticket would cost me $16.00. With two kids, I don’t get to go see movies as often as I would like. This was part of the appeal of MoviePass. Going to a single movie essentially covered my cost.

Red flag number five – MoviePass stops processing payments. MoviePass has to borrow five million to cover expenses to get their services running again the next day. This appears to be the coming to the end for the too good to be true service.

With over three million subscribers, MoviePass should be able to leverage these numbers to broker cheaper ticket prices and possibly even offer location based advertisements. MoviePass seems dead set on avoiding raising prices on their base fees even though this seems to be one of the few ways they are going to actually be able to maintain this service.

moviepass and AMC.png

AMC has decided to step into the subscription theater movie market. AMC is offering 3 movies a week with the additional discounts of their stubs service for $20.00 a month. Unlike MoviePass, this is limited to just AMC theaters. Unlike MoviePass, AMC’s option allows for 3D and IMAX movies. MoviePass took to Twitter to make fun of this service, but with what’s going on today with MoviePass, a stable $20.00 vs a minimum $13.50 with easy potential to grow pass $20.00, AMC sounds like a much better option.

moviepass twitter AMC response

I can tell you that MoviePass’ access to my credit card isn’t long for this world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should jump ship. What do you think? let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Opinion, Tech

The New TV

Congratulations everyone, we did it! We’ve managed to move TV from this horribly managed service that we have to buy from a select few options of providers to multiple options from multiple high profile providers.

In the middle of the revolution, we also found something new. The streaming giant Netflix decided to produce their own show. For most people, the subscription to Netflix already existed so this was just icing on the cake, but it did draw in additional subscribers to see what all their friends were talking about. Hulu quickly followed suit, creating their own original series attracting a lot of attention to the two streaming giants.

Following the success of this something new happened. CBS announced their new streaming service CBS All Access. This service offered subscribers access to current and back catalog episodes and shows. This service was different from what we saw from Hulu and Netflix. It only involved CBS programming where the prior had agreements with multiple networks. It also offered live streaming of your local CBS channel. This was met with a lot doubt due to the limited scope. What CBS did to counter this was also questionable at the time – they launched an original Star Trek series exclusively to the network. This turned out to be a no-brainer. Take your biggest asset, lock it behind a pay fence and profit.

Unfortunately, the world was watching. In the past year since the launch of CBS All Access both Disney and DC have announced their own streaming services. Disney has announced their unnamed streaming service which will launch in 2019 with the end of their agreement with Netflix for streaming their product. DC has announced DC Universe which will be a streaming service mixed with a comic book collection subscription service. Both are using the CBS playbook to anchor their service. Disney will be bringing back the Clone Wars animated series exclusively to their unnamed streaming service and DC has Doubled down on Dick Grayson bringing the new live action series Titans (based on the Teen Titans characters) and Young Justice season 3.

The migration of distribution feels like a double edged sword to me. On the one hand, this is really great for getting things we want but haven’t been able to convince networks that they should carry. I know there have been plenty of fans who wanted to see more of the Clone Wars series. As for Young Justice, I know personally there’s been a huge calling for the story to continue and a live action Teen Titans themed show feels like a no brainer. Unfortunately, I also realize that there’s going to be a $5.00 – $10.00 monthly ticket associated with each of these streaming services. Assuming Disney’s unnamed service falls in around the $8.00 per month area, you’re going to spend just shy of $40 a month to carry all of this programming and that is assuming you don’t pick up any of the commercial free options that are available – that brings it up to just shy of $50.

I can tell you with full faith and certainty that I’m going to subscribe to all of these services. I’m already subscribed to the ones that are available. I loved the exclusive Star Trek series and watching CBS shows without commercials makes it just a bit more relaxing. Hulu commercial free falls under the same category for me. I tend to not watch shows when they air so being able to quickly catch up feels really good. I am also the parent of a 3 year old who is enthralled with Disney products, so when they pull all their stuff and lock it behind a gate, I’ll be standing first in line to get my child in. As a self proclaimed comic character fanboy, I can tell you I have been waiting years for a subscription service to DC comics. The video streaming option is just icing on the cake for me.

In the end, all I can say is my poor bank account. Anyone else feel like they’re going to have  to sign over their paycheck for streaming services? Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Facebook, Guides

26 friends (More Facebook stuff)

Previously I saw a post while scrolling through my Facebook timeline speaking on the new algorithm Facebook is using to show friends posts in your timeline. While below is not the exact message I came across, it covers the idea well.

How to avoid hearing from the same 26 FB friends and nobody else:

Here is a post explaining why we don’t see all posts from our friends….

News feed recently shows only posts from the same few people, about 25, repeatedly the same, because facebook has a new algorithm.

Their system chooses the people to read Your post. However, I would like to choose for myself, Therefore, I ask you a favor: if you read this message leave me a quick comment, a “hello”, a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my news feed.

Don’t just “Like”, Facebook requires a “Comment”. Even one word! Thanks!!!

Otherwise Facebook chooses who to show me and instead I don’t need facebook to choose my friends!

Do not hesitate to copy and paste on your wall so you can have more interaction with all your contacts and bypass the system. That’s why we don’t see all posts from our friends!

Normally I would quickly jump to telling people that this is another BS hoax floating across Facebook, but this one gets a slight exception. There is some truth to this, which makes it easier to pass on than other hoaxes.

The kernel of truth in this message is that Facebook is indeed using a new algorithm to determine what updates to display in your timeline. While it’s not limited to 25 or 26 individuals it might feel that way. Facebook is using the different types of posts your friends make as well as posts and comments you make to determine what posts have the best match for you. Think of it kind of like the Netflix rating system. They take movies and TV shows you’ve watched over the years and use that to create a percent rating of how well a movie or TV show matches to your liking. With that, simply commenting on a friends post with “hi” will not have the effect mentioned in the post will not increase your messages appearing in others news feeds.

With that sad news out of the way, There is a way to increase where things appear in your timeline.

The first of these, and arguably the most difficult of the two I will be presenting, is to increase your interaction with individuals. Configure Facebook to notify you when people you are interested in getting updates from post something. From there, interact with their posts. React with Like options and place comments on posts. While one comment here and there will not move the needle much, commenting and liking multiple things over a period of time will teach Facebook your interested in this person’s posts. I want to point out that we’re not talking about a comment of “hi” on 15 posts will get you where you want to be. Meaningful conversation is more affective.

The second is a lot simpler. On your Facebook page, click the menu button next to newsfeed and select preferences. From there select “Prioritize who to see first”. From here you can choose up to 30 people to see there posts first. Facebook will prioritize their posts despite how often you interact with the individual.

I hope this information helps and educates. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

Posted in Guides

Facebook Friends

Trust. Its a very important thing between friends. It’s the glue that holds these things together. This hasn’t changed in hundreds, even thousands of years. What has changed over the same amount of time is how we communicate. For the longest of this, we have communicated through ink and parchment. Since that we have figured out how to send electrical pulses through copper wire resulting in communication tools such as the telegraph and telephone. From there we moved our communications from analog to digital and began communicating over the internet.

For each of these forms of communication, there has been a way to verify the source of the message. Wax seals, secret phrases, voice recognition, even facial recognition. For the same amount of time, people have been attempting to replicate these forms of authentication for their own purposes.

Today’s preferred method for family and friends to communicate over distance is Facebook. Like all the other methods of communication, there are people that want to intercept and replace communications for their own reasons and/or gains. These people will attempt to use your name on Facebook to use the trust between you and your friends to achieve whatever gains they think they can get.

  1. The first method commonly used is hacking your account. Generally this is done by you using  a simple password, or the same password across multiple accounts and one of those other sites were compromised. They then log into your account and share links for websites that are less than reputable.
  2. The second method is a little more sly. You’ll come across a story through Facebook. You’ll click on it to read the story with the sensational headline and it will ask you to essentially log in using Facebook. This is actually a Facebook application requesting permissions from you. One of these permissions is posting on your behalf. Whenever the offender feels like it, they can use their application to share a post via your account. If your friends do not know what to look for they can easily mistake this for a post that is genuinely from you. As mentioned before the trust is used to get your friends to click on links that under other circumstances they typically wouldn’t.
  3. The third method requires a little more time investment but doesn’t require any hacking or applications. In this scenario the person wanting to gain access to your friends trust simply creates a new account using your name and profile picture. These things along with your friends list are all publicly visible with no method on your behalf to change that. After they  have created the new account they simply go down the list requesting to be friends to build a clientele of sorts. Generally your friends assume or some reason that your friendship was disconnected or you’ve decided to move on to a new profile for some reason or another and accept. after all that is your name and profile picture.

There are methods for preventing these things from happening. I’ll be happy to share them with you.

  1. First and foremost, use a secure password. Your password should use letters (both capital and lower case), numbers and symbols. You should use at least 8 characters. The more the better but most websites have an upper limit between 16 and 32. Its best if this password is something that is hard to remember. For this reason you should most likely use some sort of password management software such as LastPass or 1Password. On top of this, you should use Two Factor Authentications (abbreviated 2FA). This allows you to use a one time password that typically is a random set of 6 numbers that changes every 20 seconds or so. Facebook has a built in authenticator app that you can use from a mobile device or another computer that you are already logged into. Personally I’m not a fan of this because if you are logged out of all your devices for some reason, you will not be able to access the authenticator. I personally use Authy as my authenticator. They have an Apple Watch app that allows me to retrieve my code from my wrist. I know this is incredibly geeky of me and I’m not going to even try to defend it because this website is mine and I can do what I want.
  2. The method for preventing this method from happing is pay attention to what permissions you hand out on Facebook. It’s generally best practice to not give any applications permissions to post on your behalf. Most of the time, there’s not a good reason to allow it. While I’m writing this the only application I can think of that has a legitimate reason to allow posting on your behalf permissions is Twitter. I’m sure there’s other reputable social media apps that I’m just not thinking about but you get the idea right?
  3. There’s not a lot that can really be done about this one. Its mostly your friends who have to fight this battle for you. The only thing you can really do is help your friends understand that you only have one account and will not be creating another. From there, its in your friends hands. When they see a new friends invitation from someone they’re already friends with, they should check their friends list to see if they are still friends with you (or whoever really). If they are, the account is obviously not the person they are pretending to be. If the person who is requesting friendship is not already in your friends list. there are two options here. They can add the friend and be very cautious about links and communications from the person, or they can verify the authenticity of the person by communicating with whoever the person is supposed to be via some other channel of communication (such as a phone call).

With millions of active users, Facebook is a gold mine for anyone with less than outstanding morals and time on their hands. Its completely up to you to protect your good name. People will be quick to blame you for their computer woes simply because your name was attached to something and they don’t know any better. Do your best not to let this happen to you.

Posted in Tech

I lost my wallet

Sometime Friday I lost my wallet. Most people would be in a fit over this, but because I have consistently lost my wallet since I changed to this new form factor, It didn’t really bother me. I figured it had just fallen out of my pants and got kicked under the bed or something. I didn’t really notice that it was missing until I went to pay for something Saturday. No big deal. Its at home, nothing to worry about. I get home Saturday night and look. I can not find it. I start to stress a little over this but I had just put my daughter and niece to sleep in my bed so I didn’t make a huge effort to search the room. I figure I’ll check tomorrow when the girls are up and it will be there and this is no big deal. Sunday morning rolls around and the girls are up and playing and I am tearing apart my bedroom trying to find my wallet with no luck. Eventually Sunday night my wife ends up finding it under the couch. All is good.

You might be reading this and wondering why I would bother to even write this article about this? The answer to this question is simple. The entire time that my wallet, which had my drivers license, debit card and credit cards, was missing, I was only mildly inconvenienced. Because of new technology, I was able to make the purchases I needed with only having to make slight adjustments to what would be my typical routine. Saturday night we had Pizza for dinner. Ordering it online was simple enough. Features in things such as Apple keychain and secure vaults in password application management software such as LastPass allow you to store credit card information. If you are so inclined, you can also allow the pizza company to retain your purchasing information to be used for later purchases. A little fault with ordering online is, it is not easy to do an “oh! and…”. We had forgot to get the drinks. This is the point where I was mildly inconvenienced. Normally I would just hop in the car and head down to Walmart, pick up some drinks and be on our merry way. Unfortunately Walmart does not see the value in contactless payment systems such as Android and Apple pay, So i went to Walgreen’s instead. Picked up the drinks we needed, waited in line. Picked up some red noses for the girls and checked out via my phone with no slowdown what so ever.

“But Shane!” I hear you start “You shouldn’t be driving without a license!” and I hear you my friend. Fortunately, the state had me covered there. Some time around 2015 Alabama decided to hand out digital copies of their drivers license. Currently I have a copy on my phone in my Apple Wallet.

Sunday while we were out and about handling things, we decided to visit everyone’s favorite fast food burger establishment, McDonald’s. My wife paid for dinner here. Where I come in is at the point we decided to buy an ice cream cone for our daughter. I go to the counter and order the cone, not even thinking once about the fact that i don’t have any of my cards. I open Apple Pay on my phone and tap the register, paying for my order and making me feel incredibly geeky in the process.

I know everyone’s mileage may vary, but for me, only having to redirect a visit (to a store that was about the same price and actually closer to my house), was not that big of a deal. I realize this calls for faith in technology where people are very reluctant to let anything near their debit and credit cards, but its a trade off for convenience. I’m not saying everyone should, or really even pushing anyone to try it. I just wanted to share my experience.

Posted in Guides

Ladies and gentlemen. Go to http://truepeoplesearch.comand type in your name and zip code then check out the results. Got a good look at it? Good. Surprised at how accurate this information is? Not so good. Want to get it off of there?

Go to start the process. Go head and take care of that. We will be more than happy to hang around until your done. Got your info off of that site? Great! Now I would like to take the time to tell you that you have essentially wasted your time. Yeah, I know thats not what you wanted to hear, and you may not even agree with me, but that doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. There are other sites that offer this exact same service (some for cost) with the same information. You could go to them and try to go through the same process but you would still be wasting your time. Why? because these are not the source of your problem. These are the end users of a huge marketplace that is personal information. Detailed information about an individual is just short of literally being a gold mine. With more detailed information about you as a person, companies can better focus their products for you.

When it comes to companies and your personal information, If your concerned about what they might do with it, you should definitely read the fine print. Companies that are giving things away just because you sign up for them should be your first hint that your data is being sold. Nothing is free in this world. Google is probably the first company you think of when it comes to this kind of work. If you lightly look around you’ll see them demonized for collecting your personal information. What if I told you that Google were actually the good guys as far as data collection is concerned? You might think of Google as the San Francisco 49ers (the actual guys from the 1940’s, not the football team). When it came to personal data being collected, they dug in quick, deep and huge waves, but instead of taking this information and selling it as other companies do today, they took this information and went to potential clients and said things like we have information on twenty thousand unique users who would be a great target for your ad. Would you like to pay to use our ad service? This made sure only the company you gave the information to (you know because they gave you free gmail and access to that mail) kept that information safe while they still made money off of it. Yes they made money off of it, but really, did you think they were hosting all of those mail servers out of the goodness of their hearts?

There are other companies who collect your data and sell it to other companies. Surprisingly, these companies are called Data Brokers. The greatest thing about these companies are how much affect hey can have on your life. Thee of the top 10 Data Brokers are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These names sound familiar? They should. These three companies are essentially what makes up your FICO credit score. Two more names that might come as a surprise to you are ValPak (these are the people who stuff the envelope full of coupons and mail them to you) and Readers Digest (yep, theres actually occasions where you pay someone to sell your data).

Fortunately there are people who think that this is plain wrong and are willing to help you out. The site has a page ( for helping you to opt out of what are considered the top 50 companies that collect and/or sell your information.

Unfortunately there seems to be not enough people who know (or care?) that this is going on to push hard enough for the required changes to be made. This post is my mild attempt to educate the masses. I don’t expect it to go far, but I feel I have done my