I started Saturday evening cursing the Longhorn Network, but ended the night wearing an LHN cap. Since I don't have U verse (long story, bro), I planned to watch the Texas vs. Wyoming football game at El Arroyo, but it was jam packed, so I ended up at Republic Square Park, where LHN put on a viewing party for the public with a big screen in the park. Before I arrived, I missed quite a bit of drama, a friend told me. The jumbo screen was dark, as techs scrambled to get a signal, so hundreds of fans in burnt orange were freaking out. Can't miss the season opener! A couple of minutes before kickoff, a guy with a walkie talkie and clipboard calmed the crowd somewhat by announcing that all the beer and food was free from then on, including the food trucks ringing the Downtown square. Plus, fans could line up to get a free ticket to a future Longhorn home game. A minute later, the game popped on, but LHN kept to the free for all deal. The almighty ESPN owns the LHN they've got the dough and partying on their dime felt like redeeming frequent viewer miles. Street drunks showed up for the free beer like ants to a dropped popsicle. It was a blast with a breeze, though the jittery Horns kept it from getting too festive early on. On the first two WYO possessions, the vaunted Texas D gave up a field goal and an 82 yard touchdown pass, when tackling dummies Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom of "DBU" flunked out and knocked each other off the receiver. The play of the game was Kenny Vaccaro's full stride interception in the second half, with Wyoming leading 9 7 and headed into Texas territory again. That pick turned it around for a 37 17 Texas win, with both Malcolm "X's and O's" Brown and Joe Bergeron gaining more than 100 yards on the ground. Usually, I hate watching football in public, and the woman shrieking "run, baby, run!" whenever a Longhorn had the ball was hard to take. But generally it was a fun time at RS and even guffaw ful, as when DB Mykkele Thompson made the bonehead play of the game with a pass interference penalty that would've been ruled a flagrant foul in the NBA. Unfamiliar with his No. 2, someone deadpanned "Who farted?" In the heat of battle it's sometimes hard to remember that, although Coach Mack Brown made about $800,000 per win the past two seasons, college football players get paid in homework. Happy to say Thompson, Byndom, and Phillips each redeemed themselves with a key fourth down stop, an interception, and a pass breakup in the end zone, respectively. The Longhorn Network is hosting another party at Republic Square, at Fourth and Guadalupe streets, on Saturday for the New Mexico game (7pm kickoff). But bring money. It's only free the first time.
Back to Main MenuCelebrationsFraud PreventionManage Your AdPlace an AdA reader named Carol Malone called earlier this month taking exception with a critical piece I wrote about youths who hitch rides on the RTA for free. These free riders are often called fare jumpers, which is a polite way of calling them petty thieves.Carol's argument was one I've heard before: The children are probably poor and therefore should be excused for failing to pay the fare to get to school, home, Tower City or a convenience store across town. (The Cleveland school district provides RTA passes for many of its students).I've always found this sort of argument no matter how well stated to be condescending. It's an argument, however, that resonates with a surprising number of people.It's the notion that the very poor should be held to a different standard of public behavior, a more flexible definition of morality. It is, in my opinion, one of the more damaging assaults on the concept of personal responsibility.If one accepts this logic, it quickly becomes difficult to locate the guardrails in the social order.If it's OK for a poor kid to steal a bus ride, it's probably OK for him to steal a loaf of bread, too, because he's probably hungry. Lots of probablys.The proponents of "the poor are exempt" nonsense undoubtedly see the Ten Commandments as riddled with small print exceptions for the less economically well off.Carol expressed another concern, however, that is worth some discussion: Why did RTA make its much vaunted HealthLine the slick, hybrid route that runs from downtown to the Stokes/Windermere Station in East Cleveland the only "honor line" in its system? (Correction: RTA says the Red Line has a similar pay system.) Why did it set up a bus line in which people can easily step onto the bus without paying?"Why would RTA build a line through some of the poorest neighborhoods in Cleveland and expect that children who don't have any money, children who are living way below the poverty line, not to get on without paying?"I like that question, not because I have a tolerance for thieves, because I don't. I like the question because I was never clear on why the RTA bosses decided that the new line, the one that is supposed to lead to $4.3 billion in economic development along the Euclid Corridor, would be rooted in an easily exploited honor pay system.I'm not a transit guy, but I never really bought their honor pay for the sake of efficiency argument. The way the HealthLine works is that riders pay at the bus stations for fare cards. They keep the cards as proof of payment. They do not pay fares on the bus or swipe the fare cards in magnetic readers.I put Carol's question to state Rep. elect Bill Patmon, who also sits on the RTA board. His was the only dissenting vote in last week's 7 1 board vote to establish a measure that would impose a $50 fine on fare jumpers who repeat the offense."The honor system on that line was a poor piece of public policy. It was a mistake. This is not a race issue. But 67 percent of the children arrested are African Americans," said Patmon."I'm not in favor of anyone breaking the law. But I'm also not in favor of any public policy that creates attractive hazards or incentives to break the law."Patmon and I occasional meet over breakfast to discuss public policy. We frequently take opposing points of view. This RTA fare jumping issue was no different. But we did find at least one patch of common ground.Patmon, who said he jumped fares as a kid in Detroit, wants to remove the incentive for kids to jump fares.Nfl Jerseys 2015
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