November 15, Meeting – Mike Tirico Brought Down the House

John Barrie

We had a full house when President Mark Ouimet gaveled the meeting to order. Tom Strode got things going with America the Beautiful. John Barrie’s Inspiration urged us to see ourselves as unique and valuable, citing quotes from Buckminister Fuller and Sister Teresa. Shelley MacMillan shared a very beautiful musical rendition of “Something Told the Wild Geese” a poem by Rachel Field.

President Mark began the business portion of the meeting with the unhappy announcement that Administrator Emily Olsen will be leaving us at the end of December. Emily will become Development Director of Kerrytown Concert House, a position that allows her to use her many skills to support her love for music.  We are happy for Emily, but sad for Rotary.

Lori Walters announced birthdays and club membership anniversaries. President Mark called on members to introduce the many guests.

Notes from the Meeting

Mike Tirico

President Mark introduced our speaker, Mike Tirico, who is currently the NFL play-by-play announcer on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. He has covered all the major sporting events during his career and he loves the job. He spoke at length about his experience covering the Beijing Olympics, noting that the country was so completely locked down, in response to covid as well as political controversy, that when he and his crew were being driven to a stadium in a completely closed vehicle, he was obliged to roll up a window that was opened only half an inch. Escaping virus or ideas?

When he turned to his topic, The Future of College Football, he stated outright that college sports are screwed up – that the joyful experience of young people playing is almost completely gone. Schools with smaller alumnae/fan bases are completely out priced, not only in pursuit of players but events have become so expensive that few families can attend. The experience of attending a sporting event is no longer wonderful fun. College football is so professionalized that it has lost its way. The game will increasingly divide into the rich powerhouses and leave the smaller schools behind. This will have an outsized impact on all the other sports that depend on football revenue.

The NIL – Name Image Likeness – movement swept through college sports and now is surfacing in high school. There are no rules or regulations. College football is completely severed from the educational mission of the institution. The money involved at all levels is a mirror of our society. It used to be that all sorts of people came in contact with each other in a stadium section: Blacks, whites, men, women, children, Muslims, Asians. Sports were melting post. This is no longer true. He was sad, and expressed the sadness many of us feel.

Total attention of our members on Tirico.

President Mark reminded us that there will be no meeting next week, November 23, in recognition of Thanksgiving.

The Quote of the Day honored National Clarinet Day: “After you have done all the work and prepared as much as you can, what the hell, you might as well go out and have a good time!” Benny Goodman

Reporter: Agnes Reading
Photographer: Fred Beutler