Archive for August, 2011

Welcome to the second edition of the award-winning Fury Files (soon-to-be was dropped by the copy editor before that last bit). If you missed the first installment with former St. John’s quarterback Tom Linnemann, click here.

This week’s guest is John Millea, a longtime newspaper reporter who moved his typewriter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Minnesota State High School League last year. Millea worked at the Star Tribune for 20 years and before that he worked in Arizona and Iowa. At the Star Tribune he started out on the copy desk before landing a writing position. He covered a little bit of everything as a general assignment reporter – Twins, Wolves, Vikings, colleges, bowling, boxing, and other sports starting with “b.”

He was probably best known for his outstanding work on the Minnesota prep sports scene, where he covered big-school dynasties like the Eden Prairie football team and small-school ones like the Ellsworth basketball team. In March 2010, after 10 years on the prep beat, Millea left the paper to become the Media Specialist for the MSHSL, where he’s become something of a trailblazer. According to John, “no other high school governing body in the nation has a staff person doing what I do.” For all intents and purposes, he’s still a reporter – only instead of working for the Star Tribune, it’s with the MSHSL. He’s also well-known for being a really nice guy who’s always willing to help out fellow journalists, whether it’s people who started in the business with Sid Hartman or are fresh out of school.

A native of tiny Graettinger, Iowa – population 900, and home to, at least according to Wikipedia, the oldest Labor Day parade in all of Iowa – Millea graduated from Drake, but now makes his home in Minnesota – and on the state’s highways. Last year, during the school year, Millea visited 821 schools/teams and drove 11,029 miles. And as those who follow his writing on the entertaining and informative John’s Journal on the MSHSL website know, he drank nearly that many Diet Cokes.

You can read his writing here, Facebook him here, and follow him on Twitter here.

And now, John talks about his transition to the MSHSL, his career as a dominant center for the Graettinger football team, the future of high school athletics, his best interview subjects, the allure of small town sports, the 1998 Atlanta Falcons (sorry Vikes fans), and a lot more.

Thanks a lot for your time, John.


By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger

The rules have changed. Kickoffs have been officially made inconsequential. The NFL decided this offseason to move all kickoffs to the 35-yard line rather than kicking from the 30 like teams have for years. The move comes among a rash of rule changes aimed at making the NFL safer for current players. Kickoffs have been long regarded as one of the most dangerous plays in all of sports, as men of almost superhuman strength get a full head of steam and crash headlong into each other. To put that in perspective, two men running 4.3 40s headlong into each other is the kinetic equivalent to a 40 mph collision with a brick wall … without the car around you. So it is no wonder that the NFL has decided this is just too dangerous to keep in the game.

The question is, how will this affect the season? There has been a much ado about the implications for losing this exciting part of the game, and some vague referrences to reducing the relevancy of dynamic players like Josh Cribbs and Devin Hester, but I have heard little actual analysis as to what it means for specific teams. The most glaring winner under this new system seems to be the San Diego Chargers.

Last year, San Diego ranked last in the NFL in special teams play. Despite ranking first in both offense and defense, this special teams drag was enough to keep them out of the playoffs. So let’s look at what the implications of far fewer meaningful kick-off plays means to them.

According to the Football Outsiders, kickoffs and kick returns cost the Chargers 21 points relative to a team that was just average in those disciplines last year. Moreover, the cost relative to the team that was best at kickoff coverage and kick returns was more like a 48-point swing.

These disparities will all but go away in the new regime. Because a far higher percentage of kicks will result in touchbacks, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities for opponents to make the Chargers pay for sucking at those plays. It will also mean that there will be a far smaller reward for the teams that are good at them. In other words, it will pull everyone toward being average. When rules make us all average, the greatest gainers are those that are the worst and the greatest losers are those that are the best. In this way, the NFL has already gone much of the way to solving the Chargers special teams woes for them.

Imagine last years Chargers with an average special teams. Pretty daunting, huh? That may very well be what we are in for this season. If Rivers and the boys can come close to repeating last years performance on offense and defense, watch out for San Diego.

About the author: Frasier has become the defacto third member of Team TVFury. In fact, he gets paid just as much as TV and Fury.

Book It rebuffed

Posted: August 29, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

My oldest daughter brought home some paperwork over the weekend. Turns out her second-grade class is participating in the Book It program, which basically bribes kids to read by offering free pizza. Spend 20 minutes each day with a book and you’ll be rewarded with a personal-pan pizza from Pizza Hut every month during the school year.

Great deal, right? But what struck me was her reaction: She flat out didn’t care. She didn’t want to do it even though loves pizza (it’s one of maybe four foods she’ll eat without complaint) and already has 30 minutes set aside each night – right before bedtime – to do some reading. In other words, this not only wasn’t an inconvenience, it was basically extra incentive to do something she was going to do anyway. Yet she was completely indifferent.

I was befuddled and slightly offended. At that moment, I experienced for probably the first time the age-old sense that the new generation is awful, entitled and probably going to bring down civilization.

See, Book It started when I was in elementary school and it was one of the best things ever. EVER. Nothing tasted as good as free pizza in a sit-down restaurant. It made me feel like a super hero – I had delivered our family to this place and picked up my portion of the tab. In fact, Book It is probably at the heart of why I still covet free food and perhaps explains how I wound up being a sports writer. (Who gets more free food than sports writers?)

To have my daughter turn up her nose at this opportunity threw me for a loop; I’d have been less surprised if she had informed me she was moving out. Among the questions buzzing around in my head:

Is she spoiled? I mean, she does have a cell phone and a TV, but the former is the result of contractual issue with our provider and the latter was, well, a bribe to get her to sleep in the basement by herself. While this might be rationalizing things, I don’t think her teachers or friends’ parents would say that she behaves like a spoiled kid. That seems like a fair measuring stick.

Am I an awful parent? After all, she didn’t buy those electronics for herself. And if she does feel entitled and/or take luxuries for granted, well, that’s my bad for allowing her to act that way. I mean, my parents weren’t perfect, but at least they taught me well enough to appreciate free pizza.

Is this a societal issue? For example, my grandparents saved and scrounged to get through school while raising kids. My parents didn’t quite have to do that, but clipped lots of coupons in their younger years. I haven’t really done either of those things and went to a private college. There’s no question that I’ve assumed more tangible wealth than my parents did at this age so it seems natural for my daughter to take that to yet another level.

Comedian Adam Carolla did a bit on this very topic during a recent podcast. (Related note: If you don’t mind some salty language, his shows are hilarious … and far smarter than you would assume.) When he was a kid, it was a huge deal to get to go to McDonald’s. But his kids have to be coaxed into it. Just going to McDonald’s isn’t enough – they need an action figure, too, extra incentive in order to willingly participate.

And then one week later – bam! – the same thing is going down in my own home. And, unlike Carolla, I’m hardly a millionaire. Perhaps in this day and age the scourge of being spoiled or entitled has trickled down to the middle class, meaning more kids than ever expect to eat from silver spoons.

What does this all mean? I’m not exactly sure. But I’m not willing to say that it’s the beginning of the end. After all, I’m guessing that my grandparents are appalled that I don’t always send thank you notes. I almost always verbally thank someone for a small gift or a kind gesture, but I rarely do the additional paperwork. And I don’t believe that strategy is contributing to the downfall of society even if others might see it that way.

At the end of the day, the kid did her 20 minutes of reading, somewhat reluctantly beginning the Book It journey. There will be a delicious ending … whether she wants it to or not.

It’s Friday – time to watch The Tapes. Unless there’s another earthquake or Liberian revolution.

  • Between the rampant use of PEDs, criminal activities and general entitlement issues (looking at you, LeBron), it’s become virtually impossible to feel, well, anything – let alone legit sadness – when it comes to sports stars. Then along came the news that legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. She’s just 59 and still near the top of her profession. To think of Summitt, arguably the most respected and influential figure in the history of women’s sports, losing her mental faculties while on the job is borderline heartbreaking.
    Obviously, I haven’t read every story on the subject, but I haven’t heard of anyone telling this tale better than Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post.
  • I’ve become a tech nerd. Multiple Twitter accounts, multiple Facebook pages, Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, my own app – it goes on and on. But I have yet to buy into the tablet craze. Came very close to doing so once only to decide that it wasn’t worth the money considering it doesn’t really do anything that my desktop or laptop can’t.
    My opinion changed this week when HP, in the early stages of basically giving up, began selling its well-regarded TouchPad for $99. Now I want in even though support for the operating system will cease to exist. Problem is that the fire sale created an insane amount of traffic. It’s like a Web version of Black Friday that lasts, well, almost a week now. It’s a feeding frenzy. Part of me wants to avoid it all together. But the other half of me is even more intrigued because of the hunt. I probably won’t end up with one, but I’ve already spent a good chunk of timing considering it.
  • Also, many more NBA players signed to go overseas this week. Good for them, obviously. But what about the players who otherwise would have been in line to claim those big-money jobs? Former NBA D-League MVP and ex-Miami Heat forward Kasib Powell breaks that down in this podcast.
  • Fury here, taking a break from convincing my wife we’re in a part of Manhattan that doesn’t need to evacuate. With the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks nearing, there will obviously be countless stories written, joining the thousands that have already appeared in countless publications. Still, perhaps the most haunting one remains The Falling Man, by Tom Junod, which appeared in Esquire in 2003. If you haven’t read it, click on it. If you have read it, you know it’s not the type of story that’s real easy to get through another time. Recently, Junod did a session with The Story of a Story where he talked about the story and the reporting and writing behind it. It’s an interesting read about an incredibly difficult subject.
  • I like Apple’s plan for moving forward after Steve Jobs’ departure.
  • I’ll simply present the headline to this story and let the picture speak for itself as well: Someone Killed a Three-Foot Long Rat with a Pitchfork at the Marcy Houses. Come visit us! After the hurricane, of course.
  • This is the most depressing Twins season since…I don’t know, 1992? When the team was terrible throughout most of the 1990s at least you expected them to be terrible. In 1992 they had probably the best team in baseball but went downhill after the midseason point. So in this difficult season, how about 10 minutes of maybe the most famous night in Twins history. No, it’s not Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, or even Game 7 of that series, maybe the greatest World Series in baseball history. It’s the night the Twins returned to Minneapolis after defeating the Tigers in the 1987 ALCS. All they did was win the American League, yet 50,000 people packed the Metrodome to welcome them home. It was Minnesotans getting a little crazy. Usually that only involved asking for a large Dairy Queen blizzard instead of the normal medium-size. But on this night, the entire state went nuts for a team that still had to win four games to win a title. And on this night, Juan Berenguer became a legend. Plus, the Forest Lake band was there! Enjoy.

This summer I spent more time than I would have ever thought possible obsessing over the New York City streetball tournaments. I went to games and watched highlights online. I stood in line for two hours and in the stands for six. I wrote blogs and read newspaper articles. I sold the scene to friends and bought scalped tickets from strangers. I watched Kevin Durant dunk and Ron Artest defend. And, perhaps most memorably, I watched Michael Beasley mush.

And all of that happened in the Inwood section of New York City. Inwood.

Inevitably, newspaper stories, online reports and YouTube videos would announce that the games were held in “Washington Heights.” Now in the big picture this isn’t a big deal. Even in the small picture it’s not a big deal. Yet each time I read it I sighed a bit, exasperated that my little neighborhood was again being overlooked, if not forgotten, in favor of a better-known part of New York City. New York City’s known for its neighborhoods and many of them have names that are recognized in the biggest cities out West and the smallest cities in the Midwest – Times Square, the Upper West Side, the Village, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, Harlem.

Inwood’s not as famous, but it’s still a part of New York. More importantly, it’s now home. So here now, a little tour.


By Brett Hansen
Guest photog

The best thing about Kansas City is barbeque. No question.

But the second best thing might be Livestrong Park, the new home of Major League Soccer franchise Sporting Kansas City. Just opened this year, the joint seats 18,467 for soccer and cost around $200 million.

Rather than rattle off a bunch more facts, why don’t you take a look in the form of some recent pictures taken during a behind-the-scenes tour.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

About the author: Hansen is a certified sports addict, who works in media relations in professional basketball. He also loves him some Twitter. Toss him a follow.

By Rich Jensen
Guest blogger

While there have been numerous calls to revamp the NCAA rulebook, I’ve seen little discussion of the need to adjust the penalties the NCAA imposes. To be sure, there is a call for greater transparency in penalty assessment and something along the lines of “sentencing guidelines,” but that concerns the doling out of penalties, not the penalties themselves.

At this time, the NCAA cannot directly impose financial penalties on member institutions. Indeed, it may seem that the NCAA would be greatly overreaching its role if it were to impose financial penalties, but is this the case?

Arguably not. In the first place, professional sports sanctioning bodies have the authority to impose financial penalties on member organizations, players, coaches and employees.

Secondly, the NCAA has long been permitted by member institutions to levy indirect financial penalties. Consider the ban on bowl games imposed on USC. This is an indirect financial penalty as USC is prohibited from cashing a bowl appearance check.

If the NCAA is allowed to assess financial penalties directly, it would give them far more flexibility in disciplining member institutions.

At present the NCAA has a variety of tools by which schools and occasionally employees are disciplined (scholarship restrictions, practice restrictions, bowl game and post-season bans, the ‘show cause’ restriction, etc.). However, these penalties have had negligible impact on compliance at schools where there are obvious financial benefits for rules violations.

Essentially, rules are flouted because it is profitable to do so, and because punishment rarely impacts the guilty party.

The NCAA also has the “death penalty” – the ability to suspend a program for a period of time. This has only been exercised three times in Division I.

The NCAA is basically armed with a variety of pellet guns and a nuclear bomb. They do not have a disciplinary mechanism that can be scaled to match the severity of the infraction.

Monetary fines would provide just that scalability.

Additionally, monetary fines would place renegade boosters, agents and coaches within reach of the university and (indirectly) the NCAA. By adding language to employment contracts, donation agreements and agent applications which makes the signer responsible for any penalties assessed against the school, rules violations would carry a real financial risk for parties that are currently able to break rules with relative impunity.

The cost of carrying NCAA penalties while attempting to obtain restitution from former employees through civil process (lawsuits, judgments, garnishment, etc.) would provide a strong incentive for universities to carefully supervise all athletic department employees and boosters.

Finally, monetary fines would make it easier for the NCAA to write legislation patterned on the RICO Act, which imposes stiff additional penalties on patterns of corrupt conduct. In instances where a university has been willfully blind or has actively encouraged a pattern of rule breaking, the ability to impose significant additional penalties without needing to establish evidence of further wrongdoing would simplify the enforcement process.

About the author: In addition to being a diehard sports fan, Jensen is some sort of computer genius. He even has his own link shortener.

A few hours ago I sat at our table on the top floor of our six-floor building in northern Manhattan. I was eating lunch with my wife. Suddenly, the paintings on the walls moved. The table shook. A six-foot-tall medicine cabinet rattled. Weird.

I looked at Louise, she looked at me.

“What?” I asked.

“What did you do?”


She refused to believe me. “You look guilty.” Apparently she was convinced I’d managed to move our furniture and caused our apartment to shake through some type of psychic ability, or I’d been violently pushing the table with my hands under the table cloth. A few minutes later she went online and saw the news of the East Coast earthquake and she was finally convinced of my innocence.

It hasn’t even been two hours since the quake hit. And already it’s sort of cycled through the new media world. It’s pretty much the same cycle of any breaking news event these days: Confusion; instant news; confirmation; jokes; people sick of it; people sick of others being sick of it; accusations of hysteria; the who cares? brigade; the stop-talking-about-it-already segment; East Coast people are wimps for being worried or even talking about it; have we already forgotten about Libya?; are the power plants safe?; yes they are, shut up already; do you realize people are starving?; if this happened in Fargo no one would care, especially those New York City elite snobs and on and on and on.

And all that in 90 minutes, or the typical running time of a disaster movie about a 10.0 earthquake hitting New York City.

It’s all predictable. Some points.

* “STOP FREAKING OUT! GOD! IT’S AN EARTHQUAKE! THEY HAPPEN MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY!” True. But are people really freaking out? Some are, sure. People who were trapped in large buildings in downtown Manhattan perhaps panicked a bit as their building swayed and security told them to evacuate down the steps. In about two weeks there will be a pretty big anniversary of a pretty big event in the nation’s history. You can maybe understand why someone in downtown NYC, in a tall building, might be a little concerned when they feel their office shaking.

But again, what does “freaking out” mean? People went outside from Baltimore to Long Island to see if there was any damage. They called their family to tell them, more with awe and surprise than concern, “Did you hear about the earthquake?” Is that freaking out? The TV networks, yes, covered it. Is that freaking out? People on the East Coast tweeted that they felt something, something they don’t feel every day or any day. Is that freaking out? People were reacting, people were living. That’s what happens. It doesn’t mean anyone thought the world was ending, except those who think that all the time.

* “Earthquake? Cha, who cares? Back in my day – and back in our home state – we deal with 7.0 quakes on a daily basis. You can’t even walk to the grocery store here without being knocked to the ground by a tremor. You get up, dust yourself off, and continue on your way. Deal with it, people.” Have seen tweets and message board posts from West Coasters that are, basically, taunts, as if they’re Lakers fans making fun of Knicks fans for the Isiah Thomas reign. “God, you people can’t take a 6.0 quake? Hilarious.”

Every section of the country has something they take strange pride in when it comes to weather or natural disasters.The South can take heat. Californians, earthquakes. New Yorkers – anything and everything.

For Midwesterners, it’s snow and cold. And I admit to doing this myself in NYC. Lifetime New Yorkers look at me with a combination of pity and awe when they read stories during the winter about 20 inches of snow, -25 degree temperatures and -50 windshield readings. They’re amazed that someone made it out alive. I play it up. Yeah, it’s wicked weather. Terrible things. The implication is that Minnesotans are somehow tougher than the East Coast effete who can, perhaps, handle a snowstorm, but not snow and cold.

And Minnestoans laugh – their hearty Midwestern laughs – when a storm hits the south or the West Coast. That’s when they get to make fun of others.

They watch TV reports of 50-care pileups or people slipping on the sidewalks. An inch of snow and they don’t know how to drive in it? Meanwhile, whenever I’m home during the winter, all I hear is people complaining about the weather. They hate it just as much as those who only get it once a decade. Sure, they ice fish and snowmobile and drive and live their lives but that’s because they have to. Humans adapt. If the south received weekly snowstorms, guess what? They’d eventually adapt too. They’d learn to live with it. Just because people in one particular region of the country are more familiar with certain weather patterns or disaster patterns does not make them better, tougher, smarter or stronger. It just means you’re used to it.

And if the East Coast received earthquakes on a daily basis, they’d deal with them with more nonchalance too.

Californians and snow? There’s the exception. They wouldn’t adapt. Those people are wimps.

* “If this happened in the Midwest, these TV cameras would be nowhere to be found! I’m sick of Washington and New York getting all the attention!” This is sort of the natural disaster equivalent of a swimming parent calling in to the sports desk to say that the newspaper is “costing my son a scholarship. Do you realize he finished fourth in the butterfly and third in the relay but your fishwrap doesn’t even write stories and only puts the top two finishers in the scoreboard section? If this was a basketball game, you’d write four stories on it.”

I agree that the media often blows things completely out of proportion. Everyone knows this, even the producers and executives and editors responsible for blowing things out of proportion. That said, the simple fact is there is a lot of media out here. When a quake hits and buildings start to sway and the White House, Pentagon and NYC City Hall are evacuated, there will be more cameras there to document it than there would be in, say, Mankato, Minnesota.

But this idea that somehow something like this would be ignored if it happened elsewhere is, well, ludicrous. Take, for instance, the horrific Minot flooding. The New York Times wrote numerous stories on the terrible events in that city. And they should have. The damage was much greater than whatever will eventually happen with this quake. it was a flood that completely altered the city’s present and will negatively affect its future. And the Times – and other East Coast media – wrote about those floods and others here and here and here and here. TV networks had their cameras ready. When Joplin, Missouri, suffered a devastating tornado, the TV anchors and their pretty hair descended on the town to cover the aftermath and tell the stories.

In today’s media world, everything will eventually get covered, whether it happens in New York or 2,000 miles away from Yankee Stadium. If an earthquake hit my hometown of Janesville, the Waseca County News would be there to cover it. But eventually, if a building fell or it became known that it was the first time in 150 years the town had an earthquake, someone from the evil East Coast media would write about it or blog about it or put a picture of it up on the TV screen. Of course, if the media would start talking about, they’d eventually be accused of blowing it out of proportion.

Bottom line: The media’s not set on ignoring your region’s disaster. There’s no grand conspiracy against small town folks in the middle part of the country.

But your local paper? Totally messing up your kid’s chance at a swimming scholarship.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Back to the overreactions, complaints about the coverage, taunts of regional superiority and expressions of boredom about an event that is – truth be told – unlike anything that’s happened in this part of the world in, oh, 130 years. And if you’re already sick of it? Don’t worry, by tomorrow everyone will have moved on to something new – only the reactions will be the same.

As you might have heard, the football program at Miami – aka The U – is in hot water again due to a decade of salacious behavior that was brought to light by an incredible Yahoo! Sports report.

What happened in the past and what should happen in the future? What parts of the report – and new media in general – can be questioned and what can’t? Where does the NCAA go from here? And how does Teddy Dupay go about regaining his good name?

TV and Fury could talk about this story for days … and they practically do in this week’s podcast.

It’s football season. Not sure if you’ve heard that or not.

Of course, you have. Everyone has. The game is now, without any question, the official sport of the U.S. and A. Accentuating that point, I watched – on purpose – part of the Vikings-Seahawks contest Saturday night, a meaningless exhibition featuring two teams I care little about.

A new year means new football fashions on the field, on the sidelines and in the stands. The common link between the three: Casual. Futuristic fabrics, meandering stripes and jerseys. The only dress clothes are worn by the broadcasters.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his infamous hoodie.

It’s a stark contrast to what things looked like in the 1960s, the start of the Super Bowl era. Back then, coaches wore suits and ties and sometimes sharp fedoras. So did many of the fans, if you look closely at classic NFL photos.

Now, coaches wear long-sleeved polos at best and have to get special permission to dress as if they’re going to work. And fans? Well, you’re more likely to find one without sleeves (and teeth) than one wearing a sportcoat.

It’s all casual all the time. Might this be an indication of where we’ve gone wrong as a society?

I’m hardly an expert on international affairs, but it sure seems like things have gotten off track. The national debt is, well, huge and we’re no longer certain to do better financially than our parents. Those seem like fairly important facts.

Think about it: Casual implies something less professional, not quite on point. The more relaxed state of dress within our favorite game may be conveying an attitude of indifference, could be contributing to underachievement.

Remember the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got”? Well, there seems to be a lot of aspiring hobos.

Certainly, there are some valid reasons for the change in dress. Wealth has accumulated over generations (until now), meaning more disposable income and more clothing options. You didn’t need to wear a suit all the time. And, in theory, comfort could lead to greater productivity – not being buttoned down means more freedom of movement.

Plus, sharp dress alone doesn’t equate to sharp humanity. Take the guys on Mad Men, for example. America was hardly perfect in the 1960s; people just looked better when drinking and degrading women.

Former Cowboys coach Tom Landry was a stylish winner.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m as guilty of this as anybody. Right now, I’m wearing a pair of gym shorts that I’ve had since college, a t-shirt I’ve had since 1995 (seriously), I need a haircut and haven’t shaved in a couple weeks. I also haven’t showered in a couple days. (Don’t ask.) Yes, I’m a hot mess. I’d like to think this post is going as well as it might if I were wearing one of the two suits that I own.

I wear a tie to work maybe seven times a year and usually take some guff from co-workers for it yet there’s no question that I feel more confident and somehow smarter on those days. It sets the tone for my attitude.

In that regard, perhaps my lot in life would be better if I didn’t so often give in to my casual urges. Maybe I’d be living up to the potential I once figured I had. Perhaps my wife would be able to stay at home with the kids, just like most women did when Tom Landry first began roaming the sidelines.

Makes sense, right? And probably worth a shot? Totally agree. Yet I very much doubt that I’ll make any change to my appearance. Why? I don’t know – laziness? The extra cost that’s often associated with being a sharp-dressed man?

Yes and yes. On the other hand, clothes don’t necessarily make the man. Here’s to hoping that we start putting as much thought into our, well, thoughts as we once put into our gridiron wardrobes.