Showing posts with label Commentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commentary. Show all posts

Monday, June 1, 2020

Greg Popovich is the Voice of Reason


It's not enough to just speak up and offer platitudes. Greg Popovich is here with solutions and I hope to hell this is not dismissed as just another sports figure looking for attention:
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich discussed the recent protests throughout the United States with Dave Zirin of The Nation on Sunday.

Dozens of cities across the U.S. have been engaging in demonstrations following George Floyd's death while in police custody May 25, and Popovich provided his thoughts on the long-term issues facing the U.S.:

"The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we've seen it all before, but nothing changes. That's why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it's been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change."

The 71-year-old went on to criticize President Donald Trump for his lack of leadership at a time of crisis and his unwillingness to say "black lives matter," but he noted the problems go beyond one person.

"It's more than just Trump," he said. "The system has to change."

As for the current protests, Popovich said they are "very necessary, but they need to be organized better."

What Popovich is pushing back against is the idea that the status quo is something to be revered. What people should realize is that every aspect of normal has to be evaluated for what could very well be the continued oppression of Americans. We can't continue to police our cities like this. We have to remember that the act of dissent it patriotic. It is a very essential idea that protesting is a right and is often the most legitimate form of social commentary.

As you watch everything continue to unfold, remember that there will always be an effort to tie people to looting, burning, and mayhem. This disenfranchises everyone who is protesting peacefully. There are bad actors out there, and they're muddying the water.

This is who they are:



Popovich is trying to share some clarity with us and we should be grateful for his eloquence.




Thursday, February 27, 2020

17 Games


To me, this is a crazy number of games for the NFL to play in one season:
As we stand on the verge of another decade of labor peace, I can’t get that out of my head, and my reasoning is simple. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve discussed everything from the revenue split to pensions to how individual contracts will work under a reformatted NFL schedule, and the main thing is still the main thing.
My belief is the reason why opposition against the current CBA proposal has persisted lies therein. It’s the 17th game. Period. End of story.
It’s been clear from the start that players are leery about the idea of extending their season—creating another set of car crashes in a system that already called for 16 of them. And a lot of them knew that the owners’ strong desire to do that, in addition to their concern over further delaying the broadcast negotiation, created leverage.
So some players wanted the union to push for more, in just about every category.

You want 17 games? Fine. Then it’s on our terms.
And they did get more in some areas. The money in this deal is good, and if the goal is, “Let’s keep getting rich!” then the deal the union’s done is totally fine. But if you were looking for a game-changer, then this really isn’t that.
The franchise tag system is the same, as is the vesting schedule. There were tweaks to rookie contracts and the funding rule, but problems with those (team control over players for six or seven years, a crutch to use in not guaranteeing contracts) aren’t going away. And specific to the issue of 17 games, there are problems. The max number of padded practices in training camp was cut from 28 to 16, but offseason and in-season rules didn’t change.
The impact of an NFL game in an American city is easy to measure. On game day, revenue pours in. People spend their cash like it's water. Adding just one more home game per year, every other year, means more of the same. More people through the gates, more butts in seats, more of everything.

However, it means shorter careers and more injuries for the players. I hope they get a larger piece of that pie. I think they're getting too little as it is in relation to what the owners are walking away with every home game.

It's just my mathematical bias speaking, but an uneven number of games throws me off a bit. If anything, I would cut the number of pre-season games to two and I would add two more bye weeks into the current 16 game season. I wouldn't even keep the 16 game season. If I could, I'd knock it back to 12.

You would get less football. But you'd get fewer injuries, and guys would play longer. No one would like my idea, but there it is.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This is Stupid, and, Of Course, It Involves Guns




I refuse to believe that people in Arkansas are this stupid:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill regarding a person’s ability to carry a concealed handgun into various buildings at a public university or college into state law. However, House Bill 1249 will not allow all legal gun owners to carry a gun to a football game in the state of Arkansas.

Football games will be considered a “sensitive area,” which require enhanced training in order to be allowed to carry a gun into a football stadium. The law supposedly trumps any provisions already in place to prevent guns from being allowed on the premises.

“The enhanced level of training is very important, and I am convinced the public will be more safe,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This bill, in my view, reflects the view of the general assembly.”

The view of the general assembly is, "beer plus college football plus shenanigans is enhanced by the presence of guns as long as you have enhanced training."

What the hell is that, by the way? Well, to me, it's something that the police chief's kid gets in order to wave around in front of people. It's what people with a lot of money and influence get when they want something from the local sheriff. It's kind of a no-brainer. If you are smart enough to pass "enhanced level of gun training" class, shouldn't you also be smart enough to know that a football stadium is exactly where you don't take your gun?

What happened to common sense? Do you know where you need to carry your gun? Not at a college football game, that's where.













Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Jeff Fisher




Jeff Fisher was fired yesterday, and everyone seems to think they know why:

Jeff Fisher, whose job security became baffling as he led the Rams through years of mediocrity, was fired today as the team’s head coach. The team announced the move this afternoon.

Fisher was fired after perhaps the single ugliest loss of his coaching tenure, a brutal blowout at the hands of the Falcons on Sunday that ensured he would have his fifth consecutive losing record at the helm of the team.

Fisher's record was awful, but there are plenty of teams with losing records this season. There are plenty of teams in the NFL right now that are under-performing. Fisher wasn't fired because he was losing. Fisher was fired because the front office of the Los Angeles Rams is in complete and utter disarray. They extended his contract and then they fired him? That's dysfunction at the franchise level. What did the recent franchise relocation have to do with this? Who knows? 

Were it not for the close loss in Super Bowl 34 to the Rams, Fisher (then coaching the Tennessee Titans) probably would have ended up a more obscure figure. I believe his finishes this stage of his career with as many regular season losses as Dan Reeves, but don't give up hope. Fisher will probably come back as a coach in some capacity.  Guys like him end up being someone's coordinator for offense or defense almost immediately.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Megan Kalmoe is Pulling For You, America




Oh, my word:

"My request to everyone who is fixated on s--t in the water: stop. Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us," Kalmoe wrote in an essay for theGuardian.

The 2012 bronze medalist in quadruple sculls noted that it does no good to complain about the water quality and that there have been similar concerns about the host cities of each of the past few Olympic Games. While the pollution is an issue (not just for the Summer Games, but for everyday life in Brazil), she is just thankful Rio has put in a lot of time, effort and money to host the Olympics.

Now that the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 are just days away, the 32-year-old Kalmoe doesn't want to talk about the water quality. She is ready to compete: "If you are that insecure about where we stand, America, let me be the one to say it. I'll say it, if it will allay your fears and put some of these issues to rest: I will row through s--t for you, America."

Do we really need to censor the word "shit" here? I don't think that we do. I think that these will be the Olympics where a lot of cowardly people stayed home. The bravest and the best of us are headed to Rio. Whiny ass titty baby bitches need not apply.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Baylor University Won't Do the Decent Thing




Baylor University has thus far refused to release anything resembling a written report that would cover a slew of recent sexual assaults and convictions. It refuses to acknowledge that there is a serious problem and we know this because they won't even pretend to be transparent and honest about the investigation into what happened to derail the athletic program:

The former Baylor president Kenneth W. Starr complained that he had never seen it. Baylor’s alumni association called for its release. The Big 12 Conference has asked for it — twice.

But there is one problem. It — a written report of an investigation conducted by an outside law firm in the wake of several sexual assault allegations and convictions involving Baylor football players — does not exist.

“Various voices have called for the release of the ‘full report,’” the university’s interim president, David Garland, wrote in June after the Board of Regents demoted Mr. Starr and fired the football coach Art Briles.

The lawyers’ report, however, “was delivered in the form of an oral presentation that fully and comprehensively presented the individual and aggregated findings and the evidence supporting the findings,” Mr. Garland said.

Baylor’s decision to forgo a comprehensive report — after an investigation that granted the lawyers what the university called “unfettered access,” more than 65 interviews and one million pieces of information including emails and personnel files — has frustrated not only the supporters of the punished administrators but transparency advocates, who wonder about the impartiality of the lawyers the university hired to investigate itself and whether Baylor is withholding information publicly to protect itself from criticism, lawsuits or both.

Getting rid of Ken Starr was a good start, but the university needs to realize that a lack of transparency and accountability only leads in one direction--downwards, into a spiraling morass of lawsuits, negative media coverage, and banishment for the athletic program. 

The Big 12 needs to suspend Baylor until a report is produced. Period. End of story.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Who Else is Tired of Curt Schilling?




If you're Curt Schilling, and you're already on thin ice, why would you get yourself fired like this?

On Wednesday evening, ESPN announced it had terminated the MLB analystfollowing repeated political discourse on his feed, which some tabbed as hate speech. Said the company in a statement: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

Schilling met with ESPN management on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., as he was scheduled to work Baseball Tonight on Wednesday night. The company declined to say the executive that delivered the news, but no such decision would be made without the approval of ESPN President John Skipper and ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Production John Wildhack.

For those unfamiliar with how we got here, Schilling apologized last September for his tweet comparing the number of Nazi sympathizers in Germany to the percentage of modern Muslim extremists. That tweet prompted ESPN to remove him from its Little League baseball coverage. He was then removed from ESPN’s postseason coverage following an exchange with editors of the sports blog Awful Announcing.

If your political activities and beliefs--which don't have anything to do with calling baseball games unless you've run out of ideas--have gotten you in this much trouble, the best thing to do is to decide whether or not you want to have a job.

Do you?

Then don't do stupid shit like this because, hello, it's 2016, nobody cares about your free speech bullshit, and when they fire you, you're not a victim. You're just dumb.

Really, these things are not hard to figure out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tom Brady is a Handsome Fellow




Personally, I think criticizing the work of a courtroom sketch artist is like going after a fifth grade orchestra for muffing their third piece of music for the day. Tom Brady is guilty as sin and the NFL is obviously in collusion with the courtroom sketch artist to make him look like a Bulgarian sex offender.

Somehow, they gave him the most subtle fu manchu in Patriots history.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Debacle Continues


When Rex Ryan is eventually fired at the end of this season, the analysis will come down to one of the most dysfunctional quarterback controversies in NFL history. 

The Jets are not an awful team. They are poorly led.

This is a lost season for the Jets and there should be a number of players and coaches who follow Ryan out the door at the end of this season. Should the General Manager go as well? I don't know how you could argue that anyone should hold on to a decision-making position with the organization after this season. But, cheer up.

At least the Jets aren't the Eagles, right?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bitchy and Destructive


There isn't anything around Derek Jeter's waist that won't disappear after a couple of weeks of spring training. So, I don't understand why the New York Post has to go after him in this way; if Jeter can't perform, he'll retire or he'll get in shape so that he can play. He's been hobbled by a leg brace and he's in the offseason.

You can't tell me that the New York media isn't bitchy and destructive; you can't tell me that it hasn't ruined lives and careers. I just don't understand why they would trash Jeter like this.

Four championships wasn't enough? Jeebus.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Notre Dame is Back in a Big Way



Who saw this coming? Except for the fans of Notre Dame and the people who thought they had a shot this year?

The comeback of the Notre Dame football program is something special. Now, if they can win it all--wow.

That would be the story of the year to bury that whole Penn State nightmare.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Matter of Decorum


Apparently, there are rules about press boxes. I wish I could think of another example of something like this, but it sounds like an isolated incident.

Then again, if Bobby Hebert knew the rules, and then broke the rules, doesn't it make throwing him out of the press box just another ridiculous exercise in self-importance?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A-Rod Simply Doesn't Care Anymore


If the New York Yankees are going to maintain any kind of professional relationship with Alex Rodriguez, now would be a good time to indicate what that relationship is going to be. If the Yankees are going to keep him, then they have to put him in the lineup and thus manage his ego. If they're going to get rid of him, they had better do it soon.

Forget all of this nonsense about whether A-Rod's head is in the game and if he should be out trying to pick up women during a game he's not playing in. That's something players do.

What, is he supposed to sit on the bench with his "game face" on? Is he supposed to twitch throughout the rest of the game on camera, visibly angry about not being able to fly out or strike out yet again? This is about whether or not you're going to keep paying a guy tens of millions of dollars when he's simply not productive in a post-season setting.

My guess is that either he will go or we'll see fresh blood in the clubhouse. A-Rod doesn't care anymore--that's just plainly evident. He never fit in and he was never a New York guy. He knows that, and it just doesn't bother him.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Davey Johnson Blew It


I'm afraid that Davey Johnson blew this game.

Sure, the players actually lost the game. But Johnson left the game in the hands of players who shouldn't have been playing.

When he failed to lift Gio Gonzalez, I turned off the game. Gonzalez was coming apart, couldn't throw strikes, and looked like he was going to throw a pitch into the stands. But Johnson left him in and that set the tone for the game.

This is one of the worst losses in baseball history, and it falls squarely on Johnson's decision to stick with guys who were floundering.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Playoff Baseball


I haven't been able to watch playoff baseball in several years. But what I'm noticing is that the hitting of things like home runs is way, way down and the players are a lot smaller than they were five or six years ago.

That's not a brilliant observation, but I would add that we are in the era of the pitcher, and pitching is back, big time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baseball and the Economy Have Nothing in Common

You couldn't get more egg-headed than this.

Linking baseball to the economy and monetary policy is as ludicrous as it sounds.

On the one hand, you have a game where people avidly watch their star players make decisions that only affect themselves and where the most incompetent people on the face of the Earth are in charge of deciding who does what and nobody cares about the impact it will have on anyone else and there is no rhyme or reason as to where the right people should be and, on the other, you have baseball.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Who Are You Calling a Retard?


Brandon Marshall's only mistake was this--he should have ignored Warren Sapp.

He should have said and done nothing in response to Sapp's use of the word "retard," which, in and of itself, should have gotten Sapp fired anyway.

Where is it written that current NFL players have to show deference and respect to the immediate past or to players that went before? Where is it written that they have to know every statistic, every record, and care about any of that stuff? The coaches, owners, and general managers don't care about any of that stuff. The NFL is a business, and if you can't perform, no one cares if you hold the franchise record for catches. No one cares if you have been around for twelve years and have bled for the team. If you can't play, you're gone. Sentimentality has no place in the business of professional sports.

What respect for the past did Warren Sapp ever show? He played like he was getting paid and I watched him for years. I watched him showboat, dog it, and do whatever he wanted. I watched him, on live television, challenge an opposing team's head coach to a fight while walking off the field after he had delivered a vicious cheap shot on a player--remember that? Sure, he played hard. He played hurt. But his time playing is done. His personal life is a shambles, he's broke, and he's lucky to have a job.

Next time, ignore Warren Sapp. It saves time and effort. He has nothing to add to the game when his analysis is focused on calling an active player a "retard."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USC Can't Beat Stanford

This was one of those games that you watch with a great deal of trepidation. I really thought that USC was going to be able to win at Stanford and continue holding on to their Number Two rating. As of tonight, are they even a top ten team? Really?

It just did not look good. USC could not get anything going up and down the field. The passing game was awful. They lost two running backs. This is the game where there were three interceptions thrown in a role--something I don't remember ever seeing, although I'm sure that it has happened.

At any rate, USC is going to tumble in the rankings, and so you have to ask--is Stanford that good? Probably not. But, against USC, Stanford has been really, really good. Tonight, it wasn't even close. Stanford should have won by twelve or more, and if they had had a kicking game, they would have.

Stanford's David Shaw outcoached Lane Kiffin, and that's the real story here. You have to give Shaw credit because nobody else will.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The NHL Wants Desperately to Shoot Itself in the Foot


You have the world's greatest fans in spite of the fact that the National Hockey League routinely shoots itself in the foot on the way to badly marketing the best sport in all of human history. The application of ice skates on ice inside of a controlled oval full of crashing bodies and a puck moved about with sticks is the sort of thing that should market itself.

Unfortunately, in Gary Bettman, the league found the one man who couldn't sell shit to farmers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Sad Demise of the Houston Astros Franchise


The Houston Astros have jumped the shark on this one. What used to be a relatively proud baseball franchise has sunk to a new low. Only a team mired in suckage would contemplate giving a 50 year-old man who hasn't pitched in five years a place to chuck a few mercy pitches. Baseball is a game where sentimentality goes to the showers and then home to a plate of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? Baseball isn't about letting some old guy have a few throws for old time's sake.

Roger Clemens should definitely be allowed to pitch again. He won his case, he beat the rap, and he personifies the baseball credo--if you can get away with it, keep doing it. This is how Bud Selig runs the league. How 'bout we do Mindy McCready night and Roger can throw a few pitches while they play her old songs and then they can hand out bobbleheads that say "not a douchebag" on them?

When you have to say that what you're doing isn't a publicity stunt several times in one interview, you're making it a publicity stunt.