Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It's a great week for America everybody...


... as hypocrites from coast to coast prepare for the annual human sacrifice euphemistically known as The Super Bowl.
Tough-guy commentator Mike Ditka once commented on-air that, “If God had wanted man to play soccer he wouldn’t have given us arms.” Following Dave Duerson's suicide and autopsy that revealed a brain deformed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Ditka had a much-needed epiphany and admitted that he wouldn’t let his own sons play football. “That’s sad. I wouldn’t. And my whole life was football,” he told Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel. “I think the risk is worse than the reward.”
In issuing this confession, Ditka became a poster boy for the perpetual cognitive dissonance that rules NFL fans.
In 2012 Bill Simmons, founder of Grantland, summed up the situation this way:
“That’s what the NFL is banking on these next few years—hypocrisy, basically—as more stories emerge about the tortured lives of retired players. Many of them can’t walk, sit down or remember anything. Some battle debilitating headaches and gulp down pills like they’re peanuts. A few weeks ago, Jim McMahon confessed in an interview that his short-term memory was gone, then admitted he wouldn’t even remember the interview as he was giving it. You hear these things, you sigh, you feel remorse, you forget … and then you go back to looking forward to the next football season.
"Against Football" author Steve Almond clearly presents the extent to which the NFL (admitting in court documents that it expects up to 30% of its players to suffer chronic brain injuries) relies on cognitive dissonance to protect 'the Shield'.
"Cognitive dissonance has become our default setting.
"It’s what allows avowed feminists to champion a game which men are defined as hyper-aggressive, while woman bounce like sexual ornaments on the sidelines. Or social justice activists to back a sport whose players are harvested from poor neighborhoods, valued almost exclusively for their physical prowess, and trained to suppress their empathy. Or progressives to enjoy the sport that exemplifies America’s corporate win-at-all-cost ethos.
"Cognitive dissonance is what allows citizens who vehemently oppose tax cheats to underwrite a league that lobbied Congress for tax-exempt status despite earning $10 billion dollars in annual revenue.
"It’s what allows Tea Partyers who decry government waste to sponsor a league that derives a whopping 70 percent of stadium funding from taxpayers. (Thanks to our allegiance, the league essentially siphons millions of dollars from the public till and pours them into the pockets of billionaire owners.)
"Cognitive dissonance also allows antiwar protesters to celebrate a league whose long standing partnership with the military is both financially and psychologically symbiotic."
"And this compartmentalization operates at every level of the game.
"There are scores of union members who love the college game, despite the fact that it operates on a system that amounts to indentured servitude. And professors who cheer their hearts out for a sport that degrades the intellectual mission of higher education.
"Of course, Americans are complicit in all sorts of ways. We decry cruelty toward animals and eat scores of them. We bemoan climate change and continue to guzzle fossil fuels. We lament gun violence but subsidize a popular culture brimming with pornographic cruelties.
"What makes the promotional run-up to this year’s Super Bowl especially galling is the dearth of ethical self-reflection, given all we have learned about football. The facts cited above, after all, are no longer well-guarded secrets. They are known and accepted aspects of the industry."
Football is currently the most popular and profitable sport in America but while NFL owners are busy counting their loot and fending off lawsuits, more and more parents are agreeing with Ditka and electing alternative sports for their children.

Hopefully, in the next generation, Bob Kraft may have more in common with Don King as the NFL goes the way of boxing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Since I don't have a particular rant, I thought I'd cover a few other bases.

** My cohort in crime just wrote a rant that ought to be plastered at the entrance of every sports broadcasting building in the U.S. It won't help, but it's comforting to see it print.

** Since the actual Superbowl doesn't seem to interest any of the media, they have latched onto "Deflategate." First of all, I hate 'cutesy,' so lets get rid if "De******te." Secondly, after watching major league baseball pitchers doctor baseballs in the last, I don't know, 120 years, it's hard to work up a really passionate hate over this. Gaylord Perry made a living throwing illegal pitches (spitballs) and he's in the Hall of Fame. Yes, we know deflating footballs is wrong, but we'll never know who did it, when they did it, if it was intentional, or anything else. All we have heard is the mantra of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Sgt. Schultz: "I know nothing!"

** We have a new baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred. Gone is Bunglin' Bud Selig. It's got to be an improvement, right? Not so fast, Bunkie. In one of his first interviews, he's indicated that he could be in favor of banning defensive shifts. Yeah, that'll work. "That's a ground rule double. The second baseman was too far to the left."
He also talks about improving the pace of the game but installing a pitch clock and shortening the length of time between innings. Nothing about keeping hitters in the batter's box. He wants to improve attendance by encouraging families to bring their children to the game. How many families in the U.S. can afford to but four  tickets to a game, park their car, buy a program, four hot dogs, three soft drinks and a beer? At Yankee Stadium, that could run you about $3,000.
He wants to continue to get the best athletes on the field. I don't know about the 'best,' but he does have the greediest.

** Ichiro Suzuki is signing a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. If he can sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks next year, he will have covered the four corners of the country.

** Syracuse missed 11 free throws last Saturday in a loss to Miami. Poor free throw shooting seems to have been an Orange bugaboo since the 1970's. What is Boeheim's problem?

** I read that pitcher Ted Lilly has been charged with insurance fraud. He allegedly filed a claim against his insurance for an accident that occurred days before he bought it, obviously thinking the company wouldn't bother checking on something that basic. Maybe Manfred should look into bringing intelligent athletes into the game.
This bugs me too: The headline read - "Former Yankee Ted Lilly indicted for insurance fraud."  Lilly last played with the Yanks in 2002, appearing in exactly 49 games. He then played for Oakland (38 games), Toronto (89 games), Cubs (113) and finally, the Dodgers (59), ending in 2013. So 86% of his career was spent with teams other than NY, yet he's listed as "former Yankee". Why? What's next? "Former Yankee fan charged with conspiracy?"  Mr X attended a Yankee game as recently as 1985 and actually bought a program.

** More drama ahead. It seems the Yanks are working to void that part of A-Rod's contract that calls for bonuses based on his home run totals, such as $6 million should he reach Willie Mays total, etc. The Yanks are saying they no longer have any merchandising value and that he lied when negotiating the deal. That should be interesting since the only thing A-Rod loves more than himself is his money.

***THEY SAID IT***
" First Spygate, now Deflategate. The line continues to blur between the New England Patriots and the team of inmates in “The Longest Yard.”"  -- Brad Dickson
"The Wrigley Field bleachers — being rebuilt during the offseason — won’t be open until May 11.
The Cubs’ new opening-day motto: Wait’ll Next Month."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Pro Bowl final score was 32-28. And if you already knew that, you might be just beyond a football fanatic. And if you had a bet on the score, you might just have a gambling problem."  -- Janice Hough
"US burger chain Carl’s Jr will be airing an ad during Super Bowl featuring an almost naked voluptuous model. It promotes an “All Natural” burger which contains no hormones, antibiotics or steroids. If they show it after the Budweiser Clydesdale ad, they should mention “No Horsemeat” as well."  -- TC Chong
"Here's an 11th-hour suggestion for Super Bowl halftime: “How about Air Supply?”"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"I'm starting to think that Deflate-Gate may extend all the way to the top of the New England Patriots' organization. I'm talking Gisele B√ľndchen."  -- Brad Dickson
"It's official, he's now Coach 1K."  -- Vince Girardi
"Congratulations to Gatorade, celebrating its 50th anniversary. At the next general meeting, the CEO will have football coaches dumped over her head."  -- RJ Currie

CP-
 













What Did He Say (and when will it stop)?


ESPN executives either watch their NCAA Division I basketball broadcasts with the sound turned off or are Bush-level evildoers intent on torturing us all with “anal-ysts” spouting endless, irrelevant drivel about everything and anything except the game currently being played.

While the Pentagon spends tens of millions of our dollars on secret renditions, black-site prisons and hired professionals to torture people it regularly scoops up in its endless ‘War on Terror”, television viewers across the country willingly spend their own hard-earned cash to have an even more effective forms of psychological torture e.g. Big Monday, beamed into their homes. 

The first wholly successful iteration of excruciating, repetitive Audio-aSSault, or ASS, was, of course, ‘Dick Vitale v. 1.0’, an incessantly babbling artificial intelligence endlessly repeating the phrase “Diaper Dandy” and screaming “Baby!” up to six hundred times per minute. Less successful models like the ‘Raftery’ aka ‘The Tinman’ were limited to repeating variations of a single phrase. In this case, “Going to the tin… get to the tin… play above the tin… protect the tin”.

As the ‘Vitale’ approaches obsolescence, additional models have been upgraded and new models released on a suffering public. The ‘Bilas’, once a provider of knowledgeable, relevant information about players and the actual game being played has been weaponized and can now spew a non-stop gush of platitudes, rants, and you-can’t-do that’s about things, that in fact, just did get done.

The ‘Greenberg’ (sub-model ‘Seth’) is a particularly lethal addition to ESPN’s squadron of drones. The ‘Greenberg’ is employed on pre-game shows to endlessly anal-yze upcoming games, then is assigned to actual games to eliminate any viewer interest in the play of the game and then it appears on post-game shows to anal-yze what you would have seen if you had not been distracted, disgusted or deranged by his in-game sonic assaults.

The ‘Dougherty’ is an enhanced version of the ‘Raftery’ and is able to use the word basketball as several parts of speech at a rate of 26 rpms (references per minute). Players can dribble the basketball, shoot the basketball, rebound the basketball, make a basketball move, a basketball play, listen to their basketball coach, hang out with the basketball team when not on the basketball court, and accept the adoration of basketball fans. Dougherty makes sure that we never confuse a ‘basketball’ in any of its many iterations with a golf ball, football, baseball, tennis ball, debutante ball, or deflated ball – one of the most useful services provided by any of the drone clones.

The good news, of course, is their remains a handy cure to ESPN’s constant assault on our patience and sanity on every remote device – the blessed button labeled Mute.

Z.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New England Patriots... Cheating at Football Since 1982!


Received a discount coupon for nuts from CVS in the mail today. Sent it to Tom Brady. Thought discounted nuts would nicely compliment his deflated balls.

Z.

FOR EVERY PROBLEM, THERE IS A SOLUTION

I am not a big sports expert (I know, hard to believe, right?), but I have friends who do know what they're talking about. I raised some questions in my last post about the under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship game. Mr. Dwight Perry, Seattle Times night sports editor, has some answers. Here's an e-mail he sent me.

Dave:
Regarding NFL game balls. If I'm not mistaken, each team has 12-20 balls with their team name stamped on them, so the Patriots would only be using balls with Patriots stamped on them and Colts with Colts, etc. So the only way this came to light was when Brady threw an interception -- the Pats ball falling into enemy hands, literally -- and the intercepting linebacker noticed it had a bunch of give to it. As for the 12th ball that was properly inflated, maybe that's the kicker's ball, since I'm sure they want it inflated as much as possible. The quarterbacks doctor footballs just like pitchers do baseballs, I've heard. The worst thing is a slick ball fully inflated, unless you have hands the size of King Kong.
dp

All this sounds very reasonable. Makes me feel like I should run everything thru Mr. Perry first so I wouldn't sound like such a fool. I'd still BE one, of course, but it wouldn't be publicized.

Thank you Dwight Perry.

Chad

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

** Now that the dust has settled, Max Scherzer's deal is NOT $28 million per year for 7 years. It's actually $14 million per year for 14 years. Before you get too comfortable, understand that for 7 years, he'll be paid in the neighborhood of $60,000 for each inning he pitches. Then for 7 years, he'll be paid that same $14 million for sitting at home watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. Uber-agent Scott Boras has outdone himself this time.

** Because of some silly tax deal, the IRS has auctioned off the balance of  Darryl Strawberry's contract to an unnamed bidder. The winner paid $1.3 million to receive an annuity of $9,000 a month for the next 18 years. I know it sounds like a Scott Boras deal, but it actually is the IRS. So this deal ends sometime in 2033. Still not as silly as the fact that the Mets will still be paying Bobby Bonilla his $2 million a year for two more years after that.

** Dave Stewart, GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has said that the D-backs would be willing to make a an offer to free agent James Shields if Shields would be willing to make concessions to the D-backs because, "...they are a true baseball team." And he said this with a straight face. If you need some reasons why this won't  fly, re-read the first two paragraphs of this post. It's been a while since my dog ate my homework, but even he couldn't choke this one down.

** Are Belichick and the Patriots at it again? Now we have Deflate-Gate. Word is that 11 of the 12 game balls were under-inflated by about 2 lbs. Supposedly, the referees inspected and approved all the game balls 2+ hours before the game and then turned them over to the home team (New England). This is the two-week period before the Super Bowl, so the media will write 500-word columns on ANYTHING related to the game, so that explains some of the hype, but I have some questions.
1) How secure is this system when one team has 2 hours to do whatever they want to the footballs?
2) Wouldn't you think that professional quarterbacks would notice right away if a ball was under-inflated by 2 lbs out of 12?
3) Since both teams had to use the same balls, what is the advantage one team would have over the other?
4) The most obvious question is: How did they miss the one football?

** Here's an ESPN headline to ponder: "A-Rod gets tips from Bobby Bonds" About what? Hitting tips? Retirement tips? Proper use of the cream and the clear (Bonds PEDs of choice for you novices)?

** This one is hard to believe. Last month, the Arroyo Valley Girls High School basketball team beat Bloomington by a score of 161-2. More questions:
1) Is there really enough time in a game for them to score  161 points?
2) What possible reason could a coach have to let his team do that to another team?
3) Why did Arroyo Valley employ a full-court press for the entire game? The Bloomington coach reported that his team only crossed half court 4 or 5 times in the game.
4) Why is the Arroyo coach still employed?

** With all this talk about why James Shields is still on the market, there is another big name free agent still unsigned. That's right, boys and girls, it's none other than Joba Chamberlain. Another couple of weeks and he might be interested in signing with a "true baseball team."

***THEY SAID IT***
"The NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for allegedly deflating game balls in the AFC Championship Game. With any luck, the NFL will announce the results of the investigation in time for the Super Bowl in 2028."  -- Brad Dickson
"Ohio State’s recent football hero, third string QB Cardale Jones has decided to stay in school rather than declare himself eligible for this year’s NFL Draft. Everyone is saying that this is the absolute right decision for him, except the Buckeye’s 4th string QB."  -- TC Chong
"The Mariners acquired lefty pitcher Mike Kickham: “I’d suspect their plan is to use Kickham when they’re down."  -- Larry Stone
"Q: What was even more impressive last week than Ohio State’s Urban Meyer winning his 14th college football game in 4½ months?   A: Joe Paterno winning 111 in one day."  -- Dwight Perry
"Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer was at it again on CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman,” refusing to use the word “Michigan” when discussing his team’s No. 1 nemesis. He used to do the same thing (during his Florida tenure) when asked about the Gators’ biggest rival — the Gainesville Police Department."  -- Mike Bianchi
"Police were recently called to Newark International Airport to calm Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia after he missed his flight. I didn't realize that police provided this service. If he was that upset over missing his flight, wait until he finds out there's no meal service."  -- Brad Dickson
 "Heard about the latest flu inoculations? Since only about 1 in 5 shots succeeds, it’s been dubbed the Knicks vaccine."  -- Gary Bachman
"Jim Harbaugh has hired his son, 25, as a coach. Of course Michigan fans don’t care if Harbaugh puts his dog on the payroll, as long as he can beat Ohio State."  -- Janice Hough
"There is speculation that Peyton Manning will retire. It’s kind of embarrassing, because he’d be leaving with the same number of Super Bowl rings as Vladimir Putin and, worse, one less than Eli."  -- Brad Dickson
" NASCAR driver Kurt Busch testified in court his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is a trained assassin. A friend of mine said the same thing of his ex-wife, but only about her cooking."  -- RJ Currie


CP-
 

























Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Criminals Carroll and Belicheat Meet in Slime Bowl


A cancer-causing agent has been detected in the waters of the Yellowstone River after 50,000 gallons of oil leaked into it when a Montana pipeline burst. Officials from the CDC say levels of benzene, a component of oil that is also linked to cancer, is higher than is safe for human consumption. While they don't think it will cause a long-term health effect, the levels are high enough to pose a short-term health hazard for the 6,000 residents in Glendive, Montana governor Steve Bullock has declared a state of emergency and residents in nearby towns and cities have been told not to drink the water, which reportedly smelled like diesel. Officials said the cleanup will be difficult, as the Yellowstone River is partially frozen.

I'm sure the proposed Keystone could top that.

USA! USA! Koch Brothers! GOP! USA!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Not Sure How I Really Feel

Sandy Dunn is p-o'ed at me for ripping on d-Bag J. Jones and the Cowpies. 

All of the Buffalo (the feckball team, not the revered animal) fans in the family are annoyed because I referred to Rex as a blowhard - a name he has richly earned and deserves. 

Nephew Brian will be ticked because no one else on this side of the MIssissippi River cares who that team in San Francisco hires. 

So, to be all inclusive... it takes a damaged mind, low self-esteem and a complete disregard for any redeeming quality of human existence to be a fan of any team in the most misogynistic, exploitive, wholly owned by tax-dodging, old white guys sports league in the known universe - the NFL, or as it insists on being referred to - the National Feckball (spelled to protect the faint of heart and sissy pants everywhere) League. 

Every Sunday (didn't that day used to be the sabbath in a popular religion?) watch grown men (mostly minorities) beat each other into concussed oblivion, sustain terrible injury and life long neurological trauma. 

Now that's entertainment!

Z. Vod

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SORRY, BOB

This was a trick question. All three cities named fielded teams called the Braves. The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee and than on to Atlanta. But only one man played for the Braves in all three cities. Bob the Golpher guessed Hank Aaron, but...

I have to be kind of particular here, but that's what makes trivia questions fun...and tricky. It's true, Aaron was signed by the Boston Braves, but his first major league game as a Brave came in 1954, after the Braves moved to Milwaukee.

The correct answer is Eddie Matthews. So no $20 prize, Bob, and I'm afraid the $100 handling charge is non-refundable.

I did receive an e-mail from Rich of Greenville, S.C., who had the right answer, so Rich, your $20 prize will be sent as soon as the handling charge is received.

Other thoughts:
Things mostly went according to plan during the NFL playoffs this weekend except the Denver Broncos were upset by the Indianapolis Colts. So those of you who bet on Denver...you backed the wrong horse.

The Yanks signed another player yesterday. A right-handed pitcher they bought from Colorado, Chris Martin. He's only pitched 16 innings in the majors with a 6.89 ERA. He's only 25 years old and, as Casey Stengel would say, "In three years, he's got a chance to be 28."

The Syracuse Orange won again last night, beating Wake Forest in overtime, a game that was closer than it should have been. I can't see the Orange going very far with only two and a half men. Christmas is a force inside, Cooney can zip them in from outside but you never know what you're going to get from Gbinije. Point guard Kaleb Joseph looks completely over-matched. With McCullough out, there was an article in the local paper that Chinonso Obokoh would be playing a big part in replacing him. Last night, he never got off the bench, so it appears his part is handing towels to the players when then come off the floor.

This is why college football is so much fun - unless you're a betting man. Oregon beat the pants off powerhouse Alabama only to have Ohio St. embarrass them in the championship game. I'll stick with the pros where all you have to know is who the highest bidder for the refs is.

 The big story on Twitter during the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship game: one of the referees supposedly looked like comedian Bob Newhart. Actually, I thought he looked an awful lot like my nephew, Joe Zimmer. It must be a part-time job. He's also a dean at St. Bonaventure.

***THEY SAID IT***
"Brooklyn Nets officials are denying a Bloomberg report that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhoro no longer wants to own the team. So it’s merely coincidence, then, that they’re suddenly calling themselves the Nyets."  -- Dwight Perry
"Jason Garrett signed a new five year contract with the Dallas Cowboys. The deal was based on Garrett’s loyalty, success on the field, and ability to tolerate Jerry Jones."  -- Janice Hough
"Ex-Miami fullback Rob Konrad swam nine miles to shore after falling out of his fishing boat off the South Florida coast: “So much for him being a former Dolphin."  -- Jim Barach
" Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera lost his home to a blaze that started in a chimney. Meanwhile, Bears coach Marc Trestman lost his job for not lighting a fire under Jay Cutler."  -- RJ Currie
"There's a slight tear in Aaron Rodgers' calf muscle. Inside, I believe doctors found one of Ndamukong Suh's cleats."  -- Brad Dickson
"L.A. Police have recovered a duplicate statue of O.J. Simpson’s Heisman Trophy that was stolen from USC’s Heritage Hall 20 years ago.But O.J. says that won’t deter his quest to find the real trophy."  -- Dwight Perry
" Ohio State beat Oregon handily, despite a steady stream of turnovers.  Good thing the National championship trophy has been changed from crystal to metal, in case the Buckeyes drop it."  -- Janice Hough
"Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Chris Christie is part of the team's mojo. In a few short months, Christie has gone from likely presidential candidate to rally monkey."  -- Brad Dickson
(I couldn't tell the difference - CP)

CP-













 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

And the Winner is...

The bits and bytes hadn't reached stasis before Bob the Golpher phoned in the answer to Chad's latest trivia question: Henry Aaron.

And he didn't use a reference.

Congragulations, Bob.

To redeem first prize, an official Chad Picasner autographed $20 dollar bill, please send a self addressed, stamped envelope to Chad Picasner Plaza, One Picasner Plaza, Incognito, NY 00001.
(Please enclose $100 for shipping and handling.)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

HALL OF FAME - PART 2

By now, everyone knows the new inductees: Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and "The Big Unit," Randy Johnson. The first time Annie-O heard Johnson's nickname, she misheard it and asked me why they called him "The Big Eunuch."  It took me a while to stop laughing long enough to correct her.
I have no problem with the choices but I personally do not like Pedro Martinez. I thought he was a dirty player who liked to hit guys for fun and the intimidation was no small factor in his success. It didn't help his reputation to throw a 72-year old Yankee coach to the ground during a little Yankee-Red Sox dust up. If you think that that was enough to keep him out of the Hall, then you'd also have to eliminate Ty Cobb and Bob Gibson, two of the many who were also famous for using intimidation as a means of success. So, congratulations to the newest members.

The 100 greatest ballplayers
ESPN recently ran an article naming the 100 best players of all time. Not many surprises and PEDs were ignored in their choices. Some facts that turned up that were kind of interesting. Frankie Frisch, "The Fordham Flash," was #88.  He was a switch-hitter who hit cross-handed when batting right handed. Robin Roberts (#80) in a 4-year period, 1952-1955, pitched 118 complete games, almost 30 a year. He totaled an average of 329 innings and managed to win 118 games while doing it. That would keep your bullpen rested. Frank Robinson was #20 and it was noted that he was a fierce competitor. I would agree with that assessment since after he retired he got a job managing the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. I went to Syracuse to see him manage his first game. After the Chiefs made out in the bottom of the first, Robinson left the 3rd base coaches box and on his way to the dugout, he stopped to chat with the home plate umpire. After 20 seconds or so, Robbie had been ejected. Well that didn't take long.  By the way, #1 was, you guessed it, Babe Ruth. (Okay, okay, Jeter was #31

Why?
The Yankees signed Stephen Drew to a one year contract for $5 million, which, based on last year, was $6 million more than he was worth. He must be holding someone hostage somewhere.

Guess who is getting a second interview as head coach for the Buffalo Bills? None other than Rex Ryan. What, there isn't enough misery in Buffalo? He may be the only head coach hung in effigy during his  interview.

Trivia question:
Who was the only player to play for Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, was never traded and was never a free agent? E-mail with your guess or click on the comments section at the bottom of this post with your answer.

***THEY SAID IT***
"Seven members of the Memphis Grizzlies were questionable for a game earlier this season due to the stomach flu. This was the first sporting event where the longest restroom line was inside a team's locker room."  -- Brad Dickson
"The NY Knicks have now lost 15 in a row. At this point the team would be underdogs against the Washington Generals."  -- Janice Hough
"Some news stories come complete with their own punchline:Dartmouth suspended 64 students for cheating — in a sports-ethics class."  -- Dwight Perry
"TV cameras caught corpulent New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hugging Jerry Jones during Sunday’s playoff game: “It was right after Jones said, “Let’s get some hot wings.’”  -- Conan O'Brien
"During an interview with 85 year old Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, he referred to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as “Belli-Cheat”. Let’s hope for Shula’s sake that he has escorts when he gets into an elevator anywhere in New England this weekend."  -- Tony Chong
"Lions serial stomper Ndamukong Suh said “I’m at a loss for words” immediately after Sunday’s 24-20 playoff loss to the Cowboys. Now he’s claiming his mind must’ve gone numb."  -- Dwight Perry
"NY Jets RB Chris Johnson was arrested last night in Orlando and charged with open carry of a firearm. This may not be what the Jets had in mind for having higher caliber players in the offseason."  -- Janice Hough
"The 76ers have suspended Andrei Kirilenko for not reporting to the team after his Dec. 11 trade from Brooklyn.  What, did they just now notice he was missing?"  -- Dwight Perry
"The Chicago Bears have reportedly passed on hiring Rex Ryan. Sure, with Jay Cutler, the Bears are already at their emotional baggage cap."  -- Brad Dickson
"Florida QB Jameis Winston said their playoff loss to Oregon "could have went either way.” Really? A 39-point deficit? Sounds like Winston went the other way heading to math class."  -- RJ Currie

CP-
 












Monday, January 05, 2015

THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Buster Olney has been writing columns for a while now, saying how the HOF voting is messed up and that there are a lot of players who deserve induction, but will miss out because of the voting procedures. A voter can only name 10 players for induction. Players can only stay on the list for 10 years instead of 15. Mr. Olney says that this severely limits all the players who should be inducted. He also complains about the "character clause" which also affects the voters choices, speaking specifically about the steroid and drug use.  I made this comment at the end of Olney's column today:

It still comes down to how you view the Hall of Fame. Is it for the absolutely outstanding players (without felonies, of course) or does it include some very good players ?  Two of the players you mentioned, Jim Kaat and Dale Murphy fall into the 'very good' category. There are already at least a dozen players in the Hall who don't belong there at all. There are some who should never have even been considered. I would love to see Mike Mussina elected. Same thing for Jim Kaat. These were two of my favorite players, but I wouldn't be offended it they don't make it.
Buster, you make a very good case - if we were talking about the "Hall of good Players."  I expect people will start posting comments making cases for their favorites and saying - as you do - that are 12-15 players on the list that should be elected.
But there aren't.


I still don't know how to deal with the steroid users or the 'suspected' steroid users. What makes it difficult is the major players in this category, i.e. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et al, were very talented players in their own right and probably would have made it without the chemical help. But, how do you ignore the outlandish numbers that resulted?

Buster Olney abstained from voting because he felt he couldn't ignore the five players he would have voted for if the limit were 15 players instead of 10. This is why I don't think his arguments hold water.
Here's the official ballot. I don't see 15 players I think are deserving. Maybe nine, but that's stretching it.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2015.shtml

It's  interesting that a defensive player can mug a receiver in Big D and not have a foul called. Actually, one ref did call a foul but was over ruled by the others. Hopefully, this will be the last game played in Dallas this year.

***THEY SAID IT***
"So now the Granddaddy of Them All is now officially “The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual”? Hopefully they’re not paying the trophy engraver by the letter."  -- Dwight Perry
"Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh was fined for stomping on Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers during a game last week. Suh claimed it was so cold, his feet were frozen and didn’t know he stepped on Rodgers. This is of course different from his other dirty hits and cheap shots where it was his brain that was frozen."  -- TC Chong
"Saturday in Washington, the Creighton’s men’s basketball team faced Georgetown center Joshua Smith, who’s 6-10, 350 pounds. Congress just granted him statehood."  -- Brad Dickson

"Florida basketball player Jacob Kurtz inadvertently tipped in the game-winning shot at the buzzer for rival Florida State last week. When Gators coach Billy Donovan said “we beat ourselves,” he wasn’t kidding. -- Dwight Perry
"Not a big Ravens fan, but having a very hard time seeing how any woman can root for Ben Rothlisberger. Or any man with daughters."  -- Janice Hough
"It’s reported that the Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux “rubbed boogers on a referee’s back.” I’d think of a joke, but I’m too busy pondering the fact that I’m a college graduate who types sentences like that for a living."  -- Brad Dickson

Condolences to the family of Stuart Scott of ESPN, who died of cancer at age 49. He treated sports with respect and humor. He was one of Annie-O's favorites. He will be missed.

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR

...well, for some.

A few Major League teams aren't too happy, the Orioles for one. They lost two big hitters and haven't made any moves to compensate. The Tigers need to break the bank for Scherzer in order to salvage their off-season. And the Mets can't seem to attract any big names. The Yankees made enough small moves to just keep their name in the papers, even though sportswriters keep putting them in the mix for Scherzer.
The college bowl promoters must be happy, having come up with some good games since they managed to match teams of the same caliber, such as 6-7 teams against other 6-7 teams, and 7-5 vs. 7-5. You don't really notice how bad a team is when their opponent is just as bad.

Now we can look forward to the professional football playoffs: the NFL play on Saturday and Sunday and the College professionals play today. The premier game is on at 8:30, pitting Alabama against Ohio State. Yeah, Alabama's Nick Saban vs Urban Meyer from Ohio St.  That's like matching Frank & Jesse James in in a gunfight. One of them has to lose and we can celebrate that.

TCU won 42-3 last night and will begin hollering that they should have been one of the 'Big Four.'  We'll also be hearing the same lament from either Michigan St. or Baylor tomorrow. Nobody will be happy until they have a 64-team playoff and even then, #65 will be bitching.

Syracuse won big against Cornell last night, mostly because Cornell couldn't hit 3-point shots, medium range jumpers and dunks. Dunks? They couldn't hit dunks? They blew three of them in the first half.  Syracuse shot well, 48% from the field and played 12 men, not all at once but it seemed like that at times. I think Boeheim also played two ushers and a maintenance man, but they were held scoreless. It was interesting to find out that the players call the seat on the bench next to Boeheim, "The Death Chair." It must be pretty bad, since I saw an armed guard standing back of it for most of the night. Check it out at noon on Saturday against Vermont.

I see North Carolina is taking drastic action to correct their academic fraud violations. They are attempting to fire a senior professor, have accepted the resignation of another lecturer and dismissed a counselor. Six other campus employees are having their activities reviewed for possible terminations also. The players? Well...nothing, at least during the season. The Tar Heels are 10-3, after all.Their reputation doesn't seem to have suffered. The #7 high school player in the country just signed a commitment with them. Maybe it was the promise of an easy course load.

"How social media can make you feel really out of touch. The #1 trending story on FB this morning is “Giada De Laurentiis announces divorce.” And my #1 reaction was “Who?” - Janice Hough
When I heard about it, "Who?" was NOT my reaction.

Ndamukong Suh appealed his one game suspension for stepping on Aaron Rogers ankle - twice - and won. He was fined $70,000 instead. Word is, he 'just happened to have that much on him."  That'll teach him.

No baseball news of any major consequence.

***THEY SAID IT***
"The Interview”? Where were the North Korean hackers when we really needed them — when ESPN was filming “The Decision”?  -- Dwight Perry
"The thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations continues. Today they released one of our prisoners, and in return we sent back one of their shortstops."  -- Jimmy Fallon
"All of the people on the planet surprised that the Jets fired Rex Ryan will be huddling in the back seat of a Smart car."  -- Brad Dickson
"Russian economy is tanking. It’s gotten so bad that today Vladimir Putin had to pawn his stolen Super Bowl ring."  -- David Letterman
"Police in Buffalo arrested Ole Miss recruit Chad Kelly after Kelly allegedly punched a bar bouncer, fought with police and said he’d open fire on the club with an AK-47.  Guess recruiting gurus weren’t kidding when they called him a triple-threat quarterback."  -- Dwight Perry
"Derek Jeter’s magic lives!  Penn State kicker Sam Ficken — assigned the just-retired legend’s Yankee Stadium locker for last Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl — booted the game-winning PAT, snapping a 30-30 tie with Boston College in overtime."  -- Dwight Perry
"Then-No. 25 Michigan State was upset by Texas Southern in basketball. Big Ten teams have lost to Texas Southern, Incarnate Word and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The only thing left is to lose to a driving school."  -- Brad Dickson
"My response to ESPN asking “Who'd you rather be: Johnny Manziel or Aaron Rodgers?” Manziel may “show you the money," but Rodgers can show you Olivia Munn. Nuff said."  -- RJ Currie
"More than 100 people gathered in Times Square today for the eighth annual Good Riddance Day. Where attendees used a shredder and mallet to get rid of bad memories. Wonder how many showed up with NY Giants and Jets stuff?"  -- Janice Hough

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