Monday, April 29, 2013

Jason Collins, NBA Player, Says He's Gay. He's Also Very Smart.

By now you've heard the news made today on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Jason Collins says he's gay. Collins played in the NBA this season for the Boston Celtics and for the Washington Wizards.
Jason Collins
Collins was a free agent with the Wizards, and is not now under contract with any NBA team. Intentionally or not, Collins has done at least two other things besides come out as gay. Collins has deftly avoided making a team look like they're homophobic by getting rid of Collins now after he comes out as gay in case he was not in their basketball plans. In coming out in this fashion, Collins didn't confront the NBA with this, or put anyone on the defensive. (Collins also didn't piss the NBA off by making the announcement during the finals) From a public relations stand point, this is a good move. But let's face it, Collins, a 12 year NBA veteran who is clearly at the end of his career, is trying to get one more NBA contract using all marketble assets, just like any of us would. When you only score 41 points the whole season, you need to pad your resume.

Collins announcement was timed for maximum effect. There are a large number of people who, 'only watch the NBA at playoff time, now watching the NBA. The issue will be discussed on every one of the 400 ESPN basketball shows, and every show on TBS, TNT, and NBA TV.  Every major network had a segment on Collins announcement. Twitter got Collins on blast. Tweets of support are being tallied by Bill Clinton, "I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend." Ellen DeGeneres, "I'm overwhelmed by your bravery, Jason, & sending so much love." And many more!

This is an international news story. Professional basketball is played in almost every European country, Asia and the Middle East. If those leagues didn't know they could get their hands on a seven-footer with 12 years NBA experience, they do now.

Collins is getting a two-fer. We've never had an "out" gay man play any American team sport so coming out is historic and heroic. But we're also talking about a guy nearing the end, some might say at the end, of a 12 year NBA career. Collins stats compare with guys like, Kurt Nimphius, Blair Rasmussen and Nenad Krstic. I never heard of them, either.
Kurt Nimphius
Collins says he "didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete on a major American Sports team, but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
Martina Navratilova
If you want to rip Collins, don't rip him because he is an athlete coming out as gay, or because Collins seems like he's willing to come out now to land a deal. Rip him because that quote seems awfully dismissive of all the other gay athletes already out as gay. Martina Navratilova has been out as gay since 1981. She was out-ted, by the New York Daily News. And the conversation about being a gay athlete was born a long time ago, Collins must have just gotten to the hospital. If you're looking for a pioneer in male team sports, look no further than John Ameche. The ex-NBA player came out in 2007, following a 5 year career. Since then, Amaechi has been the public face of gay professional athletes. And by saying he's happy to start the conversation, Collins is also forgetting about women such as Seimone Augustus, Olympic Gold Medalist and WNBA basketball player, and Lori Lindsey, an Olympic Gold medalist in soccer.
Seimone Augustus
John Amaechi
There is no denying that the timing of Collins announcement could hardly be better. Attitudes toward the LGBT community are more liberal now than they've ever been in this country.

*According to a report by the Williams Institute at UCLA, every U.S. state has increased in its support for same-sex marriage, with an average increase of 13.6 percent, and if the public opinion trends continue at the same pace, eight additional states will be above 50 percent support by the end of next year.

*A POLITICO and George Washington University survey found that, out of 1,000 likely voters, 40 percent of respondents said they support marriage equality, while 30 percent said they supported civil unions.

*Civil Unions between gay couples in Colorado will be legal starting Wednesday, seven years after the legislature passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Remember when the debate was about being gay? Now its whether gay people, whom we now presumably accept, should get married!
Five years ago, about the time Amaechi came out, no able NBA player could have revealed their orientation. Now, thanks to changing attitudes, there might be a few teams willing to see if Collins can still play or even give him the benefit of the doubt because being the first is a box office draw. It's great news about Collins coming out party, but just remember, like any other American, Collins has self-interest at heart as well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Use the N-Word When You Can Use Code Words?

Here's what Pro Football Draft network said about a group of QB's who were taken first in the NFL draft.
Tim Couch
"Tim Couch (1999 NFL Draft), Michael Vick (2001 NFL Draft),
Alex Smith
David Carr (2002 NFL Draft), Alex Smith (2005 NFL Draft) and JaMarcus Russell (2007 NFL Draft) were all disappointments, as the top pick. All of these players lacked either elite physical talent or the rare intangibles (work ethic, instincts for the position) to become a star."

Michael Vick
Which ones do you think Pro Footbal Draft network meant lacked elite physical talent and which ones do you think they meant lacked intangibles, like work ethic? (David Carr had/has neither)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Giants/Diamondbacks Pre-Game iVideoStick And Giants Baseball Corner With MTK

MT Karthik just launched Giants Baseball Corner earlier this year, but his passion for the Men in Orange and Black, is anything but a band wagon fling. On today's show, yours truely stopped over to discuss this afternoon's game between San Francisco and Arizona.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DUI/DWI Only An Allegation If You're Al Michaels

Police in Los Angeles accused Al Michaels of having a blood-alcohol level at or above the legal limit while driving. 

Al Michaels (he's looked better)
According to TMZ (good ole TMZ) Michaels made an illegal u-turn just before a police DUI checkpoint, and could have been nicer during the arrest. There is nothing funny about drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person dies in a drunk driving crash every 53 minutes. In 2011, 9,878 Americans died as a result of a drunk driver. But you know what is funny? How careful ESPN was with its headline about the Michaels "alleged DUI."

Al Michaels arrested for alleged DUI

Fair is fair right? Here is a partial list of other headlines about athletes busted drinking while driving.

Texas' Kendall Sanders charged with DWI

Yovani Gallardo arrested for DUI

ESPN 4/12

Braylon Edwards charged with DUI

ESPN 9/10

Mark Grace indicted in DUI case

ESPN 10/12

Alec Ogletree arrested for DUI

ESPN 2/13

Todd Helton arrested on DUI charge

ESPN 2/13

Mark Grace
Notice anything different between the Al Michaels ESPN headline and the headlines for the 5 athletes and Mark Grace? Only in the Michaels headline does the word "alleged" appear. Until someone is convicted of a crime, the arrest under suspicion of a crime, and the charging of a crime are only allegations. None of the headlines convey the impression that anyone has been convicted but in Michaels case, the headlines conveys a doubt about the charge. What is implied in the other headlines, that the arrests are allegations, is clearly stated in Michaels headline.
Michaels (looking better)

Having worked in many a newsroom, I can tell you editors are more careful about what is written and/or broadcast regarding people considered to be public figures. (Which is strange considering the media legal has more leeway on public figures) There is also a gentleness regarding the on-air characterization of what WE consider prominent figures. I don't think there can be any question that the use of the word "alleged" in Michaels headline was done to try to protect, as it were, a well-known person and a prominent sports broadcaster reputation. Michaels is the man who uttered the over-rated and hackneyed phrase, "do you believe in miracles? Yes!," when the U.S. defeated Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympic games.
1980 US Olympic Hockey Team
Michaels is the guy who, along with copsey Chris Collinsworth, announces Sunday Night Football. Michaels has done countless Super Bowls, World Series', Triple Crown races, Stanley Cups, and NBA Finals. He's a broadcaster. So when a headline appears about Michaels having an "alleged" DUI and with everyone else there IS no mention of the word alleged, it smacks of a double-standard. Furthermore, because ESPN never (in the stories posted here) includes the word "alleged," with other DUI accusations, its inclusion in the Michaels' story suggests there is something different about the allegation. The word alleged in this headline suggests maybe the police got it wrong. After all, this is Al Michaels!
Michaels, however, isn't the only one receiving "special" coverage of a DUI/DWI arrest. Earlier this month pitcher Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers was arrested on the allegation he was drinking and driving. Following the report, Gallardo got some special headlines:
Yovani Gallardo
The news media went from reporting Gallardo's arrest into making it and him a joke of a person. 

Yovani Gallardo's DUI: Baseball loves a drunk

Sports Nation 4/17

And a cautionary tale worthy of serious reflection.

Gallardo’s DUI raises issue of how MLB should handle these matters 

 SI 4/18
But speaking of jokes, Todd Helton's arrest should have been fodder for late night comedians and at the very least, grizzled baseball writers looking for a break from routine. This fool was got busted when he drank, then got into his vehicle to go to a store to buy lottery tickets. 

That's right, a guy who has made about $156 million in his career, endanger his life and the lives of others because he had to have a lottery ticket. Aren't lottery tickets for people who DON'T have money?

Todd Helton arrested on DUI charge

Denver Post 2/7
Todd Helton

Helton's actions were a clear invitation for comedians from Jon Stewart to Henry Youngman to tee up the circumstance, tap it, and let the thin Colorado air knock this one out of the park. But what did we get instead? Headlines about Helton's contrition.

Todd Helton calls DUI arrest 'monumental' mistake 

                                         USA Today 2/17

Todd Helton disappointed, apologetic about DUI in first public remarks

Denver Post 2/17


Gallardo, Edwards and Ogletree also apologized. ESPN-Wisconsin wrote about Gallardo's mea cupla, not ESPN. Nor did ESPN write about Edwards and Ogletree's apologies. Even though they made sure to cover heir arrests. Edwards apology got digital ink from the LA Times and Washington Post. Pro Football Talk covered Ogletree's apology. That's right, the Pro Football Talk! You know who hasn't apologized? Mr. illegal u-turn, Mr. charged with drunk driving, Al Michaels.
Kenny Britt with Brittany Spears

Even worse than media mismanagement of mere accusations, is their lack of attention to the outcome of some of these cases. Tennessee Titan Kenny Britt was arrested for DUI last last summer on July 19th. That day, Big Lead Sports not only didn't use the word alleged, the USA Today backed blog predicted Britt would be suspended. 

And because, Britt had prior run-ins with the law, Big Lead Sports threw in every horrible association they could find to paint a picture of guilt when, at the time, Britt probably hadn't even been charged. Big Lead compared Britt with Dez Bryant (he got into a bar fight with 'Lil Wayne, but no charges were filed) and implied Britt was what, out of control, for jumping on a stage with Brittany Spears? An ESPN headline asked a more professionally serious question with one of its headlines.

                                       Is Kenny Britt worth it for the Titans?

 ESPN 8/9

Last month, federal magistrate found Britt not guilty of driving under the influence after trying to pass through a security gate at Fort Campbell Army post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. ESPN wrote the story from its "news services" (probably paid AP for the info) but ESPN did not follow up this news with a story about how dangerous it is to unfairly and prematurely pass judgment on a public figure. Isn't that what they did to Britt in asking if he was worth it for the Titans? Instead, by saying nothing, ESPN implicitly hides behind the limits of legal news reporting on public figures. But as we see with Al Michaels, how far ESPN goes is mostly up to their judgment of the accused and not what the first amendment allows.  

Here is a list of NFL, NBA and MLB players busted for DUI/DWI in 2012. The list was complied by the Sporting News. They left out DUI's by NHL players even though Riley Sheahan of the Detroit Red Wings (he was in the minors at the time) was pulled over by police last November for wrong-way driving on a one-way street. Sheahan was failing field sobriety tests, after allegedly blowing a .30 at the police station. Sheahan was dressed as Teletubby Inky Winky. And there is video of it!!!


Michael Turner, Falcons, DUI, Sept. 18

Kenny Britt, Titans, DUI, July 19

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, DUI, July 14

Robert Quinn, Rams, DUI, July 10

Eric Wright, Bucs, DUI, July 2 (DA later decided not to charge)

Aaron Berry, Lions, DUI, June 23

David Diehl, Giants, DUI, June 10

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars, DUI, June 3

Jerome Felton, Vikings, DUI, June 2

Nick Fairley, Lions, DUI, May 27

Brandon Meriweather, Redskins, DUI, April 26

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders, DUI, April 7

Ray McDonald, 49ers, warrant (did not complete program from 2010 DUI), Feb. 8

Knowshon Moreno, Broncos, DUI, Feb. 1

Aldon Smith, 49ers, DUI, Jan. 27


Jason Kidd, Knicks, DUI, July 15


Michael Pineda, Yankees, DUI, August 21

Cristhian Martinez, Braves, DUI, April 2

Bobby Jenks, Red Sox, DUI, March 23

Matt Bush, Rays, DUI, March 22

Eric Langill, Mets, DUI, March 11

Alex Wright, Rockies, DUI, March 3

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Teams Won't Play Today, But For All The Wrong Reasons

Boston's baseball and hockey teams have both postponed tonight planned contests. A statement from the Red Sox read: "Tonight's Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park has been postponed to support the efforts of law enforcement officers. The Boston Bruins said their game against Pittsburgh will likely take place tomorrow. The move reminded me of another Boston/American tragedy, The Kennedy Assassination. The Red Sox made the right decision but for the wrong reason. The Bruins played in Boston on Wednesday, three days after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. The Bruins didn't say why they were postponing their game today. The reason the Bruin's shouldn't have played and Sox should have suspended the game transcends cooperation with police. The reason is the sad circumstances of the deaths and injuries AND that this could have happened to any one of us as we participated in one of our unique American rituals.

Would the 49ers have played a football game following a deadly terrorist attack on the parade held for the World Championship San Francisco Giants? Would the New York Giants take the field following a deadly tragedy during the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York? Would the Rose Bowl be played if someone intentionally plowed into spectators at the Rose Parade? I'm not saying life should stop, but can't we sacrifice just a couple of days of sports in light of the circumstances? A lot people probably won't use the time to reflect, but at lease we would think about why we weren't at the game, or watching it on TV.
John F. Kennedy

Later this year, the country will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There has been almost endless accolades given to then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle for NOT suspending or postponing any games and playing a full schedule that Sunday.  "It has been traditional in sports for athletes to perform in times of great personal tragedy. Football was Mr. Kennedy's game. He thrived on competition," said Rozelle. Was that really the case, or did Rozelle decide to play games because the league stood to lose a lot of money. And by adding, "football was Kennedy's game," Rozelle cued us to recall an old cliche, "the President would have wanted it this way."
NY Giants/Nov. 24, 1963

Rozelle's decision set the insensitive tone for how sports reacts in all tragedies ever since. If we can't stop pro sports when a president is assassinated, then when would we or why would we? The only reason MLB didn't play games following 9-11 is that all air travel, except for the Bin Laden family, was suspended. As soon as it resumed, so did games. The New York Mets beat the Pirates 4-1 on the 17th. Today is the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. One-hundred sixty-eight people died in the bomb blast including 19 children. No MLB games were played that night but not out of deference to the victims of Oklahoma City. A 232 day player strike ended on April 2nd that year and the season didn't begin until April 26th.
Well, its 2013 and nearly 50 years have passed since we lost our 35th President to an assassins bullet and his puppeteers. There wasn't a team in Boston in 1963, and Dallas had just lost the Texans to Kansas City earlier that year. Given Pete's proclamation, it may not have mattered if there were franchises in those cities. I believe the games should not have been played, and shouldn't be played today. The are things more important in life than football. Things like, life. And this was the President of the United States! The Cold War was colder than ever, and the failed Cuban-American invasion of Cuba was barely a year old. And let's not forget the Russian missile crisis. The world had just been on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

What would anyone lose through a four day suspension? The people who went to those games would have lost that nagging guilty feeling.

Suspending games for just a few days would have been the right thing to do, world destruction, not withstanding. The games should not have been played out of respect for the office and out of respect for current events and respect for the President anad his family. It's unclear why the NFL got all the attention. In the four days following the Kennedy assassination, the NBA played its regular schedule.

Nov 23, 1963 New York Knicks 108, Detroit Pistons 99          at New York
Nov 23, 1963 St. Louis Hawks 133, Cincinnati Royals 121 at St. Louis
Nov 24, 1963 Cincinnati Royals 122, St. Louis Hawks 113 at Cincinnati
Nov 26, 1963 Philadelphia 76ers 115, Baltimore Bullets 113 at Philadelphia
Nov 26, 1963 Los Angeles Lakers 119, New York Knicks 112 at New York
Nov 26, 1963 Cincinnati Royals 123, San Francisco Warriors 112  at New York

The NHL also played a regular schedule, which consisted of half as many games.

Sat, Nov 23, 1963 Boston Bruins 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
Sun, Nov 24, 1963 Montreal Canadiens 3 Chicago Black Hawks 7
Sun, Nov 24, 1963 Toronto Maple Leafs 3 New York Rangers 3

The Bruins played the NEXT DAY! Fifty years later the Bruins will not play their regularly scheduled game, but the reason has nothing to do with mourning the dead victims or the wounded, many of whom will never walk again. The decision by the Bruins and the Sox was also clearly not a league decision, but one left up to the teams. If we can't give up our precious hockey, football, basketball and baseball games for a few days to remember and learn from such tragedies what does that say about us, and could our inability to sacrifice a night at a ballgame and show compassion, even for other Americans, be a reason Americans are targets for such unspeakable crimes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Papelbon says Boston Tragedy proves Obama is wrong on Gun Control

Philly's pitcher Jonathan Papelbon is a right-wing nut job.
Jonathan Papelbon

While discussing ballpark safety in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon with on Tuesday, Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon made a reference to the ongoing gun control debate, claiming that President Barack Obama "wants to take our guns."
"Today's day and age, has gotten so crazy, everything. You know? [There is] all this stuff going on. And, shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything," Papelbon said. "And you got this kind of stuff going on? It's just a little bit insane for me, man. I really don't even know how to take it."

Shoot man.

I have often derided another pitcher on many occassions. It turns out, I may have misjudged Curt Chilling. The bait were his appearances with George W. Bush during the 2004 presidential campaign. Bush was preaching less government, and more private sector. (He even had a plan to privatize Social Security. What a disaster that would have been!) Therefore, by proximity alone, I stuck Shilling in the same hole, and covered it with lime, as I did Bush.

Curt Shilling
But after doing a little research, I dug up some quotes about Shilling that belie an image he created for himself.

A strong supporter of the war, Schilling wrote in January of 2008, that
"ANYONE promising an immediate withdrawal of our armed forces is either
A) A liar trying to get elected to public office
B) Horribly callous, irresponsible and ignorant to the lives of the men and women serving in the armed forces.
•Abortion: Schilling is a born-again Christian and calls himself pro-life, but adds, "I also think that decision is WAY beyond any one person to control or decide on." We're not sure what that means from a policy standpoint.
•Tort Reform: Schilling told the conservative website that he's "disgusted ... with the litany of lawsuits by every American on the planet against doctors," and thinks that "frivolous and expensive unfounded lawsuits need to carry MASSIVE penalties for people [filing them] and law firms."
•Crazy People: Schilling once called Ann Coulter “intelligent in ways that piss so many people off,” and said there’s “something admirable” about the way she speaks her mind.
Now, his more liberal positions:
•Gun Control: Schilling doesn't understand the need for automatic rifles and supports gun-control laws:

I disagree with some of this, but the only thing crazy is Shilling's positive characterization of Man Coulter. Shilling's main hypocritial blunder is preaching for smaller government and then accepting $75 million in loan guarentees from the state of Rhode Island for a business the state will now have to pay $100 million to set things straight.

Oregon Facing Sanctions, Kelly Collecting Millions

Backballed vs. Tolerated: Another installment in an on-going series by 
Vincent Wrice

Chip Kelly                   vs                               Terrell Pryor

In respect to both Terrell Pryor and Chip Kelly, there are distinct differences. While Pryor was an amateur who didn't receive pay, he was sanctioned by both the NCAA and NFL. In the NCAA he didn't serve his penalty but he was punished by not being able to reap the benefits of his remaining time at OSU.
                          Chip Kelly

He didn't get to compete for the Heisman Trophy or a national championship; he didn't get to increase his draft position, thereby increasing his immediate and lifetime earning potential. So a penalty evaded didn't necessary mean he received no detriment. Pryor then received a second detriment by a body not connected to where his first offense occurred. After Pryor and the Raiders agreed to a 4-year contract, he served an NFL-mandated 5-game suspension at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season. That suspension was without pay. It is as if I was caught cheating on a test, left the university because of it, was hired by a firm, but they suspended me for cheating on the test. This makes no sense. Not to mention the                        
                                                                                 Terrell Pryor
unconstitutionality of NCAA laws making these guys play for unjust enrichment and not letting them sell items to which neither the NCAA nor the school having control over. This is effectively giving the awarded student a mere license to use said award. The awards should remain in the school's trophy case until the student has graduated.

As for Kelly his responsibility is far greater that a student athlete. He has a responsibility to the school as well as the athletes he has recruited. Adam Jude of the Oregonian stated the University of Oregon agreed that its football coaches “committed at least one major violation,” from 2008 to 2011.
Kelly has gotten his multimillion dollar contract on the backs of students athletes ate the University of Oregon. The NCAA was his laboratory and audition for the NFL. He now gets the chance to implement his theory while making millions of dollars.
One basically gets expelled and docked pay for what amounts (in the real world) as a petty offense, while the other makes out just fine. Kelly follows in the footsteps of Pete Carroll who left just before USC received its sanctions for offenses during his tenure.

Friday, April 12, 2013

NFL Player's Dad Suing Cowboys Stadium (and for good reason)

When I first heard that Danny Amendola's father was suing Cowboys stadium, I brushed it off as just another person trying to sue someone with deep pockets. Even when I learned there was video of the incident, I still didn't think much. Well, I've changed my mind and this video helped change it.

Willie Amendola is the guy who finally jumps off 30 yards after impact. He's seeking $1 million in damages, and here's the B.S. part. Although he wasn't seriously injured in the incident, Amendola is suing for "past and future physical pain and suffering; past and future mental anguish and past and future medical expenses," among other things.

If you're not seriously hurt, how about they pay for your medical expenses and we call it a day?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warriors Play Thunder Hoping Not To Again

The Golden State Warriors are in the playoffs, but who they play will be determined by where the team finishes in the standings. Tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, at Oracle Arena, could be a playoff preview. But given that the OKC has beaten the GSW in 6 of the last seven tries, the Warriors are hoping to keep their 6th seed in the west and avoid playing the Thunder, the number one seed, (right now) in the playoffs. The irony is they have to beat Oklahoma tonight to maintain that position.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Selig To Study Putrid Percentages of African-Americans in Baseball

A MLB committee met today in Mliwaukee to find out why there are so few African-Americans playing in the league.
“I don't want to miss any opportunity here,” said commissioner Bud Selig. "We want to find out if we're not doing well, why not, and what we need to do better. We'll meet as many times as we need to to come to meaningful decisions.”
Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp, Michael Bourn

The World Champion San Francisco Giants are one of several major league teams that don't have a single African-American on their current roster. If I didn't love the Giants, I'd  be really annoyed. League wide, just 8.5% of all players are African-American, and according to Society of American Baseball Research, the number has never been higher than nineteen-percent. (Didn't it seem higher in the 1970's?)One problem apparent to me right now is, the media doesn't seem to give a crap. The article I read about this on CBS cited a figure on the percentage of African-Americans in the game from the NYT. CBS didn't already know the answer and couldn't be bothered with looking it up themselves. But the media isn't the only problem.

When it comes to field managers, maybe hiring practices discourages African-Americans from pursuing baseball.

Ned Yost is now the manager of the Kansas City Royals, but why. He'd already unsuccessfully managed the Milwaukee Brewers. Six years and a .477 winning percentage. OK, he had a bad squad. Let's given him another chance. In 3 plus years with KC, Yost is 203-256! This will be Yosts' tenth year as manager, but he probably shouldn't have more than three.

Conversely, according to a site called FanGraphic there have been 14 black managers in the history of MLB. (The data was collected between 1975 and 2010. Bo Porter was hired this year)
Of those 14, only 11 ever managed a full season —Jerry Royster, Larry Doby,(the second African-American to play in the majors) and Maury Wills were midseason replacements who were canned before they ever got a chance to manage their 162nd game — and just nine ever won as many as 200 games, a total reached by 250 other managers in history, including Yost!
Maury Wills

Let's look at players on the field. The good news is there are a few medicore African-Americans playing or sitting the bench. Why is that good news? Because it no longer means, if your African-American, you have to be a starter or a superstar in order to play.

Selig, hated by many in the media who in turn have persauded fans to hate him, has been the most progressive commissioner on race relations. Thanks to Selig, there have been improvements in the hiring practices of MLB teams for front office jobs. But right now, just Dusty Baker, Bo Porter, and Ron Washington are managing. That's three out of 30 teams.  Baker and Washington lead their teams to playoff appearances last season and Washington won two consecutive American League Championships with Texas. Porter was hired by the Astro's in the off season the same way most black managers get their jobs, by being offered a position with a crappy team.
Bud Selig

Selig also required all major league teams to retire the number 42. That number was worn by Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in the majors. As for diversity on the field and front office, its unclear how much Selig's efforts led to the improvement or if social evolution played an equally important role, but it happened on his watch.
Selig instituted the first Rooney Rule in pro sports. That's a reference to an NFL rule that requires teams looking for new head coaches to interview at least one minority candidate. Selig's version was implemented in 1990, 13 years before the NFL rule. But in the MLB version, Selig directs teams to notify him of the names of minority candidates they planned to interview for their vacancies. The interviews were to be legitimate, Selig told them, not of the token variety. I'm not saying these moves were all substance, but once there was a rule in place, the media could have kept the heat on by asking questions. Instead, how many of us even KNEW MLB had such a rule?
There are no reports on what this new committee will look at, when they will draw their conclusions are when/if the results will be released to the public.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Serena Williams wins the mental and tennis match against Jankovic

Serena Williams won the Family Circle Tennis Championship in Charleston today. The match lasted three sets, but it wasn't that close.
Serena Williams
Like last week, when she dumped Maria Sharapova, Williams caught fire in the second set and dusted her opponent. Weird Jelena Jankovic didn't take extra time during the match to address an injury, (its what's she does when she's losing) but she did start an argument with Serena, and that was basically the end of the match.
                                                                    Jelena Jankovic
Up a set and serving, Jankovic got mad at Serena for signalling she wasn't ready to receive a Jankovic serve.
The action comes a minute into this video.

This is what two said to one another.
Jankovic: “How long do I have to wait?”

Serena: “Until I’m ready. I don’t play slow.”

Jankovic: “But you go like this [crouching in return position]

Serena: “Honestly, you got a problem? I’m not the one.”

Jankovic, as I mentioned, was already up a set, and up 40-15 in this game. Then she went mental. Not only did Jankovic not win this game she lost the next six games, the second set to Serena, and only two more games the rest of the match, which she lost, 6-3, 0-6, 2-6. Serena not only has the physical game, and all the shots, she also has the ability to psych the hell out of anybody in the game.

Lin says Race Kept Him Out of Good (basketball) College

Jeremy Lin says race was a barrier to competing at college of his (first and second?) choice. I supposed some might say, hey you went to Harvard why the whine? And others might say, not getting a look from, say Kentucky, cost him millions of dollars in the NBA. In an upcoming 60 Minutes, (I love sports but its got no place on 60 Minutes) Lin says his Asianess resulted in a lack of offers from major colleges.

Jeremy Lin
You'll have to watch the piece yourself, but in the SI story about the piece, the magazine doesn't say who are the perpetrators. There are plenty of suggestions that the prejudice against the Chinese-American is slowly being chipped away by Lin's play on the court. (SI calls Lin a Taiwanese-American. The U.S. country does not officially recognize Taiwan. It keeps us out of war with China) Lin says he is still thought of "deceptively athletic and deceptively quick." 
Let me help you understand. If Reuben Studdard is athletic and quick, that's deceptive because he's heavy. To be surprised that an Lin is athletic or quick, that's like saying you're surprised he can enunciate his L's and R's. Lin is averaging 13.1 points, 6.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals for the Rockets, who are on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. I love me some Lin, but James Hardin is also on this team and he is the NBA's fifth leading scorer averaging 25.8 points a game.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why Is It OK To Fight and Threaten in NASCAR?

Why are NASCAR drivers allowed to make threats against other drivers without interference from the sponsors, or higher ups?
There is a race tomorrow at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia and everyone, from the media to the other races are saying or suggesting that Joey Logano is a marked man. Marked as in other racers will intentionally  try to stop Logano from finishing the race. How can I say this more clearly?
Tony Logano
They will try to make Logano crash his ride. If you do that to someone who is driving more than 200 miles and hour, aren't you saying you're going to try to kill the driver? Tony Stewart even said he'll "take him out."

Stewart already tried that following the last race, the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, CA. Stewart charged after Logano and scuffuled with him. Stewart was mad that Logano cut him off in an attempt to prevent a pass. Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Prevent other racers from getting ahead of you?
I will try to spare you the details about what happened at the Fontana race, but other racers are blaming Logano for every bad thing that happened. According to one published report, the man who Logano hit towards the end of the Fontana race, Denny Hamlin,  isn't even mad at Logano for the fractured spine and other injuries that will cause Hamlin to miss five races, he's mad that Logano has not exhibited proper contrition. Hamlin is made because Logano is not sorry enough! These MF's is crazy! Hamlin can't race but knows that other races are gunning for Logano. Hamlin even joked that Logano should swap sponsors with Juan Pablo Montoya, who is backed by Target, because Logano will now have a bull's-eye on his car for the next few weeks. Ha, ha, ha.

As for the incident itself, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said it was just the kind of throwback racing he expects out of his drivers and he would issue no fines. NASCAR also said no penalties were warranted  against Tony Stewart for scuffling with Logano after the race. And what about the whole Stewart-Logano dust-up following the race. We have no problem, and frankly encourage drivers to go up to one another to discuss whatever they think they need to that happened in the race," said France.
David Stern
Roger Goodell

When is the last time you heard any chairman of anything encourage two parties to get in each others faces following a highly emotional contest? Can you hear David Stern, or Roger Goodell saying that?
Can you image what the media, and league reactions would be if players in the NBA or NFL were saying, "I'm going to take him out," or joking that another player has a target on their back?
In the NBA you can be fined $30,000 for flopping, or making it look like you got shot in the chest and falling backwards. A player can be fined $35,000 for a flagrant foul, defined as unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. 
In the NFL, an excessive celebration is cause for a 15 yard penalty, and $100,000 for a logo violation.
Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough

Fighting in NASCAR pre-dates this 1979 photo picturing Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough, but this one was a dusey.
The 1979 Daytona 500 was the first 500-mile race to be broadcast in its entirety live on national television. It was coming out party for the sport, and it turned into a hot mess. It's unclear if there was any fine or punishment associated with this fight other than putting a bottle of Jack and can of crew into the ten gallon fine hat. Why is it that fighting on Basketball, football and baseball must be stopped at all costs, but in NASCAR, the chairman is encouraging drivers to go up to one another to settle differences. Judging from what France said about the Fontana incident, that it was the kind of throwback racing he expects, he wants to see more of Allison Yarborough and less of Stewart Logano. 

Does Iverson Really Spend like he serves in the Navy and has too much to drink

The media loves to rip athletes and they'll take advantage of any excuse to build an archive.

Today, Yahoo Sports, citing a TMZ report, said Allen Iverson is in financial difficulty and suggests "The Answer" has a spending problem which has lead to a revenue problem. The information about his finances was obtained from public records filed in connection with divorce proceedings. (Now that he ain't playin' and makin' millions, she wants to leave his ass. "I ain't sayin' that she's a golddigger, but she ain't hangin out with no broke nigga." Ah, Fiddy Cent)

The documents reveal expense claims made by Iverson. For instance, $10,000 a month on clothes and another $10,000 monthly on grocery and house items. Add that to $1,000 a month on dry cleaning, $5,000 a month on entertainment and $5,000 on restaurants.

Never been divorced, but have done the news for a number of years. What I have learned by covering these stories is sometimes the person on the hook for alimony and/or child support might try to lower the amount owed to the spouse by claiming an exaggerated amount of personal expenses. The Yahoo Sports account reads like it was written by a person with no life experience. Does Iverson really spend this much on those things or is it easier to believe that Iverson spends money like a pimp and everyday was the Player's Ball?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Auburn Players Test Positive For Faux Pot. It may be called Pol Pot

ESPN is reporting that a dozen Auburn University football players tested positive for drugs during the team's 2010 championship season, and a dozen more used durgs but were never caught by a drug screen. (that thing keeps the flies out too) The drug found in the players system is called "spice." Its a synthetic form or marijuana.

Michael Dyer
ESPN thinks they're so smart. They say they uncovered the information during a six month investigation. Really?! ESPN interviewed Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, and he TOLD ESPN what was up! Some investigation: we asked the guy and he told us. Freshman tight end Dakota Mosley, tested positive for the drug seven weeks in a row. So why didn't anything happen? "Spice" was not part of the schools drug testing policy, and was not banned at the federal level until 2012. The school said it couldn't punish the players. Don't ask me what they mean by federal level? You'd think the writing would be better in these stories. The funniest part of this story is "the report suggests the 2010 national title team was under the grip of synthetic marijuana use." UNDER THE GRIP? LOL. It's not heroin or crack. If the players were under the grip of anything it was Cheetos and Funyons. Get a grip.
Yesterday ESPN reported members of the same team were getting cash payments. Good for them!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reaction from a Black Babershop about Black EJ Johnson

Coming out as gay is passe. So why are some people having a problem, mixed feelings, unexplained emotions, about EJ Johnson. Earvin Johnson III probably came out long before this video did. But until now, we didn't know HOW gay he was. LOL!!! 

After showing them the video, the reaction I got from some of the brothas, and a suster today at an Oakland Black Babershop was unanimous. The cutter's and a customer or two said they weren't bothered by EJ being gay. They were having trouble balancing Magic Johnson, having a gay son with their non-homophobic feelings. I'll let them explain what that means. Some were disappointed and some down right salty. 


The Warriors play the New Orleans Hornets tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. The Hornets aren't "going quietly into that goodnight." Although the team has long since been eliminated from the playoffs, Nahlens is coming off a 4-3 homestand with wins against three playoff bound teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that gives the Warriors fits!

Stephen Curry Reacts to Sports Illustrated Cover

There is such a thing as a Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Golden State Warriors Guard Stephan Curry is on the cover of the latest issue. However, because this issue did not come out just before Curry's rookie season or just before the playoffs, history says Curry can escape the dreaded jinx. The magazine has even acknowledged the legend of the cover jinx and tried to have fun with the issue itself.

I guess they figured if they addressed the issue as a joke the whole thing would, from then on, be treated as a joke. Nope.

*Just about a week ago, Indiana Hoosiers forward Victor Oladipo was featured on the cover. In their next game, Indiana fell to 4th-seeded Syracuse Orange in the sweet sixteen.

*December 2012: Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets struggles and gets injured soon after being on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the off season. This was one of the worst streaks of his NBA career.

*November 13, 2012: Kansas State University quarterback Collin Klein is featured on the cover, the week after Kansas State reached #1 in the BCS standings for the first time in school history.

November 18, 1957: Oklahoma Sooner Clendon Thomas appeared on the cover, along with others on the Sooner sideline, with the headline "Why Oklahoma is Unbeatable." The next game of that season Oklahoma lost to Notre Dame, ending their NCAA Division I record 47-game winning streak.

And there's a lot more.

If the Warriors, who hold a three and half game lead for the last playoff spot with just eight to play, miss the post-season we'll know who to blame.

Right now Stephen Curry says he flattered by the attention to himself and the team.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Alex Smith gives Harbaugh no credit for the QB's sudden sucess.

Alex Smith is delusional. If what he told media in Kanasa City is to be believed, then here's to hoping he comes out of his "Family Guy" inspired side gag in time to seek the lineman coming for his head.
Alex Smith

CBS is reporting what Smith said, but didn't do a good job of telling the readers, to whom Smith was  addressing at the time.
He is quoted as saying the Chief's "can win now." That's fine. If I'm his coach or a KC fan, if I don't here that from Smith, then we have a problem. Smith should have stopped there, but didn't/couldn't. From 2010- to 2011, the '9ers went from 6-10 to 13-3. How did they do that? Did Alex Smith get better? Alex doesn't seem to know what it was?
"I felt like we had a very talented team that underachieved the year before for whatever reason. New stock came in and there was a lot of turnover and change in culture, and we saw a group of guys buy in and saw what could happen."
"For whatever reason? Really dude? For whatever reason? Could Jim Harbaugh have been the reason?

Jim Harbaugh

In 2009, Smith stated 11 games  completed 60.5% percent of his passes for 2550 yards, 18 TD passes, 12 int's for an 81.5% QB rating.

The Niners went 6-10.

Then they hired Jim Harbaugh. The team went 13-3. Smith completed 61% of his passes, threw for 3144 yards, 17 TD's, 5 int's for a rating of 90.7%

Whatever happened?!

Smith came into the league in 2005. He started 7 games, threw for 875 yards, one touchdown, and, count 'em, 11 interceptions. Smith's QB rating was 40.8%.

The next season, Smith started all 16 games. He threw 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions and the team finished 8-8.

After that, Smith's career in San Francisco was only marginally better. He got injured in 2008 and didn't play in a single game. Local reporters were already packing Smith's bags.

"Alex Smith's rocky career with the 49ers apparently is over, little more than three years after he was the top pick in the NFL draft." Tom FitzGerald of the SF Chronicle wrote that, but can you blame him? This is what the GM said about Smith at about the same time.
The 49ers can't afford to bring him back next year at his scheduled $9 million, with an expensive salary-cap hit, unless he was the clear-cut starter.

I'm getting to why Smith should thank and acknowledge Jim Harbaugh, but first let's all admit that Smith was as good as gone in 2008. Why shouldn't he have been? Smith completed just 48.7% of his passes in 2007, threw two touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Colin Kaepernick
What did Colin Kaepernick do in his second season? He started 7 games completed 62.4% of his passes for 1814 yards AND 415 yards rushing, 10 TD passes, 3 int's for a 98.3 QB rating.

So while Alex is still figuring out whatever happened we know what happened, Jim Harbaugh happened, and its time Smith started giving him the credit.

Magazine paints Geno Smith into a Stereotypical corner

ProFootball Weekly wrote these words and phrase about Gino Smith, a former West V U QB who could be the first QB taken in the draft.
Geno Smith

“Not a student" "Nonchalant" "Mild practice demeanor" "marginal work ethic" "did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board" (That one is too easy) "has approached offseason training as if he has already arrived" "Needed to be coddled in college" These words are the non-homicidial equivalent of what Susan Smith said to the police when she claimed a black man had car jacked her and taken off with her car and two boys. They are the equivlant of what Charles Stuart told police after HE shot and killed his pregnant wife, which is bascially the same thing Smith told police; a big, bad, nasty black man committed the crime. In both the Stuart and the Smith cases, the police and the public believed it, at first. Later on, like with RG III (remember he got the same treatment last year before the draft) reality settled in.
                                                                  Robert Griffin III

But Geno Smith is no RG III. So unless he can take a horrible team to the playoffs, it might be hard to get the stank of racism and lies of his back. The other side of the story is that teams are floating this information to PFW and others to scare away those picking higher. The idea is teams will buy the ugly rumors and Smith will drop into their clutches. I get that, but how are the 007's of the NFL world are trying to accomplish that? By using every stereotype of a black man in the book, just like Smith and Stuart did before their lies were exposed. So in 2013, its widely believed that enough people associate these words and phrase such as, “Not a student" "Nonchalant" "Mild practice demeanor" "marginal work ethic" "did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board," with black men that they will get some people to believe it, and then its up to the black guy to prove otherwise.