Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sochi Olympic Flame Begins Sojourn

Passing the Olympic flame to Ioannis Antoniou

The Olympic flame destined to light the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was lit  on September 28th  in southern Greece.   At the Temple of Hera, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, an actress garbed as high priestesses invoked Apollo, the ancient Greek god of the sun, as she lit the Olympic flame using  the suns rays (with the assistance of a parabolic mirror).

The flame was passed off to 18 year old Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou. The first Russian relay runner in this 40,000 mile 123 day odyssey was Alex Ovechkin, of the NHL's Washington Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin, the first Russian relay Olympic torch bearer

Carrying the Olympic torch fulfilled a dream for the 28 year old superstar Capital's Winger.  As Ovechkin said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something I will never forget."   Ovechin's enthusiasm was evident from his Instagram photo shared via Twitter.

But Ovechkin had to hurry back from Europe in order to play in the Capital's regular season opener against the Chicago Black Hawks in three days time.  This will not be the only time which professional obligations and Olympic ambitions will intersect for Ovetchin this season.  Fortunately, the NHL is taking a fortnight holiday in February 2014 so that NHL players can compete for their national teams in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The torch relay  will travel through the nine time zones in the Russian Federation and be carried by 14,000 torch bearers.  The Olympic torch will travel from the bottom of Lake Baikal, Europe's highest mountain Mount Elbrus and will even travel to the International Space Station to be taken on a space walk  by two cosmonauts. 
Relay route for the 2014 Olympic torch relay in the Russian Federation 

However,  it should be noted that cosmonauts Sergei Ryazansky and Oleg Kotov will only carry the torch and not the flame. 

The Olympic flame will arrive in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in the Russian Federation on February 7th, 2014 for the 22nd Winter Olympiad. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Too Sooner to Steal ND Lucky Charms (sic)?

Today, the University of Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) go up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1).  Effectively, the Sooners will try to steal ND's Lucky Charms.

Being based in the District of Calamity (sic), my school of choice is the Electoral College, which cheers more for politics as a contact sport than football so it is easy to watch the Sooner/Fighting Irish match-up dispassionately.

Statistically, Notre Dame has won 9 of 10 football games against the Sooners.  But it should also be noted that the game is going to be played in South Bend, Indiana. The home field advantage may have some artistic and superficial spiritual advantages.

The Hesburgh Library, which is adjacent to the Notre Dame football stadium, has two iconic art pieces which seem to reflect football prowess. 

The large "Word of Life mural" (1964) by Millard Sheets is colloquially called "Touchdown Jesus".   Next to the library, there is a bronze by Joseph Turkalj (1962) which is often referred to as "First Down Moses" for the way the Jewish Prophet has his hand positioned. 

Post Scriptus - The Sooners managed to defy the odds and defeated the Fighting Irish 35-21.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crossfit to be Tied?

A social media posting generated considerable controversy on the prudence of keeping "super fit" during pregnancy.  

Lee-Ann Ellison is a 35 year old mother of two  from California who is a  body builder who refuses to stop doing what she loves, even two weeks before parturition. Ellison started training for weightlifting figure competitions in 1998.  

Ellison's training is CrossFit, which is a training regimen designed for the military, fighters and professional athletes.  Ellison observed that: "After the birth of my second child, I knew that I needed to step it up. I loved being a Mom, but I wanted to be a hot Mom." 

 Although Ellison is capable of lifting up to 190 pounds on a barbell, she has limited herself to 75 pounds on an abundance of caution. She notes that: "Weightlifting is no joke, it's not for newbies."

The influence over an uneducated public is what has given birth to the storm of controversy. Current medical advice does not prohibit weightlifting, but the method matters, as certain stances can cut off circulation.  Many are concerned that the unborn child is being endangered by the wellness regimen. 

In an interview with a British news source ParentDish, Ellison opined: 

Fitness begins early and pregnancy is not an illness. Moms need to quit being suppressed into a weaker role and take their health back. Move their bodies! Whether it is walking, swimming or weight lifting it doesn’t matter. As long as they eat healthy and exercise, their bodies will gain what weight is necessary to support their pregnancy.
It is also revealing that Ellison's religious beliefs listed on social media is "Love thyself first."

While Ellison's zeal for keeping personally fit is commendable, the promotion of her story by Crossfit may inspire other pregnant women who are less well trained to engage in activities unfit for the new life they are hosting.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dodger-ing McCain's Verbal Flak on Poolgate

In anticipation of the Los Angeles Dodgers clinching the NL West Division title, the Arizona Diamondbacks requested that the division champions not celebrate on Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.    The visiting team did technically comply but they expressed their elation  at winning the division title by jumping in the Dodge swimming pool in right field.

This celebration provoked the ire of the senior Senator from Arizona John McCain as was publicized through  his Twitter postings.

While McCain may echo other Arizona Diamondback fan sentiments, his social media sharing should be beneath his office.  This message was not the cute hometown bets between politicians during the playoffs.  Nor was this admiration for a sports team which he has been a long-time fan, like Yankees fans former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NYC) or former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) (sic).  

Maybe McCain was just pandering to his constituents (the voters, not the media but that can be confusing for the Maverick Senator).  But that's not his job.  Maybe for a Phoenix sportscaster, but not for a US Senator, particularly when the world is going to hell in a handbasket (and McCain makes friends with al Qaeda terrorists in the Free Syrian Army).

Then again, McCain has had difficulty doing his job of late.  McCain was so bored with a high level public hearing on the Syria Crisis, when President Obama was still threatening to strike the Levant, yet the senior Senator was caught playing video poker on the Senate floor.

If John McCain wants to engross himself in the minutia of baseball, it seems that Arizona is a fine place to RETIRE, and watch Cactus League baseball. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Al Davis on Loyalty

Baseball Ballet Between The Beltways

For the third year in a row, the Geico Racing Presidents crashed a performance of the Septime Weber's  and the Washington Ballet's performance of  Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" (1892) at the Warner Theater.

As it was at the end of the Washington National's 2012 season, Teddy was a winning standout.

 At a time when the District of Calamity is divided on how to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, it is nice to see how baseball fans, Christmas sentimentalists and lovers of the arts can briefly be brought together in a season of hope and anticipation.

 [This article was originally published on]

Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket on Raquetball

When Mark Summers and John Baur attended their first fantasy convention at CapriCon  in Chicagoland in 2008, their alter egos Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket were joined onstage by Tom Smith for a rousing ode to "Talk Like a Pirate Day".

Merry Talk Like a Pirate Day--  Aaarrr!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Does Magic Know Football?

Magic Johnson Jaguars Tim Tebow

 After the Jacksonville  Jaguars ignominious 28-2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the first week of the 2013 NFL season, Earvin "Magic" Johnson opined on the internet about Tim Tebow.  Johnson, the five time NBA basketball champion, entrepreneur and now partial owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, suggestion may have been facetious, but his bon mot may have a point.

 The Orlando Sentinel bemoans the mediocre product that the Jaguars have produced for years.  The season opener convinced sports writer Mike Bianchi that the Jags have absolutely nothing. Magic Johnson is said to believe that sports should be fun and entertaining.

Even though Tebow has been cut by the Denver Broncos,  the New York Jets and was recently cut from the New England Patriots final training roster, Tebow has a loyal national fan base and has displayed an unconventional and exiting style when he helmed the Broncos. As the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Chip Kelly (previously at University of Oregon) showed in their season opener against the Washington Redskins, a quick paced unconventional college system can work in the NFL. 

Besides, Tebow's personal popularity, especially amongst Christians who admire Tebow's honoring God and pro-life stance, might sell some Jaguar jerseys.

So will Magic's tongue-in-cheek incantation have any power in Jacksonville?

Should the Jacksonville Jaguars pick up Tim Tebow?
"Magic" Johnson should "dodge" public football prognostications
The Christian athlete should be allowed to play with the Florida big cats
It couldn't hurt

Dean Martin on Life

Monday, September 9, 2013

RGIII is not PC in DC

Since the City Council in the District of Calamity has nothing better to do, Councilman David Grosso (I-At Large DC) has proposed a non-binding resolution to prompt the Washington NFL franchise to change its name from the “Redskins” because Grosso finds it racist and offensive.  The councilman claims that a majority of DC City Council  will support the resolution.

The politically correct clamor from the DC City Council is meant to bolster efforts by aboriginal American groups who are suing to deny the football franchise from keeping trademark protection for their famous Redskins moniker. 

Grosso proffered his solution to change the name of the team to the Redtails.   Grosso observes that : “You can still sing the song and can still keep the feather.”  How generous! This solicitous solution sounds as weak as changing the Washington Bullets to the Wizards.  

While the Clash sang about Washington Bullets referring to weapons, the Washington Bullets name derived from a shoe manufacturer.  The American Basketball League Baltimore Bullets were named after Bata Bullets athletic shoes named near Baltimore.  Washington kept the name Bullets of the NBA franchise from 1973 when the team moved to DC until 1995 when owner Abe Pollin wanted to change the name after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzah Rabin.  While there was a contest to narrow the name list and the Wizards moniker was chosen.   But that was the free market working by a capitalist choosing to rebrand to suit himself.

Now it seems that politically correct politicians and attention seeking pressure groups want to dictate how private companies can market themselves.  No wonder why DC can be considered the District of Calamity (sic). 

What is remarkable about this politically correct pogrom is that a prominent community leader took a stand against social tyranny.  Robert Griffin, Jr (a.k.a. RGIII), the first year Washington starting quarterback who lead his team from the wilderness into the NFL playoffs dared to speak his mind and buck the PC powers that be.  RGIII tweeted “In the land of political freedom, we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”  

It did not take long for RGIII’s Twitter statement of independence to draw fire from those who would otherwise champion diversity (as long it conforms to their mores).

It seems that the ‘Skin’s star quarterback is not only agile and inspirational but also courageous.  But now the ire of liberal sports writers will be waiting to heckle him.  RGIII may be treated slightly better than dog killer Michael Vick before he was convicted.  However, if RGIII stumbles in his comeback from season ending knee surgery, he might be considered like a PC sports pariah ala Tim Tebow.   

h/t: The Blaze

[The article originally appeared on]

The Pre-Game Plan for DC-Jockularity

Some might wonder why a denizen of the District of Calamity (sic) whose favorite contact sport is politics would create a Sports quote site.

The title of the site is a tongue in cheek portmanteu of the District of Calamity and a neologism of “Jock” and “ularity”, which should bring to mind a facetious feeling spelled differently.  The mast features a cheerleader surrounded by a variety of sports paraphernalia.  The cheerleader is the 43rd President in prep school rally mode.

While I enjoy watching some sports matches live or on a large screen high definition television, I’ll admit to being a sports agnostic aside from rooting for the alma mater during March Madness or paying attention during the Stanley Cup playoffs.  My interest tends to be in the business of sports, like sports stadia construction, rights for broadcasting, conference reconfiguration etc.  However, unlike the antipathy of a Manhattan intellectual in Annie Hall (1977) who put down basketball players as “a group of pituitary cases trying to stuff a ball through a hoop”, I appreciate the virtues of sport even if I do not always share in the fanaticism.

But I also see sports as a means to draw more wisdom from the world.

I have collected pithy pearls of wisdom for years and found that a decent number of them came from sports personages. Much to the chagrin of Charles Barkley, people do look up to sports stars and take note of what they say.  John Harbaugh, the coach of the Baltimore Ravens, used the example of Mohammad Ali winning ugly to inspire his football team to win Superbowl XLVII.

Sometimes their aphorisms have applicability off the field of play. But many articles containing sports quotes simply bundle them in a top ten list.  That is like reading a quote boxscore, which gives you the outcome but seemingly does not captivate  fans.  DC-Jockularity hopes to have posts which convey a narrative cognitively and visually which resonates long after the final score.

Anyone who has outlasted one Administration living between the beltways should well appreciate how sports can unite disparate groups in Washingon, DC.  The District of Calamity may be mired by partisan bickering and the townies not socializing with the governmental "gownies".  But the area unites around the Redskins, to some extent the Nationals and in some degree the Capitals.

Another reason for DC-Jockularity is recognizing the synergy between sports, entertainment and public policy. Richard Nixon used “Ping Pong diplomacy” to engage with the Peoples’ Republic of China during the Cold War.  Dennis Rodman was the unlikely unofficial American Ambassador to North Korea’s hereditary Dictator Kim Yung Un.

Politicians use sports as a means to humanize themselves and relate to the common man.  Barack Obama poses as a big basketball player. George W. Bush was a maven on a mountain bike. Bill Clinton liked to wear short shorts and jog.  John F. Kerry was wont to windsurf, yacht and ride expensive racing bikes.

 OK, not all pols are that savvy, despite the smart haircuts.

Nowadays, politics is creeping into sports.  Congress holds hearings on sports figures using steroids. Sports announcers like Keith Olbermann and Bob Costas interject progressive politics into their sports commentary. Politically Correct special interest groups try to change team names so as not to offend.   Superbowl ads from Obama Auto Bailout companies looked like gauzy campaign ads. Then the  NFL was being enlisted to promote Obamacare and the Baltimore Ravens bit at that bitter fruit.

So the pre-game plan for DC-Jocularity is to offer an unconventional collection of sports quotes which score big in the District of Calamity.  These aphorisms may be inspirational, philosophical or whimsical.  But pre-game plans almost always change.  So don't be surprised if some commentary on the intersection of sports, politics and history is also included at DC-Jockularlity.

Mohammad Ali on Life

Lance Armstrong on Perseverance

 Lance Armstrong's life offers a poignant example for all.  Even after being diagnosed at age 25 with stage three testicular cancer in 1995, Armstrong persevered and won seven straight Tour de France races. Rather than being content for personal triumphs against disease, he formed the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected with cancer.

The yellow Livestrong bracelets that people sported were more than just a fashion statement but a creed to how to live in the world--Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

 Some may tut tut Armstrong's messy personal life or dismiss his cycling accomplishments amid the miasma of doping allegations. But Armstrong's commitment to Livestrong is undeniable.