Monday, December 29, 2014

Ndamukong Suh's Faux Pas Earns Him One Game Suspension

In the fourth quarter of the last game in the regular season between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Lambau Field, Lions Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh seems to add injury to insult to the opposing quaterback.  As Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers lay on the turf after being tackled by Suh, Suh seems to take two steps backwards to step on the quarterback's ankle and calf.

Although Fox Sports Commentator Mike Pereira (who previously was an NFL VP of Officiating) was skeptical if  Suh's bad steps were intentional, that is not the view of the powers that be in the NFL.  Suh was suspended for one game, which happens to be the NFC wild card matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.

It may not have helped Suh's initial cause that his aggressive playing style has caused him $216,875 from four incidents (including one stomping) over his five season pro career.  Suh has the right to appeal but they can go to the videotape.

The Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991, when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys. While the Lions have a vaulted defense this season, they may have to make due without Suh.

Suh is a free agent after this season. Will teams be willing to pay be bucks only to have their star tackle unavailable due to league discipline issues?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie on Being a Cowboys Fan

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) attended the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday night and even sat in the Visitor Owner's box at Lincoln Field.   This appearance did not go over well with some grumpy Garden State area gridiron fans. 

While at the game, fans directed some choice words towards Governor Christie for sitting with "the enemy".  Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney (D- At Large) used his official Twitter account to share some ad hominem attacks against Governor Christie. 

So much for Kenney's aspiration to "Let's be decent to each other." However, Councilman Kenney is presumptuous that Christie was ingratiating himself with "Texas ass" for 2016.    Governor Christie has been a Cowboys fan since age nine.  This was something which came up during his first run for high office in Trenton.

Governor Christie refused to engage with Councilman Kenney asking: "First of all--who?"  Then Christie opined:  “I don’t even know who this guy is. But listen, there’s lots of people who attempt to use me to increase their own fame.  He’s got to get somebody else beside his parents to know who he is, so that’s good.”  This reinforced Christie's rough and tumble reputation of not suffering fools gladly but doing so without drawing proverbial blood.

But to be fair, there may have been a counter-intuitive political calculation with Chris Christie's unabashed Cowboy fan-dom.  It was not necessarily to win friends deep in the heart of Texas.  It is more likely that it was a Sister Souljah moment.

During the 1992 Presidential campaign, then candidate Governor Bill Clinton (D-AR) was questioned about whether he agreed with Sister Souljah, a hip hop artist and political activist, on black on white violence in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.  Mr. Clinton publically repudiated Sister Souljah and cultivated a centrist political reputation going into the 1992 General Election.

In this vein, Governor Christie used his lifelong support of the Dallas Cowboys as a means to reinforce his brand.  Rather than take a mealy mouthed political position to root for the "home team", Christie rejected this "namby-pamby crap” of hiding his love for his team.   By standing firm to his internal compass and offering straight talk, it also reinforced Christie's brand.

UPDATE 01/05/2014  Gov. Christie joined Jerry Jones in the owners box at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and celebrated the Cowboy's wild card playoff victory against the Detroit Lions.

The Daily Mail (UK)  speculated that Gov. Christie was alienating supporters in the Tri-State New York area.  Cynical politicos questioned  if another high profile Cowboys appearance might soften anti-Yankee sentiments in the Lone Star State's presidential primary. Fashionistas wondered if that was Christie's lucky sweater or the extent of his dressy casual wardrobe. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Primal Scream Streakers Run Reverse Around Harvard Yard to Bypass Ferguson Protest

During the 1960s, a students started a tradition to shout a primal scream out their windows at midnight for ten minutes on the eve of final exams as a stress release.  By the 1990s, this exercise in youthful exhuberance devolved into an event in which everyone comes out to gawk, as many as five score of streakers (who are often inebriated) gather to run around Harvard Yard counterclockwise.  

The hedonistic happening has a quasi-official imprimatur, as the Harvard Band (dressed only in their parade tops).   About 25 Harvard administrators also attended this year and attempted to choreograph the organized chaos.

This year, about 30 activists  tried to co-opt the Harvard Primal Scream by imposing a "Black Lives Matter" protest prior to the run. Originally, protesters wanted to have a die-in but were convinced for student safety to revise their rabble rousing plans.

As conveyed by senior Aubrey Walker, the co-director of "Cultural Rhythms" at the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, the protesters wanted to have four and a half minutes of silence before the run.  In fact, protesters convinced the band not to play during their silence. Alas, there were unexpected kinks with this protest plan.

The streaking participants could not keep quiet during the conscience raising silence, so protesters chanted "Silence, silence".   When that had no effect, the Dean of College Rakesh Khurana was hoisted by a half naked student to bring order, but that had no avail. In fact, some runners followed their tradition and chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A", which protesters interpreted as a slap in the face supporting institutional power and that these fortunate sons refused to check their "White Privilege".

Shortly after this stand-off, the Primal Scream streakers ran clockwise around the Yard, conveniently avoiding the protesters.

Harvard Primal Scream, spring 2014

Some later said that had they known about the protest beforehand, they would have joined in.  Others said there was too much of a crowd to know that they were being organized to protest.

It is interesting that at a time when accusations about sexual misconduct has roiled college campuses that Harvard hosts the Primal Scream and has university officials organizing it.  But regardless of what one thinks of the propriety of streaking through campus at midnight at one of the nation's elite institutes of higher education, this was not the time to raise consciousness.  It is asking too much for drunken, naked students who want to have fun and frivolity to silently shiver in at the witching hour in the New England wintery cold for a protest was not going to go well. 

Despite the chaos and hurt feelings, this sort of smiling jog might have convinced the late Joan Rivers to consider running

Barack Obama on the Morning News

Well, it seems that for Barack Obama, politics is not his favorite sport in the District of Calamity. Here's hoping that that the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) does not get the short shrift to Mike & Mike in the Morning.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tom Brady: "We're not choirboys"

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was called a poor sport for swearing on the sidelines during at the two minute warning in the Patriots 26-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

During an interview with WEEI-FM, Brady blustered that the F-bomb was a great word in the heat of the moment.  It should be noted however that Brady's  beautiful bride, Brazilian model  Gisele B√ľndchen, does not permit such profane outbursts at home  

Mia Hamm on Performance

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mickey Rourke on Boxing

At age 62, Mickey Rourke revived his boxing career by taking to the ring against an American boxer in Moscow.

This is not a new, one-time stunt to draw attention to a flagging acting career.  Prior to becoming an actor, Rourke had accrued a record of 27 wins (17 by knockout) and three defeats between 1964-1973.

In 1991, when Rourke felt as if he was self-destructing and had no respect for himself as an actor, he went back to boxing.  In eight fights, Rourke went undefeated with six wins (four by knockout) and two draws. 

 These victories did not come without physical and mental costs to Rourke, as he suffered from a broken nose, toe, ribs, a split tongue and compressed cheekbones. Some deem Rourke's  reconstructive facial surgery to have left him "appallingly disfigured".  Rourke himself admitted that he had gone to the "wrong guy" for the reconstructive surgery and that his his plastic surgeon left his features "a mess".  Moreover, Rourke has suffered some short term memory loss.

Post Scriptus 11/29/2014:  Rouke won his match against 29 year old American pugilist Elliot Seymour.   However, critics claim that Rourke's fight against an opponent 33 years his junior was fixed and was more of a P.R. stunt. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bono's Cycling Spill--Bad

The legendary rock band U-2 was scheduled to take a week-long residency on the NBC Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote their new album "Songs of Innocence"  (2014).   But  U-2 was a no show as frontman Bono Vox was in a "high energy" bicycling accident in Central Park on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.   

Fallon and the Roots tried to compensate for U-2's absence with a dead-on impersonation of their 1988 hit "Desire". 

Alas, Bono's injuries were more serious than initially thought.  Dr. Dean Lorich, an Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Emergency Department, revealed that Bono broke his right arm in six places as well as injuring his left hand, fracturing an eye socket and a shoulder blade.  The spill was so bad that bone protruded through the skin on his arm. 

The arm fracture required a five hour operation and involved three metal plates and 18 screws. While Bono is expected to make a full recovery, it will take some intense and progressive therapy to do so.

It is believed that Bono's accident occurred as he swerved to avoid another cyclist and he fell over.  The NYPD has been cracking down on cyclists over the last couple of years for traffic violations in Central Park. Street cyclists have a reputation for running red lights and wearing headphones while on the roadways.  Bono's crash is a reminder why these rules matter, even in Central Park.

While cycling fans look to stars like Lance Armstrong or Jens Voigt for inspiration, many participate in the sport with their own "high-energy" rides.  Bono's Central Park "spill" is a reminder that the recreation is not without its risks as well as its rewards.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jose Canseco Offers the Finger to the Public

Jose Canseco, the controversial former American League slugger, once again has created headlines.  Last month, the 50 year old Canseco shot his middle finger off as he was cleaning his 45 caliber Remington. Canseco appeared emotional over the accident in an interview with Inside Edition.

Canseco had the digit surgically re-attached. But during a poker tournament, Canseco's finger fell off as he was tossing his cards on the table.   Rather than wallow in tragedy, Canseco adopted a farcical entrepreneurial tact.

Canseco took to Twitter to auction off his severed middle finger along with the firearm.  Of course, E-Bay does not allow auctions of firearms or body parts, but Canseco's auction offering is telling.

Canseco must be hard up for cash and attention if he is auctioning off his middle finger.  Of course,  Canseco's two divorces cost him $8 million a piece.  After his 17 year MLB baseball career with eight American League baseball clubs (primarily with the Oakland Athletics), Canseco was resigned to play Independent Baseball.  Later, he resorted to a short lived Mixed Martial Arts career and then doing Celebrity Boxing, notably fighting to a draw with Danny Bonaduce.

Canseco will be remembered for his tell all book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampaging 'Roids Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big (2005).  Canseco's admission to taking steroids helped prompt Congressional hearing in 2010.

In his controversial public life, Canseco has been a target for criticism, hence his quote about being criticized for anything that he does.  But publicly suggesting that a blown off middle finger could be bought in an auction as a drink stir seems more than a bit out there.

Even though Canseco's 462 home runs puts him 32nd of the list for all time Home Run list and his four Silver Slugger awards, Canseco only garnered 6 Votes for the Hall of Fame in 2007, which means that Canseco is only eligible for admission through the Committee of Baseball Veterans.  By offering his middle finger to the public via E-Bay, one suspect that Canseco may wait as longer than banned MLB great Pete Rose for admission to Cooperstown.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grover Norquist on Home Ice Tax Disadvantage

Home Ice TaxDisadvantage is a joint study by the Canadian Taxpayers Foundation and the Americans for Tax Reform which studied the impact of taxes upon labor mobility by focusing on the 123 unrestricted NHL free agents during the 2014 off-season. The study accounted for the team salary spending, the personal tax rate and the "True Cap" which took into consideration these rates.

 Home Ice Tax Disadvantage discovered that 57% of the players who switched teams during that time period chose to migrate to lower tax jurisdictions. The 78 free agents who switched teams, cumulatively saved $7,951,784 in taxes. These choices are more marked when considering particular players' circumstances.

For example, Benoit Pouliot was moved from the New York Rangers to the Edmonton Oilers. Had Pouliot been offered the same deal in New York City, he would have paid $572,752 more in taxes. Jason Spezza had a no trade clause in his contract, which aided him when he moved from the Ottawa Senators to the Dallas Stars, where he now only pays $349,535 in taxes.  Yet P.A. Parenteau did not have a no-trade clause so when he moved from the Colorado Avalanche to the Montreal Canadiens, it cost him $349,352 in taxes to play for the 'Habs.  

Alberta had the lowest jurisdictional tax rate, so players for the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers only paid 38.5% in taxes.  Alberta's overall tax rate was lower than Southern U.S. states like Florida, Texas and Tennessee which boast no state income taxes.  The Los Angeles Kings pay the highest overall amount in taxes, forking over $27.8 million to Uncle Sam and $8.5 million to the state of California.  The Montreal Canadien players face the highest tax rate of 58.5%. 

As CTF Director of Research Jeff Bowes, who authored Home Ice Tax Disadvantage, put it:  

“The numbers don’t lie; NHL players take a financial hit to play in certain jurisdictions.  Obviously, there are other factors at play besides taxes, but the fact remains that disparities in tax rates leave some teams at a major disadvantage.”

The point of the study was not to study comparative advantage in the NHL or to stoke up class envy but to suggest that high tax jurisdictions are alienating skilled workers such as doctors, engineers or corporate executives  with onerous progressive taxation and prompting them to vote with their feet.  The ever increasing tax rates on the top tier of taxpayers may explain why places like New York and California keep losing businesses and population to locales like Texas and Florida.

H/T:  Americans for Tax Reform

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mike Krzyzewski on Strategy

Longtime Duke University and Team USA Olympics basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was awarded the George Marshall Medal by the Association of the United States Army for his selfless work to support troops and their families.  

During his acceptance speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Coach K offered some cogent yet incisive criticisms on current events.  Without mentioning any names, Krzyzewski intimated how strategic thought from the parquet courts could assist formulation of policy at Foggy Bottom or even "in the Oval". 

If only President Obama would spend less time on Barack-etology (sic) during March Madness, and more time on executing his primary duties as Commander-in-Chief, we might be able to achieve results, even without actually putting boots on the ground.  But a leader who insists on  transparently telegraphing strategic taboos  about the red line which he won't cross gives advantage to opponents.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Anthematically Verklempt

Rosanne Barr at Padres game 1990
Some cynics question why we perform patriotic music like the National Anthem before professional sporting matches.  This perspective is bolstered  when singers forget the lyrics like Aaron Lewis did during the 2014 World Series.  And people wonder "What the Hail?" when people like Rosanne Barr or silver screen characters such as  Frank Drevin from "The Naked Gun"  (1988) who turn "honoring America" into a joke. 

That being said, there are glimmers of hope on honoring America in song in pro sports.  It was a touching new tradition that Major League Baseball featured active servicemen singing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch during the playoffs and the World Series.  

However, what was truly moving was the reaction to an instrumental rendition of the National Anthem during an NFL Monday Night Football game. At MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the New York Giants invited Grammy Award winning trumpeter Chris Botti to play the National Anthem.

Botti's rendition was so inspiring that it visibly moved Indianapolis Colts veteran Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne to tears.  This stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was no mere formality when it can make a veteran pro football player verklempt. 

On the eve of the midterm elections, when conscientious American citizens prepare to go to the polls and exercise their franchise to support and maintain our democratic Republic, it is fitting to hear such a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem.  Bravo!

h/t:  Uproxx 

NASCAR Vigilante Justice at "No Limits, Texas"

The Texas Motor Speedway aggressively rebranded itself as "No Limits, Texas" for the AAA Texas 500. But along with showdowns in the wicked fast Wild West, it seems that there was some vigilante justice.

Jeff Gordon was leading for the Sprint Cup Series and also was vying for the lead during the AAA Texas 500.  As the race restarted, Keselowski slammed into Gordon, which cut his left rear tire and caused him to spin.  As Jeff Gordon told ESPN:

"We were sitting there on older tires. I spun the tires a little but I got a pretty decent restart. We went down into (turn) one and I just wanted to get to the outside of the 48 (Johnson) and and out of nowhere I just got slammed by the 2 and it cut my left-rear tire. He's just a dip---. The way he races, I don't know how he ever won a championship and I'm just sick and tired of it."

After the race, Gordon  yelled at Keselowski in the pits and then lunged at him.  This set off a wild melee between the two crews.  A Gordon crew member threw Keselowski to the ground.  In the end, both Gordon and Keselowski with blood on their lips and faces.  

Rodney Dangerfield famously joked about confusing boxing and hockey games.  With yet another instance of vigilante justice off the track, is NASCAR taking ice hockey's place for pugilism?

h/t: The Sporting News

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on "No Limits, Texas"

The AAA Texas 500 has been held on the first Sunday in October  at the Texas Motor Speedway in unincorporated land in the north Fort Worth area since the race's inception in 2005.  While the locale is the same, this year the AAA Texas 500 will be held in "No Limits, Texas".  

The No Limits Texas theme is the third evolution of a marketing campaign to give a distinctive character to NASCAR racetracks West of the Mississippi.  The No Limits, Texas rebranding of the Texas Motor Speedway is mean to recall showdowns in the "wicked fast" West. 

The No Limits, Texas campaign is going to great lengths to promote itself.  Aside from new signage at TMS, there is a redesigned website, concerted media campaign, and some edgy marketing.  In the TV spot, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth is featured getting a "No Limits" tattoo.  And there is the tradition of celebrating by raising six shooters.

Will edgy marketing continue to propel the Texas Motor Speedways trek towards the top in NASCAR.  Today may be a strong challenge to that fast and furious aspiration.  Today the U.S. Grand Prix is being held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.  Any Sunday in the Fall is a big NFL Football Day.  And hunting season just opened in Texas.   We will soon see who triumphs in the draw for fan support between NASCAR, F1, NFL and game hunting fans on the Sunday sports shootout. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tar Heel "Paper Course" to Ensure Eligibility for Athletes Now a Public Fail

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is again embroiled in an embarrassing controversy which now impeaches both the Tar Heels  athletic as well as academic reputation.  To try to settle the matter, the University of North Carolina hired Kenneth Wainstein to investigate scholarly controversies in Chapel Hill.  

What Attorney Wainstein found was that from 1993 to 2009, Dr. Julius Nyang'oro "taught" an African American studies course at UNC.  During those 18 years, 3100 students (among them 1500 Tar Heel student-athletes) took a phantom course with easy grades.

In universities with competitive intercollegiate athletic programs, often there are courses which have an easy reputation where many student athletes are enrolled. These student-athletes may also have tutors to make sure that learning is achieved thereby retaining academic eligibility.  

 Dr. Nyang'oro's "shadow curriculum", however, went beyond the pale.  Students in his African American Independent Studies courses never had to meet with the professor, or their scheduled classes actually never occurred. The grade was derived entirely from a single paper, which was often plagiarized and padded. Then these paper were given a cursory read and generously graded by Deborah Crowder, a non-academic motivated to help struggling athletes.

These academic abuses came to light when Nyang'oro retired in 2012. In December 2013, a grand jury charged Nyang'oro with a felony for taking $12,000 for a class which was never held.   These criminal fraud charges were later dropped when Nyang'oro cooperated with authorities like Wainstein, although Chapel Hill did deduct $12,000 from Nyang'oro's final paycheck. 

For several years, administrators in Chapel Hill were content with the conceit that this phantom curriculum was confined to a couple of rogues in the African American Studies department. But Wainstein's investigation, along with academic advisor whistleblower Mary Willingham has revealed a more extensive and sinister customary operating procedure at Chapel Hill for struggling student athletes.

As an academic advisor for athletes, Willingham was a learning specialist designated to help athletes who were not academically equipped for coursework at Chapel Hill to pass their classes.  Willingham sometimes employed phonics reading method so her student athlete could spell Wis-con-sin.  She admits to violating NCAA by rules ignoring cheating which she saw, but the NCAA never interviewed her and they found that the Tar Heels had broken no rules.  

Willingham went public because she could not countenance the fraud of functionally illiterate students passing so that they could keep academic eligibility.  Willingham expected death threats, but she did not expect UNC to disavow her research that between 8% to 10% of student athletes could not read beyond a third grade level.  

Attorney Wainstein's hard hitting report disputed the inference that student athlete cheating were isolated incidents and gave credence to Willingham's data that Tar Heel student athletes were poorly equipped to study at an elite research university, but that a system of phantom curriculum kept them eligible.  Moreover, UNC officials overlooked the number of independent studies courses coming from the African American Studies department, and how many of them were taken by student athletes. 

What was telling was how African American Studies secretary Deborah Crowder negotiated with academic officials as to what grade student athletes required to retain eligibility.  In one case Crowder haggled via e-mail with the Womens' basketball academic adviser about what was the lowest grade that could be given so the player could retain eligibility.

Boxhill, who was the former womens' academic advisor, is now the Director of the UNC Parr Center for Ethics.  Of course, Boxhill was not available for comment.

Wainstein's report reexamined 150 assignments  from this "paper course".  These three outside academic experts found that 25% were plagiarized verbatim from other sources.  It sounds like Montana Senator John Walsh's Masters thesis at the National War College. 

One of the more egregious examples was a paper about the like and works of Nikki Giovanni and African American culture.  This opus simply had a two page introduction and a final page of test and the rest of the paper were transcriptions of poems and texts formatted to fill the margins for the assignment requirements. There is little doubt that the fake class kept many struggling Tarheel student athletes eligible to play.  

The easy grade from the AAS Independent Studies course boosted 169 student athletes above the 2.0 GPA threshold, including 123 football players, 15 mens' basketball players and 5 women hoopsters. So much so, student athletes cajoled their students to get their work in before the gravy train ended:

 "Debbie Crowder is retiring . . . if you would prefer that she read and grade your paper rather than Professor Nyang'oro you will need to have the paper completed before the last day of classes, Tuesday, July 21st."

After Ms. Crowder retired in 2009, the academic average GPA for the Tar Heel football team for the Fall of 2009 dropped to 2.121, the lowest rate in ten years.

The Wainstein report shows that there was a culture of corruption at Chapel Hill and was much more widespread than initially thought over the past three years. Not everyone in charge were willing to play along with the shadow curriculum.  Current Tarheel Mens' Basketball Coach Roy Williams  allegedly felt uncomfortable with these classes and tried to steer his players away from the African American Studies department. However, Rashad McCains, who was part of the 2005 National Championship basketball team, charged Coach Williams of knowing of the fraudulent scheme.

The reason why the Wainstein report is different than two prior investigations into the matter is that Wainstein obtained the cooperation of Nyang'oro and Crowder, the two UNC officials at the center of the scandal.  So far, the Tarheel phantom curriculum scandal has claimed the scalp of Chancellor Holden Thorpe and forced the resignation of Tarheel Football Coach Butch Davis.

The NCAA is also investigating these charges on Chapel Hill cheating. Observers can rightly exclaim that the Tar Heels cheated their way into ten football Bowl appearances and three basketball National Championship under Dean Smith (1993), and Roy Williams (2005 and 2009).  

The problem is that justice delayed is justice denied.  Adjudication (and stonewalling) this situation for so long makes tarnishing the Tar Heels reputation kind of academic.  What would be the just thing for the NCAA to do?  Ultimately, what should the University of North Carolina do to convince the public that it educates its student athletes rather than exploits them with an ersatz degree in exchange for four years of eligibility? 

 Right now, it looks like Chapel Hill's shadow curriculum is a big public fail.

     Fox Sports

UPDATE 01/01/2015  The Tar Heel "Paper Course" scandal has claimed the jobs of two more prominent Chapel Hill academics.  Timothy McMillian, who was  a senior lecturer for 17 years in the African American and Diasphora Studies, resigned in the wake of pattern of no-show courses and gift grades.  

UNC Chancellor Carol Fort also revealed that the university has taken steps to terminate   former faculty leader and Philosophy professor Jeannette Boxhill  for her role in the student athlete scandal.  Despite the fact that termination could take years to adjudicate, Boxhill was named  "in light of the extraordinary circumstances underlying the longstanding and intolerable academic irregularities described in the Wainstein Report, as well as her role as chair of the faculty council during a period of time covered by the report."

On the day the Wainstein Report was issued, former football counselor Beth Bridger, who steered players towards bogus classes, was terminated from her job at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington the day the report was published.

What justice is this?  A low level person gets canned on the day of the report, Professor Nyang'oro retires and receives immunity for cooperation with Wainstein, McMillian "retires" after 17 years and Boxhill's involuntary departure from an ETHICS Center attached to UNC is dropped on New Years Eve.  Considering Boxhill's biography, will she be eligible for full retirement benefits for time served.

And what of the athletic achievements during this period?  

Bobby Bonds on Homers

Bobby Bonds on Homers

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NHL Rallies Around Ottawa After Terror Attack on Parliament Hill

After the morning terror attack by an Islamist terrorist on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, much of Canada's capital remained in lock down for much of the day. Thus it was no surprise that the NHL postponed the Ottawa Senators- Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Canada Tyre Centre scheduled for the evening.

Social media allowed NHL players, coaches and reporters to express messages of sympathy and solidarity with the besieged Canadians. 

For me, the most touching tribute to our neighbors to the North was at Pittsburgh Penguins-Flyers game in Pittsburgh where the crowd sang O Canada, the Canadian National Anthem.

Neither club was from Canada or a border town, yet American hockey fans recognized this was Canada's 9/11 moment and showed solidarity.

George Brett on Losing

George Brett Kansas City Royals Losing

Monday, October 20, 2014

San Fran Radio Bans Lorde "Royals" During World Series

After the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch their right to represent the National League in the 2014 Major League Baseball World Series, two Bay area radio stations made waves.  Both KFOG-FM and KOIT-FM announced bans on playing the minimal art pop song "Royals" by New Zealand chanteuse Lorde.  This ersatz outrage is a silly attempt to generate civic pride for the a World Championship Series with two wildcard teams.

During interviews last year, Lorde became inspired to compose "Royals" in a half-hour writing session after seeing a photo of George Brett signing baseballs.

The song is about aspirationalism and uses pop artists' luxurious lifestyles as a counterpoint.

One would think that there would be more tolerance in the City by the Bay.  Then again, the  message might be challenging to those actually listening to the lyrics of the Lorde's song. 

The radio silence on "Royals" seems like a cheap publicity stunt which jumps on the civic bandwagon while getting earned publicity.  But this may be a desperate ploy to generate enthusiasm in San Francisco for the World Series.  

This is the third time in five years in which the San Francisco Giants have made it to the World Series, whereas it has been a 29 year drought for the Royals.  

This is reflected in World Series ticket prices on the secondary market.  It would not be cheap to see the San Francisco Giants play their World Series home games, averaging around $700 a seat. But in Kansas City, expect to pay between $1,000 to $1250 a ticket to see "Royals" in the World Series up close and personally. 

Peyton Manning on a Legacy

Well, now Peyton Manning's legacy includes the all-time NFL career touchdown record.

 Peyton Manning surpassed  Brett Favre with 509 TDs in 56 fewer games than the prior record holder. 

As for the dethroned TD champion, Favre was nonchalant about having his mark surpassed. Favre opined:

“I don’t really care to be honest with you and I mean that with no disrespect. I think the world of Peyton. I’m not surprised that he’s going to break it.”
In a prior press availability, Favre has indicated that he is glad that Peyton is breaking the record, as he believes that the entire Manning family has class.

That is a legacy of which to be proud.