Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kim Rhode on the Second Amendment

Kim Rhode on the Second Amendment

Aside from impacting the defense of individual liberty, six time Olympian  Kim Rhodes points out how California's ever increasingly restrictive gun laws are impacting shooting sports training.

Friday, June 10, 2016

RIP Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe on Motivation

Gordie Howe, a.k.a. Mr. Hockey, died at the age of 88. He had been in failing health for years, struggling with Alzheimer's and was debilitated after a massive stroke in October 2014.  But at Gordie Howe's passing, it is worthwhile to remember his remarkable achievements and motivation to play the sport which he loved.

Howe played 32 seasons in professional hockey-- 26 seasons for the NHL and six seasons for the WHA.  Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971. As a Red Wing, Howe led the team to four Stanley Cup championships, was the NHL's MVP six times and was the league's leading scorer six times. In fact, Howe was in top ten scorers for 21 seasons.  Howe retired in 1971 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame.

However, two years after retiring from the NHL, Howe came back in his mid 40s to join sons Mark and Marty Howe to play for the Houston Aeros in the upstart World Hockey Association.  This stint was not just a marquee trick as Gordie Howe managed to rack up 100 points during his six seasons with the Aeros.  

Howe briefly made a comeback in the NHL during the 1979-80 season at age 52 with the Hartford Whalers.  In 1980, Howe make the starting team for his 23rd NHL All Star Game.  The welcome which greeted Gordie at the All Star Game in Detroit that year was astounding.

The new International Bridge over the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan will be named for Gordie Howe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Rory McIlroy's Slice at Trump

After placing third in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral National Golf Course, Rory McIlroy took an indirect political shot at presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Rory McIlroy slices Donald Trump
Last year at Doral, McIlroy threw his three iron into the drink.  Club owner Donald Trump dryly returned the club to complete the pro's club set. 

Now, it is dubious that the Donald would repeat the gesture after McIlroy's immigration slice. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Increased Olympic Coverage?

The International Olympic Committee will be distributing a record 450,000 condoms for the 10,500 athletes and staff staying in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics. This includes 150,000 female condoms. That adds up to 42 condoms per guest at the Olympic Village.  

The 450,000 condom figure is a marked increase from the 100,000 to 150,000 prophylactics handed out in prior Olympiads since the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia.

The IOC and Rio Olympic organizers deny this increase in condoms is due to the threat of the Zika virus, which can be transmitted sexually as well as by mosquito bites.  The Zika virus can cause  microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with undersized brains and skulls.

Several prominent athletes are skipping the Summer Games in Rio prompted by the Zika outbreak, such as Fiji's Vijay Singh and Australia's Marc Leishman and Adam Scott.

As the Australians have lost two prominent athletes, they are not taking any chances for those who are not opting out. They are issuing the Aussie team with Ansell's Dual Protection condom lubricated with Starpharma's VivaGel lubricant, which is an antiviral agent touted with protecting against bad vaginal bacterial, some STDs and supposedly Zika.

The Olympics are scheduled to be held in Rio from August 5th to the 21st. Good luck.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rivaldo Rebukes Rio Olympics Attendance

With less than three months before the XXXI Summer Olympics are set to begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian soccer star Rivaldo warned fans against attending because of unchecked violence on the streets.

This is not the only logistical and public relations challenge Rio has needed to overcome in hosting the Olympics.  Rio was awarded the Summer Olympics in 2009 and had reason to ramp up the infrastructure hosting the Catholic World Youth Day in 2013 and the 2014 World Cup.  Yet in March, only 90-95 percent of the infrastructure was complete.  Rio organizing officials held a press conference to announce that they were ahead of schedule a couple of days after two workers were killed when a coastal bike path associated with green transportation between Olympic venues.

Of course, racing to complete infrastructure is nothing new for Olympic host cities.  What is more rarified is that the state government is broke so it failed to pay public workers like policemen, firefighters, doctors and nurses.  Thus a half million of them went on strike which shut down hospitals across the state.

Pollution still mires the Rio Olympics.  Last year, there was a study which revealed that Guanabara Bay are so polluted with fecal matter and other contaminants that  water Olympic athletes risked becoming ill rowing and sailing around the Copacabana.  It is dubious if the bankrupt state government can achieve what they have promised to fix for years.

Then there is the risk of the Zika virus from mosquito bites, especially to pregnant women and their unborn children. Some public health doctors have advised that the Olympics ought to be moved to protect the 16,000 athletes and expected 600,000 sports fans. Since that is unlikely, people will need to mitigate their feared risks.  The US Olympic committee has advised athletes that if they are concerned for their own health, they ought to skip the Rio games.  US Womens soccer star Hope Solo has publicly proclaimed that she won't go to Rio unless the situation changes. Several prominent pro golfers are also dropping out of competing in the Rio Games, but most cite a hectic summer PGA tour schedule  .

 South Korean athletes will wear tracksuits infused with insect repellent and will wear long pants and blazers for the opening and closing ceremonies to minimize Zika infections.

Ticket sales have been less than robust for the Rio games.  In early April, only 50% of the Olympic tickets have been sold, and just 12% of the Paralympic events.  The government has suggested that it might buy unsold tickets and distribute them to school children to fill the seats. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bloody Hell: PC ESPN Goes 1984 on Red Sox Nation History

In George Orwell's prophetic novel Nineteen-Eight Four (1948), the protagonist Winston Smith slaves away at the Ministry of Truth (MiniTrue) erasing all sorts of inconvenient truths that deviate from the powers that be's current line.  Essentially, the novel anticipated historical revisionism for the purposes of political correctness.

2004 World Series Championship Ring
Sadly, the same process can be seen at ESPN. Curt Schilling, a former Major League Baseball player who gained notoriety for his heroic bloody sock pitching performance of game six in the 2004 World Series.  Schilling's clutch performance pitching on a bad knee set up the Boston Red Sox to break the nearly century old Curse of the Bambino, coming from a 3-0 deficit to win the MLB World Championship over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Five years ago, ESPN produced an hour retrospective of this incredible come from behind playoff rally titled "Four Days in October".  Schilling's performance was prominently featured.

However,  ESPN recently fired Curt Schilling from his on-air job because of  personal social media commentary concerning transvestites and those citing gender dysphoria from using whichever bathroom he/she/zhe prefers at that moment.  Subsequently, less than a week later, when ESPN 2 reran "Four Days in October", the chronicle of Schilling's crucial play (and the bloody sock) was strangely missing. In this case, one ought to call the channel "The Deuce" with good reason.

All week, Schilling has been proclaiming the unchecked political progressivism at his former employer, as well as noting that more than a few have displayed overt racism.  But because Schilling violated today's shibboleth of "transgender" acceptable, it seems his memory must be erased at what is purportedly a sports channel.

So know that Disney/ESPN is not only spewing liberal commentary within their sports coverage, they also have taken it upon themselves to rewrite history.  Perhaps one of the 1984 IngSoc mantras will become more poignant "Ignorance is strength". 

Friday, April 22, 2016

ESPN Cans Curt Schilling Over Transgender Bathroom Tweet

ESPN fired former Major League Baseball star pitcher and TV Color Commentator Curt Schilling because of sharing a meme on transgender bathrooms on Twitter.

Disney owned ESPN insisted that the company was dedicated to inclusiveness, so it terminated someone with a view which different from the current politically correct line.  It is intriguing that Disney owned ABC Good Morning America report blurred out the image of a transvestite who would have been eligible to use whatever bathroom which he/she/zei felt like using.  It seems that the ideals of diversity and inclusiveness can not be particularized in a reductio ad abusurdum.

This was not Schilling's first run in with social media PR challenges.  A couple of years ago, Schilling went on attack mode against a Twitter troll who sexually harassed his daughter  sparked by congratulations over admission to Salve Regina University.

Later in 2015, Schilling was suspended from covering the Little League World Series for sharing a controversial tweet which compared Muslim "population infiltration" with Nazis.

There seems to be an academic and corporate corporate push to be intolerant towards "ciscentrism" and those who do not acquiesce to "the new normal" regarding self designated transgendered bathroom fluidity. It is dubious if ESPN would punish an employee for sharing progressive political memes.

Bruce Springsteen, et ali, have forgone concerts in North Carolina while the Bathroom Law is in effect. The NBA has threatened to pull the All Star game unless the Tar Heel State relents on traditional notions that those with male genetalia should not evacuate their excrement around little girls. During a NBC Today Townhall meeting, Manhattan mogul Donald Trump insisted that just not worrying about transgenders using whatever bathroom they like is no problem.

From its inception, DC-Jockularity recognized the convergence of sports and public policy.  ESPN's aggressive application of standards reinforces the idea that ABC/Disney/ESPN is a progressive entity which pushes its agenda even unto sports coverage and will not brook dissent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Trashing Flyers Fans?

The Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Washington Capitals for game three of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Flyers team initially seemed inspired by the emotional pre-game tribute to the late owner Ed Snider and scored within the first minute of play at the Wells Fargo Center.  But then the momentum stopped for the Orange Crush, which brought out the worst in unhappy Flyers fans.

As the Flyers descended to an eventual 6-1 rout by the Capitals, Flyer fans got unruly. The towards the end of the game, giveaway bracelets began to pelt the ice and even hit Capital players on the bench. Despite the entreaties of  P.A. announcer Lou Nolan, the Philadelphia Flyers were assessed a bench minor penalty for delay of game as the shovel brigade worked to clear the playing surface from debris from pissed off fans.

Red Wings Head Ice Manager Al Sobatka
The Detroit Red Wings have to temper their fans enthusiasm in the playoffs but from the other end of the spectrum. A tradition started in 1952 that enthusiastic fans threw an octopus on the ice symbolizing the eight games that were needed to win the Stanley Cup at that time. In the 1980s, Red Wings fans tossed larger and larger cephalopods weighing 38 and 50 pounds.  The head ice manager would twirl the octopi above his head as he walked to the Zamboni.  The NHL tried to curtail this practice but the league relented after the hue and cry from fans in Octopus-gate.

Philadelphia Flyers fans are renowned for their fierce fanaticism. This seemingly reflects the region (as Veterans' Stadium had  a court and jail for rowdy football fans).  It is not surprising that Flyers fans emulate their team's legend.  During their heyday in the 1970s, the Flyers were known as the Broad Street Bullies. Their fans revel at intimidating and insulting their bete noirs.

To some extent, this fanaticism is admirable.  But it can be a vein for irascible and unmerited anger. Cheering injured players, taunting "traitors" (players now playing for opposing teams), attacking players in the penalty box,  booing Sarah Palin ceremonial puck drop and they even booed Santa Claus.  But what cemented the conceit of classlessness happened several years ago when a PSA played on the Jumbotron featuring several NHL stars in an anti-cancer spot.  The crowd booed because the anti-cancer ad featured it featured Penguin's star Norm Crosby et ali.

There is no particular desire for a unrepentant rivalry in the District of Calamity with the City of Brotherly Love. But it seems ashamed that Flyers fans projected their frustration being three games behind in the playoffs by trashing the ice and endangering players with their projectiles. It seems that Lord Stanley might not want a cheese steak this season.

At a rally prior to the start of the series, I met a woman who was former military fully rockin' the red (including a red coif) who was driving up to the game in Philadelphia with a friend who is a big Flyers fan who was on shore leave.  I shudder at the mood on the ride home based upon the behavior displayed at the arena. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Donald Trump on Joe Paterno

While at a campaign event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump confused the crowd of 8,000 by suggesting to bring Joe Paterno back.

Many mock Trump's entreaty, implying that the Manhattan mogul did not know that the legendary former Penn State football coach had been dead for nearly four years, after being ousted in the wake of the Assistant Coach Sandusky pedophilia scandal.  What was more likely is that Trump was referring to the statue of Paterno, which was unceremoniously removed from exterior of Beaver Stadium in University Park.

What was remarkable was how disjointed and desultory that Donald Trump sounded even when reading from prepared remarks. In addition, Trump types are proud that their leader would be beholden to no special interest.  Yet the pathetic Paterno pleading before Keystone voters right before the Pennsylvania primary belies that brag. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tarheel State Must Jump Thru LGBTQQ? Hoops to Host NBA All-Star Game

Reacting the North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) signing HB2 "The Bathroom Bill", the National Basketball Association has threatened the Tar Heel State that Charlotte is in jeopardy because the law discriminates against transgendered persons from using whatever bathroom they feel like visiting at that time.

Other sports leagues have threatened to boycott places to pressure governments to change their laws, like the NCAA's 15 year ban on South Carolina hosting sporting events over the Confederate battle flag flying on state capitol grounds in Columbia, or the NFL threatening to move a Super Bowl from Arizona over the state enforcing federal law on illegal immigration.

It is curious to see how the NBA is going to great lengths to protest this "discrimination" of people having different genitalia using separate waste evacuation facilities which has been in place for generations and is rife for confusion and abuse. 

This sort of progressive pressure again demonstrates that sports has been politicized by the tyranny of liberal fascism.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

On Leaders, Liars and Links

Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un on Golf

As Anthony Anderson intimated on Late Night with Seth Meyers, it is not unexpected that golf course Landlords get better lies. Yet Trump thinks that it has something to do with his...hands.

You know what they say about guys who cheat at golf.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dispensing Controversy in Mile High Naming Rights

Controversy has long surrounded what to call the Denver Bronco's home.  Many fans wanted to continue to call the new stadium "Mile High" since it was immediately adjacent to the old complex.  But the facility was mostly paid for by local taxpayers and officials wanted to re-cooperate some monies from the big business of sports so naming rights were sold.

When the Bronco's new home was inaugurated in 2001, it was officially known as Invesco Field at Mile High.  The Denver Post did not want to include corporate advertising in their sports coverage, so they would just call it "Mile High Field".  After several years, the local newspaper relented and included the Invesco name.  Nevertheless, Investco transferred the naming rights to the stadium to the Sports Authority in 2011, with the Sports Authority paying the Metropolitan Stadium District $6 million a year.

Things may change with the Sports Authority in the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If the Sports Authority is unable to pony up their payment, naming rights may be up for grabs.  On April 1st, the news broke that one of the earnest aspirants to buy naming rights is a Colorado cannabis dispensary, Native Roots.

As apropos as it may seem to have a marijuana dispensary label slapped on the "Mile High" complex, it may be mooted by federal law.  The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act (84 Stat. 1236), thus advertising would be prohibited. Even though states such as Colorado and Washington (and the District of Calamity) have loosened laws prohibiting recreational use of cannabis, federal laws are still on the books.  State laws also put limits on the outdoor advertising of medical marijuana.

Additionally, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell has reaffirmed a League policy which bans marijuana . Considering how the NFL has a reputation problem with so many athletes getting into trouble that it has been facetiously called "The National Felons League" that it is dubious if the league wants to further agitate straight laced fans by having a stadium named the Native Roots Field at Mile High.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Joe Garagiola on Baseball

Joe Garagiola, a major league baseball player who evolved into a long broadcasting career at the age of 90.  Garagiola was a journeyman catcher who played for nine seasons in the majors for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants.  After his retirement from baseball, Garagiola wrote the book "Baseball is a Funny Game" (1960).  That helped launch his broadcast career.

But Garagiola was better known as the backstop panelist for NBC's Today show from 1967 to 1982 and 1990 to 1992. Garagiola also did play by play and color commentary  for NBC Sports baseball telecasts from 1974 to 1988.  Garagiola then spent a season doing cable commentary for the California Angels.  Afterwards, Garagiola did part time commentary for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2012 while his son was general manager for the Diamondbacks.  

All together, Garagiola broadcast for 35 years over seven decades.  No wonder why Garagiola was honored with the Ford Frick Award and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York in 1991.

Keeping to his lighthearted take on life, Garagiola quipped that the only way that he could get into Cooperstown was as a broadcaster.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ESPN Sports Cuban Propaganda

One of the reasons why sports is a popular pastime among Americans is because it has tended to be non-partisan. It is news which mentally reconnects aged athletes back to their glory days, while stoking local loyalties and friendly rivalries and forgetting the tumult of news from the "real world".

Unfortunately, the trend in the media has been to politicize everything, including sports news.  More than seeing sports through a lens of political correctness, the sports media has segued into political propaganda. 

A case in point was a ESPN Sportscenter social media sharing in regards to President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba after 55 years of bilateral hostility.

ESPN authorized a Tweet which whitewashed the brutality of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's communist regime by promoting propaganda that Fidel was a sports fan. 

After a couple of hours of consternation, ESPN withdrew the post, but the damage was done by humanizing the despot. One of the reasons that Cubans believe that they won their long standoff with the United States is because of Fidel's romancing the American press. 

It may be true that Fidel is a big sports fan.  Fidel even yearned to play for the Yanquis in his youth. But ESPN featuring such factoids during a controversial trip to Cuba by President Barack Obama amounts to propaganda. 

To give a truer picture of the sporting Castro, it is important to understand how Fidel Castro used sports as a weapon to enforce his communist ideology.

A more accurate picture of Fidel Castro's sporting sense is captured by hitting the links with the bloody revolutionary Che Guevara. 

[L] Che Guevara [R] Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro

It is dubious that Che's favorite sport was golf.  More likely it was coaching firing squads.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Johnny Manziel on Football

Phyllis Schlafly Whiffs at All American Baseball

Phyllis Schlafly returned to the headlines today endorsing Donald Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination.  This Schlafly endorsement probably is intended to give the Manhattan Mogul some sway among social conservatives.

But a commentary that Schlafly published on the Eagle Forum may give conservatives consternation.  Schlafly urged that the Major Leagues ban foreigners from playing in America's Pastime.

Phyllis Schlafly on Baseball

Ironically, Schlafly is making her pitch as the Major Leagues have been earnestly endeavoring to expand their influence worldwide. In 2014, the MLB season kicked off in Australia. There has been lots of talk (along with trepidation) about moving a franchise to Mexico. And currently, the Toronto Blue Jays aren't playing their home games on US soil (and it is dubious if Canada will withhold foreign players' visas).

While it is lamentable that there is not as much sandlot baseball that progresses player into the Major Leagues, reimposing bigotry barriers goes against the grain of the civil rights movement.

It is bizarre to believe that sports fans today worry about the ethnicity of an athlete as opposed to their athletic abilities.  Anyone who suggests an "America First" on the fields of competition is out of this zeitgeist.

Granted, Phyllis Schlafly is 91 years old.  Her notoriety skyrocked in the mid 1970s  fighting against the willy nilly imposition of the Equal Rights Amendment.  This was around the same time that then Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) was selected as President Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in 1976.

Perhaps it is time for Ms. Schlafly along with Senator Dole and President Jimmy Carter to gracefully surrender the public spotlight before they further embarrass themselves.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Louis Farrakhan on Basketball

During an annual Savior's Day Convention in Detroit, Michigan, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan compared well compensated pro basketball players to slaves.

The 82 year old Farrakhan seem to take particular umbrage at how players are drafted by teams. Farrakhan told the crowd at Joe Louis Arena:
Well, that’s that what you do in sports. You run up and down the field, show them how swift you are, how clever you are. And they’re sitting there, watching you, timing you: ‘That’s a good one. I’ll get him. I’m drafting him.'

Perhaps Farrakhan condemnations might not have been so harsh had his grandson Mustaffah Farrakhan done better in the NBA draft.   Alas, for now the 27 year old languishes in the NBA Development League with the Oklahoma City Blue 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Giving a Flying Flip About NFL Coin Tosses

Giving a Flying Flip on NFL Coin Tosses

The NFC divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals was marred by a botched overtime coin toss.

After the referee first tossed the coin, it appeared that the Packers won it as they had called heads.  The ref then voided the first toss as the coin had not flipped.  On the second attempt, the coin landed tails and the Cardinals took the ball.  

Arizona won the game 26-20 in overtime.  The Cardinals will be traveling the Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jay Bilas: "Our Kids Aren't Made of Porcelain"

Jay Bilas  on Toughness and Sports Fans

In late December, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association urged state high school administrators to enforce "guidelines" pertaining to sports fans. WIAA Communications Director Todd Clark inveighed against unsporting behavior, particularly in student cheering sections.  To wit, the WIAA wanted to ban chants as: "Fundamentals"; "Air ball"; "You can't do that"; "We can't hear you."; "Overrated"; Scoreboard" and "Season's over".  There is some thought that even the patriotic "USA" chant may be verbotten.  Per the WIAA's guidelines, these cheers could lead to a suspension.

Much to the WIAA's chagrin, these guidelines went viral on social media and were subject to considerable derision and some pointed First Amendment protest.

ESPN Sports Analyst Jay Bilas took to Twitter to mock the well-intentioned Nanny State sportsmanship dictat with reductio ad absurdum zeal. Bilas suggested a replacement tersely cogent cheer for "Air Ball" with the thoroughly polite " "We note your attempt did not reach the rim, but only to alert the clock operator that a reset is unnecessary."

High School students in Ashwaubeon, Wisconsin chose to make a symbolic protest against the WIAA's assault on their free speech rights by putting duct tape over their mouths at a basketball game.

 None of these cheers are even vaguely bawdy, such as the cheer of frustration: "Nuts and bolts--we got screwed".  These nanny state rules (disingenuously veiled as "guidelines") seems to demand sucking the spirit from zombie-like seat warming fans as their teams effectively compete for their participation trophies.

Once the story acquired national attention, the WIAA tried to back down. WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson tired to quell the media maelstrom by issuing a "Sincere Apology" email which insisted that there were no new directives, no new rules, no new mandates, and no new enforcement expectations. Parsing Anderson's email, the key is phrase is new. Reading between the lines, the chants were just examples of unsportsmanlike behavior that WIAA guidelines prohibit.

The WIAA mandate touched upon Bilas bailiwick for "Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court" (2014). Bilas did recognize that there are ways of unruly fanaticism that crosses the line without over-regulating kids. Bilas recalled while he was playing basketball at Duke in the 1980s, the University President wrote an open letter challenging fans to behave better and be creative without crass cheers. This prompted the Blue Devil student section to react to bad calls with the cheer: "We beg to differ". A more modern approach might be to remind students that they should not do something they would not want put on television lest it go on their permanent records.

This is more than a high school sports story. It  exemplifies the totalitarian instincts political correctness which demands conformity from feckless fans. The WIAA follow-up employs the non-apology apology, denying the directive is anything new. It also shows the micromanaging mien of the Nanny State which nudges people through rules masquerading as "guidelines".  Lastly, it imposes overbearing burdens on people without challenging them to find creative alternatives to encourage more civil cheering.