Archive for the Category ◊ Sports ◊

Football and Honor
Sunday, October 08th, 2017 | Author:

There have been more interesting comments about the NFL than you can shake a stick at, such as here, here, and here… It doesn’t surprise me that the most cogent observations come courtesy of Victor Davis Hanson:

Meanwhile, the NFL has successfully lobbied for exemption from federal antitrust regulations. NFL owners are crony capitalists who want the state both to subsidize them and leave them alone.

Racial politics in the NFL have become increasingly problematic. The mega-wealthy franchise owners are almost all white businesspeople. Their multimillionaire players are about 70 percent African-American. So there is little diversity among the players, but even less among the owners.

Politically correct orthodoxy dictates that even quasi-public entities like the NFL should “look like America.” But instead, the NFL apparently sees itself as an old-fashioned meritocracy where athletic skills and corporate success alone determine who plays and who owns.

The progressive notions of “proportional representation” and “disparate impact” that sometimes govern universities and government mysteriously do not apply to the NFL, where few Latinos or Asians are included.

But most importantly, the league has entirely forgotten the fundamental rule of business: Never ignore, insult or talk down to the loyal consumers who provide the leagues’ support and income.

 

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Sports and Entertainment… and ESPN
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 | Author:

You can call me old-fashioned or a sports-traditionalist, but I don’t care for all the commentary around sports, or the efforts at treating it as ‘entertainment’.   I may represent a small minority, but I attend games or watch them on television (or my computer) to experience the purity of the athleticism.  In fact, I don’t believe that I’ve ever watched the ‘talking heads’ on any of the ESPN sports programs, and I’ve long ago removed those overwrought sports websites (e.g., Deadspin) from my newsfeed.  The only reason that I would tune into ESPN on my TV is that a specific game that I want to see live is being aired on that channel.

It appears that the leadership at ESPN is making it even more difficult to tolerate their broadcasts:

The leadership at ESPN seems to think it can change the way people think by injecting left wing politics into its coverage of professional sports. Instead, they are alienating sports fans, many of whom are conservatives, and destroying their brand at the same time.

Source: ESPN Determined to Kill its Brand With Left Wing Politics

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Cincy Tennis 2017
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 | Author:

For more than 30 years, we’ve been attending the annual ATP tennis event in northern Cincinnati (about 45 minutes from our home).  It’s not been one of the better years for player participation at the Cincinnati tennis tournament.   Only 3 of the top 10 players were able to compete in this year’s event (many player injuries  — perhaps tennis is becoming too demanding on the human body).  Nevertheless, we got a chance to sit in the front row for some very good matches with David Ferrer and Juan Del Potro.

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I would have never thought that Sela could beat Isner… Is this a replay of ‘David vs Goliath’?  Go figure:

American John Isner is out of the tournament as the No. 23 seed lost to Dudi Sela 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Isner has yet to make the second week at the All England Club and is 4-15 in five-set matches since his famed 2010 first-round match at Wimbledon that ended 70-68 in the final set.The 6-foot-10 Isner had quite a height advantage over the 5-9 Sela, but that didn’t help on this day. Isner clocked 45 aces in the match but couldn’t win any of Sela’s service games in the fifth set, going 0-for-6 on break points.

John Isner and Dudi Sela had fans laughing as they posed for a picture before their match

Source: Wimbledon men’s results Thursday

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Affirmative Action vs Meritocracy
Monday, May 08th, 2017 | Author:

I’ve explained to many a person, that our culture is still enamored with false pretenses and virtue signaling (also known as Political Correctness). Unfortunately, many day-to-day decisions at universities, government, and other large organizations have very little to do with considering merit.  A good example is the reduction of staff at ESPN:

ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder, one of the most prominent faces among the layoffs last month, said in a podcast that he heard quality of work would not be a consideration when employees were let go. He lamented that “it seemed to me that quality work should be the only consideration.” Not in this America, the one ruled by social-media perception and dismissive of the real world.

Source: How a Gawker-Affiliated Website Made ESPN Politically Correct

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White Men Can’t Run?
Friday, April 07th, 2017 | Author:

From now on, ESPN tells us that inane statements about stereotypes are only considered ‘outspoken’:

LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, gave two reasons Thursday for why the Bruins were eliminated in the NCAA tournament: Lonzo was saddled by a hamstring injury, and some of his teammates, whom LaVar referred to as “three white guys,” couldn’t pick up the slack.

Source: LaVar Ball casts blame on UCLA Bruins ‘white guys’

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Sports and Politics
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Author:

It used to be reassuring that you could avoid political viewpoints and just focus on the purity of the sport…  no longer:

It’s become more painful to watch TV sports analysts than the gladiatorial hits of the game itself: Aging veterans seek to recapture their cool by passing themselves off as political pundits who contextualize interceptions and fumbles in terms of abstract politics.. They’re oblivious that, in the court of identity politics, the NFL is itself found culpable: According to the logic of “disparate impact” and proportional representation, about 12 percent of the population is “over-represented” through its nearly 70 percent membership on NFL teams.

During the Cold War, Soviet-athlete propagandists who talked of the masses at least had a gun to their heads; today’s ESPN jocks who play-act as NPR talking heads mouth Democratic-party platitudes as a form of career enhancement. Life is short, so when Sundays are no relief from the daily frenzy, an increasing number have pulled the plug on sports.

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NCAA Basketball Tourney at UD Arena
Sunday, March 19th, 2017 | Author:

Missy and I are about ‘basketballed-out’.  Between all of the games on television as well as our attendance at four games the past week at UD Arena, we’ve grown weary of watching the bouncing ball.  The photo below shows the view from our seats at the First Four.

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Playing Ice Hockey Again
Monday, February 13th, 2017 | Author:

Update

I actually went out and purchased 2016 CCM Tacks… a photo below that compares the 1981 version against the 2016 version.  It appears that all skates adopted the Lange style boot — i.e., hard shell that is baked at 200F and theoretically formed to your foot.   I’ll let you know in subsequent updates how the new skates work out.

 

December 23, 2016

After 35 years, it’s time to get back playing the sport of my first passion:  Ice hockey.

I found my CCM Super Tacks from my playing days (see attached photo).  They’re not in bad shape for being 35 years old…  Unfortunately I was 5’11”, 180lbs when I last used these (versus 6’3”, 240lbs).   Stated another way: You typically wear skates a size smaller than your shoes.  However, these skates are size 8. I now wear a size 11… Ouch.

The heavens have raised the stakes for me to get back on the ice – I’ll have to invest in new skates.

I see that CCM still uses the Tacks brand name, but there are all types of variations.  $900 for Super Tacks!??  The Tacks 2092 for $75?   WTF!

I recall when I first started playing at age 9 and my dad was yelling at my mom about the cost of the equipment she was buying for me (including my $20 Canadian Flyer hockey skates).  The cost of equipment for this sport is still crazy.

I’m overwhelmed by the number of brands, variations, etc.   It used to be one or two pro quality options from CCM, Bauer, and Cooper.  And where are the black blade holders on the current skates?  You can only get white?   I always favored black tape on my stick and black tuuks for my skates – the better to hide the black puck.

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Cincinnati Hockey Game
Monday, December 12th, 2016 | Author:

I went with my buddy, David, to catch a Cincinnati Cyclones ECHL hockey game at the US Bank Arena in downtown Cincy.  I was disappointed in the game on a number of fronts: 1) the ticket prices and parking fees, after you get through all of the markups, is too much to pay for minor league hockey; 2) while the old Riverfront Coliseum venue is attractive, it is not an easy place to visit; and 3) the quality of the hockey was not much better than what I used to see in the Federal Hockey League at Hara Arena.

 

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