Archive for the Category ◊ Sports ◊

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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WSU Basketball Tournament
Monday, November 28th, 2016 | Author:

Update

We saw 4 basketball games over 3 days, including three Wright State games against North Dakota, North Florida, and California Bakersfield.  Since the Raiders won all three of their games, they are officially the champions of this inaugural tournament.

 

November 25, 2016

Bear and I went to day 1 of the 3-day basketball tournament taking place at the Nutter Center and watched a sloppy (and poorly officiated) game between the Raiders and California State-Bakersfield.   We lost the exact count but there were over 50 fouls called during the game.  This not only adds about 30 minutes to the overall game duration, but it also impedes both teams from getting into any type of playing groove.

wsu-vs-csu

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Fan Reaction to NFL Player Protests
Sunday, November 27th, 2016 | Author:

Update

Miami Dolphins fans mercilessly booed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick Sunday afternoon in Miami… Kaepernick has been in the news recently after a tense exchange over the merits of recently deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro with a local Florida reporter.  Miami, which has a large Cuban population, didn’t let Kaepernick forget about it.

 

November 1, 2016

Here is more from CBS News in Boston.  The latest is now an 18% drop in the viewership of Monday Night Football.

The actual games and the broadcasts also have lost appeal. The endless penalty flags and commercials have also turned off viewers, as has the actual competition… Whether it’s the coverage of undesirable topics or the actual play on the field, the NFL has become significantly less watchable.

I tend to agree that watching the actual games is less exciting than it used to be.  There are just way too many commercials and timeouts.  Most recently, I recorded a 4.5 hour Bengals game (I only watched about 15 minutes) to see it end in a tie.  Think of it — it’s consuming more than 250 minutes of your life and you’re watching only about 30 minutes of actual tackling and running.

 

October 29, 2016

… the downbeat goes on.  Fom CBS News in Boston:

A fresh poll from Seton Hall surveyed 841 adults across the U.S. Each respondent was asked to identify seven separate factors as a reason for the NFL ratings drop, allowing them to answer “yes” or “no” for each of them. The leading factor, according to the poll, was the national anthem protests, which scored “yes” at a rate of 56 percent.

The NFL has long been one of the country’s most popular forms of escapist entertainment, and the injection of social and political issues into the broadcasts has turned a number of fans away. It may not be the only cause for the NFL’s ratings decline, but it may be a bigger factor than you think.

 

October 20, 2016

In a survey of 1,136 Americans who identified themselves as NFL fans, 29 percent said they are watching fewer NFL games for the following reasons:

  • Protests by Colin Kaepernick and others
  • Lack of opportunity to watch the NFL
  • Lost interest in the NFL
  • Presidential election

 

October 16, 2016

Here is the latest on TV viewing of NFL games.  It’s hard to say if any of this is a result of player protests…

Maybe it was the Los Angeles Dodgers-Chicago Cubs Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, or The Walking Dead retrospective special ahead of next week’s Season 7 debut. Or maybe it was just NFL exhaustion after the Dallas Cowboys crushed the Green Bay Packers 30-16 earlier in the day, or maybe blame The Simpsons’ annual ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ episode. Whatever it was, Sunday Night Football and NBC had a real problem last night, and it wasn’t Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

According to USA Today, Mr. Kaepernick was loudly booed at the start of the game on Sunday:

Colin Kaepernick was roundly booed by the Buffalo crowd before he took the field for his return as the 49ers starter.

 

October 8, 2016

From the NASDAQ news site comes this report:

“The National Football League has sent a memo to team owners seeking to ease concerns about the ratings decline that has hit football this fall.  Through the first four weeks of the season, NFL viewership has declined 11%, and among the crucial adults 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet, ratings are down 12%.

As for a potential backlash by some viewers angered at players not standing for the national anthem to protest of police brutality, the NFL said it sees no evidence to that being a factor in declining ratings: ‘In fact, our own data shows that the perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016.'”

 

October 4, 2016

A new article in the Washington Examiner notes that the protests are having an impact on viewers:

“The growing number of player protests at National Football League games, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement and San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has prompted nearly a third of Americans to turn the games off, according to a new survey.

Rasmussen Reports revealed Tuesday that 32 percent of American adults say they are “less likely” to watch a game because of the expanding protests over how blacks are treated, especially by police.”

 

September 26, 2016

It appears that more people are getting fed-up with these player “demonstrations”:

“After spending a week at work, hearing about the liberalism being forced on their kids at school, having liberalism shoved in their face by their local newspaper and being harangued by TV shows portraying people like them as creeps, a lot of conservative men like to relax by watching sports. Sports is a place where politics shouldn’t even be on the agenda….but IT IS.”

“Forget about rushing for 100 yards and throwing 4 touchdowns in a game; if you really want people to talk about you, just tell everyone about how racist America is and how awful the police are…”

 

September 23, 2016

From famous basketball coach Bobby Knight, his comments on Kaepernick:

“Were I a teammate, were I the coach, were I the owner, in a situation like that, I’d have gotten rid of the guy…  It’s hard for me to imagine anybody that can fault the opportunities one has in this country. No country in the world provides better opportunities for people that are willing to work, willing to sacrifice and I would’ve had a very difficult time playing with a guy like that, coaching a guy like that, or having him as a teammate.”

 

September 21, 2016

According to a recent study, there is a supposed drop in viewership of NFL games at this point in the season:

The Eagles-Bears ratings declined by double digits from last year’s Week Two Monday Night Football contest and represents the lowest number since the franchise moved from ABC to ESPN. The NFL experienced drops, albeit smaller ones, for the Sunday slate, too.

 

September 19, 2016

With these ridiculous positions that they are taking about sports and politics, it appears that the NFL is running scared:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will encourage players to use their voice to promote social change as the demonstrations during the national anthem…

Source: Roger Goodell praises player demonstrations for going from ‘protests to progress’

What social change is Mr. Goodell seeking and expecting?   More public funding for stadiums?  How about introducing socialism into the NFL?  The players and fans should be the owners of the team.

I can’t imagine this support of player’s ‘protesting’ working out for the benefit of the league in the long run.  It leaves a bad taste for the majority of the fans who don’t want to hear about politics with their sports.   I don’t know about others, but I watch for the purity of the game –teamwork, effort, hitting, etc.  Frankly, I don’t care for the commercials, halftime shows, etc.  They’re not going to force me to ingest their extraneous crap.  In fact, I don’t watch football live on TV anymore.   I prefer the edited version where I can watch all the essential plays of the sport/game in under 30 minutes.

This focus on egotism and victimization by overpaid athletes is not very endearing to the people paying for all of it.

 

September 17, 2016

It makes you wonder.  The NFL fines a player for excessive celebration after scoring a touchdown, yet maintains that players have constitutional rights to ignore the national anthem.    Does anyone else see any hypocrisy here?  Does this just reflect the NFL’s fear of ‘racism-to-explain-everything hate-mongers’?

 

September 15, 2016

Some early feedback:

Football fans have reacted to the constant player protests and national anthem controversies in a way that the NFL simply can’t miss: They’re not watching.

Source: NFL Players Protest Anthem; Fan Reaction STUNS The League

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Raiders Basketball Home Opener
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 | Author:

We made it to the home opener last night against the Miami Redskins, and almost saw Wright State squander a 21-point halftime lead.  The home team managed to pull out a 89-87 win.

 

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Full Day of ATP Tennis
Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 | Author:

Missy and I spent nearly 6 hours at the ATP tournament in Cincinnati (were women playing tennis there?).  The matches were supposed to begin at 11:00am, but due to a torrential downpour, we didn’t show up in Mason until 12:30pm.  Instead we started our morning at Jungle Jim’s (largest grocery still in the US – see first photo).  When we finally made our way to the tournament grounds, we encountered a swamp instead of a parking lot (see second photo).  However, after the clouds cleared, we saw some great tennis matches — Nishikori vs Youzny, Thiem vs Millman, Dimitrov vs Lopez, Opelka vs Tsonga, Isner vs Raonic, and Granollers vs Vesely.  Some of the matches were power-serving duels with very few rallies (Opelka vs Tsonga) while other matches were pure finesse with many slices and approaches to the net (Dimitrov vs Lopez).

I’m making a prediction that the 18 year old, 6’11” Reilly Opelka from Michigan becomes the highest ranked American men’s tennis player within the next four years.  He already has a serve almost on par with John Isner, but he appears to be much more athletic with a relatively complete repertoire of tennis hitting capability.

missy jungle jims

ATP parking lot

Dimitrov vs Lopez

Iner vs Raonic

opelka vs Tsonga

Nishikori vs Youzny

Miss ct 3

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ATP Qualifiers 2016
Saturday, August 13th, 2016 | Author:

We spent a few hours in Mason on Saturday catching the Men’s qualifying rounds of the ATP tennis tournament.   We caught the better half of two competitive matches and stayed dry (if you don’t count the sweat from the humidity) even as the rain clouds swirled overhead.

Mannarino serving

 

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