Tag Archives: sports

That’s How We Do: Juxta-Posers

7 Feb

Just thought I’d repost this from a few years ago after listening to Lawrence O’Donnell today and The POTUS yesterday speak about Socialism and how we (The USA) will never, ever be a socialist country in any way shape or form…

Today I took a drive to the Philadelphia airport and on the drive home, thanks to major construction and the worn out, pot-holed, crumbly highway, I was forced to a crawl just as I passed the relatively new South Philadelphia Stadium Complex. Where the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles and Flyers play.

I couldn’t help but notice how shiny and new and spectacular the stadiums looked…however I also couldn’t help but notice that the names on the stadiums were Citizens Bank Park Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field and The Wells Fargo Center. And I also couldn’t help but notice that the surrounding neighborhoods were about as shiny and new and spectacular as the interstate highway  that I was traveling on.

And that got me to wondering…Why do we almost always put sports stadiums in the worst parts of big cities where then millions of people have to travel from the suburbs to spend millions of dollars to watch millionaires play? Probably you’ll say it’s so we can get all of that money that is being spent back into the cities…but that’s just not the case

Most if not all of these stadiums are financed by the crumbling cities themselves rather than by the wealthy teams and owners and financial institutions that have their names on them. And even though banks like Wells Fargo and  Citizens bank and Lincoln Financial pay millions for the naming rights, when you consider the recent trillions of dollars spent by the federal government in bailing out these banks then just about all of the money spent on these ballparks comes from…the citizens…not banks.

 That’s just plain crazy.

Many politicians and proponents of these publicly financed stadiums argue that new stadiums bring new jobs and economic expansion but when new sport stadiums are financed with public money, all research has shown that the population is actually worse off economically than before the stadium.

In fact arenas and stadiums rarely live up to the promises teams, owners, and city politicians use to justify their construction. Cities are often left holding unsustainable amounts of debt because the economic development that is promised never shows up, and as a result, other services that provide more benefit to taxpayers like new roads and bridges and jobs and boring things like that are slashed to pay the bills.

Which when you think about it is insane.

Almost 40 years ago my home state of New Jersey borrowed $302 million to  construct  the Meadowlands and was supposed  to pay off the bonds in 25 years. Today because of refinancing, and redirecting funds for other stadiums the authority that runs the Meadowlands owes $830 million…on a stadium that was just torn down.

That’s nuts!

Did you know that according to a new study from Harvard: when public-private partnerships are used to build such stadiums, taxpayers finance more than three-quarters of the investment, with teams and owners picking up just 22 percent of the tab…And every NFL franchise is today worth over 1 billion dollars!

It’s so ridiculous that it’s unbelievable!

And while our cities and infrastructures are crumbling around us we are cheering ourselves up by yelling, screaming and cavorting in the midst of abject poverty on urban oases as green as the piles of cash we spend there, named after banks that wouldn’t lend us a dollar under the very same deals and interest rates that they broker to build these coliseums.

Shouldn’t we  really be building these monuments to fame and fortune in the places where they belong like Beverly Hills, Wall Street and Fort Knox?

It’s so ridiculous that it defies explanation…

But after all…that’s just how we do…isn’t it?

 

The NFL and SOBs

25 Sep

Image result for the first amendment protects the right to

According to the most recent Nielsen data, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” in the first two weeks of the regular season is down 7% in viewership compared to last year, while ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” is down 5% and the averages of Sunday afternoon games on Fox and CBS are down 11% and 19% respectively

And President Donald Trump thinks that he knows the reason why because he tweeted this: “NFL ratings are down massively, Now, the No. 1 reason happens to be that they like watching what’s happening…with yours truly.”

Wow! Our POTUS believes that people…up to 19% more, would rather watch him than football! But to be fair he also tweeted that NFL viewership is down because NFL players don’t hit each other hard enough anymore and that has made the games boring. Too much safety and not enough entertainment.

He also said that the players who protest by kneeling during the National Anthem have disrespected America to the point where no one wants to watch their games anymore and he tweeted: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’ … They’ll be (the owner) the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in the country.” (our president puts a high premium on popularity)

President Trump however is also the president who said that Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Virginia had a permit and the right to free speech under the first amendment of our Constitution… And he did not call them sons of bitches either… But he did point out that those who protested against the Neo/WS and did so violently, were just as bad as any neo-nazis… but only the bad ones.

So why is an NFL protester who quietly takes a knee during our National Anthem a son of a bitch who should lose his job, while a white supremacist neo nazi who shouts “blood and soil” and “no more Jews” while carrying a torch and marching en masse, is protected by the First Amendment and his permit?

By our president’s own logic he is just as bad as an NFL player because he has violently spoken out in protest against NFL protesters!…and as a consequence should lose his job? Unless of course he is protected by the First Amendment too and or has/had a permit to tweet/speak? Plus, I don’t think he has a boss who could fire him anyway.

But seriously folks, doesn’t he have anything better to do? Like Presidenting? Is it really important who has better ratings? The President and All 32 NFL franchises are worth over 1 billion dollars. Someone must be watching. Is this a TV show or a sovereign nation we’re living in?

And finally…We do actually have a first Amendment in this country! Which says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s why we have protests and quarrels about religious differences and public grievances and news, both real and fake (unfortunately) It’s FREEDOM! And you may freely express yourself, WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT LOSING YOUR JOB! or BEING CALLED A SON OF A BITCH! OR GETTING RUN OVER BY A CAR!

By-the- way…Being PEACEABLE,  (inclined to avoid argument or violent conflict) is the operative word in that amendment.

So get over it America… and Mr. President…and PLAY BALL!… Peaceably… (except for the part about where the President wants NFL players to hit each other more often and more violently…but just for ratings, and entertainment, and not to be so boring…you understand?)… I swear you just can’t make this stuff up anymore!

Our New National Anthem?

15 Nov

I propose this song as the United States new National Anthem! The Star Spangled Banner is so old and out dated and no one can remember all of the words anyway… and it’s too long. And this song that I propose is modern and with a beat plus it captures America’s conflicted and new mood… and it has so few words that everyone can remember them and sing along.

Remember when you were young and your heart was an open book?…Of course you do…

And you probably used to say things like “Live and let live.” Especially to your parents…You know you did.

But the world has changed and now we all say. “Live and let die.”… You know we do.

And it’s even got loud music, crescendos, bombs bursting and fireworks!

So what do you say America? Let’s change our National Anthem. Isn’t it time we did?

Really, What does it matter ? It’s just a song we sing at ball games.

Common! Wouldn’t you just love to sing this song out loud and clear…

and give the other fella hell!

You know you do!

 

It’s Priceless

8 Apr

Duke 68, Wisconsin 63: 2015 NCAA Basketball Championship final score

$1.1 million: Duke university president salary

$525,000: U. of Wisconsin System president salary

$9,682,032: Duke U. basketball coach earnings

$2,946,000: Wisconsin U. basketball coach earnings

$1.67 million: amount earned per conference per team in the field of 64

$27 million: Duke basketball revenue

$800 million: annual NCAA tournament Net in licensing deals

$9 billion: Amount bet by fans on the basketball tournament

Priceless: What student/athletes earn yearly and for participating in the NCAA basketball tournament

No seriously… priceless… as in 0, zip, zilch, Nada, nothing. And for the fans in the stands…

$27,711.00: Average UW-Madison student loan debt

$21,884.00: Average Duke U. student loan debt

Here in the USA we love to be entertained, and we love our entertainers.

Education and our students?… Not so much…

Oh yeah, and by the way, The NCAA is a tax-exempt, non-profit association…their chairman earns 1.7 million dollars per year and they just signed a 10.8 billion dollar, fourteen-year, contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting just to televise college games.

Also Priceless: 501 (c)(3) charitable status…at least it can’t hurt.

It’s All About the Spread

22 Jan

The National Football League is the most profitable “non-profit” organization in the world. And its product, football, is beloved by millions of adoring fans and Its football games are watched by millions of people… but most importantly and what makes it the premiere sports league in the history of the world is that its games are wagered on by millions and millions more.

Over 100 million dollars, that we know of, was wagered on the Super Bowl alone last year. And people will bet on everything possibly involved with the game from the exact length of the Star Spangled Banner as sung by the guest singer during the opening ceremonies, to the final score of the game, to the heads or tails of the coin flip, to the over/under of the final number of points tallied in the final combined score of the two teams. You name it and it can be bet on.

But one thing you don’t want to bet on is whether the NFL is going to kill their golden goose. And that is why the mystery of the New England Patriot’s championship footballs with the illegally missing air… shall remain a mystery. For to accuse, substantiate and penalize, as in suspend, someone before the biggest game of the NFL year would be to plunge the point spread of said game into the unknown and send the sports bookies running for the hills.

Imagine the New England Patriots without their immortal quarterback in the huddle for the big game or sans the winningest coach in NFL playoff history on their sidelines because of suspensions for cheating? Who wouldn’t bet on the Seattle Seahawks to win? And what if the team found out to be cheaters, then actually went on to win the game? Cheaters can’t win! I want my money back! Las Vegas itself would explode and disappear beneath the desert sands of the Mojave!

So where did the air in those footballs disappear to? Thin air? Hmmmmmm there’s a thought. If thin air does in fact exist then perhaps it was thin air that was in those footballs in the first place? Certainly Tom Brady, doesn’t know. He handles footballs for a living and even though he has said that he prefers to play with an under-inflated football he really can’t tell the difference between one with too much air or too little air when he holds it in his hands during a football game. At least that’s what he had to say in today’s official press conference.

How about head coach Bill Belichick? Does he know? He’s been around footballs all his life and today he revealed in his press conference, that he only just found out on Monday that footballs had air inside them! So he doesn’t know where it went either?

And the NFL Commissioner? He’s still looking for the missing air and who took it, and this investigation could probably take quite a while because looking for missing air and who took it is like looking for…uh…air… in a haystack I guess. Anyway, I can save everyone a lot of time and tell you right now who took the air.

It was a quiet, unassuming and soon to be discovered ball boy who loves Tom Brady, New England and Patriots everywhere and he was just trying to help out his boyhood hero by trying to make his balls feel good…uh…ummm…so he took the air. And…uh… absolutely no one told him to do that. And…uh…he is so sorry and…uh…it will never happen again because he is the one and only one who will be suspended and never heard from again.

How much you wanna bet I’m right? I’ll lay you 10-1 on the over/under of the NFL’s psi gauge.

Take Me Out…

3 Apr

Yesterday I sat down to watch the opening day baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. I have always enjoyed baseball, both watching and playing, but the least interesting thing to me at any baseball game these days is when the home team takes the time before the game to introduce both teams, including bench players and support staff, to the crowd and then makes all of them lineup along the baselines and doff their caps and wave.

Perhaps once upon a time this was okay because the players were regular working men, just like you or your dad, and these guys represented your home team, maybe for years on end and most likely throughout their entire careers, so it was nice to see them introduced and waving to the crowd while you waved back and got ready for the long season of baseball ahead…but now they are mostly all millionaire mercenaries who are just passing through your home town until their contracts expire or they are suspended for drug abuse or some other such extravagance.

Anyway, maybe it’s just a sign of my age, for all things change over time and those ball[players are wealthy because we baseball fans buy merchandise and memorabilia and watch on cable and at the ballpark in numbers and with a disposable income that would boggle any third world mind…and I have to also admit that my team, (like I’m a part owner) The Yankees, has a new pitcher on their staff that is paid more money than the entire Houston Astros team so…there is that bit of first world insanity.

And yet what flabbergasted me most during that interminably long opening ceremony was that one of the last members of the Houston Astros baseball team to be introduced was their Massage Therapist! There’s no massage in baseball!!! At least there never was. But if there now must be, can’t these guys afford their own massages???

I’m sure The Babe, Joe D. and Mickey indulged in some after game therapy of their own on occasion but they probably got the kind of massages that came with happy endings… and they paid for it themselves… at least!

Geez, baseball and full time massage therapy! It can’t get much better than that can it? Three hours of work every day… of which maybe 15 minutes actually involves their running around and performing at top skill proficiency. You wouldn’t think they’d need so many drugs to keep themselves in top shape, let alone massaging at regular intervals.

And then the game started and they all proceeded to play as though it were opening day at the local little league…what with all the tripping and the falling and the overthrowing and the bobbling… not to mention the swinging and the missing! Did you know that last year Major League Baseball players set a new major league record by collectively striking out over 36,000 times?! That’s at least 108,000 swings and misses. Throw in foul balls and pitches out of the strike zone and when you consider all of the nothing that happens at a ballgame, professional ball players make the opening day ceremonies look like a veritable Zumba Fitness Party!

Still with all of that twisting and turning and swinging and missing and falling over and getting up again, I guess it’s no wonder that having a regular massage therapist on board makes a lot of sense for a baseball team. And just to make sure, I even checked the Yankees roster on-line and yep, they have a massage therapist too! And wouldn’t you know it, they have someone on their staff that not even the Houston Astros have thought of employing…not yet anyway….

…and that would be Mr. Chad Bohling…Director of Mental Conditioning!

Maybe the Yankees are on to something. However, when it comes to baseball these days… and professional sports in general…I am beginning to believe that it’s us fans, and not the rich, pampered and adored players, who are really in need of having our heads examined.

 

Friday Night Yikes!

16 Feb

Recently a television clip of Friday Night Tykes caught my interest and I watched an episode.

If you want to gain an understanding as to how difficult it is to teach in today’s public schools then watch an episode yourself.

Once upon a time sports were extracurricular to schooling. Now in many places across our country, sports and especially football, have taken on a more central, if not the most important, function of what many parents and students and citizens think children’s lives and the public schools are all about…

Sports should be fun and entertaining and a great way for the young and old to exercise and build friendships and one’s physical nature and ability…but if participation in sports means that your child is getting a regular and heavy dose of emotional abuse, intense instruction on how to be a better bully, topped off with a weekly concussion to his brain, then parent beware!

If you enroll and involve your child in the kind of sports program that this series endorses then when it comes to your child’s future, You are helping to undo everything that our public school’s could ever hope to achieve.

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