The Sporting Life category archive
The Austrian state of Tyrol, which contains the city of Innsbruck, has voted against bidding to be the site of the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The Olympics long ago went from being a celebration of athletic prowess to become a branding frenzy of corporate greed, in the process morphing into more trouble than they are worth.
For years, the University of North Carolina ran phony classes to help athletes maintain academic eligibility.
The NCAA has decided that it is incapable of enforcing any penalities against the UNC because argle-bargle. Mostly it has looked for reasons to not see what was right in front of it.
Dan Kane comments on the argle:
UNC-Chapel Hill escaped NCAA sanctions, in what was one of the longest-running academic scandals in college sports history, in large part by refusing to identify as fraudulent 18 years of classes that had no instruction and were graded by a secretary.
Stuart Brown, an Atlanta lawyer who specializes in NCAA matters, said the committee followed its rules in making its decision. But he said the public is right to be concerned about the NCAA’s inability to act.
“If the NCAA can’t adjudicate this kind of issue, what is its real purpose?” he said. “Carolina institutionally used these sham courses for years and years to assist and maintain the eligibility of student athletes who then competed on behalf of the university and [UNC] gained advantage over schools where this course work, so to speak, was not available.”
Follow the link for the bargle.
I think the answer to Mr. Brown’s question is quite clear. The NCAA’s deeds betray it.
The NCAA’s purpose is marketing broadcast rights to media outfits.
Peter Iappelli, 50, of Closter (New Jersey–ed.) approached the teenage coach during a peewee game at Westwood Middle School on Saturday morning, Detective Warren Morrell said. Iappelli grabbed the boy in a bear hug that turned into a chokehold, Morrell said.
According to my local rag, the assault was prompted by Iapelli’s son being rotated out of the position of quarterback.
He has been banned from the league.
Peewee football is first- and second graders, folks.
Responding to a Wall Street Journal article whose author wistfully yearns for the good old days of “apolitical” big time sports, Justin Levin points out that such times exist only in Never Never Land. He explains why the national anthem is played before every pro baseball and football games (hint: it was a politicized decision). An excerpt:
. . . in reality, however, the NFL, and professional sports more generally, have never been apolitical as Whitlock (the author of the WSJ article–ed.) describes. Rather, during the late 1960s, a period defined by fierce cultural divisions, professional sports leagues, which already leaned right, decisively weighed in on the conservative side, in spite of the disagreement of many players.
Pete Rozelle, the commissioner of the NFL, and Spike Eckert and Bowie Kuhn, the commissioners of baseball, worked to put their sports on record in support of the Vietnam War, while laboring to silence those in the game who disagreed. While many believe that before the protests of the last year, the national anthem and other patriotic elements of sporting events symbolized unity, they are actually remnants of this campaign to interject sports into a bitterly divisive political debate.
I suspect that Donald Trump’s decision to energize NFL players, teams, coaches, and owners to protest his petty potty mouth will not work out well for him as he tries to move downfield.
This does not mean that I cannot admire and respect individuals who participate in those endeavors.
It would appear that the International Olympic Committee has given up all pretense of being about anything other than mammon. Bob Molinaro reports:
Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, observes:
He thought that there was only one born every minute. Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, reports (emphasis in the original):
Cha-ching: The Chicago Cubs have crossed the fine line between rewarding fans and exploiting them. After collecting 2,016 falling leaves from Wrigley Field’s famous ivy-covered walls following their World Series victory, the Cubs packaged them individually for season-ticket holders at a price of $200 each, plus $15 shipping. Caveat emptor and all that. But how much money is enough for a franchise like that?
For once, football’s “winning is the only thing” invisible plastic shield proved vulnerable.
Graham B. Spanier, the former Pennsylvania State University president once considered one of the nation’s most prominent college leaders, was convicted Friday of endangering children by failing to act on signs that Jerry Sandusky was a serial sex predator.
After nearly 12 hours of deliberation, a Dauphin County jury of seven women and five men found Spanier guilty of a misdemeanor count of endangerment. He was acquitted of a second endangerment count, as well as a felony conspiracy charge.
That it’s a misdemeanor is irrelevant. That it’s a conviction is everything.
Meanwhile, in related news of “Get Out of Jail Free” cards . . . .
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bog Molinaro comments:
This is good for a snicker.
(You can stop listening at about the minute and a half mark; the rest is promo.)
Big-time sports leaves Gina Barreca scratching her head. A snippet:
So you can imagine how I felt when I learned that the football coach at my university was recently awarded $3.4 million when it was decided he was no longer right for the job. My first thought was to compare this coach to Marla Maples, who married Donald Trump and gave birth to a Trump child. Ms. Maples was reportedly paid as much as $2 million when her relationship terminated. It seems to me that with a $3.4 million payout, the football coach didn’t get severance; he got alimony. And he didn’t even have to go through labor.
As my two or three regular readers may recall, I got fed up with the corruption of big-time football and stopped paying attention to it several years ago (and please note, I do not allege that the players are corrupt, no it’s not them, not at all).
I will tell you something, well, two somethings. After a very short while, you don’t miss it, and it’s amazing how many wonderful things you can find to do on a weekend afternoon when you’re not glued to the tube watching large men run into each other at high speed.
But it easily could be.
Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, contributes two example of dis coarse discourse in today’s column (emphasis in the original).
Groan-ups: Regarding Harbaugh, there’s a difference between a coach speaking out against perceived injustices to his team and a grown man throwing a public hissy fit. We’re learning that in today’s climate – sports and political – there’s nothing too embarrassing for the internet and Twitter audience. But there are still some of us who would like to hang on to the old-school principle that says leaders who preach discipline should practice it.
Name game: My friend Mike added up all the Thanksgiving week men’s basketball tournaments that carried the grandiose title of “Classic.” The total came to 19. They included the Gildan Charleston Classic, Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic and High Point University Classic. Words just don’t mean what they used to.
Frankly, I doubt the coarseness of the discourse is any greater than ever. What’s changed is that there is no escape from the stupid, for there are no longer any filters either from or for it.
You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy Molinaro’s writing. He often says in a sentence what others fail to say in a page. Follow the link and sign up for the RSS feed.
You’ll be glad you did.
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro highlights the hypocrisy of big time college sports.
In the first 20 days of the season, Tom Izzo’s Michigan State basketball team will have traveled 13,000 miles for games, including trips to Honolulu, New York City, the Bahamas and Durham, N.C. What about this itinerary, most of it programmed by TV for the benefit of TV, suggests that Michigan State’s players are supposed to be students, too, not members of a money-making barnstorming troupe? Looking at Michigan State’s far-flung schedule – and those of other programs – how can anybody buy into the pretense that the college’s No. 1 goal is to provide the athletes with a proper education?
Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:
Futurewatch: To satisfy its TV partners, the Big Ten will play Friday night football games starting next season. On a positive note, Michigan and Penn State have declared that they want no part of it. Presumably, they can reject the new TV plan because big-time programs are entitled to throw their weight around. In this case, more power to them. Weeknight games create logistical nightmares for fans; Friday games impact high school football. College football at its best is an all-day Saturday affair. Leave weeknight games to the lesser conferences and needier programs.
I am sick of football. I am no longer fascinated by large men running into each other.
My local rag covers high school games the way it used to cover college games, college games the way it used to cover the pros, and the pros like it’s the only game in town. Honest to Pete, during the wind-up of the regular baseball season when nary a football game had yet been played, stories about what might happen were a football game to be played overwhelmed the coverage of actual other games that had been played.
When I was in high school, I was the statistician for my high school football team. After each home game, I would call my local rag, that same local rag, with the results of the game. I know what the coverage was like. I was there.
In case you wonder why I no longer pay attention to college football, follow the link for one example.
I can no longer ignore the corruption. Like Crabby Appleton, it is rotten to the core.