The Sporting Life category archive
Today, yet another article appeared in my local rag wondering where, amid declining attendance and TV ratings,* NASCAR is heading.
Some persons blame the younger drivers for not having “star quality” (whatever that is), while those younger drivers charge the tracks with being outmoded and old-fashioned (whatever that means for an asphalt oval). Others argue that NASCAR should reach out to minorities, somehow not grasping that the sea of Confederate flags in a typical NASCAR track’s parking lot renders that notion somewhat beyond ludicrous. This particular article focused on the Commissioner, the grandson of NASCAR’s founder, and his seeming lack of interest in proselytizing for the sport.
No one, of course, mentions that NASCAR race cars long ceased to be “stock cars” in any sense of the word. And no one has mentioned the underlying cause.
Young folks these days are just not into cars. They don’t customize cars or models of cars; they don’t take them apart and repair them; they don’t buy broken down old heaps with a gleam in their eye to make them run and soup them up. I got a dollar to a doughnut that they don’t subscribe to Motor Trend or Sports Car Graphic (which I think is no longer with us), as I did when I was a teen.
In the Des Moines Register, Mike Wellman notes that Congress has consigned minor league baseball players to penury. A snippet:
The Save America’s Pastime Act is a distorted label for the language that exempts pro baseball from federal labor laws. The waiver of minimum wage and overtime provisions for blue-collar ballplayers saves nothing more than what amounts to chump change for an industry flush with record revenues.
Yes, big leaguers long ago became millionaires*, but the overall pay scale of the game is feudal.
Minor-league players are paid by their major league parent club, not the affiliate whose uniform they wear. MLB contends that, if forced to pay minor-leaguers a salary that would equate to at least the minimum hourly wage, the minor-league teams would need to contribute to the payroll, which could put some farm teams out of business.
Much more at the link.
*And most team owners are billionaires.
It’s not that contest’s stated purpose, but nothing illustrates the inanity and vacuousness of television sports commentary more than comparing it to a segment or two of The Puppy Bowl.
I have wondered before in these electrons which is most corrupt, the IOC, FIFA, or the NCAA.
My question has been answered.
Trumpling basketball in Cincinnati.
The Kings recreational league team of high school players played a game Sunday in West Clermont wearing jerseys identifying them as the “Wet Dream Team” and using racial slurs as their names, reported WLWT-TV.
Some of the players identified themselves with phony names such as “Knee Grow” and “Coon,” which opponents believed were intended as racial slurs.
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.