From Pine View Farm

The Sporting Life category archive

Echoes of the Fall 0

Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro:

Served up for my fellow curmudgeons is a reminder that at the 2024 Paris Olympics, breakdancing will be a sport. A sport.


The Brady Punch 0

Stephanie Hayes looks at the who-shot-john over football player Tom Brady’s age and has a momentary seizure of sauce for goose, sauce for the gander.


“What It Was, Was Football”* 0

In aftermath of Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field (happily he seems to be recovering), Randall Balmer wonders what Americans find so enticing about so dangerous a sport. A snippet:

Violence accounts for much of the appeal of the game, then and now, and the history of American football suggests that fans and players are willing to tolerate injuries for the continuation of the game. “It’s the violence of the sport,” Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman observed. “The violence of the sport attracts us to the game.”

Which brings us back to the question about whether there is something about American society that draws us – myself included, by the way – to the carnage of football.


I used to be a football fan. I looked forward to watching all the bowl games on New Year’s Day and a number that were not on New Year’s Day; I rooted for several NFL teams over the years. Now, though, I’ve lost all interest in football. The games have gotten far too long, the NFL owners are a mostly a bunch of jerks, and the NCAA is only in it for the money. (Indeed, the only sporting organization of which I have a lower opinion than of the NCAA is FIFA.)

My weekends are much more peaceful, relaxing, and productive now.


*With apologies to Andy Griffith.


Game Changed 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, sociology professor Thomas Henricks explores why football has for all practical purposes supplanted baseball as America’s “national pastime.” It’s interesting and, in some ways, rather depressing read.

Me, I’ve pretty much lost interest in both: football because of the moral bankruptcy of the NCAA ruling body and and the odious behavior of too many of the NFL owners; baseball because the games have gotten just too darned long to be worth my time.

(But I still read Bob Molinaro’s column every week, because he is fine writer with a wicked sense of humor.)


A Bridge Too Favre 0

The Los Angeles Times’s LZ Granderson, who has ties to Mississippi, digs into Brett Farve’s role in–er–misappropriating public funds intended to help the less-well-off to serve his own private ends. A snippet:

Just remember this: Two years after Favre made the, ahem, alleged mistake of pushing for welfare dollars to be used for a new volleyball arena, he reached back out to Bryant for an indoor football practice facility.

Once is a mistake.*

He came back for seconds.


*Yeah. Right.


Illegal Procedure 0

At, Roy S. Johnson takes takes a long look at Brett Farve’s role in misappropriating public funds intended to help the needy. Johnson points out that

The pocket is collapsing around Brett Favre.

Follow the link for the play-by-play.


The Maddening Maddened Crowd 0

Yet another (particularly vile) example that “social” media isn’t.


The Shills 0

SFGate’s Drew Magary marvels as ESPN’s relentless promoting of sports betting.


Danny Dodges the Man 0

Joe Patrice says, “Bon voyage, Dan Snyder.


True Believers 0

Football coach surrounded by kneeling players days,

Via Juanita Jean.


Uncivil Society 0

Game day.

We are a failing state.

Read more »


Time Shift 0

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:

Lagging farther behind basketball in scheduling, the Stanley Cup conference finals have just begun, with the NHL title round potentially dragging into the final hours of June. Doesn’t that make hockey players the Boys of Summer?


“Fake Left, Run Right” 0

I used to enjoy watching football, both pro and college.

What turned me off was the corruption.

I get so much more useful stuff done on weekends any more.


I never had enjoyed basketball or hockey on the television, though I used to enjoy them in person when I lived conveniently close to an arena. I find them too fast-moving to fit inside the screen. I still enjoy baseball, but the games are getting so looooooooonnnnnnggggg.


Vaccine Nation, Prima Donna Dept. 0

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving finally admitted that his anti-vax stance has nothing to do with science, medicine or his “research.” “I don’t want anyone telling me what to do with my life,” he said,” and that’s just the way I am.” Some teammate.

We are a society of selfish.


It’s All about the Benjamins 0

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:

A 17-game NFL regular season is too much. With increased player attrition through injury and now COVID, many depleted teams are staggering to the finish line.

Who asked for 17, anyway? Not the fans. They were content with 16, but for owners and TV, increased revenue comes before the interests of players and fans. Soon, there will be an 18-game schedule, because why not if it means more money?


Shills 0

It would seem I’m not the only one bugged by all those sports (and other) betting ads that are now flooding my telly vision.

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, has a wonder:

What’s with the Mannings’ appearance in a TV commercial for a gambling operation? Even dad Archie plays a role in the holiday-themed promotion that includes Peyton, Eli and Cooper. A terrible optic. Some of us will never understand why former athletes of wealth and fame do ads for these outfits. Do the Mannings use the betting service? My guess is no and never.


Personally, I spell gamble “l-o-s-e” (except for that one time I hit an exacta at Delaware Park; my then-father-in-law like the play the ponies–and he was pretty good at it, too–so we’d go to the track when he visited during racing season).

I will confess that he tutored me on how to read the racing form, but I picked those two horses myself.


Faking a Passing a Fake 0

Wall Street’s got nothing on the Green Bay Packers.


Game Day 0

I was in the ABC store yesterday and a couple of the customers and one of the staff were joshing with each other about Sunday’s football games.

I realized that I had no clue as to what they were joking about.

When I got to the checkout, the young lady at the register said, “This concludes the entertainment portion of your visit.”

I said, “I lost interest in football . . . because of the corruption. In the NFL, it’s the owners. In college, it’s the NCAA. It’s amazing how much more fun I have on Saturdays and Sundays now.”

I realized that I don’t miss football.

Not at all.


The Lies of the Land, True Believers Dept. 0

Psychology professor Cortney Warren parses Aaron Rodgers the Dodger’s vaccination doublespeak (as you will recall, he said he was “immunized,” but avoided the word “vaccinated”) and probes the question of whether or not he believed his verbal dance would be seen as the lie that many others see it as. Here’s a bit (emphasis added):

Although you can lie with or without intending to deceive your listener, your relationship’s psychological experience and consequences are very different. If you actually believe a lie and spread it, you’re not aware that you’re doing anything wrong! You don’t see yourself harming others or ethically crossing any boundaries that would damage people who hear your lies.


Methinks the sentence I emphasized sheds a spotlight on lots of what goes on in “social” media.


Stray Thought 0

Athletic skill and intelligence are independent variables.