11.23.09

Sports Putz: Philly Hoops Fans Racist?

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 8:38 pm by

(not the Kyle Korver of his day : Billy Cunningham)

Certain know-it-alls just do not have the ability to field a question and reply “I am not really certain” and just leave it at that instead of exposing their ignorance. This certainly applies to Bill Simmons as evidenced by his speculation that lack of support for the Philadelphia 76ers may have a racial component involved when The Philadelphia Daily News posed a question to him during his book signing tour date in Philly. From the Philadelphia Daily News Editorial page:

A COUPLE OF weeks ago, I sat and watched Bill Simmons, ESPN’s lead columnist and the author of the current New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Book of Basketball,” at a sold-out appearance at the Borders just south of City Hall.

For more than four hours, Simmons signed books, shook hands and traded barbs with hundreds of fans there to buy a book whose target audience, narrowly defined, is hard core basketball fans. Sports fans at a book signing about basketball: This was, presumably, a cross section of Philadelphians who might be interested in basketball.

Of the 500 fans who showed up, there weren’t 10 guys wearing Sixers gear. Afterward, I asked Simmons about it: Is Philly just not a good pro hoops town?

Simmons, love him or hate him, knows basketball. He just consumed roughly every pro basketball game ever filmed, and, as a lifelong Celtics fan, should have a decent idea of the Sixers’ status in the Celts’ once-upon-a-time main rival’s hometown.

Pausing to thinking for a second, he tilted his head back, crossed his arms and half-whispered his answer: “I don’t think so,” and then paused. “No.”

“It could be a race thing to some degree. They’ve never had an awesome white player, and they’ve always had the most iconic African-American player. They had Doc, then they had Barkley, who was obviously very outspoken, and then Iverson.”

Would we have showed up more if the team were whiter? Maybe, but I’m not so sure.

I wont even bother wasting my time defending Philly sports fans against such blatantly ignorant and insulting speculation but am puzzled and appalled that Daily News sports editor E James Beale stated that Simmons may be correct. That, and when it comes to basketball and 76ers history/knowledge, neither Beale or Simmons seems to recall somebody named Billy Cunningham. Gee guys, maybe, just maybe if Shawn Bradley and Matt Geiger didnt pan out….

.

Roy Keane – Thorougly Qualfied For A Future Coors Silver Bullet Ad

Posted in Football at 5:21 pm by

Rather than consider a match fixing scandal that Tim Marchman correctly surmises is far more relevant to the credibilty of global soccer than Thierry Henry’s handball, let’s instead take a gander at not-about-to-be-fired Ipswich manager Roy Keane. What’s crazier, allowing a cell phone to ring during a Keane press conference or the former Manchester United midfielder’s insistence that Ireland’s World Cup elimination is karmic payback for his spat with Mick McCarthy in 2002?

A Puppy Is Not Just For Xmas. Or For Jeff Reed Impersonations.

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 5:12 pm by

Watching Big Ben spend most of Sunday afternoon flat on his back, covered in red jerseys is the sort of thing that would send even the most mild-mannered of Steelers fans into a frenzy. Not a dog-kicking frenzy, but a frenzy just the same. Sadly, in the case of a Bridgeville, PA (subhu)man, any distraction prior to yesterday’s Chiefs/Steelers tilt was considered justification for the brutal murder of a pit bull puppy. From the Post-Gazette’s Jim McKinnon :

William Woodson, 22, is being held on $25,000 bail in the Allegheny County Jail, pending a preliminary hearing on animal cruelty at 1 p.m. next Monday before District Judge Elaine McGraw in Bridgeville.

The puppy, a 13-week-old pit bull named Flip, had been the focal point of recent arguments between Mr. Woodson and his girlfriend, Christine Gielarowski, 21, with whom Mr. Woodson lives on Jane Way.

Ms. Gielarowski told police her boyfriend kicked the dog because the pup would not walk with them. When the near lifeless dog no longer was able to move, Mr. Woodson walked away from it and his girlfriend, she told police.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Woodson said he argued with Ms. Gielarowski about buying the dog to live at their residence.

“He admitted the dog would not behave prior to the Steelers game and that he became upset at it,” according to the affidavit.

Sickening stuff to be sure. Where would an NFL fan get the idea you could commit such violence towards an animal and ever again be allowed to function in society?

A Friday Programming Alternative To The Iron Bowl

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:42 pm by

Forsake leftovers (or bring ‘em with you). It’s a day after Thanksgiving collision of friends, the beers they brought with them and the one retail establishment where Black Friday is a fully technicolor event. Show up and you’lll witness the following historic events

a) the debut of Nathan (XathaX) on drums for ATC ;
b) The Stuffies at the height of their performing prowess
c) Dated, playing two sets in the space of 3 hours at two different venues.
d) a fourth band Spot selected who may or may not have something to do with a world class pizza establishment.

And please, for fuck’s sake, consider dropping some Black Friday cash at Trailer Space. How many folks stagger into the shop, enjoy Spot’s hospitality / use his toilet and never leave with so much as one 7″ purchased? SHAME SHAME SHAME (shame). On everyone.

*- Dated are playing Beerland later that night, along with the tour-departing Woven Bones and Shapes Have Fangs.

Northeastern : Building A University The Football Hockey Team Can Be Proud Of

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 2:56 pm by

Though Boston’s Northeastern University has produced such sporting ‘sphere icons as Reggie Lewis, Chris Nilan, Carlos Pena, the late Will McDonough and Don Orsillo, Sean Jones and Dan Ross, aside, the school has never been widely known as a football hotbed.  As such, it will surprise few to learn that some 14 years after Boston University pulled the plug on their college football program, Northeastern’s trustees voted Friday to take similar action. From the Boston Globe’s Andrew Ryan :

President Joseph E. Aoun and the board of trustees endorsed the move Friday after an extensive, two-year review of the athletic program by its director, Peter Roby. The decision to eliminate football follows six straight losing seasons and sparse game attendance at a school whose ice rink often sells out for hockey.

Northeastern football did not fall victim to the recession or a fund-raising crunch, university officials said. Instead, school officials came to terms with the hard truth that the $3 million-plus annual program needed more help – millions more each year – than Northeastern wanted to give.

Northeastern first took to its gridiron in Brookline in 1933. The program produced more than a dozen NFL players and boasts three undefeated seasons, including an 8-0 run in 1963. The last highlight came in 2002 when the Huskies racked up a school record 10 wins, a share of their first Atlantic 10 title, and a trip to the NCAA playoffs.

But the team has not posted a winning record since coach Rocky Hager took over in 2004. If the school did field a team next year, college officials said, it probably would have involved an expensive national search for a new coach and stepped-up recruiting.

The Not So Glamorous Life Of A-Rod’s Cousin/Bag Man

Posted in Baseball at 2:28 pm by

“Yuri Sucart (above, far left) is not a fitness guru – he’s a pudgy middle-aged man who suffers from lower back pain and other health problems” wrote the NY Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe this past Saturday. He’s also the infamous cousin of Alex Rodriguez, implicated/blamed by the Yankee 3B last spring in the aftermath of Selena Roberts’ snooping. And while A-Rod’s achieved a measure of redemption in the eyes of some after bagging Kate Hudson his contributions to the Bombers’ 27th World Championship, O’Keefe paints a portrait far more disturbing than this one.

The cousin Rodriguez claims persuaded him to use steroids from 2001 to 2003 – and then obtained and administered the banned drugs – has not fared so well since A-Rod’s mea culpa moment. Banks began foreclosure proceedings on Yuri Sucart’s Miami home and three South Florida rental properties in the months after Rodriguez’s Feb. 17 news conference.

Perhaps even more disturbing for Sucart, who spent the past 15 years as A-Rod’s anonymous go-fer, his rich and famous cousin dragged him out of the shadows and turned him into another steroid sidekick, much like Roger Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, and Barry Bonds’ boyhood friend Greg Anderson.

Rodriguez has a history of letting others take the blame for his blunders – agent Scott Boras, for for example, took the rap after Rodriguez announced in the middle of the 2007 World Series that he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees. But the idea that an elite ballplayer like A-Rod would use performance-enhancing drugs based on the recommendation of a cousin who spent the past decade laying out his clothes and making dinner reservations strains credibility, and Miami attorney John Ruiz says it was not right for Rodriguez to drag Sucart into his steroid scandal.

Ruiz says that like thousands of other Florida residents struggling to hold onto their homes, Sucart got entangled with banks that offered him mortgage loans he couldn’t pay off. But none of those struggling Floridians works for cousins who made $33 million playing third base for the New York Yankees this year.

11.22.09

If You Picked Tottenham To Outscore The Redskins Today, Congratulations

Posted in Football at 10:17 pm by

The quote of the weekend goes to Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who explained his own reserved reaction to Sunday’s rout of Wigan Athletic at White Hart Lane by saying, “You don’t want to be jumping up and down when you’ve scored seven.” Actually, Tottenham won by a score of 9-1, the hosts’ largest margin of victory in 32 years.

The AP To Blogs : Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The Marketplace at 8:28 pm by

(above, a possible alternative to ‘Going Rogue’, if you’re shopping at Building 19)

You might recall in June of 2008, the Associated Press revealed a controversial licensing scheme under which blogs would be expected to compensate the A.P. for quotes as short as 5 words.  Compare and contrast the news organization’s stance with their zeal to share portions of Sarah Palin’s recently published ‘Going Rogue’, as reported by Talking Points Memo’s Christina Bellatoni (link h/t Rebecca Tushnet, Boing Boing)

Mike Oreskes, a senior managing editor, offers staffers a description of the AP’s own work tracking down and fact checking the book and it reads like a spy thriller:

“The AP was determined to get the first copy,” Oreskes wrote, detailing how the writers learned a store had “inadvertently placed the book on sale five days before its official Nov. 17 release date.”

“They bought a copy, ripped it from its spine and scanned it into the system so it could be read and electronically searched,” he wrote. “A NewsNow moved within 40 minutes, followed quickly by multiple leads as details were gleaned from the 413-page manuscript.”

The Mets’ Long Winter : Bargain Hunting Or Bottom Feeding?

Posted in Baseball at 1:59 pm by

If the Mets have to deal for a moody, banged-up slugger whose current team can’t wait to be rid of him, perhaps KC’s Jose Guillen (above, shown in bat-flinging mode at Shea Stadium), is a better option than Milton Bradley?  For starters, the former can play the outfield. And unlike Bradley, the volatile Guillen has been ID’d by the Daily News’ Adam Rubin as a person of Amazins’ interest “if the Matt Holliday and Jason Bay bidding gets out of hand.”  And it will.

The Royals want to acquire an inexpensive outfielder in return for Guillen, and are impressed with Angel Pagan despite his shortcomings. They’d be willing to eat money in a swap: Guillen is owed $12 million in 2010, the final season of a three-year, $36 million deal. One impediment would be the salary Kansas City would be willing to kick in probably isn’t enough for the Mets to acquire Guillen in what sources say may be a frugal offseason – especially if Guillen is no longer a full-time player.

The Mets desperately are searching for a power upgrade and have a void in left field. However, Guillen’s power and range have diminished and he isn’t driving the ball as thoroughly as he did while hitting a combined 82 homers from 2003-05. Guillen was named in the Mitchell Report but had a 15-game suspension rescinded on April 11, 2008.

From a Royals perspective, it may be impractical to retain both Guillen and ex-Met Mike Jacobs next season, since both might need to see the bulk of their duty at DH because of defensive shortcomings.

Hard to fathom why the Mets believe the aged Guillen will have any easier a time contending with Cit Field’s vast dimensions than any of their 2009 roster. Since the club long ago ruled out moving the fences in, it seems as though Omar Minaya is better off assembling a team that places a premium on players with Angel Pagan’s skill-set.

Hahn : Knicks Covet The Chronically Injured T-Mac

Posted in Basketball at 1:29 pm by

(foreground, McGrady in his customary pose)

Though Donnie Walsh recently managed to resist the charms of Allen Iverson, Newsday’s Alan Hahn claims the Knicks GM — currently observing his squad hang around with the Celtics at MSG — might find “catering to Tracy McGrady’s diva-esque personality a lesser evil.”

Multiple sources say the Knicks  have tried since the summer to engage the Rockets in trade talks for McGrady but have been unsuccessful. However, an opportunity could present itself after the latest episode – a reported spat with Adelman about McGrady’s return schedule – that reportedly even has infuriated Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, who used to be one of McGrady’s staunchest supporters.

What would it take? The Rockets would love to get a high-end young player for McGrady and also save some money, which suggests they also would look for an expiring contract or two. It will take more than one to make up McGrady’s league-high $23.2-million salary this season.

The Knicks could offer Eddy Curry, who could make up for the loss of Yao and has only one more year left on his contract after this season; add an expiring contract such as Chris Duhon, Al Harrington or Larry Hughes, and toss in someone such as Wilson Chandler as a sweetener.

It’s an intriguing proposition, but only if McGrady received a full bill of health. And I’m pretty sure the New York Mets’ medical staff doesn’t have a say in the matter.

11.21.09

Nate Robinson – Forever Finding New Ways To Enrage Mike D’Antoni

Posted in Basketball at 7:24 pm by

No truth to the rumor D’Antoni dared Nate to try the same thing while jumping over Josh Boone.

Ozzie : Jenks Is A Victim Of Sizism (Who Should Lose A Few Pounds)

Posted in Baseball at 7:17 pm by

White Sox closer Bobby Jenks claims his season-ending calf injury occurred while covering first base. His employers insist it happened during pregame stretching. If I were Jenks, I’d figure the answer for 2010 to be “no more stretching”, but in the meantime, the Chicago tub of goo fireballer considers himself to be “an easy scapegoat.” To which skipper Ozzie Guillen seems to suggest, why not make it less easy? From the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

”The first time I told him he was overweight, I told him to his face,” Guillen said. ”When you have that size, you don’t perform, all of a sudden you have weight problems. He can’t deny that his weight is a concern. Come on, he’s a big man.

”I’m surprised he said we don’t talk to him. We love this kid to death. I want him to stay in the organization, we all do. But if Kenny has something in mind, that’s part of the game.”

”He’s not on an island,” Guillen added. ”He has his manager backing him up. But his manager will always be honest. Right now, that kid is going to carry that cross the rest of his career because of his size. Even when he’s in shape, he looks like he’s not in shape.

”He has been great for us. He has my number, [pitching coach Don] Cooper’s number, Kenny’s number. We’re not hiding from anyone. In the meanwhile, he has to take care of himself. Not for the White Sox, for his family. Bobby can have a broken arm and not be able to pitch anymore, and the first thing people will say is he’s out of shape. That’s life.”

If You’ve Never Received Voice Mail From The Hooded Casanova…

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 4:11 pm by

…rest assured, he’s got much more to say than merely offering a limo ride to a Bon Jovi concert.  More quality work from Nick Stevens, though I think we all know the real Bill Belichick doesn’t sound nearly this excited.

Clippers Annoucers Pay The Price For Mistaking Iran For Kazakhstan

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner at 11:32 am by

Los Angeles Clippers TV announcers Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith were excused from last night’s game against Denver after a season ticket holder complained to Fox Sports about the duo’s remarks concerning Grizzlies C Hamed Haddadi during a Wednesday contest with Memphis. For Lawler, this was the first Clippers telecast he’d missed in a quarter century, proving that while he might be a bigot, he’s certainly a masochist. The LA TImes’ Diane Pucin details Lawler and Smith’s comments from Wednesday ;

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA?” repeating Smith’s pronunciation of the word “Iranian.” (“EYE-ranian”)

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi — that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”

Lawler laughed and Smith continued, “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.”

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”

Season ticket holder Ayra Towfighi, vice president and assistant general counsel for Univision Communications Inc., in L.A., said his goal was not to demand any punishment for Lawler and Smith but to, he said, “Highlight the issue that a lot of folks wouldn’t consider saying such things about African Americans or Hispanics but because this was an Iranian player it just flowed more easily.”

In what Pucin describes as “a scheduling quirk”, the Clippers host Memphis a week from tomorrow and are offering fans a chance to meet and greet Haddadi as part of “Iran Heritage Day”. No word yet if the Clippers intend to give Lawler and Smith a crash course in cultural diversity, but perhaps the organization can obtain a discount on such services by having Donald Sterling attend the same classes.

11.20.09

The Sports Putz Vs. WEEI : Simmons Suspended….

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 11:26 pm by

…from using Twitter? What’s next, no text messaging or posting on message boards for the only thing standing between Sarah Palin and a no.1 best-seller?  “Bill™s communication regarding WEEI fell short of those standards. So we™ve taken appropriate measures,” writes ESPN.com’s Rob King, essentially giving radio windbags across the nation a free shot at Simmons whenever they feel like it.  Provided they’re working for ESPN affiliates, that is.   My long-standing scorn for the 90210/Counting Crows scholar is well established, but it’s hard not to sympathize in this instance.  This is how they thank the only guy on the payroll that’s managed to keep it in his pants?

Matthews : Mets Should Give Up On 2010

Posted in Baseball at 10:21 pm by

Whether Newsday’s Wallace Matthews has become an acolyte of Fantasy Pros911′s Patrick DiCaprio or he merely prefers the idea of Omar Minaya doing a Donnie Walsh impersonation, I can’t say for sure.  But Matthews might’ve actually penned a column rational Mets fans might agree with, the Amazins-baiter citing “the illusion of being competitive without being competitive at all”.  It’s time, argues Wally, for Fred Wilpon (above) to compose a statement like this rather than instruct Minaya to rearrange the Titanic’s deck chairs ;

“We apologize for our atrocious 2009 and ask our loyal fans to bear with us for a year, because even though we promise to play like hell, we’re probably not going to be very good in 2010. And rather than waste money – your money – on a subpar free-agent crop and be held hostage once again by bad, immovable contracts, we’re going to sit this winter out and come back stronger in 2011.”

A proclamation like that, of course, would require a quality that the Mets don’t seem to possess – humility – and a concession the Mets are never going to make, namely a deep ticket-price cut.

Instead, they are saying things like what Minaya said at last week’s GM meetings: “In the past we’ve always been at the forefront of going after the players we need, and I think things will stay as they have been.”

The last part of that quote is perhaps the most chilling thing a Mets fan can hear: ” . . . things will stay as they have been.”

That means more cosmetic surgery for a patient bleeding from more wounds than any doctor could hope to fix. And once again, they ask you to pick up the tab.

Non-Political T-Shirt For T.O. To Wear During A Future Press Conference

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron at 5:58 pm by

Absolutely, positively, not part of Reebok’s AFL throwback line.   $11.99 from these savvy businessmen, though if you ask me, they ought to give J.P. Losman a substantial discount.  They couldn’t have done it without him.

Oakley & Dolan’s Invisible Daughter : Just Good Friends

Posted in Basketball at 5:32 pm by

Though I’ve never been asked who I’d like to dine with if I could choose from any 3 individuals living or dead, I’ve no trouble selecting the trio off the top of my head ; “Iron” Mike Doskocil, the late Laura Carter and former Knicks PF / Charles Oakley.   Slam’s Nick Rattner interrogated Oak recently on a number of topics including, but not limited to, Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech, cooking, and Tim Donaghy.  Though you should check out the entire interview, here’s a few highlights :

SLAM: Would you be disappointed if Michael Jordan hadn’t spoken his mind in Springfield?
CO: At first he said he wasn’t gonna say nothing. I knew he was going to say something. A lot of us [were] in the hotel, just talking about basketball, about life, the NBA, and this moment¦ For me it’s a statement that you did something nobody else could accomplish along the way. Somebody might have got 10,000 rebounds but you might have got 8,000 offensive, that’s something special¦ And look, I told somebody on Facebook, they keep asking when the Knicks are going to retire my jersey. They probably will never retire my jersey. The only way they’ll retire my jersey is if I marry Dolan’s daughter, and I never see that happening in life. People ask me that, but I don’t know.

SLAM: [Jordan] knows that he got special treatment, right?
CO: You know, some people say I’m going to get a manicure-pedicure¦ No, they came to his house. I’m going to get an oil change. Jiffy Lube, they brought a truck to his house. He said he’s gonna get his haircut, the barber comes over¦ Looking back you might say the man might have deserved it. But while I’m playing, no¦ While we’re playing he’s trying to kill me. That™’s how it is. He’s trying to cross me over with a jump shot, I’m trying to hit him in the paint¦

SLAM: You play cards? Poker?
CO: I love poker. They tried to get me in a couple poker shows. I had an idea when I was in Washington in ˜00-01, or 2002 I think. Whenever we was in Washington that last year with the Wizards. I told MJ and some friends that we should do a poker show.

It would concern six guys, doing their regular, everyday work. We meet up, I cook the meal. We talk and mess. Eat dinner. Then we all put masks on and play poker.

SLAM: Masks?
CO: Yeah, but we’ll be talking mess while we’re playing. Get chips, buy in. You know, tape it. It was just something fun. So people wouldn’t know who was playing. They’d probably figure it out. It was just something different.

Wanted : A Dozen Tickets For LSU/Ole Miss, Anywhere Besides The Sodomite Section

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Racism Corner at 4:54 pm by

The Daily Revelle’s Xerxes A. Wilson writes the Klu Klux Klan are coming to Oxford, MS for tomorrow’s LSU / Ole Miss clash, and they’re not looking for Jevon Snead’s autograph.

Shane Tate, the North Mississippi great titan for the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, confirmed via e-mail the KKK will rally on Ole Miss™ campus in protest of the Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones™ decision to remove œFrom Dixie with Love from the Ole Miss band™s song selection.

The controversy began last month when the Ole Miss Associated Student Body passed a resolution in favor of discontinuing chanting œthe South will rise again to replace it with œto hell with LSU. The resolution was never fully enacted because it was not signed by the proper officials after passing the senate, said Peyton Beard, Ole Miss Associated Student Body director of athletics.

The student section largely ignored the resolution and other attempts to stop the chant, continuing the chant during œFrom Dixie with Love, said Ole Miss English junior Dean Julius.

œWe are coming to Ole Miss to say enough is enough on attacking our Christian, southern heritage and culture, and it™s time for every person to have a right to freedom of speech, Tate said.

œWe aren™t coming there to cause problems or cause trouble, Tate said. œTrouble has already been caused by a handful at Ole Miss, including the black student body president, who wants to shape Ole Miss into yet another liberal sodomite college.

Bruce Pearl, while not unavailable for comment, probably isn’t very surprised.

Formerly Toothless Labor Union : Out With The NFL’s Skull Doc

Posted in Gridiron, Medical Science at 4:19 pm by

Sorry, I just can’t get enough of using the phrase, “skull doc” Barely a week goes by without the New York Times’ Allan Schwartz reporting on findings that draw ties between NFL head injuries and one-way tickets to Vegetable City. On Friday, Schwartz reports the NFLPA, less than alarmed when Gene Upshaw was running the show, is pushing for the dismissal of the league’s concussion expert, Dr. Ira Casson.

The viewpoints and role of Casson, the league™s primary voice trying to discredit independent and league-sponsored evidence that has linked N.F.L. careers with heightened risk for dementia and cognitive decline, were a particular point of contention at last month™s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on football brain injuries.

Several committee members criticized Casson for his stated opinions on the matter as well as his leading the N.F.L.™s study of retired players.

When a league-sponsored phone survey made public in September found that N.F.L. retirees were reporting diagnoses of dementia and other memory-related diseases at several times the rate of the national population, Casson responded, œWhat I take from this report is there™s a need for further studies to see whether or not this finding is going to pan out.

Casson has said that the league™s study of retired players, which he has led since its beginning in 2007, will provide the only reliable evidence on the matter to date when it is published in 2012 or 2013.

That study has been criticized by several outside experts in epidemiology and dementia research, who said the study™s 120 subjects would be too few to find any link, and that Casson™s role in it ” he is conducting every player™s neurological exam personally ” was improper as a matter of medical ethics.

11.19.09

Rock, Chalk, Dump On The (Really Big) Head Jayhawk – Open Season On Mangino, Continued

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 11:18 pm by

Not to condone the allegedly abusive behavior of Kansas head coach Mark Mangino — especially the stuff that seems creepily directed at players who come from tough backgrounds — but the large & (at the moment) in charge educator’s methods just happen to be under scrutiny when he’s in danger of losing 6 games in a row. The Lawrence Journal-World’s Dugan Arnett details the latest charges :

Two former players, meanwhile, confirmed a Rivals.com report that during a practice confrontation with former receiver Raymond Brown, whose brother had recently been shot and hospitalized, Mangino told the player, œDon™t yes sir me, or I will send you back to St. Louis so you can get shot with your homies.

œWhat I would say is sometimes his temper came off in a way that wasn™t constructive, which is where you run into trouble as a coach, said former fullback Austine Nwabuisi. œHe was just trying to be ugly as a coach, as opposed to being constructive or motivational.

Former linebacker Joe Mortensen indicated he suffered a knee injury as a result of disciplinary measures taken after he chose to spend a week at home following the Orange Bowl instead of returning to Lawrence to undergo MCL surgery on his right knee.

When he returned to Lawrence, Mortensen says, he was subjected to three months of early-morning drills that involved putting significant pressure on his good leg. Eventually, he tore his left ACL, an injury he attributes to the amount of strain he was forced to put onto the leg as punishment.

Ohlmeyer : ESPN’s A Victim Of It’s Own Celebrity

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 12:59 pm by

Former NBC exec Don Ohlmeyer is really coming into his own as ESPN’s new ombudsman, particularly if you believe said role oughta to involve shameless shilling for his new employer. “Storytelling at its best…dynamic tales filled with heroes and villians” is Ohlmeyer’s frothy assessment of the network’s “30 On 30″ documentary series, and in a similar display of team spirit, the recent L’affair Phillips/Hundley is characterized as an overzealous news media looking to tar the entire Bristol campus with the same sex-crazed brush.

Salacious stories about celebrities generally focus on the principals, not their employers. When David Letterman was dragged into the muck of an alleged extortion attempt surrounding his affair with a co-worker, Letterman was the story — CBS was an afterthought that’s only involvement was it airs his show.

With the Phillips affair, ESPN seemed to provide much of the celebrity cachet. Without the network, Phillips-Hundley probably would have been limited as a local New York story, and then only because of his association with the Mets. While ESPN was center stage, the network itself made a choice to provide minimal coverage of the story on its platforms.

“Stories involving us are angst-ridden, and we recognize that we don’t always do our best work on them,” said Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news. “It’s tough to be objective when we’re involved in some way. We tend to do the minimum that allows us to say, ‘We covered it.’ Fortunately, these types of stories don’t come along too often.”

Oh really? While I don’t endorse AJ Daulerio’s scorched earth policy towards ESPN, there’s a number of persons — Ms. Hundley’s attorneys most notably — who might be very interested in how often these types of stories seem to come along. Huggy Harold. Schlong-Snapping Sean. Zipper Problem Steve.

Seriously folks, I don’t actually expect Don Ohlmeyer to come right out and say ESPN is the most dangerous place in America for a young woman to work east of American Apparel’s headquarters, but D.O. must assume his readers are pretty gullible. Erin Andrews aside, no one at ESPN is a household name you’d associate with stalking (sorry, Steve). But some ESPN employees might end up as casualties in the high stakes pissing match between NewsCorp. and Disney, again, not the sort of thing Ohlmeyer is going to talk about publicly. Who knows, he might want to work for Rupert Murdoch someday?

11.18.09

Touched By The Hand Of Fraud : Ireland Undone By Henry’s Assist

Posted in Football at 7:58 pm by

MLB’s umpiring crews aren’t alone when it comes to wildly blown calls on a huge stage. The Times’ Tony Cascarino can barely contain his scorn for France’s Thierry Henry, insisting the above incident — which catapulted Le Blues into 2010′s World Cup finals in South Africa — “has tarnished his reputation forever.”

What a tragic missed opportunity. What a chance to be a hero Henry had ” not to his home country but to the whole game. Cheating in all its guises is slowly killing football and if Henry had held his hands up again and admitted to the referee that he had handled the ball and the goal should not stand, he would have earned the admiration of the entire sporting world.

But he didn™t. He knew that he had done wrong, but he put self-interest ahead of justice. He could have been a beacon of integrity; instead he shined shame on himself and on football.

Cheating in football is commonplace now because the authorities cheat us all by their spineless failure to punish the perpetrators. Will Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, or Michel Platini, the Frenchman who is his Uefa counterpart, condemn Henry, or float the idea that the tie should be replayed? Of course not. They will turn a blind eye, and another piece of football™s credibility, another little part of its soul, will quietly die.

Time Out! : C-Webb’s Eatery Goes The Way Of Vin Baker’s Saybrook Fish House

Posted in Basketball, Food, The Marketplace at 7:44 pm by

Normal service will return to CSTB shortly — you’d be surprised how many people get upset when I try to drive a school bus and blog at the same time. But for now, here’s an unhappy item from the Sacramento Bee’s Bill Lindelof that serves as a reminder the restaurant business is a tough one.

The game is apparently over — at least for now — for Center Court With C-Webb, the sports restaurant opened by the former Sacramento Kings basketball star three years ago.

A recording on the restaurant answering machine said that Chris Webber is calling a time out for his sports bar and restaurant at 3600 N. Freeway Blvd.

“We regret to inform you that we have decided to close our Natomas location on Tuesday, Nov. 17. However, we look forward to seeing you at our new location in the near future. Thanks to all of our patrons for your continued support over the past years. Chris Webber and staff.”

There is no indication where or when a new Webber restaurant might open. It is also unclear what caused the sudden closure, but the recession and a recent shooting could not have helped the bottom line.

The star burger was the “Fab 5,” touted as Sacramento’s biggest burger with 44 ounces of choice Angus beef and selling for a princely price of $29.50.

I’m no expert on this industry, but there’s no way Don Nelson’s frequent, negative Yelp reviews were helping Center Court’s bottom line. But if Chris Webber could have a theme restaurant in the California capital this long after he left town, maybe there’s still a chance for Aubrey Huff to open a bar in Baltimore?

11.17.09

Denny Green, Jim Mora, Watch & Learn : Miami Of Ohio’s Charlie Coles Is The New Sound Byte King

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 11:03 pm by

While I still think Hal McRae is the champ when it comes to answering stupid questions with aplomb, Charlie Coles’ reaction to being asked how his charges blew an 18 point lead to Kentucky Monday night is deserving of  much more glory than mere YouToob/meme status.