After everything Kobe Bryant has accomplished in his storied NBA career, gratuitous shots at the likes of Kwame Brown and Smush Parker are slightly akin to Dean Wareham dissing Das Damen. Of the 2005-06 season in which Kobe lost out on the MVP Award to Phoenix’s Steve Nash, Bryant says of former teammate Parker, “Smush was the worst…he shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard.” Provided with equal time by Hard2Guard Radio on Thursday, Parker, whose post-NBA career has taken him to China, Iran, Russia and Greece, shared a very different recollection of his time in LA, with the following quotes culled from Larry Brown Sports :
“I had a workout with the Lakers, beat all the guards out for the starting position, earned a spot on the team. Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.”
“We’re teammates, we talk basketball on the court. [Our talks were] about getting him the ball pretty much.”
“On road trips, he traveled with his security guards. Those were the guys he talked to. On the team plane, he sat in the back of the plane by himself.”
Parker even told a story about a time when the team was in Phoenix preparing for a playoff series against the Suns. Smush says that coach Phil Jackson gave Lamar Odom his black card to take the team out to a nice dinner as a bonding experience. Parker says the entire team sat at one table, and that Kobe Bryant had his own table in a corner.
“Whenever Kobe is happy, the Lakers are happy. Whenever Kobe smiles, the team smiles. They should be the Los Angeles Bryants.”
The low-rated, critically acclaimed series set in a high school football program also featured a number of themes that might not necessarily be approved by a Romney administration. Among them: a character (Madison Burge) goes through with an abortion late in the show’s fourth season. The decision follows a one-night stand the character had with football star (Matt Lauria), and it is the school’s (Connie Britton) who guides her through the decision process.
Another theme explored in the series is that of military parents. A character (Zach Gilford) is raised by his ailing grandmother after his mother departs, and his military father shows little sign of caring for his son.
I know I’m already going to headliner writers’ hell for that one, but I digress. Who amongst us could find fault with Rex Ryan wearing a pink New Era J-E-R-K-S cap? How about Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan, who finds the NFL’s annual October Breast Cancer Awareness Month a tad lacking when it comes to substantial philanthropy.
According to Business Insider, the NFL’s October Breast Cancer Awareness Month fundraising effort is multi-pronged. There’s the on-field onslaught of pink (AWARENESS), the off-field auction of autographed or otherwise noteworthy NFL paraphernalia (MONEY FOR THE CURE!), and the part of the NFL store that entices shoppers to purchase officially licensed NFL breast cancer gear, a portion of which goes to FINDING A CURE. According to the League, 100% of the proceeds from the specialty auction go to the American Cancer Society, but the total percentage of purchases of officially licensed gear that actually goes to FINDING A CURE is actually kind of pathetic — 5%. If you want to look at this cynically, in a way, the on-field wearin’ o’ the pink serves as an ad to direct consumers to purchase pink fan items.
BUT WAIT, you might say, AT LEAST THEY’RE DOING SOMETHING. And 5% is still something! Well, kind of. As BI pointed out, if NFL products are sold at a 100% markup and only 5% of sale proceeds go to the American Cancer Society, then the NFL is pocketing 90% of sales of Breast Cancer Awareness products, many of which would not be purchased if they didn’t come with a promise that consumers were “helping.” And, more perspective: while the American Cancer Society isn’t, say, Komen, they still don’t use 100% of the money they receive to “fight” breast cancer. Only 70% of donations taken in by the organization go toward cancer research. So, if you spend $10 on pink stink from the NFL, only about 35 cents is going to finding a cure for breast cancer.
Since the program’s inception four years ago, the NFL has raised $3 million for breast cancer. In 2009, the League made $8.5 billion. Last year, they made $9.5 billion. Commissioner Roger Goodell has set a revenue goal of $25 billion per year by the year 2027. A million per year out of between $8.5 and $9.5 billion in revenues? Pardon me while I don’t slobber all over the NFL’s pink-drenched marketing campaign.
My humble suggestion is to create a VERY POWERFUL “ALL IN” movement of your own.
We have fans all over the US and I think it is time that they RISE UP and snatch back what satan, himself, has stolen.
We serve a God who recovers ALL that “has been stolen” from us and there are times that He requires the efforts of His people to accomplish this truth.
Just think about the effect it will have first for the players and their families who sacrifice daily but how it will impact the fan base as a whole.
When Beano Cook, the newest member of ABC’s college football announcing team, was the Pitt sports information director, he got a call one day from a woman asking for a copy of the Panthers’ football roster. “But lady,” Beano replied, “there are 120 guys out for the team right now. You really oughtta wait three weeks, till we make the cuts and are down to 75 or 80 kids. Otherwise, it’s really a waste of your time.”
The woman, however, was adamant. She needed the roster. Pronto. “But why?” Beano asked, dreading the hours it would take to round up the name of every tackling dummy cluttering up the practice field. “Because,” she said, matter of factly, “I want to sleep with everybody on the Pitt football team.”
Beano gasped. “Well,” he said, clearing his throat, “in alphabetical order, starting at guard…Cook, Beano.”
This is only the beginning, just watch: Rodriguez will likely be back in the lineup tonight, but only because the Orioles will start lefty Joe Saunders. But A-Rod’s hold on the No 3 spot in the lineup is over, particularly against right-handers. Rodriguez will move down in the batting order, possibly tonight, and by next year we’ll begin to see less of him – more days off, fewer at-bats, more instances of Girardi, “listening to my gut” as he did with the Division Series on the line.
He’s still owed $114 million through 2017, although one person familiar with ownership’s thinking predicted, “there’s no way Alex is still here after 2015.).” The Yankees will have to swallow a major portion of the remaining salaries in order to trade him, but Rodriguez, already unpopular with the fans, won’t be missed. Not really.
The metamorphosis has already begun, and no matter how it’s cloaked in the next few weeks – regardless if the Yankees finish off the Orioles in game 4, whether they breeze through the LCS and find themselves in the World Series – nothing will ever be the same between Rodriguez and the Bomber family.
I think I deserve some kind of credit for showing restraint for not embedding this video.
When asked more about the veteran leadership on the Cougs squad that is 2-4 on the year, Washington State head football coach Mike Leach’s brutal honesty was on full display for all to see – with a little Halloween twist.
“Some of them have had this zombie like go through the motions while everything’s how it’s always been and that’s the how it’ll always be,” said Leach. “Some of them quite honestly have an empty corpse quality. That’s not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about but it’s a fact which is why it’s been necessary for us to have the youth movement we have.”
With no important missives from Stephon Marbury to impart, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reported newly signed Knicks F Rasheed Wallace was attempting to work his way back into tip top condition by boxing with strength coach Dave Hancock on Monday. “Conventional wisdom would state having Wallace run up and down the court playing basketball would get him in shape,” sneered Berman, and perhaps Wallace was paying attention, because running up and down the court playing basketball was exactly what ‘Sheed was doing on Tuesday. And posting up against the tenacious opposition of…drum roll…..DAVE HANCOCK. I’m not sure anyone’s provided that much physicality during Knicks practice since the Jeff Van Gundy era (and I can write as much with a full conscience having never attended one single Knicks practice.)
The concise statistical zinger is that Sanchez the first quarterback to play four straight games with at least 25 pass attempts and a sub-50 percent completion percentage since a fellow named Stoney Case, with the 1999 Ravens. In his fourth year and well past the point of “growing pains” excuses, the best Sanchez has done is scrape a generous definition of “average.” But now he’s below that, and is playing worse than he ever has.
The eye test, once flattering, isn’t fooling anyone anymore. True, he still makes nice throws that look a lot prettier and star-quarterbackish than those of his MetLife Stadium co-tenant counterpart. And he still looks like he moves around pretty well.
But it’s a mirage. By now, Jets fans have seen enough terrible throws to know that his mechanics are inconsistent by nature, and not in a way that can be ironed out with age and experience. (Obvious example from last night: Sanchez’s blown bomb to a wide-open Antonio Cromartie, who was probably right about being the second-best receiver on the team, and may be the best overall player the Jets have left.)
Similarly, Sanchez’s “athleticism” can be more accurately described as the quality he has of looking smooth while moving. But when it comes to the more subtle functional athleticism of sensing and avoiding a pass rush, Sanchez hasn’t improved since his rookie year.
I had to look through the comments on the youtube video to find an appropriate description of “Ashamed”: Dubstep Metalcore. Now if that doesn’t sound like a big plate of feces to everyone, I don’t know what would. To compound matters, Robinson is maybe the lightest-hitting non-pitcher on our roster, and merits something more along the lines of the Full House theme song instead of this mess of noise. Yuck.
Tebow mentions MNF’s 666th game, generally implying that it’s tainted by the affiliation with the second beast of Revelation. Then he quotes a passage on how nothing can come between love. If my exegesis is correct (and I did get a C+ in freshman year Bible study at Wake Forest), Tebow’s tweet unintentionally reads like a roundabout diss of Howard Cosell and Jon Gruden.
In August, the New York Times’ David M. Halbinger examined the business relationship between Bruce Ratner and Jay-Z (“With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook”), and while the latter received considerable credit for his role in greasing the skids for former’s Atlantic Yards project, that doesn’t mean the article’s subject was happy with the piece. CBS Sports.com’s Ben Golliver attended the 8th and final night of Jay-Z’s inaugural series of Barclays Center concerts and reports Hova took the opportunity to dispute published claims his ownership stake in the Nets is no higher than one-fifteenth of one percent.
Dressed in a customized black No. 4 Nets jersey and a gray Nets cap, Jay-Z took a break between songs to single out Rachel Robinson, the 90-year-old wife of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, who was in attendance at the show. Jay-Z hailed Jackie Robinson as a pioneer and then segued into a riff on members of the media who he feels haven’t given him a fair shake.
Jay-Z first disputed the reported percentage – telling his audience that he didn’t know where the media got their numbers — before asserting that “some” in the media have presented his role in the ownership group in a way that was intended as a purposeful slight.
“That’s their way of diminishing our accomplishments,” he said. “Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments.”
The real story, he explained, goes like this: “[I'm] a young black African male who was raised in a single-parent home in low-income housing and I stand before you as an owner of the Brooklyn Nets.”
Having more money than God wasn’t nearly enough to ensure a U.S. Senate seat for Repubican hopeful Linda McMahon 4 years ago, and given how poorly her association with the WWE played with Nutmeg State female voters last time, McMahon has undergone something of a P.R. makeover in her current campaign against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). Writes the New York Times’ Peter Applebome, “McMahon has run advertisements featuring a softer, kinder, more grandmotherly presence…they feature her reminiscing about how she met her husband in church, how she found out she was pregnant the day before graduating from college and how she overcame hard times, including a bankruptcy.”
“I’m a mom,” she says in one campaign video as a piano plays gently in the background. “I’ve been a working mom, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. I’m a grandmother. And I believe that I bring to the table many skills, many attributes that others who are in this race don’t have.”
Mr. Murphy has focused on Ms. McMahon’s support for the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to refuse to cover contraception and other medical costs, and her commitment to overturning the Affordable Care Act. His speeches are full of dire warnings about the stakes for women on issues like federal financing for Planned Parenthood, control of the Supreme Court and protecting Roe v. Wade if a McMahon victory tips control of the Senate to the Republicans.
Mr. Murphy frequently notes the violent, sometimes misogynistic content of her wrestling empire and her party’s opposition to abortion.
“She says that women shouldn’t pay attention to her positions on the issues; they should just pay attention to her gender,” Mr. Murphy said at an appearance last week. “That’s insulting.”
“Murphy calls me antiwomen, but, Chris, take a look,” McMahon says in a recent television ad. “I am a woman, a pro-choice woman.” It concludes, “I’m Linda McMahon, an independent-minded woman, and I approve this message.”
(not a photograph of Montreal, Quebec superfan Steve De Montbrun)
On the occasion of the Washington Nationals making their first postseason appearance, the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan takes issue with a local radio host who claims, “I don’t know one Montrealer who is genuinely excited to see (the Nats) make a playoff run.” As it happens, Cowan knows exactly one. Former Expos season ticket holder Steve De Montbrun’s devotion to the relocated franchise might rival that of any of fan on the continent (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
De Montbrun went to Washington for the first Nats game in 2005, which was on a Friday, but it was sold out and he couldn’t get tickets. So he stuck around for the weekend and went to games on the Saturday and Sunday. He has continued to make trips to Washington each year to cheer on the Nationals.
The question many Montreal baseball fans might be asking is: why?
“They were our team … I hated the way they left and the circumstances that were beyond our control with greedy owners, etc.,” de Montbrun said. “But I love baseball and I still like to watch the game. I look at it as though they’re called the Washington Expos instead of the Nationals. That’s the way I consider them.”
And de Montbrun was celebrating when the Nationals clinched the NL East title on Monday.
“Definitely,” he said. “It was awesome.”
De Montbrun understands how other Montreal baseball fans might hate the Nationals and he still remembers the emotions he felt while attending the Expos’ final home game at Olympic Stadium.
“I was in tears … seriously, I was in tears,” de Montbrun said. “They were streaming down my face. … I was very disappointed. But there’s nothing you could do. I was saying goodbye to my favourite sport.
“But this happens in baseball, hockey, football, soccer everything … there’s nothing you can do,” he added. “You either follow the team or fall off the wagon. I decided to stay on the wagon.”
A’s management said Friday that it does not plan to sell 20,878 of O.co Coliseum’s 55,945 seats next week for the A’s division showdown with the Detroit Tigers. Those seats account for about 37 percent of the Coliseum’s baseball seating capacity, and A’s management has sealed them off with tarps since 2006 due to low attendance.
A smaller crowd, A’s managers said, would create a closer, more intimate environment for the American League Division Series.
“The fan experience is better without spreading fans out over more seats,” A’s executives wrote in an e-mail. “The energy in the park and the fan experience over the last week (when the seats were tarped) was incredible.”
Since 2006, shortly after Lew Wolff bought the team, most of the third deck and the outfield stands known as Mount Davis have been covered with dark green tarps. The Raiders, who share the Coliseum with the A’s, remove the tarps for their home games.
The A’s rationale is that most games are far from sellouts, so they want fans to gather in the lower decks rather than scatter throughout the stadium.
“Here’s a team that says they need to leave Oakland because there’s no support. Yet here you have thousands of people who are begging to put money in the A’s pockets, and they tell fans, ‘Sorry, you have to watch it on TV,’ ” said Doug Boxer, a former Oakland planning commissioner and organizer of an A’s fan group called Let’s Go Oakland. “It doesn’t make any sense.” So far this year, the A’s have sold out only seven of 79 games in the 35,067 seats in the non-tarp area.
On Friday, the England’s Football Association issued a 63 page ruling providing rationale for their recent 4 match ban of former Chelsea captain John Terry, accused of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand nearly a year ago at Loftus Road. As the Guardian’s Owen Gibson explains, the F.A. dubbed Terry’s defense, “improbable, implausible and contrived”.
The FA regulatory commission found there was “no credible basis” for Terry’s defence that he was merely repeating back to Ferdinand in indignation the phrase “fucking black cunt” in the belief that the QPR player had accused him of racial abuse. It also cast serious doubt on the evidence of teammate Ashley Cole and the “materially defective” recollections of the Chelsea secretary, David Barnard. The ruling suggested that Cole’s evidence “evolved” over time to suit the case that Ferdinand may have said the phrase in question on the pitch.
The Chelsea left-back, who is due to win his 100th England cap a week on Tuesday against Poland, said via Twitter after seeing news of the verdict on television: “Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTWATS.” He apologised two hours later via his solicitor, claiming the remarks were made “in the heat of the moment”. The tweet was sent just as Roberto Di Matteo was giving a press conference and the Chelsea manager was forced to insist his players were not “out of control”.
According to “cogent” new evidence considered by the panel but not by the court, in an interview with FA officials at Chelsea’s training ground five days after the match, Cole said he heard a “b-word” but did not mention the word black. In a later emailed statement, Cole said the word “could have been Bridge”. But Barnard later emailed the FA after discussing the matter with Cole to add the words “black or Bridge”.
In his witness statement some 10 months later Barnard also claims that Cole heard the word “cunt” being used in close proximity to the “b-word”. But the commission found on the balance of probabilities that Cole’s original evidence contained neither that word nor “fucking” – the “unholy trinity” of words that Terry claimed had provoked his outburst.
“On 9/20 I tweeted I expected #MLB to announce @RobinsonCano tested positive for PEDs. This information was FALSE. (cont’d)
“I, @CoxMediaGroup, and @WSOC_TV all apologize to Mr. #Cano, and to the #Yankees and their fans. (cont’d)
“I shouldn’t have posted false info about #Cano, and afterward, I should’ve admitted it was false and apologized right away. I am very sorry.”
The station also issued an on-air apology to Cano. As part of the apology, Tordjman made a contribution to the Robinson Cano Foundation.
“When journalists and media outlets act unprofessionally and negligently and submit false statements about a fine person and great player, we’re happy that the apology was issued,” said Scott Boras, Cano’s agent.
(ADDENDUM – Tordjman’s Twitter account is no longer protected).
It must’ve taken massive amounts of self-control for the SF Weekly and writer Joe Eskenazi not to produce an accompanying slideshow for this week’s cover story (“Top 5 Ways Bleacher Report Rules!”, subtitled, “UNPAID WRITER CHURN OUT TERRIBLE ARTICLES AND THE OWNERS GET A $200 MILLION PAYDAY”), but at least they made an attempt to give credit where due. Following B/R’s sale to Turner, one of Eskenazi’s sources admits, “Every media entity questioning the wisdom of throwing down $200 million for Bleacher Report is already co-opting the tricks mastered by Bleacher Report.”
The site’s deft use of search engine optimization (SEO) — the tweaking of content and coding to increase online visibility — propelled its unpaid, amateur writers’ fare to the top of Google’s search engine results, placing it on equal footing with original work created by established journalistic outlets. It’s a rare sports-related Google search that doesn’t feature a Bleacher Report article among the top results. And once readers click onto Bleacher Report, they stick there — visitors are besieged with applications to subscribe to team-specific newsletters or mobile applications, or drawn into click-happy slideshows, polls, or other user-engaging devices that rack up massive pageviews per visit (to date, a slideshow titled “The 20 Most Boobtastic Athletes of All Time” has amassed 1.4 million views).
Every publication has produced its share of jarringly bad writing. Yet Bleacher Report, powered by thousands of hobbyists and publishing more stories in an hour than many sites produce in a year, has lapped the field. While critics’ lamentations may be increasingly irrelevant, they’re hardly unfounded. Perhaps uniquely among journalistic entities, Bleacher Report has a “blanket policy” forbidding its writers from seeking out and breaking news. A dictum on the site states: “While we don’t doubt that some B/R writers have contacts they know and trust, a problem arises when we’re asked to take a leap of faith that those sources are both legitimate and accurate.” Bleacher Report is designed to engage in the far more lucrative practice of pouncing on news broken by others, deploying its legions of writers to craft articles — or better yet, multi-page slideshows — linking to its own voluminous archives, and supplanting original stories on the Google rankings. Breaking a story is no longer valuable: owning it is.
Bleacher Report declined to answer questions about this — or anything else.
Valentine got in one mini-feud after another this year: With Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, a radio host, and probably a dozen other people we haven’t even heard about. And in every situation, Valentine can claim — and has claimed — he was right. He didn’t mean to offend Youkilis. The players never gave him a chance. The radio host asked a rude question. And all of those things may be true. But Valentine has been through this before, in Texas and New York, and he had most of the same problems there. He is a self-promoter who talks too much, and he would think he is the smartest man in the room if he walked into a Mensa meeting.
Valentine may be right about many things. But his insistence on being right about everything, and letting everybody know it dooms him.
What does this have to do with Gary Bettman? Well, he can say the teams are losing money and the players don’t get it and they all need to work together — and he may be right. He can point to all the issues and say the players need to give in on this and sacrifice that — and he may be right.
But Bettman’s job is not just to be right. His job is to give the labor peace to his league and prosperity to his owners. And he has consistently failed at both — the latter by his own admission.
If many owners still aren’t making money after two decades of Bettman’s commissionership, then whose fault is that?
Royce White has yet to report to Houston’s training camp, citing the same fear of flying that influenced his decision to transfer from Minnesota to Iowa State (and turning down an opportunity to transfer to Kentucky). Houston’s Fox 26 reports White and the Rockets are in negotiations — pending approval from the Players Association — to allow the rookie forward to travel to some road games via bus, at his own expense.
“Let’s see if it helps to be able to bus when you can,” White said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “I think that was a great step taken by the Rockets to be able to meet me on this one, and it was a great step in terms of mental illness being taken seriously in the workplace. I just think it’s a very positive thing that happened all the way around.
“They’ve been stellar and what they pretty much are saying is that they don’t care how I get to the games as long as I get to the games.
“They knew when they drafted me there was a fear of flying. That is a very real aspect of my life. There’s no reason why it has to keep me from being successful on the court. There’s definitely no reason why it should be allowed to keep me from being healthy and I think that that’s the main point.”
“Me having a fear of flying and that being one of my anxieties, obviously going from the amount of flights I took at Iowa State and almost tripling that or quadrupling that, isn’t probably going to be healthy. We can predict that out into the future.”
“It’s going to be very innovative,” White said. “The plan is very unique and individual-based as is mental illness.