pic swiped from Wax Trax Records (Denver, CO).
pic swiped from Wax Trax Records (Denver, CO).
Fomer England goalkeeper David James boasts in tomorrow’s Observer that he’s been doing heavy reading about psychopaths lately, though not “the murderous type”. “Recent research has likened the behaviour of former US presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, JFK and George W Bush to that of psychopaths,” writes James, concluding that psychopaths “can be charismatic, charming, manipulative, ambitious, invested in self-gain and deceptive.” All traits, 24-year professional veteran argues, are consistent with top flight footballers (if not himself).
Think back to the goal celebrations you have witnessed. There’s always one player who runs from the other side of the pitch to congratulate the goalscorer – just in time to look right into the camera. Look back over those photographs, who stands out, the goalscorer? Or the guy leaping on his back and staring straight into the camera, or saluting the fans in the stand. Who is the goal about? The team? Or the individual?
What about those players who have moved from team to team throughout their career (of which, admittedly, I am one). Those players, I know from experience, tend to be more about themselves than any kind of team ethos. They have to be, it’s a kind of self-preservation. One question I often get asked is: “Do you keep in touch with your former team-mates?” Never. When you leave, you move on. Does that make me a psychopath? I did score highly on a test I took but then I would question a test which requires you to answer honestly the question “Are you a pathological liar?”
On which point, are footballers pathological liars? They may not think so, but many habitually lie to further their careers. They routinely lie to the media, hiding behind cliches such as “the lads played well today”, or pledging their loyalty to a club. Perhaps you can’t blame them. Being honest can leave you wide open to criticism. On the occasions when I have given an honest opinion those words have haunted me for years – from admitting to playing too much PlayStation, to confessing to my lack of preparation for an England game. Was I the first player to have committed either of those sins? Of course not, and I won’t be the last. You just probably won’t hear it from anyone else.
Though it appears Knicks F Carmelo Anthony was unaffected by the incident described below in his subsequent 36 point, 9 rebound performance in Minneapolis, it’s hard to say which is more remarkable — that it is so easy to get in the face of a visiting NBA superstar, or that Kevin Garnett has at least one remaining loyalist in the Twin Cities. From the NY Post’s Marc Berman :
Carmelo Anthony was confronted by a trash-talking Timberwolves fan entering the Target Center last night who harassed him about Kevin Garnett and followed Anthony to the Knicks’ locker room. Garnett played 12 seasons in Minnesota.
The fan snuck by security when the Knicks players filed into the arena. He yelled at Anthony, “KG, KG. You don’t know who Kevin Garnett is?’’
Anthony appeared ruffled, shouting back, “Why are you following me? Why are you following me?’’ before ducking into the locker room. The fan was immediately kicked out of the building by arena and Knicks security but was not arrested.
“What I saw and heard during a live sports telecast was so disgusting, so depressing,” writes the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, “that I turned off the TV and read a book.” What could’ve so sickened NewsCorp’s resident conscience of sports media? Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show? Bruno Sammartino mending fences with the WWE? No, instead it was New York Islanders fans reacting to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby taking a puck to the face on Tuesday night.
The crowd in Nassau Coliseum instantly erupted in joy. This wasn’t the kind of gleeful, audible noise made by 10 or 20, or even 50 desensitized fools, but by hundreds, and more likely thousands. The joy was loud, long and lousy with the sickness that was inevitable, given the cumulative effects of being urged — trained — to become remorseless wise guys and group participation punks.
And when Crosby, among the most talented players in the NHL, skated off for medical treatment, those Coliseum patrons chanted, “Crosby sucks!”
On MSG, announcers Howie Rose and Butch Goring — the latter a Lady Byng Trophy winner for gentlemanly conduct while playing in the NHL — said nothing about the MSG team’s home crowd’s behavior, perhaps conditioned, if not compelled, to ignore such things.
Sad, sadder, saddest. For years, this is where our sports culture has been headed. I thought I could stomach anything, get past it. But Tuesday, for the first time, it was time. Time to shut off the TV and read a book. Never thought it ever could come to that.
Here’s a clip of the incident in question. Though you can hear an audible chant of “Crosby Sucks”, it hardly sounds like the work of thousands of paying customers. There’s an obvious reaction to Crosby’s injury, but it might be a slight stretch to call it “loud, long and lousy”, particularly as said crowd noise seems to subside about 8 seconds after Crosby went down. If Rose and Goring had little to say about the behavior of the Nassau Mausoleum mob, perhaps that’s because the audio in their headphones isn’t necessarily the same arena mix that’s going over the MSG airwaves. Even if it were, it didn’t sound as though more than a handful of persons were chanting “Crosby Sucks”.
Were it not for the recent travails of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o and Alex Rodriguez, Lakers F Dwight Howard might be the least liked/respected athlete on the national scene. And while Howard’s neither doped nor fallen prey to an imaginary girlfriend, patience ran thin long ago over protracted exit from Orlando, if not his struggles upon arriving in Los Angeles. The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney spoke with Q Scores’ Vice President Henry Schafer in the hopes of putting a number on just how totally sick of Dwight Howard the public has become.
In January 2012, Howard was recognized by 28 percent of those polled, and his Q Score (which measures the familiarity and appeal of celebrities in the country) was 20.
That’s a very good number, considering the average for athletes is about 16.
But by last September, after his strange and miserable season with the Orlando Magic, he was down to 15. And when his Q Score was measured again this January, he came in at a 13.
“That’s a very big drop,” Schafer said. “Considering there was no social indiscretion, you don’t usually see a drop like that. It looks like the last year and everything that has happened has taken its toll. He was popular, but now with all the questions about whether he is compatible with his team and coaches, that seems to be reflected here.”
Self-described Keith Hernandez impersonator Dom Palumbo calls a year’s employment as a captive in 4th & Broadway’s MLBFanCave, “every baseball fan’s ultimate dream.” As if the Hernandez thing wasn’t delusional enough. With all due respect to the dopes who enter this contest and don’t believe they’ll exhaust the patience of viewers and Cave-mates alike by April 15, wouldn’t a Don Zimmer impersonator be a far more entertaining option? (links swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
The defending World Series champion SF Giants have an awfully diverse promotional schedule lined up for 2013 ; along with Bruce Lee Tribute Night, Law Enforcement Appreciation Night and Star Wars Day, Metallica will be the guests of honor on May 3. Though the special-edition Giants/Metallica cap isn’t nearly as exciting as say, a Cliff Burton Bobblehead, my curiosity is piqued by the club promising, “Metallica entertainment features throughout the game.” That could mean any number of things, but hopefully the Giants will manage to show some classic archival footage over the AT&T Park jumbotron.
(Anthony Bosch – a cautionary tale for those who don’t get enough sleep and might someday have the same jpg in mass circulation)
While the digging of Miami New Times’ Tim Elfrink has caused no small headache for Alex Rodriguez (and subsequently, Ryan Braun), Elfrink’s paper claims Major League Baseball had previously visited their offices requesting evidence be turned over. While New Times’ Chuck Strouse admits, “we haven’t yet decided what do with the records from Tony Bosch’s clinic”, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney hopes said decision doesn’t include acquiescence to MLB.
The New Times deserves a ton of credit for breaking this story. But it’s really surprising they would even consider turning over any information to Major League Baseball. They aren’t an investigative service for private companies; they work for their readers. Can you imagine if David Halberstam, one of the great legends in journalism, got a call from Gen. William Westmoreland after one of Halberstam’s Vietnam stories and the general asked, “David, can I see the notes and examine the documents you used?” Halberstam would’ve slammed down the phone before the end of that sentence, because there’s no way that sort of transaction would be appropriate.
I hope the New Times offers one of three rhetorical responses:
1. “No, and don’t bother asking again.”
2. “Sure — if you let us examine all of your records on baseball’s drug-testing past, including the results of the 2003 survey testing.” (Which Major League Baseball would never provide.)
3. “Sure — if you let us examine all of your financial records.” (Which Major League Baseball would never allow, as a private company.)
You might’ve caught last night’s replay of Golden State’s Draymond Green mugging Houston’s Patrick Beverly, the latter prevented from sinking a record-breaking 24th Rockets 3-pointer and presumably, maintaining some semblance of pride for the visitors. Mark Jackson and Kevin McHale exchanged words after the buzzer, with the former telling reporters afterwards, “”I was an old-school basketball player. I’m an old-school coach. If you can’t appreciate that, that’s on you.”
This is probably the first and last time Jackson’s grandstanding antics have been characterized as “old school”, and if the Golden State head coach is short on memory, he’ll see no reminders from the San Jose Mercury News’ Adam Laurdisen.
After so many years of watching the Warriors simply roll over and play dead in blowouts or — worse yet — immediately yuk it up with opponents when the buzzer sounded, it was jarring to see a disrespected Warriors player strike back. The cost of Green’s message was a Flagrant II foul, but in a game long decided, the statement was more important than ejection. When losing is no longer the status quo, a loss like this one becomes uncomfortable. The Beverly dunk and celebration could only be taken as disrespectful because this Warriors team now has a collective self-respect for its own abilities.
When the fervor died down from the Green foul, it was Mark Jackson’s turn to send a message. Instead of letting the Rockets stage a shoot-around in the final seconds with the Warriors’ defenders as unwilling extras, Jackson ordered the team to intentionally foul players. By denying the Rockets three point opportunities, Jackson ensured that the NBA three point record would not be broken on the Warriors’ watch. It was a brief strategic move, but sent the same loud message as Green’s foul: the Warriors are not going to be passive spectators while the Rockets chase history.
“The Warriors took exception to the Rockets’ end-of-game behavior,” argued Laurdisen, “because the Warriors expect to be treated as equals.” There’s just one problem ; if you’re being blown out by 30 points, you’re not equal. While Jackson earns plaudits for teaching his players not to play patsy, perhaps they could’ve taken exception to the humiliation before the 47 minute, 30 second mark? Sending a message with a hard foul sounds tough, but can you really hold your head high after allowing 140 points?
How does the greatest bill in the history of live entertainment get better? WITH THE ADDITION OF BUCK BILOXI & THE FUCKS. Playing on the patio.
Fox announced yesterday their intent to morph hoops screamer extraordinaire Gus Johnson into a top flight soccer commentator in time for the network’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup. After working a handful of MLS matches on radio, Johnson’s upcoming trial by fire includes EPL and Champions League commentary for Fox, assignments EPL Talk’s Gaffer calls, “a smack in the face to the die-hard soccer fans who have subscribed and supported the network for years.”
I understand FOX’s vision to add an American voice behind the mic, but FOX Soccer loses instant credibility by putting someone in there who knows very little about the game. He has the voice. He has the energy. But he doesn’t know the history or the intricacies of the game. This will come over time, but he should use training wheels on broadcasts of Europa League games or SPL games before being thrown in the deep end for such high profile matches featuring Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal and the FA Cup Final.
Who is FOX pandering to? The advertisers?? If it’s the TV viewer, instead, you would think they would pick the best person to do the commentating — i.e. a Martin Tyler, Alan Parry, Jon Champion or whoever the person would be doing the commentary for the world feed. These are men who have spent decades, not weeks, commentating on the game and researching and interviewing the footballers. Maybe by FIFA World Cup 2018 (or the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup), Johnson will be much better behind the mic to provide a commentary that would rival some of the up-and-coming commentators. But I find it unconscionable that FOX Sports and FOX Soccer have decided that they’re going to give a basketball announcer his experience in such high profile matches as the Premier League and Champions League this season. Thank heavens that FOX Soccer doesn’t have the rights to the Premier League after May, 2013.
South Plantation High (FL) Running Back Alex Collins — hotly pursued by a number of schools — declared Monday night he’d be signing a letter of intent to attend the University Of Arkansas. On Wednesday, it’s claimed Collins’ mom has gone AWOL with the paperwork. From the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Steve Gorten :
South Plantation athletic director Mike Collins, who’s of no relation to the high school senior, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel “more due diligence needs to be done on the family’s side of things.” He said he didn’t know when the running back would sign.
“We’re going to give the family as much time as they need to make the right decision,” Mike Collins said. “At this time there’s no indication of anything other than the original plan. The family just wants more time.”
ESPN.com’s Corey Long first reported on ESPNU Wednesday morning that Alex Collins’ mother confiscated his national letter-of-intent because she didn’t want him to sign with Arkansas. Collins, rated the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back by 247Sports.com, announced on live television on FOX Sports South Monday night that he had chosen the Razorbacks over Miami, Florida State and Florida.
“The papers are not there,” Long said. “I’ve been told by two different sources that Alex Collins’ mom confiscated the papers and took off and ran with them. They are looking for her currently. From what I understand, Alex is not at the school right now. He is looking for his mom. She was quite torn up about him leaving.”
No word yet on Mrs. Collins’ time in the 40 yard dash.
AC Milan acquired Mario Balotelli last week from Manchester City in a £19m transfer that saw the enigmatic striker score a pair of goals upon his 2013 Serie A debut last Saturday against Udinese. Just 3 days later, Milan vice president Paolo Berlusconi has publicly called Balotelli, “crazy head”….and worse. From the Guardian :
Berlusconi, the younger brother of the former Italian prime minister Silvio, who is Milan’s president, described Balotelli as “negretto di famiglia” at a political meeting in Monza and was filmed by reporters.
The clip, which is being featured on the website of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, shows him saying: “OK, we are all off to see the family’s little nigger. He’s a crazy head. All the young ladies are invited as well – you can even have a chance to meet the president [Silvio Berlusconi].”
The comments have caused outrage in Italy, especially after the Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng won plaudits from Silvio Berlusconi for walking off the pitch after being racially abused during a friendly in January.
Given that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is despised by fans, journalists, teammates, opponents and his own employers, can you really blame the guy for thinking the world has conspired against him? The New York Daily News’ Terri Thompson, Michael O’Keefe and Christian Red report that A-Rod, shaken by last week’s Miami New Times report linking him to steroid doc Anthony Bosch, believes the Yankees and MLB are trying to run him out of baseball.
Sources say the embattled Yankee star is “scared” that bigger forces are at work to try to discredit him and sink his career. Holed up in Miami, Rodriguez has been huddling with an army of lawyers and PR people as the performance-enhancing drug scandal enveloping him intensifies.
“He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this,” said a source. “He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think.”
Rodriguez is deeply concerned about the allegations, according to the source, and has told friends that the documents linking him to Bosch are forgeries. Rodriguez has repeatedly denied the PED allegations through a spokesman who declined further comment on Monday.
Rodriguez might contend that the listings of the drugs allegedly dispensed to him and the other players are forgeries, but they do line up closely with dates of specific games and cities the games were played in, giving MLB something of a blueprint for linking Bosch and the drugs to A-Rod and the other players. Bosch has denied the claims in the reports through his Miami lawyer.
(the guy in the middle might’ve been spared a part time gig as a casino greeter)
“It’s hard to think of anything more corrupt than putting a casino in the middle of low-income communities,” said NYC Park Advocates’ Gregory Croft of a since discarded scheme to build a casino with an adjoining 500 room hotel adjacent to the Mets’ Citi Field. If Art Schlichter’s reading this and planning on applying for the job of bench coach, the New York Post’s Rich Calder explains why that’s no longer necessary.
The Southampton-based Shinnecock Indian Nation signed on to operate the casino, and the Wilpons and partners even offered the city $100 million for the 62-acre site, according to the development team’s proposal, which was first obtained by project opponents Willets Point United and NYC Park Advocates.
“This will be a place about fun — for families, sports fans and thrill seekers alike,” the proposal says.
“[It] will attract millions of visitors from the New York area and around the world and will serve as New York’s newest and most unique entertainment destination.”
With live-dealer casino gambling currently illegal in New York, except on tribal lands, the Wilpons and partner Related Companies were awarded a consolation prize.
In June, the Bloomberg administration handed them 23 of the 62 acres of city-owned land they sought in the September 2011 casino proposal — most of which is now used for parking — to build a $3 billion retail and entertainment complex without a casino.
(surely billboards featuring nothing but a gigantic Jeff Francoeur smile would be enough to fill Kauffman Stadium on a nightly basis)
The Royals are 9 years removed from their last winning season ; they’ve not sniffed the postseason since 1985. So despite the recent acquisitions of James Shields and Wade Davis, Kansas City is taking a tentative approach to marketing the 2013 Royals, unveiling the not-quite-mindblowing slogan, “Come To Play”. I’m not advertising expert, but it’s slightly catcher than, “We Guarantee No Forfeits”. From the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
“The idea behind it is a dual thing,” said Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president for community affairs and publicity. “We want to communicate that every one of our guys, every game, will come to play – ready to give it their all.
“The secondary idea behind it is that it’s an invitation for fans that when they come to the ballpark, they need to be prepared to play – to get involved in it. We’re all in this together.”
“Nothing beats going out to the K to be part of the Major League experience,” said Charlie Tetrick, president of Kansas City-based ad agency Walz Tetrick. “With the offseason additions, this year’s team is a great combination of youth, experience and leadership. Every pitch is an opportunity for something exciting and unexpected to happen.”
“And by the way,” Cook said, “we’ve got this fairly newly renovated stadium where you can also do all of the neat things in the Outfield Experience.”
Usually when I think of Phil Simms and the Super Bowl, his otherworldly performance against Denver in SB XXI comes to mind. After Simms’ turgid analysis of last night’s Baltimore triumph over San Francisco, however, he might’ve fashioned a post-playing Super Bowl legacy every bit as underwhelming as his MVP display in 1987 was dominant. Here’s a handful of reviews :
“I have got to say, that’s a good no-call,” Simms said after the Ravens’ Jimmy Smith put his hands on receiver Michael Crabtree in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play.
Simms initially noted that the contact came within the permitted five yards, but Jim Nantz pointed out that it was more like seven yards past the line of scrimmage.
As the damning replays mounted, Simms said, “The more angles I see, the more confused I get.” Neil Best, Newsday
I’m not sure why, but Phil Simms really was off his game Sunday. Following John Harbaugh’s decision to go with a fake field goal, Simms came back from commercial and said he wasn’t going to second-guess the coach? Huh? Isn’t that what an analyst does? The call was begging for more analysis, agree or disagree. You can’t be a network analyst in the Super Bowl, and shy away from weighing in on such a controversial decision. Big blow to Simms’ credibility, as evidenced by the reaction on Twitter. – Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report
After what was essentially the Super Bowl-clinching play for the Ravens defense in the final minutes, Simms was a disaster. It looked like a fairly obvious holding or pass interference penalty on Baltimore’s Jimmy Smith. Simms suggested at first that it was a “good no-call,” citing the fact that it was “late in the game.” But then Simms began to backtrack. After more looks, he admitted that “the more angles I see the more confused I get,” but still said “it’s hard to throw a penalty in that situation.” – Brad Gagnon, Awful Announcing
Two weeks to prepare, and on the first play from scrimmage the Niners are called for an illegal formation.
Then Phil Simms says of the play, “Yeah, Jim, I could see it when they came out.” Then how ’bout sharing that with us before it’s called?
Anquan Boldin catches a 13-yard TD pass, then Simms says, “I heard it 1,000 times this week, when the Ravens get inside that 10-yard-line, or near it, they’re looking to throw the football to Anquan Boldin.”
Is that right? So why not tell us — just once — before the play? – Phil Mushnick, NY Post
Simms provided no insight during two of the biggest plays of the games: a fake field goal by the Ravens in the first half and Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kick return to start the second half. I still don’t know why one failed and the other succeeded. Explaining such big moments is Job One for an analyst. – Dave Zurawik, Baltimore Sun
Once the game resumed, Simms did not seem to draw inspiration from Beyoncé or studying highlights in the dark. He offered a trite truism about the 49ers, who were trailing badly: “When you’re down, you have to make great catches.”
Simms then added this tortured analysis: “One thing I’ve taken out of this game, and really all through the playoffs, is if you watch it, the number of big plays in the games are because the quarterbacks are throwing the football.” (Yes, yes!) Arm strength, he emphasized, is important.
Then, after the 49ers had amassed 105 post-blackout yards and 14 points, to the Ravens’ 15 yards, Simms said that the power failure had not hurt the Ravens but that it had helped the 49ers. – Richard Sandomir, NY Times
Much as I’m loathe to take Romanowski’s side on any subject whatsoever (that’s I don’t know want to know where he stands on human trafficking), it would appear as though Randy Moss’ self-described habit of taking plays off also extends to Super Bowls.
Once upon a time, Carmelo Anthony was warned his behavior during an MSG rout might cause grave offense. Of course, Melo was playing for the opposing Denver Nuggets at the time, while Saturday’s 120-81 Knicks demolition of the hapless Kings draws the ire of the New York Daily News’ Filip Bondy who argued, “such a one-sided game raised thorny matters of etiquette usually faced only by our city’s high school powerhouses.”
How long do you keep your starters in the game? Do you really need to launch 3-point shots with a 50-point lead in the fourth quarter? Did J.R. Smith over-celebrate his baskets? (Yes to that one, definitely).
There were several moments, though, that were definitely cringe-worthy, such as Kurt Thomas’ 3-point attempt with a 110-60 lead. Smith performed a windmill dance after one of his successful threes. Anthony and Steve Novak mimed pseudo-gun gestures, right in front of several Newtown families sitting in the front row.
The Newtown Choir, including young students from Sandy Hook Elementary School, sang a heartrending version of the national anthem before the game. A few boors in the crowd screamed out loud during the performance about nothing in particular. The Knicks had visited Newtown earlier in the week. Despite those fingers to their own heads after 3-pointers, they surely understood exactly what this group represented.
“A lot of these kids never had a chance,” Mike Woodson said. “They got hit hard and they’re still trying to recover from it.”
There’s the weather, too.
That blogger, of course, is former New York Times baseball columnist Murray Chass, who takes an especially dim view of his former employer’s pursuit of Alex Rodriguez, if not Miami New Times’ attention to detail.
The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner, who always writes of Rodriguez with disdain, cited the slugger’s “con” and “deceit” in inducing the Yankees to sign him to a 10-year, $275 million contract 5 years ago.
Kepner’s column and an accompanying article didn’t even grant Rodriguez the presumption of innocence, as in innocent until proven guilty. The word alleged appeared nowhere.
Rodriguez might very well have used the illegal substances the New Times report accuses him of having used from 2009 through 2012, but neither M.L.B. nor law enforcement authorities have uncovered evidence to make similar charges.
The information in the New Times supposedly came from former employees of a defunct south Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis, which was owned by Anthony Bosch. The article said former employees told of Bosch “would openly brag about selling drugs to Rodriguez.”
Impressively detailed and written by Tim Elfrink, the article has the ring of believability. Without knowing details of the alleged drug use, I found only one mistake. The article said Melky Cabrera’s positive result last August came from a blood test; it was a urine test. Blood tests take effect this year.
If the reporter made up any of the other drug details he cites, he’s wasting his time writing for a weekly newspaper in Florida; he should be writing novels or screenplays and being paid a lot of money for creative fiction.
Hopefully, as Kepner and Elfrink mature, they’ll each learn there’s only one thing that absolutely proves PED useage beyond a shadow of a doubt. But it takes a while in the sportswriting trade before you learn that back acne is the key to everything.
What could be better than a scenario in which an iconic artist has labored over a record for 22 years, and within minutes of said album’s release (digitally, anyway), it’s met with a global chorus of disapproval?
(grave threat to the 2nd Amendment and the greatest thing to ever happen to Bucky Dent, Mike Torrez)
“The Kansas City Royals haven’t been a threat to anything and haven’t stood for anything since at least the late 80s. But I guess their pitching staffs for the last 20 years have shown an institutional aversion to high caliber firepower, but that’s stretching it a bit.” So penned Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra upon learning the Royals and owner David Glass had made their way onto the National Rifle Association’s newly published list of “National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies” (“the following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations”). The all-powerful firearms lobby has selected some interesting targets, and they’re not limited to the following :
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Black Nurses` Association
National Association of School Psychologists
National Council of La Raza
National Center to Rehabilitate Violent Youth
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
YWCA of the U.S.A.
Louis Anderson – Comedian
David Arquette – Actor
Richard Belzer – Actor
Steve Buscemi – Actor
Fran Drescher – Actress
Doug Flutie – NFL player
Rick Fox – NBA Player
Bryant Gumbel – TV Personality
Howard Hesseman – Actor
Keyshawn Johnson – NFL player
Marla Maples – Actress
Mike Torrez – Former Baseball player
Amongst sports franchises, the Royals are joined by the KC Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. A&M Records is cited (perhaps for throwing the Sex Pistols off the label?) alongside an address for a label president who hasn’t represented the company in at least a decade.
That Angels P Jered Weaver has a more tolerant attitude about sharing a workspace with gay ballplayers than say, Torii Hunter, is not in and of itself mindblowing. That this revelation came out during a Robert Fick / Dmitri Young-hosted program on UStream, however, is kind of awesome. In the weeks and months ahead, persons in the sporting sphere with something big to get off their chests can run down a checklist…Oprah…Katie Couric…Dr. Phil….DA MEATHOOK. From the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher :
While Fick said at his first didn’t want to have a gay teammate — “It would be uncomfortable for me” — both Weaver brothers were supportive.
Said Jered: “If you’re hitting .300 with 40 and 140, bring ‘em on, you know? I think it would just be a shock at first, but it’s still your teammate in the long run. They worked just as hard as us to get up to where we’re at.”
(it is probably far too late in the week for the Niners to rehire former P.R. director Kirk Reynolds)
For a variety of reasons, Sirius/XM sports radio loudmouth Dino Costa has been a frequent subject of criticism and ridicule in this space ; cataloging the reasons why would be entertaining, but some of you folks have work in the morning. One of my main gripes with Costa — a self-described opponent of those who’d champion “the homosexual lifestyle” (yes, he really does call it a lifestyle), was his earlier insistence that some of the heterosexuals in the sports world who’ve taken a public stance against anti-gay bullying and harassment are either deeply insincere or merely trying to appear politically correct. And while I still believe Costa was totally out to lunch in his nonsensical attack of the UConn hockey team’s participation in an anti-bullying video, it does appear this evening that in at least one prominent instance, a similar clip was produced featuring heterosexual male athletes who really didn’t give a shit about the cause they were ostensibly promoting.
Niners CB Chris Culliver made national news Wednesday with his remarks to The Audience Network’s Artie Lange about gays in NFL locker rooms. Though he and the team have since apologized, this blog and numerous other outlets took pains to point out Culliver’s employers previously sanctioned the production of a PSA for the “It Gets Better” initiative featuring some of his teammates. On Thursday, two of those fellow Niners, LB Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Issac Sopoaga first denied appearing in the video, then feigned ignorance as to what it as actually about. From USA Today’s Kevin Manahan :
“I didn’t make any video,” Brooks said. “This is America and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay. It’s their right. But I didn’t make any video.”
When told USA TODAY Sports had seen the video and he was in it, Brooks replied, “I don’t remember that. I think if I made a video, I’d remember it.”
He was shown the video on an iPhone.
“Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay (rights) video,” he said.
When told that studies show that the majority of teens who are bullied are harassed over sexual identity issues, Brooks thought for a second.
“I know that. I know that,” he said. “Okay, you’re right and I’m wrong. Are you from one of those New York newspapers?”
Sopoaga, too, denied making the video, even while teammate Will Tukuafu, who overheard the question, tried to refresh his memory.
“Yeah, you made that video, remember?” Tukuafu said.
“No,” Sopoaga said. “I never went. And now someone is using my name.”
Though I have little to say in defense of Brooks and Sopoaga, it should be pointed out this is not the first time an athlete has made a public testimonial for something he or she might not have fully investigated.