(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L. of the Bronx provides CSTB readers with his observations on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise. Upon reading in today’s Page 6 that “a number of publishers” are offering Alex Rodriguez $5 million or more for the rights to a sensational, tell-all autobiography, Randy offered, no, he fucking demanded to have his say – GC)
So it’s come to this. Bad enough the Yankee uniform has been tarnished by such pseudo authors as Jim Bouton, Joe Pepitone and Jim Leyritz, but now we have to suffer news accounts of the fraud-of-the-century, Alex Rodriguez, having his ego stroked by the auteur behind something called “Cocaine Cowboys”. If Mr. Steinbrenner were alive today, I’m pretty certain he’d beg me to put a pillow over his face. Actually, he really did beg me to put a pillow over his face, but that was after Waldman popped out of the cake at his 78th birthday party.
Perhaps some of you ghoulish types find some entertainment value in A-Rod betraying the confidence of his teammates, coaches, and nutritional consultants alike. Not me. I still believe in the baseball saying, “what happens in a nightclub primarily populated by hostesses who make Luna Vachon look like Kim Novak stays in a nightclub primarily populated by hostesses who make make Luna Vachon look like Kim Novak.” CALL ME OLD SCHOOL.
It’s occurred to me on more than one occasion that rather than attempt to titillate, perhaps today’s reader would rather be regaled by the exploits of a humanitarian, a brilliant executive, a friend to labradors and someone who at the end of the day enjoys the music of The National and the high-wire comedy of Daniel Tosh. But you’re not likely to read a book like that anytime soon, let alone see it adapted into a motion picture directed by Peter Berg, for two simple reasons. For starters, I’m way too modest. But I’ve also got far too much respect for the Yankee Universe to prostitute myself by selling my amazing life story for a mere $5 million dollars.
For $5 million and a $100 donation to this organization, however, I’m willing to consider it.
GET AT ME,
Waxing eloquent on the matter of embattled Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan benching Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins against Atlanta yesterday, CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe opined, “RG3 has played awful. And it comes to a point in time that you owe it to the 52 guys in that locker room to put the best 11 guys on the football field. Right now that’s not RG3. Race or racism had nothing to do with this.” It’s a curious take given that until now, no one (well, other than this guy) has suggested Shanahan had a non-football motive for the benching, ‘cept for saving Griffin from potential injury. “Only Sharpe knows who he was talking about,” muses the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman.
Sharpe spoke with so much emotion that he must have had someone in mind, someone who claims Shanhan’s move is racially motivated. Sharpe should have identified the person(s). Now we are left to guess. That’s not good. Who is he he talking about? Last week, on the NFL Network, Michael Irvin ripped Shanahan for his handling of Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth.
And Sunday, when Kurt Warner asked why RG3’s teammates “are not making a big deal about this,” telling Shanahan “we want our leader to go to battle with us,” Irvin again alluded to McNabb and Haynesworth. He said Shanahan is too busy making sure everyone knows he’s in control.
“That’s why nobody can step up and say anything,” Irvin said. “He’ll cut their head off like he’s cut off those other guys’ (McNabb/Haynesworth) head.”
Giants QB Eli Manning tossed 5 INT’s in yesterday’s 23-0 shutout loss to Seattle, the first time New York’s been blanked at home in 18 years. Perhaps it was with that recent history in mind that a Federal Way, WA Chevy dealership promised $35K each to raffle winners if the Seahawks could hold the Giants scoreless. From the Tacoma News’ Alexis Krell :
Those who bought a car (roughly 20 were sold during the promotion) got 100 entries. About 12 others had single walk-in entries – anyone was allowed to give it a try.
Jet Chevrolet co-owner Jim Johnson said he wasn’t expecting the shutout, but he’s glad it happened.
Of course he was rooting for the Hawks, he said. He has been a season-ticket holder “since day one.”
The dealership had insurance for the promotion, Johnson said. He still had to figure out the details with the company but expected the drawing to happen Monday.
Former England captain / longtime Chelsea fixture John Terry (above, right) has received no shortage of negative attention for off-the-pitch behavior in his long career. At various times, Terry’s been criticized for offenses including but not limited to boozing it up at an airport bar while 9/11 coverage was being shown on an overhead TV, cheating on his wife (with a teammate’s girlfriend) and more recently, directing a racial slur at QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. However, at no point previously has Terry been publicly rebuked for being a bargain hunter, but that’s precisely what the Guardian’s Barbara Ellen has done upon learning the 33 year old centre back — earning £170k a week — was spotted shopping for christmas decorations at Poundworld. “People who live in poverty are dehumanised enough,” argues Ellen, “their problems trivialised enough, without this new wave of retail-condescension gaining traction.”
Call me old fashioned, but there’s something very tacky about the well-off slumming it in an effort to look “dahn with the people”.
Who cares? Perhaps we all should. The key motifs of slumming appear to be narcissism, disassociation and presumption. When people slum it, there’s the sense that only they are real, only they matter, and everything and everyone else are just props and backdrops.
Most people in budget shops are there because that is all they can afford. Their lives shouldn’t be visited as if they were some kind of intriguing new theme park. Nor could anyone presume to know exactly how their lives are, just because they buy the same cut-priced fish-fingers.
Ellen references Pulp’s “Common People” a few times, but seems less interested in the entirely probable conclusion that in addition to being a jerk, Terry is simply cheap.
In light of Yahoo!’s Onion-ish “30×30” on the best interspecies game ever played (sans Air Bud: Golden Receiver, of course), but also to Porky Piggyback on REGRESSING/Harvard’s “Compiling The Absurd Box Score For Space Jam; Or, Shawn Bradley Sucked Against Cartoons, Too” . . .
Now, as per Ms. Meyer’s robots, I’ve gotten statistically jiggy with some NFL roti before. And re: the roundball, here’s XII on my fave WNBA team. (Cf. If you want to know if Amanda Lear really is a transsexual after all, there’s always this one I did for Jerry Thackray, too.)
Those being done, I started cooking Mike, Bugs, L-O-L-A, Daffy and Taz’s 1s and Os in both a scatter and a gauge plot. But then that Heisman perp walk started, and, well, there’s a chart somewhere out there that shows how many hours of lives were lost on that Gothamist boondoggle. And anyways, I seriously wanted to make this one less GL interactive, more Wayback Machine–as, like Jameis’ innocence tomorrow, may we never forget pre-Hanes ‘stache MJ.
“Even better,” you ask, Mr. Snowden Silver?
Proving that Russia was still spying on all space activity well after Reagan told Herr Hasselhoff to, quote, “tare down The Wall,” a source in the then NSA has shared the following audio transcript:
[N.B. The ex-adgate for the Birmingham Barons did NOT want this leaked!]
In the end, Disney may well do as Disney indeed does, but aspera ad astra R. Sylvester Kelly’s WB hit, I, too, believe these numbers fly for themselves.
Yes, especially for the bench. No threes and no frees, no boards nor blocks…no problem.
(NOTE : projects that labels that either pay the CSTB bandwidth bill or soak up all of CSTB’s ad revenue are ineligble. A version of this list was previously published elsewhere. That’s truth of most the blog’s content, however – GC)
Bottomless Pit – Shade Perennial (Comedy Minus One)
Ooga Boogas – s/t (Aarght)
Spray Paint – s/t (SS Records)
Spray Paint – Rodeo Songs (SS Records)
Martha’s Vineyard Ferries – Mass Grave (Kiam)
Radioactivity – s/t (Dirtnap)
Running – Vaguely Ethnic (Castleface)
Jeffrey Novak – Lemon Kid (Trouble In Mind)
Destruction Unit – Void (Jolly Dream)
Destruction Unit – Deep Trip (Sacred Bones)
Chris Corsano / Bill Orcutt – The Raw & The Cooked (Palilalia)
Sun Kil Moon/The Album Leaf – Perils From The Sea (Calo Verde)
Endless Boogie – Long Island (No Quarter)
Overseas – s/t (Undertow)
Ex-Cult – Ex-Cult (Goner)
Dick Diver – Calendar Days (Chapter Music)
Cuntz – Solid Mates (Homeless)
Impalers – s/t (540)
Counter Intuits s/t (Pyramid Scheme)
A Giant Dog – Bone (Tic Tac Totally)
Mordecai – College Rock (Richie)
Lloyd Pack – At Home With The Lloyd Pack (L’Esprit De L’Escalier)
Buck Biloxi & The Fucks – s/t (Red Lounge)
Pampers – s/t (In The Red)
Chris Forsyth – Solar Motel (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Bassholes – Boogieman Stew (Columbus Discount)
Gary Wrong Group – Knights Of Misery 12″ (Total Punk)
Thalia Zedek Band – Via (Thrill Jockey)
The School Of Radiant Living – s/t (Radiant)
Survival Knife – “Divine Mob” (Kill Rock Stars)
Gary Wrong Group/Wizzard Sleeve – “Halloween Violence” (Jeth Row/Pelican Pow Wow)
Gas Rag – ‘Human Rights’ EP (Beach Impediment)
Gotobeds – “Ipso Facto” (Mind Cure)
Buck Biloxi & The Fucks – “Holodeck Survivor” (Total Punk)
Manateees – “Neat Freak” (Pelican Pow Wow)
Wet Lungs – s/t 7″ EP (Twistworthy)
Chance – In Search (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Dark – Dark Round The Edges (Machu Picchu)
Peter Gutteridge – Pure (540)
Victor Dimisich Band – s/t (Siltbreeze)
Venom P. Stinger – Meet My Friend Venom / What’s Yours Is Mine (Drag City)
Craig Leon – Nommos (Superior Viaduct)
Dump – Superpowerless / I Can Hear Music (Morr Music)
Afflicted Man – I’m Off Me ‘Ead (Permanent)
Rusted Shut (Mohawk, Austin)
Cuntz (Death By Audio, NYC, Buccaneer, Memphis, Mohawk, Austin)
Destruction Unit (Beerland, Austin, Hotel Vegas, Austin)
Tyvek (Empty Bottle, Chicago)
Wizzard Sleeve (Empty Bottle, Chicago, Hi-Tone, Memphis)
Cheater Slicks (Beerland, Austin, Empty Bottle, Chicago)
Total Control (Holy Mountain, Austin)
Protomartyr (Beerland, Austin, Bottom Lounge, Chicago)
Richard Buckner (Hotel Vegas, Austin)
Hoax (Mohawk, Austin)
Overseas (Parish, Austin)
The Rats (Mohawk, Austin)
Iron Maiden (Circuit Of The Americas Speedway, Austin)
talented people who didn’t make records : Mike White, Byron Bowers. I’m sure there’s at least a half dozen more.
“Andre (Blatche) must have been the organizer of the attack”. Great to see the 8-15 Nets are keeping it loose.
Courtesy Baseball Think Factory, former Marlins OF and recipient of Twitter-etiquette lessons from David Samson Logan Morrison celebrated his arrival in Seattle….by suggesting a social media heckler is gay. I guess,”do I come to where you work and knock the dick out of your mouth?” doesn’t work nearly as well on Twitter as it does in comedy clubs, city council meetings, parent-teacher nights or houses of worship.
(above : journalism/propaganda vet Pozner reacts to learning he won’t be working alongside Michelle Beadle)
Lest you suspect NBC’s upcoming coverage of the 2014 Winter Games from Sochi would be an endless stream of pro-USA cheerleading, the network has announced their hire of former late night TV fixture Vladimir Pozner, he of countless appearances on ABC’s “Nightline” taking decidedly pro-Soviet positions in heated chats with Ted Koppel. Fangs Bites reports, “Bob Costas will talk with Pozner about the Russian perspective of the Games,” though it would make for high comedy if the latter tailored his commentary to provide a knee-jerky counterpoint to the former.
Of his pipe dream of wresting control of the Washington Redskins away from Daniel Snyder, uber chef David Chang (above) gushes, ““If we could get ownership like the Green Bay Packers, think about how awesome that would be?..Dan’s young. He’ll probably own the team for the next 30 [years] at least, unless the fans do something.” In this case, “do something” might involve overpaying Snyder to go away, as Chang explains to DC Sports Bog’s Sarah Kogod :
Chang, who grew up in the D.C. area and went to Georgetown Prep, says his recent Twitter proposal was serious, and a number of fan responses offering him contributions followed. His plan hit a bump on Tuesday morning after doing some research and learning that the fundraising site Kickstarter doesn’t allow this type of fundraising campaign.
But Chang, who is still looking for a conduit to raise the money, says it isn’t about the dollars themselves but the message those dollars would send.
“It just shows you how upset people are,” he said, of the fact that fans immediately starting pledging money. “If you live in D.C., it ruins your week. It’s all people talk about. I grew up watching Joe Gibbs, and everyone I know is just really great Redskins fans. Watching the team lately has been really tough on people, and I just think people are tired of Dan Snyder.”
In the absence of a fundraising plan to buy a team that isn’t for sale, Chang is proposing a drastic measure to demand change.
“I think now is the time to stop supporting the Redskins,” he said. “And I know that sounds like a fair-weather fan, but it’s only temporary. If we all do that, we can change the long-term picture. It’s the same in my business, that business, any business. Customers vote with their wallets.”
(Editor’s Note : from time to time, baseball executive, Labrador lover and consumer advocate Randy L. of the Bronx lends his innermost thoughts on the events of the day with CSTB’s vast readership. Upon learning the Hall Of Fame’s veterans committee had chosen not to induct his former employer, the late Yankee principal owner George Steinbrenner, Randy offered, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)
While I hope it’s been a happy holiday season in your household, the afterglow of an otherwise joyous Hanukah was ruined in the Levine home yesterday. We’d been celebrating The Greatest Sporting Franchise In The World’s acquisitions of proven winners like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, while having a good laugh over our former 2nd baseman pricing himself right into a baseball Siberia I wouldn’t visit on a bet (though I understand the walking tour of Places Layne Staley Liked To Hang Out is “not to be missed”). The good tidings came to crashing halt yesterday, however when I received a phone call informing me the cretins at the so-called Hall Of Fame had chosen to disregard the candidacy of my good friend and mentor, the late George Steinbrenner.
Mr. Steinbrenner’s name is synonymous with excellence, winning, class, and giving brilliant executives like myself the sort of platform we deserve. By contrast, his sons Hank and Hal are synonymous with undeserved good fortune and hogging headlines that were truly earned by someone older and far better looking. It is true, to quote the late Billy Martin, that Mr. Steinbrenner was once “convicted”, but do his overzealous efforts on behalf of one of this nation’s greatest presidents deserve greater scorn than say, a recent HOF inductee who would’ve left a World Series ring imprint on his wife’s face, had he won more than one of ‘em? Do Mr. Steinbrenner’s noble attempts to blow the lid off a poorly-run charity deserve eternal mockery compared to the inability of another new
drunk HOF member to keep his eyes open while operating a motor vehicle?
As today’s sportswriters and poorly qualified “veterans committees” foster a culture of hypocrisy and double standards, I’m pleased to see there’s one other member of this organization willing to speak the truth. When asked about Robinson Cano leaving the Bronx in favor of what could well be a lifetime of obscurity, our general manager, the zipper-challenged Brian Cashman was heard to say something along the lines of, “I’d have done the same thing.” And that’s almost certainly the case ; given his contempt for the institution of marriage, the way he thoroughly humiliated a woman foolish enough to become his bride, can anyone really be surprised that Brian Cashman boasts of being as ethically bereft as he is horny?
Have fun in Cooperstown next summer, assholes. I’ll be here at the New Stadium, watching Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann and the new-look 2014 New York Yankees run away with the AL East. If you’ve made too many poor life choices like Cashman and don’t have a great guy like me to bail you out, you’ll probably not be able to afford tickets, but the games will sound terrific on our new radio partner, WFAN. I’m told they’ve not featured Major League Baseball on this station for many, many years, so this should be a great learning experience for all of us.
see you in Tampa,
The Randy L.
Chat TV fixture/hoax artist Ken Tarr was arrested Monday morning after making a series of prank calls to various hoops and football coaches under the guise of job offers. From NBC News’s Andrew Blankstein :
Tarr, 32, was booked Monday morning on suspicion of felony eavesdropping by LAPD Hollywood Division detectives for recording phone calls with sports figures without their permission, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s booking records and LAPD officials. Under California law, it is illegal to record someone without their consent.
At least a dozen coaches from the NFL, NBA and college football teams were victims of the illegal eavesdropping, including University of Hawaii Coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, sources familiar with the investigation said.
In one of the most high-profile stunts that’s part of the LAPD investigation, Tarr allegedly telephoned former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy to offer him the head coaching job at the University of Southern California, sources said. Although the school ultimately offered the position to Steve Sarkisian, the prank led to confusion and denials from both USC and Dungy.
In October, after emailing a writer for the sports website “Deadspin” an email with the subject line “Hi I hoaxed Tony Dungy, “ someone called Kenny Tarr boasted to the writer that he’d made dozens of calls to sports figures.
“I’m amazed that they’re returning any of these calls,” he said. He also sent the writer a video recording of a phone call with basketball coach Mark Jackson in which he claimed to be a liaison working for the Los Angeles Lakers in their search for a new head coach.
Presumably, the head-hunting call to Leslie Frazier occurred prior to the 2013 NFL campaign.
In paying homage to Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s dumping of Rudy Gay upon the Sacramento Kings (“in one unforeseen swoop, like a liberator arriving in occupied territory, Ujiri has altered the short and long-term trajectory of the franchise”), SportsNet’s Michael Grange carefully notes that the former Nuggets GM (above)is no stranger to blatant acts of highway robbery (ie. extracting an entire starting lineup for Carmelo Anthony). What Grange calls Ujiri’s previous “signature deal”, however, was completed with his counterpart exec, Donnie Walsh, operating with a gun to his head. What, pray tell, was Sacramento’s excuse?
How off-the-radar was the Gay trade? Even 48 hours ago sources close to the Raptors and around the NBA were saying the same thing: moving the Raptors’ $19-million man was proving so difficult and the market for a fading, high-volume shooter who has shown no ability or aptitude for meshing in an offence that didn’t revolve around him that Ujiri had basically given up trying to move him.
When news leaked out Sunday night that Gay and forward Quincy Acy were being sent to Sacramento for a quartet of role players, none of whom come with booby-trapped contracts, reaction around the league was incredulous. “Doesn’t Sacramento watch the games?” said one long-time league executive.
Even late last week sources close to the team were coming to grips with the possibility that Gay would play out his contract in Toronto hampering the team’s progress for this season and next. His presence threatened to hold the Raptors’ future hostage and after five years without the playoffs anything that delayed a proper rebuild was in some corners of the fanbase the equivalent of water torture.
Robbie Cano, what have you gotten yourself into? During a period in which the Washington Redskins and New York Knicks would otherwise be dueling for the title of Most Dysfunctional Franchise, the Seattle Mariners are ready to stake their claim in said dubious competition. While former skipper Eric Wedge minces few words in burying GM Jack Zduriencik (above) in a long, gory conversation with the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker, it’s ex-Zduriencik assistant Tony Blengino with the most damning accounts.
Blegino, banished from Mariners offices last year for his failure to kiss ass, claims he was responsible for Zduriencik’s job application package and a concerted attempt to pass himself off to ownership as some sort of statistical maven. “Jack never has understood one iota about statistical analysis,” sneers Blegino to Baker. “To this day, he evaluates hitters by homers, RBI and batting average and pitchers by wins and ERA. Statistical analysis was foreign to him. But he knew he needed it to get in the door.”
After Zduriencik fired manager Don Wakamatsu,Blengino said Zduriencik — needing to further finger-point — soon marginalized him as “the stats guy” despite his scouting background and the draft work that earned him a team “President’s Award” in 2009.
In 2011, Zduriencik imported longtime associate Ted Simmons as a senior adviser and increased responsibilities for second-year assistant GM Jeff Kingston, pushing Blengino from his inner circle. Zduriencik received a three-year contract extension that August and Blengino said Zduriencik told him: “Now, we do things my way.”
Blengino said Zduriencik became obsessed with power hitters, ignoring defense, baserunning and roster construction. He said the GM also dismissed the importance of evaluating players within the context of their contract values.
Zduriencik then made him “look like an ass” in front of baseball operations brass in spring training 2012 after Blengino gave a presentation on possible benefits from advances in computerized hitting data.
“He nitpicked about font sizes and column widths,” Blengino said. “He did what he always does and made fun of something he couldn’t understand.”
Zduriencik began working more from his suite overlooking Safeco Field, holding one-on-one meetings out of earshot of team offices.
“He began operating much like the Wizard of Oz, wielding his power from behind a curtain,” Blengino said. “Intimidating, manipulating, and pitting people against one another. Berating them for no particular reason. He set out to eliminate any type of disagreement, accumulating yes-men who meekly go along with his program.”
The above sign — as displayed at a Belton, MO Sonic Drive In — sort of takes the shine off KC’s rout of Washington earlier today. The corporate office’s apology is provided by NBC News.com’s Simon Moya-Smith :
Patrick Lenow, vice president of public relations at Sonic, told NBC News that the sign was created by an employee who is “known for creative use of his signs,” but that this sign was done “in poor taste.”
“The remarks posted on this message board were wrong, offensive and unacceptable,” Lenow said in a statement. “In a misguided effort to support his football team an independent franchise owner allowed passion to override good judgment. The owner has reinforced with his employees the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. On behalf of the franchise owner and our entire brand we apologize for the offensive remarks.”
Lenow said the message was up for only “a matter of hours” and has since been taken down and that the employee who created the sign is “very apologetic.”
Though I remain very impressed with the investigative journalism of City Pages’ Drew Alles aka The Embedded Parrothead, this week’s award for Most Overzealous Reactions To Question Entertainment goes to Reddit user illmurray, who witnessed last night’s WWE event in Vancouver under the influence of “about two grams of psilocybe cubensis mushrooms”. Maybe you already saw this coming, but it was somewhere around midcard that the author “realized I was peaking”. (quotes courtesy Wrestlezone)
El Torito comes out and I begin screaming. I have never been as excited by anything in my life. I cannot put into words the elation I am experiencing watching him run down the rampway. I feel as though millions of years of human evolution and history have led to me being here, watching a small man in a bull costume jump on the ropes and wave at people. I start tearing up again and try to start an El Torito chant, but then 3MB comes out and all the brown kids freak out over Jinder Mahal. He has never, ever been more over than he was tonight.
Fandango comes out. He is wearing a purple satin shirt, which I begin wilding out over, but not as hard as I was wilding for El Torito. Great Khali comes out and again the crowd goes crazy, but I am staring at Fandango as he teases taking off the satin shirt. I am losing my mind. Finally he takes off the shirt and the light hits his abs. I swear to god Fandango’s body is sparkling, glowing. His abs are crystalline. I almost start crying for a third time because his body is so f***ing beautiful. We make eye contact and I become bonded to him in eternity.
There’s not many details about the headlining C.M. Punk / Luke Harper match because, “I am already exhausted because I have marked out so severely and completely over Fandango’s shirt and El Torito.”
Denied the services of Rajon Rondo (injured), Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (both donning Brooklyn uniforms), Celtics head coach Brad Stevens (above) has his team at a respectable 10-12 mark after Sunday’s blowout of the host New York Knicks. Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal argues that Stevens — presumably paid to win games —- is “ taking (Boston) out of the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes and making it that much harder to jump-start the rebuilding process.” While this presents an interesting selling point for the embattled Mike Woodson, Boston Sports Media’s Bruce Allen finds little fault with Stevens’ work to date.
Your first-place Boston Celtics have gotten a little more attention as of late, but not all of it good. There are people who are angry that they’re even that good. The Tankers are upset that the team is blowing their chances for a high enough pick to grab the next NBA superstar.
I don’t get that logic. When you have a team with young players like Sullinger, Bradley, Olynyk, even Jordan Crawford, to me, you need to get them into good habits, and if you believe even a couple of them are a big part of your future, you want to have them get as much competitive experience with the system you’re trying to put into place here, as they will soon be the veterans that the younger influx of players over the next few years are going to look to.
As CBS Sports’ Chris Peters notes, prior to being repeatedly clobbered by Thornton, the Penguins’ Brook Oprik had taken the Bruins LW Loui Eriksson out of the game.
Florida State QB / Heisman front-runner Jameis Winston learned yesterday that he’d not be facing criminal charges stemming from a 2012 rape allegation. Had Winston been arrested, at the very least, it would’ve represented a significant stumbling block in the Seminoles’ National Championship aspirations, but there always the possibility said charges would’ve been part of what The Nation’s Dave Zirin calls, “a long and ugly history of accusing African-American men of rapes that did not occur.” But while we’re talking long and ugly, Zirin — one of the few guys in sports journalism who feels comfortable using the term “rape culture” while speaking on ESPN — is equally alarmed by America’s “recent history in the Internet age of destroying women on social media and threatening their families, if they dare bring forward any accusations of rape against athletes.”
If it is proven true that a local police detective said to the accuser’s lawyer that Tallahassee is “a big football town, and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable,” then we can only hope that the family will pursue charges against the Tallahassee police department and sue them back to the Stone Age.
There are too many cases of too many women who are intimidated to come forward and pursue charges of sexual assault. There are too many cases where jock culture and rape culture are so intertwined you don’t know where one ends and the other begins.
No matter the result, the Jameis Winston case has become yet another instance where the sports environment sends a message to women that if you are sexually assaulted, your best course of action is silence. That, above all else, must change.
Phil Mushnick long ago established himself as something of a Billy Joel enthusiast, so it must have been awkward for the New York Post sports media critic to find fault with this week’s announcement the Piano Man (above, right) would be playing MSG until, well, the end of time. Not as awkward as the inevitable/ upcoming column suggesting Paul Walker’s death deserved equal coverage from ESPN as Nelson Mandela’s, but still pretty uncomfortable.
All kidding aside, it’s not Billy Joel hogging the Garden stage that Phil objects to, not compared to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo publicly cozying up to Cablevision villain James Dolan during MSG TV coverage of the Joel press conference, a marriage Mushnick calls, “creepy”.
As a sworn representative of the best interests of New Yorkers, does the current Governor not know that in the years The Garden has been run by the Dolan/Cablevision monopoly — a longer-time member of the Play Ball! Politicians’ Club — The Garden has become a mendacious “Mecca” for both employees and for those patrons still inclined and wealthy and/or foolish enough to pay to attend Rangers and Knicks games?
Does he not know during Jimmy Dolan’s Reign of Error, scores of consumer-responsive and Garden-devoted team, event, building and MSG Network employees, from the entrances to the execs at the top, were forced out, replaced with quislings and heel-clickers?
Given Dolan’s anti-competitive cable TV heritage, it stands to reason neither the Rangers nor Knicks, despite their geographical and financial advantages, have succeeded. After all, hoops and hockey presumably are refereed by the fair-minded.
If Gov. Cuomo doesn’t know about any of this, he should look into it. But, given that he’s Governor, perhaps Dolan waived The Garden’s $5 “Facility Fee,” the one all else must pay to enter The Garden after buying a ticket at the Garden box office to an event at The Garden.
The above warning (culled from For The Win) sets a rather chilling tone for all lovers of free expression at NBA arenas. Outcoming Commissioner David Stern has alluded to a “social contract” between the league and fans, but I’m pleased to say that I think I’ve found a loophole in this contract.
Unlike the NBA’s “Two Strikes, You’re Out” policy, after being served the card above, you’re prohibited from unloading on “any player, coach, game official or spectator”. Need I remind Commissioner Stern, Adam Silver and Rod Thorn that TNT’s Reggie Miller is not an active player, coach, game official or spectator.
On Thursday, ESPN pulled the plug on a scheduled Will Ferrall-as-Ron Burgandy (shown above, in a slightly different costume) hosting of “SportsCenter”, mindful that the titular star of the “Anchorman” franchise was probably the wrong guy to discuss the Jameis Winston case. Said cancellation was just as well in the view of The New Republic’s Laura Bennett, who’s had her fill of Ferrall’s whirlwind tour of local and national TV outlets of late.
When journalists interview movie characters, it generally tends to be an awkward dance between the film’s promotionals aims and the professional responsibilities of actual people doing their job. In a smart NPR piece from last year about Sacha Baron Cohen’s indulgent in-character interviews with the likes of Matt Lauer and Larry King, Marc Hirsh wrote that Baron Cohen “imposes a subtle tyranny on anyone who tries to engage with him.” Ferrell-as-Burgundy on North Dakota’s KVMB had a similar effect : there was not much the real anchors could do besides soldier sheepishly through their own dispatches as Ferrell made a mockery of their daily professional existence. It would have been funny as a quick promotional spot—as an entire hour-long broadcast, it was somewhat boggling. And setting aside the question of whether there is some nominal obligation for journalists to act as journalists instead of shilling for Paramount Pictures, by the time Burgundy took the podium at Emerson’s communications school, the novelty of watching his antics collide with the efforts of real journalists had fully worn off. Ferrell is quirky and performance-arty enough in interviews when he is not playing a character—take the recent Jimmy Fallon appearance where he wore a white turtleneck with what appeared to be a large mustard stain. But his string of Burgundy appearances, each featuring the same catchphrases and eyebrow-cocked ’70s misogyny, maxxed out fast.
(video swiped from Larry Brown Sports) Brian Cashman gets more than a little grief in this space, so for once, here’s some credit where due ; I don’t know what kind of acting classes he’s been taking, but this “John From Connecticut” persona is pretty convincing.