Roughly a year ago, former tech exec Andrew Paulson acquired the global licensing and marketing rights to FIDE aka the World Chess Federation, and has rather bold plans to turn the game into a mass market sensation via a number of nu-media initiatives. The New York Times’ Matt Richtel patiently considers Paulson’s life story, but still likens his spiel to “a guy selling beachfront property in Nebraska.”
“Do you realize there are more people in America who play chess than tennis and golf combined?” Mr. Paulson said minutes into our first conversation, in an enthusiastic burst that made it seem irrelevant whether chess is, in fact, more popular. “Who would’ve thought people would be watching golf on TV, and, yet, they are. And all of India is watching cricket on TV. The only thing more boring than cricket is golf!”
Mr. Paulson, who lives in London, has a good idea of what India is watching because he parked himself there for several months in advance of the chess world championship, which was decided on Friday in Chennai. The victor was Magnus Carlsen, a handsome and personable 22-year-old from Norway who made a Cosmopolitan magazine list of the sexiest men of 2013. To Mr. Paulson, Mr. Carlsen is “a sea change in the history of chess, who gives us the opportunity to reveal the individual of chess players rather than their introverted inscrutability.”
The thing is, although people are listening to Mr. Paulson — and it’s hard not to — they aren’t yet doing much buying. In fact, he turned to India in part because his initial efforts in Europe to gain corporate sponsorship didn’t take. He faces many obstacles, like a governing chess body widely considered to be strange (putting it kindly), some top chess players who think that his efforts to popularize the sport are lowbrow, and the fact that he is promoting slow-motion entertainment in a world of short attention spans.
While I’d like to thank Luis Tiant for so many hours of entertainment, especially during his 8 years pitching for the Red Sox, I am especially grateful to this commercial’s script author(s) for omitting any mention of “painting the corners”.
Given that Woody Allen’s tenure as a Knicks season ticket holder predates Cablevision’s ownership of the team, you might think the Academy Award winner would receive at least as much hospitality at MSG as say, Richard Grieco or Aldo Nova. However, according to New York Post gossip monger Richard Johnson, Woody’s been told in no uncertain terms that he’s persona non grata at the World’s Most Dysfunctional Area’s Suite 200 VIP. Could James Dolan be amongst those still holding a grudge over Allen’s split with Mia Farrow? Is the Straight Shot guitarist fed up with “Interiors”? As you’ve probably already guessed, it’s something far more petty.
“He got a call from someone at MSG saying they had bought the rights to air several of Woody’s movies on the MSG channel and wanted Woody to go on the air and talk about his movies or introduce them,” a Woody source told me.
“Woody said he would not be comfortable doing that. He has never done that for any show or network. They then said that this was a ‘reciprocal arrangement’ and that if Woody couldn’t go on TV for them, he should not eat in their VIP restaurant anymore. Woody said fine and thanked them for the many years he had enjoyed the space there.”
A Garden spokesman politely declined to comment but pointed out that Allen — unlike Spike Lee (who has worked on documentaries about the team) and Matthew Modine — has never done anything to help the team or Dolan’s youth charity, Garden of Dreams (of which Modine is a board member).
Perhaps today isn’t the most opportune time to hail the thoughtful work of ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte, who undoubtedly will have to address the Phil Ball / Qatar junket subject in a future column. However, Lipsyte used Friday’s entry to tackle “Around The Horn” panelist Kevin Blackistone’s November 6 comments about Northwestern’s garish American flag uniforms and the playing of what the latter calls, “a war anthem”, aka “The Star Spangled Banner”. “Reprehensible” and “disrespectful” were amongst the viewer comments forwarded to Lipsyte, but it seems he’s not in agreement.
“I wish I could have fleshed it out, but I only had a few seconds,” Blackistone said. “I wouldn’t retract anything, but I wouldn’t have let the anthem overshadow the larger theme of the conflation of sports and militarism.”
Blackistone knew the question was coming. ATH producers meet daily at 8 a.m. to plan the show, then have a one-hour conference call with the panelists at 10:30 a.m. Blackistone not only had written previously about the partnership of the military and sports events but had devoted several class sessions to it. He had recently discussed in class the appropriateness of the national anthem as a game opener. He might have been too well-prepared on the subject for such a brief sound bite.
I thought Blackistone’s commentary deserved to be unpacked on ESPN, if not to classroom-hour length, at least in a column or in a few minutes on a program that could show other examples of sports and military collaboration, perhaps exploring how purported displays of patriotism might disguise service recruiting, politicking and commercialization. Is football good preparation for combat (an active officer recently said that in a discussion of the Army-Navy game)? How come so few pro athletes ever use those wondrous muscles to actually defend their country (even though, as Ombuddy Paul Gigliotti of Andover, Mass., pointed out, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski insists on calling quarterbacks “warriors”)?
OK, in fairness, that’s not exactly what budding Eric Crapton/Knicks owner James Dolan had to say about former club president/head coach Isiah Thomas in the former’s first non-Straight Shot EPK interview in 6 years. But close enough, as the following excerpt from Friday’s conversation with a rather defensive Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post reveals :
MV: For Knicks fans there’s one word that riles their passion more than any other: Isiah.
JD: Amazing, isn’t it?
MV: And you surely know the panic that ensues when a Glen Grunwald gets fired and people wonder, “Is Isiah coming back?”
JD: I can’t control what’s in other people’s minds. I can tell you that he’s a friend of mine. We speak, but not as often as we used to because he’s really involved in other things now. We’ll message back and forth once in a while. We used to talk a lot more often. He seems to be moving into another phase of his life, he’s not as basketball-centric, he’s doing a lot of charity work, he got his masters [in education, from Cal-Berkeley], he actually uses me to bounce business ideas off of …
MV: Do you still consult him, too, about basketball ideas?
JD: Not really. For Isiah, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York. I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake, going forward in New York?
MV: Do you think that’s unfair? He did lose a lot of games here.
JD: He lost a lot of games! OK. Do I think he deserves another shot? Yeah. It just can’t be here. And I think he’s talented. I think he’s particularly talented at finding basketball talent. But I think he’s probably dismayed at this point. But I don’t see him coming back to New York. I couldn’t do that to him, and I couldn’t do that to the organization. He would probably do it as my friend but I couldn’t do it to him or his family. And you know what the press would do here. We’re interested in getting better and that situation would be such a distraction that it would actually hinder our ability to get better.
Actually, I don’t know what the press would do to him. If Mike Vaccaro is any way representative of the NY media, I’m not sure, for instance, that anyone would question the misplaced loyalty towards a former executive who cost the team more than $11 million dollars in an sexual harassment judgement.
Or at least claim commissions on. Wednesday night’s OT loss to Indiana dropped the Knicks to 3-8 and a share of last place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division alongside the equally disappointing Brooklyn Nets. Though the Jason Kidd Deathwatch would probably make for an equally pertinent column, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger is pretty certain New York head coach Mike Woodson is a goner, a move he predicts will result in, “company man Herb Williams becoming the interim coach and the drumbeat building in the background for John Calipari (above) to make his long-awaited return to the NBA.” Sorry, Patrick Ewing.
Since the Knicks doubled down on Carmelo Anthony and his representatives with Creative Artists Agency, the organization has been reshaped in CAA’s image. Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and player personnel director Mark Warkentien all are represented by the agency. In re-signing another CAA client this past summer, J.R. Smith, the Knicks threw his brother, Chris, a bone in the form of a guaranteed contract. Chris is now toiling in the D-League while taking up a roster spot at MSG.
The Knicks are all-in with CAA in ways that few of their rivals could even imagine. Days before training camp began, GM Glen Grunwald was pushed aside in favor of Steve Mills, who was brought back for a second tour of duty due to his institutional knowledge of the Garden and connections to the game’s power brokers — especially, William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, whose path to Garden influence was paved with the Anthony trade.
CAA, via Wesley, also represents a certain decorated college coach in Lexington, Ky. Given the path they’ve chosen, the Knicks can’t get any of the NBA-ready players on Kentucky’s roster, but they can get the coach — and are perhaps the only team positioned to pay Calipari what it would take. One league executive surmised that the bidding would start at $8 million a year.
“That’s what Wes will be pushing,” one of the executives said. “That’s what CAA will be pushing.”
Berger acknowledges that Coach Cal’s previous NBA stint (notice I didn’t say “professional tenure”) “was a debacle that swept him away in a toxic wave of paranoia”. However, given the skills of MSG security, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep Calipari away from any parking lot confrontations (partially because there’s nowhere to park at Penn Station)
(likely vantage point of my future nighttime gig, complete with SFW web content)
CSTB Ad revenue is down and as you’re all undoubtedly aware, the entire music industry is bankrupt (financially, too!). Under prior circumstances, I’d not have thought twice about being head-hunted for the job of Round Rock Express public address announcer, but I believe it was Rob Ford who recently said, “if a man don’t work, he don’t eat.” Or something about eating. Let’s review the local Pacific Coast League affiliate’s criteria for their mouthpiece-of-the-future, shall we?
Current Part-Time Postings:
2014 Public Address Announcer
The Round Rock Express is a Triple-A baseball team affiliated with the Texas Rangers competing in the Pacific Coast League. The Express is owned by Ryan-Sanders Baseball and will be entering its 15th season in 2014.
Position in the Corporate Structure:
The PA Announcer is the main voice of the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond. The PA Announcer works closely with the Production Coordinator and reports directly to the Director, Ballpark Entertainment within the Marketing Department. The PA Announcer is a part-time, game-day position with opportunities to work at Dell Diamond for non-game-day events.
Day-to-Day responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strong vocal talent (THAT”S ME)
A unique and distinctive personality (SEE ABOVE)
Strong knowledge of baseball, including rules and positions (DEPT. DUH)
Ability to multi-task in a stressful environment (NO FUCKIN’ SWEAT)
Comfortable announcing to crowds of over 10,000 people on a microphone (I CAN GET ILLER THAN NAM / I KILL & BOMB)
Comfortable announcing complex names from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (NOW PITCHING, NUMBER 56, NEIL “THE AGITATOR” COTTS)
Able to attend all home Express baseball games and arrive 1hour before the gates open each game (ALL GAMES? WHAT IF THERE’S SOMEONE NON-SUCKY PLAYING ON TV?)
Available to attend appropriate pre-game meetings (PLEASE TELL ME THESE MEETINGS ARE HELD IN A MAJOR CITY, IE. NOT ROUND ROCK)
Receptive to both positive and negative feedback (I’M DOWN WITH HALF OF THAT)
Ability to be spontaneous and react quickly as appropriate (DEPENDS – WHAT”S THE SPEED SITUATION LIKE OUT THERE?)
Experienced work as a PA Announcer in collegiate or professional baseball is preferred (I’VE WORKED MORE GAMES IN MY HEAD THAN YOU’VE EVACUATED IN REAL LIFE)
The PA Announcer will be required to attend all 72 Round Rock Express home games, as well as any preseason exhibition game and any playoff games. This includes nights and weekends. (HOW WILL MY UNDERSTUDY EVER BREAK THRU THE GLASS CEILING IF YOU DON’T GIVE HIM OR HER A CHANCE?)
Does Shea Hillenbrand know that someone is biting his style?
The Guardian reports Defender Josip Simunic celebrated Croatia’s 2-0 home defeat of Iceland — which qualified the hosts for next summer’s World Cup — with a chant over the stadium tannoy that has some rather grim origins.
Video footage shows Simunic taking a microphone to the field after the match and shouting to the fans: “For the homeland!” The fans respond: “Ready!” That was the war call used by Ustashas, the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime that ruled the state during the second world war when tens of thousands of people perished in concentration camps.
The Australian-born Simunic defended his action, saying: “Some people have to learn some history. I’m not afraid. I did nothing wrong. I’m supporting my Croatia, my homeland. If someone has something against it, that’s their problem.”
(Editor’s Note : From time to time, CSTB is graced with the observations and editorial commentary of noted baseball executive Randy L. of the Bronx. Upon learning of Alex Rodriguez’ abrupt exit from an MLB grievance hearing Wednesday, followed by a surprise visit to WFAN, Randy offered, no, he insisted, on penning the following column – GC)
Greetings, Yankee Universe and those who hope to someday enter its solar system. Though I’ve been entertained this off-season by reports of Robinson Cano’s hopes of becoming baseball’s first $300 million player (and I’m gonna become Richard Gere!), I’ve certainly been focused on more serious, if not highly distasteful developments. I’m able to monitor the major news networks from deep inside The New Stadium’s Command Center, and was deeply troubled to hear accounts of a hysterical person, possibly under the influence of something highly illegal, interrupting otherwise civil proceedings with the sort of crazed outburst that has no place in polite society. Though widely popular at one time or another, this delusional individual succeeded in making a gross spectacle of himself at the exact moment anyone else in his position would’ve been well advised to at least maintain the pretense of contrition.
But enough about the Mayor of Toronto. I also had the misfortune of hearing Alex Rodriguez’ conversation with WFAN’s Mike Francesa earlier today, and I cannot hold my tongue. I do understand that Francesa is often the subject of mockery at this sub-Geocities website, but that’s not the only reason I feel a genuine kinship with this highly decorated radio host. He and I are both at the top of our respective fields, we each have plenty of experience carrying our intellectual inferiors (in my case, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, in his, Chris Russo), and neither of us suffer fools gladly. We’re both KILLING IT on Twitter (and so what if Mike has a few more followers than me?) With all that binds us, I feel very comfortable offering the sort of constructive criticism no one else has the guts to provide.
Still, I’m loathe to point fingers at Mike’s production staff. For starters, the chat with A-Rod was obviously arranged hastily. And keeping in mind Francesa’s crew have to share a cramped workspace with Joe Benigno, it’s a fair bet that some or all of them are suffering from some form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Even so, I think the interview with Rodriguez would’ve been far more enlightening had the following questions been posed :
1) Are you on PED’s right this moment?
2) Do you get your purple lip-gloss from Ricky’s, or do you have it flown in from Miami?
3) If Madonna and Chyna were fighting atop the Empire State Building, who do you think would win?
4) Did question number 3 give you a boner? If the answer is “no”, please refer back to question number one.
5) Seeing as you’re such a big college football fan, have you made plans yet for the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl?
Benjy Bronk ain’t got nuthin’ on me.
I don’t know if this post will generate nearly the amount of correspondence our most popular Tommy Lasorda entry received. But there’s no harm in trying.
“There’s a lot of great quarterbacks that didn’t win Super Bowls,’’ Frank Tarkenton (above, right) tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, taking considerable umbrage at Jim Irsay’s implication Peyton Manning somehow came up short during his tenure in Indy. That doesn’t mean, however, the former Vikings/Giants quarterback and 3-time Super Bowl loser- turned -”That’s Incredible!” co-host and author of “What Losing Taught Me About Winning”, is ready to anoint Manning as the finest QB in NFL history (“I’ll give him 1b”).
“I feel like I can outplay any of the quarterbacks that ever played,’’ Tarkenton, who starred from 1961-78, said in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. “Go look at my record. Go look at my record in that era and what I did, the results that I got from passing and rushing. … In my mind, I played better than anybody that has ever played the position.’’
“It’s amazing,’’ Tarkenton said. “I haven’t played the game since the 1970s and I’m still up in the top five or six (for career TD passes). Think of that. Who else of my era is even close? … The game has changed, and I’m still sitting up there in pretty good position.’’
One list, though, Tarkenton doesn’t show up on is for winning Super Bowls. He was in three with the Vikings in the 1970s and lost them all.
“Darn right, it does,’’ Tarkenton said of that still gnawing at him. “Bud (Grant, the Vikings coach who lost four Super Bowls) laughs at me. Bud moved on. Bud moved on the day after they lost. But not me. I’ve not forgotten. Every day and every night, it pisses me off.’’
Because he never won the big game, Tarkenton said that’s why pundits never bring up his name when it comes to the best quarterback of all time.
“They will never mention me,’’ Tarkenton said. “That’s fine. Because we never won a Super Bowl.’’
(link courtesy Tim Cook). Your move, Baron Von Raschke.
DC Sports Bog’s Sarah Kogod reports a Redskins “fanbulance” (profiled in a 2011 WaPo item by Dan Steinberg) is currently being peddled by an unhappy owner :
“For Sale- Redskins Fanbulance. 70,000 miles, runs great, 4 new tires, keg tap on side, great stereo, 2 TV’s, new rims, all new floor & great paint job but with a horrible team. $38,000.”
One Steelers fan offered $22k for it if Korody was willing to paint it black and gold first. I have no idea what the Blue Book value on a 1992 converted ambulance is, but that seems fair.
Was no reporter on premises brave enough to ask Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to turn his frown upside down after falling to Cam Newton and the Panthers last night? Not to make light of a genuine tragedy, but it would be safe to say the Hooded Casanova took the non-call on Carolina’s Luke Kennedy slightly worse than he did the charges against Aaron Hernandez.
Lest you think there’s something dubious about Yao Family Wines, no less an authority than The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker claims “the two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.”
Of course, until Vin Baker has published a review, it’s still early days for the former Rockets center’s vineyard.
Perhaps an unsolicited $60 from an NBA 2K13 adept fan will serve as some consolation for Knicks G JR Smith after a 3-for-18 shooting performance Saturday night. While some might wonder what would possess a fan to send hard cash to the handsomely compensated Smith, let’s focus on the real burning question ; how incredibly unrealistic must that game be if JR Smith is outscoring the entire Heat squad by himself?
As noted earlier this month, lineman-turned-aspiring-podcaster John Moffitt announced his retirement from football. In Monday’s NY Times, Moffitt tells Ken Belson he’s got bigger and better things to worry about than protecting Peyton Manning :
“They are merchandising human beings, let’s be honest,” said Moffitt, who at a cafe in Pike Place Market in Seattle reveled in his freedom much like the Tim Robbins character in “The Shawshank Redemption,” who, after breaking out of jail, rips off his shirt in the rain and laughs at the sky.
In the off-season, after battling for playing time and trying to stay fit, Moffitt, a free spirit who idolizes Jim Morrison, started reading the writings of the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky, among others. They helped him conclude that he was a pawn in a machine that controlled his life and that he no longer wanted to meet the expectations attached to that life.
“You kind of let go of that dream that you kill yourself for, to be a millionaire, and you see through it and see that it’s just a facade,” said Moffitt, who was dressed in baggy jeans, T-shirt, work boots and black pea coat. “I let go of all that stuff.”
Moffitt insisted that he did not care about the lost income, and he was shocked that people thought he was nuts for walking away from what they think is a glamorous lifestyle.
“I’m the one being called crazy, but I think everyone else is crazy,” Moffitt said. “It’s disturbing that people are questioning my sanity for giving up the money. What does that say about our world?”
After last year’s 12XU XXXMas Bash proved to be such a popular event, CSTB’s prerecorded music
loss-leader subdivision is throwing another party on Saturday, December 21 at Beerland featuring some out of town ringers, the DJ stylings of Johnny Vomitnoise and many of your friends doing the awkward Austin-people-in-winter-clothes thing.
Ghetto Ghouls are putting the finishing touches on their Monofonus Press full-length, but they’ve agreed to a 12XU 7″ sometime early next year. No pre-order info because we’re not gonna commercialize xxxmas in this space.
The Gospel Truth are getting ready to make another record and do another tour in 2014. They deserve tremendous credit for being the only band on this bill that didn’t ask for font approval on the flyer.
Sweet Talk recently celebrated the release of a great 12″ EP by going into a mysterious, self-imposed sabbatical. Kind of like that dude from The La’s, though perhaps with less mental illness. This will be their first show in way too long.
Flesh Lights have a new Twistworthy 7″ in the offing, they’re getting ready for LP #2 and this is your big chance to congratulate them on recently headlining over the Impossibles. WARNING : you might have to wait in line.
This marks Buck Biloxi & The Fucks‘ 3rd visit to Austin in 2013, a year that saw them steal the show at a succession of major events (Goner Fest, Slabtown Bender, Hozac Blackout, the Gathering, etc.) and intimidate the competition with a series of 7″‘s for the Orgone Toilet, Total Punk, Pelican Pow Wow and Holotrash imprints. These guys are the best band on this bill and if you don’t believe me, just ask them.
Though this show is free, we’ll be collecting canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Please don’t bring any cans you’ve already opened — that’s just stupid.
Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt’s remarkable 2013 campaign was previously acknowledged in the form of Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards, though Pittsburgh CF Andrew McCutcheon claimed the NL MVP honors when voting was tabulated earlier this week. Though Goldschmidt didn’t receive a single first place vote from any participating sportswriter, the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro — mindful of becoming a bigger pariah in the region than Yasiel Puig — sought to detail why he, y’know, picked the more deserving candidate (“I knew when I cast my McCutchen vote that it wasn’t going to go over well in the clubhouse or within the organization…that’s something I’ll have to deal with”) (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :
Although Goldschmidt and McCutchen were basically even in batting average, on-base and slugging – even, that is, once the numbers are park adjusted – I thought Goldschmidt was the slightly better offensive player once you take into account his advantage in home runs and RBIs.
While I don’t assign a ton of value to RBIs, they do mean something. Winning games is still about scoring the most runs. Runs batted in might be team dependent, but someone drove in those 125 runs and that someone was Goldschmidt.
But, to me, value is more than just what a player does with a bat in his hands. And it’s all those other times where McCutchen made up ground on my ballot. He wasn’t the best center fielder in the league, but he was up there, and his positive defensive contributions at one of the game’s most crucial positions carried a ton of weight.
Goldschmidt was a terrific first baseman, among the best in the league, but, to me, the value of a good defensive center fielder far outweighs that of a good first baseman. Add in McCutchen’s base-running advantage and, in my eyes, that more than made up for the small advantage Goldschmidt had at the plate.
(how did Clipper Darryl escape the rebranding discussion?)
While there’s no shortage of voices suggesting Daniel Snyder abandon the Redskins name, the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth is, I believe, the first person to advise Donald Sterling to change the name of the Los Angeles Clippers. Calling the franchise, “a dysfunctional collection of Gilligans on the SS Minnow, from Benoit Benjamin to Wang ZhiZhi, with every other Olowokandi, Korolev and Closs in between,” Hoffarth proceeds to poll a number of NBA luminaries (including but not limited to Ralph Lawler, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley) all of whom think, well, it’s a stupid idea. Eventually, however, Hoffarth found a great mind that thought alike in the skull of David E. Johnson, CEO of “crisis communications” experts, Strategic Vision.
“People will always think of the Clippers of the past, as the poor stepchild (next to the Lakers), because it’s too embedded in the public perception,” Johnson said.
“If I was giving them advice, I say make a clean break from that stereotype and re-introduce yourself. Establish your own brand DNA. Establish a new story to tell, a new vision of who you are, where you’re going. Sell your new rationale.
“Start by giving fans ownership of a new name by polling them. Find a local artist, or have a contest with kids, to develop a new logo. Even if they’re not fans of the team, they’ll get excited with this creative rebirth and rebranding process.
“We’ve seen this with tech companies, lifestyle companies. It’s working already in New Orleans. You sell it to ownership by showing how this is also a great way of merchandising, and you’ll see a great return on your investment. Put it in brisk terms.”
Hoffarth then points out that Johnson’s company has — what’s the nice way of putting it? —- zero credibility whatsoever. NEVER MIND.
While the NBA continues to punish players for vulgar behavior Toronto-born Drake remains the chosen “World Ambassador” of the Raptors. As a cred card-carrying rapper, Drake’s pro forma: He raps savage hate, boasts, sexually degradation, dead end street obscenities and, of course, the N-word.
In spite of that, or, more likely because of it, Drake recently was the NBA’s choice as the now-requisite entertainment-side presence and promoter of the 2016 All-Star Game in Toronto.
Within days of Drake’s embracement by the NBA, he released a video/album so vile he even put the squirm to some rap apologists, rationalizers, panderers and those too late to wonder why.
So what now prevents the NBA from drawing a line, somewhere, other than in front of its players? What prevents it from saying, “Ya know what, Drake? We’re better than that. Or at least we’re going to try to be. Thanks, anyway.”
- Phil Mushnick, New York Post, November 15, 2013
If you’re wondering why Drake could’ve gotten the idea that liberally dropping N-bombs didn’t justify becoming a pariah, perhaps he read Phil’s recent argument that Riley Cooper had it worse than Delmon Young?
Quick to remind usthe Native Americans of the 1500′s and 1600′s being characterized as “savage beasts” was part and parcel of a historical tome widely praised/circulated well into the 19060′s, Ralph Nader (above) warns, “Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington football team, needs to absorb some of these history lessons.” In an op-ed for the Albany Tribune, Nader considers “the legacy of domination by the white man of the native tribes” of greater consequence than the name of Snyder’s team.
Our culture today pays far more attention to ethnic, racial and gender slurs (many of them fortunately phased out of most public conversations) than to the brutal conditions of penury, discriminating violence, addiction and repression that represent contemporary reality.
Should any of these baleful epithets emerge on campuses the students become enraged, show up at gatherings and denounce the authors or the anonymous bigots. Would that they extend that moral indignation by showing up at visiting lectures or symposia regarding the actual conditions underlying these obnoxious labels and engage these injustices.
Care should be taken that word denunciations or word victories do not distract from their underlying realities. Or even worse, become substitutes for addressing the situations on the ground.
Saturday’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship game between Winston-Salem State and Virginia State has been called off amidst reports the former’s school’s starting QB, Rudy Johnson, was assaulted by the latter’s players at a pregame event on the WSSU campus Friday. From WGHP Channel 8 :
Lamont Darnell Britt, 22, a junior running back from Portsmouth City, Va., was arrested by WSSU campus police and charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, according to the arrest warrant. Britt is being held in the Forsyth County Jail with bond set at $7,500.
The fight broke out in a bathroom at the Anderson Center on the WSSU campus during an event associated with the championship game, according to an employee of the Anderson Center who would not identify himself and two WSSU football players who tried to intervene.
“We don’t know a lot of what happened but we do know our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, was beaten up,” WSSU Chancellor Donald Reaves said, “and he didn’t beat himself up.”