06.17.16

CONCACAF’s Attempt To Make Levi’s Stadium A Homophobia-Free Zone

Posted in Football, Mob Behavior at 7:53 pm by

Prior to Saturday’s Copa America Centenario quarterfinal between Chile and Mexico at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, organizers hope to quash further chants of “puto” that have been audible previously in the tournament.  From the San Jose Mercury News’ Elliot Almond :

Officials of the North and Central America and Caribbean region known as CONCACAF joined with South American federation leaders Thursday to condemn “any chants or actions that are derogatory or offensive during our matches.”

Although fans were asked to hold a minute of silence before the game in Houston to honor the Orlando shooting victims, the Mexican fans used the slur when Venezuelan goalkeeper Dani Hernandez held the ball.

“This behavior does not reflect the true spirit of football and must be stopped,” Copa America officials said in the statement.

Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera indicated Thursday he wished El Tricolore’s fans wouldn’t use the chant.

“I think it is a tradition that has gone on for years,” he said in Spanish at a news conference in San Jose. “I don’t think you can come in and take it away from one day to the next. It’s difficult to get so many people to change it.”

06.16.16

The Curious Past & Present Of Russia’s Soccer Den Leader

Posted in Euro 2016, Football, Racism Corner at 9:14 pm by

Following violent clashes between England and Russia supports in and outside Stade Vélodrome last Saturday, The Guardian’s Owen Gibson reports the latter’s head of their official supporters club, Alexander Shprygin, is being deported from France in the middle of Euro 2016.

Shprygin told Tass, “We will probably see our consul tomorrow. We will challenge this decision. It is an absolutely absurd award. We can challenge it within two days. We will ask for a lawyer. I was involved in no clashes or anything of the kind.”

Shprygin is considered by the Fare network, which provides official observers at matches for Uefa and Fifa, to be a leading light in Russia’s network of extreme-right ultra fan groups. Piara Powar, the network’s executive director, said that the presence of Shprygin within the official party raised wider concerns about “the apparent nexus of high-level politicians, far-right leaders and extreme nationalism” in Russian football before the 2018 World Cup that will be hosted in the country.

Shprygin has been photographed performing a Nazi salute with a singer from a notorious Russian far-right rock band, Korrozia Metalla, some of whose songs are banned and included in the federal list of extremist materials in Russia for inciting inter-ethnic hatred.

Since forming the Russian Supporters Union in 2007, Shprygin has appeared to tone down his rhetoric. But he outraged many when he recently said he wanted to “see only Slavic faces in the Russian national team” and suggested there was “something wrong” with a team photo posted on Twitter by the France player Mathieu Valbuena because it contained “very many” black faces.

06.15.16

Orlando Magic’s Owner Has Deep Compassion For Gays (Provided They’re Dead)

Posted in Basketball at 10:19 pm by

Amway founder Richard DeVos and his family have donated more than $2 million to various anti-gay causes over the years, including but not limited to Florida4Marriage, Focus On The Family and efforts to eliminate gay marriage in Michigan. Aside from a squeamish arrangement with the New York Mets, DeVos is probably best known to CSTB readers as the owner of the Orlando Magic, and it was in that role Wednesday that DeVos donated $400,000 to #OneOrlando, a non-profit established to assist the victims of Sunday’s Pulse nightclub massacre, as well as their families. From the New York Daily News’ Tobias Salinger :


“There is nothing more important than our community,” the Magic announced in a tweet from the team’s official account. “We are #OrlandoUnited.”

Yet the family of Amway founder Richard DeVos, whose income Forbes magazine estimated at $4.9 billion, has financed campaigns to ban same-sex marriage in the past and steered millions of dollars to right-wing organizations, records showed.

“If you know about Orlando Magic owner Dick DeVos’ bankrolling of anti-LGBT causes, the hypocrisy will rankle you,” Dave Zirin, the sports editor of the liberal magazine The Nation, wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass declined to discuss the DeVos’ family’s political donations.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims of this horrific tragedy,” Glass said.

06.14.16

One Artist’s Bold Reimagining Of Doug Sisk

Posted in Baseball, Internal Affairs at 11:48 pm by

There’s was nothing remotely prescient about my attempts earlier this evening to dump a ticket to the Mets’ 4-0 loss to the Pirates to any takers via a popular social media platform, though I did add that I was , “thanking you in advance for not keying Doug Sisk’s car.”

Derek Erdman, currently exhibiting his “Food Is My Girlfriend” show at Seattle’s Proletariat Pizza, claims the below portrait of Sisk’s reaction to the Challenger Disaster was completed in the 3rd grade.

06.13.16

Voting Early & Often With Chicago’s David Ross

Posted in Baseball at 9:30 pm by

OK, a little heavy handed, but I like this just a bit more than the Mets’ annual spam attempts at coaxing votes for the entire eligible roster, regardless of who’s playing terribly.

06.12.16

Does The WWE Have Chris Harvard In The Bag?

Posted in Medical Science, Professional Wrestling at 7:08 pm by

Former WWE Hardcore champion / “Tough Enough” winner turned concussion trauma advocate Christopher Notwinzki aka Chris Harvard has appeared in this space on prior occasions, though it appears his once-contentious relationship with his former employer has been repaired.  The Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler reports that Nowinzki’s Concussion Legacy Foundation has received nearly $3 million from the WWE, donations that just happen to coincide with Nowinski’s dialing down the rhetoric about the Bristol, CT wrestling promotion’s culpability in shortening the lifespan of his former co-workers.

Rene Goguen, aka Rene Dupree, who was featured in Nowinski’s 2006 book, “Head Games,’’ because of a brain injury he suffered in the ring, is among several former WWE performers who believe Nowinski has adopted a more passive approach to investigating CTE in professional wrestlers than he did with football players. They said they suspect a potential conflict of interest involving the WWE’s donations to Nowinski’s foundation, as did some nonprofit specialists.

“It certainly seems like a situation where you’re asking the foxes to help guard the chicken coop,’’ said Marc Pollick, president and founder of the Giving Back Fund, a nonprofit that for 20 years has created and managed charitable foundations for athletes, entertainers, and corporations. “If you’re partnering with a company that is facing those kinds of [concussion lawsuits], where’s the firewall?’’

WWE not only sponsors the Concussion Legacy Foundation but has a seat on the foundation’s board of directors that is held by Paul Levesque, an executive vice president of WWE who performs under the name Triple H and is the son-in-law of the company’s majority owner, Vince McMahon.

in 2010, Nowinski lashed out at WWE after one of his former tag team partners, Lance McNaught, aka Lance Cade, died at 29. Nowinski accused WWE of fostering an “absolutely unsafe’’ environment in the ring, encouraging steroid use, and contributing to the abuse of painkillers by its performers. WWE countered with a seven-point attack on Nowinski’s credibility.

But now all seems forgiven. Nowinski credits WWE with “making considerable changes to their concussion programs and education in the last decade that provide for a significantly safer environment.’’ And he disavowed his other 2010 accusations, saying “they were driven by emotion and the pain I felt from the death” of McNaught.

06.11.16

From The Mailbag (Someone Else’s)

Posted in Internal Affairs, The Mailbag at 7:07 pm by

Several years back, Apple established .mac email addresses ; I obtained one pretty early on and as Apple has rolled out additional domains (eg. .me, .icloud) I’ve found myself with additional addresses I may or may not use. Pretty fucking boring, right? IF ONLY.

At least once every couple of days, various knuckleheads all over the world somehow conclude one or more of these addresses are THEIRS, and begin using them for everything ranging from cell phone billing to company correspondence to happy chit-chat with their grandkids. As a result, I am bombarded with all sorts of email that is not intended for my eyeballs. These messages run the gamut from invoices, medical test results, company contracts, let’s-break-up proposals, vacation snapshots, video footage of foals being born, and (you guessed) it, explicit personal photography from a rather varied spectrum of the population.

Just when I think the deluge is slowing down, I receive not one, but two consecutive Mistaken Identity Email Hall Of Fame entries on one Saturday morning. The above photograph is one of the least gory bits of evidence from what appears to be a rather serious van/car collision somewhere in Holland. And the following message seems to concern a landlord/tenant dispute that I am powerless to resolve :

“Dear Sir/Madam
I refer to my numerous complaints about rodent infestation at 540 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, and the migration of rodents into my house.

I add that I have not received one acknowledgement of any of my emails, despite Council’s response policy.

Further to those emails, I have now discovered a large almost 1 cm rodent faeces in my kitchen sink. A photo is attached.
While I understand that a person has taken legal possession of the above property and proposes to renovate it, that is no answer to immediate concerns about infestation.

I would like to know what Council proposes to do about the risk to my health and safety and property damage from apparent recurrent migration of rodents into my house.”

06.10.16

A Helpful Reminder Of Donald Trump’s Opinion Of His Most Recent Celebrity Endorser

Posted in Boxing, politics, Sports Journalism, The World Of Entertainment at 7:18 pm by

from CSTB, 2/11/06, “Trump Honors Killer, Stinks Up The Joint” :

I realize in these heady days of The Human Whoopie Cushion hopping up and down on Oprah’s couch, fielding offers for his own chatshow on the Fuckface Channel and then being named Amnesty International’s Man Of The Year, there’s something a little out of vogue about acknowledging good works on the part of the old school sports media.

And with that, I’m more out of vogue than the Middle Class. Wally Matthews has already proposed that a Friar’s Club Roast of Don King is no laughing matter. Sports Illustrated’s Jeff MacGregor, however, attended said event and provides hard evidence the affair would’ve been a lot funnier if someone else had read the jokes.

Freddie Roman, having warmed up this chilly daytime crowd, has at last brought to the lectern Roastmaster Donald Trump (above), who leans into the microphone for his opening remarks as if to bite it.

“HEY, FREDDIE, how come HE has to SIT so NEAR ME? Move OVER, DON…You know he KILLED PEOPLE? This guy KILLED PEOPLE. I’m going to say things about him and I DON’T WANT TO BE KILLED…”

He waits, maybe for comic effect, maybe to let the echo fade. “How come there are so FEW BOXERS HERE? Because DON KING has SCREWED so many BOXERS, nobody WANTS TO COME!”

There is an awkward silence, punctuated by a flurry of nervous laughs.

“Let’s FACE it. DON KING IS A BIG FAT, F——- THIEF!”

There is another brief, but undeniable pause, while the audience considers its options. Laugh, and they’ll only encourage him. Sit quiety, and it’s going to be the longest afternoon this side of the planet Saturn.

“I have a CATCHPHRASE, You’re FIRED! Don has a catchphrase, Not GUILTY…Don is a big FAN of The Apprentice. IN FACT he’ll SOON have his own show, it’s called THE ACCOMPLICE!…Don King wants to write a BOOK about this EVENT, ‘Old JEWS and the NEGROES who Frighten Them.’”

Having assigned blame, thereby also taking credit for whatever parts of the script he has “punched up”, Trump is free to introduce the first professional comic, Stewie Stone, which, blessedly, he eventually does.

Stone, who looks exactly like the picture you have in your head of a man in late middle-age named Stewie, selects as his opening target, the Roastmaster himself. “You’re a mean c———-. I didn’t know that about you. You’re getting a million and a half dollars to give lectures on how to be a millionaire? Your father gave you 40 million dollars, that’s how!….Don King at least did it with a gun, you’re just full of s—-.”

06.09.16

The Chances Of Russell Westbrook Ever Playing Basketball In Iran Are Getting Slimmer By The Day

Posted in Fashion, Football at 10:23 pm by

Persepolis goalkeeper Sosha Makani, 29, has been hit with a 6 month ban on domestic competition by Iran’s football federation for the crime of wearing what some are calling SpongeBob SquarePants, uh, pants (above, right). From the Independent’s Mark Critchley :

“We made the decision based on the clothing of this national football team player and the impact it can have on society,” an unnamed member of the committee told Varzesh3, an Iranian news agency.

Although the trousers do not feature a SpongeBob SquarePants design, users on social media and members of the Iranian press likened them to the cartoon character because of their colour.

Makani was temporarily jailed in January after a number of images of him posing with women who were not wearing the hijab were circulated on social media.

06.08.16

Feds : The Mets’ Most Annoying Radio Sponsor Is A Crook

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio, The Law at 7:27 pm by

Norman Seabook, President of the New York Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (AKA COBA) and a fixture on New York Mets radio broadcasts for the last 2 seasons may soon find himself facing no-foolin’ imprisonment. Just a day after 5 of Seabrook’s union members were convicted of assaulting a Riker’s Island inmate, Seabrook himself was arrested and charged with accepting bribes in exchange for investing union money with a New York-based hedge fund. From New York’s Jen Kirby :

FBI agents busted Seabroook, who’s led the 9,000-plus-member Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association for 21 years, at 6 a.m. today at his Bronx home. Another defendant, hedge-fund manager Murray Huberfeld, was also arrested in connection with this case. Seabrook is accused of steering $20 million from the corrections’ union’s pension fund into Huberfeld’s Platinum Partners firm. Huberfeld allegedly returned the favor by giving Seabrook as much as $150,000 in kickbacks, according to the New York Daily News. Both men are formally charged with honest wire fraud and conspiracy to commit honest wire fraud.

Another person — identified by sources as Jona Rechnitz, a businessman who’s also at the center of one of the inquiries into de Blasio’s fundraising — has already pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case, and is cooperating with authorities in exchange for leniency. According to the criminal complaint, Rechnitz, who was cozy with Seabrook and other high-ranking NYPD officials, introduced the two men in late 2013, after Seabrook had complained that he got no financial perks from his work investing the unions’ retirement funds. (It’s time “Norman Seabrook got paid,” he allegedly told Rechnitz.) Rechnitz acted as the go-between to deliver the alleged bribes from Huberfeld, including buying a Ferragamo bag — Seabrook’s “favorite luxury goods store,” according to the complaint — and stuffing it with $60,000 in cash to deliver to the union chief.

Mayor de Blasio condemned Seabrook in unequivocal terms Wednesday, calling the allegations “disgusting.” “It means he took money that was meant for his workers’ retirements and put it in his own pocket,” he said. Seabrook has been suspended from his post, according to the mayor’s office.