Niners QB Colin Kaepernick (above) was something less than loquacious when fielding questions from Bay Area scribes earlier this week, and the tension from that exchange became a major talking point in SF head coach Jim Harbaugh’s media session earlier toda prior to Sunday’s short trip to Oakland. From the Press-Democrat.com :
What kind of sense did you get from your players this week in terms of how they’re looking to bounce back after Seattle?
“Determined. Determined to do well. I saw that there was quite a bit of sport made of [QB] Colin Kaepernick. People were even tallying his responses. It’s sad really because you don’t know him. And, he’s a determined person. He’s a spiritual person. He’s a very hard worker and he wants to do well and works extremely hard at it. And, you get the honest person when you deal with him. If he’s not chatty, he’s not going to be chatty. He’s single minded when he’s playing the game of football and preparing for the game and I appreciate that. I appreciate that he is who he is. I’m around him every day. He is his own person too.”
You bring that up. A lot of us who don’t know him nearly as well as you do didn’t know what to make of that – what message was he was trying to get across or why he responded the way he did on Wednesday. Can you shed a little bit of light on that of how you read it?
“He’s very professional. He always stands up. He never dodges or deflects criticism. He takes accountability. He’s honest. He tells the truth. The questions you were asking, he was telling the truth. You’re not going to just be at somebody’s beck and call or bidding. He’s going to act the way he acts. He’s his own person. I appreciate the honesty. That’s who he is. His jaw is set. He’s a team player all the way. That’s what he’s doing. He’s working. He is working. He loves this time of year, loves this kind of football, these big games. And I appreciate that. It’s all a person can do. They do their best. If that’s not appreciated then you do your best anyway. That’s who he is. That’s what he does.”
Just one more on that, right before you came in here we were just watching a national TV show where they were talking about that’s not the way, a quote, unquote, “the face of the franchise should be, the image he should give off”. What would you say to that, to people who would think that a face of a franchise quarterback should be a little bit more accommodating?
“Face of the franchise quarterback should be a great leader by example, the way he works. A team player all the way. What’s in his heart is about the team. It’s not about himself. And then, you get the raw honesty. He is telling you. You ask him what his mindset is, it’s to work. That’s his approach.”
Are you saying that if he were to go up there and be really wordy and eloquent, he would be someone other than who he really is? He wouldn’t be true to himself?
“Wouldn’t anybody be? If you want someone to be wordy and that’s not who they are, that’d be phony to be that. That’d be passive aggressive. That’d be being somebody that he’s not. The jaw is set. He wants to win this football game. He’s going to work his way to get there.”
A day after it was revealed some 25 members of the Columbia Lions football squad had written a letter to the school’s administration accusing head coach Pete Manugrian of pressuring players to take the field with concussions, Mangurian has resigned writes the Columbia Spectator’s Eli Schutlz :
“I have accepted Pete Mangurian’s resignation because we have all come to the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of Columbia Athletics,” the release said. “Under Dianne Murphy, Columbia teams have built a new winning tradition across our men’s and women’s sports and we expect no less of our football program.”
The resignation came after Mangurian was accused of disregarding player safety in a since-withdrawn letter 25 players sent to Bollinger, Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Schiller, CC ’69, Law ’73, and Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Bill Campbell, CC ’62, TC ’64. The letter also alleged that Mangurian physically and verbally abused players.
The University also released a statement Friday regarding accusations that Mangurian encouraged players to play through concussions.
“The University routinely reviews complaints and concerns raised by students, even those that have been withdrawn,” the statement read. “While we don’t generally comment on specific cases under review, it is essential to note that Columbia adheres to a strict medical protocol regarding head injuries for all sports teams and our investigation has found no evidence to support an allegation of a departure from that protocol with our football players.”
Seriously, Mike Bernadino, there’s a time and place for everything. And apparently, the time and place to call a respected journalist a prick is during an introductory press conference welcoming Torii Hunter back to the Minnesota Twins organization.
“He was dancing and yelling,” Ponzini told NJ Advance Media via email. “If he wasn’t dancing, he was yelling, vice versa. He only made two interactions with other people watching the game, but they were very friendly. Some people complained about him (he was standing up and moved a few rows up). Security came and he was very sarcastic. When the guard asked him to be quiet, he stood up and yelled something and then asked the guard if that was okay.”
She added that after Jeffrey Gamblero put his prosthetic leg on his head, security arrived as fans around him chanted, “Let him stay!”
“Honestly, there was more of a disturbance once security came, and it was awful the way they dragged him out,” said Ponzini, who posted video on Instagram of Gamblero screaming as he was dragged out of MSG.
– Charles Curtis, NJ.com
It’s nothing short of disgraceful that MSG security would treat a paying customer like this for having the temerity to root for the opposition. That said, it’s simply uncanny that Mr. Gamblero’s howls of protest sound exactly like those of Cablevision staffers locked inside a JD & The Straight Shot launch party.
(above : not a homeless person or a recovering substance abuser, but Aramark’s executive chef Kevin Riley).
The recovering substance abusers serving beer & snacks to Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, “leave the game sweat-soaked and as penniless as they arrived,” writes the Tampa Bay Times’ Will Hobson. It seems their services have been arranged by a company called New Beginnings, who trades shelter and meals in exchange for free labor. Hobson quizzed NB CEO Tom Achison, who claimed “we take guys off the street who have nothing and give them the opportunity to work and get their lives back together.” (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)
For years, New Beginnings founder and CEO Tom Atchison has sent his unpaid homeless labor crews to Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair. For their shelter, he’s had homeless people work in construction, landscaping, telemarketing, moving, painting, even grant-writing.
Atchison calls it “work therapy.” Homeless advocates and labor lawyers call it exploitative, and possibly illegal. It is the latest questionable way Atchison has used homeless people, and public money, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found.
• A New Beginnings contractor told the Times he overbilled the state for at least $80,000 of grant money, then gave the money to the program instead of returning it.
• While claiming to provide counseling, New Beginnings employs no one clinically trained to work with addicts or the mentally ill. One minister cited his experience running a motorcycle gang as his top qualification. The Times couldn’t verify the doctorate in theology Atchison said he earned from a defunct online school.
In a press release issued yesterday, Atchison denies using homeless labor and accuses Hobson of “hindering New Beginnings’ ability to function because of the thirst for Pulitzers and sensationalism” (“we at New Beginning are under attack by the powers of darkness, but God is at our side to walk us thru this”).
“It’s a shame this thing has come to this,” Ditka told the Chicago Sun-Times for his weekly feature column. “The shame of it is, I’m not sure they care about Michael Brown or anything else. This was a reason to protest and to go out and loot. Is this the way to celebrate the memory of Michael Brown? Is this an excuse to be lawless? Somebody has to tell me that. I don’t understand it. I understand what the Rams’ take on this was. I’m embarrassed for the players more than anything. They want to take a political stand on this? Well, there are a lot of other things that have happened in our society that people have not stood up and disagreed about.
“I wasn’t in Ferguson. I don’t know exactly what happened. But I know one thing: If we dismantle and limit the power of our policemen any more than we have already, then we’re going to have a lot of problems in this country.
“What do you do if someone pulls a gun on you or is robbing a store and you stop them? I don’t want to hear about this hands-up crap. That’s not what happened. I don’t know exactly what did happen, but I know that’s not what happened. This policeman’s life is ruined. Why? Because we have to break somebody down. Because we have to even out the game. I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just old fashioned.”
Don’t sell yourself short, Coach. You’re not just old fashioned.
A Saturday defeat of Southern Miss made the The University of Alabama at Birmingham bowl eligible for the first time in a decade, but that’s not enough save the football program, not after the school announced Tuesday they’ve essentially given themselves the death penalty. Facing with saving nearly $50 million over the next 5 years, UAB President Ray Watts (above) pulled the plug on the football, bowling and rifle teams (maybe the rifle team was bowl eligible, too. Frankly, I don’t want to know). From the Birmingham News’ Kelsey Stein :
Watts said that “killing football was not what we set out to do” but the more they analyzed, the clearer the situation became. Football just was not sustainable.
Continuing to fund the team would divert resources from other priorities on campus, departments that show promise or athletic programs that could be competitive.
“This was an agonizing decision because of the young people involved,” Watts said. “We knew we had to make difficult, but clearly necessary, decisions.”
Members of the band, cheerleading and dance programs should not be worried because they are supported by the university, not just the football team, he said.
“We’ll need them for our other athletic programs,” he said. “We’re not going to change their scholarships or their status.”
Watts’ assertion contrasts recent comments from alumni of the UAB Marching Blazers, some of whom said they would not have attended the university had it not had a football team.
When you think of Muhammad Ali, generally you want to avoid recalling his bouts against Leon Spinks or Larry Holmes. When rhapsodizing about Willie Mays, his looking enfeebled in a Mets uniform is not what comes to mind. Joe Namath as a Los Angeles Ram. Brian Baker in Bad Religion. These are all things you wanna block out of your mind as best you can.
Likewise, that’s how Murray Chass’ online activities following the end of his New York Times tenure will be regarded. The former Times columnist, graciously defending the Baseball Hall Of Fame from suspected PED users, has once again, devoid of any evidence (or dermatology credentials) insisted there’s no place in the Hall for Mike Piazza.
Piazza has been on the ballot for two years and avoided mike-piazza-225the falloff problem in his second year. He gained 57.8 percent, then 62.2 percent, an indication that he could be headed for election. But I have written about my belief that he was one of the steroids gang.
His many fans have excoriated me for my view, but they are blind to what I believe is strong evidence of his use. When he played for the New York Mets, he didn’t hide his acne-covered back. Steroids experts say that Piazza’s condition is one of the signs of steroids use.
When I first wrote about Piazza’s possible use several years ago, his fans ridiculed me. They completely ignored a critical aspect of what I wrote. Piazza’s back cleared up completely when baseball began testing for steroids and remained clear to his retirement. It was not a stretch to conclude that Piazza had stopped using steroids to avoid being caught by a urine test.
As you’ve probably read by now, a quintet of St. Louis Rams players made a pregame gesture of solidarity with Ferguson, MO protestors by raising their hands (referencing “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”) during introductions prior to a 52-0 drubbing of Oakland. St. Louis’ police union took umbrage at this demonstration, apparently believing such actions are a greater threat to public safety than, y’know, a neighboring officer shooting an unarmed teenager.
On Monday, St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar claimed the Rams had apologized, but that’s since been disputed by the team’s chief operating officer, Kevin Demoff, as ESPN.com details :
“In those conversations, I expressed regret that players’ actions were construed negatively against law enforcement,” Demoff told ESPN.com.
“At no time in any of the conversations did I apologize for the actions of our players,” Demoff added. “[The Rams] do believe it is possible to support both our players’ First Amendment rights and the efforts of local law enforcement to make this a better community.”
The St. Louis County Police Department took to social media to explain its side of the story.
“Even though Mr. Demoff stated he never apologized, the Chief believed it to be an apology and the Chief sent the email to police staff to let them know about the call, after he told Mr. Demoff he would share his sentiments with his staff,” the department said on its Facebook page.
Not sure how many of you, if any, followed the Twitter explosion last week. I was arguing, debating, talking with some folks about Evolution/Creation. Somehow someone made it into me not believing in the Theory of Evolution? I never said it, not even close. I said as a Christian I understand where man came from and how, regardless of whether I can imagine it, God did it, that’s good enough for me. Keith Law got suspended from Twitter for publicly arguing the point I think, it certainly wasn’t for his opposing view. I like Keith, just thought it odd he’d want to publicly pick that fight, though I had zero problems with it ESPN took action. I actually thought they would suspend me as well, was expecting it.
Anyway, the reason I am posting this is, if you are on my feed, check out the evolution (no pun intended!!) of the conversation. Unsure of what stunned me more, the anger, hatred and vile tweets from Atheists/Liberals, Democrats or the lack of Christians chiming in? I totally buy evolution within species, 100% as science has easily proven that. But as a Christian did people really need me to tweet that to know how I felt? Or was it the simple fact I publicly stated what anyone that knows me already knew? By the way, stunned at the language and commentary made by seemingly ‘adults’, scientists, teachers etc. Like they were 7 year olds on the playground again.
I understand why non-believers get upset at this conversation, because many know in their hearts that if it’s true their future is not in good shape. But the anger? Cussing? Every single follower I blocked had in their profile somewhere “Atheist” “Liberal” “Democrat” or some such label- Curt Schilling (via Facebook).
Much as I hate to nitpick with Mr. Schilling, it is entirely possible that some of his detractors had another description in their profile besides “Atheist” or “Liberal”. For instance, “Rhode Island taxpayer”.
Following clashes between supporters of Deportivo La Coruña and Atlético Madrid Saturday, a 43 year-old traveling fan of the former has died after being fished out of the Manzanares river, having suffered cardiac arrest, hypothermia and head injuries. From World Soccer.com :
The Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) had attempted to suspend Sunday’s match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo following news of the violent incidents outside of the stadium, but according to the Spanish publication AS, LFP officials were unable to locate any representatives of the Spanish Football Federation (FEF) – who have the authority to issue the order to the match referee to stop the contest.
LFP president Javier Tebas had been concerned about the potential problems between rival supporters. Shortly after being informed that fans were fighting in the streets outside of the Vicente Calderon, Tebas attempted to have the fixture called off. It is understood that both clubs agreed to have the match suspended, but FEF officials were unable to be located in order to issue the order.
The violence reportedly began at 9am local time and LFP officials became aware of the incidents a half an hour later. The match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo kicked off at noon. According to various reports in Spain, the fighting between the rival ultra factions continued for an hour.
(I simply refuse to believe this picture of physical well-being cannot be flipped for Starlin Castro)
Following the acquisition of free agent OF Michael Cuddyer, persons waiting for the Mets to flip some of their quality pitching surplus for a prominent position player are advised not to hold their breath, as one anonymous exec quoted by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman warns, “this might be the worst time in history to be out in the trade market with pitching.”
“No free-agent starters have signed [except A.J. Burnett],” the executive said. “You have the potential to trade for Cole Hamels or Ian Kennedy or a bunch of other really good starters, maybe even Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann.”
“And every organization now thinks it has pitching. Maybe not as much as the Mets, but more than in the past. No one can find bats. I just think the teams with bats are king right now.”
For example, the Mets have been lined up with the Cubs often as trade partners because New York has tons of young pitching and Chicago a bevy of young bats. But, the executive reasoned, the Cubs also have money. They can, for example, buy Jon Lester or Max Scherzer now and a year from now, when they are better positioned to win, delve into next offseason’s potential trove of Zimmermann, Cueto, etc. And never touch the prospect bats if they do not want. Or just keep hoarding them for trades.
Of course, unless you think a plethora of quality pitching on the market is the only reason Sandy Alderson’s hands are (somewhat) tied, Sherman reminds us that w the Mets “cannot expect a big return for No. 3-5-type starters who come with varying levels of injury concern,” especially not when those starters (Niese, Colon, Gee) come with contracts more likely to make them candidates for a late season salary dump-4-prospects.
Though I deplore Zeb’s use of the slur Jewish American Princess, I salute his service to this nation, promo cutting ability and hope he’s having a wonderful day.
After a listless display against Seattle Thanksgiving night, Niners CEO Jed York (above) felt compelled to issue a public apology via Twitter (“this performance wasn’t acceptable”). Along with citing the regression of Colin Kaepernick, the tenuous status of offensive coordinator Greg Roman and the somewhat reserved ambiance at Levi’s Stadium, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami wonders, why, with 4 games left to play (including a rematch in Seattle, December 14) did York show up his head coach?
The only logical reason: York wanted to prepare 49ers fandom for major changes ahead, and let’s all assume that York’s main focus is on Harbaugh’s future.
York and general manager Trent Baalke set this up, intentionally or not, by tacitly suggesting that this was an all-or-nothing season for Harbaugh.
That inflated the conversation about Harbaugh’s future, that trickled into the locker room, that created a sense of doubt about this team if it all faltered and now Seattle has opened up the divide for all to see.
The last time York used words like this, it was near the end of the 2010 season and Mike Singletary was fired a few hours later.
(via Washington’s irony-free Facebook page)
photo courtesy Carson Craig. Let’s get organized!
Over the summer, it was revealed that former Cardiff City manager Malky McKay had made an unflattering reference to then-boss Vincent Tan in a text message to a colleague (“not taking no for an answer from the chink until the 20th time or unless somebody big blows us out of the water. Can you tell him that”) along with an equally unsavory characterization of soccer agent Phil Smith (“go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers”). Upon McKay’s appointment as Wigan’s manager last week, club chairman Dave Whelan found himself under the Football Association’s crosshairs after well, pretty much stating he shares McKays’ sophisticated world-view. From The Guadian’s David Conn :
When appointing Mackay, Whelan said he did not think the manager did “a lot wrong” in the texts. He said it was “nothing” to call a Chinese person a “chink,” as Mackay did of Vincent Tan, the Cardiff owner.
That was strongly rejected by the British Chinese Project and seven Chinese cross-party political and community organisations, who called for “a fitting punishment” by the FA, saying in a statement: “We, the UK Chinese community, refute the claim that there is nothing bad about calling a person of Chinese ethnicity a “chink” – this is at best nonsense, and at worst racist.”
Whelan also said it was not antisemitic or offensive of Mackay to have said of the football agent Phil Smith: “Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.”
Whelan told the Guardian this only meant Jewish people did not like losing money, like anybody. Asked if he did not think it was offensive, because the claim that Jews love money has been used as a negative stereotype, Whelan said: “Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do?”
Asked to clarify if that was his belief, Whelan said “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else”. He added that he did not think that was offensive at all, because Jewish people are “very shrewd people”.
Whether introducing the hashtag #nosandusky or propositioning teenagers, the Knicks’ enigmatic J.R. Smith has segued from a strong Twitter presence to dishing out history lessons via Instagram. The one shown below has already been deleted :
The New York Daily News’ Jaime Uribarri reports the above missive went over poorly with Smith’s fans :
“You’re a f—— idiot” was one of the the more blunt responses to the head-scratcher of a post , while others, like Twitter user @j_weech1, tried enlightening Smith about the true meaning of the term.
It’s called Black Friday because businesses get into the black (profit) for the year, because it’s the biggest day.”
Alright, maybe so, but wouldn’t “Profitable Friday” be a nicer way of putting it? Also, what’s up with that terrible depiction of Matthew McConaughey above?
(above : while we’re waiting for David Wright to offer his feelings on Ferguson,
fledgling podcaster Dino Costa shared his deepest thoughts)
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James each weighed in via Twitter Monday expressing frustration with a St. Louis County grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18 year-old Michael Brown, but the Nation’s Dave Zirin wonders why “few in the sports media will ever challenge” celebrated white athletes (and no, Chris Kluwe doesn’t have the same cultural cachet) to make similar statements.
It’s horrific that in 2014, we are still, as Funkadelic said in 1972, a nation that eats its young. It should be both an outrage and a shame that the burden is on black America to be the voice of anger when killings like this takes place. People need to stand up and be counted. All people. You either stand with the family of Michael Brown and believe that Officer Darren Wilson should have to stand trial for killing an unarmed teenager, or you believe Officer Wilson’s gobmacking story about what took place when his path crossed Mr. Brown’s in August.
Everyone in the hyper-exalted cultural firmament of sports should be asked if they have any solidarity—verbal or financial—to offer to the family of Michael Brown as well as those on the ground in Ferguson fighting for justice. “Everyone” means not just black athletes. Peyton Manning, Kevin Love, Tom Brady, Mike Trout, Aaron Rodgers: this is the culture that has made you famous. If you want its blessings, then share its burdens and call for justice for Michael Brown. Either black lives matter or they don’t. In other words, either the lives of your teammates matter or they don’t. It’s time, white athletes: take some of the damn weight.
(maybe if these dudes had a crew, a bus and some proper lighting, they’d be sufficiently wild and crazy)
If you’ll allow a momentary digression from more important national events, the duo Pomplamoose —- whose appearances in a series of 2010 Hyundai commercials have been charitably called “the worst thing that ever happened to television, Christmas or cars” (by me, anyway) have published the financial results from a recent month-long tour. Despite selling some $100K in tickets, the tour lost over $10,000.
For those who might question the wisdom of such an endeavor (replete with a crew, 42-foot bus, commission paid to a large agency), Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte (aka One Of The Two People Who Ruined Christmas 2010) writes, “we could have played a duo show instead of hiring six people to tour with us. That would have saved us over $50,000, but it was important at this stage in Pomplamoose’s career to put on a wild and crazy rock show.”.
I’m having a little difficulty figuring out by what possible measure Pomplamoose’s presentation could be considered wild or crazy (though if either are willing to emulate Alice Cooper and behead themselves via guilotine, I can see how that would be crowd-pleasing on some level). Coming in an era in which Quiet Company call their new album, ‘Transgressor’, I guess we’re seeing all sorts of radical redefinitions. But here’s the funniest part of Conte’s revelations :
Sponsorship from Lenovo. Thank goodness for Lenovo! They gave us three laptops (to run our light show) and a nice chunk of cash. We thanked them on stage for saving our asses and supporting indie music. Some people think of brand deals as “selling out.” My guess is that most of those people are hobby musicians, not making a living from their music, or they’re rich and famous musicians who don’t need the income.
I’m not sure who could possibly accuse Pomplamoose of “selling out”; presumably you’d have to stand for something (anything!) ; what’s to co-opt? Musicians or not, most reasonable persons understand that Lenovo would have to do a fuck of a lot more than give Pomplamoose a few thousand bucks to “save indie music”.
“If you are not a Dukie or you don’t love Duke or Christian Laettner,” says former Duke C Christian Laettner, “then I can understand the hating on me.” So when “30 For 30″ documentarian Rory Kapf approached the man considered by many to be the
biggest asshole in the history of team sports most despised college hoops player in modern times about cooperating with the upcoming, “I Still Hate Laettner”, the film’s subject was surprisingly receptive. From SI.com’s Richard Deitsch :
“This is something people don’t realize about me but I can laugh, and laugh at myself,” Laettner said in an interview with Sports Illustrated on Friday. “The very first time I saw an “I STILL HATE LAETTNER” t-shirt was six or seven years ago and I thought it was so funny that Kentucky fans were selling the shirts on stores around campus. So I pointed the shirt out to Rory and maybe he got the feeling then that, hey, Christian can laugh at himself, so that’s a storyline we can use in the film.
“When Rory told me they had decided to use that title, my first reaction was a little bit of a giggle because it was funny to me. Deep down in my heart I knew there was a chance it might be something along those lines. Then my second thought was I thought of my wife, my children [he has three], my parents, my siblings and everyone who loves me. I thought how maybe it could affect them the wrong way and I am sensitive to that. It brought a little sadness to my heart because I don’t want it to affect them negatively but overall I think they will understand it once they see the film.”
Laettner said he saw the 2013 Grantland poll where he was named the most hated college basketball in the last 30 years and called it, in part, a badge of honor.
The folks at Ebaum’s World consider the heavy security measures employed to prevent the shoplifting of the Just For Men product to the far right (above) an example of “Accidental Racism”. Maybe the real truth of the matter is that Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s fans of all races will go extreme lengths — including but not limited to stealing — in order to possess any item bearing the likeness of their guru.
Far be it for me to call Curt Schilling a shitty parent. But perhaps if he spent a little less time championing creationism / getting Keith Law suspended from Twitter and a little more time teaching his kids not to bring fake grenades onto fucking airplanes, our overworked Homeland Security might stand a fighting chance against the forces of evil
With all due respect to former Manhattan/Louisville G Chris Smith and the persons working hard to make Fightball a success, I will remain loyal to SLAMBALL until death.