Serena Williams won her 6th Wimbledon singles title yesterday, her 21st major championship and a victory earned amidst weird contemplation of her body size rather than her greatness, to say nothing of uglier responses. In the view of the Guardian’s Bryan Graham, “only Floyd Mayweather can offer an adequate, if unlikely, comparison to Serena’s sustained dominance and unapologetic blackness,” (“we are lucky to be living in the age of Serena Williams. Only in time will it become stupidly obvious, a cultural truism, a trajectory not unlike Ali’s path from enemy of the state and champion of the disenfranchised to universally acknowledged icon”) :
Both Mayweather and Williams turned professional in the mid-1990s and almost immediately soared to the top of unforgiving individual sports, where competitors exist in an unsparingly exposed state and all but the strongest of mind and body wash out. Both have gone about their work with a rugged individualism, supplementing divine natural gifts with untold hours of hard work and dedication behind the scenes. Both have passed the litmus test of the greatest champions, winning titles when they’re young and keeping them till they’re old: Mayweather, a world champion for more than half his adult life, while Williams has now won grand slam titles in her teens (one), twenties (12) and thirties (eight, a record).
And disproportionately broad segments of America, either privately or otherwise, want both to lose.
Yet the crucial differences between the two most dominant athletes of their generation show Serena’s getting a rawer deal. Mayweather is a serial batterer of women who actively embraces the role of race-baiting pantomime villain in the self-interest of souring the crowd to sweeten the gate, while Serena has done nothing even remotely criminal or even deliberately offensive. All she’s done is win and not be sorry for it. Those hell-bent enough to find character flaws could point to moments of iffy sportsmanship early in her career, especially after losses. Yet she’s made demonstrable strides in that area, which is even more admirable than if she’d been perfect all along because people generally don’t change. Today she’s the exemplar of grace and graciousness in victory or defeat.
HEY everybody! Meet Bear! He’s the labrador entrusted by the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force to sniff out hidden SD cards from the residence of a prominent submarine sandwich pitchperson. According to the The Herald Bulletin’s Rebecca R. Bibbs, Bear is just one of 4 electronics sniffing dogs employed by U.S. law enforcement. Bear’s handlers affectionately call him “the porn dog” and one describes the pooch’s pursuit of micro drives as “a fun game”.
No matter how you might feel about the police or terrible chains selling yoga mats disguised as sandwich bread, I think we can all agree this fella is SUPER CUTE and he’s well on his way to replacing Bell Environmental’s Roscoe The Bed Bug Dog as the USA’s #1 most beloved mascot / indentured servant.
Montero was on a rehabilitation assignment for an oblique muscle injury with the team’s Class A short-season affiliate, the Everett AquaSox, in Boise. News reports said Baccala heckled Montero as he headed toward the team dugout between innings, then later had an ice cream sandwich sent to him in the dugout.
Upon receiving the ice cream, Montero is said to have angrily approached the stands with a baseball bat. The reports say he threw the ice cream at Baccala before being pulled away.
“We are going to separate the baseball part of Jesus Montero from the human element part of Jesus Montero,’’ Zduriencik said of the former top prospect, who spent most of the season in Class AAA and only six games with the Mariners. “Our intent is to address Jesus’ issues. There’s a history here of things that have happened. We are very, very disappointed in him.”
Baccala at first denied the ice cream sandwich story, then said he couldn’t comment one way or the other. He suggested a reporter check whether they even sell ice cream sandwiches at Memorial Stadium in Boise, where the game was played.
Todd Rahr, president and general manager of the Boise Hawks, confirmed that ice cream sandwiches are indeed sold at the ballpark during games. Rahr declined to comment further, saying it was out of respect to the Mariners organization.
Apologies for putting words in the mouth of The Nation’s Dave Zirin, while not responsible for the above headline, does advance the argument — with the ratings success of the US Women’s National Team’s World Cup triumph as a backdrop — that there’s been a major shift in the way women’s sports are watched, including but not limited to the WWE’s development arm, NXT :
While ESPN Radio self-parody Colin Cowherd says that men are stronger and better athletes and we appreciate greatness in America and that’s why men’s sports is more fun to watch, his radio contract appears in peril because fewer and fewer people care what he has to say. While academic reports are issued that show only 2 percent of SportsCenter’s coverageis devoted to women’s sports, which is discussed there by anchors with the joy and flair of kids forced to “eat their vegetables,” more and more people are choosing to get their news from different sources if the current ones don’t meet their needs.
I was recently asked to name the five individual jocks who comprise my must-see television and, without thinking about it and without trying to make any kind of grand point or bow to the winds of political correctness, three of my five choices were women: joining Steph Curry and Bryce Harper were Serena Williams, ultimate fighter Ronda Rousey, and NXT pro wrestler Sasha Banks (seriously). Shockingly, pro wrestling, which for most of its existence has treated women like the industry was just an extension of Hugh Hefner’s grotto, is writing a script—literally—that says far more about where we are than the two-minutes-a-night broccoli serving of women’s sports delivered on SportsCenter. NXT is delivering a crew of empowering, genius women athletes like Banks, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch who are winning over crowds and changing the expectations of what comprises greatness in the ring. It’s almost unreal to write, but the ways that crowds respond to Banks, Flair, and Lynch speaks with greater clarity about where consciousness is among sports fans than the tired highlight shows that treat athletics like a “man cave.”
(the bad news : look who’s back in NYC. the good news : if you’re Michael Kay, see below!)
It’s ok if I call you Justin, right? I feel like we sort of know each other, what with you being the program director of ESPN’s little engine that couldn’t, WEPN FM and me being an avid NY sports radio listener going back to the days of Art Rust Jr.
I know your job isn’t easy. Heck, faced with trying to not get blown out by the ratings juggernaut that is WFAN, I am certain you have much bigger fish to fry than any controversy over a matter as trivial as who hosts a Saturday evening fill-in slot during a national holiday.
Even so, I was mystified, stunned, even that an organizations as professional and normally not tone-deaf like Disney and ESPN would lend their airwaves, even briefly, to the fraudulent, multi-time loser otherwise known (when he’s not changing his name, anyway) as Dino Costa.
Listen, I’m not without empathy here. Given that numerous other outlets have given Costa a chance —— before inevitably finding out the only thing uglier than his collection of sleeveless tees is his poisonous worldview and personality — you’re not the first employer to make such a mistake.
Nor am I suggesting for a second that Costa ought to be denied the right to earn a living and put food on the table of his long-suffering family. And with that in mind, I am hoping you will reconsider the decision that led to you put Dino on the air, and instead find something for him to do that not only would enhance the work environment of your more accomplished broadcasters, but be truly in Costa’s personal wheelhouse.
Far from me to say the just-dethroned Joey Chestnut was in any way protected. But if People’s Champ Kobayshi wanted to make that argument, I’d listen all day long, secure in the knowledge there’s no hot dogs left in my fridge, so it’s not like he’d be staying much longer.
Pawtucket Red Sox outfielder Izzy Alcantara has been suspended for six games for his part in a bench-clearing brawl in a game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons earlier this week.
Alcantara, the International League leader in batting and home runs, became enraged during a game in Pawtucket on Tuesday after Red Barons pitcher Blas Cedeno brushed him back with an inside pitch.
Alcantara karate-kicked Red Barons catcher Jeremy Salazar in his facemask and then rushed the mound. He missed with one swing at Cedeno before being tackled by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre third baseman Kevin Orie.
“The Pawtucket Red Sox do not condone this type of behavior in any way and we do support the action taken by the league in this matter,” the team said in a statement.
Now, however, I’m thinking every major city in Texas can have a Vaughan Brothers statue. Depending on census results, suburbs and small towns will have to settle for monument to Jeff Healey, Romeo Rose, Blues Saraceno, Jimmy Crespo and James Dolan in descending order of population and/or proximity to Guitar Center. I’m also thinking the good (?) people of Oak Cliff would be well advised to consider the following CSTB entry from December 24, 2005, “Stevie Ray Vandalized” – GC)
A local correspondent who will remain nameless (in case he or she ever wants to do the weather at News 8 ) comments below :
Subject: My new hero(es)
Body: Some beautiful person and/or persons defaced the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Town Lake in Austin last night.
This ugly, overbearing, bronze statue has been a blistering eyesore for the tasteful masses for years now. News 8 (Time Warner’s sad 24 hour news station) covered it early this morning, revealing that the word “POSER” was painted on the front, “See you in Hell” at the base, and some unnamed profanity on the reverse. Some passerbys’ quotes include a woman in her late 40s with fashionable jogging gear: “I’m an artist, too, and I appreciate what that is, and everyone does, and — well — obviously some don’t.” (Um, what “real” “artist” is jogging at 8am?) An even older fellow, looking very confused: “I don’t know what they’re protesting against.” (I would wager that they were drunkenly protesting against mediocre, Hendrix nutsack-swinging, drug-fueled GARBAGE that is pervasively revered by the small “c” local celebrities who speak for Austin.) And finally, a random, ugly, bearded tourist from Florida: “No respect for the dead…All he did was make good music and make people happy.” (Many people take exception to this — people like myself, who, as a sign shop employee, was forced to hear his poisonous aural carrion day after fucking day on KLBJ-FM.)
I’m not glad the motherfucker’s dead, but bitches, please, this is the most overrated guitar player of all time, a product of a pissant city that thinks so highly of itself to call itself the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” His wanky, artless garbage encouraged many other morons to pick up an axe and continue the suffering he started, and make places like Antone’s be able to book filth like this 7 nights a week.
I love the Blues. I love these drunks who did this in the middle of the night. I love News 8 Austin for getting their cameras down there to shoot and record it before the City sent out their underpaid minions to wash it off around 10am. It shall live in eternity on my DVR (until I get it burned to DVD, at least).
This shall be the best Christkkkmas ever. My heart races with joy.
If Bonilla had accepted the $5.9 million in 2000 and invested the entire amount at 8% interest, the original investment would have grown to $104.1 million by 2035* (blue line in chart below). If instead, Bonilla takes his annual payment and invests that with an 8% annual return, he would have $95.2 million by 2035 (orange line in chart below).
In other words, Bonilla lost nearly $10 million by taking the payments instead of the lump sum.
But more importantly to the Mets, if they invested the $5.9 million at 8% interest in 2000. That money would have grown to more than $14 million before they had to make a single payment. And that money would continue to draw interest even while they are making payments.
A quick scan of Thurs-Sunday night action in the alleged Live Music Carhole reveals entertainment including but not limited to Spray Paint, Hex Dispensers, Xetas, Crooked Bangs, Street Eaters, Burnt Skull, Strutter, Holly Hunt, Fogg, James Arthur’s Manhunt, Wes, DEAD MOON, Bad Sports, A Giant Dog and not one but TWO Brother J.T. shows.
That said, the illustrious roster above runs the risk of being overshadowed by Friday’s Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional/Quiet Company show in Cedar Park, the subject of the upcoming documentary film, “Everyone Here Failed At Life Parking Lot”
“A large amount of it is just vitriol and ignorance and ad-hominem arguments and ad-hominem attacks, and anyone who says otherwise is either not paying attention or being disingenuous,” he said. “And because of that, it attracts people who have that kind of personality profile. So there’s no leavening influence. You or I or many of your listeners are not going to wander into that precinct to say, wait a minute, let’s be reasonable here. So it just becomes a playground for people who want to vent or express over-the-top and often utterly uninformed and ignorant opinions. And then what’s worse yet is that the mainstream often reacts to it. … The idea that in some desperate attempt to remain relevant and to get more clicks, that we should dumb ourselves down by adopting the ethos of the mob, that’s something that I’m not good with.”
Earlier today, the highly trafficked paragon of dumbfuckery known as Barstool Sports embedded a YouTube clip of gay pride marchers in Istanbul being sprayed by police with a water cannon. What follows is B.S.’s trenchant analysis followed by selected reader comments :
Listen I am down with the gays. I’m all for their rights and them celebrating. But this shit was awesome. And to be honest that dude was asking for it. He stood out there for like 5 full seconds waving that rainbow just waiting for the tank to adjust and blast him directly in the fucking face. The rest of those gayballs fell back REAL quick and stopped their march. Like “alright, we’re happy, but not THAT happy that I’m about to risk every bone in my body.” King of the Gays couldnt be swayed though. And in return he got like 200,000 pounds of pressure blasted right through his body.
Congrats on gay rights in America but this is Istanbul where we WILL kill you for no reason!
My name is (NAME REDACTED) and I’m writing on behalf of an Austin, Tx psych rock quartet called (NAME REDACTED).
We recently finished writing and recording our debut self-titled EP as a full band and are looking for someone to help us release it.
The album employs many different elements to create a unique mixture for each song. Among the influential genres for this EP: psychedelic rock, space rock, folk rock, baroque pop, R n’ B, funk, and grunge.
For reference, our style often gets compared to the following bands:
- Early Pink Floyd
- Fleet Foxes
- Tame Impala
- Grateful Dead
- The Shins
- Grizzly Bear
You can listen to the EP here:
The album was self-produced and the cover art was hand painted by (NAME REDACTED) of the band (NAME REDACTED).
Attached are the credits and lyrics for the EP.
If you wish to see videos of our latest performance, you can do so here:
Let me know what you think and if you would be interested in releasing it.
Ryne Sandberg jumped off the sinking ship that is the Philadelphia Phillies early Friday, departing MLB’s worst team this season with more than half a campaign to play. Putting aside for a moment what that may or may not say about Sandberg’s leadership skills, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Ford is blunt in his criticism of the Hall Of Fame second baseman, citing the Cubs’ refusal to appoint Sandberg manager 5 years ago (“the back-channel reason given was that they Cubs didn’t want to be in the position of having to fire a franchise legend…what GM Jim Hendry didn’t explain, however, was why the Cubs were so sure they would have to”) :
When Chase Utley showed him up June 16 by openly questioning strategy on the field, that was a tolling bell. Last week, when Utley went on the disabled list and Sandberg had not even been consulted or informed prior to the move, that was proof things had gone completely off the rails. The manager’s chair wasn’t officially empty for another few days, but it might as well have been.
Straight as a gun barrel, Sandberg believes in fundamentals, and he vowed to teach them regularly, which plays just fine in the minor leagues, where the guys have to listen to you, but not as well with big-leaguers. He had little blue squares painted on the inside corners of the bases at spring training so the players would be reminded how to run the bases properly. He instituted a regimen during the season that called for full infield, full outfield, and baserunning drills on a rotating basis before games, the sort of drudgery that the Phillies might have needed but not the sort that won Sandberg any support in the clubhouse. It won him eye rolls.
The Cubs aren’t a good measuring stick for how to operate a baseball team, but no organization knew Sandberg better. Major-league legends aren’t always suited to be major-league managers. In the case of Sandberg and the Phillies, this was particularly true for a major-league legend who found himself managing a team of jaded veterans and misplaced minor-leaguers, none of whom wanted to be told how to run the bases.
As you’ve probably read elsewhere, a number of major bricks & mortar / online merchants have announced plans to discontinue carrying Confederate flags and/or confederate-themed items in the wake of the mass killings in Charleston, SC last week. Slightly less than impressed with corporate America’s demonstration of conscience, The Nation’s Dave Zirin asks, “If the Confederate flag is too toxic to sell, then how can Amazon and Walmart continue to peddle the merchandise of a Washington football team that bears the name of a racial slur?”
I contacted Jackie Keeler, a Navajo/Yankton Dakota Sioux writer living in Portland and a founder of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. Her words should be read and reread:
“When I hear an spokesperson for eBay calling the Confederate flag ‘a symbol of divisiveness and racism’ after announcing that they are banning the sale of it from their site, I wonder why I can still search eBay and find over 100,000 Redskins items for sale. Studies and the APA [American Psychiatric Association] have repeatedly warned of the harm being pigeonholed and stereotyped does to Native youths’ self-esteem—and Native youth have the highest rates of suicide in the country, three and a half times that of their peers, but it happens where the rest of America does not look. Native men have the highest rates of police brutality and Native women the highest rates of murder and rape. These deaths are invisible to an America that does not weep for our dead. They cheer for the stereotype and paint themselves up in grotesque caricatures of us, but do they think about what cost we bear for that bit of fun? Is it worth it? I look forward to the day eBay and others like Walmart refuse to make a buck off of a bit of our soul.”
Dan Snyder is the least popular owner in sports, seen as an interfering bully who has stood over two decades of futility of a once-proud franchise. He is also an awkward, sweaty, twitchy hot mess when out in public. But because of his sneering defense of the name, Snyder finally has a following. They chant “Keep the Name” in bars while Snyder grins and pumps his fist. He has taken this objectively racist name—a dictionary-defined slur—and turned it into the football version of the Confederate flag. But none of that matters to him, because finally, Dan Snyder has fans of his own. Hope he enjoys it in the present. Like those who have wrapped themselves in the Confederate flag, he will find that the future will not be so kind,
I’m of a split-mind where the Mets’ (organized) traveling fan contingent aka The 7 Line is concerned. The company’s shirts accomplish the near-impossible task of making my own sporting wardrobe seem classy by comparison. The prospect of attending an out of town Mets game with a gang of identically-attired (mostly) dudes sitting in the worst possible seats selected by the host franchise is frankly about as appealing to me as gargling with broken glass.
All of that said, there’s some small measure of satisfaction in knowing that that a team that’s spent most of the past decade teetering on the brink of financial ruin, terminally out of contention (this season aside) and consistently overshadowed by their crosstown rivals, still generates enough fan support to coax a few hundred guys in ugly orange t-shirts to visit enemy territory.
So when I read the 7 Line’s field trip to Atlanta’s Turner Field Saturday was interrupted by overzealous security, hellbent on killing the party vibes, my first reaction was, y’know, fuck the fucking Braves. However, that was until I learned the Turner security forces actually had a very reasonable, if not heroic mission : RIDDING THEIR SOON-TO-BE-DEMOLISHED VENUE OF THUNDERSTIXX. From the Shea Dugout’s Will Musto :
In the middle of the fourth inning, I walked down to say hello and introduce myself to a Twitter friend of mine, Keith Blacknick (@mediagoon), half of the duo over at MetsPolice.com. We talked about how exciting it was to have a near-SEC football atmosphere of Mets fans at Turner Field. When I returned to my seat for the home fourth, my Yankee-fan friend Dusty informed me that Darren Meenan, The 7 Line’s founder, said we had to put away our thundersticks or we would be ejected.
The PIX broadcast claimed that the thundersticks were confiscated; they were not. We were asked to put them away. Turner Field bans noise-making items. That’s understandable. But that did not appear to be the issue last night. I was told that security officers said we were being too loud and annoying the Braves fans around us.
The most inappropriate thing that I saw was the four sections joining together inchants of “SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE” at a duo of Braves fans sitting below us who thought it was a good opportunity to turn around and mock us for being told to put thethundersticks away. Otherchants during that period included, “WE DON’T NEED THEM,” (with regards to thethundersticks themselves), “WE CHANT LOUDER,” and “WHY SO QUIET,” after a NickMarkakis strikeout. It’s safe to say that the Braves fans in the sections around ours were more concerned with us and how we were watching the game, than the game itself. It’s also worth noting that the agitators sitting below us were escorted from their seats by security around the seventh inning.
In the ninth inning, the group as a whole seemed to decide that the ban on thundersticks was no longer necessary, and they were brought back out.
My dad is a wonderful man whose keen analytical skills, humor and generally withering POV probably have a lot to do with the contents of this blog (other than 99.9% cut and pasted from people with actual skills). If you like what you see here, thank him. Conversely, if you can’t stand CSTB, it’s all his fault.
Luckily, my dad didn’t get to where he is today (ie. slightly above the New Hampshire/ME border) by sitting around reading sports blogs, so I am perfectly free to say something nice about him here. Shawn Kemp, on the other hand, doesn’t have nearly as many people wishing him a Happy Father’s Day, despite his prolific output (of sperm). So here’s to you, Reign Man. May the rest of the world’s Dad’s be 1/7th the parent you are (otherwise we’ll run out of natural resources even faster).
“Well I am doing pretty well for someone so clueless. You on the other hand clearly haven’t a lot of any worth in your life so take to sending retarded texts to people you don’t know judging them …”
“… Sorry your life is so shit but that’s only your fault not mine. Enjoy the rest of your special needs day out.”
“Are you sure we have met, I would have remembered such a massive retard. Business is great thanks and awash with money …”
“… Impossible to have a meaningful conversation with such a fuctard as you. The day you ever advise me about anything other than paint colour will not come.”
“I do ask for help just not from an intellectual cripple like you. When and if I need it. You are hilariously stupid as your type always are. Done fuck all, got fuck all, full of ideas how other people should spend their money. Get real you thick twat.”
The Angels’ Class-A affiliate Orem Owlz have a number of predictable/traditional promotional dates on their 2015 Pioneer League schedule, amongst them, Bark In The Park Night, Shark Week, Cosplay/LARPing Night and the ever popular Loot The Stadium Night. Sadly, one date on said calendar that might be diplomatically called ill-advised given recent events in the land of the stupid free is August 10′s Caucasian Heritage Night. On the off chance there’s a Quiet Company post-game concert, maybe I could believe this is some high concept satire, but as Jay Jaffe notes, “every night is already white heritage night in Orem, Utah. Groups celebrating whiteness don’t exactly have a healthy track record.”