9-23-2016

From Roger Goodell Commissioner NFL

To : Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett et/al

Subj: Many Thanks

Hello:

Wanted to drop you a quick line of thanks for your 3-0 start this season in general and your 27-0 thumping of the Houston Texans in particular.

As you may have heard for the 2nd week in a row our ratings are down. Furthermore a new a Yahoo Poll shows 44% of Americans say they are likely to shut off NFL games if player protests continue.

These results meant that it was very likely that all of the Friday sports shows on TV and radio would have been discussing both the ratings and this poll, particularly given the events in Charlotte this week.

However the fine play of Jimmy Garoppolo in weeks 1 & 2 and his subsequent injury forcing you to play Rookie Jacoby Brissett vs Miami and his Subsequent start against the Texans provided a welcome topic for discussion for NFL fans everywhere, particularly given Mr. Belichick’s decision to not sign an experienced QB to back him up.

Furthermore young Mr. Brissett’s fine play complemented by excellent defense giving the Patriots a 27-0 victory in a game where the Texans were favored by 2, his injury and the subsequent quarterback controversies on who to start for week 4 vs Buffalo and the potential of a completely unanticipated QB controversy on starting Brady week five if the team goes 4-0 without him has the potential to completely change the conversation everywhere.

I must confess that while my intentions toward your franchise were completely punitive your teams ability to completely confound me and the rest of the league that wanted to bring you down has come at precisely the right time for all of us who are desperate to protect our high profits and subsequent high paychecks from the possibility of the fans figuring out there are other alternatives out there.

Once again keep up the good work.

Sincerely

Roger Goodell
Commissioner NFL

Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t

Willie Keeler

Four Years and six months ago I was in NH for a NRO event along with a lot of other bloggers and reporters after all of us watched one of the GOP primary debates that was notable for George Stephanopoulos suddenly asking Mitt Romney a question about contraception that had everyone, including Romney scratching their heads. It had not been an issue in the campaign nor in the country or years and while Roman Catholics will tell you artificial contraception is a sin to my knowledge Mormons have no problem with it.

That night everyone was talking about how weird the question but a few days later things became clear as the entire media jumped on this as an important issue.

You see many things were going badly in the economy, in foreign affairs and the folly of Obamacare were just starting to become apparent, the Democrats needed a distraction to protect the president so they pivoted bringing out an issue that had been settled for years to change the submit and hit republicans at the same time.

It’s sort of like the tactic used against Ted Williams in the 40’s called the Williams Shift repositioning players completely to change the dynamic of his hitting.

tedwilliamsshift It the same tactic used against David Ortiz today in an attempt to make those hits come with a little more difficulty.

While both Williams and Ortiz had occasional failures against the shift, in the end their skill levels were/are so superior that the shift could not stop them from hitting through it and as both demonstrated regularly if the ball is off the wall or out of the park no amount of shifting is going to make any difference.

Alas for the GOP Mitt Romney was no Ted Williams or David Ortiz. Romney being Romney and the GOP being the GOP, they fell hook line and sinker for this nonsense hitting directly into the shift and giving the media exactly what they wanted. It was one of a series of foolish and timid moves that turned what should have been a very easy election for the GOP into the disaster that the next four years of Barack Obama became.

Fast forward to 2016. Hillary Clinton has had the worst week in the history of history, the attempt to portray health questions as a conspiracy theory have failed. Leak after leak makes her look bad. The polls have gone south, Trump has bested her in a televised forum and thanks to his new campaign team has not only avoided mistakes but gotten positive press and cultural coverage that even playing the David Duke card has not been able to counter and if that’s not bad enough ISIS continues to advance, the refugee crisis continues to fester and Obamacare exchanges are dropping like flies What does one do if you are the palace guard for Democrats mainstream media?

Why you play the “shift” card and trot out birtherism.

The fact that Barack Obama has barely four months in office and that it’s an issue that nobody cares about doesn’t matter. The media needs to change the subject so suddenly the entire press corps decides there is no bigger issue to settle and they will not stop asking about it until Trump satisfies them.

In other words the shift is on and they are daring Trump to hit it over or through them counting on the fact that despite his media skills he is not enough of a Ted Williams or David Ortiz to successfully hit through the shift.

But while it’s true that Donald Trump is no Williams or Ortiz, he’s also no Mitt Romney and his new campaign team of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and Kelly Conway are not the normal GOP consultants advising him to hit into the shift and take their chances.

Instead Trump announced a press conference to address the issue, the MSM rushed to cover it live (something that they have been a lot less enthusiastic to do since he became the nominee) ready to take his statement and pound him with question after question, furthermore as he was apparently “running late” they continued to promote the event to ensure the maximum viewership when he did make his statement…

…and then this happened

The media found themselves giving their audience 20 minutes of military heroes endorsing Trump on live TV before he finally came on Camera to say

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Not only did Trump get the media to cover his endorsements but he got them to cover live his pronouncement that “birtherism” was a construct of the Hillary Clinton campaign. (a Statement spin not withstanding backed up by on CNN by a Clinton campaign manager but by a respected veteran journalist former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher.

A story repeated on the McClatchy site yesterday

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

In other words the Trump campaign instead of hitting into the shift as he might have been inclined under the old management team, poked the ball into the empty left field for an easy double.

The fit this gave the entire MSM was epic which comes from a single miscalculation.

You don’t have to be a David Ortiz or a Ted Williams to beat the shift, you just have to be good enough to go the other way and hit the ball where they ain’t.

And Trump is.

Update: Don Surber adds a bit of Irony:

For a decade, the city wanted the grand post office turned into a hotel. Trump did it. Today was the opening of the hotel. That was the reason for the event — not to discuss birtherism, which was the Clinton Camp’s topic of the day.


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by baldilocksBaldilocks mini

It will be interesting tomorrow to see whether Sit-Down fever has spread across the ranks of the NFL. Allegedly, some of the Miami Dolphins are thinking about it.

Dolphin players may also have something in the works, but it appears to be on an individual basis.“Every man for himself, I guess. Each his own,” said Dolphins safety Reshad Jones.

“Everybody have different opinions and entitled to different things.

This thing has pinged my paranoia streak—like so many other Tempests have.

Just a few days ago, the president of NAACP compared Colin Kaepernick’s stance to that of Rosa Parks.

Aside from the fact that Kaepernick was protected from physical danger by various levels of professional security when he took his stand, while Mrs. Parks had no security when she refused to give up her seat to a fellow bus passenger who was white,

And aside from the fact that Kaepernick was on his job when he took his stand and Mrs. Parks was not,

And aside from the fact that Mrs. Parks’ taxes paid for the Montgomery, AL municipal bus service, while Kaepernick is being paid to be present and to perform at the platform where he has and will make his statement,

There’s something which I wonder about the two events, something which may be a true similarity.

Rosa Parks did not spontaneously refuse to give up her seat. She was planted. There was another black woman who refused to give up her Montgomery bus seat to a white person and who went to court to fight the injustice. But she didn’t have to right reputation for the task at hand, according to the civil right organizations of the time. The task, of course, was to end the segregation of public services–to fight true inequality and oppression.

Few people know the story of Claudette Colvin: When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.

Most people know about Parks and the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott that began in 1955, but few know that there were a number of women who refused to give up their seats on the same bus system. Most of the women were quietly fined, and no one heard much more.

Colvin was the first to really challenge the law.

paranoidsmile_768
No, I’m not paranoid. Why do you ask?

To tarnish Mrs. Parks’ place in history is not my purpose. This is: I wonder if Kaepernick was planted. There are other players who have intentionally remained seated during the National Anthem, but he is the first to get such widespread attention.

Who told Colin Kaepernick to sit down? Rumor has it that it was his alleged girlfriend, a Black Lives Matter activist. But I bet it came from higher up. Or lower, depending on one’s perspective.

I don’t take anything for granted anymore–especially when figures in media and entertainment are attempting to rile up Americans against each other.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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sitdownby baldilocks

Several members of the Seattle Seahawks are talking about doing a sit-down protest of the National Anthem this Sunday, opening day of the 2016-2017 NFL season.

By the way, Sunday is also the 15th anniversary of Al Qaeda’s attacks on America, which destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and lead to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

Seahawk receiver Doug Baldwin said Wednesday he is considering sitting during the national anthem while linebacker Bobby Wagner said the Seahawks could take an action as a team.

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, who said he plans to continue to sit during the national anthem this season, may not be doing so by himself when the team opens the regular season Sunday against Miami.

Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said Wednesday he is also considering sitting during the anthem before Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. kickoff at CenturyLink Field while linebacker Bobby Wagner said the team has been talking about a group action.

“I have (considered it),” Baldwin said before Seattle’s practice Wednesday afternoon. “I want to make sure I get all of my ducks in a row before I do so.’’

While Wagner said he didn’t know if he would sit down during the anthem he said “anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”

Wagner said he couldn’t say exactly what the team might do, saying “whatever we decide to do will be a big surprise.”

These guys should do what they want, but, I wonder whether it will be a big surprise to some of these men if, a few years hence, they have to go out and get real  jobs because they’ve spent all their football money and because the NFL no longer exists. Because that is what they are doing: killing their platform. A large portion of the NFL’s audience won’t put their monies out for this sort of thing.

Surprise!

But if they feel that strongly about it, they should do their thing.

By the way, I’m old enough to remember when the following video of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman taunting San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was the Most Terrible and Controversial Thing Ever. Good times.

(Thanks to Ace)

UPDATE: Sea Chicken-sh**ts.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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strawberries_moldy
Yummy

by baldilocks

The main reason that this country is in deep trouble is that facts which used to be routinely instilled into public school students are no longer. I’m not even talking about how to use facts during the process of connecting dots with events and coming to cogent conclusions. I’m referring to the facts themselves–simple events and straight-forward declarative statements. For those under a certain age, the facts either do no exist, or worse–they have become mutilated into something unrecognizable, mutilated by scattered “thinking.”

Example: a certain American profession athlete decides that he will not only openly forego paying traditional respect to the American flag during the ceremonies which routinely herald the beginning of sporting events in the USA, but will openly disrespect that flag. The athlete explains his stance via Social and Mainstream Media outlets, which, of course produces an avalanche of reactions from countless sources.

Many who defend the athlete’s stance have cited the First Amendment and that is where, in my opinion, the real trouble shows itself.

The First Amendment reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It’s a straight-forward statement about what congress—the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives combined—may not do, with respect to its reason for existence: making laws.

So, it would seem simple to conclude that the First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with the controversial statements and actions of the athlete in question, right? Hahaha!

All too many of our fellow citizens cannot (will not?) wrap their minds around this simple bit of logic: if congress isn’t making laws about speech, religion, press, etc. then the mention of the 1A is a non sequitur where any statement is concerned or with any expressed criticism of said statement is concerned, including all of the latter regarding this athlete.

(Wait. Should I explain what a non sequitur is? Eh, look it up yourself.)

I’ve had people argue with me about this and get angry when I try to show it to them. Not only do many citizens not know this, but they don’t want to know it.

We can take this seemingly small controversy and apply it to objective knowledge itself. Call it the fruit of post-modernism. It tastes rotten and it’s probably poisonous.

I’m praying that more of us will swear off of it and I think it will happen. But it won’t be without pain.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

 

 

 

Scarlet: So you just tell Daddy I’m on my way to the U.S.S.R. That’s short for Russia.
C.R. MacNamara: Are you out of your seventeen-year-old mind? Russia is to get out of, not to get into!

One Two Three 1961

Dennis:  Help Help I’m being repressed

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975

There have been a lot of words already written about Quarterback Colin “20 Mil for 5-11” Kaepernick’s self righteous virtue signaling rant from praise from the left, to caution from the NFL to outrage and some spectacular answers to him from James Woods and Jake Tapper but in all of this click generating ranting going on there is a basic question worth asking that nobody seems to be raising.

Kaepernick is claiming that this country is an oppressor of blacks and people of color and doing so rather loudly.

Yet one of the drivers of this election is: Do we put up a wall to stop the seemingly unending flow of people of color coming here illegally by hook or by crook, leaving their country and cultures behind to move themselves and their families hundreds or even thousands of miles to a completely foreign land?

And you thought moving down the block was a pain

Furthermore that doesn’t even count the tens of thousands of people of color who not only come here legally from all over the world every year but the even greater numbers still waiting to do so.

This begs the obvious questions:

If America is the land of oppression that Mr.Kaepernick purports it to be

 Why is there a continual never ending supply of people of color entering the country, legally and illegally?

 Why is there not a mass exodus of people of color leaving the United States for greener pastures?

I think that’s an excellent question don’t you and before you answer these questions remember we not only live in an information age where communication across boarders via email, text and cell phone is incredibly easy but we also have a national and international media that jump all over any news of American racial unrest so if America was a land of danger and repression they would know it.


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Yes, there are more important items in the news (the Iran ransom laundered money, Obama’s golfing while the floods rise in Louisiana, and the latest Clinton Crime Family™ goings-on, for starters).

There’s also the story of the reprehensible American swimmers at the gas station, over which Brazilians are having conniptions while ignoring the body parts  washing on their shores and the six Brazilians a day who die at the hands of state security forces.

Today’s feel-good story (which is actually from April last year) involves Usain Bolt, Olympic champion from Jamaica, and other olympic runners at the Mano A Mano challenge,

Brazil’s three-time Paralympic sprinting champion Terezinha Guilhermina unveiled her new guide on Saturday (18 April) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, none other than Jamaica’s six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt!


The third Mano a Mano Challenge will reach its climax on Sunday (19 April) when Bolt will compete in the 100m. Saturday saw the qualification races for the men’s and women’s 100m. Bolt will race against Brazil’s José Carlos Moreira, the Netherlands’ Churandy Martina and the USA’s Ryan Bailey. The women’s race will feature Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart, plus Brazil’s Vitória Cristina Silva Rosa and the USA’s Carmelita Jeter.

There will also be a Paralympic race, featuring Alan Oliveira, who won 200m gold at London 2012, plus US sprinters Paul Peterson and Richard Browne, and Germany’s Felix Streng.

It turns out Bolt is a regular at the Mano A Manos, having attended for at least three consecutive years. You can see some photos of the 2013 here.

While NBC and mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore the importance of religion among athletes, and favor peripheral tabloid-scandal stories that have nothing to do with the sports achievements, the athletes themselves are living lives that inspire and help others.

Just like other human beings who try to do what’s right.

And that is the feel-good story beneath it all.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Mark Ripptoe is all for ending the Olympics; Among other reasons,

The arguments against the Olympics are important. The Olympics are no longer the most important event within most of the sports contested. The professional versions of the games events have their own world championships, at which the best athletes compete for Real Money, not just medals. All sports within the International Olympic Committee have their own annual World Championships, meets that happen more frequently than every four years and which form the basis for the training schedules of most athletes.
. . .
But even more offensive to sensible people everywhere is the abject silliness of the media coverage of the Olympic Games. The focus of the coverage has shifted from the sports and the athletes’ performances to the human interest stories that are, at best, extremely peripheral to the contests.

Then there’s the exorbitant cost of the Rio Olympics, which were were 51% over budget, to the tune of $1.6 billion, the month before they opened. The final tab will be even higher.

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sold the Olympics to the world and to his countrymen as a shining example of the success of his socialist policies. How did that go?

Since Lula left office, Brazil’s economy has crashed and some analysts partly blame the large public spending during his tenure as president. Widespread corruption involving Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras is also cited as a key reason for the country’s state of crisis.

Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s hand-picked successor, was suspended in April by Brazil’s House of Representatives. She faces an impeachment trial in the weeks following the end of the Olympic Games. Rousseff is not accused of corruption herself, but of allowing it to happen.

For his part, Lula has just been ordered by a federal court to stand trial for obstruction of justice. He is separately under investigation for possibly receiving favours from companies linked to the corruption at Petrobras.

That is the Brazilian backdrop to this year’s Rio Olympics. An economy in free fall. A suspended president undergoing impeachment. And Brazil’s most popular politician, Lula, facing criminal prosecution.

Before Rio, there was Greece, where the 2004 Olympics pushed the country into a financial disaster. Indeed,

host countries such as Brazil may find themselves diverting resources to make a statement to the global community, that can — though not always — come at the expense of real needs and their vulnerable citizens.

Most of the host countries are woefully unable to provide the infrastructure and facilities required for world-class events. Sochi‘s plumbing failures pale next to Rio’s green pools, invasive capybaras, floating limbs, and falling cameras (and don’t get me started on the sofa).

But worse of all is the pervasive corruption of the Olympic committee officials. Just today the BBC reports that police in Brazil have arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Irishman Patrick Hickey, in Rio over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

Yes, you read it right: the head of the European Olympic Committee got busted for scalping.

Enough. It’s time to end it.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Fortunately we have another quadrennial event to distract us from the utterly depressing presidential election this summer. I must admit that I wasn’t really that interested in the Summer Olympics leading up to it, but I’ve gotten pulled into the whole experience, mostly from watching the swimming and gymnastics events over the first few days. The swimming was exciting, watching Michael Phelps add to his stash of gold medals and especially seeing Lilly King defeat the drug-cheating Russian in the 100m breaststroke. But for sheer awe-inspiring domination, nothing beats the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team (literally!).

U.S. Women's Gymnastics TeamThe “Final Five,” as they’ve named themselves, put on a performance in the qualifying round and the team finals unlike anything ever seen before. But aside from the outstanding individual performances we witnessed, they won the gold medal as a team in a sport where they were each judged individually and in many cases were also competing against each other. To watch Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian was something special.

Rather than recap the results, which had the US team winning by 8 points in a sport where differences are often measured in tenths, there were a few other things that struck me about these young women. The first is how they were each focused on trying to help the team. During the qualifying round, three of the women, Biles, Raisman, and Douglas, were competing among themselves to qualify for the all-around final, since only two gymnasts per team could qualify. Laurie Hernandez, in her first international meet, was not eligible for the all-around since she was left out of the parallel bars exercise in favor of Douglas, whom she beat in each of the other three events. But whatever disappointment she felt was invisible behind her radiant smile and electric personality as she competed in the other events. And parallel bars expert Kocian, who was selected for the team just to participate in this event, received the highest score in both qualifying and in the finals (where she tied). Douglas, too, came back with the third-highest parallel bars score in the finals, which was the only event in which she competed. They each did their best in their own performances but also to encourage each other to reach their team goal, which was to win the gold medal as a tribute to their team coach, who is retiring.

As amazing as it was to watch this team of women compete, it was when I found out how much they each value their faith in God that I became even more impressed. I think maybe the gold medal isn’t the most important thing to them. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from that.

Oh, and there’s another thing to like about this team. With all the racial polarization in our society today, I for one found it extraordinarily refreshing that no one, least of all them, made any kind of issue about what race any of them was. It was their performance and their camaraderie in the pursuit of a common goal that mattered. Another lesson our society could learn from them.

Please be sure to check out my previous articles:

The Left is Wrong About Rights

Ends, Means and Democrats


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Union station WAY after dark
Day one in denver (I don’t count yesterday when we got Union Station at 10:30 & to the Hotel at just before 11 PM Denver time) started with a trip to the Basilica for AM mass as DaWife snoozed. The Hotel operates a shuttle for free in a 3 mile radius so that really came in handy. If I had that last time I wouldn’t have ended up in the clash between the occupods & the police.

I took a lot of pictures after mass.

I’m still got a few folks on my indulgence list to take care of over the next few days.

After the shuttle took me back and the wife and I had breakfast Stop two was a walk to Coors field:

assorted denver 2 030

where I filmed this clip before dabattery died

The park was beautiful the seats spacious compared to fenway and incredibly comfortable. I loved that they have a “rockpile” bench seating was $1 for kids under 12 or elders over 55 ($4 otherwise) so even the poorest and particularly young kids can always see a game in person and I really loved the deal where they had a designated drive setup where if you pledged not to buy beer after the 4th inning you got a free soda (saving dawife & I 10 bucks on a day when it was 91 during the game and the fans made a beeline for areas in the shade.) but it was very odd to see a stadium with so many empty seats.

Alas for Colorado while they jumped into an early lead against the rangers their bull pen cracked at a critical moment turning a 5-1 lead after 5 into a 7-5 loss despite putting two on in the ninth. They had an interesting program where

We then stopped at the 1 up bar for a quick bite, the food was meh, but the arcade and pinball selection was excellent and if you are a fan of pintastic this location near coors field is a must visit.

The wife and I walked the 16th street mall a bit stopping at Tattered Covers book store for a souvenir for our oldest and to avoid a thunder storm before heading back to the hotel. On the way we were stopped by an earnest young girl asking us to sign a postcard for the gov on Utah asking him to oppose exploiting resources on federal land. The young lady must have approached me due to the fedora, grey sideburns & doctor who scarf and must have been startled to hear me tell her: “Sorry I support that kind of thing.”

The hotel has a fridge in the room so we hit a local supermarket via the hotel shuttle service before heading back to crash.

Now with all batteries charged the plan is to do a few things with the wife in the AM then start interviews with people coming for the school choice event as they arrive in the afternoon both for the site and the podcast.

I suspect with a lot of bloggers here the upload speeds (already kinda meh) are not going to improve so don’t be surprised if a lot of this stuff goes up back in MA but I’ll do what I can.


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Jon Sable: My finders fee is 30%

Client: That’s pretty steep!

Jon Sable: Depends on how you look at it. I’ve always figured that 70% of something is worth more that 100% of nothing.

John Sable, Freelance #11 Maggie the Cat 1984

Cleveland Browns running back Isiah Crowell has a history of bad decision making dating back to his Georgia Bulldog days:

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, who was in and out of Bulldogs coach Mark Richt’s doghouse as a freshman, was dismissed from the team Friday after being arrested on weapons charges by Athens-Clarke County Police overnight.

Crowell, from Columbus, Ga., was arrested and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, according to the Athens-Clarke County Jail booking report.

Crowell, 19, was charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in a school zone, a felony count of altered identification mark and a misdemeanor count of possession/carrying a concealed weapon.

So there was not a lot of surprise when he made another bad decision to send out a cartoon showing a police officer getting his throat slit by a masked man on social media

Crowell pulled the cartoon but his initial apology went over flat, but old friend Ed Morrissey is giving him credit for attempting to do better the second time around

Give Crowell some credit, too. He’s parting with nearly a month’s salary (when spread out over the year), and the money goes to help those who truly need some community support. On top of that, he’s offering a personal and full apology, not some I’m sorry everyone misunderstood my genius non-apology. “I don’t want to be part of the problem,” Crowell said in the video above, “I want to be part of the solution.” Making amends is the first step. Maintaining that example for his fans is the next step. He really is putting his money where his mouth is, and maybe that will be a valuable life lesson to Crowell and others to think before engaging in public debates.

Now as a good Catholic I’m certainly a big fan of constriction and I very much hope that Mr. Crowell is sincere in his regret but I think the real lesson from this story is that if there was one subject that Mr. Crowell aced during his time at first Georgia then Alabama State it’s economics.

You see Mr. Crowell is slated to earn $592,000 this season with the Cleveland Browns and if the Browns decided that he is too radioactive to keep then that 592K will be in jeopardy.  And if the NFL decides the same then Mr. Crowell might find himself unemployable as a football player and lucky to find a $15 hr job even if the minimum wage is raised that high.

So while some might say that $37,000 is a high price to pay for a single cartoon, I submit and suggest that fully tax deductible $37K is a wise investment in remaining in the top 10% of American incomes for at least the next several years.

That’s the thing about math, it doesn’t care what you believe or what you think, it’s just relentlessly true.


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Because apparently if you have the muscle structure of a boy under 15 you can destroy a woman’s olympic contender with ease:

Australia’s national women’s soccer team have suffered a devastating defeat in the lead up to the Rio Olympics – going down 7-0 to the Newcastle Jets under-15 boys side.
What is particularly concerning for the Matildas is that despite resting some regulars, they were still able to field experienced international stars including former AFC player of the year Katrina Gorry.
Despite the embarrassing defeat on Wednesday night at Valentine Sports Park in Newcastle, the Australian team will travel to Brazil as one of the gold medal favourites.

Consider this wasn’t 2-1 or losing on an own goal,this was a team ranked 5th in the world & they lost 7-0, in SOCCER! There hasn’t been a loss this embarrassing in international soccer since Brazil was Trounced by Germany in the world cup.

Given this fact I think raconteurreport’s advice makes plenty of sense:

And I don’t know the IOOC policy on dudes who “identify” as women, but if you can find a dozen or so gender-bender boys about 14-15 years old, and get them entered in Women’s Soccer at this years’ Olympics, they’ll have a pretty easy shot at the medal round

You may think that suggestion a joke but the money and prestige involved is pretty significant and this is a crisis so I suspect the woman’s team from down under might be a lot less worried about what a “woman” has down under if they can make sure such embarrassment can be avoided in the future.

Closing thought: It’s stories like this that make my assumptions about this ESPN article suggesting Bobby Riggs threw his match against Billie Jean King pretty convincing.


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One of the most overlooked things about Muhammad Ali (other than his racist quotes that get ignored a lot) was that his greatness and success as a boxer came from three sources.

The first of course being his skill, both mechanical and tactical. His style resembled the great Jack Johnson with perhaps a better KO punch.

The 2nd being his master of the psychology of the game. Often times he had his foe psyched out before or during a fight and that can make the difference in a sport where one must be disciplined. It’s worth noting that the reason why he won his final fight against Frazier is that Frazier quit first, if Frazier had decided to answer that final bell there was every possibility that Ali would not have been able to physically do so.

The 3rd was his promotional ability, both for himself and for individual fights. Both as Cassius Clay and Muhammad Ali he was the master of generating gate, and much of his brash talk was toward that end. While one can make the argument that culturally that had a bad long term impact on sportsmanship there is no doubt that it was effective and given the nature of the sport where one has a finite opportunity to make a big payday completely understandable.

In terms of how he changed the game, promoted the game and dominated the sport of Boxing I think a comparison to Babe Ruth is valid. The only difference being that Ruth is unquestionably the greatest baseball player of all time because he was a Hall of Fame Quality Pitcher as well as one of the most feared hitters in History. With Ali you can make the case for Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Larry Holmes or Mike Tyson as his equal or better in his division, (and if you consider all divisions the discussion expands) but frankly the difference would be so small as to be meaningless.

No matter what your opinion of Ali the Man, Ali the Boxer was extraordinary athlete who came at exactly the right time (The beginning of the Television Age) where all of his skills were able to shine.

That’s Babe Ruth all over

At Chicks on the Right we have the story of another success story in woman’s sports:

The Alaska Schools Activities Association recently implemented a policy which allows each school to decide if transgender athletes can compete with the gender of their choice. There’s no general rule. The problem is, some schools don’t even require that a transgender student show evidence of transitioning. They simply need to declare he/she is the opposite gender and ideally, their actions, attitude, dress and mannerisms will align.

That’s it. You could literally say, “Hey, I’m a girl” and wear a skirt one day and compete in female sports.

Because of that policy, Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot was able to compete against the girls.

and the result

Nattaphon Wangyot advanced to the state finals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter. In both events, he competed against girls as young as ninth grade.

One of the girls Wangyot beat out for a slot at the state meet, Hutchison runner Emma Daniels, took issue with allowing a male athlete to compete in girls events.

I find myself feeling very little pity here, there was plenty of chance for people to speak out and be heard when this nonsense and other nonsense like it was being pushed but people either kept silent out of fear or supported it in order to signal virtue.

Alas, many are finding out that choosing not to fight the culture wars didn’t mean you would get peace.


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Read more:

There once was a time when people who are sick of the deceit and the spin of political TV might turn on sports as an escape.

That time is past, at least when it concerns ESPN:


the evening’s telecast of “Four Days in October,” ESPN’s 2010 documentary about Boston’s stunning comeback from a 3-0 deficit against New York to reach, and eventually win, the World Series, was missing his crucial Game 6 performance.

The bloody sock game was one of the defining moments in the 2004 ALCS which is likely why MLB decided the anniversary of the game was worth marking.

It’s easy to look back now and think that, of course, Boston would win that game with one of the great postseason pitchers of all time on the mound. But think back to Game 1, when Schilling pitched through a torn tendon sheath and was shelled for six hits and six runs over three innings.
It was fair to wonder how things could change. A day before Game 6, the Red Sox’s medical team came up with a radical procedure in which team doctor Bill Morgan would suture Schilling’s loose ankle tendon back into the skin. To be sure, Morgan first tried the somewhat barbaric procedure on a cadaver.
Nobody outside of the Red Sox’s clubhouse knew about the impromptu procedure, so it was easy to think the worst when there was visible blood on Schilling’s sock that surfaced early in Game 6. In actuality, it was just a byproduct of the stitches pressing against the tendon. Not only could Schilling pitch, but he came out pitching well in Game 6, showcasing a nasty splitter.
“And it wasn’t overblown,” remembers outfielder Gabe Kapler. “When there was all that talk about, ‘Was that really blood?’, not only was it really blood, but what he endured and mentally overcame the way he did may never be done again. I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a procedure like that to get a guy ready to pitch again. It was a little bit, like, science fiction-y.”

I hadn’t watch ESPN since the firing of Curt Schilling over this transgender nonsense, but pulling a Stalin and making him an unperson should be over the line even for the most left leaning of sports fans, particularly in Boston.

But ESPN rules sports so apparently this didn’t happen

If ESPN can throw Schilling’s performance in game 6 down the memory hole how does any conservative athlete or potential athlete do anything but presume that ESPN is sending this message.

If you have the “wrong” opinions and choose to express them openly then be aware we will cover your accomplishments differently

…assuming we cover them at all.

I’ll give schilling the last word:

There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

Just under a year ago, before his suspension was overturned I wrote about how Tom Brady’s suspension had a huge silver lining for the Patriots:

First of all Tom Brady is 37 years old, while he is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history even the greatest gets old and the toll of 15 seasons of getting hit has to have a cumulative effect on a body.

Second of all the Patriots are a pragmatic bunch of folks, they understand Brady is getting older and need to start considering who might be replacing him down the line.

Third of all how do you motivate a man who is:

1. Married to a Supermodel
2. Has all the money he will ever need
3. Has all already been to six superbowls and won 4

That’s why this suspension will do wonders for everybody.

Well now Brady’s suspension has been reinstated by the US appeals court

Last year, a federal court ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had not treated New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fairly in a disciplinary investigation, overturning a four-game suspension at the start of the 2015 season. Today, the 2nd Circuit threw a flag on the lower court and Brady, overturning the ruling and reinstating the suspension:

Other than the fact that Tom Brady’s is now 38 instead of 37 every single argument I made concerning the advantages of Brady getting a 4 week rest to start the season still applies.

Add to that the fact that the only reason Brady did not reach his 7th superbowl was a missed 2 pt conversion and the questionable coaching decision not to settle for 3 points with plenty of time on the clock on several occasions you have to believe Tom will want that 5th ring even more than he did last year.

I suggest the fans of Buffalo, Houston, Arizona and Miami enjoy their 4 game Bradyless windfall (which are not btw guaranteed wins for them) because after those four games the rest of the league is going to be paying for it.

P.S.  None of this changes the fact that there is absolutely no way minor functionaries fiddled with footballs without the knowledge and or consent of their QB and if you believe they would you’ll believe anything.  Yet it is a minor thing which produces a miniscule if any advantage but you’re not telling me it didn’t happen.

Back in 2014 when the NFL tried to shop Michael Sam to the entire league after the Rams cut him I wrote this:

If this report is true every player who did not make a practice squad now has a discrimination case against the NFL if he chooses to file it, in fact a class action suit in behalf of every player that didn’t have the league trolling for him would be both possible and very interesting as would the NFL’s reaction to such a suit.

Even worse every player in the league KNOWS that the slightest objection or word concerning this kind of favoritism will cause them to be pilloried by the league, blacklisted by media. I’m sure that fact is going to earn Mr. Sam a bunch of friends in locker rooms around the league.

It’s certainly possible that thanks to injury and needs various team need Sam might find himself signed to an actual squad, Dallas did have a spate of injuries in their defense which would suggest a good fit, but thanks to this report from this point on Michael Sam is officially a token and the first question any team that signs him off Dallas’ practice squad will have to answer: “Did anyone from the league contact your organization to prompt you in any way to sign Mr. Sam?” and no matter what the answer fans and players will not believe it.

Now today we discover that such a suit would have a much earlier origin:

A longtime NFL reporter revealed Wednesday the NFL agreed to a deal where the Los Angeles Rams — then St. Louis — didn’t have to do HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series in 2014 if they drafted Michael Sam.

It also means that every single player who was undrafted the year the Rams took Michael Sam has a case against the NFL for damages as they colluded with the Rams to deny them a chance to be drafted based on their sexual orientation in order to give a job to a man who found one game in the Canadian Football League too much for him.

Given the wealth of the NFL, their “non profit” status and the number of unemployed lawyers this is the type of suit that would be very interesting. I suspect the league would pay a fortune just to forestall discovery.

They should have taken a lesson from the NBA and Jason Collins.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: I had intended to deal a fatal blow to the American Fleet by attacking Pearl Harbour immediately after Japan’s declaration of war, but according to American radio, Pearl Harbour was attacked fifty-five minutes before our ultimatum was delivered to Washington. I can’t imagine anything that would infuriate the Americans more. I fear all that we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

Tora Tora Tora 1970

This week the New England Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans to go to 12-2 clinching a first round bye in the playoffs with two games to go.  The Titans fell to 3-11.

New England Started 10-0 and it was generally agreed that the whole “deflategate” scandal had motivated the already formidable patriot to the point where they pretty much wanted to punish the rest of the league to the point where even an incredible assortment of injuries were not enough to stop them.

But the passage of time, the reality of how hard it is to win every game in  the NFL, and even more injuries finally took their toll and the Patriot managed to lose two in a row before returning to their winning ways last week vs Houston and again vs a young & weak Tennessee team.

For all of their renewed success it looked very much like the Pats had managed to prove their point , the anger was gone and the only motivation left would be the normal desire to win.  That in itself has made the Patriot formattable enough for this this team to 6 superbowls in 15 years.

And then the NFL does this:

NFL Reportedly Tested PSI Of Footballs From Patriots-Titans Game

Now on twitter, it’s claimed that this is random.

But given the game (one that the Patriots were expected to easily win) the headline at Drudge:

STING: NFL Tests Air Levels In Footballs Used In PATRIOTS Game…

and the chip that had already been on the Patriots shoulders most of the year, and the deflategate conversations that it is going to revive I can’t think of anything that could happen that would infuriate Patriots fans who don’t trust the league and Patriots players who already think the NFL’s goal this year is to stop them and Tom Brady the best quarterback in the history of the game who normally need no motivation to win other than a desire to do so.

Congratulations NFL, you have for the second time this year awoken the sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve that will be taken out out on every team they face beginning with the NY Jets this weekend.

One should never get ahead of oneself when it comes to the playoffs but if you are a Carolina fan and claimed you weren’t worried about facing the Patriots in the Superbowl, you should be now.

Lt. Sharpe: Care to join the rifles’ Dobbs?
Pvt Dobbs: That I would sir
Lt. Sharpe: It’s a good life, if you can stay alive.

Sharpe’s Eagle 1993

I wrote a bit about the liberalism of the rich, of people so removed from the consequences of life that they are unwilling to oppose anything that might bring those consequences toward them. I should note that there is one field where you will often see an exception to this rule.

Sports.

This might be at first counterintuitive after all those who excel in sports are lionized and championed, they are looked upon with awe, paid salaries many times what the average worker makes and even after retirement often have all of the access and privileges of the elites.

But unlike a businessman who can sell or cash out his business or a pol who can count on a connection to a job if you play a major league sport your days are numbered.  The average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years for players in the NHL & major league baseball 5.6 years an NBA player 6 years

Furthermore in all the major sports most players will spend years in farm leagues from the minors in baseball and hockey (and even basketball to some degree) to the college ranks or on the bench waiting years just for the chance to play.

Then there is injury.  In all the major sports, football more than any other, you are one play away from the end of your career.  Even if an injury is not career ending or just a headache, it could mean losing your job to a better player hungry for the job. (see Brady Tom or Gehrig Lou).

And once your career is over, it’s over, you are unlikely to demand anything near the pay you once got, after all there are only so many coaching or analyst positions available.

Thus it’s the rare sports player who needed to be mugged by reality to see how life really is, they see it every single time they go on the field trying to concentrate on the game before them without worrying about injury on the one hand or the dozens of people just dying to take their job from them on the other.

Now to be sure sports players are careful about what they say since the PC industry has no problem taking them down if possible, but they have one intrinsic advantage if they’re good enough going for them as explained by a certain Leo the Lip

Mr. Rickey, I thought when I signed the contract I signed for one thing. There is a ‘W’ column, and there is an ‘L’ column. I thought it was my obligation and duty to put as many as I could under that ‘W’ column.

Leo Durocher Nice Guys finish last.

No amount of political correctness can override the ability of a player good enough to add numbers to that W column.

****************************************************************************

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Ford Field
Ford Field, site of the Quick Lane Bowl

By John Ruberry

One has to wonder if college football is headed to an every-participant-gets-a-ribbon level of competition. Not including the NCAA championship face-off, there will be a record 40 college bowl games this season, which means 63 percent of FBS programs will play in a bowl contest. And despite some of these teams fattening up against next-level-down teams in non-conference games, for instance Illinois clobbered Western Illinois 44-0, there aren’t enough teams with 6-6 records or better to fill all of these bowl slots.

Which means some 5-7 FBS teams–Illinois could be one of those squads–may still be graced with a bowl entry. At least two losers–and as many as five–will be bowl invitation winners. But another 5-7 Big 10 team, Nebraska, may have a leg up. The NCAA has a loser contingency plan–I’m sure they call it something more palatable–which rewards schools with the highest Academic Progress Rate. The Cornkuskers have the highest APR among the 5-7s.

Hey, studying finally counts for something in college sports! That’s an improvement. On the other hand, Nebraska’s fans are intensely loyal and even a Cornhusker team with a losing record makes them an attraction for a low-level bowl. Follow the money.

And what about the games themselves? Let’s take a look at Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl, which will be played at Ford Field on December 28. It has tie-ins with the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference. But because there are not enough B1G or ACC bowl-eligible teams, Campus Insiders projects that another Big 10 loser, Minnesota. will face off against Central Michigan of the Mid American Conference. The Chippewas are 7-5–good for them.

NCAA football: Where you can be a winner and a loser at the same time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Last month I said this about the New England Patriots and deflategate:

it is clear the that patriots have spent the last 15 years living rent free in the heads of practically every time in the league.

Yesterday Ian O’Connor at ESPN seconded that motion:

This game, and the way Pagano coached it, illustrated again that the Patriots aren’t just beating opponents between the tackles, they’re breaking them down psychologically, too.

Remember at this point the Patriots where only up by six, the Colts were at home, with a defense that had already burned the pats for a pic-6 (Interception run back for a touchdown) and a first rate punter. There was plenty of time and no reason at all to be bothering with tricks at this point.

Pagano coached Sunday night as if he were determined to out-trick the master.

The problem is you don’t defeat the defending superbowl champion by “outtricking the master” you win it by playing football for 60 minutes, something the Bill Belechick demonstrated after Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made one of the greatest clutch catches in superbowl history with just over a minute to play and facing one of the best running backs in the game at their own five yard line:

here are the Patriots, seconds after dealing with a dagger in the heart play step up and stop Lynch just before the line keeping the game in play, making it 2nd & goal on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds to go.

This is the first of two telling moments. The play by play announcers are saying openly perhaps Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should simply let Seattle walk into the end zone and take the lead to give Tom Brady the maximum amount of time to possibly come back for a game tying field goal. As far as they are concerned a Seattle touchdown to take the lead is a fait accompli and there is nothing the Patriots can do to stop it…

…Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite. His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back. He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

Belichick isn’t worrying about mind games, his player Malcolm Butler isn’t worrying about mind games, they’re both worrying about football and how to win that game, unlike for example, Pittsburgh in week one. O’connor again

Mike Tomlin’s opening night meltdown over the failed Foxborough headsets was a case in point, and it was answered the next day by a Belichick jab about running a program that isn’t built on excuses. People see ghosts when they play the Patriots. They don’t stay within a country mile of their lane. Go back and give a second read to the report by ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham on the connection between Spygate and Deflategate, and on all the time and energy New England’s opponents have invested in fretting over potential covert ops and dirty tricks.

If you haven’t seen it take a good look at that play

They say the film never lies, and Sunday night’s film shows a Colts team that tried to get way too smart and way too cute at the worst possible time.

In the end, the Patriots don’t just make you miss blocks and tackles. Pagano reminded everyone that they make you lose your mind, too.

This week Patriots Colts game demonstrates the truth of this post Superbowl statement concerning New England

None of this changes the fact that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, that Bill Belichick is a great coach and the Patriots teams were some of the best trained and prepared teams in the league. Without those truths even if every allegation against the pats was true, they simply would not have been able to win as they did.

But given those facts and the obsession the rest of the league had with the pats, the question isn’t how the NE Patriots managed to win 4 Superbowls and play in six over the last 15 years. The wonder is how they ever failed to make it.

The way you beat New England is you play better football for 60 minutes.  Period.

At the Drudge Report there is a link to a Hollywood Reporter story where Michael Sam is pointing fingers over his failure to make the NFL

Michael Sam could very well still be playing in the NFL had he not come out as gay, the former St. Louis Ram told sportscaster Dan Patrick on Friday.

Sam, who played defensive end at the University of Missouri before being drafted into the NFL, told Patrick becoming a media spectacle was never a part of his plan, and may have hurt his first shot at professional football.

For those of you who spent last year under a rock, when Sam came out the media lionized him and while his performance in the NFL combine was not anything special the media and the NFL put heavy pressure on teams to draft him.

In the end the Rams used their last draft pick to take him saving the league from their claws, but in the end the Rams decided that like 98% of all college players who try, he just wasn’t good enough for the NFL.

Sam however got a 2nd chance as the The Dallas Cowboys picked him up for their practice squad but in they also decided to release him.

His next stop was the Montreal Alouettes but as I wrote in August that didn’t end well either:

Sam signed on to roll with the Montreal Alouettes​. However, he left the team in June for personal reasons.

The story didn’t get much better two months later. Sam announced that he’s quit the Alouettes to focus on his mental health

Think about that for a second, the player that the American media was ready to pillory the NFL for if he wasn’t drafted, has found the pressure of being in the CFL too much.

However his failure in the CFL apparently isn’t his fault, it’s all because of the bigotry against people who are gay.

Contrast this to Tim Tebow.

It looked like Tebow’s NFL comeback was finally secure when the Eagles traded the person he was competing with for the 3rd QB spot on the team, an important spot since their starter had been injured before.

But the eagles surprised everyone by cutting him and signing Stephen Morris.  Tebow reacted thus:

This week Morris was cut & replaced by another who wasn’t Tebow:

Should disaster strike and Philadelphia actually need to rely on Lewis, head coach Chip Kelly at least knows Lewis is somewhat proven in the NFL. He made six starts over the past four seasons, throwing for 1,296 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.

So Lewis is proven as opposed to Tim Tebow who the last time he had a chance to start not only led an also ran team to an improbable playoff appearance but managed to beat the Pittsburgh in the wild card game before losing to the now time champion New England Patriots.

But it’s not just the eagles, there have been several big QB injuries this year already and despite Tebow’s proven record as a leader & winner no team has decided to add him to their Roster as a backup.

So how has Heisman Trophy Winner the two time college national champion former college quarterback and player of the year and the man who was a miracle worker in Denver reacted?  Like this:

“Obviously, you come to terms because I believe there’s a plan for everything,” Tebow said Friday in Gainesville. ”You can’t believe that God has a plan for you in your life and it’s a perfect plan and have doubt at the same time. They just don’t go together.”

So Tebow is waiting for, maybe even expecting, that next phone call.

”I’ve said this a few times: I don’t know what the future holds, but I do trust who holds my future,” he said.

No blaming the league, no pointing the finger at a media that hates him just faith in God and patience.

Now I’m not an NFL coach or GM but based on this reaction I certainly can tell which one of these two I would want in my locker room.

When you hear the name “Gaylord Perry” the first word that might come to mind is “Spitball”. However you might be surprised to know that in his entire 22 year major league that saw him win two Cy Young awards strike out over 3000 men and take the mound 777 times it wasn’t till his penultimate season that he was ejected for doctoring a baseball despite every umpire in the league watching him.

However as much as Perry was known for the spitball his very reputation put every single batter he faced on the defensive. All Perry had to do is go through the motions and the hitter was frozen.

Reading the latest ESPN report

In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era. Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense. (The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to swipe.) Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports. Walsh later told investigators that he was once instructed to remove the labels and erase tapes of a Patriots practice because the team had illegally used a player on injured reserve. At Gillette Stadium, the scrambling and jamming of the opponents’ coach-to-quarterback radio line — “small s—” that many teams do, according to a former Pats assistant coach — occurred so often that one team asked a league official to sit in the coaches’ box during the game and wait for it to happen. Sure enough, on a key third down, the headset went out.

But the truth is, only one man truly knows how much Spygate, or any other suspect method, affected games: Belichick.

and Rush Limbaugh’s coverage of the Patriots and the NFL


Now, I don’t know how anybody gets some low-level schlub sneaking in an NFL locker room without a lot of people being in on it. That’s just hard to do, and my point is I really question this. Baseball is different. At least it was. I have some experience at this when I worked for the Kansas City Royals, but still it was tough. And if it was discovered that somebody from the other team is in there — I don’t care how low on the totem pole they were — it would have been a huge scandal.

The person would have been kicked out. There would have been holy hell raised over it. The other thing is the play sheet. This first 20 plays? Not every team does that. Some teams’ head coach scripts the first 20 plays for his own offense no matter what. They’re gonna do those 20 plays no matter what the situation is. They’re gonna run those 20 plays because it’s strategically been put together and they’re gonna learn how the defense operates in those 20 plays and those first two set up the rest of the game.

Not all teams do it. But I can guarantee you that no head coach would leave it laying around for some schlub from the other team to walk in and pilfer. You know, they’re kept in laminated folders to protect from the elements from rain and this kind of thing. They’re just not pieces of paper. It’s 8.5X11, color-coded. You’ve seen the head coach holding these things if you’ve noticed coaches on the sideline watching these things.

…it is clear the that patriots have spent the last 15 years living rent free in the heads of practically every time in the league.

None of this changes the fact that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, that Bill Belichick is a great coach and the Patriots teams were some of the best trained and prepared teams in the league. Without those truths even if every allegation against the pats was true, they simply would not have been able to win as they did.

But given those facts and the obsession the rest of the league had with the pats, the question isn’t how the NE Patriots managed to win 4 Superbowls and play in six over the last 15 years. The wonder is how they ever failed to make it.

U of I student union, Urbana
U of I student union, Urbana

By John Ruberry

Once again my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is back in the national spotlight–and not for a good reason.

The state’s flagship university and its corrupt political apparatus are a worthy match for each other.

On Friday the head football coach of the Fighting Illini, the inept Tim Beckman, was fired one week before the team’s season opener after a preliminary outside report confirmed allegations that Beckman forced his student-athletes to play while hurt.

Here’s a unique twist–because Beckman, who was 12-25 in his three years at Illinois, was fired with cause, the athletic department won’t pay for the remaining two years of his contract.

It’s not just football.

This spring an assistant coach of the Illini women’s basketball team, Mike Divilbiss, resigned after charges became public that he and the head coach verbally harassed players and held segregated practices–one for whites and the other for blacks. Divibliss received a payout.

In June a former women’s soccer player for the Illini, Casey Conine, filed a suit claiming that she was cleared to play after suffering a third concussion.

illinois lawyersAt the center of the sports mess is Illinois’ athletic director, Mike Thomas, who hired Beckman in 2011. Thomas announced Beckman’s dismissal at a press conference where he described his department as “a wonderful place full of wonderful people.” Possibly the only reason Thomas still has a job is that the woman who hired him, university chancellor Phyllis Wise, was sort-of fired earlier this month–are you reading this, Hillary Clinton?–after she was caught using a private email service to discuss sensitive and embarrassing U of I matters. Wise’s payout bonus was denied–but she will be working in a different capacity at the university. The second-in-command at Illinois–Provost Ilesanmi Adesida–announced his resignation last week. Yes, he used a personal email service to conduct university business too.

Last year in this space I wrote about the rehiring as of a convicted murderer and a former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist at Urbana-Champaign, James Kilgore, as an adjunct professor. The SLA controversy was one of the discussion points in those no longer private emails.

Four of the last nine elected Illinois governors have served time in federal prison. Clearly the state’s rotten political apparatus and its premier college deserve each other.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I’m old enough to remember when doubting that Michael Sam was an NFL caliber player was considered bigotry.  Well now after signing with Montreal in the CFL and then suddenly leaving training camp for “personal reasons”,  apparently it appears he’s not coming back:

Sam signed on to roll with the Montreal Alouettes​. However, he left the team in June for personal reasons.

The story didn’t get much better two months later. Sam announced that he’s quit the Alouettes to focus on his mental health

Think about that for a second, the player that the American media was ready to pillory the NFL for if he wasn’t drafted, has found the pressure of being in the CFL too much.

In fairness if the MSM had let him be and allowed him succeed or fail on his own merits perhaps his “mental health” would not be in jeopardy.  Perhaps if he continued to work to his potential rather than to the media’s expectations of him things might have been different but right not none of that matters.

The irony of course is the MSM that made Michael Sam draft position a cause célèbre will now without a question blame Sam’s failure on everyone but himself.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia another football player who the media is less impressed with is making waves:

When Tim Tebow completes a pass or takes off running with the football, fans watching the Philadelphia Eagles practice cheer loudly and reporters quickly post about it on social media.

Few, if any, players fighting for a roster spot ever drew more attention.

and he’s already impressing his teammates

Teammate Brandon Graham already predicted Tebow not only will make the team, but make an impact. Riley Cooper, Tebow’s former roommate at Florida, expects him to succeed.

“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever played with, and that rubs off on everyone else,” Cooper said. “I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

and there is no question about either his work ethic

 About 43,000 fans attended practiced last Sunday and many cheered Tebow’s every move.

Tebow signed his autograph on several Gators jerseys and even a Bible. He’s often the last player off the field and does his best to accommodate every fan’s request.

Nor his mental health

“It’s something you always have to think about when you come out here because you can take it for granted,” Tebow said. “And there’s probably been a lot of times in my life when I’ve taken it for granted. But you just realize how blessed you are when you come out here. You’re able to play a game that you love. That’s pretty special.”

But unlike Michael Sam who had an adoring media and an indifferent public , the public has long loved Tebow unlike the media or some of in the NFL even when he was winning for them

Right now, whenever Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway gets asked about Tebow, he effectively says, “We have no choice but to play him. He wins games.” It’s not really a compliment. It’s almost a criticism. But if Tebow did all this with a prison record, Elway would say the same thing in reverse order: “He wins games. We have no choice but to play him.” Which is similar, but not the same.

 

Comedians make jokes about him

Even his very existence was an affront to their highest sacrament

For starters, Tebow’s very existence is somehow controversial. He’s a walking pro-life testimonial. He’s been pulling off comebacks since before he was born. Pam Tebow, Tim’s mother, courageously chose to carry baby Tim to term despite doctors’ recommendations that she abort him.

You may recall that before Tim went pro, the Christian group, Focus on the Family, commissioned an innocuous TV ad that ran during the 2010 Saints-Colts Super Bowl game. It briefly told the story of the Tebows’ pre-natal struggle. The word “abortion” was never even uttered, but a positive portrayal of childbearing was all it took.

And so began the left’s hate affair with Tim Tebow. Radical feminist groups, media-types and liberal pundits alike lost their collective noodle even before the ad ran.

But through it all Tebow kept working and has been rewarded with one more chance to make an NFL roster.

Nobody can tell the future.  Michael Sam may pull himself together and with hard work might find himself playing somewhere, maybe in the Arena football league, maybe in the CFL or perhaps with a lot of effort and luck on an NFL team.  Tim Tebow for all the media, fan attention and hard work may never take another snap in a regular season NFL game, but there is one thing we know.

This weekend Tim Tebow will be starting Quarterback in an NFL game while Michael Sam will be at home and no amount of punditry, comedy or media angst can change it.

Blackhawks flagBy John Ruberry

Chicago has suffered a tough run since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Its high murder rate has garnered America’s third-largest city the unfortunate nickname of Chiraq–a morphing of Chicago and Iraq. Depopulation–a big problem for most rust belt cities–continues to plague Chicago. Its population hasn’t been as low as it is now since 1910. As with Illinois, unfunded public worker pensions are a millstone on the city’s budget. Chicago Public Schools may not have enough money to open this autumn–CPS has its own pension bomb about to explode.

But there is a bright spot. On Wednesday the Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup championship since 2010. Chicago has their first professional sports dynasty since Michael Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s.

Over one million fans lined the streets of Chicago’s downtown and the Near West Side for another championship parade. Loud cheers–except when Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s name was mentioned–filled Soldier Field for Stanley Cup rally. Four days later, many cars and homes are still flying Chicago Blackhawks flags.

For the first time since 1938, the Blackhawks won the Cup on home ice. Most Chicago area residents of course couldn’t be there–but the local ratings for Game 6–when Chicago defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL championship game, were the highest ever for a Blackhawks contest.Let's Go Hawks

But sports is not a miracle elixir: A year after the deadly 1967 Detroit Race Riot–an event the Motor City never recovered from–the 31-win season of Tigers’ pitcher Denny McLain and the team’s World Series win offered a well-needed respite for Detroit. But that city’s slide continues to this day.

Will Chicago’s descent continue? In the short term Chicagoans are, at least for now, in a better mood.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I was at a local restaurant last night and all the talk was about the 4 game suspension given to Tom Brady over Deflategate.

In one respect it really doesn’t matter for Brady, HOF Baseball player Gaylord Perry who was known to bend a rule or two in his day put it best:

“They’d have to be a little bit smarter about it,” Perry told Sporting News Thursday morning. “But they got away with it during the game and won, so that’s all that matters.”

Given that this is football rather than something that actually matters like the upcoming election or baseball I was actually thinking about giving the whole topic a miss but it hit me that the NFL rather than hurting Brady & the Pats has actually done them a big favor.

Consider the following facts:

First of all Tom Brady is 37 years old, while he is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history even the greatest gets old and the toll of 15 seasons of getting hit has to have a cumulative effect on a body.

Second of all the Patriots are a pragmatic bunch of folks, they understand Brady is getting older and need to start considering who might be replacing him down the line.

Third of all how do you motivate a man who is:

1. Married to a Supermodel
2. Has all the money he will ever need
3. Has all already been to six superbowls and won 4

That’s why this suspension will do wonders for everybody.

Tom Brady’s 37 year old Body gets an extra month of not being hit that the rest of the league’s quarterbacks will not get.  While that might not seem a big deal in say week 7 or 8 come week 15 or 16 that’s the type of thing that can pay huge dividends particularly for an older player.

The Patriots will now get a chance to see if they have a potential long term replacement for Brady on their Roster. This had to be checked sooner or later so now they have an excuse without waiting for an injury or risking offense to a team icon & start.  If they are a bust, they you have a healthy & rested Brady ready to go, and if they’re not then you now have either

1.   A game tested backup for Brady the rest of the year

2.  The Greatest QB of all time available as needed during the season

Furthermore Brady now has been given two huge incentives to have a monster year

1.   Brady will want to remind New England that no matter how good a potential replacement plays HE is the star of the team (Don’t think for one second that he’s forgotten that he got his chance because of an injury to star QB Drew Bledsoe).

2.  Brady, already a competitive man, knows a lot of people are pointing to him & calling him a cheater and not in the friendly oh shucks Gaylord Perry way.  There is nothing he would like better than to turn those smiles and grins into frowns and groans of pain by adding a 5th ring to his collection.

So if you are an NFL East team or a Patriots hater I suggest you enjoy the first four weeks of the season as best you can because I would not want to be playing the patriots anytime after week 7. Barring a young Phenom pulling a Wally Pip on him  I suspect what Brady will be doing to opposing defenses will not be pretty.

You have been warned.

 

I know it’s only the first week of the Baseball season but if you are a New England baseball fan you’ve got to like the way things have started:

Mookie Betts robbed Bryce Harper of a homer, stole two bases in one sequence and clubbed a three-run homer. David Ortiz added two hits, including a homer over the Green Monster in left-center. Catcher Sandy Leon, acquired from the Nationals late in Spring Training, produced three hits against his former team. Pablo Sandoval added two hits and had a nice play at third base in his first home game for Boston.

Now it’s highly unlikely that the Sox will be playing .700 baseball when he season is 70 games old rather than 7 but with the kind of offensive lineup this team has it wouldn’t surprise me to see them still in first place when June and July comes around nor would it be a shock to see them in the post season but it’s a long season and a lot can happen.

But for now as we wait for the snow piles in the parking lots to melt I’m going to enjoy things as they are.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  I don’t want to discuss Hillary Clinton.  I’m blogging this several hours ahead of post-time so I don’t know what Memeorandum’s top stories are, but I will predict that at the moment you are reading this, most of the top stories in your news feed are Hillary related.

I have nothing to say about Hillary except she’s a lying liar and I have no respect for her whatsoever.

Let’s talk about something else today, besides Hillary.

Let’s talk about baseball:  the all-American sport.  We’ve just come off opening week and my husband is already giving up on the Cubs.  He can’t help it; he’s been a Cubs fan his whole life and he’s used to never having a winning season.  Maybe the curse will be broken and they’ll have a good year.

We have satellite TV at our house and this year we ordered the Extra Innings baseball package, so now we can watch almost any game we want to.  So far it’s been a nifty little investment (albeit an expensive one).  As an added benefit, it means that much less time that I have to watch someone blather about Hillary Clinton on television.  And even better, my satellite baseball package doesn’t have that stupid, distracting strike-zone box superimposed in front of the batter like ESPN does.  I quit watching ESPN’s opening night game simply because that box irritated me to death.

Baseball is simply a joy to watch.  I love watching the game but I also love watching the fans and the players in the dugout.  Why is it that everyone at a baseball game looks like they’re having such a great time?   Even the players seem to radiate the pure joy of the game.

The most common complaint I hear about baseball is that it “moves too slow.”  I think that’s part of the joy of baseball; you have time to strategize the next play, anticipate what pitch might be coming next…is the runner on first going to try to steal?  Is the double-play option in effect?  Baseball is certainly not without its drama – just look at that 19-inning game last week!  Talk about drama!

As far as baseball writers go, they don’t get any better than Roger Angell.  His tribute to Derek Jeter was just poetry.

I could care less what Hillary Clinton has to say in the coming days; I do not care about her empty promises, her declarations about what America needs, her continuation of the ruination of this country, or her bumbling, philandering, scalawag of a husband.  For the next six or seven months, I will be watching baseball, which to me, celebrates all that is good and ever was good about America.

Maybe Hillary should watch more baseball.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Jack Crab:You’d better watch out Mr. Merryweather They’re whittling you down.  You can’t afford to lose any more of your parts.

Mr. Merryweather:Every business has a particle of risk.

Little Big Man 1970

Football is not Football if it’s Touch Football

Bob Schieffer Face the nation

Today on Face the nation they had a segment on the sudden retirement of rookie linebacker Chris Borland

There seems to be an excessive amount of praise for young Borland over a decision just as rational decision just like Sandy Koufax who facing the risk of disease concluded:

“I’ve got a lot of years to live after baseball and I would like to live them with the complete use of my body.”

All of this fuss over Borland’s decision saying how much he is giving up, but this glosses over what he has made.

Consider this information concerning median household incomes in the US

Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time. Young educated households with professional skills and aspirations will typically move into the higher earning brackets during their financial life cycles. Households dependent on income from unskilled labor and service employment will not see the same financial progress over the years.

They have several key charts, here is the one that caught my eye. (All emphasis mine)

income chart

And that average include people in much more dangerous jobs than playing & training to play football for 16 weeks a year that pay a lot less than football.

Mr. Borland is 24, he made $420K last year and received a signing bonus of over 600k for signing a 4 year deal 3/4 of which he plans to return.

So he will end up with $570K before taxes.

Consider what that means, based on 2013 numbers. If he doesn’t make another dollar till he’s 35 he will STILL have made more than the median household income than the avg american of his age will earn over that period of time. Additionally he will not have any student loans to pay back.

I have no problem with Mr. Borland’s decision. He has obviously used his free college education well and I’m sure even when the media interest fades he will be able to make a good living.  Additionally he is new enough to football that he hasn’t gotten used to a lifestyle that demands an annual income of 500K or more.  It’s a perfectly rational and sensible decision and I have no problem with it.

However a decision to continue to play football and earn another half million at a time in his life when he is likely a his peak physically is no less rational as would have been a decision to play a long career, make tens of millions and live the life and lifestyle of a such a person and be able to provide a comfortable living for generation of children & grandchildren.

Either of these choices to play or not to pay are rational, neither of these choices are “heroic”.

Pat Tillman who left an NFL career to fight in Afghanistan (where he died)  made a heroic decision.  Bob Feller who was the first major league player to enlist after Pearl Harbor  and volunteered for combat duty in the USN made a heroic decision.

Chris Borland did not.

I thought Bob Schieffer’s was old enough to know the difference.

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By John Ruberry

Later today a committee will reveal the 68 teams that will participate NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is commonly known as the Big Dance or March Madness. All of the games will be televised–and during halftime, public-service ads about the participating teams will air–they will be milquetoast pieces–focusing how each school contributes to the community and if applicable, how many Nobel prizes the colleges have collected.

What will be left out of those PSAs is that there are many hard-core leftists on the faculty of every college participating in March Madness.

For instance…

Duke is in the tournament almost every year. miriam cooke (she does not capitalize her first or last name) is a professor of Arabic in the African & Asian Languages & Literature Department. She blames the first Gulf War and the establishment of Israel for the 9/11 attacks. cooke was one of the Group of 88 who signed a hateful letter that appeared in Duke’s student newspaper condemning the since-exonerated Duke lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black stripper.

The University of Kentucky is a favorite to win the tournament. Ihsan Bagby is a professor in the UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. He once wrote, “Ultimately we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country [the U.S.] because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

Temple University is a tournament bubble team. While their Big Dance status is in doubt as of this writing–what is absolutely clear is that the Philadelphia university forces its students to take its two-year Intellectual Heritage course series that is heavy on Marxism but light on the damage caused by this failed philosophy. The professors who teach those classes certainly aren’t Ronald Reagan conservatives.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

The teams not among the field of 68 can be invited to three other post-season tournaments. One of those is the NIT, my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is expected to be an NIT team. The U of I counts a convicted murderer and former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist, James Kilgore, as one of its instructors.

You’ll find a lot of hot air and any many air balls in higher education. That is the real madness.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Guy Fleegman: I’m not even supposed to be here. I’m just “Crewman Number Six.” I’m expendable. I’m the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is. I’ve gotta get outta here.

Galaxy Quest 1999

Michael Corleone:  It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.

The Godfather 1972

 

Vince Wilford was drafted by the New England Patriots back in 2004 and has played 11 seasons with the team.  In those 11 years he managed four trips to the Superbowl and two wins.  The first was during his rookie season with the patriots and apparently his second may be in his last:

Veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork tweeted Thursday that the New England Patriots have informed him they will not pick up the option in his contract, thus making him a free agent when the new league year begins Tuesday.

Now Wilfork is considered a good player at his position and will reportedly be a desirable free agent  top player at his position but there is a logical financial reason for this move:

Will the likely end of the Vince Wilfork-New England Patriots marriage bode well for the return of Darrelle Revis and Devin McCourty to New England?

Not picking up Wilfork’s option gives the Patriots a projected salary cap savings of $8.9 million. CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran says that money could help retain their pending free agents in the secondary, who were a big part of their Super Bowl-winning season.

The Pats could of course still sign him for less money but the bottom line is this.  irregardless of his past performance as far as the Patriots are concerned Vince Wilfork is as expendable as a red shirt in the old Star Trek series (as illustrated in Mad Magazines parody song of the 70’s sung to the tune of The Age of Aquarius).

♫ As your ship files through the galaxy, to far away places way past mars.  Be sure that your adventures, do not kill off the stars!

And you can do it with a crew that’s expendable, crew that’s expendable.  Expendable!  Expendable

Minor actors that you bring on, perish when you meet a Klingon.  Other ones you bring on later die within a planet’s crater.  And although we try to save them we can not because the script has made them expendable.  Expendable! ♫

And that brings us to Senator Bob Menendez.

Now let’s preface the comments that follow with this statement. I’ve been writing about Menendez for a while since 2012.  One example:

An Elmwood Park man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring with his brother to violate federal election law by steering $21,400 in illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

Benedetto Bigica, 45, admitted that he worked with his brother, Joseph, of Franklin Lakes, from April 2005 to April 2008 to make the illegal contributions

The response from the Menendez campaign was…interesting

A spokesman for Menendez has acknowledged that the senator was the unnamed federal official cited in court papers in the case but said Menendez was a victim of Joseph Bigica’s.

“Senator Menendez’s campaign, a victim of the fraud that ensued, cooperated fully with the investigation,” Mike Soliman, Menendez’s state director and former campaign manager, said Tuesday.

Yes you read that right.

Based on my what I’ve already written  I’d say Menendez, like Dinesh D’Sousa is likely guilty as sin, but he was likely guilty as sin from 2005-2008 when those illegal contributions were made.  He was likely guilty as sin when I was writing about him in 2012 and 2013 and I suspect he was guilty as sin all through 2014.

The question becomes, if this was all true, why is justice only interested in him now?  PJ media and Ted cruz  and others think it’s because of his opposition to an Iran deal.  As Cruz said:

“The announcement this week by the Justice Department that they were bringing charges against Bob Menendez — I will point out that the timing seems awfully coincidental that … in the very week that Bob Menendez showed incredible courage to speak out and call out President Obama for the damage that his policy is doing to our national security … the Justice Department announces they’re moving forward with the criminal prosecution,” Cruz said.
 
“It raises the suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon against you as well,” he added.

But think about it.  Menendez was defending Israel and expressing suspicion of Iran long before this month.  The Kirk Menendez Amendment putting sanctions on Iran dates from 2011 Why were his speeches and critiques not enough to cause a break?

That’s actually easy. He wasn’t expendable then.

Before Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 a high profile hispanic was vital. Before the 2014 with the prospect of control of the senate hanging by a single seat, every person with a “D” next to their name was vital.

And even a few weeks ago with the first test of the Democrats ability to shake down Mitch McConnell & John Boehner it was vital to make sure there was party unity.

But now that all the elections are over, now that the amnesty money is secure and now that the Democrat party knows that 41 united democrats can bend Republican leaders like a yoga instructor Robert Menendez becomes expendable.

It isn’t Menendez’s corruption,  nor his support of Israel, or even his outspoken condemnation of the Iran deal that doomed him.  It’s because like Vince Wilfork.  He’s suddenly no longer worth the price.

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Anyone who reads this site knows I’m a big Baseball fan and while I can watch Football & enjoy the nuances of the game I think it can’t compare.

The greatest advantage to Baseball?  No clock, you have to get those 27 outs, while often in football you can just run out the clock, the game is pretty much out of control.

That’s not how the Patriots approached this game. On sunday the Patriots were playing football, but were thinking baseball they played until the last out was recorded.

Consider the start of the  fourth quarter.  Seattle had the ball, the Patriots were down 24-14.  No Superbowl team in history had come back from a 10 point 4th quarter deficit and New England was playing against not only the defending NFL champions but the best defensive team in the league.

Rather than panicking or losing control they methodically, after stopping Seattle they drove down the field to score making it a 3 point game.

Then after stopping Seattle a 2nd time they drove a second time for a second touchdown with 2:02 left.

Both of those situation said a lot about the Patriots but what followed said even more.

Seattle, needing a touchdown started from their twenty and drove down the field, with  1:16 left on a 1st & 10 from the Patriots 38 we witnessed on of the greatest catches in NFL history:

That was an amazing miraculous catch but notice that in addition to Jermaine Kearse’s  incredible play, rookie defender Malcolm Butler (more on him later) after having what appeared to be a great defensive stop turned into a 30+ yard catch had the presence of mind to get Kearse out of bounds before he could score.

He didn’t waste time in shocked disbelief the game was still on the line and he acted.

With 1:06 left Seattle holding a time out in their pocket handed off to the best running back in the league Marshon Lynch who is stopped just short of the goal line.

Again, here are the Patriots, seconds after dealing with a dagger in the heart play step up and stop Lynch just before the line keeping the game in play, making it 2nd & goal on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds to go.

This is the first of two telling moments.  The play by play announcers are saying openly perhaps Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should simply let Seattle walk into the end zone and take the lead to give Tom Brady the maximum amount of time to possibly come back for a game tying field goal.  As far as they are concerned a Seattle touchdown to take the lead is a fait accompli and there is nothing the Patriots can do to stop it.

Seattle is thinking the same thing, consider Pete Carroll’s post game comments, he is thinking to “waste” a play, to get time off the clock to minimize the chances of a Patriots comeback after they score.

This kind of thinking suggests a lack of confidence in his top ranked defense but more importantly it presumes that the lead taking touchdown has already happened, his team doesn’t have to execute, he doesn’t have to make the right call, it’s all over.

Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite.  His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back.  He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

And when the snap is made Malcolm Butler, the same fellow who stopped Kearse from scoring two plays earlier recognizes the play and muscles his way forward to intercept the ball and give the Patriots the ball on their own 1 yard line with 20 seconds to go.

But even then, no matter what the highlight reels are showing, the game is NOT over and the Patriots understand this.

There is little or no space for Brady to take a knee and if he is brought down in the end zone not only is it a safety making the score 28-26 but the same Seattle team that drove down the field at the end of the 2nd quarter would just have to get within field goal range for a chance to win.

Meanwhile Seattle was in the same spot New England was in a mere 46 seconds earlier.  They had been kicked in the chest by a stunning reversal.  But unlike New England who put it behind them and got down to business Seattle did not.

First the Patriots understanding the game wasn’t over, did their best to draw Seattle offsides and defensive end defensive end Michael Bennett obliged.

Suddenly instead of the ball on the 1 and the Patriots having to worry about a safety the ball was on the 5.

Now the odds were very long for Seattle.  With only one time out left the Patriots would only need two snaps without a fumble with five yards instead of one to clinch the game.  The chances of a fumble or mistake were longer than the Patriots picking off a pass at the one yard line to save the game.

But no matter how long the odds it was the only chance they had and like Jackie Robinson in 1951 making sure Bobby Thompson touched every base after his historic Home Run or Wil Wheaton using the “Moonpie gambit” to defeat Sheldon Cooper in Mystic warlords of Ka’a

A team determined to win a 2nd straight Superbowl championship keeps its cool, lines ups and forces the Patriots to execute.

They did not:

Seattle’s vaunted defense loses it’s cool and now the Patriots get to make their final snap not inside of the 5 where a bad snap could cost them the game, but at the 20 with plenty of room to make sure everything is under control.

And that really says it all. During the last two minutes the Patriots played Superbowl 49 as if it was the 9th inning of the 7th game of the world series, they didn’t stop executing until the very last out was made.

And that’s what champions do.

I’ll have a much longer piece on one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen but if you really want to know what happened yesterday and why let me explain Why the Patriots won and Seattle Lost in two sentences.

After 59 minutes, both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception, the Seattle Seahawks played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 59 minutes both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

That’s pretty much it.

 

 

When you find yourself in distinguishable from Barack Obama when it comes to truth, that’s bad.

Incidentally we’re still going to win.

Sarris: Do you think I’m a fool? That the commander does not know every bolt, every weld in his ship?

Galaxy Quest  1999

You may not appreciated the necessity for uniformity , gentlemen, unless you make use of your imagination. A single document may well be accepted, but you must think of a series. After receiving, let us say, six genuine documents, someone receives one spurious one. The recipient naturally lays them together in the course of the routine of his office. If one is markedly different from all the others –even if one is different in only a small degree–attention is clamorously called to it. Hine illac lachrymae. And if that document has a content somewhat unusual–even though in other circumstances it might have passed-then the fact is in the fire and Bow Street is called in. Et Ego in arcadia vixi, gentlemen.

C. S. Forester Hornblower during the Crisis 1967

 

 

On the radio yesterday the only thing anybody wanted to talk about was the Patriots and under-inflated footballs.

I’ve been hearing all the excuses:  “Everybody does it”, “They won by 30+ points”,and “how many of the Patriots actually knew?”, or “how much difference can you tell between ball inflation?” etc etc etc.

All of that is simply rubbish.

Consider coach Belichick.  He runs an incredibly tight ship, with a strong system, the word “methodical” is too light a description for how he builds a team.

There is no question that the success of his teams comes from the hard methodical work but does anyone believe that someone that methodical leaves any such thing to chance?

Additionally these guys aren’t avg guys.  They handle footballs for a living all week every day, they know a ball that is regulation or not because unlike us they live eat and breathe football, they are the elite of football in the world.

Furthermore I’m the type of guy who still believes when George Brett was initially called out for using an illegal bat in the pine tar game it was the right call.  The rules are what they are  and  I think, while the Pats  have no doubt earned their place in the superbowl by their performance this is a case of breaking the rules pure and simple.

All those involved should suffer the full measures of the penalties specified for such offenses superbowl or no.

Period

 

Dateline:  Seattle Washington

The Green Bay Packers wasted no time after their overtime defeat by Seattle in firing conditioning coaches Hans and Franz after only a single season.

The Austrian Conditioning Team,  known for their occasionally abusive motivational speeches,  were brought in for their reputation but fell out of favor after injuries to Aaron Rogers which reduced his flexibility and ability to scramble.  Whispers within the organization that these injuries were was due to the esoteric training methods involving heavy armor, kayaks and blond women with excessively long locks.

Asked to comment on the quick front office decision in a season where the team made it to the NFC Championship game against the defending Superbowl Champions they referred to the Packers front office as “Losers” & “Girley men”.

They are not expected to be out of work long.  New Bills coach Rex Ryan looking to implement his famous “Ground and Pound” game is, according to sources, already in talks with their agent about the possibility of joining him in Buffalo to work on their offensive line in the off-season.

Asked about that possibility they said it’s too soon to commit to their first offer but stated unequivocally:  “If we go to Buffalo we will Pump them up!”

 

By John Ruberry

Last week the NCAA agreed to restore the 111 victories it forced the Penn State Nittany Lions football team to vacate as part of its penalty for covering up the child sex abuse crimes of the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Once again Penn State’s College Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno, is the NCAA’s all-time winningest head coach at 409 wins.

Paterno, who died in 2012 two months after Penn State fired him, knew of two of Sandusky’s sexual assaults: a 1998 incident that led to Sandusky’s surprising (at the time) retirement the next year and Sandusky’s 2001 rape of a ten year-old boy in the showers of the football team. By then Sandusky, who received a cushy retirement package that included full access to the Nittany Lion athletic facilities, was also given emeritus status at the school.

I watched Paterno’s last victory–although no one knew that it would be so at the time–on television against Illinois, a dull and sloppy home game in the snow that Penn State won, or I should say, didn’t lose, 10-7. That 409th win was one of many landmark victories for Paterno–he passed Grambling’s Eddie Robinson to become the all-time Division 1 leader in wins. But JoePa coached his team from the press box, protected by glass from the unseasonable cold.

A similar glass wall of protection shields Paterno to this day. The public became aware of the Sandusky scandal a few days after win 409 and Paterno, along with the school president, was fired the following week. But JoePa couldn’t be fired in person, supporters had surrounded his home and Paterno got canned by way of a telephone call. Students rioted in response to JoePa’s dismissal. The next summer Penn State was hit by brutal NCAA sanctions, including a ban on bowl games for four years, drastic scholarship cuts, a $60 million fine, and the removal of those 111 wins. Those victories dated back to 1998, when Paterno became aware of a Sandusky sexual assault.

Paterno’s able successor, Bill O’Brien, left Penn State after two seasons working under those draconian sanctions. He had decried the pressure of the “Paterno people” at the college, that glass wall. O’Brien committed the sin of not being JoePa.

In 2013 some of the pulled scholarships were restored by the NCAA and last year the team’s bowl-ban was removed.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Perversely, the Penn State hockey team chose to celebrate, yes celebrate, the restoration of the Paterno wins by donning “409” stickers on their helmets for its game against Michigan State Friday night.

Paterno’s glass wall is getting stronger–and I believe there is something wrong with that. Penn State–you have a problem.

There is some good news. Penn State lost that hockey game.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

One of the most interesting episodes of the favorite TV show of my youth the Adventures of Robin Hood was “The Truce”.

The episode starts with Robin Hood stopping someone in the forest to rob him, the target challenges Robin to an archery contest. Robin wins and the man throws down his purse in disgust accidentally dropping a medal showing he Mark Crispin Champion Bowman of England.

Meanwhile the Deputy Sheriff is tricked into a 500 mark wager against Lord Redford who has stated his archer can beat the Deputy Sheriff’s man who too his shock discovers Redford has hired Crispin as a ringer before he could. Desperate to avoid the loss he offers Robin Hood a one day truce, half the prize money and a & safe-conduct in writing (threatening to tax the poor for every penny he loses if he declines).

Feeling confident the Sheriff offers to increase the wager by 100 marks, Redford agrees and proposes doubling the wager so now the bet is 1200 silver marks.

At the shooting field when Robin wins round one Crispin recognizes him and Lord Redford hints to the Sheriff that he should admit and denounce him. When Crispin makes an excellent shot on a spinning moving target the Deputy Sheriff, in a panic approaches Robin and says the following:

Deputy Sheriff: I forbid you to win.

Robin turns to him and answers:

Robin Hood: My Lord you seem to think I can win or lose as I please. That is a very difficult target.

Deputy Sheriff: I see

Robin Hood: A man could be excused for missing it entirely.

And that exchange is a perfect example of the situation that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady find themselves in every single time they make it to the NFL Playoffs.

Tom Brady a sixth round draft pick in 2000 went from backing up arguably the best quarterback in NE Patriots history at the time (Remember Drew Bledsoe?) to becoming not only the best Quarterback in the teams history but one of the best of all time. As Wikipedia puts it:

In Brady’s fourteen seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, two league MVP awards (2007, 2010), has been selected to ten Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with twelve. He is currently fifth on the all time list for career passing yards and fifth for career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 18–8; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–2004). He also set the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 10, and in 2007 led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. He has thrown for more passing yards than any quarterback in NFL postseason history and is third for career postseason touchdown passes, and has the sixth highest career passer rating of all time (95.9) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times. Brady and John Elway are the only two quarterbacks to lead their teams to five Super Bowls. He was also named the NFL MVP in 2007 and 2010 (becoming the first player to be unanimously chosen as MVP in the 2010 season) as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been so honored since Joe Montana won the award in 1990. After the 2010 season, Brady was ranked as the best player in the NFL. He was also the first quarterback to throw for 50 or more touchdowns in a season. In 2010, he set the all time record for consecutive passes without an interception (335), and broke his own record for season TD:INT ratio at 9:1 (which has since been broken by Nick Foles).

And if Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks ever what about Bill Belichick?

In his fifteen years as coach of the Patriots his team has made the playoffs 12 times winning their division each of those years. He has gone to 5 Super Bowls winning three.

To put that in perspective in the first 40 years of the Patriots history the pats made the playoffs 10 times going to the Superbowl twice and losing both of them.

In other words over the last fifteen years this has been one of the best teams of all time.

This comes at an odd price, the price of expectations.

Every single time the Patriots take the field they are expected to win, it has reached the point that when New England dropped two games early articles began to be written asking if he was finished.

Of course As I type this Brady’s Patriots have just taken a 4 point lead over Baltimore in the 4th quarter of an exciting game that can go either way so he’s without a question not done, but consider, if Baltimore comes back to win the only topic in New england will be what’s wrong with the Patriots.

The newspapers will not talk about the excellent Baltimore team that is only 3 years removed from a Superbowl. They won’t consider the excellent coaching on the other side or the fine effort, it will be what’s wrong with the Pats.

And even if the Patriots beat the Ravens if next week they lose to Andrew Luck’s Colts or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos the same questions will be asked despite the skill of either team (particularly the Broncos).

And lets say they manage to win again and get to the Superbowl, no matter who they face if they don’t manage to win, the only thing that will be talked about in New England is their failure.

Those are the wages of the Patriots success and in many ways it’s unfair.

Then again I suspect there are a lot of teams who have been on the outside looking in that would love to have that expectations problem.

FYI if you want to know how that Robin Hood story ends, here is the episode in question.

As I type this the Pats have just intercepted the ball in the end zone with under two minutes to go. Barring a huge mistake they now only have two more obstacles to overcome to meet those oversized expectations.

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