Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro takes the opportunity provided by the end of the NCAA basketball tournament to reflect on how the NCAA
fosters friendly amateur competition does business and (my words, not his) steals labor. A snippet.
And that’s a bad thing?
Do please read the rest.
It’s reaching the point that, whenever I see the letters “NCAA,” I read “RICO.”
After this, Philadelphia can no longer be charged with having the Worst Sports Fans in the World.
WFAN host Mike Francesa — who has been known to take entire months off — berated Murphy for taking three days of paternity leave to be with his wife after the birth.
“What are you going to do,” Francesa asked, “sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for three days? You’re a major-league baseball player. You can hire a nurse.”
More Worst Sports Fans in the World at the link.
Jordan Weissmann explores NLRB Director Peter Ohr’s reason for ruling that Northwestern University’s football players are employees of the Uni and not amateurs enjoying frolics for fun on fall afternoons. A nugget:
Why not? Because math:
- Players spend 50 to 60 hours a week on football during a training camp before school starts.
- They also dedicate 40 to 50 hours per week on football during the four-month season. “Not only is this more hours than many undisputed full-time employees work at their jobs, it is also many more hours than the players spend on their studies,” Ohr writes. They spend 20 hours per week in class and more doing homework, sure, but they also work on football outside of official practice time. Ohr’s equation also doesn’t seem to take into account the offseason. But, he writes, it “cannot be said” that they “spend only a limited number of hours performing their athletic duties.”
Read the rest, then turn off that college basketball game.
This is a good ruling.
A group of Northwestern University football players won its first fight in a battle to form a union as a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that scholarship football players are employees with the right to unionize.
“[P]layers receiving scholarships to perform football-related services for the Employer under a contract for hire in return for compensation are subject to the Employer’s control and are therefore employees within the meaning of the (National Labor Relations) Act,” wrote Peter Sung Ohr, director of the NLRB’s regional office in Chicago, in his decision.
I am skeptical that this will hold up. Too many persons, including regulators and judges, like to tail-gate at their alma maters, but anything that further exposes the corruption and hypocrisy of the National
Cartel College Athletic Association is a good thing.
The NCAA is irretrievably corrupt and undeserving of attention.
Will the sports writers of America notice?
The circus pays for their bread.
The always excellent Bob Molinaro notes that the fuss itself is part of the fuss:
I think a person can support Michael Sam and his desire to play in the NFL and still wonder why the media are going so far overboard in reporting his story. The cover of Sports Illustrated? Really? Instead of harping on how players, team officials and other folks are going to have problems handling the first openly gay pro football player, the media might want to examine how their own handling of the story warps perspective.
Daniel Ruth takes on the hate-full reactions of some in the NFL to Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay. A nugget:
Both USA Today and the San Diego Union-Tribune have maintained a database of player arrests since 2000. By the end of 2013, at least 685 players have had run-ins with the law, including DUI charges, assault, failure to pay child support, spousal abuse, disorderly conduct, illegal weapons and drug possession. Of course, the gold medal of mug shots goes to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge.
And the NFL is worried that a football player in the next locker who might have a boyfriend rises to a distraction? Peyton Manning doesn’t need to be shouting “Omaha! Omaha!” at the line of scrimmage. It should be “Miranda! Miranda!”
Also, the normally tepid and conventional Frank Bruni weighs in.
Dave Neiwert looks behind the curtain.
It’s vital to pay attention, amid all the glitz and Olympic glamor, to what’s going on under the surface in Russia. The show we are seeing in Sochi this month is all facade, and what’s beneath, as I’ve been saying, is profoundly disturbing.
One of the reasons I have railed in the past about right-wing efforts to confuse the public’s understanding of the meaning and nature of fascism — embodied in Jonah Goldberg’s travesty, Liberal Fascism — is that people would cease being able to distinguish the real thing when it came along. Well, it is on our doorstep in much of Eastern Europe now, as we speak, and particularly in Russia. And hardly anyone, it seems, recognizes it.
As I’ve noted previously, the real red flag when it comes to fascism isn’t merely the spread of scapegoating politics (focusing for now on gays and immigrants), producing eliminationist thuggery in the classic Brownshirt mold — it is when officialdom, the government authorities and church leaders, not only condone such behavior but encourage and reinforce it.
Follow the link for more and for the video.
Reg Henry is not impressed. A nugget:
No, my problem is the lingering suspicion that the Winter Games are a sort of made-up, compensatory affair. They are like Take Your Daughter to Work Day becoming Take Your Child to Work Day. You have to include everybody or others will feel left out.
The sports that make up the Winter Games are also a little suspect. You will note that they tend to be activities most people do for fun in the winter out of a sheer boredom, not a sense of competition. People have skated for centuries, but originally when they leaped about in imaginative ways it was just called showing off, not a perfect 10 on the judges’ scorecards.
Follow the link, then watch an NCIS rerun.
Listen to the words of a veteran Olympic athlete:
Now I understand my failure to connect to the pomp of the opening ceremonies, the confused emptiness that consumed me as I stood in the cold of a Turin winter, wrapped in the American flag, wincing under the cruel glare of a thousand flashbulbs. The real function of the Olympic athlete in the world of corporatized sports is clear to me now. Amateur status is mandatory for any Olympic hopeful, but athletic training at the elite level is a full-time job. Most nations get around the problem by giving their Olympic athletes significant government support, but our best athletes are almost entirely dependent on corporate sponsorship. For the athletes, the consequences of this addiction can be disastrous.
The socialization of my allegiance to Verizon began the moment I was selected—as an 11-year-old—for the US development team. The culture within the US Luge Association viewed brand loyalty as integral to the survival of the organization. All of my clothing was plastered with the Verizon logo. I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true. I went through intensive media training each year to reinforce this allegiance—to learn how to be a better spokesperson for Verizon.
Read the rest, then watch a Castle rerun.
If you like watching large men court concussions by running into each other high speed for a machine that chews them and spits them out, enjoy.
Otherwise, do something useful, like a crossword puzzle or a game of Canfield.
Yes, I’m fed up with Big Football and the endless inane news
wankery “coverage” of it all.
Didn’t miss much, did I?