Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro cuts to the quick (emphasis in the original):

Enablers: Jimbo Fisher had no choice but to accept responsibility for recent events involving Florida State football players striking women – one caught on video, the other being investigated. But it’s not Fisher’s fault. He’s just a cog in the machine. Put the blame on university presidents and other officials for turning a blind eye to what’s involved in the care and feeding of those athletes who don’t belong on campus. The real scandal is these guardians of higher education are never embarrassed enough by a dubious process to do much more than offer lip service to their schools’ true missions.

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18 July 2015 · Comments Off on Football uber Alles · Categories: The Sporting Life

In a marvelous article, Mike Bianchi skewers college football’s win-at-all-costs ethos.

Just read it.

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14 July 2015 · Comments Off on Your Tax Dollars at Work Play · Categories: The Sporting Life

Via TPM.

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17 June 2015 · Comments Off on Farm Teams · Categories: The Sporting Life

John Gardy has a suggestion:

. . . the NFL should assume responsibility for the administration, conduct and costs related to the development of football players.

It is notable that the United States is the only country in the world in which the responsibility for developing elite athletes and teams rests with the educational system.

From my perspective of total disgust with big-time football, I am confident of one thing. The NFL cannot be more corrupt than the NCAA, so it looks to me like a wash.

Follow the link for his reasoning.

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05 June 2015 · Comments Off on Fake Left, Run Right · Categories: The Sporting Life

Bob Molinaro notes a common thread in big time sports organizations:

If we know anything, it’s that the biggest sports machines like to work in the dark. Whether it’s FIFA or the NFL, NCAA or IOC, fundamental to their operation is a fear of transparency, no matter who sits at the top.

More Molinaro at the link.

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04 June 2015 · Comments Off on “What It Was, Was Football” · Categories: The Sporting Life

Via C&L.

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03 June 2015 · Comments Off on Soccer To Me · Categories: The Sporting Life

Reg Henry takes on the FIFA scandal. Here’s a bit:

The other day, an indictment unsealed in New York charged 14 individuals, including high-ranking officials from FIFA and sports marketing executives, with corruption beyond the dreams of avarice, or at least Congress.

Read the rest.

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30 May 2015 · Comments Off on Different Game, Different Rules · Categories: Political Theatre, The Sporting Life

Congressmen looking at headlines about FIFA bribery indictments:  Good think this isn't soccer.

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28 May 2015 · Comments Off on A Header. Why Not a Bank Shot? · Categories: Masters of the Universe, The Sporting Life

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22 May 2015 · Comments Off on Patriot Games · Categories: The Sporting Life

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, has a question:

With the abrupt decline in Tom Brady’s popularity, many people hope Roger Goodell is tough on the Patriots quarterback during the appeal process. When you think about it, though, won’t any interrogation of Brady have to consist mostly of soft-ball questions?

Much more Molinaro at the link.

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19 May 2015 · Comments Off on Appearances Matter. They Also Lie. · Categories: The Sporting Life

Colbert I. King doesn’t get the fascination with “clean cut”:

Take New England Patriots football player Tom Brady. He’s tied with a chain to those two little words. Encyclopedia.com refers to Brady as a “dimpled, clean-cut quarterback.” Seattle Times writer Larry Stone snarks of Brady: “too handsome, too clean-cut, too aw-shucks.” Sky News mentions the “clean-cut brand of America’s sporting idol ‘Tom Terrific.’ “

Oh, I get why a guy with a clean-shaven face might be called clean-cut. And surely short hair, neatly combed, might fit that description.

What I don’t understand is why it should be assumed that because someone has a neat appearance, is well-groomed and has fresh breath, he is somehow beyond breaking the rules or getting into trouble.

That phrase, “clean cut,” also cropped up in this little item several years ago.

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14 May 2015 · Comments Off on What It Was, Was Football · Categories: The Sporting Life

Reg Henry is not impressed by the sanctions levied by the NFL over “deflategate.”

This was all about restoring a semblance of integrity to the league. Unfortunately, it is a bit of challenge, given that the league has been plagued by an assortment of wife-beaters and other criminal miscreants in its ranks. When the NFL stands up for integrity, it is like Madam Flossie’s Palace of Fun coming out for chastity.

Do follow the link.

Afterthought:

I am so done with big-time football. It makes the WWE look like the Grecian Olympic Games. At least the WWE has stopped pretending . . . .

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12 May 2015 · Comments Off on Football uber Alles · Categories: The Sporting Life

Der Spiegel interviews Patrick Venzke, a German who played in the NFL before returning to Europe to play in the European league. Here’s a bit, in which he responds to questions about Chris Borland, who retired from the NFL after two seasons because of concerns over long-term damage to his health from playing.

Venzke: It’s such a courageous decision. He’ll be mocked because NFL players don’t usually talk about their problems. They sweep them under the carpet.

(snip)

You play for the glory, the fame, the status. But if you win the Super Bowl and get inaugurated into the Hall of Fame only to forget you were a footballer by the time you’re 60 because you have Alzheimer’s, it’s just not worth it. Players still put up with broken bones, but not with a destroyed brain.

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07 May 2015 · Comments Off on Oh, Balls! · Categories: The Sporting Life

In reference to “Deflategate,” the father of Boston Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he has no doubts about his son’s integrity.

Neither do I.

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24 April 2015 · Comments Off on Football uber Alles · Categories: The Sporting Life

Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro cuts to the quick:

The just-released NFL schedule reveals that the Eagles play three of their first four on the road, in part to avoid a conflict with Pope Francis, who will be saying an outdoor mass on Sunday, Sept. 27, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For one day, at least, one major religion has elected not to compete against another.

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20 April 2015 · Comments Off on Football uber Alles · Categories: The Sporting Life

In the Sacramento Bee, Andy Furillo argues that UC-Davis needs to forego its “inviolate principles” of athletic competition, at least as regards to Big-Time Football. As near as I can make out his argument, it’s this:

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19 April 2015 · Comments Off on Competition · Categories: The Sporting Life

A most unfortunately named game.

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05 April 2015 · Comments Off on Hope · Categories: The Sporting Life

Opening Day.

But an alloyed hope: As the NCAA basketball circus draws to an end and big league baseball starts up, my local rag yesterday chose to remind everyone of football uber alles by covering the top half of the front page of the sports section, extending all the way to the fold, with a picture of a local college football player.

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03 April 2015 · Comments Off on Not Bowled Over · Categories: The Sporting Life

Bob Molinaro is underwhelmed by the prospect of yet more college football bowl games. A snippet:

In any case, bowl invitations shrink in significance – don’t you think? – when they’re handed out to two-thirds of the FBS schools, opening the door to even more 6-6 teams. Then they become like youth participation trophies.

Oh, goody-good, more big-time football games I can choose not to watch.

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02 April 2015 · Comments Off on Yet Another Reason I’m Fed Up with Big Time Sports · Categories: The Sporting Life

NCAA’s trading sex for sign-ups.

Perhaps the most insidious use of female enticement is the use of “hostesses” to show prospects around campus. Often these women’s duties go far beyond answering questions about the dining halls. Several former hostesses have said it was understood they were to do whatever it took to convince the recruit the school was right for him. Several have later said they were raped.

The role of sex in recruiting isn’t a secret. In 2013, former Oklahoma State defensive back Chris Wright told Sports Illustrated that an assistant coach told him, “You didn’t do your job” after learning that a recruit Wright was hosting hadn’t had sex the night before.

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