Crooked gambling. Who knew?
I counted up the number of college football games on our local TV and cable stations yesterday: 35. There were three baseball games being aired.
I watched a mystery.
Hank Garfield is correct. Television’s–and sports fans–football fetish is absurd. Here’s a bit of his screed:
I get it – football is more popular (than baseball–ed.). I’m not sure why. A football game contains about 12 minutes of action to about 25 for a typical baseball game. Football fans have no standing to complain about baseball’s slowness. Neither game is really about action, anyway. Football is about violence, and baseball is about story. If I want action, I’ll watch hockey.
A judge sees through the NCAA’s farcical facade of being about “athletic” endeavor (emphasis added).
In a monumental ruling today (yesterday–ed.), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the NCAA’s rules prohibiting student-athletes from being paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses constituted an unlawful restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The 9th Circuit heard the case after the NCAA appealed an unfavorable ruling following a bench trial with Judge Claudia Wilken. Judge Wilken had concluded that the NCAA’s compensation rules were an unlawful restraint of trade and that the NCAA was essentially a cartel with an oft-changing definition of amateurism. She then enjoined (or prevented) the NCAA from prohibiting schools from increasing scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance. Of course, the fact that scholarships were not covering the full cost of attendance in the first place was ridiculous.
Follow the link for a lengthy discussion of the ruling.
Dollars to doughnuts the NCAA fights this one to the end, because, if this ruling stands, it means the end of all that lovely free money earned on the backs of their student serfs.
Another example of why I am so done with big-time football.
The parents are blaming to the local high school officials, but the NCAA, which has raised arbitrary impenetrability, nitpicking, and selective enforcement to a fine art, is ultimately responsible.
The International Olympic Committee has become a parody of itself. Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:
Ultimate Frisbee, if you can believe it, was recently recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a sport, and thus a candidate for inclusion in the Summer Olympics, perhaps by 2024. Well, we once laughed at synchronized swimming, too. Still do, come to think of it.
The concept of “ultimate Frisbee” violates the spirit of Frisbee.
What’s next: Ultimate Simon Says*?
*Simon says, “Jump off that bridge.”
John McEnroe, aspiring Bobby Riggs (warning: language):
I remember watching Bobby Riggs’s matches against Margaret Court and Billy Jean King on the telly vision.
Win or lose, Riggs was a jerk, a fitting idol for John McEnroe.
My second childhood includes a Mustang convertible. It does not include making a fool of myself in public. I can make a fool of myself right here quite nicely thank you.
Also, subscribe to TWIB. You might learn stuff.
Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:
The NFL Network reported Tuesday that Eli Manning was seeking a new contract to make him the NFL’s highest-paid player. By Wednesday, Manning was saying the story was a fabrication. But, of course, Eli – who eschews social media – was missing the point. For at least a day, the apparently phony report served as grist for the talk shows and Twitteratti, which is all that really seems to matter anymore, especially in the dog days of August.
Bob Molinaro marvels at the academic brilliance in big-time NCAA football:
It’s only to be expected that when Notre Dame junior tailback Greg Bryant was ruled academically ineligible that some in the media would reflexively deem it to be a “scandal.” In what sort of warped world does disciplining an athlete for failing to live up to his classroom responsibilities constitute a scandal? The actual and time-honored academic scandal in college sports, we all know, is how few big-time athletes – certainly no star players – are lost due to poor grades or cheating. It’s amazing how that works.
Shamelessly stolen from Delaware Liberal.
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.
In a marvelous article, Mike Bianchi skewers college football’s win-at-all-costs ethos.
Just read it.
John Gardy has a suggestion:
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.
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.
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.