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.


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:


A most unfortunately named game.

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.

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.

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.

22 March 2015 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: The Sporting Life

Twits who prove that men are pigs.

04 March 2015 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: The Sporting Life

Sports twits.

Kudos to Curt Schilling for ensuring that these snivelling twits got a comeuppance.

21 February 2015 · Comments Off on Faster Ball · Categories: The Sporting Life

It’s about time.

Major League Baseball on Friday announced significant rules changes intended to speed up the pace of the game, moves that will revamp the instant-replay process and address the steady increase in average game time.

The changes, announced jointly by MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, will require hitters to keep one foot in the batter’s box, create a time limit for breaks between innings and streamline the process of challenging a call on the field. MLB, the MLBPA and the World Umpires Association have agreed on the changes, which will begin in spring training, and they will evaluate the results after the season.

My brother has long thought that the “one foot in the box” rule would be the easiest way to speed up the game in the Bigs; he tells me the rule is common in the Minors. He will be surprised, though, to see that a limit is being placed on commercial breaks time between innings.

20 February 2015 · Comments Off on A Glimmer of Hope · Categories: The Sporting Life

Pitchers and catchers report.

19 February 2015 · Comments Off on A Little Off the Top · Categories: The Sporting Life

This has to be one of the more bizarre brouhahas in baseball:

Wrigley Field and Wrigley Field Rooftops

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request from rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field to temporarily halt installation of signs they say will block their view and violate a contract they have with the Chicago Cubs.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ruled that the “vague possibility” that installing the signs could affect rooftop businesses wasn’t enough to grant a temporary restraining order. The ruling means the Cubs will avoid a setback as they renovate the historic ballpark.

13 February 2015 · Comments Off on A League that They Own · Categories: The Sporting Life

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire, sums up the Little League kerfuffle:

Now the whistleblower who tipped off authorities that the Jackie Robinson West Little League team used ineligible players is receiving nasty voicemails, emails and even death threats, requiring a police car to be parked in front of his home. This is totally unsurprising and the product of adults poisoning children’s games with their warped, infantile perspective of what’s important. Maybe, too, it’s a result of Little League International using kids as pawns in an overly commercial venture.

05 February 2015 · Comments Off on NFL: The “Non-Profit” Football League · Categories: The Sporting Life

01 February 2015 · Comments Off on The Kick-Out · Categories: The Sporting Life

Goat:  What are you so happy about?  Rat:  My football team just won.  Goat:  Do you own the team?  Rat:  No, some rich guy does.  Goat:  Do you know someone on the team?  Rat:  Not personally.  Goat:  Do you help them with their strategy?  Rat:  No.  Goat:  Do they give you something if they win?  Rat:  No.  Goat:  No money, no gifts, no plaque?  Rat:  No, nothing.  Goat:  So you're cheering because one rich guy's company beat another rich guy's company?  Rat throws Goat out of the Super Bowl Party.

Click for a larger image.

01 February 2015 · Comments Off on Motives for Malice · Categories: The Sporting Life

Paul Elbert offers ten reasons to “hate-watch” the Big Game. Here’s one; follow the link for the rest.

8. The owners

Remember in 2011, when an emotional Robert Kraft and Jeff Saturday shared a hug that symbolized the ending of the lockout? That hug came after Myra Kraft, Robert’s wife, passed away at the age 68. Not long after that, however, Kraft began dating dancer and actress Ricki Noel Lander, who’s young enough to be his granddaughter. That’s just creepy. Opposing Kraft is Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of too many nice things already. Anyone partly responsible for Windows 8 is unworthy of being called a two-time world champion.

01 February 2015 · Comments Off on There Is Hope · Categories: The Sporting Life

Pitchers and catcher report in three weeks.

01 February 2015 · Comments Off on Priorities · Categories: The Sporting Life

Stretcher bearers wearing NFL shirts carry underinflated football off the field while man labelled

Click for a larger image.

01 February 2015 · Comments Off on QOTD · Categories: The Sporting Life

Duane Thomas, via Bob Molinaro, Sportswriter Extraordinaire:

If the Super Bowl is the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?

28 January 2015 · Comments Off on Air Balls, Reprise · Categories: The Sporting Life

Adam Kilgore thinks the NFL may be using the kerfuffle over Bill Belichick’s under-inflated balls to its own advantage. A snippet:

During its most important week of the year, the NFL has willingly enabled a phony “controversy” to fill the space that may otherwise be dedicated to actual controversies that engulf the league. Rather than concussion settlements, or the league’s response to domestic violence, or the viability of Roger Goodell’s commissionership, discussions have focused on the amount of air inside the Patriots’ footballs.

If the Patriots cheated, they of course should be punished. But the NFL has complicated the process beyond reason, and in doing so it allowed a farcical over-reaction to stand in for discussion pertaining to the game’s alarming sins. The league has allowed the Patriots to play the role of the villain, a convenient distraction from its own scandalous year.

You can read the whole thing and decide whether you agree. I don’t; over the past year, the NFL has demonstrated a public-relations ineptness indicating an inability to come up with so sophisticated a misdirection play.

24 January 2015 · Comments Off on Brand Loco · Categories: The Sporting Life

A South Carolina man is facing narcotics charges after police last night found him in possession of a bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, specifically a “New England Patriots drug pipe.”

No word on whether the pipe was properly inflated.