www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Football Face Welcome to the
Sports Zoo!

Batter

 

 

Duke Basketball Fans
 
Have you ever been watching a game and had that deep-down, gut-instinct-feeling that something is really wrong with sports? Ever wondered why you've wasted so much time watching a bunch of overpaid, underworked "athletes" engaged in a meaningless entertainment scheme that does nothing more than take your money, waste your time and demean your intelligence?

Sure, watching sports teaches us to be "team players" (servants and "yes-men") in addition to giving us heroes (never mind that real heroes fight for their country, save children from burning houses, and arrest bad guys) and releasing our tensions and aggressions. However, there's much more to the story! I'll post here, as time permits, various stories and informational pieces to illustrate how corrupt and wasteful the world of organized sport actually is. Stay-tuned, bookmark this page, and send me your suggestions...
 

- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado - July 27, 2007

"Spectator sports are for sheep."
(ibidem)

 

"What is so fascinating about a group of pituitary cases trying to stuff a ball through a hoop?"
- The character Robin in Woody Allen's 1977 movie, Annie Hall

 

Sports Passion "In America, Sports teams represent different cities and people tend to support the teams from where they live. Fans often weave their identities and their in-group loyalty to the place of their birth as if it had been their choice. The rationality behind this regionalism becomes far more confusing when you consider the nature of sports drafting. Sports players are traded and sold to the highest bidder, which creates a mixture on each team of players from all around the country, if not the globe. So although Eagles fans still cheer, 'Go Philly', in any given season it's likely that most of the team is not from Pennsylvania. This placebo works; by calling the team 'The Philadelphia Eagles and picking where they practice, the regionalism is still activated enough in the fans to make them cheer for Philadelphia. This is highly irrational: what percentage of the Eagles would have to be from Korea or Miami before the fans realized that they have been duped into cheering for something that isn't Philadelphia?"
 
- Jim Cummings as quoted from his August 29, 2013 blog entry,
   Why Sports Are a Sad and Dangerous Waste of Time

 

Sandusky Paterno Sports and football disease runs so deeply through the human psyche that Penn State fans actually started to riot*, with violence erupting on the campus, when the school's board of trustees ousted coach Paterno on November 9, 2011. Penn State students flooded the streets after Paterno's firing for his cover-up of the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal was revealed. Quoting FoxNews at the time (the following day), "Hundreds of students gathered at the HUB-Robeson Center, the student union, to watch the board of trustees' news conference on a big screen. When the announcement came that Paterno would not coach again at Penn State, students gasped and hushed. Women began to weep." Really? Weeping over the firing of a coach who had made millions of dollars while one of his assistants was knowingly raping young boys? Does college football really mean that much to students, alumni, "fans," and people in general? We are lost...
*Police said that there were nearly 2,000 rioters, some of them knocking over a news van and having to be subdued with tear gas...

 

Sports Fan
 
"Football is a game for trained apes.  That, in fact, is what most of the players are - retarded gorillas wearing helmets and uniforms.  The only thing more debased is the surrounding mob of drunken monkeys howling the gorillas on."

- Edward Abbey, from his book,
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

 

"I remember very well in high school having a sudden kind of Erlebnis, you know, a sudden insight, and asking myself, why do I care if my high school football team wins? I don't know anybody on the team. They don't know me. I wouldn't know what to say to them if I met them. Why do I care? Why do I get all excited if the football team wins and all downcast if it loses?"

- Noam Chomsky in Understanding Power

 

You still don't believe professional sports are fixed??

Referee "This isn't a free market, it's a company. Major league baseball is not 30 companies competing against each other. It's one company with 30 franchises and their product is entertainment." "And no, drop any notion that this is a free market exercise, it isn't. It's a company called 'Major League Baseball' with 30 franchises. The Yankees may want to beat the Red Socks but they don't want to drive the Red Socks out of business. If we're talking about some other industry, a couple of telecommunications companies - telecommunications company A does want to drive telecommunications company B out of business. But if the Yankees throw the Red Socks out of business there will be nobody to play."
- Denver talkshow host Mike Rosen
KOA 850, January 27, 2009, 11:35 am

 

"In a way, sports is a glorified form of entertainment"

- Tom Bowles
(When Trevor Bayne became the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500 in January '11,
several journalists cheered in the press box - including Tom Bowles, who was later fired.)

 

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Predators, Perverts, and Sex Offenders
Coaches, assistants, teammates and fans have always had
a little too much interest in showers and locker rooms!

Bernie Fine Syracuse basketball assistant coach - 2011.jpg "The taped phone conversation between the wife of Syracuse assistant head basketball coach Bernie Fine and Bobby Davis, Fine's alleged sexual assault victim, should be required listening for every mental health professional in America-and probably, every parent."

"Listening to Laurie Fine agree with Bobby Davis in 2002 that he was repeatedly sexually abused as a boy by her husband, while also intimating that she herself had been sexually active with Mr. Davis (perhaps when he was 18-years-of-age), can help people comprehend just how abusive, self-centered, manipulative and cowardly a human being can be. Laurie Fine is that human being: A woman who--if she is to be believed-allowed a child to be sexually traumatized while doing nothing to stop it. She even makes it clear that she is certain that Davis is not the only child her husband has sexually violated."

- Dr. Keith Ablow, November 28, 2011 (FoxNews.com)

 

Jerry Sandusky Penn State - 2011 Jerry Sandusky Penn State - 2011 Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky made international news when, in November 2011, he was arrested and charged with several counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with minors. What was especially pathetic, at the time, were all the moronic sports fans who protested not only Sandusky's arrest but also the charges against other college officials who didn't bother to take action against Sandusky at the time of the incidents.

At left is a photo of one counter-protestor who apologized to all the victims - something Penn state officials couldn't get around to doing for a while - wouldn't want to interrupt that sports income stream!

 

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Sad and Strange:

Lance Armstrong Manti Te'o I've always loved cycling so was very sad as Lance Armstrong's story of cheating started to unfold. During the third week of January (2013) it came to a head during two recorded interviews on the Oprah Winfrey show. During his time with Oprah, Armstrong admitted to past doping practices and bullying. Not a surprise to anyone but disappointing that Lance, and cycling in general, had degenerated to such lows for fame and fortune...
In other sports news that week [January 2013], more strange than anything, collegiate football star Mati Te'o admitted to having had a relationship with a make-believe girlfriend who, apparently, "died" during an important part of the gaming season. At the time it wasn't clear if Te'o had been duped or simply made the whole story up. Te'o later released a statement claiming to have been the victim of a hoax that lured him into the online relationship with the nonexistent woman...

 

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius About a month after the Armstrong and Te'o episodes (above), South African double amputee Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius "The Blade Runner" was accused of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day, 2013. In 2009 Pistorius was arrested and charged with common assault by South African police for slamming a door on a woman at his home - those charges later dropped. Prior to the murder incident there were numerous reports of yelling and arguing at the Pistorius home. Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door claiming he believed there to be an intruder there. When police arrived, after Pistorius' brother and lawyer first showed up, they found the woman lying dead on the ground floor wearing white shorts and a black vest, covered in towels. A 9 mm Parabellum pistol was recovered from the scene.

 

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John Calipari Coaches, Crooks, and BIG salaries!
Fox News - April 02, 2009
by Joshua Rhett Miller
Cash Strapped States Pay Millions for Basketball Coaches

"When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced in February that his state was taking nearly $3 billion in federal stimulus cash, he described the decision as necessary to save jobs, preserve 'quality of life' and a 'strategic investment ... to position Kentucky for the future.'"

"Little did Beshear know that two months later, as teachers, police and other municipal workers breathed a collective sigh of relief that their jobs had been saved - at least for now - the state's primary institution for higher learning would 'invest' $32 million in a well-traveled but highly successful basketball coach.

"'We do not use state appropriation or university funding to pay our coaches,' [Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart] Barnhart explained. 'Except for his base salary of $400,000, the bulk of this compensation is derived from our multimedia rights contract that includes radio and television agreements, other sponsors and conference revenue sharing.'"

"But at a time when President Obama declares that 'everyone's got to have some skin in the game,' the game of big-time college sports appears immune."

"At the same time states across the country are facing huge budget shortfalls, job cuts and reductions of programs and services, basketball and football coaches at top taxpayer-funded universities are pulling down Wall Street CEO salaries."

"During a postgame press conference in February, following an easy win over South Florida, a political activist asked Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, who makes $1.6 million a year] Calhoun about his salary."

"'Coach, considering that you're the highest-paid state employee and there's a $2 billion budget deficit ... do you think ...?' Ken Krayeske reportedly said."

"'Not a dime back,' Calhoun replied. 'I'd like to be able to retire someday. I'm getting tired.'"

 

Multimillionaire coach Rick Pitino:

"The new deal increases Pitino's annual salary from $1.65 million to $2.25 million beginning next season, and will pay him $2.5 million a year if he stays until the end of the contract. The contract also boosted a loyalty bonus due Pitino on July 1 from $1 million to $1.75 million. He'll receive loyalty bonuses of $3.6 million in 2010 and 2013 if he remains with the school."

"He's worth every penny of it, probably double it," said Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich."
ESPN.com "Insider DraftAnalyzer" - May 4, 2007

Coash Rick Pitino
Coach Rick Pitino
"The woman accused of trying to extort Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino approached him in a restaurant six years ago, and the two had sex later that night, the coach told police. Two weeks after they met, the married father of five gave her $3,000 after she said she needed an abortion and didn't have health insurance."

"Pitino told police he had been drinking at the restaurant and had consensual sex with Karen Sypher in August 2003 at a table near the bar. The police report said the 56-year-old coach denied Sypher's allegations that he raped her after the restaurant closed and at another time somewhere else.

"The university's president expressed surprise at new details in the scandal surrounding the coach, whose contract includes dishonesty and 'moral depravity' as grounds for firing.

"The coach met Sypher when she approached him and asked him call her sons with words of encouragement, and the coach obliged, he said. Later that night, the upscale restaurant called Porcini cleared out, and the owner left the coach his keys. That's when they had sex.

"She claimed Pitino forced himself on her, while the coach said she came onto him.

"The two apparently weren't alone, though: The police documents, first reported by The Courier-Journal of Louisville, says a Pitino assistant was there during the encounter and heard what sounded like consensual sex."
NewsDay.com - August 12, 2009 by AP

 

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Crooked College Sports:
August 17, 2011, CNN

"The University of Miami says it is cooperating with an investigation into claims by an imprisoned former booster that he spent millions on gifts, entertainment and travel for Hurricanes athletes."

"'We will vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead, and I have insisted upon complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students,'" the school's president, Donna Shalala wrote in an open letter Wednesday.

"Shalala said she was 'upset, disheartened and saddened' by the allegations leveled by Nevin Shapiro, a onetime Miami businessman now serving a 20-year federal prison term for fraud. Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports that he showered dozens of Miami players with cash and jewelry, paid restaurant and nightclub tabs and supplied prostitutes over an 8-year period -- and that several coaches were aware of the activity.

"Shapiro was arrested in 2010 on charges of overseeing a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors eventually determined had totaled $930 million. He pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money laundering that September and told Yahoo! that his accusations against Miami were part of his agreement to cooperate with prosecutors.

"The NCAA, which regulates college sports, said it has been investigating Shapiro's claims for five months. NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a written statement that if true, the allegations show the need for 'serious and fundamental change' in college sports, especially regarding the conduct of boosters and agents."

 

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In the News: Report: Baseball steroid use widespread
CNN.com Thursday, 12-13-2007
Baseball faces up to steroids
Rocky Mountain News - March 18, 2005
Baseball Needle "Illegal steroids have been widely used in Major League Baseball for more than a decade, former Sen. George Mitchell said in releasing a report today. 'Those who have illegally used these substances range from players whose major league careers were brief to potential members of the Baseball Hall of Fame,' Mitchell said." Taking up nearly ALL of that edition, on their front page, the Rocky Mountain News went on to quote Mark McGwire, and others involved in baseball, how they either used drugs, refuse to talk about their use of drugs, how something needs to be done, or how they would never do such a thing, etc - all while fans and spectators continue paying these "sports heroes" more for doing even less!!!

 

Baseball old-timers swing away at steroids issue
CNN.com Saturday, 03-29-2008

"As Major League Baseball opens a new season in the shadow of revelations of drug use by some of its biggest stars, opinions vary among players from what is now called the "clean era" of baseball -- before steroids and human growth hormone entered the game's lexicon."

"Baseball fan John Miller, sipping beer in the stands with three buddies under the Florida sun, remembers that era and its top players, particularly Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles."

"'I grew up on him and saw the game played the way he played it. That's my memories of baseball,' Miller said. 'Just watching him play, that was the thrill of the game. You can't take that away.'"

"Robinson, a Hall of Fame third baseman nicknamed the Human Vacuum Cleaner for his amazing fielding ability, is saddened and a bit angry that steroids have affected the game."

"'I think it's terrible. It's cheating. That's as simple as you can put it," Robinson said."

"'I think the Mitchell Report was great,' he added."

"A report by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell named dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players who allegedly used anabolic steroids or HGH to enhance their performance."

"Big names like Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield and Andy Pettitte were included. A handful of players, including Clemens, testified before Congress."

"Talk of the scandal was unavoidable when baseball old-timers gathered recently for a game to benefit Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida."

"'We used to think these guys spent seven days a week in the gym, pumping iron,' Robinson said. 'We know different now.'" Warren Cromartie was an outfielder with the Montreal Expos who was called "the Messiah" when he signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, Japan, in 1983. Cromartie's reputation was all about hard work. He uses words like "integrity" and "perseverance" and "old school." He says big money puts added pressure on today's players. "'We weren't about the money then,' he said. 'We didn't make the money they make now. We went out and played ball and got dirty, so that means something. That's something that we're going to hang onto.'"

"Cromartie's values began at home."

"'I've got a father [Leroy Cromartie] who taught me, who played in the Negro leagues,' he said. 'We went out and played. We practiced. We practiced, practiced, practiced, we got good. So either you had it or you didn't, so we didn't think about putting anything but vitamins in our bodies at the time.'"

 

Alex Rodriguez Steroids Shocker
(As seen on the main web page of FoxNews 02-08-2009)
"NEW YORK - Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in his MVP season of 2003, according to a report by Sports Illustrated."

"The New York Yankees star tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources told Sports Illustrated in a story posted Saturday on its Web site."

"His name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey, the magazine said. He reportedly tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone while playing for the Texas Rangers.

"Rodriguez declined to discuss the tests when approached by SI on Thursday at a gym in Miami, where he lives in the offseason.

"'You'll have to talk to the union,' he told a reporter. Calls from SI to union head Donald Fehr were not returned."

"An e-mail from The Associated Press to Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, was not immediately returned. The Yankees and Fehr had no comment."

"In a December 2007 interview with "60 Minutes," three days after George Mitchell's report on drugs in the sport was released, Rodriguez denied using peformance-enhancing drugs."

"'I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. ... I felt that if I did my, my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level,' he said."

 

FoxNews.com
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sammy Sosa "Former slugger Sammy Sosa reportedly tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003."

"The New York Times reported the failed test Tuesday on its Web site, citing lawyers familiar with the case. The newspaper did not identify the drug."

"The newspaper reported Sosa is one of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey."

 

FoxNews.com
Monday, January 11, 2010

Mark McGwire "Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998."

"McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade."

"McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn't include that detail in his statement."

"He became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez last February.

"Others have been tainted but have denied knowingly using illegal drugs, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.

"Bonds has been indicted on charges he made false statements to a federal grand jury and obstructed justice. Clemens is under investigation by a federal grand jury trying to determine whether he lied to a congressional committee."

 

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Me, me, me, me, me - Kids, Parents, and Sports
Longtime University of Connecticut women's basket ball coach Geno Auriemma made a number of
comments about kids and parents at a news conference during the NCAA women's Final Four in 2016:

Kids Football After three decades of coaching, Auriemma said that recruiting "...enthusiastic kids is harder than it's ever been." He said that today's kids are so influenced by professional athletes who they see as "just being really cool" - athletes they then try to imitate when they play. "They haven't even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot, and they're going to act like they're really good players," Auriemma said. Forget about playing for the love of the game or to support teammates, he said; too many players are focused on themselves. "They're allowed to get away with just whatever, and they're always thinking about themselves," he said. "Me, me, me, me, me. 'I didn't score, so why should I be happy?' 'I'm not getting enough minutes; why should I be happy?' That's the world we live in today, unfortunately. Kids check the scoreboard sometimes because they're going to get yelled at by their parents if they don't score enough points. Don't get me started."

 

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INSIDE NASCAR
by Mark Beech, SportsIllustrated.cnn.com, May 10, 2009

NASCAR and Jeremy Mayfield Story Highlights:
  • Driver Jeremy Mayfield was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on Saturday
  • He tested positive for a banned substance last weekend at Richmond
  • This incident highlights the disintegration of a promising career
  • Without finishing better than 32nd in five races this season, Jeremy Mayfield's earnings total a not-too-shabby $568,888
Suspension is latest in Mayfield's deterioration -- is it the last straw?
Fan Number Three
Fan Number 3!
"Jeremy Mayfield is a prodigiously talented driver who has won five races since 1998 and who qualified for the Chase in 2004 and '05. He's also the chronic malcontent who's been run off of two teams in the last eight years and has just one top-20 finish in his last 39 starts."

"The reason for the indefinite suspension that NASCAR handed him yesterday might be a shocker -- Mayfield is the first Cup driver to be disciplined under the sport's new substance-abuse policies -- but the fact that he's at the center of controversy is hardly surprising."

 

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Olympians
Olympic Rings

 

What a Dope

Michael Phelps, Beijing Olympics - 2008
Beijing, 2008
"What a Dope" was the title of February 01, 2009 News of the World web page out of the UK where they had a large picture of Michael Phelps using a bong. The subtitle read; "14-times Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps caught with cannabis pipe"

That same day, on FoxNews.com, Phelps was quoted from an AP interview as saying, "I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again." [ed. note: Phelps set such a fine example afterwards, especially during the 2012 summer Olympics, that I'm sure he can be forgiven this one mistake...]

[2014 Michael Phelps update! On October 6th USA Swimming suspended Phelps for six months and said he won't be on the U.S. team at the 2015
 world championships for violating their code of conduct. This, in response to Phelps second charge of Driving while under the influence (DUI).]

 

Jones stripped of five Olympic medals, banned from Beijing Games
sports.espn.go.com/oly/trackandfield/news/ - Updated: December 12, 2007

Marion Jones, Sydney Olympics - 2000
Sydney, 2000
 
 
"LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Don't look for Marion Jones' name in the Olympic record books any more. As far as the IOC is concerned, her five-medal performance at the 2000 Sydney Games never happened."

"Jones was erased from the Olympic records Wednesday when the IOC formally stripped her of her three gold and two bronze medals. Once the world's biggest track and field star, Jones is now just a disgraced drug cheat."

"'She is disqualified and scrapped from the results,' IOC president Jacques Rogge said at the close of a three-day executive board meeting."

"The International Olympic Committee also banned Jones from attending next year's Beijing Olympics in any capacity and said it could bar her from future games."

"The IOC postponed a decision on redistributing her medals, including whether to strip her eight American relay teammates and whether to upgrade doping-tainted Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou to gold in the 100."

 

Olympic Figure Skater and Methamphetamine

Olympic Skater Nicole Bobek Nicole County Prosecutor's Office - Nicole Bobek, 2009 On July 6, 2009, Olympic figure skater Nicole Bobek was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She was arraigned in Jersey City, New Jersey, on drug charges stemming from a case in New York. At the time of this entry, Bobek was facing up to ten years in prison if she is convicted - I'll update this entry when I learn more...

 

Olympic Rings Sadly, the Olympics have grown into a very large and corrupt business that has almost nothing to do with amateur sportsmanship anymore. In the past the Olympic Games only accepted amateur athletes. Now, of course, most participants are either outright professionals that are supported by their governments or stealth "trustees" that accumulate large bank accounts from all kinds of willing sponsors.

 

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Sports: Sex, Drugs, Drinking, Gambling, and Cruelty

In July of '07 I decided to update this page (a little) after it had been sitting around on another server for over five years. Sadly, the world of sports only worsened during that intervening half decade with all kinds of sex scandals, gambling, drugs, drinking, beatings, and a general feeling that sports elites, themselves (along with their handlers, coaches, and billionaire team owners), are better than the rest of us. Anyway, here's a small snapshot from the mid 2000s that should jog your memory a bit:

 

Athlete
  • Animal cruelty in football (the NFL's Michael Vicks)
  • Performance drugs in baseball (MLB's Barry Bonds and dozens of others...)
  • Referee gambling in basketball (the NBA's Tim Donaghy)
  • Drugs and doping in the Olympics (Track star Marion Jones) [see my Olympic entries a couple paragraphs above.]

  • Performance drugs in cycling (the Tour de France's Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis, and dozens of others...)
Do we really want our kids (and ourselves!) growing fat, stupid and broke watching sports cheats become rich off overpriced tickets, expensive stadium beers, and flimsy team hats and jerseys that even a medieval clown wouldn't wear??!! And, let's not forget how expensive the rest of our lives become when the price of toothpaste, cars, and groceries are raised in support of a team, new stadium (at taxpayer expense), or broadcasting contract. It's time for a change - the sports entertainment industry needs to be cleaned up - now!
- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado

 

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Euro 2016: Dozens injured as crowds of rival fans brawl during Euro 2016
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Euro 2016 riots Packs of English and Russian football fans clashed in the French city of Marseille in a third straight day of battles at the Euro 2016 championship.

CNN reported, "Fans brawled before and after the game Saturday, forcing police in riot gear to fire tear gas to disperse crowds. Throngs lunged at one another, and hurled bottles and other objects at officers. After the game, Russian fans charged at the section where their British counterparts sat as chaos ensued. Smoke filled the streets as panicked fans fled. At least 31 people were injured in the clashes, four of them critically, said Mathieu Duroselle, a spokesman for Marseille police. The number included three officers who suffered slight injuries, he said."

 

Basketbrawl!

basketball Here's yet another example of sports-out-of-control. This particular bit of sport's "history" took place on the evening of November 19th, 2004 in Auburn Hills, Michigan during a Pacers-Pistons game at "The Palace." The news of this brawl raced around the world, dominating sports talk and other broadcasts for the following week. Below are three short excerpts from a very long AP article on the subject:

NBA Suspends 3 Pacers, 1 Piston for Brawl
By Chris Sheridan, AP Basketball Writer, November 20, 2004

"NEW YORK (AP) - Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson of Indiana and Ben Wallace of Detroit were suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Saturday for taking part in one of the ugliest brawls in U.S. sports history, a fight with fans that commissioner David Stern called 'shocking, repulsive and inexcusable.'"

"The brawl was both shocking and violent, with Artest and Jackson bolting into the stands near center court and throwing punches at fans after debris was tossed at the players. Later, fans who came onto the court were punched in the face by Artest and O'Neal."

"Kermit Washington of the Los Angeles Lakers drew a 60-day (26-game) suspension in 1977 for a punch that broke the jaw of the Houston Rockets' Rudy Tomjanovich during a game, while Dennis Rodman was suspended 11 games for kicking a courtside cameraman in the groin and six games for head-butting a referee."

 

Gun Guns and basketball players got to be such a problem that the NBA included a "zero tolerance" policy on firearms to the collective bargaining agreement in 2005.

Nevertheless, by January 2010 NBA players involved with guns were still a huge news story. Below are a few reminders of how bad guns and professional basketball have become:

 

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LA police: 'Primary aggressor' in Giants fan's beating arrested
By Alan Duke, CNN May 22, 2011 1

"Los Angeles (CNN) -- The man alleged to be the 'primary aggressor' in the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium was arrested Sunday and ordered held on $1 million bail, Los Angeles police said."

"Police said Giovanni Ramirez, 31, was taken into custody shortly after 7 a.m. after police served warrants at a home and an apartment building in connection with the assault that put Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old father of two from Santa Cruz, California, into a coma."

"Stow was attacked in the stadium parking lot following the first game of the Dodgers' and Giants' seasons on March 31. His mother, Ann Stow, told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell last week that it 'was a random act of violence against somebody who was wearing Giants' colors.'"

 

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Rageful parents are poor sports
Kids' game marred by violence
By Anne Thompson, Associated Press, July 2000

"BOSTON - A father who doesn't like a call at his son's Little League game breaks the umpire's jaw.   mother at a soccer game slaps a 14-year-old referee..."

"While pushy soccer moms and obnoxious Little League dads are old traditions is children's sports, a new parental rage has developed over the past five or 10 years, say sports psychologists and youth sports officials."

"To help parents who can't control themselves at games, some youth sports leagues - including those in Jupiter, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C. - have adopted a sportsmanship training program."

 

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NFL, Giants Stadium in Hot Water for Breast-Baring Ritual Among Fans
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
By Catherine Donaldson-Evans
Fox News

"Giants Stadium management, the National Football League and the New York Jets are in the hot seat over a practice that has become a halftime ritual at Jets games: lewd, drunken male fans shouting at women to expose their breasts.

"The men whoop, whistle, chant and stomp for female fans to lift up their shirts and bras, often shouting obscenities in the process. Some women comply with the jeering requests.

"When the male spectators don't get their wish, they frequently grow nasty - booing, spitting and throwing beer bottles at the women they're targeting.

"The story, which was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times, has caused a public outcry and led the New York Jets to issue a statement about the behavior.

"'This type of conduct on one of the stadium spirals is outrageous and unacceptable,' said Jets senior vice president of business operations Matt Higgins. 'We have spoken with NJSEA [New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority] officials and demanded that they take steps immediately to ensure that it does not happen again.'

"The NJSEA, which runs operations at Giants Stadium and The Meadowlands complex where it's located, acknowledged that the bawdy ritual has been a problem and said security staff and New Jersey State Police are doing what they can to stop it.

"'This is not something new to us in terms of dealing with rowdy fan behavior,' NJSEA President and CEO George Zoffinger told FOXNews.com. 'Anybody who uses vulgar language or is intoxicated or acting in an improper manner is either ejected or arrested.'"

 

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Sales Taxes to Build Stadiums?

Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High by Chris Long from the air - February 2010 The photo at left is of Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High as photographed from the air by Chris Long (with permission). Like countless other stadiums around the country this one was built with public funds for a private industry that has been granted monopoly power for its franchise sports system. Think about it for a moment - professional sports are not open to competition, they play one city against another for stadiums, and all the average citizen gets is overpriced tickets and increased sales taxes on just about anything we buy. What other industries, except maybe religion, get such huge tax payer subsidies? Well, it's an age-old system that started with the Romans when they decided bread a circuses could keep the masses preoccupied with handouts and petty amusements. Our "modern" infantilized populace is so defined by entertainment, instant self gratification, and personal pleasures that almost no one balks at a tax increase to support a sports team.

 

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Union Goons
  (I have more on unions Here...)

It's amazing how much professional (and even amateur) athletes, their teams, and owners demand of the citizenry. It's especially disheartening when these sports entertainers go on strike to demand even more at times when the average working person is worried about keeping a job or feeding their family. The Great Recession of 2008-12 was no exception. In early October, 2011 the thugs associated with the NBA went on a strike that even seemed to be supported by the owners - it appeared to be a "win-win" in that the players would eventually get more money for having played less and the owners would save money by cancelling a few week's worth of games. What a pathetic situation yet the fans, I'm sure, will continue lining up to buy tickets no matter what.

The NFL, of course, involved itself in a similar manner three times in the 70s and 80s (their crowning achievement was the one in '87...) with continued pressure to do it again in 2011. What do the fans and spectators get out of football strikes and slowdowns? Higher ticket prices, higher stadium taxes, and a bunch of steroid-doped athletes with way too much time on their hands.

And, finally, baseball isn't immune from jumping on the greed bandwagon either. Their 1994 strike is legendary and, despite taking four years to recover from it they'll probably do it again. Do any of these "athletes" (or their owners) have any pride? Have any of them ever had to earn an honest living? Do the fans care? Will the taxpayer ever grow weary of the subsidies? Will the consumer ever balk at higher prices due to sports sponsorships and advertising? I'm not holding my breath...

 

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Anti-American

Kaepernick and Reid Anti-American - 09-18-2016 In this photo San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35), refusing to stand respectfully, knelt during our national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina. The National Football League, of course, didn't have the courage to rein in these two players (employees) for fear that the flow of money into the games would be upset.

 

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