Monday, March 2, 2015

Tiger Woods: Quit The Bullshit, People

Well, Tiger's back in the news again.

And it isn't good.

And someone needs to put an end to this rumor-mongering.

Why?

We have some nothing journeyman golfer, a Dan Olsen, telling a Michigan radio station that it's his opinion that Tiger Woods has been suspended by the PGA Tour for PEDs.

Now, do I believe -- as an OPINION -- that Tiger Woods used steroids when he was remotely credible and relevant?  Yes.  I do believe Olsen when he said this to the radio station:  "I think when it's all said and done, he's gonna surpass Lance Armstrong with infamy."

Do I believe the PGA Tour would cover that up?  You bet.

Do I believe he's doing it now?  Only if that's the only way he has a functioning body.

Tiger Woods is so bad right now, especially within 50 yards, he has no business at a PGA event, even with a ticket!

So spare me the PED nonsense as far as now is concerned.

And the Tiger-jockers, to make a point, have started in the comments section -- one Steve Broome doing similar on the ESPN article, calling Olsen a pedophile.

Somebody wants their ass kicked HARD.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Has Got To Be The World Ending...

Why?

I started this blog in late 2010.

In January and February of 2011, I had 5 posts.  I didn't really start blogging hard again until football season.  January through August had 45 posts, the NFL season had 125.

In the first two months of 2012:  19.  The first four months had only 42.

Jan.-Feb. 2013:  45.   The next four months only had 37.

And for last year's first two months:  25, with another 22 in the next two.

January and February 2015???

This is post number ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT!

To give you an idea:  In the four full years of this blog, here is the date, by my best count, that I reached #128:

2011:  November 9, just as Paterno and the university president were being fired, my demand to pull the plug on the football program at Pedophile State.

2012:  August 6, a post about the possibility that Canada was jobbed to the United States in Olympic women's soccer to increase the USA's medal count in Beijing.

2013:  August 31, a synopsis of the abject fraud and corruption in the entire Bowl Championship Series era, on the eve of the beginning of the final year of said era.

2014:  July 25, while I was without computer at home, I was posting quasi-daily Quick Hits, and post #128 of 2014 was on ESPN's covering up for Ray Rice's INITIAL supension...

And I reach #128 on FEBRUARY 28, 2015!!

It's out of motherfucking control.  It just IS.  And if someone doesn't force it back in control....

A Fraud That Often Goes Under the Radar: Ticketmaster

I've been noticing something the last few weeks, and it's finally motivated me to do a post on something that I know most sports (and other) fans gripe about.

It's Ticketmaster.

Ticketbastard, as we all like to call it, has been called on the carpet a number of times for shady dealings with respect to the tickets it has on sale.

Well, I think we might have to put it to the test again.

As a professional wrestling fan (though Vince McMahon likes to test that three-decade relationship from time to time), I have been keeping an eye on tickets to WrestleMania in my old stomping grounds of the Bay Area.

(Note:  The WWE is doing this year's biggest card as simply "WrestleMania", NOT "WrestleMania XXXI" or the like.)

Anyhow, I've been keeping an eye on tickets ever since I had the money to buy them, about two weeks after they went on sale.

I'm probably NOT going to be in Levi's Stadium as a result!

Why?

Well, it sounds like Ticketmaster is getting suspicious.

And what started it popped up on Thursday.

Dave Meltzer is one of the most respected wrestling "sheet" writers, and has been for many years now.  He writes the Wrestling Observer newsletter.

On Thursday, wrestling blogger Scott Keith reported, with Meltzer as a source, that between 11,000 and 12,000 WrestleMania tickets were still available.

So I decided to do some research...

First off, because I saw something that indicated that this was news to Ticketmaster!



And it's stated that for quite some time.  (I just pulled this up as of the time I blogged this post.)

So, now, I attempt to go find some tickets and find a couple of very interesting facts.

I had been having trouble finding any ticket below $175 + at least $25 in fees (+ almost certainly another $7 or so for actually doing the order and mailing me the ticket).

So, 3:27 PM Pacific Time this afternoon, I hit a search for tickets available in the three lowest price denominations (all of which I could still do), and find...

That for the first time in MONTHS, I can get a $94 ticket, and so I snagged it.

It'll make March tight, but  think I can get through it.  (It would've been much better if I could've done this in another previous month, but OK...)

But here's the thing:  First off, the site says there are few tickets left.  Second, I had literally been checking tickets for MONTHS and got nothing cheaper than $175+$25.

So Ticketmaster was either holding back tickets, lying, or (because of Vince's booking) got a shit-ton of returns or transfers or the like.

Because they are now selling 4-packs of tickets to the event for $200.

Ticketmaster, you are something else.

Watch your backs, people.

Friday, February 27, 2015

And the worst European soccer story of them all might be OFF THE PITCH...

Just a moment ago, I posted a story on at least five incidents marring Champions League and Europa League matches in the last week (maybe two).

But that might not be the worst story in European soccer right now, as bad as all that is!

That may, once again, go to Italian soccer, and, specifically, Parma Football Club.

To say Parma is in trouble is an understatement.  They will almost certainly be expelled by the Italian officials from the top tier of Serie A at the end of the year for financial malfeasance.

That is, if this Parma club even MAKES IT to the end of the year.  The more likely result is that Parma will have to fold, put a new team forward, and start at the bottom -- not unlike Rangers of Scotland, in a move I am shocked did not kill Scottish soccer once and for all!

Parma has had to suspend it's upcoming match in Serie A and it's previous match because it, quite literally, has no money to keep the lights on.

In fact, the team has been sold twice this year, has not paid any of it's employees at all this season, and there is little idea as to the actual identity of who owns the team at all.

Let me try to unravel at least SOME OF THIS through an ESPNFC report on the subject...
  • The team's assets are already scheduled for liquidation by Italian tax officials next week.
  • A bankruptcy hearing on the team is scheduled for later in March.
  • The latest home match could not be played because the team could not provide lighting nor security for the game.  It had literally zero money for either.
  • The team offices and official shop have been shut down.
How bad is it, and how did we get here?
  • June 30, 2014:  The team's last filings indicate the debt on the team is now 197 million euros, a nearly twelve-fold increase from seven years ago, when the team started received 220 million euros from the Serie A television contracts.
  • 2004:  Parma is declared insolvent as part of the bankruptcy of food giant Parmalat, the latter 14 BILLION euros in the hole.
  • The team was basically trying a similar strategy to the Oakland A's of Major League Baseball -- find talented players, buy them cheap, sell them at a price.
  • Mid-2014:  The Italian officials deny Parma a berth in the Europa League for failing to pay a 300,000 euro tax bill.  Yet, the team is allowed to play in 2014 Serie A.
  • December 2014:  Parma is sold by Tommaso Ghiardi, but no one knows to whom or for what sum.
  • February 6, 2015:  Parma is sold AGAIN to Giampietro Manenti, and the claim is that the debt is only 73.5 million euros.  The ESPN report claims the sale price was...  one euro.
  • Manenti is believed to have capital totalling only 7500 euros at this juncture.
The officials, at this point, would like to see out the season, and reset the team in second-tier Serie B.

That's laughable.  The team is DEAD, mismanaged into the ground in one of the corrupt leagues in Europe.  Kill it, and allow solvent individuals to use the years in lower tiers to build up the capital and goodwill necessary to rebuild Parma.

And While We're At It... We may need to slam the door on European soccer, while we're at it...

Many disturbing articles in the last couple of days from the dysfunctional world of European soccer, NOT counting the fact that the year-before-World-Cup warmup, the Confederations Cup, has been removed from Qatar in 2021.
  • Chelsea should be banned from European club competition.  Devoted fans/ultras of the club denied entry onto a Paris train of a Black man, with one chant being:  ""We're racist, we're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it, we like it, we like it"" -- appearing to make them members of the "Chelsea Headhunters", a racist organization of soccer hooligans you can read about on the Wikipedia page chronicling why UEFA and FIFA need to step in yesterday.
Both this year (in the round of 16) and last year (in the quarterfinals), Chelsea faced Paris Saint-Germain, and, both times, the Headhunters had pre-planned racial violence during the event.  Paris Saint-Germain was cited by UEFA for retaliatory racist action in the 2014 incident.

UEFA and FIFA claim no authority to act on the train station incident, since the 2015 incident was outside the boundaries of stadium grounds.

Chelsea leads the two-game series by scoring an away goal in a 1-1 draw against PSG this year.  If the two-game match is tied, extra time is only played if the teams also score an equal number of goals as the away team.
  • Of course, Chelsea may have to wait in line, as a Europa League (second-tier to the Champions League for European clubs) series has been disrupted by racist bullshit, and this even far more planned than Chelsea's.   Feyenoord (Netherlands) hooligans trashed BOTH HALVES of the two-game tie against AS Roma of Rome.
First, in the match in Rome, a 1-1 draw, riots resulted in at least 32 arrests of Feyenoord hooligans in the streets of Rome.

They promised more mayhem when the Italians came to Holland, and they did not disappoint.

A Black player for AS Roma had a large inflatable banana thrown at him during the first half of the return match.  (Bananas are often used to imply Black players are nothing more than monkeys or apes, and is a common racist tactic in most of the soccer world.)

The referee stopped the match and threatened to end the tie and award the series to AS Roma.

Then, in the second half, the same referee threw a Feyenoord player out of the game for a dangerous tackle, and that got objects thrown from the crowd.  The match was stopped AGAIN, this time for about 20 minutes.

Inexplicably, the match was allowed to continue, and AS Roma won the match, 2-1, to win the series 3-2 and advance in the tournament.

No word yet on UEFA actions against Feyenoord...
  • Because both of them are going to have to wait in line behind Celtic of Scotland, who have now been hit with three charges for their conduct during the 2015 Europa League, from which they were just eliminated by Inter Milan.
First, Celtic was fined 10,000 euros for a supporter setting off a flare during a group match.

Now, two more charges have been hit for the game in which they were eliminated.

The first is a repeat offense on the fireworks, as they set off some in the 1-0 loss which eliminated them, just days after the group match incident fine was announced.

The second is that the team received SEVEN yellow cards in the match.  That's an automatic UEFA charge at the point they receive five.  One player did get sent off, and the referee was publicly rebuked by manager Ronny Deila, for which he could also be charged.

A 2004 incident in which a team received five yellow cards cost them 10,000 Swiss francs (the currency used at the time).  It would appear that seven would get a stiffer fine.
  • And a THIRD Europa League match has been placed under investigation, as Dynamo Kiev of the Ukraine now has to wait for UEFA to determine if their next home match (against Everton in the quarterfinals) has to be played under closed doors!
A 3-1 win over Guingamp of France was marred by violence between the fans, pitch invasions, fireworks, and the match having to be stopped for eight minutes.

Guingamp supporters enraged Dynamo Kiev ultras by rolling out the French tricolor to signify their feeling on the disputed region of Crimea, and Dynamo Kiev's ultras were out for blood.

A decision will be made as to what penalties Dynamo Kiev will be given.
  • And one more Champions League note:  Bayer Leverkeusen of Germany has been brought under review for an "illicit banner" in their win over Atletico Madrid.
---

It's not going to work, people.

The day and age of money allowing these matches to take place when all sanity and all safety indicate these matches should and MUST be stopped must end.

The only way to stop this is either to stop the teams in which ultra hooligans are doing this from playing, or stop the tournaments outright.

PERIOD.

That is FIVE incidents this round, at least.

Stop the hooligans, or stop the games.

And I think I know which one we'd have to pick.

Someone shut down the Florida State football program and culture -- NOW -- or someone is going to die.

No, that's not a threat from me.

It's an observation given actions Deadspin has reported (through the Tampa Bay Times) late this afternoon by members of the Florida State Football Apologists Rapeis Winston Fan Club toward the news reporter who broke the story on Rapeis being Rapeis.

Matt Baker chronicles his experience with the story, and how the accuser has been driven from the school.  It's pretty standard Football Man Gotta Rape To Protect His Spot (So We Have To Protect "Protected Man") BULLSHIT, but the fact of the matter is simple:

If someone does not take the fucking "football town" out of Tallahassee, Florida damned good and quick, someone is going to die at the hands of someone protecting the Florida State football program, culture, and reputation.

I said it, I meant it.  Someone is going to kill a reporter, a DA, an accuser, etc. to protect a university and football team rapidly accumulating a reputation of sexual assault, degradation, and Football Over Life that eerily mirrors places like Stubenville, Ohio and State College, Pennsylvania.

And here's the worst part of it:  The accuser may be about to go back into the line of fire.  According to the Matt Baker article, she took part in a documentary of the epidemic of rape and sexual assault on college campuses called The Hunting Ground.  It is scheduled, within a month, to be released in Florida, if not nationwide.

How are we to know that some Goddamned Seminole Jackoff is not going to go and decide the only way this woman is going to shut up about Football God and #1 Draft Pick (to Tampa Bay, ironically!) is to be shut up:  Once, For All, and Permanently...


The Kid's A Punk, The Coach Needs To Be Investigated and Fired

Dateline:  Vanderbilt.

Wade Baldwin IV was berated with profanity in the handshake line by his coach, Kevin Stallings, for an act of taunting his Tennessee opponent.

This has been a repeated problem with Baldwin for much of his freshman year, ESPN reports during the day said.

Baldwin was not penalized in the eight-point Vanderbilt victory.

Now, if it went as far as a coach being profane with an unsportsmanlike player who didn't get the message, that'd be one thing.  I actually would support it, sans violence or anything the coach might say to cross the line...

But Stallings (who will not be suspended by either the conference or the school) should be investigated and fired for his use of this language, according to the ESPN.com report:

"After the Commodores' 73-65 victory, Baldwin was seen clapping in the face of Tennessee forward Armani Moore, and Stallings was informed of Baldwin's actions by a Vols staff member. The Commodores coach then pulled Baldwin out of the handshake line and loudly and profanely berated him, at one point saying, "I'm going to f---ing kill you.""

Vanderbilt is satisfied he didn't mean it, but some people in this country don't get that leeway, Coach Stallings.

That, in a lot of circles, if you aren't Protected Man, would get you arrested pretty quickly.

Sorry, Vandy, but your program might be better off without both the kid AND the coach...

The kid for being a punk, the coach for crossing the line.