Friday, March 24, 2017

Donald Trump's Failures Writ Large

"Repeal and Replace" died today, a flaming death after Trump's own party refused to pass it.

So why is it endemic here?

At least one professional game tonight and two college broadcasts in Republican markets aired ads thanking Republican Congresscritters for repealing Obamacare -- which will now remain the Law of the Land for the foreseeable future.

Oh, and then you have Donald Trump taking credit for blackballing Colin Kaepernick from the NFL?  So obviously that, now, Richard Sherman can see it???

And we elected this fucking shithead... HOW?


This is a contract????

Hoo boy.  Someone needs to explain to my anonymous friend why this is legal.

My friend pointed out this Deadspin article, explaining the contract of Philadelphia's backup quarterback, Nick Foles.

It's a five-year deal, maximum of $27.5 million.

Except:  After two years, if he's on the Eagles roster 23 days before the start of the 2019-2020 league year (the article estimates mid-February), he's off the roster -- the contract is VOID!!!!

WHAT????

We can only think of two alternatives:
  • The Eagles, needing Foles as a backup, put a nice signing bonus in the contract and would much rather chew on the salary cap hit for three years (the last 3/5 of it goes in when the contract voids) than eat it in two...
  • or his agent is trying to rip him off -- does the agent get his percentage of what his client is paid, or the maximum on the contract?
There's no way this should be legal, but the NFLPA isn't a fucking union at all.  It's a sellout scam operation for the owners.

Tyrod Taylor of the Bills has the same operation.  Five-year deal, void after two.

It's the only way the Jets would put up with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

You want to know how bad it is for the NFL players right now?

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB blog reported that, in the first 15 days of the new NFL year (starting March 7), there were 206 signed contracts reported to the NFLPA.

Only 24 had at least $3,000,000 in guaranteed money past this year.

Basically, the lesser players are being put out of the league, to be replaced with new lessers.  One way the Deadspin article notes this is with language in the CBA which would allow a player in a multiyear contract to be guaranteed half of next year's money if he's injured in the final game of the previous season.

Hence, unless you are elite or have a Q-rating, no more multi-year contracts.

And then there's the rollover clause, which basically allows the teams to roll cap space into future years in four-year increments, meaning the teams, with free agency basically done, have three-quarters of a billion dollars in cap space.

You're about to see far fewer veteran players in this league.  Unless you are elite and have a following, you have no real use to your massahs.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

This is why I can't always be right: TPTB giveth, and TPTB taketh away.

And Northwestern got screwed, and the NCAA has already admitted it.

Down only 5 after clawing 17 back of a 22-point deficit to Gonzaga, Northwestern was denied getting the game to 3 with a blatant (and admitted!) missed basket-interference call.

That was finally enough for Gonzaga's head coach to lose his head, get a T, the lead went to 7, and Gonzaga won by 6.

Now one has to wonder if it's Gonzaga...  Probably get screwed Thursday night, but there would be great benefit to March Madness as a whole, especially with Villanova now out and the field all but reduced to Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wow. What a first day... Especially for the big-money that makes this game slavery these days...

I really hope you enjoyed that bore of a first day.

While you try to process some of what happened, here's some reality that people I've talked to on the subject would like to remind you as the lack of upsets (one real upset all day) breaks brackets:
  • Turner and CBS are in the middle of a 23-year deal that will net the NCAA $19,600,000,000.  (That's almost TWENTY BILLION.) (CNN from last year, when Turner and CBS added almost $9 billion to the kitty to go from 2025 to 2032.)
  • For this, the average supposed-full ride scholarship, even though men's basketball is supposed to provide a full ride by NCAA rule, only covers about 80%  of the expenses.
  • In contrast, some of the coaches make a shit-ton.
Here are some numbers of that for you from USA Today:
  • Mike Krzyzewski:  $7.3 million.
  • John Calipari for One and Done U:  $6.875 million
  • Sean Miller and Bill Izzo:  About $5 million apiece.
  • USA Today found 38 college coaches at the Division I men's level making $1 million or more.
So pardon some people if they aren't so enamored with the Northwestern story.

And, yes, it was rigged by The Powers That Be.  Given the chance by a late Vanderbilt comeback, the refs screwed them, and then the inexplicable foul from 15 seconds before gave them cover.

Watch the replay of the tap closely on the three-point miss if you don't believe me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Several updates from the ongoing European soccer debacles...

  • Joey Barton's banishment from soccer has been postponed again.  He was supposed to meet mid-week with the FA regarding his gambling charges, but the hearing has been delayed again.  No new date has been set, and, according to at least one source, there is no precedent in the record books as to exactly what the FA might do.
  • Well, tell me if you've heard this one before:  Barcelona's rigged/thrown win over Paris-St. Germain actually registered a minor earthquake near the stadium.  A 1.0 on the Richter scale was reached on the final goal, startling nearby parties who thought robberies may have been in progress.
  • An official police investigation has been launched into Paris-St. Germain fans who openly attacked and threatened the team upon their return to Paris.  At least one PSG player is claimed to have hit a fan with his car on the way out!  No word on if his car was one of the number of PSG players' cars which were vandalized in the attack.  (Yes, it was wrong what the fans did.  But don't tell me the police shouldn't also be investigating the players for what happened in Barcelona on Wednesday.)

A high school near Philadelphia needs it's hockey program terminated. NOW.

(Deadspin)

And here we go again...

And this sounds like a largely one-way fight.

Tensions ran high between Central Bucks West and Ridley in a Class 2A hockey quarterfinal last night near Philadelphia.  (This was NOT a state-sanctioned event -- the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association does NOT support ice hockey.)

Central Bucks West was kicking Ridley's ass on the scoreboard -- the game ended 7-1.

However, Ridley, at that point, took words and made them actions, resulting in the following fracas (I assume Ridley is the dark-sweatered team, as you'll see here...):
The stupid woman in the crowd notwithstanding, at least she didn't go on the ice.  At least two fans did and others tried.

Words had been exchanged most of the evening in a chippy affair.  Before the game was called off by Ridley (Inexplicably, the officials, by the rules enforced in this tournament, had NO POWER TO FORFEIT THE MATCH.  It was demanded by somebody of Ridley to do so after the fracas, and they did.)  Police were called, and, though there were no arrests (How does that happen?  Not only would I have had arrested the Ridley coaching staff, but several of their players and a number of spectators in the crowd.  The video does not show it well, but it appears at least one fight was brewing in the crowd after the situation on the ice had settled.), at least one Ridley coach had to be detained.

Fifty penalties were called in the shortened game (they got about half the third period in before all Hell broke loose), and 36 of them, according to The Intelligencer, were on Ridley.

Someone needs to close down that Ridley program a year, I fear...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Another romantic finish that will probably be found wanting...

Probable fixed soccer match in Barcelona today.

And, if it was, several of the players on the Paris-St. Germain team have got some questions to answer.

After a "dreamland" 4-0 win over European titan Barcelona in the opening match of the two-match round-of-16 tie in Paris, all PSG needed to do was basically show up and not throw the match, and they win.

I just watched most of the match on Fox Sports 2 just now.

They threw the damn match.

Paris-St. Germain should be investigated by UEFA, on at least two different grounds.

First is their conduct.  Five yellows to begin with, and that's only because the official was rank incompetent.  It's not even just the function that they might well have thrown the tie -- and I believe they did!  But, to watch the game and keep track, I counted at least four penalties and two red cards that PSG didn't get called for (the first penalty call was a denial of a goal scoring opportunity for #12, then #6 gets a quick yellow for demanding a Barcelona card, and then continues to so demand).

Then, Luis Suarez gets in on the act.  Gets one yellow for diving in the 67th, then, within five minutes, knowingly exhales after escaping red for a blind tackle.  Then, in the 91st, dives again and gets that call for the fifth Barcelona goal to bring them within one goal of victory.

The final Barcelona goal was good, the only offside player was out of the play.

That said, there's a second ground that needs to be looked at.

I've watched soccer matches for about 25 years now.  I've never seen a team so completely capitulate and "do the job" as I did here.  As much as I think the referee of this farce was incompetent on his face, I think it is adequately clear that Paris-St. Germain threw this match. 

What, a dozen giveaways or more in the defensive third? 

How many penalties did you actually commit?  About seven?

Then how many cards did the referee keep in his pocket to ensure the match didn't prematurely end?

Even if it's just for the conduct, UEFA needs a look at this one.

If you have the ESPN app, that should be on ESPN Deportes.  English language probably requires FOX Sports GO or maybe a replay around some of the basketball on FS1 or FS2.

You need to see this, and not with the rose-colored glasses some people want to put on this match.  Something went down here, and I don't think it was just the officiating.  I think the referee was SO incompetent, he never had control of the match and was very lucky to get off that pitch without a major incident.