Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quick Hit 7/27: And the idiots with domestic violence aren't limited to football...

Domestic Violence in Sports Idiot #2 of the Week:

Chuck Knoblauch.

For the second time in four years, Blauch-Head decided to assault his ex-wife -- a DIFFERENT ex-wife than the one he served probation for four years ago when he thought it right to beat her up.

After the arrest, the Minnesota Twins, who were about to induct Knoblauch into their Hall of Fame, have permanently cancelled the induction.

--

Stephen A. Smith and ESPN plan to address the firestorm surrounding Smith's comments on Monday's "First Take".

After learning of his new Sirius XM gig, I have to think it might be Smith's last day with the Four-Letter Network -- by his own design.

--

Non-sports here for a second, just to show you how bad things are getting against women:

This weekend was the annual pop-culture geek-fest, the San Diego Comic-Con.

There has been so much sexual harassment and assault at the event that 2,600 women signed a petition demanding SDCC toughen it's stance against such action.

Among the situations women have routinely had to put up with:
  • Groping
  • Cat-Calls
  • Having pictures taken non-consensually while bent over


and other incidents...

Women are going to have to do a lot more than talk. They're going to have to do.

That means police, pepper-spray, whatever becomes necessary... Because there's no action they can take that won't provoke somebody...

Isn't that right, Stephen A. Smith?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quick Hit 7/26: Sounds Like That Was Stephen A. Smith's Swan-Song

Deadspin and the New York Post report today that the misogynistic illogic of Stephen A. Smith from yesterday's "First Take" debacle may well have been Smith's swan-song with the network.

And I'm not talking getting fired -- it sounds like he's leaving of his own accord, and has the new gig already planned out.

His radio gig with ESPN Radio is ending (date unknown), and he's going to Sirius XM, with Mad Dog Radio, to be the Black voice that former WFAN host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo said he couldn't find 2-3 months ago.

Oh gee, maybe defending Ray Rice sealed the deal on that one?

--

Erin Gloria Ryan on Deadspin's women's sister-site Jezebel, with her take on the insanity.

"Misogyny isn't only endemic to a certain subset of NFL players and owners singled out by McManus and Doyal et al; it's something exhibited by a disturbing number of football media folk and fans as well."

The entire sport, and it's entire presentation, is misogyny.

From the power-over on the field (and Heaven-help-you if you aren't a God-fearing straight man in most parts of Football Nation America) to the blatant burlesque shows on the sidelines and halftime shows from high-school middle-America to the professional ranks to the advertisements for beer and erectile-dysfunction drugs, etc.

This is why Keith Olbermann exposing Damon Bruce's KNBR misogynistic rant was a very important moment in showing the reality of sports -- it is, to these people, a world fit only for those with a dick between their legs and enough power in society to put that dick wherever the fuck they want it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quick Hit 7/25: ESPN Shows True Colors

And just when you thought the Ray Rice story couldn't get any worse, ESPN, once again, shows how The Shield, The Almighty NFL, can reduce  ...


ESPN's male contingent (or at least some of it's loudest) have come down solidly on the side that they think it's a joke Rice was suspended at all.


The most prominent incident was today on First Take, ESPN's rant-filled attempt to get their talents in each other's grills and have the audience at home yell at their TV's to take sides.

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless talked today about Ray Rice, and Smith, well, stepped in it...  HARD.


Transcript from Deadspin with my thoughts as they come up:


"It's not about him, then. It's about you, and here's what I mean by that. We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don't know how many times I got to reiterate that."


Stephen A., the reason that you have to keep reiterating that is that there is no longer a Steve Wilkos or an angry mob around every corner designed to kick the living fucking shit out of anybody who puts their hands on a woman.


We no longer live in that culture, Stephen A., and you don't get that, by that comment or any other you make here.  Certain men not only are given every business putting their hands on a woman, but it's the expectation which comes along with the circumstances, and that's why you're getting your ass reamed so hard.


The fact is that, in many walks of manhood, your Sacred Cow of a Shield chief among them, this kind of animalistic non-human behavior is part and parcel of the experience, up to and including the price of admission for any woman who chooses to involve herself therein.


So you are not only guilty of misogyny, but also of complete lack of logic, because you don't even realize half of what you are saying, or why we're so pissed about it.


"But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I'm going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I'm going to do, I know what my boys are going to do."


Then we need to see it.  Lots, long, and hard.  We need to see what you are going to do.  (Basically take the guy, beat him within about 1/8" of his life, and, if he ever shows his face in public again, come back for the other 1/8".)


I think a lot of us who were so raised do not realize what women now are dealing with -- and when some of us think they do, we're immediately read as "She wore the short skirt...".  In reality, the only way to avoid many of these situations, because of society making this shit acceptable, is not to take part in the first damned place.


"I know what, I'm going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I'm going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I'm going to be tempted to do."


Fuck that.  If you're going to have to do it, then do it.


If you believe in something enough, you have to be prepared to pay any price or penalty to get the job done, should it become necessary to do so.

Again, this comment tells me that you don't get what has become acceptable in our culture, especially for men given power through football in communities across our nation, to one extent (Ray Rice, for example) or another (uncountable high schools).


"But what I've tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I've done this all my life, let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it's law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you."


And there's where you go completely off the rails.

The last thing in this section is correct:  Nothing which is done in retribution, revenge, etc. stops that this happened in the first place.


But the man is still responsible for his conduct.  And until that responsibility is stated AND ENFORCED on an a priori basis, we can forget about getting through to many men, especially those of any athletic power in our communities.


It isn't:  "She wore a short skirt..."


It IS:  "We now live in a culture where (at least certain) men are completely acceptable raping, pillaging, and plundering everything in their path, especially if she doesn't have a dick between her legs."


Women CANNOT expect appropriate conduct from a man anymore.  They really never could.


I said this as part of something which got me in a lot of trouble sixteen years ago, but the fact is that there is NOTHING THE WOMAN CAN DO SHORT OF VIOLENCE to be assured of appropriate conduct, because of the fact that we now live in a culture where the phrase "legitimate rape" can be uttered by no less than a fucking Congresscritter and he not get run out of town on a rail for it.


(And for those who utter "Violence begets violence.":  To me, the violence is already begotten.  Period.)


"So let's try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn't happen. Now you got some dudes that are just horrible and they're going to do it anyway, and there's never an excuse to put your hands on a woman."


I think you sorely underestimate that number.


"But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn't do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn't happen. We know they're wrong. We know they're criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice's case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation."


And here's the "Fuck You"...


Both from Stephen A. Smith to female America, and from me to Stephen A. Smith.


You CANNOT participate in society as a woman and not "provoke" somebody.


You cannot have any sense of fashion, you cannot perform any vocation of work, you cannot have a meaningful conversation about anything, you cannot exert your power as a woman.  NOTHING.


The fact is that we need to have a serious and VIOLENT reset of gender relations in this country -- to ENFORCE equality, by blood if necessary.


Otherwise, there's nothing that can be done.  To think that there are even a remote number of men who aren't criminals in this regard overestimates the intelligence and dignity of male society in this country to a massive degree.


There are many people who, because of my background and criminal history, believe I have no respect for women.  For whatever amount (even zero) you believe my respect of women to be, I respect men even LESS.


As I've said about numerous subjects:  It all comes down to enforcement. 


In a day of leggy-stripper cheerleaders from the high school fields of middle America to the professional gridirons of The Almighty Shield...


In a day where every game is a rape-level power-over where any play...  any practice...  can kill somebody...


In a day where we give these football players carte blanche on all other students (and most other people) until the day they embarrass that which they are to represent (if it stops even then!!)...


You expect women to be able to participate in society at any level by saying the following in closing...


"Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying. No point of blame."


You cannot expect appropriate conduct from an American man if you are a woman in the 21st Century.  And until we ENFORCE otherwise (with blood, as necessary), this isn't changing.

And you're enabling it by reversing the situation.  If anything, we need to tell women that they need to be on guard at all times, knowing that they can "provoke" someone at any time doing almost anything.


Have you learned one fucking thing from the story of Stubenville, OH, Stephen A. Smith?


NO.


--


And that wasn't the only misogyny thrown around by The Four-Letter Network in the last 36 hours or so.


Later on, Stephen A. Smith took to Twitter, and, as Deadspin noted, doubled down!


Combining some tweets:


"Upon hearing what I had to say, although admitting I could've been more articulate on the matter, let me be clear: I don't understand how on earth someone could interpret that I somehow was saying women are to blame for domestic violence."


"Elements of provocation", and I've been down that road and gotten in a lot of trouble for that very same argument.


The problem is that, by giving men the "provoked" out, you sanction their behavior -- you encourage it.


Our culture, frankly, is a petri-dish for abuse, misogyny, rape, homophobia and God only knows what else in these regards.  And it's that "provoked" out which gives men the (perceived -- and that's all they need here!) right to continue to do it, and to make that part of the rite of passage of being a Man in our society.


THAT'S how we interpret it, because you completely misunderstand the complete acceptability we have given (as a culture and nation) this kind of conduct -- as long as it's the "right Man" that does it.


They don't care that "it's unacceptable to put your hands on a woman".


Until someone FUCKS THEM UP FOR IT, what the fuck are you going to do about it?

We can SAY it's unacceptable, and you can do it 1,000 times.  PROVE IT.


It's "Only Words" otherwise...


You talk about "the other side".  The only way you can have "the other side" dealt with is to either make the woman a non-participant or to basically say that just about anything she does is going to "provoke" somebody.


Then what?


You don't get it:  This shithead is a football player.  That makes him Boss, IF NOT GOD, in many circles of our culture.  And we have parts of our culture in which not only violence upon women is acceptable, but rape is part of the price of admission.


Again, it all comes down to enforcement, which is why you don't realize how misogynistic and illogical your stands are.  You're so ready to defend Ray Rice, you probably don't even realize you're doing so.


This is why I can't say I was 100% sad to see someone, after a controversial event, have to take on an armed guard for the next month or two, saying so in an interview a few days into the experience.  Unfortunately, it came to that point, but, fortunately, she was smart enough to be proactive about understanding the level to which men are allowed unacceptable conduct in our society.


Until that changes (and it will take the complete condemnation of comments like Smith's and a violent re-write of gender relations in this country), nothing's going to get done.


--


Michelle Beadle went NUCLEAR:


"So I was just forced to watch this morning's First Take. A) I'll never feel clean again B) I'm now aware that I can provoke my own beating."


"I'm thinking about wearing a miniskirt this weekend...I'd hate to think what I'd be asking for by doing so @stephenasmith. "


"I was in an abusive relationship once. I'm aware that men & women can both be the abuser. To spread a message that we not 'provoke' is wrong"


The problem, Michelle, is I don't know what to say to it.  We live in a rape culture today.  We live in a culture where women are expected to be presented in a "certain way" (and don't tell me your Four-Letter Employer hasn't asked for a mini, if not a micro, to put it forward) to be relevant... 


You have a colleague at ESPN who said to Connie Chung in 1988: "I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."


In ESPN's haste to defend The Almighty Shield, they have sacrificed all logic and debased themselves to the misogyny evident in the NFL and it's ENTIRE PRESENTATION:  From the game to the sidelines to the cheerleaders to the ED ads to the beer ads, etc. and so forth and on and On and ON...


--


At least one male ESPN talent rises above the misogyny and illogic of ESPN's defense of women getting beaten/raped by The Shield:


Keith Olbermann, once again, is tempting fate with his employer with this gem, which I will leave you with in closing:


"The message to the women who the league claims constitute 50 percent of its fan base: The NFL wants your money. It will do nothing else for you. It will tolerate those who abuse you verbally and those who abuse you physically."


"And another generation of athletes and fans begins to view the women in sports as just a little less human."


(Only dispute:  A LITTLE less human?  Of course, one has to wonder how human the athletes are anymore, with all the drugs and treatments they're on these days...)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fine/Suspension Blotter as of July 24, just to start the farce....

Just to start the Dog and Pony Show against the NFL and expose their fraud for what it is, let's use our friends at Spotrac to chronicle the following fines and suspensions, so far, in the 2014 off-season:


Quickie reminder:  A second suspension costs the team 25% of lost salary up to $200,000.  A third tacks on 33% of the third player's lost salary to $350,000 for the third one.  A fourth is half the fourth player's loss up to $500,000.  Any repeat-offender status doubles the payment, up to the capped number for that tier.
  • Arizona Cardinals:  Daryl Washington, BANNED for a season, 2nd offense of drug policy.
  • Baltimore Ravens:  Ray Rice, suspended two games and fined a 3rd game check based on 2013 salary, domestic violence.  Have to check to see if $50,000 (against that game check) counts against the Ravens' number -- I believe the game check does.
  • Carolina Panthers:  Frank Alexander, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy.
  • Indianapolis Colts:  Robert Mathis, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy, PEDs.
  • Indianapolis Colts:  LaVon Brazill, BANNED at least for a season, 2nd offense of drug policy.
  • Indianapolis Colts:  Under NFL rules, fined $200,000 for Brazill's suspension, for being the second such suspension.  Brazill's fine to the league is doubled under the repeat-offender situation, but still capped at $200,000.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars:  Ace Sanders, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Since Justin Blackmon is suspended after strike three on the drug policy (and appears on his way to his fourth offense, which should end his career after a recent arrest with marijuana in the car), 25% of Sanders' salary has to be paid:  $29,117.50
  • Kansas City Chiefs:  Rokevious Watkins, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy.
  • Miami Dolphins:  Dion Jordan, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy, stimulants/PEDs.
  • Minnesota Vikings:  Spencer Nealy, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy.
  • New York Giants:  Will Hill, 6 games, drug policy.  He has since been terminated from the team.  (Yes, they say "waived" -- he was terminated.)
  • New York Giants:  Jayron Hosley, less than a week after the Hill suspension, 4 games, 1st offense of drug policy.
  • New York Giants:  Yes, Hill's suspension counts, so they are fined 25% of Hosley's lost salary (Fine is $33,529.75.)
  • Philadelphia Eagles:  Jake Knott, 4 games, 1st offense drug policy, PEDs.
  • Philadelphia Eagles:  Lane Johnson, 4 games, 1st offense drug policy, PEDs.
  • Philadelphia Eagles:  Fined 25% of Johnson's lost salary ($45,047).
  • St. Louis Rams:  Stedman Bailey, 4 games, 1st offense drug policy, PEDs.
  • Washington Redskins:  Fred Davis, suspended indefinitely in February for strike two on the drug policy -- and now wanted for domestic violence in DC...
  • Washington Redskins:  Brandon Moore (undrafted FA), 4 games, 1st offense drug policy (April).
  • Washington Redskins:  Tanard Jackson, BANNED FROM THE LEAGUE, FOURTH OFFENSE drug policy.  (It, in fact, was his second indefinite suspension -- he'd actually already served his strike-three and won reinstatement after 18 months.  That didn't last long.  Reinstated May 5, banned again July 9)
  • Washington Redskins:  That's $350,000 for Jackson and another $100,500 for Moore ($450,500 total) (and I'd hope a fair bit more) forfeited to the league.
So that's, what:  20 players, and team fines totaling over $700,000.

Quick Hit 7/24: Another Day, Another Domestic-Violence Suspension -- and Other NFL Jokes

... and another pathetic slap on the wrist by an NFL which knows it's game represents rapists and domestic abusers everywhere.


Today, the Baltimore Ratbirds' Ray Rice (who's jersey was being worn by Catheter Man from yesterday's Quick Hit -- coincidence?  I think not!) was suspended two games for knocking out his then-fiancĂ©.


He was also fined a third game check by the NFL, some of which will be applied against Baltimore's number for player conduct this season.  (I believe it's $50,000 can be applied to the number.)  That fine appears to be slightly less than $60,000, based on his 2013 salary, since the incident happened then.


OK, let's get real here.  As I said a couple of days ago, football, as a non-consensual power-over, is a great allegory (symbolism) for the rape culture which exists in our country.  It's on the field, it's on the exhibitionists cheerleaders on the sidelines, it's basically in every ad one way or the other -- football is about being a MAN...


(Oh, you really thought it was an accident that Smiling Bob was on the game pushing the latest ED drug?)


It's time for women just to get violent on the institution of football.  Whether it's a walkout, a disruptive protest, or what-have-you, something (and something REAL) needs to be done.


--


And I caught this little ditty about my Fine Blotters...


Apparently, the NFL was lying to us about a lot of the fines, or quietly dropped a shit-ton of them while I wasn't looking.


According to a May, 2014 NFL report, the number of teams which actually had to submit money to the NFL for fines was actually only FOUR.


The league said the average per-team amount for fines for player safety dropped 30% year-over-year to about $60,000 per team.


(That would've been about $1.92 million for the season.  Now, yes, this was for player-safety fouls, and did not include uniform violations or other fines.)


This blog detailed FOUR POINT SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS IN FINES (including team remittances -- I counted FIVE just in the last four weeks of the season...).


Well, barring any computer disasters, this blog will, once again, expose the fraud that is the player safety and club remittance policies by exposing the truth that the NFL and the media don't want you to know.

Fuck you, Roger Goodell.
The NFL didn't release the four teams, but Detroit and Tampa were

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quick Hits 7/23: Anti-Gambling Ad Screws Up, Some Idiot Takes the Piss, Sidney Rice Retires, and Could California Be First Toward Banning Football?

At least four for you today.

(Blogger's note:  Some semi-hiatus, eh?  Well, just don't have the computer to go in-depth until almost football season, but still here anyway.)

First, a follow-up on that anti-gambling ad from the World Cup:

A note for the National Council of Problem Gambling:

The point is correct, and the fact of what went down doesn't change it (in fact, it's often the worst thing which can happen to a problem gambler -- to win big!!!).

But you'd probably have been better to have "Andy's" dad (the father who was the problem gambler portrayed in the ad -- where "Andy" could not have been excited about the World Cup because his father gambled Andy's life savings on Germany to win the World Cup) bet on the United States or some team that was NOT going to win...

(And, apparently, an anti-gambling ad from Singapore had the same team getting the bet from the life savings of the kid.)

Second, and thanks to my anonymous contributor for this one:

Look, we get it, people...

Art Modell fucked over the people of Cleveland by sending his team to Baltimore and the like.

And I know people will say, "I'll piss on that man's grave when he dies!!!"

It doesn't mean you have to be like one idiot and ACTUALLY DO IT.

Put the whole mess on YouTube too.  Came to the cemetery in an Ed Reed jersey, took it off to show a Lyle Alzado Browns jersey -- pulls out a catheter, and pisses on Modell's grave.

Then, he comments (quoting from the linked ESPN article):

""You know, Art, when you ... tried to kill the Cleveland Brownie, you didn't do so good, the Browns fans wouldn't let you, you piece of s---," he says. "I'm in rat land, and I'm going to use the words you used a few years ago.""

That important to you, eh?

Might make me wonder what you'd think of the other two stories I have today, sir...

The third of the four stories of today:  Sidney Rice has retired due to health concerns, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Knee injury prevented Rice from playing in the Super Bowl and post-season for the 'Hags, then he was released in a salary-cap move and re-signed by the team.

It was during his release period that he rethought football and decided to go into his post-football career.  Rice is a franchisee of Wingstop in Tacoma, and may open more locations.

Of course, if that's not enough for Catheter Guy, a new California law might send him over the side.

I may be over-stating in the headline here, especially for those with wishful thinking, but California, yesterday, passed into law (signed by Governor Jerry Brown) the toughest anti-football law in the nation.

AB-2127 basically overhauls football in the state of California.  And, if it stands -- and this will be a BIG "IF" -- could result in the end of high-school and middle-school football in California in 2-3 years.

Effective January 1, 2015 (so they do get one more season under present rules):

First, it overhauls the concussion procedure and codifies it into state law.

Any athlete diagnosed with a concussion cannot return to game or practice that day, under any circumstances.  Moreover, the athlete cannot return to even practice until a licensed professional in the field gives written clearance.  It also requires, as a part of the new state law, that any prospective player (and parent) sign off on an information sheet regarding head injuries, concussions, and the new AB-2127 protocol as part of their required Athletic Code.

Of course, there's an immediate corollary here:  This is going to require an eventual amendment that's going to require every sporting event held subject to this law to have a NEUTRAL doctor present to handle diagnoses in this regard.

Otherwise, and this is one of the reasons you're going to see this revisited to the level of the possible banishment of football at the CIF (California's high-school sports federation) level:  They'll just stop diagnosing concussions completely.

Also, the law forces a complete re-write of practice procedures:

For a period 30 days from the start of the season until the end of the post-season for a school, a team may only have two full-contact 90-minute practices a week.

Outside that period, full-contact practices (including "camps", spring football, etc.) are BANNED.

If anyone doesn't think this is the largest step yet toward a state banning tackle football for minors, I'd like to see a bigger step -- and in a state like California, no less!!!

From the articles, I've read, it's coming pretty clear at the coaching level that these steps go in, or the game goes out.

I think we're about three years, now, from a state being forced to consider outright banishment of the sport of tackle football (at least at the school level).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quick Hit 7/22: Someone Needs To Tell Tony Dungy, The Homophobic Pig, To Shut The Fuck Up

Look, we get it, Tony Dungy.

You wouldn't draft Michael Sam, as you told the Tampa Tribune.

Leave your Old Testament Bible-Thumping out of the NFL.  Period.

EDIT TO ADD: Deadspin, through Rams beat-writer Nick Wagoner, got these comments from Michael Sam:

"Sam on Dungy's comments: "Thank God he wasn't the St. Louis Rams coach. (laughs) I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy." (1 of 2)" and ""And like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions." (2 of 2)"

Mr. Sam, for your own good, you maybe shouldn't be so nice about it. I'm beginning to read tea leaves that NFL shills media sources are already trying to plant the seeds for your demise.