Wednesday, July 1, 2015

And Keith Olbermann is heading out the door...

Another Deadspin gem to kick off the second half of 2015, and another "Water is Wet" moment...

Keith Olbermann is probably about to follow Bill Simmons out the door.

It's a wonder to anyone that Olbermann will have lasted the two years on his deal -- especially with the obvious reason it's about to come apart:

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!  ESPN doesn't want anybody talking bad about poor Woger...

Yep, criticism of Roger Goodell, AGAIN.

Contract negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter, broke down when they told Olbermann to shut up about criticizing Goodell.

(And Bud Selig too, while he was at it...)

The report does go into that ESPN is trying to cut costs -- and Olbermann would be the last means to finally get them out of the New York studio they had been planning to put Mike and Mike in the Morning in as well.

You know, I'm left with two thoughts.  One I had, and one my friend reminded me about when we talked about this:

My friend's thought is the more direct manner in stating the American public needs to cover eyes and plug ears:


And it's as correct as when I used it before on this blog.

But I do begin to wonder if the mafioso in the American Sports Machine is coming out of the woodwork a bit...

"You don't REALLY want to know what goes on for your entertainment, do you?

 You don't REALLY want to know how your favorite team ensures all it's stars play so your team can win...

 You don't REALLY want to know what happens in the bowels of these sports leagues to ensure your entertainment continues unfettered...."

Strap yourselves in.  It's going to be a bumpy ride.

And here we go with the second half... More questions on the PGA Tour...

Last year, it was revealed that rumors had it Dustin Johnson was trying to take other golfers' wives on the PGA Tour.

Now, it seems to have graduated to the Tiger Woods fiasco.

Woods and Lindsey Vonn recently split, and (for anyone who's seen Lindsey, unbelievably!!) Woods was cheating on Vonn, according to tabloid sources.

We may now have found out one rumor as to whom...  And it's another one of those "inside the close-knit PGA traveling tour" group.

According to Radar Online through Deadspin, the woman involved is the ex-wife of Jason Dufner.  It appears this is what ended Dufner's marriage to Amanda Boyd this April.

I mean, it's no secret that Tiger has fucked everyone he feels like in North America the last 15 or so years, and that he's clearly fucked in the head -- which see his play on the course for the latter!

One does have to wonder, however, how many more of these before somebody basically takes a driver right up their playing partner's scrotum...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

And THAT is the first six months of 2015...

Dear God, we've gone nuts.

Evidence?  This is post #236 of 2015 -- supposed to be the dry half of the year!

Second full year of the blog, I did 239.

Third full year, I did 256.

If this year is any indication, we're probably heading well past 400.

And if you want any reason why, just click the month links on the side and browse to your heart's content.

FIFA '15/WWC: USWNT Rigged Into Grand Final

So tonight was the game between the top two women's national sides in the world:  United States vs. Germany.

Shame FIFA and the referee had to rig the match for the host's neighbors to get the Women's World Cup Grand Final.

Basically, the only clip you need to see to regard this is this blatant "screwup" on the part of the official.  (Not sure how to get that properly saved and embedded, so I'll link to it.)

Alexandra Popp capitalizes on a Julie Johnston screw up and should be one against the goalie...

... until Johnston pulls her down.

The penalty IS called, but missed -- but Johnston only receives a yellow card for one of the most blatant Denials of a Goalscoring Opportunity you could muster!

United States should've been one down for the rest of the match.

Seven minutes later, as you can see on the Screamer video in the article here, Alex Morgan is pulled down where the article-writer believes was just outside the box, but the German who knocked her down WAS in the box.

Penalty awarded and converted, 1-0 USA -- USA wins 2-0.

There have been several stories about this Women's World Cup that have bordered on suspicious -- but that decision not to red-card Johnston had to be one of the worst.

If not "Hand of God" level from Maradona in the men's World Cup, certainly up there, at least for it's magnitude in the match and the level of the match thereof.

So forgive me if I'm not waving the flag tonight.  The US Women's National Team may or may not have won with ten against Germany, but there's no way they should've won the way they did.

No chance in Hell.  This smells of a problem.

This smells of a rig-job.

Italian soccer club fixes matches to avoid the drop. In other news, Water is Wet.

New match-fixing in Italian soccer.

I could probably have posted this once a week for about 20 years, and it would be a different story every week.  Italian soccer is some of the dirtiest in the world (both on and off the pitch), and, today, the biggest story regarding how much Italian soccer needs to be shut down completely is not the collapse of former Serie A squad Parma, now with no assets to speak of, and relegated all the way to Serie D -- to which I can't even see a future there.

But, today, a Serie B club is now under the microscope in a BBC report indicating it paid about 100,000 Euros to avoid the drop to Serie C.

Catania is the team, and the city's police department arrested seven people -- including the manager of the squad, the president of the team, and the latter's deputy -- for engaging in sports bribery.

Catania is believed to have paid opposing clubs 100,000 Euros to ensure it got enough points to be spared relegation (or the playoffs) in five late-season matches.  At least 19 people are under investigation, including team members and illegal gamblers.

Look, do I have to go into the history of how shit-corrupt Italian football has been for a generation or more?

Is it not far past time to shut the whole mess down, baby and bathwater, for the proven criminality which is required to continue Italian soccer?

Monday, June 29, 2015

OTL Does It's Job And Nobody Likes It, Gambling Addiction Edition, Part Two: The End For Pete Rose (???)

I was going to get to this a while back, and just haven't been able to do so because some of my strong opinions on the subject weren't going to meet well with a number of readers (and I know that in advance).

I've been having some of my best conversations with one of them in the last eight days, since Outside the Lines dropped their first of the two bombs:  A 30 year-old notebook which (if right) proves Pete Rose bet on the Reds as a player in 1986, and extensively.

John Dowd, whose report aided in having Rose banned a couple years later, claims this is the final straw in him ever getting reinstated.

And yes, if this is proper, Rose would've lied to the media for 25 years about betting as a player (even to Michael Kay in April of 2015 on ESPN New York), on top of his 15 lying to the media about betting on baseball.

The notebook shows that he bet, by June, on at least 22 days on the Reds.  There is NO evidence in the notebook saying he bet against the Reds...

But there is one clear thing:

The speculation has to stop and stop now.

Did Pete Rose bet against the Reds or not?

I have my answer, but it's as good as John Dowd's on the subject (he thinks Rose has).

MLB has to get to the bottom of the entire mess, and, frankly, call all relevant parties into the office and get a Final Answer.  (And preferably before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, in which it is presently believed Rose might be allowed to appear as one of the hallmark players of the Reds.  This, on top of at least a discussed reinstatement situation which could be talked about after the All-Star break.)

Does anybody have evidence indicating Rose bet against the Reds at any point while he was involved with baseball?  Speak now or forever hold your peace.

What did he say to the Commissioner (Bart Giamatti) during the questioning?  Did he lie to Giamatti?  And why (as Brian Tuohy asserts) did MLB destroy the notes of the hearing?

One thing which speaks very well in Rose's favor regarding never betting against the Reds is that Giamatti did agree to reconsider the life ban after a certain time -- something which never would've happened if Giamatti saw any evidence Rose bet against the Reds at any time.

One of the other things which makes both this and Mickelson's situations sticky is that both would be guilty of Federal crimes if Rose were found to bet against he Reds or Mickelson was part of laundering money.  That's what makes these both stories to watch.

And then, as I said in the other post, there is the "Dan Rather" situation:  What if ESPN, desperate to save their masters in the NFL from anyone who might have an eye on them (which OTL would qualify), is planting these stories to shit-can OTL and get all investigative reporting out of their network before THEY or the NFL become the next targets, and justifiably so?

But this story has to stop.  There's enough smoke.  Either clear the air or admit there's a fire -- one or the other.

OTL Does It's Job And Nobody Likes It, Gambling Addiction Edition, Part One: Phil Mickelson (???)

This has not been a good eight days for two beloved American sports figures, and Outside the Lines has been instrumental in problems for both.

This article, I'll talk about Phil Mickelson and today's bombshell.

And this one comes right out of my hometown:  Riverside, California.

Gregory Silveira of La Quinta, California pled guilty to three counts of money laundering of funds from a "gambling client" to Silveira's illegal gambling operation.

Silveira has been involved in some of the shadier aspects of gambling and sports for quite some time now.  He was a phone handicapper (you know, one of those "IF ALL MY 1,000-STAR PICKS DON'T COME THROUGH THIS WEEK, YOU GET THE REST OF THE SEASON FOR FREE!!" jobs -- the ones I will gladly use as evidence that a lot of the sporting events in this country are fixed.) who eventually graduated to an underground gambling situation...

... one which, if two Outside the Lines sources are correct, has had about $2,750,000 wired into it from one Phil Mickelson.

As of this point, Mickelson is not charged with anything nor being investigated, but one would have to believe (should this hold any merit!) that the FBI will change at least the latter in very very short order.

I would have to think the PGA would want words with Mickelson even faster, though.

One has to wonder the PGA's response, but that's only if Mickelson is the person involved (which has NOT been confirmed, but has been stated by two supposed sources to Outside the Lines.  There is a common thread between the two stories, and someone reading this blog pointed this out to me already about the other one I'm about to post:

What if ESPN is trying to blow up OTL by "Dan Rather"ing them -- planting false stories and leads that the OTL crew follows up on, reports on, gets blown up on, and gets fired because of?

Between this and the other story, two major beloved sports figures may well have their careers (or their legacies) ended, and given what kinds of things OTL might well uncover (say, in the National Football League???), could ESPN be doing this, at minimum, to turn public sentiment against things like Bob Ley's OTL, or could they be simply trying to blow them up entirely?

Stay tuned!