Friday, February 24, 2017

A "Danger, Will Robinson" moment for Brian Tuohy...

I'll let the man tell you himself...
Italy.  AGAIN...

When are people going to get smart and just shut down soccer in Italy to begin with?

Of course, this comes in the same week that Sutton United's reserve goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw, was caught spot-fixing, forced to leave the team, and permanently sullied one of the grand stories in the FA Cup.

(But there is another:  Arsenal's next opponent is Lincoln City, the first fifth-level team to reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in over a century.)

The spot-fixing, if there is one thankful moment of this, was effectively taking advantage of that the match was at Sutton United, a similar fifth-tier side.  At halftime, it was apparently being discussed at the sideline that 8-1 odds had been placed that the portly reserve goalkeeper (who I also believe was a coach) would eat a pie on the sideline.

So he ordered one and did just that!

Shaw is now under investigation by the FA, which as rules against such conduct in the top eight levels of English soccer.  A conviction probably ends his career, as usual bans for this are multiple years.

Also, this week, it was revealed that at least 53 players have run afoul of similar regulations in just over two years of a Gambling Commission, including...

... wait for it...

Joey Barton!

We may finally be rid of him.

After his attempt to get Queens Park Rangers demoted from the Premier League in 2012:
  • He was fined 75,000 pounds, docked six weeks wages for another 500,000 pounds, and banned 12 matches for the incidents in a last-day match against Manchster City.
  • He was loaned to Marseille in France for six months, banned to just the UEFA Europa League for the relevant twelve matches, and announced he would not return to QPR -- who were relegated in 2012-13.
  • He was, by May of 2013, given a two-match suspended ban for an inappropriate remark about a player from Paris-St. Germain on Twitter.
  • Barton, then, inexplicably, was allowed back to Queens Park Rangers for the 2013-14 season in the Championship (second-level to the Premier League).  This, after he told the media he had only joined QPR for the money AND that QPR's chairman actually said that Barton's departure had a part to play in the team's demotion!
  • He lasted two years, was sent off twice, and finally left QPR for Burnley in 2015.
  • West Ham wanted to sign him, but fans protested, noting Barton's long indiscipline record.
  • He largely stayed out of trouble at Burnley, being a major factor in their promotion in 2015-16 to the Premier League.  He was actually named to the all-league team.
  • At which point he left for Scotland and Rangers.  He lasted the off-season and maybe a month of the main year.  Banned for three weeks after a dispute with his coach, he was finally fired from the team after a one-match ban for gambling in November of 2016.
  • Returning to Burnley at this first of this year...
He now faces BANISHMENT FOR LIFE from the FA.

The Football Association has evidence, so it claims, that Barton placed over 1,260 bets on soccer matches illegally over a 10-year period (2006-2016).

It is currently unknown where the process stands -- he has asked for mitigation in a personal meeting, but how Joey Barton is ever allowed on any football pitch in the world is beyond me.

And, given the scope of the betting illegalities, one can only re-ask the question regarding that (in)famous day at Manchester City.

Islam to become illegal in 3??? 2??? 1???

Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained for questioning at a Florida airport on February 7.

This makes the son of The Greatest almost-certainy the highest profile victim of Herr Troomp's Muslim immigration ban.

Of course, as the Deadspin article's commenters quickly note, Trump doesn't even understand Muslim sports heroes in this country...

Oh, like Jr.'s FATHER???  Or does Donald Trump actually believe that he was Cassius Clay -- Ali's "slave name".

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Super Farce LI(E): Please tell me they're not doing this...

Brian Tuohy retweeted something this morning:
So, time to click the URL in the thing to see if this is really happening...

Oh.  Dear.  God.

Bleacher Report reported Thursday from Anita Busch at Deadline that a film and a book are being commissioned to take this entire fucking farce that is Tom Brady of the last three years (Deflategate to Super Bowl LI(E)) and turn it into a redemption story...

The jokes just write themselves.

Now all we need to know is when in about December or so the plans began...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And now we have another state wanting to join North Carolina in American Sports Apartheid...

The governor of the state of Texas, Transphobe Greg Abbott, wants passed an anti-transgender bathroom bill.

The NFL has told said state that such passage might well terminate any hope of Texas hosting the Super Bowl in the future.

The governor of the state has said, according to Deadspin, that the NFL is "walking on thin ice", also referencing the Colin Kaepernick debacle.

He may wish to talk to his religious brethren in North Carolina, who have lost:
  • The NBA All-Star Game this year
  • The ACC Football Championship Game, at least for this year
  • At least one year of NCAA Championships, including one pod of the first two rounds.
  • And as now threatened that, if their anti-transgender bill is not rescinded, that ban will until at least 2022, for ALL NCAA Championships.  They have until the end of February, according to Deadspin.
Governor Transphobe in Texas had better get with reality.  As the (very strongly-worded) letter to North Carolina notes, there's a lot on the line here, and the NCAA has a year and a half worth already in the tank:
  • The Women's Basketball Final Four is in Dallas this year.  (The day after the corresponding rounds of the Men's.)
  • The Division I (FCS) Football Championship is held in Frisco, TX.  (Was held on January 3, 2017)
  • The Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Division I Championships are in College Station, TX this year. (Second weekend in March)
  • The Men's Swimming and Diving Division III Championships are in Shenandoah, TX this year. (Third weekend in March)
  • The Women's Golf Division III National Championship is in Houston this year (Second weekend in May).
  • The Division II Baseball National Championship is in Grand Prairie, TX this year (end of May, first of June).
Sourced from the official NCAA ticket page for their National Championship events.  There is no information as to awarded bids for 2017-18 on that page, but those bids are already in.

Next year's Men's Final Four, however, is in San Antonio.

As such, I leave you with this message I have sent to the Governor of the State of Texas, both his news and personal Twitter accounts:

NHL Suspension Blotter: One Big One In, Another Bigger One Coming

  • Detroit Red Wings:  Gustav Nyquist got off light here.
Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild got a stick blade right in the mouth in retaliation for an attempted cross-check.  Nyquist was summoned for the in-person meeting, meaning 6+ games, waived it.

He was suspended six games today after a phone hearing, and, if you see the shot Spurgeon took, should've been 10.

Of course, that's about half what another player might be expecting.
  • Anaheim Ducks:  Antoine Vermette.
This might be more the 20-game variety, but he slashed a referee lightly in the leg and got immediately tossed.

Word is he's probably looking at 10 when the announcement comes tomorrow.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Two utter and complete facepalms this Sunday which have to leave you thinking: "What were they THINKING?"

Two cases of unsportsmanlike conduct which just leave my face in my hands this morning:

First, the United States Tennis Association was forced to apologize to Germany.  Before the Federation Cup matches, the USTA had someone sing their national anthem...

According to Deadspin, however, there was a major problem.  Instead of "Deutschlandlied" (and, according to Wikipedia, usually only the third stanza thereof, someone thought it would be a good idea to do the first verse, "Deutschland Uber Alles", the anthem of NAZI GERMANY!!!

The German captain considered ripping the microphone out of the singer's hands - and she damn well should've.  That was a fucking joke and a disgrace for a country (US!!!) who's racking them up at record rates the last three months.

On a far less important level, and speaking of disgraces:

When are gaming companies going to learn that most American gamers are pretty much pieces of shit, especially the more competitive you get?

The Madden Bowl champion from this year (the beginning of a far more organized e-sports effort on EA's part for Madden and FIFA, announced at last year's E3) has been stripped of some of his series points and fined $3,000 of his $75,000 champion's prize for inappropriate tweets for a now-public figure of EA and Madden.  (Kotaku)

Chris McFarland has a reputation for this shit, apparently, making his smarmy ass pictured with two models and a championship belt all the more disgusting.  He was warned to lay off during the competition, and was fined and docked when he decided not to.

McFarland believes this will kill his real social media persona, but probably being threatened with being banned from the series will force the issue.  He has a long reputation for hate speech and other inappropriate conduct.

One has to wonder when these gaming companies are going to understand this degree of hate is endemic to American gaming?


Friday, February 10, 2017

If James Dolan had a set of balls, Charles Oakley would be in Riker's Island or Bellevue. Right now.

Of course, he doesn't:  False premise and all that kind of shit.

But two developments today in the bizarre ejection of Charles Oakley from Madison Square Garden two nights ago indicate that if this piece of shit (I don't forget how you tried to railroad the Rockettes to the Trump inauguration, for one!) had a set between his legs, Charles Oakley would be arrested and on his way to either Riker's Island (and probably a secure area of the Anna M. Kross Center) or to Bellevue Hospital if some of Dolan's rantings on the subject had an ounce of credibility or humanity to them!

First, the security chief at Madison Square Garden has been fired by Dolan, who owns the Garden as well as the Knicks and other properties as well.  Deadspin reports Frank Benedetto, hired by Dolan after two decades in the Secret Service, was fired today.

And when you read the situation whenever Oakley enters the building, you wonder how it took this long for everything to go down.  Basically, whenever Oakley enters Madison Square Garden, James Dolan is notified and the head of security watches Oakley personally.

The Knicks have done everything today to distance themselves from Oakley, including a massive report of the arrest which puts Oakley as a raving maniac.  You can read it for yourself at Deadspin here.

Finally, today, James Dolan formally and (though he has tried to say not so, probably) permanently banned Charles Oakley from Madison Square Garden.  (Deadspin)

On top of which, he has stated he believes Oakley has anger management and alcohol issues.

Mr. Dolan, I have some free advice for you, and this is from someone with knowledge, as a high-profile defendant, of the law I am about to quote:

First, you need to come out and publicly state that you believe Charles Oakley wants to kill you and, if given the chance, will do so.  He has probably intimated as such in several interviews.

It is clear, and I can state from personal experience in the state of New York, that your actions surrounding Oakley, both previous to this incident, within this incident, and subsequent, are those of actions you would take against someone who is a threat to you personally.

As such, I would like to quote to you a law of which I was forced to become quite familiar:

New York Penal Code 120.13, .14, and .15 are the three statutes covered in what is called "Menacing" in the state of New York.

120.15's summary on the linked page reads as follows:

A person is guilty of menacing in the third degree when, by physical
menace, he or she intentionally places or attempts to place another
person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical

Note, in this clause, no second or "course of conduct" is necessary.  One action is sufficient to arrest for third-degree, a 90-day misdemeanor.

Second-degree, 120.14, adds some more complication.

To the baseline is added one or more of the following:
  • Displaying a weapon
  • Adding the stalking parameters to the menacing (the "course of conduct" parameter)
  • or violates a stay-away order after a third-degree conviction.
This is a one-year misdemeanor.

It would appear, by your conduct, Mr. Dolan, that Oakley would qualify under the "course of conduct".

120.13 requires a repeat offense, or a menacing offense against a police officer, in the last ten years.  That's a felony, punishable by a state prison sentence of between 16 and 48 months.

Mr. Dolan, if you had a set between your legs and the contempt you appear to have for anyone but yourself, you'd have Charles Oakley charged with a violation of New York Penal Code 120.14, for a course of conduct placing you in enough danger that you are personally notified as to Oakley's whereabouts anytime he enters Madison Square Garden.

So where's your nuts, big boy?