Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another case for football's abolition...

The truth is beginning to come out more rapidly now.

Today, all over the Net, we're getting the news on another blood sacrifice to football.

He's alive -- for now -- but the story is so incredible and is a testament to how blood-struck the culture of football has become.

One of my friends who commonly contributes material sent me the Sports Illustrated article on Russell Allen, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

They were playing Buffalo in a late-season game that basically no one was watching.

What occurred during the game was not only frightening, but something that doctors themselves said they had never really seen before.

As a result of this injury, Allen is done in the NFL, released outright by the Jaguars last Thursday.

The fact that he actually had a stroke during the game and now has a dead spot in his brain about the size of a dime (a significant portion of the brain, when you get right down to it) is almost-completely ignored until you hear Allen's side of the story in the article linked above.

It's on his cerebellum, the area below the cerebrum responsible for motor control.

This probably means Allen, at some point, will be almost-certainly disabled and rank-unemployable in general society (even though his current aim, incredibly, is to coach high school football) -- another casualty of the game and of the nature of how helmet hits (the hit/block which created the "flash" which started all this was face to face) have raised the demand for the abolition of the sport and society of football.

Third quarter, routine block, routine (helmet) hit, flash, no biggie to Allen.  He actually finished the drive with a quarterback sack to force a Buffalo punt.

It was on the sideline that things began to go crazy inside Allen's now-damaged brain.  He was seeing double, and asking around to see if he was OK.

Allen finished the game, went home, watched the Sunday-nighter that week -- all with a headache that was an indication that he had a stroke.

It was during the week, when he told team doctors that he was seeing double on the sideline during the game, that they blew the whistle and sent Allen in for an MRI.  The results of that sent Allen to the hospital -- Allen had had a stroke, during the game...

... and no one really cared.  As manhood and power-over was the norm and the expectation, he soldiered on, in a late-season game for two teams for which it meant nothing, and any further damage could've been an on-field fatality.

For doctors later told Allen he had suffered, according to the article:

"a carotid artery dissection, a tear in the layers of the artery wall that supplies oxygen to the brain—an injury that occurs in a small percentage of high-speed motor vehicle accidents."

Think of that a second.  Football players are getting so huge and so fast and powerful that the force that some of these players are taking helmet hits is akin to that of a high-speed car or motorcycle accident!

The article goes on to say:

"None of the doctors Allen consulted could find a precedent for a pro football player suffering this kind of stroke."

Well, that's an easy one.  Steroids, HGH, PEDs, and other manners to make the players bigger, faster, stronger, less human...

It's Newton's second law:  Force = mass X acceleration.  The bigger and faster you make these football machines, the more force they apply -- often, too much force for the body to take.

Football players today are now expected to be too big, too fast, too durable (one problem:  Allen had never missed a game since he started football at age 14!), too manly...

And, for all this, he's very fortunate he's alive.

Especially because he played an entire NFL half with a dead spot on his brain.

2013-14 NBA Playoffs Study, Round 1

Unknown as to whether Brian is going to cite lack of time (or having a life) in doing or not doing this, but, inspired by his efforts a couple of years ago, let's take a look at the NBA playoffs on the situation of free-throws and fouls for each team (and the line and over-under) to see if we can find a pattern:

UPDATED through games of April 22, 2014.  (IND-ATL, TOR-BKN and WAS-CHI Game 2's)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

INDIANA PACERS (1) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (8)

(Series Tied 1-1)

Game 1 (Apr. 19):  Atlanta 101 - Indiana 93

Indiana was a 7.5 - 8.5 point favorite (UPSET)
O/U was 185.5 - 186.5 (OVER)

Free Throws:  Atlanta 24-29.  Indiana 16-23.

Could there be a move away from Indiana, here?

Game 2 (Apr. 22):  Indiana 101 - Atlanta 85

Indiana was a 7.5 - 8 point favorite.  (COVER)
Definite middle potential here.  185 at the Atlantis.  186.5 - 187.5 at all the other Vegas books.

If you middled on the Atlantis, you got the middle.  Otherwise, UNDER.

Free Throws:  Indiana 21-27  Atlanta 13-18

Nope.  But it sounds like the whistles had hands in both games in Indiana.

TORONTO RAPTORS (3) VS. BROOKLYN NETS (6)

(Series Tied 1-1)

Game 1 (Apr. 19):  Brooklyn 94 - Toronto 87

Toronto was a 3 - 3.5 point favorite.  (UPSET)
O/U was 192.5 - 193.5 (Under and BARELY)

Free throws were pretty even (and almost all made):  Toronto 23-25.  Brooklyn 22-27.

Game 2 (Apr. 22):  Toronto 100 - Brooklyn 95

Toronto was a 4.5 - 5 point favorite.  The Golden Nugget briefly got to 5.5, a loser for the favorites, but it was a PUSH at most of the Strip casinos with the occasional COVER.
O/U:  190.5 - 191.5 (OVER)

Free Throws:  Brooklyn 20-28  Toronto 24-29

Two games where the FT's are pretty even.  Brooklyn lost to a better free-throw shooting team in Game 2.

MIAMI HEAT (2) VS. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (7)

(Miami leads series 1-0)

Game 1 (Apr. 20):  Miami 99 - Charlotte 88

Miami was a 10 - 10.5 point favorite.  (COVER, BARELY)
O/U was 185.5 - 186.5 .  (OVER, BARELY -- betting action on the total was coming down!!!)

Free throws:  Miami 18-26  Charlotte 8-12

Gee, so how many wins are you going to give Mr. Jordan in this series, NBA?  By the looks of this, not many...  You gave LeBron James (10) almost as many freethrows as you gave the entire Bobcats team (12)!

CHICAGO BULLS (4) VS. WASHINGTON WIZARDS (5)

(Washington leads series 2-0)

Game 1 (Apr. 20):  Washington 102 - Chicago 93

Chicago was a 4.5 point favorite at most books (with a 4 and a couple 5's -- UPSET)
O/U:  178.5 - 179.5  (OVER)

Free throws:  Washington 26-35.  Chicago 20-26.

Borderline decisive on that one.

Game 2 (Apr. 22):  Washington 101 - Chicago 99 (OVERTIME)

Chicago was a 5 - 5.5 point favorite, 6 at Stations and Golden Nugget.  (UPSET)
O/U:  180 - 180.5, with a 181.5 at the Mirage.  (OVER with the OT, barely OVER at regulation at 91-91)

Free throws:  Washington 16-28  Chicago 18-24

WESTERN CONFERENCE

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (3) VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (6)

(Series Tied 1-1)

Game 1 (Apr. 19)  Golden State 109 - Los Angeles 105

The Clippers were 7 - 7.5 point favorites (BIG UPSET).
O/U was 211-212 (Over and BARELY at 214)

Free Throws:  Clippers 23-35  Warriors 18-25

Hey, not for lack of trying, right referees Wright, Garretson, and Callahan?

CONTROVERSY:  The day after Game 1, the NBA cited a late foul on the Warriors that the referees missed.

Game 2 (Apr. 21)  Los Angeles 138 - Golden State 98

Clippers were 7.5 - 8.5 point favorites.  (Yeah, I'd say they COVERed.  They won by FORTY!!!)
O/U was 212.5 - 214 (OVER by about 30)

Noticed something immediately:  Fouls for the first quarter were 8-3 Golden State.  Free throws were 9-2 Clippers.

Free throws for the game:  Clippers 32-35  Warriors 22-27

A real tone is being set in this series.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (2) VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (7)

(Series tied 1-1.)

Game 1 (Apr. 19)  Oklahoma City 100 - Memphis 86

Oklahoma City was a 7 - 8 point favorite (COVER - only cover of Day 1).
O/U had a pretty wide spread with middle potential:  Game tipped 189.5 at the Atlantis, but was 192.5 at the MGM Grand and 192 at the Golden Nugget.  (Didn't matter, game was UNDER on all numbers.)

Free Throws:  Oklahoma City 28-32.  Memphis 18-31.

Game 2 (Apr. 21)  Memphis 111 - Oklahoma City 105  (OVERTIME)

Oklahoma City was a 7 point favorite with a couple of 6.5s.  (BIG UPSET)
O/U was 190.5 - 191.  (Obviously OVER with the OT, and was over in regulation at 99-99.)

Free Throws:  Memphis 21-24  Oklahoma City 22-25

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (1) VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS (8)

(San Antonio leads series 1-0)

Game 1 (Apr. 20)  San Antonio 90 - Dallas 85

San Antonio was a 9 - 9.5 point favorite.  (NO COVER)
O/U was 203.5 - 204.5, with a 202.5 at the Nugget.  (NOT CLOSE -- UNDER)

Free Throws:  San Antonio 17-22  Dallas 9-13

Well well well...  Could we be getting an indication that the league wants San Antonio around a while??

HOUSTON ROCKETS (4) VS. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (5)

(Portland leads series 1-0)

Game 1 (Apr. 20)  Portland 122 - Houston 120 (OVERTIME)

Houston was a 5.5 - 6 point favorite.  (UPSET)
O/U was 215 - 216.  (Obviously OVER with the overtime, and it needed it. Regulation total was 212.)

Free Throws:  Portland 29-39  Houston 26-40

CONTROVERSY: For the second out of four games in the Western Conference, a missed call might have influenced the outcome of the game for a road team who might be getting a slight rub in the series.  The NBA admitted an error on the sixth foul that took Dwight Howard, the only real relevant star in the series, out of the game.

Through games of April 22:

The higher seeds (and home team, and favorite) are 6-7 straight up, 5-8 against the number.
9 games went over, 4 went under.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lots of smoke and a growing fire: Sexual Assault by the Florida State Football Team Highlighted in Two Reports

Sounds like our National Champions have been busy off the field during their championship run.

Two recent stories have surfaced to support a theory that the Florida State Seminoles are getting quite a reputation for running roughshod over everything in their path, and any woman at least some of the Seminoles want, they TAKE...

Worse yet, if these two stories are any indication, the Seminole football team has had this history for, pushing, a quarter-century now.

First, in what seems to be the worst-kept secret in college football, a report last week indicates that Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston's investigation that he raped a woman in December of 2012.

USA Today reports that two teammates were investigated for violations of student conduct rules in January of 2014.

The victim in the case has retained a powerful Title IX lawyer, and, because of Winston's belligerence on the matter, the lawyer wants Winston charged and possibly expelled from Florida State.

But USA Today also reported two weeks ago that the Federal government is now involved.  I think it not without evidence that an epidemic of sexual assaults by the football team is at least being asserted.

Deadspin, in the second recent story, gave an indication to this end when they published a very alarming statement by a Florida State woman.

Ashley Witherspoon was raped and shot with intention of murder in December of 1993 by Michael Gibson, a running-back for the Seminoles.  Miraculously, the perpetrator was caught, convicted, and is now serving five life sentences in a Florida State Prison.  A sixth life sentence was overturned on the basis that there was no crime on the Florida statutes for which he was charged, even though Bobby Bowden actually wrote letters supporting the son of a bitch.

Florida State has been referred to the Department of Education and it's Office of Civil Rights, calling under fire their handling of sexual assaults (and it would be small wonder that the implication here is that it's sexual assaults by the football team).

Witherspoon, in the article, makes other claims which would corroborate various practices alleged at a number of schools toward prospective star players:

"When I was at Florida State there were these "Bat Girls"—maybe they're still there—and they were used for recruiting purposes for the baseball team. Why do high school seniors and college freshmen need beautiful girls to show them around and take them out? What's really going on? What are we teaching them? What are we offering them? I'm not making excuses for offenders, but sex, drugs, and rock and roll is a big part of it."

Though she still supports Florida State, she's not cool with the current direction of college sports at all:

"I almost got into a fistfight with a soccer coach friend of mine who believes athletes should get paid. It offends me. I love sports, but it's ridiculous that we idolize athletes. I don't care if football raises money for other college sports. If college football is just a mini-NFL training ground, then put them in the goddamn NFL. I just wish athletics in college were clean and pure. But they're not. We're not stupid. You can't tell me these programs aren't crooked as hell. I hope there's an overhaul. If Florida State covered something up, shut them down."

Deadspin, last year, gave other indications as to how far the Florida State football program was running roughshod over everything in it's path, including actions toward instructors and other students. The link to that article is included in the quote above.

--

Let's get a couple of very uncomfortable facts straight here:

Anyone who wants to come out and say that "Rape is unacceptable in this country." needs to answer the question as to how athletes across this nation are basically given free reign to rape, pillage, and plunder, as long as they give the only value anyone in their school seems to have (especially in high school, but still exists very well at the college level):  Athletic victory to be converted to school and community fame, and, often, money in the form of advertising and contributions.

Anyone who wants to come out and still support the sport of football in this day and age (on top of dealing with all the headhunting and brain injuries and player safety issues) also has to answer the question of how the game is not a microcosm and a representation of rape unto itself.  Players attempt to power each other over, with the only apparent place for women in the equation (in most cases, not all) is to psuedo-exotic-dance on the sidelines and at halftime, exhibiting to the community that, if they were or had been "real men", this is what they were entitled to.

Anyone who wants to come out and defend a lot of this as "Boys will be boys and they will grow out of it." has to stand basically in support of rape and a culture which appears to state that school spirit and sexual arousal are, in many cases, equivalent concepts.

... but only for the "real men" who are the only reason the school realistically exists.

I made no secret then, I make less now:  ESPN, Florida State University, and Jameis Winston acted in concert to cover this up because Winston and FSU were the chosen team to be the champions last year.  And ESPN had to market Winston (especially as Johnny Manziel's reputation and stock took serious hits with off-field monetary allegations of his own) as this "Aw shucks." next Michael Vick/Cam Newton/etc. type.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Newest Case For Banishment of the Sport of Football

I used to write this blog thinking that, if we could just expose and ridicule into the ground the corruption and thuggery of football in general and specific players/owners/administrators/referees as the situation warranted, that I might be able to "save football".

And then, as my ex-football-fan friends point out, we get the case of Aldon Smith.

Aldon Smith has been arrested for the third time since the start of last season.

This one may be far more serious than either a DUI with marijuana involved (September 2013) or 3 felony counts of illegal possession of an assault rifle (October 2013)...

Now he's arrested at LAX.

In what now appears to be his end as a 49er (at barest of minimum), Smith was arrested at LAX for yelling "Bomb!" at the airport terminal.  TMZ stated at the time that several cops said he was drunk.

I'm going to say something that is probably no surprise to anybody:  Aldon Smith needs to be locked up.

He makes me and my history look sane.

I'm not even talking a factor of prison time, etc., though if he weren't a starting football player with $9,000,000 on his head for next year (if San Francisco wants to make a mistake of epic proportions), he probably heads straight to prison right now...

He's mentally ill and has no business on the outside.

(And there are many who would say the same about me, to which I say:  If that were true, would I not know of what I speak?)

And here's why I say the title of this blog post:

There are many dozens/hundreds/more such people who are only propped up by the sport of football and all the trappings thereof.

The blows to the head are making it worse.

Mr. Goodell, start by getting Smith deep into the mental health system before he's killed or kills somebody else.

May The South Never Rise Again

... or at least this version of it.

We just passed the 40-year anniversary of the night, in Atlanta, when Henry Aaron broke not only the home run record, but a winter of racial hate toward himself, when he lifted his 715th major-league home run into the night.


The clip is audio-only, but a very intelligent man had this to say when Aaron did it, after the moment that two white kids (doing something they said later was "very stupid", and for which they were fined $200) made a statement they probably still don't realize they made today when they congratulated Aaron as he rounded second base...

After letting the moment speak for itself for almost two minutes, Vin Scully spoke:

"What a marvelous moment for baseball.
 What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
What a marvelous moment for the country and the world.

A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.

And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron, who was meant at home plate not only by every member of the Braves, but by his father and mother."

We need Vin Scully to speak again.  We know he still works for the Dodgers, but a lot of what has happened to Aaron during this retrospective of the 40th anniversary of that night needs Vin's perspective again, and a lot of people to JUST SHUT UP!!

It all started when Aaron talked to USA Today last week.

And he said something that only a man with his perspective would truly be able to understand...

You see, he still has all the hate mail from that vitriolic winter of 1973-74.  He reads it, to keep perspective all these years later.

Why does he do it, when most other people wouldn't?  Aaron answers that himself in the article:

"To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There's not a whole lot that has changed.

We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated.

We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country.

The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."

And you know what?  He's RIGHT.

And how does he get treated for this?  Deadspin aids USA Today in chronicling the shit...

""Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)'' a ["]man["] named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office and obtained by USA TODAY Sports.  Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, "My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).""

Three others are quickly noted:  "Marion calls Aaron a "racist scumbag.'' Ronald won't attend another Braves' game until Aaron is fired. Mark calls Aaron a "classless,racist.'' David says that he will burn Aaron's I Had A Hammer autobiography."

Sorry, boys, the shoe fits.

And, once again, Hank Aaron is vilified for the color of his skin, and his wish to be above the fray.

Unlike another jackass who needs to Just Shut Up -- if not have it done to him forcibly, as someone with the propensity to open his mouth and vacuum up the entire rest of his body had this to say to someone who had a lot of words for him when he last famously opened his fat trap in 1999...
"Well, after reading what Aaron recently had to say about Republicans and  those who disagree with President Obama, allow me to take the home run king’s  words and put them in my own mouth:
“To be honest with you, I’m very sick and disgusted with the whole situation.  For someone in the situation of Mr. Aaron to make those statements is  ridiculous. I have no place in my heart for that.”
What was it Aaron said? That’s right, he compared Republicans that oppose  President Barack Obama’s ruinous policies and agenda to Ku Klux Klan members. He  blamed Republicans for hindering Obama’s job performance, telling  USA Today:
“Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black  president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of  the Republicans with the way he’s treated.
“The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have  neckties and starched shirts.”
Yes, world, John Rocker has opened his fucking mouth again.

We are getting dangerously close to racial violence in this country.  And it's ignoramuses (ignorami?) like these e-mail writers and Rocker that are feeding it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

So I see that no one in the mainstream media has remembered...

Tonight, Manny Pacquiao returns to the scene of the crime to attempt to avenge it.

Approximately two years ago, he faced Timothy Bradley for his WBO belt, largely won the fight on ring generalship, and was robbed in one of the most blatant rig-jobs in the recent history of boxing.

This sent Pacquiao's career on a largely-downward spiral, with, instead of the mega-fight with Mayweather which will never happen now, he gets a fourth fight with Marquez, who, losing the fight badly, knocks Pacquiao the fuck out with the literal dream shot, a one-punch KTFO while almost being stopped late in the round.

Then, an all-but-arranged fight in Macao for the Asian/Chinese fan-base, and now a fight with Bradley...

... which was basically shown to be foreshadowed by the promoters when Bradley came out in the first fight's press conference with posters for the second fight.

Or did all of you:  ESPN, Showtime, whoever else covering the fight, forget that inconvenient truth?

There was too much heat after the first fight to go ahead with the original date, but, move it eighteen months and no one cares, right?

Oh, and a note to Bob Arum:

You ever consider that the reason "a 12-1 [the odds that Floyd Mayweather loses his "bout" in May] fight" is on the side of the building that this is being held in is the same reason that this fight tonight is taking place?

Mayweather owns Vegas.

The Money Team is the New Vegas Mafia.

If I had lottery money, I'd probably put some down on Bradley to have Pacquiao screwed again.