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 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 fame, and, often, money.

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.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Succeed and Proceed -- or lose

I basically always made the excuse for Bo Ryan when it appeared that his Wisconsin team did a lot in the regular season and the Big Ten tournament, but went out too early in the full NCAA tournament.

I said it was a college coach in a pro basketball tournament.

The fact of the matter is now clear tonight.  This Kentucky team, which had no business sniffing the national championship, is probably now favored and I will predict will win the title Monday night over Connecticut (itself the best basketball factory college ball has had this millenium -- both genders into consideration).

John Calipari's system and methodology has won over the remaining college programs in this tournament.

(So much so that -- and how much in jest one Kentucky fan saying this has to be in some debate -- a tweet tonight said that, in fact, players who STAY for four years (said about the Florida team that, though they were considered, by far, the most complete team in the tournament, got ran over in a 30-minute display by Connecticut) are the ones who are ruining college basketball.)

Let's understand how a person at UK (or a UK fan) can come to this conclusion:

As reprehensible as it is, when you sign the letter for Calipari to play at Kentucky, you have ONE YEAR.

You have precisely two tasks at the University of Kentucky:
  1. Win a national championship
  2. Declare for the NBA Draft
Anything else is superfluous.  Yes (as Calipari and the Wildcats found out last year), the margin for error in this kind of methodology, this "Succeed and Proceed" (their response to "One and Done U"), is quite small.

But the fact remains that, barring another rabbit out of the hat by Connecticut, Kentucky is going to win it's second national title in three years -- a second national title completely without any pretense of education in a school setting.

Fail at the first of those tasks, and you probably don't get another meaningful shot in Calipari's program.  You might warm the bench, you might be "encouraged" to transfer.

But, make no mistake, this is his fifth year at the school.  His third Final Four.  All but certainly, at least in my opinion, his second national title in three years.

In the first four years of his time at Kentucky, SEVENTEEN Wildcats have been drafted into the National Basketball Association.  That famed press conference after his first Kentucky title two years ago -- the one where all the starting five and the sixth man all declared for the draft at the same press conference?  All six got drafted.

He has coached three of the last six #1 draft picks.  (And if Kentucky wins, with Embiid's injury (the player from Kansas), I fully believe it might be four out of seven.)

Add his last two years in Memphis, and, in six years, TWENTY-TWO Calipari players have gone to the NBA through the draft.

No uncertain terms, his methodology is going to win out, as long as he has succeeded in getting the players of the caliber he desires (read: NBA draft caliber, and probably would've gone to the draft if not for the one-year exclusion).

Basically, "Succeed and Proceed", or lose.  Period.

It basically works wonders in the dusk of the NCAA era.  If the NCAA lives, he gets to have the best talent, because he, unlike most other schools, makes no pretense of offering an education -- your task is to be ready for the NCAA tournament and NBA draft, and you have one year to do so.

He gets and gives the best of both worlds to the NCAA.  They get the talent they otherwise would not see, and then can exploit them for cash (the best argument I've been given that the NCAA will survive the black eyes it's been given the last couple of years).  The program and talent get the exposure the NCAA provides through media partners and the tournament to keep the well-oiled machine going.

If the NCAA dies, he's a step ahead of the game as far as the next step is concerned.  He already has a minor-league NBA feeder program in place.  It's his entire modus operandi at Kentucky (and may well have been formed in his latter years at Memphis!!).  You go to Kentucky to get ready for "the big show".

And THAT is why Wisconsin lost tonight -- a college team lost to a pro team.

And that's why, even if the NCAA survives now, a big-money program is out of it's mind if it does not adopt this "Succeed and Proceed" model.

Do it, or you lose to it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And another shining example of (cl)Ass which is the Saint Louis Cardinals...

You know, there was a reason that friends of mine openly despised the thought of the Cardinals winning the National League last year.

And there was also a reason that I got on (at least then-)Commissioner Kurz' case regarding a fan situation in the Arena Football League.

We just had another idiocy today, according to multiple media reports.

We'll use Deadspin's here.

Bottom of the 3rd, Cincinnati up at bat, leading the Cards 3-2.

Foul ball, and the Cardinals' Matt Adams goes over to the fence to try to get it.

Fan in the front row, brought a glove.

The following ensued:

Whoever this fan is gets full marks.  The ball is over the fence, in his territory, and the fan goes straight up to get it.

He then gets a shove (admittedly a light one) from Adams.

For this, Adams should be banned at least a month, if not the whole season.

Fuck you, Matt Adams.

If the fan clearly interfered, your recourse is with the umpires, but you're such a fucking badass (and probably not completely un-due to the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals use their entitlement to believe they are the only reason the National League exists) that, even though the fan did everything NOT to interfere with the play (remember, jackass, the moment the ball crosses the plane of the fence, it's technically "out of play" and fully within the rights of the fan to get the souvenir), you decide you want to exert your fucking turf, even on the opposing diamond.

What a (cl)Ass act, and, once again, it's St. Louis.

I have a feeling that we are about to see an explosion in these types of incidents, and nothing short of forfeiture of contests is going to stop this shit.