Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Trump: Senior Golf Cheat

January 30, 2023

Trump: Senior Golf Cheat

Celebrity golf cheat and former US President Donald Trump held a Senior Golf Tournament at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach last week. The winner? Surprise! It was Donald Trump, and he wasn’t even there for half of it:

“Trump told tournament organizers he played a strong round on the course Thursday, two days before the tournament started, and decided that would count as his Saturday score for the club championship. That score was five points better than any competitor posted during Saturday’s first round.” — Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post

Mr. Trump plays 18 to 26 rounds of golf each week, so the cherrypicking adds nuance to the jawdropping phantom round.

More:

“Trump pilloried as ‘4-year-old cheat’ over golf tournament claims: ‘Guy can’t even con right anymore,’” Namita Singh, The Independent, via Yahoo Sports

“Trump declares himself the winner of his own club championship – in the Trumpiest way ever,” Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post

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The Evolution of Baseball Stadiums

January 4, 2023

Architect Michael Wyetzner looks at North America’s baseball stadiums. An Architectural Digest video.

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Pickleball’s Problem

November 3, 2022

Pickleball's Problem

4.8 million Americans play pickleball. It’s America’s fastest-growing sport. There are pro tournaments and professional pickleball teams, and sports celebrities are buying franchises. Every luxury real estate development now needs to offer pickleball courts. Municipal rec departments love the sport, since they can fit 4 pickleball courts into the same space as one tennis court and serve more players.

What’s not to like? Noise.

Pickleball is played with hollow plastic balls and hard wooden or composite paddles, and impacts bring loud pops, higher in frequency than the thud of felt tennis balls against racket strings. If you live near public pickleball courts, you’ve got four times the density of noise generation you’d get from tennis courts. Pickleball sounds are typically about 70 dBa at about 100 feet away from the strike of the ball.

About 60 percent of core pickleball players are over 55 years old, and 33 percent are over 65. You might ungenerously say their high frequency hearing is bad anyway, but the pickleball pop sound is in the 1,000 to 2,000 Hz range, not in higher ranges where that would make a difference.

While some pickleball paddles advertise low-noise qualities, it’s only relative. There are also low-noise balls, but they’re foam rubber and behave nothing like the plastic ones, so who’d bother?

Pickleball courts are trying noise-reducing curtains on their fences, and they’ll probably try those highway noise walls as the neighborhood lawsuits grow as rapidly as the sport.

Related:

“Pickleball Is Expanding. Tennis Is Mad.” Steven Kurutz, New York Times

“Tom Brady, Kim Clijsters latest to invest in pickleball team”, D’Arcy Maine, ESPN.com

Updates:

“Major League Pickleball finalizes 2023 expansion plans,” Kendall Baker, Axios

“ESPN Takes Swing at Pickleball With New TV Rights Pact,” Brian Steinberg, Variety

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Dan Snyder Gets Down In the Dirt

October 14, 2022

Dan Snyder Gets Down In the Dirt

Dan Snyder, owner of DC’s allegedly-professional football team, is gathering dirt on his fellow NFL team owners and the league commissioner, says ESPN. Mr. Synder, long regarded as pro football’s worst owner, stubbornly retained the team’s former racist name until well into the 21st century, meddled in team coaching, and was rumored to fiddle with the books and female employees. The last became subjects of congressional investigation. He seems to have gathered dirt on other team owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell to blackmail them into letting him keep ownership of the Commanders.

More:

“Sources: Commanders boss Snyder claims ‘dirt’ on NFL owners, Goodell,” Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr. and Tisha Thompson, ESPN

“Dan Snyder’s dirt can’t cause NFL more harm than he’s already done,” Nancy Armour, USA Today

“Is this why Daniel Snyder hasn’t been drop-kicked out of the NFL?” Eric Blum and DJ Dunson, Deadspin

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RFK Stadium

October 11, 2022

RFK Stadium, a Forgotten Places video. The stadium’s demolition will be completed in 2023.

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U.S. Open Tennis: The Men Have Fuzzy Balls

August 30, 2022

Émile Vernon (1872 – 1919)

At the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, the men have fuzzy balls. The women have smooth balls, and they’re not happy about it.

To explain: Wilson makes both “regular-duty” and “extra-duty” tennis balls. The regular-duty balls are sold as “ideal for clay and indoor surfaces,” while the extra-duty are “ideal for longer play on hard court surfaces.” The U.S. Open is outdoors, a hard-court event. Men’s matches are played with “extra-duty” balls, as you’d expect, but women play with “regular-duty” balls.

The felt on the men’s “extra-duty” balls is fluffier, and the racquet strings get a better purchase on the thicker surface. The felt on the “regular-duty” women’s version has a tighter weave, feels lighter on the stringbed, and the balls play faster and go farther because they’re more aerodynamic.

Men and women play on the same courts, with the same type of racquets. No other major tennis tournament uses different balls for men and women. To make matters even worse, the “extra-duty” ball is used in the Open’s mixed doubles, a severe disadvantage for women doubles partners who have been playing with the “regular-duty” ball in the tournament’s women’s matches.

More:

“Women use faster balls than men at U.S. Open. Some players are over it.” Julian Mark, Washington Post

“‘You’ve just started a war’: Iga Swiatek wades into row over US Open balls,” Tumaini Carayol, The Guardian

“Badosa joins Swiatek as she hits out at U.S. Open balls,” Anita Kobylinska, Reuters

“New Balls Please,” Giri Nathan, Racquet

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Trump’s Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

August 25, 2022

Trump's Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

Georgia’ GOP candidate for the US Senate is Hershel Walker, a former University of Georgia Heisman winner, All-American, and  NFL veteran. He was endorsed by Donald Trump, who was his pre-NFL employer as the owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. In just a few short years, as Mr. Walker raced down the field, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Hershel Walker and Donald Trump have something else in common: they are both phenomenal liars. Mr. Trump told over 30,000 lies while he was in the White House, and continues to lie about losing the 2020 election. Mr. Walker lied about graduating from college, then lied about lying that he graduated from college. He lied about being a policeman and an FBI agent. He lied about his business ventures, including his “mini-Tyson’s chicken empire“. And while Dr. Oz can’t remember all the houses he owns, Walker can’t recall all the children he’s sired.

Despite his sports celebrity and Trump endorsement, the drip of revelations has raised been understandable questions about Herschel Walker’s electability. All that lying doesn’t help when you’re running against an incumbent who’s a Baptist minister. Weird statements blaming China for US air pollution, evolution denial, claims the US has 52 states, and accusations of spousal abuse should raise even more concern that the ex-Georgia Bulldog is a dog of a candidate.

Herschel Walker was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice TV show in 2009. Donald Trump fired him. He might want to fire him as a Trump-branded political endorsee, too.

More:

“Herschel Walker declines invitation to debate Senator Warnock in Macon,” Justin Baxley, WMAZ-TV

“Herschel Walker’s ex-wife recalls him threatening to ‘blow my brains out’ in campaign ad released by opponents in Georgia Senate race,” Dave Goldiner, NY Daily News

Related:

“Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggle,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

“Donald Trump’s Less-Than-Artful Failure in Pro Football,” Joe Nocera, New York Times

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Image (“Commander-In-Chief of the Jersey Generals”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey

July 29, 2022

LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey
While Joe Biden was criticized for his recent fist bump with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump has given a big, wet, sloppy kiss to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Toursportswashing” campaign. The third tournament of the new pro golf league‘s tour is being held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Mr. Trump may have embraced the insurgent tour because he’s peeved at the U.S.-based PGA for pulling its 2022 championship tourney from Bedminster, but he has backed upstart sports leagues before, and this is not the first time Donald Trump has taken Saudi money. Far from it. Saudi cash saved Trump from bankrupcy, and, despite anti-Saudi rhetoric during his 2016 campaign, he and son-in-law Jared Kushner have kept their shoddy businesses afloat on an Arabian Gulf of Saudi money.

There have been strong objections to Trump’s embrace of Saudi golf money by the PGA, of course, but also by survivors of the victims of 9/11, and National Press Club members who remember the “grisly-bonesaw” murder of their collegue Jamal Khashoggi.

More:

“Trump Seeks Money and Revenge in Hosting the New Saudi Golf League,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Hosting Saudi Golf Tourney, Trump Has Forgotten He Used to Blame Kingdom for 9/11,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

Updates:

“9/11 families rip Saudi-financed golf tour ahead of finale at Trump resort,” Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill

“Trump: LIV Golf tournament a ‘great thing’ for Saudi Arabia,” Jared Gans, The Hill

“LIV Golf’s latest stop brings together Trump, Saudi Arabia and plenty of criticism,” Bryan Armen Graham, The Guardian

“The marriage of LIV Golf and Donald Trump is the stuff schemes are made of,” Eamon Lynch, Golfweek

“Bill Maher mocks Trump over golf course comments, suggests US trade him for Griner’s release,” Chloe Folmar, The Hill

“LIV Golf Tournament at Trump Club Sees Thin Crowds, $1 Tickets: Reports,” Jason Lemon, Newsweek

“LIV Golf spectator yells, ‘Do it for the Saudi royal family’ at Phil Mickelson,” Riley Hamel, Golfweek

“Golf takes back seat at Saudi-backed, Trump-hosted event,” Bryan Armen Graham, USA Today

Updated Updates:

“LIV Golf sellouts bailed on the PGA Tour. Now they want back in?” Sally Jenkins, Wasghington Post

“Judge rules LIV golfers can’t play in PGA Tour postseason,” TuAnh Dam, Axios

Related:

“Donald Trump’s Sketchy Playbook for Blowing Up a Pro Sports League,” Ian Ward, Politico

“Remembering The Tour De Trump, Donald Trump’s Failed Bike Race,” Patrick Redford, Deadspin

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” NotionsCapital

“Tiger Woods turned down offer in ‘neighborhood’ of $700M to $800M to play in Saudi-backed tournament, Greg Norman says,” Sarakshi Rai, The Hill

“Ivana Trump was buried near the first hole of Trump National Golf Club. Her gravesite could offer tax breaks for the business.” Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert and Isabella Zavarise, Business Insider

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New Pro Sport: Pillow Fighting

July 22, 2022

The fighters swing official two pound pillows, foam-filled and queen-sized, in nylon sailcloth cases. It’s the new sport of Professional Pillow Fighting.

More:

“Pillow fighting could be the next great combat sport – no, seriously,” Jordan Blumetti, The Guardian

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DC NFL Team Moving to the French Riviera?

June 23, 2022

DC NFL Team Moving to the French Riviera?
Washington DC’s professional football team fled the District of Columbia back 1997 for a grand-new stadium in suburban Maryland. It’s pretty shabby now, and owner Daniel Snyder has been trying to get a sweetheart deal on a shiny new stadium in Maryland or Virginia, but locals aren’t eager to pony up. He’s now in Cannes, France, for a “business meeting.” Is he looking for a French stadium deal? After all, the Riviera has featured gladitorial sports before, in its ancient Roman amphitheaters.

On the other hand, Mr. Synder refused to testify before a U.S. Congressional committee about alleged financial and sexual irregularities with his team management, and he brought his 305-foot yacht and private jet to Cannes. Several non-extradition countries are only a short hop away across the Mediterranean.

Billionaire Dan Synder, long regarded as pro football’s worst owner, stubbornly retained the team’s former racist name until well into the 21st century, meddled in team coaching, and was long rumored to fiddle with the books and his female employees. There was an NFL investigation of the latter charges, but Mr. Snyder tampered with it, hence the Congressional investigation into his “workplace misconduct.” After the testimony no-show, the House Oversight and Reform Committee will issue a subpoena for Dan Snyder.

More:

“Commanders owner Dan Snyder interfered with NFL probe: House panel,” Emily Crane, NY Post

“Dan Snyder’s plane, yacht arrive in Cannes as attorney pushes back against Congressional committee,” Michael Phillips, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“4 Entirely Plausible Reasons Dan Snyder Is in Cannes Instead of Appearing Before Congress,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

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