Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Sports Genius Trump Sends Military Cadets to the NFL

July 15, 2019

Sports Genius Trump Sends Military Cadets to NFL

Donald Trump is a football expert. He once owned a signed Tim Tebow helmet he bought with $12,000 of his charity’s money, so that should prove it. Not only that, he’s the former owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the US Football League. In just a few years, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Not content with those pro sports triumphs, now that he’s president, Mr. Trump has ordered that sports star graduates of our country’s military academies, educated at taxpayer expense, can defer their military service until after the end of their pro sports careers, so America can be defended by worn out and injured ex-jocks. Make the NFL Great Again!

More:

“President Trump orders new policy for service academy graduates pursuing professional sports,” Ava Wallace, Washington Post

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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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NCAA Basketball Pays Off for Everyone But the Players

April 8, 2019

NCAA Basketball Pays Off for Everyone But the Players

The college basketball finals are about to decide the new championship team. Each year the 32 Division I conferences are paid millions by the NCAA based on what teams get into the “March Madness” tournament and how far they advance. Last year’s payout was $216 million. The 2018 tournament television and marketing rights brought in $844.3 million, mostly from TV contracts with CBS and Turner Sports. The TV deal grows annually, and will pull in $8.8 billion in 2024.

The league makes millions. Colleges make millions. Coaches make millions. Players make nothing. For decades, universities have claimed that not paying their ballplayers preserved their “student-athletepurity, something more difficult to rationalize when their hoopsters drop out, leave for the NBA after a year or graduate despite illiteracy.

More recently, the NCAA justified this situation by citing a clause of the 13th Amendment that allows unpaid prison labor. This jaw-dropping argument is compounded when you realize that the purpose of the 13th Amendment was the abolition of slavery in the United States, and Division 1 college athletes are overwhelmingly African American.

The chorus to reform the obvious economic inequity has been joined by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), whose office has issued a report on the unjust situation. Maybe colleges will end the scholar-athelete sham and get out of bigtime sports altogether, letting the pros run their own development leagues. The NBA has already started their G League as a new entry ramp to the pros.

If you’re horrified that the future of college basketball will be decided by lawyers, know this: lawyers patented basketballs and hoops back in the last century.

More:

“College basketball’s murky swamp of misbehavior,”  George F. Will, Washington Post

Related:

“How Classifying Athletes as Employees Can Save Colleges Money,”  Derek Helling, OZY

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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No Backwards Skating!

December 13, 2018

Actually, skating backwards is allowed at Moonlight Rollerway  (Glendale, CA) if it’s part of “rexing,”couples skating. On Wednesdays, owner Dominic Cangelosi plays the organ for your skating pleasure (he sells organ music recordings to other roller rinks, too) . DJs spin tunes the rest of the week.

More:

“Welcome to Moonlight Rollerway, Where Nothing Has Changed Since 1956,” Lisa Whiteman,  Narratively

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Surf’s Up — Inland

July 19, 2018

Surf’s up at the Surf Ranch, a hundred miles from the nearest ocean. Bryant Gumbel explains.

More:

“Surfing goes inland: Kelly Slater’s artificial waves push pro tour into uncharted waters,” Alex Dick-Read, The Guardian

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Skateboarders Conquer the World

July 11, 2018

Skateboarders Conquer the World
“After decades of commandeering streets, sidewalks, parking lots and public sculptures, skaters entered the mainstream. Now New York City, the United States, and the world at large have all seen a surge of skate park development. With skateboarding entering the Olympic Games in 2020, the international growth of skate parks is likely only beginning.”

“Skateboarders Won,” Jeff Ihaza, New York Times

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Image (“Woman with a Skateboard, after Fernand Léger”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Ball

June 26, 2018

Meet the 2018 World Cup football.

“This year’s World Cup ball is called the Telstar 18, a nod to the original design. While the panels have changed to just six propeller-shaped pieces to make the ball even more spherical, the black-and-white checkered design is back.”

A Vox video.

More:

“Satellites and microchips: the surprising tech behind the World Cup ball,” Marc Chacksfield, TechRadar

“From Russia With Lough: Adidas Telstar 18 Is Specifically Designed to Stop Dip & Swerve,” Sports Illustrated

“World Cup 2018: Adidas boffins produce ball specially designed to stop Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kicks,” Duncan Wright, The Sun

“Fifa World Cup 2018 ball: Adidas Telstar 18 football ‘a problem for goalkeepers,'” Jamie Teather, Evening Standard

“Telstar 18: From satellites to microchips – The tech behind FIFA World Cup 2018 ball,” Manas Tiwari, Financial Express

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Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel

May 8, 2018

Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel
Donald J. Trump, TV personality and “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” has nominated TV celebrity, Dr. Oz (Mehmet Cengiz Öz, MD) to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. A 2014 study determined that half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice was baseless or wrong.

Other Trump acquaintances and Council nominees include: former New York Yankee reliever and failed restaurateur Mariano Rivera; former New Jersey Generals football player Herschel Walker;  Trump endorser and LPGA pro golfer Natalie GulbisTrump-endorsing NFL Patriots coach Bill BelichickBrenda L. Becker of the Boston Scientific medical device corporation; Trump-campaigning former MLB outfielder and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Johnny Damon; “Incredible Hulk” and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lou Ferrigno; “anti-aging medicine” promoter and “Sports Hall of Fame” founder Dr. Bob GoldmanBannon– and Weinstein-linked producer Trevor Drinkwater, whose failed company made classical music recordings for babiesTrump-supporting ex-congresswoman, private equity shill and former ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth; Palm Beach denizen and SlimFast CEO Chris Tisi, Matt Hesse, whose “nutritional supplement” firm is best-known for Ab Cuts snake oil; hunter and 2013 Ms. Wheelchair USA Ashlee Lundvall2016 GOP Delegate and health club owner Samuel James Worthington, Jr.; and “hockey & gymnastics mom” Linda Yaccarino of NBC Universal, who sold ads for Celebrity Apprentice.

Truly, with a Fitness Council like that, America is destined to be a nation whose “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”

More:

“Trump Picks TV Snake Oil Salesman Dr. Oz, of All People, to Serve on Health Council,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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NCAA Claims Unpaid College Athletes Are Like Prison Labor

February 27, 2018

NCAA Claims Unpaid College Athletes Are Like Prison Labor

It’s almost March, when America’s thoughts turn to college basketball. NCAA March Madness alone earns $900 million for the NCAA, and big university athletic programs and their coaches reap lucrative rewards from sports, but collegiate basketball and football players are unpaid, being considered “student athletes.” In answer to a pending lawsuit, the NCAA justifies this situation by citing the clause of the 13th Amendment that allows unpaid prison labor. This jaw-dropping argument is compounded by the fact that the purpose of the 13th Amendment was the abolition of slavery in the United States, and Division 1 college athletes are overwhelmingly African American.

The suit against the NCAA was brought by former Villanova receiver Lawrence “Poppy” Livers on behalf of all athletic scholarship players, who are required to play in sports by the terms of their agreements. A previous suit failed because it also included “walk-on” players without such binding scholarship agreements. Livers vs. NCAA claims sports scholarship athletes, like students in work-study programs, should be considered university employees and compensated.

More:

“The NCAA Says Student-Athletes Shouldn’t Be Paid Because the 13th Amendment Allows Unpaid Prison Labor,” Shaun King, The Intercept

Related:

“Four Years A Student-Athlete: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports,” Patrick Hruby, VICE sports

“Your March Madness Bracket Is Exploiting Student-Athletes,”  Dave Zirin, The Nation

“When will NCAA be done exploiting athletes?” Editorial Board, Charlotte Observer

“The NCAA Must Change the Rules in Order to Solve College Basketball’s Existential Crisis,” Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated

“Let High School Players Go Straight to the NBA Again,” Sean Cunningham, RealClearLife

“The NCAA,” Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, 2015 (20:53)

“What Would Happen if the Players Ran College Basketball?” Ray Glier, Ozy

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Big Game

February 4, 2018

The Big Game

Sunday, February 4, 2018: Time for the Big Game. That’s right, Puppy Bowl XIV is on Animal Planet starting at 3 PM Eastern Time. Many of the cute canine competitors are hurricane rescues from Puerto Rico, there’s a kitty halftime show, duckling, piglet and baby bunny cheerleaders, a sloth referee, and a new Dog Bowl for full-grown adoptable canines. Yes, you can adopt a “wide-retriever” of your own.

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Jesse, Adolf, and Franklin

October 5, 2017

American Jesse Owens won three gold medals in three days at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You probably think you know what happened next, but you don’t.

“Adolf Hitler famously refused to shake Owens’ hand, not wanting the humiliation of acknowledging a Black athlete’s brilliance, or so the story goes. But the truth is that, after the first day of competition, Hitler didn’t shake any athlete’s hand because the head of the International Olympic Committee told him he must congratulate all gold medalists or none at all. Sure, the führer wasn’t keen on photo ops with Black or Jewish athletes, but he simply chose to steer clear of the stadium altogether. So Owens was never personally snubbed by Hitler, but his story is still defined by systematic racism — not in Nazi Germany, but in the United States.

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