Posts from — July 2010
Here is what I propose. Pay student-athletes a stipend akin to their sport, rating on their team (a standard determined by outsiders; NFL/NBA scouts maybe?) and revenue generated for the school. Any athlete who violates the rules of the NCAA loses a scholarship and has to repay the stipend. Any coach who is in charge of a school that has demonstrated a lack of institutional control cannot coach on the collegiate level for ten years. Any agent who compromises a student-athlete loses his license for five years. Any agent who employs, directs or otherwise associates with runners and street agents loses his license for five years.
Its about time that the real villains, the ones who profit from the machine, pay the price.
July 27, 2010 Comments Off
Goalkeeper: Richard Kinston
Forlan (Uruguay) Mueller (Germany) Villa (Spain) Gyan (Ghana)
More bad news from the world of French footballers: French international Franck Ribery facing charges of sex with an underage prostitute, charges that could send him to jail for three years.
This is the woman in question (R,) as identified by several media outlets:
Tottenham, Birmingham City and Arsenal have banned vuvuzelas at their home stadiums. Not sure how I feel about this one yet. I will miss that incessant white noise though.
This was a poor decision, but the rules in place at the time allowed it and so it will have to stand.
MLB rookie of the year-so far:
In the NL it looks like a four way race among Jamie Garcia, Ike Davis, Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward. Only Heyward started the season in the majors, but the others have contributed significantly to their respective clubs and figure to be major contributors the rest of the way if they challenge for a playoff spot.
My choice would be Heyward, but Strasburg is a monster of a pitcher.
A drunken Aussie who tried to ride on the back of an 18ft crocodile while drunk was recovering in hospital as of July 14th 2010.
Michael Williams, 36, climbed on the back of an 18ft crocodile called Fatso while drunk in an enclosure at the Broome Crocodile Park in Western Australia. To explain what that means; Williams climbed in the enclosure and onto the crocodiles back. Williams was drunk, the crocodile was not. The crocodile was however hungry, and Williams is now recovering in a Australian hospital. He has a chunk of his leg missing. Williams, that is.
Michael had been kicked out of a pub and told police he broke into the zoo because he wanted to give Fatso a pat.
Broome Police Sergeant Roger Hayne said: “He’s extremely lucky to be alive. He has attempted to sit on its back and the croc has taken offence at that and has spun around and bit him on the right leg. Once saltwater crocodiles get hold of you, they are not renowned for letting you go.”
“He’s lucky to have escaped with his life.”
You really think so Sarge?!?!
July 20, 2010 Comments Off
Check out a guest post by Brent Jacobs regarding MMA coming to New York State:
New York Senate Uses MMA To Cut Deficit And Help State Budget
By Brent Jacobs
The New York state budget has had a hard time fighting off a deficit throughout all of the overall economic problems that have plagued the country. This has caused the state to consider any and all ways to save money and help balance the budget, including closing down state parks and creating food and drink taxes on everyday products like soda. Some of these choices have been met with disdain from people of the state so the Senate continues to look for additional ways to raise money. The hopeful news is that they may have just found the perfect option that gives something back to New Yorkers rather than taking it away.
On June 16th, the New York State Senate passed a bill to legalize mix martial arts in the state of the New York. It still needs to be approved by the State Assembly in order to be a law, but passing the State Senate is a big deal for both the Empire State and Mixed Martial Arts. MMA, while being legal in many other states around the country, has been banned in New York since the mid-nineties which meant that prime venues like Madison Square Garden in New York City and the 50,000 seat Carrier Dome in Syracuse were off limits for holding MMA events. This would no longer be the case if the assembly passes the bill. Dozens of great venues in the state would be open to new events that would help grow the already popular sport of MMA even further while helping the state make money.
It’s hard to imagine that New York state education and other programs would be a direct beneficiary of MMA, but that would be the exact case if the bill passes. Mixed Martial Arts is one of the most popular sports in the country and its popularity grows with every passing day. This would mean that the dozens of sold out shows that MMA has every year would finally bring revenue to New York.
To put the financial benefits of legalizing MMA into perspective, just look at the numbers of the sport according to Fannation.com:
• $340. That was the average ticket price of UFC 81 at the MGM Grand. While this may seem like a lot, people are paying it to see their favorite matches. One could imagine the amount of tax money that would go to directly financing state programs and projects. Also a factor to consider is the amount of revenue brought in by people coming from all across the country for the events that would be spending money on food and accommodations.
• 170 countries broadcast UFC and other MMA events, which brings in huge promotion for some not as well known New York state cities that may hold an event.
• MMA industries like UFC have gone from million dollar companies to billion dollar companies in less than a decade showing just how popular this sport really can be.
These numbers don’t even account for New York based MMA gyms that will see new revenue to help train local fighters in a sport that was once outlawed in their home state. This will directly correlate with an increase in local sales of MMA gear, like MMA gloves. Hundreds of retailers will benefit from this boost. The increase in local fan-base will have a direct impact on the sale of MMA t-shirts that display their favorite fighter or industry brand. They have become a hot commodity as the sport has increased in popularity. There is no doubt that the reach of the bill, if passed, is not just huge for New York but is greatly important to its many citizens that are struggling because of the bad economy.
The state and Governor David Paterson have estimated that allowing the sport to be legalized would bring in an extra $2 million after two years for the state’s $8 billion deficit and studies have shown that holding an event in Madison Square Garden would generate $11.3 million in economic activity. This may not seem like a lot but it’s a step in the right direction for the state. This bill is something that New York has been trying to do for over the last two years but has failed in doing so. Even if the bill doesn’t pass the assembly, Governor Paterson has stated he will include it in his emergency extender bill giving it another way to be legalized. Yet, right now is the time for the passing of this bill because now MMA is closer than it’s ever been to being a popular and helpful force in the Empire State.
July 15, 2010 Comments Off
So the decision is made, and it’s South Beach over Broadway, Ohio, La La land, Chitown, Jersey shore and Dallas.
I have to admit, when reports came out of Pat Riley making moves to clear cap space to go after 3 max contract players, I thought, wow, that’s a major move. It left them with no roster to speak of, but gave them the ingredients to make a great meal…Think of the trio as the filet mignon and the other players filling out the roster as accoutrement’s; the mashed potatoes and/or rice.
While I do think this is a team that will compete for a title immediately, i’m not ready to say they can beat the Celtics or Magic in the East or the Lakers in a possible finals match up. One thing is for sure, the Eastern Conference will be very competitive this upcoming season.
Two things to consider however:
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has made a tremendous amount of money over the last seven years on the back of Lebron James. Sold out arenas, jersey sales and other ancillary benefits have padded his pockets considerably. His criticism of Lebron after the announcement that he’s going to Miami was petty, spiteful and provided tremendous insight into this owner. Regardless of what his intentions were, this well thought out statement by him will cost him and his team for years to come, because it will be viewed negatively by other players, coaches and agents. I feel bad for Byron Scott. Let’s also see what David Stern has to say about Gilbert’s comments also.
Second, regardless of how successful this trio is in Miami, the legacy of Lebron will be considerably diminished. They could win the next three NBA titles, it wont matter, because Wade will have four; one more than Lebron. He is in effect becoming Robin to Wade’s batman, A-Rod to the Yankee’s Jeter. I think history will judge him differently regardless of how many championships that trio ultimately end up with.
July 9, 2010 Comments Off
The Netherlands and Germany are a cut above all others right now. Actually, considering how the South American teams barnstormed through the early games, how surprising is it that only one team is in the semifinals-and the one team is Uruguay! No Argentina, no Brazil.
In my May 17th blog post, I identified Forlan as one of the players to watch in this tournament, and he has not disappointed. Suarez went from goat to hero in an instant, but his red card will put Uruguay at a huge disadvantage against the Dutch.
Then he signed to play for the Mets.
One good season in 2008, but overall a record of 34 wins & 55 no-decisions in the last two and a half seasons. The Mets have notoriously failed to provide run support for him in many of his starts, and while he has continued to soldier on, the question that has to be on his mind is this: did he blow his chance for the Hall of Fame, not to mention 200 wins, by chasing the biggest paycheck?
His ERA since joining the Mets is 3.02. His ERA in the three years prior to coming to NY was 2.99. His innings pitched, games started, strikeouts and hits allowed are all in line with his Minnesota numbers, factoring in of course his injury plagued 2009 season. The big differences however are these; no shutouts in 3 years. No complete games in 3 years. No season with more than 16 wins in NY, and on a pace this year to reach 12, his lowest season total since 2003. With 127 career wins, Santana may still reach 200, but it’s a long-shot. Did I mention those 55 no-decisions?
As great as he has been in the past, there have been some questions about his fitness. Add in the undeniable fact that the Mets have not been supporting him in his starts, this great pitcher may be doomed to mediocrity the rest of his career. At a minimum his experience should be a cautionary tale to other players; the money is great, but winning counts, and if the dollar amounts are more or less equal, why not go to a real contender? Santana (allegedly) capitulated to the players union-that bastion of integrity-and didn’t accept lesser offers from better teams.
Congrats to Jason Heyward being selected to the All-Star game in his first season. He won’t be playing as he is presently on the disabled list, but it’s nice to see the fans acknowledging his great rookie season.
Serena Williams is the best women’s tennis player ever. Yeah, I said it!
Enjoy the hot dogs!
July 4, 2010 Comments Off