Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

A few random thoughts on the Ray Rice episode

Ray Rice has been caught on video delivering a left hook to his fiancée’s jaw, knocking her out.

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled his $50 million contract and the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.

So here are a few random thoughts I have on all this.

1) Ray Rice must have an IQ of somewhere around 10 to do what he did.

The video speaks for itself.

2) Bill Clinton hasn’t been banned from anything.

Juanita Brodrick claims he raped her. Kathleen Willey says she was sexually assaulted by Clinton. Paula Jones was clearly sexually assaulted by Clinton. Plus Clinton preyed on and ruined the life of White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Seriously, who’s worse — Ray Rice or Bill Clinton? Who’s the bigger threat to women?

3) Ray Rice’s then fiancée, Janay, went on to marry Ray even after the KO punch.

She is now blasting the media for ruining both their lives. She apparently thinks there’s a lot to like about Ray Rice.

And she’s probably none too happy that the Ravens cancelled his $50 million contract.

4) If Michael Vick can come back and play in the NFL after his longtime involvement in dog-fighting, Ray Rice can come back.

Rice threw one ill-advised, impulsive punch at his fiancee — who has forgiven him.

Vick promoted and participated in dog fighting (animal torture) for years.

Rice is impulsive and stupid. Vick is evil.

5) We knew exactly what Ray Rice did before we saw the video of the actual punch.

We knew he had knocked Janay unconscious in the elevator because video footage showed him dragging her unconscious body out into the corridor. This must have been a brutal beating to produce this result.

The court ordered Ray Rice to enter a domestic violence program prior to sentencing to avoid jail time.
The NFL suspended Rice for two games.

The actual video of the single punch is what created the public uproar against Rice.

But, in truth, the video makes Rice look a bit less bad.

Without the video, one might imagine Rice rained repeated blows on Janay, rendering her unconscious. The video shows he delivered just one punch – though clearly well-targeted (unfortunately for both Rice and Janay).

As she was falling, it appears she hit her head on the railing, which might have produced the knock-out. So the knock-out was probably unintentional by Ray Rice.

Also, it appears from the video that Janay spit on Rice prior to the knock-out blow delivered by Rice.

If she spit on Rice, that certainly doesn’t justify Rice’s punch. But spitting on someone is assault under the law. So a lot appears to have been going on between them.

6) There appears to be no lasting physical damage to Janay Rice.

Though that’s always difficult to know with a concussion — which this certainly was.

7) This appears to be a first-time offense for Rice.

Unlike other NFL players, Rice is not a habitual bad actor. He seems to have no past record of serious misconduct, no previous incident of hitting women.

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown (greatest running back ever) was famous for beating up women. Not much happened to him.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was accused of being involved in a murder (a nightclub shooting), but nothing much happened to him either. In fact, he’s now a commentator on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

8) Ray Rice had the misfortune of running afoul of the “War on Women” mantra.

Ray Rice probably had no idea what “Political Correctness” meant, until now.

He probably still doesn’t fully understand what’s happening to him.

Barack Obama won reelection in 2012 in part by advancing the absurd notion that Republicans are conducting a “War on Women.”

So now every politician, every corporate CEO, everyone (especially every man) in a leadership position is desperate to show how pro-woman they are.

Plus the NFL is desperately trying to appeal to women, which is why the NFL requires every player to wear pink during “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” — but nothing during “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.”

Oh wait. There is no “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.”

9) This shows society has concluded that men and women should NOT be treated equally.

If Ray Rice had KO’d a man, this would have been no big deal — might have been a badge of honor for Rice.

It’s the fact that he hit a woman (who appears to have been spitting on him) that’s so egregious.

I agree that a man hitting a woman is egregious.  It’s downright unmanly.

Men and woman are different.  Men tend to be physically much stronger — especially an NFL football player.

This truth calls into question the issue of having women serve in military combat roles, women as firefighters, women as cops on the street.

Do we really want to put women in dangerous combat-style situations?

America appears to be saying “NO” to this idea.

This is a big setback for feminism.


Ray Rice should certainly be punished by the Ravens and the NFL for his abhorrent conduct. Perhaps sitting out football for a year would be appropriate if no further misconduct by Rice occurs.

Clearly his fiancee (now his wife) sees a lot to like about Rice because she went on to marry him after the KO.

This is a first-time offense for Ray Rice. He and his wife should not lose their livelihood permanently over this.

Ray Rice would do well to go on a media tour to stress how much he regrets the incident. He should have Janay by his side.

He should go on “The View,” “Oprah,” “Dr. Phil,” “Nancy Grace,” and “Dr. Drew.”

This alone would be substantial punishment for Rice — having to endure being badgered hour after hour by these people.

He should explain that he’s entered an anger management program and will spend ten hours a week volunteering at a battered women’s shelter.

If “Oprah” absolves Rice of his sin, this should be enough for the NFL to reinstate Rice after a one-year time-out.

Why (as a sports fanatic) I can’t get interested in soccer

I’m a sports fanatic. I love almost every sport.

I’ve tried to get interested in soccer. I just can’t.

Soccer is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

There’s almost no scoring in soccer. Too many games end 0-0 and 1-0.

Hours can go buy with barely a shot on goal – when no one even comes close to scoring.

I think there’s too much scoring in NBA basketball. But I’d rather have too much scoring than no scoring.

If this sport is ever to catch on in America, soccer needs to make adjustments to make the game more exciting to watch.

Adjustment #1: Dramatically shrink the size of the field.

Make the field about half the size it is now.

This will help increase the action in front of the goal.

Adjustment #2: Increase the size of the goal.

An increase in the width of six inches or so would probably be enough.

Adjustment #3: Put sideboards up around the field so the ball doesn’t go out of bounds so much.

Indoor soccer has this feature. Indoor soccer is much more fun to watch than outdoor soccer.

Passes that carom off the walls make the passing more complicated and interesting, like hockey.

Adjustment #4: Allow hitting in soccer, like in ice hockey and lacrosse.

Soccer need not make all these changes at once.

Try one or two changes at a time and see what happens.

People want to see goals. And people like to see hitting.

The National Football League is constantly tweaking the rules to make the game more exciting.

If the NFL never changed the rules, there would be no scoring because defense always catches up to the offense. Almost all the rule changes favor the offense.

Even the football itself has changed shape over the years to enhance the passing game.

Baseball created more home runs by bringing in the fences. Basketball created more scoring by adding a shot clock. Boxing created more action by making the ring smaller.

But boxing is being overtaken in popularity by martial arts caging fight because there’s a lot more action, a lot more actual fighting.

All other sports that I can think of constantly review and change the rules – to make their sports more exciting to watch.

Why can’t soccer make adjustments?

There is no sport that I can think of that is more boring than soccer.

Even golf is more exciting.

There are tense moments in golf, such as when Phil Mickelson is trying to sink a five-foot putt to win the Masters.

Baseball is slow. But it gets tense when the bases are loaded in a close playoff game if your team is involved. The tension in golf and baseball is created by the situation.

But there are few situations in soccer that create any tension because so much of the action takes place so far from the goal.

Is there strategy in soccer?  I assume there is, but I can’t discern it.

It’s obvious there’s strategy in baseball and football. The fans can see it.   The fans can question the strategy.

The fans can boo if the football coach decides not to go for it on fourth down.

Should they pass or should they run?

The fans can question whether it’s the right move for the baseball manager to take the pitcher out of the game.

Should the hitter bunt and try to move the runner over, or should he swing away?

Strategy is a big part of the appeal of football and baseball.

There’s a chess-match aspect to these sports.

There’s a lot of thinking involved.  Should we do this?  Or should we do that?

I’d Watch Soccer If It Were More Like Ice Hockey

I’m not sure there’s a lot of strategy in hockey either.

But hockey is exciting. Hockey is basically the same game as soccer. But it’s fast. It’s on skates. The rink is small compared to a soccer field.

Hockey is mayhem.

There are lots of shots on goal in hockey, lots of action in front of the net. There are fights. Many hockey players have missing teeth. They look cool. They look rugged. They are rugged. The puck is hard as a rock. It caroms off the boards. There is checking in hockey, where the player gets to slam the other player into the boards. You hear a loud thud when that happens.

Hockey is more like a gang fight on skates. The players are carrying a weapon – their hockey stick. Their skates are razor sharp.

Hockey is a truly dangerous game.

Hockey is much more of a man’s sport than soccer. In soccer, the players fall on the ground if they are barely touched. They then writhe around
on the field screaming in hopes of drawing a penalty.

When the penalty comes or doesn’t come, that same player who  was writhing around on the field crying suddenly jumps to his feet and resumes playing, perfectly healthy.

Hockey players don’t act like this. They would be laughed off their teams as sissies if they did.

In soccer, the clock keeps running during the alleged injury.

So if a team that’s winning by one goal just wants to run out the clock, that team can just fake all kinds of injuries — which often happens.

That sure makes for an exciting game.

And what’s up with the obsession with the hair of certain World Cup soccer stars?

The star player from Portugal (I forget his name) has a completely different hairdo and hair color every game. How much time is this guy spending in the hair salon?

Shouldn’t he be spending that time watching film or practicing?

Something else I’ve noticed.

Recent immigrants to America learn to love NFL football.

There’s a Mexican restaurant that I go to a lot in Chicago that doubles as a sports bar.

Mexico is known for soccer. It’s their national sport.

But at this Chicago Mexican sports bar I go to, the preferred sport there is NFL football.

Mexicans who move to America quickly become NFL football fanatics. So do Asians and Africans who move here.

These recent Mexican immigrants admit to me that American football is a whole lot more fun to watch than soccer.

They also love boxing and caging fighting.

Something else that bugs me about soccer is that it’s a sport that I feel is being forced on me by liberals who hate American football, who hate violent, dangerous sports.

Liberals are doing everything they can to feminize the NFL. There’s Breast Cancer Awareness month when all the NFL players are expected to wear pink. Kick-off returns are being phased out because they are so dangerous. Defensive players can no longer hit the quarterback, for some reason.

Former NFL great Terry Bradshaw suggests putting a skirt on the quarterback so the defensive player understands more clearly who he can’t hit.

During Super Bowl Week, there’s always the obligatory article in The New York Times on how violence against women (husbands beating their wives) rises during Super Bowl week.

Turns out this is a myth – a complete canard.

Violence against women actually seems to decline during Super Bowl week – probably because husbands are wrapped up in the game. The wife beating seems to resume after the Super Bowl is over.

There’s now the obsession with concussions in the NFL – as if concussions never occurred before now.

So now the NFL has banned leading with your head.

If we want to reduce concussions, maybe football should be played without a helmet, like in the old days. That would discourage players from engaging in head-on collisions with each other.

Some liberal writers have proposed banning football, banning boxing, banning caging fighting, banning car racing, banning all these dangerous sports.

But liberals love soccer.

Soccer’s not the least bit dangerous. About the worst injury you see in soccer is a pulled hamstring.

Well there is that guy in the World Cup from Uruguay who keeps biting the opposing players.

What’s up with that guy?  And why doesn’t someone break his nose?

Do you remember when liberals tried to force the metric system on Americans?

I feel they are trying to do this to us with soccer.

Liberals told us we needed to adopt the metric system because that’s what the rest of the world uses.

They told us the metric system makes more sense and is easier to understand.

Not sure that’s true.

A foot is about the length of my foot.

Seems pretty straight forward and simple to me.

I have no idea what 2.34 centimeters is.

Is that like a centipede?

I think America’s measuring system is a lot easier.

But liberals continue to try to push the metric system on us, just like they are desperate to get America to love soccer – so we can be just like the rest of the world.

I don’t want to be like the rest of the world.

Frankly, I was also turned off by the big celebration in the media over USA’s soccer victory over Ghana.

Where the heck is Ghana?

I had to look it up on a map. What’s their population? Do they even have enough people in Ghana to field a soccer team?

Apparently they do.

If America is this excited about its World Cup victory over a dinky little country like Ghana, that’s pathetic.

We’re a nation of 320,000,000 people.

Yet we barely beat Ghana — 2-1.

If  Wisconsin played Ghana, that would seem to be a more fair contest.

Then we went on to tie Portugal — another dinky country. This was also hailed by the media as great news for the USA.

If this is great news, America really is in decline.

UPDATE: Germany defeats USA, you guessed it . . . 1-0.


Here’s something else that’s off-putting.

USA keeps advancing in this World Cup tournament without winning.

We beat Ghana, and that’s it.  We then tied Portugal and lost to Germany.

Yet we continue to advance in the tourney.

Why aren’t we eliminated?

Maybe that’s another reason liberals love soccer so much.

Nothing is at stake in these games. Your actual performance in the game makes little difference.

Everyone’s a winner.  It’s almost impossible to lose at this game.

So no one feels bad.

UPDATE: Apparently, we are now finally eliminated after losing to Belgium 2-1.

I now see banner headline articles saying USA has finally achieved respect in soccer on the world stage.

We have?

We played four games, and won just one — against tiny Ghana.

That’s a 0.25 win percentage.  If that’s success for the USA, what would failure look like?

Why I’m almost as fed up with the NFL as I am with politics — and I’m a football fanatic

The 2012 election results signal to me that America is over. Everyone knew exactly who Obama was and reelected him anyway. They knew about the $16.45 TRILLION national debt, his refusal to do anything about spending, and his promises to spend even more. He campaigned on increasing taxes even more and keeping ObamaCare.

We have the slowest economic recovery following a recession in recorded history. Many economists now say we’re heading back into a double-dip recession in 2013.

America reelected him anyway.

So it’s tough not to conclude that America is over.

I’m feeling the same way about the NFL . . . and I’m a football fanatic, have been since I was five years old.

The big problem is all the rule changes. In fact, the big problem is how many new rules there are. The teams can hardly get off a play without a flag being thrown.

Quarterbacks might as well throw a 60 yard pass on every play because there’s a near 50/50 chance pass interference will be called.

The poor defensive back can’t breathe on the receiver without being hit with a pass interference penalty.

This has rendered the passing records we’re seeing today utterly meaningless.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when I started following football, any NFL quarterback who completed more than 54 percent of his passes on a consistent basis was an automatic Hall of Famer.

The great Roger Staubach had a lifetime NFL pass completion percentage of 57 percent .

Four-time Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw had a 51.9 percent lifetime NFL pass completion percentage. His best year was 1978 when he had a 56.3 percent completion percentage.

Games when the likes of Staubach and Bradshaw surpassed 200 yards passing were rare. They would average more like 170-180 yards passing per game.

The great Joe Namath completed right around 50 percent of his passes, even in his best years.

Johnny Unitas (arguably the greatest quarterback ever) completed 54.6 percent of his passes.

Completing a pass used to mean something. Not anymore.

Today’s quarterbacks are completing 65-70 percent of their passes. That’s just absurd, and no fun to watch.

Instead of the great quarterbacks of the 1960s and 1970s throwing for 170 yards a game, today’s quarterbacks routinely throw for 300 yards a game. Sometimes they throw for 500+ yards in a game.

Why is this?

It’s entirely because of all the rule changes. We’re not watching the same game anymore — not even close.

It used to be that the defensive player could hit the receiver all the way down the field until the ball was in the air. Only then would he have to stop hitting the receiver.

And officials mostly let the defensive player and receiver fight for the ball as equals.  Penalty flags would mostly stay in the refs pocket unless the interference was really flagrant — like if the defensive back hit the receiver with a tire iron, or something.

Today, the defensive back can’t touch the receiver beyond five yards from the line of scrimmage. So defensive backs
are, well,  defenseless against the pass.  I don’t know why anyone would want to play this position anymore.

The NFL wants basketball scores, not football scores.

Defense used to matter in the NFL — Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain (led by Mean Joe Greene), Minnesota’s Purple People Eaters (led by

Lester Hayes

Alan Page and Carl Eller).

There used to be defensive backs that were truly magnificent to watch, like Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes of the Oakland Raiders.

But somehow the great receivers, like Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff, still managed to make amazing catches with a defensive back hanging on his shirt — even though Fred was considered too small and slow to be an NFL receiver.

These guys looked like warriors. I can’t imagine them wearing pink shoes and socks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I’m sure we have great defensive backs today, but you’d never know it.

Today we just see these defensive backs getting torched almost every play because they’re not allowed to touch the receiver.

Fred Biletnikoff

And we might as well put a skirt on the quarterback. If the defensive lineman is lucky enough to reach the quarterback, he can’t hit him anymore without a penalty flag being thrown. It’s a lot easier to complete passes if you know you’re not going to get hit all that hard.

If the other players are not allowed to hit you, you’re not really a football player, in my mind. You’re more in the category of a kicker.  That’s what the modern NFL quarterback has become.

They are now kicking off from the 35 yard line instead of the 30 yard line, so we get almost no kickoff retuns any more.  But the kickoff and runback is arguably the most exciting play in football.

That play is now effectively gone. Now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering banning kick-offs entirely, to prevent injuries, of course.


Football is a contact sport. People watch it in large part to see the big hits by the likes of a Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Mean Joe Greene, or Ray Nitschke.

Flag football is just not as much fun to watch as real football. But this is the direction the NFL is heading.

There’s a parallel here with what is happening in our society – the proliferation of laws and rules, all in the name of safety.

Don’t get me wrong.

We certainly do need laws and rules. And there needs to be concern for safety.

I was sickened to see Darryl Stingly (the New England Patriots wide receiver in the 1970s)  paralyzed for life because of a hit by Oakland Raiders Defensive Back Jack Tatum.

Reasonable steps should be taken to protect the players, absolutely. I don’t want to see people paralyzed or killed, if possible.

But you know the risks when you sign up to play the game. The risk and the big hits are big part of why some people choose to play football instead of badminton.

Why not also require NASCAR racers to drive cars that don’t go more than 40 MPH?

Then there would be no injuries.  A car race would just be a test of skill.

Or, why not ban cars completely and save 30,000 lives a year?

At a certain point, this hyper-concern with safety takes all the fun out of life.

People go hang-gliding because it’s exciting — and dangerous.

At a certain point, there can be so many rules, that the game becomes impossible to play and no fun to watch.

This is happening to both America and the NFL. Almost every time you move, you commit some kind of a foul — whether on the football field or society at large.

By the way, allowing the defensive back to bump the receiver all the way up to the point the ball is released by the quarterback would make the game safer because all those bumps by the defensive back slow down the receiver.  So you would have fewer full-speed collisions.

Here’s another reform for the NFL that would decrease injuries.

Go back to the old leather helmets with no face masks and no heavy plastic pads.

This would deter players from using their heads and bodies as weapons against the other player. You’d have more teeth knocked out and more broken noses, but many fewer truly crippling injuries.

If we go back to the leather helmets, we could also get rid of those idiotic speakers in the helmets of the quarterback. That’s another loathsome modern innovation.

The coach should not be calling the plays. That used to be the quarterback’s job.

Then there’s the mind-numbing “political correctness” that dominates the NFL today.

This is probably why John Madden quit broadcasting. He just couldn’t take it anymore.

Not that there’s really anything wrong with the players wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

There are, of course, many diseases we should be concerned about.  Why not prostate cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer’s?

I hope we cure breast cancer along with all deadly and debilitating diseases. I just don’t think an NFL Football game is where we need to be talking about all that — to show how broadminded we are.

Maybe the NFL can raise some money for breast cancer research. That’s fine. I just don’t think the NFL’s primary motivation here is charity. This is purely a marketing ploy. They think this will somehow attract more women to want to watch the game.

Do you really think dressing up these NFL players in pink is going to make more women want to watch this game?

And then there’s the week where NBC for “Football Night in America” uses almost no lights in its broadcast to show solidarity with Obama’s green energy programs.  Puleeease!

Then you have Bob Costas going on his anti-Second Amendment rant after that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend dead, then shot himself dead — as if this 260 pound linebacker could not have found some other way to kill his 110 pound girlfriend, then himself.

The weak thinking at the top of NFLdom sure seems to parallel the lazy thinking we see in America as a whole.

But I’ll probably watch the NFL playoffs anyway — just not as intensely as I used to watch the games in the old days, when it was football we were watching, not this new game it’s morphed into that more resembles pinball.

And now for my all time favorite commercial: The “Mean Joe Greene” Coke Ad from 1979 . . .

What a great player he was.

POLL: 43% believe God helps Tebow win

So does this make God incompetent when Tebow loses?

I’m a huge fan of both Tim Tebow and God. But this is just a ridiculous idea. Brady and the Patriots will very likely beat Tebow and the Broncos this weekend. But I doubt very much that Tom Brady is more powerful than God. My guess is God will enjoy the game like the rest of us. But does God tailgate?

CBS DENVER: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is not the only one who thinks God helps him on the football field.

According to a national telephone survey conducted by Poll Position, 43 percent of people believe that “divine intervention” is responsible for his success compared to 42 percent of people surveyed who think that God has nothing to do with Tebow winning.

Read more here >>>

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