On the surface, I don’t care a lick about several high level goons for FIFA getting pinched in a corruption sting. I watch the World Cup enthusiastically, a supernova burst of passing interest, for a small handful of games, every time it comes around.
Period. Full stop.
And I am fully aware, that these guys are essentially an international crime syndicate, that operates a kickball tournament every four years.
But on a deeper level, I am actually glad these clown are getting a face full of the legal system. Because bribery is the worst. Especially of elected officials, where men are basically conspiring to steal our money collected through taxation.
If a private company wants to bribe another private entity…. meh. Have at it. Its your money.
But when entire countries are so rife with bribery at every level of governance – starting at dogcatcher, all the way up to El Presidente – then life becomes miserable for the governed. At every turn, an official with the full weight of the state, is sticking his hand out, demanding money. It’s like being robbed…. every single day, and you can’t do anything about it.
Of course, we have bribery here in America. I am surely not naive to that fact. But thankfully, we still try to hammer it pretty hard. At least harder than most other developed nations.
Our “bribery” comes in the form of the NFL dangling a SuperBowl in front of a city that builds a new stadium with taxpayer money. Only taxpayers these days, rarely get a direct vote on that. Most of the time, approvals for these billion-dollar-boondogles get fed through “city councils” which have sometimes as few as 5 elected representatives.
And sure, they WERE elected. And in THEORY they are “accountable” to the voters. But once they say yes to a sports team or league to make some asshorn like Jeffrey Loria even RICHER by way of a fancy new stadium, all you can do is un-elect these low-level city-council clowns.
By then, it’s too late.
Someday, if there’s a sports god in heaven, it’ll be Roger Goodell getting perp-walked out of his offices in Manhattan for bribery/corruption/dipshit-laundering. But I’m not holding my breath.
Goodell is ALREADY getting bribed legally by the owners, to the tune of $42 million a year! This alone makes sure that no matter what awful things his 32 bosses might do, ol’ Ginger Dummy will stand up there and absorb everybody’s wrath.
Pretty good work, if you can get it.
I posted this a year ago, in advance of the World Cup. But in case you missed it, here’s the best takedown of FIFA you’ll find anywhere.
That was the immortal line from the movie “The Outlaw Josie Wales” (1976) in which one character, the vicious Captain Terrill, wants to pursue and kill all the Confederate irregulars who had fought against the Union. In hot pursuit of Eastwood and a wounded confederate, Terrill rejects the idea that the killing will stop once the final two “outlaws” are dead.
“Doin’ right ain’t got no end,” Terrill coldly says.
Certainly, the NFL remains in the “doin’ right” business. Witness the latest blurp of former Niners DT Ray McDonald being released by his new team the Chicago Bears after a weekend arrest for domestic violence and possible “child endangerment.”
The Bears are certainly in their right to do this. And I shed no particular tears for McDonald.
However, the NFL (both the league, and each of the individual teams) are increasingly “weaponizing” a mere 911 call. If a bitter baby-momma is arguing over something (anything!) with their NFL-player boyfriend, and they KNOW that a single call to 911 claiming assault could possibly END that guy’s CAREER….?
Well then, that’s a BIG STICK to be holding, isn’t it?
Of course, there are downsides for the momma. Her monthly checks may drop dramatically – or disappear altogether – but you never know what somebody is willing to do to “hurt” the other person.
Some might even argue that “Incident #2″ with McDonald was born out of the NFL/Media spotlight of “Incident #1.”
The second woman accused McDonald of rape, while no charges were ever filed. So McDonald has now counter-sued the woman for defamation, who is counter-counter-suing him.
Her lawsuit is one hot mess. And it comes with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred!
Not that I think she’s lying, or that McDonald is a responsible gentleman. It’s just…wow. I mean… read it!
She claims she slipped on his pool deck and was knocked out for 8 minutes. She claims he did NOT call 911, because he thought she was DEAD and didn’t want to found with a DEAD WOMAN at his house (Note to self: good point.)
However, he claims he’s got extensive security footage all around his house, that in fact shows consensual sex. He claims she’s a famous “party girl” who posts pictures of her self on social media passed out, or “fall down drunk.”
Oh, and for good measure, fellow Niners LB Ahmad Brooks has been brought into the whole mess, because she claims that HE TOO sexually assaulted her.
“Roger, over to you!”
The latest incident with McDonald is still very unclear. Did he actually touch his baby-momma? One source said he broke down a door. His own attorney said basically nothing happened. For a lot of people however, all they hear is “ARRESTED” and automatically presume some kind of guilt.
For most law-abiding folks, its not hard AT ALL to *NOT* get arrested. In fact, we do it all the time, and we’ve done it for years, this whole “not-getting-arrested” thing.
But you never know when something crazy might just happen. I remember one time the treasurer of the county where I live, was ARRESTED for “assaulting” a 10 year old kid.” Outrageous, right? And from a person of such high responsibility and authority!
As it turned out, the neighbors who made the complaint to police, had been in a long running feud with Mr. County Treasurer. The case involved citing a “small red mark” on the boy’s elbow, as evidence of the “assault.”
In other words, this incident too had become “weaponized.”
But hey, with McDonald, we know he’s a scumbag and this is his “third strike” (if by “strike” you mean things that have not even resulted in a criminal charge) so “Good Riddance” as Bears teammate Kyle Long wrote on Twitter. Never mind the details. Righteous certainty, in a black and white world. It must feel so, so good.
Oh, my. Talk about another whole layer capricious, arbitrary, and wildly inconsistent set of rules for NFL teams to attempt to navigate. Would college offenses count? Would that put Tampa already on probation for Jameis Winston? Does failure to pay child support, count as “domestic violence?” The list of “what if’s” would be as long as your arm.
Now, if only somebody could sign LB Jermaine Cunningham. That way, we’d all get the answer to the burning question: “Soooo… how many games DO you get for ‘Revenge Porn?'”
On this Memorial Day weekend 2015, I wanted to share a very cool, and very rare, experience I had two weeks ago.
A coalition of groups that maintain and fly vintage WWII aircraft helped organize a flyover on the National Mall of just about every still flyable piece of vintage metal we’ve got.
I was angry at myself for not hearing about, nor planning my day adequately, to get my ass down to the Mall to see it in person – since I had assembled many of these airplanes as plastic models while a kid – when I heard a noise overhead at my house, some 45 miles to the west of downtown D.C.
And there it was… the roar of freedom. Plane, after plane, after plane. I got a small sample of them with the video camera.
Like alot of people, I used to revere Late Night with David Letterman. It was the most awesome, disruptive, funny, silly, authority-challenging and downright humble TV show we had ever seen.
There were literally no rules, and Letterman himself carried this air about him that said: “Can you BELIEVE they are letting me do a TV show!?”
So why did I stop watching altogether long ago?
Because Dave changed. He became nakedly partisan and increasingly bitter. This is not even an argument.
As a conservative, a media personality myself, and someone not afraid to share my views at times (including here, of course) I am keenly aware that probably half of my listeners and fans do not share my political views.
So I try to tread lightly when it comes to what is my primary entertainment product, my daily radio show(s). I won’t back down from what I think, but I will try to be at least detail-minded and focused when I decide to speak out about something.
Letterman did the opposite. He was, in short, a hack. His interviews of Democrat politicians were fawning to the point of embarrassment. Any similar interviews of Republicans (if they happened at all) were far more chilly and distant. The cheap-shottery in his monologue jokes were transparent.
Then there was the bitterness. I get it that he felt jilted by losing the Tonight Show to Jay Leno. But for GOD’S SAKE man, you broke the bank when CBS came calling! And they refurbished your dream venue in New York City, the legendary Ed Sullivan theater! And you were beating Leno head-to-head for the first two years, before CBS lost the rights to the NFL and their prime-time lineup went to rot.
What a life! Let it go, man!
Even hard core Letterman fans until last night’s end, admit that he’s been coasting for nearly a decade. The willingness to push boundaries, to mine humor from the hardest to reach places, all just sorta faded away.
It was a helluva run though, and his earliest stuff was well worth digging up on YouTube. It was compelling, game-changing stuff in the late-night TV game. It was not unlike footage of “Skinny Jordan” with hair lighting up the NBA in the mid-80’s.
So here’s a nod to Dave at his absolute best: when he would regularly call out his corporate bosses at GE as “pinheads” and they never failed to live down to that description.
Or…. “Mr. Bent Corner” envelope, as the case may well have been.
Thirty years ago this spring, a young, hungry visionary Commissioner may (or may not) have pulled off one of the greatest card tricks in sports history.
Personally, I think he did. But I ain’t mad about it. Stern was a genius, in so many regards. Today, every overpaid NBA player in the league today (and that’s about all of them, save for the 12-15 guys that really make a difference in winning/losing) should kiss his tanned-and-retired-in-Boca-del-Vista ass for making the modern NBA what it now is.
Sports Illustrated and Chris Ballard have authored one of the best reads in regard to that first ever Lottery. How it came about. Why it looked as awkward and weird as it did that first time. And what the league currently faces with teams STILL tanking like drunks at closing time just to get a few more ping pong ball combinations.
So if Stern did rig it to make Ewing land in Gotham, so be it. He made the right call.
Stern would build on the lottery model, ambitiously elevating spectacle whenever possible. Publishing, events, licensing, home entertainment, international TV deals, All‑Star weekend: Stern wanted in on all of it. In his first seven years the league set attendance records every season, licensed merchandise sales increased 437%, salaries rose 177%, network television fees jumped six-fold and franchises tripled in value.At the time, Stern modeled the NBA after Disney. ‘’They have theme parks,’’ Stern said at the time, ‘’And we have theme parks. Only we call them arenas. They have characters: Mickey Mouse, Goofy. Our characters are named Magic and Michael. Disney sells apparel; we sell apparel. They make home videos; we make home videos.’’
For the losing teams that day, they had their chance at redemption. There were plenty of good players left after Ewing. Golden State got Chris Mullin. Detroit got Joe Dumars. Utah got some guy named Karl Malone. But because the pro game was all about the big man back in the 80’s, 4 of the top 6 picks were centers – three of them utter bums: Benoit Benjamin, Jon Koncak and Joe Klein.
Today, I’d like to see a pure lottery return, where every non-playoff team gets one ball, and we draw them out on live TV. Hell, maybe we can even bring back David Joel Stern to do the honors.