Category Archives: Sports

Tazer Ball – Shocking

Tazer Ball When I first got wind of this and decided it was blog worthy I was immediately faced with a major dilemma. Would this be classified a sport or entertainment?

The testosterone fueled players certainly call it a sport. There is a ball and two goals which gives it all the appearance of a sport. But then there’s grown men chasing each other around a big field and poking at each other with tazers. That’s shockingly good entertainment. (Pun intended)

I mean think about it. The promotional video starts out with this disclaimer:

[box type=”warning”]

WARNING — Do NOT try this at home! These are trained professionals. UTB Stun Guns can cause serious injury… or death! [/box]

How’s that for entertainment value? Like playing football with baseball bats and chain saws.

Okay, so the rules are simple.

There are two teams of four players and a great big soccer ball. You have a field of play with a goal at each end. Each player carries a low impact tazer (electrical shock device) they can use on whoever is carrying the ball.

Suddenly baseball and tennis sounds like the great American snoozefest.

There’s already a UTB league consisting of four teams – The LA Nightlight, The Philadelphia Killawatts, The Toronto Terrors and the San Diego Spartans.

UTB Teams(Franchises are available)

Hmmm…. I have this idea for a game involving Frisbees and crossbows. It’s got killer entertainment value!!

Super Bowl 2012

Super Bowl 2012It’s been a week of indecision.
The question at hand…

Will I or will I not watch the Super Bowl. Will I end my lock-out and join the millions of other Americans on game day with a tray of goodies and five hours to spare to watch the Giants and the Patriots have at it. To quote The Thing… “It’s clobberin’ time!”

I can’t really use, “Well, I’m watching it for the commercials,” as the excuse. I’ve seen most of them on YouTube. Curse you, YouTube.

It can’t be about the halftime show — Madonna. That makes about as much sense as Elton John headlining a motorcycle rally. (Which did happen – click here) Maybe the Material Girl would’ve been a good show 30 years ago., ice cream cones and all, but not the 2012 Super Bowl. The word is she will be joined by Cirque Du Soleil. That’s a terrible thing to do to a Cirque du Soleil show.

It’s a matter of principle. I set out when the season began to make a personal statement. To say, I’m fed up with millionaires arguing over my money. So far I haven’t watched a game. I have had no emotional attachment to the NFL this year. They didn’t care about me, I just returned the favor.

But now here we are, game day. The punctuation to the season and here I sit waffling on my laurels. So the question remains just a few hours before kick-off…

Do I fall on the sword of my principles and give in to the Super Bowl  mystique, sit here at game time and sob at my own lack of self-control? Or do I stand by my boycott and laugh in the face of corporate America on the biggest marketing event of the year?

You know…

There may be a commercial I haven’t seen on YouTube.

Decisions, decisions. Material girl is sounding better all the time, waffle cones and all.

 

My 2012 NFL Boycott

Two big games today in the NFL. Two more games I won’t be watching. Two winners – two losers. The winners go to Indianapolis. The losers are left to figure out what went wrong. Sports is like that – winners and losers. I started out the season as a loser unlike many of the NFL players and owners who held the sport hostage for most of the year.

Who was sitting at the bargaining table representing me and the other millions of us who put the money in the team owners and the players hand? We are the ones who buy the tickets and the $200 jackets, the $8 hot dog and the $15 parking. Who is it in front of the television on the weekends and Monday night watching the commercials of the sponsors who pay the networks who pour money like water into the NFL’s coffers?

What bugged me about the whole thing is this. At the end of the day… in the final analysis… when it was all said and done… the whole thing was about money. It just bothered me that nobody ever pointed out that it was our money. From day one they acted like it was their money. It was only their money after we gave it to them.

The NFL boycott of 2011 is history. Two champions will be crowned today and in a couple of weeks go duke it out at Lucas Field – one winner, one loser. When the dust settles on the 2011 season, my little boycott will have absolutely no impact on the season except where it matters the most. The knowledge that I took a personal stand and stayed there. It might be the minority voice but it’s my minority voice and I’m okay with that.

I wonder if it will be okay to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and not the football? That’s a dilemma I have two weeks to wrestle with.

Another Reason for Dropping the NFL from my Life

Eric Decker

Life in these Politically Correct times is becoming a constant stream of: Who-comes-up-with-this-stuff?

Shortly after Veterans Day, Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker paid tribute to America’s service men and woman after scoring a touchdown in Denver’s victory over Kansas City on Sunday. The act earned the player a yellow flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Really? 

Next thing you know they be throwing the golden handkerchiefs for smiling at cheerleaders.

Frankly it’s an embarrassment to the league and an affront to every soldier who loves (or doesn’t love) the game. What was the ref thinking?

Now, in defense of the idiotic flag tosser, he was holding to the letter of the rule. When Decker took a knee in the process of his honoring the troops he violated the “Excessive celebration” rule.

Excessive celebration…

Just the phrase itself sounds somewhat moronic. Isn’t the whole point of team sports to celebrate the great play. To stand and cheer your team mates on a job well done; to applaud a talent that rises above the norm and brings the fans to their feet. Oh, we wouldn’t want to excessively celebrate that.

Think of it this way…

For honoring the troops the player received the same penalty a player would get for blowing through the line before the snap, driving a quarterback to the ground and breaking his collarbone, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.” Of course the ref would have the discretion to remove the player from the game as well.

How about next time ref use that discretion wisely and don’t mess with a well-meaning act, absent of malice and meanness.

I saw enough unsportsmanlike conduct back during the lock-out to last a lifetime.

Legal in the NFL: Scoring a touchdown and then running 100 yards down the sideline to give the ball to your girlfriend who’s a cheerleader for the opposing team.

Not legal in the NFL: Scoring a touchdown and saluting the troops on Veterans Day weekend.

Life Without the NFL

NFLThis is week whatever in pro football. Somebody’s playing somebody else. Somebody’s going to get hurt. Somebody’s going to drop a ball. Somebody’s going to make a touchdown. Somebody in the stands is going to spill an $8 cup of beer. It’s going to get their $200 seat wet.

Another Sunday in the NFL is here. “Whatever.”

I’m still on football boycott. Football is locked out at my house.

Back in the spring when I sat back and watched grown men, millionaires already, bicker about money that didn’t really belong to them, I decided I was not going to invest my time or dollars supporting these childish, self-serving figures.

In all the months I watched the drama play out over collective bargaining, free agents, player salaries, team salary caps larger than most small town budgets, and how the money is divided up, I never once heard them talk about the most important person on the team — The Fan.

Without the fan there is no money to split up. No Fans would mean no football. The player attitude seemed to be ‘You can’t play football without us.’ That may be true. It’s be hard to have a game without players.

Football could be played without the fans. But for how long? It’s the fan that buys that $8 beer and the $200 seat that puts that $150 million in the teams pocketbook. Try paying your quarterback $10 million dollars a year without the fan.

So maybe I’m not a fan. You could make the argument that a true fan would look past the selfish nature of the players and the league. A true fan would forgive and forget and embrace the game they love. I figured out the game I love is played on Friday nights in small towns across this country where the game is not about the dollar. It’s about what really matters – family, team, community, and the simple love for the game.

Even college ball has that same spirit. Money and greed ruined pro football. I’ve hung up my fan cleats and truthfully… I don’t even miss it. (I hope I can still say that when NASCAR season is over.) I hope I’m strong enough to continue the lockout come Feb 5th when the super-dollar bowl is played in Indianapolis.  I hope.

Nothing Says Diplomacy like a good Bench Clearing Brawl

An exhibition basketball game between the Georgetown Hoyas and a Chinese men’s team ended abruptly when an all out brawl consumed the facility.

I went to a fight and a basketball game broke out.

Both benches cleared and it was upper-cuts, jabs and folding chairs for the ensuing melee. The fight broke out at the 9.5 minute mark remaining in the 2nd quarter. The rest of Georgetown’s game against the Bayi Rockets was canceled.

The Hoyas are scheduled to play the Rockets again on Sunday night in Shanghai.  Ringside seats are still available.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmG9G-ZwDDc]

NFL Player vs. Jimmie Johnson

It seems Seattle Seahawks player Golden Nate has an issue with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. A recent twitter exchange between the two went as follows:

Jimmy johnson up for best athlete???? Um nooo ..
Driving a car does not show athleticism. via Twitter for iPhone

 
Golden Tate
ShowtimeTate

 

Jimmie Johnson’s response…

@showetimetate Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge).
Lucky 4 you, this can be fixed. Come to a race and be informed.


Jimmie Johnson

Ignorance is bliss. NFL players have plenty of time to be blissful these days.

Pole Dancing is a Sport

I’m kind of old school so I am trying to embrace this concept. There’s no ball, no net, no referees; there’s no goal line, puck, or race car. (Yes, car racing is a sport but that’s another argument for another blog.)

But don’t get into this argument with the ladies from the U.S. Pole Dancing Federation (USPDF). From what I can tell, these gals know a sport when they see one. “We dun need no stinkin’ net…”

The federation held its third annual national championship in New York city this past Friday. Eleven of the organizations most talented pole dancers gathered to compete for a $5,000 grand prize and the dream of wearing the Pole Dancing crown.

When the competition was over, Natasha Wang wore the championship sash following her standing ovation worthy homage to the movie Black Swan.

“When I saw the movie, obviously it really spoke to me,” said Wang, “I’m very meticulous and almost driven to the point where I’m going crazy to try to make everything perfect, so I could just relate to it.”

Early in her pole dancing career, fearing the stigma still associated with the activity, Natasha kept her passion for the pole from her Los Angeles PR firm co-workers. As her talent, fan base and trophy shelf grew, the cat was out of the bag and her peers applaud her affinity for the flying arts.

The amateur champion was NYC’s Body and Pole dance instructor and Pennsylvania native, Michelle Stanek. For her part she  champions pole dancing as a fitness activity and avoids the comparisons to gentleman’s clubs and the strippers within.

“I totally separate pole dancing and stripper clubs,” said Stanek, who’s background is in contemporary and modern dance. “They’re two totally different things. I don’t have anything against dancers in clubs, but I’ve never been a stripper.”

The USPDF is moving pole dancing from the Bada-Bing to soccer moms from coast to coast.

Come to think of it, this must be a sport — they have coaches and fans. Congrats to the winners! (and the losers were pretty good too!)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3J5lgaGqVQ]

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E99LvsflC4w]

NFL in Freefall

What was once the crowning achievement in U.S. sports is rapidly becoming a laughing stock of embarrassment for fans and other onlookers across the world stage.

At issue is the inability of the players, represented by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and the owners to come to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

I remember back in 1982 and 1987 when the players went on strike. Remember the “Replacement Player” games where owners put hastily hired replacements on the field in place of striking regular players? If it was a game of chicken on the gridiron, the players blinked. Support for the strike faltered and within days collapsed in the face of dwindling player support.  Bewildered and angry fans of pro football took their ticket dollars elsewhere. It took a good three years for the league to recover from that nastiness.

Those were tumultuous times for the NFL and the NFLPA who suffered humiliating defeat in the courts in the aftermath of the 1987 strike. For more details see: 1987 strike and decertification at wiki.

So here we are twenty some years later revisiting old wounds and tailspinning off a players lockout. On April 25th, Federal Judge Susan Nelson sided with the players and ruled the lockout illegal, weakening the owners position. This sets up a battle that will be played out in Federal Court as the league tries to secure its position within the communities they operate in. In her ruling the judge effectively deemed the NFL — too big to fail.

League commissioner Roger Goodell, in an April 26th Wall Street Journal article, gave us a view of the NFL without a CBA.

Goodell wrote:

Under this vision, players and fans would have none of the protections or benefits that only a union (through a collective-bargaining agreement) can deliver. What are the potential ramifications for players, teams, and fans? Here are some examples:

• No draft. “Why should there even be a draft?” said player agent Brian Ayrault. “Players should be able to choose who they work for. Markets should determine the value of all contracts. Competitive balance is a fallacy.”

• No minimum team payroll. Some teams could have $200 million payrolls while others spend $50 million or less.

• No minimum player salary. Many players could earn substantially less than today’s minimums.

• No standard guarantee to compensate players who suffer season- or career-ending injuries.Players would instead negotiate whatever compensation they could.

• No league-wide agreements on benefits. The generous benefit programs now available to players throughout the league would become a matter of individual club choice and individual player negotiation.

• No limits on free agency. Players and agents would team up to direct top players to a handful of elite teams. Other teams, perpetually out of the running for the playoffs, would serve essentially as farm teams for the elites.

• No league-wide rule limiting the length of training camp or required off-season workout obligations. Each club would have its own policies.

• No league-wide testing program for drugs of abuse or performance enhancing substances.Each club could have its own program—or not.

Unlike days of old there are way too many options in the sports world to waste my time on the NFL as they continue to shoot themselves in the cleats. Between NASCAR, NCAA Football and Basketball, and The Food Network, my weekends can be easily shifted away from the greed and ugliness now entrenched in the players and the owners.

I’m convinced the arrogance of the NFL will be their downfall as fans depart en masse for other entertainment options. The Super Bowl could easily become the Super Dud and I wouldn’t shed a tear.

They brought it on themselves.

Butler Goes Back to the Final Four

Consider this my annual obligatory Basketball blog.

Butler University is a small liberal arts college in Indianapolis. This trip to the championship game is their second year in a row.

Once is a miracle — twice is a trend.

Good luck to the Butler Bulldogs as they meet UConn in the final game of the NCAA tourney. Maybe this year they can bring it on home.