EppsNet Archive: Sports

You Could Be Someone Special

27 Jul 2014 /

Thanks for pushing me and always preaching to me, “You could be someone special, if you really work at it.” I took that heart, pops, and look at us today.

— Frank Thomas, induction speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame


The Softball Waivers

24 Jul 2014 /

Our company’s having an in-house softball game tonight, hosted at a field across the street at UC Irvine . . .

Three-Quarter Century Softball Team

Members of the Three-Quarter Century Softball Club: St. Petersburg, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

That’s not our actual team in the picture, the difference being that the players in the picture look like they may have been athletes at one time.

I’m not playing because I have a piano lesson tonight. (Actually, I wouldn’t have played anyway because I can no longer do things like run and see that used to serve me so well on the diamond all those years ago. But the piano lesson is a convenient excuse.)

Everyone who is playing had to sign a waiver provided by UCI. Good move. Company softball games are rife with injuries. I picture a scenario like this:

Dear UCI Parents,

We regret that your students are not able to graduate on time, but as you know, we’ve had to cut back drastically on our course offerings since the infamous softball lawsuit of 2014.


One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Tony Dungy Edition

24 Jul 2014 /
Tony Dungy

“What’s your beef with Tony Dungy?”

He said he wouldn’t draft Michael Sam. He’s not showing the requisite level of tolerance and inclusiveness toward people who are different than he is.”

“Isn’t Dungy himself entitled to tolerance and inclusiveness?”

“Oh, no. No. Absolutely not. Because he’s being different in a way that’s totally unacceptable.”

“So you’re not against intolerance as a matter of principle, so long as the ‘right’ people and groups get ostracized.”

“Right.”

“I don’t remember anyone until fairly recently saying that having openly gay players in the NFL is a good idea. Now that we’ve reached a point in history where everyone in America has a breezy indifference to homosexuality . . . everyone knows people, works with people, has people in their family who are openly gay . . . every single TV show and movie has at least one gay character — NOW people like you are ‘brave’ enough to support the idea, for the same stupid reason you never supported it before: because you don’t want to be on the wrong side of public opinion.”


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Stuart Scott

17 Jul 2014 /

I’m hearing on the radio this morning that Stuart Scott received something called the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs last night . . .

Who knew you could get an award for having cancer? I am exhausted by sports people, media people, entertainment people, sports media entertainment people sucking each other’s dicks.

Stuart Scott and people like Stuart Scott have killed my enjoyment of sports with their endless self-promotional bullshit while I’m trying to watch highlights. I hate sports and it’s all because of Stuart Scott. And now he gets an award for having cancer.

Everyone unfortunately has family members and/or friends who get cancer and battle it to the best of their abilities without receiving a goddamn award. It’s insulting to all of those people to give someone an award for having cancer and it’s doubly insulting to accept an award for having cancer.

I have come to bear witness! I have faced my own mortality. I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker.

Yes, you and 1.7 million other people diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S alone.

I am exhausted with people putting their lives on display based on a delusion about their own uniqueness and importance. Oh what a plague.

Fuck Stuart Scott.


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


Futility

5 Jul 2014 /
BODIES

We saw BODIES: The Exhibition at the Luxor in Las Vegas. You’ve probably heard about this . . . dissected bodies are preserved and displayed for educational purposes.

Most of the bodies are displayed in athletic poses with props: baseball, basketball, tennis racket, etc.

One of the bodies is aiming a dart with his right hand while holding a second dart in his left hand. Of course he’s never going to need that second dart because he’s never going to throw the first dart. Because he’s dead.

It creates a sad effect in my opinion . . . plans, unbeknownst to the planner, that will never come to fruition. Futility doesn’t always end with death.

Meanwhile . . . I overheard a young woman telling her girlfriend that one of the cadavers had “a nice butt.” Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse.


Infographic of Soccer Players, Fish and Gunshot Victims

26 Jun 2014 /

Infographic idea: A multivariate analysis of who spends more time flopping around: soccer players, fish on a boat deck or people who’ve just been shot.


Random Thoughts on Paying College Athletes

17 May 2014 /

Where is the money going to come from? Most people seem to think that college athletic programs are big money makers. They aren’t. Despite the big revenue dollars associated with two sports — football and men’s basketball — 90 percent of Division I athletic programs, because of the much larger number of non-revenue sports, operate at a loss. They’re subsidized by the general fund of the university. Paying athletes would require additional dollars to be directed away from academic endeavors: hiring and paying professors, funding research, offering financial aid to non-athletes, etc.

 

Title IX requires gender equity. You couldn’t just pay football players and men’s basketball players. Everyone would need to be paid equally in some sense, even in non-revenue sports.

 

How much money are we talking about? Let’s say at a medium to large school, we have 500 to 1,000 student athletes and we’re going to pay all of them a modest stipend of $10,000. That’s a cost of 5 to 10 million dollars a year. Sorry, Mom and Dad, that your kid couldn’t get the classes he or she needed to graduate in four years but when we pink-slipped professors so we could pay the athletes, we had to cut back on the number of available courses.

 

Are college athletes being exploited imposed upon financially? It makes sense to consider athletes in two groups:

  1. Future professional athletes. They have available to them a large group of coaches and support staff whose job is to prepare them athletically and promote them so as to make as much money as possible in highly lucrative occupations. If they don’t get paid right now, they’ll get paid a lot of money very soon.
     
  2. Everyone else (a much bigger group). Everyone else will have to go forth into the world and try to earn a living in some non-athletic pursuit. An athletic scholarship gives them the benefit of a paid-for college education that most of them would not otherwise receive. What is the monetary value of that over the course of a lifetime? Quite a lot.
 

With all the national and local sports networks, playing football or basketball at a Division I school makes you not only a big man on campus, but a local, if not national, celebrity. It’s fun! You get to play games with your buddies, travel around, stay in nice hotels, appear on television. If you’re a good player, people will talk about you on TV, on the radio, on the Internet – constantly – like you’re some kind of an important person. There are worse things that can happen to you in life than being a Division I scholarship athlete.

 

All that being said, if you as a college athlete really feel that you are being taken advantage of and not adequately compensated for the value of your contribution, don’t play. It’s not exploitation if you do it voluntarily.


See You in Hell, Carl Douglas

5 May 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

“It put a smile on my face that finally [Donald Sterling] would be unable to deny the racist allegations against him,” said Carl Douglas, a lawyer who represented former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor in a lawsuit against Sterling.

Carl Douglas is best known as a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. O.J. Simpson has done some regrettable things, like murdering a couple of white people, but at least he’s never made negative remarks about Magic Johnson photos on Instagram.

See you in Hell . . .

P.S. Carl Douglas the lawyer should not be confused with Carl Douglas the “Kung Fu Fighting” singer. Him, I like.


See You in Hell

3 May 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

Congratulations, Americans! Your lives have become so trivialized that you think the most important issue facing your country is how many Magic Johnson photos get posted to Instagram.

See you in Hell . . .


I’m Done With the NBA

1 May 2014 /

I’m choking to death on all the pious platitudes re Donald Sterling. I hope that TMZ will make a recurring feature out of providing glimpses into the private lives of NBA executives, coaches and players. The level of sanctimony amongst these juvenile moralizers will drop off a cliff.

To cite an obvious example: The Clippers are currently in a playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. The coach of the Warriors, Mark Jackson, describes himself as “an African-American man that’s a fan of the game of basketball and knows its history and knows what’s right and what’s wrong.” He goes on to encourage people to boycott Clippers games and says, “We cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit.”

Jackson is an ordained minister. He and his wife run the True Love Worship Center in Reseda, Ca.

Jackson was also, a couple of years ago, the victim of an extortion attempt involving dick pics he sent to a stripper with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

TMZ should do one of those man-on-the-street interviews and ask him, “Coach, you’re a religious man who knows what’s right and what’s wrong. Let me ask you . . . do you think a man who has extramarital affairs with strippers is the kind of man who should be allowed to profit as a member of the NBA family? Do you think a man like that has the moral stature to stand in judgment of the private lives of others? When someone’s private transgressions become public, should they just be able to say ‘Oops’ and move on?”

I just want to see all of these pretentious phonies laid low . . .


Which Experts Predicted a UConn-Kentucky Title Game?

8 Apr 2014 /
UConn logo

PunditTracker tracked March Madness 2014 brackets for 26 “experts” from ESPN, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, plus President Obama.

Number of pundits who picked UConn to win the tournament: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the final game: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the Final Four: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the Elite Eight: Zero.


See You in Hell: The Fritz Pollard Edition

1 Mar 2014 /

Satan

Satan


[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

The N-word. Let’s see . . . the N-word is “National,” the F-word is “Football” and the L-word is “League.”

Wait — what?! I’m now being informed that the N-word in this case is “nigger.” That’s what the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants to penalize. OK, that’s a great idea, Fritz Pollard Alliance, and by “great” I mean “bullshit.”

Has anyone at the Fritz Pollard Alliance read the Harry Potter books? In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort is known as He Who Must Not Be Named. He’s so powerful and scary and evil that you’re not even allowed to say his name! The only person who’s not afraid to say Voldemort’s name is Harry Potter.

I wish someone would ban my name from being spoken. I hate to hear my name bandied about — “Satan this” and “Satan that.” It makes me seem unremarkable, like someone you might chat with at a dinner party or meet at Starbucks for a coffee.

If people were banned from speaking my name, every time someone did speak it, accidentally or on purpose, it would be like “AUUUUGH! SATAN HAS BEEN UNLEASHED FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL!” I’d be 10 times more fearsome than I am already.

You see where I’m going with this, Fritz Pollard Alliance? Banning the use of a word makes the word more scary and powerful, not less.

Who knows better than me that if you make a thing forbidden, people will want that thing more than ever? I call that Satan’s Paradox.

 

Except for the N-word, all racial, ethnic or religious zingers, epithets and provocations remain A-okay with Fritz and his boys. The Kailee Wong Alliance has proposed that calling a Chinese player a gook or a Vietnamese player a chink, instead of the other way around, be grounds for automatic ejection, but adoption of the proposal is considered unlikely.

See you in Hell . . .


The Hardest Available Challenge

22 Feb 2014 /

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade.

Yuna Kim

Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test.

My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade?

If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take the hardest classes and maybe get a B+?

Our kid has already been through the Irvine schools. He’s in college now so I can answer questions like this with the benefit of experience.

“I like to see kids push themselves to take the hardest challenge available,” I said. “Colleges are not impressed with kids who get A’s in easy classes.”

“But what if he takes hard classes and gets a B+?” she asked.

“My advice is, don’t get a B+.”

If your kid takes hard classes in high school and gets B’s in them, he or she may not be able to attend a top university, but it wasn’t their destiny to attend a top university. Your kid is not that kind of a kid.

 

That reminds me . . . Olympic figure skating is on TV this week. Are you watching it? Neither am I, but I’ve heard that some of the skaters actually fall down during their program.

They’re supposed to be the best skaters in the world. Even I could go out there and skate around for a few minutes without falling down. Granted, I couldn’t do any spins or jumps or skate backwards or anything like that.

The point is that to be recognized as the best at something, you can’t just do easy things well. You have to risk doing things that are hard to do. In the skating scenario, it’s not enough to say “I didn’t fall on my ass.” No, you didn’t, but you didn’t even try to do anything hard.

In any endeavor, you won’t impress people of discernment simply by avoiding anything that might give you some difficulty. Step up to the challenge.


The 12th Man

17 Feb 2014 /
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks

The home crowd of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is known as The 12th Man. Isn’t this awfully sexist? Doesn’t it marginalize female Seahawk fans? Wouldn’t The 12th Person be a more appropriate appellation?

I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage over this. It seems like the kind of thing that someone should be really bent out of shape about.


Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

15 Feb 2014 /

Jim Fregosi

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24442867/report-former-all-star-longtime-manager-jim-fregosi-dies-at-71

I grew up in Orange County as an Angels fan. They were a team of losers at that time, but I went to a lot of games with my dad and had a good time watching them play.

Jim Fregosi was my favorite player, usually the only good player on a typical Angels roster.

RIP Jim Fregosi.


Japan, Day 0: Floyd Mayweather at Panda Express

20 Dec 2013 /
Panda Express Logo

We saw Floyd Mayweather at LAX . . .

Actually, my son saw him. When the boy pointed him out to me, all I could see was the back of a smallish man in a black hoodie surrounded by half a dozen of the largest human beings I’ve ever seen. You have to get past those guys to get your shot at Floyd.

They were all standing on line at Panda Express in one of the food courts. Normally, I don’t envision famous, wealthy people eating Panda Express, and if they do, I don’t picture them standing on line for it. I picture them sending someone to fetch it while they hang out in the first class passenger lounge.

Good advertisement for Panda Express. Better than those ridiculous goddamn talking pandas.

In other close encounters with boxing legends, I once saw Sugar Ray Leonard and his family at Juice It Up.


Which Experts Predicted a Florida St-Auburn Title Game?

12 Dec 2013 /

A few months back, we outlined the prediction ineptitude of baseball pundits, who went 0-for-63 on predicting either the Red Sox or Cardinals to make the World Series. In fact, not one pundit picked the Red Sox to win even their division.

Well, the MLB pundits now have some company, as none of the 30 college pundits we tracked (from ESPN, CBS, and NFL.com) picked either Florida State or Auburn to make the BCS Title game.


Indian Givers

29 Nov 2013 /

Via Best of the Web Today:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304747004579228190122617098


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

11 Nov 2013 /

How big was it?

English: at the 2009 NLCS.

Sports media goofball

The go-to question for lazy sports media goofballs everywhere. How big was that game? How big was that performance? How big was that play?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the word “big” doesn’t make sense in this context. How big was it? It was bigger than a breadbox. It was bigger than my dick.

“Let me ask you about the most important play of the game. How important was it?” That’s just stupid. But it’s acceptable if you phrase it like this: “How big was the interception by Kozlowski?” Use of the word “big” is the agreed-upon protocol for asking stupid questions repeatedly.

“Tell us something we already know about something we just saw” is okay if phrased as “How big was that performance tonight by Smithers?” Or “How big was this win?”

If all you can do is ask stupid questions, at least phrase them in a way that makes sense. “Tell me about the interception by Kozlowski.” Or “What’s your opinion of Kingman’s performance?”

Better yet, do your job and ask questions with insight and context, e.g., “It looked like you changed up the coverage on the Kozlowski interception. Can you talk about that?”


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