Drop the Puck?

October 8, 2008

You have got to be kidding me. I wait all summer for the hockey season to start. I spend all this time longing for opening night, with all the hooplah and happiness, and this is what I get?

What genius thought this was a great idea? What brilliant PR person at the Philadelphia Flyers, who usually don’t put a foot wrong, didn’t realize that forcing all of their paying customers to attend what will amount to a pre-election rally for Sarah Palin is not the right thing to do? Since when is politicizing the product (in a largely Democrat city, no less) good for the brand.

Yes, I know Ed Snider is all over the Ayn Rand pseudo-philosophy. But his personal politics are his own business. His business should not be used to be political. And I don’t want to have Sarah Palin shoved down my throat.

On a night when the fans should be welcomed back and charged up to start another run for the cup, the focus will be, not on the Flyers, or their fans, but on a political candidate who’s approval/performance ratings have been falling consistently.

And if I have to hear how sexy she is by wickedly chuckling men (it started immediately) for the next three days, I’ll puke. Please don’t tell me this is a victory for feminism, when the only positive thing people have to say about a woman candidate is how cute she is. Can we have smart, please? There are plenty of women out here who are smart. Lot’s of them are smart AND cute.


I’m Talkin’ ’bout Freedom

September 7, 2008

For the first time in 20 years I am not in a full blown football pool. For the first time in probably 15, I’m not running one.

So this year, no worrying about being home early enough Tuesday night to prepare the odds sheet and send it out. No worrying about my own picks and whether I’m going to use a system or not and whether or not my system needs to be tweaked. No getting annoyed at the players for thinking the deadline doesn’t apply to them so I end up getting up early before church Sunday and STILL not having all the picks in so I can get the sheets out to the players and they can see how they’re doing in relation to everyone else. And no more sending checks to people the weeks I don’t win.

Yes, I’m in Glen Macnow’s Suicide Pool, hoping to stay in a while, like I did the first year I partook and no end up out in the first week (thank you Jacksonville) like I was last year. But that’s not nearly so time consuming or, yes, I’ll say it, stressful.

For the first time in years, my autumn is as it should be. Bliss.


What’s That You Said?

August 28, 2008

The LPGA is requiring golfers to achieve a basic level of competence in conversational English in order to continue to play on tour. This has, as you might expect, caused a firestorm of reaction. For a balanced, nuanced view, Ron Sirak looks at reaction from players and agents. Read the rest of this entry »


The Gold Standard Update

August 25, 2008

As I said yesterday, there is another way to look at the medal totals at the Olympics. So for those Americans threatened by the dominance of China in gold medals, I present the final tally in the official SportsDiva Medal Count.

China won 51 events, yes. But there were only 74 gold medals awarded to Chinese athletes and only 185 total medals awarded to Chinese athletes.

By this measure the United States, which won only 36 events, actually won the gold medal race and completely overpowered in the total medal race. American athletes are bringing home 124 gold medals and 314 total medals.


The Gold Standard

August 23, 2008

So there is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth that the U.S. has fewer gold medals than China does. But not if you look at it my way. The special SportsDiva Medal Count right now (11 am EDT) has the United States at 87 versus China with 72.

How can that be, you may ask? China has 49 gold and the United States has 33. Au contraire! Look at the Chinese and U.S. medal winners. Note that 72 Chinese individuals are wearing gold medals around this week, while 87 Americans are. By the end of the weekend, if a few more U.S. teams come through with gold, it won’t be even that close.

Of course, there are those who want to parse medals by population and GDP. They’re from smaller or less wealthy countries who have their own ax to grind. The United States doesn’t come out too badly per capita, but using both population and GDP, it looks pretty bad compared with Zimbabwe!

I like to think that China’s concentration on sports in which there are more medals for individuals to win has backfired. Team sports, at which the United States is excelling in this Olympics, are the key to winning the SportsDiva Medal Count. So, for those of you who weren’t feeling dominant enough this morning, relax and root on the volleyball, basketball, and water polo teams. Building world domination one team sport at a time.

I’ll get back to you with the overall total tomorrow.


Checking off the Ballparks

August 22, 2008

It’s been a long time since I collected a new ballpark (two Septembers ago in Kansas City). So it was time to add one. And why not one that is not only new to me, but new?

Friday and Saturday I made my first (and surely not last) visits to Nationals Park in D.C. Conveniently accessible to the Navy Yard Metro stop, the ballpark is plunked down in a rapidly transitioning neighborhood that is soon to be the home of Half Street, a development of retail, entertainment, office, and living space that should make the ballpark more of a destination, even if they don’t manage to make the baseball team a better draw. Read the rest of this entry »


This Won’t Solve the Age Question

August 22, 2008

If the IOC finally is willing to admit to doubt about the ages of Chinese gymnasts, asking the Chinese government or gymnastics federation is unlikely to resolve the issue in anyone’s mind. You don’t ask a liar if they are lying and expect them to say, “Oh, yeah, you caught me. I was lying.” DOH!

The only thing that might help, and even that is unlikely to bring resolution, is a hearing before The Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the doubters bringing forward the documentation and video that they offer as proof of the gymnasts’ true age. Won’t happen.


Happiest Medalists–All Three–And Other Olympic Sights

August 20, 2008

[For some reason, the images aren’t showing up the way I expected them to. To see the photos I’m referencing, right click on the bold (and no, that isn’t working right, either) phrases/names and select “view image.”]

What you missed last night, because NBC only cares about U.S. medalists and last night they cared only about LoLo Jones losing, even though an American, Dawn Harper, won the 100 meter hurdles, was this, the <b>happiest medal ceremony</b>. We did, rather belatedly, see just a tiny bit of the <b>elated celebrations</b> of both silver-medalist Sally McLellan and bronze-medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. And we saw Harper’s face during the anthem. But with all three young women clearly delighted with the result, the opportunity to show that winning any medal IS winning was lost on NBC. Read the rest of this entry »


How Upset IS Federer?

August 14, 2008

Oh. My. God. Do you suppose James Blake could play in the Olympics every week? Because if this is what happens when he’s wearing red, white, and blue he might want to talk to Ralph Lauren about a clothing deal.


How Can It Be Memorabilia When There Are No Memories?

August 2, 2008

The FBI has apparently begun a crackdown on the sports memorabilia business.

I’ll admit that I don’t really understand the collection of autographed memorabilia. It isn’t that I don’t have autographed items, but apart from a lithograph that was produced by and for the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives carnival a number of years ago, a couple of gifts the Flyers sent to me as a season ticket holder, and the irreplaceable (don’t laugh too hard, now) Ricky Botallico autographed baseball sent to Phillies season ticketholders after his All-Star season, I don’t own, nor have I ever coveted, an autographed item that was not autographed in my sight by an athlete or former athlete. Read the rest of this entry »