Category Archives: Sports

RIP American Dream: pro wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes dead at 69

As a performer and storyteller, Virgil Runnels became a working class hero because he was a man of the people.

The American Dream, Dusty RhodesMy best friend Jesse and his family were huge pro wrestling fans. I was pretty young at the time – no more than 10, probably – and I remember the Saturday, sitting in the living room at Jesse’s watching Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, when they announced that The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, was coming. I had no idea who he was, but Jesse’s mama nearly had a conniption. I deduced, from all the whooping and hollering, that this was a big deal. And it was not good news for The Nature Boy, Ric Flair.

We were working people, all of us, up and down Reid Rd., out Eastview Dr. and down to the end of the dirt lane where I lived with my grandparents. We were not especially enlightened on most matters, and it wasn’t hard to get a good argument boiling over a topic like whether or not wrestling was fake. Later on I’d work all this out, but getting a glimpse behind the curtain never dulled my love for what is now known as “sports entertainment.”  Continue reading RIP American Dream: pro wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes dead at 69

US and Swiss officials bust FIFA: what does it all mean?

Today’s arrests are just the beginning. Is it the end of FIFA as we know it?

I read the news today. Oh boy.

It’s early and I’m still processing the stories, trying to a) understand the scope of the actions against the congenitally corrupt leadership of football’s governing body, and b) read between the lines so I can anticipate what comes next.

Here are some stray thoughts.

1. FIFA president Sepp Blatter hasn’t been arrested. Yet.  Continue reading US and Swiss officials bust FIFA: what does it all mean?

Mayweather/Pacquiao review: three things to know

Welcome to the Fall of Rome.

1: Mayweather won a unanimous decision. Just like everyone who has been paying at least a little attention knew he would. Yawn. 2: I keep hearing people calling this the “fight of the century.” And by people, I mean beefwitted sports talk assclowns. Listen, douchenozzles, nothing involving two guys ten years past their primes who have combined to knock out zero opponents in the last six or seven years is a fight of the anything, let alone century. Unless that century is very, very sad. There was a pull-apart rager last week down at the assisted care facility over which is better, tapioca pudding or chocolate, that was at least as compelling. Continue reading Mayweather/Pacquiao review: three things to know

Dear sports establishment: STOP CRAMMING TIGER WOODS DOWN OUR THROATS

Masters coverage: Of networks, pundits, kneepads and chapstick.

I watched final round coverage of the Masters today and in case you didn’t hear yet, Jordan Spieth was transcendent.

There was a problem, though. The network obviously focused camera time on the Spieth/Dustin Rose pairing, which is where all the drama was (not that there was much actual drama once they made the turn onto the back 9), and they also showed us most of what Phil Mickelson, who wound up tied with Rose for second, was doing.

So far so good. The remainder of the attention was given to the guy who finished … fourth? No. Fifth? Nope. Sixth? Nuh-uh. Continue reading Dear sports establishment: STOP CRAMMING TIGER WOODS DOWN OUR THROATS

Wes Brown sent off: the utterly pathetic state of officiating in the Premier League #BREAKINGNEWS

Referee Roger East fucked it in today’s Manchester United/Sunderland match, clearly sending off the wrong player after a foul in the box on United Striker Radamel Falcao. Fine. It’s a fast game and mistakes get made, even by the best of officials.

But no, that’s not good enough.

Two hours after the match, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued a statement which explained East’s actions.

“From his position Roger East, the match referee, believed he saw contact from John O’Shea and Wes Brown on Radamel Falcao,” the statement read.

Continue reading Wes Brown sent off: the utterly pathetic state of officiating in the Premier League #BREAKINGNEWS

Why the Chicago Bulls should have traded Derrick Rose two years ago

Rose will never be the same, but even healthy he’s never going to win an NBA title.

Derrick Rose. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

My friend Otherwise is a Chicago Bulls fan. I’m a Denver Nuggets fan. So we commiserate sometimes.

Back in 2009, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose won the Rookie of the Year award. The next year he was an all-star. And in 2011 he become the youngest player in history to be named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.

The following year he was fantastic again, right up until he blew his ACL. As he was rehabbing, I suggested to Otherwise that Chicago should trade him, then and there. Yes, he was hurt, but there was no reason to think he wouldn’t bounce back and at that moment in time I’m guessing league GMs would have lined up around the block to offer the sun, moon and stars for him. Heck, who could have known that he was going to rip up his knees every 15 minutes, right?

I had two reasons for proposing that the Bulls ship Rose out. Continue reading Why the Chicago Bulls should have traded Derrick Rose two years ago

Racist thugs on Paris subway platform do not represent Chelsea FC supporters: #ktbffh

Pick a football site, any football site. Right now the raging topic of discussion is the abominably racist behavior of some Chelsea fans on a Paris subway platform in advance of the club’s Champions League Round of 16 match vs. Paris St. Germaine yesterday. What the heck, try The Guardian.

Many of you know that I’m a Chelsea supporter. And if you know football, you know that the Blues have a history. Their legendary hooligans, the Headhunters, rated their own chapter in How Soccer Explains the World, and if you go back a few decades you’ll learn that once upon a time the racism infesting the club’s fan culture was so vile that they abused their own black player. Continue reading Racist thugs on Paris subway platform do not represent Chelsea FC supporters: #ktbffh

RIP Mr. Cub: Ernie Banks dead at 83

Let’s play two.

I have one core rule: respect the game. Not only did Ernie Banks respect the game, in every moment of his illustrious career, in every second of his life, he played with more verve and sheer joy than perhaps any player in history.

Already this morning I see people on my sports lists debating whether Ernie was better than Honus Wagner, but it’s hard to argue the fact that he embodied, in just about every possible way, the essence of what baseball should be.

DeflateGate: a few quick thoughts for the no harm/no foul crowd

I’ve spent the past couple of days listening to pundits, casual fans and Patriot-backers emphasize, in the strongest terms possible, that it didn’t change the outcome. Some go a tad further, suggesting that it doesn’t matter if Belichick tried to cheat, so long as the outcome wasn’t unaffected.

This line of “reasoning” is at once mind-boggling and completely predictable here in post-sportsmanship America. So let’s take the principle and test it by applying it to other situations. Continue reading DeflateGate: a few quick thoughts for the no harm/no foul crowd