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Duke Lacrosse Players Are Free

This is all you need to know to understand my thoughts on the whole case. Only this is much more tame than what I have to offer.

Chest Bump for YOU BEEN BLINDED for the video hook up

Pacman Suspension Is Wrong

The following piece has been written by featured contributor, John Ramey 

Let me first disclose I am no Pacman Jones fan. He is a defensive back for a team I care very little about in a league I like even less, especially after today’s action from NFL Commissioner, Roger “Benito” Goodell.

Pacman Jones has been suspended for the entire 2007 season. And I’m wondering why.

Oh yes, he has a litany of arrests from 2005 and 2006. He has been involved in an ugly shooting incident in Vegas this year. Pacman may very well be a bad guy. I have no proof that he is not.

how EVAH

The law has traditionally been applied in unequal volumes upon the young and the black. So let’s keep that in mind before we decide that Pacman is always “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” American Law Enforcement has a 400+ year history of picking on the black man. This is an unimpeachable fact. It is not inconceivable, nor even unreasonable to assume Pacman’s sordid history with the police can be, in part, a symptom of this societal ill. You will either understand this as truth or dismiss it as excuse making. Whatever.

What really concerns me is the lack of outcry. It is an outrage that the NFL Commissioner, the governing office for 32 football teams, can unilaterally suspend Pacman for a season. Isn’t that blacklisting? Collusion? Let’s say I am an employee of Larry Brown Media Enterprises. Let’s say I’m part of an investigation relating to a very serious crime. Is it ethical or legal for Larry to suspend me, assuming my cooperation with the investigation has not affected my ability to perform the duties for which Larry has hired me to perform? Has Pacman’s ability to perform football duties for the Titans been impaired by these incidents?

Moreover, if there is something in Pacman’s contract that allows the league to take such an action resulting in his being contacted by law enforcement, is that an ethical agreement? Legal? Are these agents even reading the damn things? What good is that union? I’m waiting for proof that NFL Labor leadership aren’t the lapdogs of the commissioner’s office.

Some have pointed out to me that Pacman’s unsavory reputation has impaired “the fans’” ability to enjoy any game in which Pacman performs, and that the NFL is protecting “the fans”. But when was it legal for an employer to deny a worker his right to earn a living simply because certain patrons had a problem with said worker?

Oh, wait! I remember it used to happen all the time before the Equal Employment Opportunity executive order was signed in 1965. You might recall that period as American Apartheid. Or you might not. How convenient.

Here’s a hint: If you have a problem with Pacman’s personal affairs, I suggest you root against him, or boo him, or choose not to patronize the Titans, or the NFL, or boycott their sponsors.

Larry Brown has pointed out to me that the Commissioner is well within his right to suspend Pacman in order to preserve the NFL’s reputation. If this is the case, I am hereby encouraging a boycott of the NFL by current and future players. Only a fool would willingly bind themselves in legal fashion to an employer so obsessed with the whims of racist law enforcement over the interests and labor rights of its most basic and beautiful product, the players. 60% of the NFL is black and I’m pretty sure that means 60% of the league has an elevated chance of being fucked with, merited or otherwise, by the police. I encourage all those in the players union to rethink the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement. Think about it; if the NFL is banning players at will because of police contact, not convictions, no felonies, no jail-time but mere police contact, then it might not be the best place for minority athletes to draw a paycheck.

Surely we as a society cannot cheer the denial of a man his right to exploit his considerable skills in his given profession, because that would be inhumane. The welcoming of this action is disgusting. Shame on Roger Goodell, the NFL, and all of the rest of you who think this is acceptable.

ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Agenda Setting

If you attempted to view PTI last week as I did, your life and smile was undoubetdly turned upside down in disappointment.  Same thing with SportsCenter — although that program doesn’t produce nearly as many smiles for me.  Something took over the week’s worth of coverage.  Something new has become a steady presence on ESPN recently, something unfamiliar.

Endless NASCAR coverage.

Reality is that ESPN is an integral part of any serious sports fan’s life.  And for people who work in the business, it’s your only stop for 24/7 sports coverage (although dog contests and poker tourneys disagree).  That being the case, it didn’t take long to notice the new “Pit Lane” segment of SportsCenter, and the endless promotional mentions of ESPN’s coverage of the Busch Series all season long.

I’m not complaining — I’m just pointing out the fact that the result of Friday night’s truck series race, and Saturday’s Busch Series winner all of a sudden matter.  Why you ask?  Because ESPN says so. 

If ESPN aired NHL games, hockey would all of a sudden become relevant.  If they ventured to lead SportsCenter off with Sidney Crosby and Martin St. Louis goals, those players would immediately matter.   

ESPN might not determine what sports are important for YOU, but they determine what sports are relevant — they set the agenda.  That is a fact. 

Keeping that in mind, let me be the first to warn you, get prepared to join your first ever fantasy Arena Football League, no joke.      

NFL in London a Success?

Not long ago it was announced that the Giants and Dolphins would play a regular season game in London. Over on my show at NBX I quipped

Tickets will probably be going as fast as a Charlotte Sting sellout.

Well, I do have to say, apologies are in order. Turns out I was completely wrong. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes

According to the NFL, since the game was announced Friday, more than 160,000 fans, mostly in the U.K., have requested more than 500,000 tickets to the game. To gauge enthusiasm for the game, the league’s U.K. Web site invited visitors to register their interest in tickets at nfllondon2007.com. Traffic was so heavy, the league said, the site crashed several times, and the deadline to request tickets isn’t until Feb. 18.

I’m sure Roger Goodell is wetting himself over this – and rightfully so. But what about you? What about the fans of the teams? If this becomes a trend, do you want to lose the ability to attend a home game? Do you want your team to lose home-field advantage? I sure as heck don’t. I remember back in 1996 when Notre Dame played Navy in Ireland. The stadium was as packed as a 2002 Rutgers game. That led me to believe that there wasn’t a chance the NFL would be a hit in England. This news however makes me extremely concerned. Hey, I’ll let them have their soccer, but I’d like to keep my football, thank you very much. What about you?

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Super Bowl Economic Stats

Since the Super Bowl has grown to be the nuts of parties – incorporating all fields of the entertainment industry into one full week of festivities – I thought it would be interesting to explore the economic impact of the Spring Break out. Here are some great notes the Sports Business Professor, Rick Horrow, who writes for foxsports.com, points out in his Weekly Sports Dollar

South Florida — the region generated over $400 million of economic impact, 1,200 parties, 1,000 private jet landings, and favorable mentions on television to 232 countries in 33 languages. The National Retail Federation predicted nearly $9 billion in retail and overall spending as a consequence of Super Bowl XLI

Umm yeah, that’s like a lot of money and stuff. Over $400 million in economic impact? That’s more than the GDP of 10 countries in the world according to the International Monetary Fund. What is it about certain events that people start spending out of control unlike any other time in the year?

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$10 Million, is that All it Takes?

Sorry for being so late on this story – keeping up with the latest WNBA news doesn’t exactly top my daily list of things to do – but I feel it is worthy to share with you all. Just last week, the Houston Comets of the WNBA were sold to furniture dealer Hilton Koch. The financial terms of the sale were not released, but we got an approximation

Koch, 39, agreed to pay about $10 million — in the same range as transactions involving the Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics

Man, that’s it? Just $10 million to own a franchise? Lindsay Lohan gets paid that much for showing up at a party. Please.

Side note – Around the Horn on ESPN is so bad, I have opted for the “Britney and Kevin” E! True Hollywood Story.

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Explaining the Sportadox

Sport-a-dox: [s'port^a~dox]

  1. A seemingly contradictory statement about a sporting event that may nonetheless be true: the Colts run-defense shut-down Grand Mama for the Chiefs
  2. An assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises: Eli MANNING sucks
  3. A statement contrary to received opinion.
  4. [Latin sportadoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter sing. of paradoxox, conflicting with expecation : para-, beyond;]

    sport’a-dox’i-cal adj. That game was too sportadoxical to describe

    sport’a-dox n. That game was the quintessential sportadox

    In sporting events, there are nothing but oppositions; forces are constantly struggling. An offense tries to stop a defense, conversely, a defense tries to stop an offense. They same is true with pitchers and hitters. In individual competitions the same notion is the case. For every action, there is a reaction; when someone or some team looks good, another looks bad. The art of analysis and comparison is so difficult to decipher. For that reason, I have created the sportadox.

    The sportadox attempts to breakdown both sides of an issue and weigh them in the Court of Brown before a decision is finally rendered.