Here is how you can tell that this is a slow period for news in the sports world. This morning, CBSSports.com has a report with a headline:
Report: David Stern is bored, friends want him to run for mayor of NYC
In the body of the story, Stern says he is absolutely uninterested in any sort of political endeavor. That opens the door for CBSSports.com to go with another report next week saying that David Stern is bored and friends suggest that he take up crocheting. Puhleeez…
Looking at the MLB playoff schedule, the 7th game of the World Series – should it be necessary – will be in the AL champion’s city on November 4. Neither Boston nor Minnesota look capable of making it to the World Series so I guess I have to root for Toronto to make it along with a malfunction of the retractable roof in Toronto freezing it in the open position. Oh, did I just say “freezing”; I am rooting for snow too. “Baseball” and “November” do not go together.
Scott Ostler posed an excellent rhetorical question in the SF Chronicle recently:
“Why is gambling the biggest taboo in baseball? Yes, you expose yourself to nefarious underworld influences and potential extortionists, but don’t you do the same when you buy steroids from shady characters? If you could vote to exclude one group from the Hall of Fame, would it be gamblers, drug cheats or wife beaters?”
For me, it would be “drug cheats”. The Hall of Fame – for players – should be a recognition received for sustained outstanding performance on the field over a career. “Drug cheats” augmented their statistics – the measure by which Hall of Fame voters assess the sustained outstanding performance of the players – by their improper actions. A player who gambles does not become a better hitter or a better pitcher as a result of his gambling; a “wife beater” is not more likely to hit home runs as a result of his assault and battery activities. Therefore, if I were limited to only one exclusionary category from the Hall of Fame, I would pick “drug cheats”.
The Boston Business Journal has a report summarizing an analysis done by a consulting firm in Cambridge, MA regarding the now defunct bid by Boston to host the Olympics in 2024. You can read this article here. Not surprisingly, the folks who were constructing the bid seem to have underestimated the costs for hosting the Games and simultaneously assumed some rosy scenarios regarding sponsorship revenues to offset those underestimated costs. If you want to see some of the specifics, check the link above but here is a part of this report that will give you a flavor of how one can make it seem as if hosting the Olympics can be a moneymaking activity:
“The analysis repeatedly emphasizes that cost and revenue estimates made by Boston 2024 were in many cases detached from the realities reported by other host cities, particularly as they applied to the London 2012 Games and pending Olympics in Rio and Tokyo. For example, Boston 2024’s estimated venue costs were around $1 billion lower on average as compared to prior Games, while Boston’s projected operating costs were some 25 percent lower than what London ultimately spent.”
One of the most interesting feats of financial legerdemain done by the Boston 2024 folks seems to have been to ignore the costs of building “satellite Olympic villages” for those athletes who would be competing in events outside the downtown Boston area. Perhaps they thought the Tooth Fairy would build them…?
WR, Steve Smith Sr. announced that he will retire after this NFL season. Media members who cover the NFL should start a petition to convince him to hang around a while longer; Smith is a font of story material. He is not a fan of things like training camp and joint team practices and made that clear with this statement:
“I’d rather be at home. Today’s my wife’s birthday, so I’m not at home. I’m over here doing this bulls[p]it and missing my wife’s birthday. That’s my honest opinion. I’d rather be at home singing happy birthday to my wife, but I’m out here getting questioned to assess a rookie corner.”
The “rookie corner” in question here is Eagles’ hopeful, Eric Rowe a second round pick in this year’s draft. Naturally, reporters wanted to know how Rowe reacted to Smith’s less than upbeat sense of the value of the practice session. Rowe summarized a bit of the conversational exchange that occurred out there on the practice field;
“He’s like, ‘I saw it in your eyes, you about to s[p]it yourself.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, I don’t panic.’”
While this is hardly dialog that will go down in history, it is a whole lot more interesting than the standard player blather – mastered by just about every QB in the NFL – about how they take it one game at a time and how the opposition for next week presents challenges they have not seen before and … The impetus for this kind of “insight” will go away once Steve Smith Sr. retires; that is why the media needs to start a petition drive immediately.
Finally, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald lets us in on a potential TV viewing appointment he may have next Spring:
“There is YouTube video of a drunk golfer in Wolstanton, England, who got his head stuck in a trash can. If this guy is granted an exemption for next year’s Masters, I’ll watch.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………