In a recent column, Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel reported on a poll done by ESPN Magazine on the sports that fans thought were fixed. Here is what he reported:
1. Pro ‘rassling 75% thought it was fixed
2. Boxing 48%
3. NBA 38%
4. Horseracing 26%
5. Football 14%
6. NCAA BB 11%
Clearly, any poll that involves fan voting is unscientific but let us allow for a moment that these results actually reflect a reasonable representation of the populace. In that case, I might be tempted to conclude that the populace has a large number of folks who really need to reconnect with reality. For example:
1. Are you comfortable living in a place where 25% of the people around you think that pro ‘rassling is real? Next time you are driving on an Interstate at 65 mph in heavy traffic, consider that one in four of the drivers around you has a judgment level such that he thinks that Wrestlemania is for real. With that acuity of perception, do you want him changing lanes on you?
2. I said 10 – 15 years ago that boxing was morphing into pro ‘rassling. The occasion of that comment was when some goof flew himself on a glider into the ring ropes during a championship fight. Today, the pre-fight hype and the “strange decisions” in boxing look like the WWE more than they look like real sports.
3. To the 74% of those folks out there who do not think some of the events in horseracing are fixed, let me break this news to you. There is no Tooth Fairy; she was jailed when she was caught in the midst of an interspecies ménage a trois with the Easter Bunny and Chewbacca.
4. College basketball has had “fixing scandals” and “point-shaving scandals” proven in courts of law in the US dating back to the 1940s. Somehow, 89% of the folks think that is not happening any more. What made it stop?
5. Where is tennis on this list? The folks who run tennis think one of their ranked players has tanked matches. Isn’t tanking equivalent to fixing?
6. Is the absence of NHL and/or MLS from this list evidence of the purity of those games – - or is it that no one would care enough to fix them? You make the call.
Earlier this week I noted that 3 Feb is known as “The Day The Music Died”. Today, 6 Feb, marks the birthdays of Fabian Forte, Bob Marley and Axl Rose. I think it is fair to say that today, 6 Feb, cannot be considered the day music was reincarnated.
Sometime next week, the Sacramento Kings are going to retire the number of Vlade Divac. In five seasons with the Kings, Divac averaged 12 points a game and led the team to precisely zero championships. For this, they retire a jersey? By this standard, the Detroit Pistons will retire the number of Antonio McDyess one day; his contributions to the Pistons have been a bit better than Divac’s contributions to the Kings were. Does this make sense to you?
Manny Ramirez – via Scott Boras – turned down a Dodgers contract offer of $25M for one year. Never fear; as Scott Boras has stated all along, there is indeed another team bidding for Manny’s services. The Worcester Tornadoes play in the Can-Am League and they have offered Manny a two-year contract to play for them for a total of $24K. The Can-Am League plays a “short-season” so this works out to about $3K a month or a hundred dollars a day. If you look at the offer, it makes some sense:
Manny likes to take time off. In this league, the season is so short that he will get plenty of time off.
Manny wants a deal longer than one year. This is a two-year deal.
On the downside, however, the Tornadoes’ park does not have a scoreboard in left field into which Manny can duck in order to heed the call of nature…
MLB Network may only be a month old, but it just gave itself a real shot of credibility. Bob Costas will leave HBO – but not NBC – and ply his trade with the fledgling MLB Network. Bob Costas is on the “A-List” for sports broadcasters.
Steve Rosenbloom writes the Rosenblog for the Chicago Tribune website. Here is one of his recent observations regarding some bad news for the White Sox. He and I seem to think alike on things like this:
“Bad news, Sox fans: The Twins stopped negotiating with Eric Gagne. This move might’ve been the thing that clinched the AL Central for the Sox because the best way to deal with Twins closer Joe Nathan is never to face him, and the best way never to face him is to have Gagne work in front of him.”
José Canseco fought another of his three-round celebrity boxing matches recently. After getting clocked by Vai Sikahema in the previous fight, Canseco took on Danny Bonaduce in this one. Despite about a ten-inch height advantage and about a 40-pound weight advantage in favor of Canseco, this bout ended in a draw. Who is next for Canseco? Tonya Harding?
Finally, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wastes no words in his assessment of the goalkeepers for the Maple Leafs:
“The Maple Leafs have two goalies. One is Finnish. The other is finished.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…