Asshats !

Thanks to a report from the Associated Press yesterday, we can sleep well tonight in the full knowledge that binge beer drinking – at least on one college campus – is now under control:

“Wisconsin football fans listening to games on the radio this fall will hear few, if any, beer ads for the first time in years.

”The university has ended long-standing sponsorship agreements with MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev for advertising during Badgers sports broadcasts. The deals, which brought the university about $425,000 per year, were not renewed after a campus committee recommended doing away with them as part of its fight against binge drinking.”

With this kind of thinking, the university officials probably also believe that fornication on campus – especially in the “binge mode” – is also under control because there are no radio ads for condoms on the football broadcasts. Same goes for smoking among the student body and the absence of tobacco ads on the games… There is a word for people who think this way:


Speaking of asshats, it is time to revisit the NHL’s handling of the demise of the Phoenix Coyotes. When last we checked, the league had blocked Jim Balsillie from paying $212M for the team – - about $35M of which would have gone to the NHL to repay money that the league lent to the team to keep it afloat in previous times. The best offer on the table after that was from a group fronted by Jerry Reinsdorf and that offer was reportedly in the range of $175 – 180M. That is not a great business decision to be sure, but at least that offer paid off creditors in the Phoenix area to some extent and put a bit of the league’s money back in the league’s pocket.

Now, Jerry Reisndorf has pulled his offer off the table saying that the NHL is an “unwilling seller”. That leaves the NHL itself as the sole bidder for the team. At the moment, the NHL will be the entity to pay off the creditors in Phoenix and then own the franchise itself – which lost money over the years putting it in its bankruptcy state – all because they want to keep the franchise there in money-losing Phoenix. If this makes sense to you – as it seems to make sense to the NHL mavens – perhaps you can explain the logic here in three simple declarative sentences. I cannot.


A recent news report said that Mexico has legalized the possession of small amounts of drugs to include marijuana and cocaine. I have no interest in a debate over the issue of legalizing drugs; you will not change my mind on the matter and I will not try to change yours. I do believe that this change in the law in Mexico will have a ripple effect on sports in the US however. Here is something to look for:

    In the next round of negotiations between the NBA and the NBA Players Association, look for the players to demand that NBA All-Star games happen in Acapulco and/or Cancun.

Here is an item from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. He should be ashamed of himself for this one but I think he may be beyond shame by now…

“Q: What do you call it when so-called institutions of higher learning — the ones who don’t even graduate half their players — pay their football coaches millions of dollars?

“A: The ‘Cash for Flunkers’ program.”

Obviously, I have only seen this on television so far, but the new Cowboys’ Stadium in Dallas seems to have another “less than perfect” thing going for it beyond the hovering spacecraft above the field that should interfere with punting this season unless it is raised about 20 feet. In addition to that impediment, it looks to me as if some of the “cheap seats” in the place are about a quarter of a mile from the opposite end zone. In addition, those “cheap seats” are not part of the 20,000 “extra seats” that can be added to the stadium to host huge events such as the Super Bowl. No wonder they put in such a large TV over the center of the field; that is how more than a few fans are going to have to watch the games.

Dr. Jekyll, please allow me to introduce you to Mr. Hyde. In the sports world, Brad Lidge seems to fit this fictional representation of “good cop/bad cop”. Last year, Brad Lidge was “perfect” for the Phillies as they won the World Series. He entered into 41 save situations; he saved all 41 games; his record was 2-0 and his ERA was 1.95. There is not a whole lot more a baseball team can ask of its closer.

This season, Brad Lidge has been “less than perfect” – being as polite as I can for the moment. After blowing a save and losing a game against the Pirates on Tuesday night, he has already blown 9 save opportunities this season; his record is 0-6 and his ERA is 7.33. Last year, you could have used Lights Out as his entry music; this year you could use Light Me Up as his entry music.

Finally, here is another offering from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:

“Checking this summer’s birthday calendar, baseball ironman Cal Ripken Jr. will celebrate his 49th on Aug. 24.

“Or as Ripken fans prefer to frame it, extending his living streak to 2,556 weeks.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Rich  On August 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I have always felt that beer ads during games were meant to inspire the fans at home to grab a cold one during the breaks. When Budweiser runs their ads during the games that I watch I don’t get the urge to ride a Clydesdale, but sometimes do head for the refrigerator.
    If I am listening to the game on the radio I always resist this urge, as it is only while driving do I have a game on.
    I would think that most Wisconsin fans enjoying the game at home would be watching on t.v. as opposed to listening on the radio.
    I noticed that the announcement was for cancelling the radio advertising….but did they ‘can’ their televised beer ads as well?

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On August 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm


    No word on the TV advertising – - but I think that Big Ten Network carries all those games. So, tune into Big Ten Network and see if they have beer ads or not.

    Which is greater:

    A. The number of students listening to Wisconsin football games on radio in a place where they have ready access to a supply of beer?

    B. The number of students who are not at the football game but are back in the frat houses enjoying keggers and watching the game on TV?

    I’m going with B…

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