Sports fans like streaks and “things that have not happened in 50 years” and stuff like that. There is an ongoing “streak” that could come to an end next weekend; I want to give you a heads up. The last time that the Detroit Lions beat the Redskins away from Detroit was in 1935. Back then, the Redskins were the Boston Redskins, which means that the Detroit Lions have never won a road game over the Washington Redskins. The Skins did not move to DC until 1937.
To be sure, the teams have not played each other annually since then but when they have played in DC – no matter which stadium in this area hosted the game – the Lions have come out on the short end of the score. These teams meet in Washington on Sunday in one of the early games…
A former colleague used to be a participant in triathlons but as time and injuries took a toll on his knees he shrank his interests to cycling. I got an e-mail from him with a link to an article in cycling magazine called Velo News. This publication reports that a leaked file indicates corruption in cycling – not in terms of riders taking PEDs, which would not be news, but in the executive ranks of UCI, Union Cycliste Internationale the governing body of the sport. The leaked document is a summary of an alleged 54-page dossier that documents shenanigans by the current and the former presidents of the UCI. Among the allegations are:
The current and a former president solicited a bribe from the owner/sponsor of a cycling team.
The current and a former president “bent the drug testing rules” for Lance Armstrong.
The current president tried to cover up Alberto Contador’s positive drug test in 2010.
Naturally, these folks have denied all the charges and have called them scurrilous and libelous. The current president, Pat McQuaid, said:
“The claims in this so-called dossier are a complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence.”
Obviously, I have no insight into the reality of these allegations. I would only suggest that the sport of cycling has had more than its shares of “cheating scandals” over the last couple of decades and the current and former president of the UCI have been in charge of the sport’s governing body for that period of time.
Speaking of corruption, cheating, scandal, and such, a cheating cabal showed up in NASCAR leading to penalties for an entire racing team not just a single driver or car. Cheating in NASCAR ought not surprise anyone given that the informal credo for the sport is:
If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.
Last week, Chris Erskine had a feature in the LA Times about Keith Jackson. It covered the usual stuff about how he got into broadcasting and career highlights etc. One thing I had not known is that he shared the announcing booth with Jackie Robinson for a time. However, the most important thing in the article is the advice he offers to current broadcasters and aspiring broadcasters. His advice is simple:
Tell the truth.
How nice that would be and I would be thrilled if current and future broadcasters took that advice and implemented it fully. As a viewer/listener and not a legendary broadcaster, I would like to put an addendum onto “tell the truth”:
Tell the truth in simple English.
It is OK to have a “signature call” for a home run or major events within a game that happen infrequently. However, making up phrases to describe mundane events ceases to be “cute” and turns into “annoying”. Two examples from football:
A player “fumbles the ball”; he does not “put the ball on the ground”. The stats are called “fumbles” and “fumbles lost” and not “puts on the ground” and “puts on the ground picked up by others”.
A pass receiver “jumps and catches a pass”; he does not “elevate to high-point the ball”. Seriously, now…
Dan Daly formerly with the Washington Times had this note on Facebook last week during the Jets/Pats game on Thursday night:
“Tonight’s moral: Football teams playing on 3 days’ rest isn’t much prettier than starting pitchers going on 3 days’ rest.”
Finally, speaking of the Jets/Pats game, the Jets trailed the Pats by 3 points going into the 4th quarter. Geno Smith then proceeded to throw 3 INTs in the 4th quarter. So, exactly how is that different from what Jets’ fans might have expected from Mark Sanchez in the same situation?
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………