I cannot figure out if this is a kerfuffle, a hullabaloo or a williwaw. What I do know is that it is much ado about nothing. [H/T to Willy Shakespeare] Richard Petty made a comment about Danica Patrick that people have taken as a sexist remark; the response to that is that folks have suggested that Danica Patrick needs to challenge Richard Petty to a match race. Can we just give all of that a rest?
Unless my math is wrong, Richard Petty will turn 77-years old this summer. The world has already seen a woman athlete defeat an old male athlete in match play; Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs put an exclamation point on this genre of spectacle 40 years ago.
Memo to Richard Petty: Just shut up about this kind of stuff and busy yourself with running Richard Petty Motorsports and making sure that no one steals any memorabilia from the Richard Petty Museum.
Memo to Danica Patrick: Just win a damned race to shut all these pie-holes.
As a public service announcement, let me remind you that February is drawing to a close and there is only a week left in National Boost Your Self-Esteem Month. If you have not been boosting for the last three weeks, time’s a-wasting; you need to get busy.
In case you had not heard, Oklahoma University self-reported a series of minor NCAA violations and what the university has done to remedy those situations. This happens all the time with many NCAA schools; this is not anything out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is one of the violations reported:
“May 10, 2013
“Violation: Three current student-athletes received food in excess of NCAA regulation at a graduation banquet. The three had graduated from the school but returned for an additional season of competition. The players were provided pasta in excess of the permissible amount allowed.”
That is simply stunning. Somehow there is a “permissible amount of pasta” that can be served to student-athletes. How might that amount have been calculated? Is it the same amount of pasta for a female gymnast and for an offensive lineman in football? Give me a break…
There is also a bit of silliness associated with the way the university resolved this infraction:
“Resolution: The three [over-eaters] were required to donate $3.83 each (the cost of the pasta serving) to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated. The department provided rules education to applicable athletics department staff members.”
Someone actually tried – after the fact – to calculate to the penny the cost of a pasta serving. That might be possible; however it is irrelevant because the amount of the donation to charity ought to be the cost of the excess pasta that was consumed; one of the “over-eaters” might have eaten $3.92 worth of impermissible pasta. Oh, the horror…
Moreover, the university provided rules education on pasta serving sizes to applicable athletics department staff members. I would love to see the video for those “education” sessions.
The fact that NCAA President, Mark Emmert, does not call a news conference, tear off his shirt and self-flagellate for 2 minutes demonstrates that he has no shame and the NCAA as an organization has no brain.
Bob Molinaro had these items in a recent column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Reality check: I think a person can support Michael Sam and his desire to play in the NFL and still wonder why the media are going so far overboard in reporting his story. The cover of Sports Illustrated? Really? Instead of harping on how players, team officials and other folks are going to have problems handling the first openly gay pro football player, the media might want to examine how their own handling of the story warps perspective.
“We’ve heard from a few NFL players and anonymous team sources who wondered how comfortable teammates would be with Sam. Never mind that his Missouri teammates didn’t seem to have a problem. At any rate, you’d like to think that the squeamish might actually want to meet Sam before passing judgment. Too bad that’s not the way it works.”
Professor Molinaro is spot-on with these observations and I fear that Michael Sam’s sexual preferences will continue to be a theme of the reporting through the NFL Combine and leading up to the NFL Draft. The only point where I might quibble with Professor Molinaro here is that Michael Sam’s announcement was newsworthy enough for it to be the cover story of Sports Illustrated one time. Would that the speculative and sensationalistic coverage of this story would have ended about then…
Yesterday, I mentioned that Manny Ramirez might be looking for one more gig in MLB. As the teams commence spring training in earnest, it becomes time to focus on baseball matters and one of the issues that will have nothing whatsoever to do with this year’s pennant races – yet it holds my interest momentarily – is this:
When and where will José Canseco try to play organized baseball this year?
Canseco has been involved with the Golden Baseball League (CA), the United Baseball League (TX), the North American League as a player/manager (AZ), the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, the Mexican League and the Texas Winter League since 2006. It seems that he has yet to take a hand in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball or in Taiwan. We could make this like a game of Clue.
I’ll take the North American League as a designated hitter by June 15th.
If the manager there is Colonel Mustard, I will immediately go out and buy a Powerball Lottery Ticket!
Finally, here is Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot once again:
“Bottom line: It’s probably a good development that school presidents and athletic directors are willing to pay athletes the “full cost” of attending college. But it would be a better thing if administrators from some football and basketball factories placed more emphasis on athletes getting the full benefit of their educational opportunities.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………