There are reports out today that the American Enterprise Institute – a Washington DC think tank – has conducted a study and found that the Wells Report on “Deflategate” is “seriously flawed.” I believe I had that one more than a couple of weeks ago but the imprimatur of the American Enterprise Institute is surely greater than mine.
I have no idea why the American Enterprise Institute would undertake such a study in the first place, but they did. The think tank has some history here; back when “Bountygate” was prominent in the news, the same two members of the Institute who did this study also did a study related to “Bountygate”. Here is a link to the current reporting on that study.
Last Friday, I got an e-mail from #1 son pointing me to some remarks made by Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. In the aftermath of the academic dishonesty events at Notre Dame last year and the fallout from those events, Kelly said:
“I think we recognized that all of my football players are at-risk — all of them — really. Honestly, I don’t know that any of our players would get into the school by themselves right now with the academic standards the way they are. Maybe one or two of our players that are on scholarship.
“So making sure that with the rigors that we put them in — playing on the road, playing night games, getting home at 4 o’clock in the morning, all of the demands that we place on them relative to the academics and going into an incredibly competitive academic classroom every day — we recognize this is a different group. And we have to provide all the resources necessary for them to succeed and don’t force them into finding shortcuts.”
The comment from #1 son on these statements was that you have to give Kelly kudos for candor and not trying to sugar-coat the issues. I agree. Notice however that he specifies night games on the road where the team gets home at 4:00 AM. Indeed, that has to add academic stress to the players; and at the same time, those night road games are scheduled for purely economic reasons.
Charles Barkley extended his contract with TNT – and Turner Broadcasting more generally – through the end of the NBA season in the summer of 2025. According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, here is how the deal went down:
The President of Turner Broadcasting along with “other Turner Sports executives” went to Barkley’s home in Arizona.
There they staged a “six-hour Italian feast” and managed to put away $1700 worth of wine and tequila.
The next day these folks played a round of golf and presumably none of the execs giggled at Barkley’s – shall we say unorthodox – swing.
Barkley then called his agent and told the agent to get the deal done.
I realize that Charles Barkley is a polarizing figure; personally, I find him far more entertaining than annoying. Ignoring the part of this report that indicates that gluttony and conspicuous consumption played a role in these “negotiations”, I also like that he made the deal himself and then told his agent to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. He seems to understand that the agent works for the player/announcer and not the inverse.
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times took the news of how this contract extension happened and crafted this comment:
“TNT got Charles Barkley to renew his contract by tossing $1,700 worth of alcoholic beverages his way, Sports Illustrated reported.
“Which certainly gives a whole new meaning to Turner and hooch.”
Recently, I mentioned a couple of gastric calamities offered up to fans at MLB parks. Lest you think that minor league parks have dropped out of contention in this arena, consider these two menu items:
The Wilmington Blue Rocks – the Carolina League affiliate of the KC Royals – offer a hot dog where the bun is a Krispy Kreme donut. As nasty as that sounds, it does get worse when you consider that two of the toppings available for the hot dog are bacon and raspberry jelly. Feed one of these to a 5-year old and he will be on a sugar high for 4 hours…
The West Michigan Whitecaps – the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit tigers – play in Fifth Third Ballpark just outside Grand Rapids. Should you venture there, you may see on the menu the Fifth Third Burger costing $20. Here is what you get for one portrait of Andrew Jackson:
Five one-third pound burgers (Fifth Third Burger/five one-third pound burgers, get it?) with 5 slices of American cheese.
Toppings/add ons include a cup of chili, salsa, nacho cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, Fritos, lettuce and tomato.
The Fifth Third Burger contains 300 grams of fat and “weighs in” at 4800 calories. Anyone who eats the entire thing alone and in one sitting will get a free T-shirt.
Just a guess, but the free T-shirt will be one size larger than the one the diner wore into the ballpark.
Finally, Brad Rock had this item in the Deseret News recently indicating that he has probably attended some Nick Saban press conferences:
“Alabama coach Nick Saban’s daughter married her childhood sweetheart last week and celebrated by holding the reception at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“The event included fireworks and a ride in a Rolls-Royce.
“Asked afterward how the ceremony went, Saban allegedly said, I’ll have to look at the film.’ “
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………