Moon Big Papi?

The late Sunday afternoon game in my viewing area last weekend was the Giants at the Cowboys; since Joe Buck and Troy Aikman had the call, I presume that many of you also saw that game. Late in the game, the sun came through the glass wall of the Jerry-Dome such that a patch of the field was in the bright sun. Players running pass routes sometimes had to go from indoor lighting/shade into the “sun patch” and look back into the sun to try to find the ball. Under normal circumstances, if a pass hits Jason Witten in the hands, he catches it; Sunday, he looked like his hands were coated with WD-40 on a play where he found the sun patch just as the ball arrived.

You know the sun patch was an unusual feature of the game because it drew commentary from both Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. One of them wondered if it was worse for the QB to have the sun in his eyes as he threw the ball or for the receiver to have the sun in his eyes as he tried to locate/catch the ball. I wonder if Jerry Jones will contemplate buying a set of curtains for his playpen somewhere down the line.

If you saw the Browns/Eagles game as the “early game” on Sunday, you saw RG3 take a big hit on a scramble at the end of the game. He suffered a sprained shoulder from that hit and the Browns have put him on IR meaning that he will be out until Week 10 in November. So much for the “career reboot” he was going to have in Cleveland this year under Hue Jackson…

The Red Sox last game in Yankee Stadium this year will be on 29 September – barring circumstances that put a playoff game between the two teams there later in October. That will be David Ortiz’ final appearance in NYC; you can be sure that the Yankees will give him some sort of memorabilia to celebrate his career and his retirement. That has become standard fare for players who have announced their retirement at the end of a given season. However, the fans may have some other ideas…

Recall that Red Sox fans paid through the nose to see A-Rod play his final game(s) in Fenway Park just so they could boo him one more time. Well, Yankee fans do not have their hearts filled with love for Red Sox stars such as David Ortiz. And so, a website has been registered and is alive with the URL:

As you may imagine, the authors of this website are encouraging fans in attendance that night to pay their respects to David Ortiz with a display of buttocks. Their goal is to have “50,000 moons” as their farewell salute to Big Papi.

According to the website, fans who participate in this salute should hold their moons for “five to ten seconds signifying the span of time it takes Big Papi to run to first base.” The motivation call to Yankee fans says that all they need is “your fanny and five seconds.”

Do I believe that there will be 50,000 participants in such a demonstration? No. However, some fans will indeed indulge the website creators’ call for a faux salute of this type. And here is what ESPN producers hope happens:

    Enough “Mooners” – the name “Moonies” has already been assigned elsewhere – participate that it is caught on camera such that ESPN has to pixilate the video to show it on SportsCenter.

    Then, the next day, they will have “debate-fodder” for every ESPN Radio and TV program to reflect, dissect and analyze in excruciating detail.

I am already bored by that thought and the game is not for two more weeks…

The NCAA has decided to remove championship tournament events from the State of North Carolina due to the “Bathroom Bill” that is the law in that state. As usual, I am not going to get into the political, legal or societal ramifications of this law or the efforts to overturn it. Those actions belong to the residents of North Carolina and I am not one of them. The NCAA chose to take sides in the matter – as have the NFL and the NBA. With regard to pro sports, the impacts tend to be economic only; the site of the NBA All-Star Game does not really affect any of the playoff races in the league in any meaningful way. However, in college sports, the impact is both economic and possibly competitive too.

When the NCAA changes the venue for men’s basketball tournament from “somewhere in North Carolina” to “somewhere else”, two of the major NCAA basketball programs are affected. Duke and UNC are almost always in the tournament and are often prominently seeded in that event. Normally, one or the other gets to play early round games proximal to their campus which is an advantage for them. [Aside: I have suggested several times in the past that the NCAA not schedule any team to play in an arena closer than 150 miles from campus but of course that suggestion has not been considered.] So, you may ask what the schools think of the recent NCAA decision.

Almost immediately after the NCAA made its announcement, the ADs at both Duke and UNC issued statements saying that they supported the NCAA decision in full. On the heels of those statements by the Athletic Directors, John Swofford – Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference – said that there would be discussions among the presidents of the institutions this week regarding ACC Championship events.

Finally, here is the analysis of a baseball trade from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:

“The Oakland A’s traded pitcher Mike Rzepczynski, explaining, ‘We got tired of trying to spell and pronounce his name.’”

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

6 thoughts on “Moon Big Papi?”

  1. Sir:

    I woke up this morning and was quite annoyed to learn I remitted $545 to the NCAA in March 2016 for now cancelled events scheduled in March 2017. As I searched my email for this remittance information, I came across a remark from you saying “NCAA is an entity that only looks good on a moral/ethical scale if you put it up against FIFA or the IOC.”

    I concur.

      1. I received an email today.
        “The order you placed for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Greensboro has been refunded in full today, September 13, 2016. Please note it may take 2-3 business days to show on your credit card statement. If you have questions regarding the refund, customer service specialists will be available to assist you by calling 866-208-0048.

        Once a new location has been selected to replace Greensboro you will have the opportunity to purchase tickets during a presale.

        We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your support of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

          1. However…having received that email, I received this tonight:

            Veritix Customer Service
            8:36 PM (30 minutes ago)

            to me

            Thanks for reaching out to to us.

            The NCAA has processed refunds for all Greensboro, NC tickethoders. Please allow 7-10 business days for those funds to post back to your account.

            AXS Customer Service

            Ticket History
            Steve XXXXXXX (Client) Posted On: 13 Sep 2016 7:25 AM

            So, I’m expecting a refund immediately.

            Yours in anger,
            Steve XXXXXX

            ———- Forwarded message ———-
            From: NCAA Tickets
            Date: Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 10:01 AM
            Subject: 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Ticket Information
            To: xxxx

            Web Version

            [image: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse]

            Hi William xxxxxx

            Thank you for supporting the 2017 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball
            Championship by purchasing the following preliminary round tickets:

            – 2 tickets for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball – First/Second Rounds –
            Greensboro with order number 28724126

            **Please note order confirmations for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball –
            First/Second Rounds in Buffalo, New York will be sent in a separate email.*

            For a complete list of March Madness sites and dates, as well as the latest
            ticket information, please visit

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