I am sure that Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon was covering some other singer when he recorded the song Deep In the Heart Of Texas. However, that is the version that I recall as a teenager and so I will cite it here as a theme for today’s rant. I will spend a lot of time talking about things going on in Texas.
Let me start with Mark Cuban. For purposes of full disclosure, I am not a huge Mark Cuban fan in terms of his over-the-top actions as a team owner or as a publicity hound. I do not think that I qualify as a “hater” for the simple reason that I do not care enough about what Mark Cuban says or does enough to hate him for it; in my gestalt, he is a buffoon – – albeit a very rich buffoon.
Mark Cuban was a “guest” on Dan Patrick’s radio program – – remember he is a publicity hound who is on record as saying there is no such thing as bad publicity – – and he told Dan Patrick and all of Patrick’s audience that once the Dallas Mavericks were no longer viable playoff contenders this year, the team tanked games. The team set out to play the games in such a way as to maximize the possibility that they would lose instead of win those games. Let me be clear:
- The Mavs did not tell players to give the games away or to play to less than their full effort.
- The Mavs did play certain players in various situations that were disadvantageous to the team if the objective had been to – you know – actually win those games.
Mark Cuban did not dance around this or try to obfuscate it with codewords and clichés’; he made it clear that is what the Dallas Mavericks did; and by offering the details that he did, it is clear that he knew about it and – at the very minimum – had no problem with that “strategy”.
Let me say this as clearly as I can so that the possibility for misunderstanding or misinterpretation is minimal:
- Until and unless Adam Silver and the folks nominally in charge of the NBA come down on Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks like the rain in a typhoon, I do not EVER want to hear any self-righteous breast-beatings from the league about “the integrity of the game(s)”.
- One of the teams – obviously with the knowledge and the assent of the owner – spent a portion of the 2016/17 NBA season trying to lose games to get more ping-pong balls in the lottery hopper.
I have no idea what Mark Cuban’s net worth might be and I do not care enough to look up the Forbes estimate. Here is what I do care about; there is no fine that the league might even hope to enforce on him that would matter even a smidgen. The penalty here must be something much more than that – like no first round draft picks for the next two or three years.
The NBA regular season is comprised of 1230 games. We have evidence now that the top teams do not care about these games even to the point where they will cede playoff seeding in order to “rest” players because “the science” says they will play better rested than unrested. We have known for more than 3 decades that teams will tank to get better draft picks; that is the whole reason behind the stupid draft lottery. Now we know that teams other than the Sixers and their “process” are routinely tanking games. So, Mr. Commissioner here is my direct question to you:
- If teams in your league – good ones and bad ones – do not give a damn about the outcomes of regular season games, why the Hell should I?
- Perhaps there are 25 games in the regular season I should continue to pay attention to because of matchups and/or storylines. Mr. Commish, that is only 2% of your regular season inventory!
The other “Texas” story is yet another lawsuit brought against Baylor University alleging that there are videos of gang-rapes perpetrated by Baylor football players and some assertions that these were “organized events” meant to increase bonding among the players. [For the record; I feel slimy just having typed the words in that last sentence.]
Just so there is no misunderstanding:
- Any and all men who participated in any activities that are even close to the description above should spend a LONG time in the Crossbars Hilton. By LONG time, I am thinking in terms of 25 years or more such that they have NO opportunity to make a dime as a professional football player.
- If there is sufficient evidence to show that any coach knew about these activities and either “endorsed them” or “acted to conceal them”, then that coach should spend even longer in jail than the rapists.
- If there is sufficient evidence to show that any school administrator was knowledgeable and acted to cover any of this up, he should be boiled in oil. [Sorry for going Medieval here…]
Now if you have been following these rants for the past several years or so, you should expect me to go off and dump a load of “equine fertilizer” on the NCAA. Let me surprise you; I think the NCAA is in the right place on this one for the moment.
When the Penn State scandal broke, the NCAA got waaay out over its skis and jumped into a criminal matter – not an NCAA matter – well before the criminal matter had reached any resolution. In this situation – as horrid as it would be if all the allegations are proven to be true -, I am not sure there have been any NCAA rules violations. One of these days, the NCAA will punish Ole Miss for handing out cash to players who went to Ole Miss to play football; one of these days, the NCAA will find the backbone to punish UNC for its academic fraud over a 10-15-year period. However, the heinous acts perpetrated (allegedly) by the Baylor football players did not violate any NCAA rules and so it is completely appropriate for the pooh-bahs in Indianapolis to keep their mouths shut and to ignore all of this until the justice system has had its turn in the barrel.
Finally, since I have been talking about “Texas” stuff today, here is a comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald about something that happened at Spring Practice for the University of Texas football team:
“Pro wrestler The Undertaker gave a motivational speech to the Texas Longhorns football team. Now Texas has a new plan. One player is going to distract the referees while the other hits an opponent from behind.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………