A New One On Me…

Baseball games have been postponed because of rain or a variety of other weather conditions.  Football games have been delayed/interrupted when there are lightening strikes in the area.  A bunch of World Series Games were delayed when an earthquake hit the Bay Area in 1989.  Today, we have a sports-related cancellation for a reason I have not previously encountered:

  • Plague-infested fleas affecting prairie dog colonies.

The Colorado Rapids will host the Montreal Impact in an MLS game this weekend.  After the game, the Rapids had scheduled a fireworks display for the fans.  Here is part of a statement issued by the team regarding the cancellation of that event:

“However, it has been recommended that the post-game fireworks display be cancelled due to the confirmed presence of plague-infested fleas affecting prairie dog colonies in the surrounding areas…

“Additionally, in accordance with the Tri-County Health Department’s recommendation for the safety of all attendees, parking lots at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park will be restricted to asphalt lots until further notice.”

The problem here is that the launch site for the fireworks would have been in a grassy area that is off-limits by order of the health authorities in the area.  And that is a sports event cancellation that is a new one for me …

This portion of the sports calendar tends to be a slow time.  You can get an indication of how slow it is by the headlines on various sports websites heralding what folks wrote about to provide content for those sites in the past few days.  Here are just a few of many examples:

  • Zion wants to play career with Pelicans.  He knows that already?
  • Anthony Davis says he is afraid of the dark.  Never travel to Fairbanks in winter.
  • Why great rotations don’t always win titles.  You must score runs to win.
  • Which Premier League club should you root for?  Come on now…

We have not done this for a while so let me propose a Quick Quiz.  Of all the programming that ESPN puts on the air over its seemingly infinite outlets, what is the most annoying/least watchable programming:

  1. First Take
  2. Any X-games event
  3. The Nathan’s July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest
  4. The ESPYs

100 words or less…

A recent report in the Omaha World Herald appears to have uncovered some “Title IX shenanigans”.  Title IX requires colleges to provide comparable levels of athletic opportunity/participation for male athletes and female athletes if they receive any Federal funds.  Since college football teams have about 80 players on the roster, that means there needs to be plenty of “female opportunities for intercollegiate competition” to reach a “gender balanced status”.  According to the Omaha World Herald in its report here, one of the ways that some of the big schools have achieved that balance is to carry on the books inflated numbers of women on the rosters of the women’s rowing teams.  Here are some data:

  • Wisconsin:  176 women on the rowing team
  • Michigan:  132 women on the rowing team
  • Alabama:  120 women on the rowing team
  • Ohio St.:  110 women on the rowing team
  • Clemson:  104 women on the rowing team
  • Texas:  101 women on the rowing team

Those are just the “triple-digit schools”; there are others…  You might wonder how these schools can possibly afford to have so many rowing scholarships – and you would be right to have such a confusion in your mind.  It seems that the way schools make this happen is to recruit women from the general student population to come and try out for the rowing team even if they have never pulled an oar in their lives.  Then, so long as the female recruit does not evaporate, she is listed as a member of the team and carried on the roster.  There is no way most of them will ever come close to participating in an intercollegiate rowing competition – – but if they are listed on the roster, they count toward Title IX compliance.

The report linked above quotes an attorney who has experience dealing with Title IX and compliance issues:

“Whenever women’s teams or programs are treated differently in this way, such as padding women’s teams with athletes who will never participate, or having women athletes participate in non-varsity ways like novice rowing, that is sex discrimination.”

This story probably has a few chapters still to be written…

Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times that deals with men and women in sports:

“A Lithuanian couple won the 28th annual World Wife Carrying Championship in Sonkarjavi Finland on July 8.

“Just think of it as the flip side to US soccer, where the women carry the men.”

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