Strange Stuff Today …

There is a report in the Orlando Sentinel that the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) voted to start the high school football season and the girls’ volleyball season on time this Fall.  The leaders of the FHSAA ignored the recommendation(s) of its own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee as it took that action.  The chairwoman of that advisory committee is a physician with the Mayo Clinic in Jax; here is her statement:

“It is our stance that return to competition for the high-risk sports of football and volleyball is not medically safe.”

It may be difficult, but please put aside any political leanings you might have regarding COVID-19 and state mandates regarding personal behaviors.  In addition, please remember that I am rooting for a return of football this Fall; I want that to happen.  Having said that, this action by the FHSAA makes no sense.

  • Right now, in the State of Florida, the community spread of COVID-19 is as bad as it is anywhere in the US.
  • Certain counties in southern Florida report that they can count the number of vacant ICU beds on two hands with fingers left over.

The question here is simple:

  • Why does the FHSAA bother to have a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee?

In another corner of the football universe, there have been recent comments from LSU coach, Ed Orgeron, that fall somewhere between “wishful thinking” and “magical thinking”.  Here is a smattering of what he supposedly said:

“We need football.  Football is the lifeblood of our country.”  [Coach, I love football; it ain’t the lifeblood of our country.]

“Whether we start Sept. 5 or a little after that; in-conference, out of conference, that doesn’t bother me. I do know this; I believe we’re going to play.”   [Coach, I really hope you are right.  I hope just as fervently that your concerns for the health of the players on your team and your opponents’ teams is as strong as your obvious love for football.]

For the last 5 years, the Buffalo Bills have played their home games in New Era Field; the naming rights belonged to the New Era Cap company in Buffalo.  The company now wants out of that deal – not for reasons similar in any way to the reasons that FedEx threatened to take its name off the Washington stadium – and so there is a “naming rights opportunity” out there for the taking.  The Tushy Bidet company – – its goal is to Tushify every bathroom in the US – – has said it would be interested in putting its name on the stadium and that it would try to bring a college football bowl game there and call it the Toilet Bowl.

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald summarized this tidbit and hit all the low notes:

“The Buffalo Bills’ stadium needs a new name sponsor, and a bidet company called Tushy is bidding. Decorum prevents us from noting that Tushy Stadium sounds like a pretty crappy name.”

I have one last item today and it is something I have mentioned before.  The reporters who cover golf should be ashamed of themselves; they are not reporting on the sport and their writing is not nearly close enough to “deathless prose” to mitigate their poor and subjective reporting.  Far too many golf reporters spend far too much time in an obsequious posture at the feet of Tiger Woods.  That unprofessional nonsense was in full display over the weekend and yesterday.

In last week’s tournament Tiger Woods finished 15 strokes behind the tournament winner.  He finished in a 4-way tie with 3 other golfers whose names happen to be:

  • Scott Harrington
  • Marc Leishman
  • Ryan Moore

I list their names here because the reporting on the tournament ignored them even though their performance was as relevant to the tournament outcome as was Woods’.  That is the polite way of saying that all four of them finished – – in racetrack parlance – – up the track.

However, Tiger Woods got a ton of coverage that was irrelevant to the outcome.  Here is a headline from on Monday morning:

  • Improvement comes Sunday as Woods closes 2020 Memorial Tournament on high note

For someone like me who did not watch the tournament live on TV the day before, the implication here is that Woods rallied in the final round but that he started the day so far off the lead that he could not win the tournament.  So, I clicked on the headline and found this to be Paragraph #1:

“Tiger Woods ended his 2020 Memorial Tournament with a 76, which sounds terrible until you compare it to what the rest of the field is doing. Woods’ 76 was exactly the field average at the time he finished on a Muirfield Village course that was playing 4 over in major championship-like conditions.”

And you think that political campaign managers spin the news?

  1. The course did not play 4-over at the end of the day because the players who were playing well over the weekend finished after Woods was in the clubhouse.
  2. Woods also shot a 76 on Friday – – when the course was playing “normally”.  Forty golfers who made the cut shot under par on Friday – if I counted correctly.
  3. Thirty-nine golfers finished ahead of Woods – and the other three golfers who finished at +6 for the tournament.  That ended the tournament on a “high note”?

That kind of “reporting” is shameful; it is not journalism; it is close to idolatry; it is time for it to stop.

Finally, Dwight Perry had this golf-related item in the Seattle Times recently.  I suspect the golf writers of the day did not report fully on these events either:

“David Feherty says his finest moment in golf came at St. Andrews, where ‘I captained the Irish side that won the 3-man world championship back in 1990 in a blind hangover. I threw up twice on the course.’

“Which certainly gives the golf term ‘up and down’ a whole new meaning.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports



4 thoughts on “Strange Stuff Today …”

  1. Georgia annouced they plan to start their Fall football season on Sept 4th and play 10 regular season games and 5 full weeks of playoffs. Around the Atlanta area, most of the school systems will be virtual for most or all of the Fall semester. I have not seen anything regarding participation in sports without actual school attendance. When my wife was teaching high school in Georgia, after school participation required attendance at school that day.

    Some of the school systems that are not going all-virtual, are giving parents an in-person option with no masks. I do not see how this plan will work.

    1. Doug:

      I cannot imagine being a school administrator where the following happens:

      1. All academic activities are virtual due to safety concerns over COVID-19.

      2. Football teams practice and play

      3. COVID-19 hits football team and spreads

      4. A player on that team dies of COVID-19.

      School district would be lucky if all that happened there was a civil lawsuit for damages. That might also qualify for a criminal charge of reckless endangerment…

  2. Here in Florida we see baffling decisions like this one on a daily basis. Many of them are negated by the good sense of the public who protest or simply refuse to comply. As the number of football players who test positive for the virus grows, I suspect this decision will be negated, too.

    1. Gil:

      What you are describing is “jury nullification” only not in a courtroom setting. Sometimes, the people are smarter than the legislators…

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