Regular readers here know that I frequently use a clever observation or play on words from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times as a closing item to these rants. He writes a column called Sideline Chatter every weekend now; but in the past, that column ran as often as 5 days a week. Perry keeps track of the number and last I heard it was slightly more than 4,000 entries.
The column will be on hiatus for a while as Dwight Perry deals with a medical issue. I just wanted to take this as an opportunity to wish him a speedy and full recovery. I will be checking for the return of Sideline Chatter regularly.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, there is still uncertainty surrounding the CFL season in 2021, but one “open question” involving the league came to a resolution yesterday. The Edmonton team – the one ever so indelicately named the Eskimos since 1949 – have changed their name to The Edmonton Elks. The team colors of green and gold will remain, and the new team logo is a “modernistic” rendition of a bull elk. The fans participated in the selection of the new team name having been asked to select it from a list of 7 names – all being alliterative with the letter “E” – in an open survey.
I got an email this morning from a reader saying that 353 players have entered their names onto the NBA Draft List. I went online to look at the list but the one I found only had 127 names on it. No problem: the fact is that only 60 players are going to be drafted so one of two things should happen:
- A lot of players should come to grips with the reality that they are not going to be one of the draftees and take their name off the list and go back to play another year of college basketball – – assuming they have not hired an agent which would make them ineligible to return to school.
- Continue to live in a delusion until such time that the only real choice for a basketball contract is somewhere in Europe or Australia – – or Neptune.
MLB decided to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to the passage of a law in Georgia that involved voting procedures and was controversial to say the least. Not surprisingly, that action is now being challenged in court; frankly, I am a bit surprised that it took this long for that to happen; the MLB decision to move the game was in early April. Not only is MLB named as a defendant, but so is the MLBPA; this suit has those two entities working in concert to deprive citizens in Georgia some of their Constitutional rights. [Aside: If so, that might be the only thing those two entities have agreed on and worked together on constructively in the past several years.]
The plaintiff in the case is an organization known as Job Creators Network (JCN); it is an organization that opposes government rules and regulations which interfere with “the economic freedom that helped make this country prosperous”. I am not able to explain how the MLB decision to move the All-Star Game involved such interference, so I shall leave that to the legal eagles involved in the case to resolve.
JCN has asked the court for 3 things as far as I can tell:
- It wants an immediate injunction requiring the MLB All-Star game to be put back in Atlanta to be played at Truist Park. [No surprise here…]
- It wants an award of $100M because that is the economic loss JCN claims will be incurred by people in Georgia – – mainly the Atlanta area – – from the movement of the game. [I would have the same level of faith in this number as I do in estimates of the “economic benefit” to a city/country for holding the Olympics.]
- It wants an award of $1B in punitive damages for doing such a dastardly deed. [I guess this falls into the category of “Go Big Or Go Home”.]
The filing is a lengthy one. I do not pretend to understand at least half of the claims or the basis offered up as support for those claims, but let me try to summarize a layman’s overview:
- The movement of the All-Star Game will inflict economic damages on business in Atlanta – – big businesses and small ones. The losses are not merely the absence of revenues that would be taken in during the days surrounding the game itself but also represent some sunk costs incurred by businesses as they planned for the event.
- Moreover, state and local government entities will be harmed by lower-than-anticipated tax revenues based on the relocation of the game.
- In one part of the filing, JCN refers to the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and alleges that MLB and the MLBPA violated that law. The KKK Act says that individuals and private entities may not conspire to deprive other citizens of Constitutional rights. As I recall American History the Ku Klux Klan were private individuals and they did seek to deprive other citizens of their Constitutional rights – – but it is far from clear to me how MLB and the MLBPA have behaved in a manner that is “KKK-like”. The lawsuit contends very directly that MLB and the MLBPA ““plotted, coordinated, and executed a common plan and conspiracy to cancel the All-Star Game in Atlanta with the intent to injure and deprive residents and businesses of Atlanta, Georgia of their Constitutional rights.” [I am way over my head here; I shall not try to explain that.]
- In another part of the filing, JCN claims that the relocation has racial overtones. Atlanta has more Black people than Denver and therefore more Black people will incur economic losses – and the loss of Constitutional rights? – because of the move. [Having visited both Atlanta and Denver, I am certain that the population difference cited here is accurate…]
- There are several parts of this lawsuit that make it seem as if MLB and MLBPA are an extension of the Nationals and State governments because of things like taxpayer funding for stadiums. [I have no idea why that is an important point to make but JCN makes it several ways so there must be some relevance here.]
Finally, since I started today with news about Dwight Perry, let me close with one of his observations in the Seattle Times:
“Warriors treymaker Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha appeared on ‘Sesame Street,’ joining Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover to promote eating a healthy breakfast.
“This episode, one assumes, was brought to you by the number ‘3.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………