Archive | Sports

Kids’ Sports – Sigh

Posted on 30 September 2012 by Thraxxus

The following is a letter I wrote to the head of the League my son played soccer with until today.

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Mr.  League Executive,

I am writing to you to explain to you why my son won’t be back to play this season and furthermore why I will not be signing him up to play with Legends again. Understand this, based on the game today and the discussion that happened with several coaches and parents after the game it is also my understanding that several of the other parents on our team are strongly considering  pulling their children from the league as well. Allow me to elaborate as to why.
  1. Our children have not been taught any fundamentals at all this season. I’ve been to every practice and every game, and have verified with other parents and asked the children directly. By fundamentals I include – How to properly kick a ball, passing, goal tending, throw ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, defense – really the list goes on and on. This frustration was explained to the coaches at the end of the game. We were told “That is not what we do.  We don’t teach fundamentals. All we teach are individual moves.” I replied with “Our goalies don’t even know that they can use their hands.” I was told, “You seriously expect us to teach a goalie that he is allowed to pick up the ball? What a waste of time that would be.” I retorted with. “Yes! I have been a coach for 15 years. Always make sure that your players understand fundamentals before teaching anything advanced.” The response? “Yeah whatever. Waste of time.” Then he turned to the other coaches and said “Come on lets go.” And they walked off.
  2. The individual skill that was used non stop during the game was the “Pull Back.” Don’t misunderstand, I find this to be a useful skill for any soccer player to know, however in today’s game the move was so over used that the parents on the side line were actually laughing. Why? Every pull back executed garnered a player a sticker. At one point in the game all of the kids, minus the goalies, were sitting in a circle pulling back the ball from each other. The game actually wasn’t moving. It was one large pull back session. Again, the parents on the side line were actually laughing how stupid the game had become. The coaches? They just kept saying”Do a pull back!” over and over again. This went on for quite some time. The obvious point to make here is that even though the move has been taught, the purpose of the move has not been. A pull back has a use, a purpose, and a player should be taught that. The only thing the kids on our team know about the pull back is that if they do one they get a sticker.
  3. With 5 minutes left in the game my son walked off the field and told me he wouldn’t be going back. Realize this – he never does that. I asked him what was wrong, his answer is crushing. “My team doesn’t know how to pass. They don’t know how to kick a ball. Our goalies don’t know they can use their hands. All we do is pull backs. That coach over there told me to stop going after the ball so hard. I don’t want to play here anymore. We aren’t doing anything. This is boring.” He is five years old and came to the same conclusion about the league that the parents had come to on the sideline and had been discussing the entire game, the games prior, and at the practices.
  4. Team practices are so disorganized and disorderly, that the parents have started to step in by walking on the to field to get the kids to pay attention to their coach who is too busy having fun himself. We spend at least half of every practice playing Sharks and Minos. 15 minutes is spent doing a scrimmage where the kids randomly run into each other. The other 15 minutes are spent doing the same two moves over and over again. Not once have any fundamentals been covered. I know this because I actually asked our coach two practices ago if he could teach the kids how to kick the ball considering most of them don’t know how to. The response? “I guess.. just not really sure why.” The guy either hasn’t noticed what the parents have or doesn’t care. Most of the kids don’t actually know how to kick the ball correctly.
  5. Our team has won every game prior to today. I say this only for one reason – we win because our top players actually are the ones that ignore the coach both in practice and the game – again to such a degree that the parents are having to walk onto the field DURING A GAME to get the kids who aren’t in to stop screwing around. The coach seems to be oblivious to this, or again just doesn’t care. Again – we win because our kids ignore their coach. Does that seem right to you?
  6. I signed my son up for Legends because supposedly he was going to learn more about the game, team skills, and individual skills. In the weeks we have been with Legends the only thing he has learned is the pull back. I taught him how to kick a ball, at goalie he could use his hands, how to defend, how to attack, how to pass and how to throw in. Why should I pay your league to not teach my son how to play the very sport I am paying you to teach him.
Again, I have been a coach for 15 years. I have coached everyone from 3.5 years old to 42 years old. I always start by explaining the rules of practice – how players conduct themselves. We didn’t hear anything about this until the third week – and that happened only after the parents complained. I always teach fundamentals first. With that I teach them WHY they do something. Right now I am coaching 5-7 year old children and every one of them can tell you why they do what they do. On our soccer team our kids don’t know why they do anything – especially the pull back. When your coaches were brought complaints, instead of listening to the parents’ concerns they got defensive and borderline abusive. There was eye rolling and then they just walked off. Not one concern was addressed. Not one.
What kills me is that there is a lady on our team who has been with Legends for five years and she told me she will not be back. She is pulling her kids from the league because she is so disgusted. She was the one that started the discussing with the coaches after the game today and was repeatedly told that they just don’t teach that stuff in Legends, at all, period. The message was simple: “Legends is about individual skills only.” What I find humorous in that statement is that the fundamentals are individual skills.
I didn’t have to write you this letter, and frankly you don’t have to take a drop of it to heart, but I felt that since I am a coach, I owed it to my kids, the team’s kids, and the other coaches to tell them that what you are doing in Legends is wrong. All you are teaching the kids is how to not play as a team, how to be ball hogs, and how to earn stickers. Te players constantly fight with their own teammates. I have seen this happen on every single team I have watched this season. Not one of the kids on the team has learned how to play as a team, with other players, or why they do what they do, and frankly that is tragic.
My son never quits anything. My wife and I taught him that and we are very proud that he has that quality. Today he told us he would never play with Legends again. The irony is even if he hadn’t said that we wouldn’t be back. I will also be explaining to the kids on the team that I coach to avoid Legends, as well as all of our friends that have children. I find that, however Legends manifested in to what it has become, it is truly a misguided league and experience.
Good luck.
Thraxxus

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Regaled.

Posted on 08 August 2012 by Thraxxus

Americans, most, love Football – American Football. We love the hits, the game, the competition, the smell of it all. We talk about the game when there is no game. In the offseason we discuss what happened in the previous seasons and what might happen in the next season. We focus on the players, the teams, the draft, who is going where – theorycraft really. In effect we fill time where there is no football with discussion about the football that isn’t there. We have learned to take this game, and all that it involves, and raise it up on a pedestal, making the players demigods, or have we?

This is a football player. His name is Barry Sanders. He is considered by many football officianados to be one of the greatest to play the game. Barry retired from football just after the 1998 season – he had played for just nine years professionally. In that short time Barry became legend – in football that is. He was 5’8 and weighed 203 lbs. Tiny by professional football standards – but it didn’t matter, he was great. Barry Sanders, the legendary football player. Question: What did Barry Sanders need to be legendary?

Most people will quickly talk about his physical attributes, how he was the perfectly designed runningback, his understanding of the game, his heart and will power, his selflessnes. They will talk about him as a player, and only him, because the question implies that. The answer though is far more vast, and far less understood. Barry Sanders played on a team, which is a group of men each playing a variety of positions – 53 on the team, 45 dress for a game. So Barry Sanders needed them right? What about the teams prior to the team he played on each professional season? We should count them as well as they helped to make Barry Sanders who he was right? What about his opponents teams? Each professional season he played against no less than 16 of those. By my count, players alone, that means that each season Barry Sanders could say that his legend was affected by roughly 1000 players, again – each season. What about College? High School? He played there as well. Barry Sanders encountered thousands and thousands of players in his career, from begining to end.

Does it end there? Where do these players play football? Where do they practice? The teams play in stadiums, and practice in practice facilities and stadiums. Where did those come from? Every single place that Barry Sanders played and practiced at affected his game in some way –  didn’t it? Nine stadiums, minimum, each season to play in (1 home, and 8 away). Practice facilities, another Nine, at the least. Again, per season. What about the prior seasons? What about college? High School? Didn’t all those places affect his legend in some fashion – they helped to build his legend didn’t they?

Those places were built and maintained by someone, weren’t they? Surely these colossal structures didn’t just popup out of thin air. Someone had to design them, buy the location, acquire the building materials, have knowledge of how to build such a structure, project managements, builders. The list goes on and on really. Dozens of people? Hundreds? Thousands? Per facility. How many? How many people were involved in each and every one of these facilities construction? How could they have built those places without the materials to build them? Where did those materials come from? Where did the wood come from? The concrete? The steel?

What about the uniforms? The coaches? The water boy? Locker room guys? Groundskeeper? Team Owner? Manager? Physical Therapist? Masseuse? Nutritionist? What about the doctors? Referees? Linesman? Cheerleaders? What about the fans? Were any of these people an effect on Barry Sanders? Did they interact with him? Surely an argument can be made that at least some of these people had an effect on his game right? What if the physical therapist had wrapped his ankle poorly one game? What if he wrapped it better than any other ankle he had ever wrapped before? What if he was perfect at HIS job?

This line of thinking can be taken to the extreme even more ridiculous than it has already been taken here. In fact, it can go back in time, to those that played before Barry Sanders – what they brought to the game. Truly, we can get silly with this line of thinking – or is it really silly?

As parents, in our society, we tend to value what society values. In the USA, Professional Atheletes are valued above almost anyone else – publicly anyway. They are regaled as heroes. Demigods. We raise them up above all things, and forget how they even got there, and who helped them get to those great heights. Tragically this has lead many parents to try to get their own child into that position, even if said child doesn’t want to be there – even if said child is both incapable of doing so and would hate it if they were. Why? Why do we drive our children to be something that they are not? Why do we strive to push them to be something they would hate to be?

Why is it so wrong to be one of those other people? The builder. The architect. The doctor. The groundskeeper. The physical therapist. The ad writer. Why is that so wrong? They are all needed. They are all valuable. They are required for Barry Sanders, any Barry Sanders, to become legend. They are all, in some way, a part of that legend – even though they are not actively represented in our memories of Barry Sanders.

President Barrack Obama recently said “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” He took a lot of flack for that statement. The more cantankerous Republicans took his statement as a belittlement of the business person – lessening their accomplishments. That is one way to take it – not the way I took it. I am not defending Obama, or anyone else who makes a statement like the one he made – I am simply seeing it in a positive light. That business owner’s business isn’t actually possible without others being involved – at the very least the customer. The materials they need, the establishment, the vehicles, employees – all of it, is involved in the success of that business, and thus that business person.

Why forget them? Why dismiss them? Why pretend that they had no effect? To be positive for a moment, something that is not easy for me, people have a place. In any successful endeavor there are many factors that came together for that to happen. People, places, materials – again, all of it. Perhaps it is best that we remember those things from time to time, and help those that help us to become the legends we aspire to be.

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The Demise of Penn State

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Thraxxus

It is no secret to anyone these days that Penn State was recently discovered to be part of an internal conspiracy to cover up a series of child molestation incidents all by one man: Coach Sandusky – the assistant coach to Coach Paterno. When the molestations took place Penn State was a revered school in both football and academics, and Coach Paterno was the University’s Deity – consequently the powers that be at Penn State felt it was better to leave the molestations alone than to actually report them to the legal authorities. In effect, they decided on a cover up over doing what was both right and legal. They broke the law.

It is easy to say that what they did was wrong – sadly our society, in many ways, has come to expect the worst from those that keep their fingers on the pulse of the financial world – such as those in charge at Penn State. That aside for a moment, we have also learned that a Coach is someone we should be able to trust. Supposedly a coach has our interests at heart, wants us to succeed, wants us to be safe, because in some weird way it is his job to do so. He stands for the sanctity and success of his team – no matter what. He should always be the staunch defender of his players. In effect, it is his unspoken oath.

Coach Paterno’s decision to sit idly by and follow the directive of the college leadership, that being to ignore these little inproprieties for the greater good of the university, has lead ultimately to his demise in the annals of sports history. This single act of betrayal has stripped him of his legacy and left his fans and family emotionally destroyed. Was it hubris? Ignorance? Or just a lack of caring? It doesn’t really matter does it?

The verdict by the NCAA was harsh indeed, and is most likely a death warrant for the University as a whole, but it was fitting:

  1. $60 million fine.
  2. 4-year Bowl Ban (not that they would get there now anyway as all players will look somewhere else first before they look at Penn State)
  3. Stripped Paterno’s wins for 1998-2011 – which also stripped Coach Paterno of the title “Winningest Coach in Football History”.
  4. “The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.”

Justice was served to the school on a whole. The individuals responsible? They should be brought up on individual charges. Chances are that won’t happen. The citizens in the community, as well as those attending the university, should demand legal recourse against those that did this heinous act as their University shall forever be known for the one that allowed this to happen. Forever Tarnished, never forgiven.

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Belichick’s Chicanery

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Thraxxus

I despise the New England Patriots – always have – basically for a few reasons really:

  1. I hate Bill Belichick. He is a confirmed cheater.
  2. I despise Tom Brady – I believe he is one of the most overrated Quarterbacks of all time.
  3. I cannot stand being told whom I am supposed to believe in – on any subject – in this one, football, we the people have been told that both the Cowboys (another team I hate) and the Patriots are America’s teams. Screw that crap.

Sunday was the Superbowl. It was a solid game – a real nail biter. There were two plays that made the game great. The first was an amazing throw/reception combination by the Giants that set them into position to win the game. The catch was so spectacular that they needed to review it to make sure that it really even happened and was legal. No joke.

The second play was, I admit this grudgingly, a genius maneuver that ultimately did not pay off by Belichick. Realize I hate this guy. I hate everything about him. That said he made a call, really the only intelligent call any coach could have made, to try to give his team the best shot at a comeback – a call that almost nobody would have thought of. See, I am a football coach, albeit not on the scale of Belichick’s career, and thus I am familiar with the hard decisions, and sometimes off the cuff calls, that a coach faces in game. It is much more difficult than people think – trust me here.

Belichick faced a situation where his team was going to be forced to watch the game clock go down to almost zero, watch what we can only assume would be the game winning kick by the Giants, that would lead to the Patriots losing by exactly one point with time expiring. The game was, in effect, already over. Belichick got this. Hell the only thing that didn’t happen was the rolling credits by the television station that was smart enough to buy up the rights to show the game. The commentators were talking about how the end was inevitable – the Giants had pulled an upset – and poor poor Belichick had to watch it all happen in painful slow motion.

No, Belichick wasn’t going down like that – and he sure as hell wasn’t going to go down with his “Star Quarterback” on the sidelines. During the pre-game hype Brady said that if given the choice he’d rather be on the field, down by a few points, with two minutes left than watching Eli do the comeback. Brady is confident enough that he can comeback, as he has in the past, and more importantly so can Eli – thus he’d rather it be him with the chance of glory instead of being forced to watch another take it from him. Belichick’s solution to the problem at hand was to do just that – get the ball back in the hands of Brady. But how?

The Giants owned the clock, the ball, and just needed to wait it out, kick an auto win field goal, collect a trophy and go home. To do so they would execute two simple run plays where the Running Back is told to hold the ball as if his life depended on it. Take a handoff, hold the ball, run straight ahead. That is what Belichick would tell his Runningback, and he knew that is what the other coach was doing as well. He knew it balls to bones – and so he did the unthinkable – he ordered his defense to simply step out of the way. It was a gamble – let them score. The Giants, after all, were down by two. That meant that if they scored, and went for two, the best they could be is up six points – giving Brady and the evil Patriots a shot at that last minute comeback – the one they had done so many time prior.

In effect, this call, is quite possibly the singularly greatest call by a coach I have ever witnessed. Remember, I hate Belichick, truly. I would love to see him stripped of his titles for cheating. Really. That aside for a moment, just a short moment, I really respected his abilities as a coach. If not for the cheating I could probably even respect the guy. Bravo sir. You made a call that few would think of and even fewer would have the balls to make.

Tragically you still lost.

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Timmy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Kenfu

Ok, the sporting world is going nuts over Tim Tebow.

People either hate him or love him. There doesn’t appear to be a middle ground with him. I think he is proving a point that I have long advocated about the NFL.

The point being that the option can’t work in the NFL.

I truly believe that the option can work in the NFL and that it could work well.

Proof: The wildcat that was popular for a season or 2 was effectively running the option. It was effective.

Tim Tebow right now. He is winning games due to the Broncos effectiveness at running the ball. (Less turnovers/clock control)

If you were to run the option in the NFL you would have to construct your team differently (obviously).

You would need a good defense and a QB that would be able to run the offense.

The reason the option is not run in the NFL is that you can’t have a guy you pay $15-20 million dollars running into 250lb+ LB’s and DE’s every play without him getting hurt sooner or later. But you could pay your first QB $5mil with your 2nd and 3rd string making 3 and 2 mil respectivlely (this is still less than what you would pay your 1 franchise guy – saving money to spend on that defense.) Also you would get first choice of all of these QB’s since you’re the only one in the NFL that runs this offense. So you start with Tim Tebow and back him up with Denard Robinson or Vince Young.

The other reason the option isn’t run in the NFL, is the fact that NFL coaches want to be seen as geniuses and score lots of points. That’s done by spreading the field and running many different formations to make youself look smart.

But if you’re the only team that runs the option in the NFL, teams would have to train SPECIFICALLY for your team. You would be completely different than every other offense in the NFL. Short weeks, teams would only have 3-4 days to plan for you. This would be such an advantage. Some players in the pros might not have ever played against the option with the high school and pro shifting the spread offense.

ANother argument is that the NFL Defenses have such great athletes that they would shut the option down immediately. Well the offense has great athletes too. The US Naval Academies run the option and they definitely have inferior athletes for the most part than the colleges they typically play against. Yet they win more than they lose and the opposing team usually knows the play (there are only so many ways that you can run the option).

So Tim Timbow – run the option and prove all the experts wrong.

I’d like to see a NFL team go all in with it.

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Sandusky

Posted on 13 December 2011 by Thraxxus

Assistant Coach Sandusky is in some hot water (creepy looking dude btw), boiling hot infested water with sharks and other not so nice teeth baring creatures. Why? The coach screwed little boys – well allegedly. The catch about the word allegedly here is that it implies that maybe something happened, we just aren’t sure, when in this situation there were several witnesses to the screwing, documentation regarding the witnessing of said screwing, and several people even lost their jobs over the witnessing of said screwing. Have I said screwing enough? Point is there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of alleged anything here – facts appear to point in the general direction that coach Sandusky likes to screw boys – which is illegal, apparently.

Why does any of this matter? The coach is a scumbag. We get that. He should go to prison whereby he gets victimized the rest of his life by his cell mate Biff. We get that. So why is this case in the media? Joe Paterno, that’s why. Coach Peterno is a legend. Actually when legends need something to look up to its Coach Paterno. Wikipedia describes him better than I ever could:

“Joseph Vincent “Joe” Paterno (pronounced /pəˈtɜrnoʊ/; born December 21, 1926) is a former college football coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011. Paterno, nicknamed “JoePa,” holds the record for the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football coach with 409 and is the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories.[1] He coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games and, in 2007, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.”

Like I said – Legend. Turns out coach Peterno is the guy that saw Sandusky diddling boys. The catch here is what Paterno did – he reported what he saw. What is wrong with that? Apparently everything. Paterno told the heads of his university, that oddly enough, by way of contract, is who he was supposed to tell – and they were supposed to handle the situation. What they did instead was ignore the diddling like it never happened. Paterno? Scapegoat later. Why? Apparently he should have told the police. I can’t disagree with that, however, what people are missing here is that contractually, had he gone to the police, he and his family would have been ruined by the same university that he reported the incident to. Right. He had to tell the university or he’d be sued off the Earth. The university decided not to do anything. Paterno’s fault.

So what happened to this case? It started today, then abruptly ended! That is right, Sandusky announced in court that he didn’t want a hearing, instead he wanted a trial. You read that right. The dude doesn’t want a hearing, he wants a trial – where he is the one on trial. What? Yeah. Batshit crazy? Yeah. Paterno? Career over.  University? Hand slapped. Boys, still were diddled, nobody can undo that. Will justice be served? If by justice you mean Sandusky will most likely go to prison where he might be treated the way he treated those boys? Perhaps. Will the boys get relief? Nope.

Meanwhile Paterno, a brokenhearted guy, sits and home wasting away, with a broken hip. Career toast. Legendary status, mostly toast. The college he was the reigning deity over now dismisses him as garbage – why? For following a contractual obligation that never should have existed.

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Accidents

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Thraxxus

If you have not heard, this weekend, during an Indy Car race in Las Vegas, there was a major accident that involved 15 of the cars. Dan Wheldon, a well known driver, was killed in this accident. Of course youtube is thriving with videos of the accident – macabre to be sure. The accident is tremendously violent and shows you just how fragile these cars really are. Think about nature for a moment. A rhino is a strong creature with lots of armor. He can’t scale a fence. He can’t walk a tight rope. Anything agility oriented is basically completely beyond him. That said he can take and deliver one hell of a hit. Now consider a cat. For his size he is incredibly fast. A cat’s agility borders on the mystical. They can dodge things that most creatures wouldn’t even notice. They catch mice for pete’s sake – a creature that is blindingly quick. Sneeze on a cat wrong and they die. Why? In a way cats traded durability for speed and agility – that is the price for those skills. The rhino preferred durability and strength.

What the hell does this have to do with an Indy Car? Indy cars are cats. They are incredibly fast, agile, and reportedly (I still find this tough to believe btw), if handled correctly, can actually ride upside on the ceiling due to the amount of downward force they exude. They are incredible feats of technological design, and they are just as equally fragile. In effect, if you touch an Indy car wrong, in breaks. If you hit one even slightly it blows apart. That is the price to be the way they are. That is the weird thing about this life – we all pay little prices to do things.

A football player knows that in any play he could be permanently injured for life – paralyzed, even killed. He knew that when he signed up. He gets paid for that danger. A Boxer knows that during any round, receiving any hit, can result in permanent damage, or death. It is what he signed up for. It is actually part of the documentation process – accepting the danger. This happens in many aspects of life. It is not tragic – it is just part of doing the job. Consider coal miners – black lung is something they can get. Deep well drillers – things explode on rigs all the time. It is the nature of the work.

Dan Wheldon died this weekend because of an accident that occurred doing what he loved to do, and made a good living doing it. He knew the cost of that ride. Drivers are taught that. It is not only part of their training, but their lore. They learn about others who have fallen doing what they love. Mr. Wheldon died doing what he loved. Think about that. How often does that actually happen? Yes he died, and that can be perceived as tragic as a life was lost, a man who was loved by many is gone forever. However, he died doing what he felt was his reason for living.

The news, media, and people everywhere are talking about how tragic it was that Dan Wheldon died. I don’t see it that way. A man sitting on a park bench with his children, all three of them being killed by a drunk driver flying off course into a park – that is tragic. They did nothing to be killed in that fashion. They didn’t sign up to be killed by a drunk driver. They weren’t being Professional Bench Sitters where being killed by a drunk driver is a common danger. No, they were just sitting in a park enjoying the weather and each other. Dan Wheldon was in a professional Indy Car race, and he died in that race. Do I wish that on anyone? No. Do I find it sad? Yes. Is it really a surprising tragedy? Not even close.

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NBA – Who Cares?

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Thraxxus

It seems like it was just yesterday that people were talking about the NFL and how they would never get past their labor disagreement, talks, etc to such a degree that the season would be lost forever! Of course it wasn’t, in fact very little was lost – except for the fervor of the fans. Yes the NFL talks finally finished with the greedy bastards getting mostly what they wanted (you can guess who I am talking about) and the season did go on with all the drama that one could expect – that said it all happened and the fans that I know just don’t seem to care as much as they did last year. That is important to understand. I know people with season tickets who really don’t even care to go. Its not that they now hate football, they just seem a bit disenchanted.

I still think that the NHL never fully recovered from their debacle. Sure people go to games, but I never hear anyone talk about hockey any more – I mean nobody. I have a dear friend who is a die hard NHL fan and he never talks about it either. I told him the other day that there was going to be an NHL game played here in Kansas City. His reply? “Meh. Who cares.” DIE HARD FAN. What happened? Disenchantment again. I believe that witnessing the greed based meltdown of his beloved sport and borderline religion ruined his love of the game. He still has a certain fondness, just now when he thinks about Hockey one of the first things that happens is that bad taste in his mouth.

So what now of the NBA? Again we are looking at greed. Lots of it. The crux of the argument is that a huge portion of the teams are actually losing money. Think that through. The players association gets 57% of the take from ticket sales, and the owners get 43%. Turns out most of those owners are losing money – some how – to such a degree that several of them implied that losing a season would actually SAVE them money. Apparently the owner proposed a 50/50 split with the players, who flat out rejected it. Understand this – we are talking about a sport where some players make 20 million per season. TWENTY MILLION. Apparently making less than that is just too painful. WTF?

We now live in an age where sports players are glorified to the level of Demigods, and are paid as such, where at the same time those who teach and care for our children daily are having their pay cut yet again. What gets me here is that if teachers were to strike the citizens get upset, the politicians start to cast stones of blame, and eventually everyone tells the teachers to just buck up and take it – and teachers make an average salary of like 37k per year. Meanwhile, professional athletes go on strike because they might not make as many millions as they usually do and the citizens seem to back them up by still buying tickets and going to games. Why?

I say let the NBA strike finish -and then boycott the shit out of the games. You can still watch it on television – in your local bar or at home – just don’t buy a ticket. Show them what it really feels like to lose out on money. Greedy bastards.

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Fantasy Football

Posted on 19 September 2011 by Thraxxus

ARGGGG.

I am playing Fantasy Football again. GlazednConfused and I have a team that we manage together. Last year we won the Superbowl, made loads of money, and are at it again this year. The problem with winning the Superbowl is that the next year you get hosed on picks – meaning you go dead last. In reality this isn’t as bad as it sounds as the draft we had was using what is called Snake Pick Format. It looks something like this:

Round 1: Team 1, Team 2, Team 3…. Team 10

Round 2: Team 10, Team 9… Team 1

Round 3: Team 1… Team 10

And so on. The best place to be, in my opinion, is dead center as you get less dead time between picks. The problem with being on the ends is that you get two solid picks in a row and then nothing for a long time. Our picks were tough as that means that we had to get a running back and a quarterback as our first picks – leaving us with lackluster receivers and other QBs and RBs down the road. The real mistake was made when we picked lots of players with the same bye week – so now we lack coverage.

Two games have been played – we lost both – in effect we got beat like a rented mule. Screwed – no kissing. It was bad. Week three we lose half our team to byes. We are basically already done for the season. At the least that will ensure us a better pick spot for next year and it only cost us $40 for that set of mistakes! Thank god we aren’t paying for every loss.

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1.2 Billion Well Spent?

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Thraxxus

Jerry Jones, aclaimed owner of the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL Franchise, complained for several years that his beloved team, the Pride of Texas (The Texans may not agree with that title) and America’s Team (The Patriots probably don’t like that title either), needed a better stadium to play in. He touted it on Television. He said it in interviews. He shouted it from the roof tops. “Damn it someone get my team a better stadium!” Finally the people of Texas coughed up some money (reportedly 1.2 Billion) and helped to build that new stadium. Why? There were promises made, big ones. There was this bit thrown around that the 2010 SuperBowl (this term is trademarked by the NFL and thus for me to even reference it I must credit them with the knowledge that they do in fact own it – please don’t sue us) is being played in Dallas and how wonderful and amazing and celestial it would be for the Cowboys to win the Big Game (not trademarked!) in their own home town!

It would have been.

So where are we today? Last night Jerry Jones fired his head coach, mid season, an act that has never before been done in the Big Star, and replaced him with the Offensive Coordinator – one Jason Garrett – a move considered by many to be just plain strange as the players don’t like him and he is responsible for the Offense this year –  an offense that has been lackluster to put it mildly. That’s right! Give the reins of the team over to a guy that helped to make it so poor? More genius work by Jerry.

The list of debacles, injuries and boondoggles on the Cowboys is staggering. The problem, supposedly, started with the Offensive Line – a group of guys now being referred to as old, washed up, and ancient – who were at the beginning of the season were regaled as being experienced enough to handle the youth of the league. Turns out these guys are now being blamed for a series of issues including Tony Romo getting his clavicle snapped like a twig. The offense can’t put points on the board which has somehow lead to the Defense being just to darn depressed to perform. Le Sigh.

The Cowboys are done – put a form in them. Now if only the Patriots would fall apart too – oh wait.. they just lost to a team that never should have beaten them – the Cleveland Browns. Who will be dubbed America’s Team next? I am hoping for a different sport – like table tennis – properly called Ping Pong.

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Slacker Alert!

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Thraxxus

Apparently I am a slacker. I apologize for not having a new post in several days as I was literally on the road driving cross country. So what did you and I miss in this wonderful journey we are taking together? Strap in kiddies, uncle Thraxxus will take you on a wild ride through the universe.

  1. It turns out that Banks are not only corrupt bastards who believe that they are above the law but that they are also willing to prove that in grand form. NPR has been talking for the past few weeks about the foreclosure process being seriously FUBAR in America – but oh wait, it gets better! Apparently banks, when asked for notes and titles, can’t actually produce them! Why? They don’t have them and never did. So the question remains – who owns your house?
  2. The political race in America is totally out of control! How? This last year Congress passed a law that allows corporations to dump as much cash as they want into the political process. The result? One news station reported showing 24 political ads per hour. Analysis by many political experts showed that many of those ads are false information aimed at disarming the populace. Nice.
  3. It turns out that the NFL may not be active next year. Why? Apparently the poor owners who make next to no money at all want the players, and not just the cities the teams are located in, to burden the cost of stadium upgrades. Apparently anyone but the owners themselves really. The players are holding their collective middle fingers in the air and soooooo KABOOM. First it was the NHL, then MLB…..sigh.
  4. President Bush is still a douche bag – what of Obama? Better speaker – spends even more money. Bad guy? Who really knows?
  5. Driving across country on the I40 is a lot like driving red hot rivets through your scrotum – but less exciting.
  6. A discussion I had yesterday revealed to me that the top ten musicians in modern times are all gay. I don’t know how true that is but to all you anti gay people – go to hell. Talent and sexual orientation have nothing to do with each other. You go Elton!
  7. Slacker is actually a streaming radio station online – a friend of mine architected it! check it out.
  8. A recent study conducted by Caravaggio suggests that nobody reads nor likes Blinkinblogs. I never did like that guy. Son of a #$@%@#!!
  9. Things you like to eat kill you. Thing you don’t like to eat kill you. the very act of breathing oxygen in kills you.
  10. Lists, like this one, are irritating to read and prove nothing.

Screw you with a rubber duck. Have a nice weekend!

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Feeling Helpless?

Posted on 19 September 2010 by Thraxxus

Often times in our lives we have these moments or time periods where we have a feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness. My father always says that whenever he feels like that the universe has an odd way of telling him to buck up little camper – usually this is done by a burn victim going by in a wheelchair showing him that he really doesn’t have it all that bad. This happens to be regularly as well. I am not religious per say, but it is those moments that make me wonder.

I say all of this because if you ever needed to be inspired this fellow’s recent accomplishment might just do that. He is a quadruple amputee who just swam across the English Channel. Realize that this is very hard to do if you have all your limbs and he did it with none. So really, what are you whining about?

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A Frank Deford Piece

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Thraxxus

This is a piece by Frank Deford. It is from NPR.org. I felt the need to share it as I agree with every drop of it. In recent times the heroes we once looked up to in the sports world have managed to fall from grace with a groaning thud. Deford addresses each one of the recent fallen angels in kind and the impact their impact with the ground had on sports lovers everywhere.

*****************************************************************

Who Can A Young Fan Look Up To? It’s Tough

This must be a terrible time for the children of America.  We’ve always been told that our little tykes need to look up to star athletes.  But one way or another, those heroes are either being disgraced or getting injured or just plain disappearing.  At this rate, our nation of worshipful boys and girls will have to turn its lonely eyes away from sports stars to actors, or reality-show people — or even, heaven forbid, to politicians.

It all starts, of course, with Tiger Woods, and we do not have to elaborate on that except to say that now poor Phil Mickelson has arthritis, so golf is down to No. 3.  Only, of course, there is no No. 3.

The networks that bring us golf tournaments are completely discombobulated. They keep showing us Tiger Woods instead of who is actually winning the tournament.  No golf journalists remember how to cover golf the way it was pre-Tiger Woods.  So, as a consequence, not only is Tiger Woods a bad memory we can’t escape, but golf itself has disappeared down a rabbit hole.

Meanwhile, in women’s golf, first Annika Sorenstam, the closest thing to a female Tiger in our time, retired to start a family, and then her successor, Lorena Ochoa, retired to be with her husband — so now the women’s tour doesn’t exist, either.  It’s like Snow White waiting for some tournament to kiss Michelle Wie and finally make her the fairest of them all.

Lance Armstrong is a fading Tinker Bell. Clap, boys and girls, if you’re sucker enough to believe in him.  Ben Roethlisberger, Middle America’s blue-collar quarterback, is suspended for being, well, extremely nasty.  The less said about Roger Clemens, the better.  Too bad for old Roger that he felt obliged to say more.

Michael Phelps actually got beat.  Is that the first leaf of autumn to fall into his pool?  Roger Federer carried tennis on his back.  All of a sudden, he’s just another aging quarterfinalist.  Serena Williams seldom shows up to play, and now she’s really hurt, and can’t play in the U.S. Open.  Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human ever-ever-ever, got beat, is injured, and his departure from the track is as damaging to the popularity of his sport as it was when Simon left American Idol.

Overnight, LeBron James, who modestly calls himself The Chosen One, went from you’re-so-fine to what-were-you-thinking? — and now everybody outside Miami-Dade County roots against the best player in the game.

Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run, and all that did was remind people that the best baseball player of this century is a cheat.

It’s like some evil genius is sitting in some cave, cackling maniacally, as he picks off our poor dear children’s heroes, one by one.  So, please, yes — let’s give a rousing cheer that Brett Favre has once again decided that we need him.  Speaking for the children of America, thank you, Brett, for coming back again; and again; and again.

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Steinbrenner R.I.P.

Posted on 13 July 2010 by Thraxxus

George Steinbrenner has died at the ripe old age of 80 of a heart attack. Steinbrenner was the bit of a controversial MLB team owner of the most valuable team on the earth: The Yankees. Early on Steinbrenner figured out that the more money he spent on players, the more championships the Yankees would win and thus the more money he’d get back. His theory on team building is now used by many other dynasties in plenty of sport including American Football, Basketball and European Futbol. Steinbrenner’s death may have a major impact on Basball, and will no doubt affect the Yankees – be that good or bad.

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NBA Owners are slave masters

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Kenfu

Make me a slave!

but seriously…..Jason Whitlock has it right

– this is nothing but an attention grab by Jesse Jackson (What does this guys do anyway?) I’m sure he milk’s African Americans for more money than white folk…..

A Quote? “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality,” Jackson said in a statement released Sunday. “(Gilbert) sees LeBron as a runaway slave.”

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Lebron

Posted on 08 July 2010 by Kenfu

I find the whole idea of the super team in Miami to be totally ridiculous for Lebron. Why leave $30 million on the table so you can play with your “homies”? In the end – players are just entertainers. There is no loyalty in sports or business any more. If you aren’t useful – you’re gone. The only person who wins here is the owner of the Heat – since his franchise will increase in value dramatically. Selling Lebron, Wade and Bosh on the idea of creating a dynasty and accepting less money to play together has to be one of the biggest snow jobs. Look out for number one – you know the owners are…..Plus the Heat is Wade’s team – not Lebron’s.

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FIFA – Welcome to the New Millennium!

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Thraxxus

If you have been paying any attention at all to the drama that is the World Cup Futbol Event that is going on right now then you may have heard about the several blatantly bad calls made by a series of referees, many of whom most likely now have a price on their head in some country somewhere. In some instances it can be argued that those bad calls may have lead directly to the course of the game being altered (depends on who you talk to really) and in others the bad calls merely caused a mild speed bump for one of the teams. This ongoing theme of bad referee calls has brought about another series of calls that being for instant replay. Sadly, until this World Cup, and the series of bad calls that came with it, FIFA was totally against the concept of instant replay for two reasons:

  1. Referees are the ultimate judicial force on a Pitch and thus should never be questioned. (what if he is an idiot?)
  2. Futbol is based on a clock that never stops and for some reason FIFA thinks adding in instant replay will change the game both in pace and total time. (Hockey uses Instant replay and the clock doesn’t stop.)

What is missed is the idea that there are not enough referees on a Futbol Pitch to begin with (Right now there is one Referee who reportedly runs something like 12 miles in a single match) as well as the fact that if done right the clock will not stop for an Instant Replay Review. Something needs to be done to make the game a bit clearer and a bit more fair. its a sad day when the team that benefited from a bad call even says that it was a bad call – when that happens you just know it.

What can be done?

  1. Instant Replay Review of close calls.
  2. Extra referees (The NFL? MLB? Anyone?)
  3. Keep the game format – non stop clock. Futbol games actually take less time that American football games because the clock never stop even though on paper they are 50% longer.
  4. A goal scanner system can tell you succinctly if the ball entered the goal box. Hockey uses one.

In closing – FIFA, please update your system. It is time honored, yes, but should not be locked in time.

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1-1!! New Zealand Ties Italy!!!

Posted on 20 June 2010 by Thraxxus

In what is being called the biggest upset in World Cup History, and possibly sports history, New Zealand (going into this game ranked 76th in the world) tied Italy (Ranked 5th in the world)!!

To put this in perspective for Americans – A Junior College American Football Team Tied The defending Superbowl Champions – yes, its that amazing. In the USA Americans love underdogs – and the underdogs came through.

Congratulations to New Zealand – Your Goalie, Mark Paston, played like a GOD.

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World Cup Futbol

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Thraxxus

In the USA we call Futbol soccer – because we named a different sport football – one where only one guy on the field is allowed to kick the ball. Americans have always made sense. The World Cup is here and it is of course a big deal to the entire world – outside the USA who has a team competing but I doubt that most of the USA could name a single player on the team or who they are set to play against.

I decided this year to pay attention and watch as much of the World Cup that I could – I have not been disappointed. I have compiled a small list of observations on teams as well as the sport in general – and realize I loved playing soccer (Futbol) as a kid and still do play a bit with my son.

  1. There isn’t a single actor in all of Hollywood who can act as well as a Futbol player trying to draw a foul. In Futbol if you are even breathed on wrong you are to flop around on the ground as if you had just been shot and are in the final stages of a death throw to try to get a foul pulled on the other team. The funny thing is as soon as the foul is drawn these actors seemingly are spiritually healed on the spot. Quite something to see really.
  2. The term “Qualifier Games” keeps being thrown around. Apparently there was a qualifying round? Considering how bad some of the teams are in the World Cup I am curious to see what the teams that failed the Qualifying Round looked like. Maybe I can beat them – by myself.
  3. South Africa should never have sold a single horn. Watching the games is actually painful and in some instances difficult to hear because there is this constant drone of horns in the background. They should have handed out terrible towels like the Stealers fans have, at least those are quiet.
  4. There is this constant concern about terrorism and inter-team violence. During every match at least one commentator says “Well the crowd seems to be getting along – let’s hope that lasts!”
  5. The Australians should stick with swimming.
  6. The British Goalie who couldn’t stop a damp sponge and let the Americans get back in the game against Britain should probably find a different country to live in – like Neptune, Star 1254 or Idontsuckia.
  7. The German team is dangerous on a level that is difficult to describe so I will just compare points. Most teams have scored no more than a point in a game thus far, if they scored at all – the Germans scored 4.
  8. I haven’t seen Brazil play yet – they are supposed to rock lobster.
  9. Serbia has the tallest player on their team and it didn’t matter one iota. Ironically the height of that team seems to be working against them as they like to attract hand balls – a foul!
  10. Even though Futbol is 90 minutes(plus an expended time) the games are still faster than American Football and Basketball games because the clock NEVER STOPS TICKING. Think about that for a moment.

I suggest you take a look at the World Cup – that way if you are ever outside the USA and someone mentions Futbol you won’t immediately talk about Peyton Manning.

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Nike still has it.

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Thraxxus

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Basketball – Filler between Football seasons

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Kenfu

Ok – I am watching the Basketball playoffs right now.  Football season is over and I’m not desparate enough to watch baseball.

I was watching the Cleveland series and was surprised how easily they went down when they were supposedly the #1 seed in the league!  I was thinking that they lost because the Celtics had “Old Man Strength”.  You know that hidden reserve which is the reason you’ll never be able to beat your dad.  The old fart just won’t let himself lose to some punk a$$ kid

Then good ‘ol Jason Whitlock writes an article about it…..great!  Whitlock’s the  best!

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The NFL is now Broken

Posted on 04 March 2010 by Thraxxus

Many believed the invent of free agency destroyed the National Football League years ago as true rivalries died. Why? Apparently if there is a chance that the guys standing across from you might be your teammate the following year then you are less likely to try to kill him this year. Sort of a silly argument. It is also believed that players that are on their last year of a contract may ease up a bit to ensure someone else signs them as they will be healthy at the end of the season. Who knows really.

Now we have a real industry changer: apparently the salary cap is being lifted in the NFL. What does that mean? The team with the most money can afford to buy the “best” players, thus possibly making even more money, and repeating the vicious cycle. So poor teams will continue to be that way. This is a problem in other sports that have no cap. The same wealthy teams stay on top, year after year.

Likewise you will also see absolutely ridiculous salaries now being handed out for players who are arguably not as game changing as in other sports. Football teams are HUGE whereas other sports teams are rather small, like the NBA. In the NBA an expensive player can have a HUGE impact, such as Michael Jordan, as it is only he and 4 other players on the court at a time, whereas a football team has 11 players on the field at once, and they are constantly swapped out.

Yes, occasionally you will find a clutch player worth spending a stupid amount of money on, like Peyton Manning, and moving forward he will go to the highest bidder, every time, and that bidder will be the team with the most money. Period.

Congrats guys, you managed to completely trash the game. At least you will make even more money! Maybe this is why so many people love college football.

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Curling

Posted on 23 February 2010 by Thraxxus

As I may have referenced before some friends of mine and I were watching Curling the other day and were totally fascinated however not one of us had any clue what was going on. Being men we of course had loads of comments regarding the game even when we had no idea what the rules really are. I looked them up and here a long with a history of the game. I have to say that I am amazed that people made a game out of sliding stones across ice. Poverty is an amazing thing as well as the human ability to fill time with something completely mindless.

Needless to say I am a fan.

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Not Your Grandmother’s Figure Skating

Posted on 22 February 2010 by Thraxxus

The Olympics are here in case you didn’t know. The funny thing I have noticed is how often people are pointing out just how hot everyone is – even the Curling Teams. So we did a quick lookup and found ANNA SEMENOVICH – easily the hottest figure skater to ever walk the ice. Why do I choose to talk about this? Consider what out culture has become – even in the Olympics, an event dedicated to sports of all kinds (this one happens to be the winter Olympics) the Main Stream Media on almost all levels loves to point out how hot people are. What if we did that in other sports events as well? Maybe in the office, where it has actually become borderline illegal to do so?

Football

“Jackson goes deep to Weatherspoon.. Weatherspoon has the ball! HE COULD GO ALL THE WAY! And look at his ass while he runs – man that is a nice ass!” Just doesn’t work does it?

The Office

“Janet I need you to get these reports done by 4 pm, also that skirt makes your ass look like two puppies fighting under a blanket. I mean I would tear in that ass like a bag of Lays Potato Chips. See you at 4.” Yeah – lawsuit so fast your head would spin, but on television? Naw – its cool.

Olympics

“The USA Women’s Curling team is doing very well this year, which is surprising considering how hot they all are. Did you know that they came out with a Women of Curling calendar with nudes?!?! I always did love Curling!” Really?

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NFC Nightmare

Posted on 25 January 2010 by Thraxxus

Am I the only one who was totally grossed out by the NFC championship game?

1) Brett Favre got hit more times than Ali in the Thrilla From Manilla.

2) Minnesota Vikings almost won the game in spite of having something like 8 turnovers.

3) New Orleans Saints, possessing one of the best offenses in the history of the NFL, decided it best not to actually use it. Seriously, compare the output of the two teams.

If not for Minnesota being hell bent on giving the ball to the Saints every two minutes they would have crushed the Saints.

I felt terrible for Favre for two reasons:

1) Most likey the final pass of his career is the interception he threw that most likely cost them the game.

2) His receivers seemed to be trying to catch the ball AND fumble it.

Prior to the NFC game I didn’t think that Indie would stand a chance against either the Saints or the Vikings. Now I am fairly sure if the Saints don’t dislodge their heads from their keisters they will get owned in the Superbowl.

Thanks for the years of fun Favre – you will be missed, by some.

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