Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Things I Learned Watching The Superbowl   3 comments

  1. I was working in the garage woodshop Sunday afternoon, working to finish the soap drying rack. At 2:30p, it got creepy quiet … apparently EVERYONE was somewhere other than driving or walking on my street. I mean, it was totally quiet! But then there was a dog walker, calling her Mom & apologizing that she was late because she was still walking Bailey. Who must have been the dog. After Bailey went home, I did not see one other person outside before I buttoned up the garage woodshop & went to prepare to watch the Superbowl … on my DVR. Of course.
  2. Lady-Gaga-Red-Gucci-Suit-Super-BowlI don’t like red sparkly eye shadow. Lady Gaga did a fine job singing the national anthem. I didn’t love her makeup, though. Too much product in her hair and her eye shadow was, uh, odd. But then, she is Lady Gaga.
  3. I must be old.
  4. I have never been a fan of Cam Newton. His father apparently didn’t sell him to Auburn (perhaps he just failed at selling him to Mississippi State). In any event, whatever the situation and whatever happened, I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t follow his career, and I didn’t know what a great year he’s had leading the Carolina Panthers. Wow. And he’s 6′-5″? I had no idea. No wonder they were favored to win.
  5. Instant replay may not have gotten the call right according to their announcers. The Panthers challenged the call, and the CBS expert chimed in & said it was def def definitely a catch … and then the NFL said it was not a catch. CBS was caught flat-footed, and never explained what might have happened. In general, I’m not a fan of this broadcast team and today was no exception.
  6. Defensive struggles are great games … but not outrageous spectacles. I wonder if people are enjoying the game at all, or is it just about the commercials today?
  7. DoritosOne of my favorite commercials was the Doritos commercial, showing a mother having a sonogram, and the baby reacting to the Doritos that dad was eating. I later learned that this commercial was seen by some as anti-choice, as it humanized a fetus, which would be anathema to pro-choice enthusiasts. And I just thought it was a cute commercial.
  8. Beyoncé led a racist halftime show, screamed headlines from the other side of the political spectrum. I read that her dance chorus wore Black Panther uniforms (and I’m pretty certain the Black Panthers didn’t wear uniforms. Just sayin’.) Apparently, the problem is that she’s actually pro-Black Lives Matter and elements of her performance were an homage to the Black Panthers. Since she has a political stance, allowing her to sing her non-political song with a bunch of dancers wearing black costumes and black berets was politicizing what was otherwise a boring halftime show. Be clear, I’m not a fan, but I didn’t find her performance offensive. Maybe I’m just too old or too white to understand, but I don’t care what she thought it meant: I care what I saw, and what I felt. I was not entertained (at all), but I was not offended. As always, your mileage may vary, of course.
  9. I think people need to take a minute (as the song Bruno Mars performed does suggest, after all), and allow that political views are not expressed by a dancing chorus clad in black spandex, nor are they expressed by the animation of a baby reaching for a tortilla chip. IMHO.
  10. the-good-wifeWorst moment of the game: learning that The Good Wife only has 9 more episodes, and will end at the end of this season. The best show on television is going away? I am very, very, very upset.
  11. Where were the Clydesdales? Where were the wonderful Budweiser commercials? The Bud Light commercials were OK, but meh. The one Budweiser commercial with Helen Mira was good, but she’s no big horse playing with a puppy. Obviously.
  12. Still don’t like sparkly eye shadow. Mrs Bowlen did nothing to impress me as she accepted the Lombardi trophy. Coordinating her makeup with Lady Gaga was not a good choice, either.
  13. I liked that the Broncos won, and gave the NFL’s Winningest Quarterback Ever! the opportunity to retire a champion. Peyton Manning is a true student of the game, and he is a great representative for football (who wants to drink Budweiser!). Cam Newton didn’t handle losing very well, but his career is at the beginning. He should have better days ahead of him.

 

Posted February 9, 2016 by henrymowry in Media, Sports

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M I Z   1 comment

Let’s play some football already!

2015 MIZZOU Football Schedule

9/5/15 vs. SEMO

9/12/15 @ Arkansas State

9/19/15 vs. Connecticut

9/26/15 @ Kentucky

10/3/15 vs. South Carolina

10/10/15, the 104th Homecoming Game vs. Florida

10/17/15 @ Georgia

10/24/15 W Vanderbilt

10/31/15 is open

11/7/15 vs. Mississippi State

11/14/15 vs. BYU

11/21/15 vs. Tennessee

11/27/15 @ Arkansas

Posted June 19, 2015 by henrymowry in Sports

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Watching Soccer From Hell   Leave a comment

This video surfaced today … it’s from a soccer semifinal match for the Greek Cup. The teams had just entered the pitch, and were engaging in the ceremonial photos with the refs and other team when the fans of PAOK decided to set their world on fire.

Can you imagine being in the stands around that conflagration?

Oh, and the match had to be delayed in order for the smoke to clear. The opposing team’s bench was actually set on fire.

Unbelievable.

Note to self: don’t watch soccer while in Greece.

More

NBCNews: Wild Greek Cup Match

USAToday: Greek Soccer Fans Kick Off Big Rivalry Game By Lighting Everything On Fire

Posted April 19, 2014 by henrymowry in Sports

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Baseball Narrowcasting   Leave a comment

Dodgers LogoCome to find out, Major League Baseball is running the league with the intent of keeping every team very LOCAL.

That means that I can’t watch my Dodgers unless I subscribe to the ONE cable service that has them.

But it means there are a lot of people not watching their baseball teams. According to Yahoo, residents of Las Vegas can’t watch any of their regional teams:

… how can the league advocate for a system in which it prevents people in Las Vegas from seeing the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants, A’s and Diamondbacks if they buy its Extra Innings or MLB.tv packages? There’s a new slogan: What happens in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland and Arizona doesn’t stay in Vegas.

The same is true for baseball fans in Arkansas, Buffalo, Oklahoma, Iowa, and other MLB-defined “limited areas” that don’t have a clear regional team.

The result? People don’t get to watch baseball unless they are in the right area, and subscribe to the right cable service.

So what’s a fan to do? I thought radio was my answer. Velda got me the portable radio out of her closet … which proved to have leaking batteries that ruined the battery contacts. She bought another radio (every house should have at least one). The result? Static on the LA station, and static on the local station, neither of which worked when I was listening in, or around, my home. Static does not work for me.

Mizzou LogoMichael then turned me on to MLB.com, which streams all of the games. You can listen to any stream, any game. Home or away. Every game. Plus, there are video highlights, box scores and other information about the game. It’s a subscription service, but the fee is really nominal.

Great, right?

Just don’t watch the stream on your screen. The video stream is up to 5 pitches and 2 batters away from the action that the audio delivers. Why can’t they get the audio to sync with the video stream? No idea.

But it doesn’t work, at all.

And the Dodgers’ video partner, Time Warner Cable, hasn’t made a deal with my Dish Network to carry my Dodgers.

So, there’s no good way to watch, and no streaming solution that really works.

It’s 2014, people. We have the technology. It’s baseball that has decided to take the money, and not deliver a watchable product to their fans.

And that’s not a good thing.

One more thing:

If you haven’t paid attention to the media coverage about Yasiel Puig, he’s a Cuban defector that joined the Dodgers last year. An truly interesting article in the Los Angeles magazine (link below) reports that he defected from Cuba with the help of a drug cartel. He was held hostage in Mexico. Now, he’s “free,” and owes his financier 20% of his earnings.

In Cuba, he was paid $17/month to play baseball. The Dodgers paid him $7 million a year … with the money from Time Warner Cable.

The cable company that won’t let me watch Puig play baseball unless I subscribe to their service.

Which I won’t do, as Time Warner doesn’t carry the networks for UCLA or Mizzou.

Sometimes, a sports fan just can’t win.UCLA Logo - Bear

More

Yahoo Sports: How MLB’s Blackout Policy….

Los Angeles Magazine: Escape From Cuba….

ESPN: No One Walks Off The Island

Posted April 17, 2014 by henrymowry in Sports

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Paying For Sports   Leave a comment

Dodgers LogoThe LA Dodgers were sold in 2012 by the hated Frank McCourt for $2 Billion. LA rejoiced.

In 2012 and then again in 2013, the new management of the Dodgers spent and spent on payroll to build a better team … at least, that was what LA hoped. The Dodgers now have the highest payroll in baseball.

The team got better. They went to the playoffs in 2013, and made it to the National League Championship, which the beat up team did lose. But the run was exciting, and LA couldn’t wait for 2014, when the team is favored to win the World Series by the oddsmakers in Vegas.

And that is when I learned what this team would cost me.

I’m a Dish Network subscriber. They’ve got the best HD channel line up (IMHO). They’ve got the Pac 12 Network. They’ve got the SEC Network this fall … so I get to follow all of UCLA sports, and all of Mizzou sports.

Wonderful.

But now, I find out, Dish doesn’t carry SportsNet LA – owned by Time Warner Cable – which will carry the Dodgers in 2014.

Dish won’t do a deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC). You see, TWC agreed to pay the Dodgers over $7 Billion over 25 years (yes, almost 4 times the purchase price of the team!) to secure the exclusive TV rights.

According to news accounts, TWC is now asking other cable/satellite companies to pay $4/month for every subscriber in order to secure the rights to SportsNetLA.

Which I would gladly pay. But Dish won’t, apparently. I’m sure there are many, many Dish subscribers in LA that wouldn’t want to pay that much, which I understand.

So I have a choice: take Dish, and watch UCLA and Mizzou. Or, switch to TWC, and miss every UCLA and Mizzou game. And watch the Dodgers. My three favorite teams are the Dodgers, the UCLA Bruins and the Mizzou Tigers. How do I get them from one cable/satellite/online provider? I can’t.

That’s my choice, and that’s what the Dodger deal will cost me.

More

ESPN: Sale Of Dodgers Finalized

Yahoo Sports: Dodgers Are Favorites To Win The World Series

Posted March 10, 2014 by henrymowry in Media, Sports

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It’s Happening! It’s Really Happening!   Leave a comment

Dodgers LogoIt’s time!

The boys of summer are back in uniform. They’re playing. There’s actual media coverage of actual games. Well, spring training games, anyway.

Very, very soon, we’ll hear Vin Scully’s immortal, “It’s Time For Dodger Baseball!”

I enjoy watching sports. I don’t consider myself very serious about it: I’m not in any fantasy leagues. I really don’t follow the NFL. I ignore the NBA, NHL and NASCAR.

I know some guys that can quote players, stats and histories in multiple sports. Their knowledge of their favorite teams and players will make your head swim. That’s great … I just can’t get there.

So I’m not a serious sports fan … but I am dedicated!

I do enjoy following my Mizzou Tigers in football (we had a great year!) and basketball (we’re not having a great year, but we’re close to going to March Madness for the 6th straight season. If we make it, we’ll be the only SEC team with that record). I follow UCLA in the same sports, and have even gone to Jackie Robinson Stadium to see the Bruins play baseball. The family has gone on campus to see the men’s & women’s soccer teams play. We all enjoy sports.

But baseball is my first love, the Dodgers my adopted team, and I usually get to watch at least parts of about 150 of their regular season’s 162 games.

This year, I hope to watch more games as the Dodgers go beyond the regular season into the playoffs. The new owners of the Dodgers (with Magic Johnson out front) have stepped up to buy a team of proven winners … they have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball.

Now, we get to see if those rich players can actually play together, win together and then go to the World Series.

I need some peanuts. It’s time for Dodger baseball!

More

SarahAngleton.com: Peanuts, Cracker Jack, And The Most Important Political Movement Of Our Time

Sports Illustrated: Top 10 Predictions For The 2014 Baseball Season

Sportsmanship   Leave a comment

Sportsmanship 02I seem to have lost my way. Perhaps I no longer understand what sportsmanship is in today’s culture, as we approach Superbowl XLVIII.

Robert Sherman’s postgame interview after his team won the NFC Championship became something as a sensation, as this amped-up, child of the inner city and Stanford graduate became a cause celebre. Here’s his confusing interview that made him one of the top stories heading into the Superbowl.

Want more? He’ll have another interview with Erin Andrews, airing in the “5-6 hour” of pre-game Superbowl coverage. When is that? No idea, but that’s what ESPN told me last night in a pre-game promo interview.

Sportsmanship 01

Sportsmanship is considered old fashioned in some circles … but is there anything wrong with shaking hands with a competitor after the game?

The second strike against my believing I understand today’s media is from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This bastion of old school journalism has hired a hater … called The Hater … whose job is to hate for his readers. Just in case they can’t find enough things to hate in the sports world without him. Here is what  they say:

In the city that’s too busy to hate, but where our most-cherished rivalry is considered “clean, old-fashioned hate,” let The Hater find the latest in sports that just needed to be hated on.

The Hater Blog

I never knew that I needed people to hate for me. Thank goodness old media is leaping into that breach.

Finally, I subscribe to the RSS feed of Bruins Nation. This week, I was banned from commenting on the board because I disagreed with the opinion of one of their authors. This author was incessantly attacking the UCLA basketball coach – incessantly. This coach, new to UCLA, came in with a regrettable past, but he’s contracted to be the coach for 7 years. The author takes total exception to this situation, and blogs about his  lack of desire to even watch UCLA basketball games. Remember how he’s a blogger on a sports blog? Here’s what I said:

When a sports journalist blogger thinks that not watching games qualifies him to comment on the game, it’s time for a re-evaluation. As much as I agree with some … SOME … of what you write, this is the last column of yours that I will read.

Endless whining is not effective commentary. I suggest you get a new hobby, since you don’t like watching basketball anymore.

I was immediately banned from the blog, insulted publicly and repeatedly, and thrown under the bus for not hating the coach like the author does.

Apparently I don’t always understand sports reporters.

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

More

TeensHealth.com: Sportsmanship

CBSNews.com: “Unbelievable” Act Of Sportsmanship

ESPN: Fans Behaving Badly

Posted January 27, 2014 by henrymowry in Media, Sports

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McCain: “Arrogant, Spoiled Brats!”   Leave a comment

No, John McCain isn’t talking about Democrats. He’s talking about baseball.

What happened? The LA Dodgers won the National League’s Western Division championship, clinching after they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in Arizona.

So, the Dodgers celebrated.

Yasiel Puig celebrates the LA Dodgers division championship. And then it got weird.... Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Yasiel Puig celebrates the LA Dodgers division championship. And then it got weird…. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks had apparently asked the Dodgers, if they clinched, to leave the field after the game and celebrate in their locker room, not in front of the Diamondbacks fans.

Which they did, as you can see.

But after the champagne soaked in and the fans were gone, the Dodgers remembered that the Diamondbacks have a swimming pool beyond their outfield fence for fans to take a dip in during games. No clue who thought this was a good idea, but it’s there.

So the Dodgers hopped the outfield fence and partied on.

Dodgers - Fence

Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball, enjoys a dip in the Diamondback pool.

Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball, enjoys a dip in the Diamondback pool.

And that’s where it got weird. No less of an Arizona representative than the Honorable US Senator John McCain chimed in.

McCain Twitter

Dodgers-McCain-1

But this is baseball, so snippy responses must follow. And the ultimate response has to belong to a tweet from an unknown humorist who tweets as if he is the Dodger’s GM … but he’s not. What he is, is capable of responding to Mr. McCain.

dodgerzGM-header

Dodgers---McCain-00

Dodgers - McCain 2More

LA Times: Sen. John McCain Throws A Damper On Dodgers’ Pool Party

New York Daily News: Senator John McCain Rips The Dodgers After L.A. Celebrates NL West Crown In D-backs Stadium Pool

Posted September 21, 2013 by henrymowry in Sports

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ESPN’s Baseball Rule Quiz   2 comments

BaseballIt’s a sports day.

Just saw this great quiz about baseball’s arcane and absolutely counter-intuitive rules. There’s a quiz, and an article about how the baseball professionals – and media – did when they took it.

Me, I got a solid 5.

The quiz.

The article about the quiz.

 

Posted June 19, 2013 by henrymowry in Sports

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The Death Of The NCAA: Paying Athletes   Leave a comment

Here's the new weight room for Alabama's student athletes. Not the students - just the student athletes.

Here’s the new weight room for Alabama’s student athletes. Not the students – just the student athletes.

Big time college athletics are a big business.

The University of Tennessee now has 4 full-sized practice fields for their football team (3 outdoor, 1 indoor). Alabama now has a waterfall in their locker room.

A waterfall.

The University of Oregon, with key support from the founder of Nike, is building a new complex of buildings for its football team that will include movie theaters, an Oregon football museum, private classrooms for top players, a player’s lounge and deck.

Who’s paying for this? You are, of course. ESPN is one of the highest-cost cable networks going. Whether you watch sports or not, your cable provider is paying ESPN. And ESPN is paying the conferences and schools … and they’re buying practice fields and waterfalls.

Well, many of them are. UCLA still has only one undersized, outdoor practice field for their football team. UCLA may be a grand school, but no one thinks they have good facilities for their football team, and that means that most elite athletes won’t consider going there. They’re going for the waterfalls and movie theaters.

There is a lawsuit, however, that may change all of this. A key ruling is being argued in court tomorrow, which will determine if the lawsuit will be certified as a class action, or if it will continue as an individual lawsuit. What’s at stake?

Money.

If a video game incorporates college logos emblazoned across the chest of a legendary college quarterback, should that player see some money? Or how about simply marketing the University, showing star players in uniform … if those images are on billboards or in Times Square … should the players receive compensation? Should colleges have to pay athletes for the use of their image? Or should colleges & universities get to continue the current system, where athletes receive no compensation, but do get access to a quality education?

Personally, I love college athletics. I follow Mizzou and UCLA, and I’m all in with their football and basketball programs. I buy logo’d merchandise. I buy tickets.

And the athletes are exploited to further the brand of each University, without question. Success in athletics often drives alumni’s contributions to their schools. Star players are needed for winning programs, and those star players play a year or three at the college level, and then they’re off to the pros for the (hopefully) really big bucks. If colleges want to win, they need those star players. To attract the top-shelf athletes, there’s currently an arms race going on between elite college programs, so now we’re seeing waterfalls and movie theaters. How do elite athletes choose their college? It’s not about the education, at least not entirely. It’s about the athletic department’s bling.

And that’s wrong. I hope the courts agree.

More

Bloomberg: The Lawsuit That Could Bring Down The NCAA

SB Nation: O’Bannon v. NCAA

Mr. SEC.com: A Waterfall In ‘Bama’s Locker Room?

A Look Inside Alabama’s New Weight Room (video)

Kentucky Builds Palace For Players

Our Wonderful, Horrible Schools

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