Archive for the ‘sports’ Tag

Just Make Up Your Damn Mind, LeBron   Leave a comment

You know, I still can’t understand why in the hell NBA superstar LeBron James is planning to make yet another made-for-TV special concerning where he should take his basketball talents for the 2014-2015 season; contrary to popular opinion, I’m of a mind that says, “LeBron, just make up your damn mind on where you go want to go play basketball next season. Don’t make a big special of it; just say where you’re going to play next season and leave it at that.

Posted July 10, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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U.S. Patent Office Rules Against Redskins Trademark   1 comment

To borrow Joe Biden’s infamous quote, “This is a big f—ing deal.”

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.
The U.S. PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued a ruling in the case, brought against the team by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, Wednesday morning.
“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the board wrote in its opinion, which is here. A brief explanation of how the Board reached its decision is here.
“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans. The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, said in a press release. “We presented a wide variety of evidence – including dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings, movie clips, scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups – to demonstrate that the word ‘redskin’ is an ethnic slur.”(Think Progress)

At present, there’s no immediate impact; odds are, this will go through the appeals process – and given the vagaries of the federal court system, there are no guarantees that this decision won’t be overturned on appeal. On the other hand, given the fact that every team in the NFL – except for the Dallas Cowboys – share in the revenues from team merchandising, if the Redskins lose their trademark all together and the NFL begins losing revenue as a result, don’t be surprised if the league goes to Daniel Snyder and ‘pushes’ him into changing the team, using that arbiter of market forces – the almighty dollar – as the proverbial cudgel. For what its’ worth, I also wouldn’t be surprised if various groups start pressing Redskins’ players over the issue.

Posted June 18, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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What You Should Know About O’Bannon v. NCAA And How It Could Affect Collegiate Sports   Leave a comment

Monday in a federal courtroom, one of the most important cases in regards to collegiate athletics began with opening arguments in O’Bannon v. NCAA. Think Progress has a detailed breakdown of the case and its’ implications; here’s a few bullet points of interest…

  • At issue, O’Bannon is a case dealing with the basic NCAA economic model and how it applies to fair & equitable compensation of collegiate athletes and whether they should be compensated in regards to broadcast, video game and other revenue streams which currently are shared between the NCAA, individual colleges and universities and other entities of note, such as EA Sports (which settled a similar lawsuit recently) and Collegiate Licensing Company. While Ed O’Bannon, the plaintiff of note and others – past & present – are not seeking recompense on past earnings, they seek to ensure that college athletes are not blocked from receiving earnings from future revenues
  • The principal players: At the heart of the case is former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, who initially sued the NCAA and other groups over the use of his likeness in various media (including several EA Sports’ video games) without due compensation. Opposite O’Bannon and the other collegiate athletes involved are the NCAA – led by president Mark Emmert, while overseeing the bench trial is seniro U.S. District Ct. Judge Claudia Wilken.
  • At focus is whether collegiate athletes should be better compensated for the use of their likenesses’ by the NCAA and other organizations; presently, athletes receive zero compensation during their collegiate careers and can face, depending on the athlete in question, various penalties from the NCAA. In contrast, the NCAA argues that changing the structure of compensation could radically alter the very nature of collegiate athletics (although, to be quite honest, the NCAA could dodge that particular bailiwick by asking that college football – the largest of any collegiate sport at present – be exempted from the three-part test used to ensure collegiate compliance with Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act).

Now that we know the basics, two more things come to mind:

  • What happens if the athletes win? The plaintiffs’ goal in this case is at present, to ask the court to require the NCAA to compensate current collegiate athletes by an amount as yet unspecified (most reports put the figure at around 50% of current revenues) and to require the NCAA to get approval from collegiate athletes before using their likenesses in the future.
  • When could we hear the end result of this case? That depends…months earlier, Judge Wilker ordered both sides into court-brokered mediation…and that went nowhere fast. This time, the court may decide to let both sides argue their respective cases before the bench – with the proviso of a binding decision from Judge WIlken. Of course, this could prompt both sides into settling before such a decision is made (as hinted in this Sports Illustrated article)…however, reports are that the NCAA has little, if any, incentive to go for a settlement, instead choosing to gamble on a bench decision to their liking.

As to that last point above…even if the plaintiffs win in court, don’t expect anything to happen until the case winds its’ way through the appellate system first.

Posted June 10, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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ESPN & Fox Sports Ink 8-Year Broadcast Deal With MLS, U.S. Soccer   Leave a comment

The more I read about the recently announced deal between ESPN and Fox Sports to broadcast both Major League Soccer and U.S. National matches, I’m of two minds over it. On the one hand, this is a major deal, by all accounts back-to-back MLS broadcasts on Sundays at 5 and 7pm beginning in 2015 along with a minimum of 10 USMNT/USWNT match broadcasts each year through 2022 and given ESPN’s broadcast power, this should definitely be a boost for MLS. On the other hand, one wonders how NBC Universal will treat both MLS and US national match broadcasts; will they go all-out and finish their three-year broadcast contract on a high…or will they simply mail it in the rest of the year?

Posted May 12, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Moyes Out At Old Trafford   Leave a comment

You know, the more I read Man United’s tweet concerning the departure of manager David Moyes, the more I can’t help but think…given the team’s performance this year in the Premier League, not even his predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, could’ve saved the team’s fortunes…then again, as a fan of historic arch-rival Liverpool F.C., I’m still wondering what the hell they were thinking when they hired the former Everton manager to succeed.

Kinda’ makes you wonder what Moyes’ proponents – Ferguson and former United star Sir Bobby Charlton – are thinking at the moment…then again, I probably would hate to imagine those thoughts at this moment. 

Posted April 22, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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FIFA Considering Moving 2022 World Cup From Qatar   3 comments

Given the appalling human rights record of Qatar (and most every other country in that part of the world), the sooner FIFA decides to move the World Cup from Qatar, the better off for all of us…

According to German paperDie Welt, a person only identified as a “senior FIFA employee” said that despite FIFA’s public claims that they are adamant about making Qatar 2022 work, moving the event to another country is a “serious option.”

This comes on the heels of a report inThe Guardian that over 400 Nepalese immigrant workers have died since construction began on World Cup stadiums in the sweltering hot country.

With the human rights situation in shambles, the report suggests that a decision will be made by the final 2014 meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.  The senior employee said “there would be enough time for the tournament to be reassigned.”

The Guardian report on the Nepalese death toll comes from the Prevasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee, an organization the Guardian labels as a respected human rights group.

It also warns that the death toll could reach a staggering 4,000 by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around. This number was posed back in September, but apparently it did little to scare FIFA off at the time.

The human rights allegations, coupled with the need to move the World Cup to the winter to avoid stifling heat, could apparently be enough to move the venue location.(NBC Pro Soccer Talk)

Remind me again why they selected Qatar again?

Concussion Issue Enters Baseball World With 1st CTE Diagnosis   Leave a comment

Given the current and on-going issues of concussions in both the NFL and (to a lesser extent) the NHL, this is not good news for sports fans…quoting:

Ryan Freel, who played eight seasons in Major League Baseball, was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he committed suicide in December 2012, his family announced Sunday, according to the Florida Times-Union. Freel is the first known baseball player to have been diagnosed with the disease, according to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has found the disease in numerous deceased former National Football League players.

Freel carried a reputation as a hard-nosed player throughout his Major League career, and his most notable injury came on May 28, 2007, when he was playing for the Cincinnati Reds and collided with fellow outfielder Norris Hopper. Freel was knocked out before he hit the ground and was later diagnosed with head and neck contusions.

“I know it was a concussion,” Freel said at the time. “I’ve had them before and know what it is. I was knocked out. Every other time I’ve had concussions, I’ve been knocked out. None of them have been like this. I never had the lingering affects. This is totally different than what I had before.”

At the time, Freel estimated that he had suffered nine or 10 concussions in his life, many of them on the baseball field.

Before his death, Freel had exhibited many of the same signs found in former NFL players who have committed suicide and were later found to be suffering from CTE. He suffered from depression and anxiety and, according to the Times-Union, “family said that they saw a pronounced mental decline in Freel over the final years of his life.”(Think Progress)

Given that, (a)concussions (and the discussions of) are now a regular part of sports world and that (b)medical science knows more about concussions, is it any wonder that Major League Baseball has finally gotten around to banning, for instance, home plate collisions?

Posted December 16, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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