Bulletin! Bulletin! Today is the beginning of free agency in the NBA.
COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY
Written by: Astro Mike Ganis aka Mike In DA
Date Posted: 7/1/2010
IS CHEERLEADING A SPORT - HUH?
Believe it or not, this is actually a court case in Connecticut. Yeah, really. You may have even read that five members of the Quinnipiac University women’s volleyball team and the team’s coach have sued the school for dismantling the team to use the money for a cheerleading squad. The women volleyball players say a men’s team would never lose funding in favor of cheerleading and the players are the subjects of sex discrimination.
Hey judge, I'm here to help – cheerleading is not a sport. They don’t cheer and they don’t lead. Not even close.
It is unclear whether federal judge Stefan R. Underhill will offer an opinion on whether competitive cheerleading is a viable varsity sport or not. But, Underhill will have to decide whether Quinnipiac University can truly count it as one in his decision in the case of the women’s volleyball team against the school.
The plaintiffs in the case insist that Quinnipiac wants to label competitive cheerleading as a varsity sport in an effort to count it under Title IX compliance regulations, and without it they are in violation of the law’s mandates. The women’s volleyball team hopes that Underhill will make permanent a temporary injunction preventing Quinnipiac from dropping women’s volleyball.
The defense claimed that the University of Maryland counts competitive cheerleading as a sport, and that the University of Oregon plans on adding it, bringing the total number of teams in the nation to seven, and they are hoping to get the Office of Civil Rights to proclaim it an emerging sport.
Underhill’s decision, which is expected to take some time after the week-long testimony is concluded, will have wide-reaching ramifications, but its immediate effect will be upon the women’s volleyball team.
How would you like to find yourself on the bench as a judge charged with assuring that every citizen has the full protection of the law and every citizen’s rights are maintained with integrity. You worked hard and long to get to this point in your life and then you draw the short straw and get to listen to a case like this one where the issue at hand is whether or not cheerleading is a competitive sport.
What might you be thinking as you listen to the people who will testify as “expert witnesses” on this subject?
Wouldn't you want to find a way for both sides to lose this case?
CALLER OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2010
Keeping with Lesbo's blog of June 30, "The Women of Houston Sports Market", The Peanut Gallery's "Caller of the Month" for June 2010 is on the distaff side - Lady M (Martha). She has been one of the most prolific callers to Ralph Cooper's "Sports Rap" for years and is very logical in her thinking and always brings the female/maternal angle in her calls.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
From Lance Zierlein of 1560The Game talking about NBA free agents, "When players say winning is important when signing with a team, remember that Money is Undefeated!"
KUDOS TO THE BARRY WARNER/SHAUN BIJANI NIGHT SHOW!
During this week, with all the talk about NBA free agency, you can't overlook the amount of calls received by the SR 610 Night Show hosted by Barry "The Legend" Warner and Shaun"The Rookie" Bijani. Caller-driven radio at its best.
MEMO TO CERTAIN LOCAL TALK SHOW HOSTS!
Please note that Tiger Woods' wife, Elin, is of Swedish descent, not Norwegian. She is not a Viking plundering Tiger's bank account.
WORK STOPPAGE BY KOBAYASHI?
The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will happen again this weekend (July 4). According to a news item I read, Takeru Kobayashi will not participate. My first reaction was that he had found another purpose in his life beyond stuffing hot dogs and buns down his gullet, but it seems as if I guessed wrong. His absence will be due to a “contract dispute”. Let me say that if the “dispute” centers on the brand of hot dogs that will be scarfed down in the contest, there will be no resolution in the next couple of days. But knowing this phony, I expect him to either be allowed in the competition or disrupt it for publicity purposes.
Please note that KGOW's (1560) Ken Hoffman will be one of the judges for the contest.
FREE AGENT SUMMIT - A NO-NO?
As mentioned here the other day, the reports going around were that LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade did meet in South Florida sometime last weekend in what has been called the NBA Free Agent Summit. Recall that David Stern announced in no uncertain terms less than a month ago that such a summit meeting would not happen. For once, David Stern has remained silent in the midst of these reports - and we can be thankful for that.
Side Note: If LeBron picks the Miami Heat over the New York Knicks, Knick fans can partially blame the lawmakers in Albany, who have burdened top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the US, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the 35% hit from the IRS for taxable income over $373,650. There is no state income tax in Florida, which is why we see many highly paid-athletes residing there. On a five-year contract worth $96 million - what he'd get from the Knicks or the Heat - LeBron would pay $12.34 million in New York taxes. That's a hefty penalty for the privilege of playing in Madison Square Garden. Add on to that taxes on any additional earnings and that could be a factor in the King's decision-making process, as to which team he may play for.
THIRTY-GAME WINNER POSSIBILITY? NO WAY!
Now that Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez has extended his record to 14-1 in his 16 starts, I have seen a couple of folks musing about the possibility he could win 30 games in a season. Denny McLain was the last pitcher to do that back in 1968. I think the odds are stacked against Jiminez.
In these days of 5-man rotations, starting pitchers just do not get as many starts as they did in the 1960s. When McLain won 31 games in 1968, he started 44 times. The Rockies have played 78 games as of this morning and Jiminez has started 16 of them. At that rate, Jiminez will get 34 starts for the season or 18 more from this point until October. He will need 16 wins in those 18 starts to hit the 30-win mark.
Obviously, he can do that; his record to date this season projects to 28-2 with 2 starts left to go. Despite that fanciful mathematical thinking, I maintain that the odds are against him - or any pitcher - winning 30 games in a season in a five-man rotation.
OH OH SAN DIEGO! YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!
According to a report in the LA Times, the DEA has served 10 search warrants to doctors and pharmacies associated with the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Chargers. The Padres announced that they are fully cooperatimg with the DEA; the Chargers had no comment.
No sports team has ever been helped by having any branch of the law enforcement community serve search warrants on any individuals or organizations that are associated with said sports team.
WHICH SPORTS FIGURES DO WE DISLIKE THE MOST?
Last week, a market research firm took a poll for Forbes seeking to identify the most disliked sports figures. I am sure that this is important information for someone somewhere. Topping the list is Michael Vick - and that poll was taken before the incident at Michael Vick’s birthday party where gunfire broke out. I know; I was stunned to learn that fact, too. Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger find themselves in the “Top Five” most disliked sports folks at the moment; there is no great shock value there. However, the other two members of the “Top Five Most Disliked Sports Figures” did surprise me: Al Davis and Jerry Jones.
If I had to list the major sports owners that I dislike most, I would have at least a half dozen folks on the list before I even began to consider putting either of those men on the list. By the way, Barry Bonds was nowhere to be found in the Top 10 list here, which I interpret to mean that most of the poll respondents no longer consider him a “Sports Figure”.
WAGERING ON THE OLYMPICS - YOU'RE KIDDING ME!
According to an AP report, Jacques Rogge - President of the International Olympic Committee - is worried about gambling and match fixing. According to Rogge, the various sports federations around the world need to work together to uncover fixed sporting events and attempted betting coups. He said that the IOC had no evidence that there was any hanky-panky going on during the Beijing games, but he does worry about gamblers who might focus on future Olympic Games.
According to Rogge, betting scams - the AP’s word, not mine - are the second biggest threat to the integrity of sports behind doping. Rogge would not be happy with the NCAA on this point because the NCAA seems not to give a fig about doping, but goes catatonic every time someone discovers that their student-athletes are involved in point shaving or game fixing. The NCAA never discovers it; others need to bring it to their attention and then they go catatonic.
I must have missed the wagering opportunities on Greco-Roman wrestling and rhythmic gymnastics in the 2008 games. I will have to look more diligently for such lines during the 2012 games in Rio de Janeiro.
UK = NBA D-LEAGUE TEAM
With all of the “one-and-done players” cycling through the University of Kentucky, why not simply put the Wildcats in the NBA D-League and get rid of the charade? In actuality, the team is a semi-pro team and the NBA D-League is a semi-pro league. Seems like a natural combination to me.
STRASBURG AN ALL-STAR?
One of the concocted controversies out there at the moment deals with the question: Should Stephen Strasburg be on the NL All-Star Team?
Rather than take that question on from a statistical perspective or from a baseball history perspective, I would prefer to use the question as a referendum on the purpose of an MLB All-Star Team. If you believe - as I do - that the All-Star Game is a meaningless exhibition game that provides entertainment for some baseball fans, then the only question becomes, do the fans want to see Stephen Strasburg. Since he draws thousands more fans to Nats’ games when he pitches - at home or on the road - the first level answer would be that they do. Consider that games on television involving the Nats on local channels get much higher ratings when he pitches. Consider that ESPN and MLB Network show Nats games at all and only when he is pitching. If the purpose is to put players on the field that fans want to see, then he should be in the game.
If on the other hand, you believe that the All-Star Game -and by extension the All-Star teams - carry some greater significance than I attribute, you can make a significant argument that Strasburg has not yet done anything that would put him in the baseball cosmos that is sufficient to allow him on the team.
I understand the positions of folks who oppose his being there. I happen to think that arguments pertaining to participation in the All-Star Game - no matter what the sport - are insufficiently interesting to merit any significant participation. I say let him on the team and let him pitch; I will not watch more than an inning or two of the game if he is on the team or if he is at home watching the game on TV.
V FOR VENDETTA! Z FOR ZAMBRANO!!
While only good things are being said about Stephen Strasburg, the baseball world seems to have had about enough of Carlos Zambrano. You have to have seen his “dugout tantrum” by now and if your memory is clear, you know that this is hardly the first time he has had confrontations with other Cubbies. In the past, people have attributed his antisocial behaviors to his fiery nature and tried to portray them as his “leadership style”. That might have made sense a few years ago when Zambrano was an elite player whose record in 2004/05/06 was a combined 46-21 with an ERA of about 3.15.
The facts are that Zambrano has not been that kind of pitcher - and therefore has not deserved any “special considerations - for the past couple of seasons. This year, he is 3-6 with an ERA of 5.66. Go to any Spring Training site and take the last two pitchers cut from the major league squads; put those names in a hat and draw one out; you can find a pitcher who will give you a 3-6 record with an ERA of 5.66 by that method.
Oh, by the way, the fact that Zambrano went out to dinner with Ozzie Guillen after the tirade could put Bud Selig in an interesting position. Suppose that the Cubs conclude that they have to get rid of Zambrano and suppose that the only team willing to take him on - even with the Cubs eating a huge portion of his $18M per year salary for the next several years - is the Chicago White Sox. In such situation: Could Selig allow that kind of trade to happen and still pretend that there might be “anti-tampering rules” at work in baseball?
Mike Ganis aka Mike In DA
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