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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Nascar, Boxing, Golf, NBA plus more...

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posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 06:16 PM
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No one should pay money to see NBA games before March and no one should watch them on TV until Super Bowl Week, but keeping an eye on the league in the newspapers is not so bad. For example, last night Steve Nash had an interesting version of a triple-double. He had 17 points and 18 assists and 10 turnovers. You don't see that in the stat-sheets very often.
 

The Golden State Warriors changed coaches and GMs over the summer and revamped their roster. They have come out of the gate with a 1-7 record. Mike Montgomery rarely lost seven games at Stanford prior to March 10 so he is probably wandering in terra incognita. I suspect that former coach Eric Musselman will be laying low and enjoying those direct deposits into his bank account for a while. Don't jump on Mike Montgomery too soon for this disappointing start. Please remember that the Warriors decided to sign Adonal Foyle to a 5-year $40M contract. That contract is absolutely incomprehensible to me. But in going to look up the info on that deal, I ran across something far more incomprehensible.

The team with the highest payroll in the NBA this season is the NY Knicks with a payroll of $103.6M. That is for this year; that is not the total of the team's contracts spread out over the lives of the contracts! Did someone ask how that could possibly be?

Check out just a couple of these component parts:

Allan Houston $17.5M
Penny Hardaway $14.6M
Tim Thomas $12.9M
Moochie Norris $3.8M
Vin Baker $3.5M
John Amaechi $2.8M

The Phoenix Suns have a player on the roster named Yuta Tabuse. He is the first Japanese player in the NBA; and in Japan, he was dubbed the "Japanese Jordan". He is getting extensive coverage by the Japanese media - as does Ichiro in Seattle. About 30 Japanese journalists attended his opening game against the Nets where he played 10 minutes and scored 7 points; they described it as a "stunning debut". I suspect that they have been a bit disappointed since that game because he has only appeared in one other game for all of 3 minutes and scored precisely zero points. Maybe it was a stunning debut after all. Maybe that was the pinnacle of his NBA career...

I read a note about Calloway Golf that I found stunning. It said that the CEO of Calloway Golf had resigned after the company had posted a net loss of more than $30M in the last quarter. How can that be? This is a company that makes golf clubs and sells them for $400 - 700 apiece. How can they lose money? The note I read said that the company blamed the loss on "price pressure". Does that mean that in their financial projections they actually planned on selling the clubs for $1,000 each?

After talking about early season NBA happenings and golf, I seem to be on a path called "Irrelevance Lane". So of course, boxing is the next thing that would naturally appear in the windscreen. Last weekend there was a pay-per-view event featuring a whole bunch of heavyweight matches. You could have seen Evander Holyfield lose his seventh fight in his last nine to someone named Larry Donald. (He leads the heavyweights in first names but that is probably his only distinction,) Holyfield was so bad and was such a catcher that he is now banned by the NY State boxing gurus until he can pass a medical exam to show that he can actually move his arms in a punching motion and demonstrate reflexes that are faster than a totem pole. Holyfield says he will fight this ban; that is more than he did last weekend. You could have seen John Ruiz defend his version of the heavyweight championship. You could have seen Chris Byrd defend his portion of the heavyweight championship. You could have seen Hasim Rahman win a fight and vault himself back into the heavyweight title picture - despite the fact that one of the fights that Holyfield has won in his last nine outings was a win over Rahman. And all this would have only cost you $45. Or you could have done something more useful with that money by using it as kindling to start a fire...

The following note comes from the LA Times and is definitely a milestone in any journey down "Irrelevance Lane" because it has to do with women's soccer in Guatemala. The only interesting line about Guatemala that I can recall is from Groucho Marx who said, "You Guatemala every day or else you may never mala at all." (BaDaBing! BaDaBoom!!) Anyhow, down in Guatemala there was a women's soccer game between a team of prostitutes and a team of policewomen. The prostitutes play under the team name "Stars of the Tracks" - which probably loses something in translation - and they are playing "to achieve better working conditions". I'm unaware of what the policewomen are playing for, but it obviously is not related to any activity that involves enforcement of any extant prostitution laws.

I'm feel the need for a pit stop on my journey down "Irrelevance Lane" this morning; and so, I'll pull in here and fill you in on the latest happening in NASCAR. No, I'm not talking about the final race of the season coming up this weekend where the Nextel Cup Championship is up for grabs. I mean the NASCAR decision to lift the self-imposed ban that they have had on hard liquor advertising on their cars. Obviously, they must think that the public has become inured to seeing a car named Budweiser screaming around a track at 200 mph. I wonder if the fans have just become used to the sight such that they no longer see the connection between that image and DWI or if they haven't figured that out yet or if they don't give a rat's patootie. Whatever. So now, we may see the Jack Daniels car swapping paint with the Jim Beam special over in turn three... Oh, swell!

I did say that the NASCAR final race of the year was this weekend. It will be in Florida and here is a comment from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald regarding that event:

"Some 100,000 racing fans are expected in Homestead for Sunday's big NASCAR finish. About half will be covered in tattoos and drinking Pabst at 9 a.m. But enough about the women."

By the way, I fully expect to be chastised severely by Dame NASCAR for those comments...

Finally, an interesting commentary from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle about Latrell Spreewell and his need for a contract extension to feed his family:

"I've checked with financial experts and they tell me that if a player has made at least $30M and hasn't saved any of it to feed his family, an increase in pay wouldn't help the situation because the athlete would be too stupid to find the nearest Safeway."

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon



TRD

posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by SportzWriter
I'm feel the need for a pit stop on my journey down "Irrelevance Lane" this morning; and so, I'll pull in here and fill you in on the latest happening in NASCAR. No, I'm not talking about the final race of the season coming up this weekend where the Nextel Cup Championship is up for grabs. I mean the NASCAR decision to lift the self-imposed ban that they have had on hard liquor advertising on their cars.


So why have they suddenly decided to life the ban?



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 06:54 PM
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here is the official spin, my take is that with the sponsor dollars down this year they need to find a new source of money to keep the cars on the track...

NASCAR lifts ban on liquor sponsorship

By MIKE HARRIS, AP Motorsports Writer

November 10, 2004

NASCAR lifted its ban on hard-liquor ads on cars Wednesday, easing restrictions aimed at cleaning up the image of a sport that traces its roots to good ol' boys running moonshine through the hills of Georgia and the Carolinas.

``We felt the time was right,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said. ``Attitudes have changed, and spirits companies have a long record of responsible advertising.''


NASCAR already allowed beer and malt liquor sponsorships. Budweiser sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car, for example, and Busch sponsors a lower-tier racing series.

But NASCAR restricted what liquor companies could do since the sport's modern era began in 1972, most recently denying a bid from Roush Racing in June to put a liquor company on the car that Jeff Burton drove. International Speedway Corp., a sister company also controlled by NASCAR's founding France family, has agreements with Crown Royal, however.

Diageo, a British liquor company that was already an associate sponsor for Matt Kenseth with its Smirnoff ICE malt beverage, immediately announced Wednesday that its Crown Royal distilled whiskey will be the sponsor on another Roush car next season.

``Our association with this world-class racing team will allow us to connect with millions of adult consumers, who are devoted NASCAR fans, and remind them about the importance of responsible drinking,'' Diageo spokesman Mark Waller said. ``A multimillion dollar marketing budget supporting this sponsorship will include dedicated social responsibility messaging.''

Enjoying tremendous growth in mainstream popularity lately, the racing league landed a $2.8 billion television contract with NBC and Fox that began in 2001, and this season switched the sponsorship of its top division from cigarette-maker R.J. Reynold's Winston brand to telecommunications giant Nextel.

As part of the scrubbing-up process, Helton told drivers in February to watch their language on radio and television, and Earnhardt Jr. was fined and lost points for uttering a vulgarity in a postrace interview on TV.

Helton said any liquor companies entering NASCAR must follow advertising guidelines set by the sanctioning body.

``Any spirits company involved in NASCAR will have marketing campaigns strongly grounded in responsibility and will follow advertising and marketing guidelines set by NASCAR that are consistent with the Distilled Spirits Council's advertising code,'' Helton said.

NASCAR's review before deciding to lift the ban included outreach to advocacy groups such as the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and industry groups such as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

John Moulden, president of the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, said he is impressed with the way NASCAR has approached the change of policy.

``They appear to be trying to do it right,'' Moulden said. ``When we talked with NASCAR, I stressed to them how important NASCAR is to young males, who make up the majority of drunk drivers. They told us that any advertising done in NASCAR by breweries or distillers, they'll make sure it is directed at the legal age audience and not to kids and that they will require 20 percent of advertising dollars go toward promoting responsible drinking.

``We'd like to see that same type of responsibility by all sports and advertisers.''

Helton said internal discussions about allowing distilled spirits companies into the sport have been going on for at least 12 years, but the topic kept coming up this season.

``I can't point to a specific issue that made us change our opinion as much as the topic just recurring to the point where we said, `Look, what's wrong with this? Why should we not do this?'' Helton said.

``I think the feedback that we get is that the core fan of NASCAR, which we feel like represents Americana as much as any sport does, is OK with spirits whether they are here or not as sponsors,'' he said. ``And we also feel like the American public in general understands and accepts the fact that that's part of everyday life.''



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by SportzWriter
And all this would have only cost you $45. Or you could have done something more useful with that money by using it as kindling to start a fire...

How true, how true...



"Some 100,000 racing fans are expected in Homestead for Sunday's big NASCAR finish. About half will be covered in tattoos and drinking Pabst at 9 a.m. But enough about the women."




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