Brazilian soccer star, Ronaldo, plays for Real Madrid in Spain. Recently he traveled to the Middle East in the role of a United Nations Goodwill
Ambassador and attended a children's soccer tournament featuring teams from Palestine and Israel. Ronaldo gave the usual speech about sports and peace
and how people need to put aside differences and all that predictable stuff.
He promised to speak positively about Palestine and the people there when he returned home to Brazil - I'm not sure why that would be important or
valuable, but I guess it can't hurt - and he said that he looked forward to the day when a Palestinian soccer team was part of the international
soccer landscape. If that were the only thing about Ronaldo in the news in the last couple of weeks, you could conclude that he may be an
international superstar, but he has his act together. Maybe he does, but before you draw that as a firm conclusion, consider this tidbit from the
Ronaldo was engaged to Brazilian supermodel and MTV "hostess", Daniella Cicarelli. They threw a lavish engagement party on Valentine's Day for a large
subset of the "international beautiful people"; all was aligned in the cosmos. Ronaldo opted to miss a scheduled weeklong visit with his betrothed in
order to attend teammate David Beckham's birthday party which was similarly populated by the "international beautiful people" and Ms. Cicarelli could
not/did not attend for reasons related to her being preggers. Then Ms. Cicarelli had a miscarriage in Brazil and Ronaldo did not go to be with her and
opted to spend time in Spain to play golf. They are no longer a couple.
I hope that he did not relate this set of stories to those soccer-playing children in Palestine/Israel as a lesson for them to take with them related
to how you deal with other people whom you nominally love...
Arnold Schwarznegger must be a genius. After all, it was not that long ago when California was such a mess that the people threw out the incumbent
governor - who supposedly had Presidential aspirations - and turned to "Ahnold" to square things away. Well, I can only conclude that he has succeeded
and there is nothing left to do for the people of California because the legislature there worked and held hearings and debated and then passed a bill
requiring the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to print warning notices on their tickets saying that they do not actually play any of their games in Los
Angeles. This is the "Truth in Sports Advertising Act" and it is an example of unaccountable people having too much time on their hands.
Imagine if this contagion spreads. The NY legislature might require the Jets and Giants to print warnings on their tickets saying that they do not
actually play in the city or the state of NY; simultaneously, the NJ legislature might require a statement on tickets saying that the teams may indeed
bear the name NY, but that they strive for excellence in the great state of NJ. Those Golden State Warriors out in California really need to warn
ticket holders that they really only play in one small part of the Golden State and that there are indeed three other NBA teams who also play in the
Golden State but who haven't glommed onto that name. The Washington Redskins do not train or play in Washington DC. The Tampa Bay Devil-Rays do not
play in Tampa Bay - it tends to be very wet in Tampa Bay - and in fact do not play in Tampa; the stadium is in St Petersburg. And America's Team - the
Dallas Cowboys - is not in Dallas. Fortunately, only California - under the brilliant leadership of Governor Schwarznegger - has resolved all its
problems sufficiently that it can afford to have legislators ponder the impact of the Truth in Sports Advertising Act.
Marion Jones has hired an attorney to represent her in an attempt to get invitations to those major European track meets where she no longer gets
invitations. She has never failed a drug test, but she is prominently linked to the BALCO mess. I read a story that puts this in perspective. It seems
that Jones has a real and significant monetary interest here because she did receive one invitation to a minor track meet in Milan this year. The
organizer of that meet said he is not in a position to judge Jones regarding her use of non-use of drugs and so he invited her. But that minor meet
only had a $5-10K appearance fee attached to it. In the past, Jones had commanded an appearance fee of $80-100K per meet. So do the math here and
compare Jones' income in past years with invitations to a half dozen or so "major meets" to her income potential for this summer's track season in
On 19 May, Scott Ostler wrote a column in the San Francisco Chronicle about the steroid mess and whom you can trust to tell you the truth in this
matter. It is a brilliant column that I comment to your reading. Here is the opening:
"These might seem like confusing times in the steroid wars, but it's all very simple.
"It all boils down to a matter of whom you can trust and believe. Here is whom you can trust and believe: Nobody."
Charlie Walters reported in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that former Viking tackle, Bob Lurtsema ran into OJ Simpson at the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago
and that they reminisced about the game in which OJ broke the 2,000-yard barrier for a single season against the Vikings. I wonder if the huge throng
at Churchill Downs that day knew that they were in potential danger; obviously, OJ must have had a tip that the real killers might be there and he was
in hot pursuit. I'm sure that if Dan Rather were still on the job, this news item would not have been missed...
Gene Collier was mightily unimpressed with a Pittsburgh Pirates' performance against the Cubbies last week. Here is one of the conclusions he drew:
"So here's the larger point. If you even think you're on the verge of becoming a good team, you find a way to spank the Cubs at home, especially when
they are pitching Glendon Rusch.
"Here are the two things you have to know about Glendon Rusch. He's a Cub, and he's a left-hander, and left-handed starters for the Cubs have won all
of 32 games in the past ten years. Further evidence of Rusch's eminent beatability - - I mean aside from the fact that he's with his fifth
organization - - are his 50-79 career record and 4.98 career ERA."
Finally, a punctuation mark on The Original Whizzonator from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
"Rumor has it that management hard-liners insist that the penalty for getting caught with one should be no different than for flunking a drug test.
Players' union reps, however, say they like the sound of 5 yards for illegal use of glands."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 6/2/05 by SportzWriter]