A week or so ago, I wondered aloud how the Winter Olympic games could possibly cost $3.6B. Well, I read an item that they had already spent $107
million on security for the games and that did not account for the cost of the Italian Army units that had been mobilized several weeks prior to the
games and did not account for any of the costs for security that would be incurred during the games themselves. So that security tab is very high.
Now juxtapose that concept with the noble ideal that the Olympics are a force for peace in the world and a way to bring together peoples of the world
who might be involved in bitter disputes or outright warfare. If it costs all that much to keep the games from turning into killing fields, can you
explain how they will engender world peace? Answer: They won't.
Once in a while, I check out a website called 'badjocks.com' because they have descriptions of incidents involving athletes who run afoul of the law.
I was there to see if there might be anything new in the 'Antonio Davis matter'; there wasn't but there was another item I had not come across
elsewhere. There is an Irish soccer league where teams from Eadestown and Confey were playing in a 'championship semi-final'. One of the Confey
players, Freddie Griffin, had just gotten his second yellow card meaning that he was about to be 'disinvited' to continue play in the match. Freddie
took exception to all of this and 'grabbed the ref in the genital area sending him directly to the ground'. When a linesman came to assist the
referee, Griffin reportedly slapped him in the genital area too. The soccer authorities in Britain have decided to ban Freddie Griffin for life.
Memo to British Soccer Honchos: If you reinstate Freddie Griffin, be sure to assign only eunuchs as officials in any matches he plays in.
There will be no NHL All Star Game this year because players will be dispersed and shuffled to play for various Olympic squads. Sadly, the NHL All
Star Game will return next year; it will be played in Dallas. I think All Star Games are a complete waste of time and energy and I've done a Topical
Rant on that subject a while back, but the return of the NHL All Star Game is particularly pathetic. Commissioner Gary Bettman tried to make this
sound less awful than it is, but the fact is that the NHL All Star Game next year will be played on a Wednesday night and will be televised on the
Outdoor Life Network. If the Over/Under for the ratings on that puppy were set at 0.2, everyone in the world would take UNDER.
I heard a story on the local Sports Radio station yesterday saying that Frank Thomas was on the verge of signing a deal with the Oakland A's. That
got me to thinking; ten years ago, that would have been a huge story but today that news item is worth no more than a raised eyebrow. Then I also
realized that Juan Gonzales and Mike Piazza are still out there looking for another year's work; ten years ago, that too would have been big news.
Time marches on and the ravages of time visit each and every athlete. Imagine for a moment a 100-meter dash with Thomas, Gonzales and Piazza as the
participants. You could probably go and make yourself a ham sandwich after the start and get back to see them crossing the finish line - -
comfortably. These guys are too slow to catch their breath.
The MLB minimum salary for 2006 will be $327,000. You may be certain that Thomas, Gonzales and Piazza are not looking for a gig that will pay them
$327K for the season. In fact, they may be hoping to land somewhere for ten times that figure because that would represent a significant pay-cut from
their salad days in baseball. So, feel sorry for these men because their careers are at or near the end and their days of fame and celebrity are
about to end, but do not feel sorry for them in economic terms. Any economic hardship that might visit any of them has to be due in large part to
their own ineptitude or lack of attention to financial matters.
Right after Kobe Bryant went off for 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets were the next Raptors' opponents. NBA.com
was trying to hype that game - no surprise there! - and wondered aloud if 'Melo might equal that accomplishment. He didn't; Anthony only scored 37
points. However, looking at that box score, Carmelo Anthony shot 13-16 from the field, which is just a tad over 81%. That forces me to ask:
Can anyone on the Toronto Raptors play effective defense against anyone?
How about guarding Generalissimo Francisco Franco - - who according to Saturday Night Live reports is still dead?
Terrence Moore writes a column for the Atlanta Constitution-Journal; he wrote about the 'Antonio Davis matter' that there was no reason for a player
to go into the stands under any circumstances. My first reaction was to send him a note asking what should happen to a player who saw someone choking
on a hot dog in the second row and applied the Heimlich maneuver or perhaps administered CPR to a fan who had stopped breathing. Then I didn't send
the note because I realized that this guy is in Atlanta and has to cover the Hawks. At Hawks games, there aren't any fans in the stands and so there
would never be any reason for a player to go there to do anything. The Hawks have gone to a new level when it comes to figuring out how to control
fan violence in sports. They don't draw any fans - - and I've never heard of an empty seat throwing stuff on the court or dumping beer on a player or
confronting the wife of any player. Now that is cutting edge thinking.
Finally, a comment from Brad Rock in the Deseret Morning News:
'The Dallas Morning News reports nearly half of all Texas prep football coaches get paid at least twice what an average teacher makes.
'That's not likely to change either.
'At least until they stop making movies called Friday Night Lights and start making movies called Wednesday Afternoon Algebra'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...
[Edited on 27/1/06 by TRD]