Some people made a big deal about Charles Barkley's comments that Oklahoma 'is no place for black people. The Oklahoma Sooners and the relocated from
New Orleans Hornets are the only brothers in town.' It doesn't take a PhD candidate in sociology to do the web research to find out that the US
Census Bureau says that Oklahoma has a smaller percentage of Black people in it than does the rest of the US. So there is a patina of accuracy in
Barkley's comments. The more important point here is that Charles Barkley says things that sound outrageous in the current climate of purposefully
non-offensive speech, but his remarks are not racist and they're not inflammatory and they're not evil. So, why did the governor of Oklahoma feel the
need to bloviate on this matter? Said Governor Henry:
'Obviously, Charles Barkely doesn't know what he's talking about. Anyone who follows Barkely knows he's notorious for saying ridiculous things that
have no basis in fact, and this case is a perfect example ... It's a shame Barkely would disparage our state with a thoughtless off-the-cuff remark
but I don't think anyone puts much stock in his opinions anyway.'
Memo to Governor Henry: Get over yourself.
If everyone knows that Barkley says 'ridiculous things that have no basis in fact' why the hell is a governor reacting to them?
If no one 'puts much stock in his opinions', why do you put enough stock in them that you feel the need to repeat them and then to respond?
I ran across an item yesterday that tells me there could be another example of 'Must-Miss-TV' coming soon. Banyan Productions is trying to cut a deal
with network to produce a reality TV show featuring Terrell Owens. According to Banyan Productions, the program will combine TO's 'passion for
working out with his natural curiosity about other people.' They plan to have guests join TO on the program and these guests will not be limited to
the sports world; the producers specifically said that even politicians would be invited guests. I can just see TO and Alan Greenspan chatting up the
intricacies of third world debt and monetary liquidity within the world macroeconomic structure. If that doesn't convince you to watch, here's
another teaser from the producers: 'The show will rely on TO's witty personality and tendency to speak his mind.'
I read yesterday that a spokesthing for the Winter Olympic Games has announced that the Games have reached their goal for ticket revenue. Evidently,
770,000 tickets have been sold (of the 1.1 million available) and that has generated 64 Million Euros in revenue. That was the goal. Let's see. The
previous estimate for the cost of putting on the games was $3.6 Billion, which converts to about 2.7 Billion Euros. Help me with the math here but
that seems to say that ticket sales were targeted to bring in about 2.5% of the cost of the games. How does that turn out to be economically
beneficial to Italy and/or Turin? Maybe TO and Alan Greenspan can explain all of that to us on TO's new TV program whilst they are both working out
The soccer World Cup will happen in Germany this summer. In addition to the normal event security measures needed for such a large sporting event,
these games need to deal with soccer hooligans and general soccer fan violence; the Germans seem to be preparing for all of that. The English team
must be scheduled to play some games in or near Nuremberg because the chief of the Nuremberg police recently warned English soccer fans to be on their
best behavior and to eschew any Adolf Hitler imitations or any orchestrated Nazi salutes. Here's part of his statement:
'We are prepared to use our police power to hold fans for up to two weeks without charge if we feel they are a threat to public safety and order.
This was once the city of the Nazi rallies but it is now famous as the city of human rights.'
And one of those famous human rights is to be subject to two weeks in the hoosegow with no charges just because the police think you might a threat to
public safety and order? Well, I guess it is a big step in the right direction for the folks in Nuremberg since the Nazis who were there in the past
incarcerated - and executed - folks with less justification than that.
According to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times, Bears' defensive tackle, Tank Johnson, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and resisting
arrest when an officer tried to issue a parking citation to his double-parked limo. According to the report, Johnson told the officer, 'You ain't the
only one with a Glock. If it wasn't for your gun and badge, I'd kick your derriere.' When the officer tried to arrest him, Johnson became
belligerent and refused to be cuffed and eventually needed to be 'maced' and subdued by several officers. At this point, Tank Johnson comes across
merely as a spoiled athlete with an overblown sense of entitlement, but Tank Johnson is actually on a whole different plane.
You see, Tank Johnson was already on probation for a weapons violation; he was charged with driving around with a gun in his car. So now, he gets to
work on these new charges and possibly, to explain to the judge who magnanimously gave him probation on the previous charges just why he should still
be allowed to be on the streets instead of in jail. And all of this happened because his limo was about to get a parking ticket. I don't think
you'll be hearing Tank Johnson addressing the local MENSA Society meeting any time soon.
Finally, the NASCAR season is about to happen. While I would find it a lot more interesting if half the cars ran clockwise around the track while the
other half ran counter-clockwise, I guess that's not part of the marketing strategy for the NASCAR mavens. They have another plan and Greg Cote of
the Miami Herald had this comment on it:
'NASCAR, set to open its season at Daytona, has a new corporate partnership with bodice-ripping Harlequin romance novels in hopes of growing its fan
base of 30 million women. NASCAR is targeting the demographic of women who both love to read and enjoy popping that first can of Busch by 9 a.m.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...