Today in “That’s The Whole Point, You Utter Jackass,” our guest is NCAA President Mark Emmert who said this alignment of words to writers at the Final Four, the organization’s most faithful cash cow:
“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems. It would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.”
To which we can only say, “Well, if the model you and your fellow greedheads wasn’t more corrupt than Italian politics, your argument might resonate with more people.”
Plus, nice touch saying it while standing on top of a gigantic pile of money generated upon your behalf and those for whom you serve by, yes, more of those unpaid and rights-deprived athletes.
In other words, we’re thinking shut up. And we’re thinking it hard.
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And now, a moment for Giants fans to remember how many non-players were given World Series rings in 2010 and 2012, via the 2013 champion Boston Red Sox. Reliever Brayan Villarreal got a ring despite the fact that his only appearance for the Sox came when he gave up (bless me father for I am about to sin here) a walkoff walk to Marco Scutaro for a 3-2 Giants win.
“I remember it exactly,” he told reporters. “I got called up the day before I got to pitch, and I was excited to be with a new team. While it didn't go good, it didn't go as I wanted it to, but that's just how it is.”
Yep, that’s just how it is.
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Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt were feted in Houston Saturday for their years of service to the Astros, but like every other pack of marketing weasels in the country, the Astros declared that they were officially retiring as Astros based on a one-day contract they both signed for the occasion.
Well, no. Berkman retired a Ranger, and Oswalt a Rockie, but it is indisputable that their best days and those for whom they will be remembered will be their time in Houston.
So why the hideous charade? I don’t know. Ask Brayan Villareal. He’s pitching in Pawtucket with an enormous headlight on his ring finger.
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Andrew Luck, who loves soccer, and Indianapolis Colts teammate Coby Fleener, whose fervor is as yet undocumented, were special guests at Upton Park during West Ham United’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool Sunday. Luck was in London for some promotional football camp, so it makes sense he’d take in a match, but don’t be surprised if he returns to the States for the first OTA and says, “I love Coach (Chuck) Pagano, but my heart belongs to Sam Allardyce.”
Big Sam and his Bochy-tastic head have that affect on people.
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In the good old days, David Stern would have had Charles Oakley cut into strips for speaking out (we’re lying, of course, but play along; it’s not like you’re doing anything meaningful here), but Oak, who could and occasionally did kill people with nothing more than a hard stare, let fly for Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.”
“The coaches in this league in this day and era are soft. The players are soft, (so) how can you build something? They put all these stat guys, these analytic guys, and put them on the bench and make them GM because of numbers. My thing with basketball, you’ve got to have efficiency within your structure, like San Antonio. You’ve got to have your players to buy in. That’s what wrong with the league; you’ve got guys worried about social media, ‘my brand.’ You brand once you get drafted, when you win as a team, you get your brand. When your team wins, then all of those commercials will come. Everything is all about hype.”
Oakley thinks Uncle Dave had to change the rules to make the NBA more inviting for European players to globalize the league. While the rule changes to increase scoring were effective, they made the league less physical.
“When we played in the ’80s, it wasn’t OK (for European players to play in the NBA). They weren’t coming over here. They were scared. The game was tough and they weren’t tough. Back then it was 1 percent and now it’s 40 percent and it’s going to keep going up. The dollar is international now.
Oh, and one more thing. “I don’t like 7-footers shooting threes, it’s a disrespect to the game for me.”
You disagree, you go tell him. Just leave us a note telling us where to ship the corpse.
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People don’t listen to old people much, and they didn’t when we were all young people. Too bad, because to quote Richard Pryor’s Mudbone, “I didn’t get to be old bein’ no fool.”
So, courtesy The Big Lead, watch this speech from former wrestler Jake (The Snake) Roberts, who tried very hard to take enough drugs to kill himself and more than once and still didn’t succeed. Watch and learn something for once in your otherwise self-obsess-o-fest of a life.
And that’s my soft side for 2014. It may return in mid-June, though I doubt it.
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And finally, to Stanford’s women’s basketball team, smacked into the glass ceiling once again. Another excellent team that like so many others got into the final weekend but not out of it. The Cardinal is now 2-9 in the final weekend since its last title in 1992, which is remarkable in its own weird way.
And we do mean weird.