—The Columbus Dispatch headline Friday over the story about Peyton Manning’s seven-touchdown game.
And these are the first two sentences of the article: “Peyton Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes, and the Denver Broncos routed the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens 49-27 last night. Elway became the sixth player to throw for that many, and the first since Joe Kapp on Sept. 28, 1969.”
Ok, the game ended somewhat late and they probably had to rush to meet a deadline but … put the freaking pipe down.
2) I recently read that on September 5th that Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s newly elected fearless leader, tweeted that he hopes all Jews have a Happy New Year. Yes, a Happy New Year. For those of you not up on the Jewish heritage, it is the Jewish New Year, or, Rosh Hashanah, on 9/5.
It seems Rouhani took to what is described as his official Twitter account on September 5 to wish a happy Rosh Hashanah to the global Jewish community when the following twittered across wherever it twitters: “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah.” The tweet was accompanied by a 2011 photo of an Iranian Jew praying in a Tehrani synagouge.
This is in contrast to his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was known for espousing anti-Semitic vitriol, including that the Holocaust was a myth, Iran’s new president is seen as a moderate among the country’s ruling theocracy. Also, according to a report published on the news website JTA, Iran is home to 10,000 Jews — making it the largest Jewish community in the region outside of Israel.
When Rouhani’s office was asked if he was behind the tweet, a representative did not deny that the account, @HassanRouhani, existed or that it had sent the tweet.
Rouhani was elected this year as a relative moderate who was willing to make Iran’s nuclear program more transparent, but also said Iran would not reduce its uranium enrichment programs. But, during the elections Rouhani had decried Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s broadsides against Jews as “hate rhetoric.”
First, with all the propaganda, ummm… I mean, the unbiased western news reports… broadcast, who even knew there were (a) Jews in Iran and (b) there were Jews in Iran who openly got to pray in synagogues, forget about the fact there is even a standing synagogue there.
However, regardless of that reality I have one piece of advice for those 10,000 Jews who are in Iran: Beware of Greeks (or in this case Iranians) bearing gifts”. Or in other words “Do not trust enemies who bring you presents — they could very well be playing a trick.”
A word to the wise should be sufficient.
3) It appears that a man walked into a liquor store, “Beer 30”, in Marionville, Missouri with a smoking cigarette in hand, where Jon Lewis Alexander, a 54-year-old military veteran, was working. Alexander told the man that smoking was not allowed inside the store. Alexander told media sources, “He just took another puff and looked me dead in the eyes, like he was Billy Badass.”
That was Billy Badass’ first mistake.
His second mistake quickly occurred when he said to Alexander, “You need to give me all your fucking money.”
What happens next was recorded on the store’s surveillance video system.
The thief begins to raise his pistol, but Alexander covers the man’s gun with one hand and swings his own pistol to the thug’s face with the other. At that point, Alexander said he told Billy Badass, “You need to get the fuck out of here before I blow your fucking head off.”
The video then shows the clerk and the robber standing face to face, the muzzle of Alexander’s 9-mm pressed against the man’s lips. After a very pregnant pause, which probably seemed like an eternity to the wannabe hood, Billy Badass is seen backing away from the counter and straight out the door. As for why Billy Badass even got the chance to back step out of the store, Alexander said he did not shoot the punk (my words) because he was able to keep the man’s weapon pointed away. In Alexander’s words, “I couldn’t see shooting the man, if he couldn’t shoot me.”
Moral of the story do not fuck with someone who has had four tours of duty in Iraq, and prior jobs that included positions as a corrections officer and a later job as a private investigator.
One final thought to Billy Badass (or maybe he should now be called “Shit for Brains with Browned Stained Underwear”?) and any other wanna-be jokers out there: Don’t go writing checks that your body (and brain) can’t cash. And, get a fucking job.
4) Over the weekend it seems Pope Francis, denounced arms proliferation and illegal weapons trade, by suggesting the desire to make profits from arms possibly fuels the various wars in the world.
Francis told people in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday that he wonders “… if this war here, or there, is really a war, or, is it a commercial war to sell these arms, or, to increase the illegal trade in it?”
He urged people to reject arms proliferation and their illegal sale.
Take the pope’s words whichever way you will… but… maybe… just maybe… he could be right, and, then what?
5) On Saturday (9/7), a 107-year-old man was shot and killed in a shootout with police. Monroe Isadore was shot dead after repeatedly firing at officers through a home’s closed bedroom door and refusing negotiations to surrender.
Pine Bluff (Arkansas) police Lt. David Price told media sources that officers were dispatched to the scene after a caller reported a man was pointing a weapon at two people. When the officers got to the scene they reported hearing gunfire and promptly evacuated other nearby residents. A SWAT team was called and they eventually inserted a camera inside a bedroom and confirmed Isadore had a handgun. After the elderly man refused to give up his weapon and surrender, gas was pumped into the room through a window. This seems to have only served to piss off Mr. Isadore who began firing his weapon more. SWAT then forced entry into the bedroom, whereupon Isadore continued firing his weapon and the entry team subdued him with fatal return fire. No officers were injured in the attack. Those involved will be placed on administrative leave with pay pending the investigation, according to department policy.
Want my take on this? Sounds like a nasty argument gone wrong between Isadore and the other two peeps and then a tired old man who probably felt he had no reason left to go on decided to commit suicide by cop.
Is it just me, or, are there too many stories about too many desperate people in this tired world who just cannot cope anymore and need to check out one way or the other?
6) Recently I read a list of commonly accepted facts that are, in fact, myths. For instance most of us probably believe that a full collegiate athletic scholarship covers the full cost of college attendance. I did. At least, I figured the scholarship covered the cost of going to class and room and board. No?
Fact: Many basketball and football players on so-called “full rides” often find that their scholarships fall short of covering the cost of attendance by a few thousand dollars. A 2010 study conducted jointly by the National College Players Association (NCPA) and Ithaca College found that Division I student-athletes on “full” scholarships were left with an average shortfall of $2,951 per year, or $14,755 over the course of a four year undergrad program.
So, I dutifully went to that 2010 study and checked it out and here is what I discovered:
In 2010 the NCAA had just signed a new $11 billion TV contract with CBS and at this same time the BCS Conferences were expecting to share in record revenues from their new ESPN contract but the study showed “that the ‘full’ scholarship athletes that generate all of this money are unknowingly left to pay tens of thousands of dollars in education-related expenses.”
NCAA rules prevent all of its member institutions from providing athletic scholarships that fully cover the price tag of the school better known as the cost of attendance. That leaves players on the “full” scholarship with significant out-of-pocket expenses for education-related expenses such as various academic supplies and fees.
In fact, the article said, “… in 2009, student-athletes in Division I receiving a so-called “full scholarship” were left with an average shortfall of $2951/year, or $14,755 over five years. The NCAA formula for scholarships leaves very different shortfalls from one college to the next. The range in scholarship shortfalls (can be from) $200/year (to about) $10,962/year. A full scholarship athlete at the University of Arkansas (Little Rock) would be expected to pay almost $55,000 over five years.”
The NCPA then said that the NCAA, and its associated universities, have been essentially lying to high school players, many of whom are minors and from disadvantaged backgrounds, into unwittingly having to pay thousands of dollars when they thought they had a “full” athletic scholarship.
NCPA President Ramogi Huma* said, “The NCAA and its schools have been pretending to fully support student-athletes’ pursuit for a college degree. They have misled high school recruits, their parents, college athletes, lawmakers, and the general public. The NCPA is calling upon the NCAA and these schools to use a portion of post-season football and basketball revenues to finally make good on a promise that they have been breaking for decades. A full scholarship should cover the full cost of attendance.”
The study was relevant back in 2010 because it was done at a time when players generated record revenues for the NCAA, the BCS Conferences, and their schools but the same athletes were being reprimanded and punished for accepting money and gifts from agents and/or school supporters or alumni. In fact, not much has changed as even today we have “Johnny Football” hitting the headlines for accepting the green for signing his own name.
Huma poignantly said, “The NCAA and its schools set many players up to fail. They tell players that their scholarships are “full”, (then) cap scholarships below what players need to survive, and then punish players who accept money. These players are citing financial hardships as reasons for accepting this money.”
Ellen J. Staurowsky, a professor and graduate chair at Ithaca College notes, “While NCAA rules governing compensation for athletes has been based on the same formula since the 1970s, coaches’ contracts in the major revenue-producing sports have changed dramatically. When the bonuses that coaches make are greater than the entire scholarship shortfall for their teams, you know there is an enormous inequity that harms college players.”
In addition, the NCPA claims that the NCAA and BCS Conferences are abusing their tax-exempt status by not fulfilling the educational promises that justify their non-profit status. In fact, none of the BCS revenues are earmarked to support student-athletes’ education.
Huma stated, “It’s already a stretch to use their educational mission as a reason to not pay taxes on revenue from completely unrelated activities, i.e., television contracts and ticket sales. But they haven’t even been honest about the educational benefits that they claim to provide student-athletes. They should all be stripped of their tax exempt status unless they fulfill their promise to fully support student-athletes’ education.”
If your interest has been piqued just wander on by www.ncpanow.org for a further look at the discourse on this study as well as many other actions the NCPA is doing.
But the bottom line is the whole idea of the “student-athlete” is a term that should be abolished to antiquity as it is a concept that has not existed probably since the NCAA started accepting cashish for games being sent across the airwaves. Which leads me to the point that shouldn’t the athletes who are the generators of the money be cut into a share of the money itself?
And do not even start me on the absurdity of the NFL using college football as their minor league and development system for new blood. Probably half the kids in colleges shouldn’t, and most likely wouldn’t, go to a college if it were not for the fact it is just about the only way for high school kids to even get noticed enough to draw any interest at all if they have the potential skills to play in the NFL.
(*Former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma founded the National College Players Association (NCPA) after watching the NCAA suspend his All-American teammate Donnie Edwards for accepting groceries when his scholarship money ran out at the end of the month. By the end of his freshman year, Huma realized that, despite the billions of dollars that college athletes generate, the NCAA enforces rules that leave college athletes across the nation without basic protections.)
7) Myth #2 debunked: Most MLB players suspended for performance-enhancing drugs are big-name sluggers.
Fact: Of the twenty-six major leaguers caught and banned thus far, thirteen of them were pitchers and only seven of them were All-Stars. Aside from Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez, the most recognizable position player to get suspended was probably Matt Lawton or Mike Cameron. (Biogenesis and its resultant suspensions had yet to happen when this myth list was created.)
As for the pre-testing era, the public tends to focus on accused home run hitters like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa but it is also a fact that pitchers like Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Eric Gagne also drew scrutiny either through the Mitchell report or the judicial process. And, none of those guys were even suspended for using drugs of any type.
I have always said that the biggest issue isn’t about the established stars using PEDs (although it does tend to fuck up the numbers in the record book) rather it’s about the using player who takes that last spot on a MLB roster that cheats a “clean” guy from fulfilling his dream, and his rightful due, of making a major league team.
8) Myth #3 debunked: Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp asked for a day off with a minor injury, starting Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games played streak.
Fact: Getting “Wally Pipped” is about the worst thing that can happen to an athlete. But the fact was that Pipp never begged out of the lineup with any injury, minor or else wise. He was benched because he was mired in a slump and he was part of a huge lineup shakeup by Yankees manager Miller Huggins. Gehrig was but one of several additions to the New York lineup.
I wish I could say I said the next line but it is a direct quote from the myth list: “The lesson of Pipp should be, ‘Don’t suck, or else you might be replaced by somebody who doesn’t.’”
9) On September 2, 2013, various media outlets reported that a New York man died after being nearly decapitated by a booby trap he set to protect four marijuana plants he was growing.
It appears that Daniel R. Ricketts, 50, was driving an ATV in the backyard of his property Saturday when he was nearly decapitated after running into a fine, nearly invisible, wire that was among the various traps he set around four large marijuana plants
Hikers had discovered Daniel’s body and reported their horrific findings to local authorities who said they found the illegal garden also was surrounded by barbed wire and a leg trap that is generally used to snare coyote.
Ricketts was pronounced dead at the scene by Albany County Coroner Paul Marra.
The sheriff of Albany County, Craig Apple, declared the rural hills in his county are often used to setup illegal marijuana grow-ops. He said, “They go up there and they’ll grow marijuana on a lot of the state lands. Fortunately hikers, people out and about, neighbors will call us and they’ll tell us.”
Apple said planting the traps was “ridiculous” because “You’re talking about going from a low level charge of possessing marijuana to possible manslaughter.” He added that alcohol may have played a role in the accident.
Other police sources said that it isn’t uncommon for guerrilla growers who operate in the area to set some type of “protection” around their plants.
As would be expected a story of this ilk also was reported by Cannabis Culture Magazine with the following commentary:
“And now the truth spoken from a longtime friend:
“First of all, a man died and all you have are the “facts” that the media gives you…and they never juice up the story, right?!? I’ve known the man who died for ten years and I’d like to clear some things up…..He was not drunk. He was at work until 4:00am that morning at a job he has held for 28 years…4 years from retirement, and had woken up shortly before this happened. The wires were not a booby trap for people, they were connected to a bell to signal that deer were present. Yes the man had a couple plants, and they were for his own medical use, plants that are legal depending on where you live in this country. And he never sold the stuff… This man was a kind soul and would do anything for you. It’s disgusting that you all can’t think for yourself enough to not believe everything you read in the media.”
Ok, I think it is real easy to believe either side of the story but that the truth is somewhere between the two and is probably a composite of the two stories. But, I gotta believe that Mr. Ricketts probably went to sleep after work, woke up and decided on doing a righteous home-grown bone and a brewski, or two, before going out for a little backwoods ATVing. Now, whether the wire was a “trap” or an early “warning system” against renegade hippie deer it is very important to know and remember where you strung the stuff up if you decide to go around tooling about on your ATV. Because if you don’t then when you rev your machine up to speeds of 30 to 40 mph and then go running into a tightened wire cord the collision will end rather gruesomely as proven by the fact the 50-year-old’s head was sliced nearly clean off his body.
10) On Sunday (9/8) the NY Daily News did a big spread on the movie “Eight Men Out”. The movie originally debuted on Sept. 2, 1988. “Eight Men Out” portrayed the 1919 Black Sox team which intentionally lost the World Series for money, resulting in eight of their players receiving lifetime bans.
The Daily News spoke with numerous people connected to the film about, among many other things, what they think of the current baseball scandal involving Biogenesis, performance-enhancing drugs and the suspensions of players tied up in doping in relation to the scandal (gambling) depicted in the movie.
The paper asked, “Does Alex Rodriguez’s plight compare with that of (“Sholess Joe”) Jackson’s? Is the crime of gambling on baseball greater than that of cheating the hallowed records of America’s pastime through chemical enhancement?”
D. B. Sweeny, who played “Shoeless Joe” Jackson said, “I’m a huge baseball fan and follow it very closely. I think (doping) is a terrible thing, but I think the gambling was worse. These guys (today) are cheating to try and win. If you cheat to try and lose, it’s a house of cards. The whole enterprise falls apart if the fans don’t think that the games are actually being competed honestly.”
And that led me to think about Pete Rose. When ARod decided to appeal his hundred gazillion game suspension (as is his right), a lot of people, including some MLB players, said “Why is he getting to play when Pete Rose should be allowed in the Hall of Fame?” Effectively what they are saying is that the time to forgive has well gone by for Rose and that since he has finally said the right words of contrition, he should be forgiven by MLB.
Now let me state, here and now, that although Rose is suspended from MLB, the Hall of Fame is a separate entity, a museum, in fact, apart from the institution of MLB. They are different organizations that are governed by similar but different rules. And in 1991, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum voted to bar banned players from induction but it is their rule and they can change it any time they wish.
And, at least one baseball writer, Jeff Jackson, seems to agree with me about MLB and the Hall of Fame being two separate entities when he says on his blog (“Triple in the Gap”) and writes in his June 14, 2001 entry (“Pete Rose, the ballpark does not welcome you”) the following words: “Many don’t realize that the baseball hall of fame (sic) isn’t a part of Major League Baseball. It is an institution on its own. It’s not up to MLB to let Rose in – it’s up to the voters. The voters can write Rose in now and there’s usually a few who do, but not enough to get him into the hall, let alone the five-percent needed to get a player on the next year’s ballot.”
But that is not the point I am trying to make. The point is this: The people who vote for players who get into the Hall have decided Rose shouldn’t be elected because he gambled. Now Rose, himself says. “Yes that is true but, hey, I never gambled on my team to lose while I managed the Reds.”
Well, how do we know that? It his word, the word of a known liar as well as an admitted liar, that we have that he never gambled on the Reds to lose, isn’t it?
See the point?
Besides, while his numbers certainly would guarantee him inclusion into the Hall, the fact is he gambled on MLB games when every major league clubhouse has the rule stated on the wall: “Gambling will result in lifetime banishment. This includes association with gamblers and betting on games of which the player is not a participant.” When he finally did admit he gambled on baseball in his book “My Prison Without Bars” we have no idea if he is telling the truth when he says that he never gambled on the Reds to lose.
So, unfortunately, while his record, his baseball numbers, say he indisputably (despite his amphetamine use) belongs in the Hall, it is just he, himself, who cannot be allowed to get into the Cooperstown museum without buying a ticket. Ever.
“Subway kittens Arthur and August find a home in Brooklyn”
The two kitties, who brought the Subway’s Q and B lines to its knees last week, are being housed, until a more permanent home can be found, by Steven Liu in his Brooklyn home where they now share space with two other kittens. Turns out the little critters came out of their ordeal a tad on the shy side but no worse for wear and now share a room that boasts a scratching post, toys and boxes to explore, along with an “apology” note, “Sorry New York, we forgot to transfer at Prospect Park.”
For those who have no clue WTF I am talking about: The cats’ journey from the rails to luxury began last Thursday when they were rescued from the tracks at the Church Avenue station. It also was at this time that a NYC Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota said he would have sacrificed the cats for subway efficiency and that did not sit well with Liu.
Liu, who has a website called the “Scratching Pad” that details the two former alley, (um, subway?), cats daily escapades says “(Lhota’s opinion is) really dumb. Anyone who doesn’t know the power cats have over the Internet and public opinion — I’m surprised he announced that in the papers.”
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