Thursday, August 30, 2012
Still, it might be right out of the "Y2K Apocalypse - The Movie!" screenplay. You know, the one in which airplanes falling out of the sky because somebody 60 years ago never though to write out code for the year in four digits.
Just never happened. For lots of reasons.
Which is why this "End of Football" scenario could also fizzle, for any number of seen and unforseen mitigating events and/or circumstances.
If these cases ever get to trial it might not be difficult for plaintiffs' attorneys to find former players, trainers and even team doctors who recount being told to get players back onto the field even though they showed troubling signs of confusion and disorientation. Trial lawyers are already examining movies produced by NFL Films glorifying violence, with titles like "Big Blocks and King Size Hits," and "Moment of Impact."
The NFL is a highly visible industry, but not nearly as rich as you might think. Its total revenues are estimated at $9 billion. If the league ever faces the prospect of going before a jury in these cases, it will almost certainly try to settle, but that won't be cheap. Unlike a business that admits to a dangerous work environment or faulty product and then fixes it or gets out of that particular business, the NFL can't just walk away from the contact which is essential to the game.
So any settlement will have to include not just compensation for those now injured, but a trust fund for those who are retired and might develop conditions later in life, as well as some kind of ongoing trust fund for those now playing and future players. Don't bank on the NFL simply forcing future competitors to sign a waiver not to sue. Putting a multimillion dollar contract in front of a 22-year-old kid and telling him he can get the big dough if he just gives up his right to sue 30 years from now might be seen by judges and juries as a form of coercion.
Going to trial, however, may be even more expensive because lawyers are likely to seek punitive damages against the league beyond the cost of medical care. This is where our tort system can especially turn into a runaway train. Already, some lawyers are trying to get cases, like the wrongful death case filed by the estate of Dave Duerson, remanded back to state court, where juries are more likely to hand out such awards. The sight of 50 year old men, once robust and athletic, now looking enfeebled and confused, will make former NFL players among the most sympathetic adult tort victims in recent memory, I suspect.
It is no exaggeration to say that industries around the world fear America's civil justice system because it is unlike any other country's in its ability to produce class-action litigation that drags on for decades and delivers bankrupting judgments. If professional football can't win a quick dismissal of these suits, one day the ‘L' in NFL may come to stand for litigation.
Well now, isn't that a cheerful way to begin the season!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
In it, Hochuli talks openly about his obsession to always make the right call...
"I've been officiating 35 some years," Hochuli says. "Every time I throw the flag, the player disagrees."
His job is to forget, to move on. He can't. Hochuli remembers a time when he called a facemask on a defender and the player appealed to him immediately. "I got his shoulder!" he said. "I swear to you, Ed!" Hochuli realized he wasn't sure. He picked up the flag. He thinks about that play often.
That was more than 10 years ago.He famously regrets the Jay Cutler non-fumble call in the Charger-Bronco game, even though I think most neutral fans see that one as far less sinister than the infamous "tuck rule" call in New England.
Ed even e-mailed BACK to many irate and perhaps insane Charger fans afterward, explaining the mistake, and offering an apology.
So when it comes to the current referee lockout, Ed won't jump into the fray publicly - he's too smart, and a lawyer, so he understands the sensitivity of negotiations - but he does chafe at the idiot's notion that he's a "part time" referee.
"The full-time referee thing is funny to me," he says. "I am a full-time referee. Everything the NFL asks me to do, I do. Got a game in San Diego, they send me the assignment, and I go. Many times I have gotten out of trials because of games. I know about them in advance. I tell the judge and the lawyer way in advance."
Hochuli feels that after 20 years as an NFL referee (including serving as crew chief for two Super Bowls), the "part-time" label should go. Yes, the games are only three hours, but the time he spends on the craft, between studying, traveling, preparation and review, is beyond 40 per week. But he knows by now that refs are never fully appreciated. They don't win games for you in the minds of fans; they only cost you games.
But that was before the specter of replacement refs costing games, which seems much worse.And yeah, the regular season is going to be a GOAT-SCREW of the highest order. We have been given a taste in the pre-season of just what happens when beer league zebras try to officiate the world's most violent, fast moving, most-players-on-the-field-at-once (with soccer) sports.
It's a disaster. Now throw actual PRESSURE on these guys to NOT SCREW UP into the mix, and just sit back and take a zoloft to keep from smashing your remote control.
But back to Hochuli. The same guy who the NFL thinks is easily replaceable, actually WROTE a supplemental guide for NFL refs on how to mark off certain penalties.
The book is called "The Hopperbook" and it is dense enough with if's, and's, and but's to make your head hurt. Here's an example...
So yeah, off we go into the regular season, while Ed focuses on his law practice and buffing up those guns.
It's a damn shame, but hopefully, the league gets it's pants pulled down and spanked hard by karma, and they never, ever, ever think about doing this again.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
So can I entice you people into something different?
Formerly "Craction", the game is a brainchild of Scott Schmidt (a Milwaukee local and native) that combines picking NFL (and college!) games against the Vegas spread, but with an added twist. You get even MORE points for just how "right" a winning pick happened to be.
So when you take Arizona to win a game as a 6-point underdog, and then cruise by 21, don't get just 1 "win" for picking that game correctly: you get 27 points for being super-duper-right in your prognostication!
This makes the traditional "year long pick pool" very very SPICY indeed.
Few leads in points are ever safe. And with a hot couple of weeks, you can really turn your season around, and erase an awful start.
So here's what we are doing at Czabe.com.
1. There is a FREE public league for anyone who signs up at www.cover5.com, in which 1st prize will be two (2) nights lodging in Las Vegas this spring for CzabeVegas and an All-Access pass for you and a friend to all of the CzabeVegas related parties, swag and activities. You just need to fly, drive, or hitch-hike your way out there, and the rest is on me!
2. There is also a 32 team (just like the NFL) "Private" league, that I am organizing which will cost entrants $100 American, payable through PayPal. I am currently accepting "applications" to be one of the 32 teams, but don't be mad if you don't make the cut, because I have been flooded with almost 200 requests.
Criteria for being granted a "franchise" in the private league, will be roughly as follows.
1. Creative Team Name
2. Good looking Team Logo (you must provide/create)
3. Ability to pay within 24 hours of being admitted.
That's pretty much it. It does not HURT to include a nice backstory, or personal appeal as to why you want IN on this "sweet action." So go ahead and beg, if you must.
Winner in the Czabe Private League will pocket $2000. Second place $800. Third $400. Not bad.
NOTE: Cover5 has NOTHING to do with collecting, or distributing any "side money" on a league you are in, or perhaps create.
And just think, your hours and hours and hours of fantasy research will not be wasted, just because Jamal Charles goes down for the season with a knee injury in Week 2. Such was my fantasy "joy" last year.
If you still play fantasy and like it, wonderful. Try adding Cover5 to your ways to enjoy both NFL and COLLEGE football.
NOTE: The college Cover5 game will begin once conference play has begun around October 1st.
And if you don't get into my private league, BY ALL MEANS, start your OWN Cover5 league! It's simple and fun. You can do it with co-workers. You can do it with old high school or college buddies. You can play for whatever you want to play for.
Everything from "fun" to "a trillion dollars!"
So you have your marching orders. Email me with any questions, and let's have some fun this year!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Currently, co-hosting SportsNation with Colin Cowherd, Ms. Thompson may not have former chair-holder Michelle Beadle's "spunkiness" but she basically MURDERS every outfit she wears on the show. Just cover up the Cowherd half of your TV screen with butcher paper and enjoy.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Football is a violent game, so I don't pretend to care that a guy gets dumped (even head first) into a cold tub by a teammate.
Basically, any given play, on any given Sunday, is more horrifically violent than this.
That said, just how big of a d-wad is Jason Pierre Paul?
I mean, Prince Amukamura is no longer a rookie. And, he's being counted on to be a big part of Big Blue's secondary. I wouldn't be dumping him on his head into a cold tub.
You want to bust his balls? Haze him a bit? Fine. Shaving cream in the shoes won't do the trick?
The football tough guys will no doubt line up to say that anyone who thinks JPP is out of line, just doesn't get the caveman rules of a pro sports lockeroom.
But here's Ross Tucker to make another point about the whole incident: Amukamura, unfortunately, needs to basically brawl his way out of these punkings, almost as if he was in prison with the toughest guy on the cell block.
The video makes everyone involved look bad. Pierre-Paul, already the best defensive player on the team, is seen not only as a bully throwing Amukamara into the cold tub but is also heard repeatedly speaking with vulgar and inappropriate language. There should never be a place for that type of language but that is the reality of the culture in the locker room. More on that later, but needless to say he can't be thrilled that Weatherford made such a bone-headed decision. People won't forget what they've seen on this video from a guy whose star is, or at least was, on the rise.
Amukamara comes across as a helpless figure. The look on his face after he gets out of the tub is disturbing. It hurt me to watch it. He looks like a defeated man.
The truth is, Pierre-Paul and the other Giants are picking on Amukamara because they can since evidently Amukamara allows them to. Sure, some small level of rookie hazing is common in the NFL, but this is way past that. Amukamara is no longer a rookie and reportedly that is at least the 8th time that he has been dumped in the cold tub.
There is only one way for him to finally get the rest of the guys off his back and that is to not allow it to happen. Amukamara must stand up for himself. Physically. Unfortunately, it is the only way.
You see, NFL players, in general, are not very developed socially. Society hasn't made them yet. Their world has been a testosterone-laden locker room for as long as they can remember. It's not the real world, it is its own world. And in a lot of ways it is not that different from 6th grade when a few bullies would pick on the weaker kids. In the NFL, you can't allow yourself to be one of those weaker kids. That's the culture.
I just wonder how this incident would play out, if Amukamara went down fighting, and suffered a 9 inch gash on his leg when JPP dropped him on the edge of the tub instead. Would the team, or the media, effectively blame Amukamara for "not going along" with an otherwise "harmless little prank" within team walls?
Of would they come down hard on JPP for being a meathead who doesn't understand how important it is in the NFL to keep your own players healthy at all costs?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Whoop de do.
Women have played the course as guests regularly, so now two of them get to kick in some cash to keep the club running. I suppose they now need a small women's locker room, if they don't already have one for guests.
Not a big deal.
Unless you are Christine Brennan.
Here's the predicable politically correct drivel from her victory lap column...
To say it's about time is an understatement. It has been well past time for Augusta to end its stubborn, sexist ways and acknowledge women are not only a vital part of the golf industry, but are important participants in the corridors of power in America - and we can certainly say that Augusta National is one of the biggest, boldest and most iconic corridors of power.
Today, one of the last bastions of male supremacy is no more. Today, Augusta National has made a crucial statement to every girl and woman who has thought about picking up a golf club.
The message is simple: You are welcome.
That same message is being sent to every girl and woman who has even thought about trying to enter a sport or a field of study or a job that boys and men have dominated. If Augusta National can bring in women, then anyone can.
That's how big of a deal this is.Ah yeah. The whole "young girls can now dream" angle. What a crock of bull. I want my girls' dreams to be way f'ing bigger than joining Augusta. Contrary to Brennan and others, the entirety of American commerce does not run through Magnolia Lane.
Women inhabit every other square inch of the golf world, from elite clubs coast to coast, on television as announcers, as golf course designers, and as officers in the PGA of America and the USGA.
But none of that matters to the crowd that just wants to hang a scalp on the wall of political correctness.
I always defended Augusta Nationals iron-clad RIGHT as a private club, to decide how, whom, and when to admit members. That was often confused and conflated with the opinion that I somehow believed women should not be members at Augusta.
Like I care.
The club is only open half the year anyway, and two female members isn't going to change the magic of the place. Condi is a badass member of Team Elephant, and Darla Moore, the same.
In short, they'll fit right in.
Monday, August 20, 2012
those F2 wedges were some kind of "new" technology to help eliminated the dreaded "shank" (aka: The Chinese Hook, the Shank-a-lank) in golf?
If so, you are dead wrong.
When we looked at the vintage club case at Turnberry last week, we saw all kinds of "old" ideas, some now mercifully extinct (like the bullet-hole wedge) and others quite alive.
If so, you are dead wrong.
When we looked at the vintage club case at Turnberry last week, we saw all kinds of "old" ideas, some now mercifully extinct (like the bullet-hole wedge) and others quite alive.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
|What? A two-pound tip isn't proper? Geez. Sorry!|
Weather has been - as the saying goes - "brilliant" for our trip. We have yet to pop an umbrella. What are the chances we tip toe through the week without breaking our streak?
Not likely, I know. I best shut the bleep up over here before the biblical deluge.
The best part of the entire experience has been the caddies. Authentic, hilarious, gruff, profane, wager-on-you-behind-your-back Scottish caddies. Absolutely hilarious men, with thousands of stories and jokes I can't begin to print here.
Quick Summary So Far
Home of The Open Championship
Old school. Tons of blind shots. Neat. Almost looks like a muni in the heart of town.
Epic. Better than Pebble Beach, by a mile. Brutally tough in the wind. Tore my swing to tatters with 25 MPH steady. Kintyre course is no slouch as well. Resort is fabulous. They also have a miniature 12 hole pitching course, complete with pot bunkers, heather, gorse, fescue. Holes are about 60 yards in length. Greens are perfect. We played til dark last night as the sun set over the Ailsa Craig.
Wow. Just, wow. Setting is tremendous and the club is a pretty buttoned up, don't F-around-here private club. First few holes and last few holes are flat and un-inspiring, but course is incredible from holes 5-15, winding through dunes, hillocks and a sea of gorse.
Coming the rest of the week....
Old Course - Today
Muirfield & North Berwick - Thursday
Kingsbarns - Friday
Carnoustie - Saturday
Now... some pics
|Bus full of knuckleheads rollin' around with a few "tinnies" of beer. Thank god we don't have to drive!|
|Turnberry - Kintyre Course - Hole #7. Par 4.|
|Dave Adams tries to recover from a mess at Troon.|
|Luke Sheehan reflects before birdie putt on #18 at Royal Troon. Weather that day was awesome.|
|PGA Professional Jeff Sheehan poses with his son Luke, who will be playing for S.F. Austin this fall.|
|Jack Mateosky has to blast out sideways from the "Spectacles" bunker at Turnberry.|
|Lots of this happens. Lots.|
|Getting the welcome, and lecture, from the club master at Royal Troon.|
|Jeff Sheehan escapes a bunker at Turnberry.|
|Ron Thomas with has patented Scottish bump-n-run at Turnberry.|
|Dr. Brad Bauer laces one |
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
It took me a while to figure out why the NFL’s hardballing of their existing referees was flat out bugging me so much.
In my head, I know it will get resolved. Eventually.
And given the utter sh**show we’ve been treated to so far, I don’t think the NFL can last until Week 2 of the regular season like they did back in 2001.
For starters, back then Division I refs were allowed to moonlight during the lockout by the NCAA, and they were not afraid of being blackballed forever as scabs.
No go on both of those fronts this time.
Which has given us the “We’ll Remember His Name Forever” Craig Ochoa. The man who was fired from the Lingerie Football League.
Naturally, the NFL is even quibbling with that, saying he wasn’t really “fired.” Whatever.
So I was wondering why this power play by the Shield so bothered me, and then I realized: the NFL has become “that guy.”
A schmuck. A total, and complete SCHMUCK.
The NFL is the guy who grabs two fistfuls of free golf tees, at the nice country club you were invited to play by somebody who is a member. With the head pro, watching him take all those tees and stuff them in his bag.
The NFL is the dad who is already spending $4,000 on a family vacation, but INSISTS on parking the family in off-airport super-remote parking – because it is $5 cheaper per day!
The NFL is the schmuck whose cheapness and vindictiveness is not just embarrassing to be around, they are genuinely ruining what should be a fun experience for everyone.
As football fans, we are all excited for good ol’ cranium rattling action to commence.
But for god’s sake, do you REALLY have to troll the LFL for scab refs, Roger Goodell, just so you can break the back of Gene Steratore and Ed Hochuli?
Really? Oh, yes?
NFL referees are the best refs in the world. Their sport is the most violent, fast moving, complicated, and highly scrutinized in the world. It is not even close.
And the rule book has become a larded up joke, full of obscure concepts, prinicples, and conditionally off-setting penalties and definitions.
The argument about them being “part time” is the biggest canard in the book. They are “part time” only because the league can’t play games all year long. They would have literally nothing to do from February to August.
This is not a paper route for these guys to make some extra cash. This is the culmination of a life’s work in the field of football officiating. The road to wearing NFL stripes is arguably as much of a longshot as the road to playing in the league.
So what do the refs want? A bump in pay in line with the last negotiation (between 6-12%) and a continuation of their benefits, like their pension.
The Mighty Shield, multi-billion dollar industry that it is, says that’s way too much. In fact, they are looking to PHASE OUT things like the ref’s pension plan.
In the meantime, Craig Ochoa is stumbling over calling Atlanta “Arizona” – not once, but twice – this pre-season.
Goodell and the owners nickel-and-diming an essential component of their product, that somehow, only THEY don’t see as essential.
Let’s hope fans take this lesson, and begin to nickel-and-dime the league back in every way they can.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The modern Olympics are corrupt, overbearing, wasteful, and silly.
They remain, awesome however.
For all of the nonsense, greed, and shambolic mishaps, when you watch something like this is makes your skin tingle and your head hurt as you try to hold back little baby tears. (I'm a MAN, dammit! This doesn't MOVE me...! /sniffles... look at Gabby Douglass... she's soooo sweet!)
Enjoy. For as long as the Olympic overlords of the interwebs takes the video down due to "copyright" violations. Because you know, I'm just making a killing of of posting this video, and god forbid a little kid somewhere in the world will watch this a thrillion times before bed, and someday dream of being an Olympian.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Well, the tour group that booked our excursion, made sure we gave a contact number of our home course and handicap about 11 months ago, so they could go through the "lottery process" to get times at The Old Course, St. Andrews.
Once we cleared that hurdle, I figured showing actual PROOF of my "Can't-Play-To-It-8-Handicap" was no longer necessary.
Then Pete, our group leader said happily on Monday, a mere 7 days until leaving: "Oh, and make sure to bring your USGA Handicap Index card, JUST IN CASE."
Well, what the fudge!?
While I USED to keep an up to date handicap at Westfields GC in Clifton, VA, I have not entered any scores for some time. Probably 18 months.
Well, for one, I realize that my dream of pushing that official index down to a - don't laugh - actual ZERO, was just not going to happen until maybe I retire. For another, I don't play any events that require a certified handicap.
Pretty much the few competitive trips/outings/friendly games that I play in anymore, are with guys who know every nook and cranny of my game, and it's weak points.
None of them complain about me being an 8 handicap. In fact, they probably laugh and whisper behind my back.
Part of me thought about claiming this honky-tonk driving range up in Ellsworth Maine as my home course! Take that Shamus! I'm a MEMBER!
So in lieu of an official UP TO DATE handicap card with the USGA imprimatur stamped upon it, I was told to get a letter from my club's pro,
Hopefully, they let me play.
Or, if it's 52 degrees, and blowing 30 mph of sideways rain at Carnoustie, then hopefully they will just send me to the clubhouse with a complimentary snifter of Black Label on the rocks.
And if the REAL letter from my pro Jason Paul doesn't do the trick, well, this one (below) from "Captain Touchback" should certainly clear me from play!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Yeah. She's T-E-N. And I'm sure her dad will start filling her sweet empty little head with thoughts of playing against men, and qualifying for the Masters.
And I am sure the media will fawn over her, and say how LONG she hits the ball, of course making sure to add... "And she's ONLY 10 YEARS OLD...."
Just like they did with ol' Wie Wie Wie All The Way Home.
Good for the kid, though. Don't let it get to your head.
Because surely, when he came out in favor of American TACKLE football to someday be an Olympic sport, he deserved to be laughed off the podium.
Skip Oliva, writing for Saturday Down South, actually did the legwork to peel back just how "deep" the current global participation in our beloved gladiator game runs.
Answer: "not too deep."
The IOC requires a sport be widely played in at least 75 nations spanning four continents to merit consideration for the Olympic program. Even by Goodell’s count, the IFAF is at least a dozen members short. And judging by the most recent IFAF World Championship, held last year in Austria, the depth and quality of international American football leaves a lot to be desired. As you would expect, the United States easily won the gold medal. Only eight nations participated in the tournament. Unlike more established international competitions, where countries have to go through some sort of qualifying, only Europe had enough participants to stage a regional tournament.
Australia qualified as the only representative of IFAF Oceania without playing any preliminary matches, and it showed. The Aussies lost their three IFAF matches by scores of 61-0, 65-0 and 30-20. Similarly, Japan only needed to defeat South Korea to qualify, which it did 76-0. Japan actually won the first two IFAF championships where the United States did not participate. (It should be noted the IFAF games were played on a ridiculously truncated schedule—four 48-minute matches per team over eight days.)
The 2011 IFAF final—a 50-7 nail-biter between the USA and Canada—was played before 20,000 spectators in Vienna before a stadium that holds more than twice that. Team USA consisted of former college players who couldn’t get into the NFL. I could not identify a single ex-SEC player on the team. The head coach was a recently retired Division II and high school coach.
But for some reason, Roger said he'd love to see it someday, anyhow, so I suppose there is a deeper "long game" strategy in play, or perhaps ulterior motives. Skip is much better at sniffing those out than I am, so if you are curious, read the whole piece.
Monday, August 6, 2012
And he's NOT named "Roger Terwilliger Jr."
C'mon. That has to be a stage name, right?
Usain, as in "Insane"and Bolt as in, "Lightning?"
Nope. Not a stage name. Born with that.
Like the Gods themselves had pre-ordained this kid to be a human rocket. Amazing.
Now, for something on the other end of the spectrum: race walking.
I could spend many thousand words mocking this "sport." But why bother, when somebody sent me an even better clip from
Friday, August 3, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Get it. Love it. Thank us later.
Talk about inspiring! And PRESIDENTIAL! Nothing like a YouTube video of our sitting president, throwing some of his own money at his own re-election campaign via his laptop, practically BEGGING you lemmings to do the same.
So pony up, Hopenchangers! Your fearless leader needs your money. Do it yourself, before he finds a way to just take it.