Monthly Archives: November 2013

NFL player quits midseason

moffitt

disinfo.com (Nov. 20) – NOT that I’m expecting football fans across the country to wake up and question whether they themselves are “pawns in a machine”,  but the abrupt retirement of John Moffitt, as reported by the New York Times, is commendable and intriguing:

“I don’t want to risk health for money,” said Moffitt, 27, who walked away from about $1 million in salary, various benefits for retirees who play at least three seasons and quite possibly a trip to the Super Bowl with the 9-1 Broncos. “I’m happy, and I don’t need the N.F.L.” Continue reading

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US NCAA: Who pays for the runaway commercialization of university sport?

fieldofschemes-BurnsRatnerThe University of Louisville in the American state of Kentucky turns a record $26.9m annual profit on basketball, yet the city takes $9.8m a year loss. Last season Louisville won its first title since 1986 by beating Michigan, but ever since Rick Pitino’s Cardinals moved into their publicly funded $238 million KFC Yum Center (that’s right, as in the Kentucky Fried Chicken Center) three years ago – a state-of-the-art arena resplendent with executive seating, parking and alcohol-laden concessions – they have delighted their bankers and monopoly backers just as much as their fans.

By 

fieldofschemes.com (Nov 5, 2013) – IF YOU LIKE infographics, you’re just going to love this one from ESPN the magazine (see below). Giant blue Rick Pitino monster! Brightly coloured geometric shapes! The number “$25,800,000″ in really big type! It’s the perfect simulacrum of actual information, equally comprehensible for ages 5 to 55! Continue reading

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Cuban and US softball veterans meet in Havana

FRIENDSHIP FIRST

baseball-softball“Culture and sports allow to build bridges of conciliation that may improve relations between both countries and that is the objective of these games…”

Havana (Oct. 25) – SOFTBALL veterans of the United States and Cuba marked on Thursday the fifth anniversary of their first match, a series oriented to strengthen the links of between both peoples.

These games are the result exclusively of friendship, extolled U.S. professor Michael Eizenberg, one of the organizers of the series. Continue reading

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Where do baseball players come from?

Think

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I’ve always been very interested in where players come from and how many top flight players various countries produce in any sport. Watching sports with large international tournaments makes this easy to compare:

Soccer has the World Cup and numerous continental championships.
Basketball has the Olympics and a host of continental championships.
Hockey has the Olympics and… well, very few countries play hockey so the Olympics are all they really need for the big boys but in addition to that there are a number of international tournaments for various levels of play.

Baseball though… it has only really begun to branch out it’s international competitions in the last few years but even then it has a rather haphazard qualification and final tournament with only 28 countries actually supplying teams (and with many of those teams featuring a majority of players born and/or trained outside of the countries they represented).

So…

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Investigative book, League of Denial, sheds appropriate light on NFL’s concussion-filled past

A sports cartel exposed: “A great conspiracy of money and power.” A recent study of retired players suggested that NFL retirees ages 60 to 89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate. “The NFL didn’t just suppress science, or ignore it; it disfigured it …. It is capitalism in its purest form, venal and powerful.”

This year, before the NFL settled with ex-players for US$765-million, commissioner Roger Goodell went on Face the Nation and again refused to admit any link between football and concussions | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This year, before the NFL settled with ex-players for US$765-million, commissioner Roger Goodell went on Face the Nation and again refused to admit any link between football and concussions | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

National Post (Oct. 9) – IT’S HARD to pick out the most essential part of League of Denial, the book written by brothers Steve Fairanu and Mark Fairanu-Wada, or the most vivid scene: agent Leigh Steinberg talking to Troy Aikman after the 1994 NFC championship game in a darkened room, with Aikman’s brain skipping like a record; Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster using shock batons to get to sleep; the NFL’s enduring hostility to the idea that football could be linked to brain damage; the doctors whose research says it is. Continue reading

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Football everywhere in Cuba

A great pool of talented young players. Cuba tackles how to strengthen participation, extend “football for all” on a mass basis for youth, talent assessment and training in skill development

By OSMANY TORRES & ARIEL B. COYA, PHOTOS: RICARDO LÓPEZ HEVIA

The massive popularity of football can be verified at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva.

The massive popularity of football can be verified at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva.

Granma (Havana, Nov. 1) – EVERYWHERE you look, in parks, lots and apartment house patios in Cuban cities, improvised fields in rural communities, people of all ages are joyfully running about to the cry of “Gol” – and not only under the sporadic influence of a World Cup, but every day. Continue reading

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