Sports

Monday Morning Quarterbacking – Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn #27

 

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 27 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn (or is it while walking and driving through slush) in which I look back on Super Bowl commercials (yawn), Katy Perry (fine to look at, okay to listen to, and not worth much more commentary), the game itself (amazing) and the obligatory all-time ranking of its winning quarterback.

 

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING

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WARNING TRUCK – The Wednesday Wordapod

With the 2014 Major League Baseball season nearing its climax, the Wednesday Wordapod is …

 

WARNING TRUCK

Warning Truck (n)in certain baseball stadiums, a truck that is placed in the outfield a few feet in front of the home run fence

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #21

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 21 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

BASEBALL STORIES

I used to do most of my mowing/ruminating on Sundays; now, the inspiration comes, and goes, most any day.

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – # 20

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

 

Mower and Statesman

Welcome to Volume 20 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

BACK TO THE LINC

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CRAP I THINK OF WHILE MOWING THE LAWN – #13

Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn

Volume 13

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

 

Mower and Statesman

Welcome to Volume 13 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

TOO MUCH CRAP TO RANT ON…WAY TOO LITTLE TIME

I’m a day late and still have way too little time today to comment on a few things I’ve been thinking about. Yes, once again the sports world—but not the games, themselves—has made its way into the general world, let alone the world of sports talk radio and TV.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as many of you know, decided to suspend Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice two games for a hideous domestic violence incident caught on surveillance video at an Atlantic City casino, when Rice struck his then-fiancée (now wife, Janay Palmer) unconscious. Given the longer suspensions Goodell levied for much lesser offenses involving PED and marijuana usage, the blowback, almost by consensus, is that the NFL considers domestic abuse (read: NFL players striking women) to be not nearly as serious a crime as a player getting high, or taking an illegal substance to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

This reasoning seems to be way too simplistic, and there must be some nuances to bail the NFL and its self-styled law-and-order commish some slack, right? Well…no!  It’s not only “the optics” of this (how it looks to those from the outside, like you and me) that is wrong; Goodell blew it. If you’re going to issue suspensions based on off-the-field, offseason injuries, and if you decide to suspend Ray Rice (who, in fairness to him, seemed to be a good citizen prior to this), you have to suspend Rice for a whole lot longer than two games. 6 games? 8 games? I don’t know, but something of that magnitude…even a full year…would have been much more palatable, and more just, to many of us.

Of course, the wrist-slap to Ray Rice was discussed all over the various air and print waves, including ESPN’s First Take, where, like them or not, co-hosts Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless take on all issues, great, small and manufactured.

Steven A, who is normally quite outspoken (well, it is his job to be), loud, almost insufferable, yet somewhat articulate, decided to approach the Ray Rice incident with the following words. No, I won’t grab the low-hanging fruit and jump on his grammar and syntax; there’s enough here to criticize what he actually said.  Here is the transcript, courtesy of NJ.com:

“We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that. But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I’m going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I’m going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I’m going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I’m going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I’m going to be tempted to do.

"But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.

“Now you got some dudes that are just horrible and they’re going to do it anyway, and there’s never an excuse to put your hands on a woman. But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.

"We know they’re wrong. We know they’re criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying. No point of blame.”

 

Steven A’s diatribe produced a firestorm of pushback (including colleague Michelle Beadle–good for her), for which Smith apologized. He and/or his employer crafted most of the right words to go just a step forward beyond the usual vague apologies to anyone they might have offended.

The issue I have is not with the sincerity of his apology; perhaps, he was sincere. He may also be sincere, or think he is, when he says, “We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that.”

Here is the problem, Steven A.  First of all, lose the tough guy act of what you would do if anyone touched (inappropriately) a female member of your family. Secondly, I don’t think you get it.

How do you use this situation to tell millions of women that “we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.” What? Who are you, whether raised by women, men or both, to deliver that message? And, who are you to lecture us about the “elements of provocation?”

The timing, and the venue, was wrong to deliver that message. If a women’s group wants to employ you to address them privately, and you wish to express that concern, then more power to you (and perhaps, God help them). Moreover, not only was the timing and the venue of the message wrong, but not so incidentally, to many of us, the message of the message was wrong.

Many of us got the impression that you were doing all you could to defend Ray Rice—whether that is your true belief, you were trying to curry favor with yet another player, or you also don’t take domestic abuse quite as seriously as you postured—at the expense of an issue of crucial importance to women and all those who want some of this pervasive violence to stop.

Roger and Steven A, You needed to step up, and you both stepped down. Perhaps, you should both step down from your highly paid, high-profile positions as well.

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To get  your own signed copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, please follow the links or simply email me:  Matt@tipofthegoldberg.com

To order my new-ish (co-authored) book, A Snowball’s Chance, please click here or send me an email for a personalized copy.

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CRAP I THINK OF WHILE MOWING THE LAWN — #9

Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn

Volume 9

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Mower and Statesman

 

Welcome to Volume 9 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE?

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BASEBALL, BAD BLOOD…and REDEMPTION

Baseball, Bad Blood and Redemption

One of the most brutal on-field sports incidents in American history took place at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1965, when future Hall of Fame Giants pitcher Juan Marichal clubbed Dodgers all-star catcher John(ny) Roseboro  over the head with his bat. Just writing that line produces a shiver or two.

I had just turned six years old at the time, and was close to starting my first 200 years or so (if not longer) as a rabid baseball fan. I didn’t see the incident live, but recall reading about it. The purported assault was mostly a curiosity to me, although it had profound effects on millions of baseball fans—to say nothing of the two players/combatants in question.

(As an incident, the only [non-hockey] one to rival it, in my mind, came 12 years later when Lakers forward Kermit Washington blindsided Rockets counterpart Rudy Tomjanovich with a roundhouse right.)

Author John Rosengren explores the Marichal-Roseboro altercation in detail with his latest book, The Fight of Their Lives (2014, Lyons Press). Rosengren, an obvious baseball and sports lover, has the ability to not only scour the box scores for meaningful, historical data (among other things, he is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research), but to search for the human interest story and lessons that transcend sports.  I greatly enjoyed his 2013 biography on Hank Greenberg and had the opportunity to interview him on that book tour. As such, I had a feeling that I would enjoy his next book. My suspicion was justified.

Yes, it is especially for the baseball and all-around sports lover, and it left me wanting just a little more. It is a terrific read, and one that may also appeal to those who aren’t baseball lifers. 

Please enjoy my interview with John Rosengren below.

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CRAP I THINK of WHILE MOWING THE LAWN – #3

CRAP I THINK OF WHILE MOWING THE LAWN

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 3 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

Mower and Statesman

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WINTERSAULT – Wednesday’s Wordapod

Have you ever felt that gymnastics should be a winter Olympic sport – and also held outdoors? Crazy idea? Wait, till you read my interview with legendary, former soviet gymnast Ludmilla (Gordeevaskayarenko) Martinez.

 

W-podia

If you like “Wintersault”, you will also love the 250-plus creative Wordapods to be found in Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words. 

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PEYTON’S PLACE – Legacy, Shmegacy

The Winter Olympics open tomorrow from somewhere called Sochi, and while some of these people and places will soon become household names, let us shift our sports focus to the very recent past.

 

Two Book Crossover 11.13

 

As you well know, Super Bowl XLVIII concluded almost four full days ago. The Seattle Seahawks destroyed the favored Denver Broncos, most of the commercials were lame, I finally know who Bruno Mars is – and can recognize his talent – and the talk about Peyton Manning’s legacy continues.

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Friday Evening Quarterback

In about 48 hours from now, nearly all of us will be watching Super Bowl XLVIII in our various stages of interest and sobriety. I’ll be sober, watching the game with a passion (although I don’t have a huge rooting interest this year) and just kind of hanging with my wife and five-and-a-half-year-old boy. Hint: If I get bored or have to answer too many annoying questions, I may need a hook-up.

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Richard Sherman’s Loud March

Famed Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman, 14 years after the end of the Civil War, issued the ultimate cautionary words to a military academy’s graduating class: War is hell.

 

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ASS-STEROID – Wednesday’s Wordapod

Even if I didn’t watch Sunday night’s 60 Minutes interview), this Wordapod is partly written in Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod)’s dishonor.

If you like “Ass-Steroid”, you will also love the 250-plus creative Wordapods to be found in Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words. 

 

W-podia

 

Ass-Steroid

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Rubber Game – Wednesday’s Wordapod

With two MLB postseason series down to their deciding game, today’s Wordapod is quite topical. Rubber Game is one of over 250 creative Wordapods to be found in Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words. 

 

 

Rubber Game

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AQUITIC – Wednesday’s Wordapod

This Wednesday’s Wordapod is for swimmers, non-swimmers and retired swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Aquitic is one of over 250 creative Wordapods to be found in Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words. 

 

Aquitic

 

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