Archive for category sports
Sherman’s March to the “C” leads to rant that exposes NFL’s unsporting ways (UPDATED with Sherman comment)
In this case, the “C” stands for Crabtree, as in Michael the 49er wide receiver Sherman was guarding. And it was less a march than a leap and a tip, but it defined Sunday’s San Francisco-Seattle NFC Championship game. It also led to Sherman’s now-infamous scorched earth rant, where super classless Dick Sherman is very much less than civil.
The thuggy Stanford grad gives sports a bad name. Football is a game. It’s not war. It’s an escape from real life. When the game ends, we go back to it–life that is. But loutish players like Sherman do not for a good time make. The game lingers and stings. Add to that, the refs’ bad calls on unreviewable plays and one comes away from this year’s NFC championship with a sense of “jock injustice.”
Sportsmanship makes it all palatable. But when none exists, sports becomes exposed as just another example of corporate showbiz.
Not with my money.
It’s all bad for the NFL product, the game, which has become the national game.
Sherman, no doubt is encouraged by the Seattle 12th man concept which sets back sportsmanship and football to Neanderthal times. Promoting loud and unruly behavior that goes beyond cheering to the point of hurting another team’s performance can only lead to fan hooliganism (they do serve alcohol at games), and as we see, extreme player taunting. It’s said both teams have to play in the environment created by the 12th man, so things are equal. Right. What would make it even more equal is to play on neutral fields for all championship games. Either that, or bring a little tennis into the NFL. The crowd and the players need a shhhsh-ing.
Sherman’s end of game exclamation point simply promotes a side of the NFL that makes it ugly and unwatchable.
Far from sporting. Far from super.
Sherman wrote an act of contrition for SI today. But it seems like he sees what he did totally different:
“To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”
“But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.”
Uh, Sherman, it’s all the same. The way you play on the field and the way you deport yourself after the game. You are that character between the lines.
And that post-game interview on FOX was disgusting.
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Manny Pacquiao helps Typhoon victims, helps himself; He offers up Rios as evidence that Pacman is not some historic video game, but still a force in the pound-for-pound championship boxing picture; Mayweather on deck? UPDATE: About Pacman’s speech
Manny Pacquiao, wet with sweat and Brandon Rios’ blood, took not just Leyte and Tacloban, but the entire country of the Philippines and lifted them up high in the ring.
It may not stop pneumonia or dysentery, but anything positive is better than the trickle of aid typhoon victims seem to getting these days.
And Pacquiao boxing victories, the first in two years, have been in short supply.
Now that we have one, we should see Pacquiao/Mayweather now.
Neither can wait, as time, skills, and fan interest all begin to wane.
But now things are spiking as Mayweather talks his pound-for-pound trash with no one better to fight. And Pacquiao is finally back on track.
Both men want/need the money.
Even Promoter Bob Arum was talking it up BEFORE Pacquiao’s Brandon Rios fight.
It’s going to happen.
Pacquiao did show the world he still has enough gas to go 12 top-flight rounds with anyone after his unanimous victory over Rios in Macao.
Rios was a bigger, but a slower opponent, and coming off a disappointing rematch with Mike Alvarado (who in turn was beaten by Pacquiao’s old sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov).
Pacquiao was coming off a two fight losing streak–one loss where he was clearly robbed (Bradley), and the other , that knockout to Juan Marquez. I just never saw Rios in Pacquiao’s league, but there was that thought was maybe Manny was on the decline. IT was the only way Rios had a shot.
But Saturday showed talk of retirement was premature for the Pacman. He’s got a lot more life than an old video game. The quick Pacquiao dominated Rios in the hit parade, sometimes exchanging at a 3 or 4-1 clip, (3 or 4 Paquiao counterhits when Rios opened up with a punch).
Still, there were some moments where Pacquiao just did not look nearly as confident as he’s been in the past. Even HBO commentator Roy Jones noticed something in Paquiao’s ‘body language.” Mayweather folks may have seen that sort of thing as an edge F Jr. can exploit in a matchup.
Junior is so much quicker than Rios who seemed to land his most effective punches while grabbing Pacquiao. If Mayweather believes he has that kind of edge on Pacquiao, it could be the confidence boost to finally say yes to the fight without setting up all excuses on drug testing and such that have only mucked up negotiations in the past.
Pacquiao could schedule one more fight, a Bradley fight to avenge the grand theft. Or one fight against Provodnikov, which would be a great fight (and far from a sure win for Pacquiao). But it sure wouldn’t be the same pay day for Manny.
He just had to show exactly where he is at this point. Still a good fighter, but no longer one with a “turn-off –the-lights” KO punch.
That’s why I think Mayweather saw the fight Saturday and saw dollar signs.
The Rios fight did nothing more than re-open the negotiations for the fight we all want to see.
I bet it happens now.
On the web, I noticed talk about Pacquiao’s speech (presumably from his post-fight comments in the media), saying that Pacquiao should have a translator. Absurd. Pacquiao’s facility to speak to the people is not the issue. His gift is he speaks like a regular Filipino guy.
In the U.S. we have Joe Sixpack. In the Philippines, it’s Juan Cockfight.
Pac does show poorly if you put him up next to a polished public speaker or a professional pol who graduated from the School of Florid Colonial English with a B.S.
That’s when Paquiao’s fists do the talking.
Pacquiao might benefit from a Henry Higgins-type if Pygmalion were “Pac-malion.” But the major selling point of Pacquiao is his ”man of the people” charm. He’s just like them. A regular guy who climbed out of poverty in the Philippines to achieve wealth and world-wide fame.
A translator? Let him speak the way he does. Pacquiao just needs policy folks around him if he’s really serious about doing more in public life than being the local pol who brightens peoples’ lives and fixes their potholes.
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In an revealing interview with MLB.com, Tim Lincecum says a whole lot more than in his terse after the game clubhouse sessions.
Mostly he talks about being in a good place, how he’s learned how to create a plan from talking to teammate Chad Gaudin, and learned how to live without his blazing fastball.
In some ways, he’s so positive in the interview he sounds like he’s on some 12-step plan. Good for the Giants or maybe some other team.
That’s the speculation now as Lincecum returns to PETCO Park today for the first time since he threw the no-hitter that is now proving to be the highlight of the 2013 season for the whole team.
Here’s an excerpt:
Lincecum: Oh, things are going well. I want to see things get better and I want to get better myself. I’m just going to worry about me in the offseason and just go on to help out a team that needs it. Right now, I’m just trying to make my tools better.
(EG: Was that a major league hint? That he’s ready to say goodbye, if that happens? Gaudin, his “mentor” is a journeyman who has been around the block, maybe that’s part of the “mental” aspect of the game he’s passed on–changing uniforms, towns, teams but staying focused on one’s native athletic skill).
MLB.com: What’s the difference for you right now on the mound?
Lincecum: I think it’s taking every start individually and at a larger level, not making any one game or any one month too big or overwhelming. It can be at times and I’ve gotten ahead of myself, worrying about the future, wondering whether the stuff I have on the mound I’m going to be able to carry forward with me. That kind of negative thinking just leads nowhere. You get negative feelings and negative results out of it. I’ve just tried to steer my mindset to a different kind of thinking by feeding off the positives, even if they’re just little ones — liking myself at the end of the day, giving myself the benefit of the doubt even if the day doesn’t go great.
MLB.com: How have you been able to accomplish that?
Lincecum: I’ve had the pleasure of having Chad Gaudin on the team, who steered me in the right direction, as far as studying hitters and exploiting them the way I would like to, at least. I’ve never had anyone sit me down and do that, nor have I asked. To see the game from that perspective, that’s the way I’ve gone about it for the last 12 starts or so. Things have gotten increasingly better for me. It has me going out there with a plan, knowing that execution is the key. When anything goes wrong outside of that, I can always go back to my plan.
MLB.com: So you’re saying a lot of your problems the last two seasons have been mental?
Lincecum: Yeah, a lot of it is completely mental, just grasping the fact that I’m not going to throw 95-96 [mph] by guys anymore. I probably have to spot my fastball a lot more. That goes back to trusting it, trusting the stuff you have that day, regardless how fast it is and regardless of the fact that you’re probably not going to throw that hard again. You just have to trust it and know that it’s good stuff.
MLB.com: So why, at your age, the decrease in velocity of your fastball? Have you ever figured that out?
Lincecum: No, I think it goes back to getting into a good rhythm and timing with your body and having as many games when you have good results, but you might not be feeling at your best. That obviously goes back to being a good pitcher, but I’ve always fallen back on how I felt and what my rhythm was like on that day. Lately that velocity hasn’t been there, so I’ve had another crutch to lean on and that has been my game plan and the execution of that.
MLB.com: So you can fall back on the plan.
Lincecum: It’s just knowing that I can execute a pitch and it doesn’t have to be nasty anymore. That alleviates any kind of stress on any given pitch. If I do my pre-game studying, I know that a guy is or isn’t going to swing at a certain pitch or in a certain situation. It’s not 100 percent accurate, but it gives you a gauge that you can trust.
MLB.com: So how long has this taken to evolve?
Lincecum: The mental side started last year and the preparation part of it started this year. As far as preparing is concerned, I just wanted to be on the same page with my catcher, going with what I wanted that day whether it means shaking to a fastball away when he calls a curveball down, or any sort of scenario like that. I’m going with what I know I want so when he finally puts a sign down, I know, click, I’ve got that one. There’s not a whole lot of running over signs or confusion about, “What do you want to do here?” We already know what we want to do and we have an idea.
The interview was conducted by an MLB.Com national writer, and was fairly long compared to the Lincelength comments one usually gets after the games. But it is a digest of things he’s said throughout the season after both good and bad games.
Lincecum says he hasn’t decided what to do, nor has there been any discussion with the Giants so far.
But he sounds ready for anything. Positive. Upbeat. Prepared.
His closing comments are telling:
MLB.com: How do you sum up this part of your career with the Giants?
Lincecum: I’m happy because I’m healthy and that’s the biggest thing anybody can say, as far as their career goes. Being able to last is the biggest thing and staying in the game is the hardest. I enjoy being able to work, come in and be part of a team like this. It’s been fun. I’ve faltered the last few years here. I think I have a lot of good years in me, as long as I turn it around and start believing in myself again like I should. I’m not going to try throwing 96 anymore. I’m going to try and sit on the edges, not necessarily call myself a nit-picker, but exploit guy’s weaknesses and have them swing at pitches that I want them to. I want to keep getting better.
Is it over at AT&T? Let’s hope not. He sounds like a better Lincecum. Besides, how will the Giants ever sell out TWO Filipino American Heritage Nights….
Linceblog: If you were the fan who threw that banana at Orioles’ Adam Jones, you are a jerk; incident adds racial ugliness to SF Giants loss; UPDATE: SF Giants issue apology; UPDATE: Fan comes forward says not a racial incident
It was a good day for Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones in San Francisco in all ways except one.
The banana part.
First the good. In the top of the 8th, Jones gave his team some insurance with an RBI double that padded the O’s lead over the Giants to 5-2.
Just for good measure, in the top of the 9th, Jones hit a a three-run homer to pad the score even more, 10-2.
In the last inning, some frustrated fan apparently got Jones’ attention. And Jones tweeted the incident.
I want to thank whatever slapdick threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jackass.
— Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) August 11, 2013
The Giants are reviewing the surveillance shots to see what exactly happened. If it’s true, and there’s no reason to doubt Jones, then it’s a sad fact of fan hooliganism. When the game is uninteresting, fans can be unruly. Giants fans, generally are better than that. But fans are fans and the lack of civility in our culture only encourages behavior like a banana throwing incident.
What’s worse is that a banana thrown at a black athlete like Jones, is a racial thing. Hadn’t heard of that, though I have heard bananas used in context of Asians and Asian Americans. Specifically, Filipinos were often referred to by racists as “monkey.”
This I know because my father told me stories of being called that regularly in San Francisco—in the 1920s, where “monkey” was a racial epithet.
So a thrown banana isn’t so innocent when the target is a person of color.
San Francisco of the ’20s is a much different city from the tolerant, multi-cultural San Francisco of today. Or at least, we’d like to think so.
If Jones was a victim of a stupid and ignorant act, the Giants, their fans and the city, owe Jones and the Orioles, an immediate and unequivocal apology.
Let’s hope one comes quickly, and because Jones is an avowed “foodie,” maybe the Giants can toss in some Dungeness crabs. Jones probably has enough of those Blue Crabs from the Chesapeake.
Sports is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. But that shouldn’t mean we’ve lost our values and sense of sportsmanship.
UPDATE FROM SF CHRONICLE’S JOHN SHEA, regarding apology from the San Francisco Giants:
Statement from the San Francisco Giants Regarding Incident at AT&T Park Yesterday
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.
UPDATE : 8/14/13 2013
New report yesterday identified a fan coming forward saying banana throwing wasn’t a racial incident. He threw the banana out of frustration. It was just a coincidence it went Jones’ way.
Jones still concerned about safety. We should be too. Not sure about fan’s credibility. According to the report I saw on (KOVR-TV), fan grabbed a banana from a cart and hurled it on the field. Of course, just like that lost verse from the ballpark anthem, “Take me out to the ball game,” the part that goes,”Buy me some peanuts and bananas, I don’t care if I never get back….”
Maybe the fan should throw crackerjack next time. Won’t be seen as a slur, though it is caramel in color.
Certainly won’t do any physical harm. Or how about not throwing anything, period. It’s baseball, not soccer!
More concerned about surveillance cams. I suppose at a ball park you are in a de facto TV studio. And you do give up your rights. If fans thought of that, maybe they’d behave better. Though we see how well they behave on Kiss-Cam, Fist-Cam, etc.