Archive for category sports
Adam Silver’s NBA media conference had that special kind of feeling. That same feeling I had when as a young boy I saw Tommie Smith and John Carlos, U.S. Olympic sprinters, raise their fists from the medal stand in Mexico.
This was that kind of special moment for all people of color in society.
And, of course it had to happen first in the place too often dismissed by people as the toy store of life—in sports.
But where else would we see this sort of thing happen first?
Sports has always been the place for the truly gifted and exceptional athlete—many of whom are persons of color.
And when we see their excellence, it is hard for society to square up with all the ignorance that exists on race. Sports people want to win. They want the best players. When the best players are people of color, it’s hard to harbor a racist thought.
Unless someone tape records you and releases it to the public.
And then, from there, it really is up to the players, not the bosses.
Great leverage comes when 70 percent of the league’s players are African American. The players’ recognition of their power made Commissioner Adam Silver’s job even easier.
Morally, and for business, it was just the right thing to do.
But Sterling is a professional litigant. Here’s a guy who wasn’t scared of the Fair Housing Act.
And he will no doubt challenge whether and if the NBA can force him to sell his business, or impose a lifetime ban.
That judgment will take place in the courts, where it always takes time, and money to get the kind of imperfect justice we usually end up with. I expect a long, protracted court fight.
But Silver really showed what an empowered executive, with the backing of the players, and a majority of fans can do—achieve a moral triumph.
It’s definitely “feel good” time. But this battle is far from over.
We still live in a society where soon we will hear from people who will question Silver and the NBA. These are the people who are against things like affirmative action, who see eye to eye with Sterling, and believe that he was a man who enriched minorities, bought them houses, cars, put food on their table. There will be people who will insist Sterling is some sort of humanitarian.
Hard to believe. But remember, we live in a society where there are people who think you’re a racist if you fight for race-based admissions and fairness for people of color.
Enjoy the “feel good” of the moment.
When Sterling responds, it will be a new game, new fight. Already Rush Limbaugh has come to his defense. Surely, he will enlist his One Percent allies, the Kochs, Tea Partiers, et al.
Amid the noise, we will need the memory of the moment to remind us Silver got it right when it came to Sterling.
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SF Giants’ Lincecum still has homer-itis, but keeps team in game till it decides it wants to win in 12th; After nearly five hours, Giants beat Dodgers 3-2 on Jackie Robinson Day
On the night when all the heroes wore No. 42, it was too bad the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum couldn’t get the win.
On Jackie Robinson Night, the Giants sent Lincecum, the premier Filipino American player in baseball to the mound. The Filipino fan favorite pitched well enough to win. In a 93 pitch performance in 5 innings, he struck out 5 and had zero walks. The Dodgers managed just five hits, but that included a solo home run in the 2nd inning to former teammate Juan Uribe. On a full-count, Lincecum challenged with a slider, and Uribe pounded it half-way up the left field bleachers. The Dodgers coasted on that run most of the night. By the time the Giants tied it on a Brandon Crawford sac fly that scored Hunter Pence, Lincecum was out of the game–but off the hook. He’s still looking for his first win, but so far he’s got 17 Ks and 1 walk in 15 innings pitched, indicative that the mustachioed Lincecum isn’t plagued by some of the control issues he had last year. Indeed, this year, he’s not wild, just prone to the fat pitch and the homerun ball—he’s given up 5 in 15 innings. Uribe got him on this night. After the Dodgers took a2-1 lead, the Giants tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th, but left the bases loaded ( as they did three times in the game). The game went into extras, past midnight. Nearly five hours after the start, the Giants finally pushed through a winning run when Hector Sanchez singled in Brandon Crawford for the 3-2 final. The walk-off win gives the Giants a first place tie with LA in the NL West.
Strange to hear Pacquiao described as the “challenger.” But he is. Bradley is 31-0 and the WBO Welterweight champ. Pac looks all business. No smiles. Bradley has his game face. The rumble begins.
Round 1: Pacquiao and B trade shots, P commands center of ring early. Both fighters keeping their distance while trying to show aggression. Bradley toward the end comes on with :12. Round goes to Bradley, 10-9.
Round 2: Bradley pushed back on hook, recovers. Pacquiao aggressive, throws combination and B goes into ropes. B comes back with body punches, doesn’t give in. B. with hardshots to P head. B not backing down. Close, but I’ll give that to P for getting B on ropes, 10-9.
Round 3: Pacquiao lands combo early. At 1:57, P lands solid lefts to B. B has P against ropes and lands to the body. P landing left to B. B counters with rights to the body. Flurry of punches in this round, give it to P, 10-9. Compubox numbers on HBO give P the edge with 22 powershots, 7 more punches landed.
Round 4: Bradley gets in a shot that rocks Pacquiao. B needed that as P was landing shots early. :30 left B shows he’s unrelenting. The B. right gives him edge here. Bradley, 10-9. Replay shows P lifted off his feet. Punch stats still show P. landing more.
Round 5: Minute left, the round still contested with both fighters trading jabs. B had arms down in last :15 and Pacquiao may have stolen the round with action in the last seconds. Pacquiao, 10-9.
Compubox totals from HBO: P 14/42, B 11/46, Powershots, P 9, B 8.
Round 6: Much slower round than previous. :40 left and seems even. A coasting round. P throwing pinches on ropes. B coaxes P to punch him, but round ends. End theatrics give round to P, 10-9. HBO Compubox totals, P- 12/53, B 8/50, P with 10-8 powershot advantage.
Round 7: Pacquiao gets a left in. Bradley lands a hard right, and some body shots. Tempo back to that of early rounds. Combos by P with :44 left. P adds more with B in corner. Big round for P. as B tries modified “rope-a-dope.” But P. tees off. Pacquiao wins that, 10-9.
Compubox gives P 26 landed out of 75 thrown. B, 14 of 56.
Round 8: Pacquiao cruising, but lands with his left several times. B. tries to mug, to show he’s not hurt. Not sure if that’s working. B. coming up top with the right. Close, but ring generalship gives round to P, 10-9.
Round 9:Compubox numbers have P ahead with 119 punches landed to 90-plus for B thus far…. P. rocks Bradley into ropes and seems hurt. Off-balance twice so far. P. with rights and combos to B. B. is throwing 1 to P. 5 punches, it seems. Pacquiao wins the round 10-9, decisively.
Round 10: Pacquiao in last round had 14/24 to B 10/24 punch edge. This round starting with P. in command at the center and B. backing up. B looks to be trying to find a knockout punch, but missing. P counters with combinations that have him outpointing B. P with left seems to stun B and B counters wildly and misses. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.
Round 11: Pacquiao outpunched Bradley 26-12 in previous round. P starts out round with solid left. B seems to be tiring as he’s not throwing as many punches. Pacquiao the aggressor, Bradley backing up. P lands a left with :40 left. Round ends with B retreating and missing. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.
Round 12: Compubox numbers continue trend. Pacquiao landing. Bradley’s head turned. Bradley never has had a KO past the 8th round, so unlikely here. P good defense catching B’s best. 1 minute left, B misses right. P at center in control :30 left. Time out due to accidental head but with :12 left. B starts working but it ends. B lifts arms up, but why? I’ve got P winning this 10-9. And have P winning 11 of 12 rounds. (Correction: On recount, I gave the 4th round to Bradley based on the “lift-up” punch he landed on Pacquiao. Wasn’t a knockdown, but was impressive. So Bradley won 2 rounds, Pacquiao 10, in my estimation).
Bradley was tough early. But didn’t do enough by my eye.
Final scoring: Unanimous for Pacquiao. All three judges.
HBO’s numbers show P landed 198 to Bradley’s 141, and landed 35percent of his punches to Bradley’s 22percent.
Pacquiao also threw more power punches 148-109.
The placement of the punches: Pacquiao landed 176 of his punches to Bradley’s head. Bradley landed 98 t0 Pacquiao’s head.
Bradley landed 43 punches to P’s body. P just landed 22 body punches to Bradley. Pacquiao was clearly going for a head snapping KO. Bradley tried, but that really isn’t his game.
In the end, Bradley good, but Pacquiao is just better. Bradley is a toe-to-toe guy, not a knockout guy. Pacquiao may not have the kind of power he showed when he clicked off Ricky Hatton, but he’s got a lot left.
This is a $20 million guaranteed pay day. And a relatively soft spot for Pacquiao. He said he wants to go 2 more years. It may take that long before Mayweather stops ducking him.
That’s it for this live blog experiment. Check back for more analysis later.
SEE MY COLUMN in the Philippine Inquirer:
Pacquiao Bradley II: That’s not your prep school classmate, that’s the boxing match HBO can’t seem to hype enough
Pacquiao clearly dominated the fight, though Bradley seemed to finish strong. Still, it wasn’t enough for a rally that actually could win the fight. How do you say: “Peex.”
Who needs an undercover camera? It was there for all to see. We knew who won the fight two years ago.
And now Pac Bradley 2 is back before Easter. For redemption?
Jim Lampley, the HBO announcer/sportscaster, on one radio show recently said the fight wasn’t about a fix, but more about “bad judging.”
Lampley’s a good guy, but he has his biases working for the network that has a monopoly on the live fight.
There was something smelly about that fight, and two years doesn’t sufficiently deodorize the matter.
But we’re going to have to wait for someone’s deathbed confession before we get the real truth.
In the meantime, Pacquiao needs money. He’s motivated by taxes, and the peso/dollar exchange rate. And he has a whole barangay for an entourage.
ESPN has both fighters getting $6 million, but Pacquiao gets a guaranteed $20 million according to a report last week.
We also don’t have much time left to admire Pacquiao, in all honesty.
I’ve been saying he should retire now. But he’s on record saying “two more years.”
So for curiosity sake, I will lift my moratorium.
Pacquiao is the Filipinos’ alter ego, and I’m willing to suspend my disdain for pro boxing to watch him—just to see if he has anything left. The fight might be closer with two years for Bradley to get better and Pacquiao to get older.
Consider a graph with two lines: If P is at a high level but arcing down, and B is at a lower level but still rising, if the fight is taking place where the lines intersect it could be a toss up. If the lines are close but not intersecting, then P should still have enough of an edge. That’s where I think we are. Based on the last fights of both, Bradley gave Provodnikov a good fight. P gave Rios a beating. Based on that Freddie Roach puts Bradley as similar to Rios. But that Provodnikov fight of Bradley was better than that. And let me not forget that Bradley/Marquez fight, where Bradley fought a completely different style. It all points to Bradley getting better, whereas Pacquiao is getting older. So we may be close to that P/B intersection, but not quite to make it a toss-up.
Prediction? Lots of rounds 10-9 Pacquiao, with Pac the ultimate winner.
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