Tidbits – September 5

In this edition – Lance Armstrong vs. Mikhail Gorbachev; New Orleans; SI’s pro football preview.

1) Not exactly a sports story, but since I heard it mentioned on Mike and Mike this morning, what the heck. USA Today has published a list of the twenty five most influential people of the last 25 years. Greenie mentioned it because two sports figures made the list – Lance Armstrong, at No. 8, and Michael Jordan at No. 17. At first I thought this was a list of Americans only (Bill Gates is No. 1 and Ronald Reagan is No. 2), and then, as Greenie made his way down the list, I heard “Number eleven, Mikhail Gorbachev.”

To which I would respond: are you fucking kidding me?

I know these lists are just for fun, and they are going to mix in celebrities, entertainers and non world leaders (Oprah Winfrey is number three). But, Lance Armstrong is ahead of Gorbachev? For full disclosure – my area of specialty in political science is Russian politics (and, shameless plug, I even wrote a book on the subject), so that’s my bias. But, we’re talking about the man who (sorry, Reagan fans) is more responsible for the end of the cold war than any person on the planet, and that ranks him below a cyclist?  Ridiculous. Among the other people who rank behind Armstrong – Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton.
More to the sporting point, how Armstrong ranks ahead of Jordan is also beyond me. Not only was Jordan responsible (along with Magic and Bird) for revitalizing the NBA, he is certainly more responsible than any other individual for the true globalization of the sport. Armstrong was a repeat champion in – let’s face it – a niche sport, certainly less renowned globally than Tiger Woods and not in the same stratosphere as Jordan in terms of global sporting influence.

Lance is inspirational to a lot of people, I know (my own opinion is that he’s gotten a particularly favorable ride from the media), and those wrist bands were ubiquitous for a few months, but no way he should sniff the top 25 list.

2) When the 2006 NFL season unfolded, and the Saints emerged as the story of the year, one thing that always disturbed me tremendously was the whitewash of the reconstruction of the city (or the lack thereof). If sports media want to steer clear of the story altogether, that’s one thing. But, to hail the Saints as symbolic of a city’s re-emergence is to step into a political battle that ESPN and the like are ill-equipped to battle. Two years after Katrina, it’s shocking, frankly, how little attention the destruction of an American city has received. New Orleans remains depopulated and devastated, a shadow of its former self. Of course, if you’re not venturing out beyond your five-star hotel and the immediate environs of the Super Dome, you wouldn’t know this. But, then, you shouldn’t pretend otherwise.

To its credit, Sports Illustrated included a moving piece a couple of weeks ago about the challenges facing reconstruction in the city, by Alexander Wolff, who did venture beyond the shadow of the Superdome, and notes some of the especially troubling dimensions of the Katrina aftermath:

As unifying as the Saints are — around town you’re likely to see black fans in Drew Brees jerseys and white fans in Reggie Bushes — Katrina highlighted the divide that cleaves New Orleans. Both the poorest residents and the members of the Katrina diaspora are primarily black. As the Saints thrive in a smaller, whiter, richer city, many African-American evacuees who want to return and rebuild can’t. Before the storm the Lower Ninth Ward, poor as it was, had a high rate of home ownership, as families passed down houses through generations. Now most of those homes are gone, memorialized by weed-obscured slabs. FEMA won’t provide a trailer until a site has power and potable water, and city services are only beginning to make their way across the Industrial Canal to the Lower Ninth and New Orleans East. If white professionals like the Thorntons give up on it, there may indeed be no city — but without its ethnic flavor, New Orleans would be unrecognizable.

When city planners speak of “a smaller footprint” to be served by a drastically reduced tax base, they envision cutting loose much of the city east of the Industrial Canal — and in that many black New Orleanians hear “ethnic cleansing” or see a Trojan horse for an opportunistic landgrab. Before Katrina, there were 117 schools in the city; this year there will be 82, 42 of them charter schools. The New Orleans Recreation Department, whose services are essential to the one third of the population living in poverty, lost most of its facilities and 90% of its staff after the storm and is only now ramping back up thanks to donations, funding from nonprofits and settlements from FEMA and insurance carriers.

Wolff also describes the federal government as “almost criminally” indifferent and intransigent.

3) Just a couple of brief notes on the SI NFL preview issue. Peter King has ranked the top 500 players, an ambitious effort. He never explains the methodology – there doesn’t seem to be a scoring system, per se, just a list of guys that King kept adjusting, depending on which coach or personnel guy he’d just spoken to. His top five players: Peyton Manning, Brady,Tomlinson (as a Giants fan, I refuse to call him LT), Julius Peppers and Jason Taylor. There is a “sabermetric” movement in football, that attempts to make performance-based analysis, using up-to-date statistical methods, central to evaluating players, spearheaded by folks like KC Joyner and the Football Outsiders. It’s a more complicated project than baseball’s, and much less well developed, but it’s a useful stab at trying to put performance and statistics in their proper context. King has not shown, as far as I know, any inclination toward such approaches and ignoring such efforts completely makes it hard for me to take these sorts of lists seriously. But, he’s Peter King, so the list will get plenty of attention.

Speaking of King, he and a few other writers divviedup the team scouting reports. King’s beat included the Bears, and it’s a bizarre two-page entry. There is not a single mention of the departed Thomas Jones, the team’s leading rusher the past two seasons with over 2,500 yards, or of his replacement, Cedric Benson. You’d think that a report on a serious Super Bowl contender would include at least one word about the running game. Instead, apparently overly consumed with his insider status, King spent several sentences describing three plays during a recent practice that are supposed to augur well for the Bears passing game this year. One play featured Devin Hester going in motion and spectators getting excited about that (the play ended up going elsewhere) and another resulted in an overthrown pass to a rookie tight end.

King is either especially good at reading tea leaves, or this is the most inane and trivial way to prognosticate about a team’s fortunes one can imagine.

One another note from the issue: an anonymous scout quoted for the Cowboys report has this to say about Terrell Owens: “T.O., you know, he just wants to catch the ball and win. It’s not as if he’s smoking stuff and drinking and getting into trouble with women.”

Scouts can be a breath of fresh air – they focus on performance and not on all the other crap. And, there’s probably no player in pro sports in the past five years about whom the coverage has been more skewed toward utterly trivial nonsense and away from his actual performance on the field than Owens. He needs to get over last year’s case of the dropsies, and obviously he’s abrasive to alot of people, but the guy never really does anything but play and play at a high level.


69 Responses to “Tidbits – September 5”

  1. How the F is Lance I don’t dope armstrong more influential then MJ.

  2. Good read again jweiler. I also agree lance over mandela, clinton and Gorbachev.

    So let me get this straight was it Armstrong who knocked down the Berlin Wall????

    Thats why I don’t even waste my money on SI.

  3. Quick meaningless story…

    My buddy waited tables at a restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine a few summers ago. The restaurant was right on the bay, so patrons who owned boats could just float up, dock their boat, and eat at the restaurant. So on one particular day a boat floats up and none other than George Bush Sr. and freaking Gorbachev get off and come to the restaurant. My buddy waits on them, they both order Heinekens, and that’s pretty much the end of the story. Politics aside, i guess when you lead the free world, then retire, you’re entitled to a nice meal and a few heinekens. Not sure if they tipped well.

    That said, I completely agree with Jweiler and Origin… Lance Armstrong’s bicycle titles and to a greater extent raising money for cancer are noble efforts, but neither have had the impact of, let’s say… ENDING THE COLD WAR!!!!

  4. I think there were a whole lot of people in government and business that didn’t see Katrina as a catastrophe…they see it as an opportunity….and more than 9-11 ever could, what really defines this country is the response to Katrina….what a shame.

  5. Oh and all that ESPN/NFL New Orleans rebuilding propaganda has been disgusting and offensive. Can’t say I’ve been down there myself but all reports (from legit non MSM sources that is) have been that the 9th Ward and other low-income residential places are still in shambles. It’s real sad.

    I was just explaing to a republican friend the other day that the whole Katrina situation was the most offensive aspect of the entire Bush regime. I’ve always been a hater, and the Iraq war, No Child Left Behind, Health care, and other issues have certainly been addressed despicably by Bush, but the Katrina response, or lack thereof, was/is just about as bad as it gets. I know it goes deeper than just the federal response, but you gotta start at the top. And the fact that the Saints are selling out their games does not even begin to address the problems.

  6. and more than 9-11 ever could, what really defines this country is the response to Katrina

    good god, a more ignorant statement i have truly never read. islamic fanatics flying our own planes into buildings in our biggest city, killing 3k people, vs. a hurricane’s natural destruction. are you really comparing the two in re: to “catastrophes” and expecting the “response” to be on the same level?

  7. You are indeed ignorant Friedman…thanks for proving it AGAIN…no need to keep trying, we know already.

  8. Is it just me, or does everyone have a list these days? It was entertaining at first, but it got old after a while, and I haven’t paid attention to one of these lists in a few years.

    How does one go about ranking 500 players? I’d get bored and quit 20 players in.

    Btw, don’t hate on LaDainian. To my knowledge, he’s never said ‘Call me LT’. It is the media and lazy people that can’t type out the full name, LaDainian Tomlinson. And as a Charger fan, life is finally good for me and I thank Accorsi and the Bitch for the 2004 draft.

  9. I’ve always been a hater

    Good — the first step to curing your BDS is to acknowledge its existence.

  10. GMP- Agreed. Whe the hell cares who peter King thinks is the 43rd best player in the league. It’s just MSM folks trying to justify the fact that they have all these platforms (magazine, internet, t.v.) but not enough content to support the platforms.

    As for LT, I’ve always really liked the guy but lost some respect after he bitched after losing to the Pats in the playoffs last year. He was mad because the pats were imitating Merriman’s annoying “lights-out” dance on the field after the game. he then called the whole Pats team classless and said it comes from the head coach. That could be true, but it sounded like the cry of a sore loser to me. Can’s wait for week 2 by the way.

  11. Friedman,
    You really disagree with that statement? I find it quite true.

    It’s not necessarily about the response to each event. 9/11 is obviously the more iconic and important event due to its aftermath. The response to it was pretty amazing at first, but now its just plain damaging (as our irrational fear of terrorism continues to allow Rove and Co. to manipulate our feable minds). It tells a lot about this country, but not nearly as much as Katrina. 9/11 is a political tool more than anything now.

    Katrina, on the other hand, truly showed how this country really operates. Sure with 9/11 it was easy to pick out a common enemy and thus unify (since the enemy was wholly anti-American), but in Katrina, with nothing but victims we found out a more important thing: poor people don’t matter. The fact of the matter is, actual human beings and their lives matter MUCH LESS than money and politics in this country. We can see it as our leaders continue to ignore Katrina because its politically prudent to do so. Why? Because people in this country couldn’t care less about New Orleans and coulnt’ care less about people losing their livelihoods. The delayed and sputtering response by our government only belies the point that since there was no serious money involved (as in, no people with money that had political influence to make it matter), it didn’t matter. It showed us that actual right and wrong, actual genuine humanitarian ventures (see: Darfur), actual sound policies and the conscience that the worlds only superpower should have don’t exist–only money matters.

    I mean, why do you think the US continues to support Israel?

  12. GMP- I hear ya. Who the hell cares who peter King thinks is the 43rd best player in the league. It’s just MSM folks trying to justify the fact that they have all these platforms (magazine, internet, t.v.) but not enough content to support the platforms.

    As for LT, I’ve always really liked the guy but lost some respect after he bitched after losing to the Pats in the playoffs last year. He was mad because the pats were imitating Merriman’s annoying “lights-out” dance on the field after the game. he then called the whole Pats team classless and said it comes from the head coach. That could be true, but it sounded like the cry of a sore loser to me. Can’s wait for week 2 by the way.

  13. Pats,
    Now you know that if TO had done that after a game he would’ve been SKEWERED. And LT would’ve been called a class act for calling him out and TO the coon. However since it was the Pats (i know you’re a fan), they weren’t roundly criticized like I bet TO would’ve.

    Its not the message that matters, its the messenger.

  14. Pats,
    Obviously you’re a Pats fan and I won’t deny that LT shouldn’t have been bitching about it. But think about it this way: What if TO had been doing that after the game? What would the media say about him? Would it be acceptable still? Would it not be classless then?

    Its not the message its the messenger.

  15. ‘islamic fanatics flying our own planes into buildings in our biggest city, killing 3k people, vs. a hurricane’s natural destruction. are you really comparing the two in re: to “catastrophes” and expecting the “response” to be on the same level?’

    Well, considering how both were avoidable with a little foresight…

    The point is, nobody talks about NO anymore, yet we still see bumper stickers and the phrase 9/11 everywhere. I’m not going to get into the politics, since the reason I immerse myself in sports is to escape the constant spin and lies of politics. But it has been 2 years since Katrina, you’d think that the basic backbone of the city would be up by now (power, utilities, etc) to all the areas. And since I haven’t researched it, I don’t know how true the excerpted article is. But I do know it doesn’t take a Bush ‘hater’ to see that he’s seriously fucked some shit up.

  16. Pats…

    Obviously I view this from a different angle. And I’m not absolutely sure, but I don’t believe Merriman did the ‘annoying’ light’s-out dance his rookie year, he flicked the switch on his arm. I think it was Foley’s dance, and Foley was the dude shot by the off-duty cop just before the season started. Viewed in that light, the Pats were a team dogging a guy’s homage to his teamate, but I could be full of shit…. I am a Charger fan after all.

    And I can’t wait for the Pats game either. I couldn’t speak rationally about that travesty in the playoffs for… well, I’m not sure I still can. I break down into rapid fire expletives.

  17. GMP

    I’m not hating on Tomlinson. He’s a truly great player and I have nothing against him at all. It’s just that there’s only one LT.

  18. GMP,
    I feel you. I’m not that big of a Chargers fan (I just hate the Pats), and that game was absolutely inexplicable. All they had to do was run the damn ball and not let the Pats get it back. HE WAS GETTING 6 YARDS A POP!!!!! I’m not even letting that one go.

  19. Friedman – I’m not a blind Bush hater but it’s based off of his deplorable actions in leading this country, not the least of which being his response to Katrina and his using the deaths of 3k citizens to falsely justify an unjust war.

    GMP- Def. didn’t know about the homage to fallen teammate thing. But there was a youtube clip (too lazy to look up and post here) of Merriman leading a group of S.D. fans at a pep rally leading up to the game. He was leading the crowd in a chant of “Brady Sucks”. This was before the game!! I’m sure that had a bit to do with the mocking of his dance after the game. The thing i’m pissed about now is I used to be able to call Merriman a ‘Roided out lunatic, but now my man Rodney gotted popped so i guess i can’t use that argument anymore.

    Ap- TO def. would not get the same leverage from the media, but the Cowboys would never beat the Chargers in the playoffs anyways. 😉

  20. Ap- Hate to be an arrogant Pats fan here but if I had a dime for every time someone said “all they had to do was…. and the Pats would have lost”, I’d be able to quit my job right now. I agree that that game was one of the weirdest but what has seperated the Pats from other teams in recent years can’t be measured in rushing yards and other stats. It’s mental toughness and knowing how to win games.

  21. Just thought y’all might be interested (or just pretend you are 🙂 ) that Whoopi made all the suburban housewives just spit out they third latte of the morning when she noted that dogfighting is, to some degrees, more common, in parts of the South and that perhaps it took #7 a while to realize the depth of irrationality anger among, um, suburban housewives (well, among others….). Have a great day y’all…and all y’all trolls, I hope your computers are infected multiple times with many many viruses.

  22. “Ap- TO def. would not get the same leverage from the media, but the Cowboys would never beat the Chargers in the playoffs anyways.”

    When do the ‘Boys and Pats play? Week 5? No Richard Seymour. Rodney harrison just getting back from suspension. I see TO running down the field unabated over and over and over and over…lol

  23. Diallo- TO did have a good game vs. Pats in Super Bowl, he was 2nd best receiver on the field (Deion Branch MVP). I can see Randy Moss going deep over Roy Williams, too. Should be a good battle. Not thrilled with Pats schedule this year, but we’ll be around come playoff time.

  24. I know Pats, I know. I just hate the Pats so much. So much. So much that you had me rooting for Peyton Manning…which was an awkward experience. It’s almost as bad as having to root for the Yankees because I can’t stand Boston anymore.

  25. Friedman, no need to identify them as Islamic turrrrrrrists. How about just turrrrrrrists? They were douchebags, in the same way that there are douchebags across any racial, economic, socio-political boundaries. But (and I don’t know if you’ve travelled), but the rest of the world does not live to prey on America. I hate this false vulnerability that chickenhawks claim. The US has the ability to deploy unparalleled power on the world and the world knows this. I say this as a Brit (another country which has behaved terribly via Tony “Lapdog” Blair in the War on Turrrrrr) which is a country with supposedly good relations with this country. But most people there, even in 2002, were e-mailing me asking what the hell is going on over there? I’d tell ’em, I dunno. But even then, in an ally of the US, people were worried about the direction the US was taking. So just imagine what the feelings are about the US in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc. If you’ve ever met anyone from any of those countries (which, for their sake, I really hope isn’t the case), you’ll realize that most people, from every country, just want to be left alone and to have some peace and security and happiness for their families. So quit with perpetrating paranoia in this country. This country is not powerless. If Iraq was such a threat, how come we were able to march into Baghdad and unseat Saddam in a couple weeks? This country is not powerless. It can enact power, but for better or worse-but let’s not claim that the US is so vulnerable to the supposed threat of the supposed foreign hordes. The Cheney administration is trying to con you and scare you, and apparently it’s working.

  26. Ok, it appears I was wrong.
    Foley had the Bull Dance, I was set straight on the matter.
    Oh well, I’m married, I’m used to being wrong.

    But, speaking of running the ball in the second half… for the love of god, why? Why, Cam? Belichek has some sort of mind control on O-coordinators. Rams/Pats superbowl, league MVP or O-player of the year Marshall Faulk is killing the Patriots, Martz stops running the ball or even using the best player in the NFL (at the time). Few years later, League MVP is killing the Pats… and Cam Cameron channels Martz and decides not to run plays to the man.

    Belichek is a bad MF’er, he just scares stupid O-coordinators from using their best player. Is he blackmailing or what?

    I’m not even going to talk about Eric Parker.

    Anyway, Pats4x, you can have Rodney here, but for 10 yrs he was one of the only two reasons to turn on a Charger game. And you have the other reason on your team as well. So even though he’s a Patriot, I can’t hate the guy. He and Seau gave me the only reasons to have hope, and some pride in my team as they racked up those 1-15, 3-13 seasons.

  27. no need to identify them as Islamic

    Ah, when you cannot even speak the name of the enemy (or are simply too scared to do so), you have already lost. I mean, even the NYT leads with this on their front page story from today (make sure to keep your head buried in the sand, TC):

    “The three Islamic militants arrested today were in the advanced stages of plotting large-scale attacks against several sites frequented by Americans, officials said.”

    Nothing to see here, move along. These people just want to be left alone and live with some peace and security, after all.

  28. If you do that every time Friedman, you tar all Muslims as terrorists. I tell you what, I’m a lot more scared of President Bush than I am of Iran.

  29. ‘Nothing to see here, move along. These people just want to be left alone and live with some peace and security, after all.’

    Honestly, what the hell is America accomplishing in the middle east right now? Creating more terrorists. The more we meddle as the bully, the more the little man gets fed up with it. They can’t fight straight up, so what happens? Terrorism.

    Don’t make me out for some Islamic apologist, I honestly didn’t like a lot of what I saw when I was in Saudi (between wars). But my perspective was a bit limited (confined to the military compound). But the blind hate and blanket statements get us nowhere. And Bush kicking Saddam like he’s a dog that bit his master’s hand… well you can’t help but see how that is going to piss off the rest of the world, and really piss off countries in the Middle East that already don’t much care for the US.

  30. Friedman,
    C’mon, you can’t be that naive. If the terrorists were really concerned about causing terror or killing Americans (as in, if they were organized and were focused) they would’ve done quite a few things differently (and already would’ve had an attack on us).

    Think about it. Why didn’t the terrorist claim the Minnesota bridge collapse? The DC Sniper? That would’ve cause a whole lot of fear. You’re trying to tell me they couldn’t get 2 or 3 operatives to do coordinated sniper attacks at little league games across the midwest (what would cause more terror than to attack a defenseless place?)? And don’t tell me we’re doing a good job fighting the terrorist. They can attack us ANY TIME and in ANY WAY they want–especially with the ease of acquiring a gun in this country, and we’re totally defenseless. The best way to fight terrorism, sorry to say it, is to stop being afraid–then their tactics become absolutely useless and futile.

    By attacking Iraq and antagonizing Iran we’re only making the world more dangerous. We’re making enemies, creating more terrorists and now have Iran so scared that they’re scramblign to get nuclear capability so they can be North Korea (and have the Western powers groveling to them) and not Iraq. Iraq is a HUGE problem because now we’ve created a power vacuum that as soon as we pull out will be filled by Hezbollah-like terrorist organizations that bring stability, security and services to these areas in exchange for the ability to base their operations.

    Yeah, bringing the fight to them was REAL smart eh?

  31. So you’re accusing the NYT of what: being fear-mongering BushHitler Republican worshipers? Muslims are tarring themselves plenty without having to worry about a name sticking like Islamic terrorism, believe me. But hey – it’s the religion of peace! They’re just misunderstood! I mean, a plot in Europe — who woulda thunk it? No news here, TC, keep it moving.

    I’m a lot more scared of President Bush than I am of Iran.

    Because Bush has declared his desire to wipe Britain off the map like Iran’s “president” has for Israel? Um, no. This country is not your enemy, TC.

  32. You guys realize something?
    jweiler wrote-

    ‘Two years after Katrina, it’s shocking, frankly, how little attention the destruction of an American city has received.’

    And 29 comments in, it has turned into a conversation about Islamic terrorists. I guess that proved his point quite well.

    Boy is a genius or something.

  33. Changing the subject a bit: A doctor who studied Benoit’s brain suggested that he had brain damage associated with concussions:

    And yet it’s the steroids that are ruining the games, and damaging to the athletes. We have to protect them… from steroids. But let’s ignore the long-term damage that concussions have on athletes….

  34. Friedman? Huh? And that statement about Ahmadinejad wanting to wipe Israel is not even accurate. He was quoting a statement from the Ayatollah who said that if Israel did not exist, he wouldn’t mind. He did not say that Iran was going to do that. Iran will not have nukes according to the best estimate until early or mid-next decade according to the best estimates. And again, I separate the attitudes of people from a country from the policies of a country-which is also why many people in other countries will welcome you individually, but they might question the policies of the US. But I’ve never had any grief outside the US over living here. Just think a bit Friedman.

  35. Sorry about the diversion folks. I won’t say any more about that stuff here.

  36. Based on his Vick commentary, why am I not surprised on his stance on Iraq and the Bush administration?

  37. The world would be a lot more peaceful is Israel didn’t ever happen eh?

    And I’m a HELL of a lot more scared of Bush than I am of Iran. Iran has no intentions of hurting us. It can’t and it won’t. It is at least a decade from actually having the nuclear capability to attack us (it hasn’t even done enough to get a damn power plant much less enrich it the many times more to make it a weapon…or, you know, that long range rocket that makes it to the US…you know, the one that almost nobody has?). Bush on the other hand creates terrorists every time he opens his mouth. He only serves to more highly motivate our enemies. He has severely ruined any allies we thought we had and has damaged our position when it comes to real foreign policy crises, like the impending (in the next decade) problem we’ll have with China. He’s destroyed any chance we had at actually solving the Middle East while keeping Israel for at least the next decade. In his quest for a land and power grab he vastly miscalculated the troops and support we’d need to install our own puppet government in the middle of the Middle East and ruined ANY prospect that it could ever happen (the Iraq war could’ve been one of the shrewdest, though sinister, foreign policy acts in the last 50 years and he blew it, and its going to blow up in our face). President Bush has put us in FAR more danger than Iran has. Iran is all talk…but Bush has created a lot of people who will do more than puff and preen for the cameras.

  38. Ap, your comments are more of the same moonbat nonsense, but even this struck me as particularly insane:

    The best way to fight terrorism, sorry to say it, is to stop being afraid–then their tactics become absolutely useless and futile.

    So, let’s just say, as a hypothetical of course, that one of their tactics could be hijacking a couple planes, flying them into some really tall buildings in a huge city filled with millions of people. You’re telling me your best defense against this, just to be clear, would be to “stop being afraid”, and the magically, these tactics would become “useless”? Did I read that correctly or have I misunderstood?

  39. Thank god the best months in sports are startin…NFL, College Football, Baseball playoffs, NBA soon… Can’t deal anymore with over-blown Vick, steroid, Pacman Jones, etc. HYPE!!

    Let’s face it…Bush is a despicible douche, as referenced by many above, Bin Laden is a piece of shit, Tony Blair sucks, Saddam is dead, and like Dwil said earlier, the world, including the sporting world, is going to hell in a hand-basket.

    So all there is left to do is blindly root for your favorite teams. Go Pats! Go Sox! Go Celtics! Also, go Nuggets, go Bernard Hopkins, go Phil Mickleson, and F%#k Peyton Manning, all New York teams, and all L.A. teams! I must say though, it was nice to finally be able to root for Kobe without a guilty conscience when he was playing for U.S.A.

  40. Sportsdiva Says:

    I actually meant to reply to one of your comments on an older post about how even the progessive & leftist communities were covering the Vick story with such overt contempt and lack of context, humanity or balance. I went to a few of the sites that I used to frequent as a way to avoid the MSM for news and to my surprise, this sports story had penetrated their content. (I was surprised the MSM was so into it also) So I’m thinking I’m going to get the other perspective that I always get and that always seems sane to me, but to my surprise most of them revealed who they truly were and as http://www.blackagendareport.com says in a lot of their commentaries, it’s generally people of color who are truly progessives. So I was so mad that I commented on some of the Vick pieces on Huff Post, Alternet and some others and people were so mad at my comments they responded to me with the kind of blabber that just finally made me tune them out. I’m not sure where to go to escape the insanity any more (besides here and my email syndicate of course LOL). I just couldn’t believe how all of these people were full of the same fake righteous indignation that the MSM was spewing. I even pointed out that I thought it was funny how they never rely on the MSM for anything, but when it came to this story that’s all the relied on. I basically told them all they don’t really follow sports anyway and to just stay out of it. LOL
    Sorry to go off-topic, but I was meaning to respond to TC on that and as I’ve said my other former sanctuaries are no longer. I’m not sure where to go to find news now. Damn.

  41. Sportsdiva Says:

    Not allowing me to take mascara on the plane isn’t helping either. LOL

  42. I’m talking on a purely theoretical stance. And I’m also assuming the point of terrorism is to, well, cause terror. Terrorism as a tactic is virtually useless without the terror part–it has no effect unless the country is afraid and thus changes its political, economic, and military strategies in very damaging ways (as we have). The fact that any sign of terrorism leads to reduced consumer spending (especially in transportation) and a nosedive in Wall Street shows that terrorism works quite well when the populace gets afraid–and thus the tactic will continue to be successful. If we took Britain’s lead, that is, having resolve in the face of attacks, and intelligently making the security and response reforms necessary to help prevent and minimize attacks, then we’d be much better off.

    However, our irrational (yes, it is irrational) fear of terrorism (like the terrorist really want to kill YOU), is hurting this country dearly. It has led us to curtail our own freedoms, compromise our position in the world, condone and support barbaric and disgusting torture tactics (Abu Ghraib was nothing compared to what we really do), make ENORMOUS policy blunders that have cost over 70,000 lives, and spent billions of dollars in something that ultimately will help the terrorist. That fear of terrorism allowed Rove and Cheney to manipulate this country into stupidity–had we not none of these things would’ve ever happened.

    Good lord, I know that people are horrendously bad at evaluating very small risks but c’mon…at least you can realize it no?

  43. Sportsdiva-yeah, I said something like this the other day….apparently nice middle-class progressive whites are apparently only a dog hanging away from becoming racists, frothing at the mouth reactionaries, it seems. Yeah, my only response to that is just to ignore it. And yeah, about the progressiveness of black folks-you’re absolutely right. I get real tired of friends who live up in San Fran talking about how progressive they are up there. Being progressive in San Fran is like being cold in the Arctic-it’s real easy. Similarly, it’s fairly easy to be a redneck in the heart of Mississippi; but try being a progressive in the heart of Mississippi-or being a redneck in San Fran-it wouldn’t be easy. And comparably for black folk to have the moral courage to state what is right is right and adhering to the best ideals of America, in spite of some of the ish they’ve had to put up with (and continue to endure). Anyway…..yeah, it’s pretty pathetic how nice white liberal suburbanites have lost they bladder control over the #7 case.

  44. “good god, a more ignorant statement i have truly never read.”

    Friedman, are you saying you never read “They hate us for our freedom.”

    “islamic fanatics flying our own planes into buildings in our biggest city, killing 3k people, vs. a hurricane’s natural destruction. are you really comparing the two in re: o “catastrophes” and expecting the “response” to be on the same level?”

    Friedman, Miranda was talking about the RESPONSE to the events to 9-11 vs. katrina, both of which define America in terrible terms. One globally, and one domestically. The response to 9-11 shows that Americans cannot tell the difference between two different Arabs or the difference between an organization and a country. The response to Katrina showed that it did not care about its own citizens, particularly when poor and black. Friedman, do you really believe that the weather channel guys getting down in New orleans the second day, but the president doesn’t not deeply define our nation.

    At the root of both responses is RACE. The invasion of Iraq was only possible because of the 70% of Americans (at the time) that supported it. This support was predicated on a nation of idiots who thought that Osama and Saddam were the same guy. There is no way that this kind of support jumps off if we were attacked by the IRA and we then went after another European country. Katrina’s neglect (the six days and the two years since) should speak for itself.

  45. j, good article.

    I have been down to N.O. and the lower ninth ward both in March and then August this year. Not one single iota of change. The extent of the clean-up was to get the debris off of the street during the first year (a big job). Since then, nothing and the red tape to get your life back is ridiculous. Jonathan Demme of Silence of the Lambs fame has done a real good documentary on this. http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200705/20070525_demme.html# The doc picks up from the point that Spike Lee left off. The extended response defines us just as the immediate non-response

  46. There’s more on the neglect suffered by the Ninth Ward on Democracy Now; this was an excellent episode, from two years and a day after the storm hit. They had a community activist who I remember being on when the storm hit. I just…….I mean, the government just blows my mind……anyway, you can read the transcript of the show, watch, or listen to it, if you want. They also had lots of coverage, particularly around the two-year anniversary, at Democracy Now.

  47. Sportsdiva Says:

    “I was just explaing to a republican friend the other day that the whole Katrina situation was the most offensive aspect of the entire Bush regime. I’ve always been a hater, and the Iraq war, No Child Left Behind, Health care, and other issues have certainly been addressed despicably by Bush, but the Katrina response, or lack thereof, was/is just about as bad as it gets.”

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about it. And notice Tsar Bush didn’t even utter the word Katrina once in his last state of the union.

  48. I just have to ask…is this Friedman person for real? sure it’s not a computer program thats designed to just say anything to get peeps riled up?

  49. Back to the title of this post…..how the hell is Lance Armstrong one of the most influential people of the last 25 years? Well, why am I thinking rationally about a newspaper that divides its sections by color? What am I expecting, logic? And even if Armstrong is in that list, how is he above MJ? And really, giving all the credit to Gorby and Reagan is ridiculous. The media in this country focuses too much on the individual when it wans’t just one person or two which bought about the decline of Russia and the end of the Cold War…….Russia’s Communist system was communist in name only by the mid-to-late ’70s and the dream of selflessness embodied in Communism was just that, a dream. It wasn’t like in ’86, Gorby suddenly called Ronnie up and was like, hey man, wanna get together and quit this ish? It ain’t workin’…..and Ronnie was all….ok man….I hadn’t thought of just stopping being Communist. I thought intimidation, isolation would do it but no…I should have just asked…..oh well, what do you expect from a color-coded newspaper?

  50. Sportsdiva,
    I feel your pain…but lets face it, we’d been kidding ourselves..true colors got revealed over the past 4 months.

  51. Miranda, you’re right, denial is a bit**. LOL

  52. I agree with you, JWeiler, to a point, about Reagan (although you love Russian and Eastern European history? If you ever start a history blog, tell me ASAP! ha). This whole “Reagan took down Communism” bit seems like historical revisionism to me, put in just because even today, it’s a little hard to explain how Communism fell so quickly. Thus, I think there’s some invention of causes, to be honest.

    But let me try to rebalance things a little after your article. Suppose Carter wins re-election and Reagan loses. Do you see Communism still falling apart as it did if Carter was in power? (Yes, I’m cheating a bit because Carter would have been done in 1984, but I think it’s fair to compare Reagan to the next choice in line). I’m not so sure. And yes, Reagan toned down the rhetoric, but I think it actually helped that he came across as strong at first. Look at the trouble we’ve had with Bush, who looked weak at first and then quickly tried to catch up to look strong. No, give me the presidents who are too hard at first and then soften up.

  53. I got next!

    It was once said, one man freedom fighter is another mans terrorist! It is interesting that someone with the name Friedman would come on this intelligent sports blog and spew shit about Muslim terrorist.

    Moreover, when challenged on his irrational comment invoke the patriotism from America inc., Tell me Friedman, which Jewish watchdog organization do you belong to?

    AS for the NO and the genocide by ignoring the peoples plight, juxtapose Thomas Robert Malthus’s ideas with the Carlyle groups
    “New World Order,” and you’ll understand the method behind the madness in the world.

    instead of dealing with local and global poverty, land and food distribution and a better quality of life for all, the devils in Armani suites, would rather promote ‘codex’ across national borders and Monsanto foods.

    You see now they have us so caught up in sports and entertainment and the soap opera around it, we miss the big picture, that with out us funding those thugs in grey suites, as fans, they would have to find a different hustle.

  54. Princess Diana used to be on these lists.

    That’s how vital they are.

  55. Charles

    I have the Demme doc on my DVR and still haven’t gotten around to watching it – but now I will.

    McBias – yes, I do think the history of the Soviet Union would have been largely the same. Carter was no dove – he also increased defense spending and Reagan’s rhetoric did not materially change the situation in Russia. The leadership succession was coming, and there is a good argument, in fact, to be made that Gorbachev was to have succeeded Andropov directly but that US-Soviet tensions in the first Reagan term resulted in the conservative (and half-dead) Chernenko being anointed leader ahead of Gorbachev.

    Reagan’s first term rhetoric mostly served to justify an especially harsh crackdown by Soviet authorities against internal dissidents.

  56. umm, 9/11 wasn’t detectable on radar and evacuation notices were not issued for people to avoid 9/11.

    Where was all the hype for sending money and aid to those that needed it in NO before Katrina? It shouldn’t take Katrina to get the attention those people claim to have needed, and now all the hippies have come out in full force to demand that the federal gov’t not only help rebuild the city that was devastated by a natural disaster but also to provide aid to those that have been in need. This country provides too many handouts to irresponsible people as it is, but to provide handouts to people that had a chance to get out before the Hurricane came?

    There were evacuation notices put out when the report first came out that Katrina was going to be a Category 5 hurricane. I heard them, and I live in the suburbs of DC. There were no evacuation notices given to the people that died in the World Trade Center, they had no chance to get off the floors before the planes hit. Once they saw the planes, it was too late already.

    I may not agree with Friedman, but he’s definitely not the only ignorant one here. It’s a shame that most of the other ignorance is coming from people that hate just about everything this country has to offer. I’m by no means trying to be patriotic here, but is anything ever good enough? Is there anything that people won’t complain about? What about the people in South America that lost their homes? Should we send them aid too?

  57. Umm, it’s not about evacuation notices. It’s about the government’s response to the two tragedies.

    Umm, btw, despite the pictures of people being rescued off of the roofs of their homes, the vast majority of people followed the evacuation notices. Those who could get out of NO did and those who couldn’t gathered where they were told to go (e.g. Superdome).

    Umm, where was all the hype about foreign terrorism before 9/11? It shouldn’t have taken a SECOND attack on the same target to get the attention of those who claim to be so concerned about it now to the point that the dimwits are supporting a war against a target that wasn’t even involved in the first or second attack.

  58. Boney, you are ignorant.

    The “natural disaster” that destroyed New Orleans was a catastrophic failure of a levee system that was built and maintained by the federal government. Or did you miss that tidbit?

    The only reason the city was destroyed was because of levee breaches that would not have happened if the federal government had built it’s levees to code. And Katrina was a Cat 3 storm by the time it made landfall in New Orleans, not a Cat 5.

    So if people are pissed that the feds haven’t cleaned up the mess they made, than it makes a lot of sense.

  59. Agreed Allen also some of the levees were so weak that a cat 1 hurrican would have knocked them down. The Hurrican actually missed the D@mn city……..but the Levees were so dang week the couldn’t hold up.

    Funny how it took……what 3 or 4 days to send help to NO. But for that tsunami that it oversees it took 24 hrs for the US to send food and water.

    Man don’t even get me started.

  60. Boney – you need to watch Spike’s flick…he lays out all the errors of your post in gross detail. It’s about the dumbest shit you’ve ever written, but if you watch the video, you might be able to write some new shit and get somebody to remove the original. Maybe you can get it from NetFlicks or BlockBuster.

    You can get the lowdown on the advance reports about the vulnerability of the levees prior to Rep. budget cuts…you can get the exact timing of the evacuation notices and the poor coordination between city, state, fed. You could do it all… OR

    You could persist in being a stupid ass. Do the research or shut your pie hole.

  61. Allen, Origin…co-sign on that.

    and Origin, when the 2006 airstrikes in Lebanon happened, the Bush Adminstration took all of 48 hours to evacuate american citizens outta there…many on “vacation”.

  62. Cosign Temple.

    Watch this Boney from 1 to 26. Get your weight up and gain some knowledge.

    Or continue to play the fool.

  63. where was all the hype about foreign terrorism before 9/11? It shouldn’t have taken a SECOND attack on the same target to get the attention of those who claim to be so concerned about it now

    Paging Bill Clinton . . .

  64. I believe Bill Clinton briefed the President or his administation about how much of a threat Bin Laden was before he left office. Wasn’t something actually printed on paper that said “Bin Laden determined to attack U.S.”?

  65. J, good reading. You guys really make me crack up. Who needs ESPN, SI, or any of those other biased outlets when we have TSF! Packed with good info, decent opinions and entertaining all at the same time. I’m hooked.

  66. Allen? A catastrophic failure of the levees that weren’t built to code? What building code are you referring to? The current code, or the code that was followed during the original construction that allows the levees and it’s construction to be grandfathered in to the new code whenever one is enacted.

    I don’t need to watch Spike Lee’s drivel to see how pathetic the response was about Katrina, but then again I’m not going to hold Katrina against the President either. It’s stupid that in the areas that the local government told the residents to evacuate to that people were getting beat up, raped, murdered, and robbed while others just stood and watched. It’s easy to point the finger when shit doesn’t go the right way, but where was Spike Lee before the hurricane? He was probably at a Knicks game, not even thinking about levees or New Orleans unless Chris Paul was crossing up Jamal Crawford. Where were the cries for help in NO before the hurricane?

    That’s right, they were in the same spot as dogfighting before Michael Vick’s name got thrown around… it’s easy to pile on something when it actually happens and you don’t like it. Maybe you should write a letter to Ronald Reagan, George Bush, or Bill Clinton about why the levees weren’t built to code, or why 9/11 happened…

    I don’t need to “get my weight up” by watching Spike Lee pander to the folks that still haven’t formed an opinion about what happened during Katrina. That’s like telling me to watch Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911” to get knowledge about the war in Iraq.

    So come on, tell me I’m ignorant and I need to get my weight up and do other things… I’ll point you to the video of people and the security guards looting in s Wal Mart, and video of guys trying to carry flat panel televisions while wading through water and walking over and on dead people’s bodies that were underneath, or the famous picture of the guy carrying a tub of heinekens… There are 2 sides to every story, and while Spike Lee tries to paint a very grim detail of how George Bush didn’t respond fast enough, you can’t hide the fact that the mayor of the city let a depot of school buses sit in ruin because he was offended that Greyhound wouldn’t offer buses to transport people out. That’s all anyone was doing in NO after the hurricane, walking around with their hands out looking for someone to cut the check.

  67. “Paging Bill Clinton . . .”

    Well Friedman, if you manage to get him, you might want to congratulate his adminstration for bringing the perpertrators of the first act too justice. You do know that they were caught, tried and convicted, right? While you’re at it you might want to thank him for giving next adminstration a heads-up that was, unfortunately, ignored by Shrub, Cheney and Co.

  68. Speaking of drivel, WOW Boney your ignorance is staggering, but it’s not as pathetic as your blame-the-victims rationalizations and wholesale Monica-like swallowing of rightwing Katrina exaggerations and myths. It’s going to be amusing watching you get your ass handed to you.

  69. Why should we listen to Boney, Friedman or any other Asshole who comes on this site trying to ‘bring a different perspective’ to a article. Ronald Reagan did not end the Cold War, Russia was going broke trying to maintain it’s empire and could not provide basic services to it’s people. I remember watching a U.S.A. vs Russia Olympic style event in 1979 and American althletes like Renaldo Neiamiah and other althletes were told by the state department to bring toliet paper, soap, deodorant and other friuts because everything was rationed.

    The CIA and every major military/politcal groups knew in the 70’s the U.S.S.R, was going to fall by the 1990’s or early 21st century not becauase communism was wrong but spending money it didn’t have on other countries (sounds familiar folks) and invading other countries for no good reason. (Afghanistan)All reagan did was start another round of wasteful military spending which is bankrupting us in 2007. Reagan will go down in another 50 years as the third worst President after Woodrow Wilson and Andrew Johnson. Duyba’s adminstration is the most corrupt since U.S. Grant and Nixon.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: