yonihamagid: (sports)
And the Oplympics are back on. I don't know if anyone remembers that I do this, but here's my weighted ranking of medal winners so far. Gold=4, Silver=2, Bronze=1. With two days of competition in the books, the weighting is already being felt with Italy leapfrogging Australia; Russia getting ahead of Hungary; and Japan in front of Hungary, Great Britain and Sweden. The United States is in the lead whether you use total medals, gold medal count (with ties broken by silver total or bronze total if necessary) or my weighted score. I'm always torn about how to handle ties in my weighted system. Is accomplishing the score with the fewest medals exemplary since that means they're the more valuable medals, or is it better to have the most medals in total. At this point, this is really only an issue between Japan and Russia (yes, I know about Uzbekistan with its two bronzes and the eight nations, including the host nation, with one silver). Right now I'm going with the fewer, more valuable medals wins. Unless anyone can convince me to do it the other way.



NOC

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total
United States (USA) 3 5 4 12
China (CHN) 3 2 3 8
Australia (AUS) 3 0 3 6
Italy (ITA) 2 3 2 7
South Korea (KOR) 2 2 1 5
Hungary (HUN) 2 0 0 2
Russia (RUS) 1 2 2 5
Great Britain (GBR) 1 1 0 2
Sweden (SWE) 1 1 0 2
Japan (JPN) 1 0 6 7
Chinese Taipei (TPE) 1 0 1 2
Thailand (THA) 1 0 1 2
Argentina (ARG) 1 0 0 1
Belgium (BEL) 1 0 0 1
Kosovo (KOS) 1 0 0 1
Netherlands (NED) 1 0 0 1
Vietnam (VIE) 1 0 0 1
Canada (CAN) 0 1 1 2
Kazakhstan (KAZ) 0 1 1 2
Brazil (BRA)* 0 1 0 1
Denmark (DEN) 0 1 0 1
France (FRA) 0 1 0 1
Indonesia (INA) 0 1 0 1
New Zealand (NZL) 0 1 0 1
North Korea (PRK) 0 1 0 1
Philippines (PHI) 0 1 0 1
South Africa (RSA) 0 1 0 1
Uzbekistan (UZB) 0 0 2 2
Greece (GRE) 0 0 1 1
Poland (POL) 0 0 1 1
Spain (ESP) 0 0 1 1
yonihamagid: (sports)

"Aside from his dashing good looks..."

Is this something they'd say about an African American? This feels a little problematic to me. Anyone else bothered?

yonihamagid: (sports)
One of the nice things about a Black Sea Olympic Games is that the final results from the day come in about 1:30 pm, CST.

Today we start to see movement from the weighted scoring. Russia and the Czech Republic both moved up a place, though for the Czech Republic because of the three way tie ahead of them, now behind them, it turns into a three place jump.

The Dutch continue to dominate the Adler Arena Speed Skating Oval. The French lept onto the boar with a gold/bronze take down of Biathlon's Men 12.5km Pursuit of all things. The Americans had a disappointing day in two of their homegrown events, Short Track Speed Skating and Freestyle Skiing. However, we at least picked up a bronze in the Women's Super Combined to stay ahead of the Russians.


Rank

NOC

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

Score
1 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/cf/Flag_of_Canada.svg/22px-Flag_of_Canada.svg.png Canada (CAN) 3 3 1 7 19
2 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png Netherlands (NED) 3 2 2 7 18
3 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d9/Flag_of_Norway.svg/22px-Flag_of_Norway.svg.png Norway (NOR) 2 1 4 7 14
4 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States (USA) 2 0 3 5 11
5 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f3/Flag_of_Russia.svg/22px-Flag_of_Russia.svg.png Russia (RUS)* 1 2 3 6 11
6 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/22px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png Germany (GER) 2 0 0 2 8
7 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Flag_of_Austria.svg/22px-Flag_of_Austria.svg.png Austria (AUT) 1 2 0 3 8
8 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c3/Flag_of_France.svg/22px-Flag_of_France.svg.png France (FRA) 1 0 1 2 5
9 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg.png Czech Republic (CZE) 0 2 1 3 5
10 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/12/Flag_of_Poland.svg/22px-Flag_of_Poland.svg.png Poland (POL) 1 0 0 1 4
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e6/Flag_of_Slovakia.svg/22px-Flag_of_Slovakia.svg.png Slovakia (SVK) 1 0 0 1 4
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Flag_of_Switzerland.svg/20px-Flag_of_Switzerland.svg.png Switzerland (SUI) 1 0 0 1 4
13 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4c/Flag_of_Sweden.svg/22px-Flag_of_Sweden.svg.png Sweden (SWE) 0 2 0 2 4
14 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/03/Flag_of_Italy.svg/22px-Flag_of_Italy.svg.png Italy (ITA) 0 1 1 2 3
15 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fa/Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China.svg.png China (CHN) 0 1 0 1 2
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Flag_of_Finland.svg/22px-Flag_of_Finland.svg.png Finland (FIN) 0 1 0 1 2
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f0/Flag_of_Slovenia.svg/22px-Flag_of_Slovenia.svg.png Slovenia (SLO) 0 1 0 1 2
18 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ae/Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.png Great Britain (GBR) 0 0 1 1 1
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Flag_of_Ukraine.svg/22px-Flag_of_Ukraine.svg.png Ukraine (UKR) 0 0 1 1 1
Total 17 17 17 51
yonihamagid: (sports)
So far, the weighted rankings follow the total and medal color rankings most often used. We'll see how long that lasts. I'm particularly tickled by Russia's last place, though I suppose lots of countries don't have any at this point.


Rank

NOC

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

Score
1 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d9/Flag_of_Norway.svg/22px-Flag_of_Norway.svg.png Norway (NOR) 2 1 3 6 13
2 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png Netherlands (NED) 2 1 1 4 11
3 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States (USA) 2 0 1 3 9
4 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/cf/Flag_of_Canada.svg/22px-Flag_of_Canada.svg.png Canada (CAN) 1 1 1 3 7
5 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Flag_of_Austria.svg/22px-Flag_of_Austria.svg.png Austria (AUT) 1 1 0 2 6
6 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Flag_of_Switzerland.svg/20px-Flag_of_Switzerland.svg.png Switzerland (SUI) 1 0 0 1 4
7 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4c/Flag_of_Sweden.svg/22px-Flag_of_Sweden.svg.png Sweden (SWE) 0 2 0 2 4
8 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg.png Czech Republic (CZE) 0 1 1 2 3
9 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Flag_of_Finland.svg/22px-Flag_of_Finland.svg.png Finland (FIN) 0 1 0 1 2
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/03/Flag_of_Italy.svg/22px-Flag_of_Italy.svg.png Italy (ITA) 0 1 0 1 2
11 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ae/Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.png Great Britain (GBR) 0 0 1 1 1
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f3/Flag_of_Russia.svg/22px-Flag_of_Russia.svg.png Russia (RUS)* 0 0 1 1 1
Total 9 9 9 27
yonihamagid: (sports)
The defense of the Dolphins organization and Richie Incognito (how is that not the pseudonym of an underground DJ?) has consistently been, "Well, that's life in the NFL."

This contains two streams of thought.

First, that the NFL, and its locker rooms in particular, are a special preserve that people on the outside just can't understand.

In a brief word, bullshit.

Yes, every workplace is a world unto itself with a set of morals and boundaries. Jocularity and fun are different depending on who and where you are. However, every workplace is still a part of our society and there are a set of loose restrictions beyond which no subset of our society strays without violation. By all accounts, what happened in the Dolphins organization went well beyond those boundaries.

But more worryingly is the attitude that professional football is a violent game and that the people who play it have to be reprehensible people in order to compete so what can you do?

There is a group of people in our society we charge with the most antisocial behavior possible, killing people. They're called our military. If anyone in the military had engaged in this kind of behavior their career would have ended, possibly with a court martial.

I propose a new rule for those who claim that the aims of their organization is more important than either the individual dignity of the participants or the honoring of social norms within their organization, if the US military can't do it, neither can you. This goes for sports teams, fraternities (and sororities, for that matter), police departments, law firms, churches, and all the other organizations in our society getting away with wildly antisocial behavior.
yonihamagid: (sports)
The speech Jacques Rogge should be giving in Sochi at the opening ceremonies adapted from the speech he gave in Vancouver four years ago:

Dear Russian Friends,
We gather as an Olympic family for the first time on the shores of the Black Sea, ushering in a new age of Olympic globalism.

My thanks go to the public authorities of Russia, our hosts Sochi, and all regions of Russia for their strong commitment and support.

Thank you to our friends at the Organizing Committee, who have worked tirelessly for seven years to ensure that we can be here tonight in this magnificent Stadium, to open 16 days of competition for which the athletes have trained so hard.

And a special thanks to the thousands of Games volunteers for your enthusiasm. Without you, none of this would be possible.

For today, the Olympic Games mean more than just performance. The Olympic movement began in the 19th Century as a means to bring together peoples of all the nations on Earth, regardless of divisions that sadly exist to this day. However, as we have progressed as an athletic movement, the Olympic ideal has bridged many more gulfs than mere nationality bringing together in peaceful competition athletes across racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation and political divides.

Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. May the Sochi 2014 Games be held in peace and civility, in the true spirit of the Olympic Truce.

Dear athletes,

These Games belong to you. They are your Games.

So give them the magic that we all desire, through your performances and your conduct.

Remember that you are role models for the youth of the world.

There is no glory without responsibility.

Please compete in the spirit of Olympic values.

And reject doping and cheating.

I now have the honor to ask the [whatever Russian official who is going to open the games], to open the XXII Olympic Winter Games.
yonihamagid: (gay)
I've been reading a lot about calls for action regarding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia because of Russia's recently passed anti-gay laws and very well publicized abuses of gay people and their supporters both officially and by private citizens.

The first word on everyone's lips is "boycott".

This is an easy one.

Don't.

Not because "the athletes have trained hard" or because of any of the other reasons apologists (and some not so apologetic people) have floated.

Don't boycott because they don't work. The boycotts of 1980 and 1984 were absolute disasters on every level. Russia continued their offensive in Afghanistan for five years following the 1980 boycott. In fact, Afghanistan was so Soviet controlled that it participated in the 1984 Olympic boycott. Nothing was gained, and the West just looked bad. As for the 1984 boycott, well what was that supposed to do again? Not only that, but that left a twelve year hole in the Olympic record. None of the contests in either of those Olympic games are even remotely relevant in historical sport since the contenders who should have been competing were not able to face each other in any sport.

All boycotts do is make the Olympics irrelevant, and an irrelevant Olympics certainly isn't going to advance the interests of anyone.

Now there are growing calls to move the Olympics.

Yeah, not going to happen. There are 184 days until the games begin. I met a woman in Vegas on one of my trips there. She was in town for an academic conference. It was supposed to have been held in Chicago on August 8 of that year. January 1 of that year, the organizers decided to pull out because of an unsatisfactory response to a labor dispute, giving them 220 days to find a new venue and get it set up. The only place that could handle that many people (~10,000) in that short a time was Vegas. There is no place in the world, not even Vancouver that just hosted the Winter Olympics four years ago, that can be ready to host a Winter Olympics in 184 days. No where. The choices are Sochi or no Olympics at all. It's that simple.

And finally it has been suggested that Russia be banned from Olympic competition as have been South Africa, Rhodesia, Afghanistan and India (though India's was very short and was the result of contested NOC elections and not national civil rights violations).

Of the options, I like this one the most, but don't see it as feasible for this Olympics, not because you can't ban the host country, but because you can't put a ban in place this shortly before an Olympic Games. However, I would say if things don't change, and certainly if any athlete, coach, official, journalist, spectator, and, most importantly, Russian citizen is in the merest way inconvenienced in the name of enforcing this anti-gay law during the Olympic fortnight, then the hammer of a ban should come down hard and heavy and keep Russia out of Rio in 2016.

Ultimately, my preference for this Olympic games is that everyone go. Everyone compete. And everyone be just as gay as it is possible to be without violating evenly enforced public indecency laws. Open the Pride House. Wear and wave whatever rainbow gear you've got. Make it a gay old time on the Black Sea.
yonihamagid: (sports)
Revisiting a comment I made in a previous post, I think there is a very narrow window available to a hockey player who wants to come out at this point. The draft is June 30 and free agency starts July 5. Today is the Blackhawks' day. If a player decided it was time, I'd expect the announcement to come Thursday or Friday, giving the weekend to separate the announcement from the draft (which isn't quite as high profile as the NFL or NBA drafts because the players in it are much farther from playing on the team that drafts them). I don't think anyone would do it between the draft and free agency, though a player who already has a long term contract, or even a contract through the next season, might not really care. Training camps don't start until September 12 at the earliest, so maybe there's a window between the beginning for the free agency period and training camp which wouldn't be too disruptive.

But on the whole, I'm sticking with we'll see someone come out during the early rounds of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, just like Jason Collins came out during the first round of the NBA playoffs this year.
yonihamagid: (sports)
The important thing to remember while debating the impact/importance/significance/etc. of current events is that in not too many years they're going to be history and evaluated by a whole different group of people by entirely different standards.

There's currently a robust conversation going on about the "first male athlete in North America to come out while (or before) playing professionally." Currently there are three names vying for that recognition: Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers and Andrew Goldstein.

Goldstein came out while playing goalie for the Dartmouth lacrosse team. He was was drafted by the MLL and played two seasons as a Long Island Lizard.

I assume you're plugged in enough to know who Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers are.

There are very good reasons none of these three are the "gay Jackie Robinson."

Goldstein played a sport that is not major in any sense of the word in any market. There are a few schools at which it is a dominant sport, but no markets in which the professional game is in any way relevant. He was one of the preeminent players of his era in college, but still only played two seasons as a professionally, probably because he's making more money as a biology post doctoral fellow at UCLA.

Rogers plays soccer. While it is ascendant in the United States, it is not at the level of hockey, much less baseball, basketball and (American) football.

Collins may never play another game in an NBA uniform. Regardless, he's at the end of a journeyman's career which averaged 20.8 minutes a game, 3.8 rebounds per game and 3.6 points per game (just for reference, that's not starter's stats, or even sixth man stats). His best season was 2004-2005 where he peaked in those statistical categories with 31.8, 6.1 and 6.4 respectively.

All of this to say that the current discussion of who should have the crown as "first male athlete in North America to come out while (or before) playing professionally" is premature. It's entirely possible the person history remembers as the Trailblazer isn't any of them.

Most of the people reading this weren't alive when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. We didn't take part in the conversations that surrounded those momentous days. But that means we also likely don't remember Larry Doby. Taking the field for the Cleveland Indians was a very big deal at the time. The American and National leagues were very separate at the time. Other than New York and Chicago, a town was either National or American League. Detroit, for instance, couldn't have cared less who was on the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but they were very interested in who was taking the field for the Cleveland Indians.

Doby could be considered more significant than Robinson in that he went directly from the Negro League to a Major League squad without a stop in the minor leagues, thus contributing to the notion of the Negro League as a separate but equal institution and not a lesser cousin of Major League Baseball.

On the other hand, Doby's first full season may legitimately have been overshadowed by the Indians winning the World Season for the last time (sorry [livejournal.com profile] theonetruetiny)

But that's the point, history sees these accomplishments very differently than contemporaneous viewers.

Let's take a look at a similar situation in the NBA. Three players are the "first" African Americans in the league depending on how you count "first." Chuck Cooper was the first black player drafted, chosen by Boston. Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first to sign an NBA contract, signing with New York. And Earl Lloyd was the first to play in an NBA regular-season game because his Washington team opened one day before the others.[1] (heaven forbid I be accused of academic dishonesty)

But no one cares. None of their names are etched in the history of Sport alongside Jackie Robinson's.

Quick, who was the first black player in the NHL? hint

And lest you point out all these players broke color barriers after Robinson, what about the African Americans playing professional football before Robinson was even born? And if you say that the color barrier was reinstated in 1933, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode played in the NFL in 1946, the year prior to Robinson's ascension to the Major Leagues.

Is Jackie Robinson famous and Kenny Washington nearly unknown because baseball was, at the time, the singular expression of American Sport and football a distant follower? Or was it because two football players on the same team shared the distinction of breaking the color barrier while Robinson stood alone? (in a bit of historical recursion, all three were teammates at UCLA and played semipro football in California together)

Again, the point is that history will be written long after the events of the day have concluded. Will the name etched at the pinnacle of gay sports history be one of the three currently on the table or another yet to be known?

I have no idea, but, then, no one else does either.

And don't let anyone tell you any differently.
yonihamagid: (sports)
It appears that my html skills deteriorate as the games go on. Last time I was able to add a column to this table. Now I just have to change the total column to score and carry on. I'd really like to know how to manipulate <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics_medal_table#Medal_table>this</a> so I can add a column to it here.

Since the original table is in descending order of medal ranks (most gold is the highest, tied for gold most silver, etc.), lower in the list than they would be when using my scoring system are: the United States (which should be in first place), France, Germany, Russia, Japan, The Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Columbia, Cuba and Slovakia.

NationGoldSilverBronzeScore
 China (CHN)1811599
 United States (USA)18910100
 South Korea (KOR)72537
 France (FRA)64638
 Great Britain (GBR)56436
 Germany (GER)48537
 Italy (ITA)45228
 North Korea (PRK)40117
 Russia (RUS)36832
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)30012
 South Africa (RSA)30012
 Japan (JPN)261131
 Netherlands (NED)21313
 Hungary (HUN)21212
 Ukraine (UKR)20412
 Australia (AUS)17321
 Romania (ROU)13212
 Brazil (BRA)1128
 New Zealand (NZL)1026
 Slovenia (SLO)1015
 Georgia (GEO)1004
 Lithuania (LTU)1004
 Venezuela (VEN)1004
 Mexico (MEX)0317
 Canada (CAN)0259
 Colombia (COL)0215
 Cuba (CUB)0215
 Sweden (SWE)0204
 Belarus (BLR)0113
 Denmark (DEN)0113
 Spain (ESP)0113
 Indonesia (INA)0113
 Mongolia (MGL)0113
 Norway (NOR)0113
 Czech Republic (CZE)0102
 Egypt (EGY)0102
 Poland (POL)0102
 Thailand (THA)0102
 Chinese Taipei (TPE)0102
 Slovakia (SVK)0033
 Azerbaijan (AZE)0011
 Belgium (BEL)0011
 Greece (GRE)0011
 India (IND)0011
 Moldova (MDA)0011
 Qatar (QAT)0011
 Singapore (SIN)0011
 Serbia (SRB)0011
 Uzbekistan (UZB)0011
yonihamagid: (sports)
Here we go again. Weighting is gold=4, silver=2, bronze=1

I can't seem to figure out how to reorder the table I've stolen form wikipedia this time. According to weighting, Japan should be ahead of Brazil, and the Netherlands should be behind Russia.

For me the biggest surprise is that at this point Germany is nowhere on this list. I'm sure they'll find their way here soon. As for the surprising accomplishments so far, I'd have to give that to Kazakhstan and its two golds. Particularly it's gold in the Men's cycling road race that the host nation was really counting on.

Again, the home team of Great Britain is highlighted. I neither know nor care how to get rid of that.

NationGoldSilverBronze  TotalScore
 China (CHN)6421236
 United States (USA)3531125
 Italy (ITA)232716
 South Korea (KOR)212512
 France (FRA)211411
 North Korea (PRK)20139
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)20028
 Brazil (BRA)11137
 Australia (AUS)11137
 Hungary (HUN)11137
 Netherlands (NED)11026
 Russia (RUS)10347
 Georgia (GEO)10014
 South Africa (RSA)10014
 Japan (JPN)02357
 Great Britain (GBR)*01123
 Romania (ROU)01012
 Poland (POL)01012
 Colombia (COL)01012
 Cuba (CUB)01012
 Chinese Taipei (TPE)01012
 Uzbekistan (UZB)00111
 Ukraine (UKR)00111
 Canada (CAN)00111
 Belgium (BEL)00111
 Azerbaijan (AZE)00111
 Serbia (SRB)00111
 Slovakia (SVK)00111
 Norway (NOR)00111
 Moldova (MDA)00111

Penn State

Jul. 23rd, 2012 01:40 pm
yonihamagid: (sports)
I am of two minds regarding the NCAA sanctions in the Penn State situation.

Let me get the less complicated side out of the way. Nothing Jerry Sandusky did affected play on the field. He garnered no competitive advantage. Nothing the football staff, athletic department, university leadership or board of trustees did in covering up what Jerry Sandusky did (and let's face it, the coverup is what they're being punished for. It's always the coverup that gets you) gave any of their teams a competitive advantage on the field.

In this light, punishing the teams going back and going forward seems silly.

On the other hand, it is absolutely imperative that no school ever perpetrate this sort of coverup again, and any way Penn State can be punished to discourage future bad acts by other schools is good for me.

As I see it, the historical vacating of wins is basically to gut Joe Paterno's legacy. I'm ok with that.

What I'm not sure about is how the future sanctions are going to play out with other schools.

What I would have liked to see from the outset was a complete turnover of every nonacademic leader at Penn State. I would like to have seen the board of trustees replaced, the president replaced and the athletic director replaced. I believe we're at one out of three on that. I would also like to have seen the school itself shelve it's football program until such time as new leadership can be assured that the athletic department in general and the entirely new football staff can be trusted to be subservient to the school hierarchy rather than insisting that it's rightful place was at the top of it.

I have pointed out before that this coverup and refusal to bend to the oversight of the university as a whole is not something new to the Penn State athletic department. In 1980 then Penn State athletic director Joe Paterno hired Rene Portland to coach the women's basketball team and continues to be her public champion throughout her tenure though shortly leaves the athletic director's position. In 1986 Rene Portland publicly proclaimed to the Chicago Sun-Times that she would tolerate no lesbians on her team. In 1991 Penn State changed its policies to include sexual orientation as a protected class. By all accounts Portland failed to change her team policies to comply. In 2005 Portland and the school were sued by an former basketball player on the basis that Portland's policies violated the school's. During the suit Paterno was publicly supportive of Portland. Shortly after the suit was "amicably" settled in 2007, Portland resigned as coach.

I include so many dates, because it's rather amazing to see that as Jerry Sandusky was abusing young boys and Paterno knew about it (while there is great debate about how early Paterno and the school knew about Sandusky's behavior, there is no doubt that everyone who could have done something about it knew no later than 2002) Portland was flagrantly violating school policy and Paterno wasn't just turning a blind eye, but vocally endorsing her behavior.

There is a rotten core at Penn State. There are too many people who allowed too much to happen. There is an entirely rogue athletic department and an administration addicted to the money they think it makes. Perhaps when the lawsuits start rolling in and the money being made on football flows right back out to these kids something might change, but right now I don't think there's anything the NCAA can do to fix Penn State. I just hope everything they've done will keep other schools from heading down the same path.
yonihamagid: (sports)
Religion in sports annoys the hell out of me.

G-d didn't help you make that touchdown.

Jesus wasn't the 6th man on the basketball court.

Claiming G-d's agency in your success not only is Calvinist shorthand for claiming to be the better person, but is calling your opponent a worthless sinner.

Currently, there is only one professional athlete whose expression of religion I find wholly appropriate and beneficial.

Because Jesus did rescue Josh Hamilton.

That I don't believe Jesus is the messiah has nothing to do with this. That Josh believes is all that's important. Because it was building a close personal relationship with Him that elevated Josh out of the deepest hells he fell into. Without that relationship Josh would never have regained the career he drowned in booze and drugs.

So when Josh Hamilton says "I think about what G-d has done in my life, and everything I've done to mess it up, ... What God has allowed me to do, to come back from everything I've been through and still be able to play the game at the level I play it -- it's pretty amazing to think about that." I can only acknowledge that it is pretty amazing to think about.
yonihamagid: (sports)
The Dallas Stars are leading the NHL.

While this early in the season that's not a terribly good indicator of what the end of the season will bring, it is impossible to lose these points going forward.

I certainly agree with Stars color commentator Daryl Reaugh, it's time to stop fawning over freshman coach Glen Gulutzan and start strewing roses at the feet of Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. He is continuing his reign as the most important Star in history, following up his Stanley Cup playoff MVP award with an most valuable GM performance this year.
yonihamagid: (sports)
Joe Paterno fired. University President fired.

Good start.

What I don't want to see on Saturday is Joe Paterno's name, initials, silhouette, hairstyle or anything else emblazoned on signs, uniforms, helmets, sideline headphones or anything else.

Joe Paterno is not a victim here.

The football players are not victims here.

The only victims are the reportedly 20+ children victimized by Jerry Sandusky over at least 15 years

If someone at Penn State is thinking, the team will dedicate the remainder of the season to the victims of childhood sexual abuse. What I'd love to see, but would never ask of anyone, would be any of the members of the team who are victims of childhood sexual abuse coming forward to tell their story to honor those victims.
yonihamagid: (sports)
The meme going around about Joe Paterno is that he's a "decent man" who didn't follow through sufficiently and is now being victimized by a cruel media.

Bullshit

He has a pattern of taking the high road while those around him, those he supports publicly, do despicable things. Who in his circle other than Jerry Sandusky and Rene Portland have abused youths and destroyed lives while enjoying his complete and unwavering support?

But it's not just Paterno at the center of this storm Tim Curley was the Athletic Director and Graham Spanier was the University President during both of these obscene incidents.

Penn State and the culture Joe Paterno is lauded for have been exposed, repeatedly, as a fraud where those with the most to lose and the least power are held to standards that those with nothing in the game and all the power live lives without consequences or responsibility.

It's great to preach a sermon of responsibility, but if the only people held responsible by the institution are lesbians and graduate students, then you've never walked any walk of significance.
yonihamagid: (sports)
If the Rangers lose every game from here to the end of the season, they will have lost 49 of the "up for grabs" games and won 5 with a record of 59-103. I don't really see that happening, but it might be fun to track that as well over the last couple of months of the season.
yonihamagid: (sports)
OK, I've completely fallen down on this particular job, but I'm sure you'll excuse my preoccupation with a hospitalized mother over the vagaries of the Major League Baseball season.

At this point in the season, of the 34 games "up for grabs," the Rangers have won 24 and lost 10.

The Rangers are two losses away from the entire season loss total of the 2001 Seattle Mariners, 46. I think it's reasonable to expect they will not be eclipsing that particular record.
yonihamagid: (sports)
[livejournal.com profile] cdk reminded me of what I said almost a year ago.

I certainly wouldn't have put any money on, or even suggested, the possibility of my beloved Mavs doing the deed, but I did pretty much see this coming. < buffs fingernails on chest >
yonihamagid: (sports)
The Dallas Mavericks and I came to Dallas at the same time, Summer of 1980. They've been my team since the first game they ever played.

During the 80's, the were the team poised upon the edge of breaking out, peaking in 1989 when they came within a game of the Western Conference Championship and playing for the NBA Championship.

During the 90's they were the loveable losers who could never put a winning team on the floor, but put an entertaining team that played hard but could never quite make it.

And then the 00's, the terrible, terrible 00's. The decade of promise but no delivery. It was a team that should have been having tremendous success, but just couldn't quite pull it out (the less said about '05-'06-'07 the better).

But tonight dawned a new age, the age of Championship. The Dallas Mavericks are NBA Champions. They will be forever more NBA Champions. Dirk joins the NBA elite, and is no longer among the best that never won it all.

Tonight is a good night.

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