The  Sports  Page

Every year, millions of taxpayer dollars are poured into stadiums, hockey rinks, baseball parks, and other arenas in order to attract and retain professional sports teams in big cities.  Often the money is spent by the cities after a team "threatens" to leave the city.

When that happens, of course, the local news media act as the willing accomplices of the billionaires who own the teams.  As a practical matter, the news media have no choice.  If the news coverage on Channel 37, for example, exposes the local team's economic uselessness to the community, the chances are near zero that the sports anchor from Channel 37 will ever get access to the locker room after a big game.  And the station manager won't get free tickets to the game.

When city and state governments build facilities for sports organizations which are owned by billionaires, and raise taxes as a result, it is clearly an abuse of power.

In addition to stadiums and arenas, the government also spends your money on smaller projects that add to your tax burden.  For example, CAGW's List of Omnibus Earmarks includes

  • $750,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • $202,500 to the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, Sports Research Center in Patchogue, New York for facilities renovations
  • $405,000 to the Staten Island Soccer League of New York for facilities construction
  • $800,000 to the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority for facilities construction for the Mount VanHoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex
  • $90,000 for the City of Waterbury, Connecticut for an economic feasibility study focused on construction of a multi-purpose sports facility
  • $50,000 for "Pro Sports Outreach," whatever that is.

Obviously, there's no advertising on this page, so you might wonder about my motives.  I'm just not a sports fan.  I do not understand why otherwise sensible people pay hundreds of dollars per seat to watch a football game.  Football is an even mixture of hedonism and idolatry.  Basketball is about the same.  Baseball doesn't have cheerleaders, but it does have ballpark gluttony.  Look at the products that are advertised during a football game:  beer, luxury cars and pickup trucks, cell phones, and more beer.  Look at the halftime show at a football game:  It's a lurid display of godless titillation and hedonism.  Look at the "ring of honor" at the stadium:  It's idolatry.

In June, 2011, a quarter of a million people cheered in the streets as the Dallas Mavericks celebrated their championship with a parade (paid for by Mark Cuban [1] [2] [3] [4]) and a full day of televised self-aggrandizement.  But not one of the fans seems to understand that the basketball team's success does not benefit the fans in any way.  The fans went home sunburned and dehydrated and no better off than they were a month ago, yet they seem to think they've accomplished something.  I just don't get it.  How are you any better off if your favorite football team wins a game -- or every game?

This page has been put here to serve as an alarm to the overburdened taxpayer.  When a city government spends $10 million or $100 million on a stadium, where do you think the money came from?  Is the presence of a football team really so important?  Wouldn't you prefer to keep your money in your pocket, and let the billionaires pay their own bills?

Note:  Regular visitors, if any, may notice that the Sports Page now includes material about sports-related topics other than taxpayer-funded stadiums.  That material is at the bottom of the page.

In particular, the discussion about the allegedly offensive name of the football team in Washington DC is now covered on its own page.

A substantial section on this page deals with activist athletes injecting politics into sports.

Stadiums and arenas in general:

Here is a list of "stimulus bill" projects that include the word "Stadium."

New $53M Texas high school football stadium has state's largest video board.  The latest cathedral to pigskin is the new $50+ million Children's Health Stadium, which will host Prosper (Texas) High School.  Prosper is a northern suburb of Dallas.  In total, the stadium will seat 12,000 fans and houses the largest video board in any Texas high school stadium, football or otherwise.

Due to lawsuits and environmental red tape, nothing can be built in California — except sports arenas!
Welcome to California.  [Scroll down]  It's not just hard-core environmentalists who use CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] to block development.  CEQA is also a favored tool of businesses that use it to try to handicap competition (the Parking Spot sued LAX a few years ago over plans to connect a rail line to the airport, for instance); developers who attempt to hinder rival projects; NIMBYs who don't want anything new built near them; and unions that try to force developers to exclude non-union workers from construction projects.  Yet while CEQA deters housing construction, the policymakers manage to carve out exemptions or secure fast-track approvals for projects important to them, such as basketball arenas and football stadiums.

Redskins owner rolls up in $180M yacht to find title sponsor for new stadium.  Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder roared up to Cannes Lions in his $180 million yacht as ad sources speculated he's in town to find a title sponsor for the team's new stadium.  Snyder, worth an estimated $2.2 billion, hopes to build a new facility at the site of RFK Stadium — the team's historic former home — in DC.  He has reportedly been working with congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to include language in a new federal spending bill that would help pave the way for the new stadium.  The Redskins' lease for their current stadium, FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, expires in 2027, but Snyder has made it clear he'd like the team to leave the facility earlier if they can.

One of California's last black enclaves threatened by Inglewood's stadium deal.  Inglewood has come a long way since Dr. Dre proclaimed in the '90s that it was "always up to no good."  A surge of economic development is wiping away its reputation as a battle zone for rival gangs and promises to remake the city not only into a sports and entertainment mecca but also a cultural destination.  But now that Inglewood is on the come up, longtime residents and city officials face a different challenge:  Many who have weathered decades of hardship no longer can afford to live there and are being left out of the economic renaissance.

Elderly Woman Has Had Enough, Absolutely Slams NBA Owner Wanting Taxpayer Money.  The Phoenix Suns and the city of Phoenix have been at odds for quite some time now as the team's owner, Robert Sarver, looks for funds to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena.  Sarver says the arena needs $230 million in renovations and he's offering to cover only 35 percent of the costs.  Sarver wants the city to pay the other $150 million, and he has even threatened to move the team if his demands are not met.  This, obviously, hasn't sat well with many Phoenix residents, and one elderly lady in particular made her feelings on the subject very clear.

Why forking over tax subsidies to billion-dollar companies never pays off.  Many New Yorkers thought Amazon bailing on their second headquarters in Queens was a catastrophe, dashing the city's hope for 25,000 jobs and a multibillion-dollar economic boost.  But Pat Garofalo thinks we had a lucky escape.  "There's a long history of companies saying, 'We'll do all this stuff if you give us this money,' and then they just don't do it," says Garofalo, author of the new book, "The Billionaire Boondoggle:  How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs" (Thomas Dunne Books), out Tuesday.  The recent debacle of tech conglomerate Foxconn in Wisconsin is the perfect example, he says.  "Foxconn said, 'We're gonna create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin,'" he says of the company that received a $4.1 billion subsidy from the state.  "Then quietly, six months later, it was, 'Actually, no, it's just a couple thousand, and also never mind about that plant we were planning to build.'  You need to take [claims like these] with a grain of salt."

Honeywell got $40M in tax breaks to stay in N.J. but it's leaving anyway.  Honeywell International, Inc. confirmed Friday it is moving its corporate headquarters from Morris Plains to Charlotte, North Carolina, but that most jobs — at least for now — will remain in New Jersey.  The planned relocation comes just three years after the company received a $40 million tax credit to keep its headquarters in New Jersey, in a deal brokered and heralded by then-Gov. Chris Christie.  Morris Plans Mayor Frank Druetzler told NJ Advance Media the impending move, first reported on Thursday [11/29/2018], caught him by surprise.

Editor's note:
The next five articles linked below, and the two immediately above, pertain to the competitive selection process for the second headquarters building for Amazon.  In order to attract Amazon, the leaders of several large cities went to great lengths to show how compatible the cities and the company were, and apparently there was also a bidding war to see which cities would offer Amazon the biggest tax incentives.  Those special accommodations are the reason this topic is appropriate for the Sports Page.  Amazon could easily pay its own way without help from the local taxpayers:  "Amazon closed 2017 with over $30 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments."  [Source]  The residents of the cities that "won" this competition learned about the extent of the tax breaks and incentives only after the deal was finalized, and many of those residents were not too happy about it.

Amazon's HQ2 competition was a cruel bait-and-switch.  Amazon's decision-making process with regard to the placement of its second headquarters has taken place in a similarly public way, with the online giant soliciting bids from cities across the country, narrowing down the list of potential winners as time progressed, and finally, in a shocking twist worthy of reality TV, choosing two sites rather than one.  The two chosen cities are already considered winners in the global economy, two sites that need the influx of traffic and the increase in home prices less than anywhere outside of San Francisco, two sites filled with people ready to vent their annoyance about the imposition on their towns and the depletion of public coffers to bring jobs to their respective regions.

Just How Bad Are Those Payouts for Amazon HQ2?  The two-billion dollar payoff Amazon got to open its secondary headquarters in Crystal City, VA and in Queens, NYC, is so bad that even the New York Times had to ask, "Did New York and Virginia Overpay for Amazon?"  If you have to ask, you can't afford the subsidies.  What really stands out about this story though (hat tip to Michael Strain) is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's hilarious cluelessness.  Well, it's hysterical if you aren't a New York taxpayer.

Amazon's Great HQ2 Swindle.  With 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in infrastructure spending up for grabs, the largest development project in recent history generated enthusiasm as well as millions of dollars in free publicity.  It also garnered widespread criticism as community leaders and journalists condemned the secrecy of the bargaining process, and accused the tech giant of instigating a "bidding war" between mayors and governors desperate for economic invigoration.  A corporation valued at $1 trillion, critics claimed, should not be privy to taxpayer-funded handouts.  And yet, government officials in New York and Virginia did precisely that: the combined package includes tax breaks and subsidies worth more than $2 billion.

NY taxpayers to pay $48,000 per Amazon HQ job.  New York state is kicking in more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives for getting half of Amazon's second headquarters located in a section of Queens.  The Seattle-based company made its long-awaited announcement Tuesday, saying Long Island City and Alexandria, Virginia, will each get 25,000 jobs.  The online retailer also said it will open an operations hub in Nashville, creating 5,000 jobs.  Amazon will also receive as-yet unspecified incentives from New York City.

Amazon's 'HQ2' Ruse Exposes The Folly Of State Tax Incentives.  Looks like Amazon pulled a fast one on states with its promise of a big new HQ2.  After getting states to cough up billions of dollars in special tax giveaways, Amazon announced it was changing plans, and splitting the alleged new headquarters in two.  When will states learn that trying to seduce big companies this way is a losing strategy?

Don't you just love that new stadium smell?  [Scroll down]  The theme of this luncheon was clearly to begin the public campaign to bring the Redskins back to the city.  This welcome-home luncheon has been held in Virginia in recent years, and I'm sure there was symbolism in coming to Washington for the event this year.  The hope for the District is to sell Snyder on profiting from the development plans along the Anacostia River around the RFK site in exchange for building his stadium there.  Let us not forget, this was the location for a new Olympic stadium in the area's failed 2024 bid for the games.  Virginia?  Bowser got in her shot at the commonwealth — which has been the most public campaigner to build a new stadium for the team — when she asked where former Governor Terry McAuliffe was.  "Maybe he is missing, too," she said.  It was pretty cocky, yet warranted, because city officials know that the Virginia public lobbying of the Redskins under McAuliffe was bluster, for the most part.  This stadium is not going to be built in Loudoun County or any place else in the state.  Virginia says no to projects like these.

MLB's Tampa Bay Rays reveal plans for new $892M ballpark.  The Tampa Bay Rays have revealed the team's plans to build a new stadium that could be ready for the 2023 season.  The new ballpark would be built in the Ybor City section of Tampa and feature a translucent roof, sliding glass walls and artificial turf. [...] The project will cost an estimated total of $892 million, although the Rays don't have a funding plan yet, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Rays unveil their plans for an Ybor City ballpark.  The estimated price tag for the entire project is $892 million.  The ballpark itself is projected to cost $809 million and related infrastructure — including a parking garage and a pedestrian bridge over nearby Adamo Drive — is pegged at $83 million.  The cost of the stadium includes one of its standout features, a translucent roof expected to cost almost $245 million. [...] What's unclear, however, is where the team needs to have a financial deal for a new stadium ready before it can leave St. Pete, or only needs to give the city notice that it is moving to Ybor City.  Obviously, legal action could complicate the timetable.  Rays' share of the cost to build a new stadium:  That is also unclear.

MLB's most valuable teams:  Yankees worth $4 billion.  The New York Yankees are now worth $4 billion, as team valuations continue to grow across Major League Baseball.  The newest estimates from Forbes show that the Yankees are worth 8% more than last year.  The Bronx Bombers posted revenue of $619 million and an annual operating income of $14 million in 2017.  The average MLB club is valued at $1.645 billion, a 7% increase, although operating income fell due to heavier spending on marketing, player development and analytics, Forbes said.  Only one other team is worth more than $3 billion:  The Los Angeles Dodgers' value has jumped 9% to approximately $3 billion, and the team's operating income topped the Yankees at $68 million.

Petition calls on NSW government to scrap $2 billion stadium rebuild plans.  An online petition opposing the NSW government's plan to demolish and rebuild ANZ and Allianz stadiums at a cost of $2 billion has attracted tens of thousands of signatures.  The petition, which was posted on on Saturday evening [12/2/2017], has struck a chord with more than 50,000 signatures added by Sunday night.

NFL banks billions of dollars on the backs of taxpayers and small businesses.  The Cincinnati Bengals threatened the unthinkable in 1995.  Team owner Mike Brown vowed the team would move to Baltimore unless a new stadium was built.  Taxpayers in Hamilton County, Ohio, where Cincinnati is located, feared something greater than wounded civic pride if their football team left.  They worried that the Bengals' departure would spur an economic crisis throughout the region.  A University of Cincinnati study released at the time estimated that the Bengals added $77 million to the local economy.  Hamilton County residents could avert disaster, however.  All they needed to do was vote for a modest half-percent sales tax increase.  The tax increase and municipal bonds would cover the estimated $287 million needed to build the Bengals' new home.  Residents overwhelmingly approved the tax, and the Paul Brown Stadium for the Bengals opened in 2000 after cost overruns pushed the construction tab to nearly $450 million.

Politicians set to "double-down on stupid" with Montreal's Olympic-size money pit.  The 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and the stadium built for the event, rank as two of the biggest financial boondoggles to ever shakedown hapless taxpayers.  In 1973, it was estimated the stadium would cost $310 million but by 2006, after calculating repair costs, modifications and interest paid, the price of Olympic Stadium was almost $1.5 billion!  Now comes word that the infamous stadium lid — which never worked properly — needs to be replaced and Quebec's government wants to invest in a renovation that's expected to suck up a quarter-million in taxpayer dollars.

NFL steps into politics, fights tax cut bill with no stadium bond breaks.  The NFL has come out against House Republicans' tax cut bill, putting the league out on a political limb even as it deals with the fallout from national anthem protests.  Other big pro sports leagues are staying out of the fight, but a spokesman for the National Football League said teams don't want to lose a special tax break that allows them to use tax-free bonds to build stadiums.  The NFL says it deserves the break because new stadiums create jobs.

GOP bill slashes tax break for NFL, other pro sports stadiums.  It's not aimed specifically at the NFL, but the league owners who have been enjoying taxpayer help in building stadiums over the years would take a serious hit from House Republicans' new tax overhaul.  The GOP plan would prohibit professional sports stadiums from taking advantage of tax-exempt bonds, which state and local governments often float for important public works projects.  Generally used for roads, hospitals and the like, a number of communities have extended them to help out sports teams, usually as a way of enticing a team to stay in a community.  Axing the break would save $200 million over the next decade, according to early estimates.

Hillsborough stadium site holds promise.  Hillsborough County's selection of a promising site near downtown Tampa for a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays is a positive step toward keeping the franchise in the region. [...] Though it took two years to get to this point, the announcement Tuesday [10/24/2017] only begins the much more complex and contentious task of negotiating a multiparty stadium deal.

Building a corporate headquarters is a lot like building a stadium:
Something Is Rotten in Amazon's Request for Proposals.  Amazon says that HQ2 will be the equal of HQ1, its current headquarters in downtown Seattle, which consists of 33 buildings and 8.1 million square feet of prime office space.  If you were mayor of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, or any other big city you care to name, wouldn't you want to land a prize like that?  Wouldn't you like to own what could be seen as a 50 percent share in the future growth of one of the greatest companies ever to spring forth out of the entrepreneurial dust?  Does no one smell a rat here?

Maybe The NFL Shouldn't Be Using Taxpayer Money To Fund Their Stadiums.  A bi-partisan proposal to stop taxpayers from funding huge sports arenas has taken on a new urgency in light of the "take a knee" crusade sweeping across the NFL.  Back in June, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and James Lankford (R-OK) co-sponsored the bill, citing the ungodly amount the NFL generates on sales of everything from tickets to merchandise as a reason to stop the taxpayer from having to fund expensive mega sports stadiums.

The NFL Leaves America.  Near Detroit, the now-roofless Pontiac Silverdome sits as a colossal piece of litter that contributes to the blight of that once successful center of automobile manufacturing. Other cities, from Saint Louis to San Diego, have been harmed by the NFL taking big subsidies from local taxpayers and then, before public bonds are paid off, skipping town to a more profitable deal somewhere else.  Halftime performances at the Super Bowl, in front of the largest television audience of the year, have gone the way of commencement addresses at colleges where no conservative performers are allowed and no conservative messages permitted.  Bizarre occult themes are imposed on the captive audience during these shows.

NFL Pigskins at the Public Trough.  I first started tracking publicly subsidized sports boondoggles with my very first watchdog website, Porkwatch, back in 1999.  Since then, taxpayers at all levels of government have foot the bill for football stadiums to the tune of an estimated $1 billion every year.  Over the past decade, new tax-supported NFL stadiums rose up for the Indianapolis Colts (the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium), the Dallas Cowboys (the $1.15 billion AT&T Stadium) the New York Jets and Giants (the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings (the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium), the Atlanta Falcons (the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and the San Francisco 49ers (the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara).

Here's How Much Money the NFL Rakes in From Taxpayers.  The National Football League is now plunged into politics as players throughout the sport kneel for the national anthem and President Donald Trump continues to rebuke them publicly.  Undoubtedly, the situation has left many fans and non-fans of the league conflicted or angry.  This fiasco may, however, open the eyes of the public to a serious and generally unchecked issue: billionaire NFL owners sponging enormous amounts of money from taxpayers through crony capitalist schemes.  The fact is that a business that raked in $14 billion in revenue in 2016 is heavily subsidized by local, state, and federal money based on dubious claims about stimulating the economy.

Are All Millionaire Athletes Really That Dense?  With all the brouhaha about the athletes kneeling during the national anthem, I haven't seen much reporting on why they are protesting.  Social justice for blacks has been mouthed as the reason but that makes no sense coming from wealthy individuals who have been rewarded greatly for their talents.  Much of this flawed narrative arose after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. and the media misreporting led to the Black Lives Matter movement.  Black athletes starting wearing BLM t-shirts and holding up their hands shouting "Don't shoot" even though this version was based on a lie. [...] Do these glorified prima donnas in the NFL even know what racism is?  If America is so steeped in racial inequality, then how on earth are there so many multi-millionaire blacks in sports?

The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities.  Since the 1950s, taxpayers have been the primary investors in stadia built for the use of privately-owned professional sports teams.  Team owners have argued that sports facilities boost local economic activity; however, economic reasoning and empirical evidence suggest the opposite.  Public support for stadia is also driven by demand for community image, and owners of sports teams supply a scarce input into image enhancement — participation in the major league — for which they have been able to extract monopoly rents from dispersed taxpayers.

NFL Stadiums Have Collected Over $1.1 Billion in Federal Subsidies — Time to Cut Them Off.  According to FOX Sports[,] over the last 20 years, the American public has spent more than $7 billion dollars to build or renovate NFL stadiums, taking on 46 percent of the total costs of those projects.  It's time to cut them off.

Lost Weekend for the NFL.  Hard to imagine anyone feeling sorry for the National Football League.  The money, the TV ratings, the magnificently gaudy stadiums... professional football seems inevitable and unstoppable. [...] Fox, of course, switched to another game.  This one between the Redskins and the Los Rams.  The game was being played in the Los Angeles Coliseum which had been packed the night before for a college game, Texas vs.  USC.  But people who tuned in to watch the Cowboys vs. the Broncos could see that there were empty seats in the Coliseum.  And a lot of them.  As reported in the Washington Post, "... it would be generous to describe the Coliseum as half full. ..."

Kneeling for a Self-Deceiving Lie.  Forget Donald Trump for a moment (assuming that's possible) and go back to what initiated this whole escalating orgy of racial accusation that has overtaken football and other sports and you find one of the more despicable and self-destructive lies of our time — that the police are targeting minority communities.  Heather Mac Donald's excellent "The War on Cops" is chock full of statistics demonstrating why this is not only a lie, but the complete opposite of reality. [...] So why are all these multi-millionaires insulting the country that made them wildly rich and creating a national (even international) crisis about police brutality when, with rare exceptions, it's no longer there?  Do they actually believe their own lie?  Probably, to some extent, they do.  After all, they're surrounded by it.  The media — aka Democrats with press passes — constantly rattle on about the evils of the police in order to stir the racial pot.  It even got worse after Barack Obama was elected.

Kneeling as psychodrama therapy for the rich, black, and guilty.  The otiose craze for wealthy black people and their "supporters" to disrespect the American flag by kneeling in public — momentarily play-acting tragedy and grief in front of a TV camera — is psychodrama psychotherapy for the guilt they richly deserve to feel.  The histrionic fad started by Colin Kaepernick that has infected athletes, entertainers, and politicians like Representative Sheila Jackson Lee is expiation for the unconscious guilt these privileged people have earned for their heartless betrayal of black Americans.  Kaepernick's phony first plotline, that the worst problem for black people is the police, engenders defensive anxiety in its sheer stinking falsehood.  The big, deadly lie that white racism is to blame for all the problems of black Americans and that black people remain helpless victims in 2017 is so patently false.  As with all delusional systems, its maintenance causes rage and anxiety when challenged.

Michigan State police director facing calls to resign after she called NFL protesters 'millionaire anti-American Degenerates'.  The Michigan State Police director is facing calls to resign after sharing a Facebook message belittling athletes who kneel during the national anthem as 'anti-American degenerates'.  Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue shared a message on her Facebook page Sunday [9/24/2017] that stated athletes who take a knee during the pre-game national anthem are 'millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans' and 'a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.'  Hundreds of athletes have expressed they are taking a knee during the pre-game national anthem as a symbolic protest against racial oppression and incidents of police brutality against blacks.

Can We Please Stop Pretending the NFL Protests Have Anything to Do with Free Speech.  Following the lead of the now unemployed Colin Kaepernick and on the heels of some fiery rhetoric from President Trump on the matter, more National Football League players than ever knelt during the National Anthem on Sunday in order to protest the institutional white racism in America that they presume exists.  Invariably, there are the stock defenders of their actions invoking the First Amendment as an enshrined protection for their actions.  Even some unlikelier defenders, such as National Review, have framed this as a free speech issue.  To be perfectly clear, doing so is an exercise in stupidity.  The First Amendment provides Americans protection to enact displays of protest, certainly.  The question that goes continually and aggravatingly unaddressed is, protection from whom?

49ers, Rams Open Seasons With Plenty of Empty Seats in Stadiums.  The start of the NFL season is normally a pretty big deal across the country.  Apparently Los Angeles and San Francisco didn't get the memo.  The Rams and 49ers each opened their season at home Sunday, and both teams had to start their games with lots of empty seats in the stadium.  The Rams are hosting the the Colts, but it seems like the los Angeles fans are not that concerned about being there to see it in person.

The Editor says...
Uh-oh.  If you spend a billion dollars on a stadium, and then football's popularity disappears, that just about does it for your tourist-boom-town plans.

Take a look at this $72M high school football stadium in Katy, Texas.  A new $72 million high school football stadium is ready for kickoff this season in Katy, Texas.  The 12,000 seat Legacy Stadium is the most expensive high school football stadium ever built and will be shared by eight local high schools.  The stadium was voted on and paid for by taxpayers in the area, according to NBC News.

14-Year-Old Boy Collapses During Football Practice at Bronx School, Dies:  Cops.  A 14-year-old boy died after collapsing during football practice at a Bronx school Tuesday, authorities say.  Police say the teenager, identified as Dominick Bess, was running sprints during practice at Mount Saint Michael Academy on Murdock Avenue when he fainted.  Authorities responding to the 9:30 a.m. school found the boy unconscious; coaches attempted to revive him using CPR but could not.

Stadiums vs schools
Stadiums or Schools:  An Analysis of Public Expenditures.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Texas cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 11% between 2008 and 2016.  This includes a 17% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($1550 per college student), which has led to a nearly 25% increase, $1744/year, in tuition.  During the same period, Texas taxpayers paid $337 million to help build AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.  That figure amounts to over one-quarter the cost of what was, at the time, the nation's most expensive sports arena.  In 2016 Forbes ranked the Cowboys as the most valuable franchise in the entire world, placing their worth at $4 billion.

Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas is one of the worst taxpayer-funded fiscal sins of all time.  Las Vegas has long been known as "Sin City," and it will soon be home to one of the worst fiscal sins of all time:  On Oct. 14, 2016, the Nevada state legislature approved the largest taxpayer subsidy in American sports history.  As long as the NFL allowed the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas, taxpayers would fork over $750 million to help fund a new $1.9 billion stadium adjacent to the Vegas strip.  On March 27, 2017, NFL owners did just that, approving the move by a vote of 31-1.  The Raiders' move ends an 18-month process that saw NFL franchises relocate away from St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland.  Relocations are more common in the NFL than any other American sport.  In the last 40 years, 10 NFL teams have fled their homes, compared to seven each in the NBA and NHL, and just one MLB franchise.

Socialism for Sports Team Owners.  The people of Oakland went into mourning this week while those in Las Vegas celebrated the news that the National Football League's Raiders were abandoning the East Bay and heading to Sin City.  But while any sports fan understands the sadness felt in Oakland and the happiness in Las Vegas, the reaction from taxpayers in the two places should be quite different.  Those of Oakland should be cheering their government's refusal to be shaken down by the NFL, while the people of Nevada ought to be up in arms about the way they are about to be fleeced by billionaires.  The iconic franchise was lured to Nevada by the state legislature's approval of $750 million in financing toward the building of a $1.9 billion domed stadium where the team would play.  While the city of Oakland offered to donate 55 acres to be used for building a new stadium for the Raiders as well as infrastructure improvements that would benefit the team, the NFL preferred the more lucrative bribe from Las Vegas.

Odds are the NFL will bet on a team in Vegas.  The National Hockey League's newest team, the Golden Knights, face off on Vegas ice in October.  And the National Football League team formerly known as Oakland would like to kick off there come 2020 after a new $1.9 billion stadium is completed on 62 acres west of the Mandalay Bay Resort and I-15.  They'd share the 65,000-seat, blessedly-domed facility with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels.

Friday Night Priorities:  Spending on Stadiums vs.  Schools in Texas.  From Dallas Cowboys true believers to die-hard high school pigskin fans, many Texas residents take massive pride in their gridiron heroes. [...] In 2009, the Dallas Cowboys opened a stadium that cost $1.2 billion, and $325 million of that amount came from Texas taxpayers.  It's a common arrangement.  Nationally, between 2000 and 2015, the public has contributed more than $12 billion to the building of professional sports facilities.  According to University of Michigan professor Judith Grant Long (formerly of Harvard), the Houston Texans franchise is one of about a dozen NFL teams to receive more taxpayer money for stadium construction than the actual cost.  Did that team give the extra money back to the state?  No, they kept the remainder.

Could Derby Lane be the winning ticket in Rays stadium search?  When considering stadium sites in Tampa Bay for the Rays, there is one important factor that cannot be overlooked:  The perfect site does not exist.

The NFL's Most Valuable Teams 2016.  Relocation and new stadiums drove NFL team values 19% higher over the past year, to an average of $2.34 billion.  The Rams doubled in value, to $2.9 billion, after moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles.  The Rams are scheduled to play three seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving into a new stadium in Inglewood.  The Rams could soon be worth close to $4 billion if Stan Kroenke scores with his $3 billion mixed-use real estate project that could bring him hundreds of millions of dollars more than his team was making in St. Louis, net of the relocation fee he agreed to pay ($650 million over 10 years, in equal installments, starting after the 2019 season).

9 Signs You've Become A Tool Of The Entertainment Industrial Complex.  Are you ignoring the big questions in life, remaining neutral and apathetic to the great challenges we all face?  Here are some sure signs that this is indeed the case.  [#1] You've mistaken sports for actual warfare.  The natural human male drive for conquest and plunder has been co-opted by televised team sports, and people take it so seriously that sports riots are a growing form of civil unrest. [...] To be a tool for the entertainment industrial complex means that you are a non-combatant in the war for consciousness, and a non-threat to the powers that be.

San Antonio Stadium Subsidy Could Leave Taxpayers Holding the Ball.  Lawmakers in San Antonio, Texas and in surrounding Bexar County are giving the owners of the San Antonio Spurs, a privately owned National Basketball Association team, a total of $18 million in taxpayer funds to purchase Toyota Field, a local soccer stadium, in hopes of landing a professional soccer team within the next 10 years.  A new subsidiary of Spurs Sports and Entertainment, an ownership group led by Chairman Peter Holt, will be responsible for convincing Major League Soccer (MLS) to create a new team to play in the stadium.  Should the company fail to land an MLS team in the city, Spurs Sports and Entertainment will be allowed to keep up to $13 million in taxpayer funds received.

St. Louis to Start CalvinBall League.  St. Louis and the state of Missouri are itching to hand $400 million of their citizen's money to Stan Kroenke, a billionaire seven times over, in order to induce him to keep his  lousy  underperforming football team from absconding to LA or San Diego.  From a financial point of view football stadiums are lousy investments for cities.  From an environmental standpoint they are monuments to man-made global warming since they consist of concrete, the making of which is one of the worst known emitters of carbon dioxide.  From a utilitarian standpoint they are useless, being designed specifically for football which limits their utility at any other time than the 8 out of 365 afternoons they are used.  There are clearly better ways to use the money.

Price tag for Rams' Inglewood stadium could reach $2.66 billion.  The final price tag for a state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood proposed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke could reach $2.66 billion, team officials have told NFL senior staff and league owners. [...] The $2.66 billion price tag for the Inglewood stadium includes financing costs.  The 70,000-seat venue will be privately funded with personal seat licenses and a $200 million loan from the league's G-4 stadium program.  New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL's Giants and Jets, opened in 2010 with a $1.6 billion price tag making it the world's most expensive stadium built to date.  The Cowboy's AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the so-called "Jerry's World," and the 49ers new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara each came with $1.3 billion tabs.  The new Yankee Stadium came at a cost of $1.5 billion.

Detroit's Crony Capitalism Problem.  Anyone who wants to understand how Detroit got into its current mess should look at the new Red Wings arena that Michigan's powers-that-be recently decided to foist on it.  The arena is being sold as a win-win that'll position the city for a post bankruptcy comeback.  In reality, it is a body slam for Motown and a hat trick for Red Wings owner, billionaire Mike Ilitch.  The arena is the linchpin of a $650 million entertainment complex that Michigan's business and political elites — who include everyone from Governor Rick Snyder down to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing — have cooked up to revive Detroit after bankruptcy. [...] The arena itself, the first — and as of now the only certain — phase of the entertainment complex, is expected to cost $440 million in upfront capital expenditures.

Show-Me State Suckers Shell Out Super-Subsidies For NFL Rams.  Let's say you want to build a new house for yourself.  Otherwise, you tell your neighbors and your city council, you'll leave town, taking your money, tax payments, jobs, and prestige elsewhere.  What are the odds that legislators will cover at least 40 percent of your new house's costs?  And maybe throw another 15 percent your way too on naming rights to your deluxe manor and also let you collect all revenue from nights when you rent out the house to strangers for parties or other accomodations?  The odds are pretty low in most cities in America.  But if you own the NFL's Rams (who started out in Cleveland before heading to Los Angeles and then to St. Louis), you're in luck.

You Might As Well Watch the NFL Playoffs — You're Paying for Them.  NFL owners are professionals at convincing politicians to fund their stadiums with taxpayer dollars through the use of tax-free municipal bonds.  Though these financing tools were originally created by Congress to help fund roads and schools, they are now used to support a league that is worth $45 billion.

LA Rams Should Pay Back Public Funds to Missouri, Sen. McCaskill Says.  Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is planning to introduce legislation that would require sports franchises who have received public financing for their stadiums and other projects to pay back those funds if they "prematurely" relocate to another city.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that McCaskill, channeling the rage felt by many of her constituents in the Show-Me State over the NFL's decision to allow Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move his team from St. Louis to Los Angeles, wants to make sure the public is "treated fairly" if a team subsidized by taxpayer dollars decides to skip town before the bills are paid off, which is the case with the Rams.

Football is Coming Back to Los Angeles, But Should Taxpayers Be Cheering?  Since football was last in Los Angeles some 20 years ago, the U.S. has opened 101 new sports facilities and stadium finance experts say that almost all of them have received public funding totaling billions of dollars.  Civic leaders usually justify this expense by stating that stadiums will generate economic revenue and job opportunities for the city, but those gains are rarely ever realized.

Scott Walker To Commit $400 Million in Taxpayer Dollars for NBA Stadium Deal.  This [scandal] involves Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who's running on his tough-as-nails budget-cutting credentials.  Come tomorrow [8/12/2015], Walker will commit no less than $400 million of taxpayer money to a stadium deal to keep the NBA Bucks in Milwaukee: [...] That's bad enough, of course.  But what makes the situation even worse is that Walker is actually trying to sell it as something other politically motivated corporate welfare of the basest sort.

First glimpse of St Louis Rams' LA stadium that will be bigger and more expensive than any other in the World.  This is the first glimpse of the so-called 'NFL Disney World' that will be erected for the Rams' long-awaited return to Los Angeles. [...] And judging by the first mock-ups of their new stadium, their return will be far from low-key.  The glass-roofed, 80,000-seat stadium will build on what was once the Hollywood Park racetrack.

NFL will return to Los Angeles for 2016 season.  NFL owners voted 30-2 to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and to give the San Diego Chargers a one-year option to join the Rams in Inglewood.  The Rams' home will ultimately be on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood in what will be the league's biggest stadium by square feet, a low-slung, glass-roofed football palace with a projected opening in 2019 and a price tag that could approach $3 billion.

Chargers, Raiders, Rams all file L.A. relocation applications.  Monday [1/4/2016] was the first day teams could apply for relocation.  Although the Chargers and Raiders have joined forces in an effort to move to L.A., the situation remains fluid and unclear, with two potential sites in Carson (Chargers and Raiders) and Inglewood (Rams).  Each of the three teams have faced roadblocks in trying to fund new stadiums in their current cities, but the irony is that the team with the strongest and most viable effort to keep the team — the Rams — has an owner in Stan Kroenke who seems most eager to leave.  But in league circles, the belief is that the Chargers moving two hours up the coast is the most preferred choice.

Arlington council OKs teaming with Rangers on development next to ballpark.  The [Arlington, Texas] City Council agreed Tuesday night to use its stockpile of gas drilling cash to help the Texas Rangers finally develop land next to Globe Life Park.  The council unanimously approved several resolutions allowing the city staff to go forward with a deal for a 100,000-square-foot entertainment complex and upscale hotel across the street from the team's ballpark.  The $200 million project could get $50 million in city money plus perhaps another $50 million in tax incentives.

Arlington OKs $200M development partnership with the Rangers.  Arlington City Council unanimously approved a $200 million development on Tuesday night [12/15/2015] to be built near the ballpark.  The Rangers proposed a hotel and entertainment development that would also add space for conventions.

Arlington Council OKs $200M entertainment complex near ballpark.  The Arlington City Council on Tuesday [12/15/2015] approved an economic development project that will include a 100,000-square-foot entertainment complex near Globe Life Park, the home of the Texas Rangers.  The city said the $200 million project will be a public-private partnership between the city and the Texas Rangers baseball club.  The city will invest $50 million in the project, according to a release.

Garland ISD bond projects to cost millions more than voters were told.  [Scroll down]  The natatorium cost adjustments include $577,000 in design services, $560,000 in furniture, fixtures and equipment, and $7.3 million in construction. [...] [The natatorium was] introduced at $20.4 million in December 2013; presented to voters at $20.9 million November 2014; estimated at $31.6 million Sept. 21.

The 10 most expensive ballparks in America.  The average MLB ticket price rose 3.3 percent over last season to $28.94, the largest increase since 2009, according to Team Marketing Report, a sports marketing publisher.  The average Fan Cost Index, or FCI, is up 2.5 percent over last year to $211.68.  The FCI figure includes four adult average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four (regular) hot dogs, parking and two of the cheapest hats.  That might sound like you're getting a lot, but you'll also be spending a lot at these most expensive ballparks.

Frisco City Council OKs $39M in improvements for Toyota Stadium.  Frisco City Council on Tuesday night [9/15/2015] approved $39 million in improvements to Toyota Stadium, the home of the FC Dallas franchise in Major League Soccer.  The improvements could include housing the National Soccer Hall of Fame at the south end of the stadium, Soccer America Daily reported.  The hall of fame could attract additional tourism dollars to the area.

Frisco Looks At $39-Million Upgrade To Toyota Stadium.  Frisco city council will vote Tuesday [9/15/2015] on a proposed $39-million plan to upgrade Toyota Stadium, the home of the FC Dallas professional soccer team.  Some of the money would go towards an addition onto the south end of the stadium designed to house the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum.  The National Soccer Hall of Fame currently doesn't have a home.

The Editor says...
Notice that the arena is called Toyota Stadium, but it sounds as if Toyota doesn't pay a dime for maintenance or improvements.

St. Louis may build new football stadium with taxpayer dollars without taxpayer approval.  We've had a few discussions here in the past about sports franchise stadiums and the relative wisdom (or lack thereof) of taxpayers footing the bill for these billion dollar ventures to "relieve the burden" on the billionaire owners and millionaire players they hope to attract to their city.  It tends to wind up being a losing proposition for most of them, but in the end it's a decision that the voters will have to live with.  Unless, of course, you live in or around St. Louis, in which case a judge has conveniently removed the decision from their hands.

2024 boondoggle united opponents.  Finally, at long last, someone has gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.  And it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch — Boston 2024.

Detroit's rotting Silverdome stadium goes on the market for $30 million.  Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, the once proud home to the Detroit Lions that has become an empty, rotting shell, is up for sale again, with an asking price of about $30 million.  In its heyday, the Silverdome hosted the Super Bowl, a pope, the NBA finals, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, WrestleMania and dozens of other world-class acts and sporting events.

Oakland Is Home to Championship Teams, All of Them Looking to Leave.  The Warriors have plans to move back to San Francisco, to a glassy waterfront arena, as early as 2018.  The Raiders and the A's, trying to disconnect from each other and from the decaying stadium they share, are threatening to leave, too — the Raiders back to Los Angeles, the A's to San Jose or anywhere else that welcomes them to a better ballpark.

NFL Takes San Diego Hostage.  As the old saying goes, "If you threaten to build it, they will come."  Alright, so maybe that's not quite what Shoeless Joe meant in "Field of Dreams."  But the San Diego Chargers are proving it once again to be true.  All a team needs to do is threaten to leave town and its current city will come running with fistfuls of cash.

Brazil's World Cup Stadiums Fall to Kids Parties, Squatters, Bus Parking.  The hangover from 2014's FIFA World Cup is not yet over for Brazil.  Barely a year after the last of the fans disappeared, at least four of the 12 stadiums used for international matches are facing severe financial problems.  The monolithic sporting complexes, dubbed elefantinhos brancos (white elephants) by local media, have been hit hard by Brazil's financial crisis and many are now abandoned, face costly structural problems, and are even sheltering homeless Brazilians.  Brasilia's newly built Mané Garrincha stadium, the second most expensive ever built after the United Kingdom's Wembley Stadium, is now being used as a parking lot for 400 local buses.

The Editor says...
Yeah, but didn't we have a great time watching the World Cup on our fabulous new High-Def televisions?  Remember when that guy — oh what was his name? — remember when he kicked the ball and some other fellow kicked it right back in the opposite direction, and then that cycle was repeated about 500 times?  Man, what a game!  Throw the ball!  Catch the ball!  Kick the ball!  That's easily worth a few billion dollars in construction costs.

33 Strange Facts About America That Most Americans Would Be Shocked To Learn.  [#2] In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

Raiders, Chargers propose joint use stadium in Los Angeles.  The city of Los Angeles, which has been without a NFL team since 1995, may be home to two — possibly three — teams.  The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have jointly proposed to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Los Angeles that each team would share.  The proposal is for a privately financed stadium to be built in Carson, located about 10 miles south of Los Angeles, representatives from each team said during an announcement Thursday [2/19/2015].

The bad economics of hosting the Super Bowl.  Sports economists say hosting Super Bowl XLIX won't create a huge economic boost for the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area, despite thousands of football fans traveling to the area.  Like most Super Bowl host cities, the Phoenix metropolitan area is already a large economy, approximately $210 billion in size.  To increase the metropolitan economy by just 1 percent, the Super Bowl would have to create more than $2 billion in economic growth.  For comparison, a study funded by the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee found that visitors spent $218 million when the area hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.

Super Bowl Host City Still Reeling Over Sports Deals.  Glendale bet big on professional sports in the last 15 years, spending millions of dollars on a hockey arena for the Arizona Coyotes and investing heavily in a spring training ballpark for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.  Then the economy tanked, and the hockey team went through bankruptcy, with several different owners in recent years.

Eminent domain use for possible Olympic site feared.  Should Boston ultimately be tapped to host the 2024 Summer Games, the use of eminent domain will be a tempting option to help clear prized land for Olympic venues, but deploying it, warns a legal expert, could cause disastrous ripple effects with lasting economic harm.  "There is a long history of using eminent domain to try to promote economic development.  Most of the time what happens is it tends to destroy more development than it actually creates," said Ilya Somin, a George Mason University property law professor.  "It destroys existing businesses and homes.  It undermines the security of property rights and it tends to destroy people's social ties in their neighborhoods."

The Redevelopment Racket.  The justifications that governments give for subsidizing private developments are often dubious, but this was particularly so for a recent New Jersey deal.  This summer, the state granted $82 million in tax credits to the Philadelphia 76ers to build a practice facility in Camden.  Although it will create only 50 jobs and be closed to the public, officials believe that its waterfront presence will uplift the city.  The credit was granted by a heavily indebted state to the team's billionaire owner, for a city that suffers 16 percent unemployment and 42 percent poverty, and recently cut half of its police force.

San Fran Kisses Its 70,000-Person Toilet Goodbye.  Candlestick Park, born in 1960 and scheduled to be executed presently, was an unpleasant, uncomfortable, cold, remote, windblown penitentiary located as far from San Francisco as this city's mythical 49-square-mile limit permitted.

Sitting empty, Bears Stadium costs Newark, Essex County millions.  Newark, where more than a quarter of residents live in poverty, is stuck paying $1 million a year on bonds for a baseball park that's lost its main tenant.  The $34 million Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, envisioned as a pillar of development in the state's most populous city when it opened in 1999, is mostly silent this season after the Newark Bears folded amid dwindling attendance.  The owners are trying to sell the club after putting belongings, including the team bus, up for auction in April.

Mayor's alternative to Walmart? Downtown baseball stadium.  In an effort to block Walmart's proposed store in the city's downtown, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt is pitching the idea of instead using the site for a new baseball stadium.  Schmitt has floated the stadium idea privately to several aldermen and other civic leaders as an alternative to Walmart's planned retail superstore in the Broadway shopping district.

Trump would put up his own money for new Bills stadium if bid is accepted.  Billionaire developer Donald Trump said Monday [5/26/2014] that he's willing to put up some of his own money to help build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills if his bid to buy the team is successful.  Asked about contributing money to a new Bills stadium during a brief interview before a speech at the National Press Club, Trump said, "I think I would.  If my bid were accepted, I would certainly do what I could do."  The new Bills stadium is likely to involve public financing as well, Trump said in the interview, in which he reiterated the team's need for a new facility and said his employees had already scouted out a couple of good stadium sites in Buffalo.

Very slightly off-topic:
Chris Christie backers awarded $223m tax break to build New Jersey mall.  A major new shopping mall and housing development in New Jersey, which is controlled by the biggest corporate funders of Chris Christie's official mansion, has been awarded a $223m public subsidy by the governor's administration.  Luxury Point, a vast retail, residential and entertainment complex to be built in Sayreville, was last month given one of the biggest corporate tax breaks handed out so far by the Republican governor's state authorities, which are facing a $2.7bn budget shortfall over the next year.

Just a little off-topic:
$6M in tax credits for firm to move one floor up in Jersey City office tower.  An Atlanta-based payment processing firm that rents space on the 39th floor of a Downtown Jersey City tower will receive $6 million in state tax credits over the next 20 years to move one floor up in the same building.  The state Economic Development Authority approved the tax credits at its August meeting, saying First Data was considering a move to Atlanta.  First Data's Jersey City expansion will result in 74 new jobs, a figure touted yesterday by Mayor Steve Fulop, who said the deal is proof that Jersey City is becoming a "preferred location" for businesses.

Brazil World Cup Extremely Costly.  Brazil's World Cup stadium will cost $900 million in public funds due to allegedly fraudulent billing, the Associated Press reports.  The cost of the stadium has tripled, making it the world's second-most expensive soccer stadium.

Brazil's advice to World Cup tourists: 'Don't scream if robbed'.  Rather than ignore the many problems plaguing the country's preparations for its games — drought, murder, striking police,  ballooning costs, mismanagement and Dengue fever — police are inching toward resignation.  They know Rio de Janeiro state, which saw more than 4,000 murders in 2012, is pretty dangerous.  And the 600,000 tourists who are expected to descend upon Rio should know it, too.  So Rio police have compiled a list of tips on navigating the city's violence, including asking tourists to refrain from screaming if someone robs them.

Super Bowl cost NJ Transit $5.6 million.  New Jersey's playing host to the Super Bowl cost NJ Transit $5.6 million, its executive director told a state Senate panel Thursday [5/1/2014].  Ronnie Hakim said expenses to the agency — which moved ticketholders from Secaucus Junction to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford for the Feb. 2 game — were $7.2 million, including overtime and other costs during Super Bowl week.  That was offset by $1.6 million in revenue from ticket sales and Pepsi advertising on, on trains and throughout the Secaucus Junction station, she said.

Hot dogs, Cracker Jack and ballpark welfare.  Lawmakers from Miami to San Diego to Seattle have spent hundreds of millions of public dollars on ballparks so billionaire owners didn't have to reach into their own pockets to pay for a place to put their businesses.  In Miami, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria persuaded Miami-Dade County taxpayers to build a baseball stadium with a retractable roof for his team in Little Havana.  By the time taxpayers pay off the interest, the stadium will have cost the public $3 billion.  Despite guarantees that the stadium, which opened in 2012, would lure fans to the park in droves, the Marlins rank 26th in the majors in attendance, drawing fewer than 20,000 fans a game.

Public Funding of Sports Stadiums:  Spreadsheet appears to show the percentage of public funding for each of 54 arenas.

Football: A Waste of Taxpayers' Money.  The NFL's Vikings are lousy at scoring touchdowns — they have the worst record in the NFC North — but they've proven remarkably adept in shaking down Minnesotans for free money.  Next year they'll be playing ball in a brand-spanking new $975 million complex in downtown Minneapolis, more than half of whose cost is being picked up by state and local taxpayers.

Florida Court Allows Taking Of Private Land To Build A Major League Soccer Stadium.  Last Friday [1/31/2014], the Orlando Sentinel and News 13 Orlando both reported that a Florida Circuit Court upheld the City of Orlando's decision to take private property located on West Church Street to build a soccer stadium for Orlando City SC, which is Major League Soccer's newest expansion team.

Bankruptcy Hasn't Stopped Detroit's Plan for Public Funding of New Sports Stadium.  Detroit is declaring bankruptcy while its city council considers contributing public money to build a new Hockey Stadium for the billionaire owner of the Red Wings.

The Dark Side of the Atlanta Braves New Stadium.  Why would the Braves move from a convenient, fan-friendly stadium that's only 17 years old to the traffic gridlock hell at the interchange of interstates I-75 and I-285?  Because Cobb County officials bribed the team's owners with $450 million of taxpayers' money, that's why.  That means failing business owners, struggling single mothers, the unemployed and families fighting to make ends meet will be forced to pick up most of the tab for the cost of a new state-of-the-art baseball stadium so the team's owners don't have to.

Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb.  Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller, in a meeting with a small group of reporters, said the new ballpark will be built at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area.  They said the team has "secured" approximately 60 acres of land for the project.  The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in partnership with Cobb County.

It's (Financially) In the Hole!  The Red Wing City Council put Mississippi National Golf Links out to pasture for the year, buying time to sort out what's become a $150,000 annual financial handicap on average for local taxpayers.  "We all know what the lay of the land is for golf courses," said Rick Moskwa, public works director in Red Wing.  "They're all struggling.  There's an over-saturation in this area for sure but I don't know what the likelihood of somebody coming in and saying we're interested in running something like this is and if that's even possible that it can bankroll itself."

Eminent domain and the Sacramento Kings.  Apparently we have arrived in the brave new world where the government can seize the property of private businesses such as Macy's or of individual homeowners and declare that it's in the public interest to put a privately owned soccer stadium in its place.  And this assertion is made in the face of historical evidence, as [Ilya] Somin points out, that sports stadiums almost always turn out to be economic losers for the communities where they are constructed.

Denial in Detroit as City Plans $400 Million Taxpayer Funded Hockey Arena.  Defenders of the plan say that it is part of an overall economic development scheme and will "provide jobs."

New $444 million hockey arena is still a go in Detroit.  Detroit's financial crisis hasn't derailed the city's plans to spend more than $400 million in Michigan taxpayer funds on a new hockey arena for the Red Wings.  Advocates of the arena say it's the kind of economic development needed to attract both people and private investment dollars into downtown Detroit.

Sacramento Bids $574 Million to Keep NBA's Kings.  In a bid to keep the city's lone major professional sports team from bolting to Seattle, Sacramento's City Council has voted to approve a deal for a new downtown arena for the NBA's Sacramento Kings.  The deal is estimated to cost taxpayers at least $574 million in debt payments over the 35-year life of the bonds that would be issued to fund the arena's construction.

Cubs Pledge $300 Mil. to Renovate Wrigley Field.  The owners of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team say they are willing to spend $300 million of their own money to renovate their home ballpark, the nearly 100-year-old Wrigley Field.  In 2012 the Ricketts family, who own the Cubs, appeared to be closing in on a taxpayer-funded stadium renovation plan with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  But Emanuel backed away after Cubs trustee/owner Joe Ricketts considered funding a TV commercial campaign against the reelection of President Barack Obama.

Chicago Suburb Borrows Millions to Repay Stadium Debt.  Saddled with debt payments after sinking $135 million into the construction of a soccer stadium, the Chicago-area suburb of Bridgeview recently had to borrow an additional $27 million to cover required bond payments.  The Chicago Tribune reported the new borrowing comes on top of more than $218 million in debt cited in the village's 2011 audited statements.

Bill Aims to Slow Borrowing by Illinois Municipalities.  The bill comes in the wake of news stories about property taxes soaring in numerous communities where local governments have borrowed money with the promise it would cost taxpayers nothing.  Sports stadiums, golf courses, village halls, and other facilities built or bought with alternate revenue bonds are supposed to generate enough money to repay the debts.  In many instances, the revenues have fallen woefully short, forcing taxpayers to cover the difference.

Small Town Gets Big-League Debt with Stadium Deal.  While large cities tend to receive attention for big-league deals giving tax money to build stadiums for pro sports teams, small towns have also been stepping up to the plate to lure minor-league or second-tier professional sports teams.  Many of those small towns are losing big.  One is Bridgeview, Illinois, which is in dire financial straits because its taxpayer-owned soccer stadium has failed to generate the promised operational revenues and regional economic benefits that stadium backers had touted.  The town built the stadium with $135 million in general-obligation bonds.

Minnesota to Send Nearly $500 Million to Billionaire Team Owners.  Nearly $500 million in taxpayer subsidies will go to a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.  Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) signed the bill authorizing the taxpayer giveaway in May.  Many Vikings fans greeted the bill signing with jubilation.  Taxpayer advocates and economists who study the impact of sports stadiums warned the promised benefits are unlikely to materialize.  The team's principal owner is billionaire real estate magnate Zygmunt Wilf.

"Wastebook 2012":  The National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) classify themselves as non-profit organizations to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings.  Smaller sports leagues, such as the National Lacrosse League, are also using the tax status.  Taxpayers may be losing at least $91 million subsidizing these tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits. [...] Almost half of professional football teams are valued at over $1 billion.

STOP the Wilmington Tax-Funded Stadium.  A local baseball stadium will do nothing in any impactful way to stimulate our local eocnomy.  The etaphor of filling one side of a swimming pool with water collected from the opposite side explains this perfectly.  Local residents do not bury their expendable cash for entertainment purposes in a coffee can in the backyard waiting for a stadium to be built.  They currently spend what they can afford in our many already existing local attractions, shopping, and dining.  A baseball stadium will do nothing more than redirect a family's entertainment funds that would have been spent anyway in the local economy elsewhere.

Minnesota to Send Nearly $500 Million to Billionaire Team Owners.  Nearly $500 million in taxpayer subsidies will go to a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.  Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) signed the bill authorizing the taxpayer giveaway in May. Many Vikings fans greeted the bill-signing with jubilation.  Taxpayer advocates and economists who study the impact of sports stadiums warned the promised benefits are unlikely to materialize.  The team's principal owner is billionaire real estate magnate Zygmunt Wilf.

St. Louis Rejects $700 Million Stadium Renovation Plan.  The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) has rejected a proposal for an estimated $700 million in renovations to the Edward Jones Dome, home field of the Rams of the National Football League.  The CVC's decision to reject the Rams' proposal, announced in early June, follows the team's rejection of a proposal by the CVC for $124 million in renovations.  The matter could go to arbitration.  The CVC has the authority to accept or reject any plan the arbitrators select or create.

Hell to the Redskins.  When compared to the $498 million fleecing Minnesota taxpayers just endured, the $6.4 million Virginia taxpayers will be spending — thanks to Republican Governor Bob McDonnell — on improvements to the Redskins' training facilities looks like small potatoes.  Regardless of size, both the Vikings' new stadium and the Redskins "deal" feature the same credulous acceptance of imaginary threats, insider dealing and Babbitt boosterism that undermines the democratic process and contributes to voter alienation.

Public Funding of Sports Stadiums.  Since 2000, 28 new major league stadiums have been built costing over $9 billion dollars.  More than half, over $5 billion, of the costs of the new stadiums were funded using public dollars.  In Utah, 4 stadiums have been built since 1991 costing $386 million in today's dollars; $200 million (in today's dollars) of that total was paid out of the coffers of Utah cities, Salt Lake County and the State of Utah.

Game over: Public financing of stadiums.  For years, owners got their way — mostly by pitting one market against another, preying on civic insecurity.  "If you don't give me what I want, I might be forced to relocate my team to a city with more appreciative fans."  Now, though, the cleat is on the other foot.  It's the taxpayers pitting owners against owners.  "If teams in other cities can build their pavilions without public help," they ask, "Why can't you?"

New stadiums — taking from the old and sick and giving to millionaires.  When new sport stadiums are financed with public money, research has shown that the population is actually worse off economically than before the stadium.  This flies in the face of the argument that stadium proponents advance, mainly that a new stadium brings new jobs and economic expansion.  Let's look at the costs and benefits from a new stadium from both the perspective of the team, and of the "public."

Public Funding of Stadiums Archives.  A seven-year collection of news stories.

Media Bias and Public Stadium Funding.  If these are such obviously bad deals, then why does the public tolerate the public funding of sports venues?  [Rick] Eckstein has an answer.

Stadium promises never pay.  [Scroll down]  In a just-released article in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, my colleagues and I studied media coverage of 23 publicly financed stadium initiatives in 16 different cities, including Philadelphia.  We found that the mainstream media in most of these cities is noticeably biased toward supporting publicly financed stadiums, which has a significant impact on the initiatives' success.  This bias usually takes the form of uncritically parroting stadium proponents' economic and social promises, quoting stadium supporters far more frequently than stadium opponents, overlooking the numerous objective academic studies on the topic, and failing to independently examine the multitude of failed stadium-centered promises throughout the country, especially those in oft-cited "success cities" such as Denver and Cleveland.

An Examination of Sporting Event Economic Impact Studies.  Economists widely believe that studies sponsored by leagues and events exaggerate the economic impact that professional franchises and large sporting events make on local communities.  Such overstatement results from several factors.  First, the studies often ignore the substitution effect.  To the extent that attendees at a sporting event spend their money on that event instead of on other activities in the local economy, the sporting event simply results in reallocation of expenditures in the economy, rather than in real net increases in economic activity.

Metropolitan Prosperity From Major League Sports in the CBD.  Whether it is publicly or privately financed, a metropolitan area receives the same benefits from an arena or a stadium.  Nevertheless, usually at least a portion of the $100 to $500 million cost of a new arena or stadium is funded with public dollars.  The reason is that owners of professional sports teams have been effective at threatening city officials with alternative locations.  One important issue, then, is whether the employment and income benefits from the new sports facility are greater than the public cost.

The Growth Effects of Sport Franchises, Stadia and Arenas.  This paper investigates the relationship between professional sports franchises and venues and real per capita personal income in 37 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States over the period 1969-1994.  Our empirical framework accounts for the entry and departure of professional football, basketball and baseball franchises; the construction of arenas and stadia; and other sports-related factors over this time period.  In contrast to other existing studies, we find evidence that some professional sports franchises reduce the level of per capita personal income in metropolitan areas and have no effect on the growth in per capita income, casting doubt on the ability of a new sports franchise or facility to spur economic growth.

Eleven Sources of Misapplication.  Many sports events, facilities, and franchises are subsidized either directly or indirectly by investments from public sector funds.  The scarcity of tax dollars has led to growing public scrutiny of their allocations.

Public Funding of Sports Stadiums.  Since 2000, 28 new major league stadiums have been built costing over nine billion dollars.  More than half, over $5 billion, of the costs of the new stadiums were funded using public dollars. ... Across the nation, franchises have argued that building a new stadium will lead to economic development in the form of increased incomes, jobs and tax revenues.  However, the preponderance of academic research has disputed these claims.

The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic Development.  The evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city and building that franchise a new stadium or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita income and may reduce the level of real per capita income in that city.  Yet government decisionmakers and politicians continue to try to attract professional sports franchises to cities, or use public funds to construct elaborate new facilities in order to keep existing franchises from moving. ... However, regardless of the size of the nonpecuniary benefits, one thing is clear from the evidence on professional sports franchises:  owners are reaping substantial benefits in the value of their teams because they are so skilled at the stadium gambit.

C.L.A.S.S. Action U.S.A. — Cincinnati Chapter.  The Citizens' League Against Subsidized Sports is an initiative designed to restore fiscal sanity to the relationship between professional teams and the communities that host them.  Professional sports franchises are a multi-billion dollar business nationwide.  Yet in cities across the country, those cash-rich organizations say they "need" taxpayers to cover their business expenses — specifically, the maintenance and operation of stadiums which were built originally with taxpayer dollars.

Group Begins Effort to Put Ticket Tax on the Ballot.  A local group is beginning an effort to put a ticket tax on the ballot in November to help eliminate the deficit in the stadium fund.  Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune held a news conference Saturday [5/21/2011] to announce the plan.  Paperwork he provided shows the group's name would be CLASS Action.  It stands for the Citizens League Against Subsidized Sports.

Group Wants to Shift Stadium Costs to Primary Users.  In 1996, Hamilton County voters approved a sales tax to pay for the construction of Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park.  The sales tax hasn't kept up with projections, meaning County leaders have had to pay the bills with money from other sources.  Also, the lease requires the County to pay for much of the maintainence and upkeep at the stadiums, and those costs are rising as the two faciliities age.  Todd Portune says those who use the stadium the most should be the ones paying for them, not the average taxpayer.

The Municipal Debt Bubble:  When state and local governments want to spend more than they collect in revenues, they issue bonds.  Such bonds are a longstanding feature of the American landscape, going back at least as far as 1812, but during the last decade they have spun out of control, as states and cities have increased their borrowing to indulge in more and more spending on new stadiums, schools, bridges, and museums.  They have even started borrowing to cover their basic operational expenses.  Since 2000 the total outstanding state and municipal bond debt, adjusted for inflation, has soared from $1.5 trillion to $2.8 trillion.  The recession didn't slow the spending.

Electorate Energized in the Sunshine State.  Politicians in both parties should cast their eyes towards Miami if they believe they can continue to ignore the will of the electorate.  Republican Mayor Carlos Alvarez who was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, was given the boot in a recall election that was stunning in terms of percentages.  With one hundred percent of the vote counted, 88% of Miami-Dade voters decided enough was enough.  What did Alvarez in?  Tax hikes, raises for members of his inner circle, and an ill-fated decision to have taxpayers underwrite a portion of the building costs for a new Florida Marlins baseball stadium.

Want Economic Stimulus?  Don't Build a Sports Stadium!  For the last few decades sports teams across the country have nosed up to the public trough and demanded that states and cities chip in millions for the construction of new sports stadiums.  To justify the public expense the claim has been made that these monstrous construction projects bring a wealth of jobs and spending on entertainment and are a boon to any city that will fund them.  But are they?  Do these multi-million dollar projects bring such lucrative benefits to the cities and states that pay through the nose for them?

Sports Stadiums as Wise Investments.  In some respects, not much has changed since the early days of professional sports.  Today, one of the most popular ways for a city to demonstrate its interest in a professional sports franchise is to possess a facility in which the team can play.  In other respects, however, a great deal has changed since [William] Cammeyer opened the first stadium.  Today, the facility used to attract a franchise is not likely to be owned by a private entrepreneur manager-owner, but rather by a government agency.

America's Municipal Debt Racket.  New Jersey officials recently celebrated the selection of the new stadium in the Meadowlands sports complex as the site of the 2014 Super Bowl.  Absent from the festivities was any sense of the burden the complex has become for taxpayers.  Nearly 40 years ago the Garden State borrowed $302 million to begin constructing the Meadowlands.  The goal was to pay off the bonds in 25 years. ... Today, the authority that runs the Meadowlands is in hock for $830 million, which it can't pay back.

Blocked party: NFL bars host town from using 'Super Bowl' name.  The sports world is converging on East Rutherford (pop. 8,978) for Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and all the town wanted to do was have a little block party for locals not rich or lucky enough to have tickets.  The NFL can't stop the party, but they did bar East Rutherford from using the phrase "Super Bowl" in any description of the humble event, set to take place Sunday afternoon in the shadow of the town's most famous building, MetLife Stadium.

As Super Bowl exits NJ, taxpayers on hook for many expenses.  As the NFL packs out of town, with their self-proclaimed all-American extravaganza, we should say good riddance, and make sure they don't come back with their big money, big everything, big game.  Because you, New Jersey taxpayer, are on the hook for the league's big party for itself.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Admit Their Guitars Were Unplugged During [...] Halftime Show.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been in hot water this week after careful analysis of the [big] halftime show footage revealed that the band's instruments weren't plugged in to anything.  Flea, the Peppers' zany bassist, took to the band's blog Tuesday evening [2/4/2014] to explain why they were essentially playing air guitar alongside headliner Bruno Mars.

The Editor says...
A lot of people paid a lot of money to see the Big Event, and the halftime show is supposed to be a significant inducement to attend.  If I had bought an expensive ticket and ended up watching a lip sync show, I'd be plenty miffed.

Politicians Smother Cities.  [Scroll down]  Politicians claim that stadiums increase the number of jobs.  Not so, says J.C. Bradbury, author of The Baseball Economist:  The Real Game Exposed.  "There's a huge consensus among economists that there is no economic development benefit to having these stadiums," he says.  The stadiums do create jobs for construction workers and some vendors.  But "it's a case of the seen and the unseen," Bradbury says, alluding to the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat.  "It's very easy to see a new stadium going up. ... But what you don't see is that something else didn't get built across town. ... It's just transferring from one place to the other.

Build It, Or Else.  The Seattle Supersonics have determined that their home, Key Arena — last refurbished 10 years ago to the tune of $95 million — is deficient.  Only 45 percent of Key Arena's suites are rented, whereas in other cities the suites run at 90 percent to 100 percent capacity. … So the team's principal owner, Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, has begun reading from a well-thumbed script.

Opening day subsidies:  Publicly funded sports stadiums are like crack cocaine to local politicians and business bigwigs.  These folks are just like addicts:  They deceive everyone around them for the sake of a fix and rarely take no for an answer when voters decline to subsidize their schemes.  Instead, they resort to theft — in the form of dubious hotel, sales, and other taxes — to pay for their fix, forcing citizens who couldn't care less about sports to subsidize teams.

Public welfare for billionaires — Pro-Sports Stadiums.  Owners of pro-sports franchises are pressuring many cities to provide luxurious stadiums at taxpayer expense. But some communities are throwing up a tough defense.

Eight reasons to reject publicly financed stadiums for professional sports teams:  Providing public subsidies for private stadiums in corporate welfare plain and simple.  Public subsidies for stadiums go directly into the pockets of team owners and players by increasing profits, player salaries and raising the re-sale value of the team. … The billionaire team owners and the players profit, but the taxpayer doesn't see a dime.

This material came from, Copyright 2011.Does Public Investment in Municipal Sports Stadiums Pay Off?  Critics of public investment in new stadiums also note that the multiplier effects of new stadiums is likely to be small since most new stadiums contain larger parking, restaurant, souvenir, and other concession facilities.  This reduces the amount of spillover benefits in the neighboring community.  Most economic studies have found that the local economy receives at best only limited economic benefits from the construction of such stadiums.

Public Subsidies For Sports Stadiums Don't Spur Economic Growth.  America is in the midst of a sports stadium building binge fueled by a considerable dose of public funding.  Nationally, public subsidies for stadiums exceed $500 million a year.  Oklahoma City joined the building binge by funding a new 18,000-seat arena as part of the MAPS program.  Subsidies have not been limited to major league sports; many communities have built facilities for minor-league sports teams as well.

Financing Professional Sports Facilities:  Public financing of large public facilities is always a challenge.  Will it be worth the cost?  How will the construction costs be funded?  Is it an appropriate use of public funds?  Advocates for new sports facilities often stress the economic benefits that a new facility can bring to the community.  Opponents frequently point out that many economic impact studies on the topic have found that the benefits may not be substantial.

Stadium Finance:  Government's Role in the 1990s.  Public financing of sports facilities for professional sports teams has been the subject of growing controversy in recent years.  For decades, full public financing of sports stadiums and arenas was the norm.  In the last decade, however, demands for more elaborate and costly facilities on the part of owners and the increasingly limited resources of state and local governments have challenged the wisdom of this policy.

My stadium's better than your stadium....  "I'm not sure it's stadium envy as much as it is the machinery of state and local politics and getting politically potent people the things they want," said Rodney Fort, an economics professor at Washington State University who has co-written a book on stadium construction and politics of sports titled, "Hard Ball, The Abuse of Power in Pro Team Sports."

Rich People Versus Politicians:  Legalized corruption is widespread and that's the job of 35,000 Washington, D.C., lobbyists earning millions upon millions of dollars. ... For the right price, a tax loophole, saving a company tens of millions of dollars, can be inserted into tax law, a la the Charlie Rangel scandal.  At state levels, governors can award public works contracts to a generous constituent.  At the local levels mayors can confer favors such as providing subsidies for sports stadia and convention centers.  When politicians can give favors, they will find buyers.

Long Island-Area Voters Nix Stadium Subsidy Proposal.  The owner of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League threatened to move his team unless he receives hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer backing for a new stadium.  Taxpayers in Long Island and surrounding Nassau County responded with a message that could be interpreted as, "Don't let the door hit you on the behind on your way out."  Voters in August overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to borrow $400 million for the Islanders and their billionaire owner, Charles Wang.  A minor league baseball stadium also would have been built.  The vote was 57% to 43% against.

"The evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city and building that franchise a new stadium or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita income and may reduce the level of real per capita income in that city."

A few words about the 2011 Super Bowl:

On November 2, 2004, the citizens of Arlington, Texas, voted to increase the city sales tax in order to contribute $350,000,000 to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium.  Many of the same voters also fell for the same sales pitch ten years ago when the baseball stadium was built for the Texas Rangers.  By now, Arlington was supposed to have turned into a thriving boom town — a mecca of tourism year round — according to the promises made ten years ago.  And of course it isn't, but the voters just can't say no, because Football is involved, and Football (with a capital F) is somehow more important than almost anything else.

I'm glad I don't live in Arlington.

Why Was Cowboys Stadium Exempt From Blackouts?  As brief power outages rolled across the state on Wednesday [2/2/2011], certain places were intended to be exempt from a temporary loss of electricity.  That included hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations, police stations, other emergency response facilities... and Cowboys Stadium?

Does this sound like a business that needs tax breaks?
Super Bowl 45 Will Break Records.  A new attendance record will be set:  well over 103,000 fans at the palatial Cowboys Dome in Arlington, Texas.  A new record for the cost of advertising on the game has been reached.  Advertising on Fox for the Super Bowl is at a cool $100,000... per second.  Yes, 100K per tick, $3 million for thirty whole seconds.  Better be a good ad!

Cowboys Stadium Super Bowl parking reaches up to $1100.  The face value of Super Bowl tickets — up to $1,200 — elicits awe from football fans every year.  Perhaps the biggest sticker shock this time around, though, was parking.  While many will pay less than $100 for parking Sunday, the highest priced spot near Cowboys Stadium recently sold for $1,099.  That outlandish price — with two more spots still available — caught the attention of media around the country.

Routine items not allowed at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.  As part of the increased security surrounding the Super Bowl, NFL and federal authorities are limiting what fans can bring to Cowboys Stadium.  Everyone entering the stadium must pass through a magnatometer [sic], such as those used at airports, and get a patdown as part of the screening process.

Super seat screw-up jilts 400 ticketholders.  For a game that was planned for years, Sunday's Super Bowl XLV was a pre-game nightmare for those outside and inside Cowboys Stadium.  Fans could not get into the stadium for hours because of gate closings and, once inside, some unlucky fans found that their seats were covered by big black tarps and unusable.

But what about the halftime show?
The Lingering Stench of the Black Eyed Peas.  So the Super Bowl came and went like a fat, sweaty, overbearing relative — and it left a stench in the bathroom that can only be described as the Black Eyed Peas.  Yes — once again we are suffocated by the American assumption that what is lapped up by teenage girls is also lapped up by everyone else over fourteen.

Oh, but at least the National Anthem was inspiring, wasn't it?
The national anthem isn't a pop song.  I've heard quite a bit of criticism of Christina Aguilera's embarrassing rendition of our national anthem prior to kick-off Sunday night.  Most of the comments have been focused on her botching the lyrics.  Fair enough.  But why should we be so critical of a pop star who probably has no idea of the origins of "The Star Spangled Banner" or any sense that the song's designation as our national anthem makes it about all of us, not about her moment on the stage?

As you may recall, the roof was closed that day.
Navy spent $450,000 of taxpayer money on Super Bowl flyover.  The U.S. Navy has been criticised for spending almost half a million dollars of taxpayers' money on a flyover at the Super Bowl — while the stadium roof was closed.  The estimated $450,000 expense was for four fighter jets that flew from Virginia to Texas and over the retractable roof of Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.  As it was broadcast on screens at the Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, spectators inside the stadium got the same view as people watching the five-second shot at home.

The Super Bowl flyover may have cost $450,000.  The fans inside Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV had as good a view of the flyover by four F-18 fighter jets as those watching at home.  With the roof closed on Jerry Jones' $1.2 billion stadium, people in attendance were forced to watch the flyover on the massive high-def screens inside.

The Editor says...
Really, whose idea was it to fly four jets from Virginia for this five-second appearance over the Super Bowl?  There are plenty of loud jets in Texas.  I think they still have B-1 bombers in Abilene -- less than 200 miles away -- and they're plenty loud.

No Super Bowl surge here:
Sales tax revenues rebound across Texas.  Arlington will receive $5.8 million from the comptroller's office for April, up 4.52 percent over a year ago. ... March state sales tax revenue and April payments made to local governments represent sales that occurred in February.

The Editor says...
The statewide average was +5.16 percent.*

"Non-stop distractions are deliberately used by those in power as instruments of policy for the purpose of preventing people from paying attention to reality."
Politically Short,          
October 5, 2015          

Specific taxpayer funded stadiums and sporting events:

Owner David Glass agrees to sell Kansas City Royals to local businessman for $1 billion.  Kansas City businessman John Sherman has finalized an agreement with David Glass to purchase the Royals for $1 billion, which is expected to be officially approved in November at the Major League Baseball owners meetings.  Sherman raised the necessary capital to satisfy Glass.  Sherman, 64, is expected to be introduced as the third owner of the Royals' franchise since its inception in 1969 on Nov. 21 at the owners' meetings in Arlington, Texas.

Cowboys Stadium to be renamed AT&T Stadium.  The Dallas Cowboys announced a multi-year, multimillion-dollar branding deal Thursday [7/25/2013] that will change the name of Cowboys Stadium to AT&T Stadium.  Team owner Jerry Jones said he wants his $1.2 billion showplace to be a building "more familiar than the White House."

Sacramento Keeps NBA's Kings, But Gives Up Hundreds of Millions of $$$.  The Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association have a new billionaire team owner, and that billionaire will have a new stadium for his team, courtesy of local taxpayers.  Two days after the NBA rejected a bid to move the Kings to Seattle, the Maloof family agreed to sell the Kings to a new group of investors who promise to keep the team in Sacramento.  The announcement follows the Sacramento City Council's approval of a deal for a new downtown basketball arena that has a total cost of more than $700 million.

Chicago Suburb Borrows Millions to Repay Stadium Debt.  Saddled with debt payments after sinking $135 million into the construction of a soccer stadium, the Chicago-area suburb of Bridgeview recently had to borrow an additional $27 million to cover required bond payments.  The Chicago Tribune reported the new borrowing comes on top of more than $218 million in debt cited in the village's 2011 audited statements.  Brian Costin, director of government reform at the Illinois Policy Institute, reviewed several financial reports for the city and stadium, named Toyota Park, and saw serious consequences for the village's stadium borrowing.

High school football:  It's a Texas tradition.  It's a religion.  It's an incurable disease.
Dallas-area high school unveils Texas-size $60 million football stadium that seats 18,000.  At least one Texas high school has achieved gridiron glory before the football season starts.  Allen High School in suburban Dallas unveiled a new stadium recently that seats 18,000 spectators and cost $60 million to build.  The pigskin palace features a high-definition scoreboard, a multi-level press box, wrestling and weight rooms, and a golf practice area.

SEC probes $634M financing of new Marlins stadium.  SEC subpoenas to the city and Miami-Dade County are seeking a long list of documents and records, including those involving meetings and communications between government officials and executives with the Marlins and Major League Baseball.

Why public funding for a Vikings stadium doesn't make sense.  To put this proposal into terms to which we can relate, as it passed out of the Senate Finance Committee this week, the legislation would provide public money in an amount equivalent to a $77.30 per ticket subsidy for each of the 65,000 seats at every Vikings home game.  That's $77 in taxpayer funds for each ticket, at every game, including preseason ones, for the next 30 years.

The long-gone debate over public financing for a new Falcons stadium.  A new study has raised the extreme possibility that the Atlanta Falcons, within a few years, will be scrimmaging in a new, $1 billion stadium with a retractable roof.  Roughly a third of the cost — $300 million is the figure in current usage — is likely to be borne by those who check into Fulton County hotels and motels, via a 7 percent surcharge on their room bills.  The 20-year-old Georgia Dome, also built with a flow of taxpayer cash, would be demolished.

The Editor says...
The old stadium is only 20 years old.  One could reasonably conclude that Atlanta will have to go through this process again every 20 years.

Evans: city taxpayers won't pay for 'Skins training facility.  Fear not, D.C. taxpayers.  Even the D.C. Council's biggest proponent for returning the Redskins to the District knows the city can't actually spend money on building a training facility to lure the team back within city lines.  Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans was asked about the possibility Friday [3/2/2012] on WAMU radio's "Politics Hour" show, where he said it's no secret the Redskins want to relocate because their current facility in Ashburn is "one of the worst in the league."

Santorum backed Pittsburgh stadium tax hike.  Santorum friends and former Republican associates there say that as a U.S. senator, he astonished them by lobbying for a boost in the sales tax in 11 southwestern Pennsylvania counties to pay for building a new stadium for the Pittsburgh Steelers and another new stadium for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The teams owners were threatening to move their teams elsewhere if the government didn't give them what they demanded.  "It was a sweetheart deal for the two teams, a total taxpayer giveaway," Larry Dunn, who was a Republican and the commission chairman of Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.

Steelers-49ers 'MNF' game experiences second power outage.  "I just feel like San Francisco took a big step to show the NFL and to show the state of California that they need a new stadium," Steelers FS Ryan Clark said following the game.  "I think it was a very strategic move, and Candlestick may be no more."

The Editor says...
If the stadium needs new power transformers, it isn't necessary to replace the entire stadium.

Only slightly off-topic:
Gov. Cuomo's big development plan for Aqueduct holds promise.  Of the many ambitious plans Gov. Cuomo laid out in his second State of the State speech, none had more wow than putting the world's biggest convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack.  The proposed 3.8 million-square-foot facility — to be built on state land with $4 billion in private money — would create thousands of jobs, boost New York City's status as a tourist magnet and make far better use of a grossly underused property a stone's throw from Kennedy Airport.

Dayton wants deeper review of Vikings' stadium proposal.  Gov. Mark Dayton is asking the Metropolitan Council and his stadium czar to quickly analyze and determine the remaining issues on the Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal for the Arden Hills. ... The county and the team announced an agreement in May to build a $1 billion stadium in Arden Hills.  The was virtually ignored by the Legislature as state leaders tried to reach agreement on the two-year budget.

Hawaii governor says $4 million 'bribe' for Pro Bowl is wasteful.  Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Thursday [6/9/2011] it's "so stupid" that the cash-strapped state pays millions to play host to the Pro Bowl when the money could be used for education.

Don't count on Vikings stadium in special session.  Though many expect a new Minnesota Vikings stadium to be considered at a special legislative session, there are those who think the increasing war of words between Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republicans who control the House and Senate may prevent that.  One is Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1976 and is one of the longest-serving lawmakers at the State Capitol.  Another may be Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, one of a group of influential freshman Republican legislators.

Arden Hills stadium a done stadium deal? Hardly.  The push to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium took more frantic twists and turns Thursday as the team suggested critics might be trying to scuttle its plan to build in Ramsey County and influential business leaders worked to swing the project back to Minneapolis. ... There were also indications the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners has enough votes to back the $1 billion project in suburban Arden Hills.

An Arizona city's sports mania encounters a hard check.  Taxes provided $346 million of the $455 million cost of the huge retractable-roof NFL stadium where the Arizona Cardinals will play 10 times this season, if there is a season.  But Glendale (population 253,000) has a more immediate problem with its hockey team, the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.  After the team entered bankruptcy in 2009, the NHL bought it for $140 million and has lost at least $30 million operating it.

Sisyphus in Boulder City.  How did this little city rack up so much debt?  Much, if not most of it, comes from the city council's decision — without bothering to waste their time asking for public approval — to build the Boulder Creek Golf Club, which opened in 2003.  One can easily understand the life-or-death need for a place to go golfing, of course.  Yet, this was the city's second public course.  The first, built in 1971, was approved by voters.  Mysteriously, once the second course was operational, the first (as well as the second) began to lose money, with revenues falling from over $600,000 annually to only $40,000.

Texas agrees deal to host F1.  Formula One will return to the United States in 2012 with a 10-year deal for a race in the Texas state capital Austin, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has announced.  "For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event," the Briton told the F1 website.  Austin, the 15th largest city in the United States, will host the race until 2021.

If stadium gets built, Mesa will keep Cubs.  To the sound of cheers and whistles of triumph, the owners of the Chicago Cubs officially announced Wednesday [1/27/2010] that they intend to keep their spring-training home in Mesa but only if the state and the city can muster the $84 million to build a new stadium and practice complex.

Chargers say they need public money for stadium.  For seven years, the San Diego Chargers have said they would build a new stadium without using taxpayer money.  Thursday [12/10/2009], a team spokesman said otherwise.  "It's almost certainly going to involve some sort of taxpayer money," said Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani, who has led the team's stadium search since 2002.

Court Rules Private Land Can Be Seized for NBA Arena.  New York's highest court ruled Tuesday [11/24/2009] that it's lawful for a state economic development agency to seize private land to build an arena for a professional basketball team.  The 6-1 ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals allows the contentious $4.9 billion, 22-acre Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, N.Y., to proceed.  The proposed development includes office towers, apartments and a new arena for the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Anatomy of an Earmark.  The old Tiger Stadium was built in 1912 and was the home of Detroit's big-league team until 1999.  After the Tigers moved to a new stadium a mile away, it became the subject of intense controversy about what should be done with it.  The city wanted to tear it down.  Local preservationists wanted to turn it into a sports complex and museum.  What happened was literally akin to splitting the baby.

Pricey seats at new Yankee Stadium a Bronx bomb.  The most expensive spots in America's costliest ballpark have become an embarrassment packing a financial sting to the proud New York Yankees, as the Legends Suite section in the infield has been filled only once in the six games since the $1.5 billion stadium opened last week.  On most days, the seats that cost $500-$2,500 as part of season tickets and go up to $2,625 for individual games haven't been close to full.

University's Stadium Plea Renews Funding Debate.  The University of Washington's quest to receive public funding for renovation of its Husky Stadium has rekindled the debate over taxpayer financing of sports facilities. ... The university stresses it's asking for less money than the Seahawks (football) and Mariners (baseball) did, and that its 50-50 split is a smaller share of public dollars than for those stadiums.  Public money made up about 70 percent of Qwest and Safeco Field costs.

Fresno's new baseball stadium better not be paid for with municipal bonds!  Dale Rubin, of Salem, Oregon is an attorney who specializes in public subsidy issues.  He recently finished a brief for a public policy group in which his concluions of law were that municipal subsidies for sports stadiums are unconstitutional.  He said 'Almost all state laws say that no public entity should be aiding private enterprise.  In spite of that, billions of dollars of bonds are flowing to build these sports facilities.'

Citi, AIG Won't Drop Big Sports Sponsorships.  AIG, Citibank and a number of other federally bailed-out financial institutions have no plans to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in sports team sponsorships, even as they take billions in taxpayer support, ABC News has found.  In boom times, the sponsorships were seen as a way to advertise the firms' "brands" and appeal to potential customers. ... But critics, including a member of Congress, say the decision to continue them now is hard to defend.

Special Interests Push for Sports Stadium Subsidies.  With Washington state facing a projected $3.2 billion budget deficit — the difference between growing revenues and even-faster spending growth — one might expect lawmakers to focus on how best to use the existing rise in tax revenues to provide the core functions of government.  If special interests get their way, however, taxpayer financing of Seattle-area stadium renovations will be among the "priorities" competing for tax dollars.

New Indianapolis Stadium May Already Need Bailout.  Taxpayers in Indiana may already be on the hook for a financial bailout of Lucas Oil Stadium, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League and reputedly the most heavily subsidized professional sports stadium in the nation.  The Capital Improvement Board (CIB), which manages Lucas Oil Stadium, announced about two years ago the stadium's annual operating costs would be $10 million while yearly revenues would be only $7.7 million.

The False Promise of Subsidized Tourist and Entertainment Complexes.  In city after troubled city, convention centers, stadiums, arenas, opera houses, aquariums, museums, casinos, racetracks, and other places of entertainment are presented as powerful engines of economic development that will pay for themselves in new jobs, paychecks, and taxes.  The mounting evidence suggests, however, that while such projects offer significant benefits to a very narrow slice of the regional (including suburban) business community, they offer very little to the urban community in general.

Stadium Subsidies Hitting Taxpayers Harder:  Study.  [Andrew] Moylan's research shows as the taxpayers' tab increases, so does the total stadium construction cost.  Stadiums that were built with 50 percent or more in taxpayer subsidies were $65 million more expensive on average than those built with less than 50 percent in subsidies.  The reason?  Not surprisingly, Moylan argues, private financiers demand more fiscal accountability with their own money than government bureaucrats do with other people's tax dollars.  Not only is the average percentage of stadium costs subsidized by taxpayers growing, but total subsidy amounts are rising too.

Sports teams pay millions for talent but ask the public to pay millions for stadiums.
Welfare kings:  In October 1995, the city of Seattle opened a new NBA basketball arena that immediately drew accolades for intimate design elements and dynamic sight lines.  But just a dozen years later, Sonics owner Clay Bennett claims KeyArena is no longer an economically viable NBA facility and that no amount of renovations could alter that reality.  Bennett intends to relocate the team next year barring some unforeseen final-hour deal to build an entirely new arena with public funds.

Tips on writing a term paper on stadium subsidies.  There was a rash of new sports stadium development that occurred in the 1990s.  Most of these stadiums were built partly or wholly with government money in the form of stadium subsidies.  Naturally many social groups were outraged that government money was being diverted from social programs to millionaire players and billionaire owners.  Politicians have argued that stadiums bring tourism dollars into the city that far outweigh the cost of the stadium subsidy.  Many economists disagree; they feel that most of the revenue stadiums generate comes at the expense of other entertainment venues within the town.

Stadium Socialism:  Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota, took a position that is extremely rare in state government.  He said that neither the state nor the city nor any other unit of government should spend any money on funding yet another municipal ballpark or providing a taxpayer subsidy to professional ball teams and their media flunkies.  "The taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for new stadiums," said Ventura.  That's a sentiment that would have been common in America a hundred years ago.  Today, after decades of government entitlement programs for everyone, it now seems revolutionary.

The Billion Dollar Whatever.  It's possible that the Twins site will flourish — it's already in a part of town with plenty of condo-and-loft development, so it has a leg up on the deadlands of the Vikings site.  We were promised lots of development around the Dome, too, and what did we get?  One bar.  One.  If the planners of the site came back and saw what their work had produced, they would've been convinced prohibition had been reintroduced, because there's no possible other explanation for building a gigantic sports arena that produces exactly ONE bar before the development sputters out and the area sits dead for 20 years.

Santa Claus Government.  Last Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors sent its list of wishes to the political equivalent of Santa Claus:  Congress. ... The mayors claim the economy will be stimulated if their wishes are granted.  What do they want?  The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has analyzed the 72-page list. ... [The projects include] 15 projects with the term "stadium" in them, including a $150 million Metromover extension to the Florida Marlins' baseball stadium ... Kristina Rasmussen, NTU's director of government affairs, offers more analysis of the mayors' report on NTU's blog:  "Total cost of the wish list is $73,163,299,303."

The Odd Couple, or Here We Go Again.  We thought this was properly dealt with back in January by Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask, who simply said in essence that the Raiders would be concentrating on the current season in a stadium they're simply thrilled with, and that they are not actively seeking out the 49ers as business partners.  But like a zombie, this 'joint stadium' idea has come to life once again, walking the streets by night and claiming more victims, many of them credulous 49er Faithful.

E-mails show NYC played ball for luxury boxes.  When it comes to getting a luxury box at the new Yankees and Mets stadiums, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aides appear willing to play ball.  Recently released internal e-mails between the mayor's aides, city lawyers and Yankees officials show that City Hall gave the team even more parking spaces than had been negotiated previously, plus the rights and revenue from three billboards near the stadium in exchange for a suite.

Funk & Wagnall's, 
Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language,
1964 International Edition, Volume One, page 548. 

Corzine's friendship with investor raises questions.  Gov. Jon Corzine's recent disclosure that one of his close personal friends is a partner in the investment group that threw a billion-dollar lifeline to the troubled Xanadu sports and entertainment complex may have backfired.  While Corzine no doubt expected his disclosure would quell any rumblings of a conflict of interest, critics have raised new questions about the administration's role in the $2 billion Meadowlands complex, including the role of former economic growth czar Gary Rose.

Time Out Needed on Stadium Deal.  Similar to the arena deal seven years ago, all three levels of government have been tight-lipped about providing details of possible government involvement in a new stadium.  Both the provincial government and the City of Winnipeg have refused CTF freedom of information requests for details on using public money for a new stadium.

$1.1 Billion Twins Stadium Tax:  The Minnesota Twins sued to get out of their lease so they can pressure your lawmakers to buy them a stadium.  The new lease presumably would be as worthless as the one they just nullified.  Meanwhile, the disenfranchised citizens — who will not be allowed to vote on it — are stuck paying the tab.  The stadium will cost taxpayers $1.1 billion dollars.  The Twins essentially contribute nothing.  Oh sure, they will tell you the Twins are contributing $125 million.  But the deal also gives them naming rights for the stadium, money from concessions, parking — so the $125 million will be easily recovered.

Seattleites should not have to pay for another arena boondoggle.  Since 1999, Seattle taxpayers have forked over more than $1 billion in today's dollars to the ultra-rich owners of baseball's Mariners and football's Seahawks.  Despite threats to move the teams, folks are a little hesitant to cough up several hundred million more for a new basketball arena for the Seattle SuperSonics and Storm.

Randolph Calls For End to Taxpayer-Funded Luxury Suites at Local Stadiums.  In the wake of the recent public news that the Lucas Oil Stadium could run the taxpayers an extra $10 million in operational costs, City-County Councillor Ike Randolph today, filed a freedom of information request with the City of Indianapolis.  The request seeks all documents and expenditures on city-owned suites at the RCA Dome, Conseco Field House and Victory Field between 2000 and 2006.

DC taxpayers are being thrown an expensive curveball.  DC City Council members who will vote Tuesday [11/13/2007] on whether to approve the Mayor's plan for a publicly-subsidized baseball stadium in Anacostia should remember this year's earlier "commuter tax" court controversy.  According to a new study from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation, the stadium proposal would worsen taxes in DC to fund a project that will mostly serve residents of Maryland and Virginia (80 percent of the team's fans are expected to come from those two states).

Storm clouds in the outfield.  The city of Anaheim, thanks to the foolishness of then-Mayor Tom Daly and then-council members Lou Lopez and Frank Feldhaus, gave then-owner Disney $30 million in benefits in 1996 to keep the team in Anaheim.  Residents got little in return, but the one thing they did get was the supposed pride of having the city's name in the national spotlight.  It looks like a sucker's deal in hindsight.

Sports owners fund McCain, shun Obama.  Sports team owners may not be John McCain's answer to the Hollywood elite, but they're overwhelmingly supporting his presidential campaign over Barack Obama's.  Through the end of June, team owners in the four major sports and their families have given to or raised as much or more than $3.2 million for McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, compared with as much as $615,000 for his Democratic rival Obama, according to a Politico analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission, the campaigns and interviews.

If You Build It, They Will Leave.  On the same day the Florida Marlins paraded through Miami to celebrate their second World Series championship in six years, politicians from Miami-Dade County swallowed the young baseball team's corporate welfare bait.  County Mayor Alex Penelas and Manager George Burgess announced they were offering a whopping $73 million in bed tax revenue, plus a parcel of free land, to help build a new $325 million baseball-only retractable-roof stadium that the lucrative franchise desperately wants.

Voters starting to take a stand against stadium funding.  In Sarasota, Fla., a $16 million bond referendum was on the ballot to help fund a $45 million reconstruction of a stadium currently used by the Cincinnati Reds for spring training.  Another $7.9 million was to be spent to add land for practice fields and its related construction costs.  The total of some $52.9 million was to be funded by the county, state and city, with the Reds contributing $10 million.

Stadium is fielding money — from us.  I wasn't overly alarmed when a Deseret Morning News headline announced last week that the funding of Dave's Big Soccer Stadium will cost much more than we were originally told. … When it came time to finalize the funding details for the soccer stadium last week, someone finally got around to mentioning that it will cost more than the $45 million as advertised — it will cost another $28 mil in interest, bringing the price tag to, ka-ching!, $73 million.

Private Benefits of Public Stadium Financing:  Public subsidies of professional sports stadiums provide no tangible public good, a fact being recognized by more cities around the country, says an economist who's studied the issue.  "You see a lot more resistance (to taxpayer-funded stadiums) than you did in the past.  I think people are seeing the evidence that the benefit isn't there," said Phillip Miller, an economist at Minnesota State University.

Baseline Welfare Cases:  Stadiums, Subsidies, and the Dole.  Major League Baseball has become a regular recipient of corporate welfare.  In particular, taxpayer subsidies to fund ballparks — which once were the rarest of exceptions — have become the norm.  Unfortunately, over the years, some businesses and their representatives — in particular, many state and local business groups — have been regular supporters of subsidized stadiums.  It is often the case, in fact, that the business leaders in a community become the loudest cheerleaders for tax giveaways to baseball teams.

Leaky Stadiums — Milwaukee's Stadium Experience.  The typical argument used to sell a stadium construction contract to the tax-paying public is that it improves the local economy.  Money will be generated, and the taxes on the new revenue will in theory offset the taxes used to subsidize the new stadium.  The problem with this stream of thought is the first step.  How is that money generated?  Most people have entertainment budgets, and the $100 they spend taking the family to the ballgame is $100 that they don't spend on movies or bowling later on in the month.

Ballpark figures:  Sports economists agree that cities — and taxpayers — get close to nothing from spending public money on sports teams.  What they haven't figured out is why we're still doing it.

Stadium Subsidies Scalp The Public.  Ever since the Boston Tea Party, public debate over whether to pay taxes and how to spend those dollars has been a vibrant part of our democratic process in Massachusetts and across the nation.  The debate over taxpayer subsidies for the stadium that is proposed to replace the venerable Fenway Park is shaping up to be an epic battle pitting the public interest and the public well-being against the well-financed powers that be.

Sports Stadium Madness:  Why It Started, How to Stop It.  Nationally, subsidies to professional sports facilities cost taxpayers some $500 million a year.  More than $7 billion will be spent on new facilities by the year 2006, with most of it coming from public sources.  Communities that are hard-pressed to keep their schools open or police on the beat are nevertheless entering into agreements to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to bid away a professional sports team from another city.

Put pro sports blackmailers out of business.  Taxpayer subsidies for new sports stadiums have been responsible for some of the biggest expansions of government during the 1990s.  Cities have used public money to engage in unseemly bidding wars, with pro teams playing government against government in quest of an ever-more-lucrative stadium deal.  As the bidding has risen, even teams with stadiums as young as 15 to 20 years old (like the domes used by the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Seahawks) are demanding new playpens costing upwards of $400 million.

Stadium Subsidies Strike Out.  Do public subsidies for stadiums make sense?  Many studies suggest the answer to that question is an emphatic NO.  Economist Robert Baade of the Heartland Institute, an Illinois think tank, analyzed the effects of professional sports teams and stadiums on economic development in thirty-six metropolitan areas.  The results, he found, overwhelmingly indicated that professional sports is not statistically significant in determining economic growth rates.

The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic Development.  The evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city and building that franchise a new stadium or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita income and may reduce the level of real per capita income in that city.

Sports Pork:  The Costly Relationship between Major League Sports and Government.  The lone beneficiaries of sports subsidies are team owners and players. … Indeed, the results of studies on changes in the economy resulting from the presence of stadiums, arenas, and sports teams show no positive economic impact from professional sports — or a possible negative effect.

Caught Stealing:  Debunking the Economic Case for D.C. Baseball.  District of Columbia mayor Anthony Williams has convinced Major League Baseball to move the Montreal Expos to D.C. in exchange for the city's building a new ballpark. … A baseball team in D.C. might produce intangible benefits.  Rooting for the team might provide satisfaction to many local baseball fans.  That is hardly a reason for the city government to subsidize the team. D.C. policymakers should not be mesmerized by faulty impact studies that claim that a baseball team and a new stadium can be an engine of economic growth.

Mets, Yanks stadium subsidies top $1.25 billion.  Field of Schemes has obtained new figures from the New York City Independent Budget Office (I'm sure they'll give them to anyone, but I asked) on the cost to taxpayers of publicly subsidized tax-exempt bonds for the new Yankees and Mets stadiums.  The verdict:  The $930 million in Yankees stadium bonds will cost the city $10 million in lost tax revenue, the state $18 million, and federal taxpayers a whopping $200 million; for the Mets' $528 million in tax-exempt bonds, the figures are $6 million city, $10 million state, and $115 federal.

Speaking of the Yankees...
A-Rod Gets Steal Of A Deal Thanks To NYC Tax Loophole.  They were crying foul Friday [2/25/2011] about a sweetheart tax loophole that will enable Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to live in his new $6 million luxury West Side penthouse and pay virtually no real estate taxes.  The cost of a 28th row ticket for the Yankees 2011 home opener is $1,211.  The cost of an A-Rod autographed bat is $700.

Say It Ain't So:  Stadium Subsidies in Nevada.  Research has shown that the economic benefits of subsidized stadiums are monumentally overstated.  For years, analysts have searched in vain for proof that the pro-subsidy hype peddled by stadium supporters squares with reality.  In fact, on this issue the level of agreement between free-market, conservative and left-liberal economists and policy analysts is startling.

Poll:  48% Oppose Cotton Bowl Project.  Almost half of Dallas residents say the city should pull the plug on a planned $50 million face-lift for the Cotton Bowl, according to a Dallas Morning News poll.  Even though the City Council strongly supports the renovation, 48 percent of those polled last week said the investment doesn't make sense now that the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the January collegiate bowl game, has announced that it's leaving in 2010.

$1.1 Billion Minnesota Twins Stadium Tax.  The Minnesota Twins have sued to get out of their lease so they can pressure your lawmakers to buy them a stadium.  The new lease presumably would be as worthless as the one they just nullified.  Meanwhile, the disenfranchised citizens — who will not be allowed to vote on it — are stuck paying the tab.

Ballpark bill in scoring position.  The Minnesota Twins scored a major victory late Thursday [4/20/2006] when the [Minnesota] House Taxes Committee said a sales tax could be used to help build a $522 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis without requiring a referendum.

Minnesota Twins Win Stadium Subsidy Deal.  Years of concerted effort by the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team paid off on May 26, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed a stadium subsidy bill before the start of the Twins game against the Seattle Mariners.  It was a good night for the Twins, as they won hundreds of millions of tax dollars for a new stadium and then defeated the Mariners 3-1.  But many analysts believe it was a bad night for Minnesota taxpayers.

Penguins souring on Plan B.  Gov. Ed Rendell yesterday [1/19/2007] said the arena deal being offered the Penguins is better than others struck recently in the National Hockey League, but the team has balked at a proposal to share development rights and parking revenues with Pittsburgh casino backer Don Barden.

Florida Turns Down Subsidy for Marlins Stadium.  Although Florida lawmakers declined to provide financial assistance to the Florida Marlins Major League Baseball franchise, a proposed move of the team to San Antonio, Texas has been killed.

[So!  All that talk about leaving town was just an empty threat.  Imagine that.]

Sports Stadiums and the Effects on the Economy.  Before the depression, stadiums such as Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park were being built by using private funds.  In the 1980's America was spending about $1.5 billion on new stadiums; in the 1990's it spent $11 billion.  Furthermore, in 1967 the cost to build the Kingdome was $67 million, in 1999 the cost to build Safeco Field was $517.6 million.

Election Fraud Investigation in San Francisco.  An investigation into allegations of organized fraud in the June 1997 stadium bond election in San Francisco.

The team that mistook its stadium for a hat.  Whenever a new major league baseball stadium opens, it's hailed as an emblem of progress, a palace of sport, an engineering wonder, a centerpiece of the community, and an immense improvement over its predecessor.  In recent years, it has also become mandatory to apply such overworked expressions as "state of the art," "intimate," and "old-fashioned ballpark with all the modern conveniences."  Historically, even underachievers such as San Francisco's wind-cursed Candlestick Park and the multi-sport concrete ashtrays of the '70s have drawn opening-day accolades — and, of course, so have the good ones.

Public Funding of Stadiums:  A very large collection of articles on this subject at No Land Grab dot org.

The name of the game is money — tax money used to build sporting arenas.  As players' salaries and ticket prices spiral astronomically upward, it is the taxpaying public that is being stuck with the bill for new stadiums.  If there has been one constant in professional sports over the past 20 to 25 years, it is that owners and players are becoming increasingly wealthy at the expense of fans, non-fans, and taxpayers.  In 1976, the average salary of major league baseball players was $51,000.  That jumped to $412,000 by 1987 and is well over $1,000,000 today.

Field of Schemes dot com  is the companion website to Field of Schemes:  How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit, by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Since 1998, we have been casting a critical eye on the roughly $2 billion a year in public subsidies that go toward building new pro sports facilities.

Top 10 Dumbest Reasons to Build a New Stadium.

Sports Stadiums Becoming Major Corporate Welfare.  "We are just pointing out two important facts," [Roger] Noll says.  "Stadiums are not a net local economic benefit, and the reasons cities are paying for them is because the (federal) government made the professional leagues monopolies" — exempt from anti-trust laws that apply to most other industries.

Take pro sports off the government payroll.  Call it "public funding" if you like, but the fact remains:  There is no such thing as public money.  The government has no money, except what it takes from the taxpayers.  What the D.C. Council's agreement means is this:  If I decide to go to any games at the new stadium, which is to be completed in 2008, I will be paying for a ticket to a game, at which I will buy drinks and hot dogs, and the entire spectacle will take place in a facility that I helped pay for.

Ballpark Boondoggle.  Beginning in the early 1990s, an unprecedented stadium construction boom has swept the world of professional sports.  Since the opening of New Comiskey Park in Chicago in April of 1991 a total of 28 new stadiums have been built or are under construction to house professional football and baseball franchises in the United States.

Big money socialism:  If the wealthy owners of sports teams want new stadiums, let them build them with their own money.  They're not entitled to our money.  Just as cities take people's homes so rich corporations can do what the politicians call "urban renewal," telling the courts economic development is a "public use," sports tycoons argue their stadiums are in the "public interest."  Their politician friends tell voters that a stadium will "bring jobs," be "good for the city," "pay for itself."  Bunk.  Study after study finds stadiums cost far more than they return.

Bowl games and traditions.  It irks me that the Peach Bowl is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  It vexes me to hear the mandated phrase "Invesco Field at Mile High."  I grieve the loss of the old and honored place-names of sports:  Candlestick Park, Three Rivers Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium. … That corporate names, attached to stadiums by means of vast expenditures, can make no claims to the people's veneration, as opposed to their fleeting fancy, is no mere controversial assertion on my part — it is an admitted feature of the principle of the system.

The Capital Spenders:  Why are $100,000 of our tax dollars going to the Tiger Woods Foundation?  This multi-millionaire can afford to support his own foundation.  Why must taxpayers continue to contribute to various sports halls of fame, including $75,000 for the one in Syracuse, N.Y.? … Why is the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., getting $450,000 for "educational outreach"?

Supposed economic benefit?  I'm fine with the idea of the Cowboys playing in Arlington, but I wish owner Jerry Jones would write the check for it and leave Arlington taxpayers alone.  He'll get their money eventually, along with ticket, parking, food and souvenir revenue from everyone else who comes to see the Cowboys of 2009 and beyond.

Dallas Cowboys' Shining Star.  The stadium will cost $1 billion by the time it's finished.

Stadium project is burning through $1 million each day.  The new Cowboys stadium is about 40 percent complete, and crews are spending nearly $1 million a day to build the team's new home, construction manager Jack Hill said.

New Cowboys stadium costs tower over others.  Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck said since [Jerry] Jones is paying for most of the stadium, taxpayers shouldn't have a problem.  "Does it bother me?" he said.  "No, it does not.  He is making a huge investment in Arlington."  Jones' investment is about $725 million.  The city of Arlington's investment is about $475 million.  For that kind of money, Arlington could have built its own stadium like the Reliant Stadium in Houston, which is where the Houston Texans play. ... The big difference is that the 50 yard line seats that are 20 rows up at the new Cowboys stadium will cost you $150,000 for a personal seat license and $340 for a ticket.

The Art of the NFL.  [Scroll down]  The new Cowboys Stadium provides a good example. The field, the television screen, the party zone, the presumptive lines at the parking lot — the good taxpayers of Arlington, Texas have built Jerry Jones his Taj Mahal.  He didn't forget the harem.  Ensconced within the stands are platforms accommodating clusters of pole-dancers, a kind of J.V. Cowboys Cheerleaders squad.

City ordered to disclose secret arena proposal.  The city of Sacramento was ordered Thursday [10/26/2006] to turn over a copy of a negotiating proposal sent to the owners of the Sacramento Kings as part of their discussions for a new arena in the downtown railyard.

County Claims Bengals Cheated Taxpayers.  Hamilton County commissioners claim the team for which they built a stadium and the league that oversees the team cheated them out of $600 million.  One of the most controversial pieces of evidence is the Bengals' win-loss record:  The team said it needed more money to be more competitive, but the Bengals still stink.

Jones' Subsidy Could Reach $1.2 Billion.  The stadium deal for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys is weighted heavily on the side of the team.  The Cowboys emphasized during the tax initiative campaign that they were putting up half the money for the stadium — $325 million — but that isn't quite true.  While the city will use the new taxes to retire its side of the debt, Jones will be able to slap his own 10 percent "tax" on tickets and a $3 tax on parking to retire his side.  That will raise about $10 million a year, or $300 million over 30 years.

Take Me Out of the Ballgame.  Generally in these agreements the city will pay part of the costs and the team pays the rest.  In this case, Arlington increased property, car rental and hotel taxes to pay for the city's share.  But according to a story in the Dallas Morning News, it also wants to levy a 10 percent tax on tickets and a $3 parking tax.  The twist here is that those user taxes will be applied toward the Cowboy's portion of the bill.

An End to Sports Welfare?  When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asked Arlington, Texas voters to pay for a new stadium last November, he did not call the classic plays from the sports welfare playbook.  He could not say America's Team needed a state-of-the-art facility to compete, since Texas Stadium (in the Dallas-adjacent suburb of Irving) has more luxury suites than any other stadium in the National Football League (NFL) and the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s.  He could not say he was financially strapped, since his franchise ranks sixth in the NFL in profits and second in revenue, according to Forbes magazine.

Baseball stadium is striking out in the nation's capital.  The District of Columbia "won" a bidding war for the Montreal Expos by promising to construct a $440 million stadium, one of the most expensive ever.  But total projected costs already have ballooned to $530 million.  And author Charles C. Euchner warns:  "Count on that cost ballooning past $600 million or more.  Public works projects invariably run over budget by at least 25 percent."

Our national disgrace.  Today we hardly bat an eye when a large enterprise like a sports stadium is started not by business people, but by politicians.  Or when one of the poorest-run cities in the nation distracts itself from improving its badly provided essential services to engage in what has become a rich-man's luxury.  Or when we see captains of industry reduced from creators of wealth to welfare addicts. … In the end, the argument is that this kind of subsidy creates jobs and profits and thus "pays for itself."  Of course, it doesn't.  The so-called economics used to justify these subsidies to major league sports are worth less than the literary value of infield chatter.  A simple truth remains:  When it is economical to invest in a stadium, private enterprise will do so.  When it is not, then it shouldn't be done.
I'd ride the subway, but I haven't enough change.
Baseball vs. D.C.:  The Lerners have already benefited from D.C. taxpayers, who were forced to foot the $611 million bill to build the stadium for Theodore Lerner, his family and his $450 million baseball team.  Fan support has been averaging 29,000 tickets per game, while the team is a last-place-in-the-league joke in almost every category.

Stop the Squeeze Play.  As Major League Baseball announced it was bringing in a mediator to pinch-hit for a baseball stadium lease settlement that could heavily burden taxpayers, a letter to [Washington DC] City Council Members today [1/19/2006] from five citizen groups pitching from the right and left of the political spectrum contended that the costly bidding game should be called on account of fiscal recklessness.

Stadium parking garage to be above ground.  Officials in charge of building the Washington Nationals' new ballpark in Southeast are negotiating a deal with Western Development to build two parking garages above ground at the stadium site and wrap them with condominiums and retail.

Public Funded Fresno Stadium.  Partisan forecasts made by some local economists have grossly overestimated the economic benefits and understated the economic costs of the Diamond Group's proposed publicly funded minor league baseball team stadium.

Is There An Economic Rationale for Sports Stadium Subsidies?  Controversy shadows sports in the United States.  Sports are so deeply woven into the fabric of our culture that disputations about them are inevitable.  Sports are leisure; sports are business; sports are religion.  The multiple personalities of sports are nowhere more visible than in the many municipal stadium debates taking place throughout the country.  City leaders from Miami to San Francisco have summoned sound economic management as their star witness in defending plans to subsidize the renovation or construction of stadiums.

Government-funded stadiums are not worth price of admission.  Games and circuses once were provided by government.  How better to satiate the desire of the Roman masses than to entertain them in the Arena?  Today, governments build stadiums to attract sports franchises for the same purpose.  But the American masses seem to be tiring of transferring billions of dollars to billionaire team owners.

Corporate welfare, Dallas-style:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims to have lost 55 pounds through renouncing cheeseburgers and beer.  Now it's time for a real diet.  Imagine how much Jerry could contribute to the public weal through renouncing the public money he wants for a new football stadium.

Watchdog cries foul on ballpark.  A government watchdog group plans to ask the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance to investigate whether the use of city employees to solicit letters of support for the mayor's $440 million baseball stadium-financing plan constitutes an ethics violation.

Public Dollars, Private Stadiums.  Do sports stadiums really revitalize a community, bringing revenue, jobs, and status as a "major league" city?  Since the mid-1980s, nearly ten billion dollars of public money have financed new playing fields in the US, so they must be worth the investment, right?

Chicago Stadiums Fail to Deliver Promised Benefits.  Chicago has two taxpayer-subsidized sports stadiums, neither of which appears to be living up to the promises made by supporters of taxpayer funding.  U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, is supposed to pay rent to the state after attendance hits a certain figure, but in recent years attendance has been below the target, effectively giving the White Sox a rent-free stadium.

Experts Agree:  Public Support for Stadiums Is Madness.  Although research proves sports stadiums drain public resources, are of minimal or no economic benefit, and enrich primarily the owners of sport teams, St. Louis and Missouri might succumb and dole out many millions for decades to come.

"Publicly funded sports stadiums are like crack cocaine to local politicians and business bigwigs.  These folks are just like addicts:  They deceive everyone around them for the sake of a fix and rarely take no for an answer when voters decline to subsidize their schemes."

— Michael W. Lynch, Reason Magazine *      

Egregious Earmark of the Week:  $100,000 to Fix Orange Show Stadium.  Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) has spotted this week's egregious earmark buried in the Transportation-Treasury-HUD appropriations bill (H.R. 3058) for fiscal year 2006.  The noteworthy pork project comes to the grand total of $100,000 allotted to the city of San Bernardino, Calif., for making renovations to the National Orange Show Stadium.

Home Run for Corporate Welfare:  During the twentieth century, more than $14 billion in government subsidies went to the four major professional sports — Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.  While cities build fields of dreams for teams, hoping they will come, it isn't clear there are economic gains.  Three experts on the economics of tax-funded stadiums examined the need for subsidies of sports teams and the economic impact of sports on local economies.

Sports Stadiums:  No Pot of Gold for Cities.  Sports stadiums may have psychological and even political benefits, but they are falsely sold as an economic development tool.  Cities and boosters ought to rely on private capital for funding these structures.

Tax-Exempt Bonds and the Economics of Professional Sports Stadiums.  An economist for the Congressional Research Service concludes that federal, state, and local taxpayers don't benefit economically from subsidizing professional sports stadiums.

Public Financing of Sports Stadiums:  How Cincinnati Compares.  Hamilton County, Ohio, asks taxpayers to approve a sales tax increase to raise funds to subsidize new sports stadiums for the Reds and Bengals.  Ultimately, taxpayers must determine for themselves whether an investment in sports will make life better.

Sports Stadiums Can Be Privately Financed.  This report concludes Ohio is out of step with other states and cities, which have moved away from public financing, and toward private financing, of sports stadiums.

Stadiums, Professional Sports, and Economic Development:  Assessing the Reality.  About one century ago, professional sports became prominent in American public life.  During its early years, the business of sports was primarily a private undertaking, financed with private money and played in private stadiums and arenas.  But state and local government subsidies to professional sports businesses have proliferated over the past few decades, and economic arguments have been crafted to justify the subsidies. … Public funds are increasingly scarce.  We must test the argument that professional sports offer an important return on government subsidies.  The purpose of this paper is to use economic theory and empirical techniques to assess the contribution of professional sports to metropolitan area economic development in the United States.

D.C. Councilwoman Stands against Taxpayer-Funded Stadium — For a While.  Major League Baseball was thrown a curveball on December 15 [2004] as District of Columbia Councilwoman Linda Cropp (D) tried to help local taxpayers by changing the financing rules for a proposed new stadium.

A New Baseball Statistic for Opening Day:  Government subsidies for professional sports stadiums are not only economically unsound, they are unfair to sports fans and non-fans alike.

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?  And Where are the Stadiums You Played In?  The modern stadium barely tips its hat to its ancestors anymore, rather it prefers to dance on their graves.  How unfortunate to think that one of the establishments that helped to bring America together and forge our nation as one has evolved into nothing more than a greedy child constantly asking for money.

No Jones Tax!  It is not the job of taxpayers to build facilities for private business entities.  The mission of No Jones Tax campaign is to prevent taxpayers from paying higher taxes, new taxes, or for new give-away schemes to build a new stadium for Jerry Jones.  Jerry Jones can build his own stadium without our tax dollars.

We Wuz Robbed!  The Subsidized Stadium Scam.  While the actual sport of baseball is an excellent metaphor for the free market (illustrating how individuals and teams work together and compete against one another), at the professional level nearly all the teams play in government-owned or government-subsidized ballparks.

Here's a Deal We Can Afford to Refuse:  From Cleveland to Baltimore to Chicago, cities nationwide have repeatedly been suckered by team owners who claim they can't operate profitably without state-of-the-art, taxpayer-funded facilities offering luxury boxes and other high-dollar seating arrangements.

It's "play ball"… with taxpayer money.  Down the road, maybe these saps — AKA taxpayers — may balk at paying for stadiums, luxury skyboxes, parking concessions, tax abatements, and various other schemes that funnel taxpayer money to billionaire owners.

Public Interest is Usually Special Interest:  Special interest groups have been quick to tap the public till.  Of course, they usually aren't so blunt as to demand tax money for their personal benefit.  They have found a more effective strategy:  obtain government subsidies for their pet project by arguing that it will benefit everyone in the community.  Their project, in fact, is something we all "need."  It's amazing what a person will "need" when someone else is picking up the tab.

The sports stadium scam:  What is seen and what is not seen.  Taxpayer subsidization of professional sports facilities is almost always a losing bet, economically speaking.  The economic impact studies employed by politicians, the news media, and pro sports owners to support government-financed facilities are beset by methodological problems and don't count all the relevant costs.

Public-Private Promises 1:  Three Rivers Stadium [Part 1].  Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium is deemed "economically obsolete for baseball" by boosters of the Forbes Field II project, yet privately owned Busch Stadium in St. Louis, similar in age and design, has generated profits every year since its opening.

Public-Private Promises  [Part 2]
Stadium subsidies are being offered by local governments but they offer few or no benefits to residents.
Should Congress Stop the Bidding War for Sports Franchises?  On November 29, 1995, the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business Rights, and Competition of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held hearings on sports franchise relocation.  That testimony is summarized here.

Government Stadium Subsidies Would "Pick Pockets of Taxpayers to Line Pockets of Teams".  According to a study by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), the $200-$360 million in stadium subsidies being offered by local governments would offer few or no benefits to residents.

Sports Stadium Stampede Could Trample Taxpayers for $15 Billion.  Between 1990 and 2000, the average Major League Baseball salary rose 243 percent, and the average National Football League salary increased 143 percent.  Tax subsidies help team owners to offset or even inflate these expenses while maintaining their profit margins.

Stadium Socialism:  Research shows that taxpayer-financed sports facilities aren't economically justified, according to economists.  A national poll conducted by Media Research and Communications found that 80 percent of Americans oppose using their tax dollars for sports stadiums and areas.  But city and state politicians keep building them.

Bush's baseball tax fetish:  Economist Raymond J. Keating of the Washington, D.C.-based Small Business Survival Committee estimates the total costs of building big league ballparks at $11.5 billion, with taxpayers picking up about 81 percent of the tab, or $9.3 billion.

Baseball in the Nation's Capital:  Games with Tax Dollars.  Sports teams have grown accustomed to receiving a healthy dose of public money for nearly any stadium project.

Game Plan:  Cincinnati voters approved a sales-tax increase in 1996 that would pay for about 90 percent of the $450 million Paul Brown Field.  PSINet Stadium, home of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, was built almost entirely with public money.  Revenue bonds and sports lottery money accounted for $200 million of the $223 million price tag.  The Jacksonville Jaguars invested only $10.5 million in the $135 million reconstruction of Alltel Stadium in 1995.

Your Bread, Kansas City's Circus:  The IRS has recently ruled that an elaborate plan devised by the lawyers of the former owner of the Kansas City Royals to keep the baseball team in town served a charitable purpose on the ground that it will lessen the burdens of government.

Everyone Wants A Taxpayer-Funded Stadium, Except Taxpayers.  It's good to be the owner of a sports franchise.  Not only do you rake in millions from inflated ticket prices and exorbitantly marked-up concessions, but you can convince the state into chipping in money to build or maintain your stadium.

Squeeze Play:  Do Baseball Stadiums Need Our Bucks to Get Built?  For taxpayers, the first game of the season is also a pretty good time to ponder ever-larger government handouts to millionaire team owners and players.

Should We Pay For Sports Arenas?  Do cities really benefit from having a professional team?  I am not sure that they do.

State-subsidized Slush:  While the jury is still out on the economic costs and benefits of new municipally supported stadia, the benefit to the fans is, shall we say, minimal?  How about almost non-existent.

Subsidized Ballparks Price Fans Away.  New evidence indicates that sports fans who vote to subsidize sports arenas with their taxpayer dollars quite possibly could be denied entry at the gate.

Pro Sports on the Dole:  Government officials would better focus their attention on creating a healthy economic environment for their respective cities and states by lowering taxes, reducing regulatory burdens, and paring down the size of government.

Taxpayers Shouldn't Subsidize Pro Sport.  In 1994, the Edmonton Oilers persuaded Edmonton's councillors to institute a ticket tax to help the team pay its $2.8 million annual rent, and then managed to have the rent scrapped entirely last year, while still retaining ticket tax proceeds.  Talk about eating and having your proverbial cake.

Sports Stadium Madness… Still Ripping Off Taxpayers.  Future historians will look back on the 1980s and 1990s with amazement.  Communities hard-pressed to keep their schools open or police on the beat nevertheless spent billions of dollars on stadiums and arenas for use by professional sports teams.  Mediocre athletes were paid more in a single season than the average taxpayer earned in a lifetime.  Tickets were priced so high that the average taxpayer, whose earnings were taxed to build these facilities, could not afford to walk through the turnstile.

Minnesota Twins beat taxpayers in extra innings.  Score: Twins: $330 million, Taxpayers:  big losers.  "This bill isn't a deal.  It isn't even the outline of a deal.  It is simply the first step in which the legislature has acknowledged the principle that taxpayers should be on the hook for financing new stadiums for professional sports teams," said David Strom, Legislative Director of the Taxpayers league of Minnesota.

How Taxpayers Prop Up Sport Mogul's Profits:  Sports teams and their facilities have little measurable impact on the economic vitality of a community.  As pro team owners hunker down to protect their interests, it is the hapless taxpayer who will get stuck holding the bag for non-performing assets, not to mention the collateral damage from non-performing schools.  This is the choice many communities now face, and hopefully more will choose wisely in the future than have done so in the past.

Tax Me Out of the Ball Game:  Construction of the new Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati will cost local taxpayers at least 400 million dollars.  Despite this enormous public investment, there is no guarantee that the Cincinnati Bengals will continue to do anything but lose.  Actually, the only thing the Bengals have promised not to do now is - leave.  Try to contain your excitement.  Stadium deals financed with public dollars are one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare at the municipal level.  Yet, there is no real outcry because professional sports organizations have done a masterful job of promoting a myth.  The myth is that professional sports franchises and their stadiums are good for local economies.  Unfortunately, there is no real evidence to support this.

Public Funding of Stadiums:  Governments Must Simply Say No:  Using public moneys to help fund the construction of new, or the renovation of existing, stadiums is bad public policy.  Teams owners often want new stadiums in part (at least) to realize greater profits and increase the values of their teams.  New stadiums can create from $10 million to $40 million in additional annual income for an owner.  Even if the extra revenue is used solely for players' salaries, the owner still benefits, because the value of the team increases:  Baseball teams that had the highest venue revenue in 1996 tended to be the teams with the greatest franchise value.  Hence, public money invested in stadiums ends up eventually benefitting team owners and players.

Wasting Taxes On Sports Is A Favorite U.S. PastimeAmericans spend billions in tax dollars to subsidize professional sports.  The government lies, saying stadiums will pay for themselves.  It never happens.  Meanwhile, many fear a tax cut will short-change government, mistakenly believing it is the source of all good.  We have lost the awareness that we control our own destiny, instead relying on government.

Rowdy fans and athletes:

NFL fans 'cause earthquake' during game in Seattle.  So loud were the fans during their side's 34-7 victory that they measured between a magnitude 1 and 2 earthquake.  Fans of the Seahawks are growing a reputation for their ear popping shows of support.  In 2011, the fans were picked up by a nearby seismic recording station while earlier this year, CenturyLink Field entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the noise created.

This isn't going to help:
Jacksonville Jaguars Offer Fans Free Beer To Buy Tickets.  The winless Jacksonville Jaguars have released their own strategy to increase ticket attendance to this week's game and prevent a blackout: free beer.

You step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.
Seattle cops to don opponents' jerseys.  The Seahawks announced Wednesday that undercover law-enforcement officers will wear opposing team jerseys at games this season in an effort to quickly detect fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior.

Ravens fans celebrate Super Bowl win by car tipping and looting a Baltimore 7-11.  But AP told us there were no reports of "disturbances" after the Ravens' Super Bowl win.  Once again, Twitter has the news first.

Police in riot gear stop brawl among parents at kids' football game.  Police in riot gear flooded the field of a youth football game in Southern California to stop a brawl that involved dozens and possibly hundreds of adult spectators.

Rowdy NFL fans will be required to see the shrink.  The NFL is shrink-rapping football fans.  Unruly fans booted from stadiums this year will be required to pass a code-of-conduct exam — or they won't be allowed back in for another game.

Cops: Saints fan shoots two 49ers fans after loss.  An angry New Orleans Saints fan shot two San Francisco 49ers fans in a restaurant parking lot Saturday evening [1/14/2012] shortly after his team lost the NFL divisional playoff game, police said.  Donald Ray Ayro, 31, reportedly became upset with two 49ers fans while watching the game at an Applebee's restaurant.

High School Basketball Player Attacks Ref.  A video of what not to do when you don't like a ref's call has been circulating the Internet.  In a game between Florida high school teams Arcadia DeSoto and Port Charlotte, DeSoto's Mason Holland shoved a Port Charlotte player, and then, after a technical foul was called on him, went ballistic and threw the referee to the floor.

Chanting "USA, USA" at a college football game termed anti Muslim.  So chanting USA, USA at a football game is now anti Muslim?  According to a University of Illinois professor, the answer is yes.

More about The Religion of the Easily Offended.

The High Cost of Favoritism.  Those who star in sports that are big in educational institutions — football and basketball being classic examples — can start having the rules bent in their favor as early as high school.  Everyone wants a winning team and bending a few rules for those who can make that happen may seem like a small price to pay.  At colleges and universities where football or basketball are big time, ensuring passing grades for players on those teams is a major priority.

Putting Sports on Notice:  The statistics regarding violence at school and other amateur sporting events have been cited regularly in the media — yet violence at those events continues unabated. … It is time for every parent, if not every prospective spectator of an organized athletic event, to consider the wisdom of attending contests that have become as much about the egos of the fans as about the players.

The Last Resort for Losers.  Nowhere in the rule book of any sport is criminal violence authorized.  Even in those sports events where physical force is part of the competition, causing injury to an opponent may be incidental to the goal of the competition but it is not the goal itself.  Even in boxing, a sport about which there is debate over the whether it has crossed the line to violence for violence sake, there are rules which must be observed.

Keep me out of the ballgame.  Today, taking your son or daughter to a major sports event might require a helmet and earplugs.  Too many players aspire to create gangsta images and cover themselves with tattoos, record nasty rap albums in their spare time, and push and kick a cameraman or two just to maintain that bad-boy image.

Concerned about gang signs, NFL reviews tapes.  The league, concerned that some players might be celebrating by using the hand signals of street gangs, has hired experts to study game tapes.

Amoral media, lowlife fans, spoiled athletes and beer.  Let's finally stop repeating the false notion that big business has conservative values.  Big business has no values. … Liberals perpetuate the falsehood of big business as conservative for three reasons:  They have a materialist view of the world (just about everything is explainable by economic status and motives; it aids in getting people to vote Democrat); many people resent the amorality of big companies; and it seems to counter the argument that the major news media are liberal — "How could the news media possibly be liberal when they are all owned by large corporations!"

Obviously, Sports Do Not Build Character.  If you are one of those people who believe the old adage "sports builds character," you have some explaining to do.  Why are so many professional athletes, who have spent their entire lives in organized sports, masters at cheating, serial adultery, drunkenness, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, and thuggish fighting (to name just a few of the vices)? … By character I mean moral excellence:  a life characterized by prudence, fortitude, self-discipline, and humility in pursuit of what is good.

Morons disguised as hockey fans.  Montreal was the lead story on morning TV news on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border yesterday, but the Canadiens' Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins was merely a footnote.  The big story was the violence and vandalism that grew out of the celebrations after the Canadiens' win.  I'm not sure what Monday night's carnage means, but there's an argument to be made that our society is headed in the wrong direction.

Nashua woman charged with murder after Sox-related argument.  A Nashua, New Hampshire woman is being held without bail after prosecutors say she ran down a man outside a bar — after a argument witnesses say was about the Red Sox and Yankees.

NFL announces new fan code of conduct.  The NFL implemented a new code of fan conduct Tuesday [8/5/2008], warning that spectators who misbehave will be ejected from stadiums and barred from coming back.  The policy, first recommended by commissioner Roger Goodell at league meetings in April, is aimed at conduct that the league said "detracts from the gameday experience."

Booing at games may be banned.  The organization that oversees high school sports in Washington is considering rules for fans that could ban booing and offensive chants.  The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has not made an official ruling, but has discussed guidelines to crack down on negative conduct, a spokesman said.  Some of the state's top coaches believe a boo ban is extreme.

The Editor says...
This is political correctness carried to its extreme in the land of the easily offended.  Are spectators expected to cheer for both teams?  I think the courts would rule that booing, however offensive, is constitutionally-protected free speech.

The Olympics:

Meet the Olympic Athletes Who Probably Don't Belong There.  The history of the modern Olympic games is littered with stories of dreamers.  These athletes work hard, sometimes in obscurity, training long hours for that moment of glory as the world watches.  Sometimes those moments end in medals, but obviously the vast majority don't make it to the podium.  And some of the athletes who finish nowhere near the gold have the most fascinating stories.  And these unbelievable Olympians have done what they've done without the left-leaning politics that seem to have permeated these games.

Guess I won't be rooting for Poland in these 2018 Olympics.  The recently enacted Media law says that it is forbidden to make public any statement that links Poland to Germany's evil in the Holocaust.  Up to three years in prison if you are caught saying "Polish death camps" out loud, especially through the press.  So let's keep this private.  Make sure not to pass this around... that the Poles were not innocent bystanders.  They were horribly complicit before, during and after.

Stop pretending the Olympics are about world peace.  The Olympics are the United Nations of sports — high-minded principles and feel-good sentiments exploited by hypocrites to the detriment of the cause of freedom.  The Olympics are great for athletes and for a network like NBC that ponied up billions for the rights to cover them.  They're sports for casual fans, and they make great television.  More than that, the games thrive because of notions about sports transcending conflicts that are essential to the Olympic myth.  The reason the North Korean gambit worked so well is because these fables have always been a load of baloney.  The worst example was the 1936 Berlin Olympics hosted by the Nazis.

The Disgrace of the Olympics.  The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have opened in the mountains of northeastern South Korea.  The next two weeks will showcase some of the finest athletes in the world: men and women who've trained relentlessly and, whether they win a medal or not, deserve our esteem and best wishes.  The United States has sent 244 competitors — 109 women, 135 men — and we have every reason to think they will bring credit to our country.  Yet we will not enjoy these games with an untroubled conscience.  Stories of sexual abuse and rampant cheating are everywhere in the news, both here and abroad — more so this year than in years past.  The Olympics have become so scandal-ridden and cynically unsportsmanlike as seriously to raise the question of why we continue them.

Maybe the Olympics should be held in a civilized country.
Olympic Venue Surrounded by Dog Meat Farms, Dog Soup on Menus Despite Protests.  The South Korean government offered restaurants serving dog-meat soup money to take it off the menu during the 2018 Olympic winter games taking place in Pyeongchang but most refused, according to media reports.

Black Lives Matter Goes to the Olympics.  Race became the National Football League theme this year, as a bunch of privileged young athletes, being paid millions of dollars for playing a game, supported by an organization worth $75 billion, found it necessary to take a knee against the National Anthem.  There they were, protesting the very country leaving them on the winning end of such income inequality.  The NFL season, thankfully, is in our rearview mirror for the next six months.  Ahead is the Winter Olympics.

Going for Broke — Can Los Angeles Afford to Host the Olympics?  By now you probably know that Los Angeles has the honor, or should I say heartburn, of hosting the 2028 Olympics.  Long gone are the days when such an announcement would fill the locals with pride, as it is now generally understood that local residences will have to put up with increased traffic, never-ending infrastructure headaches and a soul crushing financial commitment by the host city that gets little financial return for its investment.  Within moments of the announcement, the blogosphere was full of articles of how this could become a financial boondoggle for Los Angeles.

Chicago is still paying for its failed Olympics bid.  The site of the now-closed Michael Reese Hospital on the South Side was supposed to be where the athletes village for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago.  But despite Barack Obama flying out to Copenhagen to personally plea for the games to be held in his hometown, the International Olympic Committee members chose Rio de Janiero.  Meanwhile Chicago taxpayers are in a familiar situation--paying for the expensive mistakes of the people they put in power.

Rio's Olympic warm-up pool has turned a disgusting shade of orange as the village continues to fall apart.  Rio de Janeiro spent about $4.6 billion to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Six months later, four months after the end of the Paralympic Games, the city's Olympic infrastructure is falling apart.  Over the weekend, the Brazilian news outlet O Globo published footage of various abandoned and decrepit Olympic venues.  According to O Globo, limited security has resulted in theft, and the ceilings are falling in.  Other venues appear to not have received any necessary upkeep.  Even the Maracana, Rio's Olympic stadium, is without power as city officials argue about who should pay the electricity bills.  Most shocking is a warm-up pool that has turned orange.

4 months after Olympics, organizers unable to pay some bills.  Almost four months after the Olympics ended, Rio de Janeiro organizers are unable to pay some of their bills, including $3.7 million owed to the International Paralympic Committee.

Three months after the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is broke.  The state of Rio is broke.  It hasn't been able to pay its bills since long before the games.  A federal bailout kept police on the streets and hospitals open while Olympics tourists were in town.  But now the money has dried up, and public employees aren't being paid.  The state government is voting on an austerity package that could slash state workers' wages and pensions by 30 percent.  That's triggered violent protests and led demonstrators to briefly storm the state Legislature last month.  Meanwhile, crime is surging across the state.

Rio Olympic golf course eerily empty three months on.  Built specially for the Olympics on what had been a nature reserve next to the beach in western Rio, the links-style course was meant to convert Brazilians to a sport they barely know and put Rio on the international golfing map.  Instead, the $19 million facility created by star US designer Gil Hanse risks turning into a white elephant.

Europe's top Olympic official taken to maximum security prison.  International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Pat Hickey was sent to Brazil's Bangu maximum security prison on Friday while police investigate his involvement in a plot to illegally resell Olympic tickets, civil police said.  The elderly Irishman was arrested in his dressing gown during a dawn raid at his luxury beachfront hotel on Wednesday, where Hickey had been staying with his wife and fellow IOC members.  Police said they had discovered evidence linking Hickey to an international scheme to illegally pass tickets to touts who were reselling them at well above their original price.

Looks like Rio police were the biggest liars in the Lochte drama — if anyone still cares about the truth.  You heard it all weekend:  "Four American swimmers trashed a Rio bathroom in a drunken rage and then lied to investigators about an armed robbery to cover-up their story."  It's become conventional wisdom from network anchors trying to paint a rosy picture on a troubled Olympics to journalists who embrace the narrative of "ugly Americans" taking advantage of the downtrodden, third world Brazilians.  There's only one problem with this narrative:  It appears it's completely false.

British Athlete Robbed at Olympics, Officials Say.  A British athlete was robbed in Rio during the Olympics, according to officials.  'We can confirm there has been an incident of theft involving a Team GB athlete returning to their accommodation.  All members of our delegation, including the individual concerned, are accounted for, and are safe and well," Scott Field, a spokesman for Team GB, said in a statement to NBC News Thursday [8/18/2016].  No other details were provided.

Ryan Lochte, James Feigen Indicted in Brazil After Robbery Claim.  The U.S. Olympic Committee Thursday night apologized to Brazil for the "distracting ordeal" stemming from what Brazilian authorities call a fabricated claim of a gunpoint robbery by a group of swimmers in Rio de Janeiro.  "The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members," the statement said.  "We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States."

Dozens of Robberies Caught on Video in Rio — in Broad Daylight.  It's actually not a new video — it's been making the rounds for several months — but it's shocking and informative nevertheless.  It shows mostly young males (in some cases very young boys) grabbing wallets and bags from people passing through a busy intersection in Rio.  In one instance, a two thugs appear to grab the necklace right off a man's neck, attacking him several times before they successfully get what they're after.  In some cases, fearful looking individuals just hand over their things to the robbers to avoid confrontations.

Olympics-Brazil judge orders U.S. swimmers not to leave country — daily.  A judge in Brazil has issued an order to prevent U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen from leaving the country on the grounds they gave conflicting accounts of their robbery outside the Rio Games on Sunday, a Brazilian newspaper said on Wednesday [8/17/2016].

Olympic-Sized Climate Propaganda.  XXXI Olympiad competitors are joyfully showcasing their skills and sportsmanship, while delighted fans revel in their amazing efforts.  But opening ceremonies featuring colorful history, dance, song and athletes were rudely interrupted by an unprecedented propaganda film.  As audiences around the world were getting pumped up in eager anticipation for the upcoming events, a slick but deceitful video soured the mood by inserting partisan climate change politics.

If you're at the Rio Olympics, you've probably already been hacked.  While athletes head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete for medals in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, hackers in the area have their eyes on a different prize: the personal information of unsuspecting travelers.  According to a new report from mobile security firm Skycure, visitors to the former capital of Brazil are being targeted by malicious actors who have set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots designed to steal information from connected devices.  These phony wireless networks were spotted by Skycure around the city, but they were most prominent in locations where travelers were most likely to look for a place to connect, like shopping malls, well-known coffee shops, and hotels.

Olympic officials opt to drain green pool, say they learned 'painful lesson'.  After the diving pool was closed for a scheduled practice session Friday [8/12/2016], Germany's Patrick Hausding posted a couple of pictures, one holding his nose with the caption "Good morning from the green lake!"

Rio Olympics:  Green Pools Caused by Hydrogen Peroxide Dump.  Olympics officials on Saturday [8/13/2016] gave what they said was a definitive explanation why the water in two competition pools turned green this week.  Someone, the officials said, mistakenly added 160 liters of hydrogen peroxide on Aug. 5, neutralizing the chlorine and allowing the growth of "organic compounds" that might have included algae.  On Saturday, the water in the diving pool was still a murky bottle-green color, while the water in the second pool, used for water polo and synchronized swimming, had begun to look a bit lighter and a bit bluer.  Athletes have been complaining that the water or the chemicals treating it hurt their eyes, and that murkiness makes underwater visibility impossible.

Rio 2016: Food and Drink is Running Out.  There is not enough food and drink for visitors at the 2016 Rio Olympics, even though the Games started just six days ago.  Attendees queued for hours at food stalls, only to find that everything had run out when they reached the counter, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.  On Saturday [8/6/2016], food stalls at the Future Arena — where handball games are played — were forced to shut early because there were no more supplies left.

America First.  The Olympics tend to be the Island of Misfit Spectator Sports, showcasing competitions that got left by the wayside of popularity, such as volleyball and diving.  So every couple of years when the Olympics roll around, there is much grumbling about how outmoded they are.  Yet large numbers of people always seem to end up watching the Olympics anyway and having a good time.  Why?  Nationalism.

Olympians officially terrified of green '[foul]-smelling' water.  There's something in the water in Rio — and it's getting worse.  The Olympic diving pool was closed Friday morning [8/12/2016] as the water continues to be a disturbing, murky shade of green.  The concern for those who have been diving into the pool has grown as the problem persists.

Queasy, being green:  Olympic diving pool making the wrong kind of splash.  It's primordial, this pool.  You expect a cold, dead hand to come jutting up out of it.  The Olympic diving tank is dark and seemingly bottomless, and as a rule in life, nothing good grows or happens in dark-green water.  Things that are green and wet: spoiled kale.  Decomposition.  Industrial subatomic runoff.  Old ceiling leaks.  Dead seaweedy things that clutch at your ankle.  Would you wade in that, much less put your face in it?  Mothers all over the world are worried about that pool:  They know what the toddler section of a public aquatic park looks like late in the day.  Anyone who has stared at the bottom of an old fountain is worried about that pool.  "The swamp pool," British gold medalist Chris Mears called it.

Rio's infamous green diving pool closed.  The Olympic green pool saga has been through more twists and turns than the divers plunging into it.  On Tuesday [8/9/2016] the diving pool was green.  Then on Wednesday, the water polo pool also turned green.  Now on Friday it appears that the diving pool has been closed to training altogether — so as not to disturb the water and help it turn blue again.

Fake wi-fi hotspots at the Olympics.  A cybersecurity report reveals several fake WiFi hotspots have been set up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to take advantage of the influx of people attending the 2016 Olympics.  Skycure, a mobile security firm, found that places like Rio Galeão Airport are unaware they were inadvertently hosting several nefarious networks, according to Forbes.  In other words, tourists arriving in the city are leaving themselves vulnerable to hackers once they turn on their phones or turn off airplane mode.  Another report, published by Kaspersky Lab, discovered that 18 percent of the available networks were highly unsafe.  Another 7 percent used antiquated encryption technology.

Judo medalist beaten up while celebrating on Copacabana Beach.  Dirk Van Tichelt probably didn't envision one of the greatest days of his life ending in the hospital.  But that's exactly where the Belgian judoka found himself Monday night hours after winning his first-ever Olympic medal.  Van Tichelt won bronze in the 73-kg judo competition on Monday.  Naturally, he went off to Copacabana Beach that night to celebrate the achievement.  And that's where things went awry.  Van Tichelt was reportedly assaulted by a thief on the famous beach, and was struck in the face.  He was taken to the hospital after the incident.

The 2016 Olympics In Rio Are A Hotbed For Hackers.  A cybersecurity report reveals several fake WiFi hotspots have been set up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to take advantage of the influx of people attending the 2016 Olympics.  Skycure, a mobile security firm, found that places like Rio Galeão Airport are unaware they were inadvertently hosting several nefarious networks, according to Forbes.  In other words, tourists arriving in the city are leaving themselves vulnerable to hackers once they turn on their phones or turn off airplane mode.  Another report, published by Kaspersky Lab, discovered that 18 percent of the available networks were highly unsafe.  Another 7 percent used antiquated encryption technology.

Protesters Are Legally Allowed To Ruin The Olympics.  The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may be in danger of constant disruption by protesters since a Brazilian federal judge ruled Monday night that protesters can peacefully voice dissent at the Games.  Brazilian Federal Judge João Augusto Carneiro Araújo decided that to block protesters from demonstrating their discontent with the Games is to prevent them from freely expressing themselves.  While Brazilians opposed to the Olympic Games see the judge's ruling as a victory for free speech, Olympic organizers will likely appeal the judge's decision.

Reports claim Olympic kayaker capsized after hitting underwater sofa.  The report, which immediately sparked the #kayaksofa hashtag on Twitter, was not corroborated by anyone else.  Nevertheless, the organizers are taking it seriously enough as to investigate it.

Olympic venues see thin crowds for some sports in Rio.  Olympic athletes have been competing in near empty venues and before thin crowds in other locations during the opening days of the Rio Games — a problem that can be traced to long security lines, traffic and a lack of familiarity in some sports.

Rio 2016: Two Australian coaches robbed at knifepoint by teens near Ipanema beach.  Two Australian rowing coaches were robbed at knife-point by teenagers in Rio, just before their athletes were due to compete, as they walked back to their hotel near the city's Ipanema beach.  The pair were forced to handover their mobile phones, a wallet and even an Olympic team jacket in the incident.

Olympic network NBC vows full Rio coverage, woes included.  Bob Costas and other top members of NBC's Olympics coverage team veered between optimism and caution in predicting Rio de Janeiro's ability to pull off a successful Summer Games and said NBC will cover the good and bad.

NBA stars get mega-yacht to avoid filthy Olympic digs.  Another reason the rest of the world will loathe Team USA. As leaking pipes and exposed wiring — to name two disasters — continue to plague the athletes settling into their digs at Rio's Olympic Village, Carmelo Anthony and his teammates will be resting their heads at night aboard a luxurious liner.  The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that the Silversea Silver Cloud will house the US men's and women's basketball teams throughout the Games.  The 196-cabin, nine-deck supership boasts 7-foot beds and access to a pool, spa and shops.

U.S. Deploying Over 1,000 Military, Intelligence Officials for Olympics.  The United States is prepared to deploy more than 1,000 law enforcement, special operations, military, and intelligence officials to Brazil with the Olympics set to kick off Friday.  Hundreds of personnel have already arrived in Rio de Janeiro as part of a highly classified effort to protect the 2016 Summer Games, including American athletes and staff, according to a U.S. intelligence report obtained by NBC News on Friday.  The U.S. Special Operations Command has also sent more than a dozen highly skilled Navy and Marine Corps commandos to Rio to work with the Brazilian Federal Police and the Brazilian Navy, senior military officials told NBC.

Huge queues and angry fans mar the start of Rio Games.  The Rio Olympic Games got off to a shambolic start on Saturday [8/6/2016] as fans queued for hours at security checkpoints to enter venues, with some missing their events and many athletes competing in front of eerily empty stands.  Games organizers apologized for dropping the ball on the first day of full competition, the morning after a dazzling opening ceremony, as iconic venues such as beach volleyball on the famed Copacabana beach saw only a few hundred spectators.  Outside, lines stretched for several blocks as angry fans stood in full sun, waiting as security staff struggled.

Rio Olympic Golf Problems 2016: Capybaras, Crocodiles, Sloths All Over The Course.  After a 112-year absence from the Olympics, golf's return to the world's biggest sporting stage at the Rio games has hit a number of speed bumps.  The latest trouble:  the golf course is "overrun with wildlife," as People Magazine put it in a report Tuesday night [8/2/2016].  The list of critters spotted thus far on the course is impressive.  It includes sloths, mini crocodiles, boa constrictors, mico monkeys, burrowing owls and dozens of capybaras, the world's largest rodent.

Expert to Rio athletes: 'Don't put your head under water'.  Just days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by The Associated Press.

The Olympics are being Caster-ated!
Intersex athletes to take center stage at Rio.  Caster Semenya is a South African runner who could emerge as one of the most compelling figures of the Rio Olympic Games.  She is favored to win gold at 800 meters while perhaps breaking track's longest-standing world record, even as her stunning speed is leading to uncomfortable controversy at the uncertain intersection of gender and athletics — and of human rights and athletic fairness.  Semenya has never said she is intersex — a word preferred to the stigmatizing hermaphrodite — but speculation follows her around the globe, her private parts a mortifying matter of public debate.  Track observers believe Semenya is hyperandrogenous, meaning her body naturally produces high amounts of testosterone, the hormone that helps build muscle, endurance and speed.

Athlete with No Womb or Ovaries but Internal Testes Will Compete with Women in Rio.  With reports of dead bodies and excrement floating in the water, the threat of Zika and the Russian doping scandal, the Rio Olympics appears the Frankenstein of athletic events.  And now Rio seems dopey in another way:  owing to political correctness, a runner with, reportedly, no womb or ovaries but internal testes will be allowed to compete with women.  This person is South African middle-distance competitor Caster Semenya.

Semenya wins gold in the 800 as testosterone controversy simmers.  The South African Caster Semenya, world champion in 800 meters in 2009, ran in 1:55.28 to become the Olympic champion with gold in Rio, as controversy still simmers over her condition of hyperandrogenism.

Rio Mayor Says What We're All Thinking: 'Obviously This Is a City That Has Problems'.  The Olympics are now just four days away, and the serious concerns about whether Rio is up to the task of hosting continue to mount.  Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes is already in damage control mode, blaming an international organizing committee for some of the problems in the Olympic Village.  In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today [8/1/2016], Paes finally said what we're all thinking:  "Obviously this is a city that has problems," Paes admitted to Lauer.

Australia hit again: computer, shirts stolen at Rio Olympics.  A laptop and team shirts have been stolen from Australia's accommodation at the Olympic athletes' village while the building was being evacuated because of a small fire, the head of the team's delegation at the Rio Games said Sunday [7/31/2016].  Kitty Chiller said other computer equipment was "rifled through" but was left behind during the theft on Friday.  She said security seems to have improved, but called the theft "concerning."

Explosion at Rio's Olympic stadium just days before opening ceremony.  An explosion has rocked the Olympic stadium in Rio just days before it's set to host the opening ceremony after police found a suspicious toolbox.  Authorities sent in a robot to investigate the toolbox on Sunday at the Maracana Stadium as rehearsals for the ceremony were underway.  The toolbox is believed to have exploded when the robot touched it.

Corpses, excrement, litter: welcome to Rio Olympic sailing venue.  When Olympic sailors compete in Rio the cameras will show a made-for-television scene of sparkling tropical waters and mountains.  Luckily, the billions of viewers won't catch the revolting stink.  More than nine million people live in Rio and towns around the rest of Guanabara Bay.  At best only half the sewage they produce is treated before it pours into the city's watery heart.

Brazil cuts ribbon on much-delayed $3B subway expansion crucial for Olympics.  Brazil's highest officials celebrated the completion of a much-delayed $3 billion subway expansion that will play a crucial part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday just days before the games are set to kick off.

Rio Olympics security firm fired, maligned police force takes over.  Less than a week before the 2016 Rio Olympics are set to start, the Brazil Ministry of Justice terminated its contract with a private firm that was supposed to provide security for the games.  The ministry cited "incompetence and irresponsibility" from the Rio de Janeiro-based firm Artel, and moved to strip them of their duties.  It's not hard to see why the Ministry of Justice reacted so harshly.  With only a few days left until the first venues are set to open, Artel admitted that they have only hired 500 security personnel.  They were supposed to hire 3,400.

Rio Athletes Village faces leaks, power outages; Australia refuses to move in.  Thousands of athletes arriving for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics could find major plumbing and electrical problems in their rooms at the Athletes Village with the games opening in just under two weeks.

American Jordan Spieth drops out of Rio over 'health' concerns.  Jordan Spieth withdrew from the Olympics on Monday [7/11/2016], leaving golf without its top four players when the sport returns to the games for the first time since 1904.  The decision was announced by International Golf Federation President Peter Dawson.

Armored cars, soldiers in camouflage secure Rio Olympics.  Rio's rising crime rate is at the top of a long list of problems confronting South America's first games:  the Zika epidemic, severe water pollution, a crushing recession and slow ticket sales.

'Super bacteria' discovered in Rio's waters as Olympics near.  A group of Brazilian scientists have detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off of some of Rio de Janeiro's most stunning beaches, one month before the city is due to host the 2016 Olympic Games.  According to lead researcher Renata Picao, the "super bacteria" entered the city's waterways when sewage coming from local hospitals got channeled into the bay.

Brazil's Olympic Catastrophe.  On June 17, fewer than 50 days before the start of the Games, the state of Rio de Janeiro declared a "state of public calamity."  A financial crisis is preventing the state from honoring its commitments to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the governor said.  That crisis is so severe, he said, it could eventually bring about "a total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility and environmental management."  The authorities are now authorized to ration essential public services and the state is eligible for emergency funds from the federal government.  Measures like these are usually taken for an earthquake or a flood.  But the Olympics are a man-made, foreseeable, preventable catastrophe.

Body parts wash up on popular beach near Rio Olympic venue.  Authorities in Brazil said Wednesday [6/29/2016] that body parts washed up on shore of a popular Rio de Janeiro beach near where the beach volleyball Olympic event is set to take place in August.  The latest gruesome discovery is another obstacle the city has to grapple with among the laundry list of concerns athletes and fans will have to deal with.  The finding was first reported to Brazilian media by a Rio street vendor.  A police officer standing near a security perimeter confirmed the discovery to Reuters.  However, it's unclear how the mutilated body wound up on Copacabana Beach.

Cops and Firemen Warn Olympics Visitors Rio Won't Be Safe.  When tourists arrive for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer, they might be taken aback by the police and firemen who meet them at the airport.  Brazil is in a state of disarray, and the confused priorities of big government have led to fire and police layoffs.  As a result, cops and firefighters meet tourists at the airport with this sign, "Welcome to Hell."  The sign adds, "Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe."  These public servants have been forgotten in the country's massive corruption scandal.

Rio de Janeiro's acting governor:  Olympics could be a 'big failure'.  The headache for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games organizers shows no signs of subsiding.  Six weeks before the Games are set to begin, Francisco Dornelles, the acting governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, told the Brazilian newspaper O Globo that the state has not yet received recently-approved federal funds to beef up security and transportation for the quadrennial competition.  "I am optimistic about the games, but I have to show the reality.  We can make a great Olympics, but if some steps are not taken, it can be a big failure," Dornelles told O Globo.

Call for More Rio Security After Paralympic Athletes Robbed.  An estimated 85,000 police and soldiers will be patrolling the streets during the Olympics and Paralympics, but violent crime remains a fact of life in Rio.

The Editor says...
Next time, perhaps they should select a city that isn't saturated with criminals, that isn't going bankrupt, and doesn't have sewage in the river.

Rio state government declares financial disaster as Olympics loom.  The acting governor of Rio de Janeiro's state government declared a state of financial disaster Friday [6/17/2016] in an effort to change budgetary priorities without disrespecting Brazil's fiscal laws.  Francisco Dornelles' move will let him adopt exceptional measures to pay costs related to the upcoming Olympic Games as the state grapples with the country's steep economic recession.  Dornelles' office said in a statement that the decision was made because a dip in revenues from taxes and oil royalties was "stopping the state of Rio de Janeiro from honoring its commitment to the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."  He said the state is facing a "public calamity."

Studies find 'super bacteria' in Rio's Olympic venues, top beaches.  Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant "super bacteria" off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5.  The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio's most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals.  They also heighten concerns that Rio's sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.

Trash creates obstacles for Rio 2016 Olympic sailors.  When Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz rip through the water aboard their racing skiff, they are doing far more than sailing at the fastest possible speed.  The two athletes from the German Olympic Sailing team are also learning the unique currents, tides and wind patterns of Rio De Janeiro's Guanabara Bay, to try to get an edge when they compete in the upcoming Olympic Games.  And they are keeping a look-out for floating obstacles.  "Its possible you hit while sailing some plastic or you don't know what," says Jurczok, a 26-year old from Berlin.

The show must go on!
UN Health Agency Rejects Call to Postpone Rio Olympics.  The assessment, in a statement early Saturday [5/28/2016], came a day after 150 health experts issued an open letter to the U.N. health agency calling for the games to be delayed or relocated "in the name of public health."

Corruption, doping, instability:  Is it the end of the Olympic Games as we know them?  The ideals of the Olympics are noble and worthwhile.  In sports, nothing is better than the gathering of a peaceful, friendly competition, where the youth of the world can display the best in athletics that the planet can offer.  The corruption of Russia, through its state sponsored sanctioning of doping of their Olympians, threatens the entire institution and the games themselves.  Cheating and doping is nothing new.  It's been going on in Olympic competition for a long time, and it's not confined to Russia.  It's just much worse there, and now that it's unraveling, it is certain to have wide reaching effects and reverberations.

Stop the Olympics.  Discredited long ago by the very corruption and nationalism they were originally meant to transcend, the Olympic Games are embroiled in a wave of scandal that's embarrassing even by the sorry standards of this hypocritical "movement."  It's hard to say what's more outrageous: credible new allegations of a clandestine state-sponsored doping scheme carried out by the 2014 Winter Olympics' host nation, Russia — or the fact that the International Olympic Committee entrusted the event to a despotic regime run by a glory-hungry former KGB agent in the first place.  Meanwhile, the integrity of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing — another dictatorship's showcase — has been retrospectively undercut by the discovery of previously undetected doping by a reported 31 athletes from 12 countries; similar findings may be about to taint the 2012 London Games.

U.S. Athletes Told to Skip Rio Olympics if Concerned About Zika.  The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has recommended that any athlete or trainer concerned about the Zika outbreak in Latin America should consider not attending the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Two anonymous sources told Reuters that the USOC issued the suggestion late in January on a teleconference call.  President and board chairman of USA fencing Donald Anthony said no person should travel if "they don't feel comfortable going.  Bottom line."

Can the Rio Olympics survive outbreak of head-shrinking Zika virus?  Rio's Olympics are on the verge of disaster as fear grows over the Zika virus, which has left more than 4,000 newborns with shrunken heads.  Female spectators and even athletes of childbearing age are being warned by countries and medical professionals around the world to reconsider their plans to travel to Brazil for fear of what could happen to their unborn children after the country was overrun by the mosquito-borne disease.

Why Boston's Sports Fans Rejected the Olympics Boondoggle — and L.A. Said Bring It On.  How Boston's rabid sports fans rejected the Olympics — and how chumps in Los Angeles enthusiastically stepped up to potential bankruptcy — is a tale worth understanding, especially the next time your city or state tries selling voters on a new stadium or venue for billionaire sports team owners.  The Summer Games routinely use billions of taxpayer dollars to throw the equivalent of a three-week-long international party that ends with a trashed house and a financial hangover that lasts for years. [...] As sports economist Andrew Zimbalist has noted, the Summer Games might generate $6 billion in total revenue, half of which goes to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) while costing the host city $20 billion (London) or even $40 billion (Beijing).  And don't think that any new stadiums or infrastructure will have much of an economic afterlife.

AP test: Rio Olympic water badly polluted, even far offshore.  A new round of testing by The Associated Press shows the city's Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains.

Russia fights back after being slammed over doping.  The Russian government has begun fighting accusations that the country operated a vast state-sponsored doping program, even as the first punishment was handed down Tuesday [11/10/2015].

Russia used spies, secret lab in massive Olympics doping: report.  Russian track and field athletes could be banned from next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after a devastatingly critical report accused the country's government of complicity in widespread doping and cover-ups.

Terror prep may be LA's biggest card in campaign for '24 Olympics.  Los Angeles' 2024 Summer Olympics bid has a lot going for it — ready-made venues and hotels, countless tourist attractions and a massive media market that guarantees top-notch coverage and a huge international audience.  But the ability to provide security against terror attacks may be LA's best card to play.

Audit: Boston Olympics would have cost $970M more than estimate.  A scathing independent audit of Boston 2024's Bid 2.0 ordered by state government leaders found the economic impact likely would have been lower than projected by Olympics supporters and the costs likely would have been at least $970 million higher, according to the report released today [8/18/2015.  "Past experience suggests that Boston 2024 would have been unlikely to meet those cost estimates, and a more reasonable cost estimate would have been over $970 million higher than reported in Bid 2.0.," the report said.

The Winter Olympics problem — nobody wants them.  Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.  Now all it needs is some snow.  China 's capital — a city with scant snowfall and a limited winter sports experience — was chosen last week to host the Games, beating out Almaty, Kazakhstan.  While Beijing boasts sparkling facilities left over from its 2008 Summer Games, the International Olympic Committee's decision perplexed many observers.  But the governing body may not have had a choice.  Despite the IOC's efforts to make bidding and hosting more appealing, some of the stronger possible host cities have shied away in recent years.

With only one year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympics there are major concerns over construction, security and pollution.  A year to go until Rio 2016 and there are still serious issues facing the organisers.  Pollution will top the agenda this week, mainly because sailors, rowers, triathletes and marathon swimmers are all in town for test events during August.  Yet there are also major concerns over security — London 2012 470 sailing silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke were held up at knifepoint and robbed last December on a training camp.

A Winter Olympics in a City Without Snow.  China's northern plain is extremely dry, and what precipitation that falls in the capital tends to occur during the summer.  Beijing's Olympic planners have assured the IOC this won't be a problem — the country will simply use artificial snow to accommodate events, such as skiing, that require it.

The Editor says...
What kind of "carbon footprint" will be required to cover the Olympic Village with snow?  One would think the environmentalists would be upset about this plan, yet they are all completely silent.

WHO and Sailing Body Seek Virus Tests in Rio Olympic Venues.  The World Health Organization has asked the IOC to analyze virus levels in Rio de Janeiro's Olympic waters, and the governing body of world sailing says it will start doing its own independent virus tests.

Filthy Rio water a threat at 2016 Olympics.  The waters where Olympians will compete in swimming and boating events next summer in South America's first games are rife with human sewage and present a serious health risk for athletes, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth.  Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

No Countries Want to Host the 2022 Olympics.  Add Krakow to the growing list of cities who do not want to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.  The Polish city withdrew its bid this week after residents overwhelmingly voted against the plan, according to the Associated Press.  Now only four cities remain in the bidding process, and two of those may soon be ruled out — leaving only Kazakhstan and China as contenders.

The Olympics, in my estimation, are the UN's way to candy-coat the prospect of a unified world government, with its world-wide laws and taxes.  [1] [2] [3] [4]  The UN flag flies at all competition sites of the Olympic Games. [5]  The Olympics are an attempt to show that one country is morally equivalent to another:  It's all the same if the games are hosted by China or England or Russia or the United States.  Taxpayers, especially in the host country, end up paying the bills for the competition without the benefit of voting on it.

Why Sochi?  In all the comment about this month's Sochi Olympics, there is bewilderment above all about Sochi itself:  Why on earth would the Kremlin decide to host the Games in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby — a place that a front-page New York Times story this week describes as "the edge of a war zone"?

At the Sochi Olympics, you have to be a Russian politician to know it's not raining.  Ignore the attacks from the rear by the perfidious Western conspirators and propagandists, our common enemies who falsify their reports about the Sochi Games.  This great national festival has dissolved all dissent, and every fear and problem has been resolved.  The Olympics are gigantically staged, and a smiling mood reigns.  We see no evidence that it is raining here.

The Media's Most Outrageous Olympic Outbursts: Saluting the Socialists.  Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games.  Over the years the [Media Research Center] has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in jabs against Republicans, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the "paucity" of black athletes "makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."

Russian Village Used, Abused, and Forgotten by the Olympics.  If any one place embodies the allegations of corruption, abuse, and alarming human cost of the Sochi Olympics, it's here.  Ashtyr, a tiny, impoverished village in the foothills between the coastal and mountain parks where the upcoming Winter Games will be held, has been used by Olympic planners for its limestone deposits, suffered from the effects of nearby construction, and had its pleas for help ignored.

Olympic visitors' horror at hotels awash with stray dogs, brown water, bugs and no light bulbs.  Journalists checking in were left stunned as they arrived for bookings made last summer to be told they would have to wait indefinitely.  The few that did get rooms, were met with stray dogs, half-built walls, and toxic yellow water spitting from the sinks.

The many, many problems of the Sochi Olympics.  [Scroll down]  "The Sochi Olympics are an unprecedented thieves' caper," says former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.  He claims that some $26 billion in phony costs may have been creamed off by contractors, many of whom are Putin cronies.  Consider the new 31-mile road and railway that run from the beachfront town of Adler to the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, overseen by Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB general and Putin pal who heads Russian Railways.

The Most Expensive, the Most Corrupt, and the Most Dangerous Olympics in History.  There is a good summation of the problems with the Sochi Winter Olympics by Frances Weaver in The Week today.  It's about what you'd expect from modern day Russia ruled by former KGB agent Vladamir Putin.  In fact, the Olympic movement hasn't seen anything remotely like it.  First, the cost:  $51 billion.  By contrast, the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 cost around $8 billion.

IOC Makes U.S. Hockey Goalie Remove Constitution From Mask Before Olympics.  The International Olympic Committee is requiring U.S. women's hockey goalie Jessie Vetter to remove an inscription of the U.S. Constitution from her custom mask.  The IOC says the inscription is propaganda which promotes the United States above other countries.

Messiah Obama Turns 2014 Winter Olympics into Sexuality Games.  Anyone who thought the Olympics was about sports competition among nations apparently was wrong, at least according to President Barack Obama.  Just like he has tried to reinvent America off her throne of greatness, Obama uses the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to remake the games into a forum on gay rights.

Olympic outsourcing: Team USA snowboarders' uniforms foreign-made.  The newly-unveiled uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team are star-spangled and red, white and blue — but they're not made in America.

Olympic-Level Corruption in Putin's Russia.  Last week, there were two amazing, related stories out of the Putin dictatorship.  In the first one, the brilliant Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov, who specializes in watching the Russian secret police, broke the deeply disturbing news that Putin is planning a massive campaign of eavesdropping on all attendees during the Winter Olympics to be held next year in Sochi, Russia.

Russia planning 'near-total surveillance' of visitors, athletes at Sochi Winter Olympics.  Security measures at the Sochi winter Olympics will include such extensive electronic eavesdropping and surveillance that the US State Department has advised Americans headed to Russia to leave smart phones and laptops at home, an investigation has revealed.  Research by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two Russian investigative journalists who specialise in covering the security services, reveals a picture of near-total surveillance, Soldatov said.

The IOC's Biggest Scandals.  Juan Antonio Samaranch ruled the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001.  Once a youth organizer for Spain's fascists, he was considered a pioneer in the modern Games.  He wanted to be called "Your Excellency."  He created bidding wars for the chance to host the Games, which also makes him the father of modern Olympic corruption, the architect of selling committee votes to the highest bidder.

Washington DC to Bid for 2024 Summer Olympics.  The inconveniences of the daily routine in the nation's capital will be a selling point as Washington, D.C., makes a push to host the 2024 Olympics.

D.C. bids for 2024 Summer Olympics; Capital tired of being snubbed.  Officials in Washington Tuesday announced plans to seek the 2024 Summer Olympics, a bid to finally bring the world games to one of the few major capital cities to never hold the event.

The Editor says...
The selection of the host city for the Olympics isn't about finding adequate sports arenas and hotels — it's all about politics.  Washington is run by left-wing Democrats, which makes it a perfect match for the Olympics, which promotes a massive world-wide government under which any given country is equivalent to any other.  The Olympics paints a picture of affirmative action on a global scale:  Obscure countries that produce nothing get the same standing as major countries that drive of the world's economy.

Enough with the Kumbaya Olympics. Let's keep wrestling.  The International Olympic Committee issued a surprise decision on Tuesday [2/12/2013] to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games.  For a number of years, the committee has drawn fire for its lack of transparency.  With its secret vote to remove one of the original Olympic sports — one that dates back 2½ millennia to the first games in ancient Greece — it has added another decision that deserves scrutiny.

Faking and enhancing the sounds of the Olympics.  Ah, there's nothing quite like the serene "swoosh-swooshing" of oars in the water, as Olympic rowers glide along the water.  There really isn't, because those sounds spectators are hearing on their TVs are not live from the event, The Atlantic reported.  In order to keep sight of the boats, broadcasters must follow them with chase boats and a helicopter.  The result is that the sound of the rowing is drowned out by that noise.  So, NBC elected to replace the live audio with a recorded soundtrack of rowing practices to deliver more accurate depiction of what the sport sounds like in its pure form.

Olympic Boondoggle:  Careful What You Wish For.  Federal, state and local taxpayers end up paying for these Olympic athletic enterprises with few lasting benefits.

Homosexuals have special rights and privileges no one else has.
Married Olympians: We Can't Live Together During Games, But Gay Couples Can.  An Australian Olympic married couple claims they have been prohibited from sharing a room in the London Olympic Village, even though gay couples are reportedly allowed to do so.  Olympic shooters Russell and Lauryn Mark told that they are being discriminated against by officials.

NBC Posts $223 Million Loss on Winter Olympics.  The tally is in:  NBC lost $223 million on the Winter Olympics in the first quarter.

Chicago Olympics Bid Could Cost Taxpayers.  The City of Chicago's efforts to land the 2016 Summer Olympics could leave taxpayers across Illinois on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, even though Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) last year vowed "not a dime" of taxpayer money would be spent on the Olympics.  The Illinois legislature is expected to throw taxpayer support behind Chicago's bid.  Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who recently took office after lawmakers impeached and removed Rod Blagojevich from office, has already publicly committed at least $150 million in state funds for the Olympics — and that could climb higher.

The Olympic Bible:  The organizers of the 2008 Olympic Games in China have put the Bible on the list of items that athletes are banned from bringing with them to Beijing … This would seem to undermine claims by a Chinese government official, Ye Xiaowen, who told Reuters last month that China would accommodate the religious needs of visiting athletes.

The International Olympic Committee's Gag Order:  I'll put my cards on the table:  I'm no fan of the Olympics.  The bizarre North Korean mass-games style ceremonies, the corruption, the fakey universalist cosmopolitan brotherhood-of-man sentiments, the perpetuation of sports that no one cares about which should have died out long ago...  I think the Olympics is to sports as the United Nations is to politics.

China's totalitarian games:  Well, the [2008 Olympic] Games have certainly had a lasting effect on one part of Chinese society — the 1.5 million men, women, and children expelled from their homes in Beijing to make room for the construction of Olympic facilities and urban beautification projects.  To clear them out, the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions found, Chinese authorities resorted to "harassment, repression, imprisonment, and even violence."  Demolitions and evictions frequently occurred without due process.  Many dispossessed residents were not compensated; those who were usually received a fraction of the amount needed to make them whole.

China's gold medals came at a high price.  If anybody feels a pang of jealousy over China's haul of Olympic gold medals, they need only pause to consider what the athletes went through to get them.  The only mother on China's team, Xian Dongmei, told reporters after she won her gold medal in judo that she had not seen her 18-month-old daughter in one year, monitoring the girl's growth only by webcam.  Another gold medalist, weightlifter Cao Lei, was kept in such seclusion training for the Olympics that she wasn't told her mother was dying.  She found out only after she had missed the funeral.

China's apologists are wide-eyed and clueless.  Poor old Robert Mugabe.  Do you know what that guy needs?  An Olympics.  Harare 2012, he really missed a trick there.  A well-run Games and nothing else matters.  Put on a show, throw up a couple of impressive buildings and the world is your friend.  The road home from Beijing is lined with wide-eyed converts who've seen the light on totalitarianism.

I assume you've heard of Robert Mugabe.

China's hi-tech 'death van':  After trials of the mobile execution service were launched quietly three years ago — then hushed up to prevent an international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer — these vehicles are now being deployed across China.  The number of executions is expected to rise to a staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes — including tax evasion and fraud — are punishable by death in China).

Title IX Tied Our Hands At the Olympics.  U.S. athletes won in spite of Title IX regulations, which impose gender quotas on sports for institutions that receive any federal money.  Title IX has crippled our national competitiveness.  Title IX regulations have forced educational institutions to eliminate men's teams until the number of men and women on sports teams is the same ratio as the number of men and women enrolled in academic classes.  In the numerous colleges that are now 60 percent female in academic enrollment, Title IX requires that men's teams be eliminated until only 40 percent of the athletes are men.

Speaking of Title IX...
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  In a mind-boggling move, NCAA president Miles Brand recently urged NCAA institutions not to blame Title IX for any athletics cuts that they might be forced to make in the current economic downturn. ... The truth is that Title IX is always a factor in athletic department program decisions.

Is the NCAA Anti-Male?  In 1972, Congresswoman Patsy Mink authored an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ... The law was called Title IX.  The question now is whether this admirable idea has evolved into a law that is anti-male, and particularly anti-black male.

Enough is enough:  Here are my reasons for boycotting the Olympics.  The International Olympic Committee and the megabucks corporate sponsors of the games breathed a sigh of relief when the Beijing Olympics got under way last week with no major boycotts or disruptions.  Last spring, faced with widespread outrage over China's brutal suppression of Tibetan protesters and stubborn support for murderous regimes in Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe, IOC chairman Jacques Rogge nervously insisted "a boycott doesn't solve anything."

Massive Cheating by China at the Olympics.  There is absolutely no doubt — none, zero, zilch — that the Chinese "women's" gymnastics team featured several little girls no older than 14 years of age — two years younger than the international federation allows for competition.  Online registrations of these girls list one age, their passports list another.  This is blatant cheating — no other word for it.

China playing games at Olympics.  Does it get any lower than to use young girls like this to ensure your national glory?  The people of China deserve better than what has been going on at the Olympics and two tiny singers, maybe up to four gymnasts and perhaps the whole world are deserving of an apology.  Here we were thinking the Olympics was about integrity, honesty and fair competition.

Cheating ChiComs, Crouching IOC.  I have an 8-year-old daughter. I know what 8-year-old hands and feet and hips and teeth look like.  They look a lot like the hands and feet and hips and teeth of the purported "teenagers" on the gold medal-winning Chinese girls' gymnastics team.

The 100-Meter Gasp.  The Beijing Olympics [exposed] the environmentalist fraud that the U.S. is the world's biggest polluter.  Compared with China, we get the gold medal for energy efficiency.

Elderly Chinese women ordered into re-education for daring to protest.  Two elderly women who applied five times for permission to demonstrate in China's Olympic protest parks against the demolition of their homes have been ordered to serve a year of re-education through labour, according to a human rights group.  It is the toughest penalty to be reported against any of those who followed up an announcement by the Government that it would allow protests in three Beijing parks during the Games.  So far, police say that they have received 77 applications.  None has been approved.

IOC launches probe into possible underage Chinese gymnasts.  The governing body of the Olympic games is demanding an investigation into whether China stacked its female gymnastics team with underage tumblelinas.  The probe will center on China's gold-medal winning darlings, He Kexin and Yang Yilin.

International Olympic Committee launches probe into He Kexin's age.  The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning gymnastics star because she was too young to compete.

Hacker Uncovers Proof Chinese Gymnast Is Underage.  A determined computer expert has delved into cached pages on the Internet to unearth Chinese official documents showing a gymnast who took gold, edging Britain's Beth Tweddle into fourth place, may indeed be underage.

IOC strips bronze medal from China for using underage gymnast at 2000 Sydney Olympics.  Ten years after its gymnastics team won an Olympic bronze medal in Sydney, China was ordered to give it back for using an underage girl, allowing the United States to claim it instead.  Acting on evidence that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the 2000 Games, the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday stripped the country of the women's team bronze.

And You Thought Watching Was Torture ...  By some estimates, China has as many as 10,000,000 industrial slaves (according to sociologist Zhou Xiaozeng).  What's 10,002,200?  Taking politics out of the Olympics means ignoring the enslaved dancer who suffered paralysis in favor of the strapping American kid who's good at swimming.  If you have no problem doing that and consider the whole charade a wonderful celebration of human achievement, you are going to love the Pyongyang games.

Olympic fakery makes plain China's contempt for reality.  Time to clear the air:  That's not smog hovering over Beijing, swallowing entire office buildings like a mighty python.  It's just "a funny mist," says the city's environmental chief, who insists that the Chinese government has eliminated air pollution in the capital.

Olympic gold medals are made of silver.  The gold medals awarded at the Beijing Olympics are mostly made of silver, the Games' organising committee BOCOG admitted on Monday.  Each medal contains only 6% pure gold, BOCOG secretary-general Wang Wei said.  The bulk is silver, he added.

Human Rights in China Worse Since Olympics Started, Experts Say.  Experts told that that [John] Ray's experience was only an example of the kind of suppression that has occurred in China during the Olympic Games.  "The human rights situation is much worse than it was a month before the games began," John Tkacik, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told  "People used to be able to silently stand at government offices with petitions and protest against various government transgressions, but now they have all been chased away and some put in prison."

IOC calls for additional examination of Chinese gymnasts' ages.  The International Olympic Committee asked the international gymnastics federation Friday to reexamine whether gold-medal-winning gymnast He Kexin and two of her teammates were too young to compete in the Beijing Games.

Olympic-Sized Racism:  The Aug. 8 parade of nations featured representatives from 204 countries and territories of varying degrees of sovereignty bearing 204 flags and wearing 204 outfits designed to reflect the essence of the folks back home.  The parade … is perhaps the most powerful symbol of actual progress the Olympics has to offer.  That's especially true when you consider that people from several of those parading nations first competed in the Olympics at a bizarre, demeaning borderline-freak show designed to further racial pseudoscience.

Rogge rips the wrong guy.  Jacques Rogge is so bought, so compromised, the president of the IOC doesn't have the courage to criticize China for telling a decade of lies to land itself these Olympic Games.  All the promises made to get these Games — on Tibet, Darfur, pollution, worker safety, freedom of expression, dissident rights — turned out to be phony, perhaps as phony as the Chinese gymnasts' birthdates Rogge was way too slow to investigate.

Olympic fans, spectators wish Beijing would stop adding oil.  A large proportion of the audiences who came to view Olympic events had never seen those sports live before or even, in many cases, on TV.  A substantial number had not been to any stadium to view sports.  Thus it did not seem particularly unusual or strange that in the lead-up to these Olympics, the government should have organised the chanting.

Earlier in the year...
Unmasked:  Chinese guardians of Olympic torch.  China's blue-clad flame attendants, whose aggressive methods of safeguarding the Olympic torch have provoked international outcry, are paramilitary police from a force spun off from the country's army.  The squad of 30 young men from the police academy that turns out the cream of the paramilitary security force has the job at home of ensuring riot control, domestic stability and the protection of diplomats.

Rudd says 'no' to China torch guards.  Chinese paramilitary police will not be allowed to run alongside the Olympic torch in Australia, the country's prime minister said Thursday [4/10/2008], after their heavy-handed tactics drew criticism in earlier legs of the relay.  The men in bright blue tracksuits were dispatched by Beijing to guard the Olympic flame on its journey around the world.  They sparked concern in London and Paris, with the top official for the 2012 London Olympics calling them "thugs."

Accusations spread of Chinese under-age Olympians.  Australian media are reporting today that doubts have been raised about the ages of Chinese medal-winning athletes as long ago as the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.  Age-falsification has become a burning issue since the Beijing Games last month, where it was alleged that Chinese gymnast He Kexin, who won two gold medals, was underage and therefore should have been ineligible to compete in the event.

Chinese gymnasts not underage.  The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) had asked the Chinese federation to submit documents proving the birthdates of five members of the gold-winning team ... The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had specifically asked the FIG to investigate double Olympic gold-medalist He, who was registered as 16 although online media reports suggested she may have been 14.  Gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of an Olympics to take part.

The Editor says...
So the committee is satisfied by documents produced by the Chinese government?  No medical exam?  I think a good pediatric dentist could answer most of the age questions in five minutes.

The Twenty Biggest Stories Of 2008:  (#20)  China hosts the Olympics:  The ChiComs held the Olympics and although most of the event has already gone down the memory hole, the massive opening ceremony, Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals, the filthy air, and the rampant Chinese cheating in gymnastics won't soon be forgotten.

China wins gold as protesters come to their censors.  When Ji Sizun heard that the Chinese Government had agreed to create three special zones in Beijing for peaceful public protests during the 2008 Olympics, he celebrated.  He said in an interview at the time that he believed the offer was sincere and represented the beginning of a new era for human rights in China. ... It is now clear that his hope was misplaced.  In the end, official reports show, China never approved a single protest application — despite repeated pledges to improve its human rights record when it won the bid to host the Games.

The cover-up of an Olympic tragedy.  As Liu Yan rehearsed her moves on the stage at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium one evening last July, she had no idea that it would be the last time she would ever dance.

The Obama Olympics.  Last week, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley led a delegation to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Windy City made its bid in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Chicago is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to host the games. ... While Daley was the public face of Chicago's bid in Lausanne let there be no mistake.  The true public face of Chicago's Olympic bid is its favorite adopted son, President Barack Obama.

Chicago taxpayers are in the deep end of an Olympic pool.  We're all in — completely, irrevocably committed to the 2016 Olympic Games — and we're ahead of other bidders, and the question that occurs now is whether the price will seem worth it at closing ceremonies some seven years from now.  Mayor Daley this week in Switzerland did what Mayor Daley does.  That is, he committed Chicago's every last dollar to staging an Olympics no matter what the cost.

Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games.  Police have been handed 'Chinese-style' powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.  Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.  Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.

Obama's Olympic bid stagecraft.  Sixteen days ago, Richard Baehr noted speculation that President Obama would make a last-minute dramatic trip to Copenhagen this week, to pitch the case for Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics.  The publicly-announced plan had been for Michelle to represent Chicago's bid.  Because other contenders were sending their top leaders, it seemed as if Obama were letting Chicago down.  Unless you took the cynical view and saw this all as dramatic framing of an upcoming event, so as to maximize propaganda benefits.

Why is Obama going to Copenhagen?  I think I speak not only for myself but for the 295 million Americans who don't live in the Chicago area when I say that President Obama has about as much business going to Copenhagen to push the city's Olympic bid as he does taking up the violin.

Bidding for the Olympics, Chicago-style.  Social Security is about to run out of money to cover the monthly checks that millions of senior and disabled Americans depend on to make ends meet.  Unemployment is nearing 10 percent nationwide and has reached its highest mark since World War II among younger Americans, 52 percent.  As many as 80,000 people in California's Central Valley are out of work in part because of federal environmental policies that make fish more important than people.  These are only a few of the most important crises facing the nation today.  And where is our president?  He is in Copenhagen, Denmark, to deliver a sales pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics.

Obama's Olympic Spirit.  It would seem the Obama administration, which hasn't had time to hold conversations with senior military officials involved in such a critical national security issue as the war in Afghanistan, has been spending far more time assisting President Barack Obama's adopted hometown, Chicago, than the White House has previously divulged, using the President's and White House senior staff's presence at global policy meetings to lobby foreign ministers, diplomats and members of the International Olympic Committee.

The President as Pitchman:  It Isn't Pretty.  Politically, economically and historically it makes no sense for the president to travel to Denmark to sell Chicago to the Olympic committee.

Rotten in Denmark.  No other U.S. president has ever personally lobbied for the Olympics to be held in this country.  Even President Obama claimed just days ago that he would not go to the Olympics meeting, because he was so "firmly committed to making real the promise of quality, affordable healthcare for every American."

All the President's Olympic Cronies.  When government officials play the Olympic lottery, taxpayers lose.  That has been the disastrous experience of host cities around the world.  (Forbes magazine even dubbed the post-Olympic financial burden the "Host City Curse.")  So, why are President Obama and his White House entourage headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, this week to push a fiscally doomed Chicago 2016 bid?  Political payback.  Bringing the games to the Windy City is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's "vision."

Obama's Olympian gamble collapses.  U.S. President Barack Obama's politically risky Olympics gamble failed to bring home the gold on Friday [10/2/2009], with the Olympics committee's refusal to grant the 2016 Summer Games to his hometown Chicago.

The Winter Olympics:  A Dying Proposition?  Whereas the Summer Olympics dwarfs the sister Winter games in terms of worldwide participation and popular interest, the Winter Olympics features sports that necessitate freezing-temperature playing fields and national training programs — the Jamaican bobsled team notwithstanding — that would be hard to implement or sustain in most of the populated world, where athletic development and training consists of kicking first a can, and later a soccer ball.

Olympic grumblings:  The Winter Games.  An opening ceremony consisting of the RCMP, Natives, k.d. lang dressed as a man, a plump white poet with a silly beard pretending to be black and what appeared to be the cast of Avatar all dancing about and explaining how Canada is based entirely on environmental protection and the cult of equality.  The Olympic torch carried by various people who love Canada so much that they haven't lived here in decades and spend most of their lives pretending to be American.

Olympic Pawns:  The formation of a new and permanent White House Office of Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports will establish more centralized control over "amateur" sports and over all athletes in the United States. ... When I competed and traveled as an athlete and United States citizen, I encountered figure skating colleagues who were not free, from nations with government structures that controlled all aspects of their sports; parents were not welcome in the decisions of their children's involvement in athletics.

Countries behaving badly: Every two years, the Olympics crowns a new batch of heroes:  Cinderellas on ice skates, flag-waving champions and gritty underdogs who capture hearts around the globe.  There's also the blowhards, cheaters and sore losers.  With two days left before the closing ceremonies, the Vancouver games have been more inspiring than irritating, but like every Olympics, there have been some whiners among the winners.

A few years later...
Top Chinese gymnast found begging on the street.  One of China's most promising young gymnasts, who seemed destined for Olympic glory before his career ended in injury, has been found begging on the streets of Beijing, prompting criticism of the country's Soviet-style sports system.

The 2012 Olympics:

Olympics wind turbine is scrapped, threatening green pledges for 2012.  A plan to build a massive wind turbine on the Olympic Park is to be scrapped, raising questions about whether the environmental pledges for the 2012 London Games can be met.

Snipers, jets and 13,500 troops on Olympics duty.  Up to 13,500 British troops will protect the London Olympics from a terrorist atrocity, it was revealed today.  The figure is 4,000 more than the number who currently serve in Afghanistan and will see bomb disposal experts, specialist sniffer dog handlers, building search teams and regular soldiers will support the police to keep the 2012 Games safe.

Violent Anarchist Group Vows to Wage 'Low Level Warfare' on London Olympics.  The Informal Anarchist Federation, also known as the "FAI" after its initials in Italian, has been making news across Europe recently following a string of violent and destructive crimes.  Earlier in May, the group claimed responsibility for shooting an Italian nuclear executive in the kneecaps during a drive-by attack, warning in a four-page letter that they would strike the man's company seven more times.

I hate the Olympics.  [T]he whole business is tacky and unedifying and horrible and nationally humiliating, like being invaded by the Disney Corporation and everyone being forced to wear mouse ears in solidarity with the Dear Leader. gladly complies with this request:
Olympics bans links to its site if you're 'derogatory'.  The rules of the London 2012 Olympics site seem to be somewhat odd, if not inanely unenforceable, if not otherwise objectionable.

The Olympic Spirit and the Islamic Spirit.  In a sign of the times, the London Summer Olympics will be defended by anti-aircraft guns and surface-to-air missiles [...] G4S, the world's largest security company, was to provide 12,000 security personnel, but has so far only managed to come up with 4,000.  In another sign of the times, not all of their security personnel speak English.

NBC accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics.  Controversy over the coverage of the Olympics on American television deepened today when NBC was accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics in order to create what critics called "fake suspense."  Russian world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva's unexpected fall during the floor exercises, which effectively handed a gold medal to Team USA during an early stage of the contest, was inexplicably removed from the time-delayed version of events that NBC presented to its prime-time television viewers.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team's Uniforms:  Made in China

Team USA Olympic uniforms not made in USA.  Not only do this year's Team USA uniforms look a little militant, but it turns out the London Olympians' duds were made in China, which, if you didn't know, is not in the United States.  Classic Americana designer Ralph Lauren stylized the team's opening ceremony uniforms, but outsourced the actual tailoring to China.

Lawmakers Want 'Made in China' U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned.  Lawmakers were outraged Thursday after an ABC World News report revealed that the U.S. Olympic team's opening ceremony outfits are made in China.  Some suggested making a bonfire with the outfits, which include berets and blazers.

The Editor says...
Is every country expected to have its uniforms made within its own borders?  That would be amusing as well as enlightening.

U.S. Olympic Uniforms: Made in China by Democratic Donor's company.  Lawmakers were livid to discover that the United States' Olympic team uniforms were made in China. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) even suggested "they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again."  The company who designed the uniforms, Ralph Lauren, has received less scrutiny.  Few outlets have noted that Ralph Lauren himself is a prominent contributor to President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Obama, Reid Contributor Ralph Lauren Outsourced Olympic Uniforms.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has raised a furor over the fact that the uniforms for the US Olympic Team are made in China.  Which is to say:  outsourced.  Who designed these uniforms?  Who actually did the outsourcing of these Olympic uniforms here?  That would be the famous American designer Ralph Lauren.  Who has a habit of outsourcing his clothes to places like China, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.  Uh-oh.  That would be the same Ralph Lauren who, according to the Federal Elections Commission, on May 7, 2012 — barely two months ago — contributed $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012.

Olympic Uniform Brouhaha Shows the Imperial Democratic Emperor Has No Clothes.  What I found most striking is the attitude of many of the liberals in Congress, typified by the statement by New York's Senator Gillibrand, as quoted by the Associated Press yesterday, that "There is no compelling reason why all of the uniforms cannot be made here on U.S. soil at the same price, at better quality."  This statement is a microcosm of what is wrong with the thinking of many liberals in general.  Unfortunately, it is obvious that there IS a compelling reason — though not a pleasant one, and many would say not a justified one — why uniforms were not made here on U.S. soil; unions have often rendered our goods not competitive, even with the savings of tariffs and international shipping costs.

Transgender / transvestite athletes and the impending end of women's sports

Liberals Embrace Anti-Feminism in Transgender Sports Debate.  Anti-feminists continue their unapologetic efforts to destroy women's sports at all levels.  Not satisfied to just ruin high school girls' athletics, they are setting their sights higher.  This week's headline indicated that Juniper Eastwood, a University of Montana cross-country runner, will become the first transgender (i.e. biological male) athlete to compete as a female in division I cross country.  Anyone want to bet against him completely dominating his sport?

Is It Trans Discrimination or Legitimate Concern for Women?  The landscape of women's sports has changed drastically in the last few years.  Natural-born males who now identify as women can compete athletically against natural-born women simply by stating they identify as a woman.  This includes quite masculine males who have long since passed the age of puberty before their purported "transition."  What has been buried under the identity politics cacophony are facts of biology, and the indisputable differences between the two sexes.  Those who have spoken out against the sudden turn of events say they are being censored; some professionals have been fired for not following the trans activist narrative that prevails in public discourse.

This Is What LGBTQ Organizations Are Doing to Society.  Last month, a transgender weightlifter won multiple gold medals at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.  Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand won two gold medals and a silver in the three heavyweight categories for women weighing more than 87 kilograms, or 192 pounds.  Hubbard is physically male.  Last year, two biologically male sophomores at different Connecticut high schools competed in the female division of the state open track and field competition.  They came in first and second place in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.  Because the Western world cowers before LGBTQ demands, no matter how unfair they are to women athletes, men who deem themselves female must be allowed to compete against women.  They almost always win.

Feds Investigating Violation Of Girls' Civil Rights In CT After Trans Athletes Smoke Competition.  The U.S. Department of Education Office has agreed to investigate a violation of girls' civil rights in Connecticut following a complaint filed in Boston concerning two biologically male transgender teens triumphing over biologically female competitors in high school track.

Democrats Denied Transgender Athletes Have Advantages In Women's Sports.  Science Says They're Wrong.  Suppressing testosterone levels in male athletes isn't enough to eliminate their natural advantages over female athletes, according to a recently published paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics.  The paper's findings contradict congressional Democrats' claim that male athletes who identify as transgender don't have an inherent advantage over their female competitors.  The paper, "Transwomen in elite sport: scientific and ethical considerations," concluded that male athletes who identify as transgender women have an "intolerable" advantage over their female competitors.

Democrats, Transsexuals, and Women's Sports.  The gradual subversion of women's sports by the LGBTQ movement could receive a steroidal-like boost with a victory by Democrats in the 2020 elections.  All Democratic presidential candidates have pledged their support for the Equality Act, which declares one's sex to be whatever he or she self-identifies as, regardless of the "designated sex at birth."  House Democrats voted overwhelmingly in May to approve the measure.  Joe Biden says getting the act passed would be his top legislative priority.  Critics say it could devastate girl's and women's sports.  It comes down to a numbers game.  Transgenders are just now coming out, much as gays came out 40 years ago.

Transgender weightlifter wins two gold medals in women's competition.  The transgender conquest of women's sports continued over the weekend as a New Zealand weightlifter took home multiple gold medals at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.  Laurel Hubbard won two gold medals and a silver in the three heavyweight categories, for women weighing more than 87 kilograms, or 192 pounds, finishing first in the snatch-lift and combined categories and second in the clean-and-jerk.  The 41-year-old weightlifter was born as Gavin Hubbard and reportedly transitioned while in the mid-30s.

Sorry, Ladies:  It's Just Biology, Psychology, and Economics.  The "inequality" that exists in women's sports is nothing new, and in spite of what many on the left would have us believe, it involves nothing nefarious.  The fact that consumers overwhelmingly prefer men's sports to women's sports is merely a matter of biology and psychology and not due to some mythical misogynistic plot.  The facts and the data clearly bear this out. [...] Unless the Left continues down this road, where gender-deluded (or financially savvy?) men are allowed to compete as women, there will never be "equal pay" or "gender equality" when it comes to athletics, because human sexes are not — and will never be — equal.

Female athlete alleges retaliation by coach because her mother complained about transgender policy.  Boys are competing in girls' track and field events in Connecticut, at the direction of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, so that transgender students don't feel invalidated.  They are often winning, and the girls are afraid to publicly object for fear of "retaliation," according to Selina Soule, one of the female competitors.  That's why Soule and two of her unnamed female peers are asking the U.S. Department of Education to investigate CIAC for Title IX violations.

Understanding Leftists in Three Easy Steps.  America is fighting a culture war and the Progressive Left is the aggressor.  The latest front was opened on June 21 when the House of Representatives passed the so-called "Equality Act," which would allow boys who self-identify as girls to compete in school sports as girls.  Conservatives point to the Democrats' embrace of transgender ideology as further evidence the party has gone off the rails, but typically left unexplained is how and why Leftists get to the positions they hold.  Here is an attempt to do that.

Hey, 'Trans' Men in Women's Sports:  Good Luck, Fellas — Go for the Gold!.  "Equality" cries were cherished by feminists when they gave females entry into military academies, boardrooms and the ranks of police; prize-money parity in some sporting events; and access to boys' athletics.  But with these appeals now putting sexually confused men in women's sports, well, feminists' cries are a tad different.  Equality can be a real downer when it's principle and not ploy.

Survey: 1 in 4 okay with trans athletes competing in women's sports.  The survey, conducted by, was conducted in mid-April 2019 — and according to the findings, less than a quarter of respondents (23%) believe men should be able to compete in women's competitive sports events.  But Steve McConkey, president of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics, is concerned that individuals under 35 are evenly divided on the question (41% yes, 44% no).  "[The poll] showed that the younger generations ... are not opposed to transgenders in sports — [whereas] the older adults ... are more situated in their belief, thinking there are two sexes," he summarizes.

High School Track Star Who Lost Race to Transgender Athletes Explains Why She's Fighting Back.  The female high school athlete who was forced to sit on the sidelines at a major track tournament because two transgender runners landed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots isn't just speaking out about the unfairness of her situation — she's fighting back.  Hours after filing a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, Selina Soule and her attorney, Christiana Holcomb of Alliance Defending Freedom, sat down with Kelsey Bolar on this week's edition of "Problematic Women" to discuss the latest developments in her case.

Transgender Policy Forces Catholic Girls School Out Of Athletic Conference. has obtained exclusive information that Oakcrest School, an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 6-12, has withdrawn from the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) due to the athletic conference's decision to allow boys who "identify" as girls to compete in the conference's girls athletic programs.  According to information shared exclusively with CHQ, back in March the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) voted to amend its constitution to allow students to participate in athletics in a manner that is "consistent with their gender identity."

High School Girl Who Lost Race to Transgender Athletes Files Federal Complaint.  A female high school athlete who didn't qualify for a track event because two boys who identify as girls ran faster filed a complaint Monday with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.  "No one in the state of Connecticut is happy about this, but no one has enough courage to speak up," Selina Soule said during an interview with Tucker Carlson that aired Monday night [6/17/2019] on his Fox News Channel show.

Girls file federal discrimination complaint after transgender track wins.  Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships.

Female Track Runner Sidelined By Male Competitors Petitions The Department Of Education For Justice.  It's striking how quickly the culture can change.  Just a short time ago, surely few would've believed that a common viewpoint — that it would be unfair to let guys take away athletic victories from girls by allowing them to compete in women's sports — would be labeled the result of an irrational fear.  Yet here we are:  What was considered common sense and common goodness is now a symptom of mental illness.  "Transphobia" has gotten so much traction, in fact, that Brazil just criminalized it — it's punishable by a half decade in prison.

Craig Telfer
Run-of-the-mill as a man, champion as a 'woman'.  Last year, Craig Telfer (pictured, center) was a solid but not dominating athlete competing in men's track and field at Franklin Pierce University.  But this year, Telfer — now identifying as a woman — competed in women's events, setting numerous school and conference records, and ended up qualifying for the Division II NCAA championships in two events: 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.  Steve McConkey of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics says that's unfair because "the physical characteristics of this athlete ... are far superior than women — the length of the joints, the top parts of the leg are far superior than women for hurdling, [the event] in which this person was successful in doing."  McConkey is opposed to this trend, claiming it will ruin women's sports.  However, he says that some notable female athletes are beginning to speak out.

Finally! A poll on transgender athletes competing as women.  The concerted push for the public to accept the notion that men can become women by an act of will, perhaps with the aid of hormones and surgery, has always struck me as a measure intended to ratify mind control by means of institutional pressure and ostracism of non-compliant people.  The fact that transgenderism is blatant scientific nonsense makes the exercise all the more important.  A subject population that can be made to assent to such nonsense will accept totalitarianism as it creeps up.  That's why until now I have not been able to find any poll asking the public what it thinks.  The danger in mass mind control exercises is that people will recognize they are not alone in [questioning] what the media, the deep thinkers, and the activists tell them.  But, as I expected, it turns out that a majority of the public isn't buying the party line that the media, the education establishment, Hollywood, and the entire arts and culture establishment fanatically push.

Transgender hurdler easily wins NCAA women's national championship.  A hurdler who competed as a man last year won an NCAA championship in women's hurdles over the weekend.  CeCe Telfer of Franklin Pierce University easily won the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division II outdoor track-and-field championships Saturday, winning the final race by more than a second.  Telfer also finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, earning All-America honors.

"It is better to deserve honors and not have them
  than to have them and not deserve them."
Mark Twain         

Transgender Woman, Who Remains A Biological Male, Wins NCAA Women's Track Championship.  A biological male won the first Women's Track and Field NCAA title, even though she was previously competing as a man named Craig as recently as 2018. CeCe Telfer, a transgender woman from New Hampshire attending Franklin Pierce University, won the first ever NCAA title for the sport, and also made history as the first biologically male competing on a woman's team to do so.

The Editor says...
EVERY "transgender woman" remains a biological male.  You can make drastic surgical alterations to your body, but you cannot change your chromosomes.

Liberals Are At War With Science In The Transgender Athlete Controversy.  [Scroll down]  Nowhere is this disconnect between science and modern liberal ideology (and its harm to those the party claims to champion) so evident as in the dispute over transgender athletes who demand to compete in women's sports.  On one side of the debate you have people like Jaycee Cooper, a transgender woman who is in a dispute with USA Powerlifting because the federation doesn't allow biological men to compete with women.  USA Powerlifting says Cooper has an unfair advantage over them as a biological male, but Cooper says it's discriminatory to ban transgender people from competing with the sex they identify with.  "I really do love this sport, and it's not fair to genetically eliminate an entire group of people," Cooper told NBC News.  The federation rules do allow transgender athletes to compete freely in competition with people of their biological sex, with the exception of biological women who use testosterone.  But more importantly, Cooper's discrimination argument disregards the fact that women's sports are designed to exclude an entire group of people — men — from the competition in order to level the playing field.

Trans Powerlifter Stripped Of Titles In Women's Championships.  This is the latest in our apparently endless series of stories covering the destruction of competitive women's sports by the introduction of "transgender women" into the events.  This time we're back to the sport of weightlifting.  A transgender powerlifter named Mary Gregory recently "dominated" the field at a Powerlifting Federation competition last month, smashing four world records for that weight class in the process.  This had the actual women competing in the event understandably upset and protests were lodged.  But after an investigation was conducted, the federation chairman posted an announcement saying that the record lifts were being taken off the books.

Sports League Rejects Transgender Athlete's Claim to Female Weightlifting Records.  A weightlifting league has revoked awards to a transgender weightlifter who claimed to have broken several women's weightlifting records.  "Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather thana identification," said a statement from Paul Bossi, president of 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation.

8th Place:  A High School Girl's Life After Transgender Students Join Her Sport.  When two high school athletes who were born male but identify as female took first and second place at Connecticut's girls indoor track championship this year, it wasn't just a local news story.  To some, it was a story of triumph and courage.  The winner, a junior from Bloomfield High School, set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds in the 55-meter dash, and went on to win the New England titles in both the 55-meter dash and the 300-meter dash.  To others, it was a story of shock and disappointment:  Is this the end of women's sports?

Girls and Women Deserve Single-Sex Sports.  Our culture is so steeped in the idea of equality (in most ways, a very good and noble commitment) that we lose sight of obvious but important facts that we must acknowledge if we are to create a truly level playing field and make functioning equality possible.  Take sports.  Today, most people recognize that participating in athletics is associated with positive benefits for both males and females.  It's just as important to encourage our daughters to join a team as it is to encourage our sons.  Individuals of both sexes have the capacity to be great athletes.

Man Competes In Women's Powerlifting, Sets Four World Records.  Do people no longer realize the extreme difference between XX and XY muscle?  Reality keeps rearing its ugly head in sports, as a liberal position eliminates women from competition like Dolly Parton crashing a Men's Largest Chest championship.  Case in point:  Mary Gregory.  On Sunday [4/28/2019], Mary — who's a man — shattered four women's division powerlifting world records.  Due to his dominance in girls' deadlift, squat, and bench press, he set a Masters total record.

Transgender Athletes Dominate at Connecticut Girls' Track State Meet.  According to, a nonpartisan grassroots campaign based in the UK dedicated to fighting for the sex-base rights of women and girls, there are a number of skeletal and muscular differences between men and women.  Women are, on average, 9 percent shorter than men, and have shorter and weaker bones.  Women also have shorter arms and legs relative to body size — one can easily see where longer legs might benefit males in track sports.  As for muscles, women "are around 30-35% muscle by weight, while men are 40-50% muscle."  Women's ligaments are also thinner and softer than men's.  The impact these biological differences have when it comes to competitive sports is undeniable — and there are victims whose concerns are not being heard.

Every House Democrat But One: 234 Elected Officials Demand The Extermination Of Women's Sports.  Sarah Warbelow of the left-wing Human Rights Campaign testified before a House subcommittee Tuesday [4/9/2019] that the notion of men having an athletic advantage over women is not "rooted in fact."  Here's a secret:  The very much "rooted in fact" fact that men have an advantage is the very reason there's such a thing as women's sports in the first place.  If there's no advantage, then just eliminate women's sports.  Which, effectively, they're doing.

All but one Democrat in the House co-sponsors a bill to allow males to compete on female athletic teams.  It may be counterintuitive to rationally examine an irrational proposal, but it's the only way to defeat it.  Not all male athletes will be able to beat all female athletes.  This is especially true at the highest levels of competition.  But it is also true that the best male athletes will defeat the best female athletes every time.  And in some sports — field events in track — even average male athletes will have a competitive advantage over females.  This hardly matters to female athletes who train for years, bringing their bodies to peak conditioning, only to find that their best wasn't good enough because a biological male who might be an average or above average male athlete was allowed to compete against her.

Former Olympic medalist:  Female athletes afraid to speak out about males competing as women.  British former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies said Monday that she knows of "quite a lot" of female athletes who are afraid to publicly share their concerns about biological males who identify as transgender women competing in women's sports.  Davies told Sky News that she's had "many" conversations with female athletes who are afraid to speak out, especially "people who are competing at the moment."  "They're worried that their governing bodies will frown on it, they're worried that their sponsors will think it's not PC and that they're not allowed to do this," said Davies, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

First They Came for the Catholics, Then for the Christians, and Then for the High School Kids.  [Scroll down]  Meanwhile, in Colorado, they now have disqualied Brendan Johnston from the state's high-school wrestling championships.  Johnston is a Christian teen boy who politely, as a matter of religious principle and personal conscience, refused to wrestle a girl.  As he explained, "There is something that I really do find problematic about the idea of wrestling with a girl, and a part of that does come from my faith and my belief.  And a part of that does come from how I was raised to treat women.  I don't think that I am looking at them as not equal.  I am saying that they are women, and that is dierent than being men, because I do believe that men and women are different, and we are made differently.  But I still believe that women are of equal value to men.  I don't think that seeing men and women as different... [opposes] the idea of equality."

Girls' sports being decimated by biological males claiming to be females.  There are only two genders in this world of ours, male and female, and it doesn't matter how someone "identifies," that biological fact is established and unalterable. [...] With that being said, the Left is nevertheless hard at work trying to convince us that gender is a 'fluid' thing and in some cases, an outright choice, so old societal constructs like "male" and "female" sports are no longer necessary or relevant.  That's why they go along with allowing biological males to participate in (and dominate) all-female events simply because they 'identify' as a girl, claiming — remarkably and unbelievably — that there are no physical differences between the sexes.

If You're A Biological Man Competing In A Women's Sport, You're A Cheater.  It's one thing to have someone shout that they are female when they're really male.  If they just kept it to that, then that's not something I particularly care about.  You do you, just don't force everyone else to pretend along with you and we're good.  However, it's another to not only force everyone else to agree with you but then applaud you as you put women down.  That's exactly what's going on in the sports community, as headline after headline comes out detailing victories by transgendered "women" in women's sports as highlighted by my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn on Tuesday [2/26/2019].  These are only being celebrated today as triumphs because the current trend says people not only should cheer it on, but they have to.  Any talk to the contrary evokes the wrath of the mob, and God have mercy on your soul if you become their target.

The Testosterone-Fueled He-Men of Women's Sports.  Female sprinters (good ones) tend to have broader shoulders and narrower hips, but still cannot match the anatomical advantages that a biological male does.  In addition, all females, even masculine ones, have a wider Q-angle.  That's the hip to knee ratio.  And here, that difference is again obvious.  Finally, look at the muscle density.  The biological girls could work out their whole lives and not build that muscle naturally.

Boys Will Be Boys, Except When They Are Girls.  In the recent Connecticut girls' state indoor track championships, two men calling themselves women finished first and second place in the 55-meter sprint, one of them setting a state record.  Connecticut is one of 17 states allowing high school athletes to compete without restriction with members of the opposite sex.  States, in an effort to be diverse, tolerant, and woke, have passed anti-discrimination laws requiring students who so desire to be treated in school as members of the opposite sex.  Interestingly, the sporting competitions are binary:  male or female.  If these school administrators were true to their intentions, they would have separate sporting events for each of the 60 genders in order to make things fair.

Trump-Hating Lesbian Tennis Champ Destroyed for Saying Men and Women Are Different.  Navratilova defected from communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. That same year, when there was still a price to be paid for doing so, she came out as a lesbian and has since engaged in a long career of LGBT activism.  She lent her name and support to ballot initiatives, spoke at LGBT marches, and in 2000 was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT lobbying group.  She is active on Twitter and firmly in the Orange Man Bad camp.  No one could ever accuse Martina of not being down for the cause.  All this was not enough to protect Navratilova from ostracization and accusations of bigotry last week when she questioned the wisdom of allowing men pretending to be women to compete in women's sports.

Martina Navratiola Removed From Board of LGBTQ Organization.  Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was officially removed Wednesday from the advisory board of a prominent LBGTQ organization after making comments about transgender athletes.  Navratilova released an op-ed in The Sunday Times on Feb. 17 discussing her opinion on why transgender athletes should not be able to compete against female athletes.  She wrote that having men compete as women is unfair because of the physical advantage.

Political Correctness Is Ruining Sports.  For the second consecutive year, Mack Beggs, an 18-year-old transgender wrestler, has won the Texas girls' Class 6A 110-pound division.  Born a female, Beggs is in the process of transitioning to a male, or so she thinks.  Beggs, who takes a low dose of testosterone, had wanted to compete against boys, but Texas public high schools, which have yet to get with the progressive times, require athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate.  Last year two girls, not wanting to risk being injured by her, forfeited against Beggs.  So did a girl this year.  Whether they were compelled to undergo empathy training I don't know. [...] Transgenderism is a problem in the Olympics, too.  Per the latest rules, transgender "women" must test below a specified level of testosterone for more than one year in order to compete.  But while this is doubtless somewhat effective, aren't these athletes, with their still bigger, still stronger, and still more durable bodies, out of place even so?

Man "Identifying" As Woman Wins Women's World Cycling Championship.  Having covered the topic of transgender athletes extensively here, this is a story I've been expecting to cross our path for quite a while now.  At the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles this weekend, the winner of the women's 35-39 age bracket was Canadian competitor Rachel McKinnon.  McKinnon is a male who identifies as a female.

The Editor says...
If a heavyweight boxer "identified" as a middleweight, and then beat his opponent to a pulp, would that be unfair?  Yes, because there are pragmatic ways (involving a calibrated scale) to determine (before the contest begins) who's a heavyweight and who's not.  Similarly, there are ways to determine if one has XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes; and indeed, there are no others.

World cycling bronze medalist cries foul after transgender woman wins gold.  The American bronze medalist who lost a world-championship cycling race to a transgender woman from Canada has criticized the results as unfair.  "First transgender woman world champion...ever," Rachel McKinnon, an assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, bragged Sunday in a tweet that set off a massive debate.

Biological Male Wins World Championship In Women's Cycling.  A biological male who identifies as a transgender woman won a women's world championship cycling event on Sunday [10/14/2018].  Rachel McKinnon, a professor at the College of Charleston, won the women's sprint 35-39 age bracket at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles.  McKinnon, representing Canada, bested Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and American cyclist Jennifer Wagner to take home the gold.

It's time to end women's sports.  It's time to end women's sports — especially since they're not just "women's" sports anymore.  A case in point is "Rachel" McKinnon, Ph.D., a man masquerading as a woman (MMW), or a "transgender," as the enlighteners say, who just won a women's masters cycling event.  As The Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft (almost) put it, he "whooped them little girls."  McKinnon isn't alone, as many MMW have won women's sporting events during the last decade.  To name just a few, a 55-year-old MMW won a women's long-drive competition (golf) in 2008.  Last year, a 39-year-old MMW won a women's weightlifting event.  Then there were the Connecticut's State Open track and field championships in June; the top two finishers in the 100-meter dash were both MMW (okay, being boys, they were BMG), with one of them setting the girls' state record in both the 100- and 200-meter runs.  Hey, you go...uh...girl.

State of Modern Sports:  Boy Identifies as Girl, Boy Competes as Girl, Boy Wins Everything.  A high school in Connecticut has accepted a new boy on their track team.  Except, he won't be going to the boys track team, he'll be going to the girls team.  Andraya Yearwood, a freshman and biological male from Cromwell High School in Connecticut, identifies as a girl and recently received permission to join the girls track team after competing as a boy in middle school.  Not surprisingly, Yearwood has been extremely successful as a male competing against females.

NFL: Hey, you know what would really improve our ratings?  A transgender bathroom bill fight.  You may have missed it in the rush of "other news" last month, but Texas is considering implementing their own transgender bathroom bill similar to the one in North Carolina which we spent most of 2016 fighting over. [...] One unexpected entrant into this particular field of battle seems to be the National Football League.  For reasons which currently baffle me, the NFL decided to weigh in on the subject this week and issue what sounds something like a warning to the Lone Star State, hinting that Texas may not be hosting any more Super Bowl events if they follow such a path.

NFL more forceful on Texas 'bathroom bill' after Super Bowl.  The NFL sharpened its warning to Texas on Friday [2/10/2017] about a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people, suggesting for the first time that the football-crazed state could miss out on hosting another Super Bowl if the proposal is enacted.

NFL Warns Texas There Could Be Consequences for 'Bathroom Bill'.  Days after the Super Bowl in Houston, the NFL is warning Texas that legislation requiring individuals to use public bathrooms in accordance with their biological sex could cost the state future opportunities to host the big game.

Seattle Mariners apologize after lesbian couple are told to stop kissing at the baseball team's first ever gay pride night because it was against their 'family-friendly' policy.  The Seattle Mariners had to make a groveling apology after a lesbian couple were told off for kissing at the team's first ever Pride night.  Mary McHale and her partner Sara Hinton had enjoyed the game against the Milwaukee Brewers — which the Mariners won 7-6 — and were waiting for a ride afterwards when a steward told them to stop smooching because it was a 'family-friendly' event.

Trans-thinking: When 98 Percent of Students Would Let Men in Women's Sports.  Imagine a fairly muscular, athletic young man, acting like a man and dressed as a man, tells you he identifies as a woman and asks you to sign a petition supporting his effort to play on his college's women's basketball team.  Your response?  If you're like 49 out of 50 students approached at the University of Maryland recently, you may sign and say "You go, (girl?)!"  And, no, according to Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips, who masqueraded as the aspiring woman, he didn't show just the eyebrow-raising responses.  He says that he asked only 50 students for support, and 49 offered it.

Wrestler forfeits rather than fight a girl.
Iowa's girl wrestlers: Some drama, some sport.  The crowd cheered as Cassy Herkelman's hand was raised, but the historic moment of the first girl to win a match at the traditional state wrestling meet comes with an asterisk.  Her opponent, Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar of Marion, forfeited.

Not Wrestling Girls.  It's so easy to look at teenagers in general today and sigh.  They're more than a bit lazy, a bit spoiled and more than a bit morally compromised.  Two teenagers made national news.  One showed common decency and sportsmanship, two virtues seemingly uncommon in that generation.  Hope is restored.

Should Boys Be Wrestling Girls?  This year's Iowa state championships attracted attention nationwide when the promising high school sophomore Joel Northrup (the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state) defaulted on his first match.  He had drawn Cassy Herkelman, a female freshman, as his opponent, and he could not, in good conscience, wrestle a girl. ... Had he not declined to wrestle Herkelman, he might have won it all.  The New York Times, the AP, and other national news organizations noted that Northrup's father is a minister — the suggestion being that such peculiar and backward views as the young man expressed must be chalked up to a religious sensibility.  Most of the coverage stressed the "girl against the old boys network" angle.

7 Reasons Why the Equality Act Is Anything But.  [#4] It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.  Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily defeated all of their female competitors in an event at the Connecticut State Track Championships.  Transgender athlete Terry Miller broke the state record in the girls'100-meter dash.  Andraya Yearwood, also transgender, took second place.  Selina Soule, a female runner, not only lost to the biological males in the championships but also lost out on valuable opportunities to be seen by college coaches and chosen for scholarships.  Soule said about the 100-meter event:  "We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it's demoralizing."

Transgender Prof Claims Excluding Men from Women's Sports is Like Excluding Black Women.  This comparison seems awfully unfair to black women, but what do I know?  I'm not a professor.

Opera singer becomes first transgender woman to sing national anthem at professional sporting event.  History was made at the Oakland Athletics stadium this week when a transgender woman sang the national anthem at a professional sporting event for the first time ever in the country.  Classically-trained opera singer Breanna Sinclaire took the mic at the Coliseum for a sold out game between the A's and the San Diego Padres on Wednesday [6/17/2015].  Sinclaire had a 30,000 audience at the A's LGBT Pride Night as she belted out the Star-Spangled Banner, and that wasn't counting the people who were watching the game on television.

Transgender Woman Sings National Anthem at Pro Sports Event for First Time.  Transgender woman Breanna Sinclairé made history Wednesday night [6/17/2015] by becoming the first transgender person to sing the National Anthem at a professional sporting event.

The Editor says...
I'd be at the ticket counter demanding a refund before the first batter took a swing.

Men will now compete against women:
Olympics Loosen Rules to Allow Pre-Op M-to-F Transsexuals to Compete with Women.  There's great news for adventurous male Olympic hopefuls:  if they declare themselves women and reduce their testosterone below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competition, they can compete against ladies.  There's even better news for these men; according to transgender guidelines approved by the International Olympic Committee, genitalia does not serve as a prerequisite.  The guidelines state:  "To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights."

Activist athletes (and teams) inject politics into sports

Nike Commercial Starring Colin Kaepernick Wins Emmy Award.  Nike's controversial Dream Crazy ad, narrated by and starring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, won an Emmy Award for best commercial at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday [9/15/2019].  The commercial, which first aired in September, features Kaepernick waxing philosophical about the nature of sports, human achievement, and social justice.

Major League Soccer Team Bans Betsy Ross Flag, Calls it a 'Symbol for Hate Groups'.  America's premier soccer league, Major League Soccer, has declared the red, white, and blue Betsy Ross flag a "symbol for hate groups" and banned a couple in Utah from waving it at games.  A Utah couple who were in attendance at a Major League Soccer Real Salt Lake game says they were told by stadium officials to put away their Betsy Ross flag because the original flag of the American Revolution is a "symbol for hate groups."

Major League Soccer club bans 'controversial' Betsy Ross flag at games.  Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake has banned people from waving the Betsy Ross flag at games, claiming that the Colonial-era flag design has been "adopted as a symbol for hate groups" and doesn't fit with the team's mission of inclusiveness.  The controversy started last month after season-ticket-holders Randolf and Diana Scott started bringing their giant Betsy Ross flag to games at Rio Tinto Stadium, which "ignited a firestorm" against the couple on social media, the local Fox News affiliate reported.  Last weekend, stadium staff asked the couple to put the flag away.

NASCAR Begins To Inject Left-Wing Politics Into Racing.  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, otherwise known as NASCAR, has reportedly started to take a "gradual shift" on its stances surrounding the Second Amendment.  The revelation comes after multiple gun companies have said that NASCAR, which has a primarily Republican base, banned them from running advertisements that feature guns. [...] The Free Beacon added that the reaction to NASCAR adopting left-wing politics, specifically the demonization of the Second Amendment, has generated a significant amount of backlash.  One specific example came in an article written by radio host Mark Walters, who wrote:  "Go ahead NASCAR, try to fill the stands with a bunch of David Hogg, Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, urban, progressive, skinny jean wearing, soy sipping, man-bun wearing, Antifa loving, gun-hating socialists.  I won't be around to see how that turns out for you."

US fencer punished for kneeling on podium at Pan Am Games, other athletes warned.  Two U.S. athletes were given a year of probation by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for staging protests while on the podium at the Pan American Games earlier this month, letters sent Tuesday revealed.  Hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist and fencer Race Imboden took a knee while on the medal stand last week in Lima, Peru.  All athletes at the Pan American Games and the Olympics agree to rules forbidding political protest.  The committee also warned other athletes that future protests could face more serious consequences.

It's Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On.  Colin Kaepernick.  Remember him?  Below-average quarterback.  Above-average poseur.  Not "activist," not really.  Activists actually say stuff.  Kaepernick almost never says anything.

Another athletic egomaniac looking for some extra spotlight by dissing the U.S. flag.  By now, the routine of athletes calling attention to themselves by dissing the U.S. flag at some athletic event has become so de rigueur you could write the script before it happens.  Lose the big prize.  Take a knee to the flag.  Make a raving or two to the press about the awfulness of the U.S. And reap lots of media attention your athletic performance wouldn't otherwise merit.  Instant fame.  Endorsement deals.  Money.  Profit big from insulting the very flag of the country that made your performance possible.

U.S. athletes protest Trump on medals stand at Pan Am Games.  Two Americans used their medal-winning moments at the Pan American Games to draw attention to social issues back home that they feel are spiraling out of control.

Hegseth, Rep. Crenshaw slam anthem protest by U.S. fencer: 'Delusional' if you think that's sacrifice.  "Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, both U.S. military veterans, blasted a member of the U.S. fencing team who kneeled for the national anthem after winning the gold medal.  Hegseth emphasized Monday [8/12/2019] that Team USA won 293 medals at the competition and there only two protests.

Poll: Megan Rapinoe Beats Trump in Hypothetical Presidential Race.  A recent poll from Public Policy Polling, showed U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) co-captain Megan Rapinoe defeating President Trump in a hypothetical 2020 presidential matchup.

The Editor says...
Being a troublemaker is never a resumé enhancement, except in politics.

Inslee says he'll ask soccer player Megan Rapinoe to be secretary of State.  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Saturday that if he is elected president, he will ask soccer player Megan Rapinoe to be his secretary of state.  He said at the progressive Netroots Nation conference that one of his first acts as president would be to get a secretary of State who embraces world unity and "love rather than hate" as he rebuked President Trump's foreign policy.  "My first act will be to ask Megan Rapinoe to be my secretary of State," he said.  "I haven't asked her yet, so this could be a surprise to her."

Black Pastors Call on Nike to Sever Relationship with Colin Kaepernick.  The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) called on Nike Thursday [7/12/2019] to end its relationship with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has a prominent endorsement deal with the athletic company.  Rev. William Owens, president of CAAP, said his organization is responding to Nike's decision to pull an athletic shoe celebrating the Betsy Ross flag after Kaepernick expressed objections to it.

US Soccer Final Viewership Down by Almost Half Thanks to Trump-Bashing, Far Left National Team.  They cursed the US President and disrespected their Country — What did they expect?  The US Women's Soccer Final viewership was down by ALMOST HALF this year thanks to the Trump-bashing, anthem protesting US national team.  You insult half your audience — you lose half your audience!  Great job, ladies!

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Cut Star Player For Christian Views.  Christian views may have kept star player Jaelene Hinkle off the US women's soccer team.  Back in 2015, Hinkle had objected publicly to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Accused Of Snubbing Star Player For Christian Views.  The absence of one of the best women's soccer players in the nation from the national squad that just won the World Cup has prompted questions as to whether she didn't make the team because of her openly professed Christian faith. [...] The Irish Times, which called Hinkle "the finest left-back in the NWSL," wrote in June, "Hinkle likely would have been a fish out of water on the uber-woke women's national team, some of whose biggest stars are openly lesbian, raising questions about whether she would have thrown off the squad's chemistry."

Megan Rapinoe Is No Leader.  Appearing on multiple news outlets, Megan Rapinoe appeared self-centered and divisive.  She criticized President Donald Trump, as expected.  She made accusations of homophobia, as expected.  And an adoring Rachel Maddow called for Rapinoe to run for president, as expected.  After famously scoffing at the very notion of interacting with people who hold different opinions, Megan Rapinoe took to the stage during the World Cup victory parade in New York City to call for unity:  "This is my charge to everyone:  We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less.  Listen more and talk less."  Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Megan Rapinoe said that she would be willing to have a "substantive conversation" with "anyone" ... who "believes the same things" as she does.

Guess I'm a Female Chauvinist.  I don't particularly care for soccer anyway but it was the purple-haired star player Megan Rapinoe who turned me off by spouting her disdain for any White House visit before she was even asked.  Did she do that for publicity or was her Trump derangement too deeply entrenched?  Stomping on the American flag even accidentally during the World Cup celebration was more proof of her unworthiness to represent our great country.

We hate Trump, we hate you.  But buy our soccer jerseys.  The leftist women's World Cup team has made a lot of noise about wanting more pay, or pay that's equal to the men's teams, yet already the economics of the picture shows that they're actually overpaid.  This isn't something unfixable — more ticket sales, more team memorabilia revenue, more television watchers, more public interest would correct that easily, and it's clear that star players such as Megan Rapinoe know it.

The ladies won and let's salute them.  The TV ratings were great and everyone is happy. [...] Actually, not everyone is happy.  I am not happy and lots of people I've heard from are not happy.  First, the tournament showed that international women's soccer is a total mismatch. [...] The U.S. is obviously "the queen" of soccer and will only get better because our young women have more resources.  On that point, it did not help that some of the ladies showed so little class, as when they pounded Thailand 13-0!  Second, someone should remind the ladies that they are wearing the U.S. uniform not "blue states."  They should show respect for U.S. fans who don't like to see flag disrespected.

Megan Rapinoe rips Trump WH visit, says she'd accept invites from Pelosi, AOC.  U.S. Women's Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe doubled down in her opposition to visit the Trump White House on Tuesday but expressed that she was open to accept invitations from anyone who "believes the same things we believe in" like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Won't Go To White House, So Pelosi Makes Announcement.  With U.S. Women's Soccer star and outspoken Trump critic Megan Rapinoe having preemptively rejected any invite to go to the "[...] White House," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a big announcement on Monday:  Congress is formally inviting the Wold Cup-winning team to be honored on Capitol Hill.

The Woke World of Sports.  [Scroll down]  In the woke world of sports, [the history of the US flag] carries less weight than what a millionaire retired athlete with weird hair thinks constitutes "social justice," and the billion-dollar company caved when Kaepernick vetoed their design.  In real fact, the most socially useful thing the fellow could do would be to tell kids in the inner cities to spend their money more wisely than on Nike sneakers, which, by the way, are made by slave laborers under any other name in countries characterized by the late Karl Wittfogel as "Oriental Despotisms."

USA Women Win Soccer World Cup, Then Toss USA Flag on Ground & Dance On It.  The video says it all.  No exaggeration required.  Members of the US Women's Soccer team won the World Cup on Sunday then while celebrating, tossed the US flag to the ground like a rag doll and danced around it while posing for the cameras.  Trump-hater Megan Rapinoe was front and center of course.  She's the all star who has trashed President Trump and who was criticized for taking a knee during the national anthem before matches.

Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe Drop American Flag During World Cup Celebration.  U.S. women's national soccer team members Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe stepped on an American flag after Long dropped on the ground as they posed for post-game photos Sunday [7/7/2019].  Following their repeat World Cup win in Lyon, France, the team was celebrating on the field and posing for photos when Long dropped the flag she was holding.  She and Rapinoe then stepped forward, leaving the flag underfoot.

U.S. soccer fans chant 'F--- Trump' on live TV.  After the United States won the Women's World Cup by beating Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday's final match, a group of American soccer fans in France chanted an expletive about President Trump on a live television broadcast.  Fox News prepared to do a live TV shot from a sports bar in Lyon, France — the site of the final — that was populated with American fans.  Fans in the background began to chant shortly after reporter Greg Palkot began to speak.

USWNT fans chant 'F--- Trump' on live TV after World Cup title.  The U.S. women are World Cup champions.  Millions of fans across America are celebrating.  In parks, on downtown streets, in living rooms, and elsewhere.  So are the tens of thousands who travelled to France for the occasion.  Fox News figured it would send a reporter and camera crew across the Atlantic to capture the scene in Lyon.  And ... uh ... they found quite a scene!

The Democrats' Situational Racism.  [Scroll down]  Nike, not content to sell shoes to Americans of all political persuasions, stepped in it again via their vice president for social consciousness, Colin Kaepernick.  Nike made a special edition Betsy Ross flag shoe for Independence Day but Kaepernick objected to the flag as being racist and appealing to white nationalist groups.  Nike promptly recalled the shoe to virtue signal their wokeness over such a symbol of hatred.  MSNBC regular and Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, "related the flag to other symbols of hate such as the Nazi swastika and burning crosses."  Why?  Because the situation called for it.  Anything to fan the flames of racism at a time when minority unemployment is at an all-time low in advance of a presidential election.

Megan Rapinoe is dividing Americans instead of uniting them in the fight for gender equity.  [Colin] Kaepernick, who blew up his NFL career by refusing to stand for the national anthem at games, is not alone in his hostility to patriotic symbols.  Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the U.S. national women's soccer team, refuses to place her hand over her heart with the rest of her team when the national anthem is played at the World Cup in Lyon, France.  "I'll probably never put my hand over my heart," she told Yahoo Sports.  "I'll probably never sing the national anthem again."

The Left's War Against America.  [Colin Kaepernick] has been a lightning rod for controversy ever since he decided to forgo his NFL career and become a professional protester.  His decision to disrespect the American flag by choosing NFL games to protest police treatment of African Americans was divisive to say the least.  While millions of Americans did not support Kaepernick's actions, Nike chose to affiliate with those Americans who agree with a spoiled former NFL player denigrating our national symbols.  His supporters tend to be young people, African Americans and progressives.  Kaepernick also has plenty of admirers in the media who are also disgruntled with our country.  In a July 1st New York Times video editorial, the authors claim that the United States of America is not the greatest country on earth, but "just okay."

Ted Cruz sacks Colin Kaepernick, grabs ball and scores (on Twitter).  Colin Kaepernick, Nike's commissar of America-hatred, may have been a quarterback, but he took a half-[bak]ed approach to anti-slavery hero Frederick Douglass.  Flaunting the blinders that progressives wear when they consider our collective history, he took a quotation out of context in order to try to score an own goal against the country that birthed him, made him a multi-millionaire, and now indulges him in his extended adolescence.  Fortunately, Ted Cruz knows much more than Kaepernick and demolished his point on Twitter (hat tip:  Twitchy).

Nike Fans the Flames of the Culture War.  Nike is doing it wrong.  I don't mean the shoemaking, though that thing with Zion Williamson was pretty bad, I have to say.  No, Nike is doing it wrong because it managed to do something that all the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, alt-righters, and other denizens of the lowest coprophagic phylum of our political life could never do:  It turned the Betsy Ross flag into a racist symbol.

Mo Brooks:  Colin Kaepernick Should Leave if He Hates America.  Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player and the face of multinational corporation Nike, should leave the United States if he does not like the country.  This week it was revealed that Nike had ditched the production and sale of a pair of shoes that featured the famous flag created by Betsy Ross at the behest of former President George Washington because Kaepernick was offended by the emblem.

Corporate America Tilts Left.  [A] manufacturer of sports beverages, has made a commercial featuring soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who has refused to stand for the American flag and has sparred with President Trump.  That makes her a hot commodity in the world of advertising.

The Ugly Americans of soccer.  Somewhere in France today a group of ugly American female soccer players are sipping tea from imaginary cups to mock a polite society they make no efforts to understand or respect.  The Americans are loud and ostentatious.  They are ugly Americans personified.  If the female soccer players are trying to be ambassadors for their game, they are failing miserably.  I cared little for their sport before they arrived in France, and my interest has chilled considerably in the ensuing weeks.

Why Doesn't The Far Left Complain About Nike Sweatshops Anymore?  Protesting Nike used to be a go-to event for various far-left groups in America.  A massive company using slave-labor conditions to produce low-cost products that are then resold at 1000% mark-ups was representative of what was, in their minds, so wrong with globalized capitalism.  Then, suddenly, all that protest vanished.  Why?  The answer is simple.  Nike's marketing machine turned its attention to controversial anti-police, anti-America, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  The company paid Kaepernick millions to divert attention away from its deplorable overseas operations and instead convince consumers how horrible American was — except for those who wore Nike products apparently.  No, it doesn't really make a lot of sense but it appears to have worked.

Killing The Fourth of July.  Never to be out-woked, Nike took the opportunity this July 4th to lash out at patriots (read: most Americans) by putting the kibosh on their planned 'USA Air Max 1' training shoes.  The design featured the Betsy Ross flag:  one of the first known emblems of the colonies that would go on to become the United States.  We're led to believe it was Colin Kaepernick — who is famous for just about everything except what he should be famous for:  football — who drove Nike to nix the shoe.

Now Betsy Ross Is a White Supremacist, Apparently.  Dear Reader, I do not care about shoe companies.  I don't care about professional athletes, current or former, who work for shoe companies.  They can sell what they want to sell, or not sell what they don't want to sell, and it's all the same to me.  I don't understand why anybody would care.  If you don't like it, don't spend your money on it.  What's the problem?  But no, it has to become a whole big thing.  Now this dumb Nike non-story has escalated.  It's no longer about a shoe company.  It's about America itself.  Now, feminist icon Betsy Ross is considered racist.

This Independence Day, Nike Appeases America Haters and Dictators.  Want a sign that the left is now bringing ruin to the business world, after it has done the same for the education and entertainment industries?  Look no further than Nike.  Days before the U.S. celebrates Independence Day, Nike pulled sneakers back from retailers that contained a small image of the famous Betsy Ross flag on the back.  Apparently that small homage to America's founding offended the delicate sensibilities of Colin Kaepernick, the reprehensible leftist former football player who protested the national anthem, whose idea of appropriate footwear is socks depicting police officers as pigs, and who prefers shirts honoring Cuba's murderous dictator Fidel Castro.

Kaepernick, Nike, Democrats:  Spitting on America and the 4th of July.  Nike has pulled its Betsy Ross American Flag shoe from the shelves.  Why?  NFL has-been Colin Kaepernick's complained that the Betsy Ross flag was a symbol of white supremacy.  Nike said they didn't want to potentially "offend" anybody.  Surprise to Nike.  They are offending a significant portion of the American public[.]  But spitting on America, and her freedom has become a way of life in 2019.  Not only for Nike and Kaepernick but also Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and soccer's Rapino as well.

Julian Castro praises Nike, compares Betsy Ross flag to Confederate flag.  Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Wednesday praised Nike's controversial decision to pull shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag, saying the early flag design that represents the Thirteen Colonies evokes pain among some Americans, much like Confederate symbols.

WSJ: Nike's 'Patriotic Fumble' an 'In-Kind Donation to Trump's Re-Election'.  The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial board observed Tuesday [7/2/2019] that Nike's decision to allow ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick to "call the play" of rescinding the company's release of its "Betsy Ross flag" sneaker is essentially an "in-kind donation to Trump's re-election."  The WSJ board referred to Nike's cave to Kaepernick as one of those "harebrained controversies" that ultimately "give many Americans the not unreasonable sense that their country is being maligned by pampered social-justice warriors."

Obama flies the Betsy Ross flag
Uh Oh, Guess Who Had the Betsy Ross Flag at His Inauguration.  As you've heard by now, Nike decided to pull the sale of a Betsy Ross American flag themed sneaker this week after woke and washed up athlete Colin Kaepernick complained it is tied to racism.  But there's just one huge problem with that argument:  [Photo]

CA Governor After Nike Cancels American-Themed Shoe:  They 'Represent The Best Of Our American Values'.  On Tuesday night, after Nike had canceled an American flag-themed shoe, triggering Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to withdraw financial incentives for Nike to open a manufacturing facility in Arizona, California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that Nike was "doing the right thing" and represented "the best of our American values."

Limbaugh: Kaepernick-Nike Shoe Saga Proof NFL Kneeling Not About Police Brutality — 'He Opposes Honoring the Flag'.  Tuesday [7/2/2019] on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh argued that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's opposition to Nike's so-called Betsy Ross footwear was proof Kaepernick's kneeling was not about alleged police brutality but animosity toward the American flag.  Nike pulled the product line based on Kaepernick's opposition, which came because the footwear featured the Betsy Ross flag.

Nike flag shoes
Colin Kaepernick Lands Nike in Hot Water Over Recall of Shoe With an American Flag.  Colin Kaepernick has used his influence with Nike to have the company's American flag-themed shoe called the "Betsy Ross" pulled from production just days before they were to be sold to the public, prompting swift and immediate backlash.  Citing sources close to the story, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Air Max 1 USA was slated to go on sale this week in celebration of the Fourth of July.  "The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag," WSJ reports.  And while Nike is claiming that it has declined to release the sneaker because it featured an "old version of the American flag," the real reason the sneaker has been recalled, according to WSJ, is because Kaepernick reportedly told Nike that the shoes were "offensive," prompting the company to recall the shoe and demand that retailers return their stock.

Old Photos From Obama's Inauguration Show Just How Ridiculous Nike's Shoe Ban Really Is.  It seems that those criticizing Nike for attempting to have a Betsy Ross flag on a pair of their shoes in celebration of Fourth of July forgot about former President Barack Obama using the same flags at his inauguration in 2013.  Nike stirred up controversy when they tried to have the earlier American flag, that displays 13 stars in a circle, on their Air Max 1 USA shoes but reportedly nixed the shoes after former National Football League player Colin Kaepernick called them offensive.  "Attention Nike:  The flag Colin Kaepernick told you was unacceptable on your shoes was displayed rather prominently at Barack Obama's inauguration," the Washington Examiner's Bryon York tweeted.

Nike steps on its own shoelaces in latest Kaepernick fiasco.  Just in time for the Fourth of July, Nike and washed-up footballer Colin Kaepernick have joined forces in an America-bashing cavalcade.  The enormous sportswear company planned to release a new red, white, and blue sneaker adorned with American Revolutionary Betsy Ross' 13-star flag, this country's first banner.  However, Kaepernick complained to Nike that this all-American symbol is — what else? — racist.  "After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery," the Wall Street Journal reported.

Nike Has Offered Shoes Displaying Flags of Human Rights Abusers Such As China and Turkey.  This week, sportswear giant Nike agreed to pull their "Betsy Ross Flag" sneakers after former NFL player nd anthem-protester Colin Kaepernick, advised them that the American flag is a symbol of racism, hate, and slavery.  However, the company has had no issue offering shoes with many other national flags and colors, including human rights abusers such as China and Turkey.  Naturally, Nike was quick to create gay pride flag-themed shoes.  There are quite a few styles set up in the rainbow colors of gay pride.  So, as far as Nike is concerned, gay pride is great, but American pride is "racist."

Nike's Betsy Ross flag
Outrage for Profit — NIKE Pulls "Betsy Ross" Sneaker.  Is it possible to manufacture outrage as a profit strategy?  Yes.  Brand imagery is part of the overall business model for any business.  Begin with an ideological executive office; consider a manufacturing model dependent on a China/Asia supply chain; add a dose of political calculations into the mix; turn loose the actuaries and a unified CFO and CEO could easily find a way to turn market grievance into profit.  I'm not saying that NIKE is manipulating their market price.  However, I am saying if they were to consider their brand scale to enhance financial results, and buying back shares of their own stock to be timed with coordinated media events, you could see a benefit behind the controversy.

Colin Kaepernick objects to flag-themed shoes, so Nike pulls them.  For America's Independence Day, Nike released a new sneaker shoe style with the image of the early U.S. flag stitched by the notorious revolutionary Betsy Ross.  It had the familiar red and white stripes and 13 stars in a circle for the original colonies.  Apparently, sales were going well until noted kneeler Colin Kaepernick objected because, well, some of the 13 colonies had slaves at the time and we shouldn't be knowing that in this Woke era.  Naturally, the mega-company with $36 billion in annual shoe and athletic-wear sales responded to the unemployed NFL player by immediately pulling the patriotic shoe off the market, as the Wall Street Journal first reported.  What else could it do really?  He outnumbers the rest of us.  And a company can't be associated with patriotism these days unless it involves overpaid pro athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem because, slavery.

AZ governor steps up for America, will 'withdraw all incentive dollars' from Kaepernick's Nike.  BizPac Review published reports on Monday that Nike developed a Betsy Ross-themed shoe just in time to celebrate Independence Day, then yanked it from production.  Shortly after, sponsored activist Colin Kaepernick reportedly complained that he found the imagery depicted on the clothing to be offensive.  As happens all too often in our softened society, Nike immediately recalled the shoe and drew the ire of patriots like Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who called the decision "pathetic" and declared that she will no longer be buying Nike sneakers for her family.

Betsy Ross costs Nike plenty.  When Colin Kaepernick objected, Nike stopped selling shoes that were a tribute to Betsy Ross, a woman legend of the American Revolution.  Now that will cost the company millions in incentives Arizona offered to snag a Nike plant.  It will cost the state 500 jobs.  More than a million soldiers have died defending that flag that Nike turned its back on.  The shoe featured the flag that legend holds designed the flag.  That seems to be based on family lore.  But she did more for America than any of today's quarterbacks did.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ends Nike deal after cancellation of 'Betsy Ross Flag' sneakers.  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday [7/2/2019] the state would be canceling the incentives offered in a deal with Nike in response to the athletic company scrapping plans for a Betsy Ross-inspired sneaker[.]  The sneakers, featuring a U.S. flag with 13 stars on each heel, reportedly was canned after former football player and political activist Colin Kaepernick said the design could be seen as an offensive symbol of slavery.

Nike Ditches 'Betsy Ross Flag' Sneaker After Colin Kaepernick Raises Concerns over the Flag's Connection to Slavery.  Nike has decided to pull their America-themed 4th of July sneakers which featured the "Betsy Ross" flag, after former NFL anthem-protester and Nike pitchman Colin Kaepernick raised concerns over the offensive symbolism he felt the flag displayed, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nike Nixes 'Betsy Ross Flag' Sneaker After Colin Kaepernick Intervenes.  Nike Inc. is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn't sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.  The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week.

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe accepts invitation to hang with AOC instead of Trump.  Megan Rapinoe accepted Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's invitation for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team to tour the House of Representatives after Rapinoe rejected an invite to the White House.  "Consider it done @AOC," Rapinoe said Friday after the New York congresswoman extended the invite and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team beat France 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the Women's World Cup.

Yankees add Stonewall Inn plaque to famed Monument Park.  A plaque behind the center field fence at Yankee Stadium was dedicated Tuesday night [6/25/2019] to commemorate the Stonewall Inn uprising 50 years ago, which sparked a pivotal rebellion in the LGBTQ rights movement.

Knicks feel their black front office helps in free agency.  Knicks president Steve Mills indicated having a pioneering predominately black front office will help the team in the upcoming free agency.  "The African American front office, that doesn't get lost on guys," Mills said in an article published Tuesday on The Undefeated, which deals with race issues.  After getting the job when Phil Jackson got canned, Mills hired GM Scott Perry, who is black, and player developmental director Craig Robinson, the brother of Michelle Obama.  Also hired after Jackson's firing was director of player personnel Harold Ellis and college scouting director Gerald Madkins.  Both are African American.

Megs, put a sock in it.  Megan Rapinoe, star forward for the women's U.S. national soccer team, seems to hate the world.  She goes around with a scowl permanently etched into her weathered face.  Though an outstanding soccer player, Megs has it in her head that she's getting cheated, and that the cheater is Donald Trump.  So she refuses to go to the White House if the team wins the women's World Cup.  Trump then extended an invitation to the team whether they win or lose, and of course, Megan took it with ill grace.  The girl has no graces, only grimaces.  Megan, like all liberal females, holds Trump personally accountable for every unfun thing that ever happened in her life or anybody else's life.  Despite her extraordinary skill on the field, Megan's about as ordinary a liberal as it's possible to be.

Brilliant Play — President Trump Invites U.S. Women's Soccer Team to White House "Win or Lose".  Megan Rapinoe is the co-captain of the U.S. women's national soccer team and a rabid hater of President Trump.  Ms. Rapinoe refuses to sing the U.S. national anthem; kneels during ceremonies to make her hatred for America visible; and grabs every microphone to tell the media about her politics in an effort to increase her resistance credentials.  The age-old axiom is: 'be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it".  Today [6/26/2019], President Trump brilliantly responded to Ms. Rapinoe.  First, by calling out her arrogance in declaring victory before she even played the World Cup matches; and secondly, by inviting the entire team to the White House "win or lose".

Adam Silver:  NBA done using term 'owner' over racial sensitivity questions.  NBA commissioner Adam Silver told TMZ the league office is done using the word "owner" amid concerns whether the title is racially insensitive, adding they stopped using the term a few years ago.  TMZ reported earlier this month that some NBA teams were debating whether to move away from the title, given some feel its racially insensitive in a league where the majority of players are African American.  Warriors forward Draymond Green also raised the issue on LeBron James' HBO Show "The Shop," saying he took offense to the term.

US women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe refuses to sing the national anthem before the Thailand World Cup match.  US soccer star Megan Rapinoe stuck to her resolve not to sing the national anthem ahead of the team's first match in the Women's World Cup against Thailand in France on Tuesday [6/11/2019].  The player stood silent and stony-faced as her teammates sang along to the 'Star-Spangled Banner' in the Auguste-Delaune Stadium in Reims.

NFL Dishes Out $20 Million in Grants to Social Justice Causes.  The NFL announced this week the list of various organizations that will receive nearly $2 million in "social justice grants."  One of the recipients is the Civil Rights Corps which "empowers communities to change the unjust legal system."  This brings the total of "social justice grants" by the NFL to $20 million for the year.

The Growing Popularity of Foot Shooting.  I used to be an NFL fan, especially of the San Francisco 49ers in the Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice era.  So far as I know none of them ever publicly expressed their political opinions.  I have not watched five minutes of a 49er's game in over a year.  The only NFL game I've watched in the past year was the Super Bowl.  I've heard numerous people say essentially the same thing.  They say they're done with the NFL.  Former fans are angry at the players for disrespecting their country, but the greater anger is directed toward the teams' owners and the NFL hierarchy.  The NFL has unfortunately revealed who and what they are.  Although they're good people in most ways, in this instance they've behaved like spineless, clueless cowards.  They should have nipped the protests in the bud before they became overblown and out of control.

Soccer Star Rapinoe on Her National Anthem Protests.  Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has vowed to continue her national anthem protests while representing the US in next month's Women's World Cup [...] Rapinoe created a furor when she knelt during the national anthem following former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who roiled the NFL with his anthem protest in 2016.

Yankees fans threaten boycott after ban of Kate Smith's 'God Bless America'.  Kate Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" has been scrapped at Yankee Stadium, but Bronx Bomber fans are going to bat for her over allegations of racism.  Smith's niece, Suzy Andron, told The Post she is "honored" by the groundswell of support for the late singer among fans and media.  "Most are solidly behind the positive notion that this is a misunderstanding by a few people who took two or three of her songs [out of 3,000 that she recorded] out of context and inflated a story that my Aunt Kathryn must have been a racist," Andron said.  "Unfortunately, the Yankees bought into it."

Elizabeth Warren praises Red Sox manager Alex Cora for skipping White House visit.  Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is learning this week what it's like to be a political lightning rod.  Cora publicly confirmed he won't visit the White House when the Red Sox make their official championship trip Thursday [5/9/2019].  And now he finds himself in the middle of the typical Washington partisan battle.  Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator, Democratic presidential candidate and long-running Donald Trump adversary, is praising Cora for taking a stand against Trump and the White House.

Virginia Basketball Declines White House Invite to Celebrate National Championship.  The Virginia men's basketball team has declined, while the Baylor women's team has accepted a visit to the White House after NCAA tournament title wins.  Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett tweeted Friday the decision of the program to decline the invitation to celebrate their 2019 NCAA men's tournament title win.

NCAA basketball champs will not accept invitation to White House — here's the coach's statement.  The NCAA championship basketball team from the University of Virginia will not accept the invitation from President Donald Trump to the White House, but the coach say it's simply a matter of scheduling.  Coach Tony Bennett released a statement that was tweeted out by the official University of Virginia account.

Virginia basketball latest champions to decline White House invite.  Add Virginia men's basketball to the long list of teams who won't celebrate a championship with President Trump at the White House.  The program tweeted a statement from head coach Tony Bennett Friday [4/26/2019] that stated the team has "received inquiries about a visit to the White House.["]

Nike launches 'Icon' Kaepernick jersey days after NFL collusion case settlement.  Nike released a special edition Colin Kaepernick jersey Wednesday just days after the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback settled a grievance with the NFL.  The Kaepernick Icon Jersey — a black design with white lettering — resembles the '#ImWithKap' jerseys that quickly sold out last fall.  The jersey sells for $150.  "We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Nike spokeswoman Sandra Carreon-John told USA Today, adding that the jersey "marks Nike's continued product collaboration with Colin."

All about race:  NFL shoves left's radical social justice agenda down throats of Super Bowl viewers.  Super Bowl LIII appeared to be the NFL's latest down payment in appeasing the hard left and their social justice agenda.  The NFL responded in December 2017 to the more radical elements of the game who were disrespecting the national anthem by taking a knee by committing $90 million over a seven year period to social justice causes — much of the money going to a number of left-wing organizations.  And Sunday, the league shoved a divisive race-driven message down the throats of Super Bowl LIII viewers at every opportunity.

Maroon 5 frontman hints Superbowl show will be hip-hop kneeling fest.  Proud, flag-loving patriots who hate seeing the American flag be disrespected may have no other option but to tune out of the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show.  The show has been mired in controversy because of a concerted effort by radical far-left activists to stop any artist from performing at the event.  To them, any performance would be a slap in the face to unemployed former NFL quarterback and continued race-baiting agitator Colin Kaepernick.

The NFL Recovers From Kneeling Frenzy.  Ratings for NFL regular-season games rebounded, gaining 5 percent over the previous season.  That's not as amazing, since it's a small increase after two years of frightening declines.  But in today's ever-declining ratings for broadcast TV, due to livestreaming and cord cutting, the NFL is still a dominant player, far outdrawing regular scripted TV shows.  The panic in NFL offices has ended.  The bleeding stopped.  Everyone knows why, and it's not the powerful high-scoring offenses and the snazzy touchdown celebrations.  The NFL put an end to the national anthem kneeling protests.

Miami Dolphins' Robert Quinn complains about lack of coverage for his protest during national anthem.  Colin Kaepernick has received a ton of publicity for his protests during the national anthem, but he can't seem to find a job in the NFL.  Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn has the opposite problem.  Quinn lashed out at reporters Thursday [12/27/2018] over the lack of coverage he's received over his fist-raised protest during the national anthem, something he's done since joining the Dolphins in the offseason, according to the Miami Herald.

More Than an Athlete?  Lebron James is perhaps the most privileged person on the face of the Earth.  Graced with once-in-a-generation athletic talent, he also happens to be 6 feet, 8 inches tall.  And, best of all, he was born in the United States of America.  Our free enterprise system has allowed James to parlay his talent, and lots of hard work, into an $85 million a year income.  Not bad!  But not enough for King James.

Lebron James says NFL owners are a "bunch of old white men" with a "slave mentality".  LeBron James had some strong words for NFL owners on his HBO show "The Shop" which aired Friday night.  [He] blasted NFL owners for having what he called a "slave mentality" and calling them "a bunch of old white men".

NFL kneeling goes full circle.  The NFL has a long way to go until it is broke, but given the number of liberals put in charge of the league, it is but a matter of time.  The league took its fan base for granted, tried to expand its appeal, and virtue signaled like a Hollywood award ceremony.

The National Anthem Protests — Do Facts Matter?  NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who started the protests, did so over the supposed widespread instances of police brutality against blacks.  Kaepernick said, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. ... There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."  According to the Centers for Disease Control, since 1968 police killings of blacks have declined nearly 75 percent.  According to The Washington Post, almost 500 whites were killed by cops in 2015, an average of more than one a day.  Two hundred fifty-nine blacks were killed by the police.  Most suspects killed by police had a weapon.  Now for some perspective.  Do you know anyone who has been struck by lightning?  Neither do most people.  Yet each year an average of about 300 Americans are killed or injured by lightning.  That's approximately 40 more than the number of blacks killed by the police in 2015.  Is there an "epidemic" of Americans being struck and injured by lightning?

Fans Furious As NFL Cheerleader Hears Anthem, Gives Troops the Finger.  Fans who came out to see the Raiders take on the 49ers on Thursday were furious over what one cheerleader did as soon as she heard the National Anthem start to play.  Mediocre former-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the most hated man in the NFL two seasons ago — which is quite a feat in a sport filled with wife-beaters and convicts — when he began "taking a knee" as The Star-Spangled Banner was played before NFL games in 2016 to protest "police brutality" and "racial discrimination" in America.  Of course, this could not have been more ironic, seeing as Kaepernick was adopted by a white family who raised him with every advantage in the world.  Not to mention the fact that he makes more money than ninety-nine percent of white people.

49ers cheerleader takes a knee during anthem.  A cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers kneeled during the national anthem Thursday night ahead of the team's game against the Oakland Raiders.  The cheerleader has not been identified, but photos of her kneeling quickly circulated on social media.

Amy Schumer wonders whether white NFL players who don't kneel are 'complicit' in racism.  Amy Schumer on Friday [10/19/2018] questioned whether or not white players in the NFL who don't kneel with their black teammates are 'complicit' in the 'endless racism people of color face in our country.'  The "Trainwreck" star went on to propose that more white players should stand up for their "brothers and sisters of color" by taking a knee.  "I wonder why more white players aren't kneeling," she wrote.  "Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the police brutality and murders.  Why not kneel next to your brothers?  Otherwise how are you not complicit?"

Kneeling NFL players earn $16M combined this season.  Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson have knelt during the national anthem every game this season.  Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who joined Colin Kaepernick during the original kneeling protests in 2016, resumed kneeling before his season debut in Week 5 last Sunday.  The three players are slated to earn a combined $16.5 million in 2018, or more if they meet certain bonuses.  Under the NFL's current rules, none of the players will face fines or other disciplinary action for the protests.  [President] Trump has repeatedly called on the NFL to impose stiff penalties on any player who fails to stand for the national anthem.

Eric Reid takes a knee during national anthem in first game as Carolina Panthers player.  Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid took a knee during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the New York Giants in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Reid was the only player to kneel during the "Star Spangled Banner," continuing the protest he began while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.  He was the first Panthers player ever to kneel during the national anthem.

'Standup for America' jersey is Trump's latest attack on NFL kneelers.  Colin Kaepernick probably hasn't clicked on the shopping cart.  A popular online Trump merchandise site is hawking "Standup for America" football jerseys, the president's latest salvo in his war against the NFL and those kneeling for the national anthem.

Harvard to award Colin Kaepernick medal for work in African-American studies.  Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be one of eight people honored by Harvard University next month with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.  The medal is given annually by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.  "The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world," the university said.

New NFL Season — Same Old National Anthem Protests.  The 2018-2019 football season kicked off this past weekend, and much to the dismay of many fans, so did a new season of National Anthem protests. [...] The original basis for the protests came as an anti-police and anti-America protest by Colin Kaepernick (who claimed both were racist), who wore socks with police pictured as pigs and lauded the murderous government in Communist Cuba, even though more whites than blacks are killed by police, though, according to the FBI, black Americans are charged with most of the murders in this country, most of the robberies, and nearly half the assaults (while only making up about 13 percent of the population) — and Cuba regularly "disappears" or imprisons or tortures citizens who criticize it.  That's what the protesting players are siding with.  Meanwhile black police officers are much more likely to kill both black and Latino suspects than white officers are, and more than 99 percent of those killed by police are armed at the time they are shot.

Colin Kaepernick thanks 2 Miami Dolphins players who kneel during anthem.  Miami Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were the only two players to kneel during the national anthem on the NFL's opening Sunday, and Colin Kaepernick, who may no longer be welcome on an NFL sideline, offered his thanks to the players on Twitter.  "My Brothers (Stills) and (Wilson) continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed," Kaepernick tweeted.  "They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated... Love is at the root of our resistance."

Famed UFC Fighter, Special Forces Vet Tim Kennedy Says Special Forces Furious About Nike's Kaepernick Ad.  Tim Kennedy, the famed UFC fighter who served in the army and later in the 7th Special Forces Group where he was a sniper, sniper instructor, and the principal combatives instructor for C Company, 3rd Battalion, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, said Special Forces members that he spent time with this week were furious about the Nike ad with Colin Kaepernick in which Kaepernick said he had "sacrificed."  Speaking to TMZ, Kennedy began, "There are problems.  There are huge problems in the city; urban problems, police problems, crime problems, and they have to be addressed and something needs to be done about it, but not by disrespecting the flag and somebody making a few million dollars off a sponsorship.  Come on."  When TMZ asked, "Will you wear Nike ever again?", Kennedy responded, "No, no."

The Circus of Resistance.  Nike hired NFL renegade Colin Kaepernick to peddle its sports products.  For all its billion-dollar market research, it apparently did not know what Donald Trump's animal cunning had almost immediately surmised:  a majority of Americans do not appreciate the pampered multimillionaire Kaepernick sanctioning violence against the police by wearing "pig" socks, or mocking the National Anthem by taking a knee.  Nike could just as well have hired Bowe Bergdahl to push its sneakers.

The Party of Kaepernick.  The Democrats' winning midterm campaign message would seem simple enough:  Trump is bad and must be opposed.  Yet at the moment the party risks being associated with a somewhat less attractive message:  The American flag is bad and must be opposed.  Last week, left-wing Democrat Ayanna Pressley ousted long-term incumbent Michael Capuano from the John F. Kennedy/Tip O'Neill House seat in the Democratic primary while praising the NFL anti-flag protests, which her opponent called "wrong."  Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke says — in Texas! — that there is "nothing more American" than kneeling for the national anthem.

Empty Seats Plague NFL Stadiums in Week One of Season.  Americans are fed up with athletes kneeling during the National Anthem and it showed — plenty of empty seats plagued stadiums on Sunday [9/9/2018].

Just Blew It:  Nike Favorability Drops By Double-Digits, No Boost In Key Demos.  [Colin] Kaepernick is a source of controversy, a vehicle for the left wing social justice activism that struck the NFL two years ago when he started to take a knee during the national anthem.  There were a multitude of reasons but race relations and police brutality seem to be the top issues for why he and other players started this nonsense.  No doubt the cause is worth a discussion.  I totally disagree with their take, but it's worthy of a discussion.  All that good will went out the window as soon as you start trashing the flag.  Kaepernick's anti-police stance also drew a backlash.  These players see their side getting attention.  Everyone else sees them trashing the flag, our veterans, and those who have died in service to the country.  It's unpatriotic.  It's not appropriate — and the NFL knows it.

The Things That Won't Fit in a Nike Ad.  When it comes to the Kaepernick-inspired debate, there are many serious issues at play — issues worthy of reasoned discussion.  You might think that athletes should be able to kneel during the national anthem as a matter of free speech.  You might think it's disrespectful to do so.  You might think that Kaepernick was right to call attention to police violence, but wrong to wear socks depicting police officers as pigs.  You might even think all of these things at the same time!  But these things are complicated, and they certainly don't fit in a Nike ad, which has one overarching goal:  To bring attention to Nike, a massive corporation under fire for various ethical issues as we speak.

College Dumps Nike:  "If Nike is Ashamed of America, We are Ashamed of Them".  The collegiate market is big for Nike.  And while much of that market will only embrace the sweatshop sportswear firm harder after its anti-American stance, there are still some American schools left in America.

Poll Reports Nike Kaepernick Ad Is Shoe-icide.  This might be turn out to be the biggest marketing disaster since Coca-Cola changed its formula to become New Coke.  Last week Nike was an iconic American brand.  But that was before it decided to commit shoe-icde.  Since it signed anti-American protester Colin brand favorability for its 30-anniversary "Just Do It" public support for the brand plunged.  In other words, Nike Did It — to themselves.

Massive Collapse in Brand Image for Nike Following New Colin Kaepernick Branding Campaign.  Never before in the history of corporate branding decisions has a multi-billion dollar company had such a massive and swift drop of brand image as Nike.  The results from Morning Consult Intelligence, a firm that specializes in monitoring and measuring the brand image and reputation for thousands of major companies, reflects a massive drop in brand image across every single demographic.  We suspected there would be a diminishment of brand image, but nothing like the scale discovered within the polled data.

Nike Becomes Face of Social Justice Despite History of Outsourcing, Employing Slave Labor.  Despite having a long, documented history of allegedly employing workers at slave wages, the multinational Nike corporation has become the face of the social justice wing of the political left with its newest ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  As Breitbart News reported, the Nike corporation laid off 1,400 Americans just last year in the state of Oregon, cutting out workers who were older and likely sending their jobs overseas as the sports brand has done in the past.

Poll: Nike Favorability Crashes 34% with Kaepernick Ad Campaign.  A poll from Morning Consult shows devastating results for Nike's brand favorability, in the days after making Colin Kaepernick the face of their new ad campaign.

Nike, NFL, and Levis Strauss Political Business Strategy.  On its face, it just seems absurd.  Why would any major corporation intentionally stake out a branding position that is adverse to their financial interests? [...] The bigger risk to Nike has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, U.S. Consumers, or Antifa-like political advocacy.  The bigger financial risk to the Nike Corporation has everything to do with geopolitics and a reset of international trade agreements.

Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan Praises Washed Up Athlete.  It's well established John Brennan is a weird one.  How a man who once voted for a communist to be President of the United States became head of the CIA is a story unto itself (See:  China) but just as confounding is how Mr. Brennan has conducted himself since riding into the proverbial has-been sunset.  The most recent example is his effusive praise of washed-up former NFL quarterback turned racist division-maker, Colin Kaepernick.  Mr. Kaepernick lost his starting position due to lackluster play and soon after he declared himself an anti-white and anti-police advocate who was then warmly embraced by the radical Black Lives Matter crowd.  Nike threw Kaepernick some "good boy" bucks for which Brennan is now glorifying as the Second Coming.

Nike steps in it!  Vets, ex-fans furious over Kaepernick deal.  Nike is under fire from military veterans for using Colin Kaepernick in a new ad campaign.  Many say the sports brand is promoting unpatriotic protests against the American flag since Kaepernick has been a Nike brand ambassador since 2011.  Army veteran Kurt Schlichter, an attorney and Townhall columnist, said Kaepernick's claim that he's "just making a statement" is disingenuous because there are more effective ways for him to protest without disrespecting the flag or the national anthem.

They Destroy Everything They Touch, Volume 2.  Nike's decision to turn [Colin] Kaepernick, the National Anthem-defiling, skills-atrophying, cellar-dwelling Social Justice Warrior ex-quarterback who last played NFL football with the then 2-14 San Francisco 49ers in 2016, into its latest corporate product pitch man was announced over the Labor Day weekend, and on Tuesday [9/4/2018] when the New York Stock Exchange got its first opportunity to weigh in on it the results weren't good.  Nike's stock closed Tuesday at $79.60, though it did rise a bit in after-hours trading.  That was a pretty serious bath from the $82.20 at which the stock closed on Friday before word leaked of Kaepernick's contract — a loss of 3.16 percent of its value, or more than $3.5 billion in market capitalization.

Get woke and go broke.  The American footwear company Nike made the disastrous decision to pay Colin Kaepernick millions of dollars a year to be a spokesperson for their "Just Do It" advertising campaign.  The company's new tag line for Kaepernick is:  "Believe in something.  Even if it means sacrificing everything."  By "sacrificing everything," evidently Nike means "make millions of dollars more a year to appear in an advertising campaign than you would make as a back-up quarterback in the NFL."  Boy, has Kaepernick ever sacrificed!  According to Yahoo Sports, he gets his own branded shoe line, shirts, jerseys and specific Kaepernick apparel.  He will be paid a comparable amount to the best NFL players signed to Nike deals, millions a year.

Kaepernick Deal:  Nike May Discover To Be Woke Is No Joke.  Nike's decision to make controversial former quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th Anniversary "Just Do It" campaign marks the logical extension of politics into two places it shouldn't be:  sports and business.  Nike may regret its move.

Nike Decides to Make "Inspirational" Colin Kaepernick The Face of The Brand.  In the latest example of a corporation making a ridiculous decision to brand itself based on politics, Nike apparel has decided that Colin Kaepernick is the modern face of the brand.

Americans Launch Boycott Against Nike After Colin Kaepernick Named as Face of 30th Anniversary.  Colin Kaepernick ruined the NFL after he started the National Anthem boycott by 'taking a knee.'  He made headlines in 2016 when he wouldn't stand for the National Anthem because of cops.  NFL ratings have plummeted since Kaepernick's National Anthem boycott.  Stadiums often have rows and rows of empty seats because Americans are fed up with the politicization of football.  Now it's Nike's turn.

Colin Kaepernick to be face of Nike's 'Just Do it' campaign.  Nike has a new face for the 30th anniversary of their iconic "Just Do It" campaign:  Colin Kaepernick.  Kaepernick, who has filed a collusion suit against the NFL over his unemployment after he knelt and protested racial inequality during the anthem, unveiled the new advertisement on his Twitter.

Big & Rich Singer Promotes Nike Boycott in Response to Kaepernick Ad Campaign.  Nike announced its new campaign ad featuring controversial anthem protester Colin Kaepernick on Monday [9/3/2018], drawing support from some quarters and plenty of criticism from others.

Nike shares drop amid backlash over new Kaepernick ad.  Shares of Nike fell 3.2 percent on Tuesday [9/4/2018] as calls for a boycott of the sportswear giant gained traction on social media following its choice of Colin Kaepernick as a face for the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan.  Former San Francisco quarterback Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racism, posted a black-and-white close-up of himself on social media on Monday featuring the Nike logo and "Just do it" along with the quote, "Believe in something.  Even if it means sacrificing everything."  Over 30,000 people were tweeting with the hashtag #NikeBoycott on Tuesday morning, making it among the top trending topics on Twitter.  Some posted images of themselves burning and ripping their Nike shoes and apparel.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tweets Support for Colin Kaepernick.  Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to Twitter on Monday [9/3/2018], to lend support to anthem-protesting former quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Did Nike make a huge NFL-like mistake embracing Colin Kaepernick?  Is there business logic for Nike embracing Colin Kaepernick?  I think there is, for the NFL and athletic shoe business are very different.  In the conservative blogosphere, on Fox News, and among my friends, the name of Nike has been forever damaged by the brand's embrace of Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the widespread disrespect for our flag by NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.  Pictures and videos of Nike gear burning already are proliferating among the outraged.

Kaepernick won't stand for the flag but he'll bow down to the Nike dollar?  'Believe in something, even it means sacrificing everything.'  Those are the words emblazoned across NFL star Colin Kaepernick's face in Nike's new campaign to mark 30 years of its 'Just Do It' advertising slogan.  'Sacrifice' is a big word, meaning 'to give up something that is valuable to you in order to help another person'.  'Everything' is an even bigger word, meaning 'all that exists'.  So to sacrifice everything is a major undertaking.

Corporate Suicide Watch, Nike Edition.  Nike has chosen the star of its 30th anniversary #JustDoIt advertising campaign:  Colin Kaepernick.  At first glance, it seems weird for an athletic shoe company to select as its corporate icon someone who is no longer an athlete, and was never a star.  At second glance, it gets weirder:  Nike apparently thinks Kaepernick has sacrificed everything, which tells you something about 21st century corporate America.  Kaepernich is a multimillionaire whose "sacrifice" consisted of kneeling during the National Anthem, wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs, and generally denouncing his country.  Which has led to a second career as a leftist spokesman.  That is not exactly a contender in the annals of Greatest Sacrifice Ever.

Kaepernick fronts Nike's 'Just Do It' ad campaign.  Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is part of a new Nike campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the sporting equipment giant's iconic "Just Do It" slogan, reports said Monday [9/3/2018].  Kaepernick, who triggered a political firestorm after kneeling during the US national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice, has not played in the NFL since early 2017.

Tom Brady signals his support of Colin Kaepernick's controversial Nike ad.  [Colin] Kaepernick has not played a game of football for 11 months.  He opted out of his San Francisco 49ers contract last August after causing controversy by taking a kneel during the national anthem in a sign of protest against police brutality against African Americans.  On Monday [9/3/2018], Nike unveiled the campaign to mixed reviews.  Star athletes including Serena Williams praised the company for putting Kaepernick's message at the forefront of its advertising.  But Nike customers who opposed Kaepernick's on-the-field protests were outraged by the move.

James Woods Dumps Nike Stock in Response to Kaepernick 'Just Do It' Ad Campaign.  Veteran actor and conservative firebrand James Woods is selling all his Nike stock in response to the athletic apparel company's decision to name former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and infamous anthem protester Colin Kaepernick as the face of their new "Just Do It" campaign.  Woods on Tuesday [9/4/2018] tweeted a screenshot to his nearly 1.7 million followers of an email he sent to his portfolio manager asking all his Nike stock be sold.  "Please divest my portfolio of all Nike stock in my personal account and in the plan.  Henceforth never buy Nike stock for me again," the email read.

ESPN Goes Insane Over Tiger Woods' Trump Comments: 'He's Not Black'.  ESPN continued down their politically progressive path on Monday [8/27/2018], going fully insane over golf superstar Tiger Woods' recent comments about President Donald Trump.  "First Take" co-host Max Kellerman, fully triggered by Woods' comments, ranted about how "angry" he was about the "thoughtless statement."  And Kellerman's counterpart, Stephen A. Smith, said that Woods is "not black" and doesn't identify as black, which has upset the African-American community and explains the golf phenom's Trump comments.  Woods was asked about Trump, whom he has a personal relationship with, by a New York Times reporter on Sunday:  "I think a lot of people, especially people of color, immigrants feel threatened by him, by his policies. ... What do you say to people who might find it interesting, I guess, that you have a friendly relationship with him?"

ESPN host fumes at Tiger Woods' Donald Trump 'respect'.  ESPN's Max Kellerman said Monday on "First Take" that Tiger Woods' response to questions about President Trump made him "angry."  Woods was asked after the final round of The Northern Trust on Sunday about his relationship with Trump and urged people to respect the office of the president.  "He's the president of the United States.  You have to respect the office.  No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office," he said.  Kellerman blasted Woods' remarks, saying it was a "thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement."

Kaepernick's Lawsuit with NFL Just Blew Up in His FACE.  Colin Kaepernick claims that the NFL colluded against him.  Cry me a river.  They certainly have a right to not hire him, particularly after his kneeling stunt.  Why should a company be forced to hire a disruptive employee?  Regardless, it appears now that Kaepernick's claims are baseless.  His claims of collusion just got a hole poked in his hot air balloon, at least according to John Elway.  Elway claims that the Broncos offered Kaepernick a deal, but he turned it down.

Beto O'Rourke says 'nothing more American' than NFL anthem protests.  Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has jumped into the NFL national-anthem fray by defending players taking a knee during the ceremony, saying he could think of "nothing more American."  In a response going viral on social media, the Democrat seeking to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, compared the NFL kneelers to civil-rights icons like Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders during a campaign appearance last week in Houston.

Kneeling NFL players will help Republicans in November.  If National Football League players continue their protests during the national anthem this season, it will rile some Republican voters, increasing their intensity and making it more likely that they will vote.  At a time when Democrats want their candidates to be less controversial and let dissatisfaction with President Trump carry them into office, continued protests by NFL players will force the issue back into the public spotlight and onto the campaign trail, where Democrats will mostly have to side with the protesters.  I am often frustrated that President Trump and Republicans do what their political opponents want them to do.  But in this case, it is the Democrats who are being escorted by a few athletes into a position they would rather avoid.

[A few] Eagles Players Stay in Tunnel During National Anthem.  Three members of the Philadelphia Eagles refused to take the field in protest, during the playing of the national anthem at Thursday's [8/16/2018] preseason game.  Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby continued their protests from last season by refusing to take the field ahead of their game against the New England Patriots.  The pair took the field after the song concluded, according to NBC Sports.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro:  Network won't show national anthem on 'Monday Night Football'.  New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro told reporters Friday [8/17/2018] that the network does not plan to televise the national anthem as part of its Monday Night Football broadcasts this season.  Pitaro, who was hired March 5 following the abrupt departure of John Skipper, told reporters at a media event on ESPN's campus in Bristol, Conn., that the network has not previously shown the national anthem during its Monday Night Football broadcasts and does not have plans to change — at least, not in the immediate future.  According to Axios, Pitaro also said that ESPN has informed the league of its plans "as (a) courtesy" given their partnership.  Earlier, he had told reporters that he has spent much of his young tenure at ESPN working to strengthen the company's relationship with the NFL.

The NFL Doesn't Actually Care About You, or Your Service.  Last year, when the kneeling controversy erupted like a California wildfire and the president launched a series of attacks on the NFL and Colin Kaepernick, I argued that cooler heads should prevail and a middle ground could be reached by both sides.  Like the recovering alcoholic I am, I must have been in denial, hoping like a chronic gambler that Roger Goodell would do the right thing, or even just do his job.  Obviously, I was wrong, because here we are again, my friends:  another year, another round of protests.  And all because the NFL and Roger Goodell have been subverted by the most sinister of human endeavors — politics.

Police Union Cancels Discount Ticket Program After Miami Dolphin Anthem Protests.  A union that represents police officers in Florida's Broward County is canceling its participation in a discount ticket program with the Miami Dolphins after several of the team's players refused to stand during Thursday's pre-season game rendition of the national anthem.  Despite the Broward County Police Benevolent Association's belief that the Miami Dolphins team would be requiring its players to stand, wide receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills kneeled while one player, defensive end Robert Quinn, raised his fist before the team's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL won't discipline kneelers as anthem protests make preseason return.  Professional football is back and so are the take-a-knee protests, but the NFL isn't planning on disciplining players who refuse to stand during the national anthem — at least for now. [...] In a statement, the NFL said it was still engaged in "constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans."

NFL preseason sees kneeling, raised fists, during national anthem.  NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem on Thursday night as the league began the first full week of its 2018 preseason.  Some players held their fists in the air, while others decided to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.  Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, both of the Miami Dolphins, knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner," ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Herald reported.

Ingrates who won't stand for the anthem.  Colin Kaepernick started it back in 2016 when as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers he refused to stand for the anthem during a preseason game.  His gripe?  "Racial inequality," or so he says. [...] Yes, it started while Obama was still president.  So you can't blame Trump for this one.  But they do.  Why not?  They blame him for everything else — the news media first of all.

Top 10 Black Racists.  [#6] Colin Kaepernick:  Colin Kaepernick, who launched a high-profile protest movement within the NFL, may now be unemployed and off-the-radar for many Americans, but he's still able to generate media attention.  His anti-American activism, best exemplified by the taking of a knee during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before football games, helped to alienate fans and accelerate the NFL's downward slide that was already in progress.  Like DeRay Mckesson and Alicia Garza, Kaepernick is a supporter of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur who broke out of prison in 1979 and fled to Communist Cuba where she still resides.  Kaepernick acknowledged raising $20,000 for Chicago-based Assata's Daughters in matching donations, on top of the $25,000 he personally gave the group previously, the Washington Times reported in February.

NFL should just dump the national anthem and get on with playing football.  Eyes will be focused on watching knees right from the jump of the NFL preseason in the annual Hall of Fame game Thursday between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens.  Television cameras will capture just who is taking a knee and who is not as the national anthem plays.  But should Francis Scott Key's ode to his country even be played before sporting contests?  Sports are entertainment.  The national anthem is not played as you enter the museum, sit down at the symphony or stroll into the movie house, which also represent forms of entertainment.

The Editor says...
The USA Today writer (of the article immediately above) is apparently unaware that the national anthem is played in movie theaters on military bases — and everyone stands at attention while it is playing.

Jerry Jones May Have Single-Handedly Blown Up the NFL's New Anthem Policy.  Jerry Jones has a history of doing what he wants.  And last week, when it came to the NFL's new policy regarding player demonstrations during the national anthem, he broke with the league yet again.  The rule, announced in May, was controversial from the beginning.  It banned players from kneeling, raising fists, or otherwise participating in on-field demonstrations during the anthem, but gave them the choice to remain in the locker room while the song played.  The NFL Players' Association, which negotiates its collective bargaining agreement with the league, objected to the rule — and they weren't the only ones.

LeBron: Trump is using sports to divide us.  LeBron James thinks President Trump is using athletics, and athletes, to split up the country. [...] "What I've noticed over the past few months," James shared with CNN's Don Lemon during a sit-down interview on Monday [7/30/2018][,] "(Is) he's kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that's something that I can't relate to."  Referencing Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests during the pre-game national anthem launched an NFL movement, and more recently, Stephen Curry, who honored his promise of skipping a visit to Donald Trump's White House, James bemoaned a myriad of instances in which Trump has twisted peaceful displays of dissent into an indictment of a decaying American value system.

The Editor says...
President Trump didn't originate Black Lives Matter protests or inject anti-American tantrums into football games.

Vegan soccer club first in world to be certified carbon neutral by UN.  An English soccer team has become the first professional sports team in the world to be certified carbon-neutral by the United Nations.

Follow The Money:  Will NFL Owners Choose George Soros or Millions of Their Fans?  [T]he same players who are funneling $90 million from last year's "settlement"/shakedown to left-wing activists have forced the owners back to the negotiating table.  These are the team owners who saw a 10 percent drop in viewership last season, eight million fewer Super Bowl viewers this year, and advertisers threaten to leave.  From a purely business perspective, capitulating to the players is clearly a bad idea.  The fans have identified the anthem protests for what they are:  the promotion of a false narrative that America is a racist country.  And they have made themselves heard loud and clear by simply tuning out. [...] The NFL's fans are the league's financial driver and represent a broad swath of America that turns to sport for what it is — entertainment, not politics.

Jerry Jones:  Cowboys players must stand for national anthem.  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubled down Wednesday on insisting that his players stand for the national anthem, declaring that he wouldn't support anyone who chose to stay in the locker room.

New NFL Anthem Protests are upon us.  Football season is fast upon us and the world's most profitable sport has fans geared up and ready to go, but the national anthem protest controversy that has plagued the NFL just won't die.

Tennessee Titans' Jurrell Casey says he plans to keep protesting and will 'take my fine' in upcoming NFL season: report.  Despite a recently-imposed NFL rule regarding players and personnel behavior during the national anthem, one Tennessee Titans player reportedly says he'll "take a fine this year" and continue to "protest during the flag."  NFL defensive end Jurrell Casey intends to keep holding up his fist in protest following the conclusion of the Star Spangled Banner, like he did during the 2017 season, regardless of the fines that may come his way, he told CNN Sport while attending an event in London on Wednesday [7/18/2018].

Trump says NFL players who kneel during the anthem twice should be banned for the season.  President Donald Trump demanded on Friday that the '$40,000,000 commissioner' of the NFL suspend players for a whole season if they kneel during national anthem more than once.  In a rehash of last year's controversy, the President took to Twitter to blast NFL commissioner Roger Godell for not doing enough to stem the tide of players protesting racial inequality in America.

NFL, NFLPA freeze anthem rules amid backlash to Miami policy.  Hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week, the league and the players union issued a joint statement late Thursday night saying the two sides are talking things out.

NFLPA files grievance challenging NFL's new anthem policy, claims it 'infringes on player rights'.  The NFL Players' Association announced on Tuesday that it has filed a grievance on behalf of the players challenging the league's controversial anthem policy, which was introduced in May.  "The union's claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL's governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights," the NFLPA said in a statement.

Colin Kaepernick receives civil rights award from National Education Association.  Colin Kaepernick was among a dozen honorees who received a human and civil rights award from the National Education Association.  Kaepernick was given the NEA's President's Award to recognize his work "to fight racial oppression through education and social justice activism" through the Know Your Rights Camp, a campaign that is fully funded by the footballer.  The youth camp aims "to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios," according to its website.

Colin Kaepernick receives civil rights award from National Education Association.  Colin Kaepernick was among a dozen honorees who received a human and civil rights award from the National Education Association.  Kaepernick was given the NEA's President's Award to recognize his work "to fight racial oppression through education and social justice activism" through the Know Your Rights Camp, a campaign that is fully funded by the footballer.  The youth camp aims "to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios," according to its website.

The Ways Roger Goodell Has Politicized the NFL
  •   Tim Tebow was banned from wearing "John 3:16" on his eye black
  •   The NFL required the Pentagon to pay the league for military tributes
  •   The NFL made RG3 turn a "Know Jesus" t-shirt inside out
  •   The NFL pleaded with teams to consider signing Michael Sam
  •   The NFL banned a gun vendor's ad from the Super Bowl
  •   The NFL banned off-duty cops from carrying guns to games
  •   The NFL denied the Cowboys' request to honor Dallas police after a mass shooting
  •   The NFL refused a veterans group's "please stand" Super Bowl ad

Minnesota United Hosts Pride Night.  Minnesota United FC hosted Pride Night during its game against FC Dallas Friday night [6/29/2018].  The celebration came on the same day United midfielder Collin Martin announced he is gay.  Martin is the only openly gay active player in any of the five major male professional sports leagues.

Offending NFL Fans Isn't Just Bad for Owners, but Players Too.  One of the most obnoxious stories in America the past year has been the controversy over players protesting during the national anthem.  While I personally sympathize with both concerns from athletes about police brutality in minority communities, as well as the desire of most football fans to simply not have any sort of political advocacy mixed into their sports, the resulting media coverage — from both political and sports outlets — has been largely nauseating.  While the NFL offseason obviously brought discussion of the topic down to a simmer (with the exception being the occasional update on Colin Kaepernick — and now Eric Reid's — lawsuit against the league), the NFL's decision this week to change its anthem-policy has it once again at a raging boil.  Unfortunately most of these articles try to make this issue more complicated than it really is:  it's all about money.

Vikings Hold First Sports LGBTQ Summit.  The Minnesota Vikings made history on Thursday.  Vikings players, coaches and members of the LGBTQ community came together for a first of its kind inclusion summit held by an NFL team.  The LGBTQ summit and fundraising event was held at the TCO Performance Center Auditorium in Eagan.  It centered around bridging the gap between the LGBTQ community and sports

Hollywood "Celebrities", Deviants and Predators, Continue Showcasing Democrat Ideology.  When millionaire football players kneel down rather than honor our fallen soldiers and stand proud of our country, we see that.  Check the NFL TV ratings — take note.

Remembering Old Glory.  As the NFL continues to dig their knees into political Astroturf, Americans continue to tune out.  Even the most diehard fans get riled up when they witness disrespect shown toward our flag and, ultimately, to the men and women who have sacrificed dearly to preserve the very freedom that the NFL has flourished under.

How Poisonous Politics And Social Media Managed To Even Ruin Sports.  Now we've learned that not only were most of the Philadelphia Eagles not planning to go to the White House, but neither the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors were intending to go even before their championship series was over. [...] What was once just a pleasant, if pointless, afternoon of fun for the team and the White House staff has morphed into a toxic brew.

Trump cancels Eagles' White House celebration on eve of visit after fewer than 10 players planned to attend.  President Trump on Monday [6/4/2018] abruptly rescinded an invitation to host the Eagles at the White House, citing the "smaller delegation" that was planning to attend and again stoking a national debate by insisting that players "proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart."  The celebration was canceled fewer than 24 hours before the team was scheduled to visit.

Trump Cancels Eagles Reception Amid National Anthem Protests.  President Donald Trump canceled a planned Super Bowl reception for the Philadelphia Eagles Monday after many players would not attend due to his position that all players must stand for the national anthem.

Trump taunts NFL over 'escaping' to locker rooms after changing Eagles visit to a national anthem party.  President Donald Trump taunted the NFL on Tuesday by hyping up a party at the White House he decided to throw without them.  Typically, US sports teams who win a championship may be invited to the White House.  But during Trump's presidency, with his repeated criticism of the NFL and sports teams, the affair has become more complicated.  On Monday [6/4/2018], the White House released a statement saying the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles would not attend the ceremony.

Yo, Philly!  Trump says your Eagles can go take a knee somewhere else.  NASCAR has no kneeling problem.  It flaunts the flag and patriotism at every race with drivers and their families standing together outside the cars for the anthem and prayer before harnessing themselves in.  Ten days ago for a 600-mile contest at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR handed out more than 5,000 free race tickets to military and invited troops into garages to talk shop.  But a convivial championship ceremony will not be happening today with the NFL's Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles at Donald Trump's White House.  Faced Monday evening with a boycott by a significant number of team members and employees, who object to Trump objections to their National Anthem protests, Trump disinvited everyone.

Report: 'Five or fewer' Eagles planned to visit White House.  The ongoing battle between Donald Trump and the NFL added another chapter when the President announced the Philadelphia Eagles' trip to the White House had been cancelled.  And it appears not many players would've showed up anyway.  According to ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr., the number of Eagles making the trip could've been counted on one hand.

Trump absolutely correct to rescind Eagles' White House invitation.  Being invited to the White House for public recognition of your achievements is an honor.  This is true regardless of who is president.  Why?  Because the president — whether you personally approve of him or not — is the representative of the American people and the White House is the people's house.  So, what happened when the Eagles were invited to the people's house for a ceremony to honor them for their Super Bowl victory?  Fewer than 10 members of the organization accepted the invitation.  Apparently all of the other Eagles had something more important to do than to condescend to accept the accolades of their fellow Americans.

Black firefighter takes heat after taking knee at police-fire football game.  A political and emotional brush fire is smoldering within a grieving Chicago Fire Department over a national anthem protest that marred a charity football game dedicated to the memory of two fallen Chicago heroes.  Camron McGarity, an African-American firefighter, kneeled while the Star Spangled Banner was being played before the CFD Blaze faced off against the Chicago Police Department's Enforcers last Saturday in the eighth annual "First Responders Bowl."  A photo of the protest clearly shows the firefighter, wearing the No. 7 jersey, kneeling on the sidelines while players on either side stood at attention dressed in bright red jerseys and matching red pants.

Athletes Can No Longer Play Nice.  An invitation from the commander-in-chief of the United States to visit the White House in celebration of your Super Bowl victory sounds like a great time, but you can't visit this particular commander-in-chief without appearing to endorse his conflict with the NFL over the national anthem or, for that matter, his conflict with anyone about anything.  A brief review of the facts of the case is in order. [...]

Disney/ABC Should Merge with Starbucks and the NFL.  Disney/ABC, Starbucks, and the NFL should merge, as they are this week's prime example of how to drive away customers while engaged in absurd CEO virtue signaling.

The NFL: It's Game Over.  The mainstream media fell all over itself announcing that [Colin] Kaepernick was the Social Justice Warrior that the world had been waiting for.  Here, at last, was a black sports icon who could start a movement.  All you had to do was open the New York Times to discover the San Francisco 49ers quarterback was really Martin Luther King Jr.  The media had finally found its Chairman Mao in Kaepernick, and its Red Guard in the NFL (of all places!) which suddenly turned itself overnight into the sports-entertainment arm of the DNC. [...] Once all the losses are totaled, the NFL's anthem outrage will go down as the most spectacularly stupid business decision that has ever been made.

The NFL controversy is about so much more than a flag or song.  What are the chances that this minority of unhappy players will forsake the opportunity for national publicity by sitting obscurely in a smelly locker room instead of making their "statement" by publicly kneeling in front of thousands of paying fans and millions more munching Doritos at home?  About the same as the Cleveland Browns winning the next Super Bowl.  The controversy, which began almost two years ago when a benched quarterback refused to stand for the anthem, is a disturbing one.  It plays off a mere game, albeit one that has supplanted baseball as the national pastime.  It's serious business though, costing the league, teams, advertisers, television networks, parking lots and sports bars countless millions in lost sales of tickets, concessions, merchandise, meals and drinks, lost viewers and considerable good will even among disaffected non-fans.

NFL Owners To Players:  Get Off Your Knees, Boy.  The idiotic "take a knee" scandal in the NFL was launched in 2016 by a mediocre quarterback named Colin Kaepernick, a mudpuppy ingrate who was the product of miscegenation and apparently had to loudly declare to the world that he's black because even he has his doubts.  It was based on the idea that racist cops are wantonly slaying young black males in the streets because they are jealous of their charm, good looks, and sexual prowess rather than the fact that it is young black males who are statistically far more likely than any other group to be shooting at them.  Last NFL season Donald Trump nuzzled his way a little further into our hearts when he said, "Get that [despicable person] off the field" when referring to the blockheads who knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner with the same sort of defiance that leads several black males to resist arrest or reach for policemen's guns during routine traffic stops.

NFL stars 'threaten to sit out games until Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are signed by new teams'.  Several NFL stars are reportedly considering not playing until Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are signed by teams.  According to columnist Shaun King, the protesting players are hoping that up to 25 percent of the league will join them in sitting out.  In 2016, Kaepernick drew worldwide attention and sparked a protest movement after he began to kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness of racial equality and police brutality.

Democrats and the media are losing the culture war.  The New York Times ran three pieces this week opposing the NFL's new policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem during games, or remain in the locker room if they won't.  The Times' liberal columnist David Leonhardt called the rule "unpatriotic" because it "reject[s] a basic American value."  (Making a statement about your special interest during a short patriotic song, you see, is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind.)  The paper's editorial board injected its favorite topic, race, writing that the NFL "capitulated to a president who relishes demonizing black athletes."  And in keeping with the Times' long tradition of publishing conservative voices so long as their opinions are weak, the paper gave space to anti-Trump writer David French to denounce "the conservative mob" for approving of the NFL's policy.  By "conservative mob," French apparently means the large majority of Americans who don't approve of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Liberals Put The "F" In NFL.  It's not often you get to watch a major corporation publicly try to pull out of a self-inflicted nosedive, but that's exactly what the National Football League attempted to do this week.  The last two seasons have been a time of shrinking viewership for the league that "owns a day of the week," as they saying goes, and that negatively impacts the bottom line.  So the NFL came up with a solution to what they see as the problem.  Starting this season, the NFL will fine teams with players who don't stand for the national anthem.  Whether or not those teams fine the actual players who refuse to stand is up to them, but the team will also be penalized, which could cost some teams some games.  If that isn't enough to at least give activist players pause — harming their teammates — nothing will.

The Editor says...
Sunday used to be called "The Lord's Day."  To state that the NFL now owns it is blasphemy.  Moreover, the NFL also conducts games on Mondays and Thursdays.  They don't own those days either.  Nor does your television.

NFL players, leave your agendas in the locker room.  The idea that the NFL is only implementing its new national anthem policy because of falling ratings and public pressure is exactly how businesses work.  No business exists to employ people; they exist to make as much money as possible.  Hemorrhaging fans, or customers, is the quickest path to failure, so it's smart for the NFL to do all it can to stop the swirling public relations disaster its players created.  Fining teams whose players kneel during the anthem isn't "punishing dissent," it's the people who sign the front of the players' sizable checks exerting the authority inherent in any employer/employee relationship.

In the NFL, patriotism is for sale.  On Wednesday [5/23/2018], the NFL announced a new policy of fining teams whose players decline to stand for the national anthem and empowering the teams to fine those players in turn.  This is heavy-handed and probably will prove foolish.  The pro-football establishment — not only the NFL itself but also its media partners — has done far more than Kaepernick to turn the sport into a political spectacle.  It's simply that the nationalist pageantry that is appealing in Trump country is welcome, while the Black Lives Matter-inspired displays of Kaepernick et al. are not.

Report: NFL to Fine Teams for 'Any Flag, Anthem Disrespect'.  The NFL will allow players to remain in the locker room during the national anthem.  However, if they come out and protest the flag or anthem, their teams will get fined.  That is the new policy announced in a statement by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday [5/23/2018].

Keith Ellison boycotting NFL games over 'cowardly' kneeling ban.  Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said that he will boycott NFL games this upcoming season over the league's new policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem.  "Friends who know me, know that I love football.  But I won't be watching this NFL season because of the unfair cowardly and idiotic kneeling ban," the progressive lawmaker tweeted on Sunday, adding the hashtag "Boycott NFL."

NFL Players' Association criticizes new league policy on kneeling during national anthem.  The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) on Wednesday criticized the league for its new national anthem policy.  In a statement, the union said it would review the new policy and "challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."  The union accused the league of contradicting its previous statements and of ignoring players' wishes in developing the new policy, which instructs that all team and league personnel should stand for the national anthem.

NFL is 'considering 15-yard penalties for teams who kneel during the national anthem'.  NFL club owners are considering potential 15-yard penalties for kneeling during the national anthem among ways of coping with a backlash over player protests, Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday [5/22/2018].  According to a story on the magazine's website, owners set aside three hours to talk about the anthem issue, which President Donald Trump elevated into a major controversy last year.  Ideas to handle players kneeling during the anthem included allowing home teams to decide if players should be out of the locker room during the pre-game playing of The Star-Spangled Banner or not.  If players are on the sideline, then 15-yard penalties could be imposed on teams with players who kneel during the anthem.

Trump suggests NFL players should leave the U.S. if they don't stand for the national anthem.  President Donald Trump backed an NFL rule change Wednesday that bans kneeling during the national anthem and hits violators with fines.  However, the president — who instigated the new policy with his withering rebuke of players refusing to stand during the tribute to America — said the measure doesn't go far enough.  'I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms,' he told Fox & Friends in a pre-taped interview that aired on Thursday's [5/24/2018] program.  'You shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there.  Maybe they shouldn't be in the country.'

Jets chairman Christopher Johnson says he'll pay any anthem-related fines for Jets players.  Despite the institution of a new policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem and imposing fines for any that don't, no New York Jets players will be paying any fines.

NFL Completes Hail Mary to Beat Social-Justice Wreckers.  Though even at the height of the phenomenon just a small percentage of the players knelt, the spectacle of millionaire athletes disrespecting the country that made them rich proved so offputting to fans that television ratings tanked.  Ratings declined by 10 percent in 2017 over the previous season.  And in 2016, when the league lamely attempted to blame the presidential election, the numbers dropped by 8 percent.  While numerous factors contributed to the sharp decline in viewers, the kneelers undoubtedly wrestled the ratings down the most.

Players Considering New Forms of Protests for Revised National Anthem Policy.  Some NFL players are reportedly considering new ways to protest after NFL owners voted on a new national anthem policy Wednesday [5/23/2018], reports Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko.  According to Klemko, some are discussing ways to skirt new rules "just to spite the NFL."  The policy removes a requirement for players to be on the field for the anthem, and gives players the option to stay in the locker room.  Teams will be fined for any personnel that "do not show proper respect for the flag and Anthem" on the sidelines.

NFL players mulling new anthem protests 'to spite' league over planned crackdown: report.  Some NFL players are reportedly planning new protests during the national anthem "just to spite the NFL" in wake of the league's new anti-kneeling policy that was announced Wednesday [5/23/2018].  The players, who weren't planning on demonstrating during the national anthem this season, said they were looking for way to "skirt" the new NFL rules, Sports Illustrated reported Thursday.  Some NFL players are reportedly planning new protests during the national anthem "just to spite the NFL" in wake of the league's new anti-kneeling policy that was announced Wednesday.

Kneeling NFL players should choose a different form of protest.  For nearly three weeks last fall, the National Football League waged war against President Trump over player protests during the national anthem.  After 19 days, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell began a slow-moving public relations train wreck of capitulation, culminating in a new rule announced Wednesday [5/23/2018] that will allow the league to fine teams for actions taken by players deemed disrespectful during playing of the anthem.  Under the policy, it is up to individual teams to decide whether they want to discipline players for protesting during playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Rep. Pete King: 'Indefensible to Kneel' for 'False Narrative' on Police Violence.  It is "indefensible" when National Football League players refuse to stand for the National Anthem, and represents a "false narrative of police bias against black men," Rep. Pete King said in a column Saturday [5/26/2018].  In the column, as in a tweet earlier in the morning, the New York Republican drew a comparison between those who kneel in protest of police violence to people who would make a Nazi salute on the football field.  In his tweet, King declared it "disgraceful" that the owner of the New York Jets, Christopher Johnson, would "pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem.  Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police.  Would he support all player protests?  Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism?  It's time to say goodbye to Jets!"

Vikings to Host Daylong Summit on LGBTQ Inclusion.  The Minnesota Vikings will become the first NFL team to host a summit on LGBTQ inclusion in sports.  The Vikings announced Wednesday the summit will be held at the team's headquarters in Eagan on June 21.  A reception will be held afterward to raise money for local and national LGBTQ organizations.  The team is working to create opportunities for people in the LGBTQ community.  "We hope that this really jump-starts the conversation," Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren said.

Whatever the Left Touches it Ruins.  The left is increasingly poisoning sports.  In most football stadiums this past season, one could not attend an NFL game without being subjected to left-wing contempt for America and its flag.

Report: Seahawks Cancel Meeting with Colin Kaepernick After He Refuses to Stop Anthem Protests.  According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Seattle Seahawks canceled a visit with Colin Kaepernick after he refused to say he would stop protesting during the playing of the national anthem.  Schefter reported that the Seahawks tried to get the former NFL player to commit to ending his protests, but Kaepernick refused.

Transgender Runners Can Race Boston Marathon Under Identified Gender.  Transgender runners who qualify can take part in the Boston Marathon as their identified gender, according to Boston Marathon officials.  The issue has garnered attention following a profile in Canadian Running of three transgender women signed up for the race.  Comments to the article included reservation from readers that the elevated testosterone levels would potentially bump other women from the race, who would otherwise have qualified.

Kaepernick's "Collusion" Grievance Against The NFL Moves Forward.  If you thought we'd heard the last of noted National Anthem protester and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, think again.  The budding social justice warrior still hasn't given up on the idea that he can land a starting spot with a National Football League team simply by demanding that one is owed to him.  He filed a "grievance" against the league last year claiming that the league and the various team owners were all "colluding" against him to keep him from playing.

NFL owners finalize $90M social-justice deal without resolving anthem protests.  NFL team owners unanimously gave their final approval Monday [3/26/2018] to an unprecedented $90 million social-justice initiative but made no decisions about how to handle players refusing to stand for the national anthem.  Instead, owners are expected to continue the discussion about whether to change the game-day policy, which does not require players to stand, at the spring league meeting in May, according to a post on citing the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  The decision to avoid an anthem vote at the March 25-28 annual league meeting in Orlando came with the owners split on how to handle the divisive two-year-old sideline protests, which have been blamed in large part for the NFL's 9.7 percent ratings decline in the 2017 regular season.

NFL owners' social justice cash may defuse anthem protests, may not satisfy fans.  After two years of kneeling players and plummeting ratings, NFL owners are expected next week to put the finishing touches on an $89 million social justice package intended to defuse the sideline protest problem that began with Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and put the focus back on what happens on the field.  But while some activist players have indicated that it's time to move on — unsigned safety Eric Reid, for one, said Thursday that his anthem-kneeling days are over — others have said no deal.  The package's $25 million for former Obama administration figure Van Jones and his left-wing Dream Corps isn't likely to sit well with conservatives already fed up with the league's politics.

The Patriots Flew Parkland Students to D.C. Ahead of 'March for Our Lives' on Team Plane.  Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left Florida on Thursday, for the "March For Our Lives" against gun violence in Washington, DC, this weekend.  And their transportation came courtesy of the New England Patriots.  According to the Boston Globe, "On Thursday [3/22/2018], team owner Robert Kraft provided the team's official plane to fly the families of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and some of the students who were injured and survived the harrowing incident to the nation's capital for the event, according to Patriots spokesman Stacey James."

Hollywood stars, athletes driving away viewers with political activism, poll finds.  Actors and athletes increasingly using their forums for political activism are turning off viewers, according to a newly released poll.  A McLaughlin & Associates/Media Research Center survey released Wednesday [3/21/2018] found that 44 percent were less likely to watch sports and entertainment shows "because they have become too political."  In addition, 75 percent said they watch sports and entertainment to escape from politics, and "do not want to be bombarded with partisan political messages."  The poll of 1,000 likely voters comes with television ratings plummeting in the last year for high-profile sports and entertainment events.

QBs cashing in — except for the unwelcome Kaepernick.  As free agency kicked off the start of a new football season, the NFL sent a clear message to anyone paying attention:  Colin Kaepernick, you're still not wanted.  Probably not ever.  Oh, and while we're at it, it's pretty clear the owners have every intention of clamping down on any other players who tries to carry on Kaepernick's legacy.

Four NBA Teams Play 'Negro National Anthem' at Games for Black History Month.  At least four NBA teams have played the Black National Anthem before their games last month.  The Washington Wizards was the fourth NBA team to play the anthem at a game in February for Black History Month.  The white national anthem was not played this year.

The Editor says...
If there's a black national anthem, that means the blacks think they have their own nation.  That's black separatism.

Several Eagles will skip Donald Trump White House visit after winning Super Bowl.  Several Eagles players plan on skipping the traditional White House celebration after winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.  Wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long, and safety Malcolm Jenkins are among the players planing to boycott visiting President Donald J. Trump.

Confronting Leftist Lies.  Millions are outraged at the NFL.  Americans who simply tuned in to watch Sunday football games were slapped in the face by NFL players, coaches, and management politically protesting on the field against our flag, country, national anthem, and police.  And yet, NFL management had the audacity to reject an ad for the Superbowl program booklet, claiming it is too political.  The ad featured a veteran, a U.S. flag and the words, "#Please Stand."  The NFL's rejection of the ad is evidence of the NFL arrogantly supporting the American Left while dissing mainstream Americans.

'All I know is murder'.  Everything you need to know about the Super Bowl can be found in the rap hit "Dreams and Nightmares," by Meek Mill.  But which more truthfully could be named after a line in the song:  "The Murder Game" or "All I Know Is Murder."  Everything about how far professional football has fallen and how the NFL celebrates the obscene, the vulgar, the dangerous, and the foolish will be on full display as that song blares as the Eagles take the field.  This song that the Eagle players have chosen is about guns, drugs, money, bitches, and murder, over and over and over.  Just like the rest of Meek Mill songs, which also include a healthy dollop of the evils of the white man. [...] Meek Mill will not be there.  He's in the joint.

Kaepernick Raises $20K In Donations For Group Honoring Cop Killer.  There's always something new shedding light on who this guy really is, to say nothing of the celebrities who ponied up the 2-large for this group.

Kaepernick raises $20K in celebrity donations for group honoring convicted cop-killer.  Colin Kaepernick said Friday he has raised $20,000 for Assata's Daughters, named after convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, through matching donations from his celebrity friends as part of his Million Dollar Pledge.  The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback announced that comedian Hannibal Buress and actress Yara Shahidi would both donate $10,000 to Assata's Daughters, which says it "carries on the tradition of radical liberatory activism encompassed by Assata Shakur."

Boycotting the Super Bowl - Veterans, bars, even a bowling alley are saying 'no' to the big game.  A growing number of Americans have decided they have better things to do with their time on Super Bowl Sunday than support a professional football league that doesn't have the decency to honor the national anthem.  American Legion and VFW posts, restaurants and bars, and even a bowling alley have decided they will not broadcast the Super Bowl game in their establishments — out of respect for veterans and law enforcement.

Herschel Walker:  Players Received 'Hush Money' From NFL to Stand for Anthem.  Former NFL running back Herschel Walker accused the NFL of essentially giving out "hush money" to stop players from kneeling for the national anthem.  The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner highlighted the fact that the NFL in late November offered $100 million to social justice organizations favored by players.  The move was widely viewed as an attempt by the league to end the controversy surrounding the anthem protests.

NFL disrespects our vets again; Time to boycott the Super Bowl.  Don't let the military jet fly-over fool you this Super Bowl.  The NFL is just as anti-military as they were before.  The NFL rejected a veterans group, AMVET's, Super Bowl ad because it asks people to stand for the anthem.  The two words that frighten the NFL and Roger Goodell to the core is:  "please stand."  There is only one word to describe this:  Censorship.  The NFL invited AMVET's to advertise during the Super Bowl.  But was quickly rejected once the ad stated #PleaseStand.  The reason?  They didn't accept the ad because they consider it a "political statement."

NFL to highlight players' work on equality issues.  The NFL announced Tuesday [1/23/2018] it would establish a council of players and owners to highlight league members' work on issues of racial justice and equality.  A press release on the NFL's website details the "Let's Listen Together" campaign, which includes five current NFL team owners and five current or former players and plans to "focus on supporting programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a priority on supporting improvements in education and economic development, community and police relations, and the criminal justice system."

Nets Ignore NFL Quashing 'Please Stand' Super Bowl Ad by Veterans Group.  With the protest-filled 2017 NFL season set to come to an end in a couple of weeks, the league found itself engulfed in controversy Tuesday when they banned an ad from a veterans group asking people to "please stand" for the national anthem.  It was a truly sad story, but the none of the major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) felt the need to report it to their viewers during their evening broadcasts.

NFL Made 'A Big Mistake' by Rejecting Pro-Veterans Ad.  The NFL has turned into a political sideshow over the past two seasons — and when it comes to this year's Super Bowl, the league has shown it's not supportive of those whose political opinions differ from its own narrative.

Kaepernick named finalist for NFL's 'Community MVP' award.  NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named a finalist for an award honoring players for their community service work.  Kaepernick and four other players were announced as finalists for the NFL Players Association's (NFLPA) Byron "Whizzer" White Community MVP award, according to NBC Sports.  The free agent quarterback pledged $1 million to various charitable organizations during the 2016 season.  He won the NFLPA's "Community MVP" award during Week 1 of the 2017 season after donating $100,000 to four charities and holding a back-to-school backpack giveaway in New York City.

NFL's kneeling comes to abrupt halt:  Protesters miss playoffs.  NBC plans to televise any players who refuse to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, but there may be nothing to show.  It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the national anthem, namely because none of the teams with still-active protesters has qualified for the postseason.

The pathetic results of the NFL kneeling spree.  What, exactly, did the NFL "take-a-knee" protests by wealthy black football players protesting racial injustice accomplish?  Based on what most people could see, pretty much nothing, other than lost ticket sales.  People go to football games to be entertained, not to be lectured by their supposed betters in another dreary virtue-signaling game.

NBC Will Show Kneeling If It Happens At Super Bowl.  NBC announced Tuesday [1/9/2018] that they will definitely show players if they take a knee during the national anthem at the Super Bowl next month, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  "It's certainly possible," Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of the big game, said about the chances of players taking a knee in protest.  "It was a pretty big story in our country this fall.  We'd show it."

California federal court rules high school football player can't be ordered to stand for national anthem.  A California federal court has ruled that a high school football player cannot be ordered to stand for the national anthem before games.  The decision, made by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Dec. 21, struck down statutes enforced by the San Pasqual Valley Unified School District, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday [12/30/2017].  The district prohibited students from "kneeling, sitting or similar forms of political protest" at sporting events and "required students and coaches to "stand and remove hats/helmets during the playing or singing of the national anthem," according to court documents.

NFL national anthem protests continue during final week of regular season.  More than a dozen NFL players protested during or right after the national anthem on Sunday, the final weekend of the league's regular season.  Nine Seattle Seahawks players sat or knelt during the anthem prior to the teams' game, as they have throughout the season.  Michael Bennett, Marcus Smith, Frank Clark, Dion Jordan and others were among those demonstrating, The Associated Press reported.  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews remained off the field during the national anthem before his team's game, while his teammates, Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey, raised their fists once the anthem ended.

Papa John's CEO John Schnatter steps down weeks after wading into NFL anthem controversy.  Papa John's CEO John Schnatter is stepping down from his position, the company announced Thursday.  He will be replaced on Jan. 1 by COO Steve Ritchie.  Schnatter will remain chairman of the board.  Schnatter's face is a fixture to TV-watching sports fans; he is best-known for peddling his pizza on Sunday TV spots featuring Peyton Manning and J.J. Watt.  Schnatter's resignation comes weeks after he courted controversy by blaming the NFL's handling of players protesting social injustice who take a knee during the national anthem for falling sales and tanking stock prices.  Papa John's stock has lost more than 30 percent of its value since the beginning of 2017.

Papa John's controversial CEO steps down after facing backlash for his criticism of NFL anthem protests.  The controversial founder and CEO of Papa John's, John Schnatter, is stepping down, the company announced Thursday [12/21/2017].  The company said its current president, Steve Ritchie, would replace him.  Schnatter sparked controversy in November when he slammed NFL leadership over players' kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.  "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership," Schnatter said in a call with investors.

Ravens president sends letter to season-ticket holders blaming 'noticeable' number of empty seats on Baltimore players' 'one-time protest'.  The Baltimore Ravens sent a letter to season-ticket holders this week which was signed by team president Dick Cass blames the team's diminished attendance on the players who protested police brutality against minorities by kneeling during the national anthem before the team's September 24 game in London.  That game was the first of many protests that day immediately following President Donald Trump's condemnation of the protests [...] during a speech in Alabama.  The Ravens players have not protested since.

NFL Co-Hosting 'Social Justice Workshop' For College Athletes.  The National Football League has lost millions of fans and seen its profits and ratings tank as a result of the "#takeaknee protests that spread across the league in the first few weeks of the season.  But thanks to a new commitment to social justice issues, borne out of the Colin Kaepernick-led protests, the NFL will actually take part in a training program that will help to focus the next generation of activist athletes looking to make a "social justice" difference.  The "Advocacy in Sport" workshop, presented by the NFL in concert with Morehouse College, will teach student athletes "how to develop and implement effective advocacy platforms that positively impact society," according to Campus Reform.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs wants to buy Carolina Panthers and sign Kaepernick.  Hip hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs said Sunday night [12/17/2017] he's interested in buying the Carolina Panthers and signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unemployed this season after kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.  Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday he would be selling the team after the 2017 season, just hours after Sports Illustrated published accusations of sexual misconduct from former employees. Richardson also allegedly used a racial slur about a team scout.  Diddy took to Twitter soon after the Panthers announced the upcoming sale, declaring his desire to own a team and increase diversity among NFL ownership.

The Editor says...
Brilliant idea.  I strongly encourage Mr. Combs to buy the team, make it the most radical left-wing BLM/SJW activist branch of the NFL, and then see what happens to ticket sales and the resale value of the team.  Then we will all see the value of "diversity among NFL ownership."

NFL Team Hit With Lawsuit, Courtesy of Flag-Loving Americans.  Fed up with the NFL's ongoing national anthem protests, one fan has attempted to strike back by filing a suit against the New Orleans Saints in the hopes of recouping the thousands of dollars he spent on season tickets to the team's games.  Louisiana resident Lee Dragna filed a suit in a district court Monday "seeking a refund for the tickets as well as attorney's fees, claiming the protest by some players against police brutality and racial injustice has prevented him and his family from enjoying the games," reported the The New Orleans Advocate.

Goodell defends NFL's massive planned donation for social justice causes.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday [12/11/2017] defended the league's move to pay nearly $90 million to social justice causes supported by some players, despite critics' claims that it was meant purely to appease activist athletes, including those who have kneeled during the national anthem this year.

AP counts 5 NFL players protesting during anthem.  The Associated Press counted five NFL players protesting during the national anthem of the league's early games Sunday [12/10/2017].

NFL Players' Protests Focusing Attention on League's Tax Breaks.  The knee-bending antics of professional football players are focusing attention on a key issue:  Are the taxpayer subsidies involved in supporting the NFL worth it in generating new revenues as promised?  An issue getting less attention is whether taxpayers should be involved in supporting professional football in the first place.  Especially when those in the league are thumbing their noses at the very taxpayers who are funding them.  Jeff Mordock, writing in the Washington Times, said that "the protests are sparking a conversation on the NFL itself and whether the public investment in teams pays off for [the] communities that host them — and often serve [instead] as their cash machines."  That conversation is revealing what economists have concluded from time immemorial:  there is no net gain to taxpayers either from their funding of stadiums or helping the teams' owners purchase their players' contracts.

Lindsey Vonn:  I won't be representing US President at Winter Olympics.  A number of US athletes have spoken out against Donald Trump during his presidency — and skier Lindsey Vonn has become the latest to have her say.  Targeting Olympic gold at February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Vonn is in St.  Moritz, Switzerland, where she spoke passionately about what it means to compete for the US ski team.  "Well I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president," Vonn told CNN's Alpine Edge.

Colin Kaepernick honored with ACLU award.  Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the surprise honoree at the ACLU of Southern California's annual awards dinner Sunday night, accepting the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award for his kneeling protests against the national anthem that sparked a movement across the NFL.  Mr. Kaepernick's appearance, which was not announced prior to the event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, was met with a standing ovation.

Sports Illustrated Grants Award to Colin Kaepernick for Disrespecting National Anthem.  Sports Illustrated has followed GQ down the rabbit hole of radical leftism by granting an award to the bitterly anti-American former football player who set in motion the ongoing collapse of the NFL, Colin Kaepernick.

NFL Week 13 : Thugs Who Disrespect the Anthem, Flag and Military.  As the NFL continues to lose attendance and TV viewership, NFL thugs continued their "oppression" protests for Week 13 in the NFL.

NFL Kneeler to Fans:  If You Don't Like the Protests Stay Home!.  The New York Giants defensive lineman who protested the national anthem during the Thanksgiving Day night game against the Washington Redskins has a message for fans who don't like it.  STAY HOME!

Colin Kaepernick Is Recipient of 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.  Colin Kaepernick made his truth known when he first decided not to stand for the national anthem.  He had a lot of football left to play and a lot more money to make when he made his decision.  It was late August, 2016.  People who were anonymous in life had become famous in death.  Philando Castile.  Eric Garner.  Alton Sterling.  Freddie Gray.  They were tragic symbols of a society that had taken a terribly wrong turn.  As the anthem played ahead of the 49ers' preseason game against the Texans, Kaepernick, San Francisco's 28-year-old quarterback at the time, quietly took a seat on the bench.  It took two weeks for anyone from the media to ask him about it.  Kaepernick explained that he was making a statement about inequality and social justice, about the ways this country "oppresses black people and people of color."

NFL to Contribute $100 Million to Social Justice Causes as Part of Anthem Protest Surrender.  The NFL's sellout to their anthem-protesting players is starting to look a lot more like a buyout.  According to ESPN, the league will offer nearly $100 million to causes designed to promote "social justice change."  In a move unlike anything seen from a major American sports league, the league will offer the money in hopes that it will end the ratings-killing protest movement begun by Colin Kaepernick in the preseason of 2016.

Ticket Prices for Thanksgiving NFL Game Tumbling to Less than $15 as Anthem Protests Continue.  It has gotten increasingly hard for average Americans to afford to take their families out to sporting events, because the costs are so high.  But as the NFL continues to lose fans, TV ratings, and moral authority, ticket prices have also crashed to unheard of lows.

NFL owners could change anthem policy next season if protests continue.  Some NFL owners believe there is a strong possibility they will enact an offseason change to the league's national anthem policy if players' protests during the anthem persist through the end of this season, reverting to a previous approach of keeping players in the locker room while the anthem is played, according to several people familiar with the league's inner workings.  "I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen," said one person familiar with the owners' deliberations on anthem-related issues.  That person said it was "too early to tell" for certain if the change to the anthem policy will be made by owners and the league.  The person was "not sure" if a formal vote of the owners would be required to enact such a change but said, "I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season."

NFL learns there's No Free Lunch.  Let us cut to the chase: the NFL owns the players' protest because not only has the league failed to hold players accountable, its owners joined in the anti-American protest.  Well, virtue signaling has a price.  Americans are about to pull tax breaks that the league enjoys.

NFL mulls changing anthem policy for next year.  The NFL is considering an idea for next year to keep players inside their locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem.  "I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen," said one person familiar with the owners' deliberations on anthem-related issues.  Years ago, the players would come out on the field to warm up and then return to the locker room during the National Anthem.  The league is thinking of going back to that policy.

NFL repays billions in American taxpayers' dollars with a knee.  No thanks.  This Thanksgiving, for the first time since I was a toddler, I will not be watching any NFL games.  I find the League's disrespect for our country and our national anthem reprehensible and a totally unwarranted injection of partisan anti-police politics into a cherished sport.  I'm hardly alone in that belief, as a recent Remington Research poll found that 80 percent of Americans responded that they'd like to see less politics during sporting events.  Most of the blame for this mess clearly lies with Commissioner Roger Goodell, whose feckless lack of leadership allowed this issue to fester despite clear NFL rules about players standing respectfully for our flag.  Amazingly, Goodell is about to ink a new contract that, according to ESPN, will pay him approximately $40 million a year and perhaps include such perks as lifetime private jet travel.  It's astounding that the NFL owners, a very savvy group of business leaders, would reward Goodell with such generosity after his many management fumbles including the Ray Rice scandal, Deflate-gate, and sagging TV ratings.

Colin Kaepernick celebrates 'Unthanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz Island.  True to the theme that he's been nationally talking about — or rather, taking a knee for — since last summer, former 49er Colin Kaepernick attended an "Unthanksgiving Day" celebration on Alcatraz Island.  The Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony, held annually on Thanksgiving since 1975, commemorates the survival of Native American peoples following the settlement of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere.

NFL Player Will Only Stand for Mexican National Anthem.  Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during most of U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before their game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.  Lynch has not stood for the national anthem since returning from retirement this season.

The National Boycott of the NFL Did Not Matter.  America hating Leftists never back off or surrender ground.  As a matter of fact, to continue poking a finger in the eye of normal Americans, Leftist rag GQ magazine outrageously named Colin Kaepernick its Citizen of the Year.  Kaepernick is the player who started NFL players shamefully kneeling during our national anthem.  Sports media instantly declared Kaepernick, a mediocre quarterback, a hero.  And yet, sports media is obsessed with pressuring an NFL team to hire Kaepernick.  NFL players have been fooled into believing their protest is about fairness and justice.  These young men are clueless that Leftists view them as useful idiots in their long-term plan to bring down America economically, culturally, and globally.

Lefty Protest Gets Kaepernick "Citizen of the Year".  Name country singer Blake Shelton People's Sexiest Man of 2017 and left-wing media go in an uproar.  Pick out-of-work quarterback Colin Kaepernick as GQ's "Citizen of the Year" and sane people look at you stupefied.  Kaepernick worked with the magazine to "reclaim the narrative of his protest."  So they photographed him in Harlem "intending to evoke the spirit of Muhammad Ali's anti-Vietnam War protests."

Britt McHenry, ex-ESPN reporter, blasts GQ for naming Colin Kaepernick 'Citizen of the Year'.  On Monday, GQ magazine released its special issue naming former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "Citizen of the Year."  The controversial figure in sports, and the magazine, received a lot of backlash, including a string of tweets from former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry.  "I see that magazine cover and I think if we want to go with a football player, Houston Texans' JJ Watt raised $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.  Why is he not the citizen of the year," she told Fox News' Neil Cavuto Monday night [11/13/2017].

Hey, NFL owners, tired of half-empty stadiums?  Tell your players to stand up for America.  [I]t took quite a bit to get me to boycott the NFL, but they managed it.  Until the owners require their players to stand for the national anthem, or sit for the game, I won't watch a minute, and I'm not alone.  Since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in a misguided protest against police violence, the NFL has been hemorrhaging fans.  Both TV viewership and attendance at stadiums are well down and once people find other ways to spend their Sundays, they may not come back.

No, Colin Kaepernick Is No Muhammad Ali.  GQ magazine named former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its 2017 "Citizen of the Year."  In doing so, GQ overlooked NFL Houston Texans' J.J. Watt, who raised some $37 million for hurricane relief.  Many of Kaepernick's supporters liken his protest to that of boxer Muhammad Ali, who refused to be inducted into the military.  The comparison is not well-taken.

College Basketball Teams Make National Anthem Demonstrations At The Champions Classic.  It appears the national anthem protest has trickled down to college basketball.  Two of the four college basketball teams that participated in the Champions Classic in Chicago on Tuesday night participated in a national anthem demonstration before their game.  While nobody took a knee, the players on each team wore t-shirts in an apparent demonstration in pre-game warm-ups and during the playing of the national anthem.

From One Frenzy to the Next.  It is hard to sustain outrage about NFL racism when twentysomething multimillionaires, in a league of over 75 percent African-Americans, insult the sources of their income by refusing to stand for the National Anthem -- and belatedly come to realize that the logical trajectory of their supposed principled demonstrations is their own irrelevance and eventual impoverishment.  What cooled the NFL hysteria was the reality that the hyped story of "taking a knee" was morphing into the scarier narrative of less money, an absence of politically correct proportional representation among players, looming league downsizing, pampered athletes, traumatic brain injuries, and a public weariness with everything from ESPN to Colin Kaepernick.  In other words, taking a knee reminded about 20 percent of NFL fans that there were already reasons enough to turn the channel.  And so they did.

These Three NFL Players Knelt During The Anthem On Veterans Day Weekend.  Three NFL players took a knee as the national anthem played at the New York Giants game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, according to multiple reports.  As "The Star Spangled Banner" played at Levi Stadium over Veterans Day weekend, Eric Reid and Marquise Goodwin knelt on the San Francisco side.  They were joined by Olivier Vernon on the New York side.  No NFL players knelt during the early games on Sunday [11/12/2017], according to the New York Daily News.

Bears Packers Game Half Empty at Soldier Field.  The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have a historic rivalry.  But after several weeks of NFL National Anthem protests even Soldier Field in Chicago was half empty today [11/12/2017].

Labeling Vin Scully a racist is a new low point.  Saturday, Vin Scully, who turns 90 on Nov. 29, had the audacity to protest the protesters.  He thus was condemned as an "Old Retired White Man" on a popular, but reckless, often dishonest and vulgar sports website featuring cheap-shot artists who make snap, no-research bad guesses to mischaracterize and defame.  Like Morning Zoo radio, that's how several internet sports journalism sites generate attention.  That's where we're headed.  At a symposium, Scully calmly answered a question about NFL take-a-knee national anthem protests.  He said he's so upset by them, he'll never watch another NFL game.  He's hardly alone among those who won't suffer conspicuous disrespect for the anthem and flag over any selected or selective issue.  Such protests appear dismissive or ignorant of greater symbols of freedom, history and sacrifice.

The Editor says...
As far as I know, all Mr. Scully said was that he didn't want to watch football any more.  How is that racist?  Racial politics has certainly been injected into professional sports, but not by Mr. Scully.

NFL's Invitation To Kaepernick To Meet With Goodell Turns Into Snarky Public Feud.  Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback-turned-activist who started the anthem protests by refusing "to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," continues to be both unemployed and making headlines.  In the latest episode of the Kaepernick saga, the NFL extended an invitation to the sidelined QB to meet one-on-one with commissioner Roger Goodell — a proposition that quickly devolved into a snarky public feud between Kaepernick's lawyer and an NFL spokesman.

Vin Scully says he'll 'never watch another NFL game again'.  Saturday night, former Dodgers announcer and Hall of Famer Vin Scully was at the Pasadena Civic Center for an event called "An Evening With Vin Scully."  At some point during the event, Scully was asked about the NFL's national anthem protests, in which players have taken a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality and racism.  Scully said he "will never watch another NFL game" because of the protests.

NFL Advertisers to NBC: Stop Showing Players' Protests.  The unease among advertisers over falling National Football League TV ratings is starting to boil over.  One of the league's major sponsors is considering pulling the plug on its NFL advertising next year, and, according to Business Insider's Mike Shields, other "brands are threatening to pull ads from NFL coverage if NBC keeps covering players' national-anthem protests."  If those ad dollars go away, technological shifts may cause advertisers to decide not to return.

Veteran Refuses Service Award Offered by Saints, Calls NFL Protests 'Slap in the Face'.  The NFL has long-standing tradition of mixing respect for the flag, and those who defend it, into their pregame ceremonies and community outreach.  However, since the NFL has recently decided to mix disrespect for the flag, and those who defend it, into their pregame ceremonies.  One veteran in Louisiana has decided to call them out on it.  Meet John Wells, he is a retired Navy commander and executive director of the national Military Veterans Advocacy organization, in Slidell, Louisiana.  Mr. Wells was chosen by the Saints to be the recipient of the People's Health Champion award.  A recognition offered to a member of the community who exemplifies "the exceptional achievements of Louisiana residents age 65 and older."

NFL's most powerful owners targeted in Kaepernick's collusion case.  Some of the NFL's most powerful owners will be at the center of Colin Kaepernick's collusion case.  The Cowboys' Jerry Jones, the Patriots' Robert Kraft and the Texans' Bob McNair will be deposed and asked to turn over all cellphone records and emails in relation to Kaepernick's accusation, reported.  Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and 49ers owner Jed York is also on the deposition list, according to Yahoo Sports.  The 49ers quarterback-turned-NFL martyr is charging that NFL teams, in "calculated coordination" with President Trump, blackballed him from the league after he became the face of the NFL anthem protests, which he started to fight against racial inequality.

Papa Johns Whines About Lower Pizza Sales Because of NFL Thugs.  Papa John's, an NFL thug supporter is whining that pizza sales are dropping because fewer and fewer people are watching the NFL. Hey, here's a thought Papa John.  Pull your sponsorship of the NFL and your pizza sales will rise like your crust.  Any company associated with the NFL, like Papa John's deserves to see their revenue tank.  If you are financially supporting a league that hates this country, then by extension, you hate this country until you pull your ads.

Game Over:  NFL Owners Stunned as Ratings Plunge 25 Percent.  The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to "take a knee" during the performance of the US national anthem.  The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the 'Star-Spangled Banner.'  As a result, ratings, ticket purchases, and merchandise sales have plummeted as football fans protest with their wallets.

NFL Ratings [Can Be] Blamed on [an] Inferior Product.  If you think the demise of the NFL and the proliferation of social engineering and political correctness is a coincidence, then you're likely a Leftist.  Black players are a product of their environments and their politics.  These high-paid employees bring all the problems that America faces.  So it was only a matter of time for these thugletes to rebel.  So yes, the product of the NFL [stinks].  And the games are no fun to watch.  Sadly, the sports shows offer no relief either, as we have seen these shows become more politics than sports.

East Coast Sports Reporter Leaves Lefty Bubble, Finds Out Middle America Really Dislikes the Anthem Protests.  A sports reporter recently left his comfortable liberal bubble in New York City, traveled to the interior of the country, and was shocked when he discovered that NFL fans in fly over country really do hate the NFL's constant anti-American national anthem protests.  Fox NFL writer Peter Schrager found out first hand that real Americans are pretty steamed about the anti-American NFL protests going on across the country.

NFL in Death Spiral:  San Fran 49's Spend $$ on Gun Control, Not Better Players.  Did you really think the politicization of the NFL starts and stops with the taking of a knee at the sounds of the national Anthem you are wrong.  Now the San Fran 49'ers are acting as a Democrat Party PAC — giving $500,000 to promote gun control.  "According to ESPN, the 49ers presented the gun control pledge as part of creating a "more understanding and safer America."  The $500,000 will also be used to push a ban on bump stocks and armor-piercing bullets.  The ban on armor-piercing bullets is somewhat ambiguous, but appears similar to a ban which was unsuccessfully pushed by the Obama administration in 2015.

Houston Texans find new fake cause to kneel.  After months of kneeling over the national anthem — and in protest of supposed targeted police brutality against blacks — football's finest in on-field showboating have finally found a new cause: offensiveness at their team owner's remarks.  The possibilities of this type of protesting — and by this type, it's meant, fabricated and fake — are endless, it seems.

NFL or Gilligan's Island, the Choice Is Easy.  It's not a tough decision at all, for me the choice is obvious.  This year I'll be watching reruns of Gilligan's Island before I'll watch a single down of the National Football League.  I just don't have the interest level that I once had in watching professional football, it simply doesn't appeal to me anymore.  And it won't appeal to me until the NFL decides to stand up to the thugs and prima donnas on its payroll who want to protest against the very country that has enriched them far beyond that of most Americans.

The Editor says...
Why not just turn the television OFF and read a book, or walk around the block, or something?  Must you be entertained constantly?

Free Speech Works Both Ways:  Fans Abandon NFL Over Protests, Leave Half Empty Stadiums.  Frankly, I could care less about that National Football League and the ongoing social justice protests.  The game has no impact on my life and neither does its players.  However, it appears that many Americans are finally putting some shoe leather to their anger at players who kneel during the national anthem and will not stand for the raising of the US flag and it's showing up in photos from NFL stadiums across the league.

Cowboys cut ex-Giant Damontre Moore, one of two Dallas players who continued to raise his fist at end of national anthem.  If Damontre Moore wants to continue his national anthem protest, he'll have to do so with a new team.  The Cowboys released Moore in order to make room to sign kicker Mike Nugent, the team announced Wednesday [10/25/2017].  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has publicly stated he believes all players should stand for the anthem and recently said he believes anthem protests are hurting the NFL.  While no Cowboys player has kneeled or sat during the anthem, Moore was one of two players who continued to raise his fist at the conclusion of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in recent weeks after Jones previously talked to players and explained his feelings on the matter.

NFL Week #7 — More Empty Seats Seed Doubt for Future of Commissioner.  The vast majority of NFL fans held a middle-class, center-right, common sense, and patriotic outlook toward sports and entertainment overall.  In essence most of the NFL fan base are/were positively MAGA-minded.  It reflects the profound disconnect between the corporation and their customer base that the NFL didn't recognize the danger in making social justice causes part of their business enterprise.  That blame lays squarely on the well paid leader of the NFL, Roger Goodell.

Why don't you just play football?
San Francisco 49ers Pledge $500,000 to Push Suppressor Ban, Other Gun Control Measures.  The San Francisco 49ers pledged $500,000 Thursday to secure a suppressor ban and other gun controls.  The push comes in the weeks after the Las Vegas attack.  Suppressors were not used in that attack, but the 49ers are dedicated to banning the devices anyway.  According to ESPN, the 49ers presented the gun control pledge as part of creating a "more understanding and safer America."  The $500,000 will also be used to push a ban on bump stocks and armor-piercing bullets.

The Regrettable Marriage of the NFL and Left-Wing Identity Politics.  What we are witnessing in the media narrative around the NFL protests is the prevailing modus operandi of contemporary leftists seeking to introduce their identity politics into all aspects of American life, even where those politics are unwelcome for most Americans.  In fact, we actually saw the left orchestrate something quite similar just a few years ago.

NFL Ratings CRASH Gets Real With New Numbers -- and America Has Just Begun!  For constantly shoveling the kneeling, hand-locking and bad attitudes about the flag and the National Anthem, the NFL has confirmed that for the first six games of this season, the ratings that indicate total number of viewers have fallen 7.5% more than last year's total viewership.  A few weeks ago we wrote about the decline in viewership for Monday Night Football, with the boycott in full swing.  From September of this year to October of this year, viewership was down by 10%.  Last October we were already reporting a lessened viewership thanks to Kaepernick's grandstanding.

In Case You Missed It, the NFL Might Have Caved on a Lot More than just the Anthem Protests.  It's safe to say, that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a memo to the league informing them it was time to "move past the anthem controversy."  Most people thought he meant moving past it by ending the protests, and, as a result, ending the controversy.  However, a disturbing nugget of information from today's meeting suggests that Goodell might have meant something else entirely.  ESPN's Sal Paolantonio caught up with Goodell after the four-hour meeting with the owners and player representatives.  Paolantonio asked Goodell if the league had asked the players to commit to standing for the anthem.  Goodell's response, did not inspire confidence.

Florida man takes 'Boycott the Jags and the NFL' message to sky.  A former Jacksonville Jaguars fan decided to take his grievances with national anthem protests to the sky Sunday, hoping the players on the field would see his message 1,000 feet above.  Terry Smiley said he was disgusted by Jaguars players who took a knee during the national anthem in London last month, and he decided he needed to make his voice heard.  So Smiley hired a pilot to fly his banner, which read[,]  "BE AMERICAN.  BOYCOTT THE JAGS AND THE NFL," over EverBank Field on Sunday [10/15/2017] before the Jaguars faced off against the Los Angeles Rams.

Goodell Falsely Claims Only a Half Dozen Players Have Protested the National Anthem.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell falsely claimed that only "six or seven players" were actually protesting the national anthem during a press conference following the annual fall owners meeting on Wednesday [10/18/2017]. [...] "I think we also have to keep focus on [the fact that] we have about six or seven players that are involved with this protest at this point," Goodell continued.  Goodell's claim that only about a half dozen player are involved in the national anthem protest is blatantly false.

NFL's cratering ratings may be starting to hit Fox's bottom line.  I talked recently to an NFL fan of many decades who has completely turned his back on the league.  We both agree that if the NFL was to die it probably would be just fine and also would probably save the brain cells of many an aspiring football player.  Another friend (online friend) said that he'd stopped watching 3 weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that he had a whole lot more weekend to play with.

After meeting, NFL, NFLPA release statement indicating no change to anthem policy.  The much-publicized Tuesday [10/17/2017] meeting between NFL officials, team owners, NFLPA officials and several players lasted about three hours.  While there was undoubtedly a lot discussed in that time, it sounds as though there has not been a resolution on a rule change to require that players stand for the national anthem before games.

NFL Stadiums Nearly Empty Across League As Backlash Grows.  Note, that the Jets played New England on Sunday, meaning there should have been a big crowd for that game.  The Texans, Atlanta, and Baltimore are also very relevant teams with relatively loyal fan bases.  Yet, thousands upon thousands of fans no-showed or didn't buy tickets for those games.

CBS Losing Money.  Guess Why.  Gee, any guesses why CBS' third-quarter advertising declined?  If you said NFL football tanking with the public, you get the blue ribbon. [...] [Credit Suisse analyst Omar] Sheikh added that CBS' Sunday NFL ratings have plunged 17% from the same period last year in which the first few games of the regular season were played.

'Monday Night Football' Ratings Fall To Season Low As Titans Break Colts' Streak.  It felt like a little bit of history was being made on Monday Night Football as the Tennessee Titans finally snapped their streak of 11 consecutive losses to the Indianapolis Colts.  However, as social media sparked with ESPN not showing the playing of the national anthem, another type of history was also being made:  Last night's primetime broadcast of the Titans' 36-22 victory stumbled to a season low with a 6.1 in metered market results.

Kaepernick Files Grievance Against NFL Owners, Alleges Collusion to Keep Him Out.  Former NFL quarter Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners because he believes they colluded to keep him out of a job due to his protests during the national anthem. [...] He could have had a job this season if he had not chosen to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.  The contract gave him $16.9 million plus bonuses for 2017.

Report: Kaepernick files grievance against NFL owners for collusion.  Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement for collusion against NFL team owners, reports Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.  Kaepernick has hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos and is preparing to release a statement about his grievance soon, added Freeman.  The free-agent quarterback has remained unemployed since his release by the San Francisco 49ers in March and has garnered little interest from teams around the league.

Labor lawyer:  Colin Kaepernick will have to prove 'pattern' to win collusion grievance.  In order to win his collusion grievance against NFL owners, Colin Kaepernick will need to prove a pattern of communication with and between teams that led to his current unemployment, a labor law expert told USA TODAY Sports.  "He's going to have to show some kind of pattern — of dealings with the clubs, where clubs were aware that he was willing and able to work, where there was some sort of communication with him and then unexplained reasons went elsewhere," said William Gould, the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Stanford University.

Colin Kaepernick's case against the NFL is as lame as his skills at quarterback.  Colin Kaepernick's newly-filed grievance accusing the NFL of colluding or conspiring against him is a legal "Hail Mary."  He and his lawyers stand little chance of winning because both the law and the facts are against him.

NFL: No plans to force players to stand during anthem.  The NFL said Friday [10/13/2017] it has no plans to force players to stand during the national anthem, but will convene to discuss ways to end the controversial protests without imposing new rules. [...] The league released a joint statement with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) earlier this week saying that they would work to advance the mission of the protests, which have called attention to issues of racial injustice and police brutality toward African-Americans.

Silence of the Republican Lambs.  America's culture war is on full display and the left is losing badly.  Public opinion is not on the side of left-wing social justice causes and moral preening.  Where to begin?  NFL players disrespecting law enforcement and the national anthem, kneeling or sitting to protest "oppression" and "injustice."  Ratings are down and the NFL is now one of the most divisive brands in the U.S.  Not a winning business formula.

Roger Goodell Killed the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.  In August 2016, America was experiencing a polarizing presidential election.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the playing of the national anthem, to protest injustice.  It was a politically divisive act directed at fans who regard the national anthem as something sacred.  The league did not lift a finger to stop him.  Most employers don't let their workers make controversial political statements to their customers.  It is why you do not know your UPS driver's views on the expansion of NATO.  The Constitution does not prohibit private businesses from regulating speech during work.  A savvier commissioner would have reminded Kaepernick that he is being paid millions to wear the logo of the NFL, and the league does not permit players to use its brand to flaunt their personal politics.  Instead, Roger Goodell permitted the pregame ceremonies to become the focus of intense political scrutiny, as the media lined up to catalog whether players stood, sat or knelt during the national anthem.

NFL execs just SPIT in America's face.  When Colin Kaepernick inspired hundreds of millionaire NFL players to disrespect the American flag every Sunday, fans responded with boos.  When the players refused to stop their dishonorable protests, fans began to boycott the league.  If critics thought the NFL had learned their lesson, though, the leagues executives proved this week that they hadn't.

The Beginning Of The End Of Progressive Domination?  The preposterous "protests" by NFL players disrespecting the flag during pregame ceremonies has angered large numbers of Americans and hit the League in the wallet.  The race card that always has trumped every political or social conflict has perhaps lost its power.  The spectacle of rich one-percenters recycling lies about police encounters with blacks and the endemic racism of American society has discredited the decades-long racial narrative constantly peddled by Democrats, movies, television shows, and school curricula from grade-school to university.  The endless scolding of white people by blacks more privileged than the majority of human beings who ever existed has lost its credibility.  The racial good will that got a polished mediocrity like Barack Obama twice elected president perhaps has been squandered in this attempt of rich people who play games to pose as perpetual victims.

The NFL is attacking an America that has treated it very well.  Choosing to disrespect our flag is an over-generalized indictment of the greatest nation on Earth.  Kneeling for the anthem does nothing to advance solutions to racial injustice, police brutality, or any other social plight.  It is a slap in the face to patriotism itself.  It is a statement that America as a country is no longer worth standing for.  It is bizarre to see the NFL attacking an America that has treated it so well over the years.  Taxpayers pay over 70 percent of the cost of stadiums.  Our citizens pay more and more for tickets, and valuations of professional sports franchises have skyrocketed.

Kaepernick's Collusion Claim Is a Likely Loser.  If you're going to do Muhammad Ali-type activism, you'd better have Muhammad Ali-type talent.  That is the ultimate lesson of the Colin Kaepernick saga. [...] There is no need to collude against a player who is not an obvious net-plus (in terms of performance and popularity) for any particular team.

It's 1968 All Over Again.  The National Football League is imploding as it devolves into a political circus.  Multimillionaire players refuse to stand for the national anthem, turning off millions of fans whose former loyalties paid their salaries.  Politics — or rather a progressive hatred of the provocative Donald Trump — permeates almost every nook and cranny of popular culture.

An Open Letter to the NFL Players.  You have the absolute right to express yourselves, but we have the absolute right to boycott you.  We have tolerated your drug use and DUIs, your domestic violence, and your vulgar displays of wealth. [...] But now you have gone too far.  You have insulted our flag, our country, our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans.  You are living the American dream, yet you disparage our great country.  I am done with NFL football and encourage all like-minded Americans to boycott the NFL as well.  Millionaire spoiled brats deserve neither our respect nor sympathy.  Grow up and act like men instead of puppets of the radical left who hate America.

NFL Goes Left:  Won't Force Players To Stand For Anthem, Focuses On Social Justice.  As NFL ratings continue to plummet — down nearly 10 percent from last year — news networks are increasingly choosing not to show the national anthem because of protests by players, which often elicit boos from fans.  Thursday's [10/12/2017] matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, despite being a strong matchup between two high-profile teams, was down 5 percent from the previous week's Thursday night matchup.

Tennessee Titans Player Says He'll Quit The NFL If Forced To Stand For The Anthem.  Tennessee Titans player Rishard Matthews tweeted Thursday [10/12/2017] that he'll quit the NFL if the league implements a rule forcing players to stand during the anthem.  "No I will be done playing football," Matthews tweeted and ultimately deleted when asked if he would be willing to face punishment for not standing if a new rule is implemented.

Bombshell Report:  The NFL Players' Union Has Been Working With George Soros.  This makes so much sense.  Lots of people have been wondering why the NFL has been drifting into left wing politics.  Associating with George Soros in any way will typically make that happen.

The NFL and its owners salute one flag:  The dollar.  Ignoring their own league rules caused conservative organizations, pundits, media, and activists to call for an NFL boycott.  Football fans and businesses rallied, burning jerseys and season tickets, canceling their Direct TV Football packages, not buying tickets, merchandise, and playing smash mouth themselves by turning the channel.  Due to the costly backlash, according to the Wall Street Journal, the National Football League's owners will discuss next week whether to unilaterally change league policy and require players to stand during the national anthem.  If players refuse to rise up, they could face disciplinary action by the league or by the team.  The NFL may change the rules of conduct in direct response to their fans who are rejecting politics on the field and hitting them where it hurts them most — their Gucci wallets.

Rishard Matthews of the NFL's Titans said he'll quit if forced to stand for the anthem.  A National Football League (NFL) player says he would rather lose his job than be forced to stand during the national anthem.  "No, I will be done playing football," Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews tweeted Thursday when asked about the issue, according to ESPN.  ESPN reported that WSMV producer Matt Parker asked Matthews whether he would stay in the locker room for the song if the NFL created a rule mandating they stand or face punishment.

NFL TV audience numbers continue to decline early in 2017 season.  No wonder alarm bells are sounding in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's office.  The league's average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7 percent vs. the same period of the 2016 season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News.  Worse for the league, the average game audiences are down 18 percent compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

Kneeling's a kick in the stomach to our country.  The ongoing flap over NFL players disrespecting our national anthem is lowbrow theater at best, casting jocks as deep thinkers whose moral indignation demands everyone's attention.  So they take a knee when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played as a way of alerting the rest of us that we live in an imperfect world.

Victor Davis Hanson:  Kneeling NFL Players Are 'Violating the Cardinal Rule of Business'.  "The players think that the audience are coastal hipsters, and they're not.  They're mostly, the hardcore audience ... males, usually about 30 to 60, and they tend to be red-state conservative males," Hanson said.  "So they're basically violating the cardinal rule of business:  You never insult your base, your customer base.  And that's what they're doing."  "There are certain vulnerabilities that the players don't realize that they're pushing into the face of the fan.  It's not going to work," Hanson added.  "I think they're going to lose 10 or 20 percent of their fan base, and that's going to make radical changes in how it's financed and operated."  Noting that the entire controversy is "all going to be distilled down to money," Hanson said, "that's what the NFL is about."

Pence walks out of an NFL game and sports journalists lose their collective minds.  [Scroll down]  The reaction was largely predictable, with fans tired of the political posturing of overpaid sports stars applauding, and social justice warriors condemning.  What was extraordinarily funny, however, was the way that the sports media humiliated themselves in responding.

Online Media Ridicule Pence for Leaving NFL Game After Anthem Protests.  Vice-president Mike Pence and his wife Karen went to the Indianapolis Colts' football game today to cheer on their favorite team and see the club retire the uniform of former great, quarterback Peyton Manning.  But when 23 members of the visiting San Francisco 49ers dishonored America by taking a knee during the national anthem, the VP left.  Left-stream media predictably put on an all-out blitz against the VP.

Pence Walks Out Of Football Game After Players Kneel.  Good for him.  Several San Francisco 49ers players reportedly knelt during the anthem.  All Colts stood for the anthem.

Poll shocker:  NFL now the least like[d] sport.  Another Sunday in the NFL, which means more protests, more controversy.  While the players seem oblivious to the catastrophe their league is undergoing, owners have to be getting frantic.  A new poll shows that the NFL is no longer "America's game."  In fact, it has gone from the sport with the highest favorables to the sport with the lowest.  The drop has coincided exactly with the anthem protests.

Sorry, sir, no refunds.
Vice President Mike Pence leaves Colts game over protests during anthem.  Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Sunday that he left the Indianapolis Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers because of protests during the national anthem.  No Colts players knelt during the anthem, but some 49ers players did.

NFL ticket prices plunge amid backlash over players kneeling during national anthem:  Report.  NFL ticket prices have plummeted in the wake of the uproar over the national anthem protests, dropping for the first time this year below the 2016 season's prices.  An analysis released Friday [10/6/2017] by CNBC found that ticket prices during the first three games of the 2017 season enjoyed a 20-40 percent increase over last year, but then skidded in Week 4 and actually dropped by 2 percent in Week 5.

Shock poll:  NFL now least liked sport, core fans down 31%.  Over just one month of player, coach, and owner protests of the flag and National Anthem, the National Football League has gone from America's sport to the least liked of top professional and college sports, according to a new poll.  From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating — 40 percent — of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to [the Washington Examiner].

America Fights Back:  Record Number of Patriotic Cord-Cutters Tumble TV Stocks.  There is only one way — one! — to finally and forever destroy Hollywood and much of the mainstream media.  You have to cut your cable or satellite cord.  You have to cancel your pay TV package.  The one-legged stool propping up ESPN, CNN, MSNBC, Disney, MTV, and the entire Tinseltown crime syndicate is you paying for cable TV. [...] Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no single act any American can perform that will do more damage to the institutional left than to cut your cable/satellite cord.  So please do so today.

Nolte: Want to Destroy ESPN and CNN Forever?  Cut the Cord, Dummy.  Almost all of the cultural and political power possessed by Hollywood and the mainstream media is held up by a one-legged stool, a single leg that gets shakier by the month — this increasingly fragile appendage we call the Pay TV Package.  Going forward, for reference purposes, the Pay TV Package is your cable or satellite bundle, which brings with it hundreds of channels and a monthly bill that dings you for $1000 to $1500 a year.  Without this bundle, almost every institution determined to destroy everything you hold dear — faith, family, country, individual liberty, self-reliance, prosperity, racial harmony, and moral decency — would disappear entirely or at least be much weaker than it currently is.  Of course, I am talking about CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, Disney, MTV, MSNBC, and the like — institutions you — yes YOU — are subsidizing against your will.

How To Destroy CNN, Survive Without Cable TV, And Save Lots of $$$.  Did you know that, on average, CNN is not only in last place behind MSNBC, but that the left-wing outlet's average viewers are below 1 million?  With such poor ratings, there is no way CNN could survive on advertising revenue alone.  So how does CNN stay afloat?  By picking YOUR pocket.  Yes, Genius, YOU are subsidizing a Fake News outlet that is actively trying to destroy you and everything you stand for.  How?  Whether or not you watch CNN (and no one really does), if it is part of your cable package, you are putting money directly into CNN's pocket with what is called a subscription fee.

Marine Veteran Pulls Plug On Playing ESPN In His Restaurant Now America Is Responding!  A Marine veteran turned restaurant owner decided that ESPN has no place in his family business.  Bill DeFries owns Beef O'Brady's in Bevearcreek, Ohio, and has now publicly pledged that he will not show any NFL games as long as the players continue to protest the National Anthem before games.  Both the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals linked their arms during the Anthem this week.  When he applied for a refund on his investment, DirecTV has denied the $6,000 refund on his NFL package.  While DirecTV is still offering refunds to their residential customers, they are not doing it for commercial accounts.

Steelers' Linebacker Tells Disappointed Fans To 'GET LOST, Don't Bother Coming Back'.  The boycott of Steelers merchandise that began in September has been hurting the third party retailers, with one store in Lancaster called Steel City Sports having to balance their customers and their wishes to keep politics out of their store.  While their Penguins and Pirates merchandise is still selling, Steelers sales are way down.  The boycott was in retaliation to a Week 3 incident where, before playing against the Bears, every team member stayed in their locker room during the National Anthem except for their offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

NFL Fans Disgusted as Video of Players Yelling At Them Surface.  It seems that most NFL fans are not loving the continued national anthem protests.  When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick launched the protests last year, he undoubtedly had no clue that it would mean the end of his career, and plummeting ratings for the NFL.  Yet players have continued to protest, and some players in particular have not responded well to the lack of fan support.

'Monday Night Football' Ratings Crash!  After siding with their players against their fans, the NFL has been seeing some pretty steep losses in both viewership and revenue.  Early numbers from last night [10/2/2017] show that ratings from last night's game are down a whopping 10% from the September 25th game.  Compared to this same week last year, total viewership is down 8%.

NFL TV ratings drop again as angry fans exercise their own rights.  Pretty soon, it could be NFL team owners on their knees begging TV viewers to come back.  Once again in Week 4 of the 2017 season, as players continued their sitting-kneeling protests against something, former fans silently exercised their right of free speech using TV remotes.

How many $ billions will the NFL lose over its kneeling fiasco?  Signs are evident that the NFL has done permanent damage to its business by appearing to side with the Colin Kaepernick-initiated kneeling during the National Anthem.  My guess is that the owners of NFL teams collectively have lost billions, and I suspect that Roger Goodell will lose his job.

Raiders Staff Cover Marshawn Lynch As He Sits During the National Anthem.  Television networks have gone to great lengths to conceal the ratings-killing anthem protests that are costing the league huge money in terms of viewership and attendance.  However, it looks like NFL teams have also started trying to conceal the anthem protests.  In one case, by literally covering a player up.

The Tragic Incoherence of the NFL Protests.  It has become a sort of reflex to object to the National Football League's players' bended knee/sitting through the National Anthem — while also conceding that their complaints have merit.  But do they?  To answer that question, one would have to know precisely what the protests are about.  But so far the various reasons advanced are both confused and without much merit.  That is why the players will eventually stand for the anthem before their tragic incoherence loses them both their fans and their jobs with it.

CNN Confirms Data Showing Trump Is Right About Anthem Protests Torpedoing NFL Ratings.  Seventy-two percent of Americans view Kaepernick's actions as unpatriotic.  This culture battle was over before the first shot was fired.  The NFL is paying the price.  Approval for the league is down 13 percent.  Ticket sales at week three are down almost 20 percent.  Fans are burning merchandise, asking for refunds of their NFL packages, and are booing their teams when they see players take a knee.  Is free speech part of this discussion?  Sort of — they have the right to do this, but it's still viewed as spitting in the faces of those who have served and are still serving.  We're still at war in Afghanistan.  Whatever these players' social cause is goes out the window when people see disrespect to the flag.

NJ Car Dealership Pulls TV Ads from NFL Broadcasts over National Anthem Protests.  A New Jersey car dealership is pulling its television ads from NFL broadcasts for the rest of the 2017 football season in response to NFL teams protesting the national anthem.  NJ Advance Media reports that the owner of Flemington Car and Truck Country said it would pull ads for the dealership from NFL game broadcasts for at least the rest of the 2017 NFL season.

High school football players booted from team for kneeling, raising a fist during national anthem.  Two high school football players in Texas were kicked off their team for protesting during the national anthem Friday [9/29/2017].  Cedric Ingram-Lewis raised a fist while his cousin, Larry McCullough, kneeled during the national anthem.  The cousins, both students at Victory & Praise Christian Academy, said that after the anthem ended, their coach, Ronnie Mitchem, told them to remove their uniforms because they were being kicked off the team, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Conrad Black:  What Protesting NFL Players Don't Get.  This controversy is the logical and nasty result of the long pursuit of identity politics, mainly by Democrats.  The country has been atomized into smaller and smaller constituencies, pandering to each in the approximate order of the militancy of their grievances.  This process, after a point, operates at the expense of the spirit of national unity and a common cause for all to make America better.  It is understandable that the president sees these acts of rank disrespect to the country and all who believe in the country despite its faults, as offensive.  He and all of civilized America are in common cause with Kaepernick and his followers in deploring racist oppression, but protesting it by slagging off the anthem and flag alienates the majority of Americans who would otherwise be on Kaepernick's side.  It is not surprising or unreasonable that Trump and millions of others find the spectacle of a few people with huge incomes for very short work-years, putting on the airs, not only of martyrs, but of martyrs claiming they represent the only wronged people in the country.

The NFL House of Cards.  The problem with the NFL is not just Donald Trump, but the greater dilemma that the league's reason to be has become predicated on a labyrinth of lies.  The majority of the viewing audience is not young, hip, and loyal as hyped, but, even if fading, still largely reflects the majorities in red-state America that have no patience with gratuitous insults to the National Anthem and flag.  The NFL apparently never grasped the political truism that you never insult your base and core supporters; sympathetic CNN talking heads and the solidarity of progressive political activists will not turn around sagging revenues, but will only contribute to them.

Wall Street vets are threatening to pull the plug on the NFL.  Wall Street veterans are huddling up against the NFL.  Many brokers and bankers — some of whom are also military veterans — have threatened to pull the plug on pro football for not reining in players who are using the American national anthem as an opportunity to protest by taking the knee.  And as the protests gather steam this weekend, some vets of the financial markets — a huge employer of former US military service personnel, have unleashed a barrage of criticism in response and could be counted among the estimated 2 million fewer viewers over the first three weeks of the season.

Steelers' Head Coach Held Fundraiser For Hillary, Donated Heavily To Obama.  Steelers' Head Coach Mike Tomlin held a high-end fundraiser in 2016 for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at his home with ticket prices reportedly costing over $30,000.  Tomlin hosted the event with his wife on June 14 with supporters required to pay $33,400 to meet Clinton — those who couldn't afford to pay that amount to meet a woman claiming to represent the middle class were given the option of simply paying $10,000 to attend.

No, NFL, You DON'T Have an Unassailable 'Right' to Protest the National Anthem.  There has been a lot of pious talk from these anti-American leftists who now seem to infest the National Football League who say that they "have a right" to protest the national anthem at the start of each NFL game.  But the fact is they really don't.  Thanks to the sham that is America's liberal besotted system of miseducation, there is a lot of confusion about what our "rights" as Americans are.  So, let's get this straight right now.  You have no "right" to behave however you want at work.  And if you DO behave however you want, you had better be prepared for consequences including being fired if your boss sees fit.  But, what of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you ask?  Doesn't that "free speech" thingie give you a right to say whatever you want, whenever you want?  No, not really.  At least, not in the way you might assume.

NFL Camera Operators Told Not To Show Booing Crowd When Players Knelt During Anthem.  Aesthetics are everything to a message, and it wouldn't do well if the networks showed the NFL kneelers — the media's latest favorite fad — receiving boos and disapproving shouts while it was going on.  That's why networks ordered camera crews that were filming Sunday and Monday's NFL games to avoid shots of the angry crowds insider sources told Michael McCarthy of Sporting News: [...] What really went on in the stadium during Sunday's game can be clearly seen thanks to a video by the Associated Press.  Fans can be heard booing loudly as players knelt or sat during the anthem.  Shouts of "stand up" can also be heard.

What if the NFL Players Were Protesting Abortion Instead?  Many Americans support the Free Speech rights of the NFL players to protest but a large percentage of Americans believe protesting the national anthem is not appropriate and it's disrespectful to the country.  They believe the football players should choose another venue to protest what they perceive as racism.  Because the NFL football players are protesting racism — the mainstream media and many on the left are hailing them as Heroes.  But what if they were protesting for a cause that is not seen as quite so cool in the media limelight.  What if they were protesting for people who Hollywood Elites look down upon?  What if they were refusing to stand and place their hands on their hearts and respect to their country to back a class of people who faced the ultimate discrimination?  What if they were sitting down or kneeling to protest abortion?

First grader told to stand after kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance at local elementary school.  A first grader in Pasco County chose to take a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, and his mother is upset with how the teacher, the school and the Pasco County school district responded.  At school on Monday [9/25/2017], a local first grader went down on one knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, he was then told by his teacher to stand up and stop it, in front of all his classmates.  His choice came after countless NFL players took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, setting off a storm nationwide, sparking discussions in homes across America.

On the Collective Football Plantation.  [Scroll down]  It is clear that initially the protest of NFL players was inspired by political opponents of Trump.  But when it came down to the disrespect of the national flag and humiliation of the national anthem, even the Democrats realized that this boomerang would hit hard on return.  After all, professional sports do not produce anything materially necessary and exist only at the expense of their long-standing reputation.  A remarkable confirmation of this is the loud silence of the Democrats on the issue of the humiliation of the national anthem.  They immediately realized that Trump's position in this matter was one hundred percent winning, and they prudently decided to keep quiet.

'They're afraid of their players!' Trump says NFL owners are too scared to insist football stars stand for the National Anthem.  Donald Trump says NFL franchise owners acknowledge that they need to stop players from kneeling for the National Anthem, but they're too scared to take action.  'I have so many friends that are owners, and they are in a big box,' he said in a 'Fox & Friends' interview that aired Thursday morning [9/28/2017].  'I have spoken to a couple of them.  They say, "We are in a situation where we have to do something."  I think they are afraid of their players, you want to know the truth.  And I think it's disgraceful.'

Take a Knee.  Why did Colin Kaepernick say he was taking a knee?  Somebody look that up.  Okay, taking a knee is an anti-Trump thing, right?  Wait a minute, if it's an anti-Trump thing, then Colin Kaepernick did it when Obama was president, so it would have been an anti-Obama thing.  That can't be right.  Okay, taking a knee means you're pro-free speech, it's to support people's right to take a knee even if Trump says nobody should take a knee.  Or is it just to support Colin Kaepernick's right to take a knee?  Colin Kaepernick doesn't even play football anymore, he's just the king of knee-taking because he did it first.  So that's not it.  By the way, "take a knee" in football used to mean "run out the clock."  We really need some other term.

NFL Fan Outrage So Severe The League May Never Recover.  While the long-term impact will take time to be quantified, early indicators are the NFL has entirely destroyed itself by allowing the politicization of the sport.  A significant number of NFL fans are so upset with players refusing to stand for the national anthem they have decided to respond with demonstrations of their own.

Memo To The NFL: Remember Your Middle Name.  The word is out: your National Football League is looking for a "senior communications strategist," whose role will include "provid(ing) crisis communications counsel."  After all, the league is mired in a no-win Twitter war with the President — on top of the boos, boycott threats and burning jerseys from fans over the national anthem protests; continuing litigation and bad press over concussions and domestic violence; catastrophic attendance showings for recently relocated teams in Los Angeles; and long-term ratings declines in a splintering media market.

End the NFL.  An NFL rookie's minimum salary is $465,000.  And the majority of NFL players are usually bankrupt a few years after retirement because they blew through most of their money.  Dozens of NFL players are arrested every year on charges ranging from murder to rape to animal abuse.  2017 was a banner year for the NFL with three times as many arrests as last year.  Along with the usual drunk driving and disorderly conduct arrests, there were 7 arrests for assault/battery, 6 for drugs and 5 for domestic violence.  The Seattle Seahawks announced that they weren't going to "participate in the national anthem" because of the "injustice that has plagued people of color in this country".  While they lost that game, they are one of the top ranked teams in arrests.  Alongside the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, all of whom showed some solidarity with the anti-American protests, these top NFL criminal teams have racked up arrests for domestic violence, drugs, DUI and assault and battery.  It's no wonder that so many of the NFL's millionaire scumbags are eager to join Colin Kaepernick's protests against the justice system by degrading our anthem.  It's because they're criminals.

How the NFL is going the way of Detroit.  Football fans watch their favorite team playing their favorite game with their favorite cheerleaders and favorite player.  They know this player's stats and his autobiography.  They know his family, his college team, when he went pro, and his current life experiences.  Their favorite player is the American Dream.  Many of these guys came from rough backgrounds and overcame.  They're making millions and living large and loving life playing a game for a job.  They've made it. [...] The NFL doesn't know it, but it's reached its zenith.  Oh, it still has fans, just like Americans still buy American-made cars.  But it won't be the same.  It already isn't the same.  The magic is gone.  Taking a knee is taking it too far.  A disgusted fanbase will turn its attention elsewhere.

The Patriots vs.  The Nihilists.  In the obscenely overpaid — whether it is actors who make millions for mouthing silly lines off a cue card or athletes who earn more money in a few games than most make in a lifetime — a certain self-loathing must exist.  Making so much for doing so little can only generate an unease that gnaws at them.  At the same time it seems to fill them with a grotesque sense of self-importance.  Their staggering salaries, they evidently conclude, confer upon them a right to pontificate at a society stupid enough to pay them all that money.  It is not surprising that out of this toxic combination of self-loathing and self-importance comes some astonishingly bratty and richly ironic activism: actors, athletes, and other celebrities inveighing against the warped values of society even as their entire status depends upon them.

Colin Kaepernick Has Never Registered to Vote.  [Colin] Kaepernick began his protest of the national anthem and the American flag in August of 2016 while he played for the San Francisco 49ers.  He made headlines when he decided to sit for the national anthem during a preseason game.  Since then the number of athletes protesting has also grown.  Backlash from angry fans reached a fever pitch this week after President Trump lashed out at NFL players protesting.  It has turned into an all out war with fans burning NFL gear and bombarding their network providers with phone calls cancelling football packages.  Today, Kaepernick is an unemployed whiner and it turns out that he has never even registered to vote.

Donald Trump vs.  Pro Football Is a Ratings Game the NFL Can't Win.  Never in the history of the NFL have its ratings been so scrutinized. [...] For years, it was able to exert strong control over its own narrative.  The league and its powerful media partners continuously burnished the brand as a mass-market symbol of American vitality, strength and exceptionalism.  The current commotion has, in totality, the opposite effect, reducing the NFL to the role of a sick patient looking for a proper diagnosis, a scofflaw institution deserving public shaming by the commander in chief.  The reversal — from heroic savior of Sundays to something in need of saving — is proving difficult to shake off.

NFL ticket sales plummet 17.9%.  The National Football League is feeling the impact of the "Trump Effect."  Ticket sales since he called on team owners to fire players who take a knee to protest the National Anthem have cratered.  The online ticket reseller TickPick told Secrets that sales have dropped 17.9 percent, far more than the usual Week Three fall.

The Editor says...
Bias alert!  The NFL's problem is not the "Trump Effect."  It's the "Overpaid America-Hating Political Activist" effect.  It's the "Why Don't You Just Shut Up and Play the Game" effect.  It's the "Insolent Multi-Millionaire Crybaby and Perpetual Victim" effect.

The NFL Just Lost Its First Sponsor Over Players Kneeling During The National Anthem.  Cleveland businessman Allan Jones, the CEO of Check Into Cash, a payday lending chain, and owner of Hardwick Clothes is hitting the NFL where it hurts — their bank account.  According to reports, Jones has instructed his media buyer to remove any commercials from airing during NFL games "for the entire season," following NFL players decision to knell during the national anthem over the weekend.

NFL Players Think They're Protected Over Protests, But That's Not True As Experts Weigh In.  The NFL pre-season has never been more controversial.  The third week of practice games saw at least six where a player showed one act of protest or another during the renditions of our National Anthem.  Scoffing at President Trump's calls to "fire any[one] who kneels during the National Anthem," social justice supporting players think their televised antics are protected as free speech under the First Amendment.  Legal experts are quick to advise the assumption is just not true and they could lose their high paid careers at any time.

NFL owners PANIC after 3 huge backlashes.  2016, when the protests started, was the lowest-viewed season of football in decades.  This year, the ratings have gotten significantly worse.  After three weeks, Nielsen reports that ratings for NFL games are down 11-percent across the board compared to 2016.  "Nielsen said the games averaged 17.63 million viewers for the first three weeks of last season, and have dipped to 15.77 million this year.  The 2017 figures don't include this week's Monday night game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals," Breitbart reported.  The NFL pays hundreds of millions to athletes — and depends on advertising revenue from their television broadcasts to pay for it.

NFL Owners Are Patriotic — For a Fee.  "Follow the money."  That is often good advice, if someone wants to find out why many individuals do what they do.  It is apparently excellent advice if one wants to know why many owners of National Football League (NFL) teams do what they do.  While many heretofore NFL fans have rightly expressed disgust at the anti-patriotic statements and actions of many NFL players (and make no mistake, the protests are directed at what Colin Kaepernick, who started it all last season, contends is a racist country), are the owners any better?  Most fans would have understandably concluded that all these patriotic demonstrations before games, and sometimes during halftime shows, take place because the owners are just extremely patriotic lovers of their country.  Of course, they should be lovers of this country, considering that they have been able to become very wealthy in America.

NFL Favorability Gets Nearly Cut In Half After Anthem Protests.  A new poll shows that the favorability rating of the NFL among Donald Trump supporters was nearly cut in half after more than 200 players kneeled during the national anthem last week.  Morning Consult conducted the survey, and the results are a very bad sign for the NFL.

Packers' Attempt to Involve Fans In Anthem Demonstration Falls Flat, Most Chant 'USA!' Instead.  The Packers players wrote a long letter to their fans this week.  A letter in which the team asked their fans to join them in interlocking arms during the anthem on Thursday night.  According to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, this was a moment that stood for, "...equality."  As well as "...unity and love, and growing together as a society and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people."  Well, as it turns out, most Packers fans didn't want to have a "conversation," weren't interested in "growing together," and certainly had no desire to be made "a little bit uncomfortable."

Kaepernick donates $25,000 to group honoring convicted cop-killer.  Colin Kaepernick started out taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, but his activism has since expanded to encompass a wide range of leftist causes, including a group named after a convicted cop-killer.  The Colin Kaepernick Foundation donated in April $25,000 to Assata's Daughters, a Chicago "direct action" resistance organization honoring Assata Shakur, who escaped prison and fled to Cuba after being found guilty in the 1973 murder of Officer Werner Foerster.  The grant includes $2,500 for CopWatch, a program that trains volunteers to follow and video police, and $15,000 for teen training, part of the group's commitment to "develop and train young people, ages 4-19, in the Black queer feminist tradition and in the spirit of Assata."

JP Morgan Chase Lowers Outlook for CBS After Widespread NFL Anthem Protests.  The NFL's protests against the national anthem are causing fans to reassess their interests in football, but the protests also seem to be causing investors to reconsider their investments in the league as well.

TN Titans' Delanie Walker Tells Fans to Stay Home if They Don't Like Protests.  Apparently Tennessee Titans tight end, Delanie Walker, doesn't know where his bread is buttered.  He straight up told his fans to stay home if they don't like the players protesting the National Anthem.

NFL player:  Don't come to the game if our protest upsets you.  I suppose it takes a great deal of arrogance to play in the NFL, but what's revealing about [Delanie] Walker's comments is that they prove that their protest for "free speech" is a little one-sided.  They don't care about the fans' free speech rights.  "It's your freedom of choice," said Walker, while denigrating any opposition to his actions.  At bottom, the players demand that you love them and respect them for their protest.  And if you disagree, your views aren't worthy.

Can We Please Stop Pretending the NFL Protests Have Anything to Do with Free Speech?  [Scroll down]  So why, exactly, are they kneeling?  Those kneeling assert that there is an epidemic of white police officers who work their beat every night with the explicit intention to murder innocent black people.  They are suggesting that there is an epidemic of institutional white racism in this country going unaddressed, and that the only way to draw attention to this, the Black Lives Matter narrative, is to kneel during the National Anthem at pro football games.  There is no convincing evidence that either claim is true, and it is a malicious narrative that has arguably already led to a death toll among police officers being targeted for their presumably widespread racism and brutality. [...] They imagine that I and millions of other Americans don't accept this narrative only because it's not being adequately thrown in our faces.  I, among millions of other Americans, refuse to accept that.  I therefore find those kneeling during the National Anthem in order to advance that narrative despicable, entitled babies for whom I have no respect and who are undeserving of my financial support.

Titans' Delanie Walker: 'No one's telling you to come to the game'.  Don't come to the game.  That's the message a couple of the Titans' star players have for any outraged fans threatening to turn their back on the team, after the Titans and Seahawks remained in the locker room during the national anthem before their game Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Goodbye, FS1.
FS1's Sharpe:  Racist U.S. Flag Is Just 'A Piece of Cloth... Nobody Fights For'.  After engaging in character assassination against Green Bay Packers fans who chose not to protest during Thursday's National Anthem, FS1's Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe did the same with the American flag, declaring it to be merely a racist "piece of cloth" that "nobody fights for."  "The flag, you see, to a lot of people, symbols, patriotism but what does that symbol actually mean?  What does — what does — okay — you keep telling me that the flag means so much and it's opportunity and freedom and liberty.  Okay.  Can you honestly say that everybody in America has freedom and liberties and opportunity," Sharpe wondered to co-host Skip Bayless.

Unfair Charges of Systemic Racism.  It seems the thrust of the protesters' complaint is that American law enforcement and America itself are systemically racist.  But if a protest movement seeks to be constructive, its complaints must be considered on the merits, and that means a full and substantive discussion of the facts.  Those who disagree with the gravamen of the complaint have just as much right to express their opinion as the complainants.  Bullying them into silence is hardly going to facilitate a resolution.  If the complainants truly are asserting that America's law enforcement institutions or America itself are systemically racist against African-Americans, they bear the burden of proving their assertions, especially when facts and statistics appear to contradict those claims.

The Slow Death of the NFL?  HGTV was my refuge.  Watching a marathon of real people get their houses remodeled was much more entertaining than watching pampered millionaires wrestle in taxpayer-funded stadiums while disrespecting the national anthem and the American flag.  Since I wasn't a rabid fan the NFL won't really notice that I'm gone.  But I'm not alone.

The National Anthem Protests — Do Facts Matter?  Recently, in Illinois, in a kids' 8-and-under football league, the entire team, which appeared to be all black, including the coach, took a knee during the national anthem.  Asked why, one third-grade player parroted Kaepernick, saying, according to the coach, "Because black people are getting killed, and nobody's going to jail."  Facts don't matter.  The coach, presented with a teachable moment, fumbled it away.

Unnecessary Roughness.  Football is a sport, but it is also a business.  Fans pay big money for tickets, gear, parking and overpriced food and drinks.  They have put up with a lot to root for their favorite teams, but these protests, which many regard as disrespecting America and the flag, may have exceeded their high tolerance level. [...] These players should first consider who is responsible for their unequally high salaries.  Where else could most of them earn that kind of money?  If fans stop coming to games and watching them on TV, the unique covenant between player and fan will be broken, perhaps forever.

The Suicide of the NFL.  Every liberal CEO in America should be watching and listening.  This is a case study for how to destroy a billion-dollar business by injecting your offensive leftist politics and alienating your own customer base. [...] Ratings are plummeting.  Revenues are plunging.  The player's spokesman deals are being cancelled.  Fans are booing.  Fans are burning tickets and uniforms.  Lifelong NFL zealots are vowing to never watch another game.

Kaepernickism and Anti-Americanism.  [Scroll down]  Of course, Kaepernickists deny that they are anti-American.  They insist that the object of their protest is much more specific than America itself.  That object is "police brutality" toward American blacks.  That police are roaming the countryside looking for black males to gun down is a fiction of the first order.  Nor is there a shred of evidence to substantiate, but much to negate, even the thesis that blacks are shot by police more frequently than are their white counterparts.  However, even if this thesis was true, a symbolic repudiation of the country, besides being wildly offensive to most Americans who see it as anti-American, amounts as well to the ultimate non sequitur.

Fans Fed Up with the NFL Anthem Protests.  Millions of fans are unhappy with the current trend of national-anthem kneeling by NFL players — and they've expressed their anger and disgust over the last few days in a number of "we're-not-taking-it-anymore" moves.

Trump Is 100 Percent Right About the NFL.  I love the NFL. I love football.  But I love America infinitely more.  If they keep disrespecting our flag, I will never watch them again.

NFL Protests Are Now About Trump, Not Police Violence.  Bernie Goldberg said that NFL players' national anthem protests are no longer about police brutality or racial inequality, but defying President Donald Trump.  [Video clip]

Why didn't TV networks show angry, booing NFL fans Sunday or Monday?  Networks typically do not televise the national anthem except for the Super Bowl and other special occasions, but they recognized there would be intense viewer interest this past weekend.  Some fans, if they reacted at all, happily clapped and cheered during protests, but others did not, and they angrily let their home teams know it.  The audio mics picked up the boos.  Yet the TV networks mostly avoided crowd shots Sunday, so there was never a chance for viewers to see fans jeering players.

Colin Kaepernick's big lie.  President Trump seems to have stirred up a hornet's nest of opposition with his call for athletes who don't respect the national anthem to be fired.  Many NFL owners and players who were previously indifferent seem to have rallied to the Colin Kaepernick cause.  Kaepernick, of course, considers his protest to be a cry against slavery and racial oppression, for which he holds America to be the guilty party.  Kaepernick's allies seem to be standing — or rather kneeling — for the right to protest, in opposition not necessarily to America but certainly to President Trump.

64% demand NFL players stand for national anthem, 50% less likely to watch over politics.  The first poll of NFL fans following this weekend's moves by dozens of players to take a protest knee during the playing of the National Anthem finds that most want the pros to stand and they are also turning off the games as a result of politics.  The survey from Remington Research Group found that 64 percent want players to stand for the national anthem.  Of the 51 percent who have watched less football this season, 69 percent cite player protests as the reason.

I'm done with the NFL.  Memo to the NFL players: you have ruined Sunday football for me!  And you clearly don't understand the people who make you stars and make you rich. [...] I know your protest is more than just some misguided political movement, misplaced protest, or bogus facts.  It's bigger than just football.  You players decided to disrespect our country and her flag.  You decided to insult your customer.  You decided to insult those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so you can have the freedom to play a game and make a fine living.  You decided to alter an American institution to fit your own political needs.

VFW, American Legion go to war against NFL.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion issued blistering condemnations of the National Football League — calling recent protests against the national anthem disrespectful, misguided and ungrateful.  "There is a time and place for civil debate, and wearing team jerseys and using sporting events to disrespect our country doesn't wash with millions of military veterans who have and continue to wear real uniforms on real battlefields around the globe," said VFW leader and Vietnam War veteran Keith Harman.

Dallas Cowboys Kneel Down in Arizona — Crowd Boo's — NFL Implosion Complete.  The Dallas Cowboys, together with team owner Jerry Jones, take a collective knee at the start of the Monday Night Football game to display their unity with... well, something probably.  Stick a fork in the financial future of the NFL, it's done; finished.  The only thing that was saving the NFL from full organizational collapse was the advent of Fantasy Football Leagues and the subsequent betting and fan-based league play therein.  Never underestimate the inability of any business organization to inoculate itself with idiot resistant policies once they enter the arena of identity politics.

NFL Rundown:  Empty Seat Alert.  For those who know my work, I explain why black unemployment is so high.  It's because of idiots like this.  Even when black Leftists make MILLIONS of dollars, they still complain.

Trump calls NFL kneeling 'disgraceful,' disrespectful to veterans.  President Trump doubled down Tuesday [9/26/2017] on his criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, calling the protests "disgraceful" and blatantly disrespectful to veterans who fought for flag and country.  "I don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem," Trump said at a Rose Garden press conference.

TV networks skipped one crucial part of NFL protests.  Television networks uncharacteristically showed the national anthem before NFL games this weekend, but at least one staffer says that coverage may have come with certain restrictions.  A "behind-the-scenes staffer" told the Sporting News camera operators were told to avoid crowd shots during the anthem, because of any fans potentially booing or protesting the NFL players' protest.  There were reports from several stadiums of fans booing when players decided to kneel for the anthem, joining a protest of racial inequality started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  Jennifer Sabatelle of CBS told the Sporting News the network's crews were under no such orders.

Angry NFL Fans Lash Out, Burn Jerseys Over Protests:  "You Can Take Your NFL And Shove It".  While it is clear as day to anyone who can disassociate themselves from the emotional response to being verbally attacked by a tweetstorm (as truly 'terrifying' as such a thing can be), the NFL doesn't seem to understand that while almost every American can agree that football is a great sport, roughly 50% of them will vehemently disagree with whatever political stance any given player or league exec decides to publicly announce.  And, since the NFL's future depends on selling overpriced ad spots to massive corporations looking for a consistent number of eyeballs, alienating any group of viewers, for whatever reason, is just bad for business.

The NFL's Worst Fumble Yet.  President Donald Trump tapped into the sentiment of the vast majority of Americans over the weekend, and the Leftmedia hate him for it.  "Trump turns sports into a political battleground," headlined The Washington Post, as if athletes, coaches, owners and commentators hadn't already politicized sports.  What Trump did do was give voice from the most powerful bully pulpit in the land to what many Americans already think:  Athletes who make millions of dollars each year to entertain us on the field should not spit in the face of our great nation by disrespecting the national anthem before games.  Take the activism off the field.

Shocker: Another Poll Shows Americans Aren't Big Fans of Anthem Protests.  One of the most striking elements of the NFL anthem protest controversy is the glaring disconnect between average Americans — especially sports fans — and the media covering the story.  Airwaves and column inches are disproportionately crowded with pro-protest (and anti-Trump) perspectives, whereas most non-elite observers come down on the other side of the issue. [...] Setting aside the stipulations that of course peaceful protests are protected speech, that Trump erred in calling for firings, and that issues like police brutality are worthy of serious attention, most Americans do not support using the national anthem as an occasion for protest.

NFL Protests Are The Dead End Of 'Resistance' Culture.  At a rally on Friday, President Trump said that the NFL should fire any players who copy Colin Kaepernick by going down on one knee when our national anthem is played.  So this Sunday, dozens of NFL players dutifully responded by going down on one knee to show their "resistance" to Trump.  That's where we are with the stupid politics of the "Resistance." All that is necessary to decide the right thing to do is to check on what Donald Trump says and do the opposite. [...] It was an ill-conceived form of protest, bound to backfire.  The symbolism is all wrong.  By its very nature, it does not come across to most Americans as a protest against excessive use of force by the police.  It comes across as a protest against the national anthem.  And since the national anthem is, well, our national anthem, it comes across as a protest against America.

NFL players and owners can't take criticism.  [Scroll down]  But what are they protesting?  It started with Colin Kaepernick protesting "racial inequality" and "police brutality."  Does anyone, including the players, have any specific incident or policy he wishes to protest?  They just mouth generalities.  What have they accomplished by their kneeling, besides alienating the fans?  Have they helped anyone?  It seems the kneeling has developed into an anti-Trump gesture, with over 200 players taking a knee or sitting down on Sunday, September 24.  The flag is a proxy for our country, which some of the players apparently do not like.  To others, the flag is a proxy for Trump, whom they do not like.

Will NFL Demand Respect for Old Glory?  "America refuses to address the pervasive evil of white cops killing black men, and I will not stand during a national anthem that honors the flag of such a country!"  That is the message Colin Kaepernick sent by "taking a knee" during the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" before San Francisco '49s games in 2016.  No NFL owner picked up his contract in 2017.  But a few players began to copy Colin and to "take a knee." [...] And so the stage was set for NFL Sunday.  Two hundred players, almost all black, knelt or sat during the national anthem.  The Patriots' Tom Brady stood in respect for the flag, while locking arms in solidarity with kneeling teammates.

NFL Sunday Down Double-Digits Again As Americans Say NO To Anti-American/Anti-Police Protests.  Exactly what millionaire athletes are protesting these days isn't exactly clear to them or anyone else.  The common thread appears to be some anti-American/police sentiment.  America is racist?  Police are racist?  Whatever it is millions of Americans have had enough as evidenced by the ongoing NFL ratings spiral.  Has a once-dominant professional sports franchise ever committed suicide?  It looks like we may be about to find out.

The NFL is looking more repulsive by the day.  Billionaires and millionaires linking arms and taking knees in unity for what?  There are brave men and women in real uniforms but you won't find them on the football field.  You'll find them in the military and law enforcement.  They're not famous.  They're not rich.  But they're our very best.  They put their lives on the line everyday.  And they're being disrespected.  Football players are not doctors who care for the sick, inventors who improve the quality of life, scientists who find breakthrough medicines, etc.  They're fake activists.  And they're increasingly fake entertainers.

NFL To Fans:  Drop Dead.  Whether you agree with them or not, the NFL players and the executives that run the National Football League have really stepped in it, damaging their brand and alienating millions of fans and potential fans for no real good reason.  It was a classic mistake.  Like it or not, and whether it's fair or not, many Americans feel that professional athletes as a whole lead a privileged existence, working only part of the year and earning millions for their efforts.  When they're seen leading "protests" by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem — and all the high ideals and sacrifice those symbols represent — it's too much.

DirecTV allows some NFL refunds after anthem controversy.  DirecTV is allowing at least some customers to cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds, if they cite players' national anthem protests as the reason for discontinuing service, customer service representatives said Tuesday [9/26/2017].  Under Sunday Ticket's regular policy, refunds are not to be given once the season is underway.  But the representatives said they are making exceptions this season — which began in September — because of the controversy over the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem.

USAA members demand organization cut ties with NFL.  Members of the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) are calling for the company to end its sponsorship of the NFL after the string of recent protests during the national anthem, Sharon Ko of WTLV in San Antonio reports.  Since 2011, the USAA has served as the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL, with the league shows appreciation for the military through its "Salute to Service" campaign.  But USSA [sic] members angry with the NFL are voicing their displeasure in community page forums and demanding the company cut ties with the league.

The Nail in the NFL's Coffin.  When NFL players began taking knees and raising Black Panther fists during games last year, the NFL had to take swift action.  It failed.The result is that football has now become politicized, handing the Left another victory in the culture wars. [...] The player represents the team's brand.  He represents the city.  He represents America, the country that gave him the freedom to excel, to become an elite member in the field of American professional sports.  The player is paid millions of dollars.  To choose the moment, dictated by tradition, to show disrespect for all of these things, shows exceptionally poor judgment.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is paid well over $40 million annually to protect the league's reputation and business.  He's done a horrible job the last few years, palming off issues of domestic violence, and failing to take a firm stance regarding the anthem.

5 Problems With The NFL's National Anthem Protest.  [Problem #2]  The NFL's Utter Inconsistency:  [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell and NFL owners were adamant this weekend that players had the right to express themselves without fear of any retaliation.  This even though there are rules that the NFL could apply to stop protests of the national anthem. [...] There were rules the NFL chose to apply to stop the wearing of decals to commemorate the murder of five Dallas police officers working to protect the people at an organized protest of police brutality.  The NFL fines players for dancing in the end zone.  It threatens fines for 9/11 tributes.  It shows leniency for other issues, such as domestic violence, but it needs to show more consistency about on-field behavior.

Flashback: NFL Banned Honoring Murdered Cops; Threatened Players Honoring 9/11.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attacked President Trump for showing a "lack of respect for the NFL" — regarding the president's recent comments criticizing players for not standing during the national anthem — because it violated the "constitutional rights of our players," referring to the First Amendment.  This comes from the same commissioner who threatened NFL players who wanted to honor both 9/11 victims and five police officers who were murdered in Dallas.  The Dallas Cowboys wanted to pay tribute to the five Dallas officers who were murdered at a Black Lives Matter protest on July 7, 2016.  The Cowboys had been wearing a special decal on their helmets that said "Arm in Arm" that specifically honored the police officers — that is, until the NFL stepped in and stopped it.

Half A Billion Dollars:  How Much the 17 NFL Players Who Took a Knee in London Make.  The 17 Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars players who took a knee during the presentation of the national anthem in London on Sunday have combined total contracts of nearly $450 million.  Combing the total value of each players contracts adds up to a whopping $448,373,425, a figure greater than the gross domestic product of over a handful of the world's nations.  ESPN reported that 10 Ravens players and roughly the same number of Jaguars players took a knee during the national anthem Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.

NFL picked sides in the culture war, now it has to live with the consequences.  [Scroll down]  The NFL is as political an organization as there is, now.  It picked sides in the culture war, and the side it picked is decidedly left.  The NFL refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to display a decal honoring the Dallas police killed by a Black Lives Matter supporter, yet it is completely supporting the "right" of players to kneel on the sideline while the National Anthem is played, as both a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and an anti-Trump protest.

N.F.L. Owners' Unity With Players Might Be Short-Lived.  The image was striking — several owners of N.F.L. teams locking arms with their players on the sidelines Sunday [9/24/2017] in a dramatic statement of defiance to a president who ridiculed their sport and condemned players for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a protest against racism.  And then on Monday night, the league's most prominent owner knelt with his entire team.  Beyond the appearance of unity, though, is a far different reality:  The owners have done little to support players who protest to fight social injustice.  A few owners have told their players that kneeling for the anthem is inappropriate.

Steelers Coach Didn't Want Army Vet To Stand For Anthem.  Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated Sunday night [9/24/2017] that he did not want offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to stand for the national anthem, instead of sitting it out with the rest of his teammates.  Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan, was the only Steelers player to stand for the anthem.  While Villanueva stood in the tunnel, hand over his heart, the rest of the team remained in the locker room in protest of President Trump's comments that players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

Former Army Ranger Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem.  The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team remained in the locker room during the national anthem, with the exception of one player:  Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who plays offensive tackle for the Steelers.  While the rest of his teammates remained in the locker room, Villanueva stood in the tunnel holding his helmet in his left hand and holding his right hand over his heart as the anthem played.

Steelers President Claims Team Never Intended to Boycott National Anthem, Make Political Statement.  Art Rooney II, the president of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, told fans on Tuesday that his team both respected military service members and didn't intend to make a political statement when its players stood off the field during the national anthem on Sunday.

The Editor says...

Sure, players can kneel — and NFL's customers should walk.  Mass fan walkouts at stadiums will prove more effective than boycotting NFL advertisers.  Organize mass exits and I guarantee you'll beat the flag flouters at their own mass-media game.

Hey, 'Kneelers,' Let's Get a Few Things Straight.  The reason we stand for the anthem — no matter how disappointed we are in the trajectory of our nation — is to show that we love our country and wish it well.  That's all.  Americans have long believed that whatever our differences — indeed because of our differences — it is important to have a ritual where we all express our shared patriotism.  That ritual is the respect we show for the national anthem.  When people protest the anthem, they are not sending a patriotic message.  Instead, they are telling the rest of us that they don't like this country, and they wish it ill.

A third of Americans less likely to watch NFL games due to anthem protests.  "Are football fans voting with their TVs?" asks a new Rasmussen Reports survey.  "As the NFL struggles to explain this season's downturn in viewer ratings, 34 percent of American adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of protests by players on the field," the poll reports, noting that 12 percent say they are more likely to watch, while half say the protests have no effect on their viewing decisions.

America First:  NASCAR Owners Threaten To Fire Drivers And Crew If They Kneel During National Anthem.  Multiple NASCAR team owners indicated Sunday they will not tolerate drivers or crew members who kneel during the national anthem as unpatriotic protests plague the beleaguered National Football League.  Former NASCAR champion and legend Richard Petty, who owns Richard Petty Motorsports, told the Associated Press that he would fire any member of his team that chooses to kneel during the national anthem.  "Anybody that don't stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country.  Period.  What got 'em where they're at?  The United States," Petty said.

Are NFL players required to stand for the national anthem?  After NFL teams or players stayed in the locker room, knelt, sat or linked arms during the national anthem before games Sunday, people want to know what the NFL rules say.  Are the players required to stand on the field during the national anthem?  What does the NFL rule book say?  On social media, many people have been cutting and pasting the following excerpt:  ["]A62-63 of the NFL League Rulebook.  It states:  "The National Anthem must be played prior to every game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.  During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.  The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition...["]

The Editor says...
Anyone who has ever negotiated a contract knows that should is not the same thing as must.

Stadium worker quits after Bills protest anthem.  A stadium worker with nearly three decades of NFL games under his belt quit his job Sunday [9/24/2017], saying he was "pushed" to the limit after several Buffalo Bills took a knee during the national anthem.  Erich Nikischer said he's putting the few good years and "a lot of the bad ones" at New Era Field behind him after several Bills took a knee before Sunday's 26-16 win against the Broncos.  "I was [finally] pushed to my limit today and had to quit," Nikischer posted on Facebook in response to the Bills' protest, a show of defiance against President Trump's suggestion that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality should be fired.  "I [cannot] work in a place where [multimillionaires] cry that they are oppressed."

NFL may lose bigly with social justice antics.  The NFL is famous for its activism.  Support for Black Lives Matter after Ferguson.  Solidarity with Trayvon Martin.  Lectures from Bob Costas — not on the upcoming game, but on gun control or global warming.  Now it's disrespecting the National Anthem by taking a knee or sitting down.  Colin Kaepernick popularized this before Trump was president.  It's activism is spreading through the NFL and beyond, even to eight-year-old football players in Illinois.

Stars should get off their knees and lead a constructive conversation on race.  As more than 100 NFL players protested during the singing of America's national anthem across the country Sunday [9/24/2017], what had been a small protest of the way police treat African-Americans turned into a much larger protest directed at President Trump.

Kaepernick and Curry Pop the Sports Bubble.  We've all watched the bubble inflate for years.  Palatial new stadiums were built (often with tax dollars), multi-billion dollar television deals were signed, and multi-platinum player contracts shocked our sensibilities.  Combined with sky-high ticket prices that put a night at the game out of reach for many families, these were all signs that things had gone too far.  But how and when a bubble will deflate is anyone's guess.  Usually — maybe always — it's done in by the excesses of its biggest beneficiaries.

NFL players lobby Roger Goodell for formal league involvement in racial justice causes.  A team of four current and former NFL players is lobbying commissioner Roger Goodell to engage the league in fighting for the cause of social justice, even asking him to formally designate November as activism awareness month.  Current players Michael Bennett (Seattle Seahawks), Torrey Smith (Philadelphia Eagles), and Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia Eagles), along with former player Anquan Boldin, sent Goodell and another executive a 2,800-word memorandum in August requesting the league invest significant resources in the cause.  The memo, available in full here, is specific and thoughtful, but its requests would almost certainly prove divisive among fans, many of whom are already wary of players' incorporating their activism into gamedays.

Kevin Jackson: 'Kaepernick Effect' to Blame for NFL's Ratings Decline.  At a rally in Alabama on Friday night [9/22/2017], President Donald Trump railed against National Football League players who have protested the national anthem.  He said players who disrespect the flag and refuse to stand for the national anthem should be ejected from the stadium and cut from the team.

It's Shocking How Empty The Stadium Was For Thursday Night Football.  The San Francisco 49ers Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams kicked off in front of a nearly empty stadium.  Los Angeles Times reporter Lindsey Thiry tweeted a photo at the time of kickoff, which showed thousands of open seats.  In fact, most sections in the photo have more empty seats than fans.

The NFL and ESPN need to get politics out of sports or risk losing millions.  ESPN host Jemele Hill is back on the air after calling President Trump a "white supremacist" who has surrounded himself with "other white supremicists" — remarks that earned her a reprimand, but not a suspension, from the network.  The Twitter-taunting and subsequent fallout comes as the sports network's ratings have taken a significant hit over the last year, starting with players' social justice protests at pre-game festivities.  Both the TV networks and the NFL are paying the penalty.

NFL TV ratings continue to tank after viewers boycott over Kaepernick.  The National Football League is in the midst of turbulent times as ratings for the second week of the football season received less than promising returns.  After a 12 percent dip during the kickoff weekend from 2016, week 2 saw a 15 percent slump from the previous year.

Taking Sports into the Left Lane.  Totalitarian regimes use sports to disseminate political propaganda.  In Nazi Germany, sports served to glorify the "Aryan" race and to prepare Germany for war.  In the Soviet Union, the elite athlete became as valuable as the soldier or the diplomat in promoting Communism.  The Soviets developed a system of state-run sports schools and clubs to produce world-class athletes who would be technically proficient and ideologically correct.  A coach's fundamental duty was to instill what one Soviet sports periodical called a "high Communist consciousness" in which athletes saw themselves as "Soviet patriots ... irreconcilable to the enemies of socialism and Communism."  With Neo-Marxism permeating American education, identical thinking predominates.

Cleveland police, EMS unions refuse to hold flag at game after Browns players kneel.  There is new fallout from the fierce debate over Cleveland Browns players kneeling during the national anthem.  Cleveland safety forces have backed out of a plan to hold a large flag on the field for the opening game.  A dozen Browns players created a firestorm during a recent preseason game by not standing during the anthem.  They created the largest demonstration in the NFL during the anthem since former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protest more than a year ago.

ESPN should be more sports, less politics, Sage Steele says.  ESPN has faced criticism recently for limited sports coverage and what many say has been an increasing shift to political commentary.  But frustrated sports fans may be in luck:  ESPN anchor Sage Steele hinted in an interview that the network's signature "SportsCenter" highlights show may go back to focusing on sports, and leave social and political issues "to the news networks."  Steele told the New York Post "there is a time and place" for covering issues that transcend sports.  She cited NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's controversial refusal to stand for the national anthem before games, and his current struggle to make an NFL roster, as examples of when coverage might "cross over."

NAACP wants meeting with NFL commissioner about Kaepernick.  Kaepernick's supporters, including some who planned to protest at the NFL's headquarters in New York City on Wednesday [8/23/2017], say the quarterback is being blackballed for his advocacy.

Colin Kaepernick to have exhibit at National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Colin Kaepernick may not be employed by an NFL team, but he continues to be a fixture in the NFL's 24-hour news cycle.

Colin Kaepernick — History's Hero?  The National Football League's preseason is underway, and national anthem-hating quarterback Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have an NFL job.  One can easily identify the liberal journalists by their anguish over this so-called injustice.  You can also identify them by their dishonest arguments.

The NFL doesn't have the guts to bench unpatriotic players.  Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told that [Marshawn] Lynch's disrespectful behavior is not an issue for the football team.  "He said, 'This is something I have done for 11 years.  It's not a form of anything other than me being myself,'" Del Rio said.  "I told him I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem.  But I respect him as a man and he can do his thing."  Well, that doesn't speak very well of Coach Del Rio's character either.  The coach respects a man who disrespects the country?

Seahawks' Bennett to sit during national anthem for entire NFL season.  Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said he plans to sit during the national anthem for the entire season after staying on the bench for the anthem during Seattle's first preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday [8/13/2017].  Bennett said he was motivated by the events in Charlottesville and wanted to speak out on racial injustice.  On Sunday [8/13/2017], Bennett remained on the bench with a towel around his shoulder pads while the rest of his teammates stood for the anthem.

BLM, Spike Lee, and Colin Kaepernick Jointly Degenerate Into Total Farce.  A guy who theatrically refuses to stand for the national anthem, who praises a communist dictator, and whose girlfriend publicly depicts an NFL owner as a slave owner pleases ESPN moonbats like Max Kellerman and Skip Bayless immensely but will chase away fans.  But we are expected to believe that no team has signed him due to racism, despite most NFL players being black.  Meanwhile, Kaepernick is said to have turned down at least one offer, presumably so he could stoke the phony racial controversy in hopes of starting a bidding war among teams eager to prove how politically correct they can be.  The Kaepernick spectacle is phony and pathetic, like all things leftist.

NFL Source:  Kaepernick Turned Down At Least 1 Contract To Play Up The Race Card.  Colin Kaepernick is still a free agent, and an NFL inside source told The Daily Caller Monday that the former 49ers quarterback has no one but himself to blame.

Politicize Sports, Pay the Price.  When players get political, it turns out that fans can get political right back.  After months of speculation and piles of anecdotal evidence, market-research company J. D. Power has weighed in with real data.  After surveying 9,200 fans, researchers found that "national anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season."  The protests were never popular.  A September 2016 Reuters poll indicated that a super-majority of 72 percent of Americans believed the protests, led by Colin Kaepernick, were "unpatriotic," but evidence that his protest had an impact on ratings was spotty, at best.  Now that's changed.

ESPN's Kellerman:  NFL 'Injecting Politics' Into Games With Nat'l Anthem.  ESPN commentator Max Kellerman raised some eyebrows by claiming that the NFL is "injecting politics" into games simply by having a pregame performance of the national anthem.  The discussion on "First Take" centered around a Seattle Seahawks player comparing Colin Kaepernick to Muhammad Ali for his refusal to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner last season.  Kellerman argued that Kaepernick, who remains a free agent after his controversial boycott, "did not go looking for a protest" and is not obligated to stand for the anthem.

Michelle Obama gets standing ovation at ESPYs.  Former first lady Michelle Obama was greeted by a standing ovation when she honored the late Eunice Shriver at the ESPYs on Wednesday night [7/12/2017].

A tale of two first ladies and troubling media bias.  Last night, Michelle Obama was the honored guest of the annual ESPY awards.  Naturally, the media collective was head over heels with praise and admiration.

Kaepernick Skips Fourth Of July Celebrations, Travels To Ghana To Gain 'True Independence'.  Football player Colin Kaepernick refused to celebrate the Fourth of July, choosing instead to travel to Ghana to experience "true independence."  Kaepernick, famous for kneeling during the National Anthem, released a video Tuesday showing his travels to the African nation.  He visited his "home," Ghana, because he couldn't celebrate a day that oppressed the rights of his ancestors in America.  "How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs?  To find my independence I went home," Kaepernick tweeted.

The Editor says...
Now that you're "home" in Africa, perhaps we'd all be happier if you stay there.

I Told You Testosterone Would Make Women's Sports More Interesting.  As has been widely reported recently, a female wrestler in Texas — Mack Beggs — has won the state championship in her division largely due to the fact that she has a significant competitive advantage:  she's taking steroids (testosterone).  Once upon a time, such behavior was widely considered cheating.  In fact, some of the biggest scandals in sports history involve behavior virtually identical to that of Mack Beggs.  (Alex Rodriguez took testosterone.)  In fact, due to the widespread problem of "doping" (taking performance-enhancing drugs) in the world of athletics, in 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency was created.  Clearly (and always) on the list of banned substances:  testosterone.  In spite of being an endogenous (naturally occurring) anabolic androgenic (promotes male characteristics) steroid, testosterone use among athletes is prohibited if administered from outside the body.

Nearly One-Third of Americans Boycotting NFL Because of Black Lives Matter Protests:  Poll.  Nearly one-third of American adults say they are less likely to watch a National Football League game because of the growing number of Black Lives Matter protests that are happening by players on the field, a Rasmussen poll found.  Thirty-two percent polled online and by telephone said they're willing to skip NFL games this year because of player protests over racial issues, the pollster said on Tuesday [10/4/2016].

Colin Kaepernick hosts Black Panther Party-inspired youth camp.  Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started a movement of kneeling during the national anthem to highlight racial injustices in America, quietly hosted an "I Know My Rights" camp for children of color over the weekend.  Mr. Kaepernick and a small group of his friends had been secretly planning the camp at Impact Hub Oakland in Oakland, California, in the hopes of teaching minority children how to deal with racial discrimination, police brutality and a variety of other social issues, the New York Daily News' Shaun King exclusively reported.

Poll: NFL Ratings Down Due To National Anthem Protests.  There are many reasons why the NFL's ratings are down in 2016.  You may be dismissive of the very idea that the backlash to the national anthem protests, sparked by the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, has played a role in the NFL's TV ratings, which have dropped by about 12 percent year-over-year.  To continue to dismiss that is to blatantly ignore legitimate data on the subject.

ESPN Loses Subscribers, Colin Kaepernick Can't Understand Why.  Traditionally not strange bedfellows, ESPN and Monday Night Football should make for a nice, natural fit.  However, the bed they made together appears to have caught fire, and the anthem-kneeling, social-justice-warrior love child they created now dumps gasoline on the flames.  Nielsen made their subscriber numbers public, delivering apocalyptic results for both ESPN and the NFL.  ESPN lost 621,000 subscribers in the last month, and ESPN's Monday Night Football fell by 24%.

Fans watching fewer NFL games cite protests as primary reason.  Ratings in the NFL, while still stronger than any other challenger on the television landscape, continue to decline, and a new survey by Yahoo Sports and YouGov discerns several reasons why.  In a survey of 1,136 Americans who identified themselves as NFL fans, 29 percent said they are watching fewer NFL games.

NFL ratings plunge could spell doom for traditional TV.  Football, America's biggest prime-time powerhouse, has been thrust into a crisis this fall, with dwindling ratings sparking questions over whether it can remain a gold mine for television in an age when more Americans are abandoning traditional TV.  Network executives have long used the National Football League's live games as a last line of defense against the rapid growth of "cord-cutting" and on-demand viewing upending the industry.  But now, the NFL is seeing its ratings tumble in the same way that the Olympics, awards shows and other live events have, falling more than 10 percent for the first five weeks of the season compared with the first five weeks of last season.  A continued slide, executives say, could pose an even bigger danger:  If football can't survive the new age of TV, what can?

The Editor says...
Football can survive and thrive again, if the players will keep their left-wing America-hating political opinions to themselves.  Especially if the well-compensated football players complain about how tough their lives are.  On the other hand, maybe it's better in the long run if the popularity of football diminishes greatly.  Football is a mixture of idolatry and vanity.  Football players are not heroes.  They are mercenary gladiators.  The game of football leaves many young players paralyzed every year, and many older players with lifetimes of irreversible brain damage.  If television falls out of favor with the viewing public, that could only be a good thing, unless you work at a television station.

Bills fans chant 'tackle the Muslim!', spear dummy with Colin Kaepernick jersey, afro.  Tough crowd.  As San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick prepared for his first start of the season — and first real action since become the face of a national anthem controversy — Buffalo Bills fans prepared to welcome him to their city.

Colin Kaepernick:  The Flag Is Just A Piece Of Cloth.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick believes that the flag of the United States is nothing more than simply a piece of cloth.  "At the end of the day the flag is just a piece of cloth and I am not going to value a piece of cloth over people's lives.  That's just not something I can do, it's not something I feel morally right doing and my character won't allow me to do that," Kaepernick told reporters in response to criticism from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to The Star.

NFL tries to reassure teams as TV ratings drop.  The National Football League has sent a memo to team owners seeking to ease concerns about the ratings decline that has hit football this fall.  Through the first four weeks of the season, NFL viewership has declined 11 percent, and among the crucial adults 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet, ratings are down 12 percent.

FS1's Whitlock: 'Hyper-Progressive Movement That Has Lurched Into Sports' to Blame for Low NFL Ratings.  Thursday [10/6/2016] on Fox Sports 1's "Speak for Yourself," co-host Jason Whitlock blamed "hyper-progressive" sports media for the decline in NFL ratings this year.  Whitlock explained that while sports culture is conservative, progressivism in the media is "leading the conversation" in sports, thus "turning people off."

Ratings Fumble for NFL Surprises Networks, Advertisers.  Once considered immune to the audience erosion plaguing the television industry, ratings for National Football League games have slipped through the first four weeks of the season.

Boycott Leftism.  College athletic departments, which once did not care a hoot about political correctness, now have either cadres of the left as their spokesmen or have utterly cowed and terrified administrators who dare not say a word against the messages of the left.  The college football players who enter the NFL find the same insinuation of leftist cant into every crevice of professional football.  Although the dopey former San Francisco 49ers' insulting behavior during the National Anthem is a conspicuous example of leftist venom, the cringing fear of offending the left seems to terrify everyone in football.  Well, let football be terrified instead of offending those Americans who watch football on television and pay for tickets to football games and buy sporting equipment endorsed by football players.  There is evidence that this is happening.

From Greek tragedy to American therapy.  Second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick apparently assumes that his wealthy team can afford to pay him nearly $20 million a year to sit on the bench, without much caring that he can't be bothered to stand up for the National Anthem.  But victimhood is a good career move. Kaepernick went from being a washed-up quarterback to being a much-publicized social justice warrior — a veritable Noam Chomsky in cleats opining on over two centuries of American criminal justice.  He was once fined for reportedly smearing a fellow NFL player with the N-word, but now as a victim himself, Kaepernick can no longer be a victimizer.

Poll: 32% skip NFL over Black Lives Matter player protests.  The growing number of player protests at National Football League games, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement and San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has prompted nearly a third of Americans to turn the games off, according to a new survey.  Rasmussen Reports revealed Tuesday [10/4/2016] that 32 percent of American adults say they are "less likely" to watch a game because of the expanding protests over how blacks are treated, especially by police.

Politics Has Ruined Everything Fun.  [Scroll down]  Before we could kick off the season, a fading star named Colin Kaepernick had some kind of epiphany that he could change the world by sitting out the National Anthem.  The right vs. left media made Colin's sit-out national headlines for weeks — he has the right, 1st Amendment vs. he's an ungrateful millionaire spitting on the country that made him great, and on and on.  But they miss the point:  I don't care.  Whatever these sports icons think, I really and truly don't care.  Just play ball.

Allen West:  Election Is Referendum On Obama's Failures.  Former Congressman Col. Allen West calls the athletes expressing anti-Americanism "deplorable, despicable and disgusting."  Specifically about NFL players, "When I look at these privileged, little, spoiled princes getting multi-million dollar contracts," West wonders "what is it about America that has oppressed you?"  He couldn't help but notice that on the opening day for the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell fined players $6,000 for honoring 9/11 on their cleats, while 49ers player Colin Kaepernick can wear socks depicting police as pigs without sanction.

NFL Ratings Continue to Plunge in Third Week of National Anthem Protests.  For the third consecutive week, ratings for the National Football League (NFL) have plummeted, as players continue anti-American protests during the playing of the national anthem.  This week's drop-off also coincided with the Monday broadcast of the first presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.  Ratings for Sunday Night Football featuring the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys scored a 12.9 Nielsen rating, down from the game's 13.7 rating last week.

America's Versailles Set.  Take the case of Colin Kaepernick, the back-up quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who makes $19 million a year (or about $20,000 per minute of regular season play).  He has been cited by National Football League officials in the past for his use of the N-word, yet he refuses to stand for the pregame singing of the national anthem because he believes that his country is racist and does not warrant his respect.  His stunt gained a lot of publicity and he now sees himself as a man of the revolutionary barricades.  A number of other NFL athletes, as well as those in other sports, have likewise refused to stand for the national anthem to express solidarity with what they see as modern versions of the oppressed peasantry.  But Kaepernick and his peers make more in one month than many Americans make in an entire lifetime.

Eagles players Malcom Jenkins, Steven Means and Ron Brooks raise fists during national anthem.  Athletes' protests of police brutality during the national anthem continued prior to Monday Night Football between the Eagles and Bears.  Cameras showed Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins, Steven Means and Ron Brooks standing together with their right fists raised in the air during the song.

Clinton's Samantha Bee Problem.  [Scroll down]  It isn't just late-night TV.  Cultural arenas and institutions that were always liberal are being prodded or dragged further to the left.  Awards shows are being pushed to shed their genteel limousine liberalism and embrace the race-gender-sexual identity agenda in full.  Colleges and universities are increasingly acting as indoctrinators for that same agenda, shifting their already-lefty consensus under activist pressure.  Meanwhile, institutions that were seen as outside or sideways to political debate have been enlisted in the culture war.  The tabloid industry gave us the apotheosis of Caitlyn Jenner, and ESPN gave her its Arthur Ashe Award.  The N.B.A., N.C.A.A. and the A.C.C. — nobody's idea of progressive forces, usually — are acting as enforcers on behalf of gay and transgender rights.  Jock culture remains relatively reactionary, but even the N.F.L. is having its Black Lives Matters moment, thanks to Colin Kaepernick.  For the left, these are clear signs of cultural gains, cultural victory.  But the scale and swiftness of those victories have created two distinctive political problems for the Democratic Party.

This man is now pretending to be the victim of the trouble he stirred up:
Kaepernick says he has received death threats.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told reporters on Tuesday [9/20/2016] that he has received death threats in the weeks since he began his national anthem protest.

If You Respect America, Find Something Else to Do Sunday Afternoons.  Kaepernick disease continues to spread.  Thanks to the encouragement of the people in charge, it is completely engulfing the NFL.  Tomorrow night the entire Philadelphia Eagles team is planning to use the national anthem as a pretext to make a spectacle of their contempt of America: [...] To watch these overpaid, hyper-privileged thugs openly display their hostility to everything we revere on the grounds that they are "oppressed," when in any other country they would be scraping by doing manual labor, is too much to swallow.

NFL's $4.6 Billion TV Bounty May Be At Risk Due To Kaepernick Fiasco.  The National Football League will rake in roughly $4.6 billion in television fees from CBS, ESPN, NBC, Fox and DirecTV that it will equally share with its 32 teams this year.  The NFL commands such a rich bounty because advertisers pay up for football's huge ratings.  The television money is a big reason why the average NFL team is worth $2.34 billion.  But the National Anthem protests that began with San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and has since been copied by other players has angered many fans.  And that anger may be one reason why the television ratings for the first week of NFL games were bad.

James Woods: 'I Will Never Watch the NFL Again'.  Actor James Woods is fed up with the way the NFL has handled Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest — so much so that he has vowed never to watch a league game ever again.  The 69-year-old conservative actor ripped the league in an impromptu interview with TMZ this week.

NCAA moving 2016-17 championships from North Carolina.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Monday [9/12/2016] it will relocate all 2016-17 championship events from North Carolina due to concerns about civil rights protections in the state.  This decision comes after the NCAA Board of Governors in April adopted new requirements for sites that would be hosting or bidding on events in all divisions.  The resulting survey required bidding locations to prove how they would protect athletes, coaches and fans from discrimination.  NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a news release following the decision that the organization's events need to promote inclusiveness, and current legislation in North Carolina does not guarantee that commitment will be fulfilled.

NCAA to move 7 championships from North Carolina due to HB2 law.  The NCAA announced on Monday [9/12/2016] the relocation of seven previously awarded championship events — including NCAA tournament games in Greensboro — from the state of North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year as a result of the state's controversial House Bill 2.  The law prevents cities and counties from passing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  And public schools must require bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their biological sex.  The NCAA sent a questionnaire in July concerning discrimination issues to the local organizing groups in cities that have been named to host any NCAA event in any of its three competitive divisions or are interested in staging them.

Seattle Seahawks consider team-wide national anthem protest at NFL opener.  The Seattle Seahawks are considering following Colin Kaepernick and making a protest of their own before their NFL opener against Miami on Sunday.  A number of Seahawks players said they had been discussing their options, and suggested they might be prepared to take a team-wide stand before the weekend's game.  Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, who sat for the national anthem during the Seahawks-Raiders pre-season game last Thursday, said he will continue not to stand, while receiver Doug Baldwin and linebacker Bobby Wagner said they had discussed a protest in the locker room.

Read more, watch ESPN less.  In a commencement address at the University of Central Florida, [ESPN President John] Skipper bemoaned the fact that, according to a recent survey, the average American spends three hours a day in front of a television and just 19 minutes reading.  "Please watch a little less television," the TV executive implored.  I would modify his plea slightly.  Please watch less ESPN.  Why?  Because [...] ESPN has taken the side of the political left.

Controversy Erupts After NFL Quarterback Converts To Islam and Refuses To Stand for National Anthem.  A controversy has erupted today because San Francisco 49er's Quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand up during the playing of the national anthem. [...] So what exactly is going on.  Well, there's a little more to the story than most are willing to accept.  The media and the NFL will avoid these discussions like the plague, but [...] During the off-season Colin Kaepernick converted to Islam.  Colin Kaepernick is also engaged to Black Lives Matter activist and hip-hop radio personality DJ Nessa Diab.  Black Lives Matter as an activist group is synonymous with promotion of authentic Islam.

NFL quarterback sits during national anthem, calls America racist.  If you can't play, enter the political fray.  That could be the only possible explanation for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting in protest of the national anthem.  Kaepernick has dominated headlines in the past year for a massive regression in his production, now stuck fighting for a job with Blaine Gabbart.  No serious analyst expects the 49ers to be competitive, despite Kaepernick leading the Niners to the Super Bowl during the 2012 season.  But this time, he's making headlines on purpose for reasons other than football.

NFL quarterback refuses to honor National Anthem because America 'oppresses people of color'.  The 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick says that he refused to stand up during the National Anthem because America is racist. [...] Apparently he's been protesting the oppression of people of color by refusing to play well for a long time too!

49ers fans burn Kaepernick jerseys to the national anthem after the $114 million sport star refused to stand 'to protest black oppression'.  Furious San Francisco 49ers fans are burning Colin Kaepernick jerseys after he refused to stand for the national anthem as part of a racial protest.  One fan even played The Star-Spangled Banner as he set light to the Number 7 shirt, watching with his hand on his chest as it was reduced to ash.  Another, who uploaded a video to Instagram under the handle Nate3914, called the $19million-per-year athlete an 'ignorant son of a b****.'

San Francisco police union demand NFL, 49ers 'denounce' Colin Kaepernick's 'attacks' on cops.  Cops in San Francisco are throwing an all-out blitz at Colin Kaepernick.  The head of the San Francisco Police Officers Association fired off an angry letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers boss Jed York over the quarterback's "ill-advised statements."  Kaepernick started a national debate over the weekend when he said he was no longer going to stand for the national anthem.  While the cop union understands Kaepernick has the right to sit on the bench while "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays before games, it's his reason for doing so that has San Francisco police demanding an apology.

Colin Kaepernick won't stand for the national anthem anymore.  Fun fact about Kaepernick that I didn't know until this morning:  His Twitter feed is full-bore SJW, with one retweet after another of Black Lives Matter champion Shaun King.  It takes a lot to boost your wokeness quotient when you're already that woke.  But he figured out a way!  This is what would be called a "base strategy" in politics, in that it's bound to impress and catalyze people who already sympathize with him at the expense of alienating literally everyone else.

Dallas helmet
National Felon League Denies Cowboys Request To Honor Murdered Officers.  The National Football League — sometimes mocked as the "National Felon League" due a rash of violent crimes committed by current and former players in recent years — has denied a request by the Dallas Cowboys to wear a small sticker on the back of their helmets which would honor the five Dallas Police officers murdered by a domestic terrorist affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

NFL Found a Cause They Won't Endorse: the Dallas Police Department.  As written here before, there was never any real expectation that the NFL would allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear the "Arm-in-Arm" decals on their helmets, to show support for the Dallas Police Department during the regular season.  Yet, there was some hope that the league would at least allow the Cowboys to wear the decals during the preseason.  Well, it appears that isn't happening.

The Editor says...
One can easily surmise that if the shooter had been white, and all the murdered cops had been black, female, homosexuals, or former professional athletes, the NFL would have had no objections.  You can bet that if the cause was breast cancer, AIDS, or UN earthquake relief, the NFL would have had no objections.  The NFL has to draw the line somewhere, of course; otherwise, football players will eventually look like NASCAR drivers.  Even so, one must wonder what their criteria are.

New NCAA Rule:  Championship Sites Must Allow Cross-Dressing Men To Use Women's Bathrooms, Showers.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that all cities and college campuses seeking to host future NCAA championship events must fill out a lengthy, seven-page questionnaire about whether men can use women's bathrooms and waltz into women's locker rooms to take showers.  The NCAA Board of Governors announced its new bathroom-and-locker-room survey on Friday [7/22/2016].

WNBA Stars Angered Over League Fines for 'Black Lives Matter' Protest.  Prominent WNBA players and Black Lives Matter organizers are angered over the league's decision to fine three teams and their players for protesting gun violence.  The Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury were fined $5,000 each, and each player was fined $500 for wearing black T-shirts during pre-game warm-ups in the wake of recent shootings by and against police officers.  According to WNBA officials, the shirts violated the league's uniform policy.  According to that policy, all shirts worn during warmups must be the Adidas brand — the league's official outfitter — and may not be altered in any way.

The Editor says...
Just bounce the ball, throw the ball, and catch the ball.  Spare us the political statements.

ESPN Wastes No Time Going Political at ESPYs.  You planned to have a smoke, maybe walk the dog before the ESPYs got in full swing.  Figuring that ESPN would at least recap some of the year in sports before putting on display their craven and gratuitous sellout to radical, racial activism.  Well, you guessed wrong.  NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James derailed the evening of expected jockular festivities, instead redirecting the crazy train that ESPN has become down the tracks of athlete activism.

ESPN Turns ESPY Awards Into Black Lives Matter Rally.  ESPN is a girlish, gay chat channel like Bravo that features slightly less house-flipping and slightly more homoerotic tributes to the physical male ideal.  It's evil, it's stupid, it's a waste of your time, and it's time to block the channel so that you're never tempted to give them your money ever again.

When the NBA went all-out gay.  The NBA just announced it's partnering with GLSEN, the leading gay activist educational organization — an organization whose radical activism dates back more than a decade.  How do the players really feel about this ... especially those with conservative Christian (or Muslim) values?

After Firing Curt Schilling for Transgender Comments, ESPN Hires LGBT Activist Abby Wambach.  Curt Schilling's politics got him fired from ESPN.  Abby Wambach's politics didn't prevent her from getting hired.  And neither did her recent DUI arrest, which resulted in a guilty plea less than a month ago and admissions of past marijuana and cocaine use.  ESPN hired Wambach to analyze soccer at the Olympics, and venture into more contentious matters with "Outside the Lines" and on a planned podcast called "Fearless Conversation with Abby Wambach," a program the AP describes as one in "which she promises won't shy away from controversy."

The Left's Thought-Fascism Hits ESPN.  [Scroll down]  By inclusive, ESPN does not mean ideologically inclusive.  They simply mean that if you do not kowtow to politically correct idiocies about men magically becoming women, you will not be tolerated.  ESPN is the same channel that rewarded Caitlyn Jenner, nee Bruce, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for getting a misguided boob job, facial reconstruction surgeries and hormone treatments that will not solve his underlying mental illness.  Pointing out that Caitlyn is still a man, however, will get you fired from that same network.  Not only that, but you will be memory-holed.

ESPN Erases Curt Schilling From Baseball History.  In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, Stalin, Brezhnev and the rest would literally airbrush out of photographs those who fell out of favor.  Killing them and sending family members to Siberia did not suffice; they had to be erased from collective memory. [...] Now along comes ESPN airbrushing a game played by former Red Sox great Curt Schilling out of a documentary on the 2004 American League Championship Series.  Unless you have been vacationing in Mars, you know that Schilling was until recently an ESPN broadcaster.

ESPN Fires Curt Schilling — What About Liberal Offenders?  About Schilling's firing, the Disney-owned sports cable network said:  "ESPN is an inclusive company.  Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."  Last summer ESPN suspended Schilling for retweeting a meme likening Muslim extremists to Nazis.  Last month, he no doubt angered management for saying that Hillary Clinton should be "buried under a jail somewhere" for her email scandal.  So Schilling, to ESPN, is a serial offender.  And as a private company, it can terminate an employee for perceived offenses.  OK, so Schilling has to go.  But what are the rules?

The Editor says...
Obviously the management of ESPN operates with an unusual concept of the word inclusive, if the company is inclusive and tolerant of everyone except white guys who don't approve of homosexuality.

Curt Schilling:  ESPN Home to 'Some of the Biggest Racists in Sports Commentating'.  So, Curt Schilling is holding nothing back.  Just over a week after he was fired by ESPN for being a conservative, and deigning to observe that male bathrooms were built for people with male parts, while female bathrooms were built for people with female parts, Schilling told the Breitbart News Patriot Forum that ESPN is home to "some of the biggest racists in sports commentating."

Here are all the sports events California state lawmakers attended for free.  Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León was at the deciding game in Dodgers Stadium thanks to a $556 ticket — half of it paid for by a political consulting group and the other half by a downtown Los Angeles law firm.  Bay Area Assemblyman Rob Bonta got $460 tickets to see the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets and advance to the NBA finals thanks to tickets from the chief executive of an Oakland healthcare company.  Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) got $800 tickets to the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach from a local law firm — though his form notes he reimbursed the firm $341 "to pay below the gift limit."  After the reimbursement, the total gift was worth $459 — one dollar under the limit for a gift from a single source.

ESPN Has a Right to Fire Curt Schilling.  What Rights Do People of Faith Have?  ESPN has fired Curt Schilling.  The company said that his speech went against company values because ESPN is "an inclusive company."  What's at stake here?  Curt Schilling has a right to say biological men don't belong in women's bathrooms in whatever controversial way he wants.  And ESPN has a right to give Caitlyn Jenner the "Arthur Ashe Courage Award" for being a men's sports icon who now publicly identifies as a woman.  And whether we agree or disagree with Schilling's message or ESPN's isn't the point.  The bigger issue is that ESPN, like any other company, has a right to control its message, which means it should be generally free to make employment decisions based on its values, not Curt Schilling's, and certainly not the government's.

Curt Schilling, ESPN and your God-given plumbing.  There's no question that Curt Schilling has uttered a good number of politically incorrect statements during his career at ESPN.  The former All-Star pitcher has compared radical Muslims to Nazis and most recently suggested that Hillary Clinton "should be buried under a jail somewhere."  But it was something he shared on social media — about transgender bathrooms — that turned out to be the last straw for ESPN.  To be blunt — he was unceremoniously fired because he has a problem with men using the ladies room.

The Editor says...
I worked in the broadcasting business from 1971 to 2019, and I can tell you this:  TV sports personalities are expected to be bombastic, opinionated, and able to extemporaneously expound at great length about the tiniest details of professional sports.  The sports nut / couch potato will little note nor long remember anything that even his favorite sportscaster says.  Therefore, if he (or she) occasionally sheds some light on a politically incorrect topic, that offense should be forgiven; for indeed, that's how live television goes sometimes.  Once in a while, the truth pops out.

The NFL's Bullying of Believers.  Do you think a pastor who's against same-sex marriage should be forced to perform same-sex weddings?  Do you believe that a religious college should be allowed to hire only people who agree with the religious beliefs of the college?  Do you think no one should be forced to attend a wedding he doesn't agree with?  If so, cheers:  The National Football League basically thinks you're a bigot.

NBA may move 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte after anti-LGBT legislation passed in North Carolina.  The NBA issued a statement Thursday [3/24/2016] against the new law in North Carolina barring transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender of their birth certificate.  In the statement, the NBA hinted it could reconsider hosting All-Star Weekend in Charlotte in 2017.  "The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive enviornment for all who attend our games and events.  We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte."

The Editor says...
Does their logic make any sense?  Man, I can't wait to see the All Star Game — and I sure hope there will be a bunch of lesbians in the restrooms.  No, exactly the opposite is more likely what most sports fans are thinking.

NFL says Georgia religious exemptions bill might cost Atlanta Super Bowl bid.  Atlanta is one of the finalists for the next two league title games to be awarded, along with New Orleans, Miami and Tampa.  The city is considered a clear favorite because of its new retractable-roof stadium that is set to open next year.  However, the religious exemptions bill could change all of that.  "NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.  "Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites."

The Editor says...
In other words, the last football game of the season is being used as leverage to promote the left-wing homosexual agenda.  Building a billion-dollar stadium is even less sensible if the Big Game can never be played there — and all because those heartless bigots in Atlanta won't allow men in the women's restrooms.  I've never purchased a ticket to an NFL game, and I can assure you that I never will.

Louisiana Dem Gov. Edwards warns: Agree to proposed tax hikes or LSU football could be sacked.  Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is suggesting the legendary Louisiana State University football team's 2016 season might be canceled — and other doomsday consequences — unless the GOP-led legislature swiftly passes a package of tax increases to help close a looming $940 million budget shortfall. [...] "That means you can say farewell to college football next fall," Edwards said in the address.

The Editor says...
Oh, no.  Not that!  It's easy to use football as a lever to help raise taxes, since football is seen as an indispensible necessity — at any cost!  Sky high taxes, concussions and broken necks are nothing compared to the prospect of a world without football!

The halftime show at the big game is more politicized than ever:
Beyonce gets political at the Super Bowl.  Beyonce issued a strong political statement with her halftime show at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday [2/7/2016] with backing dancers dressed as members of armed rights group the Black Panthers.  The superstar brought the dancers on for her new single Formation which is being widely touted as a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.  At one point during the song, the supporting performers formed an 'X' on the field — thought to reference black rights campaigner Malcolm X — and then raised their arms in the air in a gesture referencing the black power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Fox News slams Beyoncé's 'outrageous' Super Bowl performance.  Fox News wasn't too happy with Beyoncé for her Super Bowl performance.  The 20-time Grammy winner appeared on the field during halftime and performed her new song "Formation" — which has become a "rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement," according to the network — and was joined by backup dancers wearing Black Panthers-style outfits.

Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Black Version of KKK Rally.  The Black Panthers weren't just lunatic moonbats who hated white people.  They were also violent sociopaths who engaged in a wide array of crimes including murder.  Judging by their rhetoric, the New Black Panthers aren't any better. [...] Malcolm X was best known for rejecting the peaceful tactics advocated by MLK in favor of his "by any means necessary" approach to achieving black power. [...] Why can't regular Americans even watch a football game without being told to hate themselves for their race?

Sheriff Clarke on Beyonce's Halftime: Would It Be Acceptable If 'A White Band Came Out In Hoods and White Sheets?  Commenting on Beyonce's halftime show during Super Bowl 50, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke said he did not want to make "a huge deal about it," but since Beyonce and the other dancers were wearing "Black Panther-type uniforms," would it be acceptable if "a white band came out in hoods and white sheets in the same sort of fashion?"  Sheriff Clarke added that "the Black Panthers are a subversive hate group in America."

Anti-Beyonce Rally Planned For Next Week At NFL Headquarters.  Controversy continues to swirl around Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show performance.  The pop superstar is being accused of using her performance to attack police officers.  "I think it was outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her and protect us," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CBS2's Dick Brennan.

ESPN says there is too much patriotism in sports.  There is a natural affinity between sports and the military.  Both unambiguously reward hard work and excellence.  Both teach personal responsibility for success or failure, and celebrate the virtues of courage, earned-pride, and honor.  Sporting events are also among the biggest occasions when Americans come together in their communities to enjoy the fruits of freedom that our service men and women provide.  So I've never found it surprising or objectionable that most sporting events in America start out with the national anthem or that we often take the opportunity of sporting events to honor those who fight for all of us.  But ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant opines in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine that this is all an "uncomfortable change in sports in post-9/11 America."

Proof that the big game is a political lever:
'Rumblings' of Super Bowl Boycott After Houston Equal Rights Measure Rejected.  The controversial measure would have established nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the city, among other groups.  "I fear that this will have stained Houston's reputation as a tolerant, welcoming, global city," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said at an election night watch part in downtown Houston.  "I absolutely fear that there will be a direct economic backlash as a result of this ordinance going into defeat and that's sad for Houston."

The Editor says...
Quite the reverse is true:  Tourists aren't going to visit any city where there is no difference between the men's restroom and the ladies' restroom.

NFL Refuses to Move Super Bowl from Houston After 'Bathroom Ordinance' Rejected.  The NFL will not move the 2017 Super Bowl from Houston after the losers in the so-called "bathroom" ordinance demanded on Wednesday that the league cancel or move the annual event a day after Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected the HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) proposition.

Senators accuse NFL of 'paid patriotism'.  Two GOP senators accused the NFL and other top sports leagues of making the Pentagon pay for ceremonies honoring troops at games.  Some $6.8 million of taxpayers' money went to leagues and teams for contracts with staged events, including the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, paid $49,000 by the Wisconsin Army National Guard to sponsor the Sunday performances of "God Bless America," and $20,000 to the NFL's New York Jets to honor national guard troops.

The Houston Texans' Uday Aboushi Publicly Supports Terror Attacks on Israel.  NFL football player Oday Aboushi arrived in South Florida this weekend to play against the Miami Dolphins, this time in the uniform of the Houston Texans, as the team he previously played for, the New York Jets, waived him in the offseason.  And while the team he plays for may have changed, his actions as an anti-Israel Muslim extremist remain fully intact.

Leftist propaganda is everywhere:
Every Day, A New Way to Hate.  In channel surfing my way to the British Open, I lit for a moment on the usually sane ESPN show, "Mike and Mike."  Co-host Mike Greenberg was off that morning so 28 year-old sub Ryan Ruocco sat in with regular Mike Golic, a former NFL defensive tackle.  Flaunting his liberal chops for the suits upstairs, Ruocco gushed about the Arthur Ashe Award.  Of course, he did not call the winner "Bruce Jenner."  He refused to even say "Jenner."  It was always "Caitlyn Jenner," over and over.  Those who dared say "Bruce" Ruocco surely would have lumped — in his words — with "the critics who hate."  Bingo!  There it was.  Our progressive friends had discovered the glory of transgenderism about fifteen minutes ago, and they were already prepared to brand critics of any sort as "haters," the collective term for the non-elect in their perverse neo-puritan presbytery.

Army hero slams 'greed' of New York Jets for being paid to salute troops at home games.  It all boils down to Gang Greed.  That was how a hero soldier honored by the Jets reacted to news that the team and 13 other NFL franchises were paid by the National Guard and the Department of Defense to salute the troops at home games.  "I think it's pretty shameful that millionaires and billionaires take money from the service," Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Waiters told The [New York Daily] News.  "It's just greed," said Waiters, an Army medic who served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

Report: Defense Dept. paid NFL millions of taxpayer dollars to salute troops.  The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League more than $5 million in taxpayer money between 2011 to 2014 to honor U.S. soldiers and veterans at games, an investigation revealed this week. [...] But instead of purely heartfelt salutes to soldiers from hometown football teams, the halftime segments were reportedly part of paid promotions under federal advertising contracts for the military.

Laura Ingraham to St. Louis Rams: 'Shut Up and Play'.  "I don't know about you, but when I watch football, I want to watch football," Van Susteren said at the top of the segment Monday evening [12/1/2014].  "I don't want to watch someone's political agenda shoved down my throat, whether I'm in agreement with it or not."  The host went on to ask why there weren't similar displays in reaction to the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, asking, "Why ruin football with politics and controversy?  It's just a game."

NFL says it won't discipline Rams players for Ferguson protest.  The NFL will not adhere to a request from the St. Louis Police Officer's Association to discipline St. Louis Rams players who did the "hands up, don't shoot" pose used by protesters in Ferguson, Mo. during pre-game introductions on Sunday. [...] The police officer's association issued a letter late Sunday condemning the players' actions as "tasteless, offensive and inflammatory" given a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.

Police angry at 'hands up' gesture by St. Louis Rams players.  A group representing police in St. Louis says it's infuriated after five St. Louis Rams players raised their hands Sunday in solidarity with protesters upset at Michael Brown's death.  The St. Louis Police Officers Association says it's "profoundly disappointed" with those football players who sent a silent but strong message before playing Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

St. Louis Police Demand Rams Punish Players for 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Pose.  Before Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, several St. Louis Rams players entered the field with a "hands up, don't shoot" pose, a reference to the shooting death of Michael Brown, which has roiled nearby Ferguson, MO.  Guess who didn't appreciate that:  the St. Louis Police Officers Association, which is demanding that the team apologize and the players be punished.

Rams players use 'hands up, don't shoot' pose while taking field.  Five St. Louis Rams players took the field for Sunday's [11/30/2014] home game against the Oakland Raiders with a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose that has been used by protestors in Ferguson, Mo., and across the country recently.

St. Louis police group demands punishment for Rams players in Ferguson protest.  A St. Louis police officers' group called on the NFL to punish five Rams players who stood with their hands raised before trotting onto the field for pregame introductions Sunday [11/30/2014].  The St. Louis Police Officers' Association said it was "profoundly disappointed" with what it called a "display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory."  It called for the players involved to be disciplined and for both the league and team to issue a "very public apology."

The Editor says...
I can see how the lowest-class unemployed simpleton in the streets (with nothing to lose) might be drawn into a stunt of this sort, but not a well-paid professional athlete.  The participants in this case can't conceal their identity, and their employer can't be happy about the publicity.

If you owned Babe Ruth's bat, would you let this guy touch it?
Obama swings Babe Ruth's bat at Baseball Hall of Fame.  President Obama turned tourist at the Baseball Hall of Fame Thursday [5/22/2014], employing a time-tested strategy of embracing sports when the going gets tough in politics.  Obama cradled Babe Ruth's bat and examined Joe DiMaggio's glove at the shrine to America's pastime in upstate Cooperstown — while trying to boost his own batting average with the public.

Unionizing College Sports Pits Unions Against Socialist Principles.  The recent controversy over efforts to unionize college athletes rests on the presumption that those who receive scholarship money are in fact employees.  Unions see themselves standing for the little guy against the interests of the rich employer.  However, far from advancing the goals of socialism, unionization of college sports would make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, in the world of college athletics.

Northwestern University football players to receive maternity coverage under Obamacare.  You probably heard by now that the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB), in their infinite wisdom, put the stamp of approval on college football players being treated as full time employees with the right to unionize.  Well, I suppose everything comes with a few unintended consequences, [...]

College Football Unionization Decision Opens a Can of Worms.  A National Labor Relations Board official has given the green light to Northwestern University football players to form a union.  The March 26 decision by the NLRB's Chicago regional director, Peter Sung Ohr, held that scholarship football players are "employees" for purposes of federal labor law. [...] While Ohr's decision makes sense on an intuitive level — players are paid to perform a service and are therefore employees — it leads to more questions than answers.  For example, if players are employees, do their scholarships now constitute taxable income?  Can athletic departments, many of which are organized as non-profit corporations designed to promote amateur athletics, continue to accept tax-deductible donations from alumni?  And will other labor laws, including overtime and worker's compensation, now apply to football players?

NLRB Rules in Favor of Student-Athlete Unionization.  A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday [3/26/2014] that scholarship athletes should be considered "employees" with rights to unionize under federal law.  The decision stems from an attempt by the Northwestern University football team to form a labor union.

Reports: Northwestern football players overwhelmingly vote to reject unionization.  The regional NLRB's (immediately appealed) March ruling that Northwestern University football players are employees of the school, and are therefore entitled to form a union [...] precipitated today's vote — the official results of which likely won't be known for months, or even years, due to a lengthy anticipated appeals process.  The unionization push has become a hot topic in sports media and a political lightning rod.

NYPD Union To Join Lawsuit Against NFL Gun Ban.  The New York Police Department's Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) will join Minnesota police unions' lawsuit against NFL gun ban.  According to the New York Post, SBA president Edward Mullins said the NFL's policy barring off-duty officers from carrying guns into games "is a violation of any state laws that allow off-duty cops to carry their guns in public places."

Cuban says Mavs wouldn't move to make way for a GOP convention in '16.  The Dallas Mavericks are not willing to relocate potential playoff games from American Airlines Center to make way for the 2016 Republican National Convention, team owner Mark Cuban said Thursday.  Asked by email whether he would be willing to vacate his team's home arena to accommodate the convention, Cuban said:  "No and we won't move."

NFL Fan Blasts Hypocrisy of Rejecting Home Defense Ad by Gun Company.  It seems the Super Bowl has fallen victim to political correctness.  They've decided to ban a pro-Second Amendment — and pro-veteran — Super Bowl ad by Daniel Defense, a company that sells guns, detailing a father who declares that he will protect his family.  "No one has the right to tell me how to defend them," he says.  The banning promoted this epic response from Colion Noir, a football fan, attorney — and NRA News commentator — who destroys the NFL for their hypocrisy.

Anti-Gun NFL: National Frauds' League.  The National Football League's hypocrisy and selective decency standards reek like a post-game locker room.  On the one hand, the organization refuses to run a firearms manufacturer's self-defense Super Bowl ad under the guise of neutrality and taste.  Yet, the professional football conglomerate routinely revels in raunchiness, gratuitous physical violence and anti-gun screeds.

Dems Hold 'Closed-Door Discussion' with NFL, NBA, NHL to Promote Climate Change Agenda.  Climate change alarmists have turned to recruiting sports leagues to promote eco-hysteria.  Democrats in Congress are calling on the major sports leagues to promote climate change regulation and to answer what they are doing to limit greenhouse gases.  Democratic legislators from the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change announced on Nov. 20 that they will host major sports league officials in "a closed-door discussion," Nov. 21.  Representatives from Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA/WNBA, NHL and Olympics are expected to attend.

Senator: Sports Stadiums 'at Risk from... Sea-Level Rise Effects of Climate Change'.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) warns sports stadiums are at risk from the "sea level rise effects of climate change," and that climate change specifically threatens hockey and skiing.  "We see significant sports facilities, the palaces of — of sport that are at risk from the storm, climate, sea-level rise effects of climate change," Sen. Whitehouse said today following a closed-door climate discussion with executives from the NFL, NHL and NBA.

The Editor says...
As I have shown on another nearby page, global warming is blamed for everything, but there have always been storms.  If you think the mean sea level is about to increase dramatically in the next few decades, then don't build a stadium one foot above sea level.

Is the Left taking over sports, too?  "It's funny to listen to sports commentators on the radio who have clearly been brought up through public schools and state university journalism programs talk about class and race and gender like a sociology major from Smith or Dennison," says R.J. Moeller, a conservative who also writes about sports and culture.  "They hate any strong male coaches.  They hate any sort of patriotism associated with the sport.  They're treating sports and holding what goes on in locker rooms to the same standard they would a diversity and social justice mediation seminar on Google's campus."  Moeller's not alone in feeling this way.  Others cite the "feminization" of sports and the liberal tilt of modern sports coverage as cause for concern.

ESPN Commentator: National Anthem a 'War Anthem,' Shouldn't Be Played Before Games.  On ESPN's Around the Horn, frequent guest Kevin Blackistone said that football games should not include the singing of the national anthem beforehand, as that added to the "military symbolism."  He actually called the Star-Spangled Banner a "war anthem."

NFL ban off-duty cops from carrying guns into stadiums.  Off-duty cops are no longer able to carry their weapons to NFL stadiums according to a new policy.  Texas is the only state in which an off-duty cop can carry his gun into the stadium.  When checking in, a cop can use a special gate and inform stadium officials of where they will be seated with their gun.  The head of Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Bob Cherry, is outraged by the NFL's decision.

NFL Bars Off-Duty Cops from Carrying Guns into Stadiums.  The National Football League has implemented a new stadium policy that would ban off-duty police officers from carrying guns into games.  Cleveland's police union president worried the policy would stop officers from assisting if a dangerous situation arose.

More about gun free zones.

St. Louis Cardinals remove religious symbols from pitcher's mound following fan's complaints.  The St. Louis Cardinals have done away with religion at Busch Stadium after a fan raised hell over Christian symbols on the pitching mound.

Separation of church and baseball — no doubt the courts can find that in the Constitution, too.
Cross written in sand not allowed to honor beloved player.  Political correctness infected the world of sports recently, when the St. Louis Cardinals' management put an end to the recent practice of etching a cross and the number 6 into the pitcher's mound to honor a Cardinal great, the late Stan Musial.  The number and cross only began appearing in recent weeks on the mound, just behind the rubber.

NFLPA selling LGBT pride shirts.  The union that represents NFL players has launched a line of LGBT pride shirts.  The NFL Players Association announced the launch on Wednesday [6/12/2013] in conjunction with LGBT Pride Month, which is June.

Sports Illustrated Names Obama One of the Most Powerful People in Sports.  The media's adoration of Barack Obama knows no bounds.

Why I'm Canceling My SI Subscription.  I am going to let my subscription to Sports Illustrated lapse when it runs out this year.  I hope lots of other people will do the same.  Like too many other publications, the magazine has become dishonest, dishonorable and even occasionally despicable in its conformist, lockstep left-wing bias.  Republican politicians and conservative positions are routinely insulted in articles having nothing to do with either.

Commie Night at US Cellular Field.  Monday night, July 25th 2011 People's World/Mundo Popular will be holding their 6th annual tailgate BBQ and fundraiser at US Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox.  Although Barack Obama will not be able to attend this openly communist fundraising event, his rabid supporter Pepe Lozano will be on hand for the gala evening.  Chicago native Pepe Lozano is a writer for CPUSA's People's World and a key leader of the Chicago Young Communist League.

No 'cheers' for latest Title IX decision.  Title IX, a section of a federal education law passed in 1972, has become an exemplar of the kind of government action that initially was justified but since has taken on a life of its own grounded in legal and bureaucratic nonsense.  A new federal court ruling on "competitive cheer" versus women's volleyball makes clear the descent of Title IX into absurdity.

Seven Places Where politics Doesn't Belong.  [#7]  Sporting events:  Should Major League baseball yank the All-Star game from Arizona to send a message about their immigration law?  Should the Los Suns deliberately flip off the fans who shell out 90 bucks a pop to watch them play?  It's one thing for an athlete to get involved off the field, but do we really need to know the Washington Redskins' official position on abortion?  Do the Boston Celtics need to take a stance on border security?

'Humanitarian' owners never fight for fans.  What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into Suns' games without paying?  What if the owners had a good idea as to who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected?

Anthem Skipped Before Monday Night Game.  Sports in America start with the national anthem.  The Dolphins-Steelers game was an exception.  Rushing to begin the nationally televised matchup following a 25- minute weather delay, the NFL chose to skip the anthem Monday night [11/26/2007] before Miami played Pittsburgh.  The game started without any of the traditional pregame ceremonies, except the coin toss, and neither team was introduced on the public address system.

MSNBGreen:  "We have turned out the lights in the studio," NBC's Bob Costas told viewers of Sunday's Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, "to kick off a week that will include more than 150 hours of programming designed to raise awareness about environmental issues." … On a typical game day, a large football stadium burns about 65,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 35,000 cubic feet of natural gas.  The cars driving to the game spew about 200 metric tons of CO2 (and that assumes nobody's driving SUVs or RVs, which is like assuming tailgaters are eating only sushi).  There's also the electricity used to broadcast the game and to watch it.  But thank goodness Costas turned off the studio lights for a minute or two.

Other sports news and commentary:

Weak Two:  Empty Seats Outnumber Fans in Several NFL Stadiums.  As Week Two of the NFL's 100th season kicks off, a quick look through social media finds many fans still wondering about all the empty seats as their favorite teams hit the gridiron.  The worst example appeared to be at L.A. Memorial Coliseum where the Rams were battling the visiting New Orleans Saints.  Fans flooded social media with questions over the size of the crowd.

Lessons Learned from the Drew Brees-Focus on the Family Ordeal.  New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees recently recorded a promotional video for Bring Your Bible to School Day, a project of Focus on the Family.  It was posted to YouTube on August 28th.  [Video clip]  Predictably, the media pilloried him.  Left-wing activists quickly wrote blog articles accusing the future Hall of Famer of being complicit in the spreading of hatred.

LGBT Activists:  Drew Brees Promoting The Bible Is Homophobic.  Is being an openly Christian person so deeply stigmatized as to be viewed as deathblow to your career and social standing in America today?  From the media response to NFL star Drew Brees' message to his young fans on being proud of and sharing their faith, this may not be a far-fetched question.  Brees released a short video encouraging young people to share their faith by bringing their Bibles to school on October 3, 2019.  The event is an annual celebration designed to encourage personal freedom, religious freedom, and religious pride, and is sponsored by Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian advocacy organization.

Oakland Raiders' shameful refusal to discipline Antonio Brown for 'cracker' comments and outburst.  Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown threatened violence against his team's general manager, and the team is doing nothing about it.  On Wednesday [9/4/2019], Brown had a heated exchange with Raiders GM Mike Mayock where he unleashed a barrage of foul language and went as far as threatening to punch Mayock in the face. [...] In letting Brown's inexcusable actions slide, the Raiders are making a big mistake and setting an awful precedent.  Threatening violence against one's higher-ups at work is an unacceptable action and deserves to be met with disciplinary action.

Texts and emails allegedly detail Nike's willingness to pay high schoolers, including Zion Williamson.  Text messages and emails from Nike executives entered in federal court on Friday [8/16/2019] paint a vivid portrait of the inner workings of grassroots basketball.  They include detailed plans to pay then-high school stars such as Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford, line-item accounting of alleged payments to the people around eventual No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, and an acknowledgement by a top Nike executive that "the perception and resulting reality is that we dictate where players go to school."

Home Sports Hecklers, boors, brawlers giving youth sports a bad game.  Researchers say the bad sportsmanship, rude behavior and outright violence adults display at youth sporting events has become a national epidemic that sends the wrong message to child athletes and drives referees from playing fields in droves.  In an age when one-sport specialization and thousand-dollar travel tournaments are the norm for many families, success in the game has become such a priority that some parents turn "rabid," said Barry Mano, president of the National Association of Sports Officials.  "I'd characterize youth sports as sort of the perfect storm where you have the least skillful players and the least skillful coaches and the least skillful referees and almost nonexistent security, and then you have the most rabid fans in all forms," he said.  "And that can be a toxic mix."

I Get No Kick From Women's Soccer.  I happened to be in Paris when the final of the women's World Cup (soccer) was played.  Our little local restaurant, owned and run by Berbers, had a screen that relayed it, more or less inescapably, to the customers. [...] When I uttered what seemed to me a truism, that women will never be as good at soccer as men, the reaction was horror that such a heresy — no, blasphemy — should be pronounced out loud, though of course everyone knew that it was true (which is why it was a truism).  We are now required to go through all kinds of mental contortions if we are to have "correct" thoughts.  We are not supposed to say that women cannot play football as well as men, and yet we are supposed at the same time to find an all-women's competition perfectly legitimate.

Can Major League Baseball Be Saved?  Every year baseball team owners gather to fret about their shrinking fan base.  And every year there are suggestions that would radically change the game in order to a) create more offense or b) make the game shorter.  Because that's what da yutes want, or something.  The problem with the first is that baseball needs to maintain its anchor to its traditions and stats, even though times change; the second can happen without changing the character of the game.  Baseball's biggest problem is that the owners are trying to squeeze ever more money out of the current fan base instead of expanding their pie.

Transgender Sports Madness Is The Fruit Of The Politics Of Title IX Exclusion.  Bottom line: the government has made thousands of male athletes "spectators in their own sports."  The Title IX travesty leads to other galactically absurd results.  Daniel McGraw in The American Conservative reveals that to meet government-driven demand, participants in women's college rowing exploded from 305 at 12 colleges in 1990 to 7,277 at 145 schools as of last year.  Which, McGraw points out, presents a problem:  Last year 74 high schools fielded only 2,094 female rowers.  McGraw quotes a 2007 report that University of Virginia female rowing coaches were "handing out scholarships like candy," while unsubsidized male rowers lived hand-to-mouth — a phenomenon repeated nationwide as schools inflated rowing rosters to appease Title IX overseers.  And across women's college sports:  An analysis in Forbes found that the ratio of female soccer players to scholarships is 40-to-1, compared to 68-to-1 for men.

Report: FIFA Investigates Palestinian Football Chief for Glorifying Terrorism.  The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world's governing body of soccer, reportedly launched an investigation into Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub for glorifying terror and inciting violence, a report claimed.  Palestinian Media Watch said that the head of the Palestinian Football Association is being probed by FIFA's governing council in response to a complaint lodged in 2017.  The investigation was reportedly launched in January of this year.

Black Community Leader Points to NFL Millionaires to Prove Slavery Reparations Idea is 'Fools Gold'.  Woodson Center founder and president Bob Woodson criticized the concept of slavery reparations, calling it "fools gold" that will do nothing to help the black community in the long run.  During a Friday night [6/14/2019] appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Woodson bolstered his point by bringing up an uncomfortable fact about once-rich NFL players, that the vast majority are broke within three years after ending their football careers.

MLB Announcer Blames Rise in Home Runs on Global Warming.  There's certainly a change in hot air, but it's the hot air coming out of this guy's mouth.  F.P. Santangelo, an announcer for the Washington Nationals, bizarrely attributed a spike in home run totals this season to a variety of reasons, most notably global warming.  It's been fairly well-documented that launch angles, a rise in batters swinging for the fences and accepting the associated strikeouts that come with such actions, and a change in baseballs, have contributed to the astronomical numbers.

If you haven't noticed, global warming is blamed for everything.

Another NFL team goes "woke" as Seattle Seahawks get rid of Sea Gal cheerleaders & become Seahawk Dancers (with men).  What is it with these NFL teams?  Are they purposely trying to decrease their ever-decreasing attendance/TV rating numbers?  Men at football games do not want to see men cheerleaders.  They want to see cute girls in cute little outfits.  And for that matter, I don't believe many women want to see gay men prancing around on the field.  They'd rather watch the big, burly football players.

Sports Stars and Bartenders Are Not Slaves.  George Orwell once observed that "we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."  Clearly, such are the times in which we now live, considering that it's become necessary to explain why multi-millionaire sports stars are not, in fact, anything close to resembling slaves.  You wouldn't know that to hear some of them speak.  On HBO's The Shop last year, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors quipped that we shouldn't use the term "owner" to refer to NBA team owners, because it is racially insensitive to the predominantly black players in the league.  Now, at least two teams have "done away with" the term "owner," ostensibly due to the word being a key component of "slave-owner."

Dodgeball isn't just problematic, it's an unethical tool of 'oppression': researchers.  The games children play in schoolyards are famously horrible, if you stop and think about them.  Tag, for example, singles out one poor participant, often the slowest child, as the dehumanized "It," who runs vainly in pursuit of the quicker ones.  Capture the Flag is nakedly militaristic.  British Bulldog has obvious jingoistic colonial themes.  [Another game] involves deliberate imposition of corporal punishment on losers.  But none rouse the passions of reform-minded educational progressives quite like dodgeball, the team sport in which players throw balls at each other, trying to hit their competitors and banish them to the sidelines of shame.

TV Ratings for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Down 20%.  TV ratings for game two of the NBA Finals were in the toilet.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ratings for the Warriors win over the Raptors Sunday night were down 20% from the same slot last season.  TVByTheNumbers reported the game got 10.79 million viewers. [...] I think it's safe to say the NBA has a gigantic problem on its hands.  These numbers are atrocious.  I'm honestly not sure they could get much worse at all.

On the other hand...
NBA Finals Game 3 Tickets Sell for $50,507.50 Per Seat.  Tickets to Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors are selling for an absurd amount of cash.  According to Darren Rovell, two tickets were sold Sunday [6/2/2019] for the price of $50,507.50 each.  Another pair was sold for the combined total of $88,388.  This comes on top of some tickets to game four selling for over $80,000.

NFL Network shows slashed, tensions rise after $20M cuts.  The NFL Network is being forced to cut $20 million out of its projected budget and, in the process, already has eliminated at least five shows, including one that featured Deion Sanders, The [New York] Post has learned.  The less-than-hoped-for budget has made negotiations with on-air personnel tense, and there is a feeling some will either not be retained or be forced to take pay cuts, according to sources.  The moves have been made as part of the NFL's overall budget, which includes what is expected to be an amped-up celebration of the NFL's 100th season this year.  NFL Network has apparently absorbed part of the project into its budget.

Yankees ban Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' over 'history of potential racism'.  The New York Yankees' anti-racism efforts have extended to pulling from their seventh-inning stretch a famous recording of the legendary Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."  Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.  The Yankees pulled Smith's "God Bless America" from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday [4/18/2019] — "the Yankees were made aware of Smith's history of potential racism."

Flyers following Yankees lead and are dumping Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' over her racist lyrics.  The Flyers wasted little time in following the Yankees lead.  A day after the Daily News reported the Yankees had stopped playing Kate Smith's 1939 recording of "God Bless America" in the middle of the seventh inning over her racist lyrics, the NHL's Flyers made the same call.  And took the extra step of covering a statue in her honor outside the Wells Fargo Center.

Yankees ban Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' over 'history of potential racism'.  The New York Yankees' anti-racism efforts have extended to pulling from their seventh-inning stretch a famous recording of the legendary Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."  Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.  The Yankees pulled Smith's "God Bless America" from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday — "the Yankees were made aware of Smith's history of potential racism."

The Editor says...
What is potential racism?

Lawsuit is filed in Amalie Arena attack blamed on man who served 46 years for rape.  A woman severely beaten last month at Amalie Arena has filed a lawsuit against the company that manages the venue and the cleaning it service it hired, alleging they were negligent in employing a man released from prison after serving 46 years for rape.

CBS Cameras Cut Away the Moment Texas Tech Starts Praying.  CBS cameras cut away from the Texas Tech locker room the moment their head coach entered the room and began leading the team in prayer.  The network seemed to have no problem letting their cameras linger, while the announcers filled time and waited for the coach to arrive.  However, moments after the coach Chris Beard arrived, the team began to pray and the cameras cut away to a shot of the announcers.

Report: FBI Went To Baton Rouge to Investigate LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade.  The FBI reportedly went to Baton Rouge to investigate LSU basketball coach Will Wade.  Wade is currently suspended after he was allegedly caught on a wiretap offering payments to a star recruit.  He didn't coach in the NCAA tournament, and it's unclear if he'll ever coach at LSU again.  Now, it sounds like he might have bigger problems to worry about than a return to the bench.

Dodgers fan suffers skull fracture in fight outside stadium, police hunt suspect.  A Dodgers fan was hospitalized with serious injuries after a fight in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium following Friday's [3/29/2019] six-hour game, according to police and the victim's family.  The assault stemmed from a "verbal dispute" between two men outside of the stadium following the Dodgers game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Lt. Silvia Sanchez with the Los Angeles Police Department told Fox News.

New York Man Fakes Kidnapping to Avoid Paying 50k Super Bowl Bet.  Gambling on the Super Bowl is technically illegal in most states, but you're not likely to land you in jail unless you decide to fake your own kidnapping when you can't pay out on bets.

Major League Baseball Ditches 'Disabled List' Over Social Justice Concerns.  Major League Baseball will replace the "disabled list" with the "injured list" for the 2019 season amid concerns that the term "disabled" was insensitive.  The "disabled list" has been part of professional baseball since the mid-1960s (though there are records of some teams using a "disabled list" as far back as the early 20th century), and it's become second nature to refer to an injured or exhausted player as "on the DL," but MLB has been reportedly playing around with the idea of renaming the injured roster in order to better reflect the condition of players who skip games for medical or physical reasons, according to ESPN.

Foul ball officially blamed for killing elderly woman at Dodgers game.  A 79-year-old woman was killed when a foul ball struck her in the head at a Dodgers game during the 2018 season.  Linda Goldbloom died [8/28/2018] from a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma, according to a Los Angeles County coroner’s report obtained by ESPN.  While Goldbloom’s family did not attempt to hide the cause of death — even saying the “end came by a foul ball at [Dodger] Stadium” in an email notification the day she died — the Dodgers made no public mention of the incident, nor did MLB.

Woman, 79, was killed by foul ball at Dodgers game last season: report.  A 79-year-old woman was killed when a foul ball struck her in the head at a Dodgers game during the 2018 season.  Linda Goldbloom died from a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma, according to a Los Angeles County coroner's report obtained by ESPN.

WaPo Super Bowl ad demonstrates exactly what's wrong with the media.  The Washington Post sponsored an ad during the Super Bowl that may have been the most pretentious, the most exaggerated paean to the religion of journalism ever created.  They call it "Democracy dies in darkness," and it features a grand, sweeping musical score and actor Tom Hanks seriously intoning the importance, the necessity, and the need to worship journalism. [...] The Washington Post spent millions on this ad, and the reviews were decidedly mixed.

Super Bowl LIII was a ratings bust, scoring lowest viewership in 10 years.  The Los Angeles Rams weren't the only losers of Super Bowl LIII.  Sunday's big game was a ratings flop for CBS, with viewership hitting a 10-year low.  Preliminary numbers from Nielsen show a 44.9 rating for the championship, down 5% from last year and the lowest Super Bowl ratings in a decade.

CBS rejects pro-flag, anti-Kaepernick 'Just Stand' Super Bowl ad.  A veteran-owned apparel company's pro-flag Super Bowl TV ad that punches back at Nike's promotion of Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protests has been rejected by CBS.  According to the firm, Nine Line Apparel, CBS was apparently not satisfied the firm could pay for the 45-second ad, despite having annual revenues of$25 million.  A spokesman for Nine Line charged that CBS didn't like the ad's content.

Another Nail In The NFL's Coffin.  As a lead up to the Super Bowl being played later today, there was a series of interviews of NFL cheerleaders, past and present, including one of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  The big "bombshell" however, was the announcement that for the first time, the Rams' Cheerleading Squad would include males.  Following this announcement was a series of discussions by current cheerleaders, including these males, who promoted this decision as "enhancing the dance' aspect of cheerleading."

Patriots Ignite Political Debate On Success.  American politics at the moment can pretty much be explained by what you make of the record sixth Super Bowl victory by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft.  One view of it is to marvel at, and celebrate, the hard work, risk-taking, and skill that produced the achievement.  That's the more conservative view of it.  Another is to complain about it and wish the winning were more evenly distributed.  That's the more left-leaning view of it.

Tribal Battle?  Senator Pocahontas Goes After Owner Of Washington Redskins.  1/1024th Native American Senator Elizabeth Warren is attacking the owner of an NFL Team named after Native Americans for buying a $100 million yacht.  Senator Pocahontas also known as Fauxcahontas over her claims of Native American heritage has come out firing today against the owner of the Redskins.  The owner, Dan Snyder was in the news this week for purchasing a giant superyacht for $100 Million.

10-year-old proves Tom Brady is a cheater, wins science fair.  The science is ironclad:  Tom Brady is a cheater, according to a 10-year-old's fair-winning project.  Ace Davis, who attends Millcreek Elementary in Lexington, Ky., wanted to do something different for his experiment.  With the help of his mom and his sister, Davis set out to prove Brady and the New England Patriots cheated by conspiring to deflate footballs during the AFC Championship in the 2014-15 season.  Hypothesizing that "under-inflated footballs provide a competitive advantage in a game," the Davis family took turns throwing footballs at different PSI — measuring for distance and accuracy.

Why Is There a War on Cheerleaders?  In The Boston Globe, Margery Eagan, Globe columnist and co-host of NPR's "Boston Public Radio," wrote a column titled "It's time to say goodbye to the NFL cheerleaders."  She described NFL cheerleading as "creepy and demeaning."  USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour came to the same conclusion:  "The underlying premise of NFL cheerleaders is degrading. ... NFL cheerleaders need to go."  Chicago Tribune sports reporter Shannon Ryan wrote, "The league has shown only that it regards cheerleaders as pieces of sideline eye candy."  To make her point, she asked, "why aren't there scantily dressed male cheerleaders and dance teams?"  Only the well-educated could ask such a stupid question — because only the highly educated deny that, with few exceptions, the only people who would like to see scantily dressed male cheerleaders are gay men.

NFL's first male cheerleaders to make Super Bowl debut in Atlanta.  When the Los Angeles Rams secured their spot in Super Bowl 53, they ensured at least their cheerleaders would make history.  As members of the Rams' spirit squad, Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, will be the first men to perform with an NFL cheerleading team during a Super Bowl.

The Editor says...
Why do NFL teams have cheerleaders?  Why do NFL games have halftime shows?  Why do NFL stadiums have half-acre video screens?  It's all because football fans have short attention spans, tickets cost a lot of money, and football itself isn't all that interesting.

Louisiana eye doctor offers free exams for NFL refs after Saints crushing loss.  A Louisiana eye doctor has graciously offered free eye exams to the NFL referees who oversaw the New Orleans Saints' crushing overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game on Sunday [1/20/2019].  Taking to Facebook after the game, which headed into overtime shortly after a controversial no-call late in the game's fourth quarter, Louisiana Family Eyecare said it would "hate for someone else to feel our pain."

Trump Administration Takes Aim At Online Gambling In Sudden Wire Act Reversal.  First it was sports betting.  In May of 2017 when SCOTUS was debating whether or not to grant cert to New Jersey's bid to strike down the federal prohibition of sports betting, Trump's Acting Solicitor General, Jeffrey B. Wall, filed an amicus brief recommending that the Court deny cert.  SCOTUS disagreed and took the case.  And even though the federal government was not a party to the "sports betting case" (Murphy v. NCAA), Wall participated in oral arguments in an effort to uphold the now defunct Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act ("PASPA").  Wall famously advocated that since New Jersey could theoretically repeal all sports betting laws and allow 12-year-olds to place wagers in casinos that PASPA was constitutional.  SCOTUS, in a 6-3 decision, disagreed.  Despite taking a loss on sports betting, the Trump administration is now throwing a potential haymaker at all online gambling, including poker, lotteries, and potentially even daily fantasy sports.

U.S. Online Gambling Reversal Puts 'Chill' on Industry.  The U.S. Justice Department's decision to expand a federal prohibition on internet gambling will cast a pall on the industry as businesses and state lotteries evaluate the implications of the change and the government's plans to enforce it.  The U.S. now says the U.S. Wire Act bars all internet gambling that involves interstate transactions, reversing its position from 2011 that only sports betting was prohibited under the law passed 50 years earlier.  While the federal law specifically prohibits transmission of wagers and related information across state lines, the Justice Department's new interpretation will impact all online gambling because as a practical matter it's difficult to guarantee that no payments are routed through other states, said Aaron Swerdlow, an attorney with Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP in Los Angeles.

Those poor NFL wage slaves.  Nobody forces anybody to play in the NFL.  NFL players are well aware of the physical ramifications of pro football — the high possibility of brain damage and crippling injury.  They are also aware of the financial ramifications and have not been slow to cash in.  They enrich high-powered lawyers who find ways to make them ever more money.  Taking advantage of still other ramifications, they father kids all across the fruited plain.  No slave ever dreamed of such a life.  Anyone making millions of dollars is no slave, and anyone paying someone else millions of dollars to play a game hardly has a slave mentality.  It's a hard-nosed business mindset on both sides.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Winning games may be important, but to some people it isn't as important as the color of the coach.
With 4 Black Head Coaches Likely Losing Their Jobs, NFL Could Have a Problem on Its Hands.  The NFL could be on the brink of a battle with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a diversity group that advocates for minority candidates to get NFL head coaching opportunities.  On Monday, three black NFL coaches are expected to be fired — Steve Wilks (Arizona Cardinals), Todd Bowles (New York Jets) and Vance Joseph (Denver Broncos).  And on top that, another black coach, Hue Jackson, was fired by the Cleveland Browns earlier this season.

Empty Seats Galore:  Thousands of Empty Seats Plague NFL in Week 15 of Season.  Regular season of the NFL is winding down and the stadiums were plagued with thousands of empty seats. [...] Americans watch sports to escape the daily stresses of life and work; we don't want to watch spoiled millionaire SJWs protesting the American flag and disrespecting our Veterans.

NFL's Buccaneers offer free tickets amid sagging attendance.  The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving out free extra tickets to season ticket holders ahead of Sunday's clash with the Carolina Panthers amid sagging attendance at home games, according to a report Wednesday [11/28/2018].  Season ticket holders reportedly received an email this week offering two complimentary tickets, the Tampa Bay Times reported.  The free seats were being issued on a first-come, first-serve basis and had to be reserved by Thursday.

Plenty of good seats available
Week 13 Proves Unlucky As NFL Continues to Struggle with Attendance.  As Week 13 began to wind down on Sunday, it became clear that 13 was still unlucky for getting fans in the seats at some games.  As far as some were concerned, Cincinnati's Paul Brown stadium could have used a few more fans as the Bengals got beat convincingly by the Denver Broncos, 24-10.

NFL Thug Caught On Camera Brutally Beating 19 Year Old Girl.  Seventy seconds.  That's apparently how long it takes to flush a promising NFL career down the toilet. [...] The league that had turned a blind eye to the endless criminal infractions of its players (average of at least one arrest a week) can't afford to ignore violence against women.  Not in this #MeToo era, anyway.

NFL Dumps Anthem Kneeler Reuben Foster Over Domestic Violence.  You may have seen a version of this story before because when Reuben Foster isn't protesting "police brutality" by hating on the anthem, he's allegedly smacking around his better half. [...] Can the Nike campaign be far behind?

Are You Ready to Stop Watching the Never-Ending Commercial?  [Scroll down]  The point is that television programs are little more than commercials for promiscuity, unfettered immigration, socialized medicine, gay rights, and the rest of the Democrat agenda. [...] For those who seek refuge in sports, the NFL and its broadcasters have surrendered completely to the Democrat platform.  The NFL is unable to stop the National Anthem protests, while the sponsors embrace the protesters.  The athletes make headlines by refusing to attend White House functions during GOP administrations.  The NFL uses its tremendous leverage to bully state and local governments to adopt certain policies.  The NFL refuses to run ads by the Border Patrol during the Super Bowl.  Broadcasters often refuse to say they word "Redskin" for fear of offending someone. [...] The only question is whether you will pay to endure that commercial.  In the past two years, NFL ratings and attendance have declined.  Unless you have developed a gambling addiction through your fantasy football league, there is no reason to devote your Sundays to the NFL instead of joining your fellow consumers in finding something else to do.

ESPN Loses 2 Million Subscribers This Year.  According to Disney's recently released annual report, sports network ESPN has lost 2 million domestic subscribers over the course of 2018.  Disney's report revealed that the company's sports network, ESPN, currently has 86 million subscribers.  This is down two million from the 88 million subscribers to the sports commentary and news station in 2017.

NHL player Evander Kane facing $6M lawsuit as ex-girlfriend claims he reneged on $3M abortion payment.  An unidentified woman filed a $6 million lawsuit this week, claiming that NHL player Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks failed to compensate her for abortion procedures undergone while they were a couple.  The woman claims that Kane, 27, impregnated her three times after they began dating in 2015, and that Kane forced her to end the last two pregnancies after they mutually agreed to end the first, TMZ reported.

Four Jacksonville Jaguars stars involved in 4am London brawl over $60k bar bill.  Three of the four Jacksonville Jaguars involved in an incident at a night club over a bar bill of more than $60,000 have taken to the field less than 24 hours after their release.  Safeties Barry Church, 30, Ronnie Harrison, 21, and Jarrod Wilson, 24, who were detained early Saturday morning [10/27/2018], played Sunday when the Jaguars lost 24-18 to the Philadelphia Eagles at Wembley.  Cornerback DJ Hayden, 28, who was also detained in the incident, was out due to injury.  The Florida American football team confirmed that some of the squad was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police because they didn't seem to settle payment for the hefty check they racked up before they made their way toward the exit.

Ryder Cup spectator hit by Brooks Koepka's shot blinded in one eye and plans to sue organizers.  The woman hit in the face by a Brooks Koepka shot at the Ryder Cup says she has been left permanently blind in her right eye.  Corine Remande, 49, says her "eyeball exploded" after being caught by the American's drive on the sixth hole on the tournament's opening day on Friday.

Mom files federal lawsuit after son doesn't make high school soccer team.  A St. Louis mom is making a federal case over the fact that her son didn't make the high school soccer team.  The unnamed woman, whose son is a junior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School — located in the most affluent section of the city — filed a lawsuit in federal court this week, claiming the coach's decision discriminates against her child.  The boy, called John Doe in the Wednesday [9/26/2018] filing at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, played on the junior varsity team last year, and the suit claims he's good enough to do so again[.]

Disney CEO Bob Iger says ESPN has become too political: 'The pendulum may have swung a little bit too far'.  Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that ESPN has become overly political.  When asked by The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview published Thursday how the sports network has changed over the past year, Iger said that the network is working on reeling in its politics and focusing on sports.

'Disturbed' umpires revolting after Serena Williams feud.  Fellow umpires don't want to be the next Carlos Ramos.  There is an uneasy feeling amid tennis umpires after the WTA and USTA took Serena Williams' side following her on-court feud with Ramos during Saturday's US Open final.  The Times of London reported that some umpires are considering boycotting Williams' matches.  Ramos, 47, was "thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it," one anonymous umpire told the English paper.

Serena Williams fined $17,000 for code violations at U.S. Open.  Serena Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations during her loss to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final.  The tournament referee's office on Sunday docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket.

Whining Serena Williams is tennis's Hillary Clinton.  No one expected Naomi Osaka to win the US Open yesterday.  Everyone favoured her opponent.  The crowd was solidly with Serena Williams, as were the bookies.  But the 20-year-old Japanese-Haitian, who became the first player representing Japan to win a Grand Slam, prevailed against all the odds.  Victory, however, was bittersweet.  The crowd booed her.  The announcers were in shock. 'Perhaps it's not the finish we were looking for today,' said one prominent commentator, adding 'This mama is a role model and respected by all.'  Muted kudos at best for Naomi.

Wife of former NFL quarterback 'terrified' he will kill her after domestic violence arrest.  The wife of former Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer has told police she is "terrified" that he will kill her and her daughter after he was arrested for domestic violence.  Kramer, a journeyman who played in the NFL and CFL for more than a decade, was arrested on suspicion of felony corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant at his home in Agoura Hills, California, last week.  The 53-year-old was released on $50,000 bond and was "cooperative" during the arrest, police told the Los Angeles Times.

John Daly quits USGA as golf cart war escalates.  John Daly is taking his ball and carting home.  The colorful golfer said he will not play again in a tournament run by the USGA after the organization denied his request for use of a golf cart during the U.S. Senior Open.  "Just not worth it to me," Daly told USA Today, after withdrawing Monday [6/25/2018] from the tournament.  The two sides had dug in to their positions — Daly insisting he has a bad right knee, and insisting he has medical evidence to prove it, while the USGA says it "offered Mr. Daly the opportunity to provide additional information" to justify his cart use, and says he would not.

Ratings way down for NFL opener.  The NFL's opening Thursday night game got disappointing TV ratings for a league that is battling perceptions of rapidly declining popularity.  NBC announced a 13.4 overnight rating for the Super Bowl champion Eagles' last-second win over the Falcons.  That was way down from the 14.6 for Chiefs-Patriots last year, which itself was way down from a 16.5 for Panthers-Broncos the year before, which itself was way down from a 17.7 for Steelers-Patriots the year before that.

NFL Kneelers Season Kicks Off with a Whimper: 10 Year Low in Ratings.  The NFL kicked off last night [9/6/2018].  The ratings were at a 10 year low.

Not just the NFL, but NCAA football has a hidden attendance problem too.  The 2018 collegiate football season opened Thursday night [8/30/2018], a happy time of year for millions of us fans who enjoy watching the game played eagerly by young men who aren't yet spoiled millionaires with a political agenda to show off.  But there's a problem, a hidden attendance problem.  Maybe you've been at a game and heard a strong attendance figure announced, then looked around and said, "This sure doesn't look like 48,000 people."  You were right.  The Wall Street Journal has done a fascinating analysis of announced NCAA attendance last year and actual attendance by real tickets scanned.  Turns out, there's a huge difference.

More players join high school sports nationally, but football declines again.  As the academic and athletic school years begin across the nation:  A good sign for U.S. youth conditioning:  For the 29th consecutive year, participation in high school sports has increased, especially among girls.  An ominous sign for football:  For the second consecutive year the number of boys in 11-man football has declined.  And so slightly have the number of schools fielding such teams.  According to the latest numbers from the National Federation of State High School Associations, the total number of students participating in high school sports was 7,979,986.  The federation writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities.  This included 4,564,680 boys and 3,415,306 girls, a record for girls and an increase of 15,000.  Football remains by far the most popular high school sport.  Last season 1,035,942 high school students played 11-player football.  That's a decline of 21,465, or 2 percent, from the previous year, which had seen a 2.5 percent drop.

Urban Meyer: The Hillary Clinton of College Football.  [R]eading through the full findings of the Urban Meyer investigation, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between Meyer's scandal and those of ol' Crooked Hillary Clinton.  Meyer was aware that his assistant coach Zach Smith was arrested in 2009 for domestic assault of his pregnant wife while both coaches were at Florida.  Meyer brought Smith to Ohio State anyway.  Meyer was aware in 2014 that Smith racked up a $600 bill at a strip club while on a school recruiting trip, but didn't report him to Athletic Compliance.  Meyer was aware in 2015 that Smith was again being investigated for domestic abuse.  But despite an entire other host of personnel problems that led the athletic director to suggest Smith be fired, including frequent tardiness, misuse of funds, and drug addiction, Meyer refused.

ESPN reaches another new low in its Little League coverage.  The crying shame of it all is that ESPN could have been the best thing to happen to American sports.  Instead, it has senselessly, purposefully and relentlessly become the worst.  Consider what ESPN has done with and to the Little League World Series, an event that should be treated softly and simply as per the common sense treatment of kids at play.  Twenty years ago, ESPN began to exploit 12-year-old LLWS participants to ask questions that would produce answers that served as in-game advertising.  Favorite movie?  Favorite TV show?  Favorite sportscaster?  Favorite vacation spot?  If the kid gave a Disney, ABC or ESPN answer, bingo! — it appeared in a graphic.  It was transparently cheap and disgusting, but ESPN was just getting started.

What a refreshing hobby!
Man bites off golfer's finger to the knuckle at Massachusetts golf club.  An argument between two golfers at a Massachusetts golf club turned bloody Friday when one of the men bit off the other player's finger, reports said. [...] A 47-year-old man, who was not identified, was arrested at the scene and charged with mayhem.

Will the Soccer Bubble Burst?  When I was a small boy in England, I would go with a friend and stand on terraces of a stadium in a crowd of up to 70,000, having paid an entrance fee (in purely nominal terms) of 14 cents.  A ticket to watch the same team play today — in a much more comfortable stadium — would cost $70.  In those days, professional footballers had a maximum wage that was roughly equivalent to a skilled worker's wage.  They were stars only on the pitch, their lives off the pitch being both unknown and of no particular public interest.  After the match was over, they would catch the bus home. [...] Now, to be selected for a major team is virtually to become a millionaire overnight.

Football's in trouble — should you let your kid play?  [Scroll down]  Secondly, the concussion crisis is not limited to football.  In fact, some studies have revealed quite the contrary.  A study of high school athletes reported by the Winston Salem Journal in June of 2015 reported that, "In a population of 374,565 girls soccer players across the nation, there were an estimated 55,598 concussions — a rate of 14.8 percent.  Football players suffered concussions at a rate of 13.5 percent in 1,094,949 players."

The Editor says...
If you add up the numbers, that comes out to 203,000 kids who suffered concussions playing soccer or football.  (And that doesn't include broken arms, legs and necks.)  I can assure you that if 203,000 kids had suffered concussions resulting from after-school firearms practice, the gun-related activities would be stopped overnight.

NFL orders Jerry Jones to stop talking anthem, Fox 4's Mike Doocy cancels interview.  Four days after seemingly defying the NFL and letting the world know about his team's zero-tolerance policy regarding standing for the national anthem, Jones is now not talking about the issue because he has been told not to by the league.  Jones informed several local television stations who had booked him for interviews on their Sunday night show from training camp in Oxnard, Calif., that questions about the national anthem and his team's policy were not permitted because the NFL had told him to stop speaking on the matter.  It prompted Fox 4's Mike Doocy to cancel his interview with Jones.

The Editor says...
Please note that Mike Doocy didn't have to call Dallas to find out what to do.  Notice also that even though Mr. Doocy had every reason to be livid, he maintained his composure on the air, like the true professional that he is.

Baseball's Ministry of Truth Strikes Again.  For those not following the story, someone dug up some old tweets made by Hader while he was in high school.  The tweets are said to be racist, homophobic, and misogynistic.  They may well be, though after quite a bit of nubbing around online I've not been able to turn up the tweets themselves, just lots of stories about how vile they are.  Let's just assume they are.  Hader has fallen all over himself apologizing for the tweets, saying that he was young and stupid when he made them when he was 17 and that they in no way reflect the man he is today.  There's no reason not to believe him.  But this didn't stop MLB from sentencing him to re-education camp — both sensitivity training and to participate in "diversity and inclusion initiatives," whatever these might be.

Super Bowl champion charged with attempted murder after incident with woman.  Super Bowl champion Brandon Browner was charged with attempted murder along with three other felonies Tuesday after he allegedly assaulted a woman and held her against her will over the weekend in California.  Browner, 33, also faces robbery, burglary and false imprisonment charges, according to  He's also facing two counts of child endangerment — both misdemeanors.

University of Wyoming's 'cowboy' slogan rustles up some controversy.  "The world needs more cowboys," the University of Wyoming says in a new marketing slogan.  But apparently not everyone agrees.  The slogan has drawn backlash from critics, including faculty members and Native American groups, who call the catchphrase sexist, racist and counterproductive to university recruitment — because it excludes women and people of color, Reuters reported.  "Honestly, I thought it was a joke at first," associate professor Ellen Currano told the Chronicle of Higher Education.  "I thought it was a joke.  And then I looked it up on the university web page and saw that no, this was, in fact, serious."

No more tickets?  MLB fans will soon use fingerprints, facial recognition instead.  A tap of the finger will soon replace traditional tickets at baseball stadiums across the country.  Major League Baseball and CLEAR are teaming up to launch biometric ticketing, allowing fans to use their fingerprints — and eventually facial recognition — to enter the ballpark.  A pilot program will arrive at select venues later this season.  In 2019, MLB and CLEAR plan to roll out biometric ticketing to ballparks that utilize CLEAR and technology.  "We'll be able to immediately link [fans'] CLEAR accounts to their account.  Your biometrics — your face and fingerprint — become your ticket," CLEAR co-founder and CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker told FOX Business.

Should The Bucs Cut Jameis Winston After Allegations Of Groping An Uber Driver?  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will reportedly get suspended for three games, and it's time to take a look at his future with the NFL.  Winston is in hot water after he allegedly groped an Uber driver in Arizona back in March 2016.  The NFL is now preparing to hit him with a big suspension more than two years after the fact, and people are beginning to wonder whether or not the Bucs should show the former FSU quarterback the door.

Wife of former NFL quarterback 'terrified' he will kill her after domestic violence arrest.  The wife of former Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer has told police she is "terrified" that he will kill her and her daughter after he was arrested for domestic violence.  Kramer, a journeyman who played in the NFL and CFL for more than a decade, was arrested on suspicion of felony corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant at his home in Agoura Hills, California, last week.  The 53-year-old was released on $50,000 bond and was "cooperative" during the arrest, police told the Los Angeles Times.

Educational Fraud Continues.  During a recent University of North Carolina scandal, a learning specialist hired to help athletes found that during the period from 2004 to 2012, 60 percent of the 183 members of the football and basketball teams read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels.  About 10 percent read below a third-grade level.  Keep in mind that all of these athletes both graduated from high school and were admitted to college.

Wall Street Journal:  Baseball in Florida 'has been a disaster'.  The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing money, according to a story published Thursday [4/19/2018] by the Wall Street Journal.  Now, some are calling into question the experiment 25 years ago to bring Major League Baseball to Florida, which has hosted spring training for decades and has a wellspring of local talent as well as a large population of Latin Americans.

Ex-NFL Cheerleader Says She Faced Discrimination for Christian Faith.  Kristan Ware spent three seasons on the sidelines cheering for the Miami Dolphins.  But she declined to try out for a fourth season, claiming she faced discrimination because of her Christian faith.  Ware said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show that she was targeted for ridicule and mockery after she posted a photograph of her baptism on social media — along with a Bible verse.  "Why can't I be a cheerleader and hold my faith and stand firm in that," she asked.  Soon after, the cheerleading staff learned she was a virgin and planned on waiting for marriage to have sex.  That prompted a meeting with cheerleading director Dorie Grogan.  "Let's talk about your virginity," Grogan said, according to the complaint.

Does faith fit in at the NFL?  Two NFL teams have a lot of people talking, and it's not for off-season moves and draft prospects.  Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ann Ware is suing the Miami Dolphins for religious and gender discrimination.  "It was a year-long bout of incidences, and many got worse and worse" says Ware's attorney Sara Blackwell.  "It started with her being called into an interview, which was supposed to recap the year before the tryouts for the next year, and when she sat down for the recap of the year, her director and the coaches were all sitting there, and the director said, 'So, I heard you're a virgin; let's talk about your virginity.'"

Woman declines to sing national anthem at minor league game because she can't bring her gun.  After being offered an opportunity to sing the national anthem before a Nevada minor league baseball game, a woman has decided to turn it down after learning that she can't bring her gun to the stadium.  Alishia Wolcott was picked by the Reno Aces to sing after she submitted an audition tape in March, she told Fox News.  But after she and her husband went to the stadium on Saturday to attend a game as spectators, they saw security included metal detector wands, which she claimed was a new measure this year.  "Upon walking up to the stadium we saw the normal bag checks, and past that were men stopping guests and using the wand metal detectors before entering the game, which was an action just implemented this baseball season," Wolcott said.

MLB making record money, as fewer fans attend games.  Here's the good news for Major League Baseball:  Gross revenues were up again last year, exceeding $10 billion for the first time.  Local and regional TV ratings are grand.  Sponsorship and digital media are very prosperous.  Now, here's the bad news:  Overall, last year's prime-time TV ratings were down six percent with one team (Detroit) down an ugly 38 percent.

White Sox, Rays play in front of reported crowd of 974.  The White Sox (3-6) and the Rays (2-8) aren't exactly must-see attractions this season.  That is very clear by the number of people who showed up to watch the two teams play Monday [4/9/2018].  According to the Tampa Bay Times, the official number of people who used their tickets to enter the game was 974.  It's hard to believe that many actually entered the ballpark based on pictures from Guaranteed Rate Field.  The actual paid attendance for the game was 10,377.  This is the lowest attended game since April 28, 2015 when Camden Yards was closed off to the public for safety purposes due to rioting in Baltimore.  A total of zero people were in the stands that day.

Eagles' Michael Bennett Indicted for Injuring 66 Year-Old Paraplegic Woman; Arrest Warrant Issued.  Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman, who made headlines disrespecting the National Anthem at games last season, has been indicted for injuring a 66 year-old paraplegic woman.  The woman was working security at Super Bowl LI and, when she told Bennett to use a different entrance, he got physical with her, KHOU reports: [...] Houston police say that, if they encounter Bennett before he turns himself in, he will be arrested.  The Philadelphia Eagles, who traded for Bennett in a deal with the Seattle Seahawks in the off-season, say they're aware of the arrest, but have no comment.

Baseball coach fired after refusing to recruit students from states where pot is legal.  Texas Wesleyan University's head baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat was fired on Thursday after an email surfaced in which he told a prospective student from Colorado he would not recruit due to the state legalizing marijuana.  Jeffcoat stated that he and the baseball program would not recruit any player from Colorado because they were more likely to fail a drug test.  "In the past, players have had trouble passing our drug test.  We have made a decision to not take a chance on student-athletes from your state," Jeffcoat wrote in the email.  "You can thank your liberal politicians.  Best of luck wherever you decide to play."  The announcement of Jeffcoat's firing was made less than 24 hours later by Texas Wesleyan President Fred Slabach and Athletic Director Steve Trachier.

NBC still going for the gold in on-air blunders.  Most recently, sportscaster Dan Hicks [...] covered an Alpine race in which little-known Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic beat Austria's Anna Veith, and won the gold medal.  Ledecka, who ranked No. 43 in the world, was considered to have so little chance to win that Hicks declared Veith the winner and NBC switched away. [...] But the race wasn't over.

Perpetual Victims.  If you wanted to write a satire of leftist journalism, you could hardly do better than the sincere Sports Illustrated article on Meek Mill by DeAntae Prince.  It concerns the friendship, meant to seem rather touching, between Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin and the jailed black Philly rapper.  Much of the emphasis is on Rubin's "efforts to liberate the rapper" — as if Mill were France under the Nazi occupation.  Mill is currently serving a two-to-four-year prison sentence for repeated probation violations.  With unintended comedy, Prince describes this as "legal complications due to constant travel and a rapper lifestyle that clashed with his probation obligations."  The evasion is palpable here.  Imagine explaining to the IRS:  "I didn't pay my taxes, a legal complication, because doing so clashed with my lifestyle.  I prefer spending my money on gambling and whores."

Pro Football Player Who Protested Police Brutality Arrested for Domestic Violence.  An NFL player who protested the national anthem has been arrested for allegedly striking a woman.  San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Sunday on charges related to domestic violence, possession of an assault weapon and threats.  His bail has been set at $75,000, per ESPN.

California Lawmakers Moving to Ban Tackle Football for Kids.  Joining the trend seen in a handful of other states, California Democrats are preparing to outlaw tackle football for kids under 14.  State Democrats have introduced the "Safe Youth Football Act," and if passed, the bill would make California the first state to ban tackle football for kids.

The Decline of the NFL.  In 2015, the peak year, Katy Perry rode into the halftime show on a mechanical tiger in a body suit and a super-tight ponytail yanked mercilessly onto the top of her head.  She bragged to her audience, "I kissed a girl, and I liked it."  Then, while singing a duet with Lenny Kravitz, she kneeled beneath him as if about to perform a sexual act on him.  This was followed by Missy Elliott imploring her audience to "Get Your Freak On," an expression that Urban Dictionary tells me means "to have sex."  Families watching the Super Bowl together may not have wanted the embarrassment of explaining to Grandma what "getting your freak on" means, or the suggestion to an eight-year-old girl of what Katy Perry is doing kneeling beneath Lenny Kravitz that way. [...] Americans love football, but they are not willing to be bludgeoned over the head by virtue-signaling leftists like these.

Yay! Our team won!  Let's destroy stuff!  [F]ans in many cities have been known to riot after major sports victories.  Maybe the only difference is that some fans in Philly seem to take pride in it.

NFL Imperiled Its Brand By Playing Politics.  [Scroll down]  One big surprise, however, is the NFL.  It ranks as the sixth most divisive brand, with a +39 approval rating from Democrats, but a -11 among Republicans.  This is particularly noteworthy, given that no other major sport has a negative rating (even NASCAR scores a +18 among Democrats), and the fact that the NFL's fan base tends to skew Republican.  One survey found that registered Republicans were 21% more likely to be pro football fans than Democrats.  The polarization is almost entirely the result of the fact that the NFL let players play politics on the field all season long with their National Anthem protests.  This, in turn, helps explain why NFL ratings took a nose-dive in 2017.

NFL Lost $30 Million in Ad revenue Over Cratering TV Ratings.  With the 2017 NFL season now down in the record books as having lost another ten percent in TV ratings, the league has found a $30 million dip in ad revenue, a report says.  As the final numbers for advertisement sales for the season were tallied, the league discovered that its revenue fell 1.2 percent because "makegoods" rose to beat rate increases.  A makegood is a partial repayment of money charged to advertisers because the viewership did not reach the expected numbers to justify the top rate.

Anti-Trump ESPN host Jemele Hill will no longer host 'SportsCenter'.  Outspoken liberal Jemele Hill will no longer host ESPN's flagship "SportsCenter," ESPN insiders have confirmed to Fox News.  She will be re-assigned to a new role at The Undefeated, the company's site that covers the intersections of sports and race, according to Sports Illustrated.  The controversial Hill famously called President Trump a "white supremacist" on Twitter last year.

The Editor says...
If you report from "the intersection of sports and race," you are politicizing sports coverage on television.  The only thing more un-watchable is the use of sports metaphors to describe politics.

Jags-Pats Earn Lowest Early Game Rating Since 2013.  If you're the NFL this morning, looking at the ratings from Sunday's conference championship games, chances are you're mixing something extra strong into that morning coffee.  A regular season trend of declining ratings which then turned into a postseason trend of declining ratings, has culminated into a championship weekend of, you guessed it, declining ratings.

AMVETS says NFL censored its ad against flag protests.  AMVETS officials are decrying "corporate censorship" from the National Football League for their decision not to run an ad in their Super Bowl program which responds to league players' decision to kneel for the national anthem in protest of national equality issues.

'A decline in civility': Inside the tensions between NBA players and refs.  Saturday night brought more flare-ups, as the Toronto Raptors were incensed at late calls in their loss against the Golden State Warriors.  Raptors star DeMar DeRozan said it felt like they were playing "five on eight," a comment that will likely bring a fine from the league.  The Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban chimed in via Twitter, maintaining his reputation as the most vocal critic in the ownership ranks.  And to think, it had been just three days since Chris Paul — the Houston Rockets guard who is also the president of the National Basketball Players Association — teed off on longtime referee Scott Foster with reporters after he received a technical foul in a game against Portland.

NFL TV ratings drop nearly 10 percent during tumultuous season.  National Football League executives looking to stop a ratings skid continued to lose more yardage during the 2016-2017 season, as television viewership fell 9.7 percent across all networks, according to Nielsen data.  An average NFL game was watched by 1.6 million fewer people compared to last year, declining overall from 16.5 million to 14.9 million, ESPN reported.  The ratings slide bulit on an 8 percent drop from the prior season, which had been partially attributed to the hectic 2016 presidential election, the network added.

NFL looking at game plan to recover from record-low TV ratings.  The NFL is approaching the playoffs looking for a ratings turnaround after a year of record-low television numbers.  Outcry over players protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem isn't helping, but it's only one of several reasons fans are turning away from professional football, media analysts say.  Injuries to marquee players such as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, teams with losing records in the nation's largest media markets such as New York and Chicago, a glut of prime-time games, and viewers with other options have also taken a toll.

Report: ESPN's John Skipper Resigned Due to Sexual Harassment Issues, Not Substance Abuse.  Nearly two weeks ago, ESPN President John Skipper shocked the media world by suddenly resigning from his position at the "Worldwide Leader."  At the time, Skipper said he needed to resign to deal with substance abuse issues. [...] This explanation seemed rather suspicious.  Since Skipper had just signed a major contract extension the month before his resignation.

NBA enjoying ratings surge while NFL flounders.  While the NFL gets socked with ratings declines, the NBA is off to its second-most-watched season ever.  ESPN, which has telecast 30 games since the season's Oct. 17 opener, said Thursday [12/21/2017] that average viewership has soared 18 percent, to 1.8 million a game, from this point last year.  TNT, with 16 NBA telecasts to date, said its average is up 25 percent, to 2.1 million viewers.  Even NBA TV, with 41 telecasts, is up 25 percent, to 365,000.

AP Names Trump vs.  NFL As the Top Sports Story of the Year.  President Donald Trump has topped a second year-end sports list, this time making the top sports story of 2017 as voted by the Associated Press. [...] The president's criticism of the NFL's millionaire players for refusing to stand in respect for the playing of the national anthem became the talk of the nation especially after the NFL refused to attempt to mute the controversy that caused millions of football fans to turn off their TVs.

Why pro football's grown so hard to watch.  Today's league leadership didn't make football a great game.  It inherited one. [...] Current NFL execs had nothing to do with this.  They were bequeathed a sport of tremendous value.  And while the market price of the average NFL team has risen by an order of magnitude over the past generation, the league is destroying the game's true value. [...] The most obvious problem is the replay system, which has spread like a virus all throughout the game.  It seems like every play has to be reviewed, which means the naturally fast-paced nature of the sport is constantly interrupted while the refs reconsider every play in slow motion.

2 officials convicted at FIFA trial; 3rd awaits verdict.  Two former South American soccer officials have been convicted of corruption charges at a U.S. trial stemming from the FIFA bribery scandal, while deliberations will continue next week for a third official.

'Thursday Night Football' Ratings Tumble To Season Low With Broncos' Win.  At least with their 25-13 win, the NFL team from the Mile High City snapped an eight-game losing streak on the road in Week 15 of the season.  Not that many were interested, it seems — and we don't just mean all those empty seats in Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday [12/14/2017] in a season sideswiped by protests, controversy and ratings declines.  Snagging a 7.4/13 in metered market results, last night's TNF [Thursday Night Football] was a season low for the broadcast, on both CBS and NBC and simulcast on NFL Network.  Taking a double-digit hit, the December 14 game was obviously down from last week and also the comparable gridiron match-up of last year where the Seattle Seahawks beat the L.A. Rams 24-3.

NFL Ticket Prices Plummet as Protests Continue.  The NFL decided recently to move millions in donations to veterans groups and breast cancer reserach in order to fund social justice issues.  Colin Kaepernick's kneeling-for-the-anthem protest has had a lasting effect whether America likes it or not.  Now, because of all the nonsense on the field (which has stretched into Week 14 of this season) ticket prices have plummeted.  They're almost free!

NFL Just Doesn't Get It.  [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell is one of the enablers of the leftists, at the very least, and by extending his contract, the NFL owners are thumbing their noses at the American people, who, by the way, have been the ones who pay the salaries of the players and league officials, and allow those owners to reap their large profits.  However, the American people don't like to be insulted and have reacted by refusing to buy tickets, watch the games on TV, and not purchasing NFL merchandise.  All three of these money-makers for the league have shown sharp drops in income.  It is called biting the hand that feeds you.  The American people have decided, in large numbers, to no longer feed the NFL.  The NFL and Roger Goodell might think this will blow over and the cash will soon return, but they are wrong.

Weak 14: NFL Stadiums Look Like Ghost Towns As Attendance Crisis Continues.  The plague of empty seats which has befallen the National Football League reached biblical proportions this week, as teams continued to find it hard to fill stadiums.  Naturally, a large number of players also continued their anti-American protests during the playing of the national anthem as Week 14 rolled into stadiums everywhere.  And as a result, ticket prices are plummeting.

Ticket Prices Fall To $10 As Teams Struggle To Fill Stadiums.  The NFL protests have been lucrative for social justice charities — they'll receive a whopping $89 million in "settlement" money, redirected from veterans and breast cancer charity funds — but they're also becoming a boon for cash-strapped football fans.  It turns out, if you can still stomach a professional football game, you can now get tickets for about the same price as a couple of Starbucks lattes.

Roger Goodell's NFL contract is a slap in the face to all patriotic Americans.  The decision by the NFL Compensation Committee on Wednesday to give Commissioner Roger Goodell a five-year contract extension that could top out at nearly $40 million a year is pure craziness.  NFL owners are watching their brand implode and TV ratings for games plummet under a reckless commissioner — and they fail to see that Goodell is running the wrong game plan.  Giving Goodell a huge compensation package like this — 90 percent of it tied to incentives — is like giving Hillary Clinton an award for outstanding email practices and honesty.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons : More Empty Seats Than Filled Ones.  Tonight [12/7/2017] begins "Week 14" of the NFL and it's suicide season.  It began with given failed commissioner Roger Goodell a $200 million contract extension.  It continued a Thursday night playoff game featuring two tams fighting for the playoffs (that I have no intention of watching).

You can get tickets to an NFL game this week for under five dollars.  As of Thursday afternoon [12/7/2017], there are actual NFL tickets that are selling on the secondary market for under five dollars.  Of course, like all good deals, these tickets do come with a catch:  You need to live near Buffalo, have a high tolerance for cold weather and be willing to sit through three hours of a Colts-Bills game.

NFL Owners' 'social justice' bribe spectacularly fails.  Another progressive delusion was exposed yesterday as NFL owners discovered that their attempt to bribe angry black players into behaving themselves flopped as the nation watched.  Despite promises to donate almost $90 million to "social justice" causes (which seem to be charities ostensibly benefiting African-Americans) if players would only respect the National Anthem the way their colleagues in other major league sports do, various NFL players demonstrated their contempt during games.

Empty Seats Greatly Outnumber Spectators As NFL Attendance Crisis Continues.  With last week's Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football broadcasts closing out Week 12 with new lows in metered markets, and despite the nearly $90 million in social justice spending for players to end their constant, anti-American protests during the national anthem, Week 13 began with tens of thousands of empty seats in stadiums everywhere.

San Francisco 49ers' Eric Reid Says NFL Will Shift Charitable Funds to Fund Social Justice Causes.  San Francisco 49ers' Eric Reid told Slate Thursday [11/30/2017] he was told the NFL will allow funds from charitable campaigns to be shifted to fund a new social justice cause program announced this week.  Reid told Slate the plan to take away funds from breast cancer awareness and military service initiatives was one of the reasons he is breaking away from the Players Coalition.  Reid and the Dolphins' Michal Thomas announced their decision to walk away Wednesday, saying we "don't believe the coalition's beliefs are in our best interests as a whole."

Unconditional Surrender:  NFL Gives Players $89 Million for 'Social Justice' Spending with No Condition That Anthem Protests Will End.  The National Football League and player representatives came to an agreement on Wednesday evening, that the league would throw $89 million at so-called "social justice" issues.  The money represents a desperate attempt by the league to put an end to the constant anti-American protests held during the playing of the national anthem.  Though, the agreement does not include a condition that the anthem protests will end.

NFL owners appear poised to pay nearly $100 million bribe for nothing.  NFL owners seem poised to donate nearly $100 million (including some contributions from players) over seven years to support the favorite social justice causes of the players.  But in a perfect show of how incompetent they are, the owners will get nothing from the players in return.  No promise to stop disrespecting the national anthem or any other meaningful concessions.  Who taught these clowns to negotiate, Neville Chamberlain?  Obviously, they are used to trying to buy their way out of problems.  Can you even imagine the sum total spent bailing their pampered players out of legal beefs, domestic violence and sexual misconduct issues?  It would likely dwarf even Congress and Hollywood.

ESPN to lay off 150 people, latest round of cuts at sports broadcasting network.  ESPN President John Skipper announced Wednesday morning [11/29/2017] the network will be terminating approximately 150 employees, bringing the total number of employees the network has let go in 2017 to about 250.  Of the latest round of layoffs, Skipper stated, "We appreciate their contributions, and will assist them as much as possible in this difficult moment with severance, a 2017 bonus, the continuation of health benefits and outplacement services."  The employees that were let go worked in "studio production, digital content, and technology."

Cable Coverage Estimate Reveals That ESPN Lost Just Under a Million Homes in 2017.  One would think with the NFL, college football, and the NBA all in action, that it would be a great time to be a sports cable network.  Well, the one who thinks that would be wrong, it's not a great time to be a sports cable network.  Moreover, it's an even worse time if you're ESPN.  While it appeared as though ESPN had at least slowed the bleeding of subscribers this year, a massive loss of households from November to December, essentially put the the Bristol-based sports giant back on the same subscriber loss rate the company had experienced before.

NFL Ratings for 'Monday Night Football' Hit New Season Low.  Just when some industry observers were beginning to think that it couldn't get any worse for the NFL's primetime ratings this year, it gets much, much worse.  The NFL served up the Texans and the Ravens on the week 12 edition of Monday Night Football, and NFL viewers seem to have resoundingly said, "No thank you."

Much Like Their Television Ratings, NFL Merchandise Sales Plummet to New Lows.  The NFL has already received their fair share of bad news this holiday season.  First, the league finds out that all three Thanksgiving games saw double-digit drops in viewership from the previous year.  Now, along with that lump of coal, we learn that the NFL's merchandise sales have crashed as well.

NFL Plagued By Empty Stadiums As Anthem Protests Continue.  The NFL is in deep trouble and it's just getting worse with each passing week.  Most of their games over the weekend had more empty seats in stadiums than fans cheering them on.  And it wasn't just the National Anthem protests in the mix.  There were fights, scuffles and bad football to contend with.  It's exactly the opposite of what the NFL needs right now.  Over a dozen football players continued their protests over the weekend in their first test since the Thanksgiving holiday.  The protests and the boycott both continue.  And it's destroying the NFL.

Trump: America is 'fed up' with NFL national anthem protests.  President Trump said Tuesday [11/28/2017] that America is "fed up" with the NFL's "disrespect" to the country, extending his feud with the football league and its anthem-protesting players.  Just hours after Monday Night Football, Trump slammed the NFL on Twitter for being "out of control."

NFL Ratings Slump Continues.  Well, who would have thought that putting out a bad product and spitting on the American flag would be bad for ratings.  The National Football League has seen its week eleven ratings and they're not good: one million fewer viewers from last year.  The NY Post reported that the ongoing battle between Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been the center of NFL coverage.  Goodell has put up insane contract demands of a $50 million salary, along with free flights, and health care for his family — for life.  This coming from a man who has failed miserably to handle the national anthem protests that has engulfed the league in controversy.

Empty Seats Trend Moves into Week 12 in Stadiums Across the Country.  As The Gateway Pundit reported, not only has the NFL experienced a decline in game attendance, but its ratings have taken a hit.  The NFL's ratings are a train wreck — and there's no end in sight.

The NFL ratings slump is getting worse.  The TV audience for NFL games steepened its slide in Week 11, losing 1 million viewers versus last year's season-to-date average.  The 6.3 percent slump — worsening from comparable declines of 5.6 to 5.7 percent during the previous three weeks — plagued a week whose off-the-field drama made gridiron tackling seem almost tame by comparison.

ESPN Subscribers Drop to 14-Year Low, Putting Pressure on Disney.  ESPN lost 2 million subscribers last fiscal year, underscoring the challenge owner Walt Disney Co. faces attracting young people who don't pay for cable.  The network, one of the most watched on the cable dial, had 88 million U.S. subscribers at the end of September, including people paying for online versions, Disney said in its annual report Wednesday.  That's down from a peak of 100 million in 2010 and marks the lowest total since 2003.  To ensure the long-term future of one of its most profitable businesses, Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger is negotiating to include ESPN in new digital forms of pay TV, such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

Football players beat teammate unconscious at party, authorities say.  The alleged beating of a high school football player — allegedly by four of his teammates — has a small Minnesota town debating the topic of bullying.  The four players at Blue Earth Area High School, ages 16 to 18, face felony charges — including third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm — and aiding and abetting.

3 high school football players charged with raping teen girl.  Three high school football players have been charged with raping a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint after she left a Pennsylvania town fair.

ESPN Loses $1 Billion, More Layoffs Coming.  It's going to be a very unhappy holiday season for employees at ESPN as reports indicate more layoffs are coming between now and Christmas after massive losses to the anti-Trump sports network.  Somewhere between 60 and 100 employees are slated for the chopping block through the end of the year which represents $80 million in salaries ESPN is trying to salvage to offset an almost $1 billion budget shortfall.

Bucs likely gambled and lost believing Jameis Winston would grow up.  It's the headline everyone in Tampa feared, yet no one in Tampa could ever rule out:  The NFL is investigating an allegation involving Jameis Winston and an unnamed woman.  This was always the risk when the Bucs drafted Winston: their franchise quarterback would make the wrong kinds of headlines as a pro, just as he did in college.

Week 10 NFL Ratings In Freefall.  Imagine a bungee jump without the, eh, cord.  That's the picture in the NFL right now.

NFL to Jones: Behave or we'll try to take away your toys.  For the last few seasons, the NFL has looked more like the Keystone Cops than a well-run sports organization.  We've had Deflate Gate, inconsistent discipline for drug violations, criminal charges, etc.  This year, we've seen falling television ratings continue to plummet, especially for Sunday and Monday night games.  NFL profits are declining as well.  Amid all this, word broke over the last 24 hours that some NFL owners are considering ways to force Jerry Jones out of the league.  Are they freaking crazy?  I'm no fan of Jerry Jones, never have been.  He is crass and head-strong.  He is also one of the most successful team owners.  He took a team that was losing in the area of $1 million a month and turned it around.  The Cowboys are now valued at more than $4 billion.  That, apparently, isn't enough for some owners.  It seems that certain owners have decided that Jerry isn't playing nice.  They have discussed using a clause in the ownership contract that would allow them to force him to sell the Cowboys: [...] If the NFL survives the battle, it will not come out on the other side as the same NFL we know now.  That might not be a bad thing but are the owners really willing to risk losing millions, possibly even billions, to try to make a point?

Over 100 layoffs expected at ESPN after Thanksgiving, SportsCenter will reportedly be 'hit hard'.  Following a year of layoffs, ESPN is expected to have another round after Thanksgiving.  Over 100 staffers could lose their jobs in the layoffs, including positions on the television side, producers, executives and those in digital and technology, according to Sports Illustrated.  SportsCenter is expected to be "hit hard" and some on-air talent could be out of a job.  ESPN declined to comment to Sports Illustrated about the looming job cuts.  Layoffs have been occurring at ESPN multiple times throughout the last two years.

Vin Scully Refuses to Watch the NFL Due to Player Protests.  Beloved former Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has said that he will never watch another football game due to the player protests during the national anthem.  The 89-year-old, who broadcasted Dodgers games for almost 70 years, made the remarks at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium during a question and answer session after a speech he gave.  Everyone loves Vin Scully.  It's impossible not to.  I'm a lifelong Cubs fan and Harry Carey will always reign supreme in my heart, but I have no problem saying that Scully was the greatest sports broadcaster ever.

Why ESPN Could Abandon NFL Football.  As it struggles to regain heretofore heroic heights — levels of growth that are probably no longer attainable — ESPN has had to endure a slew of significant workforce layoffs (with more reportedly on the way) and a once-doting Wall Street that has turned a skeptically cold shoulder.  Astonishing increases in earnings, previously viewed as faits accomplis, now seem like fantasies from another world, thanks to the now-familiar combo of cord-cutting and burgeoning rights fees.  With so much of ESPN's universe asunder, it's not outlandish now to entertain a previously unthinkable prospect:  Might ESPN elect to go without rights to NFL games after the expiration of its eight-year deal for Monday Night Football in 2021?!

Knee-Taking Hate Hoaxer Bruce Maxwell Arrested for Behaving Like Sociopathic Thug.  The sort of athletes who refuse to refrain from disrespectful antics during the national anthem are not cut from the finest cloth.  Neither are inductees on the Hate Hoax List.  So the latest news on hate-hoaxing knee-taker Bruce Maxwell should come as no surprise.

TV Ratings:  World Series Climbs, Trouncing Sunday Night Football.  Sunday's Game 5 of the World Series — the last to be played in Houston and the second-longest on record — climbed again on Sunday night [10/29/2017], trouncing NBC's typically dominant Sunday Night Football in the process.  Early indicators have the Astros' 13-12 win taking the No. 1 spot for primetime — averaging a 12.8 overnight rating among households.  That's off 16 percent from the comparable Game 5 in 2016 but still the second-biggest Game 5 since 2003.  It also easily ranked as the biggest World Series game of 2017 thus far.

Will the NFL Be the First Legal Monopoly in US History to Fail?  Monday Night Football ratings are down.  NFL ticket sales are down.  Stadiums are half empty.  The NFL may cut 10 Thursday night broadcasts from the lineup.  NFL owners met in New York last week to deal with the kneeling crisis.  Now consider this: the NFL is a private monopoly established by an act of Congress, and it looks like it's going down.  How is such a thing possible?

TV Execs Scramble to Stop Plummeting NFL Ratings, Suggest Canceling Ten 'Thursday Night Football' Games.  Network executives are scrambling to solve the growing problem of crashing ratings for the National Football League, by cutting games to end the perceived "over-saturation" of football on TV.  To put an end to the sliding ratings, the executives are proposing that fewer games may be the ticket to stop that "over-saturation," with one idea being to cut Thursday Night Football by a whopping ten games.

NFL Ratings Continue to Crater As New Numbers Reveal Massive Two-Year Decline.  The NFL used to be the golden goose for television networks, and their ratings.  However, new numbers show that the league has gone from laying golden eggs for the networks, to just laying, well, eggs.  According to Nielsen data obtained by the Sporting News, "League games averaged 15.1 million viewers through Week 7.  That's down 5.1 percent from 15.87 million viewers during the same period last season and off 18.7 percent from 18.35 million viewers during the same period in 2015."

TV Execs Scramble to Stop Plummeting NFL Ratings, Suggest Canceling Ten 'Thursday Night Football' Games.  Network executives are scrambling to solve the growing problem of crashing ratings for the National Football League, by cutting games to end the perceived "over-saturation" of football on TV.  To put an end to the sliding ratings, the executives are proposing that fewer games may be the ticket to stop that "over-saturation," with one idea being to cut Thursday Night Football by a whopping ten games.

NFL Losing Viewers At Alarming Rate But Faces Limits On Its Response.  Last year, the NFL lost about a million regular-season viewers versus the 2013 and 2014 seasons.  It represented about a 6% fall-off — enough to be easily noticed and maybe even cause a little concern, but it could be written off as a one-year blip.  Last year's seepage has turned into a major break in the dam.  The league is now down about three million viewers per game from 2013 and 2014.  When the specific teams appearing, the scope of the telecast and the week of the season are taken into account, the decline is even more dramatic:  more than four million viewers, or in excess of 20%.

Widespread academic corruption lets UNC sports off the hook.  [Scroll down]  I take no position here on whether the NCAA should have penalized the University's sports programs.  But the key factual findings that form the basis for the NCAA's ruling appear to be true and the rationale for its decision is coherent.  The sham courses were, indeed, available to all students.  In fact, the majority of students who took them were non-athletes.  Thus, it was reasonable to conclude that the University did not provide its athletes with an unfair benefit.  It's possible that the sham courses existed for the purpose of helping athletes maintain their eligibility, and that other students simply took advantage of a benefit created and/or maintained for jocks.  However, the NCAA apparently found no evidence that this was the case.  Nor should we assume that the courses were created or maintained for the benefit of athletes.  More likely, they were created and maintained to benefit a much larger class of students — those who struggled in real courses.

NFL cash cow dries up.  Ratings are down 17% at CBS for its NFL games.  Part of this is the disloyalty of the league.  The Baltimore team moved to Indianapolis.  Cleveland's team moved to Baltimore.  Houston's team moved to Tennessee.  Oakland's team moved to Los Angeles.  St. Louis's team moved to Arizona.  One Los Angeles team moved to St. Louis, while the other moved back to Oakland.  Then the St. Louis team that moved in from Los Angeles moved back to Los Angeles, and the San Diego team moved to Los Angeles.  There was no reason for these moves.  The NFL makes about $100 million a year in profits.  That's per team.  More than $3 billion a year.  The NFL allowed teams to move around for a few million more.

Suspension with pay = vacation.
ESPN's Jemele Hill will get paid while serving suspension for ripping Trump, Dallas Cowboys.  An ESPN host who got sidelined for two weeks after calling President Trump a "white supremacist" and urging people to boycott Dallas Cowboys' advertisers will pocket an estimated $40,000 or more during her time in the sports network's penalty box.  Jemele Hill was suspended for repeatedly violating the company's social media guidelines, but the punishment comes with a paycheck, according to a tweet from author James Miller, who literally wrote the book on ESPN.

Jemele Hill:  How Not to Learn From Experience.  Jemele Hill is an on-air ESPN personality.  In the last few years, ESPN has become notorious for emphasizing politics over sports; Ms. Hill is part of the problem.  Last month, she denounced President Trump as a "white supremacist" after he criticized NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem.  After that incident, she apologized for "letting her colleagues and company down" with the white supremacist tweet.  She did not, however, learn from the experience.

ESPN Suspends Jemele Hill After Calling For NFL Advertiser Boycott.  Liberals aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.  ESPN lives and dies by the NFL so Jemele Hill is telling people to boycott her own network.

Budweiser considers ending their NFL sponsorship over protests.  In the wake of increased national anthem protests by NFL players, Anheuser-Busch is reconsidering its NFL sponsorship, likely because the protests are very unpopular among everyday Americans.  Bud Light currently serves as the official beer of the NFL.  So the company set up a hotline for fans to call and give their thoughts about the protests and Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship of the NFL.

Budweiser Considers Dropping The NFL — Asks Customers For Input.  This is huge.  If Budweiser ends its business relationship with the NFL over the National Anthem protests, it will send a shock wave through the world of professional sports.  The company is asking for input from their customers.  It's a very smart move.

How the sneaker giants became the shame of college sports.  The numbers are staggering.  Ohio State has a 15-year, $252 million deal with Nike, which is just ahead of Texas's $250 million deal with Nike.  That's more than $500 million for two schools.  If you think that could buy a lot of textbooks, consider this:  Nike's revenues in 2016 were $32.6 billion.  The GDP for the nation of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis' Latvia was $27.6 billion.  Adidas's revenue last year was $22.65 billion, slightly more than Starbucks ($21.31 billion).  Under Armour's revenue was $4.83 billion in 2016, more than double from $2.33 billion in 2013.  "There is a major arms race going on," George Belch, a marketing professor at San Diego State, recently told the L.A. Times after Under Armour signed UCLA to a record 15-year, $280 million merchandise deal.

The NFL Leaves America.  With attendance and viewership in decline, the NFL has increasingly embraced gambling as a way of boosting its own profits at the expense of those vulnerable to that addiction.  Its decision to move the Raiders to Las Vegas will make football seem more like a game of roulette or blackjack than family entertainment. [...] The current NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has played footsie with gamblers by making deals with weekly fantasy football games, which are thinly disguised gambling, while fans are deciding not to fill stadiums in several major markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Why is the FBI trying to enforce NCAA rules?  In 2006 — to pick just one among the many, many NCAA scandals over the years — two less-than-reputable agents gave the family of the University of Southern California's star running back, Reggie Bush, gifts and benefits, including the free use of a house, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  They did so in the expectation that Bush would sign with them when he decided to turn pro.  (He didn't.)  Although the university was severely punished by the NCAA, the FBI chose not to look into the matter.  Why would it?  Giving a star athlete's family the use of a house may be unseemly, and it may violate NCAA's rules regarding amateurism, but it doesn't violate the laws of the United States.  Not even close.  And yet on Tuesday [9/26/2017], the US attorney for the Southern District of New York — that was Preet Bharara's old jurisdiction, before the president fired him — announced with great fanfare that it had cracked a college basketball bribery scandal.

Nine suspended Florida players now face multiple third-degree felony fraud charges.  Nine Florida players have been suspended since the start of the season and are now facing third-degree felony charges related to an investigation into improper debit card charges and alleged fraudulent use of credit cards. [...] The nine players all faces at least two felony charges, one for fraud under $20,000 and one for impersonation.

NFL Players [are] Arrested Every 7 Days On Average.  The National Football League is in a golden age right now:  It's been 23 days since one of its players has been arrested.  The average time between arrests is just seven days, while the record without an arrest is slightly more than two months, at 65 days, according to, which "provides an interactive visualized database of National Football League player Arrests & Charges," the site says.  Players get arrested for a variety of crimes: drunk driving, drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, gun violations, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, theft, burglary, rape and even murder.

Farewell to the National Football League.  For my health, sanity and productivity, I quit watching the NFL regularly on television about the time Clint Longley single-handedly beat the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, 1974.  I tuned in periodically in the early '80s, but gave it up entirely by the end of the decade — in part because I was then living abroad.  When I returned to the States nearly a decade later, I found I no longer cared, and eventually even gave up on the Super Bowl.  There was never the slightest chance I would go back, but even if I wanted to, I couldn't, as I cut the cable long ago and learned I can live quite happily and more cheaply without it — no sports, no CNN, no Fox News.  But even if I hook up the old satellite dish again here in my rural New England community, I still wouldn't watch pro football now that the NFL and some of its players have injected racial politics into a sport that, more than any other, pioneered on-field integration and got white America cheering for black athletes.

Networks Could Lose $200 Million if NFL Ratings Slide Continues.  If NFL fans continue to turn away from football, the TV networks could lose as much as $200 million in earnings, according to a new report.  After ratings for Week Two crashed, adding to the angst already felt by a poor showing in Week 1, industry insiders and analysts are sounding the alarm.  A new report claims that CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC could take a $200 million hit to their estimated $2.5 billion in NFL advertising earnings if fans continue to turn off the TV, the The Hollywood Reporter noted recently.

Aaron Hernandez's family sues NFL, Patriots amid CTE revelation.  An attorney for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez announced Thursday [9/21/2017] a $20 million lawsuit had been filed in federal court against the New England Patriots and the NFL on behalf of the ex-player's former fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and the couple's daughter.  The lawsuit was filed the same afternoon as it was announced that Hernandez had been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  The 18-page filing, a copy of which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports, contends both the league and team "were fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage."

Kaepernick Tweets Support for ESPN's Jemele Hill After She Called Trump a 'White Supremacist'.  ESPN has come under fire after "SportsCenter" host Jemele Hill tweeted that President Donald Trump is a "white supremacist" who is "unfit and unqualified" to be commander-in-chief.  ESPN's public relations department later tweeted a statement, saying that Hill's comments do not represent the position of the network.  ESPN took no action against Hill for her comments, however, which has led to criticism.

Jason Sehorn says he was told to 'curtail his political aspirations' when he joined ESPN.  ESPN is taking heat from one of its own employees, with former New York Giants cornerback taking issue with the fact that he was asked to avoid any talk of politics when he joined the network in the wake of the recent Jemele Hill controversy.  'I, as a fan and a viewer, tune into ESPN and I don't want politics,' said Sehorn on Wednesday morning [9/13/2017] during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

Fourth and Long for the NFL.  Television ratings declined, last season, for the National Football League's games.  This came as a shock to the Lords of the NFL. Ratings are not supposed to decline.  The NFL's ratings never decline.  This is a law of nature. [...] While football is still supreme among sports, those ratings declines are incontestable.  And not only are fewer people watching, there are measurable declines, also, in the number of young people playing.  This is true even in, of all places, the state of Alabama where football is a kind of secular religion.  Where people will tell you that football isn't life or death... that it is more important than that.  Still, according to the Alabama High School Athletics Association, the number of players there declined by 7% from 2015 to 2016.

ESPN host under fire again for calling Trump a 'white supremacist'.  ESPN's Jemele Hill is under fire once again for her controversial comments.  The SportsCenter co-host has been slammed for describing President Trump as 'a white supremacist' in a post on her Twitter page.  The sports commentator ignited the social media tirade Monday [9/11/2017] during a conversation regarding 'racist' singer Kid Rock's potential Senate run.

As Brain Injuries Increase, National Enthusiasm for Football Fades.  The head-injury epidemic in the NFL has changed what was once a beloved pastime into a spectacle that degrades its viewers. [...] Football's kinetic energy — a function of the masses and velocities of the hurtling bodies — has increased dramatically in 50 years.  On Alabama's undefeated 1966 team, only 21 percent of the players weighed more than 200 pounds.  The heaviest weighed 223; the linemen averaged 194.  The quarterback, who weighed 177, was Ken Stabler, who went on to a Hall of Fame NFL career — and to "moderately severe" CTE before death from cancer.  Today, many high-school teams are much beefier than the 1966 Crimson Tide.  Of the 114 members of Alabama's 2016 squad, just 25 weighed less than 200 and 20 weighed more than 300.  In 1980, only three NFL players weighed 300 or more pounds.  Last season, 390 weighed 300 pounds or more, and six topped 350.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  is a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head.  A subtype of CTE is dementia pugilistica (DP), i.e. "punch-drunk," as it was initially found in those with a history of boxing.  CTE is most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, rugby, ice hockey, boxing, professional wrestling, stunt performing, bull riding, rodeo riding, and other contact sports who have experienced repeated brain trauma, such as concussions and blows to the head that do not produce concussions.  The presence of CTE in domestic violence is also being investigated.  It can affect high-school athletes following just a few years of participation in sports.

Fox Sports to cut commercials to just six seconds during NFL games to try and hold viewers attention.  NFL ratings dropped in 2016, and in an attempt to fix the problem, Fox Sports will reportedly experiment with six-second advertisements alongside their traditional 15- and 30-second spots.  According to a report by The New York Times, Fox Sports is attempting to make the six-second advertisement an 'industry standard'.

Here's why ESPN is imploding.  ESPN's first problem has been the move of TV viewers to cheaper online viewing platforms.  With younger viewers increasingly choosing to forgo expensive cable packages in favor of selective products like Netflix, ESPN has been left with big bills and not enough subscribers.  Making matters worse, ESPN continues to charge existing subscribers an excessive premium for its product.  Why does it do so?  In part, because it must.  After all, ESPN has spent the last few years spending billions of dollars on broadcasting rights for a wide array of tournaments.  Had they negotiated more effectively — perhaps sacrificing one sport to disabuse other sports of their confidence in demanding astronomic broadcast fee payments — ESPN could have reduced their front-end costs and offered lower subscriber rates.

ESPN yanks Robert Lee and becomes a metaphor for everything wrong in media.  Some news stories are so insane that the first reaction has to be disbelief.  That was the case Tuesday night when it was revealed that ESPN had pulled a broadcaster from covering a football game simply because he has a similar name to a Confederate general.  In one ridiculous move, ESPN became a metaphor for everything wrong in media.  Poor Robert Lee, an Asian-American with no relation to Army of Northern Virginia Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was scheduled to announce the University of Virginia's home opener.  But after the Charlottesville protests ESPN feared that his name might be a "trigger" to its nonexistent audience of social justice warriors, following.

Report: ESPN Removes College Football Announcer From Game Because He's Named 'Robert Lee'.  ESPN confirmed via emailed statement that they did, indeed, take Robert Lee off the UVA game over the fact that his name was close to that of a Confederate general.

ESPN, the worldwide leader in liberal idiocy.  So let me ask, "what if I told you that ESPN decided to pull an Asian-American announcer from calling a University of Virginia football game because his name is Robert Lee?"  Your answer would probably be, "you're making it up."  But I'm not.  It is reliably reported that Robert Lee was slated to call Virginia's game on September 2 against William and Mary, but because of events in Charlottesville, which originated with a dispute over removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, he has been reassigned.

ESPN Pulls Game Announcer Robert Lee Because His Name Is Too "Triggering".  If ever you doubted that ESPN was the sporting epicenter of liberalism, well, consider this the day you can put those doubts to rest.  In what can only be considered the most ridiculous, over-the-top, example of political correctness running amok ESPN has pulled a college football announcer from the game between William & Mary vs the University of Virginia because his name is Robert Lee.  Seriously, you just can't make this stuff up.  Oh, and Robert Lee is Asian (pictured left) but even his ethnicity couldn't save him from the executive level stupidity and delicate sensibilities of ESPN.

ESPN pulls announcer Robert Lee from covering a Virginia football game because his name is Robert Lee.  An announcer by any other name would announce just as sweet.  In what is sure to be a controversial decision, ESPN has decided to pull college football announcer Robert Lee from covering a Virginia football game this season due to the simple fact his name is Robert Lee, the network announced on Tuesday.  Outkick the Coverage's Clay Travis was the first to report the questionable decision.

ESPN Just Took Political Correctness Way Too Far.  In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, ESPN decided to pull one of its announcers from calling a University of Virginia football game — because his name is Robert Lee.  Lee, an Asian-American sportscaster who started with the network in 2016, was moved to a different game "simply because of the coincidence of his name," ESPN said, referencing the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

ESPN Exec on Robert Lee Controversy: 'No Biggie Until Someone Leaked it to Embarrass Us and Him'.  ESPN is now in full blown damage control mode over what would seem to be one of the more ridiculous self-made controversies in recent times — the decision to pull a broadcaster from a University of Virginia football game telecast because his name happens to be Robert Lee.  With cable news and social media reaction nearly universal in their criticism of ESPN, the Worldwide Leader is looking to calm the outcry from those on the left and the right over the decision.

ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVa Football Game -- Because His Name Is Robert Lee.  The man shown to the left is sportscaster Robert Lee.  The man to the right is Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  ESPN was afraid that viewers would mix them up.  Mr. Lee (the one who didn't die in 1870) was scheduled to announce next weekend's University of Virginia football game against William and Mary.  This match-up will be hosted in Charlottesville, which has a statue of Gen. Lee (who never provided NCAA play-by-play).  ESPN decided that this was far too confusing for their viewers to process.

The Name/Statue Game Has Barely Begun!  One of my daughters asks, are Robert Lees across the country scrambling to change their names, lest they be discriminated against by their employers?  Is Robert the new Adolf?  I say, Yes!  And it's only right.  But why stop there?  Think how many Thomas Jacksons and James Stuarts there are in the U.S. Why shouldn't they be discriminated against, too?

Asian Announcer Pulled off VA Football Game Because of His Name.  The cultural totalitarians at ESPN pulled an Asian man off the Virginia football game because his name is Robert Lee, the same as Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  These people are crazy.

The Editor says...
Ordinary viewers don't care what sports announcers' names are.  It doesn't matter if the commentator's name is Chuck Roast or Patty O'Furniture:  The names will be forgotten at the end of the broadcast, or about two seconds after the last time the names appear at the bottom of your TV screen.  (And if those names never came up in superimposed text, who would notice?)  I suspect that even the most rabid sports fan can't recall the names of the announcers on any televised sporting event they saw last week.

ESPN's Surrender to Grim New Reality.  With cable TV subscribers fleeing, the sports giant has to look for customers online.  That's not where the money is.

When did we vote on this?
UN to name Yankee Stadium a Palestinian Heritage Site.  Well why not?  If they own the Cave of the Patriarchs all bets are off and they own everything, including Yankee Stadium, which to American culture is hallowed ground for the memories of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson and at this rate, some day Aaron Judge.  In fact I'd be surprised if Mahmoud Abbas hasn't already put in his bid.  All he has to do is ask and UNESCO says sure, it's yours.  When it comes to those UNESCO clowns — the 195 nations that make up the UN's "heritage center" — the other shoe always drops.

Every female athlete I know has had an abortion:  US gold-medalist runner breaks 'sport's last taboo'.  A double-gold Olympic medalist claims every female track-and-field athlete she knows has had an abortion.  Sanya Richards-Ross, 32, said pregnancy and abortions are issues 'that are not really talked about, especially in sports.'  The Jamaican-American athlete revealed in her new book that she herself had an abortion — just one day before leaving for the Beijing Games in the summer of 2008.

Yankee Stadium attendance falls while TV ratings rise.  The Yankees are the big talk in New York sports right now.  But it's not all good.  Fans are psyched the young team is in first place, Yankee Stadium ticket sales aren't living up to the hype.  "I think people don't show up because it's really a pain to get here," one fan said.  Well, that's one way to look at it.  And it seems many Yankees fans would agree.  "$15 to get over the bridge, $40 to park," another fan said.  "It's still $100, $150 out of your pocket."

Jason Whitlock:  ESPN 'Lost the Culture War' to Left-Wing Deadspin.  The fall of ESPN is still a hot topic in sports media, but former ESPN commentator Jason Whitlock has a unique point to add to the litany of reasons for the famed cable sports network's troubles.  Whitlock says that left-wing sports blog Deadspin caused ESPN to veer left, and that was the seed that caused the network's downfall.  Deadspin, a popular but far-left website that forms part of the Gawker chain of sites, has targeted ESPN for political correction for several years with a long list of posts aimed at forcing ESPN to toe the political line of the extreme progressive left.

Did Too Much Caitlyn Jenner Doom ESPN?  Last week, ESPN, often referred to as the Worldwide Leader in Sports, laid off around 100 employees.  The cuts were painfully public and claimed the jobs of some of the top talent and most familiar faces at the network.  At the heart of the latest downsizing, as with earlier layoffs, is math:  The network has committed billions of dollars to broadcast live sports, and waves of cord-cutters now threaten the cash flow to pay those bills.  But amid the hand-wringing over the cable giant's business outlook, a subplot has begun to dominate the coverage:  ESPN'S politics.  "[The] collapse has been aided by ESPN's absurd decision to turn into MSESPN, a left wing sports network," wrote Clay Travis on Wednesday.  "ESPN made the mistake of trying to make liberal social media losers happy and as a result lost millions of viewers."

ESPN SportsCenter 6 Co-Host Michael Smith:  Every City in America Is Racist.  ESPN's determination to dig its own grave continues to move at high speed.  On Tuesday [5/2/2017], SC6 (short for SportsCenter 6) co-host Michael Smith intensely overreacted to the racist actions of a small contingent fans at a Major League Baseball game at Boston's Fenway Park, using what they did to tag every city in America as "racist."

ESPN Michael Smith:  All Cities in US are Racist.  After racist Boston chowder-heads threw a bag of peanuts with a racial slut at Orioles' player Andrew Jones, ESPN and black racist Michael Smith says all cities in America are racist or something.  I guess that means San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and New York are also racist cities eh Michael?  And ESPN wonders why they continue to lose viewers.  They axed 100 dirtbags a few days ago.  Why wasn't Michael Smith the racist one of them?

ESPN Loses Millions of Subscribers Since They Became a Left-Wing Political Mouthpiece.  ESPN has been hemorrhaging subscribers.  In two months in last year alone, they lost over a million subscribers.  They lost 621,000 in October, another 555,000 in November.  The bleeding continues and they keep pretending it doesn't matter.  All of ESPN is losing viewers.  ESPN2, according to Nielsen's estimates, lost 595,000 subscribers, and ESPNU — its college sports-focused channel — lost more than 700,000.  It admitted to losing 7 million subscribers between 2011 and 2015, Huff Po reported.  Every single day this year ESPN has lost roughly 10,000 cable and satellite subscribers.

ESPN yanks poem honoring cop-killer Assata Shakur.  An ESPN site targeting female sports fans on Thursday [4/27/2017] removed a poem paying homage to a convicted cop killer after "an oversight in the editorial process" led to the poem being published several days ago, the embattled sports giant told Fox News.  DaMaris Hill's poem "Revolution" had led the April 25 feature "Five Poets on the New Feminism," which was produced "in honor of National Poetry month... to reflect on resistance, redefining feminism and movement," according to a site description.  But Hill's poem opened with the dedication "(for Assata Shakur)," honoring the one-time Black Liberation Army member who has been hiding out in Cuba to avoid finishing a prison term for her murder rap.

Here come the ESPN firings, worse than we thought.  The mass firings can turn into a blaze.  The 40 to 50 pink slips that ESPN insider Jim Miller expected to be dished out may escalate to about 70 at the Worldwide Leader, according to the Sporting News.  Talent from all over — from front-facing TV personalities to online writers — is in jeopardy as parent company Disney looks to slash costs.  "This could be a bloodbath," one source said, according to the report.  And the carnage is coming soon:  ESPN will start its Bristol-based layoffs as soon as Wednesday [4/26/2017], according to Sports Illustrated.

Report: Massive ESPN Layoffs, Contract Buyouts Expected to Hit Over the Next Month.  The long-reported layoffs at ESPN will reportedly take place over the next month.  That, according to sports media reporter Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.  What hadn't been rumored or reported, until now, is that ESPN will look to actually buy out some talent currently under contract.  That represents a sharp departure from past ESPN policy.  The Bristol-based sports giant typically refrains from buyouts, because like many companies they don't see the sense in paying someone to not work.  The decision to depart from that way of doing business suggests that ESPN wants to have the layoffs and the massive talent shake-up completed quickly.

NBC Sports:  U.S. Flag at Baseball Games Too Political.  Everything is political to the overly sensitive mind of today's leftist.  When the Atlanta Braves unfurled a gigantic flag for the playing of the national anthem, it prompted an ultra sensitive member of the partisan media and his Twitter followers to express a whole host of ridiculous claims.  In a Twitter post this weekend, NBC baseball writer Craig Calcaterra complained that the presentation of Old Glory evoked overly political tones.

Hey ESPN, Here's Why You're Tanking.  ESPN's collapsing ratings has mysteriously occurred concurrently with their increasing venture into injecting leftwing political commentary into their sports programming.  This has not escaped the notice of several concerned shareholders who confronted the CEO of Disney, the network's parent company.

FIFA sends 1,300-page corruption probe to Swiss prosecutors.  FIFA has sent 1,300 pages of internal investigation reports into suspected bribery and corruption to Switzerland's attorney general.

NCAA Mixes Sports and Politics.  After a hiatus of more than 10 years, during which time the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) refused to hold championship events in South Carolina because the Confederate flag was not removed from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, an NCAA-sponsored event was held in Greenville, South Carolina.  The state was finally taken off the NCAA's "bad list" when the "offending" Confederate flag was removed in from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in July 2015. [...] Ironically, the NCAA games were originally slated to be held in neighboring North Carolina, in Greensboro, but the NCAA has now blackballed that state for political reasons.  In the North Carolina case, the Confederate flag was not the issue, but rather a North Carolina law drew the ire of the NCAA.  The law required "transgender" people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex found on their birth certificate.

Liberal ESPN is Financially Struggling & About to Begin Big Layoffs.  A few months ago ESPN acknowledged that perhaps they have been a little politically biased.  And the results are now more evident than ever.  They Sports network has become extremely political, with extremely liberal tendencies.  And now, the network is struggling to keep going.

Is ESPN Unraveling?  I don't know, but it's certainly hurting. [...] But don't worry.  You'll be seeing more women in front of the camera.  John Skipper, the left-winger who runs ESPN, has directed that more women appear in "front-facing positions" during NFL coverage.  If he doesn't pay them what the departing males earned, there may be a pay discrimination suit in ESPN's future.  Why is ESPN in so much trouble?  Mainly because people are "cutting the cable."

ESPN Loses Millions of Subscribers After Pushing Left-Wing Politics.  According to reports by Market Watch, in 2011, ESPN had 100.1 million subscribers.  In 2016, that sharply plummeted to 88 million.  This drop was a big hit to Disney, with losses being up to $7 a subscriber. [...] Much of this loss is due to the left-wing politics that ESPN has started to mix into its every day coverage of sports.

Report: ESPN Losing 10,000 Subscribers a Day Over Its Political Left Turn.  Once an indispensable sports powerhouse, cable TV network ESPN has gone from must-see-TV for millions of sports fans to financial boondoggle for owner Disney with the network losing up to 10,000 subscribers a day, a report says.  "A floundering ESPN, with rising costs and declining viewership, continued to sink Disney's financial results during its fiscal first quarter," reported.  With the impact of the flailing sports network, Disney's revenue fell 3 percent, and its profits sank 14 percent, the financial site reported.

Freedom or Football?  The National Football League has officially put the State of Texas on notice: if that state persists in denying men with peculiar sexual proclivities access to public rooms full of young girls with their pants down, then Texas may be denied the privilege of hosting any more Super Bowls.  To be precise, as you probably know, Texas lawmakers are proposing a law similar to North Carolina's, restricting access to public bathrooms and changing rooms to people of the actual biological sex for which those facilities were designed. [...] Why is this controversial?  Because it is "inconsistent with [the NFL's] values."  Really?  And when was this great table of NFL values etched in stone?  Would the NFL have taken up this issue as a matter of principle at any time prior to, say, five years ago?

Oh, he's got an illness, alright.
Man fakes illness in failed attempt to check into hospital with view of sold-out soccer game.  Officials in the small Italian city of Crotone figured things were going to get wild on Wednesday when Juventus, one of the country's best and most popular soccer teams, came to town to face its squad.  So they made a plan.  Along with bumping up security around the coastal city's sold-out, 16,000-seat stadium, officials also put extra guards around its hospital, according to reports, which happens to be situated across from the stadium and offers some of the best views of the action from its higher floors.

Former Baylor student alleges 52 rapes in 4 years by football players in lawsuit.  A former Baylor University students [sic] is accusing the football program to have fostered a "culture of sexual violence" in which coaches encouraged female students to have sex with recruits and players.  She says it led to at least 52 rapes by more than 30 football players over a four-year period.  In the lawsuit, the student — who is listed in the documents only as "Elizabeth Doe" — says she was raped by two football players in 2013 and that there were dozens more assaults of women involving other players.

SF 49ers Honor Colin Kaepernick with Team's Most Prestigious Award.  Following a season marred in controversy surrounding him taking a knee during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick has been honored by his teammates.  The San Francisco 49ers released the recipients of their team awards Friday [12/30/2016], and Kaepernick won the Len Eshmont Award, the team's "most prestigious honor" given to the "49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team."

The Editor says...
I guess I don't know what prestigious means.

ESPN posts second-worst 'Monday Night Football' season.  If not for this past Monday night's highly watched NFL game, The Walt Disney Co's ESPN network would have had its smallest audience for "Monday Night Football" in 2016 since the 2006 season. [,...] Monday's Dallas Cowboys-Detroit Lions game averaged 18.6 million viewers, the most ESPN has garnered for a "Monday Night Football" game since 2014.  That helped ESPN post an average of 11.4 million viewers for its 17 games this season, finishing ahead of only the 2007 season, when it drew 11.2 million, according to Nielsen data provided by ESPN.

NFL to end 'Pink October,' teams can choose own charities in 2017.  The NFL informed teams last week in a league-wide conference call that "Pink October" — a three-week window in October in which the league dressed up its fields, sidelines, and players in pink to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer — will not continue in 2017.

The Editor says...
The whole notion that the NFL players were universally enthusiastic about fighting breast cancer (and proudly wore pink shoes) was a sham.  The players — and even whole teams — do as they are told.  Moreover, the idea that wearing pink shoes will eliminate cancer is superstition at best.

Some football positions linked to high blood pressure.  It might not be obvious to those who spend Saturdays cheering on their alma mater on the gridiron, but playing college football is linked to changes that negatively affect the heart.  However, not all players are affected equally — position makes a difference, a new study finds.  In the research, linemen were more likely to develop high blood pressure over the course of a season than players in other positions were, according to the study, published Dec. 5 in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Les Moonves of CBS Blames Trump, Manning, Brady for NFL Ratings Collapse.  When trying to explain the NFL's massive ratings drop this year, CBS CEO Les Moonves has a particular culprit in mind when naming the fly in the NFL's ratings ointment.  Moonves blames Donald Trump.  Well, in fairness, he also blames Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  Moonves addressed reporters and analysts at the UBS 44th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Monday.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Moonves said that less-than-stellar ratings for NFL games earlier this season is the fault of Peyton Manning (retired), Tom Brady (suspended for the first four games) and Donald Trump (because too many people preferred his presidential campaign to football).

Colin Kaepernick scores $3.21 million NYC home.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — the soon-to-be free agent who's nabbed headlines for kneeling during the national anthem and defending late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro — can now call New York City home.  In summer purchase records only just unearthed, Kaepernick snagged himself a 1,733-square-foot condo in Tribeca for $3.21 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

American football could fall like the gladiators of ancient Rome.  This season, ratings for professional football are down 27 percent across all of the major networks:  ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS, according Forbes.  The decline in the ratings underscores a bigger truth that no one wants to face:  Nothing lasts forever.  And that includes the popularity of professional football, which now may be experiencing the slow, inevitable crumble of a Roman-style empire.

ESPN hemorrhaging viewers?  ESPN reportedly lost 555,000 subscribers this month, according to sports writer Clay Travis.  The drop in November for the sports media company comes right after its worst-ever month, when it lost an estimated 621,000 subscribers in October.

Three NBA teams boycotting Trump hotels.  It looks like three NBA teams — and maybe more — want nothing to do with property branded by Donald Trump.  The Bucks, Grizzlies and Mavericks have decided to stop staying at Trump hotels on road trips to New York City and Chicago in an effort to disassociate themselves from the controversial President-elect, according to an report.  One other Eastern Conference team, which ESPN has kept anonymous, also reportedly will abandon Trump SoHo hotel in favor of a different hotel in Manhattan when its contract expires at the end of the season.

NFL reviewing options to fix sagging ratings.  Think NFL games are too long?  At least one league executive may agree.  Speaking at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show New York conference Wednesday, NFL Media executive vice president Brian Rolapp said, "we don't blame everything on the election" and cited the need to hold the audience's attention as a significant reason for sagging national television ratings on prime time broadcasts.

Harvard cancels men's soccer season due to sexually explicit 'scouting reports'.  Harvard has canceled the remainder of its men's soccer season due to what the university has described as continued production of sexually explicit "scouting reports" by players, which graded recruits of the women's soccer team based on their appearance, according to the school's newspaper, the Harvard Crimson.  The practice of creating these reports dates back to a July 2012 email string created by members of the men's team.  The reports rate incoming women's soccer recruits on a numerical scale based on their sex appeal.  The ratings also included photos from the recruits' social media accounts, their positions on the team, assigned hypothetical sexual positions and vulgar, descriptive paragraphs assigned to each recruit, per a report last week from The Crimson.

Texas soccer coach, an undocumented immigrant, accused of abusing 8 players.  A soccer coach in Texas was arrested after he was accused of sexually abused eight of his players — boys between 10 and 15.  Police say more players are likely to come forward.  Marcos Ramos, an undocumented immigrant living in Corsicana, Texas, is also is wanted in his native Guatemala for sexually assaulting children, police said.  He faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and five counts of indecency with a child.

The NFL is in Decline.  There have been signals that the NFL — and all of football — may soon be in for hard times.  The game is increasingly brutal, and that brutality is not some fixable flaw.  Football is violent by nature, and if you take away the violence, you have soccer without the grace.  There is undeniable evidence of brain damage among former football players, some of whom suffer dementia and a few of whom have committed suicide, the reasons for which are unknowable but might plausibly include the beatings they took from the game.  Improvements in equipment and changes in the rules might make the game marginally safer, but perhaps not by enough to keep the lawyers outside the ramparts or, more important, persuade parents that they should let their children play the game.

College football player arrested after punching referee.  The Ventura County Star reports that Mount San Antonio freshman offensive linesman Bernard Schirmer was immediately ejected from the game and later arrested on suspicion of battery and taken to Ventura County jail.

The Moral Merits of American Football.  [F]ootball as it stands is now threatened by an ever-encroaching worldview that confuses competition for confrontation.  Proponents of this worldview perceive competition and morality as being impossibly incompatible, suggesting that a society's praise for competition becomes quickly antagonistic to cooperation and impedes the realization of universal equality.

How do these ultra-fragile people expect to survive college — or a career?
Herky the Hawk's grimace too 'aggressive' for fragile students, Iowa professor says.  A University of Iowa professor is asking the athletics department to make the university's mascot, Herky the Hawk, display friendlier facial expressions, arguing that his angry grimace is traumatizing students.  "I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages," Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics, wrote Tuesday [8/23/2016] in an email to athletic department officials, obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Why Do Women's Sports Even Exist?  My, my, there those feminists go, complaining again.  This time the whining concerns supposedly "sexist" Olympics coverage.  Their problem?  Many journalists are, we're told, using different language when talking about female athletes than when speaking of male ones.  Oh, the humanity!  There's the guy who credited a female swimmer's husband/coach for her success, the talk about a six-foot-three-inch South Korean woman volley ball player's difficulty finding a boyfriend, and a reporter who called an equestrian rider "blondie."  Putting aside the female teacher who once called me blondie when I was 13, let's have a reality check.  Do you really think sports commentators don't look for storylines, often infused with frivolity, relating to male athletes?  And insofar as the treatment is different, so what?

South Carolina high school football player dies at practice.  Coroner Helen Fisher said Lewis N. Simpkins, 14, of Lexington, was pronounced dead Wednesday night at Lexington Medical Center.

ESPN Loses 4 Million Subscribers In Past Year.  In the past five years ESPN has lost 11,346,000 subscribers according to Nielsen data.  If you combine that with ESPN2 and ESPNU subscriber losses this means that ESPN has lost over a billion dollars in cable and satellite revenue just in the past five years, an average of $200 million each year.  That total of a billion dollars hits ESPN in the pocketbook not just on a yearly basis, but for every year going forward.  It's gone forever.

OSU basketball player dies after team workout.  Junior college transfer Tyrek Coger died Thursday after collapsing following an Oklahoma State basketball team workout, the university announced.

And this is why soccer is just stupid.  If soccer were an interesting game, that would be one thing.  But it's not.  Basically, this seems to be the sequence with soccer:  There's a rhetorical prelude with trash-talking and fans making drive-by allusions to bumper-sticker versions of political history and social resentments.  Fans leave huge messes at local eateries.  A bunch of people gather in a stadium around some "pitch."  Referees show up with their armored personnel carriers and security guards, contracted by Blackwater.  A few guys run around on the pitch for a while in shorts.  Nothing much happens.  The fans riot and pillage.  Videos are posted on social media.  It all starts over again.

Cavaliers vs.  Warriors Game 7 Courtside Tickets Sell for Record $49,500 Each.  According to's Darren Rovell, online ticket marketplace StubHub sold a pair of courtside seats for Game 7 at $49,500 apiece — the highest price ever paid for a non-suite ticket in the site's history.

$50,000 Ticket for NBA Finals Game 7 Breaks StubHub Record.  A $50,000 ticket for Sunday's Game 7 of the NBA Finals has broken StubHub's record for the highest price ever paid to see a basketball game.  Actually, that's two tickets:  the customer bought a pair for one hundred grand.  And that new record could still be broken: other seats for the historic game on Father's Day at the Oracle Arena in Oakland are advertised for even higher prices.

The Editor says...
As a public service, I'll save you thousands of dollars by describing everything that will happen in the Big Game:  Some young man will bounce the ball a few times while he's jogging toward one end of the court, then some other big guy will take the ball away from him and go the other way.  One of them will throw the ball, another will catch the ball.  Before long, some fellow will throw the ball toward the goal, and it may or may not go through the hoop.  This will be repeated hundreds of times.  Throw the ball.  Catch the ball.  Bounce the ball.  When it is all over, you will return to your house and find nothing has improved — especially your bank account.  The game will have no lasting impact on your life, with one exception:  You will have been totally distracted and diverted from a number of serious problems that confront this country today and threaten your freedom.  You don't care about "politics."  You only care about a contest to see who can throw the ball, catch the ball, and bounce the ball with the greatest success.  Grow up.

The Greatest Anti-White Boxer of All Time.  Muhammad Ali, widely regarded as the world's most famous man, died Friday at age 74. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, he was a titan both as a boxer and a provocateur.  Because we live in an era much weaker and more sensitive than it was during Ali's prime, his death is being eulogized with the sort of solemn, sanctimony-addled, weak-tea, low-T, hagiographic twaddle we've come to expect from neutered zombie bloggers on antidepressants.  Just as mainstream history has Photoshopped all the warts off Nelson Mandela and MLK, Ali is now strictly framed as an inspirational figure who "spoke out against racism."

Investigators: Top FIFA officials split $80 million in bonuses.  Three top FIFA officials allegedly awarded themselves salary increases and bonuses totaling nearly $80 million over five years, according to contracts released by FIFA on Friday [6/3/2016].  Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke and former finance director Markus Kattner appear to have paid each other bonuses tied to the World Cup along with other incentives in the last five years since their departure from world soccer's governing body.

Waco PD Took "Extraordinary Steps" to Keep Baylor Football Accusations Quiet, School's Apology Rings Hollow.  Baylor University released a report yesterday [5/26/2016] summarizing an investigation conducted by the law firm Pepper Hamilton which found a systemic cover-up of multiple rape and assault allegations against the private Christian university's football players by administrators and the coaching staff.  The report reveals how the school's culture of protecting its cash-cow football program trumped all other concerns, including those of the victims of alleged sexual assault.  What is not in the report, but which was exposed by ESPN's Outside the Lines last week, is that the Waco Police took "extraordinary steps" to keep at least one alleged incident of non-sexual assault by a Baylor football player from public view, "given the potential high-profile nature of the incident."

Concussions tied to more school problems than other injuries.  High school and college students who get concussions may struggle more with academics than their peers who get other types of sports injuries, a small U.S. study suggests.  Researchers surveyed 70 students who received emergency treatment for concussions and 108 teens and young adults treated for other injuries.  With a concussion, students took an average of 5.4 days to return to school, compared with 2.8 days for other injuries.

Ballparks keep unleashing insane gut-busting food creations.  Concessions have come a long way from flavorless hot dogs and lackluster soft pretzels, but in the past few years stadiums across the country have been rolling out over the top junk food mashups that make a footlong seem tame.  Since when did peanuts and cracker jacks morph into chocolate-marshmallow covered bacon and burgers glazed with Monster energy drink?

Taking aim at New York's academic fat cats.  Gov. Cuomo has picked a truly obese target by telling New York's public university systems to get serious about cutting the fat — starting with bloated executive salaries.  Fact is, getting to the high rungs of both SUNY and CUNY looks to be the most lucrative career path in state government.  As the Empire Center for Public Policy notes in its yearly review of taxpayer-funded salaries, 47 of New York's top 50 publicly paid employees work for SUNY — and the other three for CUNY.  That includes SUNY Stony Brook's basketball coach and SUNY Buffalo's football coach, each paid nearly $450,000 — more than 2½ times what Cuomo makes.

University of California acknowledges negligence in death of football player.  The University of California has acknowledged its negligence was a substantial factor in the death of former California football player Ted Agu.  The 21-year-old defensive lineman from Bakersfield died nearly two years ago after a strenuous team workout.  His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that Agu had sickle cell trait and should not have been put through an exercise where players sprinted up and down a hill while holding a rope together.

James Naismith Created Basketball to Counter Football's Violence.  This Christmas, Concussion will bring to the big screen the latest saga in football's inherent reckoning with the damage and violence it inflicts upon players.  This sort of condemnation, however, is not new.  Over a century ago, opponents of football charged that the sport was too violent to deserve any reputable sanction in the United States.  The Washington Star newspaper featured an article titled "The Game of Manslaughter" lamenting that the 1897 football season had only just begun and "yet at least three deaths have already occurred as the direct results of" football.

Two Americas soccer bosses arrested as FIFA corruption scandal deepens.  Soccer bosses from across South and Central America were among 16 people charged on Thursday [12/3/2015] with multimillion-dollar bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights, in a dismantling of a Latin American soccer network by U.S. prosecutors.

The NFL Has Become Unwatchable.  Based on this year's experience, I have concluded that penalties, along with endless video reviews of plays, have made the game just about impossible to watch.  After every big play, you wait for the flag.  More often than not, it seems, it comes.  While some penalties are obvious, more often they appear to be called randomly, especially on important plays.  It is frequently impossible to say what distinguishes a particular hold, pass interference or unnecessary roughness from similar conduct that occurred a few plays earlier or later.  Given the lack of any apparent pattern in what constitutes a penalty, it is tempting to infer that referees insert them periodically to mold the flow of the game in a predetermined direction.

Attorney General Tells Daily Fantasy Sports to Stop Taking Bets in New York.  The New York State attorney general on Tuesday [11/10/2015] ordered the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, to stop accepting bets from New York residents, saying their games constituted illegal gambling under state law. [...] The cease-and-desist order by the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, is a major blow to a multibillion-dollar industry that introduced sports betting to legions of young sports fans and has formed partnerships with many of the nation's professional sports teams.

Texas high school football player dies after collapsing during game.  A Texas high school football player died Saturday evening after he reportedly collapsed during a game on Friday [10/16/2015]. [...] [Cam'ron] Matthews is the sixth high-school football player to die since early September, according to USA TODAY.

The Editor says...
You can safely bet that if the schools had gun ranges instead of football fields, and six students died in gun classes in a period of two months, the gun classes would be permanently outlawed.  Why are football-related deaths acceptable?

Thursday Night Football is a menace to American families.  My husband's dish list keeps me busy while he lounges on our couch watching the games.  Some years, I don't get to all of them, and they roll over to the following year.  Some dishes become beloved and therefore frequently repeated.  On Sundays during the football season, my husband doesn't accompany me to the many children's birthday parties that our kids get invited to.  We don't make plans to go out.  My husband isn't responsible for errands.  We don't do any shopping.  I don't engage him in conversation about anything more complicated than "What's the score?" and "So you want more of that?"

The Editor says...
Well, lady, it is obvious that the television has a higher priority than you do.  Perhaps you ignored the warning signs before you married this guy, but now you're stuck with him.  You could convert to his religion (football, that is), or, you could treat his affection for the TV as an addiction, which it is.  If you ask him rational questions to point out the fruitless futility of his hobby, it will only make him angry.  For example, if you ask him how his life is any better or worse on Monday morning because his favorite football team won or lost, he won't have an answer other than "shut up."

Congress: Hold Hearings on Fantasy Football.  A new form of gambling has suddenly appeared in America, and the outfits raking in the money claim that what they're doing is perfectly legal.  In the last four years, two recently formed companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, have collected billions from the mostly young men who place bets on their smartphones on what's called fantasy football.  Many people first heard about this when a DraftKings employee won $350,000 for coming in second place in a FanDuel contest that cost $25 to enter and featured $5 million in cash winnings, including $1 million to the winner.  The New York attorney general is investigating whether the employee benefited from inside information, but the bigger question is the eye-popping jackpot.

The NFL Went a Full Month Without an Arrest.  Not a single player in the National Football League was arrested in September, the first month without a reported arrest since July 2009.

Court Strikes Down Payments to College Athletes.  The N.C.A.A. may restrict colleges from compensating athletes beyond the cost of attendance, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday [9/30/2015] in an apparent victory for the college sports establishment as it fights back efforts to expand athletes' rights.  The ruling upheld a federal judge's finding last year that the N.C.A.A. "is not above antitrust laws" and that its rules have been too restrictive in maintaining amateurism.  But the panel threw out the judge's proposal that the N.C.A.A. set a ceiling for members at paying athletes $5,000 per year in deferred compensation, stating that capping compensation at the cost of attendance was sufficient.

Texas high school football players say coach told them to tackle referee.  The Texas high school football players who brutally tackled a referee broke their silence, insisting their assistant coach told them, "You need to hit him."  Victor Rojas and Michael Moreno said the coach, Mack Breed, told them the referee "needs to pay the price" for hurling racial slurs and making unjustified calls after a safety got injured.  "His emotions just got mixed into it," Moreno, 17, said on Good Morning America Friday [9/18/2015].  "He told us to do what we did."

Texas high school football players say coach told them to hit referee.  A Texas high school football coach directed two players to strike a referee during a game because of missed calls that had hurt the team, the players claimed Friday during a national broadcast.

Louisiana high school football player dies from injury suffered at game.  A Louisiana high school football player has died after suffering an injury during a game Friday night. [...] Johnny Ogden, an investigator with the parish coroner's office, said the player collapsed on the field after impact with another player.  He was transported to the emergency room at Franklin Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.  The coroner's office was still investigating the precise cause of death, Ogden said.

Star HS QB dies after tackle during football game.  The star quarterback on a New Jersey high school football team died after suffering an injury on the field.  Evan Murray, 17, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, played for Warren Hills Regional High School. During a game Friday night [9/25/2015] at home against Summit he was hit by an opposing player late in the second quarter, the [New York] Daily News reported.

Priceless Liberal reactions to allegedly violent black burglar shot by police.  We don't know all the facts.  Maybe he fought with the cops and they shot him in self defense.  Maybe he didn't fight at all and they still shot him.  What we do know, however, is that he rammed a dealership with his car and started to deface the cars in the lot.  He wasn't shot walking home from the library; he was shot while committing an act of violence and destruction of property.

Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed College Football Player.  Officers were responding to a burglary call about 1 a.m. Friday [8/7/2015] in Arlington when they discovered someone had driven a vehicle through a front window of the Classic Buick GMC, according to a statement from the Arlington Police Department.  The statement said police approached the suspect and a struggle ensued.  At some point during the struggle, an officer shot Taylor.

The Editor says...
Why is the perpetrator identified, every time this story comes up, as a football player?  What difference does it make if he plays football?  He certainly wasn't playing football in the closed showroom of a car dealership well after midnight.  The clear implication is that the liberal press considers football players to be on a plane above all others.

Swiss widen FIFA money-laundering investigation.  The Swiss justice authorities have received new instances of alleged money laundering almost on a daily basis since the attorney general Michael Lauber announced on June 17 an initial 53 cases to be looked into.

Former FIFA official Chuck Blazer expelled from football by ethics committee for bribery.  Chuck Blazer was banned for life by FIFA's ethics committee on Thursday [7/9/2015] for widespread corruption, finally ending the career of the longtime most senior American in world football.

Swiss Chase 53 Fraud Cases Tied to FIFA.  Swiss authorities are investigating 53 potential cases of money laundering related to the FIFA probe, officials announced Wednesday [6/17/2015].  They're also looking at an additional 105 bank accounts for suspicious activity as the investigation into the world soccer body expands.  "I am well aware of the enormous public interest in our investigation.  Equally enormous is the public interest in an independent criminal procedure," the country's attorney general said.

John Oliver Toasts FIFA President Sepp Blatter's Demise by Chugging a Bud Light Lime.  [Scroll down]  Yes, Oliver was understandably ecstatic.  The sport that he loves had finally rid itself of what he called its "Swizz lizard" of a president.  "The timing of Blatter's announcement was notable for two reasons:  First, it was only four days after being reelected president.  That's like being elected pope and immediately announcing, 'Judaism makes some good points... I think I may have got this wrong,'" joked Oliver.  "And secondly, Blatter stepped down just days before the U.S. release of United Passions — a suspiciously glowing movie history of FIFA."

Amid Sepp Blatter resignation and FBI probe, some skeptical FIFA can change.  Several U.S. news outlets were reporting Tuesday [6/2/2015] early evening that the FBI is investigating Blatter for corruption.  While many are relishing in the possibility of a post-Blatter era in soccer, some analysts are less optimistic that any impactful change will happen immediately.

Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president amid bribery scandal.  Sepp Blatter is now at the centre of the FBI's corruption probe after the FIFA president sensationally announced he will be resigning after 17 years in world football's top job.  Federal agents, who last week charged 14 FIFA officials with corruption, have told the American media that they are hoping those men will help them build a case against their former boss.

FIFA's Corruption Is Typical of Unelected Globalist Institutions.  What does FIFA, the international soccer federation, have in common with the United Nations, Formula One, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC)?  They're all international organizations and they're all notoriously corrupt.  The corruption at FIFA, including the payment of millions of dollars in bribes, has now been uncovered by Department of Justice sleuths who indicted a number of senior officials and forced the resignation of longtime chief Sepp Blatter.  Whether this will bring long-term changes in the way that FIFA is run is questionable, however.  Certainly the track record of the IOC and UN would indicate otherwise.

Blatter's Top FIFA Deputy Is Said to Have Transferred Money Central to Bribery Case.  Federal authorities believe that Sepp Blatter's top lieutenant at FIFA made $10 million in bank transactions that are central elements of the bribery scandal engulfing international soccer, United States officials and others briefed on the case said Monday [6/1/2015].  The revelation puts the money trail closer to Mr. Blatter, FIFA's president, than had been previously known.

Nike becomes suspected player in alleged $150 million FIFA bribery scandal.  The international investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption at FIFA involved some surprising American names:  The Miami chairman of a popular nationwide soccer league, and a major U.S. sportswear firm some believe could be Nike.  For more than two decades, the Justice Department said Wednesday, five "unscrupulous" U.S. and South American sports and banking executives helped funnel more than $150 million in bribes to officials atop FIFA, the multibillion-dollar goliath governing the world's most popular sport.

FIFA Shows How Government Poisons Sports.  Rumors of corruption in the world of international sports are everywhere.  Shady advertising deals, fixed matches, and other misconduct amount to open secrets in the sports world.  Sochi's Winter Olympics were well understood to be more a front for graft than a sports competition.  Yet, somehow, last week's arrest of top FIFA officials stands out above the rest, and, if true, would be one of the most egregious events in the history of corruption in sports.

Players.  Any breaking story involving scandal among the powerful inevitably entails other recognizable names, either as victim, confederate or kibitzer.  Headlines in the last few days have been dominated by the arrest of top ranking members of FIFA, an acronym for a sports association that stands for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.  It controls the revenues which flow out of soccer football and has known cash reserves of $1.4 billion dollars, which — or so investigators allege — represent only a fraction of the actual moneys that the association deals with.  It's president, Swiss German "Sepp" Blatter, is so powerful that he is described in the press as a de facto head of state, a sort of president or prime minister.

Corrupt FIFA Has Clinton Foundation Ties; World Cup Host Qatar Gave Millions.  And just like that, another Clinton Foundation donor is in the news.  The Clinton global charity has received between $50,000 and $100,000 from soccer's governing body and has partnered with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association on several occasions, according to donor listings on the foundation's website.  Several top FIFA executives were arrested Wednesday [5/27/2015] in Zurich and face corruption charges stretching back two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

FIFA corruption probe targets 'World Cup of fraud,' IRS chief says.  The next step in the FIFA corruption investigation is extradition, whereby federal officials will attempt to bring suspects to the United States to face allegations they arranged bribes at meetings on U.S. soil, employed the U.S. banking system in conveying the bribes and created documents to cloak their activity, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday [5/27/2015].  "In short, these individuals, through these organizations, engaged in bribery to decide who would televise games, where the games would be held and who would run the organization overseeing organized soccer worldwide," she told reporters.

Report: Christie racked up $82,594 bill at sports stadium.  Chris Christie racked up a $82,594 bill at the concessions operator at MetLife Stadium during the 2010 and 2011 football seasons, the New Jersey Watchdog reported on Monday as part of a broader look at how the New Jersey governor spent $360,000 of his state allowance over five years.  The New Jersey governor spent $300,000 of that amount on food and alcohol, the report said, and pointed to the stadium bill as the most notable spending spree.

Chris Christie Spent $82,000 of State Money on Snacks at NFL Games.  New Jersey governor Chris Christie is a big football fan, but he is also apparently a big fan of snacks at football stadiums.  According to New Jersey Watchdog, Christie reportedly spent over $82,000 of taxpayer money on concessions at MetLife Stadium.  Christie paid for food and drinks at MetLife with a debit card 58 times over the 2010 and 2011 NFL seasons, accruing a bill of $82,594.  That means he spent an average of nearly $1,500 on food and drinks every time he attended a football game.

Report: Christie spent $300,000 in taxpayer money on food and drinks.  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has spent about $300,000 of taxpayer money on food and drinks during his five years in office, according to an analysis released Monday.  The report from New Jersey Watchdog found Christie spent more than $82,000 alone at MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, during the 2010 and 2011 football seasons.  The New Jersey Republican State Committee later reimbursed the state for the full amount, and Christie has since stopped using the expense account at sporting venues.

Deflated: the Statistically Impossible Patriots Fumble Record.  Patriots partisans are deflating the deflation controversy by arguing that their impermissible deflation of the footballs wasn't what allowed them to beat an overmatched Colts team.  Perhaps.  But a new statistical analysis reveals that if it weren't for deflation of the footballs, the Patriots might not have even been playing a series of home playoff games as the top seed.  Careful analytics reveal that suddenly in 2007, a strange and statistically impossible phenomena [sic] began to occur at Patriots games.

Why the '5 Best Baseball Movies' Are Actually Terrible.  $212.46.  That is what the average family of four spent at a major league ballgame last year.

In Baltimore, game at Orioles' locked stadium is safe, serene — and sad.  It was, by design, the safest and most serene baseball game in major league history.  It was also quite possibly the saddest.  When the Baltimore Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday [4/29/2015] at a locked Camden Yards in riot-torn Baltimore, the word "empty" described more than the stands.  Against a backdrop of thousands of vacant green chairs, amid such a deep silence that diving catches sounded like strikeouts, it was an afternoon filled with empty.

NFL Gives Up Tax-Exempt Status.  The National Football League is disavowing its tax-exempt status, which could help shield the sport from Congressional inquiries and financial disclosure requirements.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the decision Tuesday [4/28/2015] in a letter to team owners and members of Congress, calling the league's tax-exemption a "distraction," Bloomberg reports.

The move involves minimal sacrifice on the part of the NFL, because the tax break is only worth about $10 million per year — a fraction of the league's roughly $10 billion in annual revenue.

Orioles to Play White Sox on Wednesday in Closed Stadium.  After a pair of postponements caused by rioting in Baltimore, the Orioles and Chicago White Sox will play Wednesday at Camden Yards in what is believed to be the first game without fans in major league baseball's 145-season history.

Orioles Game Canceled Again Amid Violent Rioting in Baltimore, Wednesday's Game to Be Played in Empty Stadium.  The Baltimore Orioles game canceled Tuesday night's [4/28/2015] game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards due to the violent riots incited by the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of the Baltimore police.

In Boston Olympic Bid Vote, More at Stake Than Games.  The bad days have seemingly far outweighed the good since Boston was chosen in January over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington as the American candidate to host the Summer Games in 2024; it would be the first Summer Games in the United States since Atlanta in 1996.

2016 Rio Olympics: Sailing with sewage.  If Rio de Janeiro can't clean up Guanabara Bay in time for its use as the sailing and windsurfing venue for the 2016 Olympic Games, competitors could confront some unaccustomed challenges:  millions of dead fish, sewage, "floating sofas, plastic bags and even dead animals" and a deadly "super bacteria."  With the games only 17 months away, athletes are concerned and disappointed.

Watchdog Calls on NASCAR to End Funding to Al Sharpton.  A government watchdog group is calling on NASCAR to cut ties with the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in response to the cable news host's comments about police in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the questionable financial activities at his nonprofit groups.

Sex-trafficking survivor: The truth about Super Bowl and sex.  The Super Bowl [...] draws a massive audience from every demographic and pumps millions if not billions of dollars into our economy.  And every year, as if on cue, the city hosting the Super Bowl announces an awareness campaign to combat sex trafficking around what many in the media have referred to as "the biggest weekend for U.S. prostitution."

Falcons' Arthur Blank on crowd noise: 'What we've done ... is wrong'.  Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank introduced new head coach Dan Quinn, fresh off the plane from Phoenix, on Tuesday [2/3/2015].  And after the requisite excited-to-be-here's from Quinn, talk turned to the ongoing investigation of the Falcons regarding allegations of faked crowd noise at the Georgia Dome.  Blank was unequivocal, saying he was "angry and embarrassed" that the NFL is looking into whether Atlanta piped in crowd noise to impact play during Falcons home games over the last two seasons.

Fear and Loathing at the Nanny Bowl.  [Fortunately] the on-field action was so compelling, because the ads were so unpalatable.  By my rough count, there were at least two ads featuring people with no legs, one with a missing father, one with misogynistic anti-male crack from comedienne Sarah Silverman, and one ad bullying a ten year old boy because he said someone "plays like a girl."  (The horror.)  And perhaps most infamously based on comments on Twitter and even the London Daily Mail, one dead ten year old boy, thanks to Nationwide.

Super Bowl sex 'sting' nabs 570.  Some 570 would-be sex buyers were arrested in a national Super Bowl "sting" that ended on Super Bowl Sunday, an Illinois sheriff said Monday [2/2/2015].  Another 23 people were arrested for trafficking or acting as pimps, and dozens of adults and juvenile victims were recovered.

Media overinflate Super Bowl 'heroes'.  Let's remember a key fact as we prepare snacks and grab the remote to watch the Super Bowl.  The people playing in the game are important only because they happen to be good at football.  They aren't super heroes.  They aren't necessarily good at anything beyond football.  Some are philanthropists who give back to their communities, but even those efforts are the result of being good at football.

Sex-trafficking survivor: The truth about Super Bowl and sex.  The Super Bowl [...] draws a massive audience from every demographic and pumps millions if not billions of dollars into our economy.  And every year, as if on cue, the city hosting the Super Bowl announces an awareness campaign to combat sex trafficking around what many in the media have referred to as "the biggest weekend for U.S. prostitution."

The NFL Doesn't Want to Know How Deflate-gate Happened.  [W]e are just ten days from the Super Bowl and there is very strong evidence of cheating.  If the league quickly learns who is responsible, it would have to suspend the cheater(s) from the big game or be mercilessly ridiculed for turning a blind eye.  The NFL obviously does not want to suspend star players or coaches from its showcase event.

Jameis Winston Cleared of Rape Like Every Other College Sports Star.  His accuser was smeared and demeaned, and a star football player was allowed to keep on playing.  This has been going on for too long.

How the NFL leaves players broken — and broke.  "Is There Life After Football?" brings us inside the lives of NFL players to show why so many wind up in dire straits after their time on the field, from depression to debilitating lifelong injuries to catastrophic financial mismanagement.  While much-publicized concussions and head injuries account for some of the problems, they're just one possible hardship of many for those who spend years slamming into each other at full speed.

Can't a professional football team afford to pay the minimum wage?
Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force, revenue source.  Before every Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game, dozens of men gather in the yard at New Beginnings of Tampa, one of the city's largest homeless programs.  The men — many of them recovering alcoholics and drug addicts — are about to work a concessions stand behind Raymond James Stadium's iconic pirate ship, serving beer and food to football fans.

For an F.S.U. Football Player, a Hit and Run Becomes Traffic Tickets.  In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, as this college town was celebrating another big football victory by Florida State University, a starting cornerback on the team drove his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle driven by a teenager returning home from a job at the Olive Garden.  Both cars were totaled.  But rather than remain at the scene as the law requires, the football player, P. J. Williams, left his wrecked vehicle in the street and fled into the darkness along with his two passengers, including Ronald Darby, the team's other starting cornerback.

Educational Fraud.  Academic fraud benefits the entire university community except the black students.  If universities can maintain the scholar-athlete charade, they earn tens of millions of dollars in sports revenue.  Other than as a pretense, academics can be ignored.  The university just has to create academic slums, where weak students can "succeed."  Stronger academic departments benefit because they do not have to compromise their standards and bear the burden of having to deal with weak students.  Then there's that feather in the diversity hat upon which university administrators are fixated.  I guarantee you that academic fraud is by no means unique to UNC.  As such, it represents gross dereliction and dishonesty on the parts of university administrators and faculty members.

LA Lakers 'Showtime' Threatened by Class Action Over Text Messages.  On their home court at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers are known for giving their fans "showtime" in the form of exciting basketball.  One fan, however, wants to give back to the team in the form of a class action lawsuit.  Why is he suing the Lakers?  During a game, the team offered fans the chance to have their custom text message displayed on the "Jumbotron."  Because of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, a law originally designed to stop telemarketers from systematically calling huge batches of numbers, this fan and others are able to sue the Lakers and the Clippers for getting any text sent back to them, even though they initiated the first text to participate in the offer.

Former UNC athlete sues school over academic scandal.  A former University of North Carolina football player has become the first to sue the university over an 18-year academic scandal that kept athletes eligible to play sports by taking classes that never met.  Mike McAdoo was a football player who lost his eligibility in 2011 when he was accused of getting too much help with a paper, and was one of the first athletes revealed to have taken part in "paper classes," for which the only requirement was completing a single paper.  Now he's suing the university in federal court, saying UNC broke its promise to give him an education in return for playing sports.

The Editor asks...
He's just now figuring that out?

Time To Abandon The Scholar-Athlete Charade.  Rampant academic cheating is not confined to primary and secondary schools.  Cheating occurs in the nation's colleges, as discovered during an investigation at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina, the state's flagship university.  Over two decades, more than 3,100 students enrolled in and received credit for taking nonexistent phantom classes in the university's department of African and African-American studies.  Nearly 50 percent of the students taking the phantom classes were athletes on the university's football and basketball teams.

College president calls on Univ. of North Carolina to lose accreditation over athlete grading fraud.  There is no question that the University of North Carolina committed fraud for almost 2 decades by giving fake grades to college athletes taking fake or non-existent course, in order to profit from football and basketball revenues.  While the University is blaming a low level administrator, there is plenty of reason to suspect that senior levels knew or should have known of the fraud, as Robert Weissberg points out today on our pages.

Massive academic fraud uncovered at UNC.  A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, encompassing about 1,500 athletes who got easy A's and B's over a span of nearly two decades, according to an investigation released Wednesday [10/22/2014].

UNC report finds 18 years of academic fraud to keep athletes playing.  For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday [10/22/2014].  "These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report.  He conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.

Probe: Athletes took fake classes at University of North Carolina.  More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday [10/22/2014].

11 colleges ban booing at soccer games.  Fans attending men's college soccer games in New England are expected not to boo if they don't like something on the field, according to a recent letter sent out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference.  "As a supporter, we ask you not engage in any unsportsmanlike actions, which include booing, taunting, profanity, rude language or gestures, or any other action that could be potentially construed as negative or confrontational," the NESCAC letter read.

The NFL Is Full of Ray Rices.  The Baltimore Raven was indefinitely suspended but even one of his teammates suited up after punching a girlfriend in the neck.  So much for zero tolerance.

NCAA takes $70M first steps to helping players with head injuries.  The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go nearly far enough.  The deal, filed in US District Court in Chicago, calls for the NCAA to toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows and create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma while playing football and other contact sports.

Why California banned full-contact football practices.  A new California law bans full-contact football practices for middle and high school students due to concerns over possible concussions.  In Los Angeles, a high school now has mandatory baseline testing for concussions for all students.

The Editor says...
If the public schools (or colleges) had extracurricular firearms training that resulted in concussions, broken bones and paralysis, in addition to a dozen fatalities per year, those programs would be banned in no time.  But if the same injuries and deaths occur while playing football, somehow they are acceptable.

Average 12 high school and college football players die each year.  Researchers from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research studied 243 football deaths recorded between July 1990 and June 2010.  Their study found heart conditions, heat and other non-traumatic causes of death are twice as common as injury-related ones.

Claim: Warriors Coach Fired for Christian Views on Homosexuality.  Was Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson fired for his Christian views on gay marriage?  That's what Ann Killion is asking at, noting that Jackson's lukewarm reaction to the coming-out of Jason Collins, last year was something of a mismatch for the Bay Area, which is the global capital of gay politics and culture.

NFL to penalize use of racial slur.  The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

A flag and 15 yards for a slur.  Seventy percent of the players in the NFL are black, and by the math, most of the 15-yard penalties assessed for violation of the dirty-speech rule will be black.  Beyond that, say some black players, the use of the n-word is cultural, and in friendly conversations between black players it isn't always a slur spoken in anger.  In the NBA, where nearly all the players are black, there's even greater skepticism of how such a rule could be applied.

Report: NFL Considering Penalizing Players 15 Yards for Racial, Anti-Gay Slurs.  The NFL may penalize players 15 yards for racial and homophobic slurs and eject them from the game after a second offense.  John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group that monitors diversity, told ESPN that he "expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field."

The Editor says...
What's the penalty for using words like honky and cracker, or the F-word, or the MF-word?  Only one spectator in a thousand can hear what the players say, so who cares what words are exchanged?  The fans don't come to a football game to see the players treat one another with courtesy and civility.

What happened to E pluribus unum?
Seahawks block game ticket sales to California, 43 other states.  The good feelings between the 49ers and Seahawks could never last.  Last week, fans from both teams decided to donate money to children's hospitals in Seattle and San Francisco.  Now, the Seahawks are limiting ticket sales to just six states and the Canadian Provinces.

College basketball, football athletes can barely read.  The headline over the dispatch this week says it all:  "CNN Analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like fifth-graders."  For those familiar with college athletics — especially the sports that bring in the millions — that's not exactly a news flash.  But a researcher at the University of North Carolina, Mary Willingham, came in for particular vitriol after reporting that of 183 Tar Heel football or basketball players, 60 percent were reading at levels between fourth and eighth grade.

Delta Air Lines bumps passengers for University of Florida basketball team.  On one of the busiest flying days of the year, Delta Air Lines cancelled an Atlanta-bound commercial flight from Gainesville Regional Airport to accommodate the University of Florida men's basketball team.

Ashes from cremated remains left on Auburn's field after Iron Bowl.  In Alabama, college football is life and death, and following the Tigers' incredible 34-28 win over the Crimson Tide on Saturday, one fan scattered the cremated remains of a loved one on the turf at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Alabama fan shot dead outside football party.  An Alabama fan was shot dead after a fight outside a football-watching party shortly after the Crimson Tide lost in a stunning upset to the Auburn Tigers Saturday [11/30/2013].  Michelle Shepherd was attacked by fellow fans of the University of Alabama after she commented that she didn't care that much that the team had lost, her sister says.

How much of the NFL breast cancer gear revenue actually goes to research?  The NFL has been promoting its breast cancer awareness program through pink equipment and Web campaigns.  Players are wearing pink shoes, cheerleaders don pink outfits and the NFL official merchandise website is full of gear that fans can buy to support the American Cancer Society's breast cancer research.  But how much of the money raised through gear sales actually goes to breast cancer research?  Only $8 out of every $100 spent on merchandise, according to an ESPN reporter.

New NFL security sacks some fans.  Twenty minutes after kickoff for the Bears' final preseason game, swaths of people were still heading through tunnels south of Soldier Field after unsuccessfully trying to get backpacks, large purses and fanny packs into Thursday night's game.  They were headed to a block of about 600 lockers that could store their prohibited items for $10 cash.

Fran Tarkenton: NFL covering up biggest sports scandal of all time.  "Here is the biggest cover-up of all," Tarkenton warned.  "They talk about safety in the National Football League.  How can you have safety in the National Football League when you have performance-enhancing drugs?"  Tarkenton insisted performance enhancing drugs were "all over" college and professional football, which made the game more dangerous.

Thanks to Islam, purses, seat cushions, coolers banned from NFL games.  It's certainly not illegal immigrants they are worried about so it must be terrorists.

NFL Bans Purses From Stadiums.  Starting with preseason games in 2013, women will no longer be allowed to bring purses to NFL games unless they are made of clear plastic or clutch bags no bigger than the size of a hand.  Fanny packs, seat cushions, briefcases, and computer bags will also not be allowed.  Blankets, though, will still be permitted.

Is Football on Its Deathbed?  Lawsuits over players' brain injuries have some saying football is dead.  In fact, it has dislodged baseball as the national pastime and will remain America's passion for decades to come.

Bread and Circuses: The Last Days of the American EmpirePan et Circenses (Bread and Circuses) famously described the relationship between the Roman Emperor and his people in the decadent years of the Empire, and they seem fairly applied to America today.  We have, in line with our technological advancement, upgraded (if that is the term) to food stamps (47.5 million and counting) and sports, but the broad scenario hasn't changed.

The Super Bowl Veers Left.  During Sunday's Super Bowl, the advertising and programming executives in Hollywood and New York graced us with their version of what we want to see.  And if it's any reflection of reality, we're becoming a coarser, stupider, and less value-oriented nation.

The Toy Department.  A common claim is, "We watch sports to take our minds off the real world."  How this can be true is beyond me, unless they consider the doings of unions, lawyers, agents, drug-testers and congressional investigators not parts of real life.  Mix in the all-too-often accounts of wife-beating, DUIs, drug busts, and the occasional murder charge, and you're sometimes unsure of which section of the newspaper you've wandered into.

Bob Costas, NFL Surrounded by Armed Security.  Bob Costas' gun control rant was bad but made worse by one key point — he lives much of his life with the benefit of armed security.  If you've ever been to an NFL game this point is academic.  The number of armed policemen you pass between the gate your seat is incredible.  And if you get behind the scenes, in certain corridors, the armed presence can be just as strong (or stronger).  Those policeman and security personnel are there to preserve order and to protect their assets, be they football players, football coaches, or the celebrities and news anchors in attendance.

Study Reinforces Link Between Head Trauma, Brain Damage.  An extensive Boston University study of head trauma found strong evidence that repeated blows to the head can lead to long-term brain damage.  The study, conducted by the BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, looked at the brains of 85 football players, boxers and military veterans.  Sixty-eight of the subjects — or 80 percent — showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Old-school cheating.  Before steroids and HGH and the cream and the clear and other substances of superpower magic, we had old-school baseball:  You know, stealing signs from center field, corking the bat, spitting on the ball, using the catcher's belt buckle to cut the ball, nail files, watering the dirt around the basepaths if the visiting team had speedy players, rubbing pine tar or other sticky goo on your glove, maybe a little K-Y jelly on the bill of your cap, pitching from six inches in front of the rubber, using superballs in your bat, taping a thumbtack to your index finger ...

Why College Football Should Be Banned:  In more than 20 years I've spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary purpose of higher education:  academics.  That's because college football has no academic purpose.  Which is why it needs to be banned.  A radical solution, yes.  But necessary in today's times.

Texas Rangers ready to roll with $26 hot dog.  When fans belly up to stadium concession areas on opening day on April 6, they will be able to purchase a one-pound hot dog priced at $26.

$26 Hot dog!  Team president Nolan Ryan did not mince words with ESPN Radio in Dallas regarding the Texas Rangers' most recent acquisition — a two-foot-long, one-pound gourmet hot dog that feeds three or four fans and costs $26.

America's One True Religion:  The hold of sports on the American psyche and imagination is so complete, so absolute, that for some poor souls, it's their one true religion.  And if fans worship certain athletes, those athletes join in their adoration, exulting, gloating, and prancing in the end zone. ... To cater to our new religion, most major metropolitan newspapers devote an entire section to sports.

Fear and Loathing at Arrowhead Stadium.  Claims that Kansas City Chiefs organization taps phones, spies on employees.

School Fears "Cougars" Mascot Will Offend Women.  A Utah school district decided not to select a cougar as the mascot of a new high school partly because school officials and some parents believed the word is disrespectful to women.

The Editor says...
One by one, legitimate and harmless words are being hijacked by the amoral dregs of society.

Giants-Cowboys tix reaching $7,000.  You'll need to strike oil to afford a seat at the Giants-Dallas game on Sunday night.  The do-or-die game against the Cowboys is one of the NFL's hottest tickets of 2011, with an average price that's nearing a record for the season.

How football took over our culture.  Nothing brings us together like the NFL, which last year provided America with eight of the top highest-rated telecasts and the highest-rated TV program of all time (Super Bowl XLV).  Last week a football program was the week's highest-rated show in 29 different markets — even in Indianapolis, where yet another loss by the now 0-13 Indianapolis Colts drew 50% of the viewing audience.

Freaks Who Forbid Footballs.  A public school in Toronto has put a ban on most balls their kiddos toss around during recess because school administrators have deemed such projectiles dangerous. ... In this day of Puss 'n Boots squish, do we really need more softies who don't have enough sense to avoid getting hit in the mouth by a slider?  Getting rocked up in the face by a fastball could be the best thing that ever happened to your stupid kid.  Pain is God's way of telling your lackluster boy to quit texting and watch the game.

The Footage the NFL Won't Show You.  If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic.  "NO ONE gets that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email.  This footage, added fellow league spokesman Greg Aiello, "is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL coaching information."  For decades, NFL TV broadcasts have relied most heavily on one view:  the shot from a sideline camera that follows the progress of the ball.  Anyone who wants to analyze the game, however, prefers to see the pulled-back camera angle known as the "All 22."

Rep. Bobby Rush: NCAA is dirty, 'would make the mob look like choirboys'.  Issuing a call for Congress to involve itself in monitoring college sports, Democratic Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush said the NCAA "would make the mob look like choirboys."  "I have this innate understanding of the NCAA, and I think it is one of the most vicious, most ruthless organizations that was created by mankind," Rush said Tuesday [11/1/2011] during a roundtable discussion he organized.

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjack.  Ah, baseball!  That hallmark of summer; those men in their dusty uniforms, the sound of the loudspeakers, the electronic scoreboard. Beer vendors crying out their presence amidst the sweating crowd of boosters, and the smells of the concession stands where a plethora of American fare may be purchased and consumed.  Hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, etc.  Ballpark food is party food, treats to be indulged in by reveling fans to celebrate the joys of summer and their favorite teams.  Nobody goes to the ballpark to eat a major meal.

Point to heavens means penalty for Tumwater running back.  Tumwater beat East Valley 63-27 on Monday night at the Tacoma Dome during the 2A state semifinal game, but a post-touchdown penalty call was a big surprise for the player responsible.  In the second quarter of the game, Tumwater running back Ronnie Hastie scored on a 23-yard run, took a knee in the end zone and briefly pointed to the heavens above.  For that the referee threw a flag, saying it was unsportsmanlike conduct.

Bean-Counters and Baloney.  The bean-counters have struck again — this time in the sports pages.  Two New York Times sport writers have discovered that baseball coaches from minority groups are found more often coaching at first base than at third base.  Moreover, third-base coaches become managers more often than first-base coaches.

Soccer ball makers in poverty.  Thirteen years ago companies such as adidas and Nike joined labour and development organisations to end the use of an estimated 7000 children to stitch soccer balls. However, "child labour continues to exist" in the three main ball-making countries — Pakistan, China and India...

The reality of international soccer — anti-American bias.  International soccer is an artistic expression painted by referees on a canvas of grass with athletes as brushes.  Neither current public comments of frustration or the reactions of American players sufficiently explains how international referees create and render the game of international "soccer."  The referees do not specify any foul when they are called.  So "offsides" or "tripping" are never named when they are called by a referee.  The referees do not have to provide any clarification apart from where the kick shall proceed from as it re-enters play.

Osama bin Laden and jihadists love soccer and the World Cup.  We're not the only ones who love the World Cup.  Osama Bin Laden and his fellow jihadists do, too.  Several prominent Islamist organizations have ties to soccer, according to Newsweek.  And jihadists use the sport to bond with potential recruits.

Soccer:  The Perfect Socialist Sport.  The world's most popular sport?  Puh-leeze.  This is like saying that dirt is more popular than gold simply because there is more of it.  Last time I checked, soccer was very popular where starvation, archery, and badminton were the alternative activities.

A Global Sports Problem:  The 2010 World Cup opens in South Africa in a few weeks.  As a sports event, it is unrivaled in its popularity.  It promises to bring a half-million soccer fans to that country.  But it will also draw out the worst of the worst.  The Christian Science Monitor reports that the economic promise of an expected half a million largely male incoming consumers is attracting a massive influx of prostitutes from across the border in Zimbabwe.

Police:  Star Athlete at Texas School [is] Really 22.  A West Texas student who led his high school basketball team to the state playoffs last season was actually a 22-year-old man, police said Tuesday [5/11/2010].

Permian High's basketball version of 'Blind Side' was a mirage.  Jerry Joseph's story was inspiring:  He arrived in West Texas as a 15-year-old, homeless Haitian immigrant. ... Much to Odessa's chagrin, Joseph turned out to be an impostor and a liar.  Investigators confirmed last week that his real name is Guerdwich Montimer.  He is 22 and he already had graduated from a Florida high school in 2007, almost two years before he arrived in Odessa.

Win a soccer game by more than five points and you lose, Ottawa league says.  In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children's soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

Horsehide Hangover.  I have given up wondering when sports — which used to be a way to encourage young men away from more dissolute pursuits — has now embraced all that is debased in our modern culture; the objectification of women as sex toys, vulgar language, egotism, and violence.  All of this was on display during "The Hangover" promo and another one for a flick aptly titled, "Drag Me to Hell;" both of which would have never appeared in prime time a few short years ago, but now invade our homes on a Saturday afternoon.  Sadly, the trash emitted from Hollywood has now found its way onto the playing field; so much so that I sometimes feel that baseball itself has become some kind of perverted cross-promotion.

An in-depth look at the "Rooney Rule":
The NFL's Affirmative Action Deception.  Imagine an America in which employers faced steep fines for failing to interview a sufficient number of minority candidates for a vacant management slot prior to making a hiring decision.  Even in this day and age, where diversity rules, that might seem a far-fetched scenario.  Yet for the last half-dozen years, this has been the way the National Football League has operated.  And its advocates are seeking ways to expand this regime to a variety of venues — and with a strong assist from government.

'Bullies' Team Name Draws Protests.  Anti-bullying advocates are beating up on the name chosen for the new professional basketball team in Syracuse, N.Y.  The Syracuse Bullies will play in the American Basketball Association beginning this fall.

Ballgame keepsake goes electronic.  The paper ticket might be on its way to joining AstroTurf and scheduled doubleheaders in the graveyard of sports obsolescence.  A host of professional teams, including the Washington Nationals, are introducing new systems allowing fans to enter games using their cell phone, driver's license or similar means, potentially making paper tickets a thing of the past.

NFL Steroids Dealer Found Dead.  A convicted steroids dealer who recently met with NFL security officials and gave them names of players he said bought steroids from him has been found dead in his home.  Just after midnight on Thursday, Plano police made a welfare check and found 35-year-old David Jacobs and 30-year-old Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell dead.  Both had been shot.

America's Newest 'Victims':  There's a new class of victims in America:  former NFL players. [...] There's no doubt that many former players are physical wrecks.  But should we feel sorry for them?  After all, many players reveled in the fact that they could punish their bodies week after week and continue to play.  Noticeably absent from this debate is any discussion about the personal responsibility these players bear for their post-career conditions.

The TV Deal the NBA Wishes It Had Not Made.  Roughly once a month, the NBA cuts 31 checks to NBA teams as revenue from its multibillion-dollar national television contract.  There are only 30 NBA franchises, so who gets the extra check? … Ozzie and Dan Silna, co-owners of the long-forgotten ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis.  It ranks as one of the best sports deals in modern times, one that has paid the Silnas about $168 million and continues to pay off.

The Gratingest Generation.  Does it ever occur to media chatterboxes that people watch tennis because they want to see tennis, not hear about some celebrity's latest movie or TV series?  If those who lived during World War II were "the greatest generation," this must be the gratingest generation.  It's not just the constant meaningless chatter that grates.  There is the incessant self-dramatization.

Bigotry and Sports:  Although not too many years ago, sports-writing was considered the "toy department" of journalism, the boys and girls in the press box have been eager to catch up to their counterparts in the "real" world.  And so, they are also no longer content with merely reporting the scores, trades and what have you; they must now generate the news.  And, similar to the mainstream media, they need divisive issues in order to push the agenda of all J-school graduates:  to change the world.

Bills confiscate critical banners from fans.  Motivated by the failure of his Bills, season-ticket holder Mike Allenbaugh carried a sign of protest to the final home game.  But security forces took it away shortly before kickoff Dec. 17. … "It's just ridiculous," he said this week.  "I can go in there and say, 'Go Bills.'  Why can't I say, 'I don't like you as a manager?'"

Judge Calls NFL Coach's Home "A Drug Emporium".  A judge who sentenced Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's sons to jail on Thursday [11/1/2007] likened the coach's home to "a drug emporium" and questioned whether his adult sons should live there. … O'Neill noted that searches of the Reid home found illegal and prescription drugs throughout the house.  He said both boys had been overmedicated throughout much of their lives….

Washington Post Toughens Redskins Coverage; Team Yanks Newspaper's 267 Season Tickets.  For many Washingtonians, a season ticket to Washington Redskins games is almost as valuable as a place at a White House dinner.  This week the Redskins cut the number of season tickets held by the Washington Post from 279 to 12.

A Cut Above:  Why wait for an injury?  The next-generation performance enhancer is elective surgery.

$3.5 Billion bid to buy the entire NHL.  An investment firm and a sports advisory company reportedly made a joint proposal to buy all 30 NHL teams for as much as $3.5 billion.

A gesture from the NFL.  Neither the Vikings nor the NFL could have been surprised by [Randy] Moss' misbehavior.  "An assault charge had cost him time in jail and a Notre Dame scholarship," Newsweek noted in a profile two seasons ago.  "A drug offense sent him back to jail and off the Florida State team."

Should Governments Own Convention Centers?  Government-subsidized convention centers are chronic money losers.

Annual Survey of Football Injury Research:  Some football fatalities result directly from participation in the fundamental skills of football; others are caused by systemic failure as a result of exertion, e.g., asthma, heat stroke, and heart problems.

More and more banks are placing their names on ball parks and arenas.  Banks are warming up to the idea of paying for the national exposure that only professional sports teams can offer.  And several major league baseball teams that have seen attendance drop and revenues fall in recent years, have been spreading out the welcome mat to banks willing to put up some dough.

Non-athletic corporate welfare:
CEO Makes the Case Against Corporate Welfare.  With nearly 100 stores in 18 states, Gander Mountain is the nation's third-largest outdoors retailer.  Unlike its two larger competitors, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, Gander Mountain has achieved impressive growth without seeking targeted tax incentives from state or local governments.  In this interview, Gander's chief executive, Mark Baker, tells us why he believes government officials should oppose retail tax incentives.

Costco's Corporate Welfare:  Tracking published reports on the abuse of eminent domain, one finds Costco is the leading beneficiary of this kind of corporate welfare, having taken government-confiscated land three times more often then its next rival.

Don't spend millions for billionaires.  King County is building a $36 million sewage treatment and irrigation plant in Redmond, but so far the only private customer is the Willows Run Golf Course, owned by multi-billionaire Paul Allen and his brother-in-law.

Airport Privatization in the U.S.:  With all of the furor in the recent past over airport security, one fact has gotten lost in the shuffle:  All 10 of the busiest airports in the U.S. are owned and operated by municipalities.  Public ownership and operation of airports is often taken for granted, but that doesn't mean it's best.  Public ownership and operation — which brings a political dimension to hiring and operations — may result in increased operating costs and other inefficiencies.

Fans Want to Watch Sports, Not Hollywood Gimmicks.  The idea that sports are not enough for sports fans seems to have been behind the fiasco of putting Dennis Miller's silly chatter on Monday Night Football.  Fortunately, the producers of that program finally got the message that football fans want football.  How long will it take producers of baseball telecasts?

What's Wrong with Players on Steroids?  So athletes use steroids to perform better.  Wall Street traders take Ritalin and everyone uses caffeinated drinks during work to stay alert.  News anchors get face lifts and actors take Botox so more people watch them.  What's different about athletes?

Hey, it wasn't my fault.  Rafael Palmeiro, the Baltimore Orioles star, told Congress that he had absolutely, positively never used steroids, but then he failed a urine test.  So last week, he repeated his never-ever statement but inserted a new word:  He never intentionally used them.  He said:  "I am sure you will ask how I tested positively for a banned substance.  As I look back, I don't have a specific answer to give.  I wasn't able to explain how the banned substance entered my body."

Separation of Sport and State?  The Imperial Federal Government is once again sticking their collective noses in places where they do not belong.  The House Committee on Government Reform is scheduled to hold hearings next week on steroids in baseball.  They have "formally requested" the presence of some of baseball's past and present stars and have threatened to use their subpoena power for others if they do not cooperate willingly.

Baseball, steroids and kids.  Distributing steroids carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 for the first felony offense.  So, why are there no prosecuted athletes?

25 years of ESPN.  America is a lot richer than it was [when ESPN began] in 1979, but not that much richer.  Something else is afoot, turning so many eyes — that is what pulls the tide of money — to sports.  Perhaps people are drawn to sports because they really don't mean a thing.

The great halftime threat:  Are we really so starved for entertainment that we can't go a few moments without some no-talent has-been fresh out of rehab banging out an alleged song that you've already heard too many times through your car window at the nearest intersection? ... Halftime has morphed into a monster that overshadows the game.

Super Bowl Host Is the Poorest Big City in the US.  Before the Super Bowl kickoff this weekend, private planes will land here, limousines will clog the streets, and lavish parties will be thrown for those with famous names or lots of money.  The kitchens of Ford Field will be stocked with two tons of lobster.  Much of the rest of Detroit, though, is a landscape dotted with burned-out buildings, where liquor stores abound but supermarkets are hard to come by, and where drugs, violence and unemployment are everyday realities.

[In other words, hosting the Super Bowl does not provide an automatic boost to the local economy.  Only a handful of people benefit from it.  The same is true when a new stadium is built.]

NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl.  For years, as many as 200 members of Immanuel Bible Church and their friends have gathered in the church's fellowship hall to watch the Super Bowl on its six-foot screen. ... But this year, Immanuel's Super Bowl party is no more. After a crackdown by the National Football League on big-screen Super Bowl gatherings by churches, the Springfield church has sacked its event.  Instead, church members will host parties in their homes.  Immanuel is among a number of churches in the Washington area and elsewhere that have been forced to use a new playbook to satisfy the NFL, which said that airing games at churches on large-screen TV sets violates the NFL copyright.  Ministers are not happy.

The Editor says...
If the church has a cover charge, I can see how the NFL would have a case.  But as long as there is no charge for attendance (even for food, presumably) it's not a commercial use of the telecast, and the NFL lawyers would have to do some smooth talking to get that one past a jury.  On the other hand, what kind of church condones the Super Bowl halftime bump-and-grind show?

$400 for a Day at the Ballpark?  "Only the Yankees would think a $1,200 ticket is affordable and a $2,500 ticket isn't."  That was the reaction of New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat and vocal opponent of the team's new stadium, upon learning that the Yankees were cutting the price of premium seats in hopes of filling empty rows near the field.

This isn't a stadium, but it's not too far off-topic:
Sen. Durbin Wants Illinois Taxpayers to Help Fund Obama's Presidential Library.  Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) is urging the State of Illinois to put in seed money for the creation of a Obama Presidential library in Chicago.  "It's going to have a long-term positive economic impact and this is where it ought to be," Durbin told reporters last week.  "I believe an investment in this library by the State of Illinois will pay back in terms of visitors to our state, more business, more jobs and people paying taxes."  Durbin did not go as far a endorsing a bill in the Illinois legislature that calls for up to $100 million in state seed money to create the Obama Presidential library.

Site identified for New York's Obama library bid.  Columbia University in New York City will make a bid to build the Obama presidential library on its Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, where the structure would be a cornerstone of the university's $6.3 billion expansion into the economically depressed neighborhood, a university source confirmed.  The source said that the university planned to vigorously pursue the library as part the campus expansion at 130th Street and Broadway.  President Barack Obama earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia in 1983.

The Editor goes way off-topic:
How does the writer of this article know that Obama graduated from Columbia?  Where are Obama's transcripts?

Somewhat related:

Black activists shout 'Shame on you!', at Chicago aldermen supporting Obama Presidential Center.  Now that the huge monument to Barack Obama won't be a presidential library and is purely a private endeavor, the gift of precious park land belonging to the people of Chicago to a private group is questionable.  And federal permits are necessary for certain aspects of the planned center.  This isn't going to be simple or easy.  Plenty of people, black and of other races, are not thrilled with the impact the monument will have on their neighborhood, their parks, and their lives.

America's bread and circus society.  With many, sports are not just a hobby; they are a religion.  I cannot count the number of conversations between men that I overhear in restaurants, airplanes, boardrooms, and, yes, even church houses, in which every man in the circle is literally consumed with all sorts of sports facts, information, and opinions.  In many such discussions, these men will talk about nothing else.  To these men, there is absolutely nothing in the world more important than the latest sports score, announcement, or trade.

Football Is the New Smoking.  This morning, fat kids across America ran wind sprints until they vomited, drove sleds like beasts until muscle collapse, and alternated between jogging in place and hitting the deck so frequently that it jarred even the insides of onlookers.  And they do it all again this afternoon.  This isn't a federal anti-obesity initiative.  It's football.

Surprise! Arts Center Predictions Flawed.  The Washington Post reports that the financial projections for a government-funded arts center, Artisphere, in Arlington, Virginia, don't seem to have panned out.  Do they ever? ... And yet millionaire owners and mayors with Edifice Complexes keep commissioning these studies, and council members and editorial boards keep falling for them.

City-owned Hilton Baltimore lost $11.5 million last year.  The city-owned Hilton Baltimore lost nearly $11.5 million in 2011 — about $400,000 more than it lost the previous year, according to a recently released audit.  In addition to losing money last year, the hotel dipped into its reserves in February to make payments on its debt service.  The Baltimore Hotel Corp., created in 2005 to oversee the hotel's operations, withdrew nearly $4 million from its $12.4 million of debt-service reserve accounts to make a semi-annual bond payment in March.

Wichita Voters Overwhelmingly Reject 'Incentive' for Hotel Developer.  Voters in Wichita, Kansas have trounced a proposed $2.25 million tax rebate for a hotel development that had the support of the Wichita City Council and the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation.  Despite the urgings of city leaders, the tax rebate proposal lost by 61-38 percent in the Feb. 28 special election.  Opposition came from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the newly formed citizen-activist organization Wichitans for Tax Fairness.

The NCAA's battle against politically incorrect mascot names:

Apparently even the most oblique reference to Indians is perceived as hostile and abusive by the NCAA.  Someday soon, even the word "Indian" will probably be taboo.

The latest:
The NCAA Political Correctness Witch Hunt.  Now in its seventh year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's battle with the University of North Dakota may be reaching a final conclusion.  In 2005, the NCAA announced a complete ban on hosting post-season competition by 18 colleges that were using Native American mascots, logos, or nicknames.  The ban was to become effective in February 2006.  The college sports governing body backed off its strident demand regarding some schools after learning that Native American groups endorsed use of their tribal names by their adoptive schools.

Voters In N.D. Reject Fighting Sioux Mascot.  In yet another victory for the forces of politically correct insanity, voters in North Dakota voted to dump the mascot of the University of North Dakota.  The Fighting Sioux are no more.  According to the Bismarck Tribune, more than 67 percent of voters approved of Measure 4, a ballot initiative that ended the long struggle between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its supporters, on the one hand, and those who love and revere the formidable-looking Indian logo the school has used for many moons.  Backers of the logo vow to keep fighting.

Oregon considers banning Native American mascots.  Oregon's Board of Education on Thursday [3/8/2012] took up [Che] Butler's plea for the second time, rejoining a longstanding national debate about racial tolerance and school traditions five years after issuing a nonbinding recommendation that schools stop using Native American regalia.

Tribe sues NCAA to let school use name.  The Spirit Lake tribe Tuesday sued the NCAA for blocking its attempt to let the University of North Dakota use the sports nickname Fighting Sioux.

North Dakota to give up attempts to keep Fighting Sioux logo.  The end may finally be near for the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.  After a six-year battle, the state appears ready to declare defeat and retire the nickname, which was deemed unacceptable by the NCAA in 2005.  The Fighting Sioux has been associated with the university's athletic teams since 1930.  State Sen. Lonnie Laffen, a Republican who voted earlier this year to codify the nickname into law, recently told the Grand Forks Herald that he will sponsor legislation to shift authority over the issue to the State Board of Higher Education.

ND House votes to keep UND Fighting Sioux nickname, logo.  The North Dakota House has voted to keep the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.  On a 65-28 vote, the House approved House Bill 1263, which states University of North Dakota athletic teams shall be known as the Fighting Sioux.  Neither UND nor the state Board of Higher Education may take action to discontinue the use of the nickname or logo.

Fighting Sioux on warpath over nickname.  When North Dakota's state board of higher education voted to phase out the "Fighting Sioux" last year, that seemed to signal the end of the lengthy battle over the University of North Dakota's nickname and logo.  Except that it didn't.  Two Fighting Sioux supporters have since launched Save Our Suhaki, a tongue-in-cheek campaign ostensibly aimed at preserving the suhaki, a Russian antelope whose name is pronounced exactly like "Sioux hockey."

Wisconsin law lets residents challenge race-based mascots.  The homecoming pep rally Friday at Kewaunee High School will have extra drama this year:  Everyone in town will learn whether they'll be rooting for the River Bandits or the Storm to beat the Valders Vikings in the big football game.

North Dakota decisions end Fighting Sioux nickname.  A state Supreme Court ruling and a Board of Higher Education decision have retired for good the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname after a four-year legal battle.

End near for Fighting Sioux mascot?  The end of the Fighting Sioux could be near as the University of North Dakota appears ready to abandon its mascot over calls of racism despite a petition drive by local tribe members to preserve the school's nickname and logo.  Supporters from the Standing Rock Sioux want to collect at least 600 signatures before the next tribal council meeting in March.

Ole Miss students to vote on new mascot; Colonel Reb not an option.  University of Mississippi students will vote this month on creating a new school mascot.

Chancellor Supports Retiring 'Fighting Sioux' Logo That Threatens Hockey Arena.  Bill Goetz, North Dakota's university system chancellor, said Thursday [11/15/2007] at a Board of Higher Education meeting he will support retiring University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" logo and nickname in less than three years if the school and Sioux tribes cannot agree to keep it.

NCAA wants sealed court documents.  The NCAA will ask a Grand Forks Circuit Court judge on Wednesday [3/7/2007] to shield documents from public view in its court case against UND over the Fighting Sioux nickname.  North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said most of the documents the NCAA wants concealed from the public have to do with discussions among the association's Executive Committee while drafting its 2006 policy on American Indian nicknames and imagery.

Wisconsin may fine schools $1,000 a day for Indian mascots.  Democratic lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require the state to investigate complaints about American Indian mascots in Wisconsin schools.  If the complaints are justified, the state Department of Public Instruction would have to order the school to drop the mascot or logo within a year or face fines of up to $1,000 a day.

Illinois' Chief Illiniwek performs last dance.  After 20 years of pressure from activists who found the University of Illinois mascot offensive, the school did away with Illiniwek and his antics.  Dan Maloney, a graduate student who portrays the controversial American Indian mascot, performed for the final time in front of students and fans at a men's basketball game Wednesday night [2/21/2007].

Our First Thoughts on the Chief Debacle.  It's bad enough that Chief Illiniwek has danced his last dance.  That fact visibly slammed sorrow into the hearts of thousands of faithful Illini on Wednesday night as men, women, and children hung their heads and even shed their tears.  If the fight to retire the Chief by so-called "oppressed" minorities and hypersensitive leftists is about retribution and vengeance, then they got what they wanted.  But the story unfolding in the aftermath of the Chief's departure is larger than our beloved tradition.

North Dakota to sue NCAA over mascot ruling.  The University of North Dakota plans to sue the NCAA to avoid penalties for using the school's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, which the association considers demeaning to American Indians.

W&M will drop the feathers from its athetics logo.  William and Mary will drop the feathers from its athetics logo to comply with the NCAA's request, the school announced Tuesday [10/10/2006].  The phase-out process will begin during the 2007-08 school year.  The NCAA in 2004 identified W&M, whose nickname is the "Tribe," as a school with a logo or nickname that could be viewed as "hostile and abusive" in relation to Native Americans.

High schools defend use of tribal-themed mascots.  Educators from small-town Oregon came to the capital Tuesday [10/23/2007] to argue that their high schools should remain the Indians, Warriors and Braves as a respectful way to honor Native American culture and history.  Fourteen superintendents and principals from Amity to Warrenton spoke forcefully at a state Department of Education meeting against a proposal to ban their Native American mascots.