Posted on 09-06-2014
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

The 2014 FIFA world cup starts this week.  Much of the world (including yours truly) will be captivated by the spectacle that comes once every four years.  Soccer (or Football as the world outside the United States accurately calls it) is by far the most popular sport in the world.  Football crazy Brazil is hosting the world cup this year.

Yet the last year has seen the spectacle tarnished by controversy.  Brazilians have been publicly protesting the waste of resources to build brand new stadiums at the cost of other social spending.  The 2022 world cup awarded to Qatar has deservedly come for its share of abuse – from the idiocy of playing football in the desert in summer, to the slavery like labor practices in the oil rich Gulf countries and now allegations of corruption that have swirled around awarding the cup to Qatar in the first place.

FIFA like almost every multinational “non-profit” sports body is notoriously corrupt.  The blatant waste of resources is now affecting the 2022 Winter Olympics with almost every potential bidder based in a democracy withdrawing their bids.

Pro-sports in the United States are a continuing scam where billionaire owners shake downs cities, counties and states for brand new arenas on the public dime under the threat of leaving down.  The Atlanta Braves are the latest to pull off this con.  Makes you wonder and hope that the 2022 Winter Olympics are the first sign that people have had enough.

But even then what is a football fan to do.  Love the game, hate the corrupt bastards?  It is not an easy conflict to resolve.

 John Oliver delivered a comprehensive takedown of FIFA yesterday night, while admitting his own inner conflict.  Enjoy the video below:

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:32

Final takeaway from the game…Saban has still not figured out how to stop the hurry up Offense. Ole Piss, Aubie take heart.  A&M had 630 yards of offense, 464 thru the air.  And this offense is still not playing all the blue chips heading into College Station.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:23

Two big differences from last year.  First, last year A&M had veterans Spencer Nealy, DeMontre Moore and Sean Porter and they did very well against the Bama run game.  Also last year A&M had no turnovers and won the turnover battle.  Here they had two costly ones.  One in the red zone and one returned for a TD.  Bama is too good a team to lose the turnover battle against.  That was basically the ball game.  Bama leaves College Station with a 49-42 win.

I can live with a close loss…A blowout would have been costly.  But A&M’s offense cannot be counted out as Ole Miss found out last year.  Still 9 more games to go…and this Bama team has shown some vulnerabilities.  Oregon is likely looking forward to a chance at Bama. Oregon fans were calling for Bama when they blew out Tennessee earlier today.

All for today…signing out.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:18

42 points allowed the most allowed by a Saban Alabama team.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:17

Bama recovers the onside kick…that will be the ball game.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:15

That is 3 TDs for Kennedy.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:14

TD Aggies..onside kick coming up

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:13

Wow…Manziel avoids a sack for a deep ball down inside the five. 22 seconds left.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:13

A&M dinking and dunking down the field but game is essentially over.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:04

Oh well TD Bama….should be the ball game

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:01

Bama at the 10 under 3 minutes..clock a factor

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:58

Crap…deep pass over the middle.  Bama in scoring position.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:56

Bama trying to pound the ball…A&M defense needs to show up.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:53

Pleas just give Mike Evans the Biletnikoff Award

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:51

We may lose today, but this game may get Johnny Manziel the heisman again.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:50

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manziel to Evans for a 95 yard TD 7 point game

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:45

WOW!!! Yeldon fumbled the ball AGAIN this year.  Do I dare believe…A&M forces a turnover on the goal line

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:42

Bama gets a free 15 yards from a bull shit rule about a defensive player having to stop after losing his helmet.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:40

Dammit A&M…if you crowd the line you have to stop the run.  Yeldon runs for a 1st down.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:39

Bama driving again…looking for the TD

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:34

TD A&M…not going away just yet

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:31

A&M starts on offense…and a horsecollar by Bama gives them free 15 yards.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:29

Fourth quarter coming up….Here is the gif of the Eli Manning like play by Manziel before he threw his first pick
manzielmagic

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:15

And TD Bama…the wretched crew of the last few years is back in full force

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:09

Could the commentators please stop calling a QB who plays A&M defense “clutch”

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:04

TD A&M Manziel to Kennedy..35-21.  Defense still has to show up.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:04

Well…A&M is back in the redzone…lets see f they capitalize.  They seem to have remembered they have running backs.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:50

Now should I be a masochist and continue blogging or say f*** it?

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:48

Double crap…tipped ball returned for a TD.  Game over

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:46

A&M offense back on the field…has to score.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:46

Maybe not…McCarron misses an open WR and three and out.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:44

Third and long coming up…Bama has A&M right where it wants it.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:44

Bama back on offense..another TD drive coming up.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:37

That game started perfectly…but A&M has not come close to stopping the Bammers since the first drive.  Now the floodgates are open and my worst fears are opening up.  Could be a long half.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:20

Should be 35-14 Bammers soon unless A&M locates a defense at half time.  Brenham is only 30 minutes away…surely Blinn’s defense will not be this bad.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:12

The questionable Bama OL is dominating the A&M DL..Bama gets the ball back after the half so this could be a 3 TD hole before A&M gets on the field on offense.  TD Bama

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:09

And there it is.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:09

Third down coming up..not that it has mattered since the first drive.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:05

Bama now running the ball down the throat…Snyder needs to adjust.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:02

Bama has started to close off the A&M passing game…have a chance to flip the script and go two TDs up.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:58

Targeting call overturned, but A&M still gets a free 15 yards.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:56

Wow…another bullshit targeting call for they year.  Even if it is on a bammer, that should not be targeting.  The defender was going for the ball rather than the targeting.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:52

BAS (Battered Aggie Syndrome) kicking in

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:50

Honeycutt continues his season of sucking misses a tackle and A&M is torched fore a long TD 21-14 Bama

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:44

Crap…that was an awful throw…INT in endzone

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:43

A&M in red zone..need a TD

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:40

Oh my goodness what the frack was that…Wow!!  Manziel gets away from a sure sack…then gets a jumpball down the field for a 45 yard pass to get a 12 yard gain

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:35

Aggies need to answer. Start with a run to Malena and a pass to former walk-on Labhart…flag on Bama should get another first down.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:31

DeShazor Everett is being torched by Bama this game

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:30

The A&M blitz packages are simply not working.  A&M gets torched on a flea flicker 14-14 Bammers.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:25

End of first quarter

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:23

Wide open..and you guessed it on the right..First down

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:22

Two bad passes by McCarron, though A&M has no pressure on him so far.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:20

First A&M punt of the game from midfield…Bammers start at the 20.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:19

Damn..3rd and 31….false start

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:19

A pass interference call on Evans has A&M backed up at 3rd and 26..

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:14

Great play by Evans to come back on 3rd and 2 big play by A&M to get to mid field

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:12

Gah..Brandon Williams bobbles it out at the two on the kickoff.  Manziel starts backed up.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:10

Bama had some thing going on the right side of the field…Will be interesting to see if A&M adjusts

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:08

TD Bama..14-7 on the right sideline…Satan back in business

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:07

Bammers have something going here…4 straight first downs…in FG range

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:07

Gah…gashing 16 yard run

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:06

Bama slowly passing the ball down the sidelines…trying to calm the offense down

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:03

So far there has been no Ricky Seal Jones in the game..that will be a deadly mismatch

 

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:03

Bama was oddly conservative in the last drive…I expect they will throw downfield more this time.  Last year they had an INT on the second drive.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:01

Malena for a TD  Aggies strike again…WHOOOP!!!!  Bertolet gets another XP 14-0 Aggies

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:59

A&M starts with good field position.two quick runs by Johnny and another quick pass to Evans…A&M at the goal line

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:54

Bama goes 3 and out like last year…very oddly conservative set of playcalls

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:53

The Bama OL with two false starts in a row…Kyle Field is rocking

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:51

Now moment of truth for the Aggie defense.  Good special teams tackle to bring down Christian Jones.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:48

A&M starts with a Johnny run and a deep pass to Evans…..and back with another jumball to Evans..Aggies exploiting height advantage…and Johnny with a TD to Cam Clear in the first Aggie reception for the Juco TE…WHOOOOPPPPP!!!  Aggies 7-0

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:43

And we are off…Johnny Football on the field.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:39

A&M wins the toss….and to receive…butterflys rising fast.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:36

Aha…a live feed on the internet.  We may be in business.

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:35

Dammit…CBS in Baltimore still showing Pitt-NMSU….Grrrrr….

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:27

The A&M-Bama rematch is finally here…nervous butterflies are setting in.  Nick Satan has an impressive record in revenge matches.  Texas A&M in the last 20 years has a painful record of wilting in the spotlight.  Time will tell whether Coach Sumlin and Johnny Football have changed the legacy of underachievement in College Station.  A&M’s defense is finally at full strength with all the suspended players back.  Bama’s offense was lousy against Virginia Tech’s stout defense.

CBS is still showing the Pitt blowout, hopefully they will move the game over when it is time.

Time for some football.

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Posted on 07-07-2013
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

A year after his emotional runners up speech at Wimbledon, Andy Murray finally did it.  He is a Scot not English, but why quibble.  He is the first British player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.  Murray has played very well since his Wimbledon loss – winning the Olympic Gold (at Wimbledon), the US Open and being the runner up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.  It was a gutty win with Murry  coming back from 4-1 in the second set and 4-2 in the third.  Then up 40-0 in the third set and with three championship points nerves caught up with him and Djokovic got to deuce and had multiple chances to break.  But Murray ultimately prevailed on his fourth championship point closing out the straight set win 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

With Roger Federer clearly in decline and Rafael Nadal continuing to battle injuries, Murray-Djokovic may be the tennis rivalry of the next few years.

Another highlight of the Murray win was the wild excitement shown by his coach Ivan Lendl.  Lendl a two time Wimbledon runner-up once famously quipped “grass is for the cows” when skipping Wimbledon in 1982 to go holidaying. Lendl may be the greatest grass court player to never win Wimbledon (other than the junior title in 1978).  His measured applause and hit of a smile was a rare display of emotion from the 8 time grandslam winner (clip below):

Congratulations Andy Murray.  Now let the US Open circuit begin. For the second year in a row there is a possibility of a different champion at each of the grandslam events.

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Posted on 08-12-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

 The smiling visage of Johnny Heisman now stares out over Times Square, New York.  Texas A&M’s archaic marketing department has really changed since Jason Cook came on board.  Dear University of Oregon, you stick a billboard in Times Square after your quarterback wins the Heisman.

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Posted on 08-12-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football has made history.  Tonight the electric Texas A&M QB became the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy.  Manziel’s win was dominant – winning 5 out of the 6 voting regions and losing the Midwest to the runner-up Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo by only 3 points.  Video of announcement and Manziel speech below:

It has been a heady ride for the young man from Kerrville, Texas.  In the spring he seem destined for the role of backup.  In the summer an arrest for flashing a fake id to a police officer suggested that his days in College Station were numbered.  But he persevered, working on his game with a QB coach in California.  His improvement as a passer in fall practices and the realization by his coaches that this kid had “IT” got him the starting job.

Manziel showed flashes of his skills in an opening season loss to Florida.  As teams ganged up to stop the run he increasingly beat them with the pass.  To that he added his own particular brand of sandlot improvisation along with some darn good luck.  Video below.

Now a delighted (and relieved) Aggieland revels in its second Heisman trophy winner (the last 55 years ago) as the cherry on the icing of an unexpectedly successful inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference.  Manziel returns home to prepare for Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and the rest of his college career with a giant bulls eye on his back.  He will also get his own bill board on Broadway.

Congratulations Johnny Football…I mean Johnny Heisman.

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Posted on 26-11-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

But for a handful of conference title games the regular football season is almost over.  Award season will soon be upon us to be followed by the Bowl games.  In a week Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel could end up as the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy – reserved for the most outstanding player in college football.  Yet Manziel – aka Johnny Football – faces a stiff rear guard action from people who do not believe a freshman should receive the Heisman.  This prejudice used to extend to all underclassmen until Tim Tebow won the award as a Sophomore a few years back.  Sophomores won the Heisman the next two years.

Manziel has been a human highlight reel obliterating SEC offensive records.  While his sheer reckless and fearless play can induce palpitations in this Aggie, he has been an absolute delight to watch.  Added to the joy is Texas A&M’s first 10 win season since 1998 after a decade of mediocrity sometimes laced with sheer awfulness.  Some enterprising soul compiled clips of all of Manziel’s 43 TDs from this season where he racked up 4,600 yards and became the first Freshman to pass for 3,000 yards and rush over 1,000 yards.    Johnny Football should soon become Johnny Heisman.  Enjoy the video below and Gig’em Aggies:

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Posted on 10-11-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:23

For the last time this night SCOOOOOOOOOBBYY DOOOOOOOOOO For those who are wondering what this is about see here.  Need to party.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:18

I am in absolute shock…a good  shock…but still a shock.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:15

DOWN GOES BAMA…DOWN GOES BAMA….JOHNNY FOOTBALL FOR HEISMAN!!!!!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:14

WOW!!!! Offsides Bama…first down Aggies

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:12

Lousy play calling Aggies have to punt…Bama will get the ball back

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:09

Come on offense…one first down wins this.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:08

Its intercepted..its intercepted A&M still alive!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:04

Shit!!!  There is the play action bomb I was waiting for

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:03

Crap…3&out…Bama gets the ball with a chance to go ahead.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:58

Crap…deep bomb to Cooper torches A&M’s pass D…Bama back in it.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:55

A&M playing bend but don’t break…and almost intercepts…McCarron.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:50

LOL, the Bama returner was tackled by his own blocker

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:47

Beautiful deep pass by Manziel to Swope…and Then TD A&M to Malcom Kennedy..A&M goes for the kill

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:41

Whoop…Yeldon fumble…come on offense

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:40

Crap…Bama connects on a deep pass to a wide open WR.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:39

Hey..someone calls a Bama OL for holding…color me shocked.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:36

Ah…another Bertolet moment…missed FG!!!! Frack!!! Frack!!!! Frack!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:33

Big 15 yard personal foul on Bama for hitting defenseless reciever

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:32

Dang!!! What a catch by Swope over the middle

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:28

3 & out Bama after 3 passes and 1 completion…am puzzled why they are not pounding the ball.  Johnny Football time.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:24

In 3 quarters A&M 62 plays to Bama’s  45

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:21

Crap…A&M relies on Bertolet…and he somehow makes it….still up 6.  Now defense has to step up.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:16

A&M trying to pick on Fulton using the bigger Evans…but he finally breaks one up.  False start forces 3rd and 9 but Johnny Football runs for the 1st down (favorable spot).  A&M at the 10 after a quick run by Malena….A&M heads into the 4th knocking on the door and still somehow up 3…Do I dare believe?

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:12

A bit stunned to see Bama’s D wearing down before A&M.  Need some Trey Williams speed here to take advantage.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:11

Substitution confusion for Bama forced to take a time out.  They are subbing along with A&M to slow the pace down, but have to think that all that running will tire them down.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:10

A&m moving the ball this drive…three physical catches by Evans on this drive.  Swopes has been silent for a while…and there is a short screen to him on cue.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:05

Delay of game on A&M…lousy start to the second half.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 17:01

A&M is selling out to stop the run…Bama forced to go for FG…and barely in.  3 point game.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:59

That will hurt…huge conversion by Bama on third down to the RB…A&M defense on its heels.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:57

Please stop talking about AJ McCarron for the hypesman.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:55

Not sure why Bama is not pounding the big backs up the middle.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:50

WTF…referee made the tackle there…nice to see they call holding on at least one team.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:49

As usual Dingleberry’s play calling falls apart in the second half.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:48

Ticky tack call by refs…the same geniuses who missed the hold call on the last play.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:44

Bama is going to just pound the rock here….not sure why Bama has not used more play action here….nice defense by A&M…3rd down…there should have been a hold call on that play…3 and out Bama

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:41

3 & out A&M…not a good start…Bama can take the lead here.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:40

Dammit Dingleberry stop the designed QB runs

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:39

A&M gets the ball to start the half.  One thing I am very happy about Sumlin is that they are not scared by Alabama’s defense.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:19

I am very happy with this team, but this team is a couple of recruiting classes away from competing.  A&M can still win, but the defense  is showing its limitations.

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Posted on 10-11-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:18

A&M takes the knee goes into the half up six…Shades of LSU…A&M up early byt Bama coming back.  A&M gets the ball to start the half. New thread here.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:08

Bama knocking on the door….should be able to pound it in….TD Bama

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:03

And the wretched crew is back…did not think A&M’s defense would hold up, but this is too early.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:00

A TD by Bama and they are right back in this game…enough time for them to pound the ball down the field.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:59

Bama stops the Aggies on 4th..Manziel took too many hits on that drive

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:56

Bama finally stops A&M on 3rd down.  A&M trying to decide what to do.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:53

A&M is running Manziel too much..AGAIN!!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:52

Dang…what a third down conversion…should have sacked him twice.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:50

A&M starts deep after a penalty on the return.  Bama crowd alive after the TD.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:44

Bama knocking on the door…and there is the physical TD.  Bama run game finally alive.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:42

Bad tackling by A&M…Bama going to go on 4th and 4…and they get a favorable spot from the refs..first down.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:40

Bama has essentially abandoned the pass…seems to be working this drive…play action coming soon.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:39

Bama finally converts its first 3rd down.  Fast start by A&M but this game is not over yet.  Bama can still run the ball at an undersized A&M…I think they score here.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:34

End of the first quarter 20-0 A&M over Bama

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:33

The fast A&M start is why Saban was bitching about the no huddle.  Bama’s complicated defense struggles when they cannot get calls in.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:30

WTF Bertolet…misses another XP 20-0.  Aggies need another kicker

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:29

TD Aggies 21-0 DANG!!!!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:27

Wait knee was down…so Bama gets a break….refs trying to held Bama…that was a TD

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:24

There goes Johnny Football on the ground…..1st down A&M.  The Sumlin offense is the first A&M team in the last year that gets the screen play working….and once again Manziel turns a sack to positive yards…Another quick pass and A&M back in red zone…Now A&M is getting the run up the middle going….some really bad tackling by Bama defense….TD A&M 21-0..Dang!!!!

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:18

Refs bailing out Bama defense with unnecessary measurement.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:15

Two quick passes out of the open back.  Cannot forget the run game.  Bama forced to call time out.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:13

10 years ago Texas A&M upset a #1 team behind the heroics of a Freshman QB…and Kevin Sumlin was OC back then…

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:11

A&M defense on fire, another Bama punt…Johnny Football time again

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:06

How the heck did he do that…TD pass by Johnny Football after almost fumbling the ball…Scoooby Dooooooo 14-0 Ags

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:04

Great fake option pass…Aggies in the red zone.  Michael needs to stop carrying the ball loose…and stop dancing around.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:00

And there is the Bama rushing game…should set up the play action nicely….A&M gets McCarron’s first INT of the year.  Aggies here to  play.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:54

TD A&M 10th game this season A&M scores first….and Bertolet gets the XP (Whew) 7-0 Ags

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:52

And there is why Manziel is dangerous..gashes Bama up the middle.  A&M in the redzone.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:51

A&M offensive coordinator Kingsbury starting the damn QB draw again….I don’t like this…yet facemask foul on Bama

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:50

If you see Scooby Doo references, this will be why.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:49

Bama on offense.  Tide probably wants to make a statement against an undersized A&M DL….but so far so good.  3rd and 8 coming up….Whew…3 & out…Johnny Football time coming up.

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Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:46

Game time is almost here.  Have to admit I am very nervous.  Way too much hype building around a team that still has a lot to prove.  Johnny Football mania is building up, but the kid has a lot to prove.  Nick Satan is the best coach in the business and has had a week to prepare and deflate A&M.  The Tide OL will look to wear out A&M.

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Posted on 13-10-2012
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

The Cotton Bowl scrubbed free of puke burnt orange after University of Texas fans fled their half of the stadium during yet another ass kicking by the University of Oklahoma in the Red River Blowout Shootout.

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Posted on 03-04-2011
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

A week after Pakistan lost to India in the world cup yet again (having never beaten their arch rivals in the cup), Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi mouthed off about the superior “large and clean hearts” of Pakistan and Muslims (never mind than the Indian team currently has and has always had many Muslim players and India has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world).  Pity the superiority bestowed by Allah could not help Pakistan prevail on the field.  Added in for good measure was the typical conspiracy rant against the United States.  Always so much easier to blame outsiders rather than to take a cold hard look at the pitiful condition of your home country.  Afridi has learned the two faced approach of his nation’s diplomats – say one thing in India under the full blaze of the Indian and world media.  Mouth off your true feelings back home in Urdu.  Video in Urdu below:

 

This blog does agree with Afridi on one point, though not for his reasons.  As we have discussed previously, the charade of talks currently being conducted between India and Pakistan to keep the United States and Europe happy are pointless.  There is nothing really to discuss, particularly when Pakistan will not forswear terrorism as a tool of state policy.  The defensiveness was evident in Afridi slamming Indian player Gautam Gambhir for the temerity to dedicate victory in a final played in Mumbai to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks (note: Gambhir never named Pakistan, but Afridi knows who was responsible by his defensive lash out).   Even the Pakistani government has conceded the origin of the attackers (though not the identity of their trainers).  So Shahid Afridi get your own house in order…and up yours!

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Posted on 03-04-2011
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

The cricketing gods have smiled on India.  Twenty-eight years after a huge upset won them their first world cup, India regained the trophy on Saturday after a thrilling and competitive win over Sri Lanka.   It has been many years since I watched a complete one-day international cricket match, but the adrenaline rush from watching the Indian victory eased my bleary eyed exhaustion from watching the game through the night.

India’s world cup victory in 1983 is my earliest memory of watching cricket on television.  Unfortunately at the age of eight I was unable to stay awake through the late hours to watch Kapil’s Devils shock the cricketing world by upsetting favorites and defending champions West Indies.  In 2003 (the last time I managed to watch a complete game), an Indian team that was probably the second best team in the world came up short against defending champions Australia.

This world cup was different.  India entered as one of the favorites and after a forgettable first round brushed aside Australia (which won the last 3 world cups) and national rival Pakistan to make the finals.  Sri Lanka was a legitimate contender and I had every intention sitting through this game.  Yet when Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed early in India’s run chase leaving India dangling at 31-2, a familiar sense of despair that every Indian cricket fan has experienced through the years reappeared.

Yet this is a different Indian cricket team that does not fold at the first sign of adversity.  The fielding had been phenomenal during Sri Lanka’s batting (normally not an Indian strength), and now the Indian batsmen kept their cool gathering steady runs in singles and doubles (eschewing the riskier crowd-pleasing boundaries).  They gradually sucked the oxygen out of the Sri Lankan team which desperately varied permutations of bowlers to get a breakthrough.  In the end Indian captain M. S. Dhoni emphatically sealed the win (see video below) by knocking Sri Lankan bowler Nuwan Kulasekara for a six, igniting raucous celebrations around India and the Indian diaspora.

The beaming smile on the face of legend Sachin Tendulkar (video below from the 3:00 mark) who played in his sixth world cup (1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 & 2011) showed what the win meant to him.   The Indian players celebrated by carrying him around the stadium on their shoulders and lavished praise on him afterwards (video below from the 6:50 mark). Teammate Virat Kohli summed up India’s feelings towards its icon the most succinctly (at the end of the clip below):

“He has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders.”

 

;

 

A friend commented today on the coincidence of rising nations obtaining validation of their rise by success in the sporting arena.   After years of futility in the emotional heart of the cricketing world, a billion people in an increasingly confident nation are celebrating the culmination of their recent cricket resurgence.  And the greatest batsman of our time finishes (probably) his last world cup as a champion.  

Congratulations India, congratulations Dhoni, congratulations Tendulkar. Chak de India!!!

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The video below highlights some really bad acting by a Cal player during the Bears loss to the Oregon Ducks on November 17.  Cal used the latest defensive innovation to slow down hurry up offenses like Oregon.  However, while the Bears managed to slow down the quack attack, they still lost.  Video below:

It is not clear how such play acting can be curtailed. You don’t want a repeat of the situation four years ago when University of Houston Basketball coach Tom Penders collapsed on the sideline and was assessed a technical foul by officials who thought he was faking it. So the painfully bad flops will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Posted on 18-11-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

From the 2010 Asian Games soccer quarterfinal – Uzbekistan vs Qatar:

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Posted on 10-11-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Driscoll Middle School runs a trick football play as the other team forgets the cardinal rule of football – once the center snaps the ball clobber the ball carrier.  Video below:

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Posted on 13-10-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

In the aftermath of the Reggie Bush scandal that cost him the Heisman trophy and placed USC on probation, Alabama head coach Nick Saban bloviated about the “evil” agents victimizing his players and even called them pimps (wonder what a football coach who makes millions of dollars while steering his unpaid players to basket weaving degrees should be called).  The head coach of a school in Austin started politicking (unsuccessfully) for Bush’s revoked Heisman to be returned to his own former quarterback, Vince Young, who was the runner up to Bush.  This lends credit to a laughable assertion by college sports coaches today, that their own players are clean.  Bush’s primary sin was the brazenness with which he got paid. Yet a simple perusal of the cars that star players drive around campus should end that delusion.  Former agent Josh Luchs ripped back the veil on this issue this week by asserting that he repeatedly paid players (and so did other agents) during his career.

College football and basketball are major cash cows for the TV networks, colleges and coaches.  The NFL, NBA (and even the WNBA) get a free minor league system.  Yet the indentured servants who make it all happen do not get paid and cannot even profit from their own likenesses, as Georgia wide receiver A. J. Green discovered this year.  Coaches often steer them into majors that do not have any career value.  They cannot transfer without sitting out for a year (no such restriction on coaches).  Coaches can strip their scholarships for any reason and at any time (this most frequently happens when coaches oversign prospects or desperate assholes like Steve Spurrier try to make room on their roster, while Alabama’s shady Nick Saban puts healthy players on medical scholarships – most of these examples are from the Southeastern Conference for a reason).

The system stinks.  A more honest system would pay these players or tell the NFL or the NBA to create true minor leagues and stop discriminating against 18 year olds – who can drive, go to war, vote and work in almost every other profession but cannot be drafted by these leagues (the NFL rule requires players to have passed 3 years since high school, so unless you are Doogie Howser an 18 year old cannot be drafted).  Somehow I doubt that the well being of players will trump all the vested interests in their way.  The fraud of amateur sports will be around for a long time.

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Posted on 09-10-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Last week, I picked on coaching ineptitude (as an aside, Les Miles pulled off another crazy finish this week leading to more speculation about the nature of his pact with the devil). Now it is time for players to take their lumps.  This is from today’s Texas Tech-Baylor game.  The Red Raiders aggressively call an onside kick.  Unfortunately the kicker does not kick it the ten yards required for recovery.  The ball is still live with a couple of Texas Tech players hovering over the ball until an alert Baylor player scoops up the ball for a touchdown.  Luckily for the Red Raiders they still beat Baylor for the 15th consecutive time. Enjoy the clip.

This play reminds me of a Denver-Indianapolis game a few years back. As the clip below shows, the Denver defense forgot that a player has to be down by contact in the NFL (unlike college) for the play to be over.

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Posted on 06-10-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

College football fans who do not attend the University of Tennessee or the Louisiana State University should enjoy the comedy of errors that ended the game below.  In terms of sheer ineptitude, it easily surpasses the infamous play that ended Stanford-Cal game of 1982.  Heartbroken UT fans must be convinced that LSU coach Les Miles has sold his soul to the devil.  Weary LSU fans tired of coach Miles has giving them ulcers from his repeated mishandling of end of game situations have a team that is 5-0 and could win 9-10 games this year.  Their administration faces a tough decision whether to Solich the mad hatter.  Enjoy:

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Posted on 02-04-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

On the heels of one of the most exciting and upset prone March Madnesses ever, the NCAA seems to be laying the ground work for diluting its finest championship event.  See link.  College Football’s so called national championship (which is not run by the NCAA) is already a joke and despised by most fans.  The bowl season whose “tradition” supposedly is one of the reasons why Division 1A football is the only major sport in the country without a playoff gets diluted each year with the addition of new bowl games.  The scintillating match ups of teams with 6-6 records evokes a collective yawn.  But in the midst of this, college basketball delivers possibly the most exciting championship playoffs in the country.  But it was too much to expect that the money hungry overseers of a supposedly non-profit organization and coaches hoping for job security by getting their mediocre teams into the playoffs would not spoil a good thing.

A few years ago the NCAA allowed the camel to get his nose in the tent by expanding the bracket from 64 to 65 (two unfortunate teams play a one game playoff for the last spot on the brackets used in pools across the country).  Now the camel is all set to barge in with the bracket expected to expand to 96 teams.  The regular season (the holy grail in denying us a playoff in college football) now matters even less.  In the current format a 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed.  What are the chances of a 24 seed doing anything in this bloated playoff?

A rare word of praise to baseball in this blog.  It provides the toughest challenge for a team to make the post season, providing some exciting match ups in the home stretch.  That will change in March Madness.  At present the major conferences send between 30-50% of their teams to the playoffs.  The proverbial NCAA bubble provides some exciting match ups in February as teams are fighting for their post season lives.  Now that tension is likely gone.  Making the tournament will feel very similar to little leaguers all getting a trophy.  It will be hard to generate enthusiasm for the remaining bottom feeders with losing records on the new tournament bubble.

Mammon wins out once again.

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Posted on 14-03-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Selection Sunday arrived and soon causal and serious sports fans will furiously start filling out brackets in office pools across the country.  March sees the college basketball world caught up in tourney madness as the United States focuses in possibly the most entertaining sports post-season in the country.  At the end a champion will be crowned based on performance on the field and nobody will quibble that a deserving championship contender was somehow left out.

It provides a stark contrast to the short-sighted greedy leaders who run and are slowly ruining the most popular college sport in the country – Division 1A College Football.  Unwilling to share the revenue pie with smaller schools (who in any genuine playoff would have to have a shot at the title) the leaders of major colleges come up with an increasing array of excuses as to why a playoff (which every other sport including Division 1B, 2 and 3 football implement with little trouble) would not work.

Given the popularity of football, one would think that the TV revenues and fan attendance for a meaningful post-season decided on the field rather than by coaches and media polls would be a revenue bonanza.  Instead in the name of tradition and “protecting the players” we are treated to an array of bowl games between mediocre teams and no guarantee that the “national champion” deserves the title.

Enjoy the coming sports extravaganza while thinking of what could also happen in late December.  And also pray that March madness is not diluted by the pending asinine proposal to expand the number of teams from 65 to 96.  Let the madness commence.

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Posted on 10-02-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

A pending federal class action case could change the landscape of college sports.  See link.  This case does not deal with the issue of compensating current athletes.  The issue is whether a one year scholarship gave the NCAA the perpetual right to market a college player’s name and likeness and keep the proceeds.

The concept of amateur athletics is steeped in class issues.  The wealthy and upper middle-class idealized the amateur as a true lover of the sport.  Needless to say it helps when your pocket books are so comfortably lined that you can take time off to indulge in your hobby.  This is a luxury unavailable to the economic underclass.  The NCAA fudges the issue by permitting its members to offer academic scholarships to athletes with the understanding that they will not be paid.  The system probably works for the non-revenue sports which do not attract as intense  a fan and alumni following.  In the revenue sports (particularly men’s basketball and football) the system is a joke.

The rules prohibiting players have frequently been broken with punishment being meted out for the most blatant violations.  The NCAA’s enforcement mechanism is already somewhat a joke given its propensity to make an example of smaller programs while giving the major programs (the cash cows) a slap on the wrist.  And herein lies the problem.  The NCAA pretends that college athletes in major college football and basketball are their for an education.  The reality is that major college football and basketball are essentially minor league training leagues for the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.  Insult is added to the injury when major colleges enroll athletes in lightweight majors and courses that do them no good (assuming they graduate) in the job market.  Coaching salaries at major programs run into millions of dollars and successful a athletics program is a cash cow for these schools.

The myth that these athletes are there for an education also results in a bunch of rules to protect college programs.  Transferring athletes have to sit out for a year (something other students do not have to) and transfers within a conference have more draconian consequences.  Meanwhile coaches come and go as you please.  Scholarships are on a year to year basis and totally at the discretion of the coach.  So a hard working player who maintains his grades can still be cut because he did not have the athletic talent the coach thought he did.  Coaches regularly oversign players beyond the permitted scholarship numbers and can trim their rosters with no consequences if too many players qualify.  All of these are the hallmarks of a commercial and not an educational venture.

Then there are NCAA double standards for two sport athletes who turn professional in one of them.  University of Colorado football player Jeremy Bloom happened to be an Olympic caliber skier.  But to afford to ski competitively he had to turn professional which means accepting endorsements.  Seeing this as a backdoor to allowing players being paid the NCAA terminated his college football career.  Meanwhile it is possible for college football players to play professional (generally minor league) baseball.  So in 1998 the Texas Rangers (owned by University of Texas alumnus Tom Hicks) purchased the rights to University of Texas running back Ricky Williams (who everyone knew would play pro football in the future).  This is perfectly fine with the NCAA.

The professional leagues also encourage this fiction of the NCAA’s academic mission with arbitrary minimum ages for entering athletes.  After all they have a good thing going.  They get a minor league system they do not have to pay for and protect themselves from the desire to draft an athletic specimen who still needs to refine his skills.  So they prate on about the value of an education and player maturity.  One should note that similar concerns are rarely expressed for sports like tennis, gymnastics and golf dominated by white middle class kids.

The solution to this is simple though a bit expensive.  Create a genuine minor league system and/or remove the arbitrary age limits for playing in the professional leagues.  The success of Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James makes the basketball age limit even more offensive.  The kids who have not matured yet or cannot hack it at the next level will go to college.  College basketball does have cause to tremble, since more kids will consider the path taken by Brandon Jennings who skipped the sham of one year in college to play in Europe.

Most college athletes will never get a chance to play professional sports.  Careers are often cut short by injury, whims of coaches and a lack of talent to play at the next level.  Given the NCAA’s limp enforcement of academic standards for major programs it seems even more egregious to permit them to keep raking the money from their former indentured servants.

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Posted on 31-01-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

CBS has been drawing some deserved fire in the past week over how it selects “advocacy” advertisements for the Superbowl after agreeing to run the advertisement with Florida QB Tim Tebow and his mother on the hot button topic of abortion.  See link.  Count me in among the crowd who thinks the Superbowl should be a 3 hour respite from politics (and I did not approve of the government’s heavy handed logically flawed anti-drug advertisements in past Superbowls either).  Also if CBS in its dash for cash is willing to accept advocacy advertisements, its censorship board should be far more fair and balanced.  CBS has previously rejected the United Church of Life for an advertisement announcing that they welcomed gays and lesbians and (for this Superbowl) an advertisement for a gay dating site that showed two men kissing.  See link.

The Tebow advertisement has also drawn criticism (independent of his anti-abortion views which he is obviously entitled to state) for seeming to encourage expectant mothers to ignore medical advice and play Russian roulette by relying on God to keep them from harm.  See link.

Tebow has never been shy about his faith.  However, for all the articles about how he is risking his financial future one must note that he practices the majority faith of the country in a region and a sport populated by fellow believers.  Similar public displays of religiosity do not seem to have cost the now retired Kurt Warner.  Likewise, for all the ire CBS has drawn for airing this advertisement it is still catering to the beliefs of the dominant religion in this country.  If CBS seeks to run advocacy advertisements during sporting events it should have the gumption to also run advertisements that could cause some discomfort to the same group, something freedom of speech is all about.  If it cannot live up to its obligations as a media entity, it should keep sporting events free of such advocacy advertisements involving politics and religion.

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Posted on 31-01-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

Ever since the notorious Bodyline series in 1932-33 caused a diplomatic incident between England and Australia, politics has rarely stayed away from the game.  In stark contrast to many other team sports, international cricket has generally been played at the national level with various domestic leagues within cricket playing countries.  While some like English county cricket occasionally brought in a few foreign players, domestic cricket as the name suggests generally consisted of teams stocked with local lads.

Until the formation of the Indian Premier League two years ago, cricket did not have a private league (and even this one was started by the Indian cricket board with private team owners) akin to the various soccer, baseball, basketball and ice hockey leagues around the world.    The new IPL also had to reach an accommodation with various national cricket boards to make sure that players would be available for international tournaments.  A very different setup than that which exists in the United States where the MLB and NHL seriously consider not making their baseball and hockey players available for the Olympics.

But these controversies pale before the brouhaha sweeping the subcontinent today.  It started when the latest IPL player auction failed to select a single player from World Twenty20 champion Pakistan.  See link.  This promptly brought tit for tat exchanges between the Pakistani and Indian governments.  Pakistan alleging that this was orchestrated by an Indian government not serious about peace with Pakistan and the Indian government retorting that they had placed no restrictions on the operations of the private league Pakistan should look to themselves as to why the snub occurred.  The Pakistani media has resorted to its typical bout of conspiracy theories involving the Indian spy agency RAW, the local mafia and hard right nationalist politicians.  See link.  Stung by the snub, Pakistan has revoked future participation by its players in the IPL.  See link.

I think Occam’s razor rather than any deep conspiracy to humiliate Pakistan probably provides the likeliest explanation.  Emotions in India still run high from the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the half-hearted Pakistani attempts to suppress the terror groups Pakistan spawned. The 2009 IPL season was played in South Africa due to concerns for player security (not helped by the attack on the Sri Lankan team visiting Pakistan).  It is likely that the IPL owners simply did not want to deal with the security hassles involved with Pakistani players.

Then there is the issue of local xenophobes disrupting play.  Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has already lashed out at film actor Shah Rukh Khan (the owner of an IPL team) for suggesting that he would have signed a Pakistani player.  See link.  While purists can hope for the old Olympic ideal of suspending hostilities during a major athletic event, the reality never lives up to the ideal.  Right wing nuts like the Shiv Sena have been disrupting Indian-Pakistani cricket matches scheduled to be played in India for the past 20 years.

It is hard not to sympathize with IPL owners for wanting to avoid this headaches.  It is not the only one they have had to deal with.  Thackeray has also turned his fire on the Australian cricketers as scapegoats for the rash of attacks on Indian students in Australia in the past year.  Now the Australians are considering skipping the lucre offered by the IPL.  See link.  A group in the Telangana region agitating for statehood within the Indian union is promising to disrupt local matches as this would distract from their pet cause.  See link.

While Pakistan sulks and opportunists and xenophobes bask in the sun, the toxic mix of nationalism, xenophobia and idiocy threaten to deny cricket fans an entertaining sports spectacle.

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