SPORTS Musings

***The sports-world is always fascinating, not just by the athletic prowess of the athletes but even more so by the shenanigans behind the scenes. The latest sports-news that has everyone gasping is the INCLUSION of homosexual players in the locker-rooms of both the NBA and the NFL – almost as titillating as the news a while back that female reporters just had to be allowed to gather in the land of the liniments and four-letter words and hobnob with the players, no matter the circumstances – in fact, the more nudity, vulgarity and obscenity the better. The crude male athlete who dares to offend one of the ladies in word or deed is subject to a virtual sports-hanging, maybe by an extra-strong jock-strap attached to a goalpost. To my knowledge, male reporters are not welcome in women's locker rooms but perhaps the president will take on this problem.

Obama was quick to send Michael Sam, homosexual drafted by St. Louis, his personal congratulations, not because of his great play but because he is the FIRST outed homosexual to join in the concussion conference called the NFL. As a defensive-end, his primary assignment will be to disable the opposing quarterback in any way possible, with concussion or broken bone the preferable modus operandi. Sam was the SEC co-defensive player of the year – supposedly among the best in the nation – but was number 249 in the draft, so reluctance to have a team competing with a circus might have been the reason for Sam being hugely passed over by the owners.

His being picked might have been leaked since his supposed reaction was well-choreographed and recorded, with Sam and his boyfriend reduced to gallons of tears and then a passionate smooch and wild embrace such as seen only in x-rated movies...looked for a while there that Sam might break the poor guy's back. It was such a “diversity-highlight” that Oprah made a quick move to do Sam's documentary (gobs of greenbacks in view) and had the game on the road but pulled back since the word was out that Sam needed no distractions while trying to actually make the St. Louis roster, not guaranteed by a long shot unless perhaps the prez shows a pout and blames the “typical white person” (his term) for discriminating. If Sam & friend are so inclined, maybe Obama will treat them to a D.C. wedding and clear the way for an adoption or two. I don't know if lesbians are welcome in the WNBA or not, but maybe the prez will order the attorney general to look into the matter.

***President Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, has just been fired as Oregon State's basketball coach and awarded a severance boondoggle of $4 million, ten times the prexy's meager salary. Robinson's teams had a record in six years of 94 wins and 105 losses (but hadn't made the NCAA or even the NIT tournaments), so OSU figured it was worth multi-millions to fix it so Robinson won't have to work again, and take a chance on someone else to either win or be paid handsomely to “retire.”

***In Kentucky, things are strange as well. The University of Kentucky football team won only two games (17%) in 2013, but its football coach, Mark Stoops, gained a 1.5-year extension of his contract and raises worth $250,000 over the new term extending through the 2018 season. The reason for such a great reward for so little is that Stoops has increased recruiting results based on the info disseminated by agencies judging high school players. If the athletic director changes his mind before 2018 (quite possible), Stoops probably has a huge payout clause in the contract. Just a few years ago, the UK athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, paid the UK basketball coach, Billie Gillispie, $3 million to go away, even though he and Gillispie had actually never signed a contract.

Of course, Stoops got the UK job when Barnhart fired his predecessor, Joker Phillips (13-24 in three years), and awarded him $2,550,000 for the privilege. This stuff can't be made up. How many CEOs would keep their jobs if they managed to throw more than $5 million down the drain in just five years? UK is also doing a $110 million redo of its stadium, including tearing out over 7,000 seats and installing plush “skyboxes” where the fat-cats can legally get drunk like everyone could in the old days. The UK recruiting guru (Stoops main guy as a reason for his good fortune) makes $275,000 a year and the offensive and defensive coordinators (assistant coaches) make $550,000 and $500,000, respectively. Stoops comes in at well over $2 one of the poorest states.

***And then there's NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's absolutely inexcusable, outrageous, racist, discriminatory use of free speech, as if anyone outside LA ever heard of him in the first place or gives a rip in the second place, not to mention that President Obama, using his grandmother (who raised him) as an example, referred to the “typical white person” in Philadelphia in 2008 as being uncomfortable in the presence of another person unlike him or her. He referred to Pennsylvanians as Bible-toting gunslingers out to ferret out illegals and do something with them. He didn't say what.

Sterling has the longest tenure of NBA team-ownership and pays his players millions upon millions. The NBA head honcho told Sterling to get rid of his team and get outta Dodge (like the prexy told Qaddafi, Mubarak, Saleh and Assad) and even had poor Qaddafi assassinated but so far has not been able to waste Assad. All the places those beauties ruled are now in total chaos and so will the NBA be if the high-handed thuggery being exercised by the NBA commissioner is allowed to be successful. Sterling has a right to speak his mind as long as nobody's hurt (with words?), just as does every citizen. Those who scream “being offended” need their heads examined since no one can be offended by words unless he chooses to be, i.e., smaller than the alleged offender – just plain common sense. Victim-hood is popular now but the millionaire ball-bouncing Clippers players probably don't mind Sterling signing their checks for suffering through 82 games a season. They don't have to like Sterling, nor does he have to like them. They probably call him every bad thing imaginable in the locker-room. Who cares?

Ah...SPORTS...thy name is CORRUPTION!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark