This piece started as a reply to a blog on this topic over at Helmet And Pads Required, but it grew too long, so now it lives here as it’s own piece.
So that you may better understand the perspective from which this is being written. I am a middle-aged, educated black man who has seen his interest in the NBA wane over the past fifteen years. This is also not the first time I have written about what ails the NBA.
I grew up loving basketball. In fact, my dad had some sweet L.A. Laker season tickets during the “Showtime” era. There’s a reason why the 1980′s were the pinnacle of that league’s popularity – it was putting a better quality product on the floor. Granted, that quality has improved in the past few years, but there are several reasons why this league has some major financial problems. This whole “NBA All-Star Weekend is Black Thanksgiving/Race is the Problem” issue may or may not be one of them, but I will come back to that.
First, the NBA pays its players too much. Sixty percent of revenues are going to player salaries; that’s a model that would kill a lot of businesses like it is killing the NBA.
Compounding that problem is the fact that the NBA has priced itself out of the market for the average guy’s entertainment dollar. Try to take a family of four to a decent NBA game in halfway-decent seats and not spend 300 bucks. You can spend 30 bucks just parking your damn car. For 200 bucks, I can buy the NBA League Pass and see every game from the comfort of my own living room.
Why don’t I just do that? Because the package isn’t worth it. Let’s be honest, there are only about eight or nine teams in this league worth watching, The Spurs/Thunder game the other night was one of the best games I’ve watched in quite a while; on the other hand, you could count on your fingers how many people in the Eastern Time Zone were awake at the end of that Blazers/Nuggets game.
Lastly, the NBA has a problem with where it’s “marquee” franchises are. The NBA has theirs largely centered in places with large “urban” populations (and yes, we all know for what that is a “code word”). The NFL has a model in which it has teams of consequence and star power in places like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. The NFL also has a ton of popularity. The NBA needs to find a way to get more Oklahoma City and San Antonio; it’s got enough Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston and Miami.
And that “code word” brings us back to the issue of race. I’m not sold that race plays as big a role in the NBA’s problems; I can build an equally convincing argument in my mind both pro and con. But I can tell you one thing – There is one very ugly reality about race in this country nobody is talking about: race relations in this country will stay on the same treadmill until blacks are willing to admit that in the last 25 years, they have taken ownership of a significant chunk of the responsibility for the state of such relations in America.
Blacks in this country love to act like they are incapable of racism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me tell you a couple of first-hand stories which illustrate that point.
I have an immediate female relative (I’m being deliberately vague because if it is discovered that I aired this bit of family laundry publicly, I will be in more hot water than I’m willing to get into over a blog). When said relative’s daughter was approaching college age, plans were in place for here to attend a nearby large state university, until one thing happened. The daughter had the audacity to bring home a white prom date. Next thing you know, this girl got shipped off to one of those “traditional” black colleges in the South because “there is no way in hell my daughter is going to end up married to some white boy.”
I have to digress a bit to tell the second story; follow me as I wander, it comes back to a crucial point. I married into a white family, and after I blazed the “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” trail, one of the male members of this family showed up at Thanksgiving with a black girlfriend whom he had already impregnated and planned a wedding with. Now, the baby isn’t even born yet, and there are battle lines being drawn over how this child is going to be raised. Know who is making all the ultimatums and issuing the dictates over how this child will be raised. It isn’t the white side of this poor kid’s family.
I mention this because I noticed both on this blog and in the comments references to Barack Obama and Tiger Woods. Know what the first “black” president and the first dominant “black” golfer have in common? Neither of them are black; they are both of mixed-race descent. Barack Obama is as much white as he is black, and Tiger Woods is even “less black” than that as both his parents were also of mixed heritage. But blacks have this “one drop of blood” mentality which means anybody with even the most-removed black heritage is inherently black.
This is the part where you are asking what the hell does this have to do with sports? This is where it gets ugly, because the subject of how black America treats mixed-race children illustrates black hypocrisy on race better than any other, and is that same black hypocrisy which anchors us to the discussion on race in sports. Growing up as mixed-race children, both Woods and Obama at some point had to make a choice as to which culture in which they were going to live. Woods largely had this decision made for him by his sport; the American golf world is a white one. Obama started in one world, being raised by the white side of his family and going by the name of “Barry.” He didn’t become “Barack” and embrace the black culture until he discovered that was part and parcel to advancing his career in Chicago politics. It also played a factor in who he married.
Go back to the immediate female relative I mentioned earlier. Demographically speaking, she is identical to Michele Obama, meaning she grew up middle class, and went to a good college, where she was accepted to the sorority of her choice, only to discover what the word “token” means, and has been pissed off at the whole world ever since. In other words, they are both members of a class that could drive “black” culture in a positive direction, yet they choose to be angry about everything.
That’s the key to this whole issue, anger. If you believe that white people won’t watch the NBA because it is full of black people, understand that the reason is anger. The vast majority of white people in this country are not racists. The vast majority of white people in this country have done what they can to open doors once closed to blacks (including sports). Let’s be honest, the whole underpinning of modern American liberalism is “white guilt.” The quickest way to get kicked off “Soccer Mom Island” is to drop the N-bomb in a conversation; ever since the OJ Simpson murder trial, the worst thing you can do to a white person in America is to call them a racist.
Yet it happens every day. Worse yet, it is a label that gets thrown on people that don’t deserve it. It is a label that can be legitimately, albeit wrongly, used whenever blacks have a problem. It’s easy, just take the “angry black” route and paint “whitey” with the racist brush, and therefore all your troubles become “the man’s” fault. The trouble is white people are growing angry at this race-baiting “boy that cried wolf” scenario. Sports live in the same world we all do, and they aren’t immune to its social currents. The fact is, that in sports and in real life, white people are simply tired of being called names and they are just going to stop dealing with the people doing the name calling, especially when those who are throwing the rocks of racism are living in the proverbial glass house.
Once again, the good people over at Listverse have given a list which in turn gave me pause to compare it to sports figures. Sports are a reflection of a world that is full of parasites, and so it seemed natural to compare those of the sports world to those of the real one.
Some of you may not know that bedbugs are actually more than just a cute little good night rhyme that your parents said to you before you went to sleep. They are as real as the other 9 entries. While they are not the worst or deadliest on the list they certainly have their share of difficulties.
Bedbugs have been on the rise lately and there are several theories as to why. Some point to increased international travel while others blame the lack of bedbug killing insecticides, most popularly DDT as well as the increasing use of gel-based insecticides. These gel-based insecticides are completely ineffective against bedbugs since bedbugs do not feed on anything other than blood. Control and elimination can only be achieved through repeated sprayings with an appropriate bug killer by a professional exterminator.
The bedbug is like a small tick that typically lives in and around the area of the mattress. They feed mostly during the night although they have been known to feed during any hour of the day. Due to their small size the bedbug can hide in mattresses, mattress seams, baseboards, headboards, screw holes, carpets, cracks in walls, bedroom clutter; practically anywhere in or around the bedroom. Bedbugs have been known to nest and walk as far as 100 feet in order to feed on their host.
The bites they leave are usually mistaken as mosquito or spider bite since the irritation and redness is very much the same. There is no scientific evidence that they spread disease although the bite sites may become infected due to scratching the bites. The misdiagnosis of the bites can also lead to a dramatic increase in infestation numbers before detection. The worst problems with bedbug infestations are not physical, but psychological. Once bedbugs are detected the host usually has heightened levels of anxiety, paranoia and fear.
Bedbugs are very difficult to detect and all too often a major infestation has occurred before detection. Their small size and elusive behavior only add to their difficult detection. Bedbugs are usually associated with lack of cleanliness and squalor, but this is not the case. Even the most posh and lavish hotels, apartments and homes have been infested with bedbugs. The bedbug can “hitch” a ride in clothes, luggage, purses, back packs and essentially anything that a small apple seed sized insect can work its way into. They are flat like a tick and can go over a year without feeding and still remain alive.
Another reason why bedbugs are a huge problem, aside from their detection difficulty and ability to live without sustenance for long periods of time, is their ability to breed rapidly. The female can lay over 500 eggs during a lifetime. Once the eggs hatch the bedbugs will immediately begin to feed. They usually feed once every several days and will pass through 5 molting stages, lasting 5 weeks before becoming a mature adult capable of breeding.
Representative Sports Figure: The Pittsburgh Pirates
In much the same way bedbugs are mistaken initially for other pests, The Pirates have been mistaken for a major league franchise for the better part of the last two decades.
The human louse is an epidemic affecting both children and adults though children seem to be more susceptible to infestation. African Americans are less likely to get lice because of the characteristics of their hair. Other hair types seem to be more ideal and suitable to the louse.
There are many different types of lice. The most commonly known is the head louse though there is also the body louse and the pubic louse. These aforementioned lice species are the only ones that are solely reliant upon humans for blood. Other species exist, but are limited to other animals.
The life of the louse is somewhat short. The eggs will hatch within about 6-9 days after which the nymph will molt 3 times over a 7 day period before becoming an adult. The molted shells and egg shells remain attached to the hair near the scalp. The adults are very fast moving and will usually live for about a month while feeding on blood and continuing to breed and produce eggs. The female louse is able to produce between 7-12 eggs per day.
Lice are very little yet easily detectable. Noticeable itching and redness occurs around the infested area as well as the occasional pustule. A fine toothed comb or a louse comb can be used to capture eggs and the lice themselves. Over the counter and prescription medications can be used to rid the host of the lice. It is also advised that everyone within the household be checked for lice as well as recurrence is common.
Representative Sports Figure: Chris Berman
I don’t think anybody ever died from lice, much like nobody ever really killed themselves after being forced to listen to Chris Berman, although I’m sure they wanted to. Berman was just kitschy enough to be interesting almost thirty years ago, but now he’s just become another bloated reason why the common perception is ESPN is out to suck the enjoyment out of sports one drop at a time.
Besides, he just makes me itch.
# 8 ) Leeches
One common misconception surrounding leeches is that all of them are completely reliant on blood from animals and humans. Blood-seeking leeches are only one type of leech. Some species of leeches feed on invertebrates and do not live in the water, but on the moist earthen floor and, under more dry circumstances, underground. Leeches are segmented worms closely related to the common earthworm.
The sanguivorous, or blood-sucking, leech is most often found in still or slowly moving water, but can also be found on land. The usual method of attachment to a host is by waiting on the ground or at the bottom of the floor of a body of water. Here they spend their time sensing movement or changes in light patterns. Upon sensing a potential host the leech will waver its body to and fro attempting to “fish” for the host.
The leech will use the sucker part of its mouth and the jawed leech will use its many toothed jaw to create an incision on the host. Afterwards the leech will secrete mucus like substances in order to remain attached to the host. The leech then relaxes its body after using anti-coagulants and a histamine to prevent clotting of blood and also to prevent the blood from turning indigestible. This is the amazing attribute of leeches that aids in using them for medicinal purposes.
The wound is not as bad as you might think. It may become irritated and ooze blood and fluid for several hours, but loss of blood is minimal. Infections are rare and although allergic reactions do happen they are usually nothing to concern one’s self about.
Representative Sports Figure: Agents
To borrow a line form a movie most famous for featuring an agent, “you had me at bloodsucker.”
# 7) Ticks
Ticks are classified as arachnids and there are many, many different varieties both hard and soft. The most commonly known are the black-legged tick, the lone star tick, the deer tick and the dog tick. The tick is capable of carrying diseases as well. The most well known are Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Ticks are usually found in areas with heavy underbrush and high weeds and grass as well as areas commonly traversed by deer and horses. The tick will wait in this type of environment as its host walks by where it will grab a hold and work its way toward a suitable area of the body, most often where an abundance of hair is present. On humans this is usually the scalp, but on other mammals this could be anywhere. This allows the tick to remain virtually undetected for several weeks as if gorges on the blood of the host.
Ticks have a fascinating lifecycle. There are three different types of ticks so far as the lifecycle is concerned. The one host female tick lives off of one single host for its entire life before dropping off and laying its eggs. Then there are the two host and three host ticks which live off of either two or three hosts in its lifecycle.
Many people have had ticks and many people have had to remove one. There are common misconceptions on how to remove ticks. Some people say to use the hot end of a match on the tick or spread a salve or petroleum jelly on the tick so that it will be unable to breathe and remove itself. These methods are both ineffective and unsafe as the tick could become agitated and regurgitate into the area in which it is attached thus increasing the possibility of disease or infection.
The best method of tick removal is to take a pair of tweezers and pinch as close as possible to the mouth of the tick, the point at which its head meets the area where the tick is lodged. Slowly and steadily pull the tick out. Avoid twisting or wrenching. After removal it is advised to either flush the tick down the toilet or put it in a container full of isopropyl alcohol to both kill it and preserve it just in case an illness befalls the host shortly after. This way it can be taken to a doctor and identified so that proper treatment can be administered.
Representative Sports Figure: The International Olympic Committee
Lies in wait for an unsuspecting host to come along, then latches on and sucks the blood out of it. Just ask any city that has been a host.
The flea is another common parasite. These things easily reproduce and can become a very big problem in only a short amount of time. Have you ever heard of The Black Plague? You can thank the flea for that.
Like the mosquito, fleas need blood from mammalian hosts in order to reproduce. Fleas will lay their eggs on the host which usually leads to an infestation of fleas originating around where the host most often resides, such as a pet’s sleeping area. Once the eggs hatch, typically within a few days to a few weeks, the larvae will spend their time in the larval stage consuming any available organic material such as dead skin cells and fecal remnants. The larval stage will last anywhere from 1 week to 2 weeks.
After three separate larval stages, the flea will create a silk-like cocoon and emerge after an additional 1-2 weeks. It is now time for the flea to find a host and begin providing blood for a new generation of offspring. In the small life of the flea, usually a few weeks, the female can lay several hundred eggs. This can lead to a severe infestation in almost no time at all.
The fleas are very versatile. Their bodies are flattened laterally to allow them to move easily on their host and also avoid being crushed. Their ability to jump is also a marvel. They have been known to jump over 100 times their body length. The fleas that typically bite humans are often cat fleas.
Representative Sports Figure: Randy Moss
Much like a flea, Moss is known for his jumping ability, his attitude can easily infest an entire team in no time, and he provides a general level of irritation. But unlike fleas, we may be done with Randy Moss.
# 5) Mosquitoes
I’m sure that most of us have been bitten by a mosquito before. These pesky flying insects are not only a nuisance but also a deadly health threat. They can carry many different types of parasites and diseases which cause conditions such as West Nile Virus, malaria, yellow fever and can even inject a parasite which causes elephantiasis. Mosquitoes are responsible for millions of deaths due to their ability to carry disease from host to host.
The mosquito needs blood in order to reproduce. Thus, it is the female of the species that is responsible for biting mammals. Interestingly enough, both the male and female mosquitoes regularly feed on nectar from flowers and fruits. However, the female requires the necessary proteins from blood to reproduce.
The mosquito’s life begins with the already mature female laying her eggs on fresh and stagnant water in groups of up to fifty. With enough blood she can produce these groups of eggs every three days for her entire lifetime. The female must lay her eggs in still standing water which is why it is recommended that you eliminate any free standing water around your property to minimize the possibility of a mosquito infestation.
Once the eggs have been laid they hatch in a mere 48 hour period. The larvae will live near the surface of the water anywhere from 1-2 weeks depending upon the temperature of the water in which they live. After this period they become pupa and will pupate in only a few days afterwards becoming adult mosquitoes.
The mosquito is attracted to a person’s body heat and also their scent, if you will. It is advised that you avoid heavy perfumes and colognes since they are attracted to sweet smells. However this is not a complete deterrent.
The female mosquito uses a complex proboscis coupled with an anti-coagulant within its saliva to draw blood from its host. Most often the host has no idea that it has been bitten until it is too late and the trademark itchy bump appears. These lesions are extremely itchy and easily irritated. Scratching can lead to infection so an anti-itch ointment should be applied to minimize the itch.
Representative Sports Figure: Roger Goodell
The $10 million salary Goodell draws from the NFL might as well be blood. Considering where he is taking the NFL, he might as well be the mosquito that give the league a fatal case of malaria.
# 4) Mites
Mites are a very common type of organism. There are many classifications of mites including, but not limited to, dust mites, fowl mites, dog mites, deer mites, chigger mites and scabies mites just to name a few. There are even mites living on you right now called hair follicle mites that are feeding on the oily secretions from your hair and scalp, but don’t worry. These mites are a normal part of the living process for us humans and those of us with good hygiene will never even notice that they exist since they are microscopic and completely harmless. Most of the time mites do not pose any type of threat or problem for humans, but the mites will feed on the blood of humans if its usual host is unavailable.
The most common mites that cause problems for humans are scabies. These microscopic parasites can cause extreme itching and red lesions on infected areas as they live their lives in and on the skin. Often times the infection is diagnosed as parasitic dermatitis and can be easily treated with prescription topical ointments.
Representative Sports Figure: Frank and Jamie McCourt
Normally, we would never have to care about these two morons, until they decided to a) buy a baseball team and b) make that team a part of their monstrous divorce proceedings. At least they are destroying the Los Angeles Dodgers, which proves even parasites can be helpful.
#3) Human Botflies
Botfly is a rather broad term given to any species of fly whose larvae live as parasites within the body of mammals. This can include anything from horses to sheep and deer and, as the title indicates, humans.
The human botfly maggot is contracted by mosquitoes and is most often found in Central and South America. The fly will capture the mosquito and lay several eggs on its body. Eventually, the mosquito will find a human and, during feeding, the eggs will fall onto the person and hatch. The botfly maggot will then chew its way into the host’s body. There it remains for approximately 5-6 weeks until it becomes engorged with flesh, all the while carving a hole in its hungering wake. At this stage, if left undetected, the maggot will pop its way out of the small hole that it has eaten inside of the host and fall to the ground where they pupate into an adult botfly in about 20 days time. Thus, the life cycle begins all over again.
The symptoms of a botfly maggot are not very difficult to detect. As the maggot begins to feed on the flesh of its host it will become bigger and bigger as the days pass often becoming red and swollen. The hole in which the botfly maggot has carved itself in the host’s tissue serves as a breathing passage for the larva. Every few minutes the larva will have to quickly and partially emerge from the hole to breathe.
Extraction of the botfly maggot is difficult and care must be taken when removal is being attempted. This process should be undertaken by a doctor or surgeon since trying to remove the larva without professional help can result in the maggot bursting, subsequently leading to serious infection.
Representative Sports Figure: The NCAA
If there were ever an organization that has burrowed its way so deeply into a sports it may never be able to be removed, it is the NCAA. The entirety of college sport is infected by the NCAA, and without professional removal, it will continue to be a parasitic influence on collegiate athletics.
Tapeworms are similar to hookworms. They are intestinal parasites that can be transmitted through soil and fecal matter, but most often are ingested by humans through undercooked meats that have not been adequately cooked to kill the tapeworm eggs. The tapeworms set up shop in the muscles of the host animal after being ingested through the feeding of grass or contaminated vegetables. The animal is eventually slaughtered and becomes food for us as humans.
The human host will ingest the tapeworm egg and as digestion of the food occurs the egg will eventually hatch and grow from a larva to an adult while feeding on blood and nutrients via the intestinal wall. The adults, being hermaphrodites, can then produce more eggs which will be released from the body through the stool. The eggs can linger around the toilet bowl or can even be flushed down the commode where they can infest the soil through sewage and irrigation water, thus, beginning the cycle all over again.
The symptoms of a tapeworm infection are very difficult to spot as there are often no outward symptoms to indicate an infection for a very long period of time. This can lead to the tapeworm growing up to 30 feet in small, segmented lengths resulting in a bloated stomach and malnutrition, amongst other conditions. These parasites have been known to live for a few decades if left untreated.
Representative Sports Figure: The WNBA
Face it, what started as a way for some arena owner’s to fill some dates in the summer has become a useless drain on the NBA, which can sorely afford any drains right about now.
# 1) Hookworms
The hookworm is transmitted through fecal matter. The eggs will hatch within about a week and grow into larvae which can live for close to a month within the soil of the earth or the feces which bore them. Upon contact with humans, usually through the foot, the worm will work its way through the host’s veins, into the heart and eventually the lungs. After entering the lungs they are sometimes expelled through mucus during a cough or simply swallowed by themselves. This gives the worm a one way ticket into the small intestine.
After setting up residence in the intestine the worm will attach itself to the intestinal wall and begin feeding on the host’s blood. If left undetected and untreated the hookworm can reproduce resulting in a serious intestinal infestation. This can lead to anemia, extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue and even a bizarre hunger for inedible things like dirt and mud. The life cycle of the worm begins anew when the host releases more eggs through bowel movements.
Representative Sports Figure: Donald Sterling
Sterling represents all that is parasitic about a bad owner; he’s taken a bad team and made it the worst organization ever. Worse yet, he’s found a way to make money, and his model has been replicated all over professional sports.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to the Movie The King’s Speech, George VI came back into the view of the American populace. If it weren’t for that movie, most Yanks had long since forgotten George VI’s role as a wartime leader and the fact he ruled sovereign over a quarter of the world.
Much as he did through the Second World War, His Majesty George the Sixth, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, and Last Emperor of India endeavors to lead us through the darkness of the impending NFL Lockout.
In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
It is difficult to ignore the ominous clouds gathering on the horizon of professional football. Across the realm, you subjects re barely able to turn on ESPN and not hear a grave and increasingly hopeless appraisal of the national game of America. As we move forward toward the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, it is increasingly apparent the NFL, led by Herr Goodell, is intent on marching on a path toward a lock out of its players; marching on a path to a long and costly battle which will be fought on many fronts and which will cost millions of dollars.
While this fight involves American football, understand the peril Herr Goodell poses to professional sport across the world. His dark and barbarous soul, one driven by greed and fed by his own hypocrisy, threatens to cast a pall across the world of sport from which no amount of money could ever extricate it. The tenets behinds his evil philosophy are many; yet they intersect at one central theme. Herr Goodell values money over the soul of sport.
It is for this reason, that I, as your King, believe that we must unite as a Commonwealth to stand in staunch opposition to Herr Goodell and his minions.
It is for this reason, that I, as your King, must state with unequivocal resolve, that should Herr Goodell choose to continue marching the National Football into the slaughter of a lock out, we must unite as a Commonwealth to liberate the National Football League from Herr Goodell’s tyranny.
It is for this reason, I will insist that while Herr Goodell is leading us into this war, I, as your King, will lead us victoriously from it. The moment Herr Goodell and his minions spill the first drop of blood, the moment the sports fans are deprived of the first game, I promise you there will be no quarter given, no mercy asked, and not one step backward until Herr Goodell and those of his ilk are no longer capable of exerting their will on the world of sport.
As we find ourselves on the precipice, I offer Herr Goodell one last opportunity to avoid the bloodshed a lock out will bring. There are three main points which must be addressed; these are the terms which will avoid a protracted battle for which the cost will be impossibly high for both sides. As I’ve been watching and reading about the issues on the table, it seems there are three issues there are simple solutions for. While I recognize everything in a negotiation is a bargaining chip, these are no-brainers for both sides.
First, there is the issue of the Rookie Salary Cap.
It is against all we stand for as honorable men to believe that it is fair to pay players at the top of the draft $50 million without them ever having played a down of professional football. Established players must be in favor of this as well as these unproven draftees take the bread from their ample mouths. Herr Goodell must show leadership and get the sides who already must agree on this issue to do so in an official capacity; the National Football League and the Players Association must agree to a rookie salary cap.
Then, there is the issue of financial transparency.
The Players Association seems bent on being granted access to the NFL owners’ organizational financial statements so they may validate their position one way or another. However, this will never happen as the owners know that public funding for stadiums would evaporate if it were discovered NFL teams were overflowing in ready cash. The Players must be ready to abandon this wish.
Lastly, there is the issue of the 18-game Regular Season.
This, as the most nefarious and harmful of ideas in this crisis, is one that is so dark and soulless it must have originated from nowhere else than Herr Goodell himself; as if it came from a vacuum of decency and slowly eroded the souls of the owners tempted by a few more dollars. Herr Goodell stressed this himself as a means to increase revenue for both sides and ensure the continued success and expansion of the product. Even the teams themselves can’t support this, if for no other reason the money will not offset the exposing of their most important assets, their players, to an increased risk of injury. The players do not support this as it they who will be injured. As the players must abandon their wish to be granted access to the accounting of the owners, the owners must abandon this wish.
In the interests of the National Football League, in the interests of its players, and in the interests of sports fans across the width and breadth of this realm, it is vital that we not continue this march into the fires of a lock out. Together, we must save the game; a game that still is the master of the domain of television, a game that continues to enjoy financial growth in a time of global economic malaise, and a game that Herr Goodell would suck the very vitality from if given the chance. Together, we must save the game; we must destroy those who would destroy it.
If you are under 50, you likely never heard of Ollie Matson. In short, he was a star of the NFL in the 1950′s, and he was the subject of a legendary block-buster multi-player trade back in the day, a trade that paved the way for the Herschel Walker deal some 30+ years later. Dick Marple, a man I consider to be one of the great sports historians, offers the perfect summation of Matson’s legacy.
I don’t know how much you know about this historical figure, but you might want to investigate him. I was a tyke when the big trade was made. I remember thinking the Chicago Cardinals got screwed. I only knew about star running backs, so I had no idea who went to Chicago. Let’s just say the Cardinals did not build a Dallas-like dynasty with what they got from the Rams. I thought, growing up, that Ollie was the best pre-Jim Brown RB in NFL history. I didn’t know about the Olympic stuff, but I still doubt if he was the physical specimen that Herschel was. However, I do suspect that Ollie had a bit more heart than the Herch-ster did.
If you are one of those under 50 who now needs to start the investigation suggested by Mr. Marple, start with this obituary from Legacy.com.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ollie Matson, a Hall of Fame running back who was once traded for nine players during his 14-year NFL career and won two medals at the 1952 Olympics, has died. He was 80. Matson died Saturday of respiratory failure surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles, his nephew Art Thompson III told The Associated Press.
Thompson said Matson had been mostly bedridden for several years due to a form of dementia. He said Matson hadn’t spoken in four years.
As a senior at the University of San Francisco, Matson led the nation in rushing yardage and touchdowns while leading the Dons to an undefeated season. He was the No. 1 pick of the Chicago Cardinals and third overall in the 1952 NFL draft, and went on to share rookie of the year honors with Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers.
Matson played with the Cardinals from 1952-58 before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams for nine players. He made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 195 7.
He spent 1959-62 with the Rams, then played a single season for the Detroit Lions before finishing his career with Philadelphia from 1964-66.
Matson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972, and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, winning MVP of the 1956 game. He also made the All-Pro team seven times.
Matson earned a silver medal in the 1,600-meter relay and a bronze in the 400 meters at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
Born May 1, 1930, in Trinity, Texas, Ollie Genoa Matson II moved to San Francisco when he was in high school. After graduation from George Washington High, where he developed into one of the city’s greatest prep athletes, he enrolled at City College of San Francisco. He spent one year there before transferring to USF.
Thompson said before his uncle’s health declined in the past week, he could walk with assistance and his children often took him on outings.
“For those in his family, he was ‘The Man,’” said Thompson, a former sports writer for The Orange County Register. “Whether it was barbecuing, listening to his collection of Dinah Washington and Sam Cooke albums, winning games of skill, giving sage advice to the younger generation or just maintaining a calm steady hand … we all felt his positive influence.”
Matson is survived by his children Lisa, Ollie III, Bruce and Barbara; his twin sister Ocie Thompson; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary, whom he married in 1954, is deceased.
Ollie, we hardly knew ye.
It’s no secret that I like to have a radio on in my office while I do what it is that I do, and every once in a while I hear something that I find truly provocative that it rattles around in my head until it falls on to my keyboard.
This morning, ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd made an observation about who watches the National Basketball Association versus College Basketball. His theory is since the NBA is seen as more “urban” and college basketball is more “comfortable” amongst the rural crowd, there is some bigotry involved in why certain people do not like the NBA. Let’s be honest; we all know for what “urban” is a code word.
The problem is some people might claim that is the only reason; to do so misses a very important point. The NBA is an “urban” league because of where it’s “marquee” franchises are. Face it, its no coincidence the top four NBA franchises in terms of value are in metropolitan areas with the highest “urban” populations. While college basketball has teams in all locales, it has lots of “urban” players. Check out the population demographics on Lafayette, Indiana. While it is the home to Purdue, it is decidedly not “urban.” However, you can’t get much more “urban” than E’Twuan Moore or JaJuan Johnson.
To me, that fact says “urban” isn’t the NBA’s problem. Rather I would suggest it has more to do with the level of competition each offers. Where I live, my college v. NBA viewing choices are Purdue, a team that is historically competitive versus the Indiana Pacers, a team that frankly isn’t very good. I’d rather watch good college basketball rather than bad professional basketball. “Rural” America is full of these sort of choices. If you live in Columbus, would you rather watch Ohio State or the Cleveland Cavaliers?
However, the only thing worse than a bad choice is no choice. In short, the NBA simply doesn’t have good teams in “rural” America. For example, Kansans are crazy for basketball, but Kansas City has no team; the NBA abandoned it years ago for Sacramento, where it is failing. Out of the last ten NBA Champions, only one is not from “urban” America, the San Antonio Spurs.
I may be just another Hot Pocket Eater, Mr. Cowherd, but I might suggest that if the NBA wants fans in “rural” America, they should put some teams worth watching out here in “fly-over” country. There’s a swath of cities where ownership with some creativity could make a run toward success; a better run than many current franchises are making. I don’t want to get into the minutia of such a plan at this time, but at the conceptual level it would involve a combination of relocation and/or contraction, revenue sharing, and a revamping of the draft and free-agency so that it becomes economically viable for a Cleveland to hang on to a LeBron AND put a supporting cast around a star. I don’t know exactly how to do that; but there are guys with much larger brains for this sort of stuff who do.You are due for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement; the time to do this is now.
So, let’s get the right team of guys together, let’s get franchises into cities that really want them so there are more than 5 cities with NBA teams worth watching. That way, I don’t have to get called a “racist” for not being interested in a sub-par product.
Remember the movie “The Day After?” In case you don’t, this 1983 classic cultural phenomenon was a brutally graphic, entirely disturbing account of the effects of a nuclear war on the people of Lawrence, Kansas. It was no accident the makes of this film picked Lawrence; anybody who has been that close to the meltdown known as Jayhawk basketball are well versed in the effects of thermonuclear implosion and toxic radioactive fallout.
This is why the level of denial in Jayhawk is at once admirable and pathetic; noble yet completely blind. After all, if you lived in such a wasteland, you would need a serious set of coping mechanisms as well, but to invest so much in such a fraudulent program as Kansas basketball is just sad beyond all description. This is because there are only two types of Jayhawk seasons. There’s the ones where they win (there have only been three of those), and there’s the ones when they don’t; the ones in which Kansas fans go through some seriously torturous mental gymnastics to atone for not winning.
The fundamental problem is that Kansas fans believe that they should win every single year, and when the Jayhawks don’t, their fans cocoon themselves in this layer of false history. Jayhawk fans think the entire sport is their birthright; that its history is proprietary to Kansas simply because their legendary coach Phog Allen was rumored to be Dr. James Naismith’s gay lover.
To understand this fraudulent nature, let’s break down that history they love so damn much. First of all, while Naismith was the inventor of basketball, he didn’t invent it in Kansas. Do you know what did get invented in Kansas? Shooting people over slavery. But that’s not as “feel-good” as believing your basketball team is historically elite.
Then there’s the championships, all three of them. In the grand scheme of college basketball, that put’s you one notch above such traditional hoops powerhouses like Cincinnati, Louisville, San Francisco, and Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State). As far as history is concerned, there are four historically elite programs: UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana, and North Carolina; with Duke on the verge of joining that group. Kansas is just in the discussion for “best of the rest.”
Let’s say you don’t want to talk about history; let’s talk about this year’s Jayhawk squad. Let’s talk about how over-rated KU basketball really is. This isn’t a #1 quality team; they are certainly a decent team, but they aren’t top-level good.
1) This year’s team only has two above-average players; the Morris Twins. Take those two guys off the table what’s left? A bunch of guys who play less than seven minutes per game, and of the guys who actually get on the floor more than that, there’s only one who has a FG% over 55%, and there’s only one who snags more than five rebounds a game.
2) Bill Self is the one of the worst “big-time” coaches I’ve ever seen. This past week represented the fifth time during his eight seasons at KU in which the Jayhawks have been ranked #1. In fact, Kansas spent 15 weeks ranked at the top last season. How did that end again? Two words: Northern Iowa.
3) Never play K-State on the day KU gets named to the #1 spot. KU has done that twice, and is 0-2 in those games.
4) When it comes to the tournament, look at the AP top 25 poll last week in which Kansas was #1. Of the teams in the top 5, you’ve already lost to Texas, there’s no way KU could beat Ohio State or Pittsburgh away from Allen Fieldhouse, and while Duke doesn’t impress me, Coach K could coach circles around Bill Self.
5) Still don’t believe Kansas is over-rated? Look at recent history under Bill Self. Sure, there is an NCAA Championship in 2008, but that is off-set by what are three of the most embarrassing early-round losses in tournament history:
- 2005 - #3 KU gags against #14 Bucknell.
- 2006 – #4 KU gags against #13 Bradley.
- 2010 – #1 KU gags against #9 Northern Iowa.
The bottom line: regardless of whether you are talking yesterday or today, be careful when quoting history as a KU fan; there’s a lot of it that doesn’t work in your favor.
So if you haven’t heard, JaMarcus II held a private workout in San Diego for select members of the media. It was really a sham; he danced around some agility exercises and threw a few balls, a show that didn’t show anything really useful other than athleticism, but it was enough to make ESPN football analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer fall in love with Cam Newton.
“He’s gonna skyrocket up the boards,” Dilfer said, “because as guys are just now diving into his game film – which I did all week long – you begin to get a feel for how talented this player is, and what a good quarterback he is.”
Dilfer was impressed with the progress Newton has made technically under quarterback coach George Whitfield.
“George Whitfield, his quarterback coach, has done a masterful job coaching him from the feet up,” Dilfer said. “He showed great balance, he showed great foot energy as he did drop back and take snaps from under center.”
The former Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion signal-caller was also impressed with the difficulty of the workout Newton did in front of the cameras.
“This is a guy that in his workout threw about 30 very challenging throws, and in each one of those throws he kept his eyes down the center of the football field, spun his eyes back to the perimeter, and delivered the ball early with anticipation,” said Dilfer. “This is a gifted, gifted passer – something I don’t think many people know.
“These were throws down the football field into a pretty stiff wind… I mean, this wind is probably blowing probably 10, 15 miles an hour, in his face. He knifed the ball through the wind. He controlled it very well; the ball spins very nice off of his hand. And because of that, I thought it was a more challenging workout than many of these other guys will have.”
Now, I may not have a Super Bowl ring, but I do have two eyes; two eyes that were more concerned about what they didn’t see. I didn’t see anything that suggests Newton is ready to play in a “pro” set, I didn’t see anything that suggests Newton has any idea how to read a pro defense, and I didn’t see anything that speaks to Newton doing anything about his “character” issues.
Newton has been in San Diego since late January, working six days a week with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. and receiving advice from Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. By his own admission, he’s got a long way to go to be ready as an NFL quarterback, he said he’s working on “the whole grand scheme of playing quarterback in the NFL. “
“A lot of times I probably can count on one hand the times I took a snap from under center in one game. But now it depends what scheme you go into, but at the same time you have to be able to get a snap from under center and be fluent at it. That’s one of the first things we tried to tackle.”
“Asked if he was surprised some people don’t think his skills won’t translate to the NFL, he replied: “That’s the competitor that I am. I won’t be surprised — I’m making that leap right now — until I’m a Super Bowl champion. That’s what I’m going for from day one, reaching for greatness. The supporting cast that I have is pushing me to be great, I’m pushing myself to be great and I demand greatness for myself. So coming in the door, working out every single day, I’m shooting for greatness.”
Let’s be honest…Newton may have athleticism, but it takes much more than that to be an effective NFL quarterback. Remember last year at this time when it was Tim Tebow putting on the private displays in an attempt to raise his draft stock. It worked for him, and it may work for Newton. But any team that drafts Newton high is making a mistakes. Why? The aformentioned character issues, which the lack of was one of the reason Tebow pulled this off.
Newton doesn’t have that luxury. I’m not a big believer in coincidences; Newton is one of those guys who always has controversy following him wherever he goes, and he always has a story for it. It that seemingly questionable character which has me convinced Newton is just a reprise of JaMarcus Russell. In fact, the connection is so clear, the calculus can be demonstrated in a pictoral fashion.
So, good luck to you, which ever NFL team is preparing to make the Cam Newton mistake. You’re going to need it.
Honestly, wasn’t it enough you made me live through that maggot-infested turdpile of a movie “The Blind Side.” Micheal Oher made an appearance on the Piers Morgan Show last night on CNN, and just the sight of him getting the usual meaningless, softball questions about his upbringing sent me straight back to the tirade I had coming out of the theater.
Even if we had been in the same theater, we probably didn’t see the same movie, largely because we aren’t the same person. Speaking demographically, I am a middle aged, educated black professional. Speaking statistically, you’re something other than that. I realize that discussing any topic that even touches the race issue invites a veritable shit-storm, but I don’t care. Every time I see Michael Oher, it just reminds me “The Blind Side” might as well have been “Birth of a Nation” inasmuch as it is one the most patently racist things I’ve ever seen.
First of all, you must understand that I completely reject a common American belief about racism, namely racism can only be practiced by the “stereotypical” bigot; the “conservative” or the guy driving a pick-up truck with a Confederate flag bumper sticker. That impression is so monstrously wrong it is one of the main reasons why racism is alive and well in this country despite all the things we’ve actively done to kill it. You also must understand that I avoid political topics on this blog; that is plainly stated on this blog’s “About Dubsism” page. In fact, if these disingenuous white liberals would stay on CNN, I would be more than happy to ignore this topic entirely. But once they invaded the world of sports, especially with a story made of whole cloth, I simply cannot let that stand.
Oh, you didn’t know a major part of the story in “The Blind Side” is completely false? Michael Oher will tell you himself:
To viewers of the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” which told the story of how Oher came to live with the wealthy Tuohy family, Michael Oher might have seemed … let’s see, how does Oher himself put it in his new book, I Beat The Odds?
To read Oher’s own version of his life (ghostwritten by former Sports Illustrated associate editor Don Yaeger) is to witness a real feat of grace: he decisively reclaims control of this story without once taking anything away from his love of or his gratitude for his adoptive family — a family that’s been elevated to near sainthood.
In fact, the book is not a list of complaints about how his life has been represented at all. Well — okay. That’s not entirely fair. He has one major complaint. There is one place where the frustration he feels about the distortion of his story is most palpable. Here it is: Michael Oher is really, really frosted that they made it look like Leigh Anne Tuohy had to show him how to play football.
Oher wrote this book to explain to kids that there is more to escaping a life of great poverty and need than waiting around to be adopted by rich people. He wrote it to recognize some of the other people besides the Tuohys (about whom he writes with tremendous love and devotion) who were so important to the changes in his life. He wrote it to offer advice to those who have heard the story and want to help kids who are in the foster care system.
But if I had to guess what put him over the top, and what made this naturally reticent guy decide to pull the trigger and work on a book about himself, I’d guess it was the scene in the film where Sandra Bullock, as Leigh Anne Tuohy, drags him around football practice explaining what blocking is. Oher devotes only a couple of paragraphs to his reaction to the film, but here’s part of what he has to say:
“I felt like it portrayed me as dumb instead of as a kid who had never had consistent academic instruction and ended up thriving once he got it. Quinton Aaron did a great job acting the part, but I could not figure out why the director chose to show me as someone who had to be taught the game of football. Whether it was S.J. moving around ketchup bottles or Leigh Anne explaining to me what blocking is about, I watched those scenes thinking, ‘No, that’s not me at all! I’ve been studying — really studying — the game since I was a kid!’ That was my main hang-up with the film.”
There it is…a little something I like to call “Affirmative Action Mentality” at its finest; poor blacks are capable of nothing unless rich whites help them. That’s the whole reason the story was told that way, in fact its the whole reason white people give a damn about the story at all. Don’t misunderstand me, what that family did for Oher surely helped him, but the fact of the matter is he was likely going to end up as a football player with or without them. There’s no way that movie gets made if that’s the story.
The problem is that unlike the class of whites who have moved beyond history and reached an honestly race-neutral mind-set, the disingenuous white liberals are obsessed at maintaining some sort of pusillanimous, “feel-good” solutions to injustices which are a century-and-a-half old. We don’t bother worrying about whether people are getting educated so they can go to college, so they can graduate, so they can be qualified for life as more than a burger-flipper or a left tackle. We don’t bother to do anything about a system which is more than happy to pump out assembly-line workers or grist for our professional sports mills. We don’t care if the system manages to produce people with the aptitude and the attitude to be effective leaders. Rather, we engage in a quota system that believes everything is just fine as long as we all feel good about the racial breakdown of the labor force. Welcome to “Affirmative Action Mentality.”
The saddest part is this group of people who claim the best of intentions, who claim to be tolerant and understanding of black people collectively have done more harm to them than any Klansman could have dreamed of doing. By engaging in “Affirmative Action Mentality,” white liberals actively devalue any accomplishment by a black person for which they didn’t pave the way, and they seek to destroy any black person who dares disagree with them. In other words, “Affirmative Action Mentality” runs precisely counter to Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech; it is just “Jim Crow” dressed up in 20th-Century liberalism. Regardless of what those white liberals tell you, they still care more about the color of a man’s skin rather than the content of his character. There are no better examples of this than the argument about black football coaches and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Somehow, we’ve cooked up the logic that since most players in the NFL are black, most coaches should be. It is is so blatantly obvious there is nothing about merit in that conversation; it is also as clear the only criteria in that argument is race. Again, it pays no attention to the fact this issue needs a long-term solution, it is a question of implementing a system that identifies and develops talent in the coaching ranks. It is not a question of just waving a magic wand. If you doubt that, ask yourself a question: Rather than asking how many black head coaches there are, ask yourself how many blacks are now qualified to be good head coaches. That’s the key to the solution. But that’s not a quick, “feel-good” solution, so liberals will never go for it.
The “Jim Crow” part comes when a black person strays from that which white liberals will permit them to say. See, it is an unconscionable sin for a black person to not maintain the liberal party line once they have been elevated to the success white liberals’ Affirmative Action-based system have determined for them. If you doubt that, look at what Clarence Thomas has endured for the past 20 years. Click this link, and remember the language used here is coming from those who are “tolerant and understanding.”
By blowing the whistle on realities white liberals want to cling to, Oher is opening himself up to the same type of attacks faced by Thomas, Bill Cosby, and others (and even myself on a much smaller scale). If you are black in America today, those types of attacks should stay in the forefront of your mind. The guy in the Klan robe is at least honest; you know where you stand with him. But don’t ever trust that person who subscribes to “Affirmative Action Mentality;” they will drag you to death behind their Prius the minute you do something they don’t like.
Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.
I may have only been a general manager in minor-league hockey and not a billionaire owner or multi-million dollar salaried commissioner in pro football, but goddamnit, basics are basics. Even a small-time puck slapper like me knows that YOU CAN’T SELL TICKETS TO SEATS YOU DON’T HAVE! Out of all the things these two conspired to screw up for this Super Bowl, this is easily the worst.
Here’s another basic even I know: all sports leagues are dependent on public relations; because at the end of the day, public perception is public reality. You can do all the ticket refunds you want, ESPN showing all that footage of ticket holders being held behind chain-link fences like they were war refugees is a big-time black eye you can’t buy your way out of. What makes it even worse when that same public discovers you knew this problem was coming.
DALLAS (AP)—The NFL knew last week there were problems with the installation of temporary Super Bowl seating sections and hoped until hours before kickoff that they could be fixed.
“At the end, we just ran out of time,” NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said Monday.
Four hundred people were forced to give up their seats for the Green Bay Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, and instead had to watch the game on monitors or use standing-room platforms in corners of Cowboys Stadium. Another 850 fans were moved from their seats in the temporary sections to other seats.
“It was obviously a failure on our behalf, and we have to take responsibility for that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We had, obviously, a lot of challenges this week. There were a lot of things we were trying to deal with. But there’s no excuses. When you put on an event like this, you know you’re going to have those sorts of challenges.”
No shit it was a “failure on your behalf.” Whose else’s behalf would it be a failure on? The Pope? Tinkles the house cat? Who? You assholes got greedy, and you managed to fuck up something that really should be “fuck-up-proof.” For the life of me, I can’t understand how you guys do this. Did you hire consultants from FIFA? Those guys could screw up a grilled cheese sandwich, and they keep finding new ways to do it. At least unlike those European piss-bladders, you guys take some responsibility for dropping the ball, even if it sounds like a complete pant-load.
While saying that, overall, the stadium exceeded the expectations for a Super Bowl host, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also acknowledged the seating blunder and reached out to the fans affected by it. “We deeply regret their Super Bowl experience was impacted by this error, and we share that responsibility with the NFL,” he said in a statement.
Goodell said the league would give tickets for next year’s Super Bowl to the 400 fans left without a place to sit Sunday. The league already had said it would offer those 400 people refunds of triple the face value of their Steelers-Packers tickets.
That’s nice, but giving away tickets to a game next year which thanks to your labor issue has a 50-50 shot of not happening is potentially just doubling-down on your problems. Not to mention, what good does it do to give tickets to those people who were fans of either team and paid to see THIS game? I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this, but you dipshits sold seats you didn’t have.
A total of about 15,000 temporary seats were added to $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, and Sunday’s attendance was announced at 103,219, just short of the Super Bowl-record 103,985 who were at the Rose Bowl for the 1980 NFL championship game. Sunday’s temporary seats filled open platforms that are usually standing-room only “party pass” areas for Cowboys games.
Grubman said there “was no vertical structural issue that we were aware of from the police department,” but that issues arose with the “final installation of railings, of tightening risers, steps, things of that nature— and that’s what did not get completed at the end.” The league, Grubman said, “felt in the middle of the week that it was going to be a problem. We did not feel until the game day that we had an issue where … there was a distinct possibility that we wouldn’t be able to accommodate fans.” He said final work on the temporary sections was done Sunday afternoon.
In the coming weeks, the NFL will review what happened to figure out what went wrong.
Let me save you the time. I really should have just recorded this to save myself some time. The problem in three sentences:
- Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones got greedy and tried to stuff ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag.
- Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones sold tickets to seats they didn’t have.
- Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones are a pair of shitheads.
But lets’ not overlook the complete lack of planning involved here. How the hell do you wait to complete work on a stadium until the day of the goddamn event? Fire Marshals don’t work weekends, and you would think that if you were hosting the biggest sporting event in the world, you might have a project manager who understood that. I just can’t understand how you can let that happen.
Hell, even back in Charlestown, I knew that to get a factory worker who barely has a pot to piss in to pony up for a hockey ticket, I had to make the prices reasonable, I had to make sure I had the concessions under control, and I had to make sure that I actually had a seat for every ticket I sold. Again, its the goddamn basics, and I just can’t understand how two guys with all the resources in the world can screw up the biggest sporting event in the world.
Wait, I do know. Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones are a pair of shitheads.
Before you get all of on a snit, this isn’t about being handicapped, or about curling. Rather it is about a combination that should never be. Some things were made to go together, like pizza and beer. Conversely, some things weren’t, like full frontal nudity and Betty White. Wheelchairs and curling are the latter.
Specifically, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either on its own, but together, they form something unholy. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of remaining active, and due to having had several reconstructive leg surgeries in my life, I know what being confined to a wheelchair is like.
But this combination is just a monstrous disservice to both; it completely removes any of the skill from curling while finding a way to make being wheelchair-bound even less active. Honestly, I get more physical activity sleeping off a drunk than you could get here, and even worse, the dude in the picture above ISN’T EVEN HOLDING A BEER! Isn’t curling without beer a federal offense in Canada? He could strap a whole cooler to his chair and do this right; if you are going to adapt, do it in a positive way.