Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: CBS News Uses Ferguson Riots to Inject Race Into Little League Baseball
This post may sound like it belongs on Turtle Boy Sports (which is an awesome read, by the way…), but what I saw on my television this morning literally made me spew coffee across my living room. I’m watching my local morning news during which CBS News does a two-minute cut-in with a “headlines of the day”-type bit. This led to me taking in what was either the sloppiest bit of film editing in the history of broadcast journalism or somebody at CBS has an agenda.
The footage starts in Ferguson, where the media has turned this story into your “Riot Roll;” 5 seconds of protestors holding signs and generally being non-violent, followed by 30 seconds of looters smashing windows and stealing property. Despite the fact we’ve clearly switched the visual from “protestors” to people clearly involved in criminal behavior, CBS still insists on referring to them as “protestors.” What I can’t figure out is are they doing this to portray peaceful; protestors as criminals, or are they trying not to admit that 95% of what is going on in Ferguson is not protesting, it’s rioting?
Look, I’m not going to pretend like I can’t figure out what the media will do when it comes to stories involving race. They are nothing if not predictably consistent. That’s why how they handled the Little League story which followed the Ferguson coverage surprised me. It’s obvious the media has turned the Ferguson situation from a story involving an interaction with a tragic end between the police and a person who was a suspect in a “strong-arm” robbery into a two-week long race riot. I’m on record plenty of times on this blog saying that racism will exist in this country as long as people can make money from it. Make no mistake, that is exactly what Ferguson is all about.
I could go into the old conservative wheeze about how black people kill each other all the time and nobody gives a shit. I could point out that once an incident crosses racial lines, it becomes a Shark Week-level media feeding frenzy. Both of those statements miss the point that outlets like CBS News are in the business of sensationalism, and they will do anything they can to inflame a story to increase the number of eyeball on their media presence.
So, what the hell does that have to do with Little League? First of all, because CBS News went straight from one story in which they are clearly and deliberately race-baiting, to another where they exploited a bunch of children to do exactly the same thing. There have been two media darlings in this year’s Little League World Series; Mo’ne Davis, the star pitcher from Philadelphia, and the “Jackie Robinson West” team from Chicago. Well, those two faced each other last night, with the Chicago team emerging victorious. I had been suspicious all along that at some point, the race issue was going to be brought to the forefront by some media hack, and I was right. Predictably, it happened once there was only one such story to cover.
While the Davis story has been fun to watch strictly from a sports perspective, you knew all along that somebody was waiting for the time to ride the fact she’s a girl and black. You could tell this because all the while we are trumpeting her dominant 70-mph fastball, and her phenomenal strike-out numbers, nobody mentioned the fact that in her last start, she was essentially the losing pitcher. The ugly reality was the “dominant” pitcher everybody wanted to make into a story gave up three earned runs in two innings pitched.
Thankfully for the media, they still have the “Jackie Robinson West” team. Obviously, they have yet to be referred to as the “Chicago” team, because using Robinson’s name as often as possible paints the needed picture. If you doubt this, ask yourself a question. in a 30-second piece, why did CBS News use the terms “Jackie Robinson” and “all-black team” a combined five times? Do the math…that means CBS News saw fit to tell you this team was comprised exclusively of black kids once every six seconds, despite the fact you could easily see that for yourself in the video.
I’m almost afraid to watch the Little League U.S. Championship game tomorrow night. I’m hoping that we won’t see another stooping to a new low as set by CBS News. The Chicago team will face what I think is the best team in this tournament; a junior-sized lumber company from Las Vegas. Nobody has needed to mention the fact that team is comprised of all white players, just like nobody pointed out the Japanese and South Korean teams are made up exclusively of Asians.
You know that somebody somewhere will beat the race drum if the Chicago kids advance to the World Championship game. For the sake of racism for fun and profit, we will be treated to a bunch of bilge about black kids, white kids, and Asian kids; all the while the hacks at places like CBS News won’t care about the most important thing. They are just kids.
You would think a momentous occasion like this would have dramatic opening theme music like this. But let’s be honest, this is an independent sports blog with what could be most politely described as an “off-beat” sense of humor. That means appropriate theme music for this moment would be something more like this from the McRae/Bohnen* school.
The best talent for a blogger to have is propensity to rant. I love to rant about sports, and most people give two shits less about them. That was really the genesis behind Dubsism;an outlet for my rants which nobody wanted to hear.
So, what was so special about this day five years ago? That was the day the Minnesota Vikings signed Brett Favre; that was the day the very first post on this blog came as an outlet for my reaction to the extreme stupidity that happened in the Twin Cities that day.
If you found yourself in Minnesota on that day, a little after 10 a.m., your life changed forever. Just a few moments before, you were enjoying a bit of “The Price Is Right,” perhaps chuckling at Drew Carey’s sheer likability and noticing that you enjoy this show so much more now that the odds of hot college-age chicks spinning the big wheel have increased so much more since the Bob Barker days. Then it happened.
You weren’t quite sure what had happened yet. All you knew was that lazily pondering the cost of a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew was suddenly thrust aside by a visibly excited Mark Rosen yammering almost incoherently about King Brett I finally agreeing to play for the Vikings.
Since then, while Favre remained a popular topic on Dubsism, the blog has grown into one of a select number of independent sports blogs that have survived the test of time and that occasionally gets a reader.
As far as the test of time angle is concerned, look at some of what has happened in the last five years in sports.
- Joe Paterno goes from Dubsism’s most-blogged about person to a legend who suffered an ignominious end
- Speaking of falls from grace, Lance Armstrong go from cancer-surviving hero to disgraced juicer
- One of the greatest comeback’s in sports history EVER… The US America’s Cup Team storming back from a 1-8 deficit to keep the Cup where it belongs by beating New Zealand 9-8.
- Tim Tebow’s entire professional football career
While you ponder that, take a look at just some of the things Dubsism has brought you during that same time.
There have been 895 posts on this blog, and the one about Top Salaries in Obscure Sports was the most read.
There several choices for what got you to comment. On the serious side, there was an assessment of the Penn State sex abuse scandal. From the ever-popular “List” format, lots of people had things to say about The Quintessential List of the 30 Greatest Quarterbacks.
There were movie parodies, such as the Dubsism version of Apocalpyse Now which takes place in the swamps of the SEC.
In addition, there were hundreds of J-Dub posts on the now defunct Sports Blog Movement, many of which are featured in series that now make a home on Dubsism.
- Sports Doppelgangers: The series for sports and celebrity look-alikes
- Tales of Depression and Sorrow: Stories of long-suffering fans of not-so-good teams
- Conversations Not Meant To Be Public: Great stuff unearthed by Dubsism’s investigative journalism division. DISCLAIMER: Buy “unearthed,” J-Dub may mean “completely fabricated.” But its some seriously funny stuff in any event
- Grinds My Gears – My rants about teams or people in sports who piss me off
- Comparisons – Exactly what you would expect…looking at things outside the sports world and showing you that if life imitates art, then sports imitates life
- Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization – The Bible talks about Armageddon; believe what you will. But there’s plenty of evidence out there supporting the idea we are fucking up our own lives every day
- The Deep Six: A Ryan Meehan joint (often featuring J-Dub) exposing the foibles of pop culture in sports
That last series takes us to all the guest columns and collaborations Dubsism has done over the years. For all questions about the business of sports, the Dubsism “go-to” guy in legendary general manager Joe McGrath. The sports world has a definite intersection with the law, and private investigator Jim Rockford covers that. The sports world is getting more international every day, and to walk us through that we have King George VI.
Dubsism even has collaborators that actually exist. The one seen most often is the aforementioned Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. He’s lent a pen to all kinds of things, not the least of which was the sole Dubsism foray into politics.
I’ve also worked with Chris Humpherys from SportsChump, who not only gave us the definitive podcast on The Masters, but his skill as a bartender partnered with my rampant alcoholism is a match whose level of perfection hasn’t been seen since Dr. Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine.
Dubsism has also been proud to be the web’s exclusive home of the Jamie Moyer for the Hall of Fame campaign.
After all that, the one thing that remains…I was absolutely right in everything I ever said about how the Brett Favre era in Minnesota would end. Everything.
*McRae and Bohnen were two guys who were usually in the room when many of the early posts on this blog were written in Minnesota. They were usually heavily armed. You figure out why.
Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: Can You Imagine What Would Happen If Tony Stewart Had Killed A Black Teenager?
At first glance, the title of this piece seems ludicrous, but the events of this past week in upstate New York and suburban St. Louis share one overarching theme. In both cases, there is a world full of people who not only want me to jump to conclusions based on what they want to believe, they expect me to do so based on on some flimsy mob mentality to which they’ve subscribed.
In case you were on the International Space Station this week and NASA forgot to pay the cable bill, on Saturday night at a race track in Canandaigua, New York, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward, Jr. who had exited his car after colliding with Stewart’s car. A few days before that in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown was shot and killed during a confrontation with police. While these two incidents are a thousand miles and worlds apart, they are bound by several common threads.
First of all is the aforementioned mob mentality. I’m surrounded by people who looked a the video of the Stewart incident and are convinced this was a act of stone-cold murder. While I’m willing to admit that video looks bad, I’m also not willing to forgo due process because of it. As far as the Brown situation is concerned, this is just another in a long line of incidents where there is a predisposed, politically-correct determination of the sequence of events based solely on the race of the person who ended up dead.
Instead of looking at these situations by poo-pooing what I don’t know, let’s look at what I do know. It seems to me that getting run over is a fair risk to expect from walking around on a race track. There’s really no denying that is what happened, regardless of whatever else comes to light. In other words, Ward could not have been run over had he stayed in his car.
Ironically, by all witness accounts, the incident between Brown and the police began when Brown and another unidentified male approached the officer’s car and began a physical confrontation with him when he attempted to exit his squad car. The accounts of what happened after that point vary greatly, but the end was not vague at all.
While I’m spending my morning spewing coffee across the room at how outlandish the coverage of both these stories is becoming; at least the outraged NASCAR fans are equating the need for justice with the right to smash the windows at a Wal-Mart and steal a 50-inch flat screen. But that isn’t the only way terms are getting confused.
In a rare moment when ESPN wasn’t bleating the Stewart story this morning, they did one of those “puff” pieces about a BASE jumper who blew out his spine jumping off a bridge. While they are telling the story of his “comeback,” the kept using the word “tragedy” to describe his injury. What happened to this guy was not a “tragedy;” a six-year old getting mowed down in a crosswalk is a “tragedy.” Ending up in a wheelchair because you played “patty-cake” with a bridge piling is not a “tragedy,” it’s an occupational hazard.
Know what else are occupational hazards? Sucking a fender at fifty miles an hour because you are an impulsive hothead, and eating a bullet because you picked a fight with a guy wearing a gun. In other words, what is really infuriating about the coverage of both of these stories is the media has this silly need to obfuscate the fact that both of these stories have a distinct “it takes two to tango” factor. No matter how much white-wash you sling, there’s no denying if you don’t want to get run over, you shouldn’t walk around on race-tracks. A great way not to get shot by the police is not to start fist fights with them. And if you cripple yourself jumping off bridges, don’t let ESPN use you to reinforce the idea that we bear no responsibility for what happens to us anymore.
If you like Thursday Night Football, then this piece isn’t for you. You are the NFL fan Kommissar Roger Goodell loves; the one who keeps gulping down the sports slop the NFL is pumping out these days. The NFL remains the most popular sports league in this country despite the fact that under Goodell’s watch, the NFL keeps finding ways to ruin its own product. Thursday Night Football is yet another example.
Honestly, I never had an issue with TNF before now. The fact that the NFL used its own network to get its bottom feeders a shot at a nation-wide audience didn’t put a burr under my saddle. But now that CBS is getting a part of this package, it’s pretty clear the NFL is selling us some serious lies about the quality of the product they are dishing out. If you doubt that, consider the following points.
1) They want you to think now TNF will feature better games
Ironically, the best lies have a kernel of truth in them. While Goodell and the rest of the NFL Politburo can honestly say this year’s TNF schedule is better than previous years, it’s like saying not shooting yourself in the face is better than shooting yourself in the face. Last year’s schedule is interesting not for who is on it, but for who isn’t. If you look at it, there wasn’t a single game that featured two teams who made the playoffs. The closest examples were Seahawks vs. Cardinals and Chargers vs. Broncos, but when both of those games were scheduled, nobody was picking Arizona or San Diego to be in the play-off hunt. Conversely that schedule was chock full of barn-burners featuring play-off teams against dogs, like Patriots-Jets, 49ers-Rams, and Colts-Titans.
The party line coming down from the NFL Kremlin is now TNF will feature games between divisional rivals. At first glance that sounds pretty damn good, but when you look at the schedule, it looks like more of the same. If you doubt that, look at this list and tell me how many of these games look like both teams could be play-off contenders?
- Pittsburgh at Baltimore*
- Tampa Bay at Atlanta*
- New York Giants at Washington*
- Minnesota at Green Bay*
- Indianapolis at Houston*
- New York Jets at New England*
- San Diego at Denver*
- New Orleans at Carolina
- Cleveland at Cincinnati
- Buffalo at Miami
- Kansas City at Oakland
- Dallas at Chicago
- Arizona at St. Louis
- Tennessee at Jacksonville
*Games on CBS, all others on NFL Network.
I count one…two if you think Pittsburgh and Baltimore can be anything more than mediocre. Three if you looked at Dallas at Chicago after drinking a quart of varnish. Other than that, this is just more bad football brought to you by the people who don’t want you to notice it is bad football. The best way for you to not notice is to keep it on the NFL Network.
2) The season opener and Thanksgiving games tell the story
It’s not an accident that these two games which feature Green Bay at Seattle and San Francisco at Seattle respectively are not part of this crap-tastic TNF package. The reason for that is obvious, what but not what you would expect. The NFL already made a concession to the TNF schedule to entice a network partner; there are three teams over the past ten years which have consistently been at the top of the league in terms of merchandise sales and television ratings: Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. Do you think it is an accident the two teams on that list which have had any recent play-off success are on the network portion of the TNF schedule?
3) Sunday Night is the new Monday Night
The hard reality is that the prime real estate for non-Sunday afternoon football isn’t Monday anymore. You can look at the Sunday Night schedule and see that pretty plainly, but what really bears that out is the presence of Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas on Sunday night. Those three teams are on SNF a combined seven times, as opposed to 4 combined appearances on Monday.
4) Even CBS doesn’t buy Thursday Night Football long-term
Think about that for a minute. Normally, bidding for NFL broadcast packages is a feeding frenzy with the winners inking multi-year deals worth billions of dollars. That’s not what happened here. CBS got this contract despite the fact they weren’t the highest bidder. The Eyeball Network only ponied up $275 million for the rights to TNF, and it’s only a one-year deal, with an option year. It’s almost like CBS signed a utility shortstop rather than a deal to broadcast the most popular league in the country.
What’s weird about this is the NFL expected a $400 million price-tag, yet took the low-buck offer from CBS when they could have got their asking price from Turner, ESPN, NBC, and Fox, who had all placed bids. Another fun fact is that CBS gets no additional play-off games under this deal. Clearly, CBS is hoping to make Thursday Night Football into a long-term franchise, but hope is not a strategy. Keeping your options open at the lowest commitment possible is, and both sides are doing it.
CBS is clearly using 2014 season as an audition for the NFL because they have doubts about another weeknight of football, and NFL may be coming to the conclusion they have either hit the ceiling for their pricing, or the saturation point for their product, or both. The NFL surely isn’t putting out a marquees product, and CBS isn’t paying marquee prices.
But this strategy will probably work because there are still enough of the fans Goodell loves; the ones who will slurp up anything he lays down.
By J-Dub and Ryan Meehan
The Deep Six is another series from Sports Blog Movement that has found a new home on Dubsism. In its history, it has sometimes been written by J-Dub, sometimes by Ryan Meehan, and sometimes a collaboration. Sometimes it has appeared on Sports Blog Movement, and sometimes on Dubsism, but it has always been about delving deeply into the topics that live in the intersection of pop culture and sports.
In today’s installment, J-Dub and Meehan continue the long march toward the beginning of the real NFL season by taking a look at the people with whom we share that season. No, they are not here to discuss your drinking buddies; they are probably drunken reprobates like they are. Rather, this is about the television personalities we must all suffer during that enjoyment of football.
Here’s the premise. We all know the broadcaster ranks are full of people who don’t suck, like Gus Johnson. We all know those ranks are full of those who do suck; they are far too numerous to mention. But in between there is wide band of broadcasters no one just can’t definitively assign to either category. That why J-Dub and Meehan are going to look at people in four different broadcasting categories: Analyst, Color Commentator, Play-by-Play, and Sideline Reporter.
To help decide into which category these folks should be flung, J-Dub and Meehan are going to explore the pros and cons of each. Being that the theme of this series is the Deep Six, normally they would cover six members of each category. But since this is about football, they’ve decided to include the extra-point.
Without further adieu, here they are (in alphabetical order).
We here at Dubsism are excited to bring you a new feature, an audio podcast to go along with the series of video podcast we produce. In the inaugural episode, J-Dub talks about how NFL free agency is like having a girlfriend who is jet-screaming hot, but is also bat-shit crazy. He also puts to rest some misconceptions about the Phil Jackson as president of the New York Knicks saga, and lays out a reason you’ll never get from the dick-tards at ESPN about why a Jackson return to the Los Angeles Lakers is all but impossible.
You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate live when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live.
Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee, but we’ve had so much success allowing nominations from the general public that we had no choice but to continue that. .
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the Fifth Amnnual Dubsy awards.
Yes, you read that right. Dubsism has just passed one million site views. I never would have imagined getting that much attention for what was really supposed to be just an outlet for my sports rants. Originally, I put those rants into a blog because I was pretty sure nobody wanted to hear them. After all, the very first post on this blog was four years ago when I still lived in Minnesota, and I just couldn’t take the ridiculousness of the day the Vikings signed Brett Favre.
Many of the early electronic screeds on Dubsism remained on that very topic; I took it upon myself to warn Viking fans that the Favre thing would never end well for them, and as much as they didn’t want to hear it, they now have no choice bu to admit I was right. It’s all there in electronic black and white. Since then, Dubsism has grown into much more than just reminding Minnesota of their inevitable football futility. Dubsism is the only place where you can get bizarre, yet incredibly relevant comparisons between sports and real life. Dubsism has also developed several other feature series, such as Signs We Are Near The End of Civilization, Teams/People Who Grind My Gears, and the Guest Columns, featuring such luminaries as legendary movie sports general manager Joe McGrath, television detective Jim Rockford, and King George VI. But the most important guest columnist on Dubsism has been Ryan Meehan, largely because it is the collaborations that I’ve done with him that led to the best blogging project I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with, Sports Blog Movement.
In any event, whether it is here on Dubsism or on SBM, it is humbling to know that there are people out there willing to take the time to read our work, and I thank you all for that.
Here’s looking forward to the next million…
For all the media-generated bluster that has happened today over Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s comments about his former quarterback, one thing that has bee largely forgotten is that everything Irsay said is true. In case you missed it, here’s what he said in an interview with USA Today Sports. The context is Irsay is lamenting the fact the Colts had only one title to show for all their success with Peyton Manning.
“[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these [Super Bowl rings],” Irsay told USA Today. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the ‘Star Wars’ numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this ring.”
So, what Irsay is saying is a) the NFL is all about winning Super Bowls, and b) Peyton Manning is a horse-shit “big-game” quarterback.
Don’t even try to tell me that the first one isn’t true. Winning a Super Bowl is like becoming a Yokozuna in Sumo Wrestling. Once you have the ring, you are always a grand champion and no matter what, they can never take it away from you. The fact that Tony Dungy has one is the only reason anybody bothers to listen to the crap spewing from that little bat-faced, moralizing asswipe. I’ll come back to him in a minute.
You can try to deny the second point is untrue; doing so is to ignore a few crushing facts.
- FACT: In three years at Tennessee, Peyton Manning never beat main rival Florida.
- FACT: Peyton Manning owns a 9-11 playoff record as a starting quarterback.
- FACT: In 8 of Manning’s 12 career playoff appearances, his team has failed to win a single game.
- FACT: Manning is tied with Brett Favre for the most playoff losses by a starting quarterback in NFL history
On Wednesday, San Francisco Bay saw what may be the greatest comeback in the history of sports in a contest for what is the oldest trophy in the history of competitive sports. No, we aren’t talking about Game 7 in a Stanley Cup Final or a World Series. Wednesday, the American’s mounted a most improbable comeback from an 8 race to 1 deficit against the challengers from New Zealand to keep the America’s Cup where it belongs…in America.
The cup was originally known as the Auld Mug and it was originally awarded 1851 by the British Royal Yacht Squadron as the trophy for winning a for a race around the Isle of Wight. This first race was won by the schooner America, at which time the cup was renamed in honor of the winning craft. The cup was then donated New York Yacht Club (NYYC) under the terms of the “Deed of Gift,” which made the Cup available for perpetual international competition. The Cup was held by the NYYC from 1857, when the syndicate that won the Cup donated it to the club, until 1983 when the Cup was won by the yacht Australia II of the Royal Perth Yacht Club,
Stop and think about that for a minute. From 1851 to 1983 represents a span of 132 years, which is easily the longest winning streak in the history of sports ever. First, think about how old the America’s Cup is. The America’s Cup predates the first professional baseball team by 18 years, Lord Stanley’s Cup by 40 years, and the National Football League by 70. The challenge for the Cup has always been an open competition; any yacht club that meets the requirements specified in the Deed of Gift has the right to challenge the yacht club that holds the Cup. If the challenging club wins the match, it gains stewardship of the cup.
There has only ever been one change to the way the stewardship of the Cup is challenged. From the first defense of the Cup in 1870 through the twentieth in 1967, there was always only one challenger. Beginning with the twenty-first defense in 1970, there were multiple challengers. At this time, the challengers were matched in what was essentially a “play-off” series of races now known as the Louis Vuitton Cup. The purpose of these races was to determine the one yacht club that would have the opportunity to wrest the cup away from the previous winner.
By now, you have to be wondering why the fuck am I telling you all of this. Because I honestly don’t understand why nobody in this country gives a shit about this event. Face it, it’s got everything Americans love.