Category Archives: Sports

Be It Seattle or Saskatoon, Relocation Not Expansion is the Way To Go For The NHL

nhl uhaul truck

Cities all over North America clamor for major league sports franchises. Obviously, with such a demand, it would make sense that major sports leagues tend to place  franchises in the larger population markets. But that hasn’t always been the case, and even today there are exceptions to that convention.  Currently, the “magic number” seems to be around two million. In other words, to be economically viable, there has to be a substantial population base that can support a franchise.

Every year, the National Hockey League (NHL) makes noise about expansion, and this year is no exception.  The greater Seattle area is a top fifteen U.S. market, and on its face would seem to be a very attractive destination for an expansion team. But there’s a reason why it hasn’t been.

On the other hand, Seattle isn’t the only city that gets mentioned in these talks; Quebec City, Kansas City, Houston, Las Vegas, and Saskatoon keep coming up in these conversations. In terms of types of city, Sasaktoon couldn’t be a bigger departure from Seattle.  One is a major seaport and all-around world-class metroplex, and the other is a small city in the heart of the Canadian prairie. That seems to fly in the face of the “population base” angle, but obviously that isn’t the only criteria in play here. After all, the NBA and the NHL both have had success in cities that aren’t huge in terms of population.

That begs the question what really makes for a good market in which to expand?  In terms of the NHL, it’s a surprisingly complex question, and one the NHL seems to have already answered. The annoucement came a while back  that the NHL is close to finalizing plans to add new franchises in by the 2017-18 season. Let’s take a look at all those options, announced or not, because very few of them are going to work.

1) Lessons Already Learned

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Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: Utah Man Forced to Defend Home Against Polygamist Female Ninjas

Originally posted on TurtleBoySports:

End of WorldBy J-Dub

This is the first installment to be published here of a series I usually run on my blog. Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization just seems like ti was tailor-made for Turtle Boy Sports; it’s all about stuff that must prove the end of the world is much, much closer than we think it is. Think about it…can a world where Utah is being overrun by polygamist female ninjas have long to last?

Just in case you think I’m making this shit up

Two armed “polygamist women” dressed like “ninjas” were subdued by a sword-wielding man during a home invasion, according to police in suburban Utah.

So, now that I have your attention, this has to be the part where you back up a few sentences, re-read them, at which point the “What the fuck?” that was silently bounding around inside your head becomes…

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An Open Letter To Indianapolis Colts Fans: Its Time For The Delusions To Stop

This won't happen again anytime soon.

This won’t happen again anytime soon, and Chuck Pagano is the reason why.

For purposes of full disclosure, I originally intended to publish this post last week after the Colts suffered that crushing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But then I looked ahead on the Colts’ schedule, and I thought this week after what should be a decisive victory over a minor league team would actually be a better time to do it.

True to form, the Colts laid a 30-point beat down on Jacksonville, and even truer to form, the Indy media immediately began fulminating about how good the Colts are.  Despite what happened yesterday, they aren’t.  They’ve played three games so far, and two of them are not good test samples for determining if this team is any good. A road loss in Denver and a crush-job of the Jaguars should really be expected. But it is that non-contest with Jacksonville that has the Indy media crowing about how the “Colts are back.”

More disclosure: my life-long status as a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles has nothing to do with this post. It’s actually the entire reason I even watched that Monday night game in Indianapolis. I live in Indiana and I get a steady diet of the Colts.  What got me off on this rant is the utter cry-baby-ism I heard coming from Indy sports talk radio come last Tuesday morning weighed in contrast to the peals from the trumpets of victory I’m getting today.

Boil it all down to gravy, and what you get is as a group, Colts fans are delusional, and the time for the delusions to stop is now.

There’s two sets of delusions we need to discuss here; short-term and long-term.

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Point – Counterpoint: Fantasy Football Sucks

point counterpoint sbmby J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in the Dubsism BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

Like it or not, fantasy football has become a multi-million dollar business. That’s right, what was once simply just a way to get some non-traditional gambling action on the NFL or a more sporting way of announcing to the world you live in your parent’s basement has become a juggernaut of its own. That’s right, now fantasy football is for more than guys who wear “Mr. Spock” ears while they are down-loading nude photos of that chick from “Big Bang Theory,” and not the hot blond one, either…we’re talking about the one who looks like a short, white version of Scottie Pippen.

That notwithstanding, in this installment of Point-Counterpoint we will break down the pros and cons of fantasy football. As the commissioner of just such a league, J-Dub will take the “Pro” side. Since Meehan is a guy who thinks anybody in a fantasy football league should be fed to giant, Iranian flash-eating cockroaches, he seems like a natural for “con.”

fantasy football injury

1) It Attracts Too Many “Casual Fans”

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The Deep Six: Reasons Why Roger Goodell Should Have Been Fired A Long Time Ago

ROGER GOODELL WANTED POSTER

by J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in the Dubsism BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

Now that we are all indigesting a heaping helping of Uncle Ray’s Felonious Rice, we must remember that ever cloud, no matter how dark, has a silver lining.While this whole Ray rice/domestic violence cloud is pretty dark, it has done a wonderful job of removing the veneer of financial success with which Roger Goodell has been hiding his incompetency as NFL Commissioner.

All you had to do was flip on your television this morning to know the Kommissar is in deep on this one. While we aren’t going to “pile on” Goodell here for his ham-fisting of this matter; the calls for his head are coming from all corners. Seriously, a sports media which got it’s pounds of rice-fed flesh out of Ray now is another shark like feeding frenzy because the Kommissar’s blood is in the water. The calls range from wanting his resignation or flat-out firing, but they all want him gone.

While one can make arguments all day long for that outcome based on how the Kommissar fumbled-thumbed this entire affair, saying so misses a whole range of reason why the Goodell administration has been an exercise in abject failure.  The purpose for which we intend to use this opportunity is to point out the eight years of the Kommissar’s reign has really been a period of huge monetary success which has obfuscated Goodell’s complete failure as a Commissioner.

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The Deep Six: Why The NFL’s New Domestic Violence Policy Proves Roger Goodell Only Cares About Public Perception

Goodell Liar

by J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in the Dubsism BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

The other day, Kommissar Goodell gave what he considers to be a genuine mea culpa for what he wants you to think was a “mishandling” of the Ray Rice situation.  That  was so much twaddle because what Goodell is really doing is hoping you don’t figure out the NFL’s new policy on domestic violence is really just a chicken-shit reaction to public pressure. There are so many reasons why this should be obvious, but the NFL and the Kommissar did a pretty good of job of camouflaging what this really was.

If you doubt that, consider the following. Where was the big concern about domestic violence after the Jovan Belcher situation?  This guy had a long track record of domestic issues and everybody turned a blind eye until the murder-suicide. Oh wait, they kept turning the blind eye after that…

As much as Goodell doesn’t want you to notice, the Belcher situation and that of Ray Rice are linked by indisputable facts; facts which plainly illustrate Kommissar Goodell doesn’t care about domestic violence as much as he cares about the public perception of himself and the NFL.

That begs the question: Why was the Belcher situation allowed by both the media and the NFL to wither away to the back pages, while the Ray Rice story took on a life of its own?

1) Because Belcher was a bench player on a 2-14 team nobody gave a shit about.

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Do The St. Louis Rams Have The Balls To Cut Michael Sam?

michael sam

Sam: Running his way on to a practice squad near you.

In a word, no…because they can’t, and they know they can’t.

We all know the story here, because the ESPNs of the world have done nothing but try to make a story where there really isn’t one. Gay or straight, the issue is that Michael Sam is at best a marginal NFL player; the fact is that without his pronouncement of being gay, nobody would give a damn about him as a football player.

First of all, let’s cut through the guano here. The Rams were the NFL’s back-up plan in case nobody drafted Michael Sam.  With all the publicity Sam was getting, it was a potential public-relations problem if he were to go undrafted. The sports media community wanted their “barrier-breaking hero,” and it just didn’t matter anymore if he was worthy of actually playing in the NFL. If you doubt that, just look at what was an obviously staged scene at Sam’s home on draft day.  was completely staged.  After all, how many guys taken in the last minute of the last round of the draft have camera crews in their homes?

In other words, this means the Rams knew exactly what they were getting into when they selected Sam. The “distractions” that Tony Dungy caught so much shit for pointing out are very real. Once the Rams took him, there were stuck with him until the end; there are only four ways the relationship between Sam and the Rams ends this summer:

  1. Sam makes the team on his merits as an NFL player: That’s a prohibitive long-shot, I’ll get into why in a minute.
  2. Sam gets a roster spot even if he doesn’t really deserve it: That’s not very likely for two reasons. NFL roster spots are far too valuable, and there a real risk of getting accused of favoritism.
  3. Sam gets released outright:  His footprints out of town won’t even be cold yet and ESPN will softly accuse them of homophobia by writing shit like “Did Sam’s Sexuality Play a Role in His Release?”
  4. Sam gets put on the  practice squad: This is the most likely to happen, because it gives the Rams the best of both worlds; they don’t have to waste a roster spot on him, and they don’t have to release him.

We are two games into the pre-season, and Sam hasn’t really done much to change the math. Numbers don’t lie, and a lot of them are not in Sam’s favor.  The overall odds of a seventh round draft pick making an NFL roster on his first shot are long at best.  It doesn’t help matters the Rams are exceptionally deep at defensive end. Worse yet, Sam is very limited as an NFL defensive end; he really only is a “jail-break” pass-rusher.

To be fair, Sam has shown some upside; he tallied his first NFL sack last week against Green Bay.  But to be ever more fair, he’s playing against back-up level talent, and even then, defensive coordinators are leaving him unblocked more often than not.  Sam is too small to take on a head-on run block; he gets pushed all over the field. That means he isn’t really considered a threat, which does not bode well for his chances of making the Rams final roster.

Tonight’s exhibition game in Cleveland should tell a big part of the Sam story. If you tune into that in a few hours and see Michael Sam playing special teams, just pencil him in for the practice squad now.  If you will notice, you don’t see a lot of linemen playing on the kick squad.  The reason is big guys never do well chugging all the way downfield.  If they put him on special teams now, the Rams will be admitting two things we already all knew:

  1. Sam lacks the size to be an every-down defensive end in the NFL.
  2. Sam’s only hope to make the rosters i s on special teams.

Don’t look now, but it has already happened.  He’s played six special-teams snaps against the Saints, and three more against the Packers. That means the Rams already see the writing in the wall; they are expanding any possibility they can to keep him on the roster.

The biggest problem Sam has is the Rams are absolutely stocked for starting D-lineman; Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Eugene Sims, are locks to make the roster, and with William Hayes returing from an injury and looking to be fully recovered, Sam looks like the odd Ram out. Couple that with the fact that an undrafted free-agent from West Texas A&M named Ethan Westbrooks is getting more game time and is being played in games before Sam is another problem. Even by the best accounts, Sam is only an upfield pass-rusher, while Hayes can play both inside and outside.  Even if the Rams decided to get fatter at a position in which they already have more than sufficient depth, that would mean making a choice between Sam and a proven second-year player in Sammy Brown. Given Sam’s aforementioned athletic limitations, that doesn’t seen very likely.

That’s why you are going to see Sam on the kick team a lot tonight; not just because the starters always get the lion’s share of the snaps in the third tune-up game, but because the only way Sam is making the roster is to run on to it on special teams.

Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: CBS News Uses Ferguson Riots to Inject Race Into Little League Baseball

End of World Sign

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.

Roger Goodell Wants You To Be A New York Jets Fan

roger goodell jdub ny jets

Der Kommissar with J-Dub, who is doing his patriotic best to help the NFL.

This post is all about questions, not the least of which is why the hell does Roger Goodell care which team I support? The answer to that is a bit more complex than you might think, and to get you there means seeing a few more questions.

How do we know Kommissar Goodell wants you to be a New York Jets fan? Why else are the New York Jets on national television 3 times in this upcoming season? Because Kommissar Goodell wants you to be a New York Jets fan.  Maybe he doesn’t care specifically about you, but there’s really no doubting the NFL wants to give the Jets as much exposure as they can.

Why does the NFL want to expose the Jets as much as they can to a national audience? The magic word is “television.”  To be specific, this is about the numbers of people watching the NFL on television. The dirty little secret is the NFL is rapidly approaching maximum capacity for television viewership, which is exactly why Kommissar Goodell and the rest of the NFL Politburo are constantly beating the bushes for ways to grow the NFL’s television market. This is why we keep seeing silliness like games in foreign countries and the expansion of Thursday Night Football. Continue reading →

Point – Counterpoint: The Basketball World Cup Is Pointless

point counterpoint sbm

By J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in the Dubsism BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

Every four years, the world governing body of soccer (FIFA) holds the pinnacle event in the sport; the World Cup. Just a few months back, we all saw what a spectacle it is; it is a global event second only to the Olympics. What many of you probably didn’t know is that basketball has a similar organization. The Fédération de Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) does the same for hoops as FIFA does for soccer. Similarly, FIBA also hosts a World Cup, which it is trying to make as large of an event as its soccer counterpart.

The trouble is this event has gone largely unnoticed in the country which is the king of basketball.  The average American never even heard of the Basketball World Cup, until a few weeks ago when the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George did his best Barbaro impression during a Team USA scrimmage.  The echo from his snapping leg bones hadn’t even stopped yet when the debate started. On one side, there is a school of thought in America which believes the basketball World Cup is incredibly pointless.  On the opposite side is a group who see great value in international competition.

In this installment of Point – Counterpoint, Meehan takes up the cause of the “America First” crowd, which collides head-on with J-Dubs’ belief the growth potential of all sports, not just basketball, is in the global arena.

1) What Started All This: The Potential for Injuries

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