Sunday, May 31, 2015
Saturday, May 30, 2015
RJ and I have had similar conversation in the past regarding boycotts. I may be wrong about this but this is how I still feel. I feel that despite who legally owns the franchises, which obviously gives them the right to do whatever they want, including moving, I feel as if they are our franchises...that the owners are merely placeholders. Granted, this is the perspective of a lifelong fan of New England pro sports (you will have to remember that it hasn't always been roses like the last 15 years) where you're brought up to love and follow these teams, in fact you feel like you inherit a part ownership of them. The Patriots didn't move to Hartford or St Louis in the early 90s and no franchise has left Boston since the Braves.
Is it actually going to hurt or even get noticed by these owners if you boycott? Why the hell should I boycott "my" team? There's a helluva lot more chance being heard if you stay engaged than go away.
I agree with author of the above piece on many, many points; and I suspect that Bob Kraft paying more attention to his bottom line and not being willing to cut his own throat to fight Goodell in the end, is probably the breaking point for that fan. I know I too was disappointed. I figured Kraft, who's arguably the most respected owner in the league and who also owns its current most successful franchise, could find a way to put Goodell's feet to the fire over this debacle without having to go to court.
The author of this letter of frustration ends by saying that he feels freed. This is where I bring back perspective. Despite the fact that I feel these are my teams, I've never lost sight of the fact that this is sports. Maybe the author isn't old enough to remember '86 in particular. I lived through that and my life went on regardless. So while I feel pro sports owners should be held accountable as caretakers of our franchises, I also feel equally strong that we have to keep in perspective what's truly important. I look forward to sports nearly every day and it is a huge part of the passions of my life but the world does not begin and end with them.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Normally, the day before Memorial Day is like Christmas for me. I get to wake up well before sunrise and watch the Monaco Grand Prix live on television, then wait a few hours afterward for the start of the Indianapolis 500. The Coca-Cola 600, or whatever it’s called nowadays? Sorry, but NASCAR takes a back seat to open wheel racing on this special day.
My day of racing is over. Even though I should be happy I saw two great races, I’m relieved no one was seriously injured or killed. This should have been a fun day to relax and watch my favorite drivers battle for victory, and instead I’m left wondering if it’s a matter of time before tragedy strikes.
Let’s review what happened today:
MONACO: I still can’t believe Lewis Hamilton didn’t win. He was 19 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg when with about a dozen laps to go “Mad Max” Verstappen attempted to overtake the Lotus of Romain Grosjean on the inside heading into Sainte Devote (Turn 1). Just as he had done with Grosjean’s teammate Pastor Maldonado earlier in the race, Mad Max made contact with Grosjean and took him out of the points.
The collision caused Mad Max to lose a wheel and his brakes, and he shot straight into the barriers at high speed. If this had happened at the chicane coming out of the tunnel, we might have had a different outcome for the young driver. I don’t mind seeing aggressive driving, but you never should do it at the expense of your competitors unless it’s the final laps.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the biggest brain fart in Monaco. That belongs to whoever made the call in the pits for the AMG Mercedes driver to pit for new tires under caution with a dozen laps to go. Instead of rolling the dice and letting Lewis battle for the win, the points leader had to settle for third place on the podium. I appreciate Lewis defending his team after the race, but he’s too smart to make that call. He should have won his fifth race this season, not his crybaby teammate.
INDIANAPOLIS: If you’ve been reading my forum posts this past week, my fears of a fatality are well documented. I had every reason to be worried. The changes in this year’s aero kit and car design were a huge step backward in driver and fan safety. Cars that had not previously gone airborne when going backwards were now flying in the air like prototype sports cars. We also could have had a new mayor of Hinchtown when James Hinchcliffe was critically injured earlier in the week.
Then there was talk of assaulting Arie Lyendyk’s lap record with this same, flawed car next year. If these cars are getting airborne at 200 mph, how much higher do you think they’ll sail at speeds ten to twenty miles an hour faster? Did we not learn from Tony Renna’s practice accident? Tony Kaanan’s accident a dozen years ago when a suspension part pierced his legs? We haven’t, and I told all of my friends to brace themselves for the very real possibility we’d see a very serious or fatal accident like the ones that were commonplace twenty to thirty years ago.
Thankfully, no cars got airborne and no drivers were killed or seriously injured today. However, it must be noted three crew members from Dale Coyne Racing were injured when someone let James Davison exit his pit while both lanes in pit road were occupied by passing cars. In a cruel bit of irony, Davison’s car struck teammate Pippa Mann, who was on the inside lane and entering her own pit.
The collision sent Davison’s car into the pit of third teammate Tristan Vautier while the crew were changing right side tires. Luckily, the accident looked worse than it actually was. At this writing, only one crew member is hospitalized for an ankle fracture. In my opinion, none of the drivers were at fault. If Davison’s pit had kept him there until Mann was clear, this incident never would have happened.
The traveling open wheel circus goes to Detroit next weekend, but I worry about what could happen when they arrive in Texas in two weeks for the Firestone 600. Will there be enough safety measures to prevent a repeat of Hinchcliffe’s accident? A car going airbone like Kenny Bräck nearly a decade ago?
I know racing is dangerous and not all fatalities are preventable, but to compromise driver and fan safety for the sake of faster speeds will ruin the sport in the long run unless immediate changes are made. With the safety advances the series has made over the past few years, including the creation of the DW12 car, there is no excuse for these cars to endanger the lives of drivers and fans like they did in the past.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
|Leaving North Dakota For Philly? Not An Upgrade By Any Means|
It was time for Coach Hakstol to go. The natives were on the Warpath (pun intended). After more than a decade of no National Championships and 7 Frozen Fours, the whispers were becoming shouts that we would never be champs again with this guy behind the bench. Yes, the program kept rolling along with players being drafted and becoming major cogs in pro teams, but here in North Dakota, the teams could never gel well enough to become that team that everybody believed could fight through adversity during the National Tournament.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Monday, May 04, 2015
Saturday, May 02, 2015
I landed at Reagan National, where Rick picked me up and went straight to the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA, picked up some goodies and had a beer in the replica Tun Tavern.
|New shirt bought at the museum|
|Me, George & Rick after a few scotches|
Then we hustled on up to Harrisburg for a AA Eastern League matchup between the hometown Senators and the Altoona Curve (it's still a stupid name, G!) We had a very good time, of course but two things of note: George decided he was going to be the world's biggest fan of this kid who played for Harrisburg, a first baseman by the name of Shawn Pleffner. So G was hollering/rooting for this guy with every at-bat and every play at first base. We had a great time with that. On the way out I noticed a plaque, which George took a picture of but no longer has. But since we all love baseball and history, this plaque telling us the history of the Harrisburg Giants of the Negro Leagues was pretty cool. Oh, and the ball field is on an island in the river, same place that the Giants played.
The next day G had a prior engagement, so Rick and I shuttled off to Richmond to see his son and go to another Eastern League game, this one pitting the hometown Richmond Flying Squirrels against the Bowie Bay Sox. Of most interest to me is the ballpark in Richmond, which from the outside looks like a major league stadium. There are very few of these "mini-major league" ballparks left. Pawtucket is another, though even older than this one.