Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another Instance of Point Shaving?

One benefit to professional athletes making substantial money is that the threat of players throwing games or shaving points at the behest of gamblers is diminished (even if not eliminated, see Rose, Pete). Gambling was a genuine threat to the integrity of professional sports in the early days of professional sport, particularly baseball, as Dean Roger Abrams describes in a forthcoming book called Dark Side of the Diamond.

But the risk remains in college sports, where players' genuine financial need, combined with access to gambling and gamblers, gives players an incentive to take money in exchange for poor performance. The latest example involves federal criminal charges filed last week against University of Toledo running back Harvey "Scooter" McDougle Jr. for participating in a bribery scheme to influence sporting events. Story here; some comments here. Scooter allegedly acted as go-between a gambler known as "Gary" and various Toledo football and basketball players, who took cash, cars, phones, and other gifts.

College basketball has had its share of point-shaving scandals: the 1948-49 Kentucky Wildcats, the 1950-51 CCNY team (that won both the NCAA and NIT championships), Boston College in the late 1970s, and the 1994 Arizona State Sun Devils. But there have been fewer examples of football players tanking in this way, probably because one (or even a few) players cannot alone affect the outcome of a game. The only example I recall off-hand (I say with the pride of an alumnus) involved former a Northwestern running back named Dennis Lundy, who deliberately fumbled on the one-yard-line in a 1994 game against Iowa to keep NU from covering the spread (he had a $ 400 bet on the game). Lundy was sentenced in 1999 to one month in prison for lying to a grand jury.

Scooter McDougle admits he accepted gifts from Gary, but insists it never changed the way he played to affect the outcome of games. That becomes the key fact the prosecution must prove. We shall see.

Friday, March 30, 2007

the disappearance of the Activist Athlete

Where have the Activist Athletes gone? In the 1960s and 1970s, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton and Muhammed Ali (amongst many others) advocated, even agitated for political change. A few days ago, Professor Wasserman suggested in connection with HBO's "The UCLA Dynasty" that the Activist Athlete has waned in recent years, due in part to college athletes being less politically involved than they used to be, social activism now coming from the political right (i.e. devout Christian athletes) as opposed to the political left, and that coaches, in particular Coach Wooden not allowing political expression on the playing field or court.

Folks may wonder why athletes today refuse to take strong political stands when the stages that they occupy would allow great influence. Certainly it is not for a lack of controversial political activity. The nation is currently embroiled in an unpopular war, much like Vietnam years ago. Issues of race and gender continue to fill the airwaves, the newspapers and the law reviews.

After reading about Tiger Woods in this week’s Sports Illustrated, it seems abundantly clear why the Activist Athlete has disappeared: Corporate Endorsements (and the potential for superstar athletes to become “billionaires”). Woods’ states in SI when asked about his business acumen and decisions: “It all depends on how much risk you want to take on. . . The things I do are very conservative. . . . I guess you don’t become billionaires by making bad decisions.” Corporate dollars were far less available and significant in the years of the activist Lew Alcindor, Walton and Cassius Clay.

Recall, that Tiger Woods refused to hold Fuzzy Zoeller’s feet to the fire, when Zoeller made fairly egregious racist comments in connection with Tiger as a young professional. Recall that Michael Jordan sprinted away from political controversy during his career, in particular when the issue of child labor abuse and Nike’s manufacture of “Air Jordan’s” overseas surfaced. In fact, it is almost stunning today to hear an athlete take a controversial position. Several years ago Kellen Winslow, Sr. talked openly about affirmative action during his NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Eighteen years ago John Thompson, Jr., boycotted a Georgetown basketball contest while the coach to protest NCAA admissions standards he deemed harmful to young African American athletes.

It is difficult to imagine that Kellen Winslow, Jr. would strike any type of controversial political position today. Similarly, John Thompson III would stun pundits were he to advocate a controversial position in the manner that his father did.

The allure of corporate sponsorship dollars keeps the modern Activist Athlete in check. Why would Tiger Woods risk his fortune? Why would Michael Jordan risk his empire? Why would Larry Bird risk his legacy? The fear of being seen as controversial or risky keeps Activist Athletes from voicing activist positions. I fear that the race for corporate dollars not only silences athletes that might be politically motivated, but also discourages the modern athlete from even carefully examining controversial issues of the day.

That said, Kobe Bryant, who was dropped by several sponsors after allegations arose as to sexual battery, seems to have now been forgiven by corporate America for the time being . . .

Race Attributions and Georgetown University Basketball

Earlier this afternoon, Jon Hanson and I posted on The Situationist a piece entitled Race Attributions and Georgetown University Basketball. Our piece is inspired by Sean Gregory's new article in Time Magazine on the sociological role of race in how fans regard the Hoyas.

Using social psychology, Jon and I examine why so many doubted how well the Hoyas would be able to implement the "complex, precise" Princeton Offense, as directed by John Thompson III after he became coach of the Hoyas in 2004.

We connect those doubts to stereotypes about white persons playing basketball, and the larger issue of how implicit attitudes cause us, often unknowingly, to interpret another's behavior based on his or her race.

We hope you check out our post on The Situationist.

Quotations 3

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone's labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities.

Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

Artistic Interlude 7

SORAYAMA, Mekanik Frau

DVD-The Prestige

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale each play competing magicians in the Victorian era trying to figure out each other's tricks while sabotaging the other. The movie has a surprise ending which I won't give away here, but it makes it worth watching.

This flick suffers from a certain degree of bad editing. It gets confusing, and the story is lost. I don't know what happened, but a better editing job would have found a much better flick here. Expect to be confused here and there.

The Prestige is not great, but it is decent. Watch it if you can't find anything better.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rethinking Contact Between NBA Executives and Parents of College Players

Last week, I blogged about the NBA fining the Boston Celtics because their executive director of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, sat next to the mother of University of Texas star Kevin Durant during a recent game. Durant will likely be the second player selected in this year's NBA draft, after Greg Oden, and the Celtics currently have the second worst record in the NBA (however, because of the NBA's weighted lottery system, the team with the second worst record only has a 38.9% chance of landing one of the first two picks). As we examined, the NBA has a strict liability policy on team executives sitting next to family members of amateur players. That's true even though the "desired" players among them are not going to become free agents out of college, since they will be drafted and their NBA employment rights will be controlled by whatever team drafts them. In other words, NBA general managers can't "recruit" prospective draft picks like college coaches can recruit high school players.

Sports Law Blog reader and fellow Celtics fan Matthew Dinan e-mails a fascinating question that highlights a peculiar implication of the NBA's strict liability rule:
Given that Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is a parent of a potential NBA player--point guard Jeremiah Rivers of Georgetown University--could the NBA fine Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers for sitting next to each other, even though it is a prerequisite of their job?
I know the NBA would say it makes an exception in this instance since Ainge and Doc Rivers work together in running the Celtics, but it brings to mind other potential instances that might also, if less clearly, warrant exception.

For instance, say Danny Ainge happens to be friends with former tennis star Yannick Noah. Can they not sit next to each other at a game because Noah's son, Joakim, will be a top 10 pick in this year's draft?

Or how about if Ainge sits next to the parents of BYU basketball star Keena Young to talk about how their sons play together on the same team--Austin Ainge also plays for BYU. Since Young might be drafted next year, would Ainge's seating be a problem with the NBA? Should it be a problem? Where do we draw the line?

Taking it a step further, what's really the point of this rule? It's not like college players become NBA free agents right out of college (at least the draft-worthy ones don't). Can Ainge really brown-nose his way into getting Greg Oden or Kevin Durant or Roy Hibbert or whomever? No. They're subject to the draft. And they will clearly be drafted.

And it's not like getting to know the parents would even help to sign a drafted player--the NBA has a rookie salary scale that determines how much a draft pick will earn based on when he is drafted.

I suppose, as we discussed in last week's post, the NBA might be worried about Danny Ainge encouraging underclassmen to declare. But would that even benefit him in a draft situation, when there are 29 other teams drafting? I guess one could say that every additional top player eligible to be picked makes the draft deeper for all teams, but again, the benefit there seems diffuse . . . unless, of course, you are picking #2, and you know that Greg Oden will go #1, and there is a huge drop-off in talent from Kevin Durant to the next best available player, so you better hope that Durant declares for the draft. Maybe David Stern was right after-all to fine Ainge!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

FSU College of Law Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Industry Breakfast

The Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Society of Florida State University College of Law will be hosting the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Industry Breakfast this Saturday, March 31, at 8:30 a.m.

I am honored to be one of the speakers at the breakfast, which will also include former Auburn head football coach and current ABC Sports broadcaster Terry Bowden, among other distinguished speakers. Details for the event are below, and if you are interested in attending, please click here.

Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Society

presents the

Entertainment, Arts, and Sports
Industry Breakfast

Saturday, March 31, 2007 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Florida State University, College of Law, Rotunda
425 W. Jefferson St., Tallahassee Florida

All Students and practitioners are welcome!!! Light Breakfast and Refreshments will be served

Terry Bowden, 1993 Coach of the Year, College Football Analyst, Motivational & Keynote Speaker, and FSU College of Law Alumnus

Michael McCann, Sports Law Professor, Representative of Maurice Clarett against the NFL, and Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law School's Sports Law Section

Dr. Thom Park, National Expert on Coaching Contracts

Jan Michael Morris, Representative of Venus & Serena Williams' Father

Steven Newburgh, Cast Attorney for Reality Television's Miami Ink

Rob McNeely, Entertainment Law Professor & Former Creed Counsel

Sponsored by Fowler White Burnett, Attorneys at law

Thanks to Mike Giraud, Shane Costello, and Ryan White for their excellent work in putting this event together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Best Legal Advice You Will Ever Get


March Madness and Groupism

Jon Hanson and I have a post up on The Situationist on what March Madness and, more generally, our team allegiances and group affiliations, might say about us and human behavior.

We believe that the very same attributions that drive us toward caring so deeply about our schools and teams emerge in many other life contexts, some good, some not so good.

We hope you check out our post.

UCLA's Dynasty

Last night, I watched the HBO Sports documentary The UCLA Dynasty, which recaps (in a too-short 60 minutes) UCLA's run of 10 NCAA titles in 12 years under Coach John Wooden. Definitely worth a look when it re-airs (if you have not TiVoed it).

The show does a great job showing how the program played against the backdrop of the social and political upheaval of the late 1960s and early 1970s on issues of civil rights and Viet Nam. And it shows how activist and politically involved many of the players (including star players such as Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton were. For example, I never knew that Walton was arrested at an anti-war rally while in school.

Interestingly, Coach Wooden comes across as having been somewhat supportive of his players' activism, at least out of season. Wooden had strict short-hair/no-facial-hair rules during the season, but, for example, allowed the African-American players to express identity growing it away from the season. Similarly, in the recap to the incident where Walton was arrested, Wooden expresses support of the player's right to speak out, but only asks him to "keep an open mind" and to think through the consequences of his actions.

Perhaps this all is a product of its time in three senses.
First, athletes (especially college athletes) today are, as a whole, far less politically involved than they were--but so are college students generally.
Second, whereas the activism of the late 60s/early 70s came on the political left, most athletes' activism today comes from the political right, especially among the many devoutly Christian athletes.
Third, the activism never made its way onto the floor, probably because Wooden would not have allowed it. On the other hand, those athletes today who do take a political stand--Carlos Delgado and "God Bless America," Toni Smith and the national anthem, the role of God and Christ in a player's victory--all are on display on the playing field.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Food City 500

I've been a bit under the weather lately, but I still managed to catch some of Sunday's race. I wasn't pleased with Smoke losing his fuel pump after he led all those laps. I wasn't pleased with Kyle Busch winning the race. (Jeff Burton should have put his punk ass in the wall.) But I have to admit that Busch spoke for all the drivers when he said that the Car of Tomorrow sucks.

I don't know what to make of the COT. But I think the drivers and crews will like it once they learn how to make the thing go fast. For NASCAR, it is about safety. Drivers care less about safety than they do about winning. There you have it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Issues in College Sports Lecture Series at the University of Memphis

The University of Memphis Sport and Leisure Commerce program is in the midst of hosting its 2nd Annual Issues in College Sports Lecture Series. The series features coaches, scouts, agents (including Jimmy Sexton), sports business professors, and sports law professors, among other distinguished guests. The series has been put together largely through the excellent work of University of Memphis Professor Richard Southall (pictured to left), who we recently blogged about in regards to the White v. NCAA lawsuit, and some of his students like Carrie Sordel and Charley Fausey. Here is a schedule of upcoming events (and if you would like to attend any of these discussions, directions to the University of Memphis are available at this link and all of the events will be held in Room 124 of Ball Hall).

Monday, March 26th, 4:00p.m. - The Business of College Sports. (Ryan McPhail, Titus Jackson – student moderators)

Dr. Ronald Dick – Duquesne University

Dr. Mark Nagel – University of South Carolina

Dr. Kadie Otto – Western Carolina University

Mr. Jimmy Sexton – Memphis, TN

Dr. Nathan Tomasini – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Friday, April 6th, 4:00p.m. - Division I College Recruiting: The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Ryan Ivey – student moderator)

Coach Jimmy Adams – Head Boys Basketball Coach, Raleigh-Egypt High School

Mr. Chad Alexander - Midwest Area Scout, Baltimore Ravens

Mr. Bobby Burton - Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-chief

Dr. Joe Luckey – Director, Center for Athletic Academic Services, The University of Memphis

Dr. Fritz Polite – The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Friday, April 13
th, 4:00p.m. - Congress, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Higher Education: Is college sports a tax-exempt enterprise or an unrelated business? (Shawn Fayard, Walt Barton - student moderators)

Prof. Paul Anderson – Marquette University Law School - National Sports Law Institute

Prof. John Colombo – The University of Illinois Law School

Prof. Michael McCann – Mississippi College School of Law

Dr. Dave Ridpath – Ohio University

Prof. Linda Sharp – University of Northern Colorado

Dr. Ellen Staurowsky – Ithaca College

Mr. Welch Suggs – University of Georgia

Friday, April 20th, 4:00p.m. - White v. NCAA: Greed or Monopsony – A discussion of the case’s legal merits. (Carrie Sordel, Dawnyell Fletcher – student moderators)

Prof. Paul Batista – Texas A&M University

Mr. Tony Bonds – Suntrust Financial

Mr. Patrick Byrne – The University of Memphis

Mr. Ramogi Huma – College Athletes Coalition

Dr. Allen Sack – The University of New Haven

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Sports Law Scholarship

New this week:
M. Christine Holleman, Recent Development, Fantasy foot-ball: illegal gambling or legal game of skill?, 8 NORTH CAROLINA JOURNAL OF LAW & TECHNOLOGY 59 (2006)

Aaron Levy, Note, A risky bet: the future of pay-to-play online fantasy sports, 39 CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW 325 (2006)

Paul D. Trumble, Comment, “Knickel” and dime issues: an unexplored loophole in New York’s genetic discrimination statute and the viability of genetic testing in the sports employment context, 70 ALBANY LAW REVIEW 771 (2007)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brooklyn Law Prof Takes on the NFL

Wendy Seltzer, a visiting assistant professor at the Brooklyn Law School, is embroiled in an intellectual property battle with the National Football League. Seltzer has been detailing her battle with the league over her posting of an NFL clip from Youtube on her own blog for a while. Yesterday, ars technica picked up the story, which has since been reported in the mainstream media (I heard about this through fark).

No, Seltzer didn't post a clip of a hard hit, a long pass, or an impressive run up the middle. Rather, she posted the NFL's copyright notice, which most football fans have seen numerous times on TV:
This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience, and any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited.
According to Seltzer, she wanted to demonstrate to her students that, from a legal perspective, the NFL's statement was false. Namely, the NFL's warning fails to make any mention of "fair use."

Likely unaware that it was dealing with an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer, the NFL pursued its Digital Millenium Copyright Act remedy, asking Youtube to take down the clip. Seltzer filed a counter-notification, claiming that her posting represented fair use.

As a blogger who regularly lifts copyrighted images (but so far, no video clips) for educational purposes, it may be obvious that my sympathies lie with Professor Seltzer. I've long thought that law professors who blog could claim a fair amount of fair use protection for images (those blogs sponsored by deep-pocketed publishers seem to avoid possibly copyrighted images). However, I have to admit that were anyone to ask me to take down a picture the rights to which they own, I would probably pull it off the blog.

Hamish has a photo shoot

Dragged the old duffer out of the paddock today to take some photos and give Amy a ride (she is always asking to go for rides on Hamish and with him being up the road at Nick's parents, it barely happens). He was dusty as anything as per usual but happy to be taken out of his paddock and given a little extra attention, even though his current girlfriend had to be left behind. Here are some of the photos.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NASCAR and the NHL

I'm not a big fan of NASCAR head honcho Brian France. That is because he sees dollar signs without a clue as to how NASCAR became the big time moneymaker that it currently is. This fool thinks the future of NASCAR lies with Mexicans, New Yorkers, the French, the Chinese, etc. What France needs to understand is that trees don't keep growing to the sky forever.

The NHL did not learn this lesson, and now, they are paying for it. The hockey head honchos pushed hockey out of its Northern/Canadian fanbase into places like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Tampa. The dream was to be the fourth major sport behind football, baseball, and basketball. The result has been a diluted league with financial troubles and dwindling popularity.

Hockey is a great sport. But with that said, when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup, I couldn't tell you one person from this region who gave a shit. Yet, that same victory by the Rangers or the Red Wings would have been a huge deal back in New York or Detroit. The lesson? Dance with the one that brung you.

NASCAR is following a similar shitheaded strategy trying to appeal beyond its fanbase and shed its Southern image. This is a mistake. It's like a guy who thinks his wife won't mind if he keeps a girlfriend on the side. Dumb.

The NHL loses money now because Northern folks aren't going to watch a Stanley Cup match that doesn't have their team in it while Southern and Western fans aren't going to watch because they don't give a fuck. Similarly, when NASCAR cancels out Darlington and Talladega for New York City and Ontario, they will experience the same thing. And don't even get me started on Mexico.

NASCAR has done just fine with its growth without forcing the issue. But greed overcomes common sense. Bubbles form and pop, and if France doesn't watch out, he'll have brought NASCAR to something like the IRL or CART. That would be a real shame.

Folks, the end will come when rebel flags are banned from raceways. That is the sign that the four horseman are riding, and NASCAR as we know it will be over. And that day draws closer than you think.

Artistic Interlude 6


DVD-Pirates of Silicon Valley

I've been meaning to get around to this one forever. Pirates of Silicon Valley is a made-for-TV movie about the rise of Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft. It is a very intriguing film about two very important people whose stories are still being played out today.

Basically, Steve Jobs is a creative but tyrannical genius who both cajoles and terrorizes his people into producing cutting edge products and technology. These traits would later end to his firing when people got tired of his shit. The guy is a real asshole. They say he has mellowed somewhat in this regard, but he reminds me a bit of a Che Guevara type.

Bill Gates is another story. The guy is a borderline autistic nerd. But he is a sneaky, cunning, devious nerd. Essentially, Gates beat Jobs because Gates was simply more ruthless. It is no coincidence that the Gates story begins with a poker game in which Billy Boy takes the pot.

So, what are we to take from this? Which business model makes more sense--innovation or ruthlessness? Ultimately, it comes down to consumer choice. Microsoft won because it met the needs and desires of a larger number of customers. My first experience with the Mac was back in high school working on the school newspaper. I was amazed at the graphical user interface, and I knew that system was the future. Then, Windows came out which I thought was inferior, but I quickly learned that Microsoft owns the world. I exclusively use PC's now though I might be persuaded to buy a Mac for multimedia work if I ever choose to go that way.

The whole story of Pirates is the battle between poets and nerds. We see this today with the current ads for Mac with the cool guy trading barbs with the 40-year-old virgin. Nerds make more money, but the poets get laid. Make of that what you will.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Close Encounters of The Stern Kind: Danny Ainge Fined

The NBA has fined the Boston Celtics $30,000 for general manager Danny Ainge unintentionally sitting next to the mother, step-father, and grandmother of University of Texas freshman Kevin Durant, who will likely be the second player selected in the 2007 NBA Draft, during the Big 12 tournament a couple of weeks ago. They were all seated five rows behind the Texas bench. NBA rules prohibit team executives from contact with college players until they officially declare for the draft.

But 1) was that rule actually violated; and 2) even if Ainge violated the rule, does it make much sense?

Let's take the first question first. It should be noted that Ainge sat next to Durant's mom and not him. The rule expressly prohibits contact with the college players, although the NBA is interpreting it to also include family members and "advisers." Notwithstanding what I think about the rule, I believe the NBA is making the correct interpretation: it would seem to be in the spirit of the rule for it to extend to immediate family members of the player, otherwise there would be a rather jarring loophole.

It should also be noted that Ainge's contact with Durant's family was unintentional; their seats for the game happened to bring them to the same place, five rows behind the Texas bench. Having said that, the NBA's rule appears to be based on strict liability; intent, or even a lesser element like recklessness or negligence, does not seem to be required.

But the second question is perhaps more intriguing: Why does this rule even exist? After-all, it's not like Ainge, or any NBA executive, could actually recruit Durant by speaking with him or his mom. That's because the NBA, like other major sports leagues, employs an amateur draft, meaning college players are not free agents. Moreover, even if the Celtics tried to lose enough games to secure the second worst record, which they presently "enjoy", they may not wind up with second overall pick--and as all of us Celtics fans know, sometimes a weighted lottery doesn't work out the way it should (i.e., Tim Duncan should really be a Celtic, but isn't. I still haven't gotten over that). In fact, securing the second-worst record only provides the Celtics with a 38.9% chance of landing one of the top two picks.

Now, I suppose NBA Commissioner David Stern could say that by sitting next to Mrs. Durant, Ainge might somehow try to persuade her that if the Celtics don't land the second pick, then she should convince her son to holdout from whichever team drafts him and then demand a trade to the Celtics. Or maybe Durant's grandmother is really the influential one, and Ainge could try to employ the same plan with her. Or maybe its the step-dad. Or maybe these are far-fetched ideas that sound in paranoia, rather than reality.

Another possible and perhaps more legitimate NBA concern: Danny Ainge might encourage Mrs. Durant to convince her son to declare for the NBA draft, rather than to stay at Texas. This concern seems more plausible, especially since the NBA seems intent on protecting the NCAA and its member schools, which obviously make a ton of money off the free labor of these players. Henry Abbot over at his new home for (congrats Henry)--explains in his post "The Myth of Amateurism" why this rationale may not be the most meritorious, even if it is commonly mentioned.

One last contextual point: the fining of the Celtics for Danny Ainge's "inappropriate contact" is the latest in a string of recent NBA fines of NBA executives for comments or actions related to potential draft picks. Namely, the Charlotte Bobcats were fined $15,000 for comments made by co-owner/CEO Michael Jordan regarding Durant, and the Golden State Warriors were fined $15,000 for comments made by coach Don Nelson about Durant and presumptive number one overall pick, Greg Oden.

Quotations 2

The only thing I know about it [marriage] is that it's an institution, and you have to be committed to it. If that doesn't sound like a nuthouse, I don't know what does.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.

It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there's someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

This Shit is Too Damn Funny

Watch this:

Then watch this:

Kobalt Tools 500

Jimmie Johnson passed Tony Stewart and went on to win the race in Atlanta yesterday. This sucked a massive dick.

Juan Pablo Montoya got a top 5. I think the dude is getting it together, and I expect him to win a Cup race this season.

Mark Martin will sit out Bristol which I think is dumb. But with the new format, he might still make the Chase. Hell, he might win it which would be a hell of an accomplishment. But he's still an idiot for doing this semi-retirement bullshit. For a man without a championship on his resume, I think the guy should reconsider.

As for Bristol, I expect to see number 8 in victory lane. Junior does well at that track.

Baseball and the Brain

Interesting David Brooks column in The Times today, talking about the way in which baseball players depend almost exclusively on the unconscious brain to play the game and how baseball has developed drills to reinforce those unconscious responses.

New Sports Law Scholarship

New this week:
Glenn George, Playing cowboys and Indians, 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 90 (2006)

John A. Gray, Sports agent’s liability after SPARTA?, 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 141 (2006)

Jonathan Jenkins, Note, A need for heightened scrutiny: aligning the NCAA transfer rule with its rationales, 9 VANDERBILT JOURNAL OF ENTERTAINMENT & TECHNOLOGY LAW 439 (2006)

Peter Kreher, Antitrust theory, college sports, and interleague rulemaking: a new critique of the NCAA’s amateurism rules. 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 51 (2006)

Andrew E. Rice, Eddy Curry and the case for genetic privacy in professional sports, 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 1 (2006)

Ronnie Wade Robertson, Comment, Tilting at windmills: the relationship between men’s non-revenue sports and women’s sports, 76 MISSISSIPPI LAW JOURNAL 297 (2006)

Leena M. Sheet and A. Benjamin Katz, Protecting rights in videogames: next generation licensing, 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 124 (2006)

George D. Turner, Note, Allocating the risk of spectator injuries between basketball fans and facility owners, 6 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 156 (2006)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Artistic Interlude 5

MANET, Olympia

Saturday, March 17, 2007

RIP, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn

I should have posted on this yesterday, but I came late to the New York Times obit of former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bowie Kuhn, who died Thursday at age 80.

Kuhn's name is familiar to most law students because he was the named respondent in Flood v. Kuhn, the 1971 case in which the United States Supreme Court rejected former player Curt Flood's challenge to the Reserve System, holding (actually, reaffirming an 80-year-old holding that the Court thought was wrong) that Major League Baseball was not subject to federal antitrust laws. For both student and professor, that opinion is either fun or ridiculous (depending on one's point of view) because all of Part I was an ode, written by Justice Blackmun, to the history and majesty of baseball. It included a listing of many great players of the pre-WW II era. Chief Justice Burger and Justice White refused to join that part of the opinion and, the story goes, Justice Marshall demanded that Blackmun include some Negro League players. Dean Roger Abrams, one of the leading sports-law scholars, recently wrote a paper on the players listed in the opinion.

What I think is noteworthy about Bowie Kuhn is that he may be the last independent baseball commissioner to serve for a substantial period. He was willing to wield his "Best Interests of Baseball" powers against the owners who, as a legal and practical matter, employ him. As the Times story describes, Kuhn repeatedly took on owners in a way I am not sure Bud Selig or whomever replaces him two years from now will be willing or able to do. Most notably, Kuhn wielded his "Best Interests" powers to void a series of deals when Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley tried to sell off the star players from his championship teams to avoid losing them to the early days of free agency.

Kuhn's commissionership is historically significant (arguably the second most historical, after Landis and before Selig) because of the massive changes that occurred on his watch. Some were for good (increasing attendance, increased television viewership, a fair labor system), some were for ill (multiple work stoppages and lingering racial tensions in the game) and some were for very ill (have you checked out the uniforms teams wore in the 1970s?).

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 14

1. I got into a debate about ethanol this week with Big T. I told him that ethanol required more energy to make than what you got out of the ethanol. This is disputed by the USDA, a government agency. Nevertheless, ethanol is a waste of money and would consume resources and cause more environmental harm than is currently used in fossil fuel production. This is not in dispute. And how does this shit come about? Government subsidies.

You can read about it here and here.

2. Sub-prime mortgage lenders took a hit this week which caused jitters on the stock market. This might be the bursting of the housing bubble. Frankly, I don't know. Economic predictions by even the most learned of folks usually turn out to be wrong. But what I will predict is that there will be a call for government regulation of these sub-prime lenders. That is a virtual certainty.

3. Khalid Sheik Mohammad came clean with a confession that he did it all--9/11, the beheading of Daniel Pearl, pissing in the soup at an Olive Garden in Tuscon, etc. And why did this fuckhead suddenly confess? Probably because of that bullshit at the Department of Justice involving the Attorney General firing a bunch of folks for not having their lips pressed firmly to the imperial ass.

4. Oregon is considering a bill that would require climbers on Mount Hood to wear electronic locators in case they need rescuing. I think these beacons are a good idea, but I think the public should be a bit pissed off that their tax dollars go to subsidize mountain climbing. I say let the shitheads die. They deserve to bear the consequences of their own stupidity. As it stands, these fucknuts climb the mountains and expect rescue units to spare no expense in saving their retarded asses. This shit isn't right. Instead, these climbers should climb at their own risk and make their own arrangements for a rescue. A mountain climbing insurance policy might be the way to go. As it stands, I laugh when mountain climbers, BASE jumpers, drug addicts, etc. die. Death by stupidity is not deserving of anyone's sympathy. Fuck every goddamn one of them.

5. The IDIOT OF THE WEEK is former Israeli ambassador Tsuriel Rephael who was the envoy to El Salvador until police found him naked, drunk, tied, and gagged in an apparent S&M session that went awry. Rephael identified himself after officers removed the ball gag from his mouth.

6. Valerie Plame testified this week that Dick Cheney fucked her over to get back at her husband and ended her clandestine career at the CIA. Cheney is a scum sucking lowlife bastard. It's time to impeach the vice president.

7. E-MAIL JOKE OF THE WEEK (Courtesy of Clint Monts)


One morning while making breakfast, a man walked up to his wife, pinched her on the butt and said "If you firmed this up, we could get rid of your control top pantyhose."

While this was on the edge of intolerable, she kept silent.

The next morning, the man woke his wife with a pinch on each of her breasts and said "You know, if you firmed these up, we could get rid of your bra."

This was beyond a silent response...So she rolled over and grabbed him by his 'DANGLER.'

With a death grip in place, she said "You know, if you firmed this up, we could get rid of the gardener, the postman, the pool man and your brother!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On the Limits of Analogies Between Baseball and the Law

I love baseball. And I love law. And I like judges and lawyers who share those twin passions. But the repetitive analogies between umpiring and judging are getting old and inaccurate very quickly.

The latest comes from Justice Samuel Alito (UNRELATED ASIDE: When Alito was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and I was a law clerk for a judge on that court, Alito swore my co-clerks and me onto the bar). Anyway, Justice Alito was in St. Petersburg, recently to throw out the first pitch at a Devil Rays-Phillies game (Alito is a life-long Phillies fan, but donned a D-Rays jersey). Rick Garnett has the photo and story here. And I agree, Rick: Alito has pretty good form.

But the story describes Alito giving a talk at a dinner while he was there and saying the following:

One of the things I am asked is if I believe in a living Constitution," Alito said in his speech, referring to a thought that the Constitution can reflect the times. "Umpires face this very same problem. For example, do we want a living strike zone?"

These analogies do not work and they must stop.

First, whether a legal rule should or will "live" depends to some extent on the nature of that rule. There is not much interpretative life in:

"The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the knee cap."

There is inevitably and necessarily more life (with the attendant evolution and change) to interpreting and applying broad, amorphous principles or ideas such as "the freedom of speech" or "cruel and unusual punishment."

Second, we do have a living strike zone. If you don't believe me, watch a baseball game from the 1970s or 1980s on ESPN Classic. Pitches at the letters were routinely called strikes, as were pitches slightly below the knees (what was then called a "National League Strike"). Neither one is ever called a strike now. True, the strike zone was lowered slightly in 1988. But rarely is any pitch above the belt called a strike nowadays.

Third, the fact that there were differences between National and American League strike zones tells us that some "life" was present. Back in the 70s and 80s, AL umpires used large exterior balloon chest protectors, which required them to stand more upright--allowing them to see the high pitch more easily than the low pitch. NL umpires wore chest protectors under their shirts, allowing them to crouch lower and thus better see the low strike.

Fourth, even with uniform equipment, no two strike zones are exactly the same simply because no two umpires are exactly the same. There will be slight variations in each umpire's crouch or the angle of her head or her position behind the plate. Such differences produce variations in how each umpire sees a given pitch and thus how each umpire calls a given pitch--what each strike zone looks like.

The point is that umpiring, particularly balls and strikes, is not a perfectly objective determination. Of course, neither is judging the meaning of the First Amendment.

So, on second thought, perhaps the analogy between judging and umpiring works. Just in the precise opposite direction from what Justice Alito was trying to suggest.

Hiring a Union Executive Director 101

In my post last Friday, I discussed the latest developments in the ongoing battle between the NHLPA and its executive director Ted Saskin. On Sunday evening, the 30 player representatives voted to put Saskin and senior director Ken Kim on paid leave, and to hire an outside lawyer to investigate whether they were reading private player emails. All indications lead to the conclusion that the union will be searching for new leadership. As stated in a comment to my post, maybe the players will now have an ample opportunity to deliberate about who they really want to lead them going forward.

But how do the players go about making such an important decision? What may seem like a common dilemma often faced by any organization or company at any given time is, conversely, atypical in professional sports unions. With the exception of closely-held and family-owned businesses, turnover in top executive office positions occurs on a relatively frequent basis (about every three or four years). Contrast the situation with the tenure of the executive directors in the NFLPA, MLBPA and NBPA: Gene Upshaw - 24 years; Don Fehr - 21 years; Billy Hunter - 11 years. And Bob Goodenow was the executive director of the NHLPA for 14 years before Saskin took his place.

So the first question would be, what qualities and background should an executive director of a professional sports union possess? Should an executive director have experience as a former player, like Gene Upshaw? Should it be a prerequisite that the person have experience as a lawyer, like Don Fehr and Billy Hunter? Or maybe it should be a prerequisite that the person have prior experience as a president of a labor union. Maybe an accomplished person in business with an established track record running a successful company would be a good quality to have. Or maybe a person who has a well-rounded knowledge of sports law :)

The next question is how do the players go about finding the right person? Players could seek the advice of their agents, but there is a conflict there when the agent represents the individual interest of each player, not the interest of the players collectively. Agent Matt Keator said he would offer his opinion if asked by his clients, but he doesn't believe agents should be involved in the decision: "We work for the players. It's not our association. It's their association. In my mind, it needs to be the players setting the tempo." (See Kevin Allen, Players making sure Saskin case handled properly).

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe provides an answer to both questions: "[H]ire a small panel of corporate job hunters who can identify two or three worthy candidates to take over the union. Someone the players can trust. Someone with no ties to hockey." (Leadership on thin ice again) When I first read this, I thought, WHAT? A CORPORATE JOB HUNTER? AND NO TIES TO HOCKEY? But on second thought, his suggestion isn't a bad idea. It's time to bring in some new blood, and with the aide of an outside firm that has no skin in the game whatsoever. Search firms are often utilized by companies to fill vacancies in top executive positions. It makes even more sense for the players to hire a search firm because they, similar to all members of labor unions, are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization. What makes it even more complicated is the fact that there exists no "pool" of potential candidates that have prior experience running sports unions, as is typically the case when a company is searching for candidates. The players also have conflicting interests among themselves (i.e. rookies vs. veterans) that can cloud their judgment in making a decision about who the best person would be to represent their collective interests.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Sports Law Scholarship

New this week:
Lindsay C. Ferguson, Comment, Whistle blowing is not just for gym class: looking into the past. present, and future of Title IX, 39 TEXAS TECH LAW REVIEW 167 (2006)

Jodi A. Janecek, Comment, Hunter v. hunter: the case for discriminatory nonresident hunting regulations, 90 MARQUETTE LAW REVIEW 355 (2006)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Update on White v. NCAA

Robin Acton and Richard Gazarik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have an interesting article on a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 20,000 current and former Division 1-A football and major Division 1 basketball players from 144 schools against the NCAA ("NCAA: United Steel Worker Union is trying to Make Athletes 'Paid Employees,' 3/11/2006). In White v. NCAA, the plaintiffs allege that the NCAA violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits illegal restraints of trade, by precluding member colleges from offering athletic scholarships up to the "full cost of attendance" (meaning all of the actual costs of attending college). Presently, scholarships may cover tuition, room, board and required books but not incidentals, such as phone bills, laundry, school supplies, and travel expenses--expenses that the plaintiffs claim are collectively worth between $2,500 and $3,500 a year per student.

The lawsuit also seeks elimination of earning caps for NCAA players, better health care coverage, higher death benefits, and legal assurance that athletic scholarships--which under NCAA bylaws are renewable each year at the discretion of coaches and injured athletes routinely lose them--become guaranteed for four years. If successful, White v. NCAA could require the NCAA to pay more than $100 million in damages, which would be trebled under antitrust law to over $300 million. The plaintiffs are represented by Attorney Marc Seltzer (pictured to left) of Susman Godfrey in Los Angeles, while the law firm Bingham McCutchen is representing the NCAA. I analyzed this lawsuit last February in a post entitled Incidental Matters: Antitrust Class Action Filed Against NCAA.

Acton and Gazarik interview a number of prominent experts for their story, including Professors Richard Southall of the University of Memphis, Stephen Ross of the Penn State Institute for Sports Law, Policy and Research, and Rodney Fort of Washington State University.

Here are some excerpts:
Richard Southall, assistant professor of sports and leisure commerce at the University of Memphis, said highly paid coaches exercise too much control over the players who are struggling financially while making millions for their schools. "Either it's a free market, or it's not," Southall said. "The NCAA says it can't constrain coaches, but yet it can constrain athletes. It's very hypocritical."

* * *

"If you're a really poor kid, you can get a full grant-in-aid and additional money from Pell grants. If you're not desperately poor and not wealthy enough for your parents to send you an extra couple hundred dollars a week, you still fall short," said Stephen Ross, director of the Penn State Institute for Sports Law, Policy and Research. Ross said a star athlete can generate as much as $1 million annually by attracting fans. In a free market, he said, that athlete could be worth a salary of $100,000 per year.

* * *

Rodney Fort, a sports economics professor at Washington State University, said studies show that playing Division 1 football or basketball is a full-time job. He said scholarship athletes, who fit the description of an employee in IRS guidelines, can lose their "jobs" without guarantees.

For more from the article, click here.

Artistic Interlude 4

SORAYAMA, Betty with Tiger


When you really think about it, I'm not delusional enough to think that what I do is important to life as we know it on this planet. No. But neither is what you do.

War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Collectivism doesn't work because it's based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person's "fair share" of wealth. The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless.

Left-wing politicians take away your liberty in the name of children and of fighting poverty, while right-wing politicians do it in the name of family values and fighting drugs. Either way, government gets bigger and you become less free.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Musical Interlude 18

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 13

1. The IDIOT OF THE WEEK award goes to USC quarterback Stephen Garcia for keying a prof's car and other shitheadedness. This guy is turning out to be a real piece of shit, and I have to wonder what is going on in Coach Spurrier's head. At some point as a college or professional football coach, you have to deal with these headcases who combine both talent and stupidity. I don't know what Garcia's future will be, but he needs to get his shit together.

2. I have a bunch of bitemarks in my ass from the ultrarunning crowd, but I stand by my criticisms. I will now expand upon them.

At what point does it become stupid? For instance, why not attempt Badwater while carrying a cinder block? That would be bad ass. Why not include a blindfold? And you can drink nothing but beer and the vomit from other competitors!!

I've become a believer in Aristotle's golden mean. Virtue lies at the midpoint between deficiency and excess. In the case of ultrarunners, they want to get recognition for doing something that is clearly excessive. I don't have a problem with the activities since I believe each to his own. But with ultrarunning, I think it is just stupid much the same way that I think the stunts of magician David Blaine are stupid. As Chris Rock put it, "Where's the magic in that?"

Here is an idea that will seem heretical to many, but these stunts are easy. Yes, that's right. EASY. I believe finishing Badwater is an easy accomplishment. That's because it requires something I can do or can train myself to do which is to survive the 135 mile footrace. I know I can do this. What I am less certain about is finishing a marathon in under 2 hours and 30 minutes. The latter is clearly harder to achieve than the former. I doubt I could ever put up a time like that.

The golden mean is difficult to achieve. Going to extremes is so much easier. It was easier for Andy Warhol to film someone sleeping for 24 hours than it was for Francis Ford Coppola to make The Godfather. Likewise, it is easier to run 100 miles badly than to run 26.2 miles well.

Maybe it is a sign of a larger societal pathology, but I don't see why we celebrate gluttons, drunkards, womanizers, and masochists. In the case of ultrarunners, we have masochism trumping excellence. I can tell you that I know who Dean Karnazes is from his appearance on Letterman, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you who holds the world record for the marathon without having to Google for it.

I think as more and more people accomplish these stunts their novelty will wear off. This has clearly happened with the marathon as even fat housewives show that the distance is no big deal. Karnazes keeps trying to top himself in greater feats of ridiculousness. But hey, it sells books, so I'm rooting for this master of marketing. He's got a good act going, and it shows the power of shameless self-promotion.

3. The FBI has come clean by admitting that they have abused the Patriot Act. Big surprise there.

4. Lately, I've been trying to include information in my daily reading from "hostile" sources. These would be Democrats, Republicans, fascists, commies, environmentalists, feminazis, religious fundamentalists, etc. It is not that I respect their opinions because I don't. Hell, I barely respect these people as human beings. But I think it is helpful to try and understand where people stand on a lot of things if for no other purpose than to be more adept at demolishing their worldviews. As such, I'll waste the time on reading and listening to their blather.

5. PET PEEVE: I hate when a friend or coworker asks me to pick them up something from McDonald's or elsewhere, and it is a "special order" usually involving addition of cheese, vegetables, or condiments. I already know that the fast food fucktards will fuck that order to hell, and that person will look at me like I'm the one that did it. So, I save the receipt and present it at the Post-McDonald's Inquisition as Exhibit A. As it stands, I will no longer take on the responsibility of special orders. Sorry 'bout it. If it gets fucked, that's your problem.

6. Scooter Libby took the fall, and he will likely take a large black cock in the ass from his cellmate before George Bush pardons him. And people wonder why I don't pursue a career in politics.

Artistic Interlude 3

MONET, Impression: Sunrise

Reader Mail

I accumulate reader e-letters in my inbox, and I thought it would be a shame to let that writing go to waste. OTOH, I don't want to embarrass anyone either. With that said, I'm going to post these letters without identities in a regular feature called Reader Mail.

I've gotten a lot of flak from ultrarunners this week for my review of Running on the Sun. Enjoy.

* * *

Sir, I read your rant concerning ultramarathoners. . .

. . .I'm sorry that we don’t live up to your standards as athletes, but rest assured that Scott Jurek’s 24 hour finish at Badwaters, a 135 mile race (a 10 minute, 40 second pace or the equivalent of 5 back-to-back marathons at a 4 hour 35 minute pace) is one heck of an accomplishment in anybody’s book.

* * *

First let me say that I am glad you picked up the film "Running On The Sun." I myself own the film, but unfortunately.. disagree with you. I highly recommend it to anyone. Other films include "A Race for The Soul" and "The Runner."

I do take into question your blog where you argue that Ultra-running is not a sport. You compare it to mountain climbing.. which I will agree with you that in many cases it is. However, the goal of any ultra is to not JUST finish the race, but in many cases to do so in under the alloted time. Usually this time is 24 hours. In order to finish a 100 mile race in under 24 hours, one must travel at an average of 4MPH... which to many athletes is faster than a walk and indeed Running.

You also have to understand that Ultra's aren't JUST 100 miles and 135 miles. There are 50K, 50 mile and 100Km races. You mean to tell me that somebody who runs 50 miles in under 10 Hours at an average pace of MORE than 5MPH is not competing in a sport? You are right... there is a VAST difference between Marathoners and Ultramarathoners. Marathoners run as fast as they can to finish 26.2 Miles.... and they trash themselves in the process. Ultramarathoners set out to cover a LONGER distance... as fast as they can... and also trash themselves while doing so. Sir... you are FAR from correct when comparing the two disciplines.

Now I also am a mountain climber... and its a hobby... and a SPORT. I golf... Many consider golf simply a "game." But... it's a sport. Ultra Running takes a LOT more to compete in than a game of golf.... so is golf now not a sport as well?

Get your head out of your ass you loser... I DARE you to run 50 miles just ONCE.

* * *

You should go to Badwater in July and have yourself babied for several hours. Then you might know whereof you speak.

* * *

Keep those e-letters coming. You can write to me at charlesbricebroadway at

Ambiguous Terminology

The philosopher Aristotle said that women were without virtue. This is because virtue is essentially reason, and women lacked rationality because of their passionate natures. Since virtue is an essential component of happiness, it is impossible for women to be happy. They string misery wherever they go. You can never trust a woman because their words are filled with ambiguity and mean whatever they want them to mean.

The first ambiguous term women like to toss around is the word "friend."

"Can we be friends?"
"Oh, he's just a friend."
"I hope we can still be friends."

Here's a tip to the men out there. Women are never your friends. NEVER. "Friend" is an ambigious term that women toss around to delude themselves, others, and you. For instance, if a woman meets you for the first time and asks if you and her can be friends, the reality is that she is interested in fucking you, but first, she has to find a way to keep her boyfriend from finding out. In this instance, "friend" is a bookmark for future reference. Women have tons of these "friends."

If you have a girlfriend and she says that Mr. So-and-so at work is "just a friend," it is a sure sign that she is fucking that guy or will be fucking that guy. It behooves you to KICK THAT CUNT TO THE CURB. "Friend" is her way of lying about what she wants. If you pick up on this, she will accuse you of jealousy or whatnot as if you are the one with "issues." You are the irrational one for being like this. You need to be "trusting." Six weeks later when she is deepthroating that friend's cock, remember how "irrational" your suspicions were.

Finally, if an available woman refers to you as a "friend" or wants to "just be friends," tell that bitch to step off. In this instance, "friend" actually means friend. She may or may not fuck you at a later time, but she will most certainly dangle that bait out there for you. She wants you to believe in the "friendship" wherein she expects you to spend time with her and even money on her. But she really has no interest in you except for your money. Basically, the woman is using you and covers over this bullshit by saying that you and her are "friends." Give me a fucking break.

Remember what I said. Men, women are never your friends. That is because all women including my own mother are lying whores.

The next ambiguous term is the word "love."

"I love you."
"I thought I loved him."
"I love him, but I'm not IN love with him."

A woman can marry a man, have sex with him, tell him she loves him, and then run off a year or two later to do whatever with whomever. To us men, she didn't love the guy. The woman will retort that she loves him. She just wasn't IN love with him. Ahhhh, those pesky prepositions.

"Love" is a lot like "friend" in that women use it as a headfake to get what they want. What they want is a commitment which is a contract that says you will be faithful to the bitch and spend lots of money on her while she goes around fucking other men. And how does she justify this arrangement? She "loves" you. She just isn't "in love with you." You have to shake your head and laugh. Basically, she can deceive you and then wash away the guilt because she still fundamentally cares about you even if she isn't in love with you. If you have just gotten a whiff of horseshit, that is no accident. Women are full of it.

If at this point you think it is all a game, then you would be correct. Women are deceivers. It is their nature to be this way. Men deceive each other every so often, but it often ends in extreme violence which is why, as a general rule, men try to be on the level with one another. We agree to the rules. We clarify our terms. This does not work with women. Women lack the means of enforcement because they are weak. Their only hope is to count on a man's chivalry and sense of honor which is what they exploit. From the time they were little girls, women are taught to be difficult and deceitful to get what they want. That's why the ones who don't follow their mother's advice are called "easy." Easy is a good thing. It is better than "difficult." But I digress. . .

"Love" is an ambiguous term because women don't really love at all. Love is the bond that exists between two rational people. This is why I can still be friends with guys from five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years ago. This is also why after six months, I can't stand a woman. Those six months represent a random sample wherein bitches revert to the mean of their essential natures. They can only fake you out for so long before their innate irrationality and deceitfulness comes out.

It is all a wicked game. How do you win this game? Don't play it. As Dave Chappelle put it, "Chivalry is dead because women killed it." You don't get truer than that. The bottom line is that you can never trust a woman. People will decry this blatant sexism, but I know this shit is true because women don't trust each other. Tell your wife or girlfriend that Ms. So-amd-so at work is "just a friend" and see what happens.

The other option is to play the game. This is where the term "player" comes from. Basically, a player is a guy who understands the way women truly are and plays by their bizarro rules. Women howl at indignation over this, but they keep putting out for these players and secretly love them anyway. It is what it is. Nice guys get the compliments. Players get the pussy.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Videos - Finn and Liath

Interesting Developments in NHLPA Investigation

In January, I did a post regarding the approval of an independent investigation into the hiring of current NHLPA executive director, Ted Saskin. There have been a couple of interesting developments since then.

First, about three weeks ago, Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reported that there are 9 side letter agreements entered between the NHL and the NHLPA in conjunction with the 2005 CBA that have been kept secret from the players (NHL says players' union should keep side deals secret, 2/19/07). These side letters add to or elaborate on details of what was agreed to in the CBA. According to Mullen, Saskin said in an email that he agreed with the league to keep these side letters confidential because they contain "sensitive economic data" but he also stated that "the material provisions contained in the letter agreements were shared with the players during ratification" of the CBA.

However, some players and agents say that players were not told about the contents of the letters, including one that pledges union money to the league if players are paid too high a percentage of leaguewide revenue, until after they had voted on the labor deal. According to Richard Marcus, an attorney representing the players, "How can the letters be not confidential to Ted Saskin but confidential to the people who employ him?" Mullen also noted the observations of two unnamed labor lawyers who stated that, while there is precedent in which management has been able to keep proprietary information secret from unions, they have never heard of a case in which the union already has the information and keeps it secret from its own members. Also, the NLRB has taken the position that the union's "failure and refusal" to give the players access to the side letters constitutes a violation of the NLRA.

The second latest development was reported today by Kevin Allen of USA Today ("Players trying to find out if NHLPA accessed private e-mails"). I guess the title of the article sums it all up. But what is interesting is that Saskin is not denying the allegation that union executives have been reading private player emails, but is instead pointing the finger at the former executive director of the union, Bob Goodenow. According to the article, in regards to a conference call that is scheduled for Sunday with the board of player representatives, Saskin told the Canadian Press: "I plan to address the board on Sunday night and the board will learn that Bob Goodenow had instructed NHLPA employees to review player e-mail accounts and this occurred during the lockout and I was not aware of this until much later." Goodenow, in a statement released through his lawyer, responded:
"The allegations made by Ted Saskin against me regarding player emails are false. To date I have not made any public comment since leaving the NHLPA, and I won't now comment on, or get embroiled in current NHLPA issues. That said, I will be glad to respond to questions from players on any NHLPA policies or practices while I was the executive director. I am unaware of an instance where the security of a single player's email or other personal information was compromised."
Stay tuned, there's more to come.....

Thursday, March 8, 2007

One-Sport Only

Alfred Yen posts on Concurring Opinions about a case in Massachusetts in which a high school freshman violated the state's rule that students can play only one sport per season by playing on both the hockey and swim teams. The student was declared ineligible for the season (in both sports) and the school forfeited all the games in which she played.

Professor Yen raises two issues on this: 1) The seeming harshness of the penalty (it is the same penalty as if the student had accepted money for playing) and 2) The questionable wisdom of the rule. I want to consider the second.

According to the post, the state defends the rule as intended to protect athletes from injury and to ensure they have adequate time for academics. But the rule is so under-inclusive that one wonders whether it could be said to rationally further those asserted interests (as all legal rules must do at a minimum).

Professor Yen notes that there is no prohibition on playing a sport and simultaneously participating in another, non-athletic time-consuming extracurricular activity (school play, band, student newspaper, chorus, debate team, pick your geekdom). Indeed, there is nothing (other than the laws of physics and the space-time continuum) to stop a student from playing a sport and participating in all those other activities. And there is nothing (again besides the laws of physics) to stop a non-athlete from participating in every extra-curricular under the sun. So there seem to be too many other things that are allowed to take-up one-sport-athletes time to justify the rule.

As for the increased likelihood of getting hurt playing multiple sports: There is no prohibition on playing a sport for a school team while also pursuing another sport outside the school context, although risk of injury (and loss of academic time) would be identical. For example, this student could play hockey for the school and be a competitive figure skater. Or she could have played hockey for the school and swam for a club team. So again, the rule does not prohibit something that poses the identical risk to the students' well-being.

There is a tendency in schools to single-out athletics for special regulation beyond that for other activities--schools got their foot in the door for drug-testing by going after athletes. And Massachuseets apparently regulates only athletics, not activities more broadly. Even so, I do not see how this rule is justified in furtherance of the stated interests, given the numerous harms the rule leaves unregulated.

Updated: In an e-mail exchange, Professor Yen suggests that the real reason for the rule is to prevent one great athlete from dominating in a bunch of different sports. In the Comments to this post, Anonymous (one of them) offers a different version of that: It is a way to prevent one athlete from taking spots away from her other classmates to maximize the number of people able to participate in sports.

But either or both rationales are even less legitimate than the avoid injury/enhance academics rationales that have been offered. If one student is both the best hockey player and the best swimmer (both winter sports), she should not be prohibited from seeking to maximize her gifts in both. After all, we do not impose a similar limitation where the best debater in the school is also the best actor in the school. And we want to encourage participation in debate or drama as much as participation in sports, no?

Update # 2: If the MIAA is serious about any of these rationales (maximizing diverse participation; avoiding injury; ensuring time for academics), the rule should not be one-sport-per-season, but one (maybe two) sports per year. If there is a risk of injury from a student playing multiple sports, that is true whether those sports are played concurrently or in different seasons (I still lament that my high school's hopes for a second-straight state basketball championship were dashed when our best player, also the star quarterback, was injured in the last football game of the season). So we are back to the rule being so under-inclusive as to render its logic questionable.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Retiring Chief Illiniwek

The University of Illinois, in a recent move both heralded and reviled, “retired” its 81-year-old mascot “Chief Illiniwek” following the Illini’s last home basketball game of the season. In a controversy that has plagued the University of Illinois for at least the past fifteen years, administration officials finally bowed to pressure applied by the NCAA, deciding to discard the “mascot” that has represented the University since the 1920s.

Supporters of the Chief Illiniwek mascot claim that the white student that dresses in buckskin, native headdress, and face paint pays homage to American Indians in the United States and honors the history and tradition of the original Americans. American Indian groups and other opponents of Chief Illiniwek decry the student mascot as demeaning, derogatory, offensive and disrespectful to Native Americans and their traditions.

In 2005, the NCAA agreed, albeit tepidly, with opponents of American Indian mascots and demeaning imagery by barring any University that makes use of offensive, hostile or abusive American Indian images from hosting any postseason tournaments or events. Thus, the NCAA banned its member institutions from hosting postseason events if it continued to use derogatory or offensive American Indian mascots. The NCAA in so deciding, placed itself in the position of “arbiter of offensiveness” by allowing member institutions to petition the NCAA for exemption from the new policy. Several University’s successfully petitioned the NCAA to allow continued use of American Indian nicknames and logos, including the Florida State Seminoles and the University of Utah Runnin’ Utes, based in part on the local Native American tribe approval of the continued use of the mascot and image.

The University of Illinois “Fighting Illini” and the University of North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” both petitioned the NCAA for exemption and were denied based primarily on the continued derogatory imagery associated with the mascots at those schools, as well as staunch opposition to continued use by local American Indian tribes. In response to the denial of the petitions, lawsuits have been filed against the NCAA by both the University of North Dakota and by two former Illinois students who had previously portrayed Chief Illiniwek. A state district court judge in North Dakota recently entered a preliminary injunction against the NCAA allowing North Dakota to host a home playoff football game this past season. North Dakota claims that the NCAA’s ban breaches contractual relationships with its member institutions and is in violation of antitrust laws. The NCAA plans to vigorously defend its ability to regulate member institution activities. A trial has been set for December 2007.

This running controversy raises several questions of great import: First, since Tarkanian, the NCAA has been afforded nearly carte blanche authority over its member institutions. It is difficult to envision a scenario wherein the NCAA will be found to have exceeded its authority, breached contracts or violated antitrust laws in banning member institutions from hosting postseason events so long as the voluntary member institution continues to use hostile or abusive mascots or logos. Second, if American Indian citizens of the United States are in fact offended, deeply offended, by the mockery of traditions and sacred rituals, why are University administration officials fighting, literally scrapping to continue to offend American Indian citizens? Third, what difference should it make that some American Indian citizens are offended while it is well documented that other Native Americans are not bothered at all by the imagery and in fact claim to be proud of the recognition?

Some argue that the NCAA’s ban is a step in the right direction. Others suggest that the NCAA has been cowardly in not mandating an outright ban against any continued use of American Indian imagery by member institutions. This debate promises to continue for years to come.

And, what is to be made of the continued use of professional sports franchises that cling to American Indian symbols, logos, mascots and images (i.e., Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins, Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians, etc.)?