Wednesday, June 30, 2010

History is Written by Winners or "De vita et moribus tredecim virorum paraguaycorum"

If crashing out of the World Cup is not bad enough for England, the Catholic Church reports that Association Football actually may have originated in Paraguay, which of course has advanced further than England in this year's tournament.:
Amidst the enthusiasm over the World Cup Soccer tournament, L’Osservatore Romano published an article this week arguing that the Guarani Indians of Paraguay were the inventors of the game.

In an article titled, “The Guarani Invented Soccer,” reporter Gianpaolo Romanato asserted that soccer was born in the 17th century in the region known today as Paraguay. His source for the claim is an account by a Spanish Jesuit priest, Jose Manuel Peramas, who lived for several years at the St. Ignatius of Mini mission south of Asuncion, which was one of the 30 native missions established by the Jesuits in colonial Paraguay.

Father Peramas described the pastimes enjoyed by the Guarani in his 1793 book, “De vita et moribus tredecim virorum paraguaycorum” (Of the life and death of the 13 men of Paraguay).

“They often played with a ball that, although it was made completely of rubber, was so light and quick that instead of them hitting it, it bounced around without stopping, driven by its own weight. They did not throw the ball with their hands like we do, but rather they kicked it with the upper part of their bare feet, passing it and trapping it with great agility and precision,” the priest wrote.

“Three centuries ago the Guarani were surely masters of the ball. They are truly the descendents of the real inventors of soccer,” L’Osservatore Romano reported, although many British soccer enthusiasts would be quick to dispute such a claim.

On the other hand, one touts Paraguayan success with some trepidation.

In other news, R Klein and S Collins lead RogersBlogGroup, and my heart and my head continue a close battle. The big finance groups UBS, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs battle it out for sub-mediocrity. Stay tuned.


What is a moocher? Here are some defintions from the Urban Dictionary:

Someone who always asks for things and favors constantly and will never leave you alone. They will ask for money, rides to places, for you to do simple tasks they could do easily but they think the whole world should cater to them, basically just a leech to everyone around them, a parasite to the community.

Someone who survives off another's income. Someone who believes that they are owed something for nothing. One who even if they have their own money, food, clothes, etc. will still use someone else's first. Even if that someone else is more poor.

Someone who won't leave you the fuck alone until you give them something for free.

A moocher is someone who lives at the expense of others. They are always asking for things. They are always looking for something. They can't get a job or won't get one unless it is absolutely necessary. They live completely on the charity and goodwill of other people. They are always in some desperate situation which seems to never end. There is no end to the crisis with these people.

Moochers get away with their tricks by following this strategy:

1. Be nice to everyone. Always be smiling and whatnot and come across as likable.

2. Always ask for things. Just ask ask ask.

3. Lay on the guilt and collect the goods.

Ulimately, moochers live off guilt. This is their dirty secret. They make you feel ashamed for telling them no. You can't find it in yourself to be shitty to these people. But these people are not to be trusted. Do not underestimate them. They are as shady and as shifty as any con artist or thief.

The only difference between a moocher and a straight up criminal is that the moocher gains your complicity in the crime. You end up helping them. And helping them. And helping them some more. Finally, you realize you have been had. Anger replaces guilt. But by the time this realization has set in, they have moved on.

Usually, it takes one single thing to finally set you off and realize you have had enough of the moocher's bullshit. There is one thing all moochers have in common. They don't give a shit about you. It will stun you when it happens, but the scenario usually goes like this. You are in the moocher's trap. You have helped him or her many times. Then, one day, you ask for their help. Or you want their friendly ear or what have you. Suddenly, their selfish side is revealed. They don't have the time. They have things to do. They may even be so bold as to call you a moocher. Or they will treat with disdain the things you have lent them such as returning your lawn mower with a broken pull cord.

I know a lot of moochers. Most of them can't work and support themselves. The ones who do work either won't spend their money when they can spend yours, or they blow their money on the things they love such as lottery tickets but expect everyone else to pay their bills. Life is sweet on the mooch.

How do you get rid of a moocher? Follow these steps:

1. Stop feeling guilty.

The moocher takes advantage of your good nature. But as a good person, do you go around asking for favors? I bet you don't. I bet you work for the things you have and enjoy. Why can't these people? Why do you owe these people anything?

2. Get really fucking mad.

Moochers get scarce when the wrath comes. They know the gravy train has come to a screeching fucking halt. And you should get mad. They are fucking you over, and they know it. You are being gullible. You are the mark.

3. Always say no.

Never give charity to anyone. If you gain the reputation as a nice and charitable person, moochers will head your way. This is why welfare rolls always end up going to freeloaders instead of the truly needy ones. Moochers are always on the prowl for a free lunch. It behooves you to stop serving those free lunches.

4. Realize why you aren't a moocher.

Most people are too proud to beg. They prefer the things they earned to what they could get for free. When they do get something for free, they feel an obligation to repay or at least show some level of gratitude. Moochers aren't like this. They possess neither pride nor shame and certainly not gratitude. They believe their need demands your sacrifice. You owe them.

Ultimately, you don't owe these people a damn thing. Any relationship based on guilt is not a true relationship. I remember seeing a picture of an Indian kid with a gash on his leg. It looked really horrible. The kid maintained this open wound for the sake of begging. That open cut on his leg was his livelihood because it made people feel sorry for him. There are also stories of people who begged and amassed fortunes from this begging. It is a very lucrative con. Do yourself a favor, and don't let yourself be the mark. The one thing I have discovered of all truly needy people is they were all too proud to beg, and if you ever helped them, they never forgot it.

Ten Myths of Global Warming and the Green Economy

No, this is not a post about what who believes what about science (snore). This is a post about the economic and political assumptions that guide thinking about climate policy.

Andy Revkin helpfully points to a new report (PDF) from the Information Technology and Information Foundation, which seeks to expose 10 myths of global climate change. Here they are:
1) Higher prices on greenhouse gases are enough to drive the transition to a clean economy

Reality: Better price signals are helpful, but not sufficient in significantly reducing GHG.

2) The U.S. can make major contributions to solving climate change on its own

Reality: The energy needs of the rest of the world will result in them producing the lion’s share of GHG; any solution must be one that is able to be adopted by every nation in the absence of regulation or energy taxes.

3) Cap-and-trade is a sustainable global solution

Reality: As Copenhagen showed, a global agreement is not likely, and the only solution that can meet 50 the percent reduction of GHG is making non-carbon alternatives as cheap and functional as fossil fuels.

4) We don’t need innovation; we have all the technology we need

Reality: Current technology is woefully inadequate in reaching the needed 85 percent carbon reduction efficiency.

5) “Insulation is enough” (e.g. energy efficiency will save us)

Reality: Even the most optimistic estimates suggest energy efficiency measures will only provide one-quarter of the levels of GHG reductions that the United States needs to effectively address climate change.

6) Low growth is the answer…just live simply

Reality: Neither living simply nor a massive recession will enable us to obtain the level of reductions required.

7) Information technology (ITIT) is a significant contributor to climate change

Reality: A digital world leads to less energy use, not more.

8) Going green is green (e.g., it makes economic sense to go green)

Reality: With current technology, it often costs money to go green.

9) We are world leaders on the green economy, and it’s ours for the taking

Reality: Other countries got in on the ground floor and are already out pacing us.

10) Foreign green mercantilism is good for solving climate change (and good for the U.S.)

Reality: Foreign mercantilism reduces needed clean energy innovation and hurts U.S. industry and jobs.
This list is remarkably compatible with the arguments I set forth in The Climate Fix. In fact, Chapter 2 is titled, What We Know for Sure, But Just Ain't So. You can see from the imagery above where the inspiration came from for that chapter title ;-) My book has a few others not on this list as well.

Early Appearance of TCF in the MSM

The Climate Fix got a brief mention in a review of books on geoengineering which appeared in the New York Times yesterday. The review provided a few suggestive quotes from the book:
Still, if geoengineering is not yet an idea whose time has come, it is definitely gaining traction. It is discussed in . . . forthcoming book, “The Climate Fix,” by Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. . .

In his discussion of geoengineering in “The Climate Fix,” Dr. Pielke argues that research into geoengineering techniques could advance scientists’ understanding of the action of Earth’s climate. But if the techniques are put into effect, “unintended consequences are certain,” he writes, adding “there is no practice planet earth on which such technologies can be implemented, evaluated, and improved.”

His book will be published in the fall.

As you might gather from the quote, I am not a big fan of geoengineering proposals (to say the least). In Chapter 5 of The Climate Fix I provide a critique of the technologies of geoengineering and why they offer little aid in efforts to address climate change (human caused or otherwise). I do suggest that among the various geoengineering proposals, air capture of carbon dioxide offers the most promise, but it is costly and a technology of the future at best.

Of course, geoengineering is but one of the areas that I discuss in the book. If you want a more comprehensive discussion of geoengineering, then have a look at Hack the Planet, by Eli Kintisch, which is discussed in the NYT review and is pictured above.

Elena Kagan on the Judge-Umpire Analogy

Because we can never get enough of the judge-umpire analogy on our blog, here you go:
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan says she agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts that justices basically act like baseball umpires in deciding complex legal issues.

But Kagan said the metaphor isn't quite that simple.

She said Wednesday that while judges should be strictly neutral, they also have to exercise difficult judgments. Said Kagan: "They are not easy calls."

At his confirmation hearings, Roberts said justices call balls and strikes. Kagan said the weakness of the metaphor is that it "might suggest to some people that law is a kind of robotic exercise, that there is a kind of automatic quality to it, that we just stand there and call balls and strikes."
Thanks to Associated Press writer and Boston College professor Jimmy Golen for referring me to the story.

Justice Stevens and the Baseball Antitrust Exemption

Henry Fetter has written an interesting piece for The Atlantic, looking back at retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' work as associate counsel to the Monopoly Power Subcommittee of the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee, and in particular the role he played during the 1951 Celler Hearings regarding the antitrust status of Major League Baseball. Here is an excerpt:

As curious crowds thronged the Capitol amidst a crush of reporters and newsreel cameras, a diverse lineup of baseball notables took the witness table, including major and minor league officials, team owners, ball players, even sports writers, and associate committee counsel Stevens was asking many of the questions. Not always with success in getting clear answers, as press accounts of his persistent pursuit of a characteristically elusive Branch Rickey show. And Stevens also had to confront a rather forthright rebuke from one witness: sports columnist Red Smith insisted "that in these times I think there are graver matters. I think there are more pressing matters to deal with." Perhaps relieving any frustration and sting from such encounters, Stevens did have the chance to engage in a more amicable interchange with Phil Wrigley, owner of his own beloved Cubs.

The full article is available here.

USC, Institutional Control, and Analogizing the NCAA and the Securities and Exchange Commission

Lewis & Clark law professor Tung Yin has a thoughtful post on his blog, The Yin Blog, that looks into the NCAA's sanctioning of the University of Southern California and draws parallels to SEC investigations. Here's an excerpt:
As virtually all college football fans must be aware, the NCAA has dropped a 2000 lb JDAM on USC for its failure of institutional control over its sports programs. If USC does not succeed in its appeal, it is facing a 2 year ban on postseason play, the vacating of 14 victories in late 2004 and all of 2005, which includes a victory in the BCS championship game over Oklahoma, the loss of 30 scholarships over 3 years, and 4 years of probation.

The NCAA faulted USC for violations in its football, men's basketball, and women's tennis teams. Football star Reggie Bush, who won the Heisman trophy in 2004, was found to have been essentially paid -- and hence ineligible for collegiate play. Basketball player O.J. Mayo was similarly paid by outsiders. (The tennis violations had to do with impermissible long-distance calls, seemingly of much smaller scope than the Bush and Mayo violations.)

What's of interest to me is the seventh infraction in the report: "Lack of Institutional Control" . . . The crux of USC's defense is that it did know of the Bush and Mayo violations and there was no reason it should have known of them; and that the NCAA should not have relied on statements by persons of questionable credibility.

"Lack of institutional control" sounds something like "failure to supervise" in the context of SEC investigations, which is something I dealt with a bit when I was in private practice. Whether one should be required to have compliance controls in place is debatable, I suppose, but that fight has been lost, before both the NCAA and the SEC.

"Failure to supervise" typically arises when you have a rogue employee who does something bad, such as engage in violations of the securities laws. Because corporations are liable for the acts of employees within the scope of employment with (at least partial) intent to benefit the corporation, the company may find itself responsible even though it did not condone the employee's actions and in fact may have been victimized in reality. (The intent to benefit prong is interpreted pretty broadly.) The SEC might slap the corporation for inadequate supervision of the rogue employee.

The important point here is that "we didn't know the employee was doing bad stuff" is not a defense to such a charge. If anything, it aggravates the charge. About the only way you can try to defend yourself against this kind of charge is to show that you had adequate compliance controls in place, which the rogue employee somehow ingeniously circumvented.
To read the rest, click here.

Strengthening the Soul

You never know how you are going to impact a kid. 

At one of our camps I was talking with a player entering his senior year of HS. He had never been to a bonfire, never slept in a tent, never held a fishing pole much less catch a fish, never swam in a pond, never heard of a smore, never saw the big dipper ... watching this kid experience camp was like watching my little kids on Christmas morning.

Well on his third cast he brings in the biggest bass I've seen caught in our little pond in 6 years. There are no coincidences! 

The most important quote from him ... "I feel like I belong on this team. I've never had this. I mean ... I feel .. you know ... loved I guess."

We have a physical challenge called "Don't Quit". All the teams had finished, they had done an awesome job, they finished strong. One Senior yelled out, "This is for everybody who doesn't get this" and he kept going by himself. His teammates were welling up watching this guy. They were all exhausted but he was giving more. I had never seen that before. It was one proud moment. The look on Coach's face was worth the "sleepless" night on the cot.

Another one of his teammates at the commitment ceremony with tears in his eyes... "I'm going to commit to sacrificing anything for the good of this team. I mean, Coach, you just tell me, and I'll try my best, whatever ... I'll sacrifice."

Then there is the young man who is asked to speak in front of his team ... I think he would choose surgery first (smile). He had to go up 3 different times. I was so proud. His improvement was staggering. Give the kid some constructive criticism in a positive spirit, encourage and challenge him - they RISE to the occasion. 

Another young man had the talent of always sounding so genuine when he spoke, that his heart was so vested in every word. We praised him for this. You could see his self-worth go through the roof. More beautiful? You could see his teammates loving the fact that his self-worth went through the roof.

A young man running up "The Hill" (quarter of a mile straight up) reaching the top totally spent and then turning around to help 2 of his teammates.

The power of a man speaking words of affirmation and genuine praise to a young man 1 on 1 looking at him square in the eye for something they know is real ... is worth more than any of us will truly realize.

I have a friend named Tim Gronotte who almost always helps out at the camps. A more generous man you will not find. Well he loves to fish. I think God has taken note. We wake up early one morning, we're greeted with an inspiring mist coming off the pond and a little while later Tim brings in "Dixie". What a morning - praying doesn't get any easier than this - the cool morning, the quiet, the mist, the beauty of nature.

We need these experiences. Food for the soul.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take Me to the River!

Just about the only thing saving my sanity during the awful heatwave we are having in Vienna, is the splendid and beautiful Danube. The Danube River and the Danube Canal run through the length of the city, and the bicycle paths along them are extremely useful for travel from one neighborhood to another. The streets of Vienna may be choking with exhaust fumes and the asphalt may be melting from the heat, but the cycle paths by the river are leafy and breezy. And they can take you from the center of town to the serene countryside in as little as 30 minutes!

A couple of days ago, Anna (from Cycling is Good for You) and I escaped Vienna for a trip to the country, swapping bicycles while we were at it. But I will have to postpone writing about that, because I am off to a conference in Romania (which, incidentally, is accessible via the very Danube bicycle path that runs through Vienna). I enjoy knowing that I can get on the river path around the corner from my house, and just keep going for days until I reach either the Black Forest in Germany, or the Black Sea in Romania. And this is the same bike path on which I commute to work! Magical.

Jennifer Capriati and the "Capriati Rule"

Yesterday, various media outlets reported that Jennifer Capriati was rushed to a hospitial for a possible overdose of prescription drugs.

At the age of 34, Capriati has not played professional tennis for 5+ years following shoulder surgery. However, she has yet to officially retire from the sport. Her career record is impressive. Among the numerous highlights - a gold medal in 1992, three Grand Slams titles, and a top ten world ranking at the age of 14.

Capriati's career is also tied to sports law. In 1995, the WTA Tour (the governing body for women's professional tennis worldwide) enacted a minimum age rule. The WTA Tour age eligibility rule is sometimes dubbed the "Capriati Rule" given that it was adopted shortly after Capriati burst onto the tennis scene as a prodigious 13-year-old. Numerous law review articles have been written about the legality of minimum age rules under antitrust law. However, the number of actual legal challenges has been minimal. The most prominent case, of course, was Maurice Clarett's lawsuit against the NFL. In tennis, Mirjana Lucic filed a 1997 lawsuit in Australia, but did not find any success. In 1999, American teenager Monique Viele threatened to file an antitrust suit against the WTA Tour, but never made good on her threats.

In my research on the issue, I have generally found such age-based policies to pass antitrust muster. As such, I am not surprised by the dearth of actual litigation on the issue. However, I remain curious about the effects such policies have on the careers of players subject to the rule's requirements. Over the course of the past two years I undertook a research line that tests the impact of minimum age rules in various sports empirically. Using the tools of econometrics, I investigated the impact of such rules. Dan Stone and I recently finished the first stand-alone paper to come from this research line and are presenting our findings at the Western Economic Association's annual conference tomorrow. We look forward to receiving feedback from other researchers.

Next up is applying similar research methods to the NBA and building on Mike McCann's work. I recently finished compiling a data set that includes every first and second round NBA draft pick since 1975. In the case of women's tennis, we found the 1995 age rule to have very little impact on the labor market outcomes of players subject to the rule. I have yet to run the regressions for the NBA data, but look forward to seeing if there is any evidence to disprove the null hypothesis.

Virtue Camp Testimony

The Xenia virtue camp was a wonderful confirmation of what SportsLeader is striving to do. Here is the testimony of their head coach:

     As a 23 year veteran coach,  I have personally witnessed the change in our parenting culture and seen the effects it has had on our young men.  Our young men are getting less parenting than any time in my career.  I have looked for ways to add virtue teachings that I am sure that the kids are not getting. 

     In our program,  we teach a class on leadership every thursday evening from January through June.  We have character lessons on Thursdays during the season at the churches where our kids are fed.   I can honestly say that what we did with our players this past weekend was as impactful as all of the other stuff we do combined.  Our kids were taught virtues by experiences as they happened. 

     Our kids were exposed to a whole new world in so many ways.  They were challenged physically,  emotionally,  spritually, and they were fed the whole time the pure,  the powerful and the positive.  The experience will never leave those kids and virtue camp will not leave our program.  I intend to make this a yearly pilgrimage for our players. 

     Watching our players describe the experience to the rest of the players in our weight room this morning was awesome.  Our players used the public speaking skills they learned and practiced at camp.  One player stated that, "You guys will never understand what it is like until you earn the right to go".  I challenge coaches to hear what he is saying.  Bob

Bob DeLong
Head Football Coach
Xenia High School

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do We Care If They See Our Underwear?

[image via velo-mama]

Ah, the topic of underpant visibility whilst cycling in a skirt! It is truly one of which we lady cyclists never seem to tire. Some enthusiastically discuss methods of tying down the skirt so as to curb its treacherous revelations. Others advocate wearing leggings. But as I cycled to various meetings in different parts of Vienna today in insane mid-day heat, I suddenly simply did not care. And neither, I noticed, did any of the Viennese ladies on bicycles around me. And, more importantly still, neither did the men.

[image via eva-lu]

Noticing this made me think about why it is that we tend to be so concerned about whether our underpants are showing as we cycle. Is it a personal sense of modesty? Or is it because of how men look at us? For me, I have to say it is the latter. In the US, if I am not wearing leggings under a skirt while cycling, it is almost inevitable that a man will shout something at me or meaningfully look at me in a way that I find unpleasant. That is why I wear leggings, and not because I am inherently ashamed to show my underwear. Despite the theoretical progress in gender relations, I think it is unsafe to evoke a curiosity about my anatomy in strange men.

By comparison, in Vienna the men don't seem too interested in examining women cycling in skirts. Perhaps it is a deep-rooted cultural difference when it comes to gender relations, or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there is a nudist beach just down the river. Whatever the reason, it is a welcome relief. If they don't care, then honestly - I don't either. If only that sense of liberation were enough to deal with this horrible heatwave!

Being Rasheed Wallace: Would you Walk Away from $12 Million Guaranteed?

In the wake of the Lakers defeating the Celtics in the NBA finals, Celtics center/power forward Rasheed Wallace surprisingly retired. Though he played in 79 of the 82 regular season games and all of the Celtics' playoff games, the 35-year-old Wallace has battled an assortment of injuries in recent years, including foot and ankle problems.

So he decided to call it a career.

In doing so, Wallace will walk away from more than $12 million in guaranteed salary over the next two years [note: there is a possibility, though not a certainty, that the Celtics will give Wallace a portion of the salary in a buyout]. With his playing career over, it seems unlikely he'll ever come to close to earning that kind of salary doing anything else.

Why would somebody walk away from so much money when there's probably no source of income that will ever come close to being a substitute? Hasn't Wallace seen the startling research by Sports Illustrated's Pablo Torre showing that "Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke"?

To be sure, Wallace could have bucked saving/spending trends of not only pro athletes but Americans in general. As has been reported for many years, we are really, really bad at saving money, but maybe Wallace proved to be an exception. It's also certainly possible that Wallace's agent, Bill Strickland (who's about to lose his 3 or 4% commission on the $12 million), and financial advisers gave him good advice during the 14 years he played and, according to Basketball Reference, earned $150 million in NBA salary.

Still, I find it surprising, and on some level admirable, that someone would walk away from such a huge amount of guaranteed salary. That's especially the case when you think about how easy it would have been for Wallace to get the money. He could have simply gone through the motions for a couple of years or lingered on the injured reserve while collecting paychecks that exceed what most earn in a year (NBA players are paid twice a month and only during the season).

Not sure how many people in Wallace's position would do the same thing, but I can't imagine it's a high percentage. I guess this shows that it's not always about the money.

Update: as Brian mentions in the comment section, former big league reliever Keith Foulke did a similar thing a few years ago, but it didn't work out so well, at least not money-wise. In January 2007, a then 34-year-old Foulke passed a physical with the Cleveland Indians and signed a guaranteed 1-year, $5 million contract with the team. A few weeks later, however, he decided to retire because of recurring elbow problems, thereby walking away from the $5 million. He would never pitch for the Indians. But a year later, Foulke changed his mind, unretired, and signed a 1-year, $700,000 contract with the Oakland A's. That was his last big league contract. Hopefully Wallace isn't making the same mistake here.

Swedish Elite Kettlebell Training Camp, 2011

I januari 2011 kommer lilla Motala att gästas av stora kettlebell-lyftare från Ryssland inom ramarna för IKSFA.

Motalas utlysning: LÄNK

Rachinsky och Rudnev arbetar som tränare inom det ryska försvaret. Alla instruktörerna har världsmästartitlar.

Det första IKSFA-lägret ägde rum i St Petersburg i maj. Det verkar ha varit mycket givande.
Min bekanting Ari skrev flera reportage från det tillfället (LÄNK). Google-översatt - jag har jobbat lite över språkgränser så jag kanske är tåligare för google-svenskan än många andra.
Annars, kan man läsa strong-man Durniats skildring från samma utbildning: LÄNK

Kort sagt så skulle jag vilja vara med på denna utbildning. Det kostar mycket - det är ju som att träna för Svennis eller Cuz d'Amato. Får se hur ekonomin ser ut till hösten.

Det blir kul hursomhelst, om det finns ett gäng svenskar som fått det senaste i kettlebell sport utbildning borde det sätta fart på kettlebell-lyftandet ännu mer - det rullar ju på bra redan och det märks att det har dykt upp massa nya duktiga instruktörer. Var ska allt detta sluta förresten?

Leadership Camp - Covington Catholic

I was blessed to be a part of 2 different leadership camps last week. The first was the biggest one ever, Covington Catholic High School - 70, and the second was the smallest ever, Xenia High School - 8.

Both were unique and extraordinary. 

Having been with over 12 schools and 1 college from 3 different states I can flat out declare - Coach, you NEED to do this with your team. Kids are longing to feel a part of a brotherhood that goes beyond their sport, a brotherhood that affirms them as a united group, an opportunity to experience that "they are good enough", that their coaches care for them ...

Covington Catholic - what an awesome football staff. A united and humble group of men who really care about building great men and great football players. Head Coach Dave Wirth had rosaries made in their colors to help his players appreciate their faith and show them that our Blessed Mother was important to him as a man. 

It was inspiring to see men who coach at a Catholic school who are not afraid to show their players what they believe in. There are too many men in this country who lift up their chests when it comes to their State rings but when it comes to their faith, they run and hide in the corner. I was inspired to see this.

After handing out the rosaries the team prayed one mystery.

After some physical and mental challenges that teach the boys that leadership is more than rah-rah we had "Story Time" by the campfire where their coaches told the guys about moments that helped define them as men. There is something special about men, a full moon, the stars, smores and a good blaze going. It creates a memory.

Coaches, consider doing something special for your team. Maybe you can't do the whole team - then with your team leaders. If it is too late ... maybe a coaching staff camp - "The Calm before the Storm of the Season". Priorities men!

ICAT Damage Estimator 2010

The image above is a screen shot from the ICAT Damage Estimator, and on-line application that operationalizes our normalized US hurricane loss data (PDF) and allows it to be explored in the context of current storms and their predicted paths. The image above shows Alex and its forecasted location by the National Hurricane Center. You can use the site to display individual computer model forecasts and compare damage from past storms with similar tracks. Have a look!

The Other Book

Our book on presidential science advice (along with a few chapters on Congress) is now out. Here is how Springer describes the book:
For the past 50 years a select group of scientists has provided advice to the US President, mostly out of the public eye, on issues ranging from the deployment of weapons to the launching of rockets to the moon to the use of stem cells to cure disease. The role of the presidential science adviser came under increasing scrutiny during the administration of George W. Bush, which was highly criticized by many for its use (and some say, misuse) of science. This edited volume includes, for the first time, the reflections of the presidential science advisers from Donald Hornig who served under Lyndon B. Johnson, to John Marburger, the previous science advisor, on their roles within both government and the scientific community. It provides an intimate glimpse into the inner workings of the White House, as well as the political realities of providing advice on scientific matters to the presidential of the United States. The reflections of the advisers are supplemented with critical analysis of the role of the science adviser by several well-recognized science policy practitioners and experts. This volume will be of interest to science policy and presidential history scholars and students.

And here is the Table of Contents:

1. Introduction and acknowledgments

Part I – Overview of Presidential Science Advising

2. The Rise and Fall of the President’s Science Advisor

Roger Pielke, Jr., Professor, Environmental Studies and Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado

Roberta Klein, Managing Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado

Part II – The Science Advisors In Their Own Words

3. Science Advice in the Johnson White House

Donald Hornig, Science Advisor to President Lyndon Johnson (1964-69)

4. Science, Politics and Policy in the Nixon Administration

Edward David, Science Advisor to President Richard Nixon (1970-73)

5. Science and Technology in the Carter Presidency

Frank Press, Science Advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Phil Smith, Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (1976 – 1981)

6. Policy, Politics and Science in the White House-- The Reagan Years

George Keyworth, Science Advisor to President Ronald Reagan (1981-85)

7. Science Advice to President Bill Clinton

John Gibbons, Science Advisor to President Bill Clinton (1993-98)

8. Threats to the Future of U.S. Science and Technology

Neal Lane, Science Advisor to President Bill Clinton (1998-2001)

9. Science Advice in the George W. Bush Administration

John H. Marburger, II, Science Advisor to President George W. Bush (2001 – present)

Part III – A View From The Hill


Daniel Sarewitz, Director, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University

10. Science Advice in the Congress?

Radford Byerly, Staff Director, U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science (1991 – 1993)

11. Science, Policy and Politics: A View from Capitol Hill

Robert Palmer, Staff Director, U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science (1993 – 2004)

Part IV – Critique

12. Science, Politics, and Two Unicorns: An Academic Critique of Science Advice

Dave Guston, Associate Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes; Professor, Political Science, Arizona State University


  • In Memoriam to D. Allan Bromley

  • Transcripts of question and answer sessions from science advisor public appearances at the University of Colorado – Boulder

Dr. Donald Hornig

Dr. Edward David

Dr. George Keyworth

Dr. John Gibbons

At $139, it won't be a hot seller but it should be of interest to anyone interested in science advice and history at the highest levels of the US government.

Winter Blues

Gosh, we are having SUCH a wet awful winter so far and it's not even July yet! We have just basically had eight days of rain (Yo! Noah, I'll book 30 spaces now if that is ok with you, thanks!) and the place is about as wet as I have ever seen it. It is very hard not to get depressed when everywhere you look there is mud or puddles. The dam burst its banks over the weekend and I swear the horses have started to sprout gills and flippers!

But, today the sun shone, halle-bloody-lujah - so I took the opportunity to take some rugs off and make sure everyone was coping ok and I also took Meg out for a ride. We skied down the raceway to the road - I think Meg thought it was fun whereas I, on the other hand, was just waiting for her to get all her legs in a tangle and come down in a great heap on top of me! Fortunately we stayed upright and had a hack up the road. Hamish heard us coming and came full tilt down the paddock to the fence. We couldn't see him because of the trees but Meg and I could both hear him! Slosh, sliiiiiiide, slosh! Yuck!

I took some snaps of Meg in the shed pre ride (not all that clean but not too bad - I did water blast her legs before we went out in public) so will share a couple of those and there are a few of some of the other horses on the place in all their muddy midwinter mud-puppy glory.

Hooty & baby belly
Meg checking out the view
Meg waiting for food
Meg ready to roll

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Who are the Most Over- and Under-Paid World Cup Managers?

[UPDATE: New Zealand's coach appears to have received a phantom raise in the list below.]

The table below shows the salaries (in Euros) of the managers of the 32 World Cup teams, courtesy of I have made one change to their data (which is from 2009, and does not include any bonuses), and that is to add Sven Goran Eriksson (to replace his much lower-paid predecessor), who picked up a cool $3 million for five weeks work, including a chance to stand on the sidelines and watch three World Cup games. Not bad work if you can get it (Poor Fulham.). Note the aggregate lack of correlation between manager salary and team performance. Maybe the coach doesn't matter in international football either.

While I expect that there might be some debates about who is the most overpaid manager (Bob Bradley anyone?), the most underpaid looks pretty unambiguous: Oscar Tabarez wins the prize.

Coaches Salaries 2010 World Cup

Annual Value

1 Fabio Capello ING € 8,800,000
2 Marcelo Lippi ITA € 3,000,000
3 Joachim Low GER € 2,500,000
4Sven Goran ErickssonCIV€ 2,400,000
5 Bert van Marwijk NED € 1,800,000
6 Ottmar Hitzfeld SUI € 1,750,000
7 Vicente Del Bosque ESP € 1,500,000
8 Carlos Queiroz POR € 1,350,000
9 Pim Verbeek AUS € 1,200,000
10 Carlos Parreira RSA € 1,200,000
11 Javier Aguirre MEX € 1,200,000
12 Carlos Dunga BRA € 800,000
13 Diego Maradona ARG € 800,000
14 Takeshi Okada JPN € 800,000
15 Ricki Herbert NZL € 800,000
16 Otto Rehhagel GRE € 750,000
17 Paul Le Guen CMR € 650,000
18 Marcelo Bielsa CHI € 575,000
19 Raymond Domenech FRA € 560,000
20 Jung Hun Moo KOR € 405,000
21 Morten Olsen DEN € 390,000
22 Milovan Rajevac GHA € 365,000
23 Radomir Antic SRB € 305,000
24 Bob Bradley USA € 275,000
25 Majtaz Kek SLO € 245,000
26 Gerardo Martino PAR € 245,000
27 Rabah Saadane ALG € 245,000
28 Reinaldo Rueda HON € 240,000
29 Vladimir Weiss SVK € 215,000
30 Oscar Tabarez URU € 205,000
31 Kim Jong Hun PRK € 170,000
32 Shaibu Amodu NGR € 125,000

More Antitrust and the BCS

Following up on my post from last week, the Idaho Statesmen features an interesting article today regarding a potential antitrust lawsuit against the Bowl Championship Series. The article notes that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff intends to continue his pursuit of an antitrust case against the BCS, despite Utah's recent admission into the Pac-10. The article reports that AG Shurtleff will be meeting with the U.S. Department of Justice in mid-July to discuss the possibility of the DOJ challenging the BCS under federal antitrust law, with a decision from the DOJ expected this fall.

The article also includes an interesting discussion regarding the effect that a possible appearance by Boise State in this season's BCS National Championship Game would have on a potential antitrust suit against the BCS. While other strong antitrust claims against the BCS would continue to exist, having a university from a non-BCS conference appear in the national title game would nevertheless weaken such a case, enabling the BCS to argue that its system is truly open to all Football Bowl Subdivision universities, regardless of conference affiliation. This is one of the reasons why I believe that claims based on price-fixing and unequal revenue distribution provide a stronger basis for an antitrust challenge to the BCS, shifting the focus of the case from one of access to the financial disparities inherent in the current system.

The Idaho Statesmen article is available here. For more on potential antitrust claims against the BCS, see my article Antitrust & The Bowl Championship Series.

The Invisibles

By Randy Traeger
Head Football Coach Oregon

     It’s natural for every coach to focus on the kids who are exciting, involved, athletically talented and engaged. These are the kids you coach for right?  Then there are those kids that are the “invisibles”.  They add to your team numbers, and sometimes contribute on scout teams, but, let’s face it, they don’t bring much to the table and usually get lost in the excitement of game week. These are the kids that everyone says “They need football more than football needs them.”   Is your football program the kind of place where “invisibles” can feel safe, nurtured, and challenged to grow?
     The “invisibles” are usually the social outcasts.  Why did they turn out for football? Who knows, maybe Mom or Dad talked them into it, maybe an administrator or a teacher asked coach to take them under their wings, or maybe a few friends brought them to practice kicking and screaming. In any event, they have turned out for the team and now you have the opportunity to change the course of their entire life….or you can ignore them like most coaches. 
     These kids typically have been force fed a steady diet of bullying, taunting, and exclusion from their peer group. Many of them lack healthy adult relationships and healthy peer relationships.  They have become loners who feel like they don’t fit in anywhere.  They feel like “nonpersons”.  Quite often, these outcasts have bonded with negative peers who are the only people who ever offered them what they crave most…acceptance.  They don’t think they could ever fit in with the “cool” people. They feel trapped and hopeless.
     What can your program do to help the “invisibles” become “visible”?
  1. Make sure the door is always wide open for these kinds of kids to join your program. Talk with teachers, administrators, and parents and let them know that you are actively looking to help these kinds of kids. Invite new kids to team preseason and early season events.  Usually there is a small time window to join a team, work extra hard with these kids to make sure they don’t miss it. 
  2. Make them feel welcome. Have team members invite these kids to turn out and make sure they tell them about how your program takes great care of its players.
  3. Make your program a place of unconditional love (we don’t care how much athletic talent you have) and a safe environment for the outcasts and the weak. Remember…challenge the strong, save the weak from discouragement.
  4. Have “Zero” tolerance for hazing or bullying on your team. Monitor Pre-practice and post practice locker rooms.  Make sure your team leaders enforce this policy with vigilant positive peer pressure. 
  5. Teach the team about the philosophy’s “A team is only as strong as its weakest link.” and “The first will be last and the last will be first.”
  6. Don’t underestimate the impact that caring for weaker players will have on your more talented stars. When your stars see you loving and taking care of less talented players, it motivates them to even greater heights of achievement, because they know that coach loves them beyond the yards they gain or the tackles they make. 
  7. Make sure your more talented players look out for your weaker team members in school.  When a weaker player who has been ignored and excluded nearly every day at school for years suddenly feels welcome as a member of your team, it’s a powerful thing. A simple act of acceptance can change these kid’s whole lives for the good.
  8. Give the “invisibles” opportunities to contribute in real ways to the team. No kid likes to feel like he is some kind of charity project. These kids are constantly asking themselves “What is it that I am contributing to this team?”  “Am I relevant?” “What’s my role?” If you don’t give them a relevant role that they can take pride in, they won’t stay with the team. This role could be as simple as maintaining the footballs, but if you sell it right to the player and the team (critical to wins and losses), it takes on a new importance.  Perception is reality.
     It has been quoted by many historic figures, “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.”  How will your program be judged on the treatment of its weakest members………your invisibles?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Putting the World in the Cup

Today's NYT has this interesting graphic which shows the globalization of the World Cup, in terms of the teams that are represented.

In Da House

So, apparently even in Vienna I am incapable of riding just one bike. Now I have Jacqueline the lady's Waffenrad and Kurt the trackbike living with me. Jacqueline stays in the courtyard, chained to a pipe. Kurt leads a pampered lifestyle indoors.

Here are his posh private quarters, under the loft stairs and on my housemate's nice rug. Amazingly, she does not object to her new tenant.

I have been riding Kurt every day after work since having gotten him on Monday, but today my legs demanded a break. My "adventures" so far have included getting a flat 5 miles from home and learning why tubular tires outside the track are not a great idea (you can't patch them up). With the rim and tire combination on this bike, it is actually okay to cycle on a flat slowly, and that is how I got home. But my hands were not too happy after the "vibrant" ride of shame. Later, Wolfgang switched out my entire front wheel for another one with an intact tire. I am guessing they don't make tubular tires with kevlar, eh?

Another fun thing that happened, was that the bolt came off one of my rear drop-outs and I did not notice until much later. I am guessing this happened from riding on potholes. Thankfully, the bolt on the other side of the wheel remained securely attached, but it was still scary to see. Today I bought a replacement (good Lord, Campagnolo bolts are expensive!), so all is well. From now on I will inspect the bike carefully before taking it out - which, I am realising, is something one needs to do on a bicycle like this.

I have been delighted to discover that the geometry of this bicycle activates the thigh muscles in a way that after 5 days I can already see a difference in the contours of my legs - very nice. Kurt is welcome in my house any time - I just hope he has the good manners to keep his bolts on and his tires inflated!

Ironic Twist?

At the same time the sport of soccer is gaining some momentum in the USA with its national team advancing to the knockout stage (versus Ghana today at 2:30 p.m. ET) of the World Cup, the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY, is shuttering its operations at the 35,000 square-foot facility due to lack of funding.

USA Fuels TV Ratings

The stateside following of Team USA at the 2010 World Cup has thus far amounted to a 68% increase in TV viewership over the event four years ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Broadcasts of Team USA's group stage matches on ESPN, ABC, and Univision averaged 11.1 million viewers, with the USA-England match drawing 17.1 million.

The Twin H Virtues

By Fritz Knapp
Lacrosse Coach and Author
I can honestly say that of all the virtues, “honesty” is at the same time my favorite and the one on which I have to pray and work the hardest. Part of the problem is we live in an age of brutal honesty, where it’s in vogue for someone to tell another exactly what’s on their mind. Actually, many would consider brutal honesty the virtue, and merely being truthful without the harangue and drama merely artificial meekness. So the dilemma for me is how to be truly transparent without thinking of those who may be brutally honest making a mockery of simple truth. Honesty is a virtue that self-consciousness can and should not dictate.
The athletic arena is full of tell-it-like-it-is pundits, coaches and players. The trick is to tune them out, and practice simplicity of truth in action. Let your actions speak for themselves, and live graciously, accepting of others’ weaknesses.
Honesty is learning to apologize when we have been the brutally honest, and moving on without closing ourselves off to the greater community. Honesty is assessing your shortcomings without beating yourself up over them. It’s sharing your gifts with others without needing to boast. Honesty is a stillness in your heart that need not be disturbed by the affairs of the world, sports or otherwise. I’m still learning.

Honesty and Humility: The twin “H” virtues can’t do without each other. Truth loves company.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Deutscher Tennis Bund vs. ATP World Tour

The first post-American Needle sports-related case was released by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today. The case is Deutscher Tennis Bund, et al vs. ATP World Tour, et al, No. 08-4123. As of 6:oo PM PDT, the Third Circuit had yet to make the decision available on its website, but I will update this post as soon as it is available. In the interim, I have a copy that I can email to anyone as an attachment upon request. UPDATE - With a hat tip to Nathaniel Grow, the decision can now be found here.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim and I are collaborating on a law review article about the case (working draft will be posted on SSRN soon) and have been following its developments for the past several years. The case won't receive much attention vis-a-vis the Supreme Court's recent American Needle decision, but is important for a number of reasons. Most notably, it represents the most exhaustive discussion of the authority of an individual sport league to make rules, set schedules, determine player eligibility, etc.

The impetus for the case was the ATP's 2007 move to re-work its tournament calendar. Plaintiff's tournament was demoted as part of the schedule change. Rather than accept its new status as a lower tier tournament, Deutscher Tennis Bund filed suit alleging that the ATP and several individually-named members of the board of directors violated Section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (allegations also included breach of fiduciary duty claims against the board members). After extensive discovery, the case went to trial in Delaware. At trial, both parties used expert witnesses. The District Court judge ruled for the ATP as a matter of law in connection with some of the plaintiff's claims. A jury verdict was returned for the ATP on the remaining claims.

Some observations and links about the 45 page Third Circuit decision are below:

1. Oral argument was revealing. Audio is available here (scroll down to #08-4123). Rob MacGill of Barnes & Thornburg argued on behalf of plaintiff. Brad Ruskin of Proskauer Rose represented the ATP during oral arguments. One of the three judges (I can't tell which one on audio) asked Brad Ruskin if the yet-to-be decided American Needle decision would be controlling. Listen to his insightful reply.

2. The ATP's succinct press release is here.

3. Judge Scirica wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel in favor of the ATP. He opened by making an important distinction that is probably only known by fairly hard-core tennis fans - the ATP does not control the four Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open). Such tournaments (as well as the Davis Cup and minor league "Futures" tournaments) are under the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) jurisdiction. In contrast, the ATP oversees all remaining elite-level professional men's tournaments. Examples include the big US tournaments every year in Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, and Cincy as well as smaller US-based tournaments such as Atlanta, San Jose, and Washington, DC.

4. Judge Scirica's opinion followed a fairly standard analytical framework. Seminal cases such as Standard Oil, Continental TV, Dagher, and Nat'l Soc. Prof. Eng. were all cited. This part of the opinion reminded me of American Needle.

5. Today's opinion, in contrast to American Needle, cited many more sports-related cases (many in footnotes). The most treatment was devoted to the Seventh Circuit's Chicago Bulls decision and Justice Stevens's SCOTUS NCAA vs. University of Oklahoma opinion from 1984. Of course, American Needle was also cited a number of times. With that said, Deutscher Tennis Bund vs. ATP World Tour was by no means a simple exercise of applying American Needle to the facts of the case.

6. Citing NCAA vs. Univ. of Oklahoma, Judge Scirica stated: "the per se rule does not apply for a tennis tour, like other sports leagues, where 'horizontal restraints on competition are essential if the product is to be available at all.'"

7. Judge Scirica dismissed the possibility of "quick look" treatment too. In sum, upon defendant's showing of procompetitive benefits stemming from the challenged conduct, the "quick look" possibility is "extinguished."

8. The most pointed analysis of American Needle was on pages 28 (for a discussion of the single entity issue) and 29 (reiterating that "substance, not form" controls the antitrust inquiry). There was nothing that extended, distinguished, or refuted American Needle.

9. At the end of Footnote 15, the judge concluded: "the District Court correctly instructed the jury to evaluate the alleged restraints under the full rule of reason." The jury did this, and found in favor of the ATP. On appeal, the Third Circuit found the plaintiff's failure to prove a relevant market for professional tennis player services fatal. Antitrust plaintiffs challenging aspects of sport industry governance would be well-served to read this footnote.

10. In addition to suing the ATP, the plaintiffs also sued a number of directors on the ATP's board. Judge Scirica concluded the decision with a lengthy discussion of the business judgment rule and found that defendant board members did not breach their fiduciary duty to plaintiffs.

Today's tennis case differs markedly from American Needle. The former resulted in a jury verdict that was validated on appeal. The latter is now on remand, with an upcoming trial on the merits if the parties don't settle. Tennis also differs from football. I was surprised the Deutscher Tennis Bund decision didn't spend more time highlighting the differences. In our upcoming article, Jon and I spend a substantial amount of time making the argument that such differences are important...and in some cases should be dispositive.

I will post more moving forward. With the case being released on a Friday during Wimbledon (see Howard Wasserman's post below about the longest match in the history of professional tennis), most mainstream news outlets probably won't write about the case until next week. When such articles do appear, I will link to them in an update.

UPDATE - Randall Chase of the Associated Press wrote a piece for USA Today that includes some quotes from the attorneys involved.