Winning & Musing…..Volume 8.12

Mid-summer provides us with another lull in the sports calendar, with baseball’s annual All Star break insuring that there is virtually no action except soccer for a couple of days, and really who give a rat’s petoot about soccer?? Oh…it’s the most popular sport in the world?? Well this is America, and WE couldn’t possibly care less about soccer. So THERE rest of the world…take THAT!!




Back in November of last year, shortly after Penn St. head football coach Joe Paterno was fired but before his death, I wrote that “in due time I am sure society will find a balance between the success Joe Paterno had & the good things he did versus the mistakes he made & the negative way his legacy has been permanently tarnished”. It looks like finding that balance might take a lot longer than I thought. Since I expressed that opinion a few things have happened. Paterno died. Serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky was convicted and will be behind bars for the rest of his life. And now an inquiry commissioned by the university to find out where it all went so wrong has published their findings. Despite the dramatic parsing of the report by the sports media, the conclusion that the top brass at Penn St…the university president, the athletic director, Paterno, and a few others…participated in a “callous and shocking” cover-up and “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade” is hardly a new revelation. We’ve known that for months now. There is a stubborn unwillingness of some people to wrap their heads around the idea that Paterno…who most thought was such a stand-up guy…would exhibit such a heinous disregard for the safety of children (not to mention the neglect of upholding the law) in favor of protecting the reputation of the school & the football team. I understand that reluctance. However, the facts are the facts, and now they have been uncovered. It is what it is. Paterno’s reputation and legacy are down the toilet and will never recover. It’s time to move forward. Overanalyzing this story on TV and in other media over & over cannot change what happened. I suspect dredging it all up repeatedly just causes further pain to the victims and it does nothing to help those left to clean up the mess get on with their jobs.



Was anyone shocked that Commandant Fidel Goodell refused to overturn his own decision on the suspensions of New Orleans Saints players allegedly involved in the bounty scandal?? I am not defending the players involved, but the disciplinary process in the NFL…where Goodell reigns supreme and there is no system of checks & balances…seems flawed at best. It is mind boggling that the Players Association agreed to the new collective bargaining agreement last summer without addressing this issue.



My Pittsburgh Pirates were once again in 1st place at the All Star break, just like last year. I just hope they don’t fold like a cheap suit like they did in 2011. There seems to be an ardent belief amongst those paid to know about these sorts of things that there will not be another collapse, that this team is legit and will be in the fight for the long haul. We’ll see. Two decades of futility have taught this fan to proceed with caution.



So I guess we have another Olympics starting soon. I do like the summer Olympics a lot better than the winter version. I look forward to watching good quality basketball, and I am comfortable enough with my machismo to admit that I kind of like the gymnastics. Some of the track & field stuff is cool too, and of course the opening & closing ceremonies are usually grand spectacles well worth watching.



I’ve grown weary of the Dwight Howard drama, as well as the hand wringing over Drew Brees’ contract. This is the kind of crap that sports fans weren’t bothered with 30 years ago. Just play the damn games and entertain us.



It was odd turning on the MLB All Star Game and seeing Erin Andrews reporting for Fox. I don’t know what the heck is going on in Bristol, but in the past few months ESPN has lost hotties Andrews and Michelle Beadle while hiring guys named Prim Siripipat, Adnan Virk, Dari Nowkhah, and Anish Shroff. I suppose it matters not, as long as we sports fans have our hunger fed. But come on ESPN…replenish the eye candy supply!!



Speaking of the All Star Game…

It looks like baseball is in the midst of a transition. Guys like Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz are on their way out, while youngsters like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Stephen Strasburg, Arnoldis Chapman, and Starlin Castro are making a fast impact. That’s good for the game and a positive for the fans. The product needs freshened up every once in a while.



Let me get this straight…the Washington Nationals are in 1st place in the NL East while the Philadelphia Phillies are in last?? Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

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