"In coaching, you've got to have more discipline and you've got to be more strict and just conservative, I think. It fits with the Republicans."
So said longtime Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden in an article published by the Wall Street Journal Wednesday titled "Why Your Coach Votes Republican."
With the college football season just hours away from kickoff, and traditional conservative values surging throughout the nation, the Journal's piece is as timely at it is fascinating (h/t Alan Murray):
So Michael Vick is an Eagle now. That’s ok with me. I’m a Giants fan. Or I was a Giants fan, when I could stand to follow pro football. For a long time now, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch more than a few games a season. These days, I feel nearly as out-of-place at a Super Bowl party as I would at an Oscar party.
Here in the DC area, the Redskins religion has begun its sacramental advent count-down to opening Sunday. I wish I could share the excitement. Part of the problem is that I’m a natural contrarian. Everybody loves football, so I don’t. Also, I’m a baseball fan (in a town largely devoid of them). The end of summer means my season’s running down, while theirs is pumping up.
But the problem is more involved. See, I love the game of football. But I loathe how and by whom it is played at the professional level. I don’t like the hype and the spectacle and the production – the computer generated “Transformers”-type robots Fox uses in commercial bumpers. And I can’t believe I’m the only one who thinks Hank Jr.’s “Monday Night” theme song gets a little more embarrassing every year.
Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise is angry that the nation’s capital is so backward that it doesn’t put lesbian kisses on the Jumbotron of the Verizon Center during Washington Mystics games. He demanded to know in his Monday column "how long does a league keep some of its most loyal and longtime customers in the closet?" The "taboo" is showing us "where we really are," which is not progressive enough for Mike Wise. He’s not really impressed with the argument that grade-school kids might have to ask their parents what’s going on with the KissCam:
"We got a lot of kids here," Sheila Johnson, the Mystics' managing partner, said when asked last week at a game. "We just don't find it appropriate."
Understood is that women's professional basketball has two major fan bases: dads and daughters, and lesbians. The KissCam issue, frivolous on its surface, puts the effort to cater to both audiences squarely at odds.
I don’t judge a president by his ceremonial pitching. (I'd have to hire a stunt president.) But the Yahoo Sports! blog Big League Stew thought the Fox camera shot of President Obama’s St. Louis arch of a pitch at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game was odd:
Where did it land? Was it a strike or wasn't it? Why didn't the network choose a better camera to shoot from? Those were the questions that viewers of baseball's All-Star Game were asking themselves at home after Fox elected to show President Barack Obama's ceremonial first pitch at the 80th All-Star Game from a tight angle.
...Earlier on Tuesday, the President said that he planned to throw his first Presidential pitch high so it'd get to the plate without bouncing, but his control was lacking. He clearly didn't throw a strike like George W. Bush famously did during the 2001 World Series in New York just weeks after Sept. 11.
As John Madden retires as one of the most popular "color men" the sportscasting world has even seen, New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton launched a familiar liberal assault: he wasn't political enough, he "punted" controversy, he failed to "use a platform for social good" and played it safe so he could make a buck with commercials and video games.
This is typical for Araton, last noticed for insisting that Bruce Springsteen "go rogue" and make the "corporate fat cats" squirm by uncorking a socialist jeremiad during the Super Bowl halftime show. He compared Madden unfavorably to liberal Bob Costas:
He was a revolutionary in the booth, especially as a master of shtick. Unfortunately, as the national voice of his sport, he was more the mouse who didn’t roar but played it safe, by punting most controversy, like other champion American pitchmen, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
Those that can't wait until CBS coverage begins at 2PM ET should go here for free, high quality video.
Exit question: is it unfair to the rest of the field that Tiger gets so much attention even when he's not in contention? Don't you get the feeling that everyone on CBS is rooting for Tiger and nobody else matters?
Regardless of how your brackets are doing, this has NOT been a very good tournament as there really haven't been many good games. In fact, that's GOT to be the WORST Sweet Sixteen in years with six of the eight games total blowouts.
Will today be different?
4:40 PM ET (3) Missouri vs. (1) Connecticut 7:05 PM ET (3) Villanova vs. (1) Pittsburgh
Many big ads in the big game were salacious or juvenile – or both.
Super Bowl XLIII was difficult to watch with children. Instead of being an opportunity to teach about discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, the subject all-to-often was sex. At least nine of the big game’s bigger commercials used sex to help sell products. Barely covered breasts were heaving, racecar driver Danika Patrick was showering while by being leered at by young men and women either took their clothes off or had them blasted off.
Family viewing this wasn’t.
The Super Bowl advertising spectacle is arguably almost as important a tradition as the game itself. The idea, of course, is that because the firms are paying a fortune for air time, advertisers will pull out the stops to produce memorable (and hopefully funny) commercials. This year, the first half of the formula worked well. NBC reportedly sold out, at a record $3 million per 30 seconds. Some advertisers did manage to field clever, funny, innovative and otherwise effective spots. But many fumbled their opportunity. Whether it was far too suggestive sexual content or just juvenile slapstick, the finest minds in advertising went right for the lowest common denominator.
Banned from the Broadcast
Before we get to the ads that America saw on Super Bowl Sunday, a word about two it didn’t. NBC refused to accept two commercials for the broadcast. In the first instance, it deserves kudos for the refusal.
Had it run, “Veggie Love” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would unquestionably have been the least appropriate Super Bowl ad of the year – perhaps ever. The hyper-sexual spot from PETA features women in negligees who apparently find vegetables quite a turn-on. NBC said the ad didn’t meet its standards.
Despite what media members and government officials claim to be the worst economy since the Great Depression, NBC completely sold out -- at a record high price no less!!! -- its full complement of ads for Sunday's Super Bowl.
If the economy was really as bad as we're constantly hearing, given this somewhat low marquee matchup -- this isn't the Giants vs. the Patriots or the Cowboys vs. the Steelers -- wouldn't NBC have needed to reduce its fees to entice supposedly cash-strapped sponsors?
The Super Bowl is - or should be - typically a family-friendly event: an annual occasion in which dad, mom, and the kids gather around their television set to see the top two NFL teams battle it out, enjoy an entertaining half-time show, and laugh at the ridiculous commercials. But as of late, the Super Bowl entertainment has been controversial, and this year is no exception.
Two naked women in a shower or a woman exposing her "enhanced" chest in front of the Congress? You choose!
That's right. This year, godaddy.com has asked people to vote on their website for which revealing ad of Indy racer Danica Patrick they would like aired on Super Bowl Sunday.
After the 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" controversy affectionately now known as "Nipplegate," many wonder why NBC would air such a commercial. But NBC apparently has some standards, as it has recently rejected the animal rights group PETA's sexy vegetable ad. An NBC spokesperson told the Washington Post that "the ad was rejected because it did not conform with our standards."
The good folks at NBC, clearly wanting to avoid a "Nipplegate" replay, will not air animal rights group PETA's hyper-sexual television ad during Sunday's Super Bowl.
When you see it, you'll know why.
For those that have forgotten, on February 1, 2004, during the halftime festivities of Super Bowl XXXVIII, singer Janet Jackson had a "wardrobe malfunction" revealing her naked breast to a startled nation.
Five years later, according to PETA, NBC found its commercial, "which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce," a tad too provocative (sexually explicit language warning):
CBSSports.com columnist Gregg Doyel has had it with all the hero worship, the idolatry, the 'canonization' of the guy:
This one's going to hurt. It's going to hurt you, and it's going to hurt me..... It's directed at those who would beatify the man.... Because he's just a man.
No, he's not referring to President-elect Obama but rather Tim Tebow, the University of Florida quarterback who led the Gators to a national championship on January 8. Yet in his January 13 column, Doyel went from waging a legitimate complaint about excessive hero worship to hashing out liberal talking points regarding the open practice of faith by Christian athletes (emphasis mine, h/t NewsBusters commenter Blonde):
Playoff weekend began with what would have to be described as surprises Saturday with both away underdogs winning. Sadly, in the first game, much like in last weekend's games, the refs played a huge part.
Hey, zebras: when the play clock is at zero, and the ball hasn't been snapped, that's delay of game. Probably the easiest call you have to make all day. Sheesh.
Before we get to today's games, how 'bout them Utes? Does last night's stunning and decisive victory of 'Bama by Utah make it clear to even the staunchest supporters of the BCS that this system doesn't work, and only a playoff can really determine who the top team in the nation is? (BTW: we knew the Utes had an offense, but did anyone think they could hold the Tide to 17 points?)
It wasn’t merely a poorly-chosen headline stating, “Two top players depart Cuba in a bid to play in US." The whitewash was mirrored in the December 29 article, and the bias wasn’t confined to careful language manipulation. AFP also minimized the escape by framing it as a simple desire to get rich quick in America with a fat Major League Baseball contract. There was no mention of the harsh realities of Cuban life or the possibility that maybe they also wanted more than six ounces of chicken or ten eggs a month to eat (all emphasis mine, image of Yadel Marti via AFP):
Cuban pitcher Yadel Marti and outfielder Yasser Gomez have departed their Communist island homeland in a bid to launch Major League Baseball careers, ESPN reported on Monday on its website. (…) Players who become available through such nations as the Dominican Republic are free agents and available to the highest bidder among the 30 North American clubs rather than having their rights assigned in a draft like US collegians.