Yesterday when news broke about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I made the mistake of engaging a few people on Twitter about the shooting. No, not because I’d like to take back a few things I said.
But because it exposed me to the misdirected anger of some people.
So to the anonymous Kos Kid who also likes the Miami Hurricanes…
I am the father of two beautiful children. After I stopped arguing with idiots on Twitter about all this, I became physically ill thinking about the parents who dropped their kids off at school today and went about their daily lives before news broke that would shatter their lives forever.
My daughter is enrolled in Taekwondo at one of the best schools in the area. Primarily because she’s finally found something she really wants to do, but because the instructors also teach her self discipline, self respect, and more importantly empowerment.
We live in a world full of evil and demented people who choose sites like Sandy Hook Elementary because it’s a gun-free zone. And by gun-free zone, I mean that only law abiding citizens obey the law and don’t bring their guns on site.
I haven’t checked here in Texas, but I understand in Connecticut, the penalty for bringing a firearm onto a property that is designated as a gun-free zone is three years in state prison.
Which means nothing, of course, to some asshole hellbent on destroying people’s lives.
So getting back to my point about empowering my daughter, I want her to fight back. When a gun is pointed at anybody, that person’s liberty is directly threatened. We shouldn’t have to live in that kind of fear.
And what’s great about a gun is in the hands of an innocent person, it can be the great equalizer.
When a female is in an abusive relationship with a male who is much stronger than her.
When a convenience store owner has been robbed one too many times.
Or when someone decides to literally make his audience a captive audience with no way out. Like what James Holmes did to his victims or what Adam Lanza did to his.
And make note of the fact that a gun isn’t required in any of the situations for an innocent person to be killed by a criminal. What it can do in the hands of an innocent person is take away whatever advantage the criminal had going into the situation.
Call me crazy, but I think we ought to defend that right of self-defense.
And if you think I’m part of the problem for thinking that way, then fuck you.
And to be honest, I never thought this would happen. I thought his contract would prove to be too much of an albatross for Jon Daniels to overcome in any potential deal.
That said, I’m glad the deal got made. At the same time, I can’t really say I’m overly joyed that Young is gone.
From a purely statistical and personnel standpoint, this is a move that had to be made. Young just came off arguably the worst offensive season of any regular in major league history. And his defensive range had already regressed to the point that #PADMY became a running meme throughout the last two seasons.
From a purely sentimental standpoint…yeah.
Despite demanding a trade in 2009 when he was asked to move positions to make room for Elvis Andrus and again, in 2011 when Adrian Beltre was signed as a free agent at third base, Young has been the face of the franchise since the early 00’s, soldiering on through some really bad Rangers teams during that era.
And if I’m going to bag on him for demanding trades after being asked to switch positions, I have to acknowledge the amount of respect he garnered from Ranger fans and the media who covered the team when he offered to switch to shortstop when Alfonso Soriano came over in the A-Rod trade and balked at the idea of playing in the outfield.
And then the magical 2010 season occurred. I can’t speak for every Rangers’ fan, but when the club finally won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history, I shed some tears that night.
First, for the late Mark Holtz after his long time broadcast partner Eric Nadel paid homage to him. Then I shed one for Eric.
And then for Michael Young and Ian Kinsler.
Those two have long been the core of this club. And for the mob that was celebrating at the Trop that night in 2010, there weren’t just celebrating for their own personal accomplishment.
They were celebrating for those two.
And I’ve titled this as such because that what it was. If you want to call it a tragedy, by all means, go ahead.
Just don’t try and tell me that one of the tragic losses of life was Bechler’s.
No, there’s two tragedies. One is the loss of the life of one Kassandra Perkins. The second is that her three month old daughter will be forced to spend the rest of her life without any parents raising her.
If you’re an honorable parent, you don’t me to tell you this is your worst fear. If you’re not a parent, then allow me to tell you this is my worst fear as a parent.
This is such an awful tragedy.
And one apparently ripe for the picking for gun control advocates like Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas to use to peddle their viewpoints.
In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, (and its possible connection to football), will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, (wrote Jason Whitlock) is what I believe, If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
(transcript is courtesy of Awful Announcing)
If only it were that simple.
Kasandra Perkins was shot at close range by a 6’2”, 228 lb linebacker 7 to 8 hours after the two had an argument very early Saturday morning.
This wasn’t a case where Belcher picked up a gun and was suddenly tempted to do harm with it. He had been stewing for several hours. Rather than deal with his anger issues, he decided to act on them. His weapon of choice is irrelevant considering he committed this heinous act from close range.
Sure, a gun is probably the most convenient and most efficient But without any means of defending herself, Belcher could have killed Perkins just about any way he wanted to.
But please, Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock. Blame all this on a gun. And suggest against all rational thought that both would still be alive if a gun wasn’t in the equation.
I’m sure taking this course of action is a lot easier than, say, engaging in critical thinking. Whether or not it’s easier than comparing the NRA to the KKK is up for debate, but it’s not one I want to have right now.
The Romo Hate.
If you’ve ever been on Twitter during a Dallas Cowboys loss, you know exactly what I’m talking about. As a non-emotionally invested Cowboys fan, I usually roll my eyes and just ignore these tweets. And in the case of one of my friends news feeds, Facebook.
Today, I couldn’t. And I doubt the tryptophan from today had anything to do with it, BTW.
And so, I awake from my Tumblr hiatus to blog about one of the most controversial athletes in Dallas/Fort Worth and in the NFL (because of who he plays for), Tony Romo.
Now just to get this out of the way, I don’t think Romo is an elite-level QB in the NFL. He’s no Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Big Ben, Aaron Rodgers, or any of the Manning brothers. Those guys all have rings.
And with the possible exception of 2007 with the Giants, I don’t think you can make the argument that any of the aforementioned QB’s just happened to be along for the ride and were the beneficiaries of, say, a strong defense or a strong offensive system that got them their ring.
That would, obviously, put Romo at being no better than the 7th best QB in the NFL. And even then, I submit that you could probably make a case that Matt Ryan’s a better QB than Romo. And that QB’s like Sam Bradford and RGIII have more upside.
So for the sake of this argument, Romo is probably somewhere between the 9th and 13th best QB’s in the NFL. Certainly not what you’d call an elite QB. But then again, that title can only be bestowed on about 20% of the QB’s in the NFL.
And one good enough that if GM Jerry had any thought to letting Romo walk away with an extension this offseason, he’d better have another QB in mind that is either a) a significant upgrade in talent and skins on the wall, or b) a terrific college QB with tremendous upside, just like RGIII.
Unfortunately for those Cowboy fans that want Romo to leave town on a rail, there doesn’t seem to be an option B for Jerry to trade up for the way the Redskins traded up to get the number one pick last April. And Option A doesn’t seem likely, either, in large part due to the Cowboys salary cap situation.
And if you’re deluded enough to think Romo is the biggest problem on this team and replacing him at the QB situation would instantly make the Cowboys a much improved team, I’d like you to consider the season Dallas has had with injuries this year:
This in addition to what most experts agreed would still be a question mark of an offensive line.
Had these injuries happened with just about anybody else playing QB for the Cowboys, they’d probably be no better than 2-8 or 3-7 at this point. They certainly lose last Sunday’s game against the Browns and probably lose at Carolina in Week 7.
Oh yeah, Week 1 against the Giants.
And in the losses to the Ravens and Giants, there’s no question the only reason Dallas had a chance to win either of those games was because of Romo.
Yes, he makes dumb mistakes sometimes. Mistakes than can dig a hole for his team. But he has a way to dig himself out with his athleticism that few QB’s in the NFL possess. A bus driver QB probably doesn’t throw the pick that preceded Washington’s last TD of the first half.
But that same bus driver QB is just going to 3 and out your offense to death in the 2nd half and squelch any hope of a comeback in large part because his team’s defense still gives up way too many yards, certainly isn’t feared by anyone (Gerald SensaBLOL), is decimated by injuries at key positions, and his offensive line can’t run block worth a damn and are only slightly better at pass blocking (I’m looking at you, Doug Free).
And even if they could do all that blocking….Felix Jones in the back field.
But yeah, let’s focus all the hate, mockery, and rage on Romo. Get rid of him and you might as well start pining for the days of Chutch, Drew Henson, Q-Car, and Ryan Leaf.
You remember those days, right? When the game on Thanksgiving was basically the Cowboys’ Super Bowl because they were already out of the playoff race by then?
Yep, this pretty much sums it up about my second favorite baseball team. Which looked all set for an ALDS matchup with my favorite team, the Texas Rangers.
And had that happened, the Rangers would have blown them away in a sweep. Or maybe four games, I don’t know.
Point is, I had given up on the Red Sox being a title contender right about this time last week when they were putting the finishing touches on a dreadful 3-8 homestand, losing 3 of the final 4 games to Baltimore.
The ERA of the starting rotation was over 7 for the month. When that happens, that puts a ton of stress on your bullpen, which eventually ran out of gas with Paps reserving two of his four blown saves for the Orioles this month.
And oh yeah, they played the Rays in seven head to head meetings in the month of September. And only won one of them.
Think about that, because if the Red Sox had just split their four game series with the Rays, last night would have been meaningless. Boston would have celebrated avoiding an epic choke job after Paps closed things down Tuesday night.
Instead, they left the door open just wide enough for Tampa Bay to sneak right in.
And for those who think Tampa stormed back to claim the Wild Card, they went a pedestrian 11-9 against teams not named the Red Sox this month.
And they’re coming up against a Rangers team that finished the year winning 10 of it’s final 11 games, including their last five “tune up” games.
James Shields scares me. The rest of the staff doesn’t.
And that includes David Price, who you may remember lost Games 1 and 5 in last year’s ALDS.
Give me Rangers in four, possibly setting up an ALCS rematch with the hated Yankees.
I’m just gonna leave this here.
And perhaps the Sooners’ season in general since we’re three games in.
But first, props to James Franklin, the quarterback for Missouri. Who’s also the son of a former Sooner. And has a dog named “Sooner.”
Suffice to say, he was a big Sooner fan growing up. And would have gone to OU if the coaching staff allowed him to be a QB. As it was, they recruited him as an ‘athlete’, he really wanted to play QB, and Mizzou came calling.
I thought he looked really good last night early in the game. His read on the L’Damian Washington TD that made it 14-3 early on couldn’t have been better as he picked up the safety blitz, waited for Washington to get by his man, and just tossed the ball into the vacated middle.
Once Washington caught it, it was an easy six.
But as big time college football games usually go, the heavily favored Sooners mixed up their defensive scheme to take those kinds of passes away from Franklin, and then the front four started put pressure on him.
Once they did, Mizzou’s offense shut down.
And as for the offense, I knew they might struggle a little bit with Landry Jones missing two of the biggest weapons in the Sooners’ arsenal. Which they did to the tune of an early three and out and an interception on the second possession.
After that, Jones threw for nearly 300 yards…in the first half, helping OU erase that early 11 point deficit en route to a 24-14 halftime lead.
Dominque Whaley’s 3 yard TD scamper one play after he nearly turned a tight rope act along the sideline into a 22 yard TD catch and run would account for the only score in the 3rd quarter to give the Sooners a 17 point lead going into the fourth.
And while Mizzou tried to make things interesting with a Henry Josey 48 yard TD run at just past the halfway mark of the 4th quarter, Jones and company made sure to squelch whatever hope Missouri had with a 7 play, 62 yard scoring drive to put the game away.
This win came one week after Oklahoma beat Florida State in Tallahassee in what was the season’s second meeting between two top 5 teams. In that game, OU’s defense was dominating, save for the miraculous TD pass and run from Clint Trickell to Rashad Greene on 3rd and 28 last week.
This week, they seemed to lack focus to start the game. And Missouri made them pay with a couple of first quarter TD’s.
And even when they got things in order, like right after a three and out series at the start of the 4th, the coaching staff wasn’t please. I think you can sum up the coaching staff’s feelings of the defense after that series when defensive coordinator Brent Venables was seen yelling at linebacker Tom Wort as the defense was coming off the field.
In some respects, it’s good that this is the biggest criticism we can come up with for this bunch. Because what it tells me is that for big games, this unit will be there. For Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and if they make it to the BCS Championship Game, whoever they play there.
It’s these games against the likes of Missouri that they’ll have to worry about. And they’ve have quite a few coming up against Kansas State, Kansas, and Baylor as we get into the meat and potatoes of the conference schedule.
Also, for those who think the Sooners were rendered impotent by the Pac 12’s refusal to expand this week, they did manage to get Dan Beebe fired and to get the tier 1 and tier 2 TV revenues shared equally.
I don’t necessarily buy the argument from David Boren, however, that they used the Pac 12 for leverage. I imagine the convos between OU officials and Pac 12 officials went something like this:
OU: We want to join the Pac 12 and take OSU with us
Pac 12: OK, but you have to include Texas
OU: OK, we’ll see if we can hammer out a deal
Texas: We’ll join, but we’re keeping our LHN and the revenues we generate from it
Pac 12: Sorry, you can’t join
I’m sure the University of Oklahoma knew back when A&M made it’s intentions to leave the Big 12 public that they’d take a PR hit if they tried to apply for Pac 12 membership and were rebuffed.
So for that reason, I’d be willing to bet they consulted with the other institutions to get their opinion on the matter, including Dan Beebe.
And failing the Pac 12, they probably knew they could make the kinds of demands they made in order to save face.
Which is exactly what happened.
Now, I’m not the biggest Boren fan in the world. I think how he handled the Oregon fiasco back in 2006 was ridiculous when he suggested that results of that game be stricken from the record. I’ve maintained all along that the Oregon Ducks weren’t to blame for what happened that day in Eugene.
The blame for that mess lies entirely with the same conference the Sooners tried to join, ironically.
But I’ll give him credit for not being a toady, as Richard Justice implied earlier this week. And for that, the Big 12 stays together.
Christopher Titus goes on the Adam Carolla Show and divulges his fantasy about killing Sarah Palin, in the very, very, very, off chance she becomes President (thankfully I might add as I’m no fan of her’s).
And what do we hear from the same people who just five months ago chastised Palin for her cross-hairs map and suggested that bit of “violent” imagery motivated the shooter (even though no such motivation was ever found, mind you)?
Which shows, once again, the act of using Palin’s cross-hairs map as an example was never about any principled stance about political civility. It was about taking an opportunity to take a shot at Palin.
Friday, the Texas Rangers were left with no choice but to relieve John Rhadigan of his television play by play duties. You can call it a “firing” if you want to, but Rhadigan’s returning to a duty that many in the DFW sports media would love to have.
And one that he never should have left in the first place given his lack of play-by-play experience. Something that really showed the moment Rhadigan started calling his first games in spring training.
I recall that he couldn’t differentiate between left field and right field, and misidentified players’ names. Then once the season started, he credited a Ranger with an RBI on a double play in one game, then failed to realize a strikeout occurred on a foul bunt with two strikes.
Two weeks ago with Neftali Feliz on to protect a one run lead against the Angels, he yelled “Strike Three” on strike two. And last week came one of the final nails in the coffin when he called, “It’s a home run…no, but it’s going to bring a run home” on a ball that was hit over the Phillies’ left fielder’s head.
It was painfully obvious that Rhadigan was in over his head. Yet, anytime anybody complained about it (myself included), such detractors were slapped down by fellow members of the DFW sports media because Rhadigan is such a nice guy.
So allow me a little latitude to make a couple points on this.
I write for a blog for a team with a number of “nice” guys. But if one of them is playing up to par or makes a mistake, I can’t throw out the defense that they’re a nice guy.
It’s an absurd defense to make, but unfortunately, the sports media here in Dallas has that tendency to set aside all objectivity when it comes to criticism of one of their own.
Now that having been said, I will agree with all those who think Rhadigan was put in a no-win situation. Dallas-Fort Worth is a top 5 media market. And it goes without saying that when it comes to on air sports talent, we demand nothing but the best.
And generally, that’s what we get. We have Brad Sham, Eric Nadel, Mark Followill, Chuck Cooperstein, and Ralph Strangis. Last year, Josh Lewin was a member of that club with his slightly offbeat style of throwing in pop culture references that perhaps the casual portion of the television viewing audience didn’t get.
But he made the broadcasts entertaining, even when the on field product through the mid 00’s wasn’t. I’m not sure if it’s because Nolan Ryan or Chuck Greenburg had an issue with him. Or perhaps Tom Grieve might have even grown tired of working with him. I don’t know.
But his contract wasn’t renewed and it left a number of Ranger fans, myself included, bummed to know that he would not be calling any games.
It’s worth noting that on his radio program alongside Mark Elfenbein, Lewin admitted he felt badly for John that he lost his job and said thanks, but no thanks to his supporters about pushing for a return to the play by play booth.
At any rate, the thinking from the Rangers was that they wanted a straight play-by-play man. So what better way to achieve that goal than hiring somebody with no play by play experience!
And for all Rhads’ supporters in the DFW Sports Media, that’s ultimately where we are directing our venom. I hold no ill will against Rhadigan. I feel bad for anyone who loses a job under the circumstances that Rhadigan lost his.
I just happened to think he wasn’t cut out for this job right now. And the Rangers couldn’t wait for him to learn on the job.
I am happy to know that FSSW is retaining Rhadigan’s services as he’ll return to the anchor chair for pre and post game coverage. Out of all the FSSW hosts, I’ve always thought he was the best.
And he never should have left that post.
Earlier this week, Sean Avery took a stand in favor of gay marriage. Not an insignificant step when you consider that when the topic of homosexuality comes up in the context of sports, it’s either met with the silence one would greet like it’s the elephant in the room, as the butt of a joking insult, or in the case of Tim Hardaway, outright hostility.
Though, Avery’s not the first hockey player to venture into this topic. Obviously, nobody in the sport blazed more important trails than Brian Burke’s son, Brendan, before he tragically died in a car crash about 15 months ago. And Brent Sopel took the Cup to the annual Chicago Pride Parade last summer.
As such, I can certainly see why pros like John Amaechi, formerly of the Utah Jazz, and Esra Tualo, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, waited until after their playing days were over to announce that they were gay.
For the record, I’m a libertarian that believes the same thing former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman believes when it comes to gay marriage.
Gays and Lesbians should have just as much right as the rest of us heterosexuals to be miserable.
All joking aside, I think the government should get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses and issue civil union licenses. Leave the marriage part up to individual churches and chapels.
I simply don’t buy the argument advanced by gay marriage opponents that allowing it demeans the institution of marriage or that it will affect my heterosexual marriage one iota.
And if a church doesn’t want to marry gay or lesbian couples, don’t force them to do so. I’m sure from a legal standpoint, there’s a snag or two involved that would make that nigh impossible, but I digress.
That having been said, when it comes to any contentious issue like this, I try to stray away from hyperbolic statements about those who disagree with me.
Which, unfortunately, many gay marriage proponents can’t help themselves from. Getting back to Avery’s stance, Todd Reynolds from the Twitter account Uptown Sports, took Avery to task by suggesting it was unfortunate that the New York Rangers winger went public with his pro gay marriage stance.
Reynolds, like millions of other people, believe that marriage in an institution reserved for a man and a woman. Damien Goddard, now formerly of Sportsnet, expressed support for Reynolds’ position. Support that may or may not have cost Goddard his job.
And this is one of the tweets Reynolds got in response:
@uptownhockey thanks for bringing us back to the 1500’s.
I hope I’m not the only person that’s surprised by the lack of historical and societal context on this issue. Afterall, Uganda is on the cusp of criminalizing the behavior.
They had included a provision that would make it punishable by death until international pressure convinced the knuckledraggers responsible for this draconian law to remove it.
I look at Uganda and compare that to the gay marriage opponent who even opposes civil unions for same-sex couples as well as the extension of the same health and financial benefits that are afforded married couples, and there’s simply no comparison.
And what if you oppose gay marriage, but have no issues with the idea of same-sex civil unions? That is, your only complaint is that marriage has always been between a man and a woman for thousands of years, so why change? You can’t tell me people in that camp are bigots.
And furthermore, you can take any contentious issue you want and come up with good and bad reasons to support or oppose a given issue. And even on the bad issues, the arguments one uses can simply be flawed.
Sure, there are those lunatics like Fred Phelps that are just homophobic and batshit crazy. But those types are very much the exception and not the norm in this debate.
Yet, when Todd Reynolds posted his thoughts on the topic, that didn’t stop certain people in my Twitter feed from tossing around terms like ‘bigot’ with reckless abandon to describe him.
Just as using hateful slurs against gays have meaning, so to, do I believe that simply labeling opponents bigots or homophobes has meaning as well. The bar for applying those terms to certain segments of the opposition on this issue is high, and for a very good reason.
If it’s set low, we lose the true meaning of those terms.
And if you come across somebody deserving of those terms?
Ignore them or marginalize them. Like the Westboro gang of loons, they’re not worth the time of day anybody gives them.
This week, one of my original favorite hockey teams threatened to become the second NHL team in as many years and fourth overall in NHL history to overcome an 0-3 deficit in a best of seven series. And they came within a Patrick Sharp point blank chance on an OT power play of becoming that team.
But a Chris Campoli turnover was gloved down by Alex Burrows and he buried a slapper with the puck on end to propel the Canucks past the Blackhawks and into the second round…where they’ve been plenty of times before.
I know the sports media up in Canada wants to make a big deal out of the fact the Canucks finally beat the Blackhawks in a playoff series. The fact is this Hawks team, from a personnel standpoint was nothing like the ones that beat them in 2009 and 2010.
It’s a team that probably should have been swept by the more talented Canucks. From that standpoint, I’ll partially agree with Henrik Sedin that Chicago had no business being in the series.
He’s wrong, though, to suggest Vancouver “badly outplayed” Chicago. The Canucks’ first win in the series in Game One represented the largest margin of victory in any of their four games, a 2-0 score. Everything else was a one goal game.
And I think with an extended rest for key players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook, as well as a few key moves in the offseason, the Blackhawks can go back to being that team that sent the Canucks golfing.
But until that point comes, nobody associated with the Hawks should respond to Sedin. This is their time. Your time for a response will come soon enough.