Sports Goggles

ISU-OSU Officiating Embarrassment: In Response to the Author of a Yahoo Sports Article on. “The Call:

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It’s easy for you and your peers to protect yourselves from retaliation by the NCAA – like access to games, coaches, athletes, NCAA officials – by ensuring you place blame for ridiculously poor officiating on ISU’s lost opportunities.

The reasons for including the result of one ISU possession aside, the facts are these: NCAA tourney games involving Big 10 teams, where “let ‘em play” is the rule of the day automatically favors the, “foul constantly because the refs can’t call them all,” teams, many of which are in the Big Ten. Aaron Craft was only in the game at its end due to the largesse of the officiating crew, as a cursory glance of a replay of the game shows that Craft committed at least a dozen clear, easy-to-call, fouls.

Now, if we take the block-charge play specifically, you need to take a look at the replay. Notice that the ball is on the right side of the court (televised view) but the baseline official never moves from his position on the left side of the baseline until the Temple player begins his drive. Suddenly the ref flashes into the picture. A dribble before the Temple player rises for the shot the ref is standing on the “Dayton” decal in front of the stanchion. As he runs – ridiculously late – into as poor position as possible, BEHIND the play, he ONLY stares at the Temple player, never once glancing in the direction of the late-arriving Craft; the ref is never truly in a “set” position to view the play.

The play and the proper ruling: the Temple player is in the air BEFORE Craft is set. By rule, this results in an automatic blocking foul, as, a defender must be in position BEFORE the offensive player leaves his feet. The correct call here means the “foot in the arc” kerfuffle never occurs, the basket is made, a free throw attempt follows, and there can be no complaints.

However, since the baseline official failed to perform the most rudimentary portion of his duties, i.e,. follow the ball form side to side, and then failed to perform his next duty, which is to check the position of the defender in relation to the offensive player with the ball, he utterly failed on all accounts by automatically – if you cared to notice – calling a charge, when EVERY part of the play dictated that he call a block on Craft.

In ending, it’s the easy out for the television studio members – Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, et al. – and writers like you crew to let the NCAA off the hook by omitting everything the ref did wrong before making the wrong call. This way you can place blame on ISU for the loss – as if OSU never made similar errors that led to swings in the game – which acts to deflect blame from the only place blame should lie: the inexplicably shoddy job performed by the referee.

Written by dwil

March 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

The Quest for Global, Human Supremacy – via “Conquest”

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What began as a simple response to a comment on Taki’s Magazine article titled, “How Black Studies Avoids Studying Blacks,” became a series of thoughts on the nature of racism. Though not at all intended to be a treatise, hopefully these musings will incite thought and discussion.

 
  1. The alleged “Founding Fathers” (of a stolen country) were, in fact, racist. We know this from the “three-fifths compromise” between the Northern and Southern delegates to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention.  Slavery – human beings as resources – was a means to an economic end, as long as the the “resources” were not White. What is now, fashionably among Whites, called “triangular Atlantic trade,” is little more than an attempt to make inert can be more accurately seen as, “The African Holocaust.”

    For the entire breadth of Western Civilization White polemicists and their less mentally adroit but like-skinned fan base, have taken it upon themselves to use negatively-manipulated, race-based thought to demean and vilify the peoples of “outsider cultures” with the intended end being, “Conquest,” of what they termed and term today, the “Other” – the Other being peoples of non-White, non Western cultures (a primary historic example of arguing the false premises of race-based thought are the 16th c. Las Casa v. Sepulveda debates).

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    There is a certain, all-encompassing, fallacy to American “White-on-Black” race-based social thinking. Its intent to broad brush an entire people is inherently biased – and inherently biased. Never has a book with the premise that White people are more inclined toward criminal behavior, or more apt to be corrupt, or found to be more intellectually deficient, hit the book stands of your local Barnes & Noble.

     
    Yet, any college student who has taken a freshman-level anthropology class knows that the study of humans is subjective and therefore biased. In fact, an entire school of thought developed within the fields of social studies that attempted to ensure that biases were stated in hypotheses before an investigator entered a foreign environment for his or her study. 
     
    But, in the end, it doesn’t take a college-educated person to know that an element of the uniqueness of human beings is  the fact that we, each, perceive the same event through an individual/different lens. So, while overreaching portions of a perceived event may be perceived quite similarly by disparate people, details perceived within an event will almost always vary, person to person.
    Every college student who has taken a rudimentary statistics class should know that statistics are especially malleable. Especially so, because they are often used to mask a biased argument or mask the bias in the fulfillment of a hypothesis, rather than strip bias from an argument or result of studies based on a given hypothesis.  

    To apply statistical analyses to race or race-based acts does little more than establish a person’s personal wish fulfillment. For every statistic a White person can apply that negatively impacts on perceptions of Black people, a Black can person can apply statistics that impact negatively on Whites.

    ———–
    In ending, racism, defined as bias toward a person of different skin color where power – economic, political, social,  etc. –  is held by the person with biases exists, is a fact. 

    That racism must be a foundational element of the pursuit of what is known, even by White, Western standards as, “Conquest” – the violent intrusion of a distinctly separate culture of non-White peoples with the goal of remaking said peoples into assimilated Others – is a fact.

    That post-Conquest institutions of racism are immediately and automatically erected with the sole purpose of separating the victors from the defeated, is a fact. 

    That all post-Conquest teachings are derived by members of the Conquest group, or by members of the defeated Other who seek to curry favor and spare themselves the wrath of the Conquest group, and will be teachings that render a largely favorable perception – positive in paternalism, benevolent even while killing, altruistic to mask the truth of their efforts, religiously “correct” and always in touch with a “supreme being” unknown to the defeated of which they are its likeness, all-powerful and therefore impregnable –  of the Conquest group, is a fact.

    That once erected, all people who identify with the victors of the Conquest will assert personal notions of racism toward the Other, knowing with certainty that all institutions are geared to defend their notions of racism, is a fact.

    That today, the people who are the beneficiaries of Conquest and its primary device of philosophical perception, racism, are attempting to remake not only the United States, but the non-White peoples of the planet Earth into a powerless, subjugated Other, is a fact.

    The only question, then, left for discussion is ——- why?

Written by dwil

January 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

NFL Parity: Not So Loved After All

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Parity, n: the quality or state of being equivalent (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Parity, esp. in sports: where all teams in a league can bring their fans with intense joy and hope one game and intense sadness and anger the next (see, “American Football Conference” – AFC – East Division).

In the 2012-13, Week 6 version of the National Football League, 11 of 30 teams have .500 records. Another five are one game under .500, at 2-3. All four teams in the AFC East are 3-3. Since the NFL merger in 1970 this is only the third time the NFL has actually achieved this type of equality after six weeks of play and only in Week 6 of the 2001-02 season were more teams – 17 – at or one game above or below .500.

And the football community of fans, writers, pundits, and fantasy team members are beside themselves in their attempts to assess the star of the league, or any given team.

How did we get here?

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Written by dwil

October 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Tennis: The Sport of Kings Is Dead, Long Live…

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Most casual observers of tennis believe the sport is in a great state with great players at the top of the men’s game and more women than ever with chances to win grand slam events. However, what is not known and is rarely said, is that the game has little resemblance to what was meant to be.

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Rafa: proof that mediocre is the new “great.”

For two weeks 256 men and women entertained millions of people around the world as they played the sport of kings… and queens.

Unfortunately, though, those in attendance for the 14 days and the millions of enthralled viewers that span the globe were, for the 11th year, cheated. What was, before 2001, the most important sporting event in the world outside of the World Cup, is but a shell of its former self.

Thus, we saw the Wimbledon fortnight. And by Friday of the first week of tennis, the tournament was in shambles.

By Thursday Rafael Nadal was gone. Friday Roger Federer found himself down two sets to none and had to play deep into an English evening to survive a third round match. By Friday a slew of seeded women found themselves either focusing on doubles or on a plane to elsewhere – gone from Wimbledon’s Ladies Singles Draw. Also on Friday we saw Radek Stepanek, the last of the late 1990s- early 2000s tennis player fruitlessly attempt to serve and volley his way by world’s #1 Novak Djokovic.

The players who vanquished these kings and queens of the courts weren’t players rising through the ranks with a bullet. They had names like Julian Benneteau, a lanky, underachieving French dirtballing journeyman, for whom clay courts are his best friend. They had names like Lukas Rosol, the #100 player in the world, who wound his way through three qualifying matches before he blew Nadal off center court while barely breaking a sweat. They were women of little-defined tennis pasts and even less-defined tennis presents.

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Masters Thoughts: Tiger Was Tiger Once Again

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Watching Tiger Woods play his final round of the 2008 Masters I have to admit that maybe I’m wrong. See, I continue to believe that Woods’ failure to win when trailing after 54 holes in a major (0-16 when trailing by six shots or less) is a fluke statistic. But Sunday, after watching him blow opportunity after opportunity to make the shots that would allow him to post a 68 and sit in the clubhouse and wait for those ahead of him to succumb to the pressure of bettering that score, I am now convinced that there is something missing in Tiger’s makeup.

There is something missing when an athlete must be leading from the start of a tournament to lead at the end. There is something missing when you are supposed to be the best golfer in the world and arguably the best of all time, yet you fail to come from behind each final 18 holes you play in the tournaments that matter most. There is something missing when you cannot look at the leader board on the morning of the final day, see a man who, statistically is one of the worst golfers on the PGA Tour, and say, all I have to do is post a score and this man will fold, then relax, go out and post that score.

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Written by dwil

April 14, 2008 at 12:17 am

The Masters: A Little Luck, a Little Tiger Proofing, and a Failure to Change

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Sure Tiger Woods bogeyed two par fives the first two days of this year’s Masters Tournament. And those bogeys might eventually cost him the tournament. But Trevor Immelman’s gaffe at 15 yesterday turned out to be nothing. How his third shot, a wedge spun way too much that did not roll back into the drink, might win him the tournament.

Interestingly, on ESPN’s Sports Reporters this morning, Mitch Albom and Mike Lupica took the time to tag-team excoriate the 13-time major tournament winner.

Albom:

“He’s now looking at a couple of young guys who are in their twenties who have that bravado who are maybe saying, ‘we don’t know any better.”

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Written by dwil

April 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Recent Radio Show Appearances

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Dave Zirin of Edge of Sports has an XM Satellite radio show (for all those who don’t know). We did an “end of the month” roundup (replete with a shout-out to MODI at “Cosellout“) and from here on out, DZ has invited me to summarize the past month in sports. Click here for the segment.

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Also, here’s my regular NPR Tony Cox Internet Sports Round Table show talkin’.

(sorry DZ, SOMM fell apart, so I had to post this interview… it’ll be better as time goes on)

Written by dwil

April 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

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