Category Archives: Sports column

Domestic Voilence Raises Its Ugly Head in NFL

As NFL teams transitioned from the preseason to regular season domestic violence reared  its ugly head, as a few players made headlines for their aggressive behavior off the field.

Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Since a graphic video surfaced of former Ravens running back Rice punching Janay Palmer in a casino elevator, Goodell has been under fire over the league’s handling of a February attack between star running back  Rice and his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. A  video showed Rice dragging a seemingly unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino.

The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Ravens terminated his contract . After the video surfaced of the running back punching his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator on Feb. 15. The NFL Players Association announced September 16 it is appealing the suspension of former Baltimore Ravens running back  Rice.

“The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that show a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL,” the union said in a statement tonight. “The NFLPA has asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator to hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the preceding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators,” the NFLPA said.

The former Baltimore Ravens player was arrested and charged with aggravated assault  in New Jersey.

There are many ways in which aggravated assault can be committed. You may be charged with this if the prosecution has probable cause to believe you:

  1. Cause or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another
  2. Purposely or knowingly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  3. Recklessly caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  4. Pointed a firearm in the direction of another showing extreme indifference to human life, or
  5. If you commit a simple assault on a protected person (law enforcement, emergency services worker, judge, operator of public transportation, or utility employee acting in their job.

Aggravated assault could be charged as a crime of the fourth degree or up to a crime of the second degree. The charge you face depends on the circumstances of your offense and the result of the action. If the alleged victim was actually injured, your charges and potential penalty will be much higher.

This means, for a charge of aggravated assault, you could face as much as 10 years in prison.

It’s a sad day in the world of sports when a professional athlete feels he can strike a female and cause bodily harm without punishment. Any man who would hit a women in my book is a sad excuse of a man and needs punishment of some kind.

In my opinion,  the legal system should treat Rice like any other citizen that would hit a woman. He needs to step up, be a man and admit he has an anger management problem. Then he should enroll in some anger management classes.

Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

It is easy for an athlete to get caught up in the dream of becoming a professional athlete in high school or college because many athletes only think about the fame and the fortune of the profession while trying to figure out what career to persue. There’s nothing better than taking something that you’re really good at and making lots of money with it. But a young athlete needs to be aware of the facts. The number of high school athletes that actually go on to play college and pro sports is extremely competitive, and that’s putting it mildly.

Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Just three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell created stronger sanctions for players involved in domestic violence, 49ers starting defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of felony domestic violence charges involving his fiancée who is pregnant . The 49ers put him on the team’s inactive list while he awaits trial.

While Adrian Peterson, 29, was indicted  on a charge he injured his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch and has an

Adrian Peterson Vikings
Adrian Peterson Vikings

arraignment scheduled for Oct. 8. He faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty, but the Vikings announced September 17 he was placed on the Exempt Commissioner  Permission List,while Peterson takes care of his legal issue.

Peterson cooperated  fully with investigators as they looked into theallegations of child abuse. The Vikings running back did go old school on his son. In this day and age a parent still has the right to discipline his child.

North  Carolina Panther Greg Hardy, was convicted of domestic violence charges over the summer but has appealed and is awaiting a jury trial.

Hardy, a former Ole Miss star, was convicted in July after his May arrest on charges of assault and communicating threats against his former girlfriend. Nicole Holder accused him of throwing her down on a couch and threatening to shoot her if she told anyone.

Hardy received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months of probation following a 10-hour bench trial, but demanded a jury trial as part of his appeal. His jury trial is expected to begin Nov. 17 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.  Currently Hardy has been placed on the Exempt Commissioner Permission List and will continue receiving a pay check while he wait’s for trail.

Currently the league has a policy of a 6 game suspension for a domestic violence charge. A second charge would bring a life time banned from the league. The league  should develop some new rules on domestic violence that is fair to all going forward.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

A step-by-step guide to wholesome heckling

 

Everyone has heard the guy at the sports game bellowing, YOU SUCK!” at the player closest to them. A heckler is a person who shouts a disparaging comment at a performance or event with intent to disturb  its performers or participants. Heckling has been around since the citizens of Rome pointed their fickle thumbs to the ground, telling their gladiators it was time for “sudden death.” The English heckled Shakespeare’s players, hurling rotten fruits and veggies when they deemed the show unworthy of their hard-earned shilling.  Today baseball fans heckle their overpaid heroes, pelting them with bawdy suggestions–sum which would make even make a truck driver blush. Perhaps it seems obnoxious; However, heckling can be one of the most fun parts of a sporting event if done right. Heckling is an art form and should be treated as such. Ideally, the goal of most hecklers is to get under the skin of the opposing team’s players and have it effect their performance and/or get the player to acknowledge and joke with them.

It seems simple enough, but there are some pretty big do’s and don’ts in the world of heckling. Before you open your mouth to truant a player at a game, think your heckle through, and try to  remember a few simple rules.

1) Be unique.   Every player has heard “you suck,” (insert last name here)” It’s  nothing new to them. Boring unoriginal and embarrassing for the entire section to have to be associated with that guy. Usually you might want to take a jab at a player but in a way that will want to make him laugh. If  he laughs then you’ve broken the player concentration and gotten the visible reaction you want.

One of the best and most unique hecklers I’ve ever heard was from a season five years ago  when Marlon Byrd was playing right field for the Texas Rangers. Mariners fan John Neuharth  leaned over the railing  and yelled “Hey Marlon, remember when you were the Phillies center fielder?” Byrd nodded his head thinking he was safe, Neuherth  added, “of the future?”Byrd who was once thought to be Philadelphia’s answer to center field for years to come but he failed to live up to those expectations, turned  around and busted out laughing. As far as heckling goes, this an example of an A+.

2) Don’t Get Personal. Talking to a player about a poor performance or if they deserve their spot on the team is one thing. However, if you know his wife’s name you should keep that out of your heckle. It’s tacky and classless. Family members, addiction problems, infidelity and other things of that nature are best left in the mind. Odds are things like that cut the player deeper than they like to show. Nobody likes the guy in the section that  is yelling out, Hey you, I slept with your wife last night!” First of all, it’s not true, and second, it’s not funny. Stay away from personal insults.

Good ones that I have heard include “Did you just get called up? That’s Minor League reaction time?” and “Where is the hustle? You were running right at it; a real man makes that catch!” The latter in particular will get the player’s attention, especially when the ball is twelve rows deep into the seats in foul territory on the other side of the field. Some players get it, and will laugh, Sometimes more fun, however is the player who thinks you’re crazy. These players will sometimes turn around and give a  quizzical look and a shrug of the shoulders, as if to say “Who do you think I am, Superman?” That sort of reaction is generally good to give the section a laugh.

3) Make fun of, and give poor on-the-field performances.  You will find classics along the lines of “Hit the ball (player’s name) or “Where did you get that wet noodle for a throwing arm?”

My greatest example of this came on June 25, 2009, it was the top of the eighth inning, with the San Diego Padres batting. Padres pitcher Edward Mujica  was throwing his warm tosses in the bullpen–when I just happen to be–and was getting ready to come into the game in the bottom half of the 8th. After the first toss, I looked at him and said “What a terrible pitch! I hope the ones you throw in the game are better than that!” Mujica made eye contact with me, glared and threw another.

“See what I mean?” Your place is totally off. You can’t get guys out pitching like that!” I said. Once again, he glared at me. This continued for about five more pitches until the top half of the inning ended. Mujica was called on to pitch the top half of the eighth with  score tied 3-3.

“Good luck Edward! It’s only a tie game no pressure. Don’t blow it for your team!” I said cheerfully waving at him.

His first two pitches were balls, the Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez crushed a solo home run to break the tie and put the Mariners up 4-3, which ended up being the final score. Mujica took the loss. A good heckler can force the opposing team’s to play at a lower level than normal.

4) Have Fun and be respectful. Heckling is meant to be done as either banter between players and fans, or to get the player to acknowledge the heckler in some way. By all means don’t be discouraged if they don’t look until what is nearly the end of the game. Most players generally “reward” good hecklers towards the middle or end of the game for having the dedication for being on their case all day. However, if the people sitting around are telling you to shut up and give it up, there are only two things that should be happening:

1) The crowd is snobby that day and doesn’t want to have fun.

2) You are bad at heckling.

Regardless which of these reasons, it would be a good idea to tone it down, using only the best heckles that come to mind. Honestly, it is annoying when your told to be quiet and may ruin your enjoyment of the game, but you must also be considerate that the one shushing you has paid their money too and that heckling may ruin their enjoyment of the game.

Using this informative guide to heckling you too can become a successful heckler. Whether it is someone in your section getting a laugh or the real player reacting and laughing with (or at) you, someone will go home with a good story. With this heckling guide, I hope to hear many more bellowing voices bring a new level of fun to sports stadiums.

As the blog deloveps… blogger shares a real life lesson with his audience

Life sometimes teaches us lessons that if the lesson does not kill us makes us stronger people. The transition for me into sports blogging

image Courtesy of Pixabay @ www,pixabay,com
image Courtesy of Pixabay @ www,pixabay,com

from sports journalism after a long hiatus from any type of writing at all has at times been a like a roller coaster ride at an amusement park with highs and lows. Although the two types of writing have some similarities and clear differences. Recently I learned a writing rule that will stay with me forever.

Although this rule about attribution and documenting your sources in writing is a very basic thing, I learned as a journalist. This rule was   not always applied  when I started my sports blog. Honestly I was in such a rush to build this amazing blog that tons of people would read, that I had for gotten two most basic rules of writing. It was not for ignoring  those two rules and not always  applying those rules in posts that cause my newly developed since October, sports blog to come tumbling down like a bulldozed house.

Two of my blog followers brought these blatant  errors to my attention. One via e-mail which I must say was quite embarrassing to receive since I knew better as an experience published sports writer. The e-mail and it’s words where like getting caught with my pants down in public by the school head master. The scrapping error was quickly brought  to my attention  and  all effected posts came down off my blog. In fact, all my posts came off this blog that I had created. The other blog follower brought the post  errors to my attention via a Facebook message. And again I dealt  with the issue by removing the posts in question.

It simple, if the posts is not correctly attributed and sourced then it does not belong on my blog or any blog out there for that matter.  Throughout media industry poor attribution and sourcing happens daily. That does not mean in any way that it alright because everybody may do it. In order keep your own integrity and the public’s trust in you as a creditable and good writer, it best to fix issues, like what I speak of, here right away once you gain the knowledge that an issue or problem exist.

I share this life blog event not to show you how stupid I was with my writing talent but to educate and tell you, so you do not make the same rookie blogging mistake that I did. Keep in mind while writing that, if you cannot attribute the source the information  on your blog and or writing then it best not to  included it in your writing at all until you can properly attribute and source it correctly. Better to play it safe than be sorry later like me.

Go forward from this point, I promise my readers and blog followers that I will definitely source and attribute every thing on my blog that needs such a reference, giving credit where credit is due.

Paying College Athletes Sends Wrong Message of Priorities

The discussion of whether or not to pay the college athlete has gone on for years now. Both sides of this argument present a good case of evidence for and against the payment of college athletes. However, the higher power of the NCAA  has decided not to pay the student-athletes. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA made the decision, as stated  in   an ESPN article posted online.

President Emmert is looking for a way to resolve the financial needs of student-athletes.  Another ESPN article stated that a spokesman for Emmert and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive  agreed on a review that would lead to athletes receiving the “full cost of attendance” A spokesman for Emmert said they where reviewing a plan that would meet the student-athletes needs without paying them. Emmert told an ESPN reporter that monetary awards such as $2000,000. to $500,000.per year per student for expenses such as transportation and clothing are possibilities.

My thought on paying student-athletes it is a bad decision to pay college athletes for all involved both school and the athletes. Play for pay in college athletics should never happen. A decision to pay the student-athlete would just create a bigger problem. It would  send the wrong message of priorities to the student-athletes.

During the 2013 college football season former Texas A&M

"" Johnny Rotten" got a slap on the wrist  by the NCAA for selling his  autography this past season. The allegation.  Photo Courtesy  of wiki Commons.
“” Johnny Rotten” got a slap on the wrist by the NCAA for selling his autography this past season. The allegation. Photo Courtesy of wiki Commons.

quarterback, Johnny Manziel brought the issue of paying college athletes back in the media spot light. when he signed some autographs.  .  The NCAA couldn’t prove Manziel was paid by memorabilia dealers to sign his own name on pictures of himself. They instead hit him because it was obvious that the thousands of items he autographed were certainly going to be sold. The decided gentility was he sat out the first-half of the Aggie game against Rice University.  What a joke of a penitently for the NCAA to hand down. It was like slapping Manziel on the hand and telling him now don’t do this again. Now I admit that once the NCAA knew about Manzeil’s issue, they had to do something. But I never expected them to do what they did do. The penitential came as a real shock. Then I thought what a joke on the NCAA’s part.

Now Manzeil is not by no means this first football to get into trouble over this kind of issue. Back when Reggie Bush played for the University of Southern California he was it with some NCAA infractions after he had departed for professional football. It was reported by the media that Bush had taken money off a USC booster during his time as a Trojan. It was also proven that people connected to the football program knew about what Bush had done. So in this case, Bush had return his Heisman Trophy that he had won. The USC football program was give a two year band from any bowl game appearance.  The Ohio State University notorious for receiving NCAA penitentiaries for different infractions or violations. This kind of issue is nothing new to the college sports scene. It just some players and schools get caught with their hands in the cookie jar and some do not.
When athletes attend a college or university he or she needs to realize that first priority is to do well in the classroom. Only then should they be allowed to play at game time. These athletes need to realize that a good education in society today can only be helpful to them. That their athletic careers will not last for ever no matter how much talent they have on the field or court. They will need a good education to fall back on when their athletic days are done.

College athletics is an optional activity for college students, not a need. So it makes no sense to pay a student-athlete for an optional college activity. So if you are an athlete on a college team you need to realize your there by your own personal choice. Paying college athletes would lead them to believe that sports is more important than academics. Although some athletes already the concept that sports is more important than an education already. That could be because they have dreams or ideas of playing professional sport after college. But the true reality is very few athletes go on to successful professional sports careers after college.

The argument that  football and basketball players bring revenue to the schools programs and there for should be paid for it, is a hard one for me to buy into. First both sports are teams sports. These teams may have players with athletic talent that stands out more than other players, which means, when the team wins, it wins as a team and a team effort was given for that win. Just like when teams goes down in defeat, the team was defeated because of team effort. So I don’t buy that any one player brings in all the revenue for his or her college team.

Many questions need to be answered before the NCAA would ever make payment of a  college athletes a reality. What pay scale do you use to decide what an individual athlete would be paid. The how do they put a value on athletic performance. How do you make these two decisions fair for both the school and athletes. These are all things that create problems for the issue of paying college athletes. These issues also makes it hard to find a fair solution to the problem.

If there ever comes a time when college jocks are paid for athletic performance its only logical to pay them after they have earned a degree. That way the student-athlete would have to work hard academically to earn money for playing sports. This way both school and athletes would be in a win-win situation and benefit from the  issue of paying student-athletes.