Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

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Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Rutgers Scandal (part deux) ... Robinson Cano … Passione, John Turturro … SNHU MFA’ers getting published ...

Amici:
 
Up too early from a night of Nyquil Cold and Flu to sleep late. Sick as a dog, I listen to the news (ESPN radio/WFAN radio) and there’s the Rutgers basketball scandal.
 
 
Rutgers basketball is a reminder about collegiate athletic programs, especially high profile ones—they are all about winning first and foremost. One problem with this particular scandal, especially if the allegations that the school was well aware of Mike Rice’s insane behavior at basketball practice (never mind their games) is true (and it appears to be) ... the program isn’t a very good one (i.e., they don’t win often enough to assume winning was the reason the school permitted Rice to continue coaching). This year they finished 14-18. The team under coach psycho overall is: 45-51.
 
In the immortal words of football great, Bill Parcells, “You are what your record says you are.”
 
The Rutgers basketball scandal is yet another college athletic disgrace. The video is what the school was allegedly aware of back in December (or possibly July--either month would qualify as "the scandal, Part One"), when they suspended the coach for 3 games and fined him $50K. Never mind the physical abuse, for which any of the players involved had the right to kick the coach’s ass six ways to Sunday, Rutgers is the school where two morons (Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei) videotaped a gay student who later committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington bridge. Coach Psycho apparently used anti-gay slurs as if he were getting paid to be a homophobe. I guess he just doesn't remember that ... Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman, is believed to have jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and another Rutgers student broadcast a hidden live-stream of Clementi having sex ...
 
 
So how different is the Rutgers decision (the school itself, never mind the athletic director/department) from Penn State’s ignoring what was going on under their noses. Apparently more so, because this time it was on tape.
 
How the school permitted either the AD or the head coach to remain on campus longer than fifteen minutes after this video was brought to their attention is beyond believable. One can only hope the kids have some legal basis to sue the school. At this point, if Tim Pernetti (the AD) did as he claims, and informed the school President, Robert L. Barchi, then all three (at the least) should not only be fired, they should be precluded from filing for unemployment.
 
As for head coach, Mike Rice ... there’s a special place in a living hell for assholes like this—to never have any authority over kids again. Maybe he needs to find another sport where he can take out his aggressions a in a more equitable manner, perhaps where his victims can retaliate without fear of losing their scholarships. Somebody say the UFC?
 
Last year, after the concussion issue took national center stage with the suicide of Junior Seau, it was reported that collegiate football players are NOT held to the same contact restrictions as NFL players. The reason is obvious--no union. Collegiate athletes are the ones responsible for the huge amounts of cash colleges are blessed with year-to-year. It is football and basketball that fill college coffers, yet the players can be suspended for having a free meal, selling an autograph, etc. It’s a one way ticket; capitalism at its ugliest. You work for me and I’ll feed you and send you to school (even though it’s your athletic skills I’m interested in and not your education), and then, should you not pick up any major injury along the way, you can join the pool of thousands who seek employment with their athletic skills. And if you’re a great athlete and can maintain that greatness at the professional level, you can make millions someday. If you were just another player, it was nice having you along for the ride. We hope you remember us as an alumni and donate what you can.
 
Unionize the college athlete or pay them for the revenues they attract. And let’s quit calling them student athletes already, especially when they play for major athletic programs. That’s a crock of shit label nobody with a right mind ever believed in. College athletes today are temporary chattel. They will only be protected when it serves their program's best interests (whether it be from criminal charges and/or academic issues), but are forgotten and neglected as soon as they are deemed no longer of value. In the Rutgers case, it’s even worse. The players there were obviously abused as if they were chattel.
 
The Mike Rice situation reminded me of a book I once read a very long time ago (and couldn’t quite remember the name). Meat on the Hoof (I thought it was Meat on the Hook) tells the story of big time college football in Texas. Amazon’s description here: They raise cattle and football players in Texas. The cattle are treated better. MEAT ON THE HOOF is a startling look at big-time college football. The University of Texas Longhorns under Coach Darrell Royal have long been a major football power. How did they get there? Gary Shaw says by juggling the approved limit of athletic scholarships. By placing the players in psychological bondage through a complex series of physical and mental maneuvers. And by running off all the "meat" which had "quitter" in it or couldn't take it. And by setting up an elaborate caste system that had the surviving players clawing to get to the top. MEAT ON THE HOOF is a weekday look at Saturday's heroes in which Gary Shaw debunks the myth of American college football's Super-male. He examines in detail the real motivations behind these machismo efforts at glory. Gary Shaw was a high-school football star in Denton, Texas, recruited by Darrell Royal as a lineman. He was one of the few who made the team. But all along the line he had a vague uneasy feeling that something was wrong. Now he tells what the transformation from high-school star to "just another body" at Texas was like for him and his teammates. He tells of the "education" coach whose job it was to help athletes get the most out of their Texas days but in fact did little more than steer mighty Longhorns into gut course after gut course.
 
It’s early Wednesday morning as I write this. If Mike Rice is still employed by Rutgers University when I post this (before noon sometime), I will be as surprised as I’ll be pissed off.
 
 
 
Robinson Cano ... Speaking of athletes ... imagine you’re the owner of a major league baseball team and you have a very talented player who demands a substantial increase in salary, the only catch being, he doesn’t run out groundballs. What’s this, a socialist speaking up for management? No, not really. This has to do with what people are expecting when they plop down the price of a ticket to watch major league baseball, but instead get robbed for a half-assed effort from spoiled athletes.
 
Some ticket prices at Yankee Stadium:
 
Those on the Roof go for $33.00 per ticket to $50.00 per ticket ....
 
Or first row in roof tickets $65.00 per ticket.
 
One level below, it’s $75.00 ... and remember, to watch Robinson Cano jog to first base. Bring binoculars.
 
In section 118 one level above the field, it’s $165.00 per ticket ... or $660.00 for a family of four.
 
But if you’re really made of cash, the “Legends” field boxes go from $792.00 to $990.00 per ticket. How cool is that? Yous can take your family to see Robinson Cano jog out a grounder to first base in any one of 81 home games for the mere price of $3,960 fazools! That's four large (but fear not, you won't have to pay for franks, soda, beer, the program, etc.) ... four large, and you’ll be so close, you can almost reach out and touch his uniform as it gracefully makes its way down the first base line ...
 
And remember, nobody jogs to first base like Robinson Cano ...
 
Oy friggin’ vey … these are a few of so many reasons I will never attend another baseball game (haven’t for some 20 years now—you couldn’t give me a ticket), nor will I waste my time watching one. Baseball became a friggin’ joke a long time ago. Designated hitters? Really? Move the fences in? Why? A team pays $20,000,000 for a guy who is above it all? And doesn’t this kind of dilute that American mantra about hard work leading to great things ... I guess jogging to first base is now accepted as “hard work” ...
 
Why would anybody give them their attention, never mind their hard earned cash? And, yes, that is a a socialist suggesting that the corporate money buying up the best tickets isn't very hard-earned.
 
Last week a report on CNN showed how frankfurters at Citifield (where the Mets play) are $6.25 each and beers (16 ounce) are $8.00 each. So, assuming a family of four has 1 frank each, and Mom and Pop 1 beer each, we’re talking: $25.00 for franks and $16.00 for beer ... for a grand total of $41.00.
 
Some families of four are forced to live on groceries for a week for less.
 
And why would anyone pay the price of admission, the parking, buy the program, etc., and then want either a frank or a beer at those prices? For a family of four, in some ballparks, even sitting in the nosebleed sections, we’re talking about a $200 outing. For slightly better seats, maybe $300. For great seats, assuming the field level corporate boxes are available, probably closer to $3,000 to $4,000. Imagine, all that gelt to watch some clown jog to first base on a groundball? What kills me is there are assholes who defend the pricing of these tickets. They claim it’s the “free market” at work ...
 
The first baseball game I attended was a Mets-Giants game at Shea Stadium. Box seats were $3.50 ... I don’t remember what franks or a soda or a beer cost. What I do remember is Willie Mays running so fast, I saw him as a blur running the bases. Willie Mays ... if a lazy-assed schmuck like Robinson Cano is worth $20,000,000 today, imagine what Mays would be worth ...
 
TK says, have a blast suckers ... we’d rather watch grass grow.
 
 
 
Passione … Actor, writer, director, John Turturro’s film on Naples, where my mother’s father was from. As interesting as it gets ... with two songs I recognized from my childhood ...
 
 
 
SNHU MFA'ers getting published ...
 
Jerri Hickox Clayton’s 50-Word Story, Date #3
 
James Seals, Swimming the Purgatoire ...
 
 
 
—Knucks
 
Mala Femmena ...
 
 
 
A slower version with English subtitles ...
 
 
And Dean Martin sings one more song from Old Napoli ...