Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The UFC Lawsuit, and My Thoughts

In light of the class-action suit being filed against the UFC by Cung Le, Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch, I figured I'd weigh in. I've known Nate and Jon for many years, and consider both to be class guys.

As many of you know I did production work for the UFC over the course of 6-7 years, and wrote for their magazine as well. Along the way I got to know many fighters on a very personal level, and a lot was shared between all of us. These days I'm completely uninvolved with MMA/UFC.

A number of years ago I had a conversation with a former champion about the idea of a union, about which he spoke openly to me. He had just lost his belt, but was signed to a 6 fight deal because as he claimed "they are worried I may go elsewhere." Even though they had no plans on him competing anymore. At the time we were discussing writing a book together, but chose not to do so, and this was before my book with BJ Penn. After our talk in his hotel room, he said to me, "You should represent the fighters!" I laughed it off at the time, but he continued, "You know everyone, most people like you, and you have seen what goes on..."

Cannot say I was not intrigued, nor was it the last time I heard this suggested. But it was not my place, or my journey.

I do believe the fighters should unionize for a variety of reasons, but also think it's difficult for them to do because they're not part of a league. Unless, of course, you consider the UFC a league with one owner, which on some level I think it is. But I absolutely believe these fighters, especially the best of the best, need to protect themselves longer term. Whether that takes the form of a union, or something else, I have no idea. Yet these guys need protection. Just look at the retirees in the NFL.

A union would be very difficult for UFC fighters alone, so it would have to be offered to all MMA fighters. Membership and structure would be somewhat problematic because there are so many low-level fighters filling up cards these days it would be hard to bring them all under an umbrella, although I'm sure it could be done. Which brings me to another point...

The reason there are so many low level fighters, with combatants coming in and out of the company, is because the UFC is in fact attempting to monopolize the sport. They schedule their events to coincide with every boxing match, or other promotion's event(s). Certainly they're attempting to monopolize the sport, but who can blame them? Because of this practice of having so many lackluster events, we've reached a point where fight-cards are lined with filler fights with one cherry on top. And if that cherry happens to fall off because of an injury, like when the Jon Jones / Dan Henderson event was scrapped, an entire event is cancelled. In previous years any number of undercard fights could carry a PPV, but not anymore. Again, this is because the UFC has spread it's product so thin in an attempt to keep other promotions out of the space.

Is that a monopolistic practice? Absolutely. Does that make them a monopoly? Probably not. Surely this will be part of the argument regarding a "monopoly", but I'm not lawyer.

All of this said, irrespective of the fact I think fighters need a union, is I don't think the UFC will be declared a monopoly by the Department of Justice, which is where this probably ends. I say this because of the argument surrounding the 1994 case involving Ticketmaster, wherein the Justice Department failed to bring action against a company which was much more a monopoly than the UFC, at least that's my opinion.

It was argued then that Ticketmaster didn't have a monopoly because even though they controlled a substantial number of major venues in America (the majority of them), there were still countless other venues for artists to perform at. That TM did not control a majority of concert spaces in America, even if they controlled the marquee properties, meant Pearl Jam (petitioner) had many other options, both in the selling of tickets and spaces to perform.

The same can be said in this situation. There are a number of outlets for fighters to perform, some of which are even on cable television. Considering these fighters are individual actors, they have the right to fight in any promotion, and take the risk he/she is popular enough to garner an audience, which in turn would result in higher pay. It would even result in the rise in popularity of a separate promotion.

So no, I don't think the fighters will be successful in claiming the UFC runs a MMA monopoly.

I do think it's quite possible any case made against the UFC will take a bite out of the company, and this is probably the greater point. The recent deal with Reebok was probably a bit too much to chew after a number of fighters feeling they have less earning power because of company practices. This has been happening slowly for many years.

I think one thing to look out for is the structure of fighter contracts, and whether a fighter will more easily be able to leave the UFC for another promotion, if in fact the UFC is claiming each fighter is an individual actor. The contracts are very restrictive.

In summation, I don't see the UFC being labeled a monopoly, but I do think the fighters will make gains from any suit/case going forward.


Pardon my haste in writing this. Sloppy, I know.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Coaches, Racists and Craigslist Idiots

Jim Harbaugh is a very good football coach. Is he great? That remains to be seen. All the time I hear people say he's a "great coach" because he did this, or that. BUT, the standard for competitive greatness is championships. Of which he has none.

Now I think it's quite possible he could win a championship, but the likelihood is the current window in San Francisco has closed. Would this ownership/management group allow him the time to rebuild the franchise, considering the negativity currently afflicting the team? I highly doubt it. That's why I would seriously suggest the team fire...

Trent Baalke.

Baalke is the General Manager of the Santa Clara 49ers, and the truth is he hasn't done a great job. He has done a decent job acquiring some very talented players, but his job as General Manager is to keep the team moving forward in a positive direction. This is not happening.

As it now stands he has a questionable relationship with one of the better coaches in the NFL, and that is all that matters. Yes, Baalke has other job responsibilities, but not getting along with a coach who has taken the team to 3 straight NFC Title games and one Superbowl, should be priority number 1. It is not. Instead, two camps have formed within the organization, pitting Baalke against Harbaugh.

That's not good management.

It's a lot easier to find a GM than it is to find a coach. And it's even easier to turn over GM responsibilities to the coach to avoid the conflict altogether, like the Niners did with Bill Walsh, and how the Patriots' Bill Belichick has things setup. Now maybe this results in a total meltdown, as some of Harbaugh's scouting decisions are questionable, but it's a much better move than hitting the reset button, sticking with a Trent Baalke, and finding another great coach.

You'll be looking for years.


I've been looking for some used furniture on Craigslist to avoid buying junk my future child might destroy.

Word to those who sell sofas and furniture on Craigslist for about $3,000: If someone can afford to buy a $3,000 sofa on Craigslist they are probably going to buy a new sofa. Just because you paid "$6500 for it just last year!" does not mean jack shit, other than you are a bad planner, and make poor purchasing decisions.


Kansas Gov Sam Brownback has always been someone I truly despise.

There was an article in the Sunday Times summarizing the current budget shortfall in his state, and how he prepares to deal with it. Truth of the matter is his tax policies, which usually just means tax cuts, have left the state with a massive shortfall, which seemed to only pop after he won re-election.

There has been a movement by certain fiscal conservatives in this country to "starve the beast", and that tax shortfalls are a great time to start reducing the size of the government. In a general sense, voters have tended to support this idea (at least in conservative states), but mostly in theory only. When presented with the details of what would actually be cut, that's when arms start going up in the air.

Now here's where all of this gets kinda racisty for me, and is the crux of the problem I have with many conservative politicians.

Some of the programs Governor Brownback (what an ironic name) will attempt to cut are Early Head Start, preschools, and a program that helps parents teach their children at home. These types of programs have proven to be some of the most effective programs in all of government. In Kansas it is funded by a settlement from tobacco companies. You can read all about it.

In the last demographic breakdown from 2010 from Head Start 60% of the children were either Black or Latino, and at least 30% spoke a language other than English at home. I don't know the specific demographics in his home state, but I'll take a guess and say many of the people in need don't support Brownback. Or at the very least, there has been a racist-like portrayal of the types of people in need of government programs, which is what these are.

And this is why someone like Sam Brownback has no problem cutting funds from this type of program: because they're not his voters. They are not his typical, white, conservative base. Therefore, he does not care about their well being. And because of these types of actions. Because people think it's okay to cut these programs. To create tax holes. To push the problem down the road to the next politician. All of these things, in my view, make Sam Brownback (and other like him) a racist.

To me, that's what racism looks addition to what it also looks like.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Football Makes Me Sick...Sometimes

Disclaimer: When I watch football I thoroughly enjoy it, and I watch a lot of damn football, both college and pro.

Georgia running back Todd Gurley has declared for the NFL Draft, which everyone knew was going to happen. Unfortunately, Gurley tore his ACL 2 weekends ago, while running toward the endzone. He was not hit; the thing just snapped. This happens in football all the time.

Fortunately for Todd his career won't end like say that of Gayle Sayers, who thought he just had a swollen knee (he kept playing). No, Todd will go to the NFL and make quite a bit of money. Or so we hope he does. He is the best running back in college football, and probably has been for the last 3 years.

All of this begs the question: Why did Gurley have to stay in college and abuse his body, which in turn has probably cost him millions of dollars?

There's no question Gurley was likely prepared to go to play pro football after his freshman year, and without question after his sophomore year. So why in the world would the NFL/NCAA hold him back?

I know the obvious answers, that they don't want to end up like the NBA, and that most college football players are not physically ready to handle the NFL. I get that, and it's obvious. This being the case, the likelihood is most college football players wouldn't be prepared to go to the NFL until their junior season anyway, at the very least. The number of underclassmen NFL teams would draft in the first round who would be limited. But even if it wasn't, who cares? Buyer beware, right? There would certainly be many failed prospects who came out to early, which in turn would deter them from doing so.

For the athlete it is mostly about making money. The longer they stay the more they would make, which is probably opposite in the NBA. College coaches would be less likely to play kids as freshman, which in turn would help these athletes grow physically. As it stands, some of these kids are getting physically abused by much stronger players.

By playing Todd Gurley for 3 years at Georgia the school has actually cost him money, while they have reaped millions. This is not the same in other jobs. You have a shelf life in football, especially as a running back. The more you play in college the less you'll play in the NFL. It's probably not the same with any other position in the sport, and quite frankly, it's completely unfair. Every college running back should want to redshirt.

Another great example would be Jadaveon Clowney of the Houston Texans, who played 3 years at South Carolina. During his junior year people were saying Clowney took plays off to avoid getting hurt. Can you blame him? He is going on his second knee surgery in his rookie year, in addition to other physical ailments. Imagine he had given it his all as a junior? How much money would he have stood to lose? And Clowney was the best player in college football his FRESHMAN YEAR. He is/was a freak of nature, an anomaly on the field. Why did he need to stay, and hurt his earnings?

People generally heal in basketball. Football? You know what happens.

Clowney should have taken the year off as a junior, but he should not have had to. Imagine he had to stay in college 4 years? Maybe he breaks down as a senior, and his earnings go completely in the toilet?

Greg Oden is another guy. A physical freak, who clearly broke down. Am I supposed to be sad for Paul Allen and the Trailblazers for drafting this guy? Allen is a billionaire. Oden made Ohio State millions of dollars. What did he see of that? Well, he got paid by Paul Allen. That's how it goes. I also consider basketball and football to be very different, but it still holds.

The solution?

The NCAA needs to institute a minutes played, or "plays on the field" statistic, that allows kids to declare for a professional league once that threshold is met. This will save the kids physically, or at least get them closer to the pay day they deserve. This is the only fair thing for college football players. A PERCENTAGE OF MINUTES PLAYED should be the only factor in considering eligibility, if there even is one.

Football is vicious, and I still watch it. But it's time to change the model.

I'm someone who thinks colleges should reconsider the athletic scholarship model altogether, but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Self-fulfilling Racism

If I had to pick the one thing that ails this country more than any other thing, it would certainly be the inability of individuals to see the world through the eyes of people unlike themselves. I'm reminded of this every time an unfortunate event like Ferguson happens, or Trayvon Martin. But I can even stretch it out into school shootings, drug use, teenage prostitution, poor education, or something as simple as just being a black man walking down the street.

The people who view the world only through their own lens are the ones who give this nation it's black eyes.

There's a narrative in this country that black people, especially black youths, are dangerous and naturally inclined to be this way. People will point to statistics to back up this false fact. Yet glaringly lost in front of the eyes of those who believe this, is their own role in causing this "reality" to exist. That people in this country, largely white, actually believe a certain class of people is predetermined to act a certain way has come to justify their own behaviors in helping to create this very "reality."

It is disgusting. It is racist. It is wrong.

And most of all, it is destroying this country, that many of those very same people love to call "the greatest."

What happened in Ferguson is merely a symptom, no different from Trayvon, or any other situation, that gives a class of people a feeling of being second class. This is something white people come to recognize during moments of tragedy, but that blacks (and others) have to live with every day.

As recently as 1970 people in the south were still challenging school integration. But I'm told the ills of slavery no longer exist. Really? People might not be kept on plantations anymore, no. But they're locked into awful neighborhoods plagued with violence, drugs, terrible schools, and a stacked deck against them when trying to escape. And I know the deck is just as stacked today as it ever was before when the supporters of racism managed to find themselves a black man to rule in favor of keeping it stacked.

Conservative inspired racism is the greatest ill on this country. Not every conservative is a racist, and not every other person isn't. But it's systematic among the conservatives, who have the greatest sway in fixing the problems. And who refuse to because they themselves believe there are classes.

This country cares more about profit than it does the lives of not only black youths, but youths in general. You don't need to look at Trayvon or Ferguson to see that when we have Newtown, CT as well. And the promoters of this profit are the same people who promote the racism, which in turn creates their self-fulfilling reality to justify their actions.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no saint. I've made racist comments, held prejudices, and done some shitty things. But I'm concerned for the lives of other people, and know that a rising tide lifts all boats. Unfortunately, we live in a country where many people want the tide to rise. They just don't want everyone to have access to the boats.


If you think FOX News is reputable then you clearly view the world through that same jaded lens I was referring to above.

Last night on Sean Hannity's program a protester in Guy Fawkes mask said, "Fuck Fox News" and then broke their camera. At the time this was happening, Hannity was repeating the tired old comment, "people are just using this as an excuse to vandalize and loot", while the reporter was focused in on the all important "New Amsterdam vodka" bottle on the sidewalk.

Yes, people are burning buildings and looting because they're bored on a Monday night. Nailed it!

Hannity wants to paint the picture, one he believes in because it has lined his pockets, that black people in Ferguson are the problem here. That Officer Wilson is innocent. That black people are violent, drinking and looting, when there is no need to be. Etc. Etc. You get the picture.

However, when it comes to our military, specifically something like Abu Ghraib, guys like Hannity would defend the US Military. You consistently heard things like, "it's just a few people. It's not the entire military."

Yet this line of reasoning is seemingly lost when reporting on Ferguson, or any other situation pitting a white man vs a black. It's never "a small bunch of people" or "the majority of people are not doing this." Rather, the minority is the majority.

Hannity wants to focus on the problems being caused by the people in Ferguson, and not the problems people like him, and his network, are causing for them; perpetuating.

Yet the reality is when it comes to something like the military, or even the police, there should be no excuse for terrible behavior at all. When it comes to black people in Ferguson, or elsewhere, the reasons for why things are happening rarely become the focal point for a Fox News host. Who gets defended and who gets excoriated pretty much tells the story.

Once again, the profits of the company and its hosts more important than the lives of the people in this country.


After protesters shut down some roads last night, a driver on the east bound I-580 in Oakland was interviewed, and he said something like, "I can understand the frustration people are having about racism in America, but...interrupting people trying to get home is probably not the best way to deal with it..." Is that so?

This whole idea that "people need to handle this in other ways" is a joke. I don't know what the best answer is, but the idea that being pliant and calm is going to get you anywhere is a farce.

If peaceful marches had the effect of fixing problems, there would be no problems. People have marched peacefully. These are reactions to those actions having resulted in no gains. Shutting down traffic does not result in injury, and yet it forces people to focus on the anger people have.

Peaceful marches are easy to ignore. Easy to drive past. Easy to honk your horn at.


If you ever needed proof that the old soul of San Francisco has crossed the bridge, last night in Oakland offered us a bit of it. The Occupy movement was a clear indication as well.

San Francisco is no longer the place for artists and thinkers and revolutionaries and beatniks and those truly concerned for others. Maybe the aging class of these types still exist there, but it is the youth that foments change. And that youth is showing itself on the East Side of the Bay (in conjunction with Berkeley, of course).

This is not necessarily a bad thing, as Oakland becomes a better place because of it, while San Francisco becomes a different place. Different does not always mean bad. But the reality of what San Francisco is has changed drastically. Hopefully the national narrative of it does as well.

However, if you want to come to Oakland, get in quick, because like San Francisco you are probably running out of time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Carmelo Anthony is Painful, Off the Court

I believed in Carmelo Anthony because when he was at Syracuse he carried a team on his back, as a freshman, to a national championship. For years I've supported him as a player because of what he did 12 years ago. But after reading this article about him from ESPN, I now must admit, the guy is a headed straight toward Loser Town on the downtown express train.

Where to begin, where to begin...

If you read the article, you'll understand this. If you didn't it has to do with Carmelo wanting to craft a certain image for himself that is apart from basketball. This came about because his 7 year old son had a write something about his father for school, and all he could come up with was "basketball player." Some might say he's being kind...

It's worth reading if you want to really delve in the life of a delusional almost-star.

First off, Carmelo should probably surround himself with people who don't need his money, so at the very least he'll get honest opinions.

What Carmelo wants to be is the next Greg Norman, and I would argue their careers are quite similar. Norman fell far short of the greatness he could have achieved, winning the Open Championship twice, but never a major stateside. That definitely rankles him.

Melo won the NCAA tournament, and will forever be known for that, but on some level that's like winning the Open Championship (don't want to argue the merits of individual vs team sports).

They've both won, but not to the level they want to.

Melo is compared in this article to the likes of Jordan, Agassi, Elway & Beckham, but all of these guys are WINNERS ON THE COURT FIRST. Melo isn't. Their success is derived from their WINNING IMAGE. Melo wants to craft an image around himself equal to these other people, except he doesn't have the "Winner" moniker naturally bestowed upon him by society.

You can't buy this.

Yet at the end of the day, my gut tells me Melo has already GIVEN UP on trying to achieve the on the court success, which leads him to focus on this "next stage" of his life. To me it wreaks of being a quitter, or someone without their priorities in order.

I understand his infatuation with money considering his background, but investing in a new share economy, or social media, which in turn gives you many more millions won't make you a winner. It will only mean you're a person with connections, who took a lot of swings, and one of them hit. I don't look at John Paulson and think, "What a winner!" I think, "that guy got lucky, and he still kind of sucks."

So Melo can be average on the court, and maybe financially lucky afterward. And? That doesn't change his image one bit. In fact, it kind of makes his image somewhat lame.

If he wants to do something about his life and image, maybe take less money, build a championship team on the court, become a winner in the field that gave you a platform, and at least show people you can win. If that doesn't work out, be bigger than money. Help people in Baltimore, like Mike Bloomberg. Build a damn hospital that tries to help babies born with HIV. Give your money away like Warren Buffett. How about Be BIGGER THAN MONEY AND IMAGE?

That's attractive!

Maybe then people will give a shit about who you are...after you lost.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Sports Stuff 11/19/14

The world is boring me otherwise.

I mean, is it official yet, or what? Colin Kaepernick, kinda not good/douchey?

Roger, that.

What was so obvious to me is now becoming obvious to all. Yet I understand why you thought he'd be great, or merely good. Physically he can do things few other people can do, and that's exciting. Plus, San Francisco 49ers/Santa Clara 1%ers fans wanted to believe in him, so you did. We've all been there.

But all the things he can do today are the same things he could do in college. Yet still not a first round draft choice for a reason.

Can he get you to the playoffs? No. He can be on a team that goes to the playoffs, and along the way he can make some plays that help out. But he's not GETTING YOU to the playoffs.

Jury is still out, but I'm feeling pretty good about this one.

I also have a soft spot for Alex Smith, who won me over when he told me he owns a Carcetti for Mayor T-shirt.


Btw, I'm no better. I predicted 6 wins for the Raiders even though I knew how bad of a signing Matt Schaub would be. Like you, I believed. But if 6 wins is believing, well, call me a dreamer.

Man they are awful.

Up until about 9 days ago I believed Derek Carr was going to be the answer. I'm not as sure now, but I also don't believe Marcus Marriota is either (he won't suck). I do believe Rapeis Winston is the best player in the draft, and could definitely help the Raiders rape some fools, but you can't take him with first pick.

I also think I'd rather roll the Carr dice for another season, AT LEAST, and see what comes of it.

I also want to see Latavious Murray as the starting RB for the Raiders. Not sure of the bowl game, but he shredded Georgia like a sheet a couple of years ago. I was pretty shocked by that performance. AJ Green played that day so it wasn't like yesterday. But it happened.

Time for the Raiders to see what they have.

Oh, and please don't let what they have next season be Tony Sparano. Nice guy, and all, but c'mon. I know he has a condition regarding why he wears sunglasses indoors, and I feel for him, but still...he's wearing sunglasses indoors.

That's definitely a thing.


When Carson Palmer gets hurt I don't get upset. It's wrong to say that, but I just did.

You may not believe this but he just threw another pick for the my mind.


Sooo, Alabama is #1 because they handled Mississippi State with ease.

Mississippi State is #4 because they really played Alabama tough.

This is an argument/line of reasoning.

Now, I don't write the logic portion for the SAT, but I'm also not a complete effing moron.


I always thought Quarterbacks mattered in football. Guess not.

Based on college level ability, here we go:

1) Alabama - SEC - average quarterback

2) Oregon - PAC 12 - great quarterback

3) Florida St - ACC - great quarterback

4) Mississippi St - SEC - average quarterback (don't let them fool ya, ohh no...)

5) TCU - BIG 12 - very good quarterback

6) Ohio St - BIG 10 - very good quarterback

7) Baylor - BIG 12 - very good quarterback

8) Ole Miss - SEC - average/good quarterback

9) UCLA - PAC 12 - very good quarterback

10) Georgia - SEC - bad quarterback

11) Michigan St - BIG 10 - very good quarterback

Notice a trend here of which conference has some pretty average to shitty quarterback play?

Get ready for the "quarterback isn't that important anymore" conversation.


I will say this as a Buckeye fan, and not a blind one: there is no great team in college football this year, and probably not last year either. That said, if this is really about putting the best teams in the Top 4, and Ohio State was ranked 1st or 2nd when the season began, there's no reason they're not in that Top 4 now. Their current QB is better than Braxton Miller.

That said, it will all work out, and at least 3 of the best 4 teams will be in the mix, which is more than you can hope for.

I like the system, but the Rose Bowl should be removed from it. Orange, Fiesta, Sugar rotation, and the Rose goes back. There's a chance Ohio State doesn't make it, and neither a Pac 10 or Big 10 team is in the Rose Bowl. That's disgusting.


Has Lebron James turned Kevin Love into Ryan Anderson? We'll soon see.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quick Thoughts on Politics

I will admit to not paying much attention to national politics anymore. The game is just silly at this point. As long as there is a free flow of money in campaigns we will never have an honest system. That our political system is a business just typifies all that is wrong with the country in general.

Not EVERYTHING needs to be a business.

But beyond that I will say this: Democrats didn't get slaughtered because of President Obama's policies, or anything President Obama did. They got slaughtered because they refused to stand behind the things that he has done, and in some cases even going so far as to not being able to admit voting for the man.

In the state of Kentucky, the Affordable Care Act is helping so many people get insurance, and therefore live more productive lives. In light of this, Candidate Grimes chose to act as if Obama is the problem, rather than embrace it. Someone like this deserves to lose when they cannot acknowledge the benefits of a program she herself supports. If you cannot standby your record, then you're not worthy of any office.

While it may be true President Obama doesn't do enough to help candidates, these candidates have not wanted it. The economy has done well, but not for regular folks. And yet people voted for Republicans. That an amazing mistake. Because Democrats couldn't capitalize in numbers. The health care bill will go down as revolutionary. Check the numbers. He didn't start the wars; the Republicans did. And yet the candidates bailed on him; not the other way around.

It's not an indictment of President Obama, or his policies. It's an indictment of candidates who, like their counterparts, chose to stand for nothing.

Meanwhile, I'm glad I live in a progressive place, run by Democrats, and is the most successful region in the world. It's not an accident.

Monday, November 3, 2014

How I'm Voting

My thoughts:

Prop 1: YES - Water Bond - While it is a corporate giveaway, I've come to realize in America, all things are. More important to me that people who don't have access to clean drinking water, get access to it.

Prop 2: NO - Gov Brown Rainy Day Fund - I don't think so. It's currently raining, and we need money on things happening now.

Prop 45 - YES - Initiative to regulate insurance rates - Forces insurance companies to justify hikes. Medical and Insurance account for 20+% of the US Economy. That's disgusting. And these companies are too rich.

Prop 46 - YES - Higher Med Malpractice Penalties/Drug Testing Doctors - Haven't adjusted penalties for inflation in 40 years. And while I think it's wrong to drug test doctors, I am voting for this because I want the drafters to recognize they have support on part of this issue. Do away with the drug testing part, but change the rates issue.

Prop 47 - YES - Smaller Sentencing for Non-violent Criminals - This is such an obvious issue. It's time to rollback years and years of racist policies enacted throughout the 80s. Plus, it cuts costs to taxpayers, and helps take away money from the prison INDUSTRY.

Prop 48 - NO - Referendum on Indian Gaming - While most labor groups support this, I am vehemently against it. Yes, these things create jobs. BUT Casinos are terrible for society across the board, and do nothing to help municipalities become better places to live. All they do is move money from one area to another, and leave a wake of the dead behind.

Show me a classy town that has gambling as it's primary source of income.

Mayor: Jean Quan.

I've seen all the pretty ads, and the new faces, etc. etc. I like Libby Schaff, Joe Tuman, and others. But when I think about it logically, Oakland continues to become a place people want to be. All around me things are getting better. None of these candidates is going to change the direction for the better, imo, so I may as well stay with the horse that got this town where it is now.

She ain't perfect, but she isn't causing any real problems.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting Fired Kinda Blows

I think the headline probably gives this away, so yeah, my radio station cut me loose.

I'm fine with it. I had been contemplating quitting for a number of weeks, so now that decision was made for me.

I really came to like a lot of people at Cumulus-SF. I think I developed a personal relationship with nearly everyone in the building, and that means something to me. For I liked nearly everyone there, and made it a point to get to know people. I'm truly interested in other peoples' lives, and trying to be a positive influence in their lives, even if I show it in strange ways.

Paul Hosley, Jared Hart and Ron Escarsega gave me a chance to do something I love very much, in a big market. And while I was not always the easiest person to work with, I really did appreciate that they are/were professional radio people who truly love the medium. We had our ups and downs, but creative people will.

When the people who gave you a shot leave, or get blown out, it's usually not a good sign for yourself.

For the sake of the employees at the station(s), I hope it works out for them too. The radio business these days is not what it was when I began, and on many levels it's hard to watch it change from the inside. That said, I believe in radio, and think the right people will find solutions to what has become a self-created problem. But please, stop hiring the people who helped caused the problems, and tasking them with fixing the problems. It is not going to work.

As for now, I probably need to take a step back and focus on my writing (things are late; people are angry). Maybe I'll continue the pursuit in radio, but the more I think about it in light of the environment, the less appealing it seems to me. But maybe that changes when the dust settles? We'll see.

Thanks for listening (if you did) and being supportive.

And thanks to all the people who wrote, called, and reached out. It's appreciated. But believe me, I'm okay with it. I was resigned to this weeks ago.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Been Awhile...


Rutgers vs Ohio State

It would not cause me much pain see Rutgers beat Ohio State this weekend. Growing up Rutgers did not have a good football program. I went to 3 games, of which Bryan Fortay started two of them, of which he was replaced by Ray Lucas in one of them. I never believed RU should strive to be a major college football player, but they did. On the back of Rikki Cook they were going to make it happen, even if it was a few years later when they landed their best all time recruit Anthony Davis.

In short, there was never a reason to take Rutgers football seriously, and on many levels, there still is not.

It took me attending Ohio State for a couple of years to recognize what college football truly is, and I've remained a steadfast fan ever since. Although my love has certainly waned in recent years.

All that said, when the two teams square off this weekend for the first time (at least in my life time), I won't be rooting for either team. Whichever way it ends up I will certainly be satisfied in the end. Yet at the end of the day there would be something satisfying about watching my hometown team win in Columbus.

It won't happen.


Jameis Winston is a rapist. Florida State is trying to figure out how to cut bait without landing a lot of influential people in the shark's mouth. That's the reason for the delay, in my opinion.

To this day I ask: what was the women's motivation? Winston was not yet a star. Winston hadn't won a Heisman trophy. Winston wasn't even the starter on the football team when she made the accusation. Winston has no money, or at least he didn't then (at least no money you could win through a lawsuit).

There was no motivation. Her life is forever scarred.

Winston seems like the type of kid who has never known responsibility. The way he acts on the football field gives off the impression he believes someone will fix this for him. Someone always has. He knows no punishment, so he just goes about being him.

The NYTimes piece on Winston and FSU is an indictment of Winston, Tallahassee, the process, the NCAA, and college football. I'd suggest reading it.

Again, they're looking for a way to move on to the clean cut white kid from New Jersey.

Who didn't choose Rutgers...

Todd Gurley

He's a moron.

It's absurd that he can't do what he did, but he can't. And he did.

The rules are terrible, the process is terrible, the injustices abound. But he's a moron.

All that said, Gurley is a wrecking ball. Every carry he makes, and has made, has taken off days from his NFL career. Players used to rarely play as freshman and sophomores, but Gurley has, and it has taken a toll. The concept of the NFL not allowing kids into the league until they are juniors has officially become unfair, especially to running backs who are still growing. Players at other positions don't take nearly the level of beating a running back does, and these kids are still growing.

I have no proof of this, but I believe the body has finite growth, and recovering from injuries in itself is a form of growth. When you have 18 year old kids going against 300 pound men it will stunt some form of growth. And with that it stunts the careers of people like Toddy Gurley.

It's unfair. It's wrong. But...

He's a moron.

Fantasy & NFL

Justin Hunter is not yet the player I thought he'd be.

Odell Beckham is. He was in college, and will be in the NFL. Can't wait.

Sucks about Victor Cruz. Tough to watch. But he makes a lot of money, so he'll live.

Jeremy Hill is one of the 10 best Running Backs in the NFL. You'll see.

I don't know who's going to be in the Superbowl, but I know who won't be: The Cowboys.

I figure Demarco Murray has about 6-7 games left this season.

Mission Soccer

If anyone heard my show this past weekend you know I'm passionate about the gentrification situation in San Francisco, which was on full display because of the Mission Playground Soccer field.

As I mentioned, that field should never be rented. Yet since it was available to be rented, certain adults, many of them white, took advantage of it. This ended up being a bad scene/situation.

Go listen to my show if you want to hear my take on it. In summation, watching gentrification play out in a public conversation, that isn't a protest, is very uncomfortable. The primary reason is there seems to be a gap between the two groups; one that the largely Latino group is never going to cross. That's not necessarily true across the board, but that's the emotion I felt THEY sensed when I watched the video.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jerry, Nixon, Barry and Dubya

First things first, today is the 19th anniversary of the man who is arguably America's greatest musician; at the very least, most influential modern musician.


As he affected my life, for without Jerry it is highly unlikely I come to live here. Which means so many things, like having never met my wife, just to name one. But in truth countless friends of mine, and friends of theirs, made their way to this coast because of Jerry. Much of my life has been affected by his, a man I never came close to meeting.

He transcends music, and was representative of so much what San Francisco and the greater Bay Area have come to mean. I am hopeful the Bay Area retains some semblance of what it was like when Jerry lived and breathed in these parts.

There will never be another.

On the other side of all that was good, it's the anniversary weekend of the final act of another famous Californian, the disgraced President, Richard M. Nixon. It was August 8, 1974 when he resigned from office.

There's not much I can say about Nixon that has not been said already, so I won't bore you in an area I'm not completely versed in.

However, I will bore you with something else tangentially related, which if you follow the news, read facebook, or engage in message board banter, you likely encountered the last 24 hours or so. The puppet-like refrain from idiot conservatives who say things like, "Obama is worse than Nixon ever was!"

It is to be expected. It is stupid. It is ignorant. It is to be expected. If conservatives are one thing, it is predictable (and dumb).

I'm not going to point out how false comments like these are because it only furthers a pointless conversation that is a waste of time, which is what conservatives hope to achieve. The debate itself gets them closer to a hoped for equivalence. But I will point out WHY this is said, if it's not entirely obvious already.

Conservatives look at politics as a money making opportunity, when not being used as a vehicle to advance some religious ideology (yes, these things often go hand in hand as well). They have been on the losing end of most political scandals in modern times, which is why you'll always hear about blowjobs in the oval office, and other not-so-scandalous scenarios. In fact, every false-scandal is raised up to the level of a high crime in the HOPE something can come of it. It's like death by a thousand cuts, and guilt by association. For if you can accuse people of everything, and one thing does stick, they all the other accusations have to be RECONSIDERED! That's their game. Unfortunately for the part of the moronic, their guy Nixon committed a major crime, and left the White House in disgrace. Since that time everything has been labeled Thisgate, Thatgate, Othergate, which is so incredibly annoying, but probably even more so for the party responsible for the Watergate burglary, and all that comes with it.

Republicans have tried for years to even clear the names of those involved with Nixon and Watergate, even going so far as to make G. Gordon Liddy an American hero and patriot in more modern times. It's embarrassing. They want to scrub the past cleaner than a Ben Roethlisberger bathroom. And can you blame them? Politics is a money-making business to them, which is usually what gets them into trouble in the first place, but that's hardly the point.

The point is this: Republicans gave us Nixon. They gave us Reagan. They gave us George W. Bush. With these presidents have comes a lot of debts, deficits, wars, and lies. Tax cuts don't work, wars don't create democracies, cheaters get caught, the rich get richer, etc. Yet most recently they gave us Bush, who was by far the worst President/Leader of any first world nation I can think of. And since the conservatives/Republicans KNOW he's the cause of most of our problems CURRENTLY, they have needed to lash out in defense. They want revenge for being told how awful they are for voting Bush in. They want revenge for being called morons. They want revenge for taking it on the chin as long as they did, even if they deserved it. They are angry Democrats and liberals constantly pointed out how awful Bush was/is. So they want revenge. They want their turn. Even if it's not warranted or earned. They they believe they have a right to give it back just as hard as they took it, even if it's illogical. Yet logic has never been their game.

Whether the revenge is deserved, or the ire comparable, is not relevant to them. Facts don't matter. What matters is simply revenge. I cannot say it enough. Wanting to make politics a game. Wanting to make sure they can steal dollars from constituents bank accounts. They need Obama to be worse than Nixon. They need Obama to be worse than Bush. They need this because it's their industry, and it's their ego.

They need their puppet-like minions to become keyboard warriors, tackle facebook and twitter, slam Obama, compare him to Hitler, make him worse than Nixon. They need all of it. Any of it true? Of course not. That's hardly relevant, or the point. They'll have the fights on social media, but not one of them could truly engage in hard facts regarding what would make Obama worse than Nixon or Bush. They can't do it because it's wholly untrue. It's laughable. They're laughable.

So when you hear some shmuck saying "Obama is worse than Nixon" or "Obama is worse than Bush" , recognize you're talking to a sad, butt-hurt, likely white, male, and angry human being, who cannot face up to the realities of this world. A world where his kind is still in charge, but not enough for their liking.

A person who is so jaded and clueless as to not be taken seriously.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Conservatives and Jews

Generalizations are on the one hand pointless, but on the other hand often pretty accurate. For example I could say, "Jews are Democrats" and that would largely be true since a super majority of Jews vote for Democrats. I also feel comfortable in saying, "Most conservative Southerners don't care about Jews." That's just a gut feeling, but one based on an aspect of America's particular racism.

Of course there are hardcore Conservative Jews in America, but most of the time the issue that binds them to the hardcore Christian Right is economic; not religious. In this scenario both the US Jews and Christians are willing to overlook the other's extreme position in favor of their own, as long as they're helping each other TODAY.

On the one hand you have Christians who want Jews to accept Jesus upon his return, or die, and on the other you have certain Jewish business-types who profit off of cheap labor and general conservative stupidity. Both often voting for the same politician.

It cuts both ways. I can make a similar argument for the Democrats, but the key difference here is the "capitalist" aspect of things.

Since Democrats and liberals don't base EVERYTHING they do on whether it garners a financial return, they're less likely to sell out their core beliefs for a dollar. Yet for many conservatives in America it is the almighty dollar that is their ONLY belief, or at the very least, the most important one. Political issues are merely opportunities to make more money, regardless of the specifics.

And this is what we're seeing now with conservatives getting all loud, and favoring everything Israel does or says, without hesitation. You're hearing on FOX News, on radio, and right-wing websites. When I saw an article from Glenn Beck's "Blaze" website linking people to Howard Stern defending Jews I knew exactly where this is headed.

For years and years Conservatives just figured, like James A. Baker III, "Fuck the Jews...they don't vote for us anyway." But now they see an opportunity to profit from the Jewish vote, and Jewish influence. Believe me, they still think the Jews can go fuck themselves, but note before grinding some shekels from them.

When I read comments on Facebook from soft-Jews like, "I can't believe FOX News is the only one getting this right!" I think of two things: 1) Those people are idiots and 2) By getting it right they mean 'favoring the Israeli perspective only.'

Don't get me wrong for I am 100% in support of what Israel is doing. There will be mistakes. People will die. Children will die. It will be ugly. War isn't pretty, and with it comes collateral damage. Whether I support Israel, or not, it's fucken ugly. But it's not Israel's fault. Aspects might be, like a missile astray, but that missile only flies because it's the fault of militant Muslims.

That said, I'm not a moron who all of a sudden believes in FOX News because they've decided to stake out an angle, like they do on every issue. If FOX sees a chance to make a dime, or have conservatives looking better, they'll take it. Because their news is OPINION news. Even if a particular story itself isn't opinionated, it's about how much you run a story, when, and where. For example, if FOX runs a story of an Israeli being killed 100 times, but only shows a hospital in Gaza being hit once, that's OPINION NEWS. It's meant to sway. And I'm not falling for it.

Just because other news outlets have been at best average, and more likely terrible, doesn't make FOX News good.

But I'll stick to the point.

Conservatives are ceasing this opportunity to profit on Jewish fears. That's all this is. They're hopeful Jewish dollars and media influence will somehow help them win elections. They no more care about Jews today than they did 5, 10, or 20 years ago, or at any other time in history.

From a conservative political perspective they're hopeful this conflict can make them look better among an influential sect of Jewish voters who know full well who's responsible for others wars. Conservatives are using this crisis to help erase the other foreign policy disasters they got us into. But in truth, all the other problems in the Middle East right now, including this one, are exacerbated by their horrific war mongering efforts. I for one don't forget that just because FOX News and douchebags like Michael Savage and Mark Levin sing a different tune. A tune they hope will just earn them more dollars; not because they give a shit about Jews, or anyone else for that matter.

As a religion Judaism borders on Socialism, which is completely at odds with what Conservatives believe. Jews pray as a people, and for people. Again, that's not in line with Conservative orthodoxy. Now of course you have the Jews who claim their support for Conservatives is based on a supposed willingness to back Israel at all costs. But that's a joke argument. Domestic American politics are quite different from Middle Eastern politics. That's just another excuse some people use in the hopes the American government lets them keep more money. Believe me, a lot of Jews favor their money over any other belief, including Israel's survival. There are many shitty Americanized Jews.

Conservatives are screaming about this in a hope to CAPITALIZE on a horrific situation. That's all this is about. They hope to sway an electorate, and the idiots on radio and television are just hoping to profit from it. It's disgusting, but it's par for the course. I would expect nothing less.

A member of the Likud wants to defend his country against imminent danger, just like any Liberal Jew in the United States. And a member of Likud wants all their citizens to have health care, just like a Liberal Jew in the US. A member of Likud believes in public education, just like a liberal Jew in the US.

In other words, a Conservative Israeli is more closely aligned to a liberal US Jew than a Conservative US Jew. In fact, the Conservative US Jew is pretty much to the right of every single person in every single first world country. They just want to trick you into thinking their movement is something other than that.

Nothing in this conflict will stop me from believing America needs public health care, public education, public support for the needy, and countless other things. No matter how much money I make in my life, that will never change. That's the core of who I am, taught to me by Jewish parents, who know right from wrong. Nothing that happens in Israel today, tomorrow, or going forward is going to change my belief in these things. And that's what a real American Jew is supposed to look like.

An Atheist Jew, no less.

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Hate United

A couple of months ago I signed up for the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card from Chase. I did so because I was taking a trip to Italy, and during the booking process they made me an offer to get the card. Figuring it was time for a new card, and that I could get some benefits out of it, I bit.

One of the reasons I bit was because I was told I could get a "free bag" on my flights, which at the time were many. After signing up for the card I then used miles to head from SFO to EWR to see my family. At the counter I showed my new card, figuring I'd get the free bag. Nope. No free bag. I explained the situation to the woman at the desk and she said, "Yeah, they do that to a lot of people. I hear that all the time..."

No free bag. Pay for bag.

Since I'm from Jersey, I used Continental for a lonnnnnng time. Then moving to the Bay Area I stuck it out through the merge. I knew it would be a disastrous situation for regular folks like me, but I didn't realize I would come to hate flying on United.

On the most recent flights to across the country from SFO-EWR, and back, the planes didn't have televisions. They did have a new internet program where you were billed by the hour. Even though I paid for it 2-3 times, it never worked. I filmed the entire process on my phone, in case anyone really wanted to see it, but instead it just sits on my phone. So they bilked me for $4-5. Was I going to really complain about that? I wondered how many other people were taken for a couple of bucks while their internet service didn't work. Worth noting, there were a couple of levels of service you could pay for, and after the first one didn't work, I went up to the second, and paid that. I'd have to check my bill for the exact cost, but bottom line: it didn't work.

Win for United.

No TVs. No internet. Whatever. It's only 2014, on a brand new plane.

Okay, fast forward to last week.

I'm in Las Vegas to see BJ fight. It was his last fight; he asked me to go; was a last second thing, etc. etc. So instead of forking over the high price ticket to fly a short distance, I used miles. Was like 20,000 and $75. I wasn't happy doing it, but what the heck?

I decide on the Monday, the day I was leaving, that I'd catch an earlier flight than my 6:45p. I call the airline and ask about standby, and I'm told there are 3 other flights available, but that I probably won't make the first. The woman on the phone tells me, "I can't guarantee anything, but there are seats on the next flight. You can go online and look to give yourself the best idea." She also tells me, when asked 'what else do I need to know?', "All you have to do is show up at the airport 2 hours in advance and check in with the front desk."

Mind you, my flight is at 6:45. I get there before 1pm so I can get on the 4ish flight. I'm early. I check in, and they say, "Yeah, you can use the kiosk, and they'll ask you for $75, which won't be charged to you unless you make the flight."

"$75? Since when?"

"That's always been our policy."

"No it hasn't...I even spoke to someone. She didn't say a word."

"Sorry, that's our policy. You can still fly on your original flight for no fee."


I thought to myself, 'I could be at my hotel right now, enjoying my day, playing poker, or maybe sitting by the pool. But now I'm stuck here. I just took a $25 cab ride to get here, so to go back is another $25. And then another $25. Which is $50..." Needless to say, I wasn't happy. So I ponied up the $75 to fly standby on a flight that looked to have a lot of open seats when I checked back in the hotel room because what the hell I'm already here.

The good thing is, if I don't get on the standby flight I get the $75 back. Ahhh, but there's a catch to all of this. Anyone know what it is? Anyone? Anyone?

I not only didn't get on the flight, but I ALSO DIDN'T GET MY MONEY BACK! Yep, it's still on my credit card (I just called Chase, and they tell me to call United. I figured I'd just waste my own time first writing this blog post before I dealt with their b.s.)

Allow me to backup for a second. I ALMOST got on the flight though. According to the monitor overhead at Gate 52, I was second to board if there was an empty seat. I was right behind a person named V. SAH, or some shit like that.

I see another guy speaking to a woman at the desk, and he looks determined to board, so I hop to. I tell her, "the board says I'm second if there are seats."

"Yes, sir."

So, there are seats, and a person who's last name is something like "Sahvri" is standing by the doorway, as the flight has boarded. And another person says, "Ms. Sahvri, here's your ticket." So then I step up and say, "I guess I'm next?"

"No. This gentleman is actually before you." His name isn't "Sah" anything. It's like "Park." I thought to stare at his bag tag because that's who I am.

And I said, "But I'm second over Ms. Sahvahahahahahaha...whatever..."

"No, you're after this gentleman. He was before you."

"But he's not. Look up at the board!" They hand him a ticket.

I don't get on the plane. I wait more hours. Meal 2 at the inexpensive airport cafes. Riiiiight.

I check credit card statement today. I am still billed.

I used to not mind flying. I used to fly a lot. I now fly United. I now have their credit card. I could not dislike a business that I've used more than I do United Airlines.

Every. Trip. Worse. Than. The. Next.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sirius Firing 'Antony'

If you're at all concerned with talk radio, and specifically the "Opie and Anthony Show", you are fully aware of the decision by Sirius to part ways with "Ant", aka, Anthony Cumia.

A summary as to why goes like this:

Anthony was taking a photo of something in NYC, and a black woman was caught in the picture. She objected to this, and supposedly, according to Ant, attacked him for doing so. Apparently, he had a gun on him, and claims she's an idiot because he could have shot her. He didn't. But he did say many awful things about this woman, and to most regular people who are not apologists of 'Ant', it all seemed pretty racist.

The word nigger was never used, but he alluded to many things which seem even worse than that, if it's possible. Instead of just saying the-enn-word, he beat around the bush, and called her many other things via his Twitter account, which I'm told may have been deleted.

Sirius XM fired him over this. Greg Hughes, aka, Opie, remains.

Diehard fans are unhappy.

In no way do I think Sirius is wrong for firing him. He crossed the line, again, between what is decent and acceptable for a public company. They've allowed him, as have others, to toe that line his entire career. Some are arguing this has nothing to do with his "career" since it was not on the air; and that he was outside of the job.


He wrote these things on Twitter. I imagine he uses the show to promote his Twitter account, as well as other social media outlets. So in essence, the Twitter is part of the show. Without the show, no one follows him; no one cares. It's the new world we live in, and every public figure knows this. I consider everything I write on Twitter, and now this blog, since it is part of my show.

I am surprised Sirius XM had the guts to do it because the O & A show is a major part of why people use the service. Very gutsy, to say the least. They would have taken a bigger backlash than Rush Limbaugh did from Sandra Fluke, I can guarantee it. And Limbaugh, worst cases, loses some listeners. Free listeners. Sirius? They lose paying customers, and they know this. Yet I'm still surprised they had the guts. Kudos to them for taking the risk of firing one of their only stars. I'm sure someone from Harvard Business School did the math...

But make no mistake. I absolutely think this guy should be fired. If people want to follow him to his own internet show, good for him; good for them. If they want to support a person who makes racists comments and denigrates all types of people, so be it. It's their right. He just shouldn't be representing any corporation or business he does not own.

I'll admit I used to love the show when I worked at WNEW years ago. The guy is an incredible talent. I appreciate the line between what is right and what is wrong. What is in jest. What is merely entertainment, and what is not. It's not always easy to carve that out in a perfect way. But Antony has been living on a thin line for years and years. Crossing it a number of times, and losing jobs because of it. Now he seems over the cliff. Is there water or rocks below? Who knows.

He went too far. And if you're really upset because you like the man, and it somehow hurts your life, maybe consider for a moment how racist comments like his hurt the lives of so many others even more than it helps your own. Sorry, but your entertainment needs to take a back seat to society's concerns.

Here's a link to his Twitter Comments

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Questions NOT Being Asked About BJ Penn

I have read a few articles about BJ Penn's recent loss to Frankie Edgar this past Sunday, and every one of them is seemingly focused on his approach to the fight. Most people are suggesting the reason he lost was his unorthodox fighting style, which looked to be a cross between a Muay Thai stance and a guy with a stick up his ass. Needless to say, it did not work out very well. This we can all agree.

Yet the reality of it all is Penn didn't lose the fight boxing Edgar. Rather, he was beaten with elbows while lying on his back. Now I'll admit he was not highly effective standing, in addition to being poor on the ground. I do not think this style was ever going to work because while it was meant to keep him out of Edgar's range it also made him more susceptible to being taken down. Coupled with the fact that Edgar has a longer reach, and is the quicker puncher, it was a recipe for disaster...on the feet.

I have not had a chance to speak to Penn. I'm guessing he's not in a mental space where he wants to discuss the nuances of this fight with someone who writes and talks for a living. However, I did hear from Jason Parillo after the fight, and he too was confused by the style. Parillo was not part of this game plan, and was only involved the final week in Las Vegas; merely in a supportive, cage-side role. Again, not a good situation.

All of this is certainly worth questioning, there is no doubt.

Yet we need to elsewhere, and discuss an even bigger aspect to this fight worth addressing.

Penn was EXHAUSTED after the first round of this fight. Why? For the first time since he fought Georges St-Pierre he sat down on the stool after round 1 (I may be wrong about this, but I think I'm right). He spent nearly half the first round on his back, and wasn't trying to get off the mat. Why is that? Anyone asking that question?

Before the fight began I had the pleasure of being seated next to Edgar's Father-in-Law. Inside the arena they were broadcasting footage of Penn backstage, warming up. Looking at his face he almost looked sick, as if he was STILL cutting weight. Edgar's Father-in-Law said, "He looks exhausted!" My friend seated next to me said, "He does." I could not deny it, but I did not want to believe that was the case. But it was.

When Penn finally emerged from the locker room his energy level seemed lower than it had ever been before a fight. Another employee of the UFC said to me post-fight, "When BJ used to emerge from the locker room he had an uncontrollable energy that couldn't be harnessed! Tonight he looked dead!"

Again, I agreed.

While backstage I overheard someone say, "Frankie outweighed BJ...BJ only weighs like 150 pounds."

I wondered to myself, 'How in the world is that possible? How did he not balloon up to 162?" Which was about his walk around weight leading up to the fight? How come EVERY FIGHTER I'VE EVER MET balloons up at least 12lbs after weigh-in, but Penn only gained 4-5 pounds? I mean, I once watched Jamie Varner weight in at 155 against Marcus Hicks and fight at 182. I saw Anthony Johnson fight Josh Koscheck at 215 after weighing 170 the day before! Edgar comes into the cage at least 155. But Penn weighs 150? Why?

MMA writer Josh Gross replied to a tweet of mine when I asked this very question. He suggested "because he cut to 145?"

That's the simplistic response; the one people might assume is the case. Throughout the training there was no question he would make weight. It was not even a problem. He fought Rory MacDonald at 166. Presumably he left the cage that night at 158. Penn is not a large person, so making the weight would never be the issue even if people think he was "out of shape" (he never was, but that's a story for a different day).

So yes, I agree his stance wasn't great. But that's not where he lost. He lost on the ground. He couldn't control the smaller man. In other words, he had no strength. He had no stamina. No power. Physically, he had nothing. It was the weakest he has ever been for a fight.

And he trained hard, and MADE WEIGHT.

So why isn't anyone asking about WHO TRAINED HIM? And whether or not Dolce's supposed mastery strength program is really all it's cracked up to be? It may be good for SOME fighters, but how is it that Penn looked dead to the world, couldn't add on any weight, and lost the fight before even leaving the locker room?

Know this: I'm no expert, but I've been around. Every single person who knows me within the realm of MMA would not deny I know my shit. Be it Parillo, Dellagrotte, Ed Soares, countless referees, countless fighters, and Penn included. I know sports. I know athletes. I was an athlete. I've covered many. I know what a trained athlete looks like. That was not an athlete ready to compete. Just because a guy looks thin and has muscles means nothing. Heck, I've seen heroin addicts with those traits.

Just because BJ made weight doesn't mean he had strength, power, or endurance.

These are the questions I want answered. Forget the stance. It was terrible. But why couldn't the most decorated U.S. BJJ fighter control a smaller man on his back after 1 round?


I've never been a Penn apologist, but focusing on the "stance" is the wrong debate. I am focused on why he looked like a walking corpse.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sorry Mexico, He Made the Right Call

After watching the foul given to Arjen Robben in the Netherlands/Mexico game enough times, my belief is confirmed: It was a foul.

Did Robben exaggerate the foul, which may have led to a call? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a foul. In fact, had Robben not exaggerated, the ref probably doesn't give him the penalty. However, that's the ref's fault; not Robben's.

A foul is awarded when a player obstructs another player. He doesn't have to be tripped. The player doesn't have to hit the ground. And Robben was CLEARLY obstructed. Had he merely stumbled over Marquez's leg, and almost got the ball, the ref likely doesn't make the call. But in such a moment, why should Robben do that? He was obstructed. Marquez missed the ball. He hit his foot, and nothing else. Knowing this, Robben exaggerated the play and received the call.

Make no mistake though: it was a foul. Not as bad as it looked, but knowing the refs, he had to let them see it.

Now we have the Mexican Coach going bananas over the call, and claiming "El Tri" is out of the cup because of it. It's a convenient excuse, and if I were him I'd be repeating it over and over. That's because he decided at the 57th minute of the game to take his best player off the field, and attempt to try and hold off one of the world's best offenses for 35 minutes. Instead of making his best defense a good offense, he attempted a shell. When that happened, Mexico lost. The Netherlands were marching down the field for most of the second half, and dominating. But Coach Herrera doesn't want to focus on that. No. He wants to focus on the foul.

In other words, ignore his weak decision to try and maintain a soft one goal lead against a world power.

Well guess what? He's wrong on both accounts.

And if you don't want a penalty to be called, keep the opponent out of the box. Mexico couldn't do that for nearly an entire half.

That's why they lost.

Not because Robben forced the ref to make the RIGHT call.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The MEAT of Gary Oldman's Comments

From Playboy:

PLAYBOY: What would you do with fuck-you money?

OLDMAN: Well, I sometimes joke that I would just slip away to Palm Springs or someplace and close the gates, find refuge behind the hedges. Right now, for instance, just financing a film, getting studios to part with their money and the sorts of things studios are doing, it’s just a crazy, crazy time. I have a script I’ve written called Flying Horse. It’s about Eadweard Muybridge, the 19th century photographer who arguably invented cinema and had a very interesting life. It’s been nearly two years trying to get money. I have my cast pretty much, but the funding isn’t there. Partly it’s the subject. If it had zombies and Leonardo DiCaprio in it, people would be falling over me.

If you haven’t seen Seduced and Abandoned, you should. It’s a documentary with Alec Baldwin about raising money at the Cannes Film Festival. They try to finance a fictional movie that’s a little like Last Tango in Paris. You see how insane these people are. One guy actually turns to Alec and says, “You were great in that submarine movie. Do you think you could have a scene in this one that takes place on a submarine?” I can understand why someone like Mel, for instance, would finance his own movies now, because it has all become so crazy.

PLAYBOY: Mel Gibson?


PLAYBOY: What do you think about what he’s gone through these past few years?

OLDMAN: [Fidgets in his seat] I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it. I heard about a science teacher who was teaching that God made the earth and God made everything and that if you believe anything else you’re stupid. A Buddhist kid in the class got very upset about this, so the parents went in and are suing the school! The school is changing its curriculum! I thought, All right, go to the school and complain about it and then that’s the end of it. But they’re going to sue! No one can take a joke anymore.

I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say “the N word” and “the F word,” though there are two F words now.

PLAYBOY: The three-letter one?

OLDMAN: Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute. Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?

PLAYBOY: What do you think of the pope?

OLDMAN: Oh, fuck the pope! [laughs and puts head in hands] So this interview has gone very badly. You have to edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.

PLAYBOY: You’re not a bigot?

OLDMAN: No, but I’m defending all the wrong people. I’m saying Mel’s all right, Alec’s a good guy. So how do I come across? Angry?

PLAYBOY: Passionate, certainly. Readers will have to form their own opinions.

OLDMAN: It’s dishonesty that frustrates me most. I can’t bear double standards. It gets under my skin more than anything.

PLAYBOY: Who speaks the truth in this culture, in your opinion?

OLDMAN: There are a number of people. A voice I particularly like is Charles Kraut-hammer. I think he’s incredibly smart. I think he’s fair, very savvy and politically insightful, so I enjoy watching him. There are artists as well, like David Bowie, where there’s an autonomy. He recorded his most recent album and didn’t even announce he was doing it. He was in a position where he thought, Listen, I haven’t produced anything for 10 years. If this is no good, then I can just put it in a cupboard and no one need ever know. But he wrote the songs, picked the cover. I’ve always admired David. I’ve known him about 30 years. We’re friends. And David can constantly reinvent himself because he’s so talented. He has a point of view.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


We call it that here, and it's fine.

When explaining to a 10 year old, which I do often, the difference between passing the ball to the lead outside foot, as opposed to both of his feet head on, they immediately understand the difference. For if I pass the ball to a teammate's lead foot, going forward, I am instructing him to do something: GO FORWARD. My pass has told him that, but you can't hear it.

If I pass it straight to my teammate's feet, not in front, or behind, I'm telling him something completely different: Scan the field...maybe pass it back to me.

But lets say my teammate is making a run from the outside into the middle of the field, and I pass a ball to him that is right at his two feet, while he's on the move. Is that good, or bad? What if he has to pause for half of a second to gather it, push it forward, and find an open man? Is that different from me passing him the ball slightly in front of his run? I mean, he can't use his hands to catch it, and then run, right? He has to gather it with his feet, while running, keeping his head down to gather ball, but also looking up to see what's happening at the same time, right? Because if another teammate is making a run from the opposite side of the field, slashing inside, behind a defender, it matters if my initial pass is slightly in front of my teammate, right at his feet, or slightly behind.


It usually isn't.

But I'll wait for it. I'll watch for hours until it happens.


Everything I do is a conversation with another player, at all times. And the conversation is changing every second.

Mistakes are magnified in ways you'll never see. You see a guy passing the ball slightly behind a guy. Me? I see a guy who if he had played the ball in front of the guy he would have seen his teammate streaking in for the next pass; maybe a shot on goal. I see a guy whose head I want to tear off for being lazy with his pass, and not precise. You see nothing. You see "it's boring." I see? Opportunity missed. Opportunity lost. And the field will NEVER look the same again.

And when I explain to a 10 year old, for the first time, the importance of making the right pass at the right time, they get it. In that moment, they start to recognize that it's not just sport, but it's chess on the run. It's strategy. It's precision. It's patience. It's beautiful. It's teamwork. It's hours of training. It's impossible. But when it is possible?

It's heaven. It's beauty. It's life. It's everything.

For those of you who don't get it? Truth is, I'm sorry for you. It's truly your loss. Go throw a ball into a hoop, and like a simpleton, enjoy that. Sometimes I do. In fact, I'm damn good at it. When I play like Pete Carill would have wanted I think about soccer.

If you think it's impressive that a Quarterback can throw a ball to a player whose feet get to do one thing, hands another, with the QB knowing exactly where he'll be, then you have no idea about the essence of this game we call soccer. That amazing play? It's easy.

If that's what's "heaven" for you, again, I'm sorry for you.

For those of you who think shooting a basketball 24 feet into a hoop, or dunking it, is awesome? Great. At times it is.

Soccer it is not.

The guy to my left has no idea what soccer is, but he loves it, watches it, and roots for his team. Hopefully he's learning. Maybe I'm willing to explain.

I love it because I understand it to an entirely different level from this guy on my left, and like him, it moves me. It's joy, it's pain, with every pass. Every play.

The guy on my right? He can't even stand to watch because he knows more than I'll ever know. He's levels above my understanding. It's his joy. And his pain. Both those things are magnified compared to mine. The more you know, the more you feel it.

When all is said and done, it's a sport like no other. As unpredictable as the weather. And as beautiful as well.

For those of you that don't understand what a 10 year old gets to learn, I'm sorry your dad gave you a bat and a glove. he deprived you. He should have made you play.

And for those of you who can't understand how something so "boring" can illicit so much joy in others, pause for a moment. Who is right here: the faithful with experience, or the unknowing without it?

For those of us who know about the intricacies of every single moment, consider yourself lucky. We have run, dribbled, passed, shot, settled, trapped, and volleyed. We get it. We're lucky to have done so. Especially as Americans.

Everyone else in the world knows other sports exist. They're allowed to play them. But they don't. It's not because they're bad sports, or that they can't do it. No. It's because they've played the most rewarding sport, and know it's the only one that truly matters.

In fact, there are days when I think it's the only thing that matters at all. And that's what draws us.

Again, I'm sorry for you if you don't get it. Try to learn to, but if not?

Shut the fuck up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kidnapping Soldiers

I have to say, one of the dumbest arguments I've heard the past two weeks by people like John Boehner and Mike Rogers. It goes something like this, "We negotiated with terrorists. Now they know we'll negotiate. Now our troops are more in danger of being kidnapped because they know there's value in that."

Seriously? Do you think: 1) Terrorists don't recognize the value in kidnapping our soldiers/Americans? 2) That the only thing preventing them from doing so is their own desire?

If they could kidnap our soldiers, they would kidnap our soldiers. They just can't. So they don't.

But for a moment, if you believe this nonsense, consider this: If in fact negotiating for Bowe Bergdahl's release did increase a terrorist's desire to kidnap our soldiers, isn't it quite possible then this would stop a terrorist from killing them?

Yeah, that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Judge Rules Tenure Unconstitutional in California Schools

I haven't read too much about this yet, but based on this, I have a feeling I would probably side with the judge:
In the ruling, Judge Treu agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that California’s current laws make it impossible to get rid of the system’s numerous low-performing and incompetent teachers; that seniority rules requiring the newest teachers to be laid off first were harmful; and that granting tenure to teachers after only two years on the job was farcical, offering far too little time for a fair assessment of their skills.

I believe in teachers unions. I believe in better pay for teachers. I believe in public educations.

I don't believe in maintaining poor teachers at the expense of students. There needs to be a system that protects both sides, but the kids probably need to come first in that equation.

It should be noted, Judge Treu is not some right-wing hack, which I so often see in Federal cases. He has decided a few high profile cases over the years, and I've agreed with him on the ones I've looked into.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Supporters and Detractors...Same People

Pretty awesome reading the Tweets of Conservatives who wanted Obama to bring home Bergdahl IMMEDIATELY, but now hate Obama for doing so. Are you surprised?

Quick Sports

I was wondering yesterday if there's a more unlikeable guy than Lebron James in sports (only afterward did he have to be carried off the court)?

Then I started wondering was it always this way, that so many athletes were sooo disliked?

In questioning this, the first team that came to mind were the Detroit Pistons from 1988-1991, led by Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Rodman. But they wanted you to dislike them. They termed themselves "The Bad Boys." The '85 Bears weren't universally disliked even if they were obnoxious. Guys like Tom Brady, you "hate" him on the field, but off it, do you really? There are countless other franchises, and specific teams, people have come to loathe, but I get the sense the dislike for certain athletes has changed quite a bit.

Is it the "me" culture that so many athletes seem to rejoice in being part of?

I'm not sure Lebron's TV special where he announced the taking of "his talents" to South Beach is the only reason for the dislike. I definitely didn't like him before that. The whole smacking of the chalk before games in Cleveland was pretty lame, and still is. It's quite "me", and I think that's very different now than it once was.

But it's not just Lebron. We hate Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'O, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Vick, Kobe, Tony Romo, and many more! Tebow, in his defense, is equally as loved, even if he's no longer an athlete.

Even with all those mentioned, I still dislike Lebron more, and there are dog-killers, liars and cheats in that list. Not sure why, either. Michael Jordan is the greatest hoopster ever, and he has a lot of skeletons in his closet. And while feared by opponents, and despised on the court by fans, he was pretty much universally loved for his greatness. Lebron? Meh.

Makes me wonder if the way we dislike athletes, and the reason(s), have changed? Have they changed, so now we dislike them more?

Vernon Davis's comments about his "brand" certainly aren't helping.

Oh, and with regard to the dislike for Lebron, it will only grow. My prediction is they'll win the title again, and him being carried off the court will be an image we see for the rest of our lives. I pray that's not the case.


Speaking of players who are hard to like...Colin Kaepernick epitomizes such an athlete. Yet he'll be in San Francisco for as long as they think it's necessary to pay him his guaranteed $60 Million dollars.

I can't back track from my beliefs about this guy, so I may as well state them again: I don't think he's a great quarterback, nor do I think he'll ever be one.

Can he win? Sure. He has proven that. BUT...can he win on his own is the question? Meaning, does he have the mental capacity to carry a team on his own shoulders the way a Steve Young did?

In my opinion, what Kaepernick lacks is the ability to throw players open when they're covered, to read defenses at a high level, and throw touch passes when necessary. When the pressure is on it seems he either has to have a specific play called for him in order to succeed, or he'll rely on the simplest option available, which teams can defend.

His flaws are hard to rectify at this level. You can either do it, or you cannot. Luckily for "Kaep", he has physical skills superior to most others, which tend to mask his deficiencies, but are dominant enough that a great coach can a lot out of them. At the same time, his primary skill is running, but usually Quarterbacks who run get themselves into trouble, be it a knee injury, concussion, you name it.

So I'll go out on a short limb here and say Kaepernick will not be the 49ers QB for 6 seasons, and will not be paid the entirety of his contract. Nor will he will the team a Superbowl.

Sorry, folks, but if history is a guide, NFL windows aren't open long. Kaepernick's low salary enabled the team to buy other players. His high salary will turn the table on that.


News that former University of North Carolina shooting guard Rashad McCants didn't do his own school work in college, and was merely there to play basketball, isn't very surprising. I would be a lot more surprised to learn the University of North Carolina didn't have a program to funnel their star athletes through school, and onto the playing area.

The most telling quote from the news story is this:

In 2014 Rashad McCants said, "College was a great experience, but looking back at it, now it's almost a tragedy because I spent a lot of my time in a class I didn't do anything in."

I asked a few months back on my radio show if these athlete-students would be better served if we took away athletic scholarships altogether. I still wonder this today. McCants, and countless others, have been shortchanged by the system that exists. Regardless of what you think about their "opportunity."

Of course, Head Coach Roy Williams is denying this ever took place.

"I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said. In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me. I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the University or me."
Stop lying. You knew. They all know.

So in addition to being a shitty basketball coach, he's also a dishonest leader of youth. Sweet. And please, don't kid yourself. He's a pretty shitty basketball coach.

There are undoubtedly a great number of athlete-students who do things the right way; taking their studies seriously; doing their own work; not getting into trouble. There is no doubt. In fact, maybe even the majority. However, there are countless others, many who are star athletes within different programs, that take the opposite road. All along the way the program is there to support them. I'm sure there's even a disconnect between those who do it right, and those who do it wrong, both sides not sharing with the other.

So when the defenders of Coach Williams, North Carolina, and every other school start to come out in support of these people and institutions, realize their collective defense means very little to the reality of what is actually happening. To no one's surprise.


Speaking of poor decisions by a college coach, Oregon's Dana Altman has some 'splainin' to do.

A female student at the school has accused 3 players of sexually assaulting her at a party. One of them already had a case pending against himself from another school!

Why would Coach Altman sign a transfer from Providence College who already was in the midst of a sexual abuse investigation?

Not a good look for the University of Nike.

I hate to judge a book by its cover, but after watching Jason Calliste throw a player to the floor, my gut told me this team has some serious discipline issues. It wasn't just this incident that made me question Oregon Athletics, but rather it was more the final straw. In addition to Colt Lyerla's drug issues, the snowball incident on campus, the players suspended from the Oregon team, and now this, Calliste's action was merely a summation of how I perceive them to be.

Win at all costs. Even if takes a few guys who may have assaulted women.


I understand why Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders are suing the team, and I'm sure the incidents aren't isolated to just the Raiders. I think it's wrong to grope anyone. I think it's wrong to underpay someone. I think it's wrong to force anyone to be publicly embarrassed (even if your job is sort of an embarrassing joke). I think all this is wrong.


I don't necessarily think it's wrong for their to be some type of weight requirement for cheerleaders. I mean, the job is to LOOK GOOD. And in America we define looking good as resembling someone who looks like this. If you don't want to live up to this standard then this line of work probably isn't for you. That, or maybe you should be a cheerleader in Nigeria or Ghana, where men seem to like heavier women.

But come on. I support most of your argument. That's just a bit too much even for me.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Bullshit

I'm listening to the Bowe Bergdahl, faux conservative outrage on the radio, and seeing it on TV. It's pretty lame, typical, but as to be expected.

I have no idea why we traded this guy for accused terrorists. It's not something I really think about much. My gut tells me there's more than meets the eye here, and that this trade merely represented something in return, like information. But again, I have no idea. One should assume the Obama Administration knew this guy may have abandoned his unit, and that a firestorm would begin because of it. So there had to be a reason they did it.

I will say this though: It's easy to be a reactionary, cancel parades, call this guy a traitor, all while he can't defend himself. That's easy. It makes people look like tough guys. It gives cover to people who nearly always support the military by allowing them this one time to say, "I wasn't for THAT guy!" It's easy.

What's hard though is asking why this guy may have abandoned his unit, if he in fact did. What made him take this course of action? Was it a mental issue? Was he always going to do this, or did the war do it to him? Did he show signs of "weakness", or an indication that he was "cracking?" And if so, did someone monitor him, or was he expected to go out onto the battlefield and shoot people, regardless of how he felt? Maybe had he gone back out there he would have killed some of his own? Sure, he signed up as a soldier who wanted to defend the country, but maybe he started to break during the war?

I ask these questions because what he did wasn't common, or seemingly normal. So if it was abnormal, why don't we start addressing the reasons that caused this in the first place before we place this guy behind bars?

Oh, I know why. Because those making the noise were the ones that put out soldiers there in the first place. An issue they've been ignoring since the war began.

I'm tired of listening to people who never fought in a war, and avoided serving in them, discuss how a war may have affected an individual.

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's a Dirty Job...

This article in the NYTIMES discuss how politicians in coal rich states are against Obama, and for coal, regardless of which party they're in. Democrats have a bigger problem here due to their connection to the President, but even they are hedging their bets.

Natalie E. Tennant, a Democrat running for an open seat in West Virginia, struck a similar tone. “I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy, and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs,” she said Monday, referring to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is proposing the emissions regulation.

Pollsters suggest it's not as big an issue as some may suggest:

“People on the Republican side overestimate the feelings for this and on our side, Democrats are scared for no reason,” said Andrew Baumann, a Democratic pollster. “Some Democrats assume anything about global warming is a political loser. And that’s just not the case.” He identified races in Colorado and Iowa, with growing renewable energy sectors, where confronting global warming can help the Democratic candidate in hard-fought Senate contests “if they play it correctly.”

I don't buy the above argument as it relates to coal. In the aforementioned states, global warming issues play differently. Iowa is about corn, and ethanol fuel, so you can win with Obama on that. Colorado is about snow, and how it affects their economy. Warming hurts that. In Virginia there's a diversity of issues, so the environment may not resonate at the same level as it does in Kentucky, but the coast/ocean does play a role.

In West Virginia and Kentucky they have very little to care about when it comes to the environment other than the effect on their jobs. Democrats either have to be for the jobs, or they will probably lose. Most people care about themselves, and the red states prove that every time.

The real issue here comes down to the honesty of the politician, many who are at the mercy of this issue. Clearly, the trend is toward cleaning up the environment, and trying to hold back problems related to warming. But that's a loser in red states. So you have to decide: do you stand on principle; do you stand for the environment, or do you stand for the short-term job aspect of your constituents, and votes against a cleaner environment going forward?

My gut tells me that regardless of the party the self-interested will always be just that.