Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Did You Even Know Cecil the Lion?

Did any of us really know Cecil the Lion?

I've seen this question bandied about quite a bit by the minority of people who think it's more than suitable to kill majestic creatures.


And to that I say, "That's not relevant," and "You're a fucking moron."

There are many things taking place every single day of our lives which we've come to accept because fighting against every injustice is exhausting. For example, most of us probably own some footwear or clothing made under squalid conditions, often by children, and we're not happy about it. Yet when a warehouse in India fell on top of people a few years ago, people were moved by the images; moved to act. Something was done about it. But no, before that day I was not aware of the poor and unsafe conditions specific to that particular Indian manufacturing plant.

Now I am.

Many of us take small actions to make sure things improve, but we don't dedicate every waking moment of our lives to the cause because we have other responsibilities. Now there are those out there who are stopping whaling boats, elephant poachers and the like, and I love those people for doing it. I'm glad someone told me I need to breakdown the plastic rings which hold soda cans together because Dolphins get caught in them. Thank you! And if those people weren't out there doing that for me, maybe I'd be motivated to fill the void, or one of you. I'm a believer that people should follow their passion(s), and that's not mine. Yet I'm thankful every day those people exist to make me a better person, and the world a better place. Yet that doesn't mean I need to know all of these things, all the time.

But when someone rubs your face in something in such a brazen way, without concern for humanity, while donning a perfect smile, you have every right to say, "THAT'S FUCKED UP! FUCK THAT GUY!" When an emotion is beyond your control then you know you're in the right place.

And most everyone felt the same way about Cecil the Lion, even if we didn't know of him previously.

There are norms. When you cross them, expect the wrath.

I know a number of people who go big game hunting, and I've said things to them directly. I even fought with an ex-girlfriend about the issue, and stopped talking to one of her friends because of it. Yes, I am judging you. That's really all I can do. Now everyone is judging Dr. Walter Palmer for, quite frankly, being a lowlife.

It takes MAJOR events for change to come about, and this is one of those "critical mass" moments.

Look, hunting is legal, I get it, and it should continue to be, but when you're killing something so you can hang it on your wall then you are a person of low class. What else can I tell you? That wasn't for food, or for some societal benefit, none of that. It was purely because you believe killing some beautiful animal in its home makes you some kind of a man.

Nothing could be further from the truth.


I have said on my radio show how I don't differentiate between animals because I eat animals. Now I'd prefer that I didn't, but quite frankly, I don't have the will power not to.

For the most part, I try and eat poultry. And yes, I do believe chickens (and many birds) are not the smartest species on earth. I think there's a spectrum, with humans sitting at the top and chickens somewhere close to the bottom. That's what I believe. Many would agree.

Therefore, if you want to go out with your gun and shoot some quail, or maybe even a chicken, that wouldn't keep me up at night. But if you went out into the wild and shot a Bald Fucking Eagle to hang on your mantle, that would piss me off to no end. Because we don't eat Bald Eagles, and they're gorgeous. Plus, they're often at risk of disappearing altogether.

When you make decisions in life you need to consider the larger world in which you operate. That goes for everybody, be it banker, doctor, lawyer, hunter, farmer, teacher, you name it. There are accepted societal norms, and you need to adhere to these things. Can you legally go out into the world and kill some lion? Yeah, you sure can. It's terrible, but you can do it. You're terrible, but you can do it. But when you decide to publish that cowardice to the world with a shit eating grin, expect to hear about it. Expect the wrath. Expect what happened to this idiot doctor.

He deserves worse than he's getting, and I hope the rest of you moron hunters are taking notice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Damn you, Roger!

So the news is: Tom Brady will be suspended 4 games by the NFL.

I'm just wondering how long before Roger Goodell officially loses his $40 Mil job.

I think we can all agree Brady was suspended 4 games solely because of Goodell's mishandling of every other high-profile situation, and his own credibility issue. Because in truth, "tampering" with footballs was hardly ever an issue, so much so teams have been filmed attempting to affect the balls in various ways, but nothing ever happened.

Yet the real question in all of this is why this took 6 months?

Answer: By the time Brady appeals the ruling the season will have begun, and the suspension will have come into effect. So yes, the greatest player of our generation will miss 4 games because Roger Goodell is inept. Because Brady challenged him, and did not get down on his knees for him, Goodell will injure both his career and legacy. He's that type of guy.

Do I think the Patriots "cheated" by letter of the law? Sure. Why not. Do I think they, or anyone else believed what they were doing rise to some high crime? No chance. This all happened because a) The Colts are a weak organization from the top down and b) Roger Goodell is a joke.

This could have been decided months ago.

Carry on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quick Sports

Lets start with the obvious: Shaquille O'Neal is amazing.

DeAndre Jordan.

Never has more been written about a marginal basketball than has about this man. I guess that's the genius of the new NBA collective bargaining agreement, where Free-For-All Agency keeps us discussing the NBA for a solid 2 months after the season ends.

Jordan signed his deal when, 2 weeks ago? And we're still talking about this guy? Impressive.

I read on Twitter this morning DeAndre went to sleep one night after agreeing to a deal with the Mavericks, but woke up having some reservations.

If ever there was something I needed to know today, it was this.

Get back to me when the Clippers aren't winning titles and DeAndre is riding the pine for much of the 4th quarter.

And btw, if my parents has named me DaVid, would that equate to the method of spelling used by DeAndre's parents? What is that?


We're in the "stretch four" era. How bummed out do you think Robert Horry was when he turned on his television two weeks ago, and the scrolling ticker across his screen read: Thunder to match Blazers offer of $70 Million to C/PF Enes Kanter...?


Yesterday I went from not caring much about Zach Johnson to now becoming a big fan.

Rick Reilly commented in 2007, shortly after Johnson mopped up Tiger Woods, et al, at Augusta "I think Zach Johnson, in 10 years, has a real chance to be your server at Olive Garden."

At the time I thought it was obnoxious, but I laughed. One of those "heh" moments. For me, Johnson's constant mentions and allusions to "Jesus" after winning the Masters were a bit of a turn off. Never been one who's into the constant expression of Gods after a victory, and he was one of the worst. More to the point, I never like it when people can't credit themselves with greatness, but to each their own. I got over it, but still wasn't rooting for the guy. Yesterday I had an ABJohnson mentality, and that went for Dustin too.

Then all of a sudden I was won over by the way Johnson handled himself yesterday. You can now consider me one of his biggest fans going forward. Gracious, humble, caring, competitive, everything you could want to see in a champion, living in a "me first world."

This guy can openly become a devil worshiper and I wouldn't care at this point. Actually, that'd be pretty amazing.

His whole life, Johnson has been the underdog, and now he's on the path toward golf immortality. Love it.

Tell you one thing, him working at Olive Garden is about the only thing that would get me into that place. I'm Italian. It's sacrilegious; even more than Satan himself.


Twitter is ablaze with "Jordan Spieth isn't the next Tiger Woods."

No shit.

Amazing, the things I don't learn on Twitter. Ever.

But if Spieth keeps playing golf like this, he'll be every bit as good as Tiger on the course, which is all I care about.

Lets put aside the obvious: Tiger is a once in a lifetime athlete, who came along at the right time, changed not only the game of golf but the culture as well. It's debatable he has done as much for golf as any athlete has ever done for their respective sport.

With that said, Spieth may end up being better at golf than Woods. No shit.

Now the likelihood is he won't be, and it's easy to get caught up in superlatives after 2 majors, but lets consider some of the details:

Tiger Woods propelled so many people into the game, and now we're seeing the fruits of this. All of these younger players we're seeing on the course today were motivated by Woods, and now they're competing against each other. Mickelson, Furyk, Harrington and a few others can keep up with these younger players, but Tiger can't. Yet Spieth looks to be the dominant player at a time when the sport has NEVER been more competitive.

Tiger was a physical prodigy, an athlete the tour had not yet witnessed. He forced other players to put down the cigars and pick up the curling irons. He also happened to be beating up on a tour of rather pedestrian golfers for a long time. It wasn't much different for Hogan, Nicklaus Player and Palmer who largely beat each other week in, week out. After all, WHO WAS EVEN PLAYING GOLF when those guys were winning?

Point is, Tiger's majors are more impressive than Jack's, in my opinion. And if Spieth can get to over half of Tiger's majors it would seem to me equally as impressive. The competition is as stiff as it has ever been, and Spieth looks like the type of person who can conquer it. Each week he's taking on someone's best, and that best is more difficult than what Woods faced 15 years ago. That's just a fact.

White, yellow, black, blue, orange, red, green, I don't care what anyone looks like - I care about watching greatness. If Spieth is the real deal, and I'm guessing he will be, it will be amazing to witness.


I've never been a huge fan of the baseball wildcard, but have come to accept it. For if there was no wildcard national league fans in cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago would be slowly moving toward the exits. That's a major issue right there. But I still have a few issues with it.

6 Wildcard teams have won the World Series since 1994, and last year both the Royals and Giants were the Wildcard teams. In 2008 the Cubs were swept by the Wildcard Dodgers in the opening round. All of these events confirmed my belief the Wildcard teams are fighting for their lives well before the playoffs begin, and that's an advantage to them. It's a mindset. The Cubs had the best record in baseball in '08, and coasted into the playoffs. They had already squeezed a few rounds of golf in before the Dodgers sent them back onto the course. Joe Torre's Dodgers were locked in, while Pinella's Cubs were busy laughing it up. Until game 1 was over, which is also when the series ended. Again, the mindset of being in the playoffs begins much earlier for the Wildcard team.

Adding the play-in game was a good addition by MLB, giving a real advantage to divisions winners. The Royals were a 1/2 inning away from being knocked out by the Oakland A's, but survived all the way to the last out of the World Series. They at least had to earn it.

Taking it further though, I'd like to see the #1 seed get 4 home games, with Wildcard team getting 1. That's stiff, but I'd like to see the regular season rewarded a bit more than it currently is.


Football can't come fast enough. I'm looking forward to the Raiders rise coupled with the Niners slide, and then the Raiders moving. Should be a fun season.

How is it possible the Raiders can't get a new stadium in the Bay Area, one of America's wealthiest regions as members of the incredibly wealthy NFL? Someone explain that to me.

If the Raiders cannot get their own facility at this point in time, with all the money that flows to the NFL, then they shouldn't be here. It's really that simple.


Also looking forward to Tom Brady not missing any games, which I standby, he shouldn't.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pete Rose & The All Star Game

Before I get to Pete Rose I want to point out just because the All Star Game supposedly "matters" does not mean it does so equally for all players involved.

For those not in the know, Major League Baseball has attempted to increase fan interest in the ASG by awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the league who wins this game. I have always believed it to be one of the dumbest concepts in modern-day sports.

Why you ask?

Because the game DOESN'T MATTER.

No, but David, that's the point. Now it does!

No. It doesn't, and here's why.

First off, if the game is going to matter it should not be left up to the fans who is playing in the game. Thankfully a crisis was averted when the entire AL starting lineup, short of Mike Trout, were not Kansas City Royals. This happened because MLB has exclusive online balloting, and fans can vote up to 35 times each. Where are we? Florida? Jeeeeeesus.

KC made a major push to get their fans involved, and it worked. They have 7 participants (3 starters) still, but aren't as dominant as they could have been. This is because their fervent fans voted...over and over and over. To their credit they got involved, and the Royals players may very well benefit from home field advantage, but it seems ridiculous fan excitement plays a role in where the World Series is played.

More to the point, not all the players on the field are on teams who care about the playoffs, and this is the my biggest concern. The Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers have guys playing in this game, and yet all won't be in the playoffs. If those guys are coming up to pinch hit in this game, do they care who has home field advantage? And after sitting on the bench for 6 innings, and probably throwing down a few beers the night before, do you think it makes sense to have Prince Fielder deciding the game? After all, he probably spends the first 5-6 innings laughing it up, having a good 'ole time in the dug out. Every time they cut to the dug out during the ASG guys are having a blast. NO ONE IS FOCUSED! Then all of a sudden the game might come down to the final pitch and at bat between the least deserving of the All Stars? After all, those are the guys who are still available. Not the starters!

All told, do we really need the game to matter at all? It's ONE GAME, and people still don't really care.

It's high time we start making the baseball All Star game as irrelevant is it should be.


Pete Rose should not be in the Hall of Fame.

About 15 years ago I met Pete Rose at his restaurant in Boca Raton, FL. The place was called...wait for it...WAAAAIT FOR IT...

Pete Rose's!

I happened upon the place randomly, deciding to give it a shot over Wilt Chamberlain's restaurant (Yes, it was called Wilt's. Lets give credit to Charles Oakley for calling his Steakhouse "Red.") More people frequented Wilt's place, who had since died, than Pete's, who was, uhh, at the bar...

Here's the point of this story: Pete Rose was in the restaurant that night, and being the mouth that I am, I approached him. We had a conversation. He did not seem sober and looked to be a mess. He kept looking around at his empty restaurant. The guy was so shaky I started looking over my own shoulders for hit men. And yet even with the guy sitting in this place there was hardly anyone there. And those who were there didn't care that he was there! That moment told me all I needed to know about Pete Rose.

Here he was, more than 20 years after his playing career was over and he looked like a hot mess. His hair was all over the place, his eyes looked dark, his gut was large, and he didn't smile once. I didn't know if he was drinking water, or vodka straight. If I was a gambler...

Sitting in an empty bar with his own name on it, what could be more apropos?

The reality of Pete Rose is simple, and it gets back to a lesson my dad drilled into me before I was a teen: gambling is worse than everything.

Apparently my dad once took all his savings (not a lot) and bet on a "sure thing" college basketball game at Madison Square Garden back in the 1960s. Turns out the game had been thrown, but that didn't prevent my dad from having to pay. He never bet again, and outside of some Vegas fun, I haven't either.

To me I have always looked at gambling as worse than drugs, or other vices, because gambling takes place in the open and people think it's okay. Yet gambling destroys lives because it's so obviously wide open as to become accepted! Onlookers might think to themselves, "Oh, he's just betting on a few games." Except a few games can turn into your entire life's savings and destroy you without anyone noticing what was coming.

With drugs, people see it coming; people intervene. With gambling it's usually way too late, despite those wonderful commercials from Harrah's during the World Series of Poker.

And that's the point of it all when it comes to Rose. Whether gambling is better or worse than PEDs is not the point. The reality is this guy bet on his team when he played and managed, which in turn affected his decision making during those games. Maybe he was rash? Maybe he added additional pressure to himself and didn't come through during an at bat? Maybe he stole a base when it was unadvised and was called out? Maybe as a manager it caused stress which in turn made him less focused? Maybe that stress led to drinking? All of these are reasons why the argument, "He only bet on his own team!" is nonsense. Total nonsense.

Betting on your OWN team is probably WORSE! You've got skin in that game! You can affect THAT GAME.

PEDs? As far as I know they just make you better, and as a former producer with the UFC, I can tell you "everyone is doing it."

If "everyone" was betting on baseball, maybe I'd feel different. But as far as we know it was just Pete Rose.

So Pete Rose can be lauded and loved in Cincinnati, the most backward city I've ever been in, but at the end of the day he'll be sitting alone at the bar. Because as gambling does to nearly everyone who is touched by it, eventually you become an old, broken down, disheveled and dishonest person.

And that's the guy I saw sitting in a South Florida bar.

By the way, I would make a bet: Vodka.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The eNdlessBA, Adam Schefter, Bill Cosby and Women's Soccer.

Wow, Adam Schefter.

Yesterday ESPN's Adam Schefter posted a medical report of NY Giants Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul, which displayed the surgeries he both needed and received because of a mishap with some fireworks. A lot of people are upset with Schefter for doing this, and there are ethical questions regarding his role as a journalist.

When I saw the report plastered on ESPN I thought to myself, "Wow, what a dick." I can't imagine I'm alone in thinking that.

Could he not have gone on Twitter and said, "I have indisputable proof Pierre-Paul had his finger amputated." Would that not have been enough? Can't you just put your name on the line, guarantee something, and watch it play out accordingly? I guess not when you measure your self worth in Twitter "shares" and "follows."

Obviously, it's not a fireable offense, or anything close to it because surely someone signed off on it. If the rancor grew to a point where people then blamed Schefter and ESPN, they would suspend him, even if they signed off on it even if it was okay'd. That's kind of how they operate - deflect, deflect, deflect.

But at the end of the day, it seemed very odd to me Schefter was conducting an interview about this very topic from the comforts of his own home-office, laden with family photos on his bookshelves. The image of a clean cut, classy, educated man, doing yeoman's work for the starved NFL fan, contrasted brightly with the lowbrow, ethically questionable and borderline illegal journalism he was then currently engaged in.

No, it's not Schefter's job to care too much about how he received his information, especially if he can claim ignorance in getting it, but putting aside journalistic ethics, one should probably consider their own personal morals when it comes to something like this.

Jason Pierre-Paul is a public figure, so he's open to scrutiny for sure. But so is Schefter, and others who work for the company. For example, how would Schefter feel if someone posted his colleague Stuart Scott's medical report relating to his cancer? Or any number of personal things relating to his wife or kids? Because I think losing a body part is certainly equal to any of those things.

Find the line, buddy, and think about the value of crossing it. More twitter followers? Sure. More people think you're a jerk? Absolutely.

You a better person when you woke today than you were yesterday?

Probably a good standard.


NBA Free-for-All

The NBA Free Agency off season is bananas, capped off by the disingenuous behavior of DeAndre Jordan. If you want to read about the breakdown and future ramifications, click here.

The NBA changed their collective bargaining rules a few years ago during the strike, and what has resulted is a complete fluctuation of teams, players, salaries, and anything else you can think of.

I recall the launch of the "Larry Bird Rule", the purpose of which was to make sure teams could retain players they drafted even if they went over the salary cap in doing so. Now I'm no "capologist", and don't waste much time trying to figure out contracts. But it just seems to me the NBA has created a system where players are on shorter contracts and can end up any place, anytime. And they love it.

I guess the idea was to make every team competitive like the NFL, which is a good thing. But unlike the NFL, which is driven hard by fantasy football, the NBA needs to have certain heroic and villainous cities. As much as I don't care about the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics, you want them to be good. It makes the NBA more interesting. This idea that every team becomes even is not only unrealistic, but not necessarily that interesting.

BUT...Now the NBA becomes a year-round activity and gives fans SOMETHING to talk about.

This reminds me of that political moment when Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold pushed forward Campaign Finance Reform. That law lasted about 5 minutes, until the Supreme Court allowed endless amounts of money into campaigns through the "Citizens United" case. The NBA's "Larry Bird Rule" seems to carry as much weight now as "McCain-Feingold."

I'll admit there's definitely a lot of excitement surrounding it all, and that's the point. But I try not to get TOO EXCITED about the news of DeAndre Jordan going from Los Angeles to Dallas and back to Los Angeles. I mean, this is a guy who can't make a foul shot, who rides the pine during the last 5 minutes of close games.

How is he THAT interesting?

The answer: baseball season.

What should drive the NBA is good management. The ability to draft good players and maintain strong rosters. Not just finding cap space by making absurd trades. That's less interesting to me.

What the Warriors have done is interesting.

What Miami did, less so.


Women's Soccer.

Oh, women's soccer.

Before I say anything, I want to point out that I've played soccer my whole life (still), have a wife, a daughter, two sisters, I force my daughter to watch women's soccer (and men's), and I coach both boys and girls soccer on my own free time.

As big as you might think you are a women's soccer fan, believe me, I AM A BIGGER WOMEN'S SOCCER FAN!

Oh, and Heather O'Reilly of the US Women's Team went to my high school, so everyone from my town follows her...just like everyone else follows everyone famous from their town.

That said, and simply put, the women do not deserve to be paid more money, despite pleas otherwise.

The obvious answer to all of this is the Women's World Cup brought in $17 Million, whereas the Men's brought in close to $600 Million. Need we say more?

Apparently, yes, we do.

But rather than go over every other point rationale people have made the last few days, I will say this:

1) Had the final game been Sweden vs Nigeria, no one would have watched, nor cared. The whole idea of "equal work" would never have been brought up. An entire legion of women fighting for "equal pay" wouldn't even have realized there was a job. Why is it "equal work" simply because more people watched it? Isn't it the same work?

2) "Equal work for equal pay" makes sense when two people get the same job, and are paid differently. If the Women's National Team can defeat the German Men's Soccer team in the World Cup, by golly, give them all the money FIFA has. But until then, you're not doing "equal work."

3) Now I know a lot of people like to point out how much money FIFA has, and how corrupt it is, blah blah blah. That's neither here nor there. Lets not forget: FIFA gave the women money the men earned when they CREATED THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP IN 1999! Before that there was no WOMEN'S WORLD CUP, and THEY HAD NO MONEY FOR IT! You didn't earn it, but you still got it!

So please, pick a better fight. If you want to make more money playing sports, be more entertaining. It's not my fault my high school boy's soccer team could win the Women's World Cup. And believe me, they could. I know this because Heather O'Reilly wouldn't have started on the team.

Equal work means you're doing the same thing. In this case, you're not. You're not playing the same people, nor are you bringing in the same amount of money. If you have a fight at all it is with the networks who didn't demand the advertisers pay more money. But why would they? They pay for the rights to the entire tournament, and I am assuming across the board the ratings were not very good, both here and abroad.

They received what they earned. In fact, I bet FIFA takes a loss on the Women's World Cup.

All told, Women's soccer worldwide is oppressive, sexist, and problematic in most countries. Brazil's Marta is the best player in the world, and no one in Brazil even cares to watch her play. The USWNT is better funded and supported than any other women's team anywhere, ever. It's why they win. And it's unfortunate women are treated second class in other parts of the world.

I'm just not sure giving more money to the US Women, who didn't earn it, solves those unfortunate problems.


Fresh Air from the Cow

Colin Cowherd did a masterful job on his show yesterday talking about Bill Cosby raping women. His entire argument discussed how too many adults act like "fanboys," whether it be for Bill Cosby, Lebron James or anyone else in the world. At some point you have to see the truth for what it is. So when 25 women who don't know each other all say the same thing, "That guy with the Pudding Pop, he raped me..." then he probably did it.

Cowherd went on to say that the "anti-vax" crowd is crazy because nearly every reputable scientist agrees. That the global warming deniers crowd is crazy because nearly every reputable scientist agrees. Now it is dangerous for Cowherd to get into these waters because a lot of times politics and sports talk don't mix, but he made sure to swing from the left and the right. As I view things, a common sense approach.

Yet what I liked most about his take on the topic(s) was it touched on pop culture while tying sports "fandom" into the discussion. And to me, that's what a good talk show host does, be it sports or current events. You have to find a way to take the major topics of the day and tie them into your show. Because even if people are tuned into the political talk, the Superbowl matters. Just ask Rush Limbaugh who sat in on ESPN (albeit, briefly). Or Keith Olbermann who has done shows in both mediums. Or someone on sports talk who manages to talk about problems in Ferguson by mentioning the St Louis Rams walking out of the tunnel with a message. There are ways to discuss all things through the lens of sports, and the great ones know how to do it. Not all the time, but when it matters most. Like Women's soccer.

It would be nice if we had some more of that higher end talk in the Bay Area as opposed to the same repetitive "fanboy" stuff we hear day in, day out on the self-appointed "America's #1 Talk Station."