Archive for the ‘nba’ Category

Yesterday with DaWife working and both the Celtics and Redsox playing in Philly I decided to go to Longhorn’s Restaurant to watch the game and have some of their spicy chicken bites (if you haven’t had them try them, they are the best value in terms of taste and quantity of any appetizer offered in any restaurant out there.

There were five things that jumped out at me while I sat at the bar:

First of all while the neither the restaurant nor the bar was very crowded (likely due to the games and the pending Mother’s day next week) the takeout business was very brisk. I observed the young lady running the takeout, she was doing well in a busy job. The phone was cranking and the orders were flowing. Before COVID the amount of takeout a place like this would do was minimal but even with COVID finished many people have really taken to getting their restaurant food at home without the restaurant. It’s one of the subtle ways the COVID stuff has changed us.

Second of all I was watching the Celtics Philly game and noticed that, at least for the first half Philly was contesting the initial inbounds passes after scoring even before the Celtics started pulling away. You don’t see a lot of teams doing that and it proved to be, at least in my opinion effective in giving the Celtics some grief. I think more teams should do this in the NBA, while it doesn’t allow a set defense it does and can disrupt a set offense.

Third of all I was watching the Redsox , Phillies game with great interest both because of Chris Sale for for five of the six innings he pitched looked like the Sale of 2018 constantly throwing over 95 and getting ahead of hitters but living on the edge of the pitch clock. Under the new rules the pitcher has to be in his leg kick by the time the clock hits zero or a ball is automatically called and the number of pitches he got off within a second of what would be a violation was considerable. This had some effect in his bad inning when he would get angry at himself and vent and then have to rush a pitch to keep a penalty. I’m curious how many other pitchers in baseball are living on the edge of the clock?

Of course being at the bar I naturally kept an eye on BudLight Sales. Longhorn offers two beers at a slight discount for a smaller glass, Bud Light and Miller Lite. In the two hours I was there I did not see a single Bud Light poured but in fairness I didn’t see any Miller Lite being ordered either. In fact what little there was of beer orders were of the local IPA’s but be that as it may Bud wasn’t moving. Perhaps they can start offering it at Tuppence a glass?

Finally I was REALLY caught by surprise by a political ad by a superpac during the Red Sox game. It was a powerful ad about freedom but the climax of the ad was a mother and child putting a DeSantis for president sign in their yard and a person with a Trump 2016 bumper sticker on his pickup putting a DeSantis 2024 bumper sticker over it.

I’ve not been able to find the Ad to embed it but let me tell you if Donald Trump already had his hair on fire over DeSantis as a candidate this will send him over the edge.

Frankly I’m torn between the two of them. Either would make a fine President and each has different plusses and minus.

Of course if Jay Valentine is right, it may all be moot anyways

To become president, Trump must win a bunch of swing states.  To win each state he needs more ballots in his pile than the other guy.  It’s baked into the data — which we look at every day — that Trump is not going to win those swing states.  None of them.

It’s not his fault.  He will probably get more votes, just not more ballots.

and he closes thus:

Unfortunately, the RNC is about raising dough and having elaborate meetings with mediocre minds.  The Trump campaign thinks rallies, flags, and red hats can overcome the Left’s complete control of election apparatus.

It’s like France in 1939. 

Trump is France. 

If that is correct there will be trouble and if DeSantis believes the left won’t use these tactics against him in a general then he’s a fool.

By John Ruberry

This week Air, an Amazon Studios film, opens in movie theaters nationwide. It tells the story of Nike’s development of the Air Jordan line of sneakers in the mid-1980s. The shoes were the expensive footwear of Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan, who still appears in Nike ads.

What you won’t see in Air is the failed boycott of Operation PUSH in 1990 of Nike. Chicago-based PUSH, now Rainbow/PUSH, was, depending on who you talk to, either a major civil rights power of the late 20th century, or a shakedown operation. I belong to the latter camp. 

PUSH was founded in the early 1970s by the Reverend Jesse Jackson, but he departed PUSH to be serve as a shadow senator for Washington DC–what does that entail?– and to lead a new group, the National Rainbow Coalition, which merged with PUSH in 1996. Leading PUSH during the Jackson-less interregnum was the Reverend Tyrone Crider. 

Jackson’s gameplan for PUSH followed this pattern: He’d smear a corporation as racist, call for a boycott, then demand that these corporations hire more Blacks and other minorities–as well as more minority contractors–and then declare victory. But often those hired were cronies and relatives of Jackson. Coca-Cola, some CBS television affiliates, and Anheuser-Busch were prior targets of PUSH.

Of the latter, Jackson said, “This bud’s a dud,” a play on the brewer’s slogan for Budweiser at the time. In 1998, two of Jackson’s sons, Yusuf and Jonathan, purchased a Chicago Anheuser-Busch distributor

Shortly after taking the helm of PUSH in 1990, Crider picked a new villain, Nike. Unlike past targets/victims whose founders were either retired or long dead, Nike’s founders, scrappy entrepreneurs Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, were still with the corporation in 1990. Knight was the chairman of Nike at the time, he was only a quarter-century removed from when he was selling running shoes at track meets from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant. 

When PUSH declared its boycott of Nike–sorry, I can’t resist–the sneaker giant pushed back. Nike quickly announced it would appoint a Black board member and a Black vice president, and hire some Black department heads, but a Nike spokesperson said that those moves were already planned prior to the PUSH attack.

Next came a nothing-but-net three-pointer by Nike from midcourt. In an open letter, Nike turned the tables on PUSH, requesting that it turn over “the membership of PUSH by geographical location, age, sex and race.” It gets better. Nike asked in that same letter, “Has PUSH been the subject of review or investigation by any federal or state agency? If so, state the name of the agency involved, the nature of the investigation and the findings or conclusions of the investigation.” Guess what? PUSH had been the target of a federal probe.

PUSH demanded proprietary financial information from Nike, at the same time Reebok, a top competitor of Nike, purchased a full-page ad in the Operation PUSH magazine. That same open letter, according to a Chicago Tribune article, also called on “PUSH to supply details in 21 categories relating to how the organization made its decision to single out the athletic-wear industry.”

None of the celebrity endorsers of the time for Nike, whose ranks included Spike Lee, Bo Jackson, and His Airness, Michael Jordan, participated in the boycott. Georgetown men’s basketball coach John Thompson, a consultant for Nike who later served as a board member, also remained loyal.

By early 1991, PUSH laid off its entire paid staff, although other civil rights groups bailed it out a week later.

And what about Nike sales? “The boycott has had little apparent effect on Nike,” the Washington Post reported at the time, “whose earnings soared 58 percent last September, October and November over the corresponding period in 1989.”

Nothing but net.

Of course, now Nike is completely woke, Knight is retired and Bowerman died in 1999. Colin Kaepernick, a Nike endorser beginning in 2011, was featured in a series of Nike ads after he was handed his last NFL snap. In his last season as a professional football player, Kaepernick took a knee when the National Anthem was played before games. Kaepernick regularly speaks out in favor of various far-left causes, such as abolishing prisons and police departments.

For a time, Nike was gutsy. And the lesson for corporations today is clear. You can fight back against leftist threats and win.

Just do it.

When you stand up to bullies, they usually back down.

John Ruberry, who wore his first pair of Nike Waffle Trainer running shoes in 1977, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

If you are a person 35 our younger all of your memories of the New England Patriots are likely memories of victory and Dominance thanks to the greatest sixth round draft pick ever made and the most important hit in the history of the NFL which combined gave you 20 years of Tom Brady. So given the potential of Aaron Rogers going to the Jets the shock of the Patriots being the worst team in their division is hitting many fans hard.

However if you are 60ish or older you remember a time when the Patriots were the worst team in New England (including the Whalers) so all of this brings us back to the days of our youth.

Given the state of the country these days perhaps it will be cathartic for us to have something to complain about.

The RedSox who used to rule the roots in New England but the last few years have seen their star fade as their stars leave.

One of the those starts Xander Bogarts is currently playing in the World Baseball Classic for the Dutch and has led their team to upset victories against both Panama and Cuba, CUBA

If only Boston could get players like that.

The Boston Celtics broke a 3 game losing streak yesterday they currently sit in 2nd place in the East right behind Milwaukee. The Celtics are still the favorite to go to the finals but while they are clearly the most talented team in the East there are at least four teams in the East capable of winning a seven game series against them.

Most importantly not a one of those teams are afraid of them.

I’ve never seen so powerful a team produce so little shock and awe among their rivals.

While the Celtics are not scaring anybody the Boston Bruins are riding roughshod over the entire NHL with an insane .831 winning percentage losing only 8 game out of 62 played.

While there still a long ways away from the record of 132 points set by the 76-77 Canadians who only lost 8 games the entire season they have exceeded every expectation that anybody had for this team at the start of the season.

If they roll though the playoffs at anywhere near the rate they will become the top dog in town really fast, particularly if the Celtics stumble.

Finally our face to face Dynasty Baseball league is winding down and my magic number for the final playoff spot is 1 with six games to go.

Just a few months ago I ruled the roost but a 10 game losing streak dropped me to the bottom of the standings.

In our 1957 League my Brooklyn dodgers are chasing the Braves and the Cardinals and we’re gearing up for the expansion draft with two teams (Cubs and Twins) joining for our 1971 league we’re just waiting for Dynasty to finalize the release online.

My team seems to be pitching heavy this season so to take advantage of that situation I am finally making the move to Milwaukee that I held off on for 1970 while my Pilots tried to repeat.

Given the teams in the league I likely don’t have a chance but it will still be a fun season.

With apologies to John Cleese If you want to understand why Soccer/Football is a sport that Americans on the whole reject go to youtube and compare the highlights of the game for any NFL game vs the Highlights of any of these world cup matches.

You will not that it takes 10-12 minutes for them reviews of the 60 Minute NFL game but only about 6 minutes for a 90+ minute World Cup match.

For the other 80 minutes it’s the Simpsons

Was it just two months ago that Celtics fans were worried about how the injury to Robert Williams and the suspension of Ime Udoka would mean doom to a team that was just two wins away from a championship last year?

Joe Mazzulla has made them forget all about Udoka but his answer to the question if he met with “the Royal Family.” when the Prince and Princess of Wales means they won’t forget him

They’ll never forgive him for that

Patriots fans seem to have very short memories.

Just 14 weeks ago everyone was noting that while the Patriots have pretty much the same team that they had last year, that all of the teams in their division and many others in the in the conference had improved.

So is it so strange that they sit in last place in their division while still having a ..500 record when in the previous season they made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth?

20 years of Tom brady success really has spoiled the fan base here.

Speaking of success have you ever seen a team as successful as this year’s Boston Bruins that has gotten less attention from the media and the fan base of a city.

The Bruins have set a record for consecutive home wins, they have dominated their sport and they can’t buy any press. All people want to do is to talk about how bad the Patriots have been.

Again I blame Tom Brady. In the days before his time the Brins would be THE story in the city.

Finally the Red Sox seem poised to lose Xander Bogarts. He is the link to the David Ortiz days winning and the Mookie Bettis days of winning.

They will not get a player as good at him at short or second (they can always move Story to short which I suspect was the plan from the beginning) but this tells me they are going full rebuild mode.

If they figured on losing him I can’t see why they didn’t trade him while they could, Better to get something for him than nothing for him, particularly if the plan is to rebuild.

Again success makes it difficult. 20-25 years ago when winning was practically not in living memory they could have gotten away with it, but now with four titles in under 20 years the fan base may not be as patient as they once were.