Category Archives: sports

Did The Conard Mascot Argument Just Get Uglier?

by Categorized: sports, Year in Review Date:

conard[UPDATE: I now have confirmation from multiple sources that these obnoxious t-shirts exist. So you can ignore the tentativeness at the start of this post.] The title is in the form of  a question, because I’d need to see more verification of this article.  (Bad word trigger warning.) I’m not questioning the reporter’s work. I’m just uncomfortable re-posting, as settled fact, stuff from the Internet. (Not that it matters, but I always thought that symbol meant “up yours” as opposed to what is cited in the article.)

If true, it’s certainly an extra (repulsive) wrinkle in the story that ran yesterday. And what sort of “parent” would, in a parental capacity, introduce that kind of posturing into his or her kid’s school environment?

An oft-repeated canard in these debates: “Native Americans don’t care about this issue. Only PC white kids do. There’s a guy at work who’s 1/16 Lakota Sioux, and he’s fine with teams like the Redskins. He said so in our break area.”

That really won’t cut it. The NCAI, probably the largest and oldest organization of First Nations people, has waged a 50-year battle against these mascots. A tour of their site will introduce you to many publications and posts such as this one. 

Another claim — you can see it in the comments on the Courant article — is that the whole argument is superficial. You can hear Native American activist Rochelle Ripley rebut this in a November 2015 interview with me here (the comment starts around 33:25).

It’s also not superficial because, if you can be flip, crude and reductive about Native Americans, you can transition pretty easily to Mexicans, Muslims, refugees. You have abandoned the position that all human beings deserve some kind of minimal respect. Even sadder, you sold that profound ideal for the sake of high school sports, the proverbial mess of pottage.

But please don’t take refuge in the idea that this doesn’t offend anyone. It does. If you don’t care, if you want to buy offensive, denigrating t-shirts because that’s the only way you can fully express your school spirit, at least own that.

 

 

Smart Ones

by Categorized: Cap City Blues, Crime, sports, Year in Review Date:

The indispensable Kevin Brookman has secured this memo suggesting that the Yard Goats stadium building site has become a “feeding ground for burglars.” It turns out this is a literal statement.

These burglars are cheeky monkeys! They broke into the trailers and used a microwave there to heat up frozen dinners!smartones

The site had no alarms or motion lights.  How clueless would everyone have to be not to think that this particular site would face massive security challenges?

Ripley’s More Probable Than Not!

by Categorized: Show ideas, sports, Uncategorized, Year in Review Date:

It’s late Thursday afternoon, and I’m thinking about the Nose, our Friday culture roundtable.

Did you know it’s a mistake to include content that makes light of domestic violence? Damn, why didn’t WE know about it here at the Cleveland basketball office place? Like eight or nine of us watched the video and we thought it was totally fine, but now we can kind of see what people object to.

We know! We know! Over here at the New York Liberty, a WNBA basketball team, we were putting the finishing touches on our deal to have Isaiah Thomas take over as president, and a guy from the cleaning crew was passing through emptying wastebaskets and he said, “None of my business, but you might have some problems with your women’s fans because of his whole sexual harassment case.”  And we said: What? Is some janitor telling us that Isaiah is not a huge win all around? What? Maybe in Peru where he comes from this is a bigger deal. But we thanked him. And then guess what: it almost seems like he was right!

Sports sports sports! My favorite NFL tradition is when the ref comes in right before the game and measures your balls. Or is that “Dancing With the Stars?” We’re not sure whether, on the Nose, we have anything new, anything meta, anything media-studies-y to say about Deflate-gate. But it’s more probable than not that we do! If nothing else, it should be the catch phrase of this weekend. But even if your spouse screams, “It’s more probable than not that you promised to take me to Chili’s, you @&%$!,” it is still not OK to pick her up and throw her. OK?

Unless you are Floyd Mayweather. It’s kind of amazing that, at the end of the Greatest Fight of the Century If It Had Been Held Five Years Earlier, there is a huge stinking scandal that does not involve Floyd. Instead, it involves Pacman, who decided he could beat Mayweather with one hand tied behind his back but did not tell anybody about this plan except possibly God. And now, he faces lawsuits from decent people who paid good money to see men hit each other much harder in the face.

Enjoy this post while I make a list of our non-sports possible topics.

Alta Tensione!

by Categorized: Colin's Theories of Culture, sports Date:

altaYou know what the Courant should do to John Altavilla?  Basically nothing.*

And I don’t say this as his chum. I worked onsite at the Courant for 20 years, but that was, um, 20 years ago. I’m not in the building now. I don’t know him.

And is it great that he informed the world about the way the skimpily dressed Texas cheerleaders delighted him? No. It is not great. But neither is it dastardly. Just kind of bad judgment. The Altavilla story, which has been sitting out there as the center lead at Ct Capital Report for half a day now, is more a story about the world of online Pecksniffs who have never outgrown the habit of telling the teacher what the other boys were doing. Thus we have somebody named Andy Hutchins who, were he a different person, could easily have confronted Altavilla, at least on Twitter, and suggested he tone it down. This is what big boys do. You got a problem with somebody? Tell him. He might even thank you for the nudge. If he won’t straighten out, see the light, take the hint, maybe you go upstairs at that point. But Hutchins’ first instinct was to drag Altavilla’s employer into the fray.

As a caustic political columnist, I may have no standing to complain about this. And I get that the internet is often about counting coup and maybe even loading your belt with scalps. But what I can’t forgive is a piece written by AA Locker.  If you’re going to write a takedown on your Deadspin wannabe website, use a real name, please.

I started thinking a lot about the culture of digital ostracism last week while preparing for this show. I was struck anew by how much trouble you can get in these days, and how little it takes. This seemed especially true in the case of Andrew Pessin.  Let me preface this by saying I sit on the other side of the aisle from this guy. I’m more likely to think that the Palestinian case is under-represented in the American debate and that the actions and rhetoric of Israel are often too easily waved off. So the last thing I need is another armchair Likkudist professor, and I was prepared to be thoroughly outraged by his comments.

And then. I wasn’t.

I mean, I didn’t agree with them.  Or like them. I would have welcomed a chance to tell him he was off base. But I would not have needed to do it with my hands around his throat, nor would I have had to retreat to my fainting coach and reset my trigger warning light.

So, John. Eyes off the pom poms. Eyes on the court. I realize that part of the problem may have been how boring most UConn women’s games are. My idea of hell is to be stuck at a 105-54 blowout (and with a 1 seed playing a 5, for heaven’s sake). Attentions are bound to wander. Don’t do it again. Bygones.

* I’m reserving one escape clause. I had to think about the “urban sportswriter” tweet for a while before I realized it was a reference to the Boz Scaggs song in “Urban Cowboy.” Did I miss something else. Is there some more profoundly carnal meme in these tweets?