Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sports News And Commentary

Taxation Without Instant Replay

One purpose of taxation, in practice if not in theory, is to manipulate behavior. Thus, a Democrat from Missouri has taken the Cardinals' loss and some questionable calls to statehouse.

Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, wants to expand the state athlete and entertainer tax to also cover officials such as umpires and referees. The tax is charged to out-of-state residents who earn money in Missouri while performing in such events as baseball games and concerts.

Roorda said his idea grew out of his frustration with umpires in the National League Championship Series. But he also contends that it is logical to tax the officials affecting a game's outcome, not just the athletes who play it.

"I think if they're not going to pay attention, they ought to at least pay taxes," Roorda said.

There has to be a better way. Like taxing only for the calls with which the state legislature does not agree.

Extremely Stupid Sports

I once did a "Dumbass of the Week" about a young adult that had reportedly died while "car surfing." It turned out that the newspaper jumped the gun on the report, and the circumstances of his death were not so stupid (from his perspective). I had to remove the article, only after pissing off a few friends who came upon my post. I will take that chance again, but only because I know that the Scotsman wouldn't let me down.

The Dumbass of the Week:

A UNIVERSITY student died after being hurled 100ft through the air by a medieval-style "trebuchet" catapult, an inquest heard yesterday.

Kostydin Yankov, 19, an Oxford University student, suffered multiple injuries and serious spinal damage when he fell short of the safety net.

He had warning.

A jury at Taunton Coroner's Court in Somerset heard that Kostydin - Dino to his friends - was the fifth person to be "fired" by the device on the day of his death. All four people who went before him landed at the nearest end of the safety net.

Oliver Nelkin, a fellow member of the Stunt Factory, said he was "very anxious" about their safety after seeing the previous four land so close to the edge.

As it turned out, "Dino" didn't make it. I mean ... really. What can you say.

Tim McCarver Sucks

There are some things that even Scooter the Talking Baseball can't explain.

“We get tons of e-mails and calls from viewers saying how much Tim McCarver sucks and how he needs to be fired. Or even killed. In fact, far more than people who ask us how certain pitches are thrown,” said FOX Sports CEO David Hill. “So we thought – hey, we have the technology with Scooter all ready to go, why not have him try to explain Tim McCarver’s continued employment to our viewers?”

The segment was a success.

Scooter began by welcoming viewers in his high-pitched voice: “Hello fans. This is Scooter. Tonight I’m here to explain to you how Tim McCarver still hasn’t been fired after all these years of horrendous and somehow increasingly terrible color commentary on this network.”

The animated baseball then stared into the camera for the next 20 seconds, saying nothing and only blinking his huge eyes a few times as a pained look came over its face. Finally, he added: “I don’t have a [bleeping] clue. McCarver’s a [bleeping] idiot.”

That Scooter is one smart baseball.

Stupid Soccer News (As If That Were Not Redundant)

First, we have a disappointed soccer fan. I feel that way every time I watch more than a few minutes of soccer. But it was really bad for this guy.

His soccer team was a loser. That means it was so bad that it couldn't even play for a 0-0 tie like every other soccer team in the world. So this disappointed fan decided, naturally, that crime was the answer. His crime of choice? Arson. His target? The police station.

Like many Norwegian football fans, the man from southern Norway had a hard time watching the league title vanish for Kristiansand club Start after a controversial refereeing decision in the closing minutes of the last game of the season.

When the man's favorite English club, Manchester United, was humiliated by Middlesbrough later in the day, the man felt compelled to set fire to the local police office, newspaper Agderposten reports.

But those Norwegian police officers are really nice and understanding.

"Start and United are also my two favorite teams, so I can understand his disappointment. But I have absolutely no sympathy for football being so important that someone can take such drastic action in pure frustration over a defeat," Officer Krogstad told Agderposten.

Yeah. Maybe he took it a little hard.

Finally, soccer players protest their games not getting postponed.

Israeli Arab players accused the national soccer federation of religious insensitivity for refusing to reschedule a game during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

* * * *

Immediately after Saturday's game, Suan and another player drove to the Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine, to pray for atonement for breaking the fast.

"I only hope that God will forgive me," Suan said.

For eating? I'm sure he will. For playing soccer? That's a closer call.

The federation's manager, Pini Kainan, said the match had to held at the designated time due to commercial considerations, including TV broadcast times.

"It's impossible to stop the league games for a month," Kainan told Maariv.

It wouldn't bother me a bit. In fact, you could postpone the rest of the games ... forever. I wouldn't miss it a bit.


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