Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ok, hockey

Doc asks "remember hockey?"

Well, yes, I shouldn't ignore violence in hockey. But largely the thing some complain about in hockey isn't as big a deal for me.

"I was at a fight and a hockey game broke out." Sure. But largely these are nice clean fights between two people who want to fight. Some might argue that there is no room for fights, period. I'm a little ambivalent.

But its the other chippy stuff that bugs me. Like I said, the spearing when the ref isn't looking. To my mind, the league or refs should review the video post game for uncalled abrasion, and award penalties against the next game.

Hockey has had its share of ugliness, too. I mean apart from Garth Butcher. :)

But brawls have happened:
Canada and Russia emptied the benches for a bench-clearing brawl and someone at the arena in Piestany (in then Czechoslovakia) turned out the lights while punches were being thrown. The Russians and Canadians were booted out of the tournament, and Finland was awarded the gold medal.
And beyond fighting, there's the Bertuzzi affair. Todd pursued another player, punched him from behind and drove him to the ice where he suffered further damage. Result: neck fracture, concussion and deep cuts to his face. But this wasn't a fight, and those who argue against fighting in hockey using this as an excuse, well, it doesn't work.

This sort of thing is rare, and the NHL treated it seriously. Bertuzzi was handed an open-ended suspension, to last at least through the end of season including playoffs. The suspension will be reevaluated at beginning of next season's training. Or it would have if hockey players weren't locked out.

The only other case I recall is Marty McSorley, who swung his stick like a bat, from behind, hitting Brashear in the back of the head. Brashear suffered a severe concussion which ended his season. McSorley also received a season suspension.

Happily hockey has glass between the ice and the fans, so we won't see these events in the stands. Lately they've even added nets above the glass to make damn good and sure. Unlike basketball.

For all that people wring their hands over hockey being too violent, the NHL responds very appropriately to excessive violence. And all you folks who think the NBA was too harsh, the Artest suspension (basketball) was also a right thing. I haven't yet heard of a penalty being levied against Clemson or the Gamecocks.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Where did the notion of sportsmanship go?

I've heard this thought a bunch over the past few days, the speakers complaining of some recent American pro-sports shenanigans. A basketball game turned into a brawl, with at least one player climbing into the stands to attack a fan. Police came ont the field to try to control a sideline clearing melee at a college football game. I'm not going to mention baseball.

If events like these are the first indication you've had of lapses in sportsmanship, well, wrong. My concern, referred to obliquely a few days ago, is about an attitude many players and broadcasters have that "a rule isn't a rule if you get away with it." The football player that moves the ball after play has stopped. Hockey player that spears another when the ref isn't looking. Tennis players that go into professional histrionics at a supposed bad line call.

And the television announcers support it, with their jabber about how "he got away with one there," and "Look, they're trying to get the next play  off before anyone can challenge the call."

I'm especially disappointed in the players who defended their behavior.

This is what I don't want my kids seeing. These are the messages I don't need them learning. Someone once said "I'd rather have my children watch a film of two people making love than two people trying to kill one another."   I couldn't care less about sex on TV. Janet Jackson is irrelevant. If there is erosion of social fabric (a favorite topic of some), it stems from our kids learning that fairness and respect don't matter. And what's next? Hit-and-run accidents, drive-by shootings and Enron.

So far as those backetball and football players over the past few days? Bar them from the sport for life.  Once there are real consequences, you'll be amazed how quickly these prima donna attitudes change. Fines don't cut it. Maybe making them wear a patch on their uniform for their next few games that say "I'm a bum" would help.

Better yet, decertify those two college football teams. The focus on sport at college made a certain sense when it was to teach sportsmanship. It is demonstrably failing to do that.

I just read now that in fact there were some game and season suspensions for some involved in the basketbrawl. Well and good. But a survey at espn.com shows that the vast majority of the public believe the season or 25 game suspensions were just right or too harsh, the 6 game suspension was just right.  Folks, you just want a rematch, don't you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Objectionable content

There's been a flurry of commentary in mailing lists this morning on proposed US legislation that would make technological means to skip TV commercials illegal. But skipping objectionable content like gory or explicit scenes would be ok.  Wired published a story on this as well.

But what if the objectionable content is the commercial?

Case in point: football. The sports broadcast itself is fine, and I have only a few concerns about letting my young'uns watch that. But the ads the broadcasters insert frequently make me cringe - gun violence, explosions, etc.  These ads are far from G-rated content, and I will either skip them or my family (and me) won't watch the broadcast at all.

[Comments from my previous blog]

1. Jay C left...
Saturday, 10 February 2007 5:24 pm
If anyone has been noticing (try to miss it!) the advertisement for Comcast, where a guy goes beserk, and the whole bit erupts into really V I O L E N T mayhem, they shouldn't question the need to have a means to bypass that kind of CRAP! What kind of ad groups are producing this kind of stuff? and what kind of company management signs off on it ?

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Escape planning

I don't know what to say about this one, but I thought it was hilarious.  For those suffering PTES (Post Traumatic Election Syndrome), here's a great 60's idea revisited.

[Comments from my previous blog]

1. a reader left...
Thursday, 4 November 2004 10:16 am
What an excellent idea! Although a quick step through the profiles, throws up a lesbian;

Some other great links:

But this one had me laughing the most (no idea if its true or not)

2. a reader left...
Thursday, 11 November 2004 7:21 pm
Democrats might get some comfort from the fact that George W .Bush can't run next time and Republicans haven't won a presidential election without either a George Bush or the Richard Nixon on the ticket since 1928. Of course Jeb's son is a George Bush as well.

I list the elections in my blog if you can't remember all the republican victories since 1928

Ralph Galantine

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Patenting global web-commerce?

I can understand a temptation to sue Dell (even a small possibility of winning or settling yields a better return than the lottery or playing the tables), but a patent on web-based international e-commerce?

I've ranted and railed about software patents - I guess I need to expand that to business method patents.

Society grants patents to companies to publish their ideas so others can leverage those ideas within still greater innovations. But if the idea is obvious, others will think of it without such publishing, and there is no value returned to society in exchange for the grant of exclusivity through a patent.

Hence such glorious patents as the XOR cursor, the ability to connect a modem to a cell-phone, and now the possibility of letting international customers use your web-commerce site, these are ***STUPID*** patents. We the people have got a bum deal from our government authorities who grant such travesties, because these patents do nothing except increase the cost of doing business. There is no social benefit.