Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All Sports! All The Time!

"We are Penn State!"  I suspect the fans in Happy Valley won't be chanting that one for awhile.  Do I really need to write this?  Yes, I think child sexual abuse is wrong.  Yes, I think punishment is in order.  But a 60 million dollar fine paid to the NCAA?  Come on folks, get real.  In this day and age of budget cuts, big time college sports helps pay the bills. (My old home state has fallen under the evil influence of the Tea Party, so that money is needed now more than ever.)  A fine that large is about more than punishing the football program.  It's about shorter library hours, closed labs, staff cuts and tuition increases.  Tell the biology major that it's going to take an extra year to graduate because the NCAA wanted it's pound of flesh, and to get it, there aren't enough lab hours available anymore.  Oh, and by the way, that's another year of student loans.  Jerry Sandusky has gone to prison, and I suspect others will follow.  Penn State will be paying out even more millions in law suits for the foreseeable future. This should have all been left to the courts.   File this one under, doing something without thinking it through.

And they suck me back in.  With all this Lance Armstrong stuff, I swore I'd walk away from pro cycling.  Armstrong has been out of the pro ranks for almost a decade now, he's never tested positive, but the movers and shakers of cycling have decided to go back and destroy his legacy.  There's something about that sport that wants to self destruct.  I suspect it's because it's a professional sport run by an Olympics federation, and those are run by a bunch of silly old Europeans who don't understand why the French revolution happened.  Too, to return to a point I've made before.  Cycling has become a big time, worldwide sport because of television.  The TV people want hard climbs,. fast technical descents, and crash filled bunch sprints.  Really, it's making the sport worse.  The UCI wants the major teams in every major race, and the number of those races is increasing every year.  The sponsors want their corporate logos on the podium, the team owners are desperate to get those victories, and team managers are desperate to keep their jobs.  Basically, a system where it's almost impossible to survive without some help, but it's only the riders that take the blame.  To be honest, I don't even care if Lance Armstrong doped. More than likely every rider in the top twenty was on something. Yes, I swore to give up the sport, but then the Tour de France came along and I fell into line.  Oh well.

Is it just me?  Are there others out there who hope that the London branch of the occupy movement disrupts the Olympics?  For all the fine talk about pure sport the Olympics are a rich mans vanity event.  Only the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics has turned a profit.  If London ends up another money loser, it's the lower middle classes and the poor who will pay in the form of even more cuts in services.  Too, the land for all those bright and shiny new venues had to come from somewhere.  No rich people were harmed for the London Olympics.  No, it was the homes and businesses of the lower middle classes and poor that were sacrificed.

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