Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Straight Talk From the Oceanside Rec Center

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Oceanside, CA is one of the last blue collar beach towns in southern California. It’s beautiful in places and gritty in others.

I don’t think I would be happier living anywhere else. A significant part of this has to do with the Oceanside Rec Center. I’ve been a big fan since day one. The staff is over the top great.

They quickly learn all the kid’s names AND remember them. If the kid misses a season and they don’t see them for six months, the staff (they’re all awesome!) doesn’t miss a beat. “Yo, What up Jeremy? Where have you been, my man.”

When you’re a 7 year old kid, and a 20 something athletic wonder greats you like you’re his buddy, it’s quite a pump up.

Recently, from the first day of basketball.

Rec Center staff member addressing a group of 60 kids sitting on the floor.  “You don’t need special sneakers to play basketball. You play with the sneakers you’re parents can afford. 10 dollar sneakers work exactly the same as 100.00 sneakers. If anyone tells you different, they are lying. If another kid, brother, sister, shoe salesman tells you different, they are lying. If they swear their is a difference, they are lying.”

She then turns to the bleachers and addresses the parents. “If you’ve never had a child in one of our programs know we’re here to teach kids how to play basketball and most important, TO HAVE FUN DOING IT. We’re not here to create superstars. Please, conduct yourselves appropriately. We practice 1 hour a day, once a week. There’s no meeting at the park for an extra team practice. By all means though, practice with your child. It does wonders.

If a child comes home and tells you a staff member told them they need new sneakers to play, they are lying.”

Millions of Fans May Have Been Swindled

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Tim Donaghy is a disgraced NBA referee who gambled on Pro basketball games. He recently wrote a tell all book and the NBA is blocking it’s publication. An excerpt has been published online.

Allen Iverson provides a good example of a player who generated strong reaction, both positive and negative, within the corps of NBA referees. For instance, veteran referee Steve Javie hated Allen Iverson and was loathe [sic] to give him a favorable call. If Javie was on the court when Iverson was playing, I would always bet on the other team to win or at least cover the spread. No matter how many times Iverson hit the floor, he rarely saw the foul line. By contrast, referee Joe Crawford had a grandson who idolized Iverson. I once saw Crawford bring the boy out of the stands and onto the floor during warm-ups to meet the superstar. Iverson and Crawford’s grandson were standing there, shaking hands, smiling, talking about all kinds of things. If Joe Crawford was on the court, I was pretty sure Iverson’s team would win or at least cover the spread.

The corruption alluded to in this piece is staggering. I think given Donaghy’s dubious reputation you have to take it with a grain of salt.  But, if even half of it is true, a lot of people have been had.

Via George Habuki

Are the Fans the Problem or the Owners?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The National Football League has a policy. Games, which are not sold out, are not shown on Local TV. This is to encourage (punish) local residents to go to their home games (and not stay home to watch the game and all its accompanying advertising.)

It doesn’t seem like they will deviate from this. Not in the event of the worst recession in recent memory. Not in the face of massive job loss, thousands of local home foreclosures, and dismal employment outlook.

When I hear people blame the fans, I scratch my head.

Their argument is usually along the lines of-

1) The weather is too nice in San Diego. There’s an array of other things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

2) Too many people who live here are originally from other places. They keep their home team and don’t adopt the chargers.

3) The fans here suck.

I would certainly agree with number one. The rest ring hollow to me.

I recognize that professional football is a business. If people aren’t buying your product it seems shortsighted to blame the end consumer. When Starbucks’s business dropped off, they didn’t label the coffee drinkers as soft or undedicated. They introduced new specials and cut prices.

If most other cities aren’t facing the blackout, it seems like the Chargers ownership, not the team, have failed to adequately build their customer base.

The people who own the Chargers are quite wealthy by any standard. How hard would it be for the Spanos family to “buy” a few thousand tickets and give them away to teachers, cops, kids, etc? Or how about giving them to some military men and women? San Diego is a military town and we are fighting 2 concurrent wars. The news and accompanying photo ops would generate some good will and positive brand awareness.

To me, the blackout issue is between owners of the San Diego Chargers and the NFL. Not the fans and the Chargers team.