September 14, 2004

Take A Seat

A true Texas gentleman always gives up his chair to a lady...

Another entry in the Modern Museum of Social Decay, the heckling at a Rangers/A's game in Oakland apparently sent Ranger relief pitcher Frank Francisco over the edge, who then launched a chair into the stands.

Of course, there is talk of a lawsuit, the first remedy of resort in American society. The attorney for the woman who caught the chair with the side of her head of course justified the foul behavior of those in the stands:

"Fans are fans and they have a right to have some fun and do some badgering if they want."

Well, sir, that's the excuse I use when my dog digs through the trash - a dog is a dog, they'll do that, it's just in their nature. This reverse anthropomorphism is nonsense. These people are adults, and the fact they've paid to attend doesn't excuse any and all behavior. Attending the professional games of the three major sports, it is easy to attest to the increasingly foul, profane, and drunken excesses of other fans. It's nigh impossible to take a young child to the game without bringing the earmuffs. Snarking the opposing team is a time honored tradition, but poking the beehive is going to eventually provoke a response, and what passes as modern gamesmanship from the fans would be an arrestable offense in any other setting.

This of course doesn't excuse the player, who lashed out like a child by throwing things indoors - I'm sure mom is very proud. Still, everyone has a limit, and if someone insists on pushing your buttons... the best solution is for ballclubs to have effective security that watches for this. It usually takes an incident like this before anyone treats the problem seriously.

A pox on all their clubhouses...

Posted by MEC2 at 03:27 PM

September 12, 2004

Screw Politics

The REAL fall campaign begins today...

After Labor Day, one things matters. Not polls. Not parties. Not politics.

Just this.

As fans of the greatest team in the greatest sport on earth, we sense that excitement is in the air. Alas, we are realistic, and must predict a mediocre 8-8 record this season. The schedule may beckon for 9-7, but we're going to aim low and hope for suprises, rather than aim high and tempt disappointment. Too much in flux to aim too high.

An offense in transition, and a defense that was getting it done with smoke and mirrors is going to end the year pretty well just smoked...

Posted by MEC2 at 08:25 AM

August 19, 2004

My Big Fat Greek Olympics

Olympics have been trouble-free, terror-free, and pretty compelling...

While the Olympics have often resembled a ghost town with painfully empty stands, the fears of an unready Athens or a terror attack have so far been thankfully unrequited. And the games themselves? Surprisingly good.

From an American perspective, the much ballyhooed swimmer Michael Phelps has been for the most part on the money in his medal collecting, though there is no sum large enough we'd not pay if we could get Phelps to put on swim pants that go just a little bit higher. The Iraqi soccer team has been a pleasant surprise, though while being thankful Saddam and his heirs are gone, especially considering their firsthand knowledge of the regime's barbarity, the team doesn't seem to appreciate what it took to accomplish that. First lesson my young Iraqi friends - freedom isn't free...

The most compelling stories so far have been in US gymnatics. Paul Hamm, he of the painfully helium-balloon-voiced pair of brothers representing the US men, had a horrendous first routine, on the vault, and managed with increasingly remarkable performances to climb back in the hunt to medal. And with one of the greatest routines you'll ever see on the high bar, he retook the lead and captured gold by the smallest margin ever. For the women, slightly less dramatics, though Carly Patterson had to come from behind to win a slightly more comfortable all around women's gold, the first since Mary Lou Retton.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the East/West struggle, much of the high drama vanished from the competition of countries at the Olympics. Refreshingly, the high drama of athletic excellence and competition managed to fill the void, and an Olympics many thought would be dull or passe have been outstanding, to say the least.

Posted by MEC2 at 07:57 PM

March 30, 2004

Going To The Mat

Going to the mat on principle is fine, as long as you don't repeatedly pin yourself...

It appears that after months of standing on principle and declining to have the NSA appear before Congress under oath, the White House is relenting to the 9/11 commission's request for public, under oath testimony from Condoleeza Rice.

This continues a bad habit of this administration - going to the mat on principle and then relenting, every time. Be it the 9/11 commission or Bush's ANG records, the Bush White House seems to enjoy paying the full political cost of fighting on principle until that cost is spent, then abandoning the principle.

The price the White House is paying for Karen Hughes' departure seems high. Rove may be feared by the American left as a ruthless, brilliant, Rasputin-like mastermind, but he has seemed to pick the wrong battles to fight, and after taking the hill at high cost, abandons it.

Perhaps they have the goods on Clarke's charges, and want an open forum - one that 60 Minutes didn't quite give for Rice's heavily edited interview. Unfortunately, it reinforces the impression that the Administration will back down after paying the maximum political cost if you exert enough pressure, and that's not the image the Bush campaign wants to project.

Posted by MEC2 at 07:18 PM