nfl

Pastime: Can Baseball Stop Slipping From The Top Spot

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Well we’re a week away from the beginning of baseball season, and to me this signals an important transition in weather. If you can play baseball at Fenway Park then the horrible New England winter weather is most likely over; and thank god for that. But something is truly troubling to me, and that is that it feels like Baseball is being replaced, as our national pastime by football. We’re seven days away from baseball season, and all anyone can talk about is the NFL draft. And look, I don’t blame them this is one of the best draft classes of all time, but hey the boys of summer are back, and its time to hit the diamond not the gridiron. To me there are many contributing factors to why this is happening, but I wonder could the two co-exist as the national pastimes.

First of all lets look at baseball. Baseball is a pastoral game developed in the 1800’s and eventually moved into the cities of America in the early 20th century with the massive industrialization and urbanization . You could go see a game for a little money. Up until they started playing multiple night games a week Chicago Cubs fans would leave work mid-day to watch the Cubs play nine innings, and return to work.

But now things like this are impossible with the average ticket costing a literal arm and a leg, and unless you have a group-on your not getting into the stadium without shelling out a hefty amount of cash. First of all you have your ticket. Then you have transportation you have to figure in gas, tolls, parking, and possibly trains and buses. Then when you get in the stadium everything is incredibly expensive. One beer and a hot dog can run you up to $20. Ridiculous if you ask me. But it’s like this in every sport, but the thing about baseball is that they have the longest schedule out of all the Major Sports. Thus attending a baseball game multiple times a week has become a far off dream for many baseball fans.

Fortunately as a Red Sox fan we usually don’t have to see Fenway Park barely full, but other teams can barely get fans in the door. Why? Because of the expense and frequency. Think about it if you go to a game do you want to spend a king’s ransom to see the Astro’s play terribly against whatever team they’re playing against, or do you want to go see the Rockets who have one of the highest winning percentages in Basketball play against any team in the NBA? Easy choice…

As for frequency I would say that 162 games is too long of a season. The typical MLB season lasts 180 days. This leaves players only 18 off days, and about 15 off days if they’re partaking in All-Star Game festivities. This frequency to me is what is deterring fans from getting into baseball, as it is just too hard to keep up with if you have a life. Plus the scheduling is quite confusing with teams playing 19 games against four opponents in own division which adds up to a whopping 76 games. They then play 6 games against 11 opponents in other divisions within their league which adds up to 66 games. And then there are 20 inter-league games. To be able to schedule that must be quite the task, let alone being a casual fan or someone new to the game.

Now lets look at Football where there football is a 16 game schedule. This makes football an easy thing to keep tabs on, and every Sunday (or Monday and Thursday) is an event. As a fan you know your team is playing that day, and you know against which team, and you’ve been breaking down the matchup all week in your head, and probably are planning on watching multiple games, as you want to watch your players on your fantasy team play.

Now these two sports are like comparing apples and oranges, but lets look at one of the other contenders for America’s national pastime, Basketball. The NBA is interesting because it’s regular season is almost half the length of the MLB’s. During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year which adds up to 16 games. Each team plays six of the teams from the other two divisions in their own conference four times which adds up to 24 games. They then face the remaining four teams three times which adds up to 12 games. Every team also plays all the teams in the other conference twice adding 30 games.

Now this cut in frequency is something that baseball should consider. 82 games might be a little low, but somewhere around the 110-120 mark would not be bad, and it would allow more rest for players, and would increase attendance at many parks. I’d also beef up the MLB playoffs, as they are quite boring we all know which pool of teams are going to be a viable choice for the playoffs by June, but by adding a longer playoff it would make the game more interesting, and would make playoff races better, as teams would be fighting even harder to make it into the playoffs.

This would make baseball go through the roof, and bango we have our national pastime back, and it can co-exist with Football….

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The Washington Redskins : What’s in a Name (Can Someone Tell Maria Cantwell and Tom Cole To Put A Sock In It)

BgKV7J2CMAAvsBI(CBS)-  Two members of Congress plan on pushing Roger Goodell to change the Redskins name by sending him a “strongly-worded letter” that could include a threat of trying to revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status. The Washington Post reports Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) are looking for ways to pressure the league in the face of the Redskins’ continued usage of their name. Cantwell said she would “definitely” consider revoking the tax-exempt status. “You’re getting a tax break for educational purposes, but you’re still embracing a name that people see as a slur and encouraging it,” Cantwell said. The Post obtained a copy of the letter Cantwell and Cole drafted to Goodell (with a Feb. 10 date on it), with them objecting Goodell’s “pre-Super Bowl press conference” where he “defended the Washington team name as an ‘honor’ to Native Americans.” “It is, in fact, an insult to Native Americans,” the letter reads. Cantwell and Cole go on to cite the opinions of the National Congress of Native Americans and then to point out that the Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant the Washington football team’s trademark because they “found the term disparaged Indian people.” “The National Football League is on the wrong side of history,” the letter reads. “It is not appropriate for this multibillion dollar 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization to perpetuate and profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people.” It’s a strong argument to take against the NFL. Losing tax-exempt status would be a big, big thing for the league. The Redskins responded (kind of — it wasn’t a direct response, but the timing indicates it was an answer of sorts) on Monday by announcing the “release of Community Voices,” a project involving statements from people of Native American heritage who support the name. “Over the past few months, we have received hundreds of letters, calls and emails from self-identified Native Americans in support of the name ‘Washington Redskins,'” the team said in a statement announcing the Community Voices project. “Their comments make clear why our team name means so much to them and to so many in the Native American community. “It is essential for Redskins Nation to know what the majority of Native Americans really think — in their own words — and why it is so important that we listen to their voices on this issue. We should not turn our back on these Native Americans. Their voices deserve to be heard. We want Redskins Nation and the sports world to know what many Native Americans really think and why our name is their source of pride.” It’s a decent argument to make and about as good a PR push as you can make in this instance. Sticking with the Redskins name in the face of all the outcry is a tough position. With two members of Congress apparently determined to get a change implemented, it’s going to be an even tougher position for the league to take.

“What’s in a name?” is an adage from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet  that is used far to frequently, but in this situation it is all too perfect. The Redskins are a  franchise that have been around since 1932, and for the past few years the public forum has been speaking out about their disgust towards the Washington D.C. area’s team Name and symbol which they say are derogatory. Well now congress is speaking up, and they have presented an ultimatum to the NFL which would un-exempt their tax exempt status.

And to this I say… Maria Cantwell and Tom Cole quit trying to be the PC police. If a private organization (which the Redskins are) choose to keep a name they’ve had for 82 years then I have no problem with it. If congress were to make any action then in my opinion  they’d be infringing on the rights of Daniel Snyder, a private owner and citizen, as well as every Redskin player and every Redskin fan.

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P.S. – If they do change the name please don’t change it to something stupid like the Pelicans

P.S.S. Baseball season is right around the corner I wonder what tirades Chief Wahoo will go through chief-wahoo

 

Charles Tillman Is a Real Class Act

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If this next story doesn’t tell you something about Charles Tillman’s character I don’t know what will.

Tillman received the  the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award on saturday  at the NFL Honors Show which was held at Radio City Music Hall.Tillman’s no stranger to philanthropic work. In his spare time he and his wife run the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, the Charles’ Locker program that provides support for pediatric hospital patients and their families, and the Tiana Fund, which provides grant money to families in need.

But it turns out, Tillman was not done giving, and on Sunday morning he sent out this tweet

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Which was followed by this tweetScreen Shot 2014-02-07 at 2.41.49 AM

Doltz’s friend Neeraj Singh was the man that made it happen, and by kickoff Greg Doltz was sitting in Metlife stadium watching the Super Bowl. Talk about an awesome friend, and a great recipient.

The Doltz family and many others have given up so much for our country, it just reminds us how much we have to be thankful for, and how much we need to support our troops and their families.

For ways you can help our veterans check out these charities:

(These veterans charities received an A or A+ grade from CharityWatch, a charity watchdog group that analyzes charities’ financial reports)

Armed Services YMCA http://www.asymca.org

Fisher House Foundation http://www.fisherhouse.org

Homes for our Troops http://www.homesforourtroops.org

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund http://www.semperfifund.org

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund http://www.fallenheroesfund.org

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society http://www.nmcrs.org

National Military Family Organization http://www.militaryfamily.org

Operation Homefront http://www.operationhomefront.net