Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Riddle this

I am in the liar of one of the super 1 percent. You know, where they come to beg money to be President. Where am I

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Family, God, Mass Media/politics, and Sports

The other day the better half texts me and says we are having meatloaf for dinner, what do I need to buy. I text back some ingredients and think all right meatloaf. I get home start doing some stuff and she arrives from the grocery store with what we didn’t have. I keep working along and finally she says to me when are you going to cook? I said I thought you said you were making meatloaf. She says, no I said we are having meatloaf. I don’t know how to cook it, you need to cook. I need to pay better attention to syntax.

For those of you who don’t think we were created, please answer me this: if we weren’t created then how can we understand we made a mistake and have the ability to fix it? Other animals don’t.

I was reading a story about a comedian attacking Bill O’Reilly’s show about three white people talking about racism on his show. I am sorry I forgot the gentleman’s name. His point pretty much was the three white people and even though one was a bit emphatic about there is racism in this country, Bill was still being Bill. And this brings me to the problem of FOX news in general. They don’t know anything is wrong with FOX News because FOX News never looks in the mirror.

The Mavs better draft a shooting guard at least 6’3” and athletic. They don’t have to draft the highest scorer or biggest star. Just someone who has good fundamentals in their shooting, athletic so they can be taught NBA defense, and well give the Mavs some youth. You look at all the people the Mavs go for in free agency,,, at one point they were drafted. There is talent they just need to look deep at what the potential is and coach to it. I like Coach Carlisle very very much, but sooner or later they have to step up and start building this team and developing players.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Problem still not solved

Well they may take down the confederate flag in South Carolina. A young man will go to jail for heinous crimes.

Many families in South Carolina have lost their love ones doing what gives them the most peace, being at prayer.

The whole nation is talking about racism. And I have avoided blogging about it. To tell the truth I have been uncomfortable with what to say. There is so much being said and would anything I say matter.

I was listening to the radio this evening for a few minutes driving to the store and the radio host* did say some pretty good things in my opinion. He was talking mainly about the flag situation and was pretty upset quoting people that said “the flag has become a problem” the use of the phrase “has become” became one of his main points. The flag has always been a problem, it just didn’t become a problem.

And he is right. We can’t keep saying a problem has developed every time there is a race incident. This is a problem we haven’t been able to overcome. Do I have any solutions? I wish I did, but there are no magic wands, this is decades if not centuries old now and it will not go away if we put this young man to death or sentence him to life in prison. As regular readers know I always say it will take two or three generations to overcome this if we start today actually trying to do something about it. My solutions I usually offer are general, but they are a starting point and that is true education of our youth and true opportunity for all. This is just a starting point. And I cannot tell you exactly where this fits into generating that beginning.

Our country’s racism is deep rooted. One item I am confused about is how big of a problem is it. Many stats are bantered around, but I do not think anyone has a true grasp. And we probably won’t know till we start truly looking at our self as a nation in the eye and say this has got to stop. No matter the noise right now I am fearful we have not come to this point yet.

Going back to the radio host one of his other points was it took 9 people being shot in a CHURCH, not on the street for people to really come out and say how heinous this crime. I agree this is a valid point. White Christians have to come to grip with how Christian they are right now.

So I know I have not added anything new to the discussion, but the radio host did shake me up a bit and I am thankful to him. I wish I could add something new, make some statement that would spur constructive action to begin to not heal, but actually cure this horrible cancer on our society. Yet tomorrow or next week another headline will distract many of us away from this crime and the potential it could bring to us to start curing the disease. Let’s hope I am wrong and some of our more visible politicians will actually become leaders and start us down the right path.

Just like Nixon going to China, we need a major conservative politician to step up and call out the racists and right wing in our country and denounce them publicly so others have the courage to help begin this fight.

*I did not get the name of the person speaking, I was only in the car a few minutes, but it was ESPN radio and I think it was a national show. This was on Monday night 06/22.

And I feel this whole post is cliché as heck. I struggle writing on certain topics. Yet I feel I cannot sit on the sidelines either. To be silent is to acquiesce

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

more just sayin'

Donald Trump announced he is running for President today. So how many aren’t we (morally) bankrupt enough jokes have you heard so far?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Just sayin'

Norquist's tax pledge is like urinating on a fire ant mound, you feel better, but it doesn't solve the problem.

Someone somewhere has probably said something similar, but just couldn't resist.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sport Contracts dilemma

It is correct that I have been blessed not having multi million dollar contracts in my life. So this doesn’t make me an expert on sports management, but what the hey, still going to throw out my two cents anyway.

This must be a real headache for both players and management trying to figure out what is the worth of a player in the third and fourth year when they go to sign a new contract. And with the possible jump in salary cap in basketball next year where does that leave a player signing a new contract this year. This applies to the NBA so I will use their example to make my points that might also be applicable to other sports.

I started thinking about this after reading an article (about the 30th this year) saying Monta Ellis is probably going to opt out of his contract for the upcoming year and try free agency. Of course some of the commentary was about whether or not he is selfish, moody etc… and that affected his play this past year.

And the other scenario that drove some of my thoughts is the play of Matthew Dellavedova for the Cavaliers in the current NBA finals.
The current way contracts are developed leave out opportunities to reward or encourage play going forward. Matthew is doing well right now, so why not have in place the mechanism to reward someone virtually on the spot or at least have the equivalent of a Christmas bonus at the end of the season to reward him for the role he has stepped into in the finals. Many people will say and GMs included will say he has his contract we are already paying him to play. And in most ways they have a valid argument.
The other side is someone like Monta. He watches someone younger get paid twice as much as himself without having proven himself to the team like Monta did the year before. And yes I know all players know there is the reality that young new stars are going to be given major contracts based on the potential factor. And they are suppose to step up and play well based on their current contract. And I think they should, but I also think they should have the opportunity to be compensated if they continue to improve as the contract goes on.
The details will need some serious work to make this a viable plan, but there should be something in place to help teams work with their players that doesn’t have to include being in the standard salary cap.
My suggestions are something akin to a year end bonus. Or contracts that stay within the cap, but can be altered at the end of the year based on metrics etc. And sometimes metrics aren’t the whole story, such as the hustle plays Dellavedova was making in the first three games of the finals.
The complications could be: are you offending some players if not all players get a year end bonus, how do you measure the actual payout (percent of salary or fixed amount or something else), how does the league control teams just going haywire because they can, and I am sure there are other situations I cannot think of right now.

The positives are if someone like Monta continues to grow with his current contract a team may be able to hold onto him for his final year instead him of opting out if he sees the team recognizing what he is contributing. His motivation to do well is still there even though a younger player gets a better contract. Or someone who has a great year, but historically hasn’t always done well. He gets paid for his great year and the team can still keep a reasonable contract on him till he shows some consistency year over year. If he does, they can continue to bonus him.
And finally with all the talk about the cap jumping up significantly next year how do you sign star players this year. This is a dilemma for both the players and team management. Players that sign this year may want to renegotiate next year because there is such a huge jump in the cap. Or management may have to only be able to offer shorter contracts because a max player wants to be on the market again next year. How can you build team continuity if you have to renegotiate year after year with the same players or with the Mavericks case over half your team is free agents each year? ( I have another beef with Maverick drafting that I will save for another day)

If players are allowed to negotiate good contracts for themselves, but know on the back end if they grow with the team it could be even more lucrative; then teams get a better product because now they have the continuity they need so the coaches can develop long term plans and strategies for the team and what types of offenses and defenses they can employ successfully.
If teams do not like how players are performing they can send a message by not rewarding anything extra. The player still gets the contract money so they should have no complaint. Human nature says they will, but with many making millions quite frankly the fans wouldn’t be too upset and it allows teams to focus on the players that want to play for them or just want to play.

I know this is a rough idea and probably been discussed before by someone somewhere. I think though it is worth discussing more. As a fan it is hard to watch someone not play well making millions in some cases when there are so many role players busting their back end for far less money. They may not be star caliber, but their efforts are so important to the team and to supporting the stars in what they do. Somehow someway this needs to be addressed without affecting/reducing the current cap situation. Teams are still held accountable to managing their team and hopefully maintaining some parity, but not held hostage when they have players that went way above and beyond.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Bandwagon Problem

We all know the bandwagon syndrome. It happens in sports, pop culture with favorite artists, and of course politics.

A side bar problem is developing. And that is some of the posting to boards of various stories.

Posting in general happens in sports all the time. You have fans for one side and the other all looking to one up the other side in what is being said. This is usually all in fun and most posters know in the end it will be the players that decide the outcome. Of course there is the usual percentage of blame the Ref posts that happen also. Overall though there is some discussion of a game or event that evaluates the actual events with some degree of rational discourse. One sided yes, but at least many comments discuss pro and cons of what is going on.

What has been happening over the last few elections and is definitely getting worse is the one upmanship in political commentary. People seem to work real hard to come up with the quip that gets the most up votes. There is less and less discussion of the story, the policy, the event, or the person and whether what they have to offer is viable.
This ramps up the hate in politics. If you only want recognition for how popular your comment is then you must up the ante in every story. You can read through post after post and the majority is just someone trying to make some inane comment that tops all the other comments on that particular story. There are still some posters trying to actually discuss a point or two either their own or from the story, but they are seriously drowned out by all the noise posts. And since most story boards default to the most popular posts being on top, any rational comment very rarely gets read. And of course this only reinforces the need to find the perfect derogatory quip if you want to have the most up votes.

I am hoping that these commentaries are only a reflection of a small group of people who have nothing to do, but become the most popular kids in class. It is hard to tell. I do not spend the time analyzing each person’s name to see how often it appears. Also there is the statements that accuse each side of hiring people to post on the boards. I would assume if this is the case then they would be the driver of finding quips to reflect negatively on the other point of view to hopefully convince others their side is right. It doesn’t do any good, but at least we aren’t in as much trouble as I am thinking.

What this does do is inhibit rational discussion of stories and political viewpoints. After awhile rational people will get tired of this insanity and quit participating. (I am not a rational person). This hurts us as a country. If we value free speech, overall the speech should have some value. How can people with good ideas or points of view or a truly good commentary on a situation be allowed to speak if only the noise gets through?

The internet was supposed to be the greatest invention to move free speech forward. In a backwards way it is becoming its greatest enemy. This includes much of the commentary by news bloggists too. If you want to say something you have to be the loudest person on the block or worse the Kardashians or the Palins. Which leads me to another point. Why are these two families and groups so popular? Neither group offers anything of value to our country yet they tend to dominate the media noise at a high level. There are more than these two family groups, but they are the most extreme example of worthless attention.

The news bloggists fall into this trap. Of course they are stuck since their shows are driven by ad dollars. They have to spit out a large amount of worthless verbiage and keep the attention on them self to survive in this media world. And at least they fall under an umbrella of being called professional commentators. Yet what they have to offer most of the time is the same juvenile name calling etc that the amateur bloggers do on the story boards.

So this leads to the problem. We now have people who are trying to lead political bandwagons with nothing more than one sentence statements that offer nothing to our country and nothing to us as a society.

On a different note, how do we support the scientists (and of course all the people) in Russia. They were protesting today in Moscow. More and more of what is happening in Russia is becoming frightening if you want democracy to flourish or at the very least survive. I wish I could offer more to them than this feeble attempt at mentioning their plight and the need for us to come out in their support. As regular readers know I am always supporting better education. How can you have a better education system if scientists cannot have the ability to do the research and work they need to do without obstruction (okay there is a value component to discuss another day) to help us understand our world. Or to teach us what they have learned. We need to continue to put pressure on Putin and support the Russian people so they can become the great country they want to be.

Watched the Belmont Stakes. Always a great day to watch a bit of sports history. Congratulations to American Pharaoh.

And to all those of the Great Generation on this historic day, too bad our current political leadership cannot step up to the plate for our country like you did. Thanks for everything you did.

Finally it is now summer a traditional time to travel. Please do if you get the chance. I know with the economy the last few years it has become difficult to be able to travel, but this is such a beautiful world, everyone needs to see as much of it as possible.