Primetime Thursday 3-7 PM
Join us this afternoon as we debate and discuss a couple of different issues in sports that have nothing to do with x's and o's. Author Jon Entine will join us at 3:25 to talk about Fisher DeBerry's comments. Entine wrote the controversial book "Taboo, Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid To Talk about It." Whatever your thoughts are on DeBerry, don't miss the interview because I gurantee it will make you think. Some of Etine's thoughts are below, check it out and tune in this afternoon.
We will also talk more about Sheryl Swoopes and her decision to announce she is a Lesbian, and ask the question WHY WILL THIS NEVER HAPPEN IN A MALE TEAM SPORT? We will also check in with Ted Miller Pac-10 Insider from the Seattle P-I on during the Pac-10 Today segment at 4:05.
Also, see below for some quick thoughts on the Blazers game last night, the disaster that was Preseason NBA Game #7 for Portland.
My Opinion......The World Series was Horrible
In my mind a sweep, unless you are a fan of that particular team, does not make for a compelling series. There has to be drama and this Series, with the possible exception of Game 2, had zero drama. Yes the games were close, but the complete and total offensive incompetence of the Astros made this series tough to watch. How bad was Houston and how inept were they in those few situations where they could have actually made a game exciting and interesting? Everyone knows the Astros went the final 15 innings of the Series without scoring run. Here are two other examples of how they didn't get it done:
1) The White Sox's starting pitchers went seven innings in all four games. In the last 50 years, only three other teams got at least seven innings from their starters in each of the first four games of the World Series
In other words, the Astros never forced the issue offensively.
2) The Astros went hitless in their final 29 at-bats with runners on base in this series, since Jason's Lane's 8th-inning double in Game 3. The only team to have a longer drought with men on base in one World Series was the 1966 Dodgers, who had a 31 at-bat skid against the Orioles.
The television ratings for Game 4 were as follows: Fox earned a 14.8/24 overnight Nielsen rating for its coverage of Game Four of the White Sox-Astros World Series last night, down 24.9% from a 19.7/29 for Red Sox-Cardinals Game Four last season.
Those who complain about the late start and the games going well into the evening may not include those at Fox. Check out these numbers: The primetime portion of the 14-inning game earned an 11.3/17, while the post-11:00pm ET portion of the game drew a 10.8/26. The highest-rated portion of the game was a 13.3/28 from 12:00-12:15am, which included the bottom of the ninth inning. The broadcast earned a 9.1/28 from 1:00-2:20am.
Swoopes is a Lesbian
The reigning WNBA MVP, Sheryl Swoopes, announces she is a lesbian. Shocking news it is not, although at one time the attractive Swoopes was married and her pregnancy was celebrated by the league. But good, she shows courage and honesty and in the end, why should we care?
From ESPN The Magazine:
"Do I think I was born this way? No," Swoopes reportedly told the magazine. "And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are.
"It's not something that I want to throw in people's faces. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not," Swoopes said. "I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love."
So really, why now? Well the almighty buck might be one reason. According to The Sports Business Daily, Swoopes is set to become a spokesperson for Olivia cruise and Resorts, a company that, according to it's web site, specializes in travel for gay and lesbians.
Maybe for Swoopes it is financially rewarding to "come out" and reveal her sexualality.
I will take it one step further. The WNBA (whether you enjoy the quality of women's basketball or not) has one big stigma hanging over it-a perception that 80-90% of the players are lesbian. There are some who probably don't support women's sports as a whole because they believe most female athletes are "gay."
Think about how stupid that really is. Does that mean all girls, from elementary school through high school, college, and the most elite levels, who play team sports are "gay" or going to be "gay" at some point? Or is it just the very best athletes who get to the highest levels that are gay. Is it just a problem in women's basketball? Is it a problem at all?
The second answer is no, so the first is obviously not.
I have a number of friends in the broadcasting business who work in the WNBA and all say the same thing, the landscape of the league in terms of the sexuality of the players has changed. It is a league that is far less "gay" than it was when the league first began. Why is that?
I think for one, the female athlete has changed. The female athlete in school is looked at in a different way. Jenny Finch, Brandi Chastain, Heather Mitts, Mia Hamm, Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and others have all helped change the perception of the female who played team sports. I say team sports because individuals sports like figure skating, tennis, and golf have never had the same stigma hanging over, even though we knew many of those athletes were indeed gay.
What will come of this? Probably nothing. One thing that could come of it is other WNBA players who are lesbian should be less likely to feel as if they need to hide their sexual preferences. The same should be the case with other athletes in other sports, INCLUDING MEN!
Fisher DeBerry's Comments
From The USA Today: Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry, expressing frustration Tuesday with the Falcons' slumping performance, attributed the latest loss in part to No. 20 TCU's having more African-American players who "can run very, very well."
He first mentioned the lack of minority players at Air Force compared with other schools while talking to reporters Monday, The Gazette of Colorado Springs newspaper reported.
When questioned about the remarks during his weekly luncheon Tuesday, the coach didn't hesitate to elaborate.
"It just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run very, very well," DeBerry said.
DeBerry apologized today, but the uproar continues. He said something directly, that many of us think privately, or say in other ways.
I'll give you an example: "Mike Hass is a great receiver... he will be like Kevin Curtis, or Steve Largent in the NFL....."
Of course he will, because he is a WHITE receiver which means you can't compare him to Bobby Engram or Keyshawn Johnson because they are BLACK receivers, even though they probably play a game more closely resembling Hass than Largent ever did.
The perception and at times it seems the reality is that only black players can play the skill positions in the NFL or major college football. Well, the majority of the players at those positions are indeed African-American. But it goes far deeper. There has been a great deal of research on this topic done, and a terrific book called TABOO. One thing that is wrong with what Fisher DeBerry said is it really isn't as simple as black vs. white-it is more a question of white, black and black again.
From an article entitled "Born to Run" by author Jon Entine:
In other words, notions that lump all blacks or whites or Asians together into monolithic racial groups are ignorant of both history and genetics. Genetically, and as a result physically, populations from East and West Africa are very different. Although theyÂre all "black," they may in fact show more genetic variation than any two randomly selected whites.
Distance running requires a relatively specific body type, which is not very common in whites and is nearly non-existent in those with roots in West Africa, where most Africans enslaved in America came from. Many black Americans do tend to have exceptional biomechanical packaging for sprinting Â small and efficient lungs, muscular "mesomorphic" bodies and a high proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which contribute to explosive speed. But those qualities make for lousy distance runners. In other words, all the hard work in the world cannot turn 100-meter champ Maurice Greene into a first-rate marathoner Â or marathon world record holder Catherine Ndereba of Kenya into a world-class sprinter.
Many East and North Africans, who share a genetic and evolutionary history, have slim, short ectomorphic bodies with large capacity lungs and an abundance of slow-twitch muscle fibers Â an ideal profile for endurance sports. But East Africans are also among the worldÂs slowest sprinters. So, while Kenyans and other East Africans hold more than 60 percent of the worldÂs top distance times, the best Kenyan 100 meter run is 10.28 seconds, a lowly 5,000 on the all-time list. In contrast, in sprinting, blacks of West African ancestry, including African Americans, hold the top 220 times in the 100 meters and 494 of the top 500 times.
Our poll question on www.1080thefan.com is in regards to Fisher DeBerry.
END IT NOW! NBA PRESEASON IS UNWATCHABLE!
Especially when you watch the guard play of the Blazers. We thought it was bad last seaso, with the top four "true" guards in the rotation shot a combined 39.2% (834-2126). I HATE preseason stats, because the rotations aren't set, teams are not really playing to win, and most players have a difficult time getting into any kind of groove. But, compare that 39.2% from last regular season to the combined 29% (51-175) for what we believe to be the top four in the guard rotation this season (Smith, Telfair, Jack and Dixon) and it is a little scary. When you add in the assists to turnover ratio for those four which is 82-53, and a team that is already offensively challenged becomes downright pathetic. If you add in Steve Blake and Martell Webster, one or both who should be on the active roster, the shooting numbers only go up slightly to 31%
(72-232). But I, like most, should reserve judgement until the regular season actually begins. Remember Seattle went to LA last year and got blown away by the Clippers and people up in the Emerald City were saying that would be the worst Sonics team EVER! Ok, bad analogy since the Blazers don't have Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, but still, preseason and regular season games one and even two shouldn't mean much. I see the Blazers having a chance to be 2-2 when Sheed rolls into town on November 11th.
From Wednesday... The World Series is TOO Long
Our buddy John Canzano is one of many columnists who wrote on the length and late ending times of the World Series games, especially Game 3. One big reason is Fox adds :30 to each break for an extra commercial. Once you add :30 to each of the 28 half inning breaks, that is obviously an additional half hour of time.
My question is what is the solution? I don't think the start time can ever be perfect. If you go earlier, you lose most of the West Coast's ability to watch any of the first three or so innings. A 7:00 Eastern Start time, with the average commute begin 30 minutes for most cities, means that those baseball fans who live in the Western half of the country will miss almost half of the game.
The solution? Major League Baseball needs to tell Fox, or whoever the television partner is, that they can sell the available inventory as is for a normal game-and if you don't generate enough revenue, raise your rates!
Thank you and goodbye,