Hold on, to what we’ve got?

I guess if I was actually a movie star nowadays, like the one I took the name of, I wouldnt mind the insane salaries that they get paid nowadays. In truth, for her time, the money Harlow was getting a week was pretty crazy, even if you took the depression out of the equation. I have no idea how much Clara Johnson was making for her lesser roles, acting, dancing, and whatever, but I suspect it was enough for a decent life, if not a Hollywood, or Beverly Hills mansion!

Its been the same with music stars, I guess, though apart from a few names, most only have a short period of fame, and then the money just has to last as long as it can, assuming they havent blown it all already?

But yes, fine, this comment comes out of a sporting event over the weekend, and OK, it relates to LA, so…

To me, what some sporting people earn is just crazy money. Even the lower league soccer stars earn more in a week, than I do in a month, for just kicking a ball around. When you get to the Premier League stars, and the stars of some of the US sports, well, it just goes crazy! I know, they’re good at their jobs, but $20 million plus, a year, seriously? I know, if I was male, and good at one of these sports, but, from the outside?

After this weekend, the NFL finally got round to the first coach sacking of the season, Jeff Fisher, at the LA Rams. The crazy thing, he’s only just been given an extension to his contract, so thats about $8 million he’s made, for about a fortnight of work! But the NFL is so loaded with money that even though I’m sure the owner will hate writing that money off, its an insignificant amount, in a billion dollar business! I know, football especially is a dangerous sport, careers are short, but…? Mind, the basketball, and baseball players earn equally insane amounts, but at least they work for a larger portion of the year to earn it!

But fine, the thing that amused me the most about an article on the CBS webpage on this, and the possible dismissal of the General Manager as well in the near future, was the talk of a woman in one of these roles, though I’m pretty sure they mean GM, not Coach! They then proceeded to give a list of 10 suitable names for the latter role, not one of them a woman! I know, I’m hopelessly not qualified, but if (seemingly when) it comes up, I’d be tempted to apply, just to shake up the old boys network. As I say, I wont get it, not qualified, no great experience, but…

Would any woman really stand a chance for a role like that, even if they were perfect for the job, and did apply? Hmm?

Yes, I’ll go back to dreaming of being offered a small theater, or movie part, and leave it at that, I guess! 😉

Video time. What the Rams didnt do in the title, and some would say, what they are now living on.

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A world championship?

Ah, a thorny subject, sporting events, and world championships!

There are some sports, like football, which genuinely have a world cup. Everyone gets the chance to qualify, even if some nations have about as much chance of qualifying for their World Cup, as I have of visiting Pluto! But, the point is, they have the chance. In fact, in the next European Championships, Gibraltar are attempting to qualify for the first time. See the above comment for their chances of doing so. In a friendly, they lost at home, to the might of Estonia (not a football powerhouse!) so the omens arent good, for when they meet stronger teams.

Ironically, they were drawn to be in the same group as Spain, but things were rapidly changed. If you need to know why, just type in Spain/Gibraltar dispute (or similar) into your search engine, and… ah, thats why!

Then we go to the other end of the scale, and one of my favourite sports, baseball. Yes, they have a ‘World Series’ to decide the title, but beyond 1 team from Canada, every team is from the US! Not all the players are, but the teams… and yes, the sport is played in many other nations, who probably couldnt win a genuine world series anyway, but never get the chance to find out! In fact, every couple of years or so (I think?) baseball has a sort of World Cup, and the US doesnt win it every time! Most of the players are in Major League Baseball, but…

Somewhere in the middle, are the 2 sports I’m featuring tonight. Rugby Union, and Cricket, if you must know.

Lets start with rugby, especially given that Ireland won the 6 nations title today (pretty much European championship) when narrowly beating France today. Yes, the 6 nations involved probably are the best in European rugby, but no matter what others do, there is no promotion or relegation involved. Equally, in the southern hemisphere, its basically 4 teams, that are spread around the globe that play off. And no, no matter how good, Samoa, Fiji or Tonga get, there is no route in. They do get to go in the World Cup, but because of their lack of really tough matches, they dont get a true chance to compete.
Not bad, but not perfect.

Then we get to cricket! There are in fact over 100 cricket playing nations in the world, of various abilities, though you would never know it! Officially 10, realistically 8 countries dominate the scene totally. Below which, comes the like of Ireland and Afghanistan. But at least some of the lesser nations do get the chance to play off to be at the World Cup, the 20 over version of which starts tomorrow.

But no, entry isnt equal, far from it. The 6 associate nations not only had to qualify through one tournament, to get to Bangladesh, they then have to qualify again, against the 2 weakest test nations, Zimbabwe and the hosts, to get to play the big boys! And yet the commentators will claim its a world cup! Seriously?

Yes, fine, its better than baseball’s world series, but all the same…bit of a joke! But this is what you get, when you virtually allow 1 country (India) to set down the rules for playing cricket, I guess? I hope Ireland can rub a few big team noses in the dirt, but they dont make it easy any more, maybe because we’ve made them look silly before!

The video, a cynical comment on matters mentioned above, as just the opposite rules in cricket

A day at the races

No, no Marx Brothers here, so if thats what you’re looking for, go elsewhere lol! But given my love of vintage stuff, it just seemed an apt title.

For the next 4 days, its the big August race meeting at York. Thankfully, if things work out right, I should miss most of the fuss and finery involved, as 3 of the days I’m starting at 9, and the other day I’m off. Thankfully thats early enough to avoid the race going crowds, as the trains will be busy enough without them. Tomorrow night, I’ll be through Leeds before they get back there, as I finish work about 5 minutes after the start of the last race, and they are 25 minutes or so earlier down the line than us. Friday and Saturday, should I miss the stopper train, I will see some staggering back mid evening. Probably delay the train (and TPE dont need much excuse for that anyway), and I could do without that in all honesty, especially Friday, as I will have to be up early again for Saturday.

So alright, its fun to see some of the dresses and stuff (and the silly hats) that they wear, and probably would be fun to wear myself, but post racing, many are very drunk, and a sight I’d prefer not to see!

I know going to the races can be expensive over here, but even so, I was amazed to hear the cost of a days racing in the main stand at York each day, £54! ($80 ish?) Wow! And thats not the most expensive option, that was £123 ($180 ish?), and was sold out! Sorry, I thought there was a recession on, or something, or maybe thats just for ordinary folk? The last meeting I went to, a few years back, Philadelphia Park, they welcomed you in for free! Much lower grade racing, but even so…

So, no I wont be going to York races this week, unless someone offers to take me Thursday, and I dont expect that to happen! Me, Thursday, plan is off to Wakefield, afternoon out, collect my dollars for next month, and maybe some shopping? Much cheaper, and for me at least, more fun!

The video, a lovely song, and maybe a moral for those throwing £123 a person at York races this week. If people stayed away due to the ridiculous prices, they might learn sometime, but…

Goodbye ESPN America, I will miss you

To be honest, I dont watch an awful lot of TV with sound. Before that confuses anyone, given where I work, we have masses of screens on, for the racing, for the football (soccer) and other sports, but for obvious reasons, given its a call centre, we dont have any sound on, 99% of the time. Yes, there are a few occasions when the sound goes on, but not very often.

At home, where I can have sound on, the viewing is limited. Pretty much BBC News, Sky Sports (mainly for cricket), and ESPN America for Baseball, College Football, and other things. Sadly for me, tomorrow is the last full day of ESPN America on TV. Why, its something that annoys me even more, is because of Football on TV politicking!

Basically BT Sports have bulldozed in on the football market, and have bought up the ESPN channels over here, and are only keeping the main channel in action.Even if they do (seemingly unlikely) continue to show baseball, there is no agreement with Virgin Media, so its gone for me anyway.

Let me explain. Most of the Premier League football up to the last season was on Sky Sports. ESPN had 1 or 2 games as well in a week, as well as showing plenty of other football. I didnt care, never watched the channel, as people know, I cant stand football! But I did watch its sister channel, ESPN America. Mainly for the baseball, yes, but other things too. As well as college football, they do some fantastic documentaries in the 30 for 30 series. Only Sunday, on an early shift, I sat engrossed as I watched a feature on a 1962 college football team who remained unbeaten during the season, but that was barely the feature of the film. Yes, it was Mississippi, in the days of segregation, about the first black pupil at the college. Oh wow! Unbelievable now to think that 50 years ago, in the Deep South, that was still going on. Did you know Michael Jordan played baseball, as well as basketball? I wouldnt have done, but for another film in this series.

But seriously, apart from the baseball, which I will seriously miss, there is one gem that I will miss just as much. You’ve probably missed it, its broadcast at 6 am, then again at 7 am, Tuesday to Saturday over here, and its called Around The Horn, hilarious stuff. Mainly because of one man, a genius called Woody Paige. The rest are good, but when Woody is on, its crazy!

So all I can say is, thanks ESPN America, for all the good memories, I’m going to miss you.

For those of you who have never seen Woody in action, here’s your chance

How long!

The thing with many sports over here, is that we can settle for a draw, a team doesnt have to win every time they play. Indeed with football, that can be a blessing at times, as some games I’ve had the misfortune to see at work would probably end up 0-0 if they played for 3 days. Of course in cricket, they do play for 3,4 or even 5 days, and the game still ends up a draw.

But over in the good old USA, they dont go in for draws, or not if they can really help it. Well, alright, in soccer they do, but otherwise…The NFL can have a regular season tie, but only after an extra 15 minute period when neither team scores, and yes, they are pretty rare. In the play offs, they do carry on until there is a winner, but even then, one period of overtime is usually enough.

The NHL has one period of overtime, but after that they go into a sudden death shootout to get a result, they dont go on forever. The NBA does continue with overtime periods until a winner is found, but the nature of scoring here tends to get a result in 1, at most, 2 periods of overtime.

But then we come to Baseball. Last night, just after 6 pm, I got home, and ESPN America were just about to start showing Texas playing at Toronto. When I went to bed, at 10.50 pm, they were still playing, at the end of the 15th innings. At that point I gave up, but its still the most innings of baseball I’ve ever seen in a single game. They finally decided it after 18 innings apparently. The thing is, it wasnt even the longest game of the day, Miami and the NY Mets went a mind numbing 20 innings before a winner was decided. Seriously, is the need for a winner really that great? Both of those are the equivalent of 2 normal games, or more!

And seriously, no, they are nowhere near the record for the longest game, that stands, and will probably always stand at 33 innings, back in 1981, between Pawtucket and Rochester, two teams I actually saw play a normal length game back in April. That did stretch to two nights, but 32 innings were played on the first night, play ending at 4.19 am!

So, in tribute to the MLB, and its desire for a winner in every game, I offer…

Last word on the Olympics

One of the rare double postings, but seems apt.

Well alright, I thought I’d finished on this subject, but this morning someone pointed out this article on one of the forums I visit, and hey, its an LGBT issue, so lets roll with it.

http://www.sbnation.com/london-olympics-2012/2012/8/12/3237963/nine-gay-olympians-win-medals-in-london-tying-jamaica-and-iran-for

No, its not that I object to this in the slightest, just the opposite in fact, I’m proud of their stance. But what I am sad about, is that this is news! Please, does it matter if the best Olympians in the world are gay, lesbian or even hetro? Hey, they can be asexual like me for all I care! But no disrespect, do we in all honesty think only 23 competitors at this Olympics were lesbian or gay? I dont, but anyway…thats all that are prepared to out (awful term) themselves to the world. Clearly there are no transgender people there, the gender test would find them out nowadays, though you do have to wonder about some of the East German, and Soviet female participants in the past lol! I suppose in theory an ftm transitioner could take part, but lets face it, its not going to happen. I suppose transgender people could take part in the equestrian events (where both genders compete in one event), but as its generally a rich person’s event…probably not!

Not that other sports are any better, I know of 1 professional male cricketer who has said he is gay, no current soccer players that I know of. One in the past did come out, but received so much hatred, he eventually commited suicide. I suspect the ‘Big 4′ American Sports have hardly anyone between them, if any at all.

Lesbians, yes, I’m sure there are a number, if I only knew. Tennis players, a safe bet there are some, one is even on the list of medallists here. Not as many as there are, thats for sure, or to the same extent as some years ago, but… Besides, Lesbians face a slightly less challenging situation in that position than gay men do. Not perfect, just easier.

I only know of one leading transgender sports person, and calling her leading might be kind. Yes, Renee Richards, female tennis player, and thats it.

Hopefully one day in the future, sexuality of whatever style will be a matter of irrelevance, though I suspect not in the next few years at least. And yes, alright, equality in so many issues for Trans people would be nice too, but again, I wont be holding my breath for it to happen.

So, to the video. What you have to remember with this, is that it comes from the late 70′s, when things were far worse than now. Not that now is perfect, but far, far better than they were back then. Hopefully in 30 years from now, people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but for now…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lR3ffBsMTc