Daily Archives: June 6, 2011

USC gets stripped of 2004 Championship

Well it’s only taken 7 years to determine that Reggie Bush cost his school a national championship for taking money while he was a student at USC.

From ESPN:

The decision was not unexpected but required the NCAA’s May 26 rejection of USC’s appeal of sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush investigation to move forward.

The BCS ruling vacated the results of the 2005  Orange Bowl — the national title game for 2004 — as well as the Trojans participation in the 2006 Rose Bowl, in which USC lost to Texas in the championship game.

You might think then that the team that played USC in that game would then be awarded the championship, Oklahoma, but no, that would be too easy.

As a result of the BCS’s Presidential Oversight Committee ruling, there will be no BCS national champion in the record book for the 2004-05 season.

“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are
showcase events for postseason football,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock
said in a statement. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is
for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with
the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.

“This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with
the NCAA’s approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions
whose teams have played in NCAA championship events.”


Well, thanks for playing Reggie. Glad you could screw both schools out of some worthwhile recognition.



USC stripped of ’04 championship (ESPN)


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This better not screw up my swim party


With the El Paso Diablos (independent; American Association) on the market and many in the city not wanting to put any money into Cohen Stadium unless affiliated ball is in the offing, the future of the team is far from assured.

Owner Mark Schuster and Ventura Sports have the team on the market. In the meantime, needed improvements to Cohen Stadium are on hold pending new owners. GM Matt LaBranche has some modest improvements in mind — upgraded restrooms, a better playing field — but for anything major, indy ball may be a hard sell for millions in ballpark changes funded by the city.

As this article makes clear, there are plenty in the city pining for the original Texas League Diablos, the affiliated team owned and run by Jim Paul. That team ended up in Springfield, Mo. after Brett Sports took over from Paul, and there’s perhaps a little mythologizing from some in the city about the affiliated days: Paul was an aggressive promoter — a visionary in that respect — who relied heavily on ticket and item giveaways to draw crowds. It was not a sustainable business model (there is a reason why Paul sold the team), and neither Brett Sports or Ventura Sports chose to follow that business model. It’s an approach that seems to be working: the team is a solid draw (3,738 fans a game in 2010), despite playing in a 10,000-seat ballpark way too big for their needs.

But affiliated ball isn’t coming back soon, at least to the current Cohen Stadium, There was some talk about El Paso landing the relocating Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) before the team landed in Tucson, but it’s hard to tell how serious that talk was. Officials say they’d love to bring in another Pacific Coast League or Texas League team, but we don’t see that happening anytime soon. Right now independent ball is the only game in town, and it’s being run in a credible manner, despite Paul’s opinion that indy ball will die in El Paso. “Independent baseball is a tough sell,” he told the El Paso Times. “It’s hard baseball to make money off of. It’s a long ways to go to try to sell the names of cities coming in.”

Part of the issue may be realistic expectations. Folks in El Paso argue that their city is actually the largest market in the United States without affiliated ball, outpacing the likes of Portland, Oregon. But that depends on a rather silly interpretation of the statistics, focusing on the core Portland population and ignoring the suburbs: the greater Portland Metropolitan Statistical Area (as ranked in U.S. Census figures) population comes in at 2,241,841 in 2009 rankings; El Paso comes in at 751,296. When you look at MSAs, there are other cities lacking any sort of baseball, much less affiliated ball, that are larger than El Paso: New Haven, Orlando, Honolulu. El Paso is a major market, to be sure, but it’s not perceived as being especially affluent and maybe not as alluring as locals assume.

The AirHogs will be playing the Diablos on 6/19 and I will be having a pool party at Porter’s Pool in center field. I am hoping the Diablos will put former AirHog Chad Gabriel in center field so we can all chat with him.


Diablos on market; will city support indy ball? (Ball Park Digest)

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What’s going on with baseball?


There’s something fishy (no pun intended of course) with this picture. Something is going on with baseball.


From the Sportress of Blogitude:

And the skeptics said Major League Baseball wouldn’t succeed in south Florida.

According to the box score from yesterday’s game, the attendance was 13,208 at Sun Life Stadium for the big matchup between the Florida Marlins and the Milwaukee Brewers, but if this photo courtesy of @saralivingston (via @darrenrovell) is any indication, at least 12,000 of those paid attendees came dressed up as empty red seats. Jebus.

Granted, the weather in Miami yesterday was pretty brutal, topping out at 86 ° with a dew point way up there at 72.4 ° with 80% humidity, but still, these people live in that God forsaken climate year round, so you think they would be used to it. Further, the Marlins are having a pretty solid season up to this point, sitting at 31-26, only 3 games back of the first place Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. Can you imagine what it would the stands would look like if the team was horrible? It would probably resemble a typical paltry crowd that shows up for a Tampa Bay Rays game, for crying out loud.

An interesting thing may be happening here. Baseball is becoming unpopular? Sweet begeebus!!!! Say that can’t happen!!

My favorite sport is under attack!!


Marlins Mania: This Is How A Standing Room Only Crowd Looks In The Bizarro World (Sportress of Blogitude)


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Dad spends the school year waving at bus, embarrassing son

This isn’t a sports story, but I did find it interesting.

From my friend Rick Chandler over at Off the Bench, this story makes the surface.

No matter how cool a teenager’s mom and dad might be, few teens get through high school without feeling their parents embarrassed them.

And one teen has his dad to thank for embarrassing him the entire school year — well, 170 days of it.

When the high school’s bus routes changed this year, 16-year-old Rain Price soon found out he’d be going right past his house every single morning. Much to his chagrin, he also found out his dad would be standing outside, waving.

Continue reading

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Is this Maverick fan crying or sweating?


Ugh!!! The cameras caught up to a Dallas Fan last night at the American Airlines Center for the Mavs vs. the Heat game.

Is this fan crying or is he just over-heated?

From the Sportress of Bologitude:

It’s hard to say, really. On the one hand, this face painter could be simply reacting to his beloved Dallas Mavericks going down two games to one in the NBA Finals after the squad lost to the Miami Heat 88-86 Sunday night. Alternatively, the bead of moisture running down his painted blue cheek could also be stemming from the considerable amount of perspiration accumulating on his forehead.


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If you serve turkey testicles, they will come

Here is the most bizzare story of the day, from Ballpark Digest

The last two seasons should have been gravy time for the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants (independent; American Association) as the team set marks for wins. Instead, attendance is plunging after branding and concession changes. What can be done to stem the tide?

No doubt managing partner Gary Weckwerth thought he was opening a new chapter in Sioux Falls baseball after buying the team and changing the team name from Canaries to Fighting Pheasants. Along the way ballpark operations were overhauled, with Ovations brought in to run concessions, and manager Steve Shirley established a winning program on the field.

Instead of crowds swarming the Bird Cage, the opposite happened: attendance plummeted 35 percent last season to 1,922 per game, and it’s even lower this season, some 1,226 fans a game. (That number will rise in coming weeks after school lets out for the summer, though.) What went wrong?

Lots of little things, it seems. First, popular GM John Kuhn was let go. A former Goldklang Group employee and an indy-ball veteran, Kuhn brought many Veeckian touches to the ballpark, greeting fans at the gates and making his presence known throughout the game. He brought in some high-profile promotions along with some high-profile sponsors; he made headlines selling deep-fried turkey testicles, but did it with the backing of a major sponsor.

That can’t be good when you have to rely on turkey testicles to get people to come watch baseball.


As Pheasants struggle at gate, owners look for solutions (Ballpark Digest)

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Wakeup Call: Yes, the AirHogs were swept, so what?

Good morning you bright and beautiful sports fans. Welcome to another week of summer in the world of sports. Before I begin with today’s news, please be advised that the Grand Prairie AirHogs were swept in their 3 game series with the St. Paul Saints. All I have to say to that is, “so what?”

It’s just one series. It’s the first time the AirHogs lost a series this year, gimme a break. Last night’s game was the first time they were shut out this year. gimme a break. All I can say is, it was one series. The good news is, there is a different opponent tonight at QuikTrip Park. Amarillo makes its first trip to the city for tonight’s game, and YOU can be a part of it.

So ok, here is the bad news, but let me just say, sometimes the more you try to analyze something, sometimes it’s like micro-managing, it get’s worse. My suggestion is, just look at this past weekend as an freak of nature. It was out of the ordinary. The Grand Prairie AirHogs are still in first place, just like the Texas Rangers are.

By the way, I heard a lot of folks didn’t go to the game because you wanted to watch the Mavs last night. Now I’m a big Mavs fan too, but why spend 5 hours on a team only to lose in the last seconds by two points? Crazy. Could have seen that at the ball park after the baseball game was over. They televised it.

From AirHogsbaseball.com: Bats go quiet as AirHogs are swept

In the first two games of the series against the St. Paul Saints, the Grand Prairie AirHogs had plenty of opportunities to get victories, but could not get the big hit they needed. On Sunday, the AirHogs were simply overwhelmed at the plate by three Saints pitchers, as St. Paul won 7-0 to complete a three-game sweep in front of 1,552 fans at QuikTrip Park.

OK, so the AirHogs were swept. I’m looking out my window this morning and guess what? The sun came up! Let’s get on with the new day shall we?

I saw some funny things at the park over the weekend. Check this out:

So come on out to the park tonight and watch the AirHogs get back on track. It’s gonna be sweet!!!

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