Trash Talk: The Trashiest Talk Ever Trashed

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I’m braced for the crabbing sure to come with this post: “But this is Trash Talk, it’s supposed to be about sports!”

Uh, it’s TRASH talk, which is talk about trash. Not all trash is exclusively about sports.

There are also more sports than those contained on a field or played with a ball, for that matter. Like the sport of celebrity watching — just ask Golf Magazine.

This week’s Trashiest Trash Talk covers the intersection between sports trash and celebrity trash — when popular performer in Entertainment Industry A meets popular performer in Entertainment Industry B and begins dating.

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Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, has something going on with mega pop star Taylor Swift.

In case you have not been on the planet the past few weeks, here’s what’s been happening: Kelce, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, confessed awhile back to his brother Jason Kelce, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, that he had unsuccessfully tried to slide his digits to Swift via a friendship bracelet at the Kansas City stop of her “Eras” concert tour.

People became invested. Travis Kelce later said he “threw the ball in her court” and told Swift, “I’ve seen you rock the stage in Arrowhead. You might have to come see me rock the stage in Arrowhead and see which one’s a little more lit.”

Plot twist: Swift showed up at his game last Sunday and sat in a suite next to his mom. Swift and Kelce – now known as “Tayvis,” “Traylor,” “Swelce” or “K. Swift,” depending upon who you ask – even left the game via Kelce’s convertible. Photos have since surfaced of the two of them together looking quite chummy.

It’s not an unbelievable pairing. Both Kelce and Swift are 33 years old, Kelce being only a couple months older than Swift. They’re from neighboring Rust Belt states; Kelce is from Westlake, OH and Swift was from West Reading, PA. They both have established careers and aren’t hurting for money or attention though Swift’s income is far greater by a dizzying magnitude.

Unsurprisingly, the internet has gone bonkers about this couple. Kelce already had a good size fanbase because of his achievements on the field (“one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history (top five, to be exact). He’s also won two Super Bowls, has 825 receptions for 10,000+ yards, and 71 career touchdowns“) and appearances off the field (star of E! Entertainment’s Catching Kelce reality TV dating show as well as advertising appearances).

And then there are Swift’s Swifties — a legendary massive fandom who’ve followed her work as far back as 2004.

Will any of the buzz around this pair do anything for NFL football? Many football fans may find all the hoopla a distraction from the sport. But it’s possible a new audience and a new generation of football fans may emerge from this pop culture convergence.

There are already multiple articles with explainers about football aimed at Swifties.

Imagine what Swifties could do to ticket and merch sales this season given the size of Swift’s audiences like the one in Kansas City which set the “Tayvis” buzz in motion. Kelce himself could earn another $5-$10 million this year; his merchandise sales exploded by 400% last weekend thanks to the “Taylor Swift effect.”

Given Taylor’s has already met and been hanging with Kelce’s mom at the game last weekend, this is going to be this season’s personality angle to watch.

There’s just one problem — a rather ugly downside. If this couple doesn’t last, you can expect a crash spread across entertainment media and yet another mega hit record complete with breakup song about a tight end.

Swift is expected at MetLife Stadium tomorrow night to watch Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs against the New York Jets. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

The NFL has already been capitalizing on this in its promotions, of course. Can hardly wait for the breakup song swatting that kind of opportunism.

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Speaking of Taylor Swift, the pop star deployed her own “Taylor Swift effect” for the benefit of democracy this week:

“…Just days after Swift urged Swifties to register to vote on National Voter Registration Day in an Instagram Story, shocker, they listened and signed up to do their civic duty in record numbers.

On Wednesday (Sept. 20), Vote.org’s communications director, Nick Morrow, wrote on X (fka Twitter) that Swift’s plea resulted in a tidal wave of new registrations. “Fun fact: after @taylorswift13 posted on Instagram today directing her followers to register to vote on @votedotorg, our site was averaging 13,000 users every 30 minutes. 13!” he revealed, noting the cosmic coincidence of the bump coalescing with the singer’s favorite number. …”

More of this kind of opportunism, please and thanks!

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In other sports news —

• The 44th Ryder Cup’s Day 2 just wrapped. As a family member concisely put it after yesterday’s golf matches wrapped up, “Team USA got waxed!” Team Europe led the US as they teed off this morning at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome, Italy; they hung onto their lead through the end of play today. It’s not looking good for Team US this year.

• Green Bay Packers sent a message to their ticketholders encouraging them to resell their tickets to Packers’ fans after this Thursday night’s game when the Detroit Lions won 34–20, propelling a sea of blue jersey-wearing Lions fans onto Lambeau Field. Apparently the sight got Packers’ dander up more than the Lions’ holding the Pack to a mere total 27 yards rushing.

• As anticipated, MSU Spartan’s head coach Mel Tucker was fired this week for his “inappropriate and unprofessional conduct” relating to interaction with a sex abuse prevention activist. Tucker has indicated he’ll sue MSU for wrongful termination.

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Bring your trash here; consider this an open thread.

Trash Talk: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children Edition

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Bonus second Trash Talk today, a day with perfect football weather here in Michigan — temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s , partly cloudy, light wind out of the southwest. The scent of freshly mown grass mingled with smoke from tailgaters’ grills, heightening anticipation for today’s games. Depending on where you live, games may already have wrapped or are underway as they are in East Lansing, Michigan.

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Anticipation doesn’t fully describe what Michigan State University fans and students are likely feeling today. You may already have heard about a new scandal centered on MSU’s football coach, Mel Tucker, who has been accused of sexual harassing behavior by activist Brenda Tracy.

The entire situation reeks because MSU was caught flat footed in its response to the situation in spite of the university’s past history dealing with scandal related to sexual abuse. You’ll recall the prosecution of former osteopathic physician Larry Nassar based on charges he sexually abused dozens of girls and women gymnasts during his practice affiliated with USA Gymnastics and his career with MSU. It took nearly a decade from the first complaints by athletes before Nassar was convicted and jailed.

Here’s a timeline of events related to the allegations about to Mel Tucker:

April 28, 2022 — During a phone call between Tracy and Tucker, Tracy alleged Tucker made sexual comments about her and engaged in nonconsensual masturbation.

December 2022 — Tracy filed a Title IX complaint with MSU.

July 25, 2022 — Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger, an outside investigator hired by MSU, completed the Title IX investigation into Tracy’s allegations.

September 10, 2023 — USA Today published a story disclosing Tracy’s allegations against Tucker, revealing Tracy’s identity. Though Tucker acknowledged to the investigatore he masturbated while on the phone with Tracy, he claimed they were engaged in consensual phone sex, denying misconduct.

September 10, 2023 — MSU suspended Tucker without pay and asked former associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett to assume the role of Acting Head Coach in addition to his role as Secondary Coach.

September 13, 2023 — Michigan State University Trustee Dianne Byrum demanded MSU conduct an investigation in the leak of Tracy’s identity which appeared in USA Today’s report. “I am disturbed and outraged by recent reports indicating the name of a claimant in a sexual harassment investigation was intentionally released in an apparent effort to retaliate against her. We should unequivocally condemn attempts to silence or retaliate against victims,” Byrum said.

September 14, 2023 — MSU announced the return of retired former head coach Mark Dantonio to assist Barnett. Dantonio will take on the role of associate head coach.

A hearing has been scheduled for the first week of October, the outcome of which may decide Tucker’s continuing employment with MSU.

Reporting about the allegations has been far from neutral. This report by USA Today — Mel Tucker made millions while he delayed the Michigan State sexual harassment case — published on September 14 assumed Tucker was deliberately delaying the hearing when he refused to accept the August 22-23 dates.

Never mind that August is the busiest month for an NCAA coach. MSU Spartans players attend a preseason camp beginning August 3. Dorm move-in dates are August 22-24. First classes are August 28. The team had 15 practices scheduled between the end of camp and the season opener on September 1.

But sure, Tucker was delaying the hearing. Never mind that USA Today then hammered on Tucker’s wages which surely reflects the intense pressure Tucker’s been under to improve on the Spartans’ past lackluster performance.

The inability to find workable dates in September was a more legitimate problem, but September with a new team is also just as sensitive for NCAA football coaches. The October date makes a lot more sense (and is hardly the kind of extension a certain former president demands for criminal charges).

The intense public scrutiny about this case also wouldn’t have emerged had not USA Today decided to publish its September 10 and 14 pieces. The public would  have heard after the October hearing that Tucker was fired if it was determined he violated Title IX, or perhaps the public would never have heard anything if it was determined his behavior had no affect on education under Title IX.

Detroit Free Press shared an interview conducted by FOX 2 Detroit with Tucker’s employment attorney, Deborah Gordon. She’s one of the best employment attorneys in the state and also recommended for representation in Title IX cases. Her explanation of what Tracy and Tucker can expect from the hearing is worth a listen. And yet the Free Press also takes a position by not pushing back against Gordon’s claim to FOX 2 that Tucker was a “high profile guy” who Tracy wanted to “go after. And she did it.”

Of course Tucker’s attorney would say this. What kind of attorney wouldn’t do that for their client?

MSU Spartans play No. 8 ranked Washington Huskies at home in Lansing today – kickoff was at 5:06 p.m. ET.

Expect players, their families, friends, and fans to be quizzed about the scandal because the media needs clickbait.

Can’t imagine what current students and their families as well as prospective students and families are discussing at home about this situation, because nobody in the media is thinking about them at all, nor teaching them about the concept of assuming innocence until one is proven guilty.

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Disgust as a “conservative” emotion — ?

We kicked around some disgusting GOP behavior in comments last evening beginning with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s skanky on-again-off-again-can’t-stop affair with GOP consultant and alleged sexual harasser Corey Lewandowski. I mentioned studies I’ve run across which found “conservatives” respond more negatively and more intensely to prompts which are often labeled disgusting. See the study linked below for a list of research, some of which underpinned the article in The Atlantic also linked below.

Elad-Strenger J, Proch J, Kessler T. Is Disgust a “Conservative” Emotion? Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2020 Jun;46(6):896-912. doi: 10.1177/0146167219880191. Epub 2019 Oct 16. PMID: 31619133.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31619133/

McAuliffe, Kathleen. “Liberals and Conservatives React in Wildly Different Ways to Repulsive Pictures.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 7 Dec. 2022, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/.

The fundamental problem with this is that many so-called conservatives regularly engage in disgusting behavior and yet this doesn’t shape their voting.

Take the obnoxious example of Lauren Boebert who acted like a particularly nasty spoiled brat recently. TPM has an overview and a video documenting Boebert’s latest public wretchedness:

There’s Videotape! Annals of Feral Lauren Boebert …

Why do GOP voters in Boebert’s district put up with her? This isn’t the first shitty behavior on her part. Even her business which has poisoned consumers giving them bloody diarrhea hasn’t been enough to stop them from voting for her. “Conservatives” in her district didn’t care. They voted her back in for a second term in 2022.

Ditto for Marjorie Taylor Greene and her sorry love life — okay, sex life, because her experiences don’t sound like they’re based on deep affection (It’s the DailyMail, brace yourselves for the photos of her extramarital partners). Just sex and a general disrespect for the traditional Christian institution of marriage with its demand to have and hold a partner while forsaking all others.

Why aren’t “conservatives” in her district disgusted by her readiness to swap sweat, voting her nastiness back into office?

You can surely think of many other examples of disgusting behavior by right-wing candidates and officeholders, like former GOP Senate candidate and spouse abuser Eric Greitens.

Or the mack daddy of marital disrespect, Newt Gingrich, who’s treated animals better than his ex-wives.

And of course The Donald whose proclivities have been hidden by catch-and-kill operations, although not always successfully.

We all know by now that hypocrisy makes not a lick of difference to so-called conservatives. They’re happy bashing on Hunter Biden for his drug addiction, trashing Joe Biden for continuing to love and support his son in spite of Hunter’s challenges.

Why do conservatives’ brains react differently, then to images of disgust, while failing to act constructively on disgusting behavior?

How does the left more effective appeal to conservatives’ disgust when it’s also obvious their disgust can be generated deliberately, as Chris Rufo demonstrated with his attacks on critical race theory?

How do we address this disparity between research results and real life in a way that makes a difference to our nation’s children? Because they’re being taught sexual infidelity and abuse is okay if you’re a Republican, disrespect for vows, oaths, partners is also okay, and other sordid behavior like vaping in shared public space disregarding others’ health is just fine if you’re a Republican.

Sunset Musings III and Trash Talk

A few of you may remember Sunset Musings II regarding the fall of Grandpa Pricky. Most were likely not here back then.

So Casa de bmaz has today lost yet another noble centurion. Grandma Pricky. We are devastated. People nationally keep yammering about the heat in the daytime in Phoenix. But it really is not the daytime temperature that is the real problem, it is the extent it simply does not cool down at night like it used to. Call it a heat island, call it a heat sink, whatever. But it is killing normally resistant desert plants. Grandma, at only 20 feet tall, was not quite as big as Grandpa, but is the same level of loss. These beautiful cacti were here long before the bmaz family, and we have been here a long time.

If you want to know more about saguaros, take a gander at Sunset Musings II. The same process of slicing and dicing will take place as to Grandma. Sigh.

As to trash talk, the Singapore Grand Prix from Marina Bay will go off tomorrow morning. Unlike most every other Grand Prix in history, Singapore is run in dark with lights. The surroundings at Marina Bay are spectacular, the track itself not so much. But neither Red Bull, not Verstappen and not Checo Perez, even made it out of Q2. It will be an interesting race watching them climb up for the podium.

No music today, we are singing only funeral dirges for Grandma.

[Photo: Jose Chavez via Unsplash]

Trash Talk: Prepping for Tailgate Season

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

We’re two weeks out from the first NCAA Football games. With them comes tailgate party season.

Just as the golf season widowhood appears to end, NCAA Football drops into the schedule. There’s always some excuse for bullshitting over beers outdoors, I guess.

The last couple of years my spouse has been part of an alumni crew who pull together tailgates for games played in our neck of the woods.

This means hunting down a loaner canopy and grills and tables and chairs and all the other hoopla necessary for a parking lot bash. Preparation also requires renewing acquaintance with the loaner canopy’s setup by installing it on my deck to air out. Sounds easy enough but the damned thing is missing a couple bits and pieces, is a much bigger package than I am, and must be wrangled into place with two or more people to accomplish this.

Gods help us if it’s windy.

Never mind the equally frustrating disassembly to stuff it back into its carryall to truck to the school’s parking lot ahead of the game.

There are discussions ad nauseam ahead of the tailgate as to whether it’d be better to have pasties shipped express from da’ U.P. , or make them here from scratch, or find a local supplier.

You may envision me studiously biting my tongue, sitting on my hands, and avoiding my spouse’s needy look in my direction as he hints at someone making them at home.

In the end it’s been potluck the last two years.

And then there’s the inevitable storage of the goddamned loaner canopy in my half of the garage over which I need to climb for months until the bloody thing is returned to its owner.

This year I said fuck that and bought one I can put up and take down by myself. I might actually have a party of my own some time, invite all the golf/football/deer season widows for some bullshit over beers, now that I own the canopy.

With the annual canopy convolutions avoided, I need to come up with some equally easy solutions to tailgate potluck contributions.

What do you take to tailgate parties or other outdoor potlucks?

While you’re at it, share a recipe for poutine if you have one because community member earlofhuntingdon is on the hunt. Not exactly your typical tailgate food but I bet I could serve some in large paper cups.

Consider this an open thread.

Are The Dubs Done?

Last night I was too tired, and half asleep, so did the unthinkable and semi-hijacked Rayne’s thread with a shout out to Punaise and Molly Pitcher regarding the Golden State Warriors demise. Punaise has not showed up yet, but Molly’s response was pretty spot on:

Yeah, bummer of a birthday for Mr Pitcher. We had to turn the sound off in the second half.

I think Bob Myers made some head scratching decisions prior to this season, and at the Allstar break. Why did they keep Iguodala, whom I love, but is definitely beyond his sell-by date?

Why was so little done to find some sort of replacement for Wiseman? The lack of a mobile Big really crippled us. Loony was a rebounding machine, but he cannot handle the other Bigs in the league.

The Warriors have some serious thinking and greatly needed action ahead of them, starting immediately. Steph, Klay and Dray need to take pay cuts so the Warriors can bring the needed talent to support them, now that the NBA has monkeyed with the salary cap rules to keep Joe Lacob from just ponying up the salary cap tax.

Draymond has recently said he wants to play 4 more years and retire as a Warrior. Both Kerr and Tom Izzo have said that not only is Draymond the smartest basketball mind they have ever met, but he is one of the smartest guys they have ever met. If Klay and Steph still want to compete as much as they have claimed, they can still get another Championship, but only if they have the supporting cast that has been missing this year. And Jordan Poole needs to be traded yesterday, there was a reason Draymond punched him in camp.

Think that is right. So, are the Dubs done? Dunno, but they do have some impending salary cap issues under the NBA’s ever more byzantine guidelines. If Golden State keeps the big threee together, they are going to need some help. Jordan Poole thinks he is Steph Curry, but he is not Steph Curry, does not play defense that well and appears a bit of a cancer in the locker room. Loose Poole. Ike is wonderful (and a former Arizona great), but he is done. Keep the big three, get a little help and keep Wiggins healthy, and you still have an elite team.

The Suns are kind of in the same boat. Have Booker and Durant, and that is as dynamic a duo as there is in the NBA. Yet Chris Paul is old, slow, and never managed to be there come playoff time even when younger and faster. Deandre Ayton is just a puzzle. Has every physical skill and factor in the world, but doesn’t seem to care. The sun is setting on Ayton’s time in Phoenix. If anybody will take him. The NBA Western Conference is not what it once was. Change is afoot.

Derby Day Trash Talk 2023

Okay, after an eventful, occasionally contentious, week, there is a weekend. Trash Talk was invented for weekends like this. So, let’s go.

First up, the Kentucky Derby. The easy favorite, Forte, has been suddenly scratched from the field hours before the race. That is kind of stunning. Who is the new favorite? Tapit Trice is the 2023 Kentucky Debry favorite at 5-1 followed by Angel of Empire (8-1). Look out for Derma Sotogake, the impressive Japanese horse, and my personal outside pick, Verifying. Sit back in your rose pink Cadillac and have a mint julep!

In other sports news, this is the weekend of the Miami Grand Prix. Miami remains as ugly and stupid of a course as I have ever seen. It is garish and stupid. The refrain is always “but there will be stars there!” Got news for folks, I have been to more than a few, and there are “stars” and beautiful people at every Grand Prix. Qualifying has yet to go off, but it is a fair chance it is between Verstappen and Perez. Leclerc has really been doing well lately, and never count out Fernando Alonso.

In the NBA, the Phoenix Suns held off the Denver Nuggets last night thanks to a herculean 47 point effort by Devin Booker. Booker is the most underrated and unappreciated true superstar in the NBA. Can the Suns win at home again Sunday to pull even at 2-2? I don’t know. The Arena is a seriously crazy place to play during playoffs, but Denver just seems, for now, a better team.

There is some fun going on in the AL East, where Jim White’s Rays are killing it. I might have to fly over for a Rays game if Jim can get us into RandyLand.

Alright, that is enough framework, chat about anything and everything you wish.

On Kentucky Derby days, I usually post Dead Flowers by the Stones because, obviously, it references Kentucky Derby day. Usually the Marquee Theater version. But today, gonna use a version by Keef, Willie and friends. It is pretty kick ass.

Super Bowl LVII

As you may have heard, Super Bowl LVII is today and is here in Phoenix. The last time the SB was here, which was Super Bowl XLIX I went to a lot of the SB week festivities and live reported on it for all you fine friends. No opportunity to do that this time out. But game day is here now, so let’s get down to it.

Today’s game features the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, and should be an excellent game. Both teams come in with the same record and same amount of relative dominance in their respective conferences. They appear on paper to be quite evenly matched.

The weather here, all week, has been beyond gorgeous, and looks to continue today with temps in the mid 70’s and maybe light clouds moving in very late afternoon. Perfect. Not that it matters because State Farm Stadium has a roof that can be closed if necessary.

As to the game itself, my eye says the Eagles are a better team overall, but the Chefs have Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is an absolute wizard. So, it is a pick em, who you got?

Today’s music is by Floyd.

Also the evil balloons we keep downing out of the sky, discuss the balloons! Frankly, I think this is some way overblown and overhyped stuff but the news is all over it.

[Photo: Jose Chavez via Unsplash]

Trash Talk: Here for ‘The Big Game’

Okay, I promised I’d put up a Trash Talk post for The Big Game. Here it is, have at it.

What Big Game, you might ask. Yeah, I made that mistake last week.

I must be slipping a cog because a Michigander like myself should have remembered University of Michigan Wolverines plays its Big Ten rival Ohio State University Buckeyes today.

Most of the hardware stores in this state are probably rather quiet right now. Their usual denizens are likely parked in front of the tube in their favorite sports bar if not their den, if not out in the woods watching on their mobile device while choking out the final weekend of firearm deer season.

They’ve just kicked off. If you want to watch the number 3 ranked team U-M meeting the number two team OSU, you’ll find them on Fox.

Big question going into this game — at least for Michiganders: is running back Blake Corum recovered from last weekend’s injury to his left knee?

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Let’s switch gears to the NFL —

— You Green Bay Packers haters must be tickled at the season-ending suspension of rookie lineman Sean Rhyan for performance enhancing drugs. Personally, I can’t understand why someone with so much going for them would fuck up like this so early into their career with a professional team. He’s played only one game for the Packers.

— Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones just happened to be watching an effort to harass Black students to prevent them from entering the North Little Rock High School they attended with Jones. A photo surfaced this week in which Jones appears within arm’s length of the harassed students. He was just 14 or 15 years old and it was just a coincidence he was there in that photo watching the harassment Jones expects us to believe. We’re also supposed to give him some credit for having been punished by his high school team for being anywhere near this conflict in which he just stood there.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith expects to likewise cut Jones, who has profited immensely from so many Black bodies working for him for years, some slack because Jones hasn’t deserved the heat he’s received this week.

Yeah, well those six Black students didn’t deserve the harassment in that 60-odd-year-old photo, the harassment they surely received before that photo, or the discrimination they’ve endured because of structural racism since then.

Smith will continue to benefit from his access journalism and Jones, who has never hired a Black coach, will continue to enjoy his billions.

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Fucking FIFA. I will be so glad when this atrocity is over.

— “Bonesaw” bin Salman gifted each of Saudi Arabia’s players a Rolls Royce Phantom after their win over Argentina this past Tuesday. Seems on brand awarding a fossil-fueled fossil to a team representing a fossil fuel-producing fossil in a fossil fuel-producer’s futbol series.

— U.S. Men’s National Team tied England 0-0 in yesterday’s Group B match. We’re supposed to be amazed by this. Should we be? I don’t know; I thought the U.S. had a better team but what do I know being a failed soccer mom (failed meaning my youngest played soccer but didn’t enjoy it enough to stay with OR I didn’t nag them enough to stay with it).

— So far World Cup hasn’t crashed the bird app — so far.

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I don’t really understand Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) let alone the appeal.

Isn’t this just a use-whatever-works-to-bash-your-opponents, a kind of free-for-all ball-free contact sport?

Whatever it is, apparently women can do it, too, and this week’s big women in MMA match saw an undefeated fighter brought down for the first time in the four years the Professional Fighters’ League has been in existence.

Former judo Olympian Kayla Harrison lost to Laura Pacheco in a unanimous decision. This was the third time the pair have met with Harrison coming out on top the first two times.

I wonder how much Harrison’s insta-family has affected her training along with the pandemic having cut into the PFL’s schedule. Harrison’s stepfather died suddenly in 2020 leaving behind an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old, for both of whom Harrison took custody. It’s a lot to add to a person’s plate.

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Okay, that’s enough from me. There’s roughly nine minutes left in The Big Game and the teams are fairly well matched. The score now is 31-20 with Michigan leading; I wouldn’t bet against Ohio coming from behind.

Tell us what other sportsing you’re watching this weekend.

Trash Talk: Dead on the Field

I didn’t think anyone would miss my Trash Talk, but lo and behold, someone actually did.

Yeah, I’m surprised, too, because I’m not a sportser whether on a field or in the woods or on the water.

I do take some sick pleasure in sportsers’ pain, though.

Don’t tell my kid but I laughed my butt off when they complained in all caps it was COLD in the woods during their week of deer hunting.

You wanted this, kid. You knew going into the woods it’s cold, the hours are long, and venison is not a sure thing. You really have to enjoy nature and solitude.

The stories that come out of these hunting trips will last for years, though, and they’ll be buffed up and hauled out over every family gathering. They’ll last far longer than the venison sausage exchanged for a week’s worth of dogsitting.

Can’t wait to hear the tales during our next family gathering during the holiday season.

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Today was the first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup match. Ecuador met host Qatar and kicked their asses 2-0.

It’s the least that could happen after so many workers died building Qatar’s field, stadium, and other amenities for its participation in and hosting of FIFA’s World Cup.

Someone calculated the estimated number of hours of play expected in this World Cup series against the total number of workers’ deaths since Qatar was awarded this series in 2010, arriving at a figure of one dead worker for every 64 minutes of play.

Nobody needs futbol that badly.

FIFA’s president also set the tone for this series with an hour-long rant:

FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s extraordinary tirade against Western critics of the controversial tournament in an explosive hour-long monologue is still making headlines around the world. Human rights groups described it as “crass” and an “insult” to migrant workers.

Infantino, the boss of world soccer’s governing body, looked on glumly as he addressed hundreds of journalists in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, and started the news conference with a near hour-long speech, during which he accused Western critics of hypocrisy and racism.

Sure, sure…just because the colonialist west built itself on the backs of enslaved people and occupied indigenous lands, they’re not entitled to grow the fuck up and demand better especially from a sport which has been ridiculously corrupt?

The topper: no beer allowed because it’s a Muslim country and alcohol is forbidden.

I get it, your country, your rules, but those dead workers deserved better. The least they merit is a memorial toast if you’re in reach of alcohol while committing to a global standard for workers’ safety.

It wasn’t just alcohol but kosher food which was banned. Not exactly welcoming to all the people of the Middle East.

I’m not looking forward to the rest of this series.

Wonder how Twitter handled the match; I have no idea because I haven’t been over there. Probably not badly given the largest number of Twitter users are in the U.S. and Japan.

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Speaking of Twitter, was Kyrie Irving ever suspended or banned from social media platforms?

I see he’s apologizing now for his bullshit anti-Semitic speech. Wonder if that’s about the National Basketball Association’s 8-game suspension alone, or if it’s about Irving’s access to media.

The Brooklyn Nets guard has been cleared to play and will start Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. It will mark his first game since he was suspended Nov. 3 for “harmful impact of his conduct” relating to social media posts around a book and movie that contained antisemitic ideas.

With Twitter’s Musk relying on a poll outcome manufactured by the trolls/bots he derided, Twitter’s allowed both Trump and Kanye West back on and both committed their share of hate speech.

And look, there he is on Twitter, no mention of his hate speech, though.

Which means it’s not Twitter access spurring Irving to offer his questionable mea culpa.

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What the actual. Detroit’s kitties won their third straight game today, this time over the New York Giants with a final score of 31-18 at the Giants’ field.

Jamaal Williams scored three touchdowns for the Lions.

Anything is possible, huh?

Bmaz wondered earlier in the week where Buffalo was going to play if at all given the record-breaking snow storm expected which was supposed to drop six feet of snow.

Since the Lions were in Giants’ Meadowlands MetLife stadium in New Jersey, the Buffalo Bills played in Detroit’s covered Ford Field stadium, located less than a three-hour drive from Cleveland.

Detroit was on the wrong side of a Great Lake for the weather system which dropped snow on the west side of Michigan and New York state – conveniently for Buffalo, since the team won 31-23 over the Cleveland Browns.

Looks like it was a good time even if it wasn’t at home.

~ ~ ~

This post’s title “Dead on the Field” is derived from a riddle:

Dead on the field lie ten soldiers in white, felled by three eyes, black as night.

Offer your solution to this riddle below in comments.

Treat this as an open thread.

Trash Talk: It’s All Over But The Screaming

Golf widow here again. My seasonal widowhood has come to the end of the road.

It’s the last weekend of the golf season here in this bit of the Midwest. The final round is underway now. Hereforth the not-so-retired retiree will be home until golf’s pre-season begins next April.

Or until firearm deer season begins on November 15.

Or the pre-season preparation of deer camp over the weekend before the season begins.

In other words I have a very narrow window of opportunity to get honey-do tasks accomplished over the next five days, and even that has been shortened by a previous commitment to replace brakes and repair an A/C system on my son’s car.

As soon as I finish publishing this post I will be assembling all the tools and supplies needed for a whirlwind of chores. Let’s hope four days is enough time to get them all done.

What’s on your fall chore list?

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Another season has come to an end, the boys of summer can go home: Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies last night. The final score was 4-1 in the sixth and last game of the Major League Baseball Championship series, with the Astros achieving best of seven games with four games to Phillies’ two.

There will be a lot of discussion about Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson’s sixth inning decision to pull pitcher Zack Wheeler and replace him with Jose Alvarado while the bases were full.

Astro’s Yordan Alvarez batted a home run on Alvarado and that was the entire ball game.

Wheeler’s made polite politic noises about Thomson’s decision but surely he must be gutted.

Feels like we should all be a bit more inured to lousy management decisions by now.

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In NFL news, Miami Dolphins are currently up 28-25 against the Chicago Bears. Cooler weather isn’t deterring them.

This bit of reporting from CBS Sports made me snort:

Miami’s two-game winning streak can directly be tied to the return of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as the Dolphins have wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and at the Detroit Lions in his first two games back in action. He leads the NFL in passing yards per attempt (9.0) and passer rating (112.7) with the Dolphins amassing 2,340 passing yards this season, the most in the NFL. He’ll be going up against the NFL’s fifth-ranked pass defense in Chicago that allows only 188 passing yards per game.

It’s great that Tagovailoa has apparently recovered from his gawdawful injuries, but the last two games were against an AFC North team with a 2-6 record and an NFC North team with a 1-6 record. The latter – the Detroit Lions – really? Who couldn’t beat them?

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Yikes – this Major League Soccer 2022 MLS Cup final yesterday between Los Angeles Football Club and Philadelphia Union was something.

I shudder each time I’ve watched this.

The final came down to a shootout in which Crepeau’s substitute John McCarthy managed three saves.

~ ~ ~

After WNBA player Brittney Griner’s appeal was denied by a Russian court on October 25, the U.S. Embassy attempted to visit her.

They were able to check on her condition on November 3. She’s holding up as best she can all things considered.

I wonder how much Griner and the welfare of the other detained American Paul Whelan factored into the new report the Biden administration’s request that Ukraine remain open to negotiation.

It had better not have come about because of House Democratic progressives’ sloppy approach to this subject this summer.

Treat this as an open thread.

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