Archive for the ‘Sports – Games – Recreation’ Category

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

February 2, 2017

The AP calls it “unsettling” …   “governing-by-upheaval” to recast the role of government.

A historian says that Trump’s style is a mixture:  “a whiff of Reaganism”  with “plays reminiscent of Richard Nixon”,

My take: President Trump’s 1st week in office calls for a reprise of a HomaFiles post from August 2015 … slightly ahead of its time !

======

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump’s first days in office jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

Flashback: Was Trump inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

November 9, 2016

Originally posted August 19, 2015 … a bit ahead of its time.

=========

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

September 26, 2016

Since the 1st presidential debate is tonite, I thought it would be timely to reprise a post from a couple of months ago.

Read it … and keep it in mind when the contenders spar tonite.

=====

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

December 9, 2015

Pundits are struggling to explain Donald Trump’s continued strong — and arguably strengthening — position in the Presidential race.

It’s simple Watson.

Just imagine him as a Cuban boxer.

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

September 16, 2015

Since the 2nd GOP presidential debate is tonite, I thought it would be timely to reprise a post from a couple of weeks ago.

Read it, … and keep it in mind when the contenders spar tonite.

=====

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

August 19, 2015

Say, what?

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

(more…)

What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

March 1, 2015

I thought about this one last nite watching the Hoyas give Kansas a run for their money.

I often say that electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two. 

3-point line

Here’s the story behind the third: basketball’s 3-pointer …

(more…)

What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

December 12, 2014

I thought about this one last nite watching the Hoyas give Kansas a run for their money.

I often say that electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two. 

3-point line

Here’s the story behind the third: basketball’s 3-pointer …

(more…)

Here’s a way to end the collegiate bowl controversies … really.

December 9, 2014

The obvious became apparent to me … really!

The answer: just go back to the future.

Stay with me on this one …

 

image

======

Let’s connect a couple of dots from the post-selection chit-chat and whining …

(more…)

Proposed Changes For The 2022 World Cup …

October 23, 2014

Man, was I excited when I spotted that headline.

Finally,  FIFA was going to do something to  juice the scoring and amp up excitement of the games.

 

image

=====

Fasten your seatbelts, here’s what’s coming …

(more…)

Cubs lose … blame Obama.

August 25, 2014

Since Obama is still blaming Bush for everything, it’s good to see the tide turning and see him get tagged for some losses.

Here’s the scoop according to several sources:

The Cubs were leading the SF Giants 2-0  last week when the game had to stopped due to heavy rain.

The ground crew struggled to get the tarp across the field.

 

image

=====

After a 4-hour rain delay, the field was declared unplayable.

Since the teams had played more than 5 complete innings, the Cubs were declared the winners.

Here’s where things get interesting.

(more…)

Let’s go bowling … say, what?

July 16, 2014

According to Business Week

There was a growth spurt in bowling alleys after World War II. The U.S. added 2,000 bowling alleys between the end of World War II and 1958.

In 1958, the American Society of Planning Officials reported that “the bowling alley is fast becoming one of the most important—if not the most important—local center of participant sport and recreation.”

But, the bowling craze peaked and started to fade as folks found other ways to spend their spare time.

The U.S. had 4,061 bowling centers in 2012, down 25 percent from a high water mark in 1998.

 

clip_image002

* * * * *

To counter the downward trend, bowling alleys are rebranding themselves as “bowling centers”, spiffing up the facilities, and adding ancillary entertainment (e.g. rock music, gaming arcades).

Following the industry lead,  “the exclusive bowling lanes reserved for White House employees and their guests are getting an upgrade.”  (more…)

When’s the Super Bowl? … you may be surprised.

January 27, 2014

Couple of weird things going on with this year’s Super Bowl.

 

image

 

First, the question of when it’s being played.

The odds-on answer is that Denver and Seattle are scheduled to kick off the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J., at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Notice the words “are scheduled” … that could change

(more…)

Super-sized: World Cup to offer double-wide seats to double-wide fans … say, what?

March 5, 2013

According to several sources

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is set to be the first to offer special seats for obese fans.

image

It will be the “first time tickets for obese people are offered at a FIFA event.”

FIFA said that to qualify for a ticket, people are required to submit a medical certificate that proves they have a body mass index of 30 or more.

Here’s the kicker …

(more…)

Holy Toledo: To lose weight, carry a heavy backpack …

February 18, 2013

No, it’s not what you think.

You’re thinking: carrying a heavy backpack burns off calories, right?

image

In fact,  there’s a web site called Fatpacking that offers “Weight Loss Backpacking Adventure Vacations”

Their slogan” “Shape Up. Lose Weight. In Just 1 Week. Backpack Your Way to Fun & Fitness!”

But, that’s not what I’m talking about.

You see, researchers have found that carrying extra weight (i.e. a heavy backpack) increases guilt and, as a result, motivates healthier eating.

Here’s the skinny …

(more…)

What’s the fundamental difference between baseball and basketball?

November 25, 2012

Gerald Hall, the director of a youth baseball program in Washington, says:

“Baseball is a game taught by fathers, while basketball and football are more often taught by peers in pickup games.

If you did a survey, I believe you’d find that the one thing average and above-average baseball players have in common is a father.

Baseball is, at heart, a father-and-son sport.

And if you’re a kid that has nobody to throw to, nobody to talk to, nobody to discipline you in the way that baseball demands, you’re not likely to play the game.”  Source

Play ball!

* * * * *

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

NFL players to Nike: “You make me look fat”

October 9, 2012

Punch line: After decades of wearing Reebok uniforms, NFL teams switched to Nike jerseys this year.  Nike introduced new tighter, sleeker uniforms, claiming enhanced performance, but some of the bigger linemen are asking the question, “Does this make me look fat?”

* * * * *

Excerpted from WSJ’s, “The NFL’s 300-Pound Fashion Victims”

PJ-BK010_FATJER_G_20121003001607

Pondered in the NFL locker room this season, as some players try on their new tighter, sleeker Nike uniforms, is a question usually reserved for Nordstrom fitting lounges:

Does this make me look fat?

After a decade of wearing Reebok-made jerseys, NFL teams this year switched to Nike, which unveiled a new model that has what it calls a “body-contoured fit.

” While it looks great on Adonis-like players such as Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Miami running back Reggie Bush, it’s a bit less popular among those who are a bit more full-figured.

Tight jerseys are all the fashion in some sports.

How better to show off the sculpted physiques of NBA players?

Adidas even claims its tight Chelsea jersey “stabilizes and focuses the muscles’ energy.” 

Outfitting the NFL presents a range of problems—or rather, a problem of range.

Some receivers, running backs and kickers weigh less than 200 pounds. Linemen, meanwhile, routinely top 300. 

Making jerseys for lineman has become a bigger challenge in recent years.

The 1966 Green Bay Packers, winners of the first Super Bowl, did not feature an offensive lineman heavier than 250 pounds.

Today, the Packers’ five offensive line starters weigh an average of 312.8.

“We have 40 years of experience in the football business and the idea in our products is for optimal performance and we work with the athletes to find fit and function,” a Nike spokesman said. “The uniforms are available in a variety of sizes and cuts for different players with enhanced performance in mind.”

Edit by BJP

>> Latest Posts

Attention Golfers: New Federal rules … level the course, increase “fairness”.

July 27, 2012

While it may have gotten lost in the “You didn’t build it” melee, new Federal golf rules will be in effect beginning Jan 2013.

Please share with fellow golfers.

By Executive Order, President Obama appointed a Golf Czar and ordered major rule changes in the game of golf,

The rules  will become effective January 1, 2013.

The complete rule book is over  1,000 pages.

Here are a few of the changes.

Golfers with handicaps:

  • below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35%.
  • between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees.
  • above 18 will get a $20 check each time they play.

The term “gimmie” will be changed to “entitlement” and will be used as follows:

  • handicaps below 10, no entitlements.
  • handicaps from 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts.
  • handicaps above 18, if golfer’s ball is on the green, no need to putt, just pick it up.

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness and, most importantly, equality in scoring.

In addition, a golfer will be limited to a maximum of one birdie or six pars in any given 18-hole round.

Any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par.

Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player actually making the birdie or par, can the par-birdie player begin to count his pars and birdies again.

The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes, but the term “net score” will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps of 18 and above.

These rule changes are intended to “re-distribute” the success of winning by making sure that in every competition; the above 18 handicap players will post only “net score” against every other player’s “gross score”.

These new Rules are intended to positively change the game of golf.

Golf should be about Fairness.

It should not be about ability, hard work, practice, and responsibility.

Importantly, these rules will not apply to President Obama, Congress or Democratic bundlers.

Thanks to JWC for feeding the lead.

>> Latest Posts

Ridin’ the Hot Dog …

July 2, 2012

The “Hot Dog” has always been a crowd pleaser among students who have survived my courses … some have ridden it hard, many have gotten tossed off (by a wild driver), others have cheered (and jeered) their friends, some have just heard tell of the good times.

Well, I had a chance to take a couple of laps on the Hot Dog this summer …  with my daring 3 year-old granddaughter Anna …  in the picture, she’s signaling “go faster” … wonder where she got the competitive spirit?

image
Thanks to SGC for forwarding the pic

>> Latest Posts

Fore: It’s not the first 300 yards of a hole that kill you …

August 4, 2010

Punch Line: It’s something you don’t hear much about, but it’s making a comeback — the par-three golf course.

* * * * *

WSJ: Why We Need More Par-Three Courses, July 24, 2010

The golf industry is struggling, and many people in the game cite the same reasons:

  • a round takes too long; the game is hard;
  • maintenance budgets are through the roof;
  • there are no places for beginners to play while they learn.

One remedy: more short courses.

For the experienced player, they provide a great practice session under game conditions. 

Improving your game around the greens is the best way to cut five strokes from your score; two or three hours at a short course is more valuable than whaling away with your driver on the range.

For the beginner, the shorter holes mean less frustration and more success.

“Most people play short courses for fun … and with a short course, you’re eliminating the longest and most unpredictable shots.”

Full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575382941326891262.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEForthNews

Celebrating success: Georgetown ranked #9

July 28, 2010

No, not hoops or b-school rankings, we’re talking the Most Gang-Affiliated Hats in Sports.

According to Complex.com, here are the top 10:

#10 Oakland A’s
Adopted by: Almighty Ambrose Nation (Chicago), Orchestra Albany (Chicago), Spanish Cobras (Chicago)
Why: The Ambrose and the Albany share the same first letter as the Athletics, while the Spanish Cobras rock the green A’s caps to represent their primary color.

#9 Georgetown Hoyas
Adopted by: Gangster Disciples (Chicago), Folk Nation (Chicago)
Why: GD members started rocking Georgetown gear to honor founder Larry Hoover, with Hoyas standing for “Hoover’s On Your Ass.”

#8 Minnesota Twins
Adopted by: Maniac Latin Disciples (Chicago)
Why: The M stands for “Maniac Latin Disciples”.

#7 Detroit Tigers
Adopted by: Gangster Disciples (Chicago)
Why: The “D” stands for Disciple and the GD colors are black and blue.

#6 Houston Astros
Adopted by: The Bloods (L.A.), Folk Nation (Chicago)
Why: The red cap is an easy color identifier for the Bloods. For the Folk Nation, the five-point star represents their symbol.

#5 Los Angeles Kings
Adopted by: Latin Kings (Chicago, NYC), People Nation (Chicago)
Why: The word “Kings” makes it easy to identify the largest Hispanic gang in the U.S. For other gangs within the People Nation alliance, the “Kings” stands for “Kill Inglewood Nasty Gangsters.”

#4 Chicago Bulls
Adopted by: Vice Lords (Chicago), Latin Counts (Mexico, Chicago), Mickey Cobras (Chicago), Black P. Stone Nation (Chicago), The Bloods (L.A.)
Why: The Vice Lords, Latin Counts, and Mickey Cobras share the Bulls’ colors of red and black. The P. Stones and the Bloods were a little more creative however: For the former, “Bulls” stands for “Boy U Look Like Stone” and for the Bloods, it stands for “Bloods Usually Live Life Strong/Smart.”

#3 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
Adopted by: People Nation (Chicago), Folk Nation (Chicago)
Why: For the Folk Nation, “Raiders” stands for “Ruthless Ass Insane Disciples Running Shit.” For the People Nation, it stands for “Raggedy Ass Iced Donuts Everywhere Running Scared.” Ha!

#2 Cincinnati Reds
Adopted by: 4 Corner Hustlers (Chicago), The Bloods (L.A.)
Why: The Bloods wear it for color association. The Hustlers put a “4” next to the “C” and an “H” inside the “C.”

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Adopted by: The Crips (L.A.), Gangster Disciples (Chicago), Latin Aspects (various)
Why: The Crips use it for color association. For the GDs, the “D” stands for Disciple. For the Aspects, the “LA” stands for Latin Aspects.

Full article:
http://www.complex.com/blogs/2010/07/23/rep-yo-set-the-10-most-gang-affiliated-hats-in-sports/

LeBronomics: Which is better, paying no state income taxes in Florida or $12.5 million to NY ?

July 12, 2010

Talk about having your cake and eating it.

LeBron gets Miami in the winter instead of Ohio, gets a sure-shot at a title and, oh yeah, saves $12.5 in state income taxes … almost enough to cover the first wave of Obama’s tax hikes.

That’s win-win-win.

* * * * *

In a July 1 blog post, the New York Post warned that “dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany” could cost the state a chance to bring the coveted athlete to New York.

“If LeBron James goes to the Miami Heat instead of the [New York] Knicks, blame our dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany, who have saddled top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the nation, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the IRS bite.”

On a five-year contract worth $96 million, LeBron would pay

  • $12.34 million in New York taxes.
  • $10.32 million in NJ state taxes
  • $5.69 million in Ohio state taxes
  • No state income taxes in Florida 

Note: Professional athletes do have to pay other state taxes for the dates they play in visiting team arenas, but most of Mr. James’s considerable endorsement income would be taxed at Florida rates.

Business & Media Institute,  LeBronomics: Could High Taxes Influence James’ Team Decision?, 7/8/2010 http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2010/20100708120415.aspx

* * * * *

From the WSJ:

We feel for Cleveland fans, but maybe they should allocate some of their wrath to the state politicians who keep driving high-income individuals and their businesses to financially sunnier climes.  

While LeBron’s departure got extraordinary media attention, it is hardly unique.

  • In the early 1990s, Ohio was the home of 43 Fortune 500 companies. Twenty years later the number is 24.
  • Census Bureau data show that from 2004-2008 Ohio saw a net outmigration of $6 billion of income and some 97,000 taxpayers.
  • Even Ohio’s famously liberal Senator, the late Howard Metzenbaum, moved to Florida late in his life to reduce his estate taxes.

WSJ: LeBron’s Tax Holiday, July 10, 2010
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704075604575357232023445918.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

"Let him eat! Let him eat!"

July 6, 2010

The decorum of the annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest was disrupted when a former chanp dog-eater stormed the stage.

Is nothing sacred ?

* * * * *

ITN: Tsumani storms the stage at hot dog eating contest,  Jul 5 2010

Competitive eater Joey “Jaws” Chestnut gobbled his way to a fourth consecutive championship un the annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Champion Chestnut downed 54 hot dogs in ten minutes to win the annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut was disappointed with his performance, despite claiming the bejewelled, mustard-yellow prize belt plus a $20,000 purse.

The 26-year-old from San Jose, California, was aiming for a record 70 dogs in ten minutes, beating his own record of 68 last year.

The event was marred when Chestnut was suddenly upstaged by the surprise appearance of his biggest rival: six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, who did not compete but crashed the stage after Chestnut’s win and wrestled with police. He has been charged with resisting arrest, trespass and obstructing governmental administration.

“Let him eat! Let him eat!” the crowd chanted as police handcuffed the world’s Number three professional eater, dubbed “The Tsunami.”

32-year-old Kobayashi did not eat this year because he refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating, the fast food equivalent of the NFL.

Full article:
http://itn.co.uk/5249dbb22d318bd642d2288f15577336.html

 

The teams played to an exciting nil-nil tie … huh ?

June 17, 2010

Whew, it’s not just me thinking that soccer can be a bit of a bore these days.

You gotta wonder about games that get their oomph from drinking, fighting and incessant loud horns.

Yeah, we American sports watchers like a lot of action – grand slam homers, long TD passes, 3-pointers from downtown, etc.

So, a game where rare scoring comes on fluke plays — ref calls, penalty and corner kicks, goalie muffs –- just doesn’t get the old heart pumping.

But, the rest of the world seems to have World Cup fever.

Must be an explanation …

* * * * *

WSJ: The Fading Art of Goal Scoring, June 14, 2010

With just 18 goals in 11 games, this World Cup is on pace to record a record-low 105 goals, down from 147 in 2006, 161 in 2002 and 171 in 1998.

“Football is more and more about keeping the ball rather than scoring goals.”

This trend could make a sport that many people regard as boring even more so.

The average number of World Cup goals has been declining steadily for the past 60 years, from a high of 5.38 goals per match when West Germany won the trophy so thrillingly in 1954, to 2.3 in Italy’s more phlegmatic triumph in 2006.

There are a number of factors behind this reduction: Defenses are organized better and players are fitter than they were 50 years ago, when the halftime interval would see gasping players reach for the nearest pack of Marlboros.

“Keeping possession is now the most important thing in football.”

“Managers are looking at the game and saying we don’t want goal scorers, we want people to keep hold of the ball.”

“But isn’t scoring the point of football?”

Full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704324304575306532213696808.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLESecondNews

ESPN Zones: Going … going … gone !

June 10, 2010

ESPN found it increasingly challenging to operate the sports-themed restaurants and will be closing ESPN Zones five of its seven ESPN Zone locations: Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington.  Locations in Los Angeles and Anaheim will stay open.

ESPN Zone, an arcade-style restaurant used as a brand extension for the popular sports network, becomes a victim of the economic downturn, where consumers increasingly cut back on visits to restaurants. 

WSJ: Disney to Close Most ESPN Zone Restaurants, June 9, 2010 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703890904575296690000235662.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEForthNews

What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

March 11, 2010

I often say that they make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two.  Here’s the story of the 3-pointer.

* * * * *

Excerpted from RCP Sports: Top 10 Biggest Rule Changes in Sports, 03.9.10

The three-pointer is arguably one of the most exciting parts of basketball.

It can quickly change a game’s momentum and makes the last minutes of every close game that much more exciting.

But years ago most people in power considered the three-pointer a gimmick.

The idea of the three-point field goal was first tested in a college game between Columbia and Fordham back in 1945.

The rule was used in the American Basketball League during its short lifespan starting in 1961, but became popular when it was used by the American Basketball Association (ABA), which was founded in 1967.

The three-point shot was believed to open up the game and spread the court in a league that had become dominated by big men and inside play.

The rule was not instituted in the NBA until the 1979-80 season, when it was used on a trial basis. One year later, the league adopted the rule permanently.

The NCAA didn’t officially establish the three-point field goal until 1986.

Several conferences had applied the rule in their own manner before, differing on the distance for the shot. The first to do so was the Southern Conference in the 1980-81 season.  At the time, Furman coach Eddie Holbrook summed up what most coaches thought with the inception of the rule, “It’s a coach’s nightmare and a spectator’s delight.”

Although the three-point line has changed distances over time in both the NBA and NCAA, no one would argue that it remains a spectator’s delight, and even most of the coaches have come around.

http://www.realclearsports.com/lists/biggest_rule_changes/three_point_field_goal.html?state=stop

If Sports Ruled the World …

September 25, 2009

Ken’s Take: Nuts.  Being a sports freak, I wish I had conjured this analogy.

In posts, I’ve mused that the willy-nilly changes in laws — and their contextual application — are injecting “political risk” into business — corporate and personal. 

Bankruptcy laws are ignored (e.g. the UAW cutting the line in front of secured creditors), contracts are ignored (e.g. exec comp pacts), tax laws are changed retroactively, closed legal cases are re-opened when political winds shift.

The question my biz friends are asking: “how can my company commit major investments — human and financial capital — if we’re not sure what the rules will be.”

That’s one of the reasons that the economic recovery will be jobless.  Adding payroll just isn’t worth the risk of game-changing shifts in the rules and their interpretation. 

* * * * *

Excerpted from WSJ, If Sports Ruled the World, Sept 17, 2009

in the primal world of sports we are all strict constructionists, even as we agree that a discreet judge would have given Serena’s foot fault a pass.

While we all know what the rules are in sports, no one knows anymore what the rules are in real life.

The Austrian novelist Peter Handke reduced the fine line separating freedom from foul to a novel’s title: “The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick.”

This is why we watch sports. Not just to see the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, but because it is the one world left with clear rules abided by all.

(Some esthetes would chime in that this is why they listen to classical music where structure rules.)

Compared to sports (and classical music), real life has become constant chaos.

While we all know what the rules are in the sports, no one knows anymore what the rules are in real life.

Not in politics, law, the bureaucracies, commerce, finance or Federal Reserve policy.

Boston lawyer Harvey Silverglate argues in a forthcoming book, “Three Felonies a Day,” that federal law has become such a morass that people in business routinely violate statutes without a clue. Modern law lacks what sports provides lucidity.

The utopia most people want: a rules-based life, with wiggle room.

* * * * *

Full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574416774102132370.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

* * * * *

The Next Big Thing … Ping Pong?

May 7, 2009

Excerpted from WSJ, “Anheiser Gets Set to Play a Whole New Game,” By Matthew Futterman, Apr 27, 2009

* * * * *

A group of sports and entertainment marketers is betting ping pong will be the next game to sweep the nation, and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. unit is getting into the action.

Anheuser-Busch … has signed on as the lead sponsor of the Bud Light Hard Bat Ping Pong Tournament, which started last month.

The big brewer is backing Robert Friedman, president of media and entertainment for New York commercial-production company @Radical Media, and several major partners, who think ping pong could be the next Texas Hold ‘Em, the card game featured in the highly successful World Series of Poker.

The nostalgia factor, made keener by the recession, is one reason they are confident of ping pong’s appeal. “This is about the residual goodwill we all feel for the better times we grew up with,” says Mr. Friedman. “This conjures up family.”

As the idea for the new tourney began to jell, Anheuser-Busch was re-evaluating, and even shedding, several longtime deals with athletes and major sports teams … In came ping pong. With exclusive sponsorships for mainstream teams and sports becoming ever more expensive, Anheuser-Busch needed to strike a balance …

The organizers know they have to come up with an innovative approach to televising a game that in the past has been hard to follow because of the speed and the size of the ball. Even if they can, could this really be the next poker?

Poker already had a long-established mystique, built on images of high rollers in deluxe Las Vegas hotel suites, before Internet gambling and the World Series of Poker inspired a wider appreciation of the mental calculations taking place around the table behind low-brimmed caps and sunglasses.

Ping pong, by contrast, is more closely associated with suburban basements and harsh fluorescent lights. Even so, the International Olympic Committee says table tennis is the world’s leading participation sport, with 40 million competitive players world-wide and tens of millions more playing for fun …

Competition started in March, with local Anheuser-Busch distributors supplying Bud Light-branded ping pong tables to some 4,600 bars where regional competitions are under way. Winners can land an invitation to the tournament finals and play for the $100,000 prize in Las Vegas in late June …

That event, which will also include professionals, will be the focus of a two-hour television special that the organizers plan to air on Walt Disney’s ESPN in September.

Mr. Friedman and Jordan Wynn, executive of Mark Gordon Co., say they noticed ping pong re-emerging in popular culture over the past year. The posse on the HBO series “Entourage” played during an episode, for example, and hip-hop star 50 Cent had a ping-pong theme at his birthday party.

“The question was could we take this game out of the basement and the cluttered garages,” says Mr. Friedman. “We think the timing is just right.”

Mr. Wynn goes so far as to suggest ping pong has sex appeal. “It’s taking on this cool cultural space of short-shorts and retro headbands, and it’s kind of goofy, but it’s also got people who take it very seriously,” Mr. Wynn says. “It’s poker eight years ago.”

Edit by SAC

* * * * *

Full Article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124078190514657141.html

* * * * *

Want more from the Homa Files?
Click link =>
The Homa Files Blog

What do field goals, 3-pointers, and hotels on Vermont have in common?

March 19, 2009

Answer: they’re all “advantaged assets” …

* * * * *

Field Goals
As professional kickers have specialized and improved their technique, field goals have become more common. National Football League teams last season made nearly 85% of field goals, compared with barely 60% in 1974, according to Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats. There were two successful field goals for every three touchdowns last season, compared with barely two for every five touchdowns in 1974.

3-Pointers
In college basketball, meanwhile, three-point shots are falling with about the same level of accuracy of closer jump shots, even though they’re worth 50% more. To address this, the three-point line has been moved away from the basket by a foot, as college-hoops fans may notice during March Madness. Yet shots from 21 feet and 22 feet, the shortest three-point distances, were accurate more than 37% of the time this season — easier than those from any distance between five feet and 19 feet from the basket, according to college-basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy.

Hotels on Vermont
in Monopoly, paying $50 for that hotel on Vermont Avenue pays itself off in fewer than 15 rolls of the dice by your opponent, compared with more than 40 rolls for other hotel-adorned squares, according to simulations of 32 billion rolls by Truman Collins.

* * * * *
Excerpted from Wsj, “Price Drop: Stocks, Homes, Now Triple-Word Scores”, March 18, 2009
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123731266862258869.html?mod=djemalert

* * * * *

Want more from the Homa Files?
Click link =>
  The Homa Files Blog