Category Archives: Sports

Starbury in the Clutch

Stephon Marbury coming through in the clutch in the Celtics come back win over the Magic last night! I will always have love for this brother because of his Starbury line of cheap kicks and clothing. It’s his way of trying to fight Nike’s continual marketing of $200 shoes to inner-city kids, shoes that probably cost $2 to manufacture, and I respect that. Big ups to athletes trying to do something political, and offereing some form of resistance against huge corporations is a dope ass effort (it would be even more sick if he took it one step further and created a factory in the Brooklyn neighborhood he grew up in and hired folks from there to make the shoes. Right now, his stuff is still manufactured in China, meaning with sweat shop labor).

His best playing days are well behind him, but after basically being benched by the Knicks for a whole year, I’m glad he’s now with the defending champs and still able to beast out when called upon.

Advertisements

Pacman Slays Hatton

This guy is just beastly. Manny Pacquiao’s reign continues.

Josh Smith Beastin’ 4.19.09

J-Smoove went absolutely bananas last night.  Go Hawks!

Team Japan Two-Time WBC Champions

24wbc_600

Team Nihonjin representing!! In last night’s World Baseball Classic championship game, Japan beat South Korea 5-3 in 10 innings to defend their title as the world’s greatest baseball team. Japan won the title in the first WBC back in 2006 as well.

I stayed up until 2am eastern time watching the game, and it was a thriller. You know my Japanese side has to get all nationalistic and proud of the win, but props to South Korea for battling it out and taking the game to extra innings. I can definitely tell that we are going to start seeing a lot more Korean players in US baseball (Shin-Soo Choo already plays for the Cleveland Indians, which sucks because I can’t stand teams that use racist ass Native American names and logos, Cleveland’s probably being the worst).

How gangsta is Japan when it comes to baseball? They smashed on the United States the night before and then my boy Ichirio Suzuki goes into beastmode in the championship and hits a clutch two-run single in the 10th inning for the win. Word.

Cranky Calhoun and the Dirty Business of College Hoops

University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun has been all over the headlines recently regarding his remarks during a press conference last Sunday. The story goes that a blogger named Ken Krayeske was able to get a press pass that allowed him entrance into the coach’s post-game session with the media. Krayeske started to ask Calhoun a question regarding the coach being the highest paid state employee with a salary of $1.6 million (and UConn being a public university) in the midst of a $2 billion Connecticut state budget deficit, before Coach Calhoun interrupted him and…basically wigged the fuck out. Peep the video below:

Okay so it wasn’t so much of a wig out as it was Calhoun making some bad arguments (“It’s got nothing to do with state funds!”–Uh, it’s a public university, Coach, meaning it’s got a little something to do with state funds) and arrogantly displaying his sense of entitlement in regards to his wealth.

And then things got heated.

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell called Calhoun’s rant an “embarrasing display,” and some Connecticut lawmakers want him reprimanded.

Calhoun got his 800th career win the other night with UConn’s win over Marquette, but the Marquette fans were ruthless, chanting “How much money? Not a dime!” during the game and calling Calhoun a “Greedy scumbag!” and “Greedy piece of trash!”

Many mainstream media outlets of course have sided with the Coach (the rich have to look out for their own, right?), as I heard commentators on ESPN defending Calhoun, citing how the men’s basketball program does bring in over $12 million to the University and a ton of exposure.

My problem with this rationale is that it overlooks the larger issue at play here, sports as a business, and might even distort Calhoun’s real position in the whole thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending Calhoun. He clearly revealed himself to be the arrogant, cranky, old rich white guy that he is. But in the realm of sports economics, the college hoops coaches are like “mid-level managers.” Calhoun’s taking in a salary that he bargained for and that the University was willing to pay him. The University is the real “owner” or the “CEO” of the college hoops corporation (that is also totally in bed with the state government even if it isn’t a public school).

The real injustice here is that the players are the labor force and they don’t get to see any of the money they bring in! Not a penny for ticket sales, not a penny for jerseys sold with their names on them, not a penny for anything.

And please, let’s skip all the “it’s not about the money, it’s about the love of the game” arguments. It’s definitely about money. Coaches are trying to get paid; players are trying to go pro and make as much cheese as they can while they are in a position to do so and while their bodies are able to hold up to the extreme stress; and universities and state governments are trying to rake in as much bread as they can.

Now, I’m not saying that college athletes should get paid for everything. I just get sick of hearing these sweeping moral judgments that people like to throw at players (the majority “coincidentally” being young people of color), the workers/labor force, for “lacking character” today because they go pro before graduating from school and are “greedy” and “only chasing the money.” If you saw your coach making millions and driving around in an Escalade while you work your ass off and don’t see a dime of that dough, wouldn’t you be trying to go pro too? I know I would. You could always get your degree later. However, you won’t always have the opportunity to maximize your athletic earning potential, as an athlete is always one snapped ACL away from an ended career.

So yeah, Calhoun’s a cranky, rich fuck, but the College Hoops establishment can often be a dirty business all around, and he’s only one small part of a much larger beast. It always helps me to look at sports today as a labor struggle, and this incident highlights again how labor, in this case the players, are getting shafted by management.

Josh Smith Classic

Tough loss to the Suns, but damn…J-Smoove is a beast.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Josh Smith Classic", posted with vodpod

Rickey Henderson

Former Oakland A’s player and Oakland native Rickey Henderson was inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this week. The Box has to give him some love because he’s my favorite A’s player and one of my favorite overall baseball players, period. Arguably the best lead off hitter to ever play the game, he also didn’t even officially retire from league play until late 2007, and jokes about still wanting to play now at the age of 50. Congrats, Rickey, I have fond memories of you helping the A’s sweep the Giants in the Battle of the Bay 1989 World Series, probably some of my earliest memories ever.

I’m kind of checked out of following baseball these days, mostly because:  1) the A’s suck; 2) their racist, douchebag owner Lew Wolff is going to remove the team from Oakland and take them to Fremont; and 3) I live in Atlanta now and don’t really want to support the Braves because I can’t stand sports teams who use any kind of Native American imagery for their franchises.

We’ve talked about this a lot in the past here at The Box, but I’ll say it again: it’s about time for cities or non-profit entities to organize to take back sports franchises from douchebag billionaires so we don’t have to continue dealing with the threat of having our beloved teams move away; or our tax dollars going to subsidize building huge stadiums that have only ever proven to devestate the neighborhoods they move into; or sky rocketing ticket/food prices  (it sure as hell isn’t a family event anymore when you have to shell out hundreds of dollars for your family to go, at least not for working class folks). Wouldn’t it be dope for profits made from sports teams to be reinvested in things like education and healthcare? It’s possible if cities own their sports teams, and you do that through a process called municipalization. The Green Bay Packers in the National Football League are an example of this.