Sports

Millionaire asshole golfs again

After Donald Trump’s trip to France to celebrate Bastille Day (surely he recognizes the symbolism?), he skipped returning to the White House, and immediately went to his Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament is there, which lasts throughout this weekend, and the Golfer-In-Chief wasn’t about to skip out on his 2 favorite pastimes: golf, and leering at women.

Trump has already advertised the tournament on his Twitter page, multiple times…

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At this point, you are probably wondering how the hell a POTUS can get away with advertising for a golf course that he owns and profits from.

To be fair, Donald Trump was awarded the tournament in 2012, back when he had just bowed out of that year’s presidential election, and was still happily cashing NBC checks on “The Apprentice”. Upon being awarded the tournament, Trump had this to say:

“It is my great honor to have Trump National Golf Club Bedminster host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open,” said Donald J. Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization. “We designed this course to appeal to and to challenge the greatest golfers in the world, and having the most prestigious event in women’s golf at this course makes our plans complete. I look forward to a truly memorable championship.”

The USGA, after Trump’s election, wanted to move the tournament to a different course. Apparently, Trump’s attorneys threatened a lawsuit if they moved, so the USGA had no choice but to hold the tournament at Bedminster.

Although, I’m not quite sure why this particular course was chosen in the first place. According to Golf Digest magazine, Trump Bedminster is a mediocre golf course, and is not even a top-10 course in New Jersey. It reportedly has a flooding problem, which helps to explain why Trump’s golf balls always end up in the water when he golfs there (or elsewhere!).

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Eric Trump, son of Donald, is the one nominally in charge of the Trump Golf enterprise, when he’s not busy diverting money from cancer charities and children’s hospitals to buy oil paintings and housewares. The Trump children have had a horrible week, from Ivanka getting exposed by the Washington Post for her hypocritical business practices, to Donald Jr. lying several times about the several Russians he met with during his father’s presidential campaign. As the “Russiagate” investigation rolls on, Donald Trump is busy trying to distract us from his crimes. Whether that is awkwardly yanking on the French first lady’s arm, having bouts of amnesiausing his 2020 re-election fund to pay for his son Donald Jr’s legal fund (now there’s a sad irony), or calling the Russiagate investigation a “hoax” despite the 25+ investigators and attorneys currently working on it, Donald Trump always manages to stay in the news on a daily basis for doing things that are stupid to the point of being newsworthy.

And, of course, despite the fact that he continually called out Barack Obama for his golf trips, and the fact that he promised to not vacation as much when he became president, this is the 36th golf outing that Trump has taken since he was inaugurated 6 months ago. Trump’s vacationing has become so notorious that there are several websites dedicated to keeping track of it:

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Since Trump still fully owns Trump Organization and discreetly oversees it, he profits off of U.S. taxpayers, who get charged every time he travels to a Trump hotel, golf course, or any other associated property. Between the usage of Air Force One and Marine One, the security costs, etc., it adds up very quickly. As you can see on the graphic above, he has already cost taxpayers over $46 million (in my opinion, the actual costs run much higher). And that money gets put right back into his company, which is an apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution emoluments clause. The fact that he still advertises Trump golf events on Twitter just adds insult to injury.

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A plane flies over Trump Bedminster golf course in New Jersey, protesting the appearance and ownership of President Donald Trump.

The “Russiagate” investigation has started to ramp up recently, so using his companies to profit off of his presidency may not seem like a big deal compared to things like espionage, conspiracy, and perjury. I assure you, however, that it will be one of the many things that will contribute to his eventual undoing.

 

Protesting athletes that are protesting

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has become newsworthy in the NFL this season, not for his play on the field, but for his actions off of it. Off the field actions involving athletes are usually newsworthy for the wrong reasons: domestic violence, drug use, assault, etc.

In an indictment of our sports and entertainment culture, however, what Kaepernick has done is even more controversial than that: protesting during the U.S. National Anthem, otherwise known as the Star Spangled Banner. Kaepernick has received death threats and scathing media coverage from it, and polls have shown that a considerable amount of people in the U.S. disagree with his protests, much more than the people who agree with what he is doing.

Athletes that are protesting is nothing new, however. It is relatively uncommon in professional sports, where athletes are expected to be cerebral geniuses on the field and non-controversial soundbite spouting drones off the field. In the Olympics, however, political protesting has a history. The Olympics are supposed to transcend politics and not to be involved with them, but it is as much a geopolitical pissing contest as it is a platform for the worlds best athletes to perform. Governments even get involved, such as when the U.S. team boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, and the Soviets in turn boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Governments have even banned entire countries over racial injustice, such as when they banned South Africa from performing.

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The most famous Olympic protest took place in 1968, during the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. As we all know, 1968 was a year where racial injustice had reached a flashpoint, and the year that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. After the 200 meter race, U.S. gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos gave a raised fist in protest when they were awarded the medals. In the picture is silver medalist Peter Norman from Australia, who despite not raising a fist can be seen wearing a Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on his jacket, in solidarity. This has become one of the most famous Olympic moments in history, and it was a moment of protest.

In 2016, we still have racial divides and police brutality. I don’t believe that all cops are bad, because that would be a generalization. A cop who unjustly kills someone doesn’t represent his police department anymore than Colin Kaepernick represents the San Francisco 49ers with his protesting. There should be more expected of people who are sworn to serve and protect us, more than a mediocre professional football team, but tell that to the people on ESPN and sports talk radio, where football is more important than inconvenient protesting.

The protests have now spread to college football teams, where players on several teams have protested. On the Michigan Wolverines football team, a few players protested during the U-M/Penn State football game yesterday. After the game, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (who happens to know Colin Kaepernick quite well, since he used to coach him as the 49ers head coach) was asked about his thoughts on the protests. His response:

“We’re a team as a country,” Harbaugh said. “I’ll tell you what I believe in. I believe in God. I believe in country. I believe in family. I believe in rules of law and following the rules. And I believe that, as a team, the things we embrace, we should embrace – if something is not good for somebody on the team, then we talk about it and we get it fixed together as a team. Those are the things I believe in.
“But that doesn’t mean that just because I’m a football coach, that I can tell other people what to believe or what to think. I support people speaking their own mind and saying what they believe.”

Harbaugh is basically saying that whether he agrees with the protests or not, he supports his players forms of free expression and to think for themselves. He realizes that it is much better to let these players think for themselves and to express themselves constructively, rather than to be draconianally silenced because of what people may or may not think.

What we need in this country is more people who think for themselves, who are willing to stand up for their beliefs, who are willing to hear opposite viewpoints, and who are willing to learn about different points of view. This is part of a college education, no doubt, but it is also part of becoming an adult. Being a social justice warrior and making false accusations of privilege and prejudice while willfully ignoring facts is not free thinking behavior. Living in denial and claiming that police brutality is deserved, and that racism is non-existent is also willfully ignoring facts and is also not free thinking behavior. For a world so focused on black and white, we sure fail to see the gray areas in between. If someone feels like they have been slighted or feels that they need to stick up for a cause, then they have every right to protest. When football players protest, they aren’t representing their respective teams, they are ultimately representing everybody, as human beings. Protesting during the national anthem is arguably the wrong time to do it, but it has certainly gotten our attention, which is the ultimate point of protesting. A protest does no good if nobody is there to see it.

I’d say Jim Harbaugh has it right. Better to raise kids into critical thinking and self-confident adults, instead of having these kids mindlessly being ordered by coaches, administrators, and fans to conform to what they feel is right. Good for him.

The Detroit Red Wings will be playing in “Little Caesars Arena”

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In what has to be the the least surprising news in sports arena naming, the new arena slated to be built for the Detroit Red Wings will officially be the “Little Caesars Arena”. The Ilitch family have also announced these arena-related developments:

-Instead of throwing octopi onto the ice, the new tradition will be throwing Crazy Bread.

-Just like at all Little Caesars restaurants, pizza will only be $5. Unfortunately, that will be per slice, not per pizza.

-There will be a new Little Caesars mascot for each game. If you are a John Belushi look-alike who has a toga, feel free to email humanresources@littlecaesars.com .

-The luxury boxes will be called the Hot N’ Ready Boxes. Many laughs will be had over the sexual connotations.

-The People Mover will now be called the Caesar Mover.

-The inaugural season at Little Caesars Arena will be just like the experience one gets eating a Little Caesars pizza: it might look good at the beginning, but it will probably leave you with an upset stomach at the end.

Ann Arbor embarrasses Why-piss-a-lan-tee again

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Gametime at Rynearson Stadium in 2015. Believe it or not, this was actually one of their games with the highest attendance.

 

 

Even though Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti are only separated by a couple of miles, the distance between their college football programs couldn’t be farther apart. The University of Michigan has the most total wins out of any college football team, their latest recruiting class is ranked #1 by most analysts, and they routinely make headlines for such clickbait minutiae as Jim Harbaugh’s choice of refreshments when he went to go see Star Wars at the movie theater.

Eastern Michigan University, on the other hand, has never had a top-tier football program. Not even middle-tier. The last good player to come from EMU was Charlie Batch, who made a decent career in the NFL as a journeyman backup quarterback. I actually met him at a house party back when he went to EMU, and EMU didn’t even get many fans back then, either. In the late 1990’s, I remember doing community service at Rynearson Stadium a couple times, where the policeman in charge would just drop us off in the middle of the game to pick up trash. There were almost as many of us picking up trash as there were actual fans!

Well, here’s the ultimate embarrassment: The University of Michigan got the biggest average crowds in 2015. And Eastern Michigan University got…yep, the smallest crowds. Less than 5,000 per game. And we all know attendance numbers are inflated, so I’d be surprised if they got half of that.

So, if Michigan State is U of M’s “little brother” -and that little brother has had one hell of a football team this year-  what does that make Ypsilanti? Bastard stepchild? In the rare instance that you might hear the word “Ypsilanti” mentioned on television, it will invariably be mispronounced Why-piss-a-lan-tee, making it the only instance where someone on TV can say “piss” and not be censored.

Yep, bastard stepchild sounds about right. Or college equivalent of the Detroit Lions.

THE OFFICIAL LIST OF SIDE BETS FOR SUPER BOWL XLIX

Yeah, I think we are gonna win this game! Go Seahawks!!!

Yeah, I think we are gonna win this game! Go Seahawks!!!

Vegas side bets are the derivatives of the gambling world. They can also be a lot more fun. Why simply bet on who is going to win a game, when you can theoretically bet on much more exciting and irrelevant things? I decided to check in with a Las Vegas oddsmaker to find some new ways to waste your money during the Super Bowl:

The NFL having heightened security overseeing the game footballs, before the game- 1:1

The NFL reverting to its typical nonexistent security overseeing the game footballs, starting next season- 2:1

Bill Belichick wearing a hoodie- 1:1

Pete Carroll doing his best Gary Busey imitation on the sideline- 2:1

Katy Perry having a wardrobe malfunction- 10:1

Katy Perry having a microphone malfunction, gets exposed lip synching- 20:1

Most football fans deciding to skip watching the halftime show altogether- 5:1

A commercial by the University of Phoenix that portrays them as some sort of legitimate university- 2:1

A commercial by Daimler-Chrysler that either talks about God or talks about the rebirth of Detroit- 3:1

A commercial by GoDaddy that shamelessly features Danica Patrick in some skimpy outfit- 5:1

The average viewer at home wondering how the hell companies can waste millions of dollars on stupid commercials that will ultimately have no effect on their customer base- 2:1

Marshawn Lynch gets the MVP award, still refuses to talk to the media- 5:1

Tom Brady gets the MVP award, decides to retire on national TV when accepting it- 4:1

Sales of Tylenol and Tums will be their highest yet in 2015, on the Monday following the game- 1:1

Dave Brandon has the ultimate way to bring Michigan football back to glory

Dave Brandon, athletic director of the University of Michigan and former CEO/chairman of Domino’s “‘hey, our pizza used to suck but now it’s not so bad’ ad campaigns” Pizza, has had some interesting ideas for the Michigan football team this season, none of which have had to do with football or were even conducive to winning a football game. These ideas included:

-Halftime fireworks shows (shot down by the University regents)

-Having a drone fly over the stadium and land on the 50-yard line to drop off the game ball (shot down by the FAA)

-Giving away 2 tickets for the Minnesota game for the price of a 20 oz. Coke (shot down by Brandon, but after he allowed it to happen under his watch).

But, my sources* now tell me that Brandon has the greatest idea yet! An idea which will help Michigan win some football games, and bring back Domino’s Pizza most beloved character. If you were born in the 1990’s or later, you probably have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. The rest of you…yeah, you guessed it: putting this guy on the team…

"Put me in coach, I can play! Those linemen will avoid the Noid just like consumers avoided my pizza!"

“Put me in coach, I can play! Those linemen will avoid the Noid just like consumers avoided my pizza!”

This may seem like the most ridiculous idea ever (and it is pretty ridiculous!), but bear with me: The Noid is one tough motherfucker. If you ever watched his cheesy 1980’s commercials game film, you can tell how quick and elusive he is. Why, he could be the next Tim Biakabutuka, with an equally catchy name! Imagine this scenario: The Wolverines line up in an I-formation, Devin Gardner hands it off to The Noid, and he jumps, squirms, and jukes his way to the end zone. My sources tell me that the University Of Michigan is already working on transferring The Noid from nearby Washtenaw Community College, where The Noid was majoring in graphic design and advertising.

Brady Hoke, when asked about this rumor, said a bunch of talking points that were so unmemorable and irrelevant as to not even be worthy of being included in this article.

When reached for comment, Lloyd Carr simply said, “Tremendous!”

*my sources: some homeless guy standing on the Diag