Karma Smiles

Two headlines that had me chuckling, when seen one after the other:

…and then:

So their lesbians beat our lesbians.  (I know, this whole Lesbo World Cup is of little interest over in this corner of Teh Intarwebz, being a) soccer and b) womyns’ sports, but stay with me here.)

This whole non-singing of the national anthem — when you have been chosen to represent your country — has stuck in my craw since Day One.  By not singing the anthem, what you’re saying is that this is not a momentous privilege but just another thing you have to do before signing that lucrative endorsement deal.

And then kvetching when you don’t get that lucrative endorsement deal.

I know, I know:  it’s their First Amendment right and all that, but people need to understand that sometimes there are consequences to actions, and this would be one of those times.

I’m no longer an executive in this business but if I were, there is absolutely no way I would sign up one of these unpatriotic and ungrateful assholes and pay them some large sum of money, because in all good faith I couldn’t show them wearing the Team USA shirt (on the Wheaties packet, for example) when they’ve basically indicated that wearing said shirt is anathema to them.

Enjoy your stay in Oblivion City, shitbirds.

Betting Against The Smart Money

I got a good chuckle about this one.  (For those of you who don’t care about professional golf or golf in general, what follows isn’t about golf, despite the circumstances.)

It’s been announced that the breakaway LIV golf circuit (funded by the Saudis) is going to merge with the established PGA circuit, which means that all the Sturm und Drang sobbing about “rebels”, “traitors”, “mercenaries” and so on is just meaningless piffle (as it was at the time anyway).

Here’s what got me chuckling:

Former President Donald Trump is nothing if not prescient on some of the biggest cultural and business issues of the day.

The latest example of his Nostradamus-like ability to see into the future can be found in his 2022 prediction that the upstart league LIV Golf would merge with its rival the PGA. That pronouncement came to fruition on Tuesday.

“All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” he shared on his social media app Truth Social in July 2022.

Of course, some people had a problem with this because Trump:

“To be clear, only Trump is talking about possibly merging the organizations,” author Michael D’Antonio wrote in July 2022.

And as for the announcement itself:

In response to the news, CBS Sports reporter Kyle Porter tweeted, “Truly gobsmacked today. Of the 10,000 different outcomes, this was never talked about, never discussed, never even floated. Everyone who would have known was at the PGA two weeks ago, and nobody even came close to hinting at it!”

…except Donald Trump, a year ago.


When I swam the Atlantic in the mid-1980s, I knew absolutely diddly about American sports.  Basketball?  Buncha tall guys throwing the ball into a net thingy, like the “netball” which girls played back home.  Football?  Large men running into each other with little to show for it, and when not doing that, forward passes (illegal in the game of rugby) and matches which featured short bursts of action between long commercial breaks.  Baseball?  Sorta like “rounders” (another girly game).

Then I got invited to my first baseball game.  The Chicago Cubs were playing at Wrigley Field, against some other team (don’t remember which one), and the “starting” pitcher was a guy named Greg Maddux.

Remember, I knew diddly about the game of baseball:  how it’s played, the terminology, the strategy, and what constituted a “good” player.  When it came to that last, though, I learned that really quickly, because watching Maddux pitch was like watching a skilled surgeon performing a routine operation.  I’d never seen anything like it before, and I’m not sure I’ll ever see it again.  Only other players in different sports come to mind:  Shane Warne (cricket), Michael Jordan (duh) and Lionel Messi (soccer/football) ever came close — and in the case of Jordan, it opened up basketball for me, but only as long as he was playing.

Back to Maddux and that game.  I had a good seat behind home plate, and was blessed by having my boss — a serious baseball fan — sitting next to me, who could explain the game to me.  I didn’t need any tutoring when Maddux was on the mound, because greatness doesn’t need much explanation.  I didn’t know a curve ball from a slider from a two-seam fastball;  all I saw was batters swinging the bats like little kids, and seldom hitting any pitch Maddux threw.  As I recall, he pitched seven innings, allowed zero runs and only had a couple of on-base hits scored on him.  Cubs win.  Cubs win.  Cubs win.

Of course, at that time the Cubs as a team sucked bigly because the loathsome Tribune Corporation (the owners) didn’t need the team to win, only to make a decent game of it.  They didn’t spend money on great players because the fans loved the guys they did have — admittedly, some very good ones like Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace and Andre Dawson — but other than Maddux, their pitching sucked and nobody could hit the ball or even field the ball other than the aforementioned three players.

Of course, when Maddux’s (cheap) contract came to an end, the Tribune Corp. offloaded him like a bad smell, sending him to Atlanta where he amassed feat after feat, in the end winning 300 games, striking out over 3,000 batters, for a career ERA of some minuscule number, four Cy Young Awards and a first-round pass into the Hall of Fame.

I know all this about him because I wasn’t a Cubs fan but a Maddux fan — so when he was traded I quit watching the Cubs forever.

Anyway, this is not a post intended to promote a discussion of how other pitchers were “better” than Greg Maddux — I can hear the Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton supporters warming the engines as we speak — but an appreciation of the man himself.

When his Cubs contract ended, Maddux turned down the Yankees and went to the Braves for less money — because he thought Atlanta would be a better place to raise his kids than New York.

And who could argue with that?

Here’s a YooChoob video which does a better job than I have (unsurprisingly).

For the Brits: A Lose-Lose Outcome

here’s an example:

Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday in a penalty kick shootout following a 3-3 tie.

I know, I don’t care about this either (I follow club football, not international), but for our cousins Across The Pond, it’s one of those situations where, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, it’s a pity that both sides couldn’t lose.

France (old enemies) vs. Argentina (enemies since the Falklands War in the 1980s).  No wonder the Brit response to the above was just a national shrug.

Oh, and for those Murkins who think that “soccer” is boring:  this one was a thriller.

Not Our Game

As Longtime Readers know, I’m a huge fan of football (“soccer”) so I was quite distraught that Team U.S.A. was booted out of the World Cup last week.  This, however, got up my nose, big time:

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte trolled President Joe Biden on Twitter, poking fun at the U.S. men’s soccer team’s loss to the Netherlands in the World Cup during the first round of the tournament’s knockout stage on Saturday.

In a promotional video posted Saturday morning, Biden had wished the U.S. team luck as the players prepared for their match against the Netherlands. Holding a ball in front of the White House, Biden said that “it’s called soccer” before reassuring the team, “You’re going to do it!”

Following America’s 3-1 loss on Saturday, Rutte responded to Biden’s tweet, saying, “Sorry Joe, football won.”

No, Dutchie… soccer won.  Had your little nation of Heinekenners fielded a team of NFL-type footballers and played us at, oh, Lambeau Field in late December, you would have lost by a lot more than 3-1.

We’re not that good at soccer because we just don’t care about it.  It’s pretty much the same as Formula 1 — we have perfectly-good alternatives right here.

Oh, and now that the Germans have been eliminated, you may actually have a chance of winning the Cup, instead of being beaten like a drum by them since, errrr, 1939.

And speaking of the disturbances in the early 1940s… you’re welcome.