Showing Too Much Constraint
Despite this blog’s title, I really do try to just appreciate the world of sports. I really do. But just when I think that I can let the deficiencies and annoyances slide, I’m slapped in the face with something so egregious that I have to bare the fangs and the claws again.
The latest effrontery? Nine of the most hateful words in all of sports broadcasting:
“Due to time constraints, we move ahead in our game.”
Continue reading Showing Too Much Constraint
Bitching about the prevalance of advertising in the sports world is nothing new for The DFR. Indeed, it’s a recurring theme around here.
However, the practice of treating the eyes of sports fans as a perpetual advertising dump has recently taken on a new dimension in the NBA. This season, for the first time in the Association’s history, the advertising has migrated from the broadcasts and every available surface in the arenas to the very uniforms the players are wearing.
Embed from Getty Images
The Pelicans’ Anthony Davis sports a Zatarain’s logo — whether he likes it or not
This change has happened with hardly a ripple of protest or comment from the nation’s (or for that matter, the world’s) NBA fans. Apparently, at this point, people have become so inured to the constant assault that is advertising that introducing a little bit of “branding” on a player’s chest is not even worth noticing for most observers.
Still, you’d think it might ring a few more bells than it has, given that the NBA’s workforce largely consists of Black people. Because once upon a time in this country, Black people getting “branded”–by their almost-universally White owners–meant something entirely different from sporting the logo of some famous (or obscure) business concern.
It’s enough to make a knowledgable observer cite–not for the first time–the famous philosopher Timon from The Lion King: “And everybody’s OK with this?!” Continue reading Branding Without Irons, Or Irony
It’s been a while since MLB went through another expansion phase. No new teams have entered the sport since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came into the leagues in 1998.
That expansion brought the number of major league teams to 30, and as such, it can be said to have been incomplete. The number of teams, while even, still left MLB with a lack of balance in the composition of the leagues. The movement of teams between leagues (Milwaukee to the NL, then the Astros to the AL) tried to accommodate the lack of balance in the league structures and schedules, as did the move to introduce interleague play, but there remains, even to this day, oddities that no amount of jiggering with the division formats, unbalanced schedules, and expanded playoffs have been able to smooth out.
Embed from Getty Images
Baseball in Harlem: How about something more than a cameo appearance?
So another expansion, which could bring the number of teams up to a far more workable total of 32, might seem like a good idea. The sport–despite doomsaying from the short-sighted–is thriving, thanks to aggressive programs of stadium building, strong marketing efforts, some wise negotiating on both sides of the labor table, and intelligent utilization of digital media to maximize the fans’ experience.
That brings us to the obvious question: where would you put two more teams if you expand MLB today? There are a number of candidates out there for one of the two putative teams, but there’s one market that everyone seems to agree should get another team (even if everyone also says it’s impossible to place a team there for territorial reasons). Let’s, as they say, “start spreading the news.”
Continue reading A Case For The Uptown Nine
The Second Time A Clown
Karl Marx is famously quoted as saying that history repeats itself, “the first as tragedy, then as farce.” If we needed any more proof of this aphorism, we’re getting it thanks to the comedic talents of the NFL’s Louis-Napoleon, Raiders owner Mark Davis.
A story that ran this week in the SF Chronicle shows that Davis is comedy gold–a status befitting a man whose hairdo was apparently inspired by Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. Continue reading The Second Time A Clown
By now you’ve all heard the news that the Oakland Raiders will, eventually, drop the first half of that name and trade it in for the city and the brand that is Las Vegas. You’ve probably seen plenty of video clips of reactions to the news; most of those reactions from fans local to Oakland have, most likely, been a mixture of anger, sadness, disappointment, etc. No surprise there.
Embed from Getty Images
Las Vegas Raiders fans: a soon-to-be burgeoning breed
However, it might be illuminating to give some attention to reactions from those who, presumably, would have a more sophisticated point of view–namely, people involved in some way with the Raiders’ organization. Since I live in the East Bay, I’ve had the chance to hear some semi-official thoughts on the subject of the team’s relocation, mainly through the venue of the team’s (current) official media outlet, 95.7 The Game.
Let’s just say, some of these reactions have been “interesting,” to say the least.
Continue reading The Awful Whinge Is A Raider