Sunday, August 26, 2012


This doping deal has gotten to me...the 2012 Vuelta a España finished it's first week Friday, without TeamCorduroyPlanet playing along in a Fantasy League. Lance Armstrong, facing a New Salem Witch Trial, said Uncle. Alberto Contador's doping suspension is over and he's contesting for his home Tour. I guess I'm just turned off...

I was slacking when the Tour de France wrapped up and the Olympics showcased British Cycling...I may say something about it once my  "Doping Allegation Receptors" heal a little...

There's still one more week of Formula One's Summer Break. The cars will fire up next Friday for the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps, and I can hardly contain myself! There's no doping in least no "performance enhancing drugs" A NASCAR driver flunked a drug test a couple of weeks ago...methamphetamine, "speed" Oh the Irony...

I don't think there's a drug problem in America's Cup Racing...Though who can forget the highly inebriated Ted Turner nearly falling off the stage and taking the podium with him after defending the Cup onboard "Courageous" in 1977?

It's almost NFL Football Season. The NFL has become the new Tobacco I fear. The hand-wringing do-gooders are after the sport the same way they went after "Big Tobacco"...with the determination of Pit Bulls.

The suicide of San Diego Chargers' superstar linebacker, Junior Seau in May has brought into the daylight Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), progressive damage to the brain associated with repeated blows to the head. No less a luminary than Conservative Pundit and Baseball Author, George Will addressed the problem in his column this month.

I'm not the Football Fan I was back in the 80s when my San Francisco 49ers began as Cinderella-Story SuperBowl Champs and built a Dynasty behind Joe Montana. The NFL Owners and the NFL Player's Union have brought myriad changes to the ol' Gridiron. The game is so different now compared to the game I loved as a kid watching YA Tittle throw the Alley-Oop to RC Owens at San Francisco's Kezar Stadium.

Many new rules protect the players (and the owners' investments in them), but many changes have diminished the deeper textures of the game for me.

Free agency is "Katy Bar the Door" much that when a team does scale Olympus and hold the Lombardi Trophy overhead while the showers of champagne rain down, the following season almost always resembles a Community Rummage Sale as the newly crowned Football Stars move to other teams who's Salary Cap headroom allows a little  shopping for the High Priced Spread.

For me, this unfettered movement has killed the deeper rivalries. Oh, the NY Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles will always have a rivalry worthy of notice, but the rivalries between  individual players on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage never have a chance to develop today.

Before wide open free agency, teams in the same Conference played twice a season, plus potential playoff meetings. Season in and season out, opposing players would build a history with their opposite, rich with perceived slights, fakes, deference and disses...great stuff, now only memories.

Don't get me started on Instant Replay which has slowly dug in like a bloated tick sucking the life out of the game. 

NFL games are played mostly on Sunday afternoons...My Friday Nights during ski season. The extra half hour that Instant Replay has added to the games has proved fatal to my ability to stay awake until the end of the games. 

What about TiVo you ask? 

Truth? I'm too plugged in to avoid seeing the outcome before I watch the DVR'd games...same with motorsports...

I'd be remiss if I didn't remember Retired NAVY Aviator Neil Armstrong who passed away Saturday. I can still vividly remember standing out in the yard with my Dad looking up at the Moon after watching Armstrong step onto the Moon on TV. I remember thinking "how clever of NASA to land Americans on a Full Moon...

I guess it's been a bad day for Armstrongs period...however, Neil's family makes a simple request that brightens my heart:  

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.

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