Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Oh How I Wish This Were True!

I donated a considerable amount of money to the successful presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and I also donated a significant amount of time over the last two months getting the vote out for him. As a result, my reward is much more than emotional and cerebral. I received a call from the president-elect this morning, asking me to become the secretary of a new cabinet-level department he is creating, Athletics and Sports…

…That’s right, I’m the new Sports Czar of the United States!

The president-elect recognized my history as a lifelong sports fan, a former sports talk radio host, a former play-by-play announcer for little league, high school and college football, a former director and producer of local sports television, a former recreational league softball coach, and a former participant in little league and high school football, baseball and soccer. President-elect Obama recognized my “resume” and my long contributions to sports and athletics, and thought me ideally qualified for this new cabinet-level undertaking. And like the economy, the two wars, and infrastructure, he recognizes the need for drastic yet positive change in the sports culture both domestically and worldwide. He and I share some of the same ideas on how to go about implementing these progressive changes.

So here, as a start, are some of the new rules by executive order the president-elect have will be enacting as we hit the ground running with on January 20th:

– President-elect Obama and I both recognize that steroids and illegal performance-enhancing drugs have been the primary scourge on sports and athletics in America. However, we both have also come to realize that despite extensive drug-testing, athletes will always find a way to cheat the system, and what’s even more disturbing is that athletes seem to believe that societies rules don’t apply to them (“it wasn’t against the rules” being the primary excuse). So the president-elect and I have devised a more effective means of combating drug use in sports. There will be no drug-testing at all. However, upon becoming a member of any accredited and legal sports league or association in the United States – be it amateur, high school, college or professional – it will be made painfully clear to all participants that any drugs that are not over-the-counter or prescribed – occupational, recreational or otherwise – are against the law and punishable by the criminal-justice system. If at any time any athlete is caught by law enforcement and charged with any drug-related offense, even if it is a misdemeanor, then said athlete is immediately suspended without pay from their sports league or association until the conclusion of their legal case. What’s more, if any athlete is found guilty of any drug-related offense just once, they are banned from all but recreational sports for life. Yes, it is harsh, but it is time athletes recognize that they are not above the law and that they have to adhere to the same rules everybody else does. If any sports league or association has any problem with this then they can do business someplace other than the United States.

– President-elect Obama touched on this the day before the election on “Monday Night Football”; We’re going to expand on the idea. Within hours of taking office, we will institute a 16-team playoff in the NCAA Football Bowl Division (formerly Division-I football). Every FBD team that wins their conference outright will get an automatic bid, with the rest of the field filled out by the highest-ranking teams as determined by the NCAA. No more BCS. If anybody has a problem with how teams are ranked then take it up with the NCAA; this at least will force transparency by the association.

– All professional sports officiating will be full-time occupations. All professional sports associations and leagues will provide independent oversight of their officials; no former officials will be allowed. All officials will be made available to the media for questioning (if boxing, arguably the smarmiest sport on the planet, can have their officials explain to the world why they made a questionable decision, why can’t every other sports league or association?). No more fining athletes, coaches or owners for publicly criticizing the officials (it’s a free country; if you can’t take it then why the hell are you officiating?). If there are any umpires and referees unions that have a problem with this then we will fire all of you and get new ones (I have no doubt that there are tons of people out there that would love to have your job at the salary and benefits we are going to pay them). And all postseason or high profile events will be officiated by officials based on merit – to be determined by independent oversight — not because it is your turn.

– In a related matter, no more video reviews in sports. If the above edict does what it is supposed to then sports will have a lot more good officials and much more reliable officiating. That said, mistakes happen, that’s just how it is. If you really do believe in this romantic notion that sports is like life, then you understand that mistakes happen in life, too.

– If the percentage of minority athletes in any sports association or league represents the bulk of the workforce, then the percentage of employees in coaching and front-office positions must at least reflect the ethnic makeup of society. As an example, it is absolutely absurd that women don’t even make up 20% of college coaches of women’s sports when at least half of college athletes are women. Same for college football, in which 70% of football players are black yet there are only 4 Div-I black college football coaches. Failure to comply with this directive in five years will result in Title IX-type discipline: Loss of scholarships and sports programs. At the pro level failure to comply will result in perpetually increasing fines (I mean in the tens of millions annually). There is just no way you can convince us that the majority of your workforce can sacrifice their health and future well-being but they aren’t good enough to run your organizations.

– The American Medical Association will provide the physicians for all sports leagues from peewee on up. No longer will medical professionals be employed by any team or sports organization. It’s time for doctors to work in the best interest of the athletes and not the teams or leagues.

– Teams will be held responsible for the fans that follow them. Fans throwing something onto the field, or hitting a player, or injuring a player because of something he/she threw, or racial epithets, drunkenness and/or violent behavior, or unauthorized persons coming onto the field will result in a sliding scale of increasingly hefty fines and/or that team having to play a varying number of their home games in empty venues and/or forfeiture of games. Drunkenness and violent behavior by fans will result in varying degrees of lengthy banishment from sporting venues. It’s time for teams to provide a safe, friendly environment for everyone to view a sporting event. If there is any current fan that attends a sporting event that has a problem with any of this then there are plenty of fans that will gladly take his place.

– No more alphabet soup of “sanctioning bodies” in boxing. The U.S. Department of Sports and Athletics will create one national boxing sanctioning body that will eventually be privatized and be the sole professional boxing organization recognized – and the USDSA will be responsible for oversight. Any boxer in the world that wants to fight in the United States had better be licensed by this new national sanctioning body. This is the one time I have no problem with American hegemony. If any boxer doesn’t want to fight under this new organization’s authority then they will not be fighting anywhere in the United States. Everybody knows that the big money fights are in Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and Atlantic City, so even foreign fighters will comply even if the fight is staged on foreign soil. But to give any professional even more incentive to fight under this new national sanctioning body’s authority, professional boxers will have a union. It’s time the sport did a better job of looking after it’s primary employees.

– In a related matter, jockeys get a union, also.

– Fighting will be completely removed from the NHL. I’m tired of hearing the excuse that you can’t take fighting out of hockey. The only place on the planet where fighting is part of the game is in North America; wanna tell me how the rest of the civilized world managed to do away with fighting in hockey and the supposedly most civilized country in the world can’t?

– Football and basketball get minor league systems, and the legal age a player can play any professional sport is 18. If a person can drink and have consensual sex and drive and vote and go off to war and have the right to kill or be killed then he/she can make the conscious choice to enter the work world in their chosen profession provided that a sports league or organization will have them – and no sports league or organization will enact any laws saying otherwise. College should be the ideal for anybody but not everybody wants to go to college so forcing an athlete to go is absurd. College should be for those who want to learn and get a degree, so lets get college athletic departments out of the business of being feeder systems to the pros.

– In a related matter, College athletes can test their market value in professional sports without losing their eligibility (if a information technology major can work for MicroSoft his sophomore year then why can’t a sophomore football player at least find out what he is worth to the Oakland Raiders, as long as he never participates with them at any level). College athletes can become professional athletes in one sport without losing their amateur eligibility in an entirely different sport (A college punt-returner who is also a pro snowboarder does not have any competitive advantage over his football counterparts). And college athletes will be allowed their first transfer to another school without having to sit out a year. These are human beings, not property, and its time the NCAA stop treating them like property. If the NCAA doesn’t like it then we’ll be happy to take away their charter and create a new collegiate sports organization.

– In still another related matter, the mandatory minimum GPA for all athletes participating in junior high, high school and college athletics will be raised from 2.0 to 2.6. It’s time for children – and by extension their parents – to understand why they are going to school. School athletics is a privilege, not a right.

– The NFL needs to acknowledge that they are the most dangerous occupation in the land. The life expectancy of a professional football player is 54 years, the lowest of any occupation in the United States. So the NFL needs to come up with a better retirement plan for players, which includes comprehensive health care the rest of their lives and a retirement plan that doesn’t punish them for collecting their retirement early. That also includes an extensive post-career physical regimen that gets 300+ pound players to lose weight (how many 60-year-old 300-pounders do you see walking around). The NFL knows that an overwhelming majority of its employees retire before the age of 35, so they need to start showing retired players a helluva lot more respect and dignity for the sacrifice they know the players are making.

– The designated hitter rule in baseball is gone forever at all levels of the game. There was a time when it was needed but the pendulum has swung so far towards offense that it makes no sense to have this rule any longer. As an addendum, the pitching mound is being raised back to the pre-1969 level. As a second addendum, aluminum bats are outlawed.

– Figure skating, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, synchronized diving, trampoline, team handball, the modern pentathlon and the biathlon are out of the Olympics. Baseball, softball, gridiron football, horse racing, bowling, poker, pool, auto racing and golf are in. If the IOC has a problem with this then they can forget about any American companies sponsoring them, in which case about 80% of their operating expenses will disappear.

– Any team sporting event that is broadcast nationally via pay television will be available for free to the markets of the local teams participating. That 49ers-Steelers game being broadcast on ESPN will be broadcast for free on a local affiliate in the San Francisco and Pittsburgh media markets. The president-elect and I don’t care what pay-per-view deal DirecTV has with the NFL, it’s time the leagues gave something back to the ordinary fans that they have priced out and have followed them for decades.

– Any professional sports franchise wanting a new or renovated state-of-the-art venue has to come off 40% of the construction costs. Any city that wants to attract a professional sports franchise has to first get a legally binding commitment from the particular franchise they want, pay a negotiated separation fee to the city that is losing that franchise, and then that franchise has to come off 40% of the construction costs of a new or renovated stadium or arena. The president-elect and I are tired of hearing about communities building sports venues for hundreds of millions of dollars and, because they don’t have a team yet, that venue is left sitting empty for years on end. No more franchises literally holding their communities hostage for venues they can’t afford. And we are doing away with personal seat licenses: If you want to charge a person $12,000 for the “right” to buy a seat for ten years then you’ll just have to settle for charging that person the same amount actually sit in that seat for the same amount of time.

– Scalping will be de-criminalized. If any team or organization is pissed because a scalper or ticket broker is selling a $35 seat to the Cubs game for $150, then I suggest that team or organization sell that seat for $150 themselves. Let me see if I’ve got this straight: Teams and sports organizations have no problem overpaying hundreds of millions of dollars in player contracts and justify it by claiming “that’s what the market is,” yet they have a problem with some guy getting well over and above face value for a ticket for the same reason. Huh? The president-elect and I don’t like the sky-rocketing price of going to a game, either, but in a lot of cases that is the only way some ordinary people can get into a game. Besides, by de-criminalizing it, now we get to tax the scalper!

– Poker is legal everywhere, especially online. No, poker is not a strict game of chance. If betting on the lottery and horse racing – and even the stock market of late – is legal (and all three are clearly out of the player’s control), then the one form of gambling that relies heavily on one’s own skill, tactics and judgment more than external circumstances certainly needs to be legal. Just like above, we need to start collecting taxes on it.

– All forms of auto racing operating in the United States must use renewable fuels. Carbon-based fuels in sports will be outlawed. I shouldn’t have to explain why.

These are just the changes President-Elect Obama and I will be making upon his taking the oath on January 20th and upon my confirmation by Congress. As the new secretary of the new Department of Athletics and Sports, the president-elect and I believe in a pro-active approach to problem-solving, so we feel that these progressive changes to the sports culture in the United States will make athletics more safe, fair and entertaining. I relish the opportunity to serve in this capacity and will be enacting more rules as they apply to sports and athletics as the department studies sports further. If there are any suggestions you may have to accomplishing these goals, feel free to contact me. I look forward to serving the president-elect as best I can in this capacity.

– daveydoug

Thank You, Seven-Of-Nine

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to that sexy, stunning Borg drone Seven-Of-Nine!

On the third “Star Trek” spin-off, “Star Trek: Voyager”, which aired on the long-gone Paramount Network from 1995 -2001, from 1997 to the end of its run, a female Borg drone was introduced as the new cast member and shipmate to the lost Star Fleet crew of the star ship “Voyager”. Her designation was Seven-Of-Nine. The drop-dead gorgeous half-human/half cybernetic organism space socialist in the breathtakingly form-fitting catwoman space suit was play by actress Jeri Ryan.

So why does she merit such appreciation? You see Jeri Ryan was married to Jack Ryan for most of the Nineties. In 1999 she divorced her husband of eight years. In 2004, Jack Ryan decided to run for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald. After easily winning the Republican primary, Ryan was expected to easily win that Congressional Senate seat over his neophyte Democratic rival…

…Ah, the best laid plans…

In June of 2004, after several of Ryan’s republican opponents had months earlier requested the release of Ryan’s divorce records, it was revealed that Jeri Ryan based her reason for divorce on the allegation that during their marriage Jack liked to take her to sex clubs with the intention of performing bizarre sex acts with her in public. Jeri alleged that Jack took her to sex clubs all over the world, something she was very resistant to.

After these divorce allegations were made public – allegations which Jack Ryan flatly denied – he was forced by the Illinois state Republican Party to withdraw his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. But at such a late date it was difficult to find a replacement candidate. The same Republican party leaders who called for Ryan’s resignation chose Alan Keyes, a carpetbagger from Maryland, as Ryan’s replacement in the November senatorial election. Keyes lost easily.

That neophyte Democratic candidate that would have been trounced so easily haed Jack Ryan stayed in the race?…

…Barack Obama!

Without knowing it at the time, Jeri Ryan set off a chain of circumstantial events that taken in order conspired to make Barack Obama the president-elect of the United States.

The law of unintended concequences — and all because Seven-Of-Nine got a divorce!

Thank You, Seven-Of-Nine. Thank You So Very, Very Much!!!

– daveydoug