Posts Tagged: football

Dec 10

The Financial Crisis as Political Football

Matthias Matthijs writes:

Firstly, nowhere in my original response to Daniel Klein’s essay did I argue that the trend in the United States over the past thirty years has been towards a smaller state. Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats find it quasi impossible in a mature democracy as this one to cut spending and public services to their constituents.

And yet, in his original essay, he wrote:

Klein, like most libertarians, casually overlooks the fact that it is his own dogmatic libertarian thinking — centered on lower taxes, deregulation, absolute private property rights, and smaller government — that has led to the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression.

If the dogmatic thinking of libertarians, centered on smaller government, didn’t result in smaller government, it’s a bit hard to see why Matthias blames it for recent economic difficulties. Ditto for the rest of his list.

He continues:

I think the more important point is not about the size of the state — something which nobody disputes — but about the distribution of income. Since the coming to power of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, both countries have become almost as unequal as many developing countries today. The distribution of income as a consequence of their regressive measures of cutting income tax and raising all kinds of indirect taxes — all in the name of supply side stimulus — became much more unequal since 1980.

The CBO has published estimates of the distribution of the federal tax burden as of 2007. I don’t know if Matthias has looked at them. The top 1% of the income distribution pays almost 40% of all federal income taxes; the bottom 60% pays just over 1%. The burden of other federal taxes is somewhat less uneven; the CBO’s estimate is that the top 1% in 2007 paid 29.5% of all federal taxes, and the bottom 60% paid 14.4%. It is also more ambiguous; it isn’t clear, for instance, how much of the payroll tax goes to lower after tax wages and how much to raise the cost of labor to employers, or who really end up paying corporate income taxes.

It is hard to see how a system where most of the taxes are paid by people in the upper part of the income distribution can be the explanation of increases in income inequality.

Matthias writes:

Since 1979, there has been a relentless movement towards less government intervention in the economy — probably all over the world. So, to now blame the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression on two quasi-governmental firms with perverse incentives in the mortgage market strikes me as too easy an explanation.

There has certainly been such a movement in much of the world — accompanied, in poor countries such as India and China, by a striking increase in standards of living. It doesn’t follow that there has been a similar movement in the United States. Rhetoric has become more favorable to free markets, but practice need not follow rhetoric, as George W. Bush quite strikingly demonstrated. I believe that under Reagan the rate at which new regulations were issued declined somewhat, but that’s a reduction in the rate of growth of government power, not the level.

As far as the cause of the recession and the financial crisis, that is a subject on which there is widespread agreement: virtually every commentator attributes it to some set of policies he is against. The only disagreement is on the details — whether it was due to too much government intervention in the housing market or too little, regulation or deregulation, increase or decrease in the size of government. Matthias concedes that part of the cause was government intervention in the housing market, but nonetheless asserts with complete confidence that the real cause was “dogmatic libertarian thinking” in his first essay and “the distribution of income” and “the overarching neoliberal economic framework” in this one.

Cato Unbound

Dec 10

Fantasy Football Update: Cowboys Drool

Perhaps I earned some negative karma by naming my team Cowboys Drool in a league named Cowboys Rule, but this was the worst of my three fantasy football teams this year.

Here’s the team I assembled back in August by round in the draft:

1. (4) Ray Rice: Not a bust, but a disappointment at the 4th pick

2. (17) Ryan Mathews: Mega bust. I passed up on some very viable QBs and WRs, including Tom Brady, Roddy White, and Reggie Wayne, to take him. I am an idiot.

3. (24) Brandon Marshall: Passed up Greg Jennings and DeSean Jackson for a guy who couldn’t find the end zone.

4. (37) Matt Schaub: Up and down.

5. (44) Antonio Gates: Great until he got hurt.

6. (57) Hakeem Nicks: Had some great games at times, but I probably should have taken Welker.

7. (64) Knowshon Moreno: Bust.

8. (77) Malcom Floyd: Injured middle of the season, didn’t do much.

9. (84) Pittsburgh: Best pick of draft?

10. (97) Joe Flacco: Replacing him with Mike Vick turned out to be my best waiver wire move.

11. (104) Nate Kaeding: Wasted pick.

12. (117) Fred Jackson: Had some decent games.

13. (124) Steve Breaston: Sigh.

14. (137) Chris Cooley: Played at flex a lot.

15. (144) San Diego: What was I thinking?

With as many busts and bad choices as this team was loaded down by, it’s hardly surprising that I finished 9th out of 10 teams with an appallingly bad 3-10 record. OTOH, what is surporising is that I finished 4th in total number of points scored. It’s just that I seemed to hit a hotter team every weak, as I finished 8th in points against.

Anyway, the Cowboys Rule league is now in the playoffs and a fading memory for yours truly. In happier news, my Unseen Academicals finished the regular season in first place in the Second Annual Head to Head League. They enjoyed a bye this week. Over in the Fourth Annual Rotisserie League, my Drones Club has been in first place for most of the second half of the season. At present I’ve got a 92 point lead over second place DC Justice. DC has won the last two weeks in a row, however, and has made up quite a lot of ground. The question is whether he’ll run out of season before he can catch me.

Dec 10

BYU football: Rich makes big impact in final game – Salt Lake Tribune

Globe and Mail
BYU football: Rich makes big impact in final game
Salt Lake Tribune
Albuquerque, NM • Senior safety Andrew Rich likes the way he's leaving the BYU football program, with so many good, young players returning. He also made sure the story of Saturday's New Mexico Bowl would not be exclusively about
Bowl season kicks off with a BYU blowout over
BYU rolls to New Mexico Bowl victoryDeseret News
BYU Routs UTEP, Wins New Mexico BowlFanHouse
El Paso Times –KFOX El Paso –Building the Dam
all 557 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

49ers could spin quarterback wheel again – National Football Post

Fox News
49ers could spin quarterback wheel again
National Football Post
In a testament to just how awful the NFC West is, the San Francisco 49ers remain alive in the division race following their 34-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night. Of course, for the 49ers (5-9) to win the division, they'll have to do so
Bolts strike
49ers considering quarterback switch again?
Report: 49ers' Singletary keeping QB options open vs. RamsNFL News
Los Angeles Times –San Jose Mercury News –SB Nation
all 1,590 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

Chargers scratch Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd – National Football Post

Chargers scratch Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd
National Football Post
The San Diego Chargers deactivated tight end Antonio Gates and wide receiver Malcom Floyd for tonight's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Gates has a painful foot and toe injury, and Floyd has a lingering hamstring problem.
Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd inactive for Chargers tonightFantasy Football Toolbox
49ers at Chargers Game ThreadField Gulls
Thursday Night Football: Chiefs Fans Turn Into 49ers FansArrowhead Pride
ESPN (blog) –Jets Nation –Bleacher Report
all 1,311 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

Malloy Names Retired Major, Reuben Bradford, To Lead CT State Police; Current Director Of Security For NFL Football

ruben-bradford.jpgFormer state police major Reuben Bradford has been nominated to lead the state police as the first African American to become the state’s commissioner of public safety.

Bradford will not join the department until after the Super Bowl because he has obligations in his current job as the senior director of security for the National Football League. At the age of 64, Bradford said he had been expecting to retire soon – but he changed his plans when he received the offer from Malloy.

Bradford said he would take a “significant pay cut” to return to state service, but he said that his current salary with the NFL is not public information.

The current state police commissioner, James “Skip” Thomas, will remain in the office until Bradford takes over in February.

Bradford, who lives in South Glastonbury with his wife, has been away from the department for about 15 years, but is now coming back to the agency where he got his start in law enforcement.

“It’s not often that you get a chance to come full circle,” Bradford said during a news conference.

Governor-elect Dan Malloy said that Bradford was “recognized for his talent as a major.”

“Reuben is an exceptional individual,” Malloy said. “He has a great understanding of the needs of the department. He has been an insider and an outsider and is prepared to be an extraordinary commissioner for this department.”

Regarding the Super Bowl, Malloy said, “He’ll be there. I won’t.”

Capitol Watch

Dec 10

Tostitos Shmostitos: Why Bowl Games Make A Mockery Of The College Football

Delaware’s Nihja White dives for end zone in 2010 quarter-final win

I’lll take the excitement and unpredictability of college football over pro ball any day, and the roof of a domed stadium hasn’t collapsed at a college venue since forever. But this year’s Bowl Championship Series, based not on post-season playoff performance but the vagaries of computer rankings and the stink of big bucks, yet again makes a mockery of the sport.

But then, one level down, there is the Championship Football Subdivision, the NCAA football division for medium-sized colleges like perennial powers Delaware (which is my alma mater), Appalachian State, Villanova, Georgia Southern and Montana.

Unlike the Bowl Championship Series, the FCS holds post-season playoffs that culminate in a true national championship game, whereas the BCS is beholden to the major bowls, which select teams based on those somewhat arbitrary computer selections and do not culminate in a true national championship.

Sure, Auburn will meet Oregon at the Tostitos Bowl on January 10 in what is being called the BCS National Championship, but neither team earned their way to Phoenix the old-fashioned way — by a process of post-season elimination as in every other NCAA sport and NCAA football at all other levels.

A consequence of money and not true grit talking is that many bowl games have idiotic matchups. An extraordinary 12 teams that don’t even have winning records are playing in bowls this year, while Boise State has been relegated to a third-rate bowl sponsored by an automobile muffler installation chain by virtue of a single missed field goal.

* * * * *

If you’re still reading at this point, you may notice a geographic disparity with the Football Championship Series subdivision that does not exist in Bowl Championship Series subdivision: Other than Montana, the FCS powerhouses are all Eastern schools.

Wait, there’s more.

Since the first FCS national championship game in 1978, schools in the Eastern time zone have won 23 times, Central (3), Mountain (5) and Pacific (nada). And including this coming weekend’s semi-final games, over the last 10 years Eastern teams have been in the field 26 times, Central (8), Mountain (5) and Pacific (1, by virtual of Eastern Washington qualifying this year).

One explanation would seem to be that there are many more schools on the East Coast, as well as the hands down best FCS conference, the Colonial Athletic Conference, which has fielded four of the last seven national champions and was the runner up twice. Yet it cannot be that simple since there are 66 Eastern teams and 47 Central teams, but Eastern teams have overwhelmingly dominated.

What, if any, other factors come into play to make the best of the FCS so geographically lopsided season in and season out?

An obvious one is that the overall density of high school football players is an overwhelming advantage for Eastern schools, while there are huge swaths of empty space in the Central, Mountain and Western regions. It is therefore harder to travel and recruit, and talent is spread much more thinly.

Yet as a knowledgeable fan friend notes, many kids outside the East grow up breathing, eating, and sleeping football, while back East much of the talent is late blooming and is relatively undeveloped.

* * * * *

This weekend’s FCS semi-finals matchups: Villanova vs. Eastern Washington (8pm EST Friday on ESPN2 and Georgia Southern vs. Delaware (Noon EST Saturday on ESPNU.)

Photograph by William Bretzger for The Associated Press

The Moderate Voice

Dec 10

Deaths in football riots between Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians

From Al Jazeera:

A football game in Amman between Jordan’s Al-Wahdat and Al-Faisaly clubs has ended in violence.

As anti-riot police tried to control crowds as they left the football field on Friday, a metal fence collapsed under the weight of the crowd, injuring some 250 people.

Eyewitnesses said that several people were beaten to death by police trying to prevent an escalation of clashes between the two teams’ supporters.

Supporters of Al-Wahdat are generally of Palestinian origin, while Al-Faisaly fans are of Jordanian origin, our correspondent said.

During the past few years, tensions between the teams’ supporters have marred their matches. The number of injuries in Friday’s game is exceptionally high, however.

According to witness accounts, the violence broke out outside the stadium, with some people smashing cars.

“Let’s see whether [the government] is going to have a credible investigation, with people who made mistakes held accountable,” Salameh Nematt, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera.

“Today’s incident may have political implications, but the government is trying not to highlight this Palestinian-Jordanian divide within Jordan,” El-Shamayleh reported.

A Wikileaks document released last week spoke about this very phenomenon of Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs – supporters of these same two teams – using games as a means to insult and riot against the other side.

Elder of Ziyon

Dec 10

Classless … Jets Coaching Staff Sal Alosi Trips Miami Football Player Nolan Carroll Running Down the Sideline … COME ON MAN!

Are you serious … can you say CLASSLESS!

During yesterday’s NFL football game between the NY Jets and the Miami Dolphins, a member of the Jet’s coaching staff intentionally and purposely stuck his leg out and tripped a Miami playerrunning down the sideline on punt coverage. How pathetically rotten and despicable could one be. To make matters worse, the player was injured.  Video here.

Is this what the Jets call swagger? We call it a complete lack of class. This is what it has come to with the Jets after being destroyed by the New England Patriots a week ago 45-3 and losing yesterday to Miami 10-6. All of Jets management should be ashamed of themselves and the individual who did this dastardly act should be fired.


This play happened with 2:58 left in the third quarter, when the Dolphins punted to Jets receiver Santonio Holmes(notes). As Holmes took the ball for a short return, cornerback Nolan Carroll(notes) was hurt on the right sideline as he rushed down to cover the play. The replay showed strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi extending his knee just enough to trip Carroll up on the play. Carroll was down for a minute, but returned to play later in the game.

 Jets cioach Sal Alosi – idiot of the week award

Jets coach Sal Alosi later admitted he interfered with Carroll. You made a mistake, really? You don’t think! You not only should be fined, the organization should as well and this coach should be terminated immediately. What is up with all the crap that has been going on with the Jets lately …Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger saga, Mexican reporter Ines Sainz sexual harassment and now this. Maybe it is an organizational issue.

“I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment,” Alosi said in a statement released by the Jets about 2½ hours after the game. “My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for.”

If the NFL is going to fine player for hits on QB’s that are nothing more than playing the game, they better fine this fool triple.

Share This

Scared Monkeys

Dec 10

Snow’s silver lining: Free football tonight at Ford Field – Detroit Free Press
Snow's silver lining: Free football tonight at Ford Field
Detroit Free Press
A storm that brought spinouts, shovel scrapes and more than 5 inches of white stuff to metro Detroit on Sunday also brings a little smile: Ford Field will host the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants tonight after
Vikings' Favre still getting start?Yahoo! Sports
Extra time likely won't help FavreNew York Post
Roof collapses; Giants, Vikings head to DetroitSan Francisco Chronicle
The Star-Ledger – –Boston Globe –Washington Post
all 3,724 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

All this snow has a silver lining: Free football tonight at Ford Field – Detroit Free Press
All this snow has a silver lining: Free football tonight at Ford Field
Detroit Free Press
A storm that brought spinouts, shovel scrapes and more than 5 inches of white stuff to metro Detroit on Sunday also brings a little smile: Ford Field will host the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants tonight after
Giants-Vikings game Monday night will conclude a wacky weather odysseyThe Star-Ledger –
Roof collapses; Giants, Vikings head to DetroitSan Francisco Chronicle
Snow damages MetrodomeBoston Globe
New York Daily News – –Washington Post
all 3,681 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

UConn Football Player Arrested On Child Pornography Charge; Redshirt Freshman Will Not Play In Fiesta Bowl

A University of Connecticut football player has been arrested on child pornography charges – one of two students charged in separate cases.

Gregory J. McKee, a redshirt freshman, did not play in any games this year, and he will not be playing in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona against highly touted Oklahoma on New Year’s Day.

McKee was arrested by state police following an investigation and was held on $ 75,000 bail.

A second student, 21-year-old Steven D. Lewis, was arrested by the FBI at his UConn dormitory on federal charges that involved receiving and distributing child pornography. He is the president of the French Club at the university.

Capitol Watch

Dec 10

Football writers group leaves Newton off All-America team –

Washington Post
Football writers group leaves Newton off All-America team
The Football Writers Association of America's All-America team released Saturday is believed to be the first of its kind this season not to include Cam Newton. Only a few hours before the Heisman Trophy presentation, it was revealed the
Newton left off writers' All-America
Auburn QB Newton left off FWAA All-America teamWall Street Journal
Heisman Trophy Odds: Cam Newton Remains Heavy Favorite To WinSB Nation
San Francisco Chronicle –FanHouse –Christian Science Monitor
all 2,710 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Dec 10

COLLEGE FOOTBALL Newton drawing crowd at Heisman festivities – San Francisco Chronicle

Washington Post
COLLEGE FOOTBALL Newton drawing crowd at Heisman festivities
San Francisco Chronicle
AP Andrew Burton / AP Kellen Moore, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and LaMichael James are vying for the Heisman Trophy. Cam Newton and the other finalists for the Heisman Trophy strolled together into a room in New York, posed for a couple of photos with the
Newton sorry dad won't share gloryPhiladelphia Daily News
Heisman Trophy Favorite Newton Likely to Beat Quarterback Jinx as NFL StarBloomberg
Newton should accept, then return his
Tulsa World –Seattle Times –The Olympian
all 2,486 news articles »

Sports – Google News