Battleground 2014

battleground2014wweTonight WWE is presenting Battleground, this month’s pay-per-view event. I’m not even sure if the term pay-per-view is even accurate anymore since I have to think most people watching it tonight will be watching it over the WWE Network. For only $9.99 a month, you get access to all the WWE pay-per-view events as well as all the archived content. A single pay-per-view in HD is around $59.99. That’s only if you have cable, because DirecTv and Dish stopped offering WWE pay-per-views in retaliation for the WWE offering its own network.

I’m really looking forward to tonight’s event.

Here’s the line-up:

  • Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
  • Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
  • Paige vs. AJ Lee (Divas Championship)
  • Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
  • The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family (2-out-of-3 Falls match for Tag Team Championship)
  • Battle Royal (Intercontinental Championship)
  • Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

There’s not a single match I don’t want to watch. Normally I’d plan on playing Candy Crush Sage during the Rusev match, but ever since they put him and his manager Lana against Jack Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter, I’ve really been enjoying the bit.

As long as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, or Jimmy Buffett don’t make a special appearance, it should be a fantastic night of sports entertainment.

According to Chris Kluwe, over half of the 2012 Minnesota Vikings joked about little boys getting raped

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota VikingsOne of the things the public learned from the report commissioned by the Minnesota Vikings regarding allegations made by former punter Chris Kluwe in a post on Deadspin, was that Kluwe, heterosexual champion to all things gay rights related, enjoyed joking about boys being sexually assaulted. According to the report, Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants, put them on, and then told Vikings’ strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy, a Penn State alumni, that he was a victim of Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky and to stay away from him while his ass were exposed.

What type of person jokes about child rape?

According to Chris Kluwe, over half of the 2012 Minnesota Vikings joked about it:

Chris Kluwe made light of something that should never be made light of, and then when he began to deservedly catch heat over it, he immediately threw his former teammates under the bus. The problem is that because he didn’t specifically name anyone who joked about children being sodomized, it’s left to the reader to guess whom Kluwe was referring to. Was it Adrian Peterson? How about Christian Ponder? Was it Jared Allen?

If I had to guess, then I’d guess none of them did.

Chris Kluwe is a fraud. I used to have a lot of respect for him. Now I don’t have any. It’s clear at this point that he craves attention and will do anything to get it, even it means cutting a hole in his pants and pretending to be a sexually assaulted child. I think he used the issue of gay rights and gay marriage as a vehicle to get that attention. I highly doubt he truly cares about gay rights. Someone who cares about gay rights doesn’t crack jokes about Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting little boys.

Chris Kluwe was a mediocre punter of footballs and he’s an even worse human being.

Chris Kluwe joked about child rape?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Houston TexansRemember Chris Kluwe? He’s the former NFL punter who believed that he lost his job with the Minnesota Vikings because he campaigned in favor of gay marriage. He wrote a really long post on Deadspin where he chronicled his experiences with the Vikings and how they collectively tried to shut him up about the whole gay marriage thing.

He called his former head coach Leslie Frazier a coward.
He called his former general manager Rick Spielman a coward.
He called his former special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer a bigot.

After the Deadspin article was published, the Vikings announced that they would investigate. They hired a Miniapolous law firm to conduct an independent review of Kluwe’s allegations. Their findings were published yesterday in 29-page report.

Among other things, the report details just how much of a sucky punter Kluwe supposedly was. I guess this shows that he was fired not because he was a passionate advocate for gay marriage, but because he “was neither a great directional kicker nor good at placing the ball inside the 20-yard line” (page 13).

One of the most disturbing, and frankly, surprising parts of the report was found starting on page 26:

Kluwe also made fun of the Vikings’ then Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus of‒and former coach at‒Penn State University, concerning the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation. In his interview, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a “Penn State victim” and to “stay away” from him while his buttocks were exposed.

Kluwe responded on Twitter:

There’s nothing funny about what Jerry Sandusky did. There’s nothing funny about child rape. The fact that Kluwe could even go there makes me reevaluate everything I’ve ever thought of him. I admired him for his stance on gay rights. I thought he was genuinely a good person, not someone who was using the issue of gay marriage to bring attention to himself. Now, I’m not so sure. The fact that he could use a child’s rape as the basis of giving his strength coach a “hard time” seems absurd to me.

It sure doesn’t jive with any of my previous opinions of Chris Kluwe.

Germany wins the 2014 World Cup in extra time

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Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger takes one for the team

Germany is the football champion of the world. They beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time. It’s Germany’s fourth World Cup title and it’s the first time a European team has won a World Cup in the Americas.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer won the award for best goalkeeper. He made a total of one save in the World Cup final. American Tim Howard didn’t even made the FIFA short-list for best goalkeeper, even though he led all keepers with 27 saves. Neuer was second with 24.

Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi won the overall award for best player. He scored a total of four goals in seven games in the tournament, all coming in group play. In comparison, Colombia’s James Rodríguez scored six goals in five games in the World Cup, three coming in the knockout stage of the tournament. Messi seemed ineffective as the tournament wore on. Rodríguez was the opposite. Some say that as gifted a player Messi is, he seems to choke in big games. Yesterday’s final will only solidify that criticism.

Rumor has it that Lionel Messi even let an old man steal one of his potato chips. James Rodríguez would never allow an old man to steal any of his salty snack food.

The next World Cup will take place in Russia, making it the first World Cup to take place in Eastern Europe. If that seems bad, just wait for the 2022 World Cup. It will apparently take place in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. First Russia and then Qatar, why can’t they have the World Cup someplace nice? If a normal human being wouldn’t take a vacation there, it shouldn’t be host to the World Cup.

I enjoyed watching the World Cup. I will miss it.

Sports Card Radio: Raffles, razzes, and girls that look like boys

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A group breaker wrist-deep in the randomizer

If you’ve ever listened to Sports Card Radio, a podcast about sports cards, you probably know that host Colin Tedards is not a fan of raffles. It’s where someone takes an unopened, factory sealed box of sports cards and charges people for the privilege of  getting all the cards pertaining to a specific team. The team you get is random and is assigned by the person conducting the raffle.

For example, a box of baseball cards contains 30 teams. A person holding a raffle will sell 30 slots to baseball card collectors, mostly over the Internet in chatrooms. Each slot sold represents a team. Once all the slots are filled, the person holding the raffle will randomly assign each slot a team. One slot is assigned the New York Yankees, another is assigned the Colorado Rockies, and so on and so on. The packs in the box are then opened, usually over a webcam, and people get the cards belonging to players from their assigned team, or slot.

People like Colin believe the activity is a raffle because not all teams are of equal value. Participants pay money without knowing what team they will be randomly assigned.

The practice goes by different names because raffles are strictly regulated by state and federal law. PayPal, the payment gateway most used by people holding group breaks, specifically prohibits raffles. Because of this, they are often called razzes, razzies, or group breaks.

On the latest episode of Sports Card Radio, Colin interviewed Josh Cade, a very popular and seemingly successful group breaker. The interview was probably the most uncomfortable 34 minutes of audio I’ve ever listened to, including the time I was tricked into listening to a Jimmy Buffett CD.

The conversation was extremely hostile and antagonistic. It was also very confusing.

For instance, when Colin asked Josh to describe the process, Josh said the following:

“What you do is, is put everyone’s name in a randomizer, okay, so everybody has a chance at the same thing for the same value per spot. So basically all you’re doing is mixing up the names, half the people will get into a break, the other half will get the same value in cards. So, it’s really an equal opportunity for everybody, just some getting this part of it, some getting cards.” (0:55)

This doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t everyone get into the break that pays to get into the break?

What was even more confusing was when Colin told Josh that what he was doing seemed a lot like a raffle. This was Josh’s response:

“What seems like something, so, if you see a girl walking down the street that looks like a guy, you say, “oh, that seems to be a boy, but it’s really not a boy, okay, so I don’t know if that’s a good example or not, but something that seems like may not really be what it is. So that may not really be a boy, even though you may think it is. But if you talk to ‘em and then oh you are a boy, then you know for a fact. So what seems like something and what really is something are two different things, do you agree? Because a while ago, you said something about a raffle, then you said, “Well a raffle seems like, it seems like…”, well, does it seem like or is it? That’s what I’m asking you.” (6:22)

I believe Josh was trying to say that just because something seems like something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something. I’m not sure why he chose to provide an analogy involving a transgender person, but in his defense, he probably doesn’t know why he did that either.

Colin then asked Josh why he does these raffles:

“Because some people can’t afford to necessarily buy stock outright, so, they can either take a chance on getting into breaks or they take a chance on getting their other side of it, and getting cards. So they win, their money is at work. That’s why.” (12:21)

It’s hard to believe that something can involve money, chance, and winning, and not be a raffle. Those seem like to me all the major ingredients to a raffle.

When Colin asked about Josh’s business partners and investors, he said the following:

“You’re not dealing with retards, in this, I’m telling you, I know your last name is retarded, but the fact is, we’re smart business people. As much as it hates and pains to you to understand that, we are smart businessmen. We know how to cover our tracks. We know how to do things legally.” (14:02)

How to cover their tracks? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a reputable or legitimate business describe themselves this way.  Normally the phrase is used to describe the concealment of wrongdoing.

When Colin asked Josh to clarify what his definition of a raz is:

“So a raz is a fictitious name that we gave to (inaudible). It’s like a game. So basically the game we play is a gambling game. It’s a game where some people can get into a break, some people get cards. You just don’t know what you’re getting. But you’re getting equal value of money worth of product. So, I guess that’s the definition of a raz. What else are you looking for?” (22:04)

A raz is a gambling game where people don’t know what their getting, but it’s not a raffle. Got it.

Germany destroys host country Brazil 7-1 in World Cup semifinal game

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Germany defeated Brazil 7-1 yesterday in the World Cup semifinal match. Germany now awaits the winner of the Netherlands and Argentina match later today to see whom they play on Sunday.

I didn’t get to watch the game as I had to work. Those passwords weren’t going to reset themselves. I had a browser open to the ESPN GameCast and couldn’t believe it when Germany went up 5-0 before 30 minutes had even transpired. The whole debacle, and that’s what it was, an embarrassing debacle for Brazil, makes the United States 1-0 loss to Germany in group play look a lot more respectable.

Before yesterday’s match, I didn’t really care who won. I guess I wanted Germany to advance because they came out of the same group as the United States, but then I watched The Monuments Men over the weekend. It’s a movie where George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and others, race around western Europe looking for art that the Nazis stole. The movie was based on a true story. If you thought there was already enough stuff from World War Two to hate Germany for, this movie provided just a little more stuff to place into your Germany hate bucket. One of the scenes in the movie shows German soldiers taking flamethrowers to a stack of paintings, and it was very disturbing. Maybe it was just me, but I thought one of the soldiers looked a little like German midfielder Thomas Müller.

The Brazilian fans in attendance yesterday looked extremely shocked and upset. I couldn’t blame them. Their country spent years preparing for the World Cup, spending billions and billions on new stadiums, money they may or may not have had, all for the pleasure of seeing their team get destroyed on the pitch. If I lived in Brazil, I think I’d be really mad right now.

With an outcome like this one, you have to wonder if some of the Brazil players were on the take. Brazil were the favorites with the bookmakers going into the game. It’s seems kind of… strange that they would lose in such dramatic fashion and do it so quickly. It’s not like match fixing in soccer is unheard off.

[AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes]