Looks like Palmdale is becoming ground-zero for weird, fake college football stories

Looks like Palmdale is becoming ground-zero for fake college football storiesRemember the feel-good story of USC fifth-year senior defensive back Josh Shaw leaping off a second-floor balcony onto concrete and then crawling to a nearby swimming pool so that he could save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning? Yeah, about that. It turns out that may have never really happened.

USC has received several phone calls questioning the authenticity of the story.

According to ESPN, school officials were skeptical of Shaw’s story when they were first told about it, but still ginned up a press release about it.

The incident reportedly took place at a family gathering in Palmdale, California. I grew up in the next town over from Palmdale. The high-desert city is no stranger to the world of weird made-up college football stories. Remember the whole Notre Dame, Manti Te’o dead fake girlfriend controversy? The person who originally perpetrated the hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is from Palmdale.

So if Josh Shaw didn’t badly sprain both ankles saving a drowning nephew, how did he do it? There’s a police report about a man fitting Shaw’s description “shimmying” down the side of a building near the USC campus. Shaw’s girlfriend lives in the building. This incident happened the same night Shaw was in Palmdale saving his nephew.

College football can be really weird.

Internet freaks out over New York Times article saying Michael Brown was ‘no angel’

Internet freaks out over New York Times article saying Michael Brown was no angel

The New York Times ran an article yesterday, written by John Eligon, that spoke about Michael Brown’s life, including his recent spiritual awakening that seemed to be triggered from witnessing some passing storm clouds. Evidently one of the clouds looked like Satan and another looked like an angel. Brown began to speak seriously about the Bible and religion, though as Eligon pointed out in his piece, Brown was “no angel.”

People on the Internet immediately began to overreact to the article, claiming that the New York Times was attacking Michael Brown’s character pointing out that Brown, spiritual awakening or not, wasn’t very angelic. There was even a special Twitter hashtag created, #noangel.

I think situations like this just go to show what happens when someone attempts to inject some reality into a real-life event that seems to have been hijacked with lots of fiction. Almost immediately this story became less about the facts and more about a collective narrative about a racist white cop murdering an innocent, unarmed black youth, for no other reason than the color of his skin. Anything said about this incident that steers away from that narrative, whether it’s true or not, is immediately criticized and denounced as racist.

Michael Brown was no angel. Just ask the store clerk he shoved and robbed only minutes before he was shot.

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Angels don’t shove people. Angels don’t steal. They do kill babies, but that was in the Old Testament, so that doesn’t really count.

I don’t understand Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics, for some stupid reason, hired Italian erotica comic artist Milo Manara to draw a variant cover for an upcoming comic, Spider-Woman #1. This is what Manar’s cover looks like:

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This is pretty terrible.

I don’t know who Milo Manara is. Not really. I’m not familiar with his work, mostly because when I do read comic books, I don’t read erotica comics. At least not on purpose or consciously. I had to look Manara up on Wikipedia. Evidently he’s well-respected in the world of funny books, though by judging from his Spider-Woman artwork, I never would have guessed.

His Spider-Woman cover looks pretty awful. Her costume looks to be painted on, which means she’s technically naked. With her rear way in the air and her legs spread apart, she looks like a baboon waiting to be mounted. That’s not a good look, especially when you’re only wearing paint.

Whoever hired Milo Manara to do a special variant cover of Spider-Woman #1, shouldn’t have. Just because Manara was paid to do artwork by Marvel, doesn’t mean that the resulting product had to be used by Marvel. Some people have reacted to the artwork by saying that it’s misogynistic.

I think it’s partly that, but more so, I think it’s just bad.

I don’t think anyone, male or female, should be portrayed with their butt in the air, especially wearing a costume that looks like it was created by Sherwin-Williams.

I don’t understand Marvel Comics. It’s hard to believe that they are part of the same group that created the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. They should have more respect for their own intellectual property than to pay a European erotic comic artist to pencil a female superhero posed like this. I think this just goes to show that comic books is a dying medium. I can’t remember the last time I purchased a comic book. On the other hand, I went to the theater to see Guardians of the Galaxy the very first weekend it came out.

I can’t imagine a scenario where I would do the same thing with a comic book.

RG III looked so bad last night, I thought Mike Shanahan was still head coach

RG III looked so bad last night, I thought Mike Shanahan was still head coachThe Washington Redskins lost to the Baltimore Ravens last night 23-17 in pre-season football, America’s second favorite sport. The real story in last night’s exhibition was how bad Robert Griffin III was against the Raven’s first-team defense. He finished his part of the game with throwing 5 of 8 for 20 years with no touchdowns and one interception. RG III’s backup quarterback, Kirk Cousins, had a better game. He went 14 of 20 for 122 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Last night could have been worse for RG III. If the game were played in Landover instead of in Baltimore, he would have heard the boos coming from the Redskins fans.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, now working for the  Redskins Broadcast Network as a color commentator, questioned whether RG III or Cousins should be the starting quarterback.

I think if it were a matter of competition, Cousins would be the starter and RG III would be the backup.

The thing is, I don’t think it’s a matter of competition. The Redskins have too much invested in RG III for him to become a professional clipboard holder. Just to draft him, the Redskins forked over four premium draft picks to the St. Louis Rams, the overall number six draft pick in the 2012, their second round draft pick in 2012, and their top draft pick in 2013 and in 2014. All that to move up four positions in the draft. 

No matter how bad he is, I think RG III will be the starter until he’s hurt or pretends to be hurt.

San Fransisco Giants whine about rain-shortened game, win appeal

Giants whine about rain-shortened game, win appealThe Chicago Cubs beat the San Fransisco Giants Tuesday night 2-0 in a rain-shortened game. After 4 1/2 innings, the rain began to come done really hard. The Cubs ground crew had difficulty deploying the tarp over the infield because evidently it was put away wrong the last time it was used. The infield quickly became a soupy mess. After a 4-hour, 34-minute delay rain delay, the victory was awarded to the Cubs.

A regulation Major League Baseball game must go at least 4 1/2 innings. Anything less, the game must be suspended and continued at a later date.

The Giants filled an official protest with Major League Baseball, citing rule 4.12 (a)(3). The rule states:

(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:

(3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment);

Even through the rule doesn’t say anything about a manual tarpaulin, the kind used by the Cubs, the league sided with the Giants. The game will resume this afternoon.

When a team files a protest with Major League Baseball, it’s usually always rejected. In fact, this is the first time a protest has been approved in 28 years.

Major League Baseball got this wrong. The rule doesn’t say anything about incompetent ground crews. If they want to include not putting the tarp back correctly the last time it was used as a reason a game must be completed and not terminated, then they need to include it in their rules. This wasn’t a mechanical failure, it was a manual failure. The rules don’t say anything about that.

A similar thing happened in a game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. The Yankees ground crew failed to get the tarp out in time and the game ended up being called in favor of the Yankees. The Rangers filed a protest and it was rejected by Major League Baseball.

If Major League Baseball is going to ignore the rules, they ought to at least be consistent.