On Sunday, I should have been watching football, but wasn’t. The Chargers leaving San Diego, the reports of brain damage to players, the banality of network coverage, and –above all–the racism has ruined what used to be one of my favorite pastimes.
Mid-afternoon on the first regular weekend day of play, I realized I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t go to ESPN to check the scores. I didn’t watch any of the recaps on the evening news. And the few mentions I saw on social media had no impact.
My malaise concerning the NFL didn’t happen overnight. Back in the day, I worked at a sports bar in Washington DC. It didn’t matter who was playing, we were always packed on game days. Drinking was part of the fun. So was gambling–mostly through pools, though one of the bartenders was married to a bookie and I assumed he got some action.
Now things are different for me. The greed at the top is so blatant it’s no longer possible for a reasonably aware human to believe in ‘their’ team. [Read more…]
The San Diego Chargers are headed to Los Angeles. Halleluja!
“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles,” team owner Dean Spanos wrote in a press release and letter to season ticket holders. “Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.”
The slightly less than 44% of the voters who supported the team’s plan for a downtown stadium in the last election combined with the ‘only’ $375 million final offer involving monies from the County, the City and San Diego State University for some future venue were certainly factors in the decision to move. [Read more…]
These are extraordinary times, and for a passionate progressive like myself, it’s hard to look away from the Basket of Deplorables being assembled to run the country’s executive branch.
But for today we need to discuss something both local and deplorable. Another hair-brained idea to build a downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers is making the rounds, coming out of a Wednesday sit-down between Mayor Kevin Faulconer and team owners Dean Spanos.
After getting his ass handed to him at the ballot box in 2016 (56% voted No on a stadium measure requiring two-thirds approval), Spanos is counting on a future court ruling lowering the threshold to a simple majority, and on Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s desire to have the Los Angeles market all to himself. [Read more…]
By Lawrence A. Herzog
One of the disturbing trends in this turbulent season of national electoral politics was the explosion of uncertainty about information and truth in reporting. The talking points and tweets often wandered so far from actual facts, they left behind an exhausted citizenry. We are still recovering.
This “post-fact” world has brought the nation to an odd juncture. Fake news stories, Internet hacking, and websites that pump out false information remain a point of contention.
Has this “post-fact” epidemic trickled down to our local elections? [Read more…]
By Nat Krieger
One hundred and eight years without a (I’m not superstitious, but one must respect local taboos) you know. This heritage has left Cubs fans the clearest eyed realists around. You never have to remind a Cubs fan that life is harsh and bloody, and beauty fleeting…“do tell, how about the collapse in ’69? Now that was a team, but Durocher played those guys into the ground…” And Cubs fans have little doubt what ball club life was playing for when Macbeth called it “a walking shadow, a poor player…” And what Cubs fan can forget the sound and fury over a muffed foul pop fly that signifies very little compared to the double play botched by a guy paid plenty to turn them….in short, there is no justice. [Read more…]
There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.
Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.
Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3. [Read more…]
This is so deja vu, this state of affairs with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49’ers quarterback who sat when one is “supposed to stand” in honor of The Star Spangled Banner that heralds a time when non-white people in our county were not seen as human beings.
I fully understand and appreciate this man’s stance although I stand whenever the anthem is played out of respect for those who get goose pimples in such moments. However, I bow out at singing about “bombs bursting in air” and “flags still being there” and the empty promises inherent in the braggadocio “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!” at the end of the song.
That aside, I can’t help but think back to the 68 Olympics, when the quest for “liberty and justice for all,” in a spirit of today’s “Black Lives Matter” movement was pursued like never before. My soul still fills with pride remembering the image of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the ceremony for handing out the gold and the silver and the bronze medals for the men’s 200, standing on their podiums with their heads bowed and their hands raised in the “Black Power!” salute. [Read more…]
By Peter Bloom / Common Dreams
The San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick shocked much of America last week by refusing to stand for the national anthem. In his own words,
“Ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, and that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that — this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
His actions have resonated far beyond the sports page. They have spurred passionate reactions from supporters and detractors alike. No less than Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump proclaimed “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won’t happen.” [Read more…]
There’s disagreement over how many horses have died at the Del Mar races this year. Animal rights advocates say it’s 18. The Union-Tribune says 16. The Daily Racing Form says 14. Some of the variance, no doubt, comes from the time frame from when it was reported.
Regardless of the final number–and it’s likely to increase by the time the summer season ends on Labor Day–more horses have died this year than last. Betting is down, and purses for the last two weeks of the season have been reduced by another 5% on top of the across the board 10% reduction from 2015.
Saturday was supposed to be the biggest day of the racing season at Del Mar, the $1 million Pacific Classic, including big name horses Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund. It started with another death. [Read more…]
By Bill Adams / UrbDeZine
“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.”
That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition. Nearly all of the City Council members have voiced opposition to Spanos’s audacious public money grab to fund a downtown stadium for his pro-football team (Ballot Measure C. – disingenuously entitled “Citizens Initiative” – full text). But Cate has taken the extra step of being a leader on the coalition. David Alvarez has also endorsed the coalition, Todd Gloria opposes the Spanos initiative because it prevents a contiguous convention center expansion, and Scott Sherman has authored a study critical of Spanos’s reliance on Indianapolis as a favorable example of combined stadium and convention facilities, such as Spanos proposes.
In an age of partisan politics, this coalition has been a rare instance of bipartisan agreement. [Read more…]