Friday Sports On The Couch - Vintage Airplane

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, July 27, 2007

Hello and happy Friday to all of our so special guests…

Well, yes this is about sports, but it is more about the social attitudes of those who happen to play sports than the sports themselves…and those social attitudes seem to be continuing to slide downward awful fast…

Chomp Chomp Chomp…
Pacman Jones (real name Adam Bernard Jones), was drafted into the NFL after his junior year at college. Since then, he has been arrested more times than he has intercepted a pass…

This guy has five arrests, many happening when he is around strip-clubs and he has been suspended for the entire 2007 season by new commissioner Roger Goodell who appears to have decided it is time for the NFL players to clean up their images.

Jones has not learned though, as after being suspended he still is in trouble. He was stopped in May for speeding in a car not registered to him and in June was questioned about a shooting at a …ready kiddies…strip-club. He was not at the scene when the shooting occurred, but it involved members of his entourage.

Ah the ever present entourage....

And The Wheel Goes Round And Round…
Leading the Tour de France, having won the yellow jersey on Wednesday, Michael Rasmussen was sent home last night and told not to come back.

Insisting that "doping is the enemy, not cycling" and that "things are changing" for the better, the organizers of the Tour de France hailed the ouster of Michael Rasmussen from the race on Thursday.

Rasmussen, a 33-year-old Dane, was expelled by his Rabobank team late Wednesday for lying about his whereabouts to avoid drug tests before the Tour started July 7.

Instead of being in Mexico, as he repeatedly said, he was seen training in Italy. That unraveled his week long defense that he had evaded the unscheduled tests by mistake, not by design.

Rasmussen left his team hotel in Pau late Wednesday for Italy, race officials said, adding that the French police had arrived at the hotel just too late to arrest him. (sorry, can't stop myself...isn't the line 'the French police arrived at the hotel just too late...' kind of redundant? Like what have those people ever done on time or correctly?)

At a news conference before the start of the 17th stage, Christian Prudhomme, the race director, said, "What happened yesterday is probably the best thing that has happened in the last eight days."

Shit…why not just make the drugs allowable and let all the riders do them…this race has become a farce unto itself. Last years winner American Floyd Landis is still hiding out in shame after having his race tests come back positive and losing his title.

YO…people...they are gonna take blood…they are gonna test you…and they ain’t buying that your girlfriend was going to leave you unless your hair thickened up…

Everyone knows Michael Jordan likes to lay a few sheckles at the craps table and on the golf course. The NBA knew all that …but it was MICHAEL!

Now comes word that Tim Donaghy, who spent 13-years as an NBA ref, may have been effecting the outcome of games with his calls…a whole new way for the gamblers to deal with POINT-SHAVING!

Don’t ask the athlete making $20,000,000.00/year to take a dive…have to pay them too much money. So go to the guys who can totally influence a game…the refs.

A minute left, favored team up by 5 but the point spread is 3…gamblers have their money on the underdog. Underdog forward brings the ball down, time ticking away, up goes the three point shot…the defender goes up in the air and maybe, just maybe the very tip of his finger touches the shooter…

WHISTLE….foul shots…

Player makes two of three…his team loses, but the gamblers win…

Now David Stern, commissioner of the NBA is calling this the “darkest day the NBA has known.”

DAVID…dude…you are partially to blame for this. There were reports this guy might not be on the up and up, yet the NBA could not find proof. DO you know how many NBA security officials are at a game… a minimum of three…one for each team and ONE FOR THE REFS!

How does this happen? Easy. Guy likes to bet…loses money…some low-level associate of the bookie approaches and says ‘hey make sure the Pistons win by more than 7 tonight and your debt foes away.’

Hangin’ With The Homies
You are the starting quarterback for an NFL team. You have endorsements coming out of every orifice of your body. The owner of your team loves you to death, even though you really have not lived up to your potential…so, what do you do for fun?

You own fighting dogs and you train them to kill other dogs and you bet on them all you can….and if they lose, you and your friends kill them yourselves…

Then when it all comes out you use the handy ‘well, it is my house, but I am never there and I let my friends use it. I have no idea what goes on there.’

That’s right folks, the all encompassing ‘I have my head up my ass and do not know what is going on around me’ defense…

Mr. Michael Vick has had some other off the field scraps, including; Vick was asked to throw the water bottle away before going through security at an airport and made a fuss before finally doing so. The bottle was collected and found to have a false bottom. Originally it was reported there were traces of pot in the compartment, but that was later proven false.

In March 2005 a woman filed a civil lawsuit against Vick alleging she contracted genital herpes from Vick and that he failed to inform her that he had the disease. She further alleged that Vick had visited clinics under the alias "Ron Mexico" to get treatments and thus he knew of his condition.

This led to a deluge of fans ordering customized #7 Atlanta Falcons jerseys on with the name "Mexico" on the back.

Due to the media interest surrounding the case, the National Football League disallowed the use of the jersey/name combination two days after the lawsuit. On April 24, 2006 Vick's attorney, revealed that the lawsuit had settled out of court with a undisclosed settlement

Now, he has been told to stay away from training camp and yesterday was his arrangement on the dog fighting and cruelty to animal charges.

And another horrible consequence of this…this case actually makes those imbeciles from PETA look like they are intelligent humans and not bizarre ‘let the animals live, kill the humans’ protesters.

Did Anyone Hear A Pin Drop?
As a point of reference, the Major League Baseball Home Run Record is 755 by Mr. Henry Aaron.

There are ONLY FIVE players who have hit more than 600 home runs in the history of the game. Now conservatively speaking, since 1900 there have been 7,600 players in the majors...

(OK, how did we get to 7,600? We know you were wondering Sparky...

24 (number of players) multiplied by 20 (average number of teams a year) multiplied by 75 (number of years, cut down for conservatism) divided by 5 (length of service) to get a CONSERVATIVE estimate

ANYWAYYYYYYYY ...sheesh...

Those five are:

Hank Aaron 755
Steroid-head 753
Babe Ruth 714
Willie Mays 660
Sammy Sosa 603

Wait? What was that? You didn't know Mr. Sosa had hit his 600th home run? Should have been big news that even local news stations might mention...

But, with the black cloud hanging over his head the feat was met with a small pop instead of a huge celebration. His career, once a thing of a made-for-TV-movie, began to disintegrate when he was found to be using a corked bat during a game.

Then the specter of steroid use enveloped him like the darkness found in the minds of some bloggers...

So, a grand celebration turned into a little pop goes the weasel.....kind of appropriate...

BUT...just watch..very soon, possibly this season Ken Griffey Jr. will hit his 600th home run and the celebration will be different. This is a young man who did it the right way and looked to be the one who would pass Mr. Aaron and probably rack up quite a few other records until injuries cut short too many seasons.

Every team athlete today has a "Personal Conduct Clause" in their contract. What constitutes a violation of a "PCC"?

Should it be invoked if one of your players visits a strip club? Should it be invoked if, at that strip club, they get into an altercation with a 'fan'? What about a bar, or a restaurant? The movies?

Is it enough that paternity suits begin to start coming out of the woodwork? (Hellllllo NBA!) Is being caught with marijuana enough? What about cocaine or crack? Hey, how about steroids?

We hear about this "PCC" all the time but so rarely hear it used. The Cincinnati Bengals would not be able to field a team if they used it. They probably win the award for the 'how to draft using a 10-most wanted list'...

Think we are fooling? Let's look at what has occurred since 2005:
  1. Chris Henry (June 14th, ‘06) - providing alcohol to three under aged females. Did he score?
  2. Chris Henry (Jan. 28th, ‘06) - possession of a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of firearm, aggravated assault with firearm. Why do we see him pulling his shirt front up to reveal the gun in his waistband. You all know the move...
  3. A.J. Nicholson (June 3rd, ‘06) - burglary, vandalism, grant theft. Yeah, he ripped off a teammate. Now how do you think practices went for him after that?
  4. Frostee Rucker (June 21st, ‘06) - vandalism, spousal battery. He-man stuff...sheesh.
  5. Reggie McNeal (Dec. 3rd, ‘06) - resisting arrest and drug possession. 'But it was a clean hit coach!'
  6. Eric Steinbach (Aug. 5th, ‘06) - boating under the influence. don't you think he feels small around the rest of these guys?
  7. A.J. Nicholson (May 18th, ‘06) - domestic violence. Another he-man...big guy loser.
  8. Chris Henry (June 3rd, ‘06) - DUI, 0.092. Oh character...
  9. Odell Thurman (Sept. 25th, ‘06) - drunken driving, a 0.18. Think about that 0.18...guy was drunk enough for him and Matt-Man combined!
  10. Deltha O’Neal (Dec. 9th, ‘06) - DWI, 0.10. Odell Thurman made fun of him for being such a pansy-man.
  11. Matthias Askew (July 22nd, ‘06) - disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, failure to comply with police officer’s order, obstructing justice. Just a typical 'I am important reaction to officers trying to do their job.
  12. Chris Henry (Dec. 15 ‘05) - weed possession. Don't bogart that joint, my friend, pass it over to me.....
  13. Quincy Wilson (June 17, ‘07) - disorderly conduct. We once DJ'ed a wedding that got that crazy!
OK, OK, we know Chris Henry accounts for 4 of the thirteen (gosh we coulda' used this yesterday!).

Well…that is the end of our sports rant….

Yup…you got it…not one word on that other story. It will probably happen in the next few days and some will cheer and some will boo…

Hopefully in a few years that record will be broken by a guy named A-Rod…and the guy we have to hear about over and over will be gone and invisible from our lives.

Song of the day…

Back into the vault. Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy in the back we found this under some dust bunnies and cob-webs. August 5th 1967 is the date.

We are crossing the border (before you HAD to have a passport), to visit our friends up north.

Beautiful city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The venue is The O'Keefe Centre. It is now known as The Hummingbird Centre For The Performing Arts (we think, we hope..hehehe...ANGELL...let us know!).

Since it is the weekend, we are giving you two from "The Jefferson Airplane"...At this time the band consisted of:
* Grace Slick - vocals, piano, recorder
* Marty Balin - vocals, rhythm guitar
* Paul Kantner - rhythm guitar, vocals
* Jorma Kaukonen lead guitar, vocals
* Jack Casady - bass guitar
* Spencer Dryden - drums

Enjoy "3/5ths Of A Mile In 10 Seconds", written by Marty Balin and the true Airplane anthem "Somebody To Love" which was written by Darby Slick who, at that time was Grace Slick's brother-in-law...

A bootleg recording, the sound is a bit flat but you certainly get the full effect of Grace cranking out the lyrics and holding those long notes she could hold on 'Somebody'.....

Personally, we love to turn it up after the song ends to hear the stage banter...on some it is so distinct, especially the Dead concerts direct from the sound board...


33 Of Your Sparks

  1. katherine. Says:
  2. realizing this will probably get me kicked off the couch...

    Steroids are bad. But they exist in high school sports and are prevalant in college sports...and in most professional sports. In adults I sorta think of it as a hazard of the profession. Whatever.

    For the past couple years they have Barry peeing into a cup every other day. He is still sending 'em over the wall...hell, last week in Chicago Barry hit one out of the park.

    I love him. I love his father. And I love his Uncle Willie. GO GIANTS!!!

  3. Piacere Says:
  4. those bootleg recordings - dontcha almost feel like you're sitting there??? NICE!!!

    Don't even get me started on your topics for today. It just makes me sick to think that this motley crew is who our young people are looking up to. I remember that day in '74 when Hank broke the Babe's HE was somebody people could look up to. Wonder if we'll ever figure out what happened along the way between then and now? I hate to generalize, but I dare say that a good many of the people you mentioned never learned respect for others and most important, for themselves. Sticka fork in me...I'm almost done...

    RANT OFF...

    SMOOCH!! Have a great weekend!!

  5. Bond Says:
  6. KATHERINE: Differing opinions are always allowed on The Couch...I HRs. do not agree that steroids are 'prevalent' in HS and college. Athletes at those levels are now being tested also. You talk about the past couple of years and that man.
    In those last few years his production had dropped to levels that proceeded the years when he was hitting too many. He also was busted for using amphetamines this year.
    I was a big fan until his body changed drastically and it became evident he was doing something wrong.

  7. Bond Says:
  8. PIA: Glad you enjoyed the music.
    I agee with you totally about the lask of appears to be the biggest problem now. The 'entitled' attitude is so prevalent now it is sickening.

  9. Piacere Says:
  10. Dear Mr. B...may I add an addedum???

    I forgot to mention that when Mr. Vick's attorney read a prepared statement after the arraignment yesterday, not once...NOT ONCE, did MV ever denounce the brutality of dog fighting...what does that tell you????

    Again, RANT OFF...

  11. this was sports, right bond? i did read it all though. seems like things aren't too good with these sports people? just like the ll's and the bs's? sigh... too bad they can't get their act together. i'm glad i'm not their mama.... and bond? there is NO CAKE in here honey.

    smiles, bee

  12. Sparky Duck Says:
  13. That SF Guy was a hall of famer before the injections, but not a home run hitter. Steroids are not as prevalent in HS and College as people think. I think they are just as prevalent at those levels by the idiot kids who just want to look good on the beach.

    Tour De France? Its become the Tour de Not Qualified Yet.

    Chris Henry and AJ Nicholson, members of the all lineup team in the NFL.

    I hope Arod doesnt do it in a Yankee uniform.

  14. Julie Says:
  15. Great JA song! Thanks for the throw back. I loved it!


  16. Morgen Says:
  17. Okay, now you know I know veryverylittle about sports... but hey if the "I don't know what's going on right under my nose" works for Alberto Gonzalez, then why not for Michael Vick?

  18. Matt-Man Says:
  19. On the upside Bond, two of the classiest MLB players EVER are getting inducted into the Hall of Fame this Sunday...Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. Also, a future HOFer Craig Biggio announced his retirement and hit a Grand Slam this week. Nobody in my lifetime has played the game any harder. Cheers!!

  20. Bond Says:
  21. PIA: I wondered about that also...sort of was the big noise not being heard...

    BEE: Unfortunately some of these men seem to have nice mama's...but they just do not get that their lives have changed and they must act differently...tosses a slice of cake at bee

    SPARKY: Absolutely would be HOF ...Not sure what uniform it will be, but he will break it...

    JULIE: Glad you enjoyed

    MORGEN: Well, see I think Mr. Gonzalez is just as can not be asleep on your watch

    MATT-MAN: Excellent point sir.. three classy would be a wonderful weekend to be in Cooperstown...

  22. Say what you want about Bonds, but he was on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. I don't think Hank Aaron ever was!

  23. Anndi Says:
  24. No hockey?

    What's a sports post without hockey?

    or Nascar?

    or women's wrestling at the PanAm games?

    Agreed, there seems to be a great deal of crime being perpetrated... is it a reflection of society? Do we have more asshats in the world? Have they all headed into sports? Are we paying them too much? Inflating their uneducated egos? I wonder...

    ...the times, they are a changing...

    Great tunage there Sir...

  25. Angell Says:
  26. I just keep watching for last years signature sentence - and want to answer No Bond, Barry hasn't retired yet.

    THANK YOU my dear friend, for no mention of that international incident that had four of my guards in the hospital....(the ongoing joke is that it took almost ten years for our company to be involved in an incident such as this, and we're all wondering what took so long).

    And yes, you are correct. The O'Keefe centre is now the Hummingbird. But other than that, the building is the same.

    Great tune.


  27. the108 Says:
  28. I wrestle monkeys.

  29. Starrlight Says:
  30. So much content so little time! Tonight Vinny, I will be back and read at my leisure. Thanks for the shout out on the bestest and yes that was a Fabu Willy Shakes line =)

  31. Bond Says:
  32. DOC: was he pushing drugs outside the school?

    ANNDI: More about the controversy in sports then sports NASCAR a sport? hehehe - OH I know you think is is!
    women's that sounds fun...The times have to start to change back, and if the penalties are large enough, the idiocy will go away.
    Glad you enjoyed the tunes... WHAT NO SMOOCH?

    108: Oh so many snarky little time...

  33. Tug Says:
  34. Excellent article Bond...I couldn't agree with you more.

  35. Bond Says:
  36. TUG: thanks... glad you enjoyed

  37. Turnbaby Says:
  38. I am just ECSTATIC that he didn't get it against the Braves ;-)

    Excellent as usual Bondbaby.


  39. I brought the last four issues of SI to read on the plane, got part way through one and then fell asleep.

    As much as I love watching sports, there may come a time when I have to give up my past time and stand up to the fact that a few bad apples made the rest of the bushel look and smell very, very bad.

    I know that we are supposed to believe "innocent until proven guilty" but my thought is why would anyone in a high-profile position even put themselves remotely near a compromising position and jeopardize their reputation, livelihood, and possibly their lives?

    I don't idolize sports figures, and the few who commit infractions are a mere fraction of the whole, but I'm getting damn tired of trying to explain this shit to my kids.

  40. amynoroom Says:
  41. Eh, I hate sports!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Great week wrap up. What a low moment for all sports. Somebody has got to 'splain to Anndi that if there is no ball, it is not a sport. Hockey, no ball. Nascar? No way...

  43. Bond Says:
  44. TURNBABY: LOL...I am sure you are...
    Thank you..

    SONGBIRD: You ask a valid question and I truly believe it comes down to 'hangin' with your buddies from high school' ... race does not come into it at all...but these people are living off of the star and continuing their old ways and the star 'has to' or be called out as a sell-out.

    AMY: Sorry dear...

    BUD: Thanks my friend...LOL...YOU 'splain it to her dude... NOT me....LOL

  45. Coco Says:
  46. Hockey is too a sport! There's more to a sport than a ball ... but the jury's still out on on Nascar (sorry Anndi)

  47. Travis Says:
  48. The commissioners of the major sports leagues certainly have their challenges ahead to restore the integrity of their businesses and assure fans that they can still respect the games and the athletes.

    Luv the Airplane!! Wooooooo!!

    Oh - I have to disagree with Bud on the no ball-no sport thing. Hockey has whistles and sticks and contact and those things make it a sport. I suspect that what throws us off in the debate is this whole intermission thing between periods. It's not a halftime, and it's not a quick commercial break between innings.

    One more thing - bowling has balls, but no whistles and no sticks and no contact. So not a sport, despite the ball.

    Tennis and golf have sticks and balls, just like baseball - sports!

    But Nascar? No sticks, no balls, no whistles, no contact - no sport.

    Sorry dude - I wrote a post in your comments!

  49. Bond Says:
  50. COCO: I never said Hockey was NOT a sport. I want that on record...there were just no hockey stories that went with the overall theme...and in the end, isn't that a good thing?

    TRAVIS...WHEN you make cohesive points like that post away in the comments...I agree with you 100%

  51. Bond Says:
  52. OH YEAH! And I did the same thing today over at Matt's!

  53. Hey Travis-

    The "no ball/no sport" is a George Carlin line I always laugh at. We still miss our Whalers, so I guess, it is easier to ignore the sport. The Whalers' thing really pissed me off. The attendance was good (and better than Carolina until the won the Cup) so I hold a grudge.

  54. Bond Says:
  55. BUD: You and Travis work this out.....LOL

  56. Travis Says:
  57. Bud,

    LOL! One of my favorite Carlin bits is the football/baseball comparison. As for no balls-no sport, he forgets about whistles and sticks and contact.

    I've been through the loss of my team - when the Raiders moved from Oakland I thought it was the end of the world. But the world righted itself and they came back.

    No you still have Huskie Hoops, and the women aren't likely to fall out of national prominance as long as Gino is around.


  58. Anndi Says:
  59. Bud is a scaredy cat that doesn't have the guts to say it to my face himself.. maybe he's afraid I'll pull the old "sweater over the head" trick...

    No ball eh? Golf: men in cutesy outfits walking around (unless they're allowed to use a cart - with a kid dragging their "equipment") hitting a ball in a hole vs. men skating their butts off to score against the other team and working up a sweat.. sure Bud.. it has to be round to be a sport (sheesh)... So um... billiards.. sport?

    Nascar, you try it sometime, and tell me it doesn't require endurance...

  60. Bond Says:
  61. TRAVIS & ANNDI: You guys take it outside with Bud....ok? LOL


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