Elliot's soccer team lost today, 1-0. Elliot played goalie in the first half and pitched a shut-out (he received a bunch of help from his defense who hardly ever let the ball get close enough for Elliot to touch it).
Finn's team won 8 to 5. Finn played about half the game. All 8 of his team's goals were scored when he was in the game. All 5 the the opposing team's goals were scored when he was out of it. Get this...Finn scored seven of his team's goals and had an assist on the other. Lisa was getting embarrassed.
An interesting Time mag article about two new professional football leagues that are about to launch in the US is here: link
The eight-team United Football League (UFL), brainchild of financier and former USFL minority owner Bill Hambrecht, will play games during the NFL season on Fridays, when the NFL, and most colleges, are idle. The league will have teams in large metropolitan areas that have no NFL franchises, places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and maybe even Mexico City or London.
The other upstart, the fledging All American Football League (AAFL), has a very different model. Funded by San Diego entrepreneur Marcus Katz, the AAFL will play in college football hotbeds on otherwise sleepy spring Saturdays, and feature alums from big-time schools like the University of Florida and University of Tennessee on its pro teams. Katz, who made his fortune in the student loan business, grew up an avid University of Georgia football fan, and he's trying to profit from the love fans have for former college players. Since there aren't enough NFL spots for all the talented University of Florida football players, the thinking goes, why not have some of them come to Gainesville, suit up in Gator blue, and play for the Florida AAFL team? They'd face off against teams from Tennessee and Alabama, just like the good old days.
A couple weeks back the LA Times ran a story of the same title, an interesting and rare behind-the-scenes look at an NFL officiating crew as it prepared to work a game. Sports nuts should give it a read. The degree to which the officials' performance is scrutinized by the league is interesting...they're even graded on how "athletic and tidy" they look in uniform.
From an article titled "The Horrors of Dogfighting" in The Week:
Michael Vick is hardly the first athlete connected to dogfighting. In fact, in the macho culture of professional sports, fighting dogs are a status symbol and dogfighting is widely considered a harmless pastime, says sports psychologist Harry Edwards. When Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis learned that Vick faced charges for running a dogfighting operation, he said, "It's his property. It's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it." In 2006, two fighting dogs owned by NFL linebacker Joey Porter escaped from his yard and mauled a neighbor's miniature pony to death. "The dog is going to be a reflection of the owner," Porter explained. "I don't too much care for a passive dog." One of former NBA player Latrell Sprewell's four pit bulls once attacked his 4-year-old daughter, tearing off one of her ears. Sprewell resisted having the dog euthanized. "Stuff happens," he said. That remark might seem callous, but it apparently reflects a mentality that attracts athletes to fighting dogs in the first place. "If you're looking to project a tough image," says Kelli Ferris, a veterinary science professor at North Carolina State, "a Pomeranian on a leash doesn't cut itâ€”a snarling pit bull does."
I remember when Porter's dogs killed the pony, but I was too naive to realize that they were fighting dogs.
Today in the Lipscomb alumni email I noticed a blurb about the sale of college sports enthusiast web site Rivals.com to Yahoo. Rivals.com is the work of two Lipscomb graduates that overlapped with my time as a Bison (Shannon Terry and Greg Gough). Shannon's name and face (see photo in the story on Lipscomb's web site: link). I realized why from the Lipscomb article: he was a starter on the Lipscomb basketball team.
Yahoo paid something in the neighborhood of $100 million for Rivals.com. $100 million!
I've never used Rivals.com before (I'm not enough a sports junkie to pay to read about it), but I had read about it before. Back in April, amid initial rumors of Yahoo acquiring Rivals, there was a bit of a kerfuffle between Shannon Terry and internet heavyweight Michael Arrington, who runs TechCrunch, "...weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies."
Arrington mentioned Yahoo-acquisition rumors and wondered if the deal might fall through like a couple others had due to Terry's previous involvement in securities fraud (link):
...two previous deals to acquire the company died once it was discovered that the CEO, Shannon Terry, was found to have been involved in a classic "pump and dump" scheme, and violated the anti-touting and antifraud provisions of U.S. securities laws in 1998.
Shannon was a principal of SGA Goldstar Research, Inc. In 1998, he and at least two others, Sheldon Kraft and Charles Huttoe, were accused of engaging in "a massive ongoing market manipulation" around touting shares of a company called Systems of Excellence, Inc. Kraft and Huttoe were sentenced to prison terms. Shannon, who reportedly "cooperated" with authorities, got off with a $828,000 fine. For background information, see here and here [this link is broken].
In 2005, sources say, Fox killed a deal to acquire Rivals at the 11th hour after a routine background check on Terry revealed the fraud. Terry had not previously disclosed the issue to Fox. Fox went on to acquire competitor Scout Media for $60 million in September 2005.
Shortly thereafter, AOL was supposedly close to acquiring Rivals as well, for as much as $90 million. Again, Terry reportedly failed to disclose the fraud, which was discovered during the due diligence phase of the negotiations. The deal was killed.
Here is a link to a Washington Business Journal blurb about Terry: link.
Terry responded to the web post by threatening a lawsuit and Arrington posted a scan of the letter on the blog (link). The threat of the lawsuit was later dropped and a couple months later the acquisition was finalized (link).
No mention of securities fraud in the Lipscomb article.
This weekend I did the MS 150 bike tour with my friend Eric. It was my 10th MS 150 (4 in TN, 6 in MI, plus 1 Tour de Cure in TN) and the second time that I've ridden it with Eric. We rode 100 miles on Saturday and 75 today.
The most memorable moment for me was when I came dangerously close to being kicked by a horse as I rode past it this afternoon. There are plenty of ways you could imagine taking a terrible spill on the pavement during a bike tour, but as a result of a horse kick isn't one I would have considered likely.
Thanks to everyone who sponsored me; I raised $605 for the MS cause.
Here are a few photos:
In Finn's 4th soccer game on Saturday he returned to his game 1 form...which is to say, he didn't score any goals (except for the other team) and spent most of the time skipping and hopping around and not getting too close to the ball. We figured out what the problem was. On Saturday, like she did before Finn's first game, Lisa gave Finn a dose of albuterol (asthma medication) before the game because he had been coughing. She though she was helping him with his breathing, but it seems like it made him so hyperactive and spacey that he simply couldn't concentrate on playing the soccer game. The first week, i assumed that he just wasn't that into the soccer game. But after he was a goal-scoring and assist-making demon in games 2 and 3 before reverting in game 4, I'm convinced that the albuterol was a big part of it.
Here are some photos of Elliot from a few weeks back: