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Naming Ballparks

From an editorial of the same title in the November 17, 2006, issue of The Week by Thomas Vinciguerra:

For as long as I can remember, the New York Mets have played at Shea Stadium, gratefully named after the man who helped bring National League baseball back to the city. Not anymore. In return for paying the team $20 million a year for 20 years, Citigroup gets to dub the team's new stadium Citi Field. (Some New Yorkers lobbied for "Jackie Robinson Stadium," but the man who broke baseball's color barrier isn't around to pony up $400 million.) Other baseball towns, of course, have already been subjected to this kind of crass commercialism. In Chicago, the home of the White Sox has been transmogrified from Comiskey Park to U.S. Cellular Field. In Philadelphia, the Phillies no longer play in Veterans Stadium but in Citizens Bank Park. Stadiums, Broadway theaters, university buildings—their names are now all up for sale to the highest bidder. One of my alma mater's oldest dormitories, Livingston Hall, was christened after Robert Livingston, one of the nation's Founding Fathers. But when a well-heeled alumnus donated the cash for a renovation, guess whose name replaced Livington's?

Perhaps a rebellion is in order here. Back in 2001, when the Broncos were forced to endure Mile High Stadium being dubbed "Invesco Field at Mile High," the editors at The Denver Post refused to acquiesce. They simply went on using the old name in their pages. When a new editor came aboard the next year, unfortunately, he reversed the policy. But what if all of us who resent having great buildings named after banks and billionaires, instead of heroes and altruists, simply refuse to use the ugly new names? Would the naming rights still be worth $20 million a year? Just asking.

Fantasy Football Week 11

Tralfaz lost a close one this week. Our fate was sealed when Colston twisted his ankle and laid a goose egg.

Fantasy Football Week 10

Last week was a good one for Tralfaz. We had twice as many points as our opponent, had the highest point total in the league, extended our winning streak to 3, and clinched a playoff spot. However, we're still only 6-4, three games back of the league-leader.

Fantasy Football Week 9

Tralfaz picked up a second-straight win this week despite the Steelers giving so many gifts (sacks, fumbles, interceptions) to my opponent's defense. He had even worse luck with Grossman and Berrian from the Bears.

Northwood vs Ferris St.

This afternoon we braved the cold to watch the Timberwolves suffer a close upset to Ferris St, 17-14. Here are some pictures.










Fantasy Football Week 8

Tralfaz got another pitiful performance from the QB (this week Leinart). However, the performances of Reggie Wayne and Marques Colston made up for it by combining for 301 yards receiving, 5 TDs, and a 2-point conversion...helping us even our record at 4-4.

Playing QB for Tralfaz seems to be a curse...Kurt Warner, Byron Leftwich, Matt Leinart, and Ben Roethlisberger have all felt the pain. Kitna ought to be glad that I only kept him for a week or two.

Kickin' Chickens 2006

The Kickin' Chickens finished the 2006 season today with their fifth straight victory on the wet, frigid, blustery tundra that is the Midland, MI, soccer fields. Elliot scored once. Here are some team photos from this past Tuesday's practice.


The Kickin' Chickens - 2006


5 Wins, 2 Losses, 1 Tie (though no one kept score)

Field-Goal Finn

The boys and I arrived at the end of halftime for todays game between the Timberwolves and Warriors. It was pretty much perfect timing because we didn't have to pay to get in and got there in time for the boys to be the last two kickers in the kids halftime field goal kicking activity. We watched most of the the third quarter before leaving to go to Elliot's last soccer game. Here are some pictures:



Field-Goal Finn


Fantasy Football Week 7

Week 7 has been another pitiful showing for me. I would have been competitive with a decent quarterback and defense...but with Leftwich and the Steelers defense, I couldn't compete with the great Peyton Manning. I would have been much better off if I had kept Kitna instead of cutting him. My other quarterback (Leinart) was even worse than Leftwich. I picked up Roethlisberger and will consider going with him assuming he wasn't knocked completely silly by the Falcons today. I'm also wishing I had kept the Denver defense instead of cutting them to open up another roster spot at the beginning of the season.

Greatest Comeback Ever

While I was in the barber shop this afternoon, I listened to the greatest comeback in NCAA history. From an AP article titled "Spartans Complete Greatest Comeback Ever" by Rick Gano on

Trailing 38-3 in the third quarter, Michigan State rallied Saturday for a 41-38 victory over Northwestern as the Spartans ended a four-game losing streak in dramatic fashion and momentarily took the heat off coach John L. Smith...

Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) got back in game when Ashton Henderson returned a blocked punt for a TD early in the fourth, and the Spartans won it when Brett Swenson kicked a 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds left following a key interception by Travis Key.

Smith, who's been under heavy criticism, took no questions in a postgame news conference. He pointed to his staff and especially his players.

"The ones who really deserve the credit are those guys," Smith said. "They played the game, they believed in each other. They continued to fight, they pulled together and deserved everything they got today."

Until this riveting game, the biggest comeback in Division I-A was 31 points when Maryland beat Miami 42-40 on Nov. 10, 1984, and when Ohio State defeated Minnesota 41-37 on Oct. 28, 1989.

We watched Tennessee make a much smaller comeback to beat Alabama ("Trailing for 56-plus minutes, Vols upend Bama on late Foster TD") and let the boys stay up a little late to watch some of the Tigers game.

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