The Procrastinator – Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

November 26, 2008

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We’ve got another edition of The Procrastinator newsletter available today. We hope you’ll find it interesting and engaging and please feel free to give any comments or ideas. Coming soon we’ll have a major breakdown of the BCS v. playoff scenarios as well as other political, social, travel and satirical articles.

You can find the .pdf here: The Procrastinator Newsletter – 11/26

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Cheers

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The Procrastinator – Special Election Edition

November 8, 2008

Before we get into any sports coverage today, feel free to check out our newsletter, The Procrastinator. This particular edition concerns the election of Barack Obama on Tuesday, but there are some sports points to be made as well.

We hope you’ll enjoy and we welcome any comments or suggestions.

The Procrastinator: Special Election Edition


The Nazi Double-Standard

September 23, 2008

standardsRecently the German insurance giant Allianz held talks with New York Giants and Jets as possibly securing naming rights for the new football stadium the teams will inhabit. Allianz already is the title sponsor for a massive soccer stadium in Munich, home of the famed Bayern Munich club and also one of the major stadia used for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The talks between Allianz and the Giants/Jets broke down when a chorus of Holocaust survivors and New York Jews criticized the talks due to Allianz’s history with the Nazi party in the 1930s and ’40s.

An interest in the company history is a valid critique when searing for a company for which the teams and stadium will be associated. The Houston Astros changed the name of their baseball stadium from Enron Field to Minute Maid Park after the scandals that rocked Enron. But this is different. I cannot claim that a past that includes insuring both personnel and facilities at Auschwitz and Dachau is a clean one or that the company does not deserve to be questioned along those lines. But I do think it’s time for people to move on.

Allianz has had no affiliation with the Nazi party since the end of World War II. As with many German companies that were founded before the Nazi regime, Allianz had few options when it came to their war time activities. This does not excuse what happened but it can at least be understood to a certain degree. It’s not unlike those who helped gather Japanese-Americans and took them to internment camps in this country during the same time period. Should those train companies or private individuals who helped in that process be harassed and denied the rights of others today? Or what about oil companies who helped exterminate or relocate Native Americans in Texas, Oklahoma and other places?

Perhaps a more pertinent example is Mercedes-Benz. Here is a picture of Adolf Hitler. Notice anything familiar about the hood ornament? Or what about this photo? Or this plant that makes the cars? Is it important in our society today that Mercedes-Benz once drove Hitler around? Apparently not.

Even Ford is an example where we look the other way. Here is the Ford Center in Oklahoma City where the Thunder (don’t even get me started) will play this season. Think the people of Oklahoma had any issue with the Ford brand being linked to their arena? Of course not. They don’t even think about the fact that Henry Ford was one of the worst anti-semites of his, or any, day.

All of this is to say that it’s a shame that Allianz can’t even compete in this country because of events that took place seventy years ago or more. I realize the Jewish lobby is quite strong, especially in New York, and I do understand their reservations. But at what point do we allow ourselves to move on in areas that are only tangentially related?


That’s My Boy

September 19, 2008

 

Everyone — especially Mao — knows how much I love Joe Biden.

But even I have to admit that my boy is, at times, a bit… indelicate.

Check out this article, which references a recent speech that Biden gave to the Delaware Blue Hens football team. (Biden is a Delaware alum.) In said speech, Biden trash-talked the Ohio State Buckeyes, saying something to the effect that he’d been in Ohio, and he believes that even the Blue Hens could “thrash” the Buckeyes.

Now, I’m no rocket scientist… and I even love trash talk… but exactly how smart is it to piss off 40,000 or so students, plus who-knows-how-many fans, in what is perhaps the most hotly contested swing state in the nation?

What if Barack Obama lost the November election over a single football comment? That’d suck… but the irony would be AD-tastic!


Sarah Palin’s Body Man?

September 2, 2008

One of the best suggestions I’ve heard in the non-stop coverage of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin being selected as the running mate for John McCain is that she’ll now need a body man akin to Barack Obama’s Reggie Love.

The leaders in the clubhouse for that role? Carlos Boozer or Trajan Langdon.


Reggie Love – Who Would’ve Known

August 22, 2008

Love / Obama

For anyone who follows ACC basketball closely or lived in the Triangle area of North Carolina in the first few years of this decade, the rise of Reggie Love is completely shocking. This guy was a thoroughly average banger for some pretty great Duke teams, especially his freshman year. Of course he was also a wide receiver for the much-maligned Duke football team during his time in Durham and made one very famous visit to Chapel Hill. He also has the sad distinction of having played beer pong against me over by George’s Garage in 2004, with his teammate both on the court and in this case on the table, Chris Duhon. I wish I had a better story but I got destroyed and was run off the table in very short time. Reggie Love was an expert beirut player.

Anyway, for a look at the rise of Reggie Love, check out ESPN’s E:60 video featuring Barack Obama‘s personal assistant. It’s pretty well done and he actually does seem to be a good guy.


What is Russia Thinking?

August 11, 2008

PutinAt a time when the world’s focus is on the Olympics in Beijing, the Russians have decided to invade Georgia to their south and at this point have cut the country in half, occupying the north. You couldn’t have any worse timing for this because all commentators of Olympic coverage will mention this invasion every time there is a Russian athlete or team on the screen.

This is not 1979. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, there were a few videos coming back to the west but for the most part, it was unclear about what the extent of that invasion was for some time. Today I have already watched a video of the President of Georgia running for his life, seen a photo montage of burned out buildings and crying mothers in South Ossetia and read a handful of accounts of what is happening. If I’m that apprised of what is going on, I’m sure world leaders (many of whom are gathered together in China) are taking note.

While coverage of such an event would still be high no matter the timing in these days of constant media attention, doesn’t it seem like it would be much less so than now? There is no time when the thoughts of more people are focused internationally than during the Olympics.