Archive for July, 2009

Wrong place, wrong time, he’s still tall: on Anthony DiLoreto

July 28, 2009 3 comments

You may have seen that CBS’ Gary Parrish wrote that Anthony DiLoreto is out of jail, facing two felony charges… all while playing with an AAU team in a tournament in Las Vegas, and has a scholarship offer from the Rick Majerus and Saint Louis University.

Anthony DiLoretoYou may also know (possibly from this blog or others) that Anthony DiLoreto was the getaway driver in a bank robbery in Wisconsin, near to where DiLoreto lives in Minnesota. This was in the summer (2008) before the lanky center was to report to the Cal Poly campus. Way to party your summer away.

Now I’d like to say I’m all for second chances. But I think it’s suspect that athletes, at times, find themselves in the “wrong place, wrong time” like Tyreke Evans who happened to be the getaway driver after a fatal shooting but didn’t know what was going on. At least there is some deniability there. But in DiLoreto’s case… this is certainly less deniable, unless there are some facts we don’t know about.

And does it matter? His compass is obviously off, and not by a little; this is no hormonal aggressive teenager abusing a woman. This is no friend/ homeboy with a beef that erupts into a fight or even a shooting. Those things are wrong, those actions are illegal, but they happen enough that when crimes happen, a person can be allowed to come up with caveats, hike down from the moral high ground, and cheer on that player. Much, much respect to the people who don’t; but I understand the line of thinking.

But a bank robbery? Saying no one got hurt when one party had a sawed off shotgun (unloaded, supposedly), and a getaway car? The potential for real uninvolved innocents to get hurt while just going about their day – that’s real. That, honestly, is the kind of crime that should put a fear in people. The fact that no one got hurt should not mask the possibility of what could have happened. This is not a crime that is in the normal course of athletes being assholes.

The sliding scale of crime heinosity that a bank robbery is on can be debated; but the way college basketball is, if the kid can play, he will be considered if he is eligible (i.e., not in jail) to play. And that is the long and short of it. And the fact is, his profile has never been higher. He has a plea bargain scheduled

Anthony DiLoreto should never have told Parrish what school offered him a scholarship. I would think that kid like that would want to keep a low profile. He’s not obligated to answer questions. Moreover, I would bet cash money that he does not get in to St. Louis; the school’s students can muster up some Catholic moral high ground.

But whatever happens with that school, as long as he can avoid much of his jail time, we will hear a story about how he has gotten better, realized his mistake. We heard it with AJ Price and Marcus WIlliams. Those two Connecticut players were given gauzy screened, soft-music treatment by the sports media once their penalties were up. All DiLoreto has to do now is sign with a decent school, get on a CBS Saturday afternoon game, and watch the sympathetic stories come in…

It’s the way of college basketball.

“…we in here talkin’ bout PRACTICE”

July 24, 2009 Comments off

Just as Allen Iverson twists in the wind as a free agent, waiting for someone to make him an offer worthy of his talents…

A great, great mashup with a solid beat of Iverson’s “practice” rant, Jim Mora on “p-p-PLAYOFFS?”, Dennis Green’s “they are who we thought they were” (which I never thought was that outrageous), Mike Gundy’s “I’m a man! I’m 40!” tirade, Joe Namath’s “I want to kiss you” leer, and Terrell Owens’ crying with emotion about his quarterback.

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Categories: funny, pro basketball, Sports, video

Bzdelik and the “casual talk”

July 17, 2009 Comments off

You may have heard that Colorado Buffaloes head coach Jeff Bzdelik (once the coach of the NBA Denver Nuggets), had a “casual talk” with the General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves while taking in an NBA summer league game. This blog thought it was curious that the Athletic Director of the University of Colorado put out a statement about the “casual talk”.

Turns out that, according to the Denver Post, the statement seems to be an effort to put the information out there and crush any rumor-milling that may come of the “unexpected”, “casual talk”. On the face of it, it’s good to make sure that, for recruiting efforts and team morale, it is very important to let the Buffalo players know that their coach isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, this bit of “news” helps reinforce Bzdelik’s bonafides – the NBA people hold him in high regard, despite the severe outclassing that Bzdelik’s Colorado tenure has been. After all, one shouldn’t lose toget blown out by Vermont and Texas Christian as a major conference team in a coach’s second year. Eyebrows, fully raised.

All of this may be blown up/ over-communicated on the web over essentially nothing. Jeff Bzdelik might be completely committed to the Buffalo basketball program. But this also might be a coach who would be happy to land on his feet after last year’s 9-22 record; or an AD who might look at his team, the unknown recruits and lack of size or competitive athleticism and think… well, if he left, would that be the worst thing?

The Buffs were simply awful last year, an uncompetitive 1-win skidmark on the Big XII schedule in basketball. They have a long way to go to make a turnaround, and their terrible rebounding highlights the struggles of a short team with one excellent talent in Cory Higgins and non-rebounding, distance shooting big men.

Faced with long odds, when does a “casual talk” become serious interest for Bzdelik?

Daniel Murphy and Oliver Perez, or Last Night’s Party

July 9, 2009 1 comment

Two things from last night’s game against a Dodgers, a close 5-4 win made a little more hairy by Francisco Rodriguez’ closing style. It was a fun game but Oliver Perez’ line was…

O. Perez 5.0 4 2 2 7 2 0


But his hair was perfect! And Mets fans were trying to make #OliverPerez a trending item. We failed.

First, the hair:
Oliver Perez' fauxhawk

And then video of Daniel Murphy’s adventurous put-out at first. Hat tip to the ‘Ropolitans:

Categories: baseball, Mets, Sports, video

Finding the Price Point for Televised Sporting Events

July 4, 2009 2 comments

Growing up, it was hard to see teams other than the “big boys” in college football; especially in the New York City area, before Connecticut went to the D-I aka FBS level, and while Rutgers was just poor.  I didn’t know anyone who stopped everything for Saturday football; the teams that came on – even close ones like Penn State – had no relation to my life. I never knew of the need to see one’s football team, the wearing of college football colors, the sense of regional pride that the southern and plains and midwestern teams engendered.

One of those teams – specifically, Nebraska football – is the reason I got in to college football. In college, I lived in a 6 person suite, with a room right next to the common area, where we had a small TV.  My suitemate from Omaha was a huge Huskers fan.  Huge.  I would be working (or drinking) late into the night on Fridays. He used to wake me up on Saturday, about 11.20 AM yelling about some Nebraska foible… while they were up 14 on, say, Troy State. That made me cranky as hell, so I brushed up on my football so I could insult the Cornhuskers, especially when they played Mizzou… or some team that might actually beat them in the 90’s.

The fervor was not restricted to Nebraska, of course. And the proliferation of cable/ satellite options, channels, and regional programming means that more people can feed their need for information. There is obviously a demand to not only see one’s teams, but the get the “inside scoop,” the “candid” and “unfiltered” information – to get close to one’s team.  The best way of doing this is either to find a news outlet with a huge budget to cover the team, or to localize the news.

Those Nebraska fans, would travel from far and wide to see their team live – putting money into ticket sales, gasoline, tailgating food; there is a cost that they are willing to pay to experience Nebraska football. Now, the school will test the price tag of that dedication by showing their first three non-conference games in pay-per-view format. The linked article touches on the revenue concept for many bigger-time teams, schools, and conferences looking for ways to control their revenue streams and differentiate viewers, separating the casuals from the die-hards, who will pay much more per view than you and I might through our cable or satellite package.  And that money goes to the school and their content distributor.

I suppose that this is problematic, as we expect to get our sports television for a small fee; but there are fans who pay good money to get the aforementioned “insider” information on recruiting sites; conference specific television; and team-specific networks in major markets that might, like the Yankees will, expand into in-market online deals at an advanced price.

These moves, if profitable, start to inform both sports broadcasters, cable/ satellite tv companies (dealing with competition from online sites like Hulu), and sports fans about what the model will be going forward for sports. Segmenting fans helps bring the right money to the producers and determines the actual value of the product, on the business side.

But on the fan side, this kind of segmentation can be parsed too finely. The pay-per-view model loses the fairweather fans and the casual sports fans. And will pay per view remove the socia aspect of watching the game at a dedicated bar over wings and beer?  What value do those fans have to the schools and the media producers? This experiment will start to delve into the question.