Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Kicking Around the Sportsball… Players

I’ve written before about “extinction bursts”, where an organism that stops getting the expected response to an action will redouble its efforts in attempt to get its reward. The NFL seems to be in the middle of such an extinction burst — its TV revenues are dropping, and as a result, they’ve just doubled down on their worst authoritarian impulses. And Mike Pence is the GOP Extinction Burst made flesh, applauding the jingoism for the hardcore Deplorables…
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Open Thread: Surfing Records

These days, everything feels like a political metaphor, doesn’t it?

Late Night Sports-Adjacent Open Thread: World Cup Sales Promotion

Not to jinx the fellas, but sometimes I wish one or another of our soccer-expert front pagers had a little more time to talk about the World Cup here, because the international politics involved seem to be even more gross and twisted than those of the Olympics Committee. This year’s competition is in Russia, starting in mid-June — the U.S. didn’t qualify, probably just as well. The World Cup after that will be held in Qatar in 2022, a controversial choice which doesn’t look to be getting any less controversial…

Charles P. Pierce, for Sports Illustrated“Why Tom Brady Has No Business Promoting Qatar”:

Dear Tom:

… Back when I was scuffling around among your friends and family, I devoted an entire chapter to how discerning you were about endorsements, which were just then beginning to come your way in earnest. It was one of the things that I liked best about you, truth be told. You didn’t grab for every soft drink and pizza account that came blowing past you. You didn’t go shilling for reverse mortgages or auto insurance. You went for a few high-end products and you were very careful about the ones you picked. If I recall correctly, you made a decision early on to be careful about products to which you attached your name. You guarded your brand before most people knew what a brand was…

Times change. People change… What caught my eye was what you were doing with the time. You and your family were being wined and dined by the Emirate of Qatar.

Tom, what in the hell are you doing?

See, I got there before you did, almost 25 years before you did, as a matter of fact. In the fall of 1993, as the United States was gearing up to host the World Cup in ’94, I spent 13 days in Qatar covering the Asian Zone qualifying…

I wasn’t there long before I concluded that the main job of every successful Qatari was hiring enough foreigners to do all the real work; the bartender in my hotel was a Filipino teenager who hadn’t seen his passport in a year… I came to be revolted by the ostentatious wealth earned on the backs of people who were trapped there and paid poorly, when they were paid at all, and by the distance between all the sleek sheikhs and that teenager behind the bar. By the end of two weeks, I was ready to swim home.
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Monday Night Open Thread: Congrats to Colin Kaepernick

From GQ:

Since being named GQ‘s Citizen of the Year, Colin Kaepernick has received Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammed Ali Legacy Award and the Eason More Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU. Now, Amnesty International has awarded Kaepernick with highest distinction the organization has, the Ambassador of Conscience Award…

Kaepernick accepted the award—which has gone previously to Belafonte, artist and activist Ai Weiwei, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela—on Saturday, where he delivered remarks condemning the brutality committed against minorities by the U.S. criminal justice system…

Meanwhile, Kaepernick has completed his promised $1 million in donations despite being blackballed by the NFL.

Life As Metaphor: The Wall Goes Down!

A fitting metaphor for Infrastructure Week. It is always Infrastructure Week…

Open thread!

We’re Born Again, There’s New Grass on the Field.

Sparse posting for me, America’s Only Blue Collar Blogger. Tax season, filthy weather, single dog-parenting (not single dog parenting, if only!) Things are coming back under control slowly.

But coming up quickly is the end of the theoretical baseball season and beginning of the games they play out here in the sloppy, unpredictable, real world.  Now we run our WAR, FIP, wOBA , and triple slash lines out onto the field and see how they do. Please give me your bold baseball predictions for the 2018 season. Or any other kind of prediction if you are feeling frisky.

While you are here, why not step up to the plate (sorry, irresistible) and square up this fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republican.

Goal Thermometer

And a quick reminder that we would love to hear the story of your congressional district. Send me your stories and, if selected, we will front-page it and include fundraising for nominees: What are you waiting for? Unleash the power of Balloon Juice fundraising!

Late-Night “Sports Diplomacy” Open Thread: The Unearned Entitlement of the Ignorant Kleptorati

Good for Mr. Kenworthy, especially since he *is* now taking flak from some of the dumbest people on the internet. Backstory:

At least she didn’t manage to spark an international incident (so far)…

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