The madness of Trump’s “alternative facts”

A tsunami of derision has attached itself to the President Trump’s best explainer/apologizer KellyAnne Conway’s assertion last week that the President’s press secretary was offering alternative facts to explain the President’s obviously wrong belief regarding the (small) size of the crowd at his inauguration. Even some of the best coaches in professional basketball, led byContinue reading “The madness of Trump’s “alternative facts””

“Sheepwrecked” in Yosemite, Santa Cruz I., and the UK

140 years ago sheep were devastating the slopes and meadows of the Sierras and John Muir launched an effort — which took decades — to remove them. He wrote: It is impossible to conceive of a devastation more universal than is produced among the plants of the Sierra by sheep…The greass is eaten close andContinue reading ““Sheepwrecked” in Yosemite, Santa Cruz I., and the UK”

Now that the three point shot is golden, what about four?

Sam Farmer usually writes about football for the Los Angeles Times, but on All-Star Sunday he had a marvelous look at the three-point shot in the NBA, with the graphic to tell the story: The three-pointer, first used by the NBA on a trial basis in the 1979-80 season, has morphed from a lightly usedContinue reading “Now that the three point shot is golden, what about four?”

Why do we (some of us) watch sports?

I've been wondering why I continue to watch basketball. I gave up playing in a thirty-five and older league years ago, when I could no longer jump. My NBA team, the Lakers, has long since been knocked out of the play-offs. Lefty friends deride the idea of enjoying competition and hierarchy, and there is bothContinue reading “Why do we (some of us) watch sports?”

Tony Parker, starring in the “Flop of the Night”

Since the great Vlade Divac left the NBA for charity work a decade ago, the prize for best flopper in the Association has been up for grabs. But last night, the ever-clever Tony Parker made a move to take Vlade's crown, transforming a slightly extended elbow brush-by into a flailing backpedaling collapse that took himContinue reading “Tony Parker, starring in the “Flop of the Night””

Gladwell: Owning an NBA team like owning a Van Gogh

From a fascinating new longform site devoted mostly to sports, Grantland, the famous analyst and writer Malcolm Gladwell argues:  Pro sports teams are a lot like works of art. Forbes magazine annually estimates the value of every professional franchise, based on standard financial metrics like operating expenses, ticket sales, revenue, and physical assets like stadiums.Continue reading “Gladwell: Owning an NBA team like owning a Van Gogh”

Los Angeles Times fires climate reporter at work in Arctic

Just when you think the Los Angeles Times can't stoop any lower…they fire their climate change reporter while she's on a story in the Arctic. Yes, while camping in the snow. Believe it or don't.  Here's how Margot Roosevelt relayed the story, from her farewell to her colleagues, via the LA Observer: It was aContinue reading “Los Angeles Times fires climate reporter at work in Arctic”

NBA stats guys pick Miami, but blew it on Dallas/Lakers

Here's an odd fact to mull going into the good-looking NBA Finals war between Dallas and Miami: Not one NBA statistician polled by ESPN picked Dallas to win this bout. Henry Abbott explains: The TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown features eight participants. Two pick the Mavericks to win the 2011 NBA Finals — the other sixContinue reading “NBA stats guys pick Miami, but blew it on Dallas/Lakers”

Go blue! The problem with sports as politics

The play-offs (and Ted Rall) remind me that the sports mindset, as the President might say, has its limits.  I hear Noam Chomsky also has some views on sports. In Manufacturing Consent, in front of an adoring audience, he marvels out loud at the intelligence with which "Joe Six Pack" types can on the radioContinue reading “Go blue! The problem with sports as politics”