Everyone makes a mistake now and then. It’s learning from those mistakes that allows us to learn. Of course, some folks won’t give you a chance to actually learn from your mistakes. Instead, you’ll get thrown under a bus and no one will let you have a chance to make up for yourself. Bill Buckner might have been a good player but all he’s remembered for is that one mistake in the World Series. Some of our subjects have made mistakes that can’t or won’t be fixed. One person hasn’t made a mistake but rather it was me making it (i.e. Mark Martin).
Speaking of a mistake, it’s a mistake if you don’t catch some of next week’s episode of The Lowdown. It’s our big fantasy hockey and 2009-10 NHL season preview. The Lowdown Extra is going to be over an hour long with mostly hockey talk. That’s more than double the length of a regular radio show. That next episode will air on September 29th at 6:30 PM.
One of the big stories in Canada over the last week or so was the government sending body bags to Native reserves as a part of the government preparation package for the anticipated H1N1 pandemic. At first, I thought this was a hilarious story because it seemed like something out of a comedy movie. Doctors mention something about medicine, turn around and see piles of body bags. It’s a classic sight gag. The only thing was that no one else was laughing. It turns out that Canada’s Aboriginal People were less than impressed by what they were shipped. I thought it might have been some sort of clerical or other error that sent body bags but that was actually part of the package. Now I’m really confused why folks are demanding the government apologize for sending body bags. People would have to be delusional to think that there won’t be some deaths if there’s an H1N1 outbreak. I never thought I’d say this but the government is right. No apology is necessary by the Conservatives. Just stay the course and all will be (relatively) well.
Speaking of H1N1 Swine Flu stories, the #1 team in US College Football can beat any team in the country but can they beat swine flu? Well, not all of the players with flu-like symptoms have confirmed cases of Swine Flu. However, three of the top starters for Florida played against Tennessee with 101° F fevers among other flu symptoms. It may just be football but those are guys that earned a lot of points in the locker room and among NFL scouts who look for that sort of delirious tough guy attitude. The team got flu shots this past Sunday but I don’t think that will help much. Some radio news folks gave me the impression that vaccines for regular flu and swine flu are two different things. With an outbreak of the flu (swine or otherwise) at the University of Florida campus, you know that the team will have to do all it can to protect its players. That’s not just because they’re football players, that’s also general principals. Despite the fact that they still have big games against LSU and FSU coming up this season, their biggest rival en route to another national title will be the flu bug.
What was it that I was saying last week? Maybe I wrote off Mark Martin too soon. Well, I didn’t exactly write him off, I just didn’t think he was as much of a dark horse for the title. Well, it turns out that I was sort of right. He’s gone from everybody’s favourite darkhorse for the Sprint Cup to the outright favourite for the Sprint Cup. His win last Sunday at New Hampshire was his fifth of the season and his first career win at the track. The scary thing for his competitors is that he doesn’t usually run well at flat tracks. However, his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, put Martin on a risky strategy that worked out brilliantly. Between Martin’s inspired driving and the brilliance that is Gustafson’s work on top of the pit box, the man they call “The Kid” is in great shape to win his first Sprint Cup championship. Of course, the way his luck goes with these things, he’ll probably be taken out on lap one of the Talladega race. By the way, after an uninspired performance landed him in 15th place, Jeff Gordon sits 10th in the standings and 102 points behind Martin. I think that would put him in serious darkhorse territory.
MMA fans and Hollywood observer alike were no doubt shocked by the news that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson announced that he was leaving the world of Mixed Martial Arts to pursue a career in acting. Now we’ve seen wrestlers make the jump from the ring to the big screen without much trouble. However, as Dana White likes to point out, MMA isn’t pro wrestling. There are really no discernable skill that translate between the cage and the silver screen. I’m looking for similarities that I can stretch but I’m struggling. Maybe over the top personalities would translate. Rampage is certainly a big personality but if that was all it took, the only people in films would be pro wrestlers. Sticking to a game plan would be part of what’s involved in both. However, there’s nothing to say any acting “game plan” (or script, as they’re known in Hollywood circles) would suit Jackson’s acting abilities… Assuming that he actually has any. But Mr. T wasn’t an actor when he got his big break in Rocky III. They just let him be the T we know and love. The question is can Rampage do just as good a job of being T as T himself. Actually, the real question is what will Jackson be billed as. When he started in movies, Dwayne Johnson was billed solely as “The Rock.” Then he became Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Then his contract with the WWE expired and he became plain old Dwayne Johnson. So what will we see Rampage called. Will he be Rampage Jackson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, or Quinton Jackson? That’s the only question people want to know the answer to.
Seeing as I’m from Canada, I’ve only heard of Salisbury through urban legend. And by urban legend, I mean through the story of him showing his Little Sean to fellow ESPN employees at an ESPN party. Then he got fired from ESPN and signed on with a sports website. I don’t know what happened there and I can’t be bothered to look it up. He recently was at a CBS Radio station in Dallas before getting fired. Now, he’s back on the blogosphere’s radar and set to sue anyone that has ever done him wrong. He sent in a series of rambling emails to A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin stating that he was going to sue ESPN, CBS and Deadspin. Like I said, he was rambling so I have no idea what he was on about. The thing is that I have to watch how I phrase that. Salisbury seemed insulted by how Deadspin treated him so he was going to sue them. They were just reporting facts when it came to Salisbury and it’s gotten them a supposedly impending lawsuit. If you want to read Salisbury’s rantings, click here, here, and here. You read all that and you hope that he’s alright. There just seems to be forces at work in those emails beyond rational thought. Just not in a good way.
Mikhail who? No, he’s not a hockey player, though with the number of Russians in hockey, it’s understandable if you thought so. Prokhorov is a Russian billionaire that is trying to buy the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. The current Nets ownership is trying to get funding to build a stadium in Brooklyn. The only place that they can get enough money to build a brand new stadium that no one will care about is from a Russian billionaire. That would be Prokhorov. What amazes me is this guy’s enthusiasm for taking control of a lost cause. Makes me wonder how he got/stays rich in the first place. At the very least, he’s a shrewd negotiator. He was offered an ownership stake in the team in return for the loan. His counter-offer: I give you the loan, pay shareholders a token amount for the whole team, and go to town. He knows that the Nets are going down the drain without him. He’s in a position of power and he knows it. The only thing that might hold this back is that he wants to use lessons from the Nets to improve the quality of the Russian basketball program. I know the Cold War has long since passed but I don’t think that this will go over too well with the proud bearers of the red, white, and blue.
Could there have been a bigger loser in this scandal? Between writing a letter expressing a lack of confidence in FIA President Max Mosley back in 1994 and leading the FOTA breakaway effort this summer, Mosley had him squarely in the cross-hairs. He already managed to force Ron Dennis out at McLaren during the Australian Grand Prix Lie-gate scandal. While there was never a question that Briatore would face some punishment for his role in the Crash-gate, no one expected a complete lifetime ban from all FIA events and series. With evidence from the FIA’s “Witness X” who said that Piquet originally suggested the idea, how could Briatore be banned from making a livelihood by managing drivers and Piquet could be employed next season? It just makes no sense. It’s like if Marc Crawford was banned from the NHL for life because Todd Bertuzzi jumped Steve Moore. Sure, he could have talked folks out the idea but it’s not like he told Piquet he had to do it. It just seems as though Max saw his opportunity for revenge and took it. Even if he can shake the ban, Flav’s reputation is so damaged that he’ll likely never work in F1 again.
A quick snippet of F1 news about Renault… again. It was bad enough that they practically admitted to fixing the 2008 Singapore GP, now they’ve lost their main sponsors. ING had already confirmed that they were leaving Formula One altogether at the end of the 2009 season. Spanish insurance firm Mutua Madrilena is almost guaranteed to be following Fernando Alonso where ever he goes. However, given the recent Crashgate scandal and sentence to a suspended two-year ban, both companies have decided that they’d rather bail now than wait it out. So with four races left in the season, Renault has gone from embarrassed by their performance to just plain embarrassed. The only question left is “Are the bosses at Renault sure that they want to keep going in F1?” They’ve already complained that F1 costs too much for them to reasonably continue funding in the middle of the recession. Without sponsorship now and with sponsorship unlikely to come up later on, I don’t think Renault is long for F1.
The leaders of the Group of 20 countries are meeting in Pittsburgh this week. The G-20 is composed of nineteen countries and the European Union. They’re in Pittsburgh to talk about the ongoing turmoil in the world economy and financial markets. I’m sure there’ll be some environment talk to go along with this after China announced that it will be trying to cut back on its carbon emissions. Anyway, I’m not bringing this up because of all the important socio-economic issues that the G-20 will be dealing with. I’m bringing this up because they’re ruining the Pittsburgh sports scene. The Penguins were forced to reschedule a pre-season game because of the summit. If it was a regular season game, the whole hockey world would try to run them out of town. While there may be no respect for the Stanley Cup champs, there is even less for the local baseball franchise. The Pittsburgh Pirates had a game yesterday with a paid attendance of about 15,000. The seats were decidedly less packed. Estimates had the number of butts in seats at around 3,000. Where does the blame lie? With the protests, security, and other inconveniences caused by the G-20 Summit. Actually, scratch that. The Pirates suck and so did their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds. Who would you rather see: Sivlio Berlusconi or Bronson Arroyo? That’s what I thought.