SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS : AUGUST 3
By Leo Haggerty
DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE
Does anyone have a clue that works for the National Football League? The reason I am forced to ask that question is that the NFL upper echelon decision makers have allowed the National Anthem to become an issue again.
Memo to the NFL. This problem will not go away unless you make one of two decisions. The first is the most logical. Keep the teams inside the locker room while the anthem is being played.
This is not disrespectful. Every college in the country does the same thing. The teams go back into their respective locker rooms. The National Anthem is played and/or sung. The teams take the field. No distractions.
The second is a little more radical approach and that is to not play the National Anthem at all. Hey, you don’t hear it played when the mall opens in the morning. You don’t hear it played as the grocery store opens for business. You surely don’t hear it played at the fast food establishment at high noon except Mission BBQ. Check that out sometime.
Personally, I don’t think protesting during the playing of the anthem is the right time or place to get your message across to the public. If you’re protesting police brutality, why do it during an athletic event? Sign up to speak at the next City Council meeting and air your grievance at the appropriate venue.
That will get you the most bang for your bucks. Plus, people will not misconstrue what you are protesting. Your message will be clear.
Hopefully, Commissioner Goddell will step in and make the right call. If not, expect another year of controversy that could easily have been avoided.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Commission Rob Manfred has to be beaming from ear-to ear with how the 2018 regular season is playing out. Going in the home stretch dog days of August and September, both leagues have legitimate races in all divisions but one.
Let’s start with the National League, shall we? That’s where every division title looks like it won’t be decided until the last week of the season. In the East, unlikely division leading Philadelphia (60-48) is clinging to a 1/2 game lead over the Atlanta Braves (58-47) with the Washington Nationals (55-53) still within striking distance 5 games back of the Phillies. In the Central, Chicago (62-46) is up a single game on the Milwaukee Brewers (63-49) with the St. Louis Cardinals (56-53) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (56-53) both 6 1/2 games behind the Cubs. In the West, where the tightest race in MLB is taking place, Los Angeles (61-49) is up 1 game on the Colorado Rockies (60-50) and 2 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (58-50) with the San Francisco Giants (56-54) still in the hunt 5 games behind the Dodgers.
As you can see in the NL, there are 11 teams vying for five playoff berths. Don’t be surprised if those handful of post seasons spots, as well as their seeding, aren’t decided until the last day of the regular season.
In the American League, the races in each division aren’t as tight as in the NL. Starting with the East, Boston (76-34) has a 6 1/2 game lead over the New York Yankees (68-39). In the West, Houston (69-41) has a 5 game lead over the surprising Oakland A’s (64-46) and are 5 1/2 games up on the just as surprising Seattle Mariners (63-46). In the Central, Cleveland (59-48) is cruising with a 10 game cushion over the closest pursuer the Minnesota Twins (48-59).
Not a lot of suspense in the AL when it comes to the division lead. Where the real battle will be is for the two Wild Card spots.
So, my friends, the 10 spots in the MLB post season should now be decided until the last weekend of the season. That, baseball fans, is music to the ears of The Commish and the sponsors.
Just when you though the last of the “Hollywood sexual predators” has been dealt with, another bombshell exploded. The Columbia Broadcasting System’s CEO, Les Moonves, has been accused by six women of sexual harassment. Four of the women described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings. The other two claimed he physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.
The chairman of the board at CBS has denied the allegations. He did admit that “there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.”
Not a good defense when you examine what has transpired in LaLaLand since self-proclaimed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s exploits were exposed. Since that reprehensible behavior came to light, other prominent men in the upper echelons of the entertainment field have been accused by women of sexual or physical or mental improprieties.
Moonves, who is married to “The Talk” co-host Julie Chen, remains as the head honcho as CBS Corporation has taken no action at the present time. The network has stated that it was in the process of hiring an outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation.
Wife Chen is standing by her husband, at least for now. She stated, “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s and have been married to him for 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving husband, a good father and an inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”
First, whether Moonves is truly guilty or innocent, he has already been convicted in The Court of Public Opinion. Right now, any time a women accuses a man of physical or mental or sexual abuse, you’re guilty as charged. Whether that’s right or wrong, it is what it is.
Guys, before you start crying foul, there’s no one to blame but male predators that felt they could threaten women with the fear of loss of employment if they didn’t do what they were told to do. They created this environment so blame them.
Finally, memo to the women and men out there. First, the ladies. When a guy tries to “put the move on you and get to first base”, that’s what we do. It’s not sexual harassment on the first kiss. It is after you make it perfectly clear that you have no interest in that type of relationship.
Now to the guys. Fellas, no means no. Period. No matter when it takes place. You companion may be fine with first base but they aren’t ready for you to go to second base. They may be OK with second base but not third base at this time. If you make a move and your told no, it’s not a matter for debate. Game’s over, pal. Time to take your bat and ball home and get ready for the next game.
The bottom line is, no matter what happens, the reputation of Moonves is ruined. If he’s guilty of just trying to see if there’s a “spark” in a relationship, that’s a shame. If he’s a sexual predator like the rest of the “men of power” in Tinseltown, then good riddance.
LOOKING THROUGH THE CRYSTAL BALL
THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The last of the “Four Majors of Golf” will be contested next week in St. Louis. The PGA Championship, which will be played at the Bellerive Country Club, will begin on August 9th and conclude on August 12th.
The is one big change in the format. If there is a tie at the end of 72 holes, there will be a two-hole aggregate playoff and not the 18-hole marathon the next day.
With that being said, the magical orb is seeing a very strange image when it was asked who will emerge victorious. It’s none other than “Lefty” himself, Phil Mickelson.
The transparent sphere believes that the 6’3″ resident of Rancho Santa Fe in California, will emerge from a pack of three other golfers and take home the Wanamaker Trophy after four-holes of extra golf.
The round radiance realizes that there are two big obstacles in standing in the path of the Arizona State alumni. And, believe me, they are the two elephants in the room and there is no one more aware of their presence than The Philster himself.
The first is his age. At, 48-years young, the father of three is aware that his biggest opponent is Father Time and he’s undefeated.
The second is that he hasn’t won a major in over five years. With the “Young Guns of Golf” coming to the forefront of the Majors, Mickelson also knows that the window of opportunity for him to win any tournament is closing fast.
These are the reasons why the mystical glass feels that Michelson has one more major victory in him. That triumph will come next weekend in Missouri.
With that, the Crystal Ball yells fore and hope you duck.