Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hot Take Alert: Kaep

So Kaep isn't standing for the National Anthem because, in his own words: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

The first reaction of many people has been:

Deadspin later took a different angle, attacking Trump in a video saying that he shouldn't be criticizing America because America is where he got rich.

I think both of these angles are missing the point pretty badly.

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Everyone is quick to jump on Kaep for saying that this country oppresses black people because he's a black person making millions of dollars. That because he is financially successful, he is not being financially oppressed himself, that he can't comment on oppression of any kind in America.

That seems pretty contrary to what we know and see often. LeBron has successfully raised awareness of Trayvon Martin, among others. Bill Gates, the richest person in the world does perhaps the most for the poor.

And when it comes to making social change in America, it often/usually requires support from people outside the people being affected to actually enact change. Same-sex marriage being legal across the U.S. required the support of some straight people. The Civil War and abolishment of slavery needed the support of some white people. For the Black Lives Matter movement to be truly successful it needs support from people of all races.

A person like Kaep is actually someone who can make a difference. Because reporters will listen to him. A random Black Lives Matter protester is not going to get the same kind of coverage that a NFL player will.

So the issue should not be that Kaep is not permitted to comment on oppression.

The issue should be: Is sitting during the National Anthem an effective/good comment on oppression?

My personal opinion is that it's not a very clear message. It can be easily interpreted as "I don't support America, I don't like America" instead of "there's an important problem in America that needs to be fixed." He faces the press every day, he could easily have made the same statement, he could wear a shirt supporting whatever message he wants, he could write a piece for The Players Tribune, he could make a website or foundation that inspires action. Instead he chooses to say that he can't take pride in a flag for a country that oppresses people of color.

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As for Deadspin's Trump angle, it's pretty dumb. Presidential candidates are allowed to point out things they want to improve. Yes, I thought the RNC and his campaign in general is very doom and gloom, often trying to paint a picture worse than it really is. But of all the things to criticize Trump for, this is way down the list.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prediction Recap

I'm going to go through the archives to check on older predictions.

1. Brit picks 2015 Chiefs to go 13-4. 

Including the playoffs, they were 12-5 through 17 games. Pretty good. I predicted 10-6 in the regular season.

2. Brit picks Ravens and Eagles to be good.

5-11 and 7-9. Not good.

3. Chiefs fans hate Mitch Morse pick.

Turns out Mitch Morse is awesome. We'll see if Strong develops into a good WR, 161 yards in his rookie year. Reminder not to get worked up during the NFL Draft.

4. Me calling Winston a semi-bust and Mariota the better pick. 

Too soon to say for sure, but it's not looking great for me at the moment.

5. Me predicting 2010-2014 Illinois Basketball team would be great.

We won a total of two tournament games, as a #9 seed and #7 seed. Not great.

So there you go. Predictions are hard.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fixing The Summer Olympics

Some Olympics sports are unnecessary. Golf, tennis and soccer all come to mind that are redundant, because they are inferior versions of existing tournaments (majors and the World Cup.) Basketball is necessary because its world championship is inferior to the Olympic tournament. Equestrian can go just because it's not even a sport. And let's lose racewalking because honestly.

Before I get to the sports I'd like to add, holy shit look at this Field Hockey Game. That was brilliant. I only saw that researching this article to see if floor hockey as I know it would be different than field hockey. Let's just stick with field hockey.

The IOC is adding karate, skateboarding, baseball/softball, surfing and climbing. None of these get me excited.

Here are some sports I'd like to add.

This is really the best one. Putting countries in direct competition with each other. I would watch the shit out of this.

I would make it so that the course changes from day to day, forcing teams to develop new strategies on the fly. Basically this is simulated war between countries, but harmless!

Tug of War
I really liked Deadspin's plan for this, using Olympians from the existing roster. 

Beach Soccer & Futsal
Look, beach volleyball is more fun than regular volleyball. And we already have the World Cup so we don't need the real soccer teams. This would be fun.

Outdoor Basketball (3 on 3)
Likewise, I think 3 on 3 could be the beach volleyball version of basketball. I'd make it outdoor just for aesthetics.

Bowling Pin Knockdown 
This game may not be well known at all. I played it in middle school. We called it Handball but it's not the handball that's in the Olympics. It was played with a small dodgeball, with ultimate frisbee rules of catching and passing, and the goal was to knock down a bowling pin at the end of the court. It was awesome. It's probably too close to Handball but whatever. In researching this, I found something called Pin Knockover which is just a less war-like dodgeball. I'd watch that too.

Ultimate Frisbee
Why not?

Shuffleboard & Darts & Foosball
If we have ping-ping, why not other bar games?

Monday, August 22, 2016

State of Sports: 2016 Preview

I'm all in on sports. A huge part of this is the outlook of my teams. Let's go deeper, chronologically.

Illinois Football

For me, sports start on September 3rd. Illinois is hosting Murray State before facing off against North Carolina a week later. Someone got paid to predict that Illinois will go 2-10 this year. 

We went 5-7 last year with Cubit. We can't get 5 wins this year with Lovie? SBNation has us on par with Rutgers and Purdue as the only worse team. That seems a bit harsh.

I think we either get 5 or 6 wins most likely. 7+ would be holy shit! 4- would be shit. But it seems like we're going to get better and it should be exciting. For the record, @alioneye has penciled in October 12, 2019 as a key date for Illinois football, as in possibly undefeated and hosting ESPN Gameday in Champaign vs Michigan.

Kansas City Chiefs

Last year I was optimistic before the season started. I predicted 10-6. The won their first game. Then lost 5 in a row. I called them garbage. They would then win their next 11, including a playoff game, ending a terrible streak.

This year, people are split evenly whether the Chiefs or Broncos will win the division. Teams being predicted for the AFC Championship include Patriots, Steelers, Bengals and Colts. But I've got $160 that says the Chiefs will win the AFC Championship and go to the Super Bowl.

There are two kinds of playoff teams. One is a team like the R-E-L-A-X Packers. They're really good and capable of reeling off 8 out of 10 games, so they can overcome a fumble or penalty or whatever. The other kind of playoff team isn't as good. They can get to 10 even 11 wins, but they need some bounces to go their way. Even if they have two games left and only need to win one to secure the playoffs, you're not fully confident it's going to happen. Except for 2003, I've felt like the Chiefs have always been in the second camp. This year, I think they have a good shot of making the playoffs. The question will be are they a R-E-L-A-X team or not.

Illinois Basketball

In 2014, I predicted that Illinois would make it to the Final Four by 2019.
Since I made that prediction, Illinois has lost in the first round of the NIT and then didn't even get invited to the NIT.

So things are generally...not great. Most people would look at that paragraph and think that Illinois stinks and I'm crazy.

But talent has been committing to Illinois. 5-star Tillmon, 4-star Frazier, 4-star Williams (son of Frank). Take a look at the 2018-9 roster.

I know it's a ways away, but that team looks really good. 2019 Final Four. Let's do it.

Colorado Avalanche

Is it a good thing to not have a coach less than two months before the season starts? At this point, you'd have to assume they'll miss the playoffs, maybe finish 11th or 12th in the conference. Disappointing, considering they have talented players.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Where do I buy Chiefs' Super Bowl tickets?

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Patrick Roy resigns as coach of Avalanche

So that's not great, eh? He had his problems as a coach (Corsi for one) and it's possible to get a coach that could improve the x's and o's. But also, I saw what happened to the Illinois football team when they had to replace a coach shortly before the season. They went interim, then hired a new GM, then hired Lovie Smith. 

A lot of pressure to replace Roy with someone good.