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Dec 4, 2010

Cincinnati Bearcat Mascot Cited For Disorderly Conduct, Replaced By Backup At Halftime


AP story via ESPN:
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati's Bearcat mascot was cited for disorderly conduct after a snowball-throwing incident in the stands during a game against Pittsburgh.
Heavy snow covered the field and stands for the Big East game on Saturday afternoon. When Pitt's Dion Lewis scored the second of his three touchdowns in the half, students pelted him with snowballs and were told to stop.
A school spokesman says the mascot also was told to stop throwing snowballs in the stands and pushed a security guard, knocking both of them to the groundThis video via Youtube shows the mascot clearly throwing the snowballs.  The mascot was detained and cited. He was not identified.
A backup mascot took his place at halftime.
This video shows the mascot getting arrested, courtesy of The Big Lead.  This story should be a lesson of how NOT to behave as the team mascot.

Snowballs can be pretty dangerous, especially when they're mostly made of ice.  The students are young and they just don't get it.  This story reminds me of the San Diego Chargers / New York Giants game back in 1995 at the old Giants Stadium years back when fans started throwing snowballs at the players.  One of the security guards on the field was knocked out cold by a snowball.  The game was stopped and they almost ended it on the spot.  Afterwards, some fans had their season tickets revoked.  This stuff is no joke.

ESPN:  Backup Bearcat in after snowball toss

Dec 3, 2010

Qatar Gets 2022 World Cup - Really?


So Qatar (pronounced ka-tur, as in "Welcome Back Kotter") gets the 2022 World Cup.  Qatar is a small country in the Middle East.  How small is it?
"Qatar, an oil-rich nation that has been independent since 1971, has a population of about 1.7 million -- 500,000 less than Houston. At 4,416 square miles, it is smaller than Connecticut."

Given that the tournament is normally played in June and July, I'm assuming they will have to build fully air-conditioned stadiums, as they will not be able to play soccer outdoors in 130 degree heat.  They will also have to build the stadiums and all the infrastructure to support the tournament.

"The nation promised to spend $50 billion on infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. One advantage of the having the tournament in a small country: The stadiums will all be within an hour of each other."
There's also a well-documented  poor human and labor rights record, according to the State Department.  So why was Qatar chosen?
 "Basically, oil and natural gas won today. This was not about merit, this was about money," former U.S. national team star Eric Wynalda said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. Qatar "is a country that is really going to struggle to host this event. A successful World Cup would mean the attendance would be twice the population."
Could have had it in the U.S.  Oh well, it's FIFA's problem now.

ESPN:  Qatar, Russia to host World Cups, U.S. shut out

Dec 2, 2010

LeBron James Returns to Cleveland Tonight: How Will Fans React?


LeBron James and the Miami Heat play their first game in Cleveland tonight since he announced "The Decision" to leave the Cavaliers on national television.  According to ESPN, a lot of people are bracing for the fan's reaction:
"To ensure James' safety, there will be dozens of extra police officers on hand, both uniformed and undercover. Officers will be stationed inside and outside the arena, and many will be positioned by the Heat bench and at the tunnel where the Heat players will enter the court."
 The team is also banning anti-LeBron apparel in Quicken Loans Arena for tonight's game:

"The team has done research on the various crude and offensive James T-shirts in circulation locally, and officials will be stationed at entrances to make sure no fans enter with such shirts or signs that disrespect James or his family members. They'll also be in the stands, authorized to take away inappropriate apparel. Fans who have such shirts will be required to remove them and then will be given a Cavaliers-branded T-shirt to wear instead. All inappropriate signs also will be confiscated and officials will be on the lookout throughout the game for inebriated fans or fans who are preparing to throw things onto the court."

Message to the Cleveland Cavaliers fans:  Please behave tonight.  Show some class and some respect for the players' safety on the court.  We understand that people may still have some hard feelings towards LeBron for leaving his "hometown" team, but he had the opportunity and the right to make his own decision.  It's only a game and it's not worth it for you to do something stupid and get into trouble over.  You're welcome to boo LeBron during the pregame warmups, the pregame introductions, and anytime he touches the ball during the game.  After tonight, it's time to move on.

ESPN:  Cavs Ban Crude Anti-LeBron apparel