Tag Archives: Richard Sandomir

An Iowa caucus post-mortem: When a tie is really a win. An awesome 360-degree view of Alaska. And the greedy NFL vs. the guy who owns the only Super Bowl I tape

Bernie_Sanders_by_Gage_Skidmore

We political junkies were looking pretty bleary-eyed Tuesday, as the Iowa caucuses went deep into the night before anyone knew who had won.

When it comes to the Democratic primary, I have a quote and a video to sum up the night:

First, a quote from that noted political authority, Gloria Clemente, from the 1992 movie “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.

Thanks, Gloria. I think that quote perfectly sums up the night for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.  When all was counted, tallied, and coin-flipped (more on that in a minute), Bernie and Hillary were just about tied, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent. That .2 difference is so negligible that it was hilarious the media and Mrs. Clinton declared Tuesday she had “won” Iowa.

Yes, of course I’m biased here as an avowed Bernie backer, but this was a big win for Bernie, just to tie Hillary. I love the media spin Tuesday that the tie helps Hillary more because Bernie had the “demographics” in his favor in Iowa. Yeah, because the overwhelming frontrunner for the last two years doesn’t win the first contest, it’s somehow disappointing for the other guy.

Puh-leeze. This was absolutely a draw, and when you’re the huge underdog like Bernie is, a draw is great.

This is officially a real contest, now. Thank heavens. Which leads me to my other quote that sums up Monday night’s results:

Thanks, Apollo and his trainer (Duke, was his name, right?).  Now Bernie has to win New Hampshire by at least 8-10 points, and then keep it close in Nevada, within a few points. And then, South Carolina will be the real big test of his candidacy.

Couple quick thoughts from the batshit-crazy side of the caucuses:

— Marco Rubio was the happiest 3rd-place finisher you’ve ever seen in your life. Man was he excited. Truth is, though, this was huge for him. As Trump slowly starts to fade, it’ll be Rubio vs. Cruz, and Cruz has the support of exactly zero establishment political leaders.

— Speaking of Mr. Gasbag, you gotta hand it to Donald; after guaranteeing he’d win and blow everyone away in Iowa, he comes out for his concession with the theme of “Hey, there were 17 candidates when I joined the race, they said I had no chance, and now I finished second in Iowa, whoo-hoo!”

My prediction? Now that he’s lost the first contest, the media narrative will swing, GOP primary voters will start to find a new candidate, and in a few months Donald Trump will be back on TV, out of the race, where he belongs.

— Ted Cruz was Bible-thumping so much at his victory speech I half-expected him to shout “And tonight I’m announcing God will be my vice-presidential pick!”

— Cool fact for my fellow Members of the Tribe: Bernie is first Jewish presidential candidate to win delegates! We’re taking over, baby!

**Next up, the always-interesting Jared Leto partnered with the Sierra Club a few months back to take a 360-degree look at the glaciers melting in Alaska. It’s fascinating as a piece of art, but also scary as hell.

But yeah, climate change is a hoax and all the scientists are wrong.

SuperBowlI

**Finally today, the Super Bowl is this week, so it seems as good a time as any to remind you that the National Football League is the greediest, most arrogant sports company in the world.  

Today’s proof comes from a fascinating story in the New York Times from Richard Sandomir. He found the man who owns the only known surviving copy of Super Bowl I, Troy Haupt.

Haupt has been trying for years to sell the tape back to the NFL, who made him a ridiculously low-ball offer, and the NFL is just … just read the story. It’s really well-done, and you’ll get a small glimpse at how awful a corporation the NFL really is.
Greed, greed, greed.

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Update: I recant my YES Network rant (sort of)

APTOPIX Yankees Red Sox Baseball 

Email, and ye shall receive an answer. That’s my credo for today.

So after my rant yesterday about how mad I am that the YES Network, which televises Yankees and New Jersey Nets games, won’t show the games on their YES national channel, which I get living down here in Central Florida, I figured I’d ask a few experts if there was a good explanation about it. I was particularly incensed because the Yankees are in the midst of kicking the holy hell out of those Boston boys this weekend.

So I emailed Richard Sandomir, the fine sports media and business writer for the New York Times on Sunday morning, asking if he knew the reasoning behind the YES Network games blackout outside of the tri-state area.

I figured, since it was a Sunday afternoon and all, and he’s probably a pretty busy guy, that I’d hear back from him in a couple of days.

Stunningly, he wrote back in 34 minutes, while I was at the beach (had another outstanding hot dog from this guy who sells them at the Ormond Beach beach cutout, by the way. Foot-long hot dog on a delightfully toasted bun, all for $3.50. Yummy goodness, I tell ya. But I digress.)

I say “stunningly” because while I do my best to answer every reasonable email I get, I’ve found most other journalists don’t. But Richard’s clearly a good guy.

Richard’s explanation goes like this: Major League Baseball sets out exclusive territories for each team, which for the Yankees is the tri-state area, and a little bit of Pennsylvania.

Beyond that, MLB doesn’t let teams show their games on basic cable, because they’re afraid it would severely damage that other hometown teams ratings. So, theoretically, if Yankees games were allowed to be shown here in Florida, Marlins and Rays games would see a big ratings drop, because all the New Yawkers living down here would watch the Bronx Bombers instead.

The only way to 100 percent guarantee that you’ll see all the games you want is to shell out a few hundred bucks for the MLB Extra Innings pay-per-view package.

OK, a few thoughts. First, I understand MLB’s position, but by blacking out the Yankees, they’re assuming that baseball fans are baseball fans, and that if we can’t see the Yanks we’ll watch the Marlins or Rays. I don’t think that’s accurate. If you’re that diehard of a fan, you’ll buy the Extra Innings package. I’m not going to suddenly become a huge Evan Longoria fan because he’s on my TV every night.

Second, why even have the YES Network nationally as an option if you’re not going to be able to show the programming? I just feel like it’s a big tease.

Anyway, so there you go. I apologize for assuming this was all YES Network’s fault, when I should have realized that the blame truly lay with MLB.

I absolutely hate it when bloggers rip and rant one day, then, when it turns out they’re wrong or there’s an explanation, never own up and apologize.

Also, a couple of really good stories I read this weekend that I wanted to link to:

  • Michael Sokolove has written a feature for the New York Times magazine about the dying newspapers in Philadelphia. Obviously this hits home to me as an ink-stained wretch, but this really lays out the Philly issues well.
  • Speaking of Philadelphia, my friend Brian Hickey, a victim of a near-fatal hit and run accident last November, has written a strong column asking for stronger penalties against hit and run drivers. Couldn’t agree more. What kind of despicable person hits another human with their car, then keeps driving? I think hit and run drivers should be thrown into the same pit of acid as rapists, child molesters and New England Patriots fans (Ha!, I kid the Patriots fans, mostly because I’m jealous.)
  • Finally, very interesting story by George Dohrmann in Sports Illustrated last week about just how much paper college football and basketball coaches waste, sending old-fashioned letters to recruits. Truly staggering, and wildly ineffective. Wait till you see the photo of how much mail just ONE kid got.