Given that they’re fooling no one except the few fools left who can afford to be suckered, it’s time to cut it out. In fact it was never a good time to con customers in the first place. Yet we now know our entire sports scene and scheme is predicated on “we’re doing this for you” con jobs.
With the NBA season two weeks old, the new in-season tournament has begun to the thrill, anticipation approval of few outside of the obedient, NBA-assigned and/or purchased media.
It’s a con, an artificial additive designed to stimulate TV ratings (future cable TV and streaming revenues) while featuring senselessly diminished basketball played by the same openly unhappy multimillionaire players who gripe that they’d rather be anywhere else, including sitting out entire games in order to rest, and are indulged by pandering coaches who pretend that we can’t see or know better.
While Adam Silver & Co. are focused on reinventing the flat tire, the NBA game as an all-in, two-way, X’s and O’s spectacle has been lost to diminished appeal, boardwalk games — gimmickry.
Consider last Saturday’s 124-114 Celtics win over the Nets. A total of 97 3-point shots were taken, yet the NBA still had the gall to sell this as basketball.
This was and remains the same inside-to-far-outside “basketball” that has made NBA All-Star teams losers in international tournaments to teams that are easy to appreciate due to their attention to across-the-board fundamentals, including outlet passes to begin fast breaks. Remember those?
Saturday’s Celts-Nets was no anomaly. That night Utah took 43 shots from 3-point range, Sacramento 41, Indiana 45. It’s Doc Frankenstein’s creation turned on its creator. Yet Silver seems content to ignore it or create transparent early-season boardwalk games perhaps to further capitalize on the intrigue of where James Harden lands to collect from his next foolish enrichers.
Also, last week Mets owner Steve Cohen unveiled his latest project — a Citi Field-side family recreation center that local TV newscasts and politicians blessed as great news for all.
But the greatest news was delivered by Cohen to Cohen, as this new site will include a gambling casino. Rejoice, New York, soon you can lose your money to Cohen’s House of Lousy Odds! What a guy!
The con-fed reports left out the most significant part: No casino, no interest, no Cohen investment, no deal. Nothing to report from here in the Citi Field parking lot. Back to you, Chuck.
Then there’s the relentless con of character-building via collegiate student-athletics.
Monday in its home opener, Saint Mary’s, behind 10 steals, 21 3-point attempts and a stingy defense, was able to shake free of a pesky opponent, defeating St. Stanislaus, 107-28.
Goodell should try these updated NFL slogans
With this week’s signing to the Jets’ practice squad of DT Perrion Winfrey — a police magnet who was dropped preseason by Deshaun Watson’s Browns, after Winfrey was charged with beating a female friend — has finally moved Roger Goodell to replace his sideline, end zone, and helmet social messaging such as, “End Racism” and “It Takes All Us” — with more practical, NFL-specific slogans, including:
“Stop Beating Women!” “Drive Sober and Legally,” “Try To Be Home By 4:30 a.m.,” “Avoid Felony Arrests” and “The N-Word Is Racist Unless It’s Rapped During the Super Bowl Halftime Show By Commissioner Goodell’s Invite.”
Some reader questions for Fox about No. 1 NFL analyst Greg Olsen:
Richard T. Monahan: “Isn’t it time for Kevin Burkhardt to ask Olsen to explain ‘two-high shell coverage?” Or is it a secret?
John Busacca: During Cowboys-Eagles, Sunday, Dallas was driving — until there was a sack.
Olsen: “That’s what this Philly defense does. Why you want to run as many plays as possible because they inevitably know they will get a negative play.”
So don’t force a turnover on first down?
Busacca: “I challenge to find one defensive coach who ever said to his team, ‘OK, guys, let them make a long drive and hope we can get a negative play.’ ”
This is what passes as expensive, expert analysis on every football-attached network. And everyone knows it’s just air pollution except the network bosses.
Wonder if new Mets manager Carlos Mendoza watched Aaron Boone blow countless games via analytics, designated half-inning relievers and can’t-bother base running then said to himself, “Brilliant! I’d do the exact same thing,’’ or “This makes zero sense. In fact, it’s crazy?’’
Wonder if the Mets bothered to find out, cared about his answer, or, these days, thought to ask or even care.
Remember: While with the Mets, Dom Smith didn’t bunt in a close game with none out and two on because he had never before — not even in the minors — bunted.
So Times is now OK with term ‘guerrilla’?
The justice-seeking New York Times allowed a stringer to tweet a bogus claim that ESPN tennis analyst Doug Adler racially slurred Venus Williams as “a gorilla” when he praised her “guerrilla” tactic of “charging the net” then fell silent when ESPN, his career and reputation wrecked by a self-evident lie, fired him as a racist based on The Times’ stringer’s preposterous take.
And neither The Times nor ESPN has moved off its cowardly cruel, let-him-rot silence.
And so, there they were in Tuesday’s Times, two headlines about a “guerrilla-style” bicycling event.
But for the past six years they’ve allowed an innocent man to suffer humiliation, degradation, defamation and unemployment. And those in the media — as in almost all — continue to allow this man to suffer from a demonstrable lie, are no less complicit or gutless.
Novembers to remember: Reader/archivist Herb Eichen points out that on Nov. 7, 1943, the Lions and Giants played the first and only 0-0 game in NFL history. And Nov. 17, 1968 was when NBC infamously dropped the wild, closing moments to the Jets-Raiders “Heidi Bowl.”
The NCAA has muscled up. This week it denied Memphis’s star forward DeAndre Williams another year of eligibility as a full scholarship student-athlete.
Perhaps the NCAA reasoned that at 27 years old, it’s time Williams moved on.