Posted on: May 30, 2009 7:57 pm

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

The puck is soon to drop on the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, two teams with passionate fan bases, are about to face off in a repeat of last year's Cup Finals. Question is, how long will it take for the first fan on one side or the other to accuse the referees of making a poor call, particularly if it is one that happens at a critical point in the game or one that potentially affects the outcome of a game?

It will not be the first time this happens across all the major sports we watch. Every week of the NFL season, there is a catalog of threads specifically about bad calls in games. This year, in the NBA playoffs, we have been treated to a veritable ongoing litany of threads about officiating, or the lack thereof, in these series. The accusations in the NBA seem to get more outrageous as the playoffs go on, even to the point where a player on one team in a series accused their opponent of "buying" a win in the series. Talk about sour grapes.

That brings us to the question: Without poor officiating, what would we have to talk about? I have been guilty in the past of participating in some of these discussions, particularly regarding the NFL and the NHL. I don't watch much NBA play, but I have been intrigued to follow all the folderol about the officiating during the playloffs this year. As anyone who spends even a short amount of time as a Community member knows, this place abounds with any number of threads about poor officiating, how calls have affected the outcome of games, a player's individual stats, etc. In fact, some Community members at times appear to make a hobby out of complaining about officiating in the sport(s) they follow.

The one sport that appears to be exempt from as high a level of criticism is Major League Baseball. That is not to say that poor calls don't happen in baseball. It's just that the season is 162 games long, and fans, I think, a have a tendency to forget about a lot of bad calls as the season rolls on. Bad calls that occur in the playoffs are mostly few and far between for MLB. In the NBA and NHL, teams play about half as many games during a season, and the NFL has the shortest season of them all. NFL fans can zero in on officiating quicker than almost anybody.

So, if you follow a particular sport, what would be your solution(s) to poor officiating? Better training? Full-time officials? Closer league scrutiny of officials? I likely will come back with my take(s) after seeing a few responses. I hope we can have a constructive conversation about something that can be quite bothersome and distract fans from quality play in four wonderful professionals sports.
Category: General
Posted on: February 14, 2009 12:58 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2009 1:00 pm

Some answers would help, but not counting on it

I, along with many others here in the CBS Community, have been marvelling at the wonderful new changes taking place in our Community. Reputation ratings going down overnight for no reason (banal and inane explanations aside), ridiculous posts receiving ridiculously high scores, intelligent posts receiving undeservedly low scores, no way for Community members to judge Community feedback, and more.

The Powers That Be tell us that they receive and act upon feedback from the Community all the time. Yet, I have not read one Community member who has said they had any input into the changes that have been taking place. Conversely, I also have not seen anyone from CBS say they would act upon reasonable suggestions for change coming from Community members. Who would know better how to improve the Community than Community members who regularly post and try to follow the other edicts of the TOS and the guidelines for achieving status in the Community? A lot of people who have played by the rules for a long time have had nasty surprises in the last few days.

Asking for transparency from CBS is akin to looking for water in a desert. You're not likely to find it. We are to be reassured that these recent "improvements" are only a small part of the work being undertaken by CBS. So does this mean things could get worse?!? Since no one will tell us what CBS is considering, the Community remains in the dark, like citizens in the middle of a power outage.

This is why I sport the avatar from the Royal Order of Mushrooms. We are kept in the dark and fed crap all the time. Hooray for us mushrooms!

Posted on: February 10, 2009 11:11 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2009 11:39 pm

WKC -- Thank God the poodle didn't win!

In an upset victory, the Sussex Spaniel, winner of the Sporting Group in this week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, beat out the Brussels Griffon, winner of the Toy Group and the Vegas favorite, to win Best In Show! Congratulations, Stump!

Yes, I said the Brussels Griffon was the Vegas favorite. Some people will put money on anything!

I'm just happy that the Standard Poodle, winner of the Non-Sporting Group, didn't win Best In Show. It is just awful how owners/breeders/handlers groom the poodles, Standard and Toy, for these shows. They don't even look like dogs when they get done with them -- they look like something out of a post-modern artist's nightmare.

Other winners included:

Hound Group -- Scottish Deerhound

Terrier Group -- Scottish Terrier

Herding Group -- Puli

Working Group -- Giant Schnauzer

I love dogs, and every year I try to catch most or all of the Westminster Kennel Club show. Last year, a Beagle won Best In Show. Within the last few years, a Newfoundland won Best In Show. In my life, I have owned both breeds, and they are great dogs.

Breeds I've seen in the show that I would like a chance to have as a companion before I shuffle off this mortal coil: Irish Wolfhound and Rottweiler.

Here is a link to the wire story on the show.

This year's show was a good one, and I'm already looking forward to next year's show!

Posted on: January 30, 2009 12:34 am
Edited on: January 30, 2009 12:39 am

Best Live Music Show You've Seen

I'm going to take a page from fellow CBS member Da Fan In Japan and take a slightly different slant on the live music scene. Da Fan has posted a blog on the Best Live Album, and it's done quite well. I want to post a blog on the best live SHOW you've seen. This won't be a poll, just a spot to regale us all with tales of great shows you've seen and the venues you've seen them in.

This doesn't have to be about rock. If you've seen some good jazz shows, country, etc., post up. Whatever floats your boat.

I'll start with a few I've seen over the years.

Beatlemania -- first show I ever saw, at Cincinnati Gardens. Maybe this one doesn't count, but the guys in this group for Beatlemania were really good.

The Clash -- I saw them at Hara Arena in Dayton on the Combat Rock Tour. This was a loud and intense show. "Festival" seating was allowed on the floor, but I was smart enough to get an actual seat on the left side of ths stage about half-way back in the arena. Fantastic show.

David Gilmour -- I saw him on the About Face Tour. On the floor, right side of the stage, in line with the speakers. I can still hear the buzzing in my ears. I think this one was at Cincinnati Gardens, too, but can't remember for sure.

The Police -- I saw them at Riverfront Coliseum, back when it was still called Riverfront Coliseum. It was the Synchronicity Tour. The opening act, Reflex (famous for the "hit" The Politics of Dancing" -- completely forgettable), was awful, but The Police were awesome.

The Go-Gos -- They were at Riverbend in Cincinnati on the Prime Time Tour. INXS opened for them and were actually better, though the girls put on a pretty good show, too. I still recall that show when I think about what Michael Hutchence did to himself. Idiot.

That same summer, I think, I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Gregg Allman Band. Stevie Ray was on the Live Alive tour, and Allman was on the I'm No Angel Tour. What a show that was. A friend of mine still has the pick he caught from Stevie Ray. That's another show I think about with some sadness, but glad to have seen Stevie Ray before death caught up with him.

Morrissey -- Having always been a big fan of The Smiths, when Morrissey went solo, I started buying his albums, too. And when his tour came to Riverbend one summer, I couldn't resist. Another great show, though Morrissey was a bit of a self-important gasbag and refused to do an encore after security wouldn't let the crowd get closer to the stage.

Sinead O'Connor -- Also saw Sinead O'Connor at Riverbend. This was before she completely lost her mind. Very emotional performer, eloquent speaker, great singer. She had a fine band, too. I think guitarist Marco Pirroni was on that tour.


Anyway, those are a few of my tales. Please feel free to add yours here. No rush, no hurry. I'd just like to read some of your tales of your days of yore, listening to good music in interesting venues.



Category: General
Posted on: March 3, 2008 11:58 am
Edited on: March 3, 2008 12:00 pm

A couple o' What The @#%&s

Seems my sports teams have been all over the road this weekend . . .

 What the @#%& happened to IU yesterday? Just when it seemed they were righting the ship and sailing full speed ahead into March, they get rammed by the Good Ship MSU and sunk without ceremony. Which team will show up in a couple of weeks, the team that beat Michigan State the first time around by 19 points, or the team that got broadsided yesterday, just two weeks later? Does home court advantage mean that much? I'm worried now that a team that looked like it could go deep into the tournament might just go out in the first weekend. Please, guys, prove me wrong!! Go, Hoosiers!

What the @#%& is up with the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL? As screwed up as the Bengals are, they can even manage to bungle a trade. And the NFL bailed them out, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure I like the fact that the NFL can step into such situations, but if they have the authority, then so be it. I'm happy that the trade didn't go through because I don't think Shaun Rogers was a good choice for the Bengals. To me, he looked like Sam Adams all over again. Save the picks, save the dough, and get somebody better. Oh, wait a minute, we're talking about the Bengals. They wouldn't know "better" if it jumped up and bit them in the collective butt. With everything happening this offseason -- between free agency and transactions and rumors about malcontents, etc. -- we could see a very different team at the start of 2008 than the Bengals put on the field at the end of 2007. Hopefully, that will be a good thing.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or