The world vs. Lance Armstrong

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The old joke about the French was “Why did the French plant trees along the Champs-Elysses? So that the German soldiers could march in the shade.” Now the joke has another ending. “So that Lance Armstrong can ride in the shade to another Tour de France championship.

Armstrong may well be the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to the Tour. He has always captured the interest and some coverage and advertising money from the US whenever he has been involved. I guarantee that I would not spend one second writing about the Tour were he not in it. When he retired after 7 wins in 2005, the US and much of the world forgot about the race. ESPN, and the Sporting News Radio would spend a couple of seconds on it only when a winner had been crowned.

But things are different now. Armstrong has crept within a couple of hundredths of a second of the lead. Given his previous performance through the mountains and the latter stages of the race, if he’s even, he’s leavin’.

His story is remarkable. 7 titles despite fighting cancer and the French organizers doing anything they could to prove he … Read more at FryingPanSports

Baseball needs to upgrade Umpires NOW!

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                       MLB Umpire Foster

MLB’s reputation has taken major hits from the steroid scandal, missing the playoffs because of a strike and leadership of the some times blind but always intellectually challenged Bud Selig. But there is a bigger problem with the game—the ineptness of some of its umpires.

Umpire Marty Foster covered 3rd base last night sort of. At least he was paid to do that. In the first inning he called Derek Jeter attempting to steal 3rd. The ball got there in time but Jeter was never tagged. Jeter complained to Foster and was reportedly told that he didn’t have to be tagged to be out. When Jeter told Yankee manager Joe Girardi what Foster had said, Girardi exploded and got thrown out of the game for arguing the call. Maybe someone should buy Foster a copy of the MLB rule book. Even if they did, I doubt he would read it.

The umpires were already under the gun for inaccurate ball and strike counts. New technology has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that umpires are not able to tell a strike from a ground hog. Baseball has always said that it can live … Read more at FryingPanSports

God must hate the Cleveland Browns

God Hates the Browns

by Bill Smith

Our Minister once gave a sermon titled “God and the Cleveland Browns.” That was back in the days when the Browns were “the Greatest Show in Football.” That is not the case any more. As a long time Browns fan (53 years) I have come to the conclusion that God hates the Browns.

Josh Cribs Cleveland Pittsburg 2008

I don’t arrive at this opinion easily or without significant thought. After considering the possible explanations for the last 15 years, I can not find any other alternative that can explain the suffering. I remain open for suggestions. Let’s look at the facts.

The Browns under Art “I have no money to fix the team” Muddle fire Marty Schottenheimer (46-31-1) in 1988 because he can’t get the team into the Superbowl. Great move! Losing in the AFC Championship game is no longer a problem. Instead, we never sniff the Superbowl again. In 1995, Muddle hires Bill “I am the smartest guy in the country” Belly-chuck. Belly-chuck had never been a head coach but is the kind of guy the city will grow to love—not so much. The team under Belly-chuck (I just love typing his name) is so bad … Read more at FryingPanSports