Category Archives: Sports news

Transgender athletes? Pass the Pepto …

Some issues give me serious heartburn, in that any resolution to their complexities is likely to upset my gut … seriously.

The issue of transgender females competing against fellow females is one of those issues. Oh, my. Hear me out on this one.

I oppose legislation that requires transgender individuals to use public restrooms in accordance with the gender to which they were born. That is discriminatory on its face. It’s also unenforceable, unless states and local communities are going to assign bathroom monitors to look for transgender individuals … and then shoo them out! Ridiculous, yes?

Now comes this issue of athletic competition.

I must stipulate that it is a demonstrable fact that males run faster and possess more physical strength than females. What, then, happens to a young man who decides to change to a woman? This person receives hormone injections to assist in the transition. Does someone who is injected with, say, estrogen lose the inherent advantage with which he was born? Do the hormones level the proverbial playing field, removing the advantages that men have over women when competing against them directly? Does a transgender individual no longer run as fast or throw an object as far?

This is what complicates the issue for me.

I don’t like acknowledging this difficulty. It’s just that as I hear experts talking about whether transgendered women should be allowed to compete in women’s sports, I am not hearing anyone tell me whether it’s fair to all concerned.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Feeling pain for Iranian team

Rarely do I ever comment on matters involving soccer, as I am not a fan of the sport. Hey, it’s just me … or maybe it’s an American thing.

Still, I am left with a feeling of empathy and dread for what might await the members of Iran’s national soccer team, which lost to the U.S. team 1-0. The loss eliminated the Iranians from the World Cup.

What now? Well, members of the Iranian team refused to sing their country’s national anthem the other day, drawing scorn from the ayatollahs who run the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian soccer team now must return home.

What will they face? Imprisonment? Or worse, for God’s sake?

The athletes were expressing their support for the demonstrators who are rebelling in Iran against the government’s treatment of women. The only way they believed they could make their feelings known would be to remain silent when they played the Iranian anthem at a World Cup soccer match.

Do you recall when sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their gloved fists at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 during the playing of our national anthem to protest the plight of Black Americans? The public response in that moment wasn’t exactly warm and fuzzy, but the government took no action against these men. The sprinters are now considered heroes for the courage they demonstrated at the time.

Not so for the Iranians. The potential reaction from their government is frightening.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oregon State vs. Oregon

This is when it’s truly fun watching college football, when the team you’re rooting for loses, but you are still happy with the outcome.

So it was today as I watched Oregon State University come from way back to defeat the University of Oregon in a thriller in Corvallis.

The Beavers were down 31-10 late in the third quarter. Then they stormed back. The Ducks coughed the ball up a couple of times down the stretch; OSU took advantage. They were back in the game.

Why am I not sad? Well, I grew up in Oregon, but didn’t attend either school. Instead, I stayed home in Portland and attended Portland State University, with its downtown Portland campus and a football program that did not compete at the Division I level against the Ducks and Beavers.

My loyalty has been with the Ducks in recent years as they have ascended to near-elite status among football powers. They play the biggest of the big football schools: Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Tennessee … and so on. They’ve done well.

Now, though, come the Beavers. Their win today was their ninth win in 12 games, matching the Ducks’ record.

Yes, today has been a good day of college football.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Sham?’ Uhh, yeah!

Brittney Griner is serving a nine-year prison sentence for committing a crime that in most civilized nations would be considered a misdemeanor.

Not in Russia. The Russians have locked her up and have denied an appeal to have her sentence reduced to suspension.

Griner is the former Baylor University basketball star, a native of the Dallas area and a star in the WNBA. She got caught with vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage while trying to leave the country via Moscow’s airport.

The White House calls the decision to uphold Griner’s prison sentence a “sham.” Do you think?

It just goes to show the world what kind of “justice” is practiced in Russia, where its leader — thug and goon Vladimir Putin — longs for a return to Marxist doctrine in the Kremlin.

The White House is demanding Griner’s release so she can join her family and resume her life. The decision to keep her locked up, though, bodes poorly — in the short term — for Griner’s release.

Sickening.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Put an asterisk next to Bonds’ ‘record’

I detest cheaters; in the context I want to discuss, that would be those who take performance enhancing drugs to boost their athletic prowess.

With that said, I refer to former slugger Barry Bonds, who cheated on his way to hitting a Major League Baseball record 73 home runs in 2001. It occurred during the “steroid era” of MLB. He wasn’t alone, but Bonds’ name has come up as MLB celebrates Aaron Judge’s recent achievement in setting an American League record of 62 home runs in a single season.

MLB had the bad sense after Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single-season mark back in 1961 to put an asterisk next to Maris’ record, citing the fact that it took him more games to get to 61 than it took Ruth to hit 60 in 1927.

Stupid call, man. MLB eventually removed the asterisk and Maris’ record has stood on its own until Judge broke it this past weekend.

So, here’s what I suggest: Major League Baseball should put an asterisk next to Bonds’ big-league mark of 73 home runs set in 2001.

The only reason I am so hard on Bonds and his cheating is that he could have qualified for the Hall of Fame had he not taken a single PED during that period of time. The guy could a baseball with the best of ’em. Instead, he chose to inflate his numbers by juicing up with drugs.

Instead, he has tarnished his legacy as one of the game’s best hitters and has ensured that the first line in his obituary will include mention of the drugs he took to cheat his way into the record book.

Sad, man!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

AL crowns new HR king

Aaron Judge came to Arlington, Texas, to play some hardball and along the way Tuesday night he set an American League record for most home runs in a single season.

The New York Yankees slugger hit his 62nd HR of the season against the Texas Rangers. He surpassed the record set by another Yankees slugger, Roger Maris, who did the deed during that wonderful 1961 home run duel he waged with his teammate, the great Mickey Mantle.

I now want to stipulate something. Even though Judge’s 62 homers fall short of Barry Bonds’ major league record of 73 in a season, or Mark McGwire’s 70, or Sammy Sosa’s two 60-plus HR seasons, I consider Judge to be the real deal. The others are cheaters, as their dingers occurred during baseball’s “steroid era.”

Just as I consider the great Hank Aaron to be the all-time home run king, I will never recognize Bonds’ accomplishments because he is so tainted by the scandal that damn near destroyed the Grand Old Game.

We need no asterisks attached to Aaron Judge’s record.

Well done, Aaron.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

700 HR Club needs slight revision

OK, I am going to throw a little bit of cool — not cold — water on any mention of an exclusive baseball club that now includes the name of a living baseball legend.

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols smashed the 700th home run of his legendary career. There likely will be a smattering more before his final regular season comes to an end. Pujols said he plans to retire at the end of the season.

All the baseball pundits, scribes, commentators keep saying Pujols is now the “fourth member” of this club. Two of the preceding members are legendary baseball figures: Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron. The third one gives me trouble: Barry Bonds.

You see, Bonds finished as the No. 1 HR hitter in MLB history after cheating his way through several seasons partaking of performance-enhancing drugs. He hit 762 home runs; Aaron is next with 755; the Bambino finished with 714.

I want to point out something, too, about Aaron and Ruth. Aaron had to face down stark racism and threats against his life when he — as a Black man — chased down the longstanding record held by a white man, Ruth.

As for Ruth, he spent the first several seasons in the big leagues as a pitcher, meaning that he didn’t get to bat every day. It’s been said of Ruth that had he continued to pitch full-time through all those years in a New York Yankees uniform, he’d still be in the Hall of Fame. The Yankees put him in the outfield, though, realizing they needed his bat every day in the lineup.

It worked well for the Yanks.

Barry Bonds isn’t in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know if he’ll ever get in. He’s been tarnished and sullied by his own misdeeds, juicing up his body with PEDs, steroids and assorted other banned chemicals.

Albert Pujols? He has said MLB can “test me every day” for illegal drugs. They won’t find anything in his system. I believe him.

For what it’s worth — and it probably isn’t much — I still consider Henry Aaron to be MLB”s home run king.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, media! Where’s the outrage?

Well now, it appears we have a fascinating discussion brewing about the way the media treat athletes caught doing illegal acts or making public demonstrations about serious policy matters.

If you’re Black, the media are going to climb all over you. If you’re white … not so much.

Consider the cases of two Black football players, Michael Vick and Colin Kaepernick. Vick was convicted of sending pit bulls to their death in dog fights. Kaepernick was vilified because he chose to take a knee during the National Anthem to protest police conduct against Black citizens. Vick and Kaepernick are Black.

You with me so far?

Now we have Brett Favre, another former pro football quarterback, who’s accused of stealing money intended to help poor Black residents of Alabama and Mississippi. Where’s the outcry? Where is the condemnation?

Oh, wait. Favre is white.

Brett Favre got caught red handed and nobody cares (deadspin.com)

I want to make another point. None of us wants to see dogs tortured, but … they aren’t human beings. No physical harm was done to anyone when Kaepernick launched his star-spangled protest.

In the case of Favre, people are suffering because someone — allegedly it’s Favre — stole money from accounts set aside to help those individuals.

Is that how you cover the news fairly? Hardly.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Transfers give me pause

I remain steadfast in my athletic fuddy-duddyhood, in that I don’t much like some of the trends I see occurring in college and pro sports.

For example, the designated hitter rule in baseball is for the birds. Nor do I like playing football or baseball under a roof. I dislike “artificial turf” and I believe baseball players need not suit up with body armor befitting a combat soldier when they are hitting. Instant replay? Let the refs and umps call the game and stop the endless “reviews” on the field! They get damn near all the calls right as it is.

There. Now let’s turn to these “transfers” I keep reading about in college football. They generally are young men who have graduated already from one university, but with “football eligibility” remaining, they transfer through some sort of “portal” to another school.

Again, call me old-fashioned but I prefer to see a college football player play for the school where he enrolls, then after four years he is done; he either can turn pro or pursue another line of work, presumably in a profession related to the degree he is supposed to have earned at the college of his choice.

These “transfer athletes” seem to carry a bit of a mercenary aura about them. I guess they want to burnish their college career stats enough to make a pro team want to draft them higher and presumably offer them more money.

Sheesh!

This stuff makes my head hurt.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Watch out for App State!

I am going to offer a bit of unsolicited advice to individuals who likely wouldn’t give a flying fudge what I think … but here goes anyway.

Next time big-school athletic directors schedule Appalachian State to play a football game against your nationally ranked college team, don’t consider these guys to be a “cupcake opponent.” They well could beat your guys.

Appalachian State did it again today, knocking off the No. 6-ranked Texas A&M University Aggies in College Station … in front of the 12th Man, aka the 100,000-plus Aggie fans who jam Kyle Field when the Aggies play football.

Does it sound familiar? It should. Appalachian State embarrassed the Michigan Wolverines in 2007, who were No. 5 when the underdogs ventured to The Big House in Ann Arbor. They came out victors.

Oh, and just this past week, Appalachian State scored 40 points in the fourth quarter and came within a whisker of beating North Carolina in the Tarheels’ crib.

Appalachian State is located in Boone, N.C. About 20,000 students are enrolled there, so it isn’t exactly a tiny school. It just isn’t known as a college football power.

Until now!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com