Sports

CBD and the NFL

This HND piece discusses how retired and suffering NFL players are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve their symptoms. Unlike denial, which was the NFL's primary response to concussions, the league sure knows how to deal with chronic pain—and that's with drugs. Loads of them. Too bad there are side effects.

Way back in the 60s, I knew a UCLA football player (a defensive back) who was taking enormous doses of ibuprofen for his constant pain. While I guess it helped him with the pain, it also burned out his kidneys. Too bad they didn't have CBD back then.

One of the groups promoting CBD to the former players is CW Hemp, famous for coming up with the formula that saved the life of little seizure sufferer Charlotte Figi. (CW as in Charlotte's Web).

CBD is a cannabis extract that has no hallucinogenic properties, but does wonders for a variety of symptoms. Naturally, the Feds are years behind the curve on this one.

Read the complete article.


Sports does not build character, it reveals it---from Steve Eubanks

I got this one off Jason Mattera's wonderful Daily Surge website. I agree with Eubanks on pretty much everything except soccer. Here's the piece in its entirety...

Two embarrassing news stories draw attention to one very salient point.

First, the University of Florida (and, full disclosure: I’m a Georgia guy so I take great glee in poking fun at the Gator Nation), made the tragic error of putting Aaron Hernandez, the former Gator and New England Patriot tight end who is sitting in jail awaiting trial for murder, in this year’s calendar as “Mr. July.”

Secondly, UFC president Dana White announced that the mixed martial arts league is severing all ties with Chael Sonnen, the middleweight and light-heavyweight contender, for repeatedly failing drug tests for steroids and human growth hormone.

So what do these two stories have in common? Simple: both reinforce the axiom that sport does not build character: it reveals it.

Anybody who spent five minutes around the Florida football program during the Gators’ championship run knew that Hernandez was the worst kind of thug, an unbridled sociopath who made you want to keep your distance. It might have shocked the casual fan when he was arrested for murdering one man who was allegedly threatening to expose Hernandez’s role in the killing of two others, but those who knew him from college simply nodded and said, “What took so long?” You only had to see him in a locker room once or twice to know that this guy was missing a chip.

The same is true for Sonnen, a man who copped a plea to felony mortgage fraud and conspiracy. Did any really think he was clean in all other aspects of his life? MMA insiders long suspected that he was dopping. The only question was: what would Dana White do about it?

The moral of the story is easy: image and PR consultants can’t hide your true character during the heat of competition. The character you see on the field, on the course or in the ring – the guy you suspect is a class act or a phony or a really bad dude – is, more often than not, exactly that.

Just as alcohol tends to loosen the tongue on what you really think, top-level competition almost always drops the mask and reveals your true character.


Dance with the one who brung you---Worst case scenario

Spain went down in flames, with a host of awful performances, and Andrés Iniesta really being the only player who showed up.  Inexplicably, in the wake of a hideous defeat by the Dutch, and the tournament on the line, manager Vicente del Bosque elected to make almost no changes on the field.

Bear in mind that there was stellar young talent on the bench, ignored by del Bosque.  This sort of brilliant coaching earned Spain the dubious distinction of being the first defending World Cup champion eliminated with one game left in group stage.

What a way to bow out!   Burned-out stars who couldn't get motivated, led by a coach who couldn't get his head out of his ass.


World 9, Iberia 1

Yep. Both Spain and Portugal were worked. And for good measure, the Americans broke the curse of Ghana. Lots to like in this World Cup so far...

The takedown of "giants," blow-out scores, drama queen stars—and we're not even out of the group stage yet. Now, if there were only a way to get rid of FIFA.


Tiki-taka bites the dust

The Netherlands crushed defending world champion Spain 5-1, and the game wasn't as close as the score indicates. By all rights, the score should have been more like 7-0. After all, Spain's only goal was on a questionable penalty kick. A few observations are in order...

After the first 20 minutes or so, Spain played with no heart, looking flat and slow. Their defenders were frankly awful, and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, a former prodigy, who is no longer a starter for his club Real Madrid, had a bad day. He is also likely past his prime.

As to the Dutch, coach Louis van Gaal's strategy of holding five men back in defense worked brilliantly. Also credit sensational performances from speedster and ball handling wizard Arjen Robben, striker par excellence Robin van Persie, world class midfielder Wesley Sneijder, and young Daley Blind with his essential passes to the forwards.

Will the Dutch win this tournament? Well, they've looked good many times before, including 2010, when they lost to Spain in the final. Is Spain done? Well, they lost their first game in 2010, only to win the whole thing. But their loss in 2010 was 1-0, not 5-1.

We shall see.


The Deadskins

People living in the DC metro area have a special fondness for the Washington Redskins, a team whose glory days are 20 years in the past. This past season was possibly the worst in the team's modern history, as they went 3-13, and played in an extremely weak division.

The current owner—Daniel Snyder—bought the team in 1999 for $800 million, and has been generally hated by all but the players he dotes on. Indeed, Snyder has been called a "jock sniffer" by none less than Frank Herzog, longtime announcer for the 'Skins, who left on bad terms in 2004. Noting that he is not an impartial observer, it is still relevant to quote some of Herzog's recent thoughts:

First and foremost, you’ve got to remember one thing, This is Dan Snyder’s train set, and if he wants to run the locomotive off that round curve and crash it, he can do that. Because he owns it. And until you buy two or three hundred million dollars worth of the football team, you have no say. And that’s the way it is for the fans. So Dan Snyder’s gonna do what he wants to do, and the question is, what’s he gonna be able to do? Now he’s got to get a new coach.

A prospective coach is gonna look at the situation and say, why should I go there? The guy is obviously a jock sniffer. All he wants to do is be buddy buddy with the football players, which automatically makes me half the coach I could possibly be, because they could go to the owner. Why do I want to do that? And then, if I’m gonna do that — if the money’s gonna draw me — I have to set up a relationship with Dan Snyder where we can agree about how things are gonna work, what the hierarchy is and what the chain of command is. Then, if I can get all of those problems solved, I have to turn around and look at the football team where the No. 1 priority is a quarterback who was an option quarterback who’s trying to be a drop-back quarterback and it’s not working. He couldn’t learn under Mike Shanahan’s simple system; what makes me think he can work under my system? It’s a nightmare.

Right now, things are very very bad as far as the Redskins are concerned in the whole NFL community, and among the coaches. They know what’s waiting for them here, and I think they’re going to be very, VERY careful before they take the job.

This off-season should be...interesting.


Lin-sanity

I'm not a big basketball fan, but it's hard to miss the Jeremy Lin phenomenon. Here's a guy who goes unnoticed for at least a year, and emerges—seemingly from nowhere—to put up more points in his first five starts than any player since the ABA-NBA merger of 1976.

Since he is Asian, the issue of race inevitably surfaces—as it sadly does in virtually all aspects of American life. Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. observed that "Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he's Asian."

I doubt that "all" the hype is because Lin is Asian, and I'm not sure that praising someone for historic accomplishments qualifies as "hype" in any case. Likewise, all the "hype" over the early career of Tiger Woods occurred for reasons beyond his race.

Still, Mayweather may be onto something. Lin was a bench-warmer all last season, with the Golden State Warriors. Surely, that couldn't have been because he was Asian...


Super Bowl Sunday: Pre-game rant

It seems as if the entire country—minus New England—will be rooting for the New York Giants.  But, let's develop this topic for a moment.

The extraordinary popularity of Boston-based sports teams derives from two factors:  A built-in market of six states plus a huge number of alumni, from the many colleges and prep schools located in the region.

As to this particular game, many people are simply tired of the Tom Brady narrative.  You know...Sixth-round draft choice who becomes an NFL superstar, and sets a host of records, marrying a supermodel along the way.  He also breaks the heart of a Hollywod actress, Bridget Moynahan (and knocks her up).  As to Gisele Bündchen, when she and Brady renewed their vows in 2009, two paparazzi claimed that they were shot at.

I don't know about you, but I would prefer that a first round draft choice like Eli Manning become the story instead.  It took some stones to tell the Chargers that if they drafted him, he would not play for the team.  Even John Elway would allow any team close to the west coast to draft him.

Eschewing a supermodel, Manning married his Ole Miss sweetheart, and never seems to have dated a movie star.

Go Giants!