The End Of The Beginning

For months now, the more cynical have suggested the lock downs will continue into the fall, as the hysteria has become something of a religion. The facts on the ground are useful to the panic party in so far as they can be used to support the idea that this plague is a curse sent from nature because of Trump. They hope the self-inflicted suffering will purge the lands of orange come November. Word now comes that they plan to cancel college football this week.

There’s no public health reason for cancelling college sports this fall or for keeping the kids of campus, which many colleges are doing. Many colleges will be on-line only this fall, meaning it will be a full year of virtual learning for their students. It was not that long ago when these very same colleges said on-line learning was terrible. Students needed personal interaction with their teachers and fellow students. Like so much that comes from the Left, that was true only while it was useful.

As far as college football, the plan was to minimize attendance at the games and make sure the players were tested on a daily basis. The only thing missing from the regime was daily dips into vats of hand sanitizer. Despite it all, the people who run big time college sports have been bullied into shutting down. This should put to rest that the people behind this stuff are motivated by money or power. They are tossing away billions and their grip on millions of people’s attention.

Sport has always been a window into what lies behind the general culture. In this case, the plight of sport reflects what is happening in society as a whole. The efforts to restart professional baseball, basketball and hockey have been a disaster, because the stripped-down versions lack essential ingredients. Like everything else about a big complicated society, sport evolved over time to work a certain way. Rebooting it without essential elements like a live audience does not work.

The people running the NBA and NHL are a reflection of the people running the country as a whole. They have the problem all outsiders have, in that they see the parts of society and can navigate through them, but they can’t see the invisible bonds that hold those parts in relation to one another. Their scheme to restart their respective sports made sense to them on paper, but to the rest of us it is like trying to impose the metric system or soccer. It’s alien and weird.

There’s also the social aspect to the popularity of sports. Football became the dominant sport because it is the best television sport. It was the one thing people could talk about at the office with no problems. It’s why so many companies encouraged their people to sport the colors of the hometown team on casual Friday. The popularity of sports like football had as much to do with their place in the social fabric as their popularity as an entertainment product. Big time sports fill a social niche.

The people in charge predicted people were suffering from a form of phantom limb syndrome and that the return of any sports would be a success. Instead, baseball, basketball and hockey are not drawing much interest. People moved on in the short time those sports were off the air. Football will most likely face the same fate if it goes dark this autumn. Sports passion is like a fire. It requires constant tending and fuel in order to keep burning. Once it goes out, it stays out.

What’s happening with sports also puts to bed the notion that the people in charge are playing 4-D chess in order to maintain their power. Keeping white people locked into sports watching was always about crowd control. Nowhere is egalitarianism and anti-racism sold harder to more white people than at a sporting event. It is the one place where multiculturalism appears to work. Take that away and normal white people are left to watch white radicals and black activists riot in the cities.

What lies ahead for sports entertainment, maybe all big-time entertainment, is what small business is facing right now. Every business has a cost structure that reflects its revenue stream. Seasonal business has seasonable const structures. Small business has low cost structures. Global sport has a cost structure that requires millions to spend billions every year. Suddenly, owning a big fancy sports arena is not such a great idea in a world where large gatherings are prohibited.

There is a general assumption that the Covid stuff comes to an end with either the defeat of Trump in November or one final tantrum in January if he wins. At that point, the practical reality of life will force this charade to come to an end. That’s true, most likely, for this phase of the process. Economic necessity will force the people in charge to relent or civil unrest will force it. Unless this is really a simulation and the base code has been altered, this cannot continue much longer.

That’s just the end of this phase. The breaking of the sports entertainment model will have far reaching consequences. Tens of millions of people will fill in the gaps left by tailgates, trips to the alma mater, weekend parties glued to the television and billions spent on sports entertainment. All of a sudden, the sort of liberal guy you used to talk to about the football team is not a guy you talk to at all. Instead of talking to the conservative guy about sports, you talk about other stuff.

Even the most basic human societies are a highly complex web of interpersonal relationships that operate within a hard to define thing we call culture. A big diverse country like America has a degree of complexity that we cannot comprehend, other than to have the wisdom to accept that reality. The people in charge have thrown sand in all the gears of the machinery, machinery that has allowed them to rise to the top of the social hierarchy. Sports will soon be the least of their problems.

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For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Sports Entertainment

Last week, the Wisconsin athletic director sent out a letter to supporters that the university would lose 60-70 million dollars this year due to the reduction in football games being played in the fall. If the season is cancelled, the losses will top 100 million just for the fall. That may be an exaggeration, but there is no question that a cancellation of the college football season will cost the big-time college programs tens of millions in revenue. It is a billion-dollar industry.

ZeroHedge pointed out that ESPN has a billion dollars in ad space to sell for this fall’s college football season. They also have ad space for other sports as well, but college football is the prime mover of ad space. It is unlikely that ad buyers will want to buy ads when ESPN is running replays of card games this fall. ESPN’s primary income stream is mandatory cable fees, they net close to nine billion in fees every year, but a billion dollars in ad revenue still counts for something.

Of course, everyone knows no one is watching ESPN at the moment, but that has no impact on the cable fees. The way it works is a service like Hulu of Comcast pays ESPN nine dollars per month for each subscriber to their service. These deals are not contingent on viewership. As ZeroHedge points out, the language in these deals does not require the content provider to deliver particular content. As long as ESPN is beaming something, they get paid for it.

Even so, the mass disruption of sports is going to have an impact on the economic model of professional sports. Out of work people will begin to look at that cable bill and wonder if it makes sense. Cable providers will begin to look for ways to get out from under their ESPN deal. For its part, ESPN will not be paying the leagues for content when the leagues are shutdown. Like the economy as a whole, professional sport is about to experience an unprecedented jolt.

Way back when the lock downs were on the table, the sober minded warned that you can’t lock everyone in their homes and not have consequences. The modern economy is a highly complicated balancing act that has evolved to produce increasingly efficiency, along with the retail excess. Even small disruptions can upset the balance within supply chains resulting in unexpected outcomes. Start turning off large bits of it and before long the whole thing starts to crash.

The first glimpse of this may be what is happening with sports. Major League Baseball is the first to re-open, but it is quickly becoming a disaster. The empty parks make the television product less than compelling and now games are being cancelled as players test positive for the virus. The NBA is struggling to keeps its knuckleheads inside the compound where they plan to play their games. The NFL is seeing droves of players sit out the upcoming season for fear of the virus.

The thing no one dares mention is the impact this lock down is having on interest in spectator sports. Being a sports fan is like being a smoker. Part of the dependency is the ritual and structure of it. The smoker takes a break every hour to smoke, collect his thoughts and get the nicotine hit. The football fan has their weekend in the fall, where they have scheduled social activities around games. Like the smoker, the sports fan builds their life around the habit.

People who quit a vice like smoking or drinking note that they also quit the social scene that goes with it. They lose touch with Sally from accounting who they used to take smoke breaks with every day. The people at the bar are no longer a part of their life. That’s what will happen with sports. Those weekends in the fall will be filled with other things and after the withdrawal pains subside, the habit will be lost. People who cut cable know this experience. In time, you don’t miss it.

This is not idle speculation. It has been known for a long time in the sports world that the recovery time after a work stoppage is very long. When a sports league shuts down due to labor strife, it takes years for the fans to return. It’s not because they are mad at the greedy players and owners. The fans simply find other things to do with their time and many of them drift away entirely. Millions have probably broken the habit already and that is before the hate whitey lectures were added.

There is one final piece to this puzzle. The growth of sports entertainment has tracked the arc of the Baby Boom generation. Look at attendance figures for sports in the 1960’s and 1970’s, before Boomers were dominating the market. Ball parks rarely sold out and the audience for televised product was limited. In the 1980’s as the Boomers took over the marketplace, sports boomed. When they could play tennis, professional tennis was huge. Then it was golf that had a boom.

The fact is, the sports entertainment model was built for and on the Baby Boomer generation, which is now entering its power down cycle. Boomers are retiring and that means down-sizing their lives. The major sports leagues are facing a demographic reality that cannot be overcome with happy talk about diversity. Non-whites don’t spend like whites and they cannot sustain an economic model built for whites. What happened to California is what is coming for sports entertainment.

This demographic cliff has been known to the sports leagues for a long time, which is why they happily throw in with the hate-whitey stuff. Sure, many of the principles really do hate white people, but much of it driven by the carnival barker’s belief in his ability to will an audience into existence. They really do think they can cast the same spell on the brown hordes that they cast on white people and get the same result. The virus panic and cultural revolution will put those theories to the test.

It is hard to see how the old sports entertainment model survives the current crisis. That doe not mean these leagues fold or that sports entertainment dies out. It’s just that the old model was built for an old America, one that no longer exists. On the other hand, sports entertainment has been a vital part of keeping whitey under control. Something will have to be done to reestablish the mind control device known as sportsball. Perhaps part of woke America will be mandatory sports watching by recalcitrant whites.

Note: The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is like a tea, but it has a milder flavor. It’s hot here in Lagos, so I’ve been drinking it cold. It is a great summer beverage.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Never Forget

This month was the 40th anniversary of the United States Olympic hockey team beating the Soviets and winning the gold medal. The sports channels have done some segments on it, bringing back some of the young men, who are now old men, to talk about their experiences. Some of the players have shown up with Trump out on the campaign trail. The movie Miracle on Ice, a “fact-based” depiction of what happened with that team is getting replayed on the various services.

The win over the Soviets is one of the greatest upsets in sports history. That’s not an overstatement based in nostalgia or latent patriotism. The Russians were the best hockey team on the planet and it was not close. They had won everything for twenty years and had not lost to the Americans since 1960. They had done a barnstorming tour of the NHL the year before and beat several NHL teams handily. Any team beating them in that Olympics was going to need a miracle.

The Americans, in contrast, were college kids assembled for the tournament. Younger people cannot appreciate this, but at the time there was some national pride in the fact that America relied on amateurs in the Olympics. “The only reason the Russians do so well is they are using professionals” was a common refrain. It had the added benefit of being true. The Soviet bloc countries used full-time athletes, who did nothing other than train for their sport. They were professionals.

To put it in perspective, imagine a college team today beating a team of NHL all-stars or an amateur golfer winning a major tournament. Think of some implausible combination of events in your favorite sport and you have an approximation of the enormity of this upset of the Russians. The American team averaged twenty-two years old. They had played together for a couple of months. The average Russian player had been on the team ten years. It was literally men against boys.

Of course, the reason it still resonates with Americans old enough to remember the event is the cultural and political impact. Carter was still president and the country was in a deep spiritual depression. The nation’s leaders regularly talked about how the good times were over and it was all downhill for America. We were just going to have to get used to be losers. After the disastrous 1960’s and 1970’s, that really did not strike most people as wrong. America had killed itself.

More importantly, there was a sense, promulgated by the Left at the time, that the Soviets were on the winning side of history. Communism was on the advance, while capitalism was on the defense. The number of countries falling under the spell of communism was increasing. The Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan and the Iranians had made a mockery of American power. It is hard to believe it in hindsight, but serious people really did think it was over for America.

I was a boy in that time and I recall my grandfather telling me that I’d surely live long enough to see communism in America. He’d talk about the number of countries that had gone over to that side. He’d point out the nature of the American Left and how it was mostly focused on destroying the white middle-class. He would say, “Communism is a war on the middle, waged by those at the top using us at the bottom.” His opinion was not out of the ordinary for the time.

The Americans beating the Russians and then beating Finland to capture the gold was a transformative event. All of a sudden. everyone had a reason to be proud and more important, be proud in public. It was a great example of the cascading effect. Everyone suddenly realized that lots of other people harbored the same thoughts as they did about the state of things. Those chants of “U-S-A” still bring chills to anyone old enough to have watched that Olympics. It was amazing.

Young people today get mad at old people for hanging onto the old civic nationalism, thinking they are just deliberately obtuse. There is some of that, for sure, but the real magnetic power of civic nationalism is patriotism. The feeling people had in the days following that win over the Russians was the best thing most American had ever experienced as Americans. Everyone was talking about it. “Can you believe we beat the Russians” was said over and over in joyous disbelief.

Those old enough to remember that time and what it was like to feel genuine love of country, should be forgiven for not wanting to close the door on it. There are few things that rival the bliss that comes from genuine national pride. Not only wanting that feeling for yourself, but for your descendants is not unreasonable. Preferring to look back to when such a thing was plausible, rather to a future of angry caterwauling by ungrateful browns, is perfectly understandable.

Old people should not be so quick to condemn the young people for mocking Baby Boomers or criticizing civic nationalism. At the root of that mockery is a bitterness at knowing they can never experience what their ancestors experienced. There will be no miracle on ice for the young. The social capital that made such a thing possible was converted into money and traded away by global capitalism. They have a right to be bitter over what their ancestors bequeathed them.

For those of us young at the time, this anniversary is a reminder of the strange divide in our timelines. One side of the timeline is the before times, when being a patriotic America was exhilarating. Then there is the after times, the now times, when such feelings seem absurd. Looking back over that great divide to this particular event is a strange feeling, because it’s like remembering yourself as a foreigner, living in a strange and foreign land. Your past is now alien to you.

That is the duty of those who have made the journey over the great divide to dissident politics, but still remember when the other side had promise. The America that made possible the miracle on ice had promise. It could have been a great nation. Instead, the people in charge chose to leverage our patriotism, monetize our social capital, so a handful of alien money-changers could turn themselves into potentates. They can never be forgiven for what they have taken from us. Never forget.


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Sports Bowl Thoughts

The big Super Bowl extravaganza has come and gone. The television people will tell us that this one, like all the others, was the most watched event ever. They say that every year, but whether it is true or not is hard to know. Television ratings are like everything else about modern times. You have to assume they are a part of the endless fire hose of lies that come from the propaganda organs. Even so, most people watched it and are expected to talk about it the next day with coworkers.

That is the one unique thing about this extravaganza versus others. There is strong social pressure to participate in the festivities. If you are white, no one expects you to follow the NBA, but you’re not expected to watch the World Series or the Stanley Cup Playoffs either. No one talks about the ads placed in these events or the pop stars that perform at them. The Super Bowl is the one unique event that is intended to be for everyone to one degree or another.

How many people actually watch the game is hard to know. Lots of people are at parties for the game and that means partying rather than watching. The game is just an excuse to get together with friends, day drink and cook outside in winter. Many people watch just for the ads, which are often quite clever. The game itself is mostly ads. The four-hour show is probably close to two hours of ads. The sideshows are often just ads for something or someone, but made up to look like entertainment.

For this reason, the Super Bowl is the great cultural measuring stick. The people in charge know they have the attention of most Americans, so they hit people right between the eyes with their best propaganda. President Trump, for example, ran ads promoting his efforts to throw open the prison doors so black criminals could be allowed to roam free. Presumably, he thinks he needs to sure up his support among the career criminal class in America’s urban areas.

The ads people like are the ones for product. Every year there are a flood of news stories about which ads were best and which ones missed the mark. The Super Bowl is something like an annual fashion show for ad makers. They work hard to put on a great ad, which presumably will help them get business the rest of the year. The cost of a single ad is over five million dollars, so it is big business. A particularly bad ad could cause real harm to the ad maker and his client.

Of course, the ads tell us something about what the Cloud People think about the Dirt People watching the show. This year the ads were full of non-whites, with some sexual deviants tossed in for variety. The one normal white person was aging comic Bill Murray, who reprised his role from the movie Groundhog Day for a Jeep ad. Otherwise, the ads looked like the America the elites dream of inflicting on us rather than the actual audience watching the extravaganza.

Then there was the halftime show, which is another big draw for the non-sports fans, mostly women, of course. This year is was a local stripper and her friends, pole dancing in the middle of the field. They performed to what sounded like every Santana song ever made, so presumably they were Latinos. One of the grounds crew put on a silver cape and top hat, then wandered around among the strippers for some reason, while mumbling something in Spanish.

The interesting thing, disappointing to our people, is the audience that makes this extravaganza possible is white, while the ads, halftime show and game are all in celebration of non-whites. Taken as a whole, the target demographic of the event was closer to Brazil than North America. It’s not just the complexion of the people, but the culture they celebrate. For racially aware white people, the whole thing is an alien production clearly aimed at an alien people.

It is tempting to get angry about it. There are plenty of people on-line, who will scold you for having watched any of it. Others will wag their finger about how most whites are so degraded they don’t see what is happening on their TV screens. The truth is most white people see it too. They are conditioned to filter it out and pluck out the bits of joy they can, while ignoring the propaganda. They are not mindless automatons programmed to consume the product without noticing it.

Propaganda works best when it offers the simplest explanation for a set of observable facts or events. It is a narrative that can be easily swapped into the target’s brain in place of his other explanations. What you saw on the Super Bowl show was a lecture by humorless people, aimed at people they hate. People were willing to sit through it in order to enjoy their parties and so forth, but they got the message. Some more than others, for sure, but people are not blind to this stuff.

That is the thing to keep in mind. People have been conditioned to keep these observations private. They have not been brainwashed. Finding a way to notice along with them is how people slowly realize they are not alone. That is the first step in breaking the conditioning. The bombarding of people with the anti-white presentations are a benefit to the effort. Only a lunatic could deny what they saw on the big Super Bowl show. The bad guys are making it easy.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Unbear-a-ball

The weather last weekend was not very good here in Lagos, so I tuned in for some of the football games. I used to watch a lot of college football, but that has waned quite a bit over the last few years. When I consume college football, I’m usually doing something else, so I half listen and pay attention when I hear some excitement. These days, you can rewind the action if you miss something, so this sort of consumption is a lot easier than in the old days. You can watch the highlights in real time.

One thing you quickly learn when you cut the cord, which I did years ago, is that regular TV watching habituates you to the degeneracy. I’m not sure if you get used to it or your mind just learns to filter out the offensive garbage. Take a few weeks off, come back to it and you’re appalled at what you see. It’s not just the degeneracy, which is a big part of it, but the stupidity. Television has always been aimed at the 90-IQ crowd and that jumps out to you when you are away from it for a while.

Something similar seems to be true with televised sports. Once you take a break from watching these shows, the warts become obvious. Last weekend I could not help but notice the volume of commercials in these broadcasts. I was working on something and every time I looked up to see what was happening in the game, it was a commercial and usually for something alien to me. At some point I looked at some other games and sure enough, they were all in a commercial break.

Of course, the commercials are atrocious. This is where you see the propaganda effort behind all of this. Most likely, the typical viewer of college football is a white middle-aged male, living outside the Cloud People zones. That means suburban and exurban. That also means the sort of guy who voted for Trump. Yet, they blast ads featuring race-mixers and homosexuals. The products are things this demo is not buying, like AIDS drugs and cloud services. It’s ruling class porn as advertisement.

At some point, I decided to watch until I saw an ad featuring anything resembling normal people doing normal things. I gave up after about thirty minutes. If a space alien tried to understand America based on television, its conclusion would be that we are ruled by frizzy-haired mulatto lesbians and homosexuals. Their main task is keeping the simple-minded, almost retarded, white males under control. The TV ad world is the complete opposite of reality and any possible reality.

As far as the presentation of sports, it is pretty close to unwatchable. The endless commercials are a big problem for a casual viewer. I wanted to watch the Ohio State – Penn State game, but the presentation was so bad it was hard to watch. When it is not commercials for lesbians enjoying their work at Amazon, it is insipid airheads talking constantly while the players wander around between plays. Turning the sound off makes it worse, as you see how little is happening on the field.

It used to be popular with the sporting press to bad mouth baseball for being too slow and boring. The real reason they are told to bash baseball is the game has not been Africanized. It is not a running and jumping sport. There are no opportunities for the blacks to draw attention to themselves with the usual antics. Putting that aside, the slow pace of baseball makes sense in the context of the game. The slow pace of modern football is just a way to squeeze in more agit-prop.

The ruination of televised football is one of those examples that point to a deliberate, well thought-out war on white people. For a long time, football and baseball were things most whites could share as a cultural item. Despite the color on the field, the audience has remained stubbornly white. It was the thing white people could talk about at the office, without having to fear the PC police. Instead of leaving that as an oasis, the usual suspects seem to have targeted it for degeneration and destruction.

That said, the television ratings for this stuff have held up. There was some decline, but the usual suspects have convinced normie white males to return. The new thing now is the celebration of the black quarterback. There’s nothing that stimulates the normie whites in America more than worshiping blacks. White guilt remains a powerful delivery vehicle for the repulsive propaganda around it. Watch an NFL game and you get why the usual suspects hate white people so much.

That said, there is no way the country survives wholesale cord cutting. Once you are free from this stuff, it is impossible to come back. The old gag about baseball was that if it did not exist, no one would invent it. Something similar is true of TV. If the nation was not already hooked on it, no one would become hooked on it.  It is so trashy and so degenerate; you can’t get past the revulsion long enough to get hooked on it. My rainy weekend experience was just enough to turn it off for good.

That’s why television watching will eventually be mandatory. Orwell got most things wrong about the dystopian future. The one thing he nailed was the video monitors installed in every hope. It may not be as heavy handed as he described, but there is no way the usual suspects allow the public to cut the cord. Without the daily dose of poz, there is no way white people go along with their dispossession. The revolution comes when the televisions go dark for any length of time.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Coaching Markets

In America, a fall Saturday often means watching some college football or possibly heading off to tailgate at the alma mater. Sunday is for the NFL, which remains the top television draw, despite its problems. For much of the country, Friday night is for the local high school games. Some parts of the country play their high school games on Saturday morning, but for most it is Friday night. In Texas, high school football is a two billion dollar business. Americans love their sports, especially football.

Currently, the two best coaches in the game are Nick Saban, who coaches the Alabama Crimson Tide and Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The fact that the ancestors of both men are from Illyria is an interesting fact. Not only are both the best of their era, it is possible they are the best ever. Both men have a similar style of managing their programs and both are known for being something less than charming with the media. The shadow of Diocletian is very long.

Anyway, the thing that stands out about Saban and Belichick is they are smart men, who are excellent organizers. They are gifted at working within the constraints of the game and the constraints of their situations. They are not married to a style of play, instead adapting to the talent on-hand and the state of the game. They are known for getting the most from each player, often creating a niche for the player that did not exist. They also adapt to their staffs, shuffling people in and out of their organizations.

The thing is, what makes both men remarkable is that they are exceptions. Coaching football is a very lucrative profession in current year America. Bill Belichick is thought to make close to $15 million per year. Nick Saban makes $9 million per year. Both men are probably worth over $100 million at this point. In the case of Belichick, he could be worth a quarter billion or more, as he surely has been given investment opportunities unavailable to most people. Sports teams are owned by oligarchs.

Now, for two of the greatest of all time, that is probably justifiable, but further down the talent scale, the money is still very good. All over the NFL, there are head coaches making millions per year for being very bad at their jobs. There are lots of assistants making big money for being bad at their jobs. Many assistants, are often known to lack the talent to ever be a head coach, while others are simply happy to be a mediocre NFL coach making a very good living in the game.

At the college level, the cost of mediocrity is most obvious. Many of the college head coaches are dumb people, even by the standards of sport. Will Muschamp coaches the University of South Carolina football team. He makes over $5 million per year. He is not very good at coaching football. He got fired from his last high paying gig and he will be fired from this one. He’s not alone. The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.

If libertarians were right about anything, this would not be the case. There is very little government interference in the coaching business. These are contract employees, so they can be fired at will. Moreover, the colleges seem to be immune from charges of discrimination like private business. Blacks are wildly under-represented in the coaching business. There are few Jews in the management side. Women are just about non-existent in the game. Sport is free to be a free market for coaches.

In theory, the lucrative salaries and the lifestyle should be a magnet for smart young people in America. Every year, thousands of young people head to Hollywood and New York hoping to be a star. They want to be famous. You would think something similar would happen with coaching, where the money is great and you don’t have to have sex with guys like Harvey Weinstein as a condition of employment. Smart young people should be flocking to sports coaching trying to make it big.

Of course, something similar should be true of politics. Congressman and Senators are not pulling down football coach money, but they live a great lifestyle. They also get perks like the right to trade on their insider knowledge. Paul Ryan, for example, went to Washington penniless and retired with a net worth of $6 million. He landed in a seven figure job bribing his fellow colleagues. That should draw hundreds of candidates into every race, but politics is largely a closed shop, despite being democratic.

There’s not point here, other than that to point out that “natural markets” don’t exist, even in the absence of government. There’s almost no government role in the football coaching business, but it is a closed world controlled by relationships and insider information among the coaches. The same is true of politics. In theory, anyone can run for Congress. In reality, they allow in only those they want in. The Senate is the world’s most exclusive club, followed by the House and the football coaching fraternity.


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A Rambling Post About Sportsball

If you have ever followed sportsball, the one thing you have surely noticed is that some franchises never win, while others win a lot. In America, the New York Yankees are the example of perennial winners. In English soccer, Manchester United is the club that is the example of consistent excellence. The opposite is true as well. In America, the organization best known for futility is the Cleveland Browns. It’s not just that they never win anything. They find hilarious ways to lose and embarrass themselves.

The question is why? In the case of baseball, market size has always been assumed to be the main driver. With unlimited budgets for payroll and player development, the teams with deep pockets could dominate. The Yankees operate in New York. The Dodgers are in Los Angeles. Over the years, the correlation between winning and market size has been strong enough for most people to assume that’s the reason. Of course, the Mets and Cubs stand out as stark exceptions, so there is more to it.

In other sports, like English soccer, the market share answer does not apply. Manchester is the thirst largest metropolitan area, behind Birmingham and London, but it is a fifth the size of London and much poorer. The dominance of Manchester is a lot like the success of the Green Bay Packers in American football. Not quite to that extreme, but Man U has had much more success than the Packers. While having a big market helps in all sports, the rules and some other factors often neutralize the advantage.

One area where this “something” else is easier to notice is in how teams hire their front office people. The reason the Cleveland Browns, for example, lose all the time is they hire stupid people to run their club. The New England Patriots, in contrast, hired a cerebral coach, paid him well and staffed their front office with smart people. They also make sure the culture of the organizations rewards the smart and punishes the stupid. When these people leave for better jobs, they often fail in their new organizations.

While it seems obvious, the reason franchises have sustained success or failure is due mostly to their organizational IQ. This is most obvious in baseball. The Oakland A’s are credited with being the first team to employ statistics in player evaluation. Moneyball, as it is called, seeks to find the best value in the market for talent, but also the most useful players in the market. The stat-geeks have re-evaluated the stats in baseball and created new metrics to measure a player’s contribution to winning games.

What the Oakland A’s learned is they could get players that were 90% as good as the big stars, for 30% of the investment. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is a useful way of thinking of it. They understood that a player who walks a lot is more valuable than a guy who strikes out a lot, but also hits for a high average. The former is on-base more often, so he contributes more runs than the latter. Hitting home runs is a good way to get a big contract and sell tickets, but getting on base is what counts most.

Now, all of the big clubs have armies of stat-geeks doing the moneyball thing. The Boston Red Sox have the godfather of stat geeks, Bill James, on their payroll. The use of stats has become so pervasive, it is changing the game. Managers no longer make decisions during games. Instead, they consult probability charts and select from the options the front office created before the game. It’s an odd form of computer chess. Instead of humans controlling the robot pieces, it’s the robots controlling the human pieces.

The fact is, winning is about avoiding error. Since the Greeks this has been understood, so why is this not a universal part of all sport? The owner of the Cleveland Browns is probably a smart guy. He’s rich enough to own a sportsball team, so he may not be a genius, but he is pretty smart. Why does he not hire a team of behavior scientists to study winning and create personality models for the various jobs within the organization? He could hire people to model how the Patriots run their organization.

It does not have to be a sci-fi version of this stuff to work. The team of analysts could come up with the five facts common to all failed coaches in the Browns organization and then compare that to the least successful coaches in the game. Odds are, they will find some commonalities. Knowing what does not work, they could simply avoid hiring coaches with any of those qualities. That would not guarantee success, but maybe it eliminates embarrassing, catastrophic failure. Better is better.

Sports organizations are systems, so the tools used in system analysis should apply to sports teams, corporations, political movements and so forth. American business employs continuous improvement techniques to fine tune daily operations. Some are more committed than others and some things work better than others, but fixing small things tends to have the greatest impact on performance. This is true in most systems. Fixing a simple error in a line of code can greatly increase system performance.

Despite this well-known reality, human organizations are the least likely to embrace empirical techniques. Politics is the most obvious. If the parties simply required an IQ test for party membership, they would save themselves a lot of trouble. Sports franchises tinker around with this stuff, but they have never embraced it. Even big corporations seem to drift from a focus on incremental improvement in various types of magic. Google is now a cult of sorts, which is how they make blunders like this one.

The point of this post, if there is one, is that there is something that prevents otherwise smart people, like sportsball owners, from using well known techniques to improve their organizations. The result is a repetition of unforced errors. Sportsball owners are hyper-competitive, yet they are often allergic to considering concepts and tactics that work in other organizations. It is only after an innovator proves it can work that we see the rest jump on board and start aping what worked for them.

An even stranger thing about sportsball teams is that this institutional blundering attracts owners prone to the same sort of blundering. These bad franchises come up for sale and the new owners turn out to be as accident prone as the previous ones. In fact whole cities seem to attract losers in this area. Again, Cleveland is a great example. All of their sportsball teams are terrible and the owners are some of the worst in sport. Maybe there really is something in the water there that causes this.

Anyway, it is something reformers and rebels should probably consider when plotting how to attack the Death Star of modern culture. Maybe that silly plot device from Star Wars has a grain of truth to it. The bad guys left the back door to the Death Star open, because in the end, they were the Cleveland Browns of space villains. Perhaps all villains leave a window open at some point. Maybe size makes organizations stupid and then exploitable to those with subversion on their mind.

Thoughts On Sportsball

The Federal government won convictions on three of its cases against the sneaker pimps working behalf of the apparel company Adidas. The case is a strange one in that the FBI invested a lot of time into surveying and wiretapping some famous basketball coaches, as well as some senior company executives. Yet, they have narrowed their focus to some small fish and two executives. It’s one of those cases that probably reveals things about our age for what is not happening, than for what is actually happening in the courtroom.

For those unfamiliar with American college basketball, here’s some background.

Men’s college basketball is probably the most corrupt sport in America. It used to be that boxing was the dirtiest sport, but interest in it has collapsed to the point where it is probably no longer worth the trouble for the criminally inclined. Basketball, on the other hand, is a big money sport with lots of public interest. Like boxing, the talent tends to be unsophisticated and dull-witted, so they are easy to corrupt. There’s also a culture in the sport that tolerates hustlers and conmen. In fact, they are often celebrated.

Strangely, the corruption is not driven by the money coming in the front door, from ticket sales and player contracts. The corruption is driven by the money that comes through the back door, in the form of sneaker agents, apparel companies and the youth development leagues. The business model for sneaker companies is simple. They want black kids buying their sneakers. Since Americans worship black people and youth culture, whatever black kids like, gets bought by Americans and then the people of the provinces.

To that end, the sneaker companies are always looking to sign young basketball stars to represent their brand. They also want college programs, where many of the stars start to become famous, wearing their shoes. The result is the sneaker companies operate complex webs of street agents who bribe kids and their families to sign off-the-books contracts, so they can be guided to the college programs on the payroll of the sneaker company paying the street agent. It’s institutional bribery that has been normalized.

With that as background, it is a mystery as to why the Feds decided to go after these guys, when they have been turning a blind eye to it for decades. The corruption in college basketball is so well known that some of the notorious street agents, who bribe players on behalf of sneaker companies have become institutions. The agent for LeBron James has become very rich just because he got lucky and signed the biggest star in the sport when he was in high school. There are lots of guys hoping to win that lottery.

In other words, the Feds could have been arresting people for decades, but they didn’t and then all of a sudden they went after Adidas. Now, maybe that is just bureaucratic inertia, but what makes this strange is the limited scope thus far. The company executives involved were handing out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Given the nature of the sport, that means they probably had a budget of millions to use to bribe players and coaches. That money did not fall from the sky. It came from the company.

Everyone familiar with corporate accounting knows there is no account for bribery in the G&A expenses. Adidas is a publicly traded company, which means they have to follow strict accounting standards. That means there are people in their finance department who have been involved in fraud for a long time. It certainly means C-level managers were aware of the activities and approved it. The FBI could easily take down the whole company if they started to dig around in the books. They certainly have probable cause.

Then there is the strange fact that there have been no plea discussions. The people have not been offered a plea deal and no one has offered to talk. Again, the Adidas executives were not operating alone. They have bigger fish to trade for their freedom. The assistant coaches that have been charged can easily hand over their bosses, who are all famous people. The Feds love putting famous people in jail, because it gets them on TV, but in this case the Feds are strangely uninterested in leveraging what they have to get big fish.

Now, like most people reading this, I have limited interest in basketball. What’s intrigued me about this case is all of the dogs not barking. I can accept that the Feds just ignored the issue for years, because their political bosses put things like terrorism and the drug war as top priorities. Still, the Feds have time to hassle citizens for all sorts of stupid and petty things. It’s not like they are actually doing anything about drug crime and terrorism, other than putting on a show for the public. They could have been on this years ago.

Putting that aside, the real mystery is why they have not bothered to expand this case to the most obvious places. If we’re going to assume that the Feds are lazy so they go after low hanging fruit, then why are they not picking these big juicy plumbs that are right in front of them? Similarly, if sloth is the reason behind their lack of action for decades, why did they bother going to trial, when they could have offered these guys a deal? It’s one of those times where the answer to one question contradicts the answer to something else.

The reason this intrigues me is I think it reveals something about the entire system that most people just suspect. That is, the level of incompetence is much worse that even the harshest critics assert. We’ve seen glimpses of this in the FBI scandal. These people are supposed to be the elite, yet they bungled the simplest of tasks. That means down the line, the quality of personnel is even lower. The reason this sneaker case does not make a lot of sense is because the people running it just time-serving hacks.

Another angle to this is that this case reveals the cultural rot of the American empire. The appeal of professional sport is to see men compete in mock battles on a level playing field, abiding by transparent rules. The governing bodies are supposed to make sure the field remains level and the rules transparent. That’s sportsmanship. The state is supposed to step in clean up the business if the governing body is corrupt or simply needs help policing their sport. It’s why casinos have a strong relationship with law enforcement.

Yet, we have a sport that is flagrantly and openly corrupt and no one says anything about it or tries to do anything about it. As we see with this Adidas case, it would be very easy to pop dozens of coaches and even more sneaker company executives. A handful of high profile people going to prison is the sort of thing that reminds everyone else of the need to maintain high standards. As the Chinese say, sometimes you kill some chickens to scare the monkeys. Imprison a few sneaker executive to keep the rest of them motivated.

One final thought, as I have gone on too long about this. The political class is now moaning about the fact that the public has lost faith in institutions. They never think that maybe their unwillingness to enforce the people’s laws could be the reason. They never mention the flagrant disregard for the spirit of the law throughout the elite. Most Americans are sports fans and every day they are reminded that the Cloud People have no respect for the rules. Eventually, the message does sink in and the Dirt People follow suit.

The Death of Sportsball

Twenty years ago, I looked forward to the start of college football season. If I was not going to a game, I’d make sure watch one of the big games featured over the opening weekend. My friends were all into tailgating at NFL games, so I would go to a few of those throughout the fall. One of the things we would do every year is pick a game somewhere in the country and meet there for a reunion. Granted, the game was not central, but the reunions were planned around a sportsball event, either baseball or football.

It has been at least half a dozen years since we did a sportsball road trip. I’m struggling to think back to the last football game I attended. I still go to opening day of the local baseball team here in Lagos, but that’s because I get free tickets and it is a nice excuse to skip work and enjoy the spring weather. The local baseball team means nothing to me. Over the weekend, I tuned in for one of the college football games, Appalachian State versus Penn State, but only because a friend was watching. He went to one of the schools.

Tastes change, of course, and sportsball fandom is more of a young man’s game than an old man’s past time. Becoming an internationally renowned crime thinker has changed my view on things as well. I spend much more time around crime thinkers in real space as well as the virtual world. Even around my old friends though, sportsball has lost ground to other subjects. Again, age plays a role, but some of the guys have made it a point to drop sportsball from their list of interests. Something has changed in the culture.

The NFL has seen its TV ratings decline over the last two years. People want to believe it is all related to the anti-white behavior of the blacks, but the decline began before the monkey shines. Part of the problem is the product. As the ownership has become more transient, the game has become more short term in its design. Players move around, teams are never the same from year to year, coaches come and go and the quality of play resembles an intramural game on the college quad. The quality of play is very low now.

There’s another aspect that reflects the new ownership. They try to squeeze two dimes from every nickel. This is becoming true of all sportsball events. The games are more marketing than game. Everything that can be monetized in some way is exploited to the point where the presentation is grubby and offensive. Watching a game at home is like being stuck in a room full of carnival barkers. There is something unseemly about billionaires trying to squeeze their middle-class customers out of their last dime.

Of course, to watch a game means subjecting yourself to the endless proselytizing in favor of degeneracy. There are the commercials for various sexual diseases. Then you have the fact that every commercial must now celebrate miscegenation. I saw a spot for the NFL featuring a Mexican single mother who cuts short her daughter’s lemonade stand so they can watch a football game. It makes me wonder if the owners of these teams have ever gone to one of their games. There are no low-riders at NFL tailgates guys.

It’s not just the NFL. I stopped following the basketball a long time ago, primarily because the culture of the sport. I don’t just mean the antics of the players. The NBA has always been a human flea circus. You watch bizarrely shaped humans perform like circus animals in the context of a game. That’s even how they sell it. What gave me the creeps is the feeling at the arena. Go to a basketball game and you sense the guy running it has his car running in the parking lot, just in case the the gate that night is too low to pay the bills.

My temptation is to assume it is me and the sportsball leagues are doing the same as always, but the evidence suggests otherwise. It is not just college football games experiencing a steep decline in attendance. All live sports are seeing it. Last year, a Twitter account popped up featuring pics of empty NFL stadiums during the game. Most of the featured teams were perennial losers, but not all of them. Even mighty NASCAR has seen a slide in their live gate and they obviously can’t blame blacks for their problems.

The Atlantic article I linked above wants to blame the changing landscape of television for the ratings decline, in addition to other factors. That’s tempting until you think about how we got to the TV sports world. When I was a kid, sports on TV was rare. Baseball had a “game of the week” on the weekend. The NFL had two television games on Sunday. Only famous college football teams were on TV regularly. At the same time, live attendance was low. Fenway Park was famously empty for the last game of Ted Williams.

If you look at the rise in attendance, it started in the 1980’s just as the cable television model spread around the country. What most likely drove live attendance was the creation of state of the art venues, beginning with Camden Yards in Baltimore. Like the proliferation of giant bookstores, the spread of luxury venues was driven by credit money.  Supply sometimes does create demand and that is what happened in sports. The flow of TV money also helped, as the cable model gave sports teams billions in new revenue.

It all seems to be unraveling now. The sports teams are still making loads of cash, but the reason they are resorting to every underhanded trick in the book to squeeze their customers is their customer base is shrinking. At some point, the math will catch up to them and the bust out comes to an end. Since the business model of every professional sports league is based o a growing revenue stream, even a flattening of growth is very dangerous for them. As a result, they will get even more avaricious in their greed.

None of this is new material, but what gets little attention is why is it we seem to be in a down cycle for big public entertainment. Taken in total, starting roughly in the 1970’s, sports and entertainment started on a long upward swing that seems to have peaked in the last decade. That’s roughly a generation, give or take. That means one answer for it is demographics. The 1980’s through now has been peak Baby Boomer. Everyone with something to sell targeted that cohort for decades and now that cohort is moving on.

Of course, the sports boom also coincides with two other things. One is the collapse of local, community based entertainment. You just don’t see youth leagues and community activities like you did in the 1970’s. There’s also the invasion of tens of millions of foreigners from over the horizon. You local community loses its attraction when so many of the people in the community are strangers with weird habits. Maybe going to sporting events and having watch parties was a temporary reaction to the collapse of the local.

Anyone can have their own theory, but what you can’t argue is the issue is purely economics. That’s the BoomerCon response to these things. “It’s too expensive” does not make a lot of sense when it was not too expensive last week. The great spike in ticket prices, for example, occurred well over a decade ago. Watching games on the TV you already own is no more costly than not watching the games. There’s something else happening and it is most likely tied to the cultural changes driven by demographics.

Repost: Why I Hate Soccer

Note: This is a rewrite of a popular post from four years ago, the last time I had a reason to think about international kick-ball. I’ve expanded on the topic a bit and updated the references to make it more timely. This will be the last soccer post for four years.

Way back in the olden thymes, when the World Cup was held in the United States, I went to the games played in Foxboro. I happen to be at the airport when the Greek team arrived, so I got to see them buying Marlboros at the gift shop. Seeing a bunch of swarthy guys chain smoking outside the terminal is my main memory of international soccer. That and how all of them were glaring at every piece of tail in sight. It was as if they just got out of prison. Little dogs and little men have no control of their sex drive.

That said, it was a good time in Boston during the World Cup and I had fun at the games I attended. Soccer is boring, dull and tedious on television. The fake injuries are so absurd and embarrassing it is hard to tolerate. In person, the game is much better. When Raul collapses in a heap, acting like he took a cannonball to the knee, the crowd roars in unison, thus making it more like a stage play than a sporting event. You lose that interplay on TV, so it comes off as absurd. That and the Greek fans I was with knew how to jeer.

Watching soccer live is also better than TV, because you get to see the players that are not involved in the play. They are often chatting with one another like they are old friends bumping into one another on a stroll. On TV, the camera follows the ball and the players all look busy. Live, you also get a better sense of what’s really happening. The strategy comes into focus sooner than on TV. Since most of the games are fixed, it all makes more sense when you get to see all of the action and not just the group around the ball.

World Cup soccer and Olympic soccer are fun because so much is at stake. The Little League World Series gets big TV ratings in the U.S. for the same reason. People don’t watch little kids play baseball, unless it’s their kids. Put the same kids in an international tournament and suddenly the nation gets interested. There’s also the fact that the World Cup features the best players in the world. The fact is, Lionel Mesi or Neymar kicking a ball around will always seem more thrilling than two unknown guys.

Now, what has always turned me off about soccer is the cultural angle. When I was a boy, our betters in America were trying to force soccer and the metric system on us. The people doing it were all loathsome snobs. Worse yet, all of them were the children of working class people who should have known better. But, their parents sent them off to the state college and they came back thinking they were sophisticated citizens of the world, so they loved soccer. Yep, soccer was a Boomer fetish.

Even all these year on, I still think of those smug assholes of my youth, whenever soccer comes to my attention. I associate it with the ridiculous poseurs who turn up in every Progressive cultural fad. I’ve probably heard “it is the most popular sport in the world” a million times in my life. That is the sort of thing stupid people say when they want to sound sophisticated. In most of the world, soccer is the sport of the poor and lower classes. That means our bourgeois bohemians are aping the mores of chavs. Good job phonies!

A recent development, one that I find most irritating, is the fake passion of cosmopolitan men for Premiere League teams in Britain. They saw videos of Euro-guy with his hands on his head in agony over a soccer match and now they are pretending to have had a lifelong passion for a soccer club in England. I have a friend who used to call soccer “fag ball” until about a decade ago. He became a vegan and started following soccer. He wears a Man U jersey. He says “footie” now. He went bald and his wife is fat. That’s justice.

It is all a pose, of course. What’s odious about the poseur is he turns his self-loathing into your problem. The poseur apes the styles and attitude of others because he hates himself and cannot stand the sight of himself. His comical pretensions force everyone else to play along, in order to be polite. Everyone knows the poseur is full of crap, but the guy who says what everyone thinks, risks being castigated for being rude. These people turn our morality on its head, by making our virtues into vices. They deserve to be hated.

One other thing that turns me off is the “you don’t understand the complexity of the sport” line from people who probably don’t understand the sport at all. Soccer’s appeal is based on its simplicity. Real fans know this, but poseurs prattle on about the complexity in order to shift the focus from their misplaced and irrational love for a foreign sport, onto the skepticism of their critics. In other words, they don’t really like soccer, they just want to signal their membership in a group they believe is superior. It is Star Bellied Sneetch-ism.

Another thing about soccer is the coverage in the American sporting press. The same people who normalized porn, have tried to use soccer in their war on whites. They have endlessly promoted soccer, despite the fact Americans have limited interest. Whenever there is a big match in Europe, we get coverage of how the foreign fans reacted to the result. A standing head in the sporting press is “Watch Fans React To…” and then the thing that happened in a soccer match. It’s an effort to weaponize the bandwagon effect.

Of course, now that European teams look more like refugee camps than European, the anti-whites love soccer even more. They use the browning of the traditional World Cup powers as “proof” that the great replacement is going to be wonderful. You can almost hear them saying, “See how much better sports will be when the whites are replaced with the non-whites?” Like so much about society, soccer has become another weapon wielded by the anti-whites in the race war. It is a reminder of what they plan for us.

Anyway, that’s my problem with soccer.