Abstinence education in Oakland

No, this has nothing to do with this video. Lost in the general, blind excitement over the NFL’s season starting on time, more or less as it would have without the dispute between the players and owners, was the approach taken by the Oakland Raiders’ management during the final, critical vote to approve the new deal with the players that would allow the league to resume operations.

Rather than vote to approve the plan, or even to vote against it, the Raiders decided to abstain. As covered in the exclusive report by Comcast SportsNet, Amy Trask, CEO of the Raiders, “explained the abstention thusly”:

We have profound philosophical differences on a number of issues — both of a football and economic nature. We have consistently expressed our views on these matters to the league.

Even though I am disappointed that it was Trask, and not owner Al Davis, who provided the explanation of the team’s position, I like the Raiders taking a principled stance here for no other reason that they’re the Raiders. (It also reminded me of two-time Oakland head coach Art Shell’s principled stance against any form of clock management.) Along with the rest of the league, and whether they want it or not, or if they even know what they want anymore, Da Raidas are back.

Happy birthday, Jerry Garcia

August is the only month in the American calendar without holidays, meaning that it’s a little extra special for those who celebrate birthdays this month. If there ever is to be a commemorative holiday in August, maybe it should be for Jerry Garcia. The music legend was born on August 1, 1942, and he died on August 9, 1995.

The Toronto Blue Jays have eyes in the skies

From ESPN New York:

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his team needs to use multiple signs even when there is no one on base at Rogers Centre because the Blue Jays “could be” stealing signs using illegal methods.

“Sometimes we have inclinations that certain things might be happening in certain ballparks and we are aware of it and we try to protect our signs,” Girardi said.

What author Andrew Marchand did not mention was that the Jays’ record as of the day he posted that article was 47-48, good enough for penultimate place in the AL East. Yes, Yankee pitcher Bartolo Colon’s meltdown was somewhat epic (and arguably somewhat epoch), but you’d think they’d be winning more if this was their strategy. After all, the Patriots went 18-1 in 2007-2008.

Maybe it’s a new strategy and they want to make a run in the second half. With the Yankees, Red Sox, and D-Rays, Toronto’s division is a tough one, but they knew that going into the season. Why wait so long?

(UPDATE: The Jays now have eked above .500, with a 55-53 record, having gone 8-5 since that game. They nevertheless remain in fourth place in the division, twelve back of Boston.)

Is Cooperstown Y2K12 Compatible? (via QuestionsPresented)

Is Cooperstown Y2K12 Compatible? Yesterday, voters inducted two former players, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, into the Baseball Hall of Fame. While the primary subtext to the story about the 2011 class has been the low number of votes players tied to steroids– including Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro– received and the implication that players associated with performance-enhancing substances might never make it into the Hall of Fame, ESPN’s Rob Nayer is looking ahead to 2 … Read More

via QuestionsPresented

First Run

There’s nothing like a serious undertaking to motivate unserious writing, and so ALDLAND was born. This site will be secondary to my more serious project and tertiary to my meta-/-emotional project, and I will aim to offer shorter, lighter commentary, primarily on sports and other popular culture and media.

Over the last few years, sports have become a more frequent diversion from my more serious and professional pursuits, using all of those adjectives loosely. If I had been more committed, I probably would’ve picked historically (or potentially prospectively) successful teams as my favorites. Luckily, friendships have allowed me to personally observe fans of the successful.

Not owning a TV, pop culture– by this, I of course mean reality television– is even less known to me, but as with sports, I have committed friends who keep me in the loop about the realest shows.

I’m hoping this can be casual and fun. Norm Macdonald is more of a sportswriter than I am, even if his new sports show got cancelled, (pop culture reference), and I am (fortunately) employed in a field for which I trained and that is not sports writing. Some combination of the things mentioned in this paragraph and things not mentioned in this paragraph led to me taking in much more sports coverage than actual sports viewing (did I mention I don’t have a TV?) over the last few years, so the derivative posture is a comfortable one.

It would be nice to develop this into a multi-author platform (polyphonic spree?). Signal me if you’d like to participate.

This post likely will self destruct in a week or two or just get moved somewhere else. And if I could get rid of these orange hyperlinks, I’d call that a good start.