Friday, August 14, 2009

Hot Water

Another day, another installment of "Smack" talk. In keeping with our recent sports theme, we open up today to the "wide world" of saunas, bleachers, and sex scandals.

As always, feel free to weigh in by posting a comment, and enjoy.

Blogometrics: This is pretty interesting: Recently, in Scandinavia - Finland, I think, the world sauna championships were held. Apart from the fact that this is an odd event (it's a duration contest), there was one fact that nearly floored me. Without employing Google, take a guess at what temperature the sauna was set to. As a hint, the winner endured the heat for 3 minutes, 46 seconds.

Smack: Wow. Sauna is dry heat right? 170 F?

B: Try again.
S: I had to look this up before replying. 230, yowza! This article says the winner lasted over 12 min. That’s literally hot enough to cook food. No way those people aren’t causing permanent damage to their bodies.

B: That's what I thought. I have seen recipes that have 200-250 degrees as the cooking temperature. Now, I know we here in New England do not get the kind of heat experienced by those in other parts of the country, but wherever you are, if it's 77 degrees and as muggy as a sauna - you notice. This sauna was 3 times that hot - THREE times. When you think about it, temperature is sort of like the Richter scale - as in, a 6.8 earthquake isn't 1/10 stronger than a 6.7, it's almost twice as strong. Now, I'm not saying that 93 degree weather is twice as unbearable as 92 degrees, but when you get up to that realm, every degree counts - let alone getting OVER 200 DEGREES. That's just nuts.

Now on to Rick Pitino - cut and dry: Do you think that he should lose his job?

S: I don’t think he should lose his job for cheating on his wife 6 years ago. It doesn’t sound like he’s done anything wrong aside from that. This woman sounds like a Looney Tune.

B: I'm torn on this. I think it's a valid question - he is supposed to be a role model for the young men on his team, and while he's seemingly handled this well since it came to light, the fact remains that it was his severe indiscretion that placed him in this situation to begin with. Add to that the business side of things, where he has lost some of his recruiting luster, and the university does have an interesting decision on it's hands.

On the other hand, all we've been hearing about lately is how Michael Vick deserves his second chance (which he does). We'll hear it about Donte Stallworth a year from now. Now, I can see the point where one would argue that Vick and Stallworth paid a penalty and are now moving past their incidents while Pitino is still resolving his issue - and facts have yet to come out as to exactly what took place between Pitino and this woman. The thing is, Vick and Stallworth committed criminal acts, and - unless there is a major bombshell about to drop - Pitino did not. I think the case can be made that he's paid his debt already, both with his family - and now with the public embarrassment. However, just like Michael Vick's second chance is coming with different team, maybe Pitino's should as well.

S: Maybe I’ll have a different opinion if new information comes out, but with what’s out there right now I don’t think he should have to leave Louisville. He’s a top 10 college coach of all time – I don’t think he’s any less valuable to the university because of this. He’s not getting away with anything. I mean, Clinton did it and remained president.

B: That's a good point. I definitely lean your way in terms of my opinion of the matter - although, if it does turn out that Pitino ordered and/or funded an abortion (as is being alleged), and did not simply 'pay for health insurance' (as he is claiming) that muddies the water a bit.
I guess this is a wait and see sort of situation.

Alright - on to The Cubs. Shane Victorino is filing a criminal complaint against the fan who doused him with beer from the stands. Thoughts on this?

I hadn’t heard about this. After watching it, I’m on Victorino’s side. I’ve seen some “accidental” beer spills (and who could forget the pizza throw?) when players dive into the stands to make catches. I feel differently about that. When you enter the fans’ domain you open yourself up to that stuff. But this guy threw a full cup onto the field, and actually timed his throw really well. He nailed Victorino right as he was catching the fly ball. That’s pretty dangerous and no way is that “part of the game.” Of course the fan is going to walk away with either a continuance or community service or something, but he should definitely have to answer for his behavior.

B: A couple things about this:

1) I think Victorino is absolutely within reason (ahem) in filing this complaint. This could sound trite to a non-sports fan - who may think Victorino is overreacting - but if that ball had clunked him in the head, he could be very seriously injured. Now, it was not the fan's intent (we'd think) to harm Victorino, but that does not get him off the hook. For instance, I always wonder why fans rail against players being fined, suspended, penalized, etc. when the issue of intent comes up. Let's use Vince Wilfork as an example ( I know we're going from football to baseball, but...). Wilfork has a reputation of going for opposing QB's knees. Whenever he gets fined, many Pats fans cry foul, because, they say, his intent to harm the QB cannot be proven. Well, let's look at another football player, the aforementioned Donte Stallworth. He is currently under suspension from the league for pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter - and an interesting parallel exists. When you strike some one with your vehicle, and it is your fault, you are immediately "in the wrong." The severity of your penalty, however, stems from the severity of the harm caused to the victim. If the victim is in a coma (God forbid), you are charge with assault, negligence, etc. However, if (again, God forbid) the victim passes away days later from injuries sustained, you are immediately charged with manslaughter. The only way intent s factored in is whether that manslaughter is changed to murder. Either way, you have committed a criminal act - just like this fan.

2) I think an interesting sub plot to all of this is - the Cubs security staff apprehended the wrong fan, and escorted him from the premises in a 'not so gentle' way. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of that.

3) Lastly, and this is a bit nit-picky - can we ask that the sportscasters reporting on this story stop remarking how amazing it is that Victorino caught the ball as he was being doused? I'm getting tired of hearing "I couldn't finish this sentence if you threw a beer at me" or "It just shows how amazing these athletes are..." I agree that Victorino is quite an athlete, but I also think that plenty of non-elite athletes could make the same catch - mostly due to protective reflexes. I know, I know, this is nit picky - but still...

S: Well it’s not like the guy was walking in the aisle, tripped, and dropped his beer over the wall. He threw it. Pretty sure what happened is exactly what the guy intended, except for Victorino making the catch, of course. Let’s say Victorino flinches after getting nailed with beer and takes the ball off the forehead. The guy would probably get (and deserve) an upgraded charge. That’s why there’s a law against attempted murder. Whether the victim dies or not makes a big difference. But then there’s also “involuntary manslaughter” and “accidental killing”, so intent is also taken into consideration.

I would have been more impressed if he had been hit a half second earlier and still made the catch. He was hit just as the ball was coming into his glove. It was too late to make him flinch enough to flub it.

B: Right. We agree - for once.

S: A pig just flew past my window.


  1. Vick was indicted on charges of allowing trained dogs to fight to the death or at least close to it.

    I am not advocating PETA here, but as you said, these athletes and coaches are supposed to be role models for his younger teammates. I add all children and adults - on his team or not.

    I think someone who already makes millions should know better than to run a deadly game betting business, and the NFL should say, "not here buddy."

    I like the changes, by the way.

    - Sean

  2. That was not meant to have the heading anonymous, but "Name/URL" didn't take.

    I'm correcting that here, hopefully.

    - Sean