January 9, 2013 |
The NBA has fined Mark Cuban $50,000 for making critical Twitter comments about league officiating. The Dallas Mavericks owner was unhappy after the Mavericks lost to the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday and tweeted: "Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 years to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help. " The Mavericks were called for 20 fouls in the game, the Hornets 10. Cuban is no stranger to fines. The latest assessment pushes his total to about $1.8 million in fines since he bought the Mavs in 2000.
December 13, 2012 |
In a game Wednesday between the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors, NBA referee Courtney Kirkland ran at Kris Humphries as the Nets forward is about to shoot a free throw in the fourth quarter. Humphries took two dribbles, lined up, and was about to release when Kirkland jumped toward him with his hands in the air, forcing Humphries to stop his momentum just as he's about to shoot. Maybe Kirkland is a huge Kim Kardashian fan, and when he saw Humphries standing by his lonesome at the free throw line, he couldn't contain himself.
October 22, 2012 |
About the best thing that can be said about Monday's presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., is that it's the last one. In theory, debates should represent a terrific opportunity for voters to assess the competing arguments and policies of presidential candidates. It's a nice theory, but that's not what we were presented with Tuesday night, nor in the first debate. What I heard, over and over again, was a lot of barking: One candidate barks out statistics or obscure references to his opponent's record or statements, followed by return barking to the effect that it's all a pack of lies.
October 13, 2012 |
Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado engaged in a fight-of-the-year slugfest at Home Depot Center on Saturday night, with Oxnard's Rios notching a seventh-round technical knockout that proves he retains wallop while moving up in weight. Nonito Donaire couldn't match the nonstop brawling of that bout, but he did take another step toward standing as the world's top super-bantamweight with a ninth-round technical knockout of Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka. Former lightweight champion Rios, in his junior-welterweight debut, unleashed a pair of hard overhand rights in the seventh, then pounded two lefts onto Alvarado's mug to force referee Pat Russell to stop the fight at the 1:57 mark.
September 30, 2012 |
It turns out that the professional referees in the NFL - the ones we used to love to hate but, after watching their replacements, now hate to love - are highly skilled officials, with years of experience and training. They couldn't be swapped for refs from high school conferences and the Lingerie League, not without messing up the game. Professionalism matters, and workers have specific skills that make them good at their jobs. It was the performance of the "amateur" refs that ultimately pushed the NFL owners (otherwise known as the billionaire's club)
September 28, 2012 |
Week 4 of the NFL season is here, and the games continue to get more interesting. In Friday's Google+ hangout with Mark Thompson, formerly the Mark part of KLOS' dynamic morning duo, and Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer, topics include the return of regular officials and a review of Thursday night's Browns-Ravens game as well as a look at top matchups and story lines for the weekend. Farmer admitted he'd "never seen anything like it" when the fans in Baltimore cheered for the return of the regular officials.
September 27, 2012 |
It's game over for NFL replacements. The regular officials are coming back. The NFL and NFL Referees Assn. reached an agreement on an eight-year deal late Wednesday that immediately puts the regulars back on the field, beginning with the game Thursday night between Cleveland and Baltimore. "Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released after midnight on the East Coast. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement.
September 27, 2012 |
Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate admitted Wednesday what everyone watching Monday's game with Green Bay already knew: He got away with one after first pushing a Packers defensive back to the ground, then being credited with a touchdown catch on a pass that was really intercepted. German soccer star Miroslav Klose didn't wait nearly as long to confess to his transgression in an Italian Serie A match Wednesday in Napoli, telling the referee that a goal he had just scored should be disallowed because he had touched the ball with his hand.
September 26, 2012 |
Note to NFL: You know you are in trouble when even the Lingerie Football League is making fun of you. Mitch Mortaza, commissioner of the LFL (which is exactly what it sounds like: Women in lingerie playing football), took a shot at the NFL on Tuesday when he said one of the NFL's replacement referees had been fired by the Lingerie League a year ago because of incompetence. Mortaza was speaking specifically of Craig Ochoa, a replacement official hired by the NFL. Ochoa was an official during an NFL preseason game and is on call as an alternate during the regular season.
September 26, 2012 |
The one thing about the National Football League on which almost everyone agrees is that it takes its job of providing first-rate entertainment very seriously. That could be one explanation for the league's effort to supplement the pleasure of watching two teams of superbly trained athletes compete by adding the comedy stylings of pick-up referees, capped by the spectacular fiasco of Monday night's Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers game. Or the explanation may be simply that a business collecting more than $9 billion in revenue this year sees value in sacrificing one crucial component of its success - credible and firm enforcement of the rules - merely to save about $5 million a year, or five hundredths of a percent.