The Spectacle Blog

Frank Gifford, R.I.P.

By on 8.9.15 | 5:11PM

Legendary NFL player and broadcaster Frank Gifford died suddenly today of natural causes. He was a week shy of his 85th birthday.

Gifford was a college football standout at USC (following a stint at Bakersfield Junior College) where he was named an All-American. In 1952, Gifford made his debut with the New York Giants and would play his entire 12-year career there playing on both offense and defense. He would make the Pro Bowl on eight occasions at three different positions - running back, defensive back and wide receiver. Gifford was named the NFL's MVP in 1956 which was the year the Giants beat the Chicago Bears for the NFL championship. His career was nearly ended when he sustained a severe head injury after being tackled by Chuck Bedarnik in a 1960 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. But Gifford came back after missing a year of action and played three more seasons before retiring in 1965. Gifford was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

Kerry: If Congress Rejects Iran Deal Then We’re Screwing The Ayatollah

By on 8.9.15 | 3:20PM

Get a load of what John Kerry told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic the other day about how he sees a Congressional rejection of the Iran nuclear deal:

“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—“will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”

Kerry also said that his chief Iranian interlocutor, the foreign minister, Javad Zarif, and Zarif’s boss, the (relatively) reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, would be in “serious trouble” at home if the deal falls through.

The Philadelphia Phillies Are No Longer The Worst Team in MLB

By on 8.9.15 | 1:44AM

How about those Philadelphia Phillies?

Scarcely a month ago I would have never entertained posing such a question.

All the All-Star Break, the Phillies were 29-62 with the worst record in MLB.

Since the All-Star Break, the Phillies have the best record in MLB at 15-5. With tonight's 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Phillies have done the seemingly impossible - they have climbed out of last place in the NL East. Now it's the Miami Marlins who possess this ignominious distinction having lost 9 of their 10 games and 5-18 since the All-Star Break.

OK, the Phillies aren't going to play baseball in October. But they can finish the season a whole lot better than they started it.

Thoughts on Bernie Sanders Being Forced Off Stage by Black Lives Matter Agitators - UPDATE

By on 8.8.15 | 9:52PM

Bernie Sanders was forced to exit the stage of his own rally in Seattle by Black Lives Matter agitators.

They would also disrupted Sanders and Martin O'Malley during their appearance at the Netroots Convention in Phoenix last month and cut considerably into their speaking time.

What I find interesting is how The Left is gloating over the Republican Party row over Donald Trump. In his usual smug form, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone claims that Republicans, Fox News, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere have created a monster that's now turning on them. Could Taibbi please tell me exactly how many Republican presidential candidates have been forced off the stage of their own rallies?

I Am Bad Luck for Dodger Pitchers & Their Scoreless Inning Streaks

By on 8.7.15 | 10:53PM

I was looking forward to watching tonight's Dodgers-Pirates game because Clayton Kershaw was coming into his start having thrown 37 consecutive scoreless innings. 

On his very first pitch, Kershaw gave up a gopher ball to Pirates leadoff hitter Gregory Polanco.

Kershaw was not sharp tonight giving up four runs on nine hits over six innings.

The Dodgers lost to the Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings.

It would seem that I am bad luck to Dodgers pitchers and their scoreless innings streak. A couple of weekends ago, I saw Zack Greinke's scoreless innings streak at end at 45 against the New York Mets.

Orel Hershiser set the MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in 1988 while with the Dodgers. That broke the late Dodgers legend Don Drysdale's 58 consecutive scoreless innings pitched 20 years earlier.

Carly Fiorina vs. Chris Matthews & It’s Not Even Close

By on 8.7.15 | 10:17PM

I don't watch a lot of MSNBC, but when I read that Carly Fiorina had overmatched Chris Matthews I just had to watch.

Folks, it's not even close. Matthews was simply no match for Fiorina. 

If you haven't watched this video savor every moment of it. 

If this doesn't convince you Fiorina is ready to play on the main stage then nothing will.

Red Sox Trade Mike Napoli Back to The Rangers

By on 8.7.15 | 7:51PM

The Boston Red Sox were not that active during the trade deadline only dealing outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels.

Tonight, the Red Sox have traded Mike Napoli back to the Texas Rangers. It is not known what the Sox will receive in return.

After beginning his career with the Angels, Napoli spent two seasons with the Rangers where he became a huge fan favorite. Napoli was part of the 2011 AL pennant winning team and was selected to his lone AL All-Star Team in 2012.

Napoli signed a three-year contract with the Red Sox prior to the 2013 season and was an integral part of the 2013 World Series champions. However this season Napoli struggled hitting only .207 with 13 HR and 40 RBI in 98 games with the last place Red Sox. 

Napoli will no doubt be well received back in Texas and he will be happy to be in a pennant race. He will become a free agent at the end of the season. The Rangers have won four in a row and 7 of their last 10 games. They are only 2 1/2 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second AL Wild Card spot. 

The Perils of Being a Blogger in Bangladesh

By on 8.7.15 | 7:30PM

Last May, I wrote about the hacking death of Bangladeshi blogger Ananta Bijoy Das by Islamists. Das was the third blogger to be executed by Islamists in 2015.

Well, now make it four. Islamists have murdered 40-year old Niloy Neel. Here is what the BBC has to say about it:

The BBC’s Akbar Hossain in Dhaka says Mr Neel had filed a police report expressing fear for his life, but his complaints had not been not followed up.

Police said about six attackers had tricked their way into Mr Neel’s home by saying they were looking to rent a flat.

“Two of them then took him to a room and then slaughtered him there,” deputy police commissioner Muntashirul Islam said.

“His wife was in the flat but she was confined to another room.”

There Was Also an Election Debate in Canada Last Night

By on 8.7.15 | 6:14PM

Republican presidential candidates weren’t the only group of politicians having a debate last night.

While the GOP White House aspirants sparred, the leaders of Canada’s four political parties gathered in Toronto to have their first English language debate of Canada’s 2015 election, which was called less than a week ago. I cannot ever recall a leaders debate taking place this early in the campaign. Represented on stage were Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservatives, the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Justin Trudeau of the Liberals, as well as Elizabeth May of the Green Party.

Fox News/Facebook Cleveland GOP Debate Post-Mortem

By on 8.6.15 | 11:33PM

So here is my summary of the now just completed GOP debate in Cleveland which aired this evening on Fox News.

John Kasich - Hometown favorite. I'm not sure if his defense of Medicaid expansion will go over well outside Ohio. He could have also done without kissing up to Trump. But good answer on the gay marriage question.

Rand Paul - He went after both Trump and Christie and paid the price for it. Although I agree with him that neither guns nor marriages should be registered in DC. 

Ted Cruz - Didn't get called on much but put in a solid, competent performance. Praised Egyptian President al-Sisi for his courage and said we should move our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Mike Huckabee - Got some laughs from the audience especially the zinger about Hillary which everyone thought would be about Trump. But otherwise he didn't make much of a contribution to the debate.

Jeb Bush - Handled himself well on stage. Answered tough questions on illegal immigration, Common Core and abortion as well as his brief interaction with Donald Trump with ease. 

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