dfleming's profile

dfleming
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Member since: January 12, 2004
Last visit: July 21, 2015

dfleming has posted 21 links and 1859 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 159 comments to the Locker Room and 1 column.

Recent Links

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large: 10 FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland for extradition to the U.S. for a whole host of corruption charges. Sepp Blatter is up for re-election on Friday, but with only one challenger and such rampant corruption, it's a wonder whether or not this will affect his chances.

posted by dfleming to soccer at 04:46 AM on May 27 - 12 comments

Ronnie O'Sullivan clears the table in the 2012 world snooker championships.: It's mesmerizing to watch a good snooker player work at the best of times, but this was a pretty bad table after the scratch and he conquers it almost without time for thought. Originally posted to MeFi.

posted by dfleming to other at 09:26 AM on April 02 - 3 comments

Gary Bettman: Players locked out September 15th if no deal is reached: Would a second lockout in a decade be disastrous for hockey or for Bettman?

posted by dfleming to hockey at 03:23 PM on August 09 - 7 comments

According to Forbes' Fab 40: Tiger Woods still has the richest brand among athletes...and still by a very wide margin. The Yankees surpassed Man U as the richest team brand and the most valuable overall brand in sports is the Super Bowl. No word on whether the BAR (brand above replacement) advanced stats were used in this analysis.

posted by dfleming to golf at 06:38 AM on October 05 - 0 comments

'Thank God It Just Popped Back In': Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo gruesomely dislocated his elbow with 7 minutes left in the third quarter Saturday night against the Miami Heat and was taken to the locker room. He returned and one-armed the entire fourth quarter of the crucial 97-81 win, bringing the series to 2-1 Heat.

posted by dfleming to basketball at 01:44 PM on May 08 - 9 comments

Recent Comments

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

You seem to be buying into the idea that a top female athlete (in arguably the most popular women's sport) can settle for less athletic success to pursue money and fame from being hot. Nobody tells men it's cool to do that.

I am "buying" into the notion that I think it's pretty inappropriate for a man to go ahead and suggest that a woman is "settling" for what her own stated preferences are.

I feel like you're the one imposing a dual role on female athletes.

If you think I've invented pressures that female athletes have to deal with that male ones do not that cause them to have to consider things like their femininity in addition to their skill, I feel like there's no point in continuing this discussion.

posted by dfleming at 04:47 PM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

Lots of basketball forwards and centers to some degree get criticized for not bulking up after college. This would also be true in hockey and is a reason why a bunch of first-rounders never make it to the prime-time - not strong enough.

They either decide their body is the one they want or believe they can overcome a deficit in bulk through other means. I guess some people might not be able to bulk up as well.

A number of baseball players have been criticized for being fat even if they perform at a decent level (see: the Fielders, Pablo Sandoval. Kirby Puckett, Manny Ramirez, etc.) The idea being their physical form is leaving something on the table.

I don't know of any who held a particular aesthetic desire as the reason they do it, but I'm also not sure that kind of question gets asked to male athletes as much as focus on the body of the athlete is a routine question for women.

posted by dfleming at 04:09 PM on July 13

Serena Williams and the Fear of a Dominant Black Woman

But racism means that many Americans look at her refusal to be ashamed of coming from the inner city, her rejection of European beauty aesthetics, and her spectacular record and see a negro that doesn't know her place.

Given Europe's deep problems with racism and a whole whack of sports, and the Russian federation president last year getting canned for a bunch of racist and sexist crap about Serena, I don't feel like it's far to label this as an American problem. Sharapova's huge dominance in endorsements over Serena is not just occurring in America - that's a worldwide phenomenon. So while it may not cost her wins, the fact that we can celebrate Wimbledon embracing arguably the best female tennis player of all time well as a victory is telling.

I also find it really intereresting how, in the American narrative, we tend to see a lot of "overcoming" the inner city narrative, but very little "overcoming" the deep South narrative. If we're talking about crime, poverty, lack of education, etc., it seems to me a lot of white athletes emerging from Alabama get to skirt this stuff (or get to show pride in the "authentic" places they come from) vs. every black athlete needing to act as though they thrived despite the place they came from.

posted by dfleming at 03:40 PM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

If those quotes are legit, I think we're seeing a reason why Kournikova didn't achieve as much as she would've liked in single's tennis. "I hate my muscles" nicely captures a top athlete who limited her own success with a counterproductive attitude.

Or one who wanted as much success as her particular preferred body image would allow, which is again why I question who any of us are to determine whether or not someone's perspective on their own body is reasonable or not, particularly in the context of the unique dual role that women are expected to play in sports vs. those men are.

Women are expected to walk the red carpet as athletes, but then get criticized for being too into it. A singularly-focused life is not necessarily a model for happiness for everyone, and it's quite possible after nearly your whole youth being consumed by a sport that some want some variety - and for Kournikova, or Radwanska, that variety might include a particular body that demonstrably society aesthetically prefers and pays handsomely for.

posted by dfleming at 03:12 PM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

She says, specifically, she has no regrets except to be a little stronger physically, which could either mean pure strength or a reaction to the fact her body's injuries cut her career shorter than it could've been.

But if you want quotes on the mix of things that Anna believed:

"I hate my muscles. I'm not Venus Williams. I'm not Serena Williams, I don't want to look like they do. I'm not masculine like they are."

"A court is like a scene, people want to see attractive people."

"I think that tennis is a lady's sport, so we should look out there like ladies."

"I am beautiful, famous and gorgeous."

I'm not trying to mind-read for her, but it's pretty clear that tennis was one of a number of top-line values that she operated under. It sounds pretty clear that looking like the Williams sisters, even as she watched how successful they made her, was not something she remotely considered for aesthetic reasons regardless of whether it made her a better tennis player.

posted by dfleming at 12:01 PM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

Here's a quote from her in 2008: "In a perfect world, would I have won a tournament? Yes. But I wasn't able to string those matches together. Sometimes I got unlucky, and sometimes I just lost. Regrets? Not a thing. Except to be a little stronger physically."

That quote fully validates my perspective - which is that yes, she might've like to win more as a solo tennis player, but ultimately she doesn't regret the approach she took to life.

I thought we were debating whether to win at the cost of not being the smallest top player to emphasize your feminine attractiveness.

Sure, but take the Williams sisters, who've externally to the sport received a ton of criticism for their lack of femininity. The reality for big female stars (more so than male stars) is they are expected to be dominant in their sport and then turn on a dime and be presentable and attractive women off the court at galas, on the cover of magazines, etc. So I don't fault a woman for prioritizing her looks as one part of what matters to her as a woman, not to mention as a broader way for her to maximize the revenue in a short career as a public sports figure.

posted by dfleming at 11:25 AM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

Do you think Radwanska or any other top female tennis player will look back on her playing days and think "I'm glad I was the smallest woman in the top 10"? My guess is that attaching "Wimbledon winner" to your name forever would mean more.

Do you think Anna Kournikova, who made $3.5m on the WTA and has an estimated net worth of $50m today, is really upset at her life choices and what kind of life they've given her?

Sure we could give them slack -- we are beautiful snowflakes, one and all -- but realistically what fan likes to hear that when the team keeps coming close to a championship and falling short?

That's exactly the perspective that a variety of 49ers fans felt this season about the various players retiring before their time - to which I say, if what fans want are win-at-all-costs robot players without concern for their broader selves or what makes them happy, those fans are dicks.

posted by dfleming at 10:34 AM on July 12

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

Maybe being the smallest player in the top 10 ought to be less of a focus than reaching that last rung to win a major.

Why? If she'd prefer to be small than a champion, who is anyone to tell her that she should have other goals?

posted by dfleming at 05:40 PM on July 11

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The slippery slope is when this concerns, say, the President or a Presidential candidate. In those types of cases, the public may well have a legitimate interest in knowing of any medical issues that the officeholder or candidate may not want to disclose. Better to have the broad immunity/privileges of the press from a legal standpoint to protect for those circumstances and hope that any sort of journalistic ethics would dictate appropriate discretion when dealing with less weighty matters.

All I am saying is - by accepting this slippery slope argument, we are effectively saying whatever collateral damage occurs to individuals/the broader collective is acceptable and whatever collateral damage a president's hidden illness might inflict on the country is not acceptable.

My point is - given how technology is significantly different than it was when the Amendment was written (i.e., JPP's missing finger would've taken days to spread like wildfire if it would've at all), isn't it at all reasonable to consider a nuanced and changing perspective based on what impacts it actually has on people?

posted by dfleming at 02:11 PM on July 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Do you really want a society where the media is breaking the law by reporting someone's medical condition?

What is the downside to a society where JPP decides when and where to tell the world he's lost a finger, or someone gets the opportunity to tell the world on their own terms they're going through gender therapy, or has M.S? What do we lose?

posted by dfleming at 01:03 PM on July 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Agreed. I feel the same way about celebrities who go to private places who get photos published of them (or of their kids) and stories about people's personal lives going into the can.

It exemplifies the worst of what we are as human beings - gossip monsters who don't care about what impact information might have on the individual so long as we're entertained. It happened during the nude photo hack - people willfully shared that information in a way that would devastate virtually everyone if it happened to them.

It would work itself out if the shit didn't sell - but man does it sell. The market here reflects our collective ethic, and our collective ethic sucks.

I do not agree with the general perspective on newsworthiness (i.e., being popularly known) somehow creating a category where anything goes, but unfortunately trying to have a nuanced debate about any of the Amendments and how maybe in the technological era some things have changed is a non-starter.

posted by dfleming at 11:52 AM on July 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

rcade, you're spending a lot of time arguing against people who aren't actually arguing against you here. What grum and I are saying (if I'm wrong, grum, let me know) is that it is possible for Schefter to face legal trouble under a possible set of circumstances that no one has actually provided proof (or denial) of, and that his status as a journalist and Pierre-Paul's status as a public figure aren't the absolute defenses that you seem to think they are.

Well - we could also argue that Schefter would face legal issues if he blackmailed a person at the hospital to get the information, or if he hit a pedestrian on the way to getting the document, or if he dressed as a nurse to get access to Cousins' file. There are a lot of other crimes he could've committed but publishing info protected by HIPAA is not one of them.

posted by dfleming at 11:14 AM on July 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

How about a state law tort claim for invasion of privacy? I think the media probably wins on that one, but that would be the basis of the claim, not a HIPAA violation.

My understanding in cases of invasion of privacy involving public figures, the plaintiff has to prove the information was not newsworthy.Clearly an NFL player losing a finger in a fireworks accident is newsworthy.

posted by dfleming at 04:05 PM on July 09

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Also, I wonder if a private citizen's health records really fall in the "newsworthy/public concern" bucket that the journalist would claim in order to use the Bartnicki v Vopper precedent as protection.

Protection from what? HIPAA only applies to people working for specific medical agencies. There's nothing illegal about asking for or receiving information protected under the act. It is the sole responsibility of the person bound by HIPAA not to give it.

posted by dfleming at 02:25 PM on July 09

Zach Lowe's NBA Free-Agency Winners and Losers

In general, I think DeAndre Jordan made himself look like a selfish twat in this whole process.

Renegging on a verbal contract is n't great, but not even taking a meeting with Cuban to man up and tell him your word means shit before you sign elsewhere is worse. Lots of reports out there saying it's been days since Dallas actually got a response from Jordan. I think Nowitzki in particular deserved better than that, as that commitment presumably meant the Mavs stopped looking for a front-line center while a bunch were still out there.

Plus the whole stardom thing - going back to the Clippers, no matter what marketing tricks they have up their sleeve, he's still their third best player. If he wanted to be a star, he'd put more work into not shooting 43% from the free throw line and costing his team points by giving freebies away.

posted by dfleming at 09:20 AM on July 09