Monday, September 17, 2012

A new collection of Dunces & Weasels

Some people are either defiant or just plain dumb. Or maybe, a little of both. Consider the following:

Weasel #1: Silvio Berlusconi. The former premier of Italy is now a media magnate treading on Rupert Murdoch's territory. Berlusconi, who successfully won a case against a tabloid over some scandalous photos a few years back, now finds himself on the other side of the scandal involving Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. We told you yesterday about the photos that appeared in the French magazine, Closer, which is one of Berlusconi's publications. Today, another magazine, Chi, based in Italy, ran a larger amount of photos, including reprints of what had appeared in France & Ireland over the weekend. The Irish publication, by the way, jumped in without the approval of their owners, from what I've read online.

In Berlusconi's case, it's a matter of trying to have it both ways, and it doesn't always work. Mondadori, Berlusconi's publishing company, is already facing a lawsuit for the photos appearing in Closer. The Chi layout is a case of begging for more trouble. There is no way anyone can claim the rationale for the photos is "public interest". It's exploitation. No argument to the contrary accepted.

Dunce Cap #1: Amanda Bynes. The actress is in trouble again, and this time, the LAPD confiscated her BMW after she was pulled over on Sunday morning. It wasn't so long ago that Ms. Bynes (ex-What I Like About You) was whining and asking the President for help after an earlier arrest. Now comes word that she's been spotted doing some tokin' while driving, and she's also been seen talking to herself in public. Does she really know "What a Girl Wants"? Apparently, the answer is no.

Weasel #2: Greg Schiano. The former Rutgers football coach, a NFL rookie manning the sidelines in Tampa Bay, saw what would've been a happy homecoming fall apart late at the Meadowlands on Sunday when the Buccaneers coughed up a 14 point second half lead to the Giants. That should've been the story all by itself. Instead, Schiano instructed his defense to try to break the Giants' victory formation at the end of the game in a last-ditch attempt to get the ball back, while the Super Bowl champs were content to take a knee and run out the clock. Schiano defended himself by saying that's what he did at Rutgers. Even Mr. Magoo would tell him there's a huge difference between Rutgers and the NFL, and the tongue lashing he got from Giants coach Tom Coughlin after the game should serve as a wakeup call. From the sound of things, Schiano apparently didn't know. Oh, really? It's one thing to preach playing aggressively from the first whistle to the last, and we would applaud him for that, but in the pros, such moves are going to be micro-analyzed to death, especially with the threat of injury to the opposing team.

Dunce Cap #2: Replacement officials. Two weeks into the regular season, and the complaints have been predictable. The Eagles-Ravens game, won by Philadelphia in the final minutes, didn't end until after 5 pm (ET). In the Giants-Tampa Bay game, there were at least three defensive holding calls that weren't, and all of them would've been on Tampa Bay. The problem with these subs is that they're out of position, and some teams are taking advantage to see how much they can get away with. Meanwhile, one official was pulled from the New Orleans-Carolina game after it was revealed that he's a Saints fan. Now, Yahoo! is reporting that a field judge working the Seattle-Arizona game had been brought in to officiate some Seahawks practices from 2009-11, but not this year. The guy's also a Pac-12 official, so there was some familiarity with Seattle coach Pete Carroll. That it took a week before this got out is a little dubious, though..........

Weasel #3: Donald & Steve Fehr. The Fehr brothers can be held partially responsible for the current NHL lockout. Like, couldn't you have seen this coming once Donald was hired by the NHL Players Association, given his reputation in baseball? Oh, sure, the owners want more of an even split in revenues to make it fair for everyone, especially in these tough economic times, but the NHLPA is predictably playing hardball. Will this nonsense ever stop?

We'll also hand out Dunce Caps to the NFL for keeping the referees locked out, perpetuating the current mess we have with the subs. If we want replacements, we'll settle for that movie with Keanu Reeves & Gene Hackman which gets tons of cable airplay this time of year. Just do the right thing.

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