Rachel Balkovec: Backstory Makes it Impossible Not to Root for Her

The New York Yankees, for obvious reasons, are sometimes thought to be synonymous with Frank Sinatra, and one of his signature tunes, “That’s Life,” certainly applies to Rachel Balkovec. All about the roller coaster that is life, Balkovec, just 34, has already experienced the lowest nadirs and the highest apexes.

On Monday the news broke that she had just become the first female manager in the history of affiliated baseball. She now takes over the Tampa Tarpons, the Yankees’ Low A affiliate. Balkovec met the media yesterday, via Zoom, where she said she had to change her name to “Rae” on her resume in order to even get a 1st chance.

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January 6: Who the Ringleader Could Be if it Happens Again

It’s January 6, and this will be the first time in our nation’s history that this calendar date has any real significant meaning. Unfortunately, this meaning is nothing but dark and disturbing, as it’s one of the most disgraceful days in American history. And The Simpsons actually simulated it a quarter-century ago.

On this the first anniversary of January 6, 2021, we’re realizing that this calendar date will now be like September 11 or December 7- days that live in infamy. These are three specific days in which America was attacked by vicious, desperate enemies clear in their intent for blood. But one year ago that call to take human life came from inside the house.

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Pro Palestine, Abolish Police Protest Erupts at Northwestern-Iowa

northwestern-football-ryan-field

While some dinosaurs still bloviate how “sports and politics don’t mix,” we all know that concept has fallen by the wayside these days. That said, you still shouldn’t run out onto the field of play to get your message out.

And if you still do anyways, well, try to make your signs readable to all of your potential audience. A pro Palestine group, reportedly Northwestern students, ran onto the field, late in the second quarter of tonight’s Northwestern home game against Iowa. The group was protesting in the name of other causes as well, including abolishing the Northwestern University police.

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Flashing Back to Jon Gruden Washington Team Name Debate Take

jon gruden

In the wake of the news surrounding Jon Gruden this week, we felt it might be interesting to flashback to some of the rare past occurrences where he actually did give his take on social issues. It seems pretty crazy right now, doesn’t it- a man who seemed to love absolutely everyone and everything, was Mr. positivity as an announcer, is actually a deplorable person on the inside.

During an ESPN Monday Night Football media teleconference, several years ago, Gruden even said, with great self-awareness: “people think I’m too positive, I love everybody!” Turns out it was just a character he played on television.

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Don’t Give Jay Cutler, Brett Favre Platforms on COVID Issues

Examples number 9,234,678 and 9,234,679 on why we shouldn’t look to professional athletes for guidance on serious social issues- Jay Cutler and Brett Favre. The former was in the news yesterday for his losing an endorsement over his anti-mask stance, and his potential run for a school board presidency in his home state of Tennessee.

The latter is a top trending term on the internet right now due to his appearing on CNN to talk about the risks of CTE in playing football, and how that puts weight on the decision to when kids should be allowed to play.

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Study Shows Which Football Fans Most Likely to Participate in Boycott NFL Movement

Controversy has plagued the NFL for several years now, following former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem in 2016 in protest of police brutality and racial injustice throughout the country. Kaepernick became a free agent after that season and was not re-signed, which many took as a reaction to his political protest. The kneeling incident sparked a lasting controversy that resulted in boycotts of the NFL on both sides of the issue.

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Meghan Markle Becomes Hero to Italy Fans in Euro 2020 Final

meghan-markle

Can’t say I saw this one coming, but it is true that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. As you’ll recall earlier this year Meghan Markle, who made a Brexit from the British Royal Family, pointed out just how epidemic racism is in the United Kingdom.

Markle opened up about the racism that is omni-present within the Palace itself, and as you might have guessed, the royals were in denial about it. As Italy took on England in the Euro 2020 they embraced Markle as one of their own, and if watched the match yesterday with Italy fans, it was not uncommon to hear one of them dedicate their victory to Meghan Markle.

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Indianapolis 500 Ramps Up Extreme Nationalism, Over the Top Jingoism

american military

Make no mistake about it, my favorite color is a three way tie between red, white and blue. Just look at the colors of this website. Take a look at the photo below to see how I dressed to attend the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. See the American flag emoji in my Twitter profile too.

However, there is patriotism, and then there is nationalism, and then there is patriotism and nationalism combined, on steroids and multiplied to the 10th power, which we usually call jingoism. This is a very hot topic right now, as the NFL decided last week to take the Star Spangled Banner issue and go full on #MAGA #AmericaFirst with it. The National Football League decided to completely pander to the lowest common denominator.

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Most Memorable Merica and MAGA T-Shirts Seen at Indianapolis 500

american-flag-star spangled banner

As has been well documented, especially so on this site, the patriotism gets ramped up to jingoism and then some at the Indianapolis 500 every year. Actually take that jingoism and square it, no wait- take it to the tenth power.  On one hand, we get it- this site’s colors are red, white and blue for a reason.

It is the nation’s biggest Memorial Day weekend gathering, as it draws over 300,000 people each year. On the other hand, come on- spare us the native advertising for the armed services; sponsored by Chevrolet. People showed up for an auto race, not a recruiting pitch, and certainly not for more Chevy ads.

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Indy 500, Little 500, Broadripple: Bawdy Tales of Indianapolis Racing Weekend Hijinks

indianapolis motor speedway

A decade ago, I attended my first Indy 500, and it was in the infield.

My people watching that day became an essay which is among the site’s most popular posts of all time. A decade later, I returned to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, ready once again to regale you with tales of auto racing’s zaniest fans, on racing’s biggest weekend.

This time we added two more settings- the Little 500 in Anderson (about an hour from the speedway) and Broadripple, the neighborhood boasting the hippest nightlife in all of nap town.

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Arsenal Midfielder Martin Odegaard Takes Part in Norway’s Qatar Protest

The Norway national team has stood up and made their voice heard, advocating for greater human rights in the leadup World Cup 2022 Qatar.

Ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar last night, the Norwegian team, including Arsenal (on loan from Real Madrid) attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard and Borussia Dortmund scoring sensation Erling Haaland, lined up before kickoff wearing T-shirts over their national-team jerseys that had the message “HUMAN RIGHTS” followed by “Respect on and off the pitch.”

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Lebron James Dunks on Zlatan Ibrahimovic for ‘Stick to Sports’ Bit

LeBron James

You knew Lebron James wasn’t going to take a “stick to sports” or “just shut up and dribble” from Zlatan Ibrahmovic lying down. On Thursday, Ibrahimovic said in an interview that James should stay out of politics and not use his very large platform for social issues like he has been doing repeatedly, and beautifully.

Ibrahmiovic said that people should only do what they’re good at it, and Friday saw Lebron answer to these accusations, and in the process call out Zlatan for his hypocrisy. James also said he’ll also never stop fighting for social justice., and against systemic racism.

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