Chalupas, LeBron, "American Gladiators:" Your Emails

I was on the road for a long time, so it's time to check in with your e-mails. Keep them coming to I love the interaction.

I thought I knew the history of Chalupa-like giveaways but I had some readers give me a history lesson.

This from reader Mike Koester:
"I wanted to let you know that these promotions have been going on for a very long time. I was at a Detroit Pistons game in 1989 or 1990 and they were playing the Miami Heat. During that game, (and season I think) if the Pistons scored over 130 points then everybody in the crowd would get a free pizza from Buddy's Pizza (a Detroit Chain). They did score that much and everybody got the pizzas. I thought you would enjoy this for two reasons. First, these promotions have been going on for a long time, and additionally how basketball has changed. 130 points? That is ridiculous. No one would ever get chalupas if that was still the case, except for maybe Suns fans."

From George Winkler:
"I just read your blog on the chalupas at Portland Trail Blazers games. When I was a kid growing up in Sacramento in the mid-1980s, the Kings used to give away Burger King Whoppers when the team would score 110 points and win. Then, the team got so bad that I think all they had to do was score 100 points period. I still remember Harold Pressley doing a reverse jam to clinch the Whoppers one game. My friend and I went to Burger King immediately after the game and ate our prize. Anyway, thanks for allowing me the trip down memory lane with your blog."

I received a lot of notes aboutmy blog concerning what I think is the NCAA's irrational rule with dealing with player jersey compensation. After all, 61 percent of people who voted on the blog said they thought that elite athletes, whose jersey numbers are clearly being used, should get paid a royalty from the university.

From George Bowser Jr.:
"You hit the nail on the coffin. As an attorney, I wondered why athletes could not receive compensation from school licensing agreements. To protect the so-called integrity of the game, the money could be placed in escrow until the player graduates or eligibility is complete. This would certainly help those who do not make it to the next level."

Not everyone agreed with my viewpoint, however. I was intrigued by what one reader wrote in:
"The reasons not to pay college athletes royalties on jersey sales is simple. The easy one goes like this. It would turn recruiting on its head, and reduce the parity as well as jersey prices. Why?

Lets assume that everything is set up like you want it and athletes get half of the royalties from jersey sales with their numbers on it. Now lets assume I am (Terrelle) Pryor (#1 rated qb in this years class) and I am down to Michigan and Ohio state and it's late January. Would I be deciding about which coaching staff I feel more comfortable with? No, I would be negotiating how many of my jerseys Ohio State and Michigan can guarantee to sell. Coach Rodriguez would call me and say "I have 20 boosters who will each purchase 5,000 jerseys when you sign with us." The one and done basketball players will be worse. Guys like Beasley would never go to Kansas State they'd only go to places like Kentucky and kids wouldn't decide on schools based on facilities or coaches but jersey sales.

Think about how much crazy rich Kentucky alums would've paid for a class of Mayo, Rose, Beasley. They would've bought 50/60/70,000 jerseys and fans would've flocked to stores too to jump on the bandwagon. After all, those alums put up over 20 million for that new practice facility."

As expected, I got some mail from some angry Cleveland fans, mad that LeBron James was unveiling a new Nike shoe that was Yankees inspired. I present to you, reader Brian Ruddock:
"Frightening, disturbing, disappointing...these are all ways I could describe Lebron's recent flirtations with Yankeedom. Frightening because his recent behavior suggests that The King is in love with the New York, big city lifestyle that is so different from his hometown of Akron. Disturbing because the Cavaliers have a dearth of talent and an atrocious salary cap situation, meaning Lebron will likely bolt at the end of the 2010/11 season. Yet above all else Lebron's actions are disappointing."

(Brian goes on for paragraphs about how Cleveland sports were before LeBron. I'll spare you and get to the rest of the meat.)

"Everything Yankee that has since marked LBJ's life, the hat, the shoes, all of this idiocy has drastically altered my perception of the man. Cleveland was a city in desperate need of a hero. We thought we had received one, and our support for him was limitless. Yet the air of invincibility and perfection that he once carried is no longer there. Before he could do no wrong, now it is certain that he will.

His first sins have already been committed. The last one will occur in the offseason of 2011. And this will be a sin for which no one in the "Mistake on the Lake" forgives him."

Adam McCloskey, program director of 98.1 The Ticket in Pensacola, Fla., has a comment about my idea to have the new bloggers for the Sporting News on a "Bloggers" radio show:
"There are talents inherent to each medium that don't translate to others. Creating dynamic, compelling talk -- for an audience that is constantly tuning in and tuning out -- for several hours a day isn't a simple task. Short, quick, relevant and funny (isn't hard in print. However, short and quick doesn't work for three hours a day, five days a week.

Please understand that there is difficulty in being a successful talk show host, just as there is difficulty in writing. I've spent the better part of a decade learning and honing my craft, and am still only a novice. You advocate good blogs, as do I. However, I'm going to advocate good radio, which you seem to think happens organically. It doesn't."

Reader Jason Peck had a comment on my loving of "American Gladiators," which got renewed for a second season after my writing:
"It's like they're trying their hardest to completely fill the time allotted. Competitors are hilarious, throwing in quotes such as ("her bite wasn't as bad as her hiss"). But sometimes you just want the show to move along, instead of getting corny quotes all the time. I can't figure out if they're trying to be funny or if the show/people take themselves so seriously that this is the reason that it's funny. Seeing a bunch of muscular women high fiving and making mean faces = priceless. I wouldn't want to meet Helga in the Gauntlet."

And Mark Hamrick is not a fan of the show:
"Like you, I was pretty pumped to learn AG was coming back, but after watching the first few episodes, it has been a little hard to watch. Between all of the production and editing during the competitions and the ridiculous, force-fed lines given to the contestants during their "interviews" with the awkward hosts, it's going to be tough to hang in for the entire season. I wish they could go back to the less-produced style of the original, but I guess beggars can't be choosers."

Questions? Comments?