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The First Ever Salary Cap in Sports

» 22 October 2010 » In something else » Comments Off

A thread on one of my favorite social news sites about gladiators inspired me to read up on the subject in Wikipedia. There, I found this:

Gladiatorial games, usually linked with beast shows, spread throughout the Republic and beyond.[45] Anti-corruption laws of 65 and 63 BCE attempted but signally failed to curb their political usefulness to sponsors.[46] Following Caesar’s assassination and the civil war, Augustus assumed Imperial authority over the games, including munera, and formalised their provision as a civic and religious duty.[47] His revision of sumptuary law capped private and public expenditure on munera – claiming to save the Roman elite from the bankruptcies they would otherwise suffer – and restricted their performance to the festivals of Saturnalia and Quinquatria.[48] Henceforth, the ceiling cost for a praetor‘s “economical” but official munus of a maximum 120 gladiators was to be 25,000 denarii ($500,000). “Generous” Imperial ludi might cost no less than 180,000 denarii ($3.6 million).[49][50] Throughout the Empire, the greatest and most celebrated games would now be identified with the state-sponsored Imperial cult, which furthered public recognition, respect and approval for the Emperor, his law, and his agents.[51] Between 108 and 109 CE, Trajan celebrated his Dacian victories using a reported 10,000 gladiators (and 11,000 animals) over 123 days.[52] The cost of gladiators and munera continued to spiral out of control. Legislation of 177 CE by Marcus Aurelius, which did little to stop it, was completely ignored by his son, Commodus.[53]

Obviously the difference is that the gladiators were being purchased as slaves and not paid these amounts. But even 2000 years ago, we had sports budgets spinning out of control, and rules to curtail them which were subsequently ignored.

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Blackhawks Advance and Site Update

» 24 May 2010 » In NPB Tracker, something else » Comments Off

So just as I suspected/feared, the Blackhawks proved to be too much for the Sharks and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. I didn’t see the Hawks sweeping the Sharks though, and had Antti Niemi not played so well they probably wouldn’t have. I was hoping Montreal would take the Eastern Conference, but Chris Pronger has a way of getting to the Finals no matter where he is. So it should be a good series between Chicago and Philly, although I think the Blackhawks would have to be heavily favored.

That’s not why I’m here though. This is just a teaser to say that I’ll have some new content and an update to the data site coming up this week.

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Blackhawks Vs Sharks and the NHL Playoffs

» 12 May 2010 » In something else » 2 Comments

It’s playoff time. Has been for a couple weeks, in fact. One year ago today, I posted on the resurgent Chicago Blackhawks, pledging my support to my hometown team, who of course went on to lose in the conference finals to Detroit. My first loyalty as a hockey fan is to my current local team, the San Jose Sharks, but last year the decision to root for the Hawks was made for me when the Sharks flamed out in the first round.

This year is different. Both the Sharks and the Hawks handily won their first two playoff rounds and will meet in the Western Conference Finals. Does this put my loyalties to the test? Not really. I’m a Sharks fan. I live the Bay Area and have been following this team for years. And they’re a veteran team that’s been on the cusp of greatness for the last couple of years, and they’re just due. It’s a shame Jonathan Cheechoo is no longer around though.

Now having said that, I can’t help but be a little bit nervous about this series as a Sharks fan. The Blackhawks outplayed the Sharks pretty convincingly in the two teams’ four regular season meetings, and have a talented team with tremendous scoring depth. The Sharks actually have the more experienced, skilled top group (the “Gold Medal” line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau), but they haven’t really gotten going in the playoffs until the last few games. It should be a good series.

I’m still gonna link to Here Come the Hawks though. You can get the mp3 of the regular version here and the instrumental here.

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