Tonight on The Independents: Steroids, Concussions, Stadium Subsidies, College Compensation, Title IX, and How Sports Makes Society Weirder and More Fun!

THE Answer, really. |||Tonight at 9 pm ET, and then repeated again at midnight, Fox Business Network's The Independents will be devoting its Friday-magazine episode to one of the nation's most entertaining subjects—except when it mixes with politics. That's right, we're talkin' about sports!

First up is the terrific Yahoo! baseball writer Jeff Passan, who explains why his inaugural Hall of Fame ballot this year will include (in Kennedy's phrasing) some "pumpkin heads"–players widely associated with using performance-enhancing drugs. Following that, former tailback great Ricky Watters describes in moving detail why he has joined the crusade against concussions in the NFL.

Throw it down, big man, throw it down! |||Also: Economist J.C. Bradbury discusses the curious persistence of stadium welfare in the face of overwhelming evidence that the stuff never pays off; libertarian legal genius Richard Epstein makes the case against the women-in-college-athletics provisions of Title IX, the co-hosts yell at each other a lot about compensating college athletes, and there is a lively discussion at the end that touches on gay NBAer Jason Collins, Jackie Robinson, and Bill Walton's weed habits.

Practice? This show counts!

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  • BakedPenguin||

    An Independents thread at 3PM? Is traffic in LA that bad?

  • Sudden||

    Yes.

    Which is why I moved downtown so I can walk to work everyday instead.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh, they tape it anyway. I don't know why I thought it was live.

    Then my complaint is that Kennedy's Reason profile doesn't include a picture. Preferably the nude book cover one.

  • Matt Welch||

    The Friday show is taped. Monday-Tuesday live, Wednesday depends.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, of course, no hockey. I might as well watch SportsCenter.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Again, let me reiterate: John Podesta, the man who will become one of Obama's top advisers next year, is an authoritarian scumbag

    When the Republican victory in the 2010 midterm election raised the prospect of political gridlock, John Podesta was ready with an answer: The president should bypass Congress and wield the executive powers of his office.

    Less than two weeks after the returns came in, Podesta had compiled 47 pages of proposals for unilateral action on issues from immigration to solar energy. President Barack Obama’s ability to “accomplish important change through these powers should not be underestimated,” he wrote.
    [...]
    “John will be an advocate for forceful executive action, either for its own sake or to force congressional action,” said Jake Siewert, a former Clinton White House press secretary who is now a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    Among the proposals Podesta forwarded to Obama three years ago as head of the Center for American Progress were a $2-per-barrel fee on imported oil to finance clean-energy projects, solar panels for Air Force hangars and curbs on detention of undocumented immigrants without criminal records.

  • Winston||

    curbs on detention of undocumented immigrants without criminal records.

    Guess Reason will be supporting Podesta now.

  • Hugh Akston||

    No, that will be a proposal that Obama ignores.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Tell me again Winston, how are Americans being hurt by illegal immigration?

  • Acosmist||

    Yes, how could welfare mooches possibly hurt anything? /fakelibertarian

  • ||

    Unlike Americans on welfare? Dickbag.

  • JeremyR||

    So Americans on welfare in the US are a bad thing, but people from other countries on welfare in the US is a good thing?

  • ||

    Don't pretend you don't understand, shithead. They're obviously both bad, but it's not an excuse to violate people's rights. But of course you don't actually care about that, hypocrite. Just go back to sucking government cock on immigration, ok?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Immigrant labor-force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S., unless the “study” was undertaken by an anti-immigrant group. In one estimate, immigrants earn about $240 billion a year, pay about $90 billion a year in taxes, and use about $5 billion in public benefits. In another cut of the data, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.[4]
    Since the welfare reform of 1996, when limits were implemented cutting off benefits to two years consecutively or five years cumulatively, this is a bogus accusation.
    Due to welfare reform, legal immigrants are severely restricted from accessing public benefits, and illegal immigrants are even further precluded from anything other than emergency services. Anti-immigrant groups skew these figures by including programs used by U.S. citizen children of immigrants in their definition of immigrant welfare use, among other tactics. transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years.

    Idiot.

  • JeremyR||

    They drive down wages for low skilled workers?

    Yes, I realize that has a benefit of making business more profitable, but it means that more and more people end up on food stamps and other government assistance.

    And workers coming here making minimum wage (or lower than it) and bring their families are a net drag on the economy, not a plus. How does someone making $5 an hour and several times that in "benefits" from the government help anyone? Other people in the country have to pay taxes to pay for those benefits

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum.

    Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age.[7]

    Due to welfare reform, legal immigrants are severely restricted from accessing public benefits, and illegal immigrants are even further precluded from anything other than emergency services. Anti-immigrant groups skew these figures by including programs used by U.S. citizen children of immigrants in their definition of immigrant welfare use, among other tactics. transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years.
  • Winston||

    Tell me again Winston, how are Americans being hurt by illegal immigration?

    I don't recall ever saying that.

  • gaijin||

    forceful executive action, either for its own sake

    wtf? for it's own sake?

  • ||

    Can you persuade them to run the show on Fox News Channel as well as Fox Business Channel, which is harder to find on basic cable?

  • Bam!||

    FNC would never air a show that challenges their viewers beliefs. (Same goes for any other news channel.)

  • Winston||

    How Sports Makes Society Weirder and More Fun!

    Didn`t Herbert Spencer think it made society more warlike?

  • Mike M.||

    Bill Walton may have been kind of a weirdo, but you could tell he was definitely NOT taking steroids.

  • John||

    Enormously talented player. Bob Ryan, who has seen literally every great player in person multiple times since about 1960, says that in his short prime before he got hurt, Walton was the best player he has ever seen. The poor guy had the feet of a 90 year old woman and only had two fully healthy years in the NBA.

  • silent v||

    Yep. If it weren't for lower body injuries, Portland would be known as the home of the greatest string of centers in NBA history: Walton, Bowie, Sabonis, Oden. Instead, it is where centers go to die.

  • John||

    And what is worse, all of those guys were nice guys that you wanted to see succeed. Poor Sabonis was robbed of millions thanks to the USSR refusing to let him immigrate. He destroyed David Robinson in the 1988 Olympics. And I still like Oden.

  • Matt Welch||

    What I will tell my grandkids about is the way he'd twist his body 180 degrees after jumping for a rebound and fire an outlet pass 60 feet right on the money before his feet touched the ground.

  • Count Negroni||

    I think you're the greatest, but my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense.
    ...
    And he says that lots of times, you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try... except during the playoffs.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    The hell I don't! Listen, kid. I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

  • John||

    Colleges don't owe athletes compensation anymore than businesses should owe their employees some arbitrary minimum wage. Colleges pay their athletes with in kind tuition and room and board. If that isn't enough, then athletes are free not to take it.

    The bitch, if there is one, is that the NFL and NBA don't run a minor league system like baseball does so top football and basketball players are forced to go play college ball before they go pro.

    That sucks but that is not the colleges' fault and you can't blame the colleges for taking advantage of the system. No one owes athletes a paycheck or anything other than what the athlete is willing to take in return for playing.

  • wareagle||

    teh NBA got around it with the one and done rule, something the NFL won't agree to. I could go either way on paying college athletes, right until the point when their jerseys go on sale WITH THE NAMES ON THE BACK.

    You want to sell a uni with a random number? Fine, because that number is very likely to be used by someone else down the road. Uni with player's name on the back; he's entitled to a cut.

  • John||

    I don't have a problem with that either. Part of the contract you sign with the NCAA is giving them to right to market you name when you play there. If you don't like that, don't play there.

    It is all a contract. And saying the colleges "owe" athletes anything is no different than saying there should be a minimum wage. No, the colleges owe the athletes the minimum the athletes are willing to take to play there, no more no less.

  • wareagle||

    it's not the NCAA selling the jersey with your name on it. It's the school and that is wrong. My only gripe with a jacked up system.

    Can't say I'm losing much sleep for either side in this since, last I checked, no one was forced to play ball for State U.

  • John||

    You signed the contract with the school. I don't see the system as jacked up at all. I see it as the colleges and the athletes making a mutually beneficial agreement.

    Some of the Reason staff don't like that the athletes don't get cash. Well, a lot of progs don't like it that McDonalds' doesn't pay $15 an hour.

  • BakedPenguin||

    There is a minor league to the NBA. It's called Europe.

  • BladeDoc||

    Except that the NCAA is a government enforced monopoly. You essentially cannot go into pro football without playing in college and even in basketball only the most elite can go directly from HS.

  • DingleB||

    Except that some colleges (the larger ones) actually want to pay their athletes, but they can't because of the NCAA. The debate I hear most often is whether or not the NCAA should allow the colleges to pay if they want to, not about forcing it.

  • R C Dean||

    Wait, you think the marquee athletes for big college sports programs aren't being paid?

  • cavalier973||

  • some guy||

    You fill local news time slots with pointless BS? I'd hate that job.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    INDEPENDENTS ASSEMBLE!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Steroid concussions!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Concussive HGH!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Barry Bonds was already a Hall of Famer before he *allegedly* went on the roids.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Shouldn't Welch be helming this episode? No offense, but Kennedy is a girl.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You know he was champing at the bit, baseball fan that he is.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Modern day gladiator fights! The NFL.

  • Bam!||

    ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    What if we gave our Congress members steroids?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Just say no...

    ...to government interference.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I want robots to play baseball. Or possibly some kind of Frankenstein monsters.

  • Bam!||

    I don't think baseball fans care about steroids per se, I think they care about the lying, deception, and unfairness of steroids. If some follow the rules but others risk it, break the rules, and get away with it, it creates an unbalanced playing field.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I want my players using performance degrading drugs, like the Babe.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I remember seeing a banner at a Giants game that said

    "Hey Barry: Ruth Did It On Beer and Hot Dogs and Aaron Did It On Pride"

  • Bam!||

    Red Bull is not the same as steroids, Kennedy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wanted Lance Armstrong to use a moped.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I still tip my hat to a man with one testicle beating a bunch of other dopers at a long-distance endurance cycling race.

  • Bam!||

    What if it was because he was mono-balling that he won the races? If others started getting their balls cut off, would it be considered cheating?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    [cough]Scooter Libby[cough]

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm going to buy Belize with my fracking royalties. Then we'll see how unspoiled it is.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Interesting. It's sunny outside in Orlando at 9:13 in the evening.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I bet House could diagnose it.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    It's not Lupus.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    He said "First of all" twice just now. I believe him.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    STEVE SMITH?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So when you're retired you can't walk it off? Rub some dirt on it?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kennedy wants to go back to leather helmets.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They're compensated with C's.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Baseball, football, and references to what gets Kennedy's loins frothy. Why isn't this airing in a better day and slot?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    CLASS WARFARE!

  • Bam!||

    It actually looks like her loins are frothy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kennedy is reminding us that she's a woman, with all the lack of logic that comes with being a woman.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    TIWTANWL!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Help me out with that one.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    THIS IS WHY THERE ARE NO WOMEN LIBERTARIANS?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How did I forget that? It's my personalized license plate, after all.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    This isn't as good as Cartman's take on the NCAA

  • Bam!||

    Wounded Warrior Project has a lot money to spend on advertisement. Wonder how many $19 donations payed for this commercial.

  • Brian D||

    I will donate $20 to Reason if Matt Welch threatens to punch Kennedy in the uterus on the air. I was hoping he'd do it while shushing her during the college athletics segment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    During the commercials.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I'm just going to say it: Ultimate Fighting is boring, boring, boring. I don't want to see a fight that's over in less than 2 minutes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This guy is "a friend of ours." Totally.

  • Brian D||

    "New York is a very fun state, provided that we get to tell you what fun is."

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Government regulation or league regulation? Not quite sure what this guy is pushing for?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    There's lots of fun things to do Upstate in the outdoors. Then again I haven't been back to the Adirondacks in years so maybe they've ruined that too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Looks like The Independents got themselves a nice shiny new set.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Wait, if building stadiums doesn't increase economic activity, why would any government-funded stimulus construction project work?

  • Brian D||

    Gillette Stadium, bitches! No public money spent to build it.

  • Matt Welch||

    Whatever phone company the SF Giants play in, too!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sports are the modern day arts. They must be publicly funded. It's what Rome would have done.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Sports are the opiate of the masses. Things like Lesbian Watersports and pictures of the Virgin Mary covered in aardvark shit are real art that government should be funded.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Duluth Trading apparently thinks we are not their demographic, and has deprived us of our meme, so I bring you...

    THE GIANT ANGRY BEAVER!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They can't afford The Independents anymore. It's gotten that big.

  • Bobarian||

    Besides, who want's teeth in their beaver

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I love the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium was 100% privately financed! And while the land was given to them by the city through eminent domain, the land had already been marked by the Federal government for the construction of a housing project, so it would have been seized anyway.

  • Bam!||

    Is that guy sleeping?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    *whispers* Is Epstein sleeping?

  • Brian D||

    Is this guest reading from some prepared notes?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Hey, hey...the camera's up here.

  • Brian D||

    MICROAGGRESSION!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Title IX? Ask Epstein about Obama instead.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kennedy wants government intervention when it involves her gender.

  • ||

    So what did Kennedy say, anyway?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Something about how Title XI was necesssary for women because before they used to be called lesbians if they played sports?

  • Bobarian||

    I think that's still true, Title IX just increased the number of lesbians...

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Please excuse Rich from looking at the camera.

    Signed

    Epstein's Mother

  • Bobarian||

    Do you have to be old to get that?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Yes.

    Welcome Back Kotter.

    Juan Epstein, the Puerto Rican Jew, was notorious for skipping class and having an excuse from his mother, always signed... "Epstein's Mother" as though Juan wrote it himself.

    Damn kids! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Go to www.unitedsoybean.org. Be their one hit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A wardrobe change, Foster?

  • Bam!||

    Got a little cold, put on a sweater.

  • K Anthony||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Awesome.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Did Kmele just compare Obama with a gay???

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Joe rocked!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Gay people have been playing professional sports for as long as there have been professional sports.

    It's not remotely similar to racial discrimination. And as Welch said, any athlete that comes out is going to be met with shrug unless that athlete is a superstar on the level of Kevin Durant or Mike Trout.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So yeah, no NHL mention. Not even the Bertuzzi lawsuit. And did they even touch on basketball?

  • Matt Welch||

    Funny thing is, pro hockey is Kennedy's favorite sport, and she always wants to tell me how much it's better than baseball. We just didn't work it in.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She's right. It is. Have her take you to a Rangers game.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    AH! Lou Dobbs.

  • Derpetologist||

    OT: Democrat Senator Andrew May blabbed about ineffective Japanese depth charges during WW2. Japs get wind of it and fix depth charges, leading to the loss of at least 10 US subs and 800 sailors.

    Heckuva job, asshat!

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