THAT IS WHAT PRIVATIZED HEALTH CARE LOOKS LIKE AND MARYLAND IS ONE OF THE MOST PRIVATIZED HEALTH SYSTEMS IN THE NATION.
Neo-liberal O'Malley and neo-con Ehrlich both work to privatize and pass laws that kill the public's ability to stop environmental development-----that kill the public's ability to seek justice from damage to health from corporate neglect. That's what corporate pols do-----allow anything that makes a profit no matter how much it hurts the public. O'Malley is just like neo-con Rick Perry of Texas in that regard.
I will hit a nerve with citizens of Baltimore and Maryland as I talk down FOOTBALL as the Ravens are hawked as a product just like any product and the citizens of this area love the Ravens product. Let's look at the dark side of Football as a product and how neo-liberals and neo-cons are pushing Football as the top sport in America at the same time all health professionals and youth advocates are shouting FOOTBALL has a high probability of harming these players.
THIS IS A HEALTH CRISIS IN AMERICA AND IT IS THE HEALTH INDUSTRY THAT OFTEN CASHES IN ON THIS. IN BALTIMORE AND MARYLAND-----THE HEALTH INDUSTRY IS A TAG TEAM FOR FOOTBALL.
Baltimore Development is Johns Hopkins with football fields being built in Enterprise Zones in south East Baltimore---- and Dunbar High School is Johns Hopkins and the number one athletic field being installed in Baltimore including a new one one the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus-----FOOTBALL FIELDS. The Ravens is hawked in Baltimore like the #1 commercial product----
Now, I must admit to being biased against professional sports but I am very supportive of community sports for children. I don't mind professional sports media just don't make it across the board and the only choice on Free TV as is happening now. I sat down for a few minutes on a Saturday and Sunday to watch the standard reruns and there were literally football games on Channels 3, 11, 13, 24, and 45-----EVERY FREE TV STATION JUST ABOUT.
When the Ravens as a billion dollar industry has a stadium sitting on public land and paying no property taxes and as a professional sport that is allowed non-profit status paying no income taxes-----all that profit can be used to dominate local media and development through 'donations'.
ERGO----ALL OF THE FOOTBALL POLICY AS DEVELOPMENT.
In addition Baltimore has UnderArmour as a headquarters-----this is a global sports equipment corporation that again---sits in an Enterprise Zone with all kinds of corporate tax credits and they 'donate' all kinds of football equipment that of course will have to be replaced. Which brings more profit to UnderArmour-----Soccer or Football? Not much profit in a soccer ball and some knee pads!
This is what is driving FOOTBALL as the leading industry and it is what is behind the corporatization of college football......and who just made College football the new big sport? University of Maryland College Park over their Maryland Basketball Terps to great scandal. University of Maryland is headed by an O'Malley appointment that has been extremely corporate in his university approach. You know you have neo-liberals and Republicans in power if all decisions regardless of health and education----revolve around profits for business.
FOOTBALL CAME TO COLLEGE PARK NOW BECAUSE IT IS A HOT INDUSTRY. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EDUCATION AND IT IS BAD FOR STUDENT'S HEALTH.
College Park would have the state funding it needs for a strong academic campus if
RAVENS, UNDERARMOUR, AND FOR-PROFIT HOSPITALS WITH SPORTS INJURY CLINICS PAID TAXES!
Let's take a look at what will kill public health, kill free TV, and kill our funding for higher education.
Dunbar has a new football field courtesy of UnderArmour and Johns Hopkins who 'supports' Dunbar. Not only is football unhealthy for these students but the new artificial turf sold by yet another corporation has already shown to contain toxic petroleum products that is affecting student's health. Hopkins will have to create a specialty for that health problem no doubt. Johns Hopkins is taking all that Federal, State, and local development money and replacing all its baseball and football fields with the worst of artificial turf sending tons of money to those corporations. Their baseball field was beautiful fresh grass----no money in that. These artificial turf fields are replaced around a decade of use. Mowing the grass----employees people for goodness sake. I go to these fields to visit my share of the Medicare Trust that will not be there because of massive health industry fraud by health institutions like Hopkins. Maybe if we have cancer we can roll around on these fields since most people will not be able to access health care beyond preventative care because Johns Hopkins wrote the most private and profit-driven health policy for Maryland's state health system.
'Injury Lists Grow Longer, and High School Seasons Are Cut Short
By JOHN BRANCH and BILLY WITZ
Football games and seasons have been canceled over the dwindling number of healthy players before, but the flow of examples makes this year stand out'.
Johns Hopkins has been found on more than one occasion protecting corporations from class action lawsuits on issues of health----you can bet that will happen in these cases. These fields are simply recycled tires and the crumbling is petroleum that students inhale---
THINK THESE NOW CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES WILL BE ANXIOUS TO CREATE DATA THAT PROVES THIS?
No, they will simply buy stock in the treatment corporations built from their own patented research paid for by taxpayers. Public health policy would not allow this chain of events. It is the fact we have no public health departments saying NO to all this that these problems are now soaring. Hopkins controls public health in Baltimore, ergo----all the bad health policy!
OH GREAT----MORE RESPIRATORY AND CANCER DISEASES
Local Athletes Play On Turf That Could Cause Health Problems, Cancer
Posted: Oct 09, 2014 9:34 PM EDT Updated: Oct 09, 2014 9:44 PM EDT
Posted by Don Granese, News Reporter
A new report shows the turf your young athletes may play on could possibly lead to health issues. After speaking with many of our local school athletic programs NBC Right Now found that that same product that could be causing issues is used here. NBCRightNow.com - A new report shows the turf your young athletes may play on could possibly lead to health issues.
After speaking with many of our local school athletic programs NBC Right Now found that that same product that could be causing issues is used here.
It's the stuff that flies up when a player dives or skids on the field. It's actually ground-up tire rubber. The players that interact with it most are soccer goalies as they dive, sometimes ingesting the crumb rubber.
Most stadiums use the material including Edgar Brown, Lampson Stadium, Kennison Field in Hermiston and the newly renovated Zefal Stadium in Yakima.
"I know it's checked off and it's field tested to see what it has and how much shock absorption there is on the field and so generally we believe it to be safe and we know that Kennewick School District would do anything to keep our kids safe," explained Tim Wood, the Director of Boys & Girls Soccer for the Mid-Columbia Conference.
In a statement from the Pasco School District they say the safety of students is of utmost concern but they cite that there has been no study yet to link cancer to the material. The same is stated in the NBC report but even the Environmental Protection Agency has admitted more studies need to be performed.
Already the New York City Parks Department and the Los Angeles School System have put a halt on the installation of any new turf.
If soccer were the field and game of choice many of these health problems would not exist----sure, sprains and head bumps occur but not super-sized as in football. So, why did soccer not replace football as in other nations?
IT DOES NOT SELL.
Well, that's fine so let it dominate community sports and high school and college sports----sorry, that is now profit-driven too they say. So, all that public money used for public development is spent on athletics that cost the most.
Johns Hopkins and evidence-based research is now an oxymoron as they are a raging patent-driven corporation and a product machine.
Below you see the discussion on brain injury while all across the nation the evidence is clear -----as with this turf issue.
Sports Medicine Baltimore Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic Surgery
Sports Medicine at Johns Hopkins We are experts in diagnosing and providing the highest quality care to the athlete who tears a knee ligament during a game
Johns HopkinsTraumatic Brain Injury
A National Conference:Saturday, May 21, 2011
Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool of MedicineThomas B. Turner BuildingBaltimore, Maryland
Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional Football: An Evidence-Base Perspective
Experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine hosted a press conference following a continuing medical education program on the epidemiology of head injury in professional football. This program was an evidence-based review of traumatic brain injury in the sport.
Watch a video of the press conference
The objectives of the conference on Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional Football: An Evidence-Base Perspective was to assess the current scientific knowledge on this subject and to make recommendations for the future research needed to answer the remaining questions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Among the major recommendations for the future mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) biomarkers research agenda were:
The NFL commissioner talks with the Pentagon Channel at Johns Hopkins conference on brain injuries in sports and military personnel.
- Conduct prospective longitudinal studies evaluating the value of clinical tests, serum biomarkers, imaging, and electrophysiological tests in a) differentiating players with and without traumatic brain damage, b) detecting the effect of preventive/therapeutic interventions, and c) predicting long-term cognitive and behavioral outcomes.
- The need for MRI and PET studies to determine in vivo morphological and functional correlates of physical impacts, concussions and long-term post-TBI cognitive decline.
- The need to implement MRI and electrophysiology studies to identify mechanisms of neural plasticity following MTBI.
- A study of former players, with state-of-the-art measures, to determine:
- Rates of neuropsychiatric disorders by age
- The relationship between neuropsychiatric disorders and cumulative exposure to sub-concussive or concussive impacts sustained across the player’s career.
- Design and start a cohort study of retiring players for the same purpose.
- Additional study of CTE pathology and neurobiology.
- Development of biomarkers to detect CTE in vivo among former players and other athletes.
- Development of animal models to test the hypothesis that repeat injury leads to degenerative tauopathy and to identify mechanisms that can be targets for intervention.
- Development of a longitudinal concussion and “hits” database to capture prior and present episodes, quantify symptoms, document evaluations for return to play and document rehabilitation strategies.
CONCUSSIONS: Why is there so much emphasis on concussions in sports lately?
WHEN TO START: Should assessments be made of all athletes even before they start playing?
GATHERING EVIDENCE: A recent NFL/Johns Hopkins conference on mild traumatic brain injury hopes to develop trustworthy data.
RESEARCH DIRECTIONS: Many aspects of mild traumatic brain injury need much more investigation.
Environment and Human Health Inc.
'From the available information, it was found that tire crumbs contained volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) with carcinogenic potential, which could be extracted from the crumbs in the laboratory. Health reports from workers in the rubber fabrication industry and in the rubber reclamation industry describe the presence of multiple volatile organic hydrocarbons, semivolatile hydrocarbons, and other toxic elements in the air. Studies at tire reclamation sites report the leaching of similar sets of chemicals into the ground water. Occupational studies document a spectrum of health effects, ranging from severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation to three forms of cancer'.
Come on you sports fans----you do not have to make every level of sport professional! You don't have to have every channel covering every game! Stop allowing the rich to skew our culture to everything needing to be about competition.
That is another reason for the concentration on professional sports-----neo-liberalism is all about winning as all costs and competition. War games and hyper-sports culture is the sign of a declining society. Cage wrestling?
You are being made a product!
College Football Is Ruining Education And the NFL is profiting from it
By Steve Almond
College football is the arranged marriage of two entities: An institution of higher learning and an athletic industry. It is corrupt and illogical and wildly entertaining and lucrative, which means a legion of lawyers and ad men and sports journalists are handsomely paid to defend and promote its corruption and illogic while the rest of us watch. The beauty of the scheme, from the standpoint of a business student or a sociopath, is that the players themselves get paid nothing.
Actually, that’s not true. As we are endlessly reminded by the various Quislings in the employ of the NCAA, they receive scholarships. These “student-athletes” are given a chance to succeed in the game of life! Yes, in between the 40–60 hours a week they spend practicing and recovering from practice and working out and attending team meetings and studying the playbook--never mind travel, media duties, and games--you can just imagine how much time and energy they have to devote to course work! After all, what matters most at Auburn is not that their star running back is primed and ready for a nationally televised Bowl game, but that he’s primed and ready for that pop quiz in Anthropology. You can imagine how concerned all his coaches must be about his academic progress, given that their own career trajectories depend entirely on climbing the national football rankings.
Fun fact: Up to a third of Division I football players never graduate.
I don’t mean to be flippant. I’m sure there are many college players who pursue their studies strenuously. My point is that the system doesn’t require them to. The notion that they’ve enrolled in college to learn more about the world of ideas is a fraud we all consent to so we can watch them compete on Saturday.
And it’s a fraud that degrades the essential educational mission. It suggests that what really matters, what makes a college worth attending and supporting, isn’t scholarship or research or intellectual transmission, but athletics. Which is why, when you hear the name of a large state school such as the University of Texas or Florida or Michigan you don’t think of a college at all. You think of a football team.
To return to the issue of free labor, let us consider the recent claim, made by football players at Northwestern, that they be considered employees of the university, and thus allowed to unionize. This is not, as the media has reported it, a “controversy.” The players recruited by Northwestern work over 40 hours per week, even in the off-season. In any other context, we would call that a job.
The NCAA is desperate to fight this case, because it would crush the fragile foundational myth of the “student-athlete.” It would make college football seem too much like what it actually is: one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. The top ten programs alone increased their revenues (self-reported, naturally) from $290 million to nearly $800 million in the ten years from 2001 to 2011. That’s more than 150 percent growth.
In 2012, ESPN paid $7.3 billion to broadcast the newly implemented college football playoffs for the next twelve years. Major conferences such as the SEC and Big Ten have launched their own hugely profitable networks. I would estimate the eventual total revenues for the nation’s 125 major programs (TV rights, ticket sales, merchandise, video game licensing) at a gazillion dollars.
Boosters point to all this moolah as a justification for the programs. Look here, they say. Our football team is keeping this institution afloat. The truth is that it’s tremendously expensive to run a football program, what with multimillion dollar coaching contracts and recruiting visits and so on. The Stanford program, for instance, generated $25 million in 2011–2012, and spent $18 million. Ohio State spent $34 million. Alabama spent $37 million. In one year.
To be sure, the biggest programs do turn a profit. But that profit doesn’t provide financial aid for underprivileged philosophy students, or new labs for the chemistry department. It goes mainly to other athletics. More significantly, as economists Rodney Fort and Jason Winfree have noted, only a small share of the nation’s college football programs turn a profit at all. And most of it goes right back into the business.
Andrew Zimbalist, a leading sports economist at Smith College, notes that spending per student at schools with major programs stands at roughly $14,000 per year. The figure is over $90,000 for student athletes. In the country’s most famous conference, the SEC, schools spend nearly twelve times as much on athletes as they do on students who came to study, say, engineering or epidemiology. Colleges with big football programs also spend hundreds of millions on big stadiums--subsidized by (wait for it) taxpayers and even other students in the form of student fees.
This is a point the writer Malcolm Gladwell makes, that virtually nobody else seems to care about: Every college in America is supported by taxpayer dollars, and granted tax-exempt status. We do this because we value the collegiate mission, which is not to have a number one football team, but to graduate students who will go about the dull business of contributing to our society.
So who really benefits economically from college football?
Not only is it an ideal developmental league, it’s a humongous free publicity machine. The college game turns players such as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, Jr. and Johnny Manziel into brand names before they ever set foot on a pro field. Much of the reason the NFL dominates the sporting landscape is because its minor league system is, itself, the third most popular sport in America, and will probably overtake baseball before long.
Of course, when we think about the big money and glamour of the college game, we’re really thinking about the elite teams. What fans rarely see, and almost never think about, is how the game operates in the hundreds of smaller programs where players run even greater risks with no chance of going pro.
I am (of course) a total effing hypocrite when it comes to college football, because over the past five years I’ve become increasingly sucked in by the Stanford team, which is not my alma mater but where I sold hot dogs and watched John Elway gallivant so many years ago. The reason I got interested in the team was pathetically predictable: They got very good.
Last year, I decided to stop watching them. I kept seeing players get concussed during games, which I find more disturbing at the college level because I’ve actually taught undergraduates. It also dawned on me that the Stanford administration had made the disheartening decision to build an elite football program apparently because being an academically revered university wasn’t cutting it with the folks in corporate branding.
Then again, I’ve never felt an insane devotion to the college game, like Evan, a respected endocrinologist who runs a medical research lab at Harvard. I think of Evan as the kind of guy who does not suffer fools, or foolishness. And yet he has, over the years, been so infatuated with Michigan football as to haunt the message boards that serve as grievance depots for the truly afflicted. He told me he first got hooked his second year of medical school at Michigan. “Everything else basically sucked but at least there was this event, once a week, that everyone cared about. It was like you were instantly part of this huge tribe. I got wrapped up in it very quickly.”
Sure, I said, but you were studying to become a doctor.
“Yeah,” Evan said, unconvincingly. “There was this part of me that realized that players were getting hurt, and ripped off, and that football wasn’t the proper purview of a world-class university. But there was this other part of me that just felt unmitigated glee when they won. And those two parts of me are often not talking to each other.”
Evan said his passion for Michigan had started to ebb--until his son became a fan. Three years ago, they took a trip out to Ann Arbor to see the Wolverines beat Ohio State, an experience both of them look upon as a kind of holy pilgrimage. Why begrudge them this? After all, I still bond with my dad over sports. It’s a language to which we can always safely return. But it’s also true that I now often wish we had found more personal ways to connect, ways that didn’t do such harm to our principles.
So, rising football popularity is great for athletic equipment supply corporations and health institutions.....how liberal is that?
It has everything to do with neo-liberalism, not progressive liberals. It is easy to see in Maryland where the governor promotes these transitions that O'Malley is not liberal. He is a raging Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal working for profit and wealth.
THESE ARE THE WAYS YOU LEARN WHERE YOUR POLS STAND. DO YOU HEAR YOUR POLS SHOUTING ABOUT THE DANGERS TO CHILDREN, TO THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF OUR HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUSES? HOW ABOUT WHERE ALL THAT MONEY GOES----NOT TO GOVERNMENT COFFERS OR OUR SCHOOLS.
The Baltimore City Hall is neo-conservative as it works for Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Assembly is neo-liberal and neo-con as it works for corporate profit. But the Ravens would leave if they actually paid taxes! OH REALLY?
GET RID OF THESE INCUMBENTS SO WE CAN REBUILD A HEALTHY PUBLIC SECTOR!
If we look at which high schools are allowing football as the seed for player for college and professional teams----think as well that foreign students are being brought as scholarship players----Pacific Islanders are the most well known-----all while those promoting it knowing how bad it is for these people's health. Johns Hopkins and Dunbar? Baltimore City and The Ravens? We do not want football scholarships that tie these students to the only route to college. It will happen even more as college sports are made professional.
Perceptions of Risk Football, the Newest Partisan Divide
To the list of issues that divide the country along partisan lines, you can add an unusual item: football.
Yes, virtually every slice of America still watches football in enormous numbers. But blue America — particularly the highly educated Democratic-leaning areas of major metropolitan areas — is increasingly deciding that it doesn’t want its sons playing football.
The number of boys playing high school football has fallen 15 percent over the last six years in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. The decline in Colorado has been 14 percent. It has been 8 percent in Massachusetts and Maryland, 7 percent in New York and 4 percent in California.
Each of these states voted Democratic in the last two presidential elections, and each is among the more educated states in the nation, measured by the share of the population with a bachelor’s degree.
My colleagues John Branch and Billy Witz recently wrote about the growing number of high school seasons that have been canceled prematurely because the teams could not field enough players deemed to be healthy. Of the nine examples in the article — from the East Coast, the Midwest and the West — eight were in states that voted for President Obama twice. (The exception was Montana.)
This column is not meant to be another one heralding the death of football. I don’t have any idea what will happen to football playing and watching over the next few decades. It’s easy to imagine any number of outcomes.
On the one hand, football is akin to a secular religion for many Americans. It’s a tribal way of organizing life, complete with special garments, a sense of identity and weekly rituals. Football has its own annual holidays: the Iron Bowl in late November for Alabama, the Michigan-Ohio State game for the industrial Midwest and the Thanksgiving games and Super Bowl for the entire country.
At a time when audiences for nearly every other form of entertainment are splintering, football’s shows no sign of shrinking. For more than 30 years, I have been part of that audience, watching football, and lots of it, with every close friend or relative I have.
Yet culture can change. As your grandparents can tell you, horse racing, boxing and weekly moviegoing were all once leading forms of entertainment. And when mass culture meets public health, change that once seemed unfathomable can occur pretty rapidly.
Football, Slowly Losing Ground in High Schools
The decline in boys playing high school football has been larger over the past six years than the decline for any other major boys’ sport.
Today, it’s clear that a large swath of liberal, college-educated America has changed its mind about the wisdom of playing football. A recent poll conducted by the RAND Corporation for The Upshot asked people about their attitudes toward having their children playing a series of sports. Nationwide, only 55 percent of respondents said they would be comfortable with their sons playing football. The numbers for baseball, basketball, soccer and track were all above 90 percent.
The concerns about football cut across demographic groups, but they were the most intense among Democratic voters who had graduated from college. In fact, the attitudes of three other groups — Obama voters without a bachelor’s degree, Romney voters without one and Romney voters with one — were strikingly similar. Between 58 percent and 65 percent of each said they would be comfortable with their son playing football. Only 32 percent of 2012 Obama voters with a bachelor’s degree gave that answer.
Football was the only sport for which someone’s political views helped predict their comfort level, Katherine Grace Carman and Michael Pollard of RAND noted. Relative to less violent sports, hockey also had a large percentage of people saying they wouldn’t be comfortable with their child playing. But hockey is less popular— and opinions about it didn’t break along partisan lines.
What happens next? The best guess is probably that the future of football will be decided by medical research. It’s now clear that many N.F.L. players are at significant risk of brain damage. But we know less about the risks for high school and youth players, who play less and hit less hard, as Jonathan Chait, himself a liberal, noted in a New York magazine essay, “What Liberals Get Wrong About Football.”
The Blue-State Football Blues Many of the sharpest declines in football participation among high school boys have taken place in states that voted Democratic in recent presidential elections.
It’s entirely possible that further research will show that most levels of football carry risks not wildly different from, say, soccer (with its repeated headers). It’s also possible that a combination of rule changes and new equipment will moderate the dangers of football, including in the N.F.L. In those cases, football would probably remain a national obsession.
But that’s not the only realistic outcome, no matter how big football is today.
Millions of parents have already decided that youth football brings serious health risks to the brain, and science may ultimately prove those worries correct. If it does, lawsuits will follow on behalf of former players, much as the N.F.L. has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to injured ex-players. “When universities and school boards have to start paying out substantial settlements, the debate will change,” says Daniel Okrent, who has written histories of both baseball and Prohibition.
For now, most fans are willing to ignore the health damage that N.F.L. players expose themselves to. We make ourselves feel better by saying that the players know the risks. “I would not let my son play pro football,” Mr. Obama recently told David Remnick of The New Yorker. But N.F.L. players “know what they’re doing,” the president added. “They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret. It’s sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?”
Of course, that argument cuts both ways, given the sharp decline in smoking rates over the last few decades.
Anyone who insists that football’s future is secure would do well to remember the history of boxing. In the early 20th century, it was one of the country’s major sports, drawing huge crowds, radio audiences and, later, television viewers. My grandfather took a bus from Philadelphia to Yankee Stadium in 1938 to watch Joe Louis knock out Max Schmeling. In the 1980s, my father would pop popcorn and let me stay up late watching big fights on HBO.
But eventually, with Muhammad Ali and so many other boxers suffering from obvious brain damage, the problems became too big to ignore. My family — like so many others, regardless of politics, class or region — stopped watching.
Football isn’t doomed to that path, but the sport is not invulnerable, either. Just imagine if you told the 70,000 people in Yankee Stadium on June 22, 1938, that one day their grandchildren wouldn’t even be able to name the heavyweight champion of the world.
I wonder if those students would have pride with a broad range of athletic equipment and fields/gyms?
If UnderArmour paid taxes or donated to the general city fund to allow communities to decide how that money was spent----
Below you see that UnderArmour was allowed to chose the contractors in what would have been a city bidding process and guess who they chose? Johns Hopkins Whiting Turner! Turner has been given the bulk of public funded projects and Hopkins grew them into what is now a huge corporation from just such deals. Look as well as 'donations' from UnderArmour that allow them to control all aspects of development are to grow! Each time UnderArmour 'donates' instead of paying taxes------our public schools and communities are starved of revenue....especially communities of color. Remember, Dunbar High is soon to be a Hopkins Advanced Placement school that will invite football students to attend as scholarship students as Jack Young and Baltimore City Council know!
THAT WOULD BE PUBLIC POLICY!!
Under Armour brings pride, a new field – and gear – to Dunbar
Fern Shen October 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank at the ribbon cutting for Dunbar High School’s football field, newly refurbished by the Baltimore-based company.
Drivers zooming east and west on Monument and Madison streets this summer watched as a humongous new synthetic-turf football field was being created in the lumpy patch of grass between the two East Baltimore streets.
As for who paid to transform the beat-up old Paul Laurence Dunbar High School field into a gleaming, Texas-style, Friday Night Lights-type facility – with digital scoreboard, sound system, lights, concession stand, metal fence and wrap-around track – passersby might have to slow down to take a closer look.
There on the scoreboard and on other signage, is the corporate logo of the Baltimore-based sports apparel company that built this field of dreams – Under Armour.
The UA logo is on the players’ shoes and practice shorts and on the coaches’ gear, as well. (They’ve been using the just-completed field this week in preparation for tonight’s inaugural game with cross-town rival Carver.) When the Poets take the field, their burgundy-and-gold uniforms will have the logo too.
“It’s an amazing ballfield – this is in no way normal!” Dunbar principal Kristina Kyles said by phone earlier this week.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake thanked Under Armour for their city-wide philanthropy: “their fingerprints are all over Baltimore!”
Lights and synthetic turf may be common in local suburban and private schools or jurisdictions in the Sunbelt, she explained, but they have seemed for years out-of-reach for this city school.
Something, she said, “just wasn’t right about that,” considering Dunbar’s proud history, sports success and, lately, high aspirations to prepare students health science careers.
Kyles said the fancy field and new computer labs Under Armour has donated “represent the new normal around here.”
Broken Glass and Needles
It’s easy to see why Under Armour chose Dunbar.
Named for a beloved former coach, the school’s William F. “Sugar” Cane Stadium has been in such disrepair that the team hasn’t been able to play games or practice there for years. Packs of motorcyclists and mini-bikers had taken to periodically ripping around on it; nearby residents were using it as a shortcut.
“Before every game we would fan out across the whole field and pick up glass, rocks and needles,” said John Shearin, a player from the Class of ’85 who came to today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. One of the speakers at the event talked about how at one point players had to walk to Clifton Park for practice.
More recently, athletes have been riding buses to use other schools’ facilities and practicing, sometimes near twilight, at nearby parks. Most of their games have been played at Poly, which has a lighted artificial turf field.
Meanwhile, the Poets’ stellar athletic accomplishments were in direct contrast to their shabby field.
A legendary basketball powerhouse that sent players like Muggsy Bogues to the NBA, Dunbar has evolved in recent years into one of the state’s top football programs. The 7-1 Poets have won eight state championships and are now in first place in the Class 1A southern region. They’ve produced college All-Americans like Tavon Austin, a wide receiver for West Virginia.
“This is long overdue!” City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said with a sweeping gesture, at today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, to thunderous applause.
Dwayne Pate, Class of ’01, said he was overwhelmed to see a school that represents all of struggling East Baltimore get such a boost: “I’ve got goosebumps.”
They Blew it out of the Water
The Dunbar field makeover is the first big project in Under Armour’s “WIN Baltimore” program. Company CEO Kevin A. Plank told the crowd today the initiative is part of their commitment to lifting up the young people and neighborhoods in their hometown.
“This is not a gift from Under Armour, this is our house, this is our community,” Plank told the students and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers under cloudy skies.
The media and nearby residents have been taking in the details of the company’s largess all week, with throngs out on the sidewalk watching the activity through the fence .
Students said they were “so excited for our first home game on our own field!”
The 65 new computers the company donated, for instance, are in rooms they’ve named “the Johns Hopkins” and “the Maryland,” to symbolize two local universities they hope Dunbar students might one day attend.
The girls’ soccer team and boys lacrosse teams will also be using the field, as will community members, during specified hours.
Athletes are using sports equipment in a training room with a rubberized floor and, on the field, they have a sound system that is clearly powerful. (At a Tuesday afternoon practice, the whole neighborhood could hear their blaring playing of “The Police” and other music).
The Poets, during practice this week.
“Under Armour blew it out of the water, giving us this,” Kyles said.
But one detail Under Armour has declined to provide – how much they’ve spent on the project.
“We don’t talk about the financials,” said Danielle Cavalli, manager of global communications for Under Armour.
A Subsidy to Expand
City school officials were less sensitive about the subject. “I don’t know for sure but I would estimate it’s probably a million, at most $1.5 million,” said Keith Scroggins, city schools chief operating officer.
Scroggins said Under Armour chose the contractors (Turner Construction Co. and FieldTurf USA Inc.) and supervised the construction and landscaping work this summer.
During roughly the same time the field was being planned and built, Under Armour sought and obtained approval from the city council for a $35 million tax increment financing (TIF) package to expand the company’s Tide Point headquarters in South Baltimore. The expansion includes a sports field at the corporate campus that may not be accessible to the public.
“My students told me ‘Don’t you cry!’” said principal Kristina Kyles.
In his remarks today, Plank thanked Council President Young and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for helping them “move through” the project: “City Hall can be a challenge sometimes.”
Asked over the phone yesterday, Cavalli said no connection exists between the two projects: “It’s not like this is something where we said ‘Oh we’re going to benefit from this.’ It really is something where we’re going to make the city better. Make it better for kids.”
Even before the field was finished, some were cautioning about the potential for ethical issues to arise as the increasingly successful company raises its profile in Baltimore.
When the company renovated “The Dome” basketball court at the Madison Square Recreation Center in June, one critic in a letter-to-the-editor raised the TIF issue and said it gave him an “eerie … one hand washes the other” feeling.
Just Get Us Gear!
At “Sugar” Cane stadium today, there was nothing but gratitude for Under Armour and an apparent thirst for more of their products, though they already are plentiful there, since Dunbar is a participant in the company’s “Undeniable” program. (Selected schools receive $142,000 worth of Under Armour merchandise.)
Principal Kyles told what happened when she asked the students how she should use some funds she had available to buy incentive-items for the school: “I said ‘We could buy iPads, we could buy phones!’ They said ‘Gee, could you just get us Under Armour gear?”
Another speaker talked about a relative who, upon hearing about the Dunbar/Under Armour partnership, threw all their gear by another maker (presumably Nike?) in the garbage.
Passersby were watching activities at the field all week.
Perhaps that kind of brand fervor is what accounts for the report about the company that made business news, by chance, today: “Under Armour sees 25 percent jump in third quarter earnings.”Quarterly revenue came in at $575 million.
Kyles said she could measure the impact of the Under Armour partnership in many more ways than attire: “the hundreds of students on the field, engaged … the smiles … test scores are up, attendance is up, SAT’s are up.”
Standing outside the fence, meanwhile, neighborhood residents said they were just hopeful that the benefits of the buffed-up field might flow down to them in some way.
“This is awesome. I live in the projects over there. I love the (marching) band,” said Tracy McCullough, who speculated that the facility might mean more people and less crime. “It’s something positive. We need that.”
This is what Hopkins and a neo-conservative Baltimore City Hall are feeding----and it is why O'Malley tied University of Maryland College Park to football----the NFL needs its farm teams to come from high schools and colleges and that is what corporate pols work toward! Forget what is good for communities and citizens!
As I said above Baltimore media is now saturated with football games at every level----the news coverage is now super-sized Ravens and even special programming centers on the Ravens. They have the billions to buy it!
What programming does it replace? Do you know anything about the public policy issues in Baltimore or Maryland or the community planning goals? Do we have a format for community discussion of these things? No, private media used to be required to provide these public access programming and that is now football.
There is nothing cheaper for media corporations as regards programming then simply recording a sports game. None of that pesky actors, writers, scripts, plots, and weekly comedy, drama, children's programming! Oh, that's why media is becoming more saturated with sports!
Does watching TV sports transfer to physical activity which is what we want to see? Of course not----the weekends are when we have time for this and people are on their couches watching TV.
U.S. Sports Industry: Nearly a $70 Billion Business
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - June 9, 2008 - "It's good that the Olympic Games are being held this year. Not only will the games highlight the glory of sports and inspire millions of people to get involved, but they will provide a wonderful showcase for the technological achievements of the sporting goods industry." That was one of many statements made by Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) President Tom Cove during the annual presentation of SGMA's State of the Industry address. Cove's presentation was made today during a luncheon presentation at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada - site of the SGMA Team Sports Show (June 9-11).
Johns Hopkins Sports Medicine
From the professional athlete who tears a knee ligament during a game...
...to the weekend recreationalist who wakes up with a sore shoulder... or the 12 yr old middle schooler who plays for the school lacrosse team...
...we are experts in diagnosing and providing the highest quality care.
As nationally recognized leaders in the field of Sports Medicine, we study, diagnose and treat athletic injuries with the same level of excellence that has led U.S. News & World Report to consistently rank Johns Hopkins as the #1 Hospital and the #5 Orthopaedics Department in the country!
This is why the Baltimore Orioles, Johns Hopkins Athletics, Navy Football, high school sports teams and thousands of every day athletes turn to Johns Hopkins Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery physicians to treat their injuries.
Consisting of a team of orthopaedic surgeons and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, we treat patients at 8 convenient locations in the Baltimore area: Downtown, Green Spring Station, Good Samaritan Hospital, Bayview Medical Center, Whitemarsh, Columbia, Odenton and Lutherville.
Our website provides information about many sports related conditions and injuries. To access these Click here or on the link at the upper left side “Types of Injuries”.
No matter what your injury or where you live, we have a Johns Hopkins Sports Medicine physician ready to help you get back out there!
When global corporations come to Baltimore and are allowed to exist without paying taxes and all of our public policy and development is decided by where these global corporations want to donate money ----all for more tax write-offs----we no longer have a public sector with citizens deciding what their communities will look like----what values they choose-----it is ridiculous folks and Baltimore is ground zero for this corporate capture.
Media capture is critical ----we already know media consolidation in Baltimore area and Maryland in general is advancing rapidly-----the Baltimore Sun group controls almost all of the private print media and a TV channel for example. If people are taken from being able to access less and less of internet and streaming video that is social media-----if TV is privatized and controlled simply by corporate content----what do we get? Reruns from the 1960s and sports.
How does the citizens of Baltimore receive information on public policy or participate in public policy----it doesn't-----corporations like Johns Hopkins and UnderArmour will decide that for us! We simply have to pay more and more taxes for them to spend! Don't worry---these decisions always maximize corporate profits and wealth!
The Ravens' flagship radio stations are WIYY (98 Rock) and WBAL 1090 AM, with Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV Sports Anchor since 1988) as the play-by-play announcer and analysts Stan White (Baltimore Colts LB 1972–1979) and Qadry Ismail (Baltimore Ravens WR 1999–2001). The Hearst-Argyle stations were in their first season of game coverage, replacing longtime stations WJFK/WQSR. As of the 2010 season, any Ravens preseason games not on national television are seen on WBAL-TV in Baltimore and on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network throughout the region. Sandusky, White and Ismail are also the television announcers. MASN also has extensive coverage of the team throughout the season, including postgame reports and the magazine show Ravens Wired. Ravens Wired, as well as Ravens Report and the regional preseason games, are produced by the Ravens in-house production department, RaveTV.
In terms of television broadcasting of regular season games, the Ravens' primary station is CBS O&O WJZ-TV, which began broadcasting the team's games in 1998, and has broadcast both of their Super Bowl victories. Interconference home games usually appear on WBFF-TV (Fox), and primetime games on WBAL-TV.
Terrestrial Affiliates Market Frequency Call Sign Annapolis 1430 AM WNAV Baltimore 1090 AM & 97.9 FM WBAL & WIYY Cambridge 1240 AM & 106.3 FM WCEM & WCEM-FM Cumberland 107.1 FM WCBC-FM Georgetown 93.5 FM WZBH Hagerstown 1490 AM WARK Lexington Park 97.7 FM WMDM Martinsburg 1340 AM WEPM Salisbury 92.5 FM WICO-FM Strasburg 104.9 FM WZFC Thurmont 1450 AM WTHU Washington, D.C. 100.3 FM WBIG-FM Westminster 1470 AM WTTR Winchester 105.5 FM WXBN York 910 AM WSBA