February 11th, 2008
I will say one good thing about Comcast — or rather, two, the other being that the Joel Zumaya commercial is still awesome — during the Olympics, I get to watch live Olympic events, mostly thanks to CBC. Ah yes, Canada, our delightful neighbors to the north. You see, they actually show the Olympic events as they happen, instead of in pre-packaged, Bob Costas soaked, soft-focus stories. One side effect of getting most of my Olympic coverage imported is that I get to see more curling than I ever thought I would. Interesting fact: curling doesn’t suck at all. Indeed, curling actually is fairly entertaining to watch. And so, of course, a sport that I only have experience with thanks to the ineptitude of NBC Sports will now be featured in a reality series on NBC.
Move over American Idol and make room for Rockstar Curling, a reality television show that may indeed have a rock-star connection.
NBC confirmed yesterday it has an exclusive option to air a 10-episode sports reality show that will give the winners a shot at competing in the U.S. championships and even going to the 2010 Olympics.
And one aspect that would make this a draw to the button for NBC is a plan to land closet curlers Bruce Springsteen or Jon Bon Jovi as part of the show, assuming the rockers aren’t worried what being connected to a sport with brooms might do to their images.
Whoa, whoa, whoa…Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi? I had no idea the Garden State was a hotbed for curling.
Oh, also. NBC, don’t cancel Friday Night Lights. Thanks.
(Photo Credit: Arcade Vault’s Curling Game, Story via Awful Announcing)
Tags: Curling, NBC
February 11th, 2008
I really don’t want to write about the Clemens steroids thing. I really truly don’t. The story itself is remarkably boring. McNamee says Clemens took steroids. Clemens says he didn’t. Congress doesn’t have better things to do, so they get involved. Ho-hum. But the star of this whole process — the one who makes this remotely interesting — has emerged. That star is Rusty Hardin. From the name that seems vaguely obscene, but actually isn’t, to the odd statistical defense, to his most recent gem, Clemens’ lawyer has been utterly fantastic.
Hardin was quoted in Sunday’s New York Times as saying it would be “brazen” and “unbelievable” if IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, a key prosecutor in the BALCO drug cases, attends the hearing.
“If he ever messes with Roger, Roger will eat his lunch,” Hardin was quoted as saying.
Uh…what? This is apparently being interpreted as a threat. If it is a threat, it’s really quite obtuse. To me, it sounds like it would be more threatening to make someone eat your lunch rather than eating their lunch. “If you mess with me, I’ll make you eat my lunch!” Eh, really, lunch consuming isn’t intimidating in any way, shape, or form. You did it again, Rusty!
Tags: Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens, Rusty Hardin, Steroids
February 10th, 2008
Well, actually not even technically. It’s the Pro Bowl, the least entertaining and most worthless of all the All-Star games. In the NBA and NHL events, defense becomes more of a theory and less of a practice, so it’s more of a high-flying spectacle. The Pro Bowl features simple, water-downed offenses. For MLB, it decides home-field for the World Series, so it’s really important and players care who wins*. But the Pro Bowl, it’s really only an opportunity for the players to try and not get hurt and for the coaches to wear uglier clothes than they do during the regular season. It really is the manifestation of sports in February: still happening, but no one is really paying attention, even the players.
*Is not actually true.
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Tags: Pro Bowl
February 8th, 2008
Tonight is the last episode of the strike-shortened Season 2. I’m a ridiculous amount of episodes behind on TiVo, so I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m fairly certain I can catch up by season 3, if it ever happens. Help it happen by going here and doing whatever these wonderful people tell you to do. What? Need more incentive? Fine. Look, it’s Adrianne Palicki, Minka Kelly, and Connie Britton. Gee, they’re pretty.
(Hilarious Photo Credit: From the cnn.com article “How to get ‘Friday Night’ hair”)
Tags: Friday Night Lights
February 8th, 2008
First all those baseball players, then Clemens’ wife. McNamee probably injects so easily because he has low self esteem and he just wants to feel wanted.
Brian McNamee told congressional investigators he injected Roger Clemens‘ wife with human growth hormone as she prepared for a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition photo session five years ago, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
McNamee testified during his Capitol Hill deposition on Thursday that he injected Debbie Clemens at her husband’s direction, the News said on its Web site, citing an unidentified Washington source.
Clemens’ lawyers did not directly address the accusation when asked. The pitcher was in Washington to meet with congressmen for a second straight day.
“It’s pretty clear now who this guy really is,” Rusty Hardin, Clemens’ lead lawyer, said of McNamee. “This guy never ceases to amaze me.”
It is in no way clear to me what kind of guy McNamee is. I mean, all I can really see is that he’s a guy who likes to inject people with HGH for a variety of things that HGH probably doesn’t help with, because McNamee allegedly injected Mrs. Clemens for her Sports Illustrated shoot. He also appears to be a guy who keeps mementos of injecting people.
During McNamee’s deposition, his lawyers showed the committee photographs of syringes and vials and even a crumpled beer can. McNamee’s lawyers say the items, when tested, will link Clemens to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“Roger Clemens has put himself in a position where his legacy as the greatest pitcher in baseball will depend less on his ERA and more on his DNA,” one of McNamee’s lawyers, Earl Ward, said Thursday.
Not pictured, but also from McNamee’s memory chest, the ticket stub from when McNamee and Clemens went to see Chocolat.
Tags: Brian McNamee, HGH, Roger Clemens, Steroids
February 6th, 2008
Super Tuesday was yesterday. Screw Super Tuesday. Whoever the President is, it will in no way affect the next four years of my life as much as where Terrelle Pryor goes to college. You see, Terrelle Pryor is apparently the greatest thing to ever happen to football. And he had narrowed his choice of universities down to two schools: the venerable University of Michigan and Ohio State. (Apparently Penn State is now involved, whatever, it’s between Michigan and OSU.) The next four years can either be happy or sorrowful, depending on this young man’s decision. Either he leads the new Rich Rod Michigan to glory and resurrects the basketball program, or he goes to Ohio and becomes an annual fear in November. Today was national signing day. He didn’t sign. And so, I remain on the edge of my seat, wondering whether Terrelle Pryor is a savior or evil. At least I know he’s indecisive.
February 5th, 2008
I always expected the last days of Bobby Knight to be, well, like the last days. There would be fire and brimstone, certainly. Probably beasts and flying chairs and most likely Bill Parcells. It would not be quiet. It couldn’t be. Of course, it was. Knight retired (quit) abruptly yesterday, putting his son Pat at the helm of Texas Tech. But perhaps the oddest part of the abrupt retirement is that the only reason for it appears to be that Bobby Knight doesn’t want to coach anymore. Not some sort of controversy-fueled force-out, Bobby Knight is just done coaching.
“He’s ready,” successor and son Pat Knight said during his weekly radio show. “He’s tired.”
“I think Bob is through with coaching. I think he got to the point where it wasn’t fun for him,” [Texas Tech Chancellor Kent] Hance said. “He thought about it Sunday all day and talked to his wife and decided ‘This is something I want to do.”‘
I never thought I’d hear that. I’ve expected Bobby Knight to get sick of all the things that go along with coaching, but the coaching itself seemed like the one thing Bobby Knight was comfortable doing. He never existed well as anything but a teacher of basketball. It seemed like he was putting up with all the other shit (and not putting up with it particularly healthily or well) so that he could coach. He won’t be doing that anymore. Maybe that’ll give him a chance to mellow out.
Tags: Bobby Knight, Texas Tech
February 4th, 2008
We’ll be taking a break from post-Super Bowl basking with a story about stolen explosives. We’re running out of time!
Someone in metro Detroit is hauling a stolen trailer carrying about $70,000 worth of explosives meant to pump up the crowd before Pistons games.
Loaded inside were dragons — the devices that shoot flames skyward during the starting line-up’s introductions — and concussive explosions that easily could blow off body parts. “My fear is they stole it for scrap,” said Nino De Benedetti, Band-Ayd’s president. “And when open it and find it’s this monstrous thing, they’ll just start cutting into it.”
I’ve been to a few Pistons games, and typically I have seats toward the top of the arena. There is a noticeable feeling of heat radiating, even in the uppermost levels. Those things really have a lot of power. So, there’s another thing to worry about in Detroit.
Tags: Detroit Pistons, Fireworks
February 4th, 2008
Now that I — to an extent — have gotten over the extreme elation and utter disbelief that led me to title my last two posts “Holy Crap,” I can begin to put the New York Giants Super Bowl victory into some sort of perspective. Firstly, I think the win certainly must have been very relieving for Ernie Accorsi. Accorsi, as you may remember, was the general manager who decided that Eli Manning was the future of the New York Giants. For Accorsi, Eli was an elite quarterback, and the Giants would be remiss to not get him when they had a chance. It was said he was looking for his second shot at John Elway, who refused to sign with Accorsi’s Baltimore Colts after they had selected him first overall. It was largely considered a serious misjudgment to compare Eli Manning to John Elway. Manning’s late-game heroics in this years playoffs make it less ridiculous to do so. (Manning even got it done in the Super Bowl, which Elway won on Terrell Davis’ team.) Accorsi is looking much more prescient than he did two months previous.
Some other thoughts after the Super Bowl:
-That Manning-miraculously-escapes-sack-and-Tyree-catches-ball-on-top-of-helmet play needs only a catchy nickname to put it up there with the iconic NFL moments. It’s probably doesn’t even need that, really.
-Was the Tom Petty guitar stage more or less oddly obscene than Prince’s guitar from last year’s Super Bowl?
-Plaxico looks like he might have the potential to be a pretty good football analyst. His 23-17 prediction turned out to be fairly accurate, and the Giants wide receivers might have had better games than the Patriot wide-outs.
-Justin Tuck has made a remarkable contribution from his odd pass-rush-tackle position. It’s one of the more interesting defensive looks in the league.
-I think I saw Brady get hit more in that game than the entire regular season.
- The award stage looked like some sort of alien ship.
- David Tyree had 4 catches for 35 yards in the regular season.
- Steve Spagnuolo probably earned himself a head-coaching opportunity in the near future.
- Bill Belichick’s wardrobe will probably have an extremely negative impact on the sales of red sweatshirts in the New England area.
- I expect to start seeing more of both Eli and Peyton in commercials. I can live with that being the worst thing to happen because of this Super Bowl.
(Photos by Elsa/Getty Images — Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Tags: David Tyree, Eli Manning, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Super Bowl
February 4th, 2008
Eli Manning to David Tyree: I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m pretty happy that it did.
Photo: ( Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tags: David Tyree, Eli Manning, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Super Bowl
February 1st, 2008
The United States Congress has nearly run out of people to interview for this whole baseball and steroids issue. (Chuck Knoblauch? Sure, why not?) So, of course, they’re moving on to football. And just like with steroids, they’re a little bit behind.
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain why the league destroyed evidence related to spying by the New England Patriots, The New York Times reported.
Great, something else to rile up the Patriots. They don’t need any help, quit motivating them.
Specter said Goodell would be called before the committee to address both the league’s antitrust exemption in relation to its television contract and the destruction of the tapes that revealed spying by the Patriots early in the 2007 season.
“That requires an explanation,” Specter said. “The NFL has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It’s analogous to the CIA destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed.”
Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch. This is a bit of a humanizing turn for the Senate though. Instead of appearing as calculating machines whose only care is for their never-ending quest for more power, they just seem like people bored at work who want to talk about sports. They’re just like you or me, except richer and whiter.
January 31st, 2008
The good news, West Virginia, is that Michigan is in no way interested in Bob Huggins. He’s all yours!
Photo Credit (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner) via The Sporting News
Tags: Bob Huggins, West Virginia
January 30th, 2008
Like a secret police force, except they’re just asking questions and everybody knows about them, but other than that stuff it’s just like the Gestapo. There has never been a greater injustice than this.
Lamell McMorris, a spokesman for the World Umpires Association, told ESPN.com that baseball investigators have gone into neighborhood homes in recent weeks and asked a series of provocative and potentially defamatory questions about umpires.
According to the WUA, neighbors of Greg Gibson and Sam Holbrook — MLB umpires who live in Northern Kentucky — were asked if the two men are members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“Major League Baseball’s security staff is essentially defaming umpires in their communities by conducting, strange, surreptitious and poorly-executed investigations resembling that of secret police in some despotic nation,” McMorris said.
These umpires suspected involvement stems from their habit of awarding three straight strikeouts in an inning. (Get it, KKK. What, you not a fan of baseball scoring jokes?) Of course, the Umpires Union handled the issue calmly, without making gross exaggerations or off-base comparisons.
“We’re in an environment where there have been incidents with nooses in the country,” McMorris said. “There was the ‘Tiger issue’ in a golf magazine, and we’re in the middle of a presidential election where clearly race is a major factor. And now you’re going to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask if an umpire is a member of the Ku Klux Klan?
“That shows a tremendous amount of ignorance and insensitivity, frankly. And we take exception to it.”
Now, when he said “that shows a tremendous amount of ignorance and insensitivity” he was talking about MLB’s investigation, not his poor comparison, but I understand how you could have gotten confused.
Tags: MLB, Umpires
January 30th, 2008
Clemens: Remember what Carmelo Anthony says about snitching?
Andy Pettitte, who admitted to using HGH immediately after he as accused of doing so, is likely to testify to that effect before Congress. This is probably going to screw Roger Clemens, but whatever, Clemens has his own foolproof statistical defense which cannot be refuted in any way!
“Based on what we know, there was a situation where Andy was speaking to Roger in Brian’s presence, then Andy came over to Brian and essentially said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me about this stuff?’ He referred to HGH,” Ward said. “Brian discouraged him and then several months later, when he (Pettitte) got injured, he came back and asked Brian about it, and that’s when Brian injected him. We believe that based on the fact that Andy came to Brian and asked him about HGH, it was Roger who told Andy about HGH and that’s why he asked Brian about it.”
Richard Emery, another lawyer for McNamee, said his client and Pettitte also discussed steroids use by Clemens.
“Pettitte is certainly going to tell the truth and if he tells the truth everything will be fine,” Emery said.
Goodness, Congress is already boring, hearing people talk about talking about talking about steroids isn’t going to help at all.
Tags: Andy Pettitte, Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens, Steroids
January 29th, 2008
[The Mets, Yankees, Red Sox are seated in a meeting room. The Twins are standing at the front. The Twins speak.]
What we have here is the the best pitcher in baseball, my friends. And we’re willing to part ways with him. But it’s going to take some might fine baseball players, we’re not going to just give away Johan Santana. Don’t wait though, you should act fast. We expect a lot of interest on this one.
You don’t want your division rival to get Johan Santana, do you? [Twins look at Yankees.] You better hurry up before your arch-nemesis gets him and wins the world series. [Twins look at Red Sox] You won’t be able to win the whole thing without Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball.
[Yankees and Red Sox look at each other, shrug]
Ok, well, maybe he won’t guarantee you a World Series, but this is Johan effing Santana. You want him, badly, and here we are, offering him to you.
Seriously, this is a two-time Cy Young winner. We need at least a five-tool major league guy…
[Mets avoid eye contact with Twins]
Well… at least a five-tool prospect…
[Yankees and Red Sox leave while avoiding eye contact]
You assholes, this is some quality pitching I’m offering you here.
[Twins look around, then look down, and sigh]
Ok, Mets, we’ll take whatever you got.
[Mets hand over Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey]
Fine…shit…and remember you only have until Friday to return him if you don’t want him!
Tags: Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets
January 29th, 2008
Don’t be listless; take my punny advice and check out the rest of b5media’s recent listy goodness.
David Kindervater of Every Morning Quarterback is in Phoenix for Super Bowl Media Day, while the rest of us are busy writing about some of the Top 10 things in sports.
This week in the b5media Sports Channel round-up, we offer some amazing lists assembled by our fabulous group of bloggers. Don’t miss out on any of these terrific Top 10 lists.
- Learn more about playing poker in Tunica from Blake Butler at All Poker Addicts.
- Allison Boyer from BCS Frenzy explains the Top 10 things you girlfriend doesn’t know about football.
- In case you missed the best college basketball jerseys, Rich Carlson tells you about the ugliest ones too at College Fast Break.
- Al Bianchi shares with everyone, the Top 10 sounds of sports at Dejuiced.
- Tim Zaegel recaps 2007 with a list of the biggest headlines in NASCAR at Do You Nascar.
- At Getting Reel, Don Zaegel talks about the Top 10 reasons BWS will survive.
- Jodie Boduch answers the question, Where is Tom Brady? at Gossip On Sports.
- Planning a golf vacation? Sandy Mitchell at Green Posse tells you all about the Top 10 spots.
- Hockey fans will love Jeanne Dupuis’ Top 10 hockey goal celebrations at Hockey Beat.
- Don’t miss out on the list of best fantasy basketball players under 25 from Stephen Kersey at Hoops Fantasy.
- Kori Ellis provides information on the Astros single-season batting leaders in Hunter Pence’s blog at Inside the Ballpark.
- Geoff Young from Knuckle Curve provides an amazing list of indispensable baseball resources. Don’t miss this!
- Joe Ruiz writes about the Top 10 WNBA games to watch at Ladies Court.
- Sasha Manuel from Light the Torch offers the Top 10 Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
- James Edwards breaks down the Top 10 teams in the league right now at NBA Obsessed.
- Erica Beck gives you the Top 10 moments from the Australian Open at Rackets and Balls.
- Dinsa Sachan from Six and Out provides a list of the Top 10 weird dismissals in cricket
- James Edwards at Squib Kick writes about the Top 10 reasons the Patriots are 18-0.
- Here are the Top 10 fantasy football quarterbacks from Kori Ellis at the The Fantasy Kickoff.
- Who’s making all the money? Jyle Dupuis gives us the scoop with the list of the highest paid soccer players at The Footie.
- Place your bets on the Super Bowl with T.O. Whenham’s advice at Ultra Sports Bet.
- T.O. gives us even more insight with the Top 10 Things That Won’t Effect the Super Bowl.