Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thanks SEC: Texas A&M to Expand Stadium to 102,000 ((Update--it's 102,500))

((ht: kbtx.com))

So Texas A&M how's life after your first season in the SEC?

Must be pretty good living. You have a wildly successful 1st football season, beat Alabama, have the Heisman Trophy winner on your roster and make it to a pretty darn good bowl game.

How do you celebrate?

By expanding your football stadium. Making it "Texas Sized"

Yes, that's right. A&M is doing the most SEC of all things they can do by expanding Kyle Field. According to KBTX-TV, the schools Board of Regents is expected to look at and most likely approve a "Re-Development" to the Aggies home field, expanding the capacity to as much as 103,000.

((UPDATE 5/2--It was approved and it's gonna be big. 102,500, making it the largest in the SEC by about 100 seats.))

That number would make it the fourth stadium in the country with a capacity over 100,000. And it would put Kyle Field on par with the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium, which holds nearly 102,500.

Read more from KBTX RIGHT HERE

So, here's a question to you Texas A&M fan, is it safe to call the new and improved stadium "The House that Johnny Football Built"?

We're assuming the University has the money to do this and isn't going to mortgage the future by doing it. And while the Aggies should be congratulated for their early SEC success, they still have to duplicate it.

We do find it interesting that the city and county are chipping in with a portion of the cost by adding a higher hotel/motel tax. We aren't aware of any municipalities that do that for a public institution.

Congratulations A&M, you've truly arrived as a "Big Time" player.

OSG High: 3 Killed, 6 Hospitalized in Golf Team Van Crash

((HT: UpNorthLive/WPBN-TV Traverse City, MI))

A crash involving two minivans in rural Michigan has killed a high school golf coach, one of his players, and another person travelling in the other van in a two-car accident.

Four other members of the Grayling (MI) High School golf team were in critical condition after a Monday crash 25 miles east of Traverse City. The condition of a fifth golfer was not immediately available. The names of the victims were not released.

The 18-year-old, Louis Menard had just celebrated his 18th birthday and weas set to go to the University of Michigan in the fall. The coach, Jason Potter, was in his first year on the job. And the third person killed, Cassandra Peterson, was in the second vehicle with her mother and 3-year-old daughter.

Police say seven people survived the crash and were transported to Munson Hospital in Traverse City.

Two are listed in critical condition, two in serious conditions, and three in fair condition.

Here's the early story out of Traverse City...

The superintendent for the school system released this statement:

"This is a very sad day as our golf team was involved in an accident. The entire Crawford Ausable family's thoughts and prayers are with the families of the students, coach, and the members of the other vehicle. We are anxiously awaiting details from the State Police."

A vigil for the golf team is planned for May 2nd...

TSN Does an Amazing Hangover Parody on LA Kings Title Hangover

This is utterly fantastic, albeit a bit long.

TSN (Canada) and their Panel of Hockey analysts put together a little video to set up the beginning of this years Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it's absolutely epic.

They do a complete and total takeoff of the Hangover movies--complete with doubles that look like some of the characters. The cast includes Anze Kopitar, Dustin Penner, Jarrett Stoll and Colin Fraser of the Kings and anaylsts Darren Dreger, James Duthie and Rick the Producer who looks like the guy that played Alan in the movie.

The point of the story; are the Los Angeles Kings, winners of last years Stanley Cup, suffering from a title hangover or are they ready to defend it?

This is well worth the 6 minutes of time it takes to watch it. If you are a hockey...or sports fan, it will be one of the highlights of your day.

DEVELOPING: Chris Hansen Comments, Not Giving Up...

((HT: Sonicsarena.com))

The morning after for some gives them the chance to bask in the glow of what happened the night before- and for others, it gives them the chance to do the walk of shame...

Chris Hansen, the man who wants to spearhead the return of basketball (and other sports) to Seattle came out with this statement last night after the NBA Relocation Committee recommended the SacKings stay the SacKings...

While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through. As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the US, have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid Arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento Group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow. As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governor’s Meeting in Mid-May.

When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.

Reaction in SacTown was what was expected:

"It is not over yet," Mayor KJ told everyone in Sacramento last night. "I feel like we have won a round in the playoffs. … There is still work to be done. We do not want to dance in the end zone."

Commissioner David Stern told NBA TV at the Hawks-Pacers game last night that he was surprised the vote was unanimous, but also said, "They decided as strong as the Seattle bid was, and it was very strong, there's some benefit that should be given to a city that has supported us for so long and has stepped up to contribute to build a new building as well."

Here's KIRO-TV's coverage:

The board will convene during the week of May 13th to vote on whether the team should move.
The Seattle group needs 23 of 30 owners' votes to get control of the team. The league could respond then, or more likely, they'll delay the decision even further.

ICYMI: 19 Inning A's/Angels Game Ends on Walk-Off

If you have to finish a 6-hour baseball game, well, what better way to finish it than with a 2-run, walk-off home run.

That's what happened early this morning when Brandon Moss of the Oakland A's hit the aforementioned home run, leading the A's to a 10-8, 19 inning win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The game finished at 1:41 a.m Pacific Time, or 4:41 a.m to those on the East Coast.

Rather than engage in hyperbole, let's just show you the game winner (Thanks MLB.com)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chris Hansen Is Pissed... NBA Recommends SacKings Stay

New Arena Drawing/Ctsy: City of Sacramento
It seems the NBA Relocation Committee has rendered its decision on the future of the Sacramento Kings. And the committee's unanimous decision is for the franchise to stay where they are. Though we do need to add, the committee's decision is only a recommendation to the leagues Board of Governors, but considering it was unanimous, it's highly improbable they'll overrule the decision.

However, according to an Associated Press report--the decision does not obligate the Maloof brothers, who own the team to sell to Sacramento owners. But it does set some barriers for them to sell to an outside group to move the team out of town. It also essentially ends the bid of Chris Hansen who had made a $550 million offer for a majority stake in the team

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson spearheaded a last ditch effort to find a potential ownership group to buy the team and commit to a new arena in the city. That group is headed by software magnate Vivek Ranadave, a current minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, a former Facebook executive and the family that is the primary stakeholders in Qualcomm.

For their part, the Maloof's have not at this point issued a comment on the decision. As for Mr. Hansen and the Seattle bid, there is no early indication what their options are. At the time this story was written, he's yet to offer comment. The potential does exist for them to sue based on the fact that had an agreement in principal with the Maloof's, it just depends a bit on how binding that agreement is/was, the wording of it and if it's worth pursuing.

It remains to be seen if the financially taxed people in and around Sacramento are able to fully pull this off. But it appears the decision today has paved the way for them to keep their NBA team. To steal a silly cliche', the ball is in their court.

Here's how News 10 hit the decision...
((HT: News10.net))
And here's Seattle mayor Mike McGinn discussing his city's obvious reaction... ((HT: KING5 TV Seattle))

Jason Collins Comes Out: Should He Have Done It?

((ht: si.com))

First barrier broken. The first active professional athlete in a team sport to come out and say he's gay is now on the record.

In a detailed and amazing story in this weeks Sports Illustrated, long-time NBA Center Jason Collins told his story. He spoke about growing up and trying to adhere to what he believed society says he should have been and about his struggle with coming to grips with it.

It's a fascinating read.

You can read the whole thing RIGHT HERE

Collins says he doesn't need the publicity and doesn't necessarily want to be held up as a standard bearer. He says he just wanted to be honest with himself and let people judge him for who he is.

And who he is is this: Collins is a 12+year veteran of the NBA and has played for nearly a half dozen NBA teams. He has a twin brother whom he says "Never knew" until he told him less than a year ago. Not that it should matter. It shouldn't.

For all the talk of NFL players coming out, the fact is, it hasn't happened and we suspect if it did, those players would be quietly ostracized. We don't necessarily think the NBA will act the same way.

For all of it's odd behavior, entourage's, bling and other things, the NBA has been of all the Pro Sports, the most open minded about things.

Already there has been some talk that; "Okay, great, good for him, but Collins is a guy at the end of his career, does it matter that much?". It does, but it doesn't.

No, it may or may not extend his career, but we're guessing at this point Collins does not care. And really, it shouldn't matter.

Just the fact that he's an active player and did it is more the point. Someone had to do this.

We wish Mr. Collins the best and salute his courage. Despite what the religious right would have you believe, people are entitled to do, live, love and act in the best way THEY see fit. But in reality, there are way too many people who will ostracize him for doing what he should do. And those people should be ashamed of themselves. They say it's "Not god's will" but is it not part of that will to accept, love and respect people for who they are, not who you think they should be?

We'll get off our horse here, but we hope this is something that you'll think about. We live in a very polarized, very closed minded society these days, whether we want to admit it or not. And yet in spite of that, there are open minded people out there who don't see others as a label, a tag or a stereotype but rather what they are and hope to be.

And when it comes down to it, isn't that the way we are all supposed to live?

Jason Collins Says In SI That He's Gay...

((HT: Sports Illustrated/Wertheim et al.))

Jason Collins only came out to his twin brother a year ago...

He's a free agent in the NBA and would like to keep playing the sport...
But this is how he started his first person account in the magazine for this week's cover story...

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.

I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already and done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

It will be interesting to see if people look at him differently, if the NBA looks at him differently, or if they're just going to be franchises looking at a serviceable, back-up big.

Collins wants to start a family and he determined that, after the Boston Marathon bombings, that he shouldn't wait any longer to have the "right time" to tell everyone around that he's gay.

More from his account:

I go against the gay stereotype, which is why I think a lot of players will be shocked: That guy is gay? But I've always been an aggressive player, even in high school. Am I so physical to prove that being gay doesn't make you soft? Who knows? That's something for a psychologist to unravel. My motivations, like my contributions, don't show up in box scores, and frankly I don't care about stats. Winning is what counts. I want to be evaluated as a team player.

Loyalty to my team is the real reason I didn't come out sooner.

Now, let's see if those around him, regardless of the size of the circle will do in kind...

Here's some of what the next NBA team will be getting if they take hold of Collins...
((HT: NBAE))

They Call Him The Bryz... Flyers Goalie Sounds Off...

((HT: CSN Philly))

Ilya Bryzgalov has been known for his, how do we say this, um... independence...

He naps on the bench and, allegedly, in team meetings.
He's a free spirit. And he doesn't care what you think...

Evidenced by his thoughts after the Philadelphia Flyers got to clean out their lockers and were reinforced by GM Paul Holmgren's thoughts that Peter Laviolette is still the head coach of the team...

Bryzgalov got to speak his peace one final time...

So, to recap...

Bryzgalov still has seven years and $34.5 million left on his nine-year contract. If the Flyers are fed up with him, the Flyers could use one of their amnesty buyouts on him.

In 40 games this season, he was 19-17 with a 2.79 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.

Which reminds the HQ of this...

Toledo Mud Hens Cap Star Wars Week With Chewbacca Jerseys

Yeah, that's right. Though when we first saw this we wondered where they'd get all that hair from and how comfortable that would be on the field.

But we digress.

The Toledo Mud Hens continue the Minor League Baseball tradition of odd stunt events to draw fans by debuting their "Star Wars" weekend May 4th and 5th.

The weekend will be capped by the Mud Hens wearing the jersey you see here on the right.

Over the course of the two days, the team will feature a "Kazoo-along", where the 1st 3,000 fans with Kazoo's will sing along with the Star Wars theme song. Appearances by Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Princess Leia among others and Star Wars food and drinks.

Read more from the Mud Hens website RIGHT HERE

Props to the Mud Hens for coming up with this idea. We like it. Though since we don't live in Ohio anymore, we won't be attending. May the Force be with them and their gate attendance, they deserve to have a big crowd for this.

And we can't wait to see the video. Though we still wonder where the hair is on the Chewbacca jersey.

For those of you who love some Chewy, here's the Star Wars Chewbacca supercut:

ICYMI: Spurs End Lakers Misery in 4 Straight

We normally steer clear of reporting on 1st Round NBA Playoff series because,well, the NBA Playoffs last for 3 months.

But we couldn't resist this story.

The San Antonio Spurs did exactly what they were supposed to do and swept the over-hyped Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 in their best of 7 series.

The series ended after the Spurs annihilated the Lakers 103-82 on the Lakers home court Sunday evening.

The game featured Laker Cry-baby Dwight Howard getting ejected after 2 technical fouls and the rest of the team being woefully out-manned.

We also bring this up because the deities that rule the national sports airways deemed the Lakers "Competition for the Miami Heat". We deeemed them old, and losers in the 1st round of the playoffs. Back in July of last year, when they picked up 37-year old Steve Nash. To play with 36-year old Kobe Bryant and 35-year old Metta World Artest.

Really, we just wanted to remind everyone that we predicted this, it was no surprise to us and even further proof that just because you have a lot of aging superstars doesn't automatically make you a title contender.

Jets Cut Tebow, National Media Freaks Out

It never ceases to amaze us how much attention the national media pays to the exploits of a now former backup quarterback.

And that frenzy has been reignited after the New York Jets have apparently released backup QB/pariah Tim Tebow. This comes on the heels of the Jets drafting West Virginia QB Geno Smith in this past weekends NFL Draft.

Tebow languished on the sidelines watching a pretty bad Jets team struggle through their season last year and yet got more media exposure/attention than any combination of people on the team.

We've never understood the completely overblown fascination with Mr. Tebow by the national media, particularly ESPN. And we probably never will. He is nowhere near the 1st incredibly successful College QB who struggled to find his place in the NFL. The list in fact, is pretty darn long.

But none of them were the focus of an entire networks coverage during the last offseason and into the season than Tebow was.

Our only exposure to him was covering Georgia/Florida games and SEC Media Days, and he came off as nothing special. Yet he was treated that way.

So, we are quite sure the focus of the multiple ESPN NFL shows today, National Sports talk radio and pretty much every media outlet in North Florida will be "Tebow released by Jets, where will he land next"

If he's smart, he'll do what he says he always wanted to do which is missionary work. And if that is what he decides, bravo, we applaud him. But the guess here is he'll try catching on with another team, which will be difficult, he brings a lot of baggage.

It will be difficult because like it or not, talent or no talent, just his presence now bring attention and not the type of attention most teams want. Because to sign him is to immediately bring a perceived quarterback controversy, even if there's not one. To sign him brings daily mention of why he's not playing whether he deserves an opportunity or not by the biggest, most annoying, most overblown, most self-centered dictators of Sports conversation in America, the true "Evil Empire"--ESPN.

We wonder if this is what it's like this morning in Bristol:


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Avalanche Fire Coach Joe Sacco

So the NHL is winding down their regular season, and in fact for several teams, the season is over.

One of those teams, the Colorado Avalanche wasted no time in firing head coach Joe Sacco Sunday afternoon.

The Avalanche were the worst team in the West during this strike shortened season going 16-25-7 and amassing only 39 points. Or a mere 16 points away from a playoff berth.

Sacco got the job in 2009 and made the playoffs that 1st season, but the Avalanche haven't sniffed post season play since then.

Drew MacIntyre's Save Is Ridiculous...

((HT: MarliesTV))

All we're going to say is you need to watch this all the way through just to see how sick this is...

The voice of the Marlies, FOSG Simon Bennett, probably still can't process what went down...
Frankly, we're still figuring it out...

Jones Knocks Out Sonnen In UFC 159

((HT: UFC))

After, seemingly, a long time that the two fighters just ran their mouth Jon "Bones" Jones and Chael Sonnen finally got it on last night at the main event for UFC 159. And while it wasn't quite the Cheick Kongo knockout, Jones held on to the title with the following display in the eight-sided ring at Prudential Center...

After Jones strategy of closing Sonnen's boxing space and grappled him to the floor, it looked like Jones kept Sonnen pinned down and simply didn't give him the space he's used to operating...

Jones, who broke his foot in the win, is under indefinite medical suspension for a pretty gruesome injury- the big toe went sideways. Jones later tweeted from the hospital, “Yep still at the hospital bone definitely broke through the skin.”

Sonnen wasn't looking at the injury as his way out...

"You know what? When I get in there, I just want to know who's better," Sonnen said post-match. "I just want to feel these other guys. I want to see what the hype's about. If they would have called the match [in his favor because of Jones' broken toe], I wouldn't have had any illusions. I knew in those first five minutes who the better fighter was.

"I'm sure it would have gone to a rematch and we'd have had to do that again, because it would only have been right to Jon. But I got my questions answered tonight."

Jones' tied Tito Ortiz's light heavyweight record by making his fifth consecutive successful title defense. He said he'd like to face Alexander Gustafsson the next time out. But there is talk that Anderson Silva called Dana White to see if he could get his foot in the door...

So to speak...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thunder Ballboy Sends Death Threat To Patrick Beverley

((HT: CBS Sports/Moore))

A ball boy...???

From the Oklahoma City Thunder, there is obvious anger and concern at chasing an NBA title without their classiest post-game dresser Russell Westbrook. Westbrook tore his meniscus in a move where he and the Rockets' Patrick Beverley got tangled up...



From The Houston Chronicle:

Mitchell Brown sent a tweet that threatened, “Patrick Beverly (sic), I'm coming to kill you.” He sent another using Beverley's Twitter handle; “@pavbev21 I'm coming to kill you.”

Capt. Dexter Nelson, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said officers in conjunction with the Houston Police Department and the NBA are looking into what he described as “Internet threats.”

Thunder spokesperson Matt Tumbleson said, “We do not condone his comments. He works game nights on a voluntary basis. We will handle this matter internally.”

Shortly after Thunder officials were told of the tweets, Brown deleted them with an apology:

“Yesterday I posted something completely inappropriate and I need to apologize. I was out of line and it will not happen again.”

He later removed that tweet and instead said his account was hacked.

“@patbev21 yesterday someone tweeted on my account making a death threat towards you and it wasn't me. I apologize.”

The Chronicle also said on their pages that extra security was in place regardless of what happened over Twitter...

How To Go From Losing To Champs In One Easy Kick

((HT: Sky Sports))

And for that, the HQ takes you to League One for the season-ender between Doncaster Rovers and Brentford...

Brentford had a chance to make sure they were promoted outright and didn't have to go through the League One elimination playoffs to worry about it. Clayton Donaldson was taken down in the box, and that left it all up to on-loan Fulham striker Marcello Trotta to mail in the penalty shot.

Billy Paynter gets the credit for heading all the way down to the other end and pass to James Coppinger for the game winner for Doncaster in the 6th minute of stoppage time.

Apparently, it was the first time that Rovers broke out the green kit...
The HQ guesses it won't be the last...

Here's how Sky News covered it...

I don't believe what I just saw... with all apologies to Jack Buck...

Nelson Piquet Junior Goes Up The Middle (UPDATED WIth Arrests)


And the HQ doesn't necessarily mean in a good way...

Piquet and Brian Scott got into it in the race last night in Richmond and it ended only in the way that makes live television live television...

In a pit crew fight...
Evidence below...

In the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper this morning, we now know that there have been arrests involving pit crew members as a carryover from the incident on TV.

Michael Scearce, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault. Thomas Costello was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault. The two were charged and released early this morning. Both are on the Scott crew.

From the Times-Dispatch:

"One of the two adult male victims has a shoulder injury," Toney said.

“Henrico Police are investigating a verbal argument that started in the infield area of RIR that escalated into a physical altercation near the Driver/Owner Lot,” Lt. Linda Toney said in a news release. “The assault occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m.”

Here's their mugshot, thanks to the Henrico Division of Police...

Friday, April 26, 2013

LSU's Tharold Simon Plans To Own His Hometown...


But he'll have to get his whole arrest thing figured out first...

Simon, waiting to figure out where he'll be drafted into the NFL, was arrested in his hometown of Eunice, Louisiana Thursday night for allegedly intimidating a police officer, resisting arrest, and an unnecessary noise violation.

Future owner of his home town...???
According to police records, Tharold Simon's (pictured, right thanks KATC-TV) car was blocking a street when an officer asked him to move it. The arrest report says Simon then told the officer quotes like "I own Eunice," and "I'm gonna buy these projects and you are gonna be mine."

Simon went ahead and moved the car, but he spun his wheels and floored it going in reverse. He cranked his radio up and the report also says Simon told the officer that "the mayor was on [his] side" and that the officer would be fired if he wrote a ticket.

He was released on bond, and was supposed to have an event proclaiming Friday as "Tharold Simon Day."

Eunice Mayor Rusty Moody changed his mind and cancelled the event...

As well he should have...
Here's what NFL teams would be getting if they decide to draft him after all...

OSG NAIA: A Triple Play For Your Friday

((HT: Belhaven Athletics))

FOSG Kirk McDonnell let us know about this...
5-4-3 triple plays are cool to see...

So, here's one for you as Belhaven turned it against rival William Carey to end a rally in the first inning...

Enjoy your weekend...

When John Gibbons Is Right, He's Still Wrong...

((HT: Sportsnet))

So, when you want to challenge someone not challenging a play and you get ejected, you're still in the wrong...

Apparently, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons went out to challenge a call that wasn't made by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and overturned, he was tossed last night.

Gibbons was right in line with Rule 9.02c:

The rule states: “If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.”

Here's Gibbons discussing with FOSG Jeff Blair...
Crew chief Jeff Kellogg can use a rule three sections down to cover the decision...which he probably did... Under rule 9.05, Major League Baseball lists a series of “General Instructions for Umpires” which includes the following: “The first requisite is to get decisions correctly. If in doubt don’t hesitate to consult your associate. “When the partner is certain that the umpire making the call could benefit from such additional information, the partner should alert the other umpire that there is additional, important information that should be shared.”
So, even if a manager may be right, he could still be wrong...

The HQ thinks... unless we're proven wrong...

Hawk Vs. Brian Kenny On Sabremetrics

((HT: MLB Network))

Hawk Harrelson is one of the biggest homers out there for play-by-play...
And that's why the HQ loves him...

He doesn't take any crap, he gives no quarter, and he's in one direction...
Old school... and that includes statistics...

Hawk has no desire to understand, quantify, or need sabremetrics as part of his diet...
He has his own stat- TWTW- The Will To Win...
An unquantifiable version of "want to..."

So, he went head-to-head with Brian Kenny on fancy numbers versus TWTW

Rick Pitino's Tattoo: Things We Didn't Need to See

Wow! Rick Pitino wins an NCAA Tournament title coaching the Louisville Cardinals and celebrates by getting a tattoo?


Apparently Pitino promised he'd do just that if his team won the title. And he's apparently made good on the promise.

Behold the red L in it's pasty Italian greatness.

You know...while we respect Pitino and the job he did with the Cardinals this year, we kind of think this is one of those things that probably shouldn't be shared publicly.

Though in hindsight, we suppose since the usually nattily attired Pitino will have this covered at all times, we kind of wonder what would have happened if the bet was that he had to shave his head.

Just a thought...

ICYMI: Gator In Play During Golf Tournament

((ht: pgatour.com))

So, you want to play golf near a pond in Louisiana. And much to your surprise, you look at said pond and up comes an alligator.

Check out this video from PGA.com at the Zurich Classic played outside New Orleans.

You've got a gator walking behind a player getting ready to hit, heading towards a rules official or two none of whom seem real anxious to move.

Oh, and take a look at the gator, he's short one leg.

Funny stuff:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

OSG Opinion: We Mock What We Don't Understand

So, it's NFL Draft day and people with very little to do with their lives all over the world are frothing at the mouth with excitement.

And we have no idea why....

Sure, it's a chance to find out who your favorite NFL Team is going to pick and try to replenish their roster with. We get that part. It's sort of important.

Sort of.

However the part we don't understand is the 3 month build up. The 6-plus versions of the Mel Kiper/Todd McShay mock draft. The 841,000 Mock Drafts that come from everyone who has ever written a Sports story or been on Sports Talk Radio.


Yeah, speculating is nice. It's something to keep you occupied on a dull day. But why all the Mock Drafts? Does it really matter what ______ Sports Writer from the Green Bay Gazette or some other small, obscure website thinks all 32 NFL Teams are going to do with their 1st round picks.

And think about it....does not the term "Mock Draft" mean that you are making fun of the draft? Because Mocking something is roughly synonymous with Satire...or at least that's the literal interpretation.

Maybe we're just cynical (ok, we are cynical), but we've never understood the crazed excitement. I'm a huge Sports fan/borderline Sports Geek who probably knows more about how Sports works and the history of it than most people should.

Yet I don't get "Freaky Excited" over the draft.

Realistically, it's a "Best Guess" as to who is going to be a good player for your team. There is no "Exact" science to this. NFL personnel people are an odd, wacky bunch who sometimes obsess over things like 40-yard dash times, speed in the cone drills and the .2 sec difference in release times. Yet they often overlook the person and their performance.

And a lot of times, they are flat-ass wrong. JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, Lawrence Phillips or anyone picked 1st by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the last 5-years--all examples of why you shouldn't go Ape Shit over the draft. Your team could get lucky...or the guy you pick could blow out both his knees in the 1st exhibition game and never play again.

But yet you all obsess over this.

Please NFL Fan, I strongly encourage you to watch and enjoy the draft. The NFL in their infinite marketing wisdom has managed to figure out how to drag it out for 3-days. If you watch all 3-days of this, you need to do some serious evaluation on your life and how you are living it.

Yes, we encourage you to support your favorite team. Support them. Be happy when they succeed, be disappointed when they don't. But PLEASE--please stop obsessing for months on end about whom they will draft at the end of every April. PLEASE don't be crushed if they don't pick who you thought they would. PLEASE go watch a baseball game, go play golf, go hit tennis balls--just do something that you should be doing in late April/early May instead of worshipping this over-hyped, over-blown, manufactured, artificially created drama that in reality never will, never has and never should be so controlling over your every day life.

Two Full Teams Fight On Ice In Juniors (UPDATED With Suspensions)

((HT: Sportsnet))

The HQ is not above putting a good brawl on the page, but a good brawl involving two full squads...???

You betcha...especially one that starts as the game ends...

We go to Quebec Major Juniors, or the QMJHL, where two of the coolest nicknames went at it in game 4 of a seven-game semifinals series that is now tied at two games apiece after the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-3...

See...? Told you the nicknames were cool...

Anyway... even the back-up goalies got into it...and the call is in French...
((HT: HockeyVideoHD))

The littering is immense...

Game 5 is Friday night in Baie-Comeau- for those of you who want to try and see Round 2...

PM UPDATE: According to the Canadian Press, the QMJHL suspended 12 players, fined one, banned both coaches for two games and fined the two teams C$5,000 each.

Blainville-Boisbriand will be without five players- Ryan Tesink was suspended two games. Aaron Hoyles, Yassin Cisse and goalies Etienne Marcoux and Guillaume Decelles each got one game.

Baie-Comeau's Bokondji Imama was suspended two games. Jeremie Gregoire, Gabriel Verpaelst, Jon Banville, Alexandre Ranger and goalies Philippe Cadorette and Francis Desrosiers each got one game.

Blainville-Boisbriand forward Cedric Paquette, who looked like he started the brawl when he taunted the visitors, was fined $1,000 for "inappropriate behaviour."

Armada coach Jean-Francois Houle and Baie-Comeau's Eric Veilleux were each suspended two games.

The teams will have to use third-string goalies in Game 5.
Whaddya wanna bet that the "over" will be the play here...???

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

College Football Playoff Already Hacked

Well, that didn't take long.

We told you Tuesday evening about the Lords of College Football naming their new playoff system "The College Football Playoff".

And that playoff system came replete with its own website and a choice of logos put up to a fan vote.

In the "That didn't take long category" the fan vote---it was already hacked. The people who run the website announced today (Website link is RIGHT HERE, that an IP Address from Austin, TX (Yes, Longhorns fan, you are now a suspect) hacked the site, voting over 50,000 times.

From the Playoff's (Yes, it's possessive) Facebook page:

Our contractor running the logo vote has informed us that it has caught a cheater with an IP address in Austin, TX who cast 50,251 votes for logo number four, in violation of our contest rules. While we're pleased to know how popular our site is, this individual's IP address has been blocked and all his votes have been removed from logo four's tally.

As a result, the correct, updated tally shows logo one has 26%, logo two has 38%, logo three has 27% and logo 4 has 9%, with more than 60,000 votes having been cast in less than 24 hours.

On the advice of our contractor, the vote percentage totals will be announced twice daily at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., ET until the contest closes on Monday, April 29. This will allow the technical experts to prevent any further irregularities from occurring. We have been pleased with the excitement that has been created with the contest. In this particular case, there was a little too much excitement.

Really the only thing we wonder about this: Could this actually be an explanation for the random, non-release of the alleged BCS Computers? Could it be the reason nobody really knew the formula that made up the BCS?

Nah, if it did, the mediocre Longhorns would have been doing something other than playing in the Alamo Bowl. Ha!

BREAKING: Lewandoski Goes Four On The Floor Vs. Real

It was one of those night that people dream about under normal circumstances...

Much less against Real Madrid in the Champions League semis at home...
It started with a flick on goal early on and, simply, did not stop...
((HT: UEFA))

Robert Lewandoski (8th, 50th, 55th, 66th) put in three normally and knocked home one from the penalty spot as it is looking more and more like the Champions League final at Wembley might be Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund...

Oh... the final score...??? 4-1 Dortmund...

It even took Diego Lopez to get in front of another Lewandoski ball to keep him from five...
How ridiculous is that...???

Honey Badger says "Honey Badger is a 1st Round Pick" (Updated Twice)

((ht: @brucefeldmancbs))

So, the NFL Draft is a day away (Thu.) and everyone who's ever written a sports related story or talked about it on the radio has come up with their own "Mock Draft".

We don't partake in such trivial matters here at OSG Sports, but we do find some of the speculation absolutely fascinating.

Kind of like the picture you see to your right.

Yes, that's right, the day before the draft, Tyrann Mathieu, he of "Honey Badger" fame at LSU before being kicked off the team is having a party this Thursday in New York.

He took this photo on Instagram and Tweeted it to the huddled masses.

To celebrate himself being a "1st Round Draft Pick".

((UPDATED---Mathieu tweeted to FOX Sports shortly after this picture made the rounds that he did not give approval for the "For 1st Round Draft Pick" part of the flyer. We believe him, because he probably had nothing to do with writing it.))


Does he know something the rest of us don't? We aren't saying that Mr. Mathieu won't be drafted, he will. But 1st rounder? After word got out he was admitting to double digit failed drug tests?

Of course, he'll be on his best behavior at THIS event, so if you find yourself in the Big Apple Thursday eve, drop on by, you too can party like a first rounder.

Just sayin'....

((2nd Update 6 pm---@Mathieu_Era There will be no party for Tyrann Mathieu. Hmmm...your thoughts?))

DEVELOPING: Could Kenseth Win Be Blown Out...??? (UPDATE: The Boom Got Lowered And Kenseth Isn't Happy)

((HT: ESPN/Newton))

Remember how NASCAR said that they weren't going to tolerate any shenanigans when it came to any kind of tampering with the Gen 6 car...???

David Newton, while admittedly going on "sources," is saying that the Kenseth car that did this...
((HT: Fox Sports))

...is currently being evaluated...

The engine was brought back to NASCAR's Research and Development Center after passing the first inspection, failed the deeper inspection. The AP is saying the engine failed because one of the connecting rods did not meet the minimum weight requirement...

Well, then...

It's not the first time that NASCAR would be dropping the points hammer. Two weeks ago, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano got docked 25 points for their alleged monkeying with the rear housing- a major no-no with the Gen 6

PM UPDATE: Kenseth loses 50 points, is fined $200,000, his crew chief was suspended six races, he loses his three bonus points for his pole, and his pole was wiped out.

"JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines," Toyota Racing Development President Lee White said in the statement. "It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage.

"Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company," White added. "The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."

The part in question was three grams under minimum weight...

THURSDAY UPDATE: Kenseth talked about the whole thing and he was less than pleased...
((HT: ESPN))

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Duncan Keith Fails At Punking Female Reporter (UPDATE: Don Cherry Apparently Agrees)

((HT: Team 1040/Sportsnet))

Okay... the set-up...

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is one of the better players at his position in the National Hockey League...
Last night, he got burned on a Sedin goal, and tried to chop him down after the fact...

Paul Bunyan woulda been proud...
Karen Thompson of Team 1040 was asking questions in the visitor's locker room after the game- specifically, on that play... Let's just say that he went all ass-jacket on Thompson... The transcription: “Oh no, I don’t think there was (a penalty),” Keith said. “I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as ref, maybe, hey? First female referee… can’t play probably either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? OK, see ya.” Thompson held her own and Keith showed his true colors... Genius at work... SUNDAY UPDATE: Don Cherry, on his "Coach's Corner" segment, took Keith's side in the argument... Here's the response by Grapes, at the 2:25 mark... ((HT: CBC/NHL/Fred Murtz))

The HQ gets that Cherry is a cartoon character, and may or may not believe half of what comes out of his mouth because of his brand and what it consists of these days. He's passionate, nationalistic, and a joy to watch when he gets riled up- especially on topics that concern growth of the game and safety of the game.

But, we've been in more locker rooms than he has... and players today are not players in the era in which he coached. They actually will dress in separate areas, and will even wear towels, shield themselves, and make sure that decorum exists.

The ages aren't really that Dark, Don... some people just don't turn the light on...

Attention: The College Football Playoff Will Be Called The College Football Playoff

Logo Choice 1
So, College Football fan, your new and improved, 4-team playoff system will be called---wait for it---The College Football Playoff.

Yes, that's right, the geniuses who run college football (not the NCAA--the former BCS) has decided to re-brand itself. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of research and consultant fees went into this research and they came up with a title that, well, wasn't called the BCS.

It is now called the College Football Playoff.

Logo Choice 2
It's like a random sports producer titling his new Sunday night Sports Show the Sunday Night Sports Special. (inside joke for those who know me)

And, best of all College Football Fan, you can have a say in what the new logo will look like. Plus you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the playoff.

Read the press release RIGHT HERE

Check out CollegeFootballPlayoff.com RIGHT HERE

Logo Choice 3
The site also contains a playoff schedule and a list of the games. The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl will be a part of the semi-final round rotation. That rotation is also expected to include the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-Fil-A Bowl as well. Every three years a combination of 2 of those games will get the semi-finals.

The finals, well, those will be played, at least in year one, at JerryWorld in Dallas (Cowboys Stadium). It's expected to rotate to other cities and sites, much like College's version of a "Super Bowl".

Logo Choice 4
So stay tuned, you've got one last season of the BCS and it's mysterious computers. The new and "improved" system will be chosen by a "Selection Committee" in 2014. That committee, yet to be determined, will use a combination of schedule strength, performance, head to head results, reputation (who said that?) and other criteria to pick their 4 best teams.

Teams from all conferences are supposed to be eligible for this, including conferences such as the Sun Belt, Conference USA, The Mountain West or The American Athletic Conference (former Big East comprised of former Conference USA teams).

All kidding aside, we are very intrigued to see how this works, it certainly is an improvement over the old system. And if it is the beginning of change to the anachronistic bowl system that rewards only the people who run them, then by god, we are all for it.

Bayern Slaps Around Barca

((HT: UEFA/Fox Soccer))

There are times that, in soccer, that half a Messi would be worth facing a full Messi and teams would still cower in fear over facing FC Barcelona...

Today in Munich, in the first round of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, was not one of those times...

An admittedly banged-up defense and Messi on one leg combined with a very physical roster of Bayern Munich gave the home squad a 4-0 win and poises them only 90 minutes at Camp Neu away from playing for the trophy.

Here's the Bayern highlights...since there aren't really any Barca highlights...

It was Barcelona's biggest loss in the Champions League since 1997, a 4-0 defeat to Dynamo Kiev in the group stage in 1997.

Godolphin Stable Trainer In Deep Trouble For Steroids (UPDATED With Suspensions)

((HT: Sky Sports/CNN Winning Post))

One of the trainers for a storied middle eastern stable is in deep trouble after the British Horse Racing Authority has published that Mahmood al Zarooni has been found to have given 11 horses in the 45-horse Godolphin stable anabolic steroids- namely ethylestranol and stanozolol.

One of the horses who returned a positive sample was American-born Certify who was unbeaten in four starts.

The BHA tweeted: "Full details of the charges being brought against Mahmood Al Zarooni and the date for the hearing will be published tomorrow morning."

The Sky Sports article references an interview with a trainer who sees this action as more normality than anomaly within the stable:

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Lincolnshire-based trainer James Given, who is also a qualified vet, said: "The number of horses that tested positive shows that it wasn't what one might term an error with a single horse.

"It is, without doubt, a performance-enhancing drug. It's not just active while the drug is in the body - and certainly many of these drugs will persist in the body for several months - but it's the effect on the muscle development beyond its natural capacity."

Shaji Mathew of Bloomberg says the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is "appalled" over the charges:

“Sheikh Mohammed was absolutely appalled when he was told and this is completely unacceptable to him,” Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said a statement on the stable’s website. “This is a dark day for Godolphin. We are all shocked by what has happened.”

Sheikh Mohammed is the world's largest owner of race horses...

al Zarooni admits to committing a "catastrophic error" and claims not to have known he was breaking the rules at the time. All affected horses are being shelved and can not race until further notice...

Here's an interview Winning Post had with the top two trainers at Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor and al Zarooni, back in 2012...

al Zarooni has been banned from the sport for eight years and Godolphjon horses are not allowed to particpate in horse races for six months.

Part of the Paul Bittar (BHA Chief Executive) release says:

“The relevant Rules in this case are explicit in that the use of anabolic steroids in horses in the care of a licensed trainer is prohibited and that strict liability for everything administered to horses while they are in training lies with the trainer. The BHA’s investigation has established that the substances in question were administered on the instruction of Mahmood Al Zarooni. The full details of this will be formally addressed in the Disciplinary Panel’s findings, to be published in due course and once they are available.

“We believe that the 8 year disqualification issued to Mahmood Al Zarooni by the Disciplinary Panel, together with the six month racing restriction placed on the horses in question by the BHA, will serve to reassure the public, and the sport’s participants, that use of performance-enhancing substances in British Racing will not be tolerated and that the sport has in place a robust and effective anti-doping and medication control programme.

Here is the press conference announcing the penalties...
((HT: racingpostdotcom))

Chris Gayle Shatters Century Records In Cricket

((HT: IPL))

For those not familiar, the most base comparison is to make cricket like either batting practice or Home Run Derby...

For Chris Gayle today, it was the both...

Gayle, in Twenty20 play today, scored the fastest "century" (or 100-point total) in league history- only needing 30 at-bats to pull the feat off. Gayle took four balls less than Kent's Andrew Symonds in a Twenty20 game against Middlesex in 2004.

Gayle told ITV4 afterwards: "I'm lost for words. It was just one of those days. It's a good wicket and I started well. I got a good total. I can't say it's a decent total - it's a good total."

Here's the highlights...

Purists call the IPL "cartoon cricket" because of all the different rules changes that promote scoring... and, a lot of the purists shook their heads over what happened today...

The Beginning Of The End: Toomer's Oaks Coming Down

((HT: Alabamas13.com/WVTM))

And the Loveliest Village will continue to remember Harvey Updyke for what is going on this morning...
Crews are beginning the removal of the Oaks at Toomer's Corner...
Evidence Below...
WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Security was hanging out around the trees all night so there would be no last-minute rolling to hamper the removal that started this morning...

The limb removal is today while the trunks will remain until the end of football season when the university and city of Auburn will start the renovation project at the Corner. The crew is trying to make as few cuts on the trees as possible since the limbs are being turned into mementos of some sort...

The Auburn community is seeing this as a sad day and nothing more... short of disgusting fanaticism that caused an act that never should have gone down in the first place...

More when we know more...

Monday, April 22, 2013

ManU Clinches Prem Title Easily... And The HQ Means "Easily..."

((HT: Fox Sports/EPL))

Manchester United decided to put Man City and everyone else out of their misery by blowing out Aston Villa at home to win the Premier League crown after losing out on the last day of the season in 2012.

It took Robin van Persie the sum total of 33 minutes to score a frigging hat trick- the second goal (eventually seen below) was a thing of beauty involving Wayne Rooney and the ball rarely touching the turf...

Here's the highlights that have a lot of van Persie in them...

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal got to see first-hand just how much a healthy RvP can impact a franchise- good enough to give the Reds their 20th title in history. Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United have won 13 of the 21 Premier League titles. And this is the earliest a club has clinched the trophy since Manchester United on April 14, 2001.


If ManU wins out, they could break Chelsea's points record of 95 in 2004-05.

And don't think that is not on the team's mind or anything...

Haslam Announces Pilot Flying J Changes, Not Taking Questions...


Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam decided to give a rather lengthy statement addressing accusations with his truck stop corporation- Pilot/Flying J...

He took no questions and maintains that the actions involving the federal investigation in Knoxville will not effect his activity as the new owner of the Cleveland Browns.

Here's the presser/reading/recounting of the last week of Haslam's life...

The key for Haslam and Pilot/Flying J is to figure out how to address the issues in and around VP/Sales John Freeman- who was heard on tape saying that Haslam knew about the rebate scam that he is accused of holding back from the independent and smaller trucking companies involved in the complaint.

OSG High: Steubenville HSFB Coach Gets Contract Extension... Really...

((HT: Salon.com, McDonough))

Katie McDonough lets us all know that Steubenville High head football coach Reno Saccoccia- for whatever he did (or "didn't do") in the rape case that involved two of his players- gets a contract extension...

In a previous Salon piece during the rape trial in Steubenville, McDonough divulged:

text messages seized from Mays’ cellphone indicate that Saccoccia had seen the video in which another student “joked” that “Trent and Ma’lik raped someone” as soon as it was released.

The day after the incident, Mays texted a friend: “I got Reno. He took care of it and shit ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried,” according to an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who testified in the rape case.

He, as a hall of fame head football coach, member of the 300-win club, and someone who dines with the local sheriff, seemed to view himself as untouchable. So, the coach knew about the incident and failed to report it to school administrators and the authorities... in an official crime-reporting capacity...

Saccoccia also failed to discipline players who ferried photos of the victim to each other- until week 9 of the regular season. But his actions may have him in front of a grand jury soon...

FOSG Christi Paul discusses on "Raising America"
((HT: HLN))

Auburn AD Jacobs Officially Refutes Selena Roberts And ESPN

((HT: Auburn Athletics))

First, to recap...
Here's what everyone is talking about...

Here's the link to the Selena Roberts story on her new site that stirred up trouble...

Roberts discussed it with Tim Brando during the week of the national title game in Atlanta...
((HT: CBS Sports))

And the hurriedly-assembled Shaun Assael story from the four-letter...
((HT: ESPN))

Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs, himself under fire for running the successful athletics program into the ground on the field, came out swinging Monday morning with the release of the University's own investigation into the above firestorm brought on by Auburn alumna Roberts...

The school's conclusions...

No academic fraud on Michael Dyer's behalf:

The article alleges improper grade changes took place to make nine student-athletes eligible for the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. That is false. In fact, six players were academically ineligible for the BCS National Championship game, and none of them made the trip to Arizona with the team.

The article also states that former football student-athlete Michael Dyer was academically ineligible prior to the BCS National Championship game. That is also false. Mr. Dyer was never in danger of academic ineligibility. In fact, he passed 15 hours during the fall of 2010 (nine more than required by the NCAA) and had a 2.8 GPA at the end of the fall semester. Mr. Dyer actually passed a combined 24 hours in the summer and fall semesters.

Mike McNeil's grades were adjusted according to university policy and not by an alleged academic counselor that acted on behalf of the university:

The article also implies that an academic counselor who works with the athletic department kept Mike McNeil eligible by changing his grade in a course from an F to a C. The article fails to point out that the professor changed Mr. McNeil's grade after documented reasons were provided, including excused absences from classes for medical reasons. The independent review by Auburn University Internal Auditing showed that all institutional policies regarding grade changes for excused absences were followed.

Shenanigans around McNeil, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Will Muschamp...??? The university investigation gave this:

It is also worth noting that while Mr. McNeil also alleges that former Auburn assistant coach Will Muschamp paid him during the 2007 season, Coach Muschamp immediately and publicly denied the allegations, as was widely reported throughout the media.

The article also claims that Mr. McNeil recalls receiving $500 cash to entertain a former prospect, Dre Kirkpatrick, while Mr. Kirkpatrick was on an official visit to Auburn. Mr. Kirkpatrick never took an official visit to Auburn. Mr. Kirkpatrick has since publicly stated that no one at Auburn gave him money or spent money on him during unofficial visits to our campus.

Jacobs also defended former head coach Gene Chizik and Darvin Adams released a statement through Chizik's attorney denying his effort to be paid to "stay" in school for his senior season... which seems somewhat counter-productive to anyone who thinks they have a chance at a pro career... if you want to go and people tell you that there's a chance you'll get drafted...

You'll go...

The Athletics Department even goes on to a point-by-point discussion of the allegations involving contact between the McNeil family and the school by divulging phone records, drug testing time frames, and McNeil's desire to transfer to another school.

Now, if Jacobs had shown this kind of nerve earlier in his career, he may not be on the hot seat that he's on now...

OSG Prem: Liverpool's Suarez Fined For Biting (UPDATED: 10-Match Ban)

Liverpool's Luis Suarez now is the Premier League leader in biting with two...

He had done it once before when he was a player at Ajax...
Suarez was given a seven match ban for his teething...

Over the weekend, he pulled the same stunt against Chelsea's Ivanovic...
((HT: SkySports))

"For my unacceptable behavior yesterday, the club has fined me today," Suarez wrote on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Suarez said he wants the undisclosed sum to be donated to families affected by the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster, which killed 96 Liverpool fans. This past weekend was the anniversary of the tragedy, so Suarez's timing wasn't the best...


He still could face a long ban from the Football Association for his munching, but surprisingly, the team isn't budging on their thoughts on his future.

"It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline, but Luis is a very important player to the club,"
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said. "He's a very popular player with his teammates. As we keep saying, he signed a new four-year contract last summer, and we'd all love to see him here throughout that contract.

"He's a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we'd want in a striker, so there's no change there. This is more about getting him back on the right track."

The Professional Footballers' Association (the player's union) has offered the services of counselors. Adidas, Suarez's sponsor, released a statement:

"Adidas takes this type of incident very seriously and does not condone Luis Suarez's behaviour. We will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players. Luis has admitted his actions were unacceptable and we support the way Liverpool are planning to handle the situation."

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The FA has given Suarez a 10-match ban...

The ban begins immediately, so Suarez is done for the rest of the regular season. He has until midday on Friday to appeal the additional seven-match suspension.

Liverpool's managing director, Ian Ayre, told Sky Sports: "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision.

"We await the written reasons tomorrow (Thursday) before making any further comment."

NBC "In Touch" With Michaels After Arrest

((HT: LA Times))

Spokesman Greg Hughes has acknowledged that the network has been "in touch" with Al Michaels after his DUI arrest and citation earlier Sunday morning. Michaels was cited for delivering a .08 on a breathalyzer exam over the weekend.

.08 is the high end of the legal limit for intoxication charges in the state of California.

Matt Stevens follow-up in the Times Monday morning has Santa Monica (CA) Sergeant Richard Lewis elaborating on the idea that they smelled alcohol and witnessed slurred speech:

“They pulled him over, detected the smell of alcoholic beverage, slurred speech, they did [field sobriety tests], arrested him, and then he was booked.”

Lewis said the department does not release the blood alcohol concentration of those arrested on suspicion driving under the influence, but added that Michaels was arrested on a violation of the vehicle code that includes driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater.

TMZ is reporting that Michaels' BAC was just above .08
Michaels was booked on $5,000 bail and has a court date of June 26.
He was on the "Dan Patrick Show" a few days ago discussing stuff...
((HT: Dan Patrick Show))

Sunday, April 21, 2013

ECU Takes A Page Out Of Nebraska Playbook...


And not like they're starting to run the wishbone or anything like that...

Remember when the Cornhuskers turned their spring game into a celebration for a kid fighting brain cancer...???

The Pirates had 8-year-old Noah Roberts run a 50-yard score in for ECU. He suffers from neurofibromitosis- a disease that has brain tumors form (the tumors could be either benign or malignant) and Roberts has had to go through two surgeries to try and treat the condition...

Here's how they covered it in Greenville...
WNCT | 9 On Your Side Greenville NC

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Neil Diamond Drops By to Sing Sweet Caroline at Red Sox Game

How's that for a surprise?

According to the Boston Red Sox radio team, music legend Neil Diamond decided to show up on his own at Saturday afternoons Red Sox game to sing his hit and team inspirational song Sweet Caroline. And there is video to prove it. (ha!)

And quite honestly, it was another in the ever-growing list of inspirational moments this week in the beleaguered but recovering city.

And yeah, it's enough to give you the chills....(thanks MLB.com)

Oh, by the way, the Red Sox beat the Royals 4-3 behind Daniel Nava's 2-run, 8th inning home run. Just in case you were wondering....

Auburn and Tennessee Spring Games: Why the SEC is Bigger Than You

If any of you ever wondered why the SEC is the biggest College Football conference of them all, well, here is an answer to your question.

Auburn and Tennessee both held their spring games on Saturday....and well, they were pretty well attended.

To be specific, Auburn,  had over 83,000 in the house (check out the photo). Yes, that's correct, the 3-9 Tigers with a persecution complex drew 83+ thousand to their game.

It should be noted that the game, in which the Orange beat the Blue 35-14 featured the ejection of CB Jonathon Mincy for laying out WR Dimitri Reese with a hit towards the head. All in all, we're guessing the Tiger faithful are happy to have new/old coach Gus Malzahn and his crazy offense in the house.

As for Tennessee, well, they only drew 60,000 plus to their game, featuring new head coach Butch Jones. (Though hard to tell in the below video)

The Volunteers are also looking for a bit of redemption after several years of mediocrity and coaching changes.

Guess the fans are buying in...at least for the moment.

Here's your Tennessee video:

And the other reason that Auburn had close to 90,000 people in the Loveliest Village was the opportunity to say good-bye to the Oaks at Toomer's Corner. They're going to be removed this week since their death is imminent- thanks to Harvey Updyke. The school introduced a plan yesterday as to how the celebrations will continue at the Corner complete with more trees leading into campus off the diagonal and more seating room for those who want to drop by.

And, as the HQ predicted, it was like the Whos on Christmas Morning...
Here's a look back...
((HT: Auburn Athletics))

Bruins Pre-Game Salutes Marathon Bomber Victims

((HT: ROOT Sports/NHL))

It was another chance for the city of Boston to give thanks after a tough week...

Both Rene Rancourt and Phillip Phillips did it well...

Here's the salute which hits home again...

It didn't have the colorful metaphors like they had at Fenway, but it had the exact same message...

Papi F-Bombs Marathon Bombers


David Ortiz did what a lot of Bostonians thought and felt over the last five days...
The words were simple and very effective...

Amen, Big Papi...

Classy Moves For UMass Spring Game

The HQ admittedly gives the UMass football program a lot of grief because, well frankly, they're a very bad Division I football team. The Minutemen were a solid I-AA program that saw the dollars of the big money conference contracts...

And they're getting slaughtered...

But, in the wake of what has happened over the last week in Massachusetts, the team and school are doing a really classy thing for their spring game...
UMass is doing a really cool thing...

UMass football head coach Charley Molnar, offered everyone the chance to ran in the marathon a chance to `Cross The Finish Line' at the Spring game. The runners who attended the spring game on campus got to take a lap around the field, and cross the finish line which will be set-up at the 50-yard line.

"Competing in the Boston Marathon is a lifetime achievement and something to be celebrated," said Molnar who has run everyday for the past five years. "These runners deserve to finish what they started and we hope we can provide that for them. We want them to have that feeling of coming down the home stretch to the sound of applause and to have their friends and families greet them as they cross the line."

In addition, the team shares in the grief and celebration of those whose lives were lost during the criminal run of the Boston Marathon bombers. Special stickers are on the back of the player's helmets and the names of those lost and the phrase #BostonStrong makes its way onto the player's backs.

So, huzzahs to the folks in Amherst for all their thoughts on Saturday...

OSG High: West, Texas... With The Comma

When Interstate 35 west winds its way, for those travelling that way, toward the merger with I-35 it's near the town of Hillsboro, Texas. The towns click off every ten miles or so- Alvarado, Itasca, Hillsboro, and then, West. A lot of people are genuinely confused over the name. But the first postmaster of the town of 2,800 in McLennan County was a guy by the name of T.M. West.

Thus, the name... and it has nothing to do with direction or time and place...

Everyone knows now that the death toll in a catastrophic mill explosion is now 14 with dozens still listed as missing- 7 fatalities from volunteer fire departments inside the state.

“It is by far one of, if not the worst, (disasters) we have seen in the state of Texas,” said Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner.

There will be regulatory issues and safety issues that will come up over the next while over the West plant- especially after the idea that those who ran the plant maintained that there would never be any kind of catastrophic event like the one that happened. It would only be a ten second release of ammonia gas- and that would be it.

But it wasn't... and it won't be for a while...

It's a part of the state where, if drivers don't like the traffic pattern, they'll high-step their cars and trucks over the grass medians and plow over to the roads that run parallel to the freeway. It's a part of the state also known as much for its Czech influence. There are restaurants in Hillsboro and in West where you can pick up a mean kolache and, now, they're places for remembering who is gone and who remains.

Buildings have been obliterated... and I don't even think that is giving the word justice. Schools in the blast zone are not safe and superintendents have had to give advice from all around the state to figure out how to make the last month of school... "normal..."

Students will resume classes on Monday. Some students will start their new lives in neighboring Connally ISD, while some students will go to West Elementary School, which Crawford said was the only campus not affected by the explosion...

Translation... "the only school left standing where we feel safe putting people."

Everyone short of 6th grade goes there. The middle and high schoolers go to an abandoned school in Connally.

“Our goal for the next 30 days is to make sure (students) have a great experience, that we could put back a little normalcy and consistency in the kids’ lives,” West ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford said.

And the kids had to try...

The calm at Hillsboro High. Thoughts are still 15 miles south.
In Hillsboro, the Eagles were set to play a double-header against Burnsville-Eddy Friday. The JV game went by the boards and the two schools were set to play one game in the newly-constructed softball and baseball stands. Their number one fan, who was there way too early for first pitch was asked the simple question of "How are you doin'...?"

"We're here..."

And that sums up the mood of the whole region...

Over at the county fairgrounds, kids from fraternities and sororities made their way from Baylor to help unload trucks and cram everything they got from 18-wheelers into cardboard boxes and get them to West as soon as they could.

"We're more organized now than we were at the beginning," one Phi Chi told me. "If a truck comes in and it's a fork-lift truck, we really can't do anything. But if it was hand-packed, you see what we're able to do."

And that translated into about 20 college students moving around to fill boxes on four hour shifts waiting for the next group to take over.

"There are three different fraternities here," he continued. "No one cared what frat you were when you showed up. And that's not always necessarily the case."

Justin Lewis came to the fairgrounds in a blue blazer, white dress shirt, and beige power tie complete with blue jeans and boots. He seemed to be the one orchestrating what needed to be put where and how quickly. His day job is that of a Hill County judge, but his focus was on turning around every gifted piece of aid and getting it to West.

The Hill County Fairgrounds- where Baylor came to help
"We've got a Wal-Mart's worth of material," he admitted as the pile grew behind him. "Places like H.E.B. (a local department store chain) and Farmers are helping out with their trucks. And our job is to sort, inventory, re-box and be a distribution point. If someone calls and says 'I need toilet paper,' then I can go 'Okay, we'll get you a palette.' If someone calls and says, 'I need clothes.' Then, we can go 'Okay, we'll get you a palette of that.' and so on... That's what we're doing here."

But, it's not all optimism. You get the sense, though, that the work is keeping him from focusing on what he lost.

"It's bad. Real bad... it's ugly down there" and all he could do is look down and shake his head briefly before regaining focus on the job he and everyone else in the fairgrounds was working on. "I've lost friends and I can't find others. But, right now, we're running on adrenaline. They're family. And that's what you do..."

And the 18-wheelers just kept coming... a good thing for everyone- those who needed it to get their lives back on track and for those who needed to help so they could regain a part of theirs.