Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rockets Jones Pleads Not Guilty To Stomping

((HT: KGW-TV))

Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones pleaded not guilty to harassment after he was arrested for stomping on a sleeping homeless man.

Early Wednesday morning around 2AM (and we'll remind you what we say about early morning stuff...), a police officer said he saw a group of people leaving a local Portland nightclub.

The officer watched Jones walk by a doorway where two homeless men were sleeping. The officer said Jones yelled “wake up” and then stomped on one of the men’s legs. Police contacted Jones and took him into custody.

The victim, 46-year-old Daniel Kellerher, had a minor leg injury, but didn't need any further medical attention.
Jones appeared in court Wednesday afternoon where he pleaded not guilty...

Here's the latest out of Portland...

Way to go, genius...
Allegedly...

Riley Cooper Apologizes For Slur, Fallout In 3, 2, 1... (UPDATED With Vick Responses)

((HT: CSNPhilly))

First, here's the apology...


Let's work backwards...
Cooper was at a Kenny Chesney concert and had a run in with security...
((HT: CrossingBroad))


The first half the HQ can't make out, but the second half has a "hard -er" and not a "soft -a" where that word is concerned...
Which means there is no term of affection used here at the concert...

Cooper admitted he was fined for his remarks by he team and the league wasn't too fond of his shenanigans either:

"The NFL stands for diversity and inclusion. Comments like this are wrong, offensive, and unacceptable."

And here's the statement from Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie's statement:

“We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words. This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. He has accepted responsibility for his words and his actions. He has been fined for this incident.“

PM UPDATE: Marcus Vick, who the HQ has no idea what he's doing these days, decided to put a bounty out on Cooper when all of this went public...

"Hey I'm putting a bounty on Riley's head. 1k to the first Free Safety or Strong safety that light his (expletive) up! Wake him up please...."

Marcus has since deleted his Tweet...

But, to his credit, brother Michael came out and said that he didn't agree with his brother's assessment:

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Michael Vick said, "I don't agree with what my brother is saying."

NPSL This Week: The Final- RVA FC and Sonoma County

It's RVA and Sonoma County for the trophy...

RVA FC knocks off Erie 4-0 for the eastern entry...
Here's your highlights...
((HT: WRIC-TV))
WRIC Richmond News and Weather -

Kharlton Belmar scored twice for RVA and caught up with Vic Dorr, Junior of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“I knew we had good enough players to compete,” Belmar said. “But my first thought was, ‘OK, let’s do that; let’s show we can compete; you know, have a good, strong season.’ I’ll admit: I never thought things would turn out the way they have.”

The undefeated expansion team goes into the final at 9-0-2...

In the west, FC LVU Sonic- your defending champs- were knocked out 3-2 by the Sonoma County Sol...

The Sol scored in the last minute of regulation to get the win, and it gives us the excuse of showing their celebration from practice one more time before the end of the year...


"This is exactly where we want to and expected to be," Sol game-winning goal scorer Taylor Varnadore said after the game. "We have played this way all year long and are continuing to come up with the right solutions to each game."

Watch the final hyah Sunday night at 7PM eastern time...

And here's something new for league supporters when it comes to the end of season awards...
The fans get to submit who they think the Supporter's XI should be for the award hand outs...

From the league:

Send a list of your favorite 11 players to vote@isnsoccer.com. You can choose one goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards. Voting starts now and ends on Friday at noon.

The winners of all the awards will be announced throughout the weekend. Thank you for your support of the NPSL!


Looks like CFC's Gregory Hartley and GBFC's Bozidar Jelovac are tied for the most votes at any position...

Check in with the league on Facebook and see what else is going on before the title game...

A note from the HQ: We would like to thank all of the teams, fans, and the league for being a part of our coverage this season. We'll have one more wrap-up for you after the final with the Finals report and a look at the Supporter's XI

Ex-NCAA Athletes Win This Round In EA Lawsuit

((HT: Reuters))

The case is known as:

In re: NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 10-15387; and Brown v. Electronic Arts Inc in the same court, No. 09-56675.

By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Electronic Arts' use of former college players in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games did not deserve protection as free expression under the First Amendment.

EA is being sued by ex-college athletes saying their likenesses were used without their permission...

Former Arizona State QB Sam Keller and others claimed that EA had misappropriated their identities and likenesses without compensation.

Electronic Arts said it plans to appeal.

((Of course they are...))

Circuit Judge Jay Bybee wrote the majority opinion saying that EA "literally recreates Keller in the very setting in which he has achieved renown,"

Judge Bybee also said that pretty much everything associated with Keller's character on the 2005 version of the game resembled Keller's own live, actual person...

Here's the background on Keller's three-year chase to date with Mark Fainaru-Wada...
((HT: OTL on ESPN))


The HQ knows this isn't over by a long shot...

Andy Dalton Meets A Fan With A Six Pack Of Beer

[HT: kissingsuzykolber]

Only this six pack is in this Bengals fan's beard.


Those of us at the OSG HQ salute this Bengal fan for his unique way of carrying his favorite alcoholic beverage. 

We just wonder how he's going to manage if or when he finally shaves.

Randy Orton Attacked In Southern Hemisphere

And, by that, we mean South Africa...

Dear, faithful reader/viewer...

Work or not a work...???

Randy Orton was celebrating at the end of a match in Cape Town, South Africa when this happened...
((HT: WWE))


The HQ is leaning toward "work..."

Watch the ref and the "event staff" wait before removing the "masked fan..."
Why would the "fan" be wearing a mask...?
The music stops right when the 'fan' low bridges Orton.

And Orton doesn't outright kill the "masked fan..." which he really should have done...

Here's the WWE's response...

WWE.com has learned that Randy Orton was violently attacked by an audience member during a SmackDown World Tour Live Event in Cape Town, South Africa, this evening. Footage of the attack was captured by a WWE fan and posted to YouTube, and shows the perpetrator striking Orton from behind. The matter is currently under investigation by the local authorities, and the South African fan is being held in jail pending criminal charges. The extent of Orton's injuries are unknown at this time.

There is also a thought that this same individual attacked Big E. Langston during the match on the apron...

Let's see where this goes...

NHL To Seattle Sometime Soon...???

((HT: Mitch Levy/950KJR Radio))

Mitch's Twitter has been busy Tuesday evening...

He has people (and we all know how influential and accurate "people" are) that are telling him that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is telling the Board of Governors that, when the Arizona Coyotes sale goes through and is approved, an expansion team is recommended to go to Seattle.

Here's the series...

The current MOU would undoubtedly need to be tweeked to keep the arena on track

The ownership group that was interested in buying the Phoenix franchise remains in play here, amongst others.

All of this contingent upon 1) a solid ownership coming forward and buying the team and 2) the new arena staying on track to be built

If approved, the new expansion Seattle NHL club would cost approximately $275M. It would begin playing here in the 2014-2015 season.


The end game here is that, if the arena stays on track, the city would be attractive for an NBA franchise when the NBA expands- as is anticipated when the new television contract comes up for discussion...

Ownership groups would, obviously, include the Hansen-Ballmer group that has (currently) lost out on an NHL franchise.

And this also brings up the question for franchise 32- Quebec City or Markham...
The HQ thinks Quebec with the Sun Media connections and the framework that's in place...

Here was the conversation from June when Seattle mayor Mike McGinn admitted talking to Commissioner Bettman about the league in Seattle when the Coyotes were in the discussion...
((HT: KING-TV))

Falcons New Stadium Site Down To One Idea

((HT: WSB-TV/AJC, Tucker))

Tim Tucker has been on top of this whole "the Atlanta Falcons need a new stadium thing..." and it has reached another stage...

The idea of the Atlanta Falcons new stadium (known here at HQ as the "Blank Tank" until further notice) is down to one site- until further notice...

The team had two sights under the looking glass- one south of the current Georgia Dome site that is developments and churches currently and one north of the Georgia Dome site that is RV parking lots and razed low-income apartments that now look like overgrown grass and concrete.

Now it appears that the southern site is out of play because not enough due diligence has been done and the property needed to start clearing land for construction that hasn't been acquired.

Oops...

Now, the northern site is in the cross hairs and it's time to see whether or not the city and the Falcons will make a point to get everything picked up and sorted out- or if they'll kick the tires on this site as well...

Until the political climate changes or political pressure mixes with pressure from the Falcons to do your damage or get off the toilet...

Here's the latest...
Two historical Atlanta churches were also supposedly raising an A-plus stink over what their perceived values was for reimbursement for their move at the center of the south site. The August 1st deadline is too close for anything to happen.

Now, the parking lots and razed housing projects will be getting their soil samples and similar tire kicking until further notice...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chad Qualls Perfects Fist Pump Somersault

((HT: MLB/SNY))

It's one of those rare highlights that turned into something else entirely...

What would you call this action after a strike out...???


A fist pump-trip-blown tire-somersault should just about cover it...

Mariner Moose Attacked: No Really

((ht: deadspin.com))

Yes, you read that right. Someone took a swing at the Seattle Mariners mascot, the Mariner Moose.

It's hard to believe anyone would seriously try to punch a mascot in the nose, yet that's exactly what happened over the weekend at Public Safety Day at Boeing Headquarters in Seattle.

According to KOMO-TV, a Boeing employee approached the Moose who was doing his best to entertain the crowd and hit him smack in the nose.

No details as to what happened afterwards, the Moose was apparently un-injured. The employee is in trouble with his boss, because even if he may have been joking or playing, the company isn't.

Read more from KOMO-TV RIGHT HERE

And because Local News does their best to get to the bottom of such events, here's KOMO's TV report, where they got reaction from---you guessed it, fans on the street:


Tony Stewart Walks Away From This...???

((HT: From The Marbles/Jake Phelps))

We all know that Tony Stewart loves him some racing...

His fondness for dirt tracking was evidenced by his love for Eldora raceway, the truck race there recently, and showing up at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario, Canada for the 2013 Ohsweken Northern Summer Nationals. Smoke was battling another Stewart, Shane, when this happened...

Here's what he survived and walked away from...


Hasn't he done this before in larger cars...???
((HT: NASCAR on ESPN))


Yup... he had...

Carlos Hyde Video Released

((HT: Lost Lettermen))

The prosecution in the case are saying Hyde is the individual on the right half of the screen that appears to be taken aback and then lunges forward...


Allison Manning of the Columbus Dispatch lets us all know that Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde will not be facing charges in the above incident because the woman who was struck, apparently, did not want to press charges...

Police have closed the investigation, but Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer still has to determine the length of a suspension for Hyde that he is currently serving as a result of the incident in the first place...

The season-opener against Buffalo and, maybe, the San Diego State game looks like the answer...





DEVELOPING: 3 Ex-Penn State Officials Held Over For Trial

Penn State ex-president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz have been bound for court on the charges against them in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Dauphin County Judge William Wenner found enough evidence to warrant a trial for three after a two-day preliminary hearing in Harrisburg.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary testified as part of the hearing that Curley and Schultz knew what was going on...

Here's the update after his testimony...
((HT: ABC27 Harrisburg))
abc27 WHTM

Spanier's grand jury testimony during the Sandusky trial was read in open court in the morning session where it was disclosed that, according to Pennlive's Charles Thompson:

Prosecutors alleged that Spanier lied when:

He told the grand jury investigating former Penn State football assistant Jerry Sandusky that he never understood the 2001 incident to involve the abuse of a child.

He told the same panel that he was never made aware of any prior accusations against Sandusky. Records show Spanier was copied on at least some of the updates between Schultz and Curley on that case.


Schultz and Curley are already charged with perjury and the prosecution has to prove the statements were false to get a conviction to stick.

Rutgers To Retire #52 In Honor Of Eric LeGrand

Eric LeGrand
Rutgers has never retired a jersey number in the programs 144 year history, that's about to
change.

Jason Baum, Senior Associate Director For Communications for Rutgers Athletics send the following tweet:

That was followed by the following tweet from LeGrand:



LeGrand, a former defensive tackle for the Scarlet Knights, was paralyzed in a game against Army on October 16, 2010 making a tackle.

The class and positive attitude that LeGrand has exhibited facing this life challenge has been an inspiration, especially those here at the OSG HQ.

Baum added that once LeGrand begins walking again his number 52 will only be worn on special occasions.

Jason Giambi Is Not Too Old To Crush A Walk Off Home Run. "...it was orgasmic."

Yes Jason Giambi is very much alive and still playing baseball in the Major Leagues at 42 years old.  Giambi wears the Cleveland Indian uniform and Tuesday night he burst back onto the front pages with a walk-off home run.


According to the Elias Sports Bureau Giambi became the oldest player to hit a walk off home run.
“There’s nothing more special in this game than to do that and help the ballclub win after they battled so well,” Giambi said. “It’s incredible just to contribute.”
Indian outfielder Nick Swisher was a little more graphic.
“It was electric, man,” Swisher said. “It was orgasmic, that’s what it was.”
Enough said.


OSG High: 3 Dead In Fatal New Mexico Rollover Includes TAMU And Utah Players (UPDATED)

((HT: MyFoxDFW/KRQE-TV))

Three teens including a freshman football player at Texas A&M died in a car accident in New Mexico just north of Albuquerque near the town of Cuba.

Polo Manukainiu was driving back from Utah Monday night. He was a two-time all-district defensive end for Euless Trinity High School.

Before the trip he tweeted, "22 hour drive back to Texas on no sleep. Oh my," around 5:30 local time Monday afternoon.

On his twitter feed, there were those who wished that he would be careful including one message that said: Pull over & get some sleep. We don't need another tragedy. Be safe & God bless. #gigem

According to Emmanuel Gutierrez of the New Mexico State Police, five people were in a Toyota SUV (pictured right, thanks KRQE-TV) at the time of the crash. Two of them were ejected and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Utah football recruit Gaius Vaenuku and current Euless Trinity player Lolo Uhatafe were also killed. A fourth unidentified person has been airlifted in critical condition. The condition of the fifth person is unknown.

Reaction is starting to pour out of College Station...

"Heart hurts waking up to news about Polo.. I think I speak for everyone on our team when I say we love you brother you will be missed," A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel tweeted.

Manukainiu was a two-time All-District 6-5A defensive end in high school, and helped lead his team to an undefeated regular season as a senior. The redshirt freshman was a recreation, parks and tourism sciences major.

More when we know more...

1600 UPDATE: It appears, according to NMSP, that the older brother of Lolo Uhatafe was driving the SUV. 18-year-old Siaosi Uhatafe, and his father, Salesi were the two who were injured.

The New Mexico State Police said the driver, Siaosi Uhatafe, was the only person in the vehicle who was wearing a seat belt.

Here's reports from NBCDFW from Euless...


“We lost a terrific young man,” Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin said. “Polo was loved by his teammates and coaches. Anyone who came in contact with him was struck by his sense of humor and smile. My heart aches for his mom and family members.”

“Everyone who knew Gaius is heartbroken today,” said Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham. “He was the kind of young man who lit up a room and his future in football and life had no boundaries. Words cannot express our devastation over the loss of Gaius. This is a sad day not only for University of Utah football, but for everyone whose lives Gaius crossed or would have crossed but for this tragedy. Our hearts go out to Gaius’ and Salesi’s families, and to the Texas A&M coaches and players. We are praying for the speedy recovery of Salesi and his father.”

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey, Those Headsets Cost Money, Y'Know...

((HT: FS Ohio/MLB))

As is the Fox Network way over the last few years, they try to have instances during the game where an in-game interview yields some kind of tremendous insight...

During the Indians game Monday night, Justin Masterson (who wasn't pitching that night) was the interviewee...
And his teammates tried to unsettle him during the whole thing...


The HQ gives Masterson credit for his unflappable behavior- he may have a future in television before it's all said and done...

Josh Harding Talks MS

((HT: Sportsnet))

It was a pretty easy bet for Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding to get the Masterson Trophy this past NHL season...

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Harding hasn't let him slow down his workload and he even started in the Wild's first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks...

Sportsnet's Chris Simpson caught up with Harding in Toronto...

UNC Suspends P.J Hairston Indefinitely

((ht: usatoday.com))

Well, the latest in North Carolina basketball standout P.J Hairston's problems appears to have been the straw that broke the camel's--or Roy Williams's back.

Hairston was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with reckless driving. It's the latest ina series of problems spanning the past several months.

In no particular order, he was arrested at a license checkpoint on June 5th and charged with possessing marijuana and driving with no license, those charges were recently dropped.

He's also been linked to two different cars (including the one in the June 5th incident) owned by an area resident who's title is something along the lines of "party promoter" and who's been linked to quite a few Raleigh/Durham area college athletes. Oh, and did we add he has a prison record?

Read more about Mr. Hairston's adventures RIGHT HERE

At this point, we'd say Hairston is done in Chapel Hill. He's bringing the type of problems to the basketball team that often lead towards NCAA investigations.

Nobody, to this point has made accusations of such abuses by the school, players or boosters, but eyebrows are being raised. Having one of your players tied to guns, marijuana and/or rogue boosters or wanna be agents is not something North Carolina, a school who's football team already has them in trouble with the NCAA, wants any part of.

Adrian Peterson+ Helmet Cam= Comedy Gold

((HT: Ryan Swanson/The Score))

A lot of folks don't get the chance to see what goes on inside the ropes at NFL training camps...

AP gave everyone the chance with a helmet cam...


So, yes, the microphone did actually work...

DEVELOPING: Police Searching Connecticut Lake For Hernandez Weapon

((HT: WFSB-TV))

Police in Aaron Hernandez's home town of Bristol, Connecticut are searching a local lake/pond for a weapon that may be connected to the Hernandez murder investigation.

In addition to Connecticut officials, Massachusetts State Police and officials with the Bristol County (CT) District Attorney's Office are also at the scene to assist.

The .45-caliber pistol that police believe was used to kill Odin Lloyd has not been found, but authorities believe that a .45 can be seen in Hernandez's hand from stills in recent surveillance video from his home the night of the Lloyd shooting.

Pine Lake/Malone's Pond is near the house owned by Hernandez's uncle, where the Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz- Hernandez's alleged co-conspirators- are thought to have driven after the Lloyd shooting. Police executed another search warrant there recently.

The apartment complex where police found the Chrysler 300 driven by Wallace before his arrest is also near the lake/pond.

CSNNE's Kevin Walsh says that the Hernandez vibe will be around for a while...

Dollar Bill Drop, Y'all... Causes Delay In Seattle

((HT: ROOT/MLB))

It's the very rare instance that causes a baseball game to slow down than the action itself...

Happened yesterday at SoDo when the Twins were playing the Mariners...

In the 7th inning stretch, something called the $5k Tailgate released $6-grand in $1 from the upper deck of the stadium and caused everyone to look skyward and grab what they could. The Tailgate will let you run a race doused in Seahawks-colored paint before the Sunday Night game against San Francisco that is their home opener.

Their website crashed as a result...

Here's one of the announce teams trying to figure out what's going on...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Big Papi Goes 4-For-4, Talks To The Phone

((HT: NESN))

The best revenge when something goes wrong is to make it right by yourself...

David Ortiz comes back from his phone assault with a 4-for-4 day with action that included a home run...

And he also had a renewal with the dugout phone...

OSG High: FB Player With Prosthetic Runs With His Team

((HT: Sports Mic Radio Network))

The HQ was alerted to the story of Jaque Billingsley last season while we were traversing the state checking on central Georgia's best in high school football...

He's a lineman for Northside High School in Warner Robins- just like his older brother did...

In November of 2010, Jaque decided to compete in wrestling as an Eagle...
"My leg got caught and he ended up falling on it and it snapped. I dislocated my knee. And we didn't really know what was happening," he told Macon's NBC41 that following spring.

Jaque went to the hospital and was released. But when he got home, he couldn't feel his right foot. A nerve in his leg was pinched and a blood clot formed. By the time the Billingsleys got a second opinion, gangrene had set in.

Doctors amputated his right leg just below the knee, but he is still playing and practicing. And since it's conditioning time for football season (since practice doesn't start until the 1st), the Eagles were doing their thing and Jaque was right there with them as the football program put their finishing touches on its annual Ironman Competition earlier this week.

Here's Jaque with his escort home...


Jaque wants to be the first player in the NFL playing with a prosthesis...
Go get 'em...

USMNT Takes Gold Cup Title Over Panama

((HT: Fox Sports))

After another Brek Shea goal (who thought the HQ would say that regarding the USMNT offense, like, ever...???)- 42 seconds in after being called in as a substitute- the Gold Cup final went to the United States in front of 59,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

After only having three goals scored against them leading up to the last game in the tournament, Panama gave up one to Shea after a Landon Donovan whiff in the box.

It was almost 2-nil on this play, which gave banished USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann a coronary


Or several...

Shea got the game-winner against Costa Rica on a feed from Donovan and the two hooked up again in the final- only thing missing was the goal...

Stewart Holden was removed in the 16th minute on a sprained knee injury and he will be reevaluated after the tournament...

2013 College Football Previews: The Atlantic Coast Conference

The only way a BCS conference can build its reputation is how it competes and wins
games against other BCS leagues. The ACC’s track record against other BCS conferences has been awful.

The numbers from the 2012 season broke down like this:
ACC vs. Big East: 5-5
ACC vs. Big Ten: 1-1
ACC vs. Big 12: 0-3
ACC vs. Pac-12: 1-1
ACC vs. SEC: 2-6
ACC vs. Notre Dame: 0-3

When you go 5-5 versus the Big East you have some work to do.

With all that said the tide might be turning. The ACC finished the bowl season 4-2 including Georgia Tech’s blowout win over Southern California and Clemson’s thrilling win over LSU.

The ACC has a few opportunities to keep trending up against the other BCS leagues. It will take some huge wins over big name schools (Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida) to move up from number five in the BCS pecking order.

Atlantic Division

Florida State Seminoles 2012 Record: 12-2

What To Like About The Seminoles
An Abundance Of Skill Players: FSU is loaded with speed, talent and skill. Just look at the receiver position, Rashad Greene can grab the ball in traffic or simply out run you plus with Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Dent that corps of receivers is pretty stout. James Wilder, Jr, Devonta Freeman and newcomer Mario Pender give FSU a trio of dynamic running backs.

Things The Seminoles Need To Improve On
Quarterback: Freshman Jameis Winston impressed during spring practice but he has not taken a snap in a college game before. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has not named Winston as the starting quarterback….. yet. If Fisher does go with Winston his development on the fly will be key.

Schedule Breakdown:
Opening the season at Pittsburgh, the Panthers first ACC game, appears to be a trap game from the start but then again FSU has had 15 spring practices and a fall camp to prepare for that one. Florida State’s biggest games are on the road, October 19th at Clemson and their regular season finale November 30th at Florida.

And Now A Word From Coach Fisher:
“You have to have confidence. Winning a BCS game for the first time in 13 years, people say you should have, well if it was that easy we would have done it more than once in the last 13 years. Those things are hard. Winning a conference championship for the first time in seven years, and when you call yourself a champion even though that championship doesn’t carry any weight this season. We are not defending anything to go win something again but it does give you the blueprint to how to work, how to do things, what to expect. It does give that confidence that you know something I’ve been here, I’ve done this, I know how to act in these situations and allows your program and you individually to grow.

OSG’s Take
Wilkie: It all comes down to one game, October 19th at Clemson. Other than that, FSU should win 10 games simply because they have so much more talent than anyone else in the ACC.

Phil: Yup. Since I chimed in last, both Wilkie and Jon have summed this up pretty well. While they are talented enough to run the table, odds say they don’t. For some reason they always seem to fold under pressure. Always.

Jon: I could recuse myself from this preview as an alumnus, but I will say this. In the last decade, there’s always that game we shouldn’t win and do and one we shouldn’t lose but we do. I’m thinking the latter this season and more headaches for being almost above average for another year in a row.

Clemson Tigers 2012 Record 11-2

Things To Like About The Tigers:

The Return Of Tajh Boyd: When Boyd was walking off the field after Clemson’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl win over LSU he was leaning toward declaring for the NFL draft. Boyd decided to return to Clemson because his report from the NFL scouting service wasn’t all that favorable and he genuinely loves college football. Tajh Boyd is poised for a special season and just might make a Heisman Trophy run.

Say It’s So Sammy: Sammy Watkins had one hell of a sophomore slump. From a two game suspension to start the 2012 season to kidney infections to a sprained ankle that limited his playing time and the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins limiting his touches. Watkins should be back in form for his junior season, few possess his game changing ability. Watkins is a treat to score every time he touches the ball.

Things Clemson Needs To Improve On:
Defense: It’s just average. Head coach Dabo Swinney feels good about their progress but can this unit make key stops against the “big boys” on the schedule (Georgia, FSU, South Carolina)?

Schedule Analysis:
The Georgia game won’t make or break Clemson’s season but it will provide instant analysis as to where Clemson is especially on defense. By the luck of the draw Clemson is Syracuse’s first ACC game at the Carrier Dome, be prepared to be overdosed in Orange.

And Now A Word From Coach Swinney:
“This time last year we were a major, major work in progress defensively. It was scary actually.”
“The big thing is we have grown up in the trenches. Last year we had one senior no juniors so they were all freshman and sophomores. Fast forward a year later and we have all juniors and some key sophomores.”
“I really feel like our front seven is going to be the strength of our team. When this season is over I’ll be incredibly disappointed if our front seven is not one of our main strengths if not the strength of our football team. If you can be good up front defensively it sure solves a lot of problems.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Clemson might beat Georgia and Florida State but which game will be the Tigers puzzling loss, they annually have one. My guess either at Syracuse or at Virginia. That’s the only thing that might keep Clemson from winning the ACC and challenging for the BCS national title.

Phil: Best Clemson team in awhile, except for 2 things--(1) The defense and (2) See FSU. Mystifyingly, they also seem to lose a game they shouldn’t. Without fail. They’ll be favored for pretty much every game but somehow will manage to go 10-2.

Jon: And that’s what will keep FSU on top and Clemson second in the division- that and Jadaveon Clowney scaring Tajh Boyd…

Syracuse Orange 2012 Record: 8-5

Things To Like About The Orange:
Running Backs: Syracuse may have the best running back combo in the ACC. Jerome Smith is central casting for a classic power back. Smith rushed for 1,171 yards last season and only fumbled once in 227 carries. Prince – Tyson Gulley is a perfect complement to Smith who can also catch balls out of the back field.

What Syracuse Needs To Improve On:
Find A Quarterback: Ryan Nassib won’t be walking into the locker room this year. There will be competition with no clear front runner right now.

Schedule Breakdown:
Syracuse opens with Penn State at MetLife Stadium then it’s a roadie vs Northwestern. Tough way to open the season. Only Clemson of the Atlantic Division big boys comes to the Carrier Dome.

And Now A Word From Coach Shafer:
“I’m extremely anxious to take our tradition for what Syracuse is and add our traditions to those traditions in this conference and go compete, go compete our ass off. To me that’s what it’s all about and our kids are fired up to do so.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: After meeting and getting to know coach Shafer I’m a big fan. Shafer spent some time as defensive coordinator at Stanford when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach and has a lot of his qualities. Unfortunately it’s going to be a tough season for the Orange with a 4-8 season likely.

Phil: They will be competitive because they can run. Very few, if any ACC teams are good at that. They’ll need to ball control, keep it close and hope whichever QB emerges can win it. They’ll struggle to get to a bowl game.

Jon: Without Nassib and Doug Marrone, it will be interesting to see just how the case study goes. I don’t think year one will go well at all…

NC State Wolfpack 2012 Record: 7-6

Things To Like About The Wolfpack:
A Trio Of Receivers: New head coach Dave Doeren likes to toss the ball around and he inherits three really good receivers in Bryan Underwood, Quintin Payton and Rashard Smith. This trio should get plenty of touches in the new up-tempo offense.

What The Wolfpack Needs To Improve On:
Make A List: Who will emerge as the starting quarterback for one. Can State get more production from the running back position? Will a young offensive line gel in time to start the season and can the Wolfpack defense overcome losses at linebacker and the secondary.

Schedule Breakdown:
Somebody did NC State a favor putting together the 2013 schedule. The Wolfpack have only two games outside the state of North Carolina including eight games at Carter-Finley Stadium.

And Now A Word From Coach Doeren:
“I’m in the frame of mind of building a championship. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. We might be better than I think we might be worse than I think. I really don’t know.
“I have to get out on the field with our current talent and really see where we stand and then make the correct adjustments and fill in the voids with recruiting and development to get us where we need to be.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: I’m like coach Doeren. I have no clue how to forecast NC State. The Wolfpack may not have the players to win enough games to go to a bowl game however their schedule is so favorable NC State has a really good chance to play in one.

Phil: These guys are just never as good as they think they should be. A traditional “Middle of the Pack” team and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Way too many holes here. If they match last years record, they should consider it a small miracle.

Jon: I think it’ll be an appearance in one of the conference minor bowls before we’re done because other teams are worse. Not because State is that much better than anyone else…

Maryland Terrapins 2012 Record: 4-8

Things To Like About The Terrapins:
Speed And Skill On The Perimeter: Stefon Diggs is a bona fide home run hitter. Diggs is a threat to go the distance every time he has his hands on the ball. On the other side Maryland adds JUCO transfer Deon Long who was the best receiver in junior college last year. Long led the country in receiving yards (1,625) and touchdowns (25). C.J. Brown will have plenty of weapons to throw to.

What The Terrapins Need To Improve On:
Newby’s On Defense: The Terps must replace seven starters from a defense that was third best in the ACC last season. That’s a lot to ask but if the Terp defense can at least maintain status quo things in College Park might turn around.

Schedule Breakdown:
Back to back games vs West Virginia in Baltimore and at Florida State will be brutal. The Terps get Clemson at home this year and must go to Blacksburg, VA to face Virginia Tech.

And Now A Word From Coach Edsall:
“I don’t look at it as a transitional season at all, I look at it as hey we have a tremendous schedule in the ACC. We are going to be going up against great competition, great players, great coaches. Our whole approach is we are focused and intent to be better and make sure we go out and prepare the right way and do all the thing we are supposed to do to get as many victories as we possibly can. The bottom line is we are playing in the Atlantic Division and we are looking to try to win that. We are trying to get to the championship game and get ourselves into a BCS game.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Maryland is going to be much better, the Terps can’t possibly lose three quarterbacks again. If there is very little drop off on defense Maryland goes to a bowl game, a third place finish in the ACC Atlantic Division is likely.

Phil: They’ll be better. And no reason they shouldn’t be. But....that being said, they are still a mediocre team that will struggle at times and the questions about Edsall will continue. If he wants to remain, they’ll need to get to a bowl game. Good luck with that.

Jon: See NC State… and the conference won’t have to worry about Maryland that much longer, anyway…

Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2012 Record: 5-7

Things To Like About The Demon Deacons:
Michael Of All Trades: Michael Campanaro’s position may be receiver but he has been known to play the running back position, return kicks and even throw the ball. Campanaro is Tanner Price’s favorite target and will be called upon to take more handoffs this season.

What The Demon Deacons Need To Improve On:
Just Stop Somebody: The Demon Deacon defense was among the ACC’s worst last season but much of that could be attributed toward injuries. The defensive line should be much better with the return of nose guard Nikita Whitlock but the linebackers must be better at getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. The defensive backs allowed way to many big plays last year, that’s got to be cut down.

Schedule Breakdown:
Three of Wake Forest’s first five games are on the road, might be a tough start. Back to back roadies at Miami and at Syracuse late in the year is not fun either. The Deacs do draw Florida State at home.

And Now A Word From Coach Grobe:
“We probably hurt ourselves by trying to be too much of a pass happy football team. Too much pressure on the O-Line, too much pressure on the skill guys and I think last year we found out how important a guy like Mike Campanaro is to you. Mike got hurt in the Duke game we really lost our ability to move the football and score points.”
“We have got to get away from just counting on just 2 or 3 guys to get the job done we’ve got to rely on the other guys on the offense.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Jim Grobe’s feeling pressure to win and so he’s going back to the basics. Wake Forest is a veteran team and usually when Grove starts seniors the Deacs play well. If Tanner Price is much more consistant this year Wake has a chance to win six games and go bowling.

Phil: Agreed with Jon. They are probably the definition of average. Anything better than 6-6 should be considered a major success. Can’t win if you can’t stop anyone.

Jon: I can’t get a good read on Wake (sorry, J-Dub)… which, probably means a struggle to get to .500

Boston College Eagles
2012 Record 2-10


Things To Like About The Eagles:

B-C Will Kick Your Butt: Win or lose you opponent’s very rarely out-physical Boston College. Linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto (great name for a linebacker) are outstanding. Don Brown is the Eagles new defensive coordinator and likes aggressive defenses that love to blitz. That might bode well this year:

What The Eagles Need To Improve On:

What Has Happened To Offensive Line “U”: The last few years Boston College’s offensive live has be very poor. This is a program that regular developed offensive lineman into decent NFL careers. Last year B-C allowed 36 sacks, near the bottom of the ACC and 106th in the NCAA, that has to improve.

Schedule Breakdown:

The Eagles may start out 2-0 with home games against Villanova and Wake Forest, and then reality will set in. First is off to L.A. to battle Southern California then hosting Florida State. Now someone explain to me why Boston College is going to Los Cruces, New Mexico to play New Mexico State?

And Now A Word From Coach Addazio:

“I think we have great kids in our program. They are high character, they really want to be good, they’ve got great work ethic and I just enjoyed being with them every day. “

“We’ve had the opportunity to coach really highly motivated student athletes and that is fun.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Eagle linebacker Steele Divitto told me that it’s been a culture shock at B-C since Steve Addazio took over even right to their team slogan, “Be A Dude." Addazio is a high energy guy that preaches toughness and accountability. Addazio’s first year as the Eagles head coach is going to be well tough. Perhaps three wins but it’s going to be a long year.

Phil:

Jon: Maybe a little better than last year, but not much... another long year...it wouldn't surprise me if they lose to Villanova, too...

Coastal Division

Miami Hurricanes 2012 Record: 7-5

Things To Like About The Hurricanes:
Get The Ball In Duke’s Hands: Duke Johnson had quite the year as a freshman gaining 947 yards which was second in the ACC in rushing. Johnson was a force on special teams with 895 yards returning kickoffs. Head coach Al Golden wants to put the ball in his hands more this year. Johnson’s got the talent to burst onto the national scene this year.

Morris Is The Man: Quarterback Stephen Morris flies way under the radar, even in the ACC. He completed 51 percent of his passes last year and even set an ACC single game record for passing yards with 566 against NC State. With the weapons Morris has at his disposal, Duke Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Morris is poised for a great year.

What The Hurricanes Need To Improve On:
Starting From Scratch On Defense: Miami had the worst defense in the ACC last season and was ranked 116 in the nation in total defense. The Hurricanes couldn’t stop the run or the pass. There’s no way to go but up.

Schedule Breakdown:
The Hurricanes draw Floirda in week two, that will be huge for the ‘Canes to re-establish their national brand. They have both in state teams, Florida and Florida State, at Sun Life Stadium. Miami’s schedule is very manageable.

And Now A Word From Coach Golden:
“During this whole ordeal we’ve been going through we haven’t had one kid come in with their family and say ‘you know what coach this is just to tenuous, I have no idea what’s going on with the NCAA, we want to get out of dodge.’ And that really speaks to our coaches. That really speaks to the commitment that those young people have made to each other and speaks to the brotherhood that is the University of Miami football program.”

“They didn’t sit around and complain about it. They went back to work. They believe as we all believe that we’re going to have that opportunity if we do the things we need to do that opportunity won’t be taken away from us this year.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: This Miami team is loaded offensively. If the Hurricane defense does improve then I would expect to see the ‘Canes in Charlotte in December.

Phil: Big dropoff from FSU/Clemson to these guys. Sure they’ll score, but will they stop anyone. Not convinced. If. Big IF--Morris improves they have a shot, but they’ll need to score. A lot

Jon: I think they’ll improve, but not as much as people think. It’ll be a fight between the Canes and the next guys to decide the division…

Virginia Tech Hokies 2012 Record: 7-6

Things To Like About The Hokies:
Solid Defense: This side of the ball has been a model of consistency. Bud Foster’s defense was again among the nation’s best last season ranking 18th. With blue collar players like Jack Tyler and exceptional corners Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller it’s going to be one of the best again.

What The Hokies Need To Improve On:
Generating Some Offense: With very little production in the running game and lack of confidence in his receivers Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas felt like he had to do it all last season and carry the team on his shoulders. Thomas has some broad shoulders but not that big. Thomas has bonded with new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler but finding a running back and a go to receiver are the priorities.

Schedule Breakdown:
It’s a dicey one. First opening the season in Atlanta against Alabama, good luck. Week three the Hokies play at East Carolina and a November schedule that has Virginia Tech on the road three of their last 4 games.

And Now A Word From Coach Beamer:
“I think we are at a good starting point. We’ve got a good defense, we’ve got a good quarterback, we’ve got good kickers and to me that’s a good starting point. I think we’ve got some talented players there in the offense, some of them are going to have to come along a play probably better than the should with their experience level and maturity. How well that develops probably will determine how well we are as a football team.”

“We’ve got a chance because I believe we have the foundation we just have to put it together.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: There’s a tendency to think the Hokies are in decline. Think of Frank Beamer’s great teams in the past, they have always had one, even two great running backs. They need to find one this season. The Hokies will keep the bowl streak alive but that November schedule is tough.

Phil: Wilkie, they are in decline. But I don’t chalk that up to coaching. THey don’t have the players. All their eggs are in Thomas’s basket and he’s been immensely disappointing. They’ll be solid. And in this half of the draw, it may be enough.

Jon: These guys are the only team that will keep Miami out of the title game. The program just seems to be floating about right now without any fear being put in the opposition like in year’s past. It’ll be a top-4 ACC bowl for these guys…

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2012 Record: 7-7

Things To Like About The Yellow Jackets:
Vad Lee And His Versitility: Paul Johnson gave quarterback Vad Lee a lot of playing time last year and his presence seemed to spark the Georgia Tech offense. Lee’s performance against North Carolina last year (169 yards passing, 112 yards rushing) is the kind of versatility that has been lacking at the quarterback position the last few years.

What the Yellow Jackets Need To Improve On:
New Leadership With The GT Defense: Obviously things didn’t work out with Al Groh in charge of the Georgia Tech defense. The Yellow Jackets gave up 42 points to Miami, 49 points to Middle Tennessee State and 47 points to Clemson in a three week period before Groh was dismissed. Ted Roof comes back to the Flats and has installed an aggressive defense that will fit the pass rushing skills of Jeremiah Attouchu. Cutting down opponants scoring opportunites is key.

Schedule Breakdown:
It’s not a bad one. The Jackets get North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Georgia at home. Back to back road trips at Miami then at BYU is not ideal.

And Now A Word From Coach Johnson:
“We aren’t going to vary from what we do [offensively]. Last year I think we averaged 400 yards and 40 points a game in the league. Clearly we would like to be more consistent with Vad, more efficient and want to win more games. We’re not going to blow it up and start over.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: OK I’m curious about Georgia Tech. On paper they look no better than a 6-6 team yet there was a general feeling at the ACC Football Kickoff event that the Yellow Jackets may be better that we think. Moving Jeremiah Attaochu to Defensive End is a great move. If Vad Lee develops into a duel threat quarterback Georgia Tech might be in the mix to repeat (and I use that word rather loosely) as Coastal Division champions.

Phil: CPJ, while proving to be a much more entertaining follow on Twitter than I could ever have imagined, is in trouble. The ACC has figured out his offense. Or at least enough to keep them somewhat under wraps. Unless a B-Back breaks from the pack, Lee can’t do it alone. And never mind the D--or lack of it. Wilkie already said it, 6-6 and a new coach in 2014.

Jon: I’m looking at paper and thinking paper is right…

North Carolina Tar Heels 2012 Record: 8-4

Things To Like About The Tar Heels:
“Fedora’s Freak Show” Part 2: Head coach Larry Fedora promised an offense that was hopped up on Red Bull and delivered. The Tar Heels averaged a school record 40.6 points per game last season. Hell Carolina scored 50 against Georgia Tech and lost. It helps when you have a quarterback in Bryn Renner who rarely makes mistakes and is pinpoint accurate.

What The Tar Heels Need To Improve On:
Filling The Void Of Giovani Bernard: Giovani Bernard was the most exciting player in the ACC last season. Who’s going to fill that “big play” void the Heels had in Bernard? Receiver Quinshad Davis is a candidate on the edge, out of the backfield that might be accomplished by committee. A.J. Blue and Romar Morris aren’t bad but combined can they add up to Bernard’s production and overall explosiveness?

Schedule Breakdown:
The Tar Heels open the season at South Carolina. North Carolina must play Coastal Division foes Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech on the road.

And Now A Word From Coach Fedora:
“Bryn [Renner] really fits what we are trying to do offensively. Now part of that is that we have tweeked the offense to what Bryn can do and we are going to take advantage of his skills. Bryn can make every throw there is on the field. He’s got great arm strength. As the season went on last year he got so much better in the decision making process, also in game management. “

“If we take care of the football he [Renner] knows we’ve got an opportunity to win the football game.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Not having a home run hitter like Giovani Bernard is doing to hurt. Bryn Renner is a damn good quarterback. The Tar Heels go to a bowl game and match the win total from last year at eight.

Phil: Good team. Equal with Miami and Va.Tech IMO. Not great and definitely not better than Clemson/FSU, but they have a good shot at being in ACC Champ game. Like Larry the Hat as a coach, he’s done well here.

Jon: I think Larry Fedora is on a short list of coaches that will be getting big name jobs calling soon… another year like last year’s will give that to him. He’ll be getting those calls before we know it…

Pittsburgh Panthers 2012 Record 6-7

Things To Like About The Panthers:
Fantastic Front Seven: Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald was a beast in the Big East Conference last season leading that league in tackles (18.5) and that should carry over into the ACC. Pitt’s linebackers may be the best unit they have had in years. They will stop somebody.

What The Panthers Need To Improve On:
Establishing The Pass: Transfer Tom Savage figures to be Pitt’s quarterback this season and will be called upon to throw the ball to the Panther playmakers, especially Devin Street. Savage last saw significant playing time in 2009 as Rutgers’ starting quarterback. He will need to shake off the rust from lack of playing time and school hoping.

Schedule Analysis:
Pitt can make a big impression if they can get by Florida State on Labor Day night at Heinz Field. All in all, the schedule is not kind with Notre Dame (not a conference game) on the docket as well.

And Now A Word From Coach Chryst:
“I’ve been relieved that our guys aren’t just talking about one team. They understand and appreciate the depth of this league and to opportunities and challenges we face.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: The schedule is just too tough for Pitt to make a big splash during their first ACC season. Florida State might blow out Pitt from the start. 2013 will be a learning experience.

Phil: They fit the ACC well. Never bad, never great and always lose when they shouldn’t. Fit the prototype of a 6/7 win team that may scare some conference foes, but that’s about it.

Jon: Too much turmoil and too tough a schedule… I think coach Chryst will get another shock loss and the fan at Pitt will be really bent out of shape again…

Duke Blue Devils: 2012 Record: 6-7

Things To Like About The Blue Devils:
Actually Can Compete In The Trenches: Duke usually gets pushed around in the trenches, that’s not a given anymore. The Blue Devils have some size and some talent on the lines.

What The Blue Devils Need To Improve On:
Pitch And Catch Combo: Sean Renfree was a very capable quarterback and could always count on Connor Vernon for some big plays. Both have moved on. Anthony Boone takes over at quarterback and Jamison Crowder becomes the go to guy. Can they move the Duke offense consistently?

Schedule Breakdown:
Fairly easy. No Florida State, No Clemson from the Atlantic.

And Now A Word From Coach Cutcliffe:
“There is a lot of culture work still need to be done. And it’s just the culture is what it falls back to. It’s call inertia and it just keeps going back in other people’s minds. We have that battle and my message to the team and really to the staff is you don’t like what you’re getting then change what you are doing. I think the signal is now consistently being a winner. That’s on us to prove.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Yes Duke went to a bowl game but they lost six of their last seven games and finished with a losing record last season. Believe me, Duke football is light years ahead of what David Cutcliffe inherited when he took over in 2008. A few breaks here and there they might get six wins but I just don’t see it.

Phil: Nope. They’ll fall back a bit this year. We like Cutcliffe, but he’s only so much of a magician. Loss of Renfree will be hard to replace.

Jon: While there are easy parts of the schedule, I don’t think there will be a repeat of last season…

Virginia Cavaliers 2012 Record 4-8

Things To Like About The Cavaliers:
Nice Group Of Skill Players On Offense: The Cavaliers have a really good running back in Kevin Parks and a receiver three-some of Daruis Jennings, Dominique Jennings and Tim Smith.

What The Cavaliers Need To Improve On:
Who’s Going To Play Quarterback: It’s between David Watford and Greyson Lambert. Watford is the duel threat, Lambert is the classic drop-back passer. Each will bring a different dynamic.

Schedule Breakdown:
Virginia opens the season hosting BYU and then hosting Oregon, one hell of a way to open 2013. Ending the season with two of their last 3 games on the road won’t be fun.

And Now A Word From Coach London:
“David Watford went into spring and came out of spring listed as number one [quarterback]. David played as a true freshman, we redshirted him last year, and he had the opportunity to kind of soak and look and see what the maturation process occurs for players.”

“Greyson Lambert had the benefit of being a mid-year for us and is another talented young man. They are battling for that position. We will in early August camp be definitive as to who our starter will be.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Virginia is much better than a 4-8 team. If the Cavaliers get any kind of consistent play at quarterback then UVA should be playing in a bowl game.

Phil: Yup. Typical ACC team. Decent, not great. Not a threat to win a title but good enough to get to a bowl game. And the guess is, that will be exactly what they do.

Jon: I could see a bowl game here… Charlotte, maybe…

Interpret as You Will: Alabama Recruit Waving Wads of Cash

Dee Liner on Left
((ht: sportingnews.com))

We'd now like to open the floor to questions from the audience. Please feel free to discuss after reading the story and seeing the photo.

Take a look at the Instagram photo on your right. In it, you'll see Alabama freshman recruit Dee Liner flashing rather large piles of cash along with his friends. The attached hashtag--#StruggleOverWit. It was uncovered by a website called "College Spun.com".

It's not clear where or how young Mr. Liner came upon this sudden windfall, but the youngster from Muscle Shoals has been rather popular, or at least well known in the state of Alabama.

He originally committed to Auburn back in January, but then de-committed after the departure of former coach Gene Chizik.

Just a few weeks later, he ended up signing with Alabama or the team known as Auburn's chief rival.

We are NOT saying the Liner has done anything wrong. Other than posting a really dumb picture on Instagram that's already attracting some unwanted attention. What we are saying is: Let's hope this is something perfectly innocent and Liner unknowingly posted a photo that is giving people a chance to make the wrong assumption.

But considering the cynical nature of College Football recruiting, particularly in the SEC, it's not hard to assume the first impression is right.


Marlins Hitting Coach Tino Martinez Accused of Abusing Players (UPDATED)

((ht: miamiherald.com))

UPDATED--Tino Martinez has resigned his job as hitting coach for the Miami Marlins (from @clarkspencer--Miami Herald reporter)

Interesting.

According to a published report in Sunday's Miami Herald, several Miami Marlins players have accused the teams hitting coach, Tino Martinez of abusive behavior.

And at least one of those players, recently demoted 2nd baseman Derek Dietrich says Martinez grabbed him by the neck.

The report seems to be one of many coming to the surface focusing on Martinez and his sometimes bizarre behavior.

According to the report, the Dietrich incident is the most violent, other players have supposedly been verbally attacked with the intent to intimidate.

Read the entire Herald report, and it's pretty detailed, RIGHT HERE

We should also add, Martinez and team Manager Mike Redmond got into a quite public argument. And according to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Martinez has been doing this since spring training.

Read the Sun-Sentinel's story RIGHT HERE

We certainly don't believe the Marlins condone intimidation or abuse but something here is quite amiss. The report goes on to mention the MLBPA and others have been notified about pretty much everything, yet nothing has happened.

As a general rule, baseball is not known for its screaming, intimidating coaches like, say football. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but it is rare. It's interesting that in this case the report centers around the Marlins, one of the leagues worst teams.

It's quite possible the team will take action on this soon, the report states team Manager Mike Redmond has been trying to get to the bottom of the allegations. However, the Sun-Sentinel reports that Martinez may not necessarily want to quit on his own and forfeit the hefty contract he was paid to come coach. And, also unsurprisingly, Loria doesn't want to fire him and be on the hook for the remainder of said contract.

---Sigh---

OSG High: 7 Arrested In "Molly" Bust Including LSU Baseball Signee

((HT: AJC/Stevens))

And the HQ knows what you're asking...

"What in the wild world of sports is Molly?" (other than a Ringwold or someone paired with Fibber and McGee)

Molly is a new variant on ecstasy that has a similar make-up to meth and acts the same. Seven ounces of MDMA powder was found in the home and $17,000 worth of the drug was seized along with marijuana and a weapon in what Bartow County (GA) authorities are calling a first of its kind.

Seven people were arrested- including LSU baseball signee Dylan Williams who played baseball at Cass High School, located in suburban Cartersville in Bartow County.

A traffic stop of one of the seven led to a search warrant of that individual's home and the arrest of the other six.

Williams and two other 18-year-olds were charged with trafficking Ecstasy, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

Here's the story on the bust...
((HT: WSB-TV))
All seven were booked into the Bartow County jail and local authorities are saying more arrests in the case are likely. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper he was informed about the arrest and has talked to Williams' father. From the conversation, Mainieri said, it was his understanding Williams happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From the Baton Rouge Advocate's Matthew Harris: Mainieri said Williams’ father told him the pitcher had gone to the home to pick up a high school friend to get a bite to eat and “do what kids do” and “police broke into a house he doesn’t even live in, and next thing you know he’s accused of something.” “They obviously feel he’s been wrongfully accused of something,” Mainieri said. “It’s definitely the strangest thing that I’ve ever heard of. As you might imagine, there’s a kid who feels his world is crumbling all around and him and knows he did nothing wrong. If he’s telling the truth, he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Williams could face a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted of Ecstasy trafficking. A conviction on the marijuana charge could bring a sentence between one and 10 years in prison.

Ragin' Cajuns Going Big Time With New Facilities

((ht: coachingsearch.com))

This post is partially for The Lovely Bride, a graduate of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Yes, the the University of Louisiana-Lafayette has had (for them) unprecedented success the past two seasons. Both 9-4 seasons led to bowl appearances and wins under current head coach Mark Hudspeth.

Seizing on that momentum, the school is reaching for the stars. There's not a date on the project (yet), but they Ragin' Cajuns appear to be ready to expand their stadium to over 52,000 seats and add a brand-spanking new football complex right next to it.

Your story from CoachingSearch.com RIGHT HERE

No, we don't think it's true that they'll name it after Hudspeth, who, if the Cajuns are successful again this season (they should be), will become a rather hot coaching commodity.

But that's another story for another day.

Take a look at the pretty video the school has produced in advance of said structure:

UL Complex Virtual Tour from Channel One Digital on Vimeo.

ICYMI: Because It's Johnny Football Making Headlines (again)

Bwahahaha!

Sorry, this isn't really that newsworthy, but we just kind of found it amusing in a funny sort of way.

If you haven't seen it already, there's video circulating this weekend on the Interwebs of Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel getting tossed out of a University of Texas frat party.

Apparently, he tried to cross the streams:



We might add here (see photo), he apparently made Interweb headlines for wearing the Tim Tebow Jets jersey. Why that matters, we don't know. However, the ironic humor in said gesture is quite rich.

And yes, we are officially weary of Mr. Football, but we decided to post this more because it gave us an excuse to use the Ghostbusters video and that joke.

Manziel and his teammates should be taking the field any day now and with it, we hope, comes the end of his galavanting ways, at least for a couple of months. It's time to see if he can back up the hype and live up to where the bar was set, last season.

Here's your Frat Party video (Manziel is in the pink):

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Maclin, Pitta Both Out For Year

((HT: CSN Philly))

Today was not a good day if you were an eastern seaboard receiver in the NFL...

First, Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is out for the year after tearing an ACL in practice during a 7-on-7 drill...

He Tweeted after he was diagnosed: "Appreciate all the love and support twitter fam....sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback! #birdgang"

Nine receivers are chasing after roster spots this season In Philadelphia now...

Reuben Frank discusses the possible impact of losing Maclin for the year...


The news is just as bad in Baltimore as tight end Dennis Pitta is now also out for the year after an initial hip injury was found out to be more serious than previously thought...

Per Albert Breer: Per source, Dennis Pitta has a hip fracture. Really bad news. He's out for the year. Ed Dickson's presence becomes big.

As does the visit late in the week by Visanthe Shiancoe- who, probably, slides in to that empty spot...

Chick Hernandez and Brent Harris discuss the early diagnosis...
((HT: CSN Baltimore))

Ortiz Demands Phone Know "Whose Your Papi?"

David Ortiz was hot after an at-bat tonight in the Red Sox-Orioles game...

And then he wanted to take on any and all comers- inanimate or otherwise...
((HT: NESN))


Torey Lovullo was able to stop him...???

Your Weekend Mid-Pitch Golazo

((HT: SB Nation/Univision))

Pachuca's Daniel Emmanuel LudueƱa launched one from mid-field thinking: "Joel, sometimes you just gotta say... what the f***!" against Tigres Saturday night.



Now, THAT'S the way to start the second half...

You Don't Want $80M...?? Okay, How About $85M??? Bale Not Real's Yet...

The HQ, admittedly, is a novice at this whole soccer football thing...

But we do know that Tottenham Hotspurs Gareth Bale had a flat-out ridiculous season last year...
It was a coming out party...
Evidence below...
((HT: EPL))


It's no secret that Real Madrid are making some kind of play for him- even as Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is denying that he'll go (or not) and that the transfer fee Real is ponying up has increased up to a world-record 100-million euros (or 86.3-million pounds)...

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has refused the offer flat and Bale is hot about it- in a bad way...

From the Guardian newspaper:
The situation has got under Bale's skin and it is threatening to turn ugly. He has had a glute muscle problem, which has restricted him in pre-season, but it has come to feel slightly convenient as he has been in no frame of mind to play. Bale featured in the club's opening friendly against Swindon Town but he missed the game against Colchester United and, although he travelled to Hong Kong for the Asia Trophy, he has not trained and he missed Tottenham's matches against Sunderland and South China.

After a 6-0 win in China, AVB wouldn't say anything on the ongoings...

"I don't want to comment on anything like that," Villas-Boas said. "I cannot speak about anything." The manager gave the same response to a question about Real's conduct.

Spurs are trying to shore up their scoring in case of a Bale exit. In the off-season, they are close to wrapping up the €30-million transfer order on Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. They have already signed the midfielder Paulinho for a club-record £17m from Corinthians and the winger Nacer Chadli for £7m from FC Twente.

But, that won't add up to Bale...

Zinedine Zidane (remember his head butt in the Worlds?) is now part of Real's front office and admits what everyone seems to know- except, maybe, Spurs:

“We have not given up on Gareth Bale – it is impossible to give up a player of that quality.

“Of course Tottenham are doing the right thing by trying to get him to sign a new contract.

“We have made it clear he is a target, but Real Madrid have a very good ­relationship with Tottenham so we would make sure any approach is done in the correct way.

“It is ideal to get any new players in as early as possible so they can integrate with the team – but it is not always ­ possible and the best players are worth waiting for.”


And the HQ thinks this is only the beginning as the next move is, probably, a written request to go by Bale himself...

ICYMI: Klinsman Suspended for CONCAF Final

It's rare to see the U.S, not a World Soccer Power, in the finals of any tournament. But the own the CONCAF Cup, winning it 5-times.

Sunday they will be playing for number 6, but will be doing it without their head coach Jurgen Klinsman.

That's because Klinsman will be serving a one-game suspension after slamming a soccer ball on the ground during the U.S semi-final 3-1 win over Honduras.

He was booted from that game for "Showing dissent towards the referee by throwing the ball in a violent manner" which is an eject-able and suspend-able offense according to FIFA rules.

Assistant coach Martin Vasquez will lead the team against Panama on Sunday.

Listen to Klinsman and Landon Donovan talk about the semi-final win over Honduras earlier in the week:

(Thanks MLS)


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Iron Sheik On Patrol

((HT: Sportsnet))

The Iron Sheik is one of the best heels in the business...

He is all over Twitter and Facebook making sure that we all know who the jabroni are and whether or not we need to ask the man who he "give camel clutch to"- and that's all the stuff we can print...

There is a move afoot to get the dollars together to put his incredibly riveting story in documentary form...
So, he's making the rounds calling us all out...

Kacie Hollins catches up with the Legend...
And here's the indiegogo pitch on the documentary...

Ernest Wallace Held On $500k Bond

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

The third of the members allegedly involved in the death of Odin Lloyd was in front of an Attleboro (MA) judge to have his fate determined.

End result: Being held on $500,000 bond...

Ernest Wallace, prosecutors say, was with Hernandez when he picked Odin Lloyd up on June 17th. The case prosecutors are laying out against Wallace has him discussing with Aaron Hernandez recovering weapons that may be associated with the murder case. The two could be seen going into the basement of Hernandez's home as seen on the home security system.

More information in the case against Hernandez was released in a 104-page release yesterday that included Xeroxes of Hernandez holding what looks like a .45- the murder weapon in Lloyd's death.

Prosecutors also said that the next day Hernandez and Wallace returned a rental car and picked up a new one before Wallace went to Hernandez's Franklin "flop house"- the third location in suburban Boston that was eventually searched for evidence in the Hernandez case. They also maintain Wallace then fled to Florida with the assistance of Hernandez's aunt.

He was picked up there and extradited back to Massachusetts...

Prosecutors wanted Wallace to be held on $1 million bail- saying that he was a flight risk whose only source of income was Hernandez...

Which, really, isn't a surprise...
Here's the latest...
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

So, Is 59 Too Easy To Get These Days...???

((HT: webdotcomtour))

Isn't this the second time this year that someone has cleared a 59 on the web.com tour...???

It's the second round of the Albertson's tournament in Boise, and Russell Knox followed up his 69 with a 59- and he finished par-par for the 59...???

How's that...???

Will Willcox did it during the final round of the Utah Championship a few weeks ago to finish tied for third. But get this... the 59 by Knox was just the fifth ever on the Web.com tour...

Two in three weeks and five all-time...???

Knox is one up on the leaderboard at the half-way point...

Here's the putt for 59

"I'm A Bielemer" Razorback Fans Say

[HT: kegsneggsblog.com]

Here's some Razorback fans known as "The Bros" stealing the classic Monkees song "I'm A Believer" and turning that into this classic.



I'm sure Davy Jones is spinning in his grave right now.  Mickey Dolenz just puked. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is disturbed.

As a Razorback fan myself I love the passion, but do you want this video to go viral.  Maybe "The Bros" can perform this gem at halftime at the season opener against Louisiana.

Here's the classic Monkees tune "The Bros" destroyed.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do Surveillance Images Show Hernandez With Murder Weapon???

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

The court documents involved in all of the Aaron Hernandez proceedings are slowly making their way out into the public domain-
gawd bless public records requests...

The new release is a 104-page warrant goes into a few different events...

One was the morning of the first visit to the Hernandez home where North Attleboro, Massachusetts police describe the ex-Pat as "argumentative" and asking, "What's with all the questions?" The police also say he "slammed" the door when police told him they were conducting a death investigation.

Hernandez's fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, said the couple bought the surveillance system because of "several recent break-ins at their residence." This was before Hernandez told Jenkins to cease cooperating with local police in their investigation.

The 104 pages were fairly well redacted...

The warrant also says investigators claim that a shell casing found at the crime seen and one found inside a car rented under Hernandez's name were fired from the same gun.

There are also Xeroxes of photos from the surveillance video taken from the Hernandez home system (seen right, thanks MyFoxBoston)- some that identify him holding a weapon of some sort. Prosecutors believe that the weapon in one of the pictures is a .45- the same type of gun that killed Odin Lloyd.

Ted Daniel looks at the newly released batch of documents...
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Alleged co-conspirator Ernest Wallace will be back in court Friday for a pre-trial hearing on charges of being an accessory to murder after the fact.