Monday, January 5, 2015

St. Louis Likely To Play The Tortoise Role Over NFL

((HT: Fox2Now))

With all the talk of St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke buying his land in Inglewood, California and wanting to build a stadium near Hollywood Park and The Forum, the city who currently hosts the Rams doesn't seem to be in a whole lot of a hurry to talk to the Rams any more.

The city claims that they have been up front and have wanted to negotiate with the Kroenkes, but the family doesn't seem to be interested.

Here's the talk from St. Louis about their confidence of having a tenant for the Edward Jones Dome- even if it isn't the Rams long-term.

This approach has been consistent with the city's approach the whole time- patience and prudence in the face of impending financial doom at the loss of of a primary tenant of their signature building. The city still feels that they may need that new building instead of continued renovation of the "Ed."

Which might be their downfall...

Nancy Lee Grahn Scores... From Center Ice...

((HT: Nancy Lee Grahn's Facebook Page))

Get your head out of the gutter...

Unless, you're talking about her current role as Alexis Davis on "General Hospital" where her pairing with William deVry has created the "Julexis Army"- which, as a group, you should never make angry by disparaging their behavior in any way.

But, she is a native of Skokie, Illinois and had to train for a celebrity shot from center ice at a recent Blackhawks game against the Dallas Stars. She was one of a handful to pull the trigger and try to put the puck in that really small hole in the center of the plywood that no one can ever shoot it in to successfully...

Unless you get a little pre-shoot help from Bobby Hull...

Here's the look from the rafters at the United Center from her Facebook Page


The HQ has always held Grahn as a Top Five since her days on "Santa Barbara," but we'll challenge her allegiance to the Blackhawks to our LA Kings any time...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Requiem For A Touchstone: Stuart Scott Passes At 49

When you look up the word in the dictionary, the word is listed like this- and, for the sake of argument, we'll focus on the second and third definitions from Merriam-Webster:

2: a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing

3: a fundamental or quintessential part or feature : basis

Stuart Scott was a touchstone... on a few levels- as an anchor and as a father...

The HQ will admit that, at first, we didn't "get" him. We didn't get his "schtick" on the air. It took a while and it took the reinforcement of a quote we saw that reminded us why he was what he was- as a person and as an anchor.

From Steve Wulf's piece on this morning:

And one of his best moments off the air came when a producer suggested he change a reference on his NBA show from Omega Psi Phi, the fraternity of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal, to something more universal, like Animal House.

"I have friends who have no idea what that movie is about," Stuart told him. "That movie was made two decades ago, and black fraternities have been around since 1906."

And, with that, we are reminded that our styles are our own- and they should be always...

Emulation should always be encouraged, but not to the point of repetition and carbon-copy. Unfortunately, we see that a lot these days on television. People, instead of being themselves, try to be someone they're obviously not and end up being caricatures.

Stuart was never a caricature and he came at us all from a different place with a different look, approach, angle, and output. And, for that, we all should be thankful and grateful for widening our perspectives on story-telling.

Now, for the fighter...

We have seen his public battle and, in the end, we lose the physical representation. But we get to hang on to the memories, the style, and the impact that someone has had on our lives- lost to us too soon at 49.

I think it occurs every generation or so... there are people who cross your path that you remember for one reason or another. When our comtemporaries were half the age we are now, it was the Jim Valvano speech at the ESPY awards that reminded us never to give up and also reminded what the value of a full day should be.
((HT: ESPN))

Now, this time around as some of us get a little gray in the temples, we are reminded of what Valvano and his approach meant through a sports anchor that will now live on through far different and just as important means...
((HT: ESPN))

For those who fight and those who have fought...
For those who remember and are remembered...
For those who love and are loved...
The words are simple: Be yourself and make your mark your way...
Don't stop loving. Don't stop fighting.
Don't stop and don't give up...

UFC 182: Jon Jones Wins by Decision


The two men in the feature match at UFC 182 made it clear they don't care for each other. But they still put on quite the show.

Light heavyweight champ Jon "Bones" Jones beat challenger Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision late Saturday night in a very, very close fight.

The two men had scuffled during the pre-fight press conference and the language between the two was not exactly g-rated leading in.

But Jones left the MGM Grand Hotel with the win...

Highlights from FoxSports/UFC:

Crazy Hockey Fight: Wild's Stu Bickel Gets 37 Minutes for Fight


Down 5-0 midway through the 2nd period, the Minnesota Wild were looking for anything to wake them up. Anything.

And the whole thing got triggered by Wild forward Ryan Carter who ended up not being a big part of the end result. Carter shoved Dallas defenseman Trevor Dailey into Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. And the Pier 6er was on.

Wild enforcer Stu Bickel immediately jumped in and ended up throwing down on not one, but two Stars players. They eventually ended up on the ice while Bickel kept swinging.

The result was a long trip to the penalty box. A game misconduct for an aggressor penalty, an instigator minor penalty, a 5 minute major penalty for fighting and another 10-minute misconduct call got Bickel 37 minutes worth of penalties in one game.


Video from

Saturday, January 3, 2015

NHL Ref Loses Lunch During Game

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Poor NHL ref Mike Leggo.

Leggo was working the Tampa Bay Lightning/Pittsburgh Penguins game Friday night in Pittsburgh when he had um, a bit of an embarrassing problem.

Leggo, let go of his lunch...or dinner on the ice during the 1st period of the game. And while he's become a bit of a punchline this morning, we're guessing he was legitimately sick because he left the game and did not return.

It sucked for the Ice Girls who had to clean it up, but they did and the game resumed with the Penguins winning 6-3.

Morning Wrap: UCLA Holds off K-State in Alamo Bowl

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The UCLA Bruins jumped out to a quick 31-6 lead in the Alamo Bowl Friday night. But they had to hold on for dear life to get the win.

The Kansas State Wildcats didn't give up and stormed back closing within 6 early in the 4th quarter. But a 67 yard touchdown run by Paul Perkins sealed the deal and the Bruins got a 40-35 win.

Perkins ran for 194 yards and a pair of TD's for UCLA who finished the season 10-3. Kansas State struggled to run the ball but QB Jake Waters through for 338 yards and a pair of TD's to receiver Tyler Lockett. The Wildcats finished their season at 9-4.

However, most aren't talking about the game the next morning. The big conversation surrounds UCLA coach Jim Mora and his near brush off of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder after the game. Mora was angry because Snyder called a timeout before the last play of the game and the Wildcats took a shot at UCLA coach Brett Hundley as he kneeled down afterwards.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Coyotes Owner Introduced, But How Permanent Is This...???

((HT: AZCentral/12 News))

Andrew Barroway was introduced as the new majority owner of the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale Friday.

IceArizona bought the team for $170-million, but group owner-ring leader Anthony LeBlanc recently valued the franchise for a little over $300-million... (of course, he did...)

But the franchise can leave Arizona if they lose more than $50-million over the first five years of IceArizona's ownership. The larger question is: Just how much money have they lost already...? There's talk that the number is already close to $30-million after only two seasons...

Barroway is committed- for now... he is denying that he is buying the team to flip the team...

NBC's Pro Hockey Talk and James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reported as far back as November that Barroway wanted to flip the franchise and was the only one in line to purchase the team- moving them to someone who wants to put a franchise in Las Vegas.

Here's the introduction

Barroway's addition gives the Coyotes a little more American ownership- which is huge for the small market/small budget squad that needs league assistance and Barroway's infusion of capital to get off the league salary cap floor...

Unless, of course, they're moving to Vegas...

How About A Fat Guy TD Out Of The Wildcat???

((HT: ESPN))

Yes, please...

James Castleman, from the one, for Oklahoma State sent his 290-pounds downhill for Oklahoma State against Washington in the Cactus Bowl (formerly the Insight Bowl)

The Cowboys, in their chrome outfits, are leading the Huskies (in their chrome outfits) in the first...

ICYMI: Oregon Blows out Florida State in Rose Bowl


It was a close game at the half.

The Oregon Ducks went into the locker room at halftime with an 18-13 lead over the undefeated Florida State Seminoles with a berth in the National Championship game on the line.

And no, even the Ducks couldn't have imagined what would happen next.

The once-invincible Florida State team, winners of their past 29 games started making mistakes.

Four straight Seminoles turnovers led to Oregon points.

The Ducks scored 27 points in the third quarter. And the game was over.

A 41 point 2nd half gave Oregon the statement win they were looking for, their first over a Top 2 team ever. The Ducks beat the Seminoles 59-20. And it could have been worse.

QB Marcus Mariota threw for 338 yards and 2 TD's and ran for 62 yards and another score, leading his team to the win.

As for FSU star Jameis Winston, he had a tough day. He threw for a lot of yards, but had an interception and perhaps one of the ugliest fumbles you'll ever see.

Oregon moves on to the National Title game versus Ohio State in Dallas.


--Many of the FSU players left the field before shaking hands with the Oregon players and coaches. A big breach of sportsmanship that should be addressed. (Winston and several others stayed for a long time to congratulate the Ducks)

---Several Oregon players may--and should be in trouble for what they did after the game. A video showing them on the podium mocking the FSU Tomahawk chop and chanting "No means no" has been making the rounds. Once made aware of it, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said they players involved will be disciplined.

Here's the video from Fox Sports West producer Bear Heiser:

Morning Wrap: Ohio State Down Alabama in Sugar Bowl


There was little question at the end of the so-called "SEC Era". Especially when the SEC's best went down to the best of the Big 10.

Ohio State used the feet of Ezekiel Elliot and the arm of freshman Cardale Jones to run away from the much-hyped Crimson Tide 42-35 late Thursday night.

As expected, the game went down to the wire with the Buckeyes taking the lead late in the 4th quarter on an 85 yard TD run by Elliot. Elliot finished with 230 yards rushing and 2 TD's on the night. His score put tOSU up 42-28.

Bama did come back. Blake Sims hit Amari Cooper with 1:59 left in the game closing the gap to 7, but it would be as close as the Tide would get. 

Nick Saban's team did get the ball back with well under a minute left in the game. Sims threw a hail mary pass into the end zone at the buzzer, but it was picked off. Game over.

Ohio State moves on to face Oregon in the National Championship game on Jan. 12th in Dallas. It should be one heck of a game.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Stop Me If You Have Heard This Before...Melvin Gordon Is A Beast, Malzahn's Year Three Is Huge...

If anyone has seen erven the least bit of Big 10/12 Football this season, you have noticed the tailback for Wisconsin and his prowess running the football. The Outback Bowl was no different- 34 carries for a bowl-record 251 yards and three scores...

Even if, on one of his touchdown runs, he absolutely decided to latch on to Jermaine Whitehead's face mask with his own hands and yank him into the endzone with him for the final ten yards of the run... all that on a 4th and 1 from midfield
((HT: ESPN))

It was one of many penalties not called on the day by the officiating crew- on both sides- but the bottom line was that Auburn still cannot stop anyone with great regularity defensively.

Here's the wrap from our friends at WISC-TV in Madison

But, Will Muschamp has already rubbed off on the guys who played in a 13th game this season. There were some signs that the fundamentals of tackling on defense- especially by the linebacking corps- have returned. There was some wrapping up of running backs on tackles at the ankles. The tackling-optional approach of the pursuit of the past was less than before.

The pass rush still is non-existent, save a handful of plays late in the game when Badgers QB Joel Stave had to sit in the pocket and look to his left for a prospective receiver when the whole building knew he wasn't doing anything else. And the speed that Wisconsin used on jet sweeps showed another weakness of the Tigers- getting off blocks, chasing running backs to the edge, and getting there first for a tackle as opposed to the idea of being a step behind and giving up 12 yards a look.

Which happened consistently New Year's Day- and all 2014 season long, really...

Wisconsin, under returning interim coach Barry Alvarez, was one dimensional under Gordon and Corey Clement. They ran the ball behind an offensive line that averages, tackle to tackle, 325.8 pounds. But, when the other team can't stop you- as Auburn found on several occasions on their own this year when they were winning games- there is no reason to deviate from the plays that give you a win. And if you get out of town healthy and in a hurry, why do anything different...???

54 carries for 400 net yards on the day for Wisconsin... 521 yards total

"We knew it was coming and it still worked," Auburn cornerback Trovon Reed told's Brandon Marcello. "I will say that is a selfish act on our end for not paying attention to detail, but if we could take it back, we'd fix it."

And they need to...

Defensively, if the 7 recruits listed as either signed from the JUCO ranks or "hard commits" all lock in, the spring should be interesting:

Darrell Williams (LB) from Hoover, Jordan Colbert (S) from Griffin (GA), Richard McBryde (LB) from Charles Henderson (Troy, AL), and LB's Elijah Sullivan (Tucker, GA) and Montavious Atkinson (Langston Hughes- Fairburn, GA) have been high school-dominant. So, it will be interesting to see how their talents translate to the next level.

And we all know that Will Muschamp will work on conditioning, tackling, and pass rush starting...



Year Three will be an important one to see how the new attitudes will translate in a Nintendo-scoring world...

OSG Prem: Arsenal's Wenger Has Fan Storming In Front Of Him

((HT: ArsenalGunnersTV))

Expect Southampton to get a letter from the FA over this action from one of their fans in the 2-0 win over Arsenal this afternoon

SkySports has the details of the arrest/storming:

The suspect, from Lymington, Hampshire, was still being questioned on Thursday night by Hampshire Constabulary officers.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "Police have arrested a 25-year-old man from Lymington following an incident on the pitch at St Mary's at the end of the Southampton versus Arsenal match.

"The man was arrested on suspicion of going in to an area adjacent to the playing area contrary to the Football (Offences) Act 1991.

"The man remains in police custody. Officers are investigating the circumstances to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed."

Here's Wenger after the match discussing the fan
((HT: Daily Mail))

Winter Classic Goes To Caps In Last Seconds

((HT: NHL on NBC))

The HQ will admit that we like the idea of hockey being played outdoors and having it count in the standings...

This year's Winter Classic was in Washington, DC for the Caps and the Chicago Blackhawks.

There was actually talk that players would wear sunglasses to combat the sunshine that would be present at Nationals Park before 2:30 eastern time- the time of day that the sun would drop behind the home bleachers. But, as a bit of a make-good, the NHL decided to make the teams change ends in the first period at the half-way point in addition to the third period switch.

The winner went to Troy Brouwer, but not without some consternation and questioning of a late penalty call.

Here's the highlights

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was asked about the loss- and the stuff that happened late
((HT: CSN Chicago))

So, now it's back to playing hockey indoors until the Outdoor Classics come back in a little while...

Missouri Has Fat Guy Moment Of Their Own

((HT: ESPN/Saturday Down South))

We all know about the Fat Guy Touchdown (capitalization intentional) in the Cotton Bowl, but Gary Pinkel had a Fat Guy monent of their own on a fake punt during their win over Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl

Evidence below

The HQ gives Pinkel credit for calling for a fake ON HIS OWN 17-YARD LINE with Harold Brantley for a gain of 19...

Mazel Tov!

Biggest Fat Guy TD Ever in Baylor Bowl Game


We've not yet as of this writing seen the winner of the Baylor/Michigan State Cotton Bowl game, but after this highlight, we aren't sure it will really matter.

With 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter: 6-7, 390 pound LaQuan McGowan got the thrill of a lifetime. He lined up as an eligible receiver and caught a pass from Baylor QB Bryce Petty. McGowan got the ball around the 10 yard line and rambled in.

We aren't sure if the Michigan State guys didn't want to mess with someone that big or if they were too stunned to see a kid that large catch a TD pass.

Either way, the TD stretched the Baylor lead to 41-34...

Video proof from

ICYMI: Happy New Year: Doug Marrone Walks Away from Bills

Raise your hand if you thought the Buffalo Bills would be looking for a new coach after their 1st winning season since 2004?

Yeah, nobody else did either.

Now former Bills head coach Doug Marrone took advantage of a 4-day window to opt out of his contract with his team Wednesday night and walked away. He...or his agent had the clause put in his original contract in case the team was sold. Which happened this fall.

It surprised his players, observers and others. But don't expect Marrone, who has been very successful in rebuilding the Bills team in his two seasons as head coach. He'd been trying to negotiate a contract extension with new owner Terry Pegula, but apparently that discussion was not getting very far.

And, despite his choice to walk away, Marrone will still get his $4 million dollar payday from Buffalo whether he coaches or not. And most think that is exactly what will happen. Speculation has already begun he will interview in New York with the Jets, a team he spent time with as an offensive line coach.

As for the Bills, they have plenty of options as well. Already we'd say the leader in the clubhouse would be former Bills QB Frank Reich, currently a quarterbacks coach in San Diego.

But we could be wrong.

Here's coverage from our surprised friends at WIVB-TV

Ga.Tech Dominates Mississippi State in Orange Bowl


For all the SEC fans out there who won't hear of their beloved league not being dominant, a new reality may be here. The vaunted college football league is 1-4 this bowl season vs. the ACC.

One reason for that, Friday nights Orange Bowl. A game between Georgia Tech and Mississippi State that was very close at the half 21-20.

The Bulldogs had momentum after Dak Prescott threw a 42-yard TD pass to Fred Ross at the halftime buzzer to get his team within one.

It would be as close as they got.

Tech, behind sophomore QB Justin Thomas ran through, around and past the Miss. State defense in the 2nd half   leading his team to a 49-34 win.

Thomas ran for 121 yards and 3 TD's and threw for another to lead Tech to an 11-3 record this season and likely Top 10 finish.

As for Mississippi State, Prescott threw for 453 yards and 3 scores, but it was not nearly enough. His Bulldogs finished the year 10-3.

Your highlights from

Boise Wins Fiesta AGAIN!!! Antoine Turner Gets A Ring


Bryan Harsin, the new Boise State head coach, went into the Chris Peterson playbook for a good dose of irony in their 38-30 win over Arizona in Glendale on New Year's Eve.

He even pulled out the reverse "Statue of Liberty" play for a TD in a handoff to Jay Ajayi for ther second of his three runs for score on the day.

The point was made that Boise is the Gonzaga of college football- it doesn't matter who they play, the Broncos get their pounds of flesh in whatever bowl game they play, regardless of opponent.

But one of the cool stories for Boise is that of Antoine Turner- the homeless junior college star that ended up getting a competitive waiver from the NCAA to be able to have a roof over his head, enroll in school and get playing for the university.

A great young man and a greater story...

Here's the interview with Turner off the win at the end of the longest season of football he has ever had...