Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mark Cuban Doesn't Want To Just Own The Team, He Wants To Run The Whole League...In Football

That's right, Mark Cuban, basketball blogger(and NBA referee heckler) extraordinaire, is interested in starting his very own football league.

Apparently, he believes that "there is more demand for pro football than supply", and that a new league of eight teams is a viable solution. He's part of a group that includes Bill Hambrecht, a guy who invested in the Oakland Invaders of USFL fame from 1983 to 1985. The Invaders actually played the last USFL game ever when they faced the Baltimore Stars in the '85 championship game. Though, their memory lived on in the NFL through Bobby Hebert.

This new league wants to play their games on Friday nights, and would compete with the NFL for players drafted after round two. Cuban believes that because of the salary cap in the NFL the new league could "fill its rosters with players taken lower than the second round, as well as late NFL cuts and undrafted free agents".

I'm not sure if Cuban has any knowledge of football, or if his expertise is strictly limited to basketball. Maybe he's not aware that the NFL has become so popular and powerful that it's virtually impossible to compete with it unless you have a gimmick(see AFL). Even then, you're not guaranteed success(see XFL). Besides they already have pro-football in Texas on Friday nights. They even made a movie about it(see "Friday Night Lights").

Even with all of that, I'm not going to lie, I would watch it. Can you imagine Mark Cuban owning a professional football team? He would be like Jerry Jones after drinking 50 Redbulls and doing a few lines of smack. Patrolling the sidelines, updating his blog on his Blackberry and yelling at the refs. I have to believe that as a former rugby player he would even try to put himself into the game. How sweet would it be to see Cuban get crackbacked by a guy who was undrafted out of college?

So I say, bring on the Cuban Football League(um yeah, they'll have to work on that)! If his football team is anything like his basketball one, then there will be 300 points scored and not one sack or interception.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Could Billy D Pull A Disappearing Act On The Gators?

The newest Billy Donovan-to-the-NBA rumor involves the newly head coach less Orlando Magic. It's a rumor that, at first glance, seems plausible due to Orlando's proximity to Gainesville and Donovan's success at the college level in Florida, but not extremely likely.

It's unlikely that Orlando would grant Donovan anything near "full control", and GM Otis Smith hasn't seemed that intent on getting Donovan since the rumors first started. However, there are a few intriguing thoughts that make the Donovan to Orlando move seem possible.

First, he still hasn't signed any type of new contract, extension, etc. It's been almost two months since Florida won their second straight national championship, and UF hasn't been able to get Donovan locked up in a long term deal. Each side is talking about it, but there's still no ink on a contract.

Second, like I mentioned in my post about Vince Carter possibly heading to Orlando, the Magic need to energize the fan base in order to rally support for a new arena. Right now, their part of the three piece project seems to be the most unpopular. Adding Billy Donovan and possibly Vince Carter would immediately draw in fans.

Third, the NBA predraft camp is happening right now in Orlando. If the Magic are going to make a push, then this is their best chance. Donovan's two time championship point guard is playing in the camp, and Noah, Horford and Brewer will be attending for the physical portion.

Fourth, while Noah, Horford and Brewer will most likely be off the board when the Magic pick at #44, Green probably will still be available. He isn't the top point guard prospect in the draft, but Donovan knows how to use him better than anyone. Although, Orlando does seem sort of set at the PG position. However, adding Green to a line-up of Dwight Howard and possibly Vince Carter would inject some optimism, and help with the solution to point #2.

Obviously, Donovan heading to Orlando is a long shot. There are more than a few examples of successful college coaches that couldn't duplicate anything near their college success at the pro level. And, Donovan is poised to become the king of men's basketball in Gainesville for years to come. Some might believe that trying to maintain a successful basketball program at an historically football rabid school would be difficult, but I think it's actually easier because the football program can help "absorb" any negativity in down years.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks as Florida AD Jeremy Foley focuses on getting Donovan signed. What seemed like a one-time thing with Kentucky calling has snowballed into other rumors that has some Gators thinking Donovan really might not be back next year. Though, those back-to-back national championship trophies would help ease the pain of losing "Billy The Kid" for this Gator.

The Saga Of Mike Vick's Dogs Continues

The newest update regarding the drug raid and discovery of dog fighting at a property owned by Mike Vick is that a search warrant has been obtained to "look for as many as 30 dog carcasses". This includes seven pitbulls that were supposedly destroyed and buried in the days preceding the raid.

The odd thing is that the warrant was issued on May 23, but "has not been executed at the request of Brown and Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter". Though, if there really are 30 dogs buried on the property, they're probably not going anywhere.

And if the confidential informant is correct about the destroyed dogs and Vick being into dog fighting even before he entered the NFL, then Ron Mexico will have more problems than just an extended absence from work. Obviously, he could be convicted of animal cruelty charges, and there's something about harming animals that really gets people upset. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk has touched on this already. That when organizations like the ASPCA or Humane Society get involved, people listen and they continue to follow the story. It's almost as if we would rather hear about a person being injured or killed than a dog or cat.

And 30 dogs will provide a compelling story for a lot of people to follow and get upset about.

How Will Roger Goodell Handle Eric Weems?

Most of you probably don't know who Eric Weems is. He just wrapped up a fairly successful "career" of playing college football for the Bethune Cookman Wildcats. Last year, he racked up 69 receptions for 918 yards and 9 touchdowns. There's no doubt that he's a talented athlete, and eventhough he wasn't drafted by an NFL team in April he did sign as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in early May.

However, Weems' young NFL career could encounter some early problems, as he was sentenced Tuesday to "24 months of probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony." That is, if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handles Weems with the same strict discipline that he's doled out to players like PacMan Jones and Chris Henry.

This is something that I've been curious about since Goodell made it obvious that he wanted to "clean up" the NFL. Would players who weren't as popular or well-known get punished just as hard? Obviously, players that are the "face" of the NFL have to watch their every step because at any given time someone could be snapping a picture or recording video with a cellphone and posting it online. However, what about guys that are known in their hometown, but not by casual fans or non-football people? Is Goodell going to apply his brand of justice equally across the board, or is it going to be more of a sliding scale based on popularity and marketability? I also wondered this when David Kircus was arrested, and even had a restraining order taken out against him. Since then, though I haven't heard or read anything from Roger Goodell regarding meeting with Kircus or any type of punishment.

I'll do my best to track any actions that Goodell takes in response to Weems receiving probation, and post them here. In my opinion, things could get a bit more intriguing should Weems make it through camp, and earn a roster spot with the Falcons. Though, with Mike Vick's situation getting a little more suspect each day the Falcons probably aren't too focused on whether Weems could face any type of discipline from Goodell, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Perez, Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Helmet Boxing Edition

We here at The Sports Oasis, and by "we" I mean me and Cheezums the power hamster, have decided to try something a little different this week. Since it's Friday(just before a holiday weekend none-the-less), and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

We'll be calling it "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere". The inaugural edition will provide you with a glimpse into "helmet boxing". Basically you just strap on a helmet; bike, hockey, lacrosse, etc.; throw on some gloves and wail on your opponent. They say it's the "new Fight Club" which could be true because I haven't heard too much about this sport, and we all know what the first rule of Fight Club was.

Anyway, enjoy the clip, and pay attention to the little kid that gets blasted by someone who is bigger, stronger and probably related. Feel free to yell out the customary "you got knocked the fuck out, man!" when that part shows up. Happy Friday!

Be patient, it may take a second to load.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why You Should Want A Woman To Win The Indy 500

This Sunday, the field at the Indianapolis 500 is going to feature something that's never been seen. No, not Al Unser, Jr. driving after a few cocktails, but three women. That's right, three women; Danica Patrick, Milka Duno and Sarah Fisher; will all be racing around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Now, I know some guys probably believe that women don't have any place racing in the Indy 500. They had probably hoped that none of the girls would make the field, and now that they have they're hoping that they'll be out of the race after the first few laps. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's wrong.

Sure, having women compete in this event isn't just good for women, it's also good for competition as a whole. It makes everyone raise their game, especially the guys who can't stand getting beat by a girl. Personally, I would like to see them come in first, second and third. Though, it has nothing to do with equality and competition. It has to do with milk.

In order to make this a little easier for everyone, I shall present a photo of each of our girlracers.

And then we'll let Carmen Electra demonstrate what a woman can do with milk.

Yeah, you see the guy on the couch? That's you at home watching the girls(well, maybe Sarah can just pour it on the other two) take a milkbath after winning the Indy 500. Forget the customary sipping, we want pouring damn it!

How can you not root for them if there's even the slightest possibility that something even remotely similar could occur? Remember, milk does a body good!

Ok, We'll Give You A Get Out Of Detention Free Card But That's Our Final Offer

Recruiting high school athletes is against the rules, but I'm sure we've all heard stories about certain kids playing for certain high schools that seem a bit "suspicious".

Well, Monteverde Academy in Lake County, FL is being investigated by the FHSAA for possibly breaking the rules by recruiting athletes. The FHSAA has launched a probe(insert joke here) into whether Monteverde coaches "induced" athletes, specifically ones from Puerto Rico, to come to the school and play sports for them. According to the information gathered regarding Monteverde's baseball roster, the team played in(and lost) the Class 2A championship game last weekend, things aren't looking too good.

"The Montverde baseball team reached the Class 2A state championship game last week in Sarasota. According to the roster supplied by Kesselring, the 18-player team included 17 from Puerto Rico."
Yeaaah, having Puerto Rican students playing baseball for your school isn't against the rules, but having a roster that's 94% Puerto Rican students when you're being investigated for recruiting from Puerto Rico surely isn't going to help your cause.

Oh yeah, their basketball team went 30-0 last year, and finished ranked #4 in the nation by USA Today. Somebody might want to check that roster for a "Carlos Arroyo".

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

College Wrestlers, Still Dirty. Concussions, Increasing.

The NCAA released their findings of a study that covered 16 years of data, and a couple of items were pretty interesting.

First the humorous, then we'll get to the more serious ones.

"In men's wrestling, skin infections proved to be a larger problem than previously thought, with about 20 percent of practice injuries related to skin infections. The report recommended better hygiene, for wrestlers and the mats."
Remember that the next time someone tells you they were a wrestler in college, and then shakes your hand or gives you a hug. Purell, stat!

The study also concluded that "more than half of all injuries were to the lower extremities", "injury rates were two to three times higher during preseason practices than during the regular season" and that the rate of concussions has increased dramatically.
"Rates of concussions increased from .17 per 1,000 athlete exposures in 1988-89 to .34 per 1,000 exposures in 2003-04. An exposure is every time an athlete participates in a game. Authors attributed the increase in part to improved reporting and identification of concussions."
Wow, the rate of concussions has increased twofold over the past 16 years. Yes, advances in medicine that have led to better detection has probably bumped the rate up a bit. However, with athletes becoming stronger and faster every year, and equipment staying relatively the same, something obviously needs to be done. The NCAA might want to follow the NFL's approach, and make this a priority in the near future.

How Can You Not Root For The Utah Jazz?

As I have said in the past, I'm not a fan of any NBA team in particular. I used to follow Seattle years ago, but that was mostly because I was a fan of Gary Payton and his defense. Heading into this year's playoffs I really didn't have a team that I was "rooting" for. Golden State was a compelling story while they lasted, and it would have been nice to see Orlando do well because of their proximity to me. However, last night I decided to align myself with one team in particular, and I'll tell you why.

Yes, eventhough they just went down 0-2 against San Antonio, I've decided that I would like to see the Utah Jazz win it all. It's not so much that I like the Jazz organization better than the others, or that I remember the Stockton & Malone days, it's mostly about Jerry Sloan.

This is a guy who is "the longest tenured head coach in major league sports with a single franchise". At one point, he coached the Jazz to the playoffs for 16 straight years, and made it to the NBA Finals in two of those years, losing both times. The Jazz have experienced the thrill of advancing to the Western Conference Finals six times, and Sloan has been the coach for every single one of them. Yet, he's never won NBA Coach of the Year, eventhough he's 4th on the NBA's all-time win list, and is one of only five NBA coaches with 1,000 victories.

He's spent the last 19 years building and maintaining a successful and competitive NBA team in Salt Lake City of all places. Never giving in and moving on to more glitzy locales like Los Angeles, New York or Miami. No, Sloan has stuck with his team and its fans, and he deserves to be rewarded for that.

It's Like Surfing In A Snowglobe

As some of you may know, I enjoy surfing. Growing up near the ocean in Florida has given me ample opportunity to get in the water and paddle around. However, for the most part I enjoy surfing warm(er) locales. You know, like Florida, Hawaii, Costa Rica(hopefully soon), Tahiti(maybe someday), etc. Sure, the water in Florida can get a little nippy, but I've never had to trudge through snowbanks to get to the beach.

However, these guys have, and it's pretty incredible. To help you even begin to understand what surfing that day was like, I will give you a few key stats. These came from the NWS's daily almanac entry for Islip, NY from February 12, 2006.

High temperature: 28*
Low temp.: 21*
New Snowfall: 16.7 inches
Water Temp at Buoy 44025(35 NM s. of Islip): 45*(high for the day)

Enjoy the video, it came from "John's" MySpace. I suggest you turn up the heat, throw on a sweatshirt and pour something warm to drink because this video could give you some serious chills.

Blizzard Barrels '06

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The (Unfinished)Site Of Super Bowl XLV

The NFL announced today what city would host the Super Bowl in 2011. In the end, it came down to Glendale, Indianapolis or North Texas, and the Cowboys' new stadium came out ahead of the other two.

That's right, the Cowboys' new stadium, which is still being built and is scheduled to be open in 2009, will host the 2011 Super Bowl. If the concept "photos" and video are to be believed(have you ever seen renderings that didn't look badass?), then the new stadium should provide a great venue for the NFL's biggest game.

Now all they have to do is come up with a name for the place. Maybe they should bring back Parcells, and let he and T.O. duke it out for the right to name it. If Parcells won he could name it something like the "Tuna Dome", and if T.O. won he could name it "Painkiller Parc". See, it's a win-win for everyone!

David Kircus Would Like To Take Your Order

This folks, is David Kircus. Some of you may know him as a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. Others may know him from his days at Grand Valley State(Go Lakers!). And still others may know him from the time he asked them "do you want fries with that?"

"Kircus, who resumed his NFL career last season after spending a year away from football working in a fast-food shop, is free on $6,000 bail. If convicted, he could be sentenced to two to six years in prison."

I'm not trying to belittle the service that fast-food workers provide(I wouldn't be the person I am today without some of those late night Taco Bell trips). However, when you go from making $200k a year playing in the NFL to flipping burgers, then back to the NFL, you probably shouldn't engage in behavior(like breaking a guy's face) that could get you kicked off of the team.

Besides, playing the NFL has to be the safer of the two options now that Marcus Vick is out of the league, and free to visit any fast food restaurant at any time.

What's Their Age? College Football Edition

I was reading an article today on MSNBC about Joe Paterno, and how some incidents during the offseason have worn on him. For some reason I was a bit shocked that he was 80 years old. I think it was one of those things that I knew, but never really thought about. Seriously, being in good health when you hit 80 is one thing. Coaching football at a prestigious division 1 college while maintaining your health at 80 is quite another.

Realizing that JoePa was 80 years old motivated me to find out how old some of the other division 1 football coaches are. I've also included how many years they've completed at their current school as the head coach.

Joe Paterno: 80 years old. Has coached the last 41 of them at Penn State.

Bobby Bowden: 77 years old. Has been coaching at FSU for 31 years.

Steve Spurrier: 62 years old. Head coach at South Carolina for 2 years.

Lloyd Carr: 61 years old. Head coach at Michigan for 12 years.

Frank Beamer: 60 years old. Virginia Tech head coach for 20 years.

Phil Fulmer: 56 years old. Tennessee head coach for 15 years.

Mack Brown: 55 years old. Texas head coach for 9 years.

Pete Carroll: 55 years old. USC head coach for 6 years.

Jim Tressel: 54 years old. Ohio State head coach for 6 years.

Tommy Tuberville: 52 years old. Auburn head coach for 8 years.

Charlie Weiss: 51 years old. Notre Dame head coach for 2 years.

Mark Richt: 47 years old. Georgia head coach for 6 years.

Bob Stoops: 46 years old. Head coach at Oklahoma for 8 years.

Urban Meyer: 42 years old. Florida head coach for 2 years.

Feel free to add any others in the comments.

Damien Hobgood And The Billabong Pro Tahiti

Yes, Damien Hobgood won the Billabong Pro Tahiti over the weekend. No, there's nothing else for me to comment on other than he won it in the last minute, and it's cool to see a surfer from Florida kicking ass. I'll let his surfing against Mick Fanning do the talking.

ASP World Tour

Good job Damo!

The Lure Of The Ring Is Just Too Strong For Seau

A little less than one year after he announced his "retirement", Junior Seau has signed up to play one more year of football for the New England Patriots.

Last August, Seau announced that he was retiring after 16 seasons. Four days later he changed his mind and signed with the Patriots. He played in 11 games for New England last year before his season was cut short by a broken arm.

In his 17 seasons Seau has played in one Super Bowl, a 23 point loss to the 49'ers in Super Bowl XXIX, and you have to wonder whether he would have resigned with New England if it weren't for all of their offseason acquisitions. Right now, New England is one of the favorites("on paper"), and it would appear that playing for them one more time gives Seau that last shot at a ring.

Hopefully, all that piggyback training in the offseason will pay off for him this year, though by the end of the season he might be using it to take Randy Moss on and off the bench.

The Mitch Mustain Saga Is Over, For Now

In case you haven't been following the misadventures of Mitch Mustain, Gus Malzahn, Houston Nutt, Arkansas Razorbacks fans/alumni and a number of other individuals here's a quick rundown.

Mustain was a highly touted high school QB that played for a high school in Springdale, Arkansas. His high school coach, Malzahn was hired as offense coordinator at Arkansas, and Mustain, along with a few of his teammates(remember the name Damian Williams), decided to go to Arkansas. The first intriguing part of this story is that Mustain had actually decommitted from Arkansas, but then recommitted when Malzahn got hired. Also, Williams had seemingly been a lock for the Gators, but appeared to change his mind when Malzahn made the move to Arkansas.

Throw in some scandalous e-mails from a booster(Teresa Prewett) to Mustain, use of the FOIA to get the cellphone records of Nutt, Malzahn leaving for a coaching job at Tulsa, and two of the Springdale recruits, Mustain and Williams, asking to be granted transfers and you have a very basic synopsis of these crazy events.

Seriously, if you want in-depth coverage do yourself a favor and check out Orson and Stranko's take on it at EDSBS. Es muy bueno!

Anyway, Mustain has been granted his wish and he's transferring to USC. He'll be reunited with Williams who also transferred to the Pete Carroll school of points and abs.

So, for now at least, the Mustain part of the saga in Fayetteville is over, though it will be interesting to see if USC and Arkansas square off again while he's out in Southern California.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Barbaro Curse?

I'm sure that most of you are familiar with "curses" in sports. There's the "Madden Curse", and of course the "Curse of the Bambino" that was supposedly vanquished when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. For the most part, they're just convenient ways to explain away failures by teams or individuals, though some do seem to carry a bit of validity(good luck next year Vince Young!).

After the events on Saturday at Pimlico, the question of a "Barbaro Curse" soon arose. In case you missed it, a horse by the name of Mending Fences broke its leg while leading the Dixie Stakes event. By itself it would be a tragic accident that doesn't receive much examination. However, the fact that Barbaro broke his leg during the Preakness events last year got the wheels turning in the heads of me and a friend of mine.

Now, neither of us are really horseracing "fans". I'll sometimes catch the big events, and he'll bet on them if he's got some extra money. This year, however he had the chance to check out the Preakness in person again(his 2nd time) so he was at the track when Mending Fences went down. The so-called catalyst for our curse theory actually came about because he was at the track. Had he been at home I doubt that we would have ever thought about this. However, he was there, and he said that when Einstein, another horse that raced in the Dixie Stakes who tossed off his jockey due to the Mending Fences hoopla, crossed with no rider there was an eerie feeling. Seeing a horse running with a sadle and no rider probably is a bit freaky. I asked him whether his "eerie" feeling was due to the large amount of alcohol that he had ingested, or if he truly thought that some other forces were at play. Unfortunately, he couldn't really tell. So take our theory as you wish, and understand that it was cobbled together by two non-horseracing guys who had ingested some amount of alcohol.

Our theory is this: Barbaro was so upset at the way he was "shown off" and kept "alive" for 8 months that his ghost will haunt the Preakness event and he'll "take" one horse every year.

Sure, it sounds crazy, but this is the way that we looked at it. Barbaro was kept alive for those months because his recovery was a compelling story, and because, we believe, that it allowed for a good number of "samples" to be taken. He didn't want to have to wear casts, splints and bandages, or be placed in a sling for hours at a time. Really, he wanted to go to the Big Field in the sky, but instead he was kept in a sort of horsie assisted living facility. This angered him so much that despite being honored in the inaugural Barbaro Stakes, he "came down" and took Mending Fences back to the Big Field.

Yes, it sounds ludicrous, and no it's not meant to be 100% serious, but if a similar event happens at next year's Preakness remember where you read about the "Barbaro Curse" first.

Justin Miller, Great A Returning Kicks, Not So Much At Throwing Punches

You would think that with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's zero tolerance approach to enforcing the league's conduct policy that NFL players would do their best to avoid engaging in any type of unlawful behavior. The Jets' Justin Miller, however did his best on Saturday night to incur the full wrath of Goodell.

Apparently, Miller was engaged in an altercation of some type with another man when he felt that it would be a good idea to take a swing at said individual. Miller, however seems to not be quite as skilled at throwing punches as he is at returning kicks and ended up hitting a woman when the man ducked. I guess that Miller fled the scene because according to the AP report "he was apprehended following a police chase at 4:20 a.m.".

Someone should get Mike Vick's attorneys on the phone, and let them know they need to update their NFL Personal Conduct Policy violators list. Oh yeah, three phrases that are never good to hear when you're trying to explain what happened are "charged with third-degree assault", "hit the woman when the man ducked out of the way" and "apprehended following a police chase".

Have fun in Principal Goodell's office Justin! With any luck you'll just get eraser duty, and be back in time for field day.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Chris Cohan, The Wesley Snipes Of NBA Owners

Chris Cohan has probably ridden a rollercoaster of emotion this NBA season, and it seems that his ride may have just derailed. And plummeted to the ground. And burst into flames.

Cohan is the owner of the Golden State Warriors. You may remember them as the scrappy team that upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of this year's playoffs, and did their best to defeat the Utah Jazz. In case you have forgotten about them, here is a reminder.

So Cohan and his Warriors ride a great wave of emotion into the playoffs. Everyone is sporting "We Believe" paraphenelia, and Golden State puts Dallas away in six games. It's their first best-of-7 series win in 31 years. At that point, the rollercoaster is still climbing.

Golden State begins their series with Utah with two close losses. The coaster begins its descent, but levels off a bit with a Warriors win in game three. Golden State loses the next two games, and the series, but the coaster is still on the tracks.

Next comes word that coach Don Nelson might not be back next year. Nellie is a major factor in why this team achieved(some might say overachieved) as much success as it did. Now the coaster is wobbling a bit, but the ride is still open.

Yesterday, it was reported that the IRS is pursuing Cohan for $160 million in back taxes and penalties. Uh oh, someone shut down the ride, there's been a horrible accident.

The biggest problem is that Cohan's primary defense, that certain tax documents the IRS wanted to present as evidence were protected by attorney-client privilege, has been successfully challenged. It was ruled in Februrary that Cohan waived his privilege during hearings in U.S. Tax Court.

Now he'll probably get to see how much it's going to cost for the water to put out this nasty fire.

By the way, Golden State's payroll for the '06-'07 season was $60,120,690 million, and based on his '06-'07 salary Baron Davis would have to play for another 10 years before he "cost" the Warriors $160 million.

The Wheels Have Come Off At The Floyd Landis Hearing

The Floyd Landis arbitration hearing has been going on for a few days, and for the most part it's been fairly mundane. That was until yesterday.

On Thursday, Greg LeMond took the stand to testify that during a phone conversation the two had Landis had hinted to him that he had used performance enhancing drugs. As if that wasn't interesting enough, he also dropped a bombshell about how he had told Landis a secret of sexual abuse by an uncle that he had never made public before, and how Landis' manager called him the night before he was to testify pretending to be his uncle and trying to intimidate him.

Seriously, you can't make up stuff this crazy.

Here's how LeMond recounted the creepy phone call from Landis' manager, Will Geoghegan:

"The drama escalated when USADA attorney Matt Barnett asked LeMond about a phone call Wednesday, which LeMond said he answered on speakerphone with his wife, Kathy, next to him.

The caller identified himself as “Uncle Ron” and said, “This is your uncle and I’m going to be there tomorrow,” in addition to graphic remarks describing sexual abuse, LeMond said.

After the caller hung up, LeMond said he immediately returned the phone call and got a voicemail message for someone named “Will.”

Barnett displayed the call log of LeMond’s BlackBerry with Geoghegan’s number."

It will be interesting to see how far Landis distances himself from Geoghegan, a former teammate of his from Landis' Chevy Truck mountain-bike days. The most frustrating thing for the Landis team is that LeMond's testimony about his phone call with Landis regarding steroid use wasn't all that damaging by itself, but coupled with the call from Geoghegan it casts an air of suspicion upon Landis and anyone associated with him.

The Steroid Nation has pretty coverage on this as well, and goes into a little more detail regarding the other graphic remarks.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Are The Lakers Preparing For Some Family Feud?

The Los Angeles Times reported today that Jeanie Buss, daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss and girlfriend of current Lakers coach Phil Jackson, was upset that her brother Jim Buss, who is in the process of taking over the basketball operations of the team, "ripped Jackson for calling out players in the media".

She went on to say that the comments were "interesting" because it seemed that her brother, who is essentially Jackson's boss, was berating Jackson for the same thing that he was doing. She also said that the combination of her overseeing the business operations of the Lakers, and her involvement with Jackson "throws the monkey wrench into things" and that it "muddies the waters and complicates things".

Uh oh, this is the type of situation that could get very messy very fast. It's like when your sister brings home her newest boyfriend, and at first he seems ok. Then after talking to him for a little while he starts rambling about his Eastern philosophies and Native American rituals. Eventually he asks that instead of calling him by his real name you use the nickname "Zen Master". Eventhough you try to talk to him sensibly, he continues to brag about the numerous accolades that he's won and how he's better than you. All the while your sister is pissed off and yelling at you and your dad about how you never take her seriously and always sabotage her relationships. The visit ends with your sister storming out of the house, "Zen Master" in tow, while you and your dad place bets on how long they're going to last.

I wonder who's won the bet so far, Jerry or Jim?

Peeking Into The Mind Of A Sportsfan

On Tuesday, I wrote about Kentucky "losing" star recruit Jai Lucas to Florida, and how that could affect the college choice of another of UK's recruits, Patrick Patterson. Yesterday, Patterson announced that he was headed to Kentucky, and understandably Wildcats fans are fired up about it. Towards the end of the AP article Kentucky fan Ken O'Roark was quoted as saying:

"I think this is potentially the biggest recruit we have signed in 20 plus years since Rex Chapman."

Wow, that covers a lot of recruits, and players from two national championship teams. I told you they were fired up.

The second part of O'Roark's quote, however is what really struck me. After the Rex Chapman reference he went on to say:
"I am elated and I think he made a great decision. He will be adored and loved by UK fans for his tenure at UK and forever."

Loved by UK fans for his tenure at UK and forever, huh? To me, this is a perfect example of how a sportsfan's brain works. You see, sportsfans are wired a little differently than non-sportsfans. They get their "fix" with every win over a hated rival, and any type of championship just fuels the "addiction". All the while, the non-sportsfans watch with a mix of caution, curiosity and disdain. To them, sports are just a game.

After reading O'Roark's quote I wondered if there was a way for me to depict how a sportsfan's brain might look. You know, how the pieces, labeled in layman's terms of course, might all fit together. Well, I found a brain picture, swapped in some easy to understand terms, and now I'll break down how it's all assembled.

Check Out The Big Brain On...You!

Before I go any further, though you might be asking yourself what type of qualifications I have to be speaking(er...writing) on this matter. As if the fact that I run my own sportsblog(yes, it's a very exclusive club complete with jackets) wasn't enough, I'm also a sportsfan just like you. I'll use the example of Chris Leak playing for the Gators as an example.

I graduated from UF. I very much enjoy watching the Gators football team. In 2003, I was very much like Mr. O'Roark in that I was extremely happy that a prized recruit, in this case Chris Leak, was heading to Gainesville to quaterback the Gators. I distinctly remember pumping my fist at the TV as Leak announced his decision during halftime of the Army All-American Game. I believed that he would bring greatness back to UF as soon as he took his first snap in "The Swamp". Over the next four years, I rode the rollercoaster that Leak took Florida fans on. One second it was fist pumps and high fives. The next, it was curse words and broken TV remotes. The kid who was supposed to do no wrong seemingly couldn't do anything right. Eventually Leak took us all the way to the top, and delivered on his championship promise that he had made four years earlier. Though, like I said before that just fuels the "addiction". Now you see where I'm coming from, though in that I too have had nothing but love for the "next big thing". Only to watch it from the edge of my seat as it took years off of my life(and we're talking the good ones, not the crappy ones at the end). Just remember Mr. O'Roark, it might be all Grey Goose and Cristal right now, but could easily end up box wine and Steel Reserve and that "forever love" mysteriously becomes forever lost.

Anyway, enough about Sexy Rexy's new prodigy. Let's talk about brains!

In that picture up there you'll notice that there are five main components. Here is what they are, and what they do:

Best Team In The World: Maybe your team has just sandwiched a national championship in football between back-to-back men's basketball championships(only us, suckas!). Or maybe it's a little less dramatic like the star QB just completed a long pass on a crucial 4th down. Or, maybe it has nothing to do with an actual game, like they landed a top ranked recruit. Whatever the case may be, they are #1 in your mind and they can do no wrong. Sure, the head coach is having an affair with your mom and he won't give you any tickets, but it's all good because he just guided your favorite team to another championship.

Worst F'in Buncha Losers Ever: This is 180 degrees from the Best Team portion. Whether it's a bonehead shovel pass that's intercepted by a defensive lineman and taken the distance, or the drafting of an injured wide receiver when your team really needed a quarterback. At that moment in time you're ashamed to be associated with your team, and you're seriously considering setting your place on fire and starting over without them. Trying to find a balance between the two is a driving force in the sportsfan's world. One note here, it's fine for you and other fans of your team to hate said team, but if any outsiders do so that's grounds for a beer toss.

Love/Hate For Referees: You'll notice that there's a thin "line" seperating the first two parts, and that it references referees. In many cases, a sportsfan's emotions are determined by certain calls that a ref makes. Sometimes the sportsfan believes that their team is getting hosed by the refs. This makes them angry, and adds jetfuel to the hate part of the brain. Other times they're happy to see a certain player get what he "deserves"(technical foul, foul out of game, get knocked the f@#k out), and that amplifies the overzealous support from the love part. This doesn't apply only to refs, and can be used to describe the influence of other outside forces like top 25 rankings, bowl selections, etc.

Food & Beverage Planning, "Drunk Logic", Misc. Information: Now you know why everything seems like a good idea after you've kicked back a few brewskis. The logic space is shared with a number of different items all fighting for control. At any sports related event, food and drinks are always a priority. Wings, pizza, subs, kegs, etc. It doesn't matter as long as they're there, and there's lots of them. However, that doesn't just happen on its own so some planning is involved. Miscellaneous information also shows up here, and usually consists of statistics about your favorite team. Ones that outside of a sports setting would either make you seem like a weirdo or a dork, or both. Like mentioned above, this is also where regular logic and "drunk logic" do their delicate two-step. The "winner" is usually determined by a number of factors, including: amount and type of alcohol(that Canadian beer is like moonshine!), score of game, point in season(earlier in the schedule hope springs eternal, later on and the cashier at ABC is your new best friend), and type of game(a rivalry game late in a perfect season is a recipe for mixing obscene amounts of various liquors and using sick days at work) just to name a few.

Attention To Other Things While Favorite Team Is Playing: As you can see this "compartment" is the smallest of the four. That probably explains why your house burned down around you while you watched your favorite team win a championship as your wife and kids hauled ass outta there. If you're a sportsfan, then I'm sure you've experienced this time and time again. Another person, usually a non-sportsfan, tries to engage you in a meaningful discussion while you're watching a game. Perhaps on the subject of global warming. A few muttered "yesses" and head-nods later, and the other person is convinced that you believe the universe is a giant microwave and that someone is just pressing the "quick cook" button to screw with us. Obviously, they're not aware that in a sportsfan's brain the attention to others part struggles to function correctly when everything else is in use, and it's because all that attention has to be focused on the team or they will lose(go ahead coach, we can use our brain power to convert 4th and 20).

So there you go, a handy guide to exactly what a sportsfan's brain looks like, and how it all fits together. I suggest that you print out a copy of that picture as a quick way to answer any questions that a non-sportsfan might have concerning your fanaticism.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One Step Closer To Manufacturing The News

Amid the major league baseball games yesterday was a matchup between the powerhouses that are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Texas Rangers. The big story wasn't about what teams were playing, but rather where they were playing. As this contest took place at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, FL.

At first, it seems like a great combination. Mickey Mouse and America's pasttime. Until you realize that Disney owns ESPN, and that ESPN aired highlights of the game on its SportsCenter segment. I also checked out the site to see if there was any type of commentary on the game, but as of right now they're just running the AP story. Though, I am interested to see if any ESPN contributors write or comment about it. Don't trust John Kruk's "comments"!

The other part of this story is that the attendance for the game was 8,443. It was roughly 1,000 below capacity of the Disney complex, but about 200 more than the Devil Rays averaged at home(Tropicana Field, capacity 38,437) for the six games against the Rangers last season. That's right, more people watched the Devil Rays play yesterday at a minor league park than they did at their home stadium last year against the same team. Though, the "rows and rows of empty green chairs for the first pitch" must have made them feel right at home.

It's Like Climbing The Col du Tourmalet, Only In A Courtroom

Yesterday, the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing got underway in California, and by most accounts it was slow and tedious.

The first bit of trouble came when lead arbitrator Patrice Brunet, who speaks French, noticed that the courtroom translator wasn't translating accurately. At one point translating the French version of "a day and a half" into "an hour and a half" in English. There wasn't any word on whether "beer" and whiskey" had to be translated.

One problem that Landis faces is that more than one sample showed signs of "abnormal testoserone levels". One of his eight samples collected during the Tour tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, and contained a type of synthetic testosterone. Four of the remaining seven samples produced "abnormal" results after undergoing carbon-isotope tests.

Another hurdle is the USADA's record in cases that head to arbitration. Currently, they are 34-0 in cases that make it to the arbitration stage. Obviously they know when to take a case to arbitration, and what to do with it once they're there. Though, that won't stop the Landis team from trying to prove that the machines and tests were manipulated in a way to make them return "positive" results.

To me, there are two ways that you could look at the idea that Landis was somehow "framed".

The first is that the French had become so upset with Lance Armstrong dominating the Tour for seven consecutive years that they were determined not to let it happen again. Whether or not it was a huge conspiracy or just confined to the French lab doesn't matter in this theory. What matters is that someone was angry enough to somehow "doctor" the results.

The second is that the French had wanted to set up Armstrong, but knew his popularity would ensure a huge storm of media coverage and scrutiny. They ultimately decided against starting a controversy of that magnitude, though they may have had something to do with the numerous doping allegations that surrounded Armstrong, especially towards the end of his participation in the Tour.

About a week ago, Landis made it known publicly that his lawyer had been approached by the USADA's head attorney, Travis Tygart, who offered Landis “the shortest suspension they’d ever given an athlete” if he gave them information about Armstrong doping. Obviously that doesn't directly tie in with the French lab or authorities because the USADA is an American agency, but it does illustrate the desire that some people may have for portraying Armstrong(and maybe even Landis) as a cheater. And if the USADA is so zealous in their pursuit of Armstrong, who's not to say that the French were the same when it came to ensuring that an American didn't win their Tour de France for an eighth consecutive time?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vince Carter Playing For The Magic Next Year?

A recent post on Deadspin regarding Vince Carter, and how he is expected to receive a big free agent contract this offseason motivated me to examine the situation a little closer and come up with one theory.

First, let me say that I'm not a fan of any NBA team in particular. Eventhough, the Orlando Magic play their games less than an hour from me, and I've attended a few of them, I am not an Orlando Magic fan. That's not to say that I hate them either, it's just that I don't follow them all that closely. With that said, here's my theory as to why there's a decent chance that Vince Carter could be playing for the Magic next season.

Orlando's current shooting guard, Grant Hill, becomes a free agent on July 1. There's a good possibility that he won't be back due to retirement, or perhaps due to signing with either Detroit or Phoenix. If any of those scenarios happen, then Keyon Dooling moves up to the starting SG slot. Though, Carter would be an improvement over both Hill and Dooling.

Also, Carter grew up and played high school basketball about an hour from the Magic's Amway Arena. It would provide him an opportunity to move closer to his mother who he has a close relationship with, and was away from in Canada for seven years. Bringing Carter back to Central Florida would probably increase attendance, which the Magic desperately need to do because they're trying to get support for a new arena.

Currently, the Magic's arena proposal is the most "unpopular" of the three venues included in the package. Adding Carter's starpower to Dwight Howard's(of whom former Magic GM John Gabriel said, "I'd build that place just for him".) rising popularity, though might change some people's minds. And right now the Magic need all the help they can get on and off of the court.

So, just remember that if Carter ends up signing with Orlando this offseason that you read it here way back in May.

As If Kentucky Needed Anymore Reason To Hate Florida

Florida versus Kentucky has become a pretty good rivalry on the hardwood in recent years with the resurgence of UF's men's basketball program. With their two wins this past season, Florida became the first SEC team to ever beat Kentucky six consecutive times. They also continued their recent win streak against Kentucky in the offseason.

The first occasion came in the head-to-head matchup for Florida's coach Billy Donovan. Donovan had recently brought the second straight men's basketball national championship to Florida, and with Tubby Smith's departure to Minnesota there was much speculation that "Billy The Kid" would become the new head coach of the Wildcats. Rumors even surfaced that Donovan was going to sign a 7-year contract worth $3.5 million per year with Kentucky after the tournament. We all know how that turned out for Kentucky.

The second "victory" this offseason came when prized basketball recruit, Jai Lucas, chose Florida over Kentucky(and Oklahoma State) yesterday. Lucas, a McDonald's All-American, is talented enough to immediately fill the void created by Taurean Green's departure. Lucas had been one of the top two recruits pursued by Kentucky, and his decision to head to Gainesville could influence his friend Patrick Patterson, another highly touted recruit pursued by Kentucky, to play for the Gators as well. If that happens, and Patterson is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday, then it's just more fuel on the fire that is the rivalry between Florida and Kentucky.

These offseason events will make the two Florida vs Kentucky games in '07-'08, especially the one in Lexington on or about March 2, that much more intense. I suggest you start making plans now to watch them if you enjoy college basketball even just a little bit.

[Photo by Tracy Wilcox, The Gainesville Sun]

Will He Lobby For A 100 Catch Rating Too?

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith told reporters yesterday that Devin Hester would be moving to the offensive side of the ball for the '07-'08 season.

There's no doubt that Hester is a phenomenal return specialist with a lot of speed. He has some experience playing receiver, though 10 receptions for 196 yards and no TD's over three seasons at Miami aren't exactly the strongest receiving statistics. However, I imagine that offensive coordinator Ron Turner will get the ball into Hester's hands anyway possible.

One question I do have is what will his catch rating be on Madden '08? There have been some reports that Hester actually lobbied the EA Sports developers to give him a perfect 100 speed rating. Whether or not that actually occured I'm not sure, but Hester is going to be the first player to ever have a speed rating of 100 on Madden. That's right, Deion Sanders, DeAngelo Hall, even Dante "The Human Joystick" Hall never had speed ratings of 100. With his switch to offense, though will Hester lobby for a high catch rating? I can't imagine him being over an 85, but I guess we'll have to wait until August 14 to find out.

Devin Hester, causing teams to lobby for a 12th man on kick coverages

Monday, May 14, 2007

Two Months Later And We Still Aren't Sure What Happened To Pakistan Cricket Coach Bob Woolmer

When this news broke almost two months ago it appeared to have the makings of a bizarre tale of crime. In the preliminary reports, officials stated that they believed that Woolmer had been murdered by strangulation, and that more than one person was probably involved.

They even hinted that his death may have had something to do with his team's upset by Ireland and match-fixing. Other rumors surfaced regarding a book that Woolmer was writing, and the potential for it to expose illegal gambling in the sport. In recent weeks, reports had come out stating that Woolmer may have ingested champagne poisoned with a rare weed killer.

Yesterday, however Scotland Yard investigators released a statement that Woolmer died from natural causes, heart failure, and that he wasn't strangled. Though, they gave no comments on the toxicology reports, or the speculation that Woolmer had been poisoned.

One of the Pakistani detectives, Mir Zubair Mahmood, that had traveled to Jamaica to assist called the investigation "inconclusive", and said "it was still unclear whether Woolmer was murdered or had died of natural causes".

Seriously? What the heck is going on in Jamaica? Coach Woolmer died almost exactly two months ago today, and it seems that they're no closer to even knowing if he was murdered or not. At one point, it was even reported that authorities had a suspect on tape from a security camera. What has become of this mystery person? Instead of making sense of this case it seems to be getting more and more peculiar with every report. I can't imagine how his family must be handling all of this.

One thing I do know, though is that Horatio Cain would have had this case cracked in record time eight weeks ago.

Are You Sure You Want To Look Like Him?

MSNBC is running a promotion of sorts where they ask readers that believe they resemble MLB players to submit a picture for the rest of us to ridicule compare.

Currently, there are 20 pictures from brave souls who believe they look like a big leaguer. Of course there are a few "Derek Jeters", an "A-Rod", two(!) Travis Hafners and a guy who I guess could resemble David Justice if he's trying to hide from the authorities by pulling his hat way down(yeah buddy, your chin looks exactly like Dave Justice's).

There are also a few "lesser known" look-a-likes, such as "Bob Wickman" and "Kei Igawa".

Also submitted were photos of look-a-likes that might not exactly be the most popular in certain cities and/or settings. They include Carl Pavano(I really hope that guy doesn't live anywhere near New York), Joe Torre(yeah, the NYC probably isn't so good for you either buddy), Mark Prior(though, the only time you might ever see the real Mark Prior at Wrigley Field will probably be in the stands), Mark McGwire(hit dingers or testify before Congress?!), and of course Barry Bonds(always keep an eye open for an irate Curt Schilling).

Seeing some of those look-a-likes made me wonder if resembling them was really such a good thing. At some point you run a risk of being accosted by people who actually hate the person you look like. After thinking about how crappy your day would be if you got assaulted for resembling a hated rival(like the diehard Red Sox fan that looks like Joe Torre). I thought I would come up with some athletes (current or retired) that you probably wouldn't want to resemble. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments.

O.J. Simpson: When people applaud O.J. for being asked to leave an upscale steakhouse, you probably don't want to be mistaken for him. Bill Romanowski would have to be included somewhere as well.

Maybe Kobe Bryant in Vail? Or Ron Artest in Detroit? What about Bill Walton in general?

Some baseball fans probably harbor a strong dislike for McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, etc. because of the steroid haze that they've helped cast upon the record books. Eventhough he's not really an athlete, I'm sure there are more than a few fans that wouldn't hesitate pimpslapping Bud Selig.

Todd Bertuzzi's assault on Steve Moore didn't make him anymore popular. Tie Domi made a career out of challenging players on the ice, and there are probably a few guys out there who would challenge a look-a-like on the street or in a bar.

Here's Hoping You Get A Football To The Groin For Father's Day!

On Saturday, a Central Florida man was arrested and charged with child abuse after beating his 8-year-old son with a "3-inch-wide leather belt". He did so because the child apparently lost a youth football game which enraged the father. He hit the child on the legs, back and stomach, and was arrested after his girlfriend called 911.

As horrible as this event is, I am curious to know exactly how he lost the game for his team. Kicker that missed a field goal? Wide receiver that dropped the winning touchdown? Running back that fumbled on the goal line? Quarterback that threw an interception?[must resist Eli Manning joke...]

Hopefully next month the kid exacts some type of revenge, and fires a Dan Marino-esque bullet at his father's crotch. For reference, I present an example of football-crotch interaction from "The Simpsons".

FIGJAM Uses Tiger's Old Coach To Whoop Him

Last month, Phil "FIGJAM" Mickelson announced that he was switching hitting coaches, and going with Butch Harmon, former teacher of Greg Norman & Tiger Woods, instead of his longtime coach and friend, Rick Smith.

Of course one of the biggest questions following the switch was whether or not it would help Mickelson beat Tiger. When I heard of the switch I had a feeling that Mickelson would find great joy in beating Tiger after taking pointers from his old hitting coach, and yesterday Phil seemed to be full of joy. Though, winning $1.62 million will tend to do that to you.

Yes, the switch has seemed to pay off, at least in the immediate results. Yesterday Mickelson won The Players Championship by two-strokes, and moved up to the #2 ranking in the world.

Tiger finished #37, and won $38,700. That's 36 places and $1,581,300 behind Mickelson.

Obviously it's still too early to tell if Mickelson will really be able to beat Tiger with any consistency, especially since Woods doesn't typically play well at the TPC at Sawgrass. However, it certainly adds another storyline to the U.S. Open that will be teeing off in three weeks.

Friday, May 11, 2007

David Ortiz and Brian Urlacher Will Destroy You With Their Shuttlecock

You may have seen the new Vitamin Water commercial featuring Tracy McGrady tossing sheep. Well, the latest installment gives us an idea of what it would be like if Brian Urlacher and David Ortiz teamed up to play some badminton.

Yeah, it pretty much turns out how you expect it to, though I wonder if Ortiz drank one of those Dominican shakes before the match. I'm curious to see what some of the other "athlete partners"(Allen Iverson, Donovan McNabb, David Wright and Ray Allen just to name a few) do in their undoubtably unique commercials.

Looks Like Ricky Gets To Extend His Vacation For A Few More Months

Chris Mortensen is reporting that Ricky Williams, of visor interviews and CFL fame, failed another drug test in April, and that he won't be elligible for reinstatement until at least September. Williams had been scheduled to speak with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week concerning his reinstatement in the NFL.

Of course he tested positive for marijuana again. If he ever plays in the NFL again they might as well stitch "Marley" on the back of his jersey.

Though, the league doctors that have been overseeing his rehab program seemed understanding of his situation.

"Falling off the wagon is part of rehab," a source said. "Based on the medical evidence in Ricky's case, the doctors say it's too early to come back. He had the positive test last month. Remember, he's been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder -- that's a real disease and a good percentage of those folks self-medicate with substances like marijuana, often at the moment they are about to have a high level of social interaction."

Falling off the wagon? Ricky has been floating above it for the past 5 years. Seriously, he might as well move to Amsterdam and open his own hash bar. It can't be much different than what he's got going on right now.

Oh well, it gives Commissioner Goodell some more free time to spend with PacMan this week. Chompa chompa!

When Employing Medieval Crowd Control Techniques Goes Horribly Wrong

When we hear the word "moat" most of us probably think of castles, dragons and knights. Not soccer pitches. However, it seems that the moat is being used as a crowd control tool at South American soccer stadiums, and sometimes the consequences can be deadly.

"A FAN of Brazil club Gremio has died in hospital after falling into the moat at the Olimpico stadium before a home Libertadores Cup match with Sao Paulo.

The victim, named as 21-year-old medical student Wiliam da Silva, was standing on a wall at the front of the crowd when he lost his balance and fell into the dry moat which surrounds the pitch, the club said.

He died in hospital of severe head injuries several hours later."

Having a dry moat surrounding the field seems a bit odd. You would think they could at least fill it with water, or maybe bubblewrap.

Unfortunately, the fan's death comes at a time when there's been increasing concern about a popular celebration called the "Avalanche". It's a wonder that no one dies when they engage in this craziness.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Are You Smarter Than An NFL Draft Pick?

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and you've already read Mel Kiper's analysis(presented by his hair!) of your team so many times that you recite it as a prayer before going to bed. However, one thing that Mr. Kiper probably does not do(I wouldn't know because I refuse to pay for "Insider" access) is inform you as to what some of the draft picks were majoring in before they left college.

For the most part, this will be a review of what the eleven quarterbacks who were drafted majored in since many consider that to be the most mentally demanding position to play. I will, however include a complete list of majors for the draft picks from rounds one and two.

And if you're one of those people who thinks that football players at popular division one schools don't do much of their own work? Humor me.

Jamarcus Russell(QB, LSU): General Studies. Ah yes, the good old "general studies" major. However, when you're about to get paid millions of dollars you could major in dodgeball and be ok.

Brady Quinn(QB, Notre Dame): Finance/Political Science(double major). Say what you want about Quinn's suspect arm strength, his brain has to be decently strong to double major at Notre Dame. Though, that $17 million hit he sustained as a result of sliding to #22 will make budgeting his finances even more important.

Kevin Kolb(QB, Houston): Business. It's always good to have some business knowledge, especially when your net worth is going to increase dramatically. Kolb might have been better served majoring in diplomacy had he known the controversy his selection by the Eagles was going to cause.

John Beck(QB, BYU): Communications(graduated). It's nice to see that Beck has already obtained his degree, though the fans in Miami probably couldn't care less. During his rookie season, he will most likely put his communications skills to good use answering questions about how it feels to be the 75th heir in 7 years to Dan Marino's cleats(and knee braces).

Drew Stanton(QB, Michigan State): Kinesiology. Stanton picked a great subject to major in as the newest quarterback addition to the Detroit Lions' roster. He'll be able to tell the training staff exactly what's broken or bruised anytime he takes snaps behind an offensive line that gave up the second most sacks in the NFL last season.

Trent Edwards(QB, Stanford): Political Science. The "Edwards For QB Campaign" already has a little support as J.P. Losman hasn't been the most productive passer. Fortunately Edwards didn't major in "nightlife" because thanks to Willis McGahee we all know how bad that scene is in Buffalo.

Isaiah Stanback(QB, Washington): Marketing. If Stanback wants any shot of playing quarterback for the Cowboys he should start marketing himself as the best placekick holder in the history of the NFL. No matter what, he would have to look more graceful getting tackled than Tony Romo did against the Seahawks.

Jeff Rowe(QB, Nevada): Communications. Communications isn't a bad fit for someone drafted by Cincinnati. After all, the arrests and locker room fights have to be discussed at some point. Though, Rowe might want to consider a law degree so that he can represent his teammates if/when they get into trouble. Last year he would have made a ton of money providing counsel.

Troy Smith(QB, Ohio State): Running Scared From The Florida Defense...oops sorry about that...Communications. The Heisman Trophy winner slipped into the fifth round probably as a result of his showing against the Gators. He comes into a quarterback situation that's favorable to him with Steve McNair on the downside of his career and Kyle Boller likely out next year. However, he'll probably spend most of his time having to communicate that the position of quarterback still exists in Baltimore.

Jordan Palmer(QB, Texas-El Paso): Communications. Palmer will put his communications knowledge to good use answering questions...about his big brother Carson. "Seriously, did he torment you like Peyton tormented Eli?"

Tyler Thigpen(QB, Coastal Carolina): Recreation and Sports Management. Thigpen has to be happy with being selected by Minnesota. Not only are there questions at the quarterback position, it's a known fact that they enjoy their recreational activities. No matter how obscene they may be. Though, he might have been better served majoring in something aquatic related as we all know how much Vikings' players enjoy their time on the water.

There they are, the eleven quarterbacks that were drafted and what they were majoring in before heading to the NFL. Don't forget to check out the complete list of majors for the picks from rounds 1 and 2.

Complete List of Majors For The Draft Picks of Rounds 1 and 2

Round 1

1.Jamarcus Russell(QB, LSU): General Studies

2.Calvin Johnson(WR, Georgia Tech): Building Construction

3.Joe Thomas(OT, Wisconsin): Real Estate & Urban Land Economics

4.Gaines Adams(DE, Clemson): Sport Management

5.Levi Brown(OT, Penn St.): Psychology

6.LaRon Landry(FS, LSU): Communication Studies

7.Adrian Peterson(RB, Oklahoma): Sociology

8.Jamaal Anderson(DE, Arkansas): Sociology

9.Ted Ginn Jr.(WR, Ohio St.): Human Development & Family

10.Amobi Okoye(DT, Louisville): Psychology

11.Patrick Willis(LB, Mississippi): Liberal Arts

12.Marshawn Lynch(RB, Cal): Social Welfare

13.Adam Carriker(DE, Nebraska): Business Administration(graduated)

14.Darrelle Revis(CB, Pitt): Social Science

15.Lawrence Timmons(LB, FSU): Social Science

16.Justin Harrell(DT, Tennessee): Sports Management

17.Jarvis Moss(DE, Florida): Sociology

18.Leon Hall(CB, Michigan): General Studies

19.Michael Griffin(FS, Texas): Liberal Arts

20.Aaron Ross(CB, Texas): Education

21.Reggie Nelson(FS, Florida): Sociology

22.Brady Quinn(QB, Notre Dame): Finance/Political Science(double major)

23.Dwayne Bowe(WR, LSU): Education/General Studies

24.Brandon Meriweather(FS, Miami-FL): Liberal Arts

25.Jon Beason(LB, Miami-FL): Business Management

26.Anthony Spencer(DE, Purdue): African-American Studies

27.Robert Meachem(WR, Tennessee): Communications

28.Joe Staley(OT, Central Michigan): Business Major

29.Ben Grubbs(G, Auburn): Business(graduated)

30.Craig Davis(WR, LSU): Communication Studies

31.Greg Olsen(TE, Miami-FL): Criminology

32.Anthony Gonzalez(WR, Ohio St.): Philosophy

Round 2

33.Alan Branch(DT, Michigan): General Studies

34.Paul Posluszny(LB, Penn St.): Finance(graduated)

35.Arron Sears(DT, Tennessee): Sociology

36.Kevin Kolb(QB, Houston): Business

37.Eric Weddle(SS, Utah): Special Education

38.Zach Miller(TE, Arizona St.): General Studies

39.Justin Blalock(OT, Texas): Youth and Community Studies(graduated)

40.John Beck(QB, BYU): Communications(graduated)

41.Chris Houston(CB, Arkansas): Recreation

42.Tony Ugoh(G, Arkansas): Business

43.Drew Stanton(QB, Michigan St.): Kinesiology

44.Sidney Rice(WR, South Carolina): African-American Studies

45.Dwayne Jarrett(WR, USC): Sociology

46.LaMarr Woodley(DE, Michigan): General Studies

47.David Harris(LB, Michigan): General Studies

48.Justin Durant(LB, Hampton): Sports Management

49.Kenny Irons(RB, Auburn): Business Economics

50.Chris Henry(RB, Arizona): Philosophy

51.Steve Smith(WR, USC): Public Policy/Planning & Management

52.Brian Leonard(FB, Rutgers): Labor Studies

53.Eric Wright(CB, Nevada-Las Vegas): University Studies

54.Turk McBride(DT, Tennessee): Sociology

55.Josh Wilson(CB, Maryland): Marketing(graduated)

56.Tim Crowder(DE, Texas): Liberal Arts

57.Victor Abiamiri(DE, Notre Dame): Finance

58.Ikaika Alama-Francis(DE, Hawaii): Physical Education

59.Ryan Kalil(C, USC): Sociology

60.Samson Satele(C, Hawaii): Sociology(graduated)

61.Gerald Alexander(FS, Boise St.): Communications

62.Dan Bazuin(DE, Central Michigan): Marketing

63.Brandon Jackson(RB, Nebraska): Sociology

64.Sabby Piscitelli(SS, Oregon State): Speech Communications

Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk, Even When They're Riding Shotgun To Keep An Eye On Them

Early this morning Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was arrested. The charge? Owning a vehicle being driven by a drunken driver.

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Apparently, McNair and his brother-in-law went out, had some drinks, and then had to decide who was the most sober. After what was probably an exhaustive process(rock, paper, scissors solves all!) McNair decided that the safest thing was for his brother-in-law to drive while he rode shotgun and either A)Kept an eye out for "the man", B)Ate a delicious hamburger, or C)Passed out. I'm thinking it was probably a combination of the first two.

Maybe McNair and his brother-in-law will have the evidence against them supressed like McNair got in 2004. Or maybe he'll just keep showing up at the courthouse until they drop the charges. Hey, it got him traded to the Ravens.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Now Eli's Struggles Make Sense

Poor Eli Manning, it seems that he may never be able to step out of his brother's shadow. Anything short of winning a Super Bowl will probably never be enough.

Thanks to Gatorade, however we get a glimpse of what Eli had to contend with growing up. Having his "windshield wiped"? Being elbowed in the head? Getting boogers flicked at him? And watching his assailant(a Herman Munster-esque fellow who happens to be his older brother) still complete a touchdown? No wonder he's so fragile!

Somewhere, Matt Leinart is pissed about this commercial.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Maybe You Can Ask Your Mom To Pick You Up From The Dojo?

Reuters has reported that "Sumo wrestler Kyokutenho was banned on Monday from participating in the next major tournament after crashing into a car at a red traffic light".

Upon first glance it appears that the Japan Sumo Association is trying to send a message to its wrestlers that they need to be very cautious when driving. However, it seems that due to a particularly bad accident a few years ago sumo wrestlers in the JSA are forbidden to drive at all.

That's right, they either have to hitch a ride, utilize public transportation or walk. Though, the latter seems a bit counterproductive since sumo wrestlers are usually"large" individuals.

For some reason though, I could see Roger Goodell enacting a similar policy in the NFL this season.

Put On Your Jerseyka It's Time For the Stanley Cupukah

About three months ago, the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators had a fight and a hockey game broke out. Afterwards, the staff at WGR 550 in Buffalo put together a song celebrating the occasion, and it eventually made its way to YouTube with highlights of the "brawl" among other things.

As fate would have it, the two teams are set to face off on Thursday, May 10 in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals. So to get you ready for that, here's the song/video set to Adam Sandler's "The Chanukah Song".

David Ortiz Does Not [Expletive] Care About Steroids

On Monday, Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz discussed his feelings regarding Barry Bonds, steroids, Commissioner Bud Selig and protein shakes in the Dominican Republic.

He doesn't believe that Bonds has ever taken steroids because he has such a "consistent swing", and because he doesn't think that "steroids mentally get you perfect". Also, Oritz would just like you to admit that Bonds is "a bad [expletive]".

Ortiz went on to say that he thinks Commissioner Selig should watch Bonds break Aaron's homerun record in person even if he doesn't want to because if he doesn't people will consider baseball "a joke". And that eventhough Selig is the Commissioner "there's nothing he can do" about the situation.

Ortiz also said that he might have taken steroids in the Dominican Republic while drinking protein shakes.

“I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don’t do that anymore because they don’t have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I’m off buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican (Republic). But it can happen anytime, it can happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it.”

Sure, I could see that happening. Maybe if Yankees' fans ran the smoothie counter.

Though, it is good to know that Ortiz is sure that Bonds hasn't done steroids, isn't sure whether he himself has or not, and thinks that Commissioner Selig not seeing Bonds break Aaron's record in person is what will make baseball a "joke". Yeah Big Papi, that's what will make people think baseball is a "joke".

Thursday, May 03, 2007

'Cause I'm A Golf Fan Baby

This past Monday evening, thieves stole golf clubs belonging to the Milan High School girl's golf team from their coach's car. They made off with six sets of clubs. Five belonged to girls on the team, and one belonged to the coach, Claire Neff.

Eventhough it was a sad incident, help arrived two days later in the form of a phone call from a surprising source.

Kid Rock.

I say "surprising" because I had no idea that he was a golf fan. The more surprising aspect of the story is that he called up John Daly for advice on what clubs to order as replacements for the ones that were stolen.

That's right, Kid Rock and John Daly talk about golf clubs. There's a good chance that they might even shoot rounds of golf together, though they probably have to call ahead so that the mobile beer carts are adequately stocked.

Seriously, if you had the chance to play with either Kid Rock & John Daly, or Tiger & MJ, who would you choose? Bawitdaba baby...bawitdaba...

And that picture is pretty much how I envision Kid Rock on the course. Wife-beater, cigar, can of beer, girls and a stylin' hat.

Drinking Your Way To The Finish Line

Saturday marks the 133rd running of The Kentucky Derby, and if you're like me, then you don't have all that much interest in watching a short man ride Mr. Ed around a track beating him with a stick. However, this year a few things have come together in our favor that make this Derby a bit more interesting. And by "more interesting" I mean that they could involve alcohol.

Number one, this is the first Derby since the beloved Barbaro died. No, we shouldn't be happy that he died, but we should celebrate the happiness he brought others while on this planet. You could "pour out a lil' liquor", though I would much prefer to ingest it. I think that a shot of tequila would be appropriate.

I guess now is the best time to address the topic of what alcohol you should be utilizing for this special occasion. Of course the mint julep is the "official" drink of the Derby, but a drink with "julep" in the name sounds like it should have an umbrella in it. Besides, a mint julep is basically bourbon and mint leaves so why not just take a few shots of Jim Beam and chase it with a piece of Winterfresh gum? However, one of the other "interesting things" is that this year's Derby falls on Cinco de Mayo. Hence my suggestion of partying with your favorite tequila.

Numero dos, like I mentioned above Saturday is Cinco de Mayo. Combining your celebration of the Battle of Puebla with the Kentucky Derby is a perfect way to spend the day. Margaritas and tequila shots are more than adequate rivals to mint juleps and beers.

Number three, this year's field has two jockeys that are originally from Mexico. Instantly, you have two riders to cheer for because seeing them win on one of their national holidays would be awesome. The two jockeys are Juan Leyva, who's riding "Storm In May", and David Flores, who's riding "Liquidity". If either of those guys wins you should feel the urge to pound some tequila straight from the bottle.

So there you have it. Now you have some ways to make watching the Kentucky Derby a little more "enjoyable", and I've even provided you with two horses to root for. One other thing to keep an eye on is how the horse "Hard Spun" does. He's leaving from shoot #8, the same spot Barbaro had last year. If he somehow comes from behind and ends up blowing the rest of the field away like Barbaro did last year, you will definitely want to start drinking from the bottle because "The Horse" himself may be on his way down.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How's That Karma Feeling, Meshawn?

With their first pick of the second round the Carolina Panthers selected USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett. Apparently five seconds before the selection Keyshawn Johnson turned to Steve Young and said "I hope they pick Dwayne Jarrett because I can teach him, I can show him how to play football". Now he'll also be able to show him how one cleans out his locker after being replaced by a rookie because the Panthers cut Meshawn today.

It's got to sting a little bit that the rookie you called a "great pick", and justified him being selected by saying that your team "needed another wide receiver, needed a third guy" is most likely going to take your job. I guess Keyshawn wasn't lying when he said "he plays exactly like me". Oh well, at least he's always got a video to remember the occasion.

Maybe Tony Stewart Wasn't So Wrong

When Tony Stewart compared NASCAR to professional wrestling a little over a week ago I bet he had no idea how right he really he was. Stewart got in trouble because he implied that NASCAR races had become like pro wrestling matches where caution flags were being used to shape the outcome. Obviously the NASCAR bigwigs didn't appreciate those comments and made their displeasure clear to everyone, especially Stewart.

However, if he would have just compared a large segment of the crowds that attend both "sporting" events he wouldn't have had any problems. The video below is how NASCAR fans helped Jeff Gordon celebrate his record breaking(previously held by Earnhardt Sr.) 77th win.

Now tell me that after watching that video you can't picture a squared circle in the infield with Macho Man snapping slim-jims, Rick Flair yelling out "woooo" and the Hulkster putting his hand up to his ear. I know you can, brother!