Friday, June 29, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Alcohol Payola Scandal Edition

Since it's Friday, 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.

Weekend plans have hindered posting, but today's "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" post luckily fought its way through. It comes via inspiration from allegedly being involved in a "links for drinks" scandal with Will Leitch at Deadspin.

Apparently, the fine blogger(s) at Stop Mike Lupica believe there's some backroom, or barroom as the case may be, shadiness going on, and that's the reason this wonderful, creative, intelligent blog has been linked so much by Deadspin.

Now, I can't hate on SML too much because he actually called my links "legit posts", though maybe I should be upset because of that(long live mediocrity!). I also had a nice spike in traffic that day. And to tell you the truth, SML was on to something.

Whenever I'm looking to get something linked on Deadspin a huge party breaks out, and the next thing you know me and Mr. Leitch, or "Big Willy" as the strippers at the Spearmint Rhino in Vegas call him(contrary to popular belief there is sex in the Champagne Room if you're rolling with a Deadspin highroller), are surrounded by cash, hot chicks and lots of alcohol. Trust me, bribing "Big Willy" with those three things while doing your best impersonation of a Ying Yang Twins video is a surefire way to get links.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The 2007 NBA Draft A Testament To Billy Donovan's Coaching Ability

Most of the press surrounding Billy Donovan over the past weeks hasn't exactly been positive. First, there was the flirtation with the Kentucky job. Next came an only somewhat serious look at the Memphis job. Then, of course the whole Orlando Magic debacle. Hopefully tonight everyone can put those events aside to see just how good of a coach Billy Donovan is.

Before we get started here, I want you to keep in mind that Donovan has achieved his success at a school that was never known for basketball. Prior to Donovan's arrival in 1996, the Gators had made just five appearances in the NCAA tournament, with their best showing being a loss to Duke in the '93'-94 Final Four. The Gators didn't even reach their first NCAA Tournament until the 1986-1987 season, 39 years after the start of the program.

College basketball isn't exactly what it used to be. Many kids just see it as a springboard to the NBA. The ultimate goal is to play well enough in college so that you get drafted into the NBA. Before Billy Donovan the biggest NBA stars to come out of Florida were Neal Walk, Vernon Maxwell, Dwayne Schintzius and Andrew Declerq. Since Donovan took over as head coach he's had four of his players taken in the first round. That's double the amount drafted in the first round since the first Gator basketball player was ever drafted back in 1958.

And he's poised to add three more first round picks to that list, with the possibility of Taurean Green rounding out a total of four Gators drafted overall. You might think that Donovan just recruited 5-star athletes, and that their natural ability made them gifted enough to be possible top-10 NBA draft picks. Well, here's how the "Big Three" were ranked heading into Florida:

Corey Brewer: #7 ranked small forward, #31 overall(

Al Horford: #7 ranked power forward, #36 overall(

Joakim Noah: #19 ranked power forward, #75 overall(

And the fourth:

Taurean Green: #19 ranked point guard, #105 overall(

Sure, Brewer and Horford were ranked in the top 10 at their position, but the class as a whole wasn't in the top 10. However, Donovan coached them into a frontcourt that most college coaches dream about having. He helped Green become the driver of the team, and elevated his draft stock in the process. As an example, Glen Davis was the #3 ranked power forward back in '04. Most NBA analysts have him ranked as the #10 rated NBA power forward prospect, whereas Horford is usually #2.

Coach Donovan has shown the ability since he arrived in Gainesville to recruit good players, and be able to hone their strengths. Tonight's NBA Draft will be a prime example of his handiwork.

A Prime Example Of The Disparity Between the U.S. Men's and Women's World Cup Teams

This story is a few days old, but it's something that I wanted to cover before the week ended. Last weekend the new jerseys for the U.S. women's World Cup team were unveiled, and they turned out to be gold. Apparently, since the team is #1 in the world, and because they were somewhat upset in the last World Cup by Germany in the semifinals, they've started using the slogan "Take Back The Gold" and decided that gold jerseys would be the perfect compliment.

"This is a statement Nike and the rest of us are taking on," scoring leader Abby Wambach said Thursday at the first public showing of the uniform. "We believe we can win the World Cup. Seeing how we're No. 1 in the world, we're going into this tournament with all the confidence in the world."

Say what you will about the possibility of being perceived as arrogant, but the Women's National Team(WNT) has the hardware and stats to back it up.

In 22 years, they've won two World Cups('91 & '99), two Olympic Tournaments('96 & '04), five Algarve Cups('00, '03, '04, '05, '07), three CONCACAF Gold Cups('00, '02, '06), and since coach Greg Ryan came on board in 2004 they've compiled a record of 34-0-7. That is pretty impressive regardless of the sport or sex of the participants.

Compare that to the U.S. Men's National Team.

They're currently ranked #16, and achieved their highest ranking of #4 just last year. They're never won a World Cup, and their best result was reaching the semi-finals in 1930. Their biggest success has come in the CONCACAF Gold Cup where they've won one more gold cup('91, '02, '05, '07) than the women. However, they don't have the Olympic success or current overall record to match the women.

While donning gold jerseys might come across as being a bit cocky, it's easy to see why only one U.S. national team can really get away with it and it's not the men.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chris Benoit Was A Former Customer Of Signature Pharmacy

Back in February when I first wrote about Signature Pharmacy in Orlando being raided as part of a steroid investigation I said "stay tuned because I have a feeling that more and more athletes are going to be named in the coming weeks". At that point, L.A. Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. and Richard Rydze, a physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, were the biggest names tied to Signature Pharmacy. Since then, Jason Grimsley, Jose Canseco and Evander Holyfield had been the only other athletes tied to Signature. Until today.

It was reported today that Chris Benoit, the WWE superstar that killed his wife and child then hanged himself over the past weekend, was a customer of Signature Pharmacy.

"After learning about the tragic deaths over the weekend, we were able to confirm that professional wrestler Christopher Benoit received packages from Signature Pharmacy and MedXLife," Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said in a written statement.

It hasn't been made public yet how long Benoit was a customer of Signature, or how many "packages" he received from them. Though, it's been stated that officials knew that Signature was a steroid supplier since 2004, and they suuposedly did $40 million in business last year, so Benoit could have been involved to a large degree.

This isn't going to help Signature's case at all because a large amount of the media coverage so far has focused on whether "roid rage" caused Benoit to commit these horrible acts. Here's a sample of what the various major news outlets are reporting with regard to the Benoit tragedy:

CNN: 'Roid-rage' questions surround Benoit murder-suicide

FOXNews: Wrestler Chris Benoit Double Murder-Suicide: Was It 'Roid Rage'?

MSNBC: Cops eye 'roid rage' in wrestler's murder suicide

As you can see, the media is hitting the steroid angle pretty hard, and after asking the question of "was it 'roid rage?" they'll probably move on to "where did Benoit get his steroids?". Especially if toxicology reports come back showing large amounts of steroids in his system at the time of the murders. None of which bears well for Signature Pharmacy's founders.

Rob Dyrdek Shows Us All How To Make It Rain

I really don't know how this "Makin' It Rain" fad has seemed to just recently blow up. I could have sworn that it was being rapped about a number of years ago. Perhaps Pacman Jones' love for makin' it rain, and his subsequent arrest has catapulted its popularity. Anyway, in this clip we get to see a great of example how to "make it rain". Pro skater Rob Dyrdek won a $5,000 bet against his friend Steve Berra at this year's Tampa Pro, and true to his word, climbed on top of the halfpipe and rained down ones on the crowd below(press play and fast forward until there's about 1:40 left). Amazingly, no one was shot or injured(as far as I know). Are you taking notes Pacman?

Oh yeah, if you haven't seen the Rob & Big show on MTV you should check it out. I think it's the best thing MTV has produced TV-wise in quite a while.

Even Mickey Mouse Hates The Criminoles

Recently, Disney has been trying to crack down on what it calls "ganglike activity" taking place at its Downtown Disney attraction. In case you've never been there, it's an open space with lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Disney has a no-loitering policy in place there, though it seems like it would be somewhat difficult to enforce due to the way it's set up.

Over the past two weekends, Disney really "turned up the heat", and ended up issuing 48 warnings in that timespan. They also ejected and permanently banned 46 people during that time. It turns out that four of the people ejected and banned are top football prospects for the Florida State Seminoles.

"Walt Disney World ejected four of Florida State University's top football prospects from Downtown Disney last weekend under its anti-gang, no-loitering policy.

The four, including the son of a Disney manager and the son of a Philadelphia civil-rights lawyer, were banned for life from Disney World property late Friday.

A Disney spokeswoman said the youths were expelled because they had been loitering for an extended period and refused to leave when Disney security told them to."

The four kids are going to be seniors this fall, and have all made oral commitments to play for FSU. They are:

Vincent Williams: #10 ranked inside linebacker(

Avis Commack: #51 ranked wide receiver(

Nigel Carr: #3 ranked outside linebacker(

Nick Moody: #5 ranked safety(

While it would be easy for me to poke fun at FSU fans for their recruits getting trouble, it does sound like the Disney employees may have been engaging in some racial profiling. Per the Orlando Sentinel article:
"Three cases involved white teens. Of those, two were banned only from the Virgin Megastore and are free to return anytime to Disney. Records show the only white teen banned so far from Disney was accused of creating a disturbance outside the Planet Hollywood restaurant by loitering, arguing with Disney guards, swearing at them and refusing to leave the property."

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds because Moody's father is a civil rights attorney, and Williams' mother works for Disney. Oftentimes people complain(many times rightfully so) that athletes, and celebrities in general, don't get punished harshly enough, however in this case being an athlete that was punished harshly might serve the greater good if it's uncovered that Disney did engage in profiling, and the kids are able to return to the attraction and receive an apology.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Story Of Happy Gilmore Comes To Life

Remember Happy Gilmore? The story about a guy who loved playing hockey, but kind of sucked. Instead, he achieves success after being discovered by a handicapped former PGA pro because of his ability to drive the ball a long, long distance. Well, that handicapped pro was named "Chubbs", and he became handicapped when an alligator bit his hand off. To refresh your memory, here's a clip where Chubbs explains that an alligator bit his hand off, but he was able to pluck out one of its eyes during the attack.

Yesterday, an eerily similar situation occured in Venice, Florida.

"A Tennessee man who lost his ball in a golf course pond nearly lost a limb when an 11-foot alligator latched on to his arm and pulled him in, authorities said.

Bruce Burger, 50, was trying to retrieve his ball from a pond on the sixth hole Monday at the Lake Venice Golf Club.

The alligator latched on to Burger's right forearm and pulled him in the pond, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He used his left arm to beat on the reptile until it freed him.

"I saw him reach down to get his ball and he yelled ... 'Help. Help. I've been bitten by a gator,"' said Janet Pallo, who was playing the fifth hole and ran over to drive the man to the clubhouse.

Burger, from Lenoir City, Tenn., was taken to a hospital but was not seriously injured, Morse said Tuesday.

It took seven Fish and Wildlife officers an hour to trap the one-eyed alligator, which measured 10 feet, 11 inches, Morse said."

Damn, I guess that whole thing about life imitating art isn't far off sometimes.

Though, that gator is fortunate he didn't latch onto John Daly, or he might be getting served today with some Jack Daniels and two packs of 'grits.

Joe Scarborough Educates Us On SEC Football

Most of you probably know Joe Scarborough as the host of "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC. He's also taken over the fomer Don Imus morning timeslot with his new show "Morning Joe", and this morning he gave us all a little schooling on SEC football(if someone has the video please send me the link).

Apparently, an irate viewer had sent in an angry e-mail regarding something that had been said on the show about Germans "getting over the war". I'm not exactly sure what his point of contention was, but it's important to note that Scarborough believed that, for the most part, Germans had "gotten over the war". Then he said something to the effect of:

Do you know what the difference between Germans and Southerners is? Germans have gotten over their war. There's still a large percentage of Southerners that haven't gotten over the outcome of the Civil War, and that's why SEC football is so powerful. We(Southerners) pour everything into SEC football. Those Yankees aren't as passionate as we are. Bring Syracuse down into The Swamp and we'll whip them every time. You'll see it again this year, especially now that my man(Nick Saban) is back. Ah, I can't wait for SEC football to start back up, we should have a countdown clock for the beginning of the SEC season.

Wow. Obviously that's paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea. Scarborough does have a pretty good idea of SEC football, as he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and his law degree from the University of Florida. However, I would like to think that it's because of the athletes, facilities, training methods and coaching. Not because we wish that the outcome of the Civil War would have been different so that we could show up on Saturdays waving our Confederate flags. Ole Miss even had to go as far as to enact a Confederate flag ban, and the last title they won was an SEC one in 1963. Though, with any luck the Orgeron will return them to prominence, so that we can see him and Scarborough discuss SEC football. Now that would be powerful.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Footrace Even Homer Simpson Would Enjoy

Usually when you think about beer and sports, you probably think about enjoying a few of those tasty beverages while at a stadium watching your favorite team. Or maybe you picture yourself housing a few cold ones while cheering from the comfort of your couch. You might even try to pass yourself off as an "athlete" to others by recounting your feats while participating in some "beer league" softball games. However, what if you combined the suds with a real athletic endeavor like running two miles?

Well, that's exactly what organizers of the "Beer Belly Two" in Suamico, Wisconsin have been doing for the past 19 years. Yesterday, they put on the 19th annual race complete with the traditional in-race beer stops, and if a former sheriff is any indication it was probably a good time.

Former Brown County Sheriff Tom Hinz:
"I have participated several times in the Beer Belly Two and know it to be a family oriented activity and very helpful to various important local charitable organizations. I heartily endorse it."

I hope all those runners had rides home, sheriff.

One thing that did surprise me was that the race took place on a Sunday morning at 10:30AM. First, here in Florida I can't buy beer on Sunday before noon, but these people can engage in an event that sort of promotes public intoxication. Interesting. Second, why not a Friday or Saturday afternoon? Though, I guess that since the Packers aren't playing right now people in Wisconsin have to find other avenues of entertainment on Sunday.

I did find it somewhat funny that at least one of the participants had to use the race as an excuse to get his wife to let him drink some beers.
"This way the wife allows me to have a couple of beers because you're doing something," he said. "A little exercise, you kill two birds with one stone."

Wow, hey buddy did you find your testicles while you were out on that race course? I don't know what's worse, the fact that his wife won't let him drink beers, or that he thinks that running and drinking is a good form of exercise.

At least I know that Homer Simpson would enjoy this race, no matter what his wife said.

"Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose. It's how drunk you get."

Thou Shalt Not Play Yahtzee With Another Man's Significant Other

While this does fall a bit outside of the mainstream sports, some people can get pretty worked up over their boardgames. In case this, that enthusiasm led to a stabbing death over a game of Yahtzee.

In case you don't know what Yahtzee is(your grandma is probably gambling her social security checks away playing it right now!), Wikipedia breaks it down like this:

"The object of the game is to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make one of the thirteen possible scoring combinations. A game of Yahtzee consists of thirteen rounds during which the player chooses which scoring combination is to be used in that round. Once a combination has been used in the game, it cannot be used again.

Each of the scoring combinations has a different point value, some of which are fixed values and others of which have the cumulative value of the dice. A Yahtzee is a five-of-a-kind and holds the game's highest point value of 50."

Now that you have a general idea of what game was being played, let's move on to the stabbing.

Apparently, Mark Kelvin Allen was playing Yahtzee with his friend's, Reuben Barnett, girlfriend. An argument over the game arose, and Barnett's girlfriend went into the bedroom where Barnett was and closed the door. Allen wasn't going to let that stop him so he "kicked the door off its hinges", and went in a stabbed Barnett twice in the abdomen.

Wow, that must have been some game of Yahtzee, if it makes you kick down a door and stab someone twice, leading to their death. Not even Joey Porter and Levi Jones took it that far during their cardgame altercation.

Marion Jones Might Have To Sell Some Of Her Gold Medals

Back in 2000, female track star Marion Jones seemed to have it all. She won five(3 gold and 2 bronze) medals at the summer Olympics in Sydney, and had won numerous events and set a variety of records. She had reached a point where she was earning "between $70,000 and $80,000 a race, plus at least another $1 million from race bonuses and endorsement deals".

All that is gone now, as the Los Angeles Times discovered during a recent review of court documents. According to them, Jones is "down to a bank balance of about $2,000". That's a long way away from the Marion Jones who used to live near Michael Jordan in a $2.5 million home. That house was foreclosed on by Jones' bank, and she's also been forced to sell her mother's home in order to raise money for court judgments.

Having BALCO founder Victor Conte state that he personally gave her illegal performance enhancing drugs hasn't helped Jones. Neither did the counterfeit check scheme that she was allegedly involved in with her track coach Steven Riddick.

While it is sad to see someone who at one point had it all, fall so far. You can't help but feel that Jones brought it on herself because of her involvement with BALCO, Charlie Francis, and many signs that point to alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. Hopefully she can get everything in order before she's forced to sell one of her gold medals. Possibly one of the last things she has to remind her of what it was like to be on top.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Chicago Cubs Still Want You To Have Your Michael Barrett Memorabilia

When the Chicago Cubs traded Michael Barrett this past week they left themselves with an interesting dilemma. What to do with a couple thousand Michael Barrett bobbleheads and jerseys that were to be given away before the game on July 1.

Well, have no fear Barrett fans, the Cubs still plan to give the memorabilia away, though there's no word on whether a punching Zambrano bobblehead will accompany them.

"Fans hoping to collect a Barrett bobblehead on July 1, or a Barrett home jersey on Tuesday will be able to do so. The Cubs are not changing the promotions."

Sweet, so you can get a jersey and not have to worry about how long the player is going to stay with the team because he's already gone! It's almost like the Cubs have planned ahead for you. And you thought they only made decisions that ruined the future.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tank Johnson, Craving Some More Of That Jailhouse Jerky

While Tank Johnson was serving his time in the clink it became known that he very much enjoyed eating junk food. Especially beef jerky. You would think that after serving his two months he would realize how unpleasant county lockup is. However, it seems that Tank has a craving for some more of those beef sticks, and he'll do whatever it takes to get them. Including, possibly heading back to jail.

Friday morning, at 3:30AM, Johnson was pulled over in Arizona for doing 40mph in a 25mph zone. Police suspected that he was driving impaired so they took a blood sample.

Police in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert said Johnson was stopped for driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone at 3:30 a.m. Friday and the officer made observations that led him to believe Johnson was impaired.

Sgt. Andrew Duncan, a police spokesman, said Johnson was arrested for "DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree" but was released without being booked or charged.

Duncan said Johnson was taken to the Gilbert police station, where officials drew blood for a blood-alcohol content test before his release. He described Johnson as "very cooperative."

Whether or not Johnson was only "slightly impaired"(what the hell does that even mean anyway?), doesn't really matter. Any evidence of him driving under the influence won't make commissioner Roger Goodell a happy man, and Johnson's 8 game suspension could be increased. Goodell had stated that Johnson's half-season suspension could be reduced to six games if he had "no further involvement with law enforcement", but that seems unlikely now.

So now we get to wait and see what Johnson's BAC level was, and what type of charges the police in Arizona decided to pursue. After all, doing 40mph in a 25mph zone isn't exactly a light charge. Oh well, at least Tank can look forward to getting some more of his favorite junk food, including all the jailhouse jerky he can handle.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Summer Vacation Edition

Since it's Friday, 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.

This week's "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" post comes with a little summer vacation style. Yesterday was the first day of summer, and as the beautiful days roll bye with you stuck in your cubicle filing TPS reports your mind can't help but wander.

Imagine drinking champagne on a speed boat with hot chicks surrounded by money in the Florida Keys. Or, maybe cruisin' in a convertible Mercedes with some friends is more your style. How about renting a badass vacation house that comes with its own mermaids swimming in a giant tank that you can see by looking at the wall inside the house? All the while, you're dressed to the nines, complete with a pimpcane and being waited on by a butler. And when the cops show up you get away scott free.

Well, while you were dreaming about it, Notorious B.I.G and P-Diddy did it, set it to a catchy track, and made millions.

Enjoy the start of your summer, and happy friday!

It's Hard Out There For A Punter

I don't know what it is about punters, but in recent years it seems like they haven't been able to stay out of trouble.

Todd Sauerbrun had his problems related to steroids. Mitch Cozad, a backup punter on the Northern Colorado football team, stabbed the starting punter, Rafael Mendoza, in his kicking leg last year.

And now, former NFL punter, Rick Tuten, has been arrested and charged with reselling stolen goods. Apparently, he bought various items, including two stolen ATV's and two stolen flat-screen televisions(he was told on the phone with the police listening that they were stolen), with the intent of reselling them in Georgia. Police said that Tuten had received about $30,000 worth of stolen goods.

I was curious to see exactly how much Tuten had made during his 11 years in the NFL. I wanted to know if he was more destitute or lazy. However, it's pretty damn difficult to come up with any solid salary information for a punter in the NFL. Though, in 1996 he did make $300k. I'm guessing that in the years surrounding '96 he was probably paid similar amounts.

I was able to look up his house information thanks to the news including his address in the story. Apparently he owns the house with another man by the name of Will Petenbrink. It's 3 bedrooms/2 baths, close to 2400sqft and was recently appraised at $241k. Nothing too interesting unless it turns out that Tuten is the punter and Petenbrink is the receiver. Though, if asked about that Tuten will probably have the same response as he did when asked about the stolen property, "I don't know anything about anything."

Treadmills, The Bane Of Dean Karnazes' Existence

Beginning on Thursday at midnight, and lasting for 24 hours, ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes attempted to break the world treadmill record of 153.76 miles. He fell short, running only 131 miles which is equal to five marathons. It was Karnazes' second attempt at breaking a world treadmill record, and the second time that he's failed to do so.

Back on April 30, 2004 he competed against ultramarathoner Christopher Bergland inside a Kiehl's store as they both attempted to break the record at that time of 153.6 miles set by Edit Berces of Hungary. Bergland beat Karnazes by setting the current record(Erwin Valdebenito of Chile supposedly broke it this past April with 153.9 miles, but that's unconfirmed), while Karnazes stopped at 147.96 miles.

Now, three years later, he's tried to beat Bergland again, and has failed to do so. Though, his accomplishments are still impressive given that he ran when he was younger, gave up running for 15 years, then started again after celebrating his 30th birthday at a bar. Think about all those beers and Jagerbombs you consumed on your last birthday, then imagine running 30 miles after that.

"According to a profile in Wired Magazine, Karnazes traces his current passion for running to the night of his 30th birthday, when, while celebrating at a bar with friends, he found himself "being hit on by an attractive woman who was not his wife." Karnazes felt ill, slipped out the back door, walked to his house, changed into running clothes , and started running. After 30 miles of running he was near Santa Cruz where he realized that there were "untapped reservoirs within him." He described this moment as being akin to a religious conversion."

Although, it's probably a good thing that Bergland is an American, or else Karnazes might call the State Department on him. For all of the great running feats that Karnazes has accomplished, he was involved in a very odd incident in 2002. This followed the running of the South Pole Marathon where Irishman Richard Donovan had been proclaimed the winner.
"Karnazes was dissatisfied with the outcome and had a falling out with Donovan. Karnazes contacted the Department of State to report that Donovan was “a non-U.S. resident acting aggressively and potentially with malicious intent toward a U.S. citizen.”

The State Department? Doesn't Karnazes know that in this day and age a call like that could have landed Donovan in a cell at Gitmo? Geez, he should have just challenged him to a race, as long as it wasn't on a treadmill.

Vince Young Is What's Right With The NFL

I'll admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of Vince Young. I can't say exactly why that was because as a college football fan I certainly respected all that he was able to accomplish at UT. However, for some reason I never really liked him, though I didn't exactly hate him either. Recently, though I've begun to like him more and more.

It started during this past season when he seemed to emerge as a leader on the Tennessee Titans. He felt slighted when the Texans passed on him, and he turned what appeared to be a chip on his shoulder into a point of motivation. And what appeared to be some showboating at the end of his overtime winning TD run against the Texans was really just Vince showing his fans some love in a stadium that he grew up six miles from.

The most recent thing that Young has done to make me more of a fan of his is to speak out about Pacman Jones and his brushes with the law. If he wants to be the leader of an NFL team he needs to be vocal, and do his best to keep his team on the right track. On Thursday, Young took another step towards being that leader.

Young was asked during a minicamp session Thursday if he was concerned about Jones, who’s been told to turn himself in to Las Vegas authorities to face two felony charges.

“We love him a whole lot, but we feel like he don’t care about us right now,” Young said.

“He’s got to stay out of trouble and watch his back out there,” Young said.

No Vince, he doesn't care about you guys right now. His actions forced your team to find other options at the cornerback position, where they ultimately had to sign two guys to fill his spot.

For once it's nice to see an NFL player voice an opinion over what's right and wrong, unlike Clinton Portis' comments regarding Michael Vick's alleged involvement in dog fighting a few weeks ago. If Young keeps it up he'll have a fan in me after all.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Dolphins Sure Are Doing Their Best To Screw Their Fans

With the decisions that the Miami Dolphins have made over the past few months you would think that they just went undefeated, and won another Super Bowl trophy. However, with them coming off of a 6-10 season where some newly acquired pieces never really fell into place, you have to wonder if they even want the fans to show up to Dolphin Stadium this season. Let's recap some of decisions that have upset the Dolphin faithful:

March: Trade Wes Welker to the Patriots. Welker was not only a good returner, but he had also turned out to be a pretty good receiver. In addition to that, he had become a fan favorite in South Florida. Trading him away, especially to a division rival, didn't sit well with a lot of fans.

March-June: Screw around with the Trent Green deal. Early in the offseason it became apparent that Miami was interested in Green. I fully understand that they didn't want to overpay for him, but at some point you have to realize that it's likely your two starting quarterbacks from the previous season aren't going to be with the team. The sooner he gets signed, the quicker he gets accustomed to the system and the rest of the team. If he truly is the guy that can help you win games, then bumping up the offer just a bit isn't that big of a deal.

April: Pass on Brady Quinn to draft Ted Ginn Jr. Sure, some "experts" said that Quinn's arm strength wasn't all that great, and that he seemed to disappear in "big games". However, new coach Cam Cameron could have given the Dolphins a new face for their organization by drafting Quinn after he basically fell into their lap. Here's a team that's been struggling to find a QB to build a team around for seven years. Drafting Quinn, at the very least, sends a message to the fans that you're doing everything you can to find the next Dan Marino. Drafting Ginn says that you should have kept Welker.

February-June: Losing a home game to London. On the surface, promoting the NFL to international audiences seems like a great idea. However, many Dolphins fans weren't happy that they lost a home game this season. Though, some team was going to have to be first, and it just turned out to be the Dolphins and Giants. Yet, instead of making everything as smooth as possible, Miami Dolphins' officials have announced that any season ticket holders that purchase tickets to the game in London must show their I.D. when they go to pick them up at Wembley Stadium. That might not sound like a big deal, but the fans aren't happy with it because the same policy isn't enacted for other games, such as the Super Bowl.

Here are a few quotes from Miami Dolphins season ticket holders, the core audience that Miami sells to:

"It's bad enough they're taking a home game away from us — now you've got to pick them up in person?" Mike Dean said. "Let's say I got ill when it came time to go. What if I want to give my tickets to you? I can't give them to you. I have to go on my deathbed?"

"I can win Super Bowl tickets in a lottery and sell those. They allow that," Kathy Harmon said. "For example, with the Super Bowl, we're in a lottery. A lot of people take it [and re-sell the tickets] so they can finance next year's season tickets. Why would they protect somebody for this and not for the Super Bowl?"

And I'm sure that those opinions do reflect a number of others. It's a shame that a team that had such high expectations leading into last season has led their fans to hoping that they don't screw up too badly anymore.

How To Create A Superstar Athlete? Combine 1 Part PGA Golfer, 1 Part NASCAR Driver And 2 Parts Supermodel

Yesterday's birth of Jeff Gordon's daughter might not have garnered quite as much press as the birth of Tiger Woods' son daughter(I'm an idiot) on Monday, but it was very important nonetheless.

You see, the opportunity that we have before us could very well affect sports, even the entire world for years to come. Imagine a racecar driving, golf playing phenom that can dominate the opposition, and has equally stunning physical features. Well, that's what you would get if the son daughter of Tiger and the daughter of Jeff Gordon came together to produce a sort of superhuman.

Seriously, look at the stats for each dad.

Tiger's won 12 major championships, he's the only active golfer in the top 10 in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins and he's been ranked #1 in the world for both the most consecutive weeks and total weeks.

Jeff Gordon has 79 wins in the NASCAR Nextel Series, he's won the NASCAR championship 4 times and he recently passed Dale Earnhardt for 6th place on the all-time wins list.

Now take a look at the mothers.

Tiger's wife, Elin Nordegren, is a Swedish model.

Jeff Gordon's wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, is a Belgian supermodel.

There's little doubt that the children of Tiger and Jeff will turn out to be gorgeous and talented people. Think about if all that talent and beauty was wrapped up into a single individual. They would be a marketing company's dream. Heck, they could probably even run for president with no political experience, and win on looks and charisma alone. And that's the kind of thing I'm talking about, a person who betters everyone with the decisions they make. That could very well be the combination of Sam Alexis Woods and Ella Sofia Gordon. All we need are some test tubes, race fuel and golf tees.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The "Hogan" Is Good, But The Human Bowling Ball Gets Them Everytime

This past Monday, rain delayed a game between the Alexandria Beetles and the Rochester Honkers(birds not boobs, unfortunately), and the players decided to entertain the crowd while they were waiting.

Video: From The "Hogan" To The Human Bowling Ball

The "Hogan" at the beginning of the clip is a surefire way to hype up the crowd, but the human bowling ball towards the end gets them everytime. I still can't believe that he was able to make that one pin hop across the others for the strike. That's some Roy Munson style bowling right there.

It's Like Tumbling For Grown Ups

Ten days ago, the first ever "parcouring world championships" were held in Munich. If you're unfamiliar with "parcouring", the goal is to "overcome obstacles by running in a straight line against the clock". Contestants are judged on the time it takes to complete the course, as well as the acrobatic moves they utilize when running through it.

Click Here For AP Video.

The video makes it seem rather boring, and the voice over guy tends to make you think you're watching a meaningless tennis match. Other than that, though I'm sure it's great fun! Oh yeah, and the woman who won her division, or whatever they call it, had just started "parcouring" the day before the event. Seriously, how difficult can something be when someone who has done it for less than 24 hours wins the whole event? Somehow I fully expect Sam Woods to do something similar.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

College Recruits, We Get Older But They Stay The Same Age(Or Get Younger)

For the second year in a row, the University of Southern California has locked up a talented eight-grade prospect. Yes, that's right, Tim Floyd went all to "Catch A Predator" again and sweet talked Ryan Boatwright, a kid who hasn't even played a game on a high school court. Oh, what's that, you didn't realize that Tim Floyd was the middle school version of a "basketball predator"? Well, last year he persuaded Dwayne Polee Jr. to give him a little oral commitment. I guess someone's going to have to tell Floyd that he has to re-register as a predator since he moved from New Orleans. Chris Hansen is a good option.

Seeing as how two eighth-graders have committed to playing college basketball in the past two years, and how competitive recruiting has become, I thought it would be a good idea to examine some of the other prospects that could be committing in the upcoming months. So, here are five recruits that are currently terrorizing the sandbox, swingset and recess street hoops games.

Jonathan Moses, 6th grade, 5'10"/135lbs. Prospective colleges: Florida, Washington, Duke. Moses is a gifted "big man". He already dwarfs most of his classmates at close to six feet tall, and he never gets picked last in any pickup games. He has to improve his footwork, and work on quitting sucking his thumb between timeouts. Florida is the leading candidate because they believe that they've found a player with Joakim Noah's..ahem.."skills".

Donnie "Double QP" Walters, 7th grade, 5'3"/155lbs. Prospective colleges: St. John's, Syracuse, Pittsburgh. Walters is the definitive "lane clogger". Hell, he's been clogging school toilets since 2nd grade. His conditioning is poor, and he doesn't have a very good jumpshot. However, he can box out and bang down low with the best of them, and his ability to snatch rebounds is impressive given the amount of weight he has to move. St. John's is the current leader in the recruiting race due to Manhattan having the highest concentration of McDonald's in the world. Yeah, that "QP" stands for quarter pounder, a staple of Donnie's diet.

Winston "Wrist Rocket" Madison, 5th grade, 4'9"/80lbs. Prospective colleges: Duke, Texas A&M, Ohio State. Madison has excellent court vision, and supreme passing skills. He's garnered the "Wrist Rocket" nickname because of the way he can thread the needle with passes during one recess session, and then knock out the entire class in dodgeball during the next one. He's also got good quickness, and can take every challenger he's faced off the dribble. Though, he's only competed against a pretty weak selection of private school opponents. Duke is favored to grab him because of his equally impressive academic achievements, and his propensity to drink too much apple cider, pop the collar on his Polo shirt, and drive his Little Tykes Hummer H2. Welcome to Durham, J.J. Redick Jr.!

Jermaine Jordan, 8th grade, 5'5"/125lbs. Prospective colleges: UNC, Texas, Arizona. Jordan is the consumate slasher/scorer, and his career average to date of 18ppg reflects that. He can take opponents off the dribble, and utilizes screens and picks effectively. He can be lazy on the defensive end at times, and relies on his athletic ability too much instead of sharpening his skills as a defender. Because of his last name he draws obvious comparisons to MJ. UNC is in the lead because they see a future "Air Jordan".

James "Old Man" Olsen, 5th grade, 5'9"/130lbs. Prospective colleges: Ohio State, LSU, UMass. Yes, that's Olsen's class photo from 5th grade. He can post-up down low, and has enough mobility to move in and out of the paint with the ball. He also has to shave twice a day. Ohio State is currently leading the recruiting battle due to their strength in recruiting players that look 50 years older than they actually are.

So there you have it. Just a few of the recruits that you could see signed by D-1 schools in the next few months as the recruiting wars heat up. However, the colleges better be careful not get caught up by Chris Hansen.

I'm Chris Hansen with NBC Dateline, exactly what were you looking for by coming here...

Bengals Fans Just Aren't Having A Good Year

This past weekend, another Cincinnati Bengals player was arrested, the 10th this offseason, and this morning, the decision to dismiss a lawsuit pertaining to the financing of Paul Brown Stadium was upheld.

Back in 1996, "voters approved a half-cent sales tax hike for the $450 million Paul Brown Stadium". However, an anti-trust suit was filed in 2003 claiming that taxpayers and officials had been forced into approving the funding with the threat of the Bengals leaving Cincinnati if a new stadium wasn't built.

The problem is that there is a four year statue of limitations attached to cases like that, and the suit was filed three years too late. It was dismissed without county officials' being able to state their case that they were "victimized by monopoly power".

In his ruling, Judge Jeffrey Sutton said:

"The only thing worse than having a losing team is having no team-- no team for the community and its political leaders to support and no reason to say: 'There's always next year.'"

What about a team that's had close to 1/5 of its players arrested? I'm sure that some Bengals fans wish they didn't have a team this offseason, and if the arrests keep up they might not have a team to field "next year". Unless the fans feel like making a visit to the county lockup. With any luck, Judge Sutton will have some of those Bengals players make appearances in his court so he can tell them how great they are no matter if they're winning, losing, driving under the influence, puking out of car windows or being drunk and disorderly.

A Darkhorse Candidate For The Nathan's 4th Of July Contest

I don't ever remember there being this much fanfare leading up to the Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog contest.

First, undisputed champ Takeru Kobayashi's mother passed away, and it was unknown whether he was going to participate in this year's event. Don't worry, he'll be there.

Then, Joey Chestnut, who actually led Kobayashi for much of last year's contest, broke Kobayashi's hot dog eating record at a satellite contest in Arizona.

Now, a new challenger by the name of Juliet Lee, a 107-pound woman originally from China, has entered into the fray by eating 26 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Her reason for success differs a little from some of the other competitors that concentrate on training.

"Lee said she grew up in China and was often hungry. Now, she's making up for it."

Yeah, eating chinese usually has that same effect on me, though I don't consume massive quantities of hot dogs to quell my hunger. However, if it helps her beat Chestnut and Kobayashi, then it's worked out well for her.

I haven't been able to track down the odds for all of the competitive eaters, though I did hear that right now Chestnut is the favorite with Kobayashi a close second. It will be interesting to see what odds Lee gets, and she could make a great longshot winner candidate.

Sonny Jurgensen Voices His Opinion On The Past And Present NFL

Recently, former NFL quarterback Sonny Jurgensen had an interview with Andrea Adelson at the Orlando Sentinel as part of their "State of Hall of Famers" series, and he had some interesting things to say about the past and present state of the NFL.

Currently, one of the biggest issues being addressed by the NFL is player health, and how concussions are dealt with. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has even gone as far as to mandate baseline neuropsychological tests, and to order all team medical personnel to attend seminars related to concussion detection and treatment. As an example of exactly how far the league has had to go to make changes, here's what Jurgensen said about how concussions were handled when he played:

"They didn't have concussions in my day," Jurgensen says. "You were dinged. You went to the sidelines, and the doctor would hold up three fingers and say, 'How many fingers do you see?' You always said 'three' because that's how many he'd always hold up."

Without fail, the doctor sent the players back onto the field after answering the question correctly. "Do you know how many times I had my lights put out?" Jurgensen says. "It's just a different game. A completely different game."

At first, the idea of always holding up three fingers sounds humorous until you realize that these guys were punishing their bodies game in and game out, and the very people employed to help them weren't doing anything of the sort. It's exactly why an organization like "Gridiron Greats" is so adamant about getting assistance for former players.

Jurgensen also had an interesting view on how the league has changed over the years. Especially with regard to the young guys when they first come into the NFL<*cough*PacMan*cough*>:
"It was a privilege to be able to play professional football," he says. "I played 18 years and did something I enjoyed doing. It isn't that way anymore. It's an entitlement now. Guys come in the league, they get more money showing up for camp than I made in 18 years."

I guess it's safe to assume that Jurgensen never made it "rain", though with his arm strength it would have been more like "making it deluge".

Also, Jurgensen doesn't like the fact that much of the playcalling is being done by a guy in a booth indulging in stadium food:
"To give an example, it's third-and-10," Jurgensen says. "I need to make a play. What play am I going to call? I am going to call a play that I have confidence in. What is the coach calling? Is he calling something he likes?

"This is the crucial part of the game and this guy up in the booth having a hot dog and a Coke is calling the play instead of me? I don't like that."

Although, I think Sonny may have just assumed all coaches were like that. Bill Parcells actually called the plays on the field, and he ate a Cowboy Cheese Steak while housing Budweisers.
And steroids? Jurgensen said they weren't as prevalent when he played, and that the drug of choice was speed.
"The guys would congregate in this locker in the back," Jurgensen says. "I knew what they were doing. I'd see a guy walking to the water fountain with his hand cupped, and I'd go over and hit his hand and they'd come out on the floor. I'd go, 'Have a good game!'"

Unfortunately, if someone were to do that today they would probably get shot by someone's posse in the parking lot after the game.

Jurgensen's interview really gives a good insight into how far the NFL has come in certain respects, and how far it's seemingly regressed in others. It is a shame that some of the younger players seem to feel entitled to something just because they play pro football, and it's good to hear that former players don't appreciate it whatsoever. Hopefully the league will listen to them on a variety of subjects ranging from player health and benefits to personal conduct, and the NFL can shake off the bad press that it's accumulated in recent times.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Rockstar Edition

Since it's Friday, 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.

Today's "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Post" comes early courtesy of Tony Sinclair and the goodness that is Tanqueray Rangpur(do I want to Tanqueray? You don't have to ask me twice!). When it's still coursing through your veins at 8AM you know what it feels like to be a rockstar. So, in tribute we salute AC/DC and all of their years of hard rocking. Complete with kick ass bagpipes!

It is indeed harder than it looks.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

UCF Unveils New "This Is Sparta" Logo

Ok, so the movie "300" wasn't based around knights, but UCF unveiled a new logo earlier this summer(buy your new merch today broke college students!) that had a "300"-esque change about it.

First, UCF dropped the word "Golden" from their "Golden Knights" moniker. That's pretty appropriate given that everyone I ever talked to about UCF athletics(yes, all 3 of them) had no idea where the "Golden" part came from. Sure, the armor that "Knightro"(official name for the mascot) wears is gold colored, but it always sounded a little femme. Taking a mascot like a knight, and adding a color like pink or purple or rainbow in front of it instantly reduces its intimidation factor. It's nice to see that UCF decided to "butch it up" a little bit.

Second, they replaced that stupid jousting pole with a sword. Yes, this is the "300" part that I was referring to earlier. Seriously, a jousting pole? In any knight related movie I've ever seen the knights joust until one of them gets knocked off the horse. Then they continue to do battle with real weapons like maces or swords. The jousting pole is like the pocket protector of the knight world. It's useful, but you really don't ever want to use it. Besides, I don't ever recall seeing "Knightro" with a jousting pole on the field trying to hype up the crowd. He always carried a sword, and it's about time he used it in the logo as well. Though, I don't know how intimidating a knight wearing a golden suit of armor can be, even with a sword. On second thought, maybe they should have gone with a sword and a mace.

Famous Athletes That Excelled In Sports Other Than What They Play Professionally

Some of you may have seen the new LeBron James commercial that features footage of him playing football in high school. That's right, LeBron was pretty heavily recruited to play football before he decided to commit 100% to b-ball. He's not the only professional athlete that excelled in a sport other than what he turned pro in.

I had hoped to track down footage of numerous examples of this, but it seems that the video results for those searches were rather limited. I am surprised that I couldn't track down examples of players like Terrell Owens or Antonio Gates playing basketball. Or numerous NFL players winning track races. However, I did find three videos that showcase the talents of some athletes in sports other than the ones they're being paid to play today.

LeBron James, Football

Allen Iverson, Football

Ronald Curry & Julius Peppers, Basketball

If you have any other video examples please post them up in the comments for everyone to take a look at.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mike Tyson Wishes They Had This Policy When He Was Locked Up

Today, a female thai boxer was released on parole after she won the world light-flyweight title. In a "prison yard bout".

Samson Sor Siriporn, Thailand's first female boxing world champion, was released three years early after she beat Japan’s Ayaka Miyano. And she responded like any great champion should, by telling the haters that she doesn't care about them.

“Thanks for those who supported a convict like me,” Siriporn said at a press conference after her release. “Some may not agree but I don’t care. I am happy that there are people willing to support me. I like to thank all the officials as well.”

It is unfortunate that she forgot to thank her corner that consisted of inmate Dufresne and guard Hadley. Just think about how many athletes wouldn't have had their careers shortened by a pesky jail sentence.

Obviously there's Tyson, who wouldn't have had to spend those three years locked up. Darryl Strawberry probably could have avoided some of his legal woes by beating other convicted individuals in a homerun derby. Strawberry's former teammate Dwight Gooden could have even helped out in exchange for a lighter sentence. This sounds like something a successful presidential candidate should support, or at the very least a crazy one.

James Toney and Danny Batchelder, Bringing Twice The Amount Of 'Roids Into The Ring

Back on May 24, James Toney beat Danny Batchelder by split decision in a heavyweight match. Today it was revealed that Toney tested positive for boldenone and stanazolol. Now, you might feel like calling Toney a cheater until you hear that Batchelder also tested positive for steroids(stanazolol and oxandolone).

Armando Garcia, executive officer of the California Athletic Commission, said that both fighters face a one year suspension and a $2,500 fine, and that both have the right to an appeal. He also said that the results of the match would count. Which I guess is appropriate since both fighters were juiced when they stepped into the ring.

However, it does bring up an interesting question regarding sports and steroids. If it were discovered in a sport like baseball that two individuals, say a pitcher and a hitter, were using steroids, should all of their records except the ones from when they went head-to-head be thrown out? In other words, the stats they racked up against clean individuals that didn't have the steroid "advantage" get tossed, but the ones they compiled against other steroid users stay. Or should everything get tossed out because they cheated in the first place?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

No, Those Aren't Gymnasts Making Your 2008 Olympics Gear They're Child Laborers

The Olympics sure have been taking some hits over the past few months. The 2012 Olympics have been blasted over their seizure inducing logo, and now the 2008 Olympics are receiving heat because some of the licensed products being made for the event are coming from child laborers in south China.

Investigators said that they found four factories in south China, who have been contracted to produce Olympic merchandise, using child laborers as young as 12 years old, and forcing other workers to work long hours for less than minimum wage. The organizing committee in charge of the Olympics has threatened to cancel the contract of any factory found practicing unsafe labor conditions.

Surprisingly, I haven't heard too much of an uproar over this discovery. Personally, I think that's an indication of how much people don't really care that much about the Olympics anymore. Though, maybe it's because the Beijing games are still a year away.

If they really want to make sure nothing happens they should put Kathy Lee Gifford on the case. Though, Dave Chappelle would be a far better choice if they wanted to run those factories efficiently.

Forget The 'Roids! Bring On The Blow!

Sure, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire might have tainted their sport, but they've got nothing on Canadian wheelchair racer Jeff Adams.

Adams, a decorated Paralympian who won five medals(2 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze) at the 2000 Olympics, tested positive for cocaine last year during an "in-competition test" at the wheelchair marathon championships in Ottawa.

Testing positive for drugs is not something new in the sports world. In fact, I'm pretty sure that at one point Darryl Strawberry was sprinkling cocaine on his Wheaties like it was powdered sugar. Adams' "excuses" regarding the positive test, however are a bit new, to me at least.

His first "defense" was that it was due to a contaminated catheter. This sounds fairly reasonable. Perhaps a nurse who was in charge of changing it hung out with Lindsay Lohan the night before, and came straight from a car wreck party.

The second and third "defenses" came via Adams' lawyer, Tim Danson, and were that "cocaine is not prohibited out-of-competition and has no performance enhancing qualities".

That's right, apparently cocaine use among wheelchair athletes is perfectly fine as long as you're not snorting the nose candy right before the race. Adams' lawyer added to this by stating that "the banned substance was not in Adams’ system at the time of the race". So, before the race is a no go, but afterwards, especially if you've won, you can party it up like you're best friends with Tony Montana.

Also, I would personally rather race a sober wheelchair racer than a coked up one. I don't know if Danson has ever seen "Murderball", but facing any of those guys after they've gotten on the white horse is not something high(pun very much intended) on my list of things to do.

Mike Ditka, Laying Out The X's and O's For Retired Football Players

Mike Ditka has joined the fight for getting retired NFL players better healthcare coverage and retirement benefits. A number of retired players have debilitating injuries that require extensive surgeries and numerous medications. As the system stands right now it can be an arduous process to get even a little assistance. Ditka was asked to help by former Green Bay Packers player Jerry Kramer, who started the Gridiron Greats organization in order to help retired NFL plauyers.

Ditka admits that he doesn't have all of the answers, though his theory that the fans wouldn't oppose a $1 increase in ticket prices if the money went to help retired players and not to the owners probably isn't too far off. Seeing him speak you can understand why he was a good coach, and why many people still love him to this day. Sure, he might have the reputation of being short-tempered, and that Ricky Williams trade wasn't the best move, but when he talks you can't help but listen.

Monday, June 11, 2007

J.J. Redick Destroys NBA Superstar Jeff Burton In A Game Of "Horse"

Oh, you haven't heard of the NBA superstar Jeff Burton? Maybe that's because he drives a car in the NASCAR series. Though, that didn't stop Orlando guard J.J. Redick from throwing down on him in a game of "horse".

Actually, the game of "horse" was modified into a game of "DAYTONA" since it was part of a promotion(press release here) for the upcoming Pepsi 400 race at Daytona International Speedway. By all accounts Redick unsurprisingly beat Burton, though Burton did manage to give Redick a "D". However, it seems that Redick took this game pretty seriously as he was dunking as part of his shot selection.

"When Redick dunked or nailed a deep three-pointer, Burton wisely surrendered his option to Magic community-relations ambassador Nick Anderson."

Ok, I can understand shooting three-pointers, but dunking? Come on, Burton is a 5'7" NASCAR driver. You can see the difference in height between him and the 6'4" Redick in these photos of the event.

Though, with the limited minutes he played during his rookie season I guess Redick's got to showcase his skills at all times. As long as they were keeping him from drinking some white wine spritzers, and climbing behind the wheel of one of those NASCARs I would consider this promotion a success. And, as always, welcome to Orlando J.J.!

Orlando Magic Season Ticket Holders Offered Refund In The Wake Of Donovan Fiasco

Today the Orlando Magic took another step in trying to erase any memory that Billy Donovan was their coach for just a few hours. The Magic offered refunds to any individuals that purchased season tickets within 48 hours of the announcement that Donovan was the new head coach. Team officials stated that more than 200 ticket packages had been bought within that timeframe, though they didn't disclose how many people had asked for a refund.

Looking at the Magic's ticket site the cheapest package available is $450 for the entire season. So, the cheapest package with a minimum of 200 packages being bought would equal $90,000 in refunds. Obviously, not every buyer is going to ask for a refund, but every package purchased probably wasn't the cheapest either. It's probably safe to assume that Orlando is looking at at least $90k in lost revenue.

It would be interesting to find out exactly how many refunds are granted because of Donovan deciding to go back Florida. That would be a decent barometer of how much faith the fans have in new head coach(at least this week) Stan Van Jeremy(pornstache yeah!).

Bjorn Borg's Grass-Court Match Streak Ended By Wolf

Bjorn Borg was scheduled to play an exhibition match this week against 1987 Wimbledon champ Pat Cash, but had to withdraw due to a dog bite injury by a German shephard named Wolf. Apparently, the German shephard and Borg's golden retriever, Lipton, got into a fight, and Borg was bitten as he was trying to break them up.

Borg's streak had been active for the past 26 years. Until June of last year, Borg had held the consecutive win streak on grass-courts with 41 in a row. Roger Federer broke that when he beat Richard Gasquet in the first round of Wimbeldon in '06.

Borg released this statement regarding him being forced to withdraw:

“I’m so disappointed that I cannot play at Liverpool,” Borg said on the tournament Web site. “I’ve been really looking forward to this event and have been practicing hard for four months to get ready.”

No word on if he sent the German shephard to see Michael Vick.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

As Long As He Doesn't Imitate Maradona's Eating Habits Or Drug Use He Should Be Ok

Lionel Messi, a midfielder/striker for Barcelona's first team, has been called Diego Maradona's "successor" by even Maradona himself. Yesterday, he took that comparison to a new level.

During Argentina's quarter-final match against England in the 1986 World Cup, Maradona cut to the goal and got to the ball before goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Maradona hit the ball with his left hand, and knocked it into the net without the referee having seen the illegal touch. It has subsequently been named "The Hand of God" goal.

Yesterday against rival Espanyol, Messi sprinted towards the goal, jumped for an attempted header and knocked the ball into the net with his left hand. The referee in his match did not see the illegal touch either. His goal has been dubbed "The Hand of God: Volume 2".

For comparison, Maradona's goal is first, and Messi's follows.

And, one of the reasons Messi has been compared to Maradona is his "replication" of Maradona's "Goal Of The Century". Once again, Maradona's is first and Messi's follows.

Avery Atkins, Proof That Talent Isn't Everything

In 2005, Avery Atkins was a talented recruit who had committed to play football for Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. He stepped onto the practice field that spring as a top 10 nationally ranked cornerback recruit, ready to contribute immediately on defense and special teams.

Throughout 2005, he contributed heavily on the special teams unit, and when given the chance to start against Florida State he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. He was expected to challenge for a starting cornerback role on the eventual national champion team of '06, but problems with the mother of his child in Daytona Beach and run-ins with the law lead to him asking for, and being granted, a release from the team.

Since then he had been arrested three times. Twice for domestic battery and once for felony aggravated battery. Last night, he was arrested for the fourth time, on charges of "possession of a stolen firearm, possession of cannabis under 20 grams, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia". Atkins had re-enrolled at Florida in January with the hopes of returning to the team, but that second chance seems all but gone.

Here is a player that, had he stayed out of trouble, would have SEC and National Championship rings. Would currently be competing for a cornerback position on a team that lost its two starting cornerbacks. And, would be having his coverage skills, which are impressive, showcased to NFL scouts on a high profile team in a high profile conference. Atkins is the prime example of someone who has the talent to beat most opponents, but can't seem to get past his biggest opponent, himself.

Chad Johnson Beats Horse, Ready To Take On The Entire Sports World

Last Saturday I posted about Chad Johnson racing a horse for charity. Yesterday was the big day, and Ocho Cinco won by more than just a nose. He easily beat the horse, and during his comments afterwards said that he wanted to take on other athletes at the top of their respective sports. Floyd Mayweather in boxing, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in basketball, etc. At the very least, it would be entertaining to watch some of those match-ups. Here's footage of the race courtesy of Black Sports Online via the espen.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Isn't This That Olympic Logo That Causes Seizures?

Will at Deadspin covered the unveiling of the 2012 Summer Olympics logo, but I wanted to post a follow-up.

Apparently, some people have experienced epileptic seizures after viewing the logo.

"Epilepsy Action, a British health charity, said 10 people had complained about the animation and some had suffered seizures from watching images depicting a diver plunging into a pool.

The Olympic group said it has taken steps to remove the animation from the Web site and will now re-edit the film."

Ten people in three days(the report was released on the 7th)? That's a little more than three people per day, and seeing how we're still five years away from the start of these Olympics that could result in over 5,000 epileptic episodes before the Opening Ceremonies. Yeah, great job on choosing that logo Olympic organizers. Though, with the TV ratings trending downward maybe this is a ploy to boost ratings. You know, induce seizures so that you can't change the channel and keep the ratings up.

Somewhere, Homer Simpson is thrilled with this logo choice.

If Barry Bonds Had Used "The Cream" This Way He Would Have Been Dead Years Ago

Actually, this is about something we shouldn't make fun of, the unforunate death of a high school athlete due to unforeseen consequences. While many high school students are concerned with finding the next kegger, Arielle Newman was winning awards as a runner for Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island. She passed away in early April, and authorities said that after the autopsy was inconclusive they would have to wait for toxicology reports to determine the cause of death.

The results have been made public, and Newman died from an "overdose" of methyl salicylate. That may sound ominous until you learn that it's a key ingredient in sports creams like Icy Hot and Bengay. That's right, she died from an overuse of anti-inflammatory sports cream. The medical examiner said that Newman had used the "topical medication to excess", but added that "it was the first time that her office had reported a death from using a sports cream".

As an athlete, I've used anti-inflammatory creams before. If you're a male athlete you've probably even been "tricked" into putting some on your, ahem, "AJ Daulerios"(it feels like burning!). However, I never once thought that it was a product that could kill me, even if I brushed my teeth with it. Guess I was wrong.

One thing I do ask, though is that before you make your next sports cream joke you think of Ms. Newman. You know, like "hey, how long have you Bengay?" Haha, thank you I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Walter Dix, Faster Than Everyone You Know Even if You Know Trindon Holliday

Since I posted on Thursday about Trindon Holliday running the third fastest 100m in the world this year I felt compelled to give an update with Walter Dix's accomplishments.

Dix, a sprinter for Florida State, faced off against Holliday in the 100m finals at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday. He not only beat Holliday, but he ran the fastest 100m, a 9.93, in the world so far this year(Asafa Powell had previously run a 9.97). He was also just one-one hundreth away from running the fastest NCAA 100m ever. Ato Bolden set that record, 9.92, while running for UCLA in 1998. Holliday finished second in Friday's race with a 10.06.

In the absence of having footage of Dix's 9.92 run, I have posted up the video of him breaking the NCAA 200m record last month. Yeah, he's the guy who's all alone out front.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Happy Birthday To "Us" Edition

Since it's Friday, 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.

I really can't believe that it's been a year since I put up my first full post here at the Sports Oasis. Actually, June 7 marked a full year, but I figured that making it a "5 O'Clock Somewhere" segment would just add to the festivity.

First, I would like to say "thanks" to anyone and everyone who has ever read, commented, linked, etc. on/to this site. There are a ton of talented bloggers out there, and I feel very fortunate that sometimes I can steal your attention away from them for a few minutes.

Second, hopefully this is just the first year of many. I've learned a lot of things over the last 12 months, and will continue to learn a lot more, and hopefully that will help me provide you, the readers, with interesting content.

Lastly, let's rock this party like we should! It's almost 3 o'clock here on the east coast, but it's damn sure "5 o'clock somewhere"!

We'll start out with a classic birthday wish, and then head downhill from there. Happy Friday suckas!

And the anthem of the afternoon shall be:

Gators Welcome Back Donovan In A Big Way, Plan To Pay Him More Than Meyer

Last week it looked like Billy Donovan had left Gainesville for the NBA. Now he's back, and his new deal will pay him more than head football coach Urban Meyer.

Both coaches have been offered new contracts at the same time, and Donovan's extra championship seems to add a little more value. Donovan is reportedly going to be paid $3.5 million per year over six years(with an optional 7th), and Meyer's contract is setup as $3.25 million over six years.

Both are nice increases for the coaches, Donovan had been making $1.7 million per year, and Meyer had originally signed a contract worth $2 million(guaranteed + incentives) per year. However, I am bit surprised that at a school where football has traditionally been king the head basketball coach will be getting paid slightly more than the head football coach. I always believed that there was a ceiling of sorts in place for the salary of the basketball coach that would keep him from being paid as much, or more, than the football coach. It appears that I was wrong in that assumption. In any case, both coaches are reaping the benefits of their recent championships.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Football Movie Trailers, The More They Change The More They Stay The Same

Recently, I was involved in a discussion about movie trailers. Over time, the movie trailer has become an integral part of Americana. Why else would they show 50 of them before the movie that you actually want to see?

Seriously, seeing a kickass trailer for a film that you've been waiting for only increases your want to see it. The clips and music edited together in such a way that you don't mind paying $20 to watch a 90 minute flick(better secure a good line of credit if you want popcorn and a drink). Part of the discussion was about how much better movie trailers have become over the years. Due to advances in technology, and the desire to create a "hook", the movie trailers we see today are vastly superior to those of years past. At least quality wise.

I say quality wise because I believe that content wise certain types of films will always have the same elements. Being that I'm a sportsfan, I brought up the subject of football movies(ones that are more "serious" in nature), and how, while the quality of the trailer may change, the basic content will stay the same. I tracked down three clips, one from the '00's, one from the 90's and one from the 80's to illustrate my point.

The Program Movie Trailer(Click Link)

All The Right Moves Movie Trailer(Click Link)

After watching those three clips, I noticed a few common elements:

1. Coach yelling. Without a coach yelling at some point during the trailer your movie is probably doomed. If he's grabbing facemasks while he's yelling you've probably got a hit on your hands.

2. Partying/drinking. Really, what else do football players have to worry about other than playing their sport? They just show up on Sunday, collect a paycheck and then party like it's 1999. At least that's what people want to see in the trailer.

3. Games/practices in the mud & rain. Somehow this has worked its way into the trailers of many football movies. I guess it shows that the team has had to battle through numerous obstacles to obtain the success that they usually have in the end of the movie. Or it helps mask how crappy the extras are at running routes and making tackles.

4.(optional) Key position battle. This doesn't always make it into the trailer, though it's usually a key storyline in any football movie. One character has held a firm grip on his starting position, but there's a new guy on the team who's battling him for it. This almost always involves either a quarterback or running back.

So there you have it, the elements that I think are universal to any movie trailer you see about the sport of football. Feel free to add any that you've noticed in the comments.

Trindon Holliday, Faster Than Everyone You Know

If you're a fan of college football, especially of the SEC variety(toughest conference suckas!), then you've probably heard of Trindon Holliday. He's the diminutive(5'5", 159lbs) athlete that plays football for the LSU Tigers, and is so fast that he could give JaMarcus Russell enough speed for him to run a 4.2 forty and still be faster than 3/4 of your favorite college team. Seriously, the guy has "wheels" in every sense of the word, and he showcased them in excellent form Wednesday night at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Holliday bolted from start to finish in the 100m dash to the tune of 10.02 seconds. He ran the fastest 100m time for an American this year, and only two guys in the world have put up faster times in '07(9.97 by world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and 9.98 by Derrick Atkins of Bahamas).

For reference, here's Holliday running a 10.08 in the SEC Championships last month.

And for those of you who like your sports with a bit more violence(you can't hit what you can't catch), here are some highlights from the LSU vs Arkansas game last year. You'll have to fast-forward to the 2 minute mark to see how Holliday's speed translates onto the field. And that black stuff coming off of his cleats in the end zone? Obviously it's smoke because he just smoked the Razorbacks kick coverage team.