Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Could A Patrik Sinkewitz Suspension Have Saved A Spectator?

This year's Tour de France has been significantly hampered by doping scandals involving a number of riders. It was so bad that even the race leader, Michael Rasmussen, was removed amid doping allegations. However, one rider, whose removal from the race might have helped a spectator, was ultimately allowed to participate even after initially being suspended.

T-Mobile rider, Patrik Sinkewitz, was suspended in June after testing positive for elevated testosterone levels. Today, his team fired him for refusing to allow any tests on his backup sample. Now if his team had been more strict following the first positive test in June and not allowed him to participate in the Tour, then maybe this wouldn't have happened:

An elderly man was in serious condition at a hospital Sunday after being hit by T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz after the eighth stage of the Tour de France.

The German was riding to his hotel after finishing the stage from Le Grand-Bornand to Tignes when he hit the 78-year-old man.

"While he was returning to his hotel, the T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz hit a spectator," Tour organizers said in a statement. "The spectator, who is in a very serious condition, has been taken by helicopter to a hospital near Grenoble."

Sinkewitz received facial injuries from the accident and was also taken to the hospital.

Is it a stretch? Probably. Is it a freak accident? Yes. But could Sinkewitz's exclusion from the race have saved the spectator from his serious injuries? Maybe.

As it stands now, the spectator and his family probably wish that Sinkewitz had been suspended, and the rest of us will likely just remember him as another doping cyclist.

Climbing Bill Walsh's Coaching Tree

Bill Walsh died yesterday at the age of 75. R.I.P. "The Genius".

Walsh's football coaching success came mostly in the pro's where his West Coast offense really thrived. It emphasized short to intermediate passing routes run with precision by the receivers, thereby spreading out the defense for longer pass and run plays. The 49'ers teams of the 80's are a great example of that style of offense.

Instead of listing Walsh's accomplishments to convey his success, I thought I might post a different set of statistics to show how much he influenced the game over the course of his life. Like I stated before, most of Walsh's success and influence was concentrated in the NFL. However, one example of Walsh's influence in the college game came in '84 and '90 when BYU, using a version of the West Coast offense, won a national title and Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy, respectively. In the NFL ranks his reach was far greater, as you can see from his coaching tree:

Let's see how many Super Bowls wins have come as a result of Walsh's influence:

Bill Walsh: 3 Super Bowls('81, '84, '88)
Mike Holmgren: 1 Super Bowl('96)
George Seifert: 2 Super Bowls('89, '94)
Jon Gruden: 1 Super Bowl('02)
Mike Shanahan: 2 Super Bowls('98, '99)
Brian Billick: 1 Super Bowl('00)
Tony Dungy: 1 Super Bowl('06)

That's 11 Super Bowls that Walsh's coaching influence has contributed to. Obviously not every one of those teams ran the West Coast offense(the Ravens in '00 had almost no passing attack), but Walsh's ideologies and techniques have been passed down through the coaching ranks.

So, R.I.P. Bill "The Genius" Walsh, your influence in football coaching, as well as football video games is still felt today. And in order to keep the mood somewhat light, I present you with the Coors Light Bill Walsh commercials.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Youth Football "Wrong Ball" Trick Play

This is one of the more popular sports videos making its rounds today. It's from a youth football game between Lakeland and Hartland in Michigan.

Cheap? Maybe. Entertaining? Definitely.

Awesome Football Trick Play - Watch more free videos

I've read some comments where people are pissed that this happened during a youth game. Though, I wonder if they would be just as mad if they watched this Arkansas trick play.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Craig Biggio 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.

Really world obligations were overpowering today, hence the 5 o'clock post at 6:30. Oh well, better late than never right? This week's post is spurred on by the retirement announcement of one of baseball's classiest, most hustling playas. Craig Biggio. I'll touch more on this next week since I'm an Astros' fan,and haven't really given this enough focus.

For now enjoy Biggio's 3,000th hit.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodbye Curtis Martin, Thanks For The Fantasy Points

With Curtis Martin announcing his retirement today, I thought it might be interesting to see what type of career fantasy football player he was. I've had him on teams in the past, and appreciated his contribution to my FFL teams.

Anyway, I'll be using the scoring system of:
1pt per every 20yds rushed
6pts per every rushing TD
1pt per every 20yds receiving
6pts per every receiving TD
-2pts per every fumble lost

The only stat that I haven't included is two-point conversion total(worth 2pts each), but I don't think it would add too much to the overall total.

So, Martin's 14,101 yards rushing would give him 705pts, his 90 rushing TD's equal 540pts, his 3329 receiving yards would be 166pts(yes, I'm rounding here), his 10 receiving TD's would be 60pts and his 16 fumbles lost would be -32pts.

That's a grand total of 1,439 career fantasy points, or an average of 130pts per season.

He's not up there like some of the backs that don't have quite as many yards, but scored a ton of touchdowns(i.e. Marcus Allen). However, he was still a solid running back and a solid fantasy contributor.

Goodbye C-Mart, and thanks for the points.

What Is Going On With These Ball Related Deaths?

On Monday, I wrote about minor league baseball coach Mike Coolbaugh being killed by a line drive hit into the dugout. Tragically, another person has died as the result of being hit in the head by a ball. This time it involved a 12-year-old girl that was hit in the head by a softball.

"A 12-year-old softball player suffered a brain injury when she was hit in the head with a ball during practice, and died a day later, police and family said.

Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Hilbrands was hit during a routine infield drill on Monday -- a day after the death of a minor-league baseball coach who was struck by a line drive in Arkansas. The Grand Rapids girl died Tuesday at DeVos Children's Hospital.

'She missed the ball. It appears it hit her in the wrong spot. She never regained consciousness,' her mother, Jan Hilbrands, told The Grand Rapids Press.

The ball struck her head, producing a brain injury that caused her heart to temporarily stop, police and family told the paper. Rescuers performed CPR at the scene."

Two freak accidents involving people being hit by a baseball/softball and subsequently dying. Damn, what the heck is going on here? As an attempt to inject a bit of humor into an otherwise tragic event, I'll tell you that I blame Dice-K's gyroball. That thing has screwed something up here in the U.S., and hopefully Simpsonsized Manny and his hairdresser can get to the bottom of it.

Seriously, condolences go out to the Hilbrands family.

Keith Sims, From The Dolphins To Doughnuts

Keith Sims, a 3-time Pro Bowler for the Miami Dolphins, has matched his on-field success and is literally "rolling in the dough" .

Sims, had a plan for when he retired from the NFL and wanted to get into franchising a fastfood chain.

"He got a list of the top 500 franchises and began cold-calling: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Sims said around 1995 Burger King called him and Dolphins teammate Richmond Webb about buying franchises. They weren’t ready, but when Sims was he said Burger King didn’t have any available.

He signed on with Dunkin’ Donuts in 1999 and started developing three stores."

Those three stores have grown to 17, and now Sims is among the largest Dunkin' Donuts franchisees in the state of Florida.
"This week Sims and his business partners, brothers Ken and Clint Privett, completed the purchase of two existing Plantation stores, bringing their roster to 17 and making them among the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in Florida."

And Sims and the Privetts don't plan to stop there.
"They plan to have 21 stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties by year’s end and to expand to 26 by the end of 2008. He and his partners say they want to keep growing the business to 30, 40, even 50 stores and perhaps expand outside the region. They are also considering other franchise opportunities."

The smartest thing Sims and his business partners have done is create the doughnut company that builds the doughnuts for their stores.
"In 2000, he met the Privetts, who owned two Dunkin’ Donuts stores, when they were all looking for a kitchen to make doughnuts. The sugary confections are made off-site and trucked to stores each morning. Together, they created Dania Donuts, of which Sims owns half and the Privetts own the other half."

All in all, it's a great story of an athlete that took care of his money, and has been able to use his wealth to continue to prosper and provide his community with opportunities and support.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Horrible Tragedy Involving Iraqi Soccer Fans

Iraqis have experienced many tragedies over the past few years. Their country has been at war for over four years, and frequent bombings, explosions and kidnappings have become commonplace. However, it seemed that there was something that the Iraqis, at least the ones who enjoyed soccer, could find some solace in.

Their soccer team had made a strong showing in their first two games of the Asian Cup, and as the team prepared for a match against two-time champion South Korea their fans prepared too(via Deadspin).

"Iraqi fans have been stocking up on gasoline and ammunition in preparation for their national soccer team's Asian Cup semi-final against South Korea on Wednesday.

Ibrahim al-Musawi said he had already brought 20 litres of gasoline to make sure he could fuel his small generator to watch the whole match as Iraq's national power grid provides electricity for only a few hours a day.

'This is one of the strongest Iraqi sides ever and they fill us with pride,' Musawi told Reuters.

'We are tired of the sadness that always surrounds us. I sometimes wish we are always playing in international tournaments so we can remain happy."

Unfortunately, that happiness was bittersweet even after a victory over South Korea that put the Iraqi team into the finals. While thousands of people were celebrating in the streets, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks killing 50 people and wounding 136 more.
"Two suicide bombers struck soccer fans celebrating Iraq's victory in the Asian Cup on Wednesday, killing at least 50 and wounding 136, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

The victims were among the thousands who took to the streets of the capital after the country's national soccer team beat South Korea to reach the tournament's final.

The first attack took place about 6:30 p.m. when a bomber exploded in a crowd of people cheering near a well-known ice cream parlor in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Mansour, according to police and hospital officials.

Another suicide car bomber detonated his payload about 45 minutes later in the midst of dozens of vehicles filled with revelers near an Iraqi army checkpoint in the eastern district of Ghadeer."

That is horrible to hear. I can't imagine fearing for my life after celebrating the Gators win over Ohio State this past January. It's something that we take for granted everyday, and my heart goes out to the Iraqi fans that were supporting their team and lost their lives in the process.

FYI, Iraq meets Saudi Arabia in the final in Jakarta on Sunday.

Ted Ginn Jr. Not Having A Great Start In Miami

Second round pick quarterback John Beck signed with the Dolphins late Sunday, but Ted Ginn Jr. is still holding out and will miss the start of rookie practice.


I understand that guys who make it to the NFL want to make sure they get a decent rookie deal. However, there also has to be some humbleness and gratitude involved because they've just been presented with a chance to play in one of the best professional leagues in the world.

My problem with Ginn holding out is that I feel he should be grateful that he was drafted at #9 after many "experts" projected him as a late first(at best) or second round pick. He has to have been presented with more money than he thought he was going to make with where he was projected to go prior to Miami drafting him, but his mini-holdout(the Dolphins won't consider him "late" until Friday) isn't portraying him as a player eager to make an instant impact for the Dolphins.

And Ginn's boss, Wayne Huizenga, is probably even more displeased than me.

Owner Wayne Huizenga, displeased that the Dolphins' top picks held out in 2005 and 2006, warned in March he had no patience for a repeat.

"If you don't report, you're sitting out, baby. We're not playing you," Huizenga said then.

The following month, Miami took Ohio State receiver-returner Ginn with the ninth pick in the draft.

And with many fans already displeased with Miami drafting him at #9 this isn't helping to win them over. Hopefully his play on the field this season helps with that. Or maybe he can continue to be Miami's official jersey modeler.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Donaghy Scandal Continues To Damage The NBA's Credibility

Yesterday, I wrote a post regarding the NBA hiring a private investigator a year ago to look into referee Tim Donaghy's gambling habits. One of the most potentially damaging aspects of this incident is not whether the NBA knew of Donaghy's problems, but when they knew. Obviously they had some idea that there was a problem before the regular season started.

I believe that we can assume the NBA was watching Donaghy for the entire season(or longer), and that they were keeping a close eye on any game that he officiated. If that's the case, then why did they continue to allow him to referee games, including the playoffs, when the numbers relating to his games showed an obvious bias?

What bias you ask? Check out the numbers from gambling expert RJ Bell, president of PreGame.com:

"Over the last two seasons (reportedly the focus of the FBIs investigation into this matter), the games refereed by Tim Donaghy scored more points than Las Vegas expected over 57 percent of the time (79 of 138 games). The odds of that happening randomly are 19 to 1.

Premise #1: The more fouls a referee calls, the more he affects the game.

Premise #2: There is an absolute correlation between the number of fouls a referee calls in an NBA game and the number of points scored by the teams. (The logic being that fouls result in free throws, which stop the clock and add points).

Conclusion: An NBA ref who intended to illicitly influence a game would do so by calling more fouls, and thus his games would be higher scoring than average.

Not only have Tim Donaghys games the last two seasons been higher scoring than average, they have been so to a degree that would happen naturally only quite rarely. Which means it can be stated fairly that Tim Donaghys on-court behavior the last two seasons has an over 95% probability of being abnormal!

Maybe Tim Donaghy has always called lots of fouls, some may suggest. In the two years prior to the two years the FBI is investigating, Tim Donaghys games scored more points than Las Vegas expected only 44% of the time!

Assuming 44% "over" is Donaghy's natrual tendency, the odds of being "over" 57% for two full seasons are about 1000-1 against!"

Bell is putting this detailed summary together with the statistics that are readily available to him, so imagine what the NBA concluded with the information that they had gathered.

Either they didn't go very deep, or they didn't like what they found and hoped that this would never be made public. Unfortunately I have to go with the latter because it's been reported that Donaghy was forced into retirement due to these allegations. It appears that the NBA wanted to keep this quiet, and now that it's a full-blown scandal they're going to have a hard time convincing people that what they discovered over the course of last season wasn't enough to pull Donaghy off of the court.

NBA Commissioner David Stern is holding a press conference at 11AM this morning, and it will be interesting to see if he discloses exactly when the NBA became aware of Donaghy's problems. Personally, I think that's more important with regard to the NBA's image than Donaghy's own actions.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The NBA's Biggest Problem With The Donaghy Scandal

Now that the details are starting to come out regarding referee Tim Donaghy's scandal involving gambling and organized crime, we're getting a good idea of how bad it could turn out to be for the NBA.

Forget the games he reffed, or that now the NBA has to have a hand in keeping this guy alive. Think about this tidbit of info that was made public over the weekend.

"The NBA assigned a private investigator on disgraced referee Tim Donaghy more than a year ago, the New York Daily News reported, but then let him work games all season long anyway, friends and neighbors said Sunday."

1 year? One year ago the NBA was suspicious enough about this guy that it hired a private investigator to check up on him. He even went so far as to interview Donaghy's neighbors about his gambling habits.
"Officials had the investigator question neighbors and friends of Donaghy about what they knew about his gambling habits -- especially his penchant for the Borgata in Atlantic City.

"[The investigator] asked, 'Does he gamble?' " said Kit Anstey, 60, of West Chester, Pa. "I said, 'Yes.' "

So someone within the NBA knew that Donaghy was involved with gambling, and that there was a possibility that it was affecting his work for the NBA.

Then, they not only let him referee the regular season, but the playoffs as well. Whether or not his calls in the Game 3 matchup between San Antonio and Phoenix were because of his gambling habits doesn't matter much now because perception is reality, and right now the perception is that Donaghy fixed games to help organized criminals make money. And the worst part is that the current perception is that the NBA knew there was a problem, but they let Donaghy continue to referee games. Hopefully, for the NBA's sake, that perception doesn't become reality.

Tragedy Strikes Minor League Baseball Game

I don't watch too much baseball, but anytime I see a shot into the dugout I'm always amazed when there aren't injuries. Unfortunately, a minor league manager wasn't so lucky over the weekend.

"Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a game.

The Texas League game was suspended in the ninth inning Sunday after the 35-year-old former major leaguer was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez of the Arkansas Travelers. Coolbaugh was taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock, where he was pronounced dead."

It's sad to hear about something like this happening, though I am surprised that it doesn't occur more often. My condolences go out to Coolbaugh's family and teammates.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - NCAA '08 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 posting has been severly hampered by a flaky internet connection running slower than the Minnesota Vikings' decision making process during the 2003 Draft(sorry Eric!). Anyway, I'm determined to get one post through this U.S. 101-like gridlock. Because nothing fuels road-rage like sucking down exhaust fumes for multiple hours on your way through Cal-i-forn-i-a!

I already posted up one eye-orgasm inducing clip via YouTube, but one is never enough. Especially when it comes to clips of a badass college football game. So sit back, and enjoy the show. And remember to hit up Every Day Should Be Saturday for your daily affirmations as we continue to get closer to kickoff.

And the one that will never, ever get old:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Sport Inflicted These Injuries?

When you read the following what sport do you think of?

...punctured lung that immediately required draining, hairline fractures in three dorsal vertebra, five fractured ribs, fractured shoulder blade, sprained shoulder, transferred to hospital.

Running with the bulls? No.

Automobile racing? No.

Motorcycle racing? No, but you're pretty close.

How about riding in the Tour de France?

Australian rider, Stuart O'Grady, suffered those injuries "after crashing into a roadside barrier on the descent of the Cormet de Roselend during the eighth stage from Le Grand Bornand to Tignes."

O'Grady apparently touched wheels with another rider which sent him hurtling towards the roadside barrier. Fortunately, that barrier kept him from going off of the road and into a steep ravine. O'Grady is convinced that the barrier saved his life.
"The big wood post actually kept me alive and stopped me (from going over the edge of the cliff)."

It sounds like a pretty close call, but O'Grady is expected to recover. Hopefully he comes out of this ok.

Lance Armstrong Never Had This Problem

With all of the crashes in this year's Tour de France, and there have been some nasty ones, it seems like bicycling isn't as safe as I remember it. It always seemed like you started out on a Big Wheels type contraption, moved on to something bigger with training wheels, took the training wheels off of that and ended up rocking a cool 10, 12, whatever speed or a fancy BMX bike. Nowadays, you have to worry about cars, dogs, other bicyclists and deer. Yes, deer.

This morning, a bicyclist riding on Walt Disney Property in Orlando was hit by a deer during an early morning bike ride.

"Jeffrey Norberry, 56, was biking this morning along a secluded area on Walt Disney World property when a deer ran across the roadway and collided with him head-on, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Norberry, who was wearing a helmet, flipped over the handle bars of his bike and the deer before crashing to the ground shortly before 3 a.m.

The man ws taken to Celebration Hospital with minor injuries."

Daaaamn! I guess it's a good thing he was wearing his helmet, or it could have been a lot worse. Imagine having your cause of death listed as "bicycle collision with deer". Talk about embarrassing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Golfers Really Are 'Roiding Up?

Will and MJD at Deadspin touched on the topic of golfers using steroids a while back, but Gary Player has stepped into the spotlight of this matter by saying that he's certain that golfers take performance enhancing drugs.

"Gary Player said he knows of at least one golfer who has used steroids, and is urging golf organizations to move quickly toward a random drug-testing plan.

The Hall of Famer estimated 10 players from tours around the world are taking some type of performance-enhancing drug. Asked how he knew golfers were taking steroids, he said a player told him in confidence.

'One guy told me -- and I took an oath prior to him telling me -- but he told me what he did and I could see this massive change in him,' Player said. 'And somebody else told me something I also promised I wouldn't tell, that verified others had done it."

While 10 players total isn't a huge number, it's still affecting the sport, especially if any of them are successful golfers. It also increases the speculation about who the juicers are. I'm guessing they're not on the Champions Tour, and that it's probably either the PGA or Nationwide Tours. For some reason, steroid use doesn't seem to be as prevalent in Europe, though maybe it just doesn't get reported here quite so much.

One thing, exactly what type of oath did Player take? Also, not telling everyone something after just telling them that you know something they would probably like very much to hear is just bad form Gary.

Pimpin' Wasn't Easy At This Year's MLB All-Star Game

It's no secret that prostitutes often converge on big cities during major events like conferences or sports contests. Hell, the Minnesota Vikings flew in pro's from Atlanta and Florida for a simple boat party, so you can only imagine how many working girls flock to cities for things like the Super Bowl, or one of the All-Star Games.

Though, it looks like this year it was a little more difficult to score some roadside action for those looking to do so while attending the MLB All-Star Game. City officials launched a crackdown nicknamed "Operation Strikeout"(I thought that was the modern rock band formed by Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite, but whatever) that targeted areas in San Francisco and Oakland known for pimpin' activity.

"More than 10 agencies teamed up during the sting -- which included officials conducting undercover operations, posing as prostitutes and engaging in Internet rings. The operation resulted in 131 arrests, including 46 in San Francisco and 40 in Oakland."

I've always thought that picking up a prostitute is one of the more dangerous things to do. You could get arrested, robbed and/or contract some type of disease. Awesome! And, if you were looking for a chick during the All-Star game it might not have been that different than what you had going on at home.
"Among those arrested were four girls under the age of 18. One of the minors arrested by the South San Francisco police department brought her 8-month-old baby with her to work."

What the hell? Can you imagine some poor guy's reaction when he pulls over, and the girl gets into the car with an 8-month old? Not to mention, she's underage. Yeah buddy, I think you may have a problem.

Dorian Munroe, Free At Last!

If you're not aware of Dorian Munroe's horrible lawbreaking activities, i.e. the hilarious task of removing a UPD parking boot, then you can garner some insight from Orson's take.

Yesterday it was reported that the third degree felony charges(a felony for boot removal? Fluch!) against Munroe had been dropped because "prosecutors ruled that actions already taken against Munroe were 'sufficient in lieu of prosecution'."

So now Munroe is free and clear, and is probably practicing his new tackling technique where he locks down a receiver's wheels.

Thanks to direnerd on Flickr for that kickass picture.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Here, The Productivity Gremlin That Is NCAA '08

You can thank NCAA '08 for the lack of updates today. Though, when something looks like this how can you not play the hell out of it?

Feel free to leave your gamer i.d. in the comments. I'm still on PS2, but I'm sure that there are others around here that are on different platforms.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nothing Says "Athlete" Like A Madden Championship Ring

I admit, I enjoy participating in some of the not so physically taxing aspects of "sports" like video games and fantasy leagues. They entertain me, and the aspect of competition is always fun. However, I've never once thought "hey, I should get a ring to commemorate all of these wins". Though, someone has because famous ringmaker Jostens(you know, the company that made your high school ring that your parents spent a fortune on and you have no idea where it is) is partnering with EA Sports Tiburon(home of titles like NCAA Football and Madden) to provide rings for Madden gamers.

"Madden players progress through five ring levels as they win games. Once players reach the third level, they can turn their virtual rings into real ones by purchasing them through the Jostens Web site.

To design the rings, players choose from 32 NFL team logos and 19 EA logos. The sides of the ring display the achievement level reached.

The rings aren't cheap. They range in price from $149 for a nonprecious-metal ring to $495 for a 10-karat gold ring. Each ring has cubic zirconia, but players can spruce them up by adding diamonds. Doing so could lift the price over $1,000."

Adding diamonds? Pushing the price over $1,000? Wow, that might be a little over the top. Though, nothing screams "athlete" like a diamond encrusted Madden ring.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Transformers 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.

Posting up quick before 5 o'clock really does get here. This week's edition is brought to you courtesy of the new Transformers movie. Seriously it is bad-freakin-ass! You can read my "review" here. Go see it now!

Happy Friday!

Now This Is The Type Of Ski Jumping I Could Watch

Ok, so the ski jumping event is one of the best ones in the Olympics. However, seeing these guys roll car and truck tires off the slope at over 80 mph causing destruction is pretty entertaining.

Rolling Tires Down A Ski Jump - Watch more free videos

Yeah, that last one probably simulates what would happen if Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards weighed 500 lbs.

Budweiser, The Biggest Loser In The Earnhardt Feud

By now, I'm sure that you've heard about Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaving DEI for Hendrick Motorsports. In case you missed it, Dale Jr. signed a five year deal with Hendrick last month.
It was reported today that because of "agreements in place" Budweiser will no longer be able to sponsor Dale Jr. It effectively ends a relationship that Budweiser has spent 10 years building.

Budweiser is the "official beer of NASCAR", sponsors the Bud Shootout, and up until today had their logo splashed all over the car of one of NASCAR's most visible drivers. The sponsorship was so strong that one point Budweiser produced a special edition "Dale Jr. Eight Pack". No, not 6 or 12, but 8.

Now, they won't be able to reap any benefits of whatever success Dale Jr. is able to attain at Hendrick. Even if he doesn't win a lot of races, he'll still be focused on every single week because of the move from DEI, and his new partnership with former rival Jeff Gordon. Budweiser has spent a lot of time and money to become synonymous with NASCAR and Dale Jr., and stand to the lose the most with his recent move to Hendrick Racing.

Ironically, as I was typing this post I looked out the window, and across the street there's a Chevy Trailblazer with a #8 Budweiser flag attached to the window.

Keith Brumbaugh, Hopefully Back On The Right Track

A little over one year ago(it was one of my first posts actually), I wrote about the '05 Mr. Basketball from Florida being arrested again. At that time things didn't look too good for Keith Brumbaugh, as he was facing multiple criminal charges. However, he put in the time and work at a rehab facility in Texas run by John Lucas, and it appears that he may be headed down the right path again.

It was reported today, that Brumbaugh will be playing for Hillsborough Community College next fall. That's worlds apart from Oklahoma State, but at least Brumbaugh seems to be making progress in his basketball career. Hopefully he flourishes there, and goes on to play at an even higher level because he is an extremely talented basketball player.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arkansas Tech Still Thinking About Changing Its Nickname 20 Years Later

Arkansas Tech's men's athletic teams are known as "The Wonder Boys", and apparently they're not exactly thrilled with that, nor have they been for the last 20 years.

The unusual nickname came about when Tech upset Arkansas State in their 1919 football matchup, and was given to them by a newspaper editor. Over the years there was talk about making a change, and in the 1980's "surveys indicated that a majority of students were dissatisfied with the nickname situation". Guess it's a good thing they decided to wait another 20 years before getting serious about changing it.

School officials say that one of the reasons a change is needed is because of the negative connotations associated with the phrase "Wonder Boy".

“These connotations include slurs about an individual’s manhood or race, and the slurs have been used against Tech when recruiting,” the release said.

When asked to elaborate on that, Strasner(an assistant to the university president) said that concern came up within the committee.

“I know one thing that was said by one of the student-athletes in the committee meeting — one of the things that I’ve heard repeated several times — was that once they leave Russellville and go back home, they don’t really like to associate themselves with that name because of some ribbing they take from their friends,” Strasner said.

Used against them when recruiting? Geez, college football recruiting really is a cutthroat business.

Currently, a committee of current students, former students and school administrators are reviewing possible nicknames, and the next step would be to gather feedback via an online survey. Some possibilities include, Comets, Copperheads, Sharks and Terrapins. Yeah, because I always think of sharks when someone mentions Arkansas.

Oh well, I suppose that anything is better than "The Wonder Boys".

Oklahoma Gets Smacked By The NCAA

There's been some resolution to the Rhett Bomar scandal at OU, as the NCAA handed down its decision today. Here's what they're imposing:

-Forfeiture of all wins from the 2005 season.

-Two additional years of probation, extended the period through 2010.

-The loss of two scholarships through the 2009-10 season.

-A reduction by one of the number of coaches who can recruit off campus.

-A public reprimand and censure.

-A disassociation with the dealership manager for five years.

The forfeits sound harsh, but they're really just for show. The eight teams that they beat that year aren't going to really get anything by adding an extra win two years after the fact.

The extended probation, loss of scholarships and recruiting restrictions will hamper them, though. However, it probably could have been worse.

This does bring back the question of what ever happened with Reggie Bush's infractions involving USC? His involvement with a sports agent included his family living rent free in a very expensive house in Southern California. A few months ago it seemed like that investigation was going bust wide open, but it seems to have come to a grinding halt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Please Say A Prayer For The France Family

The France family, pioneers of NASCAR since Bill France Sr. founded it in 1948, have experienced another tragedy today as Lesa France Kennedy's husband, Dr. Bruce Kennedy, was killed in a plane crash. The Cessna 310 crashed into two homes in Sanford, FL this morning after the pilot, Michael Klemm, declared smoke in the cockpit and was attempting to land at the Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Dr. Kennedy, Michael Klemm and three other individuals, "believed to have been inside or near the homes" at the time of crash, were killed.

Dr. Kennedy's death comes just a little over a month after the death of Lesa France Kennedy's father, Bill France Jr., on June 4.

The France family has contributed countless amounts of hours and finances to the sport of stock car racing and the Daytona Beach community. My prayers go out to them during this extremely difficult time.

Also, please say a prayer for the families of the other individuals killed in this horrific crash. It truly is a tragedy.

Allen Iverson Definitely Made The Right Choice With Basketball

Yesterday, a jury awarded Marlin Godfrey $260,000 as a result of the pain and suffering and medical bills he incurred after being beaten by Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane in July 2005.

Godfrey and his friend, David Kittrell, were assaulted by Iverson's entourage after they refused to leave the VIP section that had been reserved for Iverson at the Washington nightclub, Eyebar. Iverson was included because:

"The lawsuit said Iverson was responsible for the brawl because he failed to properly supervise Kane and Williams - but it did not claim he took part in the fight. The suit also accused Kane of assault and battery for allegedly beating Godfrey with items that included a bottle."

This is the same trial that the plaintiff's legal team was going to call 50 Cent in as a character witness against the security guards involved. However, 50 argued successfully that he couldn't be called to testify since he wasn't involved in the fight or named in the lawsuit. 50 Cent as a character witness? That's a new legal strategy.

While this lawsuit has been resolved, don't confuse it with the other one from 2005 that involves four plaintiffs. They allege that Iverson hired a "security" team with people that he knew had a propensity for violence. Allegedly they were leaving "Crabber's", a restaurant/sports bar in Hampton, Va., when they were attacked by Iverson's security detail for the night, also known as "The Horsemen". Each plaintiff in that case is seeking $600,000 in damages.

Imagine if Iverson had gone the football route instead of basketball. Right now he would probably be looking at a multi-game suspension with the possibility of more games being added. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would have already lectured him about wasting his opportunity to play pro ball, and he would be calling up PacMan to see if he could get on that suspended stars flag football team.

Instead, since he's in the NBA, there's a good chance Iverson won't miss any games next season. Looks like he did make the right choice in choosing basketball.

Antoine Walker Gets Robbed...Again

Antoine Walker's agent, Mark Bartelstein, stated on Monday that Walker's home in Chicago was robbed while he was there with a relative. Apparently Walker and the relative were held at gunpoint while the robbers took some cash, jewelry and a vehicle. No one was hurt during the robbery.

However, it marks the second time in seven years that Walker has been robbed at gunpoint. Back in 2000, Walker and fellow NBA player Nazr Mohammad were robbed, also while in Chicago, of $3,000 cash and a $55,000 watch while they sat in a vehicle with friends waiting for a restaurant to open.

While it's probably just two random acts, it does make you wonder whether Walker is being targeted by someone.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Update To The FSU Recruits That Received Lifetime Bans From Disney

A quick update to the situation involving FSU football recruits, and them receiving lifetime bans from Disney. Disney has decided to restore the recruits' park privileges to everything except Downtown Disney, and that ban will only last for one year, not a lifetime.

"Disney officials, after talking with the mother of one of the teens, decided to revise the trespass warnings so that the four are banned only from Downtown Disney -- not from the theme parks, water parks or other parts of Disney World. And the Downtown Disney ban will last only for one year, not a lifetime."

Disney has stated that this is their "final offer" so to speak, and that they won't be issuing any type of apology. It's unclear whether the recruits and their families will accept Disney's decision.
"We were hoping they would lift the ban entirely. We felt like they shouldn't have been banned at all. We also wanted an apology," said Mark Nugent, stepfather of Vincent Williams, a football star at Ridge Community High School in Polk County. "It looks like we're not getting either of those two things."

Obviously, Disney feels like they overreacted to the situation, but they're not willing to retract 100%. It will be interesting to see if any lawsuits still arise because of this incident.

If You Can't Beat Up Someone For Breaking Your Windshield, Then When Can You?

Normally, when you hear San Diego Chargers and police mentioned in the same sentence you probably think something like, "ah, the Bengals of the west coast are at it again!"

Well, what if the incident involved a Chargers' player having his windshield broken by some guy in a vehicle in front of him throwing a rock at his car while travelling on the highway? Does that change things?

"San Diego Chargers rookie Anthony Waters was charged with hitting a man who threw a rock at his car on a highway.

The 22-year-old linebacker was arrested last week on a simple assault and battery charge and released on $1,000 bail, Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said Monday. No trial date has been set.

Waters, a former Clemson star, was traveling on Nichols Highway last week when a passenger in a vehicle in front of him threw a rock and broke Waters' windshield, causing about $350 in damages, according to arrest warrants.

It's unclear what happened next, but at some point Waters and another man struck Colby Sarvis, 18, and threatened to kill him, according to warrants. Bourcier said she did not know if the men had lawyers.

Ok, so the "threatening to kill him" part might have been a little over the top, but don't tell me that you've never been pissed about a rock flying back from a semi-truck that almost cracked, or did crack, your windshield. Now imagine if you actually saw someone throw that rock, and you were able to get them pulled over to the side of the road. I don't think that a little "personal justice" is out of line.

At least no one got shot, run over or puked on.

The Running Of The...Cows?

We're all familiar with the "Running Of The Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. If you don't quite remember what it entails here's a clip to help jog your memory.

As you can see, it's a pretty crazy event, and oftentimes the participants get gored by the bulls' horns. However, that just adds to the level of danger involved with running from a herd of bulls down a narrow street. Getting trampled is one thing, but getting speared by a bull horn is something else entirely. However, a group in Spain is calling for an all-women version of the "Running Of The Bulls" using only cows.

That's right, women in Pamplona want their own bull-run, eventhough they're allowed to compete in the traditional "Running Of The Bulls", and they want to use only cows.

"Women in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, world-famous for its ferocious bull-running festival, are demanding their own version complete with cows instead of bulls.

A student Web site, www.estudiln.net, set the ball rolling with its campaign "Cows want to run" which asks for a separate encierro, as the bull-runs are known, where only women are allowed to take part."

What the hell? What happened to the whole men and women are equals movement? Isn't this sort of a step backward, and doesn't it sort of portray women as being weaker than men? They're free to run from the bulls alongside the men, but they want their own "cow-run"?

Cows are good for a lot of things(burgers, milk, cheese), but participating in a dangerous running event isn't one of them. Someone should tell those women to stop bull-shitting, and start bull-running.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Beelzeboss 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.

Like I stated earlier this week, posting has been hampered thanks to a serious case of green crap pouring out of my cranium. Combine that with a middle of the week holiday, and you get less updates than when you're at the airport and your flight is canceled(what do you mean the pilot is too drunk to fly?).

One thing that I did enjoy this week was Tenacious D's "The Pick of Destiny". I've seen it before, but watching clips on YouTube and listening to the soundtrack made everything just a bit more bearable. What's that? You hate Jack Black? Well, that's fine, but if you hate him in this movie, then you must love Beelzeboss. That means you love the devil, and that you're in favor of letting the terrorists win. Traitor! Besides, how can you hate something that provides us with a phrase than can be applied to just about anything? Think about it, Beelzeboss commands us to "check this riff it's fucking tase-tee!" You can use that in reference to all sorts of things:

"Check this TD it's fucking tase-tee!"


"Check this hottie she's fucking tase-tee!"

or even

"Check my BAC level I'm fucking toasty!"

Ok, so that last one might be a bit of stretch, but you get the idea. And if you don't here's a fucking tasty clip to educate you.

Happy Friday!

Drew Weatherford, Obviously A Big Fan Of The Blobby Bowden Diet

Not much to say here except that it looks like Jeff Bowden's idea of conditioning may have been to eat lots of doughnuts, numerous Big Macs and a variety of other fried and high fat content delicacies. Seriously, that's the starting QB for your elite D-1 football program FSU? You guys make it way too easy...haha.

Big Brother 8's "Former Pro Football Player" Contestant

I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of the Big Brother series. I'll usually watch a few episodes during the season just to keep up to speed in case someone asks me about it. However, when I heard that there was a "former professional football player" cast this season my interest level went up a bit.

I didn't think it would be anyone too famous, but was hopeful that it might be someone who was relatively recognizable. After the season premiere last night, I realized that I had no idea who this former pro football player was, and decided to hop online to see what team he had played for.

See, that's the problem with us sportsfans. If something involves sports we feel compelled to dissect it in a thousand different ways, and when we're done we're usually disappointed with the results(though, sometimes they're f@#king sweet!).

Anyway, pretty quickly I was able to track down that the contestant, Nick Starcevic(yes, I'm aware there's a TarHeel football player by the same name), played college ball for the University of Minnesota-Crookston. He was actually a pretty good player for UMN, and was the leading tackler in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

It looked to me like Starcevic's last season for UMN was '04(he wasn't on the roster in '05), so if he was drafted it would have been during the '05 NFL draft. Well, looking at ESPN's '05 Draft Player Tracker you can see that he's not even listed there. Hmmm, that's interesting.

So, I do a few more searches, and can't find any mention of him playing football in the NFL. Then in one of my searches I get directed to the website for the Eurobowl. More specifically, I get to this(.pdf team roster for the Seinajoki Crocodiles). What do you know, Nick Starcevic is up near the top. He's also listed as an "All-Time Crocodile". Yes, that photo up there is of him in his Crocodile gear.

So after all of that, I started thinking. Sure, he does get paid to play American style football, so in that sense he is a professional. However, shouldn't there be some sort criteria that you must meet before being able to call yourself a "pro football player"? Maybe it's just me, but when I hear that I think of the NFL, then either the AFL or CFL. Very quickly I came up with just a few possible conditons that one must meet before calling themselves a "pro football player".

Receive compensation from an NFL team for practicing or playing. The NFL is at the top of the pro football world. If you can get into one of the 32 camps, workout with the team and get paid for it, then I think you should be able to call yourself a pro football player.

Make the roster for an AFL or CFL team. These two leagues aren't quite as competitive so the bar is set a little higher. Just trying out or going through camp isn't enough. You actually have to make the team.

Those are just two quick ones that I thought of off the top of my head. Anybody else have others they wish to contribute?

Monday, July 02, 2007

The All-American Football League: Taking Graduates Of Your Favorite College, Leaving Phone Messages

An onslaught by the common cold has precluded any updates(unlike Disturbed, I am not down with the sickness), but I have managed to post up one golden nugget.

While Mark Cuban's idea for a football league got a good amount of press, the All-American Football League has flown under the radar a bit more. However, the marketing efforts are starting to pick up steam as it approaches the proposed launch date next April.

The league is doing its best to embrace the college atmosphere, which is probably to be somewhat expected since it's being created by guys like Cedric Dempsey(former NCAA president) and Doug Dickey(former University of Tennessee AD). Supposedly the league is even going to have "colleges' bands and cheerleaders" attending games(FAMU FTW!).

As far as prospective players, the only stipulation is that the participant must have graduated from a 4-year college or university in the state where the team is based. In that respect, it is very different from the XFL, AFL or the proposed Cuban Football League that are seen by many as just using NFL castoffs. While most of the guys eventually paid to play in the AAFL probably did participate in the NFL, for a short time at least, using only "homegrown" talent(no Marcus Thomas, not that kind of homegrown) will help add to the college-like atmosphere that they're hoping to create. Also, seeing guys who were once fierce rivals come together in a team setting to beat another state's team will just add to the buzz. Right now, the plan is to have the league be comprised of eight teams.

Also, the AAFL isn't trying to compete directly with any existing football leagues in terms of scheduling. The games will be played in the spring into the summer, and won't try to go head-to-head with the NFL, NCAA or even high school. They've also got a set up in place where the games will be played at "universities known for college football"(the University of Florida is already on-board), and the games could be broadcasted on a private netowrk with no commercials. Though, there's no TV deal just yet.

Since tryouts are slated to begin tomorrow, July 3, receiving a phone call today regarding a scrimmage between former Gators and Vols piqued my interest. As did the tailgating encouragement, though college football fans don't usually need too much encouragement in that department. Anyway, here's the message that was left on my answer machine today. Replace the University of Florida fanfare with your favorite school's, and let me know if it increases your interest. I am curious how they got my telelphone number, as I don't contribute enough(know of any blog related opportunities? hit me up!) to be considered a big time booster by any means.

AAFL Phone Message