Friday, August 31, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - College Football Is Back Baby!

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.

It's Friday, and a holiday weekend at that! Who knows what time the workweek will end, but right now it's 5 o'clock in your office, cubicle, foxhole, whatever. The college football season kicked off last night, and it was fuckin' sweet! Here are some reminders of how my team, the Florida Gators, did last year.

Happy Friday!

Chucky Hates ESPN4

A few months ago, Toledo football player Harvey McDougle was charged for his part in a point-shaving scheme. He was suspected of "offering bribes to teammates so the point spread would be covered". At that time no other Toledo football players were suspected of being involved. However, as the investigation has continued another Toldeo player, former star quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, has had his name mentioned. Mostly by ESPN.

One of the other names that has surfaced during the investigation, sources confirmed, is Bruce Gradkowski, the Rockets' starting quarterback in the 2003-05 seasons who now is a backup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Authorities have not spoken about Gradkowski's possible connection, but sources say investigators are examining his playing time in a number of games under scrutiny as they follow up on an allegation that Manni had offered a Toledo player $10,000 to sit out particular games.

"I don't know what to say about that," said Gradkowski, coming off the field after a recent Bucs' training camp practice. A Tampa Bay public relations assistant, who had been made aware of the focus of the interview, walked beside Gradkowski and deflected follow-up questions.

Apparently some members of the press weren't satisfied with that answer so they asked Bucs' head coach Jon Gruden what he thought of Gradkowski's name being mentioned in connection with the point-shaving scheme. Of course, Gruden's response didn't let us down.
I don't watch ESPN," Gruden said after the Bucs' 31-24 exhibition victory Thursday night against the Houston Texans. "I don't believe half of the [expletive] people on the channel, personally."

"If Bruce Gradkowski is throwing games at Toledo, why in the [heck] does he lead the NCAA in passing percentages? That is a crock," Gruden said. "These reports make me sick, really. I don't believe there is any truth to it and I'll go to my grave believing that -- and I hope ESPN3 or 4 has some real sources behind this story."

Haha...ESPN4? I think that's the channel where they air Berman's food show, "Boomer's Buffet Busting". Though, that quote does make me curious as to which people are included in the "half" that Gruden believes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Win A Tour With The Joe Buck T1000

All summer long, I've been seeing these MasterCard commercials pitching the prize of winning a week with your favorite team. Finally, after sitting through it for probably the millionth time, I headed to the MasterCard site to see what it was all about.

That was where I encountered a very scary, computerized version of Joe Buck. Seriously, I fully expected him to stand up out of his chair, attach a machine gun to his arm and start blasting away. Robert Patrick has nothing on him in terms of creepy.

-Skynet Would Like You To Click Here To Continue-

Buck told me that there were actually two different great prizes. One seemed to be the ongoing promotion of winning a week with my favorite team, and the other was a "behind the scenes" VIP tour of the World Series with Joe Buck. For some reason, the way he said "behind the scenes" made me think I might want someone like Chris Hansen set up doing surveillance nearby. Anyway, at the end of the intro Buck proclaims his love of doughnuts and wheels away in his chair. Though, I tend to think he actually hovered away like one of those mini-hunters.

After Joe Buck took off, I decided to check out the prizes a little more. The first was the "I Want To Be A ______" portion. That's where you pick which team you would want to be a part of, and going to that part of the website rewards you with an eerie voiceover by Buck talking about Yankees and Red Sox. Then he goes on to say something about pod bay doors, but I didn't pay much attention to that.

I went on to pick the Houston Astros, since that's my favorite MLB team. And what do ya know? Joe Buck wheels in holding an Astros' jersey telling me that when he thinks of the Astros he thinks of "big bats". Riiiight. Then he tells me it's because of the "Killer B's" and Carlos Lee. I'm guessing that these spots were filmed sometime around December back when Lee first signed and Houston's line-up didn't seem too awful. Even then I don't think anyone would associate Houston with power hitting. Oh yeah, Joe Buck also let me know that while I was putting together my fan clip of favorite Astros' moments that he would be eating some spaghetti. Seriously, spaghetti?

So I added some clips, then checked out the music selections. I was hoping for something weird, but there were three types of "music", classic, electronic and rock, and they each had a few variations. Silence was also an option, and I was just glad that none of them included Joe Buck singing. Just when I thought things couldn't get better I clicked through to "Step 4: Add Your Own Voice". This is where I was instructed to call a number, provide the pin number and told that Joe Buck would help me tell my Astros story in my own words.

I called the number, and robo-Joe Buck answered! Awesome! Then I had to think of something somewhat witty to say since I only got two chances. Plus, recording this in my cubicle made it somewhat more difficult. I recorded my first message, which sucked so I recorded a second, which didn't suck quite as bad. Robo-Joe told me that my video would be up within 48hrs, but we'll see about that.

Anyway, I moved on to the "Week Of Your Dreams" section where Robo-Joe filled me in on the different ways I could win. Which ended up really being only two ways, either registering on the website or buying stuff with my MasterCard. Joe then suggested some purchases such as gas, a baseball glove, flipdown shades(apparently chicks dig 'em!), and food(hotdog, fries, coke, ice cream and sunflower seeds). As if Robo-Joe's infatuation with food hadn't gone far enough, he took off for some nachos while I checked out the site. I always thought that robots ran on oil or some other type of power source, but according to this MLB/MasterCard site I was way off base.

Finally, I checked out the rules for both contests, which seem fairly standard. The "Week With" contest actually has 3 grand prizes available, valued at $57,500 each, and each one has three choices of how to spend the week. They include Home & Away, MLB All-Star Break and MLB Spring Training. The "I Would Be" contest is a little different in that people vote on the submissions and the top 11 are then judged, though it doesn't say by whom. There is no value listed since it will vary based on where the winner will be flying from, but it does include a "meet & greet with award winning sportscaster Joe Buck". However, I'm guessing that you have to bring your own spaghetti.

All in all, they seem like cool contests even if Robo-Joe's insatiable hunger and creepy mannerisms make viewing the website a bit awkward. Oh well, at least he didn't interrogate me about John Connor.

Update!: They actually put my clip on the website. I got a link, but it seems to just direct back to the main page. Here it is in case it starts working. Since it probably won't, here's the easiest way to find it.

1. Go to the website.
2. Click on "Gallery" at the top.
3. Look for the Astros video by "brian". It should be on the first page. Here's a screen capture to help you out.

Always Bet On The (Running)Back

That wonderful time of year is here again. A time when one can really immerse themself in football, whether it's college, pro or fantasy. Though, you might not want to let your workplace know that you're a fantasy team owner.

This year, however there's a new aspect of football fandom. Betting on fantasy football stats. Instead of drafting a team, and participating in a league you can choose from different players(24 players: 8RB, 8QB, 8WR) each week.

Station Casinos Inc., the fifth-largest sports book in the country, was to become the first to release a betting line - at 7 p.m. EDT - and start taking wagers based on players' projected fantasy statistics.

So instead of plunking down a bet on whether the Saints will beat the Colts next week, or how many points will be scored, a better in Vegas can wager that Reggie Bush will finish with more than 16 fantasy points. Or that Peyton Manning might be under 21.

Station isn't offering fantasy leagues, just the chance to bet on fantasy projections for 24 players a week.

Some sports books in Nevada - the only state where sports gambling is legal - occasionally offer "proposition" bets on a player's yardage or touchdowns.

But Station is rolling all a player's projected stats together, then setting an over-under betting number based on a scoring system used in many fantasy leagues. With six points awarded for each touchdown, one point for every 30 yards passing and one point for every 10 points rushing or receiving, Station determines a player's fantasy line.

For the opening weekend, for example, Donovan McNabb's fantasy line is 16, and Terrell Owens' is 14.

And the pool of 24 players is going to change each week, so you always have to be knowledgeable of the match-ups like any good fantasy football participant.

It will be interesting to see if this type of betting catches on because it is so specific. To me, fantasy football is all about beating your opponents week in and week out with a team that you've put together. Though, people will bet on anything, so I could see this type of gambling having some moderate success.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We Must Protect This Planet!

The safety of our planet.

That's right, the kickoff of the WKU vs UF game on Saturday was moved from 6PM to 12:30PM in order to protect Mother Earth.

"How can that be?", you say.

Too much speed.

You see, also playing on Saturday is the West Virginia team that fields guys like Steve Slaton, Pat White and Noel Devine. Three guys that appear to have booster rockets attached to their feet. Seriously, they're faaast.

Combine those three with some of the personnel Florida is going to put on the field such as Percy Harvin, Deonte Thompson, Chris Rainey, Brandon James and Jarred Fayson, and you can see why we would be in trouble.

In case you still haven't put it all together, here's some technical jargon from NASA(no, not the drunk ones):

"If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth's original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere."

Damn, that doesn't sound good. Eventhough the probability is "practically zero", all of those speedsters on their respective fields at the same time could alter the Earth's rotation to screw some things up. Hence, the earlier kickoff for the Florida game.

So, when you're sweating your ass off in The Swamp on Saturday don't be hard too on Lincoln Financial. They're just trying to save the planet from something like this...

And pray for the Florida game not to overlap with the 3:30PM kickoff of the WVU game. Though, by that point most of Florida's burners should be relaxing on the bench.

Michael Vick Still Has Fans In The Big Brother House

Last night, on the gameshow "Power of 10" two of the "Big Brother 8" houseguests were contestants as a reward for winning their power of veto challenge. Amber Siyavus made it through to the next round, and her $100,000 question was about pitbulls.

In a sign of things to come whenever pitbulls are mentioned, host Drew Carey "called out" Michael Vick. Siyavus reacted by saying that she "likes Michael Vick". However, she's been locked away in the Big Brother house for the entire summer, and has no idea what's happened regarding Vick. Unfortunately for Vick, the rest of us weren't in the Big Brother house. Eventhough she's been cut off from the outside media coverage, it's still sort of weird to see someone proclaiming that they like Michael Vick.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bo Might Not Know Diddley, But We Sure Do

Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack last Friday while undergoing a medical check-up, and he's currently in cardiac care. Diddley suffered a stroke this past May which impaired his speech and speech recognition.

For sportsfans, his series of commercials with Bo Jackson have to be among some of the most memorable. During the 90's, a number of people repeated the catchphrase "you don't know diddley", myself included.

Hopefully Mr. Diddley pulls through without any further complications. Get well soon, Bo!

This Is What Happens When You Watch Too Much "Prayer of the Rollerboys"

First off, a father giving his 13 year old son steroids is bad enough. Though, some part of you might try to justify it if the kid was bulking up for football or wrestling. However, when it's to give his son an advantage in his inline skating competitions, then he gets no sympathy whatsoever.

A 41-year-old Lady Lake man has pleaded guilty to providing steroids to his 13-year-old son to give him an advantage in in-line roller skating competitions.

James Gahan signed a plea agreement saying he provided his son, Corey, with synthetic testosterone and human growth hormone starting in 2003 when the boy was 13 and continuing at least into 2005. Gahan initially obtained the drug from a clinic in Tampa and later from a doctor in DeLand, the plea agreement states.

Damn, two years of steroid use? That can't be good for a 13 year old. Though, it does seem that the steroids might have helped Corey Gahan because he became a "world-ranked" skater, and was the 2004 teenage national champion. He was also invited to participate in the Inline World Speed Skating Championships in '05, but had to withdraw after failing a drug test. A positive test that both Corey and his father had excuses and denials for.
Corey Gahan, who denies using any prohibited drugs...Kopf notes in his order that Corey "vehemently'' denies using any prohibited drugs...

Gahan wants to appeal, saying his son’s testosterone level was elevated because he was tested shortly after a long-distance race. He said the 19-norandrosterone was possibly the result of a tainted supplement.

It's interesting to see how those excuses and denials turned into a two year ban for Corey, and a guilty plea for his father that could get him up to 10 years in prison.

One other interesting tidbit is that Gahan received some of the steroids from Signature Pharmacy. Yes, the same Signature Pharmacy that was shut down this past February by federal officials, and had at one point supplied Chris Benoit with steroids.
Gahan, who pleaded guilty Friday, said he used Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, which is under investigation by New York authorities who are looking into whether it provided steroids to professional athletes.

This case is also being called "the first -- and so far only -- in the United States in which a parent of a world-class athlete was charged with providing steroids to boost a child's performance". Unfortunately, I doubt it will be the last.

The "Muck Bowl" Doesn't Cave Into ESPN

You would think that if ESPN had any interest in televising a high school football game that the schools involved would do anything to get the game on TV. Even if it meant screwing up the scheduling for their other opponents. However, that's not the case in South Florida, where the "Muck Bowl" between Glades Central and Pahokee is an annual occurence.

Originally, the "Muck Bowl" had been scheduled for November 2, which at that time was the final Friday of the season, but the FHSAA didn't want high school players participating in games before school had started, which was scheduled to happen at the time, and they pushed back the start of the season by one week and moved the "Muck Bowl" to November 9. This change meant that Glades Central and Pahokee were scheduled to play Suncoast and Vero Beach respectively on November 2.

One idea was to move the "Muck Bowl" to either Thursday, November 1 or Friday, November 2, but that would hamper the schedules of not only Glades Central and Pahokee but also their opponents.

"We're not going to back out on Vero Beach, and we're not going to mess up multiple schedules for the Muck Bowl to be on TV," Palm Beach County Athletic Administrator Yetta Green said. "If we start moving teams and dates around, it's going to unravel the schedules of at least six teams. It will all snowball."

As of right now it appears that ESPN won't be covering the "Muck Bowl" due to the scheduling, but it's nice to see someone, especially at the high school level, do what's right and not cave in to the pressure of potentially having a game televised on ESPN.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome To Gainesville Emmanuel Moody

Emmanuel Moody, the Trojans second leading rusher a year ago, has decided to transfer to the University of Florida. He'll have to sit out the '07 season, but he'll be ready to contribute in '08.

"I followed my heart," said Moody, the Trojans' second-leading rusher last season. "It's when you get that feeling that you know something is right and you can't really describe."

Moody ran for 459 yards and two touchdowns at USC, averaging a team-high 5.8 yards per rush last season. He said he left the program because of the depth at his position, citing a "business decision" and his need to be the featured back.

Of the Gators, Moody said, "They get their playmakers the ball."

He was ranked as a top 10 running back prospect coming out of high school, and played well last year. However, he was battling some injuries during the spring, and competing with as many as 10 other players for playing time at tailback which added up to him requesting a release so he could transfer.

I can't wait to see him put on the Orange and Blue in '08.

When Your Exercise Routine Turns Into A Terrorism Scare

For the most part, I hope that people keep an eye open for "suspicious activity"(as long as I'm not the suspect!), but sometimes I can't help but think that people get carried away. Like when they think that someone is planning a terrorist attack in the parking lot of an IKEA.

Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.

The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

The siblings set off the scare while organizing a run for a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers, a worldwide group that bills itself as a "drinking club with a running problem."

A "drinking club with a running problem"? They should have the charges against them dropped just because of that awesome slogan. I've participated in club runs like this, and they have to be marked so that you don't end up getting lost. Though, I guess the people of New Haven, CT(an obvious target rich environment for terrorists) have trouble differentiating between an arrow marking a direction, and anthrax released into the environment.
Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know," she said. "It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."

Yeah, you also never know just how boneheaded some people can be, and what lengths they'll take things to. Seriously, they want these people to pay restitution? It's not like they made a fake 911 call or something similar. It was just a case of a citizen(most likely an elderly busybody that freaks out about everything) making an incorrect assumption, and calling the police. I'm not sure what "resources" went into figuring out that Al Qaeda wasn't attacking the IKEA store, but to charge these two participants with felonies and demand that they pay resitution is ridiculous.

And exactly what would be worse than a terrorist attack at an IKEA? Finding a piece of glass in your IKEA marinated herring? Oh.

The U.S. Open, Now With Less Gambling

I've heard that people will bet on anything, though I've never thought of tennis as being something that's heavily involved in any type of wagering. A $20,000 bet on shooting left-handed free throws? Probably happens all of the time. Wagering on fantasy football teams? Definitely! Placing bets on tennis? Uh, I guess so.

Well, U.S. Open officials are concerned enough that they hired a security firm and set up a "whistleblower hotline".

The U.S. Open hired a security firm run by a former New York City police commissioner, set up a whistle-blower hotline and is taking other steps to make sure it doesn't wind up with a gambling scandal.

In the wake of a recent betting investigation in tennis and a former NBA referee's admission he gambled on games he officiated, the U.S. Tennis Association decided "to see if there's something more that we can do," USTA senior director of communications Chris Widmaier said Thursday.

A whistleblower hotline? I have a feeling all of the lines are going to be jammed up with Richard Williams calling to complain about his daughters.

Though, if the hotline doesn't work there are signs to remind everyone about just how bad gambling is.
Also, signs describing the Open's gambling policy have been posted in locker rooms, player lounges, training rooms and elsewhere around the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Under the heading, "REMINDER," the signs read: "The participation in or aiding and abetting, directly or indirectly, of any form of gambling or betting involving tennis is strictly prohibited. The USTA has a zero tolerance policy on gambling or betting involving tennis, and any violation of such policy will result in immediate disciplinary action."

Right now, Roger Goodell is having similar ones placed in NFL locker rooms, though they read "Gambling On The NFL Is Punishable By Death".

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - College Football Is Almost Here! 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 was thinking about holding off addressing the start of college football season until next week when, you know, it actually starts, but I couldn't help myself. College football is a wonderful, magical and oftentimes heartbreaking sport that I enjoy following each and every year. I told myself that I wasn't going to get too rabid this season due to Florida satisfying my championship craving, but I can already feel the anticipation that leads to heightened excitement working its way back.

Until the games start next Thursday, feel free to watch this highlight video repeatedly to help you get amped up. College football is back! Happy Friday!

Keep The Cluck Out Of The Canal

If there is one thing that sportsfans usually are it's wacky. Whether it's some type of weird superstition, or a crazy post-game celebration us sportsfans are always coming up with unusual ways to show our support. And the fans in Japan are no different.

Competition begins on Saturday in the western Japanese metropolis famous for the "curse of the Colonel" and where the sports-crazy locals often plunge into the city's murky canal.

After the Hanshin Tigers won the Japan Series baseball in 1985, thousands of baseball fans jumped into the Dotombori canal, taking a statue of the Colonel pinched along the way with them.

The Man in White was never seen again but the Tigers have been easy to find -- extra crispy and usually at the bottom of their league ever since.

So, the sportsfans in Osaka grab the Colonel from KFC and throw him into the canal as they jump in? I guess it doesn't really matter too much since we all know he dead.

Greyhound Racing, Now With Cocaine!

I hate reading or hearing any story where animal cruelty is involved, but this one is just too bizarre not to address.

First, the main focus of the story right now is that investigators found three dead dogs at Bread Winner Kennel. Right now they have stated that "it is not known at this time precisely what the dogs died from but one can be certain that it was not natural causes and that the dogs suffered a lonely, painful death”. That's horrible by itself, but why were they there investigating in the first place?

State investigators found three dead racing greyhounds while investigating cocaine positive drug tests on dogs at the Daytona Beach Greyhound Track, according to a group that advocates for Greyhounds.

Yes, apparently greyhounds from that kennel had tested positive for cocaine at some point during their racing event at the greyhound track.

I'm not condoning this by any means, but can you imagine a greyhound on cocaine? That thing would probably be as fast as a cheetah, though its post-race jitters would be annoying as hell. The kennel trainer, Nelson Ulrich, is probably going to be severely punished(rightfully so) thanks in part to this Vick fiasco. Hopefully part of his punishment includes running from a pack of hungry greyhounds.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vernon Maxwell Still Doesn't Grasp That Whole Child Support Thing

Vernon Maxwell has been arrested again in part because of his failure to pay child support. Apparently he turned himself in to authorities in Alachua County, Florida on Sunday because "he violated probation by not paying the state for his supervision, possessing a controlled substance and failing to pay court-ordered child support".

In case you were wondering, no, this isn't the first time he's had problems keeping up with his child support duties.

Maxwell was jailed in Jan. 2005 in Washington state after his arrest as a fugitive on an outstanding arrest warrant from Florida. He was transferred to Alachua County from Georgia in 2004 to face a felony charge of failure to pay more than $160,000 in child support.

Maxwell was later released on bond and told to stay in the county until the case was resolved. A warrant was issued for his arrest in Dec. 2004 on when he failed to appear for a hearing.

From NBA champion to child support delinquent. Though, it could be worse, he could have Michael Vick type legal problems.

High School Football, Where A Loss Really Isn't A Loss

For the most part, when there are two teams playing each other in any sport you think that either the game counts or it doesn't count for both of them. However, that's not always the case in high school football where "interstate games" often don't count for both teams.

For example, Miami Booker T. Washington asked the FHSAA to make its game against Summerville count as a regular season one. The FHSAA complied because they took "into consideration that Washington, which was 12-2 last season, had only nine regular-season games scheduled". Though, it probably also has something to do with the fact that the game is going to be nationally televised on ESPN, and the more competitive it is the better the ratings will be.

This isn't the first game this season that counts as a regular season contest for one team but not the other.

Jacksonville First Coast, which was 9-2 last season, will meet Berkeley (8-6) at 4 p.m. on ESPNU. That's a game that counts for Berkeley, but not for First Coast.

"One of the agreements we made was, we would play this game like it's playing for a state championship," said Marty Lee, First Coast's coach.

Two weeks ago, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes -- the South Carolina power that hosts Orlando's Dr. Phillips, on Sept. 6 -- won 41-35 against Charlotte, N.C., Independence. But the loss did not end Independence's 108-game winning streak because it came in a preseason scrimmage.

On the surface these arangements don't seem too unordinary, but I wonder what other teams from these conferences think about one of their opponents getting a win for playing a team that's not "penalized" for losing. It's similar to an NFL team getting credit for a regular season win for a victory they racked up in the preseason. Obviously that wouldn't be fair to the other teams, and I'm curious if anyone has, or ever will, question the validity of these high school games.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wal-Mart, Your New Source For Impromptu Footraces Between Blue Chippers

If you're a college football fan, then you're probably heard of Noel Devine. You might have even seen some of his highlight reels on YouTube. Things like this, where his speed and agility threaten to rip a hole in the space-time continuum.

Clips like that have, according to Wikipedia(it's a "pedia" so it has to be true!), made him an "Internet phenomenon". Wikipedia also states that "Noel has been called enigmatic, mysterious, even legendary, since clips of his on-field accomplishments began appearing on various web sites such as Sunshine".

When he announced that he would be attending West Virginia, many people couldn't help but get excited over the prospect of having Pat White, Steve Slaton and Noel Devine on the field at the same time. It does seem rather dangerous for the Earth's rotation, but should be electrifying nonetheless.

However, one thing many of you may not know is that Devine was actually beaten in a footrace by another top running back prospect from the state of Florida, and it occured in a Wal-Mart parking of all places. Apparently, Devine put the word out that he wanted to race Chris Rainey(add him to Harvin and Thompson and Florida has its own rotation alterers), and when that got back to Rainey he strapped on his shoes and went looking for his challenger.

Legend had it that Fort Myers running back Noel Devine, a protege of Deion Sanders and a West Virginia freshman, once challenged Rainey to a race at a Wal-Mart.

The legend is true.

"I was at my home chilling and got a phone call saying Noel Devine is up there at the movies, looking for you," Rainey said. "I put on my shoes, strapped them up, went up there, found him."

Rainey beat Devine three times, he said.

Obviously, it's not the most official of races, but it does provide a good example of just how fast Chris Rainey is. So, this season when you're watching college football, and you see Noel Devine break a long run, remember that he was defeated in a Wal-Mart parking lot not once, but three times by Chris Rainey.

Now that's what I call Wal-Mart parking lot fast!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Welcome To The NFL Bobby Petrino!

Somewhat lost in all of the Michael Vick hoopla is that the Falcons team Bobby Petrino agreed to coach way back on January 8 is significantly different now. Think about it, when he arrived in Atlanta he had Michael Vick starting, one of the NFL's most sought after back-ups in Matt Schaub, a decent DE in Patrick Kerney, a solid FB in Justin Griffith and an apparently healthy running back in Warrick Dunn.

Now, Coach Petrino is looking at starting Joey Harrington with Chris Redman(and his 10 total games of experience) as the lone back-up(DJ Shockley is out for the year), thanks to Vick's desire to kill dogs and the trading of Schaub to Houston. He also lost Kerney to Seattle, Griffith to Oakland and Dunn is coming off of back surgery due to a herniated disc.

The team is quite different than the one he took over the duties as head coach for a little over seven months ago. Hopefully he puts most of that $24 million over 5 years away because this stint as an NFL head coach could burn him out forever. Or maybe he could ask to opt out of his contract since this isn't really the same team he agreed to coach, and he could head back to Louisville to re-take the head coach spot with the #11 ranked Cardinals. At least there he wouldn't have to worry about Brian Brohm torturing dogs.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What's That, Bud Selig Gave Barry Bonds Steroids?

Oh man, if even 1/10 of this were true it would be awesome. America's favorite litigious inmate(well, my favorite at least) has filed another lawsuit. This time against Barry Bonds, Bud Selig and...Hank Aaron's bat!. With defendants like that involved who needs Judge Judy for law humor?

Some of the best parts are:

"Barry Bonds and Bud Selig are in a secret conspiracy together to boost television ratings. Mr. Selig has been secretly giving Barry Bonds steroids for over 9 years under the supervision of Sammy Sosa. Mr. Selig on 2 occcations(Dec. 10th 2001, Feb. 6th 2003) met Mr. Bonds at the I-70 Steak 'n Shake, booth #11, made an under the table cream exchange, needles, HGH, as Mr. Bonds provided Mr. Selig 22 thousand for his services.

I knew Sammy was involved with steroids! Though, I had no idea he was instructing Bonds on how to use them. And an "under the table cream exchange" between Bonds and Selig? I don't think my lunch really liked me reading that.

Barry Bonds uses Hank Aaron's corked bat during ballgames. The bat has a secret chamber where Barry stores his HGH supplements.

A bat with secret chambers? Sounds like something Harry Potter would use. I always doubted that he was a non-doping wizard.

Barry Bonds on June 22, 2004, bench pressed me against my will to show off in front of his ballpark buddies. I also witnessed Mr. Bonds selling steroids to nuns.

Well, that explains why we never knew about this, Barry doesn't have any "ballpark buddies". Also, you might want to ask your local Catholic school to test their nuns for 'roids to prevent any danger of them "going yard" on your child with a ruler.

Barry Bonds used Hank Aaron's bat to crack the Liberty Bell.

Ok, the steroid stuff is one thing, but cracking the Liberty Bell?

Mr. Bonds gave mustard gas to Saddam Hussein. Part of the oil for food scandal.

Well, maybe Barry can go to work for GWB when Karl Rove leaves at the end of the month because he obviously knows where the WMD's are.

There are other interesting items in there, so you should check it out.

Oh yeah, any lawsuit filed by someone who calls himself the "White Suge Knight" has to have some truth, right?

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Tropical Juice 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.

As a surfer in Florida, I always look forward to hurricane season. Yes, that may seem weird, but hurricanes, and tropical storms, produce some of the best waves we see all year. I hate looking foward to something that could end up causing lots of damage and taking some lives. I pray that all of the systems end up being "fish spinners", and when a storm appears that it's going to impact land I hope that everyone in the area has heeded any and all warnings.

With that said, the east coast of Florida is set to receive some decent sized swell from Hurricane Dean late this weekend into early next week. I can't wait to ride something with a little power, since most of the recent swells have been small and weak, pushed in courtesy of the Bermuda High. Hopefully we get something even bigger later in the season from a storm that does no damage and recurves out to sea after paralelling the coast. To show how good Florida can get on Hurricane swells here's a video of Chris Ward surfing Hurricane Wilma in Miami back in '05.

Happy Friday!

PS- Please pray for everyone in the Caribbean that's going to get slammed by Dean.

Feel Free To Blame ESPN For This Super Bowl Thing

Deadspin has done a good job covering the announcement of Ryan Seacrest handling the hosting duties for the Super Bowl, and alerting us to the fact that he played safety in high school. Well, in my quest to see if there was actual footage of Seacrest doing something other than smiling awkwardly or frosting his hair, I found out that he actually hosted a program for ESPN. From Wikipedia:

During his freshman year of college, Seacrest was offered his first television hosting job as the host of an ESPN program in which athletes competed against one another for cash prizes. He left the University of Georgia without graduating. has the series listed as the "Radical Outdoor Challenge". And what do you know, I was able to track down a short clip. It does have the Sklar Brothers doing some humorous commentary since it appeared on "Cheap Seats".

Seacrest and ESPN? Sssuper!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pick A Number, Any Number. Except For 8.

It looks like Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a decision to make regarding his car for next season. It also looks like the tension between Dale Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt will continue for the forseeable future. Junior's stepmother, Teresa, owns the rights to use the number "8" on cars run by her DEI team, and Junior's new team, Hendrick Racing, wasn't able to acquire those rights.

Hendrick was unable to reach an agreement to acquire the number from DEI, owned by Earnhardt's stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. Family history with "8" dates to Earnhardt's grandfather, the late Ralph Earnhardt, and has been carried by Junior for his entire Nextel Cup career.

DEI had first right of refusal to continue its lease of the number from NASCAR, which technically owns all numbers assigned to cars.

So Dale Jr., who has been using the number eight for quite a few years, and chose it because his grandfather had used it, won't be allowed to use it next season. And it sounds like Hendrick Motorsports did their best to secure the rights, but that Teresa Earnhardt wasn't willing to budge.
"Obviously, he has a tremendous history with that number, and we know how important it is to his fans. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense, and now we have to move forward with other options."

I have a feeling that when Marshall Carlson, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, says "we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense" what he really means is "Teresa Earnhardt wouldn't stop being a bitch for a few minutes to let Dale Jr. keep his old number".

And for those of you that, like me, thought he could just take over his dad's old #3, he would have to strike a deal with Richard Childress Racing.
The No. 3, carried by the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., remains under the control of Richard Childress Racing and has not been retired officially.

This is just another occurence that causes many NASCAR fans to dislike Teresa Earnhardt, and it will be interesting to see how Dale Jr. responds. I'm hoping that he persuades Ricky Rudd's team to let him use the #88 as a way to show his disdain for his stepmom's actions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lincoln Financial Sports Would Like You To Sweat Your Balls Off

I heard on Monday about the Gators changing the kickoff time of their first game from 6pm to 12:30pm, though I didn't catch the reason. Well, as it turns out Lincoln Financial Sports decided they wanted to televise the UF game, and unlike last year when they wanted to do the same thing, there were no other games available as a replacement. Jeremy Foley let's us know about all of the in's and out's regarding the decision.

"The Southeastern Conference asked us to move our season opener to 12:30 to accommodate our television partner, Lincoln Financial Sports. We were in a similar scenario last year and the league had other options. This year, they had no other alternatives other than to ask us to move our game time and we are contractually obligated to do so."

Which really means "sorry everybody, but because of money we're going to subject you to possible heatstroke, definite sunburn and without a doubt dehydration from drinking too much alcohol and not enough of our wonderful Gatorade."

To give you an idea of the temperature difference between the two times here's what they averaged in Gainesville over the past two days(Sept. 1 isn't too far away, and it's hotter in the stadium anyway).

6pm: 84 degrees
12:30pm: 91 degrees

Remember too, that the game is going to last roughly 3 hours, which, when started at 12:30pm, pushes it into the hottest part of the day. Yesterday, the temp went from 91* at 12:30pm to 93*(2pm) to 96*(4pm). Compare that to 78* at 9pm, and you can see that it's about 20 degrees hotter for the duration of the game.

I knew they made this Gatorade commercial for a reason. Just replace "players" with "fans", and let Keith Jackson tell you what to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Felix Trinidad Leaving His Retirement Castle To Face Recently Unretired Roy Jones, Jr.

Yesterday, everyone's favorite boxing promoter with the finger-in-the-power-socket inspired hairdo(curiously absent in the following clip) announced that Felix Trinidad was coming out of retirement to face Roy Jones Jr.

Remember when Jones was at the top of the boxing world? The point where he had amassed over 40 wins, and his lone "loss" was a DQ against Montell Griffin. And remember when Trinidad had an umblemished record, going an impressive 39-0?

Well, that was back in 2000. The year when this fight was first talked about. At the end of 2000, Jones held the light heavyweight title, and Trinidad was the reigning junior middleweight/super welterweight title holder. However, a deal could never be made, perhaps because of the 15 pound weight difference between classes, and it remained something that people just talked about wanting to see.

The talk of a Jones vs Trinidad match continued into 2001, but went quiet when Trinidad was beaten by Bernard Hopkins. Since then, Jones has compiled a 6-3 record, but one of his greatest accomplishments, taking the WBA heavyweight title from John Ruiz, has been overshadowed by a TKO in the second round by Antonio Tarver and follow-up losses to Glencoffe Johnson and again Tarver. Trinidad has fought three times since that loss to Hopkins, going 2-1. His last fight was a loss to Winky Wright in 2005.

So now we're here in 2007, with the Trinidad vs Jones match tentatively scheduled for January 2008. Trinidad says that he's not planning on any type of "tune up" match before his fight, and while there had been some talk of Jones fighting in November, that's probably not going to happen now.

The old adage "better late than never" may prove to be true with this fight, and I truly hope that this turns out to be a great match. However, I think it shows exactly where boxing has gone over the past few years. Instead of getting excited about new talent, we're eagerly anticipating a match between two fighters that, seven years ago probably would have been incredible, but now has us hoping that it won't be a letdown with someone getting seriously injured. Oh well, I'll probably buy it on PPV because right now it's about the best that mainstream boxing is providing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Suspects In Two Seperate Robberies Of NBA Stars In Custody

Authorities in Chicago announced on Saturday that they had four suspects in the robbery of Antoine Walker during a home invasion in custody. The four suspects are: 28-year-old Antoine Larkins, 25-year-old Demorris Hill, 28-year-old Phillip Allison and 23-year-old Gregory Reedfields. Hill and Larkins are also suspected of robbing Eddy Curry a few weeks after the Walker robbery.

Like I usually do when I read "interesting" new articles, I hopped on good 'ole MySpace to see if these guys had profiles, and to see if they mentioned the robberies on them. However, I must state that I'm not a detective of any sort, no matter how much I wish I could grow a Magnum P.I. 'stache, and that I'm pretty sure that the profile listed belong to one of the suspects but I can't be 100% sure.

The only one I could find was Antoine Larkins. Male, 28, from Chicago and has the same name. I'm pretty sure it's our guy. Nothing juicy here. He only has two friends, Tom and R. Kelly. Though, listing that you're a "proud parent" probably shouldn't be followed up with being held for two robberies.

Unfortunately, that was the only MySpace profile I could track down out of the four suspects listed. However, I'll continue to check out MySpace profiles for some humor or insight whenever the names are provided in the articles.

Maybe I Should Reconsider My Non-Support of Pacman's TNA Wrestling

Just to get this out of the way, I'm not a fan of Pacman Jones. Since that's the case maybe I should reconsider my decision not to support his involvement with TNA Wrestling because I think that it might ultimately cost him even more support and success. Take his involvement with the TNA PPV event "Hard Justice" last night.

Jones entered the ring with the announcer saying:

"He is the most controversial figure in professional sports today!"

Well, Barry Bonds probably wishes that Pacman was the most controversial, but I digress. If you're trying to "rehab" your image do you really want people calling you the "most controversial"?

Then, what about when he actually made it into the ring and explained why he joined TNA?
He explained he wanted to join TNA because it "is the trendsetter and Pacman Jones is a trendsetter." When asked why he decided to wrestle, Jones said he wanted to show, "I'm the best team player that ever lived."

I'm not exactly sure what trend Pacman is setting by being partially involved with TNA wrestling matches, but I do know that he is not the "best team player that ever lived". If he was, he would have stayed out of trouble, and not forced the Titans to sign Kelly Herndon and Michael Waddell, and draft Ryan Smith. However, by saying that, he's projecting a level of arrogance that doesn't make him seem the least bit remorseful for what he's done. And he's pretty adamant about it.
"You talk a lot, know what I'm saying," Jones said. "You talk a lot. But one thing about me, I don't talk the talk, I walk the walk."

Sure, if "walking the walk" includes being implicated in a fight and triple shooting in Las Vegas, or biting a police officer.

In the end, Jones was shown backstage being carried out of the arena on a stretcher after supposedly being attacked(though, it is wrestling so I guess everything "supposedly" happens).

I understand that wrestling is scripted(there's something I have to tell you about Santa and the Easter Bunny too), and that Pacman is playing a character, but the crimes he's accused of and his NFL suspension are very real. Somehow I don't see his participation with TNA as being the best vehicle for showing that he's willing to change. But maybe that's the biggest reason why I should support his involvement with it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Flight Of The Conchords 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 you get some comedy to get your weekend started off right. I'm not sure how many of you out there have seen the Flight of The Conchords show on HBO. If you haven't, then get HBO immediately and start watching!

Seriously, Jemaine and Bret are damn funny, and their band manager Murray cracks me up all of the time. Here are a few clips to get you acquainted with what you've been missing.

Happy Friday!

The Hair Club For Baseball Suspensions

Things really aren't going your way when you receive a suspension because of the hair growth medicine you're taking. Which is exactly what happened to an American pitcher playing in a Japanese baseball league.

An American pitcher has become the first player to fail a drug test in Japanese baseball history.

Japanese baseball commissioner Yasuchika Negoro said Friday that Rick Guttormson tested positive for a banned substance and has been suspended for 20 days. Guttormson's team, the Softbank Hawks in Japan's Pacific League, were fined $63,000.

Japanese baseball officials said a postgame test July 13 revealed Finasteride in Guttormson's system. Finasteride was in a hair-growing agent the 30-year-old Guttormson had been taking for two years. It's banned because it can be used as a masking agent.

I wasn't able to find any pictures showing exactly how bald Guttormson is, but it doesn't sound like he was purposefully trying to mask his test results. It sounds like he was just the unfortunate victim of baseball's broad steroid/doping ban.

And while using the excuse "I didn't know" isn't always viable because the players are supposedly informed of what is legal and what isn't, there does seem to be an expansive gray area that legit players get caught in. Hopefully it's something that can be tweaked to make incidents like this non-existent.

PacMan's Charges Dismissed

Well, it looks like we were wrong. PacMan was innocent, and it was proven today when the charges against him were dismissed.

In his traffic violations case.

Back in June, PacMan was pulled over in Tennessee because the plates on his Lamborghini didn't match that vehicle. He was also cited for a "registration violation, as well as a residency violation for having a Georgia license and failure to show proof of insurance".

Of course PacMan made it out to be an extremely important legal victory.

"I knew the truth would come out in the end," Jones said after a hearing in Williamson County, the Nashville suburb where he owns a home.

It will definitely be interesting to see what truth comes out in his other cases. I have a feeling that he might not be as celebratory.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

That Train Wouldn't Have Had A Chance

Some nationalities are just known for certain things. The French deliver us great wine and cheese. Russians and Poles produce great vodka. Germans have to have beer present when supporting soccer teams or they get rowdy. Well, at least that's what Germany's national railway tells us.

Germany's national railway wasn't about to risk sending a trainload of soccer fans to a German Cup match without beer.

Federal police said Monday that the beer tap failed aboard a special train carrying Bayer Leverkusen fans to Hamburg on Saturday. The fault was discovered half an hour into the journey.

"In order not to endanger the good mood" of the passengers, railway officials halted the train in Wuppertal for 25 minutes and had a replacement part delivered by taxi, a police statement said. It added that there was no trouble among the fans.

I love the fact that they didn't want to "endanger the good mood". That's a more polite way of saying "we didn't want them to burn this motherfucker to the ground!"

It's a much different outcome than if it had happened to soccer fans in the U.S. If this had happened on an Amtrak train here they would have kept on going and everyone would have just blamed David Beckham.

Don't Say That Warren Sapp Didn't Warn You

Last year Warren Sapp revealed that he had been poisoned while eating meals on the road. It appears that a similar case of food poisoning may have struck the Norwich City soccer team.

Norwich City's preparations for the new second division season have been hit by vomiting and diarrhoea following a social event for players, staff and their families.

Four players were among some 30 people taken ill following a barbecue at the club's training ground on Sunday. The club said in a statement it had contacted the local environmental health authorities about the incident.

I'm actually surprised that this doesn't happen a bit more often with how overzealous some fans can be. I guess that's just proof of how good the quality control is with respect to the food that the players are eating. Or maybe the teams have learned from Emperor Claudius, and they employ trustworthy food tasters.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Eugene Gross, Heading Back To School For The AAFL

I'll admit, when I first heard about the AAFL, I was a bit skeptical. Though, it's hard not to be when you look at all of the different football leagues that have popped up and then folded throughout the years. However, the same was probably said about the AFL when they started, and look what that's become.

The more I read and hear about the league, and the more interaction that I have with the people working hard to make this league a reality, the more excited I get to see this thing kick off next spring. It's also made me hopeful that a number of former athletes will return to their former college or university to get their degree. Athletes like Eugene Gross.

Gross was a very successful running back for the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, starting at tailback all four years. Despite being able to run and catch the ball well(he holds the MTSU record of total receptions by a running back), he went undrafted following the completion of his senior season this past year. Gross views the AAFL as his way to continue playing football, but there's one problem. He doesn't hold the four year degree from his college that is required by the AAFL. So he's heading back to school to pick up the 13 credit hours he needs for his diploma so that he can continue playing the game he loves in a professional league.

Former MTSU running back Eugene Gross has an additional incentive to finish his degree. Gross wants to play in the new All-American Football League, but it requires players possess a four-year degree.

Gross, who recently earned his real estate license, lacks 13 credit hours to graduate with a bachelor's degree in sports psychology. The All-American Football League is set to start in 2008.

"I want to put the pads on again because I've still got the love for the game in me," said Gross, MTSU's all-time leader in receptions among running backs.

"My agent is trying to get a tryout set up for me, but I've got to focus on school so that I can graduate in December and keep playing."

And while getting fans to come to the games is a great indicator of the league's success, if they can motivate former student-athletes to go back to school to finish their degree requirements that might ultimately be the most successful aspect of it.

Are That Many High School Football Players Really Using Steroids?

This high school football season in Florida is going to be a bit different than past ones because of a bill signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist back in June. The law states that athletes and their parents must consent to the "anabolic steroid random testing program" before they can play any regular season games.

I don't have a problem with the program, but one quote from an Orlando Sentinel article on the matter caught my eye. This is from Nathan Keller, a senior middle linebacker at West Orange High School.

"I'm sure a lot of kids that are hearing about this today are pretty scared, because I think a lot of guys are juiced," said Nathan Keller, a middle linebacker entering his senior year at West Orange High School. "I think a lot of guys might not play football once they realize they could get tested."

"I wouldn't be scared or nervous, because I know I'm not on steroids," Keller said. "But there are probably five kids on every football team out there that are doing at least something to get bigger."

Five kids on every team that are juiced? There are 18 high schools in Orange County alone, so that would mean that close to 100 kids are using steroids. For some reason that number seems awfully high to me. Though, not all 18 of those schools have football teams. Hopefully the new bill can help eradicate the problem that seems to be so big in our area high schools.

PacMan Slated To Get Slammed This Thursday

In case you haven't heard about PacMan Jones' offseason plans, he's signed up to participate in events with TNA Wrestling. That's right, instead of playing on the field he'll be stepping into the squared circle for some involvement in one of the storylines(what? you mean wrestling is fake!).

PacMan is scheduled to make his debut this Thursday night, and it should be interesting to see just how involved he is. Though, he admits that he's a big wrestling fan so they'll probably try to use him as much as possible.

He signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and will make his in-ring debut on Thursday, the company said Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jones' first appearance will be for its iMPACT! show on Spike TV, and he'll appear in a pay-per-view show on Sunday. TNA films at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

"I am a big fan of wrestling, so I wanted to give it a try," Jones said in a statement. "I respect wrestling and I'm not coming in like it's just a show. I want to prove that I am the greatest team-sport athlete."

The greatest team-sport athlete eh? Riiight, because you're really helping your team right now. You remember, the Tennessee Titans, the team that drafted you to be their starting cornerback, but was forced to bring in some replacements due to your suspension. No matter what Jeff Fisher says, I have a feeling he wouldn't mind seeing PacMan get powerbombed through a table.

Friday, August 03, 2007

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Jake Brown Badass 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 5 o'clock somewhere post is brought to you by Jake Brown and his set of giant, steel balls. Seriously, when you're in first place, and still attempt a run like this you have to be equipped with 'em. I know that no matter how much alcohol I consume this weekend whatever hangover I wake up with will pale in comparison to what Mr. Brown must have felt like as he walked off the halfpipe. Jake, you sir are a badass.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

If This Happened In The U.S. We Would Have No Sports To Watch

It seems that in recent times athletes being busted for DUI's has become somewhat commonplace(.08, that's like half a beer!). I'm not condoning driving under the influence, though I find that when most people hear about an athlete getting arrested for driving after drinking too much they usually shrug their shoulders and say something like "sucks to be him". However, maybe that's because a number of people I talk to shouldn't even be driving back to work on Friday after lunch, let alone at 1AM on Saturday morning.

Anyway, a figure skater in Japan by the name of Nobunari Oda was "suspended from international competition for five months on Thursday after police caught him riding his moped while under the influence of alcohol". And that's not all:

The 20-year-old, a descendant of the mighty 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga, was also banned from domestic competition for three months by the Japan Skating Federation (JSF).

JSF officials imposed a further penalty on Oda by suspending all financial aid for his training, which only the federation's elite skaters receive, until the end of the year.

Sweet jeebus. Banned from domestic and international competition, and had his financial aid revoked? If Chris Henry played football in Japan he would probably have been executed by now. The craziest part is that Nobunari's ancestor "conquered most of the country before his death in 1582". His relative did all of that and he still gets slammed with suspensions and financial aid revocation. Jeff Bowden better be glad that Tallahassee isn't located in Japan.

"The Shark" Is Heading To The Smokies

Congratulations Tennessee Smokies, you just picked up Jeff "The Shark" Samardzija after his promotion to Double-A ball following his compilation of a 3-8 record with a 4.95 ERA.

Eventhough his opponents have been hitting .331 against him, everyone, even Daytona Cubs manager Judy Davis, sort of expected Samardzija to make the move to the next level sometime this season.

"I think they pretty much felt like next year he was going to be (at Double A) anyway so why not give him five or six starts there and let him get all the media stuff out of the way," Davis said in a cell phone interview late Wednesday night. "If he can go up there and have three or four good starts, that will be more important than what he did here."

I'm sure that his $10 million/5 year deal with the Cubs is also a strong factor in keeping him moving up the ranks.

Hopefully he has more success in Kodak than he had in Daytona Beach.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bill Belichick Does Not Approve Of This Injury Suspension

Bill Belichick has often been accused of not being 100% honest(what coach really is?) when it comes to listing players on the weekly injury report, but I don't think that even he has ever had a player miss a game then get caught playing another sport.

Mongolian firebrand Asashoryu has been banned for the next two grand sumo tournaments for playing football while supposedly injured.

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) said on Wednesday that Asashoryu would receive a 30 percent pay cut for four months on top of his suspension, both firsts for a "yokozuna".

The 150-kg Asashoryu sparked dismay in Japan's ancient sport by turning out for a charity soccer match in his native Mongolia despite having withdrawn from a regional sumo tour with a back injury.

Asashoryu was shown on television playing football alongside former Japan international Hideotshi Nakata after claiming he had a stress fracture in his lower back.

Asashoryu probably should have gone with some a little more lowkey than a stress fracture in his back. Though, I can totally see Tom Brady missing a game with a supposed stress fracture in his shoulder, and getting caught playing cornhole.

It's Like He's 16 All Over Again

For some reason I love it when an athlete gains notoriety for some level of failure in their sport of choice outside of the professional setting. For instance, like if Peyton Manning broke some poor person's nose with an errant throw while playing catch.

In my real world example it involves Nelson Piquet and his poor everyday driving skills. Piquet won three Formula One world championships('81, '83, '87), one of only eight drivers to win that many. During the 80's he was considered one of the top Formula One racers, but nowadays he'll have to call a friend for a ride. That's because he's had his license revoked, and it's not just for speeding.

Piquet, one of just three Brazilians to win the Formula One world championship, lost his license in June after receiving a slew of speeding and parking tickets. His wife, Viviane, also had her license taken away for bad driving and joined her husband in the mandatory driver awareness course.

"I think we have to pay for our mistakes," Piquet, 54, told local news agency G1. "It's not even just a speeding problem. I got tickets for all kinds of reasons, for things like parking where I shouldn't."

I could understand getting a few speeding tickets since he did used to race Formula One cars, but it sounds like he's been busted for an array of offenses. And how hard is it to lose your license in Brazil? It seems to me that he's probably racked up quite a few points. Add to it that he used to get paid to drive a car, and it just makes the whole situation that much funnier.

Drive In A Busch Race On Saturday, Get Mugged On Sunday

Is it just me or does there seem to be quite a few robberies involving athletes these days? Just in the past few months, Antoine Walker, Eddie Curry, and now Steve Wallace, son of Rusty Wallace, have been accosted. Fortunately for Wallace, his thieves weren't as successful as the ones in the other incidents.

The younger Wallace was attacked Sunday by at least three people outside a convenience store following the race, according to a statement on Rusty Wallace's Web site Tuesday.

Steve Wallace, who was 17th in the Kroger 200 Busch race Saturday night at nearby O'Reilly Raceway Park, remained in Indianapolis to watch the Nextel Cup race on Sunday.

Steve Wallace said the men jumped him as he left the store and tried to take a wrist watch he received from a sponsor after his second career pole position at Nashville Superspeedway in June.

The robbery attempt was unsuccessful, and one of the suspects was caught later that night, the team said.

Geez, what happened to the good 'ole days when all athletes had to worry about were extortion, blackmail and paternity tests?

Goodbye Fan Attic!

I'm not an Orlando Magic fan, though I don't hate them either, but I did like the Fan Attic building in downtown Orlando that sold their merchandise.

I remember seeing that building whenever my parents took my sister and I to the themeparks. Passing it meant that we were almost there. I also remember my friends who were Magic fans purchasing jerseys, hats and posters that they couldn't find anywhere else(yes kids, this was before the Internet became a global marketplace).

I'm sad to see it go, but downtown Orlando's traffic is a nightmare, and the Fan Attic's demolition is just another project that hopefully helps alleviate some congestion(good luck with that).

The Orlando Sentinel has pretty good coverage on the whole thing.

That's Definitely Not Proper Form

Anytime I ever hear or read something related to weightlifting someone always ends up addressing(or preaching) proper form. It's too bad that they didn't educate this guy in time.