Saturday, November 30, 2013


We're used to seeing athletes getting into hot water or making outrageous statements, but coaches? Governors? Even used-car salesmen are plumbing depths never before seen.

** College football rivalries can be a lot of fun and certainly very interesting.  USC & Notre Dame have a long-standing feud, but it isn't as intense as some of today's battles. One year, Notre Dame showed up for the game wearing gold helmets. At the Army-Navy game, the two corps would try to out-cheer each other. Syracuse-PennState was always very heated, but nothing like Auburn vs. Alabama.
Both schools are in the same state and are only about 150 miles apart. Close enough that there are many families in the state where one spouse went to Auburn, the other to Alabama. We've seen pictures of  houses decorated  Orange & Blue (Auburn) on one side, Crimson (Ala.) on the other. One Rabid (and I mean RABID) Alabama fan actually poisoned two iconic Oak Trees at Toomers Corner in Auburn. The perpetrator has been arrested, but I'll bet Auburn fans won't be satisfied until the punishment fits the crime.
So this game - called The Iron Bowl - goes on about 6:00 P.M. tonight.

** Up north, another civil war is taking place. Ohio State is in Ann Arbor, MI, to play Michigan. This little get-together has it's die-hard fans, too. A car salesman in Ann Arbor is offering free cars if Michigan shuts out Ohio State, while the governor of Ohio has issued a proclamation, forbidding the use of the letter 'M' on Saturday. This one's being played at noon.

** So lets all get ready for "Saturday Bloody Saturday"
Florida vs Florida State (Seminoles vs 'Gators in the "Non-PC Bowl")
Duke vs North Carolina (This is more heated during basketball season)
UCLA vs USC (Can this be called the "Initials Bowl?)
Baylor vs TCU (I think the TCU Horned Frogs were last in the team nickname line)

** We know athletes are always trying to get an edge on their opponents, even to stretching the rules when they can, but now coaches are doing it too.
 -- Steeler coach Mike Timlin stood ON THE FIELD during a runback against Baltimore, impeding the path of the Ravens runner, which may have prevented him from scoring. No call from the refs and Timlin just grinned. Nobody from Baltimore thought it was funny.
-- In a game against the Lakers, Brooklyn Nets coach found a way to stop the game to set up a shot, even though they had no time outs left. He "accidentally" spilled a drink onto the court, forcing the refs to stop the game while it was being cleaned up. Later, Jason Kidd explained that in the "...heat of the moment, his palms were sweaty."  Nobody could keep from laughing at that excuse.

** On the baseball front, A-Rod keeps adding to his lawsuit against MLB, the latest charging Selig for not testifying at his hearing. There is a rumor, unverified, that A-Rod's next lawsuit is against Bud Selig personally for having a "juvenile nickname."

Congratulations to Vin Scully who just celebrated his 86th birthday.  Probably the best sportscaster ever!

"Georgia Southern beat Florida without completing a pass. That's right, no passes. Which reminds me: Kobe Bryant said he’s almost ready to play."  -- RJ Currie
" Dennis Rodman has a  new line of signature vodka: “One shot and you want a nose ring. Two shots and you’re flying to North Korea."  -- Greg Cote
"A celebratory balloon released during a Nebraska football game eventually landed in Ludington State Park in Michigan — 565 miles away."  -- Dwight Perry 
Alert statisticians immediately declared it the longest touchdown in Husker history.
" Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams shoved a referee. That's a new low - you're playing the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and you end up looking like the bad guy"  -- Brad Dickson
"Denver blew a 24-0 half-time lead and lost to the Patriots in November's second-largest collapse. The largest was Heidi Montag having her F-cup implants removed."  -- RJ Currie
"There were something like five 5K runs in the Omaha area on Thanksgiving Day. Well, four 5K runs. The last one was a group of people chasing a turkey"  -- Brad Dickson

"The Bengals-Chargers game in San Diego will be the first NFL blackout this year. Yeah, that’s the way to raise interest in a team that can’t sell out its games – make sure local fans can’t watch."  -- Janice Hough
"A Target store in Jacksonville is giving away free Jaguars gear. A spokesperson said, What else can we to do with all this stuff that’s been returned?"  -- TC Chong

"At Walmarts around the country, fights reportedly were breaking out on Black Friday. The line continues to blur between holiday shopping and a WWE cage match."  -- Brad Dickson


Thursday, November 28, 2013


It should be just a discussion and/or exchange of opinions, but the Baseball Hall Of Fame election seems to hit nerves from everywhere - including here.
Buster Olney has written another article in which he claims that there are so many HOF-worthy candidates that he can't vote for all that he wants to because he's limited to ten. The reason, he says, is the logjam created by the 'alleged' PED users that a lot of voters won't vote for. Some of them should have already been voted in - according to Buster.

There are 36 eligible players on this years ballot. They are all good players, but 17 of them will probably never be elected because their careers really don't warrant it. Players like Richie Sexton, J.T. Snow or Eric Gagne. Buster says he won't be able to vote for 7 players he deems worthy of election.His standards must be a lot lower than mine, because there are only six I would vote for.
Here are the players that are creating Buster's logjam:
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Rafael Palmeiro
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Some players are marginal and not on my ballot, but I wouldn't be unhappy if they make it.
Edgar Martinez
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Mike Piazza
Don Mattingly
Tom Glavine
Mike Mussina
Curt Schilling
Chad's Six
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Frank Thomas
Greg Maddux
Jeff Kent
Tim Raines

Ryan Braun "apologized" yesterday, sounding like every athlete that got caught in a lie. He said he was 'sorry for some mistakes he had made,'  and that he 'wished he could go back and not make those mistakes.'
Finally, he said, 'It was time to move on.' He didn't say he lied, and  he didn't admit specifically that he used steroids. Right - "mistakes were made." Don't you just love third-person apologies?

So let's end on a high note: HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

"Mike Tyson now says he was high on drugs during several fights. I'm guessing he wasn't exactly sober when he signed that contract with Don King, either."  -- Brad Dickson
"Three NFL games tomorrow – Green Bay Detroit, Dallas Oakland, and Pittsburgh-Baltimore. With only two teams, Detroit and Dallas, over .500, barely, at 6-5. Talk about Thanksgiving turkeys."  -- Janice Hough
"The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders uniform reportedly hasn't been modified in 14 years. Hey, if it works, don't fix it."  -- RJ Currie

2012: Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta suspended 50 games for PED use. 2013: Peralta signs four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals. Who says cheaters never prosper?"  -- Dwight Perry
"A note to those of you who don’t believe in Purgatory: try watching the last three minutes of an NBA game."  -- RJ Currie

"Thanksgiving is a traditional time for Americans to come together in the spirit of peace and fellowship to give thanks. And then, to turn on TV and watch a Detroit Lion pull some guy's leg off."  -- Brad Dickson
"The International Swimming Hall of Fame is leaving its longtime home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I know this because on the flagpole outside the hall, Johnny Weismuller’s swim trunks were flying at half mast.”  -- Greg Cote
"Reliever Brian Wilson refused to shave off his beard to join the Yankees. Apparently that leaves his employment options pretty much left to the Red Sox, ZZ Top and Duck Dynasty."  -- Jim Barach


Sunday, November 24, 2013



** A college coach won a game yesterday by calling a timeout. Naturally, the victim was the snake-bit Syracuse football team. On fourth down, with 4 seconds left, behind by one point, Syracuse sent their field goal unit on to try a 50+ yard field goal. At the snap, the holder stood up and threw a pass toward the sideline and a wide-open tight end. And I mean wide, wide open. There wasn't a Pittsburgh player within 15 yards of him and nobody between him and the goal line. Alas, the Pitt coach had called a timeout just prior to the snap to "freeze" the kicker. Instead, it won the game. With the trick play ruined, Syracuse threw an incomplete pass to end the game.
** The Yanks signed their first big free agent yesterday, former Atlanta catcher Brian McCann. 5 years at $17 million a year. Great left-handed power, made for Yankee Stadium, and a great defensive catcher. He's also above average at "framing a pitch," an ability I personally have no faith in. Half the time, the umpire can't see the pitch, let alone the catcher's glove, so how does that help? It might work if they umpired the game from behind the pitcher, but framing didn't even work like that when I played sandlot ball back in the 50's. On the bad side, McCann doesn't have much of an arm. He's also so slow that  he makes Jorge Posada look like Usain Bolt.
** As John Sterling would say, "An A-Bomb from A-Rod."  And A-Rod dropped a few A-Bombs at the hearing of his suspension appeal. His tantrum came about when the arbiter upheld Bud Selig's refusal to testify. You seldom see A-Rod lose his cool on the field, but the guys in suits found a way. I'm not an A-Rod supporter, but I think Selig's refusal is bull-roar. He's the one who levied the suspension, he should be made to defend it. Oh well, it's off to Federal Court - maybe.
** Buster Olney feels strongly that the Yanks intend to cut A-Rod loose after whatever suspension he serves, his $100 million salary notwithstanding. His thinking is, that after a full year of inactivity and at his age, A-Rod will have nothing left. He has a good point, but that's an awfully big money bite, even for the spendthrift Yanks.
** Another pundit, whose name I've forgotten, suggests a trade that "...will help both teams." Matt Kemp of the Dodgers to the Yanks for CC Sabathia. I don't see how this is any great deal for NY. They're looking to add two starters and they should trade their #1 starter?  I don't think so.
** This is new - brand new. Ian Kinsler was traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder and Kinsler's agent, Jay Franklin, knew nothing about the trade until he got a phone call from ESPN, asking about it. I'll bet he still wants his commission, though.
** LA Angel's owner Artie Moreno, can't spend money fast enough. He just acquired outfielder David Freese from the Cardinals. for Peter Bourjos, adding about $3 million to his already sky-high payroll and still has nothing to show for it.
** There is some poetic justice in this: Current Astro's owner, Jim Crane, has sued the former owner, Drayton McLane, because he claims they misrepresented the value of the regional TV network that broadcasts the Astro's games. He probably should have been more concerned that they misrepresented the quality of the team.
** Students standing behind college football's 4-man broadcast crew (including Lee Corso), display signs rooting for their respective teams - and sometimes crazy things to get noticed. My favorite: "COULDN'T THINK OF A THING"
** Finally. Mike Lupica asks a good question:
"One game for the championship of the world in baseball, who would you rather have at second base, Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano?    Discuss."

"Links legend Chi Chi Rodriguez, who — while trying to break a pane of glass 25 yards away with a shot for “Big Break NFL” TV cameras — hit himself in the groin when the glass held strong and the ball came flying back."  -- Dwight Perry   [Every guy who reads this is wincing right now. - CP]
"Last Tuesday marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which consisted of 272 words. On “Monday Night Football,” it takes Jon Gruden 1,500 words to explain an offside call."  -- Brad Dickson
" The Florida Gators lost in Gainesville to…. Georgia Southern? This is the most embarassing thing to happen in Florida since at least Wednesday."  -- Janice Hough
"An Olympics promotion has Moscow Transit letting passengers ride for free if they do 30 squats in two minutes. I’m not sure about 30, but I’m pretty good at doing squat"  -- RJ Currie
"Jack Taylor of Grinnell College in Iowa just scored 109 points in a game. He scored 138 points in a game last season. I'm no expert, but it may be time to consider double-teaming this guy."  -- Brad Dickson
"And from the The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction file comes word, via San Francisco’s KRON-TV, that police pulled over ex-baseball slugger Jose Canseco’s car, only to discover:  Four goats in the back seat. And one of them was wearing a diaper. (A goat, not Jose.)"  -- Dwight Perry
"Dwight Howard appeared on “Sesame Street” last week. Based on how Howard shoots free throws, I'm guessing the word of the day was “brick.”  -- Brad Dickson
"This weekend Canada will have their 101st Grey Cup football championship. Between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tigercats. Otherwise known as a game between two teams most Americans couldn’t find on a map."  -- Janice Hough
"The woman who ran topless at the President’s Cup said she did it because “streaking for Stricker kind of rhymed.” Whereupon Grey Cup organizers began worrying she’d get ideas for Regina."  -- RJ Currie
"A Buffalo Bills fans slid down a 100ft railing and landed in the section below on another fan. He has been barred from all future Bills games, but has been invited to try related stunts at nearby Niagara Falls."  -- TC Chong


Friday, November 22, 2013

Not Proofed - Read at your own risk

I am just so impressed with professional sports for providing incredible models of mature, ethical, trustworthy behavior.

Bud Selig's boys have set a new standard for civil behavior and logical reasoning explaining why the Commish would never testify at the mediation hearing challenging the 211 game suspension he levied against Alex Rodreiguez. Bud's boys explained that Selig refused to testify because A-Rod got pretty damned mad that Selig wouldn't testify to explain how or what 'evidence' he used to arrive at the 211 games. Read that again. Yup. Bud won't testify because A-Rod got angry that Bud wouldn't testify. Oh, well, now we all understand. I'm sure there will be a job for Bud if a Republican is ever again elected President in our lifetime.

Forget baseball. It's football season and the NFL is doing it's best to garner all of the headlines it so richly deserves. Dan Snyder is at the top of his game offending so many with his convoluted defense of the demeaning Washington moniker, and offending the rest of us with the product he's putting on the field.

The news regarding concussions and CTE continues to get worse while the league collects billions while making bumbling attempts to reduce at least a small measure of the mindless violence that leads to concussions, CTE and other long-term brain damage while juicers cry and Ray Lewis rants on ESPN that without the pain it just ain't football or a 'man's' game anymore. You can count on ESPN to provide the best analysis and insights from its hired murderers.

The Dolphins in particular and many other high profile players in general have mastered the art of portraying 'Real Men' as foul-mouthed, gay basing, racist, overly aggressive douches and coaches as totally out of touch with team control. Of course Sean Peyton showed just how little head coaches know about what goes on in the locker room. He, of course, was never unaware of bounties for gruesome hits and putting opponents, particularly quarterbacks, out of a game. Oh no.

The referees have distinguished themselves as serious practitioners of Blind Mans Bluff and masters of obfuscation in protecting their own.  Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts will replace Ed Hochuli as the dean of NFL officials. Her famous quote, 'What does a word (or rule) mean? It means whatever I say it means!' assures her ascendancy.

And you don't even need to consider Richie Incognito to be thoroughly disgusted with this bunch of bozos.

Meanwhile, the stench coming from the Eastern Conference of the NBA is palpable. Only 3 of 15 teams have a winning record (cough, cough) and Toronto currently leads the Atlantic Conference at 5-7   (cough, gasp, gag). I guess you don't always get what you pay for, folks, unless you like buying tickets to watch really bad basketball.

Gotta go. This all reminds me it's time to take out the trash.


Sunday, November 17, 2013


** Rice running back, Jayson Carter, is 4-9, 135 lbs. If he carries the ball and makes yardage, do they call it a "short gain?"

**Time of possession: Syracuse - 42 minutes, Florida St. - 18 minutes. Final score: Florida St - 59, Syracuse - 3. At least the Orange have the clock management thing down pat.

**Do you think there is a bit of a gap in talent in college football? Yesterday, FSU scored 59 points, Ohio St - 60, Baylor - 63, Clemson - 55, Wisconsin - 51.

**Dr. Orr Limpisvasti, an orthopedic consultant for the LA Angels, says a possible reason for CC Sabathia's loss of speed on his fastball might be due to his weight loss. He says that an athlete's body determines his mechanics and that much of a weight loss (20+ lbs), could change the way he throws and would contribute to his loss of velocity. Pitching coach Lee Mazzone agrees with him. "He needs to gain 25 pounds back," said Mazzone, "Somebody probably told him if he loses weight, he’ll have more longevity. Well guess what? I’d rather have effectiveness." I'll have to show this to my doctor.

**Tim Kurkjian, ESPN, hadn't tweeted in almost 6 months. He had an excuse, though. "I just got a new IPhone. My entire family helped me set it up because I am a technological idiot.."  I know how he feels. It took my wife and I three days to figure out how to make our new cell phone ring. My 12-year old grandson Andrew figured it out in 5 seconds. Via e-mail.

**New ESPN poll: Should Derek Jeter be the Yankees everyday shortstop next season? 57% of the fans in the poll say no.  The only two states that voted yes, were New Jersey and West Virginia. That seems significant but I'm not sure what it means.

**Off to see my cousin's grandson play Pop Warner football, where the players are still in it for the love of sport.  

" The CIAA Division II football championship game between Virginia State and Winston Salem State was cancelled after five Virginia State players allegedly beat up the Winston Salem QB in the bathroom during a luncheon for both teams. Guess they were trying a little too hard to prove they were really the equivalent of Division I players?"  -- Janice Hough 
"A-Rod’s interview with MLB over his suspension has been canceled for tomorrow. Because the Yankees slugger reportedly has the flu. And who would ever expect A-Rod to make up an excuse? Wouldn’t you know. That’s the one shot he didn’t get."  -- Jim Barach
"Anyone who thinks football is a team game hasn’t watched the Green Bay Packers play without Aaron Rodgers."  -- Cam Hutchinson
"Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie — who’s fathered 10 children with eight women — reveals in an upcoming book that he got a vasectomy “late in the 2011 season. Now that’s one clipping call that no one would argue with."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Florida Everglades minor league hockey team started a 58-year-old goalie. He’s the first hockey player whose teeth fell out naturally."  -- Brad Dickson
"A soccer fan lost his house in a bet on the British club team Arsenal to defeat Manchester United. I can picture him yelling at the TV. His wife says, “It’s only a game.” “Honey — you better sit down."  -- Brad Dickson
"Brett Favre has admitted in a radio interview to serious memory loss. Let’s hope he remembers his retirement – any one of them."  -- RJ Currie



Friday, November 15, 2013


...and things not so silly.

It's really hard to argue with this season's end-of-the-year awards. The MVPs are Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutcheon, two guys who led their teams to the playoffs.  There may have been guys who had better batting averages or hit more homers or driven in more runs, but there is no denying that their teams couldn't have been as successful without them. That is the true definition of "most valuable."

Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw won Cy Young awards after being the most dominant pitchers of their respective leagues. Granted there is some luck involved in won-lost records, but if you watched them pitch, you could see that in most cases, batters were over-matched.

As I wrote earlier, I think the Manager-of-the-year choices were also right on the mark, with Terry Francona and Clint Hurdle.

Alex Rodriguez was supposed to be interviewed by MLB today concerning his suspension and the  Bosch Clinic case. Isn't going to happen because A-Rod has the flu and his doctors have advised him "...not to travel." A source close to the situation had this to say, "He's dying to tell his side of the story. But his head is all clogged up right now." That's probably true about his head, but that didn't start with the flu.  He is supposed to present his case before the arbiter starting on Monday and he's supposed to testify in his own behalf. Maybe.
Actually, this whole thing is confusing.
One source says the chances were 60-40 that he would testify on Friday.
Another said it was 75% sure.
One of his lawyers said he won't be there.
A-Rod says he is dying to tell his side of the story, but pleaded the 5th amendment when MLB questioned him about it back in July.
This story line changes hourly. Even Brett Favre is saying, "Dude, decide!"

NY Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner says his $189 million payroll limit is still in effect, but they will do everything possible to put a winning team on the field. With the Yankees, of course, 'winning' means the World Series. The word out of the Winter Baseball meetings is that the Yankees approached every big name agent about their clients. Supposedly, the Yanks have money to spend, but with all the holes they have to fill, Robinson Cano being the biggest, how can they sign any high-priced players and stay under Hal's limit? There is going to be some very inventive finance manipulation to achieve this.

"Pamela Anderson successfully competed in The New York City Marathon. ESPN televised the event and when they showed Pam running, it was in Slo-Mo."  -- TC Chong

"British forensic scientists now believe King Tut died under the wheels of a racing chariot. That tops today’s sports rundown."  -- RJ Currie
"MLB owners today approved funding to expand instant replay in 2014. You know what this means – beer prices are going up."  -- Janice Hough
"Quick question for that Midwest couple who settled their NFL bet with a Taser: Who are you taking in this week’s Charger game?"  -- Dwight Perry
"I'm not surprised that Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe will play against the Broncos on Sunday. Marijuana is legal in Colorado and the game will take place in Mile High Stadium."  -- Jack Finarelli
"On eBay, you can buy signed, authenticated Jim Palmer underwear from the 1970s. Next time you're sick of your job, be glad you're not an “underwear authenticator.”  -- Brad Dickson
"Toronto is considering bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Now if they can just get their mayor to pass a drug test."  -- TC Chong
"Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito has now filed a grievance against the team over his suspension. This might be the biggest mess ever in Florida football not involving Urban Meyer."  -- Janice Hough

"Brian Cashman says Brian Wilson won’t be coming to the Bronx because the free-agent reliever refuses to shave his trademark beard. Guess he’s never heard of the Yankee clipper."  -- Dwight Perry
"A group of Bosnian soccer fans missed their team's historic World Cup soccer qualifier in Lithuania after mistakenly buying airline tickets to Latvia. For the rest of time, I don't want to hear any Bosnian soccer fans call American sports fans dumb."  -- Brad Dickson


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh, and Terry Francona, Cleveland, were chosen Manager of the Year by the Baseball writers association. Both took perennial losers and made them winners in one year, which made them prime candidates for the award. A good second choice might have Joe Girardi, who basically brought a triple-A team into third place in the combative AL East.
John Tomas of the Boston Herald, believes John Farrell, Red Sox manager, actually deserved the award because BB writers traditionally give the award to a manager of a small market team. He calls it "Big-Market Bias." I call it "Big Boston Whining." Farrell is a good manager and he did a fine job, but he really took over for a team with a hellava core, a couple of nice add-ons and made it work for two reasons. 1) His high-priced stars produced, unlike the previous year, and 2) they had no significant injuries. When Joe Torre was winning all those World Series about 13 years ago, voters would claim they didn't vote for him because "...he had all the horses." And they were right. Boston always feels as though they should win everything, all the trophies, all the awards - everything. They also had the help of a very silly trade that the Dodgers made that erased the biggest mistakes their now-departed General Manager made.
So just shut up, Boston, and stop being overly impressed with yourselves.

Congratulations to Terry Francona and Clint Hurdle. They deserved their awards.

Buster Olney,  someone who is usually on the money, has blown this one. He thinks the BB Hall of Fame should increase the number of candidates the writers can vote for from 10 to 15, because with only ten, there are a number of "worthy" candidates that he is forced to leave off his ballot.
First of all, I don't believe there are 15 eligible candidates on the ballot that deserve to be in the Hall, but then, I'm a purist. If you go through the list of members, you will find, as I did, at least 50 players who don't really belong there. For example, Tinkers, Evers and Chance, are in the Hall based on a poem. Can you believe that? Their career stats are an insult to the legitimate members. I won't even go into the Mazeroski situation.
Secondly, Buster says that a log-jam has been created by the eligibility of the so-called PED users that are becoming available. I guess he wants to vote for them. Very few other people want to, that's why they're still there and not getting any real support. Even Barry Bonds has said he doesn't care if he gets in or not. Roger Clemens said the same thing. Sour grapes maybe, but I don't want to see them in there either.

There is another Molina in the major leagues, joining Yadier and Jose. It's the brother Benjy, who has retired but will now be the first base coach for the Rangers. He's 39, but I'll bet he's still better than some of the catchers starting in the majors right now.

"In the wake of the Redskins' name debate, there's another NFL controversy. After the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story and last night's loss to Tampa, a group of sea creatures is demanding Miami drop "Dolphins."  -- Brad Dickson
"Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis pulled out his own tooth on the bench. The guy plays hockey; what’s the rush?"  -- RJ Currie
" #2 Michigan State knocked off #1 Kentucky, 78-74 in men’s college basketball tonight. For those Wildcat freshmen, this could be the most painful memory of the whole six months they spend in college."  -- Janice Hough
"The Atlanta Braves have announced that they will be moving to a new stadium in a few years. Team officials say the new site will be much more convenient for fans not to go to come playoff time." -- Mark Ragovin
"A Kansas woman apparently is trying to trade her wedding ring for tickets to the Chiefs home game against the Broncos Dec 1. Wonder if she’ll offer her husband for playoff tickets?"  -- Janice Hough
"Another hockey brawl — this one a postgame affair after Bemidji State upset Ohio State 3-2 — resulted in an NCAA-record 303 penalty minutes and 19 game disqualifications. Still not impressed? It was a WOMEN’S hockey game."  -- Dwight Perry
"Why do the Cowboys like to send Dez Bryant long. So they don’t have to hear him complain."  -- Alan Ray
"Ohio State receiver Evan Spencer told reporters, when asked about No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State, “I think we’d wipe the field with both of them.”Then he quickly excused himself, saying he’d just been ordered to take a drug test."  -- Dwight Perry



Sunday, November 10, 2013


...or is it the NFL? How about college football as a choice? Nebraska and Michigan played at Ann Arbor, Mich. this past weekend. They are ranked 31st & 32nd in the nation in most polls, yet the game in "The Big House" drew 112,204 fans. Boston doesn't draw that many fans in a holiday weekend against the Yankees.

They auctioned off Bill Mazeroski's baseball memorabilia this past Saturday. It brought in $1.7 million dollars. I assumed a full size baseball stadium was included, but no. Has anyone in the sport ever made more out of one swing of the bat than Mazeroski?

They will meet starting on Monday in Florida (what, you were expecting maybe Duluth, Minnesota?) They'll be discussing things like rule changes, instant replay and safety issues. Even though it is all the GMs, don't expect any trades, especially major ones. They kind of pussy-foot around and try to learn who's after what, who might be available and willing to spend money. The big moves will take place at the Winter Baseball Meetings (owners, presidents and GMs)  on December 9th. In Florida, of course (the Taj Mahal was booked). So the GM meeting is like an EBT, Examination Before Trial, where information is exchanged before they go at each other, hammer and tong. Because agents like Scott Boras will also be there, hammer and tong seems appropriate.

Phil Mushnick, NY Post, gives us these gems:
Neutral-zone infraction (Offsides, if all you speak is English)
Score the basketball or Put it in the hoop, Hit the bottom of the net (We called it making a basket)

Martin Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston last week, defeating John Connolly. What's interesting here is that David Ortiz finished third with just write-in votes. This is not a joke, at least not in the traditional sense. Okay, he was some 67,000 votes behind Connolly, but Derek Jeter has never gotten that kind of recognition.  First, they hire Bobby Valentine, now this. Boston is becoming a very scary place.

"Nebraska defeated Michigan 17-13 despite a rash of injuries. To give you an idea how banged up the Huskers are, during the winning drive three guys in the huddle were on crutches."  -- Brad Dickson
"Pat Knight says he hopes his father Bob, who still holds a grudge against Indiana University for firing him, will eventually return for a basketball game. Maybe the Hoosiers could someday invite Bob to throw out the first chair?"  -- Janice Hough
"Hackers got into the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders’ website, rerouting visitors to a porn site. Even that wasn’t as obscene as what came out of Richie Incognito’s mouth."  -- RJ Currie
"Boston Red Sox have made qualifying offers to free agents Ellsbury, Napoli, Drew and those two guitarists from ZZ Top."  -- TC Chong
"The Guinness Book of World Records crew is on high alert after a surfer off the coast of Portugal reportedly caught a 100-foot wave. Or as surfing sabermetricians prefer to call it, hanging 10-squared."  -- Dwight Perry
"Colorado has a 1-7 record in pregame coin flips. A team spokesman said the Buffs would spend extra time practicing coin-calls this week."  -- Steve Harvey
"A sure sign your favorite team is having a bad season: “The gift shop sells brown paper bags."  -- RJ Currie
"The annual Soap Opera Awards are coming up. The Miami Dolphins have been nominated."  -- Brad Dickson
"This year’s Breeders Cup horse races were a tremendous success with thirteen races run to determine champions in their respective classes. The “Horse of the Year” award still went to incumbent Camilla Parker Bowles."  -- TC Chong [I don't write 'em, I just copy 'em - CP]
"Reuters reports a hunter aiming at a moose accidentally shot a senior in a distant house. Who was the hunter? Tim Tebow?"  -- RJ Currie
"There’s a move afoot to change the name of Lake City, Tenn., to Rocky Top — as in the title of the University of Tennessee fight song. So what’s next, changing New Haven, Conn., to “Boola Boola”?  -- Dwight Perry


Tuesday, November 05, 2013


While Vod is the real basketball expert here, I've read a couple of articles that would seem to make the upcoming college basketball season "ver-r-r-y interes-tink"
The two-handed check is outlawed, impeding a ball handlers progress in any way may get you a whistle and, according to one coach, charging is a thing of the past. Teams better have good free-throw players on the team, because that may be the best weapon in their arsenal. Players have a way of adjusting to rule changes and things will probably not be as dire as the coaches make it sound, but we do seem to be heading back towards basketball instead of basket-brawl. Analysts think the coaches will respond by using more zone defenses instead of man-to-man. As Coach Larry Brown said, "Jim Boeheim has to be the happiest man in the country."

The Yanks made qualifying offers to Cano, Granderson and Kuroda yesterday. Granderson is expected to accept, the other two will be testing free agency. Two Yankee players expected to garner some interest are Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. Both seem to have a world of talent and an inability to perform. I've been telling Annie-O that the Yanks should sign Hughes and put in in the bullpen. He was very effective when he spent a half a season there a while ago. When he doesn't think he has to pace himself and can turn it loose for an inning or two, he can be unhittable.

None of the Yanks were awarded a Gold Glove this year. I don't know if that's good or bad, since defense is one of those areas that is hard to judge since stats don't reall mean a lot. Even the Saber-metric freaks are having a difficult time defending their stats with the ever-increasing extreme shifts that mangers are employing. These shifts throw range factors out the window.
At least one Yankee will take home an award this year. Mariano Rivera was named Comeback Player Of The Year yesterday.

From Brad Dickson's BOTTOM TEN:
Welcome to this week’s Bottom 10, a group of teams where pretty much every first down is the result of a Hail Mary something or other.
 7. California (1-8): Cal’s Oski the Bear mascot lost all interest and went into hibernation eight weeks early.
 8. Idaho (1-8): The Vandals are an independent, which I’m beginning to think means that no league wants ’em.
 9. Temple (1-8): The Owls lost to Rutgers 23-20 in a game so meaningless that the network cut away early for a preview of Olympic curling.

"Apparently bullying is not unusual in pro sports. Just in the World Series, the Boston Red Sox taunted the St.  Louis Cardinals from the dugout by saying they played like a bunch of Chicago Cubs."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"Despite Nick Foles’ 7 TD performance against the Oakland Raiders, Eagles coach Chip Kelly will not name him the team’s #1 QB. Guess Kelly wants to see how Foles performs against a professional defense?"  -- Janice Hough
"The Buffalo Sabres made history last week when they started four teenagers. At one time, the entire front line was texting."  -- Brad Dickson
"The most memorable umpire’s call in this year’s World Series was:
a) the game-ending obstruction play
b) the game-ending pickoff play
c) the ball getting lost in a player’s beard for a ground-rule double"  -- Dwight Perry
"Here's an item from the oddly-appropriate files. Rearrange the letters in Dez Bryant and you get Rant By Dez."  -- RJ Currie


Sunday, November 03, 2013


Silly season, n.: That time of year when BB Gen. Mgrs, talk big and act silly.
      The opening salvo is always fired by the agents. Robinson Cano's agent is 'asking' for $301 million over 10 years. Jacob Ellsbury's agent wants $120 million over 8 years. Shin-soo Choo is asking for $90 million over 5 years. Cano and Choo are 31 years old, Ellsbury is 30. Money has never scared off General Managers, but the long term contracts are starting to. They point to Pujols' deal, to Hamilton, to A-Rod and to Sabathia. Cano is probably the prime free-agent on the market, but clubs asking themselves, "Do we really want to end up paying a 41-year old 2nd baseman $31 million dollars?"
Well, it's too early for the ODO (One Dumb Owner) to show up, but I'm sure if he's out there, Uber-agent Scott Boras will find him.

After winning a World Series, players like to take some memento of their season: a ball signed by the whole team, one of their uniform tops or a picture of them holding the trophy. That's seems like a nice thing, but I think Jake Peavy went a little overboard. In their victory parade on Saturday, the Red Sox rode in Duck boats, those little amphibious boats. Peavy wanted to remember the joy of the parade, so he bought one of the boats. Gotta love that: "Never mind the ring, honey. Look what I got! This will look great in my den."

The Yanks have re-signed Derek Jeter for one more year. $12 million for a 40-year old shortstop. Oh well, at least he runs hard down to first base every time. Harder than Cano and that's with a broken ankle.

Center Walt 'The Big Bell' Bellamy died this week. Even though he never achieved the level of play everyone thought he might, he played for NY, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Baltimore over 16 years, averaging 20 points per game.
The Yankees lost a former player - Johnny Kucks. He only played for 6 years, but he will be remembered for throwing a 3-hit complete game shutout over the Brooklyn Dodgers in game seven of the 1956 World Series.

At least, that's what they called the Houston Astrodome when it was built. Right now, they are selling off parts of the stadium to fans, who are buying seats in groups of 4 for $200.
Trivia question: Who hit the very first home run in the Astrodome? Bonus question: What was the original name of the team?

"He put the ball on the ground" For those of us who don't speak Colorman-ese, He fumbled.
Note: the adjective "Dumb" may be in the wrong place in the headline.

"During last week’s game, Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver flipped the refs a “double bird.” The TV analyst said that Tarver was angry. This is why we have NFL experts, to explain stuff fans never could have figured out."  -- Brad Dickson
"Phrase I’d nominate for oblivion: “Keeping bowl hopes alive.” Right, because everyone plays football in hopes of that magical 6-6 season."  -- Janice Hough
"The Red Sox finally won the World Series at Fenway, ending a 95-year drought at home. Meanwhile I lost another argument with my wife, extending a 22-year drought."  -- RJ Currie
"Yankees sign Jeter to the DL for $12 million.”  -- Fark,com
"Friday marks the 100th anniversary of Bowlers Journal magazine. Any celebration will be so understated, editors say, that you’ll probably hear a pin drop."  -- Dwight Perry
"Only 96 more days until the start of the Winter Olympics. It’s about time I started reading scouting reports on the world’s best curling teams."  -- Bob Molinaro
"San Diego State played its annual Halloween baseball game with everyone in costume. So what? For eight straight games the Jacksonville Jaguars have looked like clowns."  -- RJ Currie

Trivia answer - Mickey Mantle in an pre-season game against the Houston Colt 45's.


Friday, November 01, 2013



I've been in mourning for a day and a half now, and Annie-O says to come back into the light. Unfortunately, ESPN is still showing World Series highlights and there is supposed to be a parade in Boston on Saturday that will evoke more highlights I'll have to ignore. David Ortiz was named W.S. MVP, and he sure deserved it. I've never seen a hitter terrify a team like Big Papi did in this Series. That, I can live with .

More disgusting rhetoric out of the A-Rod appeal process this week. Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer, jumped all over A-Rod for his statement vilifying Bud Selig over his statements involving this appeal. To quote Manfred:
"Mr. Rodriguez's use of PEDs was longer and more pervasive than any other player, and when this process is complete, the facts will prove that it is Mr. Rodriguez and his representatives who have engaged in ongoing, gross misconduct."
A three-man panel is hearing this appeal and Manfred is one of the three. He's certainly entitled to his opinion, and his assessment is probably right, but since A-Rod's defense doesn't even start for a couple of weeks, don't you think Manfred should hold his tongue and give this process at least the appearance of being objective? Nah, let's keep this whole situation down in the mud pits where it belongs.

The NY football Giants - I have to say 'football' because it's hard to recognize what the Giants are playing - are also down in the mud pits. They've had multiple injuries to their offensive line and to their running backs. All this contributes to the horrible season Eli Manning is having. The Jets have also had injuries to some of their impact players (I'm not sure 'impact' should be in any sentence involving the Jets), and we're all aware of the Yankees injury problems. All 3 New York City teams think it  might be something in the water?

Before the Series, sportswriters were raving about Yadier Molina's ability to call a game. His pitch selection was so imaginative and so effective, that St Louis pitchers all seemed averse to shaking him off. HOWEVER: all that changed after game six, when Michael Wacha couldn't make it pass the 4th inning, gave up six runs and ultimately took the loss.  After shutting down the Red Sox in game two using mostly fastballs and change-ups, Wacha used a lot more curves, his third best pitch, than change-ups in game six, and the Sox beat him up. Sportswriters are asking why Molina didn't rely more on the change-up in game six. There are scouts who say that the Red Sox hitters were beginning to hone in on the change-up in the latter part of game two, so Molina was obviously trying to confuse the Sox in game six. If it had worked, everybody would have jumped on the Molina bandwagon. When it didn't, he was vilified. I quoted Terry Francona last time and it still holds now: "If you win, you're smart..."

The Syracuse Orange basketball team begins their first season in the ACC this year, joining teams like  Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Maryland, to name a few. Former Big East opponents will be there too, like Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. It's looks like it's going to be a bumpy ride. On the bright side, Orangeman C.J. Fair was voted ACC Player of the Year in a pre-season poll, and incoming freshman Tyler Ennis is drawing raves as the starting point guard.

"The Cardinals were very late getting into Boston Tuesday night. A mechanical problem delayed their flight for six hours and they didn't get in until 11 p.m. Ironically, the team named after a bird had trouble flying."  -- Jimmy Kimmel
"Wasn’t Red Sox owner John Henry absolutely terrible during the post game ceremony? Why didn’t he crawl back into his Wally the Green Monster costume and just stay there?"  -- TC Chong

"An NFL game ended Thursday night in overtime on a safety? That’s almost as unbelievable as a baseball game ending on an obstruction call."  -- Janice Hough
"A “Walking Dead” fan convention is scheduled for this weekend in Atlanta.We’d have guessed Jacksonville: It’s the Jaguars’ bye week."  -- Dwight Perry
"Alabama’s Nick Saban chastised Tide fans for prematurely heading for the exits. Let’s just think about that. Nick Saban is criticizing someone, anyone, for leaving someplace early?”  -- Steve Schrader, Detroit Free Press
"At the Oct. 29 NFL trade deadline, The New England Patriots got a defensive lineman and a player to be indicted later."  -- Alan Ray
"After the Packers-Vikings game, Aaron Rodgers had a super long” hug at midfield with ex-teammate Greg Jennings. Rodgers was whispering into Jennings' ear, trying to sell him an insurance policy."  -- Brad Dickson
"So long to longtime broadcaster Tim McCarver, who is finally retiring . He has given up trying to be more popular and famous than his backup catcher during his playing days – Bob Uecker."  -- TC Chong
"The tallest man in the world, Turkey’s 8-foot 3 Sultan Kosen, got married over the weekend — and at least one well-wisher says he can’t wait till they start having children.But enough about John Calipari."  -- Dwight Perry

"Oct 22, 2000: Colorado goalie Patrick Roy was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault. Head Coach Bob Hartley had no comment.
Oct 31, 2013: Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault. Head Coach Patrick Roy had no comment."  -- TC Chong
 [It ain't sports, but...]
"An Italy woman has left her entire $13.3 million fortune to her cat. You think that's stupid -- the parakeet is contesting the will."  -- Brad Dickson