Brog: USC Starting QB Carted Off With Knee Injury

USC QB Mark Sanchez went down at the start of practice on Friday in Los Angeles with a knee injury.

Mark Sanchez Makes Me Touch Myself

(Injury or no, Mark Sanchez makes people touch themselves)

From Gary Klein of the LOS ANGELES TIMES:

A witness reported seeing Sanchez doing a carioca shuffle. He then went to throw a football, put weight on his left knee and collapsed.

Sanchez was helped to the trainers’ table, where ice was administered and his jersey and shoulder pads were removed. He was then carted to the locker room and was then taken for x-rays.

Strangely, despite a full complement of beat reporters (LAT, LADN, OCR) at USC football practice, apparently none saw the injury happen. More importantly, just what the hell is a “carioca shuffle“?

Why, let Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers show you:

Because Pete Carroll doesn’t have Joe Paterno (Coastal Carolina JoePa, really?) picking his non-conference opponents, the Trojans don’t have the luxury of early walkover games. USC opens on the road against Virginia in Charlottesville and then after a week off hosts Ohio State. So Sanchez being out for an extended period could be catastrophic.

Former Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain got the majority of reps at practice in Sanchez’s absence, but that’s mainly out of necessity. Mustain has been unimpressive for the most part in the early throes of his USC career and might face a challenge from redshirt freshman Aaron Corp if Sanchez is in deed seriously hurt.

UPDATE: USC Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian confirmed after practice on KSPN-AM that the injury was “non-contact” and that no one will know the extent of the injury until later tonight (pizza party at Heritage Hall!).

Lots of reax locally here in L.A. to Kobe Bryant’s comments in the international media that he would consider playing in Italy and/or Russia if he enjoyed a significant bump in salary.

For all the goodwill engendered by the “Redeem Team” at the Olympics, you really wonder what Bryant and Lebron James are thinking when it comes to this issue. The NBA seems poised to win back the many fans who abandoned the league after the demise of the Bird-Magic era. And just as Bryant and his league compatriots are on a roll, they suddenly report to season seat-holding fans who invest a quarter of their paychecks to support Kobe & Co. that their loyalty can be bought with the swipe of a Russian oligarch’s AmEx black card.

That said, I would truly enjoy Lebron and Kobe going over to Europe and seeing just how fast they fall off the sports media radar screen here. It would be a disastrous, long-term biz decision. They might get a bump in salary, but they’d endure an irretrievable loss in stature in the Lower 48. The money, after awhile, isn’t the issue. It’s about celebrity. Ego. And needless to say, any NBAer who spends six months ballin’ in the frigid climes of the Baltic Region, or the dull, urban environs of northern Italy (Milan) will suffer a hit on their A-List status stateside.

HOOPS VIBE also has a titular take on why Kobe would never quit on the Lakers.

And speaking of titular, the fun with AOL FANHOUSE’s fantasy football service continues. By now you may know that AOL suits have taken some heat for integrating “Fantasy Girls” into the editorial content at AOL Sports.

There were a lot of blog posts written about the regrettable decision to have the girls give fantasy football advice on what is, for my money, one of the top sports blogs on the web. Many of those posts linked to a particular AOL editorial post featuring the girls which has since been deleted.

Yesterday the folks at emailed me a link to a feature on their site that has Playboy models in Olympic swimsuits. I clicked over to see what it was all about and was amused to see the Fanhouse Fantasy Girls campaign splashed all over the pr0n site.

AOL Fanhouse Playboy Ads

(NSFW link)

To be fair, Budweiser was another major company advertising on the page, but you kind of wonder about AOL’s decision to place ads on a softcore porn site (that also links to mucho hardcore sites).

Fanhouse remains a daily stop for me and they’ve got some great writers. This stuff will blow over eventually and be forgotten. Hopefully it’s a lesson that will be taken to heart by the corporate suits next time they fiddle around with the credibility of what has become an admirable editorial endeavor. Not let’s all move on, shall we?