Boston, Cleveland and Orlando were a combined 82-17 headed into yesterday. The North Carolina Tar Heels and the White Gritty Hearty Tyler Hansbroughs, a subset of UNC, were a combined 13-0. And they all lost to the Knicks, Wizards, Raptors, and Boston College. A matching game might be fun, but sadly all winners and losers were listed respectively.
The C’s, Magic and Heels losses were all about the same; great teams had OK days and their opponents rose to the occasion. The Cavaliers game, though, ended in much controversy. Apparently traveling is a rule in the NBA, and an astute referee discovered this deep within the rulebook and called out LeBron James on this very infraction. Were the traveling not ratified and therefore whistled, James’ basket would have counted and tied the game. Perhaps a foul call could’ve made it a three-point play. But it appears ‘Bron got enough calls his way over the years against the Wizards. Call it magi-karma.
I wish I could tell you what the heck this thing is, but it was a float in the Fiesta Bowl Parade this weekend. (Ohbytheway, they do a parade for the Fiesta Bowl. D’ya know that?) Ohio State could probably tell us what that balloon name is — for now we’ll christen it Tortilla Flotilla — but for now we’ll just stare and wonder how the heck Ohio State will hang with Texas, considering the Buckeyes amassed a total of nine points against both Rose Bowl combatants. If there’s hope, it’s in opposing coach Mack Brown’s analysis of how the game will unfold:
“If the teams are even, the team that wants to be there the most and has the edge and is more motivated usually wins.”
Let’s see. They got pulverized by two SEC teams in two consecutive championships. They got nailed by USC and Penn State in back-to-back manhandlings. Todd Boeckman is getting the sentimental senior decision to see time in the game, despite Terrelle Pryor’s messianic performances throughout the year. Yep. I can’t imagine which team’s more motivated.
Just so I have this all straightened out, ESPN considers the above stories “news.” They also notate news as hinging on “sources,” which is information they receive that they cannot divulge. They are completely accurate and news-making. They also like to share “rumors,” which — if you click through — are stories that aren’t reported by ESPN, and since they hinge on someone else’s veracity, cannot be trusted as “sports news.” Jon Heyman said it? Watch out, loyal reader! You could get sourceroll’d!
Or “slapped silly” by Russian hockey players:
- GUNAXIN isn’t very impressed with the Capitals’ Alexander Semin’s fighting technique. Nor are the broadcasters on the Rangers side: “I’m gonna slap you silly!”
- You can read Joe Posnanski for his meandering thoughts on the baseball Hall of Fame, or on his tangential rant about Barry Manilow covering lame ’80s songs. The decision … is yours.
- I saw this on Saturday, but so did DETROIT FREE PRESS’s Drew Sharp also saw Matt Millen on TV taking responsibility for the Lions’ miserable failures, making him pretty much the last guy to do so. Oh, he said it was his fault. I guess we’re all even. Play ball!
- THE OREGONIAN drank enough coffee to last through Portland State’s win over Northern Arizona. It took four overtimes. Oh, they’ll sleep tonight!
- Sorry to harp on this further, but this Jay Mariotti to AOL thing is still a little too surreal. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE talked with him about the move. From a man who said the future of sports journalism “sadly is not in newspapers”is writing for … AOL. Have I showed you the mousetrap-powered car I made in high school? Wanna know what I made the wheels out of?
- Want to watch Tarvaris Jackson get flattened over and over again by Chris Clemons in the middle of his interception-TD? Go over to THE 700 LEVEL and knock yourself out.
- The LONDON TIMES has a list of 2009’s most anticipated movies, and sure enough, no sports flicks crack the half-century group. No Major League 4: Julio Franco’s Last Stand?
- Fun with hot stove stats! FIRE JIM BOWDEN looks at intentional walks and which managers incorrectly make the call to purposely have the pitcher throw four balls
- And finally, life imitates Norm McDonald’s Dirty Work after a robbery suspect was apprehended, thanks to the trail of popcorn leading from the store to the perp’s living room. No word if Isiah Thomas is an abettor.