5:00 PM The Belfast Telegraph reports Rory McIlroy's lawsuit against his former agents is likely to go to trial next year. McIlroy claims Horizon Sports Management gave him a worse Nike endorsement deal than fellow golfing client Graeme McDowell.
4:30 PM The Baltimore Sun reports Ravens running back Ray Rice will be suspended two games by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Rice was arrested last February for assaulting his then-fiancee at an Atlantic City casino.
Jawn Murray of AOL’s Black Voices blog has an interview with WillisMcGahee of the Baltimore Ravens this week in which he bares his soul about the emotional trauma he and his family has suffered because of his regular reality show appearances.
McGahee is currently appearing as a regular on the third and current season of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta as the boyfriend of one of the show performers, which Murray notes has produced, “outrageous scrutiny.”
McGahee on the apparent reaction he’s received from being on the reality show: “I’ve been hated on by girls, and dudes hating on me because of the girls. It’s been like this all of my life. I think I was made for this for some strange reason.”
Apparently the “hating” on McGahee centers on his numerous children out of wedlock.
McGahee said, “I’m very private about my personal life, and I don’t like talking about my children.”
McGahee doesn’t clarify why someone who is “very private” about his personal life would appear on a nationally-televised reality show that solely focuses on the personal lives of the subjects.
Though McGahee admits to having his “fun” in a previously-ardent pursuit of multiple baby mamas, I’m pleased to report that the reality show performer now claims he’s changed man.
McGahee confessed that when he first got his NFL contract in 2003, he went through a period of being a “stereotypical athlete” and entertained his fair share of women.
“I was younger back then, and I had fun. I can’t deny that, and everybody knows that,” he admitted.
Though some blogs have claimed the Miami native has as many seven kids, McGahee said those reports are all bogus.
“I have a nice handful,” he laughed. “But it’s way under seven. It’s nowhere near seven!”
McGahee is apparently the father of five children – the first three were born over a span of two years, shortly after he was drafted in the NFL by the Buffalo Bills.
McGahee doesn’t clarify how five children out of wedlock is “nowhere near seven!”Read more…
Justin Fenton of the BALTIMORE SUN has details today on why a judge granted Terrell Suggs‘ alleged fiancee, 26-year-old Candace Williams, a temporary restraining order last Friday against the Baltimore Raven.
Ray Lewis and Suggs’ agent Gary Wichard are both saying the hit was a blatant cheap shot, but in the context of the play, where the ball carrier was, I don’t know how you can fault Quinn. His hit on Suggs clearly caused the ball carrier to change direction and be tackled an instant later.
Quinn’s explanation of the play to the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER:
Quinn spoke to Suggs on the field and was visibly upset when Suggs limped off. “I was trying to go for the ball carrier,” he said. “Suggs came across at the last second in my vision. I would never wish that upon anyone. I was upset about it on the field. We worked out in Arizona together. I couldn’t be any more sorry about that. That was never the intent. I’m sorry to Terrell and the rest of their team.”
From the video, I can’t dispute what he’s saying there.
Meanwhile, Ray Lewis told the BALTIMORE SUN it was a blatant dirty play.
Jose Lambiet of the PALM BEACH POST reports that Ray Lewis spent part of his bye week in Miami, “doing tequila shots in a private suite at Land Shark Stadium last weekend. I guess he couldn’t bear watching his alma mater, the University of Miami, lose to Clemson.”
(Let’s allow Warrick Dunn to answer that: “NO“)
Thanks to the Ravens losing streak, it’s been a tough few weeks for Lewis. And then, as Lambiet reports, it got worse as “some skinny knucklehead in the suite found nothing better to do than taunt Lewis.”
After Minnesota escaped with a 33-31 win over Baltimore yesterday, Ravens rookie Tackle Michael Oher said this to the BALTIMORE SUN about his opposite in the game, maniacal Vikings Defensive End Jared Allen: “There is nothing really special about him … I think he found out I’m an OK player. Guy makes like $100 million. I think I did all right.”
For the game against Oher, Allen registered a sack and six tackles, but the Ravens rung up 448 total yards, including 385 by quarterback Joe Flacco, on 28-43 passing. So I suppose Oher’s reaction was somewhat understandable - especially considering all the pass attempts by the Ravens.
Interestingly enough though, on Jay Glazer’s After Party @ Foxsports.com this morning, Allen’s own view wasn’t too congruent with my well-measured assessment.
We don’t know what demons Tony Fein was fighting when he apparently committed suicide on Tuesday: The body of the Ravens free agent linebacker was found by friends at the home where he was staying in his hometown of Port Orchard, Wash.
What we do know is that Fein was an Iraq War veteran, having enlisted at the age of 19 following graduation from high school and serving 2 1/2 years as a Delta reconnaissance scout. We also know of the high suicide rates among war veterans, and that many don’t get the psychological and physical care they require following tours of duty in the Middle East.
Was Fein one of these tragedies of neglect? There’s no way of knowing that at the moment. An autopsy and other toxicology tests likely won’t be complete for six to eight weeks, said Allen G. Gerdes, the Kitsap County chief deputy coroner. And even then, the cause of death might not be certain. Read more…
Photographer: Okay, guys, let’s get in together and do this. John Beck, you’ll be there on the right. No, my right. No–right there on the edge, right where you are. Ray Rice, down in front, since you’re short. What? Oh, don’t cry. Todd Heap, let’s get you in the middle, and… wait, where’s Terrell Suggs? Terrell, do you want to be in this? No? Okay, fine, just stand off to the side, out of the shot. I’ve only got one picture left on this roll and I left the rest of the film at home, so let’s make this count. Okay, guys, count of three, let’s say “RAVENS!” One, two…
Damn it, Terrell. That was going to be a very pleasant picture. I hope you’re proud of yourself. Stop giggling, guys, you’re only encouraging him. Kids these days.
Okay, it’s time to talk about something fun, exciting, and not-at-all contentious: gay marriage! Okay, everybody stake out your positions, here’s your feces to fling at the other side, let’s go.
(It’s not like the NFL’s stayed clear of this issue, people; they’re practically pioneers.)
Okay, let’s not act like this is the proper forum for discussing gay rights; clearly it isn’t, and we’d prefer not to discuss any of those issues unless it’s the only two good-looking members of the WNBA totally going at it right at center court during a game. But while we prefer not to mix this touchy subject in with our sports, clearly, THE NATION has no such qualms. Oh boy.
Since the NFL — indeed, the world — is not yet ready for Michael Vick and Maurice Clarett trying to catch on with a team at the same time, the latter is going to stay in prison. For now. Clarett, the former Ohio State running back who led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2003, has withdrawn a request for early release from prison that would have allowed him, he said, to pursue an NFL career.
For someone who hasn’t played a meaningful down of football since his freshman year in college, Clarett has spent an alarming amount of time in the public consciousness. He’s hung out with Los Angeles rap stars, been drafted in the NFL, been involved with drug running and the Israeli mob, and was even the subject of a case ultimately decided by U.S. Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor. Even though he’s only 25, he’s seemingly been everywhere and lived two lifetimes — sort of an evil Forrest Gump.
Although he’s now locked up, we have not forgotten about Maurice Clarett. One reason is that he’s blogging from lockup — or at least we’re led to believe that he is. Clarett isn’t allowed Internet access in prison, but he phones in his writings to a relative, who then posts them on a blog entitled The Mind of Maurice Clarett; a sort of orange jumpsuit poetry jam in which he dwells on his feelings more than the day-to-day details of life behind bars (which has led some to believe that he’s not even the one writing it). There’s no entry so far on his decision to withdraw his request for a pardon by Gov. Ted Strickland.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien opposed Clarett’s request for pardon, saying his conduct off the playing field did not warrant special consideration.
“My observation was then and is now he had no chance of obtaining clemency under the statute or by action of the governor so it’s probably wise” that he withdrew the request, O’Brien said.
Clarett hasn’t played football since 2005, when he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round — a surprise move after an unimpressive NFL combine performance in which he was dubbed “Slo Mo” by the media.
He’s serving 7 1/2 years at the Toledo Correctional Institution after being convicted in 2006 of aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, a chain of events that ended with his arrest while wearing a bulletproof vest with four weapons in his car, less than a mile from one of the robbery victims. He must serve at least 3½ years of that sentence, and although he pulled his request for early release, he still becomes eligible for judicial release in March of 2010.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Clarett was on top of the world, rushing for 1,237 yards (a school record for a freshman) and scoring 18 touchdowns in helping lead Ohio State to a 14-0 record in 2002-03. The season culminated with Clarett scoring the winning touchdown against Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. But he was released from Ohio State for a variety of NCAA rules violations, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he hung out with rap stars, and began spiraling more and more out of control. He eventually tested the NFL’s eligibility rules in an attempt to enter the 2004 draft — an initially successful challenge that was overturned by United States Court of Appeals judge Sotomayor.
So Clarett has lost his latest battle to return to the free world, but has never lost his struggle to remain in the public eye. And I suppose that it’s good that we hear from him from time to time. If for nothing else, his presence serves as a cautionary tale.
“I’m a man and I struggle. I’m not speaking of anything specific. I’m just talking in general,” he wrote in his latest blog entry, dated Aug. 3.
“Depression comes and depression goes. Inspiring thoughts come and they flee as fast as they come. Sometimes my spirit is in balance and at others it runs wild. I’m not afraid. I just get a little confused at times. I know which way is up and I know how to identify a weasel from a mile away. I know who I love and I know why I love them. I don’t claim to be omniscient but I do claim to be a survivor of the urban circumstances and experiences. … I’m Youngstown’s own.”
We now lighten the mood and bring you back to the 18th hole at the Buick Open, where MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann reopens the Tiger Woods Fartgate investigation. If you haven’t seen, and thus heard, the infamous video of Woods allegedly farting while sizing up a shot during the tournament, you’re in luck, because Olbermann has rescued the footage from the abyss.
More interesting than the alleged emission itself — which now that I hear it sounds more like a Whoopee Cushion — is the fact that the PGA pulled all YouTube evidence of the video off the web moments after it happened. Folks, that’s the really hilarious part. Don’t make me come back here and explain this again.
“Tiger broke 70 yesterday, perhaps after breaking something else. We can’t say for sure that it was The Tiger that roared … he might have had one of those Leslie Nielsen machines, or maybe John Daly stepped on a duck.”
If there was a second farter on the grassy knoll, kudos to him. Because that was some excellent timing.
We mentioned this briefly on Tuesday, but I feel that MAXIM’S take on David Ortiz’s Gmail inbox needs further scrutiny. It appeared Monday on their site and immediately won the Internets, delighting us with sample emails such as:
Erin Adrews:I know an ace PR guy …
Crate and Barrel:Fall is right around the corner! …
Alyssa Milano:Offer still stands — Bj, Hj, whatever you …
And the always hilarious:
C.C. Sabathia: FW: Red Lobster All-You-Can-Eat sampi!
The Reading Phillies set an attendance record on Wednesday for Pedro Martinez’s rehab start, in which he pitched decently, earning the win in an 8-4 victory over Trenton. Martinez struck out 10 of the first 17 batters he faced, finishing with 11 strikeouts over six innings. He gave up four runs, three earned. Fun fact: It was his first win at the AA level since 1991.
So you’ve taken the summer off to visit every Major League Baseball park? That’s become somewhat of a cliche, don’t you think? The Taviano family of Columbus, Ohio has invented the new hotness: Visiting 52 zoos in 52 weeks. Marla Taviano, her husband and three daughters began their 22,000-mile quest last August, and ended it on Saturday at their hometown Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. That’s a lot of monkeys.
Not sure what level of Little League the above video is from, but you can bet that Scott Boras has it playing on an endless loop in his office as you read this. As you can see, Jason Moody hits five home runs, including hitting for the home run cycle (watch the catcher, who is not amused). And in yet another example of this, a West Virginia Little Leaguer also hit for the home run cycle. Eli Canterbury, 12, of Barboursville, went 4-for-4 with four homers — solo, two-run and three-run homers, and a grand slam in his final at-bat — as Canterbury’s Barboursville District I All-Stars beat East Huntington 19-1. No Major League player has ever hit for the homer cycle; the only time it’s happened in pro ball was by Tyrone Horne of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in a 13-4 win over the San Antonio Missions on July 27, 1998.
The Denver Broncos are one of the several NFL teams who prohibit players or personnel from using Twitter, but you’d never know it by listening to head coach Josh McDaniels. “I don’t really have a Twitter policy,” McDaniels said. “I don’t know what it means; I don’t know what it is. I don’t know MyFace, Spacebook, Facebook stuff. I don’t know what that is either.”
Now let’s check in on your Chicago Cubs, who are locked in a death struggle with the Cardinals atop the NL Central. So surely when the Reds trotted out 32-year-old right-hander Justin Lehr on Wednesday — who was making only his second big league start — the Cubs would take advantage. D’oh!Lehr pitched a shutout, 4-0, as the Reds broke an eight-game losing streak.
Koren Robinson has had a troubled career; run off the tracks due to dropped passes, drinking and a run-in with the cops. The former Seahawk, Viking and Packer may be playing for the Orlando Tuskers of the UFL this season. Robinson was the ninth pick overall in the 2001 draft, the year that the Falcons chose a young man named Michael Vick with the No. 1 pick.
Brandon Roy’sfive-year contract extension will likely keep him in Portland for the rest of his career, and since he was born in Seattle, that’s OK. Roy has agreed in principle to the deal, with the fifth year, ending in 2015, as an option. Pending salary cap issues, it could be worth more than $80 million, the second-richest in Portland’s history.
Who would have thought four years ago that Eli Manning would be making more money than Peyton Manning? Or Cooper Manning, for that matter? With his new $97.5 million contract, Eli will be making about $15.3 million annually, to Peyton’s $14.17 million.