ESPN Incurs Poultry Fecal Matter Advocate Wrath

The one decade day I don’t watch ESPN2’s First Take, and something unbelievably offensive goes out live over the air! Thank goodness YouBeenBlinded.com never misses a minute, capturing a shameful remark from Barry Melrose this morning that sent shockwaves through Poultry Fecal Matter Advocacy groups worldwide .

ESPN averts mass Poulty Fecal Matter Advocate protest

The controversy started when show host Jay Crawford asked Melrose what he applied to his face to maintain his boyish visage.

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Melrose’s Big Mouth Might Cost Him $2.25 Million

I sure hope that Barry Melrose enjoyed going on that Toronto radio station last week and saying that he hopes the Tampa Bay Lightning - the team that fired him 16 games into his first season at the helm - “doesn’t win a game in the next year.” Because it looks like that while he might have fired the first salvo in a war of words with the team, the Lightning might have the equivalent of the atomic bomb left to drop.

Barry Melrose has a message

ROGERS SPORTSNET is reporting that the team’s ownership is looking at filing a breach of contract charge against the Mulleted One, claiming that his comments violated terms of his deal. If the comments were enough to void the contract, that would mean that the Lightning would be off the hook for the rest of the $2.25 million they owe him.

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Speed Read: Hamels Calls Mets “Choke Artists”

World Series MVP Cole Hamels is currently doing some radio promotion for the Phillies championship DVD. But what the heck was he doing on New York’s WFAN yesterday? There’s no city that’s more excited about buying a Phillies DVD. Anyway, during the interview, Hamels was asked whether or not the Mets are “choke artists” for their last two September collapses. Hamels, of course, said “no, they’re a very good team and things just didn’t work out for them in the end. They’ll be tough to beat next year.”

Cole Hamels

Oh, he didn’t say that? Oh, wow. This is what he actually said (via SILIVE.COM):

“Last year and this year I think we did believe that [they were choke artists],” he said. “Three years ago we didn’t because they smoked everybody, and I think we all thought they were going to win it all. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. But, yeah, that’s kind of what we believed and I think we’re always going to believe that until they prove us wrong.

Ouch. Hamels also relayed this anecdote:

He also said that the rumor that the Phillies hung a photo of Jose Reyes on Shane Victorino’s locker after he celebrated a little too much after a home run in the NLDS against CC Sabathia of the Brewers is true.

“Hey Shane, this doesn’t win the game, there’s still a lot of game to play. Why are you trying to be like Jose Reyes? Even though you hit a big home run you don’t need to pimp it,” he said.

This rivalry’s never been friendlier.

Jose Reyes

(Is this excessive for celebrating a 6-4-3 in an April game against the Nats?)

In last night’s NFL game nobody saw, the Bears kept their division hopes alive by beating the Saints 27-24 in overtime. The Bears let a 21-7 lead get away in the second half. The Saints actually took a 24-21 lead late in the 4th, but the Bears got a game-tying field goal from Robbie Gould at the end of regulation, and a game-winner on the first possession of overtime. The Bears are 1/2 game behind the Vikings, and Minnesota owns the tiebreaker. But the Vikings have to play Arizona, Atlanta, and the Giants to end the season while the Bears get the Packers and Texans. New Orleans is now almost certainly out of the playoff picture with the loss.

Robbie Gould

(Gould’s neckbeard is unimpressive)

We don’t do a lot of hockey recaps here, but good lord Islanders, please stop somebody. The Isles were pounded 9-2 by Pittsburgh last night, even drawing the embarrassing “We want 10! We want 10!” chant from the Igloo crowd in the 3rd period. The Isles are now tied with Tampa Bay and Atlanta at the bottom of the league.

Speaking of the Lightning, let’s start there in the links:

• The ST. PETERSBURG TIMES has more on the continuing war of words between Barry Melrose and Lightning owner Len Barrie. Wonder how Melrose is going to act when Tampa Bay is brought up during his TV appearances on ESPN, considering he’s already said he hopes they never win another game.

Larry Brown welcomes Boris Diaw and Raja Bell aboard by informing them that the Bobcats suck (via NESW SPORTS):

• NEWSDAY says Manny Ramirez is sad because nobody wants to sign him, and is threatening to retire. Not surprisingly Manny is spending his off season “working out, watching cartoons and playing video games.” Give that man $25 million a year!

• Syracuse has hired Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone to be their new head coach. Marrone has never been a head coach at any level. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK has the details.

• THE AUBURN BEAT has the full text of Tommy Tuberville’s resignation letter. Apparently, he’s getting more than $5 million to quit his job.

• According to BUCS BEAT, Jeff Garcia’s calf injury isn’t getting any better and he might not play this Sunday. That leaves you with Luke McCown, Bucs fans.

• Chicago Bulls “Luvabull” Ashley Bond is this year’s Miss Illinois USA, taking over the title from fellow Luvabull Shannon Lersch. WITH LEATHER provides the story and the photo:

Luvabulls

Terrell Owens is back on the crazy train again. Now, it seems as if he’s jealous of the relationship between Tony Romo and Jason Witten. FANHOUSE breaks down the insanity.

• You don’t see many NEW YORKER links on SbB, but if you have the mental capacity and about an hour and a half on your hands, read Malcolm Gladwell’s take on Chase Daniel’s chance for success at the next level. It’s just a tad deeper than what you’ll hear from Mel Kiper.

• SOX AND DAWGS has a look at the new Red Sox uniforms for 2009. They’re finally jumping on the alternate logo/alternate jersey bandwagon. Here’s the new road jersey:

Red Sox new jersey

Who ya got in the 2009 NL East?

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Man & Wife Stab Cheerleader To Death Over Affair

• What happens when a married man has an affair with a 16-year-old cheerleader? Man & wife cruelly kill the cheerleader, of course.

Marisha Jeter cheerleader murder victim

Derrick Rose needs to find some sleeping partners who aren’t so sharp.

• Panthers beat up Bucs, reign supreme over NFC South - for now.

• Corruption by an Illinois governor is no big surprise, but to bring the Cubs into his nefarious dealings? Monster!

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Melrose Hopes Tampa ‘Doesn’t Win Another Game’

Poor Barry Melrose. For 13 years, he waited for another turn at coaching in the NHL, his career reduced to Token Hockey Guy on ESPN. Then this June, he finally gets the call from the Tampa Bay Lightning, who install him as a head coach. Unfortunately, the experiment is a disaster; their 18-year-old “star,” #1 pick Steven Stamkos, is in so far over his head that even Melrose admits flat-out that Stamkos is “not ready for the NHL.” The Lightning register a 5-7-4 record in their first 16 games, and Melrose is unceremoniously dumped.

Barry Melrose Tampa Bay Lightning
(This was the last time he ever smiled.)

Will the charismatic, bemulleted former coach slink back to Bristol with his tail between his legs? No, not quite; while Melrose is set to return to ESPN on January 1, he held no punches when talking with Toronto’s FAN 590 about his time in Tampa Bay. Let’s start right out with the biggest haymaker thrown: “I hope Tampa Bay doesn’t win a game for the rest of the year.”

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Speed Read: Tar Heels Roll In Empty Ford Field

You know, at this rate the college basketball season isn’t going to be very interesting. North Carolina has now won each of its eight games by at least 15 points, and absolutely crushed Michigan State at Ford Field last night, 98-63, giving the Heels one more win in that venue than the Lions this year. The stadium will host the Final Four in just under four months, but was a morgue for this game. There were about 70,000 tickets available, but the announced attendance was only 25,267. Hardly seems worth it now to move the game to Detroit when a rocking Breslin Center might’ve at least given MSU a fighting chance.

UNC-MSU game nobody there

As for the Tar Heels, with Tyler Hansbrough getting healthier, they’re as close to unbeatable as any college basketball team this decade. Their two games with Duke might be the only games they play this year with a single-digit point spread.

UNC’s win helped the ACC win the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the 10th consecutive year, but this was the closest the midwesterners have come to pulling it off with the final tally being 6-5. Clemson and Boston College won their games by just two points each over Illinois and Iowa, respectively. And, of all things, both Northwestern and Penn State won their games.

ACC Big Ten

Good to see that the Knicks are getting back to their old ways. LeBron and the Cavs blasted New York 118-82 to move to 10-0 at home and 15-3 overall. And looking at the schedule over the next month, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Cleveland sitting at 27-6 when they face the Celtics on January 9th. The Cavs are winning games so handily that James hasn’t even played in the fourth quarter of four of the last five games.

The dream matchup of undefeated Ball State (provided they beat Buffalo this week) and undefeated Boise State is not going to happen, according to ESPN. The Cardinals would’ve had to bail on their MAC bowl commitments and agree to play the Broncos in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. But they didn’t want to do that and now are either going to Detroit or Mobile. Boise State, on the other hand, looks like they’ll take on a very good TCU team in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Boise State Ball State

• According to TMZ, Amanda Beard filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that a tanning salon company in Florida called ProSun has posted pictures of her on their site without permission, which she says insinuates that she endorses the company. No, this isn’t one of the offending pictures:

Amanda Beard

But, apparently this is:

Amanda Beard

This photo is one of many pictures of celebrities who were on hand at some sort of event at which ProSun was showing off a shower that also acts as a tanning bed. Also pictured are such sports heavyweights as Rodney Peete and Shaun Livingston. I suppose the photo makes it seem as if Beard endorses the product, but this is really the only offending material I could find on ProSun’s site.

• So, Barry Melrose leaves ESPN to coach in the NHL and the world’s economy goes in the tank. Luckily, Barry got fired by the Lightning so he could get re-hired by the WWL, according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  All is now right with the world. Thanks for playing, Matthew Barnaby.

• OURSPORTSCENTRAL says the Golden Baseball League is offering Rickey Henderson $1 million if he chooses to go into the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Surf Dawg. Seriously.

• West Virginia’s going to wear white uniforms at home this weekend against South Florida says the CHARLESTON GAZETTE, which is against the rules or something. But USF is playing along and wearing their green unis, so nobody’s going to be losing timeouts like USC.

• This might just be the worst soccer dive ever taken. And that’s saying something, considering it’s soccer and all. FAN NATION brings us this one. Really, this is just spectacular in its idiocy, and the ref has the gall to reward him for it:

• Ever been up in the top deck of a sports arena and been worried that you’d trip down the stairs and fall over the railing? Well, it happened to a guy carrying two beers back to his seat at an Ottawa Senators game last night. According to NBC SPORTS, the guy tripped over a purse and fell 25 feet to the next level. But he never lost consciousness and just had cuts and bruises. He fell on two people, who were also not seriously injured.

• In other beer news, the AP says that Aramark settled a lawsuit with the family of a paralyzed girl for $26 million for continuing to serve a drunk fan at a New York Giants game. The drunk fan then got into a car accident that paralyzed the girl.

• CNN says O.J. Simpson’s lawyer is arguing that the Juice should get only 6 years in prison, instead of the recommended 18 years, for his role in the memorabilia debacle. The reason: he’s a “first-time offender.”

• THE SPORTING BLOG’s Spencer Hall has some ideas about what Auburn should do now that Tommy Tuberville got fired or resigned or whatever.

• Alcorn State’s athletic director fired seven of the school’s nine assistant football coaches…on Thanksgiving…without telling the team’s head coach, who found out on the news. Classy. The NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT has the details (thanks to SPORTING BLOG for the tip)

Pro soccer is not doing well in China, so says the GUARDIAN.

How many games will North Carolina lose this year?

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Speed Read: Donovan McNabb Gets Tongue-Tied

If you didn’t know by now, the NFL has a state-of-the-art website with lots of features, not excluding a standings page. Right there on the left we have a ‘W,’ ‘L,’ and ‘T.’ There they are. Win, loss, and tie. Donovan McNabb doesn’t need the NFL.com website to see what’s going on in the standings. He knows who has how many wins and losses. But what if, say, his Eagles are tied 13-13 with the Bengals after an overtime frame?

Donovan McNabb tie game lesson

Why, the game ends in a tie, of course. But McNabb — this has to be a fake video, according to my tentative faith in humanity — didn’t know ties were a rule in the NFL. Moreover, he said, “I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs.” We here at SbB obtained exclusive footage of the reporters in the press conference:

FACEPALM

All he knew was that “the game would continue until someone scored”, which in all fairness is I think what the referee does say prior to every overtime rule. The striped men never mention the possibility of a tie, and perhaps McNabb thought those were the complete rules of overtime. That’s the only possible reason I can use to defend McNabb’s ignorance.

But if I’m playing all-time lawyer, I can turn around and say that one the last teams to play in a tie game — the 2002 Atlanta Falcons — played McNabb’s Eagles in the playoffs that year. Your witness, me.

I now call to the stand: Jimmie Johnson.

Jimmie Johnson

It’s probably the most under-represented major sport on the Internet, but Johnson has won three straight championships in the Sprint Cup, something only Cale Yarborough has done in NASCAR’s top level of racing. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED lists the five reasons he won, omitting everything except the Cubs-esque Kyle Busch implosion. Oh, and his crew is already looking ahead to a fourth straight Cup in 2009. This could be Lance Armstrong-type stuff here.

Manny

And now we move onto news that could have happened but didn’t so it’s even bigger news. ESPN’s primadonna-following minstrel Pedro Gomez reports that if the Boston Red Sox weren’t able to trade Manny Ramirez, the Sawx probably would have suspended him. But they didn’t suspend him, and they ended up trading him. But we’re just finding out about this now, so we’re interested now. And even though we didn’t know this then, we knew there was tension between Ramirez and the Red Sox, so this news changes nothing about any of our premonitions of Ramirez or the Red Sox or Belgian waffles. Because Belgian waffles rule.

Waffles

Seriously, you can’t tell me that those waffles would be immediately eaten by you if they were on your plate instead of whatever stale, bland breakfast you pulled out of a wrapper this morning. Look at ‘em. All sugary and waffly and full of compartments where syrup can collect, and then you can put different syrups in different compartments because you’re OCD and need to have organized delicious breakfasts. You’re pretty sure if Brooks took photographs of beautiful waffles in exotic locales — many with big, bountiful “compartments” — his business would take off and go mainstream. You’re going to skip work and head out to IHOP right now, aren’t you?

See? I made you forget about Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox, and you are happier for it. My work here is done.

Troy Polamalu runs

Check that. My work actually isn’t done. There are still links to visit. All of them. Click on every single one. Full disclosure: I do not get a bonus for that.

Do you like ties in the NFL?

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Barry Melrose Fired, Replaced By Felon Tocchet

Well, I guess the Tampa Bay Lightning are disappointed in ESPN’s hockey coverage this year, too, because they’ve decided to kick coach Barry Melrose to the curb after just 16 games. The ‘Ning are off to a 5-7-4 start, which isn’t very good but also not necessarily enough time to really know that Barry’s going to be a failure.

Barry Melrose

Even worse, the team has decided to promote convicted gambling promoter Rick Tocchet to interim head coach. Ouch, Barry. First, you leave that cushy TV job where you get to show off that mullet every night and bring joy to the world with your pronunciations of “ay-gaynst” and “organ-eye-zation,” and now the team thinks it’s better off with a criminal coaching the team.

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Blog-A-Roni: Trade Favre To Sox, Manny To Pack

• TIRICO SUAVE pitches the best solution to everyone’s problems - trade Brett Favre to the Red Sox & Manny Ramirez to the Packers.

Manny Ramirez Brett Favre

• Meanwhile, BABES LOVE BASEBALL flashes a funny sign calling out the bothersome Boston ballplayer

• ENTERTAINMENT WISE hikes up news that Tony Romo may or may not lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, but he does have Jessica Simpson feeling better about her body.

• THAT’S RACIN’ finds NASCAR going the opposite direction of many U.S. corporations by moving a race from Mexico to Iowa.

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Blog-O-Rama: Spend The Day with Natalie Gulbis

• If you let Natalie Gulbis know the secret of your success, you can win a chance to spend the day with the gorgeous golfer.

Natalie Gulbis

• TMZ learns that Ray Lewis is a cheapskate when it comes to paying for women.

• BIG LEAGUE STEW wants to know which Jason has the mightier mustache - the Yanks’ Giambi or the Cards’ LaRue?

• ESPN’s HASHMARKS spots Brett Favre at a Virginia football camp, where the ex-Packers QB says he’s not in a hurry to do anything.

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