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 .
The controversy started when show host Jay Crawford asked Melrose what he applied to his face to maintain his boyish visage.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
(Is this excessive for celebrating a 6-4-3 in an April game against the Nats?)
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:
• Larry Brown welcomes Boris Diaw and Raja Bell aboard by informing them that the Bobcats suck (via NESW SPORTS):
• NEWSDAY says Manny Ramirezis 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.
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.
(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.”
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.
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.
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.
• According to TMZ, Amanda Beardfiled 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:
But, apparently this is:
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.
• 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.
• 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)
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE SCORES REPORT says the fix is in. The Steelers needed three points to cover the spread, but they won 11-10. Had Troy Polamalu’s wacky touchdown in the final play stayed on the board, they’d have won by seven (or eight) points. Did any men who looked like they worked at Foot Locker get one-way tickets to Vegas in the last 24 hours?
Did Shaq foul Rodney Stuckey hard, or was it just physics? FANHOUSE notes how O’Neal uses laws inertia to explain why the diminutive Pistons guard hit the floor hard after running into the Suns center mid-air.
Joe Maddon may have won AL Manager of the Year, but blogger David Chalk is NOT content on Maddon gathering only 27 of 28 first place votes. So he gets into a perplexing e-mail Q&A with the one writer who voted for Ron Gardenhire. Another criminal behind bars. All in a day’s work.
What does a brother have to do to win at Duke in non-conference play? The University of Rhode Island finds out eight 3-point baskets by one Jimmy Baron isn’t enough, THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL reports. Duke escaped with an 82-79 victory and BLEACHER REPORT notices that Duke had way more free throw attempts in the game.
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.
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.