Speed Read: Cleveland Is A Hot Mess Right Now

It was an incredibly tumultuous night in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers losing to the Wizards was the least shocking news of the night. (Although as the WASHINGTON POST’s Michael Lee points out, Washington joins the Lakers and Celtics as the only teams to beat Cleveland twice this season.) Yes, it’s not often that the best team in the league loses to the worst team in the league, but the Wizards are a unique case, with Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood finally back playing after missing almost all of the season with injuries.

Jay Cutler Brady Quinn Jason Campbell

No, most of the evening drama in Cleveland involved the Browns. First came some fallout from Jay Cutler’s trade to the Bears, specifically reports that Cleveland had tried to work out a three-way deal with the Broncos and Redskins that would have sent Brady Quinn to Denver and Jason Campbell to Cleveland. Browns coach Eric Mangini spent Thursday night denying these reports; expect Quinn to demand a trade because the Browns tried to trade him sometime within the next week.

Donte Stallworth

And later in the evening, there was news in the DUI manslaughter case against Browns WR Donte Stallworth, and it was more than just his first appearance at a court hearing. It turns out that Stallworth was already in the NFL’s substance abuse program at the time of his arrest, which opens him up to a whole range of punishment from the league. Of course, he’s facing charges that could land him in jail for at least eight years, and having a history of substance abuse issues is not going to help his case, so I’d say that Roger Goodell is the least of Stallworth’s problems right now.

Bernie Williams

Meanwhile, there were no problems at the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium yesterday, just a lot of unintentional comedy as reported by MLB.COM. What do I mean? How about Yankees’ Executive Vice President Hal “The Pretty One” Steinbrenner joining rock stars/C-list celebs with nothing better to do Ace Frehley of KISS, Scott Ian and Frank Bello of Anthrax, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Bernie Williams and members of the Seminole Nation to smash guitars instead of cutting a ribbon. And yes, this means rock and roll is officially dead.

(Oh yeah, “Late Show With David Letterman” band drummer Anton Fig was there, which only means one thing: even Paul Shaffer had too much dignity to show up to this thing.)

Other news while you were rioting in the streets of State College to celebrate Penn State’s NIT victory:

  • As PUCK DADDY notes, it must be like getting their hearts ripped out all over again for Hartford Whalers fans to see a Hurricanes jersey with the Whalers’ logo (and a God awful color combination). Although I’d love it if the Ravens wore Browns jerseys for “Turn Back The Clock” day against Cleveland.
  • Whalers jersey

  • While the Jay Cutler trade solved one long-running NFL saga, the Anquan Boldin/Arizona Cardinals mess continues to fester. The latest comes from NFL.COM which reports that Boldin told a Florida radio station that he would “love to” play in his home city of Miami.
  • I had hoped that the America’s Cup had gone the way of 1980s fads like The Lambada, Swatches and The California Raisins. But apparently it’s still happening, and it’s now the focus of lawsuits involving people with more money than they know what to do with. The AP has the latest news, as software tycoon Larry Ellison and his boat “Oracle” have won the right to challenge the current Cup holders, Judge Elihu Smails and his boat “The Flying Wasp” (seen below at its coronation):

  • It looks like things are going anything but “perfect” for former Cincinnati ace Tom Browning: THE NEWS & OBSERVER reports the Reds have dropped him as the pitching coach for the Carolina Mudhens after he was arrested on Friday for failure to pay child support.
  • If you’re a former NFL player who gets arrested on drug charges, you would hope that the headlines wouldn’t call you “forgettable.” But that’s just how NBC DALLAS FORT WORTH described former Cowboy Leonardo Carson, arrested yesterday on intent to sell charges, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t right.
  • Now that Tim Floyd has turned down Arizona, TUCSON CITIZEN columnist Anthony Gimino wants to know if there’s anyone left who wants the Wildcats’ coaching job. May I make a suggestion: Former Baylor coach Dave Bliss is available and ready to talk. Sure, he’s got a checkered past, but the guy knows how to win. Barring that, perhaps Jerry Tarkanian is available.
  • Sports is creeping its way into politics in Los Angeles, as the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS reports that City Attorney candidate Carmen Trutanich is being ripped by his opponent and NOW for successfully representing former USC defensive back Eric Wright on rape charges in 2005.
  • I can’t imagine why parents in Shenendehowa, NY are upset to find out that a part-time track coach had his teaching license revoked 11 years ago after an alleged sexual abuse case. WTEN-TV says that while Don Paretta was not convicted, he admitted to giving a former student a note at graduation saying he would “miss the student’s face and body.” And this guy coached pole vaulting: let the jokes commence.
  • According to the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, Boston College DT B.J. Raji - a projected Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft - committed a crime worse than scoring single digits on the Wonderlic test: he reportedly flunked a drug test at the NFL Combine.
  • Finally, HOME RUN DERBY sends a hearty congratulations to Manatee Community College, which defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 yesterday. Yes, those Pittsburgh Pirates, as in the “allegedly major league Pirates.” Bill Mazeroski would be rolling in his grave, if he were dead.

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Speed Read: Mizzou Guards Alamo From NWicans

Every year we celebrate the bloody massacre of Texans at the hand of the Mexican army, and this was before soccer was popular. The Alamo Bowl, then, is the college game in which a team is crowned new saviors of the Republic of Texas, and for one year they are enshrined within the walls of the Alamo to protect from any uprising. And you goofy playoff advocates thought the bowl system was irrelevant.

Alamo Bowl

Missouri will be this year’s defenders, since they pushed Northwestern past the limit in a 30-23 overtime victory. Chase Daniel will be Davy Crockett, the heroic senior leader of the team, who kept his Tigers in the game despite the NWern Wildcats regaining the lead three times. Daniel’s TD pass to Jeremy Maclin in overtime was the difference. (Maclin can be the William B. Travis in this grand metaphor). The highly accurate kicker, Jeff Wolfert, blew a 44-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game, but his team came out victorious nonetheless, so he can be Sam Houston. I’d assign some roles to the Northwestern football team but I’m running out of Battle of the Alamo parallels.

Andre Smith

Andre Smith is a big deal, for he is the nation’s best lineman and will probably be a top three pick in the NFL Draft. He allowed one sack all season, and is probably the MVP of the Alabama offense. He is not a quarterback like Tebow, Bradford, Colt, Harrell or Your Favorite Quarterback. But he will not play in the Sugar Bowl due to a suspension, and ESPN.COM’s Chris Low has some info that says he talked to an agent, which is a big NCAA no-no. Obviously, this is a large story, since it’s on ESPN and making the rounds on the wires … but just imagine how much bigger of a deal the media, fans, bloggers, and bettors would make of it had John Parker Wilson been the one suspended. But it’s just a stupid lineman. There are, like, seven of those or something on the field at once. No big deal. The real question is: Will the beef stew Terrelle Pryor ate today affect his Fiesta Bowl passer rating?

Computer that will determine price of Giants tickets

This might be the computer that will determine the price of Giants tickets next year. About 2,000 seats will fall under this automated pricing formula, which factors in things like weather, popularity of opposing team, and whether or not Barry Zito will be pitching. This may potentially revolutionize the way sporting event ticket prices are gouged set, and finally gives the world a chance to dust off the ol’ quadratic formula to see how much the weekend will cost you.

The sum of the square roots of the following stories equals:

Super Snova

  • AUTOPIA takes a look at souped-up snowmobiles from around the world. I see nothing wrong with turning a Chevy Nova into what looks like a tank.
  • The Red Sox want Ramirez back! I’m dead serious!
  • The Bucs go to 9-3, then Monte Kiffin says he’ll leave at the end of the year with son Lane to the U. of Tennessee, and then they lose four straight and are out of the playoffs. The ST. PETERSBURG TIMES talks with Kiffin who admits it may not have been the right thing to announce his resignation when he did.
  • IN GAME NOW says Derek Jeter is looking for a house in Los Angeles. Expect the Yankees to offer the Dodgers a 10-year, $453 million contract.
  • The AP is reporting Clippers basketballperson Ricky Davis will be suspended five games for violating the league’s drug policy. Easy on the Sudafed, bro.
  • The Mets have made some good acquisitions this offseason. They’re due for a rumor about an Andruw Jones-type tra… hey, lookit that!
  • A fun find by SEATTLE WEEKLY regarding just how much Pat Riley thinks about the case sensitivity of his text messages to Dwyane Wade.
  • You know how people older than you constantly remind you how tough they had it? Well, Oregon football back in the day had to endure private jets and lobster dinners, and Willie Glasper will be the last OU player who can claim that. Expect 2025’s Ducks team to bitch about the 15 miles of snow they had to play through.
  • NEWSDAY says the Jets will be coached either by Bill Cowher or by Marty Schottenheimer, depending on whose prediction you believe. Using the quadratic formula, this means Rod Marinelli will be rumored to be the next Browns coach.
  • And finally, Bernie Williams was quietly trying to make a career comeback for the World Baseball Classic, and his comeback could end on as quiet a whimper as it began, now that LOHUD YANKEES BLOG says he’s got a serious quad injury while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. Carumba.

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Mormon Moms Hoping For Olympic Pole Positions

• Some exercising ladies in Utah are working out their chances to make pole dancing … er, “pole fitness” an Olympic sport.

Pole Dancing class

(”London, here we come!“)

• What happens when an LSU student reporter visits the Tigers’ tailgate dressed in Alabama gear? Let’s watch.

• Them’s fightin’ words: Ex-Viking Troy Williamson would like to “duke it out” with current Viking coach Brad Childress.

• A 12-year-old British kid gets his life of hooliganism started early.

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Bern, Baby, Bern: Williams Says He’s Not Done Yet

One of the last times I saw Bernie Williams play at Yankee Stadium, he attempted to throw out a runner at the plate from shallow center field. And “attempted” is used loosely here, because the ball bounced twice and came to rest just inside the pitcher’s mound. That was 2006.

Bernie Williams

(”I’ll reel in the big free agents with smooth jazz”)

But despite a budding career as a musician, Bernie still has the baseball bug and expressed interest in making a comeback — though it appears he only would want to return to the Yankees. Your move, Brian Cashman.

Quotes from Bernie after the jump.

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