Pic: Arkansas Razorback Billboard In Yuma Arizona

On December 2, Richard Davenport of the Arkansas recruiting site ARPreps.com reported on the recruitment of junior college prospect Aaron Douglas by the University of Arkansas football program.

Arkansas Football Billboard in Arizona

In attempting to persuade Douglas to transfer to Arkansas, head coach Bobby Petrino oversaw the purchase of billboard space along a desolate stretch of Interstate 8 just north of the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona. (1,400 miles from Fayetteville.)

Arkansas Football Billboard in Arizona

Not coincidentally, Douglas was attending Arizona Western junior college in Yuma at the time. From Davenport’s post: Read more…

Bengals Asst. On Petrino: “Gutless MF. Use that.”

The Cincinnati Bengals visit the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday, which means Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer will return to the Georgia Dome as a coach for the first time since 2007.

Mike Zimmer

(Mike Zimmer: Molder of men, reader of minds)

Three years ago Zimmer served on the Falcons staff blindsided by the departure of then-Atlanta head coach Bobby Petrino. With three games left in what turned out to be a 4-12 season, Petrino resigned without notice to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.

Coward Petrino Letter

(Lawyer Milloy in 2007: Co-sign)

When Zimmer was asked by Tom Archdeacon of the DAYTON DAILY NEWS his thoughts about returning to Atlanta, the Cincinnati assistant unloaded an unprompted verbal assault on Petrino.

Zimmer: Read more…

Did Arkansas Player Practice After Having Stroke?

Eagle-eyed SEC football fans probably noticed that Joe Adams was not one of the Arkansas wideouts who wrought utter havoc on the Auburn secondary this weekend. Small matter, really, considering the 44-23 final score in Arkansas’ favor, but what was the deal?

Joe Adams Arkansas Razorbacks Mild Stroke Victim
(Adams, seen here “beasting.” We just learned that word like yesterday, because we are very white.)

Fortunately, Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino said that Adams’ condition was “just something we had to deal with all week long,” which sounds like boring old coachspeak until Petrino mentions that Adams suffed “a mild stroke,” which, wow. Then it turns out that the team thinks he suffered it two days before he stopped practicing, at which point our brains become so blown that we, in turn, have a massive stroke. Which would be kind of ironic, really.

Read more…

Speed Read: Newspaper Carnage Only Beginning

The meltdown of the American newspaper industry is in full effect. The past six weeks have seen the closures of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News, marking two of the largest newspaper closures in recent memory. And yesterday came news that might be a sign of disaster for one of the nation’s leading newspapers: the SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES reports that roughly 120 employees of the San Francisco Chronicle have accepted voluntary buyouts as the paper struggles to avoid sale or shutdown.

San Francisco Chronicle

According to a list from the SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA PRESS CLUB, those leaving the paper include NFL writer Nancy Gay, college sports writer Jake Curtis, deputy sports editor Larry Yant and a host of other writers, editors and photographers. This should be taken as a giant red flag if these people are getting out now, especially someone as respected as Gay; trust me, people just don’t leave NFL reporting positions at major newspapers unless something is going terribly, horribly wrong.

Leaving the Chronicle

But even the voluntary exits might not be enough - parent company Hearst Corporation (which also owns the now-online only Post-Intelligencer) has said that it needed to cut “at least” 150 jobs to avoid a shutdown or sale, with the paper currently bleeding money at a rate of $1 million a week. And with the chances of a corporation wanting to buy a failing newspaper next to zero in this climate, it seems as though the only two options are to slash the staff to ribbons or close shop.

As bad as the first option sounds, the alternative is even more daunting. Especially when you consider that the San Jose Mercury News recently announced that it was essentially abandoning the San Francisco market by stopping all weekday deliveries to the city.  Which leaves a very real possibility that the nation’s 12th-largest metropolitan area could be without a major daily newspaper (the San Francisco Examiner, currently having been reduced to a free handout resembling The Pennysaver, doesn’t count).

It seems like Mark Cuban might be prescient when he blogged about the slow death of the newspaper sports section; let’s hope that his idea of teams and leagues banding together to provide beat reporters to cover the same teams and leagues doesn’t pan out, but if the San Francisco Chronicle can fold, is any idea that outlandish?

And don’t think that it will just stop with the Chronicle: the paper was only sixth in TIME’s recent list of “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America”. Ahead of it on the list are papers such as the Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Miami Herald. That’s a lot of major sports teams that are suddenly going to be underserviced by local media, if at all.

Tim Floyd

Also possibly endangered: the continued success of the USC men’s basketball program. After making the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season for the first time in school history, the Trojans might be going back to square one as ESPN has word that an Arizona radio station is reporting that Tim Floyd has agreed to become the Arizona Wildcats’ new head coach, with an announcement as early as today.

This is all speculation, and as the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS notes, this radio station has recently also had Rick Pitino and Jeff Capel as taking over at Arizona, so take everything with a grain of salt. But the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that there may be smoke to this fire: Floyd apparently flew out yesterday to Tucson and was given 24 hours to decide on accepting the position by Arizona AD Jim Livengood.

Which is all very interesting, since Floyd rejected an overture by LSU last year, saying that USC was “his last job.” Then there’s the matter of the “impassioned speech” he gave at the team banquet Wednesday night, imploring players such as Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan to not jump to the NBA and come back next season to help the Trojans make a run at a national title. And then he got on a plane the next morning to interview for the Arizona job. That’s venturing into Bobby Petrino level of sleaziness.

Diego Maradona

Finally, a busy night of World Cup soccer qualifying has also brought us two people to add to the endangered list. The first is Argentine legend Diego Maradona, whose own near-death experiences with drugs and weight made him frequently endangered in the past. But this time, it’s not his life that’s in danger but his managing career, after his Argentina squad was demolished 6-1 by lowly Bolivia.

How embarrassing is this? It’s the first time they’ve given up six goals in a game since the World Cup…in 1958. Bolivia is 50 places behind Argentina in the FIFA world rankings, and their hat trick hero was Joaquin Botero, who plays for a second-division team in Mexico. This is Chaminade beating Virginia type stuff, where you glance at the box score over and over to make sure you didn’t read it wrong, before convincing yourself it’s just a typo.

And speaking of Mexico…if I were embattled manager Sven-Goren Eriksson, I wouldn’t even bother making the team flight back from Honduras, where his team suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat, unless he wants his severed head to be placed on a pike outside of Atzeca Stadium as a warning to future managers.

The win allowed Honduras to leapfrog Mexico into the third and final guaranteed CONCACAF berth in the 2010 World Cup. Although there’s a lot of games left in both North & Central American and South American qualifying, there’s a chance that Argentina and Mexico could wind up facing each other in a two-game playoff, with the winner getting a World Cup spot and the loser staying home.

Other sports stories you might have missed last night as you were going to the hospital ER in Texas again…and again…and again

  • This is not going to help Wisconsin out in recruiting at all: the DAILY CARDINAL reports that the Badgers have banned ESPN’s Erin Andrews from working as a sideline reporter during games in Madison because she’s too much of a “distraction.” Unless this is a particularly clever April Fool’s joke…which it is.
  • Erin Andrews

  • Remember when Pete Carroll acted petulant at Mark Sanchez’s press conference announcing he was turning pro? Scouts at USC’s Pro Day tell the LOS ANGELES TIMES that Carroll is now claiming he acted that way to “test” Sanchez’s resolve to turn pro. Because acting like a spoiled child is going to convince him to come back.
  • It’s not just American athletes who get into trouble at strip bars late at night: THE MIRROR has word that Sunderland and French international striker Djibril Cissé has been arrested after allegedly grabbing a woman by the throat at a late-night strip club. You might remember him for having the distinction of suffering horrific, Theisman-like leg breaks not once but twice in his career, which you can watch here and here. (Warning: not for the faint of heart.)
  • Give Sen. John McCain credit for doing something right: the DALLAS MORNING-NEWS says that the former Presidential candidate is lobbying for a posthumous pardon of old-timey boxing champ Jack Johnson for trumped up, racially-biased charges. It still won’t make me forget that McCain voted against Martin Luther King Day, but it’s a start.
  • A word of warning: don’t take a quick paycheck to record canned introductions to videos for a company you know nothing about. Greg Gumbel failed to heed this advice, and he wound up as the spokesperson for a time-share, which ONLINE SPORTS GUYS says has lead to a lawsuit. Here’s one video in question:

  • SI.COM says that the Hockey Hall of Fame has changed its rules, opening the door for the first female player to be voted in. Someone in Canada, Don Cherry is burning his plaid Depends adult diapers in protest.
  • Hey look, another lacrosse team has been forced to suspend their season because of alleged misconduct. But the story of the Curry College team is far different than Duke, according to the BOSTON HERALD. Team members allegedly hazed new players at a party, although even the freshmen “victims” seem to think it was no big deal. Remind me to bring a lawyer if I ever go to a college lacrosse party.
  • WSLS-TV says that Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer prepared for the upcoming season by doing some NASCAR racing. He didn’t do so hot, but his goiter was signed to a developmental deal with Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Somehow former Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar is being dragged into the Rod Blagojevich mess. RUMORS AND RANTS reports that Kosar was on some sort of fundraising “hit list” put together by the then-Illinois Governor with the Steve Garvey haircut just before he was arrested.
  • The Boston Celtics barely avoided another humiliating defeat to the Charlotte Bobcats, as the BOSTON GLOBE reports that Ray Allen’s three-pointer at the end of OT gave them a 114-106 victory.

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WTF: Auburn Fires Tuberville, Petrino Contacted?

Not exactly a shocker, but the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reports this afternoon that Tommy Tuberville is out as Auburn coach.

Bobby Petrino Tommy Tuberville

No other details are forthcoming, except that the announcement could come today.

The News also reports on possible replacements, which somehow, SOME WAY include Bobby Petrino. Read more…

Belichick Among Most Loved, Hated NFL Coaches

In a player survey, 80 percent of NFL players were polled as to which coaches they’d most, and least, want to play for. It’s actually a fascinating look at how players balance their desire to win with their desire to play for a nice guy, two things that are often mutually incompatible. And Bill Belichick, probably the best illustration of that, got some interesting responses.

Bill Belichick

The last two Super Bowl winners ended up at opposite ends of the list. Tony Dungy, unsurprisingly, was named the most desirable head coach - his father-figure-like manner, and on-the-field success made him a clear number one. Hardass Tom Coughlin was the coach players least wanted to play for. The poll was conducted during last season, before the Giants’ championship, so those 53 players with rings are probably pretty glad they sucked it up. Plaxico Burress could not be reached for comment.

And what about Belichick, an a**hole who always wins?

Read more…

Ex-Arkansas LB Fleeing Cops Tackled By Bushes

You would think that an all-SEC linebacker could outrun the police - unless Darren McFadden is moonlighting as a cop, the LB should have the edge in athleticism. But you can never count out being really high as the great equalizer. Just ask former Arkansas LB Freddie Fairchild.

According to THE SLOPHOUSE, Fairchild ran from the cops on Sunday morning after cops saw a group of men on the street and “smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the crowd of people.” Fairchild allegedly ran from the cops but was done in by a vicious chop block thrown by a row of bushes.

Read more…

Blog-A-Roni: Rivers May Be Dammed By Torn ACL

• That tears it: ROTOWORLD hears that the Bolts’ Philip Rivers may be struck down by an injured ACL.

Philip Rivers injured

• San Diego might not be the only team minus QB, as the NORFOLK VIRGINIAN-PILOT notes that the starting signal caller for Virginia isn’t enrolled in school.

• DC SPORTS BOG bounces along the steps on becoming a Wizards ballboy.

• Even though he’s already been given a contract extension, 100% INJURY RATE finds Bud Selig digging for gold:

Bud Selig picking nose

• HOME RUN DERBY is touched by fans at Fenway helping a disabled man sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Vai Sikahema Rushing Out To Ring

• DEUCE OF DAVENPORT puts up its dukes, as former NFL return man Vai Sikahema is stepping into the ring:

Vai Sikahema

• THE LOVE OF SPORTS offers a handy list of who to avoid on the hardwood.

• THE BEAUTIFUL GAME finds an ad featuring soccer-mad cavemen showing mad skills with skulls.

• THE ANGRY T delivers the goods, as part-time pizza man Roy Williams contributes some crazy quips:

Roy WIlliams Pizza car

• SPORTS GONE SOUTH gets out the spreadsheets, as they determine if LSU is the new college football team of the decade.

Read more…

Atlanta Falcons Asking Bill Parcells To Become Their VP of Football Operations

FALCONS GO FISHING; BLANK HOPES TO REEL IN BIG TUNA: The Atlanta Falcons are going after Bill Parcells. And if he won’t be their coach, he can at least help them find one:

Atlanta Falcons mascot Bill Parcells

ESPN reports that the Falcons have offered Parcells the position of vice president of football operations with the NFL club. The job would allow the ex-sideline stalwart to select the team’s new coach and reorganize personnel.When contacted by phone on Tuesday, Parcells answered, “I’ve got nothing to say,” before hanging up. However, sources say that the Big Tuna is seriously considering the offer, and he may even make a decision by today.

The possible hiring of Parcells could mean the end of the road for general manager Rich McKay. But Falcons owner Arthur Blank reportedly wants to maintain McKay as president of the franchise.

Bobby Petrino Arkansas

The zany situation in Hotlanta is enough to drive a man crazy - or worse, drive a man to Arkansas.