Jimmie Johnson Wins 4th Straight Race Since Donating Winnings to Wildfire Victims

JOHNSON GENEROSITY JUMPS JIMMIE TO NEXTEL CUP TITLE: Instant karma’s gonna get you, Jimmie Johnson.

Jimmie Johnson belt

We earlier wrote how the NASCAR racer and SoCal native would be donating his Atlanta race winnings to the Red Cross in order to help California wildfire victims.Since his generous guarantee, Johnson has now won 4 straight races, including Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix.

Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon cars

The victory helped Johnson open an 86-point lead over Jeff Gordon in the Nextel Cup standing. Barring a collapse or cool collision, Jimmie should be able to clinch his second consecutive championship next Sunday in Miami.Paying it forward seems to be paying off for JJ. Dy-no-mite!

David Beckham Scores In Benefit Game For California Wildfire Victims

BECKS SCORES FOR WILDFIRE VICTIMS IN CHARITY MATCH: Although the MLS season is over, David Beckham did get to play in one more soccer match - for charity:

Beckham Lapaglia

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports Becks scored 2 goals and had 3 assists as the L.A. Galaxy beat Hollywood United F.C. 10-4 on Sunday.The match at the Home Depot Center in Carson was a benefit for victims of the recent southern California wildfires, raising more than $90,000 for the cause.

Hollywood United was led by actor-slash-goalie Anthony LaPaglia, star of CBS’s “Without a Trace”. Other players who hit the pitch for H.U.F.C. included Def Leppard guitarist Viv Campbell, Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, and Jim Rome fan Eric Wylanda.

Writers Strike

With a writers strike currently hitting Hollywood, LaPaglia should have more time to work on his game.Maybe Anthony can arrange a match between the Writers’ Guild and the studios - winner gets a new contract written to their demands.

Hippopotamus Found In Chargers Coach’s Pool

SAN DIEGO HIPPO CHARGES FROM PARK TO COACH’S POOL: Is that a hippopotamus in your pool, or are you just glad to see us?

Hippo Chargers towel

FOX SPORTS has big news of the gargantuan guest cooling off in the backyard of Chargers special teams coach Steve Crosby. (2nd article down in the link)While the team was practicing in Arizona, Crosby got a call from his wife about the voracious visitor enjoying a dip. The Crosbys live near the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and wildfires in the region had burned some openings for the animals to escape through.

Authorities soon arrived to tranquilize and pull the potamus out of the pool, post-haste. It’s a poor pity, since Crosby could have produced some potential pocket change from admission payments if the potamus stayed put.

Phil Mickelson

But it wasn’t very polite for the hippo to hold a pool party at the Crosbys’ without permission. Why couldn’t he have rumbled over to his beach house, like Phil Mickelson?

NASCAR Driver Jimmie Johnson To Donate Atlanta Race Winnings To California Wildfire Victims

JJ DY-NO-MITE TO DONATE WINNINGS TO CA. FIRE VICTIMS: Jimmie Johnson will be burning rubber this weekend to help victims burned by the California wildfires:

Jimmie Johnson NASCAR wildfires donations car

The NASCAR driver and El Cajon, CA, native will donate his winnings from Sunday’s Pep Boys Auto 500 to the American Red Cross. Money from the Atlanta race will go toward the California Wildfire Relief Fund.And whatever the Johnson takes in, car sponsor Lowe’s and Speedway Motorsports will match the same amount in donations to the Red Cross.

It’s not as generous as free tacos for all, but it’s a start.

Chargers Can Play In Qualcomm If They Want, But San Diego HS Games Canceled

CHARGERS WELCOME TO PLAY; SD HIGH SCHOOLS AREN’T: San Diego’s mayor says the Chargers’ home field will be ready for them on Sunday. Now it’s up to the team if they want to play there:

Qualcomm Chargers

THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE reports that Mayor Jerry Sanders has said Qualcomm Stadium will be available for the Chargers’ contest against the Houston Texans. “It’s their decision to play in San Diego or not.”The team and the NFL have yet to make a decision on the future of the game. Texans coach Gary Kubiak has said he was told that the game would happen in San Diego, but on Monday night.

The stadium has been used as an evacuation center for area folks fleeing the wildfires around the region. However, Sanders said that Qualcomm will be closed to evacuees by Friday.

Qualcomm evacuee sleeping

At one point, over 10,000 people sought shelter at the stadium, but now only 400 remain.Even with calming winds helping firefighters fight the blazes, many other athletic events in San Diego have been canceled. San Diego State’s football game against BYU was postponed until December.

And now all high school sports events in the region have been called off, from football to cross country. San Diego Section Commissioner Dennis Ackerman says the contests will not be made up.

San Diego High School Football

43 gridiron games were scheduled this weekend, including may homecoming contests. But considering the situation, most students and fans just want their homecoming to be to a house that’s still standing.*UPDATE*: Chargers will play on Sunday as scheduled.

Eric Wynalda Fires Himself With Comment About California Disaster

ADDING “D” ONTO “FIRE” FOR ANNOUNCER ERIC WYNALDA: Give soccer broadcaster Eric Wynalda his due, he’s very, very consistent.

Eric Wynalda Jim Rome Quote

After proclaiming during an interview that “Jim Rome can suck my d—!” and then following that up with a fake apology, AWFUL ANNOUNCING scares up another gem from him last night while announcing the MLS game involving DC United and the Chicago Fire: “As ESPN2 cameras panned to the Chicago Fire supporter’s group Section 8 with about 15 minutes left in the match, fans in the section set off flares that gave off a red, fire-like glare.

Eric Wynalda Jim Rome ESPN apology

Wynalda responded to this image by saying, ‘Looks like California,’ a flippant reference to the wildfires currently plaguing California. The haunting silence that followed after the comment leads me to believe Wynalda realized the mistake he just made.“While the individual comment might not be a fireable offense, based on Wynalda’s past lack of judgement, it might be time for ABC/ESPN to part ways with the former national teamer - before he does or says something really stupid.

Dad Of USC QB Sanchez Fighting San Diego Wildfires

MARK SANCHEZ’S FATHER FIGHTING SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES: Jason King of Yahoo Sports (via RUMORS AND RANTS) reports that the father of USC QB Mark Sanchez, Nick, is currently fighting the Southern California wildfires.

Mark Sanchez Firefighter Dad Nick Sanchez

Just 48 miles from the USC practice fields where Mark gets ready for Oregon this Saturday, father Nick, a captain with the Orange County Fire Authority, has been battling the arson-fueled blaze. And as of yesterday afternoon, Dad was still out on the front lines, having not been home in almost a week.You would think this would be a major distraction for Mark, as he gets set to start (yes, he probably will) his third straight game this Saturday at Autzen Stadium, but his Dad has seen more dangerous duty in the past - if you can imagine:

Excerpt: “As a member of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, Nick floated from house to house in New Orleans looking for survivors before retreating to his “bed” each night at the SuperDome.

Nick Sanchez

Here’s a link to the story of Nick in New Orleans in the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER (be sure and scroll down).More from Yahoo: “In 1995, Nick was summoned to Oklahoma City to help recover bodies from the rubble of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after it was bombed by Timothy McVeigh.

Needless to say, the Oregon game is probably the least of Mark’s worries. And if a scintilla of his dad’s leadership and work ethic has rubbed off on Mark, the Trojans would be foolish to go back to John David Booty.

Portland Columnist Not Too Concerned About Millionaires’ Safety During Wildfires

WRITER UNCONCERNED W/RICH ATHLETES FLEEING FIRE: With wildfires raging all around San Diego, you’ll be happy to know that Phil Mickelson’s family made it safely to their beach house. But a Portland columnist isn’t so concerned:

Phil Mickelson wildfire

Ryan White of the OREGONIAN takes issue with sports news outlets devoting front-page space to wealthy athletes during times of trouble, while others less fortunate are suffering just as much, if not more.White was particularly irked by ESPN, as the Worldwide Leader slapped the Mickelson beach house saga on their main web page, along with the other stories about the wildfire situation.

If the fire wins, he won’t have any trouble rebuilding. He and his family didn’t have to retreat to Qualcomm Stadium and sleep in the concourse.”

Qualcomm Stadium fire evacuation center

White says he has no qualms with Mickelson in particular, but questions if rich athletes deserve more sympathy for losing their mansions than other less wealthy victims losing their entire livelihoods.”When it comes to stories of personal loss, sometimes it’s best to let the story and the pictures play out without reference to the super-millionaires who perform for our entertainment. It’s not that they matter less, but in times like these they also don’t matter more.”

San Diego State Game Canceled Due to Wildfires

FIRES EXTINGUISH SAN DIEGO STATE-BYU FOOTBALL GAME: With wildfires burning all around, the Chargers aren’t the only football team affected by the hazardous conditions:

San Diego State Aztecs QB

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that San Diego State’s upcoming home game against BYU will be postponed. The Aztecs were to face the Cougars on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium, but the Mountain West Conference decided to cancel the contest.Qualcomm has become an evacuation shelter for area residents fleeing the flames. As the Aztecs’ field is being used for more important matters, MWC officials also nixed the game over concerns about air quality (welcome to SoCal!), fan safety, and travel issues.

While the NFL figures out what to do about the Chargers- Texans game, San Diego State will now host BYU on Dec. 1.

BYU football snowstorm

Too bad Saturday’s game is kaput. The Cougars could have brought some snow from Provo to help cool things down.