Speed Read: Oregon RB Loses Game, Then Mind

Last night’s season-opening college football doubleheader on ESPN was a nightmare for fans everywhere. It started off with South Carolina’s dreadful 7-3 win over N.C. State, and wrapped up with a much-hyped matchup between Boise State and Oregon that quickly turned into a one-sided snoozefest. Things couldn’t have been more embarrassing for the Ducks, who didn’t even manage to get a first down until the 7:07 mark of the third quarter. Oh, wait, I guess it could get worse:

LeGarrette Blount punch

Yup, that’s Oregon running back/loose cannon LeGarrette Blount, saving the evening, entertainment-wise, by lighting up Boise State’s Byron Hout with a right cross as the teams left the field after Boise State’s 19-8 win that wasn’t really anywhere near that close. Blount, you see, had promised to give the Broncos an “ass whuppin’” in the weeks leading up to the game, and since he didn’t really deliver that while the clock was running (he had 8 carries for -5 yards) I guess he figured he might as well get a shot in afterward.

There have been some stunning falls from grace over the years, but 18 hours ago I was hearing HEISMAN PUNDIT touting Blount as a darkhorse Heisman candidate on the Dan Patrick Show. Even Boise’s paper was talking him up. Now, not only did Blount obliterate any of that talk with his game performance last night, but it appears as if he may have completely ruined his college career by losing his mind afterward. And, if you think the punch was bad, things got even uglier a few moments later. Video after the jump.

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Banks Bailing on Sponsorships to Avoid Backlash

NASCAR, more than any other American sport, will contort its product to meet the needs of its sponsors, especially considering how few are left. Therefore, when America rose as one and demanded banks stop spending frivolously on marketing to try to get more customers to help increase their business, banks dove as one for cover.  Citi Field?  Shame! Chase Field? Horror!

Carl Edwards

(It’s Claritin clear what’s going on here)

This, of course, explains the newly renamed NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America (from the Bank of America 500).  The fall race in Charlotte (at the morally acceptable Lowe’s Motor Speedway) might as well rename the banks in each turn “inclined financial institutions” just to see how gullible the public truly is.

And yet this isn’t close to the worst obfuscation NASCAR had to deal with this week…

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Speed Read: Washing Our Hands of the Swine Flu

The discerning reader prefers the news (and most foods) wrapped in bacon and liberally salted with panic. Therefore, we provide your Thursday morning sports-centric swine flu stories to better arm you at the water cooler to pass along the latest gossip mumbled through your faux designer mask:

Swine flu (or pigs fly)

Whew. That’s a lot of abject terror sensible precaution for one morning. Please add any additional sports-related swine flu stories to the comments below so the few remaining survivors have a record of these final days.

Thankfully, our few remaining moments left as a functional species can be well-represented by the following people tellin’ it like it is and keepin’ it real with the kids, assuming your kids take Don Rickles’ routine at face value:

Geno Auriemma

Fire truck at Comerica Park

(Emergency vehicle sized appropriately to emergency)

Finally, a false alarm (possibly a fire alarm) in the eighth inning could not shake the New York Yankees from barely holding onto a 8-6 lead at Comerica Park over the Detroit Tigers last night despite holding a 7-1 advantage late in the contest. As Joe Girardi put it, “In this day and age, that’s a little scary.”

Heck, Joe … in this day and age, what isn’t?

And now a hail of bullet points caused by two heroin-slingin’ senior citizen sisters (though you can’t fault them for looking for a new retirement plan these days) …

What’s your favorite pandemic?

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Will NASCAR Flips Continue Until “Someone Dies”?

As we mentioned yesterday right after it happened, Carl Edwards had a horrific crash on the final lap of the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR race at Talladega, as he clipped the front of Brad Keselowski’s car while attempt to block a potentially race winning crash. The unheralded Keselowski went on to take the win, while Edwards went tumbling onto Ryan Newman’s roof before nearly hurtling into the crowd.

Carl Edwards flips at Talladega

While Edwards was fortunate enough to walk away unscathed - pulling a Ricky Bobby and running the last few hundred feet to the finish line - some fans were not, and we now know just how dangerous things were. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS says that seven fans suffered minor injuries after being hit with debris from both Edwards’ car and the catch fence that kept it out of the grandstand - including one woman with a possible broken jaw.

Video of the crash after the jump:

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Marital Bliss, Now Brought To You By Office Depot

Sponsorship is a big deal in NASCAR. One study showed that 89 percent of racing fans associate the sponsors with quality products (although one thinks they might still patronize sponsors like Coors Light and the Jerry Springer Show without the sponsorship). But rarely has a driver shown so much loyalty to his brand than Carl Edwards. Edwards is getting married in January, so he turned to his sponsor for help. After all, nothing says weddings quite like Office Depot?

Carl Edwards

(The reception will be held at the Stuckey’s off Route 40.)

In May Edwards carried a marriage proposal on the back of his No. 99 Office Depot car, but when it came time to plan his own nuptials, where better to go for free stuff? Weddings ain’t cheap. Granted, help from Kurt Busch’s sponsor Rubbermaid, or even Tony Stewart’s Home Depot might have made more sense. But Carl will never have to ask who moved his red stapler:

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Harvick, Edwards Stage Epic NASCAR Slapfight

On Thursday, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards got a little catty while rain halted qualifying at Charlotte. Before we go any further, words can’t do this situation justice, so let’s get this picture out of the way.

Harvick Edwards fight

(Whoa! Careful there, Kimbo! Don’t hurt anyone!)

To recap, last weekend, Edwards caused a 12-car pileup that took out, among other drivers, Harvick. Harvick responded in a positively mature manner by calling Edwards a “pansy,” though we’re pretty sure Harvick would have chosen a slightly different word away from the media.

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Speed Read: Are LA Fans Ready For Lakers Now?

That low rumble you heard in Los Angeles last night wasn’t an earthquake - it was the sound of one million Dodger mini-flags being ripped off of cars simultaneously. The team didn’t have a total collapse like the Cubs, but a sixth-inning mini-meltdown of one bad throw and two lousy pitches undid the rest of the night and equaled a 3-2 defeat.

Pat Burrell is manly

Dodger fans throughout LA have one question: when does the Lakers season start? That, and if Joe Torre should have lifted Derek Lowe after Chase Utley deposited a ball into the bleachers in right center to tie the game. I agree with the LA TIMES’ BLUE NOTES that you have to leave Lowe in: he had been cruising along until then. If you want to find a goat, look at Rafael Furcal going 0-4 at the top of the line-up and making a lousy throw. Or the 6-7-8 hitters for the Dodgers, who went 1-11.

Clemson Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden

And speaking of finger-pointing: Clemson Tigers, meet your fans! If you thought that the fans were hard on you after your loss to Maryland, you probably want to schedule some extra sessions with the team therapist to deal with the fallout from your 12-7 loss to Wake Forest and practically Auburn-like offense. Perhaps it’s just karma for taking away Ray Ray McElrathbey’s scholarship in the off-season.

Here’s some more news to ponder while watching the Dow Jones Index go down another hundred points. Wait, make it two hundred! Three hundred! Wow, I didn’t even know it could go into negative numbers…

Gina Carano

Which Top 10 team is mostly likely to be upset on Saturday?

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Bonehead Busch’s Bristol Revenge Plan Backfires

Kyle Busch had a bad week: first he had to deal with the distraction of Joe Gibbs Racing getting caught cheating (even though it wasn’t his car). And on Saturday night, he lost more than once at Bristol during the NASCAR Nextel Cup race. As the AP reported, he was passed by rival Carl Edwards with a few laps to go to finish second, despite having had the dominating car all race long (in fact he led 415 consecutive laps in the 500 lap race).

Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch

Then, to make matters worse, his attempts at revenge blew up in his face - he ran into Edwards on the cool down lap, only to be the one who wound up spun out. You would think that if he ever watched the Laff-A-Lympics, he would have known that kind of chicanery and tomfoolery never worked for The Really Rottens.

Video of the incident after the jump.

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Carl Edwards Gets Pass For His Wandering Rubber

Any over/under on when “the cream and the clear” is replaced in the sports lexicon by “oil cooler lid?” Maybe Carl Edwards knows.

Carl Edwards Wandering Rubber

YAHOO! SPORTS reports that Edwards, who won the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas Sunday, failed a post-race inspection when his Ford Fusion was found to be missing its oil cooler lid, significant because the increased airflow from a missing lid could result in more horsepower. Edwards is likely to be fined, lose Cup points, have his crew chief suspended, and sent home without supper (they still call it “supper” in the South). But could the flubbed inspection cost him the win? Read more…