During Saturday’s ESPNU telecast of the Alabama-Vanderbilt football game, ESPN’s Clay Matvick reported that Trent Richardsontold the ESPN announcer before the game that Mark Ingram, “taught him humility.” ESPN game analyst Brian Griese later added that Richardson told him that he still speaks with Ingram “two or three times a week.”
Nobody can accuse Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith of not looking look out for the youth of America. Take for instance 28-year-old Minnesota Vikings corner Benny Sapp, who Smith burned for many of his 157 receiving yards in the Panthers 26-7 win over the Vikings Sunday night.
(Inset: “Lil’ Youngster” Benny Sapp)
Cue Smith’s post-game interview with NBC’s Andrea Kremer:
Kremer: “What was going through your mind?”
Smith: “You know, #22 (Sapp) had something to say to me on the field. So, lil’ youngster. …”
Kremer: “What did he say?”
Smith: “You know, just telling me who he is, so I had to establish the rules and regulations of the game.”
Kremer: “Which were?”
Smith: “Which was 89. … Bottom line. That’s why he going home.”
Mark Washburn of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER has the beyond bizarre story of longtime Carolina Panthers Stadium Announcer Jon Robinson. Washburn initially describes Robinson’s previous public life as:
High school basketball star who went to play for Lefty Driesell at the University of Maryland. Morning host on WBT-AM. News anchor on Channel 3. Stadium announcer for the Carolina Panthers. Cancer survivor.
Robinson was the Panther Stadium announcer since the franchise’s inception in 1995, until two months ago. Most recently, Robinson was also a high profile morning show DJ in Charlotte on a station that caters mostly to “suburban soccer moms.”
But when Robinson lost those jobs, he had a confession to make. Read more…
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson in a letter to Wesley: “The prohibited contact in this case went well beyond simply interfering with the receiver. Instead, by striking your defenseless opponent in the head and neck area, you committed an unnecessary and unnecessarily dangerous act that is specifically prohibited by the rules.” Read more…
Not a lot of people in Carolina are happy with Jake Delhomme right now. The Panthers QB has turned the ball over 10 times in his last two games, and Delhomme looked downright deplorable in Carolina’s 38-10 beatdown at the hands of the Eagles. Among those who’ve voiced displeasure with Delhomme is Panthers WR Steve Smith, as Fox microphones picked up Steve telling Jake, “I never really liked you as a quarterback. But as a person, that’s who I love.”
But wait a second - it was all just a crazy mixed-up misunderstanding!
Everyone remembers Jake Delhomme’s horror show in last year’s playoffs, where he accounted for six turnovers in a 33-13 loss to the Cardinals (on his birthday, no less). Delhomme was rewarded for the collapse with a mammoth, $42.5 million extension in the offseason, which made little sense then and even less now after Delhomme rang in the season with four more picks against the Eagles in the opener.
(This made sense at the time.)
If that seems galling to Panthers fans, imagine how “thrilled” Steve Smith would be. The player who, just three years ago, was considered the best wideout in the game (this is when Randy Moss was still languishing in Oakland), now has to deal with Captain Interception firing the ball “toward” him. Using our Future Glasses, we can tell you that this ends in a season with approximately 1100 receiving yards and 4 TDs, and Smith kind of sees that coming too.
So after one especially egregious pick on Sunday, Delhomme took it upon himself to apologize to Smith. In retrospect, that may not have been wise.
It looks like former NFL players Troy and Darren Hambrick have some sort of competition brewing between themselves to see which one could be the sleaziest loser. Troy (ex-Cowboy, ex-Cardinal) had surged into the lead last year by getting sentenced to five years in jail for selling crack cocaine. That’s called “throwing down the gauntlet” to his brother.
(Hambrick brothers Darren [L] and Troy [R])
But the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that Darren (ex-Cowboy, ex-Brown, ex-Panther) might have surged ahead with his latest misadventure. He has been arrested and charged with raping his girlfriend and holding her hostage in their house for more than 11 hours. That’s going to be a tough act for Troy to follow - especially from jail. Someone should give Troy a pat down and check for shivs, just to be sure.
Have you ever heard of Thomas Davis? Probably not, but he’s a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, via Georgia. We up to speed? Good. Speaking of speed, Thomas Davis has one of the most recognizable cars in Charlotte, a super-personalized purple 1975 Caprice Classic. You’ll see part of it in the picture below.
(Here I am! Wait… where am I?)
Well, hold the phone; Davis had one of the most recognizable cars in Charlotte, up until this weekend, according to authorities. Repo’ed? Totaled in a crash? No no, just a prop in a cunning plan not thought all the way through.
Ryan Leaf is an instant sports blog punchline, suitable for use anytime you need a real-life example for the words “bust,” “loser” or “train wreck.” But at least he had some shred of dignity: sure, he had been one of the biggest disappointments in NFL history, a top draft pick turned into petulant baby whose lousy attitude with coaches, teammates and the media ensured he would be drummed out of the league; but at least he wasn’t Todd Marinovich. No matter what, at least his rap sheet was clean.
Well, you can forget that. Remember when he took a “leave of absence” from his position as QB coach at West Texas A&M (and also as - for some reason - the golf coach), and it came out that he had “asked” a player for pain medicine for an old wrist injury? It turns out there was more to that story - a lot more. Leaf allegedly really, really needed that medicine - so much so that he allegedly broke into the apartment of an injured player he knew had been prescribed Vicodin and grabbed him a handful of pills.
And Leaf apparently was about as good of a thief as he was an NFL player, since the cops traced the theft back to him, and the AMARILLO GLOBE-NEWS says that he was indicted yesterday on nine different drug and burglary charges. The district attorney says that Leaf is currently in British Columbia getting drug treatment (socialized medicine!), but the DA “hopes” he returns to the country. I can’t say that sounds promising. (And there goes Leaf’s chance of an NFL comeback.)
Also in need of a comeback: the Los Angeles Lakers. Sure, last night’s 106-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets only tied their Western Conference finals at 1-1, but after almost giving away Game 1 as well, it feels like they are staring up at a mountain. For the first two games, they were outplayed, outhustled and physical dominated by the Nuggets, and are now completely out of sync and without home court advantage. (Seriously, how does Kobe Bryant not get a shot in one of those last two possessions?)
So the home court advantage in the two NBA conference finals belong to the Nuggets and the Magic. I’m sure that the NBA front office is thrilled about possibly having to market a Denver vs. Orlando series. If you are an NBA Conspiracy Theorist, then rest assured that David Stern is currently making some angry phone calls to some referees today to “fix the problem.”
Meanwhile, we moved one step closer to a Stanley Cup rematch as the Pittsburgh Penguins outscored the Carolina Panthers 7-4 to a take a 2-0 series lead. Sidney Crosby scored the opening goal - again - but it was Evgeni Malkin who was the real star, notching a hat trick including scoring one of the sickest goals you’ll ever see in your life:
You couldn’t even do that in NHL ‘94 for Sega Genesis without getting your head cracked open. So while the Hurricanes’ Eric Staal might be busy complaining about his brother Jordan“cheating” during face-offs for the Penguins, everyone else is getting ready for another tilt between Pittsburgh and Detroit (and we all know that’s happening, putting NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a much happier place than David Stern is right now).
The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE reports that the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves are set to announce their new GMs on the same day. Maybe they got a “Buy One, Get One Free” rental package on the hotel conference room?
Sammy Hasan, a girls’ track coach in Amherst, NY has been charged with forcible sexual conduct with a female high school student. The BUFFALO NEWS says that earlier this season, one of his runners thanked him for “helping her with her technique”after she won a sectional title. SBB PUNCHLINE CREATOR 3000 ERROR 4XQ587: TOO MANY INAPPROPRIATE JOKES.
Former Houston Texans lineman Fred Weary tried to help an ex-teammate out by hiring former Florida Gator Anthone Lott as a general contractor on four townhouses Weary was building in Gainesville. Judging by the fact that the ST. AUGUSTINE RECORD says Lott has been charged with defrauding a bank and Weary of more than $185,000, I’d say that didn’t end too well.
There’s never a great time to start drunkenly hurling swear words at the opposing team from the stands during a high school baseball game…but to do it during a stoppage for an injury is just wrong. But that’s exactly what the SCHENECTADY DAILY GAZETTE says that George “Mr. Class” Sperow did before getting into a fight and then being arrested.
Ferrari is threatening to leave Formula One if they institute a budget cap in 2010, so now the TELEGRAPH is saying that Formula One rightsholder Bernie Ecclestonewill sue them if they do. Where else are they going to go - NASCAR? (Oh please, please let me see a Ferrari NASCAR team.)
Is there anything sadder than a kicker trying to hold out for more money? That’s what PRO FOOTBALL TALK says that Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson is doing as he skips the team’s “voluntary” minicamp. Isn’t there a Bahr brother somewhere who can still kick? Martin Mull? Stefan Fatsis?