Week In Review: Shawne & Tila Get All Choked Up

Shawne Merriman & Tila Tequila have had quite the memorable week, haven’t they?

Shawne Merriman Tila Tequila

• Bengals QB Carson Palmer is worried that someone’s going to die in the NFL. Meanwhile, other Bengals QB Jordan Palmer has no worries about big brother’s USC squad beating the Buckeyes.

• Sounds like Danica Patrick will be racing over to NASCAR next year.

Melanie Oudin had a great run at the US Open, although she could have done without the hotel eviction & her parents’ impending divorce.

• In the meantime, Novak Djokovic entertains the Flushing Meadows fans with his impression of John McEnroe - only to have the real deal come down & serve the Serb a lesson in an impromptu match.

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Cincy’s Other Palmer QB Piles On Buckeyes, Fans

Cincinnati quarterback Jordan Palmer, who backs up his brother Carson on the Bengals, made the L.A. radio rounds Tuesday to promote an iPhone app he helped develop call RunPee. After doing about 15 minutes on the biz bit with the Mason & Ireland Show on 710 ESPN, Palmer asked the hosts what they thought of the USC-Ohio State game.

Jordan Palmer's RunPee iPhone app

(The Palmers: Redefining bad judgement each and every early September)

Seconds later, it became apparent Palmer wasn’t so concerned with what the hosts had to say. Instead, he was looking for a platform to make like his brother Carson a year ago. Here’s what the former USC QB and Heisman winner said on L.A radio in 2008:

I cannot stand the Buckeyes. Having to live in Ohio and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts.

And now for some of Jordan’s comments, which were strikingly similar to his brother’s. Read more…

Carson Palmer: ‘Somebody Is Going To Die In NFL’

So Peter King has been sitting on this pretty provocative quote for nearly two months, waiting until the week before he NFL regular season to roll it out. Hey, in sports journalism, timing is everything. Our speaker is Carson Palmer, and the subject is NFL defenses, and how dangerous it’s getting out there on the field.

Carson Palmer

Palmer: “The truth of the matter is … somebody is going to die here in the NFL. It’s going to happen.” Yikes. Read more…

Hard Knocks Goes From Contact To Water Sports

Past couple years, thanks to his myriad of amusing endorsements, Carson Palmer has been a gift that keeps giving for guys like me. And now it gives me great pleasure to report that his brother, backup Bengals QB Jordan Palmer, is ready to relieve his brother in scaring up his own unintentional comedy goldmine.

Jordan Palmer's RunPee iPhone app

(Jordan upholding family tradition of providing comedy endorsement gold)

On HBO’s “Hard Knocks” last night, Jordan promoted an iPhone app he helped develop called RunPee. The app is designed to pinpoint the most opportune times to bleed the goose relieve yourself during a movie. Costing $1.99, RunPee denotes the elapsed time of when to go, replete with dialogue cues - and even comes with a timer. (Uh, like that really matters?)

Dan Florio is the name of the main developer of the app. He describes Jordan’s role at RunPee.com:

Jordan Palmer is part of the RockSoftware team that develops the mobile apps. He called me up one day, back in June, to talk about marketing and stuff. Cool guy, nice conversation. In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “An NFL quarterback called ME!” Still sort of strange this new world I live in.

HBO’s Hard Knocks is covering the Bengals’ camp this season. Carson and Jordan were interviewed wearing RunPee T-shirts. How wild is that? :)

With RunPee the next great iPhone app of our time, let’s all say a little prayer that Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis keeps Jordan on the team this season instead of snuffing out what could otherwise be a joy-filled four months in the Queen City.

RunPee is also far from being the only app Jordan has helped bring to market. The ASSOCIATED PRESS revealed the other side of his biz recently, which entails getting fans to pay for an app that will “connect” them to their favorite athletes … like Mark Sanchez and Chad Ochocinco. Read more…

Welcome Back, Carson Palmer. Now Go Get Hurt

In a parity-rich league like the NFL, it’s kind of hard to sustain a legacy of poor play. When bad teams get good draft picks year in and year out, eventually, they’ve usually got no choice but to morph into a good team.

Carson Palmer hot dog ad LARGE
(Obligatory, of course.)

Oh, but then there’s the Bungles-err, Bengals. Since 1991, they’ve achieved exactly one season with a winning record: 2005, where they went 11-5 and promptly lost their first playoff game. Other than that, it’s been a pattern of head-melting futility. It seemingly hit its nadir last season, when a 4-11-1 record belied a horror show on offense, where the team ranked dead last in the league in yards and points on offense. But that was a result of losing longtime QB Carson Palmer to an elbow injury, and Palmer finally made his return to the team in exhibition play last night.

It ended poorly. Read more…

Speed Read: Should We Want A Freeway Series?

I guess with all the trade deadline rumors about deals that did or didn’t happen, it’s kind of easy to overlook the most important thing in baseball: the standings. Because the story no one seems to be talking about is the fact that the best records in each league belong to teams in Southern California, setting up a real possibility of the first-ever Freeway Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the…let’s just call them the Angels.

Matt Kemp

Both teams looked the part of World Series contenders on Sunday. In Atlanta, the Dodgers used a three-run homer by Matt Kemp to pound the Braves 9-1; meanwhile, the Angels hammered the Twins 13-4 to complete a three-game road sweep where they scored 35 runs. And while not everything is 100 percent for either team (Chad Billingsley left his start early with cramps during the Dodgers’ win, while Vladimir Guerrero suddenly turned 150 years old this season for the Angels), there’s at least a strong possibility of an all-LA (kinda, sorta) World Series.

Mike Napoli

And as a baseball fan living in Los Angeles, here’s my feeling on this: I hope to God this doesn’t happen. The first reason is selfish: I have to drive past Dodger Stadium every day for work - it’s almost impossible for a Tuesday night game against Florida, so I can’t imagine what a World Series game against the Angels would be like. A 30-minute commute turning into a two-hour nightmare? No thanks.

But more importantly, I’d have to hear weeks of coverage about the series as if it’s a real, heated rivalry. Which would make my head explode, because it just isn’t. This isn’t Red Sox vs. Yankees, with real, palpable hatred. Or even Yankees vs. Mets or Cubs vs. White Sox, both of which are city rivalries with loads of class, race and societal baggage (in that who you root for speaks volumes about who you are and where you came from).

Dodgers vs. Angels has none of this. People root for one or the other based on which ballpark was closer to them growing up. (Fortunately, the area that is equidistant from Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium is the mini-mall and warehouse-filled patch of nothingness called Norwalk.) If Dodger fans think about the Angels at all, it’s with a dismissive chuckle. Meanwhile, Angels fans will quickly point out who has the last World Series title while secretly grimacing at the whole “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” fiasco.

So in summary: just because Chan-Ho Park karate-kicked Tim Belcher 8,000 years ago, this isn’t a heated rivalry, and a Freeway Series won’t change that. Now a Lakers vs. Clippers Western Conference final…

Melky Cabrera

After having sex with a porn star, the closest most people get to a “cycle” is starting the next round of penicillin in hopes that their genitals go back to normal. But apparently Melky Cabrera defied the odds and got a decidedly more wholesome cycle, in this case becoming the first Yankee in 14 years to hit for the cycle in their 8-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. (Although I can’t comment one way or the other about his need for penicillin, but if he did sleep with former California gubernatorial candidate/drunk/professional sex object Mary Carey, it’s a small miracle if he didn’t catch something.)

Finally, an update on a couple of noted sports underachievers: Michael Phelps only managed to win five gold medals at the World Championships, adding his final one on Sunday by anchoring the Americans’ record-setting 400-meter medley relay team; and Tiger Woods won just his fourth tournament of the season by winning (probably last-ever playing of) the Buick Open by three shots. If only those two could maximize their potential, they might really make something of themselves.

  • Does anyone understand why the Chiefs’ mascot is a wolf? And one that has trouble clearing small fences, as photos tracked down by ARROWHEAD PRIDE from training camp seem to indicate.
  • FANTASY FORECAST breaks down eight different types of people found at every fantasy football league draft. Although I think they left off Guy Who Gets So Drunk He’s Picking “Poopy Fartpants” by Round 6.
  • If you’re a big NFL fan near Troy, NY tonight, you might want to check out some minor-league baseball as the Tri-Cities ValleyCats take on the Oneonta Tigers. Why? Because SI’s Peter King is going to be throwing out the first pitch and hanging out with fans to talk about the upcoming season, along with a host of NFL experts including NFL.COM’s Adam Schefter, Sporting News’ Albert Breer, NY Giants radio voice Bob Papa and Redskins lineman Ross Tucker.
  • The CHICAGO TRIBUNE breathlessly reports that Jay Cutler completed his first 12 passes during 7-on-7 drills at camp yesterday. Although to be fair, Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman probably couldn’t complete 12 passes back and forth to each other.
  • PRO FOOTBALL TALK says Bengals QB Carson Palmer has missed the last two days of practice with flu-like symptoms. Let’s hope he didn’t catch swine flu from eating any undercooked wieners
  • Formula One driver Jensen Button spent part of his break from racing competing in the London Triathlon, where he set a personal best. I would have spent the time watching his girlfriend Jessica Michibata giving her personal best while modeling bikinis on a beach in Japan.
  • Samantha Thavasa

  • We told you last week about Andy Reid’s hellish training camps and love of full-contact drills. Turns out there’s a down side to that: two Eagles players left last night’s practice with injuries.
  • Letdown City: the rally car racing final at the X Games gets stopped halfway through when Travis Pastrana wrecks his car, handing the win to former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack. To celebrate, Brack knocked back a tall glass of ice cold Red Bull and milk.
  • I guess you could say that the Red Sox’s trade for Victor Martinez has paid some early dividends: he went 5-for-6 in Boston’s 18-10 win over Baltimore. Too bad Clay Buchholz is still not very good at pitching to big league hitters.
  • Finally, BALL DON’T LIE has video of the cheap shot that Italy’s Stefano Mancinelli delivered to the back of Aaron Doornekamp’s head during a “friendly” international basketball game against Canada:

Which baseball intra-area rivalry is the real deal?

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What’s In A Text: The Houshmandzadeh Stratagem

The NFL free agency period kicked off not with a bang, but with a text. T.J. Houshmandzadeh ushered in the speculation and salivation with a text message to a Philadelphia radio station reading: ““I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but if they want me, I will be an Eagle tomorrow.”

T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Stirring stuff. Wouldn’t it be great if all athletes clearly and publicly said where they wanted to go, the team indicated their mutual interest, and the two sides compromised on a deal? The free agency window need only last a day! But when it comes to negotiations, nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems. So let’s spend far too much time analyzing most famous text message since Chris Brown’s booty call, after the jump.
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Bengals Gear Sold As Badly As They Played In ‘08

You might’ve noticed that the Cincinnati Bengals had an outright abysmal season last year. How bad was it? Well, consider the fact that the team’s biggest personnel success may have been running back Cedric Benson, a Bears re-tread who was arrested for fighting cops after boating while intoxicated, and you can start to understand why fans were a bit restless. Of an equally large concern to team management, however, is that their once hot-selling, Halloweenish jungle costume uniforms performed equally horrendously, making up only two percent of all NFL gear sold. Two percent.

bengals jersey we stink

(Sales of linebacker Hank We Stinks jerseys were particularly poor.)

Yet that in itself might not even be the biggest surprise from this story in the CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER. What is? That the team sold a whopping $108 million in 2007. Yes, the Bengals sold enough tiger stripes to rake in $108 million, which is an astonishing amount when you consider that they weren’t exactly great in ‘07 either. Still, 2008 was a reminder that people love winners, with the overall Cincinnati merchandise sales falling 40 percent.

The decreased figures are also interesting because, in essence, they prove that Chad Johnson’s promotional “Ocho Cinco” stunt didn’t work at all. Or, at the very least, it didn’t work well enough to convince a bunch of folks to buy jerseys with a stuntish, temporary last name on the back of it (Hey! Now it’s a collector’s item!)

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Steelers Collapse Against NY Giants, Lose 21-14

ROFLZberger: The Steelers led the Giants for most of the way this evening, but when the fourth quarter came around, the Giants came alive and the Steelers came undone. New York took advantage of a bad snap on a punt for a game-tying safety, then marched decisively down the field for their first touchdown of the game to make it 21-14. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s offensive line imploded, and Ben Roethlisberger was utterly unable to get anything started for the home team. Cheers to the Giants, who (sorry, Tennessee) can reliably lay claim to being the best team in the NFL right now.

Roethlisberger Hassled

Welcome to the NFL, Mike Singletary. Your team sucks: Read more…

Bengals, Lions Keep Imperfect Season Dream Alive

Even if the Tennessee Titans manage to go 16-0 in the regular season, the hype machine is not going to be the same after the fervor about the New England Patriots last season. Partially, the Titans are not nearly as sexy as the Pats (Kerry Collins is no Tom Brady). And also, there would be an element of “win the Super Bowl and then let’s talk.” Plus, there’s the fact that no one in their right mind thinks that Tennessee is going undefeated.

Bengals and Lions

However, there is a story brewing that is just as compelling, if not more so. It would be an incredibly difficult task to pull off - in fact, no team has ever done it - but it would be a story that would captivate the nation with each game as the team gets closer to it. I’m talking about the dream of an 0-16 team, aka The Imperfect Season. (The Bucs did it once in 1976, but that was with a 14-game season.)

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