Speed Read: Bills Recycling Ways To Lose Games

Uh-oh. Buffalo doesn’t have much going for it, so reminding every Bills fan of the one time they were a foot and a half from winning the Super Bowl isn’t really a great idea. Ryan Lindell joined Scott Norwood in the “wide right” hall of fame as the Bills lost to the Browns 29-27 on Monday night. It’s not an earth-shattering loss. I don’t think Vincent Gallo’s going to make a movie about shooting Lindell or anything. But it does drop the Bills to 5-5, which is now last place in the AFC East. Remember when they were going to run away with this division? Making all this more painful is the fact that Browns kicker Phil Dawson nailed a 56-yarder a minute earlier to take the lead.

Ryan Lindell wide right

(It was all downhill from here)

Still, it’s tough to pin this all on Lindell. People miss 47-yard field goals all the time, and Lindell isn’t the one who threw three picks in the first quarter (that would be the suddenly terrible Trent Edwards). And while the Browns did win tonight with Brady Quinn at the helm, I’m not ready to call him a difference maker. His completion percentage tonight was lower than Manny Ramirez‘ batting average with the Dodgers.

Get ready, Buffalo, because the Sabres are probably losing their next game on a goal with like four people standing in the crease.

Brett Hull goal

College basketball always just comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it? ESPN is in the midst of a season-opening marathon of games. As you read this, Penn is preparing to play Drexel (tipoff at 10 a.m. Eastern). Earlier this morning, Saint Mary’s beat Fresno State 99-85 in a game that started at 11 p.m. on the west coast (2:00 in the east), followed by Hawaii’s 67-64 overtime win over Idaho State that tipped off at just after 4:00 a.m. in the east (11:00 Hawaii time). I don’t know if I’m supposed be proud of the fact that I watched both games in their entirety. ESPN is continuing to show games live all day today, culminating in Kentucky-North Carolina. I figure that since UK can’t beat VMI, they’ll be lucky to stay within 40 of the Heels.

The best game of the day should be Davidson’s matchup with Oklahoma. Each team has a pre-season first-team All-American (Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin, respectively).

Don’t tell Donovan McNabb (he’s already too confused), but they don’t have ties in college football anymore. That means that somebody has to win this weekend’s Apple Cup debacle between Washington and Washington State, who are a combined 0-20 against FBS teams this year. And the line is set: Washington by 8 1/2, according to the SEATTLE TIMES. Yes, a winless team with a lame duck coach is an 8 1/2-point road favorite in a conference game. The Cougars have been outscored 440-61 in eight Pac-10 losses (that’s an average loss of 55-7).

Rotten Apple Cup

It’s the harvest season, so think of today’s links as being delivered to you in a cornucopia:

• Utah has a lot on the line in Saturday’s game against BYU. Win, and they’re in the BCS. Lose, and they’re probably going to the Poinsettia Bowl. The SALT LAKE TRIBUNE examines the situation, and the financial windfall that would come from the BCS bid, not just for Utah but for the entire Mountain West. In all honesty, it would be better for BYU as a university to lose the game.

• Things aren’t so rosy up the road at Utah State. They’ve fired their coach, Brent Guy, effective at the end of the season (what ever happened to just cutting a guy loose and going interim?) THE SPORTS NETWORK has the details.

• Oh yeah, baby. Cricket cheerleaders! But it’s India, so they can’t wear skimpy outfits. And it looks like there’s some dudes too. LION IN OIL shares our disappointment.

Indian cricket cheerleaders

• BUFFZONE says five Colorado players had stuff stolen from their lockers during Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State.  The game was in Boulder. Way to rob the wrong team, there, thief guys.

•  NJIT (that’s the New Jersey Institute of Technology) lost its 35th consecutive game last night, a Division I record. The Highlanders (because nothing says rugged terrain like Newark) might not technically go in the record books, though, since they are a “transition” member of Division I. The AP has the game story.

• Citigroup is laying off 53,000 workers, but BIZ OF BASEBALL says the Mets informed him that they will still be getting $20 million a year from the company for naming rights to the new Mets’ stadium.

• We have a double-feature from  TAMPA BAY’S 10. First we have the story of a lady who’s being told that she can’t say “Ref you suck” at Buccaneers games anymore because it violates some code of conduct bullcrap. Because there’s nobody in NFL stadiums saying worse things than that. Here’s a picture of the woman:

Bucs fan

Yeah, she’s a real threat to society.

In other Tampa Bay news, a 21-year-old woman decided it would be a good idea to stab five people at a high school football game.

•  HOME RUN DERBY points out that, by his own criteria, Albert Pujols should not be accepting the NL MVP award. Seems Al said in 2006 that players who don’t take their team to the playoffs shouldn’t win the award.

•  The Yankees sold Darrell Rasner to a team in Japan for $1 million, writes the NY DAILY NEWS. At that price, Hank just needs to sell 27 more guys to make up for Kei Igawa.

• The SAN JOSE MERCURY-NEWS’ Andrew Baggarly wildly claims that the Giants are almost assuredly going to win the World Series next year because they’ve signed Jeremy Affeldt to a two-year deal at $4 million per. If you’re scoring at home, that’s approximately 10 times more than Tim Lincecum made this year. And Baggarly actually doesn’t think the Giants are going to be any good.

• The “Heidi” game was 40 years ago yesterday. If you don’t know how it all went down, here’s some video. Particularly brutal is the scene where a girl is shown falling out of a wheelchair and attempting to walk while the final score of the game scrolls at the bottom:

Who’s winning the NCAA basketball championship this season?

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Krzyzewski Doesn’t Support One And Done Rule

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski could have coached Kobe Bryant in college, but he’s glad he didn’t get the opportunity.

Mike Krzyzewski and Kobe Bryant

It’s nothing personal with Bryant. Krzyzewski believes talented high school players should be allowed to go to the NBA. Read more…

Iona Coach Possibly Fired For Interracial Marriage

The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that a jury should hear the case of former Iona basketball coach Craig Holcomb, who claims that he was dismissed from his job at the college because Holcomb, who is white, married a black woman.

Craig Holcomb

The appellate court ruled that a lower court was wrong in throwing out the case and that the case will see trial. Holcomb was fired in 2004 after he refused to resign. He is now a gym teacher at a New York high school.

Read more…

Rumor: Volunteers Have A Mens Hoops Team Too

Most people know that the University of Tennessee has a football team, a women’s basketball team, and some even know they have a curling team. But men’s basketball team? R… Really? Hey, how about that.

Tennessee Volunteers - mens and womens

One has to hope Bruce Pearl and his band of men don’t have an inferiority complex while brandishing the same orange “T” as Pat Summitt and her ladies. After all, the Lady Vols have reached the Round of 16 every year under Summitt, whereas the Dude Vols are in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time only, and they’ve never reached the Elite Eight. Read more…

NCAA Basketball Game Wasn’t RickRoll’d After All

A nation slept soundly knowing that a small group of fans watching the Montana State-Eastern Washington womens basketball game was reassured by 80s musical troubadour Rick Astley that he would never give them up, let them down, run around, or desert them — among other promises. Because, see, we had video evidence:

But now KHQ of Spokane, Washington is reporting that the in-person RickRoll was a fabrication, meaning that the videographers told us a lie and hurt us. Read more…

NCAA Games Online For Free - CBI, Not So Much

I can sense your excitement for the inaugural College Basketball Invitational from all the way over here, so please, tone it down a bit. There are children present. The Final Four (second regression) of Virginia, Tulsa, Houston, and Bradley is indeed more excitement than a non-exploding skull can handle.

CBI - Not Free

(CBI isn’t free, it costs more than a buck oh-five.)

Moreover, you’re feenin’ to catch those games online. Surely a fledgling tourney wants to get their product out to the masses as easy as possible, much like the NCAA tournament does with their free streaming games online … or, you know, the CBI could also charge $7 per game for buffering goodness. Either way works. Read more…

We’d Never Heard Of This CBI Before Now, Either

THE SPORTS ECONOMIST catches something that I’d imagine went under everyone’s radar: the birth of yet another postseason college basketball tournament.

CBI College Basketball Tournament

The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Postseason Tournament will take 16 teams left out of the NCAA madness to have their own tournament, which will begin on Tuesday night and air on the cable network known as Fox College Sports.

Read more…

Coppin State, With 20 Losses, Makes The NCAAs

Coppin State University is a historically black college based in Baltimore, with an enrollment of about 4,000 undergraduates, according to WIKIPEDIA.

Coppin State Basketball Tywain McKee

And their baskeball team, with 20 losses, a losing record in the MEAC, and no notable wins, has just qualified for the NCAA tournament.

Read more…

Georgia Blows Through Two SEC Games Saturday

The latest cliché in sports could very well be “tornado-proof.”

Georgia Basketball Empty Arena

After being left for dead on an Atlanta roadside, Georgia kept their season alive last night, winning their SEC semi-final game against Mississippi State, 64-60, only hours after upsetting Kentucky in overtime earlier that afternoon.

Read more…

Tornado Hits Ga. Dome, Postpones SEC Tourney

If you were waiting to see the result of the meeting between Kentucky and Georgia last night in the SEC men’s basketball tournament, keep waiting.

Kentucky Basketball Tornado City

The Georgia Dome, the building hosting the SEC tournament, was hit by something that meteorologists were reluctant to officially call a tornado. But if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and tears a big hole in your roof… Read more…