Video: Clean Burfict Now Calls For Personal Towel

Vontaze Burfict committed two personal fouls during the ASU-USC game last Saturday. One was for illegal hands to the face during the second quarter of Sparky’s 43-22 win over the Trojans.

The other? Watch for yourself.

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Burfict Incident: 9 Witnesses, Including Erickson!

After Arizona State’s football scrimmage today, Dennis Erickson was asked about my earlier report that ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict initiated a heated altercation with Arizona State assistant football coach Steve Broussard.

9 people witnessed altercation between Vontaze Burfict and Steve Broussard - including Erickson himself

(8 players witnessed Burfict menacing ASU’s Broussard + Erickson!)

From Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona:

Coach Dennis Erickson called the report: “totally ridiculous.” He added, “I know my team pretty well. There’s no truth to it at all.

Hard to reconcile Erickson’s comments with what I know to be an indisputable fact: Burfict initiated an altercation early last season with Arizona State wide receivers coach Steve Broussard in which Burfict repeatedly threatened Broussard with physical harm.

More specifically, the altercation took place during a non-contact, 11-on-11 drill at an Arizona State practice.

During a drill in which coaches forbade tackling, Burfict delivered a late, vicious hit to an ASU receiver as the receiver ran a route over the middle.

After Burfict cheap-shotted his unsuspecting Arizona State teammate, ASU wide receivers coach Broussard loudly cautioned Burfict. Following Broussard’s warning, Burfict verbally threatened Broussard with physical violence and immediately stepped to the coach.

Eventually the two squared off in an ugly verbal confrontation before Arizona State players separated the two.
Read more…

Burfict ‘Waited’ For Teammate, Threw First Punch

Sunday afternoon I reported that Arizona State star linebacker Vontaze Burfict initiated an attack Sun Devil wide receiver Kevin Ozier in the ASU locker room after practice on Wednesday.

Sunday evening Arizona State Sports Information Director Mark Brand confirmed to KTAR-AM in Phoenix that the SbB-reported altercation between Burfict and Ozier took place:

Star Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict was involved in a locker room fight on Wednesday, ASU confirmed.

According to Associate Athletic Director Mark Brand, there was a scuffle on the field that carried over into the locker room.

ASU spokesman Brand was also quoted in ARIZONA REPUBLIC reporter Doug Haller’s story about the incident, which provided an especially troubling detail of how Burfict launched a premeditated, physical assault on a teammate he outweighed by 50 pounds:

According to a source, Burfict waited for Ozier in the locker room. He threw a punch, Ozier threw a punch and the fight was broken up.

KTAR-AM also reported, “Head coach Dennis Erickson was aware of the assault,” while Republic report Haller noted Sunday night that, “Coach Dennis Erickson was not available for comment.

Four days after Burfict’s now-confirmed assault, Erickson said this about his star player:

“He’s (Burfict) been a leader all winter and spring and summer. .. So far in the five practices we’ve had he’s been a leader out there. .. He’s matured a heckuva lot, he really has.”

“I’m really proud of how he’s matured, I’m really proud of where he’s at.”

Could that be why “Coach Dennis Erickson was not available for comment” on the matter Sunday night?

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Erickson Hiding ASU Star’s Locker Room Assault

Arizona State’s football team, led by head coach Dennis Erickson, held its annual preseason media day on Saturday.

Dennis Erickson Vontaze Burfict Kevin Ozier

(Erickson on Burfict after attack: “I’m really proud of how he’s matured.”)

Not surprisingly, Erickson was asked during his question-and-answer session to give his thoughts about the highest profile player on the squad: star linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

In his remarks about Burfict, a pre-season national player of the year of THE SPORTING NEWS, Erickson touted the Arizona State linebacker’s progress as an emerging team leader who has “matured a lot“:

“He’s (Burfict) been a leader all winter and spring and summer. .. So far in the five practices we’ve had he’s been a leader out there. .. He’s matured a heckuva lot, he really has.”

“I’m really proud of how he’s matured, I’m really proud of where he’s at.”

Along with Erickson, Arizona State wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad, offensive lineman Bo Moos, linebacker Brandon Magee, kicker Alex Garoutte and safety Eddie Elder were all in attendance to take questions from the media on Saturday.

Burfict? Absent.

Why? The events inside the Arizona State locker room last Wednesday. Read more…

NFL Boat Survivor Says Friend “Died In His Arms”

• A new sad wrinkle in the NFL boat ordeal: Survivor Nick Schuyler says his friend Will Bleakley died in his grasp before being washed out to sea.

Nick Schuyler Will Bleakley

(Nick Schuyler [L], Will Bleakley [R])

But for some Detroit sports radio hosts, the whole thing is pretty funny.

• The Dallas Cowboys bid toodle-oo to Terrell Owens.

• San Francisco learns you don’t buck horns with badminton badasses.

• Every breath you take, every move you make, Michael Strahan will be watching you.

Read more…

ASU’s Dennis Erickson: Bloggers “Don’t Count”

One thing we’ve never really understood about coaches and politicians is their allergy to the Internet. We don’t expect them to go to those idiot farms like the message boards on, like, SCOUT.COM where everyone’s post ends with a picture of Jessica Alba’s ass and one of Calvin pissing on the helmet of their most hated team and they say things like “FIRE (any head coach, ever) NOW” or anything, of course. But come on; you know they have email addresses and Blackberries (EXCEPTION: Joe Paterno, whose “text messages” are still sent via telegraph, or carrier pigeon if he’s feeling whimsical). But yet, without fail, whenever someone asks them about the Internet, they refer to it like they have no idea what’s going on and they’re just ramming random terms together: “What’s internet,” “I don’t youtube the googles,” etc. etc.

Internet fail fixed

In that respect (and probably only that respect), Dennis Erickson is normal. The lovable scamp, presumably taking taking a break from wondering how to leave Arizona State in Probation Hell (they are the “Sun Devils,” after all), told the PORTLAND TRIBUNE who really counts when it comes to opinions (thanks, EDSBS): Read more…

Recession Furloughs Cost ASU’s Erickson $20,800

Across the country, companies from across all industries are forcing employees to take unpaid furloughs to try and bridge gaps in their fiscal budget. Well, colleges are no exception, and at some pretty big schools like Arizona State, Clemson and Maryland, senior employees like head coaches are being hit in the wallet worse than nearly anyone else. According to this story in USA TODAY, Sun Devils football coach Dennis Erickson will lose at least $20,800 of his $450,000 annual salary for the 10-12 day period he’s going to be forced to take off.

dennis erickson pitchfork

(You wanna know what I think of the furlough program!?!)

In the big scheme of things, $21G is hardly a huge deal for Erickson, who gets additional compensation from performance bonuses and lucrative sponsorship tie-ins. Still, $21G is $21G, and it’s pretty hard to believe that he’s cool with just writing off the cash.

Read more…

Speed Read: Phillie Phanatic’s Weiners Blown Up

Another night, another Mets collapse: this time they blew a four-run lead before falling 9-6 to the Cubs in 10 innings. Combine that with CC Sabathia pitching a gem on short rest to lift the Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Pirates and you’ve got a tie for the NL Wild Card. Instead of buying seats as souvenirs when the season is over, Mets fans might just be ripping them apart in disgust after another late-season collapse.

Bomb Squad t-shirt

The Phillies lost, too, but even more troubling, as the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS reports, was this: the Philadelphia Police Department bomb squad blew up the hot dogs the Phillie Phanatic shoots into crowds between innings, after someone called in about a suspicious package. They were hardly a danger to the public, unless you count the nitrates, fat and sodium. But this is Philadelphia, the home of the cheese steak - when it comes to food leading to heart attacks, hot dogs are the least of their concerns.

Peter Lalich Virginia Cavaliers QB

Former Virginia starting QB Peter Lalich strikes me as a fan of cheese steaks. And hot dogs. And whatever else he can find when he’s hammered. Even though he was just kicked out of school for underage drinking, COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK notes that it didn’t take long for him to land on his wobbly feet: he’s already enrolled at Oregon State, and will be eligible to play next season.

Why did Lalich choose the Beavers? Perhaps he thought that Dennis Erickson was still the head coach and he needed a new drinking buddy. Or maybe OSU wanted some advance scouting for their game against USC tonight, since he started against them the opening weekend. Although I’m guessing any notes he gave to Coach Mike Riley weren’t very useful:

“Dear Coach: Their defense hits really hard. It hurts to play them, especially when you’re nursing a wicked hangover from Dollar PBR night at Snooker’s.”

Matt Millen

Also landing on his feet quickly: fired Lions GM Matt Millen. Actually, it’s more like “gently floating to Earth on a golden parachute” as MLIVE.COM reports that Detroit could be on the hook for the his entire $50 million contract after letting him go. Judging by this photo found by DEADSPIN, you would hope that he could afford a riding lawnmower with that giant wad of cash.

The Wall stadium

  • WITH LEATHER has designs on the world’s first underground stadium, currently being built in Qatar. No truth that the rumor that the Raiders’ home field of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is underground: it’s just the coach who is being buried six feet under.
  • CBS 4 DENVER has Broncos’ lineman Kenny Peterson trying to get a side mount on reporter Kathy Lee. Don’t get any ideas, creeps - they were learning Jiu-Jitsu for a story. Needless to say, he fared better against her than the black belt trainer.
  • T.J. Simers of the LOS ANGELES TIMES highlights some good deeds by Manny Ramirez - and pimps this very site!
  • WASHINGTONIAN.COM interviews Trader Joe’s cheese buyer turned DC SPORTS BOG writer Dan Steinberg, who gives his opinions on everything from Gilbert Arenas to Jim Zorn’s magic dust to beer.
  • Is Andy Pettitte done as a Yankee? The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS wonders that after the team announces he’s done for the season with a bum left shoulder. If only there was some way he could take something to help him get stronger and recover faster between starts…
  • The DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports about an ex-women’s basketball player at SMU who is suing the school and head coach Rhonda Rompola for pulling her scholarship after she complained about inappropriate comments and questions the coach allegedly made about her lesbian sex life.
  • MMA EXPERTS BLOG is ready to take Gina Carano to the mat for calling a press conference to complain about all the attention she’s receiving. Because posing for men’s magazines while wearing practically nothing and starring in American Gladiators while … well … wearing practically nothing is a great way to avoid being noticed.
  • MOUTHPIECE SPORTS notes that even though none of the players from the original RBI Baseball Nintendo game are still playing, seven of the teams are still playing in the same stadiums. Of course, every stadium in RBI Baseball looked like a more generic Three Rivers Stadium, so take that at face value.
  • HOME RUN DERBY wonders if the Cubbies aren’t tempting fate by already having World Series tickets printed up.
  • The Oakland A’s haven’t decided to unveil new uniforms to court the alternative lifestyle crowd in the Bay Area: SF GATE reports that the rookies were forced to dress in drag for the team’s final road trip to Seattle. Almost but not quite as nightmare-inducing as the Padres as Hooters girls, but close.

Hot dogs plus the bomb squad might be a mess, but is the pinnacle of exploding goodness?

What disgusting item would you want to see the bomb squad blow up?

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Arizona’s Sports Night Much Worse Than Ohio’s

If you were a sports fan in Ohio on Saturday night, watching the Buckeyes implode in a big game for the umpteenth time, you might be feeling pretty miserable right now. But, cheer up! At least you aren’t a sports fan in Arizona: that would really suck after last night.

Arizona State post-UNLV

It was a total collapse on all levels, from college to professional. If it was possible for the Cardinals to somehow have lost last night without having played their game, they would have. (Actually, it is the Cardinals and anything is possible: I should check to make sure they somehow didn’t have to forfeit last night.)

Read more…