2:15 PM Former Navy fullback Eric Kettani, who was allowed to continue his naval service as a reserves public affairs officer while pursuing an NFL career, has reportedly been signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2:00 PM A convicted felon who was arrested last year for displaying "inappropriate behavior" toward children at the Kings Island amusement park had his appeals denied on Monday. Rodney Grisham was arrested on additional charges after police found guns & 4,000 rounds of ammunition in his truck.
Well, as time passes and people grow, they can change. Looking at somebody with Avery’s history it’s somewhat hard to believe he’s capable of changing, but he is. Where as he used to be clearly opposed to the idea of sloppy seconds, now it seems he’s warming up to them. Though New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez isn’t likely to be thrilled by this news.
OK, whose sloppy seconds would you rather have to have (there are no winners here)? Sean Avery’s, or Britney Spears‘? I’m pretty sure Dion Phaneuf doesn’t mind too much, but one volleyball player should really head to the clinic to get herself checked out.
University of Hawaii student, former All-American and AVP Beach Volleyball player Victoria Prince is Kevin Federline’s latest conquest, and she’s a step down from from Britney circa 2000, but definitely a step up from Britney ‘08. (Judge for yourself with pics, after the jump.)
Sean Avery’s been in a lot of hot water lately, for good reason. After all, you can’t just go and drop bombs about “sloppy seconds” on the American and Canadian public and expect to get away with it Scot free. Still, he probably didn’t see this coming: Avery is done with the Dallas Stars, and the man to make it official was an old friend, former teammate turned Stars co-GM Brett Hull.
(If he’d just left it in there, he’d still be employed.)
As of this afternoon, Avery was officially cut loose from Dallas, though no one has any idea how exactly that’s going to work. Avery was just 23 games into a massive four-year, $15.5 million deal with the Stars when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman laid the smack down and sent him to the showers for six games. While Dallas didn’t announce any additional punishment at the time, the maelstrom of media discontent over Avery’s comments since clearly made his continuing in Texas a bit hard to stomach, for everyone involved.
Still, the strangest aspect of Avery’s dismissal may be the very public involvement of Dallas GM Brett Hull, who is a former teammate of Avery’s in 2001-2002 in Detroit. How close were they? About as close as two hockey players can get: They were roomates. In fact, Hull took the young Avery under his wing as a mentor, and that was believed to be part of the motivation for Avery heading from the northeast down to one of the NHL’s southernmost outposts over the offseason. After all, if a kid-Avery could live in Hull’s home — and he did as a rookie — than how could he possibly burn him as a pro?
You know, I was just thinking recently that Alex Rodriguez needs to do some more to endear himself to the rest of the country the way he has with the people of New York. It seems now that, in addition to not being a True Yankee, A-Rod is also not a True American as he’s allegedly decided to play for the Dominican Republic in March’s World Baseball Classic. He played for the U.S. in the 2006 WBC, but perhaps thinks that jumping ship might be the only way he sees a title of any kind in his career.
(Flipping countries. Rooting for Duke. Seriously, what’s not to like about A-Rod?)
None of this is a done deal yet, as the only source of this info seems to be YAHOO! SPORTS’ Gordon Edes, who says Big Papi told him that A-Rod has chosen to play for the D.R. and will make an official announcement soon. And last time, he wavered between playing for the D.R., then the U.S., then not at all, then back to the U.S.
This isn’t totally egregious (like Chris Kaman playing for Germany in the Olympics), as other players chose to play for their countries of heritage rather than their birthplace in the last WBC, but none of those guys were good enough to be chosen to play for the U.S. team (except maybe Mike Piazza, who played for Italy). A-Rod is one of the best players in the world, and while he did live in the D.R. for a while as a kid, he was born in New York City and went to high school in Miami. Luckily, Americans are totally reasonable about nationalism. I’m sure U.S. fans will greet him very warmly if the two teams meet up.
Remember when it looked like Louisville might be a football dynasty in the making? We can pretty much put that to rest. The Cards simply forgot to show up last night and got rolled by Rutgers, 63-14. With the loss, Louisville finishes 1-6 in Big East play and misses a bowl game for the second straight year. Meanwhile, Rutgers has risen from the dead and looks like one of the best offensive teams in the country all of a sudden. Quarterback Mike Teel, who was smacking teammates earlier in the season in the midst of the team’s 1-5 start, threw six touchdown passes in the first half as the Scarlet Knights built a 49-0 halftime lead. Louisville was so bad they had to resort to tackling RU players by the hair:
I forgot that the Raiders and Chargers were playing on the NFL NETWORK last night, and by the time I turned it on it was already 24-0 in the second quarter. San Diego cruised to a 34-7 win. Oakland’s only points came on a kickoff return at the end of the first half. Good to see the Raiders are back after that inexplicable win over Denver a couple weeks ago. As for the Chargers, it looks like too little, too late. The Bolts have to win out (including a win over the Broncos) and hope Denver loses every game. And the Broncos are playing the Chiefs this weekend. Not looking good.
With the ACC-Big Ten thing over with, college basketball now turns its attention to the awkwardly-named Pac 10-Big 12 Hardwood Series, which saw both L.A. teams go down on the road. UCLA fell to Texas, 68-64, while USC squandered a late comeback bid and lost to Oklahoma, 73-72. I gotta say, though — I like Blake Griffin and think he’s a stud, but he’s already getting the superstar treatment from the officials and it’s only December 4th. Although, Griffin did get elbowed in the nads by USC’s Leonard Washington during the game, which was a pretty legitmate foul. See for yourself:
• The BOSTON HERALD tells us about a high school football player in Massachusetts who dropped out of school, then returned for a fifth year to play football and graduate. He’s been ruled ineligible because the state’s rules say that a player beyond a fourth year of school can’t play. The guy’s only been in seven plays all year, but his team may have to vacate it’s league and potential state title (provided they win this weekend). Of course, there’s all sorts of legal challenges going on. The lesson here: don’t try to better yourself by returning to school.
• The last time the Bills played in Toronto, during the preseason, thousands of tickets went unsold and had to be given away. NATIONAL POST says that this weekend’s game at the Rogers Centre is finally sold out, but the fact it took so long is not exactly what the Bills and the NFL were looking for in this whole Canada experiment.
• So far, it appears as if Michelle Wie is actually going to qualify for the LPGA tour. She’s tied for the lead after 2 rounds of Q-school, and only has to finish in the top 20 to earn a tour card. So, it’ll be like, an actual accomplishment. In golf.
Congratulations to Kobe Bryant for scoring his 22,000th career point against the Indiana Pacers last night. Your reward? A total fourth-quarter collapse by your team’s defense and a head-scratching 118-117 loss. Personally, as I gift I’d rather receive a pair of socks, or even a gift certificate to Arby’s than that.
The reason the Lakers blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead was simple: they stopped playing defense. They gave up 32 points in the quarter and six offensive rebounds, the last being Troy Murphy’s tip-in that gave the Pacers the victory. It’s the first Lakers loss to a bad team this season, but knowing the team’s recent history of falling victim to seemingly overlooking bad teams. (Between them and the USC football team, there must be something in the LA water.)
Meanwhile, Dallas Stars winger Sean Avery’s mouth has gotten him in trouble yet again. He’s been suspended indefinitely for “inappropriate public comments” after running his mouth before a game against the Calgary, specifically targeting Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who happens to be dating Avery’s ex, hottie actress Elisha Cuthbert.
Here’s Avery’s comments. If you look closely, you can see his teammates praying for an errant piece of Sputnik to come crashing down on him:
A class act, that Sean Avery. USA TODAY breaks down some of his recent “greatest hits“, including his swipe a few years ago at French-Canadians. This is Avery’s first season with the Stars, but he’s already managed to alienate his team. Dallas owner Tom Hicks said that the team would have suspended Avery if the league didn’t, and teammates like Marty Turco are already sick of his act. And we know how opponents feel about him.
If you are Thomas Cole, a former assistant girls high school basketball coach in Orange County, and you are accused of having sex with a minor, you might not want to text her. The ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER says that apparently Cole felt otherwise.
To the surprise of some, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge has actually been a challenge so far, with each conference winning three games. Duke won the marquee match-up last night, rolling past Purdue 76-60 in what FOX SPORTS’ Jeff Goodman calls an especially impressive performance.
As long as hockey is still sort-of on the minds of the sporting public (thanks to some spectacular Stanley Cup games between the Pens & Red Wings), EA Sports figured the time was right to announce the cover boy for their upcoming “NHL 09″ game.