Week In Review: Angels’ Adenhart Dies In Crash

• A very tough week for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Pitcher Nick Adenhart dies in a hit & run car accident caused by a drunk driver, just days after a fan dies from a post-game fight in an Angel Stadium stairwell.

Nick Adenhart Brian Powers

(Left - Nick Adenhart; Right - Fight victim Brian Powers)

Cheryl Miller wasn’t pleased that Scot Pollard was late for their NBA TV show, and she wasn’t afraid to use the airtime to air her grievances.

• ESPN reporter Shelley Smith takes a misstep at a Detroit bar during the Final Four.

• Fans fighting while their team’s championship banner is being raised, and booing while World Series rings are given out? Must be Philadelphia.

• A former Gonzaga women’s basketball star-turned-high school softball coach gets zagged for having sex with one of her 16-year-old players.

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Ex-Women’s B-Ball Star Ensnared In Sex Scandal

• Another day, another high school coach caught in a student sex scandal.

Raenna Jewell

• North Carolina plants their Tar Heels firmly into Sparty’s backside.

• Phillies fans fight 15 feet away while World Series banner is being raised.

• The way the Detroit Lions have been lately, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them not make the first NFL Draft pick.

• You probably could have gotten a really good seat to the women’s NCAA basketball championship if you were so inclined.

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Zags Star Turned Coach Nailed For Underage Sex

A former women’s basketball star at a Catholic university then becomes a high school softball coach? I’ll have to double check to make sure I got all of my stereotypes correct, but that sounds to me like a recipe for lesbian sex with an underage player.

Raenna Jewell

Raenna Jewell, who was a 1000-point scorer at Gonzaga, was arrested last week on charges she had sex with a 16-year old player on the freshman softball team. As seems to be par for the course these days, she allegedly texted the girl inappropriate images. Rest assured, your humble blogger did his due diligence in finding evidence of said inappropriate pictures. That is, until I saw what Ms. Jewell looked like.

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Speed Read: How Far Can Famous Name Get You?

Pittsburgh is a strange place. It’s in Pennsylvania, but it feels like the rust belt of Ohio. It’s considered part of the Northeast, but it feels more like Gary, Indiana, during it’s (albeit brief) boom period than it does like Philadelphia, which is right on the other side of the state.

franco dok harris

(The man on the left could be Pittsburgh’s next mayor.)

Perhaps most importantly, the entire life of the city revolves around the fortunes of a single sports team: The Steelers. If the black-and-gold wins, then everyone’s happy. If the Steelers lose, well, then you might want to grab the next flight to Cincinnati. After all, no one gives a crap about football there.

Why are we bringing up the rather obvious massive popularity of Steelers football? Because the son of one of the franchise’s most famous players is about to run for mayor. Franco “Dok” Harris officially announced his candidacy on Monday. That’s not the Franco Harris you remember from Steelers Super Bowls, it’s the Franco Harris who the Super Bowl Franco Harris gave birth to.

According to a press release posted on the Pittsburgh sports blog MONDESI’S HOUSE, Harris the younger lists accomplishments like his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, not a boatload of touchdowns. But that may not matter to Pittsburgh voters, half of whom probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the two Harrises.

All of this begs the question of just how far one man can get on a famous name, particularly if it isn’t his. Yes, Dok Harris has some professional accomplishments in the legal and business community, but the only reason he’s even notable is because he’s Franco Harris’s son. If that lands him the Pittsburgh mayoral office, that might be an all-time record for long-distance coattail riding.

Here’s Dok Harris’s best political speak, in an excerpt from his press release:

As your mayor, the Pittsburgh of tomorrow will be an economic powerhouse; a green city that is a friend to businesses both small and large. Our city will work for our workers by ensuring fair wages and fair treatment. The Pittsburgh of tomorrow will be the intersection of labor and technology, where both startups and large corporations will benefit from the hard working blue collar spirit of our community and the intellectual trust of our universities. As your mayor I commit to building Pittsburgh into that city upon a hill - or in this case, three rivers – as an example of the role that good government has in our common successful future. I ask you to join me on this journey. Together, we will Forge Ahead.

We’ll see how Harris does, but he definitely bears watching, if only for historical significance, both for his father and the future of celebrity in America.

We’re still getting into the full swing of March Madness, but one of Monday night’s games emphasized the second word in the phrase, thanks to some bizarre referring that gave one team a 1-0 lead before the opening tip off.

gonzaga josh heytvelt st. mary's

(Josh Heytvelt dunked, too, just not in warm-ups.)

The official pregame indiscretion was committed by St. Mary’s, which fell to Gonzaga in Monday night’s West Coast Conference championship. According to this report in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, the Gaels were handed a technical foul because they dunked in warm-up drills. You can catch video of the incident below, too.

The last time we checked, every team dunked in warm up drills. The only difference is that other teams tend to deliver psuedo-lay up dunks, hybrid basket drop-ins that vary in force and how clearly they’re acknowledged. On Monday, St. Mary’s was dunking and getting noticed, and that was too much for game officials to accept.

A few hours later, St. Mary’s was left to sit and wait to learn whether it will be able to dunk again this year. In only the second game since the return of the team’s star point guard, Australian Patty Mills, the Gaels were thoroughly undone by a dominant Gonzaga team. The result was a title game walloping that could have hurt the at-large chances of St. Mary’s, not helped them as they’d hoped.

Of course, St. Mary’s didn’t help itself, either, so in a sense it has no one else to blame.

There’s a scary tendency to overlook the pros during March because all eyes are on the impending NCAA Tournament. That’s almost surely going to be the case this month, too, but Dwyane Wade made sure that his resurgence wouldn’t be overlooked, if only for a single day.

dwayne wade heat

In what is easily the NBA shot of the month (yes, we realize we’re less than a third of the way through March), Wade sank the Bulls with a desperation three-pointer in double overtime. It was the latest proof both that Wade loves playing in Miami, and that he may single-handedly put the Heat back in serious contention in the Eastern Conference.  No, they’re not competitive with the likes of Boston and Cleveland yet, but anyone who saw Wade dismantle Chicago in the clutch would have to think very seriously about picking the Heat over the likes of Orlando and Atlanta.

After all, Wade didn’t just hit a three to win the game in double-overtime, he also nailed one at the end of the first half and at the end of regulation. That’s incredible. He may not be the next Michael Jordan, but he’s not a bad for a third of a new triumvirate that also includes LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, is he?

That friends, is some clutch shooting. In fact, what’s “clutch” in Spanish? Those “El Heat” jerseys need an appropriate celebratory radio call if you ask us.

Franco “Dok” Harris will win because …

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Speed Read: Seymour’s Wife Arrested In Lynching

I cringe when I hear the words “lynching” and “South Carolina” in the same sentence. But this is about as bizarre as it gets. THE STATE is reporting that Tanya Seymour, the wife of New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, was arrested on Thursday and charged with second-degree lynching stemming from an incident at a New Year’s Eve party. (This is what happens when you change the channel from “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” to MTV without asking.)

Tanya Seymour mug shot

I’m sure your initial reaction is the same as mine: lynching? Turns out that no ropes were used: PRO FOOTBALL TALK breaks down the South Carolina Code of Laws, which defines second-degree lynching as “any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result.” So maybe not quite as horrific as you would first think, but still not good.

Richard Seymour

Police allege that Tanya Seymour was among a group of people who “jumped” two women at a New Year’s Eve party after they had got into an argument and were asked to leave. The arrest affidavit claims that Tanya Seymour was part of the mob, and punched the two women several times in the face and body. Oddly enough, the affidavit also claims that she had use of illegally obtained scouting videos to prepare for the beatdown.

The injuries were fairly minor, including bruises, a busted lip and a sprained wrist. One of the women also claimed that her scalp was sore from having it pulled during the fight. And in one of the most obvious statements I’ve ever seen in a news story:

“The victims left after the attack, the incident report says.”

Really? Because I heard some people were making a run for another keg.

If convicted, Tanya Seymour faces up to 20 years in prison. The incident adds to the list of problems her husband has had to deal with in recent years, including his father killing his former girlfriend before killing himself. And if San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick thought Seymour was a dirty player, he really wouldn’t want to face his wife.

And speaking of beatdowns: Joe Torre might want to be leery if David Wells invites him to watch the Super Bowl with some of his buddies at his place this weekend.  The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says that Wells has vowed to “knock him out” if he ever sees Torre on the street after his former skipper ripped him in his new book. Specifically, Torre compared Wells to Kevin Brown, except that “both make your life miserable, but David Wells meant to.

Joe Torre and David Wells

And of course Wells has a great response to those allegations: sure, he was a total pain, but not on purpose. Like when he would yell at Torre in the locker room because the manager had the temerity to turn down his boombox when he was blasting it before the games. Or get in drunken fistfights at diners at all hours of the night.  Based on Wells’ health issues and Type 2 Diabetes, Torre might want to carry around some concealed Pixy Stix in case he needs a weapon to defend himself against an attack.

  • …and No. 1 on David Letterman’s Top Ten Reasons He Likely Won’t Field an IndyCar Team This Year: no money. Not very funny, but then again, his partner Bobby Rahal isn’t laughing as he tells the INDIANAPOLIS STAR that while Rahal Letterman Racing will likely field a car at the Indianapolis 500, a lack of sponsorship will probably keep the team from the full IndyCar season.
  • Bobby Rahal and David Letterman

  • Meanwhile, the economic mess is also hitting north of the border, as THE CANADIAN PRESS reports that Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Bart Given was let go as a cost-cutting move. Or as part of a power play between the team’s interim CEO Paul Beeston and GM J.P. Ricciardi. Either way, Given gets to enjoy the Canadian unemployment system, which I believe includes 100 percent benefits and a free, stress-relieving massage.
  • MMA JUNKIE has the life story of Helio Gracie, the Gracie family patriarch and pioneer in the creation and growth of mixed martial arts, who tapped out to the chokehold in the sky on Thursday morning in Rio de Janiero at 95. Naturally, he’ll be laid to rest in a wooden octagon.
  • Congratulations to Tom Cable, as the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE reports that the Oakland Raiders will be removing the “interim” label from his title and making him their permanent head coach. On the other hand, condolences to Tom Cable for becoming the Oakland Raiders’ permanent head coach.
  • More economic cutbacks in NASCAR, as the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER notes that new rules to cut back on costs have been instituted in the Truck Series for 2009. The most shocking? All trucks will be replaced by 1974 El Caminos.
  • Usually a 61-52 loss would be cause for concern, but it’s pretty understandable when the team on the losing end is North Carolina State and it’s their first game since the death of their legendary coach Kay Yow. The WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL has details of their painful first game back.
  • Really, Bobby Estalella is the smoking gun in the Feds’ case against Barry Bonds? ESPN.COM has the latest information, although I’m shocked that Jeff Kent hasn’t volunteered to bury Barry yet.
  • How often is the marquee men’s college basketball game of the night in the West Coast Conference? Gonzaga stops St. Mary’s 15-game winning streak by handing the Gaels a 69-62 defeat.
  • More legal woes for Lenny Dykstra: TMZ reports that he’s being sued by four pilots who say Nails stiffed them for flying his private plane.
  • SOCCER AMERICA says that the San Jose Earthquakes are set to make millions from their latest sponsorship deal: they’ll be wearing the Amway logo on their jerseys. The downside is that their players will be going door-to-door selling household products.

What will be NASCAR’s next cost-saving move?

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St. Marys Joins Fellow WCC Member Gonzaga in AP Top 25

ST. MARY’S JOINS WCC PAL GONZAGA IN LATEST AP TOP 25: Gonzaga now has some West Coast Conference company in the latest AP Top 25 basketball poll.

St. Mary's basketball

Undefeated St. Mary’s have slid into the #24 spot for this week’s rankings. The Gaels are 7-0 and have already claimed wins over Oregon and Seton Hall this season.The appearance marks the first time St. Mary’s was ranked since 1988-89, and the first time two WCC teams were in simultaneously since 1973-74.

John Stockton Jazz

Another good team in the Bulldogs’ conference? Gonzaga alum John Stockton must be shaking in his short shorts.