ESPN To Unveil Its Own Walk Of Fame In Bristol

Big news today, as ESPN announces that as part of its 30th anniversary, it will honor long-time employees with a Walk of Fame at their Bristol campus. Just slightly less prestigious than the one in Hollywood, this Walk of Fame will feature a freshman class of 43 staffers, all of whom have been with the network since its first year. Except for that poor guy who Berman screamed at that time; he’s living in the jungle in the Philippines.

We wonder, will new ESPN employees be hazed for stepping on Bob Ley’s star? Who will clean the spit and vegetable matter from Dick Vitale’s? And what other commemorative attraction ideas were considered before the Walk of Fame was approved? Top rejected ESPN 30th anniversary ideas: Read more…

Joe Posnanski Goes Off On Harold Reynolds Rant

Sportswriter Joe Posnanski is generally recognized as one of the nicest guys in the business. While many sportswriters (and, truth be told, bloggers) have made a name for themselves being shouty and contrarian about everything sports has to offer, Posnanski has more often than not celebrated sports, the personalities playing them, and reminded us why we love the games in the first place.

Harold Reynolds

So it was a little surprising, and a lot funny, to read Posnanski’s latest “JOEBLOG” post in which he goes all FIRE JOE MORGAN (RIP) on genial MLB analyst Harold Reynolds. Reynolds, in a blog post at, pulled the ol’ statistics-hating schtick that ex-athletes generally do, and it damn near made poor JoePo’s head explode.

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Speed Read: Penn St. & Illinois Stink Up The Joint

Basketball: it’s a beautiful game. Or fantastically ugly, depending on which game you watched last night. On one hand, you had the Phoenix Suns putting up 140 points for the second straight game in their 142-119 victory over the depleted Los Angeles Clippers. On the other, there was Penn State and Illinois, who combined scored exactly one-half as many points as the Suns did in the Nittany Lions’ 38-33 upset victory over the Fighting Illini.

Penn State vs Illinois

Let’s talk about the latter game first. It wasn’t the lowest scoring game since the 45-second shot clock was introduced in 1986, but it was close. (That distinction belongs to Monmouth’s 41-21 win over Princeton in 2006.) They also flirted with the record for fewest combined points in a half, with the two team’s output of 32 just eclipsing the record of 28 set by Mississippi and South Carolina back in 2003.

The box score tells you all you need to know about the debacle. Exactly one player scored in double digits: Penn State’s Talor Battle, who put up 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Heck, the Nittany Lions as a team shot 28.3 percent from the field, and they won.

At least the two teams didn’t let a little thing like not being able to hit the broadside of a barn stop them from shooting the deep ball: they combined to go 6-for-33 from the three-point line. And Illinois didn’t attempt a free throw. For the game. Way to be aggressive, guys. But I guess a win’s a win, even if it’s the most embarrassing and pathetic kind possible. Congratulations, Penn State, I guess.

Steve Nash and Al Thorton

And then there are the Suns. You’ll excuse me if I don’t get too excited by the sudden return of the high-scoring, fast-paced, exciting Suns with Alvin Gentry as head coach after putting a hurting on the Clippers on back-to-back nights. First off, it’s the Clippers to begin with, but if a team with Amare Stoudemire (for now) can’t murder a team that’s missing Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, Brian Skinner and Zach Randolph, then something is seriously wrong.

Check back with me on Sunday after you guys visit Boston, and we’ll see how you’re doing.

But the Suns have a date with Oklahoma City before then on Friday, which will be without newly-acquired Tyson Chandler. Permanently. That’s because the Thunder rescinded their trade with New Orleans from Tuesday and sent Chandler back to the Hornets after he failed a physical with their team doctor.

Tyson Chandler

As TRUEHOOP notes, it’s probably going to be pretty awkward in New Orleans as Chandler has to return to the team that just unloaded him for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. (By the way, is Joe Smith involved with every strange trade or free agent signing in the NBA?) What makes things even more odd is that Chandler didn’t fail the physical because of his sprained left ankle - it was because of a big toe injury he suffered in 2007. And the Thunder’s doctor was the one who performed the surgery.

And speaking of injuries…Ken Griffey Jr. is back with the Mariners! All joking aside, I think most people of my generation will think it’s pretty neat to see Junior back in a Mariners uniform (presumably) for the rest of his career. And the story of his signing with the Mariners is unique; the SEATTLE TIMES says that apparently the No. 1 salesman for Seattle was Harold Reynolds, a close friend of Griffey’s. He had been working on Griffey to sell him on the move to Seattle when he played his trump card: hugging Willie Mays.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Reynolds set up a phone call between Griffey and the Say Hey Kid, who was Griffey’s idol and the reason he wears No. 24. And sure enough, soon after having the phone conversation with Mays, Griffey told the Mariners that he would sign with them. A great story, although I’m not sure I’d take advice from Willie Mays on how to end your career gracefully.

More sports stories to learn about as you ponder if anyone’s life could be stranger than Tracy Morgan’s

Which star athlete’s end of career death spiral was most painful to watch?

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At Times John Kruk Wants To Punch Karl Ravech

Have you ever been watching “Baseball Tonight” or any other studio show on ESPN and wondered if the anchors actually liked each other? I mean, I know I can’t stand most of the talking heads ESPN puts on the air so you have to figure there are times when Mike Ditka wants to reach across the desk and punch Stuart Scott right in his lazy eye when he says “Boo-ya!”

The one ESPN personality who I think has probably had it worse than anybody else is Karl Ravech. As host of Baseball Tonight he’s had to work with his fair share of idiots.  Sure, dealing with Harold Reynolds wasn’t too bad — well, except for Harold’s insistence on post-show hugs — and Peter Gammons is an icon, but aside from those two there are a lot more Steve Phillips and John Kruks sitting behind that desk. There has to be occasions where Ravvy just wants to choke Krukker after he says something that makes no real sense, but if there have been, Karl isn’t talking.

Of course, the same can’t be said of Kruk.

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Blog-A-Roni: Favre To Be Featured On Madden XX

• AWFUL ANNOUNCING hikes along word that the cover boy for Madden’s 20th anniversary edition will be …

Madden XX Brett Favre

Brett Favre?

• Speaking of the QB, PRO FOOTBALL TALK sends a friendly reminder that he’ll be on David Letterman tonight (well, not *on* him, but on his show). We still hope they use this Top Ten list.

• It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as FAN IQ’s 100% INJURY RATE takes a peek at the Houston Texans cheerleader tryouts.

• DEADSPIN learns that Terrell Owens‘ legal beagles are going after over his appearance in a porn-related photo.

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Blog-Jam: Latest LeBron Shoot To Cause Uproar

• ON NO SHE DIDN’T has the newest LeBron James photoshoot that will inanely cause unnecessary uproar - this time with Maria Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova

• AOL FANHOUSE needs something for their hangover, as Baron Davis may have been benched on Sunday because of partyting the night before.

• AWFUL ANNOUNCING reports that ESPN has reached a settlement with ex-employee Harold Reynolds. Hugs all around!

• YOU BEEN BLINDED isn’t sure if Shaq is ready to dive into divorce, as they spot the Big Cactus back with Shaunie.

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Blog-A-Rama: Fun With Brazilian Name Generator

• 100% INJURY RATE has a carnival of fun by putting American athletes through a Brazilian name generator:

Brazil soccer fan

• WITH LEATHER blows the whistle on a Big Ten ref whose shady past includes bankruptcy, sexual harassment & assault.• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS hungers with news of former NFL player Todd Burger caught in a gambling (onion?) ring with Anthony “Cheese” Pecoraro.

• THE IMPREGNABLE PUNDIT gets lost in translation, as Fabio Capello talks about becoming England’s new soccer coach:

• THE BIG LEAD hides their Powerbook, as the NCAA introduces a new lame live blogging policy at events.• Texas high school baseball coaches aren’t the only ones to shoot down the Rocket. STEROID NATION reports that ESPN has pulled a promo featuring Roger Clemens.

Blog-O-Rama: Eisen-Loving Anchor Punches Cop

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS scores a knockout, as the female Philly anchor who was once caught flirting with Rich Eisen has been found fighting with the fuzz:

Rich Eisen Alycia Lane

• 100% INJURY RATE isn’t buying what MMA fighters are selling in their foreign-made commercials.• DEUCE OF DAVENPORT isn’t taking the bait, as they don’t want to get reeled into playing fantasy fishing.

• YOU BEEN BLINDED gets in the holiday spirit by offering this classic one-on-one encounter between His Airness and jolly ol’ St. Nick:

• WITH LEATHER can’t wait to see some good football in Miami for once - in a flag-football game featuring Dan Marino.• PYLE OF LIST wants your votes in electing members to their Sports Movie Hall of Fame.

Blogs: Falcons WR Shows Off ‘Free Mike Vick’ Shirt

• THE HATER NATION uncovers the true feelings of Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White on the Michael Vick situation, by showing his post-TD t-shirt:

Roddy White Free Mike Vick t-shirt

• 100% INJURY RATE doesn’t blame Reggie Bush for his own struggles, but blames the NFL.• Curt Schilling is promising to clean up his blog act.

• YARDBARKER wants to send Baron Davis & Carmelo Anthony to New Orleans…for the NBA All-Star Game.

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS knows beer pong has arrived as a premier sport when players can now get personalized balls made:

Greg Oden Beer Pong

• THE SPORTS HERNIA wonders when did Jerome Bettis join Al Qaeda?• LION IN OIL rings up news that Jostens will be purveying Pop Warner championship jewelry.

• AWFUL ANNOUNCING tips us off when to hit the ‘mute’ button, as they list who’ll be calling which bowl games.

Blog-A-Rama: Les Miles STILL In Michigan Sights

• Even after signing an extension with LSU, the DETROIT FREE PRESS reports that Les Miles is somehow still a candidate for the Michigan job:

Les Miles Lloyd Carr

• HOME RUN DEBRY gets a feel for baseball’s all-time crotch-grabbers.

John Feinstein of the WASHINGTON POST suggests some better choices for SI’s Sportsman of the Year Award.

• KEN DORSEY’S JOCK STRAP chows down news of Falcons owner Arthur Blank hoping Michael Vick stays away from the fried chicken during his absence:

• The COLUMBIA (SC) STATE finds Steve Spurrier feeling sorry for two-time Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden.

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS thinks Vinny might get a little Testy with Keyshawn’s nickname for the Panthers QB.

• CONSTRUDA looks out below, as Toronto Argonauts QB Kerwin Bell needs to work on his spiking techniques:

• WITH LEATHER finds the Spurs owner channeling Bob Barker in wanting to keep San Antonio’s pets spayed & neutered.

Jon McGrath of the TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE explains why Tim Tebow wasn’t on his Heisman ballot.