Vitor Meira Blowing Up At Indy 500 - Quite Literally

It’s understandable if you spent the Indianapolis 500 cheering for Helio Castroneves or leering at Danica Patrick. The former overcame significant personal obstacles to win the race and the latter ended up with the highest finish ever by a woman (and got frisky with a stripper). Two great stories, sure, we suppose.

Vitor Meira is enfuego at Indy 500

(Vitor Meira wishes this was Photoshopped.)

But if that’s all you paid attention to, you missed the schadenfreude-tastic day of Brazilian driver Vitor Meira, seen above playing with fire before his race-ending crash. Unfortunately for poor Vitor, being set on fire was just the beginning of his troubles. Thanks to JALOPNIK, we’ve got video documentation of Meira’s terrible, horribly, no-good, very bad day after the jump.

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If You Bet On Danica To Show, Collect Your Money

Helio Castroneves winning the Indianapolis 500 is an intriguing story to be sure, but as far as I know he’s never posed on the beach for Sports Illustrated, as today’s third-place finisher has. So here you go, racing fans. Vroom.

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick turned in the best finish in the history of the race by someone wearing a bra (except of course for AJ Foyt). She did it in part because she was able to avoid a multitude of crashes, including the likes of Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and a most gnarly episode involving Brazilians Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos on lap 173. Read more…

My Car Is Invincible! No One Can Stop … D’OH!

I like the Indianapolis 500 because it’s a lot like life: One minute you’re on top, and the next you’re hurtling into the wall, missing certain critical parts. Also there’s lots of beer. Your leader as of this moment is Scott Dixon of New Zealand, who won the race from the pole position last season. Wait, here comes Helio Castroneves!

Indianapolis 500

Update: Your winner is Castroneves, who won his third Indy 500 five weeks after being acquitted of tax evasion charges. As CBS Sportsline said, what a country.

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Speed Read: Has Twittering Gotten Out Of Hand?

We ask because, at this point, we could almost start a blog updating solely with news about Twittering athletes, coaches and GMs. Yesterday, we wrote about the infamous tweets of the Buffalo Bills and Brian Burke. Sunday, we wrote about Mark Cuban. And you know what? There are two more breaking Twitter stories this morning.

Mark Cuban

According to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, the inevitable fine against Cuban came down on Monday, and it landed with the resounding thud of $25,000. Considering the fact that Cuban’s rant was exactly 140 characters, Cuban was paying approximately $178.57 per letter for his screed against J.R. Smith. Not surprisingly, Cuban was none too happy about being lighter in the wallet, and he responded by questioning whether outlets - like, say, SPORTSbyBROOKS - has the right to re-publish his tweet, getting attention for it and, thus, earning him fines.

The answer, as pointed out by FANHOUSE, is a resounding “yes”. Because Cuban’s profile is set to public, we all get to read and re-publish his thoughts. That’s pretty much the definition of fair use. Yet the most interesting line of Cuban’s entire discussion with the FANHOUSE folks is his closing sentence:

@NBAFanHouse not close. I like to create discussion. makes things interesting

Yes, yes he does. At a cost of approximately $25G a pop.

Meanwhile, Celtics star Paul Pierce pulled off his best Shaquille O’Neal impersonation, giving away free tickets to Boston fans who showed up at his car and proffered up the pre-listed password (which, cornily enough, was “truth”). The first five jokers who have been stalking Twitter in their Paul Pierce 34 jerseys and jumped at the chance to meet him got the free seats, and web site BOSTONCS was there to chronicle the whole experience.

paul pierce twitter tickets

All of this got us thinking: Has Twitter officially jumped the shark? What started as a slightly clever way to send instant inside jokes became instantly cool when a few athletes re-discovered their inner dork, and it’s now gone so mainstream that mediocre stars need to imitate the big shots just to stay culturally relevant.

Add to that the mind screw that is Cuban doing anything — the eternal debate of whether he’s doing it because he thinks it’s cool, whether he’s doing it to manipulate the media and fans, whether he’s doing it for both reasons or whether we should even care because he’s such a tool — and maybe we’ve reached the point that we should all blow Twitter off indefinitely … or at least until Anna Kournikova shows up and starts describing what it’s like to get dressed in the morning.

Some news last night wasn’t quite fit to Tweet, because it hasn’t been completely wrapped up. As Jason first wrote last night, it sure looks like John Calipari is heading toward a long-distance commute from Memphis to Lexington, Ky.  Of course, we don’t know that’s true … yet, but there are plenty of reasons to believe the substantial rumors, one of which is this camera, which — as DEADSPIN first reported yesterday — is permanently trained on the door of Memphis’s Athletic Department.

John Calipari

In fact, the whole “Cal to Kentucky” bit is getting so much attention that, as Tuffy first coined in an email last night, you have believe the video alluded to in the ESPN.com screenshot below would lead to a camera trained directly on Calipari’s personal bedroom.

calipari espn.com screenshot

We’re betting it’s going to happen, and that it will happen sooner rather than later. And you know what? In the end, it’s a good thing for college basketball. After all, how great will it be to have Calipari and Rick Pitino facing off against each other in an annual turf war? And just think! This time it won’t just be about who can cheat to land recruits more effectively!

And just when you thought former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s pantomime villain routine couldn’t get any more obvious, it turns out he named a secret agreement to sell Wrigley Field to the state of Illinois — all in return for numerous tax breaks for former Cubs owner Sam Zellafter a throwaway joke in the Blues Brothers.

elwood blues license

Blagojevich referred to the Wrigley Field negotiations as “Operation Elwood”, named in honor of Elwood Blues (also known as Dan Aykroyd), whose listed address on his driver’s license was Wrigley Field.

It’s yet another ridiculous chapter from a brazenly agressive civil tyrant, but then again, what do you expect from a guy who, just months after being impeached from office, is already guest hosting talk radio shows and hand picking the callers.

  • Enough with real news, lets try to manufacture some that involves incredibly attractive people. Like Alyonka Larionov, who may or may not be dating either Alexander Ovechkin or Pavel Datsyuk. She’s also a budding viral video star, so maybe she’ll be dating someone else to keep her in the news soon, too.

alyonka larionov

mma keith jardine

  • Just because we haven’t covered enough Twitter addiction today: USC Coach Pete Carroll’s ridiculous campaign to get buddy Will Farrell on Twitter reached new heights, including this self-produced video.

jensen button girlfriend

If you were a pro athlete, would you Twitter?

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Anna Rawson Going Go Daddy; Japan Wins WBC

• Gorgeous Aussie golfer Anna Rawson is your newest Go Daddy Girl.

Anna Rawson

• Japan wins its second World Baseball Classic. Konnichiwa, bitches!

• If it’s not coaches molesting their younger players, it’s the coaches’ wives doing the dirty deed.

• Buy some vodka, get a free ticket to a Phoenix Coyotes game.

• Can the Raptors’ Chris Bosh beat the rap of being a deadbeat dad?

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Helio Castroneves Could Serve Six Years In Prison

In my 28 and a half years on this Earth, I haven’t learned much. Maybe it was all the partying I did as a teenager, or maybe I’m just stupid - the fact of the matter is I just don’t know all that much about the world. Still, if there’s one thing I have learned while living in the United States it’s that you can get away with anything you want when you live in this country, just make sure you pay your taxes.

Seriously, you can run an entire criminal enterprise and kill all the people you desire like Al Capone did, or make horrible movies like Wesley Snipes, but if you don’t pay your taxes, you’re going to prison.  It’s that simple. Unfortunately for IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves, he didn’t grow up in the United States and never learned this lesson. Because of that, he now faces the prospect of spending six years or more behind bars.

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Helio Castroneves “Forgot” To Pay $5M In Taxes

The only man to ever win both a reality ballroom dancing competition and the Indianapolis 500 is in a bit of hot water with the folks at the IRS. Indy Car/Tango star Helio Castroneves has neglected to pay more than $5 million of taxes that he’s owed the U.S. Government over the past four years, according to U.S. authorities.

Helio Castroneves

Castroneves has been indicted along with his sister and his attorney in what is being described as a “tax-evasion scheme,” according to the MIAMI HERALD. They’re expected to make court appearances tomorrow in Miami. I’m sure this will all be cleared up very soon. I mean, who doesn’t forget to pay $5 million every once in a while?

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Helio, Danica Among Biggest Names In Indy 500

The Indianapolis 500 runs today for the 92nd time, and should be underway shortly. And while most eyes will be on Danica Patrick to see if this will be her year, many are expecting Dancing With The Stars alumus Helio Castroneves to win his third 500.

Danica Patrick Bikini

We have a quick preview of the field after the jump. Read more…

Indy Hype Weighed Down By ‘Danica Rule’ Debate

Ever since Danica Patrick and her little 100-pound body drove into our collective consciousness in 2005, rival racing teams had been calling for a system that in effect penalizes cars with lighter drivers.

Danica Patrick photo SI

Earlier this season, such a rule was finally created. There’s one problem…nobody knows how it works. Read more…

Danica Patrick No Longer Kournikova Of Racing

Danica Patrick silenced critics who said she was just a pretty face by becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race when she took home the title at the Japan 300. Presumably, she did so with a shirt on and with both hands on the wheel instead of one touching her left breast.

Danica Patrick topless

I’ll skip the “rubbin’ is racin’” jokes for now and take you to the details of the race from THE PRESS ASSOCATION. Read more…