Home Depot Dismantles Olympic Athletes’ Jobs

Home Depot has offered nearly 600 Olympians the opportunity to work part-time and train full-time with full-time benefits since 1992.  However, they apparently haven’t received their money’s worth for the investment, so the not-quite-free ride’s over as the program will end soon.

Ronda Rousey and Jeff Skiba

(Olympian Ronda Rousey and Paralympian Jeff Skiba participated in the program in 2008)

Olympians currently employed by Home Depot will have the option to work part-time and get paid for it, apply for full-time jobs and work full-time, or walk away by March 2.
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Speed Read: Dennis Rodman and the Four Dwarfs

Dennis Rodman and a bunch of dwarfs - it sounds like the recipe for the type of awful, Felliniesque nightmare that makes you wake up sweating and shaking at 3 a.m. and causes your double up your Xanax prescription and call your therapist in a panic. (I mean, theoretically, not me, but someone else…) But it’s actually the cast of a movie called “The Minis”- which really got made. On actual film. With a budget of $5 million.

Dennis Rodman and The Minis

The plot? Rodman teams up with four dwarfs - please, don’t call them midgets - to enter a prestigious basketball tournament in Venice Beach. Which, if you think about it, is the sort of headline that you wouldn’t bat an eye at if you read it on a blog. As you can see in the trailer, the movie is filled with “comedy,” “inspiration” and “acting”:

Stirring, huh? And since we are your source for all news relating to Dennis Rodman and dwarfs (as you would expect), we were able to speak last night with one of the stars of the film, Caroline Macey, who plays Natalia, the gold digging girlfriend of one of the dwarfs who also is obsessed with cows. (That, folks, is what we call in the industry “character development.”) To summarize some of the high points:

  • When she auditioned, the casting director was on her knees to simulate the feeling of acting with a little person. (I understand this happens when they cast Tom Cruise movies as well.)
  • The movie was written with Dennis Rodman specifically in mind. As was “Gran Torino,” from what I hear, but he had to back out due to a scheduling conflict, forcing Clint Eastwood to step in at the last minute.
  • Apparently, Rodman was “very sweet” and “pleasant on the set.” Except when he thought one of his co-stars was in the way of one of the shots, and he drop-kicked him through the hoop. (That’s a lie: anyone who saw Rodman play in the NBA knows there’s no way he could make a basket outside of two feet.)
  • It’s Italian! Of course it is: see my Fellini comment earlier. And really, I’d recommend watching it dubbed in Italian with English subtitles to get the authetic flavor of the project.

I know what you’re thinking: “This sounds great! But if only there was a way to bring the humor and excitement of ‘The Minis’ home with meas some sort of video game.” Well, it turns out that you are in luck: there is one. I can’t vouch if it’s as good of a movie-to-video game crossover as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or not, but you can check out the trailer to find out more yourself:

Meanwhile, in actual basketball news: the way the Boston Celtics are playing, Dennis Rodman and a team of dwarfs might stand a fighting chance. OK, that’s probably an exaggeration,  but it’s pretty clear that their early season magic is long gone. Last night they suffered their sixth loss in eight games, this time an 89-85 defeat at home against the Houston Rockets.

Cavaliers rookie JJ Hickson

They now find themselves 1 1/2 games back of the Cavaliers for the best record in the NBA, and judging by Cleveland’s 111-81 rout of the Hornets, I would venture to say that the Cavaliers are ready for their big showdown with the Celtics on Friday. Boston can’t see out of it’s eye - you gotta cut them and make them bleed, Mickey!

In other news that happened while…screw it. I mean, Dennis Rodman and basketball playing dwarfs. Come on!

  • Unlike the Celtics, the Lakers were able to bounce back from a shocking defeat, although the LOS ANGELES TIMES notes that it came down to the final minute against the hapless Golden State Warriors. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol is looking more and more like a homeless person every day:
  • Pau Gasol of the Lakers

  • I know that in the era of free agency, we shouldn’t be shocked at anyone wearing any uniform at any time. But it’s going to be weird seeing John Smoltz in a Boston Red Sox uniform at Fenway, right? The ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION has all the details.
  • The FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM reports that Adam Jones gets cut by the Dallas Cowboys after ESPN airs footage of his involvement of a strip club shooting in Atlanta in 2007. Hopefully, he can go back to Pacman when he lands with the Toronto Argonauts.
  • The COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE notes that Home Depot has ended its program with the US Olympic Committee which gave jobs to aspiring athletes while they trained in their events. And get me some vinyl siding while you’re at it, Rulon!
  • CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING checks in on Chris Russo’s Year in Movies wrap-up, and it doesn’t sound like Peter Travers of Rolling Stone should be quaking in his boots any time soon.
  • PRO FOOTBALL TALK says that media sources in Cleveland aren’t exactly thrilled about Eric Mangini coming to town - one person says that “he is atrocious with the media – the worst – and has so many rules that make it hard to do our jobs.
  • The MENLO PARK ALMANAC touches base with the story of two players from the title winning Menlo-Atherton High football team who were arrested and charged with mugging a skateboarder and taking his iPod Touch.
  • Darren Rovell of CNBC notes that despite the economy, college football assistant coaches are seeing their salaries reach unprecedented heights this season.
  • As you get ready for the glut of Super Bowl ads, UNCOACHED breaks down the Top 10 All-Time Classic Miller Lite commercials. Joe Piscopo? Never not funny.
  • Finally, the AP has an urgent APB: State College, PA police are on the lookout for Joe Paterno’s stolen, Coke-bottle glasses. Not actually his, but from the seven-foot statue outside of Beaver Stadium. Police believe the lead suspect is a giant, seven-foot tall Elvis Costello statue.

Who is the worst athlete-turned-actor of all time?

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Stewart Shows Off His Calm Racetrack Demeanor

Tony Stewart, non-ambiturning superstar, will be spending lots of time on the sidelines of NASCAR races sooner than later, with the news that he split from Gibbs Racing to kind of go off on his own.

Tony Stewart

Essentially the move will give him substantial ownership in his own company as he finishes out his career & becomes a crotchety old man who harasses NASCAR officials. But, it should come as no surprise to anyone that even remotely follows racing that Stewart isn’t exactly waiting until he retires to go nuts. Video (from LBS) of Tony’s freakout after the jump, and tomahawk chops to Jay Busbee at FROM THE MARBLES, who has slow-mo shots and funny captions.

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