Speed Read: Will H1N1 Affect NCAA FB Season?

Yesterday, Adam J mentioned that Vegas is bracing for the effect swine flu could have on college football betting lines this year, with casinos planning to hold out on releasing lines for as long as possible to make sure teams aren’t affected. Adam also rightly points out that a swine flu outbreak in and of itself isn’t any different than a bout with food poisoning or any other bug that might be going around on a team. But those types of ailments are usually few and far between. The difference with the swine flu is that it’s not really a matter of “if” it’s going to happen to your team, but “when.” And that should be unsettling to any fan whose team is a national title contender this year.

Swine flu

(Anyone picking Arkansas in the SEC West this year?)

TCU is the latest team to be struck by the virus, with at least five players reporting symptoms a little more than a week in advance of the new season. And, although it isn’t yet confirmed, it’s suspected that members of Alabama’s team have come down with it as well.

In an odd way, you might say that these two teams are among those with an advantage over their competition this year. Teams that get it out of the way now aren’t going to have to deal with it later in the season, when the stakes are higher and tired, weary bodies may react more negatively to the virus itself.  With the amount of, um, interpersonal contact involved in a college football game, it seems likely that H1N1 will make the rounds throughout the sport this year. And a poorly-timed outbreak could leave a team significantly weakened on a game day.

Swine flu girl

(Good luck getting girls to make out with you at parties this year, college dudes)

Plus, schools and the NCAA I assume will have to work together to come up with some sort of protocol for using players who are suspected or confirmed to have the virus. If they feel up to it, will they be allowed to play, knowing that they could spread it to their teammates and opponents?

Let’s put it this way: Troy travels to Gainesville to play Florida a week before the Gators host Tennessee. What if half of Troy’s team comes down with the virus (that isn’t so far-fetched: see Duke) in the days before that game. Do the Gators want anything to do with that team, knowing that they have Lane Kiffin coming to town the following week? Would non-infected teams have grounds for refusing to play an infected team? (I understand that’s unlikely, but it’s at least a thought, right?)

Tim Tebow Heisman baby pose

(It’s all fun and games now, Tebow, until those Crocs and that baby give you debilitating diarrhea)

I’m not trying to overstate the effects of H1N1. I understand that in most healthy people, like college athletes, the symptoms are relatively mild. But if 50 or more guys on a football team are going through it at roughly the same time, there will certainly be a difference in how they play on game day. In college football, one bad week can ruin a national title run. You figure that some highly-ranked team is going to get unlucky enough to have this get to them at precisely the wrong time.

Which team would you most like to see get swine flu right before their biggest game of the year?

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Man, has it been a good couple of weeks to be covering college sports in Kentucky. Even the guy who doesn’t even coach there anymore is getting in on the act. Of course, I’m talking about Billy Gillispie’s DUI, which we did mention yesterday.

Billy Gillispie

But I revisit it today because of the hilarity contained in the police report about the incident (of course, other than the fact that DUIs aren’t particularly hilarious). Quoted text courtesy of the LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL and LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER:

The officers asked Gillispie for his proof of insurance, and he said it was in his golf bag in the trunk.

Well, sure. I mean, who doesn’t keep their car insurance card in their golf bag?

“During the exit, he used the door for balance and was confused on how to open the trunk”

He’s driving a Mercedes, so there’s like a 100% chance that opening the trunk involves pushing the button on the car key that looks like a trunk.

“I asked Billy if he had had anything to drink tonight. He stated no he had been golfing all day.”

He was arrested at 2:47 a.m. Now, unless he has some of those special golf balls that light up, he had most certainly been done golfing for, oh, somewhere in the neighborhood of seven hours. Not only is that enough time to get hammered, but he could’ve slept with some random lady at a restaurant and paid for her abortion and still had an hour left over.

The report said Gillispie, who was driving, had red eyes, slurred speech and a “strong fruity smell coming from his person (possibly wine).”

What, Billy couldn’t have been slamming appletinis?

Billy Gillispie

(”I’m more of a Midori sour guy”)

Michael Vick made his preseason debut last night. Here’s a story about it. If you want to know anything more about it, just tune into the 24/7 coverage on ESPN today. Hey, at least they stopped talking about Favre for a day.

• Speaking of Brett Favre, instead of the inevitable “retirement” press conference that’s coming at the end of the season, ESPN should just air this clip of Pat Cashman from the late, great sketch comedy show “Almost Live”:

• Yes, there is a Hall of Fame that believes Chuck Finley and Brian Downing are worthy of induction.

• God is about to fire Donald Trump’s golf course near L.A.

• Red Sox shortstop Nick Green pitched two scoreless innings in last night’s 9-5 loss to the White Sox. Still looking for a closer, Phillies?

• Italian national soccer coach Marcello Lippi says he won’t choose any gay players for his World Cup squad. Aside from this being an asinine thing to say, how would he know? How’s he going decide which of these guys is gay?

Italian soccer players

• Ahhhhh! Let’s get this back on track. Save us, Anna Rawson!

Anna Rawson

• Arizona is going to be devastated if the pro sports team that’s threatening to leave actually goes through with it. We’re talking about the Cubs, of course.

• I don’t normally agree with CBS SPORTS’ Gregg Doyel, but he makes some good points about the whole Caster Semanya story, like this one (in context, the “ugly” comment makes sense):

If there were questions about Semenya’s gender, they should have been asked and answered before she raced. If she was female enough to enter the race, she should be female enough to win it. She didn’t get any less feminine in the 1:55.45 it took her to win. Her gender never would have been questioned had she finished seventh, because she wasn’t too ugly to enter the race. She was just too ugly to win it. 

Dan Duquette used to run the Red Sox. Now, the military-themed semi-pro baseball team he owns in Nashua, NH, has been locked out of their own stadium because they owe about $45,000 in back rent and other services.

• Former NHL coach Jacques Demers, who was illiterate for most of his adult life, has been appointed to the Canadian Senate. He’ll be traveling the country hosting town hall meetings about tuque reform.

• The WIZ OF ODDS says 51% of the games involving Division 1-A (or FBS, whatever) teams in week 1 of the college football season also involve a 1-AA team, the highest such percentage ever.

Italian Soccer Player Dreams Of Being A Porn Star

Say what you will about Italians, but they’re A) good cooks, B) overly dramatic and C) eccentric. All of those things certainly apply, and B and C, in particular, are striking characteristics of Reggina defender Bruno Cirillo, who, according to RUMORS & RANTS, has already achieved most people’s goal — he’s a popular professional athlete — but wants to achieve another: He dreams of being a porn star.

bruno cirillo bed

That’s right, being an incredibly highly paid soccer professional isn’t enough for old Mr. Cirillo. When asked about his personal dreams by an Italian TV show called “Victory”, Cirillo admitted that it’s fun, but he’d rather be paid for doing things between the sheets. With cameras nearby, of course:

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Gay Sex Scandal And Beckham Hit Italian Soccer

Italian Serie A soccer matches are currently shown in the US on Fox Soccer Channel, but if certain rumors are true, perhaps they would be better suited for the gay-lifestyle cable network Logo. The DAILY MAIL reports that a gay sex scandal is brewing in Italian soccer as a lower-division player is claiming that he was a paid “rent boy,” performing sexual services for closeted star players.

Soccer playes in a compromising position

News of the allegations are causing shock waves throughout Italian soccer. But one would think this would be a welcome scandal, since it doesn’t involve rampant corruption and match-fixing. The scandal happens to be breaking as global superstar/gay icon David Beckham is set to join AC Milan. Draw your own conclusions to that.

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Ex-Bucs Cheerleader Doesn’t Know When To Quit

• A former Bucs cheerleader & “Bachelor” babe throws a Texas-sized tantrum when the drinks stop flowing.

Mary Delgado Bachelor photo mugshot

The result? Gimme a “J”! Gimme an “A”! Gimmie an “I”! Gimme an “L”!

• A 47-yarder kicked “wide right” buries the Buffalo Bills once again. It’s enough to drive you to drink.

• An Italian soccer team is caught with their pants down - and the ass-inine play helps them secure a victory.

• Meanwhile, a women’s gymnastics coach gets caught with a candid camera in the locker room. Alicia Sacramone may get her wish to be a TV star yet.

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