Messiah Died For High School Line Judge’s Sins?

Monday Cleveland-Glenville High School defeated Dwyer (FL) High School in the Kirk Herbstreit Classic at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

Ted Ginn, Sr., talks to his team after beating Dwyer video

The game was marred by a controversial conclusion that saw what appeared to be a last-second, game-winning Dwyer touchdown go for naught. Instead, Glenville claimed a 26-22 victory in front of a national television audience.

Dwyer Glenville Goal Line Replay Stills

In the aftermath of the game, Dwyer receiving star Nick O’Leary, the grandson of Jack Nicklaus, made an obscene gesture from the Dwyer bench that was aired on the telecast and ultimately led to his suspension by the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Dwyer Glenville Goal Line Replay Stills

The FHSAA ruling, which prevents O’Leary from suiting up for the Panthers next two games, is currently under appeal.

Today I was sent some locker room video of Glenville Coach Ted Ginn, Sr., talking to his players after their dramatic yet perplexing triumph. Video and transcript of his comments are below.
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Grandson Of Jack Nicklaus Is An Obscene Baller

Monday the nationally-televised Kirk Herbstreit High School Football Series gave most of us our first glimpse at Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) High School football player Nick O’Leary. O’Leary, who is the grandson of Jack Nicklaus, is the top-rated high school tight end prospect in the country and lived up to that billing today against Cleveland’s Glenville High School at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

Nick O'Leary

(Nicklaus grandson Nick responds to getting Jacked by refs today)

O’Leary had nine catches for 152 yards and a touchdown in the game, including some key grabs in a final drive that might’ve ended in a Dwyer victory if not for a botch job by officials. From video replay, Dwyer players appeared to be in the Glenville end zone on three different occasions:

Dwyer Glenville Goal Line Replay Stills

Instead, Glenville was awarded a 26-22 victory. A somewhat perplexing result to a remarkably entertaining game.

Dwyer Glenville Goal Line Replay Stills

So will O’Leary be attending the Ohio State alma mater of Grandpa?
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Stroke May Cause Unsafe Drop In Blood Pressure

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller enjoyed quite a foursome Wednesday in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Jack Nicklaus makes 100 foot putt

(Jack: Still Long And Strong)

The highlight was the still-potent putter of 70-year-old Nicklaus, which maintained its length and remarkable touch despite a hole requiring such firm stroke. (100 feet!) Read more…

Watson: Tiger Lacks ‘Stature’ Of Palmer, Nicklaus

Ah, here it comes. The lingering resentment and jealously harbored by a former golf great about Tiger Woods. Finally.

Tom Watson talks about Tiger Woods

Last week I brought you Tom Watson criticizing Woods for his alt-lifestyle and course behavior. Today in Dubai, Watson really opened up on Woods with this low-blow:

“I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), Arnold (Palmer), Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course.”

Where was that before Woods went into hiding? And someone might consider apprising Watson of Palmer’s personal life before he drags Arnie into any comparison with Woods. (As if Watson doesn’t know.)

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Speed Read: Moral Victory Leaves Magic Down 2-0

If Game 1 of the NBA Finals seemly confirmed the suspicion that the Orlando Magic didn’t belong on the same floor with the Los Angeles Lakers, at least the Magic put an end to that on Sunday night in Game 2. They remembered how to shoot (at least two of them did), played some (at times) stingy defense, and generally were a total pest in pushing the Lakers to overtime.

Kobe Bryant

Unfortunately for the Magic, what they didn’t prove is that they could beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals, as the home team held on for a 101-96 victory to take a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Orlando for the next three (probably?) games. But they came tantalizingly close at the end of regulation. Hedu Turkoglu found Courtney Lee cutting to the basket behind Kobe Bryant on an inbounds play with 0.6 seconds left and tossed him a lob that reached Lee but forced a midair adjustment, causing his lay-in to be just off the mark, bouncing off the front of the rim as time expired.

Courtney Lee

While the Magic might not admit it, they seemed drained by the missed opportunity in overtime, although their inability to stop Pau Gasol in the extra period was just as crippling. The Spaniard scored seven of his 24 points in overtime, including a three-point play with 1:14 left that gave the Lakers an insurmountable six point lead.

As for the Magic’s shooting: Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu were outstanding, with Lewis hitting 6-of-12 three-pointers en route to 34 points, while Turkoglu added 22 points including three three-pointers. The rest of the team? Not so much, as the Magic weren’t helped by Rafer Alston and J.J. Redick combining to go 2-for-17 for the game, including a woeful 1-10 from behind the arc. Also not helping: that J.J. Redick was anywhere near the floor for any length of time, much less 27 minutes. For all the great coaching Stan Van Gundy might have done in Game 2, that can’t be considered his finest hour.

Right now, it will take an amazing comeback for the Orlando Magic to win the NBA Title. (Before the 2006 Miami Heat did it, who was the last team to go down 2-0 and win the NBA Title? The 1977 Portland Trail Blazers.) But perhaps they need to take a clue from famous local resident and occasional Magic fan Tiger Woods, who had some Magic of his own on Sunday, no overtime needed. Woods came from four shots back to win the Memorial Tournament in front of host Jack Nicklaus with one of his most impressive final round performances, shooting a 65 while hitting every fairway in regulation.

Tiger Woods

The performance was awe-inspiring enough to prompt Nicklaus to cave in Woods’ surgically repaired knee with a nine-iron after the match in an attempt to prevent Woods from reaching his record of 18 major championships, before standing over a fallen Woods and shouting a Ric Flair style “Woooooooo!” Actually, that’s a lie; in fact, Nicklaus remarked that it would “greatly surprise” him if Woods didn’t win major No. 15 in two weeks at the U.S. Open.

Finally, it’s kind of hard to fault the San Diego Padres’ Josh Wilson for giving up the go-ahead three-run homer to the Diamondbacks’ Mark Reynolds in the 18th inning of Arizona’s 9-6 win on Sunday. Sure, Wilson might have had extra motivation for pitching against the team that released him earlier this season, but he really shouldn’t have been out there anyway. Wilson is an infielder, and was only pitching after Padres manager Bud Black ran out of pitchers in bullpen. So he sent Wilson out there, who got fastballs up to 88 mph and mixed in a few change-ups as well.

David Eckstein

Also, when you are relying on David Eckstein to homer to take the game into extra innings, you really should consider yourself lucky to be there in the first place, which is what the Padres needed in the ninth inning to erase a three-run deficit. Then again, the Padres really didn’t do much after that against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, getting no-hit for all nine innings of extra baseball.

  • THE SPORTS HERNIA wonders if Pau Gasol might be missing Game 3 after some…explosive rectal issues?
  • Pau Gasol

  • Chicago Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly has a message after watching the Cubs slog to a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday: “If there are any Little Leaguers watching, turn the TV off.”
  • Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Sam Rayburn tells the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER that he was taking more than 100 painkillers a day before being caught forging prescriptions and getting clean. Or as Elizabeth Taylor would call that, lunch.
  • What could bring together Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former head coach Jimmy Johnson? How about a concert headlined by George Strait and Reba McEntire to open the new Cowboys Stadium?
  • Just when things couldn’t get any worse for the Washington Nationals, DC SPORTS BOG checks in with this: they had a malfunction during their fireworks display, and the debris just happened to fall on the D.C. fire chief. Proving that the Nationals really have turned into a bad 1970s sitcom.
  • Mike Brown proved that his WEC featherweight title victory over Urijah Faber in November was no fluke in the rematch on Sunday, going into Faber’s hometown of Sacramento, CA and winning a unanimous decision that left Faber in the hospital after the match.
  • Among the “highlights” of the ongoing court battle over the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes: the Phoenix suburb of Glendale (where the Coyotes actually play) is suggesting that coach and minority owner Wayne Gretzky is “overpaid” and should have his salary cut by more than $6 million. Because going after The Great One is a winning legal strategy in Canadian courts.
  • David Wells says that Jose Canseco offered HGH to him when they were teammates on the Chicago White Sox, but he declined. Instead, he dropped 30 pounds by giving up beer in the offseason and actually working out. Also, is there anyone Jose Canseco hasn’t offered performance-enhancing drugs to in baseball at this point?
  • HOME RUN DERBY casts a discriminating eye at the reverse negative error baseball card, the bain of beleaguered Topps photo editors everywhere. (Well, specifically at the Topps offices, I guess.)
  • Long Island high school athlete Ryan Harrigan uses his abilities to chase down a would-be purse snatcher while working his after-school job as a grocery store employee. Would you like paper, plastic or handcuffs, Sir?

What was the most impressive performance yesterday?

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Tiger Woods Is Vicious All The Time To Everybody

The Memorial Skins Classic was today, and it featured Kenny Perry, Stewart Cink, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus. It’s an exhibition, strictly for charity, and it was basically an excuse to get Tiger and Jack in the same grouping for once. Which is fine, we’re not complaining or anything; they’re probably the two best golfers of all time and definitely the best golfers from their respective generations.

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus
(”You’re mine, old man!”)

When it came down to the end of the round, there were four skins on the line and Tiger was looking at a decently long putt to keep Perry from winning. Guess what happened. Go on, guess. If you guessed “a seagull came and took the ball away”… no, but I like where your mind’s at.

Video evidence is below (but stop after he hits the putt): Read more…

Speed Read: Eli Manning’s Brother Is OK QB Too

Remember way back in October, when the Indianapolis Colts were 3-4 and their playoff hopes looked completely dead in the water? What a difference a couple of months make. Last night’s 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was the team’s eighth straight, clinching a playoff berth and as the INDIANAPOLIS STAR notes, made them the first team ever to win 11 or more games in six straight seasons. And Tony Dungy became the first coach since the merger to make the playoffs in ten straight years.

Peyton Manning vs the Jacksonville Jaguars

All impressive, but the star of the night was Peyton Manning. You might not have noticed, but after struggling a bit during the team’s early slump, Peyton’s stepped out of his little brother Eli’s shadow, putting together a string of great performances despite not having a run game to speak of. And last night might have been his best yet: 364 yards and three touchdowns, including completing his first 17 passes in a row.

If he keeps this up, he might get some endorsements in the future. The game was a bit of a letdown for Jaguars fans, but their highlight had to come before the game, when paralyzed lineman Richard Collier took the field in a wheelchair with his teammates. No jokes there, just a Christmas wish that no other NFL players (or athletes) are the victims of needless crime in 2009.

Meanwhile, the NFL wants you to become a narc. Not about drugs (so please stop following Ricky Williams around, thanks), but about unruly fan behavior. USA TODAY reports that NFL teams are giving fans a way to report obnoxious fans to stadium security by sending a text message.

Text message sign for unruly NFL fans

It’s more discreet than having to find a security guard and point someone out, but it does lend itself to “prank texts” of people wanting to kick people out of the stadium. For example, Buffalo fans shouldn’t text message security and demand that Dick Jauron is kicked out of the stadium for “impersonating an NFL head coach.” Note: the Saints, Rams and Titans don’t offer this service, so feel free to act like complete cretins at these games.

You can choose one QB at their peak to build your dream team around. Who’s your pick?

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Brog: Our ‘Deadspin Nation’ Does Stimulus Checks

Mark McGuire of the ALBANY TIMES-UNION has this line today about the curious celebrity of Anna Kournikova: “Kournikova’s career remains a prominent example of how sports, sex and celebrity congeal into the oleo that is entertainment in Deadspin Nation.

Will Leitch, Feerless Leader Of Deadspin Nation

(Forget cheese, in Deadspin Nation, it’s all about free government mustard)

I know, there’s nothing more scintillating than a rehash of Kournikova’s breast size pseudo celebrity (Mark, 2001 called, they want their XM radio back.)

More interesting is that’s the first time I’ve seen or heard a main media member use the phrase “Deadspin Nation.” Actually, that’s the first I’ve heard of it altogether (tho I’m sure Shanoff’s already got it copyrighted and trademarked).

So what does a Deadspin Nation entail? I’m not really sure, besides of course Mattoon adding “The Home Of Will Leitch!” to the city’s interstate welcome sign, Buzz Bissinger being fitted for a monitoring anklet, and Ron Zook manning central command of Operation Iraqi Freedom (”you’re doing a great job, Zookie Zooker!“).

Additionally, you can count on the Executive Branch of Deadspin Nation being quartered here.

Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS reports that ESPN Radio in L.A. (KSPN-AM) is already trying to buy out the contract of afternoon host Dave Dameshek. As some of you may know, I appeared often on the show Dameshek replaced eight months ago, which featured longtime SoCal sports radio mainstays Steve Mason and John Ireland. When Dameshek was brought on last year, KSPN let Ireland go and moved Mason to middays.

John Ireland and SbB Girls at ESPN Radio in Los Angeles

(SoCal sports guy John Ireland is back on KSPN-AM with Steve Mason)

Dameshek’s show, according to Hoffarth, lost half of Mason & Ireland’s audience in the Arbitron Ratings in mere months. So KSPN officials have brought Ireland back and reunited him with Mason on a midday show - and are in the process of attempting to part ways with Dameshek, who has $400,000 in ESPN commits left on the final two years of his deal.

World’s most irrelevant jobs:

1) Construction site security guard
2) TSA liquid carry-on enforcement official
3) Budget controller, California State Legislature
4) Baltimore Orioles beat reporter

Orioles Grounds Crew Member running

(Run, Forest, Run!)

You know the latter is bad when the highlight of your 2008 season reporting is a piece about a grounds crew member. Thanks Pete! Read more…

Aussie Paper Putts Around With 2007 Golf Quotes

When the SYDNEY DAILY TELEGRAPH prints a headline like “69 And A Dead Bear’s Bum,” you know you have to read it:

Sydney paper headline 69 and a dead bear's bum

Turns out the article is a collection of some of the more guffaw-inducing golf quotes from the past year. Better get some duct tape, because your sides will be splitting after reviewing these remarks:

• Scottish golfer Sam Torrance during a TV interview: “If you’d offered me a 69 at the start this morning, I’d have been all over you.”

• Former Irish golfer David Feherty commenting on Jim Furyk’s swing: “Like an octopus falling out of a tree.”

• Former Prez George H.W. Bush about to tee off: “If anybody laughs when I hit it, they’re dead. We got Secret Service here.”

George H.W. Bush Tiger Woods golf

Peter Thomson on a certain pro’s designs: “Nicklaus’ courses are like Jack himself - grim and humorless with sharp edges.”

Peter Lonard on trying to improve his game: “I’d stick my head up a dead bear’s bum if it made me putt really good.”

And of course, what quote list wouldn’t be complete without the Wide Load of the Links himself, John Daly:

John Daly Cigarette

• On Tiger Woods becoming a father: “I wanted to be his child. If I was a child I wouldn’t play golf anymore, I’d be sitting in a boat somewhere spending all dad’s money. I’ve been trying to get him to adopt me for the last five years, but he wouldn’t do it.”

• On Tiger’s claim that his golf foes are out of shape: “I tried, but every time I worked out, I threw up. And I thought to myself that you can get drunk and throw up, so it’s just not for me. I’d rather smoke, drink Diet Cokes and eat.