Speed Read: Come and Kneel Before Tiger! Kneel!

Rick Reilly stands this morning as the sports media’s Jack O’Halloran, the ever-prodding manchild from Superman II: every time he throws a bus at Tiger Woods, Tiger crawls out from underneath just a little angrier.

Tiger Woods and Superman

Sunday, Bay Hill stood in for Metropolis and Sean O’Hair pulled over the black bedazzled robes to take the Terence Stamp role to Tiger on Sunday, seemingly in control until he saw that red swoosh fill the camera.  At that point, O’Hair dropped from the Saturday leader to a Sunday round of 73 and Tiger dropped a 15-footer for the one-shot victory at 18.

Tiger Woods

In drama worthy of a Donner-esque cut of a better sequel, Tiger took his first title after last year’s knee surgery on a long putt at hole #72 just like he did last spring.  After the win, he met again with the namesake of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, who we think might be Perry White in this analogy.  Or Lois Lane.  This one may need some work still, unlike Tiger’s knee.

Want Tiger to show you how the heat vision works, Rick? No, you’re good?  Fair enough.

Roy Williams trims for the Final Four

Sunday held little heat for the Final Four as Michigan State and North Carolina committed to a weekend in Detroit in April, otherwise known as “the best weekend of weather ever”.  No, really… just listen to every sportswriter go on about it next weekend, assuming they don’t spend the whole time in Windsor.

Neither game was particularly close, leaving casual sports fans hunting for Tiger or smaller game (as mentioned below).  Sadly, even Clark Kellogg’s stale “versatile like baking soda” line couldn’t get any vinegar for a volcanic explosion.

At least the ticket sales should improve with a state team available to attend.  Villanova and Connecticut will fill out the other two slots as we all spend all week polishing our convoluted plans to justify picking against a UConn-UNC final Monday night. (Oh, and is Roy Williams finally accepted at UNC? Just checking.)

Vancouver murder

A foreign country bordering the United States has such a horrific crime problem due to a drug war that it could affect their ability to host international tourists.  Of course, we’re talking about Canada.  Specifically, Vancouver’s inability to get decent amounts of cocaine has caused a gang war to break out, raising the murder rate dramatically.

The area has grown so desperate for warm bodies with badges that two officers that “smelled of alcohol and uttered racial slurs” while allegedly beating and robbing a newspaper delivery man in Vancouver won’t have to stand trial for a year because the police can’t spare a single person to be a witness at the trial during the 2010 Winter Olympics. (h/t RAINCOASTER)

After having to spend most of last summer listening to the incessant whining about the safety of the 2008 Beijing Games, we can’t help but notice the silence surrounding the 2010 Vancouver Games. We can’t quite put our finger on what could be different about the two countries.  Maybe journalists feel safe after watching a “Da Vinci’s Inquest” marathon?

In case you suspect we’re overstating the case, listen to a local activist: “I’m really apprehensive about going out in the evening.  We’ve turned into an American city.” Does that mean you’re not interested in two free Final Four tickets?

Speaking of a hail of bullets, duck even though you don’t feel threatened in your job by Todd Jones

  • We’re with Ray Ratto: we’re not sure Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has a plan anymore for a new stadium.  He’s the Underpants Gnome of owners.  He knows “back up garbage trucks of taxpayer cash to my home” is Step 3, but he’s damned if he knows what Step 2 is anymore.
  • Congratuations to Bemidji State for advancing to the Frozen Four in NCAA hockey.  We don’t have anything more to add; for that, please check out THE HOOVER STREET RAG.  We just always wanted to link to the BEMIDJI PIONEER.
  • Finally, we know a referee that will be working the NBA Finals next in about 2024 after nearly injuring the future of the league by getting tangled underfoot of LeBron James:

 

Your 2009 NCAA men’s basketball champions are…

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Only Thing Entertaining About NASCAR This Year

It’s really sad, how NASCAR is seemingly falling off the map. The circuit announced massive layoffs today and is canceling testing to save money as well. On the bright side, Jimmie Johnson yesterday provided us with, for my money, the most entertaining moment of NASCAR’s season:


It was a good line, but ruined by Kenny Wallace’s cacaphonious cackle.

When I hosted sports talk radio shows back in the ’90s, one of our fallback topics was if golf and NASCAR had supplanted the NHL as America’s fourth major league sport. Now it appears, the way the NBA is going, you can count on 2 1/2 major league sports.

Is there anyone who considers the NHL, NASCAR or PGA Tour major league anymore? Pipe down MLS fans.

Speed Read: Donovan McNabb Gets Tongue-Tied

If you didn’t know by now, the NFL has a state-of-the-art website with lots of features, not excluding a standings page. Right there on the left we have a ‘W,’ ‘L,’ and ‘T.’ There they are. Win, loss, and tie. Donovan McNabb doesn’t need the NFL.com website to see what’s going on in the standings. He knows who has how many wins and losses. But what if, say, his Eagles are tied 13-13 with the Bengals after an overtime frame?

Donovan McNabb tie game lesson

Why, the game ends in a tie, of course. But McNabb — this has to be a fake video, according to my tentative faith in humanity — didn’t know ties were a rule in the NFL. Moreover, he said, “I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs.” We here at SbB obtained exclusive footage of the reporters in the press conference:

FACEPALM

All he knew was that “the game would continue until someone scored”, which in all fairness is I think what the referee does say prior to every overtime rule. The striped men never mention the possibility of a tie, and perhaps McNabb thought those were the complete rules of overtime. That’s the only possible reason I can use to defend McNabb’s ignorance.

But if I’m playing all-time lawyer, I can turn around and say that one the last teams to play in a tie game — the 2002 Atlanta Falcons — played McNabb’s Eagles in the playoffs that year. Your witness, me.

I now call to the stand: Jimmie Johnson.

Jimmie Johnson

It’s probably the most under-represented major sport on the Internet, but Johnson has won three straight championships in the Sprint Cup, something only Cale Yarborough has done in NASCAR’s top level of racing. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED lists the five reasons he won, omitting everything except the Cubs-esque Kyle Busch implosion. Oh, and his crew is already looking ahead to a fourth straight Cup in 2009. This could be Lance Armstrong-type stuff here.

Manny

And now we move onto news that could have happened but didn’t so it’s even bigger news. ESPN’s primadonna-following minstrel Pedro Gomez reports that if the Boston Red Sox weren’t able to trade Manny Ramirez, the Sawx probably would have suspended him. But they didn’t suspend him, and they ended up trading him. But we’re just finding out about this now, so we’re interested now. And even though we didn’t know this then, we knew there was tension between Ramirez and the Red Sox, so this news changes nothing about any of our premonitions of Ramirez or the Red Sox or Belgian waffles. Because Belgian waffles rule.

Waffles

Seriously, you can’t tell me that those waffles would be immediately eaten by you if they were on your plate instead of whatever stale, bland breakfast you pulled out of a wrapper this morning. Look at ‘em. All sugary and waffly and full of compartments where syrup can collect, and then you can put different syrups in different compartments because you’re OCD and need to have organized delicious breakfasts. You’re pretty sure if Brooks took photographs of beautiful waffles in exotic locales — many with big, bountiful “compartments” — his business would take off and go mainstream. You’re going to skip work and head out to IHOP right now, aren’t you?

See? I made you forget about Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox, and you are happier for it. My work here is done.

Troy Polamalu runs

Check that. My work actually isn’t done. There are still links to visit. All of them. Click on every single one. Full disclosure: I do not get a bonus for that.

Do you like ties in the NFL?

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Woman Is Hit By Stray Bullet At A NASCAR Race

So there are two races left in NASCAR’s Chase for the Winston Nextel Sprint Cup and apparently Jimmie Johnson is going to win the thing.   He’s got 106-point lead and that’s like an insurmountable lead at this point, or at least that’s what they tell me.   I’m not exactly the biggest NASCAR fan in the world, but I have my reasons.   One being that it gets kind of boring to watch cars drive in a circle for four hours, and the other reason is for my personal safety.

You see, going to a NASCAR race is pretty dangerous.  I mean you can be sitting in your motor home while parked on the infield at the speedway just minding your business, and the next thing you know there’s a bullet coming through your roof and hitting you right in the arm.

Read more…

Speed Read: Are Titans The Worst 8-0 Team Ever?

Sure, it’s like talking about the least attractive supermodel you’ve had sex with or the dumbest brain surgeon. But after years of promising starts by dominant teams like the Colts and Patriots, maybe it’s time to turn to the Tennessee Titans, halfway to perfection, and just ask, “Really? You guys are the best team in the NFL?” Because it sure seems like of all the 8-0 teams the NFL has seen throughout the years, they’re the least impressive and the most unlikely to win the Super Bowl.

Dumb brain surgeon

(Without question, the dumbest brain surgeon alive. Sure hope you don’t have an appointment with him tomorrow.)

Seriously, who have they beaten? Divisional juggernauts Indianapolis and Jacksonville, yes, but they are both on down years. The only team they’ve played with a winning record is the 5-3 Baltimore Ravens, who they edged 13-10 in Week 5.

Look at this team. Just LOOK at them. Kerry freaking Collins is their quarterback. Collins’ passer rating rivals that of the Lions’ QBs and the leading receiver is tight end Bo Scaife with 344 yards. Maybe after all these inexplicable stats, this is just another Jeff Fisher-led team where the breaks are going their way. Remember that Fisher once led the Titans to the playoffs without a single player being named to the Pro Bowl. Even the corps that play amazing are still under the radar, like running back Chris “Who?” Johnson, who leads the AFC in rushing yards (with no lost fumbles). Or the defense, which gives up less than 13 points a game, almost a field goal less than the next best team, the Buccaneers. Quick, name two defenders off the top of your head. BZZT. Thanks for playing.

So they’re just a tough, small-market football team that always plays well and is just over-performing a little bit. Good for them, but it’s not like an 8-0 start from the Colts or the Patriots, because then we’d be talking about them.

Peyton Manning and Bob Sanders

So now let’s talk about them. After all, neither of those teams are far from perfect. In fact, they may not even be the second, or third, or even the fourth best teams in the AFC. New England notched their third loss with an 18-15 defeat to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football, evening Indy’s record at 4-4. This is the definition of parity. The previous two champions are a combined 9-7 at the halfway point. And what kind of final score is 18-15 for two prominent teams? 18-15 is the final score for a couple of rural Wyoming high school football teams where the graduating class is about 50.

Pat Gillick

“Woo! World f%cking champions! Burn stuff and throw other stuff that isn’t burning!” Once the debris is swept off the streets and the Phillies faithful wake up from their happy drunken nap, they’ll soon notice their GM Pat Gillick got dressed, exited the bedroom, and left a “I’ll Always Love You” note on the nightstand. He was always a gentle lover. Ruben Amaro will be his replacement as general manager.

The Phillies would love to have him back, but really, it should just be a rule that if you’re the GM of a team that wins the World Series, you should just retire on the spot, because there’s not much else you can do. Nobody repeats anymore, and even if someone will, the Philharmonics are not the kind of team that will. So it’s probably best that Gillick, after giving a city a badly needed championship, ride into the sunset much like the mysterious gunman Shane.

Tom Amstutz

It’s also time to say farewell to another face, but not for the same joyous reason:

  • Goodbye, Tom Amstutz. The TOLEDO BLADE reports that the beloved rotund football coach for the Toledo Rockets will be stepping down from the position. After a great stretch of success in the early 2000s with four bowl games, Amstutz’s teams have underperformed as of late despite a seismic victory over Michigan a few weeks ago. With him gone, who else will be in Mark Mangino’s weight class?
  • Michael Rosenberg of the DETROIT FREE PRESS hikes up news that the winless Lions suddenly have a QB controversy between Dan Orlovsky and the newly-inked Daunte Culpepper. This should be fun, if not for Lions fans, then for the rest of the world. After all, Scott Mitchell is not walking through that door. (They changed the locks.)
  • Wrigley Field didn’t have any planned expansions this offseason, but something in their stadium expanded by exactly one blue tile. It appears the “Eamus Catuli” sign was updated to read “AC0063100.” That’s zero years since their last division title, 63 years since their last World Series, and 100 since their last championship. The “AC” is for former Lakers forward A.C. Green, but nobody knows why. So here’s a picture:

    Eamus Catuli AC0063100

    As spoken by HOME RUN DERBY, who I think we can credit with the photo, “00-63-100 might be the worst measurements in the history of measurements.”

  • Ken Griffey, Jr. back with the Mariners? The SEATTLE TIMES says he’d be cool with that.
  • DAWG SPORTS tries to cope with Georgia’s 49-10 loss to Florida in many different ways…
  • …while Texas Tech, fresh off a dramatic win over No. 1 Texas, is the latest campus to fall victim to the cold, douchebaggardly, and illegal method of selling counterfeit tickets to unsuspecting marks. About 500 people bought fake tickets, many at about $200 each. Oh, and guess what? They have another home Top 10 showdown this Saturday against Oklahoma State. From now on, don’t buy any tickets that look like they were printed on the reverse side of AIG stock.
  • It really wasn’t a great day in Texas for everyone. Jimmie Johnson’s points lead was slashed dramatically in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Chase from 183 to 106 with a 15th place finish, and the FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM was there. Carl Edwards, who trails the defending champion Johnson by a still-huge margin, won the Dickies 500 at Texas Speedway. Maybe Edwards should start to try and twist in his flips.
  • Just so everyone’s clear, not everything reported in Russia is accurate. The Toronto Maple Leafs are good, but the TORONTO STAR explains they’re not trade-for-Ilya Kovalchuk good. Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher had to dispel a rumor started by the Russian newspaper SPORTS EXPRESS DAILY who said the Leafs were the front runners to acquire the disgruntled star. So much for Russian spies.
  • And finally, to prove how naughty the world has been, interim 49ers coach Mike Singletary says he’s going to scale back his rants from “amphetamine-induced” to “interim head coach intensity.” What did we do to have this taken away from us? Was it the jokes at the expense of a perfectly competent brain surgeon? Because I regret nothing.

Alabama, Penn State, and Texas Tech go undefeated. Who do you leave out of a BCS championship game?

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Brog: Brand Never Saw Clips Near-Matching Offer

Mark Heisler of the LOS ANGELES TIMES has more details today on Elton Brand’s escape to Philly. Heisler notes that the Clippers tried to offer Brand a contract of $81M, but Brand’s agent David Falk stopped returning the club’s calls. Brand eventually accepted an $82M deal from the Sixers.

Elton Brand Billboard

Heisler surmises, as we did here last Friday, that Falk is most likely behind Brand spurning the Clippers. Keep in mind though that Heisler’s sources on the matter are likely Clippers-affiliated, and the club is presently in full damage control mode.

Not many saw the Philly move coming, but two ESPN 950 radio hosts in Philadelpia, Harry Mayes and Dan Schwartzman, browbeat Brand on-air about joining the Sixers as early as June 5 (audio).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Abrams of the Times reports that Baron Davis’ agent has confirmed his client is still hip to clip.

USA TODAY reports that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson endorsed John McCain yesterday at the National Press Club: “I’d have to pick (John) McCain. I think our core fan base, being Republicans like they are, that will be their first choice.”

FYI: NASCAR’s home state of North Carolina is currently represented in Congress by seven Democrats and six Republicans.

Yardbarker Nude Girl

(We avoided Charles Woodson’s wine stains, but not this - thankfully)

When I was at the Playboy Mansion recently, they were pouring samples of a wine called “24.” No idea what it was at the time, but now the DETROIT NEWS reports that the vino is the handiwork of noted vintner Charles Woodson.

The Chicago Bears official website has plenty of fun with the fact that when Jim McMahon visited the White House in 1996 as a member of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, he actually wore a Bears jersey.

Excerpt: “When the Packers were honored at the White House, McMahon wore a Bears jersey, enraging Green Bay fans. McMahon explained that he did it because the Bears never got a chance to visit the White House after winning Super Bowl XX. Their trip to Washington was canceled after the Challenger space shuttle blew up.

God I miss that dude.

Paul Lukas of UNI WATCH BLOG has a bone to pick with the Brewers.

Milwaukee Brewers On-Field Ads

Seems he’s not too found of the club’s penchant for on-field advertising: “Can’t they leave this sh– off the field of play?

Conveniently, that quote can also be attributed to when the Royals next visit Miller Park. Read more…

This Bud’s For Me: Kahne Wins All-Star Race

Kasey Kahne said he was ready to sit at home and watch the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on his couch.

Kasey Kahne NASCAR

He would later learn that instead of sitting in front of his TV, he’d be sitting behind the wheel. Read more…

Fox Sox-Yanks Viewers Switched To NASCAR Start

Bottom of the 9th. Two outs. Two strikes. The Boston Red Sox, up 4-3, are one more out away from defeating their hated rival, the New York Yankees. Robinson Cano is at the plate. Here’s the windup and the pitch …

*CLICK!*

robinson cano yankees NASCAR Phoenix

Welcome to tonight’s exciting NASCAR action!

Such a scene was seen by by viewers on Fox last Saturday, as the end of the Sox-Yanks game was suddenly interrupted by the start of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 in Phoenix. (Wonder if Jared told the gentlemen to start their engines - but not before interesting them in the latest additions to his ginormous porn collection?)

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Gilbert’s Close Shave; No Soup For Us, Thank You

There’s never any worries about telling us to sex it up

Gilbert Arenas learns some lessons in when it comes to groin grooming:

Gilbert Arenas choke

Jimmie Johnson’s road to the Oval Office hits some speed bumps - er, actually, door jams.

• Here’s a fond video trip down memory lane - back when Bob Costas told how to pronounce “Brett Favre“, O.J. Simpson wasn’t looking for any real killers, and NBC wasn’t burdened with John Madden.

Shaq’s already prepared to lay down the law in the Ol’ West, while he backtracks from earlier comments about new teammate Steve Nash.

• UNC’s women’s basketball coach rolls out the fun by T.P.-ing the town - much to the chagrin of the Chapel Hill cops.

• Chinese athletes certainly have balls to enjoy bull penis soup:

Chick-Fil-A Cow

• Speaking of nuts, one Ohio State recruit has a keen enough (Buck)eye to tell when his scholarship withdrawal is a fake.

Roger Clemens’ steroid saga might have been a family affair.

Ocho Cinco proves he’s muy loco en la cabeza by shoving an NFL employee.

• The martinis better be tasty, as the new Yankee Stadium will be costing $1.3 billion to complete.

One Oval Jimmie Johnson Can’t Get A Handle On

We lived in the South for over 10 years, and covered NASCAR during that time. We wouldn’t say we love the sport as much as say, the mustard barbecue in South Carolina, but it was fun following it.

Chandra Johnson President George W. Bush Jimmie Johnson

The chase for the cup thing now has us too confused to really care much about the *sport* anymore. But the Daytona 500 is right around the corner, so we’ll be spicing in NASCAR items when we can. Read more…