Speed Read: Donte’ Stallworth Reaches DUI Deal

Sometimes, all you can ask for is closure. Not revenge or punishment or the eye for the proverbial eye; just enough to begin the healing process.

Donte Stallworth

And so, according to the MIAMI HERALD, the family of Mario Reyes, the man Donte’ Stallworth stands accused of killing in a March DUI accident, have been described by prosecutors as “the primary force” in a plea deal that is expected to be accepted today. And rather than spending years and years in prison, Stallworth may only have a short jail stay:

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian on the MacArthur Causeway in March, The Miami Herald has learned.

Stallworth’s attorney, Christopher Lyons, confirmed that the case was expected to be resolved Tuesday in court. Lyons declined to detail terms of the plea, which are not yet public.

While this is good news for Stallworth and his family, it doesn’t mean his NFL career is back in play; even after the jail stay imposed by the judge, Stallworth will still have to be reinstated by the notoriously unsympathetic Roger Goodell.  This will be a remarkably tough decision for the commissioner; no matter what length of suspension he decides on, it’s still going to be met by (not entirely unreasonable) protests of “Oh, so that’s how many games a human life is worth?”

But all the same, the person who’s really going to be haunted by the specter of death here is Stallworth, not Goodell. That he, even accidentally, killed a fellow man is a fact that will saddle him long after he’s gone from the league.

*UPDATE*: Stallworth gets sentenced to 30 days in jail & two years of house arrest.

Okay, we need a fun story after all that. So, as we warned you earlier, Joe Buck’s talk show career just started last night. And, judging by what AWFUL ANNOUNCING found, it may have ended last night too.

Joe Buck

The milquetoast play-by-play announcer for FOX had put together a decent, meh-but-not-terrible first episode, with appearances by Brett Favre (more on him later), Michael Irvin, Chad Ochocinco, and other famous members of the sports world. And then to close it out, he had on longtime friend Paul Rudd, a practically non-existent Jason Sudeikis, and, inexplicably, Artie Lange.

The audio is ludicrously NSFW, but if you’ve got earphones and/or a door to your office, you’ll want to check out Lange single-handedly derailing the show:

And then yes, Favre. Favre Favre Favre. He was the first guest on the show, and allowed make unironic claims like he’s not looking for attention. While he’s on, y’know, a nationally televised talk show. And to his credit, the fact that this is his first public appearance while ESPN has hammered coverage of his dalliance with Vikings management into viewers’ brains (we think Ed Werder’s been tasked with rifling through the trash down at Favre’s ranch in Mississippi) should be noted. That said, this happens every damn year, and it’s so tiresome. Here we are in June, with training camps underway. Teams want to have their summer rosters in place. So is Favre going to play this year? “Maybe.”

Brett Favre Vikings
(Here we go again.)

Also, the fact that Favre’s first public comments aren’t to ESPN should be noted as well. So rather than think of Favre as a caricature of an attention whore or drama queen or whatever, perhaps it’s best to - yes, we know this is neither fun nor easy - recognize the shades of gray and think that while he knows how easy it is to attract attention after spending two decades in the spotlight,  part of him actually is a country-bred bumpkin from Mississippi who would play football forever if he could.

But then again, we don’t know where the annual retirement charade fits into either side. And how many years in a row is this? Eight? C’mon, man.

Here are more stories to consider as you mourn Shawn Johnson’s euthanization

  • Look, this is clearly not the appropriate forum to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Iran. We’re not nearly qualified enough to comment on it, and that’s not what you’re here to read anyway. That said, if you’re wanting to find out more about watching the seeds of revolution occur in real-time, Andrew Sullivan’s blog is a good place to start. So why even bring it up? Only for the most epic picture in tOSU history, via 11W (click here for higher res, pops):

Tehran Buckeye
(Your move, Michigan.)

What else is Joe Morgan lying about?

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Speed Read: Cubs Riding Hard Liquor Bandwagon

It wasn’t enough for Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff vodka, to invite the good folks of Phoenix out to see their hockey team free with the purchase of a bottle of booze.  Now they’re plastering their name across The World’s Largest Beer Garden in an attempt to make further inroads into the sports scene. That’s one way to pay for stadium upgrades if you won’t pony up to the governor.

Drunk Boozer Wrigley Field Cubs fans

Wrigley Field will now host the Captain Morgan Club (a restaurant) and the Smirnoff Patio and provide lovely mixed drinks to the fans that like to do a little drinking around 10 am at home and then ride the El to Addison and start downing car bombs around 11:30 am for a 1:20 pm start.

If Cubs fans aren’t careful, they might even put Toronto Blue Jays fans to shame.  That’s not easy to do, either; they can’t be stopped even if Daddy takes the alcohol away for a game.  (Not to mention the gratuitous nudity.)

Also gratuitous: the entire 2008-2009 NCAA women’s basketball season. The University of Connecticut Huskies won their 39th straight game by double-digits to complete their undefeated season and claim the nation’s crown.

Connecticut Huskies

Stanford University of Louisville kept this game competitive for about as long as you’ve been reading this article thus far, which still might be the best effort of the year for a UConn opponent.  This could be the point for a snide joke about going pro in a little something we call life, but these young women are already professional assassins.  Yikes.

We know the short-lived hole in the media filter (and the filter on media members themselves) caused by Twitter will soon close and leave us with more canned responses and layers of personal marketing protection.  As we speak, there are businesses springing up around the management of social spaces and new media integration and other phrases that dampen the soul.

For now, though, we live in truly awesome times.  Example: Bill Stewart (West Virginia’s head football coach and the antithesis of R-Rod) has been carrying on like a blessed fool on Twitter, including how he threw all the kickers out of a meeting or how he gets so fired up by Chubby Checker that he sprints into practice at 4:15 am.

West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart

Go like this, Coach Stewart.  Go like this all morning long.

And now the twisting hail of bullets that Carl Landry could heal up from in only three weeks

Francis Buxton

  • Stan Kasten, president of the Washington Nationals, went on Philly radio and told Phillies fans just how much they were welcome to fill those increasingly empty seats at Nationals Park, having apparently forgotten that D.C. sports fans survive the surprisingly harsh winters by burning compressed carbon logs of their own hate for other teams.  You’d think Stan Kasten had bigger fish to fry, frankly.  For example, Dmitri Young just called Stan Kasten’s house because he heard Kasten’s hosting a fish fry.
  • Your NBA Draft early departure update: Blake Griffin (as mentioned late yesterday), Jodie Meeks, and everyone in the city of Tucson.  They’re gonna need a bigger green room.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Opening Day.  Senator Bill Frist saw this video and declared Kennedy alive and well, raising his batting average to .500.
  • The San Diego Padres have one chance at a title: Miss California Carrie Prejean (a former “Deal or No Deal” model) will be competing for the Miss USA title in Vegas on April 19th and she’s a former member of the Padres’ “Pad Squad”.  It’s good that she’s no longer with the organization or Becky Moores might demand weekend visitation rights.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009

How many majors for Tiger Woods this year?

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Speed Read: Nothing Meek About Wildcat’s Game

We know what you’re saying: “Wait, who scored how many on which team now?” The answer to that is not as significant as the subset in which the points came: A college basketball game in the SEC.

jodie meeks kentucky

That’s right, Jodie Meeks, a junior guard for Kentucky, had the night of a lifetime, dropping a whopping 54 points on the No. 24 Tennessee Volunteers in a shockingly one-sided 90-72 win. Meeks hit 10 of his 15 three-point attempts, helping the Wildcats take control of a game that was still up in the air in the second half. In the process, he set the Kentucky record for most points in a single game. Really. It’s also the most points scored by one player in regulation in a decade, and six teams scored fewer total points on Tuesday night than Meeks did himself.

Not surprisingly, his coach and teammates had some choice quotes about the junior sharp-shooter.

“It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen,” said his coach, Billy Gillispie.

“I wouldn’t be talking at all,” Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson said about Tennessee players who he said continued to talk trash. “My mouth would be shut. Especially when a guy’s got 54 in your own gym. They can talk all they want. Jodie’s shots speak for themselves.”

If you’re like us, you saw the name of the NCAA nightly stud and thought, “Who is this Meeks guy?” Well, here’s some things we should all get to know about the most legitimate single-game college output since Kevin Durant was still wearing orange.

  1. Meeks is averaging more than 24 points-per-game this season, which means we probably should have known about him already.
  2. He was on the 2007 All-SEC Freshman Team and All-America Freshman Team (so we really should have known about him)
  3. He’s from Norcross Georgia (how did he possibly not end up at Georgia Tech?)
  4. Meek’s 24 ppg (before Tuesday’s avalanche) were a stunning improvement from his prior seasons, when he averaged 8 ppg … despite playing fewer than 10 minutes less per game.
  5. While the 54 points were beyond what anyone could have expected, these big busts aren’t unanticipated; he dropped 46 on Louisville at Freedom Hall back on December 20. Guess he really likes playing on the road.
  6. And, like any 21 year-old worth his athletic salt, Meeks already has a fan web site.

Here are the highlights from Meeks’ absurd performance. Grab your popcorn, you don’t want to miss any of it.

The best part about Meeks? His demeanor actually matches his name. There was no jersey-popping after his big night, just honest answers. When asked why his performance was so special, he just dropped this gem: “We just never won here before.” Priceless.

If Kevin Garnett thinks Paul Pierce is Superman, what does that make LeBron James? We ask because LeBron’s triple-doubles have become almost matter-of-fact, with last night’s triple-double — it was just another workmanlike 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — in Cleveland’s 102-87 win in Memphis almost seemed like an afterthought. With the Grizzlies on the schedule, you actually expected LeBron to drop a triple-double with at least 30 points.

The most amazing thing is that the points and rebounds weren’t even the most impressive part about LeBron’s night. No, that would be his defense, which included an early block that clearly set the tone for Cleveland’s defensive pressure.

Then there are plays like this, which really just aren’t fair.

It’s almost impossible to think about just how significant a cultural factor LeBron will be if the Cavaliers somehow win the title. He’s on the cover of this month’s edition of GQ. He makes his own commercials for Nike. Heck, he’s making the city of Cleveland relevant. That’s astounding in itself.

In fact, LeBron is already such a household name, and his cultural morays thereby tacitly acceptable, that he may subtly do for tattoos what Michael Jordan did for baggy shorts. Think about it. BronBron sports nearly full-sleeve tattoos on both arms, with images swirling into one another. He’s added to his tat collection each season, and it almost seems like a matter of time before the shirts with all of his tattoos start flying off the shelves (remember the Iverson edition back in the day?). By 2020, don’t be surprised if 75 percent of the people you know are sporting tats of some kind, and a lot of that may be due to LeBron, whether we want to admit it or not.

Hey, Buckethead is already a fan, so sky’s the limit.

Speaking of basketball and the (not so) distant future, this announcement seemed to slip past most radars yesterday: Billy Packer and Bob Knight are going to be providing NCAA Tournament analysis for FOX SPORTS from Las Vegas during the opening weekend of this spring’s tournament. And, because they’re in Vegas, Packer and Knight are going to be televising their rants from a casino sports book.

billy packer
(Get thee to Vegas, and quick!)

That seems like a good idea. After all, a sports book is definitely the place to catch all the first and second round action. And all of this would be well and good except, as FANHOUSE delicately points out, for the fact that the NCAA absolutely, positively does not condone gambling on its games.

That’s right folks, FOX SPORTS is openly thumbing its nose at the NCAA, taking a preeminent coach and a recently deposed preeminent broadcaster and having them talk about the tournament from the very site that the NCAA wants to believe won’t touch the games themselves. It’s a little like holding a dieting workshop at the entryway to a Twinkies factory. Sure, Packer and Knight may not talk about the gambling lines, but they’ll be surrounded by them. You might even be able to see them scrawl across the backdrop behind their set.

Just one more incident that proves the NCAA has much less power than it thinks it does. That and that alone should at least give the rest of us hope that eventually we’ll get that football playoff, by hook or crook (smart money’s on crook, sad as it may be).

After last night’s performance, where will Jodie Meeks be picked in the 2009 NBA Draft?

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