Speed Read: Rodney Harrison’s Career Likely Over

The NFL is on the verge of losing one of its largest revenue streams, based on the news out of New England last night. Safety Rodney Harrison, who has rankled opponents over the years with his aggressive (some say dirty) play, joined Tom Brady on the “guys opposing fans are happy to see in pain” list after it was revealed that he will miss the rest of the season with a torn thigh muscle. In fact, the AP is going as far as calling it a career-ending injury.

Rodney Harrison

The oft-fined safety tore his right thigh muscle and rehab will reportedly take 8-10 months. Harrison is in the last year of his contract and many expected that he was going to retire after the season anyway. He’s donated more than $200,000 to NFL over the years in fines for illegal hits. Roger Goodell will just have to keep making up more reasons to fine Hines Ward to account for the reduced cash flow.

Kellen Winslow and his staph infection were suspended one game by the Browns because Winslow had the gall to call out the team’s brass for asking him to hide the illness and for not taking enough action to prevent further infections. Despite the fact that Winslow made it clear that his beef was not with his teammates or coaches, GM Phil Savage called the comments “unwarranted, inappropriate and unnecessarily disparaging to our organization.”

It looks like Larry Johnson will likely not play this Sunday whether the NFL suspends him or not. Herm Edwards suggested in comments yesterday that LJ’s latest act of female degradation would be enough to earn him another week off.  It has been confirmed that police are investigating the incident.

Pudding pops for everyone! Bill Cosby was on hand last night as Temple beat Ohio 14-10 in a game that nobody wanted to see, but everybody watched for like five minutes because nothing else was on. The PHILLY INQUIRER insists that the Owls are still in the MAC Eastern Division hunt despite a 2-3 league record.

Bill Cosby

The World Series starts tonight, and HOME RUN DERBY has the preview you’ve been waiting for. It’s of the teams’ cheerleaders, of course, which means there hopefully won’t be any photos of a shirtless Matt Stairs. It should be noted that the Phillies’ Ballgirls are actually the ones who sit in foul territory and field balls that go out of play, while the Ray Team is more of a traditional squad — with some dudes, though. The Ballgirls are actual softball players who just happen to be attractive, which makes them the winners in my book. Anyone can operate a t-shirt cannon.

World Series cheerleaders

• Think it’s not physically demanding to be a baseball manager? Just tell Terry Francona that. He’s having surgery this offseason for a back injury that has left him with “diminished feeling” in his arms and unable to stand up straight, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS’ Jimmy Golen.

Terry Francona is frail

Since Francona has become manager of the Red Sox he’s been struck by the following maladies:

A foot infection, a knee replacement, staph infections in both knees, chest pains, several years on blood-thinners, a life-threatening blood clot in his lungs and now a back problem that will require surgery.

Francona also chews massive quantities of tobacco during the season, which I’m sure helps a lot with all of this. And he won’t even turn 50 until early next season.

• It’s not the World Series without the participating cities’ newspaper columnists taking really easy cheap shots at each other. Today, the PHILLY DAILY NEWS’ Stu Bykofsky has the floor, and it might just be the worst trash talk I’ve ever read. There’s references to tuberculosis and Salvador Dali(?), and he calls Rays fans “tampons.” It’s all very sophisticated.

• Those catwalks at the Trop? Yeah, the geniuses who built the place thought that nobody would ever hit a baseball up that far, so says USA TODAY.

• Monday was a rough night for the Bailey brothers. CBS4 in Denver is reporting that Champ Bailey tore his groin (yeesh) in the loss to New England and is going to miss 4-6 weeks, while his brother Boss injured his knee and is out for the season.

• NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s Lucas Mann was with Stephon Marbury when he watched the final presidential debate…at a homeless shelter on the Bowery in New York.

• The LOS ANGELES TIMES’ Bill Shaikin celebrates the fact that there are a number of African-American stars in this year’s World Series.

• The first NHL team in Toronto is doing so well, that the league is talking about putting another one there, according to a CBC report.

• Texas Tech coach Mike Leach told the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM that he tries as hard as possible to stay away from computers.

• Your police-assaulting and racial-slurring act may fly in Dallas there, Mr. and Mrs. Collegiate Sports Marketer, but the BOSTON HERALD says you’re in some trouble for doing it in their backyard.

Marion Jones‘ former track coach, who was a whistleblower in the BALCO case, has avoided prison time and instead was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest, write Lance Williams of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.

Who’s going to be the Phillies’ DH in Game 1?

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Brog: Suddenly Curvy Kournikova Denies Implants

The LONDON DAILY MAIL has a recent photo of the stunning transformation of Anna Kournikova, taken in Miami at a fashion show:

Anna Kournikova

The suddenly busty Kournikova has long fought off rumors of an eating disorder thanks to her oft-emaciated appearance in recent years. Here’s a pic of her in 2005:

Anna Kournikova

Yes, that’s the same woman. That’s the biggest boob growth I’ve seen since I started monitoring Red Sox home attendance figures after 2004.

And for the record, Anna claims her transformation isn’t the result of a boob job or any other artificial enhancement.

Next up for Anna? Giving career advice to Dara Torres. Read more…

NFL Welcomes Hungry, Huddled (Artificial) Masses

With nothing else to do until 2010, when his Olympic ban ends, notable fast guy Justin Gatlin participated in feats of strength in front of NFL scouts in Tennessee yesterday.

Justin Gatlin, NFL tryout

We’ve heard this before from Gatlin, and British sprinter Dwain Chambers attempted to go down that same road, because the NFL is all about bringing in hungry, tired, huddled masses, no matter how artificially grown that mass is. Read more…

Bloglight Savings: W..h..a..t.. S..t..e..r..o..i..d..s?

• CELEBSTONER finds a great doctored video of Roger Clemens’s famous HGH denial.

• BLOGGING THE BOYS ruminates on Julius Jones leaving the Cowboys to sign with the Seahawks.

George Karl calls shenanigans on the Pau Gasol trade, quoth LARRY BROWN SPORTS. Read more…

North Carolina Takes Down Marion Jones Photos

Marion Jones has become quite the sore heel for her UNC alma mater:

Marion Jones North Carolina basketball

The GUARDIAN reports that the Chapel Hill school has removed photos of their fast-footed alumnus from their Track & Field Hall of Honor.

The pictures were of Jones’ performances at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, Marion recently admitted using steroids, so she was stripped of her medals from Down Under, and sent up the river for 6 months.

In regards to the Sydney snapshots, athletic department spokesman Steve Kirschner said, “We did not think it was right to have those photos up.”

Does this mean she’s been socially tarred & feathered by the Tar Heel Nation forever?

Read more…

Marion Jones Is Going Inside For Awhile (6 Mos.)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in prison today. Ironically, prosecutors weren’t all that aggressive in seeking the max amount of jail time for the performance-enhanced, now-former Olympic gold medalist. But U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas dropped the hammer on Jones anway, who we’re sure you remember previously crying outside the courthouse.

Marion Jones

Excerpt: “In October, Jones told the judge that she lied to a federal investigator in November 2003 when she denied using performance enhancing drugs. She said she took steroids ’several times before the Sydney Olympics and continued using it after.’ She also admitted lying about her knowledge of the involvement of Tim Montgomery, the father of her son Monty, in a scheme to cash millions of dollars worth of stolen or forged checks.” What a debacle. But amazingly, it’s not her worst case of bad judgement.

Read more…