48 Hrs After Signing, Bengals’ Smith Breaks Foot

After weeks of haggling & holding out, rookie right tackle Andre Smith finally signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Before the holdout, Cincy had their sights on slotting Smith as a starter this season. Now with a 4-year-deal ironed out, it seemed that the final piece of the puzzle had finally fallen in place for the Bengals.

Andre Smith Bengals

So, of course 48 hours later, Andre goes out and breaks his foot.

Read more…

Chad Ochocinco Proud of His “Mexican” Heritage

First of all, the fact that Chad Ochocinco is on Twitter and nobody bothered to tell us is reprehensible. We’re not sure if it’s verified, but it certainly smells right: a self-taken profile picture, reference to it actually being him in the username, and most importantly, the pervasive, almost desperate earnestness that seems to inform his every decision these days. If it’s not him, bravo, it’s one hell of an impression.

Ocho Cinco
(So does this mean that the typo’s on his jersey, or in his name? This is so confusing.)

To that end, one unwitting blogger fired a Marvin Lewis joke to Ochocinco on Twitter last night. What he got in return was vintage Ochocinco: pure unleaded crazy with a fat dollop of bravado and a dash of racial stereotypes.

Read more…

The Bengals Cruelly Taunt Children Of Cincinnati

It’s a worthy variation on an old joke. How do you reward Cincinnati students who get straight A’s? Have them hang out with the Bengals for an afternoon. How do you punish Cincinnati students whose grades are slipping? Have them hang out with the Bengals for two afternoons.

Marvin Lewis

This week, a pre-recorded phone call from coach Marvin Lewis went out to about 20,000 elementary school kids, inviting them to come party at Paul Brown Stadium with him and the players. Problem is, the invitation was meant for only the honor roll students, and since this is America and no city has 20,000 smart children, Marvin had to call each and every one of them back and tell them they weren’t welcome.

Read more…

Speed Read: Is Haley Ready For Chiefs Hot Seat?

It guess it’s not just to the victor that go the spoils: despite his team falling just short in the Super Bowl, Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley was rewarded for the team’s miracle run, as the KANSAS CITY STAR reports that he has reached an agreement with the Kansas City Chiefs to become their new head coach. Now, with the absolutely mess that the Chiefs are right now, it’s debatable how much of a “reward” this job is. But hey: it’s not the Raiders.

New Chiefs coach Todd Haley

Clearly, by resurrecting the career of Kurt Warner and turning the Cardinals into a fearsome offensive machine, Haley’s proven that he can coach an offense. But can he be the leader? After all, this is someone who never played college football (instead playing and later coaching college golf) and only got into football as a scout in 1995. Can he earn the respect of the players with such little experience?

I don’t want to raise any red flags here, but when you think of “head coach with no college playing experience,” who do you think of? Charlie Weis? And if Haley commands the type of respect and admiration from players and fans that Weis does - yikes. It might even have Chiefs fans longing for the halcyon days of Gunther Cunningham. (Note: this will never happen.)

But I had an inkling this was going to happen. A source (a teammate on my kickball team) mentioned earlier this week that his father spotted Chiefs GM Scott Pioli having a lengthy meal with Todd Haley’s representatives at a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in St. Louis, hurriedly shooing away waiters and looking out for spies (apparently not well enough).

Ruths Chris Steak House

Which brings up an interesting point: Ruth’s Chris Steak House? Really? There was no better place in St. Louis to conduct an important, secretive conversation about your next head coach than a chain steak house? Granted, it’s not Sizzler or Golden Corral, but St. Louis has to have dining options with red leather chairs and lots of dark corners - don’t they have Italian restaurants there? And why not have the meeting in Kansas City? Can someone point him to Yelp, please?

In other news: it turns out that corporate sponsors don’t like it when the person they are using to sell breakfast to millions of kids is pictured taking a rip from a bong. Who knew? CNBC details how Kellogg’s has decided not to renew Michael Phelps’ endorsement contract, which is set to expire at the end of the month. Which was probably going to happen anyway - except very quietly versus with a public statement from the company admonishing Phelps for behavior that “is not consistent with the image of Kellogg.”

Michael Phelps bounced by Kelloggs

At least Phelps can always count on USA Swimming to have his back in their usual, clumsy way. The organization decided to crack the whip on their poster child by giving him a three-month ban, during a time when he wasn’t expected to compete in any meets of significance. (He will miss one meet, but let’s be serious here - if it’s not the Olympics or World Championships. does it really matter?) It’s the equivalent of a five-game baseball suspension for a pitcher, which just means that his next start is pushed back a game.

While all this was going on, there were actual games being played last night. And none were more important - or exciting - than the clash between the Lakers and the Celtics in Boston. The last time the Lakers were seen at the Garden, they were dodging green and white confetti as they exited the court to lick their wounds after having the Celtics pound them like a two dollar steak in their Finals-clinching 131-92 victory.

Los Angeles Lakers celebrate win over Boston Celtics

That didn’t happen this time. Despite Kobe Bryant having an off shooting game (10 of 29 from the field), the Lakers found a way to prevail 110-109 in a seesaw overtime thriller. The key for the Lakers was defense - a concept many thought they had abandoned about a month ago - even without injured center Andrew Bynum, and the scoring of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom (a combined 44 points).

But if you want to talk about winning, you have to start with Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. After missing at her first attempt earlier in the week against Oklahoma, she notched her 1,000th career win on Thursday, with her Lady Volunteers thumping Georgia, 73-43.

Say what you will about women’s basketball, but that’s an incredible feat. Consider this: in all team sports, only Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has recorded more wins with one team. The difference, of course, is that Summitt actually knows how to win championships (although to be fair to Sloan, she never had to game plan for Michael Jordan.) In other news:

Based on the last few nights, who do you have winning the NBA Finals?

View Results

Blog Jam: Terrible Sports Tattoos Mark The Spot

• GIBBS12 needles us with their choices of the worst sports tattoos.

Clemson spelled Clemons tattoo

(Who says tattoo artists need a spellchecker - right, Clemson?)

• Boo! WITH LEATHER follows some frightened Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders through a haunted house.

• Chick Ludwig of the DAYTON DAILY NEWS learns that Chad Javon Ocho Cinco Johnson Esq. actually fulfilled his promised and kissed the star in Dallas - the star being his head coach Marvin Lewis.

• LAKERS NATION dribbles along word from the Big Cactus himself that it’s all cool between Shaq & Kobe.

Read more…

Can The Cincinnati Bengals Really Be This Dumb?

It was only a week or two ago when I was watching an interview with Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on ESPN. Aside from being asked about Chad Johnson constantly, the interview also focused on the changes the Bengals were going to make with the way they treated their criminals players.

chris henry

Marvin said that without a doubt, things were going to be different in Cincinnati from here on out. With Roger Goodell bringing down the hammer on any player who gets out of line, Lewis said there just wasn’t room to mess around with any players who could become a distraction.

Of course, that was before Ocho Cinco became Oucho Cinco, and now the Bengals are short at wide receiver. You’ll never guess who they’re thinking of bringing back. Here’s a hint, he’s pictured above.

Read more…

Bengals Scalp Redskins’ Offer For Chad Johnson

If Chad Johnson doesn’t want to play for Cincinnati, then the Bengals are making sure he won’t play for anyone else.

Chad Johnson Bengals

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the team turned down a trade offer from the Washington Redskins for the disgruntled receiver. In exchange for Johnson, the ‘Skins were willing to give Cincy their first-round pick for this year’s draft and a potential first-round selection in next year’s draft.

But coach Marvin Lewis maintained that the Bengals were not going to bid adios to Ocho Cinco anytime soon:

Read more…

Ex-Cincy Assistant: Johnson Never Punched Lewis

• FOOTBALL GAB catches a rebuttal from ex-Bengal assistant Hue Jackson, who says Chad Johnson never punched Marvin Lewis.

Marvin Lewis Chad Johnson

• The BLEACHER REPORT brings some holiday cheer, as “Santa Claus” knows why Philadelphia Eagles fans pelted him with snowballs.

• Speaking of Philly, THE LEGEND OF CECILIO GUANTE notes that the streaking Sixers have won 13 of their last 15 with a roster full of unknowns.

Read more…

Ocho KO’s Marvin; Dalai Lama Disrupts Olympics?

• A former Bengal confirms that Ocho Cinco went muy loco during a playoff game and slugged coach Marvin Lewis.

Chad Johnson Marvin Lewis Bengals

• Chinese officials claim that the Dalai Lama wants to disrupt the Beijing Olympics. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Pat Riley wants to reimburse Heat fans for the team’s horrendous play. Maybe he can borrow some dough from Carl Pohlad.

Read more…

Ex-Bengal: Johnson Punched Lewis In ‘05 Playoffs

LARRY BROWN SPORTS via PRO FOOTBALL TALK punches up news that Cincy receiver Chad Johnson ruined Marvin Lewis’ only playoff appearance (so far) by taking a swing at the Bengals coach during halftime.

Chad Johnson Marvin Lewis

Current Browns DT Shaun Smith made the revelation during a talk with the Central Maryland Browns Backers (apparently there is such a thing). Smith was with Cincinnati at the time of the Jan. 2006 playoff game against Pittsburgh, and says he saw the locker room rumble. Read more…