Exclusive: Pulitzer Prize Winner Tailing Buckeyes

Today I confirmed that the last sports reporter to win the Pulitzer Prize, current SPORTS ILLUSTRATED contributor George Dohrmann, has recently been in Columbus investigating the Ohio State football program.

George Dohrmann's Pulitzer Prize Reporting Led To Clem Haskins' Ouster At Minnesota

(Dohrmann’s reporting led to the end of Clem Haskins at Minnesota)

In 1999, it was Dohrmann’s exhaustive, investigative reporting for the ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS uncovering academic fraud within the University of Minnesota basketball program that led to the forced departure of coach Clem Haskins, subsequent NCAA sanctions against the school, and a Pultizer Prize for the Dohrmann.

Though Dohrmann burst on the national media scene reporting a college basketball story, as recently as last football season he broke a story that foreshadowed the impending mess wrought by Jim Tressel & Co.

Last October, Dohrmann convinced former NFL agent Josh Luchs to admit on the record that the ex-agent paid thousands of dollars to dozens of college football players - along with providing meals, trips and concert tickets - in an Oct. 18, 2010, SI cover story titled, “Confessions of an Agent.

Interestingly, Luchs’ client list included notorious Ohio State football player Maurice Clarett and a well-funded pursuit of another former Buckeye star.

Excerpt from Luchs’ account to Dohrmann:

“In November 2005, Steve (Feldman) and I flew to Ohio State to talk to receiver Santonio Holmes. We met him outside the football building, and he said, ‘Listen, I want to save you the time. We don’t need to meet. I’ve been taking money from [an agent] the last couple years, and he’s been taking care of my family too.’

“Had it been 10 years earlier, I would have probably said, ‘Santonio, whatever he’s paying you, I’ll double it.’ But now, being at Gersh, I had Hollywood to sell. Let the other agents pay kids.”

Feldman, a current NFL agent who has represented multiple pro football Hall of Famers over the past three decades, later confirmed to Dohrmann that Holmes told him and Luchs that an agent was paying the then-current Buckeye football player.

Feldman also told HBO Real Sports last March that he actually witnessed that conversation between Luchs and Holmes.
Through the New York Jets, Holmes denied the claims made by Luchs and Feldman.

After the allegations about Holmes being paid by an agent during his Ohio State days surfaced - courtesy Dohrmann’s report - the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported Jim Tressel’s reaction:

Tressel said he saw no signs of Holmes being improperly involved with agents while at Ohio State from 2002 through 2005.

… Tressel said assistant coach Darrell Hazell called Holmes after the story broke.

“His statements to Darrell put your mind at ease,” Tressel said. “You’re always concerned when anything is brought up.”

“In fact, I remember Darrell sat through the agent interviews with (Holmes) as kind of his sounding board,” Tressel said.

Of the agent business in general, Tressel said he tells players, “There’s 1,200 registered agents, and only 300 have clients. And that leaves 900 desperate folks, and desperate people do desperate things.”

… OSU compliance officials have said they are looking into the allegation.

Tuesday afternoon in Columbus WBNS-AM talk show host Scott Torgensen, who does a midday show on the official broadcast outlet for Ohio State football games, claimed on the air that Sports Illustrated was set to publish a damaging investigative piece written by Dohrmann about Ohio State football - “on Tuesday“:

“George Dohrmann, the guy’s who is writing the article, and it’ll be out Tuesday, has spent about six weeks writing this article.  About three weeks ago he was in Columbus for a week. A Monday through Thursday type thing. Last week he was in Columbus. I can tell you I know he went to the state pen and visited this tattoo artist from a place called “Dudley’s. I don’t know what that has to do with this story.

“One of my sources talked to Dohrmann yesterday, I actually had this guy talk to Dohrmann to fish about what the article is going to be about for me. So this is from Dohrmann, not from me, this is what I heard. Dohrmann told this guy that SI executive editors are salivating over the article. The quote was [from the source] ‘it’s going to be bad for Tress. … it’s something new and it’s big-time, it goes back to when Tress was at Youngstown.’ I was told that it’s all new stuff.

” … I don’t know who he (Dohrmann) was talking to or what it’s going to be about, I’m just telling you that it’s going to be next Tuesday, I know that George Dohrmann is a Pultizer Prize-winning investigative reporter.”

From talking to someone today who has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the editorial operation at Sports Illustrated, I can confirm that Torgensen has something in common with Dohrmann: the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist doesn’t know what his story will be about either.

Because it hasn’t been written. Nor has the decision been made by Dohrmann to write such a piece. Or by Sports Illustrated to publish it.

Yes, Dohrmann has been in Columbus chasing down leads but no, there are zero immediate plans for a story from him about Ohio State football to be published in Sports Illustrated.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

Terrelle Pryor’s Cars: Same As Clarett ‘04 Claim?

Jill Riepenhoff of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported Sunday, “three times in the past three years, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was stopped for traffic violations while driving cars that were owned by a car salesman or a Columbus used-car lot where the salesman worked.

Terrelle Pryor: Athlete-Student

More from Riepenhoff:

Pryor told The Dispatch last night that he borrowed cars from the dealership only when his own was in for repairs. As for the SUV he borrowed in 2008, Pryor said, “I wanted advice from some of my family and friends I trusted to see if it would be a good vehicle for me to maybe buy.”

Pryor’s situation is remarkably similar to a 2004 ESPN The Magazine story in which Maurice Clarett claimed he was facilitated “loaner” vehicles by a local Columbus car dealership thanks to his status as a star Buckeye football player - with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel himself overseeing the transactions.

Maurice Clarett

(Guess who else beat Michigan, Terrelle?)

On Nov. 10, 2004, Tom Friend wrote in the ESPN publication: Read more…

Photos: Jacory Sweater Vest; Shockey’s C-Busted

Jacory Harris ditches the shirtless Raider overalls for the Jim Tressel sweater vest as he gets off the bus in Columbus outside Ohio Stadium today:

Jacory Harris rocking the sweater vest in Columbus

Jeremy Shockey tailgating before the game:

Jeremy Shockey tailgating in Columbus

Maurice Clarett not tailgating before the game: Read more…

Ex-MLBer’s Ex-Wife Offering Herself as an Escort?

• The career route of Troy O’Leary’s ex-wife Annette: From elementary school assistant principal to escort-for-hire?

Annette Gray OLeary

Maurice Clarett decides he needs to spend more time in prison.

• A Rays fan takes a 40-foot drop at the Trop from an escalator.

• Hey, you Ole Miss Rebels - Mississippi State’s got two words for ya.

• The Titans will wear a special helmet decal in honor of the late Steve McNair. But some Tennessee fans aren’t so touched by the tribute.

Read more…

Speed Read: Clarett Stops Early Release Request

Since the NFL — indeed, the world — is not yet ready for Michael Vick and Maurice Clarett trying to catch on with a team at the same time, the latter is going to stay in prison. For now. Clarett, the former Ohio State running back who led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2003, has withdrawn a request for early release from prison that would have allowed him, he said, to pursue an NFL career.

Maurice Clarett

For someone who hasn’t played a meaningful down of football since his freshman year in college, Clarett has spent an alarming amount of time in the public consciousness. He’s hung out with Los Angeles rap stars, been drafted in the NFL, been involved with drug running and the Israeli mob, and was even the subject of a case ultimately decided by U.S. Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor. Even though he’s only 25, he’s seemingly been everywhere and lived two lifetimes — sort of an evil Forrest Gump.

Although he’s now locked up, we have not forgotten about Maurice Clarett. One reason is that he’s blogging from lockup — or at least we’re led to believe that he is. Clarett isn’t allowed Internet access in prison, but he phones in his writings to a relative, who then posts them on a blog entitled The Mind of Maurice Clarett; a sort of orange jumpsuit poetry jam in which he dwells on his feelings more than the day-to-day details of life behind bars (which has led some to believe that he’s not even the one writing it). There’s no entry so far on his decision to withdraw his request for a pardon by Gov. Ted Strickland.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien opposed Clarett’s request for pardon, saying his conduct off the playing field did not warrant special consideration.

“My observation was then and is now he had no chance of obtaining clemency under the statute or by action of the governor so it’s probably wise” that he withdrew the request, O’Brien said.

Clarett hasn’t played football since 2005, when he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round — a surprise move after an unimpressive NFL combine performance in which he was dubbed “Slo Mo” by the media.

Maurice Clarett game simulation

He’s serving 7 1/2 years at the Toledo Correctional Institution after being convicted in 2006 of aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, a chain of events that ended with his arrest while wearing a bulletproof vest with four weapons in his car, less than a mile from one of the robbery victims. He must serve at least 3½ years of that sentence, and although he pulled his request for early release, he still becomes eligible for judicial release in March of 2010.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Clarett was on top of the world, rushing for 1,237 yards (a school record for a freshman) and scoring 18 touchdowns in helping lead Ohio State to a 14-0 record in 2002-03. The season culminated with Clarett scoring the winning touchdown against Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. But he was released from Ohio State for a variety of NCAA rules violations, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he hung out with rap stars, and began spiraling more and more out of control. He eventually tested the NFL’s eligibility rules in an attempt to enter the 2004 draft — an initially successful challenge that was overturned by United States Court of Appeals judge Sotomayor.

So Clarett has lost his latest battle to return to the free world, but has never lost his struggle to remain in the public eye. And I suppose that it’s good that we hear from him from time to time. If for nothing else, his presence serves as a cautionary tale.

“I’m a man and I struggle. I’m not speaking of anything specific. I’m just talking in general,” he wrote in his latest blog entry, dated Aug. 3.

“Depression comes and depression goes. Inspiring thoughts come and they flee as fast as they come. Sometimes my spirit is in balance and at others it runs wild. I’m not afraid. I just get a little confused at times. I know which way is up and I know how to identify a weasel from a mile away. I know who I love and I know why I love them. I don’t claim to be omniscient but I do claim to be a survivor of the urban circumstances and experiences. … I’m Youngstown’s own.”

Tiger Woods

We now lighten the mood and bring you back to the 18th hole at the Buick Open, where MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann reopens the Tiger Woods Fartgate investigation. If you haven’t seen, and thus heard, the infamous video of Woods allegedly farting while sizing up a shot during the tournament, you’re in luck, because Olbermann has rescued the footage from the abyss.

You can see/hear it here.

More interesting than the alleged emission itself — which now that I hear it sounds more like a Whoopee Cushion — is the fact that the PGA pulled all YouTube evidence of the video off the web moments after it happened. Folks, that’s the really hilarious part. Don’t make me come back here and explain this again.

Olbermann:

“Tiger broke 70 yesterday, perhaps after breaking something else. We can’t say for sure that it was The Tiger that roared … he might have had one of those Leslie Nielsen machines, or maybe John Daly stepped on a duck.”

If there was a second farter on the grassy knoll, kudos to him. Because that was some excellent timing.

Maxim's David Ortiz email account

We mentioned this briefly on Tuesday, but I feel that MAXIM’S take on David Ortiz’s Gmail inbox needs further scrutiny. It appeared Monday on their site and immediately won the Internets, delighting us with sample emails such as:

Erin Adrews: I know an ace PR guy

Crate and Barrel: Fall is right around the corner! …

Alyssa Milano: Offer still stands — Bj, Hj, whatever you …

And the always hilarious:

C.C. Sabathia: FW: Red Lobster All-You-Can-Eat sampi!

And speaking of that fine magazine, let’s dive into this morning’s links, as we ponder why a 12-year-old boy would tell his mother that his subscription to ELECTRONIC GAMING had been somehow switched to MAXIM.

  • The Reading Phillies set an attendance record on Wednesday for Pedro Martinez’s rehab start, in which he pitched decently, earning the win in an 8-4 victory over Trenton. Martinez struck out 10 of the first 17 batters he faced, finishing with 11 strikeouts over six innings. He gave up four runs, three earned. Fun fact: It was his first win at the AA level since 1991.
  • So you’ve taken the summer off to visit every Major League Baseball park? That’s become somewhat of a cliche, don’t you think? The Taviano family of Columbus, Ohio has invented the new hotness: Visiting 52 zoos in 52 weeks. Marla Taviano, her husband and three daughters began their 22,000-mile quest last August, and ended it on Saturday at their hometown Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. That’s a lot of monkeys.

  • Not sure what level of Little League the above video is from, but you can bet that Scott Boras has it playing on an endless loop in his office as you read this. As you can see, Jason Moody hits five home runs, including hitting for the home run cycle (watch the catcher, who is not amused). And in yet another example of this, a West Virginia Little Leaguer also hit for the home run cycle. Eli Canterbury, 12, of Barboursville, went 4-for-4 with four homers — solo, two-run and  three-run homers, and a grand slam in his final at-bat — as Canterbury’s Barboursville District I All-Stars beat East Huntington 19-1. No Major League player has ever hit for the homer cycle; the only time it’s happened in pro ball was by Tyrone Horne of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in a 13-4 win over the San Antonio Missions on July 27, 1998.
  • The Denver Broncos are one of the several NFL teams who prohibit players or personnel from using Twitter, but you’d never know it by listening to head coach Josh McDaniels. “I don’t really have a Twitter policy,” McDaniels said. “I don’t know what it means; I don’t know what it is. I don’t know MyFace, Spacebook, Facebook stuff. I don’t know what that is either.”
  • Now let’s check in on your Chicago Cubs, who are locked in a death struggle with the Cardinals atop the NL Central. So surely when the Reds trotted out 32-year-old right-hander Justin Lehr on Wednesday — who was making only his second big league start — the Cubs would take advantage. D’oh! Lehr pitched a shutout, 4-0, as the Reds broke an eight-game losing streak.
  • Koren Robinson has had a troubled career; run off the tracks due to dropped passes, drinking and a run-in with the cops. The former Seahawk, Viking and Packer may be playing for the Orlando Tuskers of the UFL this season. Robinson was the ninth pick overall in the 2001 draft, the year that the Falcons chose a young man named Michael Vick with the No. 1 pick.
  • Brandon Roy’s five-year contract extension will likely keep him in Portland for the rest of his career, and since he was born in Seattle, that’s OK. Roy has agreed in principle to the deal, with the fifth year, ending in 2015, as an option. Pending salary cap issues, it could be worth more than $80 million, the second-richest in Portland’s history.
  • Who would have thought four years ago that Eli Manning would be making more money than Peyton Manning? Or Cooper Manning, for that matter? With his new $97.5 million contract, Eli will be making about $15.3 million annually, to Peyton’s $14.17 million.

Should Eli Manning be the highest-paid player in the NFL?

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Speed Read: If They Say It’s Not About the Money

SPORTSbyBROOKS, in conjunction with Disney on Broadway and Rosie O’Donnell, is proud to present the upcoming smash Internet musical that will leave your toes a-tappin’ and your wallet a-empty: How to Succeed at Sports Business Without Really Trying!

How to Succeed in Sports Business Without Really Trying

Nathan Lane plays Sam Zell, a real estate magnate who overleverages himself in order to buy a major company in a rapidly shrinking industry just before the lending bubble bursts. It’s zany fun (except for the hundreds laid off, but they’re offstage anyway).

Desperate to make debt payments, he tries to sell the only profitable part of the company: a sports team known for being both lovable and not-winners. Still, he can’t find anyone willing to put up with his byzantine conditions in time to avoid bankruptcy.

However, to please the bankruptcy judge and try to salvage some of his own wealth, he presses on (as captured in the frenetic number, “Doesn’t Anyone Want to Get My Goat?”) and finds a family willing to buy the team off him.

Sam Zell's Goat

When negotiations don’t progress as hoped because he’s not getting his way and the family has to turn to regional celebrities to pony up cash, Zell tries to gin up a bidding war by hinting that he might be speaking to one of the previously-rejected suitors.

Will the family bow to the planted story and give the charismatic dwarf what he demands? Will his bluff be called and leave him singing “The Blue-Pinstriped Bankrupt Overtaxed Blues”?

And that’s just Act One, kids! Just wait till you see what’s in Act Two!

As the curtain rises on the second act, a strikingly successful bald man with an accent from the Queen’s lands (Patrick Stewart in a rare singing role) tries to make off in the night with a bag jammed full of hockey players from Phoenix (The Jonas Brothers). Caught at the U.S./Canada border, he tries to plead his case to the judge, who laughs him off and tells him to get back in line.

Having been cast a hand so weak that he could call it “The Stranger”, Jim Balsillie (the aforementioned smooth-headed rascal) organizes Make It Seven Day for today (June 19th) to encourage the creation or move of an NHL team to Canada to raise the number of Canadian NHL teams to seven.

Jim Balsillie does seven the hard way

(Jim Balsillie performing “Make It Seven the Really Hard Way”)

He bounces around the stage, Robert Preston-style, to sing to people that “Make It Seven Day is all about providing a voice to Canadian hockey fans, while raising money for minor hockey teams across the country.” (It all sounds better when it’s set to Elton John’s “Greater Toronto Area Freedom”.)

The Canadian chorus, recognizing a true Canadian hero in their midst, throw him onto their shoulders while he waves the Maple Leaf triumphantly and leads a round of “O Canada (Deserves a Seventh Team)” before someone in the crowd (Robin Thicke) realizes Balsillie is using nationalism (and corporate sponsors) to give himself a plaything and cast himself as a hero as well as a billionaire.

Also, the kid in the crowd realizes that the rich bald guy still hasn’t brought them a team, either, for all his bluster.

The crowd escorts Balsillie to the edge of the stage and tosses him back to America, warning him not to come back without a team this time. End of Act Two.

Oh, but Act Three… it’s the most expensive act in Internet musical history as it involves tearing Formula One asunder by chasing all the wealthiest teams (including Ferrari and McLaren) into forming their own league because Formula One dared suggested they not outspend all the other teams so badly anymore.

Well, the rich teams responded in eight-team harmony, if you won’t let us spend ridiculously in Formula One, we’ll build our own playpen so we can try to outspend each other with absurd amounts of cash.

Needless to say, this act’s a blatant theft of the American version of this musical, starring Jesse L. Martin as Tony George. It ends like the American version, too: both sides drain all the interest out of open-wheel racing, the money dries up, and Danica Patrick is cast as the savior. (Hey, if NASCAR can do it…)

Danica Patrick photo SI

(As always, it’s a race to the bottom with Danica)

On the other hand, you should see Formula One boss Max Mosley’s Naziriffic spanktastic encore for this show (and Formula One’s final bow):

Look out; here comes the bullet points! (But not before you consider a new iPhone for all the NSFW foreplay possibilities):

  • As the old joke goes, Jeremy Roenick donned his sparkly collar and surely proved that he has a career waiting for him on the stage, as seen during last night’s NHL Awards. In fact, if he hurries, there’s a stage leaving town in 15 minutes.

  • The Detroit Tigers have benched Magglio Ordoñez “indefinitely” due to his mediocre performance at the plate and definitely not because management has told Jim Leyland to sit on The Big Tilde to avoid triggering a clause in his contract to pay him $18 million in 2010. However, if Ordoñez would like to catch up on his DVR watching during the game, that would be totally cool with the Tigers.
  • If you’re a big fan of your favorite team, you won’t just stop at collecting cards or jerseys. You’ll also buy the unauthorized porn video (whose screen captures are probably just a bit NSFW). C’mon; if you’re in for an inch, you’re… probably doing it wrong, actually.
  • Let’s see… an AL pitcher is hurt on the basepaths in interleague games for the second year in a row. You know what that means: OMG PANDEMIC RUN FOR THE HILLS (unless you’re an AL pitcher; they get designated runners).
  • A few members of Iran’s soccer team donned green quietly to support the growing support for those demonstrating back in Iran while the players participate in the Confederations Cup in South Africa. They could be in a bit of trouble when they return home.

Iran soccer team

Who would you least like to handle your finances?

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Picking a Supreme Court Justice a Sporting Matter

The imminent retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter has opened broad speculation about his possible replacement.  If you don’t think that matters much in the world of sports, you better ask around. The NFL is especially interested in the actions of the current Court.

Sonia Sotomayor

The leader in the clubhouse is Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit, has already changed the course of American sports multiple times.  She shut down the union-busting attempt by MLB in 1995, ending the 1994 baseball strike.  She also stood up for the NFL’s age limit against Maurice Clarett a decade later.

However, she’s not the only speculative shortlister with an effect on recent sports history:

Read more…

Maurice Clarett Props Up Prison Blogger Genre

It’s seemed for a while that everyone on the face of the earth has a blog, but now it’s official. Yes, even Maurice Clarett is blogging now… from prison. Clarett, as you no doubt know, is one of the saddest sports flameouts ever. He went from leading the Ohio State Buckeyes to the national championship in 2002 to destitution and then incarceration.

Maurice Clarett

And even though Maurice doesn’t always make sense on his blog, he honestly seems like a guy who’s using his time away from the outside world to make himself a better person (what a novel idea).

Read more…

Speed Read: Bonds Steroid Case Suddenly Unclear

The Clear. It sounds like the name of a rock band with a vaguely Christian background, but we all know what it really is: the steroid concoction that Barry Bonds and other elite athletes took as part of their training regiments through BALCO labs as a way to cheat the system and produce jaw-dropping, chemically-enhanced performances. Technically, the drug is called tetrahydrogestrinone, otherwise known as THG, but The Clear is clean name for it when used by dirty players.

Barry Bonds fights the power

But YAHOO! SPORTS did some poking around some recently unsealed grand jury testimony from expert witnesses, and found some very interesting facts. Like that THG wasn’t classified as an illegal steroid until 2005, well after the BALCO case broke and Bonds had admitted to using The Clear. Or that that lead BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky testified in 2004 that ”there’s never been any studies to show whether or not THG does, in fact, enhance muscle growth.

So yeah, the drug that has become a code word for a designer steroid at the heart of the government’s perjury case against Bonds? It wasn’t actually illegal when he was allegedly taking it. That’s more than a monkey wrench being thrown into the government’s case - that an entire 48 piece Craftsman tool set.

The government is expected to claim that regardless of the legality of THG, they have proof that Bonds took other banned substances. But if that’s the case, why is it that the only thing we heard about was The Clear for the past five years?

So it’s time to be honest with ourselves: Barry Bonds is not going to jail. This case is teetering close to a total meltdown, and at some point the government either has to cut its losses or risk a series of headaches in court. There will be no Schadenfreude moment of him doing a “perp walk” to a federal prison somewhere in Kansas, no teary interviews from jail with ESPN. It’s not happening.

But now what? It’s an amazing coincidence that this news comes out the same week that Hall of Fame voting results were released, which showed that voters are apparently willing to make at least Mark McGwire a scapegoat for the “Steroid Era” in baseball even if he’s been convicted (or charged) with no crimes, a fact that didn’t bode well at all for Bonds.

So do voters do with Barry Bonds? It’s easy to keep him out if he’s convicted, or has the cloud of the BALCO case hanging over his head. But if it turns out that The Clear - the drug that people thought might doom his chances - wasn’t illegal when he was taking it, and perhaps didn’t give him any edge, how do you justify keeping him out?

Meanwhile, back in the world where we actually talk about sports - as in what happened on the field - the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the Lakers had themselves a little bit of a Texas Train Wreck against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. First, with the Lakers clinging to a 111-109 lead with 10 seconds to go, the Spurs’ Roger Mason was fouled by Derek Fisher while scoring, setting up a three-point play to give San Antonio a one point lead.

Roger Mason

That’s ugly, but what happened next was worse. With a chance to win the game, Kobe Bryant (who had drained a three pointer the previous possession to give the Lakers their lead) took the ball and confidently … passed off to Trevor Ariza, who got all tangled up with Manu Ginobili and was called for travelling with 0.8 seconds to go to end the game.

What? No offense to Ariza, who is a good role player. But why in the hell is Kobe Bryant passing up a game-winning shot? If you ask him, it’s because he wanted to motivate Ariza and the team:

“I could have rose up and shot it myself, but I felt like if one of my teammates, particularly Trevor, to get that opportunity just to drain a shot or something like that, he just takes his game to a whole ‘nother level,” Bryant said. “It just didn’t work out.”

Which is great if he makes it, Kobe. But since he blundered the chance, you’ve probably crushed the kid’s confidence. Way to go.

  • Crime doesn’t pay, especially if you’re photographed doing it in a major national magazine. MMA fighter and avowed anarchist Jeff Monson has learned this the hard way, as THE OLYMPIAN has details of his arrest on vandalism charges after being photographed spraying anarchy signs and other graffiti on the Washington state Capitol building for an ESPN THE MAGAZINE story.
  • Jeff Monson

  • USC Trojan fans, get ready for the Mitch Mustain era to begin. Or maybe Aaron Corp. Or possibly Matt Barkley. Somebody is likely going to need to step in and replace Mark Sanchez at QB next season, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the junior will likely enter the NFL Draft.
  • Speaking of Kobe…he has a new viral video for Nike that involves him riding a horse and selling “ankle insurance.” NESW SPORTS has the video, but I can promise you this: I’ve seen fake commercials for insurance, and this is no Old Glory Robot Insurance.
  • Yet another installment from The Classy World of Elijah Dukes: the TAMPA BAY TRIBUNE says that the Nationals slugger has been ordered to pay more than $40,000 in child support and alimony to his ex-wife or face 90 days in jail.This is the same ex-wife he once reportedly texted a picture of a gun to with the words “You dead, dawg.”
  • Newly-elected Baseball Hall of Fame members Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson appeared on David Letterman’s show last night to deliver the “Top Ten Highlights of My Hall of Fame Baseball Career.” My personal favorite is hearing Rickey utter the line “I invented the first vibrating jockstrap.” I think he believes he actually did.
  • Two Sydney FC soccer fans wanted to show longtime player Robbie Middleby just how upset they were he was leaving for a rival team. So the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD says they attacked him in the stadium parking lot. Well I guess he’ll stay now!
  • MASN SPORTS catches up with Kris Benson, who is trying to make a comeback from a torn rotator cuff. Sadly, no update on his wife Anna, but we can assume that she’s still pretty hot.
  • Anna Benson

  • The VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST has the sad story of former major league pitcher Frank Williams, whose career was ended by a car crash in 1989 that sent him into a spiral of homelessness and alcoholism that led to his death last Friday at the age of 50.
  • TV10 NEWS in Columbus reports that Matt Sylvester, a former Ohio State basketball player who hit a late three-pointer to beat then-No. 1 Illinois in 2005, was arrested on Wednesday after he almost ran over a cop while leaving a Buckeyes game last week. Maurice Clarett thinks he could have done much, much better.
  • And in case you missed it…the Orlando Magic set an NBA record by hitting 23 three-pointers in their 139-107 win over the Sacramento Kings. Something tells me the zone defense wasn’t working on them.

You have a Hall of Fame vote. What do you do about Barry Bonds?

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Speed Read: Obama Wins Election, Covers Spread

How ironic is it that the giant nail in the coffin of John McCain’s Presidential hopes last night came when the networks declared Ohio for Barack Obama. After all, McCain appeared to run his campaign like Jim Tressel cluelessly bumbling his way through coaching Ohio State to another BCS Title Game meltdown. In this analogy, Obama really was LSU or Florida: faster, hungrier and ready to deliver a hellacious beatdown.

John McCain as Jim Tressel

(Does this make Sarah Palin the Maurice Clarett of the ticket - initially exciting but eventually a total disaster? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.)

But while the Maverick of the Senate might have suffered an historic thumping on Tuesday night, the Mavericks of Dallas were taking a venerable but aging institution out to the woodshed, beating the Spurs 98-81 to drop San Antonio to 0-3 for the first time in the team’s NBA history. They can’t possibly be missing Manu Ginobli this much, could they?

Tony Parker

And what about Matt Lindland, the MMA fighter who was the Republician candidate for a State House seat? Unfortunately for him, he was about as competitive as Kimbo Slice, as he fell to a double digit defeat at the hands of his Democratic opponent. I would have said that having a campaign manager named Tootie Smith was a bad sign, but then again…Scooter Libby.

Matt Lindland

On to the other, slightly less significant news:

  • Don’t tase him, bro! The TRI-CITY HERALD says that an Arena Football player was zapped by airport security after busting through a window at the terminal and getting on the tarmac trying to get to his flight. That’s called dedication.
  • FARTHER OFF THE WALL has an offer for you: how about having Pete Arbogast, the radio voice of the USC Trojans, call your kids’ soccer game for just $500? And the Web site offering these services is just as professional looking as you would expect from a media type whoring himself out for a few bucks.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES dials in news that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is sending a letter to Senators blaming the cable companies for why you don’t have the NFL Network. Didn’t he get the memo that Obama’s first priority is getting a college football playoff?
  • The CHICAGO TRIBUNE breaks down the news that Illinois WR Jeff Cumberland is going to play this week despite breaking teammate Mikel LeShoure’s jaw in a fight last Saturday night.
  • Do they have any decent sushi places in Atlanta? The ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION notes that the Braves have made an offer to 22-year-old Japanese pitching phenom Junichi Tazawa.
  • How far has the Tennesee football program fallen? The WINSTON SALEM JOURAL says that David Cutcliffe would rather stay at Duke than consider taking the Vols’ head coaching job.
  • The MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS reports that three Idaho football players have been suspended after being charged with battery after a fight at a house party this weekend. What do you expect from the players when you call the team the “Vandals?”
  • According to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Oaks Christian High School - the school that has the sons of Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Will Smith - might be in trouble for advertising its athletic department on local TV. The ads were OK, but still better than Hancock.
  • BYU quarterback Max Hall tells the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE that he’ll be missing Thursday night’s huge Mountain West Conference game between Utah and TCU because he can’t miss The Office. And I thought Dwight Schrute was Amish and not Mormon.
  • Bob Stoops tells THE OKLAHOMAN that he’s come full circle and now supports a college football playoff. Sounds like Obama’s minions got to him.

What would you like to see President Obama do for you the sports fan?

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