Michael Vick Allowed To Resume His NFL Career

T.O.’s Twitter-based lobbying must have worked, as Michael Vick has been reinstated into the NFL - if any team wants him.

Michael Vick dog

O.J. Simpson is having a swell time in prison - except that he thinks his cellmate is ready to kill him.

• While the real Canadian Open gets washed out, Canadian soldiers hold their own golf tournament in sunny Afghanistan.

Hank Aaron wants steroid “cheaters” out of the Hall of Fame, but wants Pete Rose in.

Michael Strahan’s new Fox sitcom looks terrific - terrifically bad.

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Things Not Going Swimmingly For O.J. In Prison

Where’s an impassioned Terrell Owens Twitter campaign when you really need one? Opening oral arguments on O.J. Simpson’s appeal will be heard by the Nevada Supreme Court on Aug. 3, but one report from the Nevada prison in which he currently resides leads us to believe that he may never make it that far. O.J. “is losing it” in prison, according to STARPULSE.COM, with the big problem being that he’s afraid of his cellmate.

Simpson was sentenced to at least 15 years for an armed hotel robbery in Las Vegas, and is at the Lovelock Correctional Center while waiting word on his appeal. But darn it, he’s not getting along with his cellmate, apparently. Perhaps his appeal should be heard by Judge Judy. Read more…

Speed Read: NL Weaker Than Obama’s First Pitch

If MLB and Fox executives are wondering why no one watches the All-Star Game anymore, here’s Exhibit A: the winning run for the AL in their 4-3 victory over the NL was driven in by an eighth-inning sacrifice fly from Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles, a name that resonates with a thud among all but the most die-hard baseball fans. And the person he scored was the Tigers’ Curtis Granderson, who can be politely called “slightly more well-known than Adam Jones.”

Adam Jones

To put it mildly, if the All-Star Game was a weekly series, it would be on the verge of cancellation by now. Especially after TV critics would have inevitably slammed it for its lack of imagination and formulaic structure. Yes, we get it - the AL is always going to win. Can’t we just have a twist on that every once in a while? (And not the shoddy “Who’s Going to Pitch?” cliffhanger that Bud Selig and company cooked up a few years ago.)

Barack Obama

After 13 years of not seeing the National League win, it’s not surprising that people just aren’t that interested anymore. But there was an attempt to spice things up this year by bringing in a big-game star for a special guest appearance: President Barack Obama. After warming up with Albert Pujols in the batting cages before the game, Obama took the mound and delivered a pitch that was about as effective as his pitch for the bank bailout.

I’ll leave it to WIDE WHITE to give a breakdown of Obama’s pitch as it relates to his policies, but suffice it to say that it was neither great nor awful. He should just be thankful that Pujols was there to make a great pick to keep the ball from hitting the dirt. (And that was Pujols’ best play of the night, since he went 0-for-3 before the hometown crowd.)

The game MVP was Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford, not so much for what he did at the plate but for his actions in the field, most notably his catch that robbed Brad Hawpe of what would have been a go-ahead home run in the seventh. And the NL can’t blame the loss on the AL being fired up because of Ichiro Suzuki’s notoriously profanity-laden pregame pep talks - President Obama’s visit to the clubhouses took up so much time that he didn’t get to give one.

Speaking of Ichiro, he took some time out of his schedule on Monday to visit the grave of George Sisler, whose record for hits in a season he broke in 2004. It was a nice touch, except for the fact that instead of bringing flowers or a wreath, Ichiro just swore at Sisler’s grave for 15 minutes straight until being escorted away by cemetary workers. Oh well, I guess it’s the thought that counts.

While MLB was playing a game that no one really cares about, the NBA is knee-deep in something arguably more exciting and definitely more important: free-agency. The main story right now is what will happen to Lamar Odom, and the saga took another turn last night as the Lakers have pulled their three-year deal worth $9 million off the table. The reason? Owner Jerry Buss is upset that Odom’s people haven’t responded to the offer while continuing to negotiate with the Mavericks and Heat.

Lamar Odom

But there’s another free-agency drama going on that is a little more below the radar screen, but just as fascinating. The Portland Trailblazers have made a four-year, $32 million offer sheet to promising young Utah forward Paul Millsap, who is a restricted free agent. That means that the Jazz have until the end of the week to match the offer and keep Millsap on the team.

The problem is that Millsap’s offer from the Trailblazers includes an immediate cash payout of $10.3 million, which Utah would also have to do if they match the offer sheet. And apparently, the cash isn’t flowing through the streets of Salt Lake as readily as Mormon children, since the Jazz ownership would likely have to take out a short-term bank loan to get the deal approved. (Portland doesn’t have that problem, since $10.6 million is vending machine money to billionaire owner Paul Allen.)

Not only does this make me question the solvency of the Utah ownership group, but it also makes me wonder how the whole loan process would go down. Would they have to wait in line at the bank before getting seated at one of those tables out in the lobby. What would they have to put up as collateral - Jerry Sloan? It simply boggles the mind.

Other sports news:

  • It turns out that with 22 points, WNBA star Diana Taurasi outscored her blood alcohol level the night she was arrested for a DUI - barely, as the AP reports that she’s been charged with an “Extreme DUI” after her blood alcohol level was shown to be 0.17 percent - twice the legal limit in Arizona.
  • Speaking of the WNBA, they announced their All-Star Game starters yesterday. No word on if Michelle Obama will be there for the traditional “First Fundamentally Sound Screen” of the game, or if they’ll get “stuck” with Hillary Clinton.
  • One thing you might not have seen at the All-Star Game (other than the National League hitting the ball) was a lot of black players. The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER floats one reason why: the lack of strong black male role models in the inner cities makes it tough to find coaches for organized games.
  • The WALL STREET JOURNAL gives us an “Unofficial Guide to Life as a Ref” while wondering why NFL refs make so much for working one game a week.
  • With all the talk about Tiger Woods taking on Turnberry this week, there’s one thing that should be noted: Padraig Harrington is going after his third freakin’ straight British Open title. USA TODAY says it might be difficult since he’s completely changed his swing from last year.
  • The World Series of Poker Main Event is down to the final three tables, and poker celebrity/Norman Chad man crush Phil Ivey is still very much in the hunt, standing at fourth place with more than 11 million chips. Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari is also alive as they play down to the final table tomorrow.
  • Bud Selig calls claims of collusion to drive down the price of free agentssome make-believe scenario that doesn’t exist.” Right, because MLB would never get involved in collusion.
  • ESPN goes a different route and hires former NBC President Don Ohlmeyer as their new ombudsman. His first call: hiring his good friend O.J. Simpson to replace Bill Simmons as “The Sports Guy.”
  • Anthony Randolph notched his name in Las Vegas NBA Summer League history by tying the single-game scoring record by putting up 42 in the Warriors’ victory over the Bulls. Something tells me you won’t find any pictures of him posing with a basketball with “42″ written on it.
  • While sports talk radio is struggling elsewhere, it seems to be alive and well in Boston, where legendary rock station WBCN in being pulled off the air and replaced by the city’s third all-sports station.

Which remaining free agent is worth the most money?

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The Strange Case Of OJ Simpson’s Suit, Maybe

You remember Mike Gilbert. He’s O.J. Simpson’s former agent and former friend, who wrote the book “How I Helped O.J. Get Away With Murder.”  He’s now claiming that he has the suit that O.J. was wearing when he was acquitted of murder. But just like that trial, the issue of the suit isn’t an open-and-shut case.

Mike Gilbert

That hideously ugly suit is or isn’t the famous suit depending on who you ask, and even depending on when you ask Gilbert. And he’s either using it to promote his book, or trying to keep the courts from giving its value to the Goldmans. We report–you decide. The new trial of the century, after the jump.

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Laettner’s Not Likeable; No NFL For ‘Sex Offender’

Grant Hill reveals that Christian Laettner is a big jerk. In other news, sky is blue, water is wet, Duke is overrated.

Grant Hill Christian Laettner

• A former U of Minnesota running back can’t leave the state to attend an NFL tryout - just because he’s an “untreated sex offender“.

• There’s nothing like a buzzer-beater to punch your ticket to the Big Dance.

• The Yankees hope to have the healthiest ballpark in the league.

• Delaware seems determined to take a gamble on sports betting.

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Billy Packer Hired Psychic To Find O.J.’s Knives

Yes, we realize that the above headline makes absolutely no sense. Or at least it shouldn’t make any sense. The sad part is that it’s absolutely the truth: Billy Packer did, in fact, hire a psychic to find the murder weapons O.J. Simpson used to kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, audio which then made its way to AWFUL ANNOUNCING and HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS. Luckily, we now have it too, with typically clever illustration put together by HUGGING HAROLD after the jump.

billy packer

(We always thought he looked a little like a fat, drunk owl.)

According to Packer (who, incidentally, still doesn’t own a computer), he hired a psychic the family had previously worked with to find the murder weapons in the O.J. case because the psychic — a man named John Monte — called Packer and said he knew where the weapons were.

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Juice Won’t Be Loose For Another Fifteen Years

The OJ Simpson saga has finally come to a fitting conclusion (unless there’s appeals - oh God, spare us the appeals), as judge Jackie Glass handed down a 15-year prison sentence to the former running back and actor.

OJ guilty
(”Welp, time to hit the ol’ dusty trail…”)

That’s 15 years for 12 charges, including such delightful acts as kidnapping, armed robbery, and a host of other things you’re really not allowed to do with a deadly weapon.

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Speed Read: Tar Heels Roll In Empty Ford Field

You know, at this rate the college basketball season isn’t going to be very interesting. North Carolina has now won each of its eight games by at least 15 points, and absolutely crushed Michigan State at Ford Field last night, 98-63, giving the Heels one more win in that venue than the Lions this year. The stadium will host the Final Four in just under four months, but was a morgue for this game. There were about 70,000 tickets available, but the announced attendance was only 25,267. Hardly seems worth it now to move the game to Detroit when a rocking Breslin Center might’ve at least given MSU a fighting chance.

UNC-MSU game nobody there

As for the Tar Heels, with Tyler Hansbrough getting healthier, they’re as close to unbeatable as any college basketball team this decade. Their two games with Duke might be the only games they play this year with a single-digit point spread.

UNC’s win helped the ACC win the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the 10th consecutive year, but this was the closest the midwesterners have come to pulling it off with the final tally being 6-5. Clemson and Boston College won their games by just two points each over Illinois and Iowa, respectively. And, of all things, both Northwestern and Penn State won their games.

ACC Big Ten

Good to see that the Knicks are getting back to their old ways. LeBron and the Cavs blasted New York 118-82 to move to 10-0 at home and 15-3 overall. And looking at the schedule over the next month, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Cleveland sitting at 27-6 when they face the Celtics on January 9th. The Cavs are winning games so handily that James hasn’t even played in the fourth quarter of four of the last five games.

The dream matchup of undefeated Ball State (provided they beat Buffalo this week) and undefeated Boise State is not going to happen, according to ESPN. The Cardinals would’ve had to bail on their MAC bowl commitments and agree to play the Broncos in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. But they didn’t want to do that and now are either going to Detroit or Mobile. Boise State, on the other hand, looks like they’ll take on a very good TCU team in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Boise State Ball State

• According to TMZ, Amanda Beard filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that a tanning salon company in Florida called ProSun has posted pictures of her on their site without permission, which she says insinuates that she endorses the company. No, this isn’t one of the offending pictures:

Amanda Beard

But, apparently this is:

Amanda Beard

This photo is one of many pictures of celebrities who were on hand at some sort of event at which ProSun was showing off a shower that also acts as a tanning bed. Also pictured are such sports heavyweights as Rodney Peete and Shaun Livingston. I suppose the photo makes it seem as if Beard endorses the product, but this is really the only offending material I could find on ProSun’s site.

• So, Barry Melrose leaves ESPN to coach in the NHL and the world’s economy goes in the tank. Luckily, Barry got fired by the Lightning so he could get re-hired by the WWL, according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  All is now right with the world. Thanks for playing, Matthew Barnaby.

• OURSPORTSCENTRAL says the Golden Baseball League is offering Rickey Henderson $1 million if he chooses to go into the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Surf Dawg. Seriously.

• West Virginia’s going to wear white uniforms at home this weekend against South Florida says the CHARLESTON GAZETTE, which is against the rules or something. But USF is playing along and wearing their green unis, so nobody’s going to be losing timeouts like USC.

• This might just be the worst soccer dive ever taken. And that’s saying something, considering it’s soccer and all. FAN NATION brings us this one. Really, this is just spectacular in its idiocy, and the ref has the gall to reward him for it:

• Ever been up in the top deck of a sports arena and been worried that you’d trip down the stairs and fall over the railing? Well, it happened to a guy carrying two beers back to his seat at an Ottawa Senators game last night. According to NBC SPORTS, the guy tripped over a purse and fell 25 feet to the next level. But he never lost consciousness and just had cuts and bruises. He fell on two people, who were also not seriously injured.

• In other beer news, the AP says that Aramark settled a lawsuit with the family of a paralyzed girl for $26 million for continuing to serve a drunk fan at a New York Giants game. The drunk fan then got into a car accident that paralyzed the girl.

• CNN says O.J. Simpson’s lawyer is arguing that the Juice should get only 6 years in prison, instead of the recommended 18 years, for his role in the memorabilia debacle. The reason: he’s a “first-time offender.”

• THE SPORTING BLOG’s Spencer Hall has some ideas about what Auburn should do now that Tommy Tuberville got fired or resigned or whatever.

• Alcorn State’s athletic director fired seven of the school’s nine assistant football coaches…on Thanksgiving…without telling the team’s head coach, who found out on the news. Classy. The NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT has the details (thanks to SPORTING BLOG for the tip)

Pro soccer is not doing well in China, so says the GUARDIAN.

How many games will North Carolina lose this year?

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OJ’s Court Sequel Not Gathering As Much Interest

You know, I always liked that O.J. Simpson fellow. The great football career, the Hertz commercials, his unforgettable turn as Nordberg in the Naked Gun movies. Then, I just kinda lost track of him somewhere around, say, 1994. I’ve always wondered what he’s been up to. Now I come to find out he’s on trial for some sort of armed robbery shenanigans. Scandal!

OJ Simpson

The prosecution is out to show that O.J. just might be capable of doing something illegal. Juice says he was just collecting some of his own possessions…by setting up a vigilante-style sting at a Vegas hotel. There were thugs, guns, tape recordings, guys named “C.J.” and “Bruce.” This was all very sophisticated.

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Jeff Gordon Very Happy With Model Wife & Mom

Be back at 8 p.m. ET for Tuffy’s live blog of tonight’s Tennessee-UCLA tussle.

Jeff Gordon believes wife Ingrid Vandebosch is quite the model mother.

Jeff Gordon Ingrid Vandenbosch

Roger Clemens’ kid Koby gets cuffed after brawling at a bar.

O.J. Simpson pal Tom Riccio bets he can rent out ad space on the limo he’ll be taking to the Las Vegas courthouse.

Matt Leinart doesn’t like being Kurt Warner’s backup.

Peter King isn’t pleased with new “Inside the NFL” co-host Warren Sapp badmouthing the previous Sapp-less seasons of the show.

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