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?

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Bruce Pearl’s Ex-Wife Is Taking The Divorce Well

If you’re ever in the Knoxville area, I hear there’s this great new place to get a haircut. I know, recommending beauty salons is not something we’re normally into here on SbB, but this salon is something special. It’s likely to be the only one you’ve ever been to that’s been funded by Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

Bruce Pearl's ex-wife salon

Some divorces are done quietly. Some exes even stay good friends. That’s not how Kim Shrigley rolls. She’s taken the cash from her recent split with Pearl and opened a hair and nail salon called “Alimony’s.” And it’s right there in Knoxville. Doesn’t look like this is one of those “we just drifted apart” divorces.

Maybe this is why Bruce’s name is being linked to the Wizards’ coaching vacancy.

Read more…

Oregon St. Topples Top-Ranked Trojans Yet Again

• Leave it to the Beavers: Once again, Oregon State shocks highly-ranked USC in Corvallis.

Oregon State USC

This is becoming quite a trend.

• But such a monumental upset is no comfort to OSU alum Steven Jackson, as the Rams RB is too busy lashing out at coach Scott Linehan.

Pat Summitt may be basketball’s all-time winningest coach, but the Lady Vols leader is no match when it comes to rasslin’ with raccoons.

• How melancholy is the Mariners’ clubhouse? One teammate of Ichiro openly talked about wanting to knock the Seattle star slugger out.

• Despite the Colts’ 1-2 record, Tony Dungy must still be pretty popular in Indianapolis - why else would someone return a credit card the coach left at a gas station?

Read more…

Pat Summitt Sent To Hospital By Rascally Raccoon

Pat Summitt is the greatest coach in the history of women’s college basketball. Over the past 34 years, she’s coached the Tennessee Volunteers to a 983-182 record, while winning eight national titles and being named the NCAA coach of the year seven times. It seemed that there was absolutely nothing on earth that could stop Summitt from getting the job done, until that one fateful night back in March of 2008.

It was on that night, March 5th, that Pat came across an opponent that she just couldn’t defeat.

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Stanford Ruins Women’s Tourney For Us Yet Again

As Brooks enjoys the sights & sounds of San Antonio (Hubert Davis! Wimp Sanderson!), the sisters were doin’ it for themselves down in Tampa Bay on Sunday, as the women’s NCAA basketball championship is now set.

Tennessee LSU Stanford UConn Womens Final Four

Tennessee escaped against LSU with a last-second shot, while Stanford stymied Connecticut to advance to the title game. And once again, the Cardinal have corrupted the potentially higher entertainment value of the ladies’ tourney.

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ESPN Tours Can Cause NCAA Violations? LMAO

A high school recruit’s visit to the ESPN studios may have gotten the University of Connecticut into trouble with the NCAA.

Maya Moore ESPN studios

Shelley Smith reports that her employer may have helped the Huskies commit violations when they allowed women’s basketball recruit Maya Moore to take a trip around the Bristol-based buildings. Sources say the UConn-requested tour was considered an “improper benefit” that Moore received during her 2005 visit to the school.

The NCAA apparently began the investigation after receiving a tip from the Huskies’ biggest on-court nemesis. Read more…

DePaul Coach Two-Time Victim of Career Win #800

If you’re a women’s basketball coach looking to reach a milestone, try to schedule a game with Doug Bruno. The DePaul coach has fallen as victim #800 not once, but twice.

Doug Bruno Vivian Stringer

C. Vivian Stringer was the latest to clinch her 800th career win, as Rutgers beat the Blue Demons 60-46 Wednesday night. Previously, Bruno was pummeled by Pat Summitt when the Tennessee coach grabbed her own 800th victory.

Doug & the Demons were courteous enough to give Stringer a pre-game handshake. And Vivian’s players & fans gave her much more post-game.

Read more…

Blog-A-Roni: Letterman Reveals SI Swimsuit Cover

• THE FOOTIE finds footage of David Letterman revealing the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s 2008 swimsuit issue featuring Marisa Miller.

Marisa Miller Sports Illustrated cover David Letterman

• INTENTIONAL FOUL comes across audio of John Rocker throwing Bud Selig under the bus.

• FAN IQ’s 100% INJURY RATE puts up their dukes, as they offer this indoor lacrosse fight.

Read more…

Women’s Coaches Teleconference Gets Dirty Calls

The LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER gets a busy signal, as a teleconference with SEC women’s basketball coaches was interrupted by prank calls.

Pat Summitt phone call

The H-L reports, “The questions were graphic in nature, and included inquiries about coaches having sexual relations with players and players’ performances based on their menstrual cycles.” Unfortunately, the media meeting was adjourned before Pat Summitt got her chance to speak.

The SEC is trying to figure out how the pranksters were able to phone in with their bogus questions. League officials say they’ve traced the calls to about 6 or 7 different numbers, which each calling in numerous times.

Bob Knight ill

The bravado of these teleconference tricksters is amusing. But do they have the guts to pull the same thing on Bobby Knight?

Tennessee Offering Free Tuition To Students Watching Women’s Basketball

PAY FOR SCHOOL BY SITTING THRU SOUND FUNDAMENTALS: Even when you’re a national power, it’s never easy for women’s basketball to have good crowds. So the University of Tennessee is pulling out desperate measures - by giving away free money:

Lady Vols empty seats

The ASSOCIATED PRESS bounces over news that one lucky student will have a chance to win a year’s worth of tuition. The $6,000 prize will go to an in-state student willing to sit through at least 10 Lady Vols home games this season.Although UT usually leads the nation in womens b-ball attendance, the latest promotion is aimed at filling the slighted student section at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Pat Summitt Bruce Pearl

What, the sight of Pat Summitt or a shirtless Bruce Pearl isn’t enough?