Speed Read: Ryan Leaf Bad At Football, Drug Theft

Ryan Leaf is an instant sports blog punchline, suitable for use anytime you need a real-life example for the words “bust,” “loser” or “train wreck.” But at least he had some shred of dignity: sure, he had been one of the biggest disappointments in NFL history, a top draft pick turned into petulant baby whose lousy attitude with coaches, teammates and the media ensured he would be drummed out of the league; but at least he wasn’t Todd Marinovich. No matter what, at least his rap sheet was clean.

Ryan Leaf

Well, you can forget that. Remember when he took a “leave of absence” from his position as QB coach at West Texas A&M (and also as - for some reason - the golf coach), and it came out that he had “asked” a player for pain medicine for an old wrist injury? It turns out there was more to that story - a lot more. Leaf allegedly really, really needed that medicine - so much so that he allegedly broke into the apartment of an injured player he knew had been prescribed Vicodin and grabbed him a handful of pills.

Ryan Leaf Starting Lineup

And Leaf apparently was about as good of a thief as he was an NFL player, since the cops traced the theft back to him, and the AMARILLO GLOBE-NEWS says that he was indicted yesterday on nine different drug and burglary charges. The district attorney says that Leaf is currently in British Columbia getting drug treatment (socialized medicine!), but the DA “hopes” he returns to the country. I can’t say that sounds promising. (And there goes Leaf’s chance of an NFL comeback.)

Also in need of a comeback: the Los Angeles Lakers. Sure, last night’s 106-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets only tied their Western Conference finals at 1-1, but after almost giving away Game 1 as well, it feels like they are staring up at a mountain. For the first two games, they were outplayed, outhustled and physical dominated by the Nuggets, and are now completely out of sync and without home court advantage. (Seriously, how does Kobe Bryant not get a shot in one of those last two possessions?)

Carmelo Anthony

So the home court advantage in the two NBA conference finals belong to the Nuggets and the Magic. I’m sure that the NBA front office is thrilled about possibly having to market a Denver vs. Orlando series. If you are an NBA Conspiracy Theorist, then rest assured that David Stern is currently making some angry phone calls to some referees today to “fix the problem.”

Meanwhile, we moved one step closer to a Stanley Cup rematch as the Pittsburgh Penguins outscored the Carolina Panthers 7-4 to a take a 2-0 series lead. Sidney Crosby scored the opening goal - again - but it was Evgeni Malkin who was the real star, notching a hat trick including scoring one of the sickest goals you’ll ever see in your life:

You couldn’t even do that in NHL ‘94 for Sega Genesis without getting your head cracked open. So while the Hurricanes’ Eric Staal might be busy complaining about his brother Jordan “cheating” during face-offs for the Penguins, everyone else is getting ready for another tilt between Pittsburgh and Detroit (and we all know that’s happening, putting NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a much happier place than David Stern is right now).

  • Even with his team having been blasted out of the playoffs in the first-round, world class loudmouth Jeremy Roenick still won’t shut up, as the DETROIT NEWS says he told a Chicago radio show that Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock “doesn’t like” Chris Chelios and has “got a grudge against American players.”
  • Jeremy Roenick

  • The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE reports that the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves are set to announce their new GMs on the same day. Maybe they got a “Buy One, Get One Free” rental package on the hotel conference room?
  • Sammy Hasan, a girls’ track coach in Amherst, NY has been charged with forcible sexual conduct with a female high school student. The BUFFALO NEWS says that earlier this season, one of his runners thanked him for “helping her with her technique” after she won a sectional title. SBB PUNCHLINE CREATOR 3000 ERROR 4XQ587: TOO MANY INAPPROPRIATE JOKES.
  • WTAE-TV reports that former Tennessee basketball player Michael Brooks was arrested after being found in possession of cocaine and Vicodin. Someone check his trunk to see if Ryan Leaf is hiding in there!
  • Former Houston Texans lineman Fred Weary tried to help an ex-teammate out by hiring former Florida Gator Anthone Lott as a general contractor on four townhouses Weary was building in Gainesville. Judging by the fact that the ST. AUGUSTINE RECORD says Lott has been charged with defrauding a bank and Weary of more than $185,000, I’d say that didn’t end too well.
  • Florida high school football standout and South Carolina recruit Ben Axon was arrested and charged with marijuana possession with intent to sell, according to the BRADENTON HERALD. But at least he was honest when the cops asked him “if he had anything illegal on him” and handed them 23 small bags of wacky tobacky.
  • There’s never a great time to start drunkenly hurling swear words at the opposing team from the stands during a high school baseball game…but to do it during a stoppage for an injury is just wrong. But that’s exactly what the SCHENECTADY DAILY GAZETTE says that George “Mr. Class” Sperow did before getting into a fight and then being arrested.
  • Ferrari is threatening to leave Formula One if they institute a budget cap in 2010, so now the TELEGRAPH is saying that Formula One rightsholder Bernie Ecclestone will sue them if they do. Where else are they going to go - NASCAR? (Oh please, please let me see a Ferrari NASCAR team.)
  • Is there anything sadder than a kicker trying to hold out for more money? That’s what PRO FOOTBALL TALK says that Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson is doing as he skips the team’s “voluntary” minicamp. Isn’t there a Bahr brother somewhere who can still kick? Martin Mull? Stefan Fatsis?
  • HARDWOOD HOUDINI is concerned about the recent outbreak of VUS in the NBA: Visible Unnecessary Spandex.

Which ex-NFL QB is the biggest train wreck?

View Results

Steelers Collapse Against NY Giants, Lose 21-14

ROFLZberger: The Steelers led the Giants for most of the way this evening, but when the fourth quarter came around, the Giants came alive and the Steelers came undone. New York took advantage of a bad snap on a punt for a game-tying safety, then marched decisively down the field for their first touchdown of the game to make it 21-14. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s offensive line imploded, and Ben Roethlisberger was utterly unable to get anything started for the home team. Cheers to the Giants, who (sorry, Tennessee) can reliably lay claim to being the best team in the NFL right now.

Roethlisberger Hassled

Welcome to the NFL, Mike Singletary. Your team sucks: Read more…

Peyton Manning Looks Average In 34-14 Loss

Typing that headline above was difficult, because I don’t think even the first half has ever been said by anybody ever. Peyton Manning is not average. He is not human. He’s still the guy who had the record for most passing TDs for a few years before last season’s ridiculousness that was Tom Brady and the Patriots*. And yet there he was at Lambeau today, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns. The teensy eensy problem with that line is that those touchdowns were for Green Bay, who slapped the Colts around and led by as many as 27 points up until garbage time. 34-14 is your final.

Aaron Rouse says wheeeeee

Yes, the Green Bay offense only outscored Indianapolis‘ offense by a count of 20-14, but the rest of the stats confirm the domination. Green Bay racked up 23 first downs, punted all of twice today (both boomed for touchbacks), and kept the ball for over 33 minutes, tiring a Colts defense that obviously misses reigning Defensive POY Bob Sanders.

Read more…

America’s Funniest Zapruder-Style Football Videos

• It was a big day for grainy video of youth football controversy. First, some high school kicker abused the the goal post support, Phil Dawson-style (but didn’t get the call). Then, some youth coach just flat-out abused an opposing player.

Gooseneck goalpost betrays high school officials

• Paraguayan javelin-thrower Leryn Franco is nippin’ out on the runway. She’ll use the photo for her Christmas card like Elaine Benes did.

• Don’t expect a closing baseball stadium to just let you stroll in and scoop up your dead father.

Brett Favre’s home in Wisconsin has decided it’s time to move on, and is going forward in finding a new owner.

• Lions fans should be pretty excited that they’re still going to go 12-4, according to Roy Williams. The Cubs are also going to be the only team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-five series.

• Just when you thought we’d gotten rid of Kevin Costner once and for all, it’s time for a Bull Durham sequel. Read more…

Ending Of HS Game Has Shades of Phil Dawson

It seems like it’s tough finding quality football refs on the West Coast. Not only is the Pac-10 notorious for having its issues with their officiating crew, but apparently there’s a shortage of decent refs at the high school level. Take the end result of the game on Friday in Southern California between league rivals Westlake and Agoura.

Officials review Browns vs. Ravens

The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that a potentially game-winning 41-yard field goal by Westlake was ruled no good after officials said it hit the crossbar and bounced forward. But videos taken of the kick clearly showed that the ball actually hit the “gooseneck bar” behind the crossbar that connects it to the ground.

Grainy, Zapruder-like video after the jump. Read more…

Browns Kicker Dawson Likes Hitting Those Crossbars

BROWNS BOOTER DAWSON DELIVERS ANOTHER CRAZY KICK: Phil Dawson likes to hit the bars - the crossbars.

For the 2nd time this year, the Cleveland kicker connected on the back goalpost bar for an improbable field goal.

On Sunday, in a blinding snowstorm against the Bills, the Browns booter attempted a 49-yarder:


The ball appeared to be heading wide left, but it somehow made a right turn and just sneaked through the uprights, bouncing on the back bar.The kooky kick was similar to Dawson’s goofy game-tying FG against the Ravens back in November:


On the last-second 51-yard attempt, the ball again hit the back bar, but bounced out. Officials initially ruled the kick no good, but after a lengthy discussion, reversed their own call. The reprieve led to Dawson nailing the game-winner in OT, as the Browns beat Baltimore.It’s hard to tell which is more amazing - Phil’s fantastic field goals, or that Cleveland is 9-5 and in playoff contention.