5:45 PM NFL sponsor Anheuser-Busch released a statement Tuesday saying they are "disappointed and increasingly concerned" by the recent incidents in the league, and the beer company is "not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code."
5:30 PM Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve is recovering after undergoing heart transplant surgery on September 5. The 67-year-old Tekulve had been serving as a Pirates analyst for Root Sports Pittsburgh.
“She gets mad/Starts to cry/She takes a swing but/She can’t hit/She don’t mean no harm/She just don’t know/What else to do about it” - “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction
Most people assume that Jane’s Addiction’s seminal alt-rock ballad “Jane Says” is about their hometown of Los Angeles. It isn’t. It’s actually about Detroit, where lead singer Perry Farrell lived for some time.
It’s not actually about the Detroit Lions or their female fans, but the lyrics seem incredibly appropriate when watching this video from Sunday of a pair of loaded Lions fans making total asses of themselves after pouring beer on the head of a fan before getting hauled off by police to what was probably the biggest applause of the day:
The Manny Ramirez Traveling Salvation Show hit a snag last night in New York, thanks to an umpire with a hair trigger. Well, it’s hard to call anything about John Hirschbeck’sfifth-inning ejection of Ramirez “hair trigger,” since it took roughly 15 minutes seconds from when Hirschbeck rung Ramirez up on a called third strike to when he tossed Ramirez from the game for throwing his helmet, bat, elbow guard, cleats, socks and jock strap into the air in disgust.
Manny didn’t seem to think it was that big of a deal, since “I was playing only five innings, so I was leaving anyway.” Which came as news to Dodgers manager Joe Torre. Not that it mattered much - with Ramirez going 2 for 4 with three RBI and Clayton Kershaw throwing six shutout innings, the Dodgers cruised to an 8-0 win over the Mets. But it did give Los Angeles residents driven nutty by the Michael Jackson Circus a chance to remember the other, ridiculously overblown media circus in town.
If you are a college football fan who hates the current BCS system, you had reason to celebrate yesterday as Sen. Orrin Hatch ordered up a can of whoop-ass with a side of hash on the football elite during a congressional hearing about the college football playoff system, and the Senate cafeteria was all out of hash. Specifically, he said that “the Justice Department ought to be looking at this” because he believes the system violates antitrust laws.
(Play the BCS off, Keyboard Hatch.)
Which is great, until you realize that Hatch was the only member of the subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights to actually attend any significant portion of the hearing. But there were plenty of junior staffers there, fresh out of college and probably the only people outside of Hatch and Barack Obama who care about college football in Washington D.C.
Also, you have to understand that Hatch is from Utah, where the majority of the state is still steaming about the undefeated Utes being left out of the BCS Title Game last season, so there’s certainly an element of “playing it up for the home constituants” going on here. So you basically had Hatch grilling the President of Nebraska University, who was acting on behalf of the BCS Backers, which is kind of sad when you realize that Nebraska is roughly one zillion percent less likely to play in a BCS Title Game in our lifetimes than Utah.
Meanwhile, you might remember a small link we had yesterday about U.S. National Soccer Team midfielder Michael Bradley being suspended following a red card and subsequent confrontation with a referee at the end of the team’s shocking 2-0 win over Spain in the Confederations Cup. And it turns out that he will be suspended for three games, although it’s perhaps the weakest three-game suspension in sports history.
Ever get mad when a pitcher receives a five-game suspension for his part in a brawl, which only means that his next start gets pushed back one game? This one is even worse. FIFA has suspended Bradley for three games, all right - three games that he was never going to play in. The suspension will be served during the group play stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is convenient for Bradley since he’s not on the roster for the tournament.
Which means that Bradley will be available for the U.S. next game that matters, a World Cup qualifying match at Mexico on August 12. Somewhere in Mexico City, a Mexican senator is preparing a special committee hearing.
DEUCE OF DAVENPORT knows that the only thing better than Erik Estradadrunkenly butchering “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during a Cubs game is him giving an interview in the booth during the game that somehow works in child porn and Ron Jeremy. A master class in awkwardness in two parts: First the singing…
…and then the interview:
Lance Armstrong has moved to within a second of the yellow jersey after his Astana team cleaned up during a team stage during the Tour de France. Which I’m sure no one in America cares about, but it has to be irritating the French more than a canceled Jerry Lewis movie marathon, and that’s always a good thing.
When playing for Russian side CSKA three years ago, Yuri Zhirkov didn’t take the advice of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to learn English. Which is a problem, since Abramovich signed Zhirkov to a a huge deal on Monday, and the winger will have to deal with struggling to communicate with his teammates.
When GM Joe Dumars fired Michael Curry as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, he claimed that the team needed a more experienced hand at the helm. Which makes it curious why he eventually decided to give Cavaliers assistant John Kuesterhis first crack at an NBA head coaching job. Couldn’t have anything to do with both Doug Collins and Avery Johnson bailing from the gig? But Kuester has been a head coach at Boston…University, which is close to the Celtics, right?
Another depressing sign of the economic times: the NBA salary cap will decrease next year for only the second time in 26 years. The cap number next year is $57.7 million, down almost one million dollars from last year. So when Dwayne Wade lashes out at the Miami Heat for failing to land a big free agent again, they have a ready-made excuse.
Reports are circulating that Mike Krzyzewski is going to be coming back to coach Team USA at the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Because as he showed in Beijing, he clearly could handle coaching with limited talent.
In case you were wondering if there was any bad blood between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir ahead of their heavyweight title unification rematch, CAGEWRITER answers with a resounding “yep” after watching the two trade barbs during the “Countdown to UFC 100″ on SPIKE. Also, Lesnar thinks the referee of the first match is an idiot, and really, really hates doors.
Meanwhile, if you were curious, UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is still insane. He’s not crashing an SUV with his name and picture on it after a wild car chase this time, but SPORTS RUBBISH says he is dry humping unsuspecting reporters during interviews.
Interesting news about “aspiring rapper” Keith Norfleet, the ex-boyfriend of Sahel Kazemi. Not only was he the person who picked her up after she was popped for a DUI in Steve McNair’s car, but he also emailed a local newspaper the following: “Pretty interesting news about our golden boy McNair…You would be pretty amazed at the fact of who he was actually with, which I really don’t think his wife would like it too much either.”
If you are only going to hit one basket in a game, hitting the shot that sends your team to the NCAA Tournament is good time to do it. And that’s just what Robert Morris University guard Dallas Green did (not the former big league manager), picking up a loose ball and draining a baseline jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give the Colonials a dramatic 48-46 victory over Mount St. Mary’s to win the Northeast Conference Championship.
But as exciting as the final three seconds or so were, the first 39 minutes and 57 seconds were just as ugly. As in, “hey, look, ‘Sports Soup’ is on!” bad. The second half was pretty rough to watch, and that was a huge upgrade over the first half: the halftime score was 19-19, and the leading scorer for the game was RMU’s Jeremy Chappell (seen below celebrating) with 15 points.
But in the end, it was Green who provided the heroics. Which rubbed his opponents the wrong way:
Mount St. Mary’s guard Jeremy Goode was particularly stung that Green — a player who even Robert Morris coach Mike Rice admitted was the fifth option on the play — was the player who hit the decisive shot.
“It hurts more,” Goode said. “You’d rather see a guy who makes shots the whole time he has been here make the game-winner. Not [Green] though.”
I’m sure that Green is going to be very upset about those comments…as he and his teammates prepare for the NCAA Tournament, while the Mount St. Mary’s team prepares for a long off-season. But based on the game last night, I doubt that Green or that rest of the Robert Morris team should be game planning for more than one game.
There was another ticket punched to the Big Dance last night which also ended in dramatic fashion. Portland State squeaked past huge underdog Montana State team (who finished the season 14-17) to win the Big Sky Championship. The Vikings also used a last-second shot to clinch their spot, as Julius Thomasdunked with 3.5 seconds left for the winning points in their 79-77 victory. Hopefully they can avoid being a No. 16 seed again, like they were last year before getting thumped by Kansas.
Mel Kiper Jr. apparently hates Jay Cutler something fierce, according to RUMORS AND RANTS, who have transcribed his diatribe on the suddenly-maligned Denver (for now) quarterback. Not only does Kiper say that the media hype around Cutler was so ridiculous “I had to run to the bathroom quick. It was making me ill,” - I assume he checked his hair after throwing up - he also compares Cutler to He Who Must Not Be Named (Jeff George).
Venezuela defeated the US 5-3 in the World Baseball Classic in a fairly meaningless game (both teams had already made the quarterfinals), despite what ESPN chronicles as simmering tensions over President Hugo Chavezthreaten to boil over for the team and its fans.
The ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION says that tickets to the ACC Tournament, once one of the toughest to get in all of college sports, are now yours for the taking as the event is not a sellout, with almost 10,000 seats remaining unsold.
CLAIM - LIDDELL WAS IN REHAB JUST BEFORE JACKSON KO: In an interview with that esteemed bastion of sports journalism, BLOODY KNUX, UFC fighter Vernon White twice claims that Chuck Liddell was in rehab for a substance abuse issue just before his embarrassing defeat at the hands of Quinton Jackson on May 23.
“I heard it from a close friend, so maybe I shouldn’t have commented on it. After seeing him nod off on that talk show it seems very reliable. His publicist should be shot for letting him in public in that condition.”
The LAT reports that Jackson’s trainer Juanito Ibarra used the news of Liddell’s pre-fight partying to inspire his fighter: “That shows disrespect and I told Rampage that, ‘He doesn’t respect you, son,’ I know I’m old school but if that was my kid out there I’d be [upset.] If he thinks he’s so good, that he can take me so lightly to think he can stay up so late … that’s disrespect.”