10:15 AM The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association turned down a request from eight seniors at Glendale Nicolet High School to play for nearby Whitefish Bay Dominican after Nicolet canceled its football season last Friday.
9:00 PM The Nebraska football team sent a video of support to Jack Hoffman, the eight-year-old cancer patient who scored a touchdown in last year's spring game. Jack's family recently announced that his cancer had returned & he is currently undergoing treatment.
“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:
I want to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts, I really do. But every time they just about have me won over, something like this pops up to remind me that it may not be totally ready for prime time. How am I supposed to take a sport seriously whose biggest controversy is whether or not Quinton Rampage Jackson is going to star in “The A-Team”?
Jackson, of course, was supposed to meet Rashad Evans at the UFC 107 main event on Dec. 12 — infamous foreshadowing in the photo above and video below. But Rampage has been scrapped from the card because, according to UFC president Dana White, he has a feature role in the new A-Team movie. Read more…
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.”
Not to sound like a Grumpy Old Man, but in my day Easter Sunday church services were not meant to be “fun”: they were hour-long dissertations on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For me as a kid, they were nothing more than a distraction from hunting for Easter eggs or jamming my face full of ham and pounds of chocolate.
Perhaps I would have had a different feeling about Easter services if I had grown up in Missouri and went to the Spirit of St. Louis Church, which is apparently quite a bit hipper than the church I attended in Fresno. The RIVERFRONT TIMES reports that this year for Easter, its pastor Tom Skiles is hosting “Easter In the Octagon: The Ultimate Fighter“, which features Jesus forcing The Easter Bunny to tap out in the second round due to a triangle chokehold.
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.
It started so well for Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. On their first drive of their first-ever BCS bowl game, they marched down the field and scored a touchdown thanks to a pair of big receptions by TE Mardy Gilyard. It was an instant 7-0 lead and a sign to anyone switching over from the dog that was the Rose Bowl that this game could be good.
And then…pfft. Cincinnati spent the rest of the game playing like a team that was scared to death of being on the big stage. Meanwhile, the Hokies were being the Hokies - physical, methodical, boring - and just doing enough to salt the game away. The end result? A 20-7 Virginia Tech victory that was moderately more fun to watch than the Sun Bowl. (Hey, at least El Paso had The Village People!)
Meanwhile, in Japan…well, it’s your usual assortment of weirdness from the world of K-1. Specifically, their latest fight card was headlined by Bob Sapp, who combines the physique of Butterbean with the MMA fighting skills of Kimbo Slice into one freak show package that the Japanese can’t get enough of even if no one in the US cares. (Sort of like Cheap Trick.)
His latest opponent? Um, some guy in a wrestling mask that Sapp outweighed by 140 pounds. And oh yeah, the guy he fought was based on a cartoon character named Kinnikuman. Basically, it’s like if Brock Lesnar fought against the actual Captain Crunch. No, I don’t get it either, but I don’t get most Japanese things (Shonen Knife, sushi, Bobby Valentine). CAGE WRITER has analysis of the card and video of the Sapp/Fictional Character match:
Here’s what else was happening while you were breaking some to all of your New Year’s Resolutions:
The roof of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center at Indiana was damaged by careless welders (wasn’t that a Wham song?), according to the AP. It’s named after the former school president from the 1930s and 1940s who favored strict segregation. Chuck D. says to let the sucker burn.
In case you missed it (and frankly, I can’t imagine that you did), video has finally been posted of David Hasselhoff’s triumphant National Anthem performance at the Las Vegas Bowl. And you know what? He’s not quite Marvin Gaye, but it wasn’t a Carl Lewis-style meltdown, either.
Eastern Washington head basketball coach Kent Earlywine missed out on coaching his team against Boise State on Monday, according the SPOKANE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, because he had been popped for a DUI that weekend. But he was able to watch the game online. I guess he had his “wine” a little too “early,” huh? (Insert rimshot here.)
The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE says Minnesota Golden Gophers head hockey coach Don Lucia is suffering from an “undisclosed illness” and might miss his first-ever game in 22 years of coaching the team when they take on Brown tonight. I once went a whole three weeks at my old job between missing time with an “undisclosed illness,” otherwise known as being hungover.
The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE debunks the latest Manny Ramirez rumors, saying “it would be a mistake to put too much stock” into rumors that have the slugger coming to the Giants next season. Still, if you think Dodgers fans hated Barry Bonds…
Being strung out on Red Bull usually doesn’t contribute to many incidents of crime. But then, many of us aren’t Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. In yet another follow-up/story change to the historically bizarre insanity that was his monster truck trip through Los Angeles and Orange County, we are now told what else is to be blamed: The Secret.
The chase apparently ended in front of friend Brian Talbert’s home. Rampage had spent the night before watching the DVD of “The Secret” over and over again, and then remembered he had loaned a copy to Talbert, and became obsessed with getting to him to make sure he watched it.