Speed Read: Overrated, Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap

Because no battle is ever won, he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools. - William Faulker, “The Sound and the Fury”

That was written by Mississippi’s “greatest author,” who I also thought was kind of overrated. Which, it turns out, could easily apply on multiple levels to the Ole Miss football team. On a national stage and with a No. 4 ranking, the Rebels completely imploded, falling 16-10 at South Carolina last night. It may or may not be true that no battle is ever won, but for Ole Miss, this one was certainly lost.

Moe Brown of South Carolina

Mainly it was lost for two reasons: QB Jevan Snead had a miserable game, going 7 for 21 for 107 yards while being pressured by the Gamecocks’ defense all night. And Houston Nutt’s game plan reminded you of why he was barely a .500 coach with a backfield of Felix Jones and Darren McFadden at Arkansas. Nutt seemed unable to accept that the passing game just wasn’t working, and waited until the fourth quarter to turn to running back Dexter McLuster. He ran for 68 yards in the final quarter, but by then it was too little, too late. Read more…

Speed Read: Pacino To Play Lasorda? Hoo-aaahh!

With the Dodgers enjoying their best season since 1988, Tommy Lasorda is enjoying a resurgence in attention. So much so, that VARIETY is reporting that a Lasorda biopic is on the “fast track for development” by Miramax. And who’s reportedly in line to play the pudgy Dodger legend? None other than the star of such critical favorites as 88 Minutes and Righteous Kill. Al Pacino has been phoning it in for the better part of a decade, so perhaps he’s looking forward to playing a part where he can just eat spaghetti all day for six months. As long as Josh Brolin plays Kirk Gibson, I’ll be happy.

Al Pacino and Tommy Lasorda

The Rays and Red Sox announced that James Shields and Daisuke Matsuzaka, respectively, will start in the first game of the ALCS on Friday night at the legendary Trop. It’s just not October without domed baseball in Florida. Speaking of the Trop — there’s finally a reason for fans to show up to games, and now they’ve gone and reduced the stadium’s capacity. Unlike other stadiums that block off sections of seats during the regular season, the Rays have elected not to take the tarp off the top third of the upper deck for the playoffs (like Florida and Oakland have done previously), and in fact now have fewer seats available because an area called the “party deck” is being used as an auxiliary media area. The park once sat more than 45,000 for baseball, but will hold only 35,041 during the ALCS.

Meanwhile, Philly is preparing to host its first LCS game since 1993. Cole Hamels will face Derek Lowe in Game 1. But people are still talking about a play from the 1977 NLCS, when the Dodgers’ Davy Lopes was called safe at first on a ground ball to the Phillies’ Larry Bowa. Bowa, who is now the third-base coach for the Dodgers, still claims Lopes was out. Lopes is now the first-base coach for the Phillies and says Bowa should get over it.

1977 NLCS

The Chris Duhon era got off to a rousing start last night for the Knicks, as he went 1-for-7 with seven turnovers in a New York loss to the Raptors.  His backup scored 10 points off the bench, though. They should totally give that guy a chance to play more.

The NHL season gets underway domestically this evening when the defending champion Red Wings take on the defending perennial disappointment Maple Leafs in Detroit. The pregame banner ceremony will be a little weird for the Wings’ Marian Hossa, who lost the in Cup finals as a member of the Penguins last year.

The Cubs began putting together next year’s soul-crushing club by picking up Rich Harden’s $7 million option. The option was exercised after a medical examination determined that Harden didn’t have any tears in his shoulder. Because, being that he’s both Rich Harden and a Cub, the exam was supposed to reveal that his shoulder is comprised solely of masking tape and dental floss.

rotator cuff

• There’s nothing like getting all fired up for your team’s big rugby match and then seeing them run out of the tunnel wearing these:

Ugly rugby uniform

And you thought the Oregon Ducks had hideous uniforms.

• PHILLY.COM says that Flyers owner Ed Snider is such a booster of the McCain campaign that he’s having Sarah Palin drop the puck at the team’s home opener on Saturday.

• What do you mean there’s no Flozell Adams living in Winemucca? According to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, somebody attempted to fraudulently register the entire Cowboys starting lineup to vote in Nevada.

• Kansas is still trying to squash the “rip his f***ing head off” chant that students shout on every kickoff, with ESPN2 rolling into town this weekend. The WIZ OF ODDS says they might go as far as having Mark Mangino address the student body.

• Washington State is punting with underinflated balls and now has an architecture student on board as a backup quarterback, according to this notebook on OREGONLIVE.COM. Peter Roberts won the job in open tryouts, and coach Paul Wulff has already forgotten the kid’s name. Cougar fever is at an all-time high.

• It’s a good thing all those Olympians gave gallon-size urine samples, since WADA is now going to go back and test every sample for new-fangled drug (AP).

• WITH LEATHER alerts us to collector’s items everyone nobody is talking about: Penn State faculty trading cards!

• This article from Japan’s DAILY YOMIURI is written in English, and yet is completely unintelligible. Something about sumo cushions, and how we shouldn’t throw them. Great headline, though.

• To recap: Fort Wayne’s sports mascots are now the Mastadons, the Mad Ants, and the Tin Caps. The FORT WAYNE JOURNAL-GAZETTE informs us that the new nickname for the city’s baseball team has something to do with Johnny Appleseed. Naturally, the team’s logo is an angry apple wearing a tin can on its head.

• A guy who was skinny dipping at a University of Massachusetts football game kneed a police officer in the groin, so says the AP (via the SEATTLE P-I). Officer gets morphine, may miss two weeks. Yes, you read all that right.

What has been the biggest factor in the Rays’ success this season?

View Results

Cubs To Start A Brand Effen New Ad Campaign

The Chicago Cubs have lost their last four games, and since it’s September and they are the Chicago Cubs, panic is beginning to hit the streets of Chicago. There must be something the team can do to break this 100-year old curse….

Yep, the Chicago Cubs and the distributors of the Dutch made vodka Effen have teamed up to help relieve the pressure currently mounting on the team. A billboard just like the one you see above you will be placed across the street from Wrigley Field starting this Thursday.

Read more…

NL Central Hitters Apply for Asylum in NL West

Rich Harden finally received the Levon Helm-sized blue-pinstriped weight on his shoulders gifted to him by Mark Prior as trade talks for the talented pitcher heated up during the A’s rather surprising run at mediocrity this year. As such, the Cubs finally allowed Harden to join them via trade yesterday, a mere news cycle away from CC Sabathia’s blimp-like tethering to Miller Park.

NL Central applause

Therefore, the last two days have graced us with talk of the escalation of war in the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor (may we suggest The Battle for the Hiawatha?) for NL Central supremacy and the opportunity to stumble against another divisional foe in the playoffs. (We’re leaning towards the other team in this duo as the wild-card invitee.)

But does anyone want to talk about the second-place team in the division?
Read more…

Blog-A-Roni: Beasley Sports New Nationals Tattoo

• MR. IRRELEVANT inks up news of Michael Beasley representin’ D.C. by sporting a brand new Washington Nationals tattoo.

Michael Beasley Senators tattoo

• DEADSPIN can’t decide what to watch on August 28 - Barack Obama’s convention speech, or Wake Forest @ Baylor.

• HOME RUN DERBY discovers that this season has been so bad for Barry Zito that his Fathead poster is on sale for 80% off the original retail price.

• STANLEY CUP JOURNAL has the highlights of the fun Fourth of July weekend the NHL trophy spent in southern California.

Read more…