Erin Andrews Appears in Gritty Gridiron GQ Shoot

Erin Andrews gets down & dirty in a new photoshoot for GQ magazine.

Erin Andrews GQ 2

• Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable ducks & weaves from questions about his alleged clobbering of assistant Randy Hanson.

• Hey, Georgia Bulldogs fans - please pass the caviar, s’il vous plait!

Jeremy Mayfield’s stepmom won’t keep off her stepson’s lawn. What, is she high? Why, yes she is!

• A group of senior bowlers in Oregon put the beat down on a would-be purse snatcher. We must protect these lanes!

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For Cubs Beer Tossing Fall Guy, The Scars Linger

By now everyone knows about Johnny Macchione, the 21-year-old who chucked a cup of beer at the Phillies’ Shane Victorino while the latter was catching a fly ball at Wrigley Field last week. After video replays identified Macchione as the culprit, he turned himself in to authorities rather than live a life on the run, moving from town to town to hide his shame. Macchione appeared on WGN Radio with Dave Kaplan recently to try and finally put this sad chapter Cubs history (is there any other kind, really?) to rest.

Dan DeLaPaz

But what of the poor schlub who was initially arrested by Cubs’ security in Macchione’s place? Dan DeLaPaz — who is the friend of Macchione’s cousin — also went on the record in an article by the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, saying that he was manhandled by security and never apologized to, even when they found out he wasn’t the culprit.

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Nastia Liukin Knows How to Tweet Sweet Self-Pics

• Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin puts Twitter to very good use - by putting up pretty pictures of herself.

Nastia Liukin

• Don’t you worry, Michael Vick - Chris Rock has got your back!

• Cyclists & joggers, be on the lookout for the Delaware Blow-Dart Bandit.

• Roadrunner’s revenge: A NASCAR driver going 190 mph gruesomely gets a coyote embedded in his grill.

• Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Ben Burley is banned from blogging after writing about the woman he woke up to in his bed.

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Angry Chicago Mob Will Find Victorino Beer Tosser

As Rick pointed out in this morning’s Speed Read, and as you have no doubt discussed with your buddies already today, last night’s Cubs/Phillies game featured one of the most brazen displays of fan FAIL in recent years. A stereotypical fair-weather Cubbie d-bag dumped his Old Style on Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino to express his displeasure at the Cubbies’ continued suckitude, the wrong guy was removed, and the Cubs apologized to everyone. You’d think that would be the end of the story, but nothing involving the Chicago Cubs is ever straightforward.

Cubs Wanted Poster

Both the Cubs and Victorino have filed formal complaints with the Chicago Police Department, who has in turn said that assault charges will be brought against the fan - as soon as he’s found. Now, the city (or at least its more web-savvy inhabitants) are on a mission to track down the fan. We’re doing our part. Let’s get ‘im!

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NBA, WBC Officials Still More Important Than Us

Sometimes, when we have exciting exhibition baseball games or tight NBA contests, we worry that we’re too focused on winning and losing or on a particular team. We fear we’re losing sight of the most important element of sports: the umpires and referees. Thankfully, two brave men reminded us that we care about the events on the field of play because of them.

First, NBA ref Bill Kennedy established his author-i-tah by ejecting Doc Rivers with less than a minute left in a two-possession game against the Bulls apparently because Rivers wouldn’t turn and face him like a man and actually walked away from confrontation.

Bill Kennedy, Hunter Wendelstedt, and Cartman

We believe the first technical in the third quarter was for sneezing without covering his mouth, though we can’t verify. Tommy Heinsohn and Boston bloggers took it as well as they could.

Then Kenji Johjima was sent packing by the Tossin’ Wendelstedts (youngun’ edition) for leaving his bat at home plate mid-inning after a questionable strike three (and does Hunter know any other kind?). Hunter waited for Kenji to return to the dugout, pointed at the bat a few times like a disappointed paternal figure, and then tossed him casually. Midseason form.

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Speed Read: Rays Top Red Sox, Ratings, All Logic

Hey, remember when about two weeks ago I was spouting off some amazing reasoning on why the World Series would be Los Angeles and Boston for the sole purpose of perpetuating a great storyline? Well, here’s a better one: two under-the-radar teams are the only squads remaining on the World Series Doppler. Philly’s series tickets already have dry, dry ink, but the American League had a conclusion to reach that lasted, for some inexplicable reason, far, far beyond Game 5.

Tampa Bay Rays win ALCS

(With David Price throwing heat, hell, who needs opposable thumbs?)

The big reason the Rays won 3-1 on Sunday night was Matt Garza lasting seven strong, allowing one run and two hits. That also gave him the ALCS MVP, and a blank check to swear on TBS. Said Garza on LIVE UNCENSORED television, when asked what he’d take, the MVP or the World Series: “Sh*t, I’ll take the World Series every time!”

Tampa Bay Rays celebrate ALCS win

Other MVPs of the game: Price, who got the final four outs of the game for his first major league save ever; Willy Aybar, who provided the team with a solo home run and scored another; Evan Longoria, who gave the world an RBI double; and Jason Varitek for striking out three times and finishing the series with an .050 average. Could the captain catcher be moving elsewhere next year?

Steven Jackson stiff arms the Cowboys

Let’s go with the surprise motif — heck, it’s gotten us this far. The Romo-free Cowboys shouldn’t be a team that the St. Louis Rams — the freakin’ Rams — should boss around. But sure enough, the trap game for America’s team turned into a full-out massacre in a 34-14 win for the Fightin’ Hasletts. You can thank Steven Jackson for 160 yards and three touchdowns, although if I were to draw a pie chart breaking down the amount of people elated with this result:

Steven Jackson pie chart

Now then. What else, you ask, is going on, besides 83 season previews of every NBA team?

How will the 2008 World Series play out?

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Shane Victorino: Pig Slaughterer? PETA Says Yes

In between hitting line drive homers and almost getting beaned in the dome, the Phillies’ Shane Victorino enjoys himself a Spam musubi every once in a while. And, of course, PETA is all bent out of shape over it.

Shane Victorino loves Spam

A musubi is a piece of Spam and a small block of rice wrapped in seaweed and is one of the most popular food items in Victorino’s home state of Hawaii. To the calm, rational folks at PETA, though, if you eat one you might as well be jamming a fork into a pig’s face. They’re looking for Victorino to condemn the treatment of pigs at a farm that supplies meat to Spam-maker Hormel. Thus far, he’s doing what most people do when PETA’s badgering them — ignoring them.

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Speed Read: Well, Ain’t That A Kick In The Head

Brushing up on the SAT, or just looking to get your GED? Then let’s help you with some standardized testing.

“Billy watched four NFL games won in the final minute of regulation. Which one did he like the best?”

a) Ryan Longwell’s 26-yard field goal to help the Vikings beat the Lions 12-10
b) Jason Elam’s last-second kick to give the Falcons a 22-20 win over the Bears
c) Josh Brown flexing with pride after kicking the Rams to a 19-17 victory against Washington
d) Matt Schaub lifting the Texans to a 29-28 win over the Dolphins on a last minute scramble

NFL exciting finish quiz

Of course it’s “D.” (Even though on most Scantron tests it’s more than likely “C.”) The discussion of kickers overusing their worth has been a curious one from time to time, with Skip Bayless perhaps being most famous for being their No. 1 enemy (“Eliminate place kicking altogether.”), which might be why nobody’s ready to warm up to that idea. But suppose if field goals were outlawed in the final two minutes and overtime, then we’d have Gus Frerotte, Matt Ryan and Mark Bulger try to win it with their arms … or legs.

Arizona Cardinals block Cowboys

The counterargument, though, is that if you couldn’t kick field goals after the two-minute warning. We wouldn’t have had this game, where the Cardinals’ Sean Morey practically blocked the Cowboys’ overtime punt with his clavicle to ensure a 30-24 win over the Dallasites. To get to OT, Nick Folk had to blast a 52-yard three-point shot to tie the game, which — again — almost didn’t happen, because the first attempt was blocked but re-kicked after AZ head man Ken Whisenhunt whistled for a timeout. Hey, that’s another good idea. No defensive timeouts in the final two minutes. Who’s with me?

NLCS - Kuroda vs. Manny

It sure was nice of Major League Baseball to lift the ban on talking about the NLCS without talking about Manny Ramirez, if only for one game. The highlight of the Dodgers’ 7-2 rout of the Phillies — besides maybe that five-run first inning that essentially kept the Dodecahedrons in the series — was a series if high-and-in pitches that came to a head when Hiroki Kuroda, smack dab in the middle of owning the Philbins, tossed one where Shane Victorino’s head was located split-seconds earlier. Bedlam! Scuffle! Hootenanny! Benches cleared, and Victorino kept the bad blood feud through press quotes that will surely trickle into Game 4, right? Right?!

“I think it’s over.”

Yeah! Take their heads off! Kick their … huh? It’s over? Pssttthththth. Guess we’re back to talking just about the baseball games themselves and how the Dodgers have halved their NLCS deficit and got their bats going, their pitchers locating, and their fans into the series. Just two things. If this game is decided by a field goal, there will be hell to pay. Same if the Dodgers win the series and play the Red Sox in the World Series.

It’s also a new NFL rule that Ed Hochuli is scrutinized after every week of the NFL playoffs:

Joey Porter and Ed Hochuli

  • Now Hocks is getting called out by players. The PALM BEACH POST says the enigmatic Joey Porter isn’t happy at all with Hochuli and his officiating crew after his hit on the aforementioned Matt Schaub, causing him to drop the ball, was ruled an incomplete pass and not a fumble. “It’s the same referees’ staff. Something always happens out there.” For once, Porter is right.
  • Also fuming at the refs is the Lions’ Leigh Bodden for a pass interference call against the Minnesota Vikings that led to their winning field goal. DETROIT FREE PRESS says Bodden wants an apology from the NFL. Hey, good luck with that.
  • Staying with winless teams in the Rust Belt, don’t count on the Bengals getting their first win anytime soon. The CINCINNATI POST has their OC channeling Napoleon Dynamite on his own team: “We’re pretty much inept.”
  • A blogger at OPEN SPORTS says the NHL might be going overboard with ads, perhaps even too political? I’m Matt Sussman, and I something something.
  • 12-year-old Tampa Bay Rays fan Zachary Sharples is so hardcore, he was suspended from school for his Rayhawk hairdo, and was rewarded with meeting the team.
  • Racist slurs in soccer? Sure, maybe in Europe, but in our quaint little country? The WASHINGTON POST reports D.C. United goalie Louis Crayton had a confrontation with a Houston Dynamo fan after their 0-0 draw. The fan in question called the black goalkeeper a monkey who should go back to the jungle. Crayton jumped a barrier to confront the fan, and as a result the fan was given the MLS banhammer.
  • PUCK DADDY shares CBC’s newest theme song for Hockey Night in Canada, affectionately titled “Canadian Gold.”
  • When KISSING SUZY KOLBER takes screenshots of Bill Belichick’s face during a beatdown of a game, everyone wins.
  • Tim Stephens of the ORLANDO SENTINEL eyes Penn State and Alabama as the teams with the best chances to run the table. Clearly he’s short-changing the MAC daddies, Ball State.
  • And finally, here’s a guy I keep forgetting to read every week and instead tune into maybe every other month, but here’s Norman Chad praising old, old coaches Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden because, hey, why not?

After this weekend, what new sports rule needs to be put into place?

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Blog-O-Rama: NFL Game Caller Charlie Jones Dies

Tom Hoffarth of FARTHER OFF THE WALL is sad to see the passing of legendary NFL broadcaster Charlie Jones.

Charlie Jones NFL broadcaster

• DEADSPIN punches up rumors that Mike Tyson had ordered a hit on the guy who killed his bodyguard.

• MR. IRRELEVANT informs us that Jamie Mottram is leaving “Blog Show“. Well, once you’ve had Erin Andrews, what else is there?

• WHO ATE ALL THE PIES finds this year’s Pulitzer winner: A German Euro 2008 reporter running late for his flight decides to call in a bomb threat.

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Blog-A-Roni: Pecherov A Wiz With The Miami Gals

• Victory is mine! WIZZNUTZZ passes along pics of Wizards player and Stewie Griffin lookalike Oleksiy Pecherov clubbing it up in Miami.

Pecherov Wizards Miami clubs

• The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE dresses down Oakland A’s outfielder Jeff Fiorentino paying for a party foul by spending a night out in Tokyo wearing a pink kimono.

• ESPN reports that Donnie Walsh’s departure from the Indiana Pacers may mean good news for Larry Bird but bad news for Isiah Thomas. Read more…