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.
8:45 PM The Tampa Bay Times reports a Starbucks store in St. Petersburg on Wednesday managed to get 378 drive-thru customers to "pay it forward" and buy the drinks of the customers behind them after their drinks were bought by the customers ahead of them.
Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin‘ has become an in-game anthem for plenty of pro sports teams, including the San Francisco Giants. During Game 5 of the NLCS at AT&T Park, Journey frontman Steve Perry was seen in the stands leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of the tune.
You might wonder why you see the occasional baseball fight during July or even August, but almost never in September. For a good reason why, ask Bill Lee. (Actually don’t, because you’ll probably get a two-hour lecture on pot. Or the evil of the DH. Or both.) Even though it happened in May of 1976, him separating his shoulder during a huge brawl between the Yankees and the Red Sox caused him to miss the majority of the season (and possibly ruined his career).
So the same reason last night’s fight between the Yankees and the Blue Jays was both so compelling and ridiculously stupid. Because they were throwing real punches - not just the usual preschool pushing of most big league fights - and big-name pitchers like Joba Chamberlain and C.C. Sabathia were right in the middle, just waiting for a Blue Jay with a grudge to rip up their multimillion dollar arms. A good rule of thumb: don’t get into fights with teams who are 13 games under .500 - they don’t really have much to lose. Read more…
With all apologies to the folks at the Cell for the Sox-Twins game, the real blackout on Tuesday night took place in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Middle Tennessee Blue Raider fans ignored the color suggestion provided by their nickname and donned the darkest color of them all in a show of solidarity. The Raiders, wearing black unis for the first time ever, responded by delivering a 14-13 win over Florida Atlantic on a crazy, last-second Hail Mary that sent the crowd of nearly 26,000 into a frenzy. On a 4th-and-8 play, QB Joe Craddock heaved one into the endzone on what ended up being the last play of the game, and MTSU’s Malcolm Beyah pulled it down amidst a sea of, uhhh, mostly other teammates of his. Nice prevent D, there, FAU.
And yes, the White Sox finally got their chance to celebrate with the champagne and all that. Most exciting about the Sox’ first postseason appearance since they won it all in 2005 is that we can finally get a little bit of this guy back in our life:
As you may remember, Steve Perry was adopted as an unofficial mascot by the 2005 Sox after they chose “Don’t Stop Believin’” as their theme song on their “journey” to the World Series title. They even had Perry celebrate with them in the clubhouse after all of the big wins. But, from what I understand, Tampa has Kevin Costner writing its playoff song this year. I don’t know if Perry can hang with the immensely relevant powerhouse that carried Swing Vote to box office records.
In other baseball news, Cliff Lee and Brad Lidge are your comeback players of the year. Lee went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA this season and the Indians were nowhere close to making the playoffs. Last year, he was a crappy 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and his team came within one game of the World Series. Go figure. Lidge’s career was nearly destroyed by Albert Pujols in 2005, but he bounced back to go 41-for-41 on saves this year.
Speaking of the Phillies, Pat Burrell tweaked his back during batting practice yesterday and his status is unknown going into today’s playoff opener against the Brewers. The Phils are trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s NLDS disaster, when they fell flat on their face and didn’t win a game against the Rockies.
Not satisfied to watch their cross-town rivals sign their GM to an extension after missing the playoffs, the Yankees followed suit by extending Brian Cashman for three years. Now Cashman gets to deal with having like 17 guys who can’t do anything but play a crappy first base.
Maria Sharapova isn’t playing tennis these days, so the only way to sneak in gratuitous photos of her is to talk about who she’s dating. BITTEN AND BOUND says the lucky dude is Charlie Ebersol, son of NBC Sports lord Dick Ebersol and Kate from Kate & Allie.
Not to be outdone by Jason Williams‘ retirement announcement, Jayson Williams is back in the news because one of the investigators in his manslaughter case used a racial slur, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS. Naturally, the slur caused him retroactively to shoot his limo driver.