Speed Read: Terrell Owens Released Into the Wild

The Worldwide Leader dropped the bomb around midnight that Terrell Owens, whose given name could be Mercurial T. Owens, has been let go by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, anticipated chemistry issues with Jon Kitna forced the move. Kitna is on the record as preferring Sweet’n'Low while Owens is all about the Equal.

Jerry Jones Terrell Owens

(”Ha ha ha ha… pack your stuff.”)

On SportsCenter last night, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported there would be significant financial penalties for the Cowboys to cut Owens as much of his 4-year, $34 million contract signed less than a year ago is guaranteed cash. We hope this means Owens will continue to have at least twenty million reasons to come back to camp this summer.

Terrell Owens and Candace Cabrera

(Note to ESPN: Neil Everett is monumentally awful at ad-libbing. Never tell us how cool it is to be the one on the dais when news breaks. When a big story hits, break the glass on Bob Ley.  Surprisingly good: Stuart Scott. Also, how did Ed Werder not break this story?)

(Note 2 to ESPN: Please remind Keyshawn Johnson that Charlie Manson comparisons may be a bit dated, not to mention a little racy.)

LeBron James

In brighter news, the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed the first musical chair in the Longines Symphonette that is the NBA playoffs with a 91-73 triumph at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers move to 48-12, which is exactly how LeBron James hopes his Knicks career starts in two years.  (We kid, Cleveland, we kid.)

LeBron posted a silent but deadly 23-8-4 on 7-of-11 shooting Wednesday night.  Unfortunately, his most offensive move isn’t necessarily the one he unleashes on the court:

On the other end of the spectrum, Shaquille O’Neal has been letting everyone know that his excrement does not emit a malignant odor. First, he somehow thought he could pull off the Divac Dive against DwightTime Warner Intellectual Property HereHoward.

 

Then, when the Van Gundy with the honest living fussed about the sad little move, there was a Shaqhissy, captured on Miami’s 790 THE TICKET by Jorge Sedano and reproduced below in the popular MP3 format:

None of this, of course, helped the Suns win in Orlando or Miami. The Suns dropped their second Florida game in the “He Hate Me” series of former O’Neal teams last night in Miami, 135-129. No defense in here anywhere.

Shaq with Renaissance Faire groupies

(Perhaps the only men left who will fight for Shaq’s honor)

We feel compelled to note again that Shaq’s a complicated fellow. We recently saw him encourage his kids post-game to say hello to a fragile 7′ 6″ teen that sat near courtside after being featured on the local news the previous night. This was done under the stands with little fanfare, maybe a few dozen witnesses and none from the media.

When his young son was too shy to do so and tried to hide under Dad’s massive jacket, Shaq gently insisted until his son shook the adolescent hand. Shaq could relate to the teen’s condition better than nearly anyone on the planet and made sure that young man felt welcome. Also, Shaq showed his own son the importance of graciousness.

Shaq makes that gesture damned near every day of his life, often without credit. He’s also the same man that made the comments to the media above. He may have been compared to a meteorite by this author yesterday, but not in the most important way: Shaquille O’Neal is a force of nature. Try to comprehend him at your own risk.

Same for Terrell Owens. Same for LeBron James. Maybe not so much for Jon Kitna.

And now the proverbial hail of bullet points while saving a parking spot with your life

Where will Terrell Owens go next?

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Speed Read: Gators Win BCS Title, Nation Yawns

It was close, but last night’s BCS Championship Game was far from a classic. Now nobody’s sure who the best team in the country is, with Utah, USC, and Texas all able to make legitimate claims. It certainly didn’t look like either one of the teams playing last night deserved it. The only thing we do know is that Fox broadcaster Thom Brennaman has a Florida-sized man crush on Tim Tebow, who finally decided to not suck in the fourth quarter of the Gators’ 24-14 win over Oklahoma. Brennaman and Charles Davis‘ gushing reached unbearable levels late in the game, when, after Tebow received a taunting penalty, they suggested that he was baited into it by an OU player (with zero evidence to suggest that was true). How could this guy have possibly done anything wrong?:

Tim Tebow

As for the Sooners, Sam Bradford continued a storied tradition of that year’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback playing like crap in the title game. Lions fans officially have nothing to look forward to.

The highlight of the game for me personally was the fact that ACC referee Ron Cherry was involved. Cherry made waves last season for creating a new reason to call a personal foul:

We know that the coaches are supposedly required to give their #1 vote to the BCS winner (although Utah’s Kyle Whittingham says he’s voting for his team), but the AP title was up for grabs. And even though Florida’s win could be considered somewhat lackluster (the defensive effort was really good, I’ll admit), they got 48 of 64 first-place votes, with the Utes receiving the other 16 and finishing #2. Way to make a statement, there, disgruntled sportswriters of America.

Rocco Baldelli and his weird mystery disease signed with the Red Sox yesterday. He’ll only get $500,00 in base salary, but can earn an additional $1.75 million if he stays on the roster all year. John Smoltz is rumored to be the next signing for the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Trevor Hoffman signed a $6 million dollar deal to be the closer for the Brewers this year.

Let’s get on with the linking:

• YAHOO SPORTS’ Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Portland Trail Blazers are threatening litigation against any team that decides to sign Darius Miles. The Blazers were able to purge Miles’ contract from their salary cap last year when they succesfully argued that he had suffered career-ending injuries. But Miles recovered, and has played eight games. If he plays two more games, his salary goes back on Portland’s cap, limiting the Blazers’ versatility in the offseason free-agent market and also sending luxury tax money to every other team in the league. The Blazers are worried that some team will sign Miles to a 10-day contract just to screw them over.

Darius Miles

•  Stanford’s win over Washington in women’s basketball was expected. But nobody really thought the Cardinal would win the game by 77 points. Yikes. It’s the largest margin of victory in Pac-10 history. Stanford led 62-15 at halftime and rolled to a 112-35 win. The SEATTLE P-I has the game story.

• NEWSDAY says Brett Favre’s in no hurry to decide whether or not to return next year.  The suspense is killing me.

• According to MLB TRADE RUMORS, the Pirates are talking to the Yankees about a trade for Xavier Nady. You know, the same guy the Pirates traded to the Yankees last year. They might have new management, but they’re the same ol’ Pirates.

• THE DALY PLANET says that NASCAR’s truck series may be in a bit of trouble, and that you can count the number of drivers with a full-time ride in the series “on two hands.”

• This letter to the editor in the WALL STREET JOURNAL hits on a truth that isn’t often talked about so plainly: if you’re an NFL fan, you’re a fan of socialism.

• Iowa Hawkeyes radio broadcaster and former NFL player Ed Podolak was having some fun down in Tampa last week before the Outback Bowl. THE WIZ OF ODDS has the photos, courtesy of an Iowa State message board (of course):

Ed Podolak

Curt Schilling is getting after Dan Shaughnessy again, this time about Shaughnessy treating Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez differently in the same situation and suggesting the race card. THE BIG LEAD has the details.

• The EXAMINER’s Paula Duffy reports that the WNBA and L.A. Sparks are doing their best to pretend that they aren’t furious over the news that 2008 league MVP Candace Parker is pregnant. Parker is set to give birth in May, and it’s unclear when she’ll be able to return to the court, if at all, in 2009.

• THE NASHVILLE SCENE says a Tennessee representative has proposed a $400 yearly tax for pro athletes and entertainers as a way for the state to make money. Tennessee has no state income tax. No word on whether or not Kerry Collins would have to pay double.

Which is the creepiest announcer-related man crush?

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VP Nominee Sarah Palin Is Also a Runner, Hunter

We already showed you Sarah Palin’s adventures in sports broadcasting, but the self proclaimed “Hockey Mom” has many more ties to sports. We use the term “sport” loosely here, but it’s interesting to note that she is a lifelong runner and hunter.

For years, her and her husband fed the family with whatever they could grow at home or kill in the Alaskan wilderness. Husband Todd also happens to be a four-time winner of the “World’s Longest Snowmobile Race“. Read more…