28 December 2007

Louisiana's Trial Lawyers Kindly Request That No Trials Take Place on January 7th

There are some things that are important in our world. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are usually around the top three. But in some parts of our land, there are others as well. In Louisiana, for example, there is LSU football. That might be above those other three. Take this example - a bunch of trial lawyers in Baton Rouge have filed a continuance motion to make sure their case doesn't start on January 7th. Why, you ask? January 7th is the BCS Championship Game! LSU v. Ohio State. Duh! And more like duh for the judge who scheduled it in the first place...

Footnote 1 clearly shows the LSU bias. Lack of speed?

Yes, that's bias. But at least they're all on the same side. If they can agree on who they want to win, then settling this case out of court should be the next step.

The wheels of justice always need to continue moving. But when LSU football is in play? Well, that seems to be another matter.

27 December 2007

Did The Orange Bowl Just Get A Little More Interesting?

If you're not a fan of any particular team, it's hard to get to excited for any particular bowl game. For every Rose Bowl, there's about a dozen New Mexico Bowls, or whatever they happen to be called this year. And without any affiliation, it's also called a snoozer.

The Orange Bowl might be something like that this year. It's Virginia Tech v. Kansas. The team the Vick brothers built v. a team that hasn't played in a January bowl game in my father's lifetime. It sounds like a game that doesn't really matter, unless you're a Hokie or Jayhawk fan.

Yet thanks to some Hokie fans, perhaps there will be something more to this game than meets the eye. Some clever "Mac v. PC" ads have sprouted up poking fun at KU. You can view the rest of this well-done set here. The Orange Bowl may not be any more entertaining this year, but perhaps there will be a little more emotion this time around.

(HT: Sqwable)

20 December 2007

One WV Fan Knows How To Get Even With Rich Rodriguez

Things are tough for West Virginians these days, as they’ve lost both their basketball and football coaches to Michigan in the past year. One West Virginia football fan is damn mad about Rich Rodriguez leaving for Michigan, and he’s doing the only thing he knows how to make it better. He’s shaving off his beard, and selling it on eBay. Describing himself as “hurt, angry, and thirsty for blood,” this fan is turning his pain into an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Now, on to the item up for bid. I have had this beard all season long, it is getting longer by the day. I wanted to send it with coach Rodriguez on his way to Ann Arbor, but I don't think he would have appreciated it as much as my fellow Mountaineer fans. This beard has experienced moments of joy and moments of sadness this season.
My lovely beard would like a new home after the Fiesta Bowl, but we can make arrangements for after basketball season, if you would like. I will keep growing it for the lucky Mountaineer fan that has the highest bid. The beard has served coach Huggins well this season. I will try to get coach Huggins to touch it at the Oklahoma vs. WVU game on 12.29.2007. I will take a picture for proof of the touch, and you will get a copy.
A Huggins-blessed beard? How lucky can a fan get? The fan “is in no mood for nonsense,” and he shouldn’t. This is eBay – it’s legit. And the lucky winner of this auction will get more than just a beard. It’s an authentic Mountaineer fan beard from someone at least slightly insane. Plus more!
The beard will be sent to you in a Ziploc bag, and I will include an bonus gift for the lucky/winning bidder. The prize will be related to WVU athletics, and it will not be born of my body.

Once the beard is in your possession you can do with it what you will. You can make a silly wig for next season, glue it to your face for the home opener next season, display it in a case that contains Mountaineer memorabilia, lie to people and tell them it is from the face of the Mountaineer, or simply name it.
So, yeah. I don’t know what to make of this either. Did I mention bidding starts at $175?

The University of Nevada Doesn’t Have Many Football Fans

The University of Nevada doesn’t seem to have many football fans. Now I know it’s likely this is the first time you’ve heard that the University of Nevada has a football team, and that’s probably a contributing factor. The Pack’s made bowl games before, but there’s been a saving grace to each of the previous two occasions. One took place in Hawaii. The other was against Miami. This one? The New Mexico Bowl against New Mexico. It’s such a low-tier bowl that it doesn’t even have a sponsor. And perhaps that’s why they’ve had trouble selling tickets. Big time trouble.

Nevada had only sold 95 of its 6,000 allotted tickets at the beginning of the week, according to Keith Hackett, Nevada's associate athletics director. However, the Pack expect to have about 1,000 fans in Albuquerque, N.M., for today's game, Hackett said.
95! Ninety-Five! Their student group isn’t even planning a trip to go!

But what can you expect for a small school with a smaller record. They went 6-6 this season, finishing fourth in the WAC. So don’t expect many Pack fans come Saturday. It will be nothing but home field advantage for the Lobos. Or an empty stadium advantage. Or a nobody cares advantage.

19 December 2007

PETA Wishes Michael Vick A Very Un-Merry Christmas

Leave it to PETA to come out with a holiday e-card that only they could come up with. The veggie-lovers have come up with a way to get back at those on their naughty list in their own special way. With a tongue-in-cheek holiday e-card, that is!

In the card, a cartoon version of Vick paces across a prison yard inside a snow globe as gun-toting guards and their barking dogs keep watch. He’s wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and football helmet and dragging a ball and chain.

When a visitor to PETA’s Web site shakes the snow globe by dragging a mouse, Vick bounces around and crashes against the globe’s dome as a commentator announces, “They got to the quarterback’s blind side there. He never had a chance.”
Ah, isn’t that the holiday spirit? And say you aren’t a Vick-hater, fear not. There are plenty of other options to get your blood boiling. Other e-cards include “Cold-Blooded Colonel Sanders,” “Hairy-Kate and Trashley: the Olsen Twins,” “Pelt Pusher Anna Wintour,” “Fur Hot Kate Moss,” and “Hunter Dick Cheney.” Lovely. Doesn’t the Cheney name seem a bit lacking? They could have done better.So thanks, PETA. You’ve made the holiday season special for me this year!

Here's How You Can Spend Christmas With An MLS Cup Trophy

You’ve got to hand it to the smaller teams in leagues who are able to do the creative, innovative promotions that the teams in larger leagues just can’t pull off. Take the Houston Dynamo of the MLS, for example. Did you know that they’re the two-time defending MLS champions? If so, you probably saw its players hoist the MLS Cup trophy over his head each time. And thanks to a new promotion by the team, you can spend Christmas with one of trophies.

If you’re a Dynamo fan within deep enough pockets, you can bid on the chance to do whatever you want with the trophies. And I mean anything. You just need to live within 40 miles of Houston, and be willing to spend an hour with the media on Christmas Day. Oh yeah, and have enough money to do it.

But amazingly, with less than 24 hours to go the auction has garnered just 7 bids, with the current price being $550. That’s it! So come on, Dynamo fans! It is for charity, after all! And think of all the photos you can upload onto your Facebook account afterwards...

Now if the Dodgers had something like this, I’d be all in. But I’d probably be easily outbid. And of course they, you know, would have to win something too.

A Simple Holiday Wish From The NHL

18 December 2007

Introducing Your Best-Mannered Athletes

Manners? There seem to be no manners in sports, if you watch anything on a regular basis. But a group called the National League of Junior Cotillions, has come out with a “Ten Best-Mannered People of 2007,” and lo-and-behold a number of athletes appear on the list. Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) is first, and here are the sports figures.

2. Tim Tebow - for displaying good sportsmanship on and off the field.
4. Tony Dungy - for his example of humility and politeness.
6. Brett Favre - for his perseverance as an athlete.
10. Tiger Woods - for inspiring young people to achieve their best.
So the kids think Tebow has better manners than Tiger Woods? Really? I think they’ve just seen his photos online, and the votes come out of adoration.

It’s a good year for sports indeed, as the number of athletes on the list doubled from the previous installment. It’s hard to top this one though:
4. Emmitt Smith - For his positive influence in football and dance.
A positive influence in dance indeed. Amen. Why is it, though, that it would be far easier to think of ten ill-mannered athletes than well-mannered ones? Where’s Phillip Wellman when you need him.

17 December 2007

The BCS v. The U.S. Constitution

Lots of people don’t like the BCS, and they usually advocate for a playoff system in its stead. There are tons of reasons tossed out on a playoff system’s behalf, ranging from the wise to the mundane to the jealous. But here’s one that you probably haven’t heard, thanks to Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii): The BCS does not provide justice for all, and is thus unconstitutional.

Abercrombie said a system that limits automatic berths to six conferences "is restraint of trade. The automatic qualifiers are still taking care of themselves. I'm saying regardless of what good intentions may be behind this, it's restraint of trade. It's illegal. It's unconstitutional."

He said the best way to resolve the matter would be with a playoff system. All other NCAA football levels have playoffs.
While you might hear this kind of argument from supporters of a school that didn’t get in, this comes from one whose school did, as Hawaii will face off against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl January 1st. So why the sour grapes - you guys beat the odds and did it!

Perhaps Abercrombie is a Utilitarian, looking to get the greatest good for the greatest number of people, much like Jeremy Bentham, who said "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure." Thus the BCS is pain, college playoff system is pleasure? Perhaps it’s not political theory driving Abercrombie’s thought process, but clearly something was going through his mind to discuss a playoff system in the following way:
"It's a way of saying there are 120 schools and we're all equal, except some are more equal than others," Abercrombie said. "Remember from 'Animal Farm?' All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others. There are special troughs for a few of the conferences, and the other conferences get to be on the outer edges of the farm. And sometime, maybe, if you're real good, we'll invite you up to the main trough. If you have a 120-school association, everyone ought to have their shot."
Yeah, pigs. And having solved every other problem our nation faces, Abercrombie is right to take on the next-biggest issue facing us.

Are Jim Brown And Larry Johnson Pushing “Thug Life?”

Jim Brown and Larry Johnson are many things. Famous athletes, mainly. They’re also entrepreneurs though, as part of O.G. Nation, which sells beverages and snacks. And according to a New York City Councilman, their involvement in it really means they’re helping to market the inner-city to kids.

So yeah, they’re selling stuff with curious names. “Thug Chips” and “Atomic Dogg” drinks conjure up a number of images, none of them being “yummy.”

Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-Queens), who has been crusading against the marketing of gang paraphernalia on city streets, today will call on investors to pull out and buyers to stay away.

"They are people trying to exploit our youth," Comrie said. "It's even more insidious because these are people that work directly with gangs . . . enticing people into thug life and gang life. It makes no sense to me," the lawmaker told The Post.

He said Johnson and Brown's products will end up hurting "generations of people."

"Why would you harm an entire culture just to help a few people" make money? Comrie asked.
Perhaps he’s got a point, but perhaps his protests are nothing more than another politician’s shrill exclamations. The products are trying to have an edge, as do numerous other ones. And if you take a look at their website, it sure doesn’t seem like a ghetto company.

And you wouldn’t expect O.G. to lay back and take this, would you? They of course shot back with a retort.
"The logic behind these accusations is spurious and the premises are completely unfounded. To suggest that there is a connection between a soft drink can and gang violence is simply willful and deliberate ignorance of the deeper socio-economic divisions that are the root of the problem. OG Nation was formed specifically to contribute to greater equality of opportunity in the commercial arena, and the Company has chosen to market its products to an underserved and marginalized demographic. This article only illustrates some of the perfidious ways that these kinds of disingenuous remarks serve to mask ignorant and bigoted rhetoric, and the Company's commitment to its larger social program is only reinforced as a consequence."
So Jim Brown and Larry Johnson are pushing soda and snack chips in a bad way? Only if you're talking about calorie intake. Gangs and “thug life” don't seem to be a part of it.

16 December 2007

Fred Taylor Knows What It Takes To Make The Pro Bowl

Fred Taylor is a lot of things. He ranks 18th on the NFL's career rushing list. H's fifth in the AFC in rushing this season, and ranks first in yards per carry. Now in his 10th season, perhaps he's also the best active player not to make a Pro Bowl? Consider him the NFL's Susan Lucci.

"I would like for everyone on the planet, on the face of the Earth to vote for me," Taylor said. "But it's not up to me. Whatever happens, happens," said Taylor. "They've got to tally up the votes, and however it comes out, I've got to live with it. I've always felt like I'm Pro Bowl-quality, so everything else doesn't matter."
So what's a RB got to do to make the Pro Bowl? Playing for a small market team that's often been a losing one perhaps helps to explain his previous absences. But this year? Oh no. Fred Taylor has a plan. He's voting for himself.
"Why not vote for yourself? Ten extra votes. This is Florida," Taylor said, joking about the contentious 2000 presidential election. "I won't be disappointed. I understand I made a late push, but at the same time, I feel like I'm Pro Bowl -caliber, Pro Bowl-quality."
He's right. Why not vote for yoursef. But Taylor's making a big mistake. Only voting 10 times? You've got to involve everyone you know in the efforts. If he doesn't make it to Honolulu, that'll be the reason why.

And while you're not Fred Taylor, you can make it to the Pro Bowl yourself. State Farm wants to send you and four buddies there. Check it out here.

13 December 2007

The Checks Of The Mitchell Report

Not that I've ever bought drugs, but if I would, I believe I'd be smart enough not to write my drug dealer a check. Most of the players named in Thursday's Mitchell Report? Not so smart. So to honor them, I've put their checks below, in no particular order. Enjoy!

China Fines Runners In Deference To Its Sponsors

Companies pay big time to sponsor events, and with it comes a number of privileges. Tickets, access, prestige, and signage. That’s right – they’re dishing out the cash to make sure they’re seen loud and clear. And when one of those things doesn’t happen, you’ve got trouble.

Yet usually there’s some sort of boundary between sponsors and the teams and events they support. While the connection is there, there always seems to be a level of integrity involved. But alas, China has found a way to violate this.

China has punished four of its athletes who failed to properly display a sponsor's trademark on their chests while running in the Beijing Marathon in October.

The Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) fined men's runner-up Ren Longyun 10,000 yuan (666 pounds) in a decision made out of "respect for the sponsor", it said on its Web site.
Three others were also fined, including the women’s runner-up. And what was the big deal? Rens’ chest number was half unpinned, and hung down in such a way that obscured sponsors’ logos. Did they expect him to stop in the middle of a marathon to pin it back up? Come on, he was running a marathon!

You’d expect a team or organization to stand by the athletes that it supports, and most would. But the Chinese Athletic Association has clearly shown whose side it is on. And it’s not surprising.
"From now on, athletes' education will be boosted to protect the overall interests of the marathon," the paper quoted Wang Dawei, a deputy director of CAA, as saying.

Steiner Sports Wants You To Buy Steroid-Enhanced Signatures

Consider this a genius if not somewhat sneaky attempt to sell some products. Steiner Sports had an offer up on its website on Wednesday night essentially giving a steroid discount. If you were you have bought some memorabilia from them before the report came out and they were later named in the report, you’d have received a $50 gift certificate to their site. Of course what makes it great is that it’s not a refund, but a credit. And you’d be hard-pressed to find an item on their site costing $50 or less.
Now if only I’d bought that Eric Gagne or Andy Pettite signed ball before the report came out...

12 December 2007

Oliver Kahn Fined For Being A Party Pooper

Ah, tis the season. Not just for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, but for holiday parties! Each year holiday parties give employers the opportunity to pretend to appreciate their employees, who get to imbibe and do things they'll ultimately not remember the next morning (or wish not to remember). It turns out that sports teams hold celebrations of their own, which, don't always go so well either. Take Bayern Munich and goalie Oliver Kahn.

Kahn was fined €25,000 and suspended for Saturday's game at Hertha Berlin for leaving his club's Christmas party early and for criticising the commitment of his teammates. I kid you not.

"I had to set an example so everyone at Bayern knows how they're expected to behave," said the team's coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. "Players criticising their team-mates must stop. Otherwise we become a madhouse. Kahn must know he has to set an example to the younger players and at the Christmas party he did not behave well. The captain can't leave early."
Are you kidding? Just imagine if your boss looked over your shoulder that closely at your holiday party. Yes, they might be disgusted. But they're probably not, and you're better off for it. Perhaps Hitzfeld was pissed that the team had paid for his plate and saw it needlessly go to waste.

Wasn't Kahn really the one suffering? I bet he missed out on a great raffle at the end! Ultimately this seems like a scene out of The Office. Does Ottmar Hitzfeld consider Michael Scott a role model?

Giving Needy People Hockey Tickets? Now That's Charity

This story starts off with a pretty simple premise. Stockholders sued Caremark Rx, claiming that its managers had backdated stock options. It turned into a class action suit, and was eventually settled out of court. Then last week a judge said that the attorneys who successfully sued Caremark were entitled to be paid $7.5 million in legal fees for their work.

In Judge Hamilton Gayden’s decision to have the lawyers paid, he had one simple caveat: $500,000 of the purse must be donated to charity. Here’s where it gets stupefying.

Gayden ordered lawyers to pay $400,000 to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Public Benefit Foundation to distribute free tickets to hockey games (Emphasis Added).
That’s right, of the $500,000 given to charity, 80% of it will be used to give the needs free hockey tickets? This amounts to sending 20,000 needs people to a Nashville Predators game. But is this really the right choice? Is it even really charity? While it might amount to a fun night for the recipients, there has got to be a better way for this money to be spent. You can’t convince me otherwise.

For example, the Judge Gayden also ordered $100,000 to be donated to the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, which provides lawyers for people who can’t afford them. Now that is a worthy cause, and that’s a good way to give back. The hockey idea? it is just insanity.

11 December 2007

Add Kendrick Perkins’ Toe To The Bizarre Sports Injury List

Amid the gangbusters 17-2 start for the Boston Celtics little has gone wrong. But you knew it was only a matter of time before something went wrong. It wasn’t Kevin Garnett busting a knee ‘a la Page 2, but instead a sore toe.

Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics’ version of the fifth Beatle, said that part of his bed fell on his right big toe Monday, putting him in jeopardy for their game Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. I could describe what happened myself, but better to let Kendrick do it himself.

"Man, that's a weird story," Perkins said after practice Tuesday. "I was asleep. I guess whoever put my bed together didn't put it together right when I moved, so one side of my bed fell. My bed was tilted, so I got out of my bed to go push down on the other side.

"And when I was about getting ready to push down on the other side, the headboard started coming in. So I tried to push the headboard back so it wouldn't fall over. My foot was under the bed and the other side of the bed fell on my foot."
We all learned from Shaq years back just how crucial the big toe is, and should Perkins not be able to go Wednesday night it will be the first change to the Celtics’ lineup this year. And if that happens, we can add this episode to the long list of bizarre sports injuries.

10 December 2007

Actual Headline: Whitewater's Beaver Is Division III's Best

Thanks to Bryan Watson and the Wisconsin State Journal for providing us with a wonderfully classic headline: College football: Whitewater's Beaver is Division III's best. Justin Beaver's 6,335 career rushing yards truly make him of of Division III's best beavers.

Beckham Home Schools Snoop's Kids

When celebrities decide they want something, they usually find a way to get it. Case in point: Snoop Dogg. Snoop decided that his kids should learn how to play soccer, and really had to pull all the strings to make it happen. It turns out that the Snoop pups weren’t really interested in doing so, as they protested that they’d only participate should David Beckham be the one to teach them. While that would have worked for most kids, they seemed to forget that their father is a pretty connected guy.

Father knows best though, as Beckham made a house call, coming to Snoop’s home to teach his kids soccer. He spent a few hours teaching free kicks and dribbling to the kids. And from the picture above, it looks like Snoop got the upper hand. Does that look like two unhappy kids or what?

Beckham certainly did a favor for Snoop, but believe me, it was an even trade. Snoop took Beckham to his favorite restaurant, Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n’ Waffles in exchange for the private tutoring. Apologies to those who've never had that delight.

And lest you think this was really all about the beautiful game, think again. The spot, while perhaps to some degree genuine, was filmed for Snoop’s show, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, which will air on January 20th on E!. It should be, uh, interesting?

(HT: RandBall)

Zubaz Pants Are Making A Comeback?

Zubaz pants. It might ring a bell as the name of a blog. But the blog pays homage to something far more engrained in American culture. You remember those pants. They’re loud and obnoxious – consider them the ugliest sweatpants you could imagine. The pants that were designed in the back of a gym are making a comeback.

The original owners of Zubaz, two men from the Twin Cities have relaunched their latent brand. And while it’s possible I may have owned a pair myself growing up, you’ve got to wonder who would wear them now. But Zubaz’s brain trust feels good.

But they say there's a new generation of potential Zubaz customers out there, too young to be fazed by the embarrassing stigma still associated with the wild pants. "We know there's definitely a demand for it," co-creator Dan Stock said.
If you’re looking to get your hands on some Zubaz Pants, you’ll have to go through them; they’ll only be sold through www.zubaz.com. Stock and Truax are adamant that the pants aren’t just for bodybuilders, but they’re going to need to work hard to convince some people.
"I find that really frightening," said Kellie Cameron, owner of Via's Vintage in Uptown Minneapolis. "Because the big appeal of Zubaz back in the day was because pro wrestlers were wearing them. The idea of anyone having a pro wrestler as a fashion icon is scary."
They’re clearly not for everyone, but don’t flinch when you see someone walking down the street in Zubaz sometime soon.