11 December 2008

Vote For LIO On Hot Clicks!

The great Jimmy Traina of SI's Hot Clicks does yeoman's work every day, bringing us the best of the blogosphere each morning. And he's at it again, with his "Clicky Awards," celebrating the highlights of 2008. What's even better is that two LIO stories are up there! So click here, and vote LIO!

Sports or Sex? You Know the Answer

Today was a bad day for women who have often wondered where their man’s loyalty lies. Is it with them, or with their team? It’s sports or sex, pretty much. And sports has won out.

Barclays commissioned a study of 32,000 soccer fans, and the answers finally answered the question.

More than 49% of men surveyed said football was No1 in their lives compared to family (48%), the job (30%) and relationships (30%).

And 81% of fans also admitted they talk about the game more than any other subject, with half saying it is the best ice-breaker topic.
Now ladies, don’t get too upset about this. You see, men can’t help it. It’s part of our evolutionary programming.
“Throughout history men have fought in groups and football is just a modern-day version of that. It’s part of their survival programming and it’s in the genes,” psychologist Judi James said.
See, we can’t help it! We basically have to watch sports. You wouldn’t want to stand in the way of evolutionary programming, would you?

04 December 2008

Down the Block From Safeco Field the Count is 2 Balls and 1 Boner

The Seattle Mariners are going to have a new neighbor, and they’re not too happy about it. That would be a the Déjà Vu strip club, which is set to open three doors down from Safeco Field, making the distance between boobs and sausages only about 400 feet away from each other.

The Mariners asked the city to reconsider, calling for further interpretation of the city code passed last year which bans strip clubs from within 800 feet of community centers, parks and schools.
On Thursday the Seattle Department of Planning and Development denied the Mariners’ petition, ruling that Safeco Field isn’t really a community center, and isn’t really a public space either. Not when the average ticket price is over $25.

Baseball has always been a family sport, and in that tradition it’s understandable to see how the Mariners wouldn’t want to be sharing clientele with Déjà Vu. But there’s probably more to it than that. After a 101-loss season, the Mariners may be competing with the strip club. With the average price of a ticket last season being around $25 and a beer $5 it’s safe to say a Mariners game costs over $40. And would you rather use $40 to see sub-par baseball or girls? Keep that answer to yourself.

At the least if people are exiting the games early to head over to Déjà Vu it’ll cost the team at the concession lines. From the team’s point of view it’s unsavory and may hurt them financially. Perhaps it will make a difference, or perhaps it won’t make a difference. But one thing is for sure: pre- and post-game activities will be a lot more exciting around Safeco come next season.

03 December 2008

Help Charlie Weis Eat His Way To Victory

Notre Dame Head Coach and Offensive Genius™ Charlie Weis may have escaped a firing on Wednesday, remaining with the school for at least another season. Yet while Notre Dame may have spared him, Weis is still behind the eight ball when it comes to its fan base. A loss to woeful Syracuse, two straight sub-par seasons and a drubbing at the hands of USC will do that to you.

And thus it’s likely that this frustration bore the “A Charlie Weis Thanksgiving!” game. Your task: eat turkeys and drive up your cholesterol while avoiding the menacing Syracuse Orangemen. Your reward: a larger, better than ever FUPA. And more food.

While the quality of the game harkens back to the classic Barney Carnage from way back when, it’s the audio that makes it a true classic. Perhaps rather than preparing a game plan for the USC game, Weis was playing his game and listening to lines like this:

"I'll eat twenty cans of spam, I'll eat Tyrone Willingham," and “Hey Charlie Weis stop eating or your heart will stop beating” pretty much sum that part up.
So if you’re a die-hard Notre Dame supporter or a die-hard Notre Dame hater this game is for you. And between those two categories that makes up every single sports fan around.

How Does Your Team Get To The Game When The Charter Jet Company Goes Bust?

We all know about the global economic crisis going on, as much of the country watches its jobs and savings deteriorate away. In these times sports can be a great diversion – a place to put our troubles and worries away for a bit. But when the economic woes start seeping into sports then we’ve got a problem. It’s happening in Baseball. And the credit crisis has also taken its toll on an English soccer club.

Portsmouth FC didn’t really do anything wrong. They didn’t overspend on players, and they didn’t mismanage their funds. But on the way to Germany to face VfL Wolfsburg they got stranded because their charter company went bust. Bankrupt. Out of business.

Once it became clear early that morning - as early as 5am, according to sources - that Flightline had issues, Thomson spent the morning looking for alternatives. Eventually an aircraft owned by WDL, a German-based operator, flew to Southampton from Cologne to ferry them to Braunschweig.
It’s not the kind of smooth sailing pre-match preparation that clubs typically want, but it worked in this case, getting them to their destination just a few stressful hours later than they’d planned for. In this day and age, it’s not a complete shocker, and it may not be a rarity either if things keep up.

26 November 2008

Racial Profiling Is Hard To Do On An All-Black Team

You'd hope in this day and age that racial issues would start appearing in only our collective rearview mirror. Every once in a while though, it rears its ugly head. Here's another example. Sort of.

Racial profiling has been lobbied against Danville High School's white basketball coach after cutting eight black players from the squad. This is a troubling thing, right? It might be, except for the fact that it's hard to commit racial profiling when the team is entirely black.

While some community members are crying foul, at least the Principle has his back.

"The coach chose the student athletes that he thought were the very best players and would help the team be successful this year," Principal Mark Neil said. "That was the basis of the choice.

"I feel for the ones who did not make the team," Neil said. "It's got to be tough on them and tough for their parents. ... But I don't understand the racial (accusations). The entire team is African-American."
The Principle is right. This is basketball. And like life, it's not always "fair." Eight kids didn't make the team, but that happens on basketball teams across the country. To accuse the coach of racial profiling is not only illogical, but it's also the wrong lesson to teach to the kids involved. Rather than making excuses perhaps the truth, while often a hard pill to swallow, should be told. These kids just weren't enough to make the team.

25 November 2008

Kyle Korver Jukes Left, Jerks Right

Kyle Korver is not only a great shooter, but photographic evidence has also proven him to be a great defender as well. It seems as though he has other talents as well. Korver has missed the last three games due to a "sprained wrist," and based on the video evidence it seems as though the injury may have been self-inflicted. Too bad he's not ambidextrous.

Iowa Fans Busted For Illegal Touching In Metrodome Stall

All in all, Iowa fans were feeling pretty good after the Hawkeyes took down Minnesota 55-0 this past Saturday. What should have been a memorable game for Gopher fans taking in the last game at the Metrodome was instead a dud. But two Iowa fans did have a memorable time, and a whole lot of explaining to do as well.

Unfortunately for these Iowa fans, what happens in a Metrodome bathroom stall doesn’t always stay in a Metrodome bathroom stall. Perhaps they were overtaken by the euphoria that a 55-0 victory gives you and did some things they perhaps might regret. They were caught having sex in a handicapped bathroom stall.

According to a police report, a Metrodome security officer saw two people having sex in a handicapped stall after noticing two sets of feet with underwear dropped to the ground.

A group of 15 onlookers were gawking at the scene by the time officers broke the couple up and wrote them misdemeanor citations.

Not so bad, right? It might be something to brag about lately, and could be a great party story as well. That would be the case under normal circumstances. And while this incident might give them some explaining to do during their next job interview, it seems as though there was some more immediate explaining necessary. The report concludes:

The woman, 38, was turned over to her husband. The man, 26, was turned over to his girlfriend.

Ah, yes. So not only were they caught for having sex in a bathroom stall, but they were cheating at the same time! The caught in the act couple were both visiting from Iowa, and it’s safe to say that it was a long, awkward ride home. How embarrassing.

And thus the lesson is clear. If you’re going to get caught having sex in a stadium bathroom (or anywhere, really), make sure you’re having sex with the proper person.

19 November 2008

Aaron Rodgers Makes Him Want To Dance

Aaron Rodgers might soon be known for his dance skills,but perhaps more consequential is the inspiration he provides to other dances. There's no other way to explain it, really. Aaron Rodgers makes this dude want to dance. And dance he does!

18 November 2008

One Heck Of A Catch

Isaac Stockton, we salute you! That's a SportsCenter-worthy catch if I've ever seen one. Starting at the 18-second mark you'll know what I mean...

World's Hottest Athlete Final Four Continues

InGameNow's World's Hottest Athlete competition continues again, with Blair O'Neal and Stacy Keibler facing off in the latter part of the Final Four. You can't really go wrong with either one, but check out my take here, and vote here.

17 November 2008

Mooning The Goalie Is A Great Way To Score A Goal

Theatrics has long been a part of soccer. Having trouble remembering a player writhing on the ground with a supposed devestating injury only to get up seconds later chasing after the ball? You've got memory problems then.

But why not bring a little more theatrics to goal scoring? Make that theatrics and tomfoolery. That's what Serie A Catania did during Sunday's 3-2 win over Torino. Three players dropped their shorts in front of the goalkeeper right before a free kick. The keeper was distracted/couldn't see the ball, and the goal went in. Game. Set. Match.

Pietro Lo Monaco, Catania chief executive, disagreed, telling RAI state radio: “A trick? I wouldn’t say so. It’s up to the referee to decide if it should be penalized, otherwise I don’t see where the problem is. . . . Good taste is relative.”
And video to prove it:

While I'd say that's an awesome move, soccer purists might disagree. Never mind them. That's damn funny, and a great way to score a goal. Whether this gets tried out in other sports is only a matter of time. Imagining Rasheed Wallace mooning an opposing player at the free throw line cracks me up. But isn't that also the equivalent of David Stern's worst nightmare?

(Photo Credit: Francesco Pecoraro/AP)

LIO's Take On InGameNow's World's Hottest Athlete Competition

Lion In Oil is a guest judge on InGameNow's World's Hottest Athlete contest, which has reached the Final Four stage. Anna Kournikova or the Feres Twins? Stacy Keibler or Blair O'Neal? I've put in my two cents. Now vote yourselves!

Cowboys Auction Allows You To Take A Leak With Greatness

If you're a true Dallas Cowboys fan there are lots of ways to prove your love for the team. You could buy a jersey, get season tickets, or even get a tattoo. But real Dallas Cowboys fans will want something from the Texas Stadium auction. There are more than 600 items up for grabs to the highest bidder, featuring...about everything you could imagine.

Tony Romo's locker would be a real get, as would the 30-foot-by-18-foot stadium entrance awnings. Yet the best buy of all has to the "Dallas Cowboys Official Team Locker Room Urinals." Urinals! Isn't that a man's dream - - to have a urinal in his house? But better yet, it's a urinal that's been peed in by many of the greats in Cowboys and NFL history. It even comes with a complete bathroom stall.

So if you're looking to remodel your bathroom, or any part of your house for that matter, get on this auction! Just imagine the lucky winner giving a tour of his house and proclaiming - this is my "Dallas Cowboys Official Team Locker Room Urinal." Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and I have now peed in the same urinal. Taking a leak with greatness. Is there anything better?

Indian Cricket Cheerleaders - Not Quite What You're Expecting

If you had to guess, just what do you think would make Indian Cricket more popular. Better players? Better competition? Nah. It's the cheerleaders!

The Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) is bringing in cheerleaders hoping to boost attendance and popularity for its league. But before you get all excited and book your flight to Cuttack (it's in Northeast India, if you're curious), perhaps you should read the fine print. You see, these aren't the type of cheerleaders we're accustomed to. They're all covered up.

"But I will not have them dressing up in short skirts, as it would be against our culture and traditions," Ashirbad Behera, secretary of the OCA said. "Our audience won't accept it."
Well pal, nobody is going to get too excited if they dress like that. People don't really care about the dance routines. It's the outfits.

So it's baby-steps for cheerleaders in India. They've got a lot of people to win over. After all, earlier this year Mumbai police said they would be checking cheerleaders' performances so they would not violate entertainment licences, resulting in fines. Clearly though, not everyone is accepting of the cheerleaders. Case in point, Ramchandra Guha, a historian.
"Why we always have to borrow the worst of the Western world is beyond me."

16 November 2008

Donovan McNabb Is Fit To Be Tied

Maybe Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb got hit too many times on Sunday. Maybe it was the four turnovers against the Bengals.  Whatever it was, McNabb didn't seem to know about ties in the NFL.  Well, now is as good of a time to learn as ever.  

10 November 2008

Hockey Fight or Bizarre Ice Dancing? You Decide

I thought hockey fights were better than this. Shouldn't this be a scene on Dancing With The Stars???

30 October 2008

There's No Better Way To Celebrate Than With Phillies "Lucky" Rain

If you're a Phillies fan it's time to go crazy and celebrate.  Those in Philadelphia already have.  But if not it's time to get in on the action.  You could celebrate like this:

Or even something like this:
The odds are against you doing anything of that sort.  So why not do something sensible instead.  Commemorative shirts and hats are acceptable.  But here's something for the true Phillie Phanatic: "lucky" rain from part 1 of Game 5.  Only on eBay, right?  Right.  
You are bidding on rain from the same storm system that brought the game to a screeching halt. It was collected no more than 5 miles away from Citizens Bank Park. It will be contained in a small vial and then sent to you via priority mail. I do not know what size vial or exactly how much you will get but it will be no less than 2 ml. I took a picture of the rain that I had collected in a pan that was sitting on my front steps. That is the only collection unit that I used so a very limited number of vials will be available & once they are gone, they are gone. Some will laugh but others will covet this tangible piece of history in the making...
Some will laugh.  But the last laugh will be on them.  $8.99 for a soaked piece of Phillies history?  It's a once-in-a-28-year championship, and a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.  Let seller Thomas sum up the Phillies' success so succinctly:
"if you shoot for the stars, maybe you'll end up on the mooon."

20 October 2008

Grandma Won't Give Ball Back; Grandma Gets Arrested

88-year-old Edna Jester is one tough cookie.  Or that's what it seems.  Little ol' Edna was arrested this past Thursday by Blue Ash, Ohio police after refusing to give back her neighbor's ball.  She was asked by police to return the teenager's ball, and refused to do it under any circumstance.  

"I said go ahead and arrest me. Handcuff me if you'd like, because I said I'm not guilty of anything," said Jester.
Jester fought the law, and the law won this time. She was arrested for petty theft, and the police even took her to jail.  Should she be found guilty, she faces at most six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  Kind of stiff, no?  Had the kids stayed off her lawn, there probably would never have been a problem.  If the police arrested Edna for petty theft, then perhaps a trespassing charge should have been threatened against the kids.  

In a state where Joe the Plumber can become a national star, where is Edna's 15 minutes of fame?  Surely she can become "Edna the Petty Thief," whose Socialistic ways can face off against Joe's simple American dream?  I wouldn't mess with Edna, that's for sure.  

Professor Dennis Green Won't Let His Students Off The Hook

What do you get when you have a famous former football coach who likes to rant and has a lot of time on his hands?  That would be Professor Dennis Green.  The former Vikings and Cardinals Head Coach has begun teaching San Diego State University Sports Business Management MBA program's Strategic Management.

During the semester, students will work on a major project where they will develop a group presentation suggesting a viable solution to the stadium improvement issue currently facing the city of San Diego and the San Diego Chargers. The proposed solution will be based on classroom interaction with local experts involved with the issue and their own research conducted outside the classroom.

The lectern seems like a suitable place for Green, who's perhaps most famous for his fiery rants than his 117-102 career NFL coaching record.  The course, BA703, is sure to be interesting.  Students may crown Green a great professor, but he surely won't let them off the hook.   And, while the class seems to revolve around the San Diego sports scene, it's rumored that the final lecture will be titled "The Bears: They Are Who We Thought They Were."  Bullshit!  

19 October 2008

Sex Olympia 2009: It's Coming

Back in August half of the buzz around the Beijing Games revolved around how much fooling around went on in the Olympic Village. While not every athlete had a chance to medal, anyone had a chance to get lucky inside in other events.  But why should those type of events be limited to Olympians?  And thus the Sex Olympia 2009 was born.  

The aim of the Sex Olympia is to contribute to the building of a peaceful and better world by liberating the world through sex, practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, fair play and sexual liberty.
To be held in Queensland, Australia in August of next year, the Games will include such events as the Marathon Shag, Clean and Jerk, Sprints, Shot Putting, and Triple Hump.  It should be noted that participants will be judged on technique, creativity and statistical measurements where relevant. The rest of the events, with some explanations, can be found here.

An event like this perhaps could only be done in Australia.  And while you might be laughing now, the photos from it will help shake the blogosphere out of the inevitable late-summer boredom come next August.  The event is open to singles teams as well as couples over the age of 18.  So what are you waiting for?  

17 October 2008

Free Beer For English Soccer Fans? That's Sure To Go Smoothly

When attendance is down, teams have a number of different options to fill the seats.  Discounted tickets and give-aways are two classics.  They can also provide incentives, like vouchers for free gas.  Bolton, an English Premier League team is trying a new approach, and it'll either be a great success, or result in many arrests and firings.  In order to combat slumping attendance they're giving out free beer.  

The first 1,000 fans at Saturday's match against Blackburn will be given free beer, with discounted pints available for all of the rest. Ticket prices behind both goals have been slashed to £15 and £5, youngsters can buy a season ticket for £49, and fans are being encouraged to bring banners and flags to the ground’s newly designated ‘singing end’. 
Is it just me, or does this sound disastrous?  Sure, attendance is down.  But the combo of cheap food, beer and tickets seems to be asking for the wrong crowd.  That formula seems to be foolproof across the globe, and I'm not sure how Bolton thinks it'll be any different.  

Saturday's game should be fun, though.  The same goes for the police in riot-gear that are sure to be there as well.

16 October 2008

Vlade Takes His Flip-Flopping To Politics

We all remember Vlade Divac. The man who might be best remembered for being traded for Kobe Bryant on Draft Night in 1996 if not for his flopping skills has made the most of his retirement. He created the Humanitarian Organization Divac, helping displaced Serbian refugees across Europe.  

Now Vlade is taking on government. Or more like joining it. He's accepted an invitation to become an advisor to the Serbian government and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.  Vlade will be focusing on two major areas in Serbia: humanitarian issues and sports.  And he's qualified for both.  

“The deputy prime minister called me several months ago to explain to me his idea for me to be his adviser for the diaspora, sports and humanitarian work. That is what interests me, and if they want to create something positive, I can advise them,” he said.
Vlade's done some great work on behalf of the causes dear to his heart, and it's nice to see him taking his leadership to the next level. And he's also found another profession where flip-flopping is a big part of the game. Maybe he can get some political pointers from John Kerry? He's got time on his hands these days...

13 October 2008

Christ Does Everything - Even Football!

After rushing for 232 yards in a High School football game, is there anything Christ can't do?  It's really too bad that Glouchester Catholic High School has Alex Christ, not that Jesus fellow.  Still - 232 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 23 carries?  He seems like a Christ we can get behind too!  

10 October 2008

David Fincher Does Nike

Nike has a rich history of tremendous advertising, and their partnership with David Fincher is just another example. Finhcer, the director of Se7en, Fight Club, and Zodiac traces LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu's journeys to the NFL.  In many respects this is what we've come to expect from Nike, and they deliver once again.  

08 October 2008

Best/Worst Headline Ever?

While you might easily think the above headline is a dispatch from the porn capital of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, it's really a High School girl's golf dispatch from Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Thank you, Courier-Dispatch proof-readers for allowing this headline to go through.  

And seriously - what about her third hole?  Not so soggy, I guess?

07 October 2008

FOUND: The Perfect Activity For Four-Year-Olds

When I was four years old I did lots of fun stuff.  I had toys, played with friends, and went to pre-school.  I was no overachiever like Leonardo Panayiotou, that's for sure.   He might look like your average cute kid, but he's much more than that.  I had a bike with training wheels. Panayiotou is racing cars, and getting paid for it.

Panayiotou drives a go-cart at the track where Lewis Hamilton got his start. He spends over 16 hours per week training and has snared over $17,000 worth of sponsorships from five different companies. Panayiotou might be a good driver and all, but that's a lot of money to spend on a four-year-old, isn't it? While I might be a wee-bit skeptical, others clearly aren't.

Rye House manager Steve Cutting said: "I've been at the track for eight years and in the business for 15 and he is the most outstanding and talented driver I've seen for his age."
Cutting has a point, but it's probably due to the fact that the sample size is small. You have to assume that most parents wouldn't let a kid that age go anywhere near a go-cart.

Anyhow, Panayiotou's clearly got something special. Due to insurance rules the poor kid won't be able to race competitively for another four years, so let's hope this doesn't turn into a Marinovich-type affair.  And while four years may seem like a lifetime to Panayiotou (because it is!), those insurance companies have a point.  But perhaps they should go further.  Do we really need eight-year-old competitive racing?  What happened to soccer?  

02 October 2008

Great Uses Of Judgement: Football Player Amputates Finger To Continue Career

There are some players whose dedication can never be called into question. Mesa State Right Guard Trevor Wikre is one of those people. There are also some players whose judgement can be called into question. Mesa State Right Guard Trevor Wikre is also one of those people.

Wikre, a senior, dislocated his right pinky finger during Mesa State's win over Fort Lewis last week. You can imagine how Wikre took the news that a full recovery would entail operating and inserting pins into his pinky, ending his season, and his collegiate career.

Rather than forgo the final six games of the season, Wikre instead chose to lose his pinky for the rest of his life. Yep, he had his pinky finger amputated in order to play low-level collegiate football.  So there's good dedication, and then there's foolish dedication.  This one has to fall in the latter category.  Wasn't there anyone around who was able to discourage this?  I guess only time will tell how this one turns out.  

01 October 2008

Cubs Fans Can Eat Their Pitchers

Even before the first pitch of the series Chicago Cubs fans are getting excited. Not just fans though - businesses are getting in on the fun as well. Take Chicago-based Vienna Beef. They've created a whole line of hot dogs in honor of the Cubs' pitching staff.

Cubs fans might want to try the Dempster Dog, which honors Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster's Canadian heritage. One Vienna Beef hot wrapped by three slices of Canadian bacon topped with relish and mustard. Oh so good, and oh so Canadian!

If that doesn't whet your whistle, there's more. A bunch more wieners to satisfy the tastes of any Cubs fan.

Other specialty dogs include the Marquis Dog (honoring New Yorker Jason Marquis), which sports a Staten Island flair, and the Wood-ie Dog (honoring Kerry Wood), which is testament to Woods ability to work a quick inning or two and wrap up the game. The Marmol Dog, (honoring Carlos Marmol) which plays off Marmols terrific slider, and the Lilly Dog, which celebrates Ted Lillys great curve ball, round out the rotation.
That's five dogs. But will the Cubs have enough home games for fans to try each one? They'd be smart to double-up and eat two at a time over the next few days just in case.

28 September 2008

Prince Fielder Gets A Money Shot

The Milwaukee Brewers haven't been to the postseason in 26 years, so it's understandable if their players aren't quite sure how to celebrate.  Take first baseman Prince Fielder.  He let loose by...having someone give him a money shot?  Or maybe that's just what it looks like.  Either way, EWWW!!!

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash

24 September 2008

Baron Davis On Jenny Craig: A Bad Omen For The Clippers?

This is hard to believe, but something like this can only happen to a team like the Clippers. The Clippers spent big-time money on homegrown guard Baron Davis this past summer. But perhaps he’s spent the summer eating too much homemade comfort foods. Before he’s even played a game for the team, he’s effectively made an off the court turnover. He’s joined Jenny Craig.

Isn’t Davis obligated to at least feign dedication to his craft after signing the big contract? I thought weight-gains and lax play came after at least the first year. This is bad enough, but it gets worse when you find out he’s taking fitness advice from Queen Latifah.

"I know Queen Latifah, and when I saw her out there using it, I thought maybe I could use it, too, to work on my health and fitness goals and inspire others," he tells PEOPLE.

During the NBA off-season, Davis let his fitness slide. "In the off-season, it's kind of hard to maintain day-to-day," he says. "I don't want to get up and cook. And when I pig out, I'm the type of person where there's no limit to what I can do."
There’s supposed to be no limit to what Davis can achieve on the hardwood with his Clippers teammates, rather than no limit to how much he can eat. Davis has had a great summer filming videos with Steve Nash, but perhaps he should have pushed away from the table a little bit more often too.

23 September 2008

Mike Leach’s Dating Tips

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is was asked recently about what to do with someone on a first date. Leach was a good sport, and perhaps a budding relationship-counselor? He’s known for his innovative offenses, but his dating advice was pretty ordinary.

“And the thing that’s great about it is that there’s very little salad at Kagels, so that the girl will be forced to eat in front of you.”

And, of course, should the date go well, Leach knows what to do. You should “trade computer names.” Amen to that.

19 September 2008

Zohan 2: Don’t Mess With Ovechkin

Fans of You Don’t Mess With The Zohan now have a real life hero to admire off the big screen. That would be Capitals LW Alexander Ovechkin, who has an endorsement deal with Hair Cuttery. And you guessed it – they cut hair. The sponsorship deal stemmed from Ovechkin’s visit to Hair Cuttery for a haircut. And the rest is history.

The company launched OvieStyle.com, a site dedicated to all things Ovechkin, and probably a little bit of style. But if you think Ovechkin is a style-maven, you’re truly mistaken. He’s not the reincarnation of Zohan. He just likes to keep things simple.

On how he started going to Hair Cuttery in the first place:

"I can't remember what I was thinking," Ovechkin said. "I just go to the mall after practice because I have big hair."
On how he likes his hair cut
"I just go to her and I say, 'Short,' " he explained.
Fair enough. We’ll just call him low-maintenance. Ovie has other sponsorship deals with CCM and Energy Drinks, but his association with Hair Cuttery is clearly the most dear to him, and the most bizarre.

18 September 2008

Ralph Nader’s Presidential Chances Mirror Those Of The Nationals

Hey, remember Ralph Nader? You know, he’s the guy who allowed George W. Bush to beat Al Gore in 2000? The 72 year-old is running for President again this cycle, although you wouldn’t otherwise notice it. The same goes for the press. While they spend their time unfavorably covering McCain or too favorably covering McCain or doing something like that for Obama, they’re also not spending much time on Nader. The television networks have devoted a whopping 10 seconds covering his campaign. And that really hurts Nader’s feelings.

Nader recounted a recent meeting with editors at The Washington Post, who he said told him the paper wasn’t covering his campaign because he had no chance of winning. According to Nader, he replied: “Then why are you covering the Nationals” a reference to Washington’s long-suffering baseball team.
Nader is mad, I get that. But to compare himself to the Washington Nationals is unfair to the baseball team. Sure, they’ve got the second-worst record in baseball. But the Nationals have a .382 winning percentage. Compare that to Nader’s 2% polling recently, and you can see how Manny Acta and crew might not like the reference. The Nationals may not have a very good chance of winning any given game, but Ralph Nader has no chance of winning this election.

Don't Fall Asleep At Shea

Falling asleep drunk at a sporting event isn’t advisable at any time. But you really don’t want it happening at a New York stadium. The fans loved it, but probably because they knew this guy wouldn’t blow it like the Mets bullpen does on an almost daily basis.

On another note, where was this guy’s friends?

16 September 2008

Why Idaho Stinks – It’s Not The Uniforms, But The Cheerleaders

After getting crushed 70-0 a few weeks ago by Arizona the University of Idaho football team decided it needed to shake things up. So they ditched the “I” on their bottoms. It helped – sort of. They defeated Idaho State 42-27 the next week. Despite the win there were still uniform changes to be made. This time, to those of the cheerleaders.

It seems that in Moscow, Idaho, two-piece cheerleading outfits don’t fly. I guess risqué outfits are more offensive in those parts than 70-0 losses. Go figure. Either way, the squad received so many complaints that the two-piecers have been replaced with more conservative ones.

While the fans might not like the outfits, perhaps he actual football team did. Last week, playing before more conservatively dressed cheerleaders they lost 51-28 to Western Michigan. Perhaps all the different cogs in the Vandals football machine can get their act together for this Saturday’s game at Utah State. Win, and make everyone happy. It’s tough, I know.

10 September 2008

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09 September 2008

Straight From A Duke Lawyer’s Mouth: Duke Football Sucks

College football powerhouses routinely schedule games against lower-tiered schools, and it goes something like this: Good team pays inferior team a large sum of money, inferior team comes up to good team’s stadium and gets annihilated. Something like that was supposed to happen when the University of Louisville scheduled Duke for a four-game series, except that Duke decided to get out of playing the games.

After being sued by Louisville, Duke argued that they’d only have to pay a fee to exit the contract if Louisville was unable to find a suitable opponent “of similar stature” to that of the Blue Devils. And when they say “similar stature,” what they really mean is anyone. Any former 1-A school, and many 1-AA schools. Heck, Duke thinks Ashton Kutcher’s team might be of similar stature. Let the video from Louisville v. Duke, specifically Duke’s lawyer explain.

"I think the Court can absolutely positively take judicial notice that Duke is probably the worst football team in Division I football [Emphasis added].  Everybody knows that. That’s no secret. The longest losing streak, the inability to ever win games. Everybody knows about it. That’s well documented. We certainly don’t have to go out and take six months of discovery to establish that for you."
I think most people would probably agree with the Duke’s point. Except that we’re not Duke, going out and explaining in court why we suck. It might be an athletic low point, but it was also a winning judicial argument. Judge Phillip Shepherd agreed with Duke that their football team sucked.
The term ‘team of similar stature’ simply means any team that competes at the same level of athletic performance as the Duke football team. At oral argument, Duke . . . persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower... Duke won only one football game, and lost eleven, during the 2007 football season.
So by trashing themselves in court, Duke was able to win their case. They might have won in court, but they’ve lost a lot of their dignity along the way. And to those Duke-haters salivating at this, realize that it’s a double-edged sword. They might not be any good at football, but they’re probably still smarter than you are.

Hamburger HSV Fans Can Now Root On For Eternity

It’s one thing to love your team to death. But to love your team in death as well - - now that’s real dedication. We’re not talking sports themed tombstones either. German soccer club Hamburger HSV has come up with a way of showing team spirit that you don’t see very often. They’re opening up a cemetery just for their fans.

Hamburger HSV fans can now spend eternity just yards away from their team plays their home games. 300-500 “lucky” fans will have the opportunity to show their Hamburger HSV love. The entrance to the cemetery will be shaped like a soccer goal, and graves will be covered by grass transplanted from Nordbank Arena stadium. What’s not to love, really?

HSV supporter Ernst Schmidt, an 81-year-old widower, said he may reserve a plot even though he has already made arrangements to be buried alongside his wife. "I'm going to enquire whether it's possible," Schmidt told reporters. "I've been an HSV fan for 57 years. My life, it's only football."
Prices weren’t readily available. But to be buried amongst fellow fans? That’s worth it regardless of cost. And I’m sure their wives agree.

07 September 2008

It's A Big Day For The Cassel Family

The big story of Sunday was the fall of Tom Brady.  Perhaps out for the season, Patriots fans and fantasy football players alike shrieked in pain over Brady's knee agony.  As bad of a day as it was for the nationwide Brady "family," it was a that good of a day for the real life Cassel family.  

Consider newly-minted Patriots starting QB Matt Cassel the Sarah Palin of the NFL.  Drafted in the 7th round out of USC Cassel backed up Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, playing rarely but for mop-up duty.  Ditto that for his three seasons with the Patriots, albeit this time with Tom Brady.  Like Palin, Cassel has been thrust into the spotlight, and nobody really knows anything about him.  And much like Palin made a well-received first impression this past Wednesday at the RNC, Cassel did the same on Sunday, putting up decent numbers in a win.  

A good day it was for the Cassel clan.  It would have been enough!  But then entered brother Jack, a reliever for the Houston Astros.  There's no Palin metaphor here, really.  It's just that Jack became the second Cassel brother to enter the game as an injury replacement, taking over for Wandy Rodriguez in the second inning.  This Cassel notched four innings for the Astros, giving up two earned runs.  

Sunday was an unexpected day for the Cassel family, with two brothers playing big roles.  Like Palin we'll probably be learning a lot more about Matt Cassel over the next few weeks.  The only difference being the lack of opposition researchers pouring over his past.  

06 September 2008

Things Josh Beckett Could Have Worked On While On The DL: Zipping His Fly

Red Sox hurler Josh Beckett came off the DL to notch his 12th win of the season on Friday night, pitching five scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers.  On the DL since August 17th, Beckett had a chance to rest his inflamed elbow.  

While he was resting on the DL he easily could have been working on something else that's crucial - zipping up his fly.  It's to get another winning.  But winning is more fun when your fly is up!

Photo Credit: Star-Telegram/Tom Pennington

05 September 2008

Ripped From The Headlines: Team Dumps Logo Near Buttocks After 70-0 Loss

Whatever you thought it was, you were probably wrong. Instead the Idaho Vandals football team is dropping the letter “I” from the back of their pants. The move was done in reaction to their 70-0 loss to Arizona last Saturday.

Rob Spears, the school's athletic director, says nobody realized just how the logo placed in the center of the players' behinds would look before they tried their pants on.

The new-look Vandals may be I-less on their asses when they play Idaho State University on Saturday, but surely they know that won’t be the reason they win or loss. But hey, think whatever you want.

04 September 2008

Chad Ocho Cinco’s Identity Crisis

By now we all know that the wide receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson is now legally known as Chad Ocho Cinco. And he will be known as Ocho Cinco on all club business, including the back of his jersey during Sunday’s game at Baltimore.

The websites of the various big hitters on the web have been slower to recognize Ocho Cinco’s new name. If John Bonser can become Boof Bonser, then anything else can pass too, right? ESPN and Yahoo! were quick on the draw, but NFL.com and CBS Sports were as of this writing still a wee bit apprehensive about changing it around. If that’s his name, that’s his name!

02 September 2008

Hallelujah! Finally A Scientific Theory Sports Fans Can Unite Around

I love sports, and I'm guessing you probably do as well. And, you guessed it - I watch a lot of it too. I've often defended my viewing habits with the notion that it's better than the quality of programming that often fills the remaining 1,574 channels on my cable box. While I've always believed this to be true, I've never had any scientific backing. Until now, that is.

Thanks to the lovely researchers at the University of Chicago sports fans now have the scientific study that until this point has been at our fingertips.

Being an athlete or merely a fan improves language skills when it comes to discussing their sport because parts of the brain usually involved in playing sports are instead used to understand sport language, new research at the University of Chicago shows.
See that? The study focused on hockey in particular. Hockey players, fans, and those who'd never seen or played the sport were used as participants. And it showed that even watching sports activates a region of the brain associated with planning and controlling actions.
Brain imaging revealed that when hockey players and fans listen to language about hockey, they show activity in the brain regions usually used to plan and select well-learned physical actions. The increased activity in motor areas of the brain helps hockey players and fans to better understanding hockey language. The results show that playing sports, or even just watching, builds a stronger understanding of language, Sian Beilock, Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago said.
Sure, you could say that this is just one study.  You could also mention that with enough ambition and hubris you could come up with a scientific study that concludes just about anything (see: climate change is not real; intelligent design).  But isn't this how we operate?  We find something that sounds good to us and defend to the death.  And thus I have found the one scientific theory that I love above all else.  It's the "See, watching sports is really good for you after all" theory.  

 So the next time you're being criticized for watching your fourth football game of the day, just say that you're working on improving the neural networks that support comprehension.  Or something like that.  Right?

31 August 2008

Sarah Palin's Sportscasting Past

As people try to fill in the void filled by "who on earth is Sarah Palin," I'm sure a number of these videos will come about. And judging by this old video above, Governor Sarah Palin's oratory skills haven't changed much over the years. Here's one true gem: "There's Tommy Lasorda - he needs to learn to relax a bit." She'll be perfect on the campaign trail.

28 August 2008

Your Dreams Of Being Like Jim Tressel Just Got A Wee Bit Easier

Earlier in the year we learned how Trojan faithful could be a little more like Pete Carroll. But what are the odds Carroll actually wears those shirts? Real fans want to dress just like their favorite coaches. Then want to be like them, and dress like them. Now Ohio State fans can pretend to be coach Jim Tressel so much easier now that the officially licensed Ohio State Sweater Vest T-Shirt is available to all.

The idea of the OSU Sweater Vest T-Shirt materialized during the 2006 football season...we realized how fortunate we are to have Coach Tressel lead our team onto the field every Saturday and represent our beloved University. He is a class act, revered throughout the nation not just for his wins and losses, but for the way he represents the Ohio State University.

During his tenure as head coach of the Buckeyes, he has become famous for wearing a sweater vest and tie on the sidelines - unlike any other coach in the nation. He is so synonymous with this image, that fans mimic this look every gameday. The OSU Sweater Vest T-Shirt is just a simple idea that we feel can help unify students, alumni, parents, kids, and fans from all over in support of our great coach and University.
This might be the smartest way to show one’s Ohio State loyalty. The players might be the stars, but they come and go in a matter of years. If you buy a Chris Wells replica jersey it has an expiration date – before long it’ll be a throwback. Tressel is the one with potential to last forever, and this shirt allows you to live and root with him (you might want to buy a size bigger to account for your inevitable weight-gain). All for a mere $20!

Once you’ve procured the Sweater Vest shirt you’ll undoubtedly need the officially licensed Sweater Vest Bottle Koozie. There’s no indication that Tressel drinks while watching football, or that he drinks at all. But you probably do. And thus you’ll need the koozie as well. The ability to be a die-hard Ohio State fan in style just got a lot easier. Are you game, Buckeyes fans?

27 August 2008

A Turf Party - It’s Sort Of Like Watching Grass Grow

There are big happenings on the campus of UT-Martin! Classes started this past Monday, and, the mighty Skyhawks have installed FieldTurf on their football field. The new playing surface cost $750,000, and the school is the first in Tennessee to put it in. Exciting stuff, right?

Well, I didn’t think so. But then again I’m not a die-hard UT-Martin Skyhawks fan. They held what must now be described as a “Turf Party.”

Students, faculty and the local community all showed up Monday at Graham Stadium on the campus of U of Tennessee-Martin. The reason wasn't just to get ready for the upcoming season (the Skyhawks' home opener is September 6 against Baker University). No, the locals were there to stare and feel the $750,000 FieldTurf that had recently been installed. 
Party on, Skyhawks fans!
"I think it's fabulous," said UTM fan John Abel. "It is great that the community can come out here and actually play on the turf just to see how it feels."
So, did it end up feeling just like grass? The manufacturer is eagerly awaiting your confirmation, John. Maybe the Skyhawks will win some games this season. Then their fans will have a reason to have a real party.

25 August 2008

This Man Wants To Remind You That He Is NOT Michael Phelps

Despite the slight resemblance to Michael Phelps, former British Olympic swimmer Steve Parry is NOT Michael Phelps. The real question is - - why wouldn’t you want to pass off as Phelps for a few days? It might make for some interesting tales...

21 August 2008

The Landing Pad Ate The Pole Vaulter

The dog may not have eaten the homework, but it does appear as though the landing pad has devoured this now potentially “former” pole vaulter. Good thing pole vaulting is about the jump, not the landing.

(Photo Credit: Marc Aspland/Times Online)

Barbie Fishing Rods Are Tougher Than You Think

There’s a popular section in a not too scholarly magazine entitled “They’re Just Like Us,” where they do normal human activities. And now the same can be said for record holding fisherman. Sort of.

David Hayes of North Carolina is now owns the state record for channel catfish after reeling one in weighing 21 pounds, 1 ounce. And he caught it using his 3-year-old granddaughter’s pink Barbie fishing rod. The granddaughter asked him to just hold it for a second. Instead he hauled in a record catch.

First off, who knew that Barbie fishing rods even existed? And while they might be dainty and pink, it’s pretty clear they’re well-made and sturdy. These are serious instruments! Even the granddaughter was surprised the fishing rod held up against the 21+ pounder.

"Papa, you're going to break my fishing rod," she told him.
"Wait until you see what I've got on the other end of this rod," he said.
The prize catch currently resides in Hayes’ freezer, and is soon to be mounted on a wall. But shouldn’t it be Barbie that gets the real recognition here? I doubt it will happen, but it would be great to see a pink Barbie fishing rod at the next big tournament, wouldn’t it?

(Photo Credit: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)

19 August 2008

Adult Diapers Key To Opening Ceremony Success

There’s no doubt that Beijing’s opening ceremony was a tremendous feat. Save for a little bit of lip-synching, it was a great spectacle. Yet it wasn’t without a lot of hard work too. The 15,000-odd cast and crew survived rain-drenched conditions, head stroke, 16-hour days, paralysis, and a 51-hour rehearsal. And, um, diapers.

In the Olympic ceremony segment showcasing the Chinese invention of movable type, the nearly 900 performers who crouched under 40-pound boxes donned adult diapers to allow them to stay inside for at least six hours, Beijing organizers said.
The pain and sacrifices were well worth it, right? The ceremony organizers sure thought so. In fact, in their eyes only the North Koreans could have done a better job. Whatever that means.

But back to the diapers. Talk about commitment. I might be able to stand a 51-hour rehearsal and heat stroke. I might even be able to do paralysis for my country. But diapers? That’s where I’d draw the line. You’ve got to imagine a soiled adult diaper makes for poor performing conditions though (wouldn't you think...). Good thing I wasn’t part of the group, as the performers seemed pretty darn satisfied.
"All the tears, the sweat, and sometimes even blood that we shed, I now think it was quite worth it," said Ren Yang, 17, also of the Tagou school. "When we performed that night, all that I could feel in my heart was joy. Pure joy."
Pure Joy. I think I’ve found the name for my new line if adult diapers.

This Home Run Derby Lacking In Home Runs

 The New York-Penn League held their annual All-Star game on Tuesday night along with a pre-game Home Run Derby. Good times for all, indeed. Except for those who came to witness home runs. They could have used NY-Penn alum Josh Hamilton in these parts, as homers were few and far between.

With a stiff wind blowing from left to right, the contingent of eight New York-Penn League All-Stars did manage to combine for all of five homers in 85 swings.
Auburn Doubledays DH Adam Amar “won” the derby. And he hit two out of the park.

The NY-Penn League is a short-season Class A league, so I guess there’s lots of room for improvement. But 5 total homers? Really? That’s it? This is what happens when performance-enhancing drugs leave the game. A homerless home run derby. Just think about that.

18 August 2008

Is It Just Me?

Or does Hungarian runner Barbara Petrahn (upper left-hand corner) look somewhat out of place in a women’s race. It might be the track or the shadowing. Or it might just be that the gender testing lab let one slip through the cracks. Either way, Petrahn came in fourth in her first round heat, and didn’t qualify for the next round. Still, the photo makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Potentially Scary Photo Credit: Jack Gruber/Gannett News Service

Women Against Fantasy Sports – Whodathunkit?

It’s the middle of August, which means that football season is tantalizingly close. August also brings the beginning of Fantasy Football, and the endless ranking of players, live drafts, auto-drafts, trades, waiver picks, and endless strategizing. A private research group estimates that U.S. employers will lose $9.2 billion in lost work due to Fantasy Football, but employers aren’t the only ones to suffer. There’s also the wives/girlfriends/domestic partners/etc who lose out as well. And thus Women Against Fantasy Sports was established.

WomenAgainstFantasySports, or WAFS, was started by a woman with a dream. A dream that, as promised in the wedding vows she shared with her husband, would involve the daily joys of spending time with her best friend, her confidant, her love. Alas, the advent of fantasy sports has crushed her hopes and desires, thereby making her a widow 2 months out of each year. In coping, she has found refuge in the world wide web – a place where she can share her griefs, her pains, and her story with other widows. (Thanks for providing the platform, Mr. Gore).
Women of America, behold a site you can all get behind. It can be a place that understands your “real” needs, and understands where you’re coming from. A place where you can spend your time while we play our fantasy sports. And thanks to this place women nationwide will finally understand and appreciate the significance of drafting of a franchise player. It’s really a tool for them to help us.

Who Needs A Glove When You’ve Got A Beer?

The argument is often made that grown men shouldn’t bring gloves to a ballgame. I happen to disagree. But if I was able to catch with a beer or soda like this guy, then I guess it would be a moot argument.

(This video might be a few months old, but it’s still amazing)

13 August 2008

Bill Belichick Is All-Knowing

Bill Belichick is many things. He’s smart, successful, and a little bit creepy too. In fact, it’s hard to imagine there’s anything about him that we don’t already know. Think again, though. We must add “all-knowing” to the list. Or so it seems.

Take Tuesday’s practice, where the Patriots were conducting a full-squad no-huddle drill. Nothing would escape Belichick’s eagle eye.

On one sideline catch by Randy Moss, which he initially ruled incomplete, he changed his mind based on instant replay. Of course, there was no replay machine out at the practice. [Emphasis Added]
If ever there was a question on how firm Belichick’s grip on the team was, this probably sums it up. He doesn't need any machine to tell him what's what.  Bill Belichick is his own instant replay machine.   Like you'd really expect anything else.  And to that end, I wonder how often he’s been right on real instant replay challenges. The all-knowing one must have a pretty good percentage. Either way, let’s make sure to put that on his tombstone.

Malaysia’s Olympic Team Is Seemingly Filled With Transformers Robots

Don’t be too confused by the above Olympics promo for Malaysian TV station Astro. It only appears that the Transformers are playing for Malaysia this summer. They’ve got too many tests to let them slip into the games. And, of course, they’d probably have more than zero medals if they did.  I'd like to see Michael Phelps compete against these guys!  

12 August 2008

Olympic Weightlifting: Don't Try This At Home

If you've got a weak stomach look away now.  Especially you, Joe Theismann.  Hungarian Weightlifter Janos Baranyai did something to his right arm as he was competing in the Group B men's 77kg category on Wednesday in Beijing. Baranyai was taken to the hospital, and withdrew from the competition.  Here's guessing he won't be lifting much of anything for a while.  Let's all hope he gets better soon.  

(Photo Credits: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Why So Serious, Beijing Police? Smile!

 The Beijing Police force has a lot to be concerned about. Aside from protecting the 11+ million residents of the city they’re also in charge of the safety of the 11,028 Olympians competing and the many thousands more of guests. That’s a tall order for any force, with the murder of a US Olympic Team family member exhibiting how one act can change the mood of the entire games. But as the games unfold the Beijing Police is getting some criticism, and it’s not just because of the crime.

IOC Marketing Commission Chairman Gerhard Heiberg has a beef, and he doesn’t think he’s alone. The Beijing Police are too grim. The Norwegian Heiberg thinks that more smiling is in order.

The thousands of volunteers on the streets of Beijing are helpful and smiling, Heiberg told the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. "The police and military, on the other hand, need to act differently. Their faces look like they are made of stone. They're seriously scaring the foreigners in Beijing. The fact that they're armed and look sinister just makes things worse. That's why I've talked to China's political authorities and the Olympics organizers at our daily meetings. I've asked them to get people to smile more," the former athlete said.
I’m not sure that smiling and welcoming attitudes from police have ever encouraged lax behavior, but I’m fairly certain strict and intimidating ones do prevent and deter. This isn’t democracy, after all. Do Olympic visitors expect to be greeted with milk and cookies? Who cares what they look like – they’re doing their job.