29 January 2009

The First Key To Coaching - Learning To Correctly Pronounce Your Players' Names

There are so names that are difficult to pronounce. Charles N’Zogbia is an example of that. But when you’re a professional soccer player on Newcastle United people are typically able to figure out the pronunciation. Especially if you’re the team’s coach. Except for Newcastle Coach Joe Kinnear.

Kinnear was doing a post game interview with Sky Sports when his state of confusion occurred.

Kinnear said: “Shay [Given] pulled out with a knee injury as did Insomnia . . . Insomnia . . . er, Charlie.”
And with the bungling came the consequences. N’Zogbia just can’t take these kinds of disrespect. His feelings hurt by the mispronunciation, N’Zogbia now refuses to play for the team. But can’t Newcastle just get along? Having thin skin in the EPL won’t help you succeed. Kinnear, for his part seemed unperturbed.
“OK, I got a little tongue-tied — but if I had a pound for every time I’ve mispronounced a player’s name down the years, then I’d be a very wealthy man indeed,” he said.
That might be a fair argument for a new coach or a new player. But N’Zogbia has been with Newcastle since 2004! The time has come, Kinnear - - learn how to pronounce the names of your players. It might result in better team morale, and a better record too!

Iowa Basketball Team Pitches Their Skills To Local Sororities

Being a D-1 Men’s basketball player ain’t all it used to be. Or perhaps it’s just being a member of the Iowa hoops squad. It seems that attendance for the Hawkeyes is weak this season, and in order to turn things around the team is turning to some unconventional methods. In a move that would make Ricky Davis and Pierre Pierce proud the Iowa hoopsters are showing up at sororities hoping to meet and greet floozies - - ahem - - fans.

“It was neat; I think it was a great idea just to go out and try to promote some of our games and things like that,” Sophomore Point Guard Jeff Peterson said. “I think it’s pretty neat to have some of the players to be able to go out and do that.”
Yeah, I bet it was pretty neat. Just like the fact that sorority sisters are totally the typical basketball game attendees.

In this case the poor attendance can’t be blamed on the economy, as tickets to home games are free. It probably has more to do with the Hawkeyes2-5 conference record. Or apathy – there are only 900 student ticket holders. Wouldn’t most other Big Ten schools have student section waiting lists of about that size?

Having basketball players visit campus sororities in order to gain support of the team sounds straight out of Van Wilder. The possibilities are just endless...you know, to make fans.

28 January 2009

In A Tough Economic Climate Manny Ramirez Finally Gets A Job Offer

This isn't a good time to be looking for a job. 75,000 jobs alone were cut on Monday, adding the the 7.2% of the U.S. population already out of work. With that the conventional wisdom of our times is that it's nice just to have a job, regardless of what it is, dream job or not. And thus the saying that one in the hand is better than two in the bush rings true. But is it always?

Not for Manny Ramirez. He's one of the unemployed too, you know. He was offered a job on Wednesday, and unlike what you might do he's likely to turn it down.

The Worcester Tornadoes offered Manny a 2-year contract worth a whopping $24,000 on Tuesday, hoping that he'd take his happy-go-lucky ways to the Can-Am League. The Dodgers happily put up with "Manny being Manny," but would that fly with the Tornadoes?

“I feel Manny would really enjoy playing in Worcester and hitting in our ballpark. Although I would be concerned about the cars traveling on I-290 during his at bats, it’s a risk worth taking,” said General Manager, Jorg Bassiacos. Director of Player Personnel Brad Michals added, "Manny certainly has the stats to be amongst the leaders of the league next season. Although issues regarding health have surrounded him in the past, I think he will find that the shorter schedule will boost his performance to a new level and serve as the ultimate showcase for his natural skill."

I guess so! But probably not! Scott Boras would let lots of things happen before he let Manny become a Tornado, but maybe he should. Sure, Manny made more in a single plate appearance than he would in a single season, but imagine the rush of suiting up against the Nashua Pride or the Ottawa Rapidz (yes, that is how they spell it). Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a matter of weeks, and Manny is jobless. Is it panic time yet? It's never going to happen, but you've got to believe Manny would have a darn good time.

27 January 2009

Dwight Howard And Mario Chalmers Sitting In A Tree...

Dwight Howard and Mario Chalmers might be old friends. Or they might not. But something got into Howard during the Heat's 103-97 win over the Magic on Sunday night. Howard's box score should read: 22 points, 10 rebounds, and one tittie-twister.

HT: Orlando Magic Daily

20 January 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction Plagues Russian Figure Skating

Oh, the humanity! Ekaterina Rubleva, meet Janet Jackson. One may have been an accident and the other an "accident," but either way, a wardrobe malfunction has struck Russian figure skating.

You can see the mistake around the 1:50 mark of the above video (and again at around 4:27). You'll have to look real closely, but it's still slightly NSFW. For something truly NSFW, here's a photo of said event.

While you and I might be cheering, the nipple slip didn't do Rubleva and partner any favors with the judges. They finished 12th place with a score of 29.04.

19 January 2009

Burlesque At The Australian Open? Pacman Approves

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Australian Open just got a little more interesting. Perhaps things are done a little differently in the land down under. Or perhaps they're just a little less stiff. How so? There's a burlesque show as part of the Australian Open's official entertainment that features amongst other things obscenity and simulated-masturbation. In other words...awesome?

Well, perhaps not so awesome. As if that wasn't enough, there's more. The New York-based show Absinthe is not only for those 18+, but also those who are less tolerant.

The show has featured racial slurs - including anti-German, anti-Asian and anti-black references – as well as references to gay bashings.
And as always, it's always fun until enough people complain. Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood didn't have a problem with it until Sunday. Bit here's what he had to say first.
In an announcement posted on the Australian Open website on Saturday, Mr Wood recommended the show as “a great late-night option after a day at the tennis. It is a bit of an edgy show, a bit of a dare, a bit of a risk, we are trying to innovate and we are looking to find ways to entertain customers who have never been to the tennis. As well as being sheer good fun, the combination of athleticism and artistry makes Absinthe a great late-night option."
Oops. But Sunday Wood was singing a different tune, saying that he'd asking those behind the show to make things a little more PC. “We have got off to an awkward start,’’ he said.

Indeed. What's art to someone is another person's rubbish - and that's what makes art interesting. But it probably doesn't have a place at an event like the Australian Open. That being said, don't be surprised if the tournament has a lot more buzz than before. And in the end that's what it's all about.

Texas Fans Comfort Oklahoma Like No Other Can

13 January 2009

It's Hard Out There For A Sooner Fan

Gator fans, it's time to gloat. Sooners fans - - well, look above.

12 January 2009

Get Your 2009 Oklahoma Sooners National Championship Gear Right Here!

Oops! Look for these balls to be joining the New England Patriots' Super Bowl shirts in Nicaragua any day now. It's always good to be prepared, but better to take these ads offline after the game.

11 January 2009

$150,000 To See Cardinals' First NFC Championship Game? Priceless

Arizona Cardinals fans are in uncharted territory. Before Saturday's 33-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers they were the lone NFC not to have made a Conference championship game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Even better, they're hosting the game next Sunday against the Eagles. And while euphoria runs high through Phoenix, it seems like some people aren't sure quite how to behave.

Take StubHub sellers, for example. As of this typing there were 1251 ticket listings for Sunday's game. Not a big deal. One seller seems to be a wee bit confused. He/She is selling their single seat in amongst the worst location in the place for $150,000 each. That's quite a markup. For that price, couldn't you get two? At least one scalper has had the Cardinals Kool-Aid, and good luck to them. Perhaps one of the buyers of the "I Am Rich" iPhone application will stand up and be ready for their next purchase.

06 January 2009

It's Not Quite A Hockey Fight If You're Slapping Each Other

Someone might want to tell Marc Staal and Alexander Semin that if you're going to have a hockey fight, you might as well do it right. And slapping each other doesn't quite cut it. Neither player will get any manliness points after this "throw down."

Illegal Oranges Part of Mayoral Bet

Playful wagers between mayors of cities competing in big sporting events is a commonplace event. Or it usually is. Take the playful bet that took place between the mayors of San Francisco and Miami for the Emerald Bowl. Had Miami won, Mayor Manny Diaz would have received a case of Napa Valley wine and several loaves of sourdough bread. Miami didn't win - the Cal Bears did. And so San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was to get some oranges. Or so he thought.

If you're scratching your head as to why the Mayor of San Francisco was involved representing a team from the city of Berkeley you may not be alone. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates would make three of us.

So Newsom, the wannabe future Governor of California and I suppose the Mayor of Berkeley took the prize. Except taking the oranges would have been illegal.

Florida oranges can't be shipped to California under federal regulations because of citrus canker, a contagious bacterial disease that causes leaves and fruit to drop from trees prematurely.
Oops. So Newsome will be getting Stone Crab claws instead. Perhaps he'll share the fruit of Cal's victory with Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.