Friday, January 30, 2009

Mickey Rourke will be at WrestleMania, according to WWE

This is all getting a little too confusing. First Rourke was going to appear at WrestleMania, then he was going to actually wrestle, then he wasn’t going to appear at all. But now, according to this statement by WWE owner Vince McMahon, the star of “The Wrestler” will at least still be appearing at WM25.
“I am pleased that Mickey Rourke will be in attendance at WrestleMania to support the WWE Superstars who support him and the film in which he stars, The Wrestler,” McMahon said in the statement.
That leaves the door open for any number of possibilities. Rourke could simply sit at ringside, be a guest referee, join the announce team, have an interview, or actually go as far as to wrestle.

Dropping Links: Friday, January 30th

NEWS
Shaq makes 15th All-Star game, Carmelo gets snubbed |FOX Sports.com|
Politicians upset with Mets, Citigroup agreement for stadium |Newsday|
Giambi brothers may be subpoenaed to testify against Bonds |SI.com|

BLOGS
SB43 players took advantage of Circuit City closing |Tirico Suave|
LeBron James to join TNT All-Star game coverage |Awful Announcing|
NBC will accept PETA ad after all… with censorship |Bob’s Blitz|

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On the Tube: Andre Iguodala posterizes Yao Ming

The Philadelphia 76ers' Andre Iguodala is a full foot shorter than Rockets center Yao Ming. That didn't stop him from making the Western Conference All-Star look absolutely silly in this clip, courtesy of NESWSports.com.


I know Yao is big and has a lot of weight to match that 7'6" frame, but come on, big fella. Get up off the ground!

Mickey Rourke won't be at WrestleMania 25 after all

That's according to an Associated Press report, which states:
HOUSTON – A spokeswoman for actor Mickey Rourke says he won't be taking his role as a professional wrestler into a real-life ring after all.

Paula Woods told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that Rourke will not wrestle WWE superstar Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 25 in April at Houston's Reliant Stadium.

Woods wrote in an e-mail that the Oscar-nominated actor "will not be participating in Wrestlemania. He is focusing entirely on his acting career."
This comes after an appearance by Rourke on Larry King Live where Chris Jericho joined the party via satellite. Jericho and Rourke exchanged barbs, which would make one assume a match was in the works. Apparently that isn't the case.

Josh's Corner: The Super Bowl Story

Friend, LA correspondent and former CortSide co-host, Josh Garcia, is back with a look at Super Bowl XLIII. Josh is currently directing and producing videos for World Famous Aviators, so be sure to check that out after you've finished his column:

On the horizon is the greatest non-holiday celebration in our country. The Super Bowl, where friends and family gather nationwide to eat, drink and judge commercials. Oh yeah and there is the game. Tampa is the setting for Super Bowl XLIII, that’s 43 for you non-Romans.

Speaking of Tampa, much like the World Series when the Rays met the Phillies, the Super Bowl showcases a team that no one thought would be there against a much respected, powerful Pennsylvanian team. This is not any ordinary underdog though, led by wily of wiliest veterans Kurt Warner. He doesn’t have the flash, legs, youth or nickname like “Big Ben” but he has also been there before twice and he holds the record for most throwing yards at a Super Bowl (414). The nicknames that he could posses are Kurt “Pop” Warner, or Kurt “Time” Warner, or simply Kurt “the Flirt” as in flirting with a 2nd Super Bowl ring at the age of 37. It would be 10 years apart from when Kurt led the Rams and “the greatest show on turf” over the Titans in what has to be the best Super Bowl I have seen.

The Cardinals have finally reached the potential of their team. I know Tony was a big fan of them the last couple of years only to be disappointed and mocked when they haven’t lived up to their expectations. They were the first team to clinch their division this year and they took a nap towards the end of the season but it must have been a power nap because ever since they have looked as impressive as a Doc Gooden curve back in ‘84. Larry Fitzgerald has cemented his place as the NFL’s best wide receiver and gives every ball boy all over the country something to aspire to be. His character has also shined through when news came out that he is willing to take less money - that’s right LESS money - so they can keep a top 10 receiver in Anquan Boldin. So not only is he the best receiver that deserves best receiver money but he is willing to take less for the greater good. It seems to be a running theme in Arizona.

Another good thing about the Cardinals making it to the Super Bowl is that Pat Tillman will be remembered in some fashion on Super Sunday. Whether they talk about how he gave up the money to fight for our country or what kind of leader or humanitarian he was, people will remember Pat Tillman. That’s another reason to root for the Cardinals. So I think I’ve made it clear what team I will be pulling for while I’m enjoying the company of friends, drinks and good food.

So remember what to watch for this Sunday: Can Kurt lead his team to victory? Will Larry Fitzgerald shine in the biggest spotlight possible? And can the Cardinals, after 61 years, win a championship for their city, for the underdogs and for Pat Tillman?

Dropping Links: Thursday, January 29th

NEWS
#4 Wake Forest knocks off #1 Duke with last-second layup |CBS Sports.com|
Roger Federer again beats Andy Roddick, advances to Aussie Final |ESPN.com|
Urine samples could link Barry Bonds to steroid use |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Houston coach believes ESPN doctored Buddinger foot-stomping clip |Awful Announcing|
Yankees exploring gag rule for future managers-turned-authors |The Final Score|
Edgerrin James picked up a new Lamborghini at the Super Bowl |Phoenix.Fanster.com|
Video of Nate Robinson’s nasty alley-oop jam last night |Tirico Suave|

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jenn Sterger to blog Super Bowl XLIII week from Tampa Bay

Friend of the blog Bob Mantz is reporting that Jenn Sterger, the former Florida State cowgirl and current member of the New York Jets' flight crew "Jets Gameday" host (thanks Bob for getting it straight) will blog about the Super Bowl XLIII festivities. The lovely Ms. Sterger will focus mostly on the parties and celebrities in town, but also knows a thing or two about football.

Bloghost note: Yes, this is a shameless attempt at page views AND an excuse to post a photo of a very attractive lady. See, it works out for both of us.)

Another thought on the Joe Torre third-person "memoir"

Joe Torre talks a lot about the lack of chemistry in the Yankees locker room from 2001 until his departure from the team after the 2007 season, basically blaming the team’s lack of success on that. But isn’t it Torre’s job to make chemistry?

After all, everyone – myself included – lauded St. Joe for his ability to balance out a locker room filled with stars. So why couldn’t he do it from 2001-2007?

Seems like Torre is just making excuses for his own lack of success.

Quick Pic: The coolest looking jacket in the videogame world

The Nintendo Entertainment System isn’t directly related to sports but who hasn’t played a game of Techmo Super Bowl on that bad boy? This NES jacket from 80sTees.com retails for $200 and is ridiculously tacky, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kanye West wear it – and pull the look off.

(Grazie, Engadget, for the find.)

Amani Toomer joins the "Wide Receiver Whining Club"

Speaking of classy guys not acting so classy, Amani Toomer is unhappy with the Giants and the role they used him in at the end of the season.

From friend of the blog Bob Glauber's What About Bob? blog:
"The last couple of games I wasn't a big part of the offense and we lost a big percentage of the games (four of the last five)," Toomer said. "I feel like you can't tell me (that) didn't play a big role in it. I think it did."
I don't know, Amani, maybe your declining skill over the last five seasons has something to do with it? Maybe you just weren't open? Steve Smith's emergence as an Eli Manning favorite certainly didn't help.

Toomer hasn't been considered a "go-to guy" since before the Giants signed Plaxico Burress. For him to act as though the team would have won if he had the ball more screams Terrell Owens, who is the undisputed WRWC heavyweight champ.

Joe Torre continues to tarnish his legacy following new book

Joe Torre knew what he was getting into when he decided to team up with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci and write The Yankee Years. Sure, there has already been backlash from media pundits and the players he criticized, but Torre is trying to sell books, something that negative publicity almost guarantees.

While “St. Joe” will rake in some extra dough for airing the Yankees’ dirty laundry, he will also be looked at in a different light by many fans. It just makes Torre - the usually classy manager who knows his way in and around the media - look like a whining brat who, on his way out, turned to shout at everyone and get his last two cents in.

Now I'm not saying that any of what he has said is untrue but that's not the point. Torre has shown that he is all about money. It started when he was mad about a paycut the Yankees offered that would have still kept him as the highest paid manager in baseball. And when it comes down to it, that was the Yankees' way of getting rid of Torre without firing him, even though he had declined as a manager and often made questionable moves.

Even though I won't call Torre a liar, I will call him a hypocrite. In his book he jokingly refers to some teammates saying the players working with Brian MacNamee were on "Mac's Program," implying that they - and he - knew what was going on with guys like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Then Joe says he never knew of any of his players using steroids or HGH.

Torre could have just ridden his convertible into the sunset of LA and maintained his classy image. But now he just seems like everyone else who writes a book - blast a few big name guys and watch the money pour in.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, January 28th

Apologies for yesterday's lack of blogging. I'm back on the horse and today should be much more productive.

NEWS
Joe Torre defends his book, A-Rod doesn’t really care |ESPN.com|
Colin Montgomerie tabbed as next European Ryder Cup caption |CBS Sports.com|
Police find 27 stolen Giants championship rings |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Stephon Marbury pulls a Barkley, says he misquoted himself |BergerSphere|
Revealing new NFL concussion study released |Bob’s Blitz|
Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter discuss integrity of journalism |Awful Announcing|

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dropping Links: Tuesday, January 27th

NEWS
Yankees, Pettitte finally agree to incentive-laden deal |Newsday|
AC Milan wants to keep LA’s $250M man, David Beckham |ESPN.com|
Brian Cashman wants team to rally around “A-Fraud” |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
NBC adds one more to cavalcade of broadcasters for SBXLIII |Awful Announcing|
Brandon Jennings isn’t very happy playing bball in Europe |Scores Report|
Jessica Simpson is turning into a huge hog |SPORTSbyBROOKS|

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mickey Rourke to wrestle Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 25?

Mickey Rourke "called out" WWE wrestler Chris Jericho on the Red Carpet at the SAG Awards. Rourke, who plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson in the film, The Wrestler, said he would appear at WrestleMania, the company's flagship pay-per-view event. On WWE's Monday Night Raw earlier tonight, Jericho grabbed a mic and bashed Rourke in a promo, laying the groundwork for the match at WM25.

This is a great idea by Vince McMahon, WWE owner, to ride the popularity and critical acclaim of the movie. But it will also dumb down the meaning of the movie, which is the struggle of professional wrestlers past their prime and the tragic things that happen to them. That, too, is probably McMahon's goal because he, after all, is the most powerful man in the business and is responsible for those things, in many people's eyes.

Needing more attention, Terrell Owens gets reality show

The Dallas Cowboys are laughable at this point. Following the HBO show "Hard Knocks" and the planned Michael Irvin/Jerry Jones reality show/competition, Terrell Owens - who loves him some him - had to join the party.

The show will air on VH1 (shocking!) and will feature Owens' publicists giving him advice regarding his personal life. No word yet on whether they'll tell him to stop being the worst teammate in the NFL.

Quick Pic: Danny Bonaduce jumps rope, smokes a cigarette

Here's a look at Danny Bonaduce getting loose before his 3-round draw with Jose Canseco in a celebrity boxing match this past Saturday. I'm not sure, but I don't think this is the normal pre-fight routine for most boxers.

(Photo courtesy Wax Heaven)

Dropping Links: Monday, January 26th

NEWS
Torre book “rips” A-Rod and Yanks, A-Rod rips back |New York Post|
Mother of Eddy Curry’s child found slain in Chicago |CBS Sports.com|
Michael Redd out for the season after tearing leg ligaments |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Winning coach of 100-0 game fired for not apologizing |The Final Score|
Arizona’s Chase Budinger gets curb-stomped (w/ video) |Awful Announcing|

(Image courtesy Nick Laham / Getty Images)

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the Tube: Acie Law puts $10,000 on the Cowboys being in Super Bowl XLIV

Acie Law IV of the Atlanta Hawks has a new video on his Yardbarker blog where he talks about the 2008 struggles of his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, and guarantees their success for the 2009 season.


That's confidence right there.

Deportation of Stephon Marbury hits a snag

The Greek team Olympiakos (or is it Olympiacos?) that was rumored to be interested in Stephon Marbury is apparently looking for someone with European experience, according to the New York Daily News.
Owners of Athens-based Olympiakos, which is looking for a replacement for ex-Hawks forward Josh Childress, who is out for up to two months with a sports hernia injury, told Greek and American-based agents yesterday that they want to sign a combination guard who has played in Europe.

Along those lines, Olympiakos Thursday rejected an overture from veteran guard and free agent Troy Hudson, formerly with Golden State, Minnesota and several other NBA teams, based on his lack of European playing experience.
I wouldn’t say the idea is dead, but it’s definitely on life support right now. If I were a betting man, and I am, I would bet that Marbury spends the entire season on the Knicks’ roster, watching games from courtside like he has been, and preaching religion in blog entries for the New York Post.

He doesn’t want to budge on his offer of a buyout at $1M less than the $20.8M that he’s making, while the Knicks would prefer he settle for $17.8M of the money he is owed. But clearly Marbury is trying to make a point. It’s a point that makes him look like an arrogant, self-righteous jerk, but at least he’s keeping it consistent throughout his career.

Dropping Links: Friday, January 23rd

NEWS
Alonzo Mourning officially retired, shocking people that thought he was already retired |CBS Sports.com|
Prince Fielder signs two-year, $18M deal with the Brewers |FOX Sports.com|
Grizzlies fire coach Marc Iavaroni following 11-30 start |SI.com|

BLOGS
The complete Jay McGwire photo album |Bob’s Blitz|
Jay Mariotti says Roger Ebert can kiss his ass |Deadspin|
Terrell Owens knows his way around a Bedazzler |Tirico Suave|
John Madden says he’ll retire when Al Michaels exits |Fanhouse|

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rocco Baldelli is a classy guy

Fresh off the heels of an anti-Red Sox post, I give you something good that their newest player did. Rocco Baldelli, the former Tampa Bay Ray who recently signed with Boston, took out an ad in the St. Petersburg Times to thank the fans. (Click image to enlarge)
Baldelli missed most of the 2008 season due to an illness that caused extreme fatigue, but was still an integral part of the Rays' postseason run once he returned. At one time, Rocco was "the next Joe DiMaggio," mostly because he is Italian and the mainstream media isn't very creative, but also because of his talent. He was always a popular figure in South Florida and it's nice to see that he appreciated it.

Quick Pic: The Red Sox are a diverse bunch, aren't they?

Short answer: Not really.
(Grazie, NoMaas, for the pic)

Mets to unveil bigger, better gigantic apple at CitiField

The hokiest, silliest thing in sports is not dead, as some may have thought. Uni-Systems, a Minnesota-based firm, is working on a new apple for the Mets' new stadium. The apple pops out of an upside-down hat beyond the outfield wall, a tradition at Shea Stadium that polarized fans. Some hated it, some loved it.

Either way, the apple lives on.

Dropping Links: Thursday, January 22nd

NEWS
Greek team, Olympiacos, interested in Stephon Marbury |ESPN.com|
Lions hire D-Coordinator that’s not related to the head coach |CBS Sports.com|
New Jersey Tech snaps 51-game losing streak |SI.com|

BLOGS
A day in the life of Erin Andrews |Kornheiser's Cartel|
ESPN is desperately trying to find Rick Reilly work |Awful Announcing|
Pittsburgh mayor Luke Steelerstahl is stepping up his game for the Super Bowl |Tirico Suave|
Rex Ryan sounded a lot like his old man yesterday |Shutdown Corner|

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, January 21st

NEWS
Dolphins’ new owner says Parcells will be staying around |FOX Sports.com|
Ryan Howard seeking record $18M contract in arbitration |ESPN.com|
Pistons will start Iverson, bring Rip Hamilton off the bench |SI.com|

BLOGS
Caller stroked Mike Francesa’s ego… hilarity ensues |Tirico Suave|
Ball-washing’s best: Athletes announcers love to love |Pyle of List|
Steve Phillips will join Morgan & Miller in Sunday Night Baseball booth |WatchDog|

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How did Melky Cabrera get a $1.4M contract from the Yanks?

Melky wanted $1.7M and the Yankees were offering $1.2M (which is still absurdly high) but the case won't go to arbitration. Cabrera settled earlier today for $1.4 million. He made about $461,000 last year.

Melky hit .249 last season and was sent down to Triple A in August. That, apparently, was good enough to earn him a 300% raise.

Newsday editors back after dispute with Cablevision over Knicks coverage

There is a very interesting development brewing right now at Newsday that could be one of those seminal moments in journalism, and something that would be a topic of discussion if I were still in Dr. K's Mass Media Criticism class at SUNY Cortland.

As you may know, Cablevision owns the New York Knicks and Newsday. Alan Hahn and Jim Baumbach, two writers for the Long Island newspaper, reported on the accusations of Eddy Curry's chauffeur and that seems to have irked the bosses at Cablevision.

According to Newsday's Spin Cycle blog, two of the paper's editors were MIA because of a dispute that many believe was caused by the decision to run with the Curry story. The editors have returned, after rumors they would be fired because Dolan & Co. were unhappy.

Here's what I am still wondering, though: Does the return of the editors mean that they stood up to the big-wigs and that journalistic integrity is still very much in tact? Or does it mean that the editors were punished and told never to cover the team in such a negative light again?

The latter would go against everything a journalist believes in, which is that the facts are the facts and that the story must be told. There are many people who feel it is impossible to be truly unbiased when your employer is the same as the team you're covering. Michael Kay of the Yankees' YES Network and Gary Cohen of the Mets' Sportsnet New York quickly come to mind as examples.

That is why this is such a fork-in-the-road situation. The Newsday editors can stay strong, holding true the morals of journalism, and show the doubters that they are unbiased. But if they don't do that, and somehow the coverage slants in the favor of the Knicks, it could mark the sad beginning to a slippery slope.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, January 20th

NEWS
Jets go the inexperienced route again, hiring Rex Ryan as coach |Newsday|
Kobe, LeBron showdown turns into underwhelming Lakers win |FOX Sports.com|
Willis McGahee will be fine after scary injury on Sunday |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Some memorable sports speeches (with video) |The World of Isaac|
Oprah edited out Kurt Warner’s religious comments |Bob’s Blitz|
If only Vince McMahon were running the inauguration |Tirico Suave|
Rod Tidwell won’t be playing for the Cards in Super Bowl |What About Bob?|

Monday, January 19, 2009

Provisional 2009 World Baseball Classic rosters announced

Teams participating in this year's World Baseball Classic announced their 45-man provisional rosters today, from which 28 players will be selected for the competition.

One of the notable teams is the Dominican Republic, who will be expected to finish near the top of this event. Infielders Alex Rodriguez, Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano and Albert Pujols were selected, along with outfielders Vlad Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano. Wow.

You can check out the full preliminary rosters and see which players are representing their respective Major League teams at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Coach K claims the media doesn't give Duke enough credit

Just take that headline in for a second...

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is upset because some local newspapers haven't given Duke enough attention, in his opinion. I could go on for hours about how the media beats us over the head with Duke stories and tells us repeatedly how great a guy Coach K is. Instead, I'll let this quote from John Drescher, Executive Editor of The News & Observer, speak for itself:
Coach K, you've received a fair deal from us. To tell you the truth, we didn't know you cared about us. We thought you only cared about ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

Know this -- we love you, man. But like a good ref, we'll keep calling 'em like we see 'em.
Oh hell, why not continue to tarnish Coach K's reputation, with this tidbit from Newsday's Jim Baumbach:
This is the same coach who once became so irritated at a player-by-player report card that ran in the student newspaper that he called the student reporters into the arena for a meeting, brought them to the locker room, closed the door and proceeded to shout, scream and curse at them in front of his players. No joke.

Dropping Links: Monday, January 19th

NEWS
Cardinals win battle of birds, headed to Tampa Bay |Arizona Republic|
Steelers knock off Ravens to join Cards in SB43 |Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|
Willis McGahee has "considerable" neck pain following injury |ESPN.com|
Cubs make room in the outfield, trade Felix Pie to the Orioles |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
God is having a pretty good week in football |Tirico Suave|
A hilarious photo history of Pittsburgh's "Terrible Towel" |Mondesi's House|

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quick Pic: Big Ben headed to 2nd Super Bowl in four years

Ben Roethlisberger wasn't great (16/33, 255 yards, 1 TD) but the Steelers got it done thanks to an impressive defensive performance, 23-14, over the Ravens in the AFC Championship game.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Quick Pic: Kurt Warner's going back to the Super Bowl

Kurt Warner's line in the NFC Championship game: 21/28, 279 yards, 4 TD and 1 reception for 4 yards... that he threw to himself.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Cardinals v. Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII

What a great day of football. The Eagles made it exciting in Arizona after what looked to be a blowout, but still came up short. Then the Steelers came out and made Joe Flacco look like a lost puppy.

It will be an interesting matchup in Tampa, with the Cardinals' high-powered passing attack going up against Pittsburgh's gritty, powerhouse defense. There are a lot of other interesting storylines in this one, which we'll be hearing more about during the two-week buildup to the big game, like Ken Whisenhunt being passed over for the Steelers job for Mike Tomlin, even though Whisenhunt was already on the Pittsburgh staff. Both coaches are young, making their first Super Bowl appearances, and have quarterbacks with previous championship rings.

We've also got the Kurt Warner story, which is an amazing one. He went from the AFL to NFL Super Bowl champion, to backup QB, to perhaps SB champion again. Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, is looking for his second ring in as many chances.

Get ready to be pelted in the head with these stories over and over again until February 1st.

On the Tube: Jeff Xavier's brother doesn't like no-calls

You've probably seen this on ESPN and all over the interwebs, but it's an "On the Tube" kind of day here at tonyblogs.net, so why not keep the videos coming?

During yesterday's Providence-Marquette game, Jeff Xavier basically bumped his head into someone's outstretched arm and no foul was called. Jeff's brother, Jonathan, comes down through the crowd and onto the court to confront the referee.


What is most surprising to me is how easily the guy moseys right onto the court, stepping right over the Providence bench with no interruption. And who is the first person to try to stop him? A female graduate assistant of course! Great job with security, folks.

(Grazie, Bob's Blitz for the vid.)

On the Tube: Joe Flacco's unibrow raising money for charity

The Baltimore company Maroon PR has started a campaign to sell fake Joe Flacco unibrows to benefit the Ravens Courage House at St. Vincent's Center. I'll let the video explain more, but how funny does that woman look with the unibrow?


(Grazie, ABC2 - via Kissing Suzy Kolber - for the vid.)

On the Tube: LeBron James signs with the Cleveland Browns

He didn't really sign with them, but that's the plot of his newest commercial for State Farm Insurance.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rams tab Giants DC Spagnuolo as new head coach

The St.Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the Rams have hired Steve Spagnuolo to be their next head coach. The deal is four-years long for just under $12 million.

After New York's struggles down the stretch defensively, many thought Spags would return to the Giants for one more season. But with Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Marty Schottenheimer, Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden all possibly on the market next season, now was probably the best time for Spagnuolo to take a head coaching position.

Raheem Morris introduced as new Bucs head coach

Just finished watching the Raheem Morris press conference and was pretty impressed. The guy definitely has head coaching qualities (as if I know what those are) and captivated the room. He addressed each reporter by name when they asked a question and even cracked a joke at Bob Holtzman after answering his question, saying, "I saw what you said on ESPN, Bob."

You can see some highlights of the press conference at ESPN.com.

Quick Pic: Michael Vick as a Detroit Lion?

Who knows if it will happen. Any team that would sign Vick risks taking a huge public relations hit, so why not do it if you're the Lions? You're already at rock bottom.

It's probably still unlikely.

The real reason I'm posting this is just to show you this excellent photoshop job by Harvey Bars and the gang at Tirico Suave. Harvey Bars goes into further detail on the risks and rewards of signing Vick the Dogslayer.

Leaving Long Island? Maybe so for New York Islanders

I hardly write about hockey, but this one has an impact on the New York-area, which I tend to focus heavily on. The Islanders, who play in Long Island's Nassau Coliseum, will play a preseason game in Kansas City next season. Seems harmless on the surface, but there is more to the story.

Islanders owner Charles Wang wants a new arena, as part of his Town of Hempstead "Lighthouse Project." Kansas City recently built the Sprint Center, an NHL-ready arena, and the city has been trying to attract a hockey team to the area.

I think the move could be good for the Isles. Kansas City is a notoriously warm and gracious sports town and the Islanders wouldn't be competing with the Rangers anymore for the back pages.

It's a horrible move for Long Island. The Islanders are LI's only major pro sports team. If they leave the island will still have plenty of attractions like Jones Beach, the Hamptons, over-gelled hair and popped collars, but losing out on the revenue of a pro sports team will surely impact the area's economy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Tube: Alex Trebek says Bill Belichick threw a hissy fit

This is actually from Jeopardy! I'll let the video speak for itself.


Alex Trebek is one of the best comedians in the business! He didn't even flinch in that delivery.

NFL Championship Weekend preview and prognostications

The classic Sam Spence music is playing in my head right now just thinking about Championship Weekend. Monday morning, we'll know which two teams are headed to Super Bowl XLIII, looking to capture the Lombardi trophy previously held by the New York Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 3:00pm ET, FOX
The Eagles are everybody's darling right now, having won three straight against Dallas, Minnesota and New York, but the Cardinals have also won three consecutive tilts. They pounded the Panthers last weekend and shut down the Carolina offense.

The Eagles picked apart the Giants' defense to get to the title game, but the Arizona defense has been much improved throughout these two playoff games. They shut down two runners in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart last week. Brian Westbrook is a whole different creature because of his pass-catching ability, but the Cardinals should be able to use a similar scheme to attack the Philly offensive line.

Offensively, the Cardinals have an ace in the hole named Larry Fitzgerald. Going into last weekend's game, the plan was simple for the Panthers. Double-team Fitz and let Edgerrin James beat you. But you need triple coverage to stop Fitzgerald, apparently, as he was jumping over guys and fighting for the ball on every pass attempt, tearing apart the Carolina secondary.

I think Arizona's offense will be able to find holes in Philly's blitz-heavy defense, just as the Eagles did to the Giants last weekend. If the Cardinals can play as well as they did against Carolina, they'll take this one at home, where they are 7-2 this year.
Prognostication: Cardinals 31, Eagles 26

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday, 6:30pm ET, CBS
The Ravens have one of those defenses that beats you up for your lunch money and leaves you crying and sleeping in the fetal position at night. They're just nasty. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has a defense that dunks your head in the toilet and then kicks you in the ass when you think it's over. It's almost as bad.

This one is going to be a defensive slugfest with occasional flares of offense. And if it is just a battle of "D's," Baltimore will most likely come out on top. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu are arguably two of the best defensive backs in the game, so that's a wash. But the Ravens have that one wildcard, Ray Lewis. He finds a way to come through in the clutch, like he found a way out of a murder rap.
Prognostication: Ravens 13, Steelers 10

In shocking news, Jon Gruden fired by Tampa Bay Bucs

Wow.

I really didn't see that one coming. Yes, the Bucs struggled down the stretch, but they were still better than some expected. I mean, they had Jeff Garcia at quarterback. Everyone says he's such a winner and leader, but all I can remember of him is coming up short, being called gay by Terrell Owens and whining about his situation with the five teams he's played for in ten years.

There was a lot of talent in Tampa Bay this year but two other teams made the playoffs out of the South. Tampa had the same number of wins as Philadelphia and Arizona, and had one win more than San Diego. All of those teams made the playoffs except the Bucs.

It has been seven seasons so maybe it was just time for a change. But there isn't anyone available who is better than "Chucky," unless the Bucs can somehow lure Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan by also offering the GM position.

Dropping Links: Friday, January 16th

NEWS
The 0-16s have a new coach, tab DC Schwartz from Titans |FOX Sports.com|
Dodgers finally cut Andruw Jones and his $18M salary |CBS Sports.com|
Michael Young gives in, agrees to move to third base |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Red Sox sign Youkilis and his giant chin to 4-year extension |Heyman’s Hot Stove|
Harvey Bars wants the Lions to dream big with their new QB |Tirico Suave|
Kobe Bryant sells ankle insurance from atop a horse |NESW Sports|
ESPN is debuting another silly new gimmick |Awful Announcing|

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mark Sanchez will not be a good pro quarterback

I mean, his own coach doesn't even think he's ready for the NFL. Pete Carroll said Thursday that he and Sanchez "don't see this decision the same." From ESPN.com:
"Mark is going against the grain on this decision and he knows that. He knows that coming out early is a tremendous challenge for a quarterback and the statistics don't back up that it's easy to be successful in the way that he's going about it," Carroll said.
Thanks to YouTube I can even show you how underwhelmed Coach Carroll was with the decision:

Why an MLB salary cap just doesn't work

An interesting, thought-provoking piece today from Shawn Hoffman of Baseball Prospectus. He tells why a Major League Baseball salary cap might sound like a great idea for small-market teams, but everything isn't always what it seems.

With a salary cap also comes a salary floor, which is usually around 75% of the cap.
Using 2008 as an example, the 30 teams took in about $6 billion (not including MLB Advanced Media revenue), for an average of $200 million per team. Forty-five percent of that (the players' share) is $90 million, which we'll use as the midpoint between our floor and cap. If we want to make the floor 75 percent of the cap (a low-end figure, relative to the other leagues), we can use $77 million and $103 million, respectively.
So teams like the small-market Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers would have to spend at least that much. They would also no longer receive any of the revenue sharing that they've been using to fund portions of their payrolls - and, in some cases, their entire payroll.

Would it really be a good situation for bottom-of-the-barrel teams to be forced into signing overpriced veterans just to fill out their payroll?

A salary cap in baseball would also put an end to blockbuster mid-season trades where Team A trades three minor-league prospects to Team B for a $16-million-per-year player whose contract is about to expire. Or trading a guy and paying his entire salary, like the Red Sox did with Manny Ramirez. If you could do that with a salary cap, the Knicks wouldn't still have Stephon Marbury.

The only real way to fix the problem is for the small-market teams to win, which will bring the fans out, making the team more money, allowing high-priced free agents to be signed, which possibly can lead to more wins. (That hasn't been the case for the Yankees, who haven't won a World Series since they started spending like Paris Hilton.) It's kind of like a chicken-or-the-egg argument.

The only way to implement a salary cap is to basically blow every team up and have a draft. Every team starts from scratch and has a set amount they can spend. From a fan's standpoint that would be incredible, but it doesn't seem feasible.

So, in the end, we learn that there really isn't a solution to the problem. This, like the steroid scandal and a host of other issues, is something the MLB turned a blind eye to and could have fixed a long time ago, before the Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez, before the Giants signed Barry Zito, before the Yankees signed CC, AJ and Tex.

On the Tube: Rickey and Rice do the Top Ten on Letterman

In yesterday’s morning link drop I told you about Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” to read the night’s Top Ten list. Thanks to the magic of the internet – and my father, The Rooster, for passing along this link – I can show you video evidence of said Top Ten.


Dropping Links: Thursday, January 15th

NEWS
Heisman winner Sam Bradford will return to Oklahoma |FOX Sports.com|
Small market owners want MLB salary cap after Yankee spending |SI.com|
Georgetown snaps Syracuse's 7-game win streak (w/ video) |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Cowboys could cut ties with Terrell Owens this offseason |Dallas Morning News Cowboys Blog|
Rick Reilly just discovered beer pong - and his kids are playing in the tourney |Awful Announcing|
Bob Glauber ponders whether Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer |What About Bob?|
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is changing last name to Steelerstahl |Midwest Sports Fans|

(Image courtesy Sue Ogrocki, Associated Press)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Did Kobe just do the "marbles" thing from Major League II?

It was during the 4th quarter of tonights Lakers-Spurs game on ESPN. I'm still looking for a screen grab but I've given you this one to help create a mental picture if you haven't seen Major League II.

Quick Pic: Bucks' mascot Bango has interesting dunks, back story

This is the Milwaukee Bucks' mascot, Bango, dunking during a timeout in the Heat-Bucks game Wednesday.

Bango is a sad looking deer, isn't he? He looks like he's contemplating all of his life's great achievements and regrets while also dunking a basketball, furry hands and all. And why is Milwaukee's mascot named Bango? Funny you should ask. Here's the answer from Bucks.com:
Bango was a phrase coined by Eddie Doucette, the original "Voice of the Bucks," whenever a player connected on a long-range basket. When the club held a contest to name their new mascot, a few thousand entries were received. The most popular of which was "Bango."

With the name in place, on October 18, 1977, Bango was born. That date signified the home opener of the 1977-78 season for the Bucks. The game pitted Milwaukee against the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-led Los Angeles Lakers in the Milwaukee Arena.
31 years old? Wow, that's pretty old for a deer. Apparently Bango is the Jack LaLanne of all Bucks, which makes this even more impressive.

Photo Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dropping Links: Wednesday, January 14th

NEWS
Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks goes off for 54 against Tennessee |SI.com|
Eddy Curry may file counter-suit for defamation against driver |Newsday|
Chiefs tab Patriots’ Scott Pioli as new GM, Herm Edwards likely out |CBS Sports.com|
City of Anaheim drops challenge over Angels’ name |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Top 11 things Donovan McNabb might have said on the telephone |Five Tool Tool|
ESPN.com now has a camping classified section |Awful Announcing|
Top 10 best sports movie coaches of all-time |The World of Isaac|
Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice did the Top Ten on Letterman last night |WatchDog|

(AP Photo courtesy Wade Payne)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Virtual tour of the new Yankee Stadium from MLB 09

From Playstation 3's MLB 09: The Show comes this virtual tour of the new Yankee Stadium, as it will appear in the game. It is also the virtual debut of Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia as Yankees, complete with dramatic orchestra music.

Brett Favre had two bestselling NFL jerseys in 2008

The NFL released their list of Top 20 selling jerseys of 2008, via an e-mail from NFLShop.com. The Wrangler-wearing one had two jerseys on the chart, with his Jets #4 topping the list while his Packers #4 finished in 13th. Here's the complete breakdown:

1. Brett Favre, NYJ
2. Tony Romo, DAL
3. Eli Manning, NYG
4. Troy Polamalu, PIT
5. Marion Barber, DAL
6. Adrian Peterson, MIN
7. Jason Witten, DAL
8. Peyton Manning, IND
9. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
10. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
11. Tom Brady, NE
12. Terrell Owens, DAL
13. Brett Favre, GB
14. Brian Westbrook, PHI
15. Devin Hester, CHI
16. DeMarcus Ware, DAL
17. Matt Ryan, ATL
18. Brian Urlacher, CHI
19. Jay Cutler, DEN
20. Brandon Jacobs, NYG

Not surprisingly there are five Cowboys jerseys in the Top 20, providing further evidence to their claim of being "America's Team." I would assume that Favre Packers jersey sales dipped considerably in the last quarter of '08, when Favre was traded to the Jets. Obviously there was a lot of enthusiasm when Favre arrived in New Jersey, rocketing his Jets shirt to the top.

There is no word on where Giants "Harrison Smith, #17" jerseys ended up on the list.

(Photo courtesy GGum Card.com)

Dropping Links: Tuesday, January 13th

NEWS
More on the Eddy Curry harassment suit from Alan Hahn and Jim Baumbach |Newsday|
A tribute to Tony Dungy from the Indianapolis Star |IndyStar.com|
Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice headed to Cooperstown |MLB.com|
FSU’s Myron Rolle will attend Oxford this year, enter NFL Draft in ’10 |SI.com|
Roger Clemens and his ‘roids are back in the news |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Late ‘80s/Early ‘90s sports fashion apparel confessions |Legend of Cecilio Guante|
Two grumpy old white guys will analyze NCAA tourney from Vegas |Awful Announcing|

VIDEO
Another pointless thing to be good at: Rollerblade slalom |afrojacks|

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eddy Curry charged with sexual harassment by male chauffeur

Many Knicks fans already don't like Eddy Curry because of the waste of talent, money and a roster space he has been, but many more will be on that bandwagon soon. Curry has been charged with sexual harassment by his former limo driver, David Kuchinsky.

Here are some excerpts from the New York Post:
The stunning court papers claim Curry, a married father of three, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky "in the nude," allegedly telling him, "Look at me, Dave, look" and "Come and touch it, Dave."

Curry also made Kuchinsky perform "humiliating tasks outside the scope of his employment, such as cleaning up and removing dirty towels [Curry had ejaculated into] so that his wife would not see them," the Manhattan federal court suit says.

Kuchinsky, who is straight and Jewish, also alleges racial discrimination, saying that Curry hurled slurs at him including "f---ing Jew," "cracker," "white slave," "white devil" and "grandmaster of the KKK."
Kuchinsky also claims that Curry would point a loaded gun at him as a threat to keep quiet, and that Kuchinsky is owed $68,000 in unpaid wages and an additional $25,000 in expenses. The chauffeur is a convicted burglar, which Curry's lawyers are pointing out as a character flaw.

Who knows what's really going on here. Either this driver wants some cash and is targeting a highly-paid athlete whom he once worked for, or Eddy Curry needs some serious help. Either way, this is just one more piece of negative publicity for the Knicks, who have had their fair share this season.

Mets, Yankees unveil commemorative sleeve patches for '09

Both New York baseball teams are moving into new stadiums this season, with the Yanks headed to new Yankee Stadium and the Mets entering CitiField, respectively. Each team will wear a patch on their uniforms to commemorate the season. Thanks to Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog, we can show you what these new patches will look like.

Is that a plain, simple patch for the Mets, or what? If that was the best design they came up with, I'd love to see the ones that didn't make the cut.

Tony Dungy set to announce his retirement from coaching

Colts head coach Tony Dungy will announce at a 5pm news conference that he will retire, according to FOX Sports.com's Jay Glazer.

Most coaches retire only to take a year off so they can return to coaching again, like we all presume Mike Holmgren is doing in Seattle. But with Dungy, I feel like it's different. He has already said that he would like to be more involved in helping young men, especially troubled young men. Dungy's son, James, committed suicide at the age of 18 in 2005.

From all accounts, Tony Dungy is an incredibly classy, generous man. He clearly sees that he can have a much greater impact on society in another role. Because of that, I really believe this is it for Dungy, the only African-American coach to win a Super Bowl.

Dropping Links: Monday, January 12th

NEWS
Patriots O-Coordinator Josh McDaniels is new Broncos head coach |FOX Sports.com|
Thom Brenneman is happy: Tim Tebow to stay at Florida |CBS Sports.com|
SS Michael Young asks Rangers to trade him |SI.com|

BLOGS
Santonio Holmes is proud of his team's performance |Santonio Holmes' Blog|
Erin Andrews' sister Kendra is a dancer with thick legs |Busted Coverage|
Donovan McNabb makes a late-game phone call |Shutdown Corner|

HIGHLIGHTS
Steelers 35, Chargers 24 |ESPN.com|
Eagles 23, Giants 11 |ESPN.com|

(AP Photo by Stephan Savoia)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Michael Phelps will not go away

Fresh off his painfully awkward Rosetta Stone commercial, Michael Phelps will be the face of Mazda in China. The uncharismatic one is said to be making $1 million and is currently in Beijing filming TV commercials for the car company.

From the SI.com article:
"We have very strong confidence in him (Phelps)," Mazda vice president Yu Hongjiang said. "We all know the auto industry has had some unsuccessful records with image ambassadors. But there is no doubt this will be successful. ... Currently in China, nobody has the reputation that Phelps has."
No one has the reputation that Phelps has in China? Not even anyone that is actually from China? I know his eight-medal performance at the Olympics was amazing and I'm sure he's a great guy, but is Phelps' 15 minutes up yet?