01.29.07

SLC, Punked

Posted in Football at 6:05 pm by

Life in Utah isn’t just about being married to Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevingy at the same time. If you’re a soccer fan, it means being fucked by the same guy that swapped Patrick Ewing’s expiring deal for Glen Rice, Luc Longley and Travis Knight. The Offside links to a report today claiming Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts is threatening to sell or move the club following RSL’s inability to obtain public financing for a new stadium.

Keep in mind that Real Salt Lake — cited today for their financial inviability by the Debt Review Committee of Sandy County, have been an SLC fixture for all of, uh, two years.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on legal matters, but if you’re gonna sue The Sun for calling you a prostitute, you’d probably have a stronger case if you weren’t in fact, a prostitute.

Amidst charges the F.A. Cup has lost a bit of luster, The Fiver greeted today’s 5th Round Draw.

if you thought the fourth round was a disappointment, you ain’t seen nothing yet. For in today’s last 16 draw, the big three were all given home ties, while the potential giantkillers – the Blackpools and Bristol Citys of this world – were either handed the impossible (Chelsea away) or the mundane (West Brom at home). The fact that the tie of the fifth round is between Tottenham’s trip to Fulham, Arsenal or Bolton v Blackeye Rovers, or the MU Rowdies v Reading says it all. In fact the only entertainment of any kind generated by the draw was the sight of Derby County’s players making no attempt whatsoever to hide their disgust upon learning their reward for getting into the fifth round would be a trip to Plymouth.

The only manager to bother commenting on the draw was Preston boss Paul Simpson, whose club have been paired with Manchester City. “It’s a fantastic draw for us,” he chortled. “I have wonderful memories of my time at Man City and we hope we’ll get a full house at Deepdale for it.” Which would be a rare thing indeed, of course. Our solution? Give the final Big Cup place to the FA Cup winners. Change the incentives for winning it and, at a stroke, the competition would matter – really matter – again. And the BBC might finally start getting its money’s worth too.

Cubs Finally on the Table

Posted in Baseball at 4:34 pm by

(desperate to restructure, FitzSimons offers all Trib assets)

Crain’s Chicago Business reports today that the Chicago Cubs, just last May deemed by Tribco an American institution Not For Sale, is now on the block. For those out there who like to bash corporate America as soulless two-faced liars who’ll say anything o make money and put greed before the national good — well, yeah, but today’s soulless about face works for me.
The Chicago Tribune said the company’s newspapers may go private, with its television stations and possibly the Cubs spun off. A proposal from Washington, D.C.-based private-equity firm Carlyle Group to purchase the television stations for more than $4 billion still stands.

Also, this week’s Cubs Mailbag includes Cub fan Adrian B of Green Bay already in line for World Series tickets, another fan demanding a loyalty oath from Jacque Jones, another who named her black cat “Wrigley,” but a surprising admission from MLB’s Carrie Muskat in that there’s only one reason Sosa isn’t on the Cubs today.
Q: Other than the fact that Sammy Sosa and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry don’t get along, wouldn’t picking up Sammy have been better than Floyd? I mean, Sosa has said he feels like he’s in better shape than ever before, making me think he would be better to play right or left. What would you say?
– Jeremy C., Chicago

A: The Cubs wanted help in the form of a left-handed hitter. Sosa is a right-handed hitter.

Oh.

Spree’s Aggrieved Gal Pal Puts A Little Mustard On A Lawsuit

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 2:53 pm by

From the say it ain’t so dept. of the New York Post and the AP’s Larry Neumesiter.

The mother of four of former NBA star Latrell Sprewell’s children sued him for $200 million Monday, alleging Sprewell broke their long-term cohabitation deal and roughed her up last month in their Westchester County home.

Candace Cabbil brought the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, saying Sprewell recently ended the steady living arrangement that developed after they met in 1989 when both attended the University of Alabama.

The lawsuit says that on Sept. 8, Sprewell broke his promise to share his life, and his fortune, with Cabbil when he entered their Purchase, N.Y., home and announced they needed “to end this fake” relationship.

Sprewell started giving Cabbil less money than usual for household expenses and for their children, ages 3, 7, 8 and 11, and made himself scarce when she tried to find him, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit said Cabbil also was the guardian for a 16-year-old child Sprewell fathered with another woman.

It alleges that, in December, Sprewell entered their home, chased Cabbil around and smacked her hand to prevent her from trying to use a cell phone to call police. Then he allegedly grabbed her and dragged her down a flight of stairs by her feet, causing her physical and emotional injury.

Though there’s nothing funny about the domestic abuse accusations, surely Ms. Cabbill and her attorneys are well aware of just how seriously Mr. Sprewell  takes the matter of providing for his children.

Raiders, Niners To Ground Share?

Posted in Gridiron at 2:25 pm by

(Grandpa Al Davis, perhaps the ultimate roommate?)

The San Siro of Northern California? The SF Chronicle’s Philip Matier and Andrew Ross report there’s been talks between the 49ers and Raiders about occupying a new stadium together.

The stadium could very well could be in Santa Clara, where the Niners are pursuing new digs next to Great America.

Wild as it may sound, the economics for a Forty-Raider stadium just could make sense for both teams.

For starters, the 49ers — after nearly 10 years of trying — still haven’t found a stadium plan that pencils out financially given that football is only played about 10 times a year.

Hooking up with the Raiders for a stadium would instantly double the usage and could make financial sense.

Plus, the teams could get a big boost from the National Football League, which this past season agreed to kick in $300 million to the New York Giants and Jets to build a joint stadium at New Jersey’s Meadowlands.

The thinking goes that if the Niners and Raiders could get a similar handout from the NFL — and that’s still a big if — it would go a long way to helping them get over the stadium money hump.

As for the Raiders, their current 16-year-lease at the remodeled Oakland Coliseum is set to expire in four years — or about the time the Niners hope to have a new stadium built.

The Raiders, despite upgraded football digs, are still unhappy about playing in Oakland — but currently have few real prospects for moving out of the area again.

What’s more, owner Al Davis — who only recently was forced to spend a bundle to buy out the unhappy heirs of a silent partner — doesn’t have the cash to build a stadium on his own, sources say. And given his past battles with the NFL, he doesn’t appear to have many friends in the league looking to do him any big favors.

There’s a non-story in Mount Prospect, IL about a local Costo charging $25 for William “Refrigerator” Perry autographs, along with the stipluation the Fridge would only sign items purchased at Costco. For some reason, those who mourn the passing of poor, sweet Barbaro are considered worthy of mockery, but persons who leave the house in 2007 to meet William Perry deserve empathy?

Bobby Ross, Deserter

Posted in Gridiron at 1:56 pm by

9 wins in three years and reportedly, Bobby Ross has had enough trying to coach Army’s football team during wartime.

Maybe the $600,000 salary wasn’t enough to compensate for the grim results most Saturdays. And perhaps an engraved invite to the lowly Poinsettia Bowl was setting the bar too high.

It is truly a shame the Giants kissed and made up with their bitchy disciplinarian coach, because if ever there were a job opening with Doug Niedermyer Col. Coughlin’s name written all over it, this would be the one.

Mr. & Mrs. A.I. : Splitsville?

Posted in Basketball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 12:55 pm by

From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dan Gross.

While Tawanna Iverson has accompanied her husband, Allen, to Denver, where the Sixers star was recently traded, sources tell us that Tawanna has recently met with at least one Philadelphia divorce attorney.

Attorney Albert Momjian said Thursday that he was “not in a position to discuss” whether he had met with or been retained by Tawanna. No divorce papers have been filed by Mrs. Iverson.

The high school sweethearts from Virginia, both 31, married in August 2001 and have four children.

In 2002, Iverson was alleged to have thrown Tawanna out of their Gladwyne home naked, and later was accused of threatening two men with a gun while looking for her. All charges against him were later dropped.

The typically on top of it 700 Level has some background on this story.

In a completely unrelated note, The Onion has the best take to date on Michael Jordan’s marital difficulties.

Exposed: The Specific Types of Music That Will Make You Gay

Posted in music, Organized Hate at 11:41 am by

“I have been called ‘Faggot,’” writes Donnie Davies on the website of “Love God’s Way Ministries.” While there are other, more accurate names for the guy behind a program called “C.H.O.P.S.” — it stands for “Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary People (Letter S)” — what he means is that he’s what’s known as an “ex-gay.” Maybe.

Or maybe he’s as devastating a satirist as there is on the internet. His mustache leaves the question up in the air, his exhortation to those who want to get down with his program to come on along and “C.H.O.P.S. away the Gay” tilts things more towards the satire side of things. And his list of rock bands that “will make you gay” kind of seals it. He’s obviously joking. Except probably not, because he also recorded a song called “God Hates Fags,” which was pulled off MySpace. (YouTube clip : here) But then again, he probably is, because he sets off a blog entry by saying “I hope you will take my thoughts on the overweight and Jesus Love to heart.” So either he is or he isn’t. Anyway, here is a sampling of his voluminous list of artists that will cause you to become homosexual:

  • Scissor Sisters
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Merzbau
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Wilco
  • Bjork
  • Tech N9ne
  • Ghostface Killah
  • Bobby Conn
  • Morton Subotnik
  • Cole Porter
  • The String Cheese Incident
  • Eagles of Death Metal
  • Polyphonic Spree
  • The Faint
  • Interpol
  • Kansas
  • Velvet Underground
  • Lou Reed
  • Lil’ Wayne
  • Hinder
  • Bob Mould
  • Clay Aiken
  • Arcade Fire
  • Bright Eyes
  • Audioslave

Hinder! There are, of course, many more, some of which come with parenthetical commentary afterwards — “Ted Nugent (loincloth),” for instance, or “Marilyn Manson (dark gay)” — and a few of which seem to feature male celebrities (30 Seconds to Mars, Dogstar). Also, Elton John is on the list twice, and Motorhead is on it once. Also worth mentioning is the lost Davies brother’s list of safe bands. Tucked in among the D.C. Talk’s and Jars of Clay are, of course, Danielson (nee Familie) and the Dresden Dolls.

Before Donal Logue Ruined Central Park South

Posted in Baseball, Food at 11:26 am by

Though Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’ chain flopped in the ’70′s, a slightly more lavish bar/restaurant to bear his name has flourished on Central Park South from 1988 onwards. The Columnists.com’s Maury Allen recalls a particularly ingenious stunt played by the eatery’s management in the autumn of 2004, as culled from Bill Linderman’s forthcoming “Mickey Mantle™s: Behind the Scenes in America™s Most Famous Sports Bar” (Lyons Press). (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

It all came down to 2004. The Yankees had snuck another away in 2003 with a miracle homer by a journeyman named Aaron Boone. Now they were ahead again three games to none. Forget it. Hey, wait a minute. The wrong team choked. This time it was the Yankees who blew the lead. The Red Sox won the AL pennant and went on to sweep the World Series. So now we know the Red Sox can win a Series every 86 years.

What would Mickey Mantle™s restaurant do to mark the occasion? Liederman decided to rename the place in honor of the Boston triumph.

œTed Williams restaurant, writes Liederman. œThey say a rose by any other name would smell as sweet but this one smelled to New Yorkers like month old moo shoo pork.

Liederman and his clever PR man, Marty Appel, former New York Yankees spokesman, had come up with the kidding scheme to newly name Mantle™s after the Red Sox hero, Ted Williams, in honor of Boston™s triumph and as a tribute to Red Sox Nation.

It would have worked well in œThe Producers with a little side number for “Springtime for Hitler.” but sports fans are more fanatic than history fans. The city exploded with venom at Liederman for this act of a traitor to Yankee tradition. Even the Mantle family, humorless in their pursuit of the Mantle dollar, was outraged. Of course, someone had called them with a trumped up tale of what had been done.

Actually, only a computer-printed paper sign with the name of Ted Williams had covered the outside Mantle name on the famed awning. Some people just don™t have a sense of humor when it comes to Yankee losses.

Forget 9/11, the war in Iraq or a burdensome tax. This was BIG. œThe family of the late Mickey Mantle is shocked and outraged by Bill Liederman™s conduct covering the Mickey Mantle name in Mickey Mantle™s restaurant and replacing it with Ted Williams, wrote a Mantle family lawyer.

Public outrage was incredible. Nasty phone calls filled the restaurant lines. Vicious emails exploded on their computer screen. People burst into the place screaming obscenities. A voice mail announced, œYou™re dead, your kids are dead., your days on this earth are numbered, you money-grabbing Hebe.

Liederman, who loves a joke almost as he loves a good hamburger, finally backed off. He had learned a lesson, especially a lesson about Yankee fans. œYou never tread on the sacred ground of Yankee lore. It just isn™t done, PR pal Marty Appel told Burger Bill.

I have to admit, I ripped off Linderman’s idea last autumn when I proposed that Rusty Staub’s joint be temporarily renamed “Spiezio’s”. There was the small issue of Le Grande Orange’s establishment having long since gone out of business, but you can’t blame me for trying.

Giant Anthropomorphic Textile Pattern to Replace Nappy Dog Suit? You Make the Call!

Posted in College Spurts, Dogs, Lower Education, When Mascots Attack at 10:40 am by

Both Doug Kalemba and Jon Solomon beat each other to a pulp this morning to make sure I knew about the town hall meeting this evening at Carnegie Mellon University to finally settle the question of who will be their official mascot. Because apparently that affable low-rent fur-suited Scottie dog in a plaid vest that skitters about the field at CMU Tartans games? Is not, technically, their mascot.

Non-Mascottie

The Post-Gazette reports:
…As it turns out, a school that has programmed robots for space exploration and cracked some of the world’s trickiest computing riddles nevertheless falls short by one measure of problem solving skill: It has never in its 106-year history come up with an official mascot.

So the school has formed a task force to do something about it. The panel is asking students, alumni and others if the Scottie Dog now used informally ought to be Carnegie Mellon’s official image, or if something else — a robot, say, or maybe a bagpiper — better suits a university with Scottish roots that has produced both Nobel Prize winners and Hollywood stars…

…Whatever the choice is, Carnegie Mellon will have to consider just how the image should be crafted and then take steps to trademark its use, said Jennifer Church, dean of student affairs who co-chairs the Mascot Task Force. The school said the name Tartans will continue to be used, especially in connection with athletics.

Arguing that the ambiguously relevant Scottish terrier should be replaced with something depicted with more consistency and, theoretically, marketability, the school is entertaining input from many of the future Nobel Prize winners and Hollywood stars who comprise its student body:

“We have Tartan as our name, but it’s characterized as the Scottie Dogs because you can’t really have a Tartan out there dancing around. That’s kind of the problem,” said Megan Pentz, 21, a senior and art major from Hartford, Conn.

Tonight’s town hall meeting takes place at the University Center’s McConomy Auditorium (pouring rights: PepsiCo) at 5:30pm.

The Yanks’ Andy Phillips Surrenders (But Doesn’t Give Himself Away)

Posted in Baseball, Religion at 7:51 am by

“Andy Phillips and the 800-pound Magilla Gorilla in the playroom?” writes Repoz, who passes along the following item from the Pensacola News Journal :

“I accepted Christ at 7 years old,” Phillips said. He said he was watching Walt Disney’s Scrooge McDuck on television and was inspired by the transformation Scrooge went through.

“That clicked for me,” he said.

He said that without God, he may have continued to play the way he did during his freshman year at the University of Alabama.

“I was absolutely the worst baseball player you had seen in your life,” he said. “I thought about hanging it up.”

He said that during the next summer, he prayed and read the Bible.

“I completely surrendered,” he said. “I said, ‘If you don’t want me to play, I will never play another game.’ “

From then on, his game was a success. But he insists he would give up his career for his religion.

“I would trade my uniform in tomorrow,” he said. “I would trade my rings — everything today if it meant changing my relationship with Christ.”

01.28.07

Ryan Unloads On The Ripken/Gwynn Doubters

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:06 pm by

In light of a handful of this year’s BBWA members opting not to vote for Cal Ripken Jr. or Tony Gwynn’s enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in their first year of eligibility, the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan (above) asks “why hasn’t anyone ever been a unanimous selection?”

The primary reason, we are often told, is that some members of the voting body have a personal policy not to vote for someone the first year he is eligible. I cannot begin to comprehend the depths of such idiocy. I fear a few of these Neanderthals are still entrusted with a vote, and it’s their intellectual company I do not wish to keep. Please be advised that I am not one of them. In fact, I am certain no Globie is. We may have our faults, but clinging to a foolish policy such as that one is not one of them.

The other reason not to vote for an obvious candidate on the first ballot is judgment. If one is not demonstrating obstreperousness by simply refusing to vote for a man in his first year of eligibility, then he does not vote for someone because he honestly feels the man is not worthy of inclusion.

The foolishness began in the very first election back in 1936 when neither Ty Cobb nor Babe Ruth was voted in unanimously. Who can possibly imagine what was going on inside the heads of the four gentlemen who did not vote for Cobb, or, even more amazingly to me, the 11 who declined to vote for Ruth, who, one year into retirement, was the single most influential player in the history of the game and who remains so even today, 71 years after playing his last game and 58 years after his death?

So the standard of obstinacy and/or ignorance was set. Why did 20 people not vote for Ted Williams in 1966? Why did 23 people not vote for Willie Mays in 1979? Why did nine men not vote for Hank Aaron in 1982? Why did nine men not vote for George Brett in 1999? And yes, while Tom Seaver did get a rousing 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992, what legitimate reason was there for five voters to say “no”?

It’s almost enough to invoke a Groucho-like dictum: Do I really want to be a member of a club that harbors such nefarious people? It’s appalling to think these people may hold valid driver’s licenses and be allowed to vote for president if they cannot recognize as simple a proposition as Tom Seaver, Tony Gwynn, or Cal Ripken being a drop-dead, first-ballot Hall of Famer.

So there you have it.  Brett Saberhagen isn’t alone in thinking the system’s fucked.

Tom Renney, Eat Your Heart Out

Posted in Hockey at 8:18 pm by

I have a weird feeling Chris Chelios and Kenny Mayne studied at the same acting school. ie. one that no one should attend.

Davidoff : Pujols, Rolen Consumed By Jealousy, Greed

Posted in Baseball, Greedy Motherfuckers, The Marketplace at 5:47 pm by

OK, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff hasn’t used those exact words. But only because he’s far too nice a human being.

Tristar Productions, a leading memorabilia producer, attempted to market several items with a “team signing” – baseballs, pictures and what-have-you featuring autographs from all 25 players. It didn’t happen, a person familiar with the situation told Newsday, because the Cardinals’ stars – in particular, Albert Pujols (above) and Scott Rolen – couldn’t agree on an asking price.

The person said Pujols wanted to make more than Rolen and Rolen wanted to make the same as Pujols. Spend five minutes in the clubhouse and you’ll realize that Pujols and Rolen aren’t very close. A second person in the loop nonetheless insisted that Pujols’ demands had nothing to do with Rolen.

In any case, that meant young players such as Game 1 winner Anthony Reyes and closer Adam Wainwright couldn’t pick up an extra payday.

Sometimes it can work out better. As the Astros were playing the White Sox in the 2005 World Series, Houston’s three most famous players – Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Roger Clemens – agreed to charge a higher rate for autographs, but then pooled those payments and divided them equally among the 25 players.

“They were giving a larger share of their money to the guys that needed it more,” Tristar’s Bobby Mintz said. “That’s how Roger and ‘Beedge’ and Bags are. They wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Too bad the Cards’ stars couldn’t see things similarly.

The Devil Rays’ Scott Kazmir says his shoulder rehab is progressing nicely. I suppose Al Leiter ran out of pins.

Scoop Reimagines David Stern As Mr. Blackwell

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 4:05 pm by

(Mateen Cleaves, right, preparing his defamation of character lawsuit against Disney)

The mostly pseudononymous gang at the Sports Journalists.com board are predictably, up in arms over Scoop Jackson’s latest column for ESPN.com’s Page 2. Scoop interviews the mythical “Mr. DJS”, the “alter ego” of NBA Commissioner David Stern, “one who is totally in touch with the players in his league; one who rocks Sean John suits, instead of Armani; one who would have Talib Kweli perform at All-Star halftimes instead of Cowboy Troy; one who seems more concerned with being Robin Hood instead of robbin’ the hood.” And while said work is mostly brutal reading (you feel me?) there’s at least one tiny portion that Jackson can be very proud of.

Q: Dress code.

DJS: Yo, that wasn’t me “ that was them, the players. They brought that on themselves. I’m not taking the heat for that one. Did you see the way Mateen Cleaves was coming to games?!? C’mon, man, what would you do if you was me? I was begging every team he was on to take him off of the injured reserve list just so no one had to see him on the bench in what he called his street clothes. And I’m not even going to start with Damon Jones.

An even-handed approach to Isiah Thomas is not the sort of thing I’d ordinarily associate with the New York Post’s Peter Vescey, who under duress (“if anyone can pretend to know what goes on in James Dolan’s dustbin of a brain, if anyone can come close to imagining the standards he’s using to measure the progress of the Knicks/Thomas, my boss has come to the right yutz. Readers often tell me they’re convinced I write my column SOON after reading Dolan’s mind,”) gives Zeke a vote of confidence. A heavily qualified one, naturally.

What must David Lee do to get promoted? His substitution patterns. Why wait eight minutes into the first quarter to get your most consistent player into the game? And why wasn’t Malik Rose inserted for Eddy Curry in the final eight seconds against the Nets when the situation screamed for someone who knows how to box out? His noticeable dearth of play-calling at the end of up-for-grab games; if Jamal Crawford can’t create a basket, it ain’t originating in Thomas’ cranium. His failure to conserve timeouts to prepare for a legit last-gasp shot has cost the team twice.

Since beginning the season with one win in their first eight Garden games, we’ve witnessed a sizeable upgrade in that pride. Again, for the most part, they’re defending their home turf. Now they’re 11-13. Since the Nuggets fight, a loss, they’re 10-9, a giant step toward Thomas staying off the NBA unemployment line.

Certainly Curry’s assertiveness in the occupied area is a primary factor. But nobody has shown more personal and professional pride, nobody has come back further in the hearts, minds and throats of the fans than Marbury … balling better of late than in the last five years and digging in on defense better than ever.

Another clinical exhibition by the Matrix, Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash took place earlier today, as Phoenix’s 115-100 victory at Cleveland was the Suns’ 17th consecutive. Aside from wondering what might occur in a 7 game series with Dallas, the only remaining question mark I have regarding Phoenix is whether or not Jalen Rose gets a full playoff share.

FA Cup Highlights : Sinclair’s Stunner

Posted in Football at 2:59 pm by

As mentioned previously, Chelsea loaner Scott Sinclair closing the door on Barnet yesterday for Plymouth Argyle, plus there’s the added benefit of checking out Ian Holloway’s fancy suit.

While no one in their right mind would a) leave Wayne Rooney in charge of a missile defense system, b) allow him to pick out the music for a birthday party or c) leave Rooney alone with Grandma, he remains one of the planet’s most devestating, if dunderheaded scoring threats, as Portsmouth learned Saturday afternoon.

Bing Devine: 1916-2007

Posted in Baseball at 1:17 pm by

(Cubs Fans : Still Not Over It)

The Cardinals’ have announced that their former GM Vaughn “Bing” Devine has died at 90, and that’s of significance to Cub fans because a) Bing’s teams walked all over us until Durocher came in, b) he masterminded the trade that took Lou Brock away from the Cubs in one of the worst trades, Cub-wise, in baseball history, and then c) beat Durocher in ’69 anyway because he was with the Mets.

(Brock he brags about, not McCarver)

When Bing Devine wrote his memoirs, he called them The Memoirs of Bing Devine: Stealing Lou Brock and Other Brilliant Moves by a Master G.M., co-written with Tim Wheatley. I could go on about the misery Bing Devine’s teams inflicted on Wrigley, since there’s so much, all of which I hope would be seen as respect.

Ain’t That A Dent In The Head

Posted in Gridiron at 12:22 pm by

While the New York Daily News’ Hank Gola rhapsodizes this morning about the glory of the 1986 New York Giants, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz chats with a mainstay of the ’85 Bears juggernaut and coaxes the inevitable, unfavorable comparisons out of him.

“The fans this time didn’t know if the Bears were going to be for real or if they could win the game or not,” former Bears great Richard Dent this week recalled to The Post. “When I played, there wasn’t a second thought. The fans knew.”

“We took sledgehammers to kill flies,” was Dent’s description of the mayhem he and his teammates created. “We didn’t allow you to think you could play with us, we didn’t allow you second chances. We would finish you from the get-go.”

“When we played, when the offensive team came out of the huddle, they were trying to figure out how to stop us,” Dent said. “There’s no comparison there, it hasn’t been there since we won the Super Bowl, throughout the league.

“I don’t see anybody who looks like me on the team that is making that kind of thing happen. Do you see anybody who looks like Walter Payton on the team, running the ball that way?”

Dent actually played one season for the Colts back in 1996, but he’ll be in South Florida next weekend cheering on his Bears. He believes they can win, but also understands why they are the underdog. He says, “You kind of worry when you look at Peyton Manning,” admits he’s concerned about Rex Grossman – “It depends on how much rope they give him to play with” – and is not happy with the way the Bears utilize star linebacker Brian Urlacher.

“We’re not using Urlacher in a way where we can take advantage of his speed,” Dent said. “He’s in the middle of the field, it’s real easy to block him, it’s real easy to find him. I think he’s a weakside linebacker. Let him blitz, turn him loose.”

The NFL has quashed plans on the Bears’ part to show next Sunday’s Super Bowl on the jumbotron at Solider Field. Though I’m not entirely sure why anyone — including the homeless — would choose to watch the game outdoors on an early February evening in Chicago, I also cannot see the harm in allowing the public to do so (besides hypothermia, lewd behavior, destruction of public and private propertly, etc.)

Gump Worsely, RIP

Posted in Hockey at 7:05 am by

From the CBC :

Hall of Fame goaltender Lorne (Gump) Worsley, a Montreal native who played 21 years in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars, died Friday at the age of 77.

“He was a terrific goaltender,” former North Stars teammate Lou Nanne said. “If I could pick any goalie to win a big game, it would be Gump.

“He was one of the first real characters in the NHL. He had a lot of personality and really showed the human side of the game. He didn’t look like an athlete and smoked like a chimney between periods, but he was terrific when he put the pads on.”

Worsley was famous for not wearing a mask until the final season of his NHL career in 1973-74.

Worsley won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1952-53 as a member of the Rangers and helped New York reach the playoffs in four of the 10 seasons he played there.

Worsley led the Canadiens to four Stanley Cups (1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969) in seven seasons with Montreal and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie on two occasions (1966 and 1968).

01.27.07

Knicks’ Cato Unlikely To Garner Kitty Litter Endorsement

Posted in Basketball, Cats at 8:18 pm by

(CSTB marketing director Guinness, firmly of the opinion the story below oughta be focused on something else).

From Newsday (link courtesy Popjocks) :

New York Knicks center Kelvin Cato wants custody of his 6-year-old son, who was found living in a urine-soaked apartment with more than 30 cats last year.

Cato’s lawyers in Oregon said their client learned of the child’s plight only after they told him about news accounts of the criminal case against the boy’s mother, Jennifer Gaines.

The police officer who investigated the apartment on a tip last June wrote in his report that the smell of cat urine burned his eyes and throat.

“It was unsafe for the children to spend another minute inside of the residence,” the officer wrote. “The odor was so overwhelming that I almost vomited.”

I trust you all find this story as shocking as I do. Who knew Kelvin Cato was on the Knicks?

The Super Bowl Muffle

Posted in Gridiron, Rock Und Roll at 8:09 pm by

About as much fun as being stuck in an elevator with Jim McMahon. Video link courtesy Hot Shit College Student, who writes, “Billy Corgan won’t have to worry about cutting James Iha a slice of the reunion pie. Think these dudes wake up to Westing (By Musket & Sextant)?”

CBB Saturday : Getting The Defibrillator Ready For Jim Calhoun

Posted in Basketball at 5:12 pm by

(Coach Calhoun and retired sportswriter Oscar Madison share a laugh while watching some vintage Quincy Punk)

I’ve not read The Sporting News in some time —- I think I bailed right around the time the publishers decided that NASCAR was deserving of more editorial space than the NBA and NHL combined — but if they’re still runnning “The Fly”, next week is sure to feature the pithy comment, “didn’t you used to be the University Of Connecticut?

Since losing to Virginia Tech, North Carolina have beaten Clemson, Wake Forest and (today) Arizona by a combined 78 points. The most recent of these blowouts occured on hostile turf and sans the services of Brandon Wright and Marcus Ginyard. I suppose the rest of the ACC can try to trick themselves into thinking the Heels have peaked too early.

Who says there are no second acts on Staten Island? D-Wil’s student-athlete of 2007, Kyle McAlarney is said to be returning to Notre Dame. Toiling without their suspended weed fiend this afternoon, the Irish are tied at 32 with Villinova with 15:38 remaining in South Bend.

Memphis survived a late scare from Southern Miss before prevailing, 67-63, earlier today. Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 5 of his 15 points in the game’s final 2:30, sparing the Tigers what would’ve been their 4th loss of the year. I guess Dan Garcia ran out of pins for his John Calipari voodoo doll (which, in all seriousness, is a far more appropriate toy for young kids than this Bratz garbage I see in the department stores).

Mark Cuban, Diplomat

Posted in Basketball at 3:02 pm by

The Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko has the dubious pleasure of providing the Mavs’ Owner With A Boner with yet another forum for his unique brand of informed opinion.

Mark Cuban believes Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash should be starters for the Western Conference at next month’s All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

The fan balloting had neither one earning a spot. The owner said it should be clear why certain players always win the fan vote.

“The majority of NBA Internet traffic is international, and the majority of that international traffic has been trained to vote along party lines,” Cuban said. “You have to adjust to that. It’s an international vote, and a whole lot of communists voted. They always vote the party line.”

If executives at TNT were hoping for healthy ratings for the upcoming All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, the New York Times’ Howard Beck has some very, very bad news.

The worst moment of Nate Robinson™s NBA career will not prevent him from repeating his best moment. The league has invited Robinson to defend his slam-dunk title next month at All-Star weekend. Robinson had feared he might be denied that chance because he instigated the Dec. 16 brawl with Denver. Robinson served a 10-game suspension. œI™m ecstatic, he said of defending his title. Regarding the fight and its effect on his image, Robinson said, œThat™s behind me, what happened.

The Former Chuck Noblet’s Tyrannical Hold On North American Media Continues

Posted in Hockey at 2:21 pm by

From the Toronto Star’s Sunaya Sapurji.

The ice was littered in Saginaw, Mich., last night. The first projectiles were loose pages of the General Motors annual report. They was followed by a flurry of teddy bears. One account told of a plastic fish being tossed.

There was a hockey game last night between the Saginaw Spirit and Oshawa Generals. But the bizarre antics were the result of a bet, viewed by millions across North America.

The wager was between Stephen Colbert, the satirical host of The Colbert Report, and Oshawa mayor John Gray.

The terms were simple: If the Generals won, Colbert would wear a Generals jersey. If they lost, Oshawa would declare March 20, Gray’s birthday, `Stephen Colbert Day.’

With their 5-4 win over the Generals last night, the Spirit have ensured the American host will have his party in Oshawa.

“I’m always disappointed when the Gens lose,” said Gray last night from a fan bus heading home. The mayor said he hoped to talk with Colbert’s people on Monday to honour the bargain.

The Colbert Report’s obsession with the OHL team began in September, when the Saginaw named their mini-mascot Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle, after the show launched an aggressive internet campaign asking fans to vote for the name. Since then, the show has featured regular updates on the team’s progress.

When Oshawa held their Teddy Bear Toss last month against Mississauga, Colbert feigned offence since his show contends bears are the “number one threat to America.” In retaliation, Colbert posted a link to GM’s annual report on his website and asked fans to toss it at the Generals, who are named after the car manufacturer.

Buerhle & Williams’ SnipeFest At The SoxFest

Posted in Baseball at 1:38 pm by

After the White Sox traded Freddy Garcia this winter, Mark Buehrle (above) can take a hint. For his part, GM Kenny Williams, would prefer his pitcher just clammed up. The Daily Herald’s Scot McGregor digs up the crazy quotes from the annual SoxFest.

The White Sox picked up Buehrle’s $9.5 million option for 2007, but the veteran left-hander is reluctantly preparing for free agency at the end of the season.

œFrom the quotes from Kenny, I want to come back, but I™ve seen direct quotes saying that Mark Buehrle won™t be in a White Sox uniform in 2008,™™ Buehrle said. œSo I™m just kind of going off what he said.™™

Buehrle was standing in the same hotel ballroom with Williams on Friday afternoon, but he didn™t appear eager to discuss his future with the GM.

œI haven™t had a chance to sit down and talk to him, and I probably won™t either,™™ Buehrle said. œThere™s nothing I can do about it. Just go out there and pitch this season. Either good or bad, he™s pretty much said I™m not going to be back.™™

When told of Buehrle™s comments, Williams became enraged.

œAll we need to be focused on, whether it™s Mark Buehrle or any other player that has a contractual issue for 2008 ¦ I say again, for 2008, is take care of 2007,™™ Williams said. œLet™s take care of 2007, and 2008 will take care of itself for him, the White Sox, either individually or together.™™

In other preseason meet & greet news, the Washington Times’ Thom Loverro takes time off from selling flowers by the side of the road to sneer at the Nationals’ lame effort.

If Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner thinks that free agent salaries are out of control, he should get a look at the prices for jerseys at the team store in White Flint Mall in Bethesda.

A Rick Short Washington Nationals batting practice-worn jersey sells for $199. He played just 11 games as a National. For a game-worn jersey by Hector Carrasco — a journeyman relief pitcher — the price is $299.

Now I know why the Nationals are bringing 70 players to spring training. That’s a lot of jerseys to sell, maybe enough to even pay the Nationals’ paltry 2007 team payroll.

The Nationals winter caravan, otherwise known as the Pep Boys tour (Manny, Nook and Mike), made a stop this past week at the Nationals team store in White Flint. Outside the mall, the electronic sign touted an upcoming “Camp Fair” at the mall. I swear for a second that in between advertisements for equestrian and computer camps, I saw one for a baseball camp starting Feb. 13 in Viera, Fla. (I would urge any Nationals fans coming to spring training to bring a catcher’s mitt. With 37 pitchers invited, they may be recruiting backstops from the crowd).

Mets GM Omar Minaya, Dave Stewart, Dusty Baker and Dave Winfield are part of an MLB delegation bound for Ghana next week.  Ruth Roper was unavailable for comment.

Renck : Rockies, Red Sox In Helton Negotiations

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 1:18 pm by

A day after his Denver Post colleague Mark Kizla bemoaned Colorado’s efforts to dump Todd Helton’s salary on someone else, colleague Troy E. Renck reports the Rox might’ve found a taker.

The Rockies are in discussions with the Boston Red Sox involving a trade of Todd Helton, according to multiple baseball sources.

Nothing is imminent, but negotiations are expected to resume Monday or Tuesday when Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd returns to work after tending to a family matter. Helton, 33, has a complete no-trade clause, but has said he would consider Boston.

A source said Helton is aware of the current Red Sox talks.

Helton has six years and $90.1 million remaining on his contract, and the Red Sox could face luxury-tax penalties if they acquire the first baseman, issues that would have to be resolved.

The Rockies, however, have shown a willingness to eat a portion of Helton’s remaining salary in any deal, which, depending on the amount, would have an impact on the type of players they would receive in return.

Colorado’s first priority has been to add young pitchers, which Boston possesses. The Rockies have asked about reliever Manny Delcarmen, 24, in previous talks regarding other players and considered selecting pitcher Craig Hansen in the first round of the 2005 draft.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney
opines that Boston “would covet Helton’s on-base percentage, his quality at-bats, his defense, especially if they were paying him only $8 million to $10 million a year,” and clearly considers the first baseman an excellent fit at Fenway.

For financial superpower Boston, Helton could be an extraordinary find, even at high cost. He is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman, having won that award three times, and he would complement their offense perfectly, with his ability to hit doubles, draw walks and drive up pitch counts; he is considered to be among the best two-strike hitters in baseball. Last season, in what was regarded as a subpar offensive season for Helton, he drew 91 walks, struck out just 64 times, registered a .404 on-base percentage, and averaged 3.93 pitches per plate appearance.

Having been replaced in the Red Sox radio booth by Dave O’Brien and Glenn Geffner, Jerry Trupiano fires back at his old paymasters this morning, courtesy of the Enterprise’s Peter Badavas (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“They said thank you, you did a terrific job, you were a real professional, and that was it. said Trupiano (above). œThey wanted to put their guy in, and that’s the bottom line. If anybody tells you anything different, then it’s a lie.

œI feel a little bitterness. said Trupiano of his dismissal. œThat’s because they put in the paper late in the season that I was going to the Cardinals (Trupiano is originally from St. Louis), and I swear I never talked to them about a job. If you’re going to kick me to the curb, kick me to the curb, but don’t hurt my chances of getting another job. I thought that was unfair.

Trupiano, also was bitter that œthey didn’t let me know until two weeks before Christmas officially, and by then it was too late for four jobs that were available in October. Then there were two more jobs that opened later, but apparently I was overqualified for one and they told me they went in a different direction in the other.

This leaves Trupiano in a position he hasn’t been in 14 years, looking for work.

œI’m looking for work. he said. œNo prospects right now. I’m just now starting to put my football and basketball stuff together for next year. Baseball is dried up for 2007, which absolutely kills me, but everything happened too late.