“Forget about the notion of fighting as part of hockey’s in trinsic nature. Forget about fighting acting as a safety valve for the athletes,” protests the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. As long we don’t have to forget about Hockey Fights.com, I’m willing to consider Brooks’ charge that “watching heavyweight fights such as the one in Tampa on Wednesday between the Rangers’ Colton Orr and Lightning’s David Koci has become the equivalent to viewing the aftermath of automobile accidents on the Interstate.”
Orr and Koci packed heavyweight-sized wallops in their punches on Wednesday. The crowd went berserk, probably much like the Romans who gloried in gladiators fighting to the death in the arena. As the players went to the penalty box, the fight was replayed on the scoreboard video screen. The spectators seemed to enjoy it even more the second time. It all had a demeaning quality to it.
Oh, and by the way, now comes the news that Koci suffered a broken hand in the fight, which is as benign an injury as either player might have suffered in the lengthy exchange of blows to the head.
Think about this for a second. As the NHL community debates outlawing hits to the head, it doesn’t give a second thought to allowing fights in which athletes punch one another in the head. Here’s a memo to NHL officials: Fighters are susceptible to concussions, too.
Penalizing all checks to the head is a complex issue. Outlawing all punches to the head should not be. It’s time for the NHL to outlaw fighting; time for the NHL to act before injuries far more serious than the broken hand suffered by Koci become commonplace.
Some folks aren’t taking today’s news all that well. Presumably, phoning in a bomb scare to Arrowhead Stadium is illegal and/or doesn’t afford Missouri a competitive advantage.
Hey TEXAS LONGHORN fans, of which I am OBVIOUSLY one – what’s done is done. Here is a pro-active activity to do in mass:
JAM the Oklahoma Sports Ticket Office now selling Big 12 Championship tickets from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM tonight. Just call the number and hang up or tell the ticket agents that OU Sucks or whatever. If enough Texas fans jam their phone lines it just might have an effect on Sooner turnout in KC next week.
Here is the information:
The OU ticket office will have limited phone sales from 5“7 p.m. this evening. Phone sales will resume at 8 a.m., Monday, Dec. 1, by calling (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424.
Y’think the person advocating the above plan is familiar with caller I.D.?
….or much like the rest of the country, they thought “Rock Rivals” sucked. While a 2nd round FA Cup exit to Histon of the Blue Square Premier League is a bitter pill for Leeds to swallow (just 7 years removed from a Champions League semi-final), what’s a mere domestic tournament loss compared to the sheer joy of audible chants of “ITV is fucking shit” embarrassing the nation’s most boring commercial broadcast channel?
….and Paul’s the one who came up with it. Kiss’ founding vocalist/guitarist shares his thoughts on the matter of intellectual property with AskMen.com (link swiped from Blabbermouth.net).
Q: Back in the ’80s, a decision was made in order to respect the fans that Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr would have to wear new face makeup; why was the decision made to allow Eric Carr and Tommy Thayer to wear the makeup of original members?
Stanley: It wasn’t to respect the fans; it was a misstep, if anything. The idea that we should dilute the four icons, which are world-known (not by name, but by character) and come up with like “Frog Man” or “Turtle Boy” was a big misstep. Those iconic figures are known worldwide; you show anybody in the world a photo of KISS and they’ll tell you it’s KISS. So, it just sold everybody short to think that when somebody left the band that they should take those characters with them. In a sense, we all created each others’ characters because it was the four of us together and the synergy between the four of us that made those characters. Could we have done it on our own? I don’t think so. It was all of us together that came up with it.
Q: : Is there any truth to the rumors about a “Kiss II” reality show?
Stanley: It’s kind of gotten distorted into something that it really isn’t. The idea that some guys are going to take our place and we’re going to go home is never going to happen. Really, what it was and remains is the idea that Gene and I have created and nurtured something for 35 years¦ [and] as successful and consistent as we’ve been kind of makes people wonder what it would be like if we put together another band and gave [them] that experience. It’s much closer to that.
Considering the curious case of recently canned Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin — just named Phil Fulmer’s replacement at Tennessee — the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ray Ratto muses, “he got a job in the NFL his experience didn’t merit, and now he has one in the SEC that his NFL experience didn’t merit, either.” Kiffin, writes Ratto, “will either build an SEC powerhouse in the teeth of more experienced men like Saban and Meyer and Richt and yes, even Nutt, or he will be run out of Knoxville with a vengeance that makes Al Davis’ overhead projector seem like a French tickler.”
Iritating Al could be a noble pursuit in and of itself, but its amusements last only so long. Kiffin’s war with Davis lasted only 20 games, but by the end even the truest believers on either side had seen the catastrophic flaws in both men, and by the end we were treated to notions like a 76-yard field goal attempt that wasn’t about three points but a finger in the eye. The players did not weep when Kiffin left, except with envy. He had the leverage of pushing Davis’ hypersensitive buttons, and an ability to sell himself without a resume.
But in taking the Tennessee job rather than, say, Washington or Syracuse or even Clemson, he decided, as young’uns often will, to fly too close to the sun. The SEC is not for the faint of heart, or the superficially clever, or even the young and energetic. The SEC is where you go after you’ve cut your teeth on something tougher than Davis’ disapproval, and unless Kiffin has a lot more game than he ever showed in Oakland, he’s picked an awfully big elephant to ride.
He is following an unpopular coach in Fulmer, but also one who lasted 17 years and won a national championship; in Oakland, he followed Norv Turner. His stadium will have 107,000 fans in it each week, while the Raiders fight hard to get to 60,000. There are no shades of gray in Tennessee football, where every win is the minimum standard and every loss an affront to an entire state. In Oakland, the fans have been beaten down well enough to feel good about beating Kansas City.
“Sparks flew, records fell and the box score nearly burst into flames,” writes the New York Times’ Howard Beck after observing the 7-man New York Knicks zip past Golden State last night, 138-125. If you’d predicted Saturday that Chris Duhon would tally a franchise record 22 assists, or that of all the forwards in the Association, David Lee would score 37 points and collect 21 rebounds, I would very much to put you in charge of my dog’s college fund. Amongst those unimpressed, however, is the Daily News’ Filip Bondy, who accuses the Warriors of having “behaved as if they’d never before witnessed a pick and roll. Their entire defense went missing for 48 minutes, allowing the Knicks to set all kinds of records that meant very little when placed within the context of this ludicrous victory.”
It wasn’t one of those heated rivalry games,” Al Harrington noticed.Yes, Oakland must be the place to go when rebuilding is the plan, and when basketball games don’t resemble the sport as we once recognized it around here.
“I know it would be easier,” Warriors coach Don Nelson was saying Saturday, about a hypothetical version of the Knicks reinventing themselves out West. “It’s not easy rebuilding anywhere, but it’s kind of exciting with my team watching the (players) grow.”
Never before had a team retreated with such commitment. The Warriors were unforgivably horrible. No worries. Nelson deals with a patient owner, a minimal fan base, two newspaper beat writers and a lot of nice weather out there in the Bay Area. He served his time in New York, and it didn’t go well. Now Nelson can afford to win, or lose, at his own pace.
“I sure hope it’s possible,” Walsh said, about rebuilding a club in New York. He can only hope there are enough lousy teams out there, like Golden State, to keep his club afloat and enough tickets sold during tough times.
There were plenty of empty seats Saturday night, and then the Knicks went out and played the sort of no-look defense that would lose to about 20 teams in the league. Not to the Warriors, though.
(ORU’s Ogunoye : entertaining hundreds of people in about 90 minutes from now)
Either the the D-League’s Tulsa 66′ers are trying to save on housing costs or they’re concerned about the local draw. Either way, it’s kind of amazing to see Austin’s Saturday night opponents have 3 former Oral Roberts players (Moses Ehambe, Yemi Ogunoye and Adam Liberty) on their current roster. I’ve lost my password to the Elias Koteas Sports Bureau’s website, so perhaps someone else can tell me the last time any sort of professional basketball team had 3 Golden Eagles in uniform.
Full credit to Philly.com’s Sheil Kapadia, who hung in to watch the NFL Network’s postgame show after the Iggles’ 48-20 whitewash of the Arizona Brendas rather than enjoy the Thanksgiving company of family or friends. Kapadia writes that Deion Sanders reacted poorly to Philly faithful applauding Donovan McNabb during the QB’s postgame interview.
“Can I tell them something for you?” Sanders said. “First of all, I would like to tell all these idiotic fans to shut-up. Don’t get on his bandwagon now. You’re the same guys who booed him on his first incompletion.”
Host Rich Eisen then asked Sanders what he thought of the Philly fans.
“I can’t stand them. I really can’t. It’s not because I was a former Cowboy because I didn’t give a darn about any fans. They all hated me because I performed well,” Sanders said. “But they way they treated this man from Day One, it’s not justifiable. They will not treat any other quarterback in the NFL, like we said, Peyton Manning don’t get treated like that. Tom Brady. And I know you [McNabb] can’t say it, but I would really like on your behalf, you can take this…God bless you guys. … “
Funny, I was under the impression it was Andy Reid who benched McNabb last Sunday in favor of an unprepared Kevin Kolb, but it turns out he was only following orders from the public. ‘Tis a curious measure Sanders applies to McNabb’s treatment, as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have two rings between them, yet does anyone really believe that if Brady plays as poorly next fall as McNabb has occasionally this season, Patriots fans will cut him a break?
The Daily News helpfully provides hyperlinks to “report offensive post” when readers cross an imaginary line with their comments, and either no one is reading these messages or I’m the only person who thinks the paper oughta be embarrassed by this one :
I guess perceived talent makes you overlook all the “little things” you hope money will make go away. It hasn’t worked with michael vick, barry bonds, stephon marbury, to name a few.
Wow, I wonder what all those guys had in common? Interesting point, though ; Bonds’ lack of cuddliness was clearly an obstacle to his success on the diamond. Imagine if he’d gone to charm school, the Sultan Of Sulry would’ve hit 1500 home runs in his career.
In all seriousness, while Burress is a pretty easy target for tabloid readers and chat radio screamers, his arrival at the Swamp has coincided with three consecutive playoff appearances and a Super Bowl ring. How’s that for overlooking the little things?
And by the above headline, I mean a 4 year love affair between CSTB and Austin’s entry in the NBA Development League. Tonight’s poorly attended home opener would’ve otherwise been notable for the regular season pro debut of Bill Walker (above, 23 points, 8 rebounds), who led Utah to a 93-91 defeat of Quin Snyder’s Toros. Rather than Walker’s performance or an OT buzzer beater from fellow Celtics hopeful JR Giddens, I’m unfortunately gonna focus on the participation of local radio sponsor Hot 93.3, who presumably employed some moron to slap a sticker advertising their station on the back of my jacket.
Spray painting “please punch me in the face” across my shoulder blades would’ve been more subtle, but if this wasn’t bad enough, the incessant ramblings of compere-for-the-night D-Train (above, left) were the real ambience killer. The pinhead in question actually refers to himself as “the P. Diddy of Austin”, and considering Sean Combs’ history of basketball related fatalities, perhaps this should’ve given the Spurs front office pause before inviting him to the Convention Center. Toros games remain a great value — a cheap seat is only a couple of bucks more than going to see “Transporter 3″, but I would gladly shell out another 4 or 5 dollars for a guarantee I’d never have to hear D-Bag D-Train ever again.
“I used to enjoy playing and scoring,” Memphis’ Darko Milicic tells the Commercial-Appeal’s Ronald Tillery, bemoaning his current state, pigeonholed as a defensive specialist. “This isn’t the way I want to finish my career.”
Milicic, who will be a 2010 free agent, could return to Europe.
“I lot of days I think that,” Milicic said, “because the only way to be me is in Europe. I don’t want to be a defensive player the rest of my career. It’s not really what I want to do.”
Milicic lost the starting job this season to rookie Spaniard Marc Gasol, partly based on his offensive inconsistency.
“In Europe, I can be a different player with the ball going through me,” Milicic said. “Here, you take a shot and you just don’t want to miss. You think too much.
“I want to get my confidence back on the offensive end. I want the ball to go through me so I can have a chance to miss without worrying about it. And I want a chance to make plays. (Europe) has good basketball, and it would be closer to home.”
Finishing at the rim isn’t always Milicic’s strong suit because he tends to play with finesse around the rim instead of dunking with authority. His shooting touch from beyond the foul line comes and goes, too.
“And he’s got to make his free throws,” Iavaroni said. “People are going to foul him. Finishing and making free throws is a big part of being a center. We’ll get back to (having the ball go through Milicic) when I see the focus and efficiency on offense.”
Milicic’s status as the no.2 overall pick in ’03 ahead of Carmelo Anthony, D-Wade and Chris Bosh means anything less than NBA stardom will have him forever characterized as a bust, perhaps unfairly. And while we’ll never know exactly how much Larry Brown is to blame for stunting Darko’s development, the underachieving center probably would’ve been better off playing professionally for a few years in Europe prior to landing stateside.
Among the first in the Best Buy store in Florence was not a typical customer. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco, aka Chad Johnson, arrived early to get some bargains. Ocho Cinco acknowledged his benching last week for being late to a team meeting.
“I was bad last week. Sleepy,” he said. He said he was in the store to buy coach Marvin Lewis a gift.
Seen later with a Rock Band kit, portable stereo and a Cuisinart four-slice toaster, Ocho Cinco said, “I’ve been trying to call coach, but he doesn’t answer.”
It was 5:25 a.m.
Given what we learned about his naps last week, the question is did Chad stay up all night, or wake up early? And does Marvin really need a toaster?
The University of Tennessee has agreed in principle with Lane Kiffin to become the Vols’ next head football coach, a well-placed source within the program has told the News Sentinel.
Kiffin will replace Phillip Fulmer who was forced to step down Nov. 3. Fulmer’s last game as head coach will be Saturday against Kentucky at Neyland Stadium. As recently as Wednesday, UT athletics director Mike Hamilton denied reports that he had offered Kiffin the job.
Kiffin, 33, was fired by the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 1 after compiling a 5-15 record in one-and-a-half seasons. His 2007 salary was $2 million.
He was an assistant at Fresno State from 1997-98 and Southern Cal from 2001-04; offensiver coordinator at Southern Call from 2005-06.
“The Atlanta Braves should sign free agent starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia because he™s a great pitcher,” proposes Dugout Central‘s Kenny Doyle, “and because he™s black.” There goes what little was left of Kris Benson’s bargaining power, ladies and gentlemen (link culled from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
Sabathia would give Atlanta the first long-term, larger than life African American baseball talent in over a decade. The economic and marketing impact of that should not be underestimated. Atlanta is a city that is 56% black within the city limits and 31% black within the metro area. The Michael Vick experience with the NFL™s Atlanta Falcons showed the importance of having a black superstar in Atlanta. The Georgia Dome was sold out for five years when Vick was a starter after years of television blackouts due to a lack of home attendance.
It™s no coincidence that the Braves were never more popular and financially competitive than between 1991 and 1997, when they had strong African American talent and personalities like Fred McGriff, David Justice, Marquis Grissom, Ron Gant, Terry Pendleton, Deion Sanders, Otis Nixon, Jermaine Dye and Kenny Lofton. For some reason or reasons, which we can only speculate upon here, these players were never replaced with other African American stars.
Gary Sheffield was briefly a Brave earlier this decade. Sheffield, however, was always seen as nothing more than a hired gun who would leave as soon as he could for the highest bidder. Folks therefore didn™t buy into Sheffield as much as they otherwise may have. And since Sheffield left five years ago, they haven™t had any African American players of note. Folks aren™t knocking down the gates to witness the likes of Willie Harris, Brandon Jones, Charles Thomas, DeWayne Wise, a washed up Brian Jordan or Daryle Ward.
The sad end of the Vick experience laid bare for all to see how delicately Atlanta teams must treat the departure of popular black stars for fear of alienating the African American community and causing revenue, attendance and fan base erosion. Many believe the Braves haven™t fully recovered financially since the trade of the beloved David Justice during 1996. At the time of that trade, the Braves had the highest payroll in the entire major leagues. It seems negligent for a team in a largely African American town not to have an African American star or two, doesn™t it?
Let’s not forget the Braves’ salad days also coincided with a whiter-than-Skrewdriver starting rotation of Avery, Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine. There’s all sorts of reasons for fan base erosion, and while there might be a racial component, higher ticket prices at a new ballpark could well be a factor, along with, y’know, failing to contend of late. If Sabathia can do for the Braves what he did for the Brewers last season, Atlanta stands to sell tickets to persons of all colors. If CC comes back to earth in a non-contract year, however, it’s hard to imagine African Americans or any other segment of the local population being more enthused about the Braves than they are already.
What exactly, does it mean for the New York Knicks to suspend Stephon Marbury for one game, given that he’s not played one minute of the ’08′-’09 season? ESPN’s Chris Sheridan writes the move will save the club a whopping $189,460 from Marbury’s nearly $21 million annual salary, but the truculent PG insists he’s being set up, saying of head coach Mike D’Antoni, “I wouldn’t trust him to walk my dog across the street.” From the New York Post’s Marc Berman :
“If you say I gotta play, I’m going to play,” Marbury said. “If he said I have to play, guess what, I’m going to get on the court and play, period. If I refuse to play, I’m getting suspended. I never told him I’m not going to play. Those words never came out of my mouth. That’s insubordination.”
“I didn’t create this,” Marbury said. “I’m sitting inside the car. I’m not behind the wheel in the driver’s seat. I have no control of the wheel of the car, if we’re turning or going straight. I’m sitting in the backseat. He’s not going to play me because my heart isn’t in it, because the way he treated me. That’s on him, not me.”
Marbury also did not believe D’Antoni’s expressed intention of starting him the rest of the season was sincere.
“They want to take my money,” Marbury said. “I’m not going to let them.”
Marbury is further bitter that, two days before the season opener, D’Antoni told Quentin Richardson, the team captain, that Marbury was not going to play versus Miami – but the coach didn’t tell Marbury.
According to Marbury, Richardson told his teammates the news. Marbury, who has not played this season, found out his status from a teammate, not from D’Antoni.
“Mike created this from the beginning,” Marbury said. “Why did he create this environment? I came here ready to play, focused, taking on the role I was ready to take on. They said, ‘We don”t want you.’ I’m not in the plans. I said, ‘OK, no problem.’ “
Nick got the part about the Titans scoring at will against Detroit right, though that wasn’t the toughest projection to make. How lopsided was Tennessee’s dispatch of the winless Lions? Vince Young made his first appearance since Week One, deep into garbage time. I’ve got to hand it to Jeff Fisher — there’s no time like a national holiday to humiliate Chris Simms.
I™ll willingly acknowledge that James™ leaving is a distinct possibility. But those words written by Mr. Powell just rip with arrogance. You see, it will only be special if he wins a championship in New York and shake up the NBA in the process. To that statement I have but one question: What™s been special about playing hoops in New York for the past decade. I know the rep of street ball, yadda, yadda and yadda.
But when I think of the NBA™s legacy of the past 30 years I tend to think of Bird, Magic, Kareem, Dr. J and, of course, one Michael Jordan. Removing Dr. J for a moment, the majority of the banners fly in the rafters of arenas in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. As a long-suffering Browns™ fan, I understand a city that views itself as the capital of basketball longing for a championship. But in some respects, it sounds as if New Yorkers believe it is a right.
Thomas has a point, though it wasn’t Powell who suggested James might someday wanna be the World’s richest human. LeBron’s already achieved global icon status while toiling in Ohio (as did David Thomas!), but this might ultimately be less about NYC marketing advantages and more to do with whatever supporting cast Danny Ferry can surround his megastar with. Much of the rampant James-to-the-Knicks speculation includes endless drooling over who’d play the part of Scottie Pippen to James’ Michael Jordan. I didn’t care for the tone of Powell’s column either, but there’s nothing arrogant about looking over the numbers and concluding the Knicks might have a better shot at recruiting D-Wade, Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh in 2010 than the Cavaliers.
The above photograph by the Boston Herald‘s Matthew West was captioned, “Coach Bill Belichick gets a big laugh out of running back Kevin Faulk as he holds up one of Randy Moss™ new shoes (adorned with the star™s face) in the locker room yesterday.” I have a sneaking suspicion that even on a holiday, one of you could come up with something else.
Robert Catalano and George Wills, who owned online-based Puck Technology, entered their pleas Monday for conspiring to defraud the federal agency that administers federal workplace drug testing programs. The California men are scheduled to be sentenced in February and face up to eight years in prison, a $500,000 fine or both.
The device, which was available in five flesh colors and sold for $150, included a prosthetic penis attached to an undergarment resembling a jock strap. It connected to a pouch containing dehydrated urine. Water was added to the pouch and a heat pack could be attached to keep the urine close to body temperature.
I missed the Knicks’ 110-96 loss at Detroit last while in transit (and watching a playoff caliber last-second Magic win over Philly on Dave Checkett’s tiny airplane TV), a defeat New York suffered with only 9 available players — that is, if you consider Jerome James fit and ready to play. Nate Robinson’s groin injury has rendered the diminutive guard unavailable, while questions surrounding the heart condition of newly aquired Cuttino Mobley remain unresolved, at least to the Knicks’ satisfaction. Predictably, for the second time in 6 days, all eyes are on Stephon Marbury, with Newsday’s Alan Hahn reporting Marbury was so late in arriving for last night’s game in Auburn Hills, MI, his teammates presumed he’d already been suspended or sent home. It’s not only Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh who are frustrated with Marbury, as Quentin Richardson tells the Daily News’ Frank Isola, “I don’t look at him as a teammate.”
“He hasn’t played with us all year,” Richardson added. “Regardless of what you have going on with the organization or what you have going on with your coach or whatever. You’re not going to allow your teammates to be left out there the way we were basically being left out there.
“This is directed at us regardless if you’re trying to stick it to whoever you’re trying to stick it to. At the end of the day we’re shorthanded, people are hurt. Once again, I don’t pay attention to (Stephon) because I don’t look at him as a teammate anyway.”
“Right now, he’s the furthest thing from my mind,” said Richardson. “We got a pretty good thing going. I’m trying to hold on to that. He’s not trying to be part of this team. He’s voiced that. That’s what it is. So why would I waste my time thinking about him.”
Cecilio’s Scribe points out the Knicks have committed a staggering $36,584,460.00 in ’08-09 salary to three guys who’ve not played one minute this season, Marbury, Jerome James and Eddy Curry, and while WFAN’s Steve Somers observes, “your Cablevision bill is going to go up, anyway”, I’d bet Walsh is more inclined to attempt voiding Marbury’s contract than concede on a buyout. Not counting cameos at Lincoln High practices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to fathom exactly where Marbury plans to play basketball after his Knicks status is finally settled.