…the sport, as touted by John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobbler in Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything”, being kickboxing. Ball Don’t Lie’s Dan Devine ably translates the following press release from NBA Serbia concerning the latest career segue for former #2 overall NBA draft pick Darko Milicic :
The top-ranked Serb in the history of the NBA draft, Darko Milicic, will officially become a kickboxer on Wednesday at the Falkensteiner Hotel in Belgrade, when he will officially sign a contract with the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO).
Milicic will sign a contract with Barbara Falsoni, director of WAKO PRO, who will also announce the famous basketball player’s first kickboxing match.
For the last year and a half, Milicic has not played basketball, but only done individual training and various strength and conditioning programs. There is no doubt he will have a lot of work to do to find his way around in the ring. However, he is not the first Serbian basketball player to dedicate himself to combat sports. Before he did it, so did Igor Rakocevic, former captain of Red Star Belgrad
British heavyweight Tyson Fury takes his 16-0 record into a rematch with Dereck Chisora in 12 days, yet it was the promotional campaign for the pair’s first bout last June that left Fury £15,000 poorer after the British Boxing Board of Control got done with him. As you’ll see from the clip above, on Monday, Fury was taking no chances whatsoever.
In Monday’s issue of New York Magazine, soon-retiring Yankees SS Derek Jeter touches on a number of topics with the publication’s Chris Smith including but not limited to politics (he voted for Obama), his new book imprint (Jeter Publishing), the media (they ask lots of “boring questions”) and Alex Rodriguez (see above!). Jeter was a tad more effusive, however, in denying the long-standing rumor he’s presented any number of one-night-stands with parting gifts before they begin their walk(s) of shame to the subway.
The Post once claimed that after sleeping with women, Jeter would leave a gift basket of signed memorabilia in the car taking the “conquest” home. He’s avoided commenting on the item for three years. But he’s still annoyed. “Like I’m giving them signed baseballs and pictures of myself on the way out! Who comes up with a story like that?” He laughs, incredulous. “It said the reason people found out was because I gave the same girl the same basket and I had forgotten I’d given her one—like there are so many people coming through I forgot!” Even if Jeter were cheesy enough to have handed out souvenirs, he’s far too careful to have made that kind of mistake.
ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Destroying Sports, spent days making “Woe is us” over Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy — just to name a few. Yet Thursday, as its special guest on “First Take,” it welcomed the vulgar, N-wording, love-my-Glocks, trash-my-women, ain’t-I-great, ganged-up rapper Jadakiss.
Jadakiss, real name Jason Phillips, is straight out of rapper central casting — he even has been arrested twice for gun possession. But not even after 10 days filled with national angst and calamity over the lawlessness among athletes — as seen, heard and discussed on ESPN — could move ESPN off its good-for-business, cross-promotional embracement of hardcore, criminal rappers.
Maybe next week “First Take” could invite the cops who have dealt with Jadakiss and his crew in Yonkers.
Why let the lack of a felony conviction get in the way of branding an artist, nay, an entire genre, criminal? Are Jadakiss’ alleged offenses against the community any greater than Skip Bayless’ crimes against common sense?
Earlier this week, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and correspondent Jason Jones solicited Washington R——- fans to participate in a segment that apparently ended with their being confronted by unamused Native Americans. As the Washington Post’s Ian Shapira explains, this wasn’t exactly what the volunteers signed up for.
The encounter at a Dupont Circle hotel was so tense that an Alexandria fan said she left in tears and felt so threatened that she later called the police. She has told “The Daily Show” to leave her out of the segment but doesn’t know whether the producers will comply.
“This goes way beyond mocking. Poking fun is one thing, but that’s not what happened,” said Kelli O’Dell, 56, a former teacher who lives in Alexandria and doesn’t watch the show regularly. “It was disingenuous. The Native Americans accused me of things that were so wrong. I felt in danger. I didn’t consent to that. I am going to be defamed.”
The Native Americans who confronted the Redskins fans — including Amanda Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff in the case that stripped the Redskins of their trademark protections this year and is being appealed — said in interviews that they marched into the room and accused the fans of backing a racist mascot.
“My heart goes out to them because they are people, too,” said Tara Houska, an Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation who lives in the District and works for the grass-roots group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. “But it’s a weird position for them to take, because someone is crying over the loss of their offensive mascot when I am right there, standing in front of them. I don’t think they’re racist. I think their mascot is racist.”
“Going up against Amanda Blackhorse? It’s like playing football and they’re going to have RGIII,” Hawkins said, referring to injured Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. “I am just an average fan. These are activists who have media training and talking points.”
As you’ve probably read by now, ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” made a number of (unsurprising) claims last night regarding the Baltimore Ravens’ knowledge of exactly-what-happened it that Atlantic City hotel elevator between former RB Ray Rice and his fiancee-at-the-time, Janay. Between the club being told details about the incriminating video, Rice’s confession to Ozzie Newsome and owner Steve Bischotti’s “wait ’til all this blows over” tweet to Rice, a picture has been painted of a franchise far more concerned with self-preservation than the truth. If nothing else, the Ravens’ charmed life with Charm City’s Fourth Estate has come to a sputtering halt, with the Baltimore Sun’s Dave Zurawik declaring, “the narrative of the ESPN investigation, which says that Bisciotti, club president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome drove that cover-up, is decidedly at odds with the version of events that much of the Baltimore media has embraced once it was shaken out of it years-long ‘In Ozzie We Trust,’ Stepford-Wives-like stupor in covering the team.”
The narrative now being peddled by some in Baltimore media is that it’s all the fault of Goodell and the NFL — they are the evil parties. Of course, the Ravens wanted to help out Ray; that’s because Steve, Dick and Ozzie are good, decent and loyal guys. So, let’s focus our hate on Goodell. That way we can acknowledge that something bad happened in that elevator but not be made to feel unwelcome at the Castle.
The other revelation in the ESPN probe – and I have no way yet of knowing if it is true – is that Coach John Harbaugh wanted to get rid of Rice in February right after TMZ posted the first video. But, the report claims, Harbaugh was overruled by his bosses, the three guys allegedly driving the cover-up.
If that proves to be true, I will have a new and profound respect for Harbaugh. And I will have new contempt for Bisciotti, who sent Harbaugh out alone the night the video was posted to face the firestorm of press coverage it ignited. (Bisciotti subsequently said the day was “so emotionally tough” on him “there was no way” he could have prepared to meet the press that night.)
If a manager receiving a vote of confidence from his club’s GM is commonly thought to be a dreaded occasion, receiving a very public vote of no-confidence-whatsoever probably goes down as super dreaded. And that’s what happened Thursday in Baltimore when Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos was quizzed about the status of Toronto skipper John Gibbons. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” mumbled Anthopoulos to the assembled media throng. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with me. I don’t know what Alex, what his plan is.” Yeah, really, who of us can really predict the future? From the National Post’s John Lott :
Someone referred to Gibbons’ remark and asked the GM if he would “take care of” the manager’s job security before the end of the season.
“He’s under contract,” Anthopoulos replied. “He’s always under contract, pretty much. I don’t think there’s anything to take care of, and I think he’s done a good job.”
He’s done a good job. So he will be the manager next year?
“He’s under contract,” Anthopoulos repeated, and here’s where things started to get a bit murky.
“I’ve said this before,” Anthopoulos said. “I’m a big believer that no matter what position — grounds crew, administrative assistant, manager, coach — you support them until you don’t support them.”
Kansas City’s 6-2 defeat of Chicago Wednesday night included Royals fans displaying a Japanese flag in the outfield stands in tribute to OF Nori Aoki. Troube is, as the KC Star pointed out, “it was the flag Japan used in World War II…the Rising Sun flag is known to symbolize Japan’s military, which attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and occupied Korea from 1910-45.”
For a mere $39.99 (marked down from $60), Touch Of Modern will sell you the above Citi Field blueprint, featuring “hand-drawn artwork of the park including a plan view, signature elevation view, and architectural details.” I am certain none of this blog’s readers would dream of using such materials in the planning or commission of a violent and/or treasonous act that may or may not bring a particularly evil regime to their knees.
Shropshire’s AFC Telford compete in the Conference Premier, the highest tier in English non-league football, but the lofty heights of last season’s Conference North championship campaign are but a distant memory after a Tuesday evening defeat at Alferton Town, a performance that led manager Liam Watson to declare his charges, well, useless. From the BBC :
“It was totally gutless. I told one or two in the changing room that they can go. I told them ‘go and get yourself a club’,” Watson told BBC Shropshire.
“It was just cowardly and embarrassing. Five or six of them looked out of their depth. They don’t look up to it.”
After seeing his side go in 3-1 down at the break at Alfreton, Watson labelled it “the worst 45 minutes since I’ve been Telford manager, probably of my managerial career”.
He continued: “They were jumping out of tackles. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was shambolic, weak defending.
“They are looking miles out of their depth. They’ve got no heart.”
In the considered view of Yahoo Sports’ David Brown, “excessive swearing should never be tolerated, especially with kids around.” But enough about Wally Backman’s poor prospects of ever becoming Mets manager, telling Bryce Harper that he “fucking sucks” is considered grounds for ejection (provided your seats are close enough that umpires and microphones can hear you).
Why not sign Darren Sharper? The former Vikings safety has been accused of sexual assault in three states, but not in Minnesota. He may be able to intercept a few passes between trials.
The Vikings are hiding behind the phrase “due process,’’ which refers to a citizen’s rights in our legal system. “Due process’’ has nothing to do with a company deciding whether it wants to be publicly represented by a man who has admitted to police that he whipped a 4-year-old with a branch until the boy bled, after stuffing leaves in the boy’s mouth and before threatening to punch him if he told anyone.
Sunday, the Wilfs will cheer for Peterson while waving their shredded code of conduct. Evolved Minnesotans should cheer for any Saints defender who may want to stage an impromptu intervention with the big man who beat the little boy.
WFAN announced yesterday that longtime Yankees radio fixtures John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will return for the 2015 season, with someone who closely resembles one of our most beloved contributors saying of the pair, “they’re friends, they’re great people and they’re part of the Yankee brand.” If that sounds like a less than thorough endorsement for the duo’s chances of winning individual Ford C. Frick Awards, check out Newsday’s Neil Best delivering the damning faint criticism :
Of course it would be nice if Sterling waited for balls to clear the fence before announcing home runs – something for which he remains unapologetic, preferring, he says, to be ahead of calls rather than behind them.
It also would be helpful if he struck a better balance between shtick and game description, and if he let Waldman handle some play-by-play. (Either way, WFAN at some point ought to wedge a younger potential successor into the play-by-play mix to ease the future transition.)
But let’s face it, after 26 seasons without missing a game, Sterling is woven into the fabric of Yankee-land, from his goofy antics to his signature home run calls. And like him or not, he will be missed when he is gone.
And let’s face this, too: While Waldman herself is unconventional and subject to caricature, she also might be the only possible partner for Sterling at this stage. She is a team player who helps smooth the rough edges of Sterling’s mis-calls and patiently puts up with his idiosyncrasies.
Minneapolis’ WCCO.com reports that Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a North Montgomery County, TX grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. AP’s status for Sunday versus New England has yet to be clarified, but you have to assume give the events of the past several weeks, the NFL must be aware this has the appearance of a very high profile case of domestic violence.
Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, “whoop” one of his children last May while the boy was visiting him in Houston.
When the 4-year-old boy returned to Minnesota, his mother took him to a doctor. The police report said the boy told the doctor Peterson had hit him with a branch from a tree.
The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand.
The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts “extensive.”
When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.
The New York Post’s Tara Palmeri reports that Cablevision/MSG CEO James Dolan’s oft-ridiculed generic “blues”/rock combo, JD & The Straight Shot, will support the Eagles at the World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena this Saturday night. Dolan, who has previously opened for the Eagles at Met Life Stadium and made thoroughly unwelcome appearances at the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Festivals (ATP has remained elusive, however), generally won’t discuss his handling of the New York Knicks with local media, but happily told Palmeri, “the artist in me needs to be free”.
“I’m entitled to my opinion,” he said. “I am not the chairman, CEO, etc., standing up there on that stage. I am the singer-songwriter.”
Dolan seems to have made himself the Springsteen for the 1 percent — a Boss who complains about taxes and lambastes politicians who have crossed him personally, such as ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
His ballad “Fall from Grace” is based on the disgraced love gov, with lyrics such as: “See the shame on your face/Look at what you’ve become/And smiling at your fall from grace.”
The lyrical diss was inspired by a nasty fight the two had over relocating the Garden in 2008.
“He [Spitzer] threatened me at the meeting,” Dolan said. “We were figuring we were going to have a big fight, and on Monday he started not being the governor anymore.”
In another ditty, “Governor’s Song,” Dolan takes a pot shot at Mayor de Blasio for not caring about the “1 percent.”
“If you dare to call the mayor, taxes got your goat, well he don’t care,” he warbles. “Cause you’re a millionaire, and he didn’t get your vote.”
On Thursday, Awful Announcing’s Sarah Sprague sought to compare and contrast the amount of journalistic range afforded women in the sports media trade (ie. not much) with the freewheelin’ Ufford’s widely lauded, “PEOPLE VS. THE NFL : AFTER AN OFFSEASON IN WHICH THE NFL GOT ALMOST EVERYTHING WRONG, A LIFELONG FAN REFLECTS ON SHAME, LOVE, FATHERHOOD, AND THE FUTURE OF THE LEAGUE” published by SB Nation, but not without disclosing, “Ufford and I both write at the NFL humor site Kissing Suzy Kolber, but our interaction is minimal at best.” So there’s some silver lining.
I winced before I was done with the slug line describing what was to come in the piece. Fatherhood. Ufford was now joining the ranks of male sportswriters who were going to tell us what it all meant in the context of their child, a ploy I find repelling. Ufford’s piece was well-written, but once the reader reached the final chapter in the post titled “Hope,” one could not help but brace for the pap that was coming. Words that in my heart of hearts, I know that if a female sportswriter had put them to keyboard they would have been seen as soft, not on point, and probably one of the worst insults, like a Mommy Blogger.
Male sportswriters live in a world where having emotions allows them to continue the chain of sports being a father-child activity and roundly get praised for writing so honestly, Pam Oliver speaking honestly is humiliated. Male emotions get heralded as a concession for having them in the first place like a normal human being.