Friday, April 30, 2010

Soccer Bopper: Montreal Player Suspended For Punch

((HT: Sportsnet/jimmyhendrix))

The HQ would have completed the headline with the words "in a friendly..." but we're not so sure when Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact get together in their Championship game...

The Montreal Impact have suspended forward Roberto Brown indefinitely after he punched FC defender Nick Garcia in the face Wednesday.

Brown was ejected in the 35th minute. Garcia was helped to the dressing room, with the team later saying he would be fine.

Toronto earned a 2-0 win in the game which had four yellow cards and Brown's red card.

"Roberto is an intense athlete, an excellent person and an important player on our roster, but his gesture is unacceptable," Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a statement. "Roberto let his teammates down during the game Wednesday."

Technical director Nick De Santis suggested Brown has had problems maintaining his composure in the past.

"From a club perspective, his gesture is not tolerated and it stands far from our sportsmanship values," De Santis said in a statement. "I hope he will understand the seriousness of his behaviour because it's not the first time he (has acted) this way."

Here's the punch, thanks to our friends at the Score Television Network...
Complete with arrow and fancy graphics...
Sounds like FOSG Derek Snider was calling the highlights...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Nationwide: Athens- Two Gloves and One Jinx


The HQ will admit first and foremost that some of us have played this particular track and chewed it up rather nicely for media daze...

But the course at the University of Georgia is one that combines having to play it straight because of the trees and a bit of a links-style as evidenced by the finishing greens at 9 and 18 ((pictured, thanks to me)).

As you see, if a shot goes wayward more than you're used to, you're playing from the other surface and creating some interesting shot choices to save par.

9-to-18: Get your parachute out...
18-to-9: Make sure you know where you're hitting the ball... the green has more slopes than normal...

There are false fronts, mounds, and very little room to work with if you're not paying attention... on both sides... and there are even people who use those earpiece-wireless-based cellphones while golfers are trying to get their work done.

The HQ would love to see real estate agents trying to close contracts in their offices while foursomes play through... that would be awesome...

For your Geoff Sisk Update: The HQ is now, officially, listed as a jinx.

Showing up just in time for a bunker shot and a par-saving putt on Sisk's 18th hole of the day ((the 9th)), Geoff is in another logjam at three-over par 74.

"The greens have improved a lot since Monday," Sisk admitted. "It's another great layout, another great track. There are subtle, little changes out here from years past. It's gotta be great for the Georgia golfers to learn from out here."

Sisk says the par-threes are either long and demanding or, well, short and demanding. In that Round One 75, he thought that he made some incorrect decisions on the course. He knows the joint can "be had"- as he says...

He had to save bogeys twice on the course... not something you want to do.

"I just lost it on the back," he said.

Geoff is paired with Josh Graham this year. Graham carried Troy Merritt's bag last season, and it's tough to get a player-caddie relationship down when you're in a first season together.

"You kinda have to go by feel instead of hard data," Sisk says. "In the end, I'm the ultimate decision-maker, and it's up to me not to make any mistakes out here. But things got so bad for me in the practice round, that I was just like 'Gimme a club.'"

And out here, in some situations, you just have to listen to the guy and the yardages he gives you. The shots you hit may be a little uncomfortable and stuff you're not used to doing on the course, but in the end everything works itself out... or, at least, you hope so...

For the record, though, Geoff thinks his Patriots getting Aaron Hernandez from Florida in the later rounds was a steal and he's looking forward to the Bruins-Flyers playoff series...

Old school hockey...

"I Knew I've Seen This Guy Before, Too..."

That's where "Two Gloves" Tommy Gainey fits in...

Gainey has played the PGA, the Nationwide, the Hooters, the Teardrop, the Grey Goose Gateway, the Tarheel, and the US Pro Golf Tours. The HQ knows him from the last one from exotic locales like: Anderson, South Carolina, Tampa, Florida, and Fredericksburg, Virginia...

And since Gainey is from Bishopville, South Carolina, he had both family and family-to-be following him around the course to the tune of a gallery of nine. Gainey has been on Big Break and won- that's probably the place most of you remember him from, and he's looking to take that Big Break and make his own out on tour.

He's getting married in December after both Gamecocks football season and the golf season- he knows what he's doing. His fiancee, Erin, was part of the group. She had finished her day at work, raced over the state line, changed into her flip-flops, borrowed some of Tommy's SPF70 and was good to go- except for all the walking up and down the hills at UGA.

She and her Uncle Brian ((pictured artistically sporting "2Gloves" gear by the way, thanks again to me)) told me how Tommy and Erin met. Tommy's friend David Robinson ((another golfer- the pride of Sandersville, Georgia)) married Erin's sister, and the two clicked from there.

Off the tee, Tommy was crushing it all day- going as far as 360-yards out of the box, but the approaches were short and to the front of the green pretty consistently.

Tommy worked his way around the UGA course to the tune of three-over 74 and a tie for 97th in the field of 156.

Erin gets to see Tommy, on average, once a month. But she also tries to make her way out to events when she can.

"It's fun to go," she admits. "On the good days, it's great. On bad days, I'm still trying to figure it out sometimes. But everyone out here on tour is great."

From the HQ's experience, it's a tough balance. You try to say the right things, and the person you're talking to understands that you mean well with what you're trying to say to comfort them on rough days- like Gainey's round one.

"It's the best job in the world," Tommy says, "if you're good enough. There is no better job. But you have to work hard and you have to work hard at it. It's the best job out here."

And you can see as Gainey tells you what's running through his mind, that he is more than willing to pay the price to improve his 30th-place standing on the money list every chance he can.

"On the Nationwide Tour," he continues, "you can make, what...? 90-to-112,000 dollars a year. On the PGA Tour, it's a million or so. That's where you play for a million dollars a week.

"But you're the man out here. You've got to be the one that does it so you can make it..."

All that fire from the guy who has worn two gloves since he took up golf at the age of 9 or 10. His father started him on baseball, and the idea just transferred over.

Here's a "2 Gloves" PGA Flashback from the 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World. Gainey finished second there...
((HT: PGATour/Golf Channel))


Oh, the gear Uncle Brian was wearing...
Go here...twogloves.com
Part of the proceeds go to the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation- helping educational programs in South Carolina.
The HQ is partial to the camo representation ourselves...

NHL Round One: The Day After

Two extremes to cover here...

Here's Lindy Ruff being renewed for one more season in Buffalo...
((HT: WGRZ-TV))


The Buffalo Sabres have picked up the one-year option on head coach Lindy Ruff's contract, which means he will be back for a 13th season.

Sabres minority owner Larry Quinn announced the move Thursday, three days after Buffalo was eliminated by Boston in Game 6 of their first-round eastern conference series.

With a 483-389-122 record, Ruff is the Sabres' winningest coach. He's 17th on the NHL's career list after moving ahead of former mentor, the late Roger Neilson.

Ruff was asked directly what kept him coming back.

"I want to win a Stanley Cup in Buffalo... simple as that."

Good luck in the east there, Lindy...

And here's the hell that the Washington Caps caught hell from everyone
Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin start...
((HT: CSNWashington))


Then, it's Caps owner Ted Leonsis addressing the situation...
((HT: CSNWashington))


Let's hope his players listen... Leonsis is right on a lot of levels...
1-for-33 on the power play will force you to listen to yourself...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Habs Knock Off Top-Seeded Capitals

((HT: NHL on TSN/Fel0096))

Jaroslav Halak's out-of-his-mind goaltending shined again, and the Montreal Canadiens completed an unlikely comeback to eliminate the NHL's best regular-season team in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Halak made 41 saves, and eighth-seeded Montreal held on to beat Washington 2-1 in Game 7, stunning the Presidents' Trophy winners by knocking off three straight wins.

The Canadiens are the ninth Nunber 8 seeded team to knock off a Number 1 in 32 matchups since the NHL went to this playoff format back in 1994 - and the first to come back from a 3-1 series deficit.

Bully for the parties in the St. Catharine's District Wednesday night...

Here's the Mike Green penalty that led to the Marc-Andre Bergeron goal and a 1-0 lead late in the first period...
Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire are in the booth...


Next up for Halak and the Habs are the Pittsburgh Penguins...

Wizards Suffer From Bad Kamara...???

((HT: BigLead))

The HQ doesn't normally show Major League Soccer highlights, but we will show Major League Soccer lowlights...

The Kansas City Wizards have a gimme against the LA Galaxy...
Except for one thing...

Kei Kamara trying to slip, fall away from the ball, and throw it in the net...

((HT: KCWE/MLS))


Priceless...

Two Razorbacks Arrested On Drug Charges

((HT: Fox16- Little Rock))

University of Arkansas officials say two football players were arrested on drug possession charges earlier this week.

Zack Higbee, a spokesman for the athletic department, confirmed that the players are 19-year-old David ((Lopez)) Gordon and 20-year-old Hunter Miller.

Both are listed as sophomore defensive backs.

Campus police say the two were arrested Monday evening after an officer noticed the two sitting in a parked car. Police say marijuana smoke drifted out of the car door when opened and a "plastic baggie of green leafy substance" was in plain sight.

Whoopsie...

Kelly Cantrell of the Washington County sheriff's office says the two players were booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance and released later on individual $660 bonds.

Here's how the news broke on Fox 16...
Morgan Adsit got to sit at the desk since there wasn't a whole lot of information at the time of the arrest and release...
video

IOC Strips China Of Sydney Bronze

The International Olympic Committee has stripped China of its bronze medal from the women's team competition at the 2000 Sydney Games for using an underage gymnast.

((ed. note- "an underage gymnast...?" Duh...))

Dong Fangxiao's results from Sydney were wiped out in February after the International Gymnastics Federation ((FIG)) determined she was only 14 at the 2000 Olympics. Gymnasts must either be 16 years old or turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible.

Since Dong's scores contributed to China winning the bronze, FIG recommended the IOC take the medal back.

Double duh...

The medal now goes to the U.S. women, who had been fourth.

Dong was also stripped of her sixth-place result in the individual floor exercises and her seventh place finish in the vault.

Here's some highlights from the Sydney shenanigans...
Scott Russell is doing your play-by-play...
Dong is first up...
((HT: CBC/IOC/gymnfanus19972000))


The HQ realizes it took the IOC ten years on a sunny day in Dubai to dock the bronze. We guess now that it will be 2018 before the home-game shenanigans will be addressed...

JaMarcus Russell, Thanks For Playing.

JaMarcus Russell is going to be released by the Oakland Raiders any minute now. You can hear the collective "Thank God" for the Raider nation.

Russell had Al Davis on his side. The Godfather insisted that Russell was the second coming of Darryl Lamonica and Ken Stabler. Al hired a quarterback friendly head coach in Lane Kiffin to tutor Russell but even Kiffy-kins saw that JaMarcus Russell was soft, lazy and not leadership material. Kiffin tried to sell Al Davis on Calvin Johnson in the 2007 NFL Draft but Al Davis didn't see the second coming of Cliff Branch.

It didn't matter, Al Davis was head strong and stuck with JaMarcus Russell. Through his rookie year holdout to some god awful performances this was Al's guy. Even when backups Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye outplayed Russell he still had the Godfather on his side.

After three years of ring kissing the Godfather has come to his senses by listening to his head coach, Tom Cable, who has no confidence in Russell. The Washington Redskins (coached by Mike Shanahan who the Godfather whacked 22 years ago) gave Al Davis an offer he couldn't refuse, a quarterback, Jason Campbell, that can start right away.

Now JaMarcus Russell is getting whacked.

Here's one of JaMarcus Russell's finer moments as a Raider. (Thanks Youtube.com)





Now Al Davis has to sign off for Russell to be released and hasn't done so yet. The Raiders have a mini-camp Friday and if Russell is still a Raider he might be there. If he gets hurt in the mini-camp the Raiders would be liable for his contract, about 9 million dollars in salary. So if Russell turns an ankle in a drill then......


And don't cry poverty for JaMarcus Russell. He's due $3 million in guaranteed salary this season which means Russell would have collected $39 million from the Raiders. Talk about stealing money.
Photo Courtesy: The Oakland Tribune

Chris Cooley Talks Shop, Gets Pulled Over... Unrelated To One Another

((HT: DCSportsBog))

Dan Steinberg's blog about everything DC is required reading for that part of the world. He even reported that Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was in the middle of an interview with DC jocks, The Sports Junkees, Tuesday morning...

Here's that interview... and the blue-lighting that occurred in medias res...
((HT: 106.7FM The Fan))


Here's Rachel Nichols interview with Cooley, trying to explain how differently he's wired than the rest of us...
((HT: ESPN))


Catch up with Cooley in CooleyZone

Steven Strasburg Shines Again

((HT: WFMZ-TV Allentown, PA))

Washington Nationals hope-of-all-pitching hopes, Steven Strasburg, struck out six and gave up no hits and no runs in his latest outing Tuesday in Double-A for the Harrisburg Senators.

Offensively he drove in the only run of the night in a 1-0 Harrisburg win in game one of a rain-induced doubleheader.

In other rehab news, Brad Lidge threw two scoreless innings in relief for the Reading Phillies- striking out four in his second appearance with the R-Phils.

Here's your highlights with Troy Hein standing in front of a horizontal monitor...

Metal Bat Ban Denied In Northern California

The governing body for high school sports in Northern California decided Monday that baseball players can keep using metal bats for the time being.

The North Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation, or the CIF, voted 37-12 to reject the proposal requiring wood bats during next month's playoffs.

Marin County sports officials requested the ban on aluminum bats in response to the near-fatal head injury suffered by Marin Catholic High School pitcher Gunnar Sandberg when he was hit by a line drive from a metal bat last month.

Section managers said they did not want to change rules midseason and that there was no evidence aluminum bats were more dangerous.

John Ramos has the story for KPIX-TV
((HT: CBS5.com))
video

As a good sidenote, Sandberg has been released from Marin General Hospital and is recovering at a San Francisco medical facility.

He is expected to be released from there on May 3.

Bango Fully Recovered From ACL Tear

((HT: bucksdotcom))

The HQ has fullt documented the trials and tribulations of being a mascot...
Personified by Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot's, injury that sidelined him for a while... take your flashback look here...

He's recovered fully, taking a page out of Jeff Hardy's playbook and going backwards off a 16-foot ladder for a jam in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarters as his Bucks were wiping the floor with the Atlanta Hawks...

Witness the healed greatness below...


Boy, are the Hawks in trouble now...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Halak's Heroics Force Game 7 With Caps

The key to a performance in a Stanley Cup run is a hot goalie...

The Montreal Canadiens had one last night in Jaroslav Halak...
53 saves and a true head-standing, warlock-like performance handcuffed the Caps as the Habs took Game 6 in Montreal 4-1...

Mike Cammalleri scored twice to give the series equalizer...
But Jaro was out of his mind...
Evidence below...

FOSG Billy Jaffe was paired with Sam Rosen on Versus
((HT: NHLVideo))


Game seven is Wednesday night...and there is nothing like a Game 7...

Navarro Gets Two-Game Suspension From MLB

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Dioner Navarro has been suspended for two games and fined for "inappropriate conduct," which includes contact with umpire Dan Bellino during Friday's game against Toronto at Tropicana Field.

Grant Balfour had just thrown a ball to Adam Lind to make the count 2-2 when Navarro turned to face Bellino. The Rays catcher began jawing with him, prompting the ejection. At that point, Navarro bumped the umpire.

Unless Navarro appeals, he is scheduled to serve his suspension tonight and tomorrow against Oakland.

If he appeals, his suspension will be held off until a final decision is made.

Here's some video of Navarro and Matt Garza celebrating Tampa's title run drenched with the bubbly...
((HT: WTSP-TV))

The Dominos Are About To Fall In College Football

College football fans get ready for a change. The Big 10 is going to expand and the SEC has it's rabbit ears pointed north monitoring the "10" while planning their strategy.

Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney says expansion in the Big 10 in the preliminary stage. It doesn't matter, the "10" is shopping for universities to join their money making venture.

Is it me or are we seeing the beginning of college football's biggest money makers, the Big 10 and the SEC, annexing colleges and universities to form "Super" conferences? It appears with the Big 10 domino beginning to fall we are seeing the idea of "mega-super" conferences come to fruition.

Of course the SEC will be proactive in response to the Big 10 expansion, whatever it is. Right now the SEC is not overly concerned with the conference being showered by billions from CBS and ESPN and since those checks are clearing why worry. Even with the windfall of profits from the media the SEC won't stand pat should the Big 10 make a bold move.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a meeting with the Southeast Region of the Associated Press, "Given the success we've experienced over the past decade, we are comfortable in the position in which we find ourselves," Slive said. "Having said that, if there's going to be a significant shift in the conference paradigm, the SEC will be strategic and thoughtful in order to maintain its position as one of the nation's premiere conferences."

The thing is Slive can't define what the "significant shift in the conference paradigm" is. If the Big 10 gobbles up the Big East conference schools within large media markets (Pittsburgh, Rutgers,), the Big 12 conference in reach of large media markets (Missouri [St. Louis/Kansas City markets]) and schools with big time college football tradition and a large fan base (Nebraska) will that trigger the SEC in game changing mode?

Mr. College Football, FSOG Tony Barnhart shared his scenario recently on his blog in the AJC.com. Here’s the link to Barnhart’s brainstorming. http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college-football/2010/04/23/would-the-sec-look-to-the-acc-in-expansion/ Remember, it was all tongue and cheek.

It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that the Big 10 is making it's move, The SEC is ready to react and the Big East Conference is about to go out of business, at least in football.

Play any scenario with schools moving around and the one thing I see in nearly every case is the Big 10 and SEC become Goliaths, the ACC and Big 12 are weakened (If Texas leaves damaged beyond repair) and the Pac-10, well that's a wild card. Take Utah and BYU and that conference owns the West and ends any BCS dreams the Mountain West Conference has.

College football has always been a great topic of debate even into the off-season. Instead of bragging about new recruits coming in or what coach is on the hot seat, the debate now is which conference can take over the other.

The winds of change are beginning to blow.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Four NC State Players Up On Drug Charges

((HT: WTVD-TV Durham))

Four North Carolina State Wolfpack players face drug charges after police found marijuana in their off-campus apartment. An off-duty officer initially detected the presence of pot by smelling it and, then, obtained a search warrant.

Raleigh police say offensive tackle Jake Vermiglio and defensive tackles Markus Kuhn and J.R. Sweezy each were charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling for the use of controlled substances.

All-Atlantic Coast Conference tight end George Bryan was charged with maintaining a dwelling for the use of controlled substances. All charges are misdemeanors.

The players were cited along with a fifth person, 22-year-old Allison Elaine Davis, who was in the apartment at the time of the search. It's not clear if she faces any charges at present.

Coach Tom O'Brien says in a statement that he is aware of the situation and "appropriate action will be taken."

Ed Crump has the story for ABC11... his live shot was sunny...
video

UGA's Logan Gray "Weighing Options"

University of Georgia Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton is confirming that Logan Gray, the only scholarship backup behind quarterback Aaron Murray, met with head football coach Mark Richt on Monday.

Felton's issued a statement in response to rumors Gray may transfer from Georgia. He says Gray is "weighing options for the remainder of his career." Felton adds Gray's "status has not changed."

Murray, a freshman, ended spring practice as the Number one QB after Richt kicked Oconee County High graduate Zach Mettenberger off the team for violating team rules.

Richt previously suspended Mettenberger for one game after Mettenberger's arrest on alcohol charges. Mettenberger participated in the Bulldogs G-Day contest, but only played with projected second-team athletes in the game. He was removed from the team the next day.

Incoming freshman and Lassiter High School ((GA)) quarterback Hutson Mason is slated to be the third QB on the UGA roster. Butler ((NC)) High quarterback Christian LeMay is set to announce his plans for his "finalists" on April 30th.

Georgia is in the running for LeMay along with Clemson, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame. There is talk on the remainder of the southern fried blogosphere that Gray is considering a move to Division II Valdosta State.

Here's some highlights of Gray, Mettenberger, and the rest of the Dawgs from G-Day
((HT: HerschelTalker))

Ken Green's Return To Golf

Ken Green became the first amputee to play in a Champions Tour event last week.

The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tourney in Savannah was the first time he has competed since his brother, girlfriend and dog were killed in an RV-accident back in June. Green had to have his lower right leg amputated after the accident.

Then, over the holidays, Green lost his son to an overdose while he was at SMU studying his undergraduate work.

Before the tourney, he talked to Tom Yantz of the Hartford Courant, and he was understandably nervous: "Some of it is knowing I'm not ready. Part of it is that some of me thinks I can still play. I don't want to screw up."

"There are probably two things that stick out for me," he said. "One is competing again. Golf is everything to me. I love golf. Some guys play golf just because they're damn good and they make a living. I love golf. I'm in the Arnie Palmer thing. 'Go out and play.'

He did just that...

Here's how FOSG's Frank Sulkowski and Allen Kinzly were around for the return...
((HT: The CoastalSource.com))
video

Ken, you didn't screw up...
Here's Rich Lerner's piece with Green as he started his rehab...
((HT: GolfChannel/GolfsHome))

DEVELOPING STORY: Roethlisberger Will Not Appeal Suspension

Pitsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has released a statement after the National Football League suspended him for the first four-to-six games of the 2010 season:

"The Commissioner's decision to suspend me speaks clearly that more is expected of me. I am accountable for the consequences of my actions. Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family. I will not appeal the suspension and will comply with what is asked of me ─ and more.

"Missing games will be devastating for me. I am sorry to let down my teammates and the entire Steelers fan base. I am disappointed that I have reached this point and will not put myself in this situation again." "I appreciate the opportunities that I have been given in my life and will make the necessary improvements."


The HQ is interested to see if the quarterback will listen to the words that were written...

Alison Morris got to stand outside with an umbrella and manufactured a fan reaction piece, thanks to our friends at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh...
video

Life As A Cancer Family

((HT: Seattle Times/Ringer))

In an article in the Everett Herald, reporter Rich Myhre posed a thought this way:

Of all the great and often tragic mysteries of life, perhaps none is more perplexing than this: Why do children, who have so much yet to live and love, sometimes suffer from terrifying diseases that can kill them? Because in a truly just world, no child would ever hear the words, “You have cancer.”

You don't want to hear those words, regardless of family age, place, position, or distance from the origin, but for some they're unavoidable...

You want to ask "why," but you know the answers won't satisfy any curiosity. And for kids, it's doubly cruel. Attacked so young, their parents feel they've failed in some way. They can't protect the ones they love the most and have sworn up and down that they would from the beginning. Kids feel the same way. They've let their parents down in the idea that they're not the perfect image of what they want them to become as they grow older...

Some kids won't even get that chance...

Lynnwood, Washington's Ashley Aven was diagnosed with AML leukemia when she was 17. Her softball prowess has given way to chemotherapy and a to-do list since she was told she's terminal.

Gee, thanks...

In January, she was given two months to live. So far, Ashley and her family have thumbed their nose at the timetable. She can't attend school, but she has a diploma waiting for her. And she makes a point to attend as many Meadowdale High practices and games as she can.

The Avens have vowed to make this spring a memorable one for their daughter...
They already have for many others...

Here's a brief interview with Ashley's dad about what they're going through...


Myhre's piece for the Everett ((WA)) Herald is here...
Another quality read...

Ashley turned 18 three weeks ago...just so you know...
And she wants to let everyone know she's not going anywhere...

Here's the story KING5-TV's Elisa Hahn put together in February when Ashley was awarded her letterman's jacket...

Lemaire Retires From Coaching

New Jersey Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire is retiring from coaching after his team's first-round playoff elimination for the third straight year.

Lemaire surprised everyone Monday with the decision- four days after the Devils were taken out by Philadelphia in five games.

"It's tough to leave what you like, but it's a decision that I made. It's not the team. It is not the result or the lack of result we had in the playoffs," Lemaire said. "It's not that at all. It's the end of the line. I'll be 65. It's just time."

He also said that he just doesn't have the energy to coach anymore, but he will stay with the Devils in some capacity. The team hasn't figured out what that role wil be just yet...

Here's Devils GM Lou Lamoriello at the time of Lemaire's re-hiring...
((HT: MSG))

BC Hockey Players Facing Alcohol Charges After Wreck

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

Three members of the Boston College NCAA championship hockey team are among seven college students facing alcohol charges after a trolley hit their SUV.

A spokesman for the Boston transit agency ((MBTA)) says Philip Samuelsson, Patrick Wey and Parker Milner are among those who will be summoned to court on charges of being minors in possession of alcohol after Sunday morning's accident. Those three athletes are all freshman Eagles hockey players.

The MBTA says that no one in the SUV was over 19 and that the driver, ID'd as Jane Stanton, was not a member of the team.

The Jeep Cherokee, apparently, was making a U-turn across the tracks when the train- which was heading in the same direction- struck it. Some people in the Jeep suffered minor injuries.

Jim Armstrong tells us the facts as we know them...


Here's the statement from Boston College on the events...

We are in the process of conducting our own investigation into the incident that occurred Sunday morning. We are thankful that that the injured students are recovering and the driver of the vehicle that was struck by the MBTA trolley had not been drinking before the incident. At this stage, contrary to reports, no one has been charged. As is our policy, we will wait until the investigations are concluded before announcing possible disciplinary actions.

Jeff Gordon Is Not A Happy Teammate, Johnson Admits Fault

Back to the end of the stock car event at Talladega from Sunday afternoon...

It was the first-time ever in the history of the Green-White-Checker format of "Overdrive" that we went to the third attempt to get it done...

Or as Fox's Mike Joy calls it: "Checkers or Wreckers"

Here's your checkers...
((HT: NASCAR on FOX/MT89MotorSports))


And here's your wreckers that took out Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton...
((HT: NASCAR on FOX/500bennu))


So, naturally, the 24 is not pleased with the 48...
Have you ever seen Gordon this way...???
((HT: NASCAR on Fox/StewartHaasNewman))


MONDAY UPDATE: The 48 has fallen on the sword in this one...

"I misjudged the closing rate," Johnson told The Associated Press. "We all make mistakes, I am no different.

"Certainly, that was my fault. I made the mistake there."


Johnson also said that he would have hung around the track had he known that Gordon was so pissed at him. He had already bailed by the time Dick Berggren asked the 24 what the burr was under his saddle...

"I would have stuck around if I knew what was waiting for me," Johnson said in a phone interview with Jenna Fryer.

"There's no doubt after the fact that frustrations are high, the wreck just compounded it," Johnson said. "I think he was speaking out of frustration."

Dennis Setzer's Wild Ride At Talladega

You had some excitement in the double-header at Talladega today, but the biggest batch seemed to be at the end of the Nationwide event- the Aaron's 312...

And Dennis Setzer was one lucky dog...

((HT: ESPN/NASCAR))

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Scandal Rocks Another Billion-Dollar Sport

((HT: NYTimes- Bajaj via Howard Bloom))

Imagine taking an idea, turning it into a possible billion-dollar industry, and having to resign after you've created this athletic monster...

That's what's going on in the sport of cricket right now in the IPL- or the Indian Premier League.

They're holding their version of the Super Bowl Sunday and the creator, Lalit Kumar Modi, is part of a scandal that has brought down an Indian government official. Modi could be gone by Monday.

The IPL finances are now being looked at by Indian tax authorities- think the Indian version of the IRS... and you know that's never good...

Shashi Tharoor, a former top UN diplomat, was forced to resign as junior minister of foreign affairs in the Indian government after Modi revealed that a group of businessmen Tharoor advised on a IN$333-million bid for an expansion franchise had given a female friend of his a free minority owner's share. Tharoor says the share was "less than five percent" and done as a thanks for her marketing of the idea.

Got all that...???

The investigation includes the idea of offshore companies that league owners are using to hide ownership of the IPL franchises.

To put it in a modern context, it's kinda like if Stan Kroenke hired someone in the Caymans to own all his Altitude holdings while he pursued the St. Louis Rams. That owner would be someone that wasn't him on paper, but was him in operations.

And it appears that some of these Modi conversations may be on tape...


But in the IPL, Modi and his family apparently have their fingers in a lot of different places.

Modi’s sister-in-law's husband ((Follow...???)) owns a big stake in a team. And a company controlled by Modi’s stepdaughter's husband owns Internet and mobile phone broadcast rights, as well the guy holds a stake in another team, too.

In an interview, Mr. Modi, 46, denied that he had done anything wrong.
Here's an airport ambush, thanks to IndiaEchoNews again...


He said his relatives invested in the IPL three years ago because they had faith in him, and no one else did.

An understandable point-of-view...

Here's a wrap and an explainer, thanks again to our friends at IndiaEchoNews...
((HT: Indiaecho))

Tennessee Titans Get It Right...

You look at the draft list that the Tennessee Titans had for the 2010 Draft and you might nod your head a little bit. You'd think in "American Bandstand" terminology, that it was a "65 that you couldn't dance to..."

Average at best, six of the nine selections were on the defensive side of the ball... blah, blah, blah...

Look closer...

Derrick Morgan fell into their lap at 16- A kid from Georgia Tech who can get after the quarterback. But then you look at the linebacker they picked up in Rennie Curran from Georgia in Round Three.

He's "too small" you say...???

But that's what they said about Sam Mills, too. Curran hits harder than Mills ever did and is a state weightlifting champ as a high school athlete. His family escaped Liberia before Rennie was even born, but the family's home became a safe house for countrymen looking to escape what Charles Taylor had done as a warlord...

The HQ is well aware of the looks on your face at this point... just look it up and consider it your Civics lesson for today...
((HT: AlJazeeraEnglish))


In the sixth round, they picked up Rusty Smith from Florida Atlantic as a QB.
Yeah, but he "played in the Sun Belt Conference."

Remember who his coach was in college...?

Howard Schnellenberger...

And remember what he's going through as a father...???
How's that for a role model...???
((Rusty is pictured with Stephen Schnellenberger, thanks Sunsentinel.com))

Refresh your memory here with Ted Hutton's story from the SunSentinel...

Then there's the guy whose football desire was questioned that they selected after that. As part of the HQ was watching the draft, TBH was livid that a stand-up example of a person was still undrafted while other athletes with issues a mile-and-a-half long were snatched up without a second thought.

Here's a kid who took a year off from football to be a Rhodes Scholar, and coaches are questioning his "deserting his teammates?" A coach from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually said that in a combine interview to Rolle.

She was ready to gut-punch everyone at the combine that claimed to be an authority figure that was "concerned" about his desire to play football and not be the future president of the Bahamas- or some damn lofty goal like that... and could, actually, accomplish the goal...

TBH also brought up the interesting point of wondering just how many kids who left school early to declare for the NFL Draft were asked the same question about "deserting their teammates."

The answer: Probably none...

Apparently, an NFC executive texted Yahoo!Sports and said Rolle is a "better story than he is a ballplayer."

"What an ass!" TBH yelled back at the computer screen...
That's why an AFC team scooped him up, right...???

Here's the story the four-letter did on Rolle the Rhodes Scholar...
((HT: RiceSportsManagement/ESPN))


Then there's Stafon Johnson... undrafted free agent...
His story is better told in his own voice, and no that wasn't meant as a poor pun...

Here's the profile the four-letter's "College Football Live" put together on Johnson.
((HT: OmniChristianVids2/ESPN))


Among the kid who's too small, the kid who's too smart, and the kid who's too hurt, the Tennessee Titans have gotten this one right in a league where getting it wrong seems to be more the norm...

The Seminoles, The Everetts, And ALS

((HT: Fanhouse/Henry))

The Florida State Seminole baseball team, in conjunction with the Florida State Department of Athletics and ALS Association Florida Chapter, hosted a game on "ALS Awareness Night" last week. The father of Seminoles pitcher Tyler Everett, Jimmy Everett, is battling the disease.

The team was fortunate enough to have Jimmy, a high school athlete under FSU head coach Mike Martin, throw out the first pitch to his son at Dick Howser Stadium.

"It's the most emotional experience I've had since I've been at Florida State," Martin said following the game to seminoles.com. "I can honestly say that there are a lot of things that you don't understand (about the disease) and that's certainly one of them."

Tyler pitched the first inning and retired Charleston Southern 1-2-3 on the Noles way to a 12-4 win.

"I thought about that; about how he would respond," said Martin. "He went out there and pitched like Tyler Everett. Like his daddy being the outstanding coach that he is expected him to do. He went out there and pitched extremely well and got us in the dugout. He set the tone."

Elton and Sam have the details from an emotional evening, thanks to our friends at WCTV/CBS6 in Tallahassee
((HT: WCTV Tallahassee))

No Suspension For Hossa

The NHL announced Sunday it will not suspend Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa for his hit/shove on Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis during Saturday's Game 5 in their Western Conference series.

NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell conducted a hearing by telephone with Hossa earlier Sunday afternoon.

Campbell made the following statement after the meeting:

"I have made the decision that this play does not warrant supplemental discipline after considering all of the facts, including reviewing the video and speaking with Mr. Hossa,"
said Campbell. "This play is distinguishable from recent incidents by a number of factors, including the degree of contact involved; the fact that the consequences of the play do not appear to be as severe; that this was a hockey play involving a race for the puck; that Mr. Hossa is not a repeat offender; and that the call of a major penalty by the referee was significant and appropriate."

A five-minute major penalty for boarding was called on Hossa at the 18:57 mark of the third period. While Hossa was serving the penalty, teammate Patrick Kane scored a shorthanded goal with 13 seconds left in the game -- the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that a shorthanded goal was scored to tie up a game in the last minute of regulation.

Here's the Hossa play that got him the five-minute major...
((HT: NHL on NBC/TSN))


Hossa served the final 3:57 of his boarding major as the Predators and Blackhawks went into overtime. Ten seconds after exiting the penalty box, Hossa scored the game-winning goal to make it a 5-4 victory for the Blackhawks.

Here's the game-winner...
((HT: NHL on NBC/TSN))


And here's the evidence that everyone was pointing to for a suspension of, at least, one game for Hossa... the Ovechkin hit on Hawks' D-man Brian Campbell March 14th that forced him to stay out of a boatload of games down the stretch...
((HT: NHL on NBC))

Pirates Startes On DL After Line Drive To Head


Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Jakubauskas ((pictured, thanks Bob Levey/Getty)) was hit in the face by Lance Berkman's line drive in the first inning of Saturday's game in Houston and was carted off the field.

Berkman drove a 1-0 pitch back to the mound and hit Jakubauskas in the head. He fell and the ball bounced all the way back to catcher Jason Jaramillo.

Medical staffs from both teams ran to the mound as Jakubauskas stayed down, repeatedly kicking the dirt in obvious pain. Berkman ran to the mound, joining all of the Pirates infielders.

"I just wanted to pray for him," Berkman said. "That's a scary situation. That's probably the most rattling thing I've been a part of in the big leagues. There's really not much I could do. I just wanted to be over there and lend any support that I could."

Jakubauskas was down for almost 5 minutes before he sat up, holding an ice pack and towel against his face. Jakubauskas was taken off the field on a medical cart. He gave a thumbs up to the crowd, who offered a standing ovation.

"It's as good as could be expected. He doesn't seem to have a concussion. He was conscious and was answering questions," said Pirates manager John Russell. "It was very frightening. Now it puts the game in perspective."

Here's the play in question...
((HT: FSAstros))


Sunday Update:
Jakubauskas was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion and head contusion a day after he was struck in the head by a Lance Berkman line drive.

He received a call from Berkman on Saturday night, who was relieved to find out the pitcher will travel with the Pirates for their next series in Milwaukee.

"He was still a little woozy but he was coherent, and I was glad to see he was conscious and was doing good," Berkman told MLB.com. "It's just a scary deal, but hopefully there's no lasting impact from it and he'll just continue with his career."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chant For Steelers In First-Round Spoils Make-A-Wish Moment

The Radio City Music Hall hosted the NFL Draft again this year, and leave it to the locals to screw with a moment...

A 15-year-old kid from Kentucky, Zach Hatfield, was recently diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Then, in December, he and his family lost both their house and their possessions in a fire, forcing them to relocate to the Cincinnati area while Zach undergoes treatment.

As part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation effort, he got to announce the Steelers first-round selection in New York City. His family also got to stay in New York for the whole weekend, tour the Statue of Liberty, and go to the NFL's Play 60 Festival in Central Park.

But leave it to the jag-off New Yorkers to blow his moment...
((HT: TMZ/NFL/ESPN))










Karma is hell, boys... karma is hell...

Eric Belanger's Self-Dentistry

((HT: Deadspin))

The HQ was on its way out the door last night for a little Friday Frivolity when we saw the first part of this following piece of video tape...

The Washington Caps' Eric Belanger got a stick in the mush. We initially thought it was a helmet shot that shook his noodle for a few minutes...

The aftereffects of the shot to the face is below...
It's the playoffs. You do what you have to to get back out there...

((HT: NHL on TSN))

Draft Day 2: Busy Day In Cleveland

Texas QB Colt McCoy finally was drafted, 85th overall, by the Cleveland Browns. That was one slot after his favorite target with the Longhorns, Jordan Shipley, went to the Cincinnati Bengals.

On hand to make the announcement about his four-year starter and the winningest QB in NCAA history: Texas coach Mack Brown.

How's that for a special guest star appearance...???
TBH wanted to know if she was dreaming when she thought she heard Mack Brown's voice- so, no, she wasn't dreaming...

"It has been a long day," McCoy said after speaking to Browns president Mike Holmgren. "I told him, 'You won't regret it and we'll win a lot of games.' "

Tony Rizzo anchors coverage from in front of a shiny monitor...
((HT: Fox8Cleveland))
 

The rest of the Browns' early draft can be looked at here: Florida's Joe Haden, Tennessee's Montario Hardesty, and Oregon's TJ Ward...

Kevin Kennedy Helps Thwart Airplane Terror Plot

MLB on Fox studio analyst Kevin Kennedy was among eight men that subdued a man who threatened to blow up an airplane.

A Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Florida was diverted to Albuquerque Friday after a passenger sprayed the first-class cabin with a water bottle, tried to open a cabin door and threatened to blow up the aircraft.

"When he started threatening bombs it was for real. I knew it was anyway," Kennedy said. "We all kind of looked at him. The guy next to me, he was saying 'Hey buddy, let's calm down here.' We tried to talk him down but it wasn't happening. It was actually getting worse."

Kennedy discusses it on MLB Network Radio on XM...


Passengers on Flight #2148 to Tampa subdued Stanley Dwayne Sheffield, 46. He was taken into federal custody after the plane landed at 1:30 a.m. Friday.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Darrin Jones said authorities do not believe the incident was related to terrorism. Sheffield was charged with interference with flight crew members and destruction of aircraft.

Here's how our friends at KRQE in Albuquerque reported the odd situation...


ABC28 in Tampa caught up with Sheffield's ex-wife who agrees with the Feds assessment of the ordeal. She maintains the guy just needs help...
video

Friday, April 23, 2010

George Shinn Looking For A New Dance Partner

A person familiar with negotiations says talks over the possible sale of the NBA's New Orleans Hornets between majority owner George Shinn and minority owner Gary Chouest have reached an "impasse" and that Shinn now wants to speak with other possible buyers.

Shinn's preference is to deal only with investors who want to keep the Hornets in New Orleans. Shinn and Chouest have yet to publicly discuss the sale.

Shinn, who underwent recent treatment for prostate cancer, has said he wants to focus more on his charity work, his faith and write a book.

Chouest, who bought 25 percent of the club in 2007, owns a Louisiana company that builds and operates boats for the offshore energy industry.

Obviously, more when we know more, but...

The HQ would like to remind everyone about the last time Shinn got a wild hair up someplace and decided he didn't like where he was...

((HT: d4w4c4/NBA))

"Get Off My Mound..." Braden to A-Rod

((HT: Traina))

The HQ heard about this driving from the Nationwide tournament in Valdosta yesterday.

The Oakland A's Dallas Braden didn't like A-Rod returning to first by running across "his mound." Is the pitcher's mound sacred territory...???

Dunno, but to Braden it is... here's the reaction from afterwards...

"He's a tremendous player and a tremendous talent, and I don't care if I'm Cy Young or the 25th man on a roster; if I've got the ball in my hand and I'm out there on that mound, that's not your mound. You want to run across the mound? Go run laps in the bullpen. That's my mound."

Rodriguez responded by saying, "He just told me to get off his mound. That was a little surprising. I've never quite heard that -- especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career."

A-Rod with the burn... haven't heard those since high-school...
Here's the play...
Thanks to MLB Network/CSNBA/baseballjeremiad

Harvick Future Unsure In 2011

Kevin Harvick says he doesn't know where he's driving next season, but he has had a lot of talks so far with team owner Richard Childress.

Harvick's future with RCR may have taken a huge hit after Shell's decision to transfer from the Harvick #29 to Kurt Busch's ride starting next season. Harvick says he "doesn't particularly agree" with the way the swap came down.

"There's sponsors that come and go," Harvick told David Newton of ESPN. "This particular situation there were a lot of business-to-business decisions that took place."

Busch's #22 car will have Shell while Brad Keselowski will drive the #2 in 2011 with Miller Lite staying there. Penske is losing Mobil as a sponsor, so they picked up Shell. Newton also says Bud is in play because of Kasey Kahne's departure for Hendrick. This also makes the HQ wonder about Sam Hornish and the #77...

Harvick says he will likely stick with Chevrolet no matter where he lands next season, and says there's no "pressing need" to make a decision now.

Harvick is fourth in the points race entering Sunday...

Here's the Big One from last week that involved Harvick- something he may have to avoid to improve his bottom line for the rest of the season...
((HT: SlicedSmoke14/NASCAR on Fox))

Ochoa: It Was The Right Time...

Lorena Ochoa is going to play one more tournament before she retires.

The 28-year-old said Friday in Mexico City she will compete in the Tres Marias Championships next week in her home country town of Morelia. She also said she plans to play in the LPGA's Lorena Ochoa Invitational each November in Guadalajara.

Remember, she confirmed on her website Tuesday she is leaving the game. She got married in December and has talked about wanting to start a family. She said while retirement was a difficult decision, she was "full of happiness."

Ochoa's announcement comes three years to the day she achieved the Number 1 ranking in the world, replacing Annika Sorenstam. She currently has 27 tour victories, two of them major titles ((a Dinah Shore and a British)), and nearly $15 million in earnings.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan talks about what the tour will be missing as Ochoa retires, thanks to the LPGA their own selves...

Draft Day One: Detroit Cleans Up

And, no, that's not a misprint...

The Lions got the best player on the board for defenses in Ndamukong Suh and traded up to get back into the first round to get Jahvid Best from Cal...

Suh and Kyle VandenBosch should make interesting combinations for NFC Central opponents...

Here's how our friends at MyFoxDetroit covered Day One...
((HT: WJBK-TV))


And here's the John Brenkus-Sports Science feature on just how much of a freak this man named Suh is- if he stays healthy...
((HT: bmills20))


Told you he was a freak...

Draft Day One: More Tebow; Is Jags Alualu A No-No...

((HT: Fox30/CBS47 Jacksonville))

Here's the local coverage of the Tebow draft by Denver and what is, probably, the gaffe of the opening round when the Jacksonville Jaguars- who really need butts in seats- went after a reach...

ActionnewsJax's Brent Martineau examines the local Tebow angle and understands folks aren't all that excited about a Pac-10 unknown...

Draft Day One: Tebow To Denver

((HT: KDVR-TV Denver))

So, Denver trades down and trades down and trades down to get Tim Tebow...
One of the surprises of Day One to be sure...

Fox 31's Zubin Mehenti was at Dove Valley for the beginning of the onslaught that is "Jesus in Colorado..."
 

The HQ is sure that Kyle Orton is on a very short leash, and that Brady Quinn's isn't that much longer...

Brothery Love To A Whole New Level

I'm watching the NFL draft last night and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey gets picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Next comes the usual reaction shot from the family home and then things get really weird. It's a whole new meaning to brotherly love. (Thanks ESPN/YouTube.com)





That is Maurkice's twin brother Mike engaging in a lip lock. It's probably the most uncomfortable moment I've ever experienced watching the NFL Draft.

Just wait till mini-camp Maurkice, your going to be abused.