Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PM UPDATE ATL-To-WPG: Gearon Gets Emotional

((HT: MyFoxAtlanta))

The HQ alluded to part-owner and member of Atlanta Spirit, Michael Gearon, Junior getting emotional throughout the day as his hockey team, the Atlanta Thrashers, became his ex-hockey team.

Here's the video version of that with FOSG Ken Rodriguez...

VIDEO: Thrashes Former Owner Reacts to Sale: MyFoxATLANTA.com

And, then, the tag-team version with K-Rod and equally FOSG Buck Lanford...

Sold: Atlanta Thrashers Moving to Winnipeg: MyFoxATLANTA.com

The HQ also finds it interesting that Spirit sought to trot out the local guy for sound instead of the actual Governor of the franchise...

Jus' thinking out loud...

FOSG Nubyjas Wilborn caught up with some 'Sconsonites in the Thrashers store to ask what they thought about the bombshell...
((HT: No Bias No Bull Sports/nwilborn19))

More questions about Terrelle Pryor and his fascination with cars

Terrelle Pryor/File
((ht: wbns/10tv.com))

The plot thickens and yeah, you can say it. The media sharks smell blood. We reported Tuesday night about the NCAA opening an investigation into Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his usage of not one, but many cars.

Pryor showed up at the Ohio State football offices on Tuesday with a slightly used and not cheap Nissan 350Z. The Columbus Dispatch and Sports Illustrated both mentioned that young Mr. Pryor has been in possession of not one, but possibly as much as 8 vehicles in his 3-years in Columbus.

And while he denies any "Deals" or "Wrongdoing" on his part, the car salesman and dealerships potentially involved say the same thing. They say Pryor has "Test Driven" several vehicles including the 3 he was pulled over in.

Now comes a report from WBNS-TV in Columbus showing Pryor in yet another car and raising the question: Where does a 22-year old college kid get so many cars from?

The WBNS text version of the story is RIGHT HERE

The vehicles in question are all traced to the same people. Car salesman Aaron Kniffin and in this case the Auto Direct car dealership he worked at.

Yes, Ohio State fans, we know this is all circumstantial. But look at the evidence. Do any of you really believe that Pryor had 2-3 vehicle issues a year which left him driving a loner? Would any of you get a Denali loner while your "Used Car" was in the shop and the opportunity to drive it out of state?

Of course "TOSU" declined an opportunity to comment, we just wanted to report this to reinforce yesterday's report and remind you that "T-O-S-U" is in D-E-E-P D-O-O D-O-O.

Here's the TV Version of the WBNS-TV story:





Atlanta Spirit's Letter to Thrasher Fans... Whatever...

From Spirit their ownselves...

Believe at your own peril...

Earlier today, we, along with our partners, signed an asset purchase agreement to sell the Atlanta Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment. If ratified by the NHL, Commissioner Bettman and the league's Board of Governors, this will result in the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, Canada beginning with the 2011-2012 season.

It's extremely disappointing to all of us that it became necessary after all other options were exhausted. We want to express our gratitude to you, the fans, for the years of dedication you have offered to the Atlanta Thrashers.

As many of you know, for some time we have been seeking a buyer for the team or a partner willing to join with us in continuing to fund the team. We hired an investment banking firm to seek out potential investors with the express goal of finding someone who would keep the team here in Atlanta. In recent months, we openly indicated a growing urgency to secure assistance in off-setting our operating losses in hopes that our public plea would produce investors which, to that point, had eluded us.

After extensive effort, nobody has come forward. As a result, we had no choice but to explore the investment option presented to us by the NHL in the form of True North Sports and Entertainment.

Relocation of the Thrashers is not the outcome that any of us ultimately wanted. We knew when we purchased the club in 2004, that professional sports teams are seldom, if ever, money-making investments but rather vital community assets. We believed in the overall impact that the team had on the sports landscape of Atlanta, and over the past seven years, invested a significant amount of money into what we felt was an integral piece of the greater metropolitan Atlanta area. We are truly grateful to have been a part of this city's professional hockey history, to have made an indelible impact on the community through our players' outreach, our organization's activities and our foundation's donations, and most of all, to have been a part of paying tribute to you, our fans, each and every time our team stepped on the ice.

Thank you for the opportunity to be entertained, thrilled and inspired alongside you by Atlanta Thrashers hockey. None of this would have been possible without your support.


Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon

The Transition Begins: Waddell Out In ATL-WPG

From Sportsnet's Roger Millions, via Twitter:

Don Waddell is officially out as President when Thrashers move to Wpg..will do draft and then that's it.

The next stop in the hierarchy is at GM where Rick Dudley, by all accounts, a great hockey mind and builder is next up for a 1x1 with True North. True North is of the belief that they're GM, nine-year vet Craig Heisinger, is ready for the NHL. Will True North have Dudley work with Zinger or not...???

That's the next question...

Here's the announcement, thanks to our friends at TSN...
Word was, when Bettman's face showed up on the jumbotrons outside the MTS Centre, he was roundly booed... not shocking...
((HT: TSN/youtube))

More, importantly, here's how it broke in town...
This sounds a lot better...
((HT: Shaw Communications/CJOB-AM/youtube))

Waddell is set for a conference call within the hour...
More when we know more...

1615 UPDATE: We know more...

"If you have success, I think we were set up to build on the momentum in the market place," Waddell admitted in the conference call. "If you can win more, you can get people excited. So it played a part- a lot of things played a part- our lack of success may have contributed to that."

Waddell doesn't know what his own future holds, but he confirmed that he will be working with the franchise for the next month until he "turns over the keys." True North's Mark Chipman has told Waddell that there is an interest to fill some Winnipeg organizational positions and that there would be some interviews scheduled in the near future. He admitted that there would be some job loss inside the current structure, but there also would be some sliding over of personnel into open positions in other aspects of Atlanta Spirit.

"I want to make sure we hand the organization over in the best position we can," he said. "We had a lot of ups and downs, but when I put my head on the pillow at night, we did our best. We tried to make it work the best we can. I always say to our staff that we make the best decisions for the short-term, and long-term, for the best interest of the franchise. Unfortunately, we're to the point where it didn't work here and we have to move on."

Waddell is excited about the team Winnipeg is getting... they have a lot of good players as the franchise moves forward in good shape. He doesn't know about the coaching staff and they're future. Chipman knows Rick Dudley from their IHL days, and he's going to talk to scouts and other personnel. Until the franchise is "closed," they're prepping for the draft.

"It's better that there's a change there," in referring to his own job dissipation. "They're in very good hands up there."

The Drive To 13K Begins... Winnipeg Has Pro Hockey Back...

In a standard press release, it's over and attempted to be explained...

"Our objective was always to find a solution to keep the team in Atlanta, and we spent a considerable amount of time, effort and resources trying to do so,” said Co-Owner Bruce Levenson. “This is not the outcome we wanted and it’s extremely disappointing that a buyer or significant investor did not come forward that would enable us to keep the team in Atlanta.”

And, after a 15-minute delay, the presser to announce the shift of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg begins...

The parameters: Commissioner Gary Bettman is encouraging that the MTS Centre be sold out every night for "this to work." And the number of season ticket sales for consecutive seasons ranges from three to five- depending on which seat you want- and is 13,000 instead of the normal 10,000...

Which is fine... it shouldn't be a problem... even with the city of Winnipeg being the smallest Canadian city to join the fray once again.

Michael Gearon, Junior broke down in a difficult interview with FOSG John Kincade in the 680TheFan studios this afternoon. Few question Gearon's love for sport as a gentleman who grew up here, but more question his nature as a part owner of a geographically-disjointed, financially ill-equipped gaggle of dudes who seemed more interested in in-fighting, lawsuits, and suing their ex-lawyers than investing in their product in a proportionally-correct manner.

In the interview, Gearon expressed the idea that the one year the Thrash made the playoffs, they still lost US$20-million with a midline payroll. Thus the decision to grow talent citing previous examples in Tampa, Pittsburgh, or Nashville. The problem was the organization never recovered from the gutting of the team to make that playoff run ((See the Keith Tkachuk and Alexei Zhitnik trades as your examples...))

FOSG Jeff Schultz went off the rails and poked Atlanta Spirit between the eyes...And, for that, we commend him...

"Hockey in Canada has never been stronger," said Commissioner Gary Bettman. "We get to be back in a place we wish had not left in 1996. Sometimes we simply have no choice, as was the case back in 1996 when the Jets left Winnipeg," he said.

The man, certainly, thinks that someone else was responsible for that move, eh...???
And for him to talk like it was a goal and aim if his to have a team there all along was an interesting contradiction in terms for the dynamic that was set forth.

The sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment is conditional the approval of 75 per cent of the league's owners at the NHL's Board of Governors meeting in New York on June 21.

Here's the obit from FOSG Buck Lanford
((HT: MyFoxAtlanta))

Sold: Atlanta Thrashers Moving to Winnipeg: MyFoxATLANTA.com

The Thrashers held a 1PM presser for selected media- the four television station network affils, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press...

Strangely typical... and equally cowardly.. it fits Spirit's modus operandi from the jump...

More when we know more...

1515 UPDATE: We know more...

FOSG Ted Bauer's sister station in London, Ontario "A-News London" caught up with Pegger property Robbie Schrempf and got his take...
((HT: ANews London))

Here's what it looked like at the key Winnipeg intersection of Portage and Main
((HT: youtube))

But the one aspect that the HQ wasn't a fan of during today's procession was a bump music out used on XMHomeIce: The Band's "The Day They Drove Ol' Dixie Down..."

Not cool... not cool at all...

More when we know more...

BREAKING: It's Done... Noon Winnipeg Presser, Thrashers Gone...

((HT: NHL.com))

From the league their ownselves...

True North Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group reported to be in negotiations to purchase the Atlanta Thrashers and relocate the team to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 NHL season, has called a Tuesday press conference to make a "significant community announcement."

The media event will take place at noon ET at the MTS Centre arena in Winnipeg. NHL.com and NHL Network will carry the press conference live.

More when we know more...

Here's TSN's coverage from yesterday as the announcement was nigh...
Sara Orlesky was being driven sideways by the wind at Portage and Main
((HT: TSN/JHendrix70))

And here's Dutch and Darren before everything became official...

Ohio State ducks questions

This is truly lame. And we wish we had time to post it yesterday.

Rather than have a press conference where he'd be asked legitimate questions about the craziness surrounding his football program, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith opted for the cop-out. He/The School released a video statement via YouTube.

Sorry, that is just crap. That's avoiding the public. That's trying to keep things quiet. That's a total and complete cop-out.

You owe it to your fanbase and supporters. You owe to the NCAA. You owe it to everyone with a legitimate question about what happened.

All this proves is TOSU is in denial. They still refuse to believe they have to answer for their indiscretions. By now, most have read the scathing Sports Illustrated report and realize these guys are in deep doo-doo. They are aware their star Quarterback is under investigation for possessing more cars than any of us will in our lifetimes. But yet they still avoid taking responsibility for it.

JoJo Reyes gets off the schnide

So he tied a record instead of breaking it.

Toronto Blue Jays lefthand pitcher JoJo Reyes avoided making history Monday night by throwing a complete game win against the Cleveland Indians, Toronto won 11-1.

Reyes had lost his previous 28 Major League starts. All 28 of them. Which tied him with former Oakland pitcher Matt Keough who lost 28 straight in 1978-79 and Cliff Curtis who did the same thing in 1910-11.

Not only did Reyes get his first win, he threw a complete game. We might add, that in Reyes's previous start, he got a no-decision when the Toronto bullpen blew the 2-0 lead that he gave them.

Mr. Reyes. We congratulate you.

Your highlights from SI.com:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 11: ATL-To-WPG- It's Up To The Lawyers...

((HT: TSN/Sportsnet/Winnipeg Sun/Winnipeg Free Press via Howard Bloom))

Here's what we've found out via the HQ's subscriptions to various dudes...

TSN's Bob McKenzie
is reporting that Winnipeg lawyers have signed off on the deal, but are awaiting Atlanta lawyers to sign off. On his Twitter account:

Soon as they sign off, deal is done, pending board approval. If ATL lawyers sign off today, announcement tomorrow morning. If ATL lawyers don't sign off today, drags out another day or two.

Winnipeg police are preparing for parties and street closures in the downtown core, particularly the corner of Portage and Main. City officials have not been informed by True North of a firm time for any announcement.

True North Sports and Entertainment, the company trying to purchase the Atlanta Thrashers, has informed local media to be on standby.

"They were told to be ready as early as tomorrow," TNSE spokesman Scott Brown told the Winnipeg Sun...

Ken Wiebe's article in the Sun we hear from Bill Daly at the NHL:

"It's certainly possible something could be finalized this week," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Sun on Monday.

Darren Dreger of TSN added on his Twitter: The waiting continues. True North is waiting for Atlanta Spirit to complete some of its legal fine tuning. It's now an hour by hour wait.

Meanwhile, Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet says "barring any last minute changes, the plan is to formally announce the Thrashers move to Winnipeg as early as 10 a.m. Tuesday."

Once the deal is complete, obviously, it still must obtain approval from the NHL
board of governors and their next meeting is scheduled for June 21 in New York.

Winnipeg's Scott Taylor is thinking somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday...

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun is relaying that haggling is still going on...

So, now we may actually be closer than we think...

FOSG/WXIA-TV-11Alive's Jeff Hullinger caught up with part of the ASG, Rutherford Seydel... it sounds like a dirge...

Crystal Goomansingh was in Winnipeg for the preview of the inevitable celebration...
((HT: GlobalNews))

Sports Illustrated Article Shows Pattern Of tOSU Wrongdoing

((HT: SI.com/CNN))

When it was revealed that George Dohrmann was on the loose in Columbus, Ohio a few weeks ago, the HQ raised a little more than an eyebrow. It's like releasing a bloodhound on a prison escapee in those stereotypic southern prison flicks...

You know it's only a matter of time...

And it was...

Dohrmann and David Epstein found out that memorabilia was dealt for marijuana in addition to tattoos as far back as 2002, and that Tressel may have been responsible for a violation as a tOSU assistant back in the 1980's.

SI's Andy Staples discusses to the admittedly sports-deficient Candy Crowley

And Dohrmann discusses what he found out as the story hits the press...
((HT: SI.com))

Oh by the way Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor is being investigated now too..

Terrelle Pryor/Courtesy: chalkthemup.com
((ht: Columbus Dispatch))

When it rains it pours...or some cliche' like that. On the heels of coach Jim Tressel resigning his job and falling on the sword at Ohio State on Memorial Day Monday, comes word that the NCAA and the school are conducting an independent investigation of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

There's been a lot of talk during "Memorabilia Gate" and "Tressel Gate" about players receiving cushy car deals from a local car dealer. Included in that was some questions about how Pryor has been connected to over a half dozen vehicles in the past 4 years at Ohio State.

Now, we aren't casting aspersions, but most college-age football players can't afford to do that. Especially ones selling championship rings for "Spending Money".

According to the Dispatch, the investigation is separate from the issues with Coach Tressel. It includes Pryor's relationship with Ted Sarniak, a 67-year old businessman from Pryor's hometown in Pennsylvania.

Read the Dispatch story RIGHT HERE

This all falls right in line with the allegations tying in Jack Maxton Chevy and salesman Aaron Kniffin. And it ties into the statements made by Ray Small earlier this week, though Small later denied them after getting a lot of grief from Buckeye fans and former players.

The story, which we have reported on as well, details how Pryor's family all has cars purchased at Maxton Chevy, through Kniffin and the dealer has several signed jersey's on the sales floor.

Trust us when we say this is probably going to get worse before it gets better. We aren't saying what is happening in Columbus is unique, it isn't. But it is against the rules. Period. College Football players should not be entitled to any deal that you and I wouldn't. But it appears, at least on the surface, it happened quite frequently.

Ohio State and their compliance office declined commenting about the investigation, citing some sort of Federal law. As far as we know there is no Federal law that has to do with NCAA investigations, but we guess we could be wrong.

Ozzie Guillen Loves His Job

((HT: CSNChicago))

In today's version of "Ozzie And A Live Microphone" he talks about how much he loves his job and baseball and everything else that comes to mind...

Here he is...

Although, we almost posted the whole exchange between the, now, 0-8 John Denks and the Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista on how Denks thought the home run hitter ran the bases unsatisfactorily and came across as an "f'n clown..."

We'll eave that to the links hyah for Denks and hyah for Bautista...


BREAKING: Jim Tressel resigns from Ohio State

Jim Tressel/File
Whoa! Didn't see this coming on Memorial Day.

Embattled Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned his job.

Tressel who has come under fire for lying to NCAA Investigators about his knowledge of players selling memorabilia for money, has been on the job for years.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, assistant coach Luke Fickell will be the interim coach for the season this year.

Here's the whole story from the Columbus DIspatch RIGHT HERE

The Dispatch got a hold of a memo from OSU Chancellor Gordon Gee sent to trustees this morning:

"I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as the head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding the issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation."

So we guess that means Tressel won't be firing Gee as Gee alluded to in a press conference when the allegations first surfaced.

And. Reports are circulating that Tressel returned last night from a Florida trip and handed in the resignation letter early this morning.

**UPDATE*--9:48 am-- Tressel released a statement on the Ohio State website. "After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach. The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immesurable."

The temperature is getting hot in Columbus. Tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife, involved with the players who sold their rings, was Federally indicted last week. Also last week, the OSU Student paper published an interview with former player Ray Small who essentially confirmed everything previously reported about the program including the allegations of the car salesman helping cutting deals.

Tressel is essentially falling on the sword here. The NCAA investigation will continue, but this should lessen some of the severity. Yes, the program will survive and the rampant rumors that Urban Meyer will be stepping in as the 2012 coach will inevitably start increasing.....right about....NOW.

Here's hometown coverage from our friends at WBNS-TV

Kirk Herbstreit and John Buccigross also discuss...
((HT: ESPN))

Future West Va. coach Dana Holgersen: Alcoholic, problem or bad luck?

Dana Holgorsen/Courtesy: twifonline.com
((ht: herald-dispatch.com))

Hmmm. Future West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen appears to have some baggage that's come along with him. According to the Huntington, West Virginia Herald-Dispatch, Holgorsen has been tossed from anywhere from 3 to 6 places in the past six months---for being drunk and disorderly.

Holgorsen was asked to leave the Mardi Gras Casino, May 18th after the Casino called police to help them remove an intoxicated customer who wouldn't leave. That customer was Holgorsen. No charges were filed, but apparently it wasn't the 1st time it's happened either.

According to the report, and a supplemental story from a Wheeling, West Virginia paper, Holgorsen has ben asked to leave 2 other Casino's this year for similar incidents. He's also been allegedly banned at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport and supposedly is not allowed at the bar at the Morgantown hotel that he's living at.

Read the Herald-Dispatch story RIGHT HERE

Holgorsen was hired in December to take over the West Virginia football program in 2012 from Bill Stewart. That unto itself was odd. Holgorsen will be the offensive coordinator in 2011, before taking the reins. He was given a 6-year, $14.25 million contract to do it.

It sounds like he's got a problem. And it's a problem that he better get taken care of...fast. After the Mardi Gras casino incident, he apparently released a statement saying "I will not put myself in that situation again."

As most people know, the 1st step in solving a drinking problem is admitting there is a problem. And while the evidence is a bit circumstantial, it sure sounds like that is what is happening here.

If Holgorsen doesn't make a drastic change, it's only a matter of time before his "Problem" will put him on the unemployment line.

Here is Holgorsen's introductory presser from December. Thanks WVU:

UF Pitcher recovering after being knocked out by throw

Brian Johnson/Courtesy: hal yeager-birmingham news
Wow! Missed this one over the weekend. University of Florida pitcher Brian Johnson is recovering after being knocked cold in Saturday's SEC Baseball tournament game against Georgia.

Johnson was on the mound and turned and ducked as catcher Mike Zunino was trying to throw out a runner stealing second base. Zunino's throw was low and hit Johnson square in the back of the head, crumpling him like a sack of potatoes.

Thankfully a CT scan on Johnson showed up normal with no damage. He says he was out cold for maybe 20 seconds or so.

Johnson and his teammates got to celebrate on Sunday, they won the SEC baseball tournament and will be heading to NCAA Regional play next week. Johnson is expected to be there, ready to go.

Here's the video from Saturday afternoon:

Harvick steals race as Junior runs out of gas

Kevin Harvick/Courtesy: motorsport.com
Geez, what a weird day of racing on Sunday. The nightcap was every bit as strange as the Indy 500. Kevin Harvick got the wind in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte late Sunday night thanks to a very late charge and a bit of luck.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. all but had the race won on the last lap. But thanks to bad luck and a couple of late race incidents with other cars, he ran out of gas heading into the last turn...literally.

Harvick who began the 2-lap restart at the end of the race in 6th, somehow navigated through traffic and blew by Earnhardt for the win. Earnhardt coasted across the finish line with a 7th place finish.

Ironically, Earnhardt was driving a car with the National Guard sponsorship prominently displayed on the hood. Rookie Indy car driver J.R Hildebrand, who crashed while in the lead in the last turn of the Indianapolis 500, his car was also sponsored by...wait for it....The National Guard.

No irony there at all, just a cruel coincidence for a couple of really unlucky drivers.

The last 2 laps of the race. Courtesy: TheNARLtv/FoxSports:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Local Suitor For Thrash...??? Meh...

((HT: AJC.com/Vivlamore, IllegalCurve Radio))
Now that we're at Day 9 of this will-they-or-won't-they when it comes to the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg, Atlanta Thrashers team president Don Waddell is back to announcing the idea that there's a filmmaker out there interested in kicking the tires and keeping the team in Atlanta...

We're back to Stephen Rollins... and FOSG Buck Lanford- who are walking...
((HT: MyFoxAtlanta))

Atlanta Thrashers Owner Talks to FOX 5's Ken Rodriguez: MyFoxATLANTA.com

From Friday:

"Along with all other groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing an ownership opportunity, which has happened as recently as earlier this week, we have said continuously that ‘until an agreement is signed and approved by the board of governors, it’s never too late but they will have to move very quickly and decisively. Ownership still is committed to selling at a greatly reduced price to anyone committed to Atlanta.’"

Translation: The team has always maintained that their asking price to keep the team in town is US$110-million as far back as anyone can recall when the team has been on the market...

Here's a report on a conversation FOSG Ken Rodriguez had with Michael Gearon, Junior... About what you'd expect from Gearon...
The HQ is still banking on Tuesday for an announcement...

Atlanta Thrashers Owner Talks to FOX 5's Ken Rodriguez: MyFoxATLANTA.com

BREAKING: Indy 500 Winner Happens On Turn Four Of Lap 200

Danica Patrick led with 13 laps left in the centennial Indianapolis 500, but was passed by Belgium's Bertrand Baguette to cycle through on the last round of pit stops...

Baguette had not raced in the IndyCar series in 2011 having worked with the Dallara chassis folks in a simulator to prepare for the race. Dario Franchitti was paying attention to his fuel numbers and had clocked laps in the 204-MPH range.

Baguette had to pit with four laps left giving rookie JR Hildebrand the lead with Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon, and Franchitti behind...

The 23-year-old from Sausalito, California looked like he was going to bring the National Guard-sponsored machine home for Panther Racing, but he hit the wall in turn four and ended up in the gray- which is disaster...

Wheldon survived for his second career win at Indy...
Hildebrand crossed the finish line against the wall...

You've got to be kidding all of us... and Wheldon does not have a ride for the rest of the IndyCar year... the HQ thinks that's short-term...

Here's the finish...
((HT: ESPN on ABC/IndyCar/MT89Motorsport2))

2 FIFA Suspensions, But Not Blatter...

((HT: CNN))

The HQ knows what you're thinking... soccer and corruption...???
You're shocked... we know...

FIFA suspended two executive committee members in a vote-buying scandal in the current presidential election campaign. FIFA president Sepp Blatter was cleared in the same prelimary investigation where he was accused by one of those same committee members of ignoring the bribes in the first place.

The accused: Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam and CONCACAF Head Jack Warner will now face a full FIFA inquiry. If found guilty, they could be expelled from FIFA and banned from all international soccer activity of any kind.

The ethics commission said there was evidence to investigate the allegations that bin Hammam and Warner offered $40,000 bribes to as many as 25 delegates of something called the "Caribbean Football Union" at a Caribbean soccer association meeting in Trinidad back in May.

The payments were allegedly made to secure votes for bin Hammam in his campaign to unseat Blatter as the head of FIFA.

Bin Hammam had asked the ethics panel to investigate Blatter instead claiming that he ((meaning Blatter)) knew of alleged bribes and didn't do anything about it. The panel said there was no evidence to take action against Blatter, who is now running unopposed for president for his fourth term since Bin Hammam has since withdrawn.

Here's UEFA Head Michel Platini addressing the Final and FIFA's recent shenanigans...

Dodger Stadium Catches Fire


This was the last time the HQ remembers any kind of stadium being on fire...
1994 in Atlanta...
((HT: tcook7))

Last night, we had a new version that forced an evacuation- not quite as big a fire, but scary nonetheless...

Dave Mecham talks about, perhaps, the paper that started it all...
And we're not talking about the LA Times, either...

The Weekly Ozzie Guillen Rant

((HT: CSNChicago))

Now, he doesn't like his team's offense...

In a game where they scored a boatload of runs and still lost to Toronto in extra innings...

Enjoy... the HQ does...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Barca Takes Out ManU For UEFA Title

((HT: UEFA/FIFA/youtube))

It was a dominating performance by, who a lot of people think, is the best team on the planet right now...

Lionel Messi led FC Barcelona to the UEFA Champions League crown with a 3-1 win over Manchester United at the new Wembley Stadium in London...

Here's the highlights...

It's Barca's third Champions League title in six years.

Wayne Rooney offset Pedro Rodriguez's opening goal before halftime to tie the score at ones, but Dani Alves' marker and Messi's goal in the 54th minute were the difference.

Six Goal Outburst... In MLS...???

((HT: soccerclasico/MLS/GOLTV))

We normally don't show MLS highlights unless there's good hook...

How 'bout a second-year team embarrasing someone else in ther own barn...
By scoring six goals...

The Philadelphia Union destroyed Toronto FC 6-2 at BMO Field...
It's obviously a franchise worst in that department...

“That was a bad, bad performance by us,” said Toronto head coach Aron Winter.


Here's the Union's invasion up north...

Stanley Has Bees and Canucks Now...

((HT: NHL.com/CBC))

Bob Cole was on the mic- as it should be for games of this kind of importance...

It is a total of 76 years of futility that will be addressed when Vancouver and Boston meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

A a rule, the HQ will tell you that Game Sevens in the playoffs are not to be missed...

WE did miss this one, however, since we had tickets to both Rodgers and Hammerstein and "The Hangover, Part 2." Yes, we're also aware that it is an interesting combination of events...

By the way, "Hangover...?" Funny, but very dark...

Oh, the game...

Nathan Horton proved why he was a great pick-up for the Bruins at the deadline...

Here's the highlights...

Game One is Wednesday...

OSG High: Ringgold High Graduates Off-Campus

((HT: WRCB-TV/Newschannel9 WTVC-TV Chattanooga))

The Ringgold High Tigers had their graduation last night- off campus...

But they weren't alone at McKenzie Arena on the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga campus. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe was there as well on an emotional night on a lot of different fronts...

Our friends at Newschannel 9 are keeping us up to date on the re-construction of the entire Ringgold High and Ringgold Middle School campuses...

That story is hyah and they're still looking at September for getting back to the new normal...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jordan Spieth At It Again

((HT: GolfChannel/PGATour.com))

Dallas area high school senior Jordan Spieth is making the cut again at the Byron Nelson Classic...

He carded a two-under 68 and is five shots back of Ryan Palmer...

One problem that may not be a problem... he's set to graduate Saturday. But as he told the media at the clubhouse before the tourney began...

"I hope it's a problem because that means I'm playing enough to make the cut and maybe be in contention. I'll rush over there when I can. My last name starts with 'S,' so you never know."

He had the shot of the day for Round One...

DEVELOPING: Freedom 100 Has a Smashing Close At IMS...

((HT: IndyCar/Versus/MT89MotorSport2))

Josef Newgarden won the Indy Lights Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the set-up for this weekend's 500-miler.

Newgarden took the checkered under caution as two drivers ended up heading to Methodist Hospital for evaluation. Esteban Guerrieri was second and Victor Garcia was third.

With six laps left, Jorge Goncalvez lost control of his car between turns 1 and 2, smacked into the interior wall, bounced back into traffic, and slid down the track upside down before uprighting. It was a part of the track without any kind of SAFIR barrier.

Nearly half of the 18-car field failed to finish the race, and the HQ feels without the experience of most races that this is a precursor of what will happen this weekend.

Here's the wreck...

Wozniacki Bounced At French, Top Two Seeds Gone From Women's Side

((HT: RGTV/youtube))

Women's top seed Caroline Wozniacki's won't be getting her first major title his time around. Daniela Hantuchova wiped the floor with her 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the French Open.

"She played very, very well today, better than me for sure," said Wozniacki, who had never before lost a set to Hantuchova in three previous matches before today's whitewash on center court. "She knew what she was going to go out there and do. She was just too good."

With second seed Kim Clijsters' loss earlier this week, it is the first time in the Open era that the top two seeded women failed to make the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament.


Here's your highlights...

Tattoo You: tOSU Rife With Charges

((HT: WBNS-TV Columbus))

The tattoo parlor owner whose relationship with Ohio State football players led to suspensions and the current, rather in-depth, NCAA investigation is pleading guilty to federal charges including drug trafficking.

Edward Rife faces anywhere up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Rife is cooperating with authorities in the case in the hopes that it will minimize any sentence.

And you don't think the NCAA was paying attention until now...???

Guess what...???

The HQ now only thinks it is a matter of time until there are people fired as a result of this investigation, not just a "person."

Here's the latest from 10TV...

And we also think the whole "death penalty" thing may be waved in front of everyone and their family in Columbus... but it won't get there...

Here's the plea agreement...

Former #1 WNBA pick Margo Dydek passes away

Margo Dydek/Courtesy: babble.com
The 37-year old was the tallest woman's basketball player ever at 7-foot 2-inches tall. Margo Dydek was the 1st pick of the 1998 WNBA draft by the then Utah team.

While not a top-tier WNBA player, she still is the leagues all-time shot block leader with 877 rejections. Her career spanned 323 games with 4 different teams. Her size and amiable manner made her a fan favorite wherever she played.

Dydek passed away Friday a week after suffering a heart attack at home in Australia. She had been placed in a medically induced coma shortly thereafter. She, according to several reports, was pregnant at the time of her passing.

She had been the coach of the Northside Wizards of the Queensland Basketball League.

Hedge fund investor buys part of Mets

David Einhorn/Courtesy:thislondon.co.uk
And will keep them, at least for now from turning into the Los Angeles Dodgers under alleged owner Frank McCourt.

Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn has invested roughly $200 million dollars to become a minority owner of the New York Mets. His investment spares beleaguered owner Fred Wilpon of trying to scrape together enough money to pay off the teams debts and cover operating costs.

The story from the New York Daily News RIGHT HERE

Wilpon, as you'll recall, has essentially lost his shirt, or at least is losing a good part of it due to his association with disgraced pyramid scheme guru Bernard Madoff.

Einhorn, an avowed Mets fan, says he just wants to be involved with running a Major League Baseball team, but not have to make the decisions. The question is, is he going to have dig deeper into his pockets to keep the team afloat.

Here's Einhorn talking investments on Bloomberg TV:

Heat handle Bulls head to Finals

It was over in a "Flash". Okay, not really, but the Miami Heat used a furious late 4th quarter rally to come back and beat the Chicago Bulls 83-80 last night and win their best of 7, Eastern Conference finals series 4 games to 1.

It was LeBron James closing the deal, with help from the other two Beatles, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. James nailed three long jump shots in the last 2 minutes, Wade had 10 4th quarter points and Bosh blocked 4 shots along with scoring 20 points to lead the Heat to the win.

The win sets up a repeat of sorts of the 2006 NBA Finals when the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks. The same two teams square off again, with the only holdovers being Dirk Nowitzki for Dallas and Wade for Miami.

Game 1 kicks off Tuesday night in Miami.

Here's last nights highlights, courtesy: NBAHiilights:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

LAPD Not Budging In Stow Investigation

((HT: MyFoxLA))

The LAPD arrested Giovanni Ramirez in the beating of Bryan Stow over the weekend. His bond was set at $1-million and his defense attorney thinks Ramirez has a good alibi...

Anthony Brooklier says Ramirez wasn't even at the ballpark...

"He wasn't at the game. I think he's got a tremendous alibi. He is willing to take a police polygraph. I've never had anybody said that to me in almost 40 years that I've been practicing criminal defense."

The police are chasing after two other suspects in the beating, and Brooklier is intimating that even Ramirez's 10-year-old daughter will testify on her father's behalf and whereabouts.

LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, on the flip side, is cool with the line-up and all procedures leading up to the press conferences today with all of this new information. Beck feels thew line-up adds to the prosecution's case, but wouldn't reveal the results of it.

Cristy Fajardo and Tricia Takasugi share the latest...

Police Satisfied With Stadium Attack Lineup: MyFoxLA.com

Ramirez is still in jail on a parole hold...

DEVELOPING: USC Doesn't Like The Appeal Ruling

((HT: MyFoxLA))

The debilitation of USC stands as called by the NCAA...

Appeal rejected...

USC must serve the second year of its two-year postseason ban. USC also will lose 30 scholarships over the next three years, giving them just 15 scholarships per season until 2015. Most schools get 25 unless you're Houston Nutt or something...

A lot of the NCAA world is saying that life under Lane Kiffin couldn't be any more karmically correct...

Here's Pat Haden pleading his case...

NCAA Rejects USC's Appeal of Sanctions: MyFoxLA.com

SC's seniors are still allowed to transfer to another school without sitting out a season. Lane Kiffin is referring to that part of the ruling as "free agency."

And, for some strange reason, laughter continues across the country from a boatload of other campuses that have had to see Kiffykin's shenanigans firsthand...

Did ACC Schools Screw Up Leaving For Big East...?

((HT: Canespundit))

The question was posed considering that when the new Pac-10/11/12 deal was put on the table... with their $21-million to go with the Big 10/11/12's $18-million plus and the Ess-E-Cee's $17-million plus...

Currently, the ACC's deal is in the neighborhood of $13-million and the Big East's will be up for renewal in 2013.

So, then what...???

Remember, Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech all left the Big Least for the Atlantic shores and, allegedly, richer times and pastures.

Who's kicking who's own ass and asking if they could have had a V8, now...???

UConn head men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun has even hinted to an idea that was a long time in coming- splitting the 37-member conference into football-playing and non-football-playing members. And there was also the talk of those two groups being so split up that the non's would have their own conference and the footballers would splinter off on their own and create another one ((just to create another Bee-Cee-Ess headache down the line when it comes to AQ's and non-AQ's in other sports))...

2010 Football ((without the soon-to-be added TCU))

West Virginia 5 - 2 .714 9 - 4 .692
Connecticut 5 - 2 .714 8 - 5 .615
Pittsburgh 5 - 2 .714 8 - 5 .615
Syracuse 4 - 3 .571 8 - 5 .615
USF 3 - 4 .429 8 - 5 .615
Louisville 3 - 4 .429 7 - 6 .538
Cincinnati 2 - 5 .286 4 - 8 .333
Rutgers 1 - 6 .143 4 - 8 .333

The addition of TCU makes this group slightly more attractive to suitors with the addition of the Dallas DMA...

2010 Men's Hoops Final Standings

Pittsburgh 15 - 3 .833 28 - 6 .824
Notre Dame 14 - 4 .778 27 - 7 .794
Syracuse 12 - 6 .667 27 - 8 .788
Louisville 12 - 6 .667 25 - 10 .714
St. John's 12 - 6 .667 21 - 12 .636
Cincinnati 11 - 7 .611 26 - 9 .743
West Virginia 11 - 7 .611 21 - 12 .636
Georgetown 10 - 8 .556 21 - 11 .656
Connecticut 9 - 9 .500 32 - 9 .780
Villanova 9 - 9 .500 21 - 12 .636
Marquette 9 - 9 .500 22 - 14 .611
Seton Hall 7 - 11 .389 13 - 18 .420
Rutgers 5 - 13 .278 15 - 17 .468
Providence 4 - 14 .222 15 - 17 .468
USF 3 - 15 .167 10 - 23 .303
DePaul 1 - 17 .056 7 - 24 .225

And the 16-team conference here...??? St. John's, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence, and DePaul won't get football money...

How do you think they like that notion already...???
Food for thought around your lunchtime...

Your Atlanta-To-Winnipeg Update: Probably Next Week...???

((HT: Winnipeg Free Press/CBSSports/GlobeSports))

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz told reporters he thinks an NHL announcement could happen before the end of the week.

BUT... and this is the standard sized, big BUT...

Remember, the sale and the move have to be approved before the Board of Governors- even if Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has thrown in the towel...

"I do believe something before the end of the week is likely," Katz said following a city council meeting earlier in the week.

Commissioner Gary Bettman is in the "Stay calm, all is well" mode as always. He was a guest on Tampa radio station WDAE...

"Nobody’s announced anything and frankly if there is something going on nothing is going to happen until it actually happens, which means it may not happen.

"So I think people need to take a deep breath and pause."

This coming from the same man who tells Atlanta people that their way of protesting the ownership by Atlanta Spirit was "interesting" by not supporting their team that way.

From Jeff Schultz's piece from two days ago:

“Demonstrating your dissatisfaction by not going to games is an interesting strategy. It’s your absolute right. But if it becomes a turnoff for anybody who might want to buy the franchise, the long-term consequences could be severe.”

So, then if people don't go and spend money on a bad product, it's their fault if the project fails...

Makes perfect sense...

So, the Free Press even went as far as to ask what fans would like their soon-to-be new team's nickname should be...

Chris Vivlamore of the AJC confirms also that Anson Carter and his Atlanta Sports and Entertainment group have withdrawn their name as an interested party for all Spirit properties as well.

But Gary Lawless of the Free Press reports through his sources that there are issues still on the table that have to be waded through...

Details described as "consent, owner approval, proof of financial information, etc." remain on the table.

"There are complex issues that take time to work through," said a source.

The Stanley Cup schedule has been announced. Game One has been set for Wednesday, June 1st. In theory, if all parties work through the Memorial Day weekend, with US banks closed on Monday. Tuesday, the day before Game One, seems a logical jumping off point...

For now... and, as always it's subject to change...

Kerrigan Sentenced To 2-And-A-Half Years

((HT: MyFoxBoston))

A Massachusetts judge sentenced Mark Kerrigan to the maximum: two and a half years in jail- after he was convicted of assault in the death of their father from an incident back in 2010.

Six months of the sentence is suspended. He is required to get anger management and alcohol treatment as well as serve two additional years of probation.

Mark Kerrigan was convicted of assault, but acquitted of the accompanying manslaughter charge in his father's death. The jury determined that the elder Kerrigan's heart troubles contributed more to the death during the alleged confrontation than Mark's actions alone may have...

Here's Nancy Kerrigan in the courtroom during her vouching for her brother...

Kerrigan sentenced to 2½ years in prison: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Uh oh, Ray Small...more trouble for Ohio State?

Ray Small/Courtesy: cleveland.com
((ht: thelantern.com))

Ooops. It appears the Ohio State student newspaper has a bit of a story to report today. The school's paper, The Lantern conducted an interview with former wide receiver Ray Small and it's a doozy.

In the interview, Small basically verifies just about every accusation and rumor out there about the school, including the selling of championship rings and other memorabilia.

He also goes on to describe how "Well" he and others were taken care of at a particular local car dealership, Jack Maxton Chevrolet. Specifically, he references salesman Aaron Kniffin.

You'll remember the Chevy dealer and Kniffin in particular were brought up in the last round of accusations against the school, basically saying they cut some pretty sweet deals for athletes.

You really, REALLY, need to read this story RIGHT HERE

We are immensely interested in the "Ohio State" fan reaction to this. The fan base has already cried about everyone "Having it out for them" and that it's a "Conspiracy" and not true. It's being made up by outsiders and things like that. That despite all the documentation that coach Jim Tressel lied to the NCAA and the mounting evidence showing other wrongdoing.

This however is a group of college students doing their jobs. And while we empathize with Small and the other athletes doing what they need to do to pay the bills, it's still against the rules.

We are growing more and more sure by the day Ohio State is in deep doo-doo, it remains to be seen just how deep that doo-doo pile will be.

Buster Posey helped off field after collision at Home Plate

Buster Posey-Scott Cousins/Courtesy: csnbayarea.com
This will make a San Francisco Giants fan cringe. Star catcher Buster Posey had to be helped off the field last night during their game with the Florida Marlins after a nasty collision at home plate.

Posey was blocking the plate in the top of the 12th inning in a tie game. Scott Cousins of the Marlins was trying to score from 3rd on a short fly ball to right field. The two collided, the ball popped loose and Cousins scored. Posey had to be carried off after what appeared to be an injury to his left ankle.

Florida ended up winning the game 7-6.

Unfortunately, unlike the NBA and NHL, Major League Baseball tries their best to not let the Internets have their video, so we don't have any video to show or link to.

CSNBayarea.com does give us some reaction though:

ESPN's Linda Cohn and Stephania Bell discuss his injury, rehab, and future...
((HT: ESPN))

Mavs close out Thunder head to NBA Finals

The somewhat surprising Dallas Mavericks are heading back to the NBA Finals for the 1st time since 2006.

The Mavs took care of business last night, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96, winning their best of 7, Western Conference finals series 4-1.

Again, the Thunder couldn't close the deal, they were leading by 6, with just over 4 and a half minutes to go in the game. But a 14-4 run by Dallas, closed the deal. Dirk Nowitzki continued his playoff run, nailing a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to give Dallas a lead they wouldn't give back.

Dirk had 26 points as did Shawn Marion, it was more than enough to do the trick.

Dallas will face the winner of the Miami/Chicago series that could potentially end Thursday night.

Your highlights from SI.com/NBA.com:

Lightning strikes: Series vs. Bruins to go 7

It wasn't always pretty, but the Tampa Bay Lightning did what they had to do and held off the Boston Bruins 5-4, tying their best of 7, Eastern Conference Finals series at 3 games apiece.

Martin St. Louis was the sparkplug for the Lightning, knocking home 2 goals and an assist. Goalie Dwayne Roloson wasn't outstanding, but he only faced 20 shots and he did enough to keep the Bruins from coming back and winning the game.

David Krejci had a hat trick for Boston, but he was the only one really able to muster any offense for the Bruins, who also got a goal from Milan Lucic.

Game 7 and the right to face the Vancouver Canucks is going to be played Friday night in Boston at the TD Garden. It will be the first conference final to go to a game 7 since 2006.

Your highlights from NHL.com:

Phillies Win The Game That Wouldn't End, Defeat Reds 5-4

Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park it took 19 innings for the Philadelphia Phillies to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4.

The Phils won it on all things by a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez scoring Drew Stubbs.

Wilson Valdez started the game at second base and ended up the winning pitcher taking the mound in the 19th inning. Valdez become the first player in 90 years to start and game in the field and get the win on the mound. The last player to do that was none other than Babe Ruth in 1921.

Heck Valdez has more wins as a pitcher than Cy Young award winner Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies.

Here's the man of the hour after the game. (Thanks CSN Philadelphia)

The game took six hours and 11 minutes to play and ended at 1:19 am Thursday morning. The Phillies used 21 players, the Reds 20.

Here's Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel's post game presser. It's good stuff. (Thanks CSH Philadelphia)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Last Night's Tornadoes Were Nothing to Play With...

((HT: MyFoxDFW))

The HQ will admit that we spent a lot of yesterday afternoon writing and watching all of the developments in Oklahoma City- considering how much we're fixated with Ringgold, Georgia, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri these days...

After OKC, it was the Metroplex last night... we even went as far as, inadvertently, waking up one of the posse in Dallas not knowing he was working morning shift...

The game at the Ballpark at Arlington was pushed back three-and-a-half hours because of the weather action in the area...

Evidence here...

Kerrigan Found Not Guilty In Manslaughter Case

((HT: MyFoxBoston.com))

Mark Kerrigan was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of his father- apparently agreeing in his defense that his dad died of his history of heart disease problems. The jury deliberated for a total of 17 hours over three days.

Kerrigan was convicted of assault and battery in a January 2010 fight with his father Daniel Kerrigan at the family's home north of Boston.

Here's the look from inside the courtroom...

Jury acquits Kerrigan brother in father's death: MyFoxBOSTON.com

"My family has never believed at all that my brother had anything to do with my father's death, and he would, my dad would, never have wanted any of this," Nancy Kerrigan said outside the courthouse.

Nancy and her mother plan to give what are referred to as "victim impact statements" when Mark is sentenced tomorrow. He faces a maximum 2½ years in prison on the 2010 charges...

More when we know more...