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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Miami Heat: an awesome choke job. Again.

That's Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, future member of The Nasty Boys.

I have to say, I'm starting to love what the Miami Heat are capable of.  For the second time this week, they absolutely choked away a huge lead - 24 points in the third quarter - and ended up losing a 99-96 decision, at home, to the Orlando Magic.  So much for LeBron's Twitter proclamations yesterday that he's "ready for war the last 20 games".  The Heat are now 14-16 against teams that are currently .500 or better.  That sure don't play well for the playoffs, does it?  Chris Bosh was a lovely 5 of 15 from the field, continuing his recent run of excremental play.  For the Magic, Gilbert Arenas is looking a lot more Agent Zero in shooting 15 of 26 from three point range now (3 of 5 last night), and channeling John Cena.

Bruce Arthur at The National Post says the revelations that Bob Probert had degenerative brain issues when he died is just the start for the NHL, and they're about to get more of that as ten other players have agreed to have their brains studied when they go for the dirt nap. Arthur says a total ban on head shots is coming.

There's talk of extending the NFL labour negotiations - 24 hours or as much as 10 days depending who you believe - and Michael McCann at SI gives you 10 things you should know about the potential lockout.

Since 1981, the NBA has had all of eight (8) champions.

TSN's Darren Dreger looks at what a Phoenix Coyotes move out of the desert could mean for alignment.

Bret Hart (@HitmanBretSHart) called @HulkHogan4Real "a dickhead" yesterday.  I love Twitter.

25 Worst Jersey Fails.  No, not the look of the jersey, the spelling of player or team names.

Anybody who takes over two years and 13,776 cross stitches to come up with something - is it a quilt? - has some time on their hands.  But when it is the Motley Crue "Shout At The Devil" cover, I have to be impressed.

Check out the telestrator work in a recent Buffalo and New York Rangers hockey game.  My inner teenager loved it.

Referee Damien Rubino handed out a whopping 36 red cards in Tuesday's Argentine fifth division match between Claypole and Victoriano Arenas.  No really, 36.

And not to be outdone for nutty South American soccer happenings, check out this Columbian player stalk over to an owl that had been hit by a ball and put the boots to it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

RM noon edition

Baseball analyst Keith Law from ESPN took the lumber to the Toronto Blue Jays extension of Jose Bautista on the Baseball Today podcast yesterday.   The good folks at Drunk Jays Fans (plural?) took the time to transcribe it.  In short: Law thinks it is a bad deal, that will get worse, and fast.

After all his recent deadline moves, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will be about $40 million under the projected salary cap when summer hits.  Not sure I've heard of an NHL team with even close to that much room since the cap era began.

Says Colin Cowherd of the idea that anybody can win in the NFL with its cap system: "Really?  When is the last time that Buffalo, Jacksonville, Houston, Detroit, Washington, Carolina or Cincinnati were good or a threat to win?"  Caps may help, but they don't cure bad management.

Former NHLer Bob Probert, who died last year at the age of 45, was revealed yesterday to have degenerative brain disease.   What a freaking sad state for humanity when the human skull isn't strong enough to protect your gray matter from damage from repeated pounding to the cranium in "part of the game" fights.

The current NFL labour deal expires at midnight tonight, which is about the time the stories of players needing loans from other players will start.  Oh, nevermind, that is already happening.

UFC Live goes tonight on SportsNet One at 9pm with the always entertaining Diego Sanchez fighting Martin Kampmann in what should be a dynamite main event.  Rest of the card here.

SI and CBS News worked together on a piece that looked at NCAA football and the number of players charged with crime among teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at a given point in time.  Perhaps inspired by the main man NFLer in their town, the Pitt Panthers led the NCAA with 22 players arrested at one time or another.  Now, either the law enforcement is something spectacular in Pittsburgh, or there's a problem.  Only TCU - Texas Christian University - showed up with no arrested players, so they're living up to their name anyways.  Nearly 40% of the charges were for serious crimes including 56 violent crimes such as assault and battery (25 cases), domestic violence (6), aggravated assault (4), robbery (4) and sex offenses (3).  And to think the NCAA is only worried about protecting its BCS so players aren't out of school more.  How about keeping them out of the Crowbar Motel?

If you're not following The Iron Sheik on Twitter, your life is worse for it.

After three errors in the first inning led to six runs, a couple Chicago Cubs scuffled in the dugout.  And here I thought spring training games didn't matter. 

Stacey Keibler, Esquire, your underwear are a touch too small, and that's a-ok.  And this video of Mila Kunis has me in a trance, and thinking she needs some Chapstick.

If you think that big suspensions act as a deterent to repeating, then you haven't seen Trevor Gillies, fresh off a 9-game ban after the New York Islanders gooned it up against Pittsburgh, trying to maim Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild.  When did clean hits in the NHL suddenly demand a player automatically retaliates by dropping his gloves or cheap shotting someone?

Keith Jones and Mike Milbury weren't impressed, though I think Jones is way off in saying there's only "one meathead" in the NHL.

Don Cherry, who I openly and proudly despise, must be given credit for essentially predicting a concussion for Sidney Crosby a year ago, though I still say - and most do - that it wasn't an intentional hit that did him in against Washington's David Steckel as Sid circled in to him while Steckel looked to go up ice, it was a collision.  This may have rung his bell, but this one the next game from Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman sealed the deal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Grab yourself a coffee, this one is gonna take a while

It was everything it was billed to be, except a win for the better team on the day.  Manchester United opened yesterday's big game at Chelsea dominant and strong front to back, and took the lead on a Wayne Rooney goal a half hour in.  A couple near misses let Chelsea stay in the game, and they clawed back with a pair of second half goals for the 2-1 win, the second on a penalty kick. The refereeing, as is often the case, came under some fire but for my money, the penalty kick call was right, the non-red card after David Luiz launched a nasty  tackle at Wayne Rooney's knee was not.  For United, that was the first time in 34 EPL matches - since April 2008 - that they didn't win when Rooney scored, and sure makes the race a whole lot more interested, especially for second place Arsenal.  Awesome game.

Some NFL teams have strong enough credit ratings that they'd be fine paying stadium debt and the like even with a two-year lockout.  That's good to know, though I continue to maintain that we'll see a full season in 2011.

Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward is among the contestants for the next season of Dancing With The Stars.  Is the "Blindside Block" a dance move?

Carson Palmer really, really doesn't want to play for the Cincinnati Bengals anymore.  Why else would he let the world know he's got $80 million in the bank and is ready to walk away if he doesn't get moved?

The St. Louis Cardinals just can't get bad things to stop happening to them.  First Albert Pujols doesn't sign, with word he'll test free agency.  Then one of the best pitchers in the game - Adam Wainwright - blows out his arm and is out for the year.  And now, Chris Carpenter, the injury prone Chris Carpenter, yanks a hammy.

Speaking of Arsenal, striker Robin Van Persie is out for three weeks.  Kristian Jack at The Score says "healthy prone" is a term that fits.  Since joining Arsenal in 2004, Van Persie has missed 42.75% of their PL games (109/255). The most he has played in one season is 28 (08-09).

Trade "throw in" Chauncey Billups has put up some nice numbers in four games for the New York Knicks: he's averaging 23 ppg and is 45-50 from the line.

Real Madrid's manager Jose Mourinho is legendary for his excuses when his team's don't win: the officiating, the weather, the field, the ball...we've heard them all.  But after Saturday's draw that all but gives the Spanish league title to Barcelona (yes!), he came up with a new one: his team didn't get enough rest time, having to play Saturday after a Tuesday Champions League game.  Presumably he ignores that every other league in the world sees its top teams play on those days, with some - gasp! - even playing Wednesday.  There's something I like about Mourinho, but the excuses are not it.

A couple weeks after Hank Steinbrenner cracked on the "socialism, communism" of revenue sharing, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry joined the parade in revealing comments he made in 2009 that blasted "chronically uncompetitive teams" that received over $1 billion cost him a $500,000 fine. He also added "who except these teams, can think this is a good idea?" and finished with a big middle finger to the small market clubs and Bud Selig: "the large markets aren't allowed to give their opinions. I made statements which turned out to be true, or at least there were various documents that were leaked after that. But anyway, the large clubs are not allowed to talk about it."

A Charlie Sheen soundboard?  Hell.  Freaking.  Yes.

Check out Jimmy Kimmel's "Hottie Body Hump Club", with members Jessica Alba, Minka Kelly, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Sofia Vergara, Eva Longoria, Emily Blunt and Lindsay Loskank.

New York Ranger Sean Avery heckles the heckler, asking him - if you can't make it out - if he's got a dental plan at work.

The Colorado Rockies with a very important Public Service Announcement that all should heed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guessing the director that worked the Wichita State and Missouri State game this past weekend got called on the carpet for calling for this shot as they went to commercial?

Chelsea host Manchester United today in a huge game for both clubs hopes for this season.  For Chelsea, they're looking to solidify a Champions League spot for next year, while Manchester United would love a positive result here to move a step closer to the EPL title for this season.  Kickoff is 2:45pm on Setanta.

Fear not, Buffalo Bills fans, "Chan [Gailey] has a plan" says new Bills assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt.  Well that takes care of that.  Love that he says "everywhere he's been he's been successsful" of a career 22-26 coach.

The NBA, in a bid to speed up games, is cracking down on teams that treat the horn to signal the end of a timeout as merely a suggestion to wrap up their conversation, and the early results suggest it is shaving some time off.  Also likely to shave off time: eliminating all the bloody timeouts.  Just a thought.

In looking at the possibility of an NHL squad returning to Quebec City, Bruce Arthur at the National Post notes that the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and the Nashville Predators are all for sale, in whole or in part.  Yeah, the salary cap and its "cost certainty" has done wonders for the NHL.

Wonder if the story that Tim Horton died while racing away from the police while hammered - toxicology showed he had a BAC of .17% - is a popular one at the purveyor's of horrible coffee's million or so locations?

Sorry for the brief one folks, had a few real life things settle in so expect a big update tomorrow, with some slightly dated.  

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend wrap...

Nevermind all the sporting events of the past weekend, for me the best story has to be that of Chelsea defender Ashley Cole shooting a club intern in the locker room while toting a he-says-he-didn't-know-it-was-loaded pellet gun around.  Incredible. I'm sure the legions that hate Cole will really back off now that the word is out he's got himself a pellet gun that he's not afraid to unload in somebody.

The pre-season games have barely started for baseball, and already Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is stoking the fire in a war of words with former reliever Bobby Jenks It has gotten so bad that Jenks new manager with the Boston Red Sox, Tito Francona. has intervened and asked both to cool it.  Are you like me, and hoping at some point Jenks drills say Adam Dunn, just to see the reaction?

UFC 127 went down on Saturday from Sydney, Australia and the main even saw BJ Penn and Jon Fitch battle to a draw.  Lame.  Not sure why if two judges see a draw and one favors one of the fighters - Fitch, as it were - he doesn't get the decision.  I know it is majority, but what about the tie-breaker?  Anyways, strong card overall and you can read up on it all here.

The NBA is said to be contemplating a "franchise" tag in the same way the NFL has one to make it easier for teams to keep star players.  I'm sure the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets will be thrilled to see that come in a year or so after losing their franchise players.  Oh, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, too.

Dave Perkins at the Toronto Star wrote a great piece on parity in the NBA and dropped a couple gems of information: More than half of the 64 NBA championships have been won by two teams - the Boston Celtics (17) and LA Lakers (15) - and three teams have won 15 of the last 20 titles. And this: "look no further than major league baseball, which has never been healthier financially. MLB has been riding a good long upward swell and the main reason for it is that the New York Yankees got good again, about 15 years ago. Sponsors, networks and at least the Red Sox responded and fans elsewhere had a common enemy to hate."  The Yankees and a half dozen team that have won combined haven't won 15 of 20, much less more than half of 64.

So if a salary cap means more parity as some believe, why is it that the Toronto team in the non-cap league has the best chance to do damage in the foreseeable future?
It was Paul Henderson night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday. Henderson, most would recall, scored the big goal for Canada in the 1972  Summit Series. So who scores the opening goals? In order, #19 Joffrey Lupul, followed by #72 Alexei Kovalev. Freaky. Also freaky?  The Leafs will host the Pittsburgh Penguins in consecutive home games.  Am sure scalpers are thrilled that Sidney Crosby is at home in Cole Harbour kicking back.

Absolutely loved the New York Knicks win - as a +9.5 point underdog, no less - over the Miami Heat last night.  The Heat scored 34 in the first, and then all of 50 the rest of the way.  Chris Bosh put in a strong night again, going 5 of 15 from the floor, and LeBron James wasn't there when they needed it late either.91-86 Knicks was the final.

The 30 Sexiest Canadian Women.  Just because.

It may cost what was a very promising year and a shot at another Stanley Cup, but have to credit the Pittsburgh Penguins for being ultra cautious with Sidney Crosby.

With $52 million or so coming off their payroll after this season, might the Boston Red Sox be a bidder for Albert Pujols?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have won four times since November. Twice against the Knicks.

In 14 Serie A games against the bottom half of the standings, Juventus have won 4, drawn 6 and lost 4.  That will put the boots to any championship hopes, regardless of league.

Check out Jose Canseco's bio on The Apprentice page dedicated to his entry this coming season.  Yeah, those Baseball Hall of Fame vets must be just itching to get him in.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo got engaged to SI covergirl Irina Shayk on Valentine's Day weekend.  Says "After getting down on one knee to propose, he then writhed in 'agony' for 20 minutes, grasping his ankle and howling like a spider monkey."  It was a Chris Bosh impression.

How is this hit from New York Ranger Derek Stepan on Washington Capital Mike Green not even a penalty?  This should be suspension worthy, easy. 

Epic Meal Time, the outtakes...