If there's no video, it never happened.

Apr 27, 2011

Fan's Proposal Sign To Ryan Braun Gets More Attention Than Expected

Sometimes people don't realize that they have done something incredibly dumb until it's too late.  At that point, all they can hope for is that the embarrassing moment has not been captured on live TV or a cell phone video, because once it gets posted on the Internet, it's there forever.

Unfortunately, a female Milwaukee Brewers fan named Robin had to learn the hard way.  She brought a sign to Friday night's home game against the Houston Astros which said "Marry Me, Ryan".  Normally, this would be completely harmless, except she made an extra effort to get some attention by adding one small detail on the top of the sign:  her cell phone number.

After her sign appeared on television, courtesy of FOX Sports Wisconsin coverage of the Brewers game, you can imagine her shock and dismay as her phone began ringing off the hook, with over 200 calls and 600 text messages (which I would imagine may have exceeded her monthly limit).  She also took part in a live interview with field reporter Telly Hughes, who found a nice way to phrase the questions revolving around the topic that all the viewers at home must have been wondering about:  What was she thinking? 

"It seemed like a good idea at the time" she said in the ensuing interview.
We'll see what she thinks after she has to pay to get her cell phone number changed...and gets her next bill with the overage charges for all those text messages.

The ironic part of the story:  After finding about the sign after the game, Ryan Braun called Robyn's cell, but couldn't leave a message because her voice mailbox was full!

Related: Click Here to Shop for Brewers Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

TMI!  Fan's proposal to Ryan Braun backfires in big way [Big League Stew]

Video: Golfer Ben Crane Likes To Dance

People may not be familiar with the golfer Ben Crane, who has made some short videos on Youtube discussing various topics related to golf.  However, his most recent video shows Crane attempting to branch out a bit as he demonstrates some moves he learned from when he "grew up in a dance academy":

In his latest viral (hopefully!) video, Crane gets away from the golf course and into the dance studio, swinging his hips, tossing on some J-Lo type outfits, and shaking his money maker (not to be confused with the snake shaker).

We can say this much about Ben Crane:   He definitely seems to have a sense of humor, and he probably had fun making this video. 

Ben Crane's latest video shows us his interesting dance moves [Devil Ball Golf]

Apr 26, 2011

Video: Two Guys With Nothing Better To Do Make Rap Song About San Jose Sharks

A couple of San Jose Sharks fans, Aditya Sriwasth and Kraig Martin, decided to make a rap song and video about the Sharks.  Using Lonely Island's "We Like Sports" as the model, they came up with this:

Since the Sharks advanced to the second round with a victory last night, we'll be seeing this for at least another couple of weeks.  Whether that's good or bad, I'll let you be the judge.

Related: Shop for San Jose Sharks Men's Apparel at Shop.NHL.com!

The worst San Jose Sharks rap song we've ever heard [Puck Daddy]

Apr 22, 2011

Video: Andrew Ference Gives Montreal Fans the Finger After Scoring Goal

Something tells me Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference may be in a little bit of trouble after last night's game against the Montreal Canadiens.  After Ference scored a goal in the second period to cut Montreal's lead to 3-2, Ference expressed his feelings for the Montreal fans by making an gesture with his finger.  And it wasn't "We're number 1".

This moment was perfectly captured by the television cameras and the video is available here.  Parental advisory:  this is probably inappropriate for children, unless you want to use this as a teachable moment for older kids as to how NOT to behave after scoring a goal. 

Talk about unsportsmanlike conduct.  The rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens may be a passionate one, but there's no need for this.  We'll see what punishment the NHL commissioner's office comes down with, most likely a fine.

Boston beat Montreal in overtime 5-4 to tie the first-round playoff series at 2 games apiece.  Afterwards, Ference had these comments:

Ference essentially denies giving the finger saying "I was putting my fist in the air" and "I don't know if my glove got caught up", and apologizes for "how it looks".  So it's just an awful coincidence for that particular finger of the glove to get stuck in that position.  Sorry, not buying it.

Andrew Ference celebrates by giving Habs fans the finger [Puck Daddy]

Apr 21, 2011

Video: Tyson Chandler Gets Towel Stolen By Young Fan

So on Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks hosted a playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers.  As the first half ended, Mavericks center Tyson Chandler is heading towards the locker room, wearing a towel over his shoulders and minding his own business, when suddenly a young fan yanks the towel right off his back!

Watch the video here to witness it for yourself: 

Little spoiled brat.  How about showing a little respect?  What gives him the right to just grab a towel from a player like that?  Is this what his parents are teaching him?  I give Chandler a lot of credit for showing restraint and not going after the kid, as he turned around for half a second like he was going to. And where the heck was security?  Doesn't something like this require an automatic ejection?  We'll have to get to the bottom of this. Related: Dallas Mavericks Gear at NBAStore.com! Punk kid steals a towel from Tyson Chandler [Ball Don't Lie]

Video: Sergio Ramos Drops Real Madrid's Championship Trophy Under a Bus

Congratulations to Real Madrid for winning the 2011 Copa del Rey trophy yesterday with a 1-0 win over Barcelona.  This called for a huge celebration and a parade through downtown Madrid.  Nothing could put a damper on this moment.  Well, unless something crazy happened, like dropping the championship trophy in front of a bus, but that would never happen, right?

Oh yes, it could, and it did last night, thanks to Sergio Ramos. Whoops.

Dirty Tackle provides the details:
When Real arrived back in a rain-soaked Madrid and boarded an open-top bus that would take them to the center of the late-night celebrations at the Plaza de Cibeles, Sergio Ramos took hold of the Copa del Rey trophy and held it high above his head at the front of the bus as it moved slowly through the streets. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was all the jubilant jostling on the bus or maybe it was just Sergio Ramos being a spaz, but at approximately 4:15 a.m., the trophy slipped out of his hands and fell under the bus.
Well, at least nobody got hurt, and the fans were probably so excited over winning the championship after an 18-year drought that they were probably in a forgiving mood.  I'm sure Sergio Ramos feels bad enough that he wouldn't mind taking part of his next paycheck to pay for a replacement trophy.  He's earned at least that level of goodwill now that he is part of a championship team.

Sergio Ramos dropped Copa del Rey trophy under moving bus [Dirty Tackle]

Apr 20, 2011

Did Mike Leake Steal From Macy's Or Was He Making An "Even Exchange"?

On Monday, the news broke that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested and booked for allegedly stealing merchandise from a Macy's department store in downtown Cincinnati, for which he could spend up to 180 days in jail.  The items allegedly stolen:  six American Rag T-shirts worth a total of $59.88. 

Considering that Leake makes a yearly salary of $425,000, and had received a signing bonus of $2.3 million when he was signed by the Reds out of college, it was baffling to understand why he would put his career and reputation at risk to commit such a petty crime.  Making the incident even more puzzling is that according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's office, Leake had $250 in cash and three credit cards in his possession at the time of the arrest.  

Today, some more background on the incident was made public courtesy of WCPO-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Cincinnati area, but the new information seems to raise more questions.  According to the source for reporter Dennis Janson:
Leake did indeed pay for T-shirts some time prior to yesterday's episode. And only in the process of clumsily trying to exchange them, did he run afoul of, if not the law, then certainly the dictates of common sense.
That Leake somehow thought that he could affect what is termed an "even exchange" without benefit of a store employee presiding over the transaction.
If Leake was doing nothing illegal and wanted to simply exchange the shirts, why did he think he had to avoid dealing with a store employee, as is standard practice when making exchanges in stores?  Are we supposed to believe that Leake does not know how this procedure works?  Are American Rag T-shirts really that great?

The only parties that know the true story would be Macy's, who claim to have security video of the incident, and Leake himself.  Leake seems to be working on a "plea deal", according to Cincinnati.com's Eileen Kelley, where under the city's diversion program, Leake would admit to stealing the shirts and take part in monthly check-ins over a period of time in order to have his record wiped clean.

The obvious lessons for the kids at home:  don't steal, and if you get caught, tell the truth and don't try to cover it up.  Mike Leake is going to have to deal with repairing his image, and time will tell how things work out.

Report:  Mike Leake paid for shirts, was trying to make exchange [Big League Stew]

Related: Click Here to Shop for Reds Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

Video: Fan Flips Over Glass To Join Canada v. Russia Fight

There are very few things that make me laugh harder when it comes to hockey than a fan trying to fight a hockey player.  You would think there would be enough natural deterrents to make even the thought of attacking a hockey player seem outright ridiculous, such as:
  • Not having skates, which would make it difficult to walk on the ice, while all the players have skates
  • Not having any protective gear, while all the players are wearing, so attempting to punch or kick them would have virtually no effect at all
  • Attacking one player would make you fair game to be attacked by all of the player's teammates, making it more likely that you would be the one getting seriously roughed up.
Then again, however, I tend to look at the world from a common-sense point of view.  It's clear that any fan who would attempt to do this is definitely not on the same page as most of us, or more than likely, has had a little too much alcohol, which probably opens the door for that fan to do something stupid. 

The latest example of this is provided via Puck Daddy, with a clip discovered by Cosby Sweaters and the details of due diligence provided by Daily Picks and Flicks.  According to them, this is from the Region Centre Cup Junior Tournament in Podolsk, Russia, this month, where 20 British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) players competed. This was a game against the U-20 Russian National team.

From Picks and Flicks:
In the third period there was a brawl between teams along the glass, just inside the Russian blueline. Suddenly a drunk Russian fan jumped onto the ice and went after Jayson Reardon. Reardon wrestled the fan to the ice allowing the officials to escort him to the penalty box and then back into the stands for the authorities to deal with him.

Looks like the players took it easy on this guy.  He's lucky this wasn't a professional hockey game, as they probably wouldn't hesitate to "protect themselves".  Take it from me, kids, if this looks like your idea of a good time, you really need to start setting higher goals for yourself. 

Fan tumbles over glass to join Canada v. Russia fight [Puck Daddy]

Video: Mike Greenberg Teams With Chris Evert in US Open Mixed Doubles Competition

This week during the US Open National Playoff Sectional Qualifying tournament, ESPN radio host Mike Greenberg teamed with women's tennis legend Chris Evert in the mixed doubles competition.  They were taking advantage of a new rule that allows anyone over the age of 14 to play qualifying tournaments for a chance to get a wild card into the tournament's main draw. 

Greenberg grew up dreaming about playing in the US Open, and it just so happens that Chris Evert was not only one of his favorite players growing up, but was also his first crush, so this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Greenberg on multiple levels. 
 "It has always been Mike's dream to play in the U.S. Open, and I was happy to help him with his dream," said Evert.
Evert last played in the US Open in 1989, so their performance on the court was not much of a surprise:
The unlikely pairing lost 6-1, 6-4 to the formidable duo of Bea Bielik and Darrin Cohen. Bielik won the 2002 NCAA singles championship while at Wake Forest and Cohen was a standout at the University of Virginia.

The most amusing/awkward moment of the highlight video, provided via Youtube, came at the 1:03 mark, where Mike Greenberg drills a return volley square into Chris Evert's rear end.

In the end, a good time was had by all, and Greenberg can be satisfied with giving it his best shot. Will they try again next year? We'll have to wait and see.

Evert returns to US Open courts (sort of), pairs with ESPN host [Busted Racquet]

Apr 19, 2011

Youtube star Keenan Cahill Makes New Video With Brian Wilson and Cody Ross

Looking for a pick-me-up?  Here's the feel-good story of the day:  San Francisco Giants stars Brian Wilson and Cody Ross, along with their mascot "Lou Seal" lip-synching to Taio Cruz' "Dynamite" with Youtube star Keenan Cahill.

Big League Stew provides the background:
In case you're unfamiliar with Keenan Cahill, here's a primer: He's a 16-year-old from Elmhurst, Ill., who has a rare disorder named Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome. The complex condition comes with a host of problems — including stunted growth — and fewer than 1,100 people are estimated to have it worldwide. The drugs used to treat it are among the most expensive in the world with one prescription costing about $350,000 per year. He's undergone countless surgeries and has to receive weekly infusions designed to replace his enzymes and prolong his life.
Despite his disadvantages, Keenan has become a huge YouTube star over the past three years with millions of people clicking the fun videos he creates by enthusiastically lip-syncing along to popular culture songs. Indeed, the videos posted under his YouTube handle of "BeenerKeeKee19952 " have been viewed more than 230 million times.
Along the way, he's attracted video co-stars like 50 Cent, Jennifer Aniston and members of the New York Knicks. Now, after the two sides met up in Arizona during spring training, he's webcam raging with two members of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants as they lip-sync along to Taio Cruz's Dynamite.
That's very cool, but what's even cooler is that Wilson and Ross will be hosting "Dynamite: A Fundraiser for Keenan Cahill" during the game against the Florida Marlins on May 25.  Check out sfgiants.com/specialevents or keenansroom.com for more info.
RelatedClick Here to Shop for Giants Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

Brian Wilson and Cody Ross rage with Youtube star Keenan Cahill [Big League Stew]

Apr 14, 2011

Video: Blake Griffin Teams Up With Norm MacDonald on Comedy Central's "Sports Show"

On Comedy Central's "Sports Show" this past Tuesday night, Norm MacDonald took part in a short film sketch where he asked one of his makeup artists to make him look like Los Angeles Clippers star (and likely NBA Rookie of the Year) Blake Griffin.  The gag plays out with the real Blake Griffin pretending to be Norm in makeup and a practice uniform with MacDonald's voice dubbed over.  

Griffin seems to have fun with this sketch as he pretends to have no basketball skills (or knowledge of the rules, or even who his teammate is) while playing one-on-one against teammate DeAndre Jordan.  Some may not appreciate it, but those of you who know Norm MacDonald's comedy and like the game of basketball should enjoy it.  Definitely worth a look.

Griffin seems to be continuing the trend of NBA stars willing to make themselves look silly on comedy sketch shows, as Carmelo Anthony took part in two sketches on Saturday Night Live earlier this month.

RelatedLos Angeles Clippers Gear at NBAStore.com!

Norm MacDonald and Blake Griffin team up for laughs [Ball Don't Lie]

Apr 13, 2011

Video: Pia Toscano's American Idol Exit Leaves Tom Brady "Crying"

A lot has been made about New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's recent interview where he cries when recalling the 2000 NFL draft as he waited until the sixth round for his named to be called.

Well, now a site called Tauntr has created a viral Internet video by splicing footage of Tom Brady's interview with recent American Idol footage, and the result has Tom Brady crying over Pia Toscano's shocking dismissal last week.  We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't pass it along.

Check out the Tauntr video here.

No word if Mark Sanchez had anything to do with this.

Video:  Tom Brady 'cries' over 'American Idol' shocker [Shutdown Corner]

Apr 12, 2011

Sammy Hagar Has Issues Singing National Anthem

As yet another example of National Anthem fails, Sammy Hagar is getting a lot of flack for his performance at AT&T Park on Saturday night before the San Francisco Giants game. 

Big League Stew has a fan's cell phone video of the performance, while NESN has the Comcast video feed, showing Sammy up close.  

Here's a quick review:
  • For some reason, Sammy couldn't stay still.  The constant movement was distracting and made the cameramen have to do a lot of work to keep him in the shot, which they probably weren't ready for. 
  • He does fumble through a couple of spots.  The close-up Comcast feed shows him clearly forgetting the beginning of the line "whose broad stripes and bright stars", so he hums it out to keep things moving along.  He also skips the "O'er" in the last line "O'er the land of the free".  Joe Satriani was there blaring his guitar so that may have helped to cover it up Hagar's singing issues somewhat. 
  • Sammy seemed a little too excited to hit the high note for the line "the land of the free" and lets out a "Wooh!" and a little chuckle before finishing the song, almost as if he wanted to give himself a high-five.  (Given his performance, he may have just been excited that the song was almost over and he could get out of there).

    Overall, Sammy Hagar's performance of the "The Star Spangled Banner" certainly could have been better, but not the worst version I've ever seen.  It certainly doesn't come close to the infamous Carl Lewis rendition.

    Video:  Sammy Hagar's weird national anthem at AT&T Park [Big League Stew]

    Olympic Gold Medalist Carl To Run For New Jersey Senate

    Retired track and field star and nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis held a press conference today to announce that he will run for a seat in the New Jersey State Senate.  Lewis will be running as a Democrat in the 8th Legislative District against a Republican incumbent. 

    Since he is now officially in politics, it's pretty likely that at some point he will have to recite the "Star-Spangled Banner" in public.  Let's just hope he's not allowed to sing it in public, as his rendition a few years back before an NBA game may have been one of the worst National Anthem attempts ever.

    Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis likely to announce NJ Senate candidacy [Newark Star-Ledger]

    Apr 11, 2011

    St. Pauli Fans Joke About Hitting Linesman With Beer

    You would think that after hitting the linesman with the beer, and being banned from the stadium for the next home game, that St. Pauli's fans would want to start cleaning up their reputation.  Apparently not.
    ...[some St. Pauli fans] responded with a bit of humor when they made the trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.  As their team lost 2-1, St. Pauli fans displayed a banner referring to themselves as hooligans (with two beer glasses instead of O's, naturally) above the phrase "Shut up and drink -- Beer in the neck."
    I'm sure they'd feel differently if it happened to them.

    St. Pauli fans don't seem sorry about hitting linesman with beer [Dirty Tackle]

    Apr 10, 2011

    Youth Football Coach Arrested After Attacking Parent In San Diego

    Still waiting for full details on this one, but here's the AP report:
    Authorities say a youth football coach was arrested during a game in San Diego after he allegedly punched and kicked a parent, who was knocked unconscious when he hit the ground.
    San Diego police say the coach, 32-year-old Saivaauli Savaiinea, was arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of felony battery.
    He reportedly attacked 32-year-old Mark Cannon during an argument. Police say Cannon tripped over his own feet, fell and hit his head on concrete. Cannon was taken to a trauma center with head injuries. Police had no word on his condition Sunday.
    Police Lt. Dan Christman tells the San Diego Union Tribune that Savaiinea reportedly thought he overheard Cannon trying to recruit one of his players.
    The two men were with opposing teams of 9, 10 and 11-year-old kids from Chula Vista, Calif.
    First and foremost, we hope that Cannon will be OK.  Second, violence is never the answer to anything.

    Coach arrested in attach on parent in San Diego [AP via FOX News]

    Video: Fan Throws Salmon Onto Ice At Vancouver Canucks Game

    Everyone knows that Detroit Red Wings fans are famous for throwing an octopus on the ice from time to time (although you have to wonder where they get them).  Apparently Vancouver Canucks fans are trying to get into the action with their own tradition, as someone threw a salmon on the ice during Thursday's home game against the Minnesota Wild. 

    Commentary provided courtesy of Puck Daddy:   
    That's referee Frederick L'Ecuyer getting all creeped out by the dead fish, prompting this instant-classic line from the Wild booth:   "Oh, just pick it up. It's just a salmon, for cripe's sake. You act like it's poison. It's just a salmon!"
    So this is symbolic of … what, exactly? The Canucks always swimming upstream in the playoffs and eventually getting smoked?
    If you're keeping score at home, that's two fans who perform acrobatic taunts in green body suits; two fans who show up in flamboyant pink garb behind the Canucks bench; one salmon thrown on the ice; and a potential Selke winner who enjoys lingering in the background of his teammate's interviews. Strange things are afoot in Vancouver ...
    RelatedShop for Vancouver Canucks Gear at Shop.NHL.com!

    Video:  Fan throws salmon at Canucks game, creeps out ref [Puck Daddy]

    Dynamo Kiev Fan Kicks Linesman In Rear End After Game

    Have you ever been frustrated by a linesman's call in a soccer game?  Has it ever made you so mad that you just wanted to run up to them and kick them in the rear end?  Well, that kind of behavior is usually frowned upon, but apparently one fan in Russia may have gotten away with exactly that.
    As the match officials made their way back to the dressing room after the full time whistle blew on Dynamo Kiev's 1-1 Europa League quarterfinal first leg draw against Braga on Thursday, one disgruntled Dynamo fan decided to take his frustrations out on a linesman's backside.
    Presented here is the Youtube video.  Keep your eye on the last official in the row and you'll see a sneaky little guy in a cap rush up behind him and kick him in the rear before disappearing. The official turned around to see what it was, but the little guy was gone. 
    No word as to how the fan got on the field, or whether security was able to catch up to him.

    The referee seemed to be unharmed, apparently having no idea what hit him in the rear, so it couldn't have been that hard.  However, although this one might be considered funny to watch, let's hope this doesn't become the start of a trend.  You never know what the next guy might try.

    Dynamo Kiev fan kicks lineman in the rear [Dirty Tackle]

    Ryan Braun Wrongly Attributed To Prince Fielder Joke on Braves TV Network

    Looks like another baseball network TV employee has put their job on the line.  Last week it was a SNY employee playing a 'Family Guy' sound byte at the end of the New York Mets' opening game.  Now it seems a quote was lifted from a comment board of an Atlanta Braves sports blog and was read by a broadcaster on the air...and to top it off, it was attributed to a player on the opposing team!

    This week the Atlanta Braves played a 4-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee, which started Monday and ended Thursday.  During Wednesday's game, the popular Braves sports blog Talking Chop threw out a topic: "Is Chipper Jones a legitimate candidate for the Hall of Fame?"

    That topic inspired a lot of back-and-forth discussion, but at some point, to throw in some comedy relief, a poster called "Bronn" threw out this comment:  "Is Prince Fielder a legitimate threat to your stash of potato chips?"  Because everyone knows making fun of Prince Fielder's weight is always good for a few laughs, and since the Braves were playing the Brewers, it seemed like an opportunity too good to waste. 

    Fast forward to Thursday's game, when during the TV coverage by Fox Sports South, Chip Caray reads what he believed to be a humorous quote from Milwaukee Brewers player Ryan Braun:
    When asked if Chipper Jones is a legitimate candidate to the Hall of Fame:  "Is Prince Fielder a legitimate threat to your stash of potato chips?"
    The joke was read out loud with the camera focused on Ryan Braun and the question and response were displayed on screen.  See Talking Chop for the picture

    Naturally this seemed more than just a coincidence, so the questions started.  Talking Chop came up with some possible explanations:
    1. Pure coincidence, but that's no fun.
    2. Bronn is in fact Ryan Braun.
    3.  Someone at FSS saw the quote on TC and mistakenly attributed it to Ryan Braun after hearing it was from "Bronn."
    4. Ryan Braun reads TC daily.
    Big League Stew had another:  "A Fox Sports South worker made the graphic as a joke, never intended it for broadcast, but it got out anyway. It happens to copy editors and newspaper writers all the time — remember when Domonic Brown was called an idiot? — so it can happen on television, too."

    We have a couple of more:
    • Maybe this was just a really, really, really late April Fool's Day joke? 
    • Maybe the FSS employee was inspired by the apparent prank by the SNY employee with the Family Guy clip and was trying to top him? 
    When Deadspin called Fox Sports South on Friday regarding the matter, Media Relations manager Kate Hart said that an investigation was already underway.  She said later, "When producing a game, unfortunately sometimes mistakes happen. The graphic should have been attributed to Talking Chop."

    Really?  You don't think this is a big deal?  Well, that's not good.  How are we supposed to trust anything that the broadcasters are telling us during the game anymore?  What if people take them at their word and believe that Ryan Braun really said this, and this makes them think that Ryan Braun is an insensitive jerk - does Ryan Braun has a case for defamation of character?  How is Chip Caray supposed to feel after reading a quote from a player who never said it?  There are too many questions here that make it difficult to just sweep this matter under the rug and play it off as an "honest mistake".  It makes the whole Fox Sports South operation look bad.

    Big League Stew thinks Fox Sports South needs to "apologize to Braun and the rest of the Brewers. FSS can't just go around taking off-the-cuff Internet remarks before putting them into the mouths of players who never came up with them."

    I agree with that assessment and will take it a step further.  FSS also needs to apologize to Chip Caray (who read the false quote on the air), the Talking Chop (who they stole the quote from), and the fans watching the broadcast as well.  This was pretty irresponsible and FSS needs to take this matter seriously, as SNY did when one of their employees made them looked bad.  If that means FSS needs to fire somebody, so be it.  At the very least, they need to make sure a proper system of checks is in place so no single employee can undermine an entire broadcast.  

    RelatedClick Here to Shop for Braves Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

    The Bronn / Braun Conspiracy or TC on TV [Talking Chop]

    NBA Fines NJ Nets $50K For Jay-Z's Visit To Kentucky Locker Room

    Apparently the NBA has completed their probe into Jay-Z's visit to the Kentucky locker room last month.  The case was pretty cut and dry, and they had precedent for assigning punishment:
    NBA rules prohibit team personnel from having contact with players who are not yet draft eligible.
    The NBA's investigation, first reported by CBSSports.com, was triggered by a video showing Jay-Z visiting with various Kentucky players in their locker room at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., after the Wildcats' quarterfinal victory over North Carolina.
    Though the circumstances of the visit seemed harmless enough, with Kentucky players clearly more excited about meeting a world-famous rap mogul as opposed to a part-time NBA team executive, Nets officials were expecting a fine based on what happened to Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge in 2007.
    Boston was fined $30,000 that year for "excessive contact with the family" after Ainge was spotted sitting next to Kevin Durant's mother at the Big 12 tournament.
    This is clearly just a slap on the wrist, as Jay-Z most likely was not scouting the personnel, but as a team owner, Jay-Z has to understand the rules.  With Kentucky having so many potential draft eligible players on their roster, it just didn't look right.  The NBA has the rule on the books for a reason, and they have to enforce it.  

    Nets fined $50,000 for Jay-Z's visit [ESPN]

    Apr 9, 2011

    New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez Stuck In Elevator Before USC Panel Discussion

    New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez took part in a panel discussion at his alma mater USC on Thursday night titled, "For the Good of the Game: The NFL at a Crossroads." Other panelists included agent Leigh Steinberg and former NFL players Willie Gault, Toi Cook and Shelby Jordan.

    Normally a panel like this wouldn't be a noteworthy event.  However, it suddenly became interesting once the news broke about why the program was going to start late:  Sanchez, Steinberg and Gault were stuck in an elevator.  They were in the elevator for a total of 50 minutes before they got out.

    Click here for the picture taken of Sanchez, Gault, Steinberg and others stuck in the elevator

    "At first I thought it was kind of a joke — 'Oh, in 10 minutes we'll be out,' " Sanchez said of the elevator ordeal. "We were killing time. I went over the email … about the topics we were going to go over.
    "Once we got out there [for the panel discussion] it turned out great. … It was a great day."

    No word if this was this a technical malfunction or a prank pulled by Tom Brady.

    Mark Sanchez addresses USC football team before practice [LA Times]

    RelatedNew York Jets NFL Jerseys at NFLShop.com!

    St. Pauli Will Play Next Home Soccer Match In Empty Stadium

    The players of the German soccer team St. Pauli are not directly responsible for their fans' bad behavior, especially the incident at the end of last Friday's game in Berlin against Schalke.  Unfortunately, the players will be the ones that will be suffering the penalty:
    BERLIN -- St. Pauli has been ordered to play its next home match in the Bundesliga in an empty stadium after a fan threw a plastic cup full of beer at a linesman last week.
    The German football federation's sport tribunal made the ruling Friday. St. Pauli has until Monday to appeal.
    Last Friday's home match against Schalke was abandoned in the 88th minute, with visiting Schalke leading 2-0. Schalke was later awarded the win by that score.
    The German federation says St. Pauli was responsible for the incident because the cup was thrown by home fans.
    Click here for the video of the incident.  

    So one jerk spoils the fun for everyone else.  Isn't that the way it always works?  No word yet on whether the other fans who have tickets for the game (and who don't behave like idiots) will get there money back. 

    I'm actually curious what the game will look like with the empty stadium.  I'm also curious how they plan to enforce this.  If thousands of fans decided to show up at the stadium anyway, how will the security personnel keep them out?

    St. Pauli punished for fan behavior [AP via ESPN]

    Apr 8, 2011

    Boston Red Sox Now 0-6: Time To Panic?

    Starting 0-6 was probably not the way most fans expected the Boston Red Sox to start the season.  Naturally, Red Sox fans tend to be more passionate than most other baseball fans (except for maybe New York Yankee fans) and may be ready to push the panic button.

    There are 156 games left in the Red Sox season, so there is plenty of time to right the ship.  Terry Francona is going to have to start making some adjustments.  Something tells me he may want to reconsider having Darnell McDonald pinch running in key situations after the way yesterday's game ended against the Cleveland Indians:
    David Ortiz drew a two-out walk in the Boston ninth off Chris Perez and [Darrell] McDonald ran for him. J.D. Drew bounced a single that ricocheted off Perez and went to third baseman Adam Everett.  McDonald rounded second base too far, fell down and tried to scramble back to the bag. Everett, who had come in to field the carom, made a snap throw to second baseman Orlando Cabrera that barely nailed McDonald.
    "I'm not even sure, it might have been wet," McDonald said. "I lost my footing and tried to get back. I felt I might have got in there, but I guess I didn't. I was trying to make something happen and it didn't work out."
    Looked to me like Darrell McDonald was a little too excited and trying to be a hero.  He has to play smarter than that and understand the situation.  You're in the top of the 9th with two outs and you're down by a run, so you should know better than to be taking chances like that.

    To top it all off, McDonald tries to blame the field conditions.  If you're out there on the field and you can see that it's wet, then shouldn't you be extra cautious when running the bases?  Especially since that's why Terry Francona put you in the game, as you are supposed to be a base running specialist?  Take some responsibility.

    The Red Sox have 156 games left to right the ship. Something tells me they'll be OK in the long run.  However, things could get ugly if they don't perform well against the Yankees this weekend.

    Indians squeeze past 0-6 Red Sox [ESPN]

    RelatedClick Here to Shop for Red Sox Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

    Soccer Player Takes Out Opponent While Talking On Cell Phone

    Now here's something you don't see every day:  soccer players on their cell phones during a game.  This video could be a glimpse of what the future could be like.

    Video and commentary provided courtesy of the Dirty Tackle
    During a German amateur match between SV Sem Jemgum and Fortuna Veenhusen, a player named Matthias Hilbrands of Jemgum noticed that one of his buddies was trying to get his attention from the touchline to answer a phone call. It must have been a very important call, because instead of telling the guy to wait until after the match, Hilbrands ran over to the side during play to answer it.
    The match continued as he chatted and when the opposing goalkeeper threw the ball to a player making a break for a counter attack, Hilbrands hilariously decided that his call was not so important that he couldn't interrupt it to take out the opposing player with a sweeping slide tackle...while still holding the phone. Hilbrands handed the phone back to his phone caddy after that and jogged back onto the pitch.  The referee showed him a yellow card, though,  for the merciless (but clean?) tackle that his phone call made him ineligible to make.
    I guess we'll never find out who was on the other end of that phone call, or what the call was really about.  Hilbrands didn't seem to say much, and hopefully got a message across that "This isn't a good time to talk.  Can you call me back?"  However, at the same time, this may give the wrong message to other players that they can still play soccer at full speed and talk on their cell phones at the same time.  It's dangerous, like texting and driving, and hopefully amateur players will not jump on this bandwagon.

    Player answers phone during match, takes out opponent [Dirty Tackle]

    Apr 7, 2011

    Un-Friendly Fan Behavior In Stands During Mexico Soccer Match Held In U.S.

    Soccer matches between opposing countries that are not part of a tournament, such as the match between Mexico vs. Venezuela that took place in the U.S. on March 29, are usually referred to as "friendlies".  Unfortunately, that term doesn't apply to some of the fan behavior in the stands. 

    Here's the story, courtesy of the Dirty Tackle:
    Playing friendlies in the U.S. is nothing new for Mexico -- it's a proven money-maker that can outdraw even the U.S. team. But if this video [available via Youtube] proves anything other than the depravity of drunk humans, it's that it might be time to start investing in better security for these matches.
    Recorded during Mexico's friendly against Venezuela at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, these guys have an all-out, section clearing battle royale in the upper level of the stadium. Cheering/horrified fellow fans watch as bottles fly and a rapid fire combination of punches and knees to the head eventually lead up to one guy free falling down rows of seats.
    Noticeably absent in this video are the stadium security personnel.  They are nowhere to be found, and there is no telling how long this fight actually went on before or after the video was taken.  So for the higher-ups who are responsible for setting up these matches, please make a note of this for next time.   

    A fight that proves Mexico matches in U.S. need more security [Dirty Tackle]

    Apr 6, 2011

    Yankees' Andruw Jones Gets Showered With Onion Rings Chasing Foul Ball

    In the 7th inning of last night's game at Yankee Stadium between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, a fly ball was hit by the Twins' Jason Kubel into left field foul territory.  Yankees left fielder Andruw Jones chased it as far as he could before sliding into the wall to avoid being injured.  Then, the unthinkable happened. 

    A fan in the front row instinctively tried to catch the foul ball...with a cardboard basket filled with onion rings.  The attempt was unsuccessful, and onion rings went flying everywhere, but mostly on top of poor Andruw Jones. 

    Watch the video link to YES network footage of the game here, courtesy of mlb.com.  Also, Big League Stew has great before-and-after still shots of the incident.

    It will take a while for the fan to live this down.  On top of losing the money he spent on those onion rings (which are not cheap - this is Yankee Stadium after all), he didn't catch the ball.  If you're going to sacrifice your food, you at least need to catch the ball.  

    Remember, kids:  onion ring baskets are not good for catching baseballs.  If you want to catch a foul ball, bring a glove to the game. 

    Andruw Jones chases ball, catches order of onion rings instead [Big League Stew]

    RelatedClick Here to Shop for Yankees Baseball Gear & Apparel at the MLB Shop!

    Apr 5, 2011

    Stacy Lewis' Mom Breaks Leg During Celebration

    Nothing dampens the mood of a victory celebration like someone getting hurt.  To illustrate, look no further than this past weekend's Kraft Nabisco LPGA tournament.  Devil Ball Golf's Shane Bacon provides the details:
     One of the best traditions in golf always comes at the first LPGA major of the year, when the winner, and anyone she invites, takes a leap into Poppie's Pond surrounding the 18th green at the Dinah Shore Tournament course.
    On Sunday, after Stacy Lewis put the finishing touches on her first LPGA win ever, The Golf Channel caught her inviting people over to jump in the pond with her. As the cameras closed in, Lewis instinctively told her group, that included caddie Travis Wilson, sister Janet, mother Carol and dad Dale, to jump out far, because the first part of the lake is shallow.   
    [Devil Ball Golf has a great picture of Stacy Lewis and her group in the air about to hit the water.]  Sadly, the instructions didn't help Carol, who broke her fibula.

    According to ESPN, Amy Alcott began the tradition of jumping into the pond to celebrate the tournament victory in 1988.  We'll have to wait until next year to find out if Carol Lewis' accident ends this tradition.

    Stacy Lewis' mom breaks leg during Nabisco celebration [Devil Ball Golf]

    Apr 4, 2011

    Texas Soccer Goalie Practices Football Technique By Taking Out Opponent

    Sometimes soccer players may forget the rules, especially when things get a little intense or heated out on the field.  However, you would think that they would at least remember what sport they are playing.  In one Texas high school playoff game, a goalie from Irving High pretended to be Brian Urlacher when stopping a one-on-one breakaway by leveling the opposing forward.  Video is available in several outlets, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dirty Tackle blog.  
    The culprit in question in the clip above is Irving (Texas) High's goalie (a thorough web search couldn't pull up his full identity), who took out Mansfield (Texas) Legacy High striker Josh Rodriguez on the play. Quite deservedly, the Irving keeper received a second yellow card for the challenge, which landed him a red card and a dismissal from the game. One has to assume that if he wasn't already playing on a yellow card he would have received a straight red for the "challenge."
    A lesson for the kids at home:  tackling is for football, not soccer.  

    This has not been a good week for Texas high school sports.  First, you had the hockey championship brawl between Keller and Arlington Martin high schools, and now this illegal hit.  It seems to be the start of a disturbing trend.  Add to that the news of a couple of baseball players from Western Hills High getting suspended for sacrificing live chickens on the baseball field, and you wonder what is going on.  Is it the heat, or is something else? 

    Soccer goalie takes out striker with football-style hit [Prep Rally]

    Apr 3, 2011

    Video: "Family Guy" Sound Byte Gets Slipped Into Mets Opening Day Loss

    Looks like we have a scandal brewing at New York cable station SNY, which broadcasts the majority of New York Mets baseball games.  Just after the Mets lost 6-2 to the Florida Marlins Friday night, a piece of a sound byte making fun of the New York Mets from a "Family Guy" episode was heard over the air

    To provide some background, here's video of the 'Family Guy' clip in question (via Youtube) which apparently aired  November 2010.  Stewie expresses his disgust as the public address announcer declares the season over immediately after the first pitch on Opening Day.    

    Fast forward to SNY coverage of the New York Mets game, starting just about at the moment that the game ended.  Watch and listen carefully the announcers' voices fade and a piece of the PA announcer's sound byte from the "Family Guy" clip plays for a few seconds before it is cut off and fades out as the announcers' voices return. 
    "It's New York," said [Jay Horwitz, ] the Mets PR man since 1980, with a shrug and world-weary grin. "You can't overreact. It gets to the point where you're almost immune to it all. I'm sure that what happened was accidental, not malicious, and I'm sure the person who did it felt terrible." 
    If Horwitz actually saw the clip, he may feel differently.  It can't be a coincidence that this exact clip was chosen to be used on the Mets broadcast network and on Opening Day.  Someone would need to have the 'Family Guy' clip queued up and ready to be played.  That same someone would also need to have control of the sound to allow the announcers' voices to fade out so that the clip could be heard.  Very unlikely this was an accident.
    An SNY official described the incident as a mistake that was being handled internally. He would not name the employee or say if he or she would be fired.
    Friday also happened to be April Fool's Day, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that this was some sort of prank.  Ultimately it may also prove to be the last day of employment for someone at SNY as well, although one day it would be great to hear the other side of the story.

    'Family Guy' slip up on opening night won't faze Mets... [NY Daily News]

    Carmelo Anthony Makes Cameo On Saturday Night Live

    In case you missed it, Carmelo Anthony appeared in two sketches on Saturday Night Live last night.  In one sketch, he appeared as a female shot put contestant who managed to hit a commentator (played by Tom Hanks) in the head with one.  In the other, he posed as himself, pretending to be a "security guard" in a dressed-up New York Knicks sweatsuit and singing his line which ended with the phrase "Go Knicks!"

    By the way, last night's Saturday Night Live episode, hosted by Elton John, was probably one of the funnier episodes of the season overall.  Definitely worth a look on NBC's web site.

    Carmelo Anthony In Drag On Saturday Night Live [The Big Lead]

    Get Your Collectible Kentucky 2011 National Championship T-Shirts

    Fanscloset.com had no shame putting the jinx on Kentucky by putting their 2011 National Champions T-shirts on sale last week.  I'm sure they'll sell like hotcakes now after their loss to UConn last night

    These retailers need to learn not to put the horse before the cart.  Kohl's may learn the same lesson very soon when it comes to the Butler national championship T-shirts they are selling.

    As Jeff Eisenberg from The Dagger writes:  "Would it have killed you to wait until Monday night to begin selling them?" 

    UPDATE 4/6/11:  Had to remove all the broken links - for some reason, these T-shirts are no longer on sale.  Imagine that. 

    You can still buy Kentucky 2011 national championship gear [The Dagger]

    Apr 2, 2011

    German Soccer Game Called After Beer Cup Hits Linesman

    Another story that falls in the category of "bad fan behavior".  This one took place near the end of a German soccer match in Berlin.  Details provided by the AP:

    The Bundesliga game between St. Pauli and Schalke was called off in the 88th minute Friday after a fan threw a plastic glass full of beer at a linesman.
    Schalke was leading 2-0 when Thorsten Schiffner was struck by the beer glass and referee Deniz Aytekin decided to end the game after consulting with his assistant, who fell to the ground but was unhurt.
    “We had to call off the game. There was no other choice,” Aytekin said.
    He pointed out that coins and lighters had also been thrown at Schiffner, who had to be examined by a doctor.
    Youtube has video of this incident, which reminded me of the New York Giants "snowball game" against the San Diego Chargers at the end of the 1995 NFL season, where one of the security guards got knocked out after getting hit with a snowball.  Fortunately this lineman was not seriously hurt, but it provides another example of poor fan behavior at sporting events.

    Apparently some fans at home need a gentle reminder:   please don't throw things at the people on the field.

    St. Pauli match abandoned after linesman hit with a cup of beer [Dirty Tackle]

    Apr 1, 2011

    Central Arkansas To Play On Multi-Colored Turf This Fall

    I'm concerned about the trend at the college level with the colored football fields.  To this point it's only been solid colors, most notably Boise State with their bright blue field, and more recently Eastern Washington with their bright red field.  It was only a matter of time before a school took it to the next level - with a multi-colored field.  That day has arrived.  

    The school is the University of Central Arkansas.  Today their athletic department  announced some improvements to their facilities, including luxury suites to their football stadium and a strength and conditioning complex to their indoor athletic complex, and a new artificial multi-colored turf field
    ...the surface of First Security Field at Estes Stadium will not contain even a trace of green. Instead the school has opted for a unique design incorporating the Central Arkansas school colors of purple and gray, with black and white accents.
    In contrast from solid-colored surfaces such as the famed blue turf of Football Bowl Subdivision power Boise State and – more recently – the red turf at reigning Football Championship Subdivision national champion Eastern Washington, the playing surface at Central Arkansas will feature purple and gray alternating in five-yard sections from the goal lines out to the 45-yard lines. Between the 45s will be a 10-yard gray segment with the logo – which will span 20 yards – centered at midfield. The end zones will be black with “Bears” in white lettering with secondary bear paw logos on either side, giving it an appearance unrivaled anywhere in college football.
    So, the colored field trend will continue to be a game of "can you top this?" until someone takes it too far (i.e. a spectrum of colors covering the field) and the NCAA finally has to step in.  That probably won't happen until one of the TV networks gets too many complaints from viewers after their eyes are burning from looking at an ugly field for a few hours.

    Fortunately the NFL has just put a rule in place banning the colored fields before the pro teams get carried away (or at least mandating that their fields must be a shade of green).  Unfortunately, the NCAA tends to move slowly with matters like this.  How many more years will we have to wait?    

    Central Arkansas takes the colorful turf trend to a new level.  [Dr. Saturday]

    Does Cameron Maybin Have Crabs?

    No, San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin came down with cramps after hitting a single in the 11th inning of yesterday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.  However, closer Heath Bell, who got the save in a 5-3 Padres victory, decided to have a little fun in a postgame interview after hearing the news about his teammate's condition by saying that it was "good to find out he's got crabs".

    Heath Bell made a funny.  Oh, those crazy kids.

    Heath Bell's awkward 'crabs' interview [Gaslamp Ball via Big League Stew]
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