Don't be fooled by that man in the red suit. It is none other than the Mets' Jeff Francoeur handing out presents at the Mets' Christmas party for area school children in New York. He bringing lots of toys and goodies for the kids in the same way he that he was one of the few things to bring tidings of comfort and joy to Mets' fans this year. Which is in sharp contrast to his former team, the Braves, who deserve nothing but lumps of coal and switches for trading him for that worthless excuse of a carbon based life form, R**n Church. (Yeah, I guess that would make R**n Church a lump of coal on some level).The bad news, apparently previous Mets' playing Santa have run into bad luck in the following season . Hopefully Frenchie can prevent that from happening next season, and continue to prove that Terry Pendleton's incompetence as hitting coach was/is the problem.(via Can't Stop the Bleeding, New York Times )
It's been a(nother) long December for the Dallas Cowboys. And there's no reason to believe that maybe this season will end better than the last.* In other words, Wade Phillips is probably going to be updating his resume pretty soon. He's might not be the only one if Tim Cowlishaw has his way.It long been figured that Cowboys' offense coordinator Jason Garrett was heir apparent for the job Cowboys' head coach. He was hired by Jerry Jones even before he hired Wade Phillips, for cryin' out loud. Cowlishaw argues that Garrett's poor handling of the Cowboys' offense this year should be the main reason he shouldn't get the job. "Just getting rid of Phillips in order to raise Garrett's status to match his $3 million salary makes about as much sense as watching Nick Folk miss field goals on a weekly basis and deciding that the problem is the holder," Cowlishaw writes. "And the Cowboys already tried that, with costly results in a 3-point loss to San Diego." Ouch. Nice little back handed cheap shot at Tony Romo there.The good news for Cowboys' fans is that it does look like the Wade Phillips era is almost over in Dallas. The bad news is that the Jerry Jones Reign of Terror will continue for the near future. If Cowlishaw's lucky, he'll get his wish and Jason Garrett won't be head coach next year. On the other hand, he might end up with Charlie Weis or something more ludicrous than that. I hear Willie Martinez is available.*(Apologies to Counting Crows)(via Dallas Morning News)
Forget the Y2K drill. Forget the Manning family's tour of the ESPN campus. Forget the rookie out of high school that went pro too soon. This, ladies and gentlemen is the most awesome "This is Sportscenter" commercial ever.Arnold Palmer making an Arnold Palmer. 'Nuff said.
Oh snap! Mr. Irrelevant reports that the Washington Redskins are looking at hiring ex-Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis to an unknown role in the organization. If that doesn't bring visions of schadenfreude through your mind nothing will. You don't need an unnamed robot to tell this has "Warning! Danger Will Robinson!" written all over it.The article mentions the Broncos' interest in Weis also, but they're probably looking to hire Weis as Josh McDaniel's offense coordinator. Or geisha boy. Or some other job with no real decision making power.Speaking of refuges of The Golddomedammerung, , the Redskins are looking at drafting Jimmy Clausen. Clausen and Weis, together again. Wonderful, more schadenfreude! There's plenty to go around with the Redskins. Its like a buffet of schadenfreude! And Daniel Snyder is picking up the tab for us all. What joy!(via Mr. Irrelevant)
Turner Gill hasn't been on the job at Kansas' head football coach a full day yet and there's already a Fire Turner Gill site up.Who would this site rather have as coach?"JIM HARBAUGH, Tommy Tuberville, JIM HARBAUGH, Randy Edsall, JIM HARBAUGH, Skip Holtz. Did I mention JIM HARBAUGH?Uh, did anybody mention that JIM HARBAUGH signed an extension with Stanford yesterday?Yeah, like he was going to give up being a constant thorn in Pete Caroll's side in sunny California to be Bob Stoops and Mack Brown's whipping boy? Yeah, didn't think so.Okay, Gill's win/loss record as a coach isn't quite as stellar as Mark Mangino's. But right now that's beside the point. The Kansas football program's on the ropes because of Mangino's antics. Gill's hire is as much about saving face.Besides Gill's not chopped liver. As quarterback coach, he helped Nebraska win three "National Championships" in the 90's. So he has a pretty good Big 12 background.(via EDSBS, Fire Turner Gill )
It already appears that ESPN's 30 on 30 presentation The U is already making it's mark on the pop culture. Or at least the sports pop culture. Via the Miami Hurricanes blog The 7th Floor comes a selection of "U" gifs that you'll probably be seeing pop as avatars and in sig lines if you haven't already.(via The 7th Floor)
Here's the least shocking event to come out of Tigergate: Jay Mariotti is overreacting. Mariotti has declared in his Fanhouse column that Tiger Woods can't repair the damage his sexcapades have caused. In fact the headline reads "Can Tiger Ever Recover? Answer Is No. ""He's now a laughingstock, a pariah, a corporate red flag and the antithesis of the role model we thought he was for a dozen years," Mariotti writes. " Simply, a public figure of his magnitude can't portray himself in an impeccable, squeaky-clean way for so long, only to plunge into sordid, sleazy affairs with women so pathetically beneath his stature. The result has been a relentless firestorm of widespread backlash, all over the world, and even a man who has demonstrated enormous emotional strength on the course -- winning the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg, you remember -- will have difficulty resuming life as Tiger Woods."As usual Mariotti throws the baby out with the bathwater. Is Woods going to be seen as a paragon of virtue again? Probably not. Is Woods career toast. Probably not.Mariotti seems to forget that Tiger Woods isn't the first celebrity to be caught in a big scandal. He also forgets that in many cases, celebrities have come back to regain their superstardom or even reaching new heights. Elizabeth Taylor made a career over her private life as much as she did her movie roles. She was even able to turn a stint in the Betty Ford Clinic into a positive story of personal recovery and became an inspiration to many.Even look at possibly the biggest pre-Tiger uber-media scandal: Brittney Spears. A couple of years ago, more than a few in the media declared her career over. How's that projection panning out? Spears has done quite nicely for herself. She even had a recent number one single on the Billboard "Hot 100" chart with "3."Then of course there's Madonna. If she had a dollar for every time a media pundit declared her career over due to a scandal she'd be a millionaire. Oh wait, she is a millionaire.Or how about Bill Clinton? His Presidency survived a sex scandal where he came out way better in the end than some of his enemies.Mariotti predicts that when Woods comes back it will take him "into his 40s" to pass Jack Nicklaus' record for most majors. Don't hold your breath there, Jay. He'll be 34 on December 30. Even with assuming he takes about a year off (and I'll wouldn't be shocked if he's back before then), Woods could win a major a year and still break Nicklaus record when he's 39. And it might not take him that long.Yes, Woods has lost a few sponsors. The only sponsor that really matters (Nike) hasn't yet. It would be a huge shock if they did. This is the company that turn past sex scandal de jour Kobe Bryant into a puppet. And his scandal had criminal charges, for crying out loud (even if they were dropped). It would probably have to take something really nasty to make Nike drop Woods.It would probably take some kind of serious criminal charges to really total Woods' career.It's classic Mariotti to run around like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling. Usually it isn' t the case. Tigergate is a big, but in many ways it's not as career threatening as Mariotti and others might think. Woods will adapt his public persona post-scandal, bit he won't be as worse for wear as some think.(via Fanhouse)
Brian Kelly has barely been coach at Notre Dame for a couple of days and already the spin doctors are busily revising history to put Kelly in a better light. The South Bend Tribune's Al Lesar, provides several examples of how questionable parts of Kelly's past were excused away.For example, there's Kelly's stance on abortion, for example."Scour anything written about Kelly and it's impossible to find his stance on abortion. Could it be his work as a legal assistant on the staff of Sen. Gary Hart in the early '80s?"I'm a practicing Catholic," Kelly said Friday. "I embrace the same values that are here at Notre Dame. I can tell you this: I'm pro Notre Dame; I'm pro football - that's about it."Kelly's "pro football", eh? Freudian slip, perhaps? Maybe an even bigger dream job back in the mental closet there?Then there is the nasty little Central Michigan incident. Notre Dame's athletic director Jack Swarbrick's comment on the issue:"Brian, in my conversation with him, brought up the Central Michigan topic," Swarbrick said Friday. "I would have gotten to it if he didn't. He talked about the lesson he learned from that. I really appreciated that. Take that stuff head-on. That's sorta the nature of his personality."Of course, Swarbrick failed to share what the lesson was that Kelly actually learned.And then there's that little problem of how Kelly pretty much left Cincinnati at the Sugar Bowl altar. In Kelly's own words:"Transition is very difficult, and those situations are extremely emotional," Kelly said. "But I handled myself in a manner that was up front and honest. The two watch words for me in dealing with our student athletes and anybody is professionalism and integrity. And I believe that in those areas, that's the way I handled myself. When I had the opportunity to inform our team, I certainly did that."Which is why some of your former players hate your guts right now."It's like somebody turned their back on us," tight end Ben Guidugli told AP. "To have someone walk out now is disappointing."Notre Dame can spin Kelly's baggage issues as much as they can. All it can do is haunt the school if Kelly flops.(via South Bend Tribune)
With the talk of the Big 10 possibly looking for a twelfth member there is a big question that needs to be answered. To wit: how would a twelve team Big 10 be divided? Well, that's a pretty tricky question there.For one thing, trying to divide the conference up without knowing who the twelfth member is makes it a little hard to divide geographically. Assuming that the Big 12 would raid a Big East team makes it a little easier. The new team would naturally go in the eastern division. The trick is making the divisions equal in both geographic and competitive balance.Going with East/West divisions, it could line up as follows:West Wisconsin Minnesota Iowa Illinois Northwestern Purdue EastMichiganMichigan St.Ohio St. Penn St.Indiana(12th member)As you can tell, the divisions do not quite divide equally along state lines the way the Big 12 or the SEC does. To get the divisions to work in the SWRT scenario, Purdue and Indiana had to be placed in separate conferences, even though they're both in Indiana. If somehow Notre Dame accepted an invite into the conference, it would put two Indiana teams in the East and one in the West. West Lafayette is slightly farther west than South Bend, so Purdue would still go in the west.Of course this plan pretty much makes the Big 10 West the weaker sister of the two conferences. Unlike the SEC, where both conferences are pretty much even most years (with Alabama/LSU/Auburn in the West, Florida/UGA/Tennessee in the East). The Big 10 East would have the pick of the litter of Big 10 teams, plus the new school. It would be more like the Big 12, where the South is stronger than the North. On the plus side, Michigan and Ohio State are pretty much preserved as yearly rivals.Using a North/South division is a little trickier, but may be slightly more even.NorthWisconsin Michigan Michigan St. Minnesota Iowa Northwestern/ (12th member) SouthOhio St.IndianaIllinoisPurduePenn St.Northwestern/ (12th member)In this scenario, Ohio St. and Michigan are in separate divisions. For their rivalry to continue there would have to be some two or three member partnerships that cross divisions. This would be especially true if Notre Dame is the twelfth team, and was in a different conference than fellow Indiana schools Indiana and Purdue. The geography is a bit shaky, but it does provide the possibility of a Ohio St./Michigan rematch each year in a championship.(And as for a Big 10 championship site, Chicago's the obvious choice, even if it's too close to the Illinois' Champaign campus)Either set-up isn't geographically perfect, and could vary with a team or two. The trick will be to create two divisions that will be competitively balanced.
The Big 10 (Plus 1) may finally be ready to enter the 20th 21st century. Word has come down that the Big 10 may be seeking a twelfth team to join the conference. This would pave the way for divisions and an end of the season championship game.No word on who the lucky twelfth school might be. Still stuck in the past Notre Dame turned the Big 10 a few years ago. A raiding of the Big East is probable. Rutgers and Syracuse would probably be frontrunners if only because of their markets. Cincinnati might have a good shot also. Teams like West Virginia and Navy are pretty much dark horses.No word if the Big 10's perennial Rose Bowl opponent the Pac-10 is ready to enter the 20th century.(via Deadspin, JSOnline)
Terence Moore is at it again. He is already proclaiming Brian Kelly to be "the next ND (Notre Dame) Legend." Gee Terence, shouldn't we wait until Kelly actually, y'know accomplishes something in South Bend?Moore's reasoning behind his statement?He isn't afraid of the ghosts. That's huge.So Kelly's not afraid of ghosts. Cool, he's perfect to help out Shaggy and Scooby Doo. That doesn't mean he's going to be a "Legend" at Notre Dame.So what else does Moore hang his claim on? That Kelly "gets" Notre Dame, the tradition and everything, but isn't intimidated by it. So what? The intangibles of ND aren't what Kelly needs to worry about. It's the delusional Domer alumni who expect nothing less than a BCS "championship" every year.Declaring Brian Kelly as "the Next ND Legend" (in capital letters, no less) is a tad bit premature. He hasn't even coached a single play yet and Terence Moore is ready to place him next to Knute Rockne and Ara Parseghian. Be careful when you're counting your chickens' Terence. You might just end up with egg on your face.(via Fanhouse)
Dallas Cowboys' kicker Nick Folk has had enough of Mat McBriar holding the ball. This year has seen Folk miss eight kicks with McBriar holding. That's more than double what he had missed in the previous two years combined.So guess who has stepped up and volunteered to hold the ball for McBriar? Tony Romo. He of the infamous botched hold in the equally infamous 2007 playoff game against The Seattle Seahawks. If this doesn't send off the "Danger! Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!" alarms in your head nothing will. Wade Phillips is probably sitting at his computer updating his resume already.
Oh snap! Just when things couldn't get any more embarrassing for the New England Patriots, it gets more embarrassing. One of the individuals who wears the Pat Patriot costume on the sidelines seems to have had a little sideline of his own.The AP reports that an individual Robert Sormanti, who dresses up at Pat Patriot, was arrested by Rhode Island police in a prostitution sting. No word if he was a customer or a service provider in the report. Luckily for Mr. Sormanti prostitution is a misdemeanor crime in Rhode Island. The bad news is that he's probably going to have some free time on Sunday afternoons, far away from Gillette Stadium. The Pats have already suspended him.(via ajc.com)
This is Otto the Orange, the Mascot of Syracuse University. Is there a more worthy symbol of political correctness gone horribly amok? Syracuse's original mascot was the Saltine Warrior, inspired by a 1930's hoax of an Onondagan Indian chief's remains discovered on campus. Needless to say Native Americans were a tad upset. Syracuse finally gave in to their protests and dropped the Saltine Warrior in 1978.It took seventeen years for Syracuse to find an successor mascot. In the meantime an an unofficial mascot in shape or an orange was created by a SU cheerleader named Eric Heath (insert male cheerleader joke here). The Orange was given the name Otto by cheerleaders in 1990. Finally, Syracuse got around to making Otto the oficial mascot in 1995. (In comparison the longest Papal Conclave lasted two years.)Of course political correctness isn't surprising from a school who dropped the name "Orangemen" to be gender-neutral.(Apologies as usual to Matthew Gasteier)
In leaving Cincinnati for Notre Dame Brian Kelly had joined an elite group of coaches. No, not the list of coaches who have led Notre Dame. This is an ancient and august group that crosses all boundaries and football conferences. It is called The Union of the Snake Coaches.These are the coaches who take mid-to-low level college football programs to the brink of competitive prominence, only to bolt at the first chance at a better gig. Members include Nick Saban, Gary Barnett, Bobby Petrino, and Rich Rodriguez, and that's just the football coaches.The majority of these coaches end up having a shaky run at the school they jump to. They never seem to live up to the hype that they created at their old school. Even worse, in some cases the new school ends up in worse shape from where the coach began.Notre Dame has Brian Kelly as coach, they had better be careful with what they wished for.
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