College Football

Case closed on the great Gator trophy caper

The mystery that was the smashed crystal football outside Florida coach Urban Meyer’s office has been solved. The Waterford crystal trophy was destroyed last week after falling off a coffee table and crashing to the floor and the program was hush-hush about how it all went down, leaving the door wide open for conspiracy theories galore. But on Wednesday, the truth came out…it was a damn recruit!

Plant tight end Orson Charles, in town participating in a Nike football camp, was posing for photos with the Tim Tebow’s Heisman Trophy and the 2006 BCS National Championship trophy. While posing with the Heisman, his hip bumped the table, and the $35,000 crystal football on top of the trophy crashed to the floor just outside coach Urban Meyer’s office.

Jaws dropped. For once, Plant coach Robert Weiner, 3 feet from the fall, didn’t know the next play.

“We didn’t know what to do, if we should have started picking up the pieces or what,” Weiner said. “It was surreal, like everything happened in slow motion.”

Weiner whispered to Charles (right): “They’re either going to take your scholarship away or they’re going to make you commit to them today.”

Meyer came to survey the scene.

Plant assistant T.J. Lane broke the silence: “That’s a replica right?”

Awkward. But the craziest part of this whole story comes with coach Weiner’s assessment of his clumsy tight end prior to the big crash.

Before Charles broke the trophy, Plant coach Robert Weiner said Meyer asked him to describe Charles. Weiner told Meyer that Charles was a “physical specimen” but sometimes a “bull in a china shop.”

“After what happened,” Weiner said, “I’m sure Urban now thinks I’m an excellent evaluator of talent.”


[]: Follow the breaking ball: Plant’s Charles’ bump broke BCS trophy
[]: UF Mystery Solved; Plant High Player Admits To Mishap

Florida Panthers

Richard Zednik is one tough hombre

Richard Zednik spoke to the media for the first time since his horrific, neck-slashing accident almost two weeks ago, stating he’s ready to get back on the ice. It’s some pretty impressive stuff considering it looked like he might not even make it out of the arena alive as he left a river of blood in his path following the injury.

I want everyone to know that I am recovering and feeling well and hope to return to the ice as soon as I feel medically fit,” he said.

Zednik lost five pints of blood when he was accidentally sliced by the skate of teammate Olli Jokinen in a game against the Sabres.

The 32-year-old forward said he barely felt the skate slice into his carotid artery, but with blood gushing from his neck he knew he was in trouble. “I was like, Whoa. I knew I had to get to the bench.”

He said it felt “like being stabbed and quickly realized it was serious”.

He was discharged from Buffalo General Hospital a week ago and returned to South Florida. Zednik wants to play again as soon as possible, but it’s doubtful he’ll return this season.

Zednik said, “I was cut before on my face and I didn’t feel it. This time it wasn’t a cut, it was like a stab. I felt like somebody stabbed me. It wasn’t the pain, it was more like ‘What’s going to happen?

Don’t worry, you weren’t the only person who felt like that. We believe the entire world was wondering about your fate. We don’t pretend to be some huge hockey followers, but we are thrilled to hear of Zednik’s recovery and we guarantee we’ll be watching in awe when he returns to the ice for the first time.


[]: Panthers’ Zednik: “I Can’t Wait To Be Back On Ice”

Florida Panthers

Richard Zednik’s throat gets slashed by teammate’s skate

Hockey is a sport that is not meant for the weak at heart. And we aren’t just talking about the players. If you’re the least bit squeamish then you might want to turn you head for this.

Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik took an inadvertent skate to the throat during yesterday’s game against the Sabres, having to undergo major surgery as a result.

That is easily the most horrifying accident that can happen in professional sports and, frankly, we’re surprised it doesn’t happen more. But we’re thankful it doesn’t. In fact, once every 19 years is about all we can stomach to be quite honest.


[]: Panthers’ Zednik Cut on Neck by Skate

NFL General

"Mr. Automatic" to the rescue!!

Norm Johnson spent 18 years in the NFL as a placekicker where he nailed his share of game-winners. But none of that matter to a Seattle woman who just knows him as her hero.

The woman, Virginia Sayson, was driving when her car hit a patch of ice, throwing it into a skid before sending the car flipping over into a ditch. Sayson was knocked unconscious momentarily and when she awoke, she found herself upside-down, trapped inside the car as water flooded into the cabin.

She removed her seatbelt, crawled into the back of the car, frantically searched for her cell phone with no success and then, out of nowhere, the former Seahawk showed up on the scene.

I was screaming, ‘Please help me,’ ” Sayson said. “He came back with a big rock, gave me a sign to back up and he broke the window,” Sayson said.

Johnson, 47, initially tried to force open all of the doors, but they were pinned. He even tried kicking the window, but couldn’t break the glass because the car was “at a weird angle.”

The rock did the trick.

Ahhh, we love a story with a happy ending. And what really makes this a truly inspiring act is the selflessness Johnson displayed after the heroic deed. He doesn’t need or want recognition for his act; nope, just a little reciprocation would be nice.

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Johnson said. “If I was in a car upside down, I would hope somebody would come out and save me.


[]: Former Seahawk kicker pulls motorist from ditch
[]: Former Seahawks kicker rescues woman from car

All Other Sports

Rope burns should be the least of your worries when playing tug-of-war

When you think about tug-of-war, you usually don’t think about the possibility for serious injury. After all, it’s just a bunch of people pulling on a rope. What’s the worst thing that could happen, the fat guy serving as anchor falls on his butt? Wrong, try having your hands cut off.

Parker (Colorado) police said Henry Barrett and Mitch Helfer were injured in the gymnasium of Lutheran High School last Friday during a homecoming pep rally event. They were part of a tug-of-war team of 40 to 50 juniors who were competing with 40 to 50 seniors.

After Barrett and Helfer wrapped the rope around their hands and tugged, the rope tightened and cut deeply into the bottom part of their hands and across their knuckles.

“It’s something I don’t think you would want to wish on any student body — to observe something (like that) that is happening in your gymnasium,” said Randy Lowe, CEO of the Colorado Lutheran High School Association.

It sounds like the kids are recovering which is good news, but these guys have a long recovery road in front of `em. We’re hoping that Hulk Hogan took notice of this horrible accident. If you do nothing else as host of the revamped American Gladiators, we beg you Hulkster, please pull all the necessary strings to have Tug-O-War banned. That event totally sucked before we even knew it was dangerous.


[]: Parker Students Recover After Tug-Of-War Accident

All Other Sports

Monster truck loses control and drives into crowd of people

In Dekalb, Illinois, at least nine people were injured when a monster truck that was performing stunts on a closed section of a downtown street lost control and drove into the crowd on Thursday. Apparently, the truck was driving over cars and such in an attempt to promote a local auto parts store when the driver lost control. Several of those who were hurt were children, but the driver managed to escape the wreck without injury (imagine that).


[]: Monster truck crashes into crowd of spectators

Seattle Mariners

The Mariner Moose gets off Scot free

Just to show you how unique and individual the world of sports is, not only are you allowed to punch people repeatedly in boxing, crush their bodies in football and deliver some vicious hits in hockey, but apparently you can now dress up like a jackass and virtually run over a professional baseball player and receive absolutely no penalty! At least, the Mariner Moose got off the hook after his little stunt on an ATV went wrong and almost put Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp on the shelf. But, hey, no harm, no foul, right?

The Mariners are very sorry about this unfortunate incident. We apologized Sunday to both Coco Crisp and the Red Sox, and they were very gracious about accepting our apology,” Tim Hevly, the team’s director of baseball information, said Tuesday night.

“There will be no punishment for the Moose,” Hevly said.

In case you haven’t seen the attempted crippling accident, here’s the whacky footage:

Never really gotten hit by a moving vehicle before. That was the most athletic thing I did all day,” Crisp said after the game. “It was an accident. I mean, I’m not going to run over and clothesline the guy.

Damn, Coco, we really wish you would have. Of course, if the shoe was on the other foot and the mascot got `accidentally assaulted’ then you’d be dealing with a money hungry Moose and a lawsuit. And nobody wants that.


[]: Mariner Moose escapes punishment for Sunday mishap

All Other Sports

For the future track and field stars of America: javelins are sharp

July 7, 2007 will probably be remembered for the lavish, Hollywood wedding of Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and San Antonio point guard Tony Parker, but while big time celebrities were getting drunk and dancing in France, Kyler Osborne was being impaled on a javelin.

The 14-year-old Osborne was practicing his favorite event for the Junior Olympics when, in a moment of frustration, he threw the javelin to the ground in front of him on an approach and simply ran himself right through the back, equally sharp, end of the spear.

My steps were off and I was frustrated, so I threw it in the ground in front of me and my momentum kind of carried me into it. It happened so fast,” said Kyler. “I came back off of it and I lifted up my shirt and saw there was a pretty good-size hole.

Kyler’s father rushed him to the hospital and to their surprise, instead of finding a relatively minor puncture wound, the doctor discovered that the javelin went through his entire body and put a small hole in his liver and nicked a lung but miraculously avoided his heart, gallbladder and at least three major arteries.

It was 07/07/07, so it was really my lucky and unlucky day, all at once,” said Kyler.

We’re thrilled that Kyler escaped serious injury and is expected to make a full recovery because now we get to say that we tried to warn him.


[]: Close call with a javelin

MLB General

Minor league first base coach is killed by line drive

In a freak accident, the first base coach of the minor league Tulsa Drillers was killed on Sunday night after a line drive struck him in the head. The horrible mishap occurred in the ninth inning when Tino Sanchez hit a foul ball that went straight for coach Mike Coolbaugh as he stood by first base. Coolbaugh immediately fell to the ground after being hit in either the right side of his head or in the forehead. CPR was administered to Coolbaugh on the field and while he was alive inside of the ambulance, he died as the vehicle reached the hospital.

As horrific as this accident is, we’re surprised that this doesn’t happen more often. How many times have we seen pitchers get clobbered on a come back, only to eventually shake it off with minor injuries? It’s the single scariest, most sickening moment in sports to see a player get struck by a baseball. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing that can be done when dealing with split second reaction times. Although the incidents are unavoidable over time, all we can do is hope that something like this never happens again.

It’s a tragedy for all of baseball,” Drillers president Chuck Lamson told the Tulsa World in a story posted on the newspaper’s Web site early Monday. “He just joined the staff and was a former Driller player. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.


[]: Line Drive Kills Minor League Coach
[]: Tulsa Drillers Home

All Other Sports

Could sibling rivalry could be behind fencing "accident"? We say yes.

We know that people absolutely love the Pan American Games and even more than that, people absolutely love the sport of fencing. One of our personal favorites in the world of fencing is Brazilian Ivan Schwantes. Unfortunately, Schwantes was forced to withdraw from the competition after his brother and our new most hated man in the world of fencing, Athos, accidentally stabbed him during a practice session in Rio De Janeiro on Monday.

Ivan had to undergo surgery to drain blood and air from his lung after the evil Athos poked him too hard, snapping his epee close to his right armpit. While Ivan will recover from his injuries, it won’t be in time to compete for the crown of top fencer.

We need to think about his health before anything else, so he won’t participate in the games,” Brazil’s delegation chief Marcus Vinicius Freire said in the statement.

The Brazilian team named a replacement for the squad, but the group just won’t be the same without Ivan there. Hell, the PanAm’s won’t be the same without Ivan there.

Damn you Athos, damn you!


[]: Fencer leaves PanAm Games after accidental stabbing