New England Patriots

Bill Belichick does his best Santa Scrooge impression

The Patriots are on the verge of immortality. With a win over the Giants on Saturday night, they can brush aside those annoying, geriatric Dolphins from yesteryear, becoming the only team to go a perfect 16-0 in the regular season. Sounds like a pretty good Christmas gift to us. Bill Belichick, on the other hand, is still gonna be a “bah humbug” until that Super Bowl trophy is in his hands again. So, leave it to Sports Illustrated to have a little fun with the NFL’s grumpiest guru, digitally putting Belichick into a Santa suit for the cover of the year-end special of SI.

We gotta give it to the guys at SI, other than seeing a bikini clad babe sprawled across the magazine’s face, this was the year’s best cover. Heck, even Belichick seemed to enjoy it.

Being associated with Santa Claus, there’s a lot worse associations to have,” he said yesterday. “I’ll take it. When you’re a kid, sometimes you dream about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That’s not actually the one I pictured, but it’s pretty funny. Whatever sells.

“…not actually the one I pictured”??? You didn’t want to grace the swimsuit edition cover, did you?


[]: `Santa’ Belichick latest coverboy

San Antonio Spurs

Dammit SI! There goes the Spurs fourth title

Tim Duncan was having one of the best postseasons of his career. Why did we say “was”? Well, those jerks over at Sports Illustrated decided to slap the Big Fundamental’s mug on the cover of their latest mag. In case you didn’t know, SI cover boys have a slight stigma of being a cursed by the magazine’s front page exposure. But don’t take our word for it; just look at the laundry list of those jinxed by SI! So, basically the Spurs can expect for Duncan to snap his leg by slipping on a candy wrapper before Game 5 tips off in San Antonio.

But, hey, Vince Young is taking on the Madden and Campbell’s curses head-on and he doesn’t seem too worried about it. And nothing happened to that tree that made the cover of SI a while back. So, maybe these crazy jinxes aren’t real after all.

With three rings and five MVPs in his pocket, there really isn’t much about Duncan that could be considered cursed. In fact, the only curse that currently surrounds Timmy is the way he cursed the luck of the Irish for the Celtics organization back in 1997.

I was fortunate — as fortunate as the Spurs — to land where I did,” he says, citing the ownership of Peter Holt, the stewardship of (Gregg) Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford, even the quality of the facilities in San Antonio as positives. “It’s not guaranteed if I did go somewhere else that I would have won a championship. Maybe things being different, I never get to that point, because people don’t prepare, people don’t draft, people don’t put teams together the right way, people don’t coach the right way. So I’m absolutely blessed having the situation that I’m in.

Now, like Duncan said, there’s no guarantee that Boston would be rolling in championship banners if the lottery would have gone according to plan but we’re guessing that they wouldn’t be losing 18 games in a row! So, maybe this SI cover is actually a reminder of the Duncan curse on Boston. If it is then the Celtics will be wasting their fifth pick in the upcoming draft on the spastic Joakim Noah. Now that’s a curse that nobody wants to deal with.


[]: Tim Duncan on Cover of Sports Illustrated
[]: All About Winning

MLB General

Odds and Ends: Ugueth Urbina’s comeback with the Phillies will be slightly delayed

Little known fact: Ugueth Urbina throws right, bats right, but he wields a machete with his left hand. Who knew? ell… the 5 workers on his farm who were attacked by Urbina and other men. The 32-year-old “free” agent was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted murder by the Venezuelan judicial system.

His lawyer said that the punishment was too severe, probably because if he’d done that in the United States, the defense attorneys would have trotted out his coach and a teammate to say what a great guy his is and he would have only gotten four months in prison. Guess the Fightin’s have to look elsewhere to solve their bullpen problem.

In other news..

[The Offside]: Partying with P-Diddy makes you look like you belong on Faces of Meth

[NBA Fanhouse]: Jeff Van Gundy wants lottery open to all teams

[Boston Herald]: As if having their coach murdered wasn’t enough, Pakistani cricket team welcomed home with “Go to hell” chants

[Our Book of Scrap]: Want to write for SI? Better get that boob job

And finally, a couple of stories from Steroid Nation. First, HGH was found in Anna Nicole Smith‘s autopsy. (Jesus, is there anyone not on HGH? Where can we order a batch? Anyone have Jason Grimsley’s phone number?) Second, if you need your glamour photos done and Glamour Shots by Deb is all booked up, you can have Tony Mandarich do them.