General Sports

Fathead is starting to lose their marbles

We thought it would be great to get the sports-loving kids in our families some Fatheads for Christmas. What could be better than giving them a ridiculously over-sized Peyton Manning poster? Of course, then we went to their site and realized that those things cost $100 apiece! Screw that! They’re getting Lego’s and liking it. We don’t care how old they are. Build Peyton Manning. The point is that we hate Fathead and all they stand for, especially their stupid commercials.

Wow, we didn’t think anything could be more absurd than Big Ben’s spot with the rip-off artists.


[Awful Announcing]: New Fathead Commercial Scares And Confuses Me

All Other Sports

Somehow we missed Pillow Fight 1 through 10

You know it’s an awfully slow sports day week around here when the Pillow Fight League starts looking interesting. Here’s the pitch: get a bunch of “athletic women 19-35! With Style! Stamina! The Eye of the Tiger! Commitment! Work well in a group!” and give em a pillow, some skimpy outfits, and watch dudes pour in. But after checking the profiles, they might need to do some better recruiting.

Pillow Fight 11 is taking place tomorrow in Toronto. Hopefully we’ll end up with some video like the one below on Youtube where there will be such gems as “it’s not about holding your pillow, it’s about using it!”

MLB General

You can’t play demolition derby in real life

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games at the local arcade (yes, they had these places back there where you could go with a pocketful of quarters and play video games!) was something called Demolition Derby. It was a four person game and there were four steering wheels. Your job was to ram the shit out of other cars until their radiators exploded. And I always thought it’d be cool as hell to play it in real life. Anyway, it turns out that three pitchers from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (an independent pro team) thought so as well.

Anthony Varvaro and Terrance Kyle Parker were issued town summonses for disorderly conduct with a motor vehicle after they were spotted ramming their own vehicles in a parking lot. Steven Michael Richard, the third player who was in his room while the other two were ramming his car was charged with resisting or obstructing police.

According to team President Rob Zerjav, this isn’t the first time it’s happened and that players sometimes buy “old beaters” and play some demolition derby knowing they’re going to get rid of the cars after the season. It doesn’t sound like the three will be getting any team discipline. Hell, knowing the way baseball works, the PR staff will probably turn this into a promotion night.

By the way, in looking for the Demolition Derby game, I found this game where the object is to… wait for it… walk a dog.

[Post Crescent]: Three Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitchers arrested in Grand Chute

[Wisonsin Timber Rattlers]: Official home page

All Other Sports

Catching a wheel of cheese is tougher than it sounds

Of all the ridiculous things that happened over this Memorial Day weekend, the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake was perhaps the weirdest. The tradition of racing down a hill after a Double Gloucester cheese seems to date back as far as 200 years ago. While nobody ever catches up to the cheese, the person who crosses the finish line first… gets the cheese.

Of course, the whole purposes of the event is not to win the cheese but to watch a bunch of people falling down a hill. The event attracted about 3,000 people, mostly spectators, but dozens still ran/rolled down after the cheese.


[BBC]: Cheese-rolling race winners’ joy

All Other Sports

Ferret legging: the worst idea for a sport since the WNBA

Exactly what you want near your boys

We first stumbled upon this story on wikipedia and thought it was some sort of hoax entry. But it turns out “ferret legging” is a real but obscure sport from England. In his book “The King of Ferret Leggers and Other True Stories”, Donald Katz chronicles the sport and profiles the 72-year-old champion of ferrett legging.

Basically, the contest involves the tying of a competitor’s trousers at the ankles and the subsequent insertion into those trousers of a couple of peculiarly vicious fur-coated, footlong carnivores called ferrets. The brave contestant’s belt is then pulled tight, and he proceeds to stand there in front of the judges as long as he can, while animals with claws like hypodermic needles and teeth like number 16 carpet tacks try their damnedest to get out.

Yes, this is as horrible as it sounds. And the contestants don’t wear any protective cups, which means it’s just completely insane.

[Random House]: The King of the Ferret Leggers and Other True Stories

Houston Texans

Ahman Green trades a house for a jersey


NFL players are some pretty superstitious guys; especially when it comes to the number on their jersey. There is always some desperate newcomer on a team who is willing to do anything to get his favorite number across his chest and “anything” usually involves a dollar sign and lots of zeros. Just ask the Houston Texans latest acquisition Ahman Green how expensive these kinds of transactions can be.

When Green ended up in Houston, he knew that if he wanted his #30 jersey he would have to ask Jason Simmons to give it up. And he also knew that there would be a price to pay, but he never thought that he would have to write a check for the down payment of a house in order to get it. We’ve heard of forking over cash, watches, cars, trips and tons of humiliation for a jersey but this is the first “house for jersey” swap we can remember. But Green didn’t hesitate for a second, especially after hearing that the house wasn’t for Simmons but was instead for a single parent.

He said what he wanted to do and I said: ‘Yeah I’m all on board. That’s easy,”‘ Green said. “Tell me where to write the check to. So instead of putting the money into his pocket, he’s going to put in into somebody else’s home, house and help them get their life started.

Guess it’s pretty easy to put up a down payment for a house when you’ve just signed a deal worth $23 million at the age of 30. But having cash in your pocket doesn’t make it any easier to nut up and go begging for some digits.

I did hear that in his tone,” Simmons said. “He was like: ‘Uh just wondering if’ and kind of stuttering a little bit. It was kind of different to hear. I didn’t recognize his voice just because it seemed like there was that apprehension.

Hey Jason, if you think you hear apprehension in his voice now, just wait until Green is repeatedly getting clobbered in the backfield behind that weak offensive line in Houston for a few weeks. Now, that’s when you’ll really start hearing the trepidation in his voice.


[]: Green Makes Unusual Deal for #30 in Houston

Golden State Warriors

Odds and Ends: Everybody on the Warriors Bandwagon

When did Snoop adopt 2 white kids?

There’s still time to jump on the ever expanding Warriors bandwagon folks. Their second round series begins tonight against the Utah Jazz. Don’t be ashamed, folks, the Warriors barely register in NBA rivalries and nobody actually hates the Warriors so it’s ok to front run with the boys from the city of Golden State. You can join notable bandwagoners as Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson and Snoop Dogg! We’re gonna give Jessica Alba a pass as she can do no wrong and her boyfriend went to high school with Baron Davis. Game 1 is in Utah so expect no celebrities to show up but Game 3 will be chock full of em. We wouldn’t be surprised if Jack Nicholson showed up.

In other news…

[Seattle PI]: The unwritten rules of sports — in writing

[YouTube]: Nerf Dunk Contest… some people have way too much time

[The Age]: Eight-year-old gets hole in one. Damn kids.

[Our Book of Scrap]:Royals Fans Loves Them Some Bagels

[WBRS Sports]: Brady is a Chump

[Steroid Nation]: Florida: Home of dirty elections and clean high school athletes

And finally, don’t forget to register for the 2007 World Egg Throwing Federation Championships.

NBA General

Taking hoops back about 60 years

Tom Newell is the son of coaching great Pete Newell and after spending his entire life involved with the game of basketball, Tom thinks he just might have figured out the formula for advancing the game beyond its current boundaries and into the future. The only problem is that his changes could turn the NBA into the WNBA and turn the WNBA into church rec league ball.

Newell wants to eliminate all the fun involved with the game and infuse it with countless, excitement inducing chest passes by raising the rim to 11 feet, doing away with the 3-pointer until the fourth quarter and increasing the shot clock by six seconds to half a minute. By raising the rim Newell is hoping to virtually eliminate the dunk from the playbook altogether.

That’s not the way the game was invented,” Newell said. “It was intended to be a template of how to work together and how to set screens and move without the ball and make the various passes that are necessary to make the plays successful.

We’ll see just how pathetic his idea is because Newell has scheduled an exhibition game for June 16 in Seattle. But Newell is taking this game pretty seriously, he’s going to have computers set up to chart every play that is run and then compare the numbers to a typical NBA game and he’s got a psychology professor who will gauge the audience’s reactions. We’re guessing they will mostly consist of yawns, stretches and the occasional boos.


[The Seattle Times]: 11-foot hoops? Newell to run a test in June

Atlanta Falcons

Odds and Ends: Michael Vick loves animals

Vick has a message for dog lovers

Michael Vick’s publicist might just jump off a bridge. The latest incident involves a search of a property in Virginia owned by Vick because authorities believed that dogs were being trained there for illegal fights. Vick doesn’t live at the house but his nephew does.

Early reports indicate as many as 70 dogs on the property, including 60 pit bulls with wounds that appear to be consistent with dog-fighting. Authorities have allegedly uncovered extensive dog-fighting paraphernalia, including rape stands (used to allow fighting dogs to breed while preventing them from attacking each other), equipment used to build strength and endurance in fighting dogs, and controlled substances frequently used in dog-fighting.

Now, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the extent that Vick was involved… oh what the hell, let’s just jump to conclusions. How the hell do you now know what your nephew is doing on a property that you own? This is just another example of Vick’s ability to win friends and influence people. Let’s just hope that nobody was pumping the dogs with steroids.

In other news…

[SC]: The Falcons now lead the league in animal cruelty

[]: Meet Brian Westbrook’s brother, Byron. No, that’s not confusing at all.

[The Offside]: Croatian Footballer Given a Sheep for Every Goal he Scores. What he does with it is up to him.

[The Big Picture]: What movie sporting event would you have liked to attend in person?

[Our Book of Scrap]: Tony Stewart says NASCAR is fixed

And finally, if you have a lot of time to waste, you can watch cheddar as it ripens. Seriously. Or like us, you can sit around and wonder, “hey whatever happened to Bridget Fonda?” and “why does Nic Cage suck so much?”

General Sports

Do you like your sports news with or without nuts?

Some people like to spend their well deserved vacation time traveling the country or world, others like to catch up with their world outside of work, and lots of folks like to just take it easy and eat Fritos on the couch for hours on end. But if you’re sports writer Mike Penner of the Los Angeles Times you spend your days off in a hospital undergoing serious surgery to transform yourself from Mike to Christine. Yup, Penner’s a transsexual and he came out to the world in an article this morning.

During my 23 years with The Times’ sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame.

Today I leave for a few weeks’ vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine.

Well, that’s one way to bust down the door of that closet he’s been living in. Knowing the type of society we live in today, we’re pretty sure that this decision is going to be met with some serious hostility from some typical testosterone driven, meathead sports fans. But personally, we prefer the comical reaction that Penner’s boss gave after hearing the news for the first time.

When I told my boss Randy Harvey, he leaned back in his chair, looked through his office window to scan the newsroom and mused, “Well, no one can ever say we don’t have diversity on this staff.


[]: Old Mike, new Christine