The NFL is on the verge of losing one of its largest revenue streams, based on the news out of New England last night. Safety Rodney Harrison, who has rankled opponents over the years with his aggressive (some say dirty) play, joined Tom Brady on the “guys opposing fans are happy to see in pain” list after it was revealed that he will miss the rest of the season with a torn thigh muscle. In fact, the AP is going as far as calling it a career-ending injury.
The oft-fined safety tore his right thigh muscle and rehab will reportedly take 8-10 months. Harrison is in the last year of his contract and many expected that he was going to retire after the season anyway. He’s donated more than $200,000 to NFL over the years in fines for illegal hits. Roger Goodell will just have to keep making up more reasons to fine Hines Ward to account for the reduced cash flow.
Kellen Winslow and his staph infection were suspended one game by the Browns because Winslow had the gall to call out the team’s brass for asking him to hide the illness and for not taking enough action to prevent further infections. Despite the fact that Winslow made it clear that his beef was not with his teammates or coaches, GM Phil Savage called the comments “unwarranted, inappropriate and unnecessarily disparaging to our organization.”
It looks like Larry Johnson will likely not play this Sunday whether the NFL suspends him or not. Herm Edwards suggested in comments yesterday that LJ’s latest act of female degradation would be enough to earn him another week off. It has been confirmed that police are investigating the incident.
Pudding pops for everyone! Bill Cosby was on hand last night as Temple beat Ohio 14-10 in a game that nobody wanted to see, but everybody watched for like five minutes because nothing else was on. The PHILLY INQUIRER insists that the Owls are still in the MAC Eastern Division hunt despite a 2-3 league record.
The World Series starts tonight, and HOME RUN DERBY has the preview you’ve been waiting for. It’s of the teams’ cheerleaders, of course, which means there hopefully won’t be any photos of a shirtless Matt Stairs. It should be noted that the Phillies’ Ballgirls are actually the ones who sit in foul territory and field balls that go out of play, while the Ray Team is more of a traditional squad — with some dudes, though. The Ballgirls are actual softball players who just happen to be attractive, which makes them the winners in my book. Anyone can operate a t-shirt cannon.
• Think it’s not physically demanding to be a baseball manager? Just tell Terry Francona that. He’s having surgery this offseason for a back injury that has left him with “diminished feeling” in his arms and unable to stand up straight, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS’ Jimmy Golen.
Since Francona has become manager of the Red Sox he’s been struck by the following maladies:
A foot infection, a knee replacement, staph infections in both knees, chest pains, several years on blood-thinners, a life-threatening blood clot in his lungs and now a back problem that will require surgery.
Francona also chews massive quantities of tobacco during the season, which I’m sure helps a lot with all of this. And he won’t even turn 50 until early next season.
• It’s not the World Series without the participating cities’ newspaper columnists taking really easy cheap shots at each other. Today, the PHILLY DAILY NEWS’ Stu Bykofsky has the floor, and it might just be the worst trash talk I’ve ever read. There’s references to tuberculosis and Salvador Dali(?), and he calls Rays fans “tampons.” It’s all very sophisticated.
• Those catwalks at the Trop? Yeah, the geniuses who built the place thought that nobody would ever hit a baseball up that far, so says USA TODAY.
• Monday was a rough night for the Bailey brothers. CBS4 in Denver is reporting that Champ Bailey tore his groin (yeesh) in the loss to New England and is going to miss 4-6 weeks, while his brother Boss injured his knee and is out for the season.
• NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s Lucas Mann was with Stephon Marbury when he watched the final presidential debate…at a homeless shelter on the Bowery in New York.
• The LOS ANGELES TIMES’ Bill Shaikin celebrates the fact that there are a number of African-American stars in this year’s World Series.
• The first NHL team in Toronto is doing so well, that the league is talking about putting another one there, according to a CBC report.
• Texas Tech coach Mike Leach told the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM that he tries as hard as possible to stay away from computers.
• Your police-assaulting and racial-slurring act may fly in Dallas there, Mr. and Mrs. Collegiate Sports Marketer, but the BOSTON HERALD says you’re in some trouble for doing it in their backyard.
• Marion Jones‘ former track coach, who was a whistleblower in the BALCO case, has avoided prison time and instead was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest, write Lance Williams of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.