6:15 PM U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said on Monday that the organization "stands by our decision" to let goalie Hope Solo continue playing for the U.S. women's team as she faces domestic violence charges.
While not directly intimating that fraternizing with a member of the Chicago Blackhawks was the reason for Patterson’s ouster, it wasn’t a coincidence that Rosenthal noted this in his piece about her:
Pegged in January as “a rising on-air and off-air TV talent in our city” by Charlie Schumacher, CSN Chicago’s senior news director, Patterson seemed on the verge of gaining status as a bold-face name nearly on par with those she covered.
Just last Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Bill Zweckernoted in his column that Patterson and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Nick Boynton “seem to be a nice cozy item … looking very lovey-dovey” at various events.
If you feel bad for Patterson, don’t. From what I heard from folks in Chicago today, she’s got a good reputation and won’t be out of work for long. If at all.
In fact, this is probably the best thing to happen to Patterson because it puts her on the national media map. With her reputation as a competent professional, it’s Comcast’s loss, not hers.
Especially when one considers the already incestuous relationship between the Blackhawks and CSN Chicago. Read more…
Photos of Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Adam Burish on Halloween surfaced on the web this week. Kane portraying Scottie Pippen and Burish as Dennis Rodman:
(Burish on left)
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports blogs today about the response from the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, which he writes, “has decided to turn this manufactured controversy into a cottage industry of content. Along with Wilkins’s piece, the Blackhawks photo has been blogged about in at least three other places on the publication’s Web site.” Read more…
Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane has had quite a year. The precocious youngster scored his first hat trick, his rejuvenated team made it to the Western Conference Finals, and he scored the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 2010. All the pieces of athletic superstardom were coming into place for Kane, and he was poised to take the sports world by storm.
(This is the face of evil.)
There was only one problem - everyone knows that real superstars gotta have street cred and a rap sheet, and poor Buffalo-bred Patrick Kane had neither. What’s a young hockey player to do? A bar brawl was out of the question (Kane’s only 20), and killing people is only OK if you play in the NFL. Last night, though, Kane took the first step towards that much-coveted rap sheet by beating up a Buffalo cabbie and breaking his glasses over…wait for it…twenty whole cents. Baby steps, Patrick.
In less messy and horrific news, you may think the Home Run Derby is at best a pointless exhibition that tarnishes baseball by reducing it to its basest level (MASH BALL HARD) while ignoring the subtleties the make the game so enjoyable. You many even possibly consider it a major factor in the rise of the Steroid Era. Or, you might just enjoy seeing some of the game’s biggest names blast the living bejeezus out of the ball while drinking enough to ignore the infernal booth combo that is Chris Berman and Steve Phillips.
While last night’s edition at Busch Stadium didn’t have the transcendent moments of, say, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hitting rubber baseballs with Flubber cores out of Fenway Park, or Josh Hamilton hitting 500 home runs in one round, it was entertaining enough. And while the hometown crowd might have been disappointed with their hero Albert Pujols bowing out in the semifinals, they seemed to enjoy the show that Prince Fielder put on in winning the event.
Maybe the newly vegetarian Fielder was following Pujols’ lead from when the Cardinals slugger blew out the “i” in the “Big Mac Land” sign in the Busch Stadium outfield deck earlier this season - with his goal to bring the whole sign down to punish McDonald’s for their carnivore ways. No matter what the reason, Fielder had enough in the tank to hold off Nelson Cruz (again, I said “some” of the game’s biggest names) in the finals after bombing an event-best 503-foot blast in the semis.
And then there was poor Brandon Inge, who had been so excited to be a part of the Home Run Derby that he said it was bigger than actually making his first All-Star team. I’m guessing he didn’t feel the same way after becoming the first batter since Jason Bay in 2005 to take a donut in the first round - or as my friends used to call it, “Posting a Piazza” (named after Mike Piazza, who went 0-for-his career with blanks in 1993 and 1994).
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers might be ready to make a move that could either turn them into playoff contenders or…OK, let’s be honest, it’s not possible to ruin the Clippers, so what harm could come from Allen Iverson joining the team? Marcus Camby played with A.I. in Denver, and he’s on board with the idea, with PRO BASKETBALL NEWS saying that he’s willing to help recruit Iverson to the team. Even Eric Gordon is OK with it, even if that means losing playing time in a backcourt with Iverson and Baron Davis.
The one person not too hip on Allen Iverson right now in Los Angeles seems to be Ron Artest, whose opinion doesn’t matter too much since he’s now playing for the Lakers. Plus, he’s totally nuts. But his Tweet that Iverson is “missing more shots than Muhammad Ali with a sniper rifle” is pretty damned good.
Still, Iverson could provide the veteran leadership and role model that Blake Griffin could use as he establishes himself in the NBA - and he might be a force, based on his NBA Summer League debut of 27 points and 12 rebounds versus the Lakers yesterday. Except for that whole “practice” thing.
Hey kids, want to spend money to get football lessons from Andre Rison? After all, he told the ALTOONA MIRROR that he’ll spend the second day showing you his highlights so he can “really let them know, in my eyes, I was the best to ever play the game.” And parents, if you think Andre Rison is a good role model, I’m coming to your house with Child Protective Services.
I didn’t mention the Celebrity Softball game that was part of the MLB All-Star festivities. I’ll just show you the final out, where Ashanti managed to make the type of play to end the game that makes coed softball a nightmare for most guys. She should consider herself lucky that Bob Knight didn’t piledrive her at first:
David Beckham swears that his spat with Landon Donovanis a thing of the past as Golden Balls returns to practice with the Los Angeles Galaxy. In related news, Landon Donovan was found dead in his Home Depot Center dressing room, with a six-inch stilleto heel in his eyeball as Victoria Beckham was seen leaving.
The Chicago Blackhawks want to thank GM Dale Tallon for putting together a team that got to the Western Conference finals this season - by giving him a severance check and making sure the door doesn’t hit his butt on the way out the door. Reports says that assistant GM Stan Bowman will replace him.
The good thing about restricted free agency is that it allows teams to hang on to their young talent, to give them time to become fan favorites and maybe even franchise players some day. It really would have been nice if the Blackhawks would have taken advantage of that.
In a move that seems like something more out of the “Dollar Bill” Wirtz era, the Chicago failed to deliver the paperwork to six of their young players before the deadline passed, so by the letter of the law, those aren’t Chicago’s players anymore. Read more…
In case you hadn’t noticed, and after these many years it’s okay if you hadn’t, Chris Chelios has been around forever. For-eh-vur. The 47-year-old has literally spent a majority of his life as a player in the NHL, breaking into the league with Montreal during the 1983-84 season. Yeah, back when “Jump” was the hot new sound from Van Halen. That’s how long dude’s been around.
(Of course he stuck around this long because of hard work. What did you expect? Prayer?)
And while injuries and the unrelenting assault of time on an aging man’s body have kept Chelios from the legendary Gordie Howe’s all-time record in games played and other marks of longetivity, Chelios is still a colossal freak of nature. Look no further than at (it bears repeating) the age of 47, Chelios is finally being released by the Detroit Red Wings. As the DETROIT NEWS reports, though, he still might not be done:
General manager Ken Holland met with Chelios Monday afternoon and, as expected, gave him the news Chelios will not be re-signed.
“It was kind of understood last summer, after Cheli signed, that the 2008-09 season would be the last one for Cheli as a Red Wing,” said Holland, noting the need for the Wings to bring in younger players. “He wants to play another season and I believe he can still play.”
Perhaps Chelios has a year or two left in him as a swan song in Chicago, or maybe he wants to see if he can hit 50 in an NHL uniform, a stunning accomplishment that really has zero bearing on the world at large. Don’t get us wrong, most guys don’t make it to 30 in the league, much less tack two more entire decades on the odometer, but at no point is Chelios ever going to be a catalyst for great things anymore.
Which is fine, of course. Guys stick around in professional athletics for a few years too many on a regular basis, and few (if any) have earned the privilege as much as Chelios. It’s just that at this point, the list of teams who might pick him up are those who really don’t even need the help to begin with.
Speaking of Chris Chelios (WARNING: this segue makes no sense), let’s talk about women fighting each other. You might remember last week where Cris “Cyborg” Santoschoked out a reporter who foolishly questioned her ability to finish a submission move against a fighter, y’know, like how real men do. Well, being that Santos is going to fight SbB favorite Gina Caranoin Carano’s post-EliteXC return to the Octagon, one display of lady-on-gentleman brutality can’t go unreturned before the fight, right? Right:
Nighty nighty, talker man. The question isn’t where are you, as Santos’ victim asked when he came back to Earth, but what are you: that would be lucky as hell, lucky that someone strong enough to turn the lights out with such ease also possesses the capacity for mercy, which is pretty much the only thing that has saved your brain’s regular functions.
If ladychoking is the next salvo fired in the War on Equality, then so be it, because strong women are clearly capable of winning that fight against weak men. And sure, a man can still probably choke out a woman, but anyone willing to make that case, even hypothetically, probably isn’t someone worth your time in conversation. Avoid accordingly.
(The SongGirls aren’t really hired, per se, so that doesn’t count. The white-haired guy in the middle does, though.)
Turns out, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, he doesn’t exactly have a track record of success to fall back on, despite his boasts. So while Carroll’s hire is to Garrett as the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln (seriously, Abe, what else did you accomplish, other than monopolizing the top hat?*), the rest of the resume seems to be, ahem, lacking. The worst hire, in retrospect, seems to be Floyd, who may have crippled the Trojans’ basketball program for years to come in order to secure one year of service from O.J. Mayo. And let’s hope that mistake doesn’t happen again…
So above all else, Garrett’s resume suggests that success is but a random decision away, a call to be made by livestock choosing to address one of several piles of food, each festooned with a different logo. Blew it on that up-and-coming coach from Southwestern State back in 2003? Hey, what can you do; Ernie the Carnivorous Pheasant clearly indicated he was due by way of which chum pile he devoured, and in any case, we saved the $12 million a barely-competent would have demanded over those same six years.
OPPOSITE DAY: The worst GM in at least the last 30 years, Steve Phillips, is allowed to make assertions about baseball that go routinely unchallenged. This is like giving Karl Rove his own political column… oh wait.
A word to Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido: there are many, many opportunities for somebody to make self-deprecating jokes to the press. A recent DUI arrest and your mugshot, for example would probably not be the best opportunity to do so. Just something to keep in mind going forw–well, I see we’re too late.
Tony Hawk got to visit the White House, then skateboard through it. And you know what? You can do the exact same thing if you spend 20 years getting famous for being better at one thing than anyone else in the world, and no, we’re not talking about what you do three times a day whenever the wife’s not around. In that case, practice makes pervert. Now pull up your pants and keep reading.
LeBron James‘ youth basketball camp has moved from his hometown of Akron to the UCSD, for some reason, and now costs up to $650 per child, says San Diego’s 10 NEWS. We’re sure there’s a good reason and it in no way exists to make an insanely rich man richer. That would just be untoward, now wouldn’t it? As a matter of fact, we’re planning on sending Brooks in undercover as a child to see what… oh damn it, we just blew his cover. Abort, Brooks! Abort!!! This is not a drill!
If Jose Reyes‘ hamstring injury wasn’t bad enough, it turns out he was just rear-ended by an ambulance. No, we mean the car he was in was hit from behind by an emergency vehicle, not… dude, gross.
*We’re addressing him in the first person because we have it on good authority that Abe Lincoln and other dead Presidents read SbB with astonishing regularity in the afterworld. Heaven has great wi-fi. Which seems appropriate, if you think about it; how good could heaven really be if the wireless sucked?
Patrick Kane is wishing right about now that he’d tested positive for steroids, or at least been caught with a transvestite hooker. But not this. No, not this. In one of his weaker moments, the Chicago Blackhawks wunderkind admitted that as a child he was forced to play with dolls.
By his three sisters. Kane, whose hat trick in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals helped the Blackhawks advance to the finals against Detroit, couldn’t get his three sisters to play sports unless he played dolls with them. And that included tea parties. (Susie Derkins from Calvin & Hobbes approves.)
The Los Angeles Clippers won the most favored martyr award last night in the NBA Draft Lottery and, with it, the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft next month (likely to be Blake Griffin). The Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder now follow, leaving the Grizzlies to pretend Mike Conley, Jr. is the answer to anything but “Name one theoretically famous Junior” and draft Hasheem Thabeet.
Oklahoma City, your Ricky Rubio awaits. (Ricky will love the fried bologna sammich at Toby Keith’s I Love This Restaurant a block away from the arena.) A staff containing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, Rubio, and your dear departed grandmother should be capable of 50 wins in two years. If you find it less ghoulish, we’ll refer to your passed loved one as Nenad Krstic. Same mobility, anyway.
(By the way, please send your love to Sacramento tonight as they had the league’s worst record and washed out with the fourth pick. And you thought living in Sacramento was punishment enough.)
Your intrepid correspondent pulled into a local sports bar in the Phoenix area just thirty minutes before the NBA Draft Lottery truly started (which was, of course, thirty minutes after it officially kicked off). That will be the best way to take the pulse of the community regarding the first lottery draft pick for the Phoenix Suns likely to play for the team since Amare Stoudemire, your correspondent said to himself rather self-consciously.
It can be officially reported that the patient is dead; there was no pulse in the greater Phoenix community regarding the draft lottery. The normally-popular bar was half-empty and the televisions kept being turned from the NBA lottery to practically any other sport. In fact, the only person to keep half an eye on the proceedings was Dan Majerle’s brother.
Surely, much of the passivity came from having such a slim chance at a top-three pick, but the collected crowd seemed much more interested in the Western Conference Finals for the NBA and NHL. They chose wisely as the Denver Nuggets couldn’t hold their late lead against the Los Angeles Lakers and therefore provided another thrilling finish, a 105-103 Lakers victory to kick off the NBA edition of the Western Conference Finals.
Also, game 2 of the NHL edition ended in the first overtime with a 3-2 Detroit Red Wings victory over the Chicago Blackhawks to extend the series lead to 2-0. The ‘Hawks could not stop giving up the puck in the most exposed fashion possible, leading to two breakaway goals, including the three-on-one clincher. You’d think a battle between a dinosaur and a human would turn out differently.
(The bar didn’t care for that result; Arizonans are either transplanted Colorado residents or former Illinoisans. No love lost for Detroit from either quarter.)
On the other hand, the true locals were left to stew yesterday over news that a federal bankruptcy judge couldn’t bring the NHL or the former and future owners of the Phoenix Coyotes together on a deal regarding the sale of the team and a possible move back to Canada. Instead, he sent both sides into mediation and told them to hash it out themselves.
The relocation hearing in late June won’t answer the question, either; multiple rounds of appeals will surely follow if all sides can’t talk it out. It all adds up to at least a month of indecision, misdirection, and public proclamations. It’s not unlike the buildup to the NBA Draft, really.
When Arizonans aren’t paying attention to hockey mirages or 14th picks or UFOs in 2009, they might be taking in this hail of bullet points:
The Colorado Avalanche finished dead last in the Western Conference this season and are now a noxious combination of old and untalented. (Joe Sakic actually created the Rocky Mountains with his slap shot. True story.) With few opportunities to get better quickly, the team’s turned to the old standby: bring back the old star to coach.