GA Police: Ben Roethlisberger Arrest Not Imminent

(UPDATE: 5:19p ET): Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com reports:

Roethlisberger’s representatives have denied the allegations involved in TMZ’s report after being contacted by PFT Friday.

They did not comment as to whether Roethlisberger was in fact accused of sexual assault, just that the allegations were untrue and the events in question did not happen.

(UPDATE: 5:01p ET): Chris McKearney of the BALDWIN (GA) BULLETIN reports:

Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Colon at his 2009 birthday party in Vegas

(Roethlisberger was joined at Milledgeville club by teammate Willie Colon)

Detectives with the Milledgeville Police Department in Milledgeville, Ga., will not interview Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger until Monday at the very earliest, according to an MPD spokesperson.

No arrests are immediately pending following an alleged sexual assault involving Roethlisberger and a woman early Friday morning at a Milledgeville nightclub.

The incident reportedly took place in a back hallway of Capitol City nightclub, a popular college hotspot that’s located two blocks away from Georgia College & State University.

Roethlisberger was briefly interviewed by MPD officers shortly after the incident.

Roethlisberger owns a home on nearby Lake Oconee, which is located roughly 30 minutes north of downtown Milledgeville.

What was to be a celebratory trip to Georgia turned ugly for Ben Roethlisberger today, as TMZ.com reports he’s been accused of sexual assault at a nightclub called Capital City in Milledgeville, Georgia.

TMZ:

According to law enforcement sources, the alleged victim — who has already been interviewed by police — was treated at a local hospital and released. We’re told in addition to the alleged victim, witnesses are being interviewed — and one law enforcement source says they will attempt to interview Roethlisberger.

The police report of the incident indicates the alleged sexual assault happened inside the Capital City ladies restroom. Read more…

Jerome Bettis Ate a Hamburger On The Sidelines

From SI’s Peter King today:

Jerome Bettis Ate a Hamburger On The Sidelines

To think I thought I never saw Bettis make anyone miss.

Speed Read: Rich Rod Fails At Jedi Mind Tricks

Rich Rodriguez finally has some breathing room at Michigan. After going on the hot seat after a 3-9 debut season that was the worst in school history, Rodriguez was almost buried before the season began by a range of allegations including violating NCAA practice rules and getting sued for a condo deal gone bad. But after a 38-34 win over Notre Dame in one of the most amazing college football games ever played a college football game, the Wolverines are back in the Top 25 and suddenly relevant again.

Rich Rodriguez point

So how does Rich Rod celebrate this stunning reversal of fortune? Exactly like you would expect he would: by opening his fool mouth and blowing out any goodwill he had earned by blatantly lying. It’s not his fault: it’s human nature. We all revert back to our default mechanisms at some point. For Rodriguez, it’s making an ass out of himself.

Read more…

Former Steelers RB Zereoue Runs African Bistro

When he was a backup running back for the Steelers, Amos Zereoue started teaching himself how to cook just so he wouldn’t eat McDonald’s and microwave dinners every single night. A decade later, he’s helping make dinner for hundreds, the owner of a popular Affican/French bistro in New York’s Midtown district.

amos zereoue chef

(Famous Amos, now with chef’s hat.)

Zereoue’s shift to restaurateur is one of the more unique transitions for former NFL players, though his transition is unique because of the restaurant’s style. Make no mistake, Zereoue — the restaurant, not the former player — is a four-star joint that caters to an elite clientele, not a sports bar near a football stadium, its proximity to Madison Square Garden not withstanding.

“We have to be different,” said Zereoue. “What’s new, what is different from the rest. I thought that was different. I didn’t want a sports bar with just burgers. I wanted something classy, high end type of thing. I didn’t want them to think from the name that it had just a sports theme. I wanted to get away from that.”

The approach is different and, so far, the results seem to be different, too. Rather than a significant portion of the sports bars opened by former stars, Zereoue’s bistro is succeeding not because of who he is, but because of what the restaurant is itself.

Read more…

Bank Robbers Use Jersey Numbers As Code Now

Pennsylvania residents Trammel Bledsoe and Phillip Sainsbury are not exactly model citizens.  In fact, they’re bank robbers (though they aren’t related to Deidra Lane) who are currently in prison after getting busted by the cops.  They also happen to be sports fans, and have found a fun new way to use sports knowledge to help commit crimes.

Reggie Bush

While Bledsoe is in prison he knows his telephone calls are being recorded.  So when he called his friend Joshua Burton to give him instructions on where to find the gun he ditched and the $3,500 he stole from the bank, he had to come up with some kind of code to let Burton know where to find the loot.  So he used athletes and their jersey numbers to give locations.

Read more…

Warning: Matt Millen About To Appear On Your TV

I didn’t watch that much of NBC’s pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl yesterday because frankly, the two weeks of build up to the game was enough for me. I didn’t need another five hours of hearing about how nobody expected the Cardinals to be there, or how Ben Roethlisberger was nervous during his first trip to the Super Bowl against the Seahawks a few years ago. That and I didn’t want to hear Tiki Barber say things like the Cardinals “are a team of density”.

Matt Millen warning

I’m sure a lot of people in Detroit felt the same way, because everywhere they looked there were reminders of how bad the Detroit Lions suck. First of all, they were at a Super Bowl, something the Lions may not even know exists. Then there was Jerome Bettis, who is from Detroit and won a Super Bowl in Detroit, but not for the Lions. Oh, and then there was Matt Millen on the screen every few minutes pretending to know anything about football, when any Lions fan could tell you he clearly doesn’t. Dealing with Millen’s mug on the screen was probably more than any Lions fan could take, so thankfully Detroit’s NBC affiliate made sure to run a warning on the screen whenever he showed up.

Seriously.

Read more…

Speed Read: Bears Somehow Still In Playoff Hunt

If there was ever a time to start considering some minimum standards for teams to make the playoffs, it’s right now. With the potential for both the Chargers and the Cardinals to make the playoffs - and have a home game! - with 8-8 records should be enough to make any football fan cringe. Has the NFL suddenly turned into the NBA’s Eastern Conference? Shouldn’t there be some sort of rule that you have to be above .500 to make the playoffs.

Kyle Orton

And there there’s the Chicago Bears, who are somehow still in the thick of the playoff chase after pulling out a 20-17 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers thanks ato a blocked field goal with time expiring to keep the game tied. Yes, those Chicago Bears. The one with the offensive playbook that is less sophisticated than that from the old Tecmo Bowl Nintendo game. The one with no pass defense to speak of. The one with Kyle Freakin’ Orton at quarterback.

But here they sit at 9-6, with a chance to either win the NFC North or get a wild card, despite having needed basically every result on Sunday to go exactly as they did for that to happen. If the Bears pull this off, it will be a Christmas miracle the likes of which haven’t been seen in Chicago since Macaulay Culkin single-handedly fought off Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

Home Alone

The NFL in 2008: you don’t have to be good to make the playoffs, just conveniently geographically positioned.

Of course, the highlight of the whole game might have been during the coin toss. It wasn’t a total debacle like the Jerome Bettis coin toss against the Lions a few years ago, but it was pretty humorous. If you didn’t see it during the game, keep your eye on Brian Urlacher during the toss:

I think the referee needs to practice the coin toss a bit more. And way to not even have your eyes on the coin, Brian. Head on a swivel!

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers aren’t making the playoffs, but they are playing a lot better under “interim” head coach Mike Singletary (and really, is there any way he won’t be the head coach next season?). And they have a plan for Sunday’s season finale at home against the Redskins.

Ray Wersching

According to the SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT, along with the throwback uniforms, many members of the team will also be sporting “throwback” mustaches. Posted on the wall for motivation are pictures of great mustaches from 49ers past, including John Ayers, Ray Wersching, Jimmy Johnson and Roger Craig. Let’s just hope they don’t decide to imitate Wersching’s financial strategies as well.

  • DEADSPIN wonders if Fox NFL analyst Brian Baldinger’s gross right pinky finger is getting - well, even more gross. Honestly, there’s no way to fix that thing? Maybe a pair of pliers?
  • Brian Baldinger and his gross finger

  • Along with baseball, another event on tap for the first month of operations at the New Yankee Stadium is an “inspirational night of encouragement by TV minister Joel Osteen. Unfortunately for him, a worker cursed the event by burying an old sequined dress from Tammy Faye Baker beneath the stadium during construction.
  • Derek Jeter is hardly opening his arms to potentially welcome Manny Ramirez into the Yankees’ fold, telling the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER that the Yankees “don’t need” the mercurial free agent because their line-up has “scored plenty of runs.” Keep in mind, this is a team that let Melky Cabrera and his .249 batting average get more than 400 ABs last season. I think you could use the help in the line-up, Captain.
  • What it is about Texas high school cheerleading that always seems to wind up getting some combination of school administrators, lawyers or the police involved? This time the DALLAS MORNING NEWS says it’s a disgruntled parent who says her daughter didn’t make the team because of harassment from other cheerleaders.
  • The BASEBALL THINK FACTORY warns that you not to call Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman and talk about Adam Dunn’s high number of walks. I suggest that we all call his show and demand to talk about that just to see if Brennaman’s head will explode.
  • An undersized guard named Curry helping a mid-major team make some noise with a deadly jumper? RIVALS.COM wants the world to get ready for Stephen Curry’s younger brother Seth, who has been leading Liberty back from the basketball wasteland.
  • Animal Planet has a new TV show premiering in February called “Jockeys,” about the trials and tribulations of the riders at the Oak Tree Meet at Santa Anita. It’s the most compelling story about little people since “Under the Rainbow” - and 100 percent Chevy Chase free!
  • Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint missed the Dragons’ game against Memphis and his mentor John Calipari after being suspended one game for being ejected from his team’s loss to Bucknell last Thursday. The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says it’s good he missed the game: the Tigers crushed Drexel, 87-49. Hey, at least Drexel still got their $90,000.
  • Finally…did you love the Super Bowl Shuffle but wish that involved less football and more rapping about maple syrup and Grey Poupon? Then in honor of the Bears’ win last night, the Super Broker Shuffle is for you:

Who is your pick for the NFL Coach of the Year?

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Speed Read: Teammates Make Great Interviewers

NBC’s Football Night In America sure knows how to bring the hard interviews to Joe Fantasygm’s television. Former Giants running back Tiki Barber sat down with current Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, and little-known Detroit native Jerome Bettis was at the Steelers-Titans game and somehow scored an on-field interview with his former quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

Bettis Roethlisberger Tiki Barker interviews

Honestly, all sports interviews should be conducted by former teammates-turned-journalists. It makes them so much more fun, and they can talk about the good old days when there were two or three years in their careers that intertwined. Keyshawn Johnson can talk to Terrell Owens while sharing a king sized bed, braiding each other’s hair and ask each other, “Seriously, isn’t it better to be like us than it is to be a fan of the game?” “Yeah, screw the fans!” [high five]

Overtime games - New Orleans Bown and Panthers-Giants

Barber was nowhere to be seen (rats!) as the Giants nuzzled up to home field advantage with a 34-28 overtime win over the surprising Panthers. Derrick Ward rumbled for 215 yards on merely 15 carries. A visibly crushed DeAngelo Williams was not consoled by Tim Biakabutuka.

Elsewhere in overtime news, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl went to an extra frame with Southern Miss winning 30-27 over Troy, with USM’s Britt Barefoot doinking a field goal off the inside of the goalposts for the game-winning three points. Not only is Barefoot an amazing name for a kicker, as is his coach’s, Larry Fedora. Anyone whose surname is also a hat immediately wins trust in my book.

Boston Celtics win 18 straight

Four teams not named the Boston Celtics have 18 wins or more this season. One team actually named the Celtics has 18 wins or more in a current streak of basketball games. A 124-105 dismantling of the New York Knicks on Sunday evening kept the streak alive. This ties a franchise record, and it’s only the longest win streak since … earlier this year, when the idiosyncratic Houston Rockets won 22 before losing to … Boston. If The C’s can make it 26 in a row, the Rockets will get a chance to return the favor on January 7. The NBA: where looking extremely far down the road happens.

SbB: Where ten other stories I didn’t have much else to say about happens.

  • NESW SPORTS finds an oblique mention of Ahmad Rashad making a jump shot for the Philadelphia 76ers, but no mention of it anywhere else on the Internet. Much like the fossils in the ground, God probably put this video on the tubes to test our faith.
  • One more thing about that Celtics game. The BOSTON HERALD reports that Glen Davis missed the game after getting in a car crash on his way to the game, and his head broke the windshield. The accident was classified by the Celtics as “minor,” probably because their spokespeople are manly men who jog home from vasectomies.
  • Now that the Lions are 0-15, we can now call Bizarro Mercury Morris because they are on his block. The DETROIT NEWS is asking Lions fans — the ones that haven’t strangled themselves yet — put out an online survey asking what emotion best describes the reaction to this season. The results so far?

    Lions poll

    Put that on a t-shirt. “The Detroit Lions: The Otherest Team In History.”

  • We almost went a whole day without any Mark Teixeira rumors. Sheesh! Well, the Angels are pulling away their 8-year, $54 gazillion offer, leaving Tex with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals or Orioles as potential new homes. Two of these is not like the others. The MERCURY NEWS is rather sick of this bidding war, concluding he will sign “maybe with Baltimore or Washington, whereupon he will say the perennial loser that lands him was attractive because it offers the best chance to win.”
  • The Phoenix Suns need a new point guard and are having open tryouts for the position. As noted by BRIGHT SIDE OF THE SUN, ““The six guys that will be here Monday are a mix of vets and youngsters ranging from the 26 year old Walker Russell to the 83 year old Darrell Armstrong.
  • THE HARDBALL TIMES reminds Cubs fans that, no matter how bad it gets for the team, its fans can always fall back on their pure hatred of Steve Garvey.
  • THE 700 LEVEL has video of the Eagles-Redskins final play, perhaps the most climactic finish of the day in the NFL, where Reggie Brown gets stopped cold at the goalline, denying Philly the game-tying touchdown on the final play.
  • Oh, Mike Singletary, never change. After the 49ers escaped out of St. Louis with a 17-16 win (after being down 16-3 in the fourth), the interim coach said of his quarterback Shaun Hill after throwing his third interception: “I was going to choke him.” Good lord. If Singletary doesn’t get hired back next year, he’s a shoe-in to become a New York Mets consultant.
  • Now for a critical NHL All-Star voting update. Sidney Crosby rallied from 120,000 fake Canadiens votes behind to shatter the all-time NHL votes record and leads Alexei Kovalev by 280,000 votes. Three other Canadiens are still in the lead, but not by much. The anticipation is palpable! I can hardly zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
  • The Cowboys might have ate it hard in their home finale but Jerry Jones seems content in keeping Wade Phillips around for another year, despite the game being a seemingly passing of the torch to Jason Garrett. The STAR TELEGRAM does not seem pleased with this. “Talk about your buzz kills. Not only did Coach Wade help ruin a huge party for fans and legends assembled to bid farewell to Texas Stadium on Saturday, he now apparently has another 16 games to bring his special brand of “ish” football to JerryWorld.”

Who is your favorite winless team or person?

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NBC Hopes To Cook Up Football Fun w/New Book

Are you ready for some football? And are you ready to enjoy some grilled gridiron cuisine & tackle some tasty turf-inspired snacks?

Well, we have just the thing for you - a Sunday Night Football cookbook!

Sunday Night Football cookbook

(The NBC Peacock tried unsuccessfully to have all poultry recipes removed)

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY serves up the news that NBC Sports has teamed up with Time, Inc., to create a literary work combining food & football. The cookbook is expected to hit stores next month with a suggested retail price of $27.95. Although that might seem a bit steep for directions on how to make nachos, all proceeds from the book sales will apparently go to charity.

So, what culinary delights await readers? Read more…

Mike Ditka’s Restaurant Expanding Into Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh diners, better prepare yourself emotionally for mustache envy: Mike Ditka’s coming to town!

Mike Ditka Flipping the Bird

(Ditka passing in front of Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36)

Rumors are popping up that “Iron Mike” is getting ready to open the 3rd namesake restaurant in his very-slowly-expanding empire in Pittsburgh.

The PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW is reporting that the restaurant has been advertising for its first group of employees, even though no one’s exactly sure where the restaurant is going to be located.

Read more…