The 49ers are desperate — desperate! — for a starting quarterback. So when it comes to Matthew Stafford, perhaps the closest thing to can’t miss QB in this year’s draft, why does it seem like they’re doing everything they can to come up with an excuse to not take him?
From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED comes a look inside the combine, and San Francisco’s team psychologist’s meeting with Stafford. The word out of 49er camp is that he was too reticent to talk about his parents’ divorce. But can you really blame a 21-year-old kid for not wanting to discuss his personal issues with someone he’s known for a matter of minutes?
WOOOO! YEAH! AMERICA ROCKS! OUR FOREIGN POLICY HAS JUST BEEN VINDICATED BECAUSE WE KICKED SOME ASS ON THE DIAMOND! YEAH!The score was USA 15, Venezuela 6 in first-round World Baseball Classic action last night, and with a 2-0 record in pool play, the Americans are assured of advancing to the next round. Your heroes are Chris Ianetta (3-run double in 6th inning) and Mark DeRosa (4 RBI). Wait, those guys are actually on America’s roster? Seriously?
(DeRosa, proving that refs totally listen to you when you say you’re safe.)
As to whether we can glean too much joy from beating the tar out of a team from a country with a GDP that’s roughly the same as the state of Iowa? (By the way, you’ve got to click that link; I don’t know if Alabama’s or Texas’ corollary is funnier or more offensive to their residents.) Sure. For as meh a country as Venezuela is on the global stage, their lineup was filled with starting-caliber talent. The meat of the Venezuela order, consisting of Bobby Abreu, Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen, is downright All-Star quality. If only their pitching wasn’t garbage.
In college basketball, we now know five teams that’ll be losing in the first round of the tournament, plus North Carolina smacked Duke down for the ACC regular season title, 79-71. The men of the match were Tyler Hansborough, giving the Dean Dome 17 points in his last home game, and Ty Lawson, who was doubtful to play (oh, please) with a sprained toe but poured in 13, 9, and 8 in the win.
UNC’s now 6 for their last 7 against the Blue Devils, who were beaten for the second seed in the ACC tourney by Wake Forest. Suddenly, even a 2 seed in the NCAAs doesn’t seem so assured for Coach K’s charges. FIRE THE BUM!
As for hockey (or as they call it in Europe, “football”), we do need to commend Washington Capitals fans with a spirited, to say the least, attack on Sidney Crosby’s worth as a hockey player and as a man. The singular fatal flaw in their plan, however, was the fact that Crosby’s still one of the five best players in the NHL. As it turns out, Crosby made Washington pay dearly: one goal, one assist, and the clinching goal in the shootout to give Pittsburgh the 4-3 victory. But hey… nice work on the signs, fans.
(And you can’t spell “Penguin” without “P-U-N!” Wakka wakka wakka!)
As for Alex Ovechkin, the Caps’ superstar, he had a magnificent performance of his own. No, it won’t show up in the stat sheet… but it will show up on TV and YouTube, because it’s incredible. Courtesy of the DC SPORTS BOG:
Did you ever watch that “Real Housewives of Atlanta” show? No? Us neither. But apparently the one who’s the ex-wife former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield’s being sued by Whitfield for about $87,000. Honest mistake on her part, we’re sure.
Fat Ronaldo’s back from that horrific injury, and his first goal is a game-winner in injury time. Naturally, it comes replete with fans going completely ballistic and fences being torn down. Because hey, it’s soccer, and that’s just, y’know, what you do.
According to (scarcely SFW) BUSTED COVERAGE, this Ohio State cheerleader supposedly runs a 4.4 40 and might make the football team. Hey, you know what’s more fun than playing football at Ohio State? Grabbing cheerleaders’ asses in front of those same 100,000+ people while the football players are the ones getting hit all the time. If only there were a way for him to do that instead…
It’s all well and good to feel bad for Michael Crabtree, whose foot injury will cause him to miss the combine and possibly slip lower in the first round. But how about we direct some of that sympathy towards someone who really deserves it: a player for whom the combine means retirement.
Northeastern tight end Brian Mandeville took his routine physical only for doctors to find a problem with one of his heart valves. They’ve advised him that for his safety, football should not be in his future. Yep. His football career is done before it started. Read more…
Former Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith is a surefire Top 10 NFL pick. He’s big as a house (he checks in on the scale between 270 and 330 pounds), he’s fast and he has a heck of a mean streak. Unfortunately, he also has no discipline, which is why he’s finding himself back under the microscope of public attention at the NFL Scouting Combine, primarily because he’s gone missing from the event all together.
(How, exactly, can you lose sight of this mammal?)
According to SI.com’s Tony Pauline, Smith — a 270-pound man mountain — vanished into thin air this morning in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. When NFL officials scrambled to find him, they were eventually informed that he had flown back to Atlanta to resume workouts, according to his agent, Alvins Keels. Fat chance that’s the real reason, though Smith is fat enough while out of shape to significantly improve those odds via his body mass alone.
Eric Kettani is an impressive football player. He finished his career at the Naval Academy with a 125-yard rushing performance in a rout of Army and he scored a touchdown in the Senior Bowl. In fact, Kettani has played so well that he’s earned himself some serious attention from NFL scouts, who want to see him compete at the NFL Combine and, potentially, as a fullback in the NFL. There’s just one problem: The military won’t let him go.
According to a story in the BALTIMORE SUN, Kettani was told that he won’t be allowed to compete in the NFL until after he fulfills his five-year military obligation, a pledge all students at Navy or Army make when the accept their free, government-funded elite education.
The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reveals that back in January, a woman from Little Rock filed suit against McFadden, alleging the Arkansas RB to be the father of her little girl. But Darren denies he’s the daddy. Read more…
Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com has a piece this weekend that we thought might be satire, a least for a second: “Player weigh-ins will no longer air as part of the NFL Network’s Combine coverage, FOXSports.com has learned.”
Combine director Jeff Foster said, “There was concern from current NFL players that the participants would be more comfortable if they were not paraded around without their shirts on. It was an entirely appropriate suggestion. The weigh-ins should never have been televised.” Read more…
Thanks to YAHOO! SPORTS O.G. Michael Silver, Isaac Hilton will now forever be known as the pro football prospect with the surest way to the Canadian Football League. Not able to take the pressure of having his measurements taken and his body analyzed like a blogger examining photos of Erin Andrews, Silver reports Hilton let loose:
“The poor kid pissed himself,” recalls one scout who witnessed it. “He was standing up there … and it all just came out. Craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”