The couple assumedly is from Winnipeg, where Larsen lives, which can only mean one thing: Teppo Numminen as Best Man.
If anyone wanted to know the difference between college football and the NFL, you just needed to watch the two games last night. (At least the two that anyone cared about - sorry, Florda A&M at Winston-Salem State on ESPNU.) If you like offense, crazy plays and wild comebacks, then the Clemson at Georgia Tech game was for you. But if you prefer low-scoring, hard-hitting football that’s kind of not very exciting until the final five minutes, then the NFL kickoff game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was for you. (Sorry, is my bias showing?)
First let’s talk about the Steelers’ 13-10 overtime victory. Plainly put, Pittsburgh had no reason to win this game. They could not run the ball, gaining a whopping 33 yards. (Note to the guy in my fantasy league bragging about “stealing” Rashard Mendenhall: eat it.) And between Jeff Reed almost shanking the game-tying 32-yard field goal into the offensive line’s backsides and Hines Ward fumbling after a reception took him inside the Titans’ five with a minute to go, they were teetering on disaster. Read more…
There’s something about the name Morgan that just brings out the crazy in professional baseball — not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily. Know why Nyjer Morgan was happy about going from the Pirates to the Nationals? He likes the color red.
(Washington Nationals socks uniformity Fail)
As you can see in the photo above (Morgan is on the right), he likes red the way that a certain Almighty Creator archfiend likes red. And if that seems like an odd way to think, I present you with the receptionist who wins your NCAA office basketball pool every year by picking teams based on uniform color.
After his Penguins’ remarkable run to the Stanley Cup, life’s probably never been better for Pittsburgh’s young phenom Sidney Crosby. If only he’d move out of Mario Lemieux’s house.
(”Back in my day, this was what we used for a Me-Space!” “God kill me now.”)
So it seemed like a stroke of genius when his “If You See Crosby”* page on MySpace announced that he was helping raise money for a park… in Minneapolis… that was burned down… by gang members. If your BS alarm is going off like crazy, good, because it means you have a pulse.
There must be a little-known rule in the NHL that in order to qualify for the Conn Smythe trophy, you must have a pretty hot girlfriend. Last year’s winner, Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings, got to take his trophy home to his gal pal Emma Andersson - a Swedish sweetie who reminds some of our readers of a certain SbB Girl.
And now Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins continues the proud tradition of celebrating the Conn Smythe with a sexy significant other. This year’s trophy girlfriend is Oksana Kondakova - and based on the photos above & below, Geno’s doing quite alright for himself.
Wednesday was the 15th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco chase, perhaps the most riveting low-speed pursuit of all time until James Harrison’s fumble return in this year’s Super Bowl. I wonder if someone baked O.J. a cake in jail? (I point this out basically so I can remind everyone that’s where he is right now - in jail. No matter how down or depressed I might get in life, I can now always remind myself of this and smile.)
Of course, someone reminded me that O.J. Simpson spent more time in jail over the double murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman than Donte Stallworth will for his DUI manslaughter conviction - and O.J. was found not guilty. Which, of course, is another reminder of just how screwed up the criminal justice system is, causing me to start grinding my teeth again. But then I think: “O.J.’s in jail, trying to fend off the advances of Stickpin Bubba,” and I start to feel better again.
It’s amazing to me that, in a pre-9/11 world, the question of “where were you when O.J. ran?” was basically my generation’s version of the JFK assassination. How gloriously naive we were back then. I was home on summer break from college, having just returned from playing some basketball with my friends and sitting slack-jawed with my Mom as the whole thing unfolded. Now the whole thing seems like some dated bit of pop trivia - except for when Fred Goldman pops up to remind you that real people died, and he’d really like to see O.J.’s stuff get sold so he can get some of his money.
Matt Millen’s reputation isn’t as far in the gutter as O.J.’s, but after destroying any shred of hope that the Detroit Lions might have had for winning in the next 20 years, it isn’t good. Which makes you wonder how much credibility he’ll have working as an analyst for the NFL Network this season. But don’t worry, Matt: Don Banks from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is here to help, with what I assume was meant to be a puff piece on Millen but turns out to be a master class in unintentional comedy.
First off, Banks’ main premise is that the stage is set for Millen to have a huge comeback - like Richard Nixon. Yeah, Nixon. Not Frank Sinatra or John Travolta or even Anvil, but Richard Nixon. A good rule of thumb: if you are comparing your interview subject to Richard Nixon in any way, you probably aren’t doing yourself any favors. At least he didn’t compare him to Hitler (that only happens in Detroit).
But it turns out that Matt Millen “admits to being something of a Nixon buff.” Of course he is. And much like Tricky Dick, Millen seems to see himself as the perpetual victim:
“I don’t go backwards,” Millen said. “I just don’t think like that. There’s nothing I can do about [Detroit]. All I can do is from here on out. I understand. In Detroit, they need a bad guy. I was a bad guy. I was to blame for the fall of the auto industry and the housing market. Somehow, I had something to do with [Detroit mayor] Kwame Kilpatrick [resigning], although I’m not sure what. But that’s what happens when you lose in this game. You give everyone a cheap and easy story to jump on.”
Right, because your gross incompetence in leading the Lions to the worst eight-year record in modern NFL history was “cheap and easy” and not at all deserved. Come on. I liked Millen a lot as an analyst, but to try and whitewash his awful tenure in Detroit is simply insane. But Banks seems to think that Millen’s career as an executive might not be over:
I’m intrigued with the idea that Millen, in this era of ultra-short attention spans and a 24/7 news cycle, can put his head down, go back to work at the TV and radio gigs he once excelled at, and re-emerge some day soon with a different reputation and image than he engenders today. I not only think it could happen, I’m convinced it will happen.
Don Banks is clearly off of his meds. Just hang tight there, Don: the men with the white jackets will be there soon to take you back to the funny farm. The idea that a team would be stupid enough to let Matt Millen anywhere near their personnel department is nuts. But then again, as long as Cincinnati is still in the league, anything is possible.
Finally, the Day of the Lakers wrapped up in Los Angeles with Kobe Bryant appearing on the “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” to discuss winning his fourth NBA title. Nothing earth-shattering happened (no Triumph the Insult Comic Dog coming on to ask about Colorado), but there were a few decent moments. And seriously, Kobe couldn’t be bothered to get out of his tracksuit for the interview?:
More sports news to consider whether it’s OK to laugh at this window washer’s Wile E. Coyote-like tumble as he fell six stories before bouncing off a lower roof since somehow he lived to tell the tale:
- Congratulations to Ivan Rodriguez for breaking Carlton Fisk’s record with his 2,227th game caught on Wednesday night for the Houston Astros as they lost to his old team the Texas Rangers. Fisk was even nice enough to send a congratulatory note, although calling Rodriguez “the other Pudge” seems a bit like a backhanded swipe.
- The Marines have been called to Bethpage Black to help with the U.S. Open. No, they aren’t there to take down anyone who shouts “You Da Man!” on sight (too bad): they are there to help keep track of wayward golfers as they leave the course during practice rounds.
- Are you ready for some Canadian football? A 110-yard party? The CFL exhibition season opened up today, giving Adrian McPherson time to shake the off-season rust. TSN has a season preview, in case your newsstand doesn’t carry the slate of CFL preview magazines.
- In the world of silly PR stunts, Cash4Gold put out a press release offering to melt the Stanley Cup down for the Pittsburgh Penguins if they want some extra money. Don’t let the NHL get wind of this idea: they might take it seriously.
- There’s a new fighting style - supposedly gleaned from prison brawls and street fights - called “52 Blocks” that is on the verge of becoming the next big thing in martial arts. Here’s a training video from one of the guys mentioned in the NEW YORK TIMES story:
- Arkansas used a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning to send their College World Series elimination game against Virginia to extra innings, and then won it with a double in the 12th. Their reward? A date with unbeaten LSU.
- Your latest contender for Mugshot of the Year: George Dirgo, who was arrested for allegedly threatening a high school football player in Arizona. 1989 called and it wants its hair back:
- An update on former Yankee and world class sleaze Mel Hall: after being convicted of the sexual assault of a 12-year-old, he’s now been sentenced to 45 years in prison, ending what a prosecutor called a “reign of terror.”
- The New York Giants will now be taking “Timex Timeouts” as part of a $35 million sponsorship deal signed in the off-season. Also on tap: Timex logos on their practice jerseys.
- Finally, some pretty cool news for all you tech geeks: MLB will soon be streaming games to iPhones through their “At-Bat” application.
• Kevin Love is the first one to tell, er, Tweet the world that Kevin McHale would be leaving the Timberwolves.
• Now that’s what you call a road test fiesta! Thanks, Top Gear!
• Could Coach K depart Duke to land as head honcho for the Lakers?
• Eddie Van Halen is very hot at Nike for ripping off his guitar to design their new shoes.
• The Stanley Cup takes a dip in Mario Lemieux’s pool.
His identity is still unknown, but if Dave Wannstedt is wise he’ll find out pronto who it was who rifled a football from the street and into an upper-floor window of a church during the Penguins’ victory parade on Monday in downtown Pittsburgh. If you haven’t see the video by now, we have it below.
It was before the parade when this guy started throwing a football at the fifth floor window of the Diocese of Pittsburgh building. Word on the street is that he was throwing the ball to a priest. Accounts vary as to how many tries it took for him to nail the target, but an eyewitness thinks he knows for sure. Read more…
One of the great things about being the Stanley Cup is that you get to attend all the post-season parties every year, no matter who wins. Here we see the trophy at a victory pool party at Mario Lemieux’s house this past weekend. (Hey, the Cup is swimming naked!)
I’m not quite sure just why the Stanley Cup is so popular at the conclusion of the season, while trophies for the Super Bowl and World Series never get close to the same attention. The Stanley Cup is like Benjamin Franklin in France during the American Revolution; impressing the men with his down-home charisma and charming the ladies with his inexplicable sex appeal (see below). Read more…
You thought the victory celebration in Los Angeles was rough? This stuffed penguin begs to differ. Stanley the Gamer, as he has been dubbed, was rescued no less than three times from rowdy Red Wings fans bent on destroying him prior to Game 7 on the NHL Playoffs on Friday. But he survived, and is credited as the good luck charm that made the difference in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win for the Stanley Cup.