Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183: Loving the 93,000-strong support the Aussies made short work of their neighbors to win the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time yesterday. The Kiwis had a difficult start, losing three wickets early but then had a run to 150 when disaster hit and they lost three more for almost no runs. The home side had a terrific innings from captain Michael Clarke and (his replacement as captain?) Steve Smith, needing only five batsmen to run down the win. There were, of course, a few afters ;)
The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage: The quarterfinals start tomorrow afternoon (11:30 EDT tonight for those of us not in that part of the world) with a showdown between Sri Lanka and South Africa. We gotta romanticize something, so it may as well be Sri Lankan bowler extraordinaire, Lasith Malinga. Also, Updated Fixtures, Odds and Predictions.
Crowd Catch: The lengths some people will go to to catch a ball in the crowd. Also, in cricket, using a mitt is illegal.
Are You Ready for Some Snookball?: If you built a $7,000 pool table big enough to walk around on and replaced the balls with soccer balls, you'd be playing Snookball. The sport was invented by two French entrepreneurs and there are 10 tables in that country so far. "We know this game will be popular when beer is involved," one told Sport Bible.
Lure Banned from Competitive Fishing for Being 'Too Effective': The Alabama Rig has become the first artificial lure ever banned from fishing competitions. It's too good at catching bass, walleye and northern pike. The top U.S. bass-fishing competitions, BASS and F.L.W. Outdoors, have banned its use along with similar lures, and BASS extended the ban to all levels. "The anglers feel that sometimes it can be too effective and it takes away some of the skill in what is a traditional tournament," said David Precht of BASS. Alabama Rig inventor Andy Poss is bummed. "I really looked up to those guys," he said. "But then you get in the business side of fishing; it was a really big letdown."
Cricketer Fighting for Life After Ball to Head: An Australian cricketer suffered a life-threatening injury when struck below his helmet while swinging at a cricket ball during a match in Sydney Tuesday. Phillip Hughes, 25, collapsed and his heart reportedly stopped before he was resuscitated. He was put in an induced coma at a hospital and is in intensive care. "In first class cricket, top batsmen face balls delivered at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour, so injuries aren't uncommon, but they are very rarely this serious thanks to the protection usually provided by padding and helmets" the Wall Street Journal explains.
New Zealand Wins Nude Rugby Match Over England: "The country's premiere naked rugby team beat a spirited English challenge yesterday afternoon in their pre-test match curtain-raiser. ... The Nude Blacks are used to dominating their encounters, having lost only one of their 13 games in the south. But some hard play by the English kept the game tight ..." Photo gallery.
California Chrome Makes Triple Crown Bid: California Chrome could become the 12th Triple Crown champion with a win in the Belmont Stakes in New York at 6:52 p.m. Eastern Saturday evening. The last to achieve the fear was Affirmed in 1978, 36 years ago. Chrome will start one spot from the inside rail for the mile-and-a-half race -- the longest Triple Crown event. "I know it'll be tougher going a mile and a half, but this horse is a good horse. I think he's the real McCoy," said trainer Art Sherman.
MMA fighter Joe Torrez kills armed intruder Sal Garces in New Mexico: Torrez may be charged after he fended off four home intruders, killing one and severely injuring another.
Českż lakros: (Czech lacrosse) Before the [1989 Velvet] revolution, Czech Boy Scouts, inspired by illustrations of American Indians at play, fashioned their own sticks and rules of the game... "...It was created in the late sixties by people interested in the life of American Native people but they didn't have contact to international federation, to international lacrosse bodies. So they created their special own rules..." "...Played with very small sticks closely resembling the original Indian sticks. This had come about because a Professor at one of their colleges was very keen on the North American Indian way of life and had formed an association who emulated this way of life during the summer months, one of the activities being the Indian game of Lacrosse; this game was very popular among the young people and was often played in the country at weekends when the flat dwelling of Prague emigrated from the city."
Piers Morgan Bowled Over: I can't explain any of this, but CNN host Piers Morgan was pelted multiple times by a cricket ball thrown by a former pro, to the delight of an Australian audience. He suffered a cracked wrist and bruised ribs.
Password change: Asked about this a while back ... was it ever added anywhere?
Bill Mazer, a Sports Fixture of New York Radio and TV, Dies: Bill Mazer, who was a voice and face of sports coverage in New York for decades, pioneering sports-talk radio and becoming a television fixture while earning the nickname the Amazin for his encyclopedic recall of sports facts and figures, died on Wednesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 92.
Govt. shutdown halts sports at military academies: The Department of Defense has suspended athletic events at the military academies due to the government shutdown.
Chris Horner, age 41, becomes the oldest winner of a Grand Tour: I really want to believe he isn't doping. What Horner did in the Vuelta was nothing short of incredible - so I guess by definition it hardly seems credible.
WWE Wrestler Darren Young: I'm Gay: WWE pro wrestler Darren Young was walking out of LAX airport in Los Angeles when a TMZ cameraman asked him whether the sport would accept a gay wrestler. "Absolutely," Young replied. "Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay."
African Muslim Rises Up Sumo Ranks: An Egyptian Muslim has become the first sumo wrestler from Africa to reach the second-highest division of the sport. Osunaarashi Kintaro, 21, whose real name is Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, is a Giza, Egypt, native who began practicing sumo at age 15 and moved to Japan two years ago. He's 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds and was promoted to juryo division after only eight tournaments. "God has given me the gift (of victory) after I have gone through a lot of pain," he said. Favoring pushing and thrust-out techniques so far in his career, Osunaarashi's sumo name means "great sandstorm."
Explosions at Finish Line of Boston Marathon: Authorities are investigating a report of two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There were two booms heard from near the finish line inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel. Photo taken during explosion.
Cyclist Gropes Woman's Butt on Race Podium: Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan was pictured groping the bottom of a podium girl after the Tour of Flanders as the event hostesses gave congratulatory kisses to race winner Fabian Cancellara. AFP calls his actions sexual harassment and asks, "[I]s the use of models as some kind of uncomfortable hybrid of hostess and shamelessly exploitative "eye candy" now outmoded and inappropriate to the modern sport?"
Brian Lara vs Sachin Tendulkar: And why sports comparisons are meaningless but still jolly good fun.
We Can't Accept Mediocrity: Australia sacks four cricketers for not preparing a presentation.
Lance Armstrong Admits Using PEDs, Destroying People: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on her cable network Thursday, disgraced champion cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs, engaged in blood doping and engaged in lawsuits and other efforts to destroy the people who told the truth about his efforts to cheat. "I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times," said Armstrong, whose public act of contrition is part of a choreograped campaign to persuade the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to let him compete in elite triathlons. One of his victims was former U.S. cycling team massage therapist Emma O'Reilly. After she went public with her knowledge of Armstrong's cheating in 2003, he sued her and characterized her as a prostitute with an alcohol problem. "He was suing me for more than I was worth. I was worried he would bankrupt me," she said.
Tony Hawk Ruffles Feathers with Family Photo: A photo of Tony Hawk skateboarding in his backyard skate park with his four-year-old daughter upset some people because she's not wearing a helmet. In response, Hawk tweeted, "For those that say I endanger my child: it's more likely that you will fall while walking on the sidewalk than I will while skating with my daughter."
Tom Sims, skate- and snowboard pioneer, died Sept. 12 of cardiac arrest. He was 61: As a young star in the 1970's SoCal skateboarding circuit, Sims was a tireless promoter of the sport, building the first longboards for skating and founding Sims Skateboards, who made the first lightweight laminated skateboards and managed the Sims skateboard team, sponsoring rising stars like Stacy Peralta, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Kevin Staab, and the late Jeff Philips (it's all a little complicated, hard feelings all around, as the above links hint). Sims' attention moved to the slopes and his company morphed into Sims Snowboards, making the first metal edged snowboard, the first snowboarding half pipe, the first freestyle snowboard, the first snowboards designed specifically for women riders, and the first pro-model snowboard. Here he is in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill riding down the mountain on a snowmobile ski. Peers, friends, and former riders reflect.
Tour de France Sabotaged by Tacks: Around 30 competitors in the main pack of the Tour de France got flat tires and one rider crashed Sunday after someone spread tacks on the road. Astana rider Robert Kiserlovski broke his collarbone and has dropped out of the race. "There's nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening," said leader Bradley Wiggins. "It's sad."
The most amazing bowling story you'll ever read: Bill Fong is tied as the 15th-best competitive league bowler in Plano, Texas. One night in January two years ago, he almost achieved immortality. And then again, maybe he achieved it anyway.
"He's in pain, he's risking his career... and he's doing it for someone else.": Olympic lifting is not the easiest of endeavours. Getting 157 kilos over your head would be a challenge at the best of times. But imagine, for a moment, you were trying to execute a clean and jerk with a torn quadracep that has left you barely able to walk. Would you do that to qualify for the Olympics? Would you do that for someone else to qualify? Tevita Ngalu did.
No Triple Crown as I'll Have Another Scratched: I'll Have Another has been scratched from the Belmont Stakes due to injury, trainer Doug O'Neill said on the Dan Patrick radio show Friday. The thoroughbred was a 4-5 favorite to win the race, which could have brought horse racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Stray Dog Joins 1,000-Mile Bike Race: A stray dog has completed a 1,000-mile journey across China after joining a bicycle race from Sichuan province to Tibet. The dog, Xiaosa, joined the cyclists after one of them gave him food and followed the pack for 20 days, covering up to 37 miles a day and ascending 12 mountains.
Death in the London Marathon: Claire Squires, 30, from Leicestershire, collapsed on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday. She was running to raise money for the Samaritans, for whom her mother has been a volunteer for 24 years, and in memory of her brother who died of an overdose. She hoped to raise a few quid. As of this post, her Justgiving account had raised almost £450,000 from more than 40,000 donations.
Two Horses Put Down at 2012 Grand National: For the second consecutive year two horses have died at England's prestigious Grand National. Synchronised and According to Pete were destroyed after breaking legs. The RSPCA described the deaths as "totally unacceptable" and called for "an urgent examination" of the race.
Why You Should Always Use Protection: New Zealand cricket batsman Kane Williamson suffered a broken box during a match today against South Africa when a throw by an unapologetic Dale Steyn hit him "flush in the groin region." "You do want your box to break rather like the front of a racing car," said the announcer. "If it smashes up then it disperses the energy."
Williams Late Try is Winner for Wales: Wales lifted the Triple Crown at Twickenham after a thrilling victory over England. Replacement Scott Williams was the hero as his sensational second-half try completed a dramatic Welsh comeback. With the scores tied at 12-12, the replacement centre ripped the ball off Courtney Lawes and regathered his own kick ahead to score the decisive try. In a thrilling finale, England wing David Strettle came within inches of scoring with the final play of the game, as the television official ruled he had not grounded the ball in the corner.
Iditarod Dog Runs Away in Alaska: The German musher Silvia Furtwrangler had a small problem after she arrived in Alaska to prepare for the Iditarod sled dog race a week ago. Her lead dog, Whistler, escaped the truck and ran into the woods around Anchorage. Neither cries of "Whistler, kommen sie!" nor moose steaks and bacon lured him back, and he was seen at various places around town for four days. Finally, a brownie and roast beef lured him into the garage of someone who saw him on the news. "Iditarod dogs bolt from their mushers seemingly every year -- often during the race, but sometimes before, when teams arrive in Anchorage and skittish huskies, unfamiliar with the city, disappear into neighborhoods," reports the Anchorage Daily News.
Cyclist: Why Doping Must Never Be Legalized: "I was a professional cyclist. ... I had several contract negotiations with teams that were at a higher level than mine. I possessed all they wanted as far as skills, personality, engine, etc. But there is always a question they ask at the final meeting. It is code. And if you answer incorrectly, your contract offer is pulled. That question is 'Are you willing to do everything it takes for the team to win?'"
Contador should have hired Armstrong's lawyers: Contador gets a two-year ban and forfeits a Tour de France win (among other victories). Andy Schleck is now elevated to the yellow jersey for that year.
Volleyball's Wizard of Westwood to retire at the end of this season: "The era of Al Scates coaching UCLA is a special era in collegiate athletics that, maybe because it's men's volleyball, most people don't appreciate." This will be Coach Scates 50th and final season as the head coach at UCLA, highlighted by 19 NCAA titles, 44 USMNT members, 27 Olympians, and 42 seasons of "mutually agreed-upon one-year contracts".