The Hall of Fame Rejection Committee: For reasons passing understanding, Buffalo sports-talk hosts Mike Schopp and the Bulldog have been eliminating three baseball players from the Hall of Fame each day, with the intent of eventually arriving at a single Hall of Famer. It's one of those sports-talk-radio things that makes sense while you're listening to the show, but when you're linking it on SportsFilter, you're hard-pressed to come up with a post explaining why it makes sense at all. Hmmmmm....
The NFL lowers the boom on Vegas parties.: Apparently a number of Super Bowl parties in Las Vegas have to be cancelled because, according to the NFL, charging someone to be able to see the game on a large-screen TV constitutes copyright violation, in some way. I confess I am very fuzzy on just what the NFL's complaint here is. (NYT Registration required)
How many times has the team leading the Super Bowl at the half gone on to win?: Find out in this article of useless Super Bowl trivia, with items numbered 1 to 38 and based on this year's matchup. One factoid that didn't get in this article is that this will be the Patriots' first Super Bowl appearance not played in the Superdome in New Orleans. (You're wondering if I have a life? I think it's pretty obvious that I don't!)
It was the Figure Skater, in the corridor, with a lead pipe!: Ten years have passed since Tonya Harding's goons set out to "handicap" the competition, Nancy Kerrigan. Ten years, wow....that's a long time....[crickets chirping]....what? Skating's a sport! It is! Honest!
Are the NFL's fines for excessive end-zone celebrations racially motivated?: This op-ed piece, from The Buffalo News, says Yes.
From Athens to....Athens!: The Olympic Flame will make a pretty stunning relay this time out: Since the journey from where they light it (Greece) to the location of the Games (Athens) is so short, they're sending it literally around the world: the Flame will stop in every city that has hosted the modern Summer Games.
The Football Gods reward a Football Nomad.: Yup, Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback -- once of Slate, then of ESPN.com, and late of FootballOutsiders.com -- is on the move yet again. This time he lands, appropriately enough, at NFL.com.
Zen and the Art of Taunting.: If you want to do some high-quality taunting, here's a primer on how to do it, with some quality examples, like the guy who sat right behind Phil Jackson at a game and read aloud from his book.
President Bush is Pedro Martinez!: Politics aside, this has to be the weirdest political metaphor I've yet encountered. Mickey Kaus has some pretty strange thought processes. Basically, Bush is Pedro on the mound in a crucial game (like Game Seven of the ALCS); he's getting into a jam (Iraq); and the voters are playing the Grady Little role and have to decide whether to leave him in or take him out.
Will Mr. T and Dolph Lundgren be named as witnesses?: A boxer who claims that his life was the inspiration for Rocky thinks that Sylvester Stallone's been profiting off his life story long enough. Yup, it's a lawsuit!
You can only buy this...: ...if you promise not to track down Steve Bartman and bean him with it. Yup, the Infamous Ball is up for auction.
"A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.": Looking for instances of dumb things said by Joe Theismann, I came across this list of dumb sports quotes said by lots of folks. Utter hilarity ensues when people try to use words they don't know.
Useless Factoids about the 2003 World Series: Once again, Jayson Stark comes up with a bunch of goofy stats and nifty factoids about the World Series. My favorite is that while the Marlins now have two World Series championships in their franchise history, only one franchise in baseball has played fewer winning seasons than the Marlins have. (That would be the Devil Rays, with zero.)
Hey, wanna own a piece of baseball history?: I mean, literally a piece of history? Donruss is cutting up a Babe Ruth jersey to put the swatches into packs of baseball cards. Is this desecration? A lame marketing ploy to jump-start a moribund sports-collectibles industry? A stroke of genius that will give some fans a tangible piece of the game?
It's a blitz!: Gregg Easterbrook, writer of the Tuesday Morning Quarterback columns on ESPN's Page 2, has apparently been fired, apparently for some odd comments he wrote that imply some odd views on Jews in a non-ESPN column recently. This has been going around the left-side of the Blogosphere over the last few days, with speculation now being that since ESPN and Miramax are both Disney-owned companies, Easterbrook was actually criticizing his bosses.
"YOU OVER-OFFICIOUS JERK!": --So shouted Marv Levy once in what is my personal favorite coaching tantrum of all time. Sadly, it didn't make this Top Ten All-TIme Coaches' Tantrums list. And I recall vividly Number Five, Buddy Ryan's sucker punch on Kevin Gilbride, which at the time I thought was the most un-classy thing I'd ever seen but after watching the last four Bills' games (with Gilbride as our coordinator for an offense that couldn't fire a cannon ball through tissue paper) I'm not sure I'd be so angry if someone decked the guy.
Would you have the guts to make any of these calls?: The Ten Gutsiest Calls of All Time. Some of these you'll doubtless have heard of; others, maybe not. For my money, the hockey coach who picked himself to play goalie when his starter got hurt is pretty damned gutsy.
The Lessons We Learned...: in touring all 30 MLB ballparks (separate thread on that below). This article distills, in eleven easy rules, the things that made PNC and Pac Bell great and what made Qualcomm and the Vet lousy. I was a bit surprised that they want to bring back the posts in the lower decks, cursed by some, in order to bring the upper decks down closer to the action, and the idea of letting someone in the cheap seats pony up a few extra $$ to move into a closer, and empty, seat sounds good too.
Just in case...: ...you ever wondered what it was like to put on a big-ass sausage costume and run in a race wearing it. Yes, it's a first-person account of the Milwaukee Brewers' Sausage Race!
At least they found it before they had to print its picture on milk cartons.: For several hours, the Stanley Cup crossed over into that mythical realm where Jimmy Hoffa's body, Saddam's WMDs, the "real killers", and various Martian probes have all vanished. But the Cup returned. Whew!
ESPN's most underrated athletes.: Who's yours?
Do we do professional athletes any favors...: ...by allowing them to lead such a coddled existence? This SI writer thinks so, in a time when athletes seem to be able to get away with all manner of stuff that would land any "normal" citizen in jail (Latrell Sprewell, for one).
Think you know baseball?: Then have a go at Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan's annual Baseball Trivia Quiz. Answers here. (Partial disclosure: I did poorly. How poorly? That's why I'm calling it "partial" disclosure.)
How to Fix the All-Star Game,: in three easy steps! Jayson Stark has some interesting suggestions on how to make sure baseball Mid-Summer Classic doesn't, well, suck, especially now that the game is "meaningful". Yes, he wants to eliminate the "Every team is represented" rule, but he suggests something to put in its place, for instance.