A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

November 2009 Archives


In a move slightly less surprising than the firing of Charlie Weis, Tiger Woods apparently will not play in the event that benefits his own charity for the second straight year.

Last year, Tiger skipped the Chevron World Challenge, which benefits the world's No. 1 golfer's Tiger Woods Foundation, after knee surgery. This year it's car trouble that has Woods sitting on the sideline.

In addition to the ongoing swirl of mystery around his Friday morning game of pinball in an Escalade with wife Elin, a fire hydrant and a tree, Woods is apparently having some headaches and soreness that his doctors advise should keep him grounded, reports The Golf Channel.

No official word from Woods' people. Yet.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: Statement from Woods confirms he'll miss his tourney:

"I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week," Woods said of the Chevron World Challenge in California. "I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I'm very sorry that I can't be there."

Apparently he mistook it for an interview with police.


The New York Daily News reports that Touchdown Jesus has shown Charlie Weis the door. According to the report, and to approximately noone's surprise, the coach who authored a 6-6 season for the Domers has been fired.

Weis, who refused to do any interviews after the Irish lost on a gimme touchdown to Stanford this weekend, did say earlier in the week that he figured his days might be numbered. Turns out the coach who said "6-5 is not good enough" for Notre Dame found out that 6-6 was no better.

The team will have to decide later today whether that 6 wins is worth a bowl berth as the team votes on playing postseason ball at the end of the 35-27 Weis era.

Now the pressure is on Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick to land a solid replacement for an institution of college football that hasn't been a national contender for 15 years - and a string of failed coaching hires.

The next head man will have to clean up the miserable mark against quality schools - zero victories under Weis can't cut it. Of course, Notre Dame couldn't even beat Navy reliably anymore, either.

The Notre Dame press release on the firing after the jump:

Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore is a terrific all-around player who often gets lost in the shuffle when people talk about the elite outfielders in baseball.

But, when photos of you standing nude in front of a bathroom mirror pop up on the Internet, it's hard to go unnoticed.

Sizemore said he has taken legal action to remove the aforementioned pictures after they spread through the electronic grapevine Sunday. Sizemore said the fifteen images showing himself in varying degrees of dress were stolen from his girlfriend's e-mail.

The Tiger Woods 911 tape was released Sunday night, but the only thing you can really get from it is that his rich neighbors apparently only use cordless phones with limited bas station range.

As the slightly panicked neighbor is telling fire-rescue about an apparently unconscious Woods lying in the street next to his Escalade, his phone craps out, leaving the dispatchers to chit-chat about the scene until help arrives.

What you don't hear is a golf club-swinging Elin Nordegren accenting her way through the call. Nor is Woods on audio.

Of course, with the Woods family ducking the cops for a third attempt at an interview, it's no wonder they're not being heard from on this tape, either.


Rachel Uchitel

Whatever's going on in the Tiger Woods home following Friday's bizarre car wreck news and domestic squabbling rumors, Rachel Uchitel wants people to know it has nothing to do with her.

Uchitel, a party maven and New Yorkista first hit the tabloids in 2001, of all things, tearfully mourning her fiance, Andy O'Grady, but became a much bigger page presence this week in the National Enquirer, which reported Woods was stepping out with her.

But the socialite told the New York Post that she has no relationship with the golf great, though she understands where the wife rage comes from:

"Despite it being completely untrue, it still must have certainly caused some problems at home - if I was his wife, I probably would have killed him.

"This is nothing to do with me. We have never had an affair, and the claims we did are completely false. We have never had an affair, talked on the phone or sent any type of text, sexy or not.

"I am really upset about it because I am being portrayed as a homewrecker, when it simply isn't true."

And with the Woods turning cops away twice on Saturday as authorities sought to find some answers - and the promise of 911 audio tapes to be released Sunday - the intrigue continues to swirl.

Woods Fatherhood Golf.jpg

Golfer Tiger Woods was seriously injured when he hit a fire hydrant and then a tree outside of his Isleworth home early on Friday morning, Orlando TV station WESH is reporting.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported that Woods was "seriously injured" and taken to a hospital after his 2009 black Cadillac Escalade apparently hit a fire hydrant outside his home and hit a tree outside his neighbor's home.

The Orange County Fire Department confirmed that a patient was taken to Health Central, but would not confirm that the patient was Woods.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the incident happened about 2:30 a.m. local time and that the vehicles airbags did not deploy, which indicates a speed under 33 mph.

Authorities say the crash, which was not reported by the FHP until after 1 this afternoon, is still under investigation and charges were pending as of this afternoon, though the Florida Highway Patrol says the crash was not alcohol related.

CNBC reporter Darren Rovell sent a tweet saying Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, claimed Woods "is fine."

The patrol reported Woods' injuries as serious, though Woods spokesman Glenn Greenspan said the golfer was treated at the hospital and released in good condition.

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: Tiger's wife, Elin, rescued him with a glass-smashing golf club after the accident.

UPDATE: 11:45 p.m.: TMZ reports that Tiger's injuries were caused by a domestinc dispute over infidelity with wife, Elin Nordegren.

We're told he said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We're told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV -- but according to our source, Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.

Woods, 33, owns a home in the exclusive subdivision of Isleworth near Orlando. Orange County property records indicate his home is valued at $2.4 million.

View Tiger Woods involved in car accident in a larger map

Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 86 yards last night in the Broncos' 26-6 win over the New York Giants, many of them earning big style points -- including two ridiculous one-handed grabs.


Marshall, who not long ago was persona non grata in Denver, seems to have put his issues behind him and is enjoying a fantastic season for the Broncos (58 catches, 6 TDs).

Incidentally, Bears castoff Kyle Orton threw his 12th touchdown of the year, doubling his interception total. Compare those stats against Jay Cutler's (15 TDs, 18 INT) if you dare.

Orton is also leading a 7-4 team with playoff aspirations, while Cutler's squad is floundering at 4-6.
chad-ochocinco-snuggie.jpgCincinnati Bengals wide receiver and Twitter enthusiast Chad Ochocinco is a giant fan of Black Friday.

Last year, he hit a Florence, Kentucky Best Buy to stock up on all the electronics his hipster glasses-wearing self desired.

This morning, he's at it again. This time with a Snuggie.

Here he is extolling the virtues of a $5 wearable blanket. The Snuggie people must love the ringing endorsement from No. 85.

So far, he claims to have visited a dollar store, Best Buy and Value City Furniture -- and has photographic proof for all.

You can follow his adventures here.

Happy shopping.
If Thanksgiving with your family drove you to use foul language, take heart in knowing you weren't the only one dropping F-bombs this holiday.

The NFL Network's microphones picked up Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels screaming, "All we're trying to do is win a mother******* game," to his squad during its broadcast of the Broncos-Giants game.

McDaniels' team had just committed three costly false start penalties in the red zone -- something the fiery 33-year-old coach didn't care for.

After the Broncos settled for a field goal, the network apologized for the gruff talk.

At least McDaniels understands what the ultimate goal is, even if he expressed it in much more colorful language than Herm Edwards.

Leading up to tonight's game, McDaniels' sideline behavior had been a hot topic around the league, spurred on by his taunting of San Diego Charger players last Sunday.
allen-iverson-cut-his-hair.jpgUpdate: ESPN 980 in Washington reports that Iverson is changing his mind and that he won't retire. NBA analyst Marc Stein just suggested this whole thing was just a ploy to generate some buzz and preempt football on Thanksgiving Day.

Ten-time All-Star Allen Iverson announced his intention Wednesday to retire from the NBA on Stephen A. Smith's blog.

Iverson said he still believes he can compete at the highest level, and that the decision will afford him the opportunity to spend more time with his family.

The somewhat sudden news comes after the 6-foot guard took a leave of absence from the Memphis Grizzlies after playing just three games this year. The two sides then decided to part ways, and Iverson was waived.

Despite having a career scoring average of 27.1 points per game, Iverson was used as a reserve player both in Memphis and last year in Detroit -- something that didn't sit well with the former star. His displeasure was likely a factor in the lack of interest from NBA teams. The New York Knicks briefly considered bringing him in, but ultimately decided he'd take too much playing time away from their younger players.

The Bowl Championship Series -- everyone's favorite organization to berate -- has hired former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in hopes that he can improve their image.

The 49-year-old served in the Bush administration from 2001-2003.

The move comes in part as a reaction to an anti-BCS group called Playoff PAC, which was founded by six politically-savvy college football fans and represents many pining for a playoff.

"Playoff advocates have had an easy ride where they have never been called on to explain exactly how they would create an alternative. There is tremendous division among playoff advocates," said Fleischer. "While the BCS has its share of critics, once people see both sides of the issue, they will see why the system has its great support."
Fleischer's firm specializes in instructing organizations and athletes on how to deal with the media -- expertise that he'll have to draw on heavily when selling the wildly unpopular BCS. Of course, after serving as W's PR guy, it might not be the hardest job Fleischer has ever had.

david-clowney-twitter.jpgIt seems almost a daily occurrence that some sort of Twitter-related controversy plagues professional sports.

Today's comes out of New York, where the Jets say wide receiver David Clowney's Twitter attack was hacked. As a result, a litany of profanity-laced tweets emerged -- including one that encourages anyone reading to kill themselves.

Oddly enough, the awkward tweets are still live on his page although deleting them is fairly simple.

This is not the first time Twitter has caused Clowney headaches. He was suspended one game by Jets coach Rex Ryan after complaining in 140-character segments about his lack of playing time during Week 2 against New England.
A Pittsburgh Steelers fan told police he killed his girlfriend's puppy before Sunday's game because it wouldn't behave prior to kickoff.

William Woodson, 22, is being held on $25,000 bail in the Allegheny County Jail, pending a preliminary hearing on animal cruelty at 1 p.m. next Monday before District Judge Elaine McGraw in Bridgeville.

The puppy, a 13-week-old pit bull named Flip, had been the focal point of recent arguments between Mr. Woodson and his girlfriend, Christine Gielarowski, 21, with whom Mr. Woodson lives on Jane Way.

Ms. Gielarowski still may face charges after she gave police a false name and address, then refused to identify her boyfriend as the suspect, officials said.

Gielarowski told police that Woodson kicked the dog up and down the street because it refused to walk with them. Woodson then allegedly walked away from the dying puppy and his girlfriend before police responded to a call about the abuse.

Woodson's day presumably got worse when his Steelers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.
eric-mangini-lions-browns.jpgA day after his team lost to the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini wondered aloud if some of the injuries incurred by the winning team were really injuries.

Mangini noted that several players that left the field with injuries later returned. Apparently his inner conspiracy theorist thinks this may have been a ploy to slow down the Browns' no-huddle offense.

"I'm just saying there were a lot of them," Mangini said.

The leader of the 1-9 Browns was also unhappy with a defensive pass interference call at the end of regulation that allowed Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to throw the game-winning touchdown pass.
Tiger Woods, one of sports' most well-liked athletes, was booed with vigor during halftime of the Big Game Saturday between Stanford and California.

Woods, who attended Stanford, was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame -- something the traveling Golden Bears faithful apparently didnt' have time to hear about. The birdie-enthusiast seemed a bit rattled by the jeers, stopping to compose himself around the :35 second mark of this video.

On the field, Cal erased a 14-0 deficit en route to a 34-28 win.

Tough day for Tiger.
KahlilBell1.jpgWhen No. 32 broke a 72-yard run for the Bears in the second quarter last night, it's safe to say more than a couple fans had the same reaction.

Who the heck is that?

Bell, who was one of the few bright spots during the loss to Philadelphia, had been a practice player for the Bears before being promoted to the 53-man roster on Friday.

His scamper was the longest by a Bear since a 73-yard run by Neal Anderson in 1989 and the longest first carry for any NFL back since 1995.

Just how unexpected was his four-carry, 81-yard contribution?

The Bears' official site doesn't even have a bio up for him yet.

Some cursory research yields the following on Bell:

- He is 5-foot-11 and weighs 212 pounds.

- Ran a 4.78 40 at the combine.

- Was an undrafted player who was released by Minnesota this summer.

- Led UCLA with 397 yards last season and 795 yards in 2007.

- Rushed for a collegiate-high 195 yards against Stanford.

-Majored in history.

- Lettered in football, basketball and track at California's Marin Catholic High School.

- One of six children.

- Hobbies include video games and dancing.
During an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired last night, acclaimed director James Cameron revealed that he had to persuade high-level studio executives not to cast O.J. Simpson as the lead in "Terminator."

"The head of Orion, who were going to release the film, called me up and said, 'Are you sitting down? I've cast this movie. ... It's O.J. Simpson for The Terminator,'" Cameron said.

Luckily for Schwarzenegger -- and perhaps the public -- this sounded like a recipe for titanic failure to the director.

"I said, 'This is the stupidest idea I've ever heard,'" Cameron said. "I didn't know O.J. Simpson, I had nothing against him personally. I didn't know he was going to go murder his wife later and become a real Terminator."

Yup, Simpson was almost the Terminator. Who knows how the course of human history would have been affected if this had become a reality.

Considering the Bears' mighty struggle to get touchdowns in the red zone -- and the fact that circumstances are getting pretty dire -- they may want to consider taking a page out of Bethel (Kan.) College's playbook.

Leading Sterling College 20-0 in the third quarter, Bethel decided that a play-action pass around the goal line would just be too traditional.

So they did this:

Kinda cool, but more lucky than anything else.
If I understand what people want to look at on the Internet, then the screen grab of Bears wide receiver Devin Hester's bare behind is going to be quite the hot topic on Monday. Since we have these so-called "standards" and "expectations" around here, the actual photo is out of the question.

OK, maybe we don't have either of those.

Extremely curious readers may want to check out these slightly NSFW pictures and this YouTube masterpiece. Again, your choice, not mine.

The de-pantsing happened on the Bears' ill-fated final drive -- the one that ended with a very fitting Jay Cutler interception -- and it caused an immediate ruckus on Twitter.

Did you guys notice it or not?

Either way, it was just an all-around embarrassing night for Hester and Co., who fell to 4-6 and saw any playoff hopes go as far south as the speedy wide-out's pants.
bears-cutler-smith.jpgThe Bears denied NBC's request for access to quarterback Jay Cutler, coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo on Wednesday, a surprising move that left the network to look elsewhere for insight.

So NBC used comments from the Sun-Times' Mike Mulligan and Brad Biggs, along with other Chicago media, to paint a picture of a season of great expectations -- both for Cutler and the Bears -- falling flat on its face during its ''Football Night in America'' broadcast Sunday.

''We requested an interview with Cutler this week, but the organization declined to speak with us and [said] that it was time to respond by playing better,'' Bob Costas said during NBC's telecast. ''Hard to argue with that.''

If nothing else, the Bears were trying something different. In their first two games this season on Sunday night, Cutler threw a combined six interceptions in losses to the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.

Still, the decision to rebuff Costas became a point of conversation this week after the Sun-Times ran an exclusive story Thursday. Smith said the Bears were trying to focus on football.

Costas said during the week that he wasn't offended by the Bears' decision and acknowledged that considering the way Cutler had been playing, any comment from the Bears would add more fuel to the fire.

But NBC still got its story, relying on quotes from those who cover the Bears daily.

''This quarterback was supposed to be able to levitate up over the line, and he would float away if there was any kind of problem,'' Mulligan told the network. ''Nobody -- I mean nobody -- expected it to go this way. It's almost now like a tidal wave has turned against him. If they can't get a quarterback right that came to them as a 26-year-old Pro Bowler ... that could be a dagger that this franchise doesn't recover from.''

NBC also addressed Cutler's image as an aloof and somewhat nonchalant gunslinger
''I don't think that plays real well in Chicago, and it certainly hasn't played well nationally,'' Biggs said.

The only quote from Cutler came from a postgame news conference.
While last Sunday's Colts-Patriots game may have been the best NFL game this year, today's battle between a couple of cellar-dwellers was just as exciting.

The Detroit Lions pulled off a 38-37 victory over the Cleveland Browns on the last play of the game when rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford connected on his fifth touchdown pass of the game - a one-yarder to tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

This came after a defensive pass interference call on the Browns negated what looked to be a game-clinching interception in the end zone. After the flag, the Browns allowed an injured Stafford to get back into the game after he was replaced by Daunte Culpepper by calling a timeout.

The game, while not being played at the highest level, certainly had its share of intrigue and big plays.

Plus, if you know me, you'll understand any Lions' win is cause enough for subdued celebration.

To the highlights ...

jim-leavitt-bloddy-face.jpgMedia members covering the USF football team were probably a little surprised when coach Jim Leavitt showed up for the postgame press conference Saturday with a bloody gash on his nose and a cut above his left eye.

After all, coaches usually don't get dinged up during the game.

When asked, Leavitt claimed the he fell in the locker room, but it seems the actual cause is much more entertaining.

"He was fired up. He grabbed somebody -- I think it was (walk-on linebacker) LaDre Watkins," senior safety Nate Allen said. "He headbutted him and fell backwards. I couldn't help but laugh, because that's the best one I've seen. ... We were fired up about that one."

Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times reports this is a common motivation method employed by Leavitt. In this case, it worked. The Bulls pulled out a 34-22 win against Louisville.

hamed-haddadi.jpgLos Angeles Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith were suspended from Friday night's telecast after making comments about Memphis Grizzlies' Hamed Haddai on Wednesay.

The duo had the following exchange in the closing minutes of the Clippers' loss to the Grizzlies, which prompted a viewer to complain and Fox Sports Prime Ticket to take action.

Smith: "Look who's in."

Lawler: "Hamed Haddadi. Where's he from?"

Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA." (Smith pronounced Iranian as "Eye-ranian," a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA," repeating Smith's mispronunciation.

Smith: "He's the only one."

Lawler: "He's from Iran?"

Smith: "I guess so."

Lawler: "That Iran?"

Smith: Yes.

Lawler: "The real Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "Wow. Haddadi - that's H-A-D-D-A-D-I."

Smith: "You're sure it's not Borat's older brother?"

Smith: "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."
Lawler: "Here's Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball."

Smith: "Especially the post players.

Lawler: "I don't know about their guards."

The 7-foot-2 Haddai is, indeed, the first Iranian to ever play in the NBA. At least they got that part correct. He's averaging .7 points per game in six appearances this year.

In a statement, the network said they believed the comments were not intended to be offensive, but were inappropriate. 
curtis-granderson-catch-indians.JPGWhile the rumor mill has Detroit Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson's name popping up in connection with the Cubs, the All-Star and Chicago native has reportedly agreed to host a television and online series.

Already an eventful offseason for the UIC alum.

 [It's]... titled "Stadium Secrets" where he takes sports fans on an exploration of stadiums.

The concept is similar to Authentic's "Cities of the Underworld" on History channel.

"Authentic will be providing an exclusive, VIP experience for fans everywhere - a behind-the-scenes journey that will be exciting for all of us. I am eager to begin working on this project and look forward to a successful partnership," Granderson said.
The multi-threat Granderson is no stranger to being in front of the camera. He served as TBS' in-studio analyst for two straight postseasons, as well as a color commentator for a TNA wrestling event in June.
You've seen fans wrestle over foul balls at baseball games, jostle over XXL t-shirts thrown into the stands and grown men knock over youngsters for batting-practice home runs.

Fans going nuts for souvenirs isn't a new thing at all. But, some Anaheim Ducks fans took it to the next level when hometown hero Scott Niedermayer tried to give his stick away to some lucky patrons.

It was all fun and games until the haymakers started.

Dogs are generally regarded as man's best friend. If that's true, then football is a close second-best friend.

That's what makes the news of UGA VII's passing particularly sad for Georgia fans.

The four-year-old Bulldog had served as the school's mascot for less than two years before unexpectedly succumbing Thursday to heart problems. The particularly sudden turn of events means Georgia will be without a mascot for Saturday's game against Kentucky.

UGA VII is the latest in a line of dogs owned by the Sellers family that has served as the team's emblem for the last 54 years.

The Seilers plan to have an interim dog in place for the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 28 in Atlanta. That dog will also represent Georgia at its bowl game but won't necessarily become Uga VIII. A thorough search of Uga's VII's extensive brood of heirs will commence as soon as possible.
If we were to make a Venn diagram -- admit it, they're a lot of fun -- you wouldn't expect the worlds of Miley Cyrus and the Clemson-South Carolina football rivalry to intersect.

But, you'd be wrong.

Rumor has it that the tween pop star is the reason the Tigers-Gamecocks Nov. 28 grudge match has been given noon start time, according to the Palmetto Scoop.

Cyrus is playing across town in Columbia that Saturday night, and making people choose between SEC football and such standards as "Party in the U.S.A." just didn't sit well with school officials.

Whether this is the real reason or not, I'm glad the conflict won't arise. Seriously, who could decide between Heisman hopeful C.J. Spiller and this:

sammy-sosa-white-face.jpgA Miami-based jock radio host claims he was bounced from former Cub Sammy Sosa's 41st birthday party for showing up in blackface.

On his Web site, Enrique Santos said he was stopped on the red carpet leading to the slugger's swank Miami Beach party by a publicist who accused him of making fun of Sosa.

Um, what exactly did he think was going to happen?

Sosa's suddenly lighter face has been burning up the Internet and has compelled columnists to weigh in on issues that aren't exactly skin-deep.

It's one thing to use the pictures as a jumping-off point for a broader topic -- even if many say it's a stretch -- but a totally different thing to pull a prank like this and expect anything different than what happened.

First off, it's Sosa's party. Did Santos really think he'd be received positively?

Probably not, and the attention he's receiving in the wake of the incident was most likely his ultimate goal.

Also, who wants to rub elbows in a social setting with someone on blackface? May as well wear a sign that says, "I don't get life."

Santos, it seems, is twisting and contorting the story, telling the Miami Herald, "I asked [Sosa's publicist], `How many women in here are wearing makeup?' but she wasn't having it," Santos told us. "Was I not white enough for Sammy's party or have the millions gotten to his skin -- I mean head?"

I'm not buying this as social commentary, but rather as a really cheap ploy for attention done in poor taste.

Anyone out there want to defend him?
pontiac-silverdome-sale.jpgThe Pontiac Silverdome, site of countless amazing runs by Lions great Barry Sanders and MHSAA football championship games, has depreciated in value.

A lot.

An unidentified Toronto-based group submitted the winning bid for the property with a paltry offer of $583,000. It's pretty minuscule when you consider that the Silverdome cost $55.7 million to build.

We're talking about an 80,300-seat stadium that hosted Super Bowl XVI. We're talking about a place that saw 93,000 rabid fans file in for Wrestlemania in 1987 -- the largest indoor sporting event in American history.

How do you put a price tag on those memories?

Apparently, very easily.

The auctioneer says the winning group plans to refurbish the old girl and make it into a haven for professional soccer.

But, a black-owned development group has filed an injunction to stop the sale, citing discrimination and breach of contract.

They say their group were in negotiations until the end, when they suddenly broke off. Their plan was to convert the property into a racetrack.

Pontiac officials say it may take as long as 45 days for the deal to be finalized.

Harrison Barnes is a great high school basketball talent. He's also a smart kid, genius maybe. Maybe he'll be the next great college player. Maybe he'll be the next Kobe or Lebron.

One thing he certainly is already is master showman. Witness the spectacle that was his college selection process Friday. The Ames, Iowa, prep phenom chose North Carolina as his new home for a year until he flees to the land of million-dollar contracts.

The foot-7 swingman, widely regarded as the top player in the Class of 2010, stretched out the announcement, touting a draft boardesque selection of school logos and ticking off the merits of each school - until he dialed up Roy Williams and crew at Chapel Hill - via a Skype video call, no less - to tell them he was the next great seeker of the Michael Jordan throne. Let's just hope coach Williams doesn't make the same mistake Dean Smith did with Jordan and leave him off the Sports Illustrated cover photo.

Barnes was also considering Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Iowa State, his hometown school. He made his announcement Friday before hundreds of students in the gym at Ames High School and via a live video feed watched by thousands.

Barnes led Ames to a 26-0 record and a state title last winter, but he's made a name for himself nationally with impressive performances on the summer circuit.

Writing a post about something absurd or off-the-wall or inappropriate that Charles Barkley says is almost the blog equivalent of breathing air: It takes almost no effort or thought and happens almost every second of every day.

Case in point: Sir Charles decided to goof on Sammy Sosa's recent skin rejuvenation project that has him looking like something out of the "Thriller" video. So, during the TNT NBA show Thursday night, Barkley, who proclaimed, "I know you want to get in the Hall of Fame, but going white ain't the way to do it!," eventually took to transforming himself into a white man - a process slowed significantly by the continued flapping of his jaw while the makeup person efforted away.

No, on the grand scale, this isn't up there with any Northwestern blackface screwup. But has the Round Mound of Rebound stepped over the line? Nevermind the discussion of whether he'll be able to eat fried chicken and chitluns after he's white. Or is this just another case of Charles being Charles?

Oh, and Chuck, the cops didn't pull you over for driving while black. They pulled you over because you were hammered while looking for some oral pleasure. Just sayin'.

jay-cutler-49ers.jpgJay Cutler apologized to the offense.

He apologized to the defense.

After throwing a career-high five interceptions in the Bears' miserable 10-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, one can understand why he did this. After all, it was sort of embarrassing.

In my humble opinion, it's not the only apology needed.

Last night's game was -- and I don't think this is an exaggeration -- among the three worst all-around football games I've ever watched.

And everyone involved with it should apologize to those of us who wasted 3-plus hours watching it.

The Bears were bad. The 49ers were bad. There were interceptions. There were botched field goals from short range. There was an astounding flurry of penalty flags on the last drive -- ruining any momentum or flow at all.

That's just the on-the-field stuff.

The foray onto the NFL Network was met with some pretty harsh reviews in our live chat, with many questioning how the announcing could be so bad (to be fair, Matt Millen was involved). The audio levels struggled for consistency all night. At one point we were treated to a prolonged shot of a green screen.

It was on Thursday night, which means many of you are struggling with workday hangovers right now -- if you're into that kind of thing.

In summation, it was gross. Perhaps one of the grossest ever.

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.

What do you think? Does last night's puke-fest rate as one of the all-time stinkers?
Robbins native and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade threw down what has to be one of the better dunks in recent memory last night during last night's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 6-foot-4 Wade took the ball coast-to-coast and rose over Cavs center Anderson Varejao's 6-foot-11 inch frame for a one-handed slam.

That's a deal-breaker, ladies.

ODD Bengal Suspension.jpg

It used to be that Bengals fans would only wear bags on their heads.

And you thought the NFL was the No Fun League? Turns out the school marms at Garfield Middle in Hamilton, Ohio, are decidedly lacking in happy genes, too.

The school, in its infinite wisdom, has penalized eighth-grader Dustin Reader for clipping. Specifically for clipping Bengals stripes and "B" insignia into his hair as a tribute to the team's good season. At this rate, it's a wonder the NFL hasn't sued for copyright violation.

The school says its code of conduct prohibits extreme and distracting hairstyles and they put the kid into in-school suspension "until his hair grows out." Reader's parents, Tina Wanamaker and James Reader, and barber say they don't understand why the haircut is out of bounds. His father says his son just wants to show pride in the 6-2 Bengals, according to the Hamilton Journal News:

"He's had designs on his head before and no one said anything," said Wanamaker. Previously, he'd had a rose, a spiral and the word "LOST" carved into his hair. On the occasion of the "LOST" cut, he was told by the school to fix it, but he didn't get in trouble, they said.

"This is a way for him to express pride in the Bengals' putting up a winning season," said his father. "It's not racist, not drug-related, not gang-related or anything like that. It's about football."

The in-school suspension - Dustin is in attendance and doing his work but remains in an isolated area away from other students - will remain in effect until the hair either grows out or he gets a different cut.

Three University of Tennessee football players have been arrested in connection with an attempted armed robbery in Knoxville early this morning.

Police charged Nu'Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards with attempted armed robbery after allegedly trying to rob three men outside a convenience store.

Victims told police that they were sitting inside their vehicle, parked next to a Toyota Prius, while a friend was inside the Pilot store and were approached by a black male wearing a black hoodie and brandishing a black handgun.

"The victims stated that a black male then exited from the passenger side of the Prius, wearing a black hoodie, walked around to the front passenger door of their car, opened it, and stated, 'give us everything you've got,' " DeBusk said.

The victims told police that they all showed their wallets to the suspects and showed them that they did not have any money. A third black male then approached and told the other two suspects, "We've got to go," DeBusk said. The suspects then got into the Prius and drove away.

Police spotted the Prius a short time later and stopped the vehicle and arrested the three players.

"In plain view, officers observed two black hoodies on the back sat. Underneath the back seat, officers located a black, CO2-powered pellet gun.

Tennessee players charged in robbery     (AJC)

brooke-hundley-steve-phillips.jpgBrooke Hundley, the 22-year-old ESPN staffer at the epicenter of the Steve Phillips sex scandal, spoke out on "Good Morning America" earlier today, saying that she's been unjustly vilified.

"I've been called things by the public that no woman should ever be called," she said. "I've been called the C-word, I've been called a whore, I've been called a home wrecker."

Hundley said she reached her breaking point when "legitimate" newspapers began running with the story, and also when prime-time funnyman Jay Leno offered a harsh critique of her looks.

She also claims she was never the aggressor in the relationship.

In a police report filed in August, Hundley alleges Phillips threatened her, stating she'd be fired and her reputation ruined if she spoke out.

"I was in a situation where I felt like, if I didn't do what was asked of me, then everything I'd worked for for the past six years -- everything I had done to establish myself as a successful media professional -- could be gone like that."

Hundley said she hopes Phillips "would grow up and take responsibility for his own actions."

Mike_Tyson.jpgMike Tyson cannot catch a break. largely from himself, it turns out.

Just after he spent time straightening up http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow-20090912-mike-tyson and playing rock star to crowds in India, the law is once again in his life.

Police say the ear-chomping boxer has been detained on suspicion of battery following an alleged altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport. The photographer has accused Tyson of hitting him, causing him to fall to the ground and cut his forehead. He's being treated at a hospital.

Holcomb says The cops say both Tyson and the photographer want to press charges for misdemeanor battery and that Tyson has been compliant and cooperative with officers and is currently waiting in a holding cell at the airport.


NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revealed Tuesday morning the he battling a rare form of leukemia.

Abdul-Jabbar, who was diagnosed last December with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, is going public now to spread the message of treatment and show that it's a disease that doesn't need to be fatal:

"I have chronic myeloid leukemia," Abdul-Jabbar told CNN. "I think it's possible for someone in my position to help save lives.

Abdul-Jabbar, long an involved member in the community, has bee active in raising cancer awareness in the African-American community after dealing with a family history of colorectal cancer, for which he has the gene, he says.

He told CNN his specialist said the cancer diagnosis did not have to be a death sentence, as long as he followed a proper treatment regimen. Abdul-Jabbar wouldn't reveal his prognosis, but he did say he is managing his disease and that having CML "doesn't impact my life too significantly."

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the average person's chance of getting CML is less than 1 in 500. The cancer society says CML is slightly more common in men than women, and it accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of all leukemias or blood cancers.

The ACS estimates just over 5,000 people will be diagnosed with CML this year, and that 470 will die from it. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society estimates the five-year survival rate for CML of 44.4 percent.

Aside from basketball greatness, Abdul-Jabbar also played the pivotal role of pilot Roger Murdoch in "Airplane."

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Thumbnail image for larry-johnson-vs-oakland.jpgThe Kansas City Chiefs have released embattled running back Larry Johnson, according to multiple reports.

ESPN's Adam Schefter says Johnson will now go to waivers.

Johnson returned from a one-game suspension today, one imposed after he called out Chiefs coach Todd Haley and making several homophobic comments.

Disgruntled KC fans had gone so far as to circulate an online petition to keep Johnson from surpassing Priest Holmes as the team's all-time rushing leader.

It looks like they got their wish.
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall is imploring commissioner Roger Goodell to look into the actions of the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff after a bit of a donnybrook broke out on their sidelines Sunday.

After the Redskins' LaRon Landry's late hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Hall says several players and coach Jeff Fish surrounded him, trying "to get some licks in." Hall also claims head coach Mike Smith verbally threatened him during all the madness.

After that, coach Smith came over to me, talking (expletive) to me, saying they were going to kick my (butt)," Hall said, via the AP. "I stay in Atlanta during the offseason, so if Mike Smith wants to see me, he can definitely find me.
Smith claims he was trying to restore order in a "hectic" hodegpodge of maroon and black helmets.

Hall played for the Falcons from 2004-2007.

New York Nets forward Chris Douglas-Roberts has tested positive for the swine flu, according to Nets president Rod Thorn.

The second-year player out of Memphis had already been sidelined with flu-like symptoms.

"The word is out," Douglas-Roberts tweeted moments ago. "Thank you all for your concern. I stay positive though. Still got a beautiful smile on my face."

The 6-7 forward is averaging 15.6 points and 4.8 rebounds through five games played this year.
cutler-magazine-cover.jpgOur own Rick Telander penned a column today that explored the perceived lack of information we have about who Jay Cutler really is.

In it, he points to the fact that the gunslinger has been here over six months and all there is to judge him on are seven football games, eight-second soundbites and a plethora of blank stares. His point, at least it seems to me, is that Cutler should be more transparent. That the most important Chicago sports figure since Jordan should have a personality that fans can latch on to.

At this point, I'll ask a few questions of my own.


Do we really care about the people inside the jerseys anymore?

It sounds callous, but in an era of free agency when players switch teams constantly, aren't fans more concerned with on-field results more than ever before?

Look around. In baseball, many of those guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs have been welcomed back into the fold. Some are celebrating a World Series win (looking at you, A-Rod).

Michael Vick's return to the NFL shows that second chances are -- and always will be -- afforded to those with the talent to make an impact on the field.

It's my contention that if society is willing to look the other way on matters of ethics and morals, then why would they take such umbrage with an athlete being reserved -- or even boring?

Personally, if a quarterback can go out and throw for 300 yards every Sunday, I could care less what he does and says the rest of the week. As long as he's not breaking the law or embarrassing the team, he can weird it up anyway he wants if the results stay the same

Answer questions in Pig Latin?

Fine, just lead a fourth-quarter comeback.

Quote Monty Python to the point of annoyance in the post-game interview?

It's cool, just make the Pro Bowl.

Just sit there like a bump on a log?

No problem with that, as long as you fly all over the field on gameday.

Perhaps, I'm wrong. Maybe the lion's share of people out there want a gregarious, transparent superstar. They want the face of the franchise to have some character.

The question for me, though, isn't who Jay Cutler is. It's if we care. 

Today is not a good day to be Elizabeth Lambert.

The New Mexico women's soccer player has to wake up with the realization that a large portion of sports-loving America has seen her on-field antics against BYU on Thursday.

And by antics, I mean hair-pulling, punching, slapping, squeezing and anything else that would fall under the umbrella of dirty play.

I like that "SportsCenter" needed to trot out soccer expert Julie Foudy to tell us that this type of behavior is over the line. We may be largely ignorant on soccer, but it's pretty obvious that yanking someone down by their ponytail doesn't qualify as good sportsmanship.

If there's any silver lining to all this, we did find out what it takes for a collegiate women's soccer game to make the morning highlight show.

APTOPIX World Series Philli.jpg

Funny, that doesn't look like the Jaws of Life, Joe. (AP)

World Series-winning New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi may not walk on water, but he's apparently one step closer to sainthood in the Bronx.

Not content to simply end the torturous nine-year championship drought for the Bombers, formerly Chicago Joe took time after the celebrations were over last night to come to the aid of a woman in an car accident, lohud.com reports:

"The guy wins the World Series, what does he do? He stops to help," said Westchester County police officer Kathleen Cristiano, who was among the first to arrive at the accident scene. "It was totally surreal."

Girardi and Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte had actually passed Cristiano earlier in the night at a drunk driving checkpoint before the Yankee skipper came up on the minor spinout. The driver, Marie Henry of Stamford, Conn., was uninjured and declined treatment, apparently. And there were no charges in what police described as a simple loss of control of the car.

In fact, the only crime was that Henry apparently had no idea who Girardi was:

"The driver didn't know it was him until after I told her," Cristiano said.

Once again, thaaaa Yankees win ... Yankees win!!!

Former Bull and current Sacramento King Andews Nocioni has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, according to Sacramento police.

Police Sgt. Norm Leong said Nocioni was stopped while driving in downtown Sacramento at about 2 a.m. Thursday.

Leong said Nocioni's vehicle was seen weaving and an officer smelled the odor of alcohol on Nocioni's breath.

Nocioni was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Bail was set at 1,482.
Nocioni, a native of Argentina, spent four-plus seasons with the Bulls before being dealt to the Kings last season.
breathalyzer-dui.jpgThere's nothing funny about drunk driving, but when a man whose Halloween costume is a Breathalyzer test gets arrested for a suspected DUI, it's sort of amusing.

An Ohio man dressed as a Breathalyzer test for Halloween found himself blowing into one after police stopped him for allegedly driving the wrong way without headlights on a one-way street. Oxford police said they stopped 20-year-old James P. Miller on Halloween night and found beer in his front seat and in the trunk.

Police said Miller blew 0.158 percent on a Breathalyzer test. The legal limit for driving is a blood-alcohol level of .08.

Miller was cited on charges including operating a vehicle while intoxicated, underage possession of alcohol, having an open container and a fake ID, and a one-way street violation.

Miller had no comment when reached at home Wednesday.

The White Sox have traded infielders Josh Fields and Chris Getz to Kansas City in exchange for infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen, according to the New York Daily News.

Teahen hit .271 while connecting on 12 home runs and driving in 50 runs last season. The 28-year-old lefty has spent his entire five-year career with the Royals.

Fields, who was supplanted as the everyday third baseman by Gordon Beckham, also spent time in left field and first base for the White Sox this year. His .222 batting average in 79 games, along with Beckham's stellar rookie year made his move more likely.

Getz, a second baseman, hit .261 in his first full year in the majors and stole 25 bases.

White Sox beat writer Joe Cowley reports there is no comment from the White Sox at this time.

First, a full disclosure: I grew up in Virginia singing "Hail to the Redskins" and worshiping at the alter of Hall-of-Famer John Riggins as the team dominated all before them in the 1980s.

So I now know how fellow Pros(er) Kyle feels watching the Lions. Somewhere between sick to my stomach and just plain heartsick. It's a bumbling team that at one time not long ago was the class of the NFL - OK, similarity with the Lions ends there - that's become a conundrum of underperforming talent and a league laughingstock that winless teams look forward to on the schedule.

But I'm nowhere near as upset as Riggins, who currently is hosting a video series and lighting up Twitter with his ideas on why the Redskins have become one of the worst teams in the league. "Head" coach Jim Zorn ("he could be a good high school coach") and General Manager Vinny Cerrado ("He should go on radio ... be an analyst") receive the brunt of the Diesel's wrath.

And as if that weren't enough, he's also taking his assault on Daniel Snyder's (the worst NFL owner ever?) heaping pile of steaming football team to "Inside the NFL" on Showtime reports Brad Biggs.

Keep on blasting away, Riggo, like you did back in the day:

brandon-spikes-eye-gouge.jpgFlorida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes has been at the center of controversy since CBS' cameras caught him attempting to gouge out the eye of Georgia Bulldogs fullback Washaun Ealey last Saturday.

The dirty play drew a 30-minute suspension from Gators coach Urban Meyer -- a punishment that was deemed fair by the SEC.

In the court of public opinion, however, sitting Spikes down for a half didn't exactly play well. Many thought he deserved at least a game, if not more.

Today, Spikes decided to step up and decided to take himself completely out of Saturday's game against Vanderbilt.

"I want the guys to prepare without any negative things going on, and I feel like if I would play it would be a big thing going on," said Spikes, who will return to the lineup Nov. 14 at South Carolina. "I'm just trying to stay out of the way, just motivate the guys. I'm pretty sure the (coaching) staff's got my back, and my teammates really support me in this decision."
Although his actions against Georgia were pretty sickening, you've got to respect him for taking his punishment like a man -- and then some.
jeremy-piven-brian-urlacher-world-series.jpgIt's definitely not what any NFL player wants, but sustaining a season-ending injury in the opening week has its perks.

Like catching Game 6 of the World Series live with Ari Gold.

That's sidelined Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher with Evanston native Jeremy Piven in the Bronx before the Yankees and Phillies take the field. What Urlacher is doing was referred to as "double-lettering" back in school. That's wearing your fraternity sign twice in one outfit (shirt and hat). It was frowned upon then, but considering No. 54's size and strength, I suppose we should just let it slide.
larry-johnson-vs-oakland.jpgIf it wasn't painfully obvious before, it looks like Larry Johnson's time in Kansas City is coming to an awkward and ugly end.

In an online petition to Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, disgruntled fans are asking that the running back be deactivated in an attempt to keep him from surpassing Priest Holmes as the team's all-time rushing leader.

Johnson is 74 yards behind Holmes and currently serving a suspension through Nov. 8 for taking coach Todd Haley to task and making several homophobic slurs.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had some 1,400 signatures.

Here's some of the anti-Johnson, pro-Holmes language contained in this electronic document:

"We are asking you, as fans of this team, this organization, and of the pride that this city has in the Chiefs, please deactivate Larry Johnson. Please do not let his name sit atop the all-time rushing leaders in Kansas City Chiefs history," the petition says. "He has never represented anything close to the values that we have for our Chiefs and it would be another dagger to the fans that continue to support this proud franchise.

"We are asking this as a favor to those of us who have supported this team long, long, long before you were brought in," the petition continued. "We will support you through thick and thin -- you will find out that we are a loyal, loyal bunch. ... However, allowing Larry Johnson to attain a record is something that can never be erased."

There's two ways of looking at this. The first is that Chiefs fans should take what they can get in Johnson, considering that this has already been a woeful season (1-6). The other is seeing this as taking a stand, winning an off-the-field victory in that aforementioned miserable season.

Either way, it's a stark example of how fast things can change in professional sports. In both 2005 and 2006, Johnson rushed for over 1,700 yards and was lauded by fans as the next big thing. Now, many of those who rushed out and bought his jersey are the same who never want to see it on the field again.

yankees-phillies-world-series.jpgFor a Midwesterner, it's as if the New York Yankees are a guilty pleasure. They're up there with celebrity gossip, cookie dough ice cream and the occasional romantic comedy. You don't want to let people on to the fact that deep down, you actually like them.

I'm not speaking about myself, but at least a handful of people have expressed the following to me this postseason:

"You know, normally I'm not a Yankees fan, but I wouldn't mind seeing them win it this year."

The first reaction, of course, is to be repulsed. People who root for the Yankees are the same ones who root for the Empire in the "Star Wars" movies. They same who pull for Johnny Lawrence in "The Karate Kid."

But, as we stand on the precipice of what would be the twenty-seventh World Series victory for the Yankees, is it possible that this version of the pinstriped gang is more palatable?
Tim Floyd resigned as USC basketball coach in June, leaving him with a lot of time to fill. The basketball-less journey apparently led him to the middle of a rather raucous casino fight -- one that conjures up images of the best "Jerry Springer Show" moments.

And just as his steadying hand calmed worked-up power forwards and hyperactive shooting guards, it pacified the tumultuous souls at the gambling establishment.

Again, this is a coach our own Rick Telander put on par with Michigan State's Tom Izzo during March Madness.

Hope he got his bill comped after this peace-making effort.
Vicente Padilla's offseason is off to a rocky start.

The Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander was accidentally shot in the leg while at a Nicaraguan shooting range.

Originally, it looked like the wound was self-inflicted, but the current report indicates that Padilla's bodyguard may have fired the shot.

In other news, sending Spanish-language articles though Google's translator is a lot of fun, but not conducive to full understanding.

Padilla, an 11-year veteran, has a 98-85 career record and finished the 2009 campaign with the Dodgers after beginning the year with the Texas Rangers. He went 1-1 in three postseason starts.

As crazy coaching moments go, Gunnar Prokop tries to give his best Woody Hayes effort and ends up slightly less infamous, but no better than the disgraced THE Ohio State University coach.

When Hayes punched Clemson defender Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl after a game-sealing interception, he put himself on a one-way express train to loserville, being fired the next day never to coach again.

For his part, Prokop, coach of Austrian handball team Hypo Niederoesterreich, one-upped Hayes in that he hip-checked an opposing player in the women's Champions League game. But he doesn't rise to the level of incredulity since nobody outside the rabid Austrian women's handball fan base noticed.

Still, it's another coach gone after a crazy moment, though Prokop fell on his own sword without being pushed to make amends. Thankfully, he's already in the city Sigmund Freud made famous for psychoanalysis, so he'll be able to spend his newly acquired free time figuring out why he just had to hit a girl.

"I will go through this with a psychiatrist. ... I still can't understand why I've done this."

The match ended in a 27-27 draw. Handball's European governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Prokop. A ruling is expected before his team's match against Krim Ljubljana on Sunday.

We will, of course, be waiting to see justice done here.

NCAA Brand Tribute.jpg

Jim Nantz found out the price of a broken heart - $916,000 a year. (AP)

CBS' omnipresent sports voice Jim Nantz is used to calling the hard-hitting action as it takes place on the field. Now he knows what's it's like to get drilled by a linebacker going across the middle.

Nantz must pay $916,000 yearly in alimony and child support to his ex-wife and give up their Connecticut home under terms of a newly issued divorce decree. The ruling, made Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court, dissolves the 26-year marriage of Nantz and Ann-Lorraine "Lorrie" Carlsen Nantz. It comes after both testified about the breakdown of their marriage during what really turned out to be a tear-jerker of a trial with both parties breaking down on the stand and outside the courtroom (highlights from Deadspin since the Connecticut Post took the story off their site):

Nantz cried on the stand as he testified about how his wife used to follow him around the country to various sporting events, but gradually lost interest in his career. She could not even be bothered to go to New York City to watch him collect a "Man of the Year" award. Or let him hang the oil painting--of himself--that he received with the award in their house. (He had to put it in storage.) He was even offered the hosting slot on the CBS Early Show, but turned it down because she was against it. He admitted to taking a younger lover, but that it didn't matter much because his marriage was already "dead."

Nantz, 50, acknowledged dating a 29-year-old woman before the divorce was final, the judge concluded the marriage deteriorated years earlier and "this remote event in no way contributed to the breakdown of the marriage."

Owens noted that the couple didn't share the same interests in Nantz's television career, which required frequent travel as the network's primary commentator for college football, golf and basketball, as well as appearances at charity events.

Under the ruling, Nantz must pay $72,000 in alimony monthly until he dies or his ex-wife remarries, and another $1,000 weekly in child support for the next two years. Nantz's attorney, Gaetano Ferro of New Canaan, said Tuesday that the famed sportscaster only wants what's best for his daughter and will not fight the terms of the divorce decree.

But don't worry about Jim. Court records show he's pulling down about $7 million a year for blabbing on the Eye. He'll be OK, once his broken heart heals.

The most viral of all videos this morning shows Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes literally trying to gouge out the eyeball of Georgia Bulldogs fullback Washaun Ealey during Saturday's rivalry game in Jacksonville.

There's not really a lot to say in defense of Spikes here. His actions seem pretty clear, and even if this was in retaliation for something, it certainly doesn't excuse him. You just dont mess with people's eyes. They're kind of important.

At a Sunday press conference, Gators coach Urban Meyer said he'd have a "serious talk" with Spikes about the incident.

There's already a groundswell of writers saying that Meyer should suspend Spikes himself, and not leave it up to the SEC, using the old "eye-for-an-eye" rationale. 
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was the star of Saturday night's game against the Sacramento Kings, but not for the traditional reasons.

The Argentinian-born Noah Wyle look-a-like was able to corral a live bat that made its way down to the playing area and caused a delay in the game.

He's Ginobili channeling his inner Van Helsing:

That was amazing," teammate Tony Parker told the Associated Press after the game. "The legend continues with Manu. Unbelievable. ... He's always doing crazy stuff."