A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

March 2010 Archives

kurt warner.JPGKurt Warner's Cinderella story may be the next football-inspired fairytale to hit the big screen.

The recently retired quarterback said he's been approached by a movie producer who wants to make a film based on his life. Considering the success of "The Blind Side," it only makes sense that Hollywood would want to jump on another feel-good story.

Warner's movie would combine a magical recipe of religion, grocery-bagging, Cedar Falls, Mike Martz, Dick Vermeil and Warner's wife, Brenda. Really, it'd be stupid not to make this thing.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk have already weighed in with their casting recommendations, which I really can't improve.
al-skinner-fired.JPGBoston College has fired basketball coach Al Skinner, according to a report from the Boston Globe. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Globe reports that Boston College will begin its coaching search immediately and has already requested permission to talk to Chris Mooney of Richmond and Steve Donahue of Cornell. Other names being floated are Tommy Amaker of Harvard and Billy Coen of Northeastern.

In 13 seasons with the Eagles, Skinner compiled a 247-165 record and made the NCAA Tournament seven times.
dorell wright.JPGMiami Heat forward Dorell Wright has joined the long line of athletes in recent history to apologize for very revealing photographs popping up in the Internet.

Wright said yesterday he was embarrassed that the explicit photos, which evidently were taken during a private video chat about a year ago, surfaced.

The Heat had no comment on the incident.

Earlier this season, the Trail Blazers' Greg Oden and Spurs' George Hill expressed remorse that private photos of themselves had been posted in separate events.

This is not the only time the Heat have had to deal with an off-court distraction from Wright this year. He was suspended by the team for two games earlier this month after he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence with a suspended license.

ESPN sideline siren Erin Andrews was back on the dance floor tonight, performing the foxtrot with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy on "Dancing With the Stars."

The duo, who have an unquestioned on-screen chemistry, turned in a better performance than last week, if you ask this completely uninformed blogger.

The hot gossip around the Internet has these two possibly dating, which of course would throw the Earth completely off its axis.

The real star in this clip? The slightly off version of "Love Story" by Taylor Swift.

Love that ditty. 
herrmann-bracket-autistic-kid-perfect-bracket.jpgEarlier this week, we were shocked to find out that, after all of the upsets in this year's NCAA Tournament, there was a perfect bracket out there.

After Thursday's play, there isn't.

Alex Herrmann, the 17-year-old autistic prognosticator from Glenbrook South High School, saw his flawless-guessing streak go by the wayside when Butler dismissed Syracuse with an upset victory in Salt Lake City. He did, however, manage to accurately pick Kansas State, West Virginia and Kentucky to advance.

Herrmann, bless his heart, has Purdue winning it all, so it was really only a matter of time before this feel-good story reached the end of its road.

The Internet has been abuzz with a good deal of doubt over this story, and really, for good reason. The odds of going 48-for-48 through the opening two rounds is one in 13,460,000. Herrmann entered his bracket on CBSSports.com's Bracket Manager, which does allow users to change their picks after games are completed. The teen's family insists this isn't what's going on. The good people over at NBC Chicago placed a call to the Herrmann home last night, but it wasn't returned.

Tonight, Alex likes Northern Iowa, Tennessee, Purdue and Baylor to win.


Florida International University running back Kendall Berry was found stabbed to death on the school's Miami campus Thursday night.

The Miami Herald reports that the circumstances behind the 22-year-old Berry's death are unclear, but that it's an isolated incident and the student body at large is not at risk.

Police were interviewing "several people that observed the incident," Baez said, though he could not confirm if any suspect was in custody.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kendall's family,'' said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. "We are here to support them and our entire university community as all of us come to terms with this tragedy.''

Shortly after the university confirmed Berry's death, FIU indefinitely postponed football coaching clinics scheduled for Friday and Saturday.The football team's annual spring game is scheduled for Wednesday. It's unknown if that would take place as planned.

Police said the stabbing took place just outside the front doors of the campus recreation center, where he said the football team and other FIU athletes train.

Berry, from Haines City, Florida, was involved in an argument with one or more people, according to a Miami Police spokesman, and "One produced some type of a weapon and stabbed him."

Berry appeared in all 12 FIU games as a freshman in 2007. He sat out the 2008 season with a knee injury and then had some breakout moments in 2009, rushing for three touchdowns in a span of 13 minutes against Middle Tennessee on Nov. 7 and following that up with two more scores the following week in a win over North Texas.

Berry finished last season with a team-best seven touchdowns, despite not playing in the season's first seven games because of continued recovery from the knee injury.

His parents, Derrick and Mellissicia Spillman, have been notified, the university said. Berry had seven siblings, according to the Herald report.

The best way to win a basketball game -- at least from what we've learned from kid-friendly sports movies through the years -- is a slam dunk at the buzzer.

In real life, it rarely happens.

But for Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks, the stars aligned properly last night for such an event against the Orlando Magic.

After Vince Carter hit a deep three-pointer to tie the game at 84, Atlanta decided to give it the old college try and not call a timeout. Joe Johnson's mid-range jumper was off, but Smith heroically flew in out of nowhere for the game-winning jam.

The dunk also had some tangible benefit outside of making "SportsCenter's" top plays list. The win clinches a playoff spot for the Hawks.

With style.
Thumbnail image for urban-meyer-resign.JPGA video making the rounds this morning shows Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer confronting Jeremy Fowler, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, after Fowler wrote an article about how the SEC powerhouse was moving on after Tim Tebow.

In the video, Meyer threatens Fowler's access because he -- wait for it -- correctly quoted one of Meyer's players.

On Monday, Fowler had spoken with wide receiver Deonte Thompson on the differences between the departed Tebow and the man who will fill his role, John Brantley.

"You never know with Tim," Thompson said. "You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."

Meyer, apparently, was not a fan.

"You'll be out of practice -- you understand that? -- if you do that again," he said to Fowler.  "I told you five years ago: Don't mess with our players. Don't do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel's not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It's yes or no."

He didn't stop there, threatening hypothetical violence.

"If that was my son, we'd be going rounds,'' Meyer said.

You'll remember that Urban Meyer intended to resign after the Gators' appearance in the Sugar Bowl last season, then decided instead to take a leave of absence in an effort to keep his stress levels down.

Just a thought, but berating a reporter probably isn't the best way to do that.

Admittedly, we don't have the total history here, but at first glance, Meyer comes off looking a little silly going after a reporter for reporting things correctly.
warren-sapp-arrest.JPGProsecutors won't be pursuing criminal charges against former NFL star and current NFL Network analyst for a Super Bowl weekend arrest.

Sapp was taken in by police the day before the Super Bowl in Miami and would have faced one count of misdemeanor domestic battery.

Prosecution documents reveal that there were inconsistencies between the victim's statements and the physical evidence. Thus, authorities won't be prosecuting Sapp.

 The former Raider, Buccaneer and dancing star was "always confident that the system would work," according to his lawyer.
tim-tebow-john-16-33.JPGHeisman Trophy winner and religion enthusiast Tim Tebow's attempt at leading a prayer at the NFL Scouting Combine was met with some Joe Biden-approved language and laughter, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.

Tebow apparently tried to get everyone in on a prayer after receiving instructions on how to take the Wonderlic test.

"Shut the f--- up," one player reportedly replied while others chuckled.

Hard to tell if that played into Tebow's score of 22.

Tebow's outspokenness about his religious views is undeniably a consideration that NFL teams would have to weigh before picking him up. He could run into situations like this or could find a niche in a locker room where he is held as an emotional leader.

Who is out of bounds in this situation? Tebow? The foul-mouthed dude who just wanted to take the test? Both of them? Should this be worrisome to prospective teams?
And now a third porn star has come forward claiming to have had an affair with Tiger Woods.

If you're keeping score at home, that is now brings the total of alleged mistresses to 15.

This young go-getter is named Devon James. In a radio interview yesterday, she claimed to have carried on a sexual relationship with Woods for over 2 1/2 years.

The tawdry allegations James made include Woods playing her and another woman $2,000 each for sex -- at the same time.

It's always important to consider the source at times like these.

An online escort listing from a St. Petersberg- and Tampa-based Donna James offers "companionship" services. $180 buys 30 minutes, $250 gets an hour and two hours go for $450. The poster, who claims to be "very sexy and playful" and promises "the time of your life," describes herself as 29 years old and claims to have performed at several porn Web sites.

Even when taken with a highly-raised eyebrow, this news has to be troubling for Woods, who will return to competitive golf in eight days at the Masters. The incomparable Bill Zwecker reported yesterday that his wife, Elin, is becoming even more ticked off with each story of alleged infidelity that arises. So much so, she plans on being out of the country during her husband's return to the links.
Former Michigan State basketball hero Mateen Cleaves was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving on Saturday.

Cleaves, the heart and soul of the 2000 NCAA championship team, was taken in by Genesee County police, then released.

Cleaves lawyer, Frank Manley, told the Flint Journal that his client drove because of an emergency involving his son and doesn't promote "any driving that's not considered safe."

The former guard spent six seasons in the NBA and recently joined Fox Sports Detroit as a Pistons analyst.
billy-donovan.JPGFlorida Gators coach Billy Donovan has turned down an offer to become the head man at St. Johns, according to multiple reports.

The proposed deal was reportedly in excess of $3 million per year.

A source close to Donovan said well-to-do St. John's alum, Mike Repole -- of Vitaminwater fame -- undertook the project of bringing the Long Island native back to his roots and a team in dire need of work.

The source describes Donovan's answer as "thank you so much, but no thank you."

Donovan, who makes $3.5 million per year, is one of the college game's highest-paid coaches already.

Despite his ties, one might have assumed he's not interested in taking a pay cut and having to rebuild a program. St. John's has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2002, while Donovan's Gators have won two national championships during that drought.

Announcing legend and Milwaukee Brewers enthusiast Bob Uecker will add another impressive honor to his long resume this Saturday when he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in Phoenix.

Uecker's finest wrestling-related moments came in in 1987, when he did the play-by-play for Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome, and a year later when he was the backstage interviewer at WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City.

As you can see, it took a brave man to question Andre the Giant.

The ceremony is part of WrestleMania week. Other inductees include Gorgeous George, Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase Sr., former Women's Champion Wendi Richter, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon, Stu Hart and Japanese legend Antonio Inoki.

Interested parties can watch the proceedings on USA Network at 11 p.m. ET.

ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews made her long-awaited debut on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" last night, performing the cha cha with partner Maks Chmerkovskiy and setting a world record for longest legs on national television.

Admittedly, I'm no dancing expert, but Andrews looked pretty good, but perhaps a little mechanical at times. Dedicated "Dancing With the Stars" blogger Miriam DiNunzio, whose opinion I'll always defer to, writes that she "wowed" the judges. Andrews finished with a score of 20.

We all know with her popularity, all she's going to have to do to hang in this thing is be satisfactory, not outstanding. Mission accomplished for one night.

Also of note, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco overcame his stage fright to turn in an athletic version of the cha cha of with partner Cheryl Burke. He was rewarded with a score of 18 for his efforts.

It will be interesting to see if curious parties (read: not regular viewers) who tuned in last night will stick with the show through the season or if the ratings will lag as time goes on.
It turns out that former New York Giants star Mark Ingram's decision to jump bail in an effort to see his Heisman-Trophy-winning son play football will be a costly one.

Ingram, who is already serving more than seven years for money laundering and bank fraud, was arrested on Jan. 2, 2009 for failing to report to prison to serve his sentence.

Today, he was sentenced to an extra 27 months for that failure.

Ingram's reason for not showing up?

His son, Mark Jr., was playing in the Orange Bowl and he wanted to watch.

"When it came to the 11th hour, I had to make a decision. My decision was to be with my son in what would be my last chance to watch him play in person in college," Ingram Sr. told USA Today in December.

The younger Ingram won the Heisman and led his Alabama squad to the national title this past year.
ronnie-brown-dui.jpgMiami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol late Friday night, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

Brown, who has no criminal record, was pulled over by officers in Atlanta after he failed to signal while making a lane change. He was booked and released from jail early Saturday morning.

Brown is distraught over the arrest, and he has hired an attorney to help defend him in the case, the sources said. He did not perform well during the field-sobriety test, which contributed to the officer's decision to arrest Brown, sources said. It remains possible the charges soon could be reduced to a traffic violation in the coming days. The arresting officer's detailed version of the arrest has not yet been obtained because it occurred during the weekend. Brown's agent, Todd France, did not return messages Sunday to comment on the arrest.
The Dolphins had no comment, but reportedly are not overly concerned given Brown's reputation as a model citizen.

The former Auburn star is rehabbing from a November foot surgery and has spent his entire playing career with the Dolphins since being selected with the second overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.

Tiger Woods' first public interviews since the November car crash that set a "Mousetrap"-like chain of embarrassing events into motion revealed, well, not all that much.

Woods, who will make his return to golf at the Masters, spoke with ESPN and the Golf Channel, who each aired their sessions last night.

As you can see from the video, Tiger seemed poised, rehearsed and (here's hoping he was being genuine) contrite.

He declined to go into specifics about why he lost control of his car that night or why he was in treatment, but admitted he'd hurt a lot of people.

"I've done some pretty bad things in my life," Woods said.

The interviews were limited to five minutes in length, so they weren't long enough to get deep into the issues. Not that Woods would have opened up that much anyway.

For him, I think just putting his face back out there and answering anything is a victory right now. He's going to have to weather the storm for a little bit upon his return, but at some point -- perhaps not all that far off -- all of these scandal-related questions will be out of bounds for the media.

What do you guys take out of this question-and-answer session, if anything?
tom-penders-houston.jpgVeteran coach Tom Penders has decided to step down as Houston Cougars basketball coach, just a few days after his Cougars were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Maryland.

An insider tells the Houston Chronicle that the decision comes after meeting with athletic director Mack Rhoades.

Penders, 64, had led Houston to its first tournament appearance in 18 years with the help of the nation's leading scorer, Aubrey Coleman.

In his six years at the school, Penders compiled a 121-77 record. He currently ranks 25th in Division I history with 648 wins and has piloted four different schools into the tournament.
The Minnesota Twins have locked up superstar catcher Joe Mauer for a long, long time.

Mauer, a St. Paul native, agreed to an eight-year, $184 million contract that will keep him playing for his hometown team through the 2018 season.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick has played up to his enormous hype thus far in his career. He'll carry a .327 lifetime batting average into this season and won the American League MVP in 2009.

And, and a result, he's being handsomely rewarded.

Mauer's contract is the fourth-largest in Major League history, ranking behind deals given to Alex Rodriguez (one in 2001, another in 2008) and Derek Jeter (2001).

Moments ago, Michigan State advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over Maryland on the strength of a game-winning three-pointer by Korie Lucious, who replaced an injured Kalin Lucas late in the first half.

Despite struggling with the Terrapins' press for a majority of the afternoon, I don't think too many people in Spartan Country are going to hold it against the young guard.

Heroics like this tend to make people forget those things.

Lucious' trey came after a frenetic Maryland rally gave them the lead with 6.6 seconds left in the game.

Granted, I'm extremely biased, but this has got to be the best buzzer-beater of the tournament to date.
What an absolutely heart-stopping opening day of NCAA tournament action we were treated to yesterday. Upsets and overtimes galore, obliterating our brackets and entertaining us for about 12 hours straight.

In case you need a reason to get pumped up for today's action (and if you do, I just feel sorry for you), here are some of the buzzer-beaters from Day 1.

Murray State's Danero Thomas hits a 15-footer to propel the Racers past Vanderbilt

Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh nails a 30-foot heave to lift the Panthers over UNLV

Wake Forest's Ishmael Smith with a runner to help the Demon Deacons stun Texas

In the immortal words of Dick Enberg: OH, MY!
vin-scully.jpgHall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully was hospitalized after a fall Thursday, but is scheduled to be released and travel to the Dodgers' spring-training facility Glendale, Ariz. today.

The 82-year-old legend, who has been calling games for the Dodgers, since 1950, apparently got out of bed too quickly, causing the fall. A team spokesman said the overnight hospitalization was precautionary.

Scully was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
"Pardon the Interruption" host Tony Kornheiser drew the ire of Lance Armstrong for comments he made about bicyclists on his radio show last week.

Kornheiser got all hot and bothered about cyclists taking up too much room on his precious roads and urged listeners to give them a "nudge" with their cars.

Armstrong, as you might imagine, wasn't too happy about this.

"Listening to Tony Kornheiser's comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f------ idiot," he tweeted early Thursday morning.

By afternoon, it seems the two had made their peace.

"Just off the phone w/ Tony Kornheiser who's very sorry 4 his comments re: cyclists. Going on the show 2morrow 2 discuss this w/ him," Armstrong posted.

It's been a rough month for the host, who was suspended by ESPN for two weeks after railing against the outfit choices made by "SportsCenter" anchor Hannah Storm.

Were Kornheiser's comments over the line, or is this just another case of people not having a sense of humor?
tigertourney.jpgAlleged Tiger Woods mistress and porn star Joslyn James has posted a bevy of text messages she claims are from the golfer on her Web site, and they aren't for the feint of heart.
The messages, if actually from Tiger, reveal a controlling and highly organized man who fantasized about aggressive sex with prone women.
James, whose film credits include "Big Breasted Nurses" and "My First Sex Teacher #12" had previously released texts she claimed came from Woods last month.
Today's posting makes those look tame in comparison.
The texts repeatedly mention the sender's desire to have rough sexual contact, explained in great detail.
"I really do want to be rough with you. Slap you around," one reads.
"Next time i see you, you better beg and if you don't do it right i will slap, spank, bite and [expletive] you till mercy," reads another.
Those are the few clean enough to post. You can read the full transcript here, but should be warned that it is littered with explicit material and language.

Besides giving a possible indication as to the depth of his acknowledged sexual addiction, the alleged texts could also lend insight as to how Woods secretly maneuvered in scheduling these liaisons.
In one series of  texts from Sept. 7, 2009, the sender gives James the address of the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook. Woods  competed in the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in Lemont that week and  won the tournament by eight strokes, taking home $1.35 million.

It should be noted that James did not post her responses to these messages, but it appears as though she and whoever is on the other end of this thing did not end good terms.
Don't f------ talk to me. You almost just ruined my whole life. If my agent and these guys would have seen you there, F---," the last posted message reads.
pau-gasol.JPGLos Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol needed the help of the police when he noticed two men following him before he got into his car Wednesday afternoon.

Gasol, fearing they might be stalkers, called the authorities, who stopped the black sedan the suspicious characters were in.

The men turned out to be Spanish paparazzi, presumably angling for those oh-so-hot Gasol pictures that are so big in his native land.

They were allowed to leave, and Gasol was escorted home.

The lanky, long-haired one is averaging 17.3 points and 11 rebounds per game this year.
john-terry.JPGChelsea defender John Terry was questioned by police and submitted to a breathalyzer test last night after he ran into a member of the team's security staff with his car, breaking the man's leg.

The incident happened after Terry's club was knocked out of the Champions League by Inter Milan.

Terry was trying to navigate his way through a swarm of people after the match. The security guard was able to clear a path, but the player's car clipped him while leaving. Terry failed to notice this, and left the stadium without stopping. He was later visited at home by the authorities, where he consented to a breathalyzer.

It's been a rough couple months for Terry, who lost the England captaincy after reports of an alleged affair with former teammate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend.

Terry has not commented on the alleged affair, but Bridge has refused to play for England in the upcoming World Cup.
rex_grossman_neckbeard.jpgOnetime Bears fan favorite Rex Grossman will be bringing his brand of consistently inconsistent play to the Washington Redskins, according to the Washington Post.

Grossman, the Bears' first-round draft pick in 2003, spent last season as a backup with the Houston Texans, completing a total of three passes for 33 yards.

The Post reports he's signed a one-year deal with the Redskins, where he will likely back up Jason Campbell.

Despite piloting Chicago to its only Super Bowl since 1985 in 2006, he is still subject to vilification from the guy next to you in the bar anywhere from Beverly to Evanston.

His last appearance in headlines here was for the $700,000 loss he took on his Trump Tower condominium.
chuck-knoblauch-wife.jpgFormer second baseman and wild-throw enthusiast Chuck Knoblauch Tuesday pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on his common-law wife.

Court records show Knoblauch agreed to the guilty plea in exchange for one year of probation and a fine of $1,000. If he successfully completes the probation, the conviction could be erased from his record.

A criminal complaint states that the former Twin and Yankee hit and choked his wife during a September argument in Houston.

Knoblauch won the 1991 American League Rookie of the Year award and was selected to four All-Star teams.

Thumbnail image for barack-obama-roy-williams.jpgUPDATE: Obama is taking the consensus favorite, Kansas, to win it all. He also seems to have found his inner conservative. Marquette (a 6-seed) is the lowest-seeded team in his Sweet Sixteen. You can look at his entire bracket here.

For the second straight year, President Barack Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN.

The leader of the free world will unveil his selections tonight during the late SportsCenter.

You'll remember Obama correctly pegged North Carolina as the eventual champion last season, and finished in the top 20 percent of entrants in the nationwide ESPN pool.

The word is that his Final Four consists of Kansas, Kansas State, Villanova and Kentucky.

Safe picks, to be sure.

What's not quite as safe is the timing of the televised special. ABC News' Karen Travers points out that this may very well be the most critical week of his presidency to date. And you know critics are going to take issue with him taking time out of his schedule for such a "frivolous" endeavor.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but seriously, how long could this have really taken? Fifteen minutes? Relax, people.

Take issue with his selections, not the fact that he filled out a bracket.

Seton Hall was eliminated by Texas Tech tonight in the opening game of the NIT, but at least the Pirates went down punching.

Herb Pope, the team's most prolific low-post player, was ejected about five minutes into the game after he decided to throw a swift punch to the groin of Red Raider forward Darko Cohadarevic.

Yep, that will get you tossed.

Texas Tech went on to dismantle the hosts, 87-69.

The is the second incident in the span of two weeks in which a Red Raiders basketball player has had a punch thrown at them. During the women's Big 12 tournament, Baylor's Brittney Griner connected with Jordan Barncastle's face. Griner received a two-game suspension for her actions.

Dangerous, dangerous time to be a Red Raider hoops player.
The figure skating community is dealing with a bit of drama, as The Stars on Ice skating tour has denied that any perception of sexual identity factored into its decision not to invite Johnny Weir to be part of the program.

"We are disappointed that there is untrue and inaccurate information being disseminated," Stars, which is sponsored by Smucker's, said in a statement. "Please be assured that the 'gender identity and sexual orientation' of cast members has never been a consideration in the selection of tour performers."

Weir expressed disappointment at not being invited aboard to GLAAD, which said excluding Weir would be "a clear jab at his perceived sexual orientation."

The two-time Olympian said he plans to move forward with a show of his own.
mike-tyson-pigeon.JPGFormer heavyweight boxing champion and tiger enthusiast Mike Tyson will star in an Animal Planet series that will feature -- wait for it -- pigeon racing.

The show, titled "Taking on Tyson", will showcase amateur pigeon racer Tyson against serious competitors, according to the Associated Press. That's right, the AP got to use the term "serious competitors" and apply it to pigeon racers.

Tyson has apparently raised pigeons all his life, but is just now getting into the glamorous world of racing them. The show is on track to be taped this spring in New York City and will air early next year.

How serious is this program going to be?

For that, we turn to an unbiased source.

"Tyson's passion for his pigeons takes my breath away," Animal Planet Media President Marjorie Kaplan said.

If you'd like to bone up on your knowledge of this parlor sport, may I suggest visiting the American Racing Pigeon Union Web site, where you will find all you need to know.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for gilbert-arenas-gun.jpgSuspended Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas said that he deserved to be punished in an interview with Esquire that hits newsstands next week.

Arenas told the magazine he wasn't using "longevity thinking" when he brought firearms into the team locker room, spurring a confrontation with teammate Javaris Crittendon.

Whatever that means.

Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge in January and was suspended from the NBA for the remainder of the season. The former All-Star still categorizes the incident that led to all of this as a "prank."

Also of note is the revelation that Arenas had up to 500 guns at his home, many of which he acquired from an elderly man's World War I collection. He said he'd put all but four into storage when he started having children.

Arenas said he is saddened that he has "messed up" the legacy of Wizards owner Abe Pollin, who died in November. He added that he's apologized to Polin's wife for his actions.

We will have to read the entire piece to get the full picture here, but I feel like everyone is going to read this and focus on the 500 guns. Kudos to Arenas for admitting that he got a just punishment, but perhaps you want to omit the part about your arsenal of weapons while awaiting sentencing for a gun-related offense.
The New York Giants have the honor of hosting the first regular-season game at the New Meadowlands Stadium after winning a coin toss with the New York Jets, according to the New York Daily News.

Jets owner Woody Johnson is apparently livid that no team official was present for this ever-so-important flip of fate.

If it's any consolation, he just picked up LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Jets will presumably host a game the second week of the season and both teams will play there in the preseason, including a game against each other.
Thumbnail image for erin_andrews_cubs_sexy.jpgThe man convicted of filming naked videos of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews through hotel room peepholes is facing sentencing in a Los Angeles court today.

Michael David Barrett, a 48-year-old insurance executive, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 27-month sentence.

The soon-to-be-dancing star will address the court today. Her lawyer has said she didn't agree with the terms of the sentence and is seeking $335,000 in restitution from Barrett.

Andrews told some TMZ camera people that happened to run into her that she was "very nervous" to see Barrett in court.

Former Current tennis rivals Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras got into a very public war of worlds, turning a charity match awkward for all involved Friday night.

During an event to raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti, the two fierce competitors let the action spiral into a back-and-forth battle of who could get the best zinger. And, as most verbal confrontations do, it culminated in someone hitting a tennis ball at the other.

Agassi and teammate Rafael Nadal were leading the team of Sampras and Roger Federer for most of the night, before Sampras started taking things a little too serious for Andre. In his recent book, Agassi wrote that his foil was as robotic as a parrot.

"You always have to get serious, huh Pete?'' he said.

Sampras countered by doing an impression of Agassi's pigeon-toed walk, which caused the bandanna and camera enthusiast to go for the throat.

He pulled out his pockets and said, "I don't have any money. I just like ... I ..."

Agassi had also written that Sampras was a notoriously bad tipper.

Sampras answered by serving the ball at his instigator. Not hard, mind you. But, still, on a night that was supposed to be about charity, it definitely got weird.
ryan-howard-albert-pujols.jpgAccording to baseball insiders, the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies have discussed a trade involving Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard.

It's not known if the Phillies have presented the hypothetical swap, which would knock the world of off its axis, to the Cardinals.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro says the blockbuster-trade rumors are nothing but nonesense.

"Lies," he said. "That's a lie. I don't know who you're talking to, but that's a lie."

That would rate pretty high on the denial scale, right?

So, how do whispers about the Cardinals parting ways with Pujols, generally regarded as baseball's best position player, begin?

The 30-year-old slugger will be a free agent after the 2011 season and will surely command an Alex Rodriguez-like deal, ESPN's Buster Olney explains. If the Cardinals couldn't pony up, some sort of superswap would be the next logical step.

Howard, a St. Louis-born left-handed version of Pujols, would be attractive.

Again, this doesn't look to be very far along in the real world. But, a trade ripped straight out a fantasy baseball league would be pretty cool. And, hey, who doesn't love a little Monday morning rumor-mongering?
david-beckham-injury.jpgEnglish midfielder David Beckham suffered a torn Achilles' tendon in his left ankle while playing for AC Milan Sunday, an injury that is expected to keep him out of this summer's World Cup.

The 34-year-old star will fly to Finland for surgery on Monday, according to club physician Jean Pierre Meerssema. Meerssema told the Times of London that Beckham is "definitely out" for the sport's biggest tournament in South Africa.

Beckham was standing alone with the ball during the final minutes of the match when he shifted his weight and grabbed at his ankle in pain.

The injury comes just three months before he would have become the first English player to appear in four World Cups.

It's a bitter pill for Beckham, who was said to be crying by teammates in the locker room. He had worked himself into a position on the national team after three years of work. While not expected to start, his experience and leadership would have given England a boost.

Ironically, the news may in fact help the United States, who open against the now Beckham-less English team on June 12. You'll recall his much ballyhooed stint with the Los Angeles Galaxy was supposed to buoy soccer's popularity in this country. Now, his absence may help do just that.
jake-delhomme-browns.JPGThe Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with longtime Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme on a two-year contract, according to ESPN'S Adam Schefter.

Earlier this week, the Browns signed another quarterback, Seneca Wallace, pretty much mandating the end of the Brady Quinn era in Cleveland. The team also released Derek Anderson earlier this week.

The 35-year-old Delhomme was released by the Panthers eight days ago after a woeful 2009 campaign that saw him throw 18 interceptions. In seven seasons with Carolina, Delhomme compiled a 58-40 record and led the franchise to its first Super Bowl.
mike-ditka-ricky-williams.JPGChicago Bears legend and cigar enthusiast Mike Ditka is still standing by his decision to trade an entire draft in order to get then-stud Texas running back Ricky Williams.

Talking to a group of men at a Palm Beach event, the current ESPN analyst was asked if he'd make the same move again.

"Absolutely," Ditka said. "Of course, that's why I'm sitting here, talking to you."

In 1999, Ditka was the coach of the New Orleans Saints, an organization that made a much maligned trade with the Washington Redskins. It allowed the Saints to snatch up Williams with the fifth overall selection in exchange for eight draft picks. Williams rushed for 3,129 yards in three seasons with New Orleans, but was traded to the Dolphins -- perhaps large in part to off-the-field problems.

Ditka, however, defended the back.

"You'll never find a better guy, a sweetheart of a guy, a personable guy, a guy who tries to do the right things, and I think his teammates see that," he said.

"Now you could argue, if you want to: Did we give up too much to get him? Maybe," Ditka said. "But if you want somebody, why not give it up? And the other reason we wanted him -- I wanted him -- was that they needed somebody to market in New Orleans and I thought he would be great."

In recent years, Williams has been extremely productive while managing to stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons.

While the trade didn't translate to immediate success for Ditka's Saints, I'd bet there are very few people down there worrying too much about it anymore.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for chad-ochocinco-ponho-sombrero.JPGFor those of you who don't get enough of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco in your life, today brings good news.

The pass-catching Twitter enthusiast will supplement his "Dancing With the Stars" appearance with his very own VH1 reality show beginning in July, according to a press release from PR Newswire.

The show will be called "The Tournament." The premise, and stop me if you've heard this one before, will be 85 women competing for his heart.

Here's how it will all work: Ochocinco will travel around the country, finding his harem of women that might be interested in dating him. This will all be on the up-and-up because there is no way anyone would have an ulterior motive for dating a famous pro athlete on a nationally-televised television show.

He will then narrow the field to 16 in the first episode and break them down be region of the country. So, much like the NCAA tournament, we will have Northern, Western, Southern and Central Divisions in this thing.

I never knew Ochocinco was a more suave version of ESPN's Joe Lunardi.

Not sold yet?

This testimonial from a television executive should do the trick.

"Chad Ocho Cinco is one of the most electrifying individuals in sports today. His bigger than life personality on and off the field and his notorious skills as a social networker, connecting daily with his fans, makes him a perfect fit for VH1," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Production, VH1. "This show will not only give viewers a look inside his professional life, but also reveal his softer more romantic side when playing a very different kind of game."

He says what we've all been wanting to say.

Now, if they'd only get his last name right.
Hall of Fame defensive tackle, actor and announcer Merlin Olsen has died at the age of 69, according to multiple reports.

Olsen, who spent his entire playing career with the Los Angeles Rams after playing his college ball at Utah State, was inducted into the Hall in 1982.

After retiring Olsen starred television and movies and is perhaps best know for his role on "Little House on the Prairie." In the 1980s, he teamed with Dick Enberg on NBC broadcasts of AFC football.
Ben-Roethlisberger.jpgBen Roethlisberger met with police the night of his alleged sexual assault and denied having intercourse with his accuser, according to Pittsburgh-based KDKA.

Sources tell the station that the quarterback admits having sexual contact with the woman, who he said later slipped and injured her head.

Rothlisberger's high-profile attorney, Ed Garland, has publicly stated his client is completely innocent of any crime.

A defense attorney explains why Big Ben's admission of contact and subsequent injury could present a problem for his defense -- especially if prosecutors are able to gather any DNA evidence.

"Why does she have the bump on the head and theoretically, why do we have your DNA," says Bob Del Greco, "and why did she come to the hospital for this matter, because if it was a consensual matter and she bumped her head, should could have certainly have gone to the hospital and said, 'I bumped my head.'"
Obviously, that's not where this investigation is right now. Currently, Georgian investigators are asking for a sample of Roethlisberger's DNA. This would presumably used to match against samples taken from the woman, who was treated at a hospital the night of the alleged assault.
torii-hunter-latino.JPGLos Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter has clarified some statements about Latino players he recently made as part of a USA Today roundtable that were published Wednesday.

In the piece, Hunter is quoted as saying, "People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they're African-American. They're not us. They're impostors. Even people I know come up and say: 'Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?' I say, 'Come on, he's Dominican. He's not black.' ...

"As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It's like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?' ... I'm telling you, it's sad."

Today, Hunter attempted to suss out what he really meant by these comments.
tim-tebow-sam-bradford.JPGDespite the NFL's best efforts to keep the results of the Wonderlic test scores under wraps, the numbers have begun to seep out, thanks large in part to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post.

Thompson has tweeted some of the scores of the big-name quarterbacks on the 50-question intelligence test.

Oklahoma's Sam Bradford dominated, supposedly scoring a 36, while Florida golden boy Tim Tebow came in with a 22. Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen managed a 23.

Do these scores reveal how good an NFL player someone will be? Vince Young scored a 6. Dan Marino a 13. And many players who aced the thing never accounted to anything in the league.

Still, in our football-crazy world, it's just another stat for draft experts to yell at each other about on television.
ladanian-tomlinson.JPGRunning back LaDainian Tomlinson will visit the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, according to a report from SI.com.

Tomlinson, who spent nine very productive years with the San Diego Chargers before being released last month, would be a capable replacement for Chester Taylor, who signed with with the Bears last Friday.

This is the first team LT has visited with. The Vikings could find his ability to hold on to the football attractive. In 2,541 carries, Tomlinson has lost only seven fumbles. Compare that with the six lost by Vikings incumbent running back Adrian Peterson on 314 carries last season.
nomar-garciaparra-red-sox-retire.jpgSix-time All-Star and long-warmup-routine enthusiast Nomar Garciaparra will announce his retirement this morning at a press conference held by the Red Sox.

Garciaparra played for the team from 1996-2004 before splitting time with the Cubs, Dodgers and Athletics. His one-day contract will allow him to retire as a member of the team with whom he had his best seasons.

The two-time batting champion will join ESPN as an analyst.

Know for his elaborate actions in the batter box, the shortstop was a fan favorite who won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1997 and finished second in the league's MVP voting the following year.
guy-morriss.JPGA Texas college football coach whose players stole campus newspapers from their racks after a negative story about the program has apologized for applauding the move.

Texas A&M-Commcerce coach Guy Morriss initially said that the mass theft was "the best team-building exercise we've ever done."

Just another example of the jocks pushing around the nerds. Classic plot line.

On Monday, however, Morriss changed his tune and called his comments a "lapse in judgment."

The messiness kicked off when the paper ran a front-page article about two football players' drug arrests.

The school's athletic director said the football program will pay for the reprint of the edition and that it would be distributed by players and coaches.
joe-nathan-injury.JPGMinnesota Twins fans are having a side of bad news with their morning coffee today, as closer Joe Nathan has been diagnosed with a torn ulner collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.

The 35-year-old reliever will decide if he'll have surgery within two weeks. That procedure would likely keep him out for the entire season.

Nathan has notched at least 36 saves in the past six seasons.
allen-iverson-cut-his-hair.jpgAllen Iverson responded to a Philadelphia Inquirer article suggesting that his career has been derailed by drinking and gambling problems via Twitter last night.

Iverson, who left 76ers after a Dec. 20 game against the Bulls to be with his sick 4-year-old daughter, was spotted partying during his leave. His wife filed for divorce on March 4, the same day the Sixers announced he wouldn't play for the rest of the season.

Inquirer columnist Stephen A. Smith's troubling piece says Iverson has been banned from casinos in Atlantic City and Detroit. More than that, it says what we already know. The pound-for-pound toughest guy in the league needs help anywhere he can find it.

Iverson's Twitter message admits that he's going through a rough patch, but in the next breath talks about what he believes as misinformation being circulated about him.

To my fans: You all know that my life isn't perfect. I am going through some very tough times right now, like I am sure that we all do from time to time. However, I will stand tall like always with "rhino" thick skin. Even though I have become used to hearing people say things about me that aren't true, it still hurts. I encourage you to continue your ongoing support and I want you to trust that this is another obstacle in my life that, with God's help I will overcome. God Bless You All.
Smith's piece cited "multiple" league sources and he's covered Iverson for many years, so I'm personally inclined to believe him. Are you?
9:02 a.m. UPDATE: The University says the shooter was an employee. He is one of the two wounded currently hospitalized.

A shooting near Ohio Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University early this morning left one person dead and two hospitalized, according to Columbus-based television station WCMH.

A suspect is in police custody.

Police say the victims were shot inside a maintenance building across the street from the massive stadium and that three university employees are involved. Campus police have told the station the victims are not Ohio State students.
ron-artest-hair.jpgFormer Bull and eccentric-behavior enthusiast Ron Artest debuted a new Dennis Rodman-like hairstyle yesterday during the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Orlando Magic.

The shutdown forward proved that he always has point-denial on the brain by getting the word "defense" shaved into his hair in three different languages -- Japanese, Hebrew and Hindi. Most of his hair was dyed bright blond and the inscriptions were in purple.

Gotta support the team, as David Puddy would say.

His new 'do caused a little confusion for Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who mistook Artest for another hair-coloring hoopster.

"The first time I kind of looked out there on the court, I thought he was Dennis Rodman -- his shoulders and hairdo and whatnot," Jackson said.

Vince Carter, who was Artest's assignment for most of the game, scored 25 points as the Magic prevailed.

Thumbnail image for michael-vick-eagles-jaguars.JPGIt's looking like the Philadelphia Eagles will be keeping quarterback Michael Vick, according to a report that they have decided to give him a $1.5 million roster bonus.

The bonus would be part of Vick's $5.25 million salary this season.

Vick spent last season as the team's No. 3 quarterback, behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

In a radio interview Friday, coach Andy Reid said there was a "pretty good chance" the team would keep all three signal-callers.
For the second time in nine months, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

A 20-year-old student at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville has filed a sexual assault report, alleging that Roethlisberger was the perpetrator. The incident allegedly took place inside a nightclub late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Roethlisberger is cooperating with the authorities, according to his agent.

He has already stood accused of raping a hostess at a Nevada resort during a July 2008 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

That woman never went to the police, but rather sued Roethlisberger. That suit is currently on hold while a change of venue motion is considered.

Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after collapsing on the bench during last night's game in Cleveland.

During a stoppage late in the third quarter, Stuckey fell unconscious into the arms of Pistons strength coach Arnie Kander. Play was halted for 12 minutes while a team of doctors administered oxygen.

The second-year man from Eastern Washington is reportedly conscious and breathing on his own at the Cleveland Clinic -- great news after a very serious scare.

Stuckey apparently told Kander that he felt dizzy right before the incident and missed two games for a similar feeling in 2008. It's unclear if these instancs are related.

Gray-bearded back-and-forth enthusiast Brett Favre chatted with Jay Leno on Leno's late-night show Thursday night and you wouldn't believe what he said about his football future.

OK, you probably will.

"It's only been a month and I know now that I'm not going to say anything anytime soon," Favre said when quizzed about his status. "I'm just going to sit back, relax and enjoy the off-season."

Leno then jokingly gave Favre a gold watch for his "retirement" -- something the host admitted NBC had given him previously.

"I haven't made a decision yet," Favre replied. "But, I'll take the watch."

Favre also said that he thought his biggest accomplishment in a stellar 2009 season was winning over a majority of the Minnesota Vikings fan base. No small feat when you consider all the years of bad blood between Favre and the purple-and-gold faithful.

Leno re-visited Favre's iconic "Pants on the Ground" celebration after Minnesota's playoff win over Dallas. That never gets old, right?

Pittsburgh's Ashton Gibbs hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer last night to lift the Panthers past Providence, 73-71.

With 3.5 seconds remaining and his team trailing by one, he took the ball the length of the court before launching his decisive heave.

Gibbs, who had 25 points in the game, helped Pitt secure a double bye in the upcoming Big East tournament.

"He's one of the best shooters in the country," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said afterward. "He can make shots. It was just a big-time shot. It was a play we worked on ... they knew how long 3.5 seconds were. He knew how much he could go [before shooting], how far he could go."

See, math can be fun.
nate-burleson-lions.JPGWide receiver Nate Burleson has apparently consented to play football with the Detroit Lions, according to a report from ESPN that says the parties have agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal. According to a source, $11 million of that would be guaranteed money.

The 28-year-old Burleson caught 63 passes for the Seattle Seahawks last season. If he jumps to the Motor City, he will rejoin offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, with whom he had his best season while a member of the St. Louis Rams.
Allen Iverson's bad year got worse today, with news coming out that his wife of 8 1/2 years has filed for divorce.

Tawanna Iverson said that the couple's marriage is "irretrievably broken" and is asking for full custody of their five children. The children range in age from 17 months to 15 years.

The filing comes on the same day thePhiladelphia 76ers announced the veteran guard would not be returning to the team this season. Iverson hasn't played since leaving the team after a Dec. 20 game against the Bulls to be with his sick four-year-old daughter.
beatriz-recari-pic.jpgGolfing beauty Beatriz Recari really needs you.

Before you get too excited, she needs you to help her gain the 16th and final spot in the upcoming Mojo 6 golf tournament. The Spanish stunner's video comes a week after fellow golfer Anna Rawson made a similar promotional video for the tournament, which begins May 1 in Jamaica.

Recari, who is a rookie on the LPGA Tour, makes a pretty convincing argument if you ask me.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nick Schuyler, who watched three of his friends die in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico a year ago, appeared on the "Today" show this morning to talk about the tragic events.

Schuyler was on a boating trip with Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, Detroit Lions defensive end Corey Smith and Will Bleakley when their vessel capsized.  The former South Florida football player was the only one of the quartet who was rescued.

Talking with Matt Lauer, Schuyler spoke about the heartbreaking chain of events and displayed a tattoo he's gotten as a memorial to his friends.
giant-beaver.jpgIf you're looking for an outside-the-box gift this spring, might I suggest laying down a cool $5,000 for the privilege of owning a giant, inflatable beaver that starred in the Olympic closing ceremonies.

That's right, the Windsor-based Dynamic Displays is offering up the big-toothed icons up to the public while they're still coming down from their worldwide coming-out party.

The company supplied 38 props to be used in Vancouver: four flying moose, six beavers, 12 hockey players and 16 Mounted police. Most stood 18 feet in height, but the moose came in at 35 feet tall and 28 feet long.

An Ottawa Citizen article describes the whole beaver-making process in great detail, if that is your kind of thing. We don't judge around here.

Really, $5,000 seems like setting the bar a little low. I could see an eBay bidding war bringing a much, much bigger payday to Dynamic Displays. But, who am I to tell them how to run their inflatable empire?

Baylor's Brittney Griner was displeased with some low-post jostling she received from Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle in last night's game. So displeased that she decided to haul off and punch the Red Raider right in the face.

Who says women's hoops isn't physical enough?

The two apparently had words after a game last month.

Barncastle returned to the game with a non-bloodied jersey in order to hit four free throws, but didn't play after that. 
shaun-white-rollling-stone-cover.jpgShaun White, the red-haired, gold-medal-winning snowboarding savant, can be seen on the newest issue of Rolling Stone in all his shirtless, rebellious glory.

White appears with red, white and blue pants, a gold medal hanging around his shirtless torso while pouring lighter fluid on a flaming skateboard. All of this, of course, was likely done under proper supervision.

Ladies, does this do anything for you? Gentlemen? Pyromaniacs?
sidney-crosby-stick-gloves.JPGWe'd probably all agree that the gold medal hockey game between Canada and the United States wasn't missing anything.

Sidney Crosby, on the other hand, certainly is.

The gloves and stick he was using when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime Sunday have vanished.

The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar threw his equipment in the air during a jubilaint celebration after the clincher. After that, however, it's unclear what happened to them.

Hockey Canada official Johnny Misley says after the game, the equipment was collected and was put in the players' bags.

Misley says it's not clear if it was mixed in with other equipment or if it was taken -- and they don't want to speculate on what happened.

He says the Hockey Hall of Fame wants Crosby's stick for its collection and has already received some equipment from Team Canada's members.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has requested Crosby's stick for its collection.
As a rule of thumb, a headline should draw a reader in. Ideally, it should also be germane to the article. This one, found on the Los Angeles Clippers Web site this morning, does one of the two.

I wasn't aware Steven Esparza was previously a member of the Clippers, but the trade must be legit because he's no longer on the official roster.

No word yet on the identities of the tacos, nor on how they will fit into coach Kim Hughes' rotation.
nets-taxes.jpgFor fellow procrastinators, just a friendly reminder that taxes are due in a little over a month. For New Jersey-based readers, just a heads up that you could have someone do your state return for free.

The only catch is that you have to attend a Nets game, raising the age-old question of how much you're willing to sacrifice in the name of a bigger rebate.

Hey, a 6-53 team should be trying every trick in the book to put some butts in the seats.

All fans attending the woeful team's Friday home game against the Orlando Magic will receive coupons that they can redeem at a Roni Deutch Tax Center in order to capitalize.

If sitting through a game seems too tough, a similar coupon is available online.
tigertourney.jpgA new poll suggests that while a majority of America thinks Tiger Woods is sincerely sorry, most still have an unfavorable impression of the embattled golfer.

The study, conducted by ABC News and ESPN, revealed that 54 percent of people think he truly is contrite. But, only 39 percent have a favorable impression of Woods. Compare this with personal approval ratings of 88 percent in 2000 and 84 percent in 2001.

Really nothing groundbreaking here, but it will be interesting to monitor these numbers as he gradually comes back into the public eye.
oj-simpson-suit.JPGThe Smithsonian Institution has said "no thanks" to a donation of a suit worn by O.J. Simpson when he was acquitted by a jury of double-homicide in 1995.

The decision comes a day after a judge approved the donation. A spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said that the suit is not appropriate for the museum's collection.

Now, the suit will be shopped around to "another museum or institution of higher learning" pursuant to an deal between Simpson, Fred Goldman and Simspson's former agent, Mike Gilbert.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for golf-digest.jpgDespite what you may have read in the April issue of Golf Digest, President Barack Obama did not call golf and public-apology enthusiast Tiger Woods.

The publication issued an e-mail to media outlets Monday saying, "An article in the April issue of Golf Digest incorrectly reported that President Obama made a personal call to Tiger Woods to offer encouragement. Our mistake was due to a misunderstanding between the writer and a trusted source. We regret the error."

Originally, the piece said that Obama and Bill Clinton had reached out to Woods. The miscue has since been fixed in the online version of the story.

The White House denied any such contact on Sunday, spurring the magazine's clarification.

You'll recall that the January issue of Golf Digest featured a photo composite of Obama and Woods on a golf course with the headline "10 Tips Obama Could Take From Tiger." Clearly, it had gone to print before Woods' November auto accident.
Allen Iverson will not return to the Philadelphia 76ers this season, a source tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. An official announcement is expected in the next few days.

Iverson hasn't played since a Feb. 20 game against the Bulls, after which he left to be with his sick four-year-old daughter.

The 34-year-old veteran signed a one-year deal with his longtime team in December. In 25 games with the Sixers, he's averaging 13.9 points and 4.1 assists.
lebron-james-jersey-number.JPGCleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has filed formal paperwork to change his uniform number from 23 to 6, according to a report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

James, who floated this idea in November, said the move is out of respect for Michael Jordan. He confirmed to the newspaper Monday his mind was made up.

"I've done it," James said. "I already sent it in. I'm going to be No. 6."

The highlight enthusiast wore No. 6 during the 2008 Olympics.

While one can appreciate James' desire to honor Jordan, it should be pointed out that some pretty darn good players have wore the 6 (Bill Russell, Julius Erving).

Still, there should be no shortage of fans willing to shell out their hard-earned money for the new jersey when it becomes available.
erin_andrews_cubs_sexy.jpgThere seems no easier way to ease back into the blogging world than to talk about the "stars" of the athletic world competing in the next season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

It certainly seems superficial enough.

The big name -- at least around these parts -- is gold medal-winning figure skater Evan Lysacek, who has already proven to have the adroit feet neccessary to contend in this dancing contest.