A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

August 2010 Archives

Roger Federer turned in an unbelievable shot during last night's U.S. Open action.

The five-time tournament champion fired a shot through his legs and past opponent Brian Dabul that conjured up memories of a similar get-out-of-here shot last year against Novak Djokovic in last year's semifinals.

The 96th-ranked Dabul summed it up best, saying, "Only he can do that."

Federer took the match in straight sets.
tiger-woods-scandal.jpgTiger Woods has moved into a Manhattan apartment just days after finalizing his divorce with Elin Nordergren, according to a report from Us Weekly.

Last Monday, Woods and Nordegren's marriage of almost six years officially ended in a Florida courtroom, the end product of what has been a tumultuous nine months since the golfer's Thanksgiving night car crash. A source tells the magazine Woods was seen "introducing himself as the new neighbor." You know, because few would recognize one of sports' most famous faces.

A joint statement from the couple in the wake of the divorce emphasized that they wished their privacy be respected, so it is interesting that Woods would chose to take up residence in the American city that must resembles a bustling beehive (read: it's not all that private).
chris-bosh-adrienne-williams.jpgChris Bosh's eventful summer just got even more eventful.

The Miami Heat big man proposed to girlfriend Adrienne Williams Friday during a picturesque South Florida sunset.

Bosh and Williams have been dating for a year. Obviously, the height difference hasn't been a problem for couple.

Earlier this offseason, Bosh signed with Miami to play alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Then, he got to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Bosh and Williams celebrated their intention to ink each other to lifetime contracts at Liv nightclub, where they were joined by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.

So, clearly, they're off to a good start.

tim tebow.JPGTim Tebow got into the box score last night, throwing is first preseason touchdown as the Denver Broncos breezed to a 34-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Google Trend staple completed five out of 10 passes for 72 yards, including a 3-yard scoring toss to Eric Decker. He also threw an interception, but his performance seemed to be enough to move him into the No. 2 quarterback on the Broncos roster, according to the Denver Post.

If that is indeed the case, we're one small Kyle Orton injury from full-blown Tebow mania. Plan accordingly.

This at-bat yesterday was Manny Ramirez's last as a Los Angeles Dodger. It lasted all of one pitch and ended with him getting ejected by home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom. Video is courtesy of a very excited Coors Field patron with mediocre camera-steadying skills.

The eccentric left fielder appears to be on his way to the South Side to try to help the White Sox catch up with those pesky Minnesota Twins. This embarrassing effort yesterday is indicative of his time in L.A., where we was once welcome and now finds himself out of public favor.

Still, the 38-year-old has the capability of being a viable middle-of-the-order force that Ozzie Guillen's squad could use in the season's final month.

What say you, Sox fans? Are you excited, indifferent or disappointed with the addition of Ramirez? 
Thumbnail image for stephen-strasburg-scott-boras.jpgThe Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg dream veered closer to the realm of nightmares today as general manager Mike Rizzo announced that the fireballer will "probably" need Tommy John surgery.

Strasburg will miss the rest of this season and possibly the 2011 campaign if he undergoes the surgery.

Tommy John surgery requires a grueling, 12-to-18 month rehab, but the success rate for pitchers returning to full strength and capability is roughly 90 percent. While the surgery will rob Strasburg of most if not all of next season, the chances he will be able to continue his career as a flame-throwing strikeout artist are strong.
The rookie compiled a 5-3 record, a 2.91 ERA, 17 walks and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings this year.
jim-furyk-overslept.JPGGolfer Jim Furyk was disqualified from the Barclays after oversleeping and missing his tee time at this morning's pro-am event.

Furyk, who is number three on the FedExCup list this year, snoozed past his 7:30 appointment to hit the links. Rules dictate that any player missing the pro-am -- except for injury or family emergency -- isn't eligible for the tournament.

Furyk said that he uses his cell phone as an alarm clock and that he awoke to a powerless phone this morning.
"I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," recently single Elin Nordegren tells People magazine in her first interview since Tiger Woods' Thanksgiving night car crash at the couple's home.

The 30-year-old told the magazine that she'd "been through hell" since the news of Woods' infidelity became front-page news.

She refused to get into specifics about the couple's divorced that was finalized yesterday, but said that a marriage "without trust or love" wasn't good for anybody.

Nodergren is working on a degree in psychology, however said her main focus was giving herself time to heal.
Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo is not on the U.S. basketball team's final roster for the world championship after asking to withdraw from consideration. Rondo has started the squad's first two exhibition games, and then didn't play a second in Sunday's last-second win over Spain.

The news would seem to benefit Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who joins Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Danny Granger, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler and Andre Iguodala on the finalized roster. With Rondo out, he should see a lion's share of time at the point.
shaquille-oneal-orange-juice-hoopz.jpgGrainy, Bigfoot-like footage of new Boston Celtics big man Shaquille O'Neal getting his grub on at a Tennessee Waffle House has surfaced. Now, Shaq eating isn't exactly news, but the good people over at TMZ -- through well-places sources at the eatery -- tell us this meal was full of deception and intrigue.

It seems O'Neal's companion, identified as Hoopz of "Flavor of Love" fame, took the opportunity to dump salt into his orange juice while he was freshening up in the bathroom. Upon returning, the star of "Shazaam" took a big hearty swig of the vile mix. Always one to see the lighter side, O'Neal laughed it off and resumed his meal of scrambled eggs, cheese and a waffle without incident.

Perhaps O'Neal now has the answer to that question he famously posed in rap to Kobe Bryant.
tyler-thomas-naked-lunging.jpgtyler-thomas-naked-lunging.jpgIf there's a bright side to Tyler Patrick Thomas' arrest, it's that it proved he's committed to honing his craft.

The Oregon State offensive lineman was dismissed from the team after police found him intoxicated and naked in a stranger's house, according to a report from the Associated Press. When the officers demanded he get to the ground, Thomas instead assumed a three-point stance and lunged at the officers, Corvallis Police Lt. Tim Brewer said.

That's dedication.

Police subdued the 19-year-old with a stun gun and describe him as "absolutely intoxicated."

Thomas, who redshirted last year, was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

It's a great time to be a center fielder in Japan. Especially for the Hiroshima Carp.

Just days after Masato Akamatsu turned in this gravity-defying catch, his teammate, Amaya Souichirou, authored this gem.

Both of these acrobatic plays came against the Yokohama Baystars, who might be better served testing out some other position on the diamond.

It's no secret that European basketball is a little different than the American brand. Big men shooting from distance, the triangular key, etc. It should come as no surprise, then, that their brawls are a little different.

Consider this donnybrook between Serbia and Greece at the Acropolis tournament in Athens. With Greece up by one in the game's final minutes, the crowd of 5,000 was treated a pushing and shoving melee that got really interesting when Serbia's Nenad Kristic picked up a chair and threw it.

Krstic, who played for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder last season, grabbed Greece forward Antonis Fotsis by the throat and threw a chair toward Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who was pursuing him. The chair hit Yannis Bouroussis, who had not played in the game because of a hand injury, and left him with blood trickling from a wound on the side of his head.

Greek authorities took Kristic into custody and have since released him, pending an investigation into the brawl.


You'll be surprised what Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade points to as the highlight of his summer.

No, it's not signing an extension to stay in the warm Florida sun. It's not joining forces with LeBron James to form what some are calling the most formidable 1-2 punch in NBA history.

It's something that takes place well off the court, but is very close to his heart.

His Wade's World's Foundation, which is holding a four-day fund-raiser this weekend , is what the Robbins native pinpoints as the high point of his offseason.  The activities includes a benefit dinner, bowling event, entertainment night and youth programs, all of which aim to give back to his hometown.

"It's just as much satisfaction," he said of his charitable efforts versus his on-court triumphs. "When you come and see the outlook of the kids and the smiles on their faces, there's nothing like it. Just like there's nothing like winning a championship, there's nothing like winning a gold medal. All of these are fulfilling in different ways. This is the championship of my summer."

Wade's been actively searching for ways to improve the area with programs aimed giving youths a helping hand since 2006.

 "We deal with a lot of issues that are close to home," he said. "We just try to pick [projects] that touch us in certain ways and we try to fill needs and voids. Knowledge is power for our kids and we really want to help them with their social skills, give them that platform of education and help them understand how important it is to their success."

The six-time All-Star and gold medalist knows that his position in the public eye comes with both power and responsibility. He said he aims to solidify the positive messages kids get from their parents and teachers - but understands that he brings a unique perspective.

"Hopefully they're listening and hearing every message that comes across, especially from their parents. From myself, why it resonates a different way is because  I'm someone who walked through the same streets; I'm someone who walked in the same shoes.  I'm someone who has, as they look at it, made it out.

"Hopefully they understand they can be and do what they want."

Wade credits a strong support system, including watchful, well-meaning coaches for his own successes.

 "They didn't let forget about my dream for one minute," he said. "When I told them this was what I wanted to do, they held me accountable. I think that's the biggest thing with kids, is holding them accountable, in addition to giving them the platform and opportunity to do it. We want to see them follow through."

Last year, Wade made a significant contribution to the cash-strapped Robbins Public Library, which was on the brink of closing.

"[I wanted them] to continue to be there for the kids and make sure the doors are open for the kids to further their education as much as possible," Wade said. "I know how important education is and we don't want it to close down.

"I was happy the community was happy that the library was saved," Wade said. "That meant a lot to me to know the importance of it to the community."

To learn more about Wade's foundation, visit their official site. To learn more about Wade's expectations for his Heat this year, including if he sees them reaching the 73-win plateau, read here.

cavs-new-uniforms.jpgHow will the Cleveland Cavaliers make up for the loss of LeBron James, one of the most exciting players to ever dribble a basketball?

Why, with new uniforms, of course.

The new-look duds were debuted by owner Dan Gilbert last night at a tweet-up. Gilbert joked previously that they would feature the Comic Sans font. We all know that's his font of choice when he needs to pen a over-the-top, angry letter about one of his former players.

The uniforms feature a "deeper" wine and "brighter" hue, along with block lettering.

Obviously, the significant change is who will be suiting up in them.
bobby-thompson.jpgBobby Thomson, the New York Giants hero who hit what is arguably the most famous home run of all time, died Monday night at the age of 86 in his Savannah, Georgia home.

Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world" won the 1951 National League pennant for the Giants in a best-of-three playoff against their crosstown rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Thomson moved to Staten Island from Glasgow, Scotland when he was two years old.

He hit .270 in his career with 264 homers, 1,705 hits and 1,026 RBI over 15 years of play.
renee-gork-florida-hat.jpgAn Arkansas radio personality has been fired from her job two days after she wore a Florida Gators hat into a press conference with Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino.

Renee Gork announced, through the magic of Twitter, that she'd been axed by KAKS, which calls itself Hog Sports Radio.

Gork drew the ire of Petrino by wearing the offending cap and having the audacity to ask a question.

Petrino was less than thrilled about answering questions from anyone wearing the colors of a school that edged Arkansas 23-20 last year.

"That will be the last question I answer with that hat on," Petrino said.

Gork said she grabbed the hat without thinking because it was raining and was hoping to apologize publicly to both Petrino and the army or Razorkback fans.

Now, she won't get that chance.

KAKS general manager Dan Storrs confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that Gork was no longer working for the station but declined to comment further, saying it was a personnel matter.

However, he added, "This radio station is Hog Sports Radio. We are very biased. We support the Razorbacks 100 percent."

Last night, as the Jets and Giants battled it out for preseason supremacy at their new shared stadium, the deciding factor was an unexpected one.

It came in the form of Victor Cruz, an undrafted wide receiver from UMass who pulled in three touchdown catches in the Giants' 31-16 win. Cruz corralled scoring grabs of 64, 34 and five yards.

The 64-yarder was, without a doubt, the crown jewel of his six catch, 145-yard coming-out party.

Just how big of a night was it for Cruz? Even LeBron James noticed ... and he's had a pretty hectic summer.

New York Giants fans got quite a scare last night as their fearless leader, quarterback Eli Manning, suffered a pretty significant head wound.

With 10:45 left in the second quarter, Manning ran into his running back, Brandon Jacobs, then was rocked by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace and fell violently into Jim Leonhard's facemask. Manning left the game as blood gushed from his left temple.

The Giants announced that he received 12 stitches to close the three-inch gash.

Luckily for Tom Coughlin and company, it looks like this isn't a case of a preseason injury effectively ending any hope for the regular season

I feel fine. I feel normal," Manning said. "I really feel like I could go back out and play right now if I had to."
Washington Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg has some pretty stern words for the club's No. 1 draft pick Bryce Harper.

Strasburg was asked after his outing Sunday if he had any advice for Harper, the 17-year-old phenom catcher whose hype rivals, well, Strasburg's. The deadline is today for Harper and the Nationals agree to terms before he will go into next year's draft.

"If (Harper) wants to play here, he's going to play here," Strasburg said. "He doesn't need advice from anybody to convince him otherwise. If he doesn't want to play here, then we don't want him here."

Interesting words from a fellow former top overall pick. Even more so when you consider that Strasburg and Harper share Scott Boras as an agent. And even more so when it was just last year that the fireballing right-hander stretched the deadline to the last possible minute before agreeing with the Nationals.

We'll know by midnight if Harper's deal will exceed Strasburg's then-record-setting four-year, $15.1 million gem.
hilary-duff-mike-comrie.jpgOne of them is best known for being Lizzie McGuire. The other plays the Edmonton Oilers.

Sure, on paper, Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie don't seem like the perfect match. But that hasn't stopped them from breaking all the rules -- hey, love does that -- and tying the knot over the weekend.

People magazine reports the couple exchanged vows in an intimate Santa Barbara, Calif. wedding on Saturday in front of about 100 guests. They began dating in 2007 and Comrie proposed in February.

Earlier this year, American Idol and country superstar Carrie Underwood was signed to a lifetime contract by the Ottawa Senators' Mike Fisher.

So I guess if there's a lesson in all this, it's if you want to marry an attractive, blond "it girl," sharpen up those skates.

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem was arrested Sunday afternoon for possession of marijuana after being pulled over for a traffic stop.

Officers say they found 20 grams of pot in the vehicle Haslem was driving and the former Florida Gator was charged with a third-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He's also charged with speeding and having illegal window tinting.

Haslem has spent all seven of his years in the NBA with the Heat and recently signed a five-year deal to stay in town.
lance-stephenson-arrested.jpgLance Stephenson, the second-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers, was arrested Sunday after allegedly pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs at her Brooklyn apartment.

Police say that the girlfriend was treated at the hospital for head and neck injuries.

Stephenson, who starred at the same Coney Island high school that produced Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, was booked on assault charges.

The leading scorer in New York state history, Stephenson spent one year at Cincinnati and is no stranger to run-ins with the law. In 2008, he was busted for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old outside his high school.

It's unclear what prompted the violence.
lawn-bowling-david-file.jpgNew Zealand lawn bowler David File was looking for a way to fire up his team.

Widely recognized as one of the nation's premier athletes in his sport, he needed something that would be both shocking and immediate.

So he did the only natural thing and exposed himself to his teammates in their locker room.

The juvenile prank has earned him a 10-year ban from the sport, a harsh penalty he plans to appeal.

File admits to the exposure, saying that he wanted to convey to his team that they were "playing like d---s," but maintains no one was offended at his joke.

"You don't even get that for murder these days," File said. "I didn't hurt anybody. I just made a d--- of myself. I've been around bowls quite a while, I've seen a lot of punishments for various misdemeanors and I have never seen anything like this for a lot more serious offenses."
Ten years? Can't imagine what the ban would have been if he's chosen an even more colorful, bodily-function analogy.

The Reds and Cardinals, already fighting for the NL Central crown, got into a real donnybrook last night in Cincinnati.

Hey, this is the kind of thing that's bound to happen when one player calls the other team a collective bunch of "little b-----s."

That quote, authored by Reds' Brandon Phillips, obviously didn't sit too well with Yadier Molina. The Cardinals catcher gave the outspoken second baseman a piece of his own mind as he stepped into the box, causing all hell to break loose.

Such passion, such drama.

Sort of makes us wish the Cubs were still a relevant player in this division, no?
shanna-mclaughlin.jpgUniversity of Central Florida officials aren't so pleased with a recent photo-op with Playboy Playmate Shanna McLaughlin that took place in the football locker room.

The racy, but not too racy photos appeared on the website of Axis magazine, which chronicles nightlife in Orlando. A video of the posing and snapping brought the issue to light on Saturday.

Head coach George O'Leary, whose resume already includes some controversy, told the Orlando Sentinel that he was the one who gave the OK for the photo shoot

"I approved the magazine," O'Leary told a Sentinel reporter after practice ended Saturday. "The guy called my office and basically wanted to know if they could do a magazine shoot.

There was a UCF girl who had her MBA and all that. And the only thing I asked is, 'Is that a magazine that is distributed on campus?' And they said, 'Yes.' They've done I think four, since I've been here at least four, initial copies of football [previews] opening up the football season."

O'Leary said he was shown a copy of the magazine cover.

"Eh, it's not what I expected, but I don't think there's anything outlandish on the thing. I never saw the video."

You may recognize McLaughlin, I mean, not recognize her as Playboy's Miss July 2010.

Justin Bieber, noted teen heartthrob and foul-ball enthusiast, didn't always have the type of reflexes that allowed him to snare a Paul Konerko fly earlier this year at U.S. Cellular Field.

A video currently burning up the Internet shows the Canadian crooner taking a water bottle to the gourd during a 2009 concert in Sacramento. As you'd suspect, it has those stricken with Bieber Fever all hot and sweaty.

Bieber, ever the consummate pro, continues on. Hey, we've always said it: he's a heck of a guy.
The Detroit Pistons, who have suffered through some lean years after reaching the Eastern Conference finals in six consecutive seasons, have reportedly found their
Band-Aid in the person of Tracy McGrady.

The 31-year-old veteran, who is coming off a season cut short by a knee injury, has reached a one-year deal with team worth $1.3 million, according to a report from Yahoo!.

This news comes after the Bulls kicked the tires on T-Mac, who averaged 8.2 points in just 30 games last season, as he split time with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets.

Once one of the game's premier players, McGrady is a two-time scoring champion.

Umpire Bob Davidson may have joined Jim Joyce in contention for the worst call of the year -- at least if you believe Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez.

His Florida squad got the short end of a controversial call last night that eventually cost them a win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

With Hanley Ramirez on second base in the bottom of the 9th and the score knotted 4-4, Gaby Sanchez pulled a hard grounder toward the third-base bag. Davidson ruled it foul, negating what would have been a game-winning double.

To say those Marlins announcers were incredulous would be an understatement. The top Fish agreed.

"I've been in this game for 30 years, and I have the highest respect for the umpires," said Rodriguez, who pleaded his case hard. "That was the worst call I've ever seen in my 30 years in baseball. That ball was a fair ball by six inches. He was never even looking at the play."
kobayashi-free.jpgWorld-renowned competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi has beaten charges stemming from his storming of the stage at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4.

The six-time winner and Japanese national was barred from competing in the annual jamboree of gluttony after refusing to sign an exclusivity contract with the sport's sanctioning body, Major League Eating.

He jumped on stage after rival Joey Chestnut slammed down 54 dogs in 12 minutes, telling reporters he was only trying to congratulate his "buddies" and prove that he "was the champ."
For his efforts, he was incarcerated and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

But unlike eating a ridiculous amount of hot dogs, this story has a stomach-settling ending. Yesterday the case was resolved in a Brooklyn court. Basically, if Kobayashi can stay out of trouble for the next six months, the arrest will vanish from his record.

Be good, Kobi. Be good.
ryan-howard-krystle-campbell.jpgForget Brett Favre and his on-going soap opera. The real drama this morning is apparently in Philadelphia, where Ryan Howard's girlfriend and Eagles cheerleader Krystle Campbell upset her fellow dancers by missing practices to be with the rehabbing slugger.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Campbell did not tell her coaches why she was missing the practices while she accompanied Howard to his hometown of St. Louis on July 19-22. Cheerleaders are only supposed to miss sessions if they are ill or there is a death in their family.

Campbell won't face any disciplinary action for her absences, although M.I.A. cheerleaders have been forced to work in the luxury suites instead of performing on the field in similar instances.
New York Jets backup quarterback Erik Ainge has entered a facility to be treated for drug abuse, according a report from ESPN New York.

Ainge, who starred in college at Tennessee, previously missed a bulk of preseason workouts in 2009 to be treated for a prescription drug-related problem, according to multiple sources. He also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's banned substance policy.

There is no official confirmation that Ainge is, in fact, facing a problem with prescription drugs.

"I am taking some personal time to address a non-football related illness," Ainge tweeted Monday. "Thank you for all the love, thoughts, and concerns. I love you all."