A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

January 2011 Archives

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is certainly no stranger to the highlight reel.

He's turned in some mind-blowing dunks in his young career already. The one he authored last night against the Detroit Pistons, however, might just put all its predecessors to shame.

Rose went up to corral an alley-oop early in the fourth quarter and just ... just stayed there before throwing down a one-handed slam.

Don't fret if you missed it. "SportsCenter" and the like should be playing it in heavy rotation for the foreseeable future.

Oh, and right here, if that's easier for you.
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was awarded with the game ball after a 30-7 road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday.

He was understandably emotional.

Reed's brother, Brian, has been missing since jumping in the Mississippi River after being confronted by police about reports of a stolen car. Authorities have called off the search. Reed's mother said that investigators found her son's shoes and jacket.

After the game, the Raven chartered a plane to be with family in Louisiana.

"I think what Ed's going through, what the Reed family is going through, is a big part of this victory," coach John Harbaugh said. "That's what will be remembered by our players. We're a family, and the Reed family is part of the Raven family.

A Japanese distance runner meandered his way into the history books during the Tokyo-Hakone relay marathon by turning the wrong way with just feet to go in the race.

Natsuki Terada's team was in eighth place when he followed a television truck in turning right when the finish line lay one city block away. He was able to recover in time to secure a 10th-place finish for his squad.

Poor guy.

Here's hoping the unfortunate incident leads to a Google Maps endorsement deal.
ben-roethlisberger-engaged.jpgIs Ben Roethlisberger engaged?

A nation bites its collective nails and waits for confirmation or denial.

The only problem: the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is staying mum on the the web-based rumors that he proposed to Ashley Harlan over the Christmas holiday.

"Oh geez," he responded Tuesday when quizzed on the topic. "Listen, there's always rumors out there about professional athletes, especially about me. You guys know that I am not going to talk about my own personal life, I don't do that. My one singular focus right now is on the playoffs, on football and trying to get to the Super Bowl. So, that's what my focus is right now."

Roethlisberger, who served a four-game suspension this season for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy, piloted his Steelers to the AFC's best record. He'll bring that aforementioned focus to the actual playing field and away from proposal-related questions on Jan. 15, when the Steelers begin their playoff run.

In football, we hear so much about sending messages.

Practices are filled with coaches sending them to their players. Players send them to each other with early-game hitting. Teams send them to pollsters with blowout wins.

A word of warning to those trying to decipher the message -- any message, really -- in the mess surrounding Ohio State and their trinkets-for-services-inclined players ... Don't.

Doing so will only leave you exasperated and exhausted from talking yourself in moral and ethical circles.

This morning, Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini was fired.

The news was reported live on "SportsCenter," as is often done with sports news.

But then, something out of the ordinary happened.

Anchor Hannah Storm and NFL insider Adam Schefter high-fived over the revelation. The duo quickly realized exactly how bad this displayed looked, and attempted to back away from the skin-slapping.

Live television at its best -- and worst.
Members of the Atlanta Falcons celebrated securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs by dumping Gatorade on team owner Arthur Blank.

Yeah, that's a bold move -- and one dependent on the hope he has another suit. Considering his Home Depot fortune, it's probably a safe bet.

Blank, whose hire of head coach Mike Smith and selection of quarterback Matt Ryan in the 2008 NFL draft have made him look like a genius, is no stranger in-game sideline appearances.

Icy cold baths, on the other hand, are new to him.

Bears fans probably shouldn't expect the same kind of treatment to be afforded to Viriginia McCaskey should the Bears win a playoff game at Soldier Field.