Chicago Sun-Times
A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Sun-Up: Ben Roethlisberger not talking about engagement rumors; UFC fighter wants to fight Jakob Volkmann, Memphis Grizzlies card game gets heated; ESPN fires Ron Franklin; You didn't win $355 million

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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.
Bully pulpit

If UFC fighter Jakob Volkmann had his way, he'd get a chance to fight President Barack Obama.

When asked who he'd like to next square off against, Volkmann went political.

"Actually, Obama," he said. "He's not too bright. Someone's got to knock some sense into that idiot."

The Secret Service will probably have a great deal of influence as to if this dream actually comes true for Volkmann.

Bad hand
There was reportedly more card-game trouble for the NBA when a shuffle-and-deal session on a Memphis Grizzlies flight turned ugly.

Tony Allen allegedly insisted that teammate OJ Mayo pay up on an incurred debt and the two got into a shouting match.

You'll recall that the whole Gilbert Arenas gun incident last year began with a similar in-flight altercation.

He gone
ESPN has fired veteran announcer Ron Franklin in the wake of his comments to colleague Jeannine Edwards.

The 68-year-old broadcaster called her "sweet baby" and "a------" during a production meeting for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve. He was pulled off the Fiesta Bowl broadcast the following day, and the network has now terminated its relationship with him.

Franklin had been with the self-proclaimed worldwide leader since 1987.

Better luck next time
Unless you're some lucky soul reading this in Washington state or Idaho, allow me to offer my condolences on not winning the $355 million Mega Millions prize last night.

If you are, somehow, one of the two winning-ticket holders, you probably need to reconsider wasting time reading this nonsense.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on January 5, 2011 4:55 AM.

NCAA message sours Sugar Bowl was the previous entry in this blog.

Sun-Up: Marathon runner goes wrong way; Ted Williams has plenty of job offers; Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp getting friendly; Boston sportswriter Steve Buckley reveals that he's gay is the next entry in this blog.

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