The Daily Closer

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Peter Gammons Gets His Jayson Blair On

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Pearl Jam fan Peter Gammons screwed up. On ESPN.com, posted about 20 minutes ago, the esteemed Gammons posts an apology for swiping someone else's story. In his column on Wednesday, Gammons told the story of Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley and his recent "maturation." Problem was, it was the exact story Steve Henson had written in the Los Angeles Times a day earlier. Gammons apologizes by saying he "made an inexplicable oversight. I apologize to Steve Henson, the L.A. Times, and to ESPN.com readers." Time will tell if Gammons -- beloved by grandmothers and "grunge" rockers alike -- will be strung up the way Mitch Albom has, but clearly, it has been a tough week for journalists-turned-talking heads.

Gammons' apology (ESPN.com)
Gammons' original column (ESPN.com)
Henson's original LA Times story

On Tap Tonight ...

What To Watch This Evening Rather Than Conversing With Other Humans

---Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals. Good thing they moved, because President Bush sure as hell wasn't gonna go to Canada to watch a game.
---Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers. Potential first-round playoff matchup, with Shaquille O'Neal back in the Heat lineup after not eating for a week because of a stomach ailment. We're guessing he eats Kyle Korver.
---New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox. Randy Johnson brings his phallic self to Fenway for the first time since he had a mullet.

Finally, A Way to Keep Bostonians From Publicly Urinating

ShowLetter

Patriot's Day is Monday, and that means afternoon baseball at Fenway, people vomiting up red, white and blue beer on Harvard Lawn and, of course, The Boston Marathon. And, apparently, it also means skinny Kenyans pissing on suburban lawns. The Boston Athletic Association announced that it will erect fences around people's homes to make sure runners don't defecate on their shrubs and bushes. Race director Dave McGillivray says, "They don't use people's lawns because they are malicious. They do it out of desperation." (Somewhere, Gary Miller is nodding in agreement.)

Keep Off The Grass (Associated Press)

Currently on ESPN ...

The 2004 World Juggling Championships

Overheard:
"I've been known to have a huge temper. I just try to channel that and put it into my performance. It's a mental game."
-- Chris Chiappini, currently in third place.

Up next: The Endurance Competition! With color commentator Penn Gillette!

Well, Jimmy Carter Was a Fairy Anyway

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A day after welcoming the New England Patriots (again) to the White House (telling coach Bill Belichick "I'm glad to see you own a tie," President Arbusto will throw out the first pitch tonight at RFK Stadium when the Nationals play the first regular season game in Washington, D.C. in 24 years. Shrub, whose press secretary says is "getting loosened up," joins a long tradition of Presidents throwing out first pitches, including every single one since Taft (except for Carter, who we always imagined being into soccer, or maybe cricket). He will become the first President to throw out the first pitch in DC since Richard Nixon. Ahem. Afterwards, Cuban refugee Livan Hernandez will throw the real first pitch. Somewhere, Fidel Castro is smashing his face into a blunt object.

Bush To Throw Out First DC Pitch (Associated Press)
History of Presidential First Pitches (Washington Post)
Bush's Remarks to New England Patriots (WhiteHouse.gov)

Jose Canseco, Guest Lecturer

Well, if any university were going to invite Jose Canseco to give a lecture to its students, it's hardly surprising that it's Florida. (Next week at Miami: Nicole Richie!) The tanned, 'roided one spoke at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville about his new book, Juiced, which made some headlines a while back. Canseco gave a wrap-up of his book (quick synopsis: Cuban boy small; Cuban boy big; Cuban boy angry; Cuban boy smash) and then answered questions, predictably, about Madonna. (Honestly, people, come up with something new: Not even Madonna asks about Madonna anymore.) Canseco is only the most recent of esteemed guest lecturers at the University of Florida; earlier this year, the guest was Ron Jeremy. And you know what: They asked him about steroids and Madonna too. Huh.

Canseco's Quest For Truth (Orlando Sentinel)

Aren't the Seeds Supposed to Make You Sterile?

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Apparently Ricky Williams was very careful about picking out the seeds from his one hitter and leaving just the stems. The "you can, like, make rope with it" former running back for the Dolphins settled a paternity suit with an Hawaii woman who claimed Ricky was her baby's daddy. Williams will pay $4,200 a month in child support, which is gonna be tough, since he still owes the Dolphins more than $4 million. As for Williams himself, new Dolphins coach Nick Saban continues to say Ricky is welcome to return to the NFL and was reportedly pleased that Williams says he's no longer smoking marijuana. According to The Associated Press, Williams is currently traveling through India. Which is a terrible place to score.

Williams Agrees To Pay Child Support (ESPN.com)

Jon Saraceno Will Eat Your Children

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USA Today columnist Jon Saraceno always scares us. His hair (both facial and otherwise) look like something you'd see on a guy asleep in his plate of eggs at a casino's all-night buffet, his writing style is like Larry King if King were jacked up on Red Bull and he tends to use puns like "Ironing Mike" for Mike Tyson. Our sleazy Vegas columnist tackles Tyson's return to the ring, reporting that Ironing Mike is calmer and more relaxed than he has been in the past. This, of course, happens every time Tyson fights, a fact Saraceno forgets about; they take Tyson off his meds right before he fights, and if you've ever gone anywhere with your girlfriend when she forgets her Xanex, well, you know how that goes. Saraceno tosses in a few Dr. Phil jokes for good measure, because he has to make sure everything in his column is fit for family consumptions, save for that photo.

Kinder, Gentler Mike Tyson (USA Today)
Jon Saraceno Photo Gallery (not safe for work ... or anywhere, really)

Keep Him Away From Chris Paul!

Sports Illustrated's Marty Burns makes his NBA playoff predictions by "peering into his crystal ball."

Playoff Predictions (CNNSI.com)

More NFL Schedule Fun!

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The highlight of the 2005 NFL schedule, from our perspective, takes place on Sunday, October 2, when the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals travel to Mexico City to play the first regular season game outside the United States. This makes sense, of course, since both teams stink anyway; sending them south of the border is the only way anyone would ever watch. (Plus, asking Michael Vick to play in a place without adequate lavatory facilities is just asking for trouble.) The NFL is just the next major professional sports league to send their stars to chalupa country; NASCAR just finished a big race in Mexico City (hindered slightly by the requirement that drivers stop every five laps to roll down their window and buy oranges). And remember, Cards and Niners: When you're in Mexico, the referees expect bribes!

49ers Travel More Than Any Other NFL Team (Contra Costa Times)
Mexico City Tourism Board

Steinbrenner Gets All Huggy Kissy On Us

The New York Times reports that the Yankees have hired Chad Bohling as the team's "director of optimum performance." What does that mean, exactly? No one is quite sure. GM Brian Cashman says Bohling will handle the team's "movitational and mental-health issues." Bohling previously was "director of mental conditioning" at IMG Academies, and he was once a tennis player at Wichita State University. Bohling, not a licensed psychiatrist, has also written for Tennis Life magazine, including articles titled "A.C.E.: Attitude, Concentration, Effort," "Are You In The Zone???!!!" and, our favorite, "Imagine Your Way To Success." The Times article fails to verify rumors that Jason Giambi and Bohling will be bunking together on the road, doing breathing exercises, comparing manicures and discussing how to unleash the "Inner Giambi Within."

Steinbrenner Hires Motivational Coach (New York Times)
Chad Bohling Archive (Tennis Life)

Chris Paul to NBA: "OK, Take a Deep Breath and Cough"

Wake Forest guard Chris Paul, who was consistently outclassed and outmuscled by every point guard he played all year, has announced that he will enter the NBA Draft. He is expected to be a top-five selection, but when they -- and by "they," we mean "Mike Lupica" -- look back on his brief college career, "they're" more likely to remember Paul more for his balls-shot to North Carolina State's Julius Hodge in the ACC tournament than any, um, balls he shot. As someone so preoccupied with the groin areas of basketball players, if Paul's career doesn't turn out, we all know he'll have plenty of company in the team hotel.

Paul to Join NBA Draft (ESPN.com)
Paul. Testicles. A Still Life (video)

Bobby Cox Loves You, Baby! Bobby Cox MADE you!

Current Amazon sales rankings:

Three Days In August, released April 5, 2005, about Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa: 81
Moneyball (paperback), released April 2004, about A's general manager Billy Beane: 493
Takin' Back My Name: The Confession of Ike Turner, released December 1999, not exactly about Braves manager Bobby Cox: 148,757

The Five People You Meet In Hell

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Mitch Albom, "author," longtime sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press and guy who almost certainly pees sitting down, continues to take hits for fabrications in a column that ran during the Final Four. USA Today, who would certainly qualify as experts in the subject, asks today whether Albom's malfeasance means the end of journalism as we know it. Albom is still on suspension of the paper, spending his time instead musing on the existance of art and life with imaginary visions of dead former professors and, of course, napping on a bed made entirely of $100 bills.

Will Albom's woes taint journalism? (USA Today)

Purple Haze

What is about Northwestern athletics? For a school that supposedly cares more about academics than sports -- like all schools! Of course! -- and never really wins anything, the Wildcats are always getting into all kinds of trouble. They've been hammered for point shaving, had players die right there on the practice field (and then pestered his family for his belongings) and fired a coach only to have him gunned down on the street by a racist a year later. And now the football team's top prospect, defensive tackle Luis Castillo, has admitted that he took steroids after his season ended last year. They clearly didn't teach Castillo much about the zeigeist at Northwestern; admitting to steroid use right now is like wearing black trenchcoats after Columbine, trying to buy a one-way plane ticket with cash in December 2001 or, say, liking Fever Pitch. ESPN's ominpotent Chris Mortensen says GMs don't expect Castillo's draft status to fall. Lyle Alzado was unavailable for comment.

NFL Prospect Admits To Steroid Abuse (ESPN.com)

"Well, I'm not gonna be alone with Travis Henry in a nightclub, if that's what you're asking"

From an ESPN Insider chat with Bills running back Willis McGahee yesterday:

User: Do you think Biggie was responsible for Tupac's death and got what was coming in the end?
McGahee: I have no idea. Last question.

Sports Illustrated Says There's Nothing Wrong With That (Really)

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In the newest issue of Sports Illustrated, self-described "Tom Wolfe of Sports" Gary (Take Out The "R" and I'm Still Not Gay) Smith profiles boxer Emile Griffith, the boxer who was rumored for years to be gay and once killed a man in the ring for calling him queer. The profile, just in time for the upcoming USA movie, is accompanied by a sidebar by L. Jon Wertheim that's the next journalistic attempt to track down that great white whale: The gay athlete. The story has the usual poll results (62 percent say an athlete would hurt his team by coming out) and usual sky-is-falling quotes from marketers and agents saying a gay athlete would lose endorsement opportunities, but the real gold is Wertheim's digging up of the great Kordell Stewart. The Ravens backup QB has been dogged by gay rumors through his Steelers career, to the point that he once called a meeting to let his teammates know that "You'd better not leave your girlfriends around me, because I'm out to prove a point!" (The presentation included, according to other players, actual pictures of Kordell's favorite sexual positions. With a woman. Yes. You see.) Somewhere, Brendan Lemon is laughing ... if he's not doing it with Todd Zeile. (Whoops!)

Gays In Sports: A Poll (CNNSI.com)
Ring of Fire (official site)

Perhaps It Could Have Worked For Dexter Manley

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Bloody sock? Please. Curt Schilling, who apparently has lost the magical power of hosery doused with bodily fluid, has nothing on little Willie McQueen, a seventh grader from Flint, Mich. The scrappy kid lost his legs in a train accident when he was three years old, is not letting life as an amputee keep him from the gridiron. A defensive tackle for his seventh-grade team, McQueen uses his "incredible upper body strength" -- which is important, considering it's the only part of the body he has -- to bring down ballcarriers despite his three-foot height. Heartwarming? Sure. But where does he inject the steroids?

Teen Plays Football Without Legs (AP)

Ron Mexico Goes Prime Time

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The 2005 NFL schedule came out yesterday, and the big story is that the Atlanta Falcons will play at home on Monday Night Football three times. That's right: It's the coming-out party for Ron Mexico. For those who missed it, Ron Mexico is the alias Michael Vick used when receiving treatment for herpes he allegedly gave to an unwitting Georgia woman. It didn't take long for enterprising Web folks to hop on the Mexico bandwagon: RonMexico.com offers fans a chance to buy a Ron Mexico jersey (alas, no thong). At least now we know why Peerless Price was dropping all those passes; he was afraid to touch the ball.

RonMexico.com
2005 NFL Schedule (NFL.com)

Let's Light This Candle

We ready to do this? We came here to kick ass and chew gum ... and we're all out of ass.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Strangely enough, this is not a photoshop creation. They actually did this. Posted by Hello

Help. Posted by Hello

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This is where all the genius words will come. The world will never be the same after this is published.