Category Archives: Other

Real or Fake?: Jazz Mascot Gets Revenge on Rockets Fan

I’ve been through the before, trying to figure out if the stuff being shown on the video board at a sporting event is authentic or just some act put on to help a team get some attention in the media. Either way, it’s working, and it’s hilarious.

In this case, despite how real the kerfuffle between the Rockets fan and the cop trying to remove him seems, I’m hard pressed to believe that the whole incident is real. More facts are needed, for sure, but here’s why I think this is all a bunch of theatrics: If you look at the seats directly behind the two gentlemen sporting Houston gear when the Jazz Bear mascot (yea, I’m confused about that too) sprays string foam, they’re pretty full. Once you jump ahead to the bucket of water portion of the show—and this is where more information is needed, because I’m not sure how long it was after the initial skirmish that this went down—those seats are completely empty, which leads me to believe that those individuals were asked to move or face the consequences of an enraged mascot, seeking revenge, charging up the steps with a large bucket of water.

That’s just me, though. Let me know what you think down there in the comments.
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Update: I may have found the evidence that I was once looking for and partly disproved my theory.

jazz bear mascot sign

Still fake IMO. Any mascot that gets the green light to make this sign, grab a bucket of water, fake out some ushers and a cop, and throw said bucket on two “spectators” is a mascot conducting some shady motha effin’ business.

Video

The Perfect (Sports-Related) Tribute to Nelson Mandela

ESPN Cancelled Ron Burgundy’s Guest Spot On SportsCenter For Some B.S. Reason

Ron Burgundy, who was scheduled to appear on the 6pm edition of SportsCenter with Champ Kind, had his appearance on ESPN’s flagship program cancelled because of “breaking news involving the Jameis Winston investigation.” The show announced the decision last night via Twitter:

ESPN made clear why the appearance was cancelled, but what I’d like to know is why this was cancelled. The “breaking news” ended up being that Winston will not be facing rape charges a year after a female student accused the Florida State quarterback of sexually assaulting her. The decision was announced by Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, during a press conference at 2 p.m. this afternoon—four whole hours before Will Ferrell was to appear on SportsCenter as Burgundy.

The other thing I don’t understand is why this decision was made a whole day in advance. It’s as if ESPN was preparing (hoping?) for Winston to be charged, so they could cover the story, his arrest, his arraignment, and all that fun stuff over the next 72 hours, nonstop, in typical ESPN-fashion. Aaron Hernandez all over again.

Overreacting much?

Now with no charges being brought forth and this breaking news situation turning into a complete nonstory, ESPN just looks dumb. I’m sure they’ll find a way (they always do) to drag this thing through the mud for the rest of the night and well into tomorrow. Good luck getting people to stay tuned as you line up all of your legal experts to talk about a whole lot of nothing, and your college football experts to talk about how Winston still shouldn’t be considered for the Heisman after all of this. If you ask me, it would’ve been more entertaining had Ron Burgundy been hosting the show tonight with all of this going on, whether or not Winston was charged. Poo on you, ESPN.

But, hey, at least we got to see Burgundy get hit in the nuts on the Dan Patrick Show this morning.

A 20-Month-Old Baby Was Signed To A Professional Football (Soccer) Contract

(Photo credit: Photonews via Het Laatste Nieuws)

(Photo credit: Photonews via Het Laatste Nieuws)

Forget the fact that Bryce Brites can probably count the number of words he knows on his fingers—actually, scratch that, he probably isn’t even sure how to count yet either. None of that mattered to Belgian soccer club FC Racing Boxberg, though, which signed the 20-month-old baby to a professional contract, making him (it?) the youngest “professional athlete” on the planet.

(Brief aside—stunningly, Brites actually doesn’t hold the record for the youngest professional athlete of all time. That honor goes to then-18-month-old Baerke van der Meij who was signed to a 10-year deal by Dutch soccer club VVV-Venlo in 2011. And while we’re on this aside, can I ask what the hell is wrong with people?)

According to Fox Soccer Blog, Racing Boxberg coaches were extremely impressed with the 20-month-old’s “highly unusual” talent and “incredible” ball control. I’d guess they were also put into some sort of trance by the unbelievably photogenic infant. The tot was issued his own Belgian FA membership card and was invited to train with the club’s Under-5 team.

Racing Boxberg club secretary Dany Vodnik spoke fondly about the team’s newest addition, who reportedly has yet to learn to wipe his own ass but sure knows how to dribble a soccer ball.

“Bryce kicks a ball in a way you do not even see when playing drills with four or five-year-olds. His ball control is incredible for his age. The way he dribbles with the ball at his feet between the cones, he can give a pass to the left or right.

“You ask him to kick a ball three or five meters and he does so, but he may not play with the five and six-year-old boys yet. We must remain cautious.“

This’ll be a fun one to revisit in a decade or two, to see if the signing actually paid off. Whether or not this kid has true talent or his parents are exploiting the shit out of his magical right foot, Brites is clearly going to be the talk of the playground.

Eagles Fan Is Finalist For ESPN’s 2013 Fan Hall of Fame

Thousands upon thousands of entrants for the 2013 edition of ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame have been narrowed down to 10. Voting began, this week, to help select the three individuals who will make up the 2013 class of inductees into this most prestigious of shrines.One of the remaining candidates is Barry “The Hatchet” Vagnoni, who resides in Reading, PA, or thereabouts, and is easily one of the biggest Birds fans you’ll ever find.

If not for the character, himself, Barry made it into the top 10 because of the 2,0000-square-foot addition he put on his home that is the closest thing you’ll find to an Eagles museum. The room—which Vagnoni calls the Philadelphia Eagles Locker Room—contains memorabilia that he has collected since the 1970s and has been featured on Eagles Television Network and various other local stations. Vagnoni recently won the Dunkin’ Donuts Philly’s Coolest & Biggest Sports Fan Contest thanks to a video that featured the room.

Here’s a bit from his bio on the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame site (where you can vote for him), explaining the layout of this incredible space:

The room consists of 16 flat screen TVs and includes the men’s (players) and ladies’ (cheerleaders) rooms. The focal point is a 15ft. X 9ft. Hi-Def projection TV that makes you feel like you’re in the huddle with the team.

There’s a huge deck outside as well as a tent with flat screen TVs for tailgaters. We have anywhere from 75 to 150 family and friends (only Eagles Fans) here for every Eagles game.

There’s a 35ft. bar,custom made bleachers,replica lockers (each has a TV), seats from Veterans Stadium, a 30-foot piece of Vet stadium astro turf, Eagles bar stools, Eagles tables and chairs, and an unbelievable collection of Eagles signed memorabilia from all the great Eagles players from yesterday and today.

In the men’s and ladies room toilets, I had the Dallas Cowboys logos airbrushed into them.

And some photos (courtesy of ESPN):

the hatchet 1

the hatchet 2

the hatchet 3

the hatchet 4

Though he could, Vagnoni and his wife (who inexplicably agreed to let her husband build this space when a retirement home in Florida was in the works) refuse to charge admission on gameday, and supply all of the food, beer, soda, and bottled water to their friends and family who show up. Vagnoni even said he’s had folks give up their season tickets to come watch the games at his place.

A space like this is something I can only dream about (right now anyway), and is absolutely deserving of a spot in ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame. Get out the vote, Philly fans! Vote for Barry “The Hatchet” Vagnoni here.

Turkey Day Madness

full-thanksgiving-spread

Happy Thanksgiving, all! On a day filled with family, food, and football I’d like to take some time to say thanks for all of those things and more. The food, in particular, is something that I’m always thankful for this time of year, especially as a former wrestler who spent many a Thanksgiving sulking in another room as the rest of the family chowed down on some delicious dishes. Not no more! The home-cooked meals accompanied by spending all day cooking with family, the occasional argument (we are Italian after all), make it such a special day.

So, in honor of all the great dishes served on this feast of thanks, why don’t we fill out a good old fashioned Turkey Day Bracket. I’ve picked my top 8 favorite parts of the Thanksgiving Day feast, and worked through it to determine the champion of the spread.

Eight is a small sampling of our feast, but they’re the best of the best. Some are traditional dishes, while others tap into our Italian flare. Either way, I hope you enjoy this fun spin on things. Share your thoughts on my favorite dishes, or what you would pick as your favorite dish in the comments!

How it’s set up

Like any bracket, the competitors are seeded. Here’s how I broke things down for Turkey Day Madness:

  1. Sweet Potatoes
  2. Stuffing (with sausage)
  3. Turkey
  4. Honey Baked Ham
  5. Asparagus Casserole
  6. Assorted Pies and Cupcakes
  7. Mashed Potatoes
  8. Ravioli
  9. Corn
  10. Cranberry Sauce

For the sake of keeping the bracket looking clean the last two dishes were left out. I considered a play-in contest with 7-10, but I really just wanted to get to the feast.

With the top 8 set, let’s go to work.

The Bracket

turkey-day-bracket

So Why Sweet Potatoes?

The number one seed in this bracket easily cruises to the title of Best Thanksgiving Dish for this blogger. There are some great dishes on that bracket, but when it comes down to it, my mom’s sweet potatoes top them all for one simple reason. The juices from the sweet potatoes can be put on top of nearly every other dish and improve that dish exponentially. For a lot of people, gravy is what gets spread over everything else, but try substituting the sweet potato juice just once. Pour it right over the turkey. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, the honey baked ham, they’re all made better thanks to the succulent sweet potato juice.

I haven’t gone as far as pouring it over any pastas or deserts, but I bet they would benefit from it as well.

Juices aside, the sweet potatoes themselves are simply fantastic. They were always going to be champion of this bracket, so I really just needed to work backwards from there to fill in the rest. And just like any other Thanksgiving dish, they reheat even better the next day.

So there you have it. Like I mentioned above, share your thoughts on this bracket, or what you would choose as your own favorite dish in the comments below.

Two Die After Partial World Cup Stadium Collapse

The Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup Opening Match. (Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

The Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup Opening Match. (Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

I shared an article a while ago about the protests in Brazil over the outrageous overspending that was occurring surrounding the 2014 World Cup, which is supposedly going to be hosted by Brazil. In that article I advocated that the horrendous situation that was taking place (and continues to take place, by the way) would justify taking the World Cup away and giving it to the U.S.

On Wednesday, another sad, devastating example of why this is a move that should’ve been executed a long time ago. Two construction workers died in a horrific accident at the stadium in Rio that is scheduled to host the opening match of soccer’s grandest spectacle next summer. Part of the stadium collapsed when a crane slammed into a 500-ton metal structure, which then fell and cut into the outer walls of the stadium, destroying rows of seats and a crushing an LED-display that ran across the venue’s facade.

SI had more on the incident:

The accident could delay delivery of the stadium, which was practically finished before Wednesday’s collapse. FIFA has set a December deadline for all 12 World Cup venues to be ready. The World Cup begins on June 12 with Brazil playing at the Sao Paulo stadium.

Officials said there were no major structural damages to the stadium but declined to say how much the accident may affect the delivery.

”I don’t want to know about FIFA right now, we are worried about the families of the victims,” former Corinthians president Andres Sanchez told a news conference.

Sanchez said two people were confirmed dead and nobody else was injured. A fire department official had said earlier that three people had died. …

The accident happened at lunchtime, so not many of the nearly 1,700 employees working on the venue were on site when the crane collapsed on top of the metal structure, causing the deadly domino effect.

”The sound was as loud as a thunderclap or a huge explosion,” said Rodrigo Vessoni, a reporter with sports daily Lance who said he had just walked out of the stadium after interviewing Sanchez. ”There was a lot of running around, a lot of shouting. It was frightening. Chills ran through my entire body. It was unbelievable. The noise was metal grating on metal. It was a terrible thing to see.”

I’m not going to say that this could’ve been prevented if FIFA had just moved the World Cup somewhere else, but it’s tough to imagine something like this would’ve happened in, say, the U.S. Things have seemed destined to fail for some time now, and the signs just keep on raining down. It’ll be interesting to see if/how things hold up during the tournament.

Sicne FIFA doesn’t have the cojones to move the tournament, I guess we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that things do get better and that this isn’t a sign of things to come.