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Shame Report

TSR Volume 12: A-Rod’s Suspension, Lab-Grown Burgers and The Post Sells For a Drop of Cash

Apparently I took some time off from writing about oddball stuff that doesn’t necessarily belong on the website. The last version of the Shame Report was published November 16, 2012 — right around the time I was having my meltdown about the Washington Wizards’ miserable start and the loss of Twinkies.

Not to fear. Litter your brain with this here new stuff.

 

Courtesy of ABC News

Courtesy of ABC News

 

By now, we’re all familiar with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and his past seven months — a stint in which he describes a “nightmare” and “probably the worst time” of his life. He’s gone from sucking at baseball, to getting hurt, to having two hip surgeries, to playing in the minor leagues, to being associated with steroid / PED, to most recently being suspended for 211 games, effective Thursday.

Because he’s a cheater and no one tends to like him anyway, Rodriguez’s latest suffering has served as pure comedy. The fact that one guy wants to be liked so much, but can’t seem to do anything right is entertaining.

What isn’t ammusing, however, is the fact the Yankees are about to be let off the hook for A-Rod’s ridiculous contract because of his deceit and fraudulent behavior. That the Yankees are about to cheat the rest of the league because they decided to pay said cheater.

According to a news release from Major League Baseball via FOX Sports, Rodriguez’s suspension “is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited  performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and Human Growth  Hormone, over the course of multiple years,” and for “engaging in a course of  conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s  investigation.”

FOX Sports writes, “Rodriguez would forfeit his salaries from the remainder of this season and all of next, but is owed $61 million by the Yankees from 2015-17, and could earn  millions more as he closes in on the all-time home run record.”

In other words, the Yankees would receive a financial relief for the next two seasons as a result of Rodriguez’s cheating actions.

But wait a minute. How is this okay?

If Rodriguez were cracking homeruns and chasing the record, the Yankees would profit from it — increasing ticket sales, commemorative shirts, bobblehead bullshit, the works. That was the reason they chose to pay Rodriguez his jaw-dropping contract in the first place. They thought he’d be the first squeaky-clean player to break the homerun record and they wanted their pinstripes gobbling up all of ESPN’s air time.

All of sudden, now that Rodriguez is failing, the Yankees want to bail and recoup their money.

Is that how business works now? Ride the wave and cheer yourself on when things are going well and you’re making money, only to cry and claim to be ripped off when your investment fails?

What’s happening to Rodriguez in terms of his suspension is a direct result of cheating, and that’s what makes cheating so bad. It not only effects the player involved, but his teammates, his coaches and his team’s ownership. The entire brand and everyone that’s a part of it is compromised in one way or another.

The Yankees would ride Rodriguez if he were thriving, so they need to fall with him when he flounders.

* * *

 

Courtesy of the Washington Post

Courtesy of the Washington Post

 

Things are getting weird, ya’ll.

The first lab-grown beef hamburger was cooked and eaten in London on Monday.

According to the Washington Post, the five-ounce burger patty cost more than $330,000 to produce and was paid for by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Josh Schonwald, the American author of “The Taste of Tomorrow,” and Hanni Rützler, an Austrian nutritional scientist had the privilege ( ? ) of being two of the three to taste the minced space meat sandwich, claiming that it tasted “almost” like a conventional burger.

“It’s close to meat, but it’s not as juicy,” Rützler said. “I was expecting the texture to be more soft. The surface was surprisingly crunchy.”

The product tasted like “an animal protein cake,” Schonwald added.

Why in the hell are people doing this?

According to scientist Mark Post, “At the global level, if all meat would be lab-grown, the greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 80 percent, and the water use by 90 percent.”

Gross, right?

Tough decision for us humans, huh? Melt by way of the ozone, or eat petri dish meat feces.

* * *

 

Washington Post Sold

Screen cap from Tuesday 8/6

 

The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos for $250 million.

In April of last year, Instagram — a company less than two years old at the time with no documented revenue — sold for $1 billion.

That is all.

Read about the Post and its new ownership here.

 

TSR Volume 11: Death to Twinkies, Deion Pulls Race Card, and Ernie Grunfeld’s Presence Still Felt in Washington

…scrumptious

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

But what about Twinkies? Doesn’t some saying somewhere also mention that the only two things to survive an unfortunate meltdown of the planet are roaches and Twinkies?

Remember stocking your Y2K bunkers? Plenty of water, check. Canned goods, check. And we got them Twinkies!

Urban legend or not, experimenting with a Twinkie’s shelf life will forcefully come to an end.

According to reports, Hostess Brands Inc. has gone bankrupt and is liquidating its assets following some union mumbo-jumbo. If you want more details on the actual shutdown, you can check out this article from the Chicago Tribune. The only facts you really need to know is that Hostess is going down and Twinkies really can go extinct.

Although a sad ending to a great American pastime (for fatties), it wouldn’t be fair to simply give up on classic snacks. With Twinkie fading off into the sunset of financial burden, we as fat snackers must work collectively to find the next American classic. Not necessarily a spongy vanilla cake injected with sugar cream and diabetes, but instead a new go-to snack with enough chemicals to embalm a human body.

With or without the chemicals really.

***

Courtesy of Getty Images

You either love him or you hate him. But when it comes to Primetime, I’m typically a big fan of Deion Sanders.

I use the word typically because his latest interview comments on a Dallas-Ft. Worth radio show have me thinking whether or not Primetime is actually in prime mental shape.

The background goes something like, Sanders co-founded a charter school in Texas called the Prime Prep Academy. Naturally, the school offers football and basketball and probably puts together some pretty decent teams. Recently, however, there have been allegations that Prime Prep Academy was engaging in illegal recruiting tactics to bring certain athletes to the school and onto the teams.

Attacking a local high school sports reporter (rumored to be a gentleman named Brett Shipp), Sanders pulled the race card and went after the “guy we all know about” pretty hard.

“First of all, this all started mainly by a Caucasian reporter from a news station, Channel 8, you know who I’m talking about, and he seems like he’s the African American killer,” Sanders told Dallas radio station KRLD. “It’s always something against a brother. And that bothers me. I’ve never been accused of cheating with anything, in any sports, in any arena, in my life. Now to be accused of something as stupid and as simplistic as this and all I have is 30 kids out there. And the sad thing about it, Channel 8 and Dallas Morning News, they’re partners.”

Not that I know who Brett Shipp is or how he operates, but blasting a guy the way Sanders did on live air waves doesn’t help matters one way or the other.

***

Courtesy of Dan Steinberg

Don’t look now, but the Washington Wizards are winless. In fact, it may be in your best interest to never look all season. The Wizards aren’t just 0-7 by way of a few bad bounces and some dumb luck. No, ladies and gentlemen, the Wizards are flat out ugly right now.

For those that want to make excuses for the Wizards, there’s really only one. And even if the Wizards did have starters Nene and John Wall in their lineup, I’m still not sure how I’d avoid writing depressing material about the team.

Nene has a foot that could very well keep him out for the entire season — imagine your foot made of Jello and duct tape. John Wall, on the other hand, may be closer to hitting the hardwood again, but having confidence in him as a savior seems a bit drastic.

While injuries to starters hurt a team’s chance at success, there’s also the on-court product that’s lacking. Want to know the best way to attack a closeout? Don’t watch the Wizards. Want to learn how to knockdown open looks? Don’t watch the Wizards. Want to see Trevor Ariza play like he enjoys his job, his paycheck, and the city he’s in? Definitely don’t watch the Wizards.

The real problems, however, trickle down from the top. Although Ted Leonsis is a loyal owner with good intentions, retaining general manager Ernie Grunfeld and expecting anything more than below-average talent acquisition and front office operation is absurd. And, as a result, us Wizards fans are given the many faces of head coach Randy Wittman — who really has no idea what’s going on in Washington.

I’m passionate about the Wizards. I yearn for them to do well. I want more than Gilbert Arenas and a first-round bounce. I want real professional basketball in Washington more than anyone else. But in order to have those things, moves need to be made from the top.

 

TSR Volume 10: John Goodman Rocks, Lawson Gets Paid, and London is Falling

 

Original photo Courtesy of Slate

 

Following three days of wicked ruining by super storm Sandy, getting back to the normal swing of things isn’t easy. And that’s coming from a guy that experienced nothing more than a few cable interruptions. Our thoughts are with those that experienced and continue to deal with the devestating aftermath of mother nature’s latest blow.

 

I won’t say there aren’t bigger fans out there, but I was pretty pumped for the Washington Wizards season opener in Cleveland on Tuesday. Not only did it mark the start of NBA action, but my beloved Bullets were taking the court with a fresh new lineup. Despite not having arguably their best two players in John Wall and Nene, I couldn’t help but be excited about new additions Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, and rookie Bradley Beal.

My excitement wouldn’t last long. After watching forward Trevor Booker and his offensive game — which replicated that of a deer in headlights — I decided to skip the second half and head to the theatre for the new Ben Affleck thriller, Argo.

By the time I got home, I saw the Wizards had lost the game by ten. I also saw that Kyrie Irving dropped 29 points and Anderson Varejao pulled in 23 rebounds. Twenty three rebounds! In fact, with his nine points and nine assists, Varejao damn near pulled a triple-double. And not to pick on Booker, but I checked out his stat line too. In just under 17 minutes of floor time, Booker was 2-for-9 with four points, one rebound, and four fouls. Yeesh.

And for those interested, Argo was awesome. The film is a dramatization of the secret operation to rescue six American diplomatic personnel from a revolutionary Iran in 1980. Ben Affleck, once again, kills it as a director/actor in the film and the cast is jolted with incredible performances by John Goodman ( a personal favorite ), Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston ( better known as Walter White in the AMC series Breaking Bad ).

Needless to say, Argo and its supporting cast were/are much better than the Wizards and their supporting cast.

***

Halloween is cool and all, but I obviously don’t get the same enjoyment from it that I once did. Simply put, an adult stranger trolling with children and going door-to-door in search of candy just doesn’t work in modern day America.

But did I let that get me down? No way! Halloween was plenty enjoyable. Especially after hearing that hometown Maryland native Ty Lawson signed a contract extension with the Denver Nuggets worth $48 million big ones!

As much as I’d love for every hometown favorite to stay and play with the Washington Wizards, I understand that it’s not possible. Instead, I root for these guys from a far and commend them on jobs well done and massive paychecks.

Unfortunately Lawson’s “massive” paycheck was quickly trumped after the report that Walt Disney Co. agreed to purchase George Lucas’ LucasFilm Ltd. for $4.05 BILLION.

George Lucas, best known for his Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchise series, will receive half of the sale price in cash and the rest in stock. And either way you look at it, really doesn’t matter. Lucas is 68 years old and probably can’t even begin to think of how he’s going to spend two billion dollars in the next 20 years. Unless, of course, he’s some sort of immortal ewok. Which is kind of believable.

Slide over Mr. Lawson. Make room for George Lucas and his podracers full of coin.

***

Redskins linebacker and all-around football warrior London Fletcher has seen better days. At the ripe age of 37 in his first year of a two-year contract he signed back in April, Fletcher has shown true signs of wear this season for maybe the first time in his amazing 14-year career.

Following an early exit from the Giants game a couple weeks ago due to a sore hamstring, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan also mentioned that Fletcher was having issues with his balance. And for anyone familiar with a condition such as vertigo, this is very serious stuff for a man approaching 40 years old.

As a diehard Redskins fan and lasting fan of Fletcher, I want him to play forever. Already thinking of him as the ageless wonder, the selfish football fan inside of me wants London Fletcher to play the game forever and never take off the Redskins uniform that he’s worn for the past six seasons.

Then the rational thinking comes in — understanding that there’s life for these guys after football.

And whether you want to blame his age, injuries, or a rough start to the season, Fletcher’s stats are telling. Through eight games, Fletcher leads all inside linebackers with 14 missed tackles. He has been targeted 50 times in coverage and has allowed 35 receptions for 396 yards and four touchdowns.

There’s no telling what next year could bring for Fletcher at the age of 38. Could the cliff be even steeper than we’ve seen so far through half the season? Can anyone convince themselves that Fletch willimprovewith age?

In the scenario of a release, the Redskins would be responsible for just under $2 million in bonus cash to Fletcher in 2013.

***

Although I can’t provide you with a link, I’m sure you’ve seen the garbage floating around the internet entertaining the idea that the Alabama Crimson Tide would defeat the NFL’s worst team, which at this point is the Carolina Panthers.

When it comes to this sort of discussion, in any sport, please shut up.

Alabama wouldn’t beat Carolina’s second string roster. They also wouldn’t beat the Jacksonville Jaguars or Kansas City Chiefs. And while we’re at it, that Kentucky Wildcats team from a couple years ago wouldn’t have defeated the then-New Jersey Nets.

There’s an immense difference between collegiate and professional sports.

***

After losing another quarterback to a torn ACL, the Maryland Terrapins will start a linebacker at quarterback this Saturday.

That is all.

 

TSR Volume 9: Chad’s Release, College Football Uniforms, and Baltimore’s Carne Cabeza

Courtesy of Getty Images

Five weeks ago, when NFL star Chad Ochocinco married reality tv personality Evelyn Lozada, I feared the worst. As an admitted gossip junkie and proponent of the 12th-year veteran receiver, it didn’t seem like he needed any more drama than the amount he regularly brought on himself. He then changed his name back to his given ‘Chad Johnson’ and entered his first training camp with the Miami Dolphins.

Although very outspoken and generally animated, Johnson has never been known to be a bad guy. His touchdown celebrations, publicity antics and overall crave for the limelight may come off as annoying to some, but it’s never done with bad intentions. Argue all you want that Johnson isn’t a good fit for your specific team. But forget those that say Chad Johnson is bad for the game. They’re simply not any fun.

Over the weekend, Johnson was arrested and charged with domestic battery — a misdemeanor. According to reports, Lozada found a receipt in Johnson’s trunk for purchased condoms. Apparently an argument ensued and Lozada claimed that Johnson headbutt her. Johnson, on the other hand, claims they simply bumped skulls.

While I place more credibility in Johnson than I do the former VH1 Basketball Wives actress (because that’s what they are — no-talent soap opera actresses), I’ll hold off on making any claims either way.

With a new coach in Miami, Johnson’s leash was a short one. Despite being arguably the Dolphins’ best receiver in camp, Joe Philbin wasted no time showing Johnson the door. And you can’t blame him. As a rookie head coach with (likely) a rookie quarterback leading a team that is looking to rebound, the last thing you need is negative attention in your locker room — whether the reports ring true or not.

Who knows what happens to Johnson at this point. Although this is the only arrest of his entire NFL career, Johnson is 34 and one year removed from a 16-catch season in New England.

Assuming most teams will be standoffish, I do believe Johnson can contribute this season. Miami seemed like a great fit in terms of where the team was — both talent-wise and geographically — but two rookies (coach and QB) running the show are far from ideal.

Too bad, Chad. Time to kiss the baby in Miami.

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Courtesy of Jakob Engelke

Remember when Maryland hired Randy Edsall last summer to become the Terps head football coach?

And remember when he acted as if College Park was West Point?

Or when Terp Nation sat back and watched more than two dozen football players transfer rather than play for Edsall?

Well, it appears that Edsall may be coming to grips. Sure, discipline and respect are required and necessary teachings of a football coach, but if these players wanted to play for a service academy, they would’ve went to Navy.

( Note: I have absolutely no insider information regarding the transfers, Edsall’s style/attitude or how the new players take to his coaching. What I do know is that one of the top recruits in the nation, Stefon Diggs, is a Terp. And that’s more than a good thing. I don’t dislike Edsall, as I am willing to give him time — as a fan — to work things out and make his footprint. )

Last season, Maryland introduced new Under Armor uniforms that did a whole lot more for the program than their 2-10 record. With the introduction of about ten different color schemes and design combinations, Edsall ordered that the player’s last names be removed from the back of the jersey. Edsall explained that the school and program was all about tradition and school pride, and that individual names didn’t matter.

In the end — like all of us yelled when the announcement was made — the name on the back of a college jersey does matter. College football players are young men looking to make a name for themselves, while a majority of them chase their dream of playing in the NFL.

I understand the goal of establishing school pride and team unity, but neither relies solely on the names on the jersey.

As Dan Steinberg mentions, the Univeristy of Maryland was the nation’s first football program to put names on the backs of jerseys in the fall of 1961. How’s that for school pride and tradition?

Again this year, the Terps will undergo a few uniform changes — ditching some old designs and adding a couple new ones. From my understanding, most of the new uniforms (aside from the actual pride jerseys) will include player’s last names on the back.

Thanks for admitting you were wrong, Randy.

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Courtesy of LostLettermen

While on the topic of college football, it’d be criminal not to call-out a conference rival.According to Lost Lettermen, the Virginia Tech Hokies will wear special uniforms on September 8 as part of their 2012 White Effect game.

I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the uniform looks like (I’ll betcha’ it’s white), but the helmets are a bit cartoonish. And certainly laughable. While ‘Hokies’ aren’t exactly terrible mascots, the helmets make it appear as if Tech is more accurately described as a coop of chickens.

Fortunately for the Fighting Gobblers (as they’ve often been referred to since the early 20th century), they’re scheduled to play Austin Peay in Blacksburg.

At least they don’t have to worry about being embarrassed in a loss with chicken feet on their heads. Instead, Austin Peay will face embarrassment when they’re routed by Virginia Tech.

 

 

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‘Free Hugs’

It may be the Washington Nationals that tote the best record in baseball, but it’s the surviving Baltimore Orioles down the beltway that are drawing the best fans.Not that I’m one to judge, but when you get an overweight white guy that doesn’t look like he’s seen the sun in years, dressed as some sort of competitor from the Mexican Wrestling Federation, his commitment and dedication deserves some praise.

Such is the case for the now-popular Carne Cabeza. The DC Sports Bog has much of the story here, with some good photos to go along with it.

The Orioles are in the hunt for an American League wildcard berth, but the path won’t be easy. The Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels will all make runs of their own.

The addition of August call-up Manny Machado was a move made to help the O’s down the stretch and improve their average at the plate. The emergence of Carne Cabeza was a gift from the baseball gods that Baltimore has no choice but to embrace and use for playoff guidance.

Images by @Pangwin, @BMOREBrian, @aleveillee and @mathewbrown, via the DC Sports Bog.

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To wrap up, I was glad to hear that Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Not necessarily for the purpose of being able to witness league dominance in 2013, but because I was tired of hearing the drama.

Howard’s best possible landing spot was Los Angeles and the Lakers front office expressed their everlasting dedication to winning now. At all costs.

As I mentioned in the last edition of TSR, there are NBA Championships to be had in Los Angeles and Howard is a firm piece of the puzzle.

The Lakers were also able to somehow retain Pau Gasol, meaning that they remain on the league’s most wanted list as a front office that commonly and consistently walks away with the better end of the deal.

 

TSR Volume 8: It Could Be Worse For Penn State, A-Rod’s Pain, and Dwight Remains Unmagical

Courtesy of Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

Louis Freeh’s report into Penn State and the details that came from it shocked the nation. Not because we didn’t expect to hear more details of the story, but because the report uncovered something that no one wanted to hear. That legendary and beloved coach Joe Paterno actively participated in a cover-up.

And not just any cover-up. Rather, a conspiracy to keep a long-time child sexual abuse case and its rancid details quiet, with the ultimate hope of protecting Penn State’s upstanding reputation and football program.

For those actions, the NCAA handed down the following:

  • $60 million fine
  • Vacating of wins from 1998-2011 (112 wins)
  • Four-year postseason ban
  • Four-year scholarship reduction (10 initial; 20 total)
  • Players may transfer and play immediately at other schools
  • Athletic department placed on five-year probation

The backlash that we now hear from fans and Penn State alumni was expected. But as I always say, things could be a lot worse.

For starters, that $60 million fine is chump change to Penn State University. According to reports, Penn State turned more than $50 million in profit in 2010, on over $70 million in revenue. In other words, that $60 million fine accounts for about one season of revenue at PSU.

I’m not implying that a $60 million penalty doesn’t hurt, but when you look at it over the amount of time needed to actually pay it off — in addition to the millions of dollars that Penn State receives in alumnus support — the Nittany Lions shouldn’t sweat this one.

Secondly, the vacated wins seem to be the worst part, in my opinion. While I understand the method behind this specific penalty, I’ve never been a supporter of vacating wins and acting as if those games were never played.

It’s not necessarily about fairness to former players, or coaches or boosters. It’s about the simple fact that those games were played between opponents, on a fair playing field, at a fair time, talent against talent. Erasing such and acting as if they never happened just seems absurd.

On the other hand, vacating Paterno’s wins because you don’t think his past actions merit a legendary coaching achievement is understandable. But just come out and say that. That’s why we have an asterik anyway, right? Just use that bad boy in the record books.

The four-year postseason ban, scholarship reduction and probation are three things that I group together. And if someone really wants to bicker at how much that hurts the program, think about what the death penalty would have done.

Sure, it’s going to suck knowing that a 10-win season won’t mean anything past regular season games. But imagine having no football at all for five years.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve talked to a lot of people regarding the Penn State scandal and, more recently, about the sanctions placed on the university by the NCAA. As anticipated, graduates of Penn State were more somber than others, and they were most opposing of the sanctions. But what bothered me most were some of the feelings by both alumni and non-Penn Staters alike.

When discussing the sanctions and implying that a death penalty would have been justified, everyone countered with generally the same response. “The death penalty would’ve been terrible. With something like that, innocent people would have been affected and that’s just not fair.”

While this statement is true, I encourage those to look at tramatic incidents and recognize why it is that they’re so severe.

The reason is because, in all instances, innocent people are hurt in one way or another. In the case of Penn State receiving the death penalty, innocent people, players and businesses would be affected. But have we forgotten about the innocent children that were forever scarred because of Penn State’s lack of institutional control and actions of the university brass?

Although Happy Valley may not be all that happy following their penalties, just remember that it could always be worse.

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Too bad, so sad for the New York frickin’ Yankees.

The easy-to-hate Alex Rodriguez will head to the 15-day disabled list after taking a pitch to his left hand and suffering a non-displaced fracture. The first-place Yankees plan on using both Eric Chavez and Jaysen Nix to fill the void (which probably overjoys New York fans).

By the way, the pitch that landed Rodriguez on the DL was a changeup. Not saying I wouldn’t cry like a three-year-old girl if I was hit with a big league pitch, but I also don’t get paid $250 million. Toughen up, son.

You know who cares about A-Rod breaking his hand? Other teams in the AL East. And as a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, I enjoy the fact that New York is losing A-Rod’s bat.

But do you know who’s concerned about Rodriguez breaking his hand? Absolutely no one. I don’t even think Yankees fans like Alex Rodriguez. He just has that look to him that screams “toolbag!”

And there’s nothing he can do to help it.

I assume his continued relationships with random muscle-inflated females is really all he needs.

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Courtesy of Mashable

Better known as George Jefferson from the smash American sitcom The Jeffersons, actor Sherman Hemsley passed away at his Texas home on Tuesday of natural causes. He was 74.

Because of his work on The Jeffersons, I consider Hemsley to be an entertainment icon. Not only was he hilarious on screen, but that particular show broke down barriers that helped change the landscape for awesome comedy that came after it.

And that’s not to take away from guys like Richard Pryor or George Carlin. Simply put, Hemsley was able to push so much with only family sitcoms as his primary platform.

Rest in peace, sir.

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Courtesy of Sam Greenwood / Getty

Have you heard the latest regarding Dwight Howard and his future with the Orlando Magic?

Me neither.

The summer soap opera remains at large, as Howard still demands a trade, yet says he’ll test free agency next summer, all while the Orlando front office make weekly calls to the six-time All-Star begging him to stay with the Magic. But at the end of day, whether it’s now or after January 15, we all know Howard won’t be with the Orlando Magic for much longer.

At first, when Howard demanded that he only wanted Brooklyn, I could at least partially understand it. He’s a young guy, he wants to be a part of something special and he has a thing for the big city. Fine.

But after the Los Angeles Lakers get involved (which they really always have been) and begin to throw out their feelers AFTER they’ve already acquired Steve Nash, that’s where I begin to lose it.

Does Dwight want championships or not?

I know the kid is 26 and has time to build something in Brooklyn, but there’s championships to be had on the West coast.

And with that, someone should also inform Dwight that Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger. Dwight has the opportunity to win a couple rings with Kobe, watch him retire, and then become the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers. Oh yeah, and probably win a couple more championships.

 

TSR Volume 7: Kardashian Preying In DC, Chris Bosh Is Still Weird, Pine Tar Davey and Clown Questions

Run, Robert! Run!

New Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is reportedly making his strides in camp — learning the playbook, adjusting his mechanics and striving to improve every day. Coaches seem impressed, teammates seem supportive and fans are undoubtedly stoked for the upcoming season. But RG3 could have bigger problems than the ones he’s bound to face on the football field.

According to Jack Burditt, who is an executive producer and writer for the NBC sitcom “30 Rock”, Griffin caught the eye of a special Hollywood starlet. Burditt joined Rich Eisen’s podcast, which you can listen to here, and mentioned that one Kim Kardashian was asking all sorts of juicy questions about the onlooking rookie quarterback.

As heard on the podcast, Burditt talked about the on-set intrigue…

She sat next to me, while we were watching the show on the monitor, and RG3 is a few seats down. And during the commercial break, she starts asking me questions about him. Like, ‘Now, he’s a football player, right?’ I’m like, yeah, yeah. (Kim says,) ‘And he just … something big happened, right?’ I’m like, well, yeah, he just was the No. 2 overall pick tonight. (She asks) ‘And what team?’ … Washington. (She asks) ‘What’s Washington?’ … Redskins. She goes, ‘I don’t know much about football, but, so what’s his deal?’ And I’m thinking, ‘You stay away from him. This is a nice young man.’

While Redskins fans currently try to keep down their lunch and refrain from throwing an office chair through a third-story window, please recognize the problem in this situation. (Deep breath). Kim Kardashian (who received from a sex tape and most recently dated Kanye West) is preying her evil slut powers on our town’s beloved, fresh, innocent and ENGAGED franchise quarterback.

My rookie advice to Griffin: Treat Kim Kardashian like DeMarcus Ware and avoid her like the plague.

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Earlier this week, I posted some pictures of the many faces of Chris Bosh. Although I don’t want to overplay the idea, I figure the NBA season has come to a close and we’ll all be without the dinosaur-look-alike for the entire offseason. That’s simply too long without Bosh Face.

It may not necessarily be a symptom or disease, but the Miami Heat forward can’t avoid making awkward faces and somehow landing himself in tons of online photos. You’d imagine, by this point, that Bosh’s friends and family would mention something to him. Something like, “Hey, man. Quit making yourself look like such a weirdo. One day it’s a raptor, the next it’s a duck. Quit it, dude.”

— yikes –

Although Bosh was brilliant in the NBA Finals this year, it’s his public appearance that really makes him a fan-favorite. I think.

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— Courtesy of SportsBlooded –

It’s been nearly impossible to ignore, but in case you didn’t hear about the pine tar incident during the Rays/Nationals series last week, I’ll give you the rundown.

The Nationals were playing the Rays. The Rays called one of their relief pitchers, Joel Peralta, from the bullpen to enter the ball game. Coincidentally, Peralta was a part of the Nationals team back in 2010. Upon entering the game, Nationals’ skipper Davey Johnson alerted the game’s umpires and mentioned that Peralta’s glove had pine tar in the laces (an illegal move in baseball). The umpires inspected the glove, found the tar and Peralta was ejected. Fast forward a few days, Davey Johnson and Rays’ manager Joe Maddon have been verbally bashing each other and Peralta was suspended seven games by Major League Baseball.

From the standpoint of a baseball fan, the move by Davey Johnson seems petty and asinine. But as a Nationals fan, it was a damn good move. And at the end of the day, Davey was right.

When Maddon argues and players throw fits about Davey “snitching”, all should remind themselves that pine tar in the glove is illegal. If Davey had caused a stink and the umpires were to found no tar in the glove, then we could all call Davey a jerk. Instead, Davey called him out and the evidence backed him up.

The real entertainment in this whole ordeal is the verbal brutality going on between two elderly statesmen.

Directly following the game, Joe Maddon essentially called Davey Johnson “a pussy”.

“I didn’t know him that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss, anyway,” Johnson said. “I understand where he’s coming from. His job as a manager is to protect the players. . . . But he doesn’t know me from a hole in the hill. Or I him, for that matter. But I do know the rulebook, and I do try to follow it.” (source: Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

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After a win against the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this month, Nationals rookie Bryce Harper made headlines after he put a Canadian news reporter in his place — making him look like an idiot in front of his peers.

Check out the postgame interview in which the reporter asks Harper if he’s going to head out in Toronto and grab a beer, seeing as how the legal drinking age in Canada is 18 years old. What the reporter didn’t know (obviously) is that Harper is a devout Mormon and doesn’t partake in consuming alcohol or caffeine, hence the response: “That’s a clown question, bro.”

Now, according to sources, Harper has coined the phrase, trademarked it and Under Armour is preparing to sell apparel donning Harper’s now-famous words from Toronto. We simply can’t get enough of this kid, huh?

 

TSR Volume 6: McNabb’s Redemption, Tortorella the Terrible, the Caps’ Future and Roll-A-Bouts

-- Courtesy of Ronald Martinez --

Usually pertaining to athletes looking to make some sort of comeback, it’s always funny to hear them talk about the weight that they’ve lost, as if their stomachs and thick thighs were the only thing holding them back from a miraculous return to the pros.

Such seems to be the case with quarterback Donovan McNabb. After being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles after more than a decade, McNabb had brief and unsuccessful stops in both Washington and Minnesota before being released last December. Since then, no teams have cared to inquire and McNabb discovered how bad he was at sportscasting.

However, I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite. Back in 2010 when Mike Shanahan and the Redskins traded for McNabb, I ignored all the obvious red flags and embraced Donovan like he was a childhood friend. And even through his crummy play in Washington, I continued to support him and even made excuses for his crappiness.

In addition to practicing with famed quarterback coach George Whitfield, McNabb expressed to ESPN his intentions of returning to the game of football at the ripe age of 35.

I’m in great shape, dropped 15-20 pounds. But again, it’s not really about that. Because for me, people may have seen how strong I looked, and they kind of [figured] maybe [I] out of shape or whatever. But now that I’m lighter, people all of a sudden [are saying], ‘Well, he’s in shape.’ I’ve been in shape.

Whether people think McNabb passes the ‘smell test’ or not based on his weight or how light he is on his feet, he still has to prove that he can throw a pass above the receiver’s waist. He still has to try and retain his coveted ‘leadership’ attribute after blasting Redskins coaches when he was already in Minnesota. And he also has to prove some sort of endurance, as he was benched with two minutes to go in a crucial game against the Lions in 2010 in favor of Rex Grossman.

My guess? Donovan McNabb remains out of football. And broadcasting.

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– Courtesy of Clem Murray / Philly.com –

Injuries in sports are never a laughing matter. But when guys hurt themselves away from the game, the rule book indicates that laughing is allowed, depending solely on the situation. In the case of Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, this is a laughing matter. Unless of course you’re an Eagles fan. 

According to Comcast SportsNet, Peters, who had already lost this season to a ruptured Achilles tendon, was using a Roll-A-Bout device to manuever around his home. While in the kitchen, likely doing what 340-pound lineman do, the handicap device “malfunctioned” and Peters “fell on his face and reinjured his Achilles.”

Peters will require a second surgery now that will delay his recovery another three weeks. And considering the fact that the five-time Pro Bowler plans on suing the Roll-A-Bout manufacturer, Peters doesn’t appear to be one of those guys that can laugh at himself when he busts his ass.

The question now is whether or not Peters has a case. According to the Roll-A-Bout website, a majority of their models support up to 500 pounds. But is it possible that Peters is penny-pinching his new contract and decided to go with the RA-250 Standard Model instead?

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-- Courtesy of Rock Stewart / Getty --

With Dale Hunter’s recent resignation as coach of the Washington Capitals, fans are left in limbo as to what comes next for the team.

After firing the talkative and offense-oriented Bruce Boudreau, the Caps hired the tight-lipped former defenseman Hunter, dishing out a drastic change for a team that bolstered league big-shots like Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom. Although the regular season wasn’t necessarily as flashy on paper with Hunter leading the way, the Capitals did show a newfound resilience and toughness come playoff time.

Despite that feel good story, the Capitals were bounced in the seventh game of the second round and are now without a coach, as Hunter thought more of his time in London, Ontario coaching his minor league team and running a family business.

And that’s no cut on Hunter. He came to Washington as a favor to the team that employed him for the majority of his professional career. He performed well and seemingly helped changed the culture and attitude of the team for the better. But what will general manager George McPhee do moving forward?

The consensus amongst fans seems to be retaining a Hunter-like style of Capitals hockey, displaying teamwork and a willingness on defense. What the front office believes is best for the business (aka ticket sales) could be something completely different. No one will know the true direction of the Capitals until the next coach is hired.

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Perhaps I’m still a little bitter that the Caps were bounced from the playoffs by none other than the New York Rangers, but I don’t even think Rangers fans would argue that their head coach John Tortorella is a huge asshole.

Not to be misinterpreted, Tortorella appears to be a good hockey coach. But, man, what a jerk. Here’s a clip of his postgame press conference following his team’s Game 2 loss in the Eastern Conference finals. Mind you, these are normal for Torty.

 

TSR Volume 5: Cole Hamels Is Stupid, Retain Love for Joel and Peterson Could Be a Cheater

-- Joel Ward, Washington Capitals --

Cole Hamels is an idiot. Alert the media.

Following Sunday night’s game in which Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels nailed Washington rookie Bryce Harper in the lower back, the one-time World Series MVP displayed very little intelligence in his attempted supporting argument for the move.

“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.” (via Chicago Sun Times)

Continuing on with baseless objective, Hamels portrays his scewed interpretation of America’s Greatest Pastime.

“That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it,” Hamels said. “I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is. But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball.”

Someone tell Cole Hamels that baseball is baseball. If you really want to act like a hard ass, charge the frickin’ plate with flailing arms and punch the batter in the face while feeding a roadhouse kick to the homeplate umpire’s mandible.

Hamels was ultimately suspended for a meaningless five games, in addition to receiving the threatening wrath of Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.

“Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough,” Rizzo told the Washington Post. “He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”

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Back in December, Washington D.C. native Lamont Peterson shocked the world when he defeated reigning champion Amir Khan for control of the WPF super lightweight and IBF junior welterweight championship belts.

Despite a questionable panel of judging, you won’t hear anything out of me when it involves a hometown athlete making national media headlines. Peterson went the distance, handled his own and even knocked Khan around a bit.

Nonetheless, just two weeks away from his scheduled rematch with Khan at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Lamont Peterson has reportedly failed a drug test. The drug in question is synthetic testosterone.

If the gaming commission deems these test results accurate, Peterson’s title defense goes into immediate question, as does the integrity of the first bout.

According to the Washington Post, Peterson had requested the testing himself — actually calling for Olympic-style testing with the inclusion of blood samples rather than the typical urine-based testing.

Although it may be in large part because of my hometown bias, I can’t imagine Peterson ingesting a questionable substance to get ready for a fight. Not only has his name never been thrown around with the likes of banned substances before, but Peterson was the guy that demanded the more intensive and legitimate testing in the first place.

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Don’t get down on Capitals winger Joel Ward.

Although his high sticking double-minor with less than 30 seconds to go in Game 5 against the Rangers was enough to form excuses and blame, Washington fans should remember that it was Ward’s overtime game-winner in Game 7 against the Bruins last round that even has the Capitals currently in contention.

Let’s also not forget, that even if he isn’t taking shots on goal, Joel Ward is playing very good hockey in the 2012 NHL playoffs.

If you want to love his goal last round, then you can’t hate his Game 5 mishap. And if you hate his gift to the Rangers in Game 5, don’t love last round’s overtime goal so much.

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As a big supporter of Albert Pujols, it’s really tough to say. But, man, Fat Albert still sucks.

Not in general, of course. From a professional career standpoint, Pujols is a lock for Cooperstown. But in terms of April 2012, I don’t think Pujols could have started any worse than what he has with his new Los Angeles Angels team.

Through 117 at-bats this season, the three-time National League MVP is hitting just .197 with a total of 23 hits.

Until just last week (May 6), Pujols didn’t have a single homerun. He’s still at one on the year. That doesn’t bode well for a six-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

I don’t doubt that Pujols will eventually remove himself from his current funk, but I pray to Babe and Lou that they can help Albert get out of it sooner rather than later.

 

TSR Volume 4: Egotistical Armageddon, the Secret Service and Goodell’s Iron Fist

-- Courtesy of StarPulse --

It’s not as if I expect to have some cult-like following for my latest column of the site, but I’ll apologize anyway for the extended break away from The Shame Report.

Every April — in addition to thanking my mother for giving birth to me — I anticipate and prepare for the NFL Draft.

Starting around August of every year, I start to scout college football players. Somewhere around the end of September, I begin to produce mock drafts — knowing damn well that’s it’s way too early for that kind of stuff. And once the NFL season comes to a close in February, it’s tons and tons of college game tape until the week of the draft.

At any rate, I’m not making excuses. I’m one of those weirdo draft nerds and I get caught up in it. While doing so, I seem to have missed a lot of shameful and report-worthy stuff. Thanks for reading.

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There are some that believe in the Mayan calendar, while others claim to have seen aliens or robots. Some think the world will fall under the storm of a meteor shower, and others will argue the guarantee of an eventual Holy War.

Personally, I think the world comes to an end in a matter of weeks.

With the newest relationship going on between hip-hop hiccup Kanye West and the very untalented Kim Kardashian, it’s only a matter of time before the planet and its people fall victim to a global explosion brought on solely by too much ego.

On one side, you have the very rude and disrespectful West — extremely talented in the world of music, but unfortunately attempting his hand at everything else.

On the other side, you have Kardashian — a celebrity starlet that would be absolutely nothing if it weren’t for O.J. Simpson and Ray-J. (Could there be two worse names to base your success and fame on? Seriously.) 

Forget the point that I’m trying to make. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m trying to say either. Just recognize that the relationship between these two egotistical maniacs is not good for America. Or the world.

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Although I wouldn’t expect anyone outside of the sport world/blogosphere to recognize the name ‘Sarah Phillips’, I also wouldn’t be surprised if people within that world had heard the name and still had no idea what it meant or who it was.

Seeing as how Deadspin does a fantastic job of breaking down exactly what’s going on with Phillips and the possibility that ESPN hired a freelance scam artist, I won’t even begin to waste your time here. I will encourage you to read that article, though.

It doesn’t mean a whole lot. It’s nothing more than an entertainment piece. But somewhere out there, there’s a basement-dwelling wannabe movie producer chomping at the bit and proclaiming, “…this is it.”

At the very least, the ‘Sarah Phillips Scandal’ created an array of Twitter attention that was nothing shy of hilarious. Huffington Post was kind enough to provide a slideshow of the top-30 response tweets. Enjoy.

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The nation’s Secret Service division sure is getting all the attention, huh?

Head down to Colombia, have a few drinks and attempt to buy a few rounds of sex and suddenly you’re the antichrist.

It’s not that I agree with or support the fact that one of our nation’s top security teams was running around with prostitutes. It’s the fact that the media and select Americans are blowing it up so much.

In case you didn’t know, let me be the first to tell you that this specific incident isn’t the Secret Service’s first rodeo when it comes to foreign escorts. It’s just the first time the Secret Service has been caught.

In the world of politics – which includes lying, cheating and stealing — does this thing really matter in terms of national security? It wasn’t that long ago that the President of the United States was receiving fellatio right in the Oval Office of the White House. And that guy turned out to be one of the most beloved Presidents of our time.

Don’t get me wrong, adultery is stupid and families are destroyed from it, but that’s a personal issue for those involved, not the media. And if the men who were attempting to buy sex or lap dances or whatever weren’t effectively doing their job, then of course they deserve to be dismissed from the department.

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With ‘Bounty Gate’ still hanging around the National Football League, and commissioner Roger Goodell continuing to pull off his best impression of Joseph Stalin, unnecessary penalties and/or fines on all players involved were bound to happen.

On Monday, the NFL announced that four players would be suspended — most notably Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season and without pay.

Assuming that Goodell goes back and watches Vilma’s games, how in the hell does the dictator gauge or measure a tackler’s intent?

Imagine Goodell watching a replay of the Saints/Vikings game and Vilma lays out a massive hit — as most linebackers try to do every snap. And because the hit looked ‘gnarly’, Goodell uses his magical powers to reveal that Vilma did in fact possess malicious intent at the time of the tackle and that he had nothing more on his mind than inflicting harm on the opposition.

Say what?

At the end of the day, it’s Vilma’s word against Goodell’s. If you ask Goodell, he’ll say Vilma was a heat-seeking missle with bad intentions. If you ask Vilma, he’ll say he was making a tackle and playing his aggressive style of football. Who in the hell decides what’s going on inside the head of another man?

The tyrant with the iron fist strikes again.

 

TSR Volume 3: The Sandman of Golf’s Biggest Event and a Castro Supporter

-- Courtesy of Getty Images --

The Shame Report is a weekly chronicle that attempts to call out dastardly and embarrassing figures/groups for their unfortunate failures and miscues from the week that was. It’s also my most obvious and pathetic shot at being humorous on the entire site. Let’s try and play nice.

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For golf fans, The Masters is a sacred event. If the NFL has the Super Bowl and college hoops has the Final Four, earning a green jacket at Augusta National in the world of golf is the holy grail.

Following The Masters two weeks ago, one crazed golf fan apparently didn’t have enough. That crazed fan was 40-year-old Clayton Baker of Ohio, who had been reportedly “drinking heavily at the time of the incident”.

After the tournament had ended, Baker slipped under the ropes and made a run for one of the legendary course’s sand traps. Attempting to fill a cup full of sacred sand, Baker was quickly spotted. Unfortunately for course officials, Baker reportedly led security on a “short foot chase” and was ultimately “unsuccessful at getting any of the sand in his cup”.

Baker was charged with disorderly conduct and looks completely hammered in his mug shot.

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If you’re at all familiar with Major League Baseball, then you’re also familiar with Ozzie Guillen and his ridiculous antics over the years.

Aside from being a fiery player-turned-manager, Guillen is famous for being outspoken and possessing loose lips. Rarely apologizing for his comments, Guillen has earned the reputation of a guy that “keeps it real”.

As the new manager of a Miami Marlins franchise that is attempting to change its entire culture with a new stadium, new players and new goals, Guillen has a lot to prove in South Beach. That’s not to say that Guillen isn’t the guy to do it, but the position comes with huge responsibility.

Not even ten games into the season and Guillen is already making it hard on himself, and the Marlins.

In an interview with Time magazine, Guillen expressed his admiration for retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro — noting that he “loves” Castro and respects him. And for those unfamiliar with American history, Castro isn’t exactly a beloved figure.

Not only is this a huge no-no in general, but it’s even a bigger problem in Miami — where a highly-concentrated population of Cuban-Americans make their homes.


Despite heavy arguments for Guillen to lose his job as manager of the Miami Marlins, he was suspended for just five games and will likely face a demanding uphill battle to regain the confidence of fans — something that may never happen at all.

The Marlins have sunk a ton of money into players thjs past offseason, as well as a state-of-the-art stadium that needs to be paid for in a timely fashion. With a manager like Guillen that backs Communist leaders, Miami’s new ballpark and baseball product could turn to rubbish very quickly.

As sad as it may be, this is simply a case of Ozzie being Ozzie.

 

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