Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Breaking News: What's going on today

All kinds of developing stories going on in the worlds of sports & entertainment. Let's take a look:

- Bobby Knight in the news for striking a player, againThe mercurial Texas Tech coach has done it again. He put his hands on another student-athlete, this time pushing Red Raider forward Michael Prince under the chin to direct him to look in his eyes during their victory over Gardner Webb last night. Of course the story is spreading over the Internet and talk shows like wildfire, because a coach touched a player, and because that coach was Bobby Knight. Knight has had a history of disturbing incidents- chair throwing, using a whip on a black player, kicking the chair of his son & former player, Pat, and grabbing a player by the throat in practice- which has made this story even bigger than it normally would have been had it involved another coach. For all the hoopla, though, many people including Prince, his parents, fellow athletes & coaches, an analysts like ESPN's Jay Bilas, have said that the incident was not noteworthy and that Knight was merely trying to get the attention of his player in order to give him words of encouragement. Yeah, and I got a nice piece of land down in Alligator Alley that is just prime real estate for a condo unit. Look if no one is blaming or accusing Knight of wrongdoing, then drop the story & move on. Because as long as this guy is coaching these incidents are going to happen. And as long as people keep enabling it to happen, Knight is going to oblige them.

-Noles O coordinator Jeff Bowden to step down at season's end
The web site can come to a crashing halt now- firejeffbowden.com- because the posters have gotten their wish. Son of Bobby is not being fired, but he is resigning at the end of the season amid all the ridicule & abuse he and his dad have taken over the sudden demise of the Seminoles offense. The months of protesting, posting & complaining culminated with last Saturday's humiliating 30-0 home loss to Wake Forest. It was the first time FSU had been shut out since 1988 and first time at home in the Bowden Era. The questions all year and going back to last year always started with Jeff and the (poor) job he has done since taking over the reigns of the offense in 2001 from now Georgia head coach Mark Richt. It was starting to take its toll on the elder Bowden and it would seem to be out of respect for his dad that the son ultimately agreed to step down. papa has always stated that he would not bow to the pressure and fire someone just 'cause the general public wanted him to. But with the program spiraling into oblivion and the offense not good enough to defeat Largo High, the timing was right to change the leadership of what was once one of the most feared offenses in the country.

-Randy Moss says lack of happiness has affected his play
In a report that should surprise absolutely no one Raiders WR and perennial malcontent Randy Moss admits that his disenchantment with the Oakland organization and the team's malaise has led to his poor performance on the field. Moss stated at a press conference yesterday "Maybe because I'm unhappy, and I'm not too much excited about what's going on, so my concentration and focus level tends to go down when I'm in a bad mood," Moss said. "So all I can say is if you put me in a good situation and make me happy, man, you get good results." Translated: this place sucks, the team sucks, I hate the coach and all my teammates, so I'm going into full blown Derek Bell Operation Shutdown mode until either A.) I get traded outta here or B.) the season ends and I can go raise my pit bulls and let my cornrows grow out really long like my idol Snoop. This guy is just a smaller version of that pain in the ass T.O.D., but without nearly the same production as Owens (33 catches, 455yds, 3TDs) he will fade into the darkness much quicker. Good riddance, Randy. Maybe you can pick up basketball again to fill the void left by Latrell Sprewell's exit from the NBA.

-While the Sox look to the future, Pats dig into the past
The Red Sox will find out at 8PM this evening weather they have won the rights to negotiate with Japanese starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. It has been reported that the Boston offer was $42 million American, the largest bid among at least 5 interested teams. Contrary to published reports the Sox did not place the ginormous bid just to prevent the Stanks from signing the 26-year-old fireballing righty but to make Matsuzaka a front-of the rotation horse to combine with Beckett & Papelbon as the backbone of the future of the starting rotation. Let's just hope so.
Meanwhile the Patriots, still reeling from their loss to former assistant Coach Eric Mangini & his Jets on Sunday, dug into the scrap heap and pulled out former Jet (and Buc) quarterback, 72-year-old Vinny Testeverde. You read that right. Vinny is going to be a veteran insurance policy should Brady miss action, since the only backup on the squad is untested youngster Matt Cassel. I've heard of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", but not "if you can't beat 'em, sign their rusty old starting QB who was washed up 5 years ago." Interesting strategy by the Hooded Genius; couldn't he have just shaken Mangini's hand and taken him out for a Sam Adams instead?

Also the Pats plan to rip out (more like scrape off) that horrendous turf they have on the field at Gillette Stadium and replace it with shiny new FieldTurf synthetic grass before their next home game on November 26th against the Bears. Smart move. The field resembled a flooded sandbox last Sunday and was not conducive to getting the running game going, which might explain why the Genius decided to run the ball only 11 times in the second half vs. New York. No such excuses when Chicago comes to town, as the Giant Razor blade will have a brand new adjustable head for a nice, smooth game.

- Emmitt or Mario? The world decides tonight. I've caught some flack from my buddies (ahem, Butchie) for reporting on Dancing With the Stars on this sports-centric site. First of all, it reads "sports & entertainment" on the header, and DWTS is most certainly entertaining. Second, Emmitt Smith is one of the greatest football players ever, a legendary Cowboy running back who hold the all-time NFL record for yardage and won 3 Super Bowls in the mid-'90s. Third, my wife and son get so hyped for this show they are saying "I can't wait til next week" the minute that weeks' show is over. So it's kind of hard to escape the mania in my house. And finally, Butch, c'mon have you actually watched an episode? it's got all the elements of sports- judges, winners & losers, fierce competitors and scantily clad women (hey, even football has cheerleaders.) Throw in some dancing, three goofy judges and contrasting hosts (Tom the Witty Cornball Bergeron & dim-witted hottie Samantha Harris) and what you got is some seriously entertaining & dramatic television.

Little Joey Lawrence got the boot last week, whittling it down to the final pair: Emmitt Smith and his exotic, bronzed partner Cheryl, who already rode Drew Lachey to victory last year and is now attempting to "ride, Emmitt, ride" into another type of championship; and Mario Saved by My Dimples Lopez, the fan favorite and clear cut leader going into the finals. His Russian beauty of a partner, Karina, has all the talent that brought him this far, and she wants to make sure these two make it all the way (too late, wink wink.)

Okay who cares, have you got a load of those dresses? They're a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen, and I aim to be watching when it does.

Go, Emmitt.

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