Thursday, January 31, 2013

PETA writes letter to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in effort to place message on hood of his car


Hendrick Motorsports has yet to find a company willing to pay for hood space on the No. 88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. So, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has decided to try and weasel their way into some free advertising.

The following is a letter written by Michelle Cho, PETA's associate director.
Dear Dale, 
I hope this message finds you well. You can count all of us here at PETA—the world's largest animal protection organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters—among your many fans who will be cheering you on this racing season. 
I'm writing today after reading that sponsorship this season is at a low because I hope that you'll consider using the available space on your beautiful car as an opportunity to spread a lifesaving spay-and-neuter message that would spare countless dogs and cats in your home state tremendous suffering. 

Video: Electronic Arts releases Ray Lewis pregame Super Bowl speech



Sunday will mark the final game of the career of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. It's sure to include his signature dance as well as his traditional pregame pep talk. With that in mind, Electronic Arts released the following video on Thursday ahead of the Super Bowl.

Lewis is vying for his second Super Bowl ring.

Via Darren Rovell (Twitter)

Man pleads guilty after swindling $2.3 million from Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney


Have you ever been hesitant to allow someone else to manage your money? For instance, a financial advisor?

It's safe to assume Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney will be from now on after being the victim of fraud by his money advisor. His trusted partner allegedly swindled about $2.3 million from Freeney over time.

From the Indy Star:
A Florida man has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in a Los Angeles courtroom in connection with swindling about $2.3 million from Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney.

Michael Stern of Miami entered his plea Monday to a single count. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s scheduled to be sentenced May 6.

Retired Cubs first basemen Mark Grace pleads guilty to DUI


Retired MLB first basemen Mark Grace avoided a lengthy prison sentence by pleading guilty to DUI and endangerment on Thursday.

The judge imposed Grace to serve four months in work-release jail time and remain under supervised probation for three years. Also, an interlock device must be installed in Grace's vehicle for at least six months and Grace will need permission to travel anywhere outside the state borders.

His work-release time is slated to begin Feb. 10.

From AZ Central:
Grace pleaded not guilty in October to four aggravated DUI charges. His August DUI arrest was his second in Scottsdale in 15 months.

Grace faced from one to 3.75 years in prison on each count, Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, said recently.

Vijay Singh pulls out of Phoenix Open a day after admitting to using a banned substance


A day after admitting that he used a banned substance in the form of deer-antler spray, Vijay Singh withdrew from the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday.

The 49-year old cited a back ailment as reason for pulling out before the start of the tournament.

Singh reportedly used the same banned substance as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis used the deer-antler substance to help recover from a torn triceps muscle. The spray contains a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone (HGH).

“I am absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position,” Singh said in a statement on Wednesday.

His admitted drug use violates the U.S. PGA Tour's anti-doping policy.

Singh has won three major championships during his professional career.

Via AZCentral

Photo: Nike unveils Super Bowl uniforms

Jersey_original_crop_exact 

Nike, the official supplier of NFL jerseys, unveiled the uniforms in which the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will be wearing during the Super Bowl.

They are called NFL Nike Elite 51, and the company boasts them as the most innovative of all-time.

These revolutionary uniforms are engineered and purposefully constructed with every element built for speed. From head-to-toe and inside-out, the uniform components are constructed to work in concert with each other—from the jersey, pant, baselayer and padding all the way down to the the sock and cleat.

Via Nike

Report: Dan Marino fathered a child with co-worker, paid her millions to keep quiet


According to a report by the New York Post, retired NFL quarterback Dan Marino fathered a love child wih a former CBS production assistant in 2005. He then paid her millions to keep quiet about the child as part of a confidentiality agreement.

The married gridiron great — a pregame analyst for CBS since 2003 who will be doing this Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast — sired a love child with a network underling and then paid her millions to keep quiet, sources have exclusively told The Post.

The ex-Miami Dolphin QB — who has long had an image as one of pro sports’ most squeaky-clean guys — knocked up Donna Savattere, a then-35-year-old production assistant at CBS Sports’ Manhattan studio.


Marino released the following statement on the matter:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Photo: Plaxico Burress is hosting a Super Bowl party

plaxico burress super bowl party
 
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress is throwing a Super Bowl bash.
 
You may remember Burress as the guy who caught the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII, which propelled the Giants to an improbable 17-14 victory over the heavily-favored Patriots.
 
Still, others may remember the 35-year old as the guy who accidentally shot himself in the thigh in November 2008 at a New York City nightclub.
 
Well, this is your chance to make your own memory with the NFL veteran.
It all goes down on Feb. 3 in Miami.
 

Colin Kaepernick gets free Red Robin for life if 49ers win Super Bowl

Red robin

This is an ad which will run in the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday.

Forget the potential of being a Super Bowl champion. Forget the prospect of earning a ring. Free Red Robin for the rest of his time on Earth is the main prize Kaepernick is now playing for on Sunday.

Via Darren Rovell (Twitter)

Ravens cheerleader claims team not sending her to Super Bowl because she is retiring


The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are slated to appear in the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz will not be one of those in attendance.

Lenz, a five-year veteran, alleges that the team did not extend an invitation to her because she is retiring at season's end.

From ABC News:

"I wouldn't even have reached out and let fans know if I didn't think it was clearly wrong," Lenz told ABCNews.com. "I'm just devastated by the whole situation. This was very unexpected… I didn't even think there would be a chance of me not going with being a five-year veteran."

Lenz began cheering for the Ravens when she was a freshman in college at 18. After she finished school and found a full time marketing job, she found it difficult to continue to fit cheering into her schedule and announced her retirement earlier this month.

Video: Division-II basketball player executes between the legs dunk



Justin Glover is a senior for the Winston-Salem State basketball squad. The school, located in the state of North Carolina, is a member of the NCAA D-II ranks.

During a game against Johnson C. Smith on Tuesday, the 6-foot-3 guard pulled off an amazing dunk in which he goes between the legs while in flight.

Impressive? You bet.

Via The Big Lead

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Video: Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson throws piece of ice into crowd



Ole Miss isn't exactly known as being a basketball powerhouse. Kentucky, on the other hand, is.

Nevertheless, the two teams hooked up on Tuesday for an SEC battle in Oxford. About seven minutes into the game, a bizarre spectacle unfolded.

A Rebels fan from the student section decided to express his displeasure over a foul call by tossing a chunk of ice on the floor. The weird thing is, the call actually went in favor of Ole Miss. Maybe the folks in the crowd need a quick crash course on hand signals used by refeeres to signal a foul? After all, basketball is just a way to pass time for Southerners until spring football rolls around.

Anyways, Rebels guard Marshall Henderson then proceeded to dispose of the ice by winding up and sending a fastball right back where it came from. Why he would attempt to alienate the very fans who are cheering for him defies logic.

Bizarre.

Via The Big Lead

Video: Denver mayor does Ray Lewis dance



Michael Hancock, the mayor of Denver, finally lived up to his end of the bargain on Tuesday.

Hancock lost a bet with Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake when the Broncos lost in double-overtime to the Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round. He was then forced to perform the famous pre-game dance of Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis.

However, his first attempt at fulfilling his promise was derailed by an injury while stretching.

Apparently, he has finally recovered.

Via Deadspin

Monday, January 28, 2013

Photo: Chris Bosh photo bombs Heat teammates at the White House



Despite being an unofficial member of the "Big Three", Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh often finds himself being overshadowed by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. After all, both James and Wade are virtual locks for the Hall of Fame one day, and so is Bosh, if you ask him.

In celebration of their NBA title last year, members of the Heat were invited to the White House for a tour and congratulatory speech by President Obama. During the visit, Bosh made sure everyone will remember that he was among the guys who was there after photo bombing this above photo.

It seems there is no place off limits for such shenanigans for Bosh. Not even the country's most prestigious "house".

Via The Score

Mother of Jay Cutler's child doesn't want their son to play football


Kristen Callari, the fiancee of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, said that she doesn't want her 5-month old son to play football, unlike his father. She cites safety concerns as the main reason.

"I will try to steer Cam in a different direction, maybe a sport that isn't so aggressive," Cavallari told DNAinfo.com Chicago. "Maybe baseball -- something where he doesn't have to get hit."

Of course, doesn't every mother believe this sort of logic?

Her worries could be justified, though. Cutler has suffered multiple concussions in the last two season which have caused him to miss game time.

"At the end of the day, I think if he wants to play football, I don't know if I'm gonna have too much control over it," said Cavallari. "You know, how can your dad be a football player and you tell them that they can't do it?"

Cutler has previously stated that he would "absolutely" allow his son, Camden, to play football if he desires. This may cause a rift between the parents down the road, but they won't likely have to worry about the matter for a few more years, at least.

Via ESPN Chicago

Forbes tabs Manchester United as most valuable sports franchise


Manchester United's crest

Who is the most valuable sports franchise in the world? Take a guess. Did you guess the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, or Los Angeles Lakers? Because those three are all wrong.

According to a new report by Forbes Magazine, that title belongs to the Manchester United. They are currently worth $3.3 billion.

Shares of the English soccer team, which were offered to the public last August at $14, did poorly at first but have soared the past few days. Last seen at just under $17,  Manchester United’s stock has outperformed the S&P 500 since its IPO and made the controlling Glazer family and legendary investor George Soros,  who bought a big stake in the team shortly after it went public, wealthier.

In case you were wondering, the Cowboys are tied with the Yankees for being the third-most valuable team in the world. They are reportedly worth $2.1 billion.

Via Forbes

Glen Davis says he 'needs to shut up' regarding technical fouls



Orlando Magic big man Glen Davis has received a technical foul in four straight games heading into Monday's affair against the Brooklyn Nets. Davis now has a total of five on the season and could be on the hook for some fines and/or suspensions if the trend continues. Luckily, the opinionated Davis seems to have a plan to avoid getting into any further trouble.

“I’m not going to say ‘Hi,’ ” he pledged. “I’m not going to say, ‘How are you doing?’ I’m just going to come here and play. That’s it because it’s been messing up my game, messing up the flow of my game, and I’ve got to grow up.”

Davis believes his size (6-foot-9, 290 pounds) often leads to some chippy fouls being called on him. His aggressive playing style probably doesn't help his cause either.

“You can’t just think that I am stronger than everybody else,” he said. “If people foul you, they foul you. You know what I mean? Yeah, I don’t jump high. I go straight to the rim. But I’m not going to complain if there’s not a foul. The refs know that. But I’ve got to blend in with the game and let them do what they need to do. So I just need to shut up.”

"Big Baby", as he is known around the league, is averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.

Via Orlando Sentinel

Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis cried when Tennessee failed to offer him a scholarship


Hey, in case you didn't know, the biggest football game of the year is set to go down on Sunday. Naturally, it creates a lot of media attention. This is a time where old stories are uncovered and brought to the spotlight. With that being said, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis recently shared an interesting story from his recruiting process.

He told The Tennessean on Sunday that he literally cried when the University of Tennessee failed to offer him a scholarship coming out of high school. The Bruceton, Tenn. native eventually landed at Ole Miss where he became an All-American.

“Yes I did. I was a Vols fan growing up. That was like America’s Team. I wanted to go there so bad. After every (high school) game my dad and I would get in the car and drive five hours to go to Knoxville to watch them play on an unofficial visit. This was on our gas money and our time. I just wanted to show them how bad I wanted to be there,” Willis said.

Photo: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James pose with Bill Clinton portrait


The Miami Heat won the NBA title in 2012. Because of this fact, members of the Heat were honored Monday at the White House by President Obama.

Two of those players, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who played an instrumental role in the Heat's championship run, stopped for a quick photo beside a portrait of former
president Bill Clinton.

James later posted that photo on his Instagram for the whole world to see.

James and Wade were both navigating through their respective childhood during Clinton's reign as Commander in Chief. Now, it's the dynamic duo who rule the world. Well, the basketball world at least.

Via Instagram 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard doesn't believe NFL will exist in 30 years


The National Football League is arguably the strongest professional sports league in North America. This holds true from both financial and popularity standpoints. However, one current NFL player doesn't believe the league will be around 30 years from now.

That aforementioned player is Baltimore Ravens saftey Bernard Pollard. He cites player-safety concerns and long-term side effects from the physical aspect of the game as his main reasons for justification.

Here's what he had to say to CBS Sports' Clark Judge on the matter:
“Thirty years from now,” Pollard said, “I don’t think it will be in existence. I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where they [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.” [...]

Former Steelers star Hines Ward to play zombie in 'Walking Dead' episode



Retired NFL player Hines Ward is ready for a resurrection, but it's probably not the kind you are thinking of. No, the former Pittsburgh Steeler isn't planning a comeback to football. He is scheduled to appear in the Feb. 10 episode of "The Walking Dead", instead.

"It was an amazing experience," said Mr. Ward, who will be a zombie extra when AMC's hit series "The Walking Dead" returns to haunt Sunday nights in a couple of weeks.

"Just being in makeup preparing me for my role was cool. I actually scared myself when I looked in the mirror for the first time after."

Ward currently works as a sports commentator for NBC. The 36-year old initially became interested in playing a part on the show after a former teammate at the University of Georgia played a character in past episodes.

"A former Georgia teammate of mine is one of the stars of the show, and my agent thought it would be something fun and different for me to do," Ward said.

Frank Thomas doesn't feel bad for steroid users who are being shut out of Hall of Fame


Former MLB slugger Frank Thomas feels pretty good about his Hall of Fame chances when his name appears on the ballot for the first time next year. Thomas is among the many players during the Steroid Era who boasted big power numbers, and some of those players are believed to have been aided by performance-enhancing drugs. However, Thomas claims his numbers are legitimate.

"Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me much more proud of my career," he said. "I competed in that era. I played at a high level in that era. There are a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent I was the real deal."

No candidate considered for induction into the Hall of Fame on this year's ballot garnered the needed 75 percent of the vote needed for election. This includes alleged steroid-users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa, who all appeared on the ballot for the first time. Mark McGwire, another alleged steroid-user, failed to gain election in his seventh year of eligibility as well.

Video: Saturday Night Live does skit about Ray Lewis



The fine folks at Saturday Night Live decided to take advantage of the last episode leading up to the Super Bowl.

SNL star Kenan Thompson portrayed Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in this 3-minute clip from late Saturday.

Thompson joined Seth Meyers in the Weekend Update portion of the broadcast and came fully equipped with face-paint, a No. 52 Ravens jersey, and of course, a lot of emotional speech.

The best part of the interview is when Lewis, err I mean Thompson, says he plans to kneel down at the 50-yard line at the Superdome and ascend into heaven if the Ravens win the Super Bowl.

Wouldn't that be a sight to see?

This will be the final game of Lewis' colorful and somewhat controversial career. He publicly announced before the playoffs his plans to retire at the end of Baltimore's season.

Via USA TODAY


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Video: C.J. Leslie posterizes North Carolina defender



N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie is having an outstanding season with the Wolfpack. The junior is averaging 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to help lead State to a No. 18 national ranking. He has developed into one of the better all-around players in the country and he proved that again on Saturday against the rival Tar Heels.

Leading 25-18 with just over six minutes to go in the first half, Leslie threw down a monster one-handed dunk over North Carolina's Jackson Simmons.

Leslie was fouled on the play and went on to convert the three-point play.

His team was able to cruise to an easy 91-83 victory after racing out to a 19-point halftime lead.

The All-America candidate finished with a double-double after pouring in 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Chris Bosh says he is a 'lock' for Hall of Fame


While Dwyane Wade and LeBron James receive most of the headlines for the Miami Heat, there is one player who often gets overlooked: Chris Bosh.

The Heat big man is headed to his eighth career NBA All-Star Game next month and already has an NBA Championship under his belt. He boasts a career average of 19.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, which includes 17.2 PPG and 7.2 rebounds during this season.

Are those credentials enough to get Bosh into the National Basketball Hall of Fame?

“Hell, yeah, of course. I’ve been a Hall of Famer like four years ago,” Bosh told Fox Sports Florida. “And I say that very serious, though. I’ve talked about it before with my friends.”

Well, there you go, straight from the man himself. The 28-year old certainly doesn't lack confidence.

Bible containing 31 signatures from 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates discovered in Sacramento

6M26BIBLE

A Bible signed by 30 players from the 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates, and manager Fred Haney, was recently discovered in California.

The historic book was among the many items donated to the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library last year. However, it took until one week ago for Joanne Murphy, a book repairer, to open it up and peek inside.

The first page of the Bible included 31 different signatures along with "Pirates 1953" written across the top in blue ink.

"The Bible had been sitting in my shop for months waiting to get repaired," said Murphy, 65. "No one wanted it."

It turns out the Bible was signed and given to their general manager Branch Rickey, who is best known for signing Jackie Robinson, and thus helping pave the way for Robinson to break the color barrier.

The funny thing is, though, none of the five former players reached by The Sacramento Bee recalled even signing it.

J.J. Redick: 'A happy wife is a happy life' after attending Justin Bieber concert



For those of you who may not be aware, Justin Bieber held a concert at the Amway Center in Orlando on Friday night. And one of the folks in attendance included Magic guard J.J. Redick.

So, why was Redick spending a coveted off-night on the weeknd at a pop concert? Because his wife, Chelsea, roped him into it, of course.

“A happy wife is a happy life,” J.J. said.

“I have a general rule that if I have an off-day during the season that I owe it to her to do what she wants unless it’s harmful to my well-being. Her and her friends wanted to go."

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Redick admitted that he isn't a fan of the Biebs. He prefers to jam out to indie rock, instead. However, that didn't stop him from going.

Steve Spurrier gives reporters $100 for answering trivia question



South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier held a makeshift meeting with reporters on Saturday. It came in the tunnel at Colonial Life Arena during halftime of the basketball game between South Carolina and Arkansas. He shared some news, nuggets, and tidbits on the football program. Oh, and a trivia question as well!

From The Post & Courier:

“I came across a certain statistical trivia that I wanted to ask you guys today. How many teams in the BCS conferences have won 11 or more the last two years? I’ve got a bonus for you if anybody knows the answer.”

Two reporters correctly answered South Carolina, Alabama, Stanford and Oregon. That’s right, Spurrier told them.

“For South Carolina to be in the same neighborhood as Oregon, Stanford, Alabama … that’s sort of neat,” he said. “Somebody gave me that statistic today, so I thought you guys would want to know that. Next time, y’all do some of that work.”

Video; Halldor Helgason suffers concussion after huge crash in Winter X Games



One snowboarder took quite a tumble during Friday's Big Air final in the 2013 Winter X Games.

Iceland's Halldor Helgason sustained a concussion after this nasty crash. The 22-year-old failed in his attempt to complete a triple backflip on an 80-foot jump in the Big Air challenge, which sent him slamming into the snow and hitting his head on the ice.

The good news is that Helgason regained consciousness shortly after the fall and was able to communicate with medical personnel.

He was admitted to Aspen Valley Hospital for further evaluation.

Via Bleacher Report

Friday, January 25, 2013

Video: Miami Heat fan gets tackled by LeBron James after hitting half-court shot


What a glorious night it was for one Miami Heat fan in particular on Friday.

Not only did he get to witness his team clobber the visiting Detroit Pistons, 110-88. But he also won $75,000 after sinking a half-court heave via hook shot.

Oh, and the lucky guy was also joined in celebration by LeBron James, who virtually tackled the guy immediately after the fan drilled the impossible shot attempt.

Yeah, not a bad Friday at all.

Via SB Nation

Video: Fake Manti Te'o stars in fake eHarmony promo



It was only a matter of time before a fake online dating commercial featuring Manti Te'o popped up. Well, here it is, courtesy of the fine folks over at Funny or Die.

Seen here is Te'o oozing over his wonderful relationship with girlfriend Lennay Kekua. In real life, the two met on Twitter. But in this version of the story, the happy couple met up on eHarmony. Hey, why not?

Te'o can be seen giving his beloved lady kisses, flowers, and of course, plenty of praise for her undying love.

It almost sounds good to be true, eh?

Via Funny or Die

Nationals set to introduce fifth member to Presidents' Race


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On Saturday, the Washington Nationals will officially introduce William Howard Taft, our country's 27th President, as the fifth member of their infamous Presidents' Race.

He will join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt in the exclusive fleet-footed club.

The Nationals considered many presidential options, but Taft made the most sense due to his connection to baseball. Taft is credited with having thrown the first ceremonial pitch in history after tossing one in 1910. He is also the unofficial creator of the seventh-inning stretch.

Roosevelt was said to have played a major role in the decision to tab Taft as the newest member of the race.

“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer said late Friday. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”

Roosevelt made news headlines everywhere when he secured his first-ever victory during the 2012 season. He had previously gone winless in more than 500 attempts since the race's inception in 2006.

Former NFL kicker charged with running a Ponzi scheme, again



Former NFL placekicker Russell Erxleben was arrested on Thursday and charged with operating an illegal investment fund. The 56-year old is charged with running a Ponzi scheme which netted over $2 million.

From the Associated Press:

According to a federal indictment, the 56-year-old Erxleben scammed investors from 2005 to 2009 with fraudulent deals that promoted dealing in post-World War I German government bonds and a work of art purportedly by French painter Paul Gauguin.

According to the indictment, Erxleben used the investments to pay himself and previous investors. Erxleben was indicted on five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire and securities fraud charges, and up to 10 years on the money laundering charge.

He is being held in custody until his next scheduled court date on Jan. 28.

Report: Man alleged in Manti Te'o hoax to appear on Dr. Phil in first on-camera inverview



Move over, Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Phil has secured the first on-camera interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, according to TMZ. Tuiasosopo is the man allegedly behind the fake girlfriend hoax of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o.

Te'o recently went on Katie Couric's daytime television show to share his story on the bizarre scandal. Now, Tuiasosopo will reportedly share his.

Tuiasosopo sat down with Dr. Phil on Thursday to tape an interview which will air sometime next week during the daytime show. It will mark the first public statment from the suspect since the story broke.

It has been over 10 days since Deadspin first broke the silence on the hoax. New information has slowly been making its way out ever since. However, Tuiasosopo may help fill in the details when he tells his side of things next week.

One can only hope that this will all be settled by then. You know, for sake of curiosity.

Via Bleacher Report

Myrtle Beach Pelicans considering major re-branding change in wake of New Orleans Hornets decision




On Thursday, the NBA's New Orleans franchise announced a decision to change their name to the "Pelicans" from the "Hornets". The new name is set to take full effect at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

There is only one problem with this decision: the professional American sports world already has a team who uses the Pelicans moniker. That team is none other than the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League, which is the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

If you believe they are just going to sit still while New Orleans copies their brand name, you have another thing coming. Instead, the club is asking its fans to help re-create its image by including New Orleans-inspired themes. Myrtle Beach details their entire plan in the following press release. But for those who are just looking for the highlights, here you go.

- Fans will have the chance to select a new nickname. The possibilities include: Saints, Hornets, Jazz, Bayou Bengals, Ragin' Cajuns, and Voodoo. Any other current or former sports nicknames hailing from Louisiana are options, as well.

- If the fans choose to scrap the Pelicans name in favor of a New Orleans-themed one, the team will implement several new promotions and ballpark changes.

Video: Blake Griffin cocks back and throws down one-handed dunk



The Phoenix Suns scored a home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night by a tally of 93-88.

However, Blake Griffin provided this highlight reel slam midway through the second quarter when he took a pass and then proceeded to throw down a powerful one-handed dunk.

Griffin finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in the losing cause. The loss drops the Clippers to 32-12 while the win improved the Suns record to 15-28.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sign a petition on the White House website to help make Monday after Super Bowl a national holiday



Taxes, education, and other serious issues usually occupy the White House website. But a new one has emerged that may raise the attention (and support) of many red-blooded Americans. This is because there is a petition on the site which pushes for the government to declare the Monday after the Super Bowl as a national holiday.

Here's how the petition information reads:
In 2012, an estimated 111 million American citizens watched the Super Bowl, making it the most-viewed television broadcast in history and one of the largest location-independent gatherings of American people to date. 
We at 4for4.com Fantasy Football petition the Obama Administration to consider declaring the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday. By doing so, the Obama Administration can promote camaraderie among the American people, keep the streets safer for our children on Sunday night and Monday morning, promote a productive workplace when work resumes on Tuesday, and honor the most popular event in modern American culture.

Video: Johnny Manziel stars in trick shot compilation with Dude Perfect



Heisman winner Johnny Manziel has been making the rounds this offseason. He has been seen at various NBA basketball games, in a casino, and on a couple of late night talk shows. Now, the Texas A&M quarterback is starring in a trick shot compilation with the guys known as Dude Perfect.

They recreate the world's longest basketball shot and throw the pigskin around, among other amazing things. Check it out.

Sorry guys, Manziel's girlfriend, Sarah Savage, did not make an appearance in the clip.

Via The Big Lead

Cam Cameron is happy the Ravens fired him



The Baltimore Ravens made a decision to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in December. That decision has proved to be a good one, as the Ravens stand one win away from winning the Super Bowl.

Ironically, Cameron agrees.

"It was a brilliant move," Cameron said Wednesday. "Everyone on the team took a look in the mirror after that."

Added Cameron: "People were numb because they think you should run and hide. They think you're embarrassed. I've got nothing to be embarrassed about."

Cameron went on with business as usual the day after he was fired. He attended his son's high school basketball game later in the evening and received stares of pity when he walked into the gym. However, Cameron seems to be taking the high road in response to his dismissal.

Baltimore has averaged 406.2 yards per game since new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell took over for Cameron. This includes nearly 425 yards per game during their improbable playoff run.

Maybe Cameron is just playing nice, or maybe he is just trying not to burn a bridge, but he appears to be genuine in his expressed joy for Baltimore. Quite refreshing, indeed.

Via The New York Times

Danica Patrick and fellow driver dating?



Less than a month from filing divorce paperwork, has Danica Patrick already found her a new squeeze?

Fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fielded questions from the media on Thursday as part of the Roush Fenway Racing stop on a preseason tour. Most of those questions involved the possibility that he and Patrick are dating.

When he was asked whether or not he could confirm the rumor:

"We've got a great relationship. Obviously, it started when she came into the sport. We were both going to rookie meetings. It's been cool to work with her in the Nationwide Series. I've felt like she could come to me with advice with the experience I've had.

Patrick was unavailable for comment on Thursday. However, she did refer to him as a "good friend" during a media session on Monday. Nonetheless, Stenhouse continued to deflect the rumors.

"But, you know, I don't like to talk too much about my personal life. I think this week is about Roush Fenway, the Gen 6 (car), our sponsors and our season that we're looking ahead to. It's going to be fun racing her in rookie of the year. I think it's going to be very exciting. I've never raced a friend for a championship, for rookie of the year."

Cedric Benson allegedly allowed his dogs to run loose and attack livestock

Cedric Benson

Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson is set to appear in court next month after neighbors claimed his dogs viciously attacked their baby livestock.

The 30-year old Benson is also due in court for an unrelated incident involving speeding and driving without a license.

Charges filed by his neighbors allege that Benson's two Rottweilers bit 17 calves at their Manitowoc County farm. One member of the family claims that the dogs chewed the calves' legs so badly that they suffered possible tendon damage along with deep wounds.

A police report states that a veterinarian who examined the animals in December believes some of the calves may not live because of their injuries sustained in the incident.

Here is the rest of the story courtesy of the Green Bay Gazette:

Video: Baby boy crushes golf balls better than a young Tiger Woods



The next golf prodigy has been discovered thanks to YouTube.

Seen here is a 17-month old baby crushing plastic golf balls with his plastic club. His hand-eye coordination is absolutely incredible. And he is already a few months ahead of where Tiger Woods was at this age. We know how his professional golf career has turned out.

Could this little guy be the next star? Look at, Rory McIlroy.

Via The Big Lead

Report: Tuiasosopo was the voice of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend

Tuiasosopo
Things just keep getting worse for Te'o

As if the Manti Te'o situation wasn't already bizarre enough, a new twist has emerged stemming from Te'o's taped interview Katie Couric. The full interview is set to air Thursday.

Milton Grimes, the lawyer for alleged hoax mastermind Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, told the The Daily News that the voice of who impersonated fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua was none other than his client.

The Notre Dame star linebacker believed he was talking to a female during phone conversations, when in fact it was Tuiasosopo pretending to bet he voice of Kekua.

"Come on. Hollywood does it all the time," Grimes said in defense of his client. He later added,"People can do that."

Tuiasosopo has had vocal and acting training the past, so it isn't far-fetched to believe he could have had the skills to pull of such a stunt.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Colin Kaepernick has applied for trademark for signature pose

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has burst onto the NFL scene to help lead his team to a berth in the Super Bowl. But that isn't the only thing he has been up to lately. On Jan. 14, he reportedly filed for a trade to his signature pose with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The colorful Kaepernick has created an internet craze called "Kaepernicking" after a gesture in which he celebrates touchdowns by flexing his right arm and kissing his bicep.

Kaepernick, a second-year player out of the University of Nevada, has started nine NFL games and has led his team to Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick has thrown for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns in two playoff victories. He has the city of San Francisco and Twitter alike buzzing with his play on the field.

He becomes the latest football player to create a social stir over a signature pose. Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin, and Manti Te'o have all each garnered attention, as well.

Via @Eric_Branch

Delmon Young will receive $600,000 from Phillies if he can drop some pounds


It isn't unusual for players to have odd incentives sprinkled into their contracts. Some of these include performance-based goals. Others may include things such as loyalty, staying out of trouble, etc. But what about a $600,000 incentive for losing weight?

This is precisely one of the incentives included in the contract of new Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Delmon Young.

Philly.com has the scoop:

Young said he weighed in at 238 pounds Tuesday during his physical examination. He'll need to lose more weight if he is to make an extra $600,000. How's that for motivation?

Young's one-year, $750,000 contract includes bonuses based on his weight, according to The Associated Press. Young must be weighed six separate instances, the timing of which will be chosen by the Phillies.

Each time he makes weight, Young receives $100,000. The first three times he must weigh 230 pounds or less. He must weigh 235 pounds or less for the last three weigh-ins.


Joba Chamberlain says Kevin Youkilis still hasn't returned call


Could Kevin Youkilis still be holding an old grudge toward new teammate Joba Chamberlain?

In December, Youkilis signed with the rival Yankees after spending nearly a decade with the rival Red Sox. The move was certainly a bit of a surprise to the baseball community, but the 33-year old was welcomed to New York with open arms, nevertheless.

One of the Yankees who attempted to reach out to Youkilis to help welcome him to the team was Chamberlain. Chamberlain placed a call to Youkilis shortly after hearing word of his signing. However, Chamberlain claims that he has yet to receive a call back.

"I did everything I can do," Chamberlain said. "I can't control what Kevin Youkilis does, I can only control what I do and, you know what, we'll go on from there."

Was Chamberlain surprised by getting dissed?

Video: Chelsea's Eden Hazard gets sent off after kicking ballboy in ribs



Here is a prime candidate for bush league play of the week.

Seen here is Chelsea's Eden Hazard delivering a swift kick to a helpless ball boy during his team's match against Swansea on Wednesday. Hazard was sent packing after receiving a red card for the ridiculous gesture.

The play occurred during the 80th minute of play.

The Belgian appeared to be upset with the ballboy delaying the game by smothering the ball when it went out of play. Still, it was no reason to lash out like that.

Swansea advances to play in the Capital One Cup Final to face Bradford City after securing a 2-0 aggregate win.

Via The Big Lead

Teens accused of writing racial slurs on home of college coach must meet with him


On Tuesday, a pair of teens were ordered to meet Louis Orr, men's basketball coach at Bowling Green State University, for allegedly drawing a swastika and writing the words "white power" in chalk at the coach's home.

Wood County Juvenile Court Judge David Woessner summoned Orr to meet with the teens per the request of the prosecutor's office. The outcome of the meeting may play a role in how the case is resolved, said Woessner.

The teens are due back in court on Feb. 14 for disposition of the charges the face. These charges include delinquency in connection with ethnic intimidation and criminal mischief.

Orr, who is African-American, first called police after his wife discovered the markings in mid-October.

Orr has compiled a 60-66 record since taking the coaching reins at BGSU in April 2007. The 54-year old was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 2009 after guiding the Falcons to a MAC regular season title.

Via Toledo Blade

Former NFLer Elvis Patterson arrested for DWI


Former NFL defensive back Elvis Patterson was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday.

The 52-year old was booked into Douglas County Jail on multiple charges including driving with a suspended license, DWI, and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. He has since been released on a $1,500 bond.

Patterson was also arrested on similar charges in 2011, but his DUI case was eventually dismissed by prosecutors. He did, however, plead guilty to two traffic violations, refusing a breath test, and speeding.

The Texas native played his college career at the University of Kansas before playing in the NFL from 1984-1993. He was a member of two Super Bowl teams and once earned the nickname of "toast" by Bill Parcells for Patterson's tendency to let receivers get free for big plays while his was covering them.

Via LJWorld

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff arrested and charged with DWI



Police arrested Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff early Tuesday morning after he wrecked his 2011 Ford truck into an 18-wheel tractor trailer. He was charged with DWI and bonded out of a jail within a few hours after the arrest, according to Grapevine, Texas police.

Police arrived at East State Highway 114 at approximately 12:36 a.m. to investigate a crash. Upon an investigation of the crash, officers arrested Ratliff on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
This marks the second DWI-related arrest by a Cowboys player in six weeks.

On Dec. 8, Dallas defensive tackle Josh Brent was charged with involuntary manslaughter after the vehicle he was driving crashed and resulted in the death of teammate Jerry Brown.

Brent could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the crime. He is currently free after posting $100,000 bond.

The Cowboys have yet to comment on the matter concerning Ratliff. Neither has Ratliff's agent.

Ratliff played in only six games last season before succumbing to a sports hernia surgery in December.

The 31-year old has spent his entire 8-year NFL career with Dallas.

Via ESPN

Camel predicts Ravens to win Super Bowl


Courtesy Popcorn Park Zoo

With the Super Bowl quickly approaching, be on the lookout for plenty of prognostications from folks. This even includes some picks from animals. Namely, Princess, a 26-year old camel from Popcorn Park Zoo in New Jersey.

The prophetic mammal has chosen the correct winner in six of the last seven Super Bowls, according to the zoo's general manager. She correctly tabbed the New York Giants in last year's big game.

So, how does she do it?
The method to this camel's madness might be hunger driven, however. 
"She loves graham crackers. In one palm we write down with one of these magic markers the 49ers, and on the other, the Ravens. We cover them with graham cracker so she can't see. Whichever she chooses to eat first is her pick," Bergmann said. "She picked the 49ers to win yesterday, and they did." 

Photo: Ronald McDonald photo bombs Chicago mascots



Southpaw, the mascot of the Chicago White Sox, and Tommy Hawk, the mascot of the Chicago Blackhawks, recently posed together for a picture. No big deal. Both are staples in the sporting landscape of the Windy City.

However, upon further review, there appears to be a third member in this this snapshot: Ronald McDonald. You know, the creepy mascot of the world's most notorious fast food chain?

I don't know how he got into the picture, nor what his business was with Tommy Hawk and Southpaw, but he snuck in, nevertheless. Note to Chicagoans: keep your eyes peeled for this character the next time you whip out your camera or smartphone.

Cut 4

Video: Kate Upton stars in teaser Super Bowl clip for Mercedes-Benz




Sports Illustrated's reigning cover girl is everywhere. She is in magazine spreads, on red carpets, and soon-to-be on television screens everywhere during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Seen here is a newly released teaser clip for Upton's ad in which she pumps up Mercedes-Benz. It features Upton donning jean shorts and a black top while moving in slow motion pretending to wash a car.

Yeah, this is probably the only thing to look forward to more than the actual game itself.

Nebraska football team lands transfer after state trooper gives recruiting pitch


Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini may owe some credit for his latest commitment to a state trooper. Pat Smith, who has spent the past three seasons kicking for Western Illinois, announced his decision to transfer to Nebraska on Monday after taking an official visit over the weekend. Part of the experience included a short recruiting pitch by an officer after getting pulled over for a traffic violation.

From Quincy Herald-Whig:
Asked where he was headed, Smith explained he was exploring the possibility of transferring from Western Illinois University and making this his official visit to the Big Ten Conference school. 
"He took my insurance card and went back to his car," said Smith, a kicker and punter who recently completed his junior season at WIU as one of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award. "He then waved me back to his car. We spent about 15 minutes talking about the Huskers."

Two Arkansas baseball players arrested for shoplifting beer, sandwiches at Walmart


A pair of Arkansas freshman baseball players were arrested in Fayetteville on Sunday after trying to steal two cases of beer and sandwiches from the local Walmart Supercenter.

Colin Poche, 19, and Adam Meyer, 19, were booked into the Washington COunty jail shortly after the incident and charged with shoplifting. The two have since been released on a $565 bond.

From 4029:

Brandon Meredith, one of the store's loss prevention officers, told police he saw Poche conceal two cases of beer in a tote bag in their shopping cart on the alcohol aisle.

Merideth said he saw the suspects remove the price labels from their sandwiches and then leave the store without paying for the items.

Former MLB outfielder Elijah Dukes arrested, again

File:Elijah Dukes.jpg

Former MLB outfielder Elijah Dukes was arrested on Monday after reportedly failing to appear in court on several drug and traffic charges.

Dukes was booked into the Hillsborough County jail in his hometown of Tampa Bay. Dukes previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays organization from 2003-2007.

Dukes remained in jail as of Tuesday morning, without bail.

The 28-year old faces multiple charges, including driving with a cancelled or revoked license, possession of marijuana, and tampering with physical evidence of drug paraphernalia.

Dukes last played in the majors in 2009 for the Washington Nationals. He batted .242 with 31 home runs and 123 RBI in 240 lifetimes games.

Dukes has been arrested multiple times before with charges ranging from assault to failure to pay child support.

Via Tampa Bay Times

Monday, January 21, 2013

Video: Young Bruins fan finds something gross in his food



The Boston Bruins rewarded their fans in attendance on Monday with a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg. The Bruins have also devised a way to help say their sorry about the lockout: free food.

The team is handing out three concession stand vouchers in each of its five home games in January. The vouchers are good for food or non-alcoholic drinks. Basically, anything except some brew, but I digress.

This young guy apparently found something in his free grub that didn't go over well with him. Hence, the reason for the disgusted look on his face when he encounters it.

Was that a McDonalds chicken nugget?

Three cheers for hockey being back.

Via Deadspin

The 10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Ads of All-Time


The Super Bowl is traditionally one of the most watched sporting events on television in the world. And due to its massive viewership ratings, companies are willing to fork out nearly $4 million for a 30-second slot to reach consumers. Only the best of the best commercials make it into the most marketable game on television. Why else would you pay that kind of money?

Over time, there have been some great ads to air during the broadcast. This has made the annual event even more alluring for advertisers due to the buzz it creates leading up, during, and after the game. In fact, some may even argue that the commercials are more popular than the game itself.

With this in mind, here is a look back at 10 of the most memorable Super Bowl ads of all-time:

Patriots defensive back had home broken into during Ravens playoff game



Sunday was extra brutal for New England Patriots defensive back Derrick Martin.

Not only did his Patriots get eliminated from the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens, but his home was broken into and ransacked during the AFC Championship game, as well.

Police say two robbers forced their way inside Martin's home, located in Aurora, Colo., at around 8:05 p.m. on Sunday evening. They stole several items of value, but did not harm anyone who was inside.

At least one adult and several children were said to be home during the incident.

The victims were unable to provide a good description of what the men looked like nor the type of vehicle they were driving.

Report: Frank Haith to receive NCAA notice of allegations



Former Miami Hurricanes basketball coach Frank Haith is expected to be hit with an NCAA notice of allegations this week amid unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Haith, who coached Miami from 2004-11, is now the current basketball coach at Missouri.

A trio of Haith's former assistants are expected to be charged in the notice as well.
The source told CBSSports.com that the NCAA was unable to prove the allegation from Miami booster Nevin Shapiro that Haith or anyone on his staff paid $10,000 to a family member of former player DeQuan Jones. However, Haith will be charged with unethical conduct because the NCAA did not believe his story that payments to his assistants intended for camp money did not wind up going to repay Shapiro, who made the allegations to Yahoo Sports back in August of 2011. A source said that the money was delivered to Shapiro's mother -- who verified the payment to the NCAA.

Amar'e Stoudemire buys lunch for Madison Square Garden workers

Amare Stoudemire - Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

For the second year in a row, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is giving back to the Madison Square Garden community. Through his foundation, he helped provide approximately 600 lunches to arena workers on Monday. Stoudemire chose to hand out free lunches to Garden workers on Christmas last season.

"They actually work for the Garden and work here to help our organization grow smoothly. So it's only right to show support on how much we appreciate how much they work," Stoudemire said.

"It's really just showing support that we truly appreciate all the employees that actually make our job easier as basketball players," Stoudemire said. "It's on a special day as well, a day of unity. It's great to bring everybody together for a nice cause."

Stoudemire and his wife, Alexis, along with their three children, spent time shaking hands, signing autographs, and talking to the workers who came to eat. The gesture was clearly an effort to give back to those who not only are vital to the team's gameday operations, but are important members of their fan base, too.

Football recruit says Notre Dame visit 'went great', never actually visited


Stanley Williams at George Walton Academy

It seems as though Notre Dame has another hoax on their proverbial hands. However, in all fairness, this one doesn't seem quite as bad as the Manti Te'o situation. And this one appears as if they really didn't do anything wrong.

Georgia running back commit Stanley Williams was scheduled to make an on-campus visit at South Bend last weekend. Part of the experience included taking in the Rutgers-Notre Dame basketball game Saturday night.

Here is what told Blue and Gold Illustrated about his trip:

“The visit went great,” Williams said. “It was great to experience something new and different, and we had a great time at the game. I had been looking forward to it for a while, and it was great to just get out there and see a new place. I plan on getting up there a couple more times in the future.”

Is Phil Mickelson considering leave from country in response to tax hikes?

File:Phil Mickelson @ 2008 US Open, Torrey Pines, San Diego, CA.jpg

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson has collected over $73 million in career earnings, according to Forbes magazine. This doesn't even include the roughly $40 million he receives in endorsement money per year. Basically, Mickelson is one of the highest paid athletes in the world of sports. However, the recent federal and state tax hikes have the 42-year old promising "drastic changes" in his life, which may include leaving the country and/or California.

“It’s been an interesting off-season. And I’m going to have to make some drastic changes. I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes,” Mickelson said during a press conference following the Humana Challenge golf tournament in La Quinta, Calif.

Mickelson's motive for a possible move is based solely on the increased tax burden he now faces. In November, California voters approved to impose a 13.3 percent tax rate for people with incomes of more than $1 million. That is up from 10.3 percent last year.

Video: Russell Westbrook blocks mascot's shot twice



The Denver Nuggets eeked out a narrow 121-118 overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. But not before Russell Westbrook pulled a couple of fast ones on Denver's mascot, "Rocky".

Rocky is denied on his half-court shot attempt not once, but twice by Westbrook during a stoppage in play. I believe those would be considered goaltending, sir.

It was all in good fun, of course. However, the Nuggets got the last laugh after coming away with a win.

Photographer of infamous Desmond Howard Heisman pose suing forinfrigement



The photographer who snapped the infamous picture of Desmond Howard's Heisman pose after scoring a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown in 1991 has filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, according to The Detroit News. The lawsuit includes several companies and even Howard himself.
Freelance photographer Brian Masck alleges several entities have used the portrait taken during the 1991 Michigan-Ohio State game without his consent. 
Also named in the 63-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, are Getty Images, Sports Illustrated, Champions Press LLC, Wal-Mart, Amazon and Fathead LLC, the Detroit-based sports graphics company that is part of the Quicken Loans Inc. family of companies. 
"…(T)hese various intellectual property pirates who are defendants in this case have taken a business crowbar to that byline and have pried Brian Masck's name away from his iconic photograph. They have separated him from his work," the lawsuit says. "The Heisman pose and Brian's iconic photograph which captured it have both gone viral. The name Brian Masck has not."