Media outlets around the country are investigating reports out of Columbus that something happened yesterday relating to soccer.
"All we know at this time is that something soccery happened yesterday, maybe," said ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, on his way to find out more on the mysterious event. "As it was soccer, naturally no media was actually there covering it. But early investigations say this thing could be big. Maybe it is something about steroids, maybe Michael Phelps is there smoking in the audience, maybe they did something crazy with that ball thing they are always kicking around with their feet. Who knows, but we're going to find out."
"I don't know what's happening," exclaimed SI's Dan Patrick, also headed to Columbus for information. "It sounds like everyone has gone insane up there! People are talking like they were actually excited to go watch soccer, I have reports that the Americans won a game, and there's even some mention of a world's cup. I don't know what that is, but it sounds like one exciting glass. It better be, if I get up there and find out this whole thing is just about a nice piece of glassware, I'm going to be pissed."
More information will be made available when it is found out.
Sports Illustrated published a story in their latest issue claiming that they have been leaked the results of the 2003 banned substance tests for major league baseball, and have found out the identity of the one player who was not on steroids at that time. Carlos Rivera, a first baseman for the pirates in 03 was the only person in MLB to fail to get a positive steroids test that year.
Rivera's stats from the season, a .221 average and 3 homeruns, should have been an indication something was amiss. Players said they long suspected Rivera wasn't juicing, as he really really sucked, even for a Pirates player.
"I'm ashamed to call him a teammate," said Jason Kendall, then catcher for the Pirates. "To know that Carlos wasn't injecting himself before games to help us gain an unfair advantage, that's just not a team player. Even if he wanted to redeem himself now and juice up with me on the weekends, I don't think I'd even let him share my dirty needle. He lost that chance when he lost my respect."
Carlos conducted an exclusive interview with ESPN to talk about the story's allegations.
"I messed up," said Rivera to Peter Gammons. "I let my friends and family down, I let down the city of Pittsburgh, I let down all the children who look up to me and can't wait until they are old enough to buy the steroids the pros take, and most of all I let down all the illegal doctors who wanted to give me free experimental steroids. I'm sorry everyone. I should have been better than 10 RBI's that season, but I was young, and I didn't know what I was doing."
Gammons then asked Rivera if he was ashamed that his name would be the only one in the record books for the past decade that appeared without an asterisk by it.
"Yes, the lack of an asterisk will haunt me until the day I die. But that's the disdain I will have to live with."
While he is now a disgraced man, if all the records were to be discounted due to steroids, he is currently the active leader in homeruns since 2003 with three. As they are now forced by testing to be clean, players such as Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds have even contacted Rivera about how he achieves such power without juicing. They are attempting to duplicate his impressive unroided power numbers.
"I'm just glad I can help out some of these people," said Rivera. "Having gone through the awful ordeal of not using steroids, I think I can help them cope with having no muscles, trying so hard just to get a ball out of the infield. It's tough. I know I'm going to get laughed at when I take off my shirt at the pool and everyone sees my scrawny arms and chest. But, that's just a consequence of the choice I made back in 03, and I'll have to live with it for the rest of my life."
"There has been a great deal of clamor for a +1 system to be added to the current BCS Bowl format," said BCS chairman Rich Wallace in a press conference held today. "The current Utah-Texas-USC debate, as well as past years, have shown us that we may need to indeed add a +1 to our games. That is why I am here to announced that starting in 2009, we will have one extra team in the BCS National Championship Game!
"That's right, for the first time ever there will be a third team playing football at the same time as the other two. Just imagine, Oklahoma vs. Florida vs. USC! Plus that means we are still giving you Texas and Utah to argue about after it's over! It's the best of both worlds!"
Wallace went on to tell those in attendance that they had stadium designers working on a unique triangle shaped field for next year with 3 endzones. The rules for the game will, of course, have to be changed to accommodate the new field and extra team. One team is on offense and can choose to drive to any endzone they wish. The team who they are attacking in turn gets to play defense, while the team who is not being driven on can not defend directly, but they can make disparaging comments about the offensive team such as criticizing their weight or insulting their mothers. USC has already hired an Assistant Your Mother Coordinator for next season in preparation.
"This is finally going to make everyone shut up about that third team who everyone feels should have won the title," continued Wallace. "Now we only have to hear about the next 3 teams with similar records and opponents who were kept out of the new 3-way game. That's 25% less complaining than we had this year, and that's real progress."
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The Cincinnati Bengals have been reprimanded today by the NFL for attempting to place their franchise tag on New England Patriots QB Matt Cassel. The Bengals submitted their franchise tag paperwork some time overnight with Cassel's name on it instead of one of their own players. The league sent a primer on how the franchise system works to head coach Marvin Lewis, much like the primer they had sent to all 53 players on their roster after they began the year 0-8 about how football works. The Patriots in turn used their franchise tag on Cassel legally.
"Look, they already have Tom Brady," said Bengals owner Mike Brown. "What are they going to do with a second great quarterback? At least let us have one! Our guy Carson Palmer can't make it through a game of Madden without getting injured! Obviously the rules are unfair if they are going to allow the Patriots to have both these guys out there at once next year. You wait and see, they will both be throwing touchdown passes at the same time and on the same play next year. That is just unfair! 14 points on one play! How are my Bengals ever supposed to get 14 points in 60 minutes to beat that score?!"
Matt Cassel made a brief statement after hearing the news of his almost move to Cincinnati. "Thank you, oh god thank you Patriots," was all he said in a statement released to the press.
There has long been a belief that to be on the cover of Madden each year results in either a horrible injury or an awful statistical season. The statistics speak for themselves. Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Shaun Alexander, and even last year's Troy Polamalu. All injured the year after appearing on the cover and have never been the same again. Every other athlete of the last 10 years has suffered the same fate.
But which covers resulted in the worst curses of all time? We count down that list here...
• The first edition of Madden released for the Zune, featured Microsoft’s MP3 competitor to the iPod. It allowed you to play directly on the Zune, but failed horribly as no one bought a Zune, or the Madden game released on it. EA would never again try to release anything for the Zune.
• The longtime Chargers and Saints kicker appeared on the cover in 2002 in a somewhat controversial pick. Not only did he end up missing a PAT in the final game that could have sent the Saints to the playoffs that year. But, like some other great Madden cover athletes after suffering the curse, he never scored a touchdown again, despite playing 7 more years in the league.
• Madden NFL 11 AD: Released in the year 0011, was the first Madden game in existence. What made it so revolutionary was the fact the developers made it without a knowledge of American football, John Madden, or even computers. Archealogists recovered a preserved copy in a dig site in Italy last year, and the cover features the Holy Roman Empire endorsing this great game of the future. They were sacked by the Visigoths later that season.
• In 1998, EA Sports really wanted to show off the facility where Madden was made, give the people a look behind the curtain at the studio. They chose to put a picture of their company cafeteria on the cover. But fairly soon after that, they had John Madden in for a photoshoot, and he decimated their eatery, devouring everything in site. It was so horrific watching him eat multiple portions of every single thing on the menu, many of the cooks and attendants quit on the spot.
The entire room was declared an ecological disaster area by the Environment Protection Agency. EA was forced to close their cafeteria and no longer allows lunches to be made on premesis for fear of this literal Madden curse coming back to dine there.
• 1994’s Madden cover featured Godzilla, who was blowing up in popularity in the United States. Although completely unrelated to football, they thought this would appeal to kids more than a fat old guy making funny faces at the camera. Godzilla was making movies, destroying Tokyo repeatedly, and generally was both the literal and figurative biggest thing on the planet. But then he foolishly attacked the Tamagotchi Genetics Lab, and in destroying the building released a toxic gas that transformed him back into merely a regularly sized lizard. He would fade rapidly in popularity and eventually be replaced in films by a man in a suit.
• Madden 2008, released in 2007, featured a picture of the New York Stock Exchange, after a feeling around the country that the American Economy was the best it’s ever been. Shortly after the game hit store shelves, to confused NFL fans wondering why their sports title featured a picture of a big room with stockbrokers, the economy collapsed into the worst depression in half a century.
Houses fell in value, unemployment was at its highest levels, banks collapsed. It's all the result of a cover choice by the Madden team.
• John Madden 2000 was the final year Madden himself would ever grace a cover. EA finally realized that maybe putting actual athletes on there would work better to sell copies of a video game where you are playing the sport, not playing an old man in the booth. Before Madden appeared on the cover of his own game he won a Super Bowl, was a great coach, and had a full head of hair. He has none of those things since, and we can only guess the curse is to blame.
• In 2003, the Madden team experimented, and would make you a personalized cover with any pictures you wanted on it. All you had to do was send them the photos and paid shipping and handling. Yours was decorated with all the girls you liked in high school, and of course…we all know how that turned out. If you hadn’t sent in those pictures and suffered the curse, maybe you would have done a little better with the ladies.
• While not a Madden game, Tiger Woods 10 deserves special inclusion on this list of sports game curses. It was believed that to appear on the cover of Tiger Woods Golf was actually a reversal of the Madden Curse, and hence Tiger wanted to be on it every year so that he could reap the benefits of Major wins, endorsements, and nonstop sex with promiscuous women behind his wife’s back.
But it turns out the gods of videogame karma were merely saving up 10 years worth of covers for revenge on Woods. This year he lost his mistresses, lost his wife, and now can’t play golf worth a crap. By far the biggest fall from appearing on a video game cover.
• The evil Egyptian Pharoah, of course on the cover of Madden NFL 212 AD, appeared as a playable character with fully maxed out stats, and an ability to start offsides when on defense. He was deemed overpowered and patched out of the game in an update shortly after release, but he cursed the game and may be the mystical reason why every cover athlete since has had a bad season following their appearance on the game.
He was the subject of several awful Brendan Fraser action movies as the mythical mummy. Because of that, many of us have had to suffer the curse ourselves of having to watch those crap films. As the possible original reason why the game is cursed, and for wasting our time in theaters, he must be number one.Add a comment
With the Final Four taking place this weekend in Detroit, the need for licensed bracketologists is coming to an end. The industry is set to see massive layoffs following the conclusion of March Madness, which will add further to the economic problems facing the country and the hometown of American automobiles. The bracketology industry is notoriously volatile, but this year could be one of the worst on record.
"I have doctorate degrees from Princeton in both bracket physics and seeding psychology, and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to find a job come April," said Dr. Owen Richards, a practicing bracketologist. "People come to me all the time needing help picking what that cinderella team is going to be that captures the imagination of the entire nation, before being crushed two days later in the second round. If I can't make a living, who is going to be there next year to tell them what to do?"
"You're going to have dangerous unregulated predictions being made by secretaries who picked Louisville to win it all, because their mascot are pretty birds. That's street bracketology, and it's dangerous. If you had gone with her prediction, you would have messed up in the Elite Eight. A lot of people say that kind of advice works just about as often as our professional picks, but I say it's just luck. If you give a secretary a pair of scissors and a three hole punch and send her into an operating room, there is a chance she'll be able to perform a successful open heart surgery. But you'll have better luck with a real surgeon, and fewer binder holes in your aorta."
But bracketologists like Dr. Richards are not the first casualty of the bad economy. People saw their health insurance companies no longer cover bracketologist visits this year, as they had in the past. Hard working men and women were forced to pay as much as 20 dollars for guesses on how teams were going to do.
"I brought my bracket from last year into my family doctor," said college basketball fan Dan Berger." He took one look at it and said I needed a specialist's help as soon as possible. He told me I had a serious medical condition called dumbass' bracket. He said that if left untreated it could lead to my losing 10 bucks every year in my office pool. He referred me to a bracketologist who he had used in the past to keep him away from picking Pac-10 teams. But then the insurance wouldn't even cover it. It's a tragedy."
The layoffs have already begun, with some bracketologists trying to re-integrate themselves at home. Dr. Matt Hedge, a former bracket expert with 6 children, said he attempted to feed the kids and make sure they got off to school safely while his wife was at work, but ended up just making a bracket ranking them on who was his favorite. Cinderella story Bobby won in an upset over Rebecca in the final after Matt remembered that Bobby "wasn't so god damn loud as the rest of them". Add a comment
In a tearful press conference today in Houston, Tracy McGrady announced he would have season ending knee surgery this week. The announcement left fans and media in Houston wondering who would be there to lead the Rockets to a first round exit in the playoffs.
Yao Ming, normally the Rockets second best playoff collapser, has actually looked improved this season, with averages of 19.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Some are wondering if Yao can shoulder the load of failing for two all-stars in the postseason.
"This just hurts, to have to step away so early like this," said McGrady. "I know this city expects more of me. They expect an amazing scoring average in the regular season, and then to see me play like a rookie in his first game when we get to the playoffs. It's comforting to know I'll be there every year, taking unnecessary shots and making risky passes.
"I'm also sorry to all the fans in visiting cities, who know whenever they see us on the first round schedule, they can go ahead and order their tickets for the second. I'm sorry to all the dads out there who use me as a cautionary tale to their kids of someone who has wasted their potential for greatness by failing when it counts. I'm sorry to everyone. But I promise, I will be back next year, and this time with a bad knee! This could be my biggest letdown yet!"
And with that the fans in attendance began chanting "T-Mac" loudly. But now the city of Houston is still faced with the very real and scary possibility of winning a playoff series, and being forced to care about the NBA Playoffs for more than a week. They are attempting to put on a brave face. But inside, the people of Houston are very scared, now that their hero has fallen...
With the flashbulbs popping, and tears running down his face, Adam Dunn thanked his fans and supporters for cheering for him during his 8-year career. In a press conference held yesterday, Dunn announced that he was retiring from competitive baseball and giving up his boyhood dream of playing in a World Series, by signing with the Washington Nationals.
It was a bold move for the 29-year-old lefty to step away from the game so early, but he felt the money the Nationals were offering was just too good to pass up. Usually only a washed up veteran who had no interest anywhere else would even consider retiring to Washington, but Dunn might just be breaking the mold.
"I've been so blessed to be able to play my career on teams with at least a fighting shot of making the playoffs," said Dunn between sobs. "But now it's time to move on, do some other things with my life, like lose 13-0 consistently to a bunch of teenagers on the Florida Marlins. It's going to be tough, knowing that I left the game in my prime, but I have to think about my family."
At that point, Washington manager Manny Acta brought out his new number 32 red Nationals jersey, and Dunn broke down into tears after taking one look at it. The crowd was silent as they knew what a sad moment this must be for an athlete. Dunn then got up from his chair and attempted to run away from the press conference, but Nationals security grabbed him and held him down against the podium. He struggled, but they forced the jersey on him and buttoned it down the front.
"We want to welcome Adam to our wonderful organization," said Acta as security held up the limp and crying superstar. "We know it's never easy to retire from competitive baseball like this, but at some point everyone has to do it. Now, if you'll excuse us, I think we have some spring training games we have to get ready to lose..."
With the release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue this week, it is yet again that time of year where men do a lot of voluntary shopping for women's swimwear. While sales of bikinis seldomn increase due to all the shopping, men nonetheless carefully comb through each and every page, those featuring bodypaint sometimes three or four times, to see if there are any items they can purchase for their wives and girlfriends.
"Look, I love my wife," said Jason Vega of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "That is why I have to see what in this wonderful shopping companion I might want to buy for her. There are just so many options in here, and I love spending money on my wife's clothes, it's like a book from heaven. Oh wow, this girl is wearing a wet see-through t-shirt, I wonder if that would fit my wife... I better go think about the size comparison in the bathroom here for a little while..."
At that point Jason left the kitchen table we were sitting at for our interview and ran into the bathroom with the magazine. We waited patiently while he did whatever size comparisons needed to be done, but his wife came knocking on the door yelling at him what was taking so long.
"Leave me alone for just a few more minutes honey, I'm shopping for you!"
With that she smiled and went about her way. A few minutes later he came out of the room.
"Well, I did some in-depth size comparisons in there, and I'm just not sure if it's going to fit," he stated. "I forgot that my wife is horribly overweight and hasn't touched a treadmill in the 13 years since we've have our kids... But I am glad I went to think about it in private, I feel much more relaxed now. A lot of guys now do all of their 'shopping' on the internet, but I'm just old school."
With mother's day coming up, even Jason's son is doing a little shopping for his mother.
"Hey dad, do you think I could borrow the issue to see if there's anything I could buy for mom in there," little Timmy Vega asked.
"Sure son, but don't you let your mother see that I'm letting you borrow this, she wouldn't approve of... you shopping for her like this. And be careful with it, I don't want any of the pages sticking together. There are still many swimsuits in here I need to consider in depth."
So a final word to the women of the country who may be worried about their man's pre-occupation with looking through this month's Sports Illustrated: it's all for you. Don't worry that the males of your family keep taking it off into bathrooms and bedrooms and locking the door, there is just a lot of shopping to be done.
Zach Franklin, a 1st semester art major at the University of Georgia, announced today that he was forgoing the final 3.5 years of college to declare for the NFL draft, in a posting made on his myspace page. Despite never playing a down of football in his life, Franklin feels college may not be right for him after being dumped by his high school girlfriend and having his brilliant comic book illustrations misunderstood to be crap.
Mel Kiper Jr. broke down what Franklin can bring to a team, in a segment on his radio program. "This guy brings a lot to an NFL organization. He has quite a collection of comic books, ironic t-shirts, goth jewelry, and many self-written scripts for movies about ninjas and schoolgirls. It's going to be hard for opponents to prepare to face Franklin on the field, when they have to research his sad sad background of no sex and many long World Of Warcraft sessions. It's such a pathetic story, anyone would have trouble hitting this kid."
Other scouts critiqued Zach's body with some saying that he was built "like a skinny little pussy", but with the potential to become "the kind of skinny pussy you don't want to mess with, because he might be carrying a gun under his Hot Topic trenchcoat." Some have even said he has the potential to be as good as Ryan Leaf.
Franklin created a Youtube video to showcase his talents to scouts, showing him doing "football-like activities" such as catching a toilet paper roll and horse-collar tackling his 11-year-old sister. Kiper said the video was very impressive, but not because of the football-like activities, but because he also mixed together his favorite scenes from The Dark Knight at the end, and that is a really sweet movie.
When asked of the chances of Zach Franklin being drafted by an NFL team like themselves, a representative for the Detroit Lions said, "Sure, I can see it happening. He doesn't seem all that worse than people we have drafted in recent history."
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