DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket Just Got Worse: aking 10 seconds to change channels can be the difference between seeing and missing a Devin Hester kickoff return touchdown. Why on earth should any Bears fan pay for Sunday Ticket if he's going to miss Devin Hester score a touchdown while he frantically presses the buttons on his remote control?
Lee Corso Hates Technical Difficulties: I'm still laughing like five minutes later. I think it's the complete oddity of the profanity, which comes from nowhere, seems dubbed, and has no relation to anything. Corso hates technical difficulties! Corso smash! Aaaaarrrrgh! Corso!
What's His Handicap? Public Speaking: Phillies announcer Harry Kalas innocently leads with a question about his golf game and, well, just read the transcript yourself. From Philadelphia Will Do, via the always entertaining Awful Announcing:
Harry: "It's a full count here to Willie Harris. Getting down to another sport, Michael Jack, how's your golf game?"Is ESPN's Hype Machine Hurting MLS? As concern about the severity of Beckham's ankle injury linger, others are wondering out loud whether or not the hype is starting to backfire on Beckham and the league -- something which has to be considered particularly unfair given reports on just how badly hurt the England international really is.
Mike Schmidt: "Pretty good, Harry. I've been beating the hell out of my wife pretty regularly."
Awkward pause; muted laughter
Harry: "At golf, I hope? At golf, I hope. Line drive and that's a fair ball..."
The Debriefing: Lord, Please Let Barry Bonds Sue Curt Schilling: The only thing that could make this better would be if Schilling were traded to the NL, or Bonds signed with an AL team next year, so they could face each other routinely. It would become just a routine part of the play-by-play guy's job to say things like, "Bonds is 12-for-31 in his career against Schilling (I have no idea if that's true), with just 1 home run ... he did, however, take Schilling for $17 million in a civil trial back in '07."
Start Saving Now if You Want Daisuke Matsuzaka's Autograph: Can you imagine paying $449 for a Ted Lilly autograph? Or one from Shawn Marcum, Noah Lowry or Tom Gorzelanny? All four of those starting pitchers have an ERA lower than Dice-K's mark of 3.59.
Bobby Cox Finally Sets Ejection Record, John McGraw Not Available for Video Tribute: Without any fanfare, home-plate umpire Ted Barrett walked toward the Braves' dugout and signaled to Cox that he was ejected. Until an announcement was made in the pressbox minutes later, most reporters didn't even realize Cox had been thrown out of the game.
Are Major League Umpires Prejudiced? That's the question supposedly answered by a new study by Daniel Hamermesh, a economics professor at the University of Texas. He claims that umpires are inclined to give pitchers of the same race an extra strike now and then -- but you have to really pay attention to notice, because it only happens 1% of th time.
Status Check: Milwaukee Brewers: The fast start convinced almost every Brewers fan that the team had what it needed to win the division and even make it to the World Series. I think trading away Will Inman and two other prospects for Scott Linebrink solidified that the Brewers management wants to win now, and the fans are still thinking that way.
Boston's Good Luck Charm Has Enthusiasm: That's young Lexi Alden, who stole the show before Sunday's tilt between the Red Sox and the Orioles. I love her take charge attitude once she realizes they were on live TV, trying to grab the microphone from NESN's Tina Cervasio.
Tim Dwight's Back; Now He Calls Himself "Andy Brodell": Every four years a secret lab somewhere in a Des Moines-area cornfield spits out a mysterious Caucasian child who eats nothing but lightning bolts and runs like a cheetah over brief distances. When the child turns 17 he signs a letter of intent with Iowa and becomes their next Inexplicably Great White Wide Reciever (IGWWR). Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Brodell:
If Plea Deal is Reached, Vick Goes to Prison: With word of the plea negotiation, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution did some digging and determined that Vick will see in the inside of a prison cell if a deal is reached with federal prosecutors.
Mike Vick's Lawyers Want Him to Plead Guilty: Apparently the sticking point is that Vick wants to reach a deal that would require him to serve a year or less in prison, and so far the feds aren't offering a deal that lenient. However, Lester Munson, ESPN's legal analyst, reports that if Vick doesn't plead guilty soon, things could get ugly for him.
Florida A&M Fires Basketball Coach Mike Gillespie After Stalking Arrest: The firing comes two and a half months after Gillespie was placed on paid administrative leave as a result of his arrest on misdemeanor stalking charges. In May it was reported that the police had investigated several stalking complaints against Gillespie, and that the coach had been warned about his behavior. Gillespie is married and has two adult children, including his top assistant coach, Mike Gillespie Jr.
NBA Ready With New Slogan: Quick, what does this have in common with this spring's ghastly, David Blaine-ified "Unbelievable" campaign? It doesn't actually connote quality. All it does is tell us that professional basketball is crazy, extreme, and might blow your mind. Both of these are a far cry from the venerable "I Love This Game," which, plain and simple, puts the fan's connection with the sport into words.
R.I.P. Neckstache: With heavy hearts and tired souls, we bring you this haunting report from SLAM's Lang Whitaker: Drew Gooden's neckstache is dead. It was 10 months old.