Friday, November 30, 2012

LOL! YOU JUST CAN'T MAKE THIS UP!



Charlie Chaplin once said, "A day without laughter is a day wasted." Well, if good ole Charlie
was living and read about some the recent events of the sports world, every day would be a
LOL one. As he was doubling over in laughter, he'd  probably bark out, "You just can't make
this stuff up. LMAO!"

He's right. On Wednesday, a top prospect of an NHL team, made headlines by recording
a .30 on a Breathalyzer test. That was pretty amazing but that's not what made the story so
laughable. Riley Sheahan, who is playing for an affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, was wearing
a teletubby costume when he was pulled over. It was a purple one, which my sources tell me,
is "Tinky Winky" in the teletubby family. I don't know how Sheahan will ever live this one down.


But it got a lot better and more comical on Thursday when I read the headlines of a sports web
site. I look at the row of stories and said to myself, "Good, Lord. You couldn't make this stuff
up if you tried." Here's a sample of the day's headlines:

Woman Brawl at Macho Camacho's Wake. Hector "Macho" Camacho is still causing
controversy even in death. Two woman claiming to be Camacho's girlfriend got into a fight
at the late boxer's wake.



"I am the actual girlfriend of Macho, and those who don't like it better not bring it," said
Cynthia Castillo, who claimed to be Camacho's girlfriend at the time of his death. "They
shouldn't be going after me. They should be thanking me for being with him at all times."

Reality show producers are on the way. They don't need videotape, the visual will do
just fine.

Oh, but it gets better....

Lawsuit Says Andrew Bynum Was A 'Terrible' Neighbor. The former neighbors
of former Los Angeles Lakers center, Andrew Bynum, filed a lawsuit against the current
Philadelphia 76er who is out indefinitely after suffering an injury while bowling (I'm serious)
saying he was out of control.


The neighbors of Bynum said he brandished firearms, used drugs, allowed weed smoke
to drift next door, blasted loud profane rap music, and raced his sports cars around the
neighborhoods at dangerous speeds.

Bynum filed a countersuit claiming that his neighbors threw coins at his Ferrari, screamed at
him about his music, and banged his house with a large stick.

What's the big deal? It's not like Tiger Woods was there with all his strippers or Lindsay
Lohan smacked anybody upside the head or stole somebody's jewelry. Bynum and the
neighbors should be arrested for arrested development. Pure kindergarten stuff.

New Orleans Saints Tweet Their Bus Got Egged At Airport. If it was reported on
Twitter, then by golly, it must be news. As the New Orleans Saints were being bused away
from Atlanta's Hartfsfield Airport on Wednesday, they were allegedly egged by workers
at the airport. Chase Daniel, the Saints back-up quarterback and number one Twit, tweeted:


"Wow ... we start getting eggs thrown (at) us by airport workers! Guess they do hate us!"

Call General Petreaus and send in the reinforcements. Oh, wait a minute. Petreaus is currently
unavailable. Well, then call Jill Kelley, she has diplomatic immunity and can provide protection
for the Saints against those dangerous people at the airport throwing eggs. The Saints should've
concentrated on beating the Falcons on Thursday night. Daniels may have tweeted: "Brees sucked.
Threw 5 picks. We lost. Hope we don't get egged by our fans when we get back to NOLA".

I was starting to wonder if I had a sports web site or the National Enquirer. This stuff was
absolutely ridiculous. But wait, there's more silliness..

Bears Receiver Brandon Marshall Says Players Use Viagara For 'Edge'. First of
all, consider the source. Marshall is on more meds for mental disorders than actress Sean
Young. He's admitted that he's bipolar and has personality disorders. Hello. Marshall
claims that many players in the NFL have turned to the little blue pill to give them length on
the field. I haven't heard of any players calling their doctors after more than four hours
so this story CANNOT be true, right?


The great thing about covering sports is that no two days are ever alike. That's for sure.
That's for dang sure.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

THE BOBBY PETRINO DILEMMA


If Martin Luther King, Jr. read the contents of Bobby Petrino's character, he'd
roll over in his grave and run away from him faster than Usain Bolt. Petrino
is a known liar, cheater, and sell-out. Petrino destroyed what was left of his
reputation last spring when he turned the University of Arkansas upside down
with his lying and philandering ways with a woman more almost half his age.

But Petrino can coach. And in the high-stakes game of college football that
means something. With conference realignment and upcoming playoff format,
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will turn into Fort Knox. College football
is about two things: money and winning. Everyone knows they go hand in hand.


The question is: will any college athletic director across the land be willing to
take the slimy hand  of Petrino and marry him to the school's football program.
A successful football program is vital to many athletic programs around the country.
The University Michigan generates almost $100 million in revenue which supports
every sport at the school. Quite simply, the football program at many schools, is
the lifeblood and heartbeat of the athletic department.

Petrino's coaching record offers proof that he can resurrect a program and take
it to national prominence as he did as Louisville and Arkansas. However, his record
of bad character has been well-documented. Several years ago while at Louisville,
he secretly interviewed for the job at Auburn where his "good" friend, Tommy
Tuberville was the head coach. And then Petrino lied about it. Petrino lied to
his boss with the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, about his interest in the Arkansas
job. He then left the Falcons without facing the players, choosing to pen a cheesy
note and then leaving it in their lockers.


Then came the mess at Arkansas where he crashed his motorcycle, lied about
who he was with, a young woman who Petrino pulled a lot of strings to hire, and
gave her a $20,000 "bonus". He lied, lied, and lied some more and the school
had no choice but to fire him.

In the SEC alone, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Auburn are looking to hire a new
coach, one with a proven record of winning. They are high-profile programs tied
to the BCS and huge payouts. Trouble is, they've all run into tough times.

Does an athletic director want to put his reputation and career on the line by
hiring a coach who is a proven sleaze bag? Will the promise of big dollars to
support the entire football program blind their senses enough to hire a coach
who has more baggage than an airport conveyor belt?


Last spring, Petrino orchestrated a reputation make-over. He went on ESPN
to shed a few crocodile tears, looked into the camera as if he was speaking to
every college athletic director in the country, and just about asked for forgiveness,
not to mention a job interview. It was pure Bobby Petrino.

Somebody will hire Petrino, that's for sure. When it comes to money and
winning, people have a way of looking past the soiled reputation and dirty
laundry. Texas-El Paso hired Mike Price after he went on a booze-fest complete
with strippers just days into what turned out to be a short-reign at Alabama.
Washington State hired Mike Leach after he got canned at Texas Tech for
abusing a player.

Petrino will get another chance to coach and another opportunity to show off
his reputation. Chances are, his marriage to his new school will end just like
most of the other ones, in an ugly divorce.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RED WING IS A TELETUBBY



Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, cellphone cameras, merciless fans, and
everything else that comes with the age of instant information, it's impossible for
an athlete to get away with anything, even if they're just a prospect working his
craft for a team you've never heard of.

If an athletes sneezes, burps, or farts, there will be some yahoo who posts in 
on some form of social media for the entire world to see. That's just the way it is.

That's the way it is for Riley Sheahan, a prospect of the Detroit Red Wings
playing for the Grand Rapid Griffins, one of their minor-league affiliates. He
was pulled over on October 29 and blew a .30. That's right, A-POINT-THREE-OH!
Oh, my, does it even seem possible to still be alive, let alone driving, after drinking
that much to record a .30?  In the state of Michigan, that's considered "super drunk."
Really? You think?

I'm not even sure that's the worst of it for Sheahan, though, because Americans
are a forgiving bunch. But when Sheahan was discovered by police not only
stone cold drunk, but wearing a TELETUBBY outfit, well, that's just something
that's going to be tough to recover from. According to the police report, the Teletubby
was purple, which according to my sources, is "Tinky Winky". So forget about
the .30 alcohol-level, Sheahan will be known throughout the rest of his career as
"Tinky Winky".


I'm sure his teammates have already replaced the name plate on his locker with
"Tinky Winky". Athletes are brutally tough, and there is no way they are going
to let a teammate off the hook after being caught by the cops wearing a purple
Teletubby outfit. You just can't make that up. No way!

I'm sure every time he steps on the ice, opposing fans will throw purple Teletubby
dolls onto the ice. If the Grand Rapids marketing teams was smart, they'd add
a Tinky Winky Teletubby night to the schedule. This promotion is a no-brainer.


I'm trying not to make light of serious situation because the 20-year old kid 
clearly has a problem with alcohol. But how do explain wearing a Teletubby 
outfit. A purple one. The one that "Tinky Winky" wears. Wow. 

I really hope Sheahan's skin is as tough as his liver. He's going to need it because
he's about to be mocked like he's never been before. Tinky Winky. I guess it could
be worse. He could've been caught wearing an Elmo outfit.

IN MY NEXT LIFE....

In my next life, I want to be long-snapper in the NFL for one game.


In my next life, I want my name to be Manti Te'o.

In my next life, I want to see the NHL actually play some games.

In my next life, I would ban every athlete from Twitter to help save themselves.

In my next life, I'd promote a steel-cage death match between Paula Broadwell
and Jill Kelley.

In my next life, I'd make Bobby Petrino go to Catholic, Charm, and Get-a-Clue
school.

In my next life, I'd make PED's legal in the NFL. Let's face it, 90 percent of
the players are using something. Only the dumb ones get caught. There are no
sacred records to break and fans love collisions with bigger, stronger, and
faster athletes.

In my next life, I'd tell Jim Furyk to endorse 6-hour energy instead of five because
he always seems to run out of gas and choke on the final hole of tournaments.


In my next life, Jeff Loria wouldn't be allowed to own the Marlins or any other
team in Major League Baseball.

In my next life, I'd send any owner who gives a player a 10-year contract to
get psychological testing.

In my next life, I'd require all eyeglasses to become fully assembled, which
means LENSES would have to be included.


In my next life, I would ban the media from covering anything involving T.O.
Lolo, and Solo.

In my next life, I'd make it part of NASCAR for the drivers be allowed to fight
after every race. Better for ratings and they'd get more than 10 seconds of highlights
on SportsCenter.

In my next life, I'd build in a permanent mute button for Stu Scott. Boo-yeah!

In my next life, I'd make Peter Gammons the commissioner of baseball.

In my next life, I'd make the NCAA put a ban on ugly uniforms. (See Maryland,
Oregon, and any combat uniform that Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour produces.


In my next life, there would be no Twinkies. Ever.



Monday, November 26, 2012

TRUE LOVE FOR CHUCK PAGANO


It's easy to become cynical from a sports world that is littered with self-absorbed,
and self-promoting athletes, who in some cases, suffer major wounds to their careers
and reputations because of self-inflicted stupidity.

We see athletes kneel in post-game prayer, giving thanks to the Lord, only to be
arrested later that night for spousal abuse.

Tiger Woods gathers his loving family around the living room for pictures, but as
soon as the photographer says, "we're good," he's off to Perkins for the grand slam
breakfast and a side order of waitress.

And the one incident that pushed me into the cocoon of cynicism when it comes
to athletes, occurred several years ago when former NBA star, Latrell Sprewell said
he was "insulted" by the Minnesota Timberwolves offer of three-year, $21 million
contract because that wasn't enough to "feed his family." Good grief, Charlie Brown.

But for every hundred stories about selfish, out-of-touch athletes, who live in a
fantasy  world most of us never come close to experiencing, there is one that can
wipe the ugliness all away.


On September 26, Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. He had spent 28
years of his life paying his dues as he cris-crossed the country as an assistant coach
for several college and professional teams.

Last January, he achieved his ultimate dream of being a head coach when the
Indianapolis Colts tapped him to be the man to lead them out of the Peyton Manning
Era and resurrect the franchise. However, after just three games, Pagano got
the news that changed the course of his life.

It didn't seem fair that a man who had worked so hard for something and finally
had secured it, that it could all be taken away so quickly. But we all know that life
has never been fair. Bad things happen to good people, and bad people often
achieve great things through their calculating and manipulative ways.  It's life,
it happens.


Pagano went off for weeks of intense chemotherapy, losing all of his hair and a
lot of weight. Doctors say his leukemia is now in remission, but as much as Pagano
wants to, he's not ready to return to the sidelines. There is more treatment to endure
and he's not yet strong enough to handle the every day grind of being an NFL coach,
which demands long hours and strong shoulders to handle all the stress that
comes with it.

Pagano, who is as well-liked and well-respected as any coach in the game,
has spoken to the team and attended a few games. While he is often out of
sight, he certainly isn't out of mind to the players on the Colts, who've dedicated
the season to their coach, playing inspired football at 7-4. Their remarkable
season could end up in a berth in the AFC playoffs.


In a show of solidarity and support for Pagano, 30 players, including star quarterback,
Andrew Luck, have shaved their heads. It was a heart-warming gesture, but it
certainly wasn't all that spectacular. Men shave their heads all their time, and unless
you're really follically challenged, the hair will grow back pretty quickly.


On Sunday, a pair of Colts cheerleaders took the support for Pagano to a entirely
different level. In between the third and fourth quarter, the two women who had
A LOT of hair, shaved it for Pagano and to raise money for cancer research. This
was bold and something to be admired. It was the biggest shave to a woman's
head since Demi Moore got clipped clean in "G.I. Jane". The cheerleaders raised
$22,000 for cancer research. It's not a big number in the grand scheme of things,
but the gesture and commitment to Pagano is priceless.


Pagano might never make it back to the sidelines, that's just the harsh reality
of it. Cancer doesn't lose very often and anyone who has suffered from it or
has seen a friend or family member try to beat it, knows there are never any
guarantees. Never.

The support for Pagano is a real feel good story and it could grow as the
Colts continue their amazing run to the the playoffs. Nobody expected to
see the team rise to contenders so quickly. But they are proving to be fighters
Chuck Pagano has been during the biggest battle of his life. Everyone
is hoping that the Pagano story has a great ending, whether he coaches again
or not.

POWERBALL FORTUNE: THINGS I'LL DO AFTER I WIN IT.


The Powerball has reached a record jackpot of $425 million. After I win it
on Wednesday, these are some of the things I'm going to do with my new fortune.


BUY GARY BETTMAN AND THE NHL A CLUE. "Seinfeld" was called the
show about nothing. The NHL has become the league that doesn't play. In the midst
of a third work stoppage since 1995,  the league has already cancelled more than 350
games, the Winter Classic, and the All-Star Game. Brilliant. I'm also going to buy out
the remaining years and money on Bettman's contract and hire Paula Broadwell as
the new commissioner. At least she can get things done.


 PURCHASE LENSES FOR JIM LAMPLEY'S FRAMES.  OK, I get the whole,
nerd, hipster, no glasses in the frames of NBA players, but a 60-something dude like
Jim Lampley has no business trying to fit in with them. The mouth of boxing for
HBO has been wearing the no-lenses in his glasses look during his recent telecasts.
It's just not a good look for him and we can't take it anymore.


GET RICK REILLY HIS OWN REALITY SHOW.  The multimedia specialist
for ESPN has become more addicted to attention that Lolo Jones, Hope Solo, and
Kim Kardashian combined. He loves Twitter more than he loves himself (If that's
possible), using it to break stories that have already been broken and agitating Notre
Dame with his disses. The new show will be called, "Me, Myself, and Rick Reilly.


PURCHASE THE WORLD'S BIGGEST TENT. That's what I'm going to need
to cover the New York Jets, the biggest three-ring circus the NFL has ever seen.
Rex, Tebow, Sanchez, Woody, and a 4-7 record have been nauseating. The team
is terrible and they're more concerned about pointing the finger at Tebow, a player
who never plays, than at themselves. Fireman Ed was so disgusted with the Jets
during their embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving, he left the game
at halftime and said he's retiring for good.


BUY EVERY LAST TWINKIE. Since Hostess announced it's closing shop,
there has been a lot of talk about the Twinkie. They have become a more polarizing
a figure than Tim Tebow. We loved them, we hated them, we can't do without them,
even though they are more dangerous for your body than Plaxico Burress is with
a hand gun. I'm going to buy every last one of them, put them in a casket, and
blow them up.

PAY ROBERT KRAFT'S GIRLFRIEND OFF.  The Patriots owner didn't spend
too much time mourning his late wife, suddenly appearing with a 32-year old blonde
on his arm less than a year after her death. Kraft has done little wrong during his
ownership of the Patriots, but this is just not right. Ricki Lander, an aspiring actress,
current gold-digger has already caused Kraft to do some strange things. Remember
that audition video he appeared in with her? Good, grief. We see where this is going.
I don't want Kraft to get hoodwinked out of his fortune, so I'm going to give Lander
$10 million to get on with it and say good-bye. Bob, you'll thank me some day.


PURCHASE A 10-PACK OF ANGER MANAGEMENT SESSIONS. I think
Matt Mahanic can use them right about now. He was the golf coach at some Division
III juggernaut in Montgomery, Alabama you've never heard of. Don't feel bad, nobody
in the city has heard of it, either. After his team finished last in a tournament, Mahanic
went postal, setting a record for the number of f-bombs dropped in a four-minute rant.
Good, lord. He made Mike Ditka and Bobby Knight, during their best maniac days,
look like Mr. Rogers in the Neighborhood. But this is golf! A gentleman's game. Well,
it turned out that one young gentleman was secretly recording Mahanic's rant, which
became no-so-secret after it went viral on the Internet. Hello, embarrassment,
Good-bye Mahanic.

BUY BOBBY VALENTINE A BIKE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. 
Valentine arrived in spring training on his bike and told everybody he rode it every
day of the season, but then again, he also told everybody he invented the sandwich
wrap. Bobby V crashed his bike in a New York City park late in the season while
texting sweet nothings to Dustin Pedroia. Valentine used his bike as his getaway
vehicle after getting fired after his one season in Boston. I'm going to throw in a GPS
because it's pretty obvious Bobby V has no idea where he's going.


GIFT THE MARYLAND ATHLETIC PROGRAM. I realize the athletic program
at Maryland is bleeding money. A $17 million dollar deficit is no biggie for Obama,
but it's strangling the Terps. They had dollar signs in their eyes when they bailed on
the ACC for the Big Ten. It's always about the money. I understand. But I will give
them $17 million if they leave those ugly uniforms behind and bring back Ralph
Friedgen. Those Under Armour uniforms should never see a Big Ten game and
King Ralph, who was unceremoniously dumped after winning 2010 ACC Coach
of the Year honor, should be re-hired The athletic director said it was all part of
taking the football program from "good to great". Instead, with Randy Edsall, the
Terps have gone from good to terrible. Nice move.

GIVE VINCE YOUNG $1 MILLION. The former NFL quarterback set an
unofficial record for blowing a fortune in record time. Young made close to $30
million in his brief NFL career, but after treating half of Nashville to weekly
dinners at The Cheesecake Factory, he is now broke. It's the holiday season and
I'm in the giving mood. So, I'm going to give Young $1 million to get back on
his feet on the condition that he stays out of The Cheesecake Factory. What's
the over/under on Young blowing through a million dollars by Christmas?

PAY NDAMAKUNG SUH TO GO AWAY.  This guy is a menace to the NFL
and the rest of society. Last Thanksgiving, the defensive lineman of the Detroit Lions
stomped on the head of a Green Bay Packer on national television. He said he was
just trying to break in his new turf shoes. This Thanksgiving, he kicked Houston
QB Matt Schaub in the man region. Struck gold. Suh is out of control. He was
also clocked going 91 mph in 50mph zone in Detroit, left the scene of an accident,
and sideswiped another car in Portland. This is not going to end well for somebody.
I'll pay the big fella $20 million just to take his theatrics and go crawl under a rock.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RICK REILLY IS THE NEW KIM KARDASHIAN


Like Paula Broadwell, Rick Reilly has gone, "All In". He not only took his much
admired writing talent to ESPN, but also a burning desire to be the most talked
about clown in the multi-media circus.

It doesn't matter how wrong he is, (Notre Dame is irrelevant in college football) or
how ridiculous he looks, (Hey, Stuart Scott, tell everybody I broke the story first on
Twitter), Reilly wants the spotlight to be on him.

Even though Reilly does have some talent, he'd be a perfect addition to the talent-less
Kardashians. He is on Kim's level, addicted to attention and obsessed with seeing
his name and picture splashed all over the Internet. Now it appears as if Reilly is
trying to get on magazine covers and make a guest appearances on every talk show
in land of 1,000 channels.

Just before Saturday night's game between Notre Dame and USC, Reilly tweeted
this:

"No way Notre Dame beats USC tonight. If I'm wrong. I'll come to South Bend
and polish every freaking helmet. I can't be wrong ALL year, can I?

First of all, a Notre Dame victory over USC wasn't exactly going out on a limb.
The Trojans had four losses and were playing without starting quarterback Matt Barkley.
And if my memory serves me correctly, I think Notre Dame was undefeated and
ranked number one in the nation ahead of Alabama. So I think they must be pretty
good.


Reilly just wanted the Twitter world to focus on him and get the attention that
comes with a stupid prediction. Notre Dame did beat USC and just about every
fan and player on the Irish responded to Reilly with their own tweets.

Kapron Lewis-Moore: @ReillyRick. I'll see you in South Bend polishing our
helmets.#EXTRASHINY

Give Reilly credit for his self-promotion skills, they certainly are on par with
Kardashasian. Instead of everyone talking about Notre Dame playing for the
national championship, he managed to sprinkle himself into the conversation.


He'll take the "disease of me" to a whole new level when he demands that ESPN
producers do a feature on him in South Bend polishing  all the Notre Dame helmets.
I'm sure  he'll request they incorporate clips from the movie, "Rudy", where the little
guy is drooling over the helmets being painted. That is soooo Rick Reilly.

As for Reilly asking himself if he can be wrong all year. Well, he's certainly on
a pretty good roll. He proclaimed Tiger Woods to be the winner of the U.S.
Open after the first round when he was trailing by three shots. How'd that turn
out? Then he wrote to the world that Notre Dame had become irrelevant in
college football. He knocked that one out of the park, didn't he?

Sadly, people like Rick Reilly who've morphed into info-entertainers, are
not judged on whether or not they are correct. Just like weathermen, they
can be wrong 70 percent of the time, keep their jobs and make tons of
money just as long as people are talking about them.


Am I piling on Rick Reilly? Nah. Think of it more like an Ndamukung Suh
kick to the groin. A lot of people in South Bend think Reilly should get one
of them right about now. I'm sure he'd ask ESPN to film that as well.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

PENN STATE'S GREATEST SEASON


The lights have been turned out as the early vestiges of winter blow through
Beaver Stadium. Uniforms, equipment, and playbooks have been turned in
and will go into storage until the calendar turns over to April and it's time for
spring practice.

There isn't a conference championship game to play in or a bowl game that
Penn State can prepare for, the NCAA made sure of that when they took a
sledgehammer and tagged the football program with unprecedented sanctions.
The were designed to cripple and penalize a program and university that looked
the other way when the most heinous of crimes were being committed on its
campus.

However, with the stain and stench from Jerry Sandusky's child-sex abuse
crimes and the ensuing cover-up still lingering across a not-so-Happy Valley,
the 2012 edition of the Nittany Lions produced a season that could go down
as the best in the history of the storied program.

The greatness of their season doesn't come in the eight wins they produced,
although it's a remarkable accomplishment. An 8-4 season during the late
Joe Paterno's reign in State College would be considered a failure, but it's
close to a miracle considering the team had to play under an ominous cloud
created by scandal that left it shaken, not to mention shorthanded. The NCAA
gave the players a free pass to get out of the cess pool created by Sandusky,
the option to transfer immediately and without penalty. Nine of them bolted
to play for other schools, two others just quit.


The greatness of Penn State's season comes in the lesson they taught us all
in just how they won those eight games. It was a profile in courage, commitment,
loyalty, faith, and perseverance. Led by first-time head coach, Bill O'Brien,
the team lost its first two games. Many of the so-called experts thought Penn
State couldn't or wouldn't win a game. They said they lacked talent and would
have trouble overcoming the stigma of the Sandusky scandal. The experts
thought wrong. All of them.


Led by 30 seniors, who didn't ask themselves, "what's in it for it me?", which
seemingly has become the mantra for many people in our society, they put
Penn State first, staying loyal to the school they grew up dreaming to play for.
When the the team started 0-2, they didn't point fingers or become unglued.
Instead, they became even more resilient, winning eight of their last 10 games.
The final one against Wisconsin defined what the team was all about: heart,
character, and fighting back.


Penn State rallied to take a 21-14 lead in the 4th quarter, only to
watch the Badgers tie with with 18 seconds to play. Instead of folding
and feeling sorry for themselves, the Nittany Lions showed its toughness.

Sam Ficken, who missed four field goals, including the potential game-winner
in a 17-16 loss to Virginia, put Penn State ahead in overtime,  24-21, by making
a 32-yarder. Wisconsin had a chance to tie it, but missed on a 45-yard field
goal attempt.

The victory not only sent the seniors out with a victory they'll never forget,
it also validated O'Brien and his plan to flush out the past and reconstruct
a program in his own image. Replacing a legend like Paterno is far from easy, just
ask Earle Bruce, Gary Moeller, and Ray Perkins, who followed in gigantic
footsteps of Woody Hayes, Bo Schembeckler, and Bear Bryant, respectively.
He took a job nobody else wanted and did something very few coaches could
have done. Squeezing eight wins out of a team facing tremendous
adversity is worthy of national coach of the year honors.


When the game-tying field goal attempt by Wisconsin's Kyle French sailed
wide to the left, it marked the end of a year that everyone at Penn State University
would like to forget. At the same time, put the exclamation point on the
greatest season on history of the storied program.

Oh, sure, there were undefeated seasons under Paterno and ones where
national championships were achieved, but the achievement of the 2012 Penn State
football team is something that should be a lesson in what can be done when
the odds are seriously stacked against you.

We are Penn State.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

TOP 10 TURKEYS OF THE YEAR



10. CHAD OCHOCINCO.  He got released by the New England Patriots and then quickly
proved Thomas Wolfe correct: You can't go home again. Ochocinco returned to his native
Miami and signed with the Dolphins. What a disaster. His wife of about 3 minutes found a
receipt for condoms in his car which led to a heated argument with Ochocinco head-butting
his wife. He got arrested, released from the team during an episode of "Hard Knocks", lost
his reality show, and served divorce papers. That's a rough week. Ochocinco then had a
picture of his ex-wife tattooed on his calf and proclaimed he'd get her back and another job
in the NFL. He's heard crickets, nothing but crickets.


9. DANICA PATRICK.  Some people will do anything to stay relevant. Danica
Patrick is one of them. The most overrated, overhyped "athlete"of this generation
has just one victory in her entire career. With the Super Bowl just over two months
away and all those GoDaddy.com commercials still in production, Patrick felt she
just had to make some news. A day before Thanksgiving, she went on Facebook
to tell the world she was divorcing her husband of seven years. What a class act.
Just make sure to "friend" her.


8. HOPE SOLO. I can go into how see wrote in her "memoir" that everybody
but Tim Tebow either kicked, punched, or slapped her.  The goalie for the gold-medal
winning U.S. soccer team married her boyfriend of two months, Jerramy Stevens,
the night after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting her. Over/under on this marriage
is 35 days.

7. ALEX RODRIQUEZ. The guy is a pure lightening rod. After the highest-paid player
in the game was pinch-hit for during a playoff game, A-Rod went on the prowl. He sent
a ball boy into the stands to get the phone number of two girls. The one he had the radar-lock
on, turned out to be an Australian model. He did all this while his current girlfriend was up in a
luxury suite watching her man endure another 0-for-4 night at the plate.


 6. BOBBY VALENTINE. The inventor of the sandwich wrap created one big mess
in Boston. The Red Sox manager proved to be a one-man reality show gone bad.
Valentine called out fan favorite Kevin Youkilis which he never recovered from. The
players disliked him so much, they texted the owners requesting a meeting to discuss
the disposal of Valentine. Valentine did some texting of his own, trading messages
with Dustin Pedroia while on his beloved bicycle, which resulted in him crashing
in a New York City park.


5. NEW YORK JETS. There isn't a tent big enough to cover this three-ring circus.
Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow, Woody Johnson....good grief. The Jets are the REAL Housewives
of New York/New Jersey. More drama than the Kardashians. At least Ryan didn't
guarantee the Jets were going to win the Super Bowl for the fourth straight year or
release any foot fetish videos.


4. MATT MAHANIC. Nobody knew of the golf coach from a tiny Huntingdon College
in Montgomery, Alabama until a few weeks ago. After he went on profanity-laced tirade
that made Bobby Knight and Mike Ditka look like sheep, Mahanic became an Internet
sensation. On of his players secretly recorded the f-bomb dominated rant by Mahanic
after the team finished last in a tournament. He then posted on-line it for everyone to hear.
Man, it was something. Manhanic was promptly fired by the school and is reportedly
taking anger management classes while working part-time at The Waffle House.

3. MELKY CABRERA. Last summer, Cabrera was leading the National League in
hitting and won the MVP of the All-Star game MVP as a member of the San Francisco
Giants. He had some help with both. The "Melk Man" became the juiced man after
testing positive for testosterone. He was suspended for 50-games and the Giants rinsed
their hands of him, going on to win the World Series without him. Cabrera signed with
the Toronto Blue Jays last week.


2. ROGER GOODELL. The NFL commissioner turned the league into a circus by
using replacement referees while the regular ones were locked out. What an unmitigated
disaster. You can't fault the replacement refs, they were put in a situation where they were
put in way, way, way over the heads. But you can fault Goodell for letting this embarrassing
situation happen.

1. NHL. The No Hockey League. In the midst of a third work stoppage in the last 17 years,
the NHL is damaging the game which may be hard to repair. More than 350 games have
already been cancelled and the crown jewel, the Winter Classic, has been cancelled. Way
to go, Gary Bettman! Of all the sports leagues, the NHL by far, has no clue what the heck
it's doing.