Archive for December 14th, 2009


Tom Smallwood Plays Big, Shows Bigger

Tom Smallwood beat the competition and the assumptions that his name arises in upsetting the reigning Professional Bowlers Association player of the Year, Wes Malott, 244-228 in the PBA World Championships on Sunday. The former assembly-line worker for General Motors who was laid off nearly a year ago took home his first PBA Tour title, his first “major” title, a $50,000 first prize, a two-year exemption to continue his PBA Tour career and his first chance to bowl in January’s PBA Tournament of Champions.

“It’s surreal,” Smallwood, 32, said. “It has been a wild ride.”

“I was already so nervous in the 10th frame, I told myself I couldn’t possibly get any more nervous,” he added. “The right lane was my good lane anyway, so I figured if I threw a decent shot, I’d be OK.”

Always sure of his skill, Smallwood never attempted to get on the tour until after he lost his job, so he competed in the PBA Tour Trial in suburban Detroit, finishing 3rd and starting his bowling career.

“I wouldn’t be here otherwise,” he said. “Getting an exemption is so hard to do.”

Ironically, Smallwood recently got a call from the General Motors jobs bank, offering him a chance to go back to work.

“The lady who called asked me if I wanted to come back to work, but I told her no,” he said. “She asked what I was doing. I told her I’m now a professional bowler and that I’d be on ESPN this weekend. At first she didn’t believe me, but the lady sitting next to her was a bowler, so I wound up talking to her for a while. Now I think the people at GM are fans.”

[Professional Bowlers Association]


Tiger Woods’ Antics Inspires Decorative Plate Industry

I’m no Jimmy Kimmel fan, but this clip he made advertising a special new Tiger Woods-related product is absolutely worth watching, not least of all because it includes BILLY DEE WILLIAMS! I’d go on, but that alone should be enough for you to watch it.


Another Cardinal Gets a DWI — I Sense a Pattern

Budweiser’s favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals are working really hard to maintain their status as America’s Drunkest Team with their latest infraction, scrubby third baseman David Freese’s arrest for a DWI in Maryland Heights, about 20 miles out of St. Louis.

This makes the 4th incident in three years where a member of the Cardinals has been hit with drunken-driving charges. Starting with manager Tony LaRussa’s blowing a .093 BAC and falling asleep at a traffic light to Josh Hancock’s death after driving drunk to Scott Spezio’s DUI arrest, clearly the Cardinals are taking this issue VERY seriously. I bet they almost thought about sending an email to their team and staff, and then thought better of it. But still, ALMOST!

The 26-year-old Freese was not involved in an accident, thankfully, but the police wouldn’t release further details about the St. Louis native’s arrest. He is expected to be a prime contender for the starting third base job in 2010.

I’m glad to see the team that plays in Busch Stadium and is sponsored in large part by Budweiser has taken a stand against drunk driving and alcohol abuse. That’s a bang-up job there guys.




Are you a big-time NBA fan who finds him or herself in front of a computer screen more often than a television? Do you want to watch each of your favorite team’s games despite being across the country? Well, the Slanch Report has DONE IT AGAIN! Thanks to the folks over at the NBA we have a FREE SUBSCRIPTION ($100 value) to the NBA League Pass Broadband package where you can watch ALL out-of-market games in realtime HD-quality graphics from your computer! Pretty awesome right!

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Trevor Ariza Swings and Misses

Trevor Ariza was 0-9 from the floor during Sunday’s Rockets/Raptors game and was obviously feeling very frustrated. After battling for a loose ball, he lets his annoyance bubble over and tries to take a swing at DeMar DeRozan. Showing that his struggles on the court weren’t an illusion, Ariza whiffs on connecting with his punch too. Unluckily for him though the refs caught him and he was immediately tossed out of the game.


ESPN Subtly Calls Gammons a Money-Grubber

As a means of honoring Peter Gammons before his departure to the higher-paying less-travel pastures of MLB Network and NESN, the ESPN baseball writers all contributed a paragraph or several about their mentor and friend. Several days later, there are new stories and the Gammons tributes are pushed down the page.

Despite all the kind words the writers heaped on Gammons, I can’t help wondering if the editors or higher-ups at ESPN wanted to take a final shot at the legendary reporter — who received a reported substantial raise to join MLB — by putting this Jerry Crasnick headline beneath the Gammons stories.

Or it could just be a coincidence… but where’s the fun in that!


This Game Can Be Awfully Cool

If you are a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks was not one of your favorites. However, if you like hockey, or even if you just like to see some incredible things, the two teams combined on 2 amazing plays in the final minutes of the 2nd period and in the 3rd.

First, Marian Hossa shows off his hand-eye coordination when he grabs a loose puck out of the air and drops it towards his stick. Without waiting for it to hit the ice, he knocks it out of the air into the net, making it 4-0 in favor of Chicago.

Then, as the final seconds of the game are counting down Lightning goaltender Antero Niittymaki makes a truly FANTASTIC save; despite being down 4-0 and the game already lost, Niittymaki doesn’t give up and makes the phenomenal play.

Awesome! Cool!


UNC Removes Opposing Fan — For Rooting For His Team

University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball coach Roy Williams thought it was important to teach his charges the true meaning of class during Saturday’s rout of Presbyterian College. Sure the final score was 103-64 but that doesn’t mean life-and-death don’t hang on every play. So, late in the second half, with the game already well in hand, two police officers conferred with Williams before climbing through the stands about 20 rows up from the UNC bench and removed a fan (video of it HERE).

The man, who was wearing a shirt with the Presbyterian College logo had drawn the ire of Williams after heckling UNC’s Deon Thompson while he was shooting foul shots with 6:45 remaining in the game.

“Hey Deon, miss it,” the man screamed.

The words had great affect; Thompson sank both shots. Williams though was too offended by this action and off went the gendarmes (ultimately three police were required to take the incredulous offending fan out of Smith Arena.)

“When an idiot runs out on the field, they don’t show the idiot running out on the field because it just gives them more publicity,” Williams said following the game. “I don’t think anybody should yell anything negative at our players. Period.

“Let’s don’t make it a bigger thing than it is. But I just don’t think anybody should yell negative things toward our players (when) you come in on our tickets to watch our game.”

Yeah, because running on the field and possibly endangering the players is EXACTLY the same as heckling from 20 rows up during a foul shot. Also, I’m sure the UNC crowd was silent and respectful during any of the Presbyterian players’ foul shots.

A North Carolina spokesman Steve Kirschner later said police “believed” the fan in question to be drunk and he had been asked to move because he was not in his ticketed seat. Riiiiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhhhttttttttt. If you believe that than probably think college basketball is interesting and good basketball.

It’s a good thing they removed that fan though because clearly he was demoralizing the UNC players, I mean, had he not been in the stands, UNC might have won by more than a measly 39 points. The players ought to be ashamed of themselves for getting so down from a little heckling from the stands. Especially from a fan of a college that has NO business ever playing sports against a powerhouse like UNC, that’s like the Celtics scheduling a game against a Charlestown high school

Or it could just be that Roy Williams, for this one moment at least, was a giant douche-fascist of the highest level. Either way.

[The Times News]


LeBron James — French Fry Thief

En route to a 44-point game and a victory for his team, LeBron James managed to sneak some fun into Sunday’s contest over the Oklahoma City Thunder as well. First he makes an excellent defensive play, stealing the ball and driving down the court to score a tough basket, not done, he stumbles into the crowd with enough time to grab some fries from one of the fans and to give him a high-5. Not too shabby.

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December 2009