Archive for December 15th, 2009

15
Dec
09

Hoeness Impressed by Butt

Now THIS is a headline!

[ESPN]

15
Dec
09

Has Anyone Seen Our National Soccer Team?

The small African nation of Eritrea had quite the surprise when their national soccer team arrived on the tarmac after being knocked out of the Cecafa cup for East and Central African nations; when the plane landed it held only the coach and a team official, the players were missing.

Nicholas Musonye, the head of Cecafa, confirmed that the players did not return to their repressive homeland, making this the third time the Eritrean team has defected.

“The Eritrean federation have done their best to bring a team to the competition – unfortunately these boys had other ideas,” he said. “Definitely they are in Nairobi – we have so many Eritreans here – they must be somewhere.”

The government of Eritrea is extremely constraining and that, combined with wide-spread poverty and a strict service regime leads to many Eritreans emigrating anywhere else.

The Eritrean government however denies that its citizens are leaving and claim the UN is lying about the situation.

[BBC]

15
Dec
09

Who Wears Short Shorts? The ’84 Olympic Team That’s Who!

Here’s something you don’t see everyday, game footage from when the 1984 US Olympic team took on the NBA All-Stars in an exhibition game. On the Olympic team’s side you have such luminaries as:

Alvin Robertson
Vernon Fleming
Steve Alford
Leon Wood
Joe Kleine
Jon Koncak
Wayman Tisdale
Sam Perkins
Jeff Turner
Patrick Ewing
Chris Mullin
and some young unknown named Michael Jordan (#9 in your program)

On the NBA All-Stars side they had:

Magic Johnson
Isiah Thomas
Walter Davis
Alex English
Larry Nance
Michael Cooper
Butch Carter
Kiki Vandeweghe
Kurt Rambis

Not bad at all. Add in Bobby Knight coaching the Olympians and it’s quite the contest. Hey, remember those old shorts! I think if teams are going to really embrace the throwback uniform concept they need to bring back the shorts too.

Note that even before he came into the league NBA commentators were predicting Jordan could one of the greatest players in NBA history. I mean, sure, there’s hyperbole all the time, but at least in this case it turned out to be true. Also pretty amazing how much the game has changed from then to now, Michael is clearly playing a different game from the rest of them. And since when did Sam Perkins EVER have game?

The Olympic team won 84-72.

[A Stern Warning]

15
Dec
09

This is Exactly Why I Don’t Work Out

Chilean Olympic weightlifter Elizabeth Poblete had quite the surprise during her training the other day. While practicing lifts, she unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy!

Earlier in the week, Poblete had said she felt unwell but she was “shocked” to find out in fact that she was pregnant. The boy, born 3 months premature is in intensive care. Poblete was also in the hospital but has since left, she told Brazilian television that she doesn’t have the money to pay for medical care for her son and herself but the hospital denies that they discharged her because she couldn’t pay her bill.

At the 2008 Olympics Poblete finished 12th in the 69-75kg category.

[The Guardian]

15
Dec
09

He Definitely Had Snot Bubbles After This Hit

When Appalachian State took on the University of Montana, I didn’t care. When AS’ Matt Cline caught a pass by the sideline I didn’t care. When Montana’s Keith Thompson absolutely explodes into Cline, I cared.

This hit is so hard that MY ribs hurt.

Awesome!

15
Dec
09

Irishman Wins Poker Tournament, Drinking Commences Immediately

Padraig Parkinson won the first ever UKIPT Galway poker tournament last night, winning nearly $182,000, making this the 7th World Series of Poker event that he has cashed in on. With the win, Parkinson wins the unofficial “Irish” title and a free seat at the English Poker Tournament — London next year.

Never one to live up to a stereotype, Parkinson was feeling awfully good after his win: “I was born just down the road so I can’t believe that I won it.

“If anyone wants a drink, I’m buying!”

[Poker Jolt]

15
Dec
09

Fast Acting Ref Performs CPR on the Ice

Midway through the first period of a Swedish Allsvenskan league hockey game, Niklas Lihagen of Orebro HK  took a hit and collapsed to the ice. Unlike most normal hockey checks, Lihagen didn’t just jump back up on the ice; this hit caused some real damage, Lihagen had gone into cardiac arrest.

Fortunately for him, the referee, Wolmer Edqvist, who also works as an ambulance driver quickly noticed what had happened and stopped play. Edqvist immediately went to Lihagen’s side and began CPR to restart the heart.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Thanks to Edqvist’s quick reactions, Lihagen was rushed to the hospital where he is in stable condition; the remainder of the game was postponed.

[Afton Bladet]

15
Dec
09

Not Quite Good Enough to Win the Slam Dunk Competition

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, people falling is always hilarious. Even funnier is when it comes from someone dressed in a cougar mascot costume. Showing their inner humanity, no one goes to the mascot’s aid after he tries a dunk off a giant exercise ball.

15
Dec
09

What’s Next for the Red Sox?

With yesterday’s signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron for a combined $100 million and the previous signing of Marco Scutaro, theoretically the Red Sox could be done with major moves. The team still needs a third baseman but otherwise, the major holes on the field have been filled.

While I’m not a big Lackey fan, for the short-term I like this deal. For his career, Lackey’s most comparable pitcher according to Baseball-Reference is Josh Beckett and both men have identical career ERA+ at 117. Providing his elbow holds up, and I have to believe the Sox wouldn’t make their largest expenditure ever for a pitcher without ensuring that was case, this rotation is filthy. Throw out a Beckett-Lester-Lackey-DiceK-Buchholz rotation and 1-5 you’re talking about one of the best groups in baseball. Add in Tim Wakefield and whatever reclamation project Theo signs (please please please sign Ben Sheets) and you’re talking a solid 1-6 at least which is absolutely necessary.

I wonder though if yesterday’s moves might reopen the Sox’ attempts to pry away the big bat they’re still lacking, someone like Adrian Gonzalez? Mike Cameron can still play a solid center field, even at age 36, the Red Sox have a plethora of young center field prospects (most of whom are several years away but still) and I wonder if the two signings mean two of the Sox young players might be on the move. If the Sox were to offer to San Diego a package headlined by Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury wouldn’t the Padres have to seriously listen? They’d be receiving two major league players both under team control for at least 4 more years and at very low salaries. Ellsbury’s speed would give him plenty of chances to leg out extra base hits in the spacious Petco Park, and Buchholz is going to be if not a star, very good.

I don’t want to give up Buchholz, Ellsbury I could go either way on, but to acquire a big bat like Adrian, who is still only 26 years old and plant him in the middle of the lineup for the next decade is a pretty appealing thought. If, as the reports are right that Theo is hesitant to deal the young prospects that San Diego would want, (which I agree with him) perhaps giving up young major leaguers that the team isn’t convinced they want to build around, or that they can afford to give up is the better option.

Losing Jacoby would hurt some, the team would still have a hole in left but would be coming out of this offseason so far with the top starting pitcher on the free agent market and one of the best sluggers in the game. Not a bad haul if it could be done. I’d wager that Theo is FAR from done this offseason and there are a number of machinations still in the works. And if Adrian DOESN’T come to Boston, I’m still pretty satisfied with this offseason, I’d still like to see another 30 HR guy in the lineup but for the moment, I’m thinking this looks like a team poised to finish either 1-2 in the AL East.




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