At this festive time of the year, it is good to know that serious criminal activities in the US must be at an all-time low. We must have finally won the “War on Drugs” and anti-social activities such as bank robbery and kidnapping must be things of the past. Oh, and there surely are no Ponzi schemes going on anywhere… Why do I think this?
The Feds have turned their attention to cracking down on the next tier of criminal activity so the really bad stuff must be under control. According to a report in The Sporting News, the Feds just busted an Internet based NFL survival pool where the winning take was going to be approximately $200K. There were 2300 participants at the beginning of the year who ponied up $100 each and there were about 20 folks still alive in the pool – until, alas, there was no pool. The original pool of $230,000 would be split in the following way:
10% would go to charity
$50K to a “second chance” winner
Balance to the final survivor.
According to this report, all documents related to the case are under seal by order of the Federal judge handling the matter. Wow, there must be some truly nefarious stuff going on in this survival pool…
Those of you who bother to read my NCAA Mythical Picks during the college football season know that I think we should identify the worst college team of the year by playing tournament of the 8 worst teams in a format where the loser of a game has to continue to play until only one loser remains. I happen to call that team the SHOE Team where the acronym stands for Steaming Heap Of Excrement.
Scott Ostler writes for a fine family newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, where the editors would be loath to deal to label a group of student-athletes who happen to comprise a bad football team as a Steaming Heap Of Excrement. Nonetheless, Professor Ostler thinks along the same lines that I do based on this item in a column over the weekend:
“Yes, the world does need one more college football bowl, pitting the two worst teams. This time it would be No. 124 New Mexico State (1-11) vs. No. 123 UMass (1-11), though there would be howls of protest from No. 122 Southern Miss (0-12), the only winless team.
“We’ll call it the Top of the Bottom of the Barrel Bowl. Or scare up a sponsor. The PG&E Fight Competence Bowl.”
Once again, it would appear that I was ahead of the times…
The Sacramento Kings have suspended DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. According to reports, he and coach Keith Smart got into a shouting match at halftime of a game. This is Cousins’ third suspension this season; the first two suspensions came from the NBA itself; this one is from his own team. Cousins has plenty of physical skills but ever since his days at Kentucky, there have been serious questions about his “maturity”. Cousins is the basketball version of Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham:
“Million dollar arm but a ten-cent head”
Perhaps, Cousins can be the poster child for a new acronym that would apply to him and to a select few other divas whose behaviors outside of the game itself limit their career options and their careers:
“TMB” stands for Too Much Baggage.
Other athletes who might carry the TMB label might be Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, Allen Iverson …
A recent story in USA Today said that John Daly will have his name on a spiked lemonade product that will be distributed in Western states as a test market. The drinks are 30-proof and come in three flavors: peach tea/lemonade, sweet tea/lemonade and raspberry tea/lemonade.
Seriously, what is the demographic the makers of these vodka/tea/lemonade concoctions are aiming for?
Calvin Johnson shattered Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season last week – and there is still another game to play. Against the Falcons, Johnson caught 11 passes for 225 yards and here are some stat facts courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:
This was the fourth time Johnson had 200+ yards receiving in a game in his career. Only Lance Alworth has done that more times (5) and only three other players have ever done that in the history of the NFL. [Those “other three” were Charley Hennigan, Don Hutson and Jerry Rice.]
Johnson has now caught 44 passes in the month of December – with a game still to play next week. That is the most passes caught in a calendar month in the history of the NFL. The previous mark was 43 receptions shared by Marvin Harrison, Brandon Marshall and Jason Witten.
In that Lions/Falcons game, Matthew Stafford was the one throwing the ball to Johnson and those completions allowed Stafford to corner this statistical niche – once again courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:
Stafford threw for 443 yards against the Falcons but had no TD passes. The previous record for passing yards in a game without a TD pass belonged to Joe Montana who once threw for 441 and no TDs.
Finally, here is an item from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“I don’t want to make too much of the Giants’ 34-0 loss to Atlanta. Stinkers like that have cropped up on Tom Coughlin’s resume before.
“Even so, after this season, I think the Giants should ease out Coughlin and bring in a fresh voice. Or, in the case of Jon Gruden, an annoying one.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………