Justin Bieber Fever Strikes Fort Myers Miracle Minor League Club

In Fort Myers Florida, so called “Bieber fever” has struck a Class-A Advanced minor league ball club.  The Fort Myers Miracle baseball team, a Minnesota Twins affiliate, has seen their bullpen inherit a rather peculiar ritual involving 17-year-old singing sensation Justin Bieber. As a form of punishment, any relief pitcher who gives up a home run has to don a flamboyant Justin Bieber backpack to and from games until the next relief pitcher gives up a homer.

The practice is unusual and out of the ordinary but develops solid team chemistry according to pitching coach Steve Mintz who claimed, “It’s something that keeps the guys laughing and together. I don’t think anybody’s pulling for anybody to give up a home run. Like I told Pugh, I hope he’s the last guy to carry the backpack this season.”

We’ve seen athletes in the past play Bieber’s music before an at-bat or mimic his trendy hair style, but never rock his gear in humiliation.  The backpack was brought in by relief pitcher Blake Martin. “I went to Target the day before the season started,” Martin said. “I was looking for a backpack. I saw Justin Bieber and decided to get it.”

The unusual antic certainly provides an added incentive to pitch well and, if you’re a Fort Myers Miracle player, how could you complain?  Unless, of course, you give up a homer and the rest of the staff becomes lights out.  That would suck a little.

Photo Courtesy Fort Myers Miracle via Fox Sports Florida

Nike Marketing Kevin Durant Backpack Along with Clothing Line

During Oklahoma City Thunder post-game press conferences, two things go hand-in-hand: Kevin Durant and his backpack.  For whatever reason, the 21-year-old superstar does all his post game blabber wearing his backpack completely strapped up and ready to go.  Like any smart company would do, Nike is capitalizing on the fashion statement by selling the carrying book bag as part of Durant’s KD III line.

It has almost become symbolic for Durant to rock the backpack during his sessions with the media.  However, some fans may be disappointed with what’s actually in it.  According to Durant, “iPad, headphones, bible and phone chargers,” is all he carries.

Nike is has wisely decided to capitalize off this entertaining fad.  Durant, unlike LeBron, is one of the most loved players in the NBA.  When young basketball players go to purchase his shoes, they’ll almost certainly feel obligated to buy the matching backpack.

While Nike looks to profit off Durant’s choice in style, Durant himself has other things to worry about.  One huge one will be slowing down the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki’s quest to enhance his legacy. After the Game 1 loss, Durant will need his teammate Russell Westbrook (3-15 shooting in Game 1) — not his backpack — to have any chance of bouncing back.

When you look at the way Durant used to be, this revelation is actually surprising.

West Ham Fans Brawl with Demba Ba After Autograph Snub During Banquet

The English Premier League and nearly every professional soccer league in Europe applies an interesting rule. If your club fares poorly and finishes in the bottom three of league standing at the end of the season, you get relegated. Basically, a demotion into a bottom subdivision league — comparable to our minor leagues in the NHL, NBA and MLB — for the ensuing season.

If we applied this to American sports, the Minnesota Timberwolves would be playing in the NBDL next season. Another realistic application would be the Pittsburgh Pirates moving down to Triple-A after their 57-105 mark in 2010. Thankfully, for the Pirates and T-Wolves, they don’t have to face that harsh reality.

This season for the EPL, West Ham United finished dead last and will face relegation. On top of this ugly truth, another sour turn took place after a brawl broke out during a Gala dinner between a player and a few of his fans. West Ham striker Demba Ba (pictured) reportedly told two season-ticket holders he was too tired to sign autographs. The die-hard fans, displeased with his response, apparently lashed out at the forward. Fortunately, no one was hurt at the scene and two police vehicles arrived for back-up.

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