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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blog

Adam Lind Pesky Pole Home Run Ball Controversially Overturned

Adam Lind hit a ball against the Red Sox Friday night that was initially ruled a home run but was later overturned by the umpires. The ball landed between Pesky’s Pole and the spot on the wall where the yellow line is drawn, making it a foul ball. Here’s a picture of the play caught by NESN:

Luckily for Toronto the play being overturned didn’t impact the outcome of the game as they won 7-6, but you better believe John Farrell would have gone crazy had they lost. The good news is we finally have instant replay to get the calls right. I have an idea for the geniuses at Fenway Pahk, how about repaint the wall? Tomorrow. Thanks.

ESU Linebacker Steve Lattimer Tests Positive for Steroids, Suspension Pending

Shock waves were sent through the ESU program Friday when it was revealed linebacker/defensive end Steve Lattimer tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Lattimer is facing a three-game suspension from the NCAA for the positive test which will likely weaken the Timberwlves’ defense over the next month.

Lattimer’s positive test is no surprise to folks who have followed the ESU program closely over the past few years. The senior pass rusher entered the program as an undersized walk-on linebacker who saw action in just three games last season. He added over 30 pounds of muscle during the offseason and impressed the coaches with a relentless work ethic and ability to blow past offensive linemen during spring and fall practice. He was rewarded by being named the starting defensive end/linebacker in the 3-4 system, and he’s produced results. On the year, Lattimer has six sacks and nine tackles for a loss.

A source with knowledge of the drug test tells LBS that Lattimer tested positive for anabolic steroids. Lattimer’s new muscular physique would certainly point to steroid use, so the positive test is not a surprise. Additionally, the burly defensive star was accused of sexual assault by a female on campus who described Lattimer’s behavior that night as “consistent with roid rage.” The charges were later dropped.

This post is a part of the Friday Film Festival at Larry Brown Sports. All contents of the story are purely fictional and based entirely off the sports movie, The Program. To learn more about the movie, go here.

LA Times Explains Decision to Print ‘Faggot’ in Kobe Story Online, in Paper

Anyone who opened up their LA Times on Thursday or read the online version of Mike Bresnahan’s story on Kobe being caught on camera saying “f—ing f—–” may have been surprised to see the full text of Kobe’s homophobic slur published. Whereas most news organizations used the term “homophobic slur” or blurred out the word, the Times actually printed the offensive word in its story. You can see that in both the newspaper and online version:

It was quite shocking to see the word “faggot” in the newspaper as LBS contributor Gene pointed out, so we asked the Los Angeles Times what led to their decision to print the offensive word. The Times’ VP of Communications, Nancy Sullivan, explained it to us over email:

“Derogatory terms such as the one in the Kobe Bryant story are rarely printed in the paper, for obvious reasons. However, when the use of the word IS the story, as was the case with Bryant’s utterance, it is important to print it for clarity and accountability. This has happened with the other offensive terms in years past. But using such offensive words is never done lightly and, as was the case in this instance, is always cleared at the highest level of the editorial department. There needs to be a very good reason to use it, and in this case, because Bryant’s use of the term and the strong reaction to it from several different corners were the reason for the story, our judgment was to go with it.”

Juxtaposing the decision to publish the actual slur was the decision to describe Kobe’s f-bomb as a “curse word.” It was a tough call for the Times’ editorial department as you can tell, and I’m not sure if printing the offensive term helps or harms the message. Obviously we concur that when the word becomes the story it’s hard to avoid publishing it (as we did in the title), but it was no easy decision for the paper, especially because many people find the word to be offensive. If they didn’t, then Kobe’s words wouldn’t have become a story.

Peyton Hillis Riding White Running Back Mystique to Madden Cover Vote Semis

Unlike past years when the cover of the popular John Madden football video game was selected by EA Sports, this year they chose to have the cover determined by a vote. Sports Nation has hosted a 32-player March Madness-style tournament (one athlete per team) to determine who will end up on the cover of the game. They’re down to the semifinals and the four remaining players are Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, and Peyton Hillis. Ask yourself one question: which athlete does not belong?

In that group, we have a Super Bowl MVP, the MVP runner up, a four-time Pro Bowler, and a guy who has 1,574 career yards and 17 touchdowns. The guy with the fewest accolades out of that group is by far Peyton Hillis.

Don’t get me wrong, Peyton Hillis was pretty outstanding last year until getting hurt, but he really doesn’t belong with those three just yet. Those other three guys are stars in the game while Hillis has had one good year. And his one good year wasn’t even as good as say, Arian Foster’s one good year. So how did he end up in the semifinals of this tournament?

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John Amaechi Compares Kobe’s Gay Slur to Use of N-Word

Kobe Bryant got into a serious amount of trouble in a short amount of time after calling referee Bennie Adams a “F—ing F—–” during a Lakers game Tuesday night. He had human rights groups after him, Gay and Lesbian rights groups after him, and the NBA fined him $100,000 for his actions. Initially, Kobe stuck by his words and did not apologize, but later he owned his comments and recognized they were wrong.

Even though Kobe apologized and understood what was wrong about what he did, it didn’t stop John Amaechi from sharing his opinion. Amaechi is an openly gay former NBA player and he talked about Kobe’s outburst both with USA Today and The New York Times.

Talking to USA Today, Amaechi said “We have to take it as unacceptable as a white person screaming the N-word at a black person. … I can tell you that I’ve been called a f——- fairly routinely, and yet people seem to hold off on calling me the N-word. We’ve got to mirror that progress.”

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Michael Vick Remains an Excellent Pitchman for Sports Companies

Michael Vick may still be a hated man by many people in the country, but his popularity is undeniable. Students at his high school were leading a movement to have his jersey put back up on display, and Vick was named the Comeback Player of the Year in the NFL. He became an MVP candidate with his stellar play last year and even earned an endorsement deal with apparel company Unequal Technologies, angering one of our writers. Even if you disagree with Vick being a company’s spokesman based on moral grounds, you cannot argue that the man can’t sell.

The Wall Street Journal had a story recently about Unequal’s decision to take a gamble on Vick by making him their spokesman. Vick apparently wanted stock in the company rather than money, making the decision to hire him even more difficult. The bold choice by Unequal paid off in a 1,000% increase in sales, and the announcement of the partnership led to 10 million hits on their website.

The whole article is worth a read, and it shows that at least one company was rewarded for believing in Vick and making the right call. I’m just disappointed we didn’t tab him to help pimp LBS. 10 million hits? Yeah, we could have lived with that.

Video: Bruins Analyst Joe Haggerty Shoves Canadiens Fan

On Thursday I told you it doesn’t get any better than the Boston Bruins vs. the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Considering the Bruins came out and completely laid an egg and looked uninspired, you might be inclined to tell me I’m wrong. That’s a fair point, but if you need proof that this is about more than just a hockey game we have it. Check out this video of Joe Haggerty shoving a Canadiens fan:

How can you not love this? Any other analyst in any other game probably would have giggled and said something like, “oh look at this we’ve got fans trying to join us on the set!” Not Haggerty. He straight up stiff-armed that Montreal fan right out of the frame. Does that look like the face of a man who’s joking around? Do you think he would have done that to a Bruins fan? Do you think he won’t have done it to a non-Canadiens fan? No, no, and no. Here’s hoping the Bruins come out with a little more fight in them on Saturday.

Video: PGA Golfer Kevin Na Hits 16 Shots on a Par-4

My theory on golf is that everyone sucks at it. Those who don’t are on the PGA tour. Anytime I ask someone if they want to go golfing, they say they suck. Well, guess what? We all do. In fact, even the pros suck sometimes. Fortunately for us casual golfers there are people like PGA golfer Kevin Na, who reminded us on Thursday at the Texas Open that even the big boys can be down right horrendous sometimes.  Check out the video of Kevin Na hitting 16 shots, courtesy of Dogs that Chase Cars via Fox Sports:

Anyone who’s ever golfed has been there before — in the woods and you just can’t find your way out.  It’s just nice to know it happens to the guys who get paid doing it, too.

”I got done with the hole and I said (to my caddie), ‘I think I made somewhere between a 10 and a 15,” Na said. ”But I think it’s close to a 15.”

Almost, kid.  Almost.

Ryan Leaf Is Maturing and Proud of What He Did, Admits Money Changed Him

Ryan Leaf’s name will almost assuredly be forever associated with some of the biggest draft busts in NFL history. Luckily for him JaMarcus Russell is working hard to supplant him for the top honor, but even some of Leaf’s off-field issues post-football haven’t helped his reputation. Leaf is now 34, working on writing three autobiographies, and after hearing him speak during a recent interview, I’m convinced he’s starting to really “get it.”

Leaf joined Darren Smith’s show on Double X 1090 in San Diego Thursday to talk recruiting, quarterbacks, and the draft. He really showed a sense of maturity given the way he talked about things and answered some of the questions. Amongst the highlights from the interview, Leaf talked about what it’s like being labeled a bust, how money changed him as a player, and how he feels about his playing career. Here are some of his answers to great questions asked by Smith (you can listen to the interview here).

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Kobe Bryant’s Inspiration Was Rudy

Even if you can’t stand Notre Dame, it’s hard not to enjoy the sports classic movie Rudy. It’s a touching story that sends a great message about heart, perseverance, and inspiration. Some people think the story was embellished to make the movie more dramatic, but there’s little doubt it’s impacted its viewers. Those viewers even include Kobe Bryant whose work ethic has frequently been lauded by the media.

Arash Markazi of ESPNLA.com had a good story on Thursday about Kobe meeting Rudy Ruettiger, the man who inspired the movie. It was a chance meeting in Sacramento as Rudy’s daughter was singing the national anthem before the Lakers-Kings game. Kobe broke from his pregame routine to speak with Ruettiger and shocked us all with what he said.

“That movie changed my life,” Kobe said. “When I saw it I told myself if I can play as hard as Rudy with the talent I have, anything’s possible. I’ve met a lot of people in my life but that one there, man, that one [messed] me up.”

I’ve always loved watching Rudy and will flip it on whenever it’s playing on TV, but I never thought a movie like that could actually inspire a real athlete to achieve a level of greatness. Now that I know what it did for Kobe, I’m going to pipe that thing on a 24-7 loop for my son in his crib. At least he’d get his work ethic part down, right?

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