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Thursday, May 5, 2016

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Josh Harrellson Going on Jorts Tour

Kentucky big man Josh Harrellson went from insignificant bench guy a year ago to becoming a valuable post presence during the Wildcats’ Final Four run this season. His career at UK is really an amazing story — he was in Billy Gillispie’s doghouse and once was told to remain in a bathroom stall for the second half of a game. He only scored 28 points in 22 games a season ago. But this year Harrellson developed into a force down low and averaged nearly 9 points and 8 rebounds per game. All the while he remained a fan favorite thanks to his personality and relationship with the fans, which all started when Kentucky Sports Radio nicknamed him “Jorts” after seeing a picture of him in jean shorts while on a recruiting trip.

Harrellson embraced the jorts nickname and has created a website to promote his “Jorts Tour” he’ll be embarking on. He needs a little work on his pitchman skills, but his enthusiasm is on the money. Check it out:

This dude has a whole line of Jorts 55 gear and has three dates scheduled for the tour where he’ll be signing autographs. So, is Harrellson trying to milk his 15 minutes of fame or will he be embraced by Kentucky fans for a lifetime? You make the call.

Coco Crisp Unveils the Afro in Oakland

Oakland A’s outfielder Coco Crisp decided to get rid of his braids and go with a 70s afro look for his game Thursday evening against the Tigers. This picture of Coco rocking the fro comes to us from A’s reliever Brad Ziegler on twitter:

Here are more pictures of Coco Crisp’s afro, one courtesy of SF Chronicle columnist, John Shea:

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Bob Costas Says Ty Cobb Was a Son of a B**** on MLB Network

Good thing MLB Network isn’t an over-the-air channel, because I do believe you can get in trouble for saying “son of a b****” on TV, which is exactly what Bob Costas did. I’m not even kidding. Of all sports broadcasters around, I’d probably put Costas in the same category as Vin Scully and Dick Enberg for guys I’d least expect to hear a dirty word or phrase come from. Here’s the video:

That video was aired Thursday on MLB Network and it featured Costas providing Hall of Fame thoughts to Matt Vasgersian. To clarify the title of this post, Costas actually says Cobb was by all accounts an SOB, but that’s not really our concern. The simple stunner is that he said “Ty Cobb by many accounts was the worst son of a bitch who ever lived.” As I wrote on twitter, I didn’t know he had that in him. Then again, he is friends with Buzz Bissinger, so I guess that makes anything possible.

For more broadcasting flubs, go here.

LBS Playoff Beard Challenge Begins

The Stanley Cup Playoffs began on Wednesday evening, but for a Boston Bruins fan like myself, it doesn’t begin until Thursday night. With that in mind, I introduce to you the contestants brave enough to participate in the LBS Playoff Beard Charity Challenge. From left to right, we have the King Nut, myself, whose team is the Boston Bruins; Chad from IntheOT.com (check out his site for great insight) supporting the Vancouver Canucks; and site contributor Arsen, whose team is the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s not too late if you decide you want to man up and participate in the fun times. Get used to updates, because we’ll be posting them throughout the playoffs. All participants will have a donation made to the charity of their choice, with the person whose team lasts the longest getting the largest donation. You are now entering the no razor zone.

Does it Get Any Better Than Bruins-Canadiens in The First Round?

Like the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs are a long grind.  Anytime you have 16 teams in a tournament that is set up in best-of-seven format, things are going to take a while.  In order to reach the Stanley Cup Finals a team has to win 12 games.  With that in mind, it would be understandable if casual hockey fans had trouble getting excited about the opening round of the NHL playoffs.  However, when the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens take the ice — opening round or Eastern Conference Finals — all eyes should be watching.

When the puck drops at 7 p.m EST in Boston Thursday night, it will signal the beginning of anything but “just another series.”  These two teams despise each other and have since the 1950s.  Some like to call the Yankees and Red Sox the greatest rivalry in professional sports.  While there is certainly an argument to be made for that, I can guarantee you wouldn’t see a Bruin and a Canadien shooting the breeze during a game the way Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia do when one of them reaches second base.  The fans may hate each other more than the players do, but the guys with the sticks aren’t far behind.

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JaMarcus Russell Life Coach John Lucas Gives Up on Him

When the topic of draft busts comes up twenty years from now, it would be hard to imagine the name JaMarcus Russell going unmentioned.  Russell was the top overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.  He signed a six-year, $62 million deal with the Raiders that included $31 million in guaranteed money.  A 65.2 career passer rating later, he and Oakland have absolutely nothing to show for it.

Russell has been called a “binge eater” and had his jersey torched by Raiders fans.  When Hall of Fame wide receiver and fellow Raider Tim Brown tried to give him guidance early in his career, JaMarcus refused.  Between the purple drank scandal and no NFL team even wanting to speak to the former LSU Tiger, Russell’s career was as close to dead as it could get.  Now that his life coach, John Lucas, has given up on him, the end has likely come.

Sources told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that Lucas has parted ways with Russell and asked him to leave Houston.  Considering Lucas has helped plenty of athletes with drug addictions and other problems, he must really view Russell as a lost cause.  JaMarcus worked hard when he started meeting with Lucas but his motivation started to slip and began wearing on his life coach back in December, according to the sources.

The idea of a life coach is to help a person out of a tough time that they can’t get themself through.  When a life coach gives up on you, that is the ultimate signal that you’re all alone.  I don’t wish the worst for Russell by any means, but I think it’s safe to say his NFL career is completely over.

Larry Fitzgerald Batting Practice Video: He Should Stick to Football

We hear so much about guys like Drew Brees killing it in celebrity softball games and others like Tim Tebow, Sidney Crosby, and Bryan Buluga mashing during batting practice that we tend to forget not all athletes have perfected every sport.  Going pro in one sport doesn’t necessarily mean you can hold your own in another, and Larry Fitzgerald recently became walking proof of that.  Have a look at the Larry Fitzgerald batting practice video, courtesy of SBNationArizona:

That is one ugly swing. Scratch baseball off the list of things Fitzy can do during an NFL lockout next season.  “I struck out about seven, eight times out there,” Fitzgerald told the Arizona Republic after the poor display. “It was embarrassing. This is definitely a gift I don’t possess.”

Ozzie Guillen Rants About White Sox Bullpen, Summons Bobby Thigpen

The Chicago White Sox blew a 4-1 lead in the 9th inning of Wednesday’s game with the A’s, and they gave up three more the next inning to lose the game. Collectively, the Sox have a 6.14 ERA as a bullpen, with closers Matt Thornton and Chris Sale combining to post a 7.50 ERA. Though Chicago is still 7-5 thanks to their prolific offense, manager Ozzie Guillen is struggling to find a closer for his team which has led to our first official Ozzie moment of the season. Frustrated with the line of questioning from the media after the game, Ozzie let loose.

The Chicago Tribune also provided the transcription, “I see the same (stuff) you guys see. Exactly same (stuff),” Ozzie said. Then he got nostalgic about his closer solution, saying “I might call Bobby Thigpen to help us. You know why? When we play good, they send those guys to this damn table and (you) talk to them like heroes. When we (mess) it up, I’m the one who has to … sit here and talk to you guys.”

The Trib has a video that shows Ozzie much more supportive of his pen compared to this truncated clip. Ozzie was probably upset about being asked why he put Chris Sale in a day after he threw over 30 pitches. But it’s not like Matt Thorton did any better when he came in afterwards, so Ozzie was pretty much screwed either way. There’s only one person liking things in Chicago right now, and it’s Bobby Jenks. OK I lied, we at LBS love it too. Just like when Ozzie said this, this, and this. Dude is an LBS Hall of Famer for life.

Ryan Madson’s Wife Sarah Madson Says She Hates Phillies Fans

Ryan Madson just became the most wanted man in Philly, and his wife is the female counterpart. During a recent charity event in support of Manna, the organization that provides meals to aids and cancer patients, Sarah Madson made some extremely negative comments about Phillies fans. Oh yeah, did we mention that her husband is a relief pitcher for the Phillies? From Deadspin via Naked Philadelphian:

Sarah Madson declared, “I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season.”

I understand the Madsons may be upset that Jose Contreras became the Phillies’ closer with Brad Lidge out instead of Ryan, but that doesn’t mean they had to concoct a plan to get him traded out of town. I mean seriously, there are other ways to go about this than by ensuring you’ll get J.D. Drewd by Philly fans every time you play them in the future. Just a bad, bad idea for Sarah. What are they going to do with their green-efficient mansion now too?

But honestly, I understand where she’s coming from here. In fact, Phillies fans have their own dedicated section here at LBS for all their mind-numbing antics such as …

Photo via

Sacramento Kings Announcers Grant and Jerry Tear Up at End of Telecast (Video)

We’ve already talked about how the Kings-Lakers game on Wednesday night in Sacramento was one of the saddest moments of the NBA season. Landon Donovan was one of the people who thought it was a joke that the Kings were moving until he realized how truly sad it was to see such a great sports town lose its beloved (and only) team. We’ve covered the story previously at LBS and gave you the heartfelt perspective from a lifelong Kings fan. We can tell you as much as we want how devastating it is for Sacramento to lose the Kings, but nothing conveys the touching emotion quite like this video of the team’s TV announcers, Jerry Reynolds and Grant Napear, signing off Wednesday evening:

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