Psychic Octopus Predicted German Loss

One slimy sea creature was really cashing in on the 2010 World Cup — that is, until Germany lost Wednesday. Paul the psychic octopus correctly predicted all six of Germany’s outcomes, including a 1-0 group play upset defeat at the hands of Serbia and Wednesday’s semifinal defeat to Spain. The eight-legged creature is clearly not afraid to tell fans the future, no matter how harsh it may be for their team. Here’s a video of Paul the Octopus picking Spain to beat Germany via Jimmy Traina’s Hot Clicks:

Here is what owner Oliver Walenciak had to say about Paul’s powers:

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USC Losing Leverage, Gaining Humility

There were three events that occurred over the past two days that signified a change for USC’s football program. Things first started when coach Pete Carroll left for Seattle, leaving a gaping hole at the head of the program. Carroll was replaced by Lane Kiffin who departed Tennessee for So Cal to help calm the uproar amongst Trojan fans. While Kiffin and the USC program believed they would not be impacted by the NCAA investigation regarding their recruiting violations, it turned out they were wrong; the program got docked 30 scholarships over three years and two years of bowl games. Three key events have taken place since that indicate USC has lost its leverage and gained humility.

First, Minnesota-based offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson was released from his letter of intent. The nation’s top offensive lineman recruit felt deceived by the Trojans coaching staff regarding the potential sanctions. Seantrel did not show up for summer school leading USC coaches to fly out to meet with him in Minneapolis on two occasions. As we initially reported at LBS, USC did not want to release him from his commitment, but the negative press and potential future backlash made the Trojans coaches realize it was a smart business move to release Henderson.

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Fan Rushes South Africa Pitch With Vuvuzela, Isn’t Tasered

Clearly they do things a little differently in South Africa than we do them here in the States.  When a fan rushes the field in Philadelphia with a goal of outrunning security long enough to hear 40,000 people roaring for him and enjoy his 20 seconds of fame, he ends up getting Tasered by Phillies’ security.  When a fan does the same in Durban, South Africa during one of the most important games in the world carrying arguably the most obnoxious noise-maker in the world, he’s chased down and taken off the field.  Take a look at this video of a fan running onto the field with a vuvuzela during the World Cup Semifinals, courtesy of Sportress of Blogitude:

I know, the World Cup is a much larger stage with higher security awareness, but would it kill MLB teams to hire some security guards who are capable of getting out of their own ways?  If your job is to protect players and fans at a sporting event and you can’t chase down an occasional drunk who who runs onto the field, there’s something wrong.  The World Cup guy gave up much easier than the Phillies fan, but I didn’t see a security guard chasing him around waiting for an opportune shot with a stun-gun, either.

Vuvuzela-Carrying Vagabond Vanquished From Pitch During Germany-Spain Match [Sportress of Blogitude]
Video Credit: YouTube user moka10

MSG Stock Soars on LeBron James to Knicks Rumor

Reports surfaced on Wednesday night that LeBron James would have a one-hour show on ESPN to announce where he’s going to sign in free agency. Details have emerged that James’ announcement will take place in Greenwich, Connecticut, outside of New York City, making people believe he’s going to sign with the Knicks. On top of that news, Reds Army brought it to my attention that both Ocho Cinco and Jared Dudley have said on twitter that LeBron James is going to the Knicks. Even though nothing is official, the speculation has already resulted in heavy financial implications.

CNBC business reporter Darren Rovell pointed out that MSG’s stock was up towards the final hour of trading on Wednesday because of the rumors that LeBron’s going to NYC. MSG is Madison Square Garden, the cable company that airs Knicks games. As if the stock rising 6.5% for the day wasn’t enough, the trade volume has been up almost six times its normal average. Additionally, the options market for MSG was buzzing with thousands of calls contracts being purchased, all in anticipation that MSG’s stock will go up in the future.

If I were the SEC, I would be taking an extra careful look at the buys on Wednesday to make sure there was no insider trading going on based on the LeBron rumors.

Did Ochocinco and Dudley just ruin LeBron’s “Look At Me” party? [Reds Army]
Market Bets LeBron Will Be A Knick? [CNBC]
MSG Stock [Yahoo! Finance]

Prospective Teams Got Played by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

For the last six days, fans in New York, Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, New Jersey and other areas have been on the edge of their seats waiting for the decisions of three men — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James has kept his silence pretty much since the Cleveland Cavaliers were knocked out of the playoffs, but Bosh and Wade have been anything but quiet.

Twitter was their medium of choice, as both used the social media to update the world regarding their free agency meetings. The duo both made comments about how choosing their new team wouldn’t be easy, but now it kind of feels like they had their minds set up on playing together a while ago.

Even on Wednesday morning Bosh wrote the following on his Twitter page: “What’s all the fuss about this morning? I woke up to a ton of emails, texts and missed calls.”

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Thunder Frightened By This Year’s Free Agent Frenzy

Alright, maybe I have no factual basis for making that claim, but think about it.  Free agency in the NBA this year has been nothing shy of out of control.  Twitter has become a major marketing tool and a place for anticipation and announcements.  LeBron James is going to announce his future plans during a one-hour special on ESPN.  That’s right, an actual show dedicated to one player announcing where he will sign as a free agent.  It’s certainly safe to say that there’s never been a free agent period in any sport, at any point in time, that was accompanied by more buzz and speculation.

As a result, the Oklahoma City Thunder decided it’s best that they avoid a similar situation with their own franchise player.  It’s no coincidence that the Thunder signed Kevin Durant to a five-year extension on Wednesday that’s reportedly worth somewhere around $85 million and doesn’t include an opt-out clause.  Durant exploded onto the scene last season, averaging over 30 points per game and earning enough respect to be considered an MVP contender.

Had the Thunder waited until his contract expired to begin hammering out an extension, there’s no doubt Durant would have been as highly sought after as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Amare Stoudemire were — and still are in the case of LeBron — this year.  Instead, they chose to avoid a potential frenzy that could result in their franchise returning to the bottom of the barrel.

Durant’s extension will fly completely under the radar and be overshadowed by the decisions made by this year’s free agent class.  I’m sitting here watching SportsCenter as I type and they’ve already discussed D-Wade’s and Bosh’s decisions to go to the Heat three times without even mentioning Kevin Durant.  I’m sure the Thunder are more than happy to have it that way, and I’m confident that when the smoke clears resigning Durant will turn out to be one of the best moves of the 2010 NBA off-season.

Durant agrees to $85 million extension [Yahoo! Sports]

Rangers Fan Who Fell Has Broken Ankle, Fractured Skull

There was a time-stopping moment in Arlington on Tuesday night when a Rangers fan fell from the upper deck trying to grab a foul ball. I’ve always wondered how it doesn’t happen more frequently given how low the railings at most parks are. Even though the fan fell 20 feet, he appears to be in relatively good condition.

Additionally, Larry Brown Sports has learned the identity of the fan and it’s Texas native Tyler Morris. According to sources, Morris has a broken ankle and fractured skull, and he may have a broken jaw. As you could imagine, Morris is being moved to ICU for observation for the head injury.

It’s really amazing that Morris doesn’t have more injuries given what occurred. Although we’re being told he has a fractured skull, I imagine he’ll be feeling the remnants of this fall for quite some time. Here’s to a full recovery and maybe a reconsideration from major league teams to include safety nets and higher railings in the stands. Just a thought to help prevent another accident like this in the future.