When a sports team or figure is mentioned in a person’s obituary, it is usually in the form of either the ultimate compliment or an epic insult. Last week, a Minnesota man’s obituary expressed displeasure with a certain Minnesota Twin. If I were to tell you the Cincinnati Bengals were mentioned in someone’s obituary, my guess is you might already have an idea of the context.
On Tuesday, The Big Lead called our attention to the obituary of 95-year-old Saul Shuller, which can be read in its entirety on Legacy.com. Shuller was apparently a Bengals fan, and like almost any other Bengals fan he had grown tired of watching the team lose. As a result, he considered being freed from the frustration of watching the Bengals to be one of the positive components of his demise.
“Accepting that the end was near, the funny grandfather and great-grandfather said earlier in the day there was an upside to death: at least he wouldn’t have to watch another Bengals loss.”
This is one of the many reasons Cincinnati has emerged as the black hole of professional football. Marvin Lewis keeps his job year after year and the Bengals continue to miss the playoffs and play mediocre football on their best days. Sports are supposed to be for our entertainment and enjoyment. When people are glad they are dying so they no longer have to watch you play, it may be time to make a change.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Every once in a while, a player will agree to do a photo shoot that is certain to result in endless criticism from fans and their teammates. Some of the most extreme instances include the Kobe Bryant white hot photo shoot and Andre Ethier’s spread, both of which were done for LA Times Magazine. More recently, we had Mark Sanchez channel his inner Tom Brady and go all out for GQ. This may come as a surprise, but Matt Kemp has outdone them all.
Kemp recently let it all — too much of it, in fact — hang out for a photo shoot with Flaunt Magazine. This is the first I’m hearing of Flaunt Magazine, but after hearing the name and seeing the Kemp photos that Vin Scully is My Homeboy passed along I’m pretty confident I don’t need to become an avid reader. Here are the Matt Kemp Flaunt Magazine pictures, and all of you Seinfeld fans out there can only keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t move.
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- Matt Kemp
Fine-tuning your fantasy roster is critical to having success on a weekly basis. You can draft a good team, but with injuries and bye weeks, there is always room for more depth. With that in mind, we have four running backs to suggest as free agent pickups for week four of fantasy.
Stevan Ridley is a rookie running back for the Patriots. The LSU product drew attention when he scored three touchdowns in the first preseason game. He followed that up by gaining 111 total yards in the second preseason game. Though he didn’t see action in week one, he had two carries in week two. Last week he saw significant action in the second half of the Pats game against the Bills. Ridley ran for 42 yards on six carries and added an 8-yard catch. The Pats still have BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead in the running back rotation, but Ridley has earned his share of carries. If you have room for him, we suggest adding him. He could be the team’s primary back in a month or so — he’s just better than what New England has.
Montario Hardesty is a second-year running back for the Browns. He was taken in the second round by Cleveland last year but he tore his ACL in his first preseason game and missed the entire year. He’s back healthy and acted as Cleveland’s primary back week three with Peyton Hillis out sick, going for over 100 total yards. Hillis will be back, but Hardesty was so impressive in his first start that he almost assuredly has earned a timeshare with the Madden cover boy. We loved Hardesty’s physical running style in college and were impressed by his ability to break tackles. The talent is there, the Browns have a good enough line, and Hardesty will get enough carries to be a passable bye week fill-in on your fantasy team. Don’t expect the same production in week four as Hillis will likely be back, but 10 touches is possible.
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- Fantasy Football
To say that it kills me to have to do this would be an epic understatement. We all know how much I love Rory McIlroy. I was arguably his ex-girlfriend Holly Sweeney’s biggest fan, so when it came out that Rory had to beg to get her back I was okay with it for the most part. When he dumped Holly (which is obviously what happened because Rory is a boss), I thought he just wanted to enjoy being the young guy at the top of the golf world. Now I’m not so sure.
In lieu of everything that has happened since McIlroy began dating tennis player Carolina Wozniacki, I have no choice but to deduct a bro point. Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing against Woz. But the 22-year-old who feeds off of arrogance and confidence shouldn’t be making out in front of the Yale football team and showcasing his soft side. And he certainly shouldn’t be giving Woz cheesy presents that fuse his and her name together. Check out this picture that Devil Ball Golf shared with us:
Poor form. First of all the name looks like it was punched in using the same tool I use to mark my keys with words such as “HOME” and “OFFICE.” More importantly, the whole combining of the last names thing is extremely lame. Rory owes me a tournament victory.
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All that’s left to do now is to photoshop Michael Vick as a woman. Over the course of one season, we have had the chance to see what the Eagles quarterback would like as a white guy and now an infant. Check out the following picture from the back cover of Tuesday’s NY Post, courtesy of Shutdown Corner:
The actual article features quotes from several different Giants players who claim the hits they laid on Vick over the weekend were perfectly legal. Some were, others may not have been. However, there is little debate that Vick went about handling it the wrong way. Whether the hits were legal or not, the baby picture is warranted. If Vick is already feeling sorry for himself after three games it is going to be a long year. Perhaps he’ll get a few extra calls after lambasting the officials, but he will also have defenders coming at him even harder knowing how much it frustrates him. The Eagles need to sort out their offensive line problems and start working on the things that they can control.
When we bring you quotes and other material from Ozzie Guillen here on LBS, we usually preface it by saying something along the lines of, “nothing Ozzie says or does surprises us.” For the most part, that is the case. Guillen loves to rant and baseball fans are used to hearing him by now. However, Ozzie made it clear on Monday that even he can still leave people speechless and a little shocked.
As I’m sure you have heard by now, Guillen was released from his White Sox contract upon request and will reportedly manage the Marlins for the next four seasons. The contract with Florida will pay him roughly $4 million per year. One might expect Ozzie to claim the decision was not about money like every other player and manager before him, but as The Big Lead pointed out that was hardly the case.
“With the rings, I can’t do [anything] with that,’’ Guillen said according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “But with money, I can go buy me a new boat, I can go buy me a new car, I can dress my wife the way I want to dress her, I can go to Spain. With the ring, I can go to United Airlines and say, ‘Hello, I won the 2005 championship. Can you fly me to Spain?’ Hell, no.
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- Ozzie Guillen
Oftentimes when there is a work stoppage in a professional sports league, players will go back to school. Anthony Randolph has chosen to go back to LSU during the NBA lockout and was even considering joining a fraternity. Unfortunately for Yao Ming, injuries have derailed his career and he will not be playing basketball when the labor situation is sorted it. He will, however, still be doing the whole going back to school thing.
Yao will reportedly attend Shanghai’s Jiaotong University but has yet to decide what he will study. Jiaotong University is one of the most prestigious schools in China, and Yao will receive one-on-one teaching while in attendance. According to his agent, the 7-foot-6 center does not want to become a distraction to the other students by sitting in a classroom with them. Yao enrolled at Jiatong just before he headed to the U.S. to begin his basketball career but was too busy to complete the requirements.
As you may remember, Yao also received an honorary degree from the University of Hong Kong for his role in HIV/AIDS research back in 2008. Between his honorary doctorate in social sciences and an education from one of China’s top university’s, it appears Dr. Ming will make up for what his basketball career lacked with a respectable background in higher education. That’s more than most who have had their careers cut short by injury can say.
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- Yao Ming
When we saw the Ram Rules video that the St. Louis Rams released a couple weeks ago, we were shocked at how stupid a team can consider its fan base to be. The guys over at JoeSportsFan.com have first-hand knowledge of what life is like as a sports fan in St. Louis, and the video didn’t seem to surprise them. In fact, they thought it was lacking a bit. Fortunately, they decided to add rules 6-10 to the Ram Rules video. Check it out:
Phenomenal. The Rams made a huge mistake when they missed all of these rules. How could they forget about the produce rule? Thank goodness we have bloggers out there to make things right in the world.
- St. Louis Rams
Within the New York Jets organization, trash talking is welcome. In fact, it seems to be encouraged. When a head coach leads the way by flapping his gums on a regular basis, the team is guaranteed to follow his direction. The Jets have talked more trash since Rex Ryan took over as head coach than any other team in NFL history. The problem is that they have yet to win a championship.
With the amount of jabbering they do, the Jets have turned themselves into a team with a ton to prove. Bart Scott even acknowledged that over the offseason and he has the biggest mouth on the team. After being handled by the Raiders on Sunday, Darrelle Revis realizes the Jets need to step it up in Baltimore this weekend and prove they can do more than just run their mouths.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back and show this league that we’re not just a trash-talking team,” Revis said Monday according to ESPNNewYork.com. “It’s very frustrating. We’re not playing up to our potential, our standards, our goals.”
The Redskins blew a 16-9 lead against the Cowboys and lost on the road 18-16 on Monday night. Their collapse was painful to watch for Redskins fans. After their touchdown put them ahead, they punted three times and then Rex Grossman was sacked and lost a fumble to end the game. The defense meanwhile gave up three field goals in the second half, the last of which came with 1:47 left and gave the Cowboys the lead.
While the offense failed to produce the entire fourth quarter, the defense had an excellent opportunity to close the door when they had the Cowboys in a 3rd and 21. Forced out of the pocket under pressure, Tony Romo completed a pass to Dez Bryant that went for 30 yards down to Washington’s 40 yard line. Dallas still would have needed to move the ball a few yards to set up a long field goal, but they received an extra 15 yards thanks to a facemask penalty.
While nobody questions that DeAngelo Hall touched Dez Bryant’s facemask, it was clear that he touched it accidentally while trying to make a tackle. He quickly moved his hand away from the facemask and at no point tried to bring Bryant down with it (watch video of the play here). It was a bad call by the referee because the language in the rule book states that a player must “grasp” the facemask to be penalized. At no point did Hall grasp Dez’s facemask. Needless to say, Hall was fuming about the call after the game.