ESPN issued a press release on Thursday regarding the new website Bill Simmons has been working on the past 18 months. The site will be named Grantland.com in honor of sportswriter Grantland Rice and it will launch in June. Dan Fierman, Lane Brown, and Jay Caspian Kang will be editors, while Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell, and Dave Eggers will be contributing editors. Contributing writers will be Michael Weinreb, Katie Baker, Molly Lambert, Chris Ryan, Robert Mays III, Bill Barnwell, and Patrice Evans.
As for the goal of the site, Simmons says “my No. 1 goal was to figure out how to capture the spirit and creativity of 30 for 30 and transfer it to a website. We wanted original voices, and we found a bunch of them already. We’re going to take chances, come up with a few premises and ideas that you haven’t seen before, and be consistently entertaining day after day. You will never know what to expect when you come to the site – in a good way. That’s our ultimate goal.”
Well, I’ve loved the 30 for 30 documentaries and I know many other people have, so if they’re able to capture the spirit and creativity of those pieces, the site should be a winner. Just by being a Bill Simmons production, it should have instant popularity and credibility. My guess is the site will be a success.
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- Bill Simmons
You have never, ever fit the prototype of a clean-cut, classy PGA golfer like the rest of them, John Daly. For that, we thank you. The same man whose ex-wife revealed some saucy secrets about TPC Southwind just a short month ago has done it again. This time, Daly is sticking up for a man after his own heart — Tiger Woods.
On Wednesday, Daly spoke with 790 The Zone and the topic of the Tiger Woods scandal naturally came up. Daly said he believes Tiger would have been much better off had he just told the world the truth following the initial incident outside his home.
“I told him,” Daly explained. “I said, if you would have come out after that night of the incident and told the world what was going on, not listened to your agents, not listened to anybody else, what your heart said and thought – what you just told me – this story would have ended in one day. You’re looking at a guy all the way to his college days, all it was was golf, golf, golf, golf, golf..he never had a chance to live a life. You know, certain things people go through, certain things you like, certain things you don’t like…He found out late what he really liked…He didn’t have a chance to find out what women were like…until his late teens…almost 20.”
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As pitching coach of the Atlanta Braves, Roger McDowell is in charge of keeping an eye on all of the guys who are responsible for hurling the baseball. What he probably should not be hurling is homophobic slurs at the opposing team’s fans. It’s possible he missed the memo, but that type of thing will usually get you into trouble. Need a recent example? Just ask Kobe Bryant.
According to the LA Times, via The Big Lead, McDowell has been accused of directing homophobic slurs toward a group of Giants fans at AT&T Park on Saturday and threatening another with a baseball bat. More specfically, the fans say McDowell asked them if they were “a homo couple or a threesome?” and then used his two fingers and the small end of a bat to simulate a sexual act. If you can’t see how that would work, draw yourself a picture — you’ll get it.
It gets better. Through his attorney, Gloria Allred, Giants fan Justin Quinn told reporters he observed the above incident and told McDowell to knock it off because there were kids in the stands. McDowell allegedly responded by telling Quinn, “Kids don’t (expletive) belong at the ball park.” Quinn says he then walked toward him holding a bat and asked him, “How much are your teeth worth?”
For those of you skeptics out there, McDowell and the Braves have since apologized for the alleged incident and are looking into it further, so something definitely went down. If all this is true, McDowell was either having an extremely bad day or has some serious issues he needs to deal with. There’s no excuse for a coach or player to be acting like that toward fans whether they were heckling or not.
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Jack Edwards is dangerously close to becoming a household name. The unusually eccentric Boston Bruins play-by-play announcer has become known for his ridiculous analogies and enthusiasm for the game of hockey. Don’t get me wrong, we all love the NHL Playoffs. Like our man Danny Lee already told you, they are the best thing going on television at the moment. To many of us, hockey is more than just a game. To Jack Edwards, calling it a game would be an insult.
The man who once found himself so infuriated with a Montreal Canadien dive that he screamed “get up!” from the announcer’s booth nearly outdid himself Wednesday night after the Bruins defeated Montreal in a Game 7 overtime thriller. As for what he was talking about, your guess is as good as ours. Actually, it’s probably better. Check out the Jack Edwards royalty rant video:
I think I speak for everyone when I say I am literally terrified of what this guy will do should the Bruins go on to win the Stanley Cup.
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Da’Quan Bowers is one of the top pass rushing prospects in the 2011 NFL draft and he’s expected to be a highly-selected player in the first round. Uncertainty regarding the condition of Bowers’ knee has led to speculation that the Clemson product will fall in the draft, but he says he’s been medically cleared. He also has his eyes set on a few targets once he gets into the league.
“I can’t wait to sack Peyton Manning,” Bowers said on SportsCenter Tonight on ESPN Radio with Chuck Wilson last week. “I can’t wait to do it. I think he’s the best pure quarterback in the NFL. Once I get him, I’m going to be so happy. My next target is of course Michael Vick. I’m going to catch him from the blindside.”
That’s an awful lot of cockiness coming from someone who’s just going to be a rookie, but I like the attitude. That’s the type of mentality you want a player to have all offseason long when he’s training. If Bowers keeps up that mentality and trains with that type of attitude, he should be a force in the NFL. It sure seems like he has the talent to become one.
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- Da'Quan Bowers
I was somewhat hesitant to post an update on the status of the playoff beard because the Bruins were in the middle of a tough series, but now that they gritted out their series with an overtime win over the Canadiens in Game 7, it’s time for an update.
Both myself and Chad Margulius of IntheOT.com have been growing our beards in support of our teams and had to face nerve-racking situations this week. For me, Boston had fallen behind 0-2 against the Canadiens, won three straight to take a 3-2 lead, and then lost Game 6. Thankfully they won Game 7 4-3 in overtime to advance.
For Chad, his Vancouver Canucks were looking at the ultimate collapse. The Canucks went up 3-0 on the defending champion Blackhawks, blew the 3-0 lead, and had to grit it out against Chicago in Game 7. Even with goaltending issues between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, the Canucks won Game 7 to advance in the playoffs.
Next up for the Bruins is Philadelphia while the Canucks take on the Predators.
Now let me be the first to tell you that growing a playoff beard isn’t as simple as it looks. The third member to accept the playoff beard challenge, Arsen, couldn’t handle the beard and dropped out even though his Red Wings moved on. These things can get itchy and annoying, but you still have to sack up. In the immortal words of David Putty, “Gotta support the team!”
Here’s the background on the LBS Playoff Beard Challenge and a picture of how we looked when the playoffs began. Let me tell you, it’s only been two weeks and I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror. Scary.
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The Spurs miraculously came back to beat the Grizzlies in Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs Wednesday evening in what had to have been the best game of the postseason thus far. The Spurs were down by three with under 10 seconds left and staring elimination in the face. This is the same San Antonio team that earned the top spot in the Western Conference, has won three titles with their core three, and whose window was closing. But for at least a day, the basketball gods ensured the Spurs legend would live on.
Check out these amazing shots made by both Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal that helped send the game to overtime. These two shots are every reason why it’s awesome to be a sports fan — skip ahead to the two minute mark in the video:
After such a crushing defeat in Game 5, I really wonder who has the more difficult task to conquer. San Antonio needs to win two more games to win the series while Memphis only needs one. Will they be demoralized after blowing a chance to clinch the series and advance? Will they be able to recover? Will the Spurs carry the momentum they gained from the thrilling comeback for the rest of the series? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s what makes watching these playoffs so darn exciting. I do have to tell you, I would favor the Spurs at this point. If Memphis can clinch the series, they will have accomplished a more impressive feat even though they’re ahead in the series.
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We’ve done so much Barry Bonds bashing over the years here at LBS, it’s only fair to point out when the seemingly heartless man actually does something positive. NBC Bay Area reported Wednesday afternoon that Bonds actually visited Bryan Stow in the hospital. Stow you’ll recall is the Giants fan who was attacked by savage Dodger fans on Opening Day and ended up in a medically-induced coma because of his injuries.
The spokeswoman for Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Rosa Saca, said Bonds came to the hospital last Friday and met with the family. NBC Bay Area reported that “Bonds also spent an hour in Stow’s room and left a signed baseball bat for Stow’s children.”
We had heard that Bonds has mellowed since retiring and actually become a much nicer person. This report would confirm that, and it certainly is a commendable gesture by Bonds. And while we’re on the subject of Barry’s compassion, he actually wasn’t that rude on his voicemails to Kimberly Bell as the courts would have you believe. Maybe he’s not so bad these days after all.
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Kevin Durant had a spectacular game for Oklahoma City Wednesday night helping the Thunder close out the Nuggets for their first playoff series victory in franchise history. Durant tied a playoff career-high with 41 points on 14-for-27 shooting and he closed with 16 points in the fourth quarter. But there was one moment where Durant made a mistake and the referees bailed him out.
The Thunder were inbounding the ball in the front court with about 15 seconds left and leading 98-97. Durant caught the ball in the front court, then his back foot stepped on the midcourt line (picture on the left), he took a dribble, and then he stepped on the line again (picture on the right). He was whistled for a backcourt violation but somehow the call was overturned.
Thanks to the bailout, the Thunder got the ball back and Durant hit a runner to make it 100-97 with 12 seconds left. Instead of shooting for the lead, the Nuggets were essentially forced into taking a three to tie — a much lower percentage shot.
Now just so you don’t think this is some hating on the refs by a Nuggets homer (I actually wanted OKC to win the series), here are the applicable rules from NBA.com that show the refs completely blew the call.
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ESPN announced Wednesday that Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis beat Michael Vick to win the cover of the Madden NFL 12 video game. Even though we covered Hillis’ run to the semis, we didn’t see him emerging from the pack.
Maybe we should have.
It probably didn’t hurt Hillis that Packers fans voted against Aaron Rodgers because they didn’t want him to suffer the curse. But how did Hillis defeat the ever popular Michael Vick? There is only one possible answer: he ran with the white running back mystique.
Cleveland Browns fans are numerous and passionate, but they can’t possibly overpower every other fan base in the NFL. And I don’t believe some sort of Rory Fitzpatrick scheme was at work either. This was about one thing — race. America loves white running backs and this is confirmation. Here’s more on the matter if you’re interested.