Gareth Thomas: First Gay Rugby Player

Even though it’s 2010 approaching, we still haven’t seen any star athletes come out of the closet and admit their homosexuality while they were playing. That’s somewhat surprising considering how progressive we view ourselves as a society. While the U.S. may be lagging, the U.K. is now ahead of the curve considering a recent development on the rugby front. Welsh star rugby player (from what I’m told) Gareth Thomas finally had enough of hiding who he was and revealed his homosexuality. He said it tormented him for years:

‘I was like a ticking bomb. I thought I could suppress it, keep it locked away in some dark corner of myself, but I couldn’t. It was who I was, and I just couldn’t ignore it any more. I’d been through every emotion under the sun trying to deal with this. You wake up one morning thinking: “I can handle it. Everything is fine,” and the next morning you don’t want anyone to see your face, because you think that if people look at you, they will know.’

‘It’s been really tough for me, hiding who I really am, and I don’t want it to be like that for the next young person who wants to play rugby, or some frightened young kid. I don’t know if my life is going to be easier because I’m out, but if it helps someone else, if it makes one young lad pick up the phone to ChildLine, then it will have been worth it.

Thomas may have been living a lie for quite some time but at least he finally came out and admitted the truth. It will probably be much easier to be happy with himself now. My question is how long before the first major sports figure comes out and reveals his homosexuality in the U.S.. The percentages suggest it has to be the case, and Gareth Thomas’ example proves even the most masculine athletes can be gay.

Tiger Woods Gets Made Fun of at Jacksonville Jaguars Game

Another gem was unloaded by Extra Mustard on Monday. It appears that there was a skit put on at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Sunday when the Jags played the Texans. Yes, that’s a person in a tiger costume wearing a red shirt and black hat getting chased by a blond wielding a golf club. Sound familiar?

Man, that’s just cold. I guess you can say they were playing to the local audience with that one. It’s full-on Tiger joke time now making you think people are just compensating for all the years of kissing Woods’ butt.

Chinese Man Beaten for Having David Beckham Haircut

I’m sure you’ve often thought to yourself, “Man, I’d love to kick that guy’s ass” when you saw him wearing something ridiculous. In China, that actually happened, and now three men are facing five years in prison for administering a beat down. Twice. The details from the China Daily:

Three men assaulted a man (Huang) because his hairstyle resembled David Beckham’s mohican-style haircut … One member of the group, surnamed Zhang, spotted his neighbor sporting what he described as a David Beckham haircut when he returned to his home in Tongzhou district at around 4 pm on Aug 12 after drinking.

The victim was then told he was arrogant and asked if he wanted to fight. Huang said Zhang told him to call his friends so they could have a gang fight, but he refused.

Zhang called five friends and they beat Huang with a stick and an empty beer bottle.

As if that wasn’t enough, they saw Huang trying to flag down a cab to get medical treatment and got upset. The group threw Huang into a cab and took him down to a river where they beat him again, this time dousing his dome in the water to ruin the haircut. Ordinarily I’d say that the message to take away from this event has to do with tolerance. Instead, I’ll settle for the real message which is don’t get a David Beckham haircut.


David Beckham mohawk David Beckham mohawk2 David Beckham mohawk3

Video of the World’s Fastest Man: Usain Bolt Runs a 9.58 100m

Silly me — I thought this video would only last 10 seconds. I was wrong. Bonus points if you can count how many steps the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, takes in this race.

Dude, Bolt and Tyson Gay were moving so fast you couldn’t even see their legs — they were blurs on the screen. Best part was watching the photographers book it to try and catch up with him for photo ops. That was great. Can you imagine being in attendance at the World Championship at Berlin for this event? You freaking sneeze and you miss the whole damn thing!

Video: Michael Phelps Wins First Two Races at Charlotte UltraSwim

So after a three month suspension and several weeks of partying, smoking weed, and threesomes with strippers, Michael Phelps hit the pool for a meet Friday, his first competition since the Olympics in Beijing. If you thought aquaman would have some rusty pipes your concerns were fair but turned out to be wrong. First, Phelps won the 200m freestyle and then the 100m butterfly setting record times for both events at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Apparently he did it all pretty casually too, sporting a new goatee, not shaving down like typical swimmers do, and with an antiquated swimsuit from ’04. So in case you need your fix that you haven’t had since Beijing, here are clips from his two races (full versions can be seen on YouTube):

Here’s the full-length version of his first race, the 200m free, and the second race, the 100m butterfly.

Bowen Wallace of Tilden Wins $278K on Kentucky Derby Superfecta Ticket

When you see that a horse with odds of 50:1 wins the Kentucky Derby, your (or at least my) reaction was to wonder who’s holding that winning ticket. While a $10 investment would have netted you a comfortable $500 profit, nothing compares to what Bowen Wallace of Tilden, Texas got from picking the ponies properly on Saturday.

The 41-year-old Tilden resident won $278,503.20 on a $1 superfecta ticket for the 135th Derby, which was simulcast live at Retama Park.

He won by correctly picking the top four finishers. The winner was Mine That Bird, a 50-1 long shot. Wallace’s winning ticket was a five-horse superfecta box, which cost him $120. He says he took home $209,000, after taxes were taken out at the track.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, there were 23 outstanding winning $1 superfecta tickets. Dizzamn. That’s some serious cash. Remember though, when an underdog (underhorse?) wins like that, all that money coming in on the favorites gets flushed down the drain. Wallace says jockey Calvin Borel was a major factor influencing where he bet his money. On Saturday we sure found out why.

(via Ben Maller)

Calvin Borel’s Ride on Mine That Bird Just Like His Kentucky Derby Victory on Street Sense

As much criticism as horse racing takes for supposedly being cruelty to animals, it’s hard to have seen the Kentucky Derby and not thought you were watching a sporting/athletic event. This was a race in its simplest form, one where animals were competing. Sure, you mix in jockeys whipping the horses, trainers injecting steroids, deaths on the track, and things begin to get kind of fuzzy, but the race itself on Saturday was pretty exhilarating. Specifically, jockey Calvin Borel’s ride on Mine That Bird to win the Derby was extremely impressive. Check out the race in its entirety below, and then skip ahead to the 8:20 mark to see Borel’s run on Mine That Bird as it compares to his ride to win the ’07 Derby aboard Street Sense. It’s pretty incredible:

If you heard the call on NBC, Tom Durkin was so stunned by the upset he didn’t even know Mine That Bird’s name until the race had already been won! Furthermore, to underscore the comeback ride by Borel, Durkin didn’t even mention Mine That Bird until the horse was out in front. Impressive ride by Borel. And a few quick cool facts about the gelding — he was purchased for only $9,500, and he got his name from the mare, Birdstone (’04 Belmont Stakes winner), and the dame, Mining My Own. Quite a nice pedigree if you ask me.