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Your First Billiards Doping Scandal

I’ve heard of doping in cycling, as well as steroids use in baseball and football and weight lifting, but I’ve never heard of anyone doping to improve their billiards stroke. But apparently that’s what’s going on in Germany. Steroids Nation passes along the news German billiards champ Axel Buescher has been busted for doping:

Germany’s first case of doping in billiards was announced Monday after national champion Axel Buescher tested positive for an EPO masking agent.

EPO is a blood booster most closely associated with endurance sports, such as cycling, where it has played a central role in several Tour de France scandals.

Maybe he needed some extra juice for that speed rack. Or maybe he needed a little pop on his stick to pocket a few more balls on the break. Or maybe he just couldn’t seem to perfect that jump move. Or maybe, just maybe, this is the worst doping scandal ever. Honestly, doping to improve your billiards game? What has this world come to? What’s next, juicing in bowling? Darts? Good heavens, are there no limits to the madness? David Boston would be proud.

‘Midget Wrestling’ Causing a Stir

I’ve presented the new sport of midgets in MMA previously on the site. I’ve also relayed the chronicles of the Dwarf Games held in Seattle over the summer, in case you missed it. But one new, cutting edge sport to which I was not previously privy, is “midget wrestling.” An LBS insider informs me that certain universities have frowned upon campus organizations hosting such events recently. After taking a look at the event in question, I can’t understand why …

What do these esteemed universities have against this display? How is it any dumber or cheesier than what you see in WWE? Would you not be laughing at these guys for the same exact reason you would laugh at Rick Flair? Because they have ridiculous personalities and exceedingly exaggerated fake combat? I didn’t see anyone complaining when Nacho Libre was getting his ass kicked by those tag-team little men. What’s the problem now? Aside from the terminology which can be offensive (the m-word), what’s the issue? How come I’m missing out on all the fuss?

Also picked up by The Wiz and 100% Injury Rate oh, I dunno, about two months ago while I was living in an internet-less cave.

Is Going to Games Too Expensive?

I’m sitting here wondering why my Bruins are about to play their rival and very fine basketball team — the USC Trojans — in the semi-finals of the Pac-10 tournament, and I’m not going. I have the day off from work and actually have the opportunity to watch UCLA play which is rare since their games are usually on Thursdays and either Saturday or Sunday — all days that I work. So why wouldn’t I be jumping at the chance to go watch them play? I think there are a few issues at hand. For one, this is only the Pac-10 tournament; it’s dumb and unnecessary considering the teams already play a round robin during conference play. Meaning the Pac-10 tourney is solely designed to generate revenue. Give me one other reason why it exists.

My reluctance to attend a Pac-10 tournament event may also be tied to a larger issue: going to games is too expensive. I know this isn’t exactly a new issue here — I already shared that it costs around $500 for a family of four to attend a Laker game. But honestly, aren’t prices getting a little absurd? Throw in parking and food, and you’re talking serious cash. Just going to the ballgame with a family is a good chunk out of the average fan’s weekly salary. Is it all just becoming a corporate game where only big companies can afford the tickets? I think so, that’s why I’m settling for watching the game on TV.

Now I turn it to you. You’re all pretty good sports fans, so how often do you go to games? Is it only worth it to go if you’re in premium seats, or are the cheap seats the best deal in the house?

Rock Paper Scissors Competition Going Global, Heading to Beijing

Apparently there’s a league that has been in existence for the past two years called the Bud Light/USA Rock Paper Scissors League. I think there was something to that effect on ESPN recently, though I can’t swear to it. Well, the USARPS must be going pretty well, because they’re now offering a $50,000 prize to the U.S. champion, as well as a chance for that person to compete in a global competition in Beijing during the Summer Olympics.

The U.S. champion will travel to Beijing as USARPS League’s representative at the inaugural International Rock Paper Scissors Federation Championship (IRPSF). There, they will compete against Rock Paper Scissors champions from Canada, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland and Malaysia to determine which country can lay claim to the title of the world’s best Rock Paper Scissors player.

Sounds like quite the international event. And guess what? There are qualifying tournaments currently running in around 300 local markets from now until mid-April! Better brush up on your skills. But hey, for a ticket to Beijing, I’m game. And best of all, it doesn’t take any practice and anyone can do it.

Drunken Skeeball “Brewskee Ball” Leagues Sweeping the Nation

I was alerted by a friend and site reader about the recent fad sweeping the nation. It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s easy, and best of all, anyone can do it. It’s drunken skeeball, also known as Brewskee Ball. Founded by a few dudes in the summer of ’05, Brewskee ball is the hottest new thing around. They keep stats, have invented a lexicon of terms to describe the action, and preface nearly all words with a “skee.” The sport(?) has gained so much popularity recently that leagues have sprung up around the country, in various metropolises such as New York, San Francisco, Charlotte, and Wilmington. And much like fantasy sports, Brewskee Ball is as much about cleverly named team nicknames as it is about actual team production. Check out some of the team/roller names:

    Skee-Baggers
    Hepatitis Skee
    Skee-Brews
    The Holy Rollers
    Balls of Glory
    Skee6Mafia
    Kelly Kapowskees
    Skeechiro

My personal favorite name of course is a nod to NBA player, Rafer Alston. There’s a top roller in the league who goes by the name of Skeep to My Lou, and he happens to be quite the prospect, excelling in both skee ball and dance celebration moves. See for yourself:

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David Stern Is Considering NBA Franchises in Europe

Let’s see, the NHL hit up Europe, the NFL went to London and wants to go to Germany, baseball’s venturing to China, and now the NBA is considering franchises in Europe. Per Ian Thomsen at SI (to whom Stern likely dropped the test balloon):

Commissioner David Stern is considering new plans to create five full-fledged NBA franchises in Europe over the next decade … The current idea would be to create five new teams in major markets to form a “European” division within the NBA. The teams would play the full 82-game schedule and compete for the NBA championship. But the proposal is new and many factors will influence the eventual outcome, the league source said.

Well, we all know who would volunteer to play point guard for one of those European franchises. I’m actually starting to come around slightly on this idea. I know it’s not Europe, but basketball and the NBA seemed to be popular in Australia, and is no doubt on the rise in Asia. Maybe the NBA could grow enough in Europe (though it would never be a top sport in terms of popularity). Or baybe that’s just because I’m looking forward to getting an assignment to cover the team in Amsterdam. Just imagine: in 15 years, the NBA will be like Star Wars with an Asian division, South American division, European division, and the American divisions. Then the team that wins it all would be able to legitimately call itself the World Champion. I like the sound of that.

David Beckham’s Kiss Makes Girl Faint

You can pretty much rely on me to keep this area Grammy-free. You and I both know why we all come here — and it’s not for my CD reviews. Even still, I couldn’t help but not pass this story up. For anyone who’s seen groupies in action, this might not be much of a surprise, but it was for me, and it’s kind of humorous regardless. From People, talking about Becks at a pre-Grammy party:

While Beckham played it cool with the party’s hosts, it’s safe to say he was heating things up among the women at the party. In fact, when one young female fan approached the soccer star and got a quick kiss on the cheek, she literally went weak in the knees – and fainted!

Beckham’s reaction: “He looked like it was an ordinary everyday thing,” an observer tells PEOPLE. “He just said ‘Get her some water. She’ll be ok.'”

Oh yeah, shrug, it happens all the time. Gotta be nice to have that sort of power where your kiss makes women faint. Wonder what the touch of his hands does to their clothes. I think I might have to add this to the list of desirable Superpowers.