ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard for LeBron James billboard


Dan Le Batard has never been one to weigh the potential consequences of his actions before going through with them, which is one of the reasons he is more entertaining than a lot of other sports radio personalities. It’s also the reason he was given a long weekend by his employer this week.

On Thursday, ESPN released a statement announcing that Le Batard has been suspended for two days because of the funny billboard he paid for in Akron mocking LeBron James.

“Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday,” the statement read. “His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”

I think everyone knows Le Batard’s publicity stunt does not reflect the views of ESPN, considering it was a joke that Le Batard and his father attached their names to. Le Batard even said earlier this week that it was all in good fun.

“It’s just fun anarchy. All meant in fun — which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison and irrational hostility and want to use those billboards as a guillotine,” he told Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “Sports are so great, the more irrational the better. This is a publicity stunt disguised as a movement. Please don’t tell anyone there is no actual movement.”

We know how protective of its image the World Wide Leader can be. But remember, Le Batard is the same guy who sacrificed his MLB Hall of Fame vote for life just to make a point. A two-day suspension won’t change him in any way.

Photo via @JeremyinAkron

Chris Rainey cut for messing with fire extinguisher?

Chris-Rainey-ColtsChris Rainey was given a second (maybe even third) chance with the Indianapolis Colts late last season and blew it. The former Florida running back was waived by the Colts on July 28 after he reportedly violated team rules. He may have revealed the details of the incident on Thursday night.

Rainey was live-tweeting during Indy’s preseason game against the New York Jets, and he literally sounded like a third grader. After Colts running back Dan “Boom” Herron scored a touchdown, Rainey tweeted that he took the wrap for a fire extinguisher incident that also involved Herron. Deadspin captured the tweets before Rainey deleted them.


Most players wouldn’t lose their roster spot for horsing around with a fire extinguisher, but Rainey was on a short leash. He was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking back in college and was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Jan. 2013 after a simple battery arrest. A month before that, Rainey was cited for trespassing at a casino in Pennsylvania.

Maybe Herron did mess with the fire extinguisher that night just like Rainey, but nobody likes a tattle tale. Herron gets to keep his roster spot for now but he’ll probably be grounded. Way to go, Rainey.

NBA rookies getting some hilarious advice

isaiah-austin-draft-smallThe NBA Rookie Transition Program is taking place this week. For most rookies, life as an NBA player requires a major adjustment. Many young professionals go from having $45 in their bank account to having millions, so any advice the league can provide should be welcomed.

That said, some of the stuff rookies have to listen to is hysterical. Sarah Lyall of the New York Times has been tweeting out some of the best tidbits of advice over the last two days. Here are our favorites:

Most of this stuff is solid gold, and Lyall’s Twitter feed is worth going through to read more of it. Some of it seems like a well-executed “Saturday Night Live” skit.

H/T Deadspin

Ronda Rousey: ‘I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world’

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey still dominates opponents with little effort in the octagon, but mixed martial arts is not the only thing on the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion’s mind. Rousey has been open about her passion for acting, which she discovered with her role as Luna in “The Expendables 3.” But the 27-year-old doesn’t want to be known as a fighter who has been in movies. Eventually, Rousey hopes to be a well-known and respected actress.

“I didn’t grow up wanting to be an action star,” she recently told ESPN the Magazine. “I just didn’t think it was in the cards. Now that it’s a possibility, I’m like, “Screw it, I don’t give a s—, if The Rock can become the world’s highest-grossing actor, I can have that same goal.” I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world someday.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who gained his fame through professional wrestling, was the top-grossing actor of 2013 after his movies — including “Fast & Furious 6″ — raked in $1.3 billion globally. The Rock was second behind Robert Downey Jr. on the same list in Forbes this year.

Rousey still has a contract with Dana White and UFC and could end up fighting Gina Carano in what would be one of the most-watched female MMA fights of all time. Despite that, she said she did many of her own stunts in “The Expendables 3.”

“I did all of my own stunts, except for a couple of falls,” she explained. “I had a fight that December, so Dana White wouldn’t let me do anything too dangerous, but nobody else could do a lot of those fight scenes, so it fell to me. I’m an adrenaline junkie, and I love jumping off of stuff, so they promised to let me do my own falls if I don’t have a fight next time.”

In addition to “The Expendables 3,” Rousey also has roles in the upcoming “Fast & Furious 7″ and “Entourage.” She has already put together a fairly impressive resume. I doubt Rousey will ever be the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood, but a full-time acting career is a definite possibility after she is done fighting.

H/T MMA Junkie

Wayne Gretzky told Dustin Johnson to clean up his act?

dustin-johnsonDustin Johnson has supposedly had problems off the golf course for quite some time now, and it sounds like his behavior was a cause for concern for his future father-in-law. Did Wayne Gretzky have a chat with Johnson to tell him to tone down the partying?

According to Hollie McKay of FOX411, the Great One did just that. Gretzky, father of Johnson’s 25-year-old fiancee Paulina Gretzky, reportedly told Johnson at one point to “clean up his act” or there would be no wedding. The Gretzkys are said to be well aware of Johnson’s party boy antics, and Wayne has tried to be a positive influence.

[Related: Alli MacKenzie denies Dustin Johnson broke up her marriage]

Johnson and Paulina Gretzky got engaged last summer and were initially planning a Fall 2014 wedding. Wayne Gretzky later said in an interview that the wedding has been postponed due to Johnson’s busy schedule, but it would be fair to wonder if there was more to it than that.

Johnson has taken a “voluntary leave of absence” from golf and the PGA Tour insists he has not been suspended, though a report from Golf.com claims he was suspended for six months after testing positive for cocaine. In addition to the drug allegations, Johnson has also been accused of sleeping with at least one other PGA Tour golfer’s wife.

It is unclear what effect, if any, Johnson’s troubles will have (or have had) on his relationship with Paulina.

Model Ashley Bongiovanni did her best to get Rory McIlroy’s attention at Bridgestone (Video)

A blond model named Ashley Bongiovanni has become somewhat internet famous this week after she was captured by CBS doing her best to attract the attention of Rory McIlroy during the final round at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron on Sunday.

McIlroy hit his tee shot on the 15th hole and Bongiovanni was right behind him in the gallery looking pretty and running her hand through her hair in an attempt to get the No. 1-ranked golfer’s attention.

After a few folks on social media took note of the blonde in the crowd, Bongiovanni actively responded to get her name attached to the story. For instance, she replied to this tweet sent by CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter:

[Read more...]

Darren Lewis facing 25-30 years in prison after guilty pleas

Darren Lewis mug shotFormer Texas A&M star running back Darren Lewis is facing 25-30 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple armed robberies dating back to 2012.

Lewis pleaded guilty “to three counts of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,” the Dallas Morning News reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 25 and is facing 25-30 years in prison.

The first armed robbery committed by Lewis and his partner-in-crime Christopher Washington was at a Hampton Inn on Oct. 30, 2012. They held up a La Quinta Inn in Cedar Hill, Texas, a week later.

Lewis pleaded guilty to holding up two 7-11 convenience stores on consecutive days beginning on Jan. 28, 2013. In the second of the two robberies, Lewis actually shot a clerk in the thigh. On Jan. 27, 2013, Lewis robbed a CVS pharmacy.

Lewis rushed for 5,012 yards on 909 carries during his four-year career with the Aggies from 1987-1990. He led the country with 1,691 rushing yards in his senior season in 1990 and he scored 19 touchdowns that year. He was an All-American and finished 8th in Heisman voting in 1990.

Lewis was projected to be a high draft pick but slipped to the sixth round after testing positive for cocaine. He says cocaine cost him his career, wife and house.