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Cool Runnings: Jamaica bobsled team may have qualified for Sochi Olympics

Jamaica Bobsled

For the first time since 2002, it looks like Jamaica will have a bobsled team in the Winter Olympics.

Jamaica’s two-man sled of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon needed to be in the top 30 of the world rankings as of Jan. 20 in order to qualify for the Sochi Games, and they accomplished that with a clean run at qualifying in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Because the team is ranked 30th in the world, the Sochi Games announced on Twitter Saturday that the Jamaican sled qualified for the competition next month. However, things are not official until the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation announces the field of competition.

That didn’t stop Team Jamaica from sending this awesome tweet on Saturday:

What’s ironic about the story is that much like the fantastic 1993 movie “Cool Runnings” about the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, this team says it needs funding in order to participate in Sochi. Watts told The Associated Press that he is aiming to raise $80,000 to cover travel and equipment costs and he’s hoping the country’s Olympic federation will step up and sponsor them now that they’ve qualified.

I don’t even think Watts needs to worry about that. If every fan of “Cool Runnings” donated a dollar to the cause, you know how much money they’d raise? A heck of a lot more than Sanka Coffee did singing on the street.

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!

Darren Sharper investigated for sexual assault in Louisiana

Darren SharperLess than a day after we learned that Darren Sharper was arrested on suspicion of rape in California, a report emerged saying that he is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault complaint in Louisiana.

WDSU reports that a woman complained in Sept. 2013 that Sharper sexually assaulted her.

“The NOPD is investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Darren Sharper,” the New Orleans Police Department told WDSU.com in a statement. “As with every case alleging sexual assault, information gathered is extremely sensitive and the top priority of the detectives is to protect the person who filed the complaint. Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time.”

The incident between Sharper and the woman allegedly took place at a private residence in the Warehouse District. Sharper played for the New Orleans Saints for two seasons and won a Super Bowl with the team. The case is open and active.

Sharper was arrested Friday after being linked to two separate sexual assault allegations — one in January, and the other in Oct. 2013. He was booked in jail and released on $200k bond. NFL Network has suspended him for the time being.

Geno Smith kicked off Virgin American flight after dispute

Geno Smith airport

Geno Smith was kicked off a Virgin American flight on Friday after getting in a verbal dispute with a flight attendant, according to reports.

According to TMZ, the New York Jets quarterback was sitting in his seat on the plane at LAX listening to music when an announcement was made instructing passengers to turn off all electronic equipment. Smith apparently didn’t hear the announcement. He supposedly says the attendant came over and physically unplugged his headphones. That led to a yelling match between the two, and Geno got up and supposedly refused to sit down. Both sides supposedly called police, and Smith was escorted off the plane.

The New York Post reports a similar story. They say Geno was ordered off the plane for refusing to get off his phone. They described it as Geno pulling an “Alec Baldwin. ”

Now the story gets even better.

Deadspin had a source tell them that Geno began cursing out and being obnoxious toward Virgin American personnel because he was on standby for a flight from LAX to Las Vegas and that officers had to escort him out of the terminal.

Piecing it all together, my guess is that Geno was kicked off the initial flight for some sort of issue relating to using electronics, and that he caused a further disturbance while waiting for a second flight.

So, two issues with airport people in the same day. Much like his turnovers, Geno’s airport problems seem to come in bunches.

Witness claims Kellen Winslow was masturbating in car before marijuana arrest

Kellen-Winslow-JetsBack in November, New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was found to be in possession of synthetic marijuana outside a Target store in New Jersey. That is now officially the most boring part of the story from the day of his encounter with police. On Friday, Dom Cosentino of NJ.com cited court documents that make mention of masturbation in a vehicle, Boston Market, and empty containers labeled “Mr. Happy” and “Funky Monkey.”

According to the incident report from Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m., police were called to the Target parking lot when a woman claimed she saw Winslow masturbating in his car. The woman claimed in the redacted report that she had parked next to a black Cadillac Escalade and a man, later identified as Winslow, was sitting in the car with the window down.

“As she exited her vehicle, she commented to the male regarding how cold it was,” the report said. “As she stood near the open driver side window of the Escalade, she observed the males [sic] erect penis. She stated that she believed he was masturbating. [The woman] provided a written statement regarding her account.”

Winslow reportedly sprang to an upright position when a police officer approached his window. When the officer asked what he was up to, Winslow allegedly told him he was looking for a Boston Market restaurant but had gotten lost. He was “slouched in his seat and moving around,” but the cop said Winslow’s genitals were not exposed.

Next, the officer said he noticed plastic bags marked “Mr. Happy” and empty containers labeled “Funky Monkey” scattered throughout Winslow’s vehicle. When asked about those, Winslow allegedly told police that he bought the stuff at a gas station and smoked it at home because the NFL doesn’t drug test for it and it helps him relax. Police say he then consented to a vehicle search and was free to go after a few items were taken.

Lab results came back on Dec. 23 that revealed Winslow was in possession of synthetic marijuana. He was charged on Dec. 30 and has plead not guilty. While the incident report listed lewdness among the alleged crimes, Winslow was not charged with anything of the sort.

Allegedly trashing a rental home in California doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

Winslow’s rep later issued a statement saying the tight end was simply changing his clothes when the woman saw him, not JO’ing.

“Kellen pulled over to a parking lot to smoke what he thought at the time was a legal substance,” the statement read. “He changed his clothes in his vehicle as to not smell like smoke when he returned home. There was absolutely nothing inappropriate that took place and if there was police would have investigated further and charged Kellen which they did not. This will be the only time we will comment on this unfounded and ridiculous claim.”

Also see: Boston Market sends great message to Kellen Winslow Jr after cop incident
Also see: Kellen Winslow masturbating now in GIF form

Ex-UNC LB Michael McAdoo calls North Carolina academics ‘a scam’

Michael McAdoo UNCNorth Carolina’s academic programs for athletes have been scrutinized for years. Recently, they were investigated for steering athletes into no-show classes, unauthorized grade changes and forged signatures. The scandal gained additional notoriety over the past week after CNN published an article that claimed many collegiate basketball and football players can’t read past an 8th-grade level.

Research from learning specialist Mary Willingham, who researched the reading levels of 183 UNC-Chapel Hill athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012, was used in the study. She found that 60% read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels, and that between 8% and 10% read below a third-grade level.

Many people have been investigated and lost jobs for their roles in the academic scandal at UNC, and now one former Tarheel player is calling UNC’s academics program for athletes “a scam.”

Michael McAdoo, who was kicked off the football team in 2010 for having a tutor do improper work for him on three term papers, told the Raleigh News & Observer about some of the academic practices. He says he was pushed into taking several no-show classes and other classes that his academic counselors knew he could pass.

“I felt like I was done wrong,” McAdoo told the News & Observer. “The university didn’t stand up; they didn’t have my back. They said academics is the first thing they were going to push – ‘You are going to do academics and then play sports.’ But come to find out it just felt like it was all a scam.”

Stories like McAdoo’s are critical now because of the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit. O’Bannon is suing the NCAA for using his likeness in a video game without compensation One of the NCAA’s biggest defenses is that the athletes receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of a college education. But cases like McAdoo’s help to show that many athletes receive little educational value from their schools.

McAdoo was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2011 but released in June. He currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.

Police believe Aaron Hernandez may have been shooter in 2012 double murder

Aaron HernandezAs former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, investigators may be in the process of building a case against him for an entirely separate crime. Back in July, we learned that prosecutors were pushing to charge Hernandez for a double murder that took place outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. Court documents that were released on Thursday confirmed that.

According to Wesley Lowery of the Boston Globe, new court documents show that investigators have been making an effort to link Hernandez to the 2012 double murder. They even wrote that there is “probable cause to believe that Aaron Hernandez was operating the suspect vehicle used in the shooting homicides of Daniel Abreau and Safiro Furtado, and may have been the shooter.”

Shortly after Hernandez was arrested and charged with the murder of Lloyd, a silver SUV that may have been linked to the 2012 murders was seized from his uncle’s home in Bristol, Conn. A search warrant affidavit that was unsealed by a Connecticut judge on Thursday showed that police sought to search and analyze that vehicle. Investigators were hoping to find gunshot residue and a duffle bag that they believed contained the clothes Hernandez was seen on a surveillance camera wearing the night of the shooting.

A few months ago, surveillance footage that was recovered reportedly showed Hernandez inside a club with the murder victims just hours before they were killed. The murder weapon that was used was also reportedly found in the car of a woman from Hernandez’s hometown who was involved in a car crash back in June.

The new documents released Thursday also noted that a firearm was found in the Bristol home where the silver SUV was being stored, though it is unclear if the gun had any connection to Lloyd’s murder or the 2012 double murder.

While we still don’t have many answers, it seems pretty clear that Hernandez has more to worry about than his alleged involvement with Lloyd’s murder.

Seahawks fan got Super Bowl champions tattoo before season began

Seahawks Super Bowl tattoo

One Seattle Seahawks fan will either end up being the biggest jinx ever, or the greatest prophesier the NFL ever saw.

Before the season began, Seahawks fan Tim Connors got a Seahawks tattoo that called the team the Super Bowl XLVIII champions. He says he had to talk the tattoo artist into doing the tattoo, because the artist knew there were 31 other teams who could end up being the Super Bowl champ.

“I said, ‘hey man, people are going to attack you… that you’re the jinx of the team,’ ” tattoo artist Lonnie Moon of Good Karma Body Art told KOMO. And when Connors convinced him to go through with it, Moon answered: “He’s right, you know what, you think like that, you’re not a real fan.”

Connors says he’s received a positive reception from about 95 percent of Seahawks fans and a negative response from about five percent, who think he may jinx the team.

Though Connors’ preseason tattoo declaring his team the champions may seem unique, not to mention risky, it’s hardly new. Jason Terry got a Dallas Mavericks championship tattoo and the team went on to win the NBA title that season. He doubled down upon being acquired by the Boston Celtics, but the bold move failed; the Celtics went 41-40 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

At this point, Connors has a 1-in-4 chance of being right in his tattoo decision. I probably would favor the Seahawks to win it all.

H/T Black Sports Online

Photo: Twitter/KOMO News