Win one for The Grifter!
The FBI’s “Operation Varsity Blues” uncovered rich parents bribing coaches and school officials to get their nonathlete kids into college by passing them off as recruited athletes and thus taking advantage of easier entrance requirements.
Which, if I’m a UConn fan, is now my go-to excuse for last year’s football record.
• At @NOTSportsCenter: “Sources: Antonio Brown has already demanded a trade from the Raiders.”
• At TheOnion.com: “Giants consider drafting quarterback to mentor Eli Manning.”
New Denver DB “Pacman” Jones was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, intimidation and resisting arrest at an Indiana casino.
In other words, Chargers 4, Broncos 0.
Not a bad 40 time
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson apologized for posting a picture on Instagram that showed him driving at 105 mph.
On the bright side, Vegas oddsmakers now list Jackson at 35-1 to win the Super Bowl and 5-2 to win the Indy 500.
Law and disorder
The minor-league Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are hosting “Florida Man Night” on July 26, with the stated intention of breaking a “weird Florida law every inning.”
No truth to the rumor that the Shrimp will take the field wearing Orchids of Asia Day Spa jerseys.
Baseball Lingo 101
Q: How do MLB apologists try to spin it when a player vanishes for half a season because of a marijuana suspension?
A: Tommy Chong surgery.
That’ll teach ’em
If these college-basketball scandals keep escalating, veteran pundits fear, it could mean the NCAA death penalty for the Stanford sailing program.
Nothing to see here
The NCAA is investigating Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball program over reports that a booster and former assistant coach gave a recruit $300 and took him to a strip joint.
Likely Tech defense: The kid was only given a no-look pass.
Just wondering …
With Astros hitters and pitchers having it all over their Rangers counterparts last season in the Wins Above Replacement metric (55.4 to 23.1), shouldn’t Minute Maid Park start billing itself as the best little WARhouse in Texas?
Paging Bake McBride
Clubhouse leader for Baseball Injury of the Year: Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly coming down with back tightness resulting from “standing too long cooking.”
In other words, a medium-rare injury.
Here’s the Lo-down
Former slugger Alex Rodriguez announced his engagement to actress and pop superstar Jennifer Lopez.
He reportedly signed a 10-year prenup for $260 million.
Talking the talk
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “This just in: Jussie Smollett bribed Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin to have a USC football player beat him up.”
• Bears guard Kyle Long, via Twitter, after Bleacher Report declared him the team’s most overpaid player: “Shoutout my agent.”
• Spotted on the license plate of a white Bronco in North Carolina: “AIN’T OJ.”
One for the thumb (not)
Probably not on the Seahawks’ promotional calendar when the Ravens come to town next season: Earl Thomas Foam Finger Day.
Going to the dogs
Nicolas Petit lost his five-hour lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race when his dog team refused to run because he yelled at one named Joey.
Things went from bad to worse when Joey, channeling his inner LeBron, pushed to get half the pack traded away and the musher fired.
The Phoenix Suns snapped the NBA’s longest active losing streak against one opponent — 18 games — by beating the Golden State Warriors on March 10.
That popping sound you heard was the Washington Generals uncorking champagne in Don Shula’s basement.
Here come the bribes
• From @DirkSchwenk, via Twitter: “If you have $500,000 to bribe an assistant coach, you can afford to pay more taxes.”
• Comedy writer Marc Ragovin: “If I had only pursued my tetherball career, I could have been a Stanford Cardinal.”
Real or no?
Continuing the “is it a real sport or not?” debate with comedy writer Brad Dickson:
“Cornhole: Not a real sport. … an activity more appropriate for the remotest Bowels of Hell than ESPN, assuming those two are not the same thing.
“Billiards: Considering that many of the top competitors strongly resemble mall cops, it is not a real sport.
“Basketball: Yes, it’s a real sport except when it’s played by the Phoenix Suns then it is not a real sport.
“Football: Yes, football is most definitely a real sport, right up until that day around the year 2033 that it is banned for good.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, after the Knight Commission’s College Athletics Financial Database revealed that the 129 Football Bowl Subdivision schools spend more on coaches’ salaries and bonuses in all sports than they do on athletic scholarships and aid: “Now don’t act surprised.”
• Esteemed author Dan Jenkins, who died at 89 on March 7, on the vagaries of golf: “The golf ball has no sense at all, which is why it has to be given stern lectures constantly, especially during the act of putting.”
• Tim Hunter of Everett’s KRKO Radio, on baseball’s Atlantic League using computers to call balls and strikes this season: “Instead of yelling at umpires, managers will be told to call tech support.”
LeBron James leads all active NBA players with 239 playoff games — the equivalent of 2.9 regular seasons.
And Tom Brady has appeared in 40 NFL playoff games — or 2.5 regular seasons.
But neither can touch Chris Chelios, the NHL defenseman who appeared in 266 playoff games from 1984-2010 — or 3.2 regular seasons.
From RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Lo-Rod is:
“a) Engaged couple J-Lo and A-Rod’s married nickname.
“b) Where Astros star Jose Altuve hangs his clothes.”
Quote, end quote
• David Matthews of the New York Daily News, after Jose Canseco accused fellow PED user Alex Rodriguez of cheating on fiancée Jennifer Lopez with Canseco’s ex-wife Jessica: “This might be a feud on steroids.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, after Geir Helgemo, the world’s top-ranked bridge player, was suspended for drugs: “It’s enough to make you long for the purity of pro wrestling.”
• Comedian Argus Hamilton, on the English soccer fan who sneaked onto the field, stole the opposing goalie’s water bottle, urinated in it and returned it without the goalie noticing: “The man was bailed out of jail by a Philadelphia Eagles fan in exchange for the American rights to the stunt.”