Who says pro rasslin’ isn’t real?
Tim Donaghy — who once served 15 months in prison for betting on and affecting the point spreads of NBA games he officiated — made his Major League Wrestling refereeing debut in the “Fusion” main event, a Caribbean strap match.
And helped throw the match.
• At @NOTSportsCenter: “BREAKING: Deshaun Watson rushed to a Houston hospital for extensive concussion testing and brain exams after saying his #1 preference was to play for the New York Jets.”
• At TheOnion.com: “ ‘Home gym equipment is still sold out everywhere,’ man hopes.”
There’s been a grassroots call for the Atlanta Braves to rename themselves the Hammers, in honor of Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.
Better hope Mariner fans don’t get any similar notions regarding Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson.
Going to the dogs
The Miami Heat is employing coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans attending their home games.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, not to be outdone, brought in a bomb-sniffing dog — but it passed out inside their locker room.
Three Tampa teams — the NHL Lightning, the MLB Rays and the NFL Buccaneers — have reached their league’s title games since Tom Brady came to town.
Suggested new civic motto: We Tampa With Success.
A group of Michigan athletes say the two-week shutdown of all athletic activities after five Wolverines tested positive for COVID-19 should be overturned because:
a) it’s an overreaction
b) they need to save it for Ohio State week in football
You shouldn’t have
Among the worst reported Valentine’s Day gifts, according to Dating.com, are wilted flowers, a pet hamster and an online workout subscription.
Somehow not making the list: Jets season tickets.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced on his 72nd birthday that he’d gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, telling AP: “Sciencewise, it’s a no-brainer.”
In other words, good shot selection.
American shot-putter Ryan Crouser broke the world record with a heave of 74 feet 10½ inches.
Giddy publicists can’t decide whether to brand him Mr. Big Shot or Lord of the Ring.
Nine is enough
Ex-pitcher Curt Schilling, after whiffing with Baseball Hall of Fame voters for the ninth straight year, says he wants his name removed from the 2022 ballot.
Looks like he’s still got his pickoff move.
Get me rewrite
Tokyo Olympic Games organizers are staying mum about whether spectators will be allowed at this summer’s (cross your fingers) events.
Faster, higher … quieter?
There went the shutout
An Indiana high-school girls basketball team won a game 107-2.
In honor of Bob Knight, did the winning coach throw a chair across the court when his team gave up the two points?
For the first time since 2013, no players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.
Fittingly, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens discovered they were “just a bit outside” on Bob Uecker’s 87th birthday.
Talking the talk
• At Fark.com, on Amanda Gorman slated to recite an original poem at this year’s Super Bowl: “Inaugural poet astounds / Her work’s just as good as it sounds / She’s won a new role, at her first Super Bowl / And that puts her one up on the Browns.”
• Gary Bachman, via Facebook, after a state lawmaker in Oklahoma proposed a Bigfoot-hunting season: “The season begins and ends April 1.”
• Dave Zirin of The Nation, via Twitter, on what it was like to interview free-spirited ex-pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee: “Like riding in a rodeo when you’ve never been on a horse.”
Using up their timeouts
Rick Pitino’s Iona program has been shut down three times this season because of COVID-19 outbreaks but is expected to resume activities this week.
Three-and-out, obviously, isn’t a basketball term.
• Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few, to The Washington Post, saying he’s not afraid to tell his top-ranked Bulldogs when they’re playing good and when they’re not good: “They probably think I focus a lot more on not good.”
• Chiefs coach Andy Reid, to reporters, on his 18 NFL seasons working alongside new Texans coach David Culley: “We had a few cheeseburgers together.’’
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on all the canceled sporting events we’ve missed during the pandemic: “One of them is NOT the Pro Bowl.”
• Kayla Nicole, longtime love interest of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, when an Instagram questioner asked if she’s ready for motherhood: “False. I am ready to be a wife though. COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on Phils slugger Bryce Harper once revealing he showers seven times a day at the ballpark: “Who knew he was a cleanup hitter?”
• Jay Busbee of YahooSports.com, after the Packers eschewed a potential game-tying TD for a field goal with 2:05 left against the Bucs: “Worst ending to a great game since ‘Game of Thrones’.”
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who says he’s been reading a lot while recovering from Tommy John surgery, announced he’ll be starting an official book club in February.
No word on whether Jimmy Breslin’s “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” will be in the opening-day lineup.
Quote, end quote
• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, on the Blue Jays signing ex-Astros star George Springer: “Apparently Springer leaked the news of his signing by banging on the lid of a trash can.”
• Ryan Brown of Birmingham, Alabama’s WJOX Radio, via Twitter, on the guy wearing a Dolphins cap sitting in front of him in church: “Can only guess he assumed our pastor was preaching on the sufferings of Job.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, via Twitter, on a potential Packers-Chiefs matchup being a rematch of the first Super Bowl, in 1967: “So much has changed since then. The Rolling Stones were on tour, McDonalds was the most popular fast food and the country was bitterly divided politically.”
• Larry Stone of The Seattle Times, via Twitter, on no one reaching the 75% threshold for the Baseball Hall of Fame: “First shutout of the 2021 season is hurled by the BBWAA.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, not impressed with this winter’s couch-viewing fare: “The ratio of televised college basketball games to those worth watching is about 20-to-1.”