A satirical look back at some of the quirkiest, most eyebrow-raising things that happened in the sports world this week.
Look who’s back, back, back in the booth.
Former ESPN icon Chris Berman will be among the rotating stable of announcers calling call Red Sox games on WEEI Radio this year.
Mookie “Gentlemen, Place Your” Betts and Mitch “This Land Is” Moreland refused comment.
Baked beans and jam
Boston has the worst traffic congestion in America, according to INRIX.
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Beantown apologists immediately blamed it on density, geography and shutdowns for a title parade every six months.
The boys basketball team at tiny Power (Mont.) High School features three sets of twins on its 10-player roster.
In other words, a triple-double.
Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, college football’s all-time leader in sacks, has been banned from the NFL scouting combine because he:
a) has a battery conviction resulting from a fight at McDonald’s his freshman year
b) inadvertently touched Tom Brady’s shoulder while asking for an autograph
c) refused to wear NFL-sanctioned socks during the workouts
People laughed back in September when Tristan Thompson declared that his LeBron-less Cavaliers were still the team to beat in the NBA’s Eastern Conference this season.
Turns out he was almost right: Only the 10-47 Knicks have been beaten more than the 12-46 Cavs entering the All-Star break.
The Mariners, whose home becomes “T-Mobile Park” this season, say they’ll keep only the “S” from the big Safeco Field letters that were removed from the ballpark last week.
Fed-up fans, noting the team’s 18-year playoff drought, immediately put in first dibs on the “L.”
Gone with the wins
The NCAA has ordered Ole Miss to vacate 33 football wins over six seasons — including 15 that All-SEC tackle Laremy Tunsil played in 2013-14 — for using ineligible players.
In other words, a Tunsilectomy.
To the penalty box!
Police were called when two women, 86 and 79, came to blows over seating arrangements during Bingo night at a retirement home in Rideau Lakes, Ontario.
Because it was Canada, both returned to action after serving five minutes for fighting.
Names in the games
The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts have signed defensive tackle Cory “Poop” Johnson.
Opposing linemen, you can bet, won’t be looking out for No. 1.
One target too many
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was clunked in the face by a full beer can thrown by a fan at the Patriots’ Super Bowl Parade.
Adding further insult, statisticians tagged him with a drop.
Handshake? No thanks
A Fox News host claims he hasn’t washed his hands in 10 years because “germs are not a thing.”
He’s obviously never been introduced to Moises Alou.
The Chicago Cubs and conservative network Sinclair Broadcast Group have formed a regional TV network to air all the team’s games starting in 2020.
In a related story, all Cubs defensive shifts this season will be to the right side only.
US Carcassonne, a second-division French rugby team, has an unusual sponsor: a porn site.
Season tickets, we assume, arrive in a plain brown wrapper.
Talking the talk
• Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, on world chess champion Magnus Carlsen’s celebrity status in his native Norway: “He edged out curling, ice fishing and fjord-yodeling champions for the honor.”
• Headline at TheOnion.com: “Schnauzers rioting outside Madison Square Garden following Westminster Dog Show defeat.”
• Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice, to reporters, after a 5-2 loss in Montreal: “The coach was no good, the players were no good, the food was no good. You just hope the plane works.”
New road course
Seven-time Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson will run in this year’s Boston Marathon on April 15, NASCAR.com reported.
Of course, he plans to pit for new right-side rubber and a splash of Gatorade somewhere around mile 18.
Don no, Bob yes
Former basketball star Ann Meyers Drysdale met her future husband — the late Dodger pitching great Don Drysdale — when she was competing in the 1979 “Women’s Superstars” and Drysdale and fellow Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Uecker were doing the TV commentary.
“I really had no idea who (Don) was even though I grew up in southern California,” she told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “My mom was with me and she’s from Milwaukee, so she knew who Bob Uecker was.”
Going, going, gone
The Oakland Athletics lost $200,000 by signing Kyler Murray if he never returns to baseball.
Or as A’s bean-counters now refer to it: Moneybawl.
Counting their blessings
Opponents of Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School — the high school that produced Duke basketball phenom Zion Williamson — could be thankful for at least one thing while the 6-7, 285-pound bruiser played there:
The Griffins don’t have a football team.
• Charles Barkley, to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, on Patriots pretty-boy QB QB Tom Brady: “I see why he scores all them touchdowns, because those defenses are looking at his eyes and they get mesmerized. He’s a nice guy, too, but man, I can’t look him in the eyes. … I look him in the eyes, and I said, ‘Damn, you’re a pretty man.’ ”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on when the fledgling Alliance of American Football will truly know that it has arrived: “When one of its franchises can hold a city hostage over a new stadium deal.”
• Comic Torben Rolfsen, on why Kyler Murray was smart to choose football: “There’s a new league starting every week.”
• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, on ex-Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ TV debut as an AAF analyst: “He obviously knows his stuff, but his presentation is verbal Ambien. They need to change his embalming fluid before he goes on the air.”
• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, on CTE: “Cigarettes didn’t have a warning label until 1965. Football finally has one now, in effect.”
• Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com, on Ohio mulling the use of video review in high-school football: “Back in the old days, instant replay in high-school football meant having to repeat the 11th grade.”
Five Suns players, and two former ones, traded places with Southwest Airlines employees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, making boarding announcements and checking in passengers at Gate D8.
No word on whether they offered up any tips on traveling.
Don’t bother unpacking
Shooting guard Nik Stauskas was on the roster of four NBA teams — Portland, Cleveland (twice), Houston and Indiana — in just eight days this month.
By comparison, Dirk Nowitzki is in his 21st season — all with the Dallas Mavericks.
Q: What do you call a James Harden drive to the basket?
A: A Texas four-step.
He drank to that
Washington video assistant Jack Gruden, the son of head coach Jay Gruden, was arrested and charged with being drunk in public.
Judging by the NFL team’s performance the past two seasons, court observers say, he might have an airtight legal defense.
In the 2016 season, the NBA Warriors (73-9) — playing five times as many games — had five fewer losses than the NFL 49ers (2-14).
From DL to IL
Major League Baseball will henceforth refer to its disabled list as the “injured list.”
So what’s next, getting the list sponsored by Hertz?
Quote, end quote
• Blogger TC Chong, after the minor-league Hartford (Conn.) Yard Goats banned peanuts and Cracker Jack because of allergy concerns: “So the seventh-inning stretch (is now) ‘buy me some doughnuts and cinnamon buns.’ ”
• Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, checking the tale of the tape: “Tim Tebow, 6-feet-3 and 245 pounds; Pat Mahomes, 6-feet-3 and 230 pounds; Donald Trump, 6-feet-3 and 243 pounds. Someone is fibbing.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on no real-live NBA games for a week because of the All-Star break: “So all basketball fans get a taste of what it’s like to root for the Knicks.”
• Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork, to RebelGrove.com, after the Rebels were forced to vacate 33 football wins over six seasons: “In a way it’s just a piece of paper because you saw those games.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino wearing 0 this season — the only single-digit jersey number that the team hasn’t retired: “Maybe future generations of Yankees should consider wearing fractions on their backs.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on Miami’s new tattoo-covered punter, Louis Hedley: “He’s got more ink than the Hurricanes’ playbook.”