A satirical look back at some of the quirkiest, most eyebrow-raising things that happened in the sports world this week.
Two, four, six, hate: Who do we least appreciate?
The Patriots, of course. New England is the most-hated NFL team in a whopping 13 states — Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Utah and Wyoming — according to ZCodeSystems.com, based on geotagged Twitter data.
The Jets are second with six — the New England states.
The Seahawks, the most-hated in only two states (California and Nevada), shot all the way up to second when it comes to Electoral College votes, losing to the Patriots 129-61.
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Just how hard did Washington State QB Gardner Minshew get rocked on that first targeting hit in the Alamo Bowl?
He temporarily lost his mustache and gained a unibrow.
Know your wheels
The next vehicle destined to go the way of the Edsel, Pinto and Corvair will be the:
a) Ford Fusion
b) Cadillac ATS Coupe
c) ESPN Booger Mobile
In one of the stranger sights in English soccer last season, an Aston Villa fan threw a cabbage at beleaguered manager Steve Bruce during a 3-3 draw with Preston North End.
Apparently he thought his team should’ve been ahead.
Q: Which NBA player travels even more than James Harden?
A: Any member of the Portland Trail Blazers, who, according to USA Today, have logged the most air miles of any sports team the past 10 years, with 542,383. (The Minnesota Timberwolves are second, with 512,516.)
In case you missed it, the College Football Playoff committee members’ Nos. 5, 7 and 8 teams — Georgia, Michigan and Central Florida — all lost their bowl games to lower-rated teams:
Luckily, they got Nos. 1 and 2 right.
You shouldn’t have
Chargers guard Forrest Lamp gave each of his teammates — drum roll, please — lamps for Christmas.
Unfortunately for the Packers, teammate Davon House didn’t think of it first.
Unpayable Lie Dept.
The PGA, it appears, has no problem with betting on its sport.
Just what degenerate gamblers need — another way to get in the hole.
“Six Flags” in contemporary context refers to:
a) a string of popular amusement parks
b) what NFL teams received per game this season — a record 6.7 penalties, to be exact.
Heard in passing
Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown skipped practice and went incommunicado in the days leading up to the team benching him for the season finale.
Probably not the fade pattern his coaches had in mind.
A 14-pound, 13-ounce boy named Ali became the heaviest baby ever born at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Not sure if he has a baby carriage yet, but he does have a full ride to Texas A&M.
Talking the talk
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, with a sure sign his wife has overheard too many injury reports: “Yesterday she upgraded my future status as her husband from doubtful to questionable.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on the 30-3 Irish debacle vs. Clemson: “Notre Dame looked so overmatched it’s been invited to join the Pac-12.”
Rub of the green
Caesars Entertainment just became the first “Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL.”
So what’s next — using a poker chip for the pregame coin flip?
He’s going long
Cornerback Josh Norman told reporters “you can kiss my ass goodbye; I’m out” if he ever wins a Super Bowl.
If Norman stays with Washington, keep this in mind: George Blanda — who was 48 during the 1975 season — holds the record for oldest NFL player.
Do As I Say Dept.
Football coach Manny Diaz bolted Temple after just 18 days on the job — including the signing of his first recruiting class — to return to Miami when the Hurricanes’ job came open unexpectedly.
“Players need waivers to change schools, but coaches can bail on a whim,” noted Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. “What do you want to bet that in his first meeting with Temple players, Diaz spoke about the importance of commitment? There is no irony in college athletics.”
• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, on hard times in Westwood: “UCLA basketball may not be the glamour job that it was during the Wooden years, but it is still a prestigious job — despite the potential of having to deal with LaVar Ball occasionally.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said there was no talent disparity despite the 30-3 score vs. Clemson: “That means the coaching on one side had to really suck.”
• Pablo Torre of ESPN, not impressed with the Lions coach boasting a degree in aeronautical engineering: “Matt Patricia seems to belong to the Wile E. Coyote school of rocket science.”
• Steelers tight end Jesse James, to Penn Live, on all the drama surrounding the team this season: “Ah man, we are — Kardashians.”
• English national rugby manager Eddie Jones, to the London Guardian, on fly-half Owen Farrell’s toughness: “He doesn’t play in a dinner suit.”