Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Obama pities Cleveland, was rooting for Cavaliers over Magic

President Barack Obama, a Chicago Bulls fan, was rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Orlando Magic in the NBA Eastern Conference finals series. It had nothing to do with being a LeBron James fan. It had nothing to do with those Kobe-LeBron puppet commercials. Obama just felt bad for the city of Cleveland, according to Nevada Senator Harry Reid.

Las Vegas Review-Journal gossip columnist Norm Clarke writes that when Obama visited Nevada in May, he and Reid were watching the end of game four of the series. They had to stop watching with about 40 seconds left to hit the stage, where Reid was to introduce Obama. Clarke writes:
    "They were like a couple buddies watching a great game," said Jon Summers, Reid's communications director.

    Reid disclosed that Obama, a passionate basketball fan, was pulling for the Cavs "because Cleveland has had such bad luck, with the auto industry and all. He wanted them to win something for a change," Reid said.

    Reid returned to the stage after the president's address and delivered the news: Orlando won 116-114 in overtime for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Obama is now predicting the Lakers in six. The Los Angeles Times reports:
    If you're scoring at home, Obama has a perfect 2-0 record in presidentially prognosticating major sporting events. He picked the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl and North Carolina to win the NCAA basketball tournament. Then again, the Celtics were a perfect 32-0 when leading a playoff series 3-2 -- until the Magic took care of their unblemished record.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NY Giants' Dave Deihl yuks it up at Brett Favre's expense

New York Giants starting left tackle Dave Diehl tried his hand at comedy in May. Brett Favre and Bill Belichick were among his targets.

According to the Star-Ledger, Diehl ripped on Belichick's cut-off sweatshirts: "Either he's going to Venice Beach or he's going to Suzanne Summers' '80s (workouts). We need to get him in some leggings." That part is not on video, but the shots at Favre are. In the comedy scene, Diehl -- who admits "I might be the largest Brett Favre you have ever seem" -- plays a person who cannot make up his mind -- aka Favre.

Here's his imitation of Brett Favre.

Part one of an interview with Diehl on 12 Angry Mascots.

Part two of an interview with Diehl on 12 Angry Mascots.

Mark Sanchez remembers as "little kid" getting Carson Palmer's autograph

In his interview with Upper Deck at the annual NFL Rookie Premiere Photo Shoot, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said: "I remember being that little kid asking Carson Palmer for his autograph."

Ouch. Palmer isn't even 30 years old yet. Sanchez can share those memories with Palmer on Jan. 3, 2010, when the Jets play host to the Bengals. At that point, Palmer will have been 30 years old for just a week.

Other Upper Deck interviews from the photo shoot include: Vikings' wide receiver Percy Harvin, Miami Dolphins receiver Pat White, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno and Lions quarterback Matt Stafford.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

College football coaches stay at Saddam Hussein's place

Seven college football coaches continue their trek through the Middle East. And according to a ULCA website, the coaches were staying in one of Saddam Hussein's old places. In bunk beds.
    Coach Neuheisel called the office for a minute on Monday. He reported to one of the assistant coaches that the head coaches on the tour were currently staying in a place that had belonged to Saddam Hussein. All of the coaches were staying in the same room... in bunk beds.
The seven coaches on the trip are:
  • Texas' Mack Brown
  • Ohio State's Jim Tressel
  • Mississippi's Houston Nutt
  • UCLA's Rick Neuheisel
  • Wake Forest's Jim Grobe
  • Air Force's Troy Calhoun
  • Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville

    Here's a clip of Brown speaking while on the tour. He responds to why the coaches have decided why they will not release how each coach voted during the college football season. By the way, Brown's father (an Air Force veteran) fought in World War II, which is partly why he felt the need to go to the Middle East to support the troops. In an Austin Statesman story he said:
      "He never got in a plane again (after returning from the war)," Brown said. "He would not talk much about it."

  • Monday, June 1, 2009

    ESPN's Lee Corso chases down ref in USFL thriller

    Lee Corso suffered a minor stroke last week. ESPN announced that he is expected to make a full recovery and is expected back this fall for the college football season.
      "This is just a small bump in the road," Corso said in a statement issued by ESPN. "A 'not so fast, my friend' in my game of life. I look forward to making a full recovery and returning to ESPN for my 23rd season analyzing the greatest sport in the world -- college football."
    Every story, it seemed, that was written about Corso's stroke mentioned his work in Indiana, which I remember most about his coaching career. I didn't know that he also had stops at Louisville and Northern Illinois. He also played at Florida State. I assume, it wasn't under Bobby Bowden. (By the way, at FSU, he roomed with one Burt Reynolds.) What I didn't know, or maybe forgot, was that Corso spent one season, his final year of coaching, in the United States Football League with the Orlando Renegades in 1985. It was also the final year of the league. The Renegades were 5-13. (That's right, they played 18 games a season. Hmmm, isn't that what Roger Goodall is considering for the NFL?)

    Anyway, here is the fleet-footed Corso, when the Renegades faced the Jacksonville Bulls. And I mean fleet-footed. Watch Corso (at about the 55 second mark of this clip) chase down the referee after a loss, his fifth in a row to start his USFL coaching career. The Renegades lost six to open the season before finally winning. In fact, today (June 1, 2009) marks the 24th anniversary of his penultimate win of his coaching career.

    Enjoy the clip, and to Corso: Get well, my friend.