Astros Baseball: Player Name Mispellings, Team Misgivings

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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Photo by Marco Torres
Was this guy on the video board controls Wednesday?
Much hyped Astros super-phenom George Springer made his major league debut Wednesday night. His big league promotion became known Tuesday night, and Astros fans greeted Wednesday with the same glee Buddy the Elf greeted the fake Santa at Gimbels. Sure the Astros lost Springer's debut game, but finally, the future was in sight for the few remaining Astros fans.

The day was not without issues. The primary one being Springer's name being spelled as Gerorge Springer on the huge-ass video screen. Mistakes happen, but it was a pretty big mistake -- because that screen's huge -- and the media jumped all over it (making Deadspin is almost never a good thing). The thinking being, I guess, that the typo was just the embodiment of all things wrong with the Astros. (And yes, I also piled on about the mistake).

There are lots of things that embody the wreckage of the Houston Astros. There's the whole CSN Houston fiasco. There's being shifted to a radio station that most fans have trouble picking up outside the city. There was the debacle of the erector-set billboard that blocked the view out of left field. There's the current owner suing the former owner for fraud arising out of the sale of the team. There's firing a broadcast team because they weren't positive enough about a team losing 100-plus games.
Hell, there's even losing 100-plus games for three seasons in a row.


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Rockets' "Meaningless" Finale Wasn't Meaningless For Gamblers

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YouTube.com
That time the dude from Big Bang Theory was lobbying for Dwight Howard.
I've said many times, we need a special corner of the sports media world for gamblers. A special channel, a special talk radio show, a special Tweetdeck. All of it.

People who don't wager generally don't care about the same nuances of a sporting event as people that do. That much was obvious on the final night of the NBA regular season, as the Rockets trotted a mish mash lineup of a few regular starters, a couple reserves, and a handful of guys who played more games in Rio Grande than Houston this season as they took on the New Orleans Pelicans in the finale.

Radio hosts and columnists called the game "meaningless." These people obviously didn't have a sawbuck or two on "ROCKETS OVER 54.5 WINS."

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Five Reasons Why Sports Talk Radio Is Ignoring the Rockets

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Photo by Marco Torres
Out of sight, out of mind on the radio waves.
I am and have always been an avid listener to sports talk radio. I enjoy the banter with callers, the analysis and I even manage to make it through the randomly juvenile antics that occasionally make their way across from morning shock jock-ery on other stations. Listening during the past few months, however, has been frustrating for fans of sports other than football.

In the case of the Astros, that might be warranted despite recently opening the season with a pair of impressive wins against the Yankees and finally calling up George Springer from the minors. But the Rockets are good...really good. They have secured home court in the first round of the playoffs and the team is populated with young, athletic guys who are fun to watch. They might be one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA.

Yet, outside of a scattering of segments with players and coaches, finding Rockets talk on the sports dial is damn difficult. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to get much better with the playoffs and there is a reasonable explanation, however unpalatable that might be for fans.

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Blond Lets John Daly Hit Golf Ball Off Her Face (VIDEO)

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Keith Allison
John Daly, king of fashion.
A trip to Augusta for the Masters is on seemingly every male sports fan's bucket list, and I am no different.

If I ever get the opportunity to swing on down to Augusta during that second week of April, you'd better believe I'll be there. However, I think my agenda would differ slightly from that of the average Masters tourney-goer.

While most (okay, everyone except me) would make a beeline for the country club to watch the pros tee off, I'd be heading to the nearby Hooters to see if John Daly has posted up for his annual merch sale and booze fest. Because that, reportedly, is what Daly does during Masters week. Much like Pete Rose setting up his autograph table in downtown Cooperstown during Hall of Fame weekend, Daly sets up his RV and moves gear.

Apparently, he also spends some time at the driving range, as seen in the video below.

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Texans Tracker: Texans Have Allegedly Already Decided on Jadeveon Clowney

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Clowney talk updates the tracker.
In previous years, we'd be in the home stretch for NFL Draft season now. Forever, the draft has been in or around the third weekend of April, but for reasons that don't really matter at this point, the league has moved it to May 8 through May 10.

And in the age of social media and a land rush to be the guy who guesses what the Texans do with the No. 1 overall pick, this means three more weeks of worthless conjecture, anonymous sources and "people tell me" journalism.

Currently, if there were a title for the king of this sort of reporting, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report would be running away with it.

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Awkward Nick Saban Photo Is Pretty Awesome

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Photo by Gymtide.com
This 2011 shot may be a cardboard cut-out of Nick Saban.
At its best, a major college athletic department is about synergy.

When you compete against the Goliaths of your sport in all sports, teams at a school need to be helping the other teams. All for one, one for all. (Add here whatever other cheesy motivational slogan about togetherness you can think of.)

Being the head coach of a perennial championship program even brings an added burden of giving back. Call it a rub, call it osmosis, call it the "magic touch," but if you're a championship coach, the other coaches at your school will and should want to tap into whatever strand of DNA it is that allows you to compete at such a high level.

Nick Saban knows this. I think. I'm pretty sure he knows this.

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Texans Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar Once Wrestled a Bear

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R. H. Trueman. Library and Archives Canada, C-014070
Bear wrestling was how you proved your manhood, or earned a few bucks. Back in the day.
When Bill O'Brien was assembling his staff that would lead the Houston Texans into the new post-Kubiak frontier, it was widely assumed he would bring in entirely his own staff, and truth be told, he would've been completely justified in doing so.

I mean, 2-14 is 2-14. Clean house. Nobody would've had a problem with that.

However, when the new coaching staff was announced, we found out that there was one assistant coach who would be remaining on board -- defensive line coach Bill Kollar. (Eventually, it wound up being two, as special teams assistant Bob Ligashesky kept his gig as well, but this is a Kollar-centric post.)

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Flopping Is Probably One of the Greatest Sports Sins of Them All

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Photo by WEBN-TV
Pulling a Richard Sherman moment is the least of the seven deadly sports sins.
I got into a semi-argument on air with my SportsRadio 610 cohost, Ted Johnson, the other day. The tiff was about Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, and his act in the wake of the NFC Title Game on FOX, when he eviscerated Michael Crabtree in an interview with Erin Andrews and turned a "WE" moment into a "ME" moment.

I know that topic is more than two months old, and there was a good reason we argued about it (off hand, I don't remember that good reason), but the argument boiled down to Ted (who is vehemently anti-Sherman) asking me if I would let my son wear a Sherman jersey.

Thinking about it for a second, I determined that I would let him, but not encourage him. (Awesome passive-aggressive parenting by me, by the way.) Ted's point, which was fair, was less about jerseys and more about "Would you want your kid acting like that?"

The answer? Probably not, but I can tell you something even more offensive than Sherman-style mugging that would make me ground my sons from now until they're 50.

Flopping.

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Rockets Secure Home Court in First Round with Win Over the Spurs

Categories: Basketball, Sports

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Photo by Jeff Balke
Dwight Howard's return leads the Rockets to home court in round one.
In her first trip to Las Vegas, my wife decided to place her very first sports bet on the Houston Rockets. She and two of her friends put $100 each on the Rockets in their game against Minnesota on Friday night. Any win would net them $190 each and even a loss by one would keep them from losing. The Rockets lost by 2 and it was then decided she should never bet on their games again.

This is life in the world of the Houston Rockets fans. If it is can go down to the wire, if they can lose critical games only to make them up with big wins later, that is what will happen. I am always amazed that despite playing 82 games, teams will fight for spots in the playoffs right down to the last game of the season. In this case, the Rockets did it in the second to last. Close enough.

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The Worst Wheel of Fortune Contestant Ever (And He Actually Wins!)

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Todd Carr
"Wheel of Fortune" has its share of idiots.
I think there's a spectrum of intelligence on which most board games fall, with games like Candy Land at one end and games like, say, chess at the other end. Games such as Scrabble and Monopoly fall somewhere in between, probably somewhere to the "chess" side of center.

Television game shows fall onto a similar grade, with pretty much all of them bunched down at the "mindless" end (for the sake of needing an endpoint, we will plunk Joker's Wild down there), and Jeopardy! all the way at the other end.

Wheel of Fortune, to be fair, probably falls somewhere in the middle, and above the gaggle of games for the braindead (games that, to be clear, I love). You do need at least some working knowledge of the English language to win at Wheel.

Or do you?

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