ESPN Headlines -- Sex, Lies and Shrunken Testicles
"I see trees of green ... red roses too
It's a bad news day when you're hoping for stories on Barry Bonds's shrunken balls.
I see em bloom ... for me and you
And I think to myself ... what a wonderful world."
-- Louis Armstrong
Clearly, Louis Armstrong would have never made it as a sports fan in the year 2011. At least not on the afternoon of March 30, 2011.
A little background on how I decide what to write about each day: I finish my show at 3 p.m., I scour the internet for a story that (a) interests me and (b) for the sake of avoiding redundancy, may have not found its way onto my show (not always the case), and then I proceed to write about it for 300, 500, 1,000, sometimes a few thousand words.
Today, for some reason, I couldn't get out of first gear in trying to find something to write about. "Maybe it's because every story I'm finding is about some asshole doing assholian things."
Then, rather than paint everyone about whom I had skimmed a story this afternoon with the same assholian brush (I'm digging the word "assholian," if you can't tell), I decided to see if indeed today, March 30, was a day of inordinate deplorable activity.
I read the news today, oh boy.
ESPN.com has 11 headlines on their front page, always tucked neatly to the right-hand side. A glance at those 11 bullet points will typically give you a decent snapshot as to what is moving the needle on that particular day.
I'm here to tell you (and show you in the snapshot taken of the main page at 4 p.m. CST today) that March 30 is a day being dominated by deceit, excess and crime. If you're looking for a headline that involves anything on the field or on the court, I would suggest a three-day nap, because Saturday is the first day that I can assure you of any sporting event that will knock these gems or gems like them from their perch.
The 11 ESPN.com headlines serve as a stark reality check, a reminder of the unsavory underbelly of the sports world. Let's go in order:
"Painter turns down Missouri to stay at Purdue"
Actually, of all the stories captured on the screen shot, this one is easily the most (only?) "feel good" out of all of them. Former Purdue guard leverages his alma mater into an eight-year extension; this is the one story that I really don't have a problem with. It would have been much cooler if the story were something about Matt Painter being the missing Baldwin brother or coming back to play Shane McMahon's evil twin at Wrestlemania, but whatever. More power to him.
(WARNING: It's all downhill from here...)
"Tressel apologizes for rules violations"
A few weeks after explaining to everyone his reasons for not forwarding incriminating e-mails about his quarterback and a few other players trading their memorabilia for tattoos, Tressel holds a press conference to apologize for the violations. Again. Coach, if you're having to hold a second press conference to address exactly zero new allegations, you're probably not handling this correctly. Suspend yourself for three more games.
"Velarde says he got HGH from Bonds trainer"
So pretty much everyone who has come into contact with Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds's trainer, has admitted that he knowingly gave them drugs and they knowingly took them to become better baseball players. All except Bonds, who apparently is one of a handful of athletes who are neurotically meticulous about every aspect of their game except the drugs they apply to their bodies. Makes perfect sense. Frankly, can we call a few more ex-mistresses of Bonds to the stand so we can hear more shrunken testes stories? That was more fun.
"BCS could cut ties with Fiesta Bowl"
If you missed this story yesterday, the Fiesta Bowl fired its CEO John Junker for using Fiesta Bowl revenue to illegally reimburse some of his business cronies their political campaign contributions to him. On the list of shady things going on with bowl revenue, this is somewhere around 134th, but it's enough for the Fiesta Bowl to shitcan Junker and for the BCS to assemble a special task force to investigate the situation. Needless to say, if you've read Dan Wetzel's outstanding book Death to the BCS, then you know that this will be the most crooked task force since Stan Gable and Betty Childs headed up the task force to see who trashed the Tri Lambs house in Revenge of the Nerds.
"Crosby regular season return unlikely"
Normally I'd say hockey stories don't count, but the fact that this is the best player in the game out for the rest of the season with a concussion, frankly it fits right in.
"Packers Jolly denied bond on drug charge"
This one is right here in our backyard! Who said the Final Four and Shell Houston Open was all we had going in town this weekend? Johnny Jolly is in jail for the "purple drank!!!" Go ahead and assume he's now permanently suspended from the NFL; the question becomes how long he will be suspended from society.
"Clemens is eager to defend himself in court"
Speaking of the Shell Houston Open, Roger Clemens was there caddying in the pro-am today! (Houston again, people!) I would say he met with the media, but he actually met with Mike (Greenberg) and Mike (Golic) on ESPN Radio. Calling an interview with Mike and Mike a meeting with the media is like rolling around in a litter of newborn kittens and calling it a safari. Softball batting practice for Clemens, who still looked completely uncomfortable and fidgety during the group hug of a conversation. Favorite nugget -- Clemens saying he wasn't paying any attention to Bonds's perjury trial, which means Roger is either incredibly stupid (if you were facing jail for the same thing someone else did, wouldn't you be curious what precedent was being set?) or incredibly arrogant (lock). Either way, reportedly, when actual media was trying to track him down Clemens ran to his car.