Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Weird, The Whacked, & The Dumb

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

Its Wednesday, and if you have been here before you know what it means. For those of you who haven't been here before, Wednesdays are when we look back at some of the more colourful and interesting events that have taken place over the last week or so in the world of sports. Some of the stories fall under the category of weird - where you wonder how this could happen; some of the stories fall under the category of whacked - where you wonder what they were thinking when they did this; and the truly outstanding newsmakers and their stories fall under the category of "just plain dumb" - where you don't even try to understand it. I will let you decide where each fits.

Last week, American sprinter Justin Gatlin and his coach Trevor Graham claimed that the elevated levels of testosterone in one of Gatlin’s sample was a result of a vengeful massage therapist who used testosterone cream on the sprinter. Graham, in an interview with an Italian newspaper, named Christopher Whetstine as the person responsible for rubbing Gatlin down with testosterone cream.

Whetstine, through his lawyer of course, has come out and flatly denied any wrongdoing. Now for the good part, Whetstine has worked with another American sprinter suspected (but never found guilty) of using performance enhancing substances – Marion Jones. If that wasn’t enough – in 1995, Whetstine was sentenced to 36 months probation and fined after being convicted of manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance – marijuana; and if THAT wasn’t enough, he was put on supervised probation by the Oregon Board of Massage (sounds kind of illicit huh?) for using chiropractic techniques he was not licensed for.

File this one under “whacked” – do you think that maybe, just maybe, Gatlin and Graham knew of Whetstine’s less-than squeaky clean past when they accused him of doing Justin in? This promises to get better. The truly whacked part of the story is that, even if Gatlin’s appeal isn’t upheld, he still gets to keep his 2004 Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 metres, and his wins in the 100 and 200 metres from the 2005 World Championships. I wonder how long before these two weasels begin to rat everyone out.

merican cyclist Floyd Landis expects his B sample to confirm the A sample taken during the Tour de France – but still insists there is a “natural” explanation for high abnormally level of testosterone in his blood. For those of you who have not been following this story – Landis’ testosterone to epitestosterone ratio level was recorded as 11:1, almost three time the allowable limit of 4:1 and way above the normal ratio of 1:1. Subsequent testing revealed the presence of synthetic testosterone in the sample; which makes the “natural” explanation Landis is planning to provide kind of interesting, if not downright amusing. Here’s the rub part – Landis’ lawyer states that Floyd is certain he “hasn’t ingested any prohibited substance.” His lawyer comes up with an even better statement:

“He's pretty sure we will be able to prove, if this result is confirmed, that it is due to natural causes, to a natural reaction of his body, either (normally) or in the circumstances he was in that particular stage."

I’m trying to figure this one out – his lawyer has effectively wiped out any possible Sheffield/Bonds/Gatlin excuse about a cream being rubbed on him; it must be some “vengeful” needle brandishing maniac that did him in – maybe it was the devil in the “Postcards from Europe” blog entry I did earlier this month.

File this one under “just plain dumb” – you have been busted for elevated levels of testosterone and your initial excuse (that it is your metabolism) has been blown to bits by the findings of synthetic testosterone. The best you can come up with is that you never ingested any prohibited substance? Dude, I know you are caught in a bad situation – but take Greg Lemond’s advice and just admit it; or is your plan to ride this out and become infamous for this particular incident?

Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban turned down an offer from President Bush to have dinner and presumably chat a little NFL football. Saban’s explanation for turning down the offer was that his obligations at training camp took priority over meeting Dubya. I’m guessing that a guy like Curt Schilling would have some issues with Saban’s stance on this particular issue – being the big-time Republican he is.

File this one under “just plain dumb” – while some might praise Saban’s actions as being committed to his team – this is a damn joke. He turns down an invitation from the President (Bush’s politics are not a factor in this case) because day two or three of training camp is too important? He couldn’t get away for the night? What, does Nick personally tuck each and every player before bedtime? Does he read them a story (or playbook)? For all this grandstanding about how he needs to be with his players – think of this, in two weeks – half of them will be gone. I’m going with CBS’s Mike Freeman on this one.


Terrell Owens’ first big headline as a member of the Dallas Cowboys is, as one would expect, a controversial one – this time, it isn’t about money, a lack of respect or a misunderstanding with a teammate or coach; nope, this one involves Terrell being an eyewitness to cat fight at a nightclub in Dallas.

The authorities are looking to speak to Terrell about one of the women involved in the skirmish. Ms. Tara Smith, a former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, is accused of attacking another patron at the club. The authorities believe that Ms. Smith was one of Terrell’s invited guests – and while they believe he was not involved in the incident, they would like to speak to him about what he saw. Parcells must just be lovin’ this one already.

File this one under “weird” – like I said, it wasn’t about any of Terrell’s usual gripes. This one involved a woman, and I’m not speculating on anything, but this if the first time I’ve heard about Terrell getting into off the field trouble…with a woman no less. Who knew?

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told a local newspaper that, in hindsight, signing Terrell Owens was a mistake. Lurie said he regretted signing Owens, and that his mistake has changed the way the Eagles will do business in the future. Lurie claims that the Eagles will only keep “high character” players, who understand a team concept. He went on to say that T.O’s attitude dragged the Eagles down and prevented them from overcoming the adversity the team went through last year.

File this one under “just plain dumb” – Jeffrey Lurie has the audacity to come out and question Owens’ character, knowing full well that one of his current players – Jabar Gaffney was charged on Friday with unlawful possession of a handgun. So tell me Jeffrey, how does Jabar rate in terms of “high character”? I mean, T.O is a big mouth, and apparently a cat fight promoter, but he has never been charged with a crime.

Kellen Winslow, Cleveland’s modern day version of the village idiot, is back with the Browns after missing the entire 2005 season following extensive knee surgery to repair damage stemming from a motorcycle accident. You would think that a highly touted first round pick who has played all of two NFL regular season games in two years would be humble and talk about wanting to show Management and Browns’ fans that he appreciates the fact they supported him during rehab. Of course not, instead the self-proclaimed “soldier” started out this year’s camp by telling me that while he may never be 100% again – he really believes that his “90% is better than every tight end out there.” I’m not sure what he is basing his opinion on – but I’m sure Tony Gonzalez got a good laugh out of that one. I hope someone catches the soldier coming across the middle and lays him out.

File this one under “just plain dumb” – because it involves Kellen Winslow, and if you have read this page in the past, you know what kind of horse’s behind this guy really is. A guy who still for all intents and purposes is a rookie - telling the league that he is better than anyone out there at his position, at 90% no less. His father must have slapped him upside that pea-brained head of his and told him to just go out and play.


Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle, MLB's poster boy for mediocrity, was quoted as saying the Phillies didn't really seem interested in winning - this of course came after his trade to the Yankees was announced.

Well, Lidle's comments didn't sit well with Phillies' reliever Arthur Rhodes who struck back at Lidle. Rhodes told of Lidle's pre-game preparation which included eating ice cream and gambling; Rhodes went on to tell reporters how during games, Lidle could often be found in the clubhouse on the internet. Rhodes was relentless in his bashing of Lidle, talking about how he would pitch 5 and 1/3 innings and look for the pen to get his wins - something Toronto Blue Jays fans would probably agree with.

Lidle dismissed Rhodes' comments by saying everyone prepares differently. If you find Lidle at poker stars - lemme know.

File this one under "just plain dumb" - if you are Cory Lidle, you are going from a team that is out of the playoff chase to a contender, just shut your mouth and focus on the team you are going to. Lidle, who has a history of starting off well the first month or two before folding, hasn't done enough in the league to question the desire of his teammates. I applaud Arthur Rhodes for what he did.


The New Jersey State Trooper implicated in Operation Shapshot has pleaded guilty to helping run a gambling ring and has promised the authorities that he will cooperate fully in building a case against Rick Tocchett. Stay tuned - things are about to get a little uncomfortable for Tocchett...and yes, I'm wondering when Janet Gretzky's name will come back into the picture.

We'll wait before we determine where this one fits.

That's about it for tonight - there's more, but I'll post those tomorrow. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world - have a great weekend.

Song of the night on Hazelspeeps - for my man DJames who has risen from the dead (and extended business trips) to reach out and say he is alive and relatively well - and working on hooking me up with Sox tickets for my B-Day next spring.

Danny Boy - Every Person of Irish Descent

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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