They’re a little touchy in Turkey about notable political figures and movements from thousands of miles away, or so it seems. The Turkish Football Federation is reportedly going to sanction Galatasaray players Emmanuel Eboue and Didier Drogba, both Africans, for displaying undershirts that read "Thank You Madiba" and "Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela" during a game last Friday. Apparently the Turkish FA is trying to crack down on players and fans from using political expressions, imagery and banners at games, so Mandela’s death is now the international equivalent of heckling Jeff Triplette's taste in pass interference calls.
All at once, sigh.
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In other international news from right up the street, San Francisco apparently lost $5.5 million hosting the America’s Cup after estimates about the original amount of estimated money the city was supposed to generate overclubbed by about 60 percent, which is the usual percentage of inflated claims for big sporting events and their benefits to local economies.
See, I told you it would have worked better with Somali pirates.
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Texas coach Mack Brown has denied a report that he will retire, which means he will probably retire Thursday. And of course Stanford’s David Shaw has been mentioned as a possible replacement, meaning he’ll have to update his classic dismissal of him-to-USC rumors: “It (the list of candidates) might be short, but it's one person too long.” We recommend something along the lines of “I’m preparing for Michigan State and waiting to turn down Dan Snyder, so I really don’t have time to tackle another denial right now.”
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Josh McCown, the man guiding the Chicago Bears to things people suggested Jay Cutler never could, is now being compared with Rich Gannon, which ought to make Rich Gannon reconsider the pride he takes in his career.
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Ken Tarr, who recorded dozens of phone calls to football coaches in pursuit of pranking them for other jobs, was booked in Los Angeles Monday for . . . well, for recording dozens of phone calls to football coaches. The list, which includes NBC’s Tony Dungy, University of Hawaii Coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, created a bit of havoc before normalcy was returned, but Tarr will have some lawyer-calling to do.
In a related development, David Shaw was upset that Tarr never called him. He had a hilarious line about Danny Snyder he wanted to try out.
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The latest blow to the coaching Kiffin family this year came when Dallas owner/crackpot/gasbag Jerry Jones said he still has plenty of confidence in Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
Jones may be sincere, but Kiffin is asking to be allowed to drive to the Cowboys final road game next weekend in Washington. He’s a little airport-o-phobic these days, as you can understand.
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And finally, it is hereby agreed based on the current number of leaks that have emanated from Brooklyn’s Laugh Factory that Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank are both victims of treachery and conscienceless bullies.
And yes, that sound you hear is CSN New England’s Celtics analyst P.J. Carlesimo doubled over in uncontrollable and very grateful laughter.