The news from the NFL owners meetings at Carlton of Ritz in the Francisco of San wasn’t the tedious update on the Patriots' manipulation of oxygen (the 31 other owners stood on the desiccated corpse of New England’s indignation), or the non-update on the Raiders’ scheduled departure for Carsonia de la Sur, but the fact that, on camera, where everyone could see it, Goodell laughed at a question.
Then the earth opened and swallowed the Oakland political structure. If that’s your idea of a good time.
X X X
The Sports Business Daily/Sports Business Journal Awards, given by people whose main job is to count owners’ money for them, named Levi’s Stadium as its Sports Venue of the Year, outpointing among others AT&T Park. Looks like those $336 rib caps won someone’s heart, and bets that the Giants find a three-figure meal to compete in the coming months.
Besides, in two years they’ll both be passed by the Warriors’ Xanadu in planning and the Raiders’ new home in Oakl . . .
Oops, sorry. Too soon. And too late. All at the same time.
X X X
Mike Babcock decided it was his great white whale to raise coaches’ salaries in the NHL, so he took $50 million to try to heal the Toronto Maple Leafs in eight years (and good luck with that, Mikey), at a salary just below Cam Ward’s in Carolina and just above’s Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit. I wonder if he told Todd McLellan, who signed in Edmonton two days earlier, what he was pulling in, because McLellan signed for barely half as long (five years) and less than half as much ($15 million).
After all, what are pals for?
X X X
Jimmy Kimmel took the night off so that people could say farewell to David Letterman. Conan O’Brien worked but told people to watch Letterman’s last show as well. It’s called the noble forfeit, and sports could use a lot more of it.
X X X
NBA referee Scott Foster has now worked 10 games in this postseason, and the home team is 1-9 in those games. In a tribute to what is surely coming with the Patriots, the Warriors have offered to cheerfully pay Stephen Curry’s flopping fine if they can get him in either Game 3 or 4 in Houston.
Back, meet scratch marks.
X X X
John Calipari’s genius as a recruiter is undisputed, because hey, who wouldn’t want to be told that his future means more than a ring and a banner?
In a speech to 3,000 business executives in which he was given a humanitarian award (presumably for not winning the 2015 NCAA title), Calipari said this:
“Last year we started the season with a goal. You may think it was to win a national title or win all the games, but it was to get eight players drafted. Well, how can you be about your team if you're worried about getting players drafted? We kind of work it the other way. What are your dreams? What are you looking for? What are you trying to get out of life? How can we help you with that? For me, the mission for me is to be a vehicle to help others reach their dreams, to be the stone that creates the ripple in their lives that goes on and on and on. Now in our state, they want my mission to be, ‘win national titles, win national titles.’ My mission is bigger than that.”
Somewhere, Wynonna Judd is fixin’ to kick a little ass.
X X X
If you put down any money on the Women’s Coppa Italia soccer final between Brescia and Tavagnacco, you’re safe. There will be no game after both teams threatened to strike as a result of the head of the federation that oversees Italian women’s soccer, a pulled pork in a suit named Felice Belloli, felt compelled to call female players “a bunch of lesbians.” He has not yet been fired, strapped to the front of a boat and been shipped with the Adriatic tide yet, but Italians move slowly. Trust me, I know.
X X X
And finally, Riley Curry is believed to be the youngest person ever to hate sports talk. As soon as she is told what sports talk is, that is.