Maybe if his name was Raffi Bettman ...
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Maybe if Raffi Torres had changed his name . . . say, to Pavel Datsyuk. Or better yet, Raffi Bettman.

[RELATED: Sharks' Torres suspended for Kings series]


Chris Kluwe a Raider? Somewhere, Al Davis is doing what he would have been doing if he were here . . . swearing like four sailors.

[RELATED: Report -- Punter Chris Kluwe to sign with Raiders]


And while we’re at it, what happened to the Warrior sleeves? Could it be that it was just a cheap way to get people to but new gea . . . no, that couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with anything. That is just not something that’s done in the modern world.


New England tight end/raconteur Rob Gronkowski is having his latest arm surgery done next week by . . . wait for it . . . Dr. Jesse Jupiter. He is apparently one of the country’s top fracture surgeons, and he must be, because how you could keep your practice otherwise if your name was Jesse Jupiter?


Nate Diaz strikes again, this time in “defense” of fellow MMA fighter Pay Healy, who lost his bonus money because he tested positive for marijuana after winning a fight by submission. That money then went to another fighter named Bryan Caraway, who was the only fighter to win by a submission, and Diaz tweeted his disapproval by typing, “I feel bad for pat Healy that they took a innocent mans money and I think the guy who took the money is the biggest f----- in the world.”


Now guess who gets fined. And guess who doesn’t get his bonus money back. And guess who doesn’t feel bad about getting his bonus money anyway. That’s effective support there, Nathan. You’re a real sport.


Evidently those air-cooled bribes FIFA allegedly took to pout the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are malfunctioning, because president Sepp Blatter told the French paper L’Equipe, “The World Cup is more than just stadiums, it’s an array of social and cultural activities around the competition. What do we do? It’s not rational and reasonable to play in June-July.”

In other words, players can handle it, because they could handle it when the vote came down to out the tournament in a place where the average temperature runs between 87 and 106 degrees, but all the spectators, some of whom give FIFA a great deal money through sponsorships, business deals and general hush money, can’t handle it. Yeah, makes perfect sense, if you ignore everything but the money.


Nick Saban now says he is hurt that former assistant coach Tim Davis, now at Florida, referred to him as “the devil himself,” only months after Vanderbilt coach James Franklin called him “Nicky Satan.”

“Twice. On two occasions,” Saban said. “If somebody has a problem with me, I'd appreciate it if they'd tell me. If I'm doing something to offend somebody, I'd certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it.”

Okay, Nick, here’s the deal. Your team wins too much. Way too much. Knock it off, or expect more of the same. Oh, and our lawyers will be in touch about trademark infringement. Sincerely, Mephistopheles A. (for Antichrist) McBeelzebub.


And finally, nobody inside the football community can quite figure out why Rolando McClain “retired” from football at age 23, even though, as Jason Cole of Yahoo! pointed out through a chat with someone close to McClain, he doesn’t want to play any more.

[RELATED: Yahoo! Sports -- Analysis: Rolando McClain's retirement hard to explain]

Now what better reason is there? Football is a hard enough gig for those who love it, and the new information coming out almost weekly about the true toll of the game on its practitioners says everything you know about that. So a guy who doesn’t like football has decided to stop doing it? Please.

Although, as an aside, it is interesting that the Raiders drafted two guys in the last five years who turned out not to enjoy the thing the Raiders expected them to be superb at. Sounds like there was a vetting problem in Alameda the last few years. But you already suspected that, didn’t you?