Festus Ezeli congratulated the wrong Manning (maybe it was the wrong pre-surgery prep). Cam Newton committed the tactical errors of annoying potential future sponsors and trying to shorthop a fumble. Wade Phillips got a ring after 38 years. And blah-de-blah-de-blah-blah-blah.
The real takeaway from Superb Owl L was that Las Vegas took a hammering. They lost big when Denver’s Von Miller won the most valuable player trophy. They lost big with Denver on the money line. And they lost big because they couldn’t get a small Carolina win, thereby taking the Panther money and the money line money. Vegas made money, and probably more than the $3.2 million they squeezed out of last year, but they’ve done poorly the last two years on what used to be their Christmas.
Ho ho bleedin’ ho.
# # #
The Sacramento Kings are apparently on the verge of firing George Karl (and have been since they lost in Brooklyn, then New York, and now Cleveland, leading to this from ESPN’s Marc Stein), and the team’s minority owners continue to agitate to oust majority busybody Vivek Ranadive despite him controlling 65 percent of all the voting stock.
In the recording industry, this is what is called a greatest hits album.
That said, who doesn’t find humor in the idea that the Kings’ next game, Wednesday, closing out the first half, is in Philadelphia against the almost resurgent Sixers?
[INSTANT REPLAY: King James powers Cavs' rout of Kings]
# # #
In other coach croakings, Derek Fisher completed the New York NBA Coaches bingo card by being fired less than a month after Lionel Hollins in Brooklyn. This suggests that Philadelphia’s Brent Brown can’t be long for this world, even though he has prodded the Sixers to within two games of the Lakers.
But we at least know that Luke Walton isn’t a candidate for the Knicks job. He is the luckiest man alive, whether he knows it or not.
# # #
Lindsay Jones of USA Today has a memo from vice president of football operations Troy Vincent that indicates that the NFL will no longer allow players with convictions for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses to attend the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Vincent wrote that invited prospects would be barred from “any league-related event” if a background check turns up a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Players that refuse to submit to a background check will also be uninvited. It also means those players would not be invited to the draft.
But it means they can still be drafted or signed afterward. So what the NFL wants is for people not to see them at league functions – except of course for the games. In other words, one can still play the Palace, but not the Improv.
# # #
Southampton is your new favorite team because of this: After Maya Yoshida scored an early goal to give the Saints a 1-0 lead over West Ham over the weekend, teammate Victor Wanyama was ejected for a dangerous foul. Though Southampton still won the game, Yoshida chastised Wanyama by proposing a punishment for making his teammates play one man down.
Yoshida told Alex Smith of the Daily Star, “Victor has to pay us back now, maybe some Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the players.”
Mmmm, fried dough laced with sugar. The food of champions.
# # #
I’m no wrestling fan, being older than 20 and all, but this summation of the end of Daniel Bryan’s career by Deadspin’s Timothy Burke due to concussions has one thing that should stick with you – Burke’s last line:
“One fairly ridiculous thing seems clear: the scripted world of pro wrestling cares more about its athletes’ brain health than the NFL does.”
# # #
And finally, Eddie DeBartolo is still in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.