If Will Ferrell wants to reach an audience larger than the army of hangers-on and star-droolers that surrounded him Thursday in Arizona, he should seriously crash the NFL Draft and save it from its ponderous, self-important, over-analyzed, leaden, grisly awfulness.
If he can. It is a vital task that is long past the day when it should have been done, but not one for mere mortals, as better folks than Ferrell have died just bringing it up in polite conversation.
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Hurray to the jury that decided that the NFL owes some of the seven fans who sued over the bait-and-be-switched seats at the Dallas Super Bowl $76,000, determining that the league breached its contract with its customers.
Now there are some rumblings about disaffected 49ers personal seat license holders wanting to sue the team for letting its prime entertainment piece apparently go to seed.
Their cause seems hopeless, at least in the short run, but this little gift from regular folks who see the NFL as getting too big for Jupiter’s britches may give them reason to . . . well, hurl money at lawyers in hopes of making Jed York cry.
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Speaking of spring training, the minor league camp exodus is about to begin for those who don’t fit into the big plan, which means we will lose some of the very best names in the game -– and by best, we mean names that would sound like heaven coming out of Bob Sheppard’s mouth.
Like Atahualpa Severino (Anaheim), Socrates Brito (Arizona), Sugar Ray Marimon (Atlanta), Arismendy Alcantara (Chicago Cubs), Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati), Asher Wojciechowski (Houston), Chesler Cuthbert or Bubba Starling (Kansas City), Erisbel Arruebarrena (Los Angeles Dodgers), Pat Urckfitz (Milwaukee), Cody Satterwhite (New York Mets), Jake Cave (New York Yankees), Sam Tuiavalala (St. Louis), Cory Spangenberg (San Diego), Maickel Guiape (Seattle), Jake Elmore (Tampa Bay, for you Blues Brothers fans), Bo Schultz (Toronto) or Spencer Kieboom (Washington).
Or, if Sheppard would actually like to return from the beyond for one more big day, he could just head for Pirates camp where he can reach the highest state of consciousness with Gift Ngoepe, Keon Braxton, Brandon Cumpton, Arquimedes Caminero, Stolmy Pimentel, Jeremy Bleick and the greatest name in all of baseball . . .
. . . wait for it . . .
. . . ANTONIO BASTARDO!
He will of course make the Opening Day roster, but the name is too good for the ethereal Sheppard not to do. In fact, I’m thinking of renaming both of my children Antonio Bastardo, but since one is a legal adult and the other is about to be, a long court fight is expected. In addition, my wife would probably claim copyright infringement since she likes using the Anglicized version on me.
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The fight against racism will be won one thick frothy stein at a time, it seems. Borussia Dortmund, the German soccer power whose home base has been struggling with a growing neo-Nazi scene, has begun a campaign elegantly titled, “No Beer For Racists” and has printed one million beermats that have been circulated around local bars and clubs. It began Tuesday where the club’s supporters’ group with a statement on the official website that read: “Borussia, beer — and Nazis? It does not fit!
“Borussia Dortmund, the fan department and all BVB fans bear responsibility to take a clear stand against xenophobic and inhumane slogans rather than not listening to them,” said BVB president Reinhard Rauball. “For tolerance and a colorful BVB; against racism and xenophobia.”
There is an excellent chance it will do some good, given that Dortmund, near the relegation zone a month ago, have won their last five Bundesliga matches and have Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League series this coming Wednesday.
I believe I will drink to that.
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A lot of reporters raved about the choice of Greg Sankey to replace the retiring Mike Slive as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, which begs the following questions:
- How would they know if he’s great until he actually does it?
- How hard is it to convince the NCAA to put Iowa State on probation for something shady that might happen at Ole Miss?
- Couldn’t you get a well-trained bank manager to do the same job, namely, watching money come in and sorting it in ungainly piles by denomination, serial numbers and university donor fingerprint profiles?
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And finally, the American Gaming Association commissioned a poll which estimates that 40 million Americans will fill out more than 70 million brackets and wager approximately $9 billion on the NCAA tournament, according to research released Thursday.
No data was provided to show how many actual pools would be formed for those 70 million brackets, but the number is believed to coincide almost exactly with the number of entries from receptionists who don’t pay attention to sports, infants, and dogs whose pictures are put on Twitter despite the entreaties of those who don’t need Twitter. Or dogs.