If I am either Matt Vogel or Michael Fulton, I am on the phone to Luis Suarez’ agent now begging for an appearance for him to speak to my teams as a fundraiser. Vogel is the head men’s soccer coach and Fulton the head women’s coach at . . . yes, I know this is cheap to the point of being beneath even me . . . Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky.
I mean, how many cars do you have to wash or cupcakes do you have to bake to beat what you could take in from an appearance from The Ol’ Mouthful Of Menace? It’s a gold mine, I tell you. Just keep the audience behind the electrified barrier and you’ll be fine.
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And the team that Uruguay beat, Italy, was down a man in the game and now down one after it. Head coach Cesare Prandelli quit within nanoseconds of the Italians being eliminated, and did so with proper elegance:
"Above and beyond, at the end of the match, I spoke to the president of the federation, and because the technical plan is under my responsibility, I have told them that I am going to resign from my position because when the technical plan and strategy fails, it is only fair for the person in question to take responsibility.”
This is Italian for, “This is so you can’t tell me to take my withered old hinder down the road.”
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LeBron James is now doing the Opt-Out Two-Step, which rubs out the NBA Draft as a newsmaker and makes this the weirdest free agent year in history, what with Carmelo Anthony and Josh McRoberts (heh heh heh) already there. This, in turn, causes us to remember Charlie Finley, the old Oakland A’s skinflint and reprobate, whose biggest idea to improve sports for the owners was never seized upon by his brethren, who largely loathed him and everything that came flying from his cakehole.
He proposed that every player be declared a free agent every year, thus flooding the market. The stars got theirs, and everyone else worked for the crumbs from beneath Longshanks’ table, to quote William Wallace. Had the other baseball owners thought a moment, or had Finley not been so comprehensively repellent to all other known life forms, off-seasons would be so much less . . . well, lucrative for the players.
On the other hand, we wouldn’t have gotten to see Pat Riley perform his time-honored old management bully hold-my-breath-until-you-turn-blue trick. Which, of course, worked as well as it ever does.
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And no, the Warriors aren’t getting him either, so calm down. This may be more a destination than a dump site now, but it isn’t THE destination. Not until they actually see the sunny side of a conference final.
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Sadly, the nascent idea of the Philadelphia 76ers hauling a potential alternate logo – the fabulous Ballin’ Ben Franklin, as Deadspin’s Tom Ley came to call him – never got off the cranial ground, so to speak, but maybe for a secret reason.
Despite its undeniable coolness, Ballin’ Ben was also the alternate logo for the 1999 All-Star Game, scheduled in Philadelphia but never played because that was the year the NBA owners decided to lock out the players because, as any good business man will tell you, playing no games is better business than playing all the games. That reminder might have been enough to kill the idea right there.
Well, that, and the fact that an actual Ballin’ Ben would have been good enough to play 17 minutes a game as Michael Carter-Williams’ backup.
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Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s decision to give up smokeless tobacco for his daughter is the kind of smart idea that you hope takes hold. Wanting your daughter to have a father with an entire face is never a bad deal.
It also makes you hope that Bruce Bochy is continuing to fight the fight against his mouth’s crueler urges. He has used hypnotherapy in the past to get off the devil flake, but it does occasionally try to make a comeback, like when the Giants are . . . doing what they’re doing now.
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This is how quickly you can go right from Who’s Who to What The Hell Ever Happened to: NFL Network’s annual summer time-waster, “The Top 100 Players” is being aired 10 at a time to maximize the pointlessness, and quarterback Robert Griffin Le Troisieme will not be on the list. A year ago, his peers voted him 15th, higher than Andrew Luck (23rd), Russell Wilson (51st) and Colin Kaepernick (81st).
The lessons: Don’t get hurt, don’t have people questioning your team ethic, and maybe even stop being in Washington.
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Emmitt Smith on Danny Snyder, via Rana Cash of Sporting News:
“I think it’s unfortunate because Daniel Snyder bought the Redskins because of the Redskins value and the Redskins brand. Now you take that from him, it’s gonna be very tough because he loses some of that value. But if he can just drop the Red and keep the Skins, I think that part would suffice. Drop the Red and keep the Skins, keep the Indian logo and keep it moving, make the adjustment. You don’t have to change the colors. People know them as the ‘Skins anyway. The brand has been completely established; don’t lose it all trying to fight the overall battle. Take the one thing that will make you successful and that part is the ‘Skins and no one can question that.”
So, let’s question that. Or better yet, let’s offer them the Reds so Snyder can tap the untouched Communist market. Or he could cut off the ends and go with Skis, as long as the Eastern Europeans sign off on it. Or he could just stay the course and let the rest of the nation take free swings at him on slow news days.
I’m good with the last one.
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And finally, assuming FIFA can be shamed into the right thing for once, Suarez’ next game is probably going to be August 16 at Liverpool against Southampton. I can hear Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers now – “Well, that Chiellini fellow must have done something to deserve teeth, but we’ll talk to the lad because . . . oh, shut up. We need him, and we are like all other sports franchises in all other sports in that when we need to, we can tolerate damned near anything. That’s all you need to know.”