Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Not An Oil Spill, But...

...rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg is all the beleaguered sports fan in the D.C. area have these days of early exiting Caps, gun-toting Wizards and wretched Redskins.

Now it's not just the people down in Louisiana and the Tea Party folks who are aggravated with President Obama.

Last night the First Fan showed up at Nationals Stadium with 40,325 of his constituents to see Stephen Strasburg pitch. Thankfully, The Prez snuck in thus saving the Nats fan base the annoyance of extra security hassles.

That said, the former Senator from Chicago was wearing a White Sox ball cap.

Strasburg had ten more strikeouts and held the American League opponent to just one run, but his mates failed miserably at run support.
The White Sox ultimately won in the 11th 2-1 after Strasburg and the President were long gone.

To his credit, Obama did hang at the game until the ninth inning.
To read more, click here.

Picture of the Day

HANGING IN THERE. Former Virginia Tech Hokie Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe hits his second shot on the tenth hole during the second round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 18, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.

De Jong, who now lives in Charlotte, NC, is tied for sixth at even par after Round 2.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Parties We Missed - Damn It!

Snoop Dogg attends Game Seven of the NBA playoff finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2010 NBA Playoff on Jun 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images North America)







Charlie Watts attends Royal Ascot Ladies Day on June 17, 2010 in Ascot, England.
(Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe)

Vuvuzelas Of The Day

Two fans how their support for the England soccer team by wearing hats adorned with vuvuzelas and a replica World Cup as they attend Royal Ascot Ladies Day on June 17, 2010 in Ascot, England.

(Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe)

(Everybody In The) World (Cares Except The U.S.) Cup Update: Hey, Slovenia, Pick On Somebody Your Own Size!

Here's why soccer isn't big in the U.S.: It doesn't make sense.

How can a country with 834 people (OK, we're exaggerating, there's 2 million) beat one that has 300 million? If Slovenia had a basketball team, our Just-Fell-A-Sleep-Not-Yet-REM-Just-Starting-To-Dream Team would kick their Ljubljanas.

But, the beautiful game...

Slovenia got off to a 2-0 first half lead, but our boys rallied to tie the match in the second half. The potential winning goal was disallowed to the dismay and the amazement of all non-Slovenians.

To read more, click here.

Hokie Shares Lead After First Round of U.S. Open

Former Virginia Tech All-American Brendon de Jonge is the co-leader after the first round of the U.S. Open. The 29-year-old native of Zimbabwe shot -2 yesterday at Pebble Beach in his Open debut.

De Jonge has “struggled” on the PGA tour debuting in 2007 with $437,172 in earnings and one third place finish.

In 2008, he was named the Nationwide Tour’s player of the year in a vote of his peers after he finished No. 2 on the money list ($437,035), earning a spot on the PGA Tour the next year.

In 2009, de Jonge managed a fourth for his best finish and earned $536,696 leaving him 137th on the money list. So far this year, the former Hokie is having his best year yet – 18 starts, 11 cuts made, a fourth place finish (Quail Hollow) and $895,555 in purses (51st on the money list).

De Jonge earned second-team All-America honors at Tech in 2002 and 2003, where he was a teammate of PGA TOUR member Johnson Wagner.

A tough guy, he played through a broken rib to finish ninth at the 2002 NCAA Central Regional. In 2003, de Jonge was the Big East Conference champion.

ACC In The CWS

Saturday, June 19
FLORIDA STATE vs. TCU, Omaha, Neb. (College World Series), 2:00 PM, TV: ESPN

Sunday, June 20
CLEMSON vs. Arizona State, Omaha, Neb. (College World Series), 7:00 PM , TV: ESPN2

(Everybody In The) World (Cares Except The U.S.) Cup Update: More Guerrilla Marketing

T.A.H. has learned through “up channels” (there just like back channels but inverted because they come from the Southern Hemisphere where many things, including the seasons, seem to be backward), that a small and obscure German toothpaste company is planning a marketing stunt similar to Bavaria’s now famous “orange minidress” stunt where a group of soccer frauleins will attend the Germany v. Serbia match wearing black, red and yellow wigs.

Sources tell T.A.H., Crest, who paid the World Cup zillions of dollars to be the “Official Toothpaste of the (Everybody In The) World (Cares Except The U.S.) Cup,” is not happy.

(Photo by Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

Tinsel Town Crazy Over Champion Lakers

Kobe Bryant earned another championship ring and MVP trophy to go with it last night as the Lakers won game seven of the NBA Finals 83-79.

The finale was also about redemption for notorious NBA bad boy/knucklehead Ron Artest who contributed 20 points and a clutch late three.

In a TV interview immediately after the game, Artest thanked a bevy of folks including “my psychiatrist.”

Amen, brother.

Nice, Ron, NICE!

To read more about Artest’s season of redemption, click here.

To read more about Kobe and the Lakers, simply log onto the Internet.

Most any site will do…

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images and Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images )

Picture(s) of the Day

OLD SCHOOL. Former offensive lineman Jim Snowden, left, running back Reggie Branch, center, and Hall of Famer Charley Taylor have a view from the sidelines yesterday when former Skins returned to Redskin Park for the final day of mini-camp. To see the entire gallery of photos, click here. (Photo by John McDonnell/Washington Post)
MVP. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers puts a shot up over Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NICE VIEW. US Tiger Woods hits on the 8th fairway on the first day of the 110th US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links at the US Open golf championship in Pebble Beach, California on June 17, 2010. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FSU: “Bunch of Nobodies" Aiming To Win CWS

From our friends at Associated Press:

Florida State is heading back to the College World Series for the 20th time and the Seminoles hope a self-described "bunch of nobodies" can claim the school's first national baseball title.

There is no Buster Posey or J.D. Drew to showcase in Omaha, Neb., when the Seminoles (47-18) open the tournament Saturday against a TCU (51-12) team that knocked off Texas in the super regional to qualify for its first CWS appearance.

"This is honestly a bunch of nobodies from all over the country that love to compete," junior centerfielder Tyler Holt said. "It's not big-name guys."

"I want to win a national championship, sure," Martin, 66, said Tuesday. "I'm getting out when I don't. But it's not going to define me."

(Everybody in the) World (cares except the U.S.) Cup Update: Organizers of Orange Minidress Beergate Arrested

This comes directly from Yahoo! Sports simply because we didn’t think we could do it any better.

The story of ITV pundit Robbie Earle getting fired for passing his tickets for Monday's Netherlands vs. Denmark match to a Dutch beer company Bavaria has gotten even stranger.

Two women have been arrested by Johannesburg police for their alleged role in sending a group of more than 30 women in orange minidresses to advertise on behalf of the brewer.

From the AP: The women are being prosecuted under the Contravention of Merchandise Marks Act which covers ambush marketing, when a company benefits from an event without paying for advertising.

South African police arrested the women at their hotel in the Johannesburg district of Roodepoort on Wednesday.

“We view ambush marketing in a very serious light and we urge people not to embark on these ambush campaigns,” police said in a statement.

The women appeared at Johannesburg Magistrates Court and were released on bail of 10,000 rand ($1,300) each, with their next court appearance set for Monday.

FIFA claims it didn't press charges against the two women who are accused of organizing the stunt, but with all that's keeping South African police busy at the moment, it seems odd that it would pursue such an innocuous case without a bit of encouragement. And that kind of encouragement seems well within FIFA's iron-fisted protection of its official sponsors — sponsors such as Budweiser, which paid millions to be the official beer of the World Cup.
And while FIFA denies pressing charges against those Dutch ladies, Robbie Earle — the man who passed on the tickets that started this whole mess — denies profiting from the transaction in any way. Says Earle:

"Call me naive but I didn't think I was doing anything wrong.
"I hope when people hear the full story they will see me in a different light."

Yes, Robbie, people will be very interested to hear that full story when it does come out. Anything involving 30 Dutch women in orange minidresses tends to get attention.

Now you know.

(Editor's Note: In this particular case, items in italics appear to be quite true.)

Things That Make You Go…

Hmmm…

The back page of the John Wooden Sports Illustrated of June 14th has Selena Roberts writing about “A Flight Of Fantasy.” The essay is about Jonathan Trappe who recently flew across the English Channel strapped to some helium balloons.

If this sounds somewhat familiar you might be thinking of Larry “Lawn Chair” Walters who pulled a slightly less organized flight in L.A. in 1982. Perhaps you saw the Australian indie film he inspired called Danny Deckchair…

Now, while Walters was winging it and was subsequently arrested, etc, Trappe is an expert. His gear included a license to fly, a GPS system, ballast (to remove to fly higher), and, of course, a pair of scissors (to cut loose baloons to fly lower and eventually land.)

Trappe soared from England to Dunkirk and landed in a farmer’s field without incident.

He later described his aerial odyssey as "tremendously peaceful, tremendously beautiful", conducted in perfect silence save for a conversation with an astonished walker who happened to be standing on the white cliffs of Dover as Trappe sailed past.

To read more, click here.

Vuvuzelas Of The Day

(Photos by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe and Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe)

Picture(s) of the Day

LET THERE BE HATS. It was Day 2 at Royal Ascot yesterday and as always many of the racegoers wore hats. This particular woman opted to don a hat which looks amazingly similar to the Racing Post. Were this the (Everybody in the) World (cares except the U.S.) Cup, she would, no doubt, have been arrested for promoting a non-sanctioned advertiser.



(Photos by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Everybody Cares In The) World (Except The U.S.) Cup Update: Horns O’ Plenty


















(Photos Carl De Souza-AFP/Getty Images, Kim Kyung-hoon-REUTERS, Brian Snyder-Reuters, Lee Jae-won-Reuters, Christof Koepsel-Getty Images and Roberto Candia-AP)

Pictures of the Day

LADIES DAY AT ROYAL ASCOT. Ladies Day is tomorrow on Day 3 of the world famous Royal Ascot race meet in England. Sometimes things go just marvelously (top photo) and sometimes things get a bit wonky (bottom photo - pun intended). (Photos by Getty Images/Europe)
JUST DAMN GLAD TO BE HERE. University of Texas at Austin President William Powers Jr., center, Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonskon, left, and Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds, right, announce the athletics programs will continue competing in the Big 12 Conference June 15, 2010 in Austin, Texas. And, evidently, everybody is damned thrilled about it! (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images North America)
BACK IN L.A. Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics reaches for a rebound over Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won easily tying the series at 3-3. Game seven in Thursday night. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill-Pool/Getty Images)
STAYING PUT. Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, center, is hugged by players, including Kalin Lucas, left, Austin Thornton, center rear, Korie Lucious, right front, and Garrick Sherman, right rear, during a news conference Tuesday, June 15, 2010, in East Lansing, Mich., announcing that he will stay at Michigan State instead of moving to the NBA to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. (AP Photo)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

College World Series: Virginia Out, Clemson In

CLEMSON 8, Alabama 6 - Richie Shaffer hit two home runs, fellow freshman Dominic Leone pitched 5 2/3 strong innings, and Clemson held off a ninth-inning rally to beat Alabama 8-6 to advance to the College World Series.

Clemson (43-23) won the third and deciding game of the NCAA Clemson Super Regional after almost squandering a seven-run lead in the final inning. Alabama (42-25) scored five runs in the ninth. But with the tying run at second base, Jake Smith, who had homered in the previous two games, flied out to left to end the game.

Leone (3-1) allowed three hits and one unearned run. Will Lamb earned his second save.

Oklahoma 11, VIRGINIA 0 – Bobby Shore pitched four-hit ball for eight innings, Cody Reine hit two three-run homers and Oklahoma pounded Virginia 11-0 on Monday night.

Reine, who also homered twice Sunday, went deep in the first and eighth. The Sooners (49-16) also got solo shots from Cameron Seitzer and Tyler Ogle.

Shore (10-4) did not allow a baserunner past first base. He struck out five and walked two. The Wahoos (51-14), seeded fifth nationally, lost consecutive games for the first time this season and were denied a second consecutive trip to Omaha.


The CWS gets underway on Saturday.

Media Moguls Come Out To Support New ACC

Yesterday, media giants Oprah Winfrey and Paula Deen held a joint news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to show their support for the college football square dance known as NCAA conference realignment.

Regarding the recently proposed love-children of the current Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the All Carolina Conference (ACC), the Mid-Atlantic Mountain and Used Furniture Conference (MMUFC) and the Go To Hell Carolina Conference (GHCC), the two divas of the airwaves said…well…who cares what they said. The point is they showed up to help the ACC through this difficult time…

In other news, volatile former Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez, concerned over his place in the upcoming NBA draft, has opted to undergo a sex change operation and pursue a career in the WNBA where he is expected to dominate.

(Everybody in the) World (cares except the U.S.) Cup Update

GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE - Evidently…the one flight from Slovakia to South Africa was rerouted due to volcanic ash in Iceland and severe flash-flooding in Oklahoma.

Here, two slovakia fans sit together before the Group F first round 2010 World Cup football match Slovakia versus New Zealand on June 15, 2010 at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg.
Slovakia won 1-0.

Things That Make You Go…

Hmmm…

Well it’s been made pretty clear that FIFA has no intention of outlawing those crazy horns that make a World Cup soccer game buzz like the Indianapolis 500, but what about the classic “little orange dress?”

Yesterday, FIFA was busy denying claims that they denied admission to 30 young women ostensibly supporting the Netherlands when they played Denmark on Monday.
FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot denied that, saying, “There were no arrests. No one was detained.”

“The only thing that we have done is actually asking some details (from) these women who have been involved. What seems to have happened is that there was a clear ambush marketing activity by a Dutch brewery company.”

So why would FIFA be upset by a little gorilla marketing for Bavaria beer?

Three little words: Bud. Wise. Er.

To read more, click here.

Picture of the Day

SHIP JUMPER. University of Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osbourne informs members of the media that the University of Nebraska has been accepted into the Big Ten conference June 11, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The university will begin integration immediately and start athletic competition as soon as 2011.

Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma have voted to stay in the Big 12 which should slow down the rumors about potentially shifting global college football plate tectonics.

(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Will the ACC Realign?

A good bit of talk around the weekend cookout circuit centered around the possible implosion of the Big 12 and the creation of some greatly expanded college football super conferences.

Here at T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters we have been informed via back channels (somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody whose sister sat next to a guy on a plane that lives three houses down and across the street from Worldwide Wes’ pool guy’s cousin’s brother-in-law) that the ACC is not sitting around waiting for its four southernmost schools to defect to the S.E.C. or it’s northernmost school to look westward to Indiana.

According to our sources, a move is already afoot down in Charlotte to insure the ACC remains a viable conference. As far as Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Florida State jumping ship for the football mad S.E.C., our super secret source deep inside the ACC’s corporate offices said, “Let ‘em go. Other than Clemson, they’re all a bunch of newbies anyway. Who they gonna beat in the S.E.C. – Vanderbilt?”

Sources say Boston College is considering defecting back to the Big East or forming a new Jesuit Conference with Notre Dame and Xavier. These three will then start the process of converting other universities in large television markets like Los Angeles (USC? They need new friends) and New York City to Catholicism.

In anticipation of just such a venture, the University of New Jersey (Rutgers) has reportedly asked for an audience with the Pope.

However, should those four drive south while BC hooks up with the Golden Domers, the ACC has its own realignment plan which, when combined with the poaching going on by the Big 13, Pac 11 and super-sized S.E.C., will trigger a series of new conference on the sporting map.

The new ACC (All Carolina Conference) will be made up of North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, East Carolina, UNC Wilmington, UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, Davidson , Elon, Gardner-Webb (basketball only), Lenoir-Rhyne College (basketball only), North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central , Western Carolina and Winston-Salem State (basketball only).

Sources for the realigned ACC said, “You want big and diverse? We give you big and diverse! You want mediocre football? We got that. You want great basketball…well…we’ve got the 2005 and 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels. So there.”

The new Mid-Atlantic Mountain, Beltway and Used Furniture Conference (MMBUFC) will be made up of Maryland (sources: “Screw going all the way down to either Carolina or Florida or whatever that state is called where Georgia Tech plays…besides, Coach Fridge is allergic to BBQ [but, thankfully, no other foods]”), Virginia Tech (sources: “We don’t care ‘cause we’re just gonna kick all you’re a**es in football anyway”), Penn State (sources: “We’re still having trouble figuring out where Minnesota is…”), Pittsburg (sources: “We should go wherever Penn State goes, instead of playing Central Florida.”), West Virginia (sources: “Woooo-EEEEE, more couch burnin’ baby!”), Appalachian State (sources: “You can never have enough Mountaineers!”) and George Mason (sources: “Ummm, do we even have a football team?”).

League play will benefit from annual home-and-home series football games, and some pretty amazing fan experiences in some fairly crappy locations. “We thought having UFC in the name might be beneficial,” yet another unnamed source at WVU told T.A.H.

The new (and apparently extremely exclusive) Go To Hell Carolina Conference (GTHCC) will be made up of Duke and Virginia. Sources down in Raleigh tell us that N.C. State hasn’t completely ruled out joining the GTHCC, noting “It’s tempting. On one hand, there are the natural rivalries and the regional aspect of the All Carolina Conference, but on the other hand there is the whole “Go to hell, Carolina” aspect of the Go To Hell Carolina Conference. It’s a tough call.”

When reached, officials at both Virginia and Duke said, “Go to hell, Carolina.”

FSU Advances to CWS

Florida State eliminated Vanderbilt yesterday, while Virginia and Clemson need wins today to advance to the Finals. Miami was eliminated by Florida.

TALLAHASSEE SUPER REGIONAL
Game 1: Florida State 9, Vanderbilt 8
Saturday, June 12
Game 2: Vanderbilt 6, Florida State 2
Sunday, June 13
Game 3: Florida State 7, Vanderbilt 6 Watch replay on ESPN3.com

Florida State (47-18) advances to the College World Series

CHARLOTTESVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
Game 1: Virginia 3, Oklahoma 2
Sunday, June 13
Game 2: Oklahoma 10, Virginia 7 Watch replay on ESPN3.com
Monday, June 14
Game 3: Oklahoma (48-16) vs. Virginia (51-13) (ESPN2/ESPN3.com, 7 p.m.)

(Photo: Virginia's Tyler Wilson greets teammate John Barr)

CLEMSON SUPER REGIONAL
Game 1: Alabama 5, Clemson 4
Sunday, June 13
Game 2: Clemson 19, Alabama 5 Watch replay on ESPN3.com
Monday, June 14
Game 3: Alabama (42-24) vs. Clemson (42-23) (ESPN2/ESPN3.com, 1 p.m.)


(Photo: Clemson's Kyle Parker, (11), celebrates with Dominic Leone, (6), and other teammates after scoring a run in the first inning against Alabama.)


GAINESVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
Game 1: Florida 7, Miami 2
Saturday, June 12
Game 2: Florida 4, Miami 3 (10 innings) Watch replay on ESPN3.com

Miami is eliminated

(Photo: Miami right fielder Chris Pelaez mishandles a fly ball during the 10th inning on Saturday.)

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