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The 10 Spot: April 17, 2007

1. Spurs star Tim Duncan says that referee Joey Crawford challenged him to a fight while ejecting him from Sunday's game against the Mavericks. That's strange. Usually the refs and players settle disputes by footraces.

2. Wikipedia may be about as accurate as your resident office gossip, but its breadth and speed can sometimes be awe-inspiring. Consider that Joey Crawford has a) his own Wikipedia page that is b) already updated for the Duncan imbroglio. Does that mean that there's someone in this country who read about Duncan's comments with a first reaction of, "Uh oh, I better go update the Joe Crawford page"? Who are these people?

3. MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will return to sports TV for the first time in six years as co-host of the pregame show for NBC's Sunday night football broadcasts. The big challenge for Olbermann covering the NFL will be narrowing down the candidates for "Worst Person in the World."

4. A French anti-doping lab began analyzing another sample from disgraced Tour de France champion Floyd Landis' on Monday. Is this really necessary? Haven't we already established that Landis is a dope?

5. Do as I say, not as I said: According to SportsBusinessDaily, much mirth was expressed in the Dodger Stadium press box on Sunday night when scoreboard operators played a taped pre-game message from former manager Tommy Lasorda asking fans to refrain from using profane language. Lasorda, of course, was a virtual Picasso of the profane. His most famous rant came after Dave Kingman hit three homers off his team in 1976 and a reporter asked, "What's your opinion of Kingman's performance?" (Short answer: Lasorda was against it.) Here is an audio clip (with the many curses bleeped out). And here's a full transcript of this and other Lasorda tirades, including his contention that Padres utility man Kurt Bevacqua "couldn't hit water if he fell out of a [expletive] boat." Plus, here's a link to 10 Spot editor Jimmy Traina's blog on famous sports meltdowns.

6. Reader submission from Steve of Astoria, N.Y.: "The Yankees have had a major increase in injuries since hiring a new conditioning staff. It's gotten so bad that Aura has a pulled hamstring and Mystique is out with a strained oblique."

7. More Yankees injuries: Fark.com had an amusing blurb teasing the recent news story that oft-injured hurler Carl Pavano was heading to the disabled list. To wit: "Carl Pavano returns after brief stint on abled list."

8. Kenyan Robert Cheruiyot won his third Boston Marathon on Monday, the 15th win for a Kenyan in 17 years. You know Celtics coach Doc Rivers is kicking himself for not stocking his lineup recently with Kenyan marathoners. Not to tank games for better position in the Oden/Durant lottery -- heavens no! -- but because they're proven champs in the tough Boston sports scene. Yeah, that's the ticket.

9. Rolling in it: There are several intriguing aspects to the story that the Eagles accidentally paid running back Brian Westbrook an extra $3 million last year by doling out his agreed-upon roster bonus twice. First, the comical ineptitude was tailor-made to provide fodder for smart-aleck second-guessers like the 10 Spot. Perhaps more interesting, though, is that neither Westbrook nor the team noticed that the extra payment had been made until after the season. From the Eagles' perspective, it's obviously embarrassing that the accounting department didn't notice that it paid out an extra $3 million (about $1.7-$1.8 million after withholding taxes). But what about from Westbrook's point of view? It must be nice to be so rolling in the dough that your paycheck can be $1.7-$1.8 million higher than expected and you don't even notice there's been a mistake. Just picture that trip to the ATM: "My balance is how much? Sweet! I'm the man!"

10. Campbell's will use eight NFL players in its Chunky soup ads this season, the most ever. Well, that should confuse the forces of darkness who control the Chunky's curse.

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