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Too Good To Be True

Dec. 25, 2006
Dec. 25, 2006

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Dec. 25, 2006

The Year in Sports 2006
The Best of 2006
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Too Good To Be True

Keeping track of all the miscreants in sports--from liquored-up trees to larcenous wideouts--is a dirty job, and nobody has to do it. But Steve Rushin did it anyway

THE MOON NEVERSETS ON THE BRITISH UMPIRE

This is an article from the Dec. 25, 2006 issue Original Layout

Line judges atWimbledon split 60 pairs of trousers while bending over during matches.

PUTTING THESTICK'EM BACK IN "STICK'EM UP"

Former FloridaState receiver Fred Rouse, charged with burglarizing the house of anex-teammate, allegedly left a wide receiver's glove with his uniform number onit at the scene.

WINNING ISN'TEVERYTHING, OR EVEN ANYTHING

Lions receiverRoy Williams defended his celebration of a first-down catch, with his teamtrailing the Bears 10-0, by saying, "The score means nothing."

PEASANT COMPANYEXCEPTED

After he and hiswife adopted a baby, Shea Hillenbrand, then the Blue Jays DH, complained to agroup of sportswriters, "Not one person in the front office has even comeup to congratulate me. It's all the little people, like you guys. But nobodyfrom higher up. That's a disgrace."

ERRIN'SPELLING

A billboard inAmarillo, Texas, congratulating Caitlin Campbell on her eighth-place finish atthe Scripps National Spelling Bee spelled her name "Cambell."

PROCRASTINATIONNATION

Sixteen yearsafter he sent a baseball card to Phillies pitcher Don Carman, 23-year-old DougFerraro of Bensalem, Pa., received the signed card in the mail, along with anote that read, "Sorry for the delay."

BUT HIS SLY ANDTHE FAMILY STONE TICKETS WERE MISSING

Thirty-five yearsafter dropping his wallet under the bleachers during a high school basketballgame, 49-year-old Gary Karafiat had it returned by maintenance workers.

RAMONCING THESTONED

Texas runningback Ramonce Taylor called police to a fight but was arrested when cops foundfour pounds of marijuana in his car.

WHY NOT JUST PLAYIN A TUTU?

NashvillePredator Jordin Tootoo changed his jersey number to 22.

JACK AND COKEWENT UP THE HILL ...

Floyd Landis saidthat Jack Daniels might have been to blame for the positive drug test that costhim the Tour de France.

BOOK 'EMHORNS

While performingat a food festival, Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull was arrested andcharged with punching an off-duty police officer. Charges were laterdropped.

THE DEFINITION OFIRONY

The Canton [Ohio]Repository reported that at the city's Timken High--where the sports teams arecalled the Trojans--13% of the girls at the school were pregnant.

SEXIEST GAMEALIVE

When Bradleyplayed Pittsburgh during the NCAA basketball tournament, the CBS on-screenscoreboard read:
BRAD
PITT

PUBLIC ENEMA#1

To raiseawareness about colorectal cancer, the Richmond (Va.) RiverDogs of the UnitedHockey League gave away stuffed dolls of EneMan--an enema bag wearing acape.

ANOTHER NBAPLAYER WITH AN ALTITUDE PROBLEM

Wizards guardGilbert Arenas hired a company to reduce the oxygen content in his house so hecould train under high-altitude conditions similar to those in Colorado.

A CHEAPER WAY TOSIMULATE HIGH-ALTITUDE CONDITIONS

Steelers guardKendall Simmons fell asleep with an ice pack on his heel while watching MondayNight Football and had to be scratched from Pittsburgh's next game because offrostbite.

AND MERYL STREEPHAS 12 GOLD GLOVES

According to theNew York Post, New York City television anchor Sade Baderinwa referred toRoberto Clemente during a newscast as a "12-time Golden Globewinner."

SOUNDS LIKE A JOBFOR ENEMAN

A snooker playerin England was sentenced to 28 days in jail for walking through a hotel barwith a billiard ball wedged between his bared buttocks.

COME AGAIN?

In a red-carpetinterview at a post-Oscars party, Serena Williams said she admired the work ofactor "Philip Semen Hoffmore."

A GROOVINGVIOLATION

Eagles linebackerDhani Jones was charged with "failure to obey a lawful command" when heallegedly disobeyed police orders to stop dancing outside a Miaminightclub.

THINK, TANK

Scheduled toreport to a Florida prison to begin serving a six-month sentence for drivingwith a revoked license, Tank Carter instead went to watch his brother--Steelerssafety Tyrone Carter--play in three playoff road games and then the Super Bowland got 54 months tacked onto his sentence. "Even knowing what I know now,I would do it again," Tank told The Miami Herald. "It was the greatestgame of my life."

VARIETY IS THESPICE OF DEATH

Minnesotacarpenter Brett Holm invented an edible shotgun pellet that melts when bakedand becomes a seasoning inside the game, with flavor options that include lemonpepper, mesquite and Creole.

CASTINGSUSPICION

Fishermen weredrug-tested at the World Angling Championships in Portugal.

YOU WANNASUPERSIZE THAT?

Detroit Lionsassistant coach Joe Cullen was arrested for allegedly using a Wendy'sdrive-through while naked from the waist down.

IT'S FOR A GOODCAUSE

The prize offeredin a youth sports league raffle in Weaverville, N.C., was an Uzi submachinegun.

SELL YOUR SOUL TOTHE DEVIL RAYS

A company calledEternal Image was awarded a license to manufacture caskets and urns embossedwith the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams.

URINE. AND YEROUT

In an actcaptured on cellphone video and widely distributed on the Internet, a man divedinto a trough-style urinal at what appears to be Wrigley Field and slid itsentire length, headfirst, in the manner of Pete Rose.

NOW WITH MORELEGROOM (IN CARGO)

After refusing tolet her carry on her prosthetic leg, British Airways lost the limb checked byNew Zealand Paralympic runner Kate Horan as she traveled to the worldchampionships in the Netherlands.

PLEASE KILL MENOW

Recreationalgolfer Tom Kenney took a mulligan after he was unable to find his tee shot onthe 370-yard 18th hole at Batavia (N.Y.) Country Club, thus wiping out the holein one he had just scored.

GEORGES ON MYMIND

Russell Pleasantof Bellevue, Neb., was one of four contestants (out of three million) tocorrectly pick George Mason to advance to the Final Four against Florida in anESPN.com pool only because he had the school confused with GeorgeWashington.

A BROKEN RECORDTHAT SOUNDED LIKE A BROKEN RECORD

After ChicagoCrush running back Bob McMillen became the alltime career rushing leader in theArena Football League, he ran into the stands to give his son the football,only to be thrown for an eight-yard loss two plays later, negating the record,which he wouldn't break again for two weeks.

COCK-A-DOODLED'OH!

The PhiladelphiaPhillies thought they had mailed out 4,000 team-highlight DVDs to season-ticketholders, but some of the videos were of cockfights.

IMAGINE THEIRPILLOW TALK

After thenBlazers guard Sebastian Telfair was caught with a loaded handgun in hispillowcase on the team's jet, he explained that he had inadvertently grabbedhis girlfriend's travel bag and that the gun belonged to her.

PEOPLE IN GLASSSTADIUMS ...

In a year inwhich eight Cincinnati Bengals were arrested--receiver Chris Henry was bustedfour times in the last 13 months--the team set up a hotline (513-381-JERK) forBengals fans to report unruly behavior by other Bengals fans.

FOOTBALL TEACHESYOU VALUES THAT GO BEYOND THE FIELD

During abench-clearing football brawl between Miami and Florida International,Hurricanes TV analyst Lamar Thomas, a former Miami receiver, said, "Nowthat's what I'm talking about... .Why don't they just meet outside in thetunnel after the ball game and get it on some more?"

CITIUS, ALTIUS,FORTY-OUNCE

After failing tofinish two races in Torino, being disqualified from a third and placing fifthand sixth in two others, American skier Bode Miller looked on the bright side:"I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level."

PART WILLIEMAIZE, PART TY COB

A cornfield inQueen Creek, Ariz., was planted and plowed into the likeness of formerDiamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez, who acknowledged, after viewing theportrait by helicopter, "It's amazing to see your face on 10 acres ofcorn."

BRING ME THE HEADOF THE GUY WHO BROUGHT ME THE HEAD OF GEORGE BRETT

A bronze bust ofGeorge Brett stolen from the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame was found in a ditchin Camdenton, Mo., inside a box with a label that read, please return to thepolice, stolen property.

THE 10-AND-TWOPOSITION

A man suedTimberwolves forward Eddie Griffin for allegedly driving into his parked carwhile Griffin was allegedly watching a pornographic movie on the in-dash DVDplayer of his Escalade.

HOW 'BOUT AHUMMER?

Griffin told theowner of the damaged vehicle that he'd buy him any new car he wanted beforeadding, after a reflective pause, "[But] not a Bentley."

CAUTIOUSLYPESSIMISTIC

Before hissquad's match against Australia, U.K. cricket player Monty Panesar, talkingabout abuse from Aussie fans, said, "I have prepared for the worst-casescenario, but it could be even worse than that."

HAT CRIME

A California man,denied one of the free hats reserved for women during an Oakland A's Mother'sDay giveaway, filed a discrimination suit against the team.

FORTY NEIN-ER

Jets running backKevan Barlow apologized for comparing his former coach with the 49ers, MikeNolan, to Adolf Hitler.

DUST IT FORPRINCE

Prince was suedby his landlord, Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, for remodeling the$70,000-a-month Hollywood house he was renting by painting the exterior withpurple stripes, adding purple carpet to the master bedroom and converting adownstairs bedroom into a beauty salon.

WHERE HAVE YOUGONE, TONYA HARDING?

NorthernColorado's backup punter, Mitch Cozad, was charged with stabbing starter RafaelMendoza in the kicking leg.

KEN WAS LATERFOUND DEAD IN THE TOY CHEST

A British companybegan marketing Little Hooliganz, action figures of English soccer thugs.

CURSED BY ABAMBINO

ESPN employed afive-second delay for its live Little League World Series broadcasts after a12-year-old's obscenity was caught by a dugout microphone.

A SIGN THAT YOUMAY HAVE TOO MUCH PROTECTION

Serena Williams'spit bull bit her security guard.

DON'T FILL UP ONNUTS

After Italy'sMarco Materazzi insulted France's Zinédine Zidane during the World Cup final,Zidane's mother said of Materazzi, "I want his balls on a platter."

WHAT CAN BROWN DOFOR YOU?

The Knicks firedcoach Larry Brown one year into his five-year contract, then paid him an $18.5million buyout, bringing his total compensation to $28.5 million, or $1.24million for each of his 23 wins last season.

TITANIUM-HEADEDDRIVER

Jimmie Johnsonwon NASCAR's Nextel Cup championship, then broke his wrist falling off the roofof a moving golf cart.

THIS IS HOW DUMBDUMB ATHLETES THINK YOU ARE

Johnson initiallyclaimed in a statement: "I was in a golf cart and the driver took a sharpturn. I wasn't holding on tight enough, landed awkwardly on the ground andheard a little pop. It was a fluke deal."

COUGHIN'CORNER

Chargers safetyTerrence Kiel was charged with FedExing two parcels of prescription cough syrupacross state lines under the pseudonym Edward Floyd. He entered a plea of notguilty.

BECAUSE NOTHINGSAYS WORLD DOMINATION LIKE SOCCER

While warming upfor a playoff game, the soccer team at Forestview High in Gastonia, N.C.,played a 90-second excerpt from Nazi propoganda minister Joseph Goebbels speechover the stadium P.A.

GIVING BASEBALL ABLACK EYE ...

After SheaHillenbrand wrote the ship is sinking and play for yourself on a clubhousemessage board, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged him to a fight duringa team meeting.

... AND A FATLIP

Cubs catcherMichael Barrett slugged White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the jaw followinga play at the plate, after which the Sox began an All-Star voting ballotcampaign to "Punch A.J."

NEXT OPPONENT:MANSLAUGHTER UNITED

The assistantcoach of a girls' seven-and-under soccer team in suburban Denver was chargedwith assault after allegedly punching out the opposing coach during a game.

E TWO, LEON?

Though Jetsrunning back Leon Washington appears to be giving the finger with both hands onhis 2006 football card, the rookie claims he is actually flashing twin E's torepresent the East Side of Jacksonville.

EVERY GAME WILLBE HELD UP

The White Soxannounced a sponsorship deal with a convenience store chain that will requirethem to start next season's games at 7:11. ■

WHY IS THIS JOCKSMILING? Read more of Steve Rushin's most memorable moments in sports this yearonly on SI.com.

BUT YOU'LL NEED A WARRANT TO SEARCH MY TRUNK

The Stanford tree mascot was suspended after policesaw it drinking from a flask during the Cardinal's basketball game againstCal.

BERRA INCOGNITA

Heat coach Pat Riley gave a Yogi Berra quotation toeach of his players, including forward Udonis Haslem, who said, "He gave usa Yogi Bear quote. I can't remember what it was, but he said it was somethingfrom Yogi Bear. To be honest with you, I don't even know too much about YogiBear. How old is that cartoon?"

HIS AGENT COMPARED IT TO ULYSSES

Terrell Owens wrote a children's book, Little T Learnsto Share.

FOUR PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONSPhoto Illustrations by JOHN UELAND