Monday, September 1, 2014

California high school 'retires' controversial Arab mascot: Report

A California high school is retiring a derisive Arab mascot which came under fire last year.

The bearded, scowling mascot with a large hooked nose who wears a head scarf did not appear at Coachella Valley High School’s season opening football game on Friday. A belly-dancing genie that often appears with the mascot during halftime was also absent.

The change was among the steps the Coachella Valley Unified School District is taking to give the offensive mascot a makeover, reported The Desert Sun.

The Arab mascot has existed since the 1920s to recognize the desert region’s reliance on date farming, a traditionally Middle Eastern crop. Over the years, the mascot evolved from a turban-wearing horseman carrying a lance to a standing figure with a scowl and a traditional head covering.

It came under fire last November when the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school district complaining that the mascot was stereotypical.

The district refused to change the school’s “Arabs” nickname, but it agreed to redesign the Arab face on the school logo.

Of the five designs submitted for consideration, the group favors this one:

Derek Jeter graces cover of 'New Yorker' in farewell salute (PHOTO)

The accolades and tributes continue to pour in for Derek Jeter but now the Yankees shortstop is even getting a special sendoff by The New Yorker magazine.

The literary publication is giving Jeter a very special farewell with its Monday cover featuring The Captain tipping his cap in his pinstriped No. 2 uniform.

As a companion to the splendid color image, there is the cover story written by Roger Angell, the brilliant sports writer who is considered among the greatest baseball journalists in history.

"S'Long Jeet" is the senior editor's short vignette about what the future Hall of Famer meant to the game.

As the warm days for Jeter wind down, and the Yankees faithful find it hard to believe the season will be followed by chilly nights this October, the elegant cover is a nice parting gift to all baseball fans.

Bills' Eric Wood blames ESPN as reason no NFL team has picked up Michael Sam: Report

After Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday and wasn't picked up by another team, one NFL player put the blame for the openly gay Sam being passed over by the other 31 teams on the reporting of the sports network ESPN.

Eric Wood, an offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills tweeted "blame that on ESPN" in response to a reporter wondering why Sam was passed over after a solid preseason, reported

Ross Tucker, an analyst for NBC and Sirius XM NFL Radio, wondered aloud via Twitter: "Michael Sam performed much better than most expected and still isn't even on a practice squad?" 

Wood tweeted in response: "blame that on espn. No one wants the distraction."

Last week ESPN apologized for a report that quoted an unnamed Rams player as saying that Sam hadn’t showered with teammates in training camp. The story even had perturbed head coach Jeff Fisher reluctantly addressing the situation at a press conference.  

So maybe Wood’s opinion is a logical explanation for why Sam still isn't even on some team's practice squad — although ESPN isn't the only offender. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dustin Pedroia leaves game after taking elbow to head (VIDEO)

In the second inning of Saturday night's Red Sox-Rays game, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia took a Logan Forsythe elbow to the head on a tag play.

Pedroia had to leave the game as a precaution.

At first, considering the Rays-Sox recent skirmishes, it looks like Forsythe was swinging his arm intentionally towards Pedroia's head:

But calmer heads prevailed and, as you can see from another angle, Forsythe was only moving his arm to avoid the tag:

Forsythe claimed the contact was not intentional.

''The only move that I made was to try to swim-move the tag to get out of the way,'' he said.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Pedroia was dizzy after the play but improved later.

Russian IndyCar rookie injured in horrifying crash (VIDEO)

Rookie IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin was rushed to a hospital in serious condition after a horrifying crash in the final practice session for the series season finale at Fontana Friday night.

Aleshin, the first Russian driver in IndyCar history, was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. The Russian driver suffered broken ribs and a broken right collarbone along with a concussion and chest injuries, an IndyCar spokesperson said.

On Saturday evening, Aleshin’s condition was upgraded to stable after he underwent medical treatment.

At least three drivers played a role in the crash in Turn 4, which left a gaping hole in the catch fence and a wheel wrapped in the twisted wire after Aleshin’s car collided with Charlie Kimball before violently flying up against the wall in a shower of sparks.

Kimball improbably escaped serious injury, walking away from his wrecked car while Aleshin was removed on a stretcher.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rams tweet about pop star Harry Styles wearing Michael Sam jersey (VIDEO)

Pop singer Harry Styles was photographed performing while wearing a St. Louis Rams jersey at Edward Jones Dome Wednesday night.

No big deal except this jersey displayed player Michael Sam's name and No. 96.

The choice of fashion was observed as Styles and his One Direction bandmates performed for thousands of swooning, teen-aged female fans — who probably know way more about "Sam and Cat" than Sam the defensive end.

But the British singer's attire didn't go unnoticed by the player or the team.

The team tweeted: Check out @onedirection's @Harry_Styles rocking a @MichaelSamNFL #Rams jersey at the Edward Jones Dome last night.

Sam — who became the first openly gay man drafted in the NFL — tweeted Wednesday '@Harry_Styles thank you for your support!!! #RamNation.'

It's been quite a week for Sam. First, his sack of Johnny Manziel. Then, making the cut down to 75 players. And now, being introduced to a whole new audience. Quite a week.

Bon Jovi tossed out of group bidding for Bills: Report

It sounds as if Jon Bon Jovi got a little taste of the Richie Sambora treatment himself this week after the wealthy rocker was tossed out a group bidding for the Buffalo Bills.

The deep-pocketed Toronto-based sports team owners — who put up an offer for the Buffalo Bills — and the New Jersey singer have parted ways,  reported The N.Y. Post.

The remaining entities in the group — Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which controls the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors, and Edward Rogers, chairman of Rogers Communications — believe they are in a stronger position to win the Bills auction without Bon Jovi, sources close to the situation said Friday.

Bon Jovi, a former Arena Football League team owner, had led the group, a source close to the situation said. As the lead bidder, he would have been the principal owner and therefore, under NFL rules, would have to put up 30 percent of the purchase price.

With Bon Jovi’s net worth at roughly $300 million, according to sources, the group’s highest bid would have been capped at about $1.1 billion.

With rival bidder Terry Pegula, a fracking billionaire, said to be willing to push an offer toward $1.2 billion or higher, the Toronto group, with Bon Jovi, feared it was bound to be outbid, sources said.

“Rogers is very serious” about buying the team, another source close to the process said.

There have been recent media reports about the Toronto bid falling apart — but in reality it is reforming, claim sources.

Real Estate mogul Donald Trump is reportedly still in the bidding mix, as well. Final bids are due next week.

Maybe old Jonnie could could start a new band — Ban Jovi.

Morgan Stanley, the investment bank selling the Bills, has been trying to help Bon Jovi find new backers, sources said. Bon Jovi and Tanenbaum spokespeople did not return calls.