Saturday, March 31, 2012

Playing Yankees numbers could have won you $640 million jackpot

If you were a lucky New York Yankees fan— who picked the numbers of Bronx Bomber legends Jeter, Gehrig, Lazerri, Mattingly, Pettitte and Ed Whitson— you are a very happy, and much richer, person today.

Too bad the winning ticket was picked in Cal Ripkin and Boog Powell territory.

The numbers 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 and 23 were the winning digits for the world record Mega Millions jackpot of $640 million yesterday.

Congratulations. You can now buy less than one-third of the Los Angeles Dodgers or take care of the Yankees payroll for the next three years and still have enough to buy out the rest of A.J. Burnett's contract.

Heck, you could purchase the Tampa Ray Rays, build a new stadium and buy Derek Jeter's mansion and hire him to be your pool boy.



Everyone who dropped a buck on a ticket with hopes of joining zillionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Cuban— the easy way— faced odds of 1-in-176 million of winning.

In other words, you have about as much of a chance of getting struck by lightning (twice!), seeing Brian Cashman rappelling down a building with Louise Neathway or Joba Chamberlain on a trampoline any time soon.

The odds are so staggering, you have a better chance of getting every pick in your NCAA brackets correct or seeing Louisville and Kentucky fans hug it out after tonight's game.

If you didn't have a thing for Whitson's No. 38, you could have selected another Yankee fan's bane— Curt Schilling.

It would have been the same.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sean Payton to appeal year-long suspension; Parcells put on hold

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has decided to file today an appeal of his season-long suspension with the NFL, a person familiar with the decision said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press today on the condition of anonymity because the Saints have announced Payton's plan to appeal.

That person said the appeal will also ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his guidance on the parameters of the suspension.

Goodell suspended Payton, starting Sunday, for his role in the Bountygate program– which offered cash incentives for knocking opposing players out of the game.

At the NFL meetings this week in Florida, Goodell said  Payton could have  some contact with the team but would not go into detail.

"The decision to appeal is for Sean Payton to make and announce as he deems appropriate," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.  "If there are appeals, the commissioner will arrange for expedited hearings, as he stated at the league meetings."

There is no set timetable for the appeal or how long it will take to resolve which could affect whether or not Bill Parcells comes out of retirement.  Parcells said he would consider coaching the Saints if his former assistant and friend Payton was banned for a year.



Asked today, at a spring training game near his home in Jupiter, Fla., Parcells declined to answer any questions about coaching the Saints.

"I know better than that," he said.

Parcells, Payton and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis played a round of golf together earlier this week to talk about the team's situation and there was speculation they asked him if he was interested in helping out his pal Payton in the interim.

"We played golf," Parcells said after the game.  "We really didn't talk about the job.  They told me we'd be in touch."

Now, if the suspension is reduced, the likely hood of Parcells coming out of retirement for a short-term coaching gig seems to be a far-fetched solution.

The Saints have three candidates among the Saints assistants who could serve as interim coach during Payton's absence: defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael or offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Payton said any of the three would be good candidates but expressed concern about saddling them with the interim head coach's additional duties.

The NFL found Payton guilty of initially lying to officials about the bounty.

Payton apologized for his role in the program and took "full responsibility" for his part, but was punished with what many considered an over zealous commissioner.

The NFL claims as many as 27 players could be rounded up for sanctions in the scandal.

A-Rod says he's ready for 'monster' year

Talk is cheap but not when it comes from the $275 million mouth of Alex Rodriguez.  If what A-Rod said yesterday can be taken at face value, New York Yankees fans might want to take it to the bank.

"I want to be a force in the middle of our lineup, someone who drives in a lot of runs to win a lot of games," Rodriguez said.

After hitting coach Kevin Long heard those words, he smiled and said, "I've been waiting for him to say that.  That's what he needs to do.  That's who he needs to be.  Do that and he'll be a monster."



It sounds like A-Rod is feeling pretty good after battling injuries and playing in only 99 games last season.

Rodriguez's optimism about being a "force" and someone who "drives in a lot of big runs" has to be music to the Yankees ears.  That what the organization signed him for— not batting .111 with three RBIs in the first round of the playoffs.

"Like Kevin Long always says, 'Production and damage,' that's what it's all about," Rodriguez said.

More music.

Rodriguez struggled last season and it culminated with a horrible five-game series against the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS which ended the Yankees season.

The 37-year-old clean up hitter wasn't much of a force and didn't drive in big runs or win games but claims he's turning back the clock.

"I used to do so much so early, it was too much," he said.  "It's just about feeling good.  The skill is there.  This approach worked for me in '09.

"I've learned to just trust the process and that has taken time," he said.  "I always want to go out and do more."

Long agrees with his student's new philosophy.

"He just needs to make sure he takes his 'A' swing," said Long.  "I think he is finding the exact amount to do now.  He used to overdo it physically and mentally, he used to over-think processes and get himself in trouble up there."

The hitting coach believes A-Rod should just simply commit "100%" to the fastball and react to everything else to regain his swing.

"The more he simplifies, the better he is," said Long.  "That's what he is doing when he is talking about driving in runs.

"He's a monster," he added.  "I still think he's capable of doing big and special things.  If he's healthy, he'll do them."

Andy Pettitte could face Mets in spring finale

Andy Pettitte's road to a comeback has, so far, hit no potholes and— after throwing  another short bullpen session Thursday— is in preparation to throw a simulated game this Sunday.

The New York Yankee pitcher's return is still a work in progress but,  depending on how his body feels next week, the lefthander could make his comeback debut in the spring season finale against the New York Mets on Wednesday.

"We have to kind of see how he feels at the time," said manager Joe Girardi when asked if Pettitte's arm was ready for the workload.  "If it is, we'll try to use him."



The 39-year-old Pettitte claims it is not necessary for him to pitch in a big-league exhibition game before spring training ends but, with five throwers vying for the final three spots in the rotation, Girardi probably wants to see him throw a real game before the season starts.

"I know he has a simulated game coming up in the next few days," said Girardi.  "I'm not sure if he is going to [Miami] with us.  I think he is going to stay back [Tampa]."

The Yankees open a two-game series with the Marlins on Sunday night.

Pettitte has impressed everyone so far— even after coming out of retirement a few weeks into camp.  With Pettitte, there was never any doubt about his work ethic.

"When I watched his BP the other day, I thought he located his pitches well," Girardi said.  "He's progressing okay.  You've got to see how he feels after his starts.  I have been happy with what I've seen."

After sitting out the 2011 season, Pettitte's return to the major league was expected to be around May 1.  Girardi hasn't committed to that date— especially with over a month to go.

"Obviously, a bullpen is a bullpen, and then you start throwing a simulated game and the intensity picks up," said the manager.  "Then you start throwing in a real game and it's even more where you're having to run and cover bases and all that."

In other words, it's still wait and see.

Giants Super Bowl rings called "tacky" and ladylike

A couple of Manhattan jewelers— who took a look at the design for the New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI ring— gave it a thumbs down and called the championship bling by Tiffany "tacky" and ladylike.

Photos of the the white gold and platinum band— encrusted with four Lombardi Trophies (for each Super Bowl victory) with a diamond in each football— were tweeted out by Giants linebacker Clint Sintum and running back Andre Brown Thursday for a sneak peek.

The Diamond District jewelers peeked, and weren't bedazzled.

"If this is Tiffany's work, they could have done a lot better," said Marc Hernandez, a jeweler for 15 years.  "We're talking the Super Bowl— this looks like a high school ring."

Eric Aranbayez, another experienced jeweler, called the design too effeminate for a Super Bowl ring.



"I could have done better," he said.  "I don't know if the Giants are going to like this.  It's flowery — for a lady."

Both players quickly took down the photos of the ring— with its bejeweled Giants logo and valued at between $25,000 to $30,000— down because it wasn't supposed to be unveiled until a private ceremony at Tiffany's on May 16.

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck called an audible to play downplay the photos, insisting the design had not been finalized.

"We haven't decided on the final ring yet," he said.  "Still working on it."

Think anybody will be stupid enough to tell one of the Giants players he's wearing a girl's ring?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jeremy Lin: High school video 'awesome' but he can't attend graduation

New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin responded to a New York City high school's video request to be the commencement speaker by saying he can't make it to the graduation— but may still come and visit his fans another time.

Lin tweeted his thanks Thursday to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School's students for their video pleading with him to make an appearance and speak at their graduation.

"Stuyvesant High! Awesome video... so honored to have been invited," Lin said on Twitter.

While the Knicks point guard said he cannot be there to see the students get their diplomas, he said he might visit the lower Manhattan school one day and made a vow to make his own video in response to their YouTube sensation.

"I can't make it BUT im making a response video and will visit if possible!" he said on Twitter.



On the seven minute video, students begged their "Linspiration" to come to the commencement with requests from a rapping duo, school athletes, teachers and even in Mandarin.

A spokesman for Lin didn't specify why the player couldn't be at the graduation ceremony but expects a visit by the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese descent would still be a big hit anyway.

Lin is a role model for the kids at Stuyvesant— where 73% of the student body are Asian-American— and the Harvard grad was their overwhelming top choice to appear.

Senior class president Eric Han, who created the video, said the Linsanity star is a role model for the high-achieving students and appreciates Lin taking time out of his busy schedule to tweet back.

"I'd be extremely happy if he could make it to Stuyvesant to visit us— the entire school would really appreciate it," said the hopeful Han.

Jets Nick Mangold tweets about Newark's 'stank'

New York Jets center Nick Mangold may have many of his fans holding their noses at him for tweeting about the aroma surrounding the Garden State's largest city on Wednesday.

"Best part of driving back to NJ rather than flying even if it's a 9 hour trip instead of 1.5 hours?  Not having 2 go thru the stank of Newark," Mangold said on his Twitter account last night.

The Ohio-bred Mangold— who now reportedly lives in Chatham, N.J.— spent the following hour tweeting back and forth with fans about the stench around Newark— but the well-known prankster let fans know he was only joking.

"it's not jersey that smells.  It's Newark.  I quite enjoy NJ," he tweeted back to a fan who took offense at Mangold's cliched remark.



The Pro Bowl center even got Newark's Mayor Corey Booker into the mix, tweeting to a follower," I think @coreybooker would have to agree.  Otherwise he should get his sense of smell checked."

If anyone should know about "stank," it's Mangold.  He was part of the Jets putrid playoff run last season.

Sure it's easy to pick on the stench of Jersey between exits 13 and 16W (the Meadowlands) on the N.J. Turnpike.  The country's busiest thoroughfare leading to Newark Liberty International Airport and the tunnels entering New York City are lined with refineries and factories.  Throw in the swamplands and it's a recipe for 'stank' bouillabaisse.

But it's not always so bad.  A couple of years ago, a maple syrupy-y smell from a New Jersey food plant wafted through lower Manhattan for weeks— baffling New Yorkers who suddenly craved pancakes.

Parcells prefers Sainthood over Hall of Fame

Bill Parcells sounds like a man who would rather put personal friendship ahead of personal glory after saying he would help the New Orleans Saints— if they asked.

The former New York Giants and Jets head coach said he is waiting to hear his pal, Saints head coach Sean Payton, and the Saints make him an offer to coach the team— if Payton's year-long suspension is upheld.

"I had plenty of opportunities to do things with different teams, and I've turned them all down," Parcells said Wednesday afternoon.  "But this one is special.  This guy is like family to me.  And if I could help him, I would."

Parcells also put the kibosh on talk that the Hall of Fame's rules, that require coaches to be five years removed from the NFL to be considered for induction, would influence his decision to return to the sidelines.

"I'm not going to concern myself about something that may not happen," Parcells said.



Payton is deciding whether or not to appeal his season-long ban for his role in Bountygate— a program that gave Saints players cash incentives to knock opposing players out of games.

Meanwhile, the Saints head coach has tossed out the idea of having his mentor— Parcells— stand in as the interim coach while he is banned from the team.

"I don't know how this is going to play out," said the 70-year-old Parcells.  "I really don't know anything about the situation.  There's a lot of things going on here, and I would suspect it's going to take a while to sort it all out."

Both Parcells and Payton maintain that no job offer has been made but, on Tuesday, both men played a round of golf with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.  Parcells had never met Loomis before they hit the course.

"We literally did not talk about that job at all," said Parcells.  "The only thing he told me is, 'You're going to like this situation (in New Orleans).'  I know a few of their players, just a couple."

Parcells currently lives in Jupiter, Fla., and is always on an NFL team's head coaching radar when there is a vacancy. His last head coaching job was with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-06 and he served as an executive for the Miami Dolphins from 2008-10.  Last season, Parcells was an analyst for ESPN.

Payton was Parcells' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in Dallas for three years before he was hired as the Saints head coach in 2006.

It sounds like the "interim" title in New Orleans won't bother the no-nonsense Parcells.  He would go in knowing it's a "one and done" deal and step aside when Payton returns.

Parcells has a knowledge of his protege's system and— with Drew Brees at quarterback— the Saints still have the core of a playoff team, so the Big Tuna won't just be babysitting a floundering team for the duration.

If the Saints call, the Hall can wait.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jeremy Lin has lunch with fired ESPN writer

New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin had lunch on Tuesday with the former ESPN writer who was fired last month for posting a headline that was deemed racially insensitive towards the Asian-American NBA player, reports Newsday.

In the early morning of February 19, fans spotted the headline using the common phrase with the derogatory word atop an ESPN story to describe the Taiwanese-American Lin's turnover prone play as the only negative to the point guard's otherwise superb all-round game.  The post was on the mobile site after a Knicks game for about 35 minutes.

Anthony Federico, a 28-year-old Connecticut man, was the editor who wrote the misinterpreted copy.  He apologized afterwards, but was still fired.  He said it was "an honest mistake."

Right away, Lin accepted the apology and, at the time, the deeply religious player said, "You have to learn to forgive."



According to Newsday, Lin's family were the ones who got in touch with Federico via email over a month ago to set up a meeting.  It took so long to get together because yesterday was the first time Lin had a chance to take time out from the Knicks crammed NBA lock-out schedule.

Yesterday, Lin showed Federico he meant what he said.

"It went incredible," Federico said.  "I'm just so excited we had a chance to meet.  We talked for an hour.  I'm just so thankful."

A Knicks spokesperson said Lin did not want to discuss the Manhattan lunch meeting.  Lin is still tending to a sore left knee and his agent did not return calls to Newsday.

Federico was extremely grateful for Lin's time to clear the air.

"The fact that he reached out to me," Federico said. "The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule . . . He's just a wonderful, humble person.  He didn't have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.

"We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation.  We talked about our shared Christian values and what we're both trying to do with this situation . . . We didn't talk about the headline for more than three minutes."

That's Lin-spirational.

Tom Coughlin: Jets have headlines but Giants have trophies

Tom Coughlin usually isn't the one stirring up controversy at MetLife Stadium— he leaves that duty to his counterpart Rex Ryan— but the New York Giants head coach seemed to be taking a jab at his stadium mates the New York Jets when he was asked about all of the attention the Jets were getting for the Tim Tebow trade.

"You know who won the Super Bowl even if we're not on the front page," Coughlin told reporters at the NFL's annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla..  "New Yorkers know."

That's about as much smack you'll ever hear from the coach who reiterated one of the Giants team mottoes, "talk is cheap."



Asked about the controversy about rotating quarterbacks,  Coughlin did rub it in a little more.

"Once you start to develop your guy," smiled Coughlin— knowing he has two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning calling the signals— "You like him to have the ball in his hands."

Reporters asked Coughlin if he could see the ball coming out of Manning's hands for 20 snaps a game, Coughlin scoffed, "With our guy. I don't do hypotheticals."

Coughlin's comments come after the razzing of Tebow-mania by the Giants owner John Mara the day before Tebow's presser when he jokingly told reporters, "the David Carr press conference will be tomorrow afternoon, too."

Mara wasn't joking yesterday when he said the team expects to work out a multi-year contract extension for the 65-year-old Coughlin within the next six weeks.

Kid falls asleep while standing up on skis

An exhausted young boy fell asleep while standing on his skis after a hard day of lessons.  The youngster is out cold but can't fall down because his ski boots are keeping him upright.

The wee one wobbles but doesn't fall down as the adults in the group stand around in amusement.

It goes on for nearly a minute.

After one women scolds the cameraman by saying "That's not nice," the boy named Bode leans to one side, then the other before finally tipping over.

 

Good thing he was sleeping or it could have been embarrassing.

Jets owner on Namath: 'I don't really listen to him for advice'

Amid all the hoopla surrounding the arrival of Tim Tebow to the New York Jets have been the criticisms of team owner Woody Johnson by Jets icon Joe Namath.

Johnson has been defending the trade and is adamant that Tebow will not replace Mark Sanchez as the Jets starter.

Namath has criticized the move and last week said, "I think it stinks" and Sanchez should consider it "a slap in the face."

Yesterday, Johnson told the New York Daily News he isn't concerned  about the criticism from Namath— who called the trade a publicity stunt.

"I don't really rely on Joe for any advice on the team," Johnson said.  "He is the most famous player that we've had.  I love Joe.  I think he's great, but I don't really listen to him for advice."



Namath, meanwhile, has tempered his views on the over-hyped Tebow-mania.

"I've changed my mind slightly," Namath told Fox Business Network yesterday.  "He's the biggest star, one of them certainly, in the game today, so I think the Jets have done a terrific thing here in bringing the Jet fans a real star.  Now, can the star continue to play football and contribute properly without disrupting what they have there at this time?"

Johnson took umbrage yesterday when two reporters asked whether Sanchez could be benched in favor of Tebow if he struggles.

"I'm going to be very clear," replied Johnson.  "Mark Sanchez is our quarterback.  Period. That's it."

Namath said he thinks the Jets needed change at positions other than quarterback and took a little jab at the team's front office, remarking, "There's an old saying amongst players in football talking about your general manager and coaches, they speak with a forked tongue."

Tiger Woods' ex-mistresses releasing porn video based on golfer

Three of Tiger Woods' former hook-ups are looking to cash in on his recent resurgence and— surprise— just in time for the Masters tournament in Augusta.

Just as Woods is getting back into his swing for the Masters, three of his former porn-star mistresses are releasing a new X-rated movie based on their bedroom romps with the sex-crazed golfer, as reported by The New York Post.

Devon James, Holly Sampson and Joslyn James (you remember them) are starring in "3 Mistresses: Tales of the World's Greatest Golfer," which is slated to be released on April 3— the day after Woods is set to tee off in the Masters— a tournament he has not won since 2005.


While not exactly the most titillating title, in the movie, the three woman are together for an interview about Woods— which includes explicit discussions about his sexual tastes and on-screen reenactments of what the golfer is like off the greens and between the sheets.

"Any time three women get together to talk about the same guy, the results are going to be more interesting," said the movie's director, B. Skow.

"Now, when these women also happen to adult stars that have sex for a living, and reveal they have been with the same guy, you can be sure that they'll share absolutely everything," said Skow.

Talk about hitting one into the rough.  That Navy SEALS training controversy is G-rated in comparison.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Giants to host Cowboys on Wed. night season opener

The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will open the 2012 NFL regular season by hosting the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

While the schedulers could have been a little more creative with Big Blue's opponent, there is a twist to the Sept. 5 matchup— it will be played on a Wednesday Night.

Since 2004, the Super Bowl champion has hosted  the NFL season opener on a Thursday night.   This year there was a change of plans because the the NFL wanted to avoid conflict with President Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention scheduled for Sept. 6.



Last year, the  regular season opener between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints conflicted with the President's Congressional Address, so the NFL decided to avoid such a problem during an election year.

The last time a game was played on a Wednesday was in 1948 when the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Detroit Lions 44-7.

In 2011, the Giants didn't even meet the Cowboys until week 14 in Dallas, when they won, 37-34, and salvaged their season after a four game slide.  Three weeks later, in the Meadowlands season finale, the Giants routed the Cowboys, 31-14,  clinching the division title while eliminating the Cowboys.  Both games were nationally televised.

Since the NFL started having the reigning Super Bowl Champions host the opener, the home teams are 8-0.

The Giants won their 2008 season opener— after their Super Bowl XLII victory— 16-7 over the Washington Redskins.

NBC will be broadcasting the nationally-televised 8:30 p.m. game.

Women's beach volleyball players can cover up at London Olympics

Female beach volleyball players will have the option of wearing less revealing uniforms at the London Olympics this summer.

In  an attempt by the sport's governing body to respect the the cultural beliefs of various countries, the International Volleyball Federation says it will allow shorts and sleeved tops at the Olympics— in addition to bikinis and body suits.

Think male viewership will drop off?


Bikinis have been part of the player's wardrobe since beach volleyball became an Olympic medal event at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Players typically opted for body suits in chillier weather.

There will be a 24-team beach volleyball lineup in London this summer and the rule already applied to Continental Cup qualifiers for the Olympics involving 142 nations.

Federation spokesman Richard Baker tells The Associated Press that "many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible."

The modified rule permits "shorts of a maximum length of (1.18 inches) above the knee, and sleeved or sleeveless tops."

Beach volleyball at the London Games will be played July 28-Aug. 12 in a stadium at Horse Guards Parade near Buckingham Palace.

The sport is usually dominated by the U.S. and Brazilian teams.

Tebow is now one of the Top 5 marketable celebrities

Mark Sanchez may not be worried about losing his starting job to Tim Tebow but, if it were up to advertisers, the current New York Jets quarterback would be gathering splinters on the bench.

Tebow, the newly acquired "backup" QB, is one of the top five most coveted celebrity endorsements, according to a new marketing index.

The New York Daily News reports that Sports Illustrated  recently asked promotions company The Marketing Arm to update their Davie-Brown Index to see how the new guy in town fared.


That puts Tebow in-between a princess and a Fresh Prince— not bad company.



The marketing formula measures over 2,800 celebrities in eight categories including trust, appeal, aspiration and influence.  The was nothing in the poll about virtue but, sincerity, approachability and experience are also factored in.

Under the formula, Tebow scored an impressive 180 points.  Sanchez— and his fractured ego— came in at a lowly 12 points.  That's gotta hurt.

Tebow moved up from the No. 40 spot he got last December as a Denver Bronco and now ranks higher than Bill Gates, Tom Hanks and Jack Nicklaus.

As a trendsetter, Tebow is ranked No. 6 along with singers and fashionistas— Beyonce and Katy Perry.  That ranking might slip down a few spots after all the thumbs down on yesterday's wardrobe selection at his press conference.  Hey, it's hard to put a big man in a two-piece suit.

Not to worry, the fresh-faced quarterback currently pushes Jockey underwear, Nike and  EA Sports.


I bet he's "excited."

Jamie-Lynn Sigler dating Nationals infielder Cutter Dykstra

"Sopranos" actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler— who viewers watched grow up into a beautiful young woman— is now dating Washington Nationals infielder Cutter Dykstra, son of former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra.

Sources told Page Six of The New York Post that the actress ahas been dating Dykstra "for a few months, and things are going really well."

They added, " I haven't seen her this happy in a long time."




Sigler, who lives in Los Angeles, was introduced to the 22-year-old Dykstra through mutual friends, New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher and his actress wife, Joanna Garcia.

The speedy Dykstra— who was drafted in 2008 by the Milwaukee Brewers— played for the Nats minor league affiliate the Potomac Nationals last season and batted .212 with 12 stolen bases.

Sigler has previously been linked to New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and her "Entourage"co-star Jerry Ferrara— who played the character Turtle.

It looks like Sigler has gone from a tortoise to a hare.

The older Dykstra was sentenced to three years in state prison earlier this month after a judge rejected his bid to change his no-contest plea to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement.

Despite Cutter's father's personal problems, he is reported to very happy with Sigler.

After a break together in Florida, he tweeted at her, " Had  an amazing time with you, i miss you so much.  The last week flew by."

For Sigler, she knows how to handle "family" problems.

Bada-bing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Big, bad New York media goes soft on Tebow

The New York Jets transformed their indoor field house into a media center for the first time today to accommodate plague of media expected to meet the team's newest "backup" quarterback— Tim Tebow.

Tebow's press conference was expected to be his introduction to the rabid New York press corps but, instead of a media crush, it ended up sounding like a group massage.

The Jets set a podium up at one end zone inside the Florham Park, N.J. facility and placed 80 seats in front for reporters and allocated space for a glut of photographers and television cameras.  A dozen satellite trucks were set up outside and the battle lines were drawn.

Only problem was, the center's football field ended up being turned into a softball field while reporter after reporter lobbed hittable questions.

video

It sure wasn't Tebow's fault— he is a likable guy and the aw shucks persona never seems to get old.  It was the press who everyone expected to sharpen their claws on Tebow's virtuous reputation today but they seemed to back off on all of the Tim-sanity.

There was no interrogation about Antonio Cromartie's tweets about not wanting the Jets to pursue Tebow or the dysfunction and disharmony in the locker room or even head coach Rex Ryan's foul language.  

Tebow did talk about the potential quarterback controversy with starting QB Mark Sanchez.

He claims everything is cool between him and Sanchez and Tebow said he will do whatever it takes at whatever position to help the team win.

"I think we'll encourage one another," he said, "be stronger together than apart."

The media's retreat seemed more like a sign of respect for the controversial acquisition. Even owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Ryan gave Tebow a his space and weren't present at the podium— after he walked alone up the field up to the stage in his mint green tie without a posse— they weren't even in the building.

The unflappable Tebow said all the right things especially "excited" about three dozen times and "First and foremost" before almost every sentence.  Throw in a few "great opportunities" and you just about got the whole thing.

The presser lasted about 40 minutes and covered a lot of ground but really didn't reveal anything about Tebow we didn't know before.  

It was about as "exciting" as a church meeting— but what did you expect?

Three Stooges start race and infiltrate Jeff Gordon's pit crew

The Three Stooges started the Auto Club 400 race this weekend then managed to bring some of their their antics to Jeff Gordon's racing pit crew.

Gordon was slapped with a stop-and-go penalty as he pulled away from the pits dragging one of his crew who hung on the gas can too long.

Moe, Larry, Curly and even Shemp or Joe Besser couldn't have done the pratfall any better.

video

The gas man— who was in a fire suit and full-face helmet— tumbled to the ground a little shaken but seemed to be OK.

Tony Stewart won the race.  Gordon finished 26th.

The Stooges were played by Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso who will portray the eye-poking legends in a upcoming film by the Farrelly Brothers.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Joba released from hospital in a special cast

A somber looking Joba Chamberlain was wheeled out of Tampa's St. Joseph's Hospital in a wheelchair with his right ankle in a special cast.

Wearing glasses and an Adidas cap covering his grim and stubbled face, the Yankees reliever didn't answer questions except if he was feeling better after the gruesome injury to his right ankle.

"Yeah," was his reply.

The one thing everyone wanted to know what were those tubes sticking out of the cast on his right foot?

According to Dr. Peter Salob, a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon in Englewood, N.J., they are most likely tubes used to pump cool water around the pitcher's ankle.

"It's definitely a more aggressive measure to treat it, but with pro sports teams, any type of injury they have , usually they will use some type of ice machine," said Salob.  "This is really critical.  With the type of injury he had, often there's a significant amount of swelling  around the ankle and that's one way to reduce the swelling."



The news that Chamberlain was leaving the hospital and was feeling better was good news for the Yankees.  After Thursday's accident while jumping on a trampoline, there was talk that the severe break was career-ending and even life-threatening.

"It's good to see him out, that he's doing well," said manager Joe Girardi.  "Obviously, the wound has to close up to get through that.  But I am optimistic that he is going to pitch for us this year, I am. And we're going to be there for him the whole  way."

The frustrated Chamberlain— who is already recovering from Tommy John surgery last year— vowed to be back on the mound by this July.

Cards broadcast can't identify one of team's top prospects on TV

What happens when a pinch runner enters the last inning of an exhibition game and the broadcast techs don't know the player's name?  You just call him "minor league guy" and the graphics dude slaps it up on the television screen.

That's exactly what occurred during Saturday's exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets,  when 19-year-old Oscar Taveras went to third base as a pinch runner and the graphics read "minor league guy" where his name should have been.

Maybe they thought no one was still watching or would wonder who the mystery man was.



Anyway, No. 91 wasn't just any old Grapefruit League fill-in.  Taveras is rated the second best prospect (as rated by Baseball Prospectus) in the Cardinal's system— behind pitcher Shelby Miller.  Taveras, a talented outfielder, batted .386 with eight home runs and 62 RBIs at Six Quad Cities in 2011.

Yahoo Sports reported that Fox spokesperson Geoff Goldman offered this message by email: "Our apologies to Oscar Taveras.  He's the Cardinals top hitting prospect, so we expect to be identifying him as a 'major league guy' in the next few years."

Too late.  The hilarious improvisation may have unintentionally given Taveras a new nickname.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Helio Castroneves wins race, salutes Dan Wheldon

Helio Castroneves made a bold pass on the outside of Scott Dixon to win the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  After his victory, the Brazilian racer ran over to a tribute for the late race-car driver Dan Wheldon and pounded on the street sign that bears his name, "Dan Wheldon Way."

It was the Indycar season opener and the first victory for Castroneves since 2010.  It was also the first Indy car race since Wheldon— a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and St. Petersburg resident—was killed in an accident in October at Las Vegas Motor speedway.

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Castroneves was winless last year and, after racing through the streets of St. Pete for Team Penske, was emotional about the long awaited victory and death of his friend Wheldon.

Before he was towed into the winner's circle, Castroneves trotted across the track and paid tribute to Wheldon by climbing the fence and pointing towards the skies.

Tim Tebow gets "Wicked" on Broadway

It looks like Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez might have another thing in common these days— the love of Broadway musicals.

Sanchez was already a regular theater-goer so— besides getting ready to share quarterback duties for the New York Jets— both seem to be drawn to the Great White Way.

Tebow spent Saturday in New York taking in his first Broadway show "Wicked" at the Gershwin Theatre.  Maybe we should start calling him Broadway Tim— maybe not.

"It was really good," Tebow gushed as he left the theater through the back door holding a bottle of water.


"Wicked" is a pretty safe bet despite its sinister name.

The Broadway staple has been running since 2003 and launched the career of Kristen Chenoweth and the song "Popular"— an anthem for millions of teenage girls.

Tebow told the New York Daily News he picked the show on word of mouth.

"I heard good things about it," he said before he hopped into a luxury van outside the theatre.

Tebow arrived five minutes before the curtain rose and after he greeted all of the stagehands. Some audience members recognized him and started tweeting about his appearance.

After the show, he went backstage to congratulate the stars.

It's hard not to draw the parallels between the show's premise and Tebow's future with the Jets.

"Wicked" is the story of two unlikely friends who go up against each other.  One becomes the Wicked Witch of the West and the other the Good Witch of the North.  Call it a witch controversy.

You do the casting, but Rex Ryan would be a great Wizard of Oz.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Joba tells Yankees: I'll be back on mound by July

Joba Chamberlain— two days after his ugly, life-threatening trampoline injury— told New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman he expects to be back on the mound by July.

The reliever— who suffered a gruesome injury to his right ankle during a freak accident while bouncing on a trampoline Thursday—was told that the open dislocation could end his career, but sounds positive about returning in 2012.

"He was saying he could be back on the mound by July, that's what the doctors are telling him," said Cashman, who visited Chamberlain at the hospital on Friday.  "That's the optimistic side."

Cashman, who was visibly shaken while addressing the media after the accident, cautioned that there was no guarantee that he will ever pitch again.



"As any orthopedic will tell you, you have to go through the whole process," he said.

The injury— which he suffered while jumping on a trampoline with his 5-year-old son Karter— was bleeding so severely, that eyewitnesses feared for his life before paramedics arrived at the recreation center.

His son watched in horror as blood poured from a gash where Chamberlain's broken bone tore through his skin.

The injured ankle runs the risk of infection but doctors already said the pitcher can be optimistic but realistic. If he does not have any neuro or vascular damage and the surgery is successful, he should be healthy by next season, they told The Post.

The doctors said he won't be able to do any weight-bearing activities from anywhere from six weeks to three months.  Combine this set-back with recovery from Tommy John surgery last year and the odds of returning to the mound in Yankee Stadium this summer look pretty slim.

"The way I work this stuff, my mindset is, until they're close to knocking on the door, [I don't think about it]," Cashman said.  "Obviously, in Joba's case it's still a question of when he comes back.  I just hope we're in a position where he can come back."

Cashman said he wasn't mad about the fluke injury, as he has been about other off-field injuries.

"I'm sad about it," he said.  "It's just a tragic, freak accident."

Cashman was objective and said," He was just being a father."

Will the risk-taking GM— Cashman has rappelled down a Connecticut skyscraper— forbid his players from participating in activities as dangerous as hopping on a trampoline or skiing with their kids in the future?

"It's hard to say," Cashman said.  "It's hard to tell a group of people not to be a father."

Tebow pays tribute to a real hero

It may have not been a C-130J Hercules Transport Aircraft that Tim Tebow arrived in yesterday to set off the next round of Tebow-mania but— even after a flight in the cushy seats of a fancy jet— the New York Jets new "backup" quarterback paid his respects to a real hero.

Tebow's wave of a hand as he was whisked away from Morristown Airport revealed that he was sporting a wristband bearing the name of U.S. Marine Cpl. Michael Nicholson— an amputee who lost both legs fighting in Afghanistan last year.

Tebow's subtle gesture left the real battlefield warrior stunned.

"Oh wow!  really?" Nicholson said after he found out the red wristband bearing his name was on the  newest member of Gang Green.

Tebow had three other wristbands wrapped around his right wrist— the other two honoring causes special to  the religious quarterback.


The 22-year-old former-Marine— who lost both legs while on tour of duty last year— had nothing but praise for the quarterback.  Tebow visited the corporal for about an hour after attending the opening of  a Tampa sports complex in which Tebow had invested.

"It was great that he came out and spent some time with me," Nicholson said.  "It meant so much."

Nicholson said they talked about Tebow's glory days at the University of Florida how they both played football for rival high schools around the same time.

Nicholson's portrait in Marines Dress Blue sitting with prosthetic legs adorns a poster which reads:


THIS IS A HERO
Not a sports player.  Not a politician. Not a faddish figure.
A hero faces death for others, with no thought of personal gain or glory.
This is the face of a true hero.

"The best word to describe Tim Tebow is he is humble," the former- Marine told The New York Post.

I can think of a lot better words to describe Cpl. Michael Nicholson.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tebow gets billboard outside Lincoln Tunnel

If commuters aren't tired enough of hearing about Tim Tebow on their talk radio stations while stuck in traffic, now they'll have to stare at his face as they inch down the Helix (ramp) to the Lincoln Tunnel from the New Jersey side.

Jockey has put up a billboard outside the underground entrance to New York City bearing the face of the New York Jets  newest quarterback with the words," WE SUPPORT TEBOW & NEW YORK." The firm's trademarked logo appears below the green and white letters.


Tebow and Jockey have a marketing campaign together.

The ad, according to a statement released by the company, "plants a stake in the ground that NYC is now officially Tebow-country."

The welcoming ad went up at noon today and will stay up for the next week.  Approximately half a million people will see the ad, the company speculates.

Tebow isn't even officially a Jets player due to a clause in his contract, but the snag is expected to be rectified on Saturday.

Maybe the sight of saintly Tebow watching over the maddening traffic jams will keep  drivers from cursing out buses or flipping off lane-cutters.

Stella McCartney unveils her "secret" UK Olympic outfits

The famed designer Stella McCartney unveiled her designs for Britain's Olympians with imaginative uses of the Union Jack's red, white and blue colors.

The uniforms, a closely guarded secret for months, were shown at the Tower of London in a king-sized event that brought the worlds of high fashion and international sports together as one.

At this gala event, the rail-thin super-models were the ones on the sidelines as McCartney— who is serving as Adidas' creative director for the Summer Games— used real athletes to show off the designs they will wear at the Olympics and Paralympics.



"The basic message is to unify the team," the designer told The Associated Press.  "The athletes all want to feel like one team.  The other big starting point for me was the Union flag, an iconic flag.  I think every Briton is proud of it, but I wanted to look at it in a different way."

Her theme— come together.  I think I've heard that song before, but where?

McCartney isn't the only famous designer with an Olympic line coming out— Ralph Lauren is working on some of the outfits for the U.S. team, and Giorgio Armani is behind the designs of the Italian team.

If they gave gold medals for designs, the Italians might sweep.

Trampoline accident could sideline Joba Chamberlain for season

New York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain suffered what's being called "a significant injury,"an open dislocation of his right ankle, while playing on a trampoline with his five-year-old son at a recreation park.

Chamberlain— who was coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery— suffered the injury at what general manager Brian Cashman explained was a "kid's center with athletic activities featuring trampolines," according to the YES Network.

Cashman was visibly upset as he addressed the media in the Yankees dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning, saying "Joba is in St. Joseph's Hospital right now."

"While he was enjoying time with his son under those those circumstances, he suffered a very significant injury, an open dislocation of the ankle.  He underwent a surgical procedure last night," said Cashman.  "He will be at St. Joseph's for a number of days.  I don't have a timetable for his return."



Asked if the injury was "career-threatening," Cashman replied, "I would like to think that it is not," but the GM sounded like it was serious.

"Let's keep him in our prayers," he said, "because obviously he's facing a lot right now."

Chamberlain often tweets about his son Karter and  posted a photo of the two of them together two days ago.  It was reported that his son was not hurt.

The one time set-up man who has already bounced from starter to middle reliever did not figure in the Yankees immediate bullpen plans, but this latest setback— which Cashman called "massive"— looks like it could keep him off the roster for the entire season.

Chamberlain is beginning his sixth season after making a dramatic debut in 2007.  The Yankees attempted to convert the flame-throwing righthander into a starter in 2008 and 2009 to mixed results.  The last two seasons were spent in the bullpen and in surgery rehab.

He is slated to make $1.675 million this season and will be a free agent after the 2013 season.

Jets fan first to be buried in Tim Tebow Jets jersey

A lifelong New York Jets fan made a deathbed prediction last week that his favorite team would get Tim Tebow and then, sadly, passed away.


In a cruel twist of fate, Russell Francis, spoke those words to his wife before news broke that Tebow was headed to New York in a trade with the Denver Broncos.  A swap that nobody saw coming, according to The New York Daily News.


His family will now send the Jets fan into eternity on Friday sporting a brand-new, green-and-white No. 15  New York Jets jersey as Tebow-mania hits its most unlikely venue yet: a funeral home.

The ink isn't even dry on the new Tebow jerseys and they're making their way into heaven already.



Widow Wendy Tatum told the Daily News she recalled one of her last conversations with her husband Francis, 44, as he battled lung cancer.

"He kept saying, 'They're going to get Tebow.  They're going to get Tebow,'" she said after shopping for the jersey for the shirt on Thursday.  "This was a whole week before the trade."

It sounds like Francis wasn't much of a Mark Sanchez fan.

Francis may be headed to that great stadium in the sky, but other visionary words he left behind might excite fans of Gang Green.

"He said they're going to the Super Bowl this year," his wife said.

Pat Robertson: Manning injury would be karma for trading Tebow

Televangelist Pat Robertson is not happy with the Denver Broncos trading Tim Tebow to the New York Jets.  So much so, that he is wishing Tebow's replacement Peyton Manning nothing but bad karma.

Robertson— a leader in the Christian Right movement— said Denver treated Tebow "shabbily" after all he did for the "nothing team" last season from his pulpit on the 700 Club on Thursday.

"And you ask yourself, OK, so Peyton Manning was a tremendous MVP quarterback, but he's been injured.  If that injury comes back, Denver will find itself without a quarterback.  And in my opinion, it would serve them right," he said.



Robertson has come to Tebow's defense before.  He blasted Saturday Night Live earlier this year for performing a skit that mocked Tebow's religious beliefs.

Remember, the television preacher also once called the earthquake in Haiti a "blessing in disguise."

Robertson went on singing the praises of Tebow and trashing Denver last night.

"He wins seven games, he brought them [Denver] into the playoffs, for heaven's sakes.  I mean, they were a nothing team .  He rallied them together with spectacular last minute passes and, you know, when they beat Buffalo, I mean Pittsburgh, excuse me it was a tremendous victory."

Sounds like he subliminally has something against the Bills too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tebow-mania touches down in New Jersey; Next stop: New York

Tim Tebow finally arrived in the New York area as either the New York Jets latest experiment or new backup quarterback.  The unannounced flight touched down at Morristown Airport by — what else— private jet at approximately 3:20 this afternoon before he was whisked away.

Tebow exited the jet, shook some hands and was driven off the runway in a black luxury SUV as news choppers circled overhead.

Tebow-mania has already started and he's still 30 miles west of Met Life Stadium.

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Last night, Tebow had a chance to address the media in New York via phone after the trade with the Denver Broncos was finalized.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to to play for such a great organization," he said.

Tebow, who has spent a lot of time in the spotlight in the past year, was asked if he had any trepidation about life in the big city.

"Not really.  I'm excited about it," he said. "I think it's a great market.  It's a great city.  I'm excited to be a Jet now."

 The Jets have made it clear that incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez was, and will be,  the Jets starter in 2012.  The new guy in town didn't seem bothered.

Tebow said he already talked with Sanchez on the phone after the trade and everything was fine between the two quarterbacks.

"We spoke on the phone yesterday.  Got caught up a little bit," said Tebow.  "Had a great conversation and looking forward to seeing him soon and working with him and, you know, we've been blessed to know each other over the last few years.  "I definitely have a lot of respect for him."

The Jets have not released the day and time of Tebow's official introduction as a Jets player, but expect a media crush.

If news choppers stalking a country airport is any indication— I think Tebow-mania is going to be bigger than ever.


Lin can't wait for Tebow-mania

If anybody knows sports hysteria it's Jeremy Lin.  The man who kicked off Linsanity in a New York Knicks uniform is thrilled that Tim Tebow is coming to town.

"It's awesome.  I'm just excited for him and to see what he does," said the Knicks point guard.

"We'll see what happens next year, but I'm excited obviously that he's going to be in New York," said Lin after dumping 16 fourth quarter points on the Philadelphia 76ers in last night night's 82-79 win.

Lin's rise to worldwide celebrity didn't come with the baggage Tebow-mania lugs into New York.  The journeyman NBA player was an anonymous benchwarmer crashing on his brother's couch when his star rose.

Tebow just doesn't want to end up being a couch— Tim Couch that is.



The expectations and questions surrounding Tebow's role as New York Jet are a lot more complicated than Lin's magical turn and the New York media is ready to pounce.

Tebow had his shining moments last season but now comes in with a $2.5 million, two second-round draft picks price tag.

Tebow-mania in Denver is being Cinderella — Tebow-mania in New York is the clock striking twelve.

Lin dealt handily with the few weeks of Linsanity and had some tips for the incoming quarterback/tight end/fullback/fill-in-the-blank to help cope with the distractions in his new city.

"Everyone gave me some advice— they said, 'Make sure not to read the papers,'" Lin joked with reporters.  "But I don't want to offend you guys.  But that's what I've been told.  I don't really read anything.  I think it helps me."

Lin said he did not talk with Tebow— who's #15 Jets jersey will soon replace Lin's as NYC's best seller— yesterday during the wild trade-talk frenzy between the Denver Broncos and Jets, but said he'd like to catch a few Jets games this season.

Both athletes are deeply religious men, and Lin revealed that he has never Tebowed with his fellow Christian.  That could all change once Tebow gets into the Jets dysfunctional locker room.

"I've only talked to him like once," said Lin. "But he's a great guy from everything I hear, and the conversation I had with him was great as well."

After Tebow meets Gang Green and the hungry media, he might want to keep a Bible handy and his phone's speed dial set to Linsanity.

Shockey fires back at Sapp for calling him a 'snitch'

Jeremy Shockey fired back at NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp for calling the tight end the "snitch" who led the NFL to the bounty investigation by the league.  It resulted in embarrassment and severe penalties to Shockey's former team— the New Orleans Saints

Saints head coach Sean was suspended by the league for a full season and the team lost two second-round draft picks as penalties.

"It's reckless, it's careless, it's hurtful to me and the great time I had with the Saints," said Shockey, who was labeled a "snitch"on Twitter by Sapp after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put his fist down on Wednesday.

"Sean Payton is like a father figure to me," he continued.  "I would never do that to him or the Saints."

Shockey then twice offered to take a polygraph to prove he wasn't the rat.



While the Bountygate scandal came to a conclusion on Wednesday, there are a few questions which remain unanswered.  It starts with who did leak the information to Goodell's office if it wasn't Shockey.

Someone in the Saints inner-circle had to be the culprit, but who.

Sapp maintains that his source was very close to the situation and he trusted what he was told:

"I trust my source unequivocally," said the former-NFL star.  "I did not call anyone in the league and I did not receive any information from the league."

Sounds like we have a "Deep Throat" situation.

Shockey responded to Sapp's accusation by taking to Twitter and offering to get hooked to a polygraph on live television.

Both men played their college ball at Miami University— at different times—but those blood ties "Ended right there" after Sapp's allegations, tweeted Shockey.

The former Saints tight end played under Payton when the team won Super Bowl XLIV over the Indianapolis Colts in 2010.  He was coached by Payton prior to that with the New York Giants.

"I know Sean Payton's family and I have been around them.  I have been to his son's birthday party parties.  I've had family around him.  We're friends," Shockey said.  "I loved my time in New Orleans and now people are killing me on social media thinking I did this.  I love Who Dat nation."

It's hard to put a lot of stock into what Sapp "heard" about Shockey.

The former-defensive end has called everyone from Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis to defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth a name or accused them of one thing or another in the past.

A larger question remains. Why wound the NFL Network— which is owned by the NFL— let Sapp make his claim about Shockey on air?

This is a direction which threatens to undermine the NFL's policy of protecting sources.  It contradicts the NFL's message that it would protect "whistleblowers" who anonymously report league violations.

NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello had no explanation on why the NFL Network aired Sapp's claims or why Sapp— a league employee— was allowed to make the claim in the first place.

Let's see how many players line up at the confessional now.

Meanwhile, Shockey kept up the attack on his accuser.

"Sapp can say what he wants about me, but if he really says that he'll put his life on the line for his source, we'll see," said Shockey.  "I've never been a guy who failed multiple drug tests.  I've never been  divorced.  I don't have four kids by four different women.  I don't lie.  This attacks my character and it's not fair."

The out-of-work Shockey is still looking to hook up with a team in 2012, and—  if he plays the Saints— it could be interesting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jets Tebow jerseys could already be collectibles

When word got around that Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets this afternoon, Tebow-mania hit New York City like well...  Linsanity and it didn't take long for the New York Jets Store in mid-town to start ironing out green and white #15 jerseys with Tebow's name on the back.

After the deal shockingly hit a snag, the store stopped producing the shirts.

Lucky for the few dozen New York Jets fans, who snagged the jerseys bearing Tebow's name on the back, they could now be holding a valuable collectible.

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Apparently the Jets didn't read the fine print (who would have guessed) on the contract and found out they must pay an additional $5 million to secure the rights to the Broncos quarterback or the deal is off.  The decision is now in the hands of the Jets themselves.

If the Jets back out of the deal, cha-ching for the jersey owners.

As for Tebow, the good news is that #15 is currently not taken by any other Jets player.  The bad news  is it's on a Jets jersey.

The only other person I can remember wearing #15 for Gang Green was Babe Parilli.  Parilli was Joe Namath's backup in Super Bowl III.

Ahmad Bradshaw beats Ron Gronkowski, again

Ron Gronkowski went head-to-head with Super Bowl XLVI counterpart Ahmad Bradshaw in a grudge match in Activision's Call of duty: Modern Warfare 3 and lost once again.

Instead of the football field, the New England Patriots tight end took on the New York Giants running back on the video game's battlefield, but the results came up the same— 3-2 victory for Big Blue.

No word if Kronk hit the clubs and went dancing afterwards.



Bradshaw said he thought Gronkowski was still a little bitter after last month's loss to the Giants.

"Well sure, he wants the rematch," Bradshaw joked.  "He wants to get back at me as much as he can for scoring the game-winning touchdown, but I think I can back myself up.  I can play alright, I can do pretty good."

This wasn't any casual match-up either.  Both of these guys are are gamers.  Bradshaw even confessed that he constantly plays the popular first-person shooter and got some of his fellow Giants hooked on the game as well.

"I'm playing 24/7, man," he said.  "A lot of the guys play the game like [former-Giant] Brandon Jacobs, D.J. Ware, all kinds of guys.  I put everybody on the game so everybody gets on and plays together at times."

Bradshaw told the New York Post that the thrill of competition is what draws him to the Call of Duty joystick, as well as, the gridiron.

"I love the competitiveness of every game and in Call of Duty it's just like that," said Bradshaw.  "You have millions of guys on the Internet at the same time and you just want to get on and compete against everybody.  When I get on I want to be the best, I want to have the most kills.  You want to know the environments the same way you just want to get on the field."

Caron Butler pokes fun at Tyler Hansbrough's "acting"

The Indiana Pacers Tyler Hansbrough has gotten a reputation as an Oscar-worthy actor when it comes to complaining about rough treatment in the NBA.

Last night—  against the Los Angeles Clippers— he gave another intense performance which was mockingly caught on the imaginary camera of opponent Caron Butler.

Butler made fun of the former-North Carolina star's antics by pretending to film the agitated Hansbrough after he got tangled up with Blake Griffin under the basket in the third quarter.

Hansbrough looked like he had a good reason to complain about the collision but that didn't stop Butler from going Cecil B. DeMille on him.

Even the Indiana announcers got into the act and said, "What is he doing?" and "They need to get him [Butler] for taunting."

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As Psycho T got more and more steamed, Butler kept pretending to be cranking a movie camera at him.

In the end, it ended up being a comedy with Hansbrough having the last laugh.  The Pacers won, 102-89.

Mike Tyson helps Rosie O'Donnell ring in her birthday

Mike Tyson keeps popping up in the weirdest places and it seems like he'll do anything to make a buck or keep his tattooed face in the public eye.

Monday night, the former heavyweight champion, helped Rosie O'Donnell celebrate her 50th birthday  with some of his family, her fiancee Michelle Rounds, staff  and fifty assorted women turning 50 who were invited to party with the star.



Rosie had a good time at a Chicago lounge, despite recently getting the news that her talk show on the OWN network was being cancelled.

Tyson had taped an episode of the show earlier in the day and is promoting his upcoming one-man show in Las Vegas.

Maybe he stumbled into the bash thinking the guest of honor was Chuck Wepner with a little make-up.

The ear-biting fighter rolled out the 3-foot birthday cake while dancing to 50 cent's "In Da Club" and led everyone in a rendition of "Happy Birthday."

Rosie jumped on stage and sang with the band Sixteen Candles in their version of "Jessie's Girl."

The show's final broadcast will be March 30, but Rosie told everyone to have a positive outlook despite the  cancellation.

Tebow throws pass to "Glee" star Dianna Agron

Tim Tebow may not be calling the signals for the Denver Broncos much longer but, he has sent out a audible loud and clear to "Glee" star Dianna Agron.

The NFL quarterback told the sultry 25-year-old actress that he is smitten with her, according to The New York Post.

A source told the Post, "Tim has made no secret that he likes Dianna, and told her so, but she has remained faithful to her actor boyfriend Sebastian Stan."

Talk about a Wildcat triple-option.



The blond beauty has been dating Stan on and off for about a year but they reportedly broke up in December before reconciling a few weeks later.

They live on opposite coasts (she-west, he-east) and a source said it was taking its toll on the couple.

Tebow was spotted chatting with Agron at an Oscar party in late February and then seen a few days later on a date with singer Taylor Swift.  It has been reported that Swift is interested in Tebow, but he says they are just friends.

I'm seeing a Tebow-type here— blond and wispy.

Tebow has made no secret about liking Agron, but she has remained involved with Stan, said the Post.

The actress is mostly known for her role as Quinn Fabray on "Glee" and Tebow is the man behind Tebow-mania.

Agron's representative said the couple's break-up was "Not true" and reps for Tebow declined to comment, said the Post.

If Agron ever moves on from Stan, she might do good by hooking up with the quarterback.

Even John Elway said yesterday, "Tim Tebow is a great kid.  If I want someone to marry my daughter, it would be him."

Marry daughter, fine.  Play quarterback for the Broncos... not so much.