Monday, June 26, 2017

UFC fighter gets the crap choked out of her...literally

Justine Kish not only got the crap choked out her by Felice Herrig in their UFC Fight Night showdown at UFC Oklahoma this weekend, she even left the skid marks inside the Octagon to prove it.


In an embarrassing moment Kish probably wishes she could wipe away, the corn-rowed warrior apparently lost control of her bowels during the fight while trying to escape a vicious rear-naked chokehold from Herrig. The exertion Kish used to escape the grasp of Herrig most likely brought about the unfortunate incident.

And, even more unfortunately for Kish, her octagon accident was not lost on viewers at home. Replay of Kish’s attempted escape confirmed that a nasty brown substance was left behind on the canvas.
The previously undefeated Kish was praised for the courage she showed in escaping the deep choke from Herrig.

“I have no idea how Kish got out of this,” UFC analyst Kenny Florian said. “Just pure toughness and strength. Just amazing determination from Justine.”

But her real fortitude showed when the straw-weight took to social media following the contest, humorously owning up to her Depends moment, and telling her fans that she will return to fight again for the throne. 

That's when #ShitHappens started trending.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Michael Phelps will race against a great white in Shark Week event

By Tony Mangia

Without an Olympics this summer and no other human being to beat in the pool, it seems only logical that Michael Phelps takes on one of the fastest and, just for fun, one of the most fearsome swimmers on the earth, namely the great white shark.


In what could possibly be described as Shark Week jumping the shark, the Discovery Channel announced that 23 time Olympic gold medal winner  Phelps will race a great white shark as part of its popular summer series on July 23:

"They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark – the race is on!"


According to ThoughtCo.com, sharks cruise around at around 5 mph, but great whites can reach top speeds of 25 mph — about "10 times faster than the typical human swimmer" when they are in attack mode.

One can only guess that Phelps is hoping against attack mode and won't be paddling for his life since the the Olympic chum, I mean champ, has only been clocked at a top speed of 6 mph.

But it's not like Phelps hasn't been training and researching his competition. Last week the 31-year-old went cage diving with some great whites hopefully to get a leg up and keep one out of his toothy rival's mouth:


The network is hyping this live broadcast as a once in a lifetime event and is hoping their viewing audience bites.

But just in case you don't remember other "monumental" Man vs Beast competitions like Nat Geo Wild's Man vs Cheetah back in 2014 when a couple of NFL players raced a spotted speedster in separate enclosures which ended up about as exciting as watching the big cats napping at the zoo.



And speaking of dozing, there were high hopes in 2014 for the Discovery Channel's Man Gets Eaten Alive By An Anaconda which ultimately turned out to be one of TV's most laughable and epic fails.


Either way, real sports fans know a race doesn't count if the players don't compete on the same field of play, bumping shoulder to shoulder,  leg to leg or, in this case, arm to fin.

I'm sure plenty of people will tune in to watch the colorfully named Phelps Vs. Shark: Great Gold Vs Great White. Just don't expect to see any red — especially in the accounting books.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congressional Baseball Game will go on Thursday in light of GOP shooting

The annual Congressional Baseball Game will go on as planned, Rep. Martha McSally announced in an all-member briefing after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were shot by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter while the Republican team was practicing Wednesday morning at a Virginia ball field.

"It will be play ball tomorrow night," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and manager of the GOP squad, confirmed later in the day. 


Despite the cowardly armed sneak attack aimed at Republicans, it won’t stop the annual charity match-up from being played 7:05 p.m. on Thursday at Nationals Park, according to the game organizers from both parties.


During a solemn address to the chamber Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan injected a moment of levity – joking that the wounded Congressman's biggest complaint will be having to spend time on the disabled list.

“Knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game,” Ryan said of his friend — who is still listed as in critical condition.



Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), manager of the Democrats, invited all players from both teams to dinner at Democratic headquarters on Wednesday night.

“We’re united not as Republicans and Democrats but as United States representatives,” said Barton during the joint appearance with his Democratic baseball rival Doyle.

The annual congressional baseball game dates back to 1909 and is considered a bi-partisan event open to everyone.

Every year Senate and House members of each party fortify friendships off the floor and on the field. Members usually wear the uniform of their home states and districts, and although proportional representation is not required, elected officials of many states play to bring home the victory trophy.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), who is on the Democrats’ baseball team said the Democratic team practices at a different facility than where the shooting occurred. Swalwell noted that they usually have security, but the Republicans likely had “even more” due to Scalise’s rank in the House Republican Leadership.

President Trump touted the "heroism" of Capitol Police officers, and said their presence prevented what would have been a "massacre."

There is expected to be an increased number of fans in the stands — and more security at the gates— this year as the game has now taken on national significance.

More importantly, the sportsmanship represents the hopes of an America that is striving for unity.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Aaron Judge sends 495-foot home run over Yankee Stadium Bleachers

By Tony Mangia

Aaron Judge continues to wow fans with his amazing home run hitting prowess but, on Sunday, the gentle giant added an almost unbelievable shot to his young and growing legacy.


A day after hammering a home run hit harder than any one recorded in the Statcast era — a rocket with a 121.1 mile-an-hour exit velocity according to the charts — Judge went orbital again.

“I’m sure he can hit it up to 122 or 123,” teammate Gary Sanchez said after Saturday night's bomb. “He has a lot of power.”

Less than 15 hours after Sanchez's statement, and against the same Orioles team, Judge not only hit the ball with authority, he hit it for distance — 495 feet to be exact.
The reaction of his teammates shows the marvel of a home run ball hit into No Man's Land like that.


The best part of the dugout celebration might be 5'8" inch Ronald Torreyes getting a shoulder boost up to reach the 6'7" Judge's high five.

All rise... again.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lone Saudi Arabian player honors moment of silence for London terrorist victims before match against Australia

In what can only be described as a disgraceful display of disrespect and lack of decency or compassion for human lives, only a single Saudi Arabian soccer player chose to stand still and pay respect to the victims of the London terrorist attack during a moment of silence while the rest of his team continued to warm up, kick around the ball and even tie their shoes before a World Cup qualifying match against the Australian team this week.

As a full stadium looked on, only Salman Al-Faraj politely held his hands behind his back and stared at the ground during the sixty second tribute before the match as his Saudi teammates ignored the gesture and walked off to their positions on the pitch like it was nothing but a big delay.

That's one out of 11 for all you keeping score at home or Homeland.


The Saudi Arabian team became the target of worldwide outrage for snubbing the minute of silence, with officials claiming it was "not in keeping with Saudi culture."
Video shows the Australian team lined up at the halfway mark, with the Saudi players ignoring the respectful moment as they get in formation to start the game — all except the 27-year-old midfielder Al-Faraj.

Footage seems to show Saudi captain Osama Hawsawi instructing his teammates to pay their respect and stand still only after sensing the crowd's reaction.

It was reported that Saudi Arabian fans watching at the Adelaide Oval also ignored the moment of silence, speaking loudly and moving around in the stadium.


After widespread outrage, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation issued a statement saying it "deeply regrets and unreservedly apologizes for any offense caused." 

"The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affected by the atrocity," it stated.

"The Saudi Arabian Football Federation condemns all acts of terrorism and extremism and extends its sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims and to the Government and people of the United Kingdom."

Later, the same Saudi players still found time to kneel and pray after a goal.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mr. Met fired after giving middle(?) finger to fans at Citi Field

The unwanted drama at Citi Field continues to unfurl and even the New York Mets baseball-headed mascot has gotten caught up in the losing and frustration.

On Wednesday night, that four-fingered freak, Mr. Met, reached his own breaking point and flipped what must be considered his middle digit at some fans during the 7-1 loss to the Brewers. The loss halted a modest a three-game winning streak for the Mets and ended one costume wearer's career for good.


A video posted by @adelucia35 on Twitter captured the moment when Mr. Met flipped the bird to a group of shouting fans as the mascot walked toward a tunnel through Citi Field.

The incident came on a night that marked the 53rd anniversary of Mr. Met’s debut as the team mascot. 
"We apologize for the inappropriate action of this employee," the Mets said in an email from the organization. 

"We do not condone this type of behavior. We are dealing with this matter internally."

A Mets official told The Associated Press more than one person wears the Mr. Met costume during each season, and the person who wore it Wednesday night will not work in the costume again.

All kind of funny considering the real middle finger to fans is the 23-28 record the team is holding up to them. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sri Lanka's Knuckles Mountain is a worthy trek...with or without the leeches

Article and photos by Tony Mangia

Sri Lanka just might be one of the most colorful and interesting places in the world for travelers searching for a 180-degree change of pace — all in one country and all in a single day. From the ancient temples at Polonnawura through the tea plantations of the Hill Country and the aqua blue water surfing in Arugam Bay, the country offers visitors a wide array of activities and sights — all at a spectacularly cheap price. And even if you find those places just a little too congested with civilization, a mountain hike or hill walk might be the perfect cure. 


Transversing the water drop-shaped Sri Lanka is a little trickier than most places and even the most experienced adventurers might tire traveling the narrow, bumpy and traffic-clogged roadways via bus or rail. But if you like to hike, the rugged paths of the Lakegala Mountain trek — more commonly known as Knuckles Mountain — are well worth at least one visit and less crowded and touristy than the over-rated Adam’s Peak stair climb that is nearby.


Situated about 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of the dusty, tuk-tuk congested streets of Kandy, Knuckles Mountain is as breathtaking a sight for eyes that one could find in the green and biodiverse Central Highlands of this scenic country. The Ceylon British came up with the name which is derived from the rounded, knuckled ridge resembling a giant clenched fist punching its way out of the earth.



Popular Knuckles Mountain hiking trails include the mini world’s end from Deanston, a trail to Dothalugala from Deanston, a trail to Nitro Caves from Corbett’s Gap, a trail to Augallena cave via Thangappuwa from Corbett’s Gap and the trail to Kalupahana from “Meemure” village.


I was in Sri Lanka to do some volunteer work and a little scuba diving but, after hiking the Inca Trail last spring, it has become part of my travel routine to hike at least one or two trails where and whenever I can.  And while the one-day Knuckles Mountain trek I chose is not as daunting as the seemingly endless trails in Peru, there are some multi day and night treks you can do at Knuckles as well. And the one-day hike has a challenge — namely one word that put more fear into my heart than any five day trek anywhere — leeches. Yup. Leeches. And not the kind who hog all the water and trail mix on a hike.



It seems the first thing anyone says when you mention Knuckles Mountain are the blood-sucking, worm-like parasites who attach themselves to your ankles and make their way up your leg before securing themselves to your body for a snack. And in the damp, leafy trails of Knuckles, they are reportedly as abundant as the foliage itself. I hoped the Buddhist blessing I received the day before would protect me from the unpleasant little creatures if the application of a soap and salt liquid on my legs didn’t keep them sliding off.


After some relief hearing that I might get about only half a dozen of the wormy hitchhikers and that some sort of medicinal benefits would surely outweigh the gross factor, I came to grips that I would be latched onto and it was part of the Knuckles Mountain initiation. So off my hiking buddy Jamie and I went.



Most locals recommend entering the trail on he Thangappuwa side of the range about five miles from the mountain peak and to get a guide. The Knuckles Mountain trek could be described as an intermediate hike filled with plenty of clearly-marked, flat rock trails but also has detours going through and up huge boulders, rugged stone stairs and up and down slippery bamboo and jungle-lined tunnels. The steep mountain terrain at the summit of the main Knuckles peak (the sixth highest in Sri Lanka) including a rare dwarf cloud forest. Guides are essential and it would be quite easy to get thrown off course and miss specific wildlife, plants and breathtaking points of interest if you tried it alone. You can hire one by contacting the Forestry Department in advance. We arranged our hike through the volunteer group we were working with but travelers can get more information and book a guide through srilankatrekking.com.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Adelphi lacrosse team uses President Trump speech as entrance song

Adelphi University athletes found one way to get fans in the stands to get up and scream before a game — if not only the liberal ones.

The school's men’s lacrosse team used a speech by President Donald Trump as its entrance music as they ran onto the field carrying an American flag. 


The 39-second video, which includes a musical soundtrack accompanying the speech, shows the Adelphi players lined up before entering the field. The player at the front of the line is carrying an American flag. It is not clear from the video at which game the clip was shot.

It has already been viewed more than 900,000 times on Instagram — with the typical left-right ranting.



Although it is highly unusual for teams to use a president's speech in an entrance song, this pregame decision does not violate the private school's policy, a university spokesperson said.

“The men’s lacrosse team’s regular-season pregame warm-up music is selected as a team and approved for use so long as they do not contain vulgarity or inappropriate subject matter,” Adelphi athletic director Danny McCabe said in a statement. “The songs they proposed and used this season meet those guidelines. As such, we are obliged to follow the policy.”

Men’s lacrosse coach Gordon Purdie added in a statement that the team “traditionally has chosen patriotic music” to accompany their entrance to the field.

“It was not intended to provoke or be taken as a political statement,” he said. “We’re sorry if anyone was offended.”

The team has reportedly used the same speech as an intro before.

Adelphi, a private university on Long Island, plays in Division II, is 14-3 this season and is the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, which begins Saturday at home against fourth-seed Pace.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Yankees beat Cubs on Brett Gardner's come-from-behind ninth inning home run

The Cubs were cruising along in the ninth inning towards a 2-0 win in the Friday afternoon opener of their big inter-league series with the Yankees when Brett Gardner silenced the optimistic Wrigley Field crowd with one mighty swing.


Looking like it was a sure win, Chicago closer Hector Rondon then got Didi Gregorius to ground out to start the top of the inning. Chase Headley then singled, and a wild pitch would send him to second. After a strikeout, Jacoby Ellsbury walked to put the tying run on. That’s when Gardy came up and jacked a 2-out, 2-strike pitch out of the park to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Gardner left no doubt he put the Yankees ahead as the game hero hollered and fist pumped his way around the bases. It was Gardner's fifth home run of the season — all in his last six games! 

Funny, because before today, we last saw Gardner Wednesday night, as he was taking batting practice in the Yankees dugout up in Toronto.



Yankees fans are taking a liking to Gardy's new found power... no matter where he does it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Travis Rudolph is a NY Giants signee everyone can root for

Travis Rudolph was not picked in the NFL draft this year but is one of 17 undrafted players to be signed by the New York Giants. And if the wide receiver never ends up being a Giant on the field during a game, it's nice to know that the 21-year-old is way bigger off of it.


Rudolph, you may remember, is the Florida State player whose photo of him sharing lunch with a lonely autistic boy in a school cafeteria went viral and warmed the hearts of many.

And it appears that Rudolph and the young boy, Bo Paske, are still pals.

Rudolph posted an Instagram picture of the pair hanging out during the NFL draft this past week.


The relationship started last August, when the football player visited Tallahassee's Montford Middle School along with four other players to speak with students.

He saw Paske, a sixth-grader who is autistic, by himself at a table in the lunch room, and asked if he could sit with him.


He said the two had a great conversation, calling Bo a "cool" person who he would hang out with any day.

The pair even met up a week later at FSU so Rudolph could give Bo a jersey emblazoned with the name PASKE on the back.

Leah Paske, Bo's mother, was moved to tears upon seeing a photo of the gesture and said she is grateful for the kindness Rudolph showed her son who often eats lunch alone.

In a Facebook post in which she shared a of the lunchroom encounter, Paske said her talked about some of the challenges Bo faces with his disorder including the solo midday meals.



Rudolph led Florida State in receiving the past two seasons and forfeited his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. And now, on a team loaded with receiving talent, the former Seminoles player might be a long shot to make the team.

But if there is anyone worth rooting for it's Travis ... and his buddy Bo.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Aaron Judge has birthday bash and crash during Fenway Park debut

Aaron Judge sure knows how to celebrate his birthday and the rest of the league might be glad it only comes once a year.

In his debut at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, the hulking 25-year-old rightfielder a hit a two-run homer and made a remarkable catch while falling into the stands to help back up starter Luis Severino's three-hit, six-strikeout gem during the Yankees 3-1 victory over the Red Sox.



In the second inning, Judge got a fastball from last season's AL Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello and went the opposite way over the short wall in right for his seventh homer of the season.




Then, in the third, Xander Bogaerts hit a fly ball toward the short wall along the right-field foul line. Judge extended his arm to make the catch before hitting the wall and plunging head-first into the stands.




Initially, it was ruled no catch as Judge lost the ball on the transfer before emerging from the seats. But the Yankees challenged the call, which was overturned following a replay review.

The real loser on the play... those poor first row seats.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gronk crashes Sean Spicer presser during White House visit

During the New England Patriots' visit to the White House Wednesday afternoon, party boy tight end Rob Gronkowski unexpectedly showed up at a Sean Spicer press conference.



As the Press Secretary was answering a question about NAFTA, Gronk casually poked his head in the room.

The mischievous NFL star asked Spicer if he needed some help.

Spicer replied, “I think I got this, but thank you.”

After more stunned looks from the press corps than the day after the election, the room broke out in laughter as Gronkowski left the room.

“That was cool," Spicer remarked. "How do you follow that?”
Gronk also made his way to the Oval Office and had a chance to fist bump the Prez after the Patriots ceremony honoring the team's Super Bowl LI win.


Just glad the the big lug didn't start poking around while asking: What's this big shiny red button for?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tony Mangia On Assignment In Sri Lanka

Message to readers of The Other Paper:

I will be out of the United States for the next four weeks visiting the beautiful country of Sri Lanka.

The essentials

Although the civil war ended in Sri Lanka a few years ago, many Sri Lankans are still displaced and looking to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. I will be spending a few weeks helping a group of refugees rebuild some of the resettlement villages and temples that are still in disarray and teach English to some of the children. Yup. Lots of “How ya doin’” will probably be heard as they move back home.


In between, there will be time to do some scuba diving, mountain hiking and work on a special photo assignment.

I will probably be without Internet, phone or even TV for most of the the duration and, sort of happily, won’t be posting or viewing anything on social media. Hopefully, this will mean not seeing or hearing about any “news” related to American politics as well. So don’t burn the place down until I get back.

And, while I will somewhat miss March Madness (no St. John’s), I guess following the the cricket league pools and learning how to throw — hit? — a wicked googly will be just as much fun.


New posts to return next month. Ayubowan.

Ezekiel Elliot caught on camera yanking down woman's top during St. Patrick's Parade

Ezekiel Elliott, last season's NFL offensive sensation and MVP finalist, might find himself in a more defensive stance in the future after being caught on camera exposing a woman's breast during a St Patrick's Day Parade.

Two videos have circulated of the 21-year-old Dallas Cowboys running back getting inappropriate with the young woman and pulling her top down towards a camera. Elliot was reportedly with the unidentified woman, who continually slaps his hand away, before yanking down her tank top while drinking at a Dallas rooftop bar over the weekend.



What makes it even more disturbing is the fact that Elliott has been under investigation for assault claims by his ex-girlfriend since the beginning of his rookie season last year.

The footage, obtained by TMZ, shows the woman gesturing to her breasts to the crowd before Elliott exposes her left one right before she immediately covers back up.

A second short video was also posted, in which the same woman bends towards the crowd showing some cleavage.

Elliott reaches again for her breast and she swats his hand away.
A representative for the football player has said that the woman wasn't upset by the incident and spent time with Elliott and a group of friends later in the evening.


Elliott previously told the Washington Post that he was hoping for closure on the assault allegations against him by his ex-girlfriend, which have hounded him since the beginning of his rookie season in 2016.

"I would rather them not drag on as long. I think if there was something to find, which there's not, they would've found it by now," he has said.

Authorities cleared him following a lack of evidence in the case, after his then-girlfriend posted photos of bruises on her arms on Instagram and tagged Elliott.

She later deleted the photos.


Last January, police were also called to Elliott's Florida apartment in response to a domestic incident involving the same woman, who said the running back had pushed her against a wall during an argument. 

The NFL has already reportedly questioned Elliott about that incident and can still suspend players for conduct violations without the presence of legal charges. And, with all of the previous inicidents involving NFL players and domestic abuse stoking the flames, this might turn into a nasty burn for Zeke.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

High School Pressured To Apologize For Fans Wearing Red, White & Blue At Game

Valley High School in Des Moines defeated Des Moines North High School, 57-55, in what locals are calling a game for the ages. Afterwards, most of the talk wasn't about the play on the court, but the attire in the stands.

Apparently some high schoolers from Valley showed up for Wednesday's neutral site Iowa State Tournament playoff game draped in red, white and blue which seemed to anger fans from Des Moines North, which features a diverse student body and players from refugee families.


The Valley students had chosen to wear red, white and blue instead of their school colors black and orange as part of a color theme day but some are claiming it goes further than that.


Following the game, Morgan Wheat, an assistant coach at Des Moines North, was somewhat skeptical.

"Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking," he said.

"Kids are kids, I get it, but I do have questions. I want to know why."

Wheat, who played basketball at Vanderbilt and Iowa State University, has a history with both high school teams. "I went to two state tournaments with Valley High School."

On Thursday, Valley High School's Student Leadership members bowed to PC pressure and provided an apology for flouting the colors of the American flag by hand delivering this letter to Des Moines North:

To the Students and Staff of North High School:

It has been brought to our attention that the decision by the Valley High School student section to wear U.S.A. apparel at our game last night was offensive to members of your community and fan base. We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way. We have traditionally dressed in such a fashion for great games such as the one last night. Everyone here at Valley has immense respect not only for your team and players but for your community as a whole. Please know that our intent was in no way to offend or demean—just to support our own team in a way we have done before.

Congratulations on a wonderful season and we wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Valley High School Student Council Leadership

It has become a recent trend where students across the country take part in themed nights during athletic events. But, like in too many recent cases, an American flag color scheme has been deemed politically incorrect.

Valley fans recently adorned themselves in red white and blue during a football game against rival Dowling Catholic — a private school — without any incident.

That's the way it should be.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chris Mullin outburst evokes memories of the old St. John's vs Georgetown rivalry at Madison Square Garden

It was — almost refreshingly — like the halcyon days of the Big East all over again when St. John's met Georgetown at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night especially when the Redmen's — I mean Red Storm's — head coach Chris Mullin had to be held back from going after the Hoyas bench in the second half of the opening game of this season's Big East Tournament.

Mullin stormed over to confront Georgetown coach John Thompson III after rough play between players under the basket escalated and probably rekindled the rough house style of play he remembers during the classic battles between the two teams back in the 80's.


With 8:35 left, and the eighth-seeded Johnnies holding a 59-55 lead in the hard fought game, a melee nearly broke out. After Amar Alibegovic fouled L.J. Peak hard on a drive, Peak got up, and got in Alibegovic’s face. Bradley Hayes followed by pushing Alibegovic. That was quickly broken up. But moments later, a fired up Mullin exchanged words with Peak then JT3 before being held back by his players. Alibegovic was assessed a flagrant one foul, and Mullin and Georgetown assistant coach Patrick Ewing Jr. were both given technical fouls.

Mullin's players responded by hanging on, 74-73, to give their second year coach his first postseason victory and the program it’s first Big East Tournament win since 2011. St. John’s will meet No. 1 Villanova in the quarterfinals Thursday at noon.

After the game, the two coaches shook hands like nothing happened but the names — Mullin, Thompson, Ewing — stirred up visions of Big East glory days past and might signal the resurgence of a new St. John's vs Georgetown era.



All we need is a little Carnesecca.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Former St. John's 7'1" basketball recruit Zach Brown in jail again

Former St. John's basketball recruit Zach Brown has found himself in more trouble with the law. The 7-foot-1 Brown, who seems to be building a rap sheet almost as long as his wingspan, was taken back to jail on Thursday after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. His older brother and accomplice, Clayton was also locked up again.


Police picked up the two men at Motel Blu in Miami. Records show they both recently failed to show up in court for traffic tickets, according to SlaterScoops.

The 19-year-old Brown, ranked the No. 35 player in the class of 2017 by ESPN, was arrested January with the same brother for allegedly stealing money from a Florida Walgreen’s cash register. He was charged with first-degree petty theft misdemeanor, driving with a suspended license and an expired tag.



St. John’s had released the once-prized recruit from his national letter of intent following his January arrest. Brown was also charged last May with credit card fraud and robbery in Miami.


Brown grew up in poverty and was living in the Liberty City section of Miami before he was adopted by Michael Lipman in 2013, reported USA Today. Brown and his brother bounced around high schools in Miami and Connecticut leaving a wake of trouble in their dust. The court had taken pair away from their biological mother and their aunt, who was given custody, but said she was no longer willing to raise them.

“They come from the most horrific situation you could imagine,” Lipman said of Zach and his brother. “The judge said he had never seen a worse case.”

That may be but, in a sport which has seen more than its share of young players throw it all away, Brown's choice to piss away a college scholarship and, most likely, a professional career for chump change is more than a sad, it's a pity.

And he probably won't see things any clearer through that eye shadow.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins face off against PETA after team uses live penguins during pre-game festivities

The rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers may be one of the most physically brutal NHL series but, after Saturday's Stadium Series matchup at Heinz Field, there may be some harder crosschecks on the horizon.

On Thursday, PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — sent a letter to Pittsburgh Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse, criticizing the team and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium for using live penguins during pregame festivities before the game.


Specifically, PETA took exception with a video clip that went viral, showing a group of penguins flinching and scampering in confusion after a fireworks display at the stadium
The Pittsburgh Zoo responded Thursday afternoon in a statement, discounting many of PETA’s claims.

“The loud pop from the pyrotechnical display temporarily startled the penguins and their first reaction similar to a human’s when startled, they flapped their wings,” the statement reads, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was less than 10 seconds and the penguins were back to normal and exploring and playing on the ice.”


PETA pointed out that the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium “is no longer accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums” and therefore “no longer has to maintain the AZA’s minimal standards or care for penguins and other animals.”

“It's inherently stressful for wild animals — who naturally shun contact with humans and are extremely sensitive to environmental changes — to be hauled around, used as props, and exposed to noisy crowds, with or without explosives going off,” John Di Leonardo, a campaigner for PETA, wrote in the letter to Morehouse. “Hockey fans come to see talented athletes compete, not shy animals terrorized.”

The Pittsburgh Zoo said the penguins that participated in Saturday’s pregame entertainment were the same penguins that appear in the Penguins on Parade event, which allows the public to view the animals every Saturday and Sunday from late November through the end of February.

“They are very comfortable around people and noises,” they also claimed in their statement.

You have to admit the little guys did seem a little startled by the loud boom (who usually isn't) but it still can't be as scary as being stranded on an ice floe, staring down the mouth of a killer whale.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Danica Patrick involved in another race crash, blames new NASCAR rules


Danica Patrick’s 2017 Daytona 500 ended even earlier than usual after she was one of the drivers involved in a "treacherous" 17-car collision which included eventual race winner Kurt Busch who managed to stay on the track.

But afterwards, of course, it was Patrick who was loudest in finding a scapegoat.


To be fair, with 15 of 40 drivers out of the race with about a quarter of the 200 laps remaining, the No. 10 Ford driver in her fifth full season might be correct in laying the blame on NASCAR’s new staged racing. 
Starting this season, the races are divided into three stages with points awarded to the top drivers from each stage, counting toward their championship total.

“The stages are definitely going to add to it because not only is it creating a reason to push at certain points in the race that aren’t anything but the last 20, but you’re also seeing it shuffling the grid up,” Patrick said after being cleared by the in-field medical staff – a new requirement for those who don’t finish.

But that wasn’t the only rule she said is leading to so many drivers falling short of the finish line. Following an accident, teams that must return to pit road have a five-minute time limit for repairs. If cars cannot be fixed and return to the track at minimum speed within that time, they’re out of the race.

Prior to this season, teams had an unlimited amount of time to fix their cars and could eventually return to the track to try and earn even just a few points out of the race.


“What you’re seeing is the product of the five-minute clock,” Patrick continued. “You’re seeing a product of the new rules of having to go to the in-field care center if you don’t finish the race. … I’m totally fine. I drove my car back to the garage. I never would have come to the in-field care center if not for the new protocols, so I’m all for being all well, but it’s probably a bit much.”

She explained that on a superspeedway track like Daytona International, drivers assume multi-car wrecks have “a real high chance of happening.

“That’s the name of the game. It’s what makes it exciting, too, for the fans.”

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Transgender boy wins Texas girls state wrestling title amid controversy

A 17-year-old transgender boy won the Texas state girls wrestling title on Saturday in a classification he doesn't think he belongs in and amid a controversy that goes beyond being called a boy or a girl or which bathroom to use.

Namely, the use of hormone treatment in sports.

Mack Beggs has said he would rather be wrestling boys, but state policy calls for students to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates meaning the junior from Euless Trinity was forced to compete as a girl.


Beggs, who reached the state tournament after two opponents forfeited, unwillingly became the pawn in a transgender controversy throughout the event after questions about whether or not his testosterone treatments — to help the transition from female to male — gave him an unfair advantage competing against girls.

The shaggy haired wrestler improved to 56-0 after beating Chelsea Sanchez 12-2 in the 110-pound weight class to go undefeated and win the championship.


The Beggs family has said he wanted to compete against boys, but University Interscholastic League deputy director Jamey Harrison, who reportedly has not addressed Beggs directly, said their organization had not received a request to change divisions from any athlete at this competition.

This debate was further pushed to the news forefront this week after the Trump administration announced an end to federal protections that allowed transgender students to use facilities based on their gender identity, leaving states and school districts to determine their own policies.


A mixture of boos and cheers filled the gymnasium as Beggs fell to his knees after his championship victory. The new state champion then hugged his coach and walked off the mat.
  
Beggs later broke his silence by thanking his teammates. 
  
"I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my teammates," he said. "That's honestly what the spotlight should have been on is my teammates. The hard work that I put in in the practice room with them beside me - we trained hard every, single day."

Attorney Jim Baudhuin tried and failed to get injunctions before both the district and regional meets to prevent Beggs from competing while he transitions because he is taking testosterone. Baudhuin, who is the parent of a wrestler at another school who has never faced Beggs, told The Associated Press earlier this week he doesn’t blame Beggs for the situation, but faults the UIL which oversees athletics in Texas public schools.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Huffington Post contributor is caught cheating in half-marathon after taking shortcut and using a bicycle

A Harvard-educated lifestyle blogger was caught cheating in the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon when an alert viewer found an incriminating photo of the runner after she faked finishing in second-place.




Jane Seo was disqualified after a race analyst, Derek Murphy, realized a picture of her watch did not match the total amount of miles included in the race.



Murphy found a photo of the smiling 24-year-old Huffington Post contributor after she just crossed the finish line, beaming proudly with her bogus second-place medal, he said in his analysis site, Marathoninvestigation.com.

He then zoomed into the picture to see Seo's Garmin GPS watch had been missing miles and figured the numbers just didn't match up. Seo didn't admit to the scam until the evidence was presented to her — but not before attending the awards ceremony to collect her second place trophy!

Seo had a total of 11.65 miles with a time of one hour, 22 minutes and seven seconds. About one and half miles were cut from her run which should have totaled 13.1 miles, Murphy said. The race investigator also analyzed her pace and found her results showed she had been running at a faster speed for the remaining 11 kilometers, when most runners begin to slow down.

As he further analyzed her time, Murphy said Seo cut the course about 3/4 of a mile from the turnaround meaning she cut a total of one and half. After the race Seo logged data into Strava, a mobile app for runners, which did not include any GPS data, Murphy wrote.


The deceitful Seo — who once wrote an article titled: How I Learned to Love Running, One Race at a Time — admitted to the fake news finish and said she covered her tracks by cycling the distance and submitted another entry that showed she completed the race. 

Seo has since then claimed she wasn't feeling well during the race, posted an apology to Instagram and deleted an account of her "run."

And the bike just happened to be conveniently placed there.