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.


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,

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tennis star Eugenie Bouchard fulfills Super Bowl bet with fan after Falcons blew game

Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard was seen on a date with an unfamiliar young man at a New York Nets game Wednesday night — the result of a bet she made with the lucky fan on Twitter during the Super Bowl.

Lucky... if you consider watching the Nets anything but torture.

With the Falcons leading the Patriots by 25 points during the game, John Goehrke, a 20-year-old Pats fan, tweeted at Bouchard “If patriots win we go on date?”

Bouchard, who has been trolled by bigger names like the Mets' Matt Harvey in the past, responded to the tweet with a confident, “sure” on a bold wager that Goehrke really had nothing to lose.

Anyway, by now we all now know the Patriots came back to win and we also get to find out that Bouchard is a woman of her word.

The couple were seated courtside and even go to throw t-shirts into the stands during an intermission.

It must have been a night to remember for Goehrke who can go now back to staring at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model's photos and troll more celebrities.
At least one sure bet was the Nets. They lost 129-125 to the Bucks.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Former Knick Charles Oakley arrested after fighting, getting tossed out of Madison Square Garden

On Wednesday night, Charles Oakley showed everyone the same bruising style that he displayed for decades on the basketball court while the New York Knicks met the Los Angeles Clippers — only this time the retired NBA star did it in street clothes and in the stands at Madison Square Garden.

The former New York Knick forward, known for his physical type of play that made him an all-star and helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals in 1994, adding another bizarre chapter to what has already been an ugly Knicks season after getting physically removed from his MSG seats and arrested — reportedly on the orders of Knicks owner James Dolan.

Moments after being arrested and released from Midtown South police station at around midnight, Oakley said that the Garden security asked him to leave because Dolan, who was seated just a few feet away, did not want him there.

“I was there for four minutes,” Oakley said late Wednesday night. “I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said why do you guys keep staring at me. Then they asked me to leave. And I said I’m not leaving”

Sources at the Garden and NYPD dispute Oakley’s account of the altercation, saying the scuffle was provoked by the former Knick yelling at his longtime nemesis Dolan.

Oakley was asked by several members of Garden security to leave, and then was seen shoving the phalanx of security guards and appeared to take a swipe at one. He even handed his watch to someone seated next to him before being escorted out. 

The white-haired Oakley was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault by the NYPD, including criminal trespass. A source said that Oakley declined legal representation because he was only hit with a desk appearance ticket. He was released from the Midtown South precinct at around midnight by police and snuck out the back door and into a black SUV, avoiding the waiting press outside.

Still a fan favorite, Oakley has a contentious history with Dolan and has been excluded from invitations and tributes reserved for former players. Oakley claims the owner doesn't like his outspoken criticism of the team and that the team’s slogan — “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” — hasn’t applied to the former All-Star under Dolan's reign.

The Knicks probably could have used old Oak out on the floor. They lost again, 119-115.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conquering The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Article and Photos by Tony Mangia

Centuries ago the Incans built a network of advanced trails connecting their realm through a vast number of pathways stretching from sections of South America as vast and varied as the continent itself. Through the mountainous terrain of Peru, from Ecuador to Chile and east to Argentina, this nearly 25,000 mile web of stone stairs and walkways were centered around and directed towards the capital city of the great empire— Cusco, Peru.

It's no wonder why these scenic paths leading into the magical archaeological site at Machu Picchu or “The Lost City of the Incas” are some of the most requested mountain treks for modern hikers too.

This beautiful 43km (26.71 miles) section of mountain trail to Machu Picchu connects the important Incan archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna (Huinay Huayna). This four-day trek to Machu Picchu is a hiker’s delight and has become known worldwide as “The Inca Trail.”

This medium level hike is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 in the world. It manages to combine beautiful mountain landscapes, awe-inspiring cloud-forest, and subtropical vegetation and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones ruins and tunnels. But the mystery and majesty of Machu Picchu, the final destination of the trail, is the real topper.

Another hike is known as “The Lares Trek” which is only a three-day excursion, but does traverse some higher peaks than the Inca Trail.

The Inca Trail — often called “Km82” because it starts 82 kilometers from a railway station between Cusco and Machu Picchu — can be hiked year round although April till October are probably the best months since the weather is drier. June, July and August are in the high season when the Inca trail can become fully booked so be sure to make the Inca trail reservations at least four to six months in advance. The Inca Trail is closed each year during the month of February to allow conservation work to take place. The months of January through March are in the wet season so hiking the trail can be a little more wet and slippery.

Any group on this trek will arrive late morning at the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu on the fourth day — just before the limited amount of bused in crowds arrive at the popular tourist spot. The trek itself is rated moderate and any reasonably fit person should be able to handle the climbs and descents. It is fairly challenging nevertheless, as it has the serious altitude changes (altitudes of 4200m (13779.53 ft) are reached), and the climate changes along the length of the trail. Most important, if arriving from sea level, is planning to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to commencing the trek to assist acclimatizing yourself with the higher altitude. And spending time in Lima won’t help because that city is only about as high as Denver and won’t really help. During my trek I saw one women being rushed down a mountain path carried like a backpack after she reportedly had a heart attack and one of the men on a three-day trek passed out from altitude sickness but was game enough to spend his first day flung like a sack of potatoes over the back of donkey up the mountain path. So, although the distance of The Incan Trail is not that great, and even non-hikers can complete it, don’t underestimate acclimating yourself with the altitude even if you consider yourself an experienced hiker or exceptionally fit. Compare it to doing a marathon — only up and down crooked staircases with about half the oxygen to breathe.

Acclimating to the altitude in Cusco

My two days and nights in Cusco getting acclimated to the altitude were spent mostly walking around the crowded city taking pictures of the colorful locals and locale. The late-April weather was warm (80F) and the sun was bright. It’s good to avoid drinking alcohol (it’s easier to get looped in high altitudes) and decided to put off eating that Peruvian delicacy cuy — otherwise known as guinea pig until after the trek. Yup, those cute little pets of every first grade classroom. Ended up they were delicious with yucca and tomatoes but bony — like eating a giant chicken wing. Anyway, trekkers don’t want to take any chances with your stomach (nothing worse than food poisoning or diarrhea on a four-day mountain hike) so it is best to taste one of the little guys or any “street food” as a celebratory dinner when you get back.

Groups were introduced to each other after we unpacked at the Prisma Hotel in Cusco. A comfortable little place where we could take our last hot shower before the four day trek. There was the Lares Trek group and mine — the more desirable Inca Trail group. Ours included three women and a man from Chicago, a pair of young couples from Germany and Great Britain, two women from Britain, an older couple from Australia, a teen aged woman fro Norway and me. Our lead guide was Elias who was accompanied by his group aides: Edison, Eddie and Eddie 2 (no kidding).

The day before the trek began we got accustomed to the altitude — and climbing. We visited the Sacred Valley outside Cusco — a small village where local artisans weaved and dyed wool for clothing and blankets before heading off to see the Pisa Ruins which were teeming with tourists and more stairs than I’ve ever seen before. And if I thought making it to the top of these stairs (about 20 minutes of climbing) was tough, it was only a sampler of the miles of stairs I was about to see on the Inca Trail.

That afternoon we visited more ruins at Ollantaytambo — where we would be staying overnight —and were treated to a lively and colorful street festival in the town square where everyone wore costumes and masks while a statue was paraded through the narrow town streets. An amazing swirl of people, color and music permeated the whole scene and left an image of Peru one will never forget.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Siena coach walks through imaginary post-game handshake line after brawl against Rider

In a bizarre scene after the Rider vs. Siena matchup Tuesday night in Albany, Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos ended up walking down an empty post-game handshake line extending his arm and shaking the hands of imaginary players from the Rider squad. 

The two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rivals had just finished a game highlighted by fights, ejections and even Patsos going at it with Rider coach Kevin Baggett. 

After Siena's 78-68 win, Patsos followed protocol by walking the traditional line shaking the hands of the non existent Rider team grabbing air.
Things started to get out of hand with 2:03 to play when a fight broke out involving Siena's Marquis Wright and Rider's Anthony Durham. Patsos and  Baggett then got into it, with Baggett ultimately attempting to walk into the Saints' huddle and having to be forcibly restrained by his assistants.
The two players were ejected from the game and both coaches were each dealt technical fouls.

Then, with 10 seconds remaining in the game, Baggett called a timeout where it seems as though he instructed his players to walk off the court at the end of the game without shaking hands. The Bronco players followed their orders and, after the horn sounded, walked off the court leaving the handshake line vacant.

Despite all the noise and confusion, Patsos formed a handshake line without his own players and went through the routine.

Was it good sportsmanship or rubbing it in? Who cares? It's funny.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Minnesota Wild apologize for skit after mascot beats rival with a baseball bat

The Minnesota Wild apologized to fans after the NHL team faced criticism over a skit where the team’s mascot beat a rival mascot with a bat during an intermission on the ice.

During a gathering of NHL mascots at Thursday night's game against the Canadiens, the Wild were throwing a “birthday party” for their mascot Nordy, when he apparently took a pie to the face from the Chicago Blackhawks mascot named Tommy Hawk. 

Then, when the blindfolded Nordy was supposed to hit a piñata held by Tommy Hawk, he instead took aim and swung the bat to beat his rival mascot like from some scene from The Sopranos — enthusiastically urged on by the arena announcer to "keep swinging."

After about 10 fake hits another mascot, the New Jersey Devil, stepped in and stopped the mayhem while other mascots worked to drag Tommy Hawk off the ice. Smile if you remember Office Space.


Some fans criticized the display of violence rarely seen at any hockey game (snicker) and thought the Wild was "promoting violence in front of thousands of people and kids."

One Twitter mom asked, "How exactly should I explain this to my kids?" 

So, of course the NHL contacted the Wild before the team issued a statement about the fake violence on ice:

"We apologize to anyone offended by the mascot skit Thursday night. It was certainly not our intention." 

Maybe they should have added We'll leave that to the players.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Odell Beckham Jr. punches hole in locker room wall after Giants loss

We all know that Odell Beckham Jr. looked like he had hands of stone during the Giants’ miserable 38-13 playoff loss to Green Bay Sunday night. And after three drops (at least) and a mere 28 receiving yards in a game where he basically had no impact, the emotional receiver proved it by reportedly punching a hole in a wall outside the team's formal interview room as he was exiting.

No one saw Beckham do it, but a Lambeau Field groundskeeper heard the wall being punched and immediately came out into the hallway, where only Beckham was standing in front of the hole in the sheetrock.

According to the worker, Greg Woulf, Beckham responded angrily to Woulf’s co-worker telling him to calm down and replied by saying “F—k off” before walking back into the Giants’ locker room.

ESPN reported that Beckham then banged his head against the locker-room door, although that could not be confirmed Sunday night.

Beckham has a history of using his body parts in outbursts after losses. He was spotted banging his head against a metal sliding door three times in frustration after a loss to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field late last month.

Hey Odell. I'm taking down a wall in my kitchen next week. You're free. So maybe you could come over and lend a hand...or two.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Wisconsin student facing charges after high school dodgeball game turns violent 

An 18-year-old Wisconsin high school student is facing charges after he assaulted another student during a heated game of dodgeball.

Jacob Sigler was slapped with one count of substantial battery after he punched an unidentified 16-year-old opponent in the head at Ellsworth High School on Oct. 11 during a the schoolyard game.

The victim and his mother reported Sigler to the police, citing that he and three other students were targeting him specifically during the game, and when Sigler ran out of balls, he became freaky-naughty and threw a fist.

Lucky there were no wrenches around.


According to Fox 9, Sigler “closed his fist and punched [the victim] in the face,” knocking the teenager to the ground.

The victim’s mother said her son suffered a facial fracture after taking a CT scan.

Sigler and the victim reportedly did not have any previous altercations in the past but, during questioning, Sigler told police the victim had aimed at his face during the game.

"I'm not his best friend, but I know him, and I don’t have a problem with him, not until then,” he said. “Just at that moment, I had a problem with him."

Sigler also said the game was just a "friendly fight” and “competitive game of dodgeball.”

And for everyone's future reference, the game is called bombardment.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kentucky high school changes ’Stallions’ name because it is sexist

A Kentucky high school bowed to political correctness pressure and so-called public outcry over the use of its mascot and its name “Stallions” and is planning to change them both because it was considered sexist.

Lexington's new Frederick Douglass High School changed its mind Tuesday — one day after announcing the Stallions name — and said students will now choose a new horse-themed mascot instead of the manly Stallion image.

Score another one for the PC Police and overly sensitive feelings.

The change of heart came after a Lexington woman created a petition on the website against naming athletic teams and the school mascot after gender-specific personas.

Diane Cahill said she created the petition, to be delivered to Fayette County school board members, after the mascot was announced Monday. The petition said in part, that “it is inappropriate and sexist” that the mascot and name for the female sports teams is the Stallions.

The petition called for the Stallion to be replaced:

"This is inappropriate and sexist when you consider the definition from “YourDictionary” …”The definition of a stallion is a male horse that has not been castrated, used for breeding or is slang for a powerful and virile man who has a lot of lovers” …

School officials say they’ve received other community input about the Stallion's message, negative and positive, but ultimately decided to let incoming students decide on the mascot, albeit keeping with a “horse theme.”

Photo by Tony Mangia
"How did they come up with this? The connotation of stallions pertaining to a girls’ softball team or basketball team just seemed really, really strange to me — a male breeding horse,” Cahill said.

Anita Courtney invoked Title IX, noting that the Stallion “leaves out 50 percent of the student population” and is “not in keeping with the spirit of […] gender equity in sports.”

“[T]here was absolutely no intent to offend or upset anyone,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said.

“I’m very grateful to Superintendent Caulk for listening to our concerns [and] for reassessing this choice by getting input from students [and] parents," said Cahill.

Can’t wait for the Geldings football team to show up on the playing field — or maybe the Nags.