Tuesday, August 30, 2016

High school mascot re-enacts Harambe tragedy at football game

The Cincinnati Zoo recently deleted its social media accounts commemorating Harambe the gorilla in an attempt to quell the tide of Internet memes and jokes posted by snarky trolls.

And while all the complaints and petitions to halt the memes of the 17-year-old lowland silverback — who was shot with a rifle after dragging a three-year-old child throughout his enclosure — might have had some effect, that didn't stop two students at an Illinois high school from performing an easily recognizable re-enactment of the tragic incident at a recent high school football game.

During a game between Oswego East and West Joliet, the two teenagers entertained the crowd with a somewhat inappropriate performance which included Oswego East's mascot — wearing a gorilla costume — grabbing the other dressed as a small child and dragging him down the sideline.

At one point, the “gorilla” chased down a person in a banana costume who was holding a sign that read “R.I.P. Harambe” to a cheering crowd, as a video Snapchat showed.

The mascot also riled up the crowd by handing out high fives and prompting students in the stands to wave their arms in unison.

Harambe was fatally shot in May after little Isiah Dickerson fell into the animal's enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo, sparking outrage over the popular gorilla's death. The incident sparked a backlash around the world as people slammed both the zoo's actions and the boy's family members for failing to stop him.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hope Solo suspended from USWNT for 'cowards' remark towards Swedish team

Hope Solo will have plenty of time to think about choosing her words more carefully after U.S. Soccer announced it has suspended the rabble-rousing goaltender from the U.S. Women’s National Team for six months citing conduct that is contrary to the organization’s principles.

The suspension comes after Solo called Sweden cowards following the Americans’ elimination from the Olympics in the quarterfinal round. The Aug. 12 loss to Sweden on penalty kicks ended the U.S.’s run of three consecutive gold medal wins.

“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.”

Hope Solo responded to the suspension:
Sweden, coached by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, eliminated the U.S. on penalty kicks after the teams remained tied 1-1 after 120 minutes. Solo took exception to Sweden playing conservatively, which forced the U.S. to be in the rare position of chasing, not controlling, the pace of play.

“I think we played a bunch of cowards,” Solo said. “Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their game plan was.”

Solo sort of apologized for using that particular c-word but her post game comments were not supported by teammates, who roundly criticized the outspoken goalie.

And this isn’t the first time Solo has stirred up controversy.

Solo was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic violence in 2014 when an alleged drunken incident which involved her half-sister and nephew went public. The charges were dismissed in 2015 but subsequently reinstated.

The trouble-making goal keep was also suspended for 30 days last summer after taking a joy ride in the team van with her husband, former NFL tight end Jeramy Stevens — who pleaded no contest to driving the van while intoxicated.

Conveniently, that benching was over before the USNWT started play in the  World Cup. 

As a result of her most recent suspension, Solo will not be eligible for national team selection until February.

Just guessing there aren’t any important tournaments for Solo to miss during that six-month time-out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Utah golfer stabs man on golf course because of slow play

A Utah golfer frustrated by the slow play of a party in front decided to take matters into his own hands by using a knife to cut through the offending duffers.

After Lee Johnson and his wife asked if they could play through the slow putters in front and were refused, 61-year-old Johnson pulled out his trusty No. 3 penknife and reportedly sliced his way through — and not in a golfing sense.

A fight then broke out on the fairway before security from the clubhouse had to come and calm things down.

Payson Police Lieutenant Bill Wright told KUTV that Johnson, from Payson near Salt Lake City, was then wrestled to the ground by one of the men in the group. 

Johnson was charged with aggravated assault. His wife was not involved in the fracas and wasn’t charged or arrested. 

The victim was treated at a local hospital for non life-threatening injuries. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

U.S. Army reservist hears national anthem during pole vault, stops mid-attempt and stands at attention (VIDEO)

In an amazing moment of patriotism last week, a USA pole vaulter who was in the middle of a qualifying jump at the Olympics stopped short on the runway with pole in hand to stand at attention when he heard the Star-Spangled Banner coming from a distant loudspeaker.

US Army reservist Sam Kendricks from Mississippi, was running pole in hand when he heard the first notes of the national anthem and his love of country took precedence. 

A video released by NBC Olympics shows the second lieutenant in the midst one of his attempts to qualify that day but, instead, the 23-year-old stopped dead in his tracks and let go of the pole to respectfully stand still. 

Kendricks, a former track star at Ole Miss, looked a bit confused as he remained standing for the entire duration of the song.

When it was over, the soldier clapped and promptly picked up the pole and went on to jump.

It is unclear whether Kendricks received any penalty for stopping in the middle of a run, but he qualified and went on to win the bronze medal last week — clearing 5.85 meters — over 19 feet.

Kendricks' decision has earned him the respect of many on social media, who commended him for his respectful act.

But my question is why NBC took so long to publicize it?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mongolian wrestling coaches strip down to underwear in protest of bronze medal loss (VIDEO)

For any of you out there who ever wondered what a Gobi Desert Chippendale's might be like (you know who you are), look no further than the 65 kg bronze medal wrestling match Sunday afternoon when a pair of Mongolian coaches stripped off their clothing on the mat in a protest of a call by officials that gave the medal to Uzbekistan's Ikhtiyor Navruzov.

The bizarre scene unfolded after an afternoon filled with disputed calls — and a lot of multi-syllable names — when  Navruzov appeared to have lost to Mongolia's Mandakhnaran Ganzorig 7-6.

Uzbekistan challenged the scoring, believing that the Mongolian was fleeing instead of fighting because he was running around in celebration with less than 10 seconds left.

Navruzov — whose quarterfinal match resulted in the dismissal of all three officials involved after a questionable late call — won his challenge and, ultimately, the match on criteria.

With about seven seconds left in the match, Mongolia's Mandakhnaran Ganzorig began running around the mat, waving his arms in front of Navruzov in celebration of his impending victory. When the final buzzer sounded, Ganzorig fell to the mat in celebration. His coaches covered him in the Mongolian flag.

Cue the music.

Right after the penalty point call, a disgusted Byambarenchin Bayaraa took his shoes and shirt off and threw them to the mat as Tsenrenbataar Tsostbayar stripped all the way down to his blue undies in front of the officials as the Brazilian crowd started chanting “Mongolia! Mongolia!”

"This was a protest. There was a problem with the refereeing," said Bayarra. "The Mongolian wrestler won 7-6 and he lost because of this [judges' decision]. This is the only time in history of wrestling with point penalty."

When in Rio...

Brett Gardner makes unbelievable catch to rob C.J.Cron of home run (VIDEO)

All the talk surrounding the Yankees lately is about the team's new young guns but, it was a Bombers veteran who showed the young 'uns that some of the oldsters weren't ready to be set out to pasture just yet.

Brett Gardner made one of the the top catches of the season — maybe the best —  after leaping over the wall to steal a home run from C.J. Cron in the Yankees' 5-1 victory against the Angels Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Somehow, Gardner kept his balance and — with his stiff body straddling the fence — might have become the first Yankee to do some planking on the stadium's left field wall.

Cron — just like everyone else — couldn't believe Gardner's grab and put his hands on his head in disbelief.

Even pitcher Tyler Clippard, who threw the  pitch, applauded Gardy's feat.
What youth movement?

Friday, August 19, 2016

French race walker poops pants, collapses and still finishes 50K Olympics race (VIDEO)

It’s easy to joke that every competitor in a race walk event looks like they are making a nervous beeline to the nearest restroom but, during Friday's Olympics, one French racer's funny gait actually signaled a bathroom emergency during a race.

Yohann Diniz built up a lead in the 50-kilometer walk but, around mid-point through the race, his No. 1 status was about to become more about No. 2 — and I don't mean positioning.

The world record holder appeared to lose control of his bowels on the course and ended up stuffing wet sponges down his shorts to help stem the tide of the gastro-intestinal inconvenience.

With 20K to go, Diniz had a healthy lead — 1 minute, 28 seconds — on the rest of the field when he pulled up complaining of stomach pain. At the 35K mark, Diniz keeled over and collapsed onto the pavement.

Officials helped the gritty high-school sports coach from France back to his feet before he doused his head with a bottle of water, rubbed himself down with ice cubes and was off again.

"His legs were wobbling like cooked spaghetti at times" reported The AP.

While food was probably the last thing on his mind at that time, Diniz didn't let Rio turn into Diarrhio and managed to finish the race in 8th place.

Suffice it to say, they might want to give a brown medal to that 9th place finisher.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ryan Lochte 'robbery' becomes international incident after three U.S. swimmers are detained in Rio

Two of the USA Olympic swimmers who were with Ryan Lochte when he was reportedly ‘robbed’ in Rio Sunday night were escorted off a plane and prevented from leaving the country by Brazilian authorities.

Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were in their seats aboard United Airlines flight 128 to Houston at Rio's Galeao International Airport when police came for them — turning a dubious incident into a full blown international one.

The dramatic turn of events came amid mounting questions over whether the gold medal-winning swimmer really was held up at gunpoint by men with police badges as Lochte claims — and why he changed his original version of the story over the weekend for a second time.

Describing the experience as "frightening" the 21-year-old Conger and 20-year-old Bentz had their passports seized and cannot leave Brazil until they provide official sworn testimony about their alleged mugging at gunpoint along with Lochte and fourth teammate, Jimmy Feigen — who has been ordered to remain in Brazil.

Lochte won't have the same problems since he has been spotted in in Charlotte, North Carolina with his Playmate girlfriend Kayla Reid.

Brazilian authorities have turned up the heat on the swimmers after questions about the athletes' timetables and circumstances surrounding their stories didn't add up.

The diplomatic gloves really came off when surveillance video of the athletes returning to the Olympic Village the night in question showed little details like the men still wearing their watches and Lochte holding what looks like his wallet:

Upon leaving police custody early on Thursday morning, Conger and Bentz refused to answer questions about what happened.

On Sunday, Lochte told Billy Bush on NBC's Today Show that "We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge; and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground—they got down on the ground.

"I refused. I was like we didn't do anything wrong so I'm not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down.' And I put my hands up. I was like 'Whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet; he left my cellphone, he left my credentials."

Things escalated after Lochte called his mom and told her he had been robbed. Then she, of course, went to the press. The 32-year-old swimmer claims he didn't go to the USOC with his story at first because "We were afraid we'd get in trouble."

And mommy knows best.
Attorney Sergio Viegas says Conger and Bentz did not testify and left police custody Thursday morning for an unspecified location in Brazil. Both men refused to answer questions about what could possibly be the most convoluted night out since the "The Hangover."

But, according to the USOC, Feigen "intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday."

"There was a confusion, they are very scared by this," said Viegas. "They didn't understand what was happening or why they couldn't embark."

So while Conger and Bentz try and dog-paddle their way out of Rio, Lochte is freestyling it back home with his girl.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cubs apologize for playing 'Smack My B*tch Up' as alleged girlfriend-beater Aroldis Chapman exited field

The Chicago Cubs have apologized after Aroldis Chapman's appearance on the field was accompanied by The Prodigy's single Smack My B*tch Up.

It was an inappropriate song choice considering it contains the line "Change my pitch up/Smack my b**** up" which probably isn't suitable at a family event — but even more awkward when used to accompany Chapman — who has been accused of domestic violence.

More shocking is the fact that it was played in his home stadium — Wrigley Field.

The 1997 hit song was played Sunday after Chapman had finished pitching the ninth inning for the Cubs after a loss to the Cardinals and was walking to the dugout, reported the New York Daily News.

The relief pitcher served a 30-day suspension while he was with the Yankees at the start of this season for allegedly choking his girlfriend.

"The selection of this track showed a lack of judgment and sensitivity to an important issue," Cubs president Crane Kenney said in a statement. 

"We have terminated our relationship with the employee responsible for making the selection and will be implementing stronger controls to review and approve music before public broadcast during our games," he added.

Chapman was suspended under new MLB domestic violence rules on March 1.

The 28-year-old was alleged to have choked his 22-year-old girlfriend Cristina Barnea after an argument in October last year, although a police report noted "no injuries or even redness anywhere on her neck or dress."

Chapman said that she fell over when he poked her with his fingers.

No police charges were filed, but Chapman said he did not want to appeal the MLB suspension because it would be a distraction.

The pitcher later released a statement that said: "I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening.

"However I should have exercised better judgement with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry."

Next time stick with "Firestarter."

JFK air terminal shut down after cheers for Usain Bolt are mistaken for gun shots: Report (VIDEO)

Usain Bolt's historic victory in Rio was felt all over the world Sunday night, but maybe not as dramatically as in New York City after passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport were told to take cover behind "anything" they could find by police after reports of gunfire caused mass panic in Terminal 8.

Every passenger ended up being evacuated from two terminals, some onto the runway, as an army of heavily armed police moved in to hunt for an apparently non-existent gunman as travelers scrambled for cover and hid behind anything they could find.

Authorities are now claiming the confusion was a "false alarm" and the "gunshots" are being attributed to "cheering" and clapping for the Jamaican sprinter who just won a Gold Medal at the Olympics.

One passenger said an officer screamed: "If you're forgetting anything it's not worth your life, everyone move now!"
Flights were held up for several hours and authorities spent four hours searching the terminal — as well as Terminal 1, where there was also a report of gunfire.

Port Authority police said travelers should contact their carriers and warned of a "substantial PAPD and NYPD presence" at JFK and LaGuardia due to the investigation.

Bolt easily won the signature event in track and field and became the first person to capture three straight 100-meter Gold medals at the Olympics.
Passengers did a little sprinting of their own — attempting to catch connecting flights and gather their belongings. Luckily, no one was injured during the airport scare.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dagmara Wozniak helps lead U.S. fencing team to Bronze medal

The U.S. women's fencing contingent came into the Olympic team sabre event Saturday with a chip on their shoulders after coming away relatively disappointed in the individual competitions. But as team, they found reason to celebrate after winning the bronze medal, beating Italy 45-30 and matching the 2008 bronze-medal finish in Beijing.

Led by a duo of determined Olympic veterans Dagmara Wozniak — the purple-haired St. John's alum who earned her first Olympic medal after being an alternate in Beijing and placing eighth individually in London — and Mariel Zagunis — who was on the 2008 team and now adds a fourth Olympic medal to her collection. They were joined by Ibtihaj Muhammad and Monica Aksamit, both appearing in their first Olympic Games.

Muhammad, who became the first U.S. Olympian to wear a hijab during competition earlier this week, can now proudly bring a bronze medal back home to New Jersey with her.

After losing a close semifinals match, 45-42, against eventual Gold medal winner Russia, team USA built up a lead against Italy before Muhammad started to lose ground against her Italian opponent, Irene Vecchi, in the third bout.

 Zagunis, the most decorated U.S. fencer of all time, yelled support “It’s OK, it’s OK” from behind the piste and Muhammad ended the third bout in a 5-5 tie with Team USA still in the lead at 15-11.

While the Italians drew closer in the seventh bout, winning for the first time 8-5, it was Wozniak who extended the lead again to 40-27 overall. Zagunis anchored the team, closing out with a 5-3 bout, and leading the team in a well deserved group hug after the victory.

For St. John's, that means two former Red Storm fencers went home with medals in Rio.

Daryl Homer took home a Silver earlier in the week. Homer, a 26-year-old from the Bronx, born in the Virgin Islands, became the first American to win a silver medal in men’s individual sabre in 112 years.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge hit historic back-to-back homers in Yankees debut (VIDEO)

A-Rod who?

Alex Rodriguez's tears hadn't even dried on the infield of Yankee Stadium when the Bombers' two newest members started a fresh era of power with historic back-to-back home runs Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.

Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin showed fans that the future looks bright for the Yankees — and put the drama of the controversial slugger firmly in the rear view mirror after hitting the dingers in both players' first at-bats.

Just a day ago Judge and Austin were taking swings as top prospects with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and now, less than 14 hours after A-Rod's going away party, the two new outfielders helped the Yankees win their fourth straight game with an 8-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Welcome to The Show boys.

The behemoth Judge (he's 6'7" and 230 lbs.) blasted this 446-foot shot over the center field wall and was still able to get the ball back.

Here's Austin's jack which got things started:
Suddenly that $27 million tab the Yankees owe Rodriguez doesn't seem to hurt as much.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Derek Jeter reaches out to A-Rod, gets silence from former teammate

Alex Rodriguez, appearing on Michael Kay's ESPN Radio show before his final game at Fenway Park on Thursday, was asked if he had talked with “Derek” since the 41-year-old A-Rod announced that Friday would be his last day as a Yankees player.

“With who?” Rodriguez said.

“Derek Jeter,” he was told.

“About what?” Rodriguez responded to what came across like a diss towards the Yankee icon.

It seemed more likely that Rodriguez didn't hear the question clearly and acknowledged Jeter had reached out to him, but his “inbox is completely full,” so he didn't get back to his one-time BFF.

The two were close friends when they were rookie shortstops more than 20 years ago, but the relationship soured over the years even after Rodriguez bumped himself to third base in deference to Jeter when he joined the Yankees via a trade from the Rangers in 2004.

Still, A-Rod is managing to get a little love in the unlikeliest of places.

Red Sox fans sarcastically serenaded the soon-to-be-gone Yankee with a chant of "We want A-Rod" before they turned it into a chorus of boos when he finally got up to the plate.

It is not exactly clear what Rodriguez will do after abruptly ending his career when the Yankees release him from his contract following Friday's game against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, but, surprisingly, he wasn't granted a start at third base for his final game.

“CC [Sabathia] is on the mound [Friday],” Rodriguez said after manager Joe Girardi bluntly said no to A-Rod's request to play the hot corner one last time. 

“There’s a lot of history there, and I thought it would be a fun way to go out. The fans of New York remember me more as third baseman. … I can at least make routine plays. That would’ve been fun for me and our fans.”

It would be fun to see A-Rod at third one last time. Just don't expect Jeets.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Red Sox dump 'offensive,' 'racially insensitive' David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway just hours before game

The Red Sox canceled a David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway at Fenway Park five hours before their game against the Yankees on Tuesday night because the figurines were considered "offensive" and "racially offensive" by the team’s president.
The bobblehead was a likeness of Ortiz holding a microphone, a tribute to the emotional speech he made at Fenway five days after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 where he famously proclaimed, "This is our f-ucking city."

"It was an inaccurate portrayal of David,”  Sam Kennedy said after approving of the giveaways months earlier. “It doesn’t really look like David. Number two, I personally thought it seemed to be an offensive portrayal of him and racially insensitive.

"If I was feeling this way, certainly other people would," Kennedy added. "So we pulled the plug."

Kennedy said the 15,000 bobbleheads would be returned to the manufacturer, BDA Inc., of Woodville, Wash., and a new model shipped out. Now all ticketed fans for Tuesday’s game will receive the new bobbleheads in the mail, not just the first 15,000.

“Everybody will receive one,” Kennedy said.
Before the game, Ortiz said he was unaware of the situation.

“That’s supposed to be me?” he said after looking at a photo of the bobblehead with the odd white lips.

Ortiz went on to say he agreed with the team’s decision.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Jersey public golf course turns into boozy strip joint during charity match (PHOTOS)

The greens at a New Jersey public golf course weren't the only things groomed nice and neat when a charity event sponsored by a local gentlemen's club turned the flag posts into stripper's poles.

New Jersey officials are vowing to crack down on the late July golf event that turned a tax-payer funded course into a strip club, reported NBC's I-team in New York.

The charity event at Preakness Valley Golf Course in Wayne, New Jersey, was billed as a day of golf with donations going to benefit a variety of causes — including the Orlando shooting victims and slain police officers in Dallas. The sponsor — who runs Sunrise Gentlemen’s Club — even offered cops and firefighters a discount on the $195 fee, according to NBC.

But residents and public officials were shocked to see drinks flowing and scantily clad women giving out lap dances.

NBC’s cameras caught one woman — skirt hiked to her waist, shirt pulled down to expose her chest — cavorting around a flag stick as golfers tried to focus on the game.

Hidden cameras also caught lap dances on male golfers as they rode in their carts — with plenty of drinks to go round.

In another video segment, a golfer tries to pull a golf ball out of the cleavage of one of the Sunrise dancers with his mouth — and the same dancer can later be seen touching a participant intimately.

Neighbors told NBC’s I-Team they were disgusted by the lewd display.

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s shameful. Kids are going by. Families are going by. This is on public property,” said one nearby resident.

"We’re going to look at the policies and procedures that are in place," said Passaic County Administrator Anthony De Nova, after viewing undercover I-Team video that captured nudity and raunchy behavior at the Wayne course. “My understanding is that this isn’t the first time that this tournament took place here. But I can say it’s going to be the last time.”

The owner of the Sunrise Gentlemen’s Club in Paterson — closed briefly last year after a prostitution bust — declined to speak to NBC about the event.

And let the putter jokes begin.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Paige Spiranac busts out latest trick shot (VIDEO)

Paige Spiranac's latest trick shot showed just why she’s so popular on social media despite her limited talents on the golf course.

Here's the Instagram sensation catching a golf ball on her chest, popping it out onto the turf and knocking it onto the fairway with an iron.

In December Spiranac failed miserably in her professional debut, missing the cut in Dubai and finishing 101st in a 107-player field.

That prompted her to say that she would be taking a break from social media — but Spiranac couldn't resist the lure of Twitter.

And we'll never watch women's golf the same way again.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Teixeira goes off on Mets and Matz after getting plunked (VIDEO)

No doubt about the fact that Mark Teixeira has been having a rough outing this season. Actually the oft-injured Yankee has been quietly limping around the Bronx for the past few years but Wednesday night the Gold Glove first baseman finally used his bat and his mouth to shut up his critics.

Tex jacked a three-run homer in the second inning off Mets starter Steven Matz before firing up his Yankees’ teammates by yelling at Matz when the lefty drilled him in the left shin the next time up at bat.

Teixeira's reaction to getting hit by Matz was punctuated by him screaming at Matz, “You’ve got to be kidding,’’ as Mets catcher Rene Rivera escorted Teixeira to first base while players from the dugouts and bullpens came out onto the field and puffed out their chests.
Firing his shin guards into the air as Teixeira was escorted to first might have been a funny sight but maybe not as comical as the pumped up Mets bullpen standing around waiting for some action.

Teixeira's home run helped the Yankees to a 9-5 Subway Series victory over the Mets in front of a sold-out crowd of 48,339 — the largest Yankee Stadium crowd this season.