Sports Outside the Beltway

Gary Thorne says Schilling’s bloody sock was a fake

Oriole Magic (via Blogtimore) has the best rundown of what happened during the 5th inning of last night’s Orioles’ loss to the Bosox. During the game, MASN announcer Gary Thorne said that Red Sox player Doug Mirabelli had admitted that the now- famous bloody red sock of Curt Schilling’s from the 2004 ALCS was painted red and not actually Schilling’s blood.

The controversy that has now been stirred up was reported on by the Baltimore Sun. The Sun story reports that when asked about it after the game, Mirabelli told the Boston Globe that it was “a straight lie.” The Globe story points out that Mirabelli actually said, “What? Are you kidding me? He’s [expletive] lying. A straight lie.”

Thorne’s broadcast partner Jim Palmer stood by him and said that Thorne didn’t get such a great track record by making things up while also saying it didn’t detract from what Schilling did in 2004. MASN did not air the 5th inning during a later re-broadcast of the game, citing “time constraints.”

Oriole Magic hypothesizes that there are 3 possibilities: the sock was fake, Mirabelli was cracking a joke that he later backed off on, or Thorne simply lost it. According to Oriole Magic, the first two options are the only ones most people are seriously considering.

(Cross Posted at Inside Charm City)


Chris Simms has spleen removed

Tampa Bay Bucs’ QB Chris Simms was hospitalized following today’s loss to the Panthers and is listed in critical condition. He was removed from the game in the 3rd Quarter and television announcers said he was being treated for dehydration. Head Coach Jon Gruden said post-game that his ribs were injured somehow.

UPDATE: NBC just reported that the Bucs are saying he’s hospitalized but not in critical condition. Apparently no other information will be released until his family has been contacted.

UPDATE #2: Peter King of NBC reports that Simms had his spleen removed and was never in critical condition.


Proposed College Football Rules Changes

The NCAA Rules Committee, along with input from the AFCA, has proposed some rules changes for the 2006 season that are designed to shorten the length of games. The reasoning cited is that many games are pushing 3.5 hours and games featuring two passing teams are often lasting over 4 hours.

The rules changes expected to pass include lowering the kicking tee for kickoffs from two inches down to one inch to decrease touchbacks, starting the clock when the ball is kicked rather than when a member of the receiving team takes possesion, and starting the clock after changes of possession as soon as the ball is spotted instead of when the ball is snapped.

Another recommendation that’s expected to fail would give home teams the option of cutting halftime down to 15 minutes from 20. Changes in the replay system have also been proposed. The changes would leave the current system in place but would also allow head coaches unlimited challenges (as long as calls are overturned.)

Cross-posted from Fanblogs,


Gumbel, Collinsworth to do NFL Network games

Business Week

On Apr. 26, the NFL Network is expected to announce at its programming presentation to advertisers that it has hired TV veteran Bryant Gumbel and former wide receiver-turned-commentator Cris Collinsworth to call its new package of NFL games, BusinessWeek has learned.


Collinsworth, a former analyst on Fox (NWS ) and a onetime Cincinnati Bengals standout, will also be part of a new football broadcast team at NBC, which won the bidding to air NFL games this year as well.

Cross-posted from Backcountry Conservative.


Keyshawn signs with the Panthers

Len Pasquarelli reports that:

Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, released by the Dallas Cowboys last week, has reached agreement with the Carolina Panthers on a four-year contract.

Complete financial details were not immediately available, but it is believed that Johnson will receive a $5 million signing bonus.

Johnson, 33, visited with the New York Giants earlier this week and it is believed he turned down a contract proposal that would have paid him $3 million per year. He then visited on Thursday with the Panthers, one of the teams he cited as a possible landing spot when he was released.

In 10 seasons, Johnson has 744 catches for 9,756 yards and 60 touchdowns.


San Diego St. Arena Evacuated Over Bomb Scare

Arena reopened in San Diego following evacuation (ESPN)

Police evacuated Cox Arena on the campus of San Diego State on Thursday, hours before a first-round NCAA Tournament basketball game, after a bomb-sniffing dog signaled a potential problem at a hot dog stand.

The building was cleared while police tried to determine if there was an explosive device in the hot dog stand, assistant vice president for marketing and communications Jack Beresford told Reuters.

He said it was not immediately clear how many people were inside the building at the time but that the teams had not yet arrived.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas reported that Marquette was on its bus at the hotel and had not been cleared to come to the arena. Tip-off between the Golden Eagles and Alabama is scheduled at 2:40 p.m. ET.’s Wayne Drehs reported the games will be delayed at least two hours.

“A bomb-sniffing dog noticed something in a hot dog cart,” Beresford said. “They got a hit on something that was in the cart itself.”

Later games include UCLA vs. Belmont at 4:55 p.m. ET, Illinois vs. Air Force at 7:25 p.m. ET and Washington vs. Utah State at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Cross-posted from Backcountry Conservative.

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Braves Could Return to Local Ownership

After months of would-be buyers kicking the tires on the Atlanta Braves, an investment group led by Ron Terwilliger, president and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential, has emerged as a leading candidate to purchase the baseball franchise from Time Warner, has learned.

Terwilliger has been approved by Major League Baseball to enter into negotiations that could lead to the purchase of the NL East club. That means he has been given clearance to go through the team’s books and conduct due diligence on the franchise’s operation. Terwilliger met Tuesday in Atlanta with other potential investors, and the investment group has retained New York-based Galatioto Sports Partners to represent it in negotiations.


On Dec. 13, 2005, Time Warner acknowledged its interest in selling the Braves, winners of an unprecedented 14 straight division titles. Since then, local media in Atlanta have been fixated on the possibility of Falcons owner Arthur Blank gaining dominance of the Atlanta market with the purchase of a second pro franchise. Sources close to the negotiations, however, suggest that Blank’s interest might have been oversold to advance the bidding, noting also that it is unlikely a public company like Time Warner would sell the club off a single bid.

Blank, who amassed a fortune as co-founder of Home Depot, stepped away from negotiations last month.


Terwilliger fits Major League Baseball’s preference for local ownership, as he has headed the Atlanta-based Trammell Crow since 1986. The company ranks as one of the largest developers of apartments and condominiums in the country, and has assets in excess of $3 billion.

An honor graduate of the United States Naval Academy (Class of ’63), Terwilliger served five years in the Navy before receiving his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.


Last year, estimated the value of the Braves at $392 million, which ranked them eighth among baseball franchises. The sale of the club is likely to fetch something close to $400 million. Unless the process speeds up dramatically, it’s doubtful any sale will be final until late in the season, at the earliest.

It will be nice to get rid of the penny-pinching AOL/Time Warner cabal that has presided over the recent departure of so much talent. As the article notes, the management of the club, including GM John Schuerholz and Manager Bobby, is excellent. If it weren’t for their leadership in recent years with some of the rough starts and loss of stars, the team would not have continued their division win streak. However, they were seriously hamstrung by tightened purse strings and it will be good to get a local owner back in charge.

Cross-posted from Backcountry Conservative.


Senator Questions Gamecocks’ Mascot

In a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing yesterday, S.C. State Senator Darrell Jackson brought up the mascot and logo of South Carolina’s athletic teams during a discussion on strengthening the state’s laws against illegal cockfighting. Jackson said the school needed to reconsider its mascot if pending legislation becomes law and asked “how can we as lawmakers and other leaders of this state justify a major institution in our state running ads and logos on billboards with a fighting gamecock with spurs on the feet?”

Jackson pointed out that he didn’t want the Gamecock dropped as the school’s mascot totally but wants the spurs removed from the chicken’s feet on the logo. Some giving levels in the Gamecock Club are Spur levels and the mascot prior to Cocky was Big Spur.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called on the school to drop the mascot completely in the past and then changed their position to the same one Jackson took yesterday (removal of the spurs.) A school spokesman say, “”We don’t glorify the cockfighting aspect.”

Cross-posted from


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