Sports Outside the Beltway

Red Panties at Wimbledon?

Obviously this is the case.

Tatiana Golovin had the Wimbledon referee reaching for his rule book when she sought to appear on court for Thursday wearing red underwear.

Was Golovin violating the “predominantly white” dress code laid down by the tournament that is such a stickler for sartorial etiquette?

The fashion guardians of good taste at the world’s most genteel tennis tournament gave France’s Golovin the go-ahead after much discussion about hemlines and where they stopped and started.

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Explaining the decision, a Wimbledon spokesman said on Thursday: “They were cleared with the referee in advance by the player. On the basis that they are underwear, they do not have to conform to the predominantly white rule.

“If they are above the hemline they are deemed to be underwear and not shorts.”

I do not follow tennis all that close but when I saw this headline on ESPN I immediately clicked on it. I had no idea that Wimbledon was so tight on there clothing restrictions.

Obviously though Tatiana Golovin did this for the attention, and I wonder what will be next? Maybe Sharapova in a thong?


Can DEI Stay Competitive?

It is odd to think that Dale Jr. will not be driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) next season, but looking past that will the infamous company built by legend Dale Earnhardt be competitive next season?

Morale is solid at DEI, the company Dale Earnhardt and his wife, Teresa, formed in February 1980. Some there believe that once the smoke clears, once things get settled, a more powerful company very well could emerge.

After all, this is a company that remained strong after Earnhardt’s death at the 2001 Daytona 500.

“It’s good, it’s good,” said Steve Hmiel, technical director at DEI, when asked about the morale at DEI since Dale Jr. made his announcement. “It’s frustrating because … I have to be careful, because I’m going to say something wrong.

“There’s a company there that has fed people’s families and bought ‘em cars and given a real nice place to work and gave them insurance and what have you for a long time. That thing made it through February of 2001, and it’s going to make it through all the rest of Februaries that Teresa wants it to make it through. And Teresa wants it to go on forever, as Dale Sr. did.

It seems that the company is making a major step to be competitive by join up with Richard Childress Racing to build engines. The question though many want answered is will #8 be given to Dale Jr. or will another person fill the #8 car.


Cowboys Denied Access to Fisher

The facetious “Cowboys Head Coaching List” just had one name removed, Jeff Fisher.

Take Jeff Fisher’s name out of the speculation on who might replace Bill Parcells with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Tennessee Titans have Fisher under contract for 2007 after owner Bud Adams picked up an option on his coach, and the team is working on a long-term extension.

“We haven’t been contacted by Dallas,” chief executive officer Steve Underwood said in a statement Tuesday. “In the event that we were, there are no circumstances that we would grant permission to the Cowboys to speak with Coach Fisher.”

With the resignation of Bill Cowher from Pittsburgh on Jan. 5, Fisher is the NFL’s longest tenured coach with one team. He has spent 12 full seasons with the Titans, a tenure that started with six games in 1994 coaching the then-Houston Oilers with a 110-97 record.

Everyone thought this was a long shot when the rumor first arose as Jeff Fisher is currently one of the longest tenured coach in the NFL and has enjoyed great success from Tennessee and the Titans organization.

The question is being raised though, who will be the Cowboys next head coach?


Louisville Wants Tulsa Head Coach

As James reported yesterday, Louisville is without a head coach and looking for a new one. The guy they want: Steve Kragthorpe.

As expected, Louisville’s search to replace Bobby Petrino appears destined to be short and narrowly focused.

Tulsa’s Steve Kragthorpe is the choice, according to a source close to the negotiations. Pending a formal agreement and finalized details, he will be named this week.

Officials at both schools declined comment, but Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is expected to fly to Tulsa Tuesday to meet with Kragthorpe. Jurich spent part of Monday afternoon meeting with the Louisville team and told the players they should expect to have a new coach quickly.

That will be important in Louisville’s efforts to keep two star juniors, quarterback Brian Brohm and running back Michael Bush, for one more year. Both are weighing decisions on whether to enter the NFL draft and could make announcements this week.

Another factor in the timing is recruiting. The Cardinals are expecting to have a large number of recruits on campus this weekend to attend the Louisville-Providence basketball game on Saturday, and they’d obviously like to have Kragthorpe signed, sealed and delivered in time to meet the recruits.

Jurich also met Monday morning with Bobby Petrino’s brother, Paul, the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator. Paul Petrino is not believed to be a candidate for the job, if only because of his family ties to the guy who just walked out with nine years left on a contract he signed in August.

If you remember back when Tommy Tuberville was nearly forcefully removed by Auburn for Bobby Petrino, the name on the list to replace Petrino at Louisville was Kragthorpe. So this comes as no real big surprise to anyone that he is the only candidate on the list.


LaDainian Tomlinson Wins MVP

LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers has been named the AP Most Valuable Player in the NFL.

Record-setting LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers ran away with The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award Thursday the way he eluded defenders in leading his team to the AFC’s best record (14-2) and a favorite’s role for the Super Bowl.

“When you’re MVP of the league, it’s a great accomplishment,” Tomlinson said, adding the honor means “that I’ve had a great year, that’s all, on a great team.”

But with so much more on the horizon, he hopes.

“I would feel so much better about winning if we win the Super Bowl. It would feel like it would be everything,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson, who broke Shaun Alexander’s league record for touchdowns by scoring 31 (28 rushing) and also threw for two scores, had one of the greatest seasons in NFL history. He rushed for a league-high 1,815 yards on 348 carries, had 56 receptions for 508 yards and was 2-for-3 as a passer, both completions for scores, giving the Chargers running back six in his six-year career, tying him for second among non-quarterbacks.

This was really a no brainier as LT had what one could argue as the best season ever breaking Alexander’s record and leading his team to 11-2.

Drew Bree’s was a distant second receiving 4 votes while Peyton Manning received only two votes. LT received 44 total votes.

The question is now can he carry his team to a Super Bowl Win?


BCS Rant

A majority of the bowls are now over and I am going to start my rant on the BCS.

[Rant On]

If anyone watched the entire Boise State / Oklahoma game last night you understand why the idea of the BCS is so incredibly flawed. BSU is a non BCS conference school and played a marvelous game yesterday, beating a Big 12 (major powerhouse) school in Oklahoma. It goes to prove that any schools anywhere in the country can play football and just because they are in the WAC, MAC, or Sunbelt does not mean they cannot compete. I get so upset when recognition is not given to conferences, specifically the Sunbelt in this case.

The idea of a playoff system allows teams that have done well throughout the season – and are maybe not an Ohio State, Michigan, Fill in any Big Name School, or Texas have a chance at the National Title.

[Rant Off]

I wrote the above rant about 20 times and figured this was the shortest and got my point across the best. I would love to hear your ideas for another type of post season for College Football.


Greatest College Football Team Ever

So as the Bowl season is now in full swing, and we are starting week 2 of the Bowl Games, I figured it would be a good time to bring up the debate of the Greatest College Football team of all time. If you think of all of the great teams throughout history I think the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers team is at the top (or close to it) on everyone’s list.

Coached by the legendary Tom Osborne this team was loaded on both sides of the ball. Running their traditional triple option nobody was able to stop them, including Florida in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl (National Championship Game). Below is a highlight reel from YouTube, which includes the greatest run ever (by Tommie Frazier when 6 Florida players had him stopped).

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the greatest college football team ever.


Tank Johnson Suspended One Game

Chicago Bear’s Defensive Tackle and Friend of the Chicago Police Department Tank Johnson has been suspended by the Bears for One Game

The Chicago Bears suspended Tank Johnson for one game Tuesday, deciding not to cut the troubled defensive tackle, who’s been arrested three times in the last 18 months.

Johnson will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions as punishment for being at a bar last week, when his friend was shot to death. The incident happened less than 48 hours after he was arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said the team had two options: to release Johnson or suspend him. The decision was made, Angelo said, after discussions with the NFL, Bears management, coach Lovie Smith and players.

“Collectively, as an organization — ownership, coaches, players, myself — we all agreed that the right thing to do was to keep Tank and keep working with him,” Angelo said of a decision that will certainly draw criticism.

“We know we’re vulnerable going forward. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m 100 percent on board and trust all the things that we’ve talked to Tank about,” he said.

Ok, I need someone to explain something to me. How is it that an employee of an organization gets arrested 3 times in 18 months, is put on probation for carrying a handgun without a permit and is not fired, or in this case cut from the team and suspended from the league for “X” number of games?

This is another case in point why the NFL has lost complete control of the players in their league. Coaches cannot coach these men and the league officials certainly do not scare the players with $10,000 or $20,000 fines.

In order for the league to take back control of these players it needs to do three things:

  • Institute a Three Strikes and You’re Out Policy. Just like in drug testing, if you are arrested three times you are banned from the league for good. Each arrest comes with suspensions and fines.
  • Institute fines against the teams for their actions. For example, for the previously mentioned incident you fine the Chicago Bears $2 Million for the actions of Tank Johnson. This automatically puts the burden on the team to institute strict off the field policies with its players.
  • Increase Fines and Suspensions. A fine of $35,000 for Terrell Owens spitting in the face of a fellow athlete is a joke. If we are going to pay these athletes hundreds of millions of dollars then let’s fine them that way as well. I assure you that if Owens knew his “spitting” incident was going to cost him $500,000 he would refrain from doing it.

I understand that the NFL is a business and they make money by have players on the field but at the rate they are going there is not going to be any “outstanding players” left for the fans (myself included) to want to come and watch. If something is not done now, then we are going to see a major drop-off in fan support of the NFL.


Fantasy Football Finals

This is the championship week for most Fantasy Football leagues. I have made it to the championship of 2 of my 4 leagues and am feeling quite strong about both of my teams.

My question to you the readers is How many leagues per season do you do? I average about 4 a season and 3 of the 4 are personal leagues with friends.

The strong play of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison brought me through on one game last night while allowing my opponent in another league to nearly come back on me. The trialls and tribulations of this season have nearly brought my PC to its knees. Peyton has played good and then bad, while Tom Brady has cost me an entire league. One high point of the season is the great play of Brian Westbrook. To me, he is by far the MVP for my four Fantasy Football Leagues (as I have him in all four leagues).

Who is your Fantasy Football MVP?


Its Time to Go Bowling…

This week we officially start the bowl season and I could not be more excited. It officially kicks off the Holiday Season for me, not the Christmas tree or long lines at the mall, but the Bowl Games. While these early games do not get the national attention that the BCS bowls get, they are great games with up and coming Mid-Major Schools.

For Instance, on Friday you will see (my beloved) Troy Trojans play versus Rice. Troy has only been in Division I for 5 years and already at its second bowl game. Rice has not been bowling since 1961. Both teams are building great programs and are excited at the opportunity to play on the national stage.

So while you are finishing up the Holiday gift wrapping be sure to tune into ESPN and watch some great games from some great Mid-Major teams.

Below the fold is a list of games coming up this week.


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.