The official blog of WTOP Sports.
Heads up play, off head, leads to double play
WASHINGTON -- Coaches often speak of using your head to make good plays. But almost never, outside of soccer, is it a good idea to actually use your head to make a play. The operative word here is “almost.”
A pair of Mississippi high school teammates teamed up to make one of the more spectacular, bizarre double plays you’ll ever see, thanks to the literal use of one’s head. On a line drive, D’Iberville center fielder Travis Bender slipped trying to make a play, the ball ricocheting high off his head and to his right. Left fielder Jay Deshong was ready, though, catching to ball on the fly after about it traveled roughly 60 feet, then flipping it back to second base to double off the runner for an inning-ending double play.
Mark that one 8-7-4 in your scorebook, and #1 in your heads and hearts.by WTOP Sports via YouTube 3/25/2015 5:20:15 PM
NCAA reminds us all once again that they are just the worstNCAA President Mark Emmert. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
WASHINGTON -- In its constant, back-and-forth battle with FIFA to establish itself as the worst organization in sports, the NCAA has sunk to new lows in establishing guidelines for March Madness watch parties. Let’s run through the eight rules one-by-one and see how they stack up on the scale of hypocrisy from 1 to Mark Emmert.
1. No admission may be charged for admission to a party whose primary purpose is to view NCAA tournament games.
So, you can hold a watch party, but you can’t charge a cover. As the Tournament is broadcast on network and basic cable, this seems kosher.
Hypocrisy Rating: 1
2. There should not be sale of food or beverages. Members of the organization are permitted to bring their own food or beverage (free of charge).
One can see the idea here, but it’s not like the NCAA isn’t happy to let venues charge for food and drink for those paying to attend games, and it’s not like you can bring your own food in from the outside.
Hypocrisy Rating: 4
3. Sponsorship or commercial advertising is prohibited from being a part of a viewing party.
Remember, only the NCAA can sell every inch of available advertising real estate to make money off the Tournament. Even if you’re putting on your own admission-free, no-refreshments-for-sale event out of the goodness of your own heart and your love for amateur athletics, you aren’t allowed to let anyone know that you’ve done so by advertising that fact.
Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert
4. Asking for donations in exchange for being part of the viewing party is prohibited.
Donations can only be given to schools through official booster channels, which can then be used by the institutions at their own discretion. You are not allowed to take part in this racket.
Hypocrisy Rating: 3
5. Promotion of the event is limited to those affiliated with the organization. For example, if a church conducts a viewing party, it is able to promote within its own publications (e.g., church bulletin) to the congregation. However, any website promotion is prohibited.
The NCAA literally doesn’t understand how electronic communication works. Posting to one’s own website is less of an advertisement than putting something in a bulletin, or a newsletter, or a mailer. Websites are like virtual telephone poles, places that people need to actively seek out information to find. This is idiocy, and completely backwards.
Hypocrisy Rating: 7
6. Please carefully review the NCAA Advertising and Promotional Standards, which can be found on NCAA.com/media and click on the “NCAA Advertising and Promotional Standards” link found under Broadcast and Digital Policies.
Ok, I’ll follow your clickbait. Here’s the opening graph of that page:
“The NCAA's advertising and promotional standards are designed to encourage those advertisements and advertisers that support the NCAA's ideals and exclude those advertisements and advertisers (and others who wish to associate with NCAA activities) that do not appear to be in the best interests of higher education and student-athletes.”
You know, the best interests of higher education, like Coca-Cola, Capital One, Buffalo Wild Wings and Infiniti. There’s nothing like junk food, bars, banking institutions and car that no student-athlete can afford to support the virtue of amateur athletics. I’m sure none of them specifically do any of the things the NCAA says they should not:
· Cause harm to student-athlete health, safety and welfare.
· Bring discredit to the purposes, values or principles of the NCAA.
· Negatively impact the best interests of intercollegiate athletics or higher
Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert
7. Commercial entities are not permitted to conduct viewing parties without securing a commercial cable subscription or commercial satellite license from their cable (e.g., AT&T Uverse, Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable) or satellite (e.g. DirecTV, DISH Network) provider.
Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert
8. All non-profit or for-profit (commercial) entities must comply with U.S. copyright laws. The U.S. copyright act addresses issues such as charging admission to view or watch events on television, size of the TV(s) or video screen(s), securing or holding the appropriate copyright license (commercial cable or satellite versus over-the-air), etc.
Hey, the law’s the law. No problem here. Just with pretty much everything else.
Hypocrisy rating: 1
So, if you’re thinking of throwing a watch party, just remember that only the NCAA is allowed to squeeze every possible penny out of a product in which the actual participants are unpaid. For you to do so violates the spirit of everything the NCAA stands for.
Minor League team to wear ‘Full House’ jerseys
WASHINGTON -- The Frisco RoughRiders are a Double-A team in Texas, but they’re using their native geography to do some Major League level trolling.
As anyone from Northern California will tell you, San Franciscans hate it when people call their city Frisco for short. With that in mind, the RoughRiders are holding a Full House night, featuring these abrasive jerseys, and even hosting one of the show’s stars, Dave Coulier, for a celebrity appearance and meet and greet.
San Francisco’s a beautiful city, so the jerseys are no doubt aesthetically pleasing. What’s that? They look like a third-rate art school student’s attempt at combining Andy Warhol-era art deco with poster boards from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?”.@RidersBaseball will host #FullHouseNight on June 12th! With an appearance from @DaveCoulier! http://t.co/brRbFgVBrK http://t.co/ufy741U0wzMar. 16, 2015
Those sure are rough, ‘Riders.
Monstrous gator crawls onto golf course
WASHINGTON -- No, you can putt first.Myakka Pines Golf Club/Facebook
There are gators, then there's whatever this godless killing machine that crawled out of a lake by the seventh green at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Fla. last week is. The club posted photos of the beast to their Facebook page. Seriously, that thing will eat you for a snack.Myakka Pines Golf Club/Facebook
The course is on Florida’s west coast near Port Charlotte, dozens of miles from the edges of the Everglades. Let this serve as a simple reminder to never go to Florida.
While you freeze, Redskins players surf in San Diego
WASHINGTON -- Kirk Cousins and Alfred Morris seem like nice enough dudes. They’re in the middle of their offseason, and therefore entitled to do pretty much whatever they want, so long as it falls within the bounds of the law and the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
So they’re more than entitled to go surfing. In San Diego. Under cloudless, blue skies. But do they really have to rub it in while the rest of us are trapped under 6 inches of snow?Got to live a dream today by learning to surf at the "Switchfoot Surf School" in San Diego... http://t.co/zdWffdVJvD http://t.co/OX5TQCS7QpMar. 4, 2015
Enjoy, guys. We’ll just be over here living vicariously through you until Spring.
Maryland students execute epic flash mob prior to win over Wisconsin
WASHINGTON -- Flash mobs can be dumb. They can seem forced, or excessive, or simply unnecessary. But what the Maryland students pulled off Tuesday night at Xfinity Center prior to the Terps’ huge matchup with Wisconsin was visually stunning and got the crowd hyped up for the big game (click in the lower right corner to blow the video up to full screen).
Oh, right. Maryland also went on to notch their signature win of the season so far, knocking off the Badgers, 59-53. For more on what that means for their NCAA Tournament seeding, check out Dave Preston’s analysis on WTOP.com.
CC Sabathia is in the best “shape” of his lifeCC Sabathia is back to his old self. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
WASHINGTON -- As any good baseball fan knows, every player shows up to Spring Training every year in the best shape of his life. In CC Sabathia’s case, that shape is round and oblong. Ovalish, if you will. Like a pinstriped egg.
After dropping down to 275 pounds last year and looking like a cartoonishly skinny version of his prior self, Sabathia is back up to his fighting weight of 305. He looks like his old self, but the question of whether the heft will help bring back the 34-year-old’s former velocity remains to be seen.
If nothing else, it’ll bring a whole new competition to the classic AL East rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox.Safe to say Pablo Sandoval didn't miss too many meals this offseason [cough] #redsox #worst2firstround2 http://t.co/zN0ZHUYEXGFeb. 17, 2015
RG3 announces his wife is pregnant on social media
WASHINGTON -- Robert Griffin III took to his favorite platforms -- Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- on Thursday to announce the impending birth of his first child. Griffin tweeted/Instagrammed the following photo(s) of him kissing his wife’s pregnant belly.BIG Thank You for making this Birthday a Special Day!!! This year's gift will change Our life forever!!! #BoyOrGirl http://t.co/9LOUspnkgWFeb. 12, 2015
BIG Thank You for making this Birthday a Special Day!!! This year's gift will change Our life forever!!! #BoyOrGirl #GodsGreatestGiftby rgiii via Instagram
Your sports word of the day: Olimpico
WASHINGTON -- Olimpico [oh-lim-pick-oh] noun: A goal scored directly off a corner kick.
Olimpicos, or Olympic kicks, are relatively rare in soccer. But USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley logged one in this weekend’s 2-0 international friendly victory over Panama, which gives us an excuse to talk about them, because they’re pretty cool.
But wait, you may be saying -- didn’t Jozy Altidore head that ball in? While that may have been the original intent, the replay shows that, in fact, he did not.
According to When Saturday Comes, the history of the gol olimpico dates back to 1924, when the kick was first made legal. Argentinian Cesareo Onzari logged one against Argentina’s fierce rival -- and defending Olympic champion – Uruguay.
The Uruguayans had scored a similar such goal during the Olympics earlier that year, but the rule had not been changed at the time, and the goal was disallowed. The olimpico was made legal just in time for it to come back to bite Uruguay.by WTOP Sports via YouTube 2/9/2015 4:46:12 PM
Georgetown women host ‘Hail to Kale’ Night
WASHINGTON -- We all know about kale -- the nutritious but bitter, leafy green that has become nearly ubiquitous among D.C. eateries. Now, the Georgetown women’s basketball team is celebrating it.
The Hoyas will host a ‘Hail to Kale’ Night on Friday, February 13 when they take on Xavier at McDonough Arena on campus. Attendees whose names include the letter K-A-L-E will be admitted for free, with the first 100 fans to enter receiving a kale salad as well.
For all others, tickets are just $5, and fans can sample a number of kale dining options at the concessions stand.
It’s time for your annual bad NFL lip-reading video
WASHINGTON -- This is yeoman’s work. It really is.
No matter what team you’re a fan of, there’s some real hilarity here, from Jeff Fisher admitting he has flaps to Dez Bryant’s Funyuns rants. The player self-intros might be the best of all. Enjoy.by WTOP Sports via YouTube 1/22/2015 6:54:08 PM
Patriots, Seahawks fighting to see who can anger football gods more
WASHINGTON -- Coming off their respective AFC and NFC Championship Game victories, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks have spent Monday tempting the football gods and alienating themselves from football fans everywhere.
Reports out of New England indicate that the NFL is investigating whether or not the Patriots deflated footballs used in their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. While it’s hard to imagine a bit of air being the difference in a 38-point blowout, the Pats have been charges with improprieties in the past, for videotaping sideline signals during a 2007 game against the New York Jets.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks took their faux-pas off the field, tweeting the following photo with the caption “We shall overcome.”
We won’t aim to speak for exactly what Dr. King had in mind when he spoke those words, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t in regards to a 16-point halftime deficit.
Bid on the game-winning puck from the Winter Classic
WASHINGTON -- Last week, the Capitals treated fans to an epic, last-second win at D.C.’s first-ever Winter Classic. Now, you can own the most dramatic piece of that victory – the puck from Troy Brouwer’s game-winning goal with just seconds remaining.
The bidding opened at $100 and has more than doubled already. But you’ve got plenty of time to get yours in. The auction won’t close until January 27.