WTOPspin Live

The official blog of WTOP Sports.

  • Basketball rim teaches middle school team life lesson

    WASHINGTON -- Basketball rims are not sentient. They do not know right from wrong, just from unjust. And yet, this orange-colored piece of metal taught a middle school boys basketball team -- nay, all of us -- a life lesson.

    Trailing 26-25 with just seconds left on the clock, the Rock Creek (Kansas) Mustangs were inbounding the ball from the sideline against the Riley County Falcons. Number 23 inbounds the ball to number 2, and the rest of the Mustangs do their job to clear the lane to give him room to drive to the basket. Heck, Number 32 even gets a decent seal on the low block to keep the weak-side defender from helping until the last second.

    The shot goes up in the final second, off the window, off the front rim and onto the back rim…and then stops.

    Against all odds, it drops neither through, nor outside the basket, but simply rests on the scant, few inches of iron that connect the hoop to the backboard. Time expires, and the Falcons win.

    What is the moral of the story? That we never know what life’s rich bounty will bring us? That sometimes our best laid and executed plans aren’t simply for naught, but that we’ll never truly know their impact once we put them into the air, hanging in perpetuity in the ether?

    Maybe it’s simply this -- sometimes you win; sometimes you lose; sometimes you end up on the internet for no good reason other than a perfect, fluky combination of physics and gravity.
  • Bryce Harper is ready to crush your puny little Spring Training

    WASHINGTON -- Nothing to see here. Just Bryce Harper pulling 550+ pounds using a rope with nothing but his bare hands and action figure muscles.

    Nothing like pulling 550+ pounds about 30 yards..Good day of work today! Human-plate pull #8Days #GetitDone
    by bharper3407 via Instagram

    Pitchers and catchers report in a week.

  • 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 #GodsGreatestGift
    by rgiii via Instagram

  • Win a Valentine’s Day phone call from Ryan Kerrigan

    WASHINGTON -- This Saturday, you can look your loved one adoringly in the eyes, flash a loving smile, then hand them the phone to hear a special message from Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

    Yes, you read that right. The Redskins are offering the prize to those who enter on their website, and are using the hashtag #KerriganValentine to promote the offer. The language reads “Calling all Women of Washington,” so it’s unclear whether or not men are eligible to win the prize.

    Win or lose, you can enjoy this photo of him winking into the camera.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jayson Werth reaches plea deal, will serve jail time

    WASHINGTON -- Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth reached a plea deal in his reckless driving charge from July 2014, according to the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County. He will serve five days in jail and have his driving license suspended for six months, but is eligible for a restricted license after 30 days.

    Werth’s plea deal allows him to serve his time on weekends to allow him to continue rehab from his recent shoulder surgery. Circuit Court Judge Randy L. Bellows agreed to the terms, but mentioned that the flexibility was unusual, given that Werth was caught driving over 100 mph at the time he was pulled over.

    The Nationals released a statement saying they are aware of the plea agreement.

    “We do not condone reckless behavior, and we expect all members of the Washington Nationals organization to act in a responsible manner,” the statement read. “We support Jayson, who is an integral part of the community and of the Washington Nationals family.”
  • PECOTA projects Nats first, O’s last

    PECOTA has the Nats repeating as division champs, but the O's falling off hard in 2015. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) 

    WASHINGTON -- The PECOTA projection system, developed by Nate Silver during his time at Baseball Prospectus, projects win/loss totals for every Major League team prior to the season. BP released the 2015 PECOTA projections Thursday, which show the Washington Nationals winning the NL East and the Baltimore Orioles finishing dead last in the AL East.

    Interestingly, despite Washington’s acquisition of Max Scherzer to a team that won 96 games last year, the Nationals are only projected as the second-best team in the NL. Their 91 expected wins (the projections are inherently conservative) trail the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 97 by a full six games. Considering this system only projected the vaunted 2010 Philadelphia Phillies to win 95 games, that is a massively optimistic number.

    Even more interestingly, PECOTA sees a massive fall-off for the other half of the MASN duo. Due in part to expected regression among certain Orioles and in part to the acquisitions of fellow AL East competitors, the system projects Baltimore to go just 78-84, worst in the AL East. That would be a drop off of 18 wins, while the Red Sox and Rays jump up 15 and nine wins, respectively.

    While the numbers aren’t always right, they have some history of success in regards to good teams potentially dropping off. The Chicago White Sox won 99 games and the World Series in 2005, then followed that up with a 90-win season in 2006. PECOTA projected the Sox to win just 72 games heading into the 2007 season, a number that was widely laughed at, including by star first baseman Paul Konerko who quipped “well, we’re screwed now.” The White Sox finished 72-90.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Georgetown, Butler bulldogs hang out before weekend tilt

    When Butler moved to the new Big East last season, it meant a second bulldog in the conference -- Blue III -- joining Georgetown’s Jack the Bulldog. We quickly learned that the league was big enough for the both of them, as we saw when the two hung out together for the first time on campus in Northwest D.C. last February.

    Jack Meets Blue III (Mascots from Georgetown & Butler)
    by GeorgetownToday via YouTube

    With the two schools squaring off on the court once again this weekend (tip is 5 p.m. Saturday at Verizon Center and on FOX Sports 1), the pups had a chance to reunite in the nation’s capital.

    Jack and Blue III Reunited (Mascots for Georgetown & Butler)
    by GeorgetownUniversity via YouTube

    For full breakdowns of their day together, you can follow Jack @GeorgetownJack and Blue III @ButlerBlue3 on Twitter.

  • Uber offers helicopter rides to National Championship Game

    WASHINGTON -- Uber is leaving the streets and taking to the skies for Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Arlington, Tx. For just $350, you can skip traffic and be transported to the game via helicopter.

    Who needs to tour the Grand Canyon when you can just skip traffic to attend a football game? (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 

    The DFW area 
    is notorious for its horrific traffic, which will no doubt be ever worse for the game.
    So, if you’re willing to drop the cash, you can be picked up by an UberBLACK car and ushered to the helipad, then flown to a helipad near AT&T Stadium.

    Of course, the chopper ride does not include tickets to the actual game itself, which are currently running for nearly $350 apiece for standing room only on StubHub.
  • RG3 is auctioning off his ankle cast

    WASHINGTON -- It’s only Monday afternoon, so you may not have had a chance to feel nauseated yet this week. Good news! RG3 is auctioning off his actual, worn ankle cast for charity.

    The cast in question. (FamilyOf3.org) 

    That’s right, the same plaster molding that once held the quarterback’s lower leg and foot in dank, sweaty immobilization for weeks after his injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 14 can now be yours, if the price is right. Of course, the cast is also signed by the entire Redskins team, including Alfred Morris, DeSean Jackson and more.

    The bid is currently at $300, but there is more than a month left to get in on the action, as the auction won’t close until February 13.

  • ESPN rates Nats' rotation tops in baseball

    Jordan Zimmermann emerged as the potential staff ace in 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) 

    WASHINGTON -- In his annual offseason breakdown of each MLB team, ESPN’s Buster Olney has given the Washington Nationals the nod for the best rotation in all of baseball.

    While Stephen Strasburg has been the Opening Day starter the past two years, Jordan Zimmermann emerged as perhaps the new staff ace in 2014. But the real reason Washington snagged the top spot was its depth, with both Doug Fister and Tanner Roark finishing in the top 12 in the National League in ERA at 2.41 and 2.85, respectively.

    Olney had the Nats ranked third in last year’s post, behind the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • Camden Yards tops stadium experience list

    WASHINGTON -- The website Stadium Journey has released a list of its top 100 stadium experiences of 2014, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards has swiped the top honor. Earning the first perfect score in the site’s five-year history, the home of the Orioles earned perfect fives for food and beverage, atmosphere, neighborhood, fans, access, return on investment, and extras.

    In his final thoughts, Richard Smith -- who wrote this particular review -- praised the park for how it “changed baseball and the way fans chose to experience games.” The ballpark received a 4.5 out of 5.0 score from fans.

    Two other local venues cracked the top quarter of the list, with Verizon Center (specifically reviewed for a Capitals game) coming in at number 15, and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens, taking the 23rd spot.
  • 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.
  • Rick Ankiel is your new “Life Skills Coordinator”

    Rick Ankiel: Life Skills Coordinator (Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann) 

    The Nationals announced their 2015 minor league staff Thursday, including one familiar face in an unfamiliar position. Rick Ankiel, who famously converted from pitcher to position player and spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Nats, will join the organization in the newly created role of Life Skills Coordinator.

    Ankiel was a highly touted pitching prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals and won 11 games as a full time starter in 2000 at age 20 before suddenly losing control of his ability to control his pitches. Unable to correct his wildness, Ankiel converted to a position player and made a successful return to the Major Leagues as an outfielder in 2007. Ankiel was known for having one of the strongest outfield arms in the game, playing seven years as a position player before retiring after the 2013 season.

    If anyone knows about the psychological trials and tribulations of professional baseball, it just might be Ankiel. If nothing else, it gives us a chance to unearth some Ankiel highlights, and that makes today a good day. Enjoy.

    Rick Ankiel Highlights
    via YouTube
  • Virginia paper uses sports page as Stuart Scott tribute

    WASHINGTON – Of all the tributes to longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who passed away Sunday, Norfolk’s Virginian-Pilot’s stood out for its originality and creativity. Using Scott’s most famous catch phrases in each headline, it celebrates the unique voice Scott brought to the Worldwide Leader in a most fitting way.

    Nicely done, guys

  • Florida State wins on bizarre ‘own goal’ basket

    Oh, sports.

    This one really makes you feel bad for Jacob Kurtz. The former team manager and walk-on to the Florida Gators basketball team had played himself a decent game, scoring four points and hauling in a game-high eight rebounds in just 23 minutes on the floor. But in his overzealousness to make something out of nothing on the final shot of regulation, he committed an egregious error, one that will live on in the highlight/lowlight reels of college basketball.

    With exactly 3.0 seconds remaining on the clock in a hard-fought, 63 all game, the Seminoles inbounded the ball to Devon Bookert along the sideline for one final shot. The guard fired up a high-arcing three pointer with a hand in his face, a desperation attempt that came up woefully short. The only player even close to the basket was Kurtz, but with time expiring and no timeouts for either team, the game was inevitably headed to overtime.

    And then that happened.

    Somehow, in his attempt to rebound the ball, Kurtz ended up volleying the ball off his fingertips, up off the glass and into the basket. This would be embarrassing enough on its own, but in a rivalry game? On national television? Stay strong Mr. Kurtz. It’s a long season, with plenty of chances to redeem yourself.
  • Otto Porter Jr.’s 16-year-old cousin throws down monster dunk

    WASHINGTON -- Look out below.

    Imagine yourself back in high school, trying to compete and win with your classmates and teammates on the basketball team. You retreat in transition defense, when the other team’s best player decides to attack the rim. You’ve got him pretty well defensed, with two players between him and the rim, and others stalking the passing lanes.

    And then this happens.

    It’s enough to make you wonder why you even play this stupid sport anyway.

    That’s Michael Porter Jr., Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr.’s cousin. He’s 6-foot-9, already, at age 16. He’s a monster among boys in overpriced sneakers.

    The younger Porter is was already rated ESPN’s #5 recruit in the Class of 2017. We have a feeling that stock just went up, right out of the gym.
  • Couple gets engaged before Redskins-Cowboys debacle

    WASHINGTON -- At least something good came out of Sunday’s Redskins finale.

    As captured by the team’s pregame show, Brian Pitt proposed to his girlfriend, Lindsay Altmire, prior to Washington’s 44-17 drubbing by the Cowboys.

    The LA-based couple was visiting Altmire’s family. The 28-year-old grew up in Damascus, Md., and is a lifelong Redskins fan. And while the proposal was clearly the biggest surprise of the day (obviously the game wasn’t), it begs the question – why do that for a meaningless contest your team is likely to lose?

    Maybe it’s just us, but even without the benefit of hindsight, we probably would have gone with either the Jacksonville or Tennessee game.

  • The Detroit Free Press picks the wrong Harbaugh

    WASHINGTON -- These things can be confusing, we know.

    There are lots of sibling combinations in sports, and sometimes people mistake one for the other. Brook and Robin Lopez. Jose and Ozzie Canseco. Kentucky coach John Calipari even yelled at the wrong Harrison twin during Saturday’s win over Louisville.

    But when you have time to put things in print, and the subject in question was the star quarterback at a major university within your distribution area, well, the standards are a little higher. Nevertheless, when addressing the speculation surrounding Michigan hiring Jim Harbaugh, the Detroit Free Press published a photo of his brother John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

    To help the Free Press clear up any possible confusion for the future, here is a photo of John, looking like the seemingly normal guy he is, followed by one of Jim, the psychotic man-baby who will be roaming the sidelines in Ann Arbor for at least some of the 6-year, $48-million contract he reportedly is signing.

    John: Average guy, coach of the Baltimore Ravens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) 
    Jim: Tantrum-throwing future Michigan head coach. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) 

    Got it? Good. On three. Ready...break.

  • Presidents as NBA players

    WASHINGTON – You could probably draw analogues from any sport, or really any organized group of people to compare to presidents. But Slate’s recent exercise in identifying an NBA player that represents every president was funny and inspired.

    They connect the sitting Commander in Chief with Derrick Rose of the Bulls – a figure surrounded by a ton of hope, which has been only somewhat fulfilled to this point (plus, you know, the whole Chicago thing). But from Dwight Eisenhower (David Robinson) to William Howard Taft (Charles Barkley), each matchup is well thought out.

    Take a look and pick your favorite.
  • Heath Bell announces Nationals sign him

    WASHINGTON -- Well, this is different.

    Using the blogging platform The Players’ Tribune, veteran relief pitcher Heath Bell announced on Monday that he has signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. The 37-year-old Bell was worked to the tune of a 7.37 ERA in 17.1 innings with the Tampa Bay Rays last season before being released.

    If true, this is a low-risk move for the Nats to potentially add some depth to their bullpen. Bell’s last good year was in 2011, when the right-hander posted a 2.44 ERA in 62.2 innings of work, logging 43 saves for the San Diego Padres. He has been a disaster ever since, owning an ERA+ of just 81 and allowing 18 home runs in 146.2 innings the past three seasons combined.

    But hey, signing or not, this gives us an excuse to show Jayson Werth’s game-tying bomb off Bell from a couple years ago. Enjoy.

  • The Seahawks are destroying everything in their path

    WASHINGTON -- Just a few short weeks ago, the Green Bay Packers looked like the top team in the NFC and the Seattle Seahawks looked like they would have to fight their way into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Well, all that has changed -- and quickly -- as the defending Super Bowl champs have reemerged as a sleeping giant.

    Sitting at 6-4 through 10 games, Seattle has won five straight, bookended by victories over former NFC West leader Arizona (really, the schedule was an NFC McDouble, with the two Arizona games as the buns, a pair of San Francisco patties and the Philadelphia, fittingly, as the cheese in the middle). The Seahawks' vaunted defense has allowed just 33 points over that span, an average of 6.5 per game. They’ve won each game by double digits, culminating in a 35-6 thrashing Sunday night in the desert.

    But it’s not just that Seattle has won by big, dominating margins, it’s how they done it. With Richard Sherman picking off passes and trashing his old college coach Jim Harbaugh. With Marshawn Lynch ripping off impossible touchdown runs and doing nothing more than thanking the media for their interest.

    Now, the '
    Hawks are set up with probable home field advantage, needing only a home win over the reeling Rams to force every opponent to travel to the Pacific Northwest for the duration of the NFC playoffs.

    Turn the Seahawks into the villain at your own risk. They’ll laugh all the way until the ride ends, probably back in the stadium where they put on their most dominating show to date Sunday night.
  • Sam Houston State players graduate at 36,000 feet

    WASHINGTON -- There have been plenty of bad off-the-field sports stories in 2014. This is one of the good ones.

    Due to their travel schedule for the FCS playoffs, three Sam Houston State seniors were unable to walk at their official graduation. Instead, they walked down the aisle of the plane en route to their quarterfinal game against Villanova, to the cheers of everyone aboard.

    Dustin Moehlig, Shane Young and former player-turned-staff member Chris Rogers ended up with a far more memorable commencement than most anyone can claim. As for the Bearkats? They beat Villanova, and have fought their way to the title game, against North Dakota State at the Fargodome Friday night.
  • John Wall stars in "Taken" spoof with Liam Neeson

    WASHINGTON --  The sports/movie crossover ads from the past few years are pretty universally lame. Equating the Fantastic Four with a bunch of pro athletes somehow seems insulting to both.

    But the most recent such ad -- an ESPN spot for the upcoming film Taken 3 and the NBA -- features John Wall, so you have our attention for the next 30 seconds. Go.

    This isn’t terrible, but we wish it was a better matchup to get excited about. Is now a good time to tell Neeson that the Knicks are 5-21 and rank 19th in field goal percentage in the NBA? Cool, you tell him.
  • Braves renderings show them losing/rip off Nationals Park

    WASHINGTON -- There’s a lot going on here, but let’s start with the big one. When you’re trying to generate excitement about your brand new stadium, you probably don’t want to show the home team losing. But that’s exactly what we see in this rendering of SunTrust Park, set to open in 2017.

    New SunTrust Park renderings. 

    Close-up of scoreboard. 

    But that’s not all. A closer examination reveals that the electronic scoreboard grab is really from…wait for it…Nationals Park. The Braves are listed to the left and the Nats to the right. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this photo of the board at Nats Park from the NLDS this year.

    Pretty bad, right? So, technically the Braves are winning, but, yeah, no.

    But there’s one more oddity here. The stadium scoreboard clock reads 9:55 p.m., but the sun is still well above the horizon line. Are the Braves really moving to Anchorage? At least they wouldn’t have to change that A…

  • The best ski line of 2014 is sheer insanity

    WASHINGTON -- This is nuts.

    The mere fact that such a chute even exists to be skied, much less a human being’s willingness to do so, is already extraordinary. But just watching this makes you clench your muscles and hold your breath.

    Cody Townsend is our powder-shredding, daredevil stunt-taking, Go Pro-wearing protagonist, as he basically straight lines down an impossibly carved chute in Alaska’s Tordrillos Mountain Range. Even though you know he’s going to make it, you don’t know if he’s going to make it.

    Townsend earned the “Best Line” at the 15th Annual Powder Awards (a real thing!) along with “Best Male Performance” and whatever “Full Throttle” is. Just give him all of the awards.
  • Redskins players fight at practice

    WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins’ season hit rock bottom with their 24-0, home shutout loss to St. Louis on Sunday, right? Right?

    Well, Wednesday brought more drama, although this time it had nothing to do with the merry-go-round quarterback situation, the team’s embattled nickname, or even its much-maligned owner. No, this time it was a simple case of two players fighting at the team’s practice facility, and the scuffle was caught on camera by CSN Washington.

    Wide receiver Andre Roberts and cornerback Bashaud Breeland came to blows during a drill, after Breeland deflected a pass intended for Roberts. According to The Washington Times’ Tom Schad, the two removed their helmets and argued before the swings you see in the video below. Reporters were escorted out shortly after the incident.

  • Panthers QB Cam Newton injured in car wreck

    WASHINGTON -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was reportedly injured in a car accident early Tuesday afternoon in uptown Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Observer.

    A car overturned and Newton, identified by an Observer photographer at the scene of the accident, was taken away in an ambulance.

    Newton was the first overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft after winning the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship at Auburn University.

    More on this story as it develops at wtop.com.

  • Donald escapes baboon on course

    WASHINGTON -- Luke Donald had himself one heck of an opening round Thursday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. When it was all said and done, he tallied nine birdies, no bogies, and a narrow escape from a charging baboon.

    Anytime you can register more primate escapes than strokes over par in your round, you’re doing something right. Donald held a two-stroke lead on the field heading into Friday after posting a 63.
  • Blazers' blimp crashes into crowd during game

    WASHINGTON -- OH GOD THERE’S A CAR DRIVING INTO THE CROWD, wait, no, seriously, what’s happening here?

    As yes, the Landmark Ford inflatable blimp at Thursday night’s Portland Trailblazers game lost control and ended up in the stands, over a section of unsuspecting fans. RIP, Section 209, you will be missed.

    Blazers in-arena personnel tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to remove the felled aerial device through one of the tunnels between the sections, wedging it in between the walls of concrete in the process.

    As for the car, well, Ford’s crash test safety ratings are normally pretty good. The fact that the blimp appears to be modeled after the Ford “Escape” is simply an unfortunate coincidence. There were no reports of injury as a result of the incident.

    Blimp Crashes Into Crowd At NBA Game

  • Watch classic footage of Manute Bol draining three pointers

    WASHINGTON -- Have you heard? The Philadelphia 76ers finally won! In celebration, let’s watch 7-foot-7 center Manute Bol go all Steph Curry on the Phoenix Suns in this unearthed footage from 1993.

    As any streaky shooter will tell you, once you get the swing of things, it feels like anything you put up might go in. With his team down big, the big man decided to fire one up from deep. He made his first two, and three of his first four, so he just kept shooting.

    There were some bricks, and even a travel in an attempt to get himself open, but it was all worth it. As a coup de gras, Bol hammers his sixth and final shot home from 30 feet, earning a high five from former teammate Charles Barkley, then playing for the Suns.

    It’s a fitting tribute for Bol, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 47. In addition to being one of the tallest players in basketball history, Bol was also a tremendous humanitarian, helping to build schools in his native Sudan after retirement.

    Thanks to Deadspin’s new offshoot Rabbithole for discovering this gem.
  • Sherman, Baldwin dig at NFL in press conference

    AP Sports Writer


    RENTON, Wash. (AP) -- With the help of a cardboard cutout, the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin took digs at the NFL during a news conference on Tuesday after the league issued a $100,000 fine to teammate Marshawn Lynch for not speaking to the media.

    Sherman and Baldwin made mention of everything from the league's sponsorship deals with major beer companies to their own personal endorsements that are not affiliated with the NFL, to the talk of player safety with the Seahawks about to play their second game in five days.

    The point of their performance seemed to be that whatever they said -- real or satirical -- it would not be a violation of the league's media policy on speaking with reporters.

    "The other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000. Did you know that, $100,000?" Sherman said. "And it's like they wouldn't have paid him $100,000 if he had talked. If he had spoken, Doug do you think they would have paid him $100,000?"

    Read more on WTOP.com.

  • J,. Brooks, wtop.com

    WASHINGTON -- As the weather around the DMV braces for possible snow and
    wet weather over the next couple of days, rest assured the Buffalo Bills
    will be able to stay home for an actual home game this Sunday.

    ESPN reports the Bill will take on Cleveland at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which has been cleared of the mammoth snow fall that happened
    around the Buffalo area last week.

    The Bills defeated the Jets, 38-3 Monday night, in Detroit. The game was moved from Sunday to Monday due to the massive amounts of snow on the playing field at Ralph Wilson. 

    The team had offered 500 jobs at $10 an hour to clear the field but the NFL erred on the side of
    caution  and moved the game to Detroit’s Ford Field. The League had also been considering Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland. 

    The Bills can use all the home field advantage they can to get over the last few weeks of the regular season, as they are right back in the thick of the AFC playoffs. 

    Both the Bills and the Browns are on the outside looking in.

  • Lynch returns wallet to…Lynch

    WASHINGTON -- Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s future in Seattle is up in the air. But for the moment, he’s the most popular man in town -- or at least in Marysville, Washington.

    A Marysville resident named Jason Lynch (no relation) saw the player at a gas station in town, but decided not to bother him. Unbenownst to Jason, he dropped his wallet while at the station, and returned home. Marshawn found the wallet, picked it up, and returned it to the man’s house.

    While Jason was not home at the time, his neighbors were, and got to meet Marshawn and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette.

    "Crazy!” Jason later said on Facebook. “I can't thank them guys enough for bringing it back and for making my neighbor a very happy lady for getting to a chance to meet them.

  • Browser extension removes ‘Redskins’ from your browsing

    WASHINGTON -- For those fans of the “Washington Football Team” that wish to remove the team’s nickname from their day-to-day web experience, there’s a web extension for that.

    As reported on Mashable, the product is called Redskins Web Skin, and it changes the nickname to a “more dignified term” of the user’s choice. Those terms include the Americans, Athletes, Thanksgiving Originators and Tribe. It is currently available for Google Chrome, with other browser options forthcoming.

    Looks like the Tribe is heading to the west coast this weekend…

  • Saints fan is this weekend’s poorest sport

    WASHINGTON -- Watching your team lose at home isn’t fun. Watching them lose badly is even worse. But taking out your frustrations on happy-go-lucky visiting fans who have traveled to your city is generally not a good way to go, especially because everything is on camera these days.

    One New Orleans Saints fan learned this lesson the hard way Sunday. After Bengals wide receiver Jermaine Gresham crossed the goal line to put Cincinnati up three scores on the host Saints, he targeted a female Bengals fan in the crowd and tossed her the football. But said Saints fan leapt into action, like the world’s saddest super hero, and snatched the ball away from the unsuspecting fan.

    According to the sideline reporter covering the game, the fan expressed “zero remorse” for his actions and said he had “absolutely not” given any thought to giving up the ball. Nice job, guy, nice effort.

    Times are tough for the New Orleans Saints. After Rob Woodfork cursed them by picking them to win the Super Bowl, the Saints immediately dropped their first two contests and have not been over .500 all season. Sunday’s 27-10 loss to the Bengals was their second home defeat in eight days, and left them just 4-6 with six games to play. All of this is to say that anger and frustration are understandable -- but there are probably better ways to deal with such emotions.

    The story did have a happy ending, though, as late in the fourth quarter, the intended recipient of the ball did in fact receive one.

  • Redskins fan rips off Browns fan’s last request

    WASHINGTON -- In an obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 52-year-old Redskins fan John Ray Bartgis of Mechanicsville, Va. asked for players to serve as his pallbearers as a final request, so that his team can “let him down one last time.”

    That may strike long-suffering Redskins fans as funny, but it should strike any ardent NFL fan as wholly unoriginal. That’s because it’s a straight rip-off of a Cleveland Browns fan, who made the identical request one year ago.

    Furthermore, the Browns fan had more of a legitimate gripe, considering that his team has never even been to the Super Bowl, left town in 1995 and has had only two winning seasons in the 15 years since the newly minted franchise opened up shop in 1999.

    But hey, maybe Bartgis is onto something with this whole “copying the Browns” idea. After all, Cleveland enters the weekend at 6-3 and in first place in the AFC North, while the Redskins are in the cellar of the NFC East at 3-6.
  • Metta World Peace is now The Panda's Friend

    WASHINGTON -- If this is all getting a little confusing for you, we understand.

    With the 16th overall selection of the 1999 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls took a 6-foot-7 forward named Ron Artest out of St. John's University. Despite his talent, he was most well known for "The Malice at the Palace," one of the more frightening moments in professional sports player/fan relations.

    Partially as a result, Artest later changed his name to the not unironic Metta World Peace, a name he has abided by until now. Now, Artest/Peace will be known as The Panda's Friend.

    It's hard to say if this is more than a marketing ploy at this point, but Artest/Peace/Friend is putting his money where his mouth is. Or at least, where his feet are.

    This is an actual photo, from an actual basketball game from China, where Artest/Peace/Friend currently plays, posted to his own Twitter account, in which he is wearing stuffed pandas on his shoes.

    No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is really happening.

    Here, have another look.

    It's Ron Artest's weird world out there. We're just living in it.
  • Nobody wants to see the Redskins play Tampa Bay

    WASHINGTON -- The Redskins are not very good again this year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are, arguably, worse. The two teams are set to square off this weekend in Landover, and fans are understandably unenthused.

    A quick glance at ESPN’s listings for Week 11 NFL games shows that nearly 7,000 tickets still remain, more than twice as many as at any other venue in the league (next closest: 3,354 for the Vikings-Bears game in Chicago). Perhaps even more telling, though, is the price these tickets are commanding. On the low end, they are available from just $11.

    That’s a quarter the price of the next lowest ticket available, a $44 seat in Charlotte to watch the Falcons and Panthers. While the very cheapest Redskins tickets available are standing room only, there are lower level seats available for less than $14.

    That makes an NFL game just about the most affordable thing you can do in D.C. (well, Landover) this weekend.
  • Utah’s early celebration leads to 178-yard Oregon TD

    WASHINGTON -- Yes, an American football field is only 100 yards long. But thanks to an unbelievable (if not unprecedented), boneheaded play by Utah Utes receiver Kaelin Clay, the Oregon Ducks scored a 178-yard touchdown Saturday night, one which may have saved their season.

    With Utah ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter, Utes quarterback Travis Wilson connected with Clay over the top of the Oregon defense, and he ran free what appeared to be a 78-yard touchdown to put the home team up 14 points in front of a raucous home crowd.

    But another look showed that Clay began his celebration a yard early, dropping the ball out the back of his right hand at the one yard line before crossing the goal line. The side judge never ruled a touchdown on the field, and the Oregon defenders had the wherewithal to pick the ball up. After a quick tussle for the ball at the one yard line, the ball came loose again and was picked up by Ducks linebacker Joe Walker, who scampered 100 yards the other way with a convoy of blockers.

    That play galvanized Oregon, which scored 51 of the game’s final 71 points en route to a victory that kept them undefeated in the PAC-12 and (almost certainly) among the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.
  • Brett Favre was third choice for ‘There’s Something About Mary’

    WASHINGTON -- If you’re between the ages of, say, 27 and not-too-old-to-still-find-the-Farrelly-brothers-funny, this is your sports/entertainment news nugget of the week. In an interview on the Rich Eisen Show Wednesday, the directors of “There’s Something About Mary” revealed that Brett Favre wasn’t their first…or even second choice for the now-famous cameo role.

    Instead, they had Drew Bledsoe pegged for the part. But Bledsoe’s involvement in a nightclub stage-diving accident at an Everclear concert (hello, 1997) made him leery about appearing publicly in a major motion picture. According to Peter Farrelly, Bledsoe told them “I can’t come do your movie in Miami, because if they find out I did a movie after that, they’re going to run me out of town.”

    That incident later led to a lawsuit, in which Bledsoe paid $400,000 as part of a $1.2 million settlement.

    Bledsoe even called the show, admitting that not taking the role was “one of my great regrets in life.”

    Meanwhile, the brothers moved on to target number two, 49ers quarterback Steve Young. But Young’s Mormon roots (he is the great-great-great-grandson of Brigham Young) made him shy away from the project, despite reportedly loving the script. “It’s R-rated, and I know all the Mormon kids are going to be sneaking in, and I wouldn’t feel good about that,” the brothers recalled him saying.

    So the Farrelly brothers and Cameron Diaz and the rest of America ended up with Brett “Fahr-vre.” Given the bit about young, maybe it explains a little more why Mary was actually a Niners fan.

    Watch the full interview below. The good stuff starts at the 2:37 mark.

  • Cowboys use unfortunate hashtag for trip to England

    WASHINGTON -- The Dallas Cowboys cross the ocean this week for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. In celebration, the team’s Twitter account created a hashtag that truly everyone can get behind.

    Yes, that’s right: #CowboysUK. #CowboysUK all the way to England. Finally, a way for Redskins, Eagles and Giants fans to find common ground.

    The Cowboys may not really be America’s team, but we’re pretty sure everyone can agree with the sentiment: #CowboysUK.
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