Vanderbilt player defies physics, fires 70-foot chest pass into basket
WASHINGTON -- We’ve seen some low percentage, long-distance shots go in at various levels of basketball this year. While each one is a prayer, most at least have some arc, following a trajectory that, in theory, could possibly lead to a made basket.
Then you have this.
Did you stay and watch all five replays? You should have.
Vanderbilt center Josh Henderson watches a teammate block a potential game-tying layup seconds before the first-half buzzer, corrals the rebound at the opposite free throw line and just fires a 70-foot rocket to the other end of the court. In no rational universe does this “shot” go in. Its very existence seems merely for show, a living testament that one should always play out any opportunity for points until the final buzzer.
And then it goes in. Vanderbilt, clinging to fading NCAA Tournament hopes, went up by five heading into the locker room en route to a much-needed 13-point road victory. Take that, rational universe.
Bernie Sanders moves to right wing, relies on banks for success
WASHINGTON -- As he waited for results to come in from the New Hampshire Primary Tuesday night, America’s grandfather and Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders moved to the right wing and repeatedly used banks to lift himself to success on camera. Just look at this.
Now that’s a political machine if I’ve ever seen one. Squaring up to the basket from the low block, Sanders hits shot after shot, reducing his sons to shagging for him. That’s truly change we can believe in. No, really -- give your dad his change.
Steelers fans thank Bills for helping team into playoffs
WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Steelers entered Sunday in a tough spot, needing both a win over Cleveland and a New York Jets loss to the Buffalo Bills to sneak into the playoffs. Pittsburgh took care of the Browns, and the Bills upset the Jets, thwarting New York’s comeback attempt with a trio of fourth-quarter interceptions.
As thanks for the aid into the postseason, a special thank you package showed up in Buffalo Tuesday morning.
The enemy of my enemy is the guy I buy sandwiches for. That’s how that saying goes, right?
The NFC East: Where you’re always still in it
WASHINGTON -- A Monday Night Football matchup between a 3-8 team and a 5-6 one doesn’t sound like one worth watching, much less one with major playoff implications. But here we are. As Dallas and Washington prepare to battle at FedEx Field, the NFC East is still entirely up in the air, thanks to division-wide mediocrity.
That was the subject of this Rob Riggle faux ad over the weekend.
This isn’t the first time Riggle has spoofed the awfulness of the division. In case you missed it, he joined with Ken Jeong earlier in the season for this Adele-themed duet.
Woo-hoo! Race for the playoffs!
ESPN ranks Redskins third-worst professional sports franchise
Texas Governor drops massive jinx on both state baseball teams
WASHINGTON -- Don’t try telling Astros and Rangers fans that sports jinxes aren’t real.
At 3:02 p.m. local time in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott dropped the kind of massive tweet jinx usually reserved for Washington Nationals beat writers. Not only did he prematurely call out a result that was still six outs from being final, with Houston leading Kansas City 6-2 in the top of the eighth, he called out the Rangers, only leading 2-1 in their best-of-five series, about to start Game 4.
The Astros immediately surrendered four runs before recording an out, allowing five in all in a disastrous eighth inning. The Royals tacked on two more in the ninth to swipe a 9-6 win and push the series back to Kansas City for Game 5.
Meanwhile, Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland was tattooed for three home runs his first time through the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup, eventually leaving after two innings of work with six earned runs on his ledger. The Blue Jays had a 7-1 lead through three innings.
Abbott tried to enact some damage control, but the baseball gods cared little for the effort.
Taylor Swift has cursed Major League Baseball
WASHINGTON -- Taylor Swift is popular enough that the most logical venues for her shows are the largest ones available. Those tend to be sports stadiums, so the fact that her summer tour in support of her 1989 album included a number of Major League Baseball parks was no surprise.
But some believe the tour has cast a dark pall over the sport. As ESPNW reported, when Tay Tay visits your ballpark, something wicked this way comes.
Two nights after Swift’s second of two concerts at Nationals Park this summer, a bank of lights went out. The Nats had a 2-game NL East lead at the time, coming out of the All-Star break. They have gone just 32-39 since, tumbling out of playoff contention as they were eliminated over the weekend.
When the Houston Astros unexpectedly charged out to first place in the AL West, they moved Swift’s tour date at Minute Maid Park from October 13 to September 9 to avoid any potential conflict with a home playoff game. When Swift played her show, the Astros held a two-game lead in the division. But they have gone just 8-11 since, clinging by a half-game to the final Wild Card spot as of Thursday.
The last time Houston collapsed with a great chance of making the postseason? Oh. Oh no.
Dan Snyder, Joe Theismann surprise Washington couple vacationing
in Greece with gifts
WASHINGTON --Everyone sing along with me: "It's a small world after all…"
A local couple, Stacy Kaufman (who works in the WTOP Sales Department) and her fiancée Zach Gordon, were vacationing in Greece over Labor Day weekend. After getting engaged on the second to last night of their trip they decided to dine at Selene, a restaurant in Santorini. As they were enjoying their meal, they noticed Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya, along with former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, his wife and others sitting at a table next to them.
Waiting for the right moment, Zach approached Theismann once he got up from the table, explained that they were from Washington, and asked if he would take a picture with them.
Theismann agreed, and once the couple told the Redskins contingent that they were from the area and had just gotten engaged the night before, the group started talking and spent a good amount of time together. Upon leaving Tanya Snyder asked for a business card and for shirt sizes of the couple.
After returning to Washington, Zach received a big package delivered to his office. He took it home and opened it with Stacy. Inside was a large amount of Redskins gear and a note from the Snyders congratulating them on their engagement.
All that is fine and good, but we have another question: What were the Snyders and Joe Theismann doing vacationing in Greece together?
New Madden NFL 16 ad is five minutes of hot, flaming nonsense
WASHINGTON -- What?
The one thing we can say about this is that it sure is something. Don’t expect any actual football from it, unless you consider whatever Rob Gronkowski is doing to be football.
If there was any way to distill this to the entertainment value of Julio Jones (excuse me -- Trick Montalban) continuously karate chopping a goon for 20 seconds while breaking the fourth wall into the entire thing, maybe we’d have something here.
Impossible to un-watch, indeed.
Nationals unveil team-specific emojis
WASHINGTON -- While their National League rival Los Angeles Dodgers were busy adding strength to their starting rotation and bench -- and possibly setting themselves up for even bigger deals -- the Washington Nationals unveiled a set of roughly 10 team-specific emojis on Wednesday.
As Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post first reported, the club will reveal the emojis over their social media accounts. Generic images include versions of the Curly W logo, while others include Racing President Teddy Roosevelt, Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, and the chocolate syrup bottle that has become a part of the team’s postgame celebrations this season.
The Nationals are not the first MLB team to create their own emoji set, as the New York Yankees have had theirs available for download since the beginning of the season.
As of press time, the four horsemen of the apocalypse had not yet appeared in the skies above Washington.
Indiana Pacers to wear ‘Hoosiers’ themed jerseys
WASHINGTON -- Basketball is life in Indiana. That’s true to such an extent that it’s hard to imagine a professional team in any other state wearing a special theme jersey with a high school basketball team’s colors, much less a fictional one.
But that’s exactly what the Indiana Pacers will do for select games in the 2015-16 NBA season, as they rock red and gold Hickory jerseys, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the movie Hoosiers.
Now, if only the Pacers can actually make a spirited, miracle run through the Eastern Conference Playoffs…