From the Bleachersby Cormac Eklof
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As frequent readers of this column will know, it has served as an unashamed vehicle for the promotion of the ‘Anthony Stokes for Ireland’ campaign. This column has time and again been an agitator to have the young, stylish, swashbuckling striker wear the green jersey. The basis for the argument was that Stokes deserved at very least a chance, having been banging in veritable truck loads of goals over the last couple of seasons for Celtic and Hibernian.
Well, this week Ireland came calling, and Stokes basically insulted everyone who has ever stuck up for him in this long running discussion by thumbing his nose up at his country.
The bare facts. Ireland played their Northern counterparts on Tuesday night in the ‘Carling Nations Cup’, obliterating them 5-0 in a game that could have finished anywhere between 7-0 and 10-0 without too much hyperbole. Stokes was picked for the squad and forthcoming matches, including a genuine, bona-fide European Qualification game against Macedonia. Stokes refused the call-up. His explanation?
The most talented and imaginative screen writer couldn't make this stuff up. Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis warning the rest of the World that an NFL lockout would result in an increase in crime figures. Beautiful. The bare faced audacity of the man is admirable. Much more admirable, for example, than his waning skills on the football field, although Ray Lewis does remain the fastest second man in on the tackle in the NFL.
What’s next? A-Rod preaching to us about the dangers of steroids? Kobe Bryant telling us we should all respect women just a little bit more? (You can practically see the televised advertising campaign, no? A smug looking Kobe sneering out of the corner of his mouth ‘’Hey kids, we should all respect women a bit more, if they say no, they mean no, and that’s a smooth groove Kobe can dig!’’ No doubt Spike Lee is already lined up to direct, the only caveat being he will have to remove his nose from Kobe’s backside in time to start the cameras rolling)
Back when he was bitter, angry and funny, Dennis Leary had a great sketch where he laughed at Rolling Stone Keith Richards fronting a drugs awareness campaign. And I quote, ‘Keith, we can’t do any drugs, you took them all!’. Well Ray Lewis lecturing us on crime rates is right along the same lines as Keith Richards telling people to put the hash pipe down.
With the English Premiere League about to come to another sanctimonious, self congratulatory and vain glorious end (Have you tried watching games on Sky lately? Even with Andy Gray gone they are still bludgeoning us to death verbally insisting the EPL is the best league in the world) the financial books are now open, and let’s just say the picture isn’t exactly rosy.
Last year English Premiere League (EPL) clubs lost close to a shocking £550 million. Sixteen of the twenty clubs posted a loss for the year. The picture painted by these financial reports is one of top heavy clubs being propped up by disgusting amounts of money provided by rich benefactors
The Boston Red Sox reached .500 for the first time this season last night, and did so in style, coming back to beat the Yankees and complete a dominant, impressive three game sweep in the House That Ageing Expensive Free Agents Built. The Red Sox can now relax and ‘kick away’ into the middle portion of the MLB season, released from the turmoil of that ugly early season start. The Yankees? They may still be slightly ahead of Boston in the standings, for now, but ironically it is the Bronx Bombers that are the team surrounded by question marks.
They are a team in an alarming slide, losers of 9 of their last 12 games. They can’t hit with runners in scoring position. Their pitchers are getting beaten around the park and their bullpen, apart from their magnificent closer, is a complete mess. Perhaps most worryingly of all for Yankee fans, they are a team full of ageing free agent ‘Superstars’ whose enormous contracts are going to soon be hanging around the Yankees necks like massive, heavy but ultimately useless concrete blocks.
Consider You know what, you can paint last night’s game whatever way you want to, you can laud LeBr$n for going crazy in the last four minutes after an anonymous first forty four. You can praise Wade for playing as if he were the real Superman. However, if you applied the Alien test, you have to admit something was up.
The alien test? Imagine Zengaboon, the Alien, just landed on earth last night, grabbed a bucket of popcorn and decided to catch a little Earth culture with a game of hoops. Imagine the game coming to a close, and Zengaboon turning to you and saying, Look, facetious joking aside, if you really didn’t see anything amiss with last nights game, go ahead and check out the statistics. You probably aren’t going to read about a disparity anywhere. The Boston papers have too much class. NBA.com sure isn’t going to bring its own product into question.
For weeks now England has been caught up in the great mystery of exactly which English Premiership champion elect was playing offside with noted socialite Imogen Thomas. Who exactly is Imogen, and what purpose does she serve on this Earth? That’s not entirely clear, she would appear to be famous because she has had sexual intercourse with other, more genuinely famous people. Fame by proxy, therefore.
If you have a Twitter account, a passing knowledge of the most basic English Premiership online forums and/or a brain, you of course already have some idea exactly who was caught in Thomas’s honey-trap. Let’s just say, the Welsh are none too happy with one of their prodigal sons.
The most mind numbingly stupid part of this is that the woman at the center of the affair is furious she can’t ‘tell her story’. The injunction placed on the British media by the British legal system is basically stopping Imogen Thomas from gettin’ paid. You can imagine the poor flower’s frustration. She goes to the bother of laying a classic honey trap, bedding the Premiership Superstar, assumedly putting all the physical effort in, and now what, nothing! She has absolutely nothing to show for it! The poor woman! Your heart can only bleed for her. There is just no justice in this world, is there?