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Posted at 11:05 PM ET, 10/24/2014

A couple of knuckleheads actually met for a fistfight over fantasy football

It’s all fun and games until a couple of guys decide to swing at each other. (2010 file photo by Al Behrman/Associated Press)

I’ve played fantasy football since 1999, and I would guess that longtime league-mates might describe me as somewhat cantankerous. Lord knows I’ve had my share of interactions with fellow league members, usually about trades, that left me kind of irritated. But I have never come close to getting into a fistfight. And I certainly have never scheduled a fight with anyone over anything (at least since grade school).

That was the case Friday in Allentown, Pa., though, as chronicled over Twitter by Joe Fortenbaugh, a writer for National Football Post:

Fortenbaugh confirmed to me via email that the loser of the fight does, indeed, have to quit the league. He also provided a little background:

“The two involved have disliked each other for quite some time, so this was a situation where it was something minor, but happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. They’ve been trash talking each other for years on the message boards and finally decided to have it out.”

I almost would hesitate to include it, because it’s so pathetic, but yes— there’s video. Here you go [sigh]:

Yup, just two guys attempting to put the MMA in “immature.”

By Des Bieler  |  11:05 PM ET, 10/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Fantasy Football

Posted at 09:43 PM ET, 10/24/2014

PGA head fired over sexist comments

Ted Bishop disparaged British golfer Ian Poulter as a “Lil Girl” and “a little school girl.” (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Ted Bishop presumably thought he was just being a boisterous golf fan when he criticized Ian Poulter on two separate social media platforms Thursday. On Friday, Bishop learned that his use of sexist terminology had gotten him fired from his position as PGA of America president.

Bishop had been taking issue with comments Poulter had made about the Ryder Cup captaincies of  Tom Watson and Nick Faldo in an autobiography, “No Limits,” released this week. Bishop apparently felt that Poulter, who has yet to win a major tournament, had no standing to criticize the pair, who won 14 Grand Slam events between them. From a report earlier Friday by the Associated Press:

PGA President Ted Bishop was with Faldo on Thursday at The Greenbrier for the “Faldo Series” junior program when he tweeted to Poulter, “Faldo’s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl.”

In a separate posting on his Facebook page, Bishop lamented that athletes who had “lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons.” He mentioned Watson’s eight majors and 10-3-1 record in the Ryder Cup, and Faldo’s six majors and record with most Ryder Cup points in history getting “bashed” by Poulter.

“Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!”

Bishop’s gender-based attempts to belittle Poulter proved his undoing. PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua had this to say in statement on the PGA’s Web site:

“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf. We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example.”

The PGA will pick a new president at its annual meeting on Nov. 22, when Bishop’s two-year term had been set to expire. Vice President Derek Sprague will serve as interim head, and he made this statement:

“The Members and Apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times. We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident.”

According to The Telegraph, Poulter wrote that Ryder Cup players had “lost respect” for Faldo. During this year’s competition, the latter described Sergio Garcia as “useless during the 2008 Ryder Cup.”

“It makes me laugh,” Poulter wrote. “That’s the Ryder Cup where he was captain. That’s the Ryder Cup where the Europe team suffered a heavy defeat. And he was captain. So who’s useless? Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror.”

Poulter added in his autobiography that Watson’s decision to bench Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley on the Saturday of this year’s event “completely baffles me.” Mickelson himself caused some controversy by criticizing Watson’s strategies in the immediate aftermath of the loss by the U.S., its eighth in the past 10 Ryder Cup competitions.  

Before Bishop’s firing, Poulter made a statement that the Golf Channel described as being “released exclusively” to the media outlet:

“Is being called a “lil girl” meant to be derogatory or a put down? That’s pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment.”

Prior to that, Poulter had this Twitter exchange:

By Des Bieler  |  09:43 PM ET, 10/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  PGA, Ted Bishop

Posted at 07:11 PM ET, 10/24/2014

The Rock looks like a pebble compared to this Chinese basketball player

Dwayne Johnson attends the Chinese premiere of “Hercules” last week in Beijing. (Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in China to promote his film “Hercules.” And thus he did what athletic celebrities apparently do when they are in China — pose for photos next to exceptionally tall basketball players. Johnson was there last week, but he just posted this picture to his Twitter account Friday:

It’s hard to imagine that Sun is a helluva miniature anything, but we’ll take The Rock’s word for it. It’s also hard to imagine the 6-5, 260-pound Johnson being dwarfed by another human, but dang, does he look small here.

Sun played most recently for the Beijing Ducks, with whom he won the 2012 Chinese league title. That team also featured two-time NBA all-star Stephon Marbury, who helped the Ducks win another championship in March.

By Des Bieler  |  07:11 PM ET, 10/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Dwayne Johnson

Posted at 05:50 PM ET, 10/24/2014

USA Rugby match against New Zealand’s All Blacks sells out Soldier Field

Chicago rugby union fans should get ready to see the New Zealand All Blacks perform the “haka” before the start of the match. (Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images)

Will rugby union ever be as popular as American football? That’s not really answerable in the long run. But in the near future, at least, it’s set to take over Chicago’s Soldier Field: The USA Eagles’ match against the top-ranked New Zealand All Blacks, set for Nov. 1, officially sold out the 61,500-seat stadium Friday, according to USA Rugby.

The number of tickets sold for the New Zealand match is triple that of the last highest-recorded attendance of an international rugby union match in the United States. In 2013, a then-record 20,181 people showed up to watch the USA take on Ireland at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

USA Rugby officials are taking the news of the sellout as a very good sign for the sport’s future in the United States.

“It’s been a while since we’ve hosted the All Blacks and I think you can tell with this sell out,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville said in a press release. “The USA is growing as a rugby nation both on and off the field; I know the atmosphere in Soldier Field will be electric.”

The match is scheduled to air on NBC Sports on Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

By Marissa Payne  |  05:50 PM ET, 10/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:27 PM ET, 10/24/2014

Bill Clinton reportedly calls Notre Dame-FSU offensive pass interference call ‘terrible’

(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Former President Bill Clinton has never been much of a Notre Dame fan (he prefers the Arkansas Razorbacks), but a “terrible” call last weekend led him to sympathize with the team, according to a Notre Dame fan who said he chatted with the former president this week.

The call Clinton is referring to, of course, was the late penalty for offensive pass interference that killed the Fighting Irish’s chances against the Florida State Seminoles. The Associated Press describes the play in excruciating detail:

Notre Dame ran almost the same play for its first touchdown against No. 2 Florida State.

FSU was able to finish off the 31-27 win when Golson threw an interception on the next play.

But it’s a new day, and a new day reportedly brings even more praise from the ex-leader of the free world to Notre Dame’s football program: According to Tom Mendoza, the Notre Dame fan who spoke to Clinton earlier this week, the 42nd president has a lot of respect for Notre Dame’s coach Lou Holtz.

(H/t: Sports Illustrated)

By Marissa Payne  |  04:27 PM ET, 10/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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