There was a big International World Cup rugby match recently between England and New Zealand in Dunedin, New Zealand. In keeping with tradition, a renowned local team had an international match in a nearby park.
The Nude Blacks, named for the famed All Blacks (New Zealand national rugby team), played an exhibition match against a fully clad women's team from Spain known as the Conquistadors. Shockingly, the clothed competitors upset the previously unbeaten locals 25-20.
The Conquistadors roster includes a school teacher, student and pole dancer.
A package from Eureka, California arrived at the Crestview Hills, Kentucky home of Cincinnati wide receiver Jerome Simpson and that's when the police moved in. The box contained 2.5 pounds of high grade marijuana (street value estimated at $15,000). Inside the house, law enforcement allegedly found an additional six pounds of dope, along with packaging materials and scales.
Federal investigators intercepted the package and monitored its delivery, beginning at its Northern California point of origin. Simpson, who is averaging more than 22 yards per reception this season, was questioned by authorities.
Teammate Anthony Collins, who was at the home during the package's arrival, was also questioned. No arrests have been made.....yet.
Turkey has come up with a unique solution to control fan violence in soccer stadiums. League champion Fenerbahce was ordered to play two home games without any spectators after fans invaded the pitch during a friendly match with Ukrainian champion Donetsk in July. The fans also attacked journalists who were critical of the team.
The ruling was amended to only women and children under 12 being allowed to attend and for free. More than 41,000 showed up Tuesday to watch the Istanbul club host Manisaspor. The fans were still searched prior to entry, but by female police officers. The visitors were welcomed with applause instead of the usual jeering and naturally, there were no riots.
The movie "Moneyball" premieres Friday, but the film's star, Brad Pitt, apparently is not a baseball fan. Pitt admitted to Sports Illustrated that he does not know much about the game. The A-Lister noted that he tried wrestling for one year and was on the diving team for one season while growing up in Missouri.
Pitt ultimately agreed to do the film because he loves stories about the underdog. He might not even realize that the Athletics are as much of an underdog as ever, currently sporting a record of 70-86. In fact, the whole concept of "Moneyball" (Billy Beane using new statistical analysis to challenge the traditional baseball world in rebuilding Oakland) has been a complete failure.
The key play in the New York Giants' victory over the St. Louis Rams on Monday night was a 65-yard return of a lateral pass picked up by linebacker Michael Boley. Boley punctuated his game-changing feat by firing the football at the wall behind the end zone. However, the bullet pass went directly into the face of New York video intern Ryan Brown.
San Diego State travels to Ann Arbor for a battle between the Wolverines of Brady Hoke and the players he recruited to San Diego, where be coached prior to this season. The Aztecs are a 10.5-point underdog in a point spread that seems too high. Look for the Aztecs to play the Wolverines close and perhaps upset Michigan in the Big House.
As for the NFL schedule, it seems like a big weekend for favorites. But, if we are forced to pick an underdog, we will go with Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. San Francisco goes into the den of the Bengals and scores an upset as a two-point underdog.
Another wacky story from European soccer has once again showed up to delight us. Bombastic Maurizio Zamparini, owner and chairman of the Italian League’s Palermo team, fired his 36th coach in the past 24 seasons.
Commented Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Saskatchewan) Leader Post, "Who knew that Zamparini is Italian for Steinbrenner?”
The Cleveland Browns began their season, stuck in the mud, after losing a home game to the Cincinnati Bengals. In what looked to be another bad omen for the still young season, last Saturday’s trip to Indianapolis, for their game vs. the Colts, was delayed by nearly four hours. The Browns’ charter flight literally got stuck in the mud near the runway at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The Browns had to deplane and travel on a smaller jet.
Despite the team’s dirty difficulties, Cleveland still managed to defeat the hapless Colts 27-19.
The Detroit Lions are roaring, having now won 10 straight games, counting the exhibition season. NFL teams that start the season 2-0 historically make the playoffs 64 percent of the time. This is good news for fans of the Lions, Bills, Texans and Redskins, among others.
Cam Newton set an NFL rookie record by passing for a total of 854 yards in his first two starts. But, that isn't good enough to lead the league. Tom Brady already has thrown for 940 yards through the air.
Coach Bill Belichick has now won 10 consecutive contests for the third time; the only other coach in NFL history to accomplish this is Don Shula with the Miami Dolphins.
Brady and Drew Brees lead the passers with at least one touchdown pass in 18 straight games.