Out Very Own Brit Soccer Team

Thanks to the Wall Street metldown. Kevin Drum has the details.

Science Explains Why the Yankees Suck

The New York Times, reporting on a new study by British psychologists who explain why it’s so hard to judge a line drive:

The problem Damon and Abreu face, the scientists say, is a product not only of human biology and the laws of physics, but also of our environment. We live, generally speaking, in a world of slowly moving objects, and things that move fast are, under normal circumstances, rarely moving at us. Our motor responses to moving objects have evolved to deal with this ordinary world, not the world of fast-flying baseballs.

Next up, a time-series study of ARod’s gag reflex.

Pay Attention, Steve

Via Orson at EDSBS. Reminds me of a photo in one of Henry Kissinger’s books of Leonid Brezhnev and his translator eyeing actress Jill St. John in even more-salacious fashion. But Spurrier had best mind matters on the field. A few more 24-17 losses, never mind to a team like Vanderbilt, will get the faithful in Columbia in a pitchfork-bearing mood.

Missed Connection

Sports information guy at small football school misprints phone number on news release, sends sportswriters scrambling to call a phone-sex line instead of the coach’s weekly news conference. Hilarity ensues:

When I dialed in, the voice on the other line said, “Hi sexy, you’ve reached the one-on-one fantasy line.” I gasped, hung up and figured I must have dialed the wrong number. So, I checked the UCF news release and dialed again, but I got the same phone sex hotline complete with offers I can’t really post on this blog.

What he didn’t mention was that he no doubt was worried for a minute there about what would happen when that call showed up on the company phone bill. Bean-counters just don’t have a sense of humor about that kind of thing.

Happy Landings

It’s become somewhat fashionable for college football teams to commission parachute jumpers to drop on their stadium and deliver the game ball. Unfortunately, some of the jumpers have all the smarts of people who’ve landed on their heads a few times.

I was witness to one of two incidents over the weekend that stemmed from this trend, when a team of two jumpers descended on the wrong stadium:

At least that guy landed properly. The other mishap happened at the University of Cincinnati. The form of the jumper there left much to be desired:

It doesn’t help that the quality of the football being played locally isn’t very high.

Cub Bidders Shuffle

The Chicago Tribune supplies an update on the state of the bidding for the Cubs. A couple of the competitors are looking shaky, but Mark Cuban could face a battle with Thomas Ricketts, the son of Ameritrade founder J. Joseph Ricketts:

Forbes magazine estimates the family’s war chest at $2.6 billion. The Ricketts’ bid matches the league’s preference for deep-pocketed owners and family control, making the clan a strong candidate.

It’s not clear, though, if Ricketts made the highest offer in the first phase of the auction that was completed last month.

That would be Cuban, by all other reports. He bid $1.3B.

Cry, the Beloved Seminole

Orson at the world’s best college football blog, Every Day Should Be Saturday, has taken official notice of the Florida State NCAA-investigation situation. As befits a fan of the University of Florida, he is amused:

A good villain needs to be someone who could kick your ass, which is why it’s been sad seeing Florida State decline into 7-5-dom and Music City Bowls. Sad is a carefully chosen word; we did not say regrettable, undeserved, or “not reeking with cosmic karmic justice of a vintage so refined we wouldn’t bottle it for fear of debasing its organic goodness.” No, sad will do very well.

While you’re there, and only if you have a taste for off-color humor, I suggest having a look at the other posts, including this one on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Be sure to read the comments; they’re half the fun of Orson’s site.

USA 118, Spain 107

Spain brought its A game to the final, but so did Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade and Team USA prevails in a rather exciting fourth quarter. I maintain that this was LeBron’s team but in the final he was Kevin Garnett to Bryant’s Paul Pierce — the glue, but willing to let the hotter hand have the spotlight. As for the Spaniards, Pau Gasol was much better in this game but not better than his brother Marc, who gave Team USA fits inside. And the guard combo of Navarro and Fernandez was lights-out all night long. A churl could say that nobody played much defense but in truth this was what the game looks like when the rules favor fluid movement instead of the bump-and-grind the NBA has become since the Pistons’ 1989 and 1990 titles.

Free Shoes U.

Florida State University appears to be in serious trouble with the NCAA over a cheating scandal and is busy trying to cover it up. When this school and the crooks running it finally do get caught, it’s going on probation for a long time. The NCAA is big on “institutional control,” meaning it cracks down even on rogue violations of its rules if it looks like a school’s administration was indifferent to what was going on. Here, I don’t think indifference is the problem. The administration I’ll bet was in on it.

US Hoops, On the Way

The US men’s basketball team thumps Spain and looks like a world-beater. LeBron is on a mission. (Pau Gasol, by the way, is still a wimp.)