random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

…It didn’t take long after the dismissal of Bobby Petrino for death threats directed at Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long to emerge on various social media platforms.  You might figure that since Petrino’s problems were totally the result of his own wrongdoing, that maybe people wouldn’t go off the deep end.  Not so.  Since Monday night’s announcement of Coach Bobby Petrino’s firing, possible death threats have been directed toward Jeff Long. University of Arkansas Police say they were already planning on heightening security, especially around the athletic facilities, after Long’s announcement. After learning about the online chatter of possible death threats, we even received posts on our own Facebook page stating, “Riots are in session” and “Jeff Long wear ur vest.”

…Add Petrino – It isn’t easy to fire an SEC coach who has gone 21-5 in the last two years including a nice bowl win.  But Bobby left officials no choice.  And it didn’t have anything to do with the affair he was having.  It was strictly a human resources situation.  More than a hundred people applied for the job that Bobby gave to the young lady in question.  Then he found a way to direct $20k her way through a “slush” fund.  You just can’t do that. Bobby Petrino’s mistress, Jessica Dorrell, who was riding on his motorcycle during the infamous crash, has been placed on leave.

…In the last two weeks, Bobby Petrino has gone through a motorcycle crash, an affair with a 25-year-old assistant going public and losing his job as the head football coach at Arkansas. And now another bombshell has dropped on the embattled coach. Deadspin reported on Thursday that Petrino, in addition to thousands of texts with former employee Jessica Dorrell, exchanged 200 text messages over a two-month period last fall with a 26-year-old woman named Alison Melder. That includes seven picture messages sent from Melder to Petrino.  Deadspin noted  that Melder listed herself as the winner of “2008 Miss Bikini USA” and “Miss Motorcycle Mania.”

…Final Petrino Add – if you are wondering why all the texts are going public, Petrino has only himself to blame.  Despite making a few million a year, Petrino used the school provided cell phone for his numerous texting escapades. Thus, public funds equal the “freedom of information” act and anything not permanently removed is good to go.  And I doubt that few if any have been lost.

…In sad news, according to reports, the Lingerie Football League has dropped plans for a  2012 season in the U.S. and the league intends not to resume U.S. operations until April 2013.  For you loyal fans, games will still be played in Australia and Canada.

…Former NBA point guard Stephon Marbury recently led a professional basketball team in China to a championship, and for doing so, will be honored with a bronze statue.  Stephon Marbury, maligned for much of his NBA career, finally tasted team success with a Chinese Basketball Association championship last month.

…Clayton Price, 40, allegedly sneaked onto the course at Augusta National following the end of the tournament and apparently attempted to steal sand out of one of the bunkers. Baker allegedly snuck onto the course after the tournament had ended and attempted to fill his cup with sand from a sand trap. From there Baker leads Augusta National security on a foot race that he eventually loses which leads to his arrest.

…We always knew Vlade was quite a slugger, just not this kind of slugger. Former major league MVP Vladimir Guerrero was arrested Tuesday for his involvement in a bar brawl in the Dominican Republic, according to this report from the Dominican Today. Guerrero allegedly assaulted a police officer. Here are some details: The National Police on Tuesday announced an all points bulletin for the arrest of Major League Baseball star Vladimir Guerrero, for the alleged aggression against  to a Police major Renato Peña and for unleashing a brawl in a discotheque. South Region Police director Juan Ramon de la Cruz Martinez announced the surrender of Vladimir Guerrero Tuesday morning. The senior officer said he personally arrested two of Guerrero’s bodyguards. “No one is above the law. Guerrero and the others will be charged for the incident which left one injured.” As expected, members of Guerrero’s circle say the former outfielder and designated hitter is innocent, including his brother Wilton, who also played in the majors for a short period.

..Shaquille O’Neal is reportedly set to co-star in the sequel to buddy comedy Grown Ups alongside Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Salma Hayek.  Dan Patrick will also have a part.  It is not known if the Danettes will be appearing.  Hopefully this will be an improvement over Kazaam and Steel.

…We often hear about freak injuries suffered by athletes, not so much for mascots.  Moondog, the mascot representing the Cleveland Cavaliers, decided to engage in a little play fighting with Indiana’s David West on Wednesday night. According to Cleveland.com, the person manning the oversized dog costume suffered an eye injury when playing around with West prior to the Cavs-Pacers tilt. “Moondog was spotted running through the hall, his dog head removed, clutching a towel to his eye,” wrote The Plain Dealer’s Tom Reed.

…You have to love NBA star/commentator Charles Barkley.  Like Howard Cossell, he tells it like it is.  On the terribly disappointing Lamar Odom, Sir Charles had an interesting take.  “I like Lamar as a person, but I’m disappointed about everything that happened in Dallas,” said Charles. “And it’s a shame that the Mavs got to pay him, to be honest with you. He don’t deserve to get paid for what he put out there this year. He doesn’t deserve it, plain and simple.”  Barkley didn’t stop there. “He’s going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars his next two paychecks that he looks like he’s going to miss, and that’s not fair to the Mavs, it’s not fair to the game of basketball, and I’m just disappointed in Lamar.”  Hard to argue with that, Chuck.

…Speaking of Barkley, you will be seeing a new side of Charles in the latest Weight Watchers commercials set to air soon.  In the new “Lose Like A Man” advertisement for the weight loss program set to air in April, Barkley will don a black dress, a wig, earrings, a bracelet, a pinky ring and black heels to help impart the message that Weight Watchers isn’t just for women.  Barkley, a Basketball Hall of Famer now serving as an NBA commentator for TNT, has now lost 42 pounds since he began using the program, according to the company.

…Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen both think they should get paid for representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games. They mention that it takes a great toll on their bodies.  And how exactly does money alleviate that problem?  Seems to me that the players get an unprecedented opportunity to market themselves to a world wide crowd and that should be payment enough.  Allen, for example, has already been paid upwards of $170 million during his NBA career, not including endorsements.  And if we start paying the basketball players, what about the gymnasts, swimmers, etc.?  Nobody is forcing you to play guys.

…The NBA Board of Governors accepted an offer Friday from Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the New Orleans Hornets from the league, the Times-Picayune reported.  Benson’s bid was reportedly chosen at a meeting of the Board of Governors in New York City over a second one from California swimwear manufacturer Raj Bhathal and former Hornets minority owner Gary Chouest. Benson, who has owned the Saints since 1985, is set to become the sole owner of the Hornets, and is not part of an investment group. The deal is expected  to be for about $340 million, coming two years after the NBA bought the Hornets for $318 million in order to ensure there would not be a sale to someone intent on moving the franchise out of New Orleans Forbes has estimated the value of the Hornets, who moved from Charlotte in 2002, at $285 million, 24th out of 30 NBA teams. The 85-year-old billionaire is said to have withdrawn from the process earlier this year before re-emerging as a potential buyer in recent weeks.

…Retired NBA star Jayson Williams has been released from Rikers Island jail after serving eight months of his one-year sentence for drunken driving.  A Rikers spokeswoman says Williams was freed Friday. The former New Jersey Nets player drove his SUV into a tree in lower Manhattan in 2010. That happened a week after he accepted a plea deal stemming from the 2002 shotgun death of a limo driver in his New Jersey mansion. Before going to Rikers, he served an 18-month sentence for aggravated assault in Wrightstown, N.J. Williams was once a top NBA player with a six-year, $86 million contract. A leg injury forced him to retire in 2000.

…Baseball park food junkies just got another go to item if you are planning to attend a Washington Nationals game.  For the uninitiated, the succulent StrasBurger — named after Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg  — that boasts 8,000-10,000 calories, 600-700 grams of fat, 200-300 grams of saturated fat and 2,500-3,000 milligrams of sodium — has been described as follows:  Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce,  sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink.  Don’t forget your wallet – this burger boasts a hefty price tag of $59.

…A Jacksonville police report claims that Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton threatened to shoot people following an early Sunday morning fight at a local nightclub in which Knighton sustained an eye injury caused by a liquor bottle. The police report states that Knighton and a friend, “repeatedly made threats to shoot people after having been brought outside” and that “club promoters had to physically force the subjects into their vehicle,” because they refused to leave.  The trouble seems to have started when Knighton and his friend allegedly disrespected a female patron of the club. Knighton’s agent Tony Fleming claims his client made no threats. According to Chris Chase of Yahoo! sports, it is unlikely that Knighton will face disciplinary action from the NFL.  The police report was written by a police officer who was acting as a security guard at the time of the incident.  In any case, Knighton has already had surgery to repair the cut to his eye.  He was not arrested following the altercation.

…In the top of the first inning of the Chicago White Sox’s home opener, the game was delayed for about 10 minutes when the umpires summoned the grounds crew out onto the field to restructure the batter’s boxes. When Miguel Cabrera stepped in with two outs in the top of the first, he set up in his normal position, way back in the box. However, because it was short, he was slightly outside it and White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski complained. Cabrera responded by showing both Pierzynski and home plate umpire Adrian Johnson that the batter’s box was chalked short. Johnson stopped the game to take a peek, agreed with Cabrera and had the grounds crew come out from behind the backstop to rake out the current lines and re-chalk.

…Lakers coach Mike Brown left Staples Center shortly before tipoff Friday night for undisclosed personal reasons. Assistant coach John Kuester coached the Lakers to a victory against the Denver Nuggets.

…The Justice Department, embarrassed by an error that caused a mistrial of Roger Clemens last year, has added more prosecutors in hopes of containing any missteps as it seeks to convict the famed pitcher of lying to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs. The prosecution team has more than doubled from two lawyers to five, enough manpower for an infield and pitcher. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial last July on only the second day of testimony, after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. Walton also will preside over the new trial, which begins selecting a jury on Monday and is expected to last four weeks to six weeks.

..The Red Sox celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park by having Bill Hogan Jr., a 100-year-old fan, throw out the ceremonial first pitch. There is no word on Hogan’s chances of making the Red Sox rotation yet this season.

…One of the most exciting plays in all of football might be eliminated. John Mara,co-owner of the World Champion New York Football Giants, was speaking with Giants.com about player safety and said that the NFL is considering ridding games of kickoffs. “We had a lot of discussions about whether we should eliminate it and if we did what we could do in its place,” Mara told Giants.com. “There’s no consensus on it right now, but I could see the day in the future where that play could be taken out of the game. You see it evolving toward that.”

…Tom Benson, owner of the Saints and new owner of the New Orleans Hornets wants to change their name.  “We need to find a name like (Jazz),” Benson said, referring to New Orleans first NBA team that relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. “Whether we can get that or let us use that, you’ve got to know we’re working on it. We’d like to change it tomorrow. We have not gotten that approved, but we’re not letting up on it, either. Because we’ve got a good relationship with the commissioner and his people and we’re going to be on them daily to do something.”

…Terrible news to report out of the soccer world today.  Deadspin reports that all Italian league matched have been suspended following the news that Piermario Morosini, a midfielder for Livorno had a heart attack during a game today and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.  According to Italy’s Gazzetta, Morosini collapsed in the 31st minute of Livorno’s Serie B match at Pescara.

…A 12-year-old sports fanatic has died in Illinois after being hit in the neck  by a baseball while warming up for a game this week.  Eric Lederman, a sixth-grader from Oswego, Ill., roughly 50 miles (80km) southwest of Chicago, was hospitalized after being hit while throwing a ball with a teammate Wednesday night before a league game in Wheaton, the Chicago Tribune reported.

…Dwayne Schintzius, a former first-round pick who spent nine seasons in the NBA, died Sunday afternoon from respiratory failure at the age of 43, The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reported.  A 7-foot-2 center, Schintzius led the University of Florida to its first three NCAA tournament appearances. He remains the only SEC player with more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocked shots.  Schintzius was diagnosed with Myelomonocytic Leukemia in 2009 and was declared cancer-free after receiving a successful bone marrow transplant from his younger brother Travis in early 2010. But further issues required Schintzius to undergo a second bone marrow transplant and he endured months of complications from the procedure leading up to his death. “He’s at peace now,” Travis said. “He’s not suffering anymore. Now he’s probably cracking jokes and making people laugh in heaven.”

…Two Western Kentucky football players are recovering after being wounded by gunshots outside a bar. A statement from the school’s athletic department says defensive lineman Tevin Holliman and defensive back Ricardo Singh were each hit once, and their wounds weren’t life-threatening. The shooting early Sunday outside the Lava Lounge in Bowling Green happened hours after the team played its annual spring game. Bowling Green Police spokesman Ronnie Ward said it appears someone shot into a crowd outside the bar and struck the players. He said an officer driving by the scene heard gunshots and called for backup at 12:39 a.m.

…Tim Tebow has work to do if he’s going to win over New York sports fans.  The new backup quarterback for the Jets was booed at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night when he was shown on the giant video board — even though he was wearing a Yankees cap.  Sitting in the third row next to the Los Angeles Angels dugout, Tebow cracked a smile and acknowledged the camera. There was a smattering of cheers, but most of the initial reactions were boos.

 

 

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