Wednesday was not a great day for women, between Texas Tech, where a grand jury dismissed charges against football player Nigel Bethel II after a scuffle with women's basketball player Amber Battle in a rec-center basketball game. Not only that, after viewing surveillance video that shows Battle punching Bethel first, the grand jury took the unusual step of recommending that Bethel be reinstated with his full scholarship.
Then there was Boston, where Fox TV sideline personality Erin Andrews, who helped squeeze an apology that didn’t need to be from St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright in Pipegate and was cursed out repeatedly on air by radio host Kirk Minihane for her efforts.
Then there was the Deadspin story that identifies boxer Floyd Mayweather as a serial woman beater whose history “extends over a dozen years and includes at least seven separate physical assaults on five different women that resulted in arrest or citation, as well as several other instances where the police had to be summoned in response to an actual or perceived threat from Mayweather.”
But at least there’s this: Marvel Comics has announced that the character Thor will now be represented as a woman, though she will still be referred to as the “God of Thunder” and wield the hammer. This of course caused The Onion to ask one of its American Voices characters what this might betoken, which resulted in this truer-than-you-will-ever-known sentence:
“Finally, the world is ready to accept a beautiful, blond, Scandinavian woman.”
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If you’re worried about your favorite football team suffering as the sport transitions to a mega business, well, there’s a way around your fear.
Find a billionaire or six.
In an upcoming book, Southern radio larynx/icon Paul Finebaum says that Texas was willing to give Saban $100 million to leave Tuscaloosa and go west.
“Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban,” wrote Finebaum and Gene Wojciechowski. “Depending on whom you talk to -- Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters -- the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million (plus performances).”
Yeah, if you’re a Cal fan, you just threw up enough to fill a rain barrel.
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And speaking of billionaires, I give you Jed York.
Well, not him, necessarily, but his team, which just vaulted seven spots to the 20th richest sports franchise in the world according to those know-nothings at Forbes. The franchise’s mythical value rose $234 million to $1.224B, one spot below the other Harbaugh's in Baltimore (and one spot above the Chicago Cubs).
The Giants are worth a cool billion, tying them for 37th with the Chicago Bears, but both are light years behind No. 1 Real Madrid, sitting firm at $3.44B. So it’s official then; Cristiano Ronaldo is worth three Jim Harbaughs.
Oh, and these numbers do not include whatever the Clippers under Stave Ballmer are worth now, so there’s that.
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The NBA submitted an official proposal to reform the lottery this week at competition committee meetings in Las Vegas, which reminds us that new commissioner Adam Silver didn’t see tanking as a problem when he first took the job.
It also reminds us that whatever you do with the draft lottery, wherever you put the line that marks a benefit from a deficit, that’s where you’ll find the tanking. How do they not know this?
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Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson’s contract expired in Seattle, so he has a question for his new former employers, and it is this:
“My question for the Seahawks this year is . . . there’s a lot of young guys in that locker room with new money,” Robinson said in an interview with Dave Dameshek. “When issues come up in the locker room, who is the veteran that settles it? Things come up, ‘Hey guys — stop doing that! Hey, you go over there, you go over there, and it’s over. No more.’ And guys would stop. Right now, guys have gotten paid, you know what I mean? Guys have got egos, you know what I mean? That’s just only natural with money, and they have to watch against that in the locker room, and that’s something that Pete (Carroll) can’t see — their offices are upstairs. They just have to keep a close watch on it.”
That’s in case you want to bet the Rams this year.
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And finally, Memphis coach Josh Pastner was always a coaching savant even as a college student, and here’s the proof: he just hired high school coach Keelon Lawson, who coincidentally is also the father of three elite recruits, as an assistant coach.
In fairness, Lawson also spoke to at least two other schools -- including Vanderbilt -- about joining their coaching staffs, sources said, and is also related to current Memphis assistant Robert Kirby.
But between siring K.J. Lawson (ranked 37th in the country by one service and already committed to Memphis), Dedric Lawson (seventh in the country in the class of 2016), and Chandler Lawson (ranked No. 1 overall in the class of 2019) and winning as a coach in Memphis, Lawson was the perfect choice for the perfect reason.
But wait, it gets more perfect. Jonathan Lawson is a sixth-grader who one coach said “may be the best of all of the brothers.
Now that’s vetting a candidate right there.