Hockey closing in on football as most Darwinian of sports

Hockey closing in on football as most Darwinian of sports
May 7, 2014, 10:00 pm
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Fulham ended a 13-year stretch in the English Premier League by being relegated last Saturday, and the club’s former owner knows why: Michael Jackson.
Ray Ratto

With the NFL Draft Marathon beginning tomorrow, it is important to find an expert you trust and enjoy for your inside dope. Like this former Giant:

It’s such a good tip that you don’t even need the “H” in his first name.

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Speaking of the evils of radio, Nationals' manager Matt Williams's weekly spot with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan was interrupted by a driver in a police chase who rear-ended Williams while he was driving (hands-free, I’m sure). The driver also hit another motorist and drove off while being pursued by a policeman and a helicopter.

Williams? He’s fine. The Nats beat the Dodgers, 3-2, and the headaches will go away soon enough.

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How Larry Baer let this one slip by is anyone’s guess, but he did. A dinosaur threw out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Royals-Padres game -– and threw it to the gigantic-headed Padres’ Friar mascot.

Other than about 65 million years of verifiable history and evolution, it could have happened. Oh, and a dinosaur throwing a baseball to a friar does not fall under the theory of intelligent design, so don’t even try.

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Hockey is closing in on football as the most Darwinian of sports, as shown here by Columbus’ James Wisniewski, who told the ever mischievous Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he lied about having a concussion during the Blue Jackets’ playoff series with Pittsburgh:

“My head didn't feel great in Game 6. I said my back hurt so I didn't have to do the 20-minute protocol and go through that whole concussion process. I didn't feel like going in and talking to the doctors for 20 minutes. A lot of guys were playing through things. Guys with fractured feet, separated shoulders . . . (Nick) Foligno came back in 2½ weeks from a sprain, which is usually four to six weeks. That's playoff hockey. It's survival of the fittest.”

There’s your upper-body injury for you.

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A fan in Oakland Wednesday was ejected for yelling out, “DARIC BARTON YOU SUCK!” during the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, but was allowed to return when security experts agreed that "SUCK!” is not profane, even with capital letters.

But said fan then had to watch the second half of the doubleheader, so maybe it depends on where you aim your “SUCK!”

[RELATED: Pomeranz deals; A's salvage long day]

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Fulham ended a 13-year stretch in the English Premier League by being relegated last Saturday, and the club’s former owner knows why:

Michael Jackson.

(God, I’d just like to let this item end there and leave you baffled).

Mohamed Al Fayed, who sold the club to Shahid Khan, told The Guardian that the team was cursed the moment Khan removed the Michael Jackson statue he built outside Craven Cottage after he took control of the team.

“This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price,” Fayed said. “When he asked me to move it I said: ‘You must be crazy.’ This is such a fantastic statue, which the fans are crying out for. But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated. He called me because he told me he wanted Michael to return. I told him, no way.”

After this year, in which Martin Jol, René Meulensteen and Felix Magath managed the team, maybe Khan could have the statue coach next year in the Championship.

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Besides, Khan has already blown his chance at the big splash hire that French side Clermont Foot 63 made -- Helena Costa. Who is, yes, you read correctly, a woman.

Costa has had experience not only coaching women’s sides but scouting for Glasgow Celtic. She is the second woman to manage a professional men's team in Europe. The first, Carolina Morace, managed Italian side Viterbese in the country's third division, though she resigned after just two matches because of what was a described as “heavy media pressures.”

No, we don’t know how many beat writers Clermont Foot has.

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In its attempt to blow up Donald Sterling, the other NBA owners are not only using the league’s constitution and by-laws method, but also plans to use moral and ethical contracts with the league Sterling has signed over the years, according to USA Today.

What this means is -– oh, hell yeah we’re going to court on this.

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And finally, and we do mean finally, San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford was named NBA Executive of the Year, probably because he’s been robbed of it a bunch of times before. But leave it to head coach Gregg Popovich to put the award in its proper perspective.

“We're giving him the requisite amount of you-know-what all over the offices,” Popovich said. “He walks down the halls (and) we hit the walls. We hit the sides to make room for him.”

And then Buford takes off his glasses, uses his heat vision and incinerates every single smart-ass in the building –- because he is the Executive Of The Year.

Bob Myers of the Warriors finished 14th with one first-place vote – and to add to his summer of agita, he finished one point behind Doc Rivers. Joe Lacob got no votes.