Well, Josh Shaw’s heroic tale about saving a nephew from drowning by jumping from a two-story balcony turns out to be so much . . . heroism. As in crap.
Now it seems the USC cornerback and team captain may have been running from the cops after a domestic assault and took the balcony route to begin his escape, and sold the drowning story to the university. Within hours, several people had told SC that there was no nephew, no drowning, but a sordid tale of violence, and the school started backing away from the story a day after releasing it.
Lots of people bought the original tale (including your bilious correspondent, who feels much shame), and some far more famous people bit in as well (Ronnie Lott, who Tweeted, “This Josh Shaw story is great. FightOn young man. That’s who we want playing for @USC_Athletics. Get well soon”).
So there’s one more example of why even official versions of anything are just that.
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ESPN’s Josina Anderson will be the one remembered for the Michael Sam who’s-he-shower-with story from St. Louis Rams camp, but there’s a producer somewhere who thought that was a good idea, too. If she’s going to take the hit, she should be just one of them doing so.
And for those of you who think it was a legitimate question, then I wait for you to ask with whom Robert Quinn is showering.
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Why Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant, No. 61,118, this time from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard in an out-take from his interview with him. The protagonists are Bryant, and Gotham Chopra, the director of "Kobe Bryant's Muse", an upcoming documentary on Bryant:
Chopra: “Deron Williams went like 0-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?”
Bryant: “I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.”
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Sean Gilbert wants to blow up the overlord-serf relationship between the NFL and its players by becoming the new executive director of the players association. But he is willing to bargain away two more games of regular season/potential brain damage to get the other things he thinks the players should want.
He won’t win, and even if he did, nothing will have been gained in the one place that matters – brain safety.
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Brandon Meriweather’s suspension appeal (he got two games for using his head in the traditional NFL way) drew friends who might better serve him as enemies, most notably safety Ryan Clark, who decided to poke NFL discipline muscle Troy Vincent.
“It's tough,” Clark said. “You get a guy who played ball, even though I think Troy Vincent played it softly, he didn't play as aggressive and violent as Brandon. Maybe that's part of it, not having that mindset. It's just sad.”
Good one, Clarkie.
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Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher says NHL expansion to Las Vegas is “a done deal,” and that it will be joined by Seattle. Howard Bloom of Sports Business News says they will be joined by Toronto and Quebec City because the league wants $1.6B in expansion fees. I’ll bet they're both wrong, and not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong. David Stern saw to that when he saved Sacramento for Sacramentans and blocked a proposed Kings move to Seattle.
What Vegas will talk about doing is build an 20K arena for boxing, MMA, and whatever the next Celine Dion wannabe will bring, but the casinos, who want all the business there is to have, won’t go along cheerfully, and that includes any NHL and NBA teams. Unless, of course, someone wants to own the Bellagio Coyotes.
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And finally, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett just asked for the hatred of his entire state by confessing his, well, flirtation is probably the wrong word, with Nick Saban.
Or, more accurately, this, with the salient fact that his first kiss with Kristen Saban was awhile back: “For clarification, we were like six years old! Just so everyone knows that.”
Given that the college football season begins in a couple of days and hatred trumps childhood innocence by metric tons, what the hell does that have to do with anything, son?