Tommy Rider aka Tommy Casale describes himself as “a former sportswriter who traveled with the Patriots, stayed at the same hotel and stuff like that.” And with the end of his tenure at Patriots Football Weekly, Rider wants his legion of excitable readers to know “Bill Belichick never yelled at me and the players were more than accommodating 99 percent of the time.” Let the thrilling tidbits flow, as culled from Pregame.com :
Tedy Bruschi is much more popular with the fans than he is with his teammates. He isn’t the team leader people think he is. Actually, Bruschi rarely talks to any of his teammates. He and Mike Vrabel used to be close but they rarely interact anymore either. Bruschi is just an unlikable person in general and I think his teammates know what’s what and get sick of his act. He created an image that he presents to the public but his teammates know better. The real leaders of the Patriots are Tom Brady, Matt Light, Richard Seymour and the top guy, Rodney Harrison. Harrison is actually one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet off the field, which is a total contrast to his sometimes dirty play on it.
–Corey Dillon is about the most miserable piece of shit you would ever want to encounter. You should see the looks and gestures he would give fans when we went on the road. Sometimes an athlete’s reputation is blown up by the media but that wasn’t the case with Dillon. There is no doubt in my mind that he will end up in jail at some point. You don’t have to be a good guy to be a star in the NFL and no one is a better example of that than Dillon.
–Hold on for this one: I heard from someone who is close to the case that there is a sex tape of Bill Belichick banging the married woman he had an affair with. I shit you not. The husband who is suing that woman for being unfaithful to him has a tape of his wife and Belichick screwing while the two of them were still married. Belichick is a very powerful man so I imagine he’s doing everything in his power to squash this from getting out but it could only be a matter of time. A part of me doesn’t want to see it but another part of me can’t help but be intrigued.
What could be more awesome than a pseudonymous blog post trashing the character of public figures? That’s right, imagining a video of “Belichick banging the married woman he had an affair with”. Thanks a million, Tommy.
And if so, wonders Kevin Rys, “does he still have the wheels to cover center field?” Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal claims the Reds’ Ken Griffey Jr. will become a member of the Chicago White Sox, pending the outfielder’s approval. Rosenthal doesn’t mention who the White Sox are giving up, but we can safely assume Chicago aren’t offering Steve Stone as part of the deal.
The Newark Star-Ledge’s Dan Graziano, having previously claimed the Mets were fielding offers for Scott Schoeneweis and Aaron Heilman, suggests the Mets weren’t ever in the mix for Griffey, as they “believe that there will be enough corner-outfield bats clearing waivers in August that they can wait and see what’s going on with Ryan Church before deciding whether they really need one.” The notion of Paul Byrd returning to Flushing has been raised, and anything that will allow me to regurgitate the huge stockpile of Chris Benoit photos I’ve collected over the years would be very welcome.
“The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me,” Ramirez said. “During my years here, I’ve seen how they [the Red Sox] have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.
“The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy,” Ramirez added. “I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money. Mental peace has no price, and I don’t have peace here.”
Though the departures of Garciaparra and Martinez were unquestionably messy, ’tis hard to fathom what P.R. battle Ramirez hopes to win by recalling either scenario. Garciaparra, best known these days for an awkward G2 commerical and being on the DL 100+ games a season, was hardly missed by the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, much as Martinez’ free agency was followed by 2 post-season appearances in 3 seasons (including, ahem, another World Series title). The only leverage the 36 year old left fielder can really wield in this situation — his own petulance — is precisely what makes it more difficult for the Red Sox to find genuine value on the trade market, even if they pick up 100% of Manny’s remaining ’08 salary.
That the Yankees favored Rodriguez over Greg Zaun isn’t very surprising, but given the Rangers’ embarrassment of riches behind the plate, there’s every chance former UT standout / current Olympian Taylor Teagarden might be dealt elsewhere by tomorrow night.
Signal To Noise reported the P.R. firm of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is advising the San Francisco 49ers. Though it’s a huge relief to learn Fleischer’s finding honest work in the private sector, he’ll have to do some tremendous work in the Bay Area before anyone forgets the rather unique approach former publicist Kirk Reynolds brought to the gig.
The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami, while not petitioning for Reynolds’ return, isn’t exactly welcoming Fleischer with open arms, declaring “it™s ridiculous for the 49ers“or any sports franchise“to trot out any time-tested political attack dog, whether he or she be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or whatever.”
Ari Fleischer? To lecture the helmet heads about what? How to lie mislead a nation about the lead up to a fractious war in the Middle East and then continue to bully anybody who might suggest otherwise and warn American citizens that they have to be careful of what they say in a free nation that he perhaps doesn™t think protects, you know, freedom of speech?
Who™s next up on the 49ers speakers bureau? Rush Limbaugh? Then Pastor Jeremiah Wright? (Well, you and I know it wouldn™t be Wright or anyone of that political/social stripe, not for Mike Nolan™s Hearty Fellows, but if it was Wright, it™d be just as stupid as Fleischer. JUST AS STUPID.)
The NFL.com shop ran an advertisement last autumn for some ladies-dig-football-too line of team logo’d corsets, micro-tees, etc., and after wondering how come I don’t know any girls having parties like that on Sunday afternoons (answer : I LIVE ON PLANET EARTH), I did ask myself, “guys have no fashion brains whatsoever, but what self-respecting women-person actually wears that stuff?”.
Well, thanks to the eagle eyes of Sports On My Mind’s dwill, I think I have my answer. Though crediting AOL Fanhouse with previously having “included women and treated them as equals in its own white, male, snark and circumstance-dominated bandwidth and pushed women as equals to the rest of the white, frat boy-patrolled sports blogosphere,” Mr. Wilson adds “now, though, it seems that even the women of FanHouse have been undercutted, their value demeaned, and the true perception of their worth exposed.”
Fanhouse founder Jamie Mottram was also dismayed by his old firm’s decision to plug The Fantasy Sports Girls, describing the promotion as “unbelievably bad content…in unbelievably poor taste and reeks of executive ineptitude and shortsightedness.”
Hey, I’m just surprised Yardbarker didn’t think of it first. Mottram alludes to other changes in the direction of Fanhouse since his departure for Yahoo Sports, and while it’s interesting to watch a good portion of the sports blogosphere leap on Wilson’s righteous bandwagon, how many of ’em have taken the time to axe this motherfucker from their blogrolls?
“Play nice, gentlemen,” reads the note from a concerned GC addressed to Ben Schwartz and myself in the wake of the latest Cubs fan assault on class and decorum, a beatdown which reportedly cost outnumbered White Sox fan Robert Steele his eye. But as Ghandi once observed, “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind, and a tooth for a tooth explains Ronnie Woo-Woo.”
The CSTB honcho needn’t worry. We can, in fact, just all get along. I haven’t met Ben yet, but I doubt he’s a violent racist shitbag hedge fund manager, despite championing the red, white and blue as he does. And I’m no mulleted, first-base coach-tackling buffoon – because when your team wins a World Championship more often than once a century, you just don’t get that motivated. Since Ben’s not the eye-kicking type, it’s not his job to answer for the retrograde brutality and abject cowardice that marks Cub Nationalism.
But who should? Is there no responsibility to be borne by the individuals who tacitly support a violent, media-manipulating organization built on superficial assent, ignorance and entitlement? Do Cubs fans have less or more responsibility for the wretched excesses of their regime than do Republican voters? And most importantly, can Mr. Steele get a Sox eyepatch somewhere?
Because I’d totally wear one of those.
Police said Boguslaw Czapla delivered the kick that cost Steele his eye, but in an interview Tuesday he denied he was at the party during the alleged brawl. He said he was away from the party for about an hour and that Steele had been taken to the hospital by the time he returned.
“I went to the liquor store to get a pack of cigarettes,” Boguslaw Czapla said Tuesday. “By the time I got back it was all over.”
Boguslaw Czapla acknowledged that he and his brother are Cubs fans but said he does not recall any discussions about the teams during the gathering. The Associated Press reported the party started out as a Sesame Street-themed birthday party for a 2-year-old girl.
Boguslaw Czapla said police took as evidence the boots he was wearing that night. “Hopefully, once they do whatever they do on them, [the boots] should come up clean,” he said.
Most of the people at the party”including himself and Steele”were drinking alcohol, Boguslaw Czapla said.
Jaroslaw Czapla, 31, the brother who hosted the party, was charged with misdemeanor battery and felony mob action, police said.
“No comment, thanks,” he said when he answered the door at his Huntley home on Tuesday.
A neighbor who said she has known Jaroslaw Czapla for about five years but who declined to give her name called him a good father and a hard worker. She also described him as an avid Cubs fan who once named a pet dog Wrigley.