The real MVP of this Super Bowl story is Gio.

•February 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This man is an absolute genius. He is the real-life version of The Most Interesting Man in the World. But his accent is genuine, and so is his incredible Super Bowl story of fortune. Here is Gio Bartucci and here is his most amazing story, told by friend, and Yahoo Sports columnist Brett Michael Dukes. Read it here:


Memoribilia grave diggers. Thieves smash and grab Pat Burns’ belongings at funeral

•December 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s a sickening crime. Memorabilia thieves struck the wife of Pat Burns, by stealing autographed jerseys and family photos out of her car. Authorities in Montreal say it is clear whoever stole the stuff, knew it belonged to Burns’ family.
What is off-limits these days? Clearly targeting the bereaved isn’t. Autograph fans and memorabilia hounds seem to go to no end to get what they are looking for. I’ve seen people selling locks of hair of celebrities. It’s not so far-fetched that some are selling chewed bubble gum and used cups on Ebay.
At what point do you respect a celebrity’s life? Memorabilia thieves have rifled through trash cans, and ambushed star’s tables at restaurants. Is it really important to have the fork Madonna used for her Cobb salad?
I love memorabilia and game used stuff as much as the next person. I have game used Angels stuff from when I was a kid. But I didn’t deceive anyone to get it. I asked for it. That goes for bats, balls, lineup cards, etc. I’ve also bought stuff through team’s own sales. I have a pair of seats from the old Big A. I bought some Yankee stuff from the old stadium after the 2008 season. I got it from the team.
I can’t imagine what a guy is going to do with 30 sweaters, all autographed with sentiments to Pat Burns. No offense, but first, is someone that big of a Pat Burns fan? The man was a legendary coach, but this isn’t the stuff belonging to Wayne Gretzky.
You can’t sell the stuff, and keeping it, hopefully gives you bad luck. I hope the thieves do the right thing and turn it in. The NHL needs a feel good story. All major sports leagues are craving one. Perhaps these heartless criminals will come to their senses and return everything they took. Otherwise, I hope their karma remains on thin ice, sotospeak.

Blame it on? Zenyatta’s nose!

•November 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My heart is still pounding. My eyes moist with sorrow. Today’s Breeder’s Cup Classic, and what could be Zenyatta’s final race was incredible. Trevor Denman called him behind by 18 lengths, but you never thought she’d be out. Then they hit the turn, and jockey Mike Smith made his move. One by one, Zenyatta started passing horses and the stretch was exhilarating. I didn’t even know who she was trying to catch. I just watched her climb up to the front to be within yards of Blame.

Then, everyone let out a huge sigh. The race was over. No more whipping. No more riding all out. Zenyatta’s streak was over. But she showed the world, just because you’re down and out and way behind, never give up. She may have lost by a nose, but she won the hearts of America. Hopefully everyone recognizes that she’s a classy winner, without trying to pass Blame, sotospeak.

Nolan Ryan: Friend or Foe?

•October 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I grew up idolizing Nolan Ryan.

Nolan Ryan

SI salutes Nolan

I came home and pitched against the garage door every day, keeping the count in my head, pretending be Ryan, well a left-handed version of the fireballer. This guy meant everything. Gritty but far from perfect. He had massive amounts of strikeouts – and walks! He was no-nonsense, and he meant business. He would pitch well and lose 3-2 or 2-1 or 1-0. You had to feel for the guy. He had great ERAs but his record never reflected how good he was.
This morning I reached out to my friends (and enemies) on to ask a question. Were they feeling what I was feeling? That I guy I cherished for more than half my life, has now become almost a sworn enemy. Personally, I have nothing against the man. But I’m not a fan of Texas. I don’t like the Rangers, and I don’t like that he owns the team.

Most would call it sour grapes. The Angels screwed him up and low-balled him after the 1979, so he left. He gave the team the finger, and signed a million dollar deal with Houston. Were the Autrys cheap, did Buvasi just blow it, was Ryan really committed to being back in Texas full-time? Who knows. What I do know, is Ryan abandoned the Angels even after leaving via free agency. He has attended to only a handful of events saluting past Angels greats.
He did come back for an off-season celebration of no-hitters. I was lucky enough to interview him that day for the TV station I was working for. I think I might have been more nervous than when I got married. But I cannot help feeling this gleefulness in my soul, after watching the Giants dismantle Texas in the first two games. A 2-0 lead is nice. I have nothing against them. In 2002, I hated them, but that’s because they had Barry, and they were up against the halos in the World Series.
I admire his stance of throwing out pitching counts, and letting pitchers pitch. He does have an impressive group of players like Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Vlad Guerrero, and especially Cliff Lee. It will be interesting if Lee leaves and was just the rent-a-player that he was. Texas may look a lot different down the stretch next year, and/or if they make the playoffs. As for Ryan and his Rangers this post-season, I’m hoping for one more strike-out, sotospeak.

82-oh? Wade, Lebron, and, The Miami Heat beaten by Boston.

•October 27, 2010 • 2 Comments

There’s so much hype for the Miami Heat, it’s hard not to make them villains. ESPN hypes them around the clock, both on TV, and on the web. So it was nice to see that the Boston Celtics weren’t buying into the hype last night. They easily dispatched the Heat, and it might have a few people thinking now about the Heat’s promise for this season. Sure it’s only a game, and nobody really believed that Miami would win all of its’ games. But you somewhat expected the Heat to open with fire, destroy the Celtics, and instill fear into the other teams of the NBA.
Sadly, Boston ruined the party. It will be interesting to see how the Eastern Conference plays out. It appears the Lakers should be on track for another appearance in at least the Western Conference finals. But you never know how good Oklahoma is going to be. On top of that, Houston made the Lakers’ opener last night dangerously close. It should be a great NBA season, with most of the country rooting against Miami. The most interesting thing will be to see if Lebron can handle the Heat, sotospeak.

World Pup! Wayne Rooney’s dog **** creates global soccer stir.

•October 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s amazing how one man’s grudge/holdout/ploy for a new contract can set the sporting world on fire. Soccer Football has shown it’s truly the number one global sport. Yes, I’m talking the global Futball.
Wayne Rooney’s week-long public duel with Sir Alex Ferguson had people in Spain, Italy, Germany, and even the United States clamoring for an exciting transfer deal. Rooney has had a tumultuous 2010. Manchester United failed to win a title last season. He was arguably the leader and most relished hero of team England going into the World Cup. That team made a horrendous showing, and Rooney took a heavy helping of blame for the poor performance. Then there was ankle-gate. Was Rooney fit to play? Sir Alex held Rooney out of the team’s September 11th game at Goodison Park. But after team England’s draw against Montenegro October 12th, Rooney insisted that he’s been fit all season.
All of the events on the field added up to a very dissatisfied Rooney. The 6-year ManU player ultimately informed the team that he would leave Old Trafford as soon as his contract ended in 2012. Speculation and frenzy came next. Instantly there were calls for Rooney to join Real Madrid, a team loaded with International talent. Next came fans in Germany, hoping Rooney would be sold to one of the high-ranking Bundesliga teams. Even Barclay’s Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City stepped up to say they’d be thrilled to add Wayne. The silliest notion, die-hard fans from the United States fantasizing that Rooney would end up at the MLS. Unfortunately for those fans, Rooney is too young, and too much in his prime for that league. At 24 years old, he’s a good 10-12 years before resigning himself to play in that league. Then, like Beckham, he can start his movie career, launch his cologne, and sashay around town.
This stir could only happen in soccer. Peyton Manning tomorrow could say that he wanted to leave the Colts for a new challenge, and the European fans won’t be anxiously awaiting his arrival. Albert Puljols will not be playing Mexican ball the next time his contract is up. I think after the Latin countries, his only other options would be Australia and the Netherlands. Basketball players do improve their game in Europe. But I don’t see Lebron, leaving the Heat in a few years for Кошаркашка лига Србије, Košarkaška liga Srbije, the Serbian hoops league.
This morning though, the frenzy ended. Rooney, shockingly made an announcement that he has signed a contract extension that keeps him in red for five more years. He and Sir Alex are best friends again, thanks to a conversation in which he told reporters, “I’ve spoken to the manager and the owners and they have convinced me this is where I belong.”
So what caused this Roo-turn? Maybe Rooney’s love for ManU hadn’t Wayne’d, sotospeak.

Post-Season Pitching Gems: Diamonds in the rough or just rough?

•October 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Roy Halladay opened the 2010 MLB playoffs with a masterpiece. There’s no denying how special it was to see the first no-hitter in post-season play since Don Larsen’s perfect game. It was amazing. Halladay has since shown that he’s not only hittable, but beatable. Cliff Lee however is a force. His clinic last night in New York gave his Rangers a lead in their ALCS series. You might not have seen any of the games, but it’s hard to believe you haven’t heard something about Lee’s dominance.
Are you enjoying these games? Remove the Rangers 9th inning out of the game last night, and it’s one Andy Pettitte to Josh Hamilton mistake that changed the game. It’s far less exciting than the Yankee comeback in game one. I love when runs are put up on the board. I like see-saw battles. Call me crazy but I crave comebacks. It really doesn’t matter who wins at this point, since the Angels are on vacation, but I enjoy a great battle to the end.
Am I not a true fan for disliking a pitching gem? I think the games are boring when a pitcher mows through the lineup striking out 12-15 guys. I respect the performance, but as a fan, I’m expecting a slugfest. As I say this, Ross has just singled in a run to break the scoreless time in SF. Maybe this game will be another 1-0 pitching duel, or maybe the game will end 8-7 with a walk off in the 9th.