Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vick gets ratted out

One of Michael Vick's co-defendants, Tony Taylor, has pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. And there are reports that he entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors by signing a document alleging the charges against Vick and two others are true.
As part of the plea arrangement, Taylor signed a 13-page statement of facts outlining the charges against him, Vick and the two others, stating they are "true and accurate" and that had Taylor's case gone to trial prosecutors could have proven "these facts beyond a reasonable doubt."

Vick and the other two have pleaded not guilty and their trial date has been set for November 26.

Among the key facts Taylor agreed to in his plea deal are the following:

- Taylor, Vick, Peace and Phillips set up a business called "Bad Newz Kennels" in rural Surry County, Virginia to raise and train pit bulls for dogfights;

- The men gambled on the fights in Virginia and several other states. Vick, an ex-Virginia Tech football star who now has a $130 million contract with the Falcons, sponsored dogs in fights with purses as low as $3,000;

- Vick almost exclusively funded the dogfighting operation and gambling monies. And the proceeds from the gambling wins were split by Taylor, Phillips and Peace;

- At various times, Taylor, Peace and Phillips executed dogs they didn't think would fight well by shooting them. Taylor electrocuted one dog in 2002.

This is exactly the opposite from what I was expecting to read. The baller’s posse is supposed to take the rap, the team goes back to the playoffs, and everyone except Roger Goodell is happy. There must be some serious shit going on. Spending time in the slammer for a misdemeanor weapon’s charge is one thing, but Uncle Sam is some serious shit.

There’s no excuse given the amount of money Vick makes. You can be damn sure that this would never happen to Pacman. He’s got enough street smarts to pay his posse decent enough bank.

Gulbis finally wins

Natalie Gulbis finally broke her maiden at the Evian Masters, winning her first LPGA Tour title with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff with Jang Jeong of South Korea on Sunday. Jang and the 24-year-old American finished the fourth round tied at 4-under 284. Gulbis had a final round 70, and Jang birdied the last hole to finish with a 72. "Obviously it was meant to be for me," said Gulbis, in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour. "Before the playoff, I was very upset at myself because I felt like I had given away this tournament. I thought I needed to get to 7 under to win and I end up at, what, four? Going in today, I never thought that four under would have won this tournament." At the first extra hole, the 18th, Jang missed the green with her second shot, but Gulbis did not.

We actually don't care about her performance on the green, but this is as good an excuse as any to post some hot pics of her. We bring you the goods, like a porn site, only without the large profit. Enjoy!

Weekly poll results

When asked what should happen to Michael Vick, Throwing Smoke readers have spoken:

69% do not want to see him in the NFL ever again;
21% believe in innocent until proven guilty;
6% think he should be wrapped in bacon and tossed in with the dogs
3% can smell a set-up; while
just 2% think a year-long ban is sufficient.

Thanks to all of those who voted. Please vote in our new poll about the on-going sports scandals.

CFL has a new TD leader

Winnipeg Blue Bomber slotback Milt Stegall set a new CFL all-time touchdown record Friday after scoring his 138th and 139th career TDs in Winnipeg's 36-18 victory against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The 13-year veteran's scores lifted him past the old record of 137 TDs he had shared with former running backs Mike Pringle and George Reed.

This reminds me of the old adage: If a record is broken, and no one cares, is it really a record?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Chicago hates basketball players

In the second such robbery in weeks of an NBA player with Chicago roots, New York Knicks center Eddy Curry and his family were robbed at gunpoint in his suburban Chicago home early Saturday morning. Deputy chief of police John Madden said three offenders restrained Curry, his family and an employee with duct tape inside the Burr Ridge home. No one was injured in the incident, and the robbers made off with cash and jewelry. The Web site for Chicago's CBS affiliate reported a total of $10,000 in cash was taken from Curry's home. The value of the jewelry was not determined.

"We [are] aware of the situation and are very thankful that Eddy Curry and his family are safe," the Knicks said in a statement. "He told us it was a traumatic experience. At this time we are aware that the local authorities are handling the situation." Madden said police believe it was not a random incident.

If I was Chris Duhan or Luol Deng, I would be in the GM's office asking for a deal to somewhere safer, like Milwaukee. I mean what better way for the Bucks to get even with Yi Jianlian then to deal him to the Bulls. Having a glock pressed up against your tonsils is a great way to learn that playing for the Bucks wouldn't have been so bad.

Canseco to out A-Rod

When Jose Canseco wrote "Juiced" in 2005, he brought the issue of steroids in Major League Baseball to the forefront. Now, Canseco has another book due this fall and he promises some juicy info on Alex Rodriguez. Canseco told WEEI-Radio in Boston on Friday that he has "other stuff" on the Yankees slugger, who he called a "hypocrite" who "was not all he appeared to be." When asked if A-Rod had used steroids, Canseco told WEEI, "Wait and see." "Jose has information about A-Rod and the Yankees that will be in the book. But, I am not sure if Jose is willing to disclose it at this point," Canseco's lawyer, Robert O. Saunooke, told The New York Times.

In Baltimore for the Yankees' game against the Orioles on Saturday night, Rodriguez told reporters that he hadn't heard Canseco's comments about him. "And I have no comment," he told the newspaper.

Is there anything Jose can say about A-Rod that would shock us? We already know Rodriguez plays bush-league style baseball, cheats on his wife and loves strippers who resemble men. Even if Canseco's book said A-Rod had an affair with his priest, everyone would be like 'Oh, I didn't know Alex was catholic.'

Ripken and Gwynn enter Hall

Two-time Most Valuable Player Cal Ripken Jr. and eight-time batting champion Tony Gwynn were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Commissioner Bud Selig and a record crowd came to cheer them and all that was good about the game. In the vote months prior, Ripken received 98.5 percent of the vote, third-highest in the history of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, when he was elected earlier this year, while Gwynn's percentage of 97.6 ranks as seventh. "Today, my friend Tony Gwynn and I officially become members of the Hall of Fame," Ripken said, "and I congratulate Tony for all that he has achieved. "But this day, and all it represents, shouldn't be just about us. Today is about celebrating the best that baseball has been, and the best it can be."

I realize that to make it into Cooperstown, you require 75% of the votes, but when did the not having a neck requirement get passed?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Throwing Smoke Flashback - Joe Namath Drunk

With NFL camps openning this week, what better way to celebrate then with a drunk legend being shot down on national TV? No wonder the ladies love Broadway Joe!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Poet's Corner

There once was a catcher named Mike,

Whose head a water bottle did strike,

Tossed by a fan,

Pressing charges is the plan,

Next time in the ass he would like.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Staals love booze and jail

Brothers Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins were among 14 people arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after a weekend party. The incident early Saturday morning occurred at the Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas, about 90 minutes south of the Thunder Bay, Ont., hometown of the Staal brothers. They were gathered there for 22-year-old Eric Staal's bachelor party. Jordan is 18. ''I'm sure that everyone involved is embarrassed about the incident - as they should be,'' Rick Curran, the agent for both players, told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

According to a release from the Cook County Sheriff's Office sent out Wednesday, police began receiving complaints at 12:30 a.m. of ''approximately 20 people screaming, yelling, and playing loud music.'' The group was warned by police around 12:50 a.m. to quiet down ''or they may be removed from the property, issued citations/arrested, and/or deported from the country.'' Around 3 a.m., according to the Sheriff's new release, the group was ordered to leave the resort with the help of ''Cook County Sheriff deputies, a Minnesota state patrol trooper, and a United States border patrol agent. After leaving the property, the group gathered on Highway 61 and began harassing passing motorists. At approximately 4 a.m. the suspects were placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. Some of the suspects fled in to the nearby woods.''

The Staal brothers were among the 14 men arrested. Eric Staal was among the 10 who spent the night in jail. Jordan Staal was released after booking but not before being charged with consumption of alcohol while under 21 years of age, in addition to disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. A Lutsen Resort employee, who did not want to give her name, said: ''It was a bachelor's party gone awry.''

With the abundance of recent publicity for all of the other major sports, it is good to see the Staals trying to put their sport on the map. Although with no gun fire, drugs or battered strippers, hockey will have to step it up a notch to be a household sport in the U.S. The league can only hope that Scott Niedermayer has a big enough trunk to fit 6'6" Chris Pronger after he Carruth's the next broad he knocks up behind his wife's back.

Vick claims he is not guilty

Michael Vick pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal dogfighting charges and was released without bond until a Nov. 26 trial. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback and three others entered their pleas in U.S. District Court to conspiracy charges involving competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines. Federal prosecutors say the operation -- known as Bad Newz Kennels -- was run on Vick's property in Surry County. Among the conditions set for all the defendants is that they surrender their passports, that they not travel outside their immediate area without court approval and that they do not sell or possess any dog. In addition, Vick was ordered to surrender any animal breeder or kennel license.

"I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name," Vick said in a statement read outside court by Martin. I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown."

"Today, you all either heard or saw Michael take his first step toward proving his innocence," Vick's attorney, Billy Martin, said. "We intend to prove Mike's innocence at trial."

This is America afterall, so Vick has a legit shot at being found innocent. If OJ's case was any indication, with enough coin, any rich, black athlete can beat a charge of killing bitches.

NHL on African bandwagon

NHL players Steve Montador and Andrew Ference went on a week long trip to Tanzania, where they were writing a seven-day diary on the Bruins' official website. There's also a documentary in the making that will air on the NHL Network. Both players among the 300 or so athlete ambassadors for Right To Play, an international charitable organization that uses sport to improve the lives of children and communities affected by war, poverty and disease. Both players returned from Africa changed men forever. They visited orphanages and schools in some of Tanzania's poorest areas where Right To Play has set up programs to try and help the poorest of the poor, many of them infected with HIV or AIDS and most of them without any parents.

"I didn't have my bag for the first three days," Montador said Tuesday. "But not having a change of underwear or socks for three days, big deal. I never even thought about it when I was hanging out with those kids and realized they were wearing the same ripped shirt for the past week. "And some didn't have any shoes. It absolutely put things in perspective." Ference, who is also active in the fight against global warming, says he doesn't feel guilty for the life he's been able to lead as an NHL player, but the trip to Africa has taught him he's got absolutely nothing to ever complain about.

Call me crazy, but aren’t these Africa trips becoming pretty cliché for all of the athletes? When you see Ronnie Artest across the Atlantic, you know something is seriously wrong. There are a lot of hungry starving children here in North America who don’t get any publicity because they won’t get your face in the paper. It is tough to help others when you can’t get your own shit in order. To put it into perspective, it would be like Ralph Sampson paying child support for Shawn Kemp’s army of bastard kids.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bonds' lover to speak

Barry Bonds' former mistress Kimberly Bell, who is at the center of the government's perjury investigation of the slugger, said Monday she will discuss the couple's relationship in the November issue of Playboy magazine. The Playboy article, accompanied by a nude pictorial, is scheduled to hit newsstands Oct. 1. The 37-year-old Bell said the article will cover details of her relationship with Bonds from 1993 to 2003 and what she told a grand jury investigating the perjury allegations in 2005.

Bell testified before the grand jury that Bonds once told her of his steroid use in 2000 and that he implied he started taking the performance enhancing drugs in response to Mark McGwire's pursuit of the single season home run record in 1998. "He was very envious of Mark McGwire," she said from her San Jose home. "He never said that was the reason, but I know it was." She also said Bonds gave her $80,000 in cash to buy a house, the proceeds of which allegedly came from a paid autograph session that authorities also are investigating as going unreported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Even if McGwire was using roids during his playing days, knowing how they can shrink a dude's nads, Barry shouldn't have had anything to be jealous about. A man isn't measured on how far he can hit a baseball, a man is judged by how caring and faithful they can be to the woman they love...... HAHAHAH. Seriously, I typed that dribble with a straight face. No really I did. We all know that a man is measured by what is in his pants. And let's just say that I could be on roids for 20 years and still pack a thick 8. That's what makes a real stud baby.

Tour de joke

Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen was removed from the race by his team after winning Wednesday's stage, the biggest blow yet in cycling's doping-tainted premier event. The expulsion was the directive of the Dutch team sponsor and was linked to "incorrect" information that Rasmussen gave to the team's sports director over his whereabouts last month. Rasmussen, who also has been suspended from the team, missed random drug tests May 8 and June 28, saying he was in Mexico. But a former rider, Davide Cassani, told Denmark's Danmarks Radio on Wednesday that he had seen Rasmussen in Italy in mid-June. "We cannot say that Rasmussen cheated, but his flippancy and his lies on his whereabouts had become unbearable," Tour director Christian Prudhomme told the AP. My immediate reaction is, why didn't they do this at the end of June, when they had the same information," International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said. "The team decided to pull him out; that's their prerogative. I can only applaud that. It's a zero-tolerance policy, and it's a lesson for the future."

With the Landis saga last year and now this year's tour turning into a joke, where does cycling go from here? If this sport sinks any lower, it can reserve a spot in the back alley next to Riddick Bowe's cardboard box.

Falcons have a chronic problem

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jimmy Williams faces a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Goochland County. State police charged Jimmy on June 2, according to Goochland County General District Court records. An initial court appearance scheduled for July 16 was postponed until Dec. 3. Williams said he is innocent and that Falcons president Rich McKay and head coach Bob Petrino had a copy of the police report and were discussing the matter Monday.

Is there an NFL rule that if your last name is Williams you have to smoke the chronic? Jimmy has impeccable timing though. With all of the Michael Vick fall out, this charge is surely to fly under the radar. If he was up against Mexico in a man of the year competition, he could turn a family of kittens into a kerosene lamp and still win hands down.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vick will not start the season

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank held a press conference yesterday to discuss the Michael Vick situation. During the 90-minute press conference, Blank and team president Rich McKay acknowledged the team had drafted the paperwork necessary to suspend Vick for four games — the maximum a National Football League team can suspend a player for detrimental conduct — and discussed releasing Vick outright.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank declined, multiple times, to say if he wants Michael Vick to play for his team this season — or if he wants him to ever wear a Falcons uniform again. The Falcons could still release Vick, or the NFL could impose its own sanctions, such as suspending Vick for the 2007 season. The Falcons discussed a paid leave of absence for Vick, but decided against it because paying a player who could be involved in illegal activity could have set a bad precedent, McKay said.

"I'm honestly very disappointed that Michael has put himself in the circumstances he finds himself in," Blank said. "I'm disappointed for him, for our coaches, players, our fans, our community, all the fans in the National Football League. We have to let this play out and see what the facts develop. I'm certainly disappointed by the circumstances."

Coach Bobby Petrino said the Falcons would have to galvanize and proceed as if Vick won't be there this season. Former Detroit Lions starter Joey Harrington will take over as the starter.

Good luck with Joey Harrington. Although with his arm being as awesome as Vick’s he certainly won’t be rushing for anywhere near 1,000 yards. They might as well release Vick and use the cap room to sign Joe Namath. Even with two broken knees and a hangover, that geriatric could run circles around Harrington. And his arm is still gold. I can't wait to see him run a bootleg and cop a feel of the side line reporter before getting the pass off.

Stern eats humble pie

In his Tuesday press conference, David Stern blamed a "rogue, isolated criminal" Tuesday for a betting scandal that has devastated the league and threatened the credibility of every referee. Stern said he felt betrayed by former referee Tim Donaghy, the target of an FBI investigation for allegedly betting on games, including some he officiated, over the last two seasons. Stern said he believed no other officials or players would be implicated in the betting scandal. "I feel betrayed by what happened on behalf of the sport, regardless of how protective I've been," he said. "This is not something that is anything other than an act of betrayal of what we know in sports as a sacred trust."

Stern said he believes the NBA will recover from the damage, noting college basketball and German soccer had overcome their own point-shaving scandals. But he wouldn't deny the league is in trouble. "I can tell you that this is the most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA," said Stern, who has held the top post for 23 years.

Mr. Commish is absolutely right, if there is a way to get the league back on its feet it has to model itself after the German soccer leagues. Nothing helps people forget about a betting scandal than turning your fans into a bunch of savage racists. Sure the plan may sound good on paper. That is until Lebron shatters his ankle slipping on a banana peel.

Tour de Dope

Tour de France rider Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last weekend's time trial at the Tour de France, prompting his Astana team to pull out of the race Tuesday and police to raid the team hotel. Vinokourov, a pre-race favorite, also won Monday's 15th stage and was 23rd in the overall tour standings. Vinokourov's backup B-sample test results are expected by the end of the week. "Alexandre denies having manipulated his blood," Biver said, adding that the rider believes that "blood anomalies in his body" may have resulted from a crash he was involved in last week. About 30 police officers, some in plain clothes, descended on Astana's La Palmeraie hotel in Pau and sealed it off, preventing more members of the team from leaving. A senior French anti-doping official confirmed to The Associated Press that there was a positive test for a blood transfusion taken from a rider at the Tour on Saturday. He said the test found two different types of blood, one from the rider, one from a donor.

If Vinokourov thinks he is in trouble now, wait until he finds out that the blood donor was Magic Johnson.

Weekly Poll Results

With all of the stupid sports cliches being tossed around, Throwing Smoke readers have spoken as to which is the most annoying. The winner is:

We have to take it one game at a time - 33.3%
We gave 110% - 25%
There is no 'I' in team - 16.7%
Any use of 'upside', anything said by that douchebag Chris Berman and it's gut-check time - 8.3%
No one minds the phrase - Our back's are up against the wall.

In reality, anyone who utters these phrases should be forced to marry Julio Mateo and be smacked around. Thanks to all of you who voted. Please vote in our new poll about Michael Vick. Tell all of your friends about the site, yo!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vick shown the sideline

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has ordered accused animal abuser Michael Vick to stay away from the Atlanta Falcons’ training camp until the league reviews the dogfighting charges against him.

"While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy," Goodell said in a letter to the quarterback.

Goodell told Vick the league would complete its review quickly and that he expected full cooperation. The review is expected to involve conversations with federal law enforcement officials so the NFL can determine the strength of the case against Vick.

The NFL completely doesn’t get it. Having Vick at training camp is totally in their best interest. It would guarantee front page coverage for the NFL during a relatively dead part of the year. Granted, seeing the words “NFL” and “dog execution” side-by-side day after day may impact the brand. But it’s still a lot better than their current marketing slogan: “The NFL – Our ex-cons will kill excite you.”

Harrington survives to win

Despite his best efforts to "Van De Velde" away the tournament Padraig Harrington beat Sergio Garcia in a 4 hole playoff to win the British Open on Sunday at the storied Carnoustie golf course. Garcia blew a 3 shot lead on Sunday, yet almost won it after Harrington lost a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole by hitting into the Barry Burn twice for a double bogey, only to get another chance when Sergio Garcia couldn't make par from a bunker.

We aren't saying Sergio is a choker, but if Carnoustie was P.J. Carlesimo, Garcia would have morphed into Latrel Sprewell.

Admit it

Admit it, you thought Tiger Woods was branching into homemade porn with Elin, her twin and her friends when you saw this article on the weekend:

"Tiger's shot at sixth hole hits woman in head"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lightning strikes in Florida

Troubled pitcher Scott Olsen of the Florida Marlins was arrested early Saturday after refusing to pull over and getting into a fight with police officers. Olsen was booked into the Miami-Dade county jail on charges of driving under the influence, resisting an officer with violence and fleeing and eluding a police officer. He was released Saturday afternoon on $11,000 bond. Police Lt. Michael Bentolila said Olsen was arrested in the Miami suburb of Aventura, where an officer clocked him driving 48 mph in a 35 mph zone and attempted to pull him over at about 3:40 a.m. Olsen continued to drive about one mile, running a stop sign before stopping at his Aventura home, Bentolila said. The pitcher got out of his car and sat down on a plastic chair in front of his home. When backup officers arrived and tried to arrest him, Bentolila said Olsen kicked at the officers, who used a stun gun on the 6-foot-5 pitcher. Olsen then failed a field sobriety test and refused an alcohol breath test, Bentolila said. A booking photo showed Olsen had two scrapes on his forehead over his right eye.

It was the latest in a string of problems for the 23-year-old left-hander, who returned to the Marlins on Friday night following a two-game suspension without pay after a confrontation with teammate and fellow pitcher Sergio Mitre. Olsen received a black eye last season from his friend and former teammate, reliever Randy Messenger, in an off-the-field confrontation in St. Petersburg. Olsen also got into dugout disputes with teammate Miguel Cabrera and then-manager Joe Girardi, who grabbed him by the jersey during a discussion. This year, Olsen was fined an unspecified amount in June for making an obscene gesture toward fans in Milwaukee.

Apparently Olsen isn't a soccer fan or he would have realized that the cops seem to be in a 'stun'ningly good mood of late. And regardless, when you are drunk and the size of a redwood, you should expect Miami cops to bring you down with a bolt of lightening. That is unless it is Shaq patrolling the streets. In which case the weapon of choice would be sodomy with a size 22EEE shoe.

NBA officials call a fair game

The NBA acknowledged Friday the FBI is investigating long time NBA referee, Tim Donaghy for betting on games, including ones in which he officiated. According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered thousands of dollars over the past two seasons. It is thought that Donoghy had a gambling problem and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance, said the official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Those studying Donaghy's games might have noticed some trends. When the home team was favored by 0-4 1/2 points, it went 5-12 against the spread in games officiated by Donaghy this season, according to Covers.com, a Web site that tracks referee trends. Home underdogs were 1-7 against the spread when it was 5-9.5 points. Donaghy was part of a crew working the Heat-Knicks game in New York in February when the Knicks shot 39 free throws to the Heat's eight, technical fouls were called on Heat coach Pat Riley and assistant Ron Rothstein, and the Knicks won by six. New York was
favored by 4 1/2 .

Donaghy is perhaps best-known previously as one of the referees in the 2004 game at Detroit that ended with Indiana Pacers players fighting with Pistons fans, among the biggest black marks in league history. This could far trump that episode.

It looks like the Italian soccer league isn't the only sport being controlled by the mob. Although from a North American persective, this scandal makes Pete Rose's betting scandal look like a mother goose story. Only instead of little Boy Blue blowing his horn, this story will end with Donaghy blowing his black cell mate for a pack of smokes.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Throwing Smoke Flashback - Pole Vault

If you thought last week's video of the guy getting hit with a javelin was bad, check this video out. Dude's ex-wife must have been tampering with his pole before this attempt. OUCH!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Poet's Corner

Training camp's are soon.

If Pacman and Vick are there,

The league's a damn joke.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Ron Mexico fallout

Falcons owner Arthur Blank released a statement yesterday saying the team is considering its options with respect to Michael Vick.

"This is an emotionally charged and complicated matter,” Blank said. "There are a wide range of interests and legal issues that need to be carefully considered as we move ahead, including our need to respect the due process that Michael is entitled to. Also, this situation affects everyone -- our club, our players and associates, our sponsors, our fans and the Atlanta community among them -- so we must consider all of our customers in making any decisions.”

“Given the differing perspectives and strong feelings around this issue, we probably won't make everyone happy, but we are committed to doing the right thing. As the owner of this club that's, ultimately, my responsibility.”

Ron Mexico’s sponsors have also started running cover. Nike has announced that they are suspending the release of new products branded with Vick’s name. Nike has told retailers it will not release a fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V, this summer.

Here’s a solution. Sign Marcus Vick. At least then you could re-use all the Vick merchandise in the fan shop. And there’s the added bonus that he’s just as good with the ladies.

Football players go

Defending Champion Argentina moved within one win of a sixth under-20 title Thursday, defeating a stubborn Chilean side 3-0 in an ill-tempered semifinal that ended with Chile having just nine men on the field, the officiating crew making a run for the tunnel and a major melee with police outside the Chile team bus. The hostility carried on after the game with witnesses saying a Chilean team member was subdued by taser after a scuffle with police at the team bus outside the stadium. The incident started with police looking to establish order and apparently escalated into a real ruckus when Chilean players tumbled out of the bus after seeing one of their own tangling with police. Security blocked off the area, keeping reporters away from the scene. Some half-dozen Chilean team members, some handcuffed and a few bleeding from the face, were taken back to a dressing room with FIFA and tournament officials coming and going, according to a witness.

If this is football’s way of trying to compete with its American counterpart, it has a long way to go. I mean, a scuffle with police and a tasering is so passé. The only hope this sport has of getting any air time this summer is if we see Argentina eating some endangered leopard and picking the remains out of their teeth with some ivory elephant tusks at their celebration dinner. And even then, unless they are having Inca babies for dessert, people probably still will won’t care.

Marbury goes European

Earlier this week, Stephon Marbury told the New York Post that he plans to play in Italy, having visited the country in May with his wife. "I'm not just thinking of doing it, I'm going to do it," Marbury said, according to the Post. "My wife loved it there. It's like a [David] Beckham thing," he said, alluding to the English soccer star coming to America to play in Major League Soccer after years with top-flight European clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid.

If I was named in my boss' sex scandal, I would be trying to get out of town as fast as I can too. But Marbury needs to do some due diligence before he hauls ass to Italy. Italian sports fans are the same people who have waived Nazi flags during soccer games. Does he really think he would be accepted over there. Especially considering this brother would try to pass off his cheap sneaks as style in the fashion mecca of the world. That would be like masturbating to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario when you have Anna Kournikova's calender hanging on the wall. But what's a guy to do when he's struck with the fever? Latin fever!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joltin' Joe was stressed

Joltin' Joe DiMaggio's diary, which is a 2,000-page, 29 volume collection of the New York Yankees icon's diaries is being offered for sale. The diaries were written between 1982 and 1993 and contains Joe's thoughts such as:

With respect to his 56 game hitting streak - "If I thought this would be taking place,I would have stopped the hitting streak at 40."

In 1989, DiMaggio wrote that a flurry of autograph signing on "Old Timers Day" was "beginning to be too much stress."

"Traveling getting to be damn much," he wrote in 1987. Noted another entry: "Plane food should be fed to pigs."

"Had to buy a new shirt because neck size down to 15½."

I can see how reading about DiMaggio whining about signing for his fans and having to purchase a new shirt can be fascinating, but this book had better contain less about his wardrobe and more about what positions he did Marilyn Monroe in. Although I guess I'm in no rush as I've only jerked off to the stories of 3205 of Wilt's 20,000 escapades so far.

All players are greedy

If you thought the Asians athletes and their agents were a different brand than North Americans, think again. Backing up Yi Jianlian's agent, Chen Haitao, owner of the Guangdong Tigers -- Yi's former team -- said the 6-foot-11 power forward will "definitely not" sign with Milwaukee and could be headed back to the Chinese Basketball Association. Yi was the sixth player picked in the NBA draft and had his first meeting earlier this month with Bucks general manager Larry Harris and coach Larry Krystkowiak. His agent, Dan Fegan, has pushed for a trade and wants Yi in a city with a large Asian influence -- or at least a larger city. Although sticking with their modest culture, in a poll earlier this month by the Beijing-based China Daily newspaper, 68 percent of 9,000 respondents wanted Yi to join the Bucks.

In other news, Daisuke Matsuzaka's agent, Scott Boras was quoted in Sunday's Boston Globe saying he was concerned about his client's high pitch counts. Matsuzaka threw 110 pitches in Saturday's 9-4 win. It was the seventh time in his past eight starts he threw at least 110 pitches. "I'd rather see him throw closer to 100 pitches than 120 pitches," Boras said. Sox manager Terry Francona took the suggestion in stride. He made Boras his own tongue-in-cheek offer. "I've got a lot of respect for Scott, I really do," Francona said. "He can run the pitching when he lets me run the contracts, how's that? Is that a fair trade off?"

Other than passing off our vermin as a delicacy, I have no clue what is going on over there. Remember when these athletes were respectful and obedient towards their owners? This new Asian athlete is ironic considering their fall back profession would be sewing the swag for the teams they are dissing.

Don't smuggle Cubans

A federal judge sentenced U.S. sports agent Gustavo "Gus" Dominguez to five years in prison on Monday for smuggling potential Major League Baseball players out of Cuba. Dominguez, who has represented dozens of Cuban defectors and other major league players, was convicted in April of smuggling five prospects out of Cuba to the Florida Keys and then on to California, where he shopped them to potential teams. In addition to five years behind bars, the judge ordered Dominguez to serve three years probation and to pay a $2,100 fine.

Since when did smuggling athletes to North America become illegal. For god sakes, the NHL made a living off of it with the Russian invasion in the 1990's. What should warrant time behind bars is when the smuggled player you invested in shows up to his first training camp 30 lbs overweight and unable to play. A nice diet of bread and water would put their fat asses back into game shape. Or a long raft ride in the Atlantic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vick to be arrested

I was like a kid waking up to Christmas this morning. Only instead getting diddled by my uncle I find out that Michael Vick is going to be prosecuted for the horrific systematic killing of dogs on his property.

Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation so grisly the losers either died in the pit or sometimes were electrocuted, drowned, hanged or shot. He and three others were charged with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines. The operation was named "Bad Newz Kennels," according to the indictment, and the dogs were housed, trained and fought at a property owned by Vick. The indictment states that dogs fought to the death -- or close to it. If convicted, Vick and the others could face up to six years in prison.

"We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "The activities alleged are cruel, degrading and illegal. Michael Vick's guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts."

"Obviously, we are disturbed by today's news," the Atlanta Falcons said in a statement posted on its Web site, apologizing to fans for the negative publicity. "We will do the right thing for our club as the legal process plays out. We have a season to prepare for," it said.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society said the manner in which losing or unwilling dogs were killed was especially troubling. "Some of the grisly details in these filings shocked even me, and I'm a person who faces this stuff every day," he said. "I was surprised to see that they were killing dogs by hanging them and one dog was killed by slamming it to the ground. Those are extremely violent methods of execution -- they're unnecessary and just sick."

The indictment also outlined a rough chronology:

• In March 2003, after a pit bull from Bad Newz Kennels lost in a fight, it said Vick was consulted about the losing dog's condition, then executed it by wetting it with water and electrocuting it;

• In March 2003, after two Bad Newz Kennels dog lost fights to dogs owned by a cooperating witness, it alleged that Vick retrieved a bag containing $23,000 and gave it to the owner of the winning dogs. One of the fights had a $20,000 purse;

• In the fall of 2003, a person witnessing a dog fight involving one of the dogs trained by Bad Newz Kennels incurred the ire of another cooperating witness by yelling out Vick's name in front of the crowd during the fight.

Before fights, participating dogs of the same sex would be weighed and bathed, according to the filings. Opposing dogs would be washed to remove any poison or narcotic placed on the dog's coat that could affect the other dog's performance. And sometimes, dogs weren't fed to "make it more hungry for the other dog."

Forget jail time. Sentence Vick to drowning in lard. And toss his lifeless body into the ring with his dogs. And while they’re at it, toss Pacman in there too. That’s real justice, yo.

Artest is a giver

To react to his recent suspension, Ron Artest had to be tracked down, in of all places, Kenya. Artest was on an African goodwill mission when he received official word of the suspension. Artest left the country last week as part of an NBA Players Association convoy spearheading a "Feeding One Million" drive, which calls for union chief Billy Hunter and his traveling party to distribute 11 million pounds of rice to the needy in Kenya

When reached Sunday by ESPN.com, Artest responded via e-mail, "I want to apologize to my family, the NBA, the players association, the Kings, New York City, Hank Carter and the Wheelchair Charities and all my supporters for putting myself in a position to be suspended," Artest wrote.

He continued: "I am doing many positive things this summer. ... Me, Maurice Evans, Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas are holding HIV babies and walking around in the slums where kids have no running water or electricity and no shoes on their feet, feeding rice and beans to kids. So it's hard to take my focus off of the poverty in Kenya right now, the continent where my ancestors were brought to America as slaves. I'm so happy to be in Africa helping, so whatever the NBA did to me and Stephen Jackson, I can't think about right now. I am happy to be in the NBA and looking forward to next season. "I also encourage people to help the Feed The Children foundation and [founder] Larry Jones, because I see for my own eyes the impact it's having on poverty across the world."

What the hell was this caravan of NBA players thinking when they brought Artest to Africa? I mean the guy can’t even feed his own dogs, let alone a starving continent. And seriously, holding HIV babies? Unless he’s Christ, that ain’t going to do jack all. Africa has had it bad enough, the last thing they need is another thug over there ripping off their foreign aid supply.

Gophers love sex

Minnesota Golden Gophers cornerback Dominic Jones was charged Monday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after investigators said they found a cell phone video that showed him in a sex act with a woman who was "physically helpless." Three other Gophers remain suspects in the case, which began in April after an 18-year-old woman said she had been raped at an apartment complex near campus. Defensive end Alex Daniels, cornerback Keith Massey and running back E.J. Jones all were arrested and questioned in April. They have not been charged, but have been suspended by their coach.

At a news conference, County Attorney Mike Freeman said the woman had come to the apartment complex with a friend and some Gopher players. He said she drank heavily with the players and had sex with E.J. Jones, Massey and Daniels before passing out. Dominic Jones arrived later and had sex with the woman while Daniels recorded the video on his cell phone, Freeman said. The file had been deleted from the phone, but investigators recovered a part of it, he said. The woman went to Regions Hospital for a sexual assault examination, where her blood-alcohol level tested at more than 0.30 percent. It's a level, Freeman said, "in which motor function, including the ability to stand or walk, is lost."

If the Utah Jazz taught us anything, it is when you are going to gang bang a chick, don’t f’ing video tape it; this is as stupid as you can get. At that point you may as well drag the drunk slut down to the police station and do her on the captain’s desk. At least it will save you the travel time after you pulled out, nutted on a towel and passed out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

David Stern steals from Goodell's playbook

NBA commissioner David Stern dished out some NFL style punishment to Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson this week. The two central figures in the brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills were each suspended without pay for the first seven games of next season stemming from separate recent convictions.

Artest pleaded no contest in May to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from a March 5 dispute with his wife. While Jackson pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of criminal recklessness for firing a gun after he heard someone yell “Dump! Dump!” outside an Indiana strip club.

"I accept the suspension, believe it is fair and definitely look forward to having this entire process come to a conclusion in November," Jackson said in a statement released by the Warriors. "Additionally, I apologize to my teammates, our fans, our ownership and the NBA for the negativity this has created and the poor example that I set."

Ron Artest could not be reached for comment because he is currently in Africa as part of the NBA player associations “Feed Africa” campaign.

NFL style justice might not be the right approach for the NBA. That is, if they actually want the season to open on time. Who’s going to pay to go see the Denver Nuggets home opener if Carmelo, Camby, Iverson, and J.R. Smith are out with suspensions? I wouldn't be surprised if 80% of NBA players have been in trouble with cops. So Stern should probably take another approach. And by another approach I mean stop funding ghetto outreach programs.

Phillies love to lose

On Sunday, the Philadephia Phillies became the first north American franchise to lose 10,000 games in the teams history. The St. Louis Cardinals had the priviledge of handing the milestone loss to the Phillies via a 10-2 beating. The Phillies have cemented their place as the losingest team in professional sports. The franchise, born in 1883 as the Philadelphia Quakers and later called the Blue Jays in the mid-1940s, fell to 8,810-10,000.

I am not saying this is a loser franchise, but Roberto Clemente had better luck on his flight to Nicaragua.

Chambers arrested

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers was arrested early Saturday on charges of driving while impaired and speeding. He was arrested by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police around 2:30 a.m., several miles south of downtown, said police Capt. Lisa Goelz. He faces charges of driving while impaired, speeding, and reckless driving, she said. He was later released on a $1,750 bond, according to Goelz.

The way star players in the NFL are getting arrested and suspended, there won't be much of a league anymore. At this rate, the only players eligible to start the season will be coming from the Brooklyn Jewish football league. Hey, I'm not complaining, it will still be better ball than the CFL.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shef damns the man

Detroit Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield was interviewed last week about his time playing with the Yankees. In the interview Sheff claimed that Yankees manager Joe Torre treats black and white players differently.

"[Blacks] weren't treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair," Sheffield continued. "[If] he had a message to get across to the whole team, he used me to get the message across."

Sheffield said Torre didn't use the same method with white players. "I'd see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That's the difference."

At that point, the interviewer pointed out to Sheffield that the Yankees most high-profile player is black. "Who?" Sheffield replied. Told Jeter, Sheffield replied, "Derek Jeter is black and white."

When asked the significance of that, Sheffield said, "It's really no significance. It's just you ain't all the way black."

Sheffield reportedly began the interview by saying: "I tell myself every offseason I'm not going to say anything crazy. I'm just going to have a peaceful season ... Can't do it. I'm cut from a different cloth."

Shef keeps it real. But unless Torre dropped an n-bomb or beat him with a cat o’ nine tails then I just don't care.

No legged sprinter disqualified

Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius' much-anticipated debut against elite able-bodied competition fizzled Sunday when he placed seventh in the 400 meters in heavy rain and then was disqualified. The only guy he placed ahead of fell at the start and didn't finish the race. Pistorius runs with carbon fiber blades for his lower legs, finished in 47.65 seconds, well behind Angelo Taylor's winning time of 45.25 at the British Grand Prix meet. Pistorius was called for running out of his lane. After the race, Pistorius attacked the IAAF for making "derogatory" comments about the Paralympics. One official was reported to have opposed Pistorius' involvement in able-bodied races on the grounds that it could pave the way for athletes to compete wearing jet-packs on their backs.

If they are going to start relaxing the rules as to who can compete in able-bodied races, I can't wait to see Flo-Jo's triumphant return. Only instead of seeing her sprint the 100 metres in under 11 seconds, her decomposing carcass would idle in the starting blocks.

Pacman can't shake the cops

Word has surfaced that Pacman Jones received several driving citations after Tennessee police pulled over his orange Lamborghini because the plates didn’t match the car he was driving.

Pacman’s attorney is claiming that Jones is being targeted by law enforcement, saying that the deputy had talked with other officers about pulling over Jones the first opportunity he got. "It was not because he was speeding. It was not because he was swerving or that he failed to obey any traffic signal or any other traffic laws. He pulled him over [because] he had heard that Mr. Jones did not have a valid driver's license."

News Flash: Everywhere Pacman goes, people get shot up. He’s a perpetual crime in progress. They might as well pass a law that makes being Pacman illegal.

Weekly Poll Results

When asked which team was the surpise of the first half of the 2007 MLB season, Throwing Smoke readers have spoken:

30% felt both the Yankees and the Brewers were a surpise for different reasons;
20% felt the ChiSox were underachieving badly;
10% thought that the Cards weren't as good as they should and the Western Divisions were suprisingly competitive.

Thanks to all of those who voted. Check out our new weekly poll about tired sports cliches.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Throwing Smoke Flashback - Friday the 13th, July 2007

In case you missed it, French long jumper Salim Sdiri suffered a one-inch wound to his side when he was hit by a javelin during the Golden Gala in Rome on Friday. The incident occurred midway through the evening when Finnish thrower Tero Pitkamaki slipped at the end of his run-up, hurling the javelin out to the left of the landing area and spearing Sdiri in his right side as he crouched in the long jump warm-up section.

Who would have thought a long jumper would have better odds of getting stabbed then an NFL player?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Poet's Corner

Beckham's in LA;

Don't care for Dave or soccer.

Posh, give us a call!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Walker is an Uncle Tom

Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday about the armed robbery that took place at his home Monday evening in the River North neighborhood. Walker said three men approached him in his garage and at least two of them had guns. The men, who were wearing masks, forced Walker into his house and duct-taped his feet and hands. The men stole cash, jewelry and his black two-door Mercedes, which was recovered by police on Tuesday morning. The car was stripped of its wheels and stereo system.

"It happened real quickly, within a three- to five-minute span," Walker told reporters. "I had no chance to really react.”

If Shaq has any hope of winning another championship ever becoming Sheriff, he has to make sure his teammates are armed and dangerous. This can't be happening to one of your crew. You'd never see this happen to a ghetto-pimp like Stephen Jackson. I mean any sign of trouble and he would have double barrel action up in yo' face. And that’s what makes a real gangsta. When 'dump dump' is yelled out, it isn't because he just shit his pants after he heard the glock clickin'.

Raider's reserve sells things

Oakland Raiders defensive end Bryant McNeal was arrested last week on an outstanding warrant following a traffic stop in South Carolina. McNeal, a 27-year-old reserve, was wanted in Florida for selling a Land Rover to a pawn broker for $15,000 when he didn't own it, Clearwater, Fla., police spokesman Wayne Shelor said. A warrant for McNeal's arrest was issued in December 2005 on a charge of defrauding a pawn broker, Shelor said. The player also was served an arrest warrant from Richland County for writing a fraudulent $1,500 check to Berger Dental Group, the Lexington County sheriff's department said. McNeal signed with Tampa Bay in December 2004 and was cut before the next season began. He was signed to the Raiders' practice squad last season.

I give the brother credit, at least he didn't do the stereotypical smack a few hoes or snort some dope. But it just goes to prove the old adage - You never hit an NFL brother's car - because those might be your wheels.

Rhodes loves booze

Oakland Raiders running back Dominic Rhodes was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The league didn't disclose reasons for the suspension, but Rhodes pleaded guilty in the off-season to reckless driving charges in Indiana after prosecutors agreed to drop drunken driving charges against him. He was pulled over by an Indiana state trooper in February for driving 130 km/h in an 88 km/h zone. He was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. Rhodes, who spent his six years in Indianapolis, signed a two-year contract in the off-season with the Raiders that could be worth up to US$7.5 million.

What a fall from Superbowl Champ to suspended chump in a matter of months. Rhodes and his teammates won your hick state a friggin' World Championship and this is the thanks he gets? They could have at least tasered him or something.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Durant can't shoot

After two games of the Las Vegas Summer League, Kevin Durant is struggling with his shot, and not rebounding or passing either. Durant sank his first attempt Monday night, a 3-pointer less than a minute into Seattle's 87-74 loss to the New York Knicks, and then missed 15 of his next 18 attempts. He also finished with just one rebound and no assists for the second straight game. Durant is 9-for-36 (25 percent) from the field over two games, including 3-for-10 from 3-point range.

Guess the Trail Blazers are glad they took Oden, even if he has no tonsils. But I haven’t seen someone’s shot hit this much metal since I dated that chick with braces.

Roy Jones Jr. puts things into perspective

The world’s foremost authority on cock fighting Roy Jones Jr. finally weighed in on speculation surrounding Michael Vick and his involvement in dog fighting.

“People tend to talk so hard against people. They make it such a bad thing, like dog fighting is worse than killing someone. I'm not a dog fighter. I've never been to a dog fight. But just because they have the animals doesn't mean they are fighting the animals. Michael Vick doesn't have that kind of time to train and raise dogs…They are making this so bad, but really two dogs fighting can happen in anyone's backyard or on the street. It happened in my backyard, two of my dogs fought and one died. I was devastated because I love dogs. Fighting animals don't necessarily get mistreated. They get treated just the way I get treated. They train me, they feed me; if I lose, I lose, and when I get in the ring, there is that chance I could get killed. It used to be that you could drive to Louisiana and fight chickens. But they passed a law and that's illegal now.”

You can say what you want about him, but at least Jones Jr. isn’t a hypocrite. He should propose a fight between a pack of his killer chickens and one of Vick’s dogs. And the winner can move on to meet my stable of endangered animals. May the fittest survive. That’s Darwin yo.

Canadians can't score

The quarter finals start this week in the 2nd biggest soccer tournament in the world – the FIFA World under 20 tournament. This year it is being hosted in the soccer hotbed known as Canada, who will not be playing in the quarter finals.

Canada's squad became the first host team in the tournament’s history not to score. Which sounds exactly like my teen years. And by teen years I mean my twenties. And by twenties I mean my entire virgin life. I need to touch a woman bad.