Category Archives: Sports

He Bites, He Dives, He Hates the Jackson Five: The Enigmatic Luis Suarez Just Got More Enigmatic

Sometimes, sport transcends itself and becomes something of which the whole world takes notice. Sometimes, it’s as a result of something very dramatic and on the field of play and amazing. Something, though, it’s Tiger Woods driving his SUV into a tree and setting off a whole investigation into his sex life, or it’s Mike Tyson doing any number of Mike Tyson things, or, as happened yesterday for the second time in his career (speaking of Mike Tyson things), it’s Luis Suarez biting an opposing player (Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanonic) in the middle of a game between two of the most high-profile English football clubs.

It’s even more remarkable in that the referee didn’t see it, Suarez was allowed to stay in the game, and scored the last-gasp, game-tying goal. Suarez is no stranger to controversy — the “he bites, he dives, he hates the Jackson Five” is an awesome soccer chant referring to a past biting incident (when he played for Holland’s Ajax), his propensity to pretend to be fouled, and his prior ban for racism toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. In other words, dude’s an enigma — eminently talented, but a certified jackass. (That doesn’t even include this jackassery on the world stage playing for his native Uruguay in the last World Cup.)

After the game, the Fox Soccer crew questioned Suarez’ IQ and ability to function in society, and Twitter was alight with mirth about the incident. Our personal favorite was “Dinner is Serb,” in reference to Ivanovic’s heritage, though there were plenty of cracks about Suarez just wanting a “taste of Champions League football” (which you instantly get if you follow the English Premier League). Suarez will surely feel the wrath of a suspension and a fine, though perhaps the Gulag of Hilarious Internet Memes is where he’ll feel this the most.

(Update: The memes in question. The last one is particularly LOL-worthy.)

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In the Wake of Awfulness, Patton Oswalt Emerges

Yesterday’s Boston Marathon tragedy — which has all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack — was possibly the most awful and unwelcome surprise of its kind since 9/11. The revelations came in dire waves — first news of explosions, then injuries, then really gruesome injuries, possible fatalities (which eventually did manifest), and then the lingering question of “Who did this?” while TV media played footage of the initial blast over and over. People responded admirably for the most part with their computers — Google set up a person finder, Mr. Rogers’ advice to “look for the helpers” popped up on Facebook, Twitter took on its usual real-time disaster resource role, and love and concern for Boston made its way around.

But it was comedian Patton Oswalt who emerged as the Mr. Rogers-like voice of reason in response to this tragic event. ABC News’ blog summarizes what happened, and even Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson mentioned it this morning (along with the Mr. Rogers bon mots). It’s a weird day in America when the genius who skewered “The Christmas Shoes” and who famously called KFC’s Famous Bowl “a failure pile in a sadness bowl” can be lauded by F&F as healing ‘Merica.

Cocaine and Horse-Punching: Soccer Has A Bad Weekend

Courtesy of Deadspin, here’s all you really need to know about how soccer went in England this past weekend.

Millwall’s motto is “No One Likes Us,” so news of their fans at the FA Cup semi-finals fighting in the stands isn’t surprising. But fighting with each other, allegedly while coked-up, is pretty much next-level.

Still, though, that last video. A Newcastle fan, after a horrible loss to rivals Sunderland, in what’s been a really frustrating season, punching a horse. PUNCHING A HORSE.

When Hilarious Ad Taglines Don’t Work As Dunk Calls

So, rough night for the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, losing their hold on the #1 seed in the West, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-88. The game featured Kevin Durant absolutely annihilating Los Spurs (as they’re called during NBA’s mystifying Noche Latino) on a dunk. Yardbarker noticed what we noticed — namely, Reggie Miller’s replay call, in which he intones, “Mommy’s got some things for Daddy TO DO!” (Which is, of course, the punchline to the hilarious Kevin Durant commercial for Sprint that’s been playing on a loop during NBA games since Christmas. This is perhaps the worst announcer call of the year, yet also our favorite.

Today’s NBA Stars: They Can Beat Michael Jordan at Something

The always-excellent crew at The Basketball Jones, our favorite Canadian-based basketball and pop culture podcast, is down in Houston for All-Star Weekend, and with it being Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday this weekend — a fact not lost on Fall Out Boy in their random duet with 2 Chainz — they took it upon themselves to ask the participants in this year’s All-Star Game to come up with things they’re better at than the Greatest of All Time. Answers included Uno, Checkers, dressing, drawing, mouth-grape-catching (of course), and a whole lot of video games. And, from the Matt Bonner we’re clearly all fans of, cribbage.

ESPN’s Music Issue Lets You Know: Yep, It’s February

So, the Super Bowl’s over, the NBA’s heading toward the always-entertaining All-Star Weekend (but the admittedly lackluster All-Star midseason caesura), baseball’s not quite yet in preseason, and hockey’s made itself irrelevant — taking care of the Big Four sports. So ESPN The Magazine decided to make the latest issue “The Music Issue,” which means photo shoots in which willing athletes try to help you shake off the winter doldrums by posing in costumes made to look like album covers. So, Alex Morgan dresses up like Katy Perry (giggity), MLB stars dress up like Devo on the Freedom of Choice cover (why?), Ryan Lochte undresses up like the baby on the Nirvana Nevermind cover (double why), and Josh Freeman dons the white suit (and a stuffed baby tiger) to replicate Michael Jackson’s Thriller, forever making him “the guy who posed as Michael Jackson for ESPN the Magazine that one time.” And NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson as Bob Dylan? Imagined staff meeting at ESPN the Magazine this week: “Okay, the costumes were fun — NFL DRAFT IN TWO MONTHS! GET ON THAT NOW!”

Beyonce: Stage On Fire, Shower of Sparks Guitar, and Other Awesomeness From Last Night

Things we liked about last night’s halftime show at the Super Bowl, featuring an up-and-coming songstress named Beyonce, who you might know best from being a member of Houston-based R&B group Destiny’s Child:

1. The things on fire.

The pyrotechnics made us feel like Beavis and Butthead in vintage “Fire! Fire!” mode, as it looked like Beyonce, at points, was going to be engulfed by the flames on the stage, if not for her flame-repellent lingerie.

The best thing on fire might have been the guitar, though. Deadspin captures it nicely here, along with the observation that “Beyonce doesn’t do anything figuratively.” Of course, though, that moment reminded us of this Ace Frehley solo, which in turn reminded us of this Nigel Tufnel solo.

2. The “performance.”

Dancing. Lots of motion. Alleged singing (with mysterious vocals not created by any of the mouths on stage), with Shaq playfully adding his perspective to the Inauguration lip-synching controversy. This blogger, noting that Beyonce was an incarnation of the Hindu warrior goddess Durga on stage, also noted that one online critic panned the whole show as “Breasts of the Southern Wild.” Both views seem extreme. We do love that Beyonce inspires this range of reactions.

3. Production values

So, there was the stage itself, that looked like the cover art for a 1973 Alice Walker novel (amirite?), but there was also so much high-tech gadgetry and electricity in the halftime show that, when a power surge made the Superdome look like “every movie about football ever, minus the torrential downpour” (according to an astute Deadspin writer), that I called the inevitable flood of “Beyonce caused the blackout” tweets to follow.

4. Destiny’s Child reunion. We, of course, blew this call. After seeing Beyonce diva her way through this performance, we thought, “No way she’ll share the stage with them.” But, she made them pop up from under the stage, as if summoned (because she’s DURGA), and then made them sidekicks. Genius.

We loved it. (Then again, at that point, the game was awful. It was compelling late. But, wow, American football takes forever. Especially during the Super Bowl.)

Least Shocking Development From a Super Bowl Media Day Ever

What do you mean, a retiring, controversial-yet-beloved NFL player doesn’t want to talk about new allegations about using performance-enhancing drugs or old allegations about his role in a double murder? Really, Yahoo! Sports? (Related: Jim Harbaugh wears a Sharpie as a necklace? Tell me more!)

Get Ready For Two Weeks of “Harbaugh Bowl”

Forget baseball: Football’s supplanted it as America’s favorite pastime, and today’s AFC and NFC Championship gave us, in San Francisco and Baltimore, two worthy Super Bowl XLVII opponents (because you can’t call it 47, and in many ads, you can’t call it the Super Bowl, which is why you’ll hear radio ads on sports talk stations, for instance, hypothetically, call it “The Big Game”).

Also, though, there’s this: Because the NFL has deemed it necessary to have a two-week build-up leading up to the Big Game (it used to be just a week), there’s more of a need than in prior, saner, smaller-Roman-Numeral versions of the Big Game to have a storyline to hype. It’s perfect this year: brothers are coaching the two finalists — Jim Harbaugh for the 49ers (translation: Golddiggers) and John Harbaugh for the Ravens (translation: “Nevermore!“). Ergo: Harbaugh Bowl. Storyline: Found. Easy.

This article explains (along with some creepy Photoshopping of brothercoaches with headsets standing just a leeeeetle too close together) a little bit more about why it’s the Harbaugh Bowl and just who Jim and John are.

So, you’ll hear it. And hear it. And hear it. All leading up the Second Biggest Eating Day of the Year. (‘MERICA!)

The Death of Art (As Mourned By the Ravens)

Ray Lewis is too angry to mourn the Death of Art, though his jersey’s doing it for him. (Photo credit: USA Today)

You might note, in the Indianapolis Colts-Baltimore Ravens playoff game happening right now, that the Baltimore players are wearing black patches on their upper left pectorals that simply say “Art.” I’d like to think that this is some Dieter-esque proclamation that “Art is dead,” but the Art being mourned is Art Modell, the Ravens’ owner, who passed away in September. Modell, of course, is best known from moving the Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore, winning the eternal enmity of everyone in, near, or with any smidge of loyalty to Cleveland. The city was eventually issued a replacement expansion franchise, reviving the Browns’ brand, but the former Browns (with a black-and-purple color scheme and a mascot taken from an Egdar Allan Poe work) have had more football success than the newer, not-necessarily-improved Browns.

(Note: Just something to think about when you’re seeing the KFC Game Day Bucket Go Boom commercial once again, and are Stockholm Syndrome-style convincing yourself you like it.)