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(NOTE: This is a quick "run-down" from the run down (me) of my top five stories of the day. I just started blogging again after a 5-month break - glad to be back!)
Late night at the office, so as much as I wanted to avoid it, sometimes you just can't help having to. . . run. It. Down. Here goes:
1) 31-year old Daunte Culpepper, once a celebrated QB, now says he can't get a callback (much less a quarter back - ba dum bum!). He claims it's because he stands up for what he believes in and represents himself, which the league and teams don't like. On PTI (can't stop gushing about my love for DVR these days!), they basically said his personality must suck, and I tend to agree. There are plenty of team with - excuse my language - piss-poor QB's that Culpepper could play ahead of or behind. My benchmark here is none other than Joey Harrington. Joey had a job until he got a cut a few days ago, and if he can get a job . . . I'll stop here, but suffice it to say that Harrington's record speaks for itself, and if he's getting looks ahead of Culpepper, Daunte must really be in the inferno. Here's hoping he lands something in this tough economy.
2) It turns out that Chad Ocho
Psycho Cinco is not alone in his interesting name change. SI.com did a flip through Vault piece on this, including 13 different athlete name changes. If I had to pick one to take the cake, I'd have to go with the athlete formerly known as J.R. Henderson. After a stint at UCLA, Henderson wasn't able to find basketball success here, so he went to Japan and became a star. But it seems that he was too black to be put on Japan's national team. Not to fear, Henderson had a plan. He would change his last name to Sakuragi, get a Japanese passport, and then all would be well. "Well" meaning he could earn double his salary because he wasn't a foreigner, but not "well" for the national team, which failed to make it to Beijing for the Olympics this summer (and hasn't done so since 1976). That's dedication.
3) LeBron James got his "highness" handed to him by a warehouse worker in a game of H-O-R-S-E. I can't say that I'm really that surprised, since special skills aren't really Bron Bron's forte. Had he lost in an ego-strength competition, then I might have worried. But seriously - and don't tell anyone I said this - kudos to King James for even agreeing to participate. He just made this guy's life, which means if you know him (and even worse, if you play pickup ball with him) you're probably in for a real treat from here on out. (". . . and I kicked LeBron's ***, what have you done?")
4) Redeeming himself after the slight at the Republican National Convention last night (see asterisk at bottom of that post), Eli Manning and (Plaxi) Co. opened up the year like they ended it - with a win, this time over the Washington Redskins. I was at work and didn't watch the game, so that's all I've got for you, except that, as noted during the RNC, the Giants still don't get any respect. And they probably won't unless they win another one. One day, Eli. One day.
5) Another event I couldn't watch today but would have liked to: the U.S. Open. Someday, when I get to that U.S. Open round-up, perhaps I'll talk about the #3 male player in the world, Novak Djokovic, and his struggle to win over the fans. He got some positive attention when he did impressions of Raphael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, but since then, the crowd just hasn't been on his side. When I was in attendance for one of his matches the other night, I did notice that a lot of people were cheering for his opponent but I thought it was because they wanted to see more tennis (even though it was 1 a.m. and I was quite ready to go home). Maybe they just really don't like him. He can certainly make the occasional incendiary remark, as he did tonight following his win over "America's son," Andy Roddick.
Literally, I think sometimes his delivery just doesn't translate into English very well. Although he has a tendency to get "over-amped" and have a short temper, I really don't think he's a bad guy. It takes a big man to apologize for his remarks this evening - which he did - and he has seemed in the past to be truly hurt by the lack of support he receives from the American crowd. Maybe he just needs an advisor on American culture. The women do it (what, you thought Sharapova was a natural?), and if he wants to get anywhere near the endorsement money that the two men ranked above him get (assuming he continues to perform well), he really ought to look into that. I should add that I'm available, Novak, if you can see this.
Have a great weekend!
Cross-published at Pleats 'n Cleats