Say What?

Fisher blasts ESPN for report on Sam showering

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said it was “unethical” and “very unprofessional” for ESPN’s Josina Anderson to mention the showering habits of the soon to be cut Michael Sam, pro football’s first openly gay player.  Fisher also complained that she spoke to players in places and times not approved by the team.  “She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time.” 

Like most coaches, Fisher hopes to control the media, but of course that’s impossible.  It’s the job of reporters to reach sources wherever they may be – preferably not under the watchful eyes of their coaches.

The quote that riled Fisher:  “Another defensive player told me that Sam is ‘respecting our space’ and from his perspective he seems to think Michael Sam is kind of waiting to take a shower so as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable.”

Chris Long, one of the Rams’ veteran defensive stars, tweeted, “Dear ESPN:  Everyone but you is over it.” 

Dear Coach: For shooting off your mouth you got exactly what you did not want, huge distraction.  Is that why Sam is gone?


USC star lied about saving nephew from drowning

It was such a heartwarming story: a Southern Cal team captain, Josh Shaw, jumping from a second-story hotel balcony, landing on concrete, spraining both his ankles, then crawling to the swimming pool to rescue his 7-year-old nephew from drowning.

The USC athletics department distributed his account to the media but soon doubted its veracity.  Then Shaw admitted his story “was a complete fabrication.”  He didn’t explain how or why he fell, but the assumption is he needed an excuse for disabling himself.  Coach Steve Sarkisian suspended Shaw indefinitely and said, “We are extremely disappointed in Josh.  He let us all down.”

A couple of days later Sarkisian had another problem:  backup running back Anthony Brown quit the team and sent out an Instagram saying, “Sark treated me like a slave in his office.  . . .  Can’t play for a racist.”  Sarkisian called the charge “ridiculous,” and several of his players tweeted their support of the coach.


Vick miffed that Cooper didn’t appreciate his support

More on racism: Mike Vick said Riley Cooper didn’t show enough gratitude when the African American quarterback protected him after he unleashed racial slurs at a Kenny Chesney concert a year ago.  Vick at the time was Cooper’s teammate on the Philadelphia Eagles.  “We had guys talking about knocking him out, taking his head off, and none of that happened,” Vick told ESPN.  “Out of respect for myself, I think.”  Vick, now backup QB for the New York Jets, sent Cooper a congratulatory text when the receiver signed a 5-year contract extension, with $8 million guaranteed.  “I never got a text back,” Vick said.  “That made me feel a certain type of way.”


Goodell regrets going light on Rice and assault

After being widely criticized a month ago for assessing Baltimore’s Ray Rice only a two-game suspension for punching out his soon-to-be bride, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he made a mistake.  Goodell said: “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. . . . I didn’t get it right.”  He laid out a new protocol for anyone employed by the NFL who commits assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault.  First offense brings a six-game suspension, second offense a full year.  But the policy is not retroactive, so Rice still gets just two games.  Kevin Mawae, former president of the NFL Players Association, said:  “I can’t believe Roger Goodell admitted he got something wrong.”


Jerry Jones tampering with Adrian Peterson?

While entertaining in his owner’s suite following a George Strait concert in June, Jerry Jones received a phone call from Minnesota’s All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson.  ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. said he heard Jones say, “We’ll see what we can do, if we can make that happen.  . . . We’re talking pig Latin here, but let’s see what we can do about that.  OK, Adrian, thanks.”  

Peterson, who grew up in Texas, denied making an overture to the Cowboys, but Jones confirmed that he did comment about playing in Dallas.  Jones insisted he was not tampering, but NFL rules require that if contacted by a player (or his agent) who’s contracted with another NFL club, he must inform the player’s current team.  Which Jones did not do.

Dear Jerry:  Peterson is 29 and under contract with Minnesota for three more years.  Considering his extensive injury record, do you really want him at 32?

Click here for New York Post: ‘Jones still mad he didn’t draft Manziel.’


Stewart ends grief just in time for the Chase

After running over and killing fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint-car race in upper New York, Tony Stewart went into seclusion and missed three races on the NASCAR circuit.  But he needed to win one of the next two races to be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  So he competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he wrecked twice and exited the race.  Prior to that race, Stewart said:  “I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and to cope with the accident my own way.”


Bad hair day: Wozniacki’s braid caught in her racket

As Caroline Wozniacki was trying to hit a forehand during the U.S. Open at Forest Hills, N.Y., her blonde braid got caught in her racket.  When she tried a backhand on the next shot, with her hair still entangled, “I almost took my head off,” she said.  “It was really tangled up good, so I didn’t have a chance.”


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