Walking on Eggshells
WOE is back with yet another installment of the finest sports journalism this side of the Connecticut River. So buckle up, because this past weekend in sports was as ridiculous as Dartmouth's current keg policy.
First, congratulations to Adam Scott, who won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, shooting a final round 66 en route to a three-stroke victory. After the win, reporters asked Scott how much he thought Tiger Woods would have beaten him by if Tiger had decided to actually show up and play.
And let's not forget about the Indianapolis Colts (8-0), who remain the NFL's only unbeaten team for the second straight season. Once again, murmurs of the 1972 Dolphins can be heard in the hallways of ESPN offices in Bristol, Conn., and, once again, look for the Colts to go 14-2 this season and unceremoniously bow out of the playoffs. The Colts front office has reportedly picked up unsigned free agent and former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin in hopes of replacing Manning in the playoffs with someone who has actually won a significant football game in the last 15 years.
Despite playing without LaVar Arrington and losing Michael Strahan for two to four weeks, the Giants defense held the Texans to just 10 points on Sunday and won their fifth game in a row. Big Blue is now 6-2 and sits alone atop the toughest division in football. Asked after the victory how he has managed to put together a five-game winning streak, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, "Well, every player on the team pretty much hates me, so I'm just doing my best to let them play and throw an occasional hissy fit on the sidelines."
And now, for the awards:
Worst Rule of the Weekend: 3-2-5-e
Saturday witnessed an instant classic college football game between Penn State and Wisconsin. Aside from JoePa breaking his leg on the sideline in the second half, the game also saw the exploitation of one of the biggest loopholes in NCAA sports rules. After Wisconsin scored with 23 seconds left in the first half, head coach Bret Bielema ran the clock down by intentionally sending his entire kicking team offsides. The new rule states that the clock starts the moment the ball is kicked, so by intentionally going offsides, Wisconsin was able to run the last 23 seconds off the clock and ended up kicking off three times. Ironic that a rule designed to speed up the play of the game ends up actually allowing more time to be wasted. Way to think that one through, NCAA.
Mind-Boggler of the Weekend: WTA Championships
Normally, I wouldn't spend much time with women's tennis, but the story of the upcoming WTA Championship is just too good to resist: male models will be used as ball boys for the entirety of the tournament. The announcement comes on the heels of criticisms about using female models as ball girls, so at least the WTA can't be accused of being gender-biased. Personally, I think this is a great idea, and other sports should start implementing the same techniques. NFL cheerleaders have spent years on the sidelines -- why not give them a shot at refereeing a game or two during the season?
Hack of the Weekend: Scoop Jackson, Sportswriter
Now don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for people who can make a living as sportswriters. I also have no desire to give no talent hacks like Scoop Jackson ink in my column, but his latest article on ESPN.com's Page 2 is just too brutal not to mention: a story on Jesse Jackson, philanderer extraordinaire, praying in the Sacramento Kings locker room with Ron Artest, headcase extraordinaire. Really Scoop? Is that the best you can do? God forbid something that actually has to do with the NBA season sneaks into your biased columns, but maybe we should just leave Ron and Jesse alone -- they've had enough bad press. In times like these, with the quality of journalism at an all-time low, more people should be upset with the second-rate, sensationalist miasma that spews from the Worldwide Leader. Go find a real scoop, Scoop.
Rager of the Weekend: Mitch Cozad, Northern Colorado backup kicker
In one of the most ridiculous stories since the Nancy Kerrigan/Tanya Harding fiasco, reports out of Colorado explain how Mitch Cozad, the former backup kicker for the Northern Colorado football team, stabbed starting kicker Rafael Mendoza in the kicking leg. Cozad is charged with attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault, and faces up to 48 years in prison. The kicker (no pun intended) is that the stabbing incident allegedly took place after Cozad, a transfer from the University of Wyoming, was taken out to a steak dinner by Mendoza, who also offered to be Cozad's roommate. Moral of the story: make sure all steak knives are left in the restaurant next time.