Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

It's funny how things work sometimes.

The Albany Dutchmen had swept their season series with the Hudson Valley Diamond Dawgs, including a double-header on Monday, the final day of the regular season. However, fortunes changed as the two teams met again Tuesday, this time at Siena College, the Dutchmen's home field du jour, and Hudson Valley gained a measure of revenge on the Dutchmen, eliminating Albany from the Perfect Game Collegiate League's playoffs. Hudson Valley now moves on to play top-seeded Amsterdam later today.

The Dutchmen, at 33-17, improved their win total from last season, and I think they may have set a team record for wins. Congratulations on a great season.
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Not even Super Bowl heroes are exempt from discipline.

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman found that out on Monday when he got into a scrum with a teammate at practice and both players were ejected from camp for the day. This wasn't the only training camp incident over the last week, and these things do get heated, but when was the last time you heard anything like that in Patriots camp? I guess the CIA had the day off......!
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Closer to home, Troy's Fighting Irish kicked off a 2-game road trip last weekend by throttling the Upstate Predators in Rochester to the tune of 43-8. That it took the Northeastern Football Alliance's website four days after the game to finally post the result makes them look almost as bad as the local press that has ignored the Irish, save for some pre-season puff pieces, all season. The Irish return to Lansingburgh on August 12 to play Broome County (Binghamton) in what appears to be the home finale. I get that NFL preseason games and the Valleycats will take precedence, as will horse racing at Saratoga, but let's see if El Cheapo Media can finally give the Irish some love.
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Sad news in college football. One of Notre Dame's most revered coaches, Ara Parseghian, passed away earlier this morning at 94. Parseghian led the Irish to 2 National titles (1966 & 1973) in the course of a 11 year career at Notre Dame (1964-74), after stops at Miami of Ohio and Northwestern. Parseghian retired after the 1974 season, and moved into broadcasting, working for ABC.

While at Notre Dame, Parseghian was one of a rare breed of college coaches who parlayed their success into commercial endorsements. In this case, he was a pitchman for Ford, as seen in this 1971 ad:



He will be missed.
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Meanwhile, the Fred Sanford of basketball, LaVar Ball, last week's Weasel of the Week, is getting called out by a pair of NBA legends.

For example, Michael Jordan, in an interview released earlier this week, disputed Ball's 5 month old claims that the stage parent could beat the 6-time NBA champion in a game of one-on-one. Ball added more fuel to the fire with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in June, claiming he'd make Jordan cry. What a dreamer. What a maroon!

And, then, Shaquille O'Neal took his shot via a rap video:



Of course, Shaq, pitchman for Gold Bond and Icy Hot when not on TNT's NBA pre-&-post-game shows, couldn't resist getting in a plug for the latter in the lyrics.

In a related matter, Court Club Elite, which is responsible for assigning the referees for the Adidas-sponsored AAU summer tournament in Las Vegas, ended their association with the shoe company after 5 years in the wake of Ball's antics last week. The company caved in and allowed a change in referees after a female official, a Division 1 college ref, hit Ball with a technical foul. Adidas suits have since apologized for that error in judgment, but the damage left by publicity leech Ball remains as a number of online commentators had said they'd boycott Adidas as a result of what happened in Vegas.

Oh, and it gets better. Not.

Now, according to USA Today, Ball claims he was a better football player, particularly at tight end, than the New England Patriots' resident party boy and WWE fan, Rob Gronkowski. Not so fast. Ball played in the World League of American Football with London a number of years back, and in the article, two ex-teammates disputed Ball's claims.

Those 15 minutes can expire in a hurry for LaVar Ball, and they should before Lonzo's first game. Just sayin'.

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