A – AshleyMadison.com. The dating Web site submitted a $25 million offer to purchase the naming rights to the new Giants Stadium for five seasons through the 2014 Super Bowl. The one big snag with the bid is the nature of the dating Web site. AshleyMadison.com specifically targets people interested in committing adultery. The site’s founder, Noel Biderman, said he is willing to match any other offer that may come in for the naming rights, but the Giants and Jets do not appear to willing to name their stadium after the home-wrecking online service. For a Jets fan, any stadium name has to be better than their old one, Giants Stadium.
B – Bob Huggins. The veteran coach helped guide West Virginia to the Final Four in March but now he is dealing with the Fractured Four. After apparently tripping on something in his Las Vegas hotel room, Huggins crashed through a table and broke four ribs. The incident occurred on Friday night and Huggins was still hospitalized through Tuesday.
C – Chip Ganassi. While Miguel Cabrera chases the Triple Crown in baseball, owner Chip Ganassi completed an unprecedented triple crown in auto racing that may never be matched. With Jamie McMurray’s win Sunday in the Brickyard 400, Ganassi now owns wins in the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 all in the same season. McMurray won both NASCAR Sprint Cup events for Ganassi while Dario Franchitti rode Ganassi’s car to a win at Indy back in May.
D – Danny Green. The Australian boxer’s 29-second knockout of Paul Briggs was met with widespread booing throughout the arena in Perth, Australia, and flying stadium concessions into the ring. The reaction was even worse among betting agencies after suspicious betting on an early knockout by Green preceded the suspicious bout. Some Australian sportsbooks are no longer taking line bets on Australian boxing fights after the event.
E – Ernie Banks. Mr. Cub was on hand at Wrigley Field for the seventh-inning stretch last week. He became one of the few former Cubs to not throw his hat in the ring for a potential managerial job to replace Lou Piniella (see L).
F – Finch, Jennie. The country’s most famous softball player officially retired from international competition after her fourth consecutive world championship. A month ago Finch announced she would retire after this summer’s world championship. The United States defeated Japan, 5-1, in the title game. In related news most of the male softball fans in the country have also decided to retire from watching the sport.
G – Garza, Matt. The pressure continues to mount on the New York Mets and San Diego Padres now that Garza tossed the league’s fifth no-hitter of the season on Monday and the first-ever for Tampa Bay. The Mets and Padres are now the only teams in the majors without a no-hitter. Garza walked only one batter but forced a double play immediately after to finish the game by only facing the minimum 27 batters.
H – Haren, Dan. It’s tough to imagine the Dan Haren experiment getting off to a worse start in Los Angeles. The newest Angel lasted 4 2/3 innings in his first start for the Angels before having to leave the game after a line drive hit off his forearm. Before the bruised right forearm Haren was tagged with two runs on seven hits including a David Ortiz solo homerun.
I – Ingram, Mark. The defending Heisman Trophy winner has apparently cleared all of his offseason legal hurdles after a scrutinized party he attended early this year. Ingram can now set his sights on repeating as a national champion and as a Heisman winner. BetUS has him listed as the favorite at +350, ahead of Terrelle Pryor (+450) and Jake Locker (+800).
J – Jeremiah Masoli. The closest thing to a free agent in collegiate sports, the recently expelled Oregon quarterback has begun sending out scholarship release papers to prospective schools. His candidates are literally all over the country with Ole Miss viewed as the front-runner but Hawaii, UNLV, Louisiana Tech, Syracuse and Mississippi State also as viable options. Masoli graduated from Oregon, his second school after a one-year stay at the City College of San Francisco. He has one year of eligibility remaining because of an obscure NCAA rule that allows a player to transfer and be eligible immediately at any Division I-A program if he enrolls in a graduate program his current school does not offer. Masoli’s career has been plagued by run-ins with the law including a second-degree burglary charge and possession of marijuana.
K – Karen Sypher. One of the more bizarre court cases got underway Monday when the 50-year old Sypher appeared in a Federal Court in Louisville. Federal prosecutors allege the women lied repeatedly in an attempt to extort millions of dollars from current Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and then traded sexual favors to cover up the crime. It’s also alleged that Sypher made false allegations of rape and a forced abortion paid by Pitino. What Pitino has admitted to is a sexual encounter on a table at the now famous Italian Restaurant Porcini’s and paying Sypher $3,000 for insurance while Sypher claims the sex was not consensual and the money was for an abortion. This cloud has hung over Pitino for a season now and at a recent away game at West Virginia the student section serenaded Pitino with chants of “Karen Sypher.”
L – Lou Piniella. Toodle Lou, the Cubs’ manager announced he will depart after this season and head into retirement. He will likely retire as the 14th-winningest manager in baseball history. His career highlights include a World Series in his first year managing the Reds, and six divisional titles and three Manager of the Year awards, two in the AL with Seattle and one in the NL with Chicago.
M – Max Scherzer. The Detroit Tigers’ pitcher performance was overshadowed by Garza’s no-hitter, but Scherzer had a no-hit bid of his own into the sixth inning. Scherzer lost his no-hitter on a Matt Joyce grand slam. It was the first time in more than 20 years that a no-hitter was lost to a grand slam.
N – Newcastle United. The English Premier League is one of the few sports leagues in the world yet to put a preemptive stranglehold on any potential vuvuzela buzz. While counterparts like Tottenham and Manchester United have already banned the headache-inducing plastic trumpets, Newcastle says it has yet to decide, leading some to believe that Newcastle could be the buzz of the league this year with the season fast approaching and set to start on Aug. 14.
O – Ohio State. The University is welcoming back one of its former disgraced stars. Maurice Clarett, the former national championship winning running back that spent 3 ½ years in a Toledo prison for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, is going back to school to pursue his degree.
P – Prince Fielder. Arguably the biggest decision in Milwaukee Brewers history could be made ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. That is when the Brewers may send the 26-year old slugger off to a contending team. However, some in Milwaukee contend the Brewers are in contention themselves. Resigning him looks near impossible with agent Scott Boras’ demands, but the Brewers have Fielder under contract for next season as well so they may hold onto their slugger to see if the team can climb back in the race this year, or trade him in the offseason or take another chance at next year’s trade deadline to move him.
Q – Quentin Jammer. With 10/1 odds on Bodog, the San Diego Chargers are an early Super Bowl favorite, but a look around their defense shows a number of holes. The one steady presence has been safety Quentin Jammer. As the San Diego veterans prepare to report to training camp, nearly every position is up for grabs on the defensive side of the ball except for Jammer’s. The 31-year old has had a quiet offseason although he was spotted at opening day at Del Mar last week with fellow Charger Shawne Merriman.
S – Sergio Kindle. If the Bob Huggins plunge through a hotel room table resulting in four broken ribs (see B) did not have you speculating, this fall sure will. Kindle, the Ravens top pick last year in the second round out of Texas fell down two flights of stairs at a friends’ house in Austin, Texas and fractured his skull. Kindle will miss all of training camp.
R – Roy Williams. The veteran receiver was denied pad-carrying service from rookie Dez Bryant Saturday at Dallas Cowboys training camp. This may come as a surprise to many people who forgot that Williams still plays in the NFL. He has pulled a disappearing act the past few seasons and has been replaced by Miles Austin as the team’s elite receiver. Add in tight end Jason Witten and the emergence of Bryant and now Williams looks like Tony Romo’s fourth best option. It is likely only a matter of time until someone starts to ask Williams to carry a clipboard or bottles of water.
T – Terrell Owens. The free-agent receiver is running out of options as the summer goes on, but it appears like Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals might be a match made in reality television heaven. Owens could join a team that features Chad Ochocinco and the team that brought us “Hard Knocks”. That would give the Bengals a receiving corps with more VH1 reality shows (2) than Super Bowl Rings (0).
U – Uchitel, Rachel. The alleged Tiger Woods mistress is stretching her 15 minutes of fame as long as possible. Attempts to get onto “Celebrity Apprentice” failed so now the 34-year old nightclub manager will head to “Celebrity Rehab” where she reportedly will be treated for a pill problem and relationship issues. It was Uchitel who was photographed entering Woods’ room in Australia. She was the first, but certainly not the last, woman to be linked to Woods.
V – Verlander, Justin. Does the Sports Illustrated cover jinx carry over to the SI player poll? In a recent SI survey of 339 major league players, the magazine asked who has the best fast ball. A surprising 30-percent chose Verlander, by far the most. In his first game after the survey Verlander was forced to abandon his fastball that averages nearly 96 mph because Toronto batters were tattooing it all over the field. He ended up relying on his slider, changeup and curveball to secure the win for the Tigers.
W – Winter Classic. Six months in advance of the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, the NHL held a press conference in Pittsburgh Tuesday to finalize the details surrounding its biggest game of the year and unveil this year’s logo. The press conference brought together such Steel City heroes as Penguins chairman Mario Lemieux, current captain Sidney Crosby and Steelers president Art Rooney II. The Winter Classic will take place at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day.
X – X-Rated. Thanks to an ex-girlfriend, Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett now joins the NFL Internet X-Rated Hall of Fame with fellow receivers Chris Cooley and Santonio Holmes. Bennett had to apologize on Monday after nude photos of him surfaced on the Internet, presumably posted by an ex-girlfriend. Nude pictures of Cooley and Holmes also found their way to the Internet in years past while Cooley actually took and submitted his own, albeit supposedly accidentally.
Y – Yankees. The Yankees are a Major League-best 63-35 through 98 games. If they were in the American League Central they would have a commanding nine-game lead on the division and we could start talking magic numbers. Instead they are paired with the majors’ second best team, Tampa Bay, who is only three games behind. The Bronx Bombers have won 15 of 19 games as they are in the midst of a road trip that ends with a pivotal three-game series in Tampa Bay.
Z – Zambrano, Carlos. Big Z said he was sorry to Cub Nation on Monday after his dugout rampage last month. Since then Zambrano has been suspended for three games, placed on the team’s restricted list and forced to undergo anger management classes. It is clear that Zambrano has more to apologize than just his behavior in the dugout. He has been just as atrocious on the mound where he has compiled a 3-6 record with a 5.66 ERA. That has been the Cubs’ return on the five-year $91.5 million extension they signed him too in August 2007.