A – Arenas, Gilbert. The Washington Wizards point guard cannot wait to relinquish his role as leader of the Wizards. He has already publicly passed the torch to No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall saying, “(I’m here to) Teach John the ins and outs of the game and then eventually go on and move on, and I’m on my way.” Arenas went on to call himself Robin and call Wall Batman.
B – Byron Scott. In his first media event as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, first-year Coach Byron Scott donned a black and gray tie that had a pattern made with swastikas, a symbol adopted by the German Nazi machine in the 1930s. The tie was obviously a giant mistake by Scott, who simply may not have noticed the pattern. However, it made for quite the awkward press conference.
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C – Cleveland Craigslist Creeper. A Cleveland Browns security guard took to the Missed Connections page on Craigslist to track down a young lady he apparently spent four quarters staring at while working a Week 4 game. The 30-year old white male posted this on Craigslist…”You, isle 146, seat (No. 4) I think, and either 3rd or 4th row up from the field. Me, goatee, security. We exchanged a few smiles. What did you give away to a gentleman sitting close to you. I know the answer, as well as you do. I have pictures of myself to the lady who gets it right. Even if you are not single, I think this could be the start of a friendship.” If being undressed with the security guards eyes for three hours was not creepy enough, there is not a public plea to get in touch with you. As if being a Browns’ fan was not hard enough.
D – Dwayne Jarrett. Things keep getting worse for USC alums and the Carolina Panthers. The 0-4 Panthers released Jarrett, a former second-round draft pick, on Tuesday after he was picked up for his second DWI in less than three years. The fact that it was his second DWI hurt him and the fact that he does not play for the New York Jets also made it hard for him to escape any punishment.
E – EverBank Field. The home of the Jaguars, EverBank Field, was the sight of the Colts falling on Sunday and of a Jaguars fan falling two stories after the momentum from a missed high-five sent him flailing from a stadium railing 30 feet to pavement below him. The man was admitted to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
F – Flipping the bird. The Tennessee Titans may need to be renamed the Cardinals or Falcons or Seahawks or any other bird-species nickname. A year after Titans owner Bud Adams showered the Tennessee crowd with the middle finger and was subsequently fined $250,000, Titans Defensive Coordinator Chuck Cecil flipped the bird at a game official during a loss to the Broncos. Cecil was fined $40,000.
G – Gary Mercer. Betting against the Pittsburgh Pirates gives a better return than a 401(k). Gary Mercer, a Pirate fan, followed the age-old rule of not betting on your favorite team, but he took it a step further and actually bet against his favorite team, the Pirates, for 162 games. He documented his strategy, $20 against the Pirates every game, on an online spreadsheet and thousands followed. Over the 162-game season the strategy returned a 9.98-percent profit or a $324.34 profit. And that was just for $20 a game.
H – Home Runs. The Steroids Era is officially over. After a decade-plus home run binge, major league pitchers ruled the roost this season. An average of 1.90 home runs per game were hit, the lowest average per season since 1993 (1.78).
I – Ines Sainz. A regular fixture here at A-Z has been Ines Sainz, and she cracks the countdown again after receiving a formal offer from Playboy to pose nude. After dressing half-naked while covering the New York Jets for the Mexican station, Azteca TV, Sainz isn’t willing to drop what little clothes she wears. She tweeted “Never!” and “No way!” in response to the Playboy offer, but we can still hold out hope.
J – John Bonamego. After New England’s special teams performance in a Monday Night thrashing of the Miami Dolphins, either the Patriots special teams coach needed to be promoted to commissioner of the NFL or Miami’s special teams coach had to be fired. Unfortunately for Bonamego, it was the latter as Miami axed their special teams coach a day after allowing a blocked field goal which was returned for a touchdown, a blocked punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
K – Kid Rock. Thank TBS and its coverage of the MLB playoffs for re-unleashing Kid Rock back on the population. Kid Rock will present the sound track to these baseball playoffs, singing Born Free against a backdrop of various highlights from the regular season. There is not a single lyric in the song pertaining to baseball, but even if there was the fact that it’s Kid Rock (remember Bawitdaba) will have you relearning all over again where the mute button is on your remote.
L – Lincecum, Tim - In the immediate aftermath of the Giants’ win over Padres to clinch the NL West, Lincecum was asked by reporter Amy Gutierrez on live television if he was ready for his champagne shower. “Fuck yeah!” responded Lincecum.
M – Mike Comrie. The current Mr. Hilary Duff and Pittsburgh Penguin winger is involved in a lawsuit alleging that he has refused to finish paying off his $165,000 Mercedes-Benz CL550 that he purchased in 2008. The finance company is seeking $103,398 in payments. At least Comrie was nice enough to pay over a third of the value of the car.
N – Nigel de Jong. Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward is sometimes regarded as the dirtiest football player in the league. The honor of dirtiest footballer in the world has to go to Nigel de Jong. The Manchester City midfielder was just cut from the Netherlands roster after breaking an opponent’s leg with a tackle. It was the second time de Jong broke a player’s leg with what appeared to be an intentional tackle. And neither time did de Jong show any public regret.
O – Oakland Raiders. The dozens and dozens of fans that showed up for the Raiders Week 4 loss at home against the Texans may have thought an Oakland Athletics game broke out. All 32, 218 unlucky souls wandered into Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Sunday to watch the Raiders lose 31-24 to the Texans. It was the smallest crowd for an Oakland game that did not feature replacement players (although the Raiders sure looked like replacements) since 1967. It was the smallest NFL crowd since 31,650 fans endured a Tampa Bay/Arizona fray in the Arizona desert on Jan. 2, 2005.
P – Preseason Basketball. Family was wishing Dwyane Wade good luck. Some 18,000 fans showed up, including Flo Rida and Gloria Estefan. ESPN deployed a barrage of reporters and cameras on American Airlines Arena. The hype was suffocating and the game, Detroit at Miami, was aired live on NBATV. Regular-season opener? Nope, just a preseason game and the debut of the Miami Heat Trio of Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. If you are not sick of it yet you will be soon.
Q – Quintong, James. It is always fun to look back on baseball “experts” and their postseason predictions. ESPN Fantasy writer James Quintong predicted the Yankees over the Phillies in the World Series and that is obviously still in play. But somehow Quintong concluded the Mariners and Diamondbacks would win the AL and NL West. The 101-loss Mariners and the 97-loss Diamondbacks both finished last.
R – Rookies. These National League playoffs could be greatly influenced by a group of rookies. Giants’ catcher Buster Posey and Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward may end up settling the Rookie of the Year debate in their head-to-head NLDS series. Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman has sizzled, hitting 105 mph on the radar gun, and Atlanta reliever Craig Kimbrel has struck out 40 in 20 innings of work.
S – Smoking Indoors. The Reds had not been to the postseason in 15 years, so forgive them for wanting to puff on a couple of cigars. Apparently they were breaking the law. The Reds are currently being investigated for breaking Ohio’s indoor smoking law. The state received five complaints, probably all from St. Louis, following the Reds celebration
T – Trades. NFL trades happen about as often as a Cleveland Browns win. So considering the Brownies actually won a game this week, we knew something strange was on the horizon in the coming days, and it was. Tuesday former Buffalo Pro-Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch was dealt to Seattle. Later that night news broke that Randy Moss was headed back to Minnesota in exchange for a third-round draft pick and an agreement to no longer air Brett Favre’s Wrangler Jeans commercial throughout all of New England (we think).
U – Underdog Sunday. The dogs were barking in a big way on Sunday with nine of 13 underdogs covering the spread and an amazing six of them winning outright. The most notable winners were Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Denver.
V – Voters. Apparently covering the college football point spread does not mean what it used to, even when that spread is 43.5 points and you are on the road. Boise State pounded New Mexico State, 59-0, on Saturday, but it was not enough to please the voters, who dropped Boise State to No. 4 in both the Coaches’ Poll and the AP Poll this week in favor of No. 3 Oregon.
W – Wade, Dwyane. It took only three minutes and 17 seconds, but the Miami Triad suffered its first setback when Wade left Miami’s first preseason game with a hamstring injury. It is expected to sideline him for a few weeks.
X – XLIII. The heroes of Super Bowl XLIII, Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes, both returned to their teams at the conclusion of Week 4 after serving their league-mandated four-game suspensions. Roethlisberger is still with the Steelers while Holmes is now with the New York Jets.
Y – Yankees. The New York Yankees are a Wild Card team in name only. Despite not winning their division and not having home-field advantage the Yankees are still the favorite to win the American League. They are listed at +170 on Bodog.
Z – Zero Tolerance. Apparently Coke Zero has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to its spokespeople bedding prostitutes behind their pregnant wife’s back. Coca-Cola has dropped the English footballer Wayne Rooney from ad campaigns and has removed his image from cans and bottles. This makes cans and bottles with Rooney’s likeness quite a collector’s item. The prostitute in question is Jennifer Thompson, a 21-year old who alleges Rooney paid her for sex.