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This Week in Sports Betting, A-Z
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 10/27/2010

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Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.

A – ARod. The original LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez, was spotted with James at a Miami nightclub partying with hip-hop star Drake, who was celebrating his 24th birthday. Many forget that a couple years ago Rodriguez did exactly what James did this summer when he left Texas and joined Derek Jeter’s team in New York in the hunt for a title. ARod and James were spotted partying together the day after the Yankees were eliminated by Rodriguez’s old team, the Texas Rangers.

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B – Blackmon, Justin. The NCAA’s leading receiver, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, has put up ridiculous numbers this season: 14 touchdowns and 1,112 yards in only seven games. Here are some other ridiculous numbers that appeared in a police report: 92 mph in a 60 mph zone, 20-years old and 3:45 a.m. Blackmon was pulled over as he drove himself and three teammates back from a Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football game this past week. The officer deduced that Blackmon had “detectable amount of alcohol in his system,” which is enough to warrant a DUI arrest for a minor in the state of Texas.

C – Clunker for Tickets. This week we have two desperation Craigslist Hail Mary’s for tickets. One Boston fan offered to trade his car, a 1994 Honda Civic with 100,000 miles but an up-to-date muffler for tickets to the Miami Heat/Boston Celtics season opener. The Craigslist poster is asking for front row floor seats, although I doubt anyone that can afford to those seats is looking for a 94 Honda Civic even though its tags are up to date. If anyone did take this person up on the offer, the Craigslist poster would not only need to find a ride to the game but he wouldn’t even have a camera to document it as he included a “Canon rebel with batter grip and upgraded lens” in the offer.

D – Drugs for Tickets. Our other Craigslist Hail Mary offer comes from this clever craigslist poster who is offering marijuana for World Series tickets. The poster, who goes by the moniker Sausalito, is offering “top shelf 420 for a single or pair of world series tickets. Prop 215 patients only. Lifelong Giants fan here and really want to see a game.” Sausalito was smart enough to mention he was only looking for Prop 215 patients, or medical marijuana patients, so his posting is somewhat legal although I doubt he will be checking ID if you show up with some World Series tickets. If Tim Lincecum, a known pothead, has some extra tickets on his hands I am sure he would be happy to part with them for some top-shelf.

E –Edmonton Cheerleaders. Hopefully starting a trend north of the border, the Edmonton Oilers have announced they will officially debut a Cheer Team possibly wearing Eskimo-inspired outfits. The Oilers will become the first Canadian NHL team with a cheerleading crew. The team announced they were “responding to the wishes of our valued customers.” Not only will a troop of scantily clad cheerleaders be a welcome Christmas gift to all Oiler fans but the Cheer Team will also debut a calendar, which will be available during the holiday season.

F – Fake Punt. Reggie Roby is now the second most famous punter named Reggie after Cleveland Browns’ punter Reggie Hodges’ improbable run in Cleveland’s huge upset over New Orleans on Sunday. Hodges took the snap, faked to go punt, realized there was a gaping hole the size of Eric Mangini and took off. It appeared on more than one occasion after getting the first down that Hodges simply wanted to get tackled, but no one on the Saints would oblige and he reluctantly stumbled 68 yards down the field for the longest run by a punter since the NFL merger.

G – George Maloof. Three weeks ago Maloof, part owner of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, was picked up for a DUI. Turns out he only blew a .091, which is still over the legal limit, but not by much, but it also turns out it was not just the four Coronas Maloof pounded that caused him to drive 72 MPH into oncoming traffic on a busy Las Vegas street. Maloof also admitted to popping an Ambien before getting behind the wheel. The police report also states that the arresting officer asked Maloof to tell him the time without looking at his watch. Maloof allegedly looked down at both of his wrists but still did not know the time.

H – Honus Wagner. One of only 60 known Honus Wagner cards in existence has been donated to the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame. The brother of a nun who died 11 years ago left all his possessions to the church when he passed away earlier this year. The card was in safe-deposit box. The card is in poor condition, but it is still expected to fetch anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000. The proceeds will be distributed among the church’s ministries in 35 countries around the world. A mint condition Wagner card sold for $2.8 million in 2007, making it the highest price ever fetched for a baseball card. The man who donated the card had an idea it was worth a pretty penny. Inside the safe deposit box was a note reading, “Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!” Looks like Wagner, a former Pittsburgh Pirate, has bent up trading cards worth more than the current team.

I – Ideas for Halloween.  Looking for Halloween costume ideas? Look no further than the wacky world of professional sports. Some of the most popular sports-inspired costumes out there include couple costumes like Big Ben Roethlisberger and a college student. You can wear a black shirt with a huge picture of Satan’s face on it like Big Ben wore on that fateful night in Milledgeville, Georgia, while your female companion can wear a Georgia College & State University T-shirt with a name tag bearing the initials ‘DTF’. Other ideas include Brett Favre. You just need a Packers, Jets or Vikings jersey and a pair of Wrangler jeans with the fly undone. Or there is Tiger and Elin with Tiger wearing a red Nike Polo shirt and Elin a blonde wig and a pair of boobs while wielding a Driver around all night.

J – Jeff Fisher. Playing a little CSI in Nashville, Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher went undercover to the Karma Lounge, scene of an apparent incident involving wide receiver Kenny Britt. Fisher was looking for information on what sparked the alleged incident involving Britt, who some say was trying to break up a fight while others alluded to the fact that he was more involved than that. ‘Sherlock’ Fisher came to the conclusion that Britt deserved to be benched for one quarter, but no more, as he felt that Britt was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently this worked to his team’s advantage as Britt had the best fantasy day of any player this season with three touchdown receptions, 225 receiving yards and seven catches. Talk about Karma.

K – Kaymer, Martin. The new No. 1 golfer in the world after this weekend could be Martin Kaymer (who?!). Tiger Woods’ five-year run as the top-ranked golfer in the world will end this weekend after the Andalucía Masters no matter what happens. Kaymer, a relatively unknown 25-year-old German, could overtake the top spot if he wins or finishes in second place. If he finishes worse than that, Lee Westwood would replace Woods even though neither he nor Woods is competing in the tournament this week.

L – LeBron James. There are plenty of unwanted LeBron James jerseys floating around Cleveland, so somebody had the brilliant idea of collecting them all, shipping them down to South Beach where James currently is, and handing them out to the homeless of Miami. Many people shot down this idea as a prank, but the Clevelanders were so determined, they collected 400 jerseys, hopped in a car and were attempting to distribute the jersey to homeless living in and around Miami. They are awaiting approval from local politicians. The only drawback I see with this idea is for the people who actually own LeBron James Cleveland Cavalier jerseys is that they risk being confused as a homeless bum if caught wearing one in Miami.

M – Miami Heat. After an opening-season loss to Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat cannot go 82-0 like some predicted. Thank goodness. Our crack researchers here at A-Z also came up with this piece of information: after Miami’s opening-season loss to Boston, the Heat can still go 0-82. Thank goodness.

N – NFL. The league sent out a warning to all defenders that big hits will no longer be tolerated. Think the league got the message across? Here is proof, Week 7 of the NFL was the second highest scoring week in the league in the last 20 years. Defenders took the warning to heart and not only stopped with the big hits, they stopped playing defense all together.

O – Octopus.It looks like the World Cup predicting Octopus, Paul the Octopus, went out on top. After correctly picking seven World Cup matches, becoming a household name and becoming the unexpected star of the World Cup, Paul the Octopus passed away this week. Octopuses live only a couple of years, so any hopes of Paul being around to predict the 2014 World Cup seemed like a longshot. A documentary of Paul’s life is in the works. Seriously.

P – Pumpkins. While most of the Bears team and fans were sulking away the rest of their Sunday in disgust after losing a home game to the Washington Redskins, quarterback Jay Cutler was busy carving pumpkins with girlfriend Kristin Cavallari. We know this because she tweeted pictures of her and Cutler’s pumpkins. Rather than carving up the Washington secondary earlier in the day, Cutler spent his evening carving a pumpkin. This is the same Cutler who threw four interceptions TO THE SAME PLAYER.

Q – Quarterly, Gentleman’s. In this month’s edition of GQ, Charles Barkley fills us all in on his gambling problem which he claims is not exactly a problem. He has estimated to losing close to $10 million gambling, but he went on, “Yeah, I like to gamble. And I’m going to keep gambling. And I just have to tell people, if they don’t like, they can kiss my ass. Fuck ‘em. You know, I quit gambling for a while. But when I was like, ‘Why am I quitting gambling? I don’t have a problem.’”

R – Ravens Halloween Party. At a recent Baltimore Ravens Halloween charity event at Dave & Buster’s, quarterback Joe Flacco, a resident of New Jersey, dressed up as The Situation from the Jersey Shore. Other costumes included Todd Heap dressing as Edward from ‘Twilight’, Sergio Kindle dressing as a pimp and Michael Oher dressing up as the guy from “The Blind Side.” No really, Oher chose not to dress up so he just looked like himself.

S – Steelers Nation. Anyone needing proof of the existence of Steelers Nation needs only to look at the officiating crew responsible for Sunday’s ending in the Miami/Pittsburgh game. On the controversial call that saw Roethlisberger clearly fumble the football on a crucial fourth-quarter play, head linesman Jerry Bergman signaled touchdown. The play was reviewed by head official Gene Steratore, who made the controversial decision to return the ball to Pittsburgh at the one-yard line. The following play Jeff Reed kicked the game-winning field goal. Oh yeah, Steratore and Bergman are both residents of Pittsburgh.

T – Troy Smith. The tradition of the NFL exporting bad football to other countries continues when the 49ers (1-6) and the Broncos (2-5) meet this week in London. Not only are both teams having abysmal seasons, but the Broncos just let the hapless Raiders score a franchise-high 59 points on them and the 49ers are starting Troy Smith, who has a Heisman Trophy under his belt but only two career starts in four NFL seasons. Enjoy London.

U – Undertaker. The confrontation between the Undertaker of WWE and Brock Lesnar of the UFC before Lesnar’s fight at UFC 121 was apparently staged. The showdown between the two behemoths attracted attention amongst UFC and WWE fan boys and over 2 million YouTube views, but apparently it was a setup as WWE tries to lure Lesnar to fight the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 27. UFC president Dana White shot down any speculation of that happening saying Lesnar is under contract and cannot wrestle, box or fight anywhere else.

V- Vujacic, Sasha. Before the Lakers received their championship rings before their season-opening game against Houston on Tuesday and Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic handed out a ring of his own, a $250,000 rock to Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. The couple was engaged on their one-year anniversary at Vujacic’s Manhattan Beach, California, home. A wedding date has not been announced.

W – Whiskey Tango All American Bar & Grill. The Florida eating and drinking establishment’s new promotion lasted all of one game. The Heat (0-1) lost their season opener and any person at the bar for the duration of the game had their bar tab covered. The official advertisement from the bar reads as follows, “The gang at Whiskey Tango All American Bar & Grill are sure that The Heat are going to go undefeated this year. In fact, they are SO SURE of this that they are going to pay everyone’s tab the first time the team loses! (which we DOUBT will happen!)

X –Xavi. The finalists for the 2010 Ballon d’Or a.k.a The Golden Ball have been announced. There are 23 finalists for the award given to European Footballer of the Year. Xavi, a Spaniard and World Cup hero, is one of the favorites listed at 4/1 to win the prestigious award. Other favorites include Argentine Lionel Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona, and Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, both 3/1, and Xavi’s Spanish teammate Andres Iniesta (6/1).

Y – Yao Ming. The Chinese center is well aware of the 24-minute time limit the Houston Rockets have placed on him this season as he returns to the lineup after missing last season with left foot surgery. It appeared Yao was approaching the 24-minute time limit in the Rockets season-opener at Los Angeles until Yao picked up his sixth foul of the game after playing 23 minutes and 21 seconds. Yao finished with nine points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

Z – Zamboni. As fun as driving a Zamboni machine across a sheet of ice seems, the work is not all fun and games. That was evident in Ottawa this week when a Zamboni machine started spewing propane, forcing the evacuation of St. Lauren Arena, which was hosting a minor league hockey game. Luckily for everyone involved the two teams only drew 150 fans, all of which were ordered to evacuate.

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