An entertaining look at sports

Clearing my mind and notebook while wondering how many McDonald’s meals O.J. Simpson will be eating now that he’s out of prison and living in Las Vegas:

Wedding crasher

Good to know Jerry Rice is still  putting his dancing shoes to good use.

As reported this week by theringer.com, the former 49ers receiver has been crashing weddings since 2006. He told writer Kevin Clark that the first time was shortly after he retired from the NFL and after playing a round of golf at a country club where a reception was being held.

Now he claims he’s been walking in unannounced at a wedding reception most weekends. Although not an invited guest, he’s apparently always welcome to stay.

Indeed, by now, Rice must be close to earning a listing in the Guiness Book of World Records.

Here’s just a few possibilities:

 “Most Times Boogying with a Different Bridesmaid.”

 “Most Wedding Dances by a Pro Football Hall of Famer.”

“Most Times Dancing to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

Hurricane warning

Miami’s 24-20 victory over Florida State in the final six seconds on Saturday extended a pair of winning streaks that are cherished by Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt.

First, it extended Miami’s winning streak to eight games, dating back to the Canes’ final five games last season. But on a more personal note, it was the 52nd consecutive time Richt has walked off the field at Doak Campbell Stadium as a winning coach.

A former assistant under Bobby Bowden, including seven seasons as the Seminoles’ offensive coordinator, Richt was part of FSU’s 51-game home winning streak from 1992-2000.

Meanwhile, UM’s comeback ended FSU coach Jimbo Fisher’s seven-game winning streak over the Hurricanes. The loss also dropped FSU to 1-3, which is the Seminoles’ worst start  since 1976, which was Bowden’s first season in Tallahassee.

With fan unrest growing weekly in Tallahassee, could this 1-3 start by the Seminoles foretell Fisher’s last season as FSU’s head coach?

They said it

RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Remember Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s restaurant scandal involving sex on a table? From what the FBI now tells us, there’s been way more going on under the table.”

TBS comedian Conan O’Brien: “San Diego has started building a border wall. Not to keep out immigrants, but to keep the LA Chargers from coming back.”

Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald on singer Willie Nelson owning a golf course: “If you make a hole-in-one, you have to buy a round of joints.”

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “From the You Just Can’t Make Up Stuff Like This file comes word that the Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium — home of the Browns, losers of 29 of their past 31 games — was the scene of a dumpster fire last Tuesday.”

Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Sales are sluggish for tickets to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. Factors include high prices, a sagging world economy, and a reluctance to buy front-row seats for a nuclear holocaust.”

Middle man

Bruce Arena’s decision to play 19-year-old Christian Pulisic in central midfield during Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Panama may have been his best decision since starting his second stint as the coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team.

Pulisic had a goal and assisted Jozy Altidore on another in the opening 20 minutes of a 4-0 U.S. victory that has the team close to clinching a berth in the 2018 World Cup next summer in Russia.

“We needed a result and we came out flying right from the beginning,” said Pulisic, who has now scored or assisted on 11 of 16 goals scored by the U.S. in this final round of qualifying.

Added Altidore: “You can’t help but see the improvement when he’s on the field, especially when he’s in the middle of everything.”

Defining roles for players like Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, Bobby Wood and Paul Arriola, Arena has led a rescue effort that has seen Team USA rebound from a minus-five goal differential to a plus-five differential in the final round of qualifying.

With Panama now saddled with a minus-two goal differential, Friday’s rout created the safety net this U.S. team needed. And that might not have happened if Pulisic hadn’t excelled under pressure.

https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2017/10/6/16439840/usa-vs-panama-final-score-2018-world-cupu-qualifying-results

Coaching excellence

Arena is 10-1-6 since his return as the U.S. men’s national soccer coach last November.

Overall, as coach of Team USA, he has won 85 games, tied 33 and lost 29. He led the team in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Manning’s legacy

Peyton Manning was immortalized with a statue in downtown Indianapolis this week, serving as another reminder to legend-in-waiting Andrew Luck that he’ll never measure up in the eyes of Colts fans.

Especially with the state of Indianapolis’ offensive line that left Luck so banged up and bruised last season that he has yet to take a snap this season.

While most of the speakers came to praise the future hall of famer Manning during the unveiling of the statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium, comedian David Letterman took note of the fact that he is no longer winning games, either. But rather than picking on Luck, he loaded a double-barreled shot at Peyton, who has retired, and his brother Eli, the quarterback of the New York Giants.

“By the way, if you like football trivia, so far this year, Eli and Peyton have won the same number of games,” said Letterman. “I’m sorry, I was told this was a roast.”

At least Peyton could laugh but I doubt Eli found it funny.

Playing excellence

Manning, who played 14 seasons for the Colts after being drafted No. 1 in 1998, holds Indianapolis records for passing yards (54,828), touchdown passes (399), passer rating (94.9) and wins (141).

In addition to the statue, his No. 18 jersey will be retired Sunday and he’ll be inducted into the franchise’s  Ring of Honor.

Headlines

From SportsPickle.com: “Rick Pitino says he has no idea he has been running a New York crime family for the last 30 years.”

From TheOnion.com: “NHL warns hockey fans that banging on glass scares players.”

From Fark.com: “George Constanza resigns as Atlanta Braves GM.”

From TheOnion.com: “Bill Belichick’s challenge flag transforms into swarm of snakes after hitting ground.”

From SportsPickle.com: “Protestors demand Colin Kaepernick be allowed to develop CTE.”

From TheKicker.com: “To add some drama, NBA will also have captains pick teams in the Finals.”

Basketball on grass

Seriously, when Western Michigan beat Buffalo 71-68 in seven overtimes Saturday, it meant the two schools finished with 19 more combined points than the last time their two basketball teams played each other.

The 139 combined points set a scoring record for an FBS game. The previous record was 137 points set last season by Syracuse’s 76-61 win over Pittsburgh.

While Saturday’s game ended in a 31-31 tie in regulation, it still legitimately earned the “basketball on grass” description There were four long touchdown plays covering 66, 64, 54 and 48 yards and three scoring drives of 75 or more yards lasting four or fewer plays.

All is ‘Rosie’

Cam Newton thought it was funny earlier this week when a woman reporter for the Charlotte Observer asked him about the improvement of one of his receivers.

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” he replied to Jourdan Rodrigue.

Now, Newton has declared to the world that he’s a feminist.

When the Carolina quarterback boarded the team’s flight to Detroit on Saturday, he was wearing a “Rosie the Riveter” pin on his hat. The image is an iconic one from the feminist movement during World War II, promoting the role women played by filling factory jobs.

The Panthers, naturally, used its social media accounts to let everyone know that Newton magically is no longer sexist.

If only it was that easy, Cam.

Weekend warrior

My winning percentage from this weekend’s college football games included a perfect 6-0 performance in the ACC, 5-1 in the SEC and 5-2 in the Big Ten.

That improves the season totals to 41-7 in the ACC (85.4%), 40-10 in the SEC (80%) and 40-12 in the Big Ten (76.9%).

My picks can be seen each week in my blogs on the three conferences.

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