At the ESPYs, Bill Simmons Saw Rob Gronkowski Sprint Down an Up Escalator, Heard Gronk Crossed Swords With Brothers and a Stranger

Bill Simmons had his buddy Jack-O on his BS Report podcast today. As usual they discussed the relative situations of the Yankees and Red Sox before veering off into other topics. The conversation eventually drifted toward Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski; around the 28-minute mark, Simmons shares three funny anecdotes about Gronk from the ESPY awards last week.

1. Leaving the after party, walking through the hotel where the first after-party was and there was an [escalator] that people were going down. And there was probably like–you know, people were walking kind of slow because there’s only one at a time on the [escalator] so it’s kind of clogged a little bit–and then there was an [escalator] going up that nobody was on. Gronkowski sprints down, past all the people that are going down the [escalator] and sprints down the ‘up’ [escalator]. Then, he gets to the bottom, raises his hands, and goes, “YEAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” I actually witnessed [this].

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Chad Ochocinco Absent From Patriots OTAs. Would it Surprise Anybody if He’s Released Soon?

Boston Globe’s Greg A. Bedard reports that Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco was not present at the team’s OTAs today. No reason was given. While he hasn’t been cut yet, it’s a matter of when and not if it will happen.

Photo Credit: Fan Pop

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NFL News and Notes

The Lions are taking Warren Sapp’s advice and moving NDonkey Kong Suh all over the place on the line like the Bucs and Raiders did with Sapp. As a Packers fan, this is scary. Here’s hoping that the Lions continue to be too undisciplined to make this work.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur says that Trent Richardson will split ‘plenty of reps’. We’ll see if that holds true when he realizes that running Richardson into the ground as a workhorse back is the only way Cleveland can move the ball.

Ross Tucker “absolutely” would want his son to play football. If my son insisted on it, I’d probably let him but it certainly isn’t something I’d consciously steer him towards.

Kissing Suzy Kolber’s hilarious visual guide to scab referees.

Kyle Orton tops this list of the five best back-up QBs.

Charles Woodson will play a lot more safety for the Packers this season.

Devin Hester will be used even less on kickoff returns this season, probably because it would distract him from running awful routes.

Packers Super Bowl Ring Recovered in Federal Heroin Bust

Via Annie Sweeney at the Chicago Tribune:

The arrest of several members of a drug trafficking organization with ties to Mexico has resulted in the seizure of heroin, weapons and jewelry — including a 2010 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl ring that was reported stolen from a team executive – while arresting several Chicago-area members of a Mexican drug-trafficking organization, federal authorities said today.

hat tip: NFL Around The League

Here’s what the ring looks like:

Photo Credit: ringsthatbling.com

When I first saw the headline, I was kind of hoping that it would be a mystery as to whose Super Bowl ring had recently gone missing. If that were true, there’s only one man I’d want on the case: Ace Ventura Pet Detective.

Anyone know which team executive it belonged to yet?

MORE SPORTS RAPPORT

– Pork and Veal Meatballs + Neapolitan Spinaci Pizza @ Frasca Pizzeria

– World Wide Wednesday: the best links from a week spent engulfed by the Internet

– 25 Things That Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans Can Agree Are Awesome

With 79 NFL DUIs Since 2007, It Is Time For An Automatic Four-Game Suspension

by Ryan GlasspiegelFollow Sports Rapport on Twitter

This past weekend, Lions defensive lineman Nick Fairley was arrested for DUI after driving 100 MPH past a state trooper and initially attempting to elude the police.

Photo Credit: news.lalate.com

The NFL has a massive issue with drunk driving–according to ProFootballTalk’s police blotter, 79 NFL players and personnel have been arrested for DUI, DWI, or impaired driving since 2007:

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World Wide Wednesday

by Ryan Glasspiegel

Follow Sports Rapport on Twitter!

Deep Routes

– SI’s Lee Jenkins’ brilliant cover profile on LeBron James. This is about as much as we’ve ever seen LeBron open up.

– In The Atlantic, David Samuels profiles Kanye West. While a lot of this piece doesn’t necessarily contain new information, there are also some very interesting insights into Kanye’s inner psyche. It’s a good piece to keep open in a tab for a day or two, reading bits and pieces of in between work and other diversions.

– My friend Brad passed along this great TorrentFreak long read on the history of file-sharing.

Quick Reads

– Clay Travis recommends Houston and Nashville as permanent neutral grounds for BCS semi-finals if College Football ever adopts a 4-team playoff. Travis’ Nashville bias notwithstanding, he makes a pretty good case for both.

– On SI.com, Andy Staples breaks down how the 32 players in Peter King’s mock first round were ranked as recruits coming out of high school: “Fifteen of the 32 players in King’s Mock rated three stars or fewer out of high school, meaning evaluators felt they would, at best, be solid contributors at the FBS level.”

– Continuing on the mock draft front, Yahoo’s Michael Silver draws up his annual NFL mock draft, where he evaluates who would go 1-32 if NFL teams had the opportunity to draft anybody in the league or eligible for this year’s draft. Spoiler alert: A-Rodg goes #1.

– Former Packers salary cap guru Andrew Brandt writes about the Packers’ draft war room.

– NYT bestselling author Justin Halpern writes a satirical guest post for KSK: If Mel Kiper Jr. Broke Down Women at a Bar. Hilarity ensues. (Via Asif)

– Dealbook: Facebook’s First quarter profit falls 12% ahead of expected offering.

90’s clip of the week

This segment has sort of been neglected for the last month or so, but I remembered this awesome song and think that we all need to band together to bring it back! Seriously, you guys.

Food Porn

My friend Adam started a new blog, I Eat Detroit. It’s what it sounds like. Here is a picture of some exquisite-looking rib tips that he ate from Bert’s BBQ, Pizza, and Soul Food:

 

Cheese Curds at Old Town Pour House, a new upscale bar in Chicago that has the best TV set-up I have ever seen in a bar–two 108-inch screens (TVs, not projectors), each surrounded by four ~60-inch screens. I’m pretty sure its construction is a solid indicator that our nation’s economic hardships have come to an end–bars like this don’t get funded and built during recessions.

Super Bowl Pick!

Doesn’t it seem like it’s been a month since Championship Weekend? The Billy Cundiff miss, the defensive battle in the pouring rain between the Giants and the 49ers? I understand that the Super Bowl hype machine needs the extra week to get oiled up but it really comes at the expense of the great momentum that the playoffs had been building.Every year I sort of forget this–perhaps it is willful ignorance–but Championship Weekend really does mark the end of the football season as football fans know it. The Super Bowl technically is a football game but it’s become such a spectacle that unless your favorite team is involved, of which there is a 1/16 chance, the distractions will outweigh the game. There’s of course the food and the drink–although SOME of us have been imbibing all season–but that’s not all.There’s the people you will be watching with who haven’t seen a snap of football all season, the halftime show which lasts about three hours and would only be enjoyable and relevant if you could go AT LEAST two decades back in a time machine, and the incessant need to watch and evaluate the commercials (COMMERCIALS!!).

And all of this pales in comparison to the increasing awareness that this is all we have left. After the game ends, it is truly the deep, dark offseason. No real football FOREVER until mid-September. It’s kind-of-sort-of OK through March Madness and the NBA Playoffs but as much as we try to delude ourselves, they’re not the same. Last year, I watched women’s soccer. And I liked it! Which must mean that this year will see me follow and perhaps attempt to write about any number of sports I only care about for a week or two every four years because it’s the Summer Olympics. Ugh, and Mel Kiper is about to get thawed from his cryogenic freezing champer for the seemingly endless and always excruciating pre-Draft coverage. And please don’t get me started on baseball.

So this is all that we’ve got left and it doesn’t even feel like the real thing. One way to fill the void is to pick up a new weekly activity in lieu of watching football on Sunday afternoons. Last year, I picked up GMAT studying and the end results were worth it. This year? Not sure, perhaps I’ll take the GREs, perhaps I’ll volunteer, perhaps I’ll commit to writing every Sunday, perhaps I will just morph into a sloth. Whatever it is, it won’t be as good as football. Sigh.

Enough of my depressing eulogy for a semi-animite (I shouldn’t have had to make this word up – it should already exist) object that ISN’T DEAD QUITE YET. On to the Super Bowl pick, the last pick in a series of battles that I’ve enjoyed immensely with my friend Asif, who writes Uninformed Commentary.

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