In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Sources indicate that Peyton Manning, released by the Colts on Wednesday, is planning to pick a new team within the week. "Have you totally ruled out evil coaches who would sign you just to bury you on the bench and demean you in front of your peers?" asked Bill Belichick. "Have you totally ruled out a coach who made a few bad impulse purchases and can only pay you in gumballs?" asked Rex Ryan. "Same question, but with butter," said Andy Reid.
- The FBI is investigating Auburn guard Varez Ward for alleged point shaving in losses to Alabama and Arkansas this season. Auburn boosters immediately rushed to Ward's defense, until they realized that the "guard" in front of his name referred to a basketball position.
- Former Saints lineman Anthony Hargrove released a statement saying that his late hit on Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC championship game, which injured the quarterback's ankle, was not inspired by the team's bounty system. Instead, Hargrove was inspired by the hobbling scene from the movie Misery, and, as he put it, "the arousing performance of that thrice-damned seductress Kathy Bates."
- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim commented on prior violations of his team's internal drug policy for the first time, saying that it had been going on for a long time but that it wouldn't affect his team. "All these guys care about is how they play and where their girlfriends are," he said. "They don't care about this stuff." As of press time, most of the players' girlfriends were trying to find a polite way to tell Laurie Fine that they'd rather not talk about their sex lives.
- Two upsets highlighted quarterfinal action in the Big East tournament, as Louisville forced 26 turnovers in a rout of no. 9 Marquette and Cincinnati topped no. 14 Georgetown in double overtime. After the game, Pitino emphasized the importance of his team's pressure defense. "If I can have sex more than two times before we get the ball back after a made basket, we're playing too slow," he told confused reporters.
- Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon told reporters that Philadelphia fans are smarter than Boston fans. "In fact," he said, "I just read a study that said Pennsylvania was one of the smartest states in the country. And guess what? Boston wasn't even on the list."
- Dwight Howard scored 29 points and 18 boards as the Magic snapped the Bulls' eight-game winning streak, prevailing 99-94. Before the game, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said he's "sick and tired" of hearing trade rumors about Dwight Howard, and that he's happy with his current teammates. "Except for Joakim Noah," he said, "who I'm pretty sure is a witch."
- Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, said that Penn State trustees were right to fire Joe Paterno. "He never took a firm stand against Obama," said Corbett, shaking his head. "Also, the sex thing. But mostly Obama."
- Ryan Braun connected on his first hit of spring training, a two-run homer in the third inning of an 8-6 Brewers loss to the Reds. The hit was actually a weak pop-out to third base, but Reds infielder Kris Negron tampered with the baseball by throwing it around the horn instead of handing it directly to the pitcher, resulting in the controversial home run ruling.
Participation Friday time! Each week, I ask you, the reader, to submit your tales of triumph and tragedy. I am on the road this week, and so for the sake of convenience (and also because the stories were so good) I'm sticking with the same theme: Most Embarrassing Sports Moment. It can be yours, your friend's, your enemy's, etc. Apologies to those who sent one in last week, but there's a silver lining here. On Monday, we'll run a very special top 20, containing stories new and old, in a very special separate post. That's right: Participation Friday has outgrown its humble origins. If you thought the instant fame from being included in "About Last Night" was glorious, wait until you see your name unencumbered by my jokes. Intoxicating.
Send your stories along to email@example.com, and rest assured that if you sent one last week, I've still got it and you're still eligible.
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