By Patrick Hruby
Page 2

Welcome to Part 2 of Page 2's 2006 Ignominious Effort Awards. Why a second helping? Because if Tank Johnson's firearms offenses have taught us anything, it's that too much is never enough.

(In case you missed Part I, click here. Also, be sure to check out our Cincinnati Bengals Team of the Year Match Game, our Police Blotter Power Rankings and our Drugs 'n' Sports Year-in-Review Quiz.)

On with the show …

Hence the moat

Fans of the Brazilian soccer team Gremio threw portable toilets into a moat separating the field from the crowd, then set the toilets on fire.

Runelvys Hernandez
WireImage
One thing is clear: the Royals don't cut costs when it comes to the postgame spread.

Oddly enough, this never happens to David Wells

Kansas City Royals pitcher Runelvys Hernandez began the year on the 15-day disabled list for being overweight.

In related news, Runelvys Hernandez was spotted on I-70, headed east

An Illinois minor league baseball team introduced a hamburger topped with cheese and bacon and placed on a bun made of a sliced Krispy Kreme donut, containing roughly 1,000 calories and 45 grams of fat.

Also, too many of the riders look like Runelvys Hernandez

The mayor of a New Zealand town attempted to call off a nude cycling race because the riders wouldn't be wearing helmets.

OK, so maybe those nude Kiwi bicyclists are onto something

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin was suspended for two games after hitting Ottawa forward Antoine Vermette with Vermette's own helmet.

College: the best six years of their lives

A campus group at Purdue University announced its goal to "bring as many inflatable penises to the remaining home football games as possible."

Who needs Thunderstix?

Said a Purdue student: "It's great. You see it pop up and you're like 'Oh, there it is again.' It adds some excitement because it's just a big [expletive] penis."

Let's not make this a trend

Fans of German soccer club Borussia Dortmund waved giant inflatable penises at fans of rival club Schalke 04.

More impressive? None were inflatable

American competitive eater Joey Chestnut scarfed 50 wieners in a qualifying tournament for the Nathan's Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

Oh, there it is again

Detroit Lions assistant coach Joe Cullen was arrested for driving nude through a Wendy's drive-thru.

Which, sadly, doesn't explain the previous item

Cullen was arrested a week later on suspicion of drunk driving.

Oh, there it is again

Former Notre Dame football player Paul Hornung's pants fell down while he spoke at a school pep rally.

Because melting down the trophy, fashioning a crude broadsword and dismembering a flight attendant is just the sort of nightmare scenario the Transportation Safety Authority is charged with preventing

Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith had to ship his Heisman Trophy home because airport security refused to let him take it on a plane.

The TSA thought it looked like some sort of trophy

Then-Portland Trail Blazers guard Sebastian Telfair was arrested for attempting to take his girlfriend's gun onto the team's private jet.

The tumbler subsequently was forced to ship himself home

NBA referee Jim Clark missed part of a game between New Jersey and Orlando after he was kicked in the head by a tumbling halftime performer.

Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
"Hey, Gilbert, why don't you try passing once in awhile?"

Pot. Kettle. Black. Discuss

Said Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant after Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas scored 60 points in a victory over the Lakers: "He doesn't seem to have much of a conscience. I really don't think he does."

"Good news: Everyone passed. Bad news: We suck"

Following back-to-back losses, a Romanian soccer team forced its players to take polygraph tests to rule out the possibility of match fixing.

Since when did the Cincinnati Bengals move to Romania?

A Romanian club soccer player was suspended for two years after he pulled a pistol on the sidelines, the better to express his displeasure at being subbed out for being drunk.

Self-defense, no doubt

A Romanian soccer coach was banned for head butting one of his players.

A strategy that proved highly successful in Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix and Athens

While feuding with then-New York Knicks coach Larry Brown, guard Stephon Marbury declared his intentions to "go back to being Starbury."

Knicks fans would be all too happy to oblige. Like, today

Marbury told the New York Post he wants to "die a Knick" and have his "ashes sprinkled on top of (Madison Square) Garden."

Eau de Pit Crew

Elizabeth Arden introduced an official cologne for the Daytona 500.

Insert roadkill joke here

NASCAR announced plans to market a line of meats.

Insert "Days of Thunder" joke here

The Church of Scientology sponsored a car in a low-level NASCAR circuit.

However, short skirts, tight tops and suggestive dance routines are still OK

In an effort to prevent young girls from developing eating disorders, Australia banned all cheerleaders from exposing their midriffs.

Stay in school, kids!

LeBron James
AP Photo/Mark Duncan
LeBron may not know Dr. Seuss, but he knows how to reads the zeroes in his contract.

During a "Read to Achieve" session with elementary school children, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was unable some of the tongue-twisting names in Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go."

And?

According to the New York Post, the creators of an unpopular new New York Mets theme song received death threats.

Actually, that's pretty funny

During the World Cup, Berlin police arrested two men for placing cement-filled soccer balls around the city alongside signs reading, "can U kick it?"

Actually, that's also pretty funny

A group of Virginia Tech football fans started the Web site Don'tFireAlGroh.com, which supports rival Virgina's embattled football coach.

Extra time

During a World Cup match between Australia and Croatia, an official gave a Croatian player his second yellow card of the match but forgot to send him off the pitch.

That'll teach him

The same official gave the same Croatian player a third yellow card at the end of the match.

Dhaka University: where education is a priority. Just not the priority

Students at Dhaka University in Bangladesh stormed the vice chancellor's office to protest final exams being scheduled during the World Cup.

Bangladeshi insurers? Already out of the office

Dutch insurers offered insurance policies that would pay businesses for lost productivity due to employees skipping work to watch the World Cup.

Fortunately for the world's insurers, the Chicago Cubs are ineligible for the World Cup

An English soccer fan bought insurance promising to pay around $2 million if he suffered "mental trauma" from the English team losing in the World Cup.

"And if you need cash, sell the barrels to the British guy with the $2 million insurance policy"

The government of Trinidad and Tobago promised to give each of its soccer players a 64-gallon barrel of rum if the team beat England in the World Cup.

Now there's something you don't see every day

Cassandra Johnson, the wife of Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, was accused of assaulting a Phoenix Suns fan in the stands during the Western Conference finals.

Now there's something you don't see every day

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reportedly intervened in the altercation as a peacemaker.

When it comes to putting dangerous chemicals in your body, you can't be too careful

After admitting to using Human Growth Hormone, former MLB player Jim Leyritz added that he never took steroids because of a family history of prostate cancer.

He felt the nautical metaphor was inappropriate, considering that contemporary baseball teams are less akin to maritime crews than loose confederacies of geographically proximate city-states

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged player Shea Hillenbrand to a fight after Hillenbrand wrote "This ship is sinking" on a clubhouse bulletin board.

Manager go smash!

Gibbons later fought with pitcher Ted Lilly after yanking Lilly from a game.

Header of the Year

Zinedine Zidane
AP Photo/Jasper Juinen
It's not like Zidane's head butt meant anything ...

After Italian player Marco Materazzi supposedly called French player Zinedine Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore" during the World Cup final, Zidane head butted him in the chest, earning a red card.

If he's so ignorant, then how did he know to add "Islamic"?

Said Materazzi: "I did insult him … but I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."

C'mon, that poor uncultured horse doesn't even know what "unruly" means

British jockey Paul O'Neill head butted his horse, which was acting unruly in a parade ring.

"For instance: we shoot at a net. You shoot people. See the similarities?"

Said U.S. soccer forward Eddie Johnson while visiting American troops stationed in Germany: "It's like us in the World Cup. We're here for a war. We came here to battle."

They came here to battle

THE YEAR IN YOUTH SPORTS
Because Pol Pot snippets are too hard to find
A North Carolina high school soccer team played a 90-second portion of a speech from Adolf Hitler over the PA system during pregame warmups.

Happens to the best of us
Said the school's principal in an apology fax: "We have a German exchange student on our team. He taught our students to say ['on to victory'] in German. Some of our more zealous students sought to capture this slogan in German and to play it on the PA. They copied it from a speech by Hitler but could not just copy the 'On to victory' and got too much of the speech."

Apology fax time!
A Nebraska youth football coach was charged with 96 counts of possession of child pornography after handing out football camp flyers that had been printed out on child porn he had been looking at while drunk.

That'll learn 'em
A Texas high school football coach kicked six players off the team because they donated blood before practice.

Now soliciting blood donations
A Utah high school football player was charged with assault for allegedly putting a thumbtack in his glove and pricking opponents during postgame handshakes.

Molding boys into men, one crackback block at a time
Former Carolina Panthers lineman Kevin Donnalley resigned his position as a high school football coach after he reportedly disciplined a player by taking a running start and hitting the player from behind, then disciplining two teammates who tried to help the player up.

Woody Hayes? Wuss
A California assistant youth football coach was arrested for rushing onto the field during a game and tackling an opposing player.

"And when you want that first down as much as you want oxygen, that's when you'll be a champion!"
An Oklahoma assistant high school football coach grabbed one of his players by the throat, threw him against a wall and choked him until he passed out.

Hey, you can't be too careful around youth football coaches
A Philadelphia man pulled a gun on a youth football coach because his son wasn't getting enough playing time.

Pulling a gun? So uncouth
A Virginia youth football league commissioner fired a team's coach on the eve of the playoffs because the coach failed to play the commissioner's son exactly as he demanded.

Friday's school lunch: shish kabob
Utah high school students killed a sheep and hung it on the goal posts of a rival school prior to a football game.

Because a diaper would have chafed
A Florida junior high baseball coach was accused of forcing a player to strip and suck his thumb while running laps.

One buck to avoid firearms, animal sacrifice, child porn, naked laps, youth football coaches and Hitler's Greatest Hits? Sounds like a bargain to us
A Florida middle school teacher was charged with bribery for allegedly letting children pay a $1 a day to skip gym class.

More than 500 British soccer fans were arrested for brawling with German fans before England's 1-0 over Ecuador.

Also delayed? The end of O'Neal's adolescence

The Miami Heat delayed its NBA championship parade so that center Shaquille O'Neal could see "Superman Returns."

Which, in a rare twist, makes him directly responsible for someone getting shot

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting companion during a quail hunting trip.

Can you blame them?

Cheney was booed when he threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals' home opener.

In lieu of freedom, air sickness bags are also acceptable

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki confessed that he sings the David Hasselhoff song "Looking for Freedom" to himself while shooting free throws.

Ah-ha. We thought the Hoff was looking thinner lately

Former NFL quarterback Dan Marino appeared in ads for Nutrisystem.

You sure the subject wasn't grammar?

Said English soccer star David Beckham, about helping son Brooklyn with his homework: "I think it was maths, actually. It's done totally differently to what I was teached when I was at school, and you know, I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't do this.'"

David Beckham: the only man capable of getting us to agree with John Rocker

Former MLB pitcher John Rocker launched a campaign on his Web site encouraging people to "Speak English."

Playing dumb is his specialty

German tennis player Nicolas Kiefer intentionally threw his racket during a point against France's Sebastien Grosjean, then played dumb and failed to concede the point.

Dear God: We don't ask for much, but please let him not be speaking from experience

Discussing the suspension of Florida State linebacker A.J. Nicholson following a sexual assault accusation, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said: "He may not have even known what he was getting into. They knock on the door. Somebody may knock on the door. A cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

Where else would you expect a distinguished collection of Ivy League scholars to throw down? Outside a Circle K?

Yale University's starting quarterback, tailback and three members of the school's hockey team were arrested after a fight outside a gourmet market.

They both wear suits

After the San Francisco 49ers traded running back Kevin Barlow, Barlow likened 49ers coach Mike Nolan to Hitler.

Who knew Mel Gibson was an Italian soccer fan?

Italian soccer squad Roma was forced to play a home game in an empty stadium as punishment after its fans held up anti-Semitic signs during a match.

When in Rome

During a match in Italy, Croatian soccer fans formed a human swastika.

Which, by logical inference, means the previous all-male audience wasn't chaste.

Reversing years of government policy, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that women should be allowed into sports stadiums, adding that the presence of women and families would "promote chastity."

So much for promoting chastity

A Houston police lieutenant was relieved from duty for allegedly having sex with two women in a Minute Maid Park bathroom.

We're starting to think that maybe, just maybe, President Ahmadinejad doesn't know what the heck he's taking about

Condom sales at a British supermarket chain doubled after Team England's victories in World Cup matches.

The other 25 percent prefer British supermarkets to boats

A survey found that 75 percent of British anglers prefer fishing to sex.

Andrei Kirilenko
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Andrei Kirilenko, obviously deep in thought about his wife's offer, perhaps eyeing a cheerleader on the sidelines.

Spouse of the Year

Masha Lopatova, the wife of Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, told ESPN Magazine that she gives her husband permission to be with one groupie per year.

So British anglers are constantly being told "no fishing, no fishing, no fishing?"

Said Lopatova: "What's forbidden is always desirable. And athletes, particularly men, are susceptible to all the things they are offered. It's the same way raising children – if I tell my child, 'no pizza, no pizza, no pizza,' what does he want more than anything? Pizza."

Translation: He's broke

Tennis legend Bjorn Borg announced plans to auction off his five Wimbledon trophies in order to achieve "financial security."

Dirty money

The Danbury Trashers, a Connecticut minor league hockey team, were involved in a federal Mafia indictment alleging that the team's owner overpaid players and their wives with under-the-table money from his mob-connected garbage companies.

When mobbed-up garbage companies funnel all their money into minor league hockey, it's society that pays the price

The New York Daily News reported that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dumped a huge pile of trash on the front yard of a home next door to his Harlem brownstone.

What kind of weirdo throws away a perfectly good blow gun?

The trash reportedly included an old pair of size 17 sneakers, a Dear Kareem postcard from a masseuse, a blow gun and an empty box for a martial arts sword.

THE YEAR IN CAMPUS LIFE
Really, what's the point of a fake job if you still have to work?
Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar and lineman J.D. Quinn were dismissed from the team for reporting to the IRS that they were paid for working 40-hour weeks at a local car dealership, when in fact they were working five-hour weeks.

This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you
Ohio University tight end Corey Logan was charged with striking a police horse.

Had it been for a PS3, we'd totally understand
Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikewuonu and twin brother Bill, a safety at Northern Illinois, broke into an apartment and stole an XBox game.

In related news, bird-originated NCAA grievances dropped 85 percent
The NCAA ordered William & Mary to remove the feathers on its athletic logo after ruling that they were offensive.

This would never happen to an Ivy League team
Thirty-one football players from the University of Miami and Florida International were suspended for storming the Orange Bowl field and engaging in a third-quarter brawl.

Oops
The Dartmouth athletic department and football team apologized for a fight that broke out during postgame handshakes at the end of game against Holy Cross.

Voice of reason
Said television analyst and former Miami player Lamar Thomas, watching the UM-FIU brawl from the Orange Bowl press box: "Now that's what I'm talking about! You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked ... I was about to go down the elevator and get in that thing."

Really -- he was about to go down the elevator and get in that thing
Thomas was previously jailed for attacking his pregnant fiancee and violating probation when he choked his fiancee in front of his six-month old son.

And at that resolution, you can actually make out each pixel of the school's academic mission spontaneously combusting
The University of Texas unveiled a football stadium scoreboard measuring 144.85 feet diagonally, making it the world's largest high-definition display.

Wait -- Texas fans care a little too much about college football?
A Texas fan who blamed Doug Flutie's television analysis for the team's upset loss to Kansas State sent a threatening message to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

"Have you seen NFLPA headquarters? Nothing but empty dumpsters"

New York Giants linebacker LaVar Arrington equated the NFL players union with organized crime.

Factor A: Alcohol. Factor B: Free beads. Factor C: Not enough hugs from daddy. So very, very complex

A University of Calgary professor published a study of women who take off their tops at sporting events, concluding that flashers are motivated by "a complex set of factors."

Since when do federal agents have time to read New York Knicks message boards?

The FBI warned stadium operators of a possible suicide bomb attack at sporting events.

Handball foul

British soccer player Freddie Griffin received a lifetime ban for reportedly grabbing the testicles of an official who was attempting to eject him, then groin punching a second official who came over to assist.

Wait – people still follow the Atkins Diet?

A British club rugby player bit an opponent's forearm during a match.

Whaddya think this is, British rugby?

The NBA suspended San Antonio Spurs forward Robert Horry for two games following a confrontation with Dallas Mavericks guard Jerry Stackhouse in which the Mavericks claimed Horry bit Stackhouse on the arm.

Whaddya think this is, British soccer?

George Mason basketball player Tony Skinn punched Hofstra's Loren Stokes in the groin during the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals, forcing Stokes to watch the game's final minute from the bench with an ice bag on his lap.

Bag of ice in your lap? No? Then shut up

Said Hofstra coach Tom Pecora: "You can't let a little incident like that mar a college basketball game."

In related news, Carl Pavano just bought a new car

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a radio interview that despite tremendous revenue, his franchise was losing money.

"Sorry, Mr. Cashman. The offer is for youth teams"

The Lowell Spinners, a Massachusetts minor league baseball team, offered to pay for new uniforms for any local youth leagues that agree to change the name of their Yankees teams to Spinners.

In fact, it's nearly as devastating as going 86 years between World Series titles

The Spinners' general manager said that New England children are often devastated when assigned to a team called Yankees.

End Zone

German soccer club Hamburg SV announced plans to open a stadium-adjacent cemetery that would make 500 graves available to fans.

No. Now go back to sleep

A German woman pronounced dead at age 94 revived to ask if her country had won the World Cup.

Like having your very own Kansas City Royals dugout

A company that makes funeral products announced a partnership with Major League Baseball that will produce team-themed urns and caskets.

"Oh, and my pillow was way too firm. That cost us at least one game"

Following an uninspired Olympic performance that saw the U.S. hockey team win one game and suffer a quarterfinal upset loss to Finland, forward Mike Modano griped that players "were basically on our own for hotels, tickets, flights, stuff like that."

Excuse us, Mr. Modano? This is how you make a lame excuse

Ukrainian soccer players blamed a World Cup loss to Spain on a lack of sleep caused by noisy frogs living outside their hotel.

Pretty selfless, given his busy performing schedule

Billy Ray Cyrus
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
What was Johnny Damon doing singing the national anthem at the World Series?

Billy Ray Cyrus sang the National Anthem at a World Series game.

At least nobody was sunburned

A Texas-Tech-Arizona State women's basketball game scheduled to be played outdoors was rained out.

People, people: Save the flares for outdoor games

A basketball game between Serbian team Red Star Belgrade and Greek team PAOK Thessaloniki was marred by a riot in which fans brawled and threw plastic seats and flares at the court.

The Serbian College of Emergency Physicians was too busy to conduct a similar study

An American College of Emergency Physicians study reported that male visits to emergency rooms tend to increase directly after the conclusion of sporting events.

Oddly enough, Mike Tyson had nothing to do with this

Two dogs belonging to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter escaped from his residence and killed a miniature horse at a nearby farm.

Kazaam!

While working as a reserve sheriff's deputy in Virginia, Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal took part in a child pornography raid that saw police storm the wrong house.

Where's officer O'Neal when you really need him?

The NFL effectively banned stadiums from playing Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" after the British rocker was convicted of molesting underage girls in Vietnam.

On second thought, maybe convicted molesters aren't so objectionable

The Denver Broncos replaced Glitter's tune with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's "Go Daddy-O."

Covering all the bases

Two Japanese baseball teams introduced team-themed lingerie.

This would never happen in Japanese baseball

Maria Sharapova
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Ms. Sharapova would undoubtedly be fined for wearing this outfit at hallowed Wimbledon.

Wimbledon officials issued a strict new dress code banning outfits considered too sexy or low cut.

We prefer gold stars

Florida Marlins bench coach Gary Tuck wrote the team's lineup cards in calligraphy, claiming that it made players "feel special."

Who says NBA players are uncoachable?

New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson said he paid for coaching sessions for the video game "Halo 2," adding that the sessions helped him "raise his game."

Golf pro heroically avoids worst score in two decades

Japanese golfer Mitsuhiro Tateyama shot a 19 on the par-3 eighth hole of the Acom International, the worst single hole score by a Japan Tour pro in 19 years.

"Sorry, but we're already dodging Japanese golf balls up here"

Plans for a Russian astronaut to hit a golf ball into orbit during a spacewalk in order to promote a Canadian golf company were called off over fears that the ball could damage the International Space Station.

Because $833 million seemed excessive

An Oregon man claiming he is constantly mistaken for Michael Jordan sued Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for $832 million.

Because "homo" seemed juvenile

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti a "f------."

Remorse – deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed

In a subsequent apology, Guillen said: "[But Mariotti] is a piece of garbage. He always has been garbage and always will be garbage."

Not that there's anything wrong with Madonna concerts. Or the WNBA, for that matter

Guillen added that he has gay friends and attends the Gay Games, WNBA games and Madonna concerts.

"And trust me: I know farces"

After Guillen was ordered to attend sensitivity training, former MLB pitcher John Rocker labeled the league's training a "farce."

THE YEAR IN SPIRIT
Loose balls
A former Marshall University cheerleader sued for sexual harassment, claiming that the squad's cheers had sexual code names, that a female coach encouraged cheerleaders to act in a sexually provocative manner at a golf team fundraiser and that a male cheerleader rubbed his scrotum on her face.

Seriously, lighten up, it's just a scrotum against your face
The lawsuit claims that when the cheerleader refused to go along with the sexual hijinks, she was put on probation for "not being personable."

See? Personable
A Southern Illinois basketball cheerleader who fell off a human pyramid and suffered a concussion continued to do a cheer routine with her arms after paramedics strapped her into a gurney.

Marshall immediately offered them scholarships
Two cheerleaders for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats were suspended after discussing their sexual experiences on the Howard Stern show.

By "flammable liquid," do you mean "way too much alcohol?"
Puckhead, the unofficial mascot of a Pennsylvania minor league hockey team, set his fake beard and jersey on fire after pouring flammable liquid in his mouth and lighting it.

When Animals Attack!
The University of Tennessee's bluetick coonhound mascot was accused of biting a University of Alabama football player before a game.

When Guys in Animal Suits Attack!
The Tennessee Titans' mascot struck New Orleans quarterback Adrian McPherson with a golf cart in a preseason game, injuring McPherson's knee.

Life imitates art. Specifically, the "American Pie" film franchise Wisconsin put its marching band on probation for road trip misconduct that included female band members being forced to suck on sex toys, draw pornographic pictures and kiss each other in order to use bus bathrooms.

What part of cheer-leader don't you understand?
Fans at the Turin Games booed the official Olympic cheerleaders.

That's the spirit!
The Olympic cheerleaders, who had just four months of training, rattled their pom poms when a bloody fight broke out between hockey teams from the Czech Republic and Finland.

OK, no wonder they were booed
Said one fan: "They're not like the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders -- they're fully clothed."

In a subsequent apology, Van Slyke added that he has Latin friends, frequently visits Vatican City and can conjugate "amo"

Said Detroit Tigers first base coach Andy Van Slyke, about Guillen: "He's a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is, if you want to call it, a typical Latin baseball player."

Hold up – picking the right equipment is harder than it looks …

Responded Guillen: "That's why he's coaching first base and I'm managing in the big leagues … First-base coach. Just make sure you pick the right helmet at the right time."

… see what we mean?

Texas Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench missed five games after injuring his feet by wearing shoes that were too small.

This is one of those Ozzie Guillen apologies, right?

Steelers linebacker Joey Porter apologized for calling Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow a "f------," adding: "I apologize to anyone I may have offended. I didn't mean to offend anybody but Kellen Winslow."

This is one of those Joey Porter apologies, right?

The New York Daily News reported that Pete Rose-signed baseballs with the inscription "I'm sorry I bet on baseball" could be found for sale.

Honest. He swears

During a television interview, Rose claimed the baseballs were never meant for sale.

Proving that you can't lose credibility if you don't have any in the first place

The balls were offered for sale on Rose's Web site.

But only because Julio Franco had the day off

As part of a promotional stunt, 83-year-old Jim Eriotes led off for a South Dakota minor league team, becoming the oldest man to play pro baseball.

San Francisco Giants scouts immediately offered him a contract

Eriotes, a former minor league pitcher, fouled off a pitch and struck out in four swings.

Coincidentally, A-Rod tells himself the same thing every October

Said Eriotes: "If I could just get four at-bats in the majors, I could get a hit."

An exact number would have required him to be sober. So you can see the problem here

Golfer John Daly claimed he has lost between $50 million and $60 million while gambling over the last 12 years.

Finally: an event John Daly hasn't wagered on

Former NBA player Dominique Wilkins judged an all-Arab dunk contest for the Al Jazeera sports channel.

Agreed

Said University of Miami football coach Larry Coker after one of his players fired a gun at a would-be robber: "I really don't want our players to have firearms."

She knew something was amiss when "Jerame" had no idea how to spell his first name

A man arrested last year for impersonating Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was charged with stealing $3,200 from a woman while pretending to be Pittsburgh tight end Jerame Tuman.

Which actually might have worked, had he been impersonating Shawn Kemp

The impostor told the woman that he needed to borrow money because his bank account had been frozen in a child-support dispute.

And you thought the NBA dress code was strict

Two Iraqi tennis players and a coach were killed by religious extremists for wearing shorts.

Um, isn't the mind usually the last thing to go?

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre called this year's Packers "the most talented team I've been on."

Because if there's one thing that motivates the ticket-buying public, it's shame

Florida Marlins catcher Matt Treanor told fans that they should be ashamed of themselves for not filling the team's stadium.

Do no harm

Chicago Bears running back Thomas Jones was injured while taking his team physical.

THE YEAR IN T.O.
A great disturbance, as if millions of ears erupted in blood and were suddenly made deaf
After signing with the Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens released a celebratory rap track on his Web site.

"I actually said 'Godlike'"
Owens claimed he was misquoted in his own autobiography, which described his return from an ankle injury to play in the Super Bowl as "heroic."

Tour de Farce
Supposedly unable to practice due to a training camp hamstring injury, Owens wore a Lance Armstrong jersey while riding a stationary bike on the Cowboys' sideline.

In that case, no worries!
After showing up late to team meetings, Owens claimed that he wasn't trying to express his displeasure with Cowboys' management, but rather that he simply overslept.

Because nobody with money could ever be unhappy
Refuting reports that Owens attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on painkillers and referring to his $25 million contract, publicist Kim Etheredge said: "Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive."

Make that 24,965,000 reasons
Owens was fined $35,000 for spitting in the face of Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall during a game.

PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist of the Year
Owens released his first children's book, "Little T Learns to Share."

Yeah, spitting on your own face kinda sucks
Says Owens' character, "Little T," in the book: "I tried to play outside alone and throw it by myself, but football isn't football unless you play with someone else."

Wait -- that's the reason it's ironic?
Said co-author Courtney Parker: "It's a life lesson for discipline. It's ironic because he's considered one of the more undisciplined players in the NFL."

Because "Ulysses" was too short
A second book, "Little T Learns What Not to Say," is set to be released next year.

Wii have a problem

Detroit Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya was sidelined with right wrist and forearm inflammation caused by playing video games.

The kid stays out of the picture

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Shannon Brown hired a documentary crew to follow him around on opening night, a game he was made inactive for.

But when Randy Moss does this, it's a big deal. Right?

Cavs forward LeBron James walked off the floor and toward the tunnel with 13 seconds left and Cleveland trailing Atlanta 104-95.

Guess "World of Warcraft" wasn't a category

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling finished with zero dollars during his appearance on "Celebrity Jeopardy."

Narrowly edging ESPN Mobile sales for same time period

Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest reportedly sold just 343 copies of his debut album "My World" in its first week of release.

Drunk, never. Buzzed, probably

Said Portland Trail Blazers forward Darius Miles in an interview with The Oregonian: "Yeah, you probably smelled liquor on me before. But it's not like I'm at practice drunk."

"You could even make his little bug eyes all glassy. For realism's sake"

In the same interview, Miles complained that team management failed to market a Miles bobblehead doll.

Too late

Added Miles: "But I don't want to sound like I'm whining."

In related news, Jeffrey Skilling announced plans to launch an investment firm

Former NFL player Bill Romanowski announced plans to launch a nutrition company.

Finally, an online dating service for the only people on Earth who don't find Red Sox fans utterly insufferable

A Boston entrepreneur created an online dating service for Red Sox fans.

For sale: an item that's bound to impress the female members of the Red Sox fans online dating service. All five of them

Lelands.com auctioned off a toilet from the Fenway Park home clubhouse.

In his defense, Aaron Brooks playing quarterback is pretty amusing

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that inactive Oakland Raiders receiver Jerry Porter was seen laughing and pumping his fists when teammate Aaron Brooks was sacked for the seventh time in a 27-0 loss to San Diego.

That makes two of us

Said Porter in his defense: "I wasn't even paying attention to the game."

In related news, the Seventh Seal ruptured, a third Temple was built in Jerusalem and the skies darkened with blood and locusts

Los Angeles Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor was named NBA Executive of Year.

"Also, Elgin Baylor is a lock for NBA Executive of the Year"

In a bizarre, wide-ranging interview with SI.com, former MLB player Darren Daulton claimed that he had an out-of-body experience while playing at Wrigley Field, that the Pyramids are strategically placed all over the galaxy, that reality consists of "numeric patters that awaken human consciousness" and that on December 21, 2012, "those ready to ascend will vanish from this plane of existence, like the crew of the Enterprise in 'Star Trek.'"

Unhappy feet

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games for stomping on the head of helmetless Dallas Cowboys lineman Andre Gurode.

Teammates of the Year

Shani DavisChad Hedrick
Shani Davis
Chad Hedrick

Cheese-Related Sporting Mishap of the Year

Twenty-five people were injured at the annual cheese-rolling championship in Gloucestershire, England.

Couple of the Year

Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio
Italian ice dancers

Extreme Home Makeover of the Year

After renting his Los Angeles mansion to Prince, Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer sued the pop star, claiming that he "painted the exterior of the house with purple striping, a 'Prince' symbol and the numbers 3121" while installing unwanted plumbing and piping for "water transfer for beauty salon chairs."

Employee Hand-Washing Violation of the Year

Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers

Sportsman of the Year

FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala was suspended for six games for punching Colorado Rapids players Hunter Freeman and Jovan Kirovski as they celebrated a playoff victory.

Uniform of the Year

Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith

Sportsmen of the Year

Lincoln University defeated Ohio State-Marion 201-78 in a Division III basketball game that saw Lincoln continue to run a full-court press and shoot 3-pointers after taking a 100-point lead in the second half.

Non-uniform of the Year

Doug Barron
Doug Barron

Apology of the Year

After the Purdue University student newspaper ran a story on tight end Garrett Bushong being arrested for DUI, Bushong wrote a letter to the paper stating "Yeah, I got an OWI, so what!"

Good Luck Charm of the Year

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Doctor's Note of the Year

Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur declined to play for the Turkish national team at the World Championships after providing a medical report that claimed he missed the entire NBA season – even though he didn't miss a single game.

Metaphor for Everything That's Wrong With American Life of the Year

Two children were injured in a scramble to grab cash being dropped from a helicopter as part of promotion for the West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team.

And finally …

Said a team spokeswoman: "It's for fun and games. This is why we have everybody sign a waiver."

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2. Sound off to Page 2 here.




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