This weekend, as usual, the sports world gave us storyline after storyline with a mixture of mo-jo, money, miracle, and malice. Welcome to the party…


The Rock Star – Urban Meyer

UrbanIf ever there were a rock star in Columbus, it’s Urban Meyer. He’s taken over a program that went from powerhouse to despair in twelve shorts months and immediately injected some excitement into the school, the players, the fans……and, this weekend, some recruits.

Meyer hosted a number of big names in Columbus making their official visits to The Ohio State University over the last three days - some of which have already committed elsewhere - and rumor has it a few may be turning in their planned colors of choice for some Scarlet and Gray attire. Those who were in attendance:

Jordan Diamond – 4-Star Offensive Tackle – Uncommitted

Se’Von Pittman – 4-Star Defensive End – Michigan State Verbal

Kyle Dodson – 4-Star Offensive Tackle – Wisconsin Verbal

Tommy Schutt – 4-Star Defensive Tackle – Penn State Verbal

Also in town to partake in Urbapalooza 2011 were a handful of kids who have already committed to Ohio State. It’s one heck of a campaigning committee working on the list above to join them at the Horseshoe this spring:

Bri’onte Dunn – 4-Star Running Back (still has an official visit to Michigan planned)

Warren Ball – 4-Star Running Back

De’van Bogard – 4-Star Defensive Back

Jacoby Boren – 3-Star Offensive Lineman

Pat Elflein – 3-Star Offensive Lineman

Frank Epitropoulos – 3-Star Wide Receiver

Najee Murray – 3-Star Defensive Back

Josh Perry – 4-Star Linebacker

Tyvis Powell – 3-Star Defensive Back

Luke Roberts – 3-Star Linebacker

Blake Thomas – 3-Star Tight End

Unconfirmed reports say Tommy Schutt (PSU) has already decided to turn his commitment over to Ohio State and we’re just waiting on the announcement. It’s all just starting to get interesting.

There’s only one reason these kids who have already committed to other schools went ahead and scheduled official visits to Ohio State – Urban Meyer. With his personality, track record, and rock-star status the recruits just seem to flock to him. I’m glad he’s on our team because there are going to be some real butt-hurt coaches in the B1G if these kids start flipping over to the dark side.


The Bouncer - Yancy Gates

GATESThe actions? Unforgivable. The punishment? Laughable. The right hook to the face of Kenny Frease from the University of Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates? May turn out to be a criminal act of violence.

Prosecutors are currently looking at game film from the fight that broke out with 9.4 seconds left in this weekend’s UC v Xavier game that caused the refs to cut the game short and send both teams to their respective locker rooms. The jawing went on all game between players from both teams and as the final seconds wound down it got ugly.

All told each team has suspended four players each and by all accounts the suspensions doled out have come across as being very weak. That’s a whole different story. The story of the brawl itself focused on the violent acts of Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates.

The first question has to be, “what in the hell are you thinking?” It’s not too often you see as much violence on the basketball court as you do other sports, like baseball (see Nolan Ryan’s fist and Robin Ventura’s face), football (hello, Ndamukong Suh), or certainly hockey but for one afternoon Yancy Gates decided to be the enforcer and the idiot at the same time.

Was he agitated while getting the beat down of his career, a 23-point loss to the cross town rival? Sure. Were he and his teammates instigated by the immature actions and mouths of a select few Xavier Musketeers? Undoubtedly. But when you take it to the level Gates did you’ve affectively given up the right to be a college basketball player. Cincinnati hasn’t seen it that way, today announcing a six-game suspension for Gates (huh?) but if nothing else he certainly gave us the picture of the weekend.


Buying All the Beer – Albert Pujols

This weekend Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 Million contract to join the Los Angeles Angels that has him locked up until he turns 41 years old. Odds are Pujols will retire before he ever sees a dime from the last two or three years of the contract, but it’s a mammoth-deal nonetheless.

PUJOLSESPN broke down the best 1st basemen/DH of all time based on each birthday Pujols will hit over the life of the contract and has basically shown that he would have to be the greatest 32 year old (his current age) of all time, then the greatest 33 year old of all time, then the greatest…….you get the picture……in order to perform worthy of the contract. I don’t see it.

Pujols may well provide the Angels with a couple of World Series rings while still in his prime, and if he’s able to do so then you can probably call him worthy of the contract – at least from the perspective of Angels ownership. They also picked up an extra 1,000 season ticket orders once Pujols (and C.J. Wilson) signed on.

It’s an amazing amount of money to give to a player who has already hit his 30’s. Alex Rodriguez earned the same contract years ago but had barely reached his 20’s. We’ll see how well it pans out in the end but, for now anyway, beers on Albert.


“Hey, you wanna hook up?” – Chris Paul

PAULWhen is this thing going to end. Chris Paul was traded to the Lakers in a three-team deal that involved LA, his current New Orleans team, and the Houston Rockets. No sooner was it sent in to the NBA office for approval did NBA Commissioner David Stern hand it right back to the Hornets’ brass with a big, fat “NO” stamped on it. How does THAT work??

Apparently the currently NBA-owned Hornets have Big Brother looking over their shoulder at every move. Stern the NBA must make sure the franchise is in the best possible position to be sold to perspective buyers and apparently determined that having Chris Paul on the roster gives them their best shot at selling. Yeah, duh.

But does that give Stern and his counter-parts right to dictate who goes where in trades leading up to the season? Apparently it does, but the whole situation reeks of strangeness.

Regardless, Chris Paul is the hot commodity in trade rumors and was pinned on three different trade possibilities this weekend – one to the Lakers, one to Boston (which he immediately put the kibosh on himself), and most recently to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The NBA of old was a center’s league, dominated by names from Wilt and Russell to Hakeem and Patrick Ewing. It’s since shifted to a guard oriented league that has Chris Paul at the top of many must-have lists. His recruitment isn’t being crammed down our throats like the LeBron “Decision” of a year ago, but Stern and the NBA squashing a trade to the already-contending Lakers sure made it more interesting.


Designated Driver - Tim Tebow

Tebow Time. Tebowing. Tebowmania. Timmaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

TEBOWINGFirst and foremost, I have NO idea how he continues to win in the fashion that he does, and I’M a Denver fan. It goes against everything we know about the NFL. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Payton Manning, and Drew Brees would agree.

After beating Chicago 13-10 in overtime on Sunday, the Denver Broncos – the same team that finished 2010 with a 4-12 record and started this season 1-4 with Kyle Orton under center – have now rattled off seven inexplicable wins in eight tries with Tebow taking snaps to move their record to 8-5 for the season, good enough to lead the AFC West.

This is the same Tim Tebow that wasn’t supposed to make it as a college quarterback (before winning a Heisman trophy and two National Championship) and isn’t supposed to make it in the NFL despite being a first round selection in the April draft of 2010. Somehow or another he does just enough to win at the end after spending three-plus quarters, seemingly every Sunday, stinking up the joint.

This time around the Broncos were scoreless for their first twelve possessions over 58 clock-minutes of game time, a stretch that saw Tebow throw eleven straight incomplete passes, before scoring 10 points in the final two minutes (including a 59-yard field goal) to tie it and send it into overtime. At that point the defense held and Tebow marched Denver into position to kick the winning 51-yard field goal. Crazy.

Tebow, Tebow, and more Tebow. Are you tired of it yet? The end could come as soon as this Sunday afternoon when Tebow and the Broncos welcome Bill Belichek, Tom Brady, and the AFC East leading Patriots (10-3) into the mile high city with a 5-game winning streak of their own.

If Denver wins that one, all bets are off.

Albert, my beer is empty.