Dwight Howard, Lakers meet the Stanley Cup; Metta World Peace eats almonds out of it (PHOTOS)

22 Oct

LA Kings on Who Say

This is comedian JB Smoove Dwight Howard, moments after someone told him the Los Angeles Lakers had gifted him this pimp cup in honor of his first game with the franchise on Sunday. Alas, the Stanley Cup actually belongs to Staples Center mates the Los Angeles Kings, who brought the Chalice by the Lakers' locker room.

Howard had an immediate kinship with the Cup, seeing as they both inexplicably landed in Los Angeles after flirting heavily with the New York area, and have both been in Justin Bieber's delicate hands.

Here's Howard, wondering how the Carolina Hurricanes ended up on the Cup, much like we all have at one point or another:

The Lakers had different reactions to hockey's Holy Grail. Reserve center Robert Sacre's eyes "immediately lit up" when he saw it because he's Canadian. Beto Duran of ESPN Radio in LA reports that "Kobe glanced at Stanley Cup. Steve Nash didn't stop because he has previous pics with the trophy."

Then there's Metta World Peace, who also inspected it ... and in the process became the second most ridiculous name to ever touch the Stanley Cup, right behind Håkan Loob.

Here's video of Metta eating almonds out of the Stanley Cup. Seriously:

Alas, by touching the Cup, the former Ron Artest is jinxed from ever winning one in the NHL. Also, he's now eligible for disciplinary action from Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety, should the need arise.

So there you go: The Stanley Cup in the hands of an NBA team.

#EndTheLockout …

Second Howard photo via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation; Metta World Peace photo by Arash Markazi.

Tags: , , , , Metta, , photo
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Reddit presents Yahoo! Sports NHL Ask Me Anything; stop by today, ask us stuff

17 Oct

Reddit's sub-reddit hockey community is one of our favorite places for puck chatter, weird finds and general buffoonery. So it's an honor to have your friends from Yahoo! Sports' NHL team participate in an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A session beginning at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on r/hockey on Wednesday!

Click here to join the chat!

Please join yours truly; Puck Daddy associate editors Sean Leahy and Harrison Mooney; Yahoo! Sports NHL insider Nick Cotsonika; Yahoo! Canada NHL editor Sam McCaig; Yahoo! Canada Managing Editor for Sports Steve McAllister; and other Y! hockey favorites for plenty of puck talk, CBA debates and, of course, everything else you can imagine asking a bunch of knuckleheads on an Internet forum.

Having done one of these before, they're a ton of fun. Stop by, ask us anything; hence the name.

Thanks again for supporting Puck Daddy and Yahoo! Sports.

Tags: buffoonery, Harrison Mooney, , , , , Nick Cotsonika, , Reddit, Sports Steve McAllister
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Jayson Werth in cupcake form? Yes, please

12 Oct

It's usually an insult to figuratively describe any athlete as a "cupcake," but it has become a literal honor for Jayson Werth. No, really. As DC Sports Bog reports, the likeness of the bearded Washington Nationals slugger — who won Thursday's NLDS Game 4 against the Cardinals with a walkoff homer — has been turned into a delicious dessert by the fine folks at Fluffy Thoughts Cakes in McLean, Va.

Reports the Bog:

If you're in the neighborhood, you can stop by Stuckey's shop (1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd.) and pick one up for $5, which might be pricey for your average, clean-shaven cupcake. But this cupcake is clearly art.

The crew at Fluffy Thoughts is making them almost as fast as they're flying off the shelves.

"We keep selling out of them," Stuckey laughed. "But we'll be making them all day."

As a blog that's been a supporter of Werth's beard in good times and bad, this bring a proud tear to our eye. One year it's just a spring training curiosity, a few falls later it's an iconic confection being devoured by hungry baseball fans. It's the American dream, really.

Bonus — Nightmare Fuel: David Wells as Jayson Werth

Make sure all your bases are covered this postseason ...
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Tags: cupcake, Fluffy, Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, , , , likeness, McLean, , , , , Werth
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Payton, Vitt and Loomis will be on hand to watch Drew Brees break Johnny Unitas’ record

04 Oct

At one time, we thought that the most amazing and unprecedented aspect of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees breaking Johnny Unitas' record of 47 straight regular-season games with at least one touchdown pass would be the fact that anybody broke it at all. For decades, Unitas' mark -- which was once considered to be the NFL's version of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak -- was thought to be virtually unbreakable, though the explosion in passing numbers in the last 10 years has certainly made it far more vulnerable.

But when Brees takes the field at the Superdome this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, he will have some special and unexpected guests. As first reported by WVUE-TV, Saints head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis -- all currently suspended from the league for their roles in the team's alleged bounty scandal -- will be in the building to watch Brees try and grab that mark with a touchdown pass in his 48th consecutive game.

"I am excited for our team and for them," Brees said in a text message to ESPN's Pat Yasinkas. "It adds another element to what we hope to be a very special night."

[More: Bold statements from the first quarter of the 2012 NFL season]

Brees had requested permission for the three men to be in attendance -- they all came to New Orleans in 2006, as Brees did, to turn around a franchise and bring hope to a city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The NFL, bound to a point after allowing former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to attend last Sunday's Seattle Seahawks-St. Louis Rams game, granted Brees' request. Williams is suspended from the NFL indefinitely.

The NFL's statement:

"Drew Brees requested permission for Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt to attend Sunday night's game in which Drew will attempt to set the record of 48 straight games with a touchdown pass. Commissioner [Roger] Goodell has granted that permission. Coaches Payton and Vitt and Mickey Loomis will be permitted to watch the game in a private area of the stadium and will have no contact with the team."

On Tuesday, Payton said that he would not be in attendance, but that was obviously before he was informed that he would be allowed to do so. "I've kind of got a full plate here. A handful of people texted me that. Right now, I'll be able to watch it, and shoot, just being able to watch it on TV is no different than being there in person. It's just an honor to be connected to this."

Beyond Brees' obvious link to the three guys who will be cordoned off, parole-style, there are a few more interesting connections in this game. Brees was selected by the Chargers in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft, and the Saints picked him up as a free agent before the 2006 season despite the fact that he was recovering from a severe shoulder injury, and the Chargers had cast him aside. Philip Rivers has been great for the Chargers, but Brees has been the most productive and prolific quarterback in the NFL over the past half-decade, and he broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record in 2011. Now, he leads a Saints team decimated by the bounty fallout and trying to bounce back from an 0-4 start.

Receiver Robert Meachem, who moved from the Saints to the Chargers in the offseason, still considers it an honor to have played with Brees. "It's a special feeling to even play with a quarterback like Drew and everything he's accomplished, and we've accomplished playing together," Meachem recalled to NOLA.com. "He's a hard-working guy and he's going to do everything he can to be the best."

For Brees, the connection to the people who have helped him get to this point is the most important thing, and he recently outlined an interesting and poignant connection between the Saints' organization and Unitas' legacy.

"Coach Joe Vitt, who's not with us right now, when Joe Vitt was actually coaching with the Baltimore Colts, he came down with cancer," Brees said. "One of the guys who came to visit him was Johnny Unitas. I always thought that was something that told a lot about how Mr. Unitas was as a man, and obviously as a football player what he stood for. He's got a lot of records in this league. To be there next to him with this one, it's an honor."

Brees may not be able to celebrate a remarkable accomplishment with his longtime comrades as he'd like to, but at the very least, he'll be able to remember what once was for one day in what has been a fractured season.

NFL video from Yahoo! Sports:

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2012 MLB playoff schedule: Postseason set

03 Oct

It's official. With Baltimore's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay clinching the AL East title for the New York Yankees on Wednesday night, we finally know what the postseason matchups are going to look like.

Or at least, we mostly do. The debut of the wild-card play-in games means that the top seeds in each league — the Yankees and the NL East champion Washington Nationals — won't know their first-round opponent until those games conclude on Friday night.

But here's what we do know: The Baltimore Orioles will travel to Texas to play the Rangers in the AL wild-card play-in game on Friday night while the Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the day. The winner advances to the LDS round and will host the first two games while the loser heads home to debate the relative merits and honor of being a playoff team for all of one game.

[Related: How Oakland won the west]

Meanwhile, the two mid-seed matchups are already set. The NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds will face Dusty Baker's old squad, the NL West champion San Francisco Giants while the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers get the relative honor of trying to cool down the Oakland A's after they blitzed their way to the AL West title.

Here's the full playoff schedule for the wild-card and LDS rounds:

(all times TBD unless listed, all games broadcast on TBS )

Friday's wild card play-in games
(winners advance to LDS round)
NL — St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, 5 p.m. ET
AL — Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers, 8:30 p.m. ET

ALDS Game 1 — Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers, 6 p.m. ET
NLDS Game 1 — Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants, 9:30 p.m. ET

ALDS Game 1 New York Yankees at Baltimore or Texas
NLDS Game 1 — Washington Nationals at Atlanta or St. Louis
ALDS Game 2 — Oakland at Detroit
NLDS Game 2 — Cincinnati at San Francisco

ALDS Game 2 — New York at Baltimore/Texas
NLDS Game 2 — Washington at Atlanta/St. Louis

ALDS Game 3 — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 3 — San Francisco at Cincinnati

ALDS Game 3 — Baltimore/Texas at NY
ALDS Game 4* — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 3 —  Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington
NLDS Game 4* — San Francisco at Cincinnati

ALDS Game 4* — Baltimore/Texas at New York
ALDS Game 5* — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 4* — Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington
NLDS Game 5*  — San Francisco at Cincinnati

ALDS Game 5* — Baltimore/Texas at New York
NLDS Game 5* — Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington

* If necessary, all series are best of five

Are you ready for the postseason?
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CBS gives referees a special welcome back (VIDEO)

30 Sep
by Maggie Hendricks in Fantasy Football, General

In the first weekend of football with non-replacement referees officiating, the zebras have been made to feel like rock stars in stadiums across the country. They were given a standing ovation before Thursday's game in Baltimore, and heard many more cheers before Sunday's Week 4 games. Ed Hochuli's crew was given an extra honor before the Cincinnati Bengals-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Sunday by CBS. Each referee was announced like a player.

The honeymoon didn't last long, though, as fans were soon booing some of the rusty referees' more questionable calls. At least now we know that Hochuli started working on those famous guns at the University of Texas-El Paso.

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Steve Stricker of the U.S. reacts after sinking a putt on the ninth green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Steve Stricker, a 12-times winner on the PGA Tour who is known for his gracious demeanor and good sportsmanship, was named the recipient of the 2012 Payne Stewart Award on Tuesday. The honor is given annually to a player sharing Stewart's respect for the traditions of the game and his commitment to uphold golf's heritage of charitable support. "For years, Steve Stricker has epitomized everything that the Payne Stewart Award represents," Tour commissioner Tim Finchem told reporters at East Lake Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's Tour Championship. ...

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Tour Report: Discuss: Your favorite shots (PGA Tour)

11 Sep
This week, the Champions Tour is in Hawaii for the inaugural Pacific Links Hawaii Championship. In honor of the new event, here’s a look at the top 10 shots in Champions Tour history (excluding majors). Discuss below.
Tags: Champions Tour history, event, , , , Links, , Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, , , the Champions Tour,
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New York pub changes its name to honor noted Mets foil Chipper Jones

07 Sep

Chipper Jones' long-awaited final road trip to play the New York Mets is upon us this weekend and the Atlanta Braves third baseman will be receiving about the best honor while he's there. Foley's NY, a baseball-mad bar in Manhattan that's home to the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame, is changing its name to "Chipper's" for the three-game series and will be offering 10 different varieties of chips in his honor.

From Foleys NY.com:

Sometimes you have to tip your cap to your opponent.  There are few opponents in recent memory who have been as successful as Chipper Jones a visiting player in New York City.   While Chipper has broken the hearts of many Mets fans over the years, New Yorkers are as knowledgeable as anyone and they know greatness when they see it -- even when it resulted in disappointment for their hometown team.

Having an Irish pub in New York named in your honor is pretty cool — especially since it previously attracted some PR for banning Danny Boy — and the gift has to shoot up near the top of our ranking of the awards that Chipper has received on his retirement tour.

[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]

He's bound to get a few more gifts, though, in the city that has developed a well-known begrudging respect for the player that has burned the Mets repeatedly over the years. Jones hit his first big-league homer at Shea Stadium on May 9, 1995 and Robert Weintraub of the New York Times has a good accounting of the 17-year history between Jones and New Yorkers that followed. Jones played 88 regular-season games at Shea Stadium, compiling a line of .313/.407/.557 with 19 homers and 55 RBIs in that time. (An aging Chipper has been far less successful in Queens since Citi Field opened in 2009, going .208/.308/.377 with three homers and 14 RBIs over 22 games.)

At any rate, it'll be interesting to see what Chipper officially receives from the Mets. The fans will certainly serenade him with a few final rounds of "Larry" (his first name) and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post sends Jones off with a unique gift of his own — a look at where he ranks among baseball's greatest Larrys.

Big BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball, HOVG

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Tags: Baseball Hall of Fame, Chipper Jones, gift, , , , , , , , ,
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Keselowski will run a Blue Deuce tribute to Rusty Wallace this weekend

24 Aug

It's always weird seeing someone else step into your shoes, particularly when your "shoes" have been a part of your identity for so long. Rusty Wallace was synonymous with the Blue Deuce for much of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, and now it's not his anymore. Kurt Busch ran it for awhile, and now the car belongs to Brad Keselowski. (Well, Penske Racing, but you know what we mean.)

But Rusty, who'll be inducted into the NASCAR Hall in 2013, has not been forgotten. Witness Keselowski's retro Deuce above, which he'll run in honor of Rusty this weekend at Bristol. It's a fitting place for a tribute; Wallace won nine times at Bristol. In 2000, which the throwback paint scheme honors (wait, does 2000 really count as a "throwback?"), Wallace won both races ... which, coincidentally enough, Keselowski is also attempting this weekend.

Tags: Blue Deuce, , , , Deuce, , Kurt Busch, , NASCAR Hall, Retro, Rusty Wallace
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