Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

“Welcome to the place where we speed all day, where we bump and grind in a non-sexual way.”

This is one of many pearls of wisdom shared by actor/comedian/champion woodworker Nick Offerman in a new, extended promo celebrating NBC’s return to NASCAR. Before and after the Super Bowl (but not during the game) the network will air shortened versions of the music video, which features the Parks and Recreation star extolling the virtues of stock car racing.

Here’s the glorious spot in full:

Although Offerman isn’t playing a character in the video, I spent the entirety imagining that it was Ron Swanson shilling for NASCAR. Here are three more bon mots offered up by Offerman:

“You want Billy and Sally to learn about math and science, send ‘em to the school of NASCAR, they’ll thank you for it.”

“Sure, everybody at NASCAR gets a trophy, as long as they win the [expletive] race!”

“Maybe Jimmie Johnson will come back and kick some tuchas.”

Anthony Richardson of The Exploding Heads comedy group recently added bad British commentary(previously) to the awesome 2015 College Football National Championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks.

From the Rangers’ executive vice president of communications, John Blake …

 

Ranaudo failed to impress in the major leagues last season with the Red Sox, posting a 4.81 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in seven starts, but the 25-year-old has good minor league numbers and will give Texas rotation depth for the 2015 season and beyond. Ross, also 25 years old, owns a 3.27 ERA in 145 2/3 innings as a reliever at the big league level. He has a 5.70 ERA in 60 innings as a starter. It’s a nice bullpen addition for Boston.

Who said Tony Romo would never make it to the Super Bowl?

Plano based Pizza Hut has employed Romo for a few spots for the up coming Super Bowl.

Romo will be in two of the Pizza Hut commercials along wit Rex Ryan.

Have a look:

Romo also appears in the following ad about Pizza Hut’s Triple Cheese Covered Stuffed Crust. They don’t try to go for funny here:

Both commercials will air during the Pizza Hut sponsored pre-game show. Then one of the ads — and they won’t say which one yet — is expected to run before kickoff.

Pizza Hut is poised to sell something like 2 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, a forecast based on 2014 numbers. That’s 16 million slices.

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez wrote earlier this month that it’s unlikely Josh Hamilton will finish out his five-year, $125 million contract as a member of the Angels and that a trade may even be coming this season — in the third year of the five-year deal. But we can probably rule out a reunion with the Rangers.

Here’s the relevant part of the story from staff writer Michael Florek of the Dallas Morning News

 At Rangers Fan Fest on Saturday, general manager Jon Daniels was asked during a fan Q&A session what the chances were that Josh Hamilton would return to the Rangers.

“Small,” Daniels responded.

The response drew a laugh and then a round of applause from the crowd.

“A rather popular sentiment,” said Rangers announcer Tom Grieve, who was moderating the Q&A.

Hamilton, 33, has batted just .255 with a .741 OPS in 240 games with Anaheim. He’s owed $90.2 million.

 

Packers cornerback Sam Shields was covering Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant on his infamous overruled catch when their teams met in the playoffs. At the time, Shields said the ref made a good call in reversing the catch. Now Shields admits that’s not how he saw it.

Shields told ESPN that he believes Bryant did catch the ball, and he is surprised the Packers won their challenge of the play.

It was a catch,” Shields said, “But the new rule and at the last minute what happened, that’s what the refs came up with. I never said he didn’t catch it. He made a helluva catch I was in great coverage. Like I said, it was good on good and he came up with the catch.”

Shields seems surprised that Bryant reaching for the goal line didn’t constitute a “football move” that would make it a catch.

“I did look back and I seen him reaching and I guess that’s when he didn’t control the ball as he was doing that,” Shields said.

What Shields doesn’t seem to realize is that the NFL rules say that when a player makes a catch as he’s going to the ground, he must maintain control, and Bryant didn’t. Under NFL rules, it wasn’t a catch. But the fact that even Shields thinks it was a catch shows just how convoluted the NFL’s rules are.

Jeff Banister is a Texan.

Since we are just around the corner from Groundhog day, those of us that are hooked on baseball start to get that old familiar feeling that baseball is just about here. Ranger pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 20. It’s important to start getting in baseball shape for spring. That includes getting to know the new coaches and players that make up the team. I have been doing some heavy research.

The more I learn about Jeff Banister, the more I am so looking forward to the new baseball season, and seeing how his leadership and management style will play out here. I feel pretty certain the Rangers absolutely made the right choice for the new coaching position.

Did you know that Jeff Banister only had one hit in the major leagues? That is true, but boy, was it a hit.

Banister has a fascinating story, one that Tyler Kepner wrote some time ago for the New York Times.  He battled cancer as a teenager, was paralyzed for ten days due to a home plate collision as a junior college catcher, ended up getting drafted by the Pirates, legged out an infield single in his lone major league at bat, and has spent his entire career with Pittsburgh, with the last four coming as Clint Hurdle’s bench coach.

Who is Clint Hurdle you ask? On November 4, 2009, he was hired as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers. In 2010, Hurdle helped the Rangers to their first American League pennant in franchise history before losing to the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series. Hurdle went on to become the coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As any good leader has, I think most Rangers fans are interested in what sort of plan that Banister has for the team. Banister is featured in a recent Grantland piece about the Pirates’ use of sabermetrics. Here is another piece about the science of sabermetrics.

Man, I can’t wait. Now, if the groundhog will just cooperate.

 

Being in Jeff Banister’s shoes is a great situation to be in right now.

The Rangers are coming off a 67-95 season in which they finished as the fourth worst team in the league. A number of star players were injured, leaving players unfamiliar to some fans. The previous manager left amid controversy.

Enter Banister this year. The Rangers should have no problem in righting the Ranger ship and getting back to their winning ways when they get their injured players back. Surely, just from having core players like Prince Fielder, Shin Shoo Choo, and others on the diamond will increase wins in a hurry. The bottom line is that Bannister will be the recipient of that. He will also be a fan favorite in my opinion.  Banister knows the fans were hurt by all that went on last year, and I think he will go out of his way to pay the fan loyalty back.

Banister admitted at Rangers Fan Fest on Saturday that last season’s events had taken a toll on the fans.

“I think there is a reconnecting process of a fan base with this team,” Banister said.

“Absolutely it’s part of my job (to engage the fans),” Banister said. “You’re coming off of a season where the fan base, they were hurt, disappointed. They felt the sting just like everybody else.

“But it’s also important for me to tell them what I’ve seen, tell them what I’ve heard. It is, because I understand just the synergy of what fans can create for a team. It’s extremely important.”

It’s going to be a great year to be a Ranger fan.

It’s going to be a great year for the Rangers as well. It’s a win-win deal.