Morning Link Dump - 03/15/11
Obligatory Sports Babe
This morning, for no reason other than the fact that she was featured over at the always-classy Busted Coverage yesterday, we'll go with fiancee of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, actress Noureen DeWulf.
Quote of the Day
"The current system punishes the offending player but does very little to deter such actions in the future. We need to review, upgrade and more clearly define our policies in this regard, so that they can provide a meaningful deterrence and effectively clean up the game." - Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, making a hell of a lot of sense, in a letter sent to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman last week, which has been obtained by ESPN.
NFL Lockout Killing The Chicken Wing Industry?
"An extended NFL lockout would be devastating to the chicken wing industry, which has already seen prices drop precipitously this year, the chief executive of a major producer has said," explains a Reuters report via Yahoo! Eurosport.
"'It would kill wings, it would be terrible on wings,' Joe Sanderson of Sanderson Farms Inc said at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit on Monday.
"Chicken wings are popular fare at sports bars, especially on fall and winter Sundays when the National Football League has most of its games.
"After weeks of deliberations, NFL team owners and players have not reached agreements on a number of labour issues, including pay and profit sharing. A federal court will hear an antitrust suit filed by NFL players on April 6.
"Wholesale chicken wing prices generally increase steadily in the weeks ahead of the league's showpiece event, the Super Bowl, each February. This year, however, prices have been pressured by too many chickens on the lots.
"Wholesale prices for chicken wings in Georgia were $1.04 (64.3p) per pound just ahead of this year's big game, down from $1.74 per pound a year earlier. This week, wing prices plunged to 95 cents per pound, according to US Department of Agriculture data."
Putting The Madness In March
"Sometimes, Gus Johnson feels like a human jukebox, a sports broadcaster beholden to his greatest hits, to 'Pure!' and 'What a game!' and 'Ha-HA!' and the rest. That man, the one who shouts and screams and channels his inner fan in the waning seconds of sporting events from basketball to boxing, is part Gus Johnson, but only part," beings a New York Times profile of the beloved announcer.
"It is Johnson because he considers his style a natural outgrowth of his upbringing, his training and his 'sizzle.' But while he spawned a cult following, a soundboard, Facebook fan groups, top-10 lists and YouTube compilations, his style also defined Johnson in the narrowest manner possible.
"For all the ways in which Johnson, 43, profits off his pipes — for the video game Madden 11, formerly for the, for CBS — he is most suited for the tournament. This is Johnson’s time of year. Fans say he puts the madness in March."
Success: MLB's Urban Youth Academy
"Five years ago this week, Major League Baseball opened their first Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California. And now with a second academy already opened in Houston and several others in the works, we can see the fruits of all of all the hard work," writes Cork Gaines at Business Insider.
"At its core, The Urban Youth Academy was started to provide baseball and softball instruction to young athletes. In MLB's 2010 amateur draft, 25 players were selected that either played or trained at MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Compton. Since the academy opened, 100 players have been drafted, with more than half signing professional contracts.
"Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President of Baseball Development for Major League Baseball hopes others will recognize the success and possibilities of the academy.
"'Major League Baseball has a goal to bring a MLB Urban Youth Academy to every city that hosts a MLB Club, and even ones that support Minor League Clubs,' said Solomon. 'Is that realistic right now? We’d like to believe so. As we continue to open Academies, we hope their success motivates other MLB Clubs and cities to work with Major League Baseball to make this vision a reality.' "
Quote of the Day II
"My friend broke his neck. ... The moment his head hit the sand bar he knew he was going to die. He couldn’t feel his body and the waves kept pushing him back down to the ocean floor. What was going through his mind? I’m sure he said a prayer. I’m sure he thought about his wife, son, and daughter. I wonder if he thought about his baseball career? ... My friend didn’t die. He lived and the story is amazing. He is in Spring Training right now trying to make a team. But I am not going to tell you the rest. My hope is that reporters start asking around. They can find him and it will be the biggest story of Spring Training. ... Happy hunting." - Former Major League infielder Morgan Ensberg in a post on his excellent blog, Morgan Ensberg's Baseball IQ.
A picture of Magic Johnson and Lil Wayne at Terez Owens? A picture of Magic Johnson and Lil Wayne at Terez Owens.
Slate provides us with some printable alternative March Madness brackets.
It's McRunner.com! The home of a marathoner named Joe whose mission statement reads: "I will eat only McDonald’s for 30 days and attempt a sub 2:36 at the L.A. Marathon on March 20, 2011." Yikes.
From SBNation, it's the original 1984 Chicago Cubs scouting report on future Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux.
Gold from The Onion: NHL ref likes it when he gets to jump over puck.
Busted Racquet explains what the just-underway tournament at Indian Wells means for the top mens tennis players in the world.
Ronaldinho's First Touch
Um... yeah, it's still pretty good... (via Who Ate All The Pies)