Monday, April 30, 2007

Ten Penalties That Need To Be Officially Recognized By Football Referees, in Increasing Order Of Severity

by Klondike, 2007 KankaNation Laetare Recipient

Editor's Note: This is the second in what Klondike hopes is a monthly series of his opinions on sports. Click on the "If Klondike ran sports" label at the end of this article to check out the complete collection.

#10: Unspecified Error
Cause: Something definitely happened, but nobody really saw exactly what.
Signal: Exaggerated shoulder shrug.
Penalty: 5-yard penalty for the first infraction, 10-yard penalty for each additional infraction.

#9: Excessive Momentum
Cause: A team makes a series of good plays.
Signal: The running man dance.
Penalty: 5-yard penalty.

#8: Coach Bloviation
Cause: A coach enters the field shouting at the referee.
Signal: Talk-to-the-hand, with associated head movements.
Penalty: 5-yard penalty for the team, loss of a time out.

#7: End-Zone Lameness
Cause: A totally lame celebratory end-zone dance.
Signal: Jazz hands.
Penalty: 10-yard penalty, two-minute loss of JumboTron privileges.

#6: T.V. Delay Of Game
Cause: T.V. commercial break takes too long.
Signal: Knob-twisting motions with both hands.
Penalty: Loss of a T.V. Timeout.

#5: Illegal Hair Length
Cause: A player enters the field that has hair below the helmet line.
Signal: Slow-motion shampoo commercial hair flip.
Penalty: Loss of down, loss of hair.

#4: Illegal Gimmick
Cause: Team uses a gimmick to pull the train.
Signal: Drum-major high-step march in place, with associated baton movements.
Penalty: 15-yard penalty, loss of dignity.

#3: Illegal Victory
Cause: The wrong team wins the game.
Signal: Sweeping, frantic no-no-no hand-waiving.
Penalty: 5-yard penalty, loss of game.

#2: Sportsmanlike Conduct
Cause: Any overt act that suggests a player or team is superior to an opposing player or team.
Signal: Sit on ground, sob like a four-year-old.
Penalty: Group Hug, trophies for everybody.

#1: Divine Intervention
Cause: Deity performs a miracle that affects play.
Signal: Prostration.
Penalty: Purgatory.

All the best.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NFL Draft Review

What, original content?

From the Cleveland Browns' Perspective

  • It was a wild but successful first round for the Browns. Cleveland took OT Joe Thomas with the third overall pick, but they weren't done yet. After Brady Quinn was still around as of the 22nd pick, Cleveland traded their 2007 second round pick and 2008 first round pick to Dallas for the chance to draft Quinn. Fans and "experts" alike are hailing this as the day that potential puts the Cleveland Browns franchise back on track.

  • It looked like the Browns were out of the second round, until GM Phil Savage swung another deal. After trading for a second round pick, the Browns picked up troubled DB Eric Wright. Wright is a first round talent, but a troubled past got him kicked out of USC. After that, he ended up at UNLV. When interviewed, Romeo Crennel pointed out that if Wright can stay trouble free in Las Vegas of all places for two years, his character shouldn't be much of an issue any more.

  • Following Wright, the Browns picked up another cornerback and two defensive ends. The Browns are decent at corner when their players are healthy, but that's happening less and less these days. Both DEs are big enough to play the line in a 3-4, and will be the heir apparents to the aging Orpheus Roye.

  • The Browns finished out their draft with Syndric Steptoe, a WR/returner. If Steptoe has an impressive training camp, he essentially replaces the departed Dennis Northcutt.

From Notre Dame's Perspective

  • It was a long day for Quinn, but in the end it turned out well. Perhaps wisely, the Browns chose to strengthen their line with the #3 pick. (Someone related their previous first round picks to a sugar rush.) But after Miami took Ted Ginn at #9 (even Cleveland-area radio announcers thought that that was far too high for Ginn), no one else really needed a QB... until the Browns traded for the little kid in the Bernie Kosar uniform.

  • Victor Abiamiri and Ryan Harris have found themselves in great situations. Abiamiri is going to the Eagles, where he will backup Jevon Kearse. Harris was drafted into the Broncos system, which has always turned out great offensive linemen. In what is perhaps not a coincidence, Denver usually employs "undersized" but agile linemen.

  • Derek Landri was picked up by Jacksonville in the 5th round, a tribute to his "motor." It will be interesting to see what position the undersized Landri plays in the pros.

  • In another feel-good move for ND fans, the Patriots drafted Mike Richardson in the 6th round. Richardson is a smart player who arguably could play safety as well as corner. This proves that Richardson was perhaps the most improved defensive player of the Charlie Weis era to date.

  • The Bengals used two 7th round picks on Dan Santucci and Nedu Ndukwe. In a way, Santucci makes up for the loss of Eric Steinbach to Cleveland, while Ndukwe was no doubt drafted for his athleticism and potential.

  • Perhaps surprisingly, neither Darius Walker and Rhema McKnight went undrafted. But by the time you read this, they will probably have signed with a team as free agents.

Finally, a note that will hopefully serve as a preview for an upcoming ND baseball alumni update. Jeff Samardzija is doing well in the High A Florida State League, but has tough luck earning his first win. Meanwhile, Jeff Manship's numbers have been outstanding in the Low A Midwest League. Sure, he's playing in a lower league than Samardzija, but Manship's performance is still nothing to scoff at.

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

This week marked the beginning of the NBA playoffs. Or as the Hawks call it: vacation time.

Elsewhere in basketball, Upper Deck Authenticated's new Kobe Bryant action figure is so realistic you can't even get the ball out of his hands.

Fox featured San Diego State alumni Mark Grace, Jeanne Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy on the same program. We're not sure what's stranger; the fact that all three broadcasters attended the same school or the fact that three San Diego State grads actually managed to find jobs.

Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne is back on the disabled list, upsetting the one fantasy owner who picked up Eric Gagne. Gagne blames his newest injury on the rehab work he did at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo is in the hospital while undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat. What brought on the palpitations? Following the Cubs.

Detroit Tigers first baseman Sean Casey flew home recently to find his car up on cinder blocks with the windows smashed in. Authorities have ruled out Manny Ramirez, who is incapable of hitting anything.

Justin Timberlake announced that he'd like to play professional golf. Joey Fatone is excited, as he was looking for a new job caddying.

And the Indianapolis Colts visited the White House. President Bush was happy for the change of pace - meeting an offensive line instead of uttering one. Bush was presented with a #43 jersey, commemorating his status as America's 43rd president, as well as all 43 states.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Top NFL draft prospect Amobi Okoye admitted during interviews at the NFL combine that he has used marijuana. Teams are now wary of drafting him, as they now have to factor in the price of all those Cheetos.

Barry Bonds is continuing his pursuit of Hank Aaron. Let's hope all of this success doesn't go to his head. His massive, melon shaped head.

In basketball, Detroit Pistons guard Flip Murray says three gunshots were fired into his home by a pair of masked men. All three shots missed wildly, leading police to suspect that one of the shooters may have been Antoine Walker.

SuperSonics majority owner Clay Bennett has announced that Seattle will no longer have a basketball team beyond the 2007-08 season. The news shocked fans, who thought the Sonics stopped playing basketball in the late nineties.

Curtis Strange and Hubert Green have been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. The news was greeted by a very quiet and polite round of applause.

Friends report that reality star and wrestler Hulk Hogan has been quarreling nearly nonstop with his wife. Luckily no one has been hurt as all of their fights are heavily choreographed and planned out in advance.

David Beckham has been selected as the sexiest dad among a list of sexy entertainers and athletes. Former NBA star Shawn Kemp did not win, despite 75 of his children casting ballots.

And Nike took out a full-page ad in the New York Times thanking disgraced radio host Don Imus for bringing the issues of race relations and sexism to the forefront. The company also plans on throwing a parade for John Rocker. Imus' joke has also led to a lucrative book deal for the Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer. The book is tentatively titled, Acting for Beginners.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Congratulations to Kenya's Robert Cheruiyot, who won the Boston Marathon by outrunning the rest of the Kenyans. We're tired of Americans losing every marathon, and are starting our own. The course will be nine miles and can be driven.

Yankee pitcher Carl Pavano's girlfriend will be photographed for Maxim. Unless she gets injured first.

In basketball, Tim Duncan was given a technical foul and thrown out of a game for laughing at a call while on the bench. Officials feared for their safety as it's the first time Duncan has ever smiled.

Georgetown juniors Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert will submit their names for the NBA draft but will not sign with agents. That's great news for savvy NBA teams who are looking to sign the players for $15 a piece.

Turning to football, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin was arrested at a night club for refusing to pull up his pants. Mr. Griffin, there is a time and a place for that kind of behavior, and that's on a cruise with the rest of your team.

Tennis star Andre Agassi hit wife Stefi Graf in the face with a tennis racquet during a charity event. Crazy what married people are into. In related news, Agassi ex Brooke Shields is no longer depressed.

And a 102-year-old woman has become the oldest golfer to ever record a hole-in-one. The woman was thrilled once she learned that she was golfing. She'll be even more thrilled when they tell her again in 20 minutes.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Denzel Washington's son will make his NFL Europa debut for the Hamburg Sea Devils. Well done, Jackie Robinson! Denzel said he is very proud of his son for making it as a European football player, and he's such a good actor that he said it convincingly, too.

In American football, Drew Bledsoe finally retired - from being benched. Unfortunately he's already being benched from retirement in favor of Jake Plummer.

Suspended Titan Pac-Man Jones was ringside for his best friend Zab Judah's fight with Ruben Galvan, mainly because he's got nothing else to do. Thankfully, the fight was not in Vegas. Now that the suspended Tennessee Titan has the year free, may we suggest he try his hand at acting. First audition? The Longest Yard-Part II.

More trouble from the Imus scandal as new tapes reveal that he also said the Rutgers women's basketball team was "from New Jersey."

And the Chicago Blackhawks will have the first pick in the NHL Draft. The Blackhawks plan on using the pick to draft a new franchise. Either that or to draft fans that care.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Snowstorms forced the Indians to play the Angels in Milwaukee. Fans at Miller Park were thankfully too drunk to tell the difference.

Elsewhere in baseball, Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton will miss his second straight season because of elbow surgery. Eric Gagne is suing for plagiarism.

Olympic sprinter Tim Montgomery pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme. Too bad - Montgomery was planning to use the money to buy more steroids. Authorities plan on giving the sprinter five to ten years behind bars – if they can catch him.

The 300-pound, slow moving Florida manatee will be removed from the endangered species list and will instead play line for the Miami Dolphins. Although if he can pitch, the Padres are also interested.

A Slovenian man broke a world record by swimming down the Amazon River in 65 days, and is still furious with his travel agent. Americans would be more impressed if we could locate Slovenia on a map. Or the Amazon.

And UCLA's legendary basketball coach John Wooden has been hospitalized with a stomach problem. Doctors say the problem started after Wooden watched Yoakim Noah shoot a free throw. Doctors are optimistic, however. If Wooden survived the bling-bling era, he can probably pull through anything.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

International players now make up 29% of Major League Baseball. So if you've gotten an American education, that's more than half. The New York Mets have the most international players on their current roster with 72,000. Half of Boston's roster is foreign born, but they all get bussed in.

In Louisville, the saddle worn by last year's Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is expected to fetch the highest bid at a charity auction. Expected to fetch the lowest bid? A large bottle of glue.

CFL running back Ricky Williams has applied to be reinstated in the NFL, after using up all the pot in Toronto. Scouts are skeptical, as Williams has already taken way too many hits.

In basketball, Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas will likely miss the rest of the season after knee surgery. Many Wizards fans wish they could be so lucky. Arenas' injury is unfortunate, as he is the best team in the Eastern Conference.

And two 43-year old former world champion boxers squared off this week. The two were told to touch gloves, keep it clean, and put a coat on - it's cold out. We're looking forward to next week, when the winner takes on Max Schmeling.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Congratulations to Sammy Sosa on making the Texas Rangers opening day roster. Thankfully for Sosa, most restaurants in Arlington do not charge a corkage fee.

Those watching a recent Cubs-Diamondbacks game were treated to a rare sight: a female umpire. Just what ballplayers need - an official who remembers the details of every single argument, and will also bring up arguments from previous games.

In basketball, LeBron James cheered up his teammates after their loss to the Knicks by taking them to a topless bar. His plan worked great - it was the most focused the team has been all year long.

Injured superstar Dwyane Wade practiced for the first time in 6 weeks and should be ready for the playoffs, assuming the Eastern Conference bothers to show up.

Golf Digest did not include Trump International Golf Club on its list of "America's 100 Greatest Courses." Reviewers didn't like the way the sand traps had been combed over. And the casino on the 12th hole is just gaudy.

The NFL has cancelled an exhibition game in China between the Patriots and Seahawks, disappointing the millions of Matt Hasselback fans in mainland China.

And NFL League owners have voted 30-2 to make the video replay system a permanent officiating tool. In related news, NFL League owners have voted 30-2 to make the video replay system a permanent officiating tool. The Detroit Lions will not use the replay system, as they always make the same mistakes anyway.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Top Ten Changes to the Game of Golf that Should Happen Before I will Consider It a Sport, In Ascending Order of Necessity

by Klondike, 2007 KankaNation Laetare Recipient

#10: Uniforms. You should be able to look at a golfer without risk of seizures, queasiness, or other physical maladies.

#9: No more caddies. The golfer will need to carry his own clubs. A quiver arrangement would probably be the coolest looking. But anything else, like a hip sheath, would also be acceptable.

Of course, #9 is maybe the least likely to happen. We'll never sell any of these changes if we can't convince the Caddy Mafia. For those caddies out there who now want me "whacked" for #9, please ignore #9 and accept #8.

#8: "Caddy" is now another position on the golf "team". In addition to carrying the clubs and keeping up with the golfer, the caddy will be in charge of all defensive maneuvers. If the golfer is the equivalent of a quarterback, the caddy will now be something of a defensive back.

#7: Timed games. You can time the whole course, but I would think timing each hole would be more flexible. The best competitions always have a sense of energy, of urgency. People will watch chess if it's timed. (Note: Baseball could also benefit from a clock, but this isn't my baseball rant.)

#6: Mascots. At least at the professional level. If you go with #8 you'll have a team, and all sports teams have mascots. If you go with #9, you'll have plenty of former caddies who could immediately fill your new mascot positions.

#5: More Hazard Types. All right, we've got sand traps and we've got water traps. That's a good start, but it gets monotonous. I'm not saying we have to go totally miniature-golf at a macro level, but how about some hedges on the fairway? Or mud pits? They can be hazards for the golfer, too. Remember, time is now a factor. Crank up the fog machine. Put up some hurdles.

Okay, #5 may be too much of a departure. But if you discount #5, you'll have to go with #4.

#4: More Existing Hazard Types. Break up that fairway with a few more sand traps. Get some streams running through the fairway, deep enough to give the golfer a struggle as he hurries to the next shot but not so much that you have to caulk the wagon and float it across.

#3: Cheerleaders.

#2: Similar to #7 but more important; There needs to be a shot clock. If you regularly hit the ball two-hundred-fifty yards, you'd better be able to run two-hundred-fifty yards in under a minute. Or thirty seconds. Or however long it takes an average person to run two-hundred-fifty yards and still have a chance of lining up the next shot.

#1: Defense. A sport cannot be a sport without defense. Let your opponent get to putt your ball away after every one of your shots. Maybe your opponent gets to place a hazard. Maybe your opponent's caddy/defensive back tries to block you while you run to place your next shot. Something has to be in place that allows your opponent to directly, tangibly, and significantly affect your game. Otherwise, it's only ever going to be an activity and never a sport.

All the best.

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch. Urbina is still thankful he doesn't have to play for the Cubs. No one was actually killed in the incident – and we thought Urbina was a closer.

Yao Ming's basketball jersey is not among the top sellers in China, mainly because all those jerseys look alike.

The NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers have said that LeBron James will no longer be allowed to have his son sit on the bench. David Wesley is thrilled, as he will get his seat back. James also just finished building a massive house that includes a theater, bowling alley, casino and barber shop. The house is so cool, you almost forget the front door is located in Cleveland. When James retires, he can sell the place and buy a studio apartment in New York.

Turning to college, the son of North Carolina State basketball coach Sidney Lowe faces more than 20 criminal charges from two separate attacks. Authorities predict he could be sentenced to 25 years on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Former Bears LB Steve McMichael has been named the head coach of the Chicago Slaughter, a seven-man indoor football team. McMichael said that it's one notch below arena football, which makes it three notches below Rock-Paper-Scissors.

And four men have been arrested after part of a man's ear was bitten off during a Greece/Turkey soccer brawl. Mike Tyson has since apologized. This kind of soccer hooliganism is more common in England, since a human ear is a nice alternative to British cooking.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit