The restaurant that pays you not to use your cell phone. Two incredible plays get me ready for college hoops season. And my man Ryan Lochte, finding new ways to get hurt

I heard about this a week or two ago and meant to blog about it then, but kept forgetting. Still, it’s too good of an idea not to share.

A restaurant in New Jersey had had their fill of staring at diners sitting two feet from each other at the same table, only to ignore each other while playing on their electronic devices throughout the meal.

So they decided to make customers a deal: Surrender your cell phone to them when you sit down, don’t use it for the entire meal, and you’ll get 5 percent off your check.

I think it’s brilliant; in fact, other restaurants have been doing it too (I can’t find the name of the NJ restaurant, one of the rare times you have failed me, Internet).

Most people, sadly, probably don’t think it’s worth the five percent off the bill, to be detached from their electronic goddess for a few hours.

When I first heard the story, the owner of the restaurant in Jersey said about half her customers had taken her up on the offer.
I think that’s a pretty sad commentary, but hopefully it’s a trend: A little bit off the bill, for some peace of mind for the customers in and around the restaurant.

You’re eating, people, turn the damn phone off. That’s all I ask.


**Next up, the 2013-14 college hoops season tips off this week, exciting me to no end since I’m a college hoops junkie, as regular readers of this space know.

As I anxiously await the incredible doubleheader next Tuesday of Duke-Kansas (Jabari Parker vs. Andrew Wiggins, anyone?) and Kentucky-Michigan State (I hope Izzo destroys Kentucky’s young bucks), here are a couple of crazy plays I saw this week that should get you fired up.

First (above), a pretty awe-inspiring dunk from a College of Central Florida (it’s a JUCO that I’ve never heard of, and I used to live there) player named Javonte Douglas. Dude has serious hops…

Then there was this crazy shot by Kentucky freshman James Young, who while trying to save the ball from going out of bounds during a recent exhibition game, threw the ball into his own basket.

Hey, even if it counted for the other team, it’s still a hell of a shot!

**One of the most entertaining parts of my year when I was a sportswriter in Florida covering the rise of Ryan Lochte was chronicling the bizarre injuries he always used to suffer.

From skateboard injuries, to stepping on a pothole near UF’s campus, to drinking tap water in China the night before the Olympics (thereby giving him a stomach virus), Lochte had a wonderful knack for getting hurt in crazy and unique ways.

And it seems that Ryan has finally outdone himself this week. You may have seen this in the news: An overly enthusiastic female fan of the Olympic champion swimmer approached him at full sprint. The fan, obviously over-excited to see the superstar, slammed into Lochte and the two fell. On the way down, Lochte’s knee banged into the ground, causing the unfortunate injury.

Only Ryan Lochte could get hurt this way, trust me.


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