Tag Archives: Dancing With The Stars

A soccer fan’s creative way to get around a stadium ban. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doing the cha-cha is something you have to see. A little kid does the best home-run trot ever

There are dedicated fans, there are crazed die-hard fans, and then there is this Turkish soccer supporter I heard about this week, who maybe sets a new standard for crazy.

Meet Ali Demirkaya, a huge supporter of Denizlispor, a Turkish pro soccer team. Ali has apparently had some run-ins with the organization and was banned from the stadium recently.

Most people would’ve taken that as a sign. They’d stay home, watch the match on TV, or listen on radio, or some other thing.

But our man Ali is far from most people. So he rented an enormous crane, parked it outside Denizli Ataturk stadium, and watched a game from his “skybox.”

“That match was very important for our team,” he explained to Yeni Asir newspaper. “I had to go to the police station to sign a paper to show that I am not watching the match in the stadium. Then I quickly went to rent the crane.”

The crane rental cost $86. No truth to the rumor that for the next game he’ll have a beer concession and a popcorn vendor join him.

Sadly, police eventually lowered the crane, and Ali had to go back to the padded room he surely lives in.


**Next up today, meet 3-year-old Lennox Calcedo, of Walnut, Calif. who was playing tee-ball over the weekend. (Why a 3-year-old is playing baseball is a question for another day.) Lennox, after hitting the ball hard, is told to run around the bases as fast as he can.

And Lennox, well, he had other ideas. I love how even after the coach exhorts him to run a little faster, Lennox doesn’t break character.

This is beyond awesome. You do you, Lennox!

**And finally today, “Dancing With The Stars” hasn’t been on my radar for awhile, because after a few seasons it just got to be repetitive and even though I find judge Bruno entertaining, it became kind of “meh.”

But I have a feeling I’ll be paying attention this year, because they’re doing an all-athlete year and some of the choices are inspired. We’ve got Tonya Harding, Johnny Damon, and most improbably, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If you had told me that the famously grumpy, unfriendly Kareem would one day be on a dancing show, I’d have laughed so hard I’d need oxygen.

But here Kareem is, all sequined up and surrounded by beautiful people, doing the cha-cha. And I gotta say, he’s not as bad as I thought he’d be!

Michael Sam seems to want it both ways, and that disappoints me. A girls basketball game where both teams tried to lose on purpose. And Bill Maher, as right as rain about pot’s continued criminalization

New Orleans Saints v St. Louis Rams

Let me start by saying how much I admire Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL.

He showed great courage in coming out when he did, he’s handled the media attention with class, and I sincerely hope NFL GM’s get past their squeamishness and give the man a real shot to make a roster this year.

So I’m firmly in Sam’s corner, 100 percent, and think he’s a great role model for young gay athletes.

But I gotta say, I cannot for the life of me understand why, as announced Tuesday, Michael Sam is going to be a castmember on “Dancing With The Stars” this spring.

Since he came out of the closet, Sam has said over and over again that he just wants to be a football player, nothing else. Hell, just last week he wrote this heartfelt essay in Sports Illustrated, talking about his NFL dreams and working out so hard for the chance to be a pro player.

Yet twice now, he’s tried to be something else. First last year before training camp when he’d agreed to let Oprah’s production company do a reality show at Rams training camp (thankfully that was nixed.)

And now, during the NFL offseason when he’s hoping to get signed, he agrees to be on a dancing show that usually stars washed-up TV personalities (Suzanne Somers) or C-list celebrities.

What does that say to an NFL team who wants to sign Sam? To me it says he’s a guy who’s more interested in being famous than making a roster.

I don’t know, maybe Sam has his reasons for doing “Dancing With The Stars.” Maybe they offered him a lot of money, maybe he thinks he can still train for football and practice his samba.

But it just seems so counter-productive to his professed true goal. This show is another obstacle in his way, and Lord knows he doesn’t need any more of those.

**Next up, the great Bill Maher took on one of his (and mine) favorite issues on his show Friday night: The sheer ridiculousness of pot use being criminalized to the extent that thousands of non-violent pot users are in prison right now.
Maher’s jumping off point to this was Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz admitting (gasp!) that they may have toked once or twice.

This is a very funny clip, sure, but it’s ridiculous that we’re still criminalizing people for marijuana use in 2015. Maher’s right: Obama has stepped up on a bunch of issues the past few years, let’s see him and the new A.G. (whenever she finally gets approved) step up on this.

**Finally today, here’s something I’m not sure I’ve seen before in high school sports: Two girls basketball teams, in a district tournament game, both trying really hard to lose on purpose.

Tennessee’s Riverdale High and Smyrna High played a District 7-AAA consolation game last Saturday, with the winner having to face powerhouse Blackman High in the semifinals of the Region 4-AAA playoffs.

Neither team wanted to play Blackman, and the losing team would go to the other side of the bracket and not have to play Blackman until the finals, by which point both Blackman and its opponent would have qualified for the state playoffs.

So given those facts, the coaches from both teams instructed their players to lose on purpose. That’s right, intentionally shoot at the wrong basket, desperately try to make turnovers, take intentional backcourt violations… you name it.

It was a farce, a true embarrassment, and after Smyrna “won” the game, the state athletic association disqualified both teams from further postseason play.

I mean, this is HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS, what kind of values and morals and sportsmanship are you teaching your players when you tell them to miss on purpose?
The great David Climer of the Tennessean newspaper (where I interned in the summer of 1996, and absolutely loved the city of Nashville) wrote a terrific column about this mess.

A remote-control helicopter made out of a dead cat. A fantastic oral history of “The Wire.” And this week’s most disgusting fan in the world

Sometimes, these stories I bring you need no introduction.

Such as this one. A Dutch man named Bart Jensen was sad when his cat, Orville, died after getting hit by a car.
So Bart decided to make a remote-controlled helicopter out of Orville, calling it the “Orvillecopter.”

Oh, how I wish I was making this up. Click this link for the video, if you can take it.

**It’s no secret that I believe “The Wire” was the greatest show in the history of American television. I’m hardly alone in that belief, but I don’t think I will rest until everyone in this country has seen it.

For those of you like me who know how awesome it is, you’ll enjoy this: Maxim magazine ( a fine publication whose pages I once graced with a byline) has gotten all the key players together and presented an oral history of David Simon’s HBO masterpiece.

Lots of fascinating stuff I learned in here, such as that Carver initially auditioned to play Stringer Bell (that would’be been a totally different show), the famous McNulty/Bunk “Fuck” scene (where they investigate a crime scene while only speaking that word) was based on a real case, and that Snoop’s death is the one that hit people the hardest.

Great, great story.

**Finally, this week’s candidate for worst human being in the world comes from Wisconsin. Packers star Donald Driver, recent winner of “Dancing With The Stars,” tried to toss his cleats to a young fan wearing a team jersey after a recent charity softball game.

Except this woman standing next to the kid angrily ripped the cleat out of his hands!
Check out the disgusting video above. Happily, though, Driver was later able to track down the kid and will give him the cleats he deserves.

The death penalty may suffer another (needed) blow. Saluting the 40-0 Baylor women’s basketball team. And the former Steve Urkel cops an attitude.

**Five more days until me and Bruce Springsteen (and 18,000 other people) hang out at Madison Square Garden. Choosing an oldie but goodie clip today; the five minutes that introduced the future Monica Geller to the world…

We sometimes forget, because so many other issues penetrate our brains at one time in 2012, just how ridiculous it is that many states in America still execute people. And that many of those people (especially in Texas, it seems) are later found, through DNA evidence, to have been wrongly convicted.

So it’s nice to see every once in a while a state that comes to its senses. The Connecticut state senate is poised today to vote to repeal its death penalty law.

This paragraph in this story jumped out at me in a big way: “The U.S. was the only western democracy to carry out executions in 2011. With 43 executions, it is believed to have put more people to death than any other country except China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.”

Because yeah, that’s a list we want to be on.

**I don’t write much about women’s basketball here on the blog (except for the awesome Elena Delle Donne and Delaware this year), but respect must be paid, big-time today, to the Baylor women’s team. The Bears finished an incredible 40-0 undefeated season Tuesday night, beating Notre Dame to win the national championship, 80-61.

They are led by superstar center Brittney Griner, who has been famous since she dunked in high school, and at 6-foot-8 is the most intimidating women’s player I’ve ever seen. Seriously, check her out on YouTube if you have a few minutes.

What an incredible year for Baylor in sports. Robert Griffin III wins the Heisman trophy, the men’s basketball team gets to the Elite Eight, and the women win the national title. As good a year as a school could have.

**Finally, I don’t keep up with “Dancing With The Stars” on a regular basis, but am intrigued this year because of the awesome cast (though I can’t believe Martina Navratilova has already been sent packing.) So I thought this was worth sharing: Apparently Jaleel White, who we all remember as Steve Urkel on “Family Matters” got all pissy with his beautiful dance partner Kym Johnson at rehearsal last week, screaming at her and calling her “an idiot” after he stepped on her foot during a dance. Two other contestants had to step in to restrain White. Not cool at all.

Then White broke down and cried after performing Monday night with Johnson. Very bizarre, Charlie Sheen-like behavior from White. Let’s hope he’s not walking around shouting “Winning!” on next week’s show.

The guy who really hated Bristol on DWTS.” Tackling 8-year-old kids. And a sign of the apocalypse

We’ve all been mad at something on our televisions before.
And sure, we’ve all been mad at a Palin family member or two.
But only Steve Cowan, of Vermont, Wisc. has combined those two things.
It seems that Steve, a 67-year-old man, became so enraged watching Bristol Palin on “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night that he took out a gun and fired it at his TV because he thought Palin wasn’t a good dancer, his wife alleges.
Then Cowan turned the gun on his wife, but fortunately she escaped and was able to call police, who later arrested Cowan.
Who knew Bristol could have that kind of effect on men not named Levi Johnston?
I don’t watch “Dancing With The Stars,” but all I hear from people who do is how great a dancer Bristol Palin is.
I really shouldn’t be surprised; her mother has been dancing around reporters’ questions for two years now.

**Of course this story infuriates me, and not just because it involves a little Jets fan.
A drunk and angry Cleveland Browns fan tackled an 8-year-old kid wearing a Jets jersey in the parking lot of Browns Stadium Sunday after the Jets beat the Browns in overtime.
Yeah, that’s right he tackled an 8-year-old!
Read the gruesome details here.
And we New York fans get the rap for bad behavior all the time.

**Shamelessly stealing from the weekly Sports Illustrated feature of the same name, I give you my latest sign of the Apocalypse: Workers at a company called Aynsley China in Britian have rushed through production a whole series of commemorative mugs and plates honoring the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Which was announced, two days ago! And the china is already produced and available.
Sigh. I’ve never gotten Britain’s obsession with the royal family. Then again, I’m sure Brits don’t get our obsession with the Kardashians, so why don’t we call it even.