Tag Archives: Shaun White

A hilarious/sad community service award given to a college football player. The Flying Tomato squeezes out another gold medal. And an oral history book about “The Wire?” Yes please!

As a journalist you get all kinds of press release emails, and as a sportswriter, so many of them come from college athletic departments. They can’t wait to tell you about this amazing female volleyball player or male track athlete who won this award or did this amazing thing. Most of the time, you read the email for five seconds, realize that the college media relations department is seriously overhyping said accomplishment, and hit delete.

I gotta say, though, this story, this award, stands out as the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

Washington State University decided to honor a football player in its midst. A fellow named Logan Tago was feted and held up as a sensational role model, and given the CCE  Community Involvement Award, as given by the school’s Center for Civic Engagement.

“Tago was honored for his commitment to service around the City of Pullman and Palouse communities where he volunteered 240 civic engagement hours this past fall,” the press release states.

Whoa! That’s a lot of community service hours. Two hundred and forty is nothing to sneeze at. Man, Tago is a terrific guy, to spend that much time…

Oh wait. What’s that again?

Yeah, it seems Tago did all that community service because he was ordered to. By a court. In a plea agreement Tago accepted last year, ridding himself of a felony robbery charge and pleading guilty to a reduced third-degree assault charge. Tago was arrested in 2016 following an investigation in which a man accused him of stealing a six-pack of beer and punching him in the head, resulting in a concussion for the victim. As a result, Tago was ordered to perform the aforementioned community service and spend 30 days in jail. He was also suspended from the team.

But hey, way to go, Logan! You could’ve skipped out on those hours, gone back to jail, and we’d never have heard of you again. But way to go dude! You did it, you fulfilled what the law demanded of you.

I mean, did ANYONE at Washington State take five seconds to reconsider this award?

Apparently not. It did give me a great laugh though.

 

**So I finally watched a little Olympics coverage Tuesday night, and I picked a good night to do so. After 17-year-old tiny pint of awesome Chloe Kim kicked butt on way to a gold medal in women’s half-pipe, “old man” Shaun White, aka “The Flying Tomato” won yet another gold medal at age 31.

I know nothing about this sport, but even I’m blown away by the tricks this guys can do. Watch this crazy-great run above (you can skip to 1:35 for the actual performance)

**Finally today, it’s pretty rare I get THIS excited about a new book. But Jonathan Abrams, who used to write for the New York Times and Grantland, has just published a new book. And it’s an oral history of the greatest television show of all time, “The Wire.”

I have prophesized on here many, many times about the greatness of this HBO show that ran for five seasons in the mid-2000s. But I know there are still people out there who haven’t seen it, and I’m here to once again tell you, you must.

The book arrived today and since I couldn’t wait I already read some excerpts online, and it’s fabulous. One quick thing I’ve already learned? The actor originally in line to play McNulty was John C. Reilly. That’s right, the incredible actor from “Chicago” and “Boogie Nights” and so many other great flicks was going to be cast as a Baltimore homicide detective.

But his wife didn’t want to move to Baltimore, so Dominic West got the part.

So much good stuff in this book. If you’re a “The Wire” nut like me, buy it here.

The future is now for the Jets, a crazy idea by Seattle, and NBC’s bad Olympics promo

How am I feeling today? Well, maybe this will give you a good idea:

Yes, yes, yes, Ren and Stimpy speak for all of us Jets fans this morning. What a glorious, glorious afternoon and early evening of football the Green and White played Saturday. It went about as well as we could’ve possibly hoped, and for one afternoon, you could squint hard at the TV and see the Jets future:

Mark Sanchez, playing poised and confident, making every big throw he needed to. Shonn Greene, the rookie running back, dashing and darting his way through the holes, and not fumbling; an aggressive defense, which save for one early drive and one big run by Cedric Benson, was terrific.

This Jets team is good now, as evidenced by their 24-14 victory over Cincinnati. But as both my fellow Jet-aholic friends Scott (who writes a great blog about “The Office,” by the way) and Jeff pointed out to me during the game, there’s clearly so much hope for the future. All the building blocks are in a place for a long run among the NFL’s elite.

But let’s wallow in the present for a moment. Saturday’s game was exactly the blueprint the Jets needed to win. Sanchez was terrific, hitting 12 of 15 passes for one touchdown. He should’ve had two, but Braylon Edwards, God love him, still seems to have trouble with perfectly-thrown bombs that are right in his hands.

The running game was terrific, thanks to Greene, who took over the main duties from Thomas Jones today (but hey, TJ did score a huge touchdown). The offensive line was fantastic. The defense shut down that loudmouth Chad Johnson, and got just enough pass rush on Carson Palmer in the second half to make him look terrible. And how ’bout Jay Feely, the placekicker who was forced into punting duties when Steve Weatherford had an irregular heartbeat right before the game? Feely was fantastic, very clutch as usual.

One down, two more to go to get to Miami and the Super Bowl. OK, I’m drunk with delusion; the Jets aren’t getting to the Super Bowl.

But if Baltimore can beat New England today, and I think it can, the Jets would play San Diego next week. I think that’s winnable, especially since Norv Turner coaches the Chargers.

Sweet, sweet win. I’m going to enjoy this one for a few days. Heck, I’m not even mad that my Dukies played terrible today and lost at Georgia Tech.

**Hey NBC, is it really a good idea to run commercials starring Michael Phelps when you’re trying to promote the Winter Olympics? I’m just saying, you can’t give us some Bode Miller clips, or maybe Shani Davis the speedskater, or the Flying Tomato, Shaun White?

Just makes it seem like NBC is saying the only good Olympians are the Summer ones.

***We wonder sometimes why some NFL franchises are usually successful, and others aren’t. Other times, it’s quite obvious, like a smack in the face.

The Seattle Seahawks, for reasons I can’t possibly fathom, have decided to give a 5-year contract as their head coach to Mr. Pete Carroll, who we all know is a bang-up college football coach, truly just a swell guy, but an absolutely horrific pro coach.

He proved that with the Jets, and then New England, in the late 1990s, as his career record was 33-31. Yet for some reason, Seattle thinks he’s the answer, and will lead them to the Promised Land of the Super Bowl.

What an awful, awful decision. Everyone else in the NFC West is celebrating right now. Just like me. Here’s Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley’s take; he’s just as enthused as I am about Pete.

Hey, one more time, with feeling…