The Harlem Globetrotters' Fred "Curly" Neal, RIP

The legendary Fred "Curly" Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters died this morning. He was 77. I remember the first time I saw the Globetrotters as a kid in the late 1970s. I was disappointed when the team was introduced and Curly was nowhere to be seen. Then suddenly, one of the players tore off another's afro wig and we realized it was Curly in disguise! From ESPN:

"We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known," Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said in a statement. "Curly's basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide. He always made time for his many fans and inspired millions."

Neal played in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the barnstorming Globetrotters from 1963 to 1985, when the team appeared in numerous televised specials, talk shows, television shows and even cartoons that included the team's own animated series [first episode below].

Read the rest

Dick Pound: Olympics will be postponed

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound announced today that the summer games in Japan will be postponed until at least 2021, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined,” said Dick Pound, a longstanding veteran of the organization.

Added Dick Pound: "It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

Dick Pound's comments followed IOC president Thomas Bach's earlier suggestion that it was possible the Tokyo Games would called off.

Earlier, Dick Pound had taken a wait-and-see line -- "we can kind of see how things develop to see whether there are more effective means to prevent the spread and to mitigate the lethality of it that we don't know yet" -- but the withdrawal from the games of major nations and the outbreak's increasing severity led the committee to take a more conclusive approach.

"The Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” said Dick Pound, born Richard William Duncan Pound in Ontario, in an interview with USA Today.

Dick. Pound. Read the rest

NCAA cancels March Madness due to coronavirus

Citing “the COVID-19 public health threat,” the NCAA is canceling March Madness and all other winter and spring men's and women's college basketball tournaments amid a growing coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest

Watch this gymnastics coach's incredible reflexes as he saves a young girl from a bad fall

Watch this coach's incredible reflexes as a young gymmast misses her landing during a recent competition in Nashville, Tennessee.

ViralHog quoted the girl's parent:

"This was my daughter's first run on vault and when jumping back on her back handspring she went sideways and could've badly hurt herself but her coach saw that she wasn't aligned and ran in to catch her before she hit the ground."

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Injured trail runner crawled for eight hours in sub-freezing temperatures to safety

Trail runner Joseph Oldendorf badly injured himself on the Duckabush River Trail in the Olympic National Park, Washington. His tibia detached, Oldendorf was unable to walk. He was wearing lightweight running clothes and it was literally freezing outside. He had a cell phone but there was no service. So he crawled. For eight hours. From CNN:

At 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, he realized his phone had a signal because he received a text message.

He called 911 and kept crawling, (a Jefferson County Search and Rescue) release said.

Oldendorf told the station that he tried lying down to wait, but he was too cold and believed that if he didn't keep moving he could die. Thoughts of his family kept him going, he said...

A crew from the Brinnon Fire Department along with Jefferson Search and Rescue volunteers responded and started up the trail to find the injured runner. A Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy managed coordination and communication at the trailhead, said.

The runner was located by his voice five to six miles from the spot where he was injured, the release said.

image: "View from the helicopter as the basket was lowered to retrieve the subject" (courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard) Read the rest

Ski resort uses helicopter to bring in more snow

Over the weekend, the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in the French Pyrenees used a helicopter to bring in fresh snow to the slopes from higher elevations. The chopper dumped 50 tonnes of snow on the beginner and ski school slopes. From The Guardian:

Hervé Pounau, the director of the local department council, said the cost of the operation would be recouped many times over by the business that would have been lost to a lack of snow.

“It will cost us between €5,000 and €6,000, in the knowledge that over the long term we will get at least 10 times’ return on that investment,” Pounau said in a statement...

The operation has angered French ecologists. Bastien Ho, the secretary of Europe Écologie Les Verts party, said the snow transfer operation was evidence of an “upside-down world”.

“Instead of adapting to global warming we’re going to end up with a double problem: something that costs a lot of energy, that contributes heavily to global warming and that in addition is only for an elite group of people who can afford it. It is the world upside down,” he told French television.

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Wrestler dives off shopping mall balcony (VIDEO)

Watch this guy jump off the balcony of a Louisiana shopping mall in the name of wrestling.

What a stunt! Read the rest

Bill Murray blows a putt

Actor, comedian, golfer. Bill Murray has style.

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Trump congratulated Superbowl winners Kansas City Chiefs who "represented the Great State of Kansas"

After the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team who, er, "represented the Great State of Kansas."

Seriously.

Within a few minutes, he deleted the tweet and posted a corrected version. Here's a response from Claire McCaskill, former Democratic senator from Missouri (2007-2019):

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Watch Tony Hawk skate in the '80s

In addition to being an amazing skateboarder, Tony Hawk is also just cool. Read the rest

Australian Open tennis player scolded for asking ball girl to peel his banana

Courtside at this weekend's Australian Open, French tennis champ Elliot Benchetrit requested that a ball girl peel his banana. Apparently Benchetrit felt that he couldn't peel the banana himself due to his finger bandages. Chair umpire John Blom wasn't having it and gave Benchetrit a real what-for. The tennis player then appeared to start peeling the banana with his teeth.

(CNN)

Update from CNN:

Now Benchetrit has offered his account of events, and insists he's amazed at the furore.

'At 6-5 in the final set, during the changeover, I asked the ball girl to peel the banana for me as I had put some cream on my hands in order not to sweat," he said.

"She had done it once before at the beginning of the match. But the second time the chair umpire stepped in and told me that the ball girl was not my slave and I had to peel the banana myself.

"I could not believe that the umpire said that and I find incredible how this situation got out of control on social media without people knowing what really happened on court."

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Boos vs. 'USA!' as Trump and Melania take field for National Anthem at college football championship

[IMAGE: @markknoller]

This is some real propaganda bullshit right here. Who thought it was okay?

During the LSU vs CLEM playoffs tonight, they brought President Trump and his wife Melania on the field for the singing of the national anthem. Read the rest

Olympics warns athletes that kneeling, fist-raising and other political actions will be banned at the Tokyo 2020 games

The International Olympic Committee -- long a swirling cesspool of corruption, censorship, and reputation-laundering for repressive regimes -- has attained a new low, issuing guidance to athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that no political protests will be tolerated, specifically banning kneeling or raising fists. Read the rest

Baylor University used puppets to announce its newly signed football players

National signing day is when high school athletes sign letters of intent to play for specific university. It's a big enough deal for college football fans that ESPN was updating it class rankings every hour. (Apparently Clemson did well, and USC did poorly.)

Each school wants to get as much attention as possible. This year, Baylor announced each player with two tweets, one a traditional highlight reel, and another featuring puppets:

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Jack Russel Hurdle Racing

Jack Russell Hurdle Racing is a lightning fast race where the dogs leap over three obstacles while chasing lure, and then cram through the narrow finish arch. The television broadcast that was on over the weekend was as well-produced as a premier NFL game:

Here's an older video featuring almost twelve minutes of Jack Russell Hurdle Racing:

It's just one of several events at the Incredible Dog Challenge, including agility, diving, and fetch, Read the rest

The best sports gifs of the decade

SB Nation asked for recommendations for the best sports gifs of the decade, and boy they got some terrific responses.

Elite skill:

The exact opposite:

Extreme effort:

Irrepressible exuberance:

Unwarranted confidence:

Live broadcast moments both goofy:

and mysterious:

Enjoy many more responses here. Read the rest

The best thing about American "sports"

Wally Backman, seen here as manager of the South Georgia Peanuts, just wants to know what he said that got him ejected from the game along with his player. The umpire, he says, is "an embarrassment to professional baseball."

The screaming begins 1 minute in; the action begins 3 minutes 8 seconds in. Read the rest

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