"It's over. It fought the good fight, but it's time to say goodbye," said former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, who said his goodbyes to the conference today. "Memories will never die. The Big East will live on wherever there are people who care about college basketball."
The conference has been left for dead repeatedly in recent years as it fought for survival, but its recent loss of Rutgers to the Big Ten followed by the conference's basketball-only schools looking to leave were too much to endure.
"I thought the Big East was gone when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "But they fought on, even through the loss of Pitt and Syracuse. It was inspirational. Sad, but inspirational."
"Well, I'm just going to ask the question everyone is asking," Kobe Bryant barked to his teammates following a six-point loss to the lowly Cavaliers that saw the Lakers drop to 9-13. "Is it time to panic? Show of hands."
But before the vote was even completed, two Lakers players began pulling out chunks of their own hair while forward Metta World Peace impaled himself on the end of a railing.
"Looks like the decision is to panic," said Bryant, as teammate Pau Gasol dragged head coach Mike D'Antoni into the locker room and scalped him the metal top of a clipboard. Meanwhile, point guard Chris Duhon ran naked in circles around the room, setting lockers on fire. "Works for me," Bryant added, as he began strangling Dwight Howard from behind with a shoelace.
The panic only subsided after the Lakers tired out due to their advanced age and fell asleep on the floor.
"Manny has been feeling a little groggy and sore in the days since the fight," said Freddie Roach, his trainer. "We watched tape of the fight again and he definitely got punched in the head multiple times, including at the end when he briefly lost consciousness and dropped to the mat. Those can be concussion warning signs."
If Pacquiao, perhaps his sport's biggest and most marketable name, did sustain a concussion, boxing will become the latest sport to have concussion concerns, joining football and hockey.
"I could see there possibly being some concerns," said boxing analyst Larry Merchant. "Unlike football or hockey, our athletes don't even wear helmets. Also, if you think about it, unlike those other sports the whole point of boxing is to hit the other guy in the head as hard as possible until his brain can't send message to his legs to stay standing. I'm not a doctor, but maybe at least small concussions could enter into that equation somewhere."
"I am great at resurfacing ice, but this is a very specialized field," he said. "There are only so many employers that offer work for Zamboni drivers, especially here in Nashville."
Thompson's inability to get supplemental Zamboni jobs is not without a lack of trying. He has plastered telephone polls and bulletin boards throughout his community with fliers advertising his Zamboni driving surfaces. He sits outside Home Depot every morning with a sign that says: "NEED ZAMBONI WORK?" He has posted his resume all over online job sites. He has even started going door-to-door asking people if they need any ice resurfacing odd jobs done around the house.
"We wanted Jon Gruden and Charlie Strong, but this whole time we've been testing the waters with Peyton to see if he'd come back to his alma mater," said a top Tennessee booster. "He's one of the best head coaches in the NFL and he's a Volunteer legend. He's the dream hire. We'll hope he'll want the challenge of restoring his school to greatness."
Manning refused to address the Tennessee job this week to reporters.
"I only have one focus and that's beating the Oakland Raiders on Thursady," he said.
But Manning's non-denial denial did nothing to squelch the rumors, nor did his joking demeanor.
"Also, I'm not the head coach of the Denver Broncos. John Fox is," he said to uproarious laughter.
"Economic realities are economic realities," general manager Brian Cashman said at baseball's winter meetings. "Money is not unlimited and it's time for some harsh austerity around here. We would like to keep our payroll at just under $190 million. It will be tough, but we're committed to tightening our belts around here."
Baseball's luxury tax kicks in at $190 million. Even with a $189 million payroll in 2013, the Yankees will exceed any other team's payroll by approximately $20 million and will have more than double the payroll of 18 of baseball's 30 teams.
"People won't be able to talk about the big-spending Yankees anymore, that's for sure," said Cashman. "Did you know that just yesterday, I didn't offer a free agent a multi-year, eight-figure deal? I had never heard of the guy, it was some Dominican infielder or something, and I thought: 'You know what? Maybe don't give this guy all of the money. Maybe it could be spent better in other ways.' That's the first time I've ever done that. Usually if an agent calls, I double his client's best offer sight unseen."
"Tim is an important part of this team," said head coach Rex Ryan. "There's not another guy on this team I'd want to force our opponent to prepare for a little bit, only to not play in a game at all. In my opinion, he's the best player in the NFL when it comes to not playing."
As first-string decoy, Tebow will get to stand in front of all of the other Jets' bench players, right on the edge of the field. He will also wear his helmet at all times, as though he is about to enter the game at any moment.
"It's obviously nice when your coaches recognize your abilities," said Tebow. "I'm pretty excited to wear my helmet and it is my goal to be the best decoy in the National Football League. I hope to go the the Pro Bowl this year as the AFC's decoy."
"For decades we've been killing ourselves trying to come up with original look after original look for a functional item that is about 12 inches by four inches," said Charlie Denson, president of Nike Brand. "It's just not possible after a while."
Designers met earlier this week to plan the 2013 fall line and quickly made the decision.
"We were in the design meeting and realized that every new idea had already been done," said Denson. "Suddenly we all just kind of said: 'You know what? We've done everything that's possible. Everything. There is nothing else to do. Fk it. We're done.'"
Nike founder Phil Knight said he is "100-percent on board with the decision."
"You know, this has actually been a long time coming," said Knight. "You can only make a shoe so many ways. You can only add so many seams or zippers or color patches or straps or goddam air pockets. We've done it all. Every combination and permutation. We could sell some slightly modified crap and pretend it's new, but we would never do that here at Nike. That's now how we operate."
News Report: Michael Jordan Out $12.6 Million in Gambling Losses Thanks to Charlotte Bobcats' Surprising 7-7 Start
"Michael is really pissed off," said a Bobcats front office source. "Something really bad has to happen for him to show up at the office because he takes a I'll say a 'hands-off' approach to management. But he's been here all week demanding answers about why this team is winning games."
Jordan came to the team's office for the first time all season last week after the Bobcats went on a tear in which they won five of six to get to 6-4 a streak that saw their owner lose nearly $10 million and put off the purchase of a Ferrari. Since an office tirade and a closed-door meeting with this team, the Bobcats have lost three of four including a 45-point loss to Oklahoma City in which they trailed 82-29 at one point. The only victory came in overtime against the Wizards, a game the Bobcats tried desperately to lose for their owner, only to be out-failed by Washington. The return to normalcy has seen Jordan make back some money, allowing him to finalize the purchase of a new Ferrari with a custom denim paint job.
"Michael's big thing is that he will not accept mediocrity," said a team source. "Mainly because it is impossible to make money betting on a mediocre team. He wants us to either win all of our games or lose all of our games. Nothing in the middle."
"Boston College is again Big East territory," said Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, speaking on video after the attack was complete from the office of deposed Boston College athletics director Brad Bates, the commissioner covered in blood and residue from explosions. "Let this be a warning for those who continue to try to pillage our conference: we will fight back, we will not quit and we will be victorious."
The feed then went out after Aresco used a sword to cut off the head of Boston College mascot Baldwin the Eagle.