"You almost don't want to talk about it because you don't want to jinx it," said catcher Brian McCann. "But, yeah, with the start we've had, we have talked about it, sure. This team, the 2013 Braves we have a chance to have the biggest collapse in baseball history. It's exciting."
McCann and other Braves know they can't look ahead, however.
"It's only April. We have a lot of games left to win before we start thinking about falling apart," said first baseman Freddie Freeman. "But I promise this team won't let up trying to accomplish a historic letdown."
Those are the words Jim Nantz used to begin his call of the Masters on Sunday, the second day in a row he opened his broadcast with the crude alteration of his famed "hello, friends" line.
Nantz worked blue throughout Saturday's broadcast and into Sunday before CBS president Les Moonves pulled him off the air. Nantz's last comment before being removed was calling Tiger Woods' bogey on No. 7 "another bed-shitting by Tiger Woods. He's taking a big-ass dump on his scorecard."
CBS's statement on Nantz's removal offered no details as to why the announcer, who is regarded as one of the most conservative and straight-laced sports broadcasters and is therefore a staple at the staid and reverent Masters, suddenly filled his coverage with filthy language rarely heard outside of a naval ship or late-night comedy club.
But a source close to Nantz said he merely wanted to make the Masters more accessible to a younger audience. "The kids fkin' love this shit," Nantz reportedly told a colleague.
"Ha! Oh, dear. You noticed," said Bea. "Yeah, I guess I've really been into them the last month or so. Every fan of music goes through a Skynyrd phase."
Bea performed jaunty organ versions of "Simple Man" and "Gimme Three Steps" during the Dodgers' last home game. She also played an 11-minute version of "Free Bird" that went through most of the 4th inning until umpires stopped play and asked manager Don Mattingly to contact her booth and request that she stop.
Bea says she can't believe it took her this long to "discover" the band, but she says "Lynyrd Skynyrd is probably my favorite now."
Longtime Dodgers fans say this isn't the first time Bea has been influenced by another artist. She also has reportedly gone through Beatles and Bob Marley phases.
His team, the Chicago Bulls, shared the city's joy.
"We can't wait to see what he'll rent next. It's been a while," said Bulls general manager Gar Forman. "We're all excited. Maybe he'll start watching Breaking Bad?"
Forman added, "I don't want to speculate, but if the mail gets there fast enough, he could have the new DVD in time for Saturday's game against the Orlando Magic. I think all of us would like to see that."
The 6-foot-3 point guard, who held on to the DVD for several months, has been difficult to pin down recently. Off the record, team officials have said he's been unable to find time to watch the movie while at the same time unable to return it as well.
"This team has been through a lot already. We've been getting humiliated as professional baseball players, as men, day after day after day," said manager Bo Porter. "It's tough physically and mentally. But as I told the team today, we're more than 4-percent of the way through this thing. We've got a little less than six months now. Only 155 games and we're done. So just be strong and finish."
Porter says his motivational speech was met with mixed reactions.
"A few guys just silently wept," he said. "Some just stared ahead, not moving. A few others asked if they could quit. One guy, I think he is a pitcher, slit his throat and bled out on the floor in front of his locker. Not exactly the high energy reaction I had hope for from the guys, but I'm new at this managing thing."
News Luke Hancock Hoping Final Four "Most Outstanding" Award Will Cause People to Pass to Him Now in Pickup
"This could be really big for me," said Hancock. "I'm hoping that a lot of the guys who play pickup at the gym watched the Final Four and they'll realize I'm pretty good at basketball and start passing to me a little bit."
Hancock says that he is often begrudgingly added to a team when players split up before pickup games.
"They look at me and all they see is a skinny white guy with a beard and they instantly assume that I'm uncoordinated and can't play basketball," he says. "No one ever picks me."
The one thing going for Hancock in rec center games is that he is 6-foot-6, but that often draws condescending comments.
"Usually one of the captains picks me and says: 'Look, guy. You're tall. Just try to stand under the basket and get rebounds and, if you get one, kick it out to one of us who can shoot. But, mainly, don't get in the way,'" said Hancock. "I'm better than everyone on the court by far, but when so many people assume you suck, sometimes you start to believe it, too."
"We're in talks with well over a thousand players who are considering it," says Ayanbadejo. "There are 1,692 players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on Wednesday together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if almost everyone in the NFL came out together."
The statement immediately led to debate online over who the four heterosexual NFL players might be.
While Ayanbadejo said it is "99.999-percent certain" that 1,692 players will come out as gay on Wednesday morning, he has also built up a track record of making statements he later has to back away from. But he insists this time it's different.
"The only thing some players have reservations about is if them coming out would make things too hard on the four non-gay players," he said. "We don't want them to feel as though they don't belong because they are straight."
"We heard the complaints and I personally resolved to take action," said Emmert, in a press conference at the Final Four in Atlanta. "I think determining possession arrow by random chance on a coin flip adds an additional element of excitement to the end of basketball games."
The national semifinal between Louisville and Wichita State ended in controversy after a quick referee whistle on a held ball gave the ball back to the Cardinals to salt the game away. Yet even the many strongly opposed to the use of the possession arrow in college basketball do not support Emmert's move to possession coin flips.
"God, what an idiot," said Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall. "How is Mark Emmert running the NCAA? College athletics are doomed."
News Enterprise Rent-a-Car Accused of Hiring Former NCAA Athletes Solely to Help Company Softball Team
The allegations leveled against the automobile rental company, which has more than 6,000 locations throughout the United States, claim Enterprise is purposely hiring former NCAA athletes and then funneling them onto sponsored teams with the intention to dominate recreation and church leagues.
These "ringer teams" are not being warmly received by the competition.
"We used to have fun until these guys showed up," said Billy Jackson, age 44, of Goose Creek, SC. "Now these Enterprise ringer teams just keep winning. Most of my team never played baseball past Little League and we're supposed to beat a slow-pitch softball team composed entirely of former NCAA baseball players who are all 23 years-old? If you ask me, they should all be thrown out of the league."
"I just want to make it known that today I double fired Gene Chizik," said Gogue. "So I trust the NCAA realizes how serious we are about this. No need for them to punish us in any way and there is especially no need for them to strip us of our national championship."
Gogue said he called Chizik this morning and informed him of his decision.
"Gene was initially confused, I think partly because he was asleep when I called and because he, you know, officially doesn't work here anymore," said the president. "But he eventually accepted the re-firing. He said we can fire him as often as we want as long as he can still keep his $7.5 million buyout, which he can."
Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said the athletic department will cooperate with any investigation and offered to help the NCAA uncover other similar scandals in college football.
"We want this sport to be as clean as possible," said Jacobs. "If I can help the NCAA find infractions, I want to do that. For example, I read about a whole bunch of stuff that Alabama is doing. I can print out the allegations from the message board I was reading if the NCAA is interested. They should probably give Alabama the death penalty."