"Our offseason obviously hasn't gone exactly as we might have hoped," said general manager Ozzie Newsome, while refusing to comment on the Flacco rumors. "So we have to see what options are out there for us, as we need 53 players to fill a roster and the last time I checked we had six."
The Ravens knew they would lose linebacker Ray Lewis to retirement, but since he danced off the scene the team has also lost its starting center, its best receiver, two additional starting linebackers and a starting safety with more players expected to jump ship in the coming days.
Bears general manager Phil Emery says he received a call from Newsome this morning offering Flacco, "an elite quarterback," in exchange for "all of your defensive players, Brandon Marshall and your top three picks in this year's draft."
"I think they deserved it," said Howard. "I like them when I was here, but I have since realized they are some of the worst fans in the NBA, if not in all of sports. They rarely fill the seats and there is no atmosphere in this arena. They suck and that's why I booed them."
Magic fans admit they had hoped Howard would give them a warm welcome, but say weren't surprised by the negative reception.
"Look, I can understand the hard feelings," said a season ticket holder. "It is what it is. But I will still always remember Dwight's time here fondly."
Howard didn't stop at booing and heckling the Magic fans. He also held up signs with messages including "YOUR TEAM SUCKS," "OVERRATED" and "ORLANDUDS." When he exited the game, he wore a t-shirt featuring a picture of the Amway Arena crowd alongside pictures of an equal sign and a pile of steaming feces.
Richardson, who lives in southern Florida and blogs at his site, "WARlord of BABIP", was asked by a friend if he wanted to go see a spring training game.
"I assumed we'd be going to some sort of local data center to see a team of programmers sitting at an array of supercomputers and calculating that day's results," he said. "Imagine my shock when we arrived at some kind of I think the word was 'field.'"
The stathead, who wrote more than 10,000 words arguing why Angels phenom Mike Trout should've been last season's MVP over Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, was immediately confused by the people tossing a physical ball made of horsehide back and forth, while others were swinging wooden bats. He asked other onlookers when the calculators, tablets and graphing paper would be used, only to have a beer thrown at him.
"Oh, man. What do we do now?" said head coach Tom Thibodeau. "What if his brain has been bleeding for the past year? That would be really serious. The playoffs start in a month."
The Bulls figured Rose's previous "110-percent" pronouncement, while illogical, was nothing more than an athlete spouting a common sports cliche. General manager Gar Forman now wishes he had pushed Rose more on the initial number.
"Maybe I should have asked him if he understood numbers and percentages and how they work," said Forman. "He's a smart guy. He knows better. He has to know, if his brain is working correctly, that 345-percent is not a thing. They had to have covered that in some class in high school or at Memphis, right?"
Unfortunately, Rose who has called his own shots in his rehab from reconstructive knee surgery says he will not submit to a CT scan of his brain "until I feel 617-percent."
"I didn't want to have to do this, but can anyone seriously make a case that any of these players deserve a free college education to play basketball?" said NCAA president Mark Emmert. "I dare you. Watch a college basketball game and find me a player that is good enough at basketball to be given a $100,000 education. You won't be able to."
The 2012-2013 season has continued and strengthened a recent trend in college basketball of low-scoring games filled with turnovers, fouls and missed shots, turning what was once an exciting sport into 40-minute advertisement for the NBA.
"Maybe pulling their free educations will cause the players to dedicate themselves to improving at basketball," said Emmert. "Because that's the only way they're getting their scholarships back. First guy to hit an open 18-foot jumper gets his scholarship back. I'm not overly optimistic."
The NCAA's decision was met with disappointment from college coaches, yet they said they completely understood the move.
"Hell, I don't like watching this anymore. But I'm under contract, so what can I do?" said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "I'm surprised it took the NCAA this long."
"We're No. 1," said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "I mean, come on. Obviously college basketball isn't very good right now."
News Johnny Manziel Signs 5-Year, $150 Million Deal with Dallas Cowboys Because He Can Do Whatever He Wants
Manziel is technically not even eligible for the NFL draft until next year, let alone unrestricted free agency, and this year's free agents are not allowed to be signed until next week, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the deal is approved.
"It's Johnny Manziel. Who's going to say no to him? What a guy," said Goodell. "Plus, it wasn't really up to me to turn it down anyway. Johnny called me up and told me how it was going to be."
Despite signing with the Cowboys, Manziel retains his college eligibility under the deal for as long as he wants it.
"I figure I'll play some college ball on Saturday, have some fun in College Station on Saturday night, then fly to Dallas or wherever Sunday morning to play for the Cowboys," said Manziel. "I think I'm at the age where I'm ready for this. I can't still be partying on Sunday afternoons anymore."
Manziel said he is also willing to join his Cowboys teammates on Saturday night if there is a big game or "if they're playing in Miami or New Orleans or some place like that."
The deal also gives Manziel courtside seats to every NBA game, access to Hollywood premieres and awards shows, and unlimited use of Kate Upton although Manziel insists "trust me, I already have that."
The NHL's many ugly, unsightly, homely and truly horrific-looking players are not required to wear masks, although the league would like that to become a mandatory rule soon. The NHL even released a photo representation of how an ugly player would look in a mask (pictured).
Sources say the issue was raised during the labor talks that led to a new collective bargaining agreement back in January, but the union balked on the mask provision over disagreement on who would determine which players are too disgusting to see.
"I think we can all agree that your Zdeno Charas, your Scott Hartnells, your Tyler Kennedys these are people so ugly that they shouldn't be allowed to show their face in public, let alone before tens of thousands in an arena and possibly millions more on TV," said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. "But when you start moving beyond the indisputably ugly to the questionably ugly, who makes that determination? We don't trust the owners to decide. Most of them look like frogs."
While many support player masks in the NHL, others say it would ruin the rich history of the sport.
"Ugly players didn't wear masks back in the glory days," said hockey analyst Don Cherry. "And players were uglier then, too, because they took shots off the face like men and were covered head to toe in scar tissue. Fans weren't disgusted to see them either, because fans were tough. But now we have all these women at games and all of these immigrants and if there's one thing I know about women and immigrants it's that they like fancy masks."
"Holy crap. This could be awesome," said one baseball fan. "Can you imagine if the Yankees go, like, 72-90? I mean, I really think it's possible this year. They could really blow. Is 100 losses too crazy? Would that be the greatest thing ever? I think it might be the greatest thing ever."
Even with three high-priced position players missing significant time this season, the Yankees will still field a team with many big-name players. But most, if not all of those players, are well past their prime and the American League East will be competitive from top to bottom.
"I hate the Yankees so much and am so sick of hearing about them," said an American. "They're on TV constantly. But if they totally suck, I will probably watch all of their games and enjoy every second of them getting drubbed night after night."
Buechler said he "was in the area," so he stopped by Telavi's island residence. "Wasn't too hard," Buechler said. "I asked a coconut vendor where his place was, and when I found it I just knocked on the door. Willy answered in a bathrobe and excused himself to dress."
Last week, eccentric ex-Bull Dennis Rodman met with brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and the two bonded over basketball and foreign policy. The straight-laced Buechler and Telavi, though, had little in common.
"I tried to talk about basketball and Michael Jordan, but Willy doesn't care much for sports," Buechler said. "He mentioned the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency and the country's rivalry with Nauru, but that went over my head."
"We basically talked about the weather for 45 minutes," Telavi said. "Except, it's been sunny and 80 degrees all week, with no clouds."
Ripples were made when Rodman said that Kim Jong-un was "a friend for life." Buechler said he has a similar relationship with Telavi.
"We get along great," Buechler said. "Lucky for both of us we enjoy awkward pauses and long gaps between conversation."
"Well, it's officially over now," said a despondent Kobe Bryant in the postgame locker room. "Our season is done. Over. Official time of death: tonight."
Los Angeles' defeat saw the team fall to 30-31 on the season and 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The season-ending loss is especially disappointing to the team because just two days earlier they had saved their season with a victory over the Hawks giving them their 30th season-saving win of the season.
"I thought we were back. I thought we were a legitimate threat," said point guard Steve Nash. "I mean, 30 season-saving wins in a season is a lot. But, no. Now it's all over. It all fell apart so fast."