Los Angeles resident Russell Tims, still euphoric from this month's overturning of California's controversial bill banning same-sex marriage, proposed to his partner on the Jumbotron during Sunday afternoon's Dodgers game. His proposal was summarily rejected, leaving Tims red-faced and humiliated in front of 44,000 fans.
"It was totally spontaneous and out of character for me," said Tims, 36, of Westwood. "But this has been such an inspiring month, and we were having a fun time at the game, so I just went for it. In retrospect, it was a really dumb idea."
Tims says his (now) ex-partner, Paul, had no idea the proposal was coming and, in fact, the two had never even discussed the idea of marriage before. "We had actually only been together for, like, a month. Things were going pretty good between us, but the baseball game was only our third date."
That didn't stop Tims from getting up from his seat during the second inning (he told Paul he "was going to get some beers") and informing an usher of his plan. The usher said he "would see what he could do," and Tims returned to his seat. "When I got back, Paul said to me, 'weren't you going to get beer?' And I remember thinking, 'uh oh, he's totally on to me!' Of course, I now see how ridiculous that was."
Three innings later, the usher walked by Tims's seat and gave him a subtle nod. "I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, I was so excited," recalls Tims. Sure enough, as soon as the top of the fifth ended, Tims looked up to see both he and Paul on the Jumbotron, while the P.A. announcer asked the crowd to "turn their attention to the big screen, as Russell has something he would like to ask Paul."
"So I dropped to one knee, took Paul's hand, and asked him if he would do me the honor of being my husband. It was so stupid I didn't even have a ring. But the crowd was standing and cheering by that point, so I didn't even care."
Needless to say, Paul's reaction was not what Tims was hoping for. "He looked at me, just stunned, and said, and I'll never forget this, 'are you fucking kidding me?' I told him that I wasn't. And he said to me, 'I barely know you.' It was at that point I realized what a huge mistake I had just made."
Paul immediately got up from his seat and disappeared up the aisle, leaving Tims alone, kneeling, and completely dejected. "Imagine getting a bucket of cold water poured on you while getting punched in the stomach while having your pants pulled down in front of a stadium full of people. That's basically how I felt."
Tims says he and Paul haven't spoken since the incident, which he regrets, but that it is "probably for the best." And in any event, he says he has learned a valuable lesson. "Don't propose to a relative stranger on a whim. And if you must, for the love of God, don't do it in front of tens of thousands of people."
An appeal from the decision overturning Proposition 8 is set to be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this coming December.
On the heels of the news that Lebron James would be switching numbers beginning next season, Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has filed the requisite paperwork to change the name on the back of his jersey. As is the case with James's decision, the move is widely speculated to be a marketing ploy.
Despite a high-profile college career at UConn and a productive four-year NBA career, Gay ranked second-to-last in jersey sales last year, with only three being sold: one to a gay Grizzlies fan, one to a Memphis college student who was drunk, and one to Grizzlies equipment manger Scott Fiore who misplaced Gay's real jersey before a game last year against the Sixers.
"It was really embarrassing for me to have to do that," said Fiore. "Not losing his real jersey. That happens from time to time. But going up to our team store and actually purchasing it. I said I wanted a number 22 jersey, just trying to get in and get out without getting noticed. But the sales lady was all like: 'You mean a GAY jersey? Really? A jersey with GAY on it? That's what you want? A GAY one. You want a GAY jersey, is that correct, sir? GAY?' Really loud so everyone could hear."
The NBA league office confirmed that Gay, whose jersey sales rank behind only Warriors reserve swingman Demarcus Longtaint, would be making a switch, but refused to disclose what the new name would be. A source within the Grizzlies organization stated on the condition of anonymity that Gay was deciding between "Pussyslayer", "Thundercock", and the Chinese character for virility.
Gay will unveil his new jersey name at a press conference this Friday, to be held at the Platinum Rose gentlemen's club in downtown Memphis.
Dan Nielsen of Lansing, Michigan was looking forward to the Vancouver Games more than most. And not just because he's a big sports fan. No, Dan was even more excited for the two-week reprieve from his roommate Greg's non-stop analysis of all things athletic.
"Greg and I watch sports all the time, mostly football and basketball," says Dan. "And while he's my boy and all that, the guy thinks he's a friggin' expert oneverything. He's always screaming at coaches about very specific play-calls or berating players for being out of position, like he knows what he's talking about. The guy just never shuts up."
But the Winter Games and its obscure sports would put an end to all that. Or so he thought.Dan says his delusion lasted approximately three skaters into the men's figure skating short program.
"All of a sudden, Greg says: 'The Korean totally blew that combo.' And I was like: 'Dude, what the fk? You've never even watched this sport before!'"
Dan says the problem only grew worse as the evening wore on.
"By the end of the night, he was saying things like, 'he's going to get a big deduction for that footwork' and 'this guy has no shot if he doesn't throw in a quad.' He was just parroting what the announcers had said ten minutes earlier. I mean, I heard them too, guy. Who does he think he's fooling?"
In the days since the figure skating event, Greg's "areas of expertise" have broadened to include bobsled, biathlon and skeleton.
"We were watching women's skeleton women's skeleton- and the announcer said that some of the competitors were protesting the spoilers on the British woman's helmet. You know what Greg said? 'There are specific rules for headgear in the skeleton, and she must abide by them.' Really! He said that. If the Olympics were any longer, I'd buy my own TV for my room."
Greg was not available for an interview as he was involved in a heated message board exchange about the effect ice conditions had on the short-track speed skating results.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This column was written by a REAL CANADIAN. Seriously! I think he lives in Toronto, but that's probably exactly the same as Vancouver, right?)
The beleaguered Haitian government announced plans today to redirect $1 million from its treasury to the National Hockey League, identifying the NHL's need after the league donated only $100,000 to Haitian relief efforts far short of the $1 million or more given by the other three major professional sports.
“When we learned what the NHL was able to donate, we thought, ‘Wow, times must be really tough’,” said Jalbert Riel, a spokesperson for President René Préval. “Luckily, we’ve been blessed with a wonderful outpouring of generosity from across the globe, so we thought it was time to give something back.”
The donation comes as welcome relief for the NHL, which has long suffered under the weight of a shoddy national television deal and near-constant criticism from the general public surrounding hockey’s violent nature. The recent elimination of DirecTV subscribers from its potential viewership and the continued dwindling attendance figures of its teams in the Southern United States means the donation could not come at a better time for the league.
The Haitian government does not have any preference as to how the money would be spent. Riel said that it is “really up to them. They could give it to that team in Phoenix, put it towards marketing efforts, or even use it as an incentive to hire a real commissioner. But from our perspective, the gift comes with no strings attached.”
In a brief statement, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league would be accepting the donation “begrudgingly, but with gratitude.”
The commissioner is also reportedly considering using the money to purchase Television Nationale D'Haiti (TNH) and making it the exclusive broadcast partner of the NHL.
WorldWrestlingEntertainment, Inc. (WWE) has announced it will commission its own study to investigate the lasting health consequences of the near-daily head injuries suffered by its in-ring officials. The announcement comes in the wake of growing concern across the sports world that serious brain damage can be conferred on a professional athlete as a result of even a small number of concussions.
At a press conference announcing the study, John Laurinaitis, WWE’s Executive Vice President, Talent Relations, said it was important that the company undertake its own investigation before any specific action was taken to address the issue:
“As a concerned employer, and a responsible corporate citizen, we have an obligation to understand the health risks our profession poses to our officials. That being said, we want to make sure we don’t just make a bunch of knee-jerk changes simply because this has been a hot issue in the media lately, or because we have some blood-spattered folding chairs. By commissioning an independent study, we can be sure we have all the facts, without the conjecture.”
Even in the rough and tumble world of sports, refereeing professionalwrestlingmatches is a uniquely dangerous trade. In fact, getting through a single match without being knocked out cold is a rarity for a WWE official. On any given night, referees must avoid traumatic contact with not only the in-ring combatants, but from managers, other wrestlers not involved in the match but with a vested interest in its outcome, and intoxicated, projectile-hurtling fans.
"I think it's a big step forward," said veteran WWE referee Mike Chioda. "In 2009 alone, I was knocked unconscious over 450 times. And that was a goodyear. So yeah, I’d like to know the impact this is having on my health, and I’m happy the company is looking into it.”
In addition to the possible long-term health risks, Chioda says the concussions can also have a tremendous impact on the quality of an official’s job performance.
"Look, it stands to reason that, when I'm lying there in a crumpled heap on the mat, I can't follow what's going on in the match. And when your entire role is to maintain fairness and order between two guys who are out to cause serious bodily harm to each other, that’s a problem. I can’t count the number of matches I’ve reffed where one guy is just dominating his opponent, then all of a sudden [the opponent] throws him directly into me and, boom, I’m out. I'll come to God knows how long after, and now the opponent is lying over the guy with a steel chair lying right in the middle of the ring. Even if I've got my suspicions as to what happened, I can't call what I didn't see, so I have to count the three. And when this happens three, four-hundred thousand times, it starts to hurt the integrity of the sport."
Laurinaitis said that the WWE has hired Dr. Ira Casson, who recently resigned as co-chair of the National Football League's panel on head injuries, to head up its investigation. The company hopes to receive the results of the study sometime in early-to-mid 2024.
As for the WWE’s efforts to determine the lasting effects of concussions on wrestlers themselves, Laurinaitis said he “thought we had a veterinarian write a memo on this back in the mid-90s”, and thathe would “see if he could track down a copy when I get back to the office. I may have accidentally shredded it with the steroids research."
Just weeks after revelations about Tiger Woods’ numerous marital infidelities rocked the golfing world, a number of ticket scalpers to PGA Tour events have come forward with allegations that they, too, have been fked by the world’s number one golfer.
“Royally fked,” said Marcus Todd, a 44-year old scalper from Marana, Ariz. “I’m sitting here on four dozen passes to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, and all of a sudden this dickhead’s taking a hiatus? You know how hard these things will be to move if Tiger’s not playing? And even if I do sell ‘em, I’ll be taking a bath. This guy has really reamed me something fierce.”
Woods announced on December 11th that he would be taking an indefinite leave from golf to “focus [his] attention on being a better husband, father, and person.” Experts have predicted that this could have drastic economic consequences for the PGA, including a marked decrease in sales of tournament passes. And while Woods typically only plays between 15 and 20 events each season, scalpers worry his absence could affect attendance numbers across the board.
“Most of these Johnny-come-lately golf fans, they don’t know nothin' about the PGA,” says Gaeten Lafleur of New Orleans, who scalps tickets to The Zurich Classic of New Orleans. “They hear that there’s an event in town, and they just show up assuming Tiger’s playing in it. Truth is, he’s never played The Zurich. And if they didn't ask, I sure as hell didn't tell. But now? Everybody who’s walked by a People magazine in the drug store knows Tiger’s taking time off, and God knows for how long."
"I guess I was sort of banking on him always being there to lean on. I feel like such a fool."
Woods’s indeterminate absence has even worried scalpers of tickets to the four majors, which traditionally sell out regardless of who is playing in them.
“The Masters accounts for 20-percent of my income each year,” says John-Albert Griffinmilk of Columbia, Georgia. “But if [Woods] skips it, who knows? It might mean I'll have to bust my hump up and down the East Coast to PGA and Nationwide Tour events all summer. Time I would normally be spending with my kids."
"I can deal with Tiger fking me. But my family? That's just cold."
While the scalpers' allegations are just the latest fked-by-Woods claims, it appears they might be far from the last. Rumors continue to swirl that a Nike branding executive, a golf caddy from New Zealand, and men-who-cheat-on-their-wives-when-they-say-they-are-out-golfing could all come forward with their own stories as early as the weekend.
The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed the legacy of Cal Ripken, Jr. to a contract that will see the Hall of Fame shortstop receive $10 million in back pay for each of the 20 seasons he played with the Baltimore Orioles. The move ensures that Ripken, a 19-time All-Star and the holder of the Major League record for most consecutive games played, will be forever remembered asa Yankee.
"As an organization,we pride ourselves on beingthe professional embodiment ofclass, grit and playing the game the right way," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman at a press conference announcing the signing. "And few players in the history of baseball have exemplified those qualities more than Cal Ripken, Jr. We are thrilled to welcome both Cal, and hisoverwhelming historicalachievements, into the Yankee family."
Pursuant to the deal, over 11,000 hours of archived Ripken footage in Major League Baseball's video library will be digitally altered to replace his Orioles' uniform with Yankee pinstripes. This includes the Orioles' celebration of their 1983 World Series Championship, Ripken's MVP performance at the 1991 All-Star Game in Toronto, and his famed run around Camden Yards afterbreaking Lou Gehrig's streak for consecutive games played on September 6, 1995. The Baltimore cap worn by Ripken on hisplaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, will also be changed to that of the Yankees.
"I'm thrilled, obviously," Ripken said at the press conference. "Don't get me wrong, I love Baltimore. Heck, I spent my entire actual career there. Butthe thought of all future generations associating me with the greatest franchise in baseball history? It's something that every ballplayer dreams of."
Ripken claimed that the deal was about more than just the money: "Obviously, I'd be a fool to turn my nose up at $200 million for something that, in essence, requires me to do nothing. But at this stage in my life, the most important thing to me, besides my family, is my legacy. And to see my number 8 sitting there in Monument Park, right next to Yogi [Berra] and [Bill] Ol' Dickface [Dickey] I mean, what more could you ask for?"
Orioles fans reacted to the news with a mixture of disappointment and resignation. "Obviously it sucks, but whaddya gonna do?" said Graham Rind, 36, of Baltimore. "It's going to take some adjusting to not immediately associate Ripken with our team, because hewasthe Orioles for so long. But it's not like we didn't expect this. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time."
Nikki Sobotka, 31, shared a similar sentiment: "In baseball, there'sNew Yorkand then there's everybody else. Always has been that way, and it always will be. We had Cal for 20 years, and those of us who got to see him play will treasure those memories forever."
"It just sucks that the tangible evidence of those memories are going to be completely eradicated from existence."
While Cashman would not get into specifics, he strongly hinted that the Yankees were far from done. "There's some other former players we are keeping our eye on. And, should an opportunity present itself in a way that makes sense for our ballclub, we'll approach those players or their respective estates at that time. But for now, we're just absolutely thrilled to be able to bring Cal's career into the fold."
Despite Cashman's vagueness, speculation on the rumor mill has been rampant. Numeroussources say New York has already expressed interest inthe legacies of theKansas CityRoyals' George Brett, the Houston Astros' Craig Biggio, and the Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount.They are also purported to be in talks regarding the achievements of the late KirbyPuckettof the Minnesota Twins, but negotiations are said to have stalled on his family's insistence that New York also take "the part where [Puckett] got all fat and rapey."