Lance Easley once was a replacement ref. It was Easley who infamously signaled touchdown in the “Fail Mary” game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, ruling a touchdown catch for Golden Tate on a play that clearly was an interception by M.D. Jennings. The Packers were robbed in the 14-12 Week 3 loss on “Monday Night Football.”
He became a symbol for the failures of a group of substitutes, as well as the ending to lingering labor battle. The real officials returned six days later.
Easley quickly slid back into anonymity after a week or so, but he’ll return to the public eye on July 7 in Seattle, when he serves as an umpire in a celebrity softball game hosted by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
“Remember the Ref who called TD during the Green Bay Game Monday Night??? His name is Lance Easley and he is going to Umpire for us July 7th! Don’t be surprised if a few flags are thrown,” Sherman wrote.
Umpires don’t throw flags in softball, but maybe Easley doesn’t know that.
During a game in the Korean Professional Baseball league between the Lotte Giants and NC Dinos when Giants outfielder Jeon Jun-woo came up smashed what he thought was a home run and begin his trot. Only one problem: he had warning track power.
The ball was caught by the left fielder, and a stunned Jun-woo was left stranded by first base wondering what the heck happened in this real life Willie Mays Hayes moment.
South Korean pop star Psy performed before the bottom of the fourth inning at Dodgers Stadium on Tuesday night. Luckily, he was doing so right next to Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, who didn’t know what to think. Watch his confused and priceless reactions in the bottom left hand corner.
As the old cliché goes, it’s spring training for everybody which includes players, umpires, announcers, and yes, even those behind the scenes of Major League Baseball telecasts need a little time to knock the rust off. For a classic example of just how bad it’s needed by all parties involved, look no further than the person in charge of graphics for Fox Sports West during Cactus League battle for Los Angeles between the Angels and Dodgers. With one of the Dodgers prized offseason signings, South Korea’s Hyun-Jin Ryu, taking the hill for his first spring appearance, a graphic appeared the 26-year-old rookie’s career stats unfortunately, with his official major league debut still one month away, he doesn’t have any of those number just yet.
Under normal circumstances, a baseball is about the least controversial object on the planet. The little white orbs are also usually very universal, each of them wound with the ability to bridge cultures, erase language barriers and force smiles between countries that may not like each other.
Neither of those truths, however, was present when the Cuban national team and the NC Dinos from the Korea Baseball Organization met up in Taiwan on Thursday.
While the friendly exhibition was set up as a way to help the Cubans prepare for their World Baseball Classic opener in Japan on March 3, not a single pitch was thrown.The reason? Neither side could agree on what brand of baseball to use.
From the Yohap News Agency:According to NC Dinos officials, the two sides had previously agreed that they would each pitch their own choice of the ball. But just before the match, Cuba demanded a ball by the U.S. brand Brett Bros. be used by both teams.
“The ball had thick and wide seams, and it posed injury risks for our pitchers,” one NC official said. “Then Cuba suggested we both play a Taiwanese ball. That ball also had big seams and we said we didn’t want to play it. Finally, Cubans brought out some mysterious ball, and again we told them we couldn’t play it.
“The official explained Cuba first asked the game be canceled, and the Dinos were more than happy to oblige.”
PSY’s Gangnam Style is huge really huge. Having just come back from a month long trip in South Korea, I can write that you have no idea the magnitude it has taken ahold of in that country. FOX’s Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson and Jay Glazer lend their bodies to the phenomenon.
Four women’s badminton doubles pairs, including the reigning world champions from China, faced a disciplinary hearing Wednesday after being charged with trying to throw their matches at the London Olympics to secure an easier matchup in later rounds.
The Badminton World Federation said in a statement it had charged the players from China, South Korea and Indonesia under its players’ code of conduct with “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.”
The doubles pairs were all due to compete in quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency cited an unnamed spokesman for the Chinese delegation as saying the delegation was taking the incident seriously and had ordered its own investigation.
“The Chinese delegation will handle this case according to the results of the investigation into this match,” the spokesman said.
World doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na were booed loudly by the crowd Tuesday after dumping serves into the net and making simple errors like hitting the shuttlecock wide.
The longest rally in their first game was only four strokes. The umpire warned them and tournament referee Torsten Berg spoke to all four players but it had little effect.
Eventually, the Chinese women lost 21-14, 21-11 and both pairs were jeered off the court.
The teams had already qualified for the last 16, but the result ensured that the top-seeded Wang and Yu will avoid playing their No. 2-seeded Chinese teammates until the final.
The problem was repeated in the next women’s doubles between South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. Both teams were also warned for deliberately losing points in a match the Koreans won 18-21, 21-14, 21-12. The capacity crowd vented their displeasure on them, too.
“If they play right, the Chinese team, this wouldn’t happen,” said South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook. “So we did the same because we don’t want to play Korea. Nobody likes playing against strong players.”
Yu said they were only trying to save energy for the knockout rounds starting on Wednesday.
“We would try hard in every match if they were elimination games,” she said. “Because they are group stage that’s why we are conserving energy.
“If we’re not playing the best it’s because it doesn’t matter — if we’re the first or the second (in the group) we’re already through. The most important thing is the elimination match tomorrow.”
The South Koreans filed a protest with the referees.
“It’s not like the Olympics spirit to play like this,” Sung Han-kook said. “How could the No. 1 pair in the world play like this?”
Jack Nicklaus said Tiger Woods can still beat his record of 18 major championships provided he can stay in control of his mental game. Nicklaus said that Woods can achieve the feat “if he gets the five inches between his ears squared out.”
“I mean Tiger has a great work ethic, he’s a great competitor, the most talented kid on the planet right now,” Nicklaus said. “He’s not going to go away.”
Woods has 14 major titles, but has not won any tournament since revelations of infidelities in 2009 led to the collapse of his marriage and a break from the sport. This season has been partly derailed by injuries, but Nicklaus also praised the decision by U.S. captain Fred Couples to include Woods in the 12-member Presidents Cup team that will take on non-European players in Australia in November.
“How could you not pick him,” Nicklaus said. “I mean he’s Tiger Woods, he’s the best player in the game. He may not be playing his best today, but he’s still Tiger Woods.”
Nicklaus made the comments while in South Korea to attend a Champions Tour event played on a course he designed.
Former Japan national defender Naoki Matsuda has died two days after suffering a cardiac arrest during training, his club said. The 34-year-old Matsuda had been in critical condition after collapsing Tuesday during practice with his club Matsumoto Yamaga.
“He passed away today at 1:06 p.m.,” Yamaga president Hiroshi Otsuki said. “Since Tuesday there has been an outpouring of support from Matsuda fans all over Japan.”
Matsuda played for Japan, including the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Matsuda collapsed after a 15-minute run. After an initial diagnosis of heat stroke, it was determined he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was unconscious on his arrival at a hospital and showed no response to heart massage.
Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant is a big deal in Asia, and that’s why he tours countries like China, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines when he gets the chance. He’s on an Asian tour this year sponsored by Nike with it called the “Take Every Advantage Tour” and it’s got a promo video.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, who was born in South Korea, has really gotten into the whole Texas vibe when he arrived in Ft. Worth decked out in a black cowboy hat, black shirt, Texas-sized silver belt buckle and jeans.
Back on September 22, 2010, we posted the news about controversial referee Byron Moreno, who was involved in Italy’s controversial elimination from the 2002 World Cup, being caught at Kennedy Airport with bags of heroin attached to his body. Now Moreno has plead guilty to one count of heroin smuggling and faces up to 5 1/4 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. No sentencing date has been set yet.
During a routine inspection, Moreno “became visibly nervous,” according to a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn. A customs agent felt “hard objects on the defendant’s stomach, back and both of his legs. A strip search revealed that the lumps were 10 clear plastic bags containing more than 10 pounds of heroin.
Russia will host the 2018 World Cup as it was chosen Thursday by FIFA’s executive committee over England and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.Russia won despite the absence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Zurich. At the last minute, he declined to make a final pitch for his country.
Qatar was selected as host of the 2022 World Cup, beating out a bid by the United States to bring soccer’s showcase back to America for the first time since 1994. FIFA’s executive committee choose Qatar over the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea in a secret vote.
Back on September 8th, we posted the story that the Cleveland Indians could have been in jeopardy of losing their star outfielder. However, it’s official Shin-Soo Choo will not have to enlist in the South Korean army. The law in Choo’s native country requires all able-bodied men to serve two years in the military before age 30 but athletes who take home the gold at the quadrennial Asian Games earn exemptions from military service, and Choo is now off the hook after leading the Korean team to its third victory in the the last four tournaments.
Choo, who is immensely popular in his homeland could have applied for American citizenship to prolong his playing career if the Asian Games didn’t go his way. For now Choo and fans of his talents can breathe a sigh of relief. He’s not going anywhere.
Choo went 8-for-14 with three homers, 11 RBI, and six walks in the games.
Former controversial referee Byron Moreno, who was involved in Italy’s controversial elimination from the 2002 World Cup, was caught at Kennedy Airport with bags of heroin attached to his body.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Moreno late Monday after he arrived in New York on a commercial flight from his native Ecuador. During a routine inspection a customs agent felt hard objects on Moreno’s stomach, back and both of his legs. A strip search revealed that the lumps were 10 clear plastic bags containing more than 10 pounds of heroin. A judge jailed Moreno without bail on a drug smuggling charge.
Moreno enraged Italian fans in 2002 when he ejected Francesco Totti, giving the Italian a second yellow card for an alleged dive in the penalty area 13 minutes into overtime of 2-1 loss to South Korea in the World Cup’s second round.
A 111th-minute goal by Italy’s Damiano Tommasi that would have advanced Italy was disallowed, apparently for offside, and South Korea was awarded a penalty kick, that goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saved, for a foul by Christian Panucci against Seol Ki-Hyeon.
In 2003, Ecuadorean soccer officials suspended Moreno for 20 games after a game there drew complaints about him from both teams. He added 11 minutes of stoppage time to a game between domestic clubs Barcelona and Liga de Quito without recording it.
Cleveland Indians outfield Shin-Soo Choo’s two-year obligation to his native South Korea’s military could be voilded and not impact his baseball career if he help’s his country win gold at this years Asian Games. If that happens then Choo would likely receive an exemption from the South Korean military. Choo was named to South Korea’s final 24-man roster for the November’s games yesterday.
The South Korean roster is composed almost entirely of players from the Korean professional ranks. Choo and Tae-Kyun Kim of the Japanese Pacific League were the only players selected from overseas clubs. Eleven teams will compete in the baseball event at the Asian Games, with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan the early favorites to medal.
In the last Asian Games in 2006, Chinese Taipei won the gold, Japan the silver and South Korea the bronze. South Korea won the gold in both 1998 and 2002.
All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve two years in the military by the end of their 30th year, Choo turned 28 in July.
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to the World Cup squad of Nigeria. The president of Nigeria even recognizes the squads meltdown status at this years World Cup that he has suspended the national soccer team from international competition for two years after its poor showing.
President Goodluck Jonathan also noted that there maybe corruption within the ranks of the national team and said that all funds directed toward the Nigeria Football Federation would be examined and all those found wanting will be sanctioned.
Nigeria got eliminated from the World Cup after the group stage, having earned just one point in a 2-2 draw with South Korea in its last game. Nigeria lost to Argentina 1-0 in its Group B opener and fell to Greece 2-1 in a game turned by the first-half expulsion of midfielder Sani Kaita.
Nigeria now risks being banned by FIFA from all international soccer because of the political interference. FIFA rules demand that national federations manage their affairs independently, or face suspension from world soccer.
Argentina wont not need any points against Greece to advance to the knockout stage, but that won’t stop coach Diego Maradona’s team from chasing a third straight victory and total domination of Group B. The Greeks are tied for second in the group with South Korea, will need at least a draw to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stage. An upset win may not even be enough if South Korea beats Nigeria.
Maradona has said he will make drastic changes to his lineup which is likely to see eight new players. Of the players coming in Sergio Aguero, a lightning quick supporting striker, the playmaker Javier Pastore and striker Diego Milito.
The Greeks, who pride themselves on defense will likely have to open things up at some point in the game. Greece will have to at least get a draw to advance and are confident they can score after putting two in against Nigeria. Striker Dimitris Salpingidis said even if they don’t go through to the next round they’re going to give it all they have so they can hold their heads high. Midfielder Thanassis Prittas added that Greece needs to concentrate on defending and counterattacking, but admits they have to score at least one goal if they have any hope.
Defense will be the focus for Greece as it tries to contain the Argentinians, who won 4-0 in the only previous meeting during the 1994 World Cup.
South Korea sits second place with three points and a -1 goal difference and Nigeria is not as far off as most would think but needs a win over South Korea and a Greece loss to Argentina will get them into the knockout stage. If Argentina beats Greece, South Korea can advance with a draw.
Nigeria has no choice here other than to attack and it should make for an interesting game to see if South Korea will be happy to defend or apply the pressure. The African nation lost its first two games by scores of 1-0 to Argentina and 2-1 to Greece. Nigeria needs somebody in attack to come alive. Yakubu Aiygenbeni is not their best attacking player but he appears to be Lars Lagerback’s only consistent selection at forward. The heat has been turned up in a serious way in Nigeria as Sani Kaita has reportedly receiving over 1,000 death threats since his sending off against Greece.
South Korean manger Huh Jung-Moo has said their 4-1 defeat against Argentina was a good lesson for his players and they have to learn from it for their match against Nigeria. South Korea will again be relying on captain and midfielder Park Ji-Sung to lead the way and hope that defender Lee Jung-Soo and midfielder Kim Jung-Woo can continue their fine play. Solving Nigeria can be easy with strong midfield play and that would enable South Korea to get the ball wide and take advantage of their strengths of Park Ji-Sung and Lee Chong-Yong attacking Nigeria’s fullbacks.
The teams have played each other three times with South Korea winning two and drawing the other, although none have come during World Cup play.
PICK: South Korea
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to Argentina’s striker Gonzalo Higuain who scored three goals in his country’s 4-1 victory over South Korea which simply is BLAZIN.
The 22-year-old scored three goals for his country and was the World Cups first hat trick since 2002, when Germany’s Miroslav Klose and Portugal’s Pauleta both accomplished the feat. Higuain scored his first goal in the 32nd minute, but he did not strike again until the 75-minute mark. He then added his third and final goal just four minutes later.
Congratulations Gonzalo Higuain you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
This matchup of winless Greece and Nigeria in Group B will have the distinction of basically deciding who will be the first squad to get the early exit of the 2010 World Cup tournament. In Greece’s first match against South Korea the drama on the pitch wasn’t done with the ball instead done with the bickering and war between the fellow countrymen. Nigeria lost their opening match against Argentina 1-0 and thankful didn’t get any worse than that as Vincent Enyeama made six saves to earn man of the match honors.
The Super Eagles will look to generate more offense after getting one shot on goal against Argentina by Obafemi Martins. If shots on goal are once again limited by Nigeria the countries hopes will once again rest on the hands of Enyeama.
Greece will need to get its act together if it has any hope of surviving for the round of 16 and it will depend on their captain Giorgios Karagounis and how he pulls the squad together. Karagounis and Kostas Katsouranis can control this match offensively but don’t expect the squad as a whole to return to the 2004 Euro Champions.
A loss by either team would mean certain elimination. However a tie would keep both alive heading into their final matches June 22.
With the World Cup just 15 days away Diego Maradona has promised to run naked through the center of Buenos Aires if Argentina wins the World Cup.
The Argentina coach made the promise during a radio show. The unpredictable Maradona was speaking a day after Argentina defeated Canada 5-0 in its final warm-up match before the World Cup.
Argentina plays in Group B, opening against Nigeria on June 12. The Gauchos also face Greece and South Korea and now has the world quietly rooting for Argentina.
Sports Grind Entertainment is your number one stop in San Antonio sports talk radio for World Cup coverage.
Just 27 days away from the World Cup and England is already putting together marketing schemes of Wallace and Gromit in helping their for their bid in landing either the 2018 or 2022 worlds game. FIFA will make their final decision between Australia, England, Russia, the US, Belgium/Netherlands and Spain/Portugal for both 2018 and 2022 while Japan, Qatar and South Korea are vying just for 2022. So come on Wallace and Gromit England needs you.
Sports Grind Entertainment is your number one stop in San Antonio sports talk radio for World Cup coverage.
The wait is over and Nike has unveiled its 2010 series of national football team kits for this years World Cup in South Africa. The design is said to be recycled polyester produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles.
Suppliers to Nike sourced discarded plastic bottles from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites, before melting them down to produce new yarn for conversion into jersey fabric. Nike claims the process reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufacturing virgin polyester and says it prevented nearly 13m plastic bottles from going into landfill sites.
Specifically, each of the kits features Nike Dri-Fit fabric, some 15% lighter than previous versions and which draws sweat to the outside of the garment where it evaporates. Air flow has also been increased 7%, while ventilation zones consists of up to 200 tiny laser-cut holes.
The shoes are the Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II which features Nike Sense adaptive traction technology. That technology is a system that allows the show to adjust itself based on the field’s conditions.
Nike will supply national team kits in South Africa to the squads of the Netherlands, Portugal, United States, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia and Slovenia.