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Rick Chandler

  1. So long folks, it’s time for me to take off

    Mar 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT


    In case you haven’t heard, Easter Sunday is the final day of Off the Bench: this blog will cease operations as of 11:59 p.m. on that date. So the day after March 31, there will be no new posts on this blog. The timing is fine: I see no reason people would wake the next…

  2. Prediction Machine tells us who wins in a game between the ’13 Miami Heat and the ’72 LA Lakers

    Mar 27, 2013, 3:19 PM EDT


    So the Miami Heat have won 27 straight, and have an excellent chance of breaking the NBA record for consecutive wins, 33, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s a pretty good breakdown comparing the two teams. But if you’re like me, it’s not enough to know that Thor and Hercules were both very…

  3. Breaking: Jim Belushi not good at hockey (video)

    Mar 26, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT


    Life as a lesser Belushi can be frustrating at times, I’d imagine: even though you occasionally get to be in films like Trading Places and be married to Courtney Thorne-Smith. Also you get to participate in Shoot-the-Puck contests at Chicago Blackhawks games. Jim Belushi was born in Chicago, so I sure hope he makes this…

  4. This loss stung more than most: Lauren Davis encounters angry wasp at Sony Open

    Mar 25, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

    2013 Sony Open Tennis - Day 7

    If you’re a fan of vintage tennis posters — or, you know, hot chicks — the you may be familiar with ‘Tennis Girl’. That’s the photo of 18-year-old Fiona Butler showing her mostly bare backside, shot by her boyfriend, Martin Elliott, and made into an iconic, best-selling poster in the 1970s. Lauren Davis of the…

  5. Man wins full marathon while pushing his daughter in a baby stroller (video)

    Mar 25, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

    Gusher Marathon

    But that’s not even the most incredible part of this story. Iram Leon, 32, won the 2013 Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday despite the fact that he has terminal brain cancer. He ran the entire race while pushing his 6-year-old daughter Kiana in a stroller, winning with a time of in 3:07:36. That’s…

  6. Lock and load, it’s youth baseball fundraising time: league raffling off AR-15 rifle (video)

    Mar 23, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT


    Over in Atwood, IL, all systems are go for a fundraiser in which an AR-15 rifle — the same type used in two recent school massacres — will be raffled off to benefit the local youth baseball league. According to the people involved this is all perfectly kosher, and one lucky fan will be heavily…

  7. Harvard stripped of four National Quiz Bowl titles, is filled with shame

    Mar 22, 2013, 6:46 PM EDT

    Harvard banners hang outside Memorial Church on the Harvard

    Bigger gathering of villainy: the cantina in Mos Eisly spaceport, or Harvard University? The basketball team may be riding high right now, but things are not going so swell back on campus. This past August Harvard officials announced that 125 students were under investigation for allegedly cheating on a take-home test. And now, Harvard has…

  8. Twitter chooses its latest villain: Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson

    Mar 22, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT

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    Don’t those dual hair parts kind of resemble devil horns? Isn’t his trash-talking style kind of evil? Is his shot selection from the pit of hell? Yes, yes and yes. Every good story needs an antagonist, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament has theirs in Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson. What we have here is not exactly…

  9. Sim Bhullar is a large basketball player, and I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?

    Mar 21, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

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    Sim Bhullar, Joel Wright

    Anybody wondering what Andre the Giant would have been like as a college basketball player, look no further than Sim Bhullar — New Mexico State’s 7-foot-5, 360-pound freshman from Toronto. Bhullar, the tallest player in college basketball, has 85 blocked shots and led the WAC in field goal percentage at 63.2 percent. Hey, it’s not…

  10. Ronald McDonald pregame hockey speech will supersize your spirit (video)

    Mar 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

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    This video proves once again that great champions are made to order, not born. The Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League, a Double-A affiliate of the Dallas Stars, had their Fourth Annual McDonald’s Night at Allen Event Center in Allen, TX, recently. This of course called for McDonald’s-themed uniforms (later auctioned for charity), but…

  11. President Obama and poker star Phil Ivey will help you with your NCAA Tourney picks

    Mar 20, 2013, 12:02 PM EDT


    The deadline for your NCAA Basketball Tournament office pool is fast approaching and you of course are doomed need help. So we’ve brought out the big guns to advise you: President Obama and poker star Phil Ivey.

  12. What’s with kids and all these death-defying stunts?

    Mar 20, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT


    It’s the Year of Living Dangerously for kids, for sure. Every time I look up it seems some youngster is attempting a death-defying feat of some sort, with mom and dad’s permission. In the past couple of weeks we’ve told you about Jordan Romero, who at 13 became the youngest person ever to summit Mt.…

  13. What does your favorite sport or team say about your politics? Study reveals all (guess where Univ. of Alabama lands?)

    Mar 19, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT

    George W. Bush, Nolan Ryan

    What is the most liberal MLB team fan base? The team of choice for the most conservative NFL fans? And which college sports program fan base skews more Republican than any other in the U.S.? The National Journal did a study this past fall which is being re-released now due to the NCAA basketball Tournament, and some of the answers may surprise you.

  14. The Saint Louis Billikens watched the NCAA Tournament selection show at a Best Buy

    Mar 18, 2013, 2:08 PM EDT

    Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament - Championship

    The best thing about an entire college basketball team filing into a Best Buy would be the blue-shirted clerk at the front door having to give every one of them with the anti-shoplifting greeting, like they do with all customers. “Hello” (nods). “Hello” (nods). “Hello” (nods). “Hello” (nods) …  and it would get hilarious when…

  15. World rejoices as Minor League Baseball team invents the bacon shell taco

    Mar 14, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT


    Forget the new Pope: the world has moved on to the next big thing: the bacon shell taco. (Crowd in St. Peter’s Square cheers wildly). Yes, scientists or God (pick one) have finally invented a taco shell made entirely of bacon, and the only place one can get it is at West Michigan Whitecaps home…

  16. Do we really need to be reminded that basketball Gatorade showers are a bad idea? I guess we do (video)

    Mar 13, 2013, 11:14 AM EDT

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    If you’re going to coach women’s college basketball, you have to expect a certain amount of hijinks and/or shenanigans. There’s no escaping it. But a Gatorade bath for the coach while he’s still on the court? That’s something new. Of course the folks in attendance at this game in Nebraska didn’t seem to think it…

  17. What NFL jerseys would our presidents have worn? Here’s all 44 guesses

    Mar 12, 2013, 1:02 PM EDT


    So a reader of, Alec Tolivaisa, had this thought: what if I made a graphic that showed what NFL team each of our 44 presidents would have rooted for? And so he did. Of course it was easy for presidents such as Barack Obama and George W. Bush, whose rooting interests are known. But…

  18. Golfer swallowed by sinkhole, lives to tell about it

    Mar 12, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

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    Yep, a hole-in-one. Only 43-year-old Mark Mihal didn’t score it in the conventional manner: it was Mark who went in the hole, and the ball that stayed on the fairway. It happened in Waterloo, Ill., when Mihal, who runs a fantasy golf site, fell into a sinkhole at the fairway of the 14th hole at…

  19. Furry weasel cousin disrupts Swiss soccer match, bites player, becomes team mascot (video)

    Mar 11, 2013, 11:28 AM EDT

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    To our list of mammals that have run onto the field in pro sports, please ad marten. What is a marten, you ask? They are omnivorous animals related to wolverines and weasels, and apparently enjoy soccer. That’s because one darted onto the field during a Swiss Super League match between Thun and Zurich recently, not…

  20. ASU students annoyed with mascot makeover, want their old Sparky back

    Mar 11, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT


    Much wailing and gnashing of teeth at Arizona State at the moment over the university’s decision to give their mascot, Sparky, a makeover. The old Sparky is the one on the left here, and the new one unveiled recently by the university is on the right. Sparky’s re-do was performed by Disney, the university saying…

  21. Dennis Rodman, Kim Jong Un get the retro video game treatment (video)

    Mar 8, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

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    The greatest thing about the video below is this: from now on every time someone inputs the words “North Korea” into a search engine, a link to this video will come up. Can world peace be far behind? The folks over at Supreme Comedy created this video game parody, and with lines like “As is…

  22. Ex-New York Knick Renaldo Balkman has epic meltdown during game in Philippines (video)

    Mar 8, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

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    Renaldo Balkman had a six-year career in the NBA with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, but more notable perhaps was his 2005-06 season at the University of South Carolina. That year he led the Gamecocks to two wins over eventual national champion Florida, and was the NIT Tournament MVP. He was also part…

  23. From the deep end: Kazakhstan league soccer match includes this amusing underwater corner kick (video)

    Mar 7, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT

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    Of course this is a tiny inconvenience in the grand scheme of things over in Kazakhstan, which has suffered severe property damage from flooding over the past few months. But this corner kick on a flooded field still amusing — especially when the ref appears to order the player to take the ball back into…

  24. Fans of Israeli soccer team walk out in protest when one of their own players, a Muslim, scores his first goal

    Mar 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mideast Israel Soccer

    It’s hard to imagine a U.S. sports steam being connected to a political party (if you’re a Republican, you must love the Eagles! Democrats get out!), but that’s sometimes the way they roll in other parts of the world. Beitar Jerusalem, an Israeli Premier League soccer team, is strongly identified with the country’s political right.…

  25. Man United fan is sorry he phoned police to complain about Nani red card

    Mar 6, 2013, 6:38 PM EDT

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    So there’s this sport called soccer (soc·cer\noun\ˈsä-kər\), and they have these things called red cards, which are like flagrant fouls for people who play sports with their feet. Manchester United star Nani received one in Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 second match against Real Madrid (seen below). Many thought the red card wasn’t warranted,…