Our (Late Afternoon) Daily Dread: If only he could have taken 140 words to write this column about the Twittersphere

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By Tim Dahlberg
The Associated Press

Perhaps the best thing about Twitter is that it forces people to get to the point, in 140 characters or less.

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Not that it matters much for most athletes, who rarely have thoughts that run that long anyway.

They get paid to play, not to tell us how to eliminate hunger or explain black holes in the universe (Phil Mickelson excepted, of course).

Take Allen Iverson,for instance. He didn’t come close to using up his Twitter allotment to show off his new character in Memphis.

“I want to help them develop a winner,” Iverson tweeted after signing with the Grizzlies.

Pretty innocuous stuff, the kind that in previous times would be handled in a team statement or e-mail.

But these are new times, and this is new technology. No longer must athletes risk having their words muddled by the media.

It’s a perfect tool for Terrell Owens and the attention hounds that populate sports, even if they don’t have anything to say.

Better yet, they can only misquote themselves, as T.O. so famously did in his own autobiography.

He did the other day after former Patriot Rodney Harrison called him a “clown” and T.O. fired off a barrage of tweets in response.

Most had to do with Harrison being suspended in 2007 for using steroids, which Owens finally conceded wasn’t exactly correct.

“My bad Rodney! I hv been corrected by ur supporters, u used HGH nt steroids! So, every1 go ahead & use HGH!!”

Before Twittersphere thoughts appeared and disappeared within seconds, those kind of things could lead to defamation lawsuits.

But while there’s a new world order out there, there’s no new sheriff in town.

That scares coaches, and it terrifies teams. Secrets are being spilled, and control freaks are losing control.

The food in San Diego is slop. The fans in Washington are dim wits. Coaches have no clue, and talking heads on TV are worse.

(By the way, have you noticed every thought in this column is 140 characters or less?)

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‘It’s like when a midget stands next to a smart car … You ain’t tall, midget, you just clever’


Laughing German Midget – Watch more Funny Videos

That’s the line of the week from the first “Saturday Night Live” Thursday “Weekend Update” edition, when Bill Hader did his scary interpretation of politico James Carville.

The real Carville, appearing on CBS College Sports Network’s Tony Barnhart show today, had this to say when asked if he favored a playoff system instead of the current polls leading into a BCS title game:

“Of course I’m a playoff guy. If you want to know just how stupid this whole system is, the Coaches Poll has Penn State ranked above Iowa. This is the beautiful one, they have Cal ranked higher then Oregon. Last week they had BYU ranked higher then Florida State. How can anyone with a straight face defend the poll? Oregon beat Cal 42-3. I think I know who the better football team is…They have got to turn this thing around. And they can do it within the existing bowl structure.

“If it was up to me, every team would play nothing but conference games, and then have the conference champions tee it up and have all the bowl games be intersectional games…

“This system is no good. I pull against it every time. I hope there are three undefeated teams in the country, and I hope it’s just a big mess. That’s the one thing I pull for more than anything in college football, that the BCS just turns into a big, rotten mess.”

Maybe we can mute this and just put in those quote above as subtitles:

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What else do you need to know about how the LFL runs its business?

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From a post on SportsByBrooks over the weekend (linked here):

An upcoming game between the Chicago Bliss and the New York Majesty has been “postponed” for six weeks because of “issues with New York’s facility.”

The Majesty was to play their games at the Nassau Coliseum — yes, indoors — which is the home of the New York Islanders.

Speculates Brooks:

“My guess is so few tickets were sold that putting on the game would’ve been a complete embarrassment. And that (LFL founder Mitch) Mortaza finally got the hottie girlfriend outta all this that he dreamed of.”

As far as we can tell, your Los Angeles Temptations still plan to play their home opener at the L.A. Sports Arena on the day after Thanksgiving (linked here) and January 29 (linked here).

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Your NFL Week 4 TV schedule: Don’t Favre this thing up too much

How many commercials for Sears will you see this week, versus what ESPN will do to promote its next Monday night football game? Can’t they just combine the two somehow?

Brett Favre, hot off his miracle pass gamewinner in last Sunday’s Vikings’ home win against the 49ers, have his old team, the Green Bay Packers, visiting the Metrodome. It won’t be as caustic as Week 8 — a 1 p.m. local kickoff at Lambeau Field, which Fox has and likely won’t give up.

But assume the worst and hope for the best.

The punch to the gut as far as L.A. football care about: CBS has only one window this weekend, and has picked a less attractive meeting in the AM instead of the star-studded contest in the PM that would feature Mark Sanchez’s visit to New Orleans to face Reggie Bush’s team.

Register your complaints early and it could be changed…

SUNDAY:

== 10 a.m., Channel 2: Baltimore at New England (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, instead of Tennessee-Jacksonville, Oakland-Houston or Cincinnati-Cleveland in this window).

== 10 a.m., Channel 11: N.Y. Giants at Kansas City (with Kenny Albert, Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa, instead of Detroit-Chicago or Tampa Bay-Washington)

== 1 p.m., Channel 11: Dallas at Denver (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, instead of St. Louis-San Francisco; CBS also has N.Y. Jets-New Orleans and Buffalo-Miami in this window)

== 5:15 p.m., Channel 4: San Diego at Pittsburgh (with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Andrea Kremer)

MONDAY

== 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Green Bay at Minnesota (with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski)

Bye week: Atlanta, St. Louis, Carolina and Philadelphia.

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Anything on there that might explain how can’t-miss Miss Missouri showed up on anyone’s phone records?

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The Associated Press

The University of Missouri athletics department is changing its procedures for clearing out old merchandise after selling a box of formerly-used cell phones that included text messages and contact numbers.

After someone named Mike Bellman paid $190 for 25 phones, he found out they included text messages to and from basketball coach Mike Anderson, football coach Gary Pinkel and Athletics Director Mike Alden. E-mails and contact numbers were also on the phones.

The university offered to buy them back, but Bellman said he hoped to sell them to a sports collector. Bellman did not immediately return calls and e-mails from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Athletics department spokesman Chad Moller said all information will now be wiped out of phones before they are discarded.

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Don’t let this go to your heads, UofHouston fans … Tweet back if you detemine a ransom figure that can also be quantified in kegs

It was crazy enough seeing the Tennessee Titans wearing Houston Oilers’ blue helmets with white oil derricks on the sides, until this …

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The Associated Press

University of Houston coach Kevin Sumlin is missing three helmets that were swiped during the on-field celebration following this weekend’s 29-28 win over Texas Tech.

The helmets remained missing Tuesday despite Sumlin’s plea via Twitter a day before:
“Saturday night was fun, but it will be hard for 3 of our guys to play this week without their helmets. Please return, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.”

The coach of the 12th-ranked Cougars remains optimistic that the helmets will be found before Saturday’s game at UTEP.

If they aren’t, what happens?

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Your L.A. Week 5 of college football TV in L.A.: Sorry, Berkeley, you left the dog in the car and forgot to roll down the windows

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ESPN’s “College GameDay” was all set to bring its outdoor set to the Bay Area, in celebration of the USC-Cal contest this Saturday.

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Then … well … it sobered up late Sunday after the tailgate party.

Especially after Cal forgot to put the nozzle back into the gas pump, pulled away from the station, and had a trail of combustable fluid behind them, going up in flames during a ridiculous loss at Oregon.

With a one-loss Trojans, coming off a less-than-impressive win over Washington State, facing a one-loss Bears, it wasn’t No. 3 vs. No. 5 as it could have been two weeks ago.

The repercussions came fast and furious on Monday AM.

Instead, ESPN goes to Chestnut Hill, Mass., prior to unranked Florida State’s game against unranked Boston College — a game that West Coast viewers won’t even see (because it’s up against UCLA-Stanford, and ESPN already has Penn State-Illinois locked into that window). Nor will the game that most of the nation sees in the prime-time spot — Oklahoma-Miami (with Musburger and Herbie) — go to the Western region, because of USC-Cal.

Kirk Herbstreit’s appearance Saturday AM in Boston, then flying south to Miami to call the game at night, is off the West Coast radar. Sorry, guy.

There is speculation that the reason ESPN has picked Boston is to do a story on Mark Herzlich, the star BC linebacker and 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year who was diagnosed with cancer this past March.

And if you’re looking for perhaps the hottest team in the country — Alabama — it’s stuck on the SEC Network (sponsored by … ABC? CBS?) against Kentucky. If you can find this game on your TV listings, let us know.

You interested in Arkansas-Pine Bluff this week? That, we can find.

The rest of the weekend:

THE LOCALS:

== 12:30 p.m., Ch. 7: UCLA at Stanford (with Dave Lamont and David Norrie)
== 5 p.m., Ch. 7: USC at Cal (with Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham)

WEDNESDAY

== 5 p.m., ESPN2: Hawaii at Louisiana Tech (with Rece Davis, Mark May and Lou Holtz)

THURSDAY

== 4:30 p.m., ESPN: Colorado at West Virginia (with Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews
== 4:30 p.m., ESPNU: Alcorn State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (with Charlie Neal and Jay Walker)
== 5 p.m., CBS College Sports: Southern Miss at UAB (with Dave Ryan and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila)

FRIDAY

== 5 p.m., ESPNU: Pittsburgh at Louisville (with Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore)
== 6 p.m., MNT: Utah State at BYU (with Bill Doleman, Blaine Fowler and Toby Christensen)

SATURDAY

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== 7 to 9 a.m., ESPN: “College GameDay” from Chestnut Hill, Ma., site of Florida State at Boston College (with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard).

== 9 a.m., ESPN: Wisconsin at Minnesota (with Dave Pasch, Chris Spielman and Bob Griese)
== 9 a.m., ESPN2: Arkansas State at Iowa (with Pam Ward and Ray Bentley)
== 9 a.m., ESPNU: Clemson at Maryland (with Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante)
== 9 a.m., CBS College Sports: East Carolina at Marshall (with Tom Hart and Aaron Taylor)
== 9 a.m., ESPN360.com: Virginia Tech at Duke (with Dave Weekley and Danny Kanell)
== 9 a.m., Big Ten Network: Michigan at Michigan State (with Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin and Charissa Thompson (or Northwestern at Purdue with Ari Wolfe and Anthony Herron)
== 10 a.m., ESPN360.com: Cincinnati at Miami, Ohio (with Jim Barbar and Robert Chmiel)

== 12:30 p.m., Ch. 2: LSU at Georgia (with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson)
== 12:30 p.m., Ch. 4: Washington at Notre Dame (with Tom Hammond and Pat Haden)
== 12:30 p.m., ESPN PPV: Florida State at Boston College (with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Holly Rowe)
== 12:30 p.m., ESPN: Penn State at Illinois (with Mike Patrick, Craig James and Heather Cox)
== 12:30 p.m., ESPNU: N.C. State at Wake Forest (with Todd Harris and Charles Arbuckle)
== 12:30 p.m., FSN West: New Mexico at Texas Tech (with Bill Land, Gary Reasons and Emily Jones)
== 12:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Air Force at Navy (with Craig Bolerjack and Randy Cross)

== 4 p.m., Versus: Oregon State at Arizona State (with Ron Thulin, Kelly Stouffer and Lewis Johnson)
== 4 p.m., ESPNU: Mississippi at Vanderbilt (with Eric Collins, having no more Dodger games to do, and Brock Huard)
== 4 p.m., ESPN Classic: South Carolina State at South Carolina (with Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese)
== 4 p.m., Big Ten Network: Ohio State at Indiana (with Craig Coshun, Glen Mason and Rebecca Haarlow)
== 4:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Tulsa at Rice (with Jason Knapp and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila)
== 4:30 p.m., ESPN2: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas in Dallas (with Mark Jones and Bob Davie)
== 4:45 p.m., ESPN: Auburn at Tennessee (with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews)
== 5 p.m., MTN: SMU at TCU (with James Bates, Todd Christensen)
== 5 p.m., ESPN PPV: Oklahoma at Miami (with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters)
== 7:30 p.m., ESPNU: Colorado State at Idaho (with Carter Blackburn and Jon Berger)

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Get caught tweetin’, you be sittin’, Clown-man

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The Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — David Clowney might think twice before tweeting from now on.

The New York Jets’ speedy wide receiver was benched by an angry coach Rex Ryan for the team’s game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday after Clowney complained on Twitter about a lack of playing time.

“I was upset with him, yep,” Ryan said Monday. “For a couple of reasons. One of them is you’ll hear things if a guy’s unhappy or whatever. I’m not a big Twitter guy, but you hear different things. To me, this is about our team and understanding this is about our team. No individual is bigger than the team.”

A few hours after the Jets beat New England 16-9 last Sunday, Clowney tweeted: “1 play in the 1st Half, 4 plays in the 2nd half … A bit disappointed about my playing time but very happy and satisfied about the win.”

Clowney added in a subsequent tweet that, “My team always comes first so I’ma just keep grinding.”

Ryan got wind of Clowney’s gripe and called him into his office early last week and told him he would be inactive against the Titans.

“If I feel a guy is not putting the team first,” Ryan said, “I’ll make that decision to put the guy down.”

He said he wanted to see how Clowney responded, and was satisfied with the receiver’s effort. So much so, in fact, Ryan said he would probably give Clowney the team’s practice player of the week award.

“It could be a misunderstanding between David and I, but nobody’s a bigger fan of David Clowney than I am, yet, if I sense that with anybody, then that will be the case,” Ryan said. “It’s not head games or anything else. It’s just the way I feel. I could be wrong on that, but he responded the way I wanted him to respond.

Clowney, coming off a second straight impressive preseason, has no catches during the regular season. He wasn’t in the locker room Monday during media availability, but tweeted: “In the bed … Doc sent me home as soon as I walked thru the facility doors … Bout to take a mean nap.”

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Our Daily Dread: E! it up — When do we get to see Khlo-L.O. nups?

Not an episode (above) of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” But don’t you think it oughta be?

Sooner than later, Khloe Kardashian’s private wedding Sunday in Beverly Hills to the Lakers’ Lamar Odom is not only supposed to be a storyline on the E! Show, according to People magazine (linked here). But this rush to the altar, some imply, was done because of a shove from the show’s producers behind paying for it to happen ASAP.

“They want to create some drama for the cameras,” some of those awesome “sources” told the awesome news resource. “Meetings and decisions are being delayed to the last minute.”

TMZ reported that the couple “must get married on Sunday because one of the Kardashian reality shows is footing the $1 million bill for the wedding … but the deal is that the wedding must be shot (this past) Sunday.”

The TMZ report also said the couple had both “lawyered up” for a pre-nup, and if it had not been done before the wedding “it could be a non-binding ceremony.”

The Associated Press report of the wedding included that Kardashian, 25, was walked down the aisle by her stepfather, Bruce Jenner. The wedding was attended by numerous stars, including the bride’s sister Kim.

“Tonight was one of the best nights of my life! Khloe & Lamar’s wedding was a night to remember!” Kim wrote on Twitter.

The Lakers open training camp Tuesday.

Next question: Is friggin’ potty-mouthed Jenny Slate hitched?

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Play it forward: Sept. 28-Oct. 4 on your sports TV calendar

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TODAY

Twenty was the magic number in Pittsburgh last week — as in, the G-20 summit that finally got out of town, with the dogged Dodgers right behind ‘em, trying to figure out much magic is left in the tank. So, with the last week of the regular season here, if the Dodgers win 20 in a row, they’re world champs, right? The Angels need the Texas Rangers to take a detour about 20 miles north to avoid finding Anaheim and get stuck in line at a downtown L.A. Pinkberry’s so they can wrap up the AL West uncontested and then plot their own demise against the Boston Red Sox starting next week. Or something like that.
MLB: Dodgers at Pittsburgh, 9:35 a.m., Prime Ticket; Angels vs. Texas, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSN West (also Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m.)

Another look at the Big Ol’ Headache that Jerry Jones has built for himself in Dallasville. Good luck trying to fill it every night and get a return on that investment. Panthers fans don’t travel well. Would you consider a daily rodeo/gun show?
NFL: Carolina at Dallas, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

TUESDAY

It’s a classic battle of the defensive-minded Fever against the feverish shoot-it-n-run Mercury. The Fever, they’re from Indiana. The Mercury, from Phoenix, just eliminated the L.A. team. Now you’re up to speed. Best of three, by the way, so make it count.
WNBA Finals Game 1: Indiana at Phoenix (Game 2 is Friday; Game 3 if necessary is Sunday)

This is the night that another celeb is eliminated from the soon dying “Dancing With the Stars.” Ashley Hamilton (who?) and Macy Gray are already gone; sporties like Chuck Liddell, Michael Irvin, Natalie Coughlin and former SI cover girl Kathy Ireland are still in the mix. The Padres, they were eliminated from the NL West race in July.
MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7 p.m., Prime Ticket (also Wednesday, 7 p.m.).

WEDNESDAY

On last week’s season premiere of “Gary Unmarried,” Jay Mohr’s character . . . named, uh, Gary . . . decides he has “a dream” to become a radio sports-talk host, so he calls a friend at a Saugus station and hijinx ensure. Now, he’s ready to make a demo tape. Soon, he may be subbing for Jim Rome. Wait, that’s really happened.
“Gary Unmarried,” Channel 2, 8:30 p.m.

THURSDAY

Now that all the craziness is over in resolving the PGA Tour championship — Phil wins the battle, Tiger wins the war and all the FedEx gift certificates — we can get down to serious business of Crenshaw, Mize, Zoeller . . . put the walkers down, you’re up.
Golf: The Senior Players Championship in Baltimore, first round, 10 a.m., Golf Channel (rounds two, three and four also on Golf Channel and NBC)

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FRIDAY

By this time, the Dodgers and Rockies could get a waiver to use American League rules — let Jim Thome and Jason Giambi be the designated swingers, to get more ABs in their designated, glorified roles before the playoffs. Spoiler alert: This will not be a preview of the NLCS.
MLB: Dodgers vs. Colorado, Dodger Stadium, Prime Ticket, 7 p.m. (also Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.)

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SATURDAY

The last time both USC and UCLA fans met together in the Bay Area for a roadie had to be the late ’60s, for a student protest. (OK, for the record, it was just three years ago, when USC played at Stanford and UCLA was at Cal … but before that, never).
Now, we see how Barkley reacts to Berkeley, and how lucky the 3-0 Bruins’ defense feels against a Cardinal QB named Lucky after a bye week.
College football: UCLA at Stanford, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7; USC at Cal, 5 p.m., Channel 7.

Another season, another chance to see how loyal Kings fans are in these tough economic times.
NHL: Kings vs. Phoenix, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSN West

SUNDAY

The Chargers’ Darren Sproles didn’t seem to be feeling the aftershock of that Ray Lewis hit from more than a week ago as San Diego fileted the Dolphins on Mission Bay on Sunday. But will Spoles curb his enthusiasm that Troy Polamalu is still resting up after his Game 1 mishap.
NFL: San Diego at Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4

Surely, CBS will send this one back to L.A. — Mark Sanchez against Reggie Bush.
NFL: N.Y. Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Channel 2

The Sprint Cup championship detours to Kansas before chasing its chassis to Fontana the week after.
NASCAR Price Chopper 400, 10 a.m., Channel 7.

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