Feb 22, 2004

Man charged in attack on Orlando Magic Mascot

A man who attacked the Orlando Magic mascot "Stuff the Magic Dragon", was charged Saturday with battery, disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.

"Stuff was nearly snuffed," Orlando police Lt. John O'Grady said.

Feb 20, 2004

Buffalo Sabres to honour Tim Horton night

The Buffalo Sabres will honour Tim Horton at their tonight vs. Tampa Bay. Horton died on February 21, 1974. Horton spent his last two seasons with the Sabres.
His retired No. 2 has been painted into the ice behind each net. Two dasherboards will display his name. A photo from his final game will be unveiled on the 100 level concourse. Video presentations will be shown on the JumboTron.

Free timbits for all the fans, perhaps?
Source: Buffalo News

Feb 18, 2004

Phanatic's head recovered

The Phillie Phanatic's head was turned in yesterday to a Philadelphia radio station.

An Allentown-area man, inspired by radio personality Howard Stern's offer of a $5,000 reward, yesterday called WYSP-FM (94.1) midday DJ Tommy Conwell and said he had found the head. The man promised to bring it to WYSP studios on Independence Mall.
"The Phanatic is very relieved," said his best friend, Tom Burgoyne, in a statement released by the Phillies. "He's been overwhelmed by the support of the fans. He would like me to thank all the Phillies fans, WYSP and the Philadelphia Police Department."

The head was stolen earlier this month when the Phanatic was attending a charity event.

Feb 14, 2004

The Grey Album

Producer/DJ Danger Mouse recently released a remix project called "The Grey Album". He takes the vocals from Jay-Z's (or Jay-Zed's, as we say in Canada) Black Album, dropping it over samples from the Beatles The White Album.

Jay-Z is apparantly okay with it -- he released a vocal-only version of his album, specifically so that dj's could remix and create. But EMI, who controls the Beatles sound recordings, issued a cease-and-desist order. (via BoingBoing)

Stupid move by EMI. Danger Mouse only pressed 3,000 copies -- so this wasn't so much commercial as it is artistic. And now the album is more coveted than ever. You can't find the album for sale any more, but it lives on online. Two sites for downloading this gem: on Illegal Art and here.

(I'm trying to confirm this irony -- I'm sure I saw the Grey Album advertised in a recent product catalogue from EMI Music Canada...)

Feb 12, 2004

Reward offered for Philly Phanatic's head

The head of the Philly Phanatic costume was stolen last Friday.
The Phanatic's dome vanished during the team's "Final Pieces" charity sale and auction of mementos from Veterans Stadium. Tom Burgoyne, the man in the fur, placed the head in a dressing room during a break, then realized it was gone when returning 45 minutes later. Security videotape reportedly offered no clues for police.

A Philadelphia newspaper is offering a reward for its safe return.

Feb 9, 2004

Bob Ryan: Entertaiment hijacks sport

Bob Ryan, a columnist in the Boston Globe, recently wrote a column about how entertainment was taking over sport. (Not that this is a new phenom -- sports entertainment has been around for a while.) He received over 300 responses, most of them agreeing with him. Some samples:

"Made me think of Bruins and Celtics breaks in the '40s and '50s when I would read a paper, study a program, or talk about the game during intermission. I won't go with today's flow."

"I was at a Bruins game at the Fleet last year when there was an apparent `Jumbotron malfunction' for a period or so. The crowd came alive with that thing shut down. I'll admit it; it reminded me of days of old in the Garden, and it was great."

"Everything is choreographed, nothing spontaneous. Every time there is a timeout, some fool runs onto the court. It's like a three-ring circus."

"I won't even attend hockey or basketball games anymore . . . They're nothing more than rock concerts with athletic intermissions."

"Can you imagine John Kiley playing any other song than `Hallelujah Chorus' as Carlton Fisk ran those bases in Game 6? I shudder to think what the DJs who seem to select music at today's ventures would have chosen: `Who let the Dogs Out,' or some similar inane offering."

"The Jumbotron is just for exhibitionists. Eventually, women will strip on it and men will reveal themselves."

(Update Feb. 16: Jon Cudo writes a good response defending entertainment in sports on GameOps.com.)

ESPN: "Our guide to better hockey"

ESPN's Page 2 offers some suggestion to improve the NHL. Among the suggestions:
9. Settle overtime ties with Zamboni races
6. No carpets for award presentations
5. National Anthem medley

Feb 6, 2004

Philadelphia Wings host "Love Stinks" night

The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League are hosting a "Love Stinks" as a Valentine's Day promotion, focusing on the negative aspect of the occasion.
In addition to the game against the Arizona Sting, the Wings will feature testimonials from jilted lovers and the world's worst sappy movie moments on the jumbotron. There's also a heartbreak pinata "that fans can try and break while venting their romantic frustrations" and a divorce lawyer available for consultations. The team is even distributing black carnations to the first 5,000 women in attendance at the game.

Source: Toronto Star

Feb 5, 2004

Oops: Washington Post forgets to renew their domain

The Washington Post's e-mail system went down today, apparantly because someone forgot to renew the washpost.com domain name, which is used for staff e-mails. (Update Feb. 16: It wasn't the washingtonpost.com domain, as was originally reported. Both domains are now paid up until 2009.)
Staffers said the crash–which came as deadline approached–sent the news desks into a tizzy. It was especially hard on Style, Metro, and National desks, which rely on E-mail reporting, and the photo department, which receives digital pictures from photographers via email.

Checking domain expiry dates is item #1 on Pop Interactive's very useful Annual Website Maintenance Checklist:

1. Review Your Domain Name Record
2. Check Website Email Addresses
3. Update Your Confirmation and Automated Messages
4. Test Your Forms
5. Validate Your Links
6. Check Your Site's Search Feature
7. Check Your File Sizes and Download Times
8. Review Your Stylesheets, Standards, Accessibility
and Compatibility
9. Update Your Time References and Copyright
10. Check Your Search Engine Visibility
10.5 Assess Your Site's Content & Features

Feb 3, 2004

The Scoreboard Laws

Eight rules for video scoreboard operators, from scoreboard guru Paul Shubin:

  1. When your team is losing, everything on
    the scoreboard is unacceptable.
  2. A commercial of 15 seconds duration
    takes longer than 15 seconds to produce.
  3. Agencies only deliver their material on
    the day of the game.
  4. The more bulbs there are in a scoreboard,
    the faster you will spot the one that is
    burnt out.
  5. The only time a game goes to triple
    overtime is on the evening you’ve
    scheduled a special outing.
  6. The more outrageous the activity, the
    more cameras there were that failed to
    capture it.
  7. The crazy fan who’s dancing like a fool
    will stop as soon as you put him on camera.
  8. The better the replay, the more likely you
    can’t show it.