Phil Kessel is riding high. As the Olympics approach, the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring leader and curious former Gopher has six goals in his last seven games, including two Tuesday night in a 5-2 win over Colorado. Even more astonishingly, for a player who doesn't talk much to the media, so much so he's been called "possibly the most media-averse athlete in pro sports," he's earning high praise.
The National Post called him a leader, albeit an atypical one providing it "where it matters: the scoresheet."
The CBC? Kessel has "a definite jump in his step in recent games that has helped his team turn things around after the team fell out of a playoff position."
TSN? "His elevated performance has lifted the Leafs from the stench of a four-game losing skid into their longest win streak of the season."
And his skills aren't limited to the ice: Kessel recently finished second in a charity poker event where he dusted some of the world's best, donated his $15,000 prize to SickKids Foundation and threw in another $15,000.
Right now, we don't know much more than what's in his Twitter feed, but it sounds like one of our favorite former Twins, Lew Ford, has a very, uhhhh, Lewfordian experience after arriving in the Dominican Republic to play for Licey.
Thanks! Just got to DR. playing for Licey in the Finals vs Escogido.— Lew ford (@Captainlew20) January 21, 2014
It gets better
For the #twins fans out there. Former teammate Jose Offerman is now my manager.— Lew ford (@Captainlew20) January 21, 2014
Then it gets worse
My first day in the DR ended in a rush to the ER from the game. Allergic reaction swelled my eyes shut and throat closed.im ok now thank god— Lew ford (@Captainlew20) January 21, 2014
And it appears to end well.
I want to thank everyone at licey baseball club for helping me last night, going above and beyond.Thanks Gladys for everything. Thank god— Lew ford (@Captainlew20) January 21, 2014
Let's hope for more details from Lew, who was known as something of a character during his time with the Twins -- and we mean that in the best way possible. He was a big-scorer in high school on his SATs and was a computer guy before many of his teammates knew what fun could be had on the Internet.
And then there's the iron story. Here's the USA Today version from 2004.
An extra outfielder should be on the Twins short-term fix list for 2014. If Jason Kubel can compete for the spot, why not Lew Ford?
We're in the camp here that too much has been made of the Richard Sherman-Michael Crabtree dust-up at the end of Sunday's NFC title game. Crabtree said things that weren't flattering before the game, Sherman makes big late-game play and approaches Crabtree after doing so. Sherman goes all WWF on Erin Andrews during the post-game interview.
Been there, seen that. Most of us have, anyway.
But the Seattle Times has a backstory nugget that's impossible not to share. According to Sherman's camp, the issues between the men started last summer at a charity event hosted by Larry Fitzgerald Jr., the Arizona wide receiver and former football star at The Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield.
That's what Sherman's brother says.
According to columnist Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times: " Both attended Arizona star receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity event. While there, Sherman went to shake Crabtree’s hand, and Crabtree tried to start a fight, according to Sherman’s older brother, Branton. 'I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,' Richard Sherman vowed that day."
We're guessing "that day" was in April, when Fitzgerald was host to his third annual celebrity softball game in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sherman was among those advertised as playing and Crabtree posted a photo from the event on his Facebook page.
You can read Brewer's entire column here.
And if you've managed not to see Sherman's diatribe, here it is:
Chris Coleman, the mayor of St. Paul, took to Twitter on Wednesday night after watching video featuring new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. He made a comparison that wasn't exactly flattering.
Am I the only one reminded of Les Steckel when I see film of the new Vikings coach?— Chris Coleman (@mayorcoleman) January 16, 2014
For those who need a history lesson, Steckel was named coach of the Vikings 30 years ago, after Bud Grant retired, and lasted only one season. His team went 3-13.
Here's a Sports Illustrated story from that season that should help explain the mayor's tweet.
It's pretty cool to be Easton Gamoke right now. Easton, 13, is an eighth-grader who plays traveling basketball for the Winona YMCA Runnin' Rebels.
On Sunday afternoon, Easton's team was playing in a tournament in Holmen, Wis. The score was tied, the clock was running out and the Winona Middle School student had the ball.
Here's what he did:
(Good thing the coach ignored the parental plea for a time out, don't you think?)
Pretty cool? It gets cooler.
A TV news crew showed up on Monday to capture the buzz.
Here's what happened:
Here's the full report from Fox 9:
Now you go try that.
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