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Things that make you go hmmm ...

Over the past year at The Cavalier Daily, I have had the opportunity to cover and write about some of the more exciting sports events at the University. I've also had the opportunity to report on some sporting events that made me lose a lot of respect for specific athletes, schools or sports. But as my sportswriting career comes to a close today, I realized I haven't had the chance to talk about some of the more ridiculous sports events that occurred during my term.So, in a very fitting way to finish my sportswriting career, I've come up with the top five sports-related stories that have made me go "Hmmmm."

5. Lose your shoes, lose your spot on the team

Dennis Rodman always has confused me. But last April, he baffled more than usual. On a Thursday morning in mid-April, Rodman showed up late to Lakers practice and told coach Kurt Rambis he had lost his shoes and socks. Rambis sent Rodman home and said not to come back.

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    Maybe Rodman couldn't find his shoes or socks. But if you're that big of a basketball star and you have that much money, you ought to be able to afford an extra pair of shoes. And if Rodman isn't capable of finding his shoes within an hour or so, he might want to think about investing in a slightly smaller house.

    4. Espen the kid

    Former Duke guard Bobby Hurley has a daughter named Cameron, after the famed Duke basketball arena. I thought this was pretty strange. But after hearing this bit of news last week, I'll stop picking on little Cameron Hurley and focus my child-naming frustrations on Espen Allen Blondeel. Espen's father, Chad, picked the name while watching SportsCenter and Espen's grandmother calls him "Espy," which is almost worse than Espen, if you think about it.

    I'm all for creativity and names that mean something, but come on. They named their child after a television network. Did anyone think about how much this child is going to be made fun of?

    3. So saying "I do" means I'm really married?

    San Diego Padre outfielder Al Martin, who was arrested with "wife" Shawn Haggerty-Martin March 20 for a fight, appears to be in a very strange situation.

    That the two were engaged in a violent dispute is problematic in itself. That Martin is also married to another woman adds to the dilemma. But Martin's comments after Haggerty-Martin told police she was his wife made me laugh.

    According to newspaper reports, Martin told police that though Haggerty-Martin was not his wife, she was his girlfriend. And even though they participated in a wedding ceremony in Las Vegas a couple years ago, he didn't think it was real.

    News flash Al: If you say "I do," it's a fair indication that you're married. Just something to think about.

    2. Drop the Chalupa

    I probably should start by saying the whole Taco Bell chalupa ad campaign was the most annoying marketing ploy in a long time. What made it more irritating was that every major sports publication decided to repeat "Drop the Chalupa" over and over again just so they could talk about former Kansas State football player Dion Rayford.

    The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end made news by trying to crawl through a tiny Taco Bell drive-through window very late at night in November. Why? Rayford was certain he had been shortchanged a chalupa.

    He received only a year of probation, which makes sense considering the crime. But it makes me wonder what was going through his head. Does a chalupa really taste that good?

    1. Say you're sorry, DAMMIT!

    Last Friday, New York Knicks forward Marcus Camby was handed court papers informing him of the defamation suit Raptors coach Butch Carter had filed against him.

    I read the headline about the $5 million defamation suit and thought immediately that Camby must have done something very wrong. As I looked deeper, however, I discovered the suit was over Camby calling his former coach "a liar."

    Does this seem at all extreme to anyone else?

    Being called a liar surely isn't so damaging that Carter deserves $5 million. And Carter said Sunday he'd drop the suit if Camby said he was sorry. As it turned out, Carter dropped the suit yesterday even though Camby never apologized. I wonder if it had anything to do with the suit being completely frivolous.

    Give me a break, Coach Carter. You're not four years old anymore.

    I've been very proud of my role at The Cavalier Daily during the past two years, and I'm sad to see it all come to a close. I never will get to cover another Virginia sport, but at least I know there still will be very strange sports stories out there to keep me amused.


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