Headline Four Square: Sports Edition

With a small wrinkle to the traditional "Power Rankings" structure of most top story rundowns, we at Blursto are mixing things up.

Instead of ranking stories from 1-5, we've thrown them all together into the arena and let them duke it out. Introducing Headline Four Square.

Every week we'll look at the top stories in the world of sports (or music, television, etc. if it's a particularly slow news week) and see who comes out on top and who's running for the hills.

Four Square is, as I'm sure many of you remember, the insanely fun playground game consisting of (you guessed it) four squares. The squares range from King to Dunce, with the top story wearing the crown for the week while all others wallow in self-pity.

Let's play.

King: Bobby Petrino

Caught red handed. Or red faced. Whatever.

Bobby lands in the top spot for what should be the last time in his career, or at least what's left of it. The ex-Arkansas football coach had led his team to a probable top five preseason ranking and put them firmly in national title contention.

Then, he wrecked his motorcycle, and likely his career. Shortly after the crash, word of Petrino's affair with a 25 year-old Arkansas employee (and former volleyball player) Jessica Dorrell was made public. Dorrell was involved in the crash, though she somehow walked away unscathed (physically, at least).

Petrino's days continue to get darker. After being fired as head football coach (tends to happen when you lie about an affair to your employers), reports examining his phone records have now been released, documenting over 4,300 text messages and 300 phone calls to Dorrell. Whoosh.

So long, Bobby Petrino. Hopefully in five years you can coach some Division II school in rural Oklahoma or something. Enjoy your rapid descent into insignificance.

Queen: Dwyane Wade

This jersey is tax deductible, right?

After watching the firestorm created by his comments about players deserving compensation for participating in the Olympics, D-Wade has quickly changed his tune.

Wade's initial comments actually made a little bit of sense: NBA players (especially of his caliber) are playing upwards of 100 games a season if you include the playoffs. Adding a summer of playing at the highest possible level for your country only adds to the overall grind of pro basketball.

This is especially problematic this season, with the lockout-shortened season leading to a more condensed, intense NBA schedule. With fewer days to rest, the Olympics may seem extra daunting to top-flight NBA talent.

His argument makes sense, until, you know, you realize what he's talking about.

This is Olympic basketball. As a member of the Redeem Team, Wade should realize the importance of putting on the USA jersey and representing his country. In a perfect world, that should be all the compensation he needs.

Wade's backtracking is no surprise. In post-9/11 America, dissing a national team is a big time no-no. Glad to see his PR team kindly reminded him of this fact.

Jack: Lamar Odom

"I heard you took my locker AND my bedroom at the Kardashian house."

Normally Lamar would have a lock on the Dunce spot (if only for his proximity to the Kardashian family), but you'll have to wait to see who beat him out this week.

Still, things have certainly been better for the former Laker (and now former Maverick). Let go after a disappointing stint in Dallas, Odom now has Mavericks management desperately trying to burn off his jerseys before they're completely worthless (note: they probably already were).

After months of reports of habitual tardiness, an overall lack of energy (just above zombie-levels) and a frozen facial expression that looked like someone had just killed his dog, Lamar is finally freed from the shackles Dirk and the Mavs had him in.

The best part? The Mavs pulled the trigger just in time for E! to put together some great episodes of Khloe & Lamar for May sweeps!

In all likelihood, Odom will sign with another team looking for a playoff run (and probably one on the coast, as Odom, like Aquaman, appears to only be able to perform when near the ocean), but here's hoping he focuses on reality TV full-time!


Dunces: Jalen Rose & Skip Bayless

Yeah, I've got nothing.

ESPN's First Take is a staple of the unwatchable seven-hour block that airs between new episodes of SportsCenter, possibly being the most unwatchable program of them all.

Unlikeable personalities like Skip Bayless and Jalen Rose discuss the same six topics the network has kicked around for the previous 10 hours, poking at the carcasses of various news stories like a particularly slow buzzard.

Still, occasionally the show surprises everyone and cranks out a can't-miss moment.

This was BY FAR their best show yet. If you haven't seen the video
(linked above), Rose calls out Bayless for his high school basketball prowess (or lack thereof) during a tangent stemming from a Russell Westbrook discussion.

Rose's words are harsh, though no harsher than anything Bayless himself has said about any number of athletes. Still, it's jarring to see co-hosts go after each other like that. Jarring and totally fucking awesome.

This is the first time I've ever cared enough about First Take to write about it. Hell, it's the first time I've ever thought about when not surfing through channels trying to find something else to watch.

While the personal attacks come as a surprise, they shouldn't. That's all that show is, and it's about time they started pointing their vitriol toward each other.

Forget about talking sports, just talk shit about each other! For a show that had no redeeming qualities, they may have just stumbled on a goldmine.

It's more enjoyable for viewers, and probably more enjoyable for them, so why not just roll with it? If we're lucky, maybe they'll fight on the air like Jim Rome and Jim Everett. If they did, they may lock up the Dunce spot indefinitely.

-Matthew Ludtke

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5GQLPVOGs0&feature=endscreen&NR=1

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