1). Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne is hoping to take action against those who threw objects onto the court during Tuesday night’s game against Kentucky. In a letter released by the athletic department, Byrne says:
The post-game events, in which some of our fans threw items on the playing floor, were totally unacceptable. It is our goal – one of our five defining principles as an athletic department – that we will act in a first-class manner as we compete for championships. We will never truly be considered winners – or champions – no matter the outcome of a game, if we do not act with class and integrity.
No matter what transpires on the court or the field, there is never justification for fans throwing debris, or acting in any other similar way, to demonstrate displeasure. It puts everyone in jeopardy of injury, and is just not the spirit of intercollegiate athletics. Thus, I am asking anyone who saw an individual throw debris on the court to come forward. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is our intent to always act with class.
Our lack of sportsmanship started earlier in the week when some of our fans gained access to a Kentucky basketball player’s cell phone number. According to the player, some of our folks bombarded his cell phone with calls and text messages, some of which may have been highly objectionable. We have asked University of Kentucky officials to provide us with the phone numbers associated with any objectionable messages.
In both cases, we will do our best to track down those individuals responsible and take appropriate disciplinary measures, which could include denial of future ticket privileges.
2). Hold the phone. I almost saw some criticism of NASCAR from ESPN today over the pothole that made a debacle of the Daytona 500. That’s right. A pothole delays your Super Bowl for two hours, it’s a debacle, no matter how many ESPN pundits keep telling us it was “the best Daytona 500 in years.” And there were plenty telling us that. Said ESPN.com’s Ed Hinton: “All this bright hope, out of the gate of the 2010 season, was dampened in the minds of fans by one lousy pothole — one that was the fault of neither NASCAR nor the speedway. It really wasn’t. The hole likely was gouged out by the cars themselves.” Stupid cars. It was a perfectly good race until they came along. Anyway, here’s the latest from ESPN.com’s Terry Blount who asks whether the pothole could have been avoided with a firm “Yes and no.” [Blount Notebook]
3). In other news, the Women’s Downhill competition at the Winter Olympic Games was halted for two hours today when some kids broke onto the course, built a snowman in the middle of it, then sneaked off to watch the snowboarders skid out of the way. Officials in Canada have attacked the snowman with cans of Bondo. No, seriously, the downhill was delayed, but now is on. Quick, turn on the TV! You might miss some breathless commentary on Linds3y Vonn! [New York Times]
4). Figure skating fans, listen up. The best live blog on the event is taking place over at The New York Times (yes, I know, I’m plugging them like I’m after a job there, but everyone knows there are no jobs in this business). Juliet Macur and Jere Longman will be commenting from Vancouver on the men’s long program Thursday night, when we find out if Johnny Weir attempts a quad to put himself into the medal hunt, or if animal rights activists succeed in throwing a live fox onto the ice during his routine. [Times live blog]
5). I’ll be at U of L-Notre Dame tonight, taking in some Freedom Hall atmosphere. With just three games remaining in The Hall, it’s been something of a struggle to put some perspective on the place, especially given that the C-J is putting together a fantastic tribute to the place, including some good columns submitted from great writers of the paper’s past. Enjoy these next few games, Cardinal fans. For any who don’t already, you can follow my live thoughts on the game on Twitter @ericcrawford, or get immediate links to blogs and columns through facebook at www.facebook.com/egcrawford