Today in sports: Money destroys another beloved college sports tradition, Minnesota is finally going to vote on that Vikings stadium business, and Albert Pujols is still homerless and no-hitter-less.
The Minnesota Legislature will finally vote Monday on the Minnesota Vikings stadium plan that's been kicking around since the first term of the Clinton administration. The vote was scheduled after Republican legislators dropped a vague, last-minute alternative to the plan being pushed by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. For unclear and probably hilarious, the GOP plan would have required a roof on the stadium. Dayton -- channelling the Golden Age of Warner Bros. animation -- dismissed the plan as a "hare-brained scheme." [Star-Tribune]
Albert Pujols still hasn't hit a home run since joining the Los Angeles Angels, a slump that looks increasingly dire with each passing ineffectual plate appearance. Angels ace Jered Weaver added insult to injury last night by throwing a no-hitter, opening the floodgate for sports talk radio hosts to note -- and note and note and note, until it ceases to be true -- that Albert Pujols has one fewer home run this year than Jered Weaver does no-hitters. [AP]
The practice of a prominent free agent or highly-touted rookie trying to cajole a new teammate into giving up his preferred jersey number is always good for agreeable ridiculousness, particularly when it leads to a breach of contract complaint or the returning player refusing to give or sell the new guy his number. Sometimes it is just a negotiating tactic, but that doesn't seem to be the case in Buffalo, where veteran Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay is refusing to give his no. 90 to prize free agent Mario Williams, because it's been his number for nine years and he likes it. It's unclear what offer, if any, Williams has made Kelsay (Eli Manning got no. 10 as a rookie by paying for Giants punter Jeff Feagles' family vacation in Florida. Two years later, Feagles traded no. 17 to Plaxico Burress for a new outdoor kitchen at his house in Arizona, a kitchen Feagles alleges never got built) but Kelsay told the Buffalo News the same thing he says he told Williams. That's he just "not interested" in a jersey pay off. The Bills wanted to have Williams apparel in stores by now, but they haven't been able to, because of the number uncertainty. It's reached the point where management is apparently going to just "assign a number to Williams very soon," a great way to end the honeymoon period with the biggest star to willingly join the Bills this millenium. [Buffalo News]
The Universities of Kentucky and Indiana won't square off in an exciting and tradition-rich regular season basketball game anytime soon. The two schools have played every year since 1969, but now the series is kaput, because Kentucky wanted the game to be played at neutral sites (which tend to be cavernous, uncollege-seeming, and stocked with private boxes and other revenue sources) while Indiana wanted to keep the home-and-home format. IU even apparently turned down an offer to play at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, prompting Kentucky coach John Calipari to declare: "We were willing to play them both in the state of Indiana and they said no to that. That means they don't want to play us." At which point the search for the perfect John Calipari epitaph was called off forever. [ESPN]
Michael Jordan's last few months have been less than exceptional. First his Charlotte Bobcats finished the shortened NBA season with the worst winning percentage in league history, despite his best efforts as owner and general (mis)manager. Now, allegedly, there's a lien against the $20 million house he's building in Jupiter, Florida. Apparently "Dallas-based Southwest Progressive Enterprise, which specializes in fancy stone-wall finishes, claims [Jordan] has yet to come up with $81,000 to settle the $202,600-contract" and they've taken the matter up with the Palm Beach County Clerk's office. [Gossip Extra via USA Today]
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