Posts Tagged ‘football’

‘Pot Roast’ Fined for Being Overweight


Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton has been fined yet again for missing his team weight markers. Over the course of his playing career he has amassed a staggering $300,000 in fines for weight-related issues.

His current team, the Denver Broncos, is intent on a shake-up. And Knighton is on the list. Team management believe his weight problems are now affecting the success of the side.

“The Broncos will undergo a number of changes in the coming days and weeks. John Elway (the general manager) won’t sit back and chill. He will be aggressive in fixing the team’s problems.

“One of those issues is Knighton.”

Knighton is listed in the players’ report as weighing in at a trim-taut-and terrific 152 kg. But everyone knows that’s not true. It’s more – maybe a lot more.

But after forking out $300,000 it seems obvious that fining him isn’t working. Elway will need a new strategy.

Knighton is arguably one of the nicest and most respected players in the NFL. He laughs about his weight problem and tells how he got the nickname ‘Pot Roast’:

“It was dark on the plane and everyone was sleeping. The stewardess was walking down the aisle saying, ‘Pot roast? Pot roast?’ and I raised my hand, as if that was my name.

The guy sitting behind me, (former teammate) Clint Ingram is probably the biggest comedian I ever played with – he said, ‘I’m going to start calling you Pot Roast.

“I was like ‘Yeah, whatever.’ But it stuck with me.

“I’m just glad I ordered that instead of the shrimp Alfredo. I just thought it was going to be something to laugh about for the week. But five years later we’re still talking about ‘Pot Roast.’”


Coach Henry Bolstered by Return of Douglas

Neil Henry. Image:

2014 NRL whipping boys the Gold Coast Titans have been boosted with the return of Luke Douglas. Douglas had his 215 consecutive match streak ended last year when he was swept up in the ASADA investigation into illegal use of peptides by former Cronulla players.

By admitting their involvement Luke Douglas, Albert Kelly and 17 other past and present Cronulla players received a one-year ban (backdated from August).

The ‘slap-on-the-wrist punishment was roundly condemned by all professional sports people as it effectively meant players played during their ban.

Red faced NRL executive, coaches and players just want the whole affair to die quietly.

Since the Titans didn’t make the finals Douglas and Kelly effectively sat out one month of their twelve month suspension.

But new Titan’s coach Neil Henry is just glad to have him back. After the execution of his predecessor, John Cartwright, Henry is under enormous pressure to deliver results. He is hoping those results come from the new tier of experienced players, like Douglas and Kelly, after the departure of club old timers Luke Bailey, Mark Minichiello and Ashley Harrison.

But one has to wonder what sort of example they set – confessed drug cheats who escaped punishments.

Coach Henry has taken the unusual step of moving one of the fastest men in the NRL, winger Anthony Don, into the centres. He has also begun pre-season training earlier in the year, at a new venue (an all-boys high school), with his own limited experience of the club, its culture and people. In the end he has to gel a rag-tag group of beaten individuals, with little experience of playing together, into a team. And then send them into one of the fiercest competitive environments in Australian professional sports.

Good luck to him.

High School Student at Center of Football World

Wang dalei. Image:

A year 7 high school student from the Gap has become the most sought after person on the internet and idol to billions of Chinese soccer fans.

12 year-old Stephen White was a ball boy at the tense, hard fought Asian Cup match between China and Saudi Arabia at Suncorp on Saturday night. With the scores locked at nil all the Saudi team were given penalty. Just prior to the penalty kick being taken by Neif Hazazi the Chinese goal keeper, Wang Dalei, turned to Stephen, who was standing behind the goal. Dalei and asked the Stephen (himself a budding goalkeeper) which way he should dive to save the goal.

“I was very surprised,” said Stephen to reporters after the game.

“He asked if he should go left or right. I told him left because that’s the way I always go in trying to predict where the ball will go.

“I was really excited when he saved it”

And so was Dalei.

And so were Chinese football fans half a world away.

Dalei warmed the hearts of sports fans all over the world by giving Stephen a thankyou hug after the final whistle. Furthermore Stephen was invited to attend China’s Monday night training session at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre. It is rumoured Dalei may present Stephen with his jersey.

China held on to win the game 1-0 and take a very big step towards securing overall honours.

“I love goalkeeping,” said Stephen, “it runs in my family. Stephen’s brothers Samuel, David and Dominic are also goalkeepers for their respective teams.

Their mother, Suzie, says her boys watch as much football as they can. “They focus on the keepers and everything they do.”

SBW Says Boxing Will Help his Rugby

Sony Bill Williams.

Sporting polymath Sony Bill Williams believes the gruelling boxing training will stand him in good stead for his return to Super Rugby.

Williams describes his six weeks of training as physical and mental torture. On January 31 he’ll see if it was enough as he takes on respected American Chauncy Welliver. The heavyweight clash will be the first Footy Show Fight Night held at Allphones Arena. It promises to be a torrid encounter with both men claiming to be at the peak of their fitness and skills.

But for Williams the clash is just the start.

Only a few days later Williams is expected to be thrown into the crucible – joining his Chiefs teammates for their final test against defending champions the Waratahs.

“I’m excited about potentially playing in that game,” said Williams to the Daily Telegraph.

“My fight will come first though, then I can focus on the match afterwards.

“I’ll had over to New Zealand with the Chiefs in early January and do some training at night with Tony Mundine.

“It’s a big year next season in a rugby sense and I know putting myself through this almost tortuous next six weeks will get me in the best possible condition – not just physically, but also mentally.

“It will be hard work, but it will definitely help me with my rugby too.”

Williams was full of praise for All-Black Dan Carter, who recently signed with French club Racing Metro. Carter signed a three-year deal supposedly worth three million a season.

“He is not just a good rugby player,” said Williams of Carter,, “ but a good bloke (too), and it is good to see him do well for his family.”

Danny Wicks to Make NRL Comeback With Eels

Danny Wicks looks set to make one of the most unlikely sporting comebacks in Australia’s history. The ex-Dragons’ and Knights’ prop will have his contract with the NRL officially registered next month. But he has already been snapped up by the Parramatta Eels in a one-year deal.

What makes this story incredible is that Wicks hasn’t played a first grade game in more than three years – after being jailed for drug trafficking.

In September 2011 Wicks was charged with eight drug-related offences. He pleaded guilty to a further three counts of supplying prohibited substances.

The judge remanded him to a maximum three years jail.

The ban imposed by the NRL ended in September 2014. The Parramatta football club swooped and spent the final months of the year negotiating with Wicks.

He’ll be on a short leash. The club and league have imposed strict conditions, none offering with a second chance.

Steve Gills, Wicks’ manager, told reporters for The Daily Telegraph that Wicks has been training hard since June.

“Danny has been training with the team and was in rehab with a hamstring injury prior to the break, but he is going well.

“He doesn’t have a contract registered with the NRL, but we are hoping to have it sorted in the next two to four weeks, hopefully.”

Wicks has used his time in Glen Innes jail well. He has lost 20kg but added significant muscle to his already gigantic frame. He has trained well, impressing coaching staff and players alike. Best of all, he appears to have lost none of his speed and skills.

Sea Eagles Start Pre-Season with ‘Six Hours of Hell’

Willie Mason. Image:

The Manly sea Eagles have begun pre-season training with what club recruit Willie Mason describes as, “six hours of hell.” The former Test and Origin forward believed the ordeals of the day would work to make the team mentally tougher.

The group of players and trainers faced real and serious threats from hypothermia as they climbed up Mr Kosciuszko in bleak, freezing conditions. But the extreme challenge cultivated resilience, camaraderie and toughness.

“You go on a session like that,” said Mason to the Daily Mail, “and you soon discover it’s no secret why they’ve made the finals for the last 10 years and won four grand finals.

“The success at the club is driven by the players and a great coaching staff, who all did the climb with us.

“A few of the senior blokes said this is the standard and this is our culture.

“They said they wouldn’t be happy if anyone quit.

“The senior players got up at the end and said they would have been pissed off if we didn’t train hard and work as a team.”

And work as a team is what they did when one of the trainers was struck down with hypothermia. The players responded to the situation giving him warm clothing and administering first aid, before helping him down the mountain.

After battling the cold, the mountain, and their physical and mental demons the players returned to base. Upon their return they were given a surprise two-hour fitness session.

“So we had to put the wet gear back on and let’s say the boys weren’t exactly impressed,” said coach Singe with a wry smile.

“It was very quiet at first, but then Matty Ballin and Brett Stewart said ‘let’s go’ and that’s when they all started yahooing and carrying on.

“They had to complete the task, so they ran out there and challenged us saying, ‘what else have you got?’

“So we saw the best of the players. A bit of self-doubt and negative talk; but it was satisfying when they lifted to get home.”

How Players and Their Money are Parted in the NFL

Warren Sapp. Image:

A stunning expose on money and NFL players shows that earning the big bucks doesn’t necessarily mean keeping them.

The book Is There Life After football looks at some of the financial catastrophes to have hit many recent layers.

The average NFL career is only 31/2 years long. Rookies start out earning $400,000 a season, and it just goes up from there.

And while mega starts like Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) bring in a cool $22 million a year, few others reach anything seven close to this.

Many players come from restricted financial backgrounds. So once they’re in the league it’s as though they’ve won the lottery. Before the ink is even dry on the contract they’re out living the dream – and paying for it.

Plus there is an intense pressure to ‘keep up’ with the teammates.

“Around the locker room, players’ cars, clothes, houses and ‘bling’ are constantly scrutinised,’ says the book. ‘If they’re not up to par, they’re ridiculed.”

Roman Oben, a former offensive tackle, is given as an example. He deplored buying and driving fancy cars for their own sake, and so showed up for training in his Toyota Land Cruiser with 68,000 miles on the odometer. He was mercilessly taunted by everyone.

And then there is the guilt pressure put on the high-earning stars by their family and friends. The book is littered with players attempting to help out those closest to them only to find their friend or family member having less idea about how to handle money than they do themselves.

Bernie Kosar, as an example, signed a $6 million contract with the browns in 1985. He attempted to look for an agent to handle his money, but was persuaded to let his father do it. Kosar played and deposited his bonus cheques in the belief his father was paying off his mortgage and bills. He later learned that his own father already had a $1 million contract with the team and that what he thought had been loans to other family members were, as far as they considered them, gifts.

Kosar blew about $15 million.

But worst of all, says the book, are financial advisers (don’t we know it).

“Regulated or not,” says the book, “shady advisers have made quite a mark on the NFL financial scene.

“Before closer scrutiny was instituted, at least 78 players lost more than $42 million between 1999 and 2002 because they trusted money to agent and financial advisers with questionable backgrounds.”

“You think of sharks in the ‘hood, you think of gang bangers and drug dealers You haven’t seen nothing ‘til you step into some of these white-collar criminals,” said one of the authors.

Think of Warren Sapp, during his spectacular career as a line backer he amassed an incredible $82,185,056. And yet he ended up with a bank account showing $826.04. In 2012 he was forced o file for bankruptcy.

Never Ending NRL Season Begins 2015

NRL Club Championship Trophy (left) and Toyota Cup. Image:

2015 looks to be the start of the NRL’s never ending season.

Having no care for possible player burnout the NRL is set to kick off the season two days prior to the Nines, beginning on January 31.

Paul Kind the head of commercial NRL said that “rugby league as a sport delivers a 12-month calendar with better variety than any other code in the country.”

“You look at the Nines – we follow that up with the All Stars two weeks later, a World Club Challenge series in the UK, into a 30-week premiership, and Origin (series) which includes going to the MCG.

“So no other sport can offer that sort of variety.”

Kind said all 15 NRL teams are behind the Nines.

“If you go back 12 months, if anyone doubted the success of this competition it was going to be around the way the clubs and players embraced it.

“From what we saw in Auckland, apart from capacity crowds and wonderful atmosphere, was the way the clubs supported the concept.

“We love this event. We think it’s got huge potential to get even bigger.”

One wonders if sides will need two or three teams to rotate mid-season so as to avoid player burn out?

Watts Calls Gallen a Malingerer Before their Fight

Anthony Watts isn’t having any of Paul Gallen’s excuses ahead of their much anticipated boxing match. Last Tuesday Shark’s captain Gallen admitted himself to hospital for an infection in his groin.

Watts doesn’t believe him. He says Gallen is creating an excuse not to fight him, or to explain the loss if he does.

“I think it’s just an excuse for when I flog him,” Watts told the media.

“There’s a big chance – huge chance (I will knock him out).

“I’ll come out pretty strong. I’m not going to give too much away, but it’s going to be a war.”

Gallen has said he is prepared to fight regardless of the infection.

“It’s not ideal,” he said, “but once I go in there, there’s no excuses.

“I’m fine, I trained yesterday and I will train today and I’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.”

Watts recently had syringes found at his home. He has a history associated with illegal drugs. Gallen is a confessed drug cheat. It’s likely someone is getting knocked out.

FIFA Woes Continue

Jerome Valcke. Image:

Secretary general of FIFA Jerome Valcke has called the current disarray of his organisation, in the wake of the ethics report into bribery and corruption, “sad.”

“It’s sad for FIFA definitely and it’s sad for our reputation and for the image. It’s sad for commercial partners, it’s sad for all the people who are supporting football.”

The secretary general assured the world that neither of the major sponsors, Sony or Emirate

s airline, were considering withdrawing their support.

“Both Sony and Emirates have nothing to do with the situation we are facing these last day,: said Valcke.

The report into corruption in the bidding process was compiled by prosecutor Michael Garcia. It has found widespread and systemic failures in the football governing body. Despite this governors within FIFA are adamant the report must not be released to the public. The reason for the secrecy was to “mainly to protect 75 persons who have made a deposition and were given confidentiality.” One of whom was Valcke himself.

Investigator and author of the report Michael Garcia has recently objected to the way ethics judge Joachim Eckert has used and interpreted his work. He has appealed to FIFA  (the defendant!) citing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of his work.

Secretary General Valcke could only shake his head and admit it will take years for FIFA to rebuild its reputation. “I know that football is still a very strong product and I am not really concerned with FIFA’s finances for the future … We are doing a great job.”

Qatar stadium. Image:

Qatar stadium. Image: