About Last Night: Johnny Football Sort of Takes a Seat

In case you were too gobsmacked by stories about the side effects of PCP abuse, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • On the eve of the college football season, the NCAA investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reached its conclusion, with Manziel receiving a 30-minute suspension for signing autographs that were later sold for profit after the NCAA could not prove he was compensated for the autographs he signed. God, I can’t … I just can’t … moving on …
  • Venus Williams was ousted from the U.S. Open in the second round, falling to China’s Zheng Jie, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5). After the match, Williams … I’m sorry … Thirty minutes? A 30-minute suspension? What the hell is that? Does that please anyone other than worshipers of the macabre? What the fuck? Seriously? Seriously … OK, I’ll be cool … After the match, Williams, a two-time winner of the … What the hell does he do during the first half? Can he be on the bench? Does he have to sit awkwardly in the locker room alone? Can he spend that time signing autographs? What kind of message is this sending? And what of the poor schmucks at Rice who have to plan both for a Manziel-led A&M and a completely different looking offense in the first half? Only the NCAA could punish Manziel in a way that negatively affects the Owls of Rice. I’m sorry, back to tennis. After the match, Williams, a two-time winner of the event, said, “I just can’t fucking believe they’d suspend Manziel for 30 minutes. That’s goddamn insane. The crime he committed was preposterously innocuous in the first place, and the fact that he committed it was preposterously stupid. Only the NCAA could end up with a punishment that could match his actions in preposterousness, stupidity, and innocuousness. Also, I’m retiring from competitive tennis because why even do sports at this point. Also, think of the implications with regard to the coin flip. Think of the implications! This is so fucking stupid.” Um … that’s what Venus Williams said … after being eliminated from the U.S. Open … just … trust me … moving on …
  • Adam Wainwright, in an uncharacteristically poor performance, gave up nine runs in two innings of work, as his St. Louis Cardinals dropped a key divisional matchup to the Cincinnati Reds, 10-0. Wainwright, who had gone at least seven innings in each of his last seven starts, said of this one, “Eh, sometimes you want to kick off early, pop open a bottle of grigio, and catch up on some So You Think You Can Dance. Really just take a me day.” When asked if he regretted choosing a day when he was in line to start to take a me day, Wainwright responded by extolling the virtues of the massaging foot bath his wife bought him as a half-birthday present.
  • Marlon Byrd opened his Pittsburgh career by blasting a three-run home run in the Pirates’ 7-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The journeyman outfielder was ecstatic with his performance, saying, “It’s such a relief to get off on the right foot. I’ve gone through a bunch of clubhouses and it’s always like, ‘Is this guy a fish? Or a bird? Can he just not spell?’ And an outing like this one let’s everyone on the team know that I’m a human being with a major league–caliber skill set.” Byrd then shook his head and added, “David Wright still thinks I’m a flying fish.”
  • Brandon Moss hit two home runs and drove in six runs as the Oakland A’s poured on the offense in a 14-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. “Is that what it’s like to play against me?” Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera asked of Moss’s output after the loss. “Man, that sucks. No wonder no one likes me.” Cabrera then resolved to stop embarrassing the league with his hitting exploits, or, failing that, to put a little more of himself out there in his Cabrera Family Holiday Newsletter that he distributes every December to anyone willing to give him their mailing address.
  • Scottish champions Celtic FC rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Kazakh champions Shakhter Karagandy 3-2 on aggregate to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. The game was as notable for Celtic’s spirited rally as it was for Shakhter Karagandy’s prematch threat of a traditional sheep sacrifice. However, the sacrifice didn’t happen and Shakhter Karagandy lost in heartbreaking fashion, leading one to the natural conclusion that the secret to success in European soccer is sheep sacrifice.
  • Chris Johnson’s single made the Braves a walk-off winner, as Atlanta beat the Cleveland Indians, 3-2, at Turner Field. The victory clinched a series win for Atlanta in the bitter “Thank God the Redskins Exist, So Fewer People Complain About Our Offensive Mascot” rivalry.
  • Yasiel Puig was benched by Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly after failing to break up a double play, but the Dodgers still handled the Chicago Cubs, 4-0, behind the strength of a Ricky Nolasco gem. “It seems a little unfair,” Puig said of his benching after the game. “First they want me to stop throwing my body around, now they bench me when I avoid contact. But I get it, and I’ll learn. What I really want to talk about is Johnny Manziel. What is that shit? Thirty minutes? It’s just so arbitrary and inconsistent. Why have rules if their enforcement will be haphazard? And for getting paid to sign autographs? The NCAA is out of its mind.” Puig then remembered he wouldn’t know that much about the NCAA, and added in character with his personal history, “Um, I mean, American football is strange to me.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A's, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas A&M, U.S. Open

spikeheadshot

Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

Archive @ SpikeFriedman