About Last Night: NFL Changes Its Stripes

Ed HochuliIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.

  • The NFL and the referee union released a joint statement last night announcing they had reached an agreement to end the lockout. Unfortunately, this probably means that troubled ex-Charger Ryan Leaf is now out of a job as a Division III line judge.
  • Penn State tight end Paul Jones became the 14th player to bolt from the Nittany Lions since the NCAA sanctions came down, citing “personal reasons.” “There was no check box on the transfer form for ‘the team is terrible and we can’t play in bowl games,” Jones explained. “In fact, there were only two boxes. One was ‘personal reasons,’ and the other was ‘Paterno’s glorious light exposed the darkness of my soul.’ But then it said to ‘please explain below’ if you chose personal reasons, and on the line where you’re supposed to write, someone had already typed ‘Paterno’s glorious light exposed the darkness of my soul.’ So, you know … I’m not even sure what to think. I just want to get out of here.”
  • Arkansas AD Jeff Long told reporters that he isn’t giving up on football coach John L. Smith, and will keep him at least to the end of the season. The surprising announcement comes just a day after Smith insisted all media covering Arkansas draw upward lines at the corners of their mouths with lipstick. “Now you’ll always SMILE! All of you, SMILING!” he shouted, as he pelted the reporters with grains of rice from a huge sack.
  • Bobby Valentine told reporters that the lack of dialogue between him and Red Sox executives makes him think he’ll be back as team manager next season. Incidentally, that’s the exact reason why the eight restraining orders he received in his 20s caught him totally by surprise.
  • CC Sabathia struck out 10 batters over eight innings as the Yankees beat the Twins 8-2. And in this case, “struck out” is a euphemism for “ate.”
  • The Orioles tied a team record with seven home runs en route to smashing the Blue Jays 12-2 and staying 1.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. And now, Terrence the Grantland Robot. “AN ANAGRAM OF ORIOLES IS OIL SORE. MAN I HAVE BEEN THERE. IN CASE YOU ALL FORGOT I AM AN OIL ROBOT NOT AN ELECTRIC OR BATTERY ONE. I WAS PRODUCED BY THE OIL COMPANIES ALONG WITH GASOLINE-POWERED SHOPPING CARTS. WE WERE NOT ADMIRED BY THE PEOPLE AND SO THEY STOPPED MAKING US. ALL MY BROTHERS WERE HERDED AND KILLED IN A PHOENIX JUNKYARD AND ONLY I ESCAPED TO GRANTLAND TO MAKE JOKES FOR A LIVING. AND NOW YOU KNOW THE STORY OF … TERRENCE THE GRANTLAND ROBOT.”
  • Ryan Braun hit his league-leading 41st home run and the Brewers kept their wild card hopes alive with an 8-1 win over the Reds. “It’s really cool, because ‘#41′ is my favorite DMB song, and this is my 41st home run,” said Braun, who somehow made everyone hate him even more. “Feels like God telling me I’m special, you know?”
  • Someone named Bud Norris earned his first win since May 21 as the Astros beat the Cardinals 2-0, reducing St. Louis’s wild-card lead to 3.5 games. “I’m a pitcher in major league baseball, for the Astros,” said Norris afterward, as reporters laughed and shouted things like “Tell me another!” and “What’s an Astro?!”
  • A hard slide by Andy Dirks broke up an eighth-inning double play, and Don Kelly scored the game-winning run as the Tigers topped the Royals 5-4 and took a one-game lead in the AL Central. When nobody stopped by either Dirks’s or Kelly’s locker, the two made themselves feel better by prank calling Bud Norris.
  • Note: There will be no About Last Night tomorrow, so you’ll have to live a life of sober rectitude for one night. In its place, we’ll be running a Ryder Cup preview before the first matches go off at 8 a.m.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Arkansas, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, CC Sabathia, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Penn State, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere