In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Blake Griffin tore his meniscus at a Team USA scrimmage and will miss the Olympic Games in London. Which is particularly sad when you consider that, aside from Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Christopher Paul, James Harden, and maybe, maybe Tyson Chandler, he had the team’s most British name.
- The Dominican national basketball team, coached by popular American personality John Calipari, lost to the United States 59-113, in part because of poor performances from stars Al Horford and Francisco Garcia. The team’s zone defense was not as airtight as it had been in previous Olympic qualifiers, and Calipari’s unwillingness to switch defensive schemes will surely escalate the debate about whether the country should look in a new direction for 2016 (though in the beleaguered coach’s defense, the game would have been much closer if not for Edgar Sosa’s leg injury, which sidelined him in the first quarter). Having failed to qualify for the Games following a loss to Nigeria earlier this week, it’s four more years of wait-and-see for Dominican basketball.
- An internal report conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh concluded that Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials covered up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky since 1998. In an interview on ESPN, Jay Paterno said that if his father were still alive, he would say “to continue to pursue the truth.” “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” said O.J. Simpson, listening to a stolen radio in a Nevada prison. “That is my line, brother. That is O.J.’s line.”
- A source reports that Magic GM Rob Hennigan made an over-the-phone plea to Dwight Howard to give the Magic one last chance, but that Howard refused to change his stance. However, the enigmatic Howard did play “Yankee Doodle Dandy” on his keypad by punching 4-4-5-6-4-6-5-4-4-5-6-4-1-4-4-5-6-9-8-7-4-1-1-4-7-*-*, a move that Hennigan took as a positive sign.
- Stephen Strasburg, the D.C. fireballer playing with a team-imposed 160-inning limit to help him recover from Tommy John surgery, told the MLB Network that the Nationals would have to “rip the ball” out of his hands if they made the playoffs. “And I already glued the damn thing, so good friggin’ luck,” said Strasburg, laughing defiantly. “Talk about a palm ball, am I right? But hey, seriously, I think I’m in real trouble with this glue.”
- Republicans and Democrats in Congress complained yesterday that the uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes are made in China, at a time when U.S. workers struggle to find jobs. “We would love to have our clothing made in the States,” said a USOC spokesman, “but let’s face it — kids here are really lazy.”
- Pierre Rolland won Stage 11 of the Tour de France, while overall leader Bradley Wiggins increased his lead on defending champion Cadel Evans. Meanwhile, famous cycling maverick Guillaume L’Coueur discovered that he could not, in fact, nullify the mountainous terrain by turning his bike backward, thereby making everything downhill.
- Linebacker Reuben Foster, the no. 2 high school recruit in the country, changed his commitment from Alabama to Auburn by unveiling the Tigers shirt his daughter was wearing in an announcement at his school cafeteria. “Wait … does that say Tigers?” asked excited Princeton president Shirley Tilghman, watching the live stream from her office. “Does that girl’s shirt say Tigers?!”
- In WNBA action, the Minnesota Lynx defeated the Tulsa Shock 89-74, led by Maya Moore’s 28 points and 11 boards. “I seriously don’t mean to be a dick,” said Grantland writer Shane Ryan, who would like it noted that he also takes shots at the NHL, an all-male league, “but baseball resumes tonight. I just wanted everyone to know that. Baseball. Tonight.”