About Last Night: Don’t Mess With ‘The Collector’

In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday.

  • The man who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample last fall said he followed the same protocol he had with hundreds of previous samples. “Okay, I’ll admit it,” he said, grinning, “I took a little sip. But come on, man, it’s Ryan friggin’ Braun! The MVP! You’d have done the same thing.”
  • Along with a broken nose, Kobe Bryant sustained a concussion when Dwyane Wade elbowed him at the All-Star game. Wade sent his apologies, saying, “I never wanted that kind of outcome.” He then took out a crumpled piece of paper labeled “The Kobe Project,” crossed ‘head’ from the top of the list, and stared longingly at the next item, “left kidney.”
  • Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley each scored 27 points as the Timberwolves upset the Clippers 109-97. I can’t think of a joke for this one, so I’ll use the opportunity to put out a crazy Leap Day fact. The idea behind Leap Day is that the rotation around the sun actually takes like 365.25 days (365 days and six hours), so every four years you have to reset by a day to keep things in the proper rotation. But obviously, nothing is ever that precise in nature. The actual rotation time is 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds, apparently. Which means that on every year divisible by 100, like 1900, there is no Leap Day. This makes up for the slight disparity, but it also creates its own tiny disparity. So on years like 2000, which are also evenly divisible by 400, there is a Leap Day. Last neat fact: On Leap Days, the sun is at its absolute hottest in the southern hemisphere. Without fail, temperatures are the highest on Leap Day of any other day in the four-year cycle, sometimes to the tune of 10-15 degrees. Why? Well, the extra day creates a “prolonged winter solstice effect,” essentially meaning the sun has to stay closer to the earth (and thus hotter) for an extra 24 hours in order not to throw off the Gregorian calendar. But the sun isn’t designed to behave like that, so it actually has to come closer to the earth in order to reverse course again. In parts of Australia, particularly Queensland, they even call this “Big Brother Sun Day”‘ because the sun appears so large in the sky that it looks like a big brother smiling down. They have feasts and lawn games, and some workers (in the textile industry, especially) get the day off. We never experience this above the equator because February is always in winter for us, but some people have reported a sort of “chill effect,” where the whole day seems full of shadows and mysterious wind currents.
  • Cody Zeller scored 18 points as no. 20 Indiana ended no. 5 Michigan State’s seven-game streak, winning 70-55. After the game, he and his brother — UNC forward Tyler Zeller — had their usual “carrot chat,” firing up Skype and just talking about girls until each finished an oversized bag of carrots.
  • The NFL has decided to start its season with a Wednesday-night game, rather than Thursday, in deference to a convention speech by President Obama on Thursday, September 6. As part of the deal, Obama will have to mention the Jacksonville Jaguars no less than 30 times and use the phrase “baseball is for sissies” twice.
  • Missouri and Texas A&M will each pay a $12.41 million buyout to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. Luckily, the SEC had a less demanding entry fee, asking each team to hand over its pants, wear a black blindfold, and “just try to relax” for a couple hours.
  • Tiger Woods’ former swing coach Hank Haney said in his new book that Woods’ pursuit of Jack Nicklaus took a mental toll on the golfer. “He almost caught him once at Riviera,” Haney wrote, “but Nicklaus slipped away through a maintenance tunnel that led to a sewage drain. He’s crafty, for an old man, but one day the Tiger will have him in his bloody jaws.”
  • Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine took shots at Derek Jeter and A-Rod yesterday, claiming that retired catcher Jason Varitek “beat up Alex” and that Derek Jeter’s famous backhand flip against Oakland was a misplay. He went on to call Yankee utility infielder Ramiro Pena “a glorified bat boy,” to which Pena responded that he hasn’t been allowed to handle a bat in more than six years.
  • Floyd Mayweather said that fellow boxer Manny Pacquaio is “not the sharpest knife in the drawer” and that if the two ever fight, Pacquiao will not get an even 50-50 split. “I’d think about 60-60,” he said, “or 40-40 if things get tight, but —” Mayweather then paused, perked an ear, and sprinted out of the room to chase a fire truck.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Indiana, Kobe Bryant, Michigan State, Missouri, NFL, Texas A&M, Tiger Woods