In case you were busy taking out an insurance policy on your body because you don’t trust Lane Kiffin, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday:
- Overcoming an extended fourth-quarter lightning delay, South Carolina easily defeated North Carolina 27-10 in the first big game of the college football season. When asked if he thought the weather was some sort of sign or omen, an irritated North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora replied, “I don’t know, I just lost a football game, OK? I didn’t cause the weather; in fact, I hate rain. It’s not like I wear a fedora around. Like people who do that. I’m not the affront to God, OK? Those are the real monsters out there, pretending to be old-timey newspaper men. Leave me alone.”
- Rafa Nadal’s 2013 unbeaten run on hard courts continued with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 win over Rogerio Dutra Silva. When asked what was fueling his run on the surface, Nadal said, “I was supping upon dinner back in May, as I’m wont to do when I’m hungry come evening time, and I asked myself, ‘What is this bowl made out of?’ And then I said, ‘Clay.’ And then I said, ‘But it’s hard.’ And then I said, ‘Yes, Rafa, sometimes clay is hard.’ And that’s when everything changed for me.”
- Towson University of the FCS got the program’s first win over a BCS opponent, beating Connecticut 33-18 in East Hartford. “Martha, sweetie, did you see that the football team fell to Towson?” asked Blair Whitson, Connecticut alumnus and noted philanthropist. But his wife didn’t respond. She was staring at the plant hanging over the sink. Why did she buy it? What sort of constructed life was she living? Why bring the illusion of nature into a home with such an unnatural relationship? Had she ever loved Blair? She remembered a time, back when she was at Connecticut College and he was at the University; they had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance. He was so dashing, unpolished even. He kept talking about his art, his music. He had charmed her so. That was a half dozen lifetimes ago. Now, they had fallen into disarray like a BCS football program trying to recruit after losing to its opener to Towson. “Martha? Do you even know where Towson is?” Blair asked, breaking his wife’s reverie. She steeled herself. “Delaware? No? I wouldn’t know. More tea?”
- The NFL settled a class-action lawsuit related to concussions, reaching an agreement through which the league will pay $765 million, most of which will be used to compensate former players. The best news related to this settlement is that it will once and for all resolve the issue of concussions in football. Yup. Once and for all. We did it! No more problems with concussions in football now. Nope. None at all. Good job, everybody! U-S-A! U-S-A!
- Torii Hunter’s three-run walk-off blast gave the Detroit Tigers a 7-6 comeback win over the Oakland A’s. After the game, Hunter said to press at his locker, “There’s no ‘I’ in team, but there are two ‘I’s’ in Torii, so know that I’ll be watching you.” When asked what he’d be watching for, Hunter replied, “the most dangerous game.” When asked if he was referring to man, Hunter replied, “Lord no, football.”
- Chris Tillman outdueled Jon Lester as the Baltimore Orioles earned a much-needed series win over the Boston Red Sox with a 3-2 victory. The Orioles now sit only 3½ games out of the final AL playoff spot or, as manager Buck Showalter, who was nursing a couple fingers of whiskey at a saloon called Randy Jack’s after the game, called it, “the sort of gap we just barely won’t make up. Then they’ll can me, bring in someone else, then all of a sudden you’ve got a contender on your hand. Like ol’ Buck had nothing to do with it. But I did. I have my grubby paws all over this bunch of orange birds. And don’t you forget it.” Showalter then asked the barkeep to “keep ’em coming, till you gotta throw me out of here. Then all of a sudden you’ve got a less awkward bar on your hands. Like ol’ Buck had nothing to do with it. But I did. I have my grubby paws all over how awkward this bar is.”
- Tim Tebow played the entire second half of the Patriots’ final preseason game, throwing two touchdowns as New England beat the New York Giants 28-20. After the game, Tebow approached Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in his office. “Welcome, young Timothy,” Belichick said as he beckoned Tebow into his office. “I have been expecting you. I’m looking forward to completing your training. Soon you will call me master.” The pious Tebow calmly shook his head and responded, “You’re gravely mistaken. You won’t convert me.” Belichick laughed a cruel laugh and said, “Oh no, my young tight end. You will find that it is you who are mistaken. About a great many things. Everything that has transpired has done so, according to my design. Your friends on the Jets will be destroyed. As will my former tight ends. It was I who allowed their respective demises. Oh, I’m afraid that the position will be quite in need of filling when the roster is trimmed to 53 men.” Tebow stood his ground, “I will not fight you. Never. I’ll never turn to the Patriot Way. You have failed, Your Highness. I am a Quarterback, like my father wanted me to be.” Belichick then raised his hands toward Tebow and said menacingly, “If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed!” before handing him a form that was already filled out, allowing for his unconditional release.