In case you were busy explaining why your “flu-like symptoms” aren’t just a cover for a two-day New Year’s Eve hangover, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- 17 year NFL veteran Ray Lewis announced that he’ll retire at the end of the postseason. Lewis explained, “This will give me time to dedicate myself to the one thing I haven’t accomplished after all these years: terrifying the other kind of football players.” He then cracked his knuckles and recited Landon Donovan’s home address and Social Security number from memory.
- The Louisville Cardinals pulled the biggest upset in BCS history, topping the Florida Gators, 33-23, in the Sugar Bowl. Unwilling to abide another SEC team losing in a marquee bowl matchup, Alabama head coach Nick Saban decided to take matters into his own hands, staging a “Sugar Bowl” at his house in which he ate all of his children’s candy while they watched. Saban won, 63-0, but suffered a minor intestinal injury and is listed as probable for Monday’s BCS Championship Game.
- The Los Angeles Clippers lost their second game in a row after a perfect December, falling 115-94 to the Golden State Warriors. Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro praised his team after the defeat: “After a tough month, it’s nice to see us get back to Clippers basketball. Sloppy turnovers, blown transition D, poor shooting from the field. This is just a great example of my boys playing for the name on the front of the jersey.” Del Negro then tripped leaving the stage and hit his head on a podium.
- LeBron James scored 32 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 119-109 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks. By including this game, their two wins against the Mavericks last season, and their December 20 victory, Pat Riley declared his Heat the true winners of the best-of-11 2011 NBA Finals by a 6-4 margin.
- The Brooklyn Nets topped the Oklahoma City Thunder, 110-93, as Kevin Durant received his first career ejection. After the game, Thunder coach Scott Brooks pulled Durant into his office to explain that ejections are a natural part of getting older and having new feelings, lots of guys get them, and they’re nothing to be ashamed about.
- In college basketball action, top ranked Duke held off Davidson, 67-50. It was the first time these two prestigious universities in North Carolina had competed since Charlotte native and academic standout Cooper “Chance” Tolliver III decided where to apply Early Decision last November. It was a tough choice, since his father, Cooper Jr., had attended Duke, and his mother had hoped Chance would stay closer to home and enjoy the smaller classes and connection with his professors that a Davidson education would provide. In the end, both Duke and Davidson lost that battle as Chance wound up going to Vanderbilt after a lovely on-campus visit, but the whole Tolliver family learned a valuable lesson about compromise.
- Jim Boeheim got his 903rd win, passing Bobby Knight to become the second winningest coach in college basketball history, as the Syracuse Orange took down Rutgers, 78-53. When told about the accomplishment, Boeheim responded, “I have the second most wins ever? That doesn’t sound right at all.” When shown a printed list of the names of the coaches directly below him by a student assistant, Boeheim accused the student of “pranking ol’ Jim,” and was not convinced his accomplishment was legitimate until he saw it printed in the Syracuse Post-Standard this morning.
- Queens Park Rangers scored the upset of the Premier League season thus far with a 1-0 win over crosstown rival Chelsea. Struggling Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who spurned a number of potential goal scoring opportunities, blamed his wastefulness on being menaced by “some terrifying American man wearing a purple shirt, tight pants, and black paint under his eyes.” Scotland Yard has no suspects as of yet, though they hope to bring Prince in for questioning the next time he’s seen in London.
- The San Francisco 49ers signed former Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff to compete with their current kicker, David Akers, before their upcoming NFC Divisional playoff game. With this move, Jim Harbaugh is showing early commitment to keeping his 2013 New Year’s Resolution: play more unnecessary mind games with his players.