Category Archives: Pop Culture

Gym. coach’s complaints cost team state title


We’re not in the habit of discussing high school sports, but this grabbed our attention.  This looks like one of the worst calls I’ve heard about since the Ed Hochuli call gave the Broncos a win over the Chargers in ’08.  We know nothing about gymnastics, but talking to the refs does not seem like an offense that should cost you a win.  The Shawnee Mission Northwest athletic director Richard Grinage said it was like arguing balls and strikes, but umpires do not take runs off the board in baseball.

Tom Bergeron
Rivals High Senior Editor

Some times it’s better to just keep your mouth shut.Shawnee Mission (Kan.) Northwest High lost its state gymnastics title last weekend because its coach couldn’t do just that.

The Railer gymnastics team celebrates its team title.

Jackie Cipollini asked officials inappropriate questions about the scoring of the balance beam – a violation that resulted in a one-point penalty that dropped her school from first to third in the competition.

“Our coach made an inquiry and it ended up being an issue that’s not allowed to be inquired about,” Shawnee Mission Northwest athletic director Richard Grinage said. “It clearly states what you can appeal and her conversation with the judge was about issues you are not allowed to inquire about.”

Grinage would not say what Cipollini asked about, only saying, “It was a non-appealable, game-played judgment. It would be similar to a called ball or strike.”

While such a ruling rarely takes place in gymnastics, Grinage said it was like a technical foul called on a basketball coach costing a team a title.

Grinage said it’s a tough situation.

“It is the rule,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s bad for the coach, the girls, the school – everyone involved. No one wants to see a state championship settled in this way.”

The ruling marks the second time a school lost a title because of a rules infraction that had nothing to do with the outcome of the actual sporting event.

Earlier this fall, a Maryland cross-country team was denied a championship because one of its runners had improper stitching on an undergarment.

Cipollini was not available to comment but had harsh words for the decision when it was made.

“The Shawnee Mission Northwest Cougars gymnasts showed their strength, their pride and their confidence. They were the team to beat,” Cipollini told The Kansas City Star. “People in the stands stood and watched. We were the strongest team and had the highest score with 103.9 points, but, because of a ruling that has never been enforced in 30 years; we got a 102.9 and were third place.”

Becky Oakes, the assistant director at the National Federation for State High Associations, could not comment specifically on the Kansas situation, but did address why the rule is there.

“It’s for the flow of the sport itself,” she said. “To allow a coach to always question an official could really interrupt the flow of events for the athletes and the competition.”

Oakes understands there is a subjective nature to gymnastics judging. And for that reason, there are procedures in place to question the application of rules. Oakes, however, said procedure must be followed.

“There is a portion of the rules that addresses the process,” she said.

Grinage is sad about the outcome but happy about the way his team reacted this week when it was told the Kansas High School Activities Association decided the decision was not appealable and therefore stood.

“We’re proud of the way the girls performed and how the handled themselves throughout the process,” he said. “Their maturity level was so impressive to me. They weren’t happy about it, but they were willing to accept it.”

If you’d like to contact the “entity” in charge of the rules.

National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690 • Indianapolis, IN 46206 • PHONE: 317.972.6900 • FAX: 317.822.5700

Fran Tarkenton Tells Favre to Piss Up a Rope!


If ESPN or anyone starts talking about Brett Favre, we change the channel. Period.
This is the 3rd freaking year we have to deal with ESPN’s love affair with Brett Favre’s retirement plan.
The funny thing is, I doubt anyone in America cares about Brett Favre and his retirement psych out routine that is in its 3rd season. Now things are getting unruly! Fran Tarkenton recently had the following to say on 790 the Zone in Atlanta.

Fran was asked about the whole Brett Favre retirement, un-retirement:

“I think it’s despicable. What he put the Packers through last year was not good. Here’s an organization that was loyal to him for 17, 18 years, provided stability of organization, provided players. It just wasn’t about Brett Favre. In this day and time, we have glorified the Brett Favre’s of the world so much, they think it’s about them. He goes to New York and bombs. He’s 39 years old. How would you like Ray Nitschke in his last year (playing for) the Vikings, or I retire, and go play for the Packers. I kind of hope it happens, so he can fail.”

On what more he feels the Packers could have done as an organization during the break-up with Favre:

“They did everything, but you get into a position, and I understand he’s been glorified so much. He’s been a great player, there’s no question about it, but it’s all about him. It is supposed to be all about your team. If you’re going to be the quarterback of your team, you need to be there in the off season workouts in March and April. Peyton Manning’s there. Tom Brady’s there.”

Fran’s take on what he sees out of Favre’s quarterback abilities or lack there of:

“I think he has been a great flamboyant quarterback, but he has made more stupid plays than any great quarterback that I’ve ever seen. Look at his final game in a Packers uniform. He blew that game against the Giants. He’s playing against Eli Manning, I love Eli Manning, but he’s still not a great quarterback. He’s not Peyton yet, or Tom Brady. He’s just a guy. And they’re (Packers) are playing at home, and they’re in a tight situation, they went to overtime and he (Favre) throws the interception that allows them (the Giants) to come back and win the game. He has done that and driven his coaches crazy all of his career.”

We grew up watching Favre since his rookie year when he led the league in interceptions. We watched him during his MVP super bowl season. Now we would like to watch him retire!


$5 Footlongs & Steroids


What do $5 footlongs and steroids in baseball have in common?  We all know they are there and we do not want to hear about them anymore!  Much like the annoying jingle that Subway has come up with, baseball has a similar jingle.

Sing it with me: “Basebaaaallllll, Basebaaaallllllll & Sterooooooooiiiiiids, we found another player who played basebaaaaalllllll and did Sterooooooooiiiiiids.”

America’s pastime has become a joke.  Everyone knows players did steroids and everyone knows that we would like to move on.  Let us usher in a new era of baseball and Subway commercials that are not so annoying.

Here’s to one day of talk radio without a reference to AROID or steroids in baseball!

The Bleacher Bums on XX


Click Here to Sign The Petition To Remove The Bleacher Bums From XX1090

The Bleacher Bums can now be heard on XX1090 from 3:PM-7:PM even though you will probably be unable to handle them for more than five minutes.  The last thing San Diego radio needed was more east coast biased personalities who don’t understand San Diego or San Diegans.  These two have no understanding of our history, frustrations, and expectations.  I doubt they understand why we stand by our players like Trevor Hoffman and Ladanian Tomlinson and despise management for even thinking about moving them.

We are the fifth all time losingest city in America, we have jettisoned all-stars for beans over the past thirty years, we had the all time biggest bust for a #1 draft pick in the history of the NFL, and our local baseball franchise just got done with a fire sale four years after this city spent $458,000,000 on building it a new ballpark.  Is it too much to ask for a knowledgeable radio host who knows a little something about San Diego who can relate to the local listeners?

I realize we have a lot of transplants in San Diego, but for crying out loud, give San Diegans something decent to listen to besides two guys who drink six Redbulls in five minutes and then take fan phone calls for four hours.  This is essentially the same format as Lee Haxaw Hamilton’s and 1360AM canned him in September.  To top it off, their sports knowledge is pedestrian at best.  Bon Appetit San Diego!

Philly Billy and Joe Tutino Axed! WHY?


XX 1090 fired radio talk show host, Philly Billy Werndl and Joe Tutino, the Director of Operations and Programming.   Details of the firings have not been disclosed, but lame attempts to blame it on the economy have surfaced in the wake of these actions.  I placed a phone call to XX 1090 and asked what the reasoning was, but he informed that this information was unavailable and that he did not even know why.

I think we all understand this economy is tough, but the way this whole thing has gone down seems very fishy.  While Philly Billy was a nightmare to listen to 90% of the time, he has been in sports forever and deserved a chance to at least say goodbye to the people in San Diego who did like him.  It has been reported that he was fired via FAX.  That sounds very Padres like and since John Moores has a vested interest in XX 1090, it would not surprise this writer if Sandy Alderson fired him after their last interview just because.


Joe “The Bulldog” Tutino was a good manager and a good radio host.  In case you do not remember, he was the guy most Padres fans vented to after 99 losses in 2008 and many more before that.  He hosted a show with The Coach and had a very sensible and tempered approach.

It is also very BUSH LEAGUE of 1090 to fire these two XX “family members” two weeks before Christmas!


San Diego Sportswire did some investigating and discovered this tidbit, which may shed some more light on the situation.


SAN DIEGO – In a cost cutting measure, XX 1090 has released Bill Werdel and Joe Tutino. Long considered staples within the 1090 organization, Werndel and Tutino became victims of their own salary demands.


The timing of these moves is not a coincidence. It has been learned that station owner John Lynch has more than just a broadcast contract with Padres owner John Moores. The two businessmen share not just a broadcast agreement between them, but also a symbiotic business relationship. It is focal to their branding of each other and in Lynch’s quest to stay latched to the Padres’ teet.


“Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Make no mistake about it. We are in the Padre broadcast business. It is out priority to keep it that way. As the Padres consolidate their expenses and payroll, so too we were forced to look at our roster and slash payroll as a symbolic gesture of support,” said Lynch.


This further explains why 90% of 1090’s programming is Padres oriented as well as why Sandy Alderson continued to be interviewed on the station despite his ongoing frustrations in that vein. When asked if there was a connection between Werdel’s release and his angst regarding the interviews, Alderson declined comment.


To fill the programming void left by these lineup moves, Lynch is considering different options. “The Corky’s Singers have always sustained a strong following with our listeners.”


“Like the Padres do with their talent, we also are exploring the possibility of locking them up long term at below market. It just makes good business sense. One idea in development is ‘The Corkys Singer’s Glee Hour and Infomerical’. We are very excited about this concept.”


Padres GM Kevin Towers and John Lynch Jr. could not be reached for comment.



The train wreck that is Gary Coleman’s life once again exited the station.  Coleman, now 40 years old, married Shannon Price a 22-year-old “ginger” that specializes in selling Coleman memorabilia on E-bay.  I wonder what new items Price will be trying to put up for sale on E-bay post honeymoon.

The happy news about Gary’s marriage to some red headed freckled freak got me reminiscing about Coleman’s brilliant career.  For hardcore Padres fans and TV fanatics you will remember Coleman starred in the 1979 television movie THE KID FROM LEFT FIELD.


Gary Coleman is batboy, Jackie Robinson ‘J.R.’ Cooper.  I am surprised they also didn’t try to fit “Roberto Clemente Lou Gehrig” in his name.  For some ridiculous reason Coleman becomes manager of the San Diego Padres.   He guides the Padres from worst to first and a World Series berth with secret tips from his washed-up ex-player father Robert Guillaume (aka BENSON).  I think the term washed-up meant alcoholic in the 70’s.

Guillaume plays Larry Cooper, a former big leaguer now working as a refreshment salesman at Jack Murphy Stadium.  “Peanuts, Crackerjacks here.”   (On a side note Carmelo Martinez sold nachos at Petco Park last season.)  There is also some Kramer vs. Kramer side story going on about the custody of this 11 year old running around unsupervised and managing a professional sports franchise.  TV movies in the 70’s were fucking rad!

We at San Diego Sportswire salute you Gary Coleman for finding love and losing your virginity.  We hope this marriage is a good omen for the Padres upcoming season and that the Colman “mojo” will once again lead the Padres to a World Series berth.


My new screen saver

What to do without football or baseball

Picture 24

With the end of the football season upon us there is not much to watch on TV these days.  The writer’s strike has ruined my nightly television schedule.  The regular season NBA is dull.  A few trades (Boston, LA, SUNS) and LeBron James have helped to make NBA a little more tolerable, still the regular season is long and drawn out.  No one cares until the playoffs start.  Even then the game isn’t exciting until the 4th quarter.  College basketball is fun to watch but only when certain teams are playing, on certain days, with certain match ups, or in the month of March.  I couldn’t tell you what channel the NHL is on and I don’t think the Gulls play in San Diego anymore.  ESPN is terrible because all they talk about is the same thing everyday (Roger Clemens, steroids, the Patriots and the Yankees).  Books are for dorks.

If you are looking for something to watch, do, or read until baseball starts here is a weekly list of SAN DIEGO SPORTS WIRE APPROVED gems.

Trust us, you will never be disappointed


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters


Ali vs. Frazier, Padres vs. Doyers, USC vs. Notre Dame, and now Billy Mitchell vs. Steve Wiebe.  If you have ever played a video game in your life, you will enjoy this movie.  If you have never played a video game, you will still enjoy this film.



3786 Ingraham St           San Diego, CA 92109


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