Monday, February 16, 2009

What really matters to sports fans isn't the score – it's who is scoring with whom
by Paul Kaplan
Georgia Online News Service

The media has a commitment to serve as a watchdog, and what we on the sports desk watch like dogs is sex in sports.

Instead of focusing on stale news, like the nation's financial collapse, we hone in on the sexual undercurrent that's constant in pro sports.

It hit women's professional basketball like a bomb recently. Candace Parker, the best player in the WNBA, is pregnant and could miss considerable time in the upcoming season.

Her husband, Shelden Williams, is a professional basketball player, too, and he'll need time off from the NBA to see the birth of his first child.

But it is more devastating to the WNBA, because Parker averages a double-double in scoring and rebounding, and is the face of her struggling league. Williams was an unfortunate Atlanta Hawks draft choice who now averages three points a game and sits near the end of the bench in Sacramento.

President Obama is a big basketball fan. Maybe he can inspire his medical experts to figure out how Williams can carry the baby to term instead of Parker. Williams could sit on the bench until his water broke and few would notice.

Over in baseball, Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee superstar, is reported to be very upset because Madonna, the 50-year-old pop star who the tabloid press describes as A-Rod's girlfriend, was spotted canoodling with a 22-year-old Brazilian model named Jesus.

The Daily News quoted a confidential source saying the 33-year-old Rodriguez was embarrassed because "it looks like he's been dumped for a younger stud." There was no comment from A-Rod's estranged wife, Madonna's estranged husband, or Jesus (pronounced hay-soos).

Over in football, a shocking sex story hit during the Super Bowl.

With two minutes left in the game, right after Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald put his team ahead with a 64-yard touchdown catch, the cable company serving Tucson, Ariz., somehow switched the telecast to a porn video.

Some viewers were upset when the game was cut off right after watching the home team take the lead with just 2 minutes and 37 seconds left in the game. Others were furious about the 30-second porn video – especially the young couple in Tucson who were watching the inspiring Arizona rally with their two little kids, Billy and Becky.

One moment they're watching Fitzgerald after his great touchdown, pointing to the sky, praising Him, then the next moment….YIKES!

"Billy and Becky, get to your room IMMEDIATELY!!"

Wait. No. Mom….WHOA!"

For those in Tucson who are furious over the porn, take comfort in this: What you saw in that 30-second video was acted-out sex. What you missed – the Arizona Cardinals defense during Pittsburgh's ensuing drive -- that was porn.

Nothing on that video was more offensive to Tucson's community standards than Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's coverage on Pittsburgh wide receiver Santonio Holmes during the Steelers' last-minute 78-yard touchdown drive.

Holmes caught four passes covering 73 of those 78 yards, including the winning TD, and Rodgers-Cromartie was nowhere to be found during any of it.

Someone should have checked the sidelines. He might have been watching the porn video.

Paul Kaplan has been an award-winning writer and editor at newspapers in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.   [full bio]

Editor's note: Hello, Georgia! Today we have an article sure to attract attention – what's all of this sex going on in sports. It's by Paul Kaplan, one of Georgia's best, and it's well worth the read. On a more solemn note, veteran man-about-Georgia reporter Bill Osinski takes a look at a murder in a subdivision. It's where Osinski lives, and the point he makes is that crime rates are up and we're all worried. Finally, John Sugg raises the question about why state lawmakers are creating a safe haven to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits.

As always, we'd like to hear from you. GONSO is an enterprise founded and staffed by more than two dozen leading journalists and media executives in Georgia. We're providing content free -- for a limited period. Newspapers, broadcasters, bloggers and websites are welcome to use our articles -- please credit the writers and the Georgia Online News Service.

Send your comments and any story ideas to executive editor John Sugg at You can also call us at 800-891-3459.

Today's GONSO

Murder In Oak Meadow

by Bill Osinski
The first officer on the scene reported that he found Mrs. Gotwalt dead, with injuries that were later confirmed to be stab wounds. The case then became a murder investigation. No arrests have been made.
Full Story

What really matters to sports fans isn't the score – it's who is scoring with whom

by Paul Kaplan
The media has a commitment to serve as a watchdog, and what we on the sports desk watch like dogs is sex in sports.
Full Story

Protecting Big Pharma from lawsuits isn't the way to build a healthy economy in Georgia

by John Sugg
So, legislative water-carriers for Big Pharma want to create a safe haven in Georgia for drug companies whose products surprise consumers by causing warts, flatulence, heart palpitations, bleeding, loss of appetite, erections that last more than four hours, depression, suicide, death-by-other-means and many other side effects the corporate giants should have warned us about but didn't.
Full Story

Tomorrow's Budget
Governor Takes the Road to Streamlining Transportation Agencies
by Maggie Lee
The Capitol is not on Fire
by Hollis Gillespie
Steroids? You're Outta Here!
by Paul Kaplan

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