Karina Smirnoff, Eva Longoria, Clay Matthews and Monday's B/R Swagger Buzz
Karina Smirnoff, Eva Longoria and Clay Matthews are headlining today's B/R Swagger Buzz, but it's already shaping up to be a wild day.
From the Dancing with the Stars star's WAG status, to a former WAG hitting the market once again, to an NFL linebacker going Hollywood, we've got plenty to cover in our daily rundown of the biggest stories in the realm where sports and pop culture collide.
So, let's get started, shall we?
Albert Haynesworth Charged With Sexual Assault, Is This The End Of His Time In D.C.?
Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been charged with sexual assault, according to a report from NBC Washington.
A waitress at the W Hotel in Washington told police that she had her arms full from clearing tables when a patron wanted to pay his bill, and asked her if it would be ok for him to place his credit card in her blouse.
She said, yes, and he did, sliding it deeper in until he was full-on groping her. While the report doesn't name Haynesworth as the accused, a source close to the investigation told NBC that the accused was the hefty tackle.
Haynesworth has been more or less a waste of space since arriving in Washington prior to last season, although he wasn't an active troublemaker until last season, when he began clashing with new head coach Mike Shanahan and causing trouble in the locker room.
He's been involved in an alleged assault of another driver on a D.C. freeway already this offseason, and with these new charges, it would seem that Haynesworth's time in the nation's captial is drawing to an end.
For more NFL news, check out NFL Free Agency Rumors: Why Nnamdi Asomugha Is A Great Fit for the Patriots.
Michael Vick to Appear on Oprah. Will We See Some Waterworks?
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has enjoyed quite the comeback in 2010-11. After hitting rock bottom by serving a jail sentence for dog fighting, getting cut by the Falcons and winding up as Kevin Kolb's backup heading into 2010, Vick exploded back onto the sports scene with masterful performances.
Now, we get to see Vick try to succeed in a new arena: Oprah's sofa. The quarterback is slated to appear on the talk show host's final season, in an interview this Thursday.
Given Vick's troubled past and rise back into the limelight, you can bet Oprah's going to be talking about some pretty heavy stuff with the quarterback. Given her love of animals, you know she won't pull any punches with the country's most infamous dog fighter.
Winfrey's also an expert tear-jerker, tugging on the heartstrings of guests trying to get the waterworks flowing.
Will the questions about his run-ins with the law, his treatment of dogs, and the impact his struggles have had on his family be enough to get Vick to reach for the tissue box strategically placed on the end table?
Or will the quarterback show the same steely nerves that helped him slice and dice the Washington Redskins like a Cuisinart cuts a head of lettuce, fighting the urge to shed those tears?
For more NFL news, check out Plaxico Burress: 8 Potential NFL Destinations for Embattled Receiver.
Ronaldo Realizes What We've All Known for Years; He's Too Fat to Keep Playing
We all knew this day was coming. It had been coming for years, now, as he grew rounder and more football-shaped with each passing year.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo announced his retirement today, due to the fact that he's now too fat to play football anymore.
The portly striker has been battling weight issues for years, to the point where many fans differentiated between the Brazilian and Portuguese wunderkind Cristiano Ronaldo by calling the Brazilian edition "Fat Ronaldo."
Things came to a head in recent months, as the striker played for Brazilian side Corinthians with what can best be described as a "fan gut." He looked an awful lot like one of those 45-year old fans who've had too many pints over the years to fit properly in a replica kit, but squeeze into it nonetheless, and was routinely serenaded by boos by the once adoring Brazilian fans.
Early in his career, there was no doubt that Fat Ronaldo was the greatest striker of his time, and one of the greatest pure strikers in history. But, it turned out that he liked European pastries a bit too much.
While the portly forward isn't fit enough to keep scoring goals, David Wells, Rich Garces and Prince Fielder have shown us that he could have just the build for a future in baseball, while William "Refridgerator" Perry and Vince Wolfork may have shown us Ronaldo's future in the "other" football.
So long, Fat Ronaldo, and thanks for the memories.
For more soccer, check out Ronaldo: The Phenomenon's Top 10 Moments.
Justin Bieber Uses Mike Gundy's "I'm a Man!" Rant as Ringtone, Gains Cool Points
Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber just keeps popping up in the average sports fan's consciousness for all the right reasons in recent weeks.
First, it was his great Super Bowl commercial with Ozzy Osborne. And now, the kid with the Tom Brady haircut is back in the Swagger, thanks to his ringtone: Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm 40!" rant.
For those who may have forgotten this memorable moment in press conference history, let me refresh your memory. A reporter covering the Cowboys had written something negative about one of Gundy's quarterbacks. When she asked the coach a question (not related to the aforementioned article, mind you), he exploded at her, telling her to leave the kid alone and to pick on him because, "I'm a man! I'm 40!"
I've been poking fun at the Bieb since he first hit the mainstream, thanks to his goofy haircut and screaming pre-teen following.
But, if he keeps earning cool points by making fun of himself and having one of the five greatest press conferences of all time as a ringtone, he's going to drop completely off of my list of "People who Bug me," which also includes people using bluetooth headsets, women who wear pink football jerseys or baseball caps, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Brooklyn Decker Brought Big Smolder in 2010 Swimsuit Issue, But Will She Snag Second Straight Cover Spot?
Blonde bombshell and tennis WAG Brooklyn Decker has been bringing the heat in a huge way since she first wowed us all in the 2006 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
She's been a lingerie model for juggernauts like Intermissi and Victoria's Secret, and the avid football fan has been one of the most knowledgeable lovely ladies on the Swagger's radar for years.
Somehow, Andy Roddick managed to get a ring on her finger and vault her into the top five hottest WAGs on the planet, and she's continued to bring the high heat to such a degree that she was awarded the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover last year.
But, does she merit a second straight cover? Brooklyn's heat hasn't cooled in the slightest in the last year, and her fame and popularity have only grown since her last appearance in the mag.
The competition is fierce, though, with lovely ladies like Irina Shayk, Julie Henderson, Genevieve Morton and Jessica White. It's not like Decker would be replaced by someone who's unworthy on the cover.
In the end, her mainstream popularity and ability to bring the heat mean that the Kettering, Ohio native has to be considered one of the front-runners to grace this year's cover, along with Shayk and Henderson.
If she gets the distinction for a second straight year, she'll go down in swimsuit issue history as one of the most successful models in the issue's history.
Leryn Franco Revealed as Swimsuit Issue Model; Where Does She Rank Among Hottest Athletes in Issue's History?
Portuguese javelin thrower Leryn Franco is one of three athletes appearing in this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, continuing a long trend of athletes smoking up the pages of the magazine's sexiest issue of the year in skimpy swimming apparel.
This year, the 28-year-old Franco is joined by Brazilian Bruna Schmitz and Olympic volleyball player Kim Glass as the athletes in the issue, which has previously featured such prominent athletic smolderers as Anna Kournikova, Serena Williams, Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova.
So, given the prestigious list of predecessors, as well as the fireballing nature of her two compatriots, where does Franco rank among the sexy athletes to appear in the issue?
She's got better staying power than Kournikova, who went supernova for a few years but faded down the stretch in terms of popularity, and definitely bests Patrick in the sexiness department.
In the end, you have to rank Franco amongst the hottest athletes to ever grace the pages of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, and you could even make a pretty convincing case for her as the hottest.
Congrats, Leryn, you've earned it.
Leryn Franco Brings the High Heat In This Year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Portuguese jevelin thrower Leryn Franco is one of the models in this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
That magazine is one of the most widely anticipated of the year, thanks to it's proliferation of lovely ladies in skimpy swimsuits (and sometimes less than that), and this year is no exception.
The 28-year-old Franco has been on the short list of the world's hottest athletes since she first appeared at the IAAF World Championships in 2003, but the legend has grown as time has gone on.
She brings the fire in a big way in this year's swimsuit issue, matching the sexiness of longtime staples like Irina Shayk, Brooklyn Decker and Julie Henderson.
While it's unclear how big Franco's photoshoot will be this year, this athlete/model is the latest in a long line of athletes who have appeared in the issue.
Tennis players Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova, and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick have graced the pages in recent years, while a slew of sporting WAGs have joined their famous hubbies on the pages.
Franco's been bringing the fire in a big way recently, and has been named the hottest athlete of all time by our own Mike McD, a title that is certainly well-deserved.
Karina Smirnoff Claims Engagement to Tigers Pitcher Brad Penny Is "Different" Than Previous Engagement
Longtime Dancing with the Stars star Karina Smirnoff has been engaged to Detroit Tigers right-hander Brad Penny since November of last year, and the smoldering baseball WAG is thrilled about the plans.
But, if you're getting a strange feeling of deja vu, it might be because we've seen and heard all of this before.
Prior to Penny, Smirnoff was engaged to fellow Stars dancer Maksim Chmermovskiy in 2009, and was gushing over the engagement and how happy she was, only to call things off.
But when asked about the similarities to her last engagement, Smirnoff told People that this one "is completely different."
Far be it for the Swagger to question her state of marital bliss at this point, and perhaps she truly is excited to get married to the hefty right-hander. And while she seemed happy with Maksim, this one does seem to be a better match. Whenever we see Penny with his bride-to-be, they both seem to be in love.
In the end, Penny's got spring training starting today, so we won't hear a ton about these two for while. But, here's hoping that we keep Karina on the WAG radar for quite some time.
For more Swagger, check out Greatest Moments in WAG History.
NFL Labor Talks Turn Contentious as Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson Proves Why He's an Idiot
The NFL's labor dispute has quickly become the hot topic of this year's NFL offseason, thanks to rhetoric-filled battles between the owners and players since before the season had even drawn to a close.
But even with all of the sniping going on from both sides, things had not looked as stupid as they did on Sunday, when it was reported that Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was downright condescending to superstar quarterbacks/player representatives Peyton Manning and Drew Brees during a February 5 negotiating session.
Richardson was reportedly disrespectful to both Manning and Brees, and seemed extremely dismissive of both players' comments.
According to multiple sources, Richardson even went so far as to challenge Peyton on the issue of player safety, asking the Colts quarterback, “What do you know about player safety?” while he was talking.
For those who don't know much about Richardson, he played all of two seasons in the NFL with with Baltimore Colts in 1959 and 1960, totalling 161 yards and four touchdowns in his career. He's the founder of the Panthers.
Apparently, he's also a stellar judge of talent, given the grand total of four winning seasons enjoyed by his franchise since joining the NFL.
And clearly, Richardson should have much more say than Manning, with his career 131-61 record, and Brees, with his 79-59 career record.
He's obviously the best negotiator the NFL's got, thanks to his uncanny ability to disrespect two of the nicest, most widely respected players in league history.
Mouth, meet foot. Foot, meet mouth. Let's just hope the NFL can shut his trap long enough to get another CBA negotiated, because given the way Richardson runs things, he won't be happy until everyone plays for free.
For more Swagger, check out The 50 Funniest Sports Quotes of All Time.
Clay Matthews Shows Us His Acting Chops With Grammys Intro
If you've ever watched a Hollywood awards show on television, you know that awkward, forced intros are part of the ambiance of the night. Seeing a pair of unrelated celebrities pretending to be friends and making forced small talk is as much a part of the evening as the little golden trophies themselves.
But, at last night's Grammy awards, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews achieved an entirely new level of awkwardness during his 30-second intro spot.
Paired with Glee star Lea Michele, the hulking linebacker who annihilates quarterbacks for a living looked even larger than usual next to the pint-sized singer.
"So, Clay, how does it feel to be a Super Bowl champion?" Michele said.
"Incredible Lea," Matthews said, barely letting her words leave her mouth before opening his, "I feel like we're all living the dream."
The usual terrible segue followed, as the diminutive singer told him about how they knew all about dreams on Glee, and so did this next group on stage.
Matthews and his flowing locks has become an impromptu celebrity following the Packers' Super Bowl win, so we all sort of knew this was coming sooner or later.
But, that doesn't make us all feel any less uncomfortable as it's happening. At least Matthews can take solace in the fact that he delivered his lines better than a lot of the celebrities did last night, although I wouldn't pencil him into a leading movie role just yet.
For more Swagger, check out The Worst Sports-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts.
Tiger Woods Spitting Isn't All That Big of a Deal; So Why Are We Discussing it
Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods found himself at the center of another media firestorm on Sunday after television cameras caught him spitting on the 12th green during the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic.
Woods was crouching to line up a putt on the 12th green, when he turned, hocked and fired an extremely visible loogie, much to the consternation of the announcers, and thousands of television viewers around the world.
"How disgusting!" they cried, "What a disgrace to the game!"
But was it really? After all, anyone who watches sports for any length of time can tell you that almost every single athlete on the planet drops saliva bombs on a regular basis. Baseball players are notorious for launching loogies all over the field, including the basepaths and around home plate.
And have you ever watched a soccer match? Premier League footballers, Serie A footballers and yes, even Cristiano Ronaldo hock stuff up all the time, but they don't stop there. Many footballers will close off one nostril and fire a Class V snot rocket onto the pitch with regularity, leaving snotty landmines all over the pitch.
In other words, before we go blasting Tiger, remember that he was just doing something that every other athlete does. Don't act all offended by it; it's just a part of sports.
For more Swagger, check out The Worst Sports-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts.