Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

January 2013 Archives

Ravens Cheerleader Barred From Super Bowl Because of Weight Gain?

A Baltimore Ravens cheerleader claims she's being benched from performing at the Super Bowl because she's too fat. Outraged supporters are weighing in online.

Courtney Lenz, a five-year veteran of the Ravens' cheerleading squad, says that she was not asked to join the team for the Super Bowl. She insists it's because she gained a little weight during the season.

The Ravens were in a position where they had to choose only 32 of their 60 cheerleaders to join them at the Super Bowl. Lenz, 23, claims to be the only veteran of three or more years who wasn't chosen to cheer at the big game, reports The Baltimore Sun.

49ers Fan Falls for Ravens Fan's Super Bowl Ticket Scam

A Super Bowl ticket scam cost a San Francisco 49ers fan almost $6,000. Quoth the Ravens fan apparently behind the scam: "LOL."

You never know when it may be the last time your team makes it to the big game. As a result, some diehard fans of the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens are willing to fork over thousands of dollars for Super Bowl tickets, and are turning to websites like Craigslist to buy them.

While Craigslist makes it easy for those looking for an apartment or a used bicycle, there are risks when it comes to cross-country transactions involving large sums of money.

Niners fan Sharon Osgood learned this the hard way.

Ex-49er Kwame Harris Charged in Ex-Boyfriend Assault

Former NFL player Kwame Harris has been charged with allegedly attacking his ex-boyfriend outside a California restaurant.

And before you reread that, yes, Harris is accused of attacking his ex-boyfriend -- confirming that gay people once played (and perhaps currently play) professional football.

Kwame Harris was the San Francisco 49ers' first-round pick in 2003 and played offensive tackle for five seasons. He and his ex-beau, Dimitri Geier, apparently got into a heated argument over soy sauce and underwear, reports the San Mateo Daily Journal.

Super Bowl XLVII Kicks Off With Superfluous Liability Waivers

To many, the NFL stands for the "No Fun League." And that certainly applies when it comes to Super Bowl XLVII and its associated legal liability waivers.

The NFL wants nothing to do with potential lawsuits related to Super Bowl Sunday, so league lawyers have slapped liability waivers onto just about everything. Same goes for other companies hoping to get in on some Super Bowl-related action.

Here's a look at three examples of superfluously worded Super Bowl liability waivers:

Junior Seau's Family Sues NFL Over Brain injury

Junior Seau's family is suing the NFL, claiming that the league was responsible for his suicide last year.

Last May, the 43-year-old Seau shot himself in the chest. It was speculated that the former linebacker chose to shoot himself in the chest (as opposed to the head), so that he could preserve his brain for research purposes.

Many former pro football players have suffered severe brain trauma during their playing days, resulting in bizarre and oftentimes tragic behavior as they get older. It was confirmed earlier this month that Seau had also suffered chronic brain disease as a result of multiple hits to the head, reports CNN.

Cowboys' Jay Ratliff in DWI Crash Involving 18-Wheeler

The Dallas Cowboys' Jay Ratliff was arrested for a suspected DWI after he allegedly lost control of his pickup truck and struck an 18-wheeler.

The 31-year-old nose tackle was not injured in the accident as his Ford F-150 then crashed into a guardrail, reports Dallas' WFAA-TV.

Officers who responded to the scene arrested Ratliff after they reportedly observed "clear indications" that he had been drinking. The football player refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was taken to a police station where a warrant was obtained to draw his blood.

Johnny Manziel's Speeding-Ticket Judge Fumbles on Facebook

Don't mess with Johnny Football. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel recently received a speeding ticket in Ennis, Texas, near Dallas. But the local judge may be in more trouble than Manziel.

Judge W. Lee Johnson apparently felt that Manziel's speeding ticket was notable enough to comment about it on his Facebook page, reports the Associated Press.

It's not clear why a municipal judge has a Facebook page in the first place, but the judge now finds himself in hot water. That's because, according to Ennis' city manager, "it is not the policy of the city of Ennis to indiscriminately publish the identity of traffic ticket recipients or to publicly lecture them," as the judge seems to have done in Manziel's case.

Ex-NFL QB Ryan Leaf Moved to Prison After Making Threats

Ryan Leaf is being transferred back to prison after reportedly making threats at a drug treatment center.

Considered one of the greatest busts in NFL history, Ryan Leaf has also been a pretty big bust off the field as well.

Last summer, Leaf was sentenced to five years in the Montana Department of Corrections for drug and burglary charges, reports Great Falls, Montana's KRTV. But shortly after he was sentenced to prison, the former quarterback was transferred to the drug treatment center.

Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax Bizarre, But Is It Illegal?

The Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax is all over the news. And for good reason, being one of the most bizarre sports stories ever.

But is lying about an imaginary girlfriend named Lennay Kekua (which is what many believe Te'o did) or falling for a hoax (which is what Notre Dame supporters believe) a crime?

To add another crazy layer to this crazy story, some laws may actually have been broken -- depending on whose side of the story you believe, that is.

Here are two possible explanations to the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story:

Miami Heat Fan Sues San Antonio Spurs Over 'Deception'

The San Antonio Spurs are being sued by a lawyer -- a Miami Heat fan who claims that the team violated Florida's deceptive and fair trade practices law. The lawyer filed the class action lawsuit after Spurs coach Greg Popovich decided to send his best players home before the Spurs' Nov. 29 matchup against the Heat.

The game was highly touted as a meeting between two of the best teams in the league. It was even carried on national TV.

But a road-wary Popovich decided to sit Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green, reports ESPN. As a result, basketball fans got to watch unheralded Spurs players like Patty Mills and Matt Bonner nearly upset the Heat in a thrilling game.

92 Ejected, 29 Arrested, 62 Hurt at 49ers Playoff Game

The final score of the San Francisco 49ers' victory over the Green Bay Packers may have been 45-31. But the scarier numbers may be 92, 29, and 62. Ninety-two for the number of people who were kicked out of the game. Twenty-nine for the number of arrests made. And 62 for the number of people who needed medical attention.

Across the bridge in Oakland, Raider Nation may get all the publicity for having rowdy and violent fans. But for those in the Bay Area, you probably know that it really isn't that much safer at a 49ers game.

Fights frequently break out in the parking lot before the game, during the game in the stands, and after the game as people try to make their way home.

Lance Armstrong Gears Up for Oprah Confession, Legal Obstacles

After years of denying doping, Lance Armstrong is expected to make a confession to Oprah Winfrey today. The interview is set to be broadcast Thursday.

The cyclist is expected to come clean on allegations of doping and using performance-enhancing drugs surrounding his Tour de France wins, as well as issue an apology to the public, reports ESPN. This confession comes on the heels of a damning U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report last year that resulted in Armstrong losing all seven of his Tour de France titles.

Given that Armstrong has been involved in plenty of legal controversy surrounding his alleged doping, his confession now will have serious legal ramifications. Here are some of the potential impacts:

Oakland Raider Rolando McClain Arrested Over Profane Signature

This has definitely been the newsiest week for signatures. First Jack Lew makes headlines for his loopy signature. And then Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain makes headlines after getting arrested for his signature.

So what signature could McClain possibly have signed to get him arrested?

Well, try "F--- y'all." Yes, that was what McClain actually signed when he was pulled over in Decatur, Alabama, for driving a car with (allgedly) overly dark window tinting, reports NBC Sports.

The NHL lockout is finally over after 113 days. So hockey fans, all five of you, can rejoice.

While much of America may not have even noticed that there was no hockey, NHL players and team owners were busy working out a collective bargaining agreement through mediation that would meet players' demands and alleviate owners' concerns, Reuters reports.

Even if you are not a hockey fan, the process by which the two sides reached an agreement is common for workers everywhere. Here are three legal lessons from the NHL lockout and the mediation process:

Could Mike Shanahan Face Liability for RGIII's Knee?

Mike Shanahan rode an obviously injured Robert Griffin III way too long, until Griffin's knee eventually gave out in gruesome fashion on national television.

Griffin suffered an injury to his right knee about a month ago. As a result, the rookie quarterback wore a heavy knee brace and even had noted doctor James Andrews on the Redskins' sideline to attend to him in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

However, none of that mattered. RGIII appeared to reinjure himself early in the game, but he was only removed late in the fourth quarter when his knee fell apart.

Pa. Gov's Penn State Lawsuit Against NCAA an Uphill Battle

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions the collegiate body handed down to Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Corbett's Penn State lawsuit is an antitrust claim that argues the NCAA's penalties harm consumers and businesses in Pennsylvania and goes against a competitive marketplace, reports Reuters.

However, many legal experts say the governor's lawsuit is a long shot, if not frivolous.

ESPN's Hannah Storm, Burned in Grill Accident, Returns to TV

Hannah Storm hosted the Rose Parade yesterday, her first on-air appearance since she suffered severe burn injuries on Dec. 11.

The ESPN anchor suffered first- and second-degree burns to her face, hands, chest, and neck in a propane gas grill accident at her Connecticut home, reports Yahoo! News. She also lost half her hair in the accident as well as her eyebrows and eyelashes.

While Storm appeared fine during the telecast, she did remind viewers of the seriousness of her injuries by stating that she was wearing a wig and had on fake eyebrows and eyelashes. Storm still has scars on her neck, and she has to keep the burn areas away from direct sunlight for at least six months.