When sportscasters attack

Sports blotter: "From downtown!" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  January 24, 2007

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READY TO RUMBLE?: HBO boxing announcer Jim Lampley was arrested last week on felony domestic-violence charges.

The Ghost of Marv
Each sports season carries a relatively small number of sportscaster arrests, but the ones we do get it are usually memorable. Who can forget Marv Albert, holding his cheesecloth on his head with one hand and using the other to hold a hooker’s shoulder in place for a vampire bite? How about Tampa sports dude Al Keck pushing his wife into a concrete column in 2005? Or former Baltimore sportscaster Keith Ross Mills breaking into an elderly cancer sufferer’s home last summer and boosting her OxyContin supply?

Steven Iandoli, sports guy from KCEN in Texas? He made history in 2004 by becoming — I think, anyway — the first sportscaster to be Tasered, this after he got drunk and refused a bouncer’s request to leave a bar. Cleveland sportscaster Chuck Galeti did time for a DUI in ‘04. And, moving up the sportscaster food chain, ESPN’s Gary Miller was busted for indecency after urinating out a Cleveland nightclub window in 1997.

More recently, former sportscaster Vincent Marinello was booked and placed under house arrest in New Orleans for suspicion of murdering his wife. Marinello, wore a fake beard and mustache to the crime and escaped on a bicycle, kept a to-do list in his FEMA trailer that had checks next to entries like beard, bicycle, and throw away weapon.

With that in mind, there’s a bit of sportscaster-arrest momentum heading into the events of this month. Well-known HBO boxing announcer Jim Lampley, 57, was arrested last week on charges of felony domestic violence, violating a restraining order, and preventing a witness from testifying. He was arrested in San Diego, where police issued a statement indicating “there was an altercation between Mr. Lampley and a 28-year-old female with whom he reportedly has a dating relationship”

Lampley, who was released on a $35,000 bond, has lawyered up and is insisting on his innocence. However, there’s a strange subplot to this story. Apparently the alleged victim — a former Miss California named Candace Sanders — was previously involved in a bizarre annulled marriage with a Jehovah’s Witness. Court papers leaked to the press indicate that Sanders filed for an annulment on the grounds that her former husband, Marlon Muller, refused to have “marital sexual relations.”

Who marries Miss California and doesn’t sleep with her? What kind of Miss California marries a celibate Jehovah’s Witness? What the hell is up with California anyway? Thank god we live on this side of the world.

I’m giving Lampley a 51 on the crime scale — 50 for the domestic assault, one for the fact that he shows up in every boxing movie.

Bedtime for Bengals
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengal crime juggernaut rolls on — albeit with silly misdemeanor nonsense. Cornerback Jonathan Joseph was busted in Kentucky after a car in which he was a passenger began weaving all over the road. Cops pulled over the female driver and discovered she was driving with a suspended license. Upon asking to search the car, they noticed Joseph reach for a black backpack, which gave off the proverbial “strong odor of marijuana.” Cops found a little baggie of weed inside, next to a video game. He was released from a county jail and was asked to return for a February 5 court date.

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