UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): Michael Irvin elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with five others who will be eclipsed in the spotlight by the Playmaker (or, as Whitlock likes to call him, the "Pipemaker.") That'll be some party in Canton. Can a Hall of Famer get a table dance?
Super Bowl XLI Countdown: The Saturday before the Super Bowl is a great day to do everything EXCEPT care about the game. So just a short batch of briefs today, as I spend some long-overdue P.T. with my little boy.
NFL Commish: "Accountability." If that was the theme of Goodell's "State of the Game" address yesterday, I'd like to see him enforce it with more punishment for idiotic off-field behavior. (But make no mistake: It's not like the exploits of the Bengals or Chargers has hurt the game's popularity.)
Ted Johnson: Blame Belichick. I neglected to point out the dramatic Ted Johnson story from yesterday's New York Times, where he basically said he has early Alzheimer's from all of the concussions. But the headline was buried: Did Belichick force him to play, exacerbating the condition? Johnson thinks so. Genius-level success carries a price.
Favre returning next season: You all know how I feel about this. He does more harm to his franchise than good by coming back – they can't move on into the next era with him still there, and it's not like he's going to lead them to a Super Bowl. It's arguable that he puts himself ahead of the team -- but way worse is that the team execs let him.
Ray Buchanan and Super Bowl weekend don't mix: The ex-Falcons DB was arrested for writing bad checks.
NBA: Carmelo can, should and will be an All-Star, despite the original snub. This reminds me of Gilbert Arenas last season. There's plenty of injury subs to be made in the West, and Melo is a lock. Oh, and he had 33 last night, helping the Nuggets end a four-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, the Celtics lost their franchise-record 14th straight game. They really are working hard to land either Oden or Durant, aren't they? I'll repeat my hypothetical from yesterday, in defense of tanking: Would you trade a single 0-82 season for 10 seasons of LeBron? (Or, in this case, Oden or Durant?) I would.
NBA Tonight: The last time Gilbert faced off against
UPDATE: Holy smokes. You hear these stories about wild stuff at practice, away from the spotlight. You never actually see them. This is one: Gilbert bet Wiz shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson $20,000 -- $20,000! -- that Gil could hit 100 college 3s SHOOTING WITH ONE HAND than Stevenson could hit from NBA 3-point range shooting normally. And Wizardsdotcom has the video. It's amazing. And, of course, Gil won. $20,000!
MLB Hot Stove: The biggest bargain in MLB? Well, it's probably Miguel Cabrera's $350K salary – but among players who are actually beyond their original cheap-ass deals, Justin Morneau's new 1-year, $4.5 million deal is a bargain. How does a reigning MVP (who led his small-market team to the playoffs) not deserve a bigger raise? What would his value be on the open market? Double that $4.5M/year? More?
Craziness at the top of the high school basketball national Top 25! OJ Mayo and No. 2 Huntington (WV) -- poised to take over the No. 1 spot after No. 1 St. Benedict's lost earlier this week -- lost to Scott County (KY) last night. Who should be No. 1? Current No. 3 Oak Hill? I don't think so: Not after losing so publicly (on ESPN) to Chicago Simeon. My pick: Current No. 5 and unbeaten