Today's hottest storylines, as I leave the Billy Donovan story behind -- until Tuesday (at the latest)...
In honor of the Final Four, my Name of the Year ballot revealed!
My Final Four semis: Bulltron Region 1-seed Intelligent Infinite Botts over Sithole Region 4-seed Kyle Sackrider. Dragonwagon Region 4-seed Phyre Quickly Burns over Chrotchtangle 1-seed (and NOTY pre-tournament favorite) Vanilla Dong.
In the title match-up, I picked Phyre Quickly Burns as the 2007 NOTY champion over Intelligent Infinite Botts. As I said to the NOTY organizer to explain my pick: "Phyre Quickly Burns isn't a name. It's a narrative."
Check out other notable picks. ("Notable" used so very very loosely.)
(Slow day? Hell no!)
Michael Phelps: World's Greatest Athlete? Sets a new world record in the 200-meter freestyle. Not sure how many of you appreciate what that means. I think it's not hyperbole to say it would be like an NBA player scoring 101.
NFL Trade: Lance Briggs to the Redskins? Don't they already have two other expensive linebackers? What a classic Redskins move.
NFL Rules: Why would the Cardinals and Bengals reject the idea of making instant replay permanent? They were the only NFL teams to do it.
Meanwhile, I'm no Luddite, but defensive players having radios in their helmets defeats the entire purpose of home-field advantage. I'm glad the owners rejected that proposal.
Women's NCAA Tournament: Traditional powers UNC and
NIT: I don't care what the name of the tournament is – a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win a win-or-go-home semifinal is exciting. Congrats to
NBA: I'd like to know if Grizzlies fans are happy their woeful team beat the Lakers – or pissed because, at this point, every win takes them further from Oden or Durant at the top of the draft lottery.
Pop Culture: LeBron to host the ESPYs. I appreciate his star appeal, and his acting in his LeBron TV commercials was exceptional. I hope he gets into the host role and doesn't try to play it too cool, leaving the fun to his sidekick, the ubiquitous Jimmy Kimmel.
Media: I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I even WANT Joe Theismann to call college football games. From quotes, his heart doesn't seem into it, and don't you want a CFB analyst who loves CFB?
MLB: Mark Prior, minor-leaguer? That's looking more likely since Lou Piniella picked Wade Miller to be the Cubs' 5th starter. Go back a half-decade and try to wrap your mind around THAT.
Nats Watch: When I wrote my Nats Deadspin preview, Vegas had them at 300-to-1 shots to win the World Series, longest in baseball this season. But, per Boswell's WashPost column today, their over under is 68 wins – not the 40-something that some (me) were suggesting. It's a great time to hop on the bandwagon!
In the biggest league M&A since the NBA/ABA, the UFC will buy Pride Fighting Championships, creating a mega-MMA entity. What happens when MMA slots itself just under NFL, college football and baseball (in that order) as an increasingly rare "national sport?"-- D.S.