How to knock "faked Bloody Sock?" and "sportswriter-as-transsexual" BOTH from the top of the most-talked-about story list?
Vick's latest "Wow" moment: This morning, how did I NOT cover the Michael Vick dog- and cockfighting (regrettably, not together) empire being busted by the authorities. Typically, Will has the definitive post, but it's worth repeating: WTF is Vick thinking?
How to knock "sportswriter-as-transsexual" from the top of the most-talked-about story list? Here you go...
Schilling's Bloody Sock-Gate: Gary Thorne said on TV last night that the famous Schilling "Bloody Sock" thing was a fake, which would implode one of the greatest baseball mythological moments of all time. Everyone involved rejects Thorne's offhand remark about it, and I fully expect for Thorne to back off. Way off. Even at the risk of his own cred. (Waiting on a response at 38Pitches.com.)
In what is sure to be the most talked-about sports story of the day, LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner announced he is a transsexual and when he returns to the paper, he will be Christine Daniels.
And his essay in the paper about it is both inspiringly thoughtful and an absolute must-read. I cannot imagine how difficult it was to write, but she articulated herself beautifully.
I can only imagine how difficult things have been for Christine, and I can only wish her everything she wants from life -- and the respect from readers and colleagues that match her own admirable self-respect.
I'll point you to MJD's good take on it in AOL Fanhouse.
SportsByBrooks checks out the LA Times' own coverage. (So, yes, I guess there IS a benefit to being a sports-blogger on the West Coast, rather than being part of the Northeast Corridor Sports-Blog Mafia. You get a jump on these issues that start out there.)
NFL Draft: T-minus 48 hours. We're reaching the apex of mock drafts, lies, spin and all other build-up. Dedicated Draft post coming later this morning.
Meanwhile, the top intrigue is at the top: Who will the Raiders take? The word is that they are negotiating with QBs JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, along with WR/BPA Calvin Johnson. Where it stops, nobody knows...
Moving directly down the board, hilarity ensues at No. 2 when the Lions (and Matt Millen) inevitably screw up their pick. Hopefully, the NYC crowd will take up the "Fire Millen!" cause. More NFL Draft later today.
As for the Browns at No. 3, they might get the Leftover QB (cough! Quinn!) now that it has just leaked out that RB Adrian Peterson re-injured his collarbone during the Fiesta Bowl. His decision to play in that game, rather than focus on his pro career, could have just cost him millions.
NBA Playoffs: Mavs tie up Warriors. Credit/blame it on Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson getting tossed. Of COURSE the Mavs were going to win this one; let's see what happens when the motivated Warriors get two home games.
Spurs even up with Nuggets: Again, it's nearly a given that if the heavily favored home team loses Game 1 (and home-court advantage), they're going to come back and win Game 2. The NBA Playoffs really start when series get to the road team's house for two games.
Cavs 2, Wiz 0: It's too bad "hustle points" aren't "actual points"; otherwise, the Wizards might have a chance against the Cavs.
MLB: How about the Marlins? Just as Tim Hudson (career-high 12 Ks) is about to put an exclamation point on his NL-best April,
Stud: Jake Peavy, 16 Ks in 7 IP, including 9 straight Ks at one point. 9 straight! Uh, but he got Hudsoned and missed out on the W. (Dud: Bob Wickman, who couldn't close the deal for the Braves in the aforementioned game.)
PS: Very interesting NYT article about MLB and
NASCAR: I'm a day late on this, but I'm not going to disagree with Tony Stewart's comments that NASCAR officials use caution flags to manipulate races. Should he have compared the sport to pro wrestling? It's hyperbole, making for a great quote, and I'm sure NASCAR officials are completely ticked off, but he's not wrong. NASCAR has been masterful at maintaining "wink-wink" dynamics between drivers, media and fans. You don't have to be a NASCAR fan to find this fascinating.
College Football: The BCS format is staying through 2009, so save your griping. Or start your griping. Whatever. But it sounds like league commissioners are ready to think about a "Plus-One" model.
Too bad the Plus-One model doesn't solve the underlying problem if there are: (a) three unbeaten teams, (b) three (or more) 1-loss teams, (c) one non-BCS unbeaten (like
The point is this: Barring an 8-team playoff (which would appropriately be called "Plus-Two," because you'd have two rounds of games after the initial 8-team, 4-game round of bowls), the current system isn't solved by "Plus-One" and – in fact – isn't quite as bad as its critics bleat.
Last year's title game established that – like the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee – the BCS system actually can make a proper pairing.
NFL Transactions: Remember when Dante Hall was, like, awesomely must-see? Now he's worth, like, a fifth-round pick.
Rutgers Women's Hoops: Vivian Stringer, who in the last month has become the most powerful person in women's basketball, got a new contract that pays her as much as
Soccer: Someone who understands English soccer needs to jump in the Comments and explain Alan Ball's place in the country's soccer mythology.
NBA: Larry Brown to coach the Grizzlies? Let's review: Larry Brown is the WORST choice to coach a young "up-and-coming" team anchored around what will likely be one of the top two rookies in the draft. His "
NBA: Pacers fire Rick Carlisle. Given that he's covered under the legendary "NBA Coaches Recycling System," I expect to see him re-hired by one of the teams with an opening by Draft Day. Enjoy.
MLB Injuries: Mark Prior done for 2007, thus securing him a coveted early-decision spot in our "MLB Duds of the Year" List. Where would Prior rank among the MLB hard-luck cases of the decade? Top 5? Top 3? No. 1?
Olbermann Watch: As he is always a hot topic among Commenters, check out his Q&A with SI.com's MVP Richard Deitsch.
Whitlock Watch: Is Rosie O'Donnell leaving The View so she can pursue her love-child with Big Sexy? Meanwhile, at a forum at
(I'm all for getting yours, but Whitlock is setting new records for shameless milking of what was effectively a single provocative column that itself was a derivative of an earlier column about Vegas/NBA written for AOL only after he originally embarrassed himself in his local paper with a pro-All-Star/Vegas column. Hell, he even managed to make himself look magnanimous in turning down the chance to be the Imus replacement. Impressive maneuvers for a guy whose ego might best be described as Albomesque.)
Worth your time: Lion in Oil's interview with Wisconsin football player turned Marine, Jake Wood.
Philanthropy: "Athletes for Hope," a new charitable organization led by Lance, Agassi, Ali and other celebrity athletes, is going to do really well. In theory, it's a great idea. (But if they're going to unveil it yesterday, where is the companion Web site? Weak.)
(As I recover from last night's Idol telethon. The sad documentary footage of the needy trumped the lame musical performances. All I can say is: Phil Stacey better get the boot next week. Or, I should say, one of the boots.)
Take Your Kid to Work Day: In lieu of the actual job I don't have, I was blogging this morning and turned to my nearly-1-year-old this morning and said, "So, what do you think the Raiders will do?" He spouted something to the effect of: "Bah! Pffft! Ayiiii!" I translated that as: "Best Player Available." He now has added as much value to draft analysis as, say, Keyshawn Johnson. Any of you taking your kids to your workplace today?