Matsuzaka versus Ichiro: Prediction! More people will watch this game in
Rutgers Women's Hoops vs. Don Imus: Media is so full of phonies, frauds and caricatures that it is arresting to see the kind of authenticity and sincerity and realness that the
(It's not that I think Imus should be terminated, per se, but I mostly can't understand why anyone would listen to him – and I am even more incredulous why news-media "guests" would suckle at Imus' teat. So-called journalists who pander to him are the ones with the bigger problem. How can any self-respecting media type appear on his show now?)
PacMan Jones vs. Roger Goodell: The punishment seems pretty harsh, but Pac-Man has been such a complete ass (not to mention an embarrassment to the league), that I'm glad to see Goodell taking a stand. It's an assertion of power by an NFL Commish that is so aggressively novel. As Stephen Colbert might say, "NFL Players (and Employees): You're on Notice."
Bonus! Chris Henry vs. Roger Goodell: Henry was suspended 8 games, and the severity had to be a product of the NFL's overall frustration with the entire Bengals organization.
Kevin Durant vs. the NBA: See yesterday's "Lead Item" post for my full take on Durant in the NBA. Needless to say, I don't know what's going to be more fun -- the NBA Draft Lottery or actually seeing him play once he's on a team.
(Arron Afflalo vs. the NBA: Here's hoping he doesn't see defenders like Corey Brewer every night. I've read he's late-first at best, but 6-foot-5 shooting guards are a dime-a-dozen in the NBA. Welcome to the D-League. Here's the thing: Another year of college won't help his NBA stock. Kind of like Tyler Hansbrough. Except Afflalo wants to cash in; Hansbrough figures he might as well stay and continue racking up the college accolades before NBA oblivion.)
Hank Aaron vs. Barry Bonds: Aaron won't be attending when Bonds breaks his record. He seems to be sick of all the hype, but I think he's doing a disservice to baseball by not being there.
Brendan Donnelly vs. Jose Guillen: Nice to see that old feuds stay warm over multiple seasons.
NBA Regular Season Ending vs. Integrity: I always get in trouble for suggesting that teams "tank" for various reasons (draft order, playoff seeding, avoiding injuries), and yet, where's the outrage that the Pistons (among others) are basically going to phone it in (it's being called an "exhibition-season rotation") until the playoffs. How is that not the same as tanking games, just without using the word "tank." There IS no outrage: Because tanking is perfectly acceptable under the right circumstances.
Billy Gillispie vs. Billy Donovan: Give Gillispie the edge for recruiting in the High School Class of 2009. He got his first commitment from a Top 20-ranked 16-year-old soph PG from...
Michael Irvin vs. Shawn Vandergrift: After being sued by the disabled contractor, Irvin has counter-sued. Of COURSE he has. (Vandergrift: a Dickensian name for a contractor if ever there was one, agreed?)
The Webbys vs. Sports Bloggers: No offense to any of the Webby nominees in the "Best Sports Site" category, but WTF?! No "DanShanoff.com," I can certainly understand. But no Deadspin? No Kissing Suzy Kolber? No Fanhouse? No Dugout? (I could go on. I'll refrain.) Well, at least Colin Cowherd's Webcast wasn't on the list. Success.
Kissing Suzy Kolber vs. the Ladies...: This one has already been won. There's nothing like a good guest-post, so be sure to stop by KSK today for a taste of the Ladies... Crew, running their site today, off of an NCAA Tournament bracket-picking bet.
Finally: NFL Regular-Season Schedule revealed today at 1 p.m. Expect to see a lot of mainstream and blog analysis of the best, worst, easiest, hardest, coolest, lamest, etc. -- and that's by TEAM.