More on the Hot Blogger Bracket at the end of this post. Meanwhile, all the big drama of the day appears to be out of
(As for the Chiefs, does this signal the beginning of the Brodie Croyle Era?)
In Orlando, pity the Magic: They make the splashiest coaching hire of the year, then the coach wants to back out. They target a replacement, and not only is he part of the uninspiring NBA Coaches Recycling Program, but it may cost them even more than his salary.
All signs point to the Magic hiring Stan Van Gundy. The only problem? He's under contract as a consultant to the Heat, and for hiring away the guy Pat Riley so unceremoniously fired two seasons ago, Riley apparently wants compensation from
Billy Donovan jerking them around on one end. Pat Riley jerking them around on the other. Geez: The Magic can't catch a break in this, can they?
In Gainesville, is the Billy Donovan Saga nearly over? I think this break-up happens today, finally. The final detail? The agreement that Billy won't work in the NBA for at least five years (the term of his Magic deal).
It was a totally reasonable request, and I'm not sure why he didn't agree to it immediately and get back to the business of being
If he's committed to the Gators, why would he care about some embargo on his NBA coaching career? This whole mess was supposed to affirm his fealty to
(Related: Billy D is in NYC tomorrow night for a banquet. Dan from ArmchairGM will be there. Want to suggest a question for him to ask Billy? Use this link.)
NBA Finals: Charlie Pierce swoops in at Slate with a piece comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan. (And if you're wondering whether he digs into the
Meanwhile, David Aldridge goes the other way: He argues that LeBron ain't MJ and these Cavs DEFINITELY ain't the Bulls. I sort of think Aldridge is having an argument with no one: I don't hear anyone comparing these Cavs to those Bulls title teams.
I do hear people comparing LeBron to
UPDATE: Newest LeBron TV ad released on YouTube. See it here. (h/t: Fanhouse, with the first link to it!)
MLB Stud: Randy Johnson. His 8 Ks puts him ahead of Roger Clemens into second place on the all-time strikeout list. The back-and-forth between the two 40-something Hall of Famers could be one of the most entertaining competitions of the season.
MLB Future Stud: Looks like Reds phenom Homer Bailey will get his first MLB start on Friday night.
MLB Future Future Stud: With Vandy's MLB-ready starting pitcher David Price sizing up as the top overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft (tomorrow – on TV!) by the Devil Rays, the question is: Can you acquire him now for my fantasy roster? I think he'll be pitching at the MLB level soon. (If you're in a keeper league, when does he get eligible for pickup?)
MiLB: After the "raging manager" idiocy, it's nice to find some genuine minor-league quirkiness. The Red Sox Class A Lowell Spinners bought the first base from the infamous A-Rod "slap" during the 2004 ALCS. They just went to a memorabilia merchant and got it. And now it's a nice little attraction at their field.
(How to use it? Personally, I'd debut it by letting fans compete to see who can do the funniest recreation of the "slap" incident, putting all the videos on YouTube for the world to vote on.)
More minor league baseball genius: The Long Beach Armada of the indie Golden Baseball League officially changed its name to... (deep breath):
Yes, that's the team's official name. (The abbreviation? LBALACUSNAIBA) It's the longest team name in the world. The cost of upgrading the letterhead alone should create a financial hit. On the team's Web site, I don't see a redesigned logo incorporating the new name. Look, guys: I'm all for innovative marketing, but if you're going all-in, go all-freaking-in.
NFL/Vick Watch: Clinton Portis reiterates that his pro-Vick comments were bone-headed. Can we all just give the guy a break now and continue to focus our mockery on Vick himself?
NFL Concussions: Even if Troy Aikman has had migraine headaches since childhood, his insistence that they had nothing to do with his many concussions suffered in the NFL undercuts the effort to make this a bigger issue. I don't know why he would go public with his denials.
NFL "Get-Tough" Policy: Watch for a harsh penalty against Odell Thurman of the, yes, Bengals. He was accused of assault over the weekend. He's already served a suspension for the first four games of the '06 season.
NBA Draft: I really really REALLY wish people would stop wondering why college big men can't do as many bench-press reps at 185 pounds as the small guys. It's basic physics: The big men have further to push. Combine that with a teen age and the immature weight-training regimen of most college programs and you get Kevin Durant's zero reps.
(Related: Please keep in mind that Monta Ellis, coming out of high school, was rated the least athletic player in his draft class. Now look at him. Things change, friends: Both with age and NBA experience.)
I will say this: When you get the case of a long player who puts up a lot of 185 reps, THAT is worth noting. Long (6-foot-7), lanky (185 lbs) Corey Brewer put up 11 reps at 185, and he's a rail. Wow. (I was surprised that Corey was "only" 6-7, with "only" a 6-8 wingspan. How is he so freakishly good on defense?)
Here's DraftExpress.com's very helpful measurements database. (Just toying around with it, I noticed that Mike Conley was only 5-11, but with a 40-inch vertical, second-best in the draft class. Oh, and Josh McRoberts has the second-highest body-fat, making him a top prospect to be the next Hot Plate Williams.)
TV Ratings: Even as ratings slip for the major sports, the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday night set a new record for the most-watched Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN.
Olympics Logo Mayhem: You all saw the London 2012 logo yesterday. We all agree: It sucks. I think they'll end up changing it, which would be an Olympic-sized embarrassment for
Fandom: Readers of this blog know all about the intrinsic relationship I created between my wife and my rooting interest. Jon Pyle from Pyle of List has his own story to tell about the intersection of marriage and fandom.
Extreme Sports: Just in time for the premiere of "John From Cincinnati" next week (from the #$@#$-ing creator of "Deadwood"), which is going to put surfing on the pop-culture radar, be sure to check out the Ultimate Surfing Encyclopedia, if that's your thing.
Varsity Letters Reading Series: Tonight! If you're in NYC, I highly recommend you go. Cheer Rick Reilly. Or jeer him, if that's your thing. It's at 8 p.m. at Happy Ending (Broome/Forsythe). And it's FREE. There's an amazing dumpling house around the corner, too.
Speaking of food, this will apply to maybe a few of you, if any, but one of the great pizza places in NYC was closed down for health-code violations. Well, many of them. But the pizza was insanely good. DiFara's will be missed. If you never went, you missed out.
MORE ON THE HOT BLOGGER BRACKET:
This Hot Blogger Bracket concept is genius, and it's going to dominate the sports blogosphere. It's awesomeness cannot be overstated (and I'd say that no matter where I was seeded).
So here's the challenge: Vote. (Yes, for me! Shamelessness is the new hotness. That's my campaign slogan, apparently. Sure, I feel nominally bad about asking -- read: pandering -- for your vote, but it would be hilarious to go far in this tournament.) Here's the link to vote for my region. My matchup is right at the top, for your convenience.
Let me be clear: Enjoy this for the superficial fun that it is. It in no way implies anything about your own sexuality to vote for (mostly male) hot bloggers. (All together now, because it must be said: Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Here are the links for the other regions: the NL West region, the Campbell Conference region and the AFC North region. (Here's a main page for all the regions.) I'll come out with my picks later today or tomorrow. This is going to be hilariously fun.
(Update: Some contenders are already campaigning... and going negative, no less. It's in my region, no less, with 16-seed Extrapolator firing a shot at 7-seed Monday Morning Punder of Kissing Suzy Kolber. Yeah, there are 22 names in each region. It's THAT epic.)