Tour de Farce 2007: No Lance. No Landis. I'd say the intrigue is about the TdF being "wide open," but we thought it would be that way LAST year too, didn't we?
After the fact, it turned out that – yet again – cheating was at the heart of the race. It seems like a million years ago that this event was a quirky-cool must-see for the casual American fan.
(It has to be asked: If stardom -- Lance -- or scandal -- Landis -- is the only reason a casual fan would pay attention to this event, is the Tour de France better off with something scandalous happening? As far as capturing wide attention in America, I think it might be.)
MLB All-Star Final Vote: The fans have spoken! As predicted here, Hideki Okajima won the
But it's a nice consolation prize for Pat Neshek that he emerged as the bloggers' choice as one of the most cult-ish MLB players.
(There's a fascinating point to be made about Neshek's ability to go from quasi-anonymous middle reliever to blogger sensation with tons of "cred." It's a lesson for any/all athletes and follows the Paul Shirley model: You don't have to be a superstar like Gilbert Arenas to increase your visibility and popularity among fans through emerging media.)
MLB Stud, Team: Tigers. A sweep of the Indians put
12-game winner CC Sabathia was beaten by 10-game winner Justin Verlander, in a matchup between possible AL All-Star starters. (My money's on Verlander; just look who is doing the picking for the
Unsurprisingly, Barry Bonds will not participate in the Home Run Derby. Oh, but if he did! (In front of Bonds-friendly fans in
Tiger's Tournament: It would be so NOT cool if Tiger missed the cut at his own party. (And stop the easy blame of the new parenthood!)
NBA Summer League Mania! Tips off today, with your first chance to see Kevin Durant, Mike Conley and Greg Oden. Oh, and Yi, but playing for Team
Grant Hill signs with the Suns: That might mean that Hill could finally get out of the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Juan Carlos Navarro Watch: Signs are pointing toward the Wizards trading Navarro, using him to unload a dead-weight contract like Brendan Haywood's or Etan Thomas'. I am kind of upset by this. The Wizards' bench production was anemic, and JCN is one of the most dynamic Euro guards ever produced. Yes: By all means, give him away.
Youth Olympics in 2010: Not sure how they'll find the athletes aged 14-18 (aren't a bunch of them REAL Olympians already?), but it's just a matter of time before we have our first PED scandal.
Reggie Bush to be in TV booth for Beckham's MLS debut: I can't knock this marketing ploy. MLS needs all the help it can get (yes, even with Beckham's star power). Is it a little skeevy that they are marketing partners for adidas? Slightly. But Bush adds a little spice to the mix. Now, no NFL fan who isn't an MLS fan will tune in just because of Bush's appearance -- and avid MLS fans might resent the play for casual eyeballs -- so it nets out as a bit of a no-man's-land move.
The mysterious death of former Florida DB Avery Atkins is the tragic end of a really sad story involving a very promising player whose future was derailed early on and spiraled down from there.
NFL Offseason: Belichick moving to NFC? Ah, ProFootballTalk... what would we fans do without you? Spicing up the slowest stretch of the year in NFL news, they float the idea that Belichick might be done with the Pats after 2007 and moving on to the NFC in '08. Make this happen!
Random, but kind of fascinating: An interview with the Snorg T-shirt girl. (h/t: Winning the Turnover Battle)
Chestnut beats Kobayashi, Cont'd: What does it say that even as the NBA ratings plummet, the ratings for events like this one skyrocket?
It says that the most sustainable model for niche-sport success (which now includes the NBA, like it or not) is to create a once-a-year event model.
That's why the NBA Draft or the NBA All-Star Weekend -- or even the traditional Xmas Day game (usually the biggest and most compelling game of the regular season) -- are, proportionally, way more viscerally enjoyable than the NBA Finals.