In honor of the Simpsons Movie coming out this weekend, here is the declaration I'm looking for from all of you:
(1) Favorite Simpsons character (no matter how minor)
(2) Favorite Simpsons episode (or scene or song)
(3) Favorite Simpsons quote
Character: Comic Book Guy (Well: OBVIOUSLY)
(Runner up: Lindsay Nagle)
Quote: "Oh, a *sarcasm* detector. Oh, that's a *really* useful invention." (CBG)
Seriously, I went through this page and laughed out loud probably 90 times out of 100.
Let me just say: It is SO hard to pick just one of each. That's why having everyone collectively contribute will be so awesome. There is no right or wrong: Just laughing.
Oh, there's sports to talk about? Here we go...
Vick Update: Pleads "not guilty." Who else found his (lawyer's) statement to be less than empathetic... or convincing? (What was very convincing: The battling camps between those who came to protest Vick and those who came to support him.)
UPDATE: Darren Rovell says Nike should drop Vick. That's huge. Here is arguably the biggest and most influential voice in sports-business media saying keeping Vick is bad for Nike's business. (He's right, by the way. I think it's "when" not "if" with Nike cutting Vick after this.)
Donaghy Update: Blissfully uneventful. Could this mean that the story will recede as everyone turns their full attention to Vick and Bonds? (Meanwhile, it looks like the bookies are going to be charged. Apparently, Donaghy and the bookie went to the same high school.)
Today's Must-Read: Economist Justin Wolfers had a great NYT op-ed piece today on how to solve the NBA's gambling issue -- legalize win/loss bets and get rid of all side bets like point-spreads and over-unders. True Hoop has a great post, including an exclusive quote from Wolfers. Henry has legit worries about an increase in gambleholism, but that's where it's all going anyway. Why not save sports while you're at it? Legalization: It's Faaan-tastic!
Bonds Update: The biggest news is that a judge will rule today whether MLB giving the names of players implicated in the league's steroid scandal to the Mitchell Commission means that EVERYONE should get to see them. And I suspect the judge will rule just that way. MLB should have seen this coming when they appointed Mitchell and gave him the goodies.
Meanwhile, I love the Bonds-Costas "midget" feud. Can we all agree that while Costas might be widely considered the "conscience" of baseball, his TV show segment on Bonds was intentionally designed to be sensationalistic.
Here was Costas' witty repartee, which I'm quite sure took him all day to construct in order to maximize its pithiness: "As anyone can plainly see, I'm 5-6 1/2 and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally." (Oh, if you INSIST on me typing it: Zing!)
MLB Hall of Fame: Ripken and Gwynn represent one of the great Hall classes of all time. No disputes to their worthiness. Both extremely good, popular guys.
I would rank Ripken as one of my two favorite players of all-time. His breakout season in 1983 dovetailed with my first real memories of baseball, and his long career tracked with my path of fanhood. Being able to go to a lot of Orioles games and see Ripken play was one of my great memories of my youth.
(I would, however, like for someone today or this weekend to bring up the legendary story about "The Night The Lights Went Out at
MLB Stud: Manny.
MLB Dud: Utley.
MLB Signing: Comeback Player of the Year Dmitri Young will apparently sign a two-year deal to stay with the Nats. Nice story for a team that could always use an extra one.
MLB Intrigue: Here's a weird one. If A-Rod hits a home run today against
Pat Tillman Update: The Pat Tillman story makes me so heart-sickeningly sad that it's hard for me to point out updates to it, because they all get worse and worse. The latest: It appears he was shot – by friendly fire – from no further than 10 yards away. The "10 yard" symbolism (in addition to the implications of a horrifying reality) only adds to the tragedy.
NFL Training Camp: Will Marc Bulger show up? Will Asante Samuels show up? Will high-profile draftees show up? The first days of training camp are always about the holdouts – and the rookie signees. (Here's one who will show up: Teen sensation Amobi Okoye, the first-rounder who signed with the Texans. Other notable rookie signings: Joe Thomas, Jamaal Anderson, Marshawn Lynch. Sounds like Ted Ginn is close. Hmm: How about Calvin Johnson... or Brady Quinn? Is Quinn still asking for Top 10 money as a 20-something pick?)
(You know what did show up, in my mailbox? Pro Football Prospectus 2007. I'm so excited about that. I'll let you know how it looks this year after I've gotten a chance to dive into it this weekend. I'm pretty sure it will earn its annual "must-have" status.)
More: Goodbye Simeon Rice, hello Gaines Adams.
College Football Media Daze: The SEC Media Day craziness isn't even over yet, and I think Steve Spurrier has beaten out Nick Saban and Urban Meyer as THE guy – mainly because Spurrier was talking up
(OK, OK: Given that the SEC event was in
College Football Media Daze: Pac-10. Yeah, it's USC and everyone else. (I know everyone says the Pac-10 is loaded this year, but let's truly get real. That's all relative.)
College Football Scheduling: Notre Dame and
College Football Media: Give Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman credit. He is reaching out to Big Ten bloggers to talk with them about the BTN's story. Here's his interview with the highly influential Brian Cook at MGo Blog. Very savvy decision by Silverman.
Fantasy Football: Count me among those who think that the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame is probably one of the most fun, intriguing and Web-friendly (not to mention well-executed) features that ESPN.com has ever published. Kudos to Karabell and Co.
Gaming: I'm actually intrigued to check out the World Series of Video Games on Sunday on CBS. Given the mass volume of gamers out there, there's some possibility here that it could turn into an annual TV event to watch. Depends on the execution.
(Speaking of execution: I'm not usually a NASCAR-watcher, but I'll check in to ESPN's inaugural NASCAR coverage this weekend. Really looking forward to the new "air-flow" animation enhancements, actually. If nothing else, NASCAR has always presented – by far – the most exciting on-screen experience for viewers. Speaking of making video games come alive. That's exactly what NASCAR figured out how to do.)
RIP, Skip Prosser. Condolences to family, friends and fans of a terrific college basketball coach, at several levels. Before he got to