UPDATE: Darren Rovell has a must-read analysis about why the "over" is the Donaghy stat to pay attention to.
Tell you what: This story has sparked some tremendous detail work by online columnists and bloggers, who are naturally inclined to pore over the stats or to be open to the heavy database work necessary to illuminate the real story here. Let's hope that mainstream media sports writers are quick to credit any details they find from that kind of work. (Example: Check out the in-progress Donaghy game wiki from ArmchairGM.)
(And Henry Abbott, back from vacation, has a terrific post about what the NBA should do next. Using one of my favorite crisis-management cure-alls, Henry nails it: Transparency.)
NBA Ref/Gambling/Game-Fixing Scandal (a.k.a., Nelson Muntz-style: "Dona-HA-ha!") It's very hard to add anything to this story that hasn't already been beaten into the ground after a weekend of "What does it all mean?" coverage.
Among the things that stand out for me is that this is the inevitable result of leagues taking a "Get Tough" approach to punishing their talent. Leagues don't REALLY want to see what's under the rock: Between PEDs, gambling and crime, there's inevitably more where that came from... when you finally start to look for it -- and judge it.
Meanwhile, I don't think fans really care. Let me revise that: I have never thought fans really cared about PEDs, nor do I think they truly care about off-field incidents (even as jaw-dropping as Vick's).
Now: Gambling? That's worse, because it could lead to what we have here: Game-fixing. And game-fixing by officials is probably the worst of all; they can control the entire game. Why do you think that "lollygagging" offends more fans than steroids? (Because at least PEDs indicate that you're trying to be productive.)
I am surprised that the NBA got burnt: They seem to be the most sophisticated about tracking and grading their refs. What's scary is that if the NBA couldn't catch it, how bad could it get?
Oh, and by the way: There's no question that someone at the NBA has to be fired over this, and it has to be Stu Jackson, who manages the league's officiating. I have a hard time imagining David Stern publicly offering up his equivalent of "You're doing a heckuva job, Stu."
Update: Donaghy is reportedly getting death threats. I wonder how the people who are doing the threatening did in last year's NCAA Tournament office pool or in this year's fantasy leagues?
Oh, and apparently, Donaghy gambled a lot on sports even before this specific thing started, so who knows if (or, ahem, how many) he influenced in order to help himself. You'd really think the NBA would screen its refs for, say, gambling problems.
Padraig Harrington wins British Open: But only after both he and Sergio Garcia choked it away on 18 to create a playoff. It's interesting: Padraig had the bigger choke (double-bogey), but because he won, all is forgiven/forgotten. Won't be as easy for Sergio. Still, if you like golf, it was a hell of a finish.
Vick Watch: How could the Falcons NOT push Vick for a "leave of absence?" (I have no grasp of the CBA implications of this. It's just common sense.) Apparently, Arthur Blank is going to announce something tomorrow. I have the feeling Vick will either take a "voluntary" leave of absence or Blank will give him an involuntary version.
MLB Stud: Jon Lester, who made a comeback from lymphoma to return to the Red Sox. He will start tonight's game.
MLB Dud: The White Sox, who dropped into a tie for last in the uber-competitive AL Central. Man, how long ago does 2005 feel?
Who is Shelley Duncan, and how many of you had him on your fantasy league rosters (let alone activated) over the weekend?
Minor-league tragedy: The Tulsa Drillers' first-base coach Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday as a result of a line drive to his head. What a sad story. Should coaches on the field have to wear helmets?
Beckham's MLS debut: Maybe they should have made sure he wasn't injured before trotting/limping him out.
College Football Media Daze: ACC. Don't expect
Meanwhile, I'll be interested to see how ESPN's new daily show "College Football Live" will do. It's a smart idea: There's more than enough to talk about, even in mid-July. I think execs will be shocked when it draws a lot of viewers, particularly for 3:30 p.m. (Whoops: I just found out that Colin Cowherd will be involved in some way. Well, so much for my high hopes...)
In case you missed it: I wrote an essay for the NY Times' weekly Play Magazine email newsletter about the goodness that is Mark Cuban owning the Cubs. Here's a link. (Yes, I know it says "1918," but should say "1908." Working on getting that fixed.)
Meanwhile, there is probably a bunch of smaller (yet interesting) stuff from over the weekend that I missed. Feel free to add/discuss in the Comments.