Yesterday could be The Day That Saved Sports.
After two weeks of relentlessly (and unprecedentedly) crappy news – Vick, Donaghy, Bonds, Tour de France – it was never tougher to be a sports fan.
Yesterday's overflow of non-scandalous big news was an amazing reminder: Sports fans are entirely resilient. You could get whiplash with the speed which fans dropped a focus on the bad stuff and turned their attention to the promising.
Some cranks and cynics might gripe about the "Instant History" outlook: What does it say that sports fans are so quick to move on from the soul-sucking news and to embrace the reviving news?
It says this: No matter what the short-term problems, sports are guaranteed to provide SOMETHING that brings us back to a focus on the sports, not the scandals.
On to the rundown...
R.I.P. Bill Walsh: As I said yesterday, he was arguably the greatest – and most influential – offensive mind in football.
(I encourage you to leave Walsh-specific comments in the dedicated Walsh post below this one. Meanwhile, KSK has the definitive -- and simply put -- tribue. Worth your time to read it.)
KG to the Celtics: I gave my analysis in a stand-alone post yesterday afternoon (feel free to leave KG-specific comments there), but let me provide it again:
This is a win-win:
The Celtics become instant contenders in the East – and regain their national relevancy. (The downside? Anything less than an East title is a failure. Welcome to Expectationsville, Celtics Nation. Consider that for a second: No one believes for a second that this team can actually win an NBA title, and even an East title is no lock. This for three players, none of whom have proven to be conference-champion material. Yet the demands are there.)
The T'wolves finally shed The Big Baggage and can begin to reposition themselves as an "up-and-coming" young team, anchored around one of the NBA's best young big-small combos: Al Jefferson and Randy Foye. (Hint to Kevin McHale: Model yourselves after the Warriors and run-run-run.) Their fans get nothing if not renewed hope. And that's not bad.
Interesting takes on KG filtering in. Start with this one from DLIC of Free Darko. I agree: KG has never been a personality that would seem to mesh with Celtics fans' epic sense of entitlement. (By the way, HUGE kudos to Celtics Blog for actually breaking the KG story. Number of mainstream media outlets crediting him? Take the under.)
MLB Trade Deadline: Is the Braves' acquisition of Mark Teixeira enough to shift the balance of power in the NL East?
(That depends on what you think of the Mets' acquisition of Luis Castillo. By the way, speaking of mid-season acquisitions, Pedro is going to make his first minor-league start
tonight tomorrow night. If he can return by September 1, that's a bigger pickup than anything anyone else in the NL will do.)
Who's going to get Jermaine Dye? And who's going to get Eric Gagne? (And will the Red Sox get BOTH? They've cooled on Dye in the last half-day, but still, it's possible.)
MLB Milestones Tonight: We're tracking Bonds 755, A-Rod 500 and the one with the best chance of happening tonight: Glavine 300.
MLB Stud: Phillies, who have won 4 straight and are 3 games behind the Mets for first in the NL East. Oh, and they made a deal to trade for Kyle Lohse. Watch that fantasy player wire! Will he help you in a late-season push (or crush your dreams with his inconsistency?)
NFL Training Camp: Frank Gore breaks his hand in the first practice and will likely miss the preseason. This is huge, if only because Gore was poised to become THE hot fantasy football first-round choice. Will it affect his draft status? The team seems to think he'll be ready by the end of preseason. (And MDS says "he'll be fine" over at Fanhouse, and I'll trust his opinion. Bring on the fantasy drafts!)
Speaking of Fantasy Football, I am juggling a ludicrous number of leagues this fall. This one might be the most intriguing: It's Yahoo Sports' Bloggers League, featuring the likes of the guys from Kissing Suzy Kolber, the Mighty MJD, Will Leitch and AJ Daulerio from Deadspin, Orson Swindle from EDSBS, N.O.I.S. -- and me.
I believe you'll be able to follow the league publicly, allowing me to deploy one of my favorite Jackie Childs' lines: "This is the most public yet of my many humiliations." Here's the link to the intro by league Commish, Andy Behrens.
Brady Quinn still holding out: Seriously, ever since the calendar flipped to 2007, this guy has been an all-pro dud – Sugar Bowl, NFL Draft, blogger mockery, and now this hold out. Get over yourself.
Vick Watch: His buddy
NBA Robberies: Were Antoine Walker and Eddy Curry's robberies linked?
College Football: Contrary to speculation that they would take a break in their series,
Quickie Book Club: "Dixieland Delight," by Clay Travis. You'll recognize the name: He's the lead columnist for SportsLine. Also, of anyone in the mainstream media, he's considered a Great Friend of Sports Bloggers. He's also an exceptionally good guy.
But, most importantly, he's written a hell of an entertaining book, which is based on his tour of SEC football schools from last fall. If you love college football, this is a must-have, but even if you don't love college football, it's like hearing awesome road-trip stories told by a great buddy. Travis' stories just happen to include Tim Tebow. Here's an Amazon link.
(Disclosure: Clay and I share a book agent. But just because the sales of Clay's book will almost assuredly help pave the way for my own future book deal, don't buy it for that... if "don't" means "do!")
UPDATE: Former ESPN anchor star Robin Roberts has revealed she has breast cancer. She remains one of the Top 3 greatest talents every produced by the network -- as her full-time gig hosting Good Morning America affirms. Here's to her full and healthy recovery.