Donaghy Update: To the extent it was possible, David Stern "won" his press conference yesterday. In arguably the worst moment of his career, Stern maximized his damage control, offering what seemed like a heart-sick attitude combined with what was undoubtedly a firm grip.
"Isolated case" seems to be the phrase he and his crisis-communication specialists have come up with to insulate the rest of the league. (Here's the reality: Avid fans will continue to watch and follow the NBA; casual fans will continue to erode.)
Vick Update: Roger Goodell offloads the heavy lifting on the Vick case to an ex-US deputy attorney general and stakes out the perfect "it'll take as long as it takes" position on when he might determine whether Vick is allowed to play in the league. Purgatory is as good as a suspension (for now), without the hassle.
The Falcons were reportedly ready to suspend Vick for four games (geez, that's weak), until the NFL told them to hold off and let the big boys handle it. I think there's no doubt that Vick has played his last game for the Falcons. The two big questions: (1) Has he played his last game in the NFL? (Doubtful.) (2) Can the Falcons leverage any clauses about personal conduct in Vick's contract to avoid being crippled by the cap hit of exiling him?
Bonds Update: The chemist who invented the "clear" (aka THG) says he thinks that Barry had to have known he was using steroids. Didn't seem like he offered much proof beyond "How could you NOT know?" which, while compelling (particularly from this expert), does not constitute affirmative proof. (Meanwhile: He had six at-bats last night in a 13-inning loss, and didn't come up with a HR.)
Related: Selig will try to follow Bonds around and be there when he breaks the record. That was the right thing to do. He's the Commissioner of Baseball, not the Commissioner of Fans and Media Who Loathe Bonds.
College Football Media Daze: SEC. I can barely contain myself. Don't be surprised that
The Gators' defense is going to be fast, but young; good thing the offense is going to hang an average of 40-50 ppg on everyone (except LSU).
It remains, by far, the toughest conference in college football, where a 1-loss conference champ that seemed to just get by during the conference schedule can absolutely obliterate the unbeaten (and consensus No. 1) best of the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, my Must-Read Post of the Day/Week/Month comes from Orson at EDSBS. You can find it in the post below (or just click here).
MLB Stud: Craig Biggio. After his announcement yesterday that he was retiring after the season, he hit a grand slam to lead the Astros over the Dodgers.
MLB Dud: Randy Johnson implies that his career might be over. Emphasize: Might. Wouldn't surprise me if he was back again next year. Also wouldn't surprise me if he pulled a Clemens and was able to come back for short seasons for years to come.
Trade Deadline Rumors: With a week to go, the biggest name being thrown around is Mark Teixeira. Reportedly: Dodgers, Angels, Braves and Red Sox are interested.
NFL: No, Tedy Bruschi isn't dead... Bears about to sign Lance Briggs... All-Pro OT Tarik Glenn is going to retire... $30,000 isn't a crazy monthly palimony check for Matt Leinart to pay Brynn Cameron to support their baby, when you consider how much money he makes (and what a douchebag father he sounds like he's been so far)... Ben Roethlisberger is dating Missy Peregrym? Now THAT can make HIM the "Hero."
Beckham Watch: Who needs Becks? The Galaxy won without him. Oh, right: But no one was paying attention. THAT'S why they need Becks. (Related: ESPN scores its highest soccer rating ever – a 1.0 – for the Beckham debut. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a 1.0 is roughly a good night on PTI.
Tour de France: When riders are staging protests, rather than starting their stages, the sport is absolutely imploding (even more than you thought it was already). Maybe cycling should adopt a policy where riders get to do ANYTHING they want, chemically. That's closer to a level playing field than where they are now.
NHL: The Senators re-signed breakout goalie Ray Emery, who has the potential – along with Crosby and Ovechkin – to be the Face of Hockey.
Sports on TV: The Donaghy Scandal will define the NBA next season. Still, the league will try to put its best face forward. The word is that the Christmas Day game (which is arguably more important than any single Finals game, particularly when they end as sweeps) will be LeBron vs. Dwyane Wade. They probably should have made it Durant vs. Oden (maybe as the front-end of a double-header?) Noticeably missing: The champs. For obvious reasons.
Pop Culture: I can't believe I haven't talked about this: Simpsons movie opens this Friday. Are your expectations high or low? (By the way, get ready for Friday, where the Comments section will be a tribute to the Simpsons: Your favorite character, episode and quote.)