When I started writing the a.m. post today, I was wondering if there'd be all that much to write about. Turns out, there's a ton. Be sure to work your way through the whole thing for items on: Kirk Radomski! Garret Anderson! Brandon Webb! Larry Johnson! USA Basketball! Eddie Griffin! ESPN's 25-hour college football pre-game show! And…the death of CBS SportsLine! (No joke.) Tons more, too...
Kirk Radomski named names: He told the Mitchell Commission which MLB players bought steroids from him. Let the water-cooler guessing-game begin. It remains to be seen whether Mitchell will reveal the names – I wonder if MLB will see any particular big names on the list and tell him to keep it quiet. (Related: Why wouldn't Radomski steal Mitchell's thunder and reveal the list himself? He's already going to jail. Must have been part of his plea agreement. Not sure how that can possibly be legally binding.)
MLB Stud: Garret Anderson, for his 10 RBIs in last night's Angels route of the Yankees. 10!
MLB Must-Track: Brandon Webb puts his 42-inning scoreless streak on the line tonight.
Matt Murphy is going to sell Bonds' 756: Apparently, the tax burden was just too great to keep it. (Wouldn't it be cool if sports memorabilia wasn't taxed if you planned to keep it and never sell it, thus gaining financially from it?)
NFL Camping: Chiefs sign Larry Johnson to a 6-year extension with $19 million in guaranteed payments. The question is: After setting an NFL record with 416 carries a year ago, can he possibly keep up that pace? (He was my No. 1 draft pick in the Kissing Suzy Kolber keeper league, so I sure as hell hope so.)
Meanwhile, will Jeremiah Trotter (released by the Eagles) wind up elsewhere or call it a career? And who do you think Romeo Crennel will name as Browns starting QB in the week before their first game? It's like he and Charlie Weis are running the same playbook of "Don't name the starting QB until the last possible minute." Is Crennel leaving the door open for Brady Quinn to start in Week 1?
USA Basketball '07: Can the reconstituted team change the fortune of a franchise more accurately labeled "USA Oops" than "USA Hoops?" Winning the FIBA Americas tournament, which starts today, is no gimme.
(First things first: I refuse to use the label "Dream Team" – the only "Dream Team" was 1992. Everything since then was Team USA.)
Oh, sure, Team USA can capture one of the top two slots to get the Olympic bid (god, could you imagine if they couldn't?), but those of you expecting the team to steamroll to a title obviously have forgotten just how good Argentina is.
The biggest difference between this USA team and teams of recent past? This team has Kobe Bryant. And for all of the talk about "commitment" and "specialization," what Team USA really lacked was a go-to scorer with a killer instinct. Enter Kobe.
(And, yet, what does it say that I'm still not sure that even with Kobe, Team USA can beat Argentina to take the tournament?)
Do you want to buy David Ortiz' Mercedes? What if he'll personally deliver the keys to you? (Is this like the Seinfeld where George Costanza bought Jon Voight's car, only to find out that the car really belonged to John Voigt – NOT the actor?)
Vick Watch (begrudgingly): Vick's reps want a meeting with Roger Goodell before the Commish makes his final decision on Vick's fate. Not sure what good it'll do him. Goodell has no choice but to ban him for life. Or, perhaps, it's simply easier said: Vick will never play in the NFL again, regardless of whether he's banned or simply persona non grata.
(After Vick does his time in jail and after he's done a year of his NFL ban, if he's turned himself into a model citizen – no easy assumption, though it is obvious to the rest of us that that's what you need to do – I could see pitching Goodell on a reinstatement, perhaps after a second year's worth of banning.)
Meanwhile, how soon before Vick is charged in Virginia?
By the way, PFT remains your must-read source for all things Vick (in addition, of course, to all things NFL anyway).
NBA Gambling: Here's what the new NBA gambling-investigation czar Lawrence Pedowitz should recommend to the NBA – no players, coaches, refs, team employees or league employees should be allowed to gamble, even in Las Vegas.
(But gambling is legal in Vegas, you say? True enough, but it's WAY too easy for the legal gambling to turn into an illegal problem. The standard is easy enough: Just don't do it. Are players/employees so allured by gambling's pleasures that they couldn't stay away – what does that say about their potential for running into a problem in the long term?)
By the way, there's been one guy who has been (relatively) quiet throughout all of this: Charles Barkley (correct me if you've heard him speak out a lot about the subject of the NBA and gambling). Given that he's an admitted gambleholic, why hasn't anyone pointedly asked him the question: Have you ever bet on basketball, and did you ever bet on basketball as a player?
Eddie Griffin was killed in an accident, thus ending the life of one of the more cautionary tales in recent NBA history. Griffin was a prodigious talent – quite possibly one of the best prep power forwards in the last 20 years. He showed flashes of instability in college, when he (literally) fought with his teammates. He jumped from Seton Hall to the pros after one year, never really fulfilling his potential at the NBA level. Until last week's tragic ending, he was best-known for his most recent dust-up with the law, involving being caught in a self-gratifying moment in his car. He goes from throw-away punchline to cautionary tragedy.
CFB: The U. is leaving the Orange Bowl. It's a dump of a stadium, but Miami sure has a lot of great memories there of on-field success.
More CFB: ESPN is announcing a brilliant idea: A 25-hour pre-game show next week heading into the college football season opener. (Don't try to argue anymore that college football isn't our nation's No. 2 national pastime behind the NFL.) There are a couple of amazing details (via USAT), like what will they do overnight? Well, Hawaii has moved its practice just so it can have the 3 a.m. slot all to itself. Live-bloggers, you have been challenged.
By the way, Orson at EDSBS just put out his Week 1 viewing guide. Seriously: If you're not reading EDSBS every day (or multiple times a day), you're missing out on the single greatest college football blog experience.
CFB Preview: I know that my CFB ramp-up on the blog has been iffy (huge week next week, I swear), but here's today's question – which players aren't on the Heisman radar, but should be? I'm not saying they'll win (anyone – particularly a dark horse – will have a hard time eclipsing Arkansas' McFadden, and if not D-Mac then USC's Booty, and if not Booty then Louisville's Brohm). I'll have my Top 10 Heisman Watch List next week.
By the way, speaking of commenter response, that was an incredible discussion in the comments yesterday about which athlete is the biggest waste of talent of all time. If you haven't checked it out, click on the post below and scroll through the comments.
H.S. Football: USA Today's Top 25 came out and, unsurprisingly, Southlake (TX) Carroll is No. 1. Intriguingly, they have a game scheduled for mid-September against the team ranked No. 2: Controversial Miami Northwestern, which should feel lucky to even field a program this season. It's a de facto national championship game – in September!
Online Sports Media: RIP, "SportsLine." Buried at the end of Heistand's USAT column is the note that CBS is changing the name of its sports site from "SportsLine" to "CBSSports.com."
Thus ends a branding era in online sports that began in the mid-90s as an intriguing (if inferior) competitor to ESPN.com; signed one of the original "anchor" programming deals with AOL (back when AOL was everything), demanding my first company (acquired by AOL) be put out of business as part of the deal terms; enjoyed an IPO; got swallowed by CBS; went through a tailspin decline of relevancy; brought in non-talents like Gregg Doyel (but smartly developed the only columnist on the site worth reading, Clay Travis); went through even more of a precipitous decline of relevancy; and, now, finally, simply gives up on its old brand name and will likely slink even further from view, despite the monster presence of CBS Sports' TV engine behind it.
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