Today's Names to Know: Sean Taylor, Houston Nutt, Walter Camp, South Florida, Ricky Williams, Kyle Turley, Bill Willis, Michael Vick, Miguel Cabrera, LeBron, Robert Cade, Helio Castroneves and More!
RIP Sean Taylor, Cont'd: The story remains the top of sports-fans' minds, with very little sense to be made of it all. I'll stick to one superficial thing:
There is rumor that the Redskins will open on defense against the Bills with only 10 players, as a tribute to
CFB Coaching Carousel:
Meanwhile, Kirk Ferentz will not be moving to
CFB Awards Season: The
CFB Bowling: South Florida – the sensation of the season early on and the only team to beat
Is USC going to play home games at the Rose Bowl next season? That's one way to ensure your team goes to the Rose Bowl. (No, seriously: How special could a trip to the Rose Bowl be in January if you played there 8 times during the regular season?)
Ricky Williams Watch: That was fast. Ricky is out for the rest of the season, making that oh-so-clever/get-you-into-the-playoffs waiver-wire pickup last week a huge dud.
NFLPA vs. NFLPA Alumni: Active players are making donations from their December 23 paychecks to the alumni fund. (Let's leave for a second the travesty that this is a necessary step at all.) I hope more players follow the lead of Kyle Turley, who is donating his entire payday.
Here's a must-read: Lion In Oil has a great post about Turley's effort on this front.
Packers to hire Northwestern AD Mark Murphy as Team President? That's the rumor. Make jokes about NU's athletics (outside of football and hoops, by the way, NU is arguably one of the Top 20 athletic programs in the country) or my quote-unquote "iffy" allegiance (bunk), but I am a huge fan of Murphy's. He's as smart as any college AD in the country, insanely credentialed and the perfect guy to lead a franchise as iconic as the Packers. Good luck to him, and I hope the next guy NU brings in can match the success in the non-revenue sports to football and hoops.
RIP Bill Willis, 86: A Hall of Fame guard with the Browns and
Vick Trial: The state trial will start in April. Book that vacation now to avoid having to deal with the media circus.
MLB Hot Stove: Is Miguel Cabrera headed to the Angels? Say this for LAA: They are pulling out all the stops to compete with
MLB PED Scandal: George Mitchell's report will come before the end of the year, making it either a really crappy holiday season for Bud Selig and the rest or a really terrible New Year's. (Or, alternatively, the report is buried during the distracting holidays.)
CBB: More ACC dominance over the Big Ten in their "Challenge." (Irony-signalling quote-marks now required.) Duke destroyed
NBA Stud: LeBron had 38 and the Cavs beat the Celtics. OK, so maybe all that "if the season ended today, Dwight Howard would be the MVP" talk from me yesterday was a bit kneejerk-contrarian. I have seen the Cavs play in person -- besides LeBron, they are
terrible not that great. There is no player more valuable than LBJ.
Kevin Durant Watch: Scored 25 in a loss to the Lakers. It was
RIP to Dr. Robert Cade, 80, famous for inventing Gatorade and thus sparking a sports and pop-cultural phenomenon that would include the myth of Michael Jordan, the NFL "Gatorade bath" and the entire "sport-drink" fad of the last decade. If you wanted to impact sports and culture, there are worse legacies to leave behind.
"Dancing with the Stars" finale: The jocks continue to dominate. Helio Castroneves won the comp, making him the second straight athlete to win (Apolo Ohno won last season, Emmitt Smith won the season before, Jerry Rice was the runner-up the season before that.)
The athletes have created a "Dancing" dynasty – if you're a sports fan and you wagered before the season began on a winner simply because they were the athlete in the bunch whose name you recognized, collect your prize. (If you're gambling on DWTS, alas, you have other problems.)
Follow-up point on a specific Taylor meme: Any angry talk (presumably from Broncos fans) about "What about Darrent Williams?" needs to cool off. No one is saying Darrent Williams' death -- murder -- wasn't a tragedy and wasn't remembered. Sean Taylor's death can be one of the more tragic in sports in "recent memory" without excluding Williams, and I don't need to name-check Williams in a post about Taylor just to prove it. A total focus on Taylor yesterday was hardly inappropriate.