Today's Names to Know: Bill Parcells, Plus One, Celtics, Knicks, Curt Schilling, Bobby Bowden, Big Ten football, Memphis hoops, College Bowl Pick 'Em and More!
Bill Parcells to run the Falcons Dolphins! What a turn of events. Instead of hope for Falcons fans, another massive disappointment/humiliation.
And for Dolphins fans, between the win last Sunday and potential for hiring Parcells today, this might be their best week in years. Nice little holiday gift.
(It really doesn't matter which woebegotten franchise he takes over; both need his help.)
NFL Tonight: Steelers-Rams. Yeah, I'll be taking the Steelers, who are coming off that tough loss at home (their first) to the Jaguars.
CFB: NCAA honcho Myles Brand supports the ridiculous and regressive "Plus-One" playoff idea. To recap: (1) Reseeding the Top 2 teams after the bowls have been played as usual is ridiculous, patently.
(2) Finding a Top 4 to play "semifinal" bowls before a "Plus-One" title game COULD work... if the difference between the No. 4 team and the No. 5 (or 6 or 7 or 8) team was clear. But it's usually not.
For example: Please explain how you would parse this season into a 4-team playoff.
USC? (Can't get over that loss at home to Stanford; how can you pick USC over Virginia Tech? Because USC is hot at the end of the season? OK, fine: If that's your standard,
Celtics lose at home (finally): Well, at least ONE team in
If the Knicks suck and they beat the LeBrons by 30, what does that say about the Cavs?
More: Is Alonzo Mourning's career over? If so, it was a Hall of Fame career.
MLB PED Scandal: Guess how many players appeared in front of Congress? Zilch. What a difference between this hearing and the famous "Don't want to talk about the past" circus.
Curt Schilling doesn't believe Roger Clemens: Beyond the argument Schilling makes (provocatively, that Clemens should be stripped of his Cy Youngs and wins after 1997), this post put the signature on what has been the sports blog experiment of the year, the next evolution from Gilbert Arenas' pioneering effort in 2006 (which continued in 2007). Schilling's transparency and direct pipeline to the fans (and media) is the model for any athlete.
Must-Read: The Year in Schadenfreude, by Fanhouse's Brian Cook. Fantastic recap, as we head into the time of year when year-end recaps are the norm. Here's the link.
College Bowl Mania: Poinsettia!
FSU academic scandal: The NYTimes correctly points out that if the scandal forces forfeits, that drops Bobby Bowden on the career wins list; with perhaps only one season to go in his career, he can't afford to give away too many Ws.
Big Ten Ref Scandal: I'm two days late to this, but this was yet another piece of crackerjack, headline-making investigative reporting by Yahoo Sports. Let's get to the story...
Did the Big Ten use a ref who was sketchy? (Say, sketchy enough to make some questionable calls? Some, say, "Donaghy-like" calls?)
Here's the thing: I'm quite sure that there are refs with, um, "incentive issues" in every sport, perhaps working almost every weekend or every night.
It's part of the game, and you just hope it never affects your team – or stays at the margins, where most of the expert gambling or point-shaving goes on.
(Take it from a guy who watched a Northwestern running back – on the take – fumble on purpose in an otherwise meaningless game against Iowa. Seriously: My era at Northwestern was like
College Hoops Tonight: Duke vs. Pitt at
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