Today's Names to Know: Michael Vick, Roddy White, DeAngelo Hall, Drew Brees, Victor Conte, Dick Pound, David Segui, Kyle Orton, Josh Smith, Norm Chow, Jimbo Fisher, Paul Wulff, Kusuke Fukudome, Derrick Caracter, St. Mary's men's hoops,
"Free Mike Vick" Scandal: I usually enjoy the ironic stylings of the "Free [Insert Celebrity Here]" T-shirt...
...But Roddy White's TD celebration -- flashing a "Free Mike Vick" T-shirt on Monday Night Football in
...And sure to be the sensationalized storyline of the day. (Now: If ESPN had Mike Vick do the celebrity introduction of the starters, now THAT would have been kind of must-see clever.)
This isn't controversial: Vick isn't wrongly jailed. He pled guilty! He voluntarily – VOLUNTARILY – went to prison... early!
Let's be clear: The "Free [Celebrity]" T-shirt is either to be used ironically for B-level celebs who were recently arrested (hopefully on relatively benign charges) or for imprisoned people who are, y'know, truly INNOCENT. That ain't Mike Vick.
So here's a big ol' STFU: To Roddy "Free Mike Vick" White and DeAngelo Hall, that noted poster guy of sportsmanship who sported "MV7" on his eyeblack and carried a Vick poster onto the field during pregame introductions. How about a T-shirt "Free Common Sense!"
Meanwhile, the Falcons were crushed by the Saints. Don't blame the Vick-sentencing distraction; the Falcons are just plain bad.
That 3-TD, 328-yard performance from Drew Brees is what fans had expected to see all year from the Saints offense. Maybe next year.... (By the way: If they could rack up that kind of offense without Reggie Bush, is it worth asking how much value he really adds?)
More importantly: How many fantasy playoff games were won in the final hours of the week as your opponent had Brees or Marques Colston to come from behind and steal a win?
Pats-Jets: Biggest Vegas line ever? That's quite a statement about the Pats AND the Jets. Really: Who the hell would take the Jets and the points?
Steroid Scandal: Victor Conte and Dick Pound, together at last. Now THAT is an awkward conversation I want to see streamed live online.
They meet tomorrow in
Meanwhile, David Segui reaffirmed he used PEDs, but said he refused to talk to the Mitchell Commission out of solidarity with the players.
I suppose it's not an easy choice: Dedication to fellow players over dedication to the sport -- and where do the fans stand on even wanting to know the whole story? It's unclear.
Bears starting QB... Kyle Orton: No, seriously. Which fantasy owner in the playoffs will be bold enough to pick up Orton and win the weekend?
NBA: Turnaround Team of the Year? How about the Hawks, who are a respectable (and playoff-qualifying) 10-10 and just beat the Magic last night, behind Josh Smith's 25 and 16.
Meanwhile, what could be for the Heat: 6-15 record, but they just beat the Suns, behind Dwyane Wade's 31 pts, 6 ast and 3 steals. (I know all the support is behind LeBron for MVP, but why not Wade?)
CFB: So you're telling me that if Bobby Bowden retired today,
Meanwhile, is UCLA about to hire Norm Chow? Beyond his status as one of the great offensive minds in football, he would be the first Asian-American to be a CFB head coach. Progress in minority hiring.
MLB Hot Stove: Kosuke Fukudome is headed to MLB, but where will the heralded Japanese OF end up? The Padres are rumored to have a huge offer on the table, and many are talking about the Cubs as the leaders for his services. If Matsuzaka's nickname was "Dice-K," I look forward to the nickname creativity with "Fukudome."
Nats get catcher LoDuca: After trading the Mets their catcher, Brian Schneider, the Nationals picked up the Mets' catcher, Paul LoDuca.
Meanwhile, Andy Katz beat me to it yesterday, but not before a reader emailed to say: What about
More Mid-Major Mania:
Women's College Hoops:
New Deadspin CFB Post about an exclusionary college football playoff system: Mostly positive emails (for once), but a lot of Pac-10 and Big Ten die-hards who claimed that a 13-0 Rose Bowl champ would trump whoever won the playoff in the final poll tally.
But, no: You're still thinking of the old "mythical" model, where being undefeated matters; that's the beauty of the playoff system:
If one of the 8 playoff teams in my "Coalition of the Winning" beats THREE Top 8 teams in three weeks en route to winning the playoff, they could have 0 losses, 1 loss, 2 losses or any number of losses and STILL earn the championship title.
(What: You think that the AP will split the title for your Rose Bowl winner? Not after a decade of griping about the need for a playoff; the media voters would look silly to suddenly abandon a playoff champ.)
The point of the plan is this: Call the Pac-10's bluff by creating a playoff, making them the bad guy by their choosing to opt out of it.
If the Pac-10, Big Ten and Rose Bowl are the only things standing in the way of a playoff, simply work around them.
Navel-gazing name-checking: After my NPR name-check last Friday and my Dugout name-check over the weekend, I'm on a roll. Here's one from Northwestern football blogger Lake The Posts, who hands out his year-end blog awards... with a special one for me that you all will totally appreciate.