Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday 06/23 A.M. Quickie:
ESPNFL, NBA Draft, MLB HR Heroes, More

Am I the first to "Brangelin-ize" the rumored partnership network between ESPN and the NFL taking over ESPN Classic as "ESPNFL?"

Whatever. The catchy nickname isn't nearly as big of a deal as the story itself, which could dramatically shake up the sports TV landscape -- even more in ESPN's direction, obviously. Even though it broke Saturday morning, I led today's Sporting News column with it.

Aside from ESPN Classic (or whatever they would call it) getting those 8 Thursday/Sunday game, it's still sketchy how this would work: Would they just replace ESPN Classic with NFL Network? Would it remain NFL Network but be funneled through ESPN? Is it just a business partnership? Would NFL Network replace ESPN's NFL coverage? (Unlikely!)

Anyway, it's pretty interesting.
But I have bigger things on my mind this week... like the NBA Draft, my favorite pro sports event of the year. It's hard to break through the rumors, but occasionally, you see a little detail that would tip you off that a team might go for one guy over another.

(For example, when I was reminded that
DeAndre Jordan played at Texas A&M for Mark Turgeon, who is a Kansas guy from the Brown era at KU, I immediately recognized that Larry Brown would probably try to draft him; it helps that Charlotte could use the extra size.)

So I'm totally intrigued by the Heat potentially giving up on
Michael Beasley to slide down to say, No. 4. Here's the thing: Pat Riley seems to love OJ Mayo, but it looks more and more like OJ Mayo will be picked by the star-barren T'wolves at No. 3, leaving the Heat with...who, exactly?

And then there's this idea that the
Sonics move up to No. 2: Can you imagine Beasley and Durant in the same lineup? I love that experiment.

Meanwhile, a good friend of mine is a huge Nuggets fan, and when I told him I thought the team was crazy to reject a Melo for Billups-and-Prince deal, he reminded me that Billups and AI, while a sick and complementary backcourt, are both old; you'd have to win NOW or never.

I'm slightly obsessed with Brandon Jennings and his potential to go from prep-to-pro, avoiding college but exiled from the NBA for at least another year. Why the NBA doesn't embrace him and make him the star of the D-League is beyond me; I guess they don't want to encourage the best high school players to skip that farcical one year of college to develop their skills under the eye of pro coaches. What a mistake. More on that later, if I remain outraged enough.

MLB: You cannot understand (or, actually, you probably can guess at) the level of conflict I feel over my loathing of the Red Sox and my enthusiasm for
Kevin Youkilis. (Let's not even get into my longstanding man-crush on Theo Epstein.) More names to know: Teixeira, Dempster, Duscherer, Gaston.

If you haven't seen the video of the late George Carlin's routine about football and baseball -- and it should be all over sports blog world today -- you should. You can find it at the end of today's Sporting News column.

More later. Draft stuff. A small warning shot across the sports-blog landscape. Maybe more on Jennings. It's a new week, and I'm slightly fired up.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Erik C. Kriebel said...

you might want to ease up with your confidence over ESPN Classic becoming ESPNFL. With espn classic halting original programing rumors as to what the network might do with ESPNC have varied a good bit. http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/05/18/is-espn-classic-about-to-become-espn3/

Rumors such as ESPNC becoming ESPN 3 and being a direct rival to GOL tv and Fox Soccer Channel would prove to be a much more lucrative deal.