Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday 05/03 (Very) Quickie: Hawks!

It's Derby Day!

How can you not love the Hawks? (And how can you not be rooting for the Hawks to beat the Celtics in Game 7? Atlanta deserves it more.)

Cavs boot Wizards...again: If you're a Wiz fan (like me), this story has gotten SO old. Being bounced in Game 6 in DC makes it even more annoying.

Jazz boot Rockets...again: Houston fans go home with the consolation prize of that 22-game winning streak, which was more fun than however-far they would have gone in the playoffs anyway.

Marvin Harrison.

LSU has no chance of repeating as champ next season: Not without talented (and troubled) QB Ryan Perrilloux, who will undoubtedly transfer to a 1-AA school (App State?) and run wild.

MLB: Tim Hudson, Skip Schumaker, Chien-Ming Wang, Jose Bautista, Shaun Marcum, Dan Uggla, Hunter Pence and More!

Scott Skiles has hired Kelvin Sampson as an assistant on the Bucks: No need to worry about his phone habits in the pros.

-- D.S.

Friday, May 02, 2008

On Bissinger and the Myths of Blogging

Proceed if you want ramblings on the Bissinger-Leitch thing a full two days after it was a "thing."

Couple of caveats: This isn't nearly as eloquent as the analysis produced by Leitch himself, or others like Joe Posnanski or Orson Swindle or Brian Powell or over at KSK. Actually, it may feel like I vomited all of my various media theories onto one post.

Some of this I just wanted to get down on paper; some are not as thought out as they could be. Some thoughts lack the nuance – or even originality – they deserve, but I just don't have the time to put into yet. Hell, each paragraph probably begs 6 paragraphs' worth of follow-on analysis and explanation (which I won't subject you to here). It was written last night, after I have had a chance to absorb a lot of the post-Bissinger commentary.

Again, apologies for the length and lack of clarity and/or focus. If you only care about blogs as a means to read and talk about sports, rather than as some kind of meta-thing within sports, please feel free to skip this post entirely.

Myth No. 1: Al blogs – and bloggers – are created equal.

My biggest issue with the complaints about bloggers from guys like Bissinger or Wilbon or Costas or whomever is that they paint with such a broad brush.

I cannot stress this enough: Blogging is a platform. It would be like saying, "All TV shows are bad." Or "All radio shows are bad." Or "All newspapers are bad." Or, even, "All fans are bad."

Again: Blogs are a platform.

It is critical to every follow-on argument made, because if you dig into the details to understand the nuance – as any journalist should want to – "all" is, of course, absurd. Almost as absurd as assigning values to a platform, rather than its participants.

That's a great segue: People like Bissinger who care about great writing should LOVE blogs – and all online media platforms – because more than any other medium in sports, it is a meritocracy, a point Will tried to make on Tuesday night.

Sure, it is open to anyone – you will always find a bell-curve of quality. But those who use the platform best (and that can happen in a lot of ways) will emerge, just as Deadspin did.

If you don't serve fans well, you will not be read. Period.

And so if you're in it for the money, that means the end of your revenue stream; if you're in it for the audience, that means the end of your audience.

And the meritocracy is simple: Create great stuff, and it will be found. Yes, bloggers rely on amplification and network effects of links from people with wider audiences (like bigger blogs or TV shows), but those people with wider audiences are actually under more pressure to create quality content. Don't bring your "A" game, and consumers will tune you out. But if you create great stuff consistently enough, you won't need the links in other blogs, because you will generate an audience on your own. What a wonderful system.

Compare that to mainstream media, where there is little meritocracy:

Old-media columnists are installed, given space and promotion and rewarded handsomely – all without any understanding of how they actually drive readers or engagement. Online media is brutally precise: Every day – every minute – with the Quickie, I knew how many people were reading it on, just as I know at all times how many people are reading the blog. (Even the Quickie's numbers could be skewed artificially: A link from's front page with the right kind of tantalizing headline and I could drive hundreds of thousands of page views. Unpromoted on the front, I could have a fraction of that audience.)

You could argue, like Mike Tirico did on Tuesday, that TV is a very ratings-driven product. That's true, but it is impossible to disaggregate the effects of talent, especially when the match-up of the teams on the field is what drives tune-in more than any other factor. Does Tony Kornheiser bring new viewers to Monday Night Football? It is entirely unclear. Does Skip Bayless bring new viewers to Cold Pizza/First Take? Intuitively, it doesn't seem to be the case. But yet there he is. (I accept that's a cheap shot: Picking on Bayless as an "example," rather than "exception" is as selective as Bissinger and Costas picking a particularly bawdy Deadspin post over the usual fare.)

But you can't deny that the precision of traffic numbers – not to mention the lack of switching costs; the hundreds (if not thousands) of choices; and the very finite amount of time one has to consume sports media – creates a far more qualified playing field than you see in any other sports-media platform.

The underlying meritocracy is at the heart of why you can't apply any broad characterizations to the content produced through new-media platforms.

Myth No. 2: Bloggers are unqualified basement-dwellers.

"Who is this guy and what is his expertise?" Michael Wilbon loves to push this canard, repeated again during the HBO intro piece.

Wilbon and I are both proud graduates of Northwestern's journalism school, and I think Wilbon would agree with me that it is the best journalism education in the world. Does that makes me, the shallow couch-typing blogger, more qualified than Costas, Albom, Bissinger, LeBatard or anyone with a lesser journalism education? (I also have a prestigious-sounding MBA, which is a very expensive bonus.) No: As much as I'd love to throw this in the face of blog-critics, it's ludicrous. But let's be clear:

I'm not alone in my background: I'd guess almost every sports blogger is college-educated. Most are very smart. Many have previous journalism or writing experience. Wilbon would agree: Writing a good sentence is hard, which is why most sportswriters can't (and don't) do it nearly as often as they think they do. Same goes for bloggers.

But I would give at least a little credit to all the bloggers out there for TRYING. Enthusiasm can make up for a lot of short-comings, and if you care enough about something to spend your unpaid time and energy doing it, that's caring in a way that a paid professional journalist can't – and perhaps wouldn't – undertake.

There is no shame in giving anyone their say: You don't have to give it any more weight than you want to (just like any other sports medium) and you certainly don't have to consume it.

And if a PTI or talk-radio producer sees enough in a scandalous storyline to want to amplify it to a broader audience of TV or radio, that is their prerogative – and I defer to their expertise in their sports-media platform.

The underlying premise is the most important: What's wrong with giving anyone the chance to have their say?

Myth No. 3: Bloggers are lazy opinion-lobbers.

As someone who has been on both sides, I would argue that "sitting on the couch" and "sitting in a studio" is basically the same.

On PTI, when Wilbon gets 1 minute to talk about a topic he hasn't personally investigated beyond widely available sources (if even that), it is no more "expert" than your average blogger (or guy on a barstool or in the bleachers).

Some bloggers (like me) model their work precisely on this kind of "name-the-topic, I'll-give-an-opinion" of PTI or Around the Horn.

The best bloggers – I'm thinking of the team bloggers, specifically – follow their "beat" as carefully as any local columnist at a mainstream outlet.

They inhale every available public source – not unlike a "national" reporter for a mainstream media outlet or Web site. They take advantage of work by beat reporters.

When I say "take advantage," I don't mean "steal" – I mean "lean on," just as every single pundit and producer in sports media (newspaper, TV, radio or anywhere) uses.

The difference is that while most bloggers are just as likely to cite the source as any other respectable sports-media platform, bloggers will also link to the original source.

Guess what: The link is more valuable than the mention, both for direct audience and to influence discoverability via search engines, which weight in part on link-backs.

Some bloggers are the voice of the fan on the couch (which, I'd argue, isn't a bad place to be, given that 99.9 percent of the consumers experience sports the same way). Some bloggers are as serious – or more – about their beat than the mainstream reporters.

I can sum it up best this way: For reporters, the beat is their livelihood; for the best bloggers, it is their life.

Myth No. 4: Blog discourse is vulgar at worst, inane at best.

Aha: One of the biggest misconceptions, on full display Tuesday night. Please, critics, I beg you: Learn the difference between a blog post written by the blog's editor and the comments submitted by readers that run alongside the post.

At their best, blog comments add 1000 percent value to a post. Deadspin posts would be fun without comments, but comments make them SO much better. Just as the worst 10 percent are brutal, the best 10 percent are utterly amazing.

Commenters fact- (or reality-) check the author. They push the topic in new and unexpected ways. They bring producer closer to consumer than they have ever been, and they provide a level of engagement unseen in media previously.

Can comments suck? Absolutely. Look no further than this blog, where I effectively cut off comments by making them "moderated" (by me, irregularly). On the other hand, I helped the commenting "regulars" to create a new blog environment just for them, and generally, the comments are on point and enjoyed.

But let's be clear about vulgarity and/or inanity and/or shallowness: This is not unique to blogs or bloggers or blog commenters. You can find it on TV (well beyond sports), on the radio, even in newspapers (just read FireJoeMorgan to see the worst of the worst inanity).

If you want to lament the state of consumers' tastes, feel free. But don't blame blogs or bloggers: Some play to a lowest-common denominator, but – re-framed – some have a very acute understanding of consumer tastes that mainstream media execs would be smart to tap into (which is why you see so many creating blogs and blog-ish content).

Words written carry more weight than words spoken, because the comments on talk radio or PTI or the bleachers or the barstool are no less charged with emotion than they are in the comments section of a sports blog.

Myth No. 5: Blogs are a threat (a.k.a. the "Either-Or" Theory)

"Either-or" proponents seem to think that blogs are replacing other media coverage: Yes, it is true that media consumption is a zero-sum game. Each fan has X amount of time to consume media, and they make choices fairly rationally.

Presumably, they wouldn't spend their most valuable and finite commodity – time – on stuff that didn't satisfy them. (Or, at least, they wouldn't for long.)

The fragmentation of the media landscape is threatening to some, but to others, it has created opportunity to serve fans in the way fans want to be served.

ESPN's mission – brilliantly and simply – is "to serve fans." We can argue about whether they approach that mantra earnestly or, occasionally, cynically, but I think that bloggers, generally, follow the same guideline.

Sure, some of the motivation is to "have your say," but it is the rare blogger who doesn't care whether that "say" exists in a vacuum or not – who doesn't want an audience?

If newspaper editors and other MSM folks thought the landscape was competitive, they should try breaking through the clutter of the blogosphere to create content with traction.

You create traction by serving people something they value. If you serve enough individual people, you serve a community. Serve them well, you will have an audience. Expand that service and you will grow your audience.

(That's what I ask every would-be blogger: Which specific audience are you serving? Are they already being served? If so, are they being served well? How will you serve them differently?)

I said this yesterday: Blanket, allergic reactions like Bissinger's and Wilbon's are born more from insecurity – on behalf of an industry they love (Wilbon) or their own careers (Bissinger). What fascinates me are that these are the last guys who need to be worried.

The guy with the existing platform and institutional support doesn't need to feel insecure (which is why persistent insecurity issues from guys like Kornheiser and Simmons baffles me – those two are the most powerful and protected voices in sports media!)

The insecurity more rightfully belongs to the person who is trying to generate enough traffic on their blog to make a little beer money – or dare to dream that they can land a rare "full-time" gig being paid to blog.

Remember: The blog is a platform. New media is about platforms – new forms of delivery for content, whether that's a blog, a YouTube upload, a podcast, a Twitter page, hell, even a Facebook app.

The smartest folks – not usually the front-line "talent," but the execs upstairs – are focused (if kind of late with that focus) on these platforms. There are some terrific examples of mainstream reporters and columnists exploring these new platforms (Posnanski's blog, the New York Times' blogs).

If it's an "I don't get it" thing, I would be happy to help them understand what the opportunity – not the threat – is.

What bothered me most about Tuesday night – along with most every other mainstream discussion/analysis/opinion about blogs or blogging or bloggers – is that it dealt in vague generalities, which is why you end up with Bissinger's "All blogs suck."

The best part of yesterday's coverage of the Bissinger-Leitch thing wasn't any of the blog triumphalism (or just plain dumping on Bissinger, who is more of a lamentable character than ire-inducing), which I didn't like.

It was the posts that helped point out the nuance of the discussion, the debate, the so-called "divide." They allowed for the shades of gray that are involved in ANY discussion about sports media. What those posts – and my pondering – beg is more discussion.

All blogs suck? No, it's a meritocracy.
All bloggers are sorry amateurs? Hardly.
All bloggers are lazy? No, just me.
All bloggers are profane/inane? Fuck no.
All blogs are a threat? Only if you feel threatened.

It's time to move on from this particular episode, but there is no reason to think that the larger discussion won't – or shouldn't -- continue. "Can't we all get along" is not mutually exclusive from "Can I finish my point?"

But from my vantage point, the people with the bigger problem are the ones who seem the most uncomfortable with the pace and direction of changes to sports media.

-- D.S.

Update: There is a lot of truth in Bethlehem Shoals' impassioned position on this.

Friday 05/02 A.M. Quickie:
Derby, NBA, MLB Div, CFB HOF, More

It's the Friday before the Kentucky Derby, so you know what that means: My bringing up that I successfully predicted Barbaro would win the Derby. But the larger service I'm trying to provide in my Sporting News column this morning is to help you pick your horse based on its name. What other criteria would you use?

Meanwhile, you might say that it's too early to read into the Cubs-Brewers and A's-Angels mid-week series results (Brewers 2-1, OAK-LAA split), but I say that come September, both teams will look back and wish the results were more in their favor. Meanwhile, look at Detroit: One game under .500 and only 1.5 games worse off than they were on April 1, if they want to win the division.

Of course the Pistons dispatched the Sixers, and my pre-playoff prediction that Detroit would/could/should beat the Celtics looks pretty good right now, even if Boston manages to finish off the Hawks in Atlanta tonight.

There's a lot more in the column today, so check it out.

Still trying to get a Bissinger-related meta-post out there, even if it was THE topic yesterday (perhaps run its course, with today's thoughts being stale, particularly for a blog that purports to be all about the instant history.)

-- D.S.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

New York Times Play Magazine Newsletter Lead Essay: BCS Is Damned Either Way

There's the pretty "front page" of the NYT Play newsletter, or you can go straight to the essay itself.

For regulars, this will be a familiar "SEC-ede" campaign -- now with more any legitimacy!

More Fun With Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens now linked to John Daly's ex, Paulette Dean Daly? Clemens is the gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday 05/01 A.M. Quickie:
MLB Awards, Celtics, Wiz, BCS, More

Update: Gilbert Arenas done with blogging? Truly a "say it ain't so" moment for sports bloggers and fans.

Nothing captures the essence of "instant history"
found in the baseball season like "awards" handed out after the first month of the season is over. Who wins my awards? You'll have to check out the lead of today's Sporting News column.


The Celtics may seem to have their series with the Hawks in hand, but the fact that it has taken THIS long means that the Hawks win, no matter what happens...

The Wizards just gave a big "f-u" to the Cavs, Cavs fans, the media and the NBA. DC will be rocking tomorrow night at the Verizon Center...

I wouldn't hire Avery Johnson, would you?

Cliff Lee. Max Scherzer. Ervin Santana. Geovany Soto. Micah Owings.

The BCS will stay as-is until 2014. The Plus-One was DOA (thankfully, because it's an idea I hate). If you want a playoff, perhaps you will now take my not-so-crazy idea seriously that the SEC lead a "SEC-ession" from the BCS to form a new playoff group. If you hate the current system, it cannot be a worse outcome.

Who bets on the Derby? Please remember that for all of my many many (many) predictive misses, I did pick Barbaro to win the Derby.

More later today. I worked on a "final thoughts" about the whole Bissinger thing, which I may or may not post later. (If you see Bissinger's quotes in the NY Times column about the Buzz-Blogs brouhaha, you will see that he is unrepentant and shows not even a smidgen of changed attitude about anything. How enlightened of him. Extremism, in any form and from any corner, is bad.)

-- D.S.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Buzz Bissinger vs. Will Leitch: The Day After

Welcome Ball Don't Lie readers! (h/t Skeets)

The lead of the usual Quickie post was getting too unwieldy with Bissinger updates, so I am breaking it into its own post

I should have led my Sporting News column today with the Buzz Bissinger thing, because that's all anyone who reads blogs is going to be hearing about or talking about this morning. I had this to say last night just after the segment was over, along with links to posts from Will Leitch himself, along with Brian from Awful Announcing.

UPDATE: Orson/Spencer from EDSBS has an amazing post-Bissinger post. What's amazing is that Bissinger isn't inducing outrage; he is inducing even more great work from bloggers (and, yes, some sense of solidarity). But, mostly, thoughtful reactions.

AJ Daulerio weighs in, on Deadspin.

Postman R had a comment on Will's Deadspin post that last night effectively ended the MSM-Blogger schism. I don't think so, though: See Will's point that many in the MSM (Costas, Albom, Wilbon) undoubtedly thought that Bissinger spoke for all of them. That's kind of scary.

UPDATE: Ken Tremendous/Michael Schur from Fire Joe Morgan (who was in the taped piece that ran before the live Bissinger self-immolation).

UPDATE 2: Bissinger is No. 58 on Google Trends' Top 100 most-searched terms at 9:30 a.m. ET. It is likely the highest he has ever been ranked. Tracking... He's up to No. 34 at 10:40 a.m.... He's No. 19 at 4:15, but he may have been higher earlier and I just missed it. (Correct: Apparently, he peaked between 11 and noon.)

More later.

UPDATE: Sporting Blog is doing something on the story, rounding up various thoughts. Here's what I threw in the mix:
"In the end, the hostility -- like most hostility -- is rooted in insecurity. That's not unique to 50-year-olds. Instead of griping (or shouting), I encourage anyone -- professional, amateur or anything in-between -- to take advantage of the emerging platforms of sports media in the way that fits them best... and leave everyone to produce (or consume) as each sees fit."
More later.

UPDATE: Here's a prescient post -- from weeks ago -- by Cajun Boy I.T.C.

Wednesday 04/30 A.M. Quickie:
Bissinger, Suns, Scherzer, BCS, More

I should have led my Sporting News column today with the Buzz Bissinger thing, because that's all anyone who reads blogs is going to be hearing about or talking about this morning. See the post just below this one for my take just after the segment was over, along with links to posts from Will Leitch himself, along with Brian from Awful Announcing.

UPDATE: Orson/Spencer from EDSBS has an amazing post-Bissinger post. What's amazing is that Bissinger isn't inducing outrage; he is inducing even more great work from bloggers (and, yes, some sense of solidarity). But, mostly, thoughtful reactions.

AJ Daulerio weighs in, on Deadspin.

Postman R had a comment on Will's Deadspin post that last night effectively ended the MSM-Blogger schism. I don't think so, though: See Will's point that many in the MSM (Costas, Albom, Wilbon) undoubtedly thought that Bissinger spoke for all of them. That's kind of scary.

UPDATE: Ken Tremendous/Michael Schur from Fire Joe Morgan (who was in the taped piece that ran before the live Bissinger self-immolation).

UPDATE 2: Bissinger is No. 58 on Google Trends' Top 100 most-searched terms at 9:30 a.m. ET. It is likely the highest he has ever been ranked. Tracking...

Meanwhile, the Suns should be imploded -- at least, if they want to win a title -- because the team as currently configured ain't beating the Spurs in the playoffs... ever. And they're likely to lose Mike D'Antoni to the Knicks anyway.

That goes double for the Mavs, who seem even further away from an NBA title -- even a West title (hell, even getting out of the first round) -- than the Suns. Trade/fire EVERYONE, Cubes.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer: Whoa.

The BCS ain't getting solved anytime soon.

If you thought the NBA Playoffs were lame, check out the NHL Playoffs... even lamer. And that's in the conference semifinals.

And I compare Clemens to Ronaldo: They both got their troubles....

You can find it all in today's Sporting News column, with more here at later today.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Buzz Bissinger Does Not Like Blogs

UPDATE: Will's apt post about the event.

Brian from Awful Announcing has a very poignant reaction, too.

That was clear during Buzz Bissinger's freak-out on Costas Now (just now), attacking Will Leitch. The irony is that Will came across as the thoughtful one, and Buzz Bissinger -- self-appointed savior of "old media" -- came across as the unhinged nut. Points to Big Daddy Drew (aka "Balls Deep") and AJ Daulerio for the name-checks. Any pub is good pub!

The other blog posts about it are rolling in: Here's one from MDS at Fanhouse.

The overarching emotion isn't outrage at Bissinger: It's pity for him.

Must-See TV Tonight: Leitch vs. Costas

Bob Costas his hosting a live "town hall" about sports and media, tonight at 10 on HBO. The most intriguing segment is the one where Will Leitch will take on blog-haters Buzz Bissinger and Braylon Edwards, along with Costas, who is no particularly big fan of technology. Expect a TON of infuriating, illogical and inane anti-blog ranting. Really: Is letting fans have a say THAT bad?

Oh Cripes: Is Launching a Pro Football Minor League REALLY That Hard?

Memo to Marvin Tomlin, CEO of the new UNFL, which is trying to position itself as a "minor league" development pipeline to the NFL:

Please see my post from Friday. There is only one competitive advantage your league can create: Recruit star college freshman, sophomores and juniors whom the NFL won't let in.

Period. That's it. Any other strategy is doomed for failure, starting with your league's very name. (Do you really think the NFL won't balk at a league that includes the letters "N-F-L").

-- D.S.

Tuesday 04/29 A.M. Quickie:
Brown, Hawks, Clemens, Haren, More

Today's Sporting News column leads with a name familiar to anyone who has read the Quickie over the past few years:

Larry Brown, a man whose late-career talent for ruining franchises is only matched by the level of sanctimony with which he accomplishes it.

Michael Jordan -- perhaps the least talented active executive in the NBA -- hiring Larry Brown -- perhaps the universally worst fit to coach ANY team -- is destined to fail.

See what else I have to say about it in the column right here.

Meanwhile, how can you not love the spunky Hawks? I'm not saying they will oust the Celtics -- that would mean winning at least one game in Boston -- but they sure exposed the Celtics

(And that's the problem with KG: There may not be a more passionate regular-season player in the history of the NBA. In the playoffs, though, his passion translates into something else.)

The Hawks are the antithesis of the Nuggets, by the way. If I was a Denver fan and was offered the chance to trade entire rosters, straight up, I would do it.

(I mention this at the end of the column: Is there a more intriguing 3-player core than Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford? You get versatility, toughness, youth. That is a trio that Atlanta can build around.)

Meanwhile, in MLB, the D'backs just got even better, with Dan Haren getting out of his flu-ish funk and joining Webb and Owings as the best 1-2-3 pitching combo in baseball.

How can you not love Frank Thomas?

I have more to say about yesterday's activity around Roger Clemens. What I didn't say was this:

I didn't think there was anything that could bump "cheater" from the top-line of Clemens' legacy, but "palling around with a 15-year-old girl" might just do it.

Also from the column: "A (Jump-)Shot at Love with Pat Summitt" may be one of my favorite concepts since I started the SN column. It's a throwaway line, but I love it.

As always, there's a ton more, so check it out here.

-- D.S.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday 04/28 A.M. Quickie:
Draft, NBA Duds, Clemens Scandal, More

Matt Ryan may turn out to be a fine NFL QB, but the Falcons took him for the wrong reasons, and I can't help thinking that, at least in part, they relate to -- and rhyme with -- "face."

That's the lead of my Sporting News column this morning, and I encourage you to check it out.

You'll also get my take on the Clemens "affair-with-a-15-year-old" scandal, which should go crazy today...

My take on the state of the NBA Playoffs, which is, to summarize: Brutal.

My take on the weekend in MLB, which basically insists that you jump on the Rays bandwagon...

My take on the lack of progress on BCS reform, where I can the Plus-One and float the "SEC-ession" plan...

My take on the fast-follower (no pun intended) to Danica Patrick...

And even a shout-out to the Brothers Mottram for the one time a year their blog is -- cough -- relevant.

Start your day with the column, and I'll be back around later today for sure with more.

-- D.S.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday 04/27 (Very) Quickie

NFL Draft Mania: You can find most of my first-round gut-reaction analysis on my Twitter page here, with my favorite analysis being that the Falcons would have been better off with Glenn Dorsey and Brian Brohm than Matt Ryan and Curtis Lofton. Oh, and Darren McFadden's Raiders jersey will be the NFL's top seller for a rookie.

The 2nd Round Highlights: The first WR is taken (and I'll bet that NO experts predicted either that zero WRs would go in the first round or that Avery would be the first to get taken)... Skins get a steal in Devin Thomas... Brian Brohm wins the "Most Lost Money By Not Turning Pro Early When He Should Have" Award, going late in the 2nd to the Packers, who create an instant QB controversy... Chad Henne is the anti-Brohm, jumping into the late 2nd (just behind Brohm) and joining Michigan teammate Jake Long in Miami (though both Henne and Brohm dropped further than they were projected to go)... Jacksonville adds to the DE stockpile, getting Quentin Groves to go with Derrick Harvey... Loved the Ravens taking Ray Rice... Loved the Bucs taking App State's Dexter Jackson... more coming tomorrow, particularly when the later rounds finish up today.

Instant buzz over whether a team had a great or bad draft can not only impact them today and tomorrow, but all offseason: The Chiefs were the consensus big winners, with the Dolphins and Steelers joining them at the top. But KC was definitely the big winner (and, surprise surprise, it starts because they got Glenn Dorsey -- do you hear anyone saying that the Falcons were a Top 5 "winner" in the Draft? No. Thank you.)

NBA: Jazz and Magic both go up 3-1... did anyone see the Hawks winning a game vs. the Celtics? Well, they did.... The Lakers are about to sweep out the Nuggets... wasn't everyone saying that the West playoffs were going to be epic? This first round kind of sucks.

Let me be clear: The Bobcats hiring Larry Brown would be the biggest mistake in franchise history -- oh, besides letting Michael Jordan be the top exec with the decision-making power to actually hire Larry Brown.

Stanford hires Duke's Johnny Dawkins: Not bad, not exciting either.

More later.

-- D.S.