Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday 06/07 (Very) Quickie

Big Brown runs for immortality later today, and I'm not sure there has been a bigger lock in sports this year than B.B. winning the Triple Crown.

As it turns out, Doug Collins will NOT be coaching the Bulls, which is really good news for Bulls fans.

Will Paul Pierce play in Game 2? He says "great chance," I say there will be a great chance that his will-he-or-won't-he will be inflated to ludicrous Willis Reed proportions (hey, they already started during Game 1, which was laughable).

Brandon Webb: 11 wins.
Scott Kazmir: Ws in 6 straight starts.

The White Sox are Chicago's new hot team and won their 4th straight: Quentin HR, Crede 2 HR.

French Open: You don't have to like tennis to be interested in watching Federer-Nadal in the final tomorrow.

-- D.S.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday 06/06 A.M. Quickie:
Celtics, Big Brown, Chipper, D-Mac, More

Paul Pierce is not Willis Reed. Why not let Pierce's dramatic turnaround have its own moment, rather than saddle it with historical baggage? More later, but that's today's SN lead item.

(This is what I get for having multiple blogs. I posted this to Varsity Dad earlier this morning by mistake, and it took an email from my mom to make me realize it. Thanks for reading, Mom!)

-- D.S.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Will Leitch Leaving Deadspin

Here is his post. My reaction coming shortly. However, it is just about as big as news gets within the sports blog universe, given Leitch's pole position and uber-prominence. Big shoes. Really big. Congrats to him on an unbelievable run that entertained as much as it influenced, which is saying something. New York Mag is lucky to grab him. -- D.S.

With Drew Magary As Big Daddy Drew

What a big moment -- no pun intended -- for the guy who is probably the funniest sportswriter in America today.

When folks talk about talents who would have likely been found anyway, but for whom the platform of blogs was the ultimate accelerant, Drew is usually Example A.

I also liked his take on anony-bloggers. Obviously, I didn't go that way, but I respect and appreciate all who do.

But there's no question: There is a reason all these formerly anonymous bloggers are suddenly outing themselves; your best brand equity ultimately is in your name -- your real name.

(Thus:, rather than

-- D.S.

Free Darko Invites Me In for Free Drafto

I really do love the NBA Draft, and I didn't participate in this roundtable at Free Darko nearly as much as I should have, but I appreciated the invite to be a part of it, even in my small way.

Thursday 06/05 A.M. Quickie:
NBA Finals, Wings Win, Cubs Lose, More

Do you HAVE to pick a side in the NBA Finals? What if you hate BOTH teams?

Is it possible to not have a rooting interest (or be rooting against both), but simply want to see a good series? Can you not be rooting for a particular result, but still have an opinion about who will win?

Of course: Lakers in 5, which will become a stinging indictment of the NBA's 2-3-2 Finals system.

The NBA Finals lead today's Sporting News column. Apparently, something was in my Wheaties this morning, because -- format-wise -- it is as rapid-fire as it has been in a while. (Too many one-liner comments can be too much, even for someone who loves the shallow commentary, but today for whatever reason, that was the vibe I was feeling.)

Anyway, there's a lot more: Tons of MLB (even the MLB Draft), a big fat acknowledgement that I don't know enough about hockey to properly put the Wings' Cup win into perspective.

(But I do know enough about sports fans to know that Game 5 was a breakthrough for the league. OK, so here's how they sustain it: Only hold do-or-die playoff games that go into 3OT and make sure they are on national broadcast network TV. Yeah, right.)

For god's sake, I even reference Euro 08. But no references to Drew Magary. That's for later.

Complete column here
. More later.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday 06/04 A.M. Quickie:
Wade, Bonds, Joba, Pedro, Cubs, More

There are two fairly provocative memes floating around in the last 24 hours, which I awkwardly mashed together as the lead of today's Sporting News column:

Should the Heat trade Dwyane Wade to the Bulls? (My opinion, essentially: Why not?)

Should the Red Sox sign Barry Bonds? (My opinion, essentially: Why not?)

Alone, they are merely fantastic topics of discussion/argument. Together, they spice up an otherwise fairly quiet mid-week lull as we are bombarded with memories of the NBA in the 80s.

More from the column: Joba sucks, Pedro rules, Josh Hamilton rules, Joe Saunders rules, the Cubs rule, Chipper Jones rules. There's a lot more, as usual.

Including: Jamie Mottram and Dan Steinberg finally posted the video of Erin Andrews coming on their locally produced Blog Show. (Two words: So jealous.)

I know EA is the biggest star among proprietors and readers of the sports-blog world, but I would argue that ESPN doesn't have a more valuable talent. She should have a much bigger stage than mere sideline reporter for ESPN's biggest events (MLB, CFB, CBB, B-E-E...hey, why not MNF?) Prediction: She'll have her own full-time show within a year from now.

It's a getaway day for me (a day ahead of MLB), so I'd like to post more later, but we'll see. Surprising: No reaction to my prediction yesterday afternoon that Google will epically disrupt the online sports landscape for fans and media players alike?

-- D.S.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Google Sports Will Rule Online Sports

For those of us who eat, sleep and breathe the online sports business, this is worth filing away.

This goes beyond the "commodity" content like scores, stats and recaps (which drive a you-have-no-idea-how-much proportion of the page views on the major sports sites), presented in that post above.

What "commodity" content quickly turns into is...fantasy sports applications, the motherlode of sports traffic online.

If/when Google gets into fantasy sports -- something entirely data-driven the Google could do very well -- the game will be over for everyone else.

(When my Gmail email app and my Gtalk IM app and my Google Alerts and my Google Docs and my Google News updates are all working seamlessly in a fantasy app, that's It.)

There are too many page views and too much ad revenue in fantasy sports for Google not to see this as an incredibly intriguing application extension.

(How convenient that the Supreme Court just agreed that fantasy stats should be universally accessible to anyone, even without a license from the leagues. That's a bulls-eye for Google.)

-- D.S.

Tuesday 06/03 A.M. Quickie:
Pens, NBA Finals, Utley, Zambrano, More

I haven't watched much of the NHL playoffs, but I happened to watch the 3rd period last night -- who wants to miss a championship moment?

Apparently, we all do: The series goes on. What a goal at the end of regulation. I couldn't stay up for all 3 OTs, but Fleury's 55 saves told the story well enough.

When it comes to championship games, it's all about expectations, as I write in today's Sporting News column: Some teams are "Title or Bust"; some are "Happy to Be Here."

In fact, I would argue that in every championship pairing, you can divide the participants into one of those two categories.

The Penguins defied the latter, even if they aren't quite the former yet. But I think their fans have to be happy that if indeed the team is going down, they're going down swinging.

Expectations are my big factor in the NBA Finals, too: You Celtics fans can correct me (as you always do), but it seems that with this team, anything less than a championship is a failure, even if the mere turnaround from last season would argue otherwise. But would you really be satisfied simply winning the East? I can't believe you would.

"Title or Bust" wasn't always that way with the Lakers this season (say, back in October), but it sure as hell is now. Lakers fans have to be expecting a title here, too.

So someone will walk away bitterly disappointed. Which should make the rest of us happy.

Meanwhile: Utley. Good goshamighty: Utley.

And I have decided that Josh Hamilton needs a nickname, preferably something that slyly refers to his sketchy past with drug addiction -- but in a classy way, please. (Like, for example, "Snorts" would probably not be classy. Accurate, but not classy.) Nominations in the Comments.

While I don't regret giving Brandon Webb my "Through Two Months" NL Cy Young Award, Carlos Zambrano is making a serious case to win the "Through Three Months" Edition. That would be his 8th win, complete with a stand-up triple (and 3 hits total).

I really really really don't care about either Pac-Man Jones or T.O., yet they keep showing up in the news.

For a lot more, see today's column
, near the bottom, for a link to that cool Google Maps app that lets you see all the different football stadiums rendered in 3D.

More later.

Oh, and if you fancy yourself a writer, you might want to consider entering this contest, in which I am giving away $5,000 for a 500-word piece of content on the topic of your choice.

(Well, not me: My company. But as I am czar of the contest, it is my job to promote participation -- and I like saying that I am giving away $5,000. But you gotta earn it. For $5K, I figure even Buzz Bissinger might enter.)

-- D.S.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddly: Star of Greatest Sports Ad Ever?

Bo Diddly has a special place with sports fans: As the soundtrack to the "Bo Knows" Nike ad, which is arguably the greatest sports ad in history.

Here is the link.

Check the cameos by: Kirk Gibson! Jim Everett!(?!) Michael Jordan! John McEnroe! Wayne Gretzky! Assorted homoerotically charged Venice Beach weightlifters!

As we remember the musician Bo Diddly, it's just one more reminder that Bo Jackson was probably the most unique and well-rounded athlete in modern sports history.

-- D.S.

Monday 06/02 A.M. Quickie:
Celtics, Lakers, Manny, Jay Bruce, More

The Celtics-Lakers "It's-1987-All-Over-Again" NBA Finals pairing IS a best-case scenario for the league -- but it isn't without its risk factors, including its (over-) reliance on nostalgia.

The NBA: "Where 1987 Happens." (Ooh: Let me alert the fans pushing 40 and beyond.)

That's the lead of today's Sporting News column, which includes a big fat wet kiss to the Celtics and their fans for the way the C's closed out the Pistons last week.

Other than that, it was a big weekend in MLB: Manny went 501 after going 500, Junior didn't go 600, Hamilton and Utley kept hammering away, Brandon Webb got back on track (and Scott Kazmir showed why he is probably the best pitcher in the AL right now). And Jay Bruce has to have had the best first week of any player any of us can remember.

The Cubs have won 7 straight and the Rays just took 3 of 4 from the White Sox in a battle of division-leaders. Is it wrong to openly root for a Cubs-Rays World Series? Don't think so.

There's a ton more in the column today; you can check it out here (coming by/around 9 a.m.).

More later.

-- D.S.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday 06/01 (Very) Quickie

Usain Bolt runs a world record 9.71 100, making him the Fastest Man Alive. He also affirms his place as having the best name in sports...

Manny Ramirez joins 500 HR Club: One more milestone in the career of arguably the greatest hitter of our generation, joining 23 other sluggers...

Meanwhile, Griffey hits No. 599 -- obviously the 600 Club is even more exclusive than 500...

MLB: Brandon Webb gets off the mini-schneid, wins 10th in a shut-out over the Nats... Scott Kazmir wins 5th straight start (as of June 1, the best SP in the AL?)... Cubs win 6th straight behind Soriano's HR and 3 RBI... Unstoppable: Josh Hamilton (HR No. 14) and Chase Utley (HR No. 19) and Jay Bruce (HR No. 1)...

Wings win in Pittsburgh, up 3-1 in series: It's all but over.

Kimbo Slice wins in TKO in MMA's broadcast network debut, but it wasn't dominant by any means...

Want to understand why China will dominate its own Olympics in two months? Check out this story.

-- D.S.