MJD on Twitter and me in today's SN column had the same thought: There is something uniquely awesome about the weekday mid-day major sporting event -- NCAA Tournament. World Cup. Today's US Open final round. (Tennis early-rounds don't have the same cachet.)
When Tiger isn't a factor in a golf major, it really takes some special circumstances to make folks care. A weekday mid-day finish helps. So does a guy in the lead who has assumed the persona of "Hipster Golfer" -- Ricky Barnes.
Why to follow today? To see if Barnes completes his ooh-sooo-close finish. No, not to see where David Duval ends up. That guy remains unlikeable, even a decade after he last mattered.
It's a packed column today:
*Favre has ALREADY signed with the Vikings? Intriguing, if true. But does it matter, one way or the other? Everyone knows he's going to sign with them. I could "break" that story now (or next week, or last week, or last month) -- it's just a question of when I would be right.
*Albert Pujols is just so freaking spectacular. I long claimed that Manny was the best hitter of this generation, but given that he's a decade older than Pujols, maybe we need to separate them -- because if we put them head-to-head, I'll take Albert. So now it's a question of figuring out who the last player to be a better hitter than Pujols was... I'm hard-pressed to think of somone in the "modern" (post-ESPN) era. You could say A-Rod, but A-Rod juiced and -- for now -- there is no evidence that Pujols has done anything but be naturally awesome. (Oh, and don't try to wring me with that "for now" comment; that's the world we live in.)
*NBA Draft: With or without a bum shoulder, Hasheem Thabeet is at the top of my list of overrated NBA draftees. On the plus side, he has at least one NBA-valuable skill -- shot-blocking. But I'm so underwhelmed by the rest of his game. DeJuan Blair owned him, and Blair is like 6-foot-5 with an NBA-quality rump. I wouldn't make him the No. 2 pick, and I certainly wouldn't trade up to get him, no matter what my team needs were. (The bum shoulder is only a very scary sub-plot.) I guess the T'wolves could use shot-blocking, but this seems like a mistake.
By the way, it sounds like everyone is quickly getting very high on Tyreke Evans. Yesterday in my "moment-of-clarity" mock, I had him rising into the Top 5 and going to the Wizards. Now, I think he could go higher than that. Maybe No. 3 to the Thunder or No. 4 to the Kings. The Clippers won't take him and the Grizzlies don't need him. Everyone after that could use him. I might even make him my No. 1 prospect on the board, even higher than Griffin. Plus: Barack Obama loves him. How could Evans go wrong? (And I say that as someone who used to think Evans had "classic bust" written all over him. I hate the former AAU uber-stars.)
Complete column here. More later.