Saturday, July 18, 2009

On The Erin Andrews Video

First: Good for her (or her lawyers) for releasing this.

Second: AJ's post-mortem post about this must be read.

Third: I suspect that we have reached an irrevocable BC/AD moment in the "Erin Andrews" thing.

BC: (Mostly) fun blogger meme, because of the whole "Erin Pageviews" or "Wow, she covers sports and is really attractive" (which I have long-argued is totally mis-read anyway).

AD: Give it up, folks -- the objectification has resulted in something going too far. Maybe I'm mis-reading and in a few months, folks will go back to posting pics.

But my sense is that the meme crossed a boundary -- a truly unfortunate one -- and it will, by necessity, self-correct in the other direction.

-- D.S.

Saturday 07/18 (Very) Quickie

Now, more than ever: How can you NOT be rooting for Tom Watson? This is the most interesting non-Tiger thing to happen in golf in recent memory.

(It actually helps mitigate the fact that Tiger missed the cut, which is among the most interesting Tiger things to happen in golf in recent memory.)

-- D.S.

"The Most Trusted Man In America"

RIP, Walter Cronkite.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday 07/17 Quickie: Manny,
Watson, Holtz, Beckham, Millsap, More

First of all, it's a relief to get these past 72 hours over. Beyond launching a new blog, this past Wednesday and Thursday (leading into Friday morning) were the slowest 48 hours of the sports year.

So it's a great time to take yesterday's Manny LA homecoming and put it in perspective in the lead of today's SN column: Let's end this "Fans don't care about PEDs" once and for all. They don't. MSM, please stop bringing it up.

(Although it gave me an excuse to trot out my favorite poll response of all time -- back on about 7 or 8 years ago, fans were asked what the worst offense in baseball is. "Cheating with steroids" finished behind the No. 1 answer: Lollygagging. Best. Response. Ever.)

But it's a testament to sports that even during this ridiculously slow stretch, there's still a lot to talk about:

*How can you NOT love Tom Watson? It's like your grandpa at the top of the leaderboard.

*Jazz keep Millsap: OK, they HAVE to trade Boozer now, right? Get him to Miami, with Odom -- Wade re-signs, and Miami is suddenly an elite contender for a half-decade.

*Ricky Rubio wearing down? Sounds like he's resigned to the idea that Minnesota won't let him go. That still doesn't explain how/why the T'wolves will play Jonny Flynn, too. (Flynn has been very good in Summer League.)

*Speaking of summer league, two words: Anthony. Morrow.

*Congratulations to Pat Fitzgerald on being enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. I don't know where to rank him precisely, but he is one of the best defensive players in college football history, and his run between 95 and 96 -- two-time National Defensive Player of the Year -- remains elite.

*Go to the column, scroll down and click on the link for the new Patton Oswalt sports movie. It looks really good -- particularly for a sports movie.

*David Beckham's MLS return? Zzz. But Grant Wahl's new book ABOUT Beckham -- "The Beckham Experiment" -- is a must-read by one of the best sportswriters in the country (how many others are versatile enough to write passionately and expertly about both college hoops and soccer?) I'm halfway through and really enjoying it.

*I really am going to try to limit my cross-promotion between and -- but when there's a decent national Tebow story, it would be intellectually dishonest for me not to bring it up (and many of you will likely appreciate the decrease in pure Tebow posts here, too!)

Anyway: The SEC Coaches came out with their preseason all-conference team... and one coach didn't put Tebow on the 1st team. Now, it wasn't Urban Meyer -- coaches can't vote for their own players. And it wasn't Houston Nutt -- he couldn't vote for Jevan Snead anyway. But someone presumably felt like Snead was better than Tebow -- I think Snead is very good (and he will likely be a higher NFL Draft pick than Tebow, too), but it is ludicrous to pick him ahead of Tebow.

The odds-on choice for the snub is, of course, Lane Kiffin, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone else did it. (Saban? Petrino? Spurrier?) This would all be resolved, of course, if coaches had to make their ballots public. This secret-ballot thing is ludicrous.

Complete SN column here
. For those not checking the blog(s) this weekend, have an enjoyable one. For those staying in touch, more later -- across the entire "Shanoff network" of blogs.

-- D.S.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday 07/16 Quickie: ESPYs
Phelps, Favre, MLB 2nd Half, Odom

How fortuitous that the day I launch a blog dedicated to coverage of Tim Tebow, he wins an ESPY as Best Male College Athlete.

But he wasn't the big winner at the ESPYs. That would be Michael Phelps, who cleaned up with 5, including Best Male Athlete -- an award owned by Tiger over the past few years.

Obviously, Phelps was the most deserving winner this year. As was Larry Fitzgerald as Best NFL Player -- one thing the ESPYs have over traditional sport awards? The playoffs count.

But the biggest differentiator -- and why I like the ESPYs and led today's SN column with them: It's the fans' vote. Call it a popularity contest if you want, but I'd rather have the fans voting than so-called "experts." (Even designating someone as "expert" is offensive, when most fans know just as much, if not more.)

So kudos to ESPN on having the ESPYs on the Slowest Sports Day of the Year. But why not run it live last night, when fans had nothing better to watch? By Sunday's broadcast, everyone knows who won.

More you'll find in today's column:
*Roy Halladay is MLB's biggest 2nd-half X-factor.
*If the Heat sign Odom and Boozer, Wade owes them a long-term commitment NOW.
*Summer-league star: Austin Daye
*Possible names for a new sitcom about fantasy football.
And a lot more.

Complete column here. More later.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Need A Fix During Today's Slow Sports Day?
Try or

So today might be the Slowest Sports Day of the Year. What better day to re-launch one blog... and launch another?

(1) Varsity Dad: If you have kids -- or will one day have kids, or remember how your relationship with either of your parents impacted your sports fandom -- I encourage you to check out the new-and-improved Varsity Dad, the ultimate site for the intersection of sports and parenting -- now with updates multiple times per day!

(2) Would you look at that? Someone went out and launched a blog dedicated to...Tim Tebow! (Wow, seems pretty loaded with posts already -- this looks like the ultimate site for all things Tebow, but created with editorial credibility, not fanboyism, in mind.) Who would possibly have the reputable curation skills to go with the obsessive interest... aha!

(Are the blogs for everyone? No. But what blog is? But if either is for you: I hope you like them -- and check back often. And, if you would, pass along to any friends or colleagues who might like them.)

-- D.S.

(If you had "July 15" in the office pool for "When will Dan launch a Tim Tebow blog?" please collect your ample prize money.)

Wednesday 07/15 Quickie:
The Slowest Day of the Sports Year?

Perhaps the Slowest Day of the Sports Year -- which today arguably is, per my SN column -- should be some sort of holiday among sports fans.

Either (a) discover something new and interesting online or (b) perhaps go outside, during the hours you'd normally be scouring the Web for sports news, fantasy management, etc.

I have two suggestions, coming shortly.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday 07/14 Quickie: More Pujols,
Prince, President Obama, Griffin, Meyer

I let Albert Pujols write the lead of today's SN column. No, seriously. (Well, not quite in the way that you think -- but everything he said yesterday lines up with your standard columnist structure.)

Otherwise, that HR Derby was a dud, wasn't it? I love the Nelson Cruz story, though. Breaking through at 29 after less than a full season's worth of career ABs -- you don't see that happen very often.

I'm betting President Obama grooves that first pitch tonight to Pujols -- then goes into the booth and puts out at least one pro-White Sox comment. I approve in advance of Joe Buck slurpery.

Blake Griffin -- yes, the real deal. But Tyreke Evans (33-9-8) continues to look like the most talented (highest ceiling) player in the draft class. And Stephen Curry shoots too much.

Urban Meyer isn't going to Notre Dame. "Ever." That's a pretty strong statement. He has a long career ahead of him, and even as a die-hard Florida fan, I don't expect him to stay at UF forever.

I expect him to win a bunch more national titles, then coach the Patriots as Bill Belichick's hand-picked successor. Then, when that no longer satisfies him -- let's call it the standard college god-coach NFL tenure of plus/minus 4 years -- he will have his choice of college jobs.

I guarantee you at that point that Notre Dame will fire whoever their coach is to hire Meyer, if he'll have them. The "Ever" statement implies that he would never even accept that job.

I am interpreting it as the idea that Urban Meyer would never "Ever" go to Notre Dame directly from Florida. (After all, consider the unlikelihood back in 2000 that Steve Spurrier would "Ever" coach another team in the SEC East.)

Still, I think it's fun that he is willing to address it head-on.

Watch this storyline: Delaware wants to be able to have fans bet on single NFL games, not just parlays. That could be huge for the state.

By the way, just in time for tomorrow's annual "Slowest Day of the Sports Year," I believe I will be ready to announce not one but TWO big pieces of news. One won't be THAT much of a surprise; the other? Hmm: Not a surprise, per se, but probably will trigger something like bemused shock.

Complete SN column here.

-- D.S.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Ultimate Varsity Dad Ad

I'm really trying not to mingle posts with Varsity Dad posts, but I just saw this ad during the Home Run Derby that probably captures the spirit of Varsity Dad better than anything. (State Farm: Call me!)

Varsity Dad Cross-Post: HR Derby

Check out Varsity Dad today for a breakdown of the Home Run Derby, one of the most Varsity Dad-friendly sports events of the year.

-- D.S.

"I'm Not Going To Notre Dame. Ever"

"I'm Not Going to Notre Dame. Ever."

That's Urban Meyer, making things pretty clear about his future at Florida.

(Note he didn't say: "I'm not going to the New England Patriots. After Bill Belichick retires in a few years. And Belichick and Bob Kraft hand-pick me as his successor. With Tebow replacing Brady.")

Sorry, Notre Dame fans. (Keep telling yourselves that Charlie Weis has things looking up!)

-- D.S.

Monday 07/13 Quickie: Pujols,
Home Run Derby, Summer League, More

Aaand we're back.

I will present this statement (which leads today's SN column) with zero cynicism:

Albert Pujols has saved baseball this season.

It was hijacked in early spring by A-Rod, then again by Manny just after the season started. Now, let's set aside that -- as we know -- fans don't really care about PEDs or cheating.

But the media sure makes an issue out of it. And Pujols has been the antidote (again, hold your cynicism, please).

He is crushing the ball, affirming his place as (a) the best player in baseball, (b) the best player of the decade, (c) one of the greatest players of all-time, based on his first 9 seasons.

The Cardinals are a (mild) surprise to be leading the NL Central at the break (I believe I picked the Cards to win the division back in the spring.)

And St. Louis will host this year's All-Star Game -- and a more earnest bunch of fans you will not find anywhere else in baseball. They will politely cheer everyone.

And they will roar when Pujols steps up for the Home Run Derby tonight. He's a must-see -- in addition to the favorite. (I'm also intrigued to see Joe Mauer, the AL's version of Pujols.)

It has been the Summer of the Cardinals -- Pujols, First Place, All-Star Game -- and for that they can thank the best player in baseball.

More you'll find in today's column:
*I go through every NBA Vegas Summer League box score so you don't have to! (Short version: Anthony Randolph is killing it. Stephen Curry shoots a lot. DaJuan Summers is a pleasant surprise. DeJuan Blair's double-double is NO surprise. Rodrique Beaubois is the real deal.

*MLB Talking Points
*Favre update (ugh)
*UFC 100 as WWE
*More Wade mockery (and my vision that he ends up playing for...the Knicks!)

Complete column here. More later.

-- D.S.