Names to Know: CJ Spiller, Rex Ryan, Antonio Cromartie, Derrek Lee, Evan Longoria, Joe Mauer, Jason Heyward, WAC, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Tebow, Tim Layden, BlogPoll and More.
NFL Tonight: Colts/Bills (let's see how CJ Spiller does as The Guy) and Patriots/Falcons. (Nope, no Favre updates here...)a
"Hard Knocks" Watch: A lot less F-bombing from Rex Ryan -- I'm quite sure he didn't curse less; the show's editors chose to take them out after last week's reactions -- but that's not the point. If cursing is who he is, then I'm with Ryan: Who is anyone else (Tony Dungy) to $%^&-ing judge?
(UPDATE: I'm sorry -- this Antonio Cromatrie thing is blowing up.)
MLB Notes: Huge sweep for the Rays over the Rangers in a preview of what will happen if they meet in the playoffs... Back in April, would you have believed that it would take until August 18 for Joe Mauer to hit a HR at Target Field?... J-Hey: Walk-off....
Derrek Lee traded: Seems a bit awkward that Lee's first game with the Braves will be at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, but at least Cubs fans will be able to give him a proper cheer for his career.
BYU/WAC/MWC Madness: It's like a poor man's Big 12 situation from earlier this summer. The latest: The MWC is raiding the WAC for Fresno St and Nevada -- and potentially keeping BYU in the fold? I'd still like to see BYU go indie in football, if only for the novelty. (It's a tough blow to the WAC if the MWC takes two of its best football teams.)
Carmelo likes Houston, Brooklyn: Could either the Rockets or the Nets come up with a trade package to satisfy the Nuggets? Might be a stretch for the Rockets; that's the downside of Daryl Morey's system of finding undervalued players.
As for the Nets, this is huge: They were shut out of the Summer of 2010 free-agent frenzy and are desperate for a Face of the franchise as the team looks to move to Brooklyn in 2 years. I'd simply offer Derrick Favors -- and if the Nuggets were smart, they would jump on that.
(Carmelo might be fumbling this a bit -- although you'd think Nuggets fans would rather get something for him now than see him leave them empty-handed, LeBron-style -- but I love that he recognizes the upside of the Nets. Pair him with Brook Lopez, Devin Harris and a Top 5 Lottery pick next year and the Nets have a solid core.)
Obligatory Tebow item: Injured?! Remember that TD he scored as time expired on Sunday night. Yeah, that might have injured him a bit in the ribs. He probably won't play in Denver's 2nd preseason game, but it's not so bad that if it was a regular-season game, he wouldn't play.
Media: ESPN.com re-designed their top nav bar and I really like it.
BTW: I enjoy Mark Schlabach's annual "What's Hot (and Not)" list for college football each August, but let's take a trip in the way-back machine to ESPN.com's (ahem) original "What's Hot/What's Not" list for college football... from 2002. Check it out if you want to feel old.
More CFB: Don't forget to weigh in on my initial BlogPoll Top 25 ballot.
Coming later this morning: A small announcement about a new sponsorship relationship I'm experimenting with here.
(Nominally related, I have not one but two fantasy drafts today: One related to the sponsorship and one for the league I've been in for years. Will I draft Tebow? In either? Both? At all?)
Coming at 1-ish: Day 3 of my Summer Reading Series, Tim Layden's "Blood, Sweat and Chalk." (See yesterday's: Weinreb's Bigger Than the Game)