Saturday, January 22, 2011

1/22 Quickie: Jets, QBs, CBB, Rays

It's a long 36 hours or so until the NFL's conference-championship double-header, which -- if form holds -- will end up being one of the most-watched days of non-Super Bowl NFL in history.

The build-up has been near-SB in volume and intensity -- Rex and Tomlin, Rodgers vs. Cutler, Big Ben and history, Bart Scott and "Can't Wait!" The Jets' LACK of trash-talk is a story.

So what can keep us occupied until then?

Today is a terrific day of college hoops, with games running from noon (Ohio State-Illinois on CBS, Villanova-Syracuse on ESPN) through midnight, when Michigan State-Purdue will probably end).

So if you've been holding off on CBB this season for all the other stuff on the sports agenda -- mainly college football and pro football, with some NBA and NHL sprinkled in -- this is your day. Pay particular attention to OSU's Jared Sullinger -- the best post player in college hoops this year -- and UConn's Kemba Walker (playing Tennessee at 4 on CBS), who is the best guard in the country this year. There: You're all caught up.

Meanwhile, the whole baseball world is having a pretty good chuckle at the expense of the Angels, who took on the expense of Vernon Wells, who is vastly overpaid and has some questionable skills. It smacks of early-90s Yankees desperation, and the Angels' performance next season should reflect that. That team went from one that should have had the playoffs on lockdown for a half-decade to one that may have the least momentum in its division.

And I love the Rays signing Manny and Johnny Damon. First of all, I think Manny still has some pop and he is going to end up having a surprisingly good year -- you can already see this coming. And the pair of them might actually put Red Sox Nation who live in the Tampa-St. Pete area into seats from time to time. But Manny for $2 million? Where's the risk?

Wrapping in a bit of non-sports news, how about that surprise exit of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC last night? I know his deal will prevent him from doing TV news for a while, but I really do think he would be great if he moved over to MLB Network for the season and put all his energy and enthusiasm into baseball. It would be therapeutic for him and a benefit to baseball fans, who recognize that -- no matter what your political affiliation or temperament -- Olbermann knows and loves baseball.

Finally, if you didn't hear about it yesterday afternoon, we announced the SXSW sports-media panel I will be moderating, and it's going to be fantastic: ESPN's Jemele Hill, CNBC's Darren Rovell, SBNation's Spencer Hall and Deadspin's AJ Daulerio. It should be a frank and fast-paced discussion of the state of the industry.

Please give Quickish a look today (or throughout the day) -- and don't forget to come by tomorrow, particularly during the NFL games. I've found that Quickish during live events like football games is particularly useful for fans who are watching the game and are looking for a "second screen" experience. Thanks in advance!

Enjoy your Saturday.

-- D.S.

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