*Have you signed up for my new email newsletter yet? Sign up here. Launching soon.
*Ballmer takes over as Clippers owner: It's a new era -- and a much, much better one for Clippers fans and the NBA at large.
*Speaking of the NBA, the 2014-15 schedule is released today, and the headliner -- as always -- is who gets to play on Christmas. Cavs at Heat is the headliner -- how many weeks will Dwyane Wade have to rest in order to be ready to play 100% for that one? -- but how about my Wiz tipping things off at MSG?
*Josh Donaldson + Jon Lester isn't just the A's formula to beat the Royals last night; it feels like the A's formula to win at least 2 games per seven-game playoff series.
*I am getting so excited about college football. Over the weekend, I went through the entire schedule, week by week, and came up with a list of the most intriguing/important games. So many, especially with double the number of playoff spots this season. I'll post that next week.
*Only meaningful to me, apparently: I don't understand how Brady Quinn (Miami) and Rex Grossman (Cleveland) can get jobs on NFL rosters and Tim Tebow doesn't even get a sniff.
*Deadspin's Greg Howard is one of my favorite writers of 2014 (earlier this summer, his longread on Jason Whitlock was one of the best pieces of media criticism/analysis/reporting I have read in a while), and this essay on Ferguson will help you understand why.
*SXSW "Panel Picker" launches: In March at SXSW, I produced a great 1:1 conversation featuring Texas Tech head coach Kirk Kingsbury. We've got another panel up for SXSW '15 -- a 1:1 with Baylor's fascinating football coach Art Briles. Learn more (and vote for it?) here.
*One more SXSW panels: I'm moderating a panel featuring ESPN's Marie Donoghue (who runs Grantland and 538, among other things) and NBC Sports Network's Ron Wechsler (who just landed Men In Blazers, among other things), along with longtime industry observer John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. The topic is "The Near-Future of Sports TV," and it should be great. Learn more (and vote for it?) here.
*And one more: My colleague Mike Foss has put together a fascinating panel on the state of the out LGBT athlete in 2015, featuring Jason Collins, Megan Rapinoe and Brittney Griner. That should be a tremendous event. Learn more (and vote for it?) here.
*My USA TODAY Sports colleagues have launched two new fantasy-related products: A brand-new hub for fantasy news and FantasyScore, a new daily fantasy game. Very bullish on daily fantasy.