Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Headlines for Wednesday, January 31

Liberty Bonds - Barry Bonds and the Giants are still unclear about the "right to terminate" provision in the outfielder's latest contract; Bonds is blaming the vague wording on teammates Pedro Feliz and Steve Kline.

All-Star Rumble in the Bronx - Yankee Stadium is set to host MLB's All-Star Game in 2008, the final year of the stadium's operation. Bud Selig called the stadium "a natural fit, because by 2008 the AL All-Stars will just be the Yankees with Vlad Guererro swapped in for Andy Phillips."

Tank-ful - Bears D-lineman Tank Johnson is claiming to have a new perspective on life after his recent arrest, claiming "It showed me that you've got to be more careful with who you surround yourself with and some of the time you spend off the field." He added, "For example, I was hanging out with a lot of guns."

Missing Stu - Stu Inman, former player personnel director of the Portland Trailblazers, passed away at the age of 80; inspired Blazers got together to proclaim, "we're gonna win 35 games for Stu!"

General Marry-er - Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was recently married at a quiet ceremony at the Nathan's hot dog stand on Coney Island. He chose Nathan's after his first three choices, Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter's Upper East Side Apartment, and Blondie's Sports Bar during a Yankee playoff game were unavailable.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Longest Winning Streaks In Sports

The Suns' 17th straight win on Sunday was impressive, but, in order to retroactively diminish this accomplishment, let's take a look at some of the longest winning streaks in the history of organized sport. Also, this article will hopefully get me some Google hits somewhere down the road, boobs hot sex webcam free download porn.

Turns out, the Suns have a ways to go - the longest winning streak in NBA history is [fucking] 33 straight wins by the 1971-72 LA Lakers. No one's even close - the Milwaukee Bucks of the previous season won 20 straight en route to a championship season, although the Lakers shattered that record in '72 then knocked the Bucks out of the playoffs. Phil Jackson's '99 Lakers notched 19, though the Jordan era Bulls never ran off more than 18, tied with the '81-'82 Celtics and the '69-'70 Knicks. Also, despite what this confusingly worded article says, the Charlotte Bobcats do not, in fact, crack the top trillion.

Numerically speaking, the shortest record streak of the major professional sports belongs to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, who won 17 straight in the 1992-93 season. History fails to mention that the Penguins were likely inspired by yours truly attending many of the games during this streak, though granted, I was still of the age where I was buying twist ice cream cones at the games and pretending the vanilla and chocolate ice creams were fighting. Also, bear in mind that in the NOT NEW NHL, or whatever the league was called back then, ties were commonplace - the longest unbeaten streak in NHL history belongs to the '79-'80 Flyers, who were ultimately upended in the Cup Finals by Al Arbour's Islanders. The Islanders also eliminated the '92-'93 Penguins, and my mom yelled at me for throwing a puck at the tv after it happened.

When I looked up the NFL's longest win streak, I expected it to be either the '72 Dolphins or some hilarious olde tyme team that started using the forward pass regularly despite ridicule, so needless to say, I was horrified to be reminded that these guys broke the record a couple years ago with 21. That's all well and good, but how'd they fare in the playoffs?? Really? Whatever.

I recalled offhand the Oakland A's 20-game win streak in 2002 (in the 20th win, they went up 11-0 on the Royals, then gave up 11 unearned runs and still won 12-11). However, the longest winning streak in MLB history actually unearths the olde tyme hilarity I was expecting out of the NFL, namely the feat of 21 straight wins shared by the 1880 Chicago White Stockings and the 1935 Chicago Cubs. The 1916 New York Giants did win 26 straight games, but they technically tied a game in the middle of the streak, which used to happen frequently in baseball's lightless days. Or alternatively, the Giants just weren't fit to tie Chicago's White Stockings.

Looking beyond the four major professional leagues exhumes some even more humorous streaks - minor league baseball's Salt Lake Trappers won 29 straight games, the record for a professional baseball league. Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners hold the D-I football record with 47 straight wins, 24 of which came against Yale, and 23 came against William & Mary, but the streak was finally ended by Notre Dame, the other school that existed then. Interestingly, Notre Dame also ended the UCLA Bruins' 88-game record basketball streak from 1971-1974, though perhaps no one will ever top Notre Dame's streak of being indescribably unlikeable, a streak that dates back to around the school's third year of existing.

However, no winning streak in sports will ever top the greatest of the great - The United States held the America's Cup for 132 years! Granted, in a numerical sense, this streak totalled 25 victories, fewer than the Salt Lake Trappers' unforgettable '87 season, but when one takes into account how much preparation and frustration percolated in the years between each Cup race, the majesty of the feat comes into perspective. Also, while I have no knowledge or giving of shit about sailing, I do know that there are probably people who care about it a lot and that some of them live in other countries, so, you know, yeah. Wooo! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Also, even though it's not a winning streak per say, the North Carolina womens' soccer team has won 18 NCAA national championships, and no other school has more than 2. That's way more impressive than the previous paragraph. Forget I said all that crap about sailing.

So, bottom line, no matter what number the Suns stop at, the unique nature of the winning streak achievement will forever hold a sort of special, separate relevance in sports' historical cannon. Also, I just now discovered this Wikipedia Page that says most of what I just said but organized much better. Although only slightly funnier.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Belichick lists entire Patriots roster as doubtful for Superbowl

Bill Belichick released the Patriots' team injury report to the media yesterday, listing every single one of the players on the 53-man roster as "doubtful" for Superbowl XLI a week from Sunday.

"I won't comment on specific players," said Belichick, "but right now we have a number of situations at hand with regard to various individuals, and we'll have to wait and see how it plays out over the course of the week."

Even taking into account Belichick's history of exaggerated injury reports, the Patriots' would-be-opponent Bears were surprised by the move.

"He does realize they lost, right?" said Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. "I can't tell if Bill's joking, or just being cautious, or, well, just being his regular a-hole self."

When asked why he still submitted an injury report after his team was knocked out of the playoffs, Belichick reiterated "I simply cannot say at this point who's going to play and who isn't, there are a bunch of factors at hand. I'd like to think Rodney [Harrison] and Tedi [Bruchi] are going to start, but we don't want to risk them coming back too soon."

He added, "We'll just have to wait for the Superbowl and see what happens."
Headlines for Friday, Jan 26

Anotha' Final on the Barbie - Fernando Gonzalez will meet Roger Federer in the Australian Open Final on Sunday; hype is already building to see if Federer can capture another Grand Slam title, or if maybe he'll tear his ACL or something.

Bear-ied in Vegas - The Bears remain 7 point underdogs to the Colts in the Superbowl, but coach Lovie Smith has been quick to remind people, "Remember, the Falcons were 13 point underdogs to the Broncos, and - oh shit."

Just Dollars Drew - The Red Sox and J.D. Drew finally agreed to a 5 year, $70 million contract; said GM Theo Epstein, "We had some disagreements, but I can't imagine that any more problems with Drew will come up ever again, ever."

Weird Dream Weaver - The Mariners are close to signing righty Jeff Weaver to a one-year deal; Seattle GM Bill Bavasi admitted he's a little excited about the addition, but that he's "tired of getting the rest of the league's sloppy seconds."

Nazi normal auction - A racecar from Nazi Germany is expected to sell for upwards of $15 million at an auction; the car is a valuable rarity after Hitler's failed attempt to replace all regular automobiles (aka "Autojewbiles") with a line of supercars.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Cardinals Theory

We could be on the verge of a new sports phenomenon which, since it's still in its fledgling stages and may never actually come to pass, I'll refer to as The Cardinals Theory.

The Cardinals won the NL Central in 2000, 2001, and 2002, winning 95, 93, and 97 games in those seasons, respectively, but they were eliminated in the playoffs each year before reaching the World Series. After a down 2003, they then won 105 games in 2004 and 100 games in 2005, but got swept in the World Series in '04 and lost in the NLCS in '05. Finally, last season, after finishing 83-78 and barely edging out a sub-mediocre Reds team to win another Central Division title, they won the World Series.

Now, in the NFL, the Colts are coming off of a 14-2 2005 season in which they didn't even make it to the AFC Championship game but now, as a #3 seed with no one really considering them contenders, entering the playoffs off the heels of surrendering 200+ rushing yards in a loss to the Houston Texans, the Colts find themselves in the Superbowl.

Here's what has to happen to confirm this postulate as an actual phenomenon: The Colts win the Superbowl this year, and people talk about how similar it was to the Cardinals, that everyone counted them out, they finally weren't overconfident, blah blah etc. Then in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, who have been the number 1 seed in two out of the last three seasons without reaching the Cup Finals, will finish #4 in the East and end up finally winning it all. Then in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks will finish as the #1 seed in the West and lose in the playoffs again, then next year they'll drop to 49 wins and the #4 seed in the West and they'll go all the way.

I suppose this is less a theory than a random anomaly, cause I don't buy into the Colts or Cardinals or any of these teams taking any sort of substantially altered approach in seasons of adversity / underdogness. The Cardinals, in particular, just got some lucky hits here and there and managed to technically escape with a World Series title while a portion of the nightly Grey's Anatomy audience watched, sort of caring.

Still, it's funny when history repeats itself, albeit in more of a mathematical, happenstance way than an actual general sports trend kind of way. As for me, I'll be sort of pulling for the Sens and Mavs in the next couple playoffs, and when the next NFL playoffs roll around and Marty Schottenheimer's Chargers sneak in as a #5 seed, we'll see if he can pull of the ultimate confirmation of the "#1 seed chokes then wins it all as a lower seed" Cardinals theory by actually - dun dun DUN! - making it to the Superbowl before, well, choking.

He's Marty Schottenheimer. This is just a theory, not a... magic... theory.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I wrote a column in high school and sent it to the future!

Here are some of the other columns I wrote in my teenage angst that we should be expecting shortly:

In my eyes, indisposed
In disguise as no one knows
Hides the face, lies the snake
The sun In my disgrace
-- "Blackhole Sun" by Soundgarden

Jarome Iginla, won't you come and wash away the rain?

I don't practice Santeria
I ain't got no crystal ball
Well I had a million dollars but I, I'd spend it all
-- "Santeria" by Sublime

Scott Neidermayer has got something for Sancho's punk ass.

Tied to a wheel fingers got to feel
Bleeding through a tourniquet smile
I spin on a whim slide to the right
I felt you like electric light
For our love, for our fear
For our rise against the years and years and years
-- "Machinehead" by Bush

Marty Turco got a machinehead, better than the rest, green to red, machinehead - I walk from my machine...I walk from my machine...

And to love: a god
And to fear: a flame
And to burn
A crowd that has a name
-- "Selling the Drama" by Live

Alex Ovechkin, I've willed, I've walked, I've read, I've talked, I know, I know, I've been here before - hey heyyey, now we won't be raped, heyyey, now we won't be scarred like that, heyyey, no we won't be raped, no we won't be scarred like that...

They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
-- "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine


Monday, January 22, 2007

Headlines for Monday, Jan 22

Over and Dungy: Colts 38, Patriots 34 - Losing Adam Vinatieri came back to haunt New England, as he wasn't there to help stop the Colts offense or to prevent an interception on the Patriots' final drive; the worthless Colts have delayed their choke until at least next week, and possibly may even put it off until the 2007 season.

McSuperbowl, I'm Lovie-in' it: Bears 39, Saints 14 - The Bears stumbled across a bunch of points and advanced to their first Superbowl since the untackleable Walter Peyton Tecmo Bowl era; following the Saints' loss, the people of New Orleans will have to wait until next preseason to resume being inspired.

Tomlin can you coach me? - Vikings Defensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin was named the new coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, making him the franchise's first African-American head coach since the time Bill Cowher wore blackface to the team's roast of Kordell Stewart.

Uts' baseball chips: just $85 million! - The Phillies signed second baseman Chase Utley to a seven-year, $85 million extension; the team made most of the money in Vegas betting that the franchise would retain Charlie Manuel as manager for another season.

Robitaille a yellow ribbon - The LA Kings raised Luc Robitaille's #20 to the rafters, right next to the jersies of Vincent Damphousse and Doug Gilmour in the special "dudes you were pretty sure were still playing" section.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

AFC / NFC Championship Game Pix:

New England at Indianapolis - A lot of people are talking about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but there's someone that the media isn't talking about: Colts center Jeff Saturday. He's been there for every loss to the Patriots too, so I imagine he's also trying to get a monkey of sorts off his back, plus he's a very large human being so I assume he has a tremendous capacity for spite. Expect an inspired Saturday to block the shit out of whomever's in front of him, but, given that he's a center and he won't be as important to the game as Brady and Manning, I'm going with the Patriots.

Patriots 24, Colts 18

New Orleans at Chicago - The Saints should be inspired to keep winning in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which is weird because they really didn't seem inspired to do anything last year, when the hurricane occurred. Maybe they needed time to gain some perspecive on the event. Chicago should be inspired too, still with a chip on their shoulder after the Chicago Fire, something that was proportionally as devastating as the hurricane and which the city has still not recovered from mentally. HBO managed to make a 9/11 documentary about the Yankees the year they lost in the World Series, so I'm sure they'll still be able to make one about New Orleans even if they lose in this game. It'll all come down to how much inspiration the Saints can bring to the field. And how their defense plays.

Bears 26, Saints 23 (OT)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Closing time at the free-agent bar

It's one of the saddest sights you'll ever see. Couple lonely teams still hangin' around the ol' bar, music's dying down, last call's done, everyone just trying to avoid sleeping alone, even if it means buying a drink for Bruce Chen or laying some game on Trot Nixon.

Most of the teams went home hours ago. Boston left with some hot young Asian, not really any surprise there. San Fran, LA, and Chicago left hours ago too, they were all pretty hammered. Anaheim ended up taking home Gary Matthews Jr after Texas kept saying how amazing he is in the sack and how he's hung like a whale and shit. Couldn't have been more sarcastic, but Anaheim didn't get it, they were pretty drunk.

I cannot believe Kansas City went home with Gil Meche, just ridiculous. Wined and dined him all night long, then made sure all of us saw them when they were walking out together. Like the rest of us even care, the guy's not even hot. And this after last year, when they were giddy to leave with Reggie Sanders, who's really nice and all, but I'm sure they didn't actually do anything.

All the guys kind of feel bad for Seattle, they've been in an abusive relationship with Adrian Beltre for two years now, but I say screw 'em, they knew what they were getting into with that creep. I thought for sure by now Beltre would be back crashing on LA's couch, but it sure seems like him and Seattle are stuck with each other. Guess they're religious or something.

Not everyone showed up tonight, either. Toronto doesn't hang out anymore now that they're soooo committed to their beloved Vernon Wells. Whatever, they're so damn jealous, they're just afraid that if Wells goes out he might dance with Philly or Chicago and god forbid actually have a good time. You gonna put a cage around center field or something? Grow a pair.

Speaking of missing, the New York boys used to be the kings of this place, they would buy everyone in the bar rounds of carbombs all night, but this year, one of them just left early and the other one never even showed up. Barry Zito kept asking me where they were.

Oakland usually sticks around late too, but they already left with Mike Piazza. Read into it if you want, but I'm sayin' nothing.

Oh man, earlier tonight, Washington cornered Miguel Batista and was talking his head off for like fifteen minutes and Batista looked so lost, he thought it was some Japanese team or something. Washington was cool about it, but still, really awkward.

Pittsburgh isn't talking to anyone, but who can blame them? Got real drunk last year and went home with Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Randa and ended up getting chlamydia from both of them, it combined into some super double disease strain or something. Apparently, Pitts only asked them for an hj, but Burnitz couldn't make solid contact. Damn shame.

Well, the bouncers are ushering everyone out onto the street now. Colorado's drunk as hell and all over Brian Lawrence, they kept telling him "come back to our place, we won't even run a physical," whatever that means. San Diego is still here, I think they were hoping for more of an older crowd. Texas has been cut off for a few hours now after they started talking to Sammy Sosa; real funny dudes, but sometimes they take the joke a little far. Erstad's drunk and resorting to hitting on Tampa Bay, but even they're not that desperate - I think they're calling him a cab, but he'll probably just hustle home. Looks like Atlanta and Minnesota left too, I don't even think they were drinking.

Yup, it's been a rough, rough night for some of these teams. Rougher than I've seen in a while. Ya know, Leonard Cohen once described closing time as "The women tear their blouses off and the men they dance on the polka dots," but I sure as hell never seen it. Motherfucker must've been a Yankee fan.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Say what, Buccigross?

In his latest column, John Buccigross lays out five pros and five cons about the current NHL. I more or less see his point on all of them except this curious con:

5. Players are too good. Everybody is on everybody so quickly, there are times when there isn't enough effective passing or beautiful play. This is not always visually pleasing. There is plenty for me to love, but what about the new viewer? I don't mind if my favorite game isn't wildly popular. The Backstreet Boys were wildly popular. But I want the game to be vibrant, I want the game to be around 50 years from now.

By my count, there are seven sentences in there (and the last one's a run-on) and about nine separate arguments, three of which are relevant, and about half of one that's correct. Let's break it down:

Players are too good.

Agreed, the talent level in the NHL (and theoretically in all sports) is the highest it's ever been, particularly in the 19-25 range, but unless you're making some kind of chuckling declaration of awe, I'm not sure by what measure the players in a given sport could be categorized as "too good." Too good like, "Arrested Development" was too good to stay on the air? Is the solution to make the NHL the minor leagues and start a SuperNHL? Or an NHL Premiere League (same league, minus the Blackhawks)? Might actually get the sport into the first 50 minutes of Sportscenter. Surely, Bucci will explain himself?

Everybody is on everybody so quickly, there are times when there isn't enough effective passing or beautiful play. This is not always visually pleasing.

Wait, you're saying the players are so good, they're preventing other players from passing and making plays? Aren't the players that they're covering also too good? Or, did you mean, players are too good at covering other players and not good enough at not getting covered by other players? What's the solution, to have defensemen play worse and forwards get better? But aren't they already too good? Who would watch a major professional sport that was just a bunch of stars scoring at will and no one even attempting to play defense? Name one example.

There is plenty for me to love, but what about the new viewer?

Agreed - the fundamental flaw of hockey is its lack of mass appeal; fans love it, the masses can't follow it and complain about it (like "Arrested Development.") It's the same reason why you hear boxing called the "sweet science," then you watch it and it's two dudes punching each other 500 times then someone wins a 117-111 decision and you wonder why it was America's favorite sport from 1960 dating back to like 1650.

I don't mind if my favorite game isn't wildly popular. The Backstreet Boys were wildly popular. But I want the game to be vibrant, I want the game to be around 50 years from now.

The NHL was founded in 1917, and it's still around. Backstreet Boys? Professional hockey has been around twice as long as the Rolling Stones, and the NHL has actually written better songs since 1980. That's not to say things can't change 50 years from now, but still, this is a pretty damn dramatic conclusion from one bullet point in a list of five after already making multiple other arguments within the same bullet point. It's like when someone asks you to name your five favorite albums, and you name four, but you have so much more to talk about you end up naming like eleven more that all sort of count as number five.

To sum up - One problem with hockey is that hockey players are too good at hockey. They're so good, they keep other players from being good and from having plays be beautiful. Hockey fans love hockey but what about people who aren't hockey fans? If players were worse, this might be alleviated somehow. I'm not saying I want the NHL to be a huge fad, but if players keep being this good and hindering each others' beauty, the NHL will fold.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Pistons collect all three light-blue properties, win Chris Webber Sweepstakes

In case you didn't see's headline, the Detroit Pistons have won themselves a brand new roleplayer in Chris Webber, their reward for collecting the Oriental, Vermont, and Connecticut gamepieces in the latest round of McDonald's Monopoly game. Here are the rest of the available prizes:

Dark Purple: Choice of Maurice Clarett, Rae Carruth, or Bam Morris. Or all three.

Light Blue: Choice of Chris Webber or $10,000 of salary cap relief.

Light Purple: Choice of one small coffee, small fries, or Alexandre Daigle.

Orange: Choice of coaching Duke football, Penn State basketball, or USC ice hockey.

Red: Everyone the Seattle Mariners have signed in the past three years.

Yellow: Choice of Michael Vick, Lamar Odom, Viktor Kozlov, or a quarter pounder with the word "potential" on it.

Green: Choice of Mike Tice coaching your team or a Big Mac which will be eaten by Mike Tice unless you distract him by allowing him to coach your team.

Dark Blue: Brett Favre.

Collect all four Railroads: Choice of becoming head coach of the Lions or getting shivved by a boxcar hobo.

Thousands of Instant Win pieces available too!!! One in four wins!!! Prizes include:

- Order of hash browns

- NFC Playoff Spot

- Second round pick in the NBA Draft

- Gold Glove

- Sausage McMuffin with egg

- Home-ice advantage throughout the NHL Playoffs

- Juwon Howard

- A World Series title
Headlines for Monday, Jan 15

Patriots 24, Chargers 21 - LaDanian Tomlinson expressed resentment after some Patriots players danced on the Chargers' on-field logo, complaining "[The Patriots] made a complete mockery out of our little curvey cartoon lightning bolt from the 70s."

Bears defeat Seahawks in Overtime, 27-24 - Robbie Gould's 49-yard game-winning field goal instantly tied him with Joe Jurevicious as Penn State's all-time most successful NFL prospect.

Wise Huntin' - The Arizona Cardinals named Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt head coach Sunday; said Wisenhunt, "We already have all the tools in place to dominate fantasy football next season."

Still an Overjay - Lyle Overbay signed a 4 year, $24 million deal to remain with the Blue Jays; on the value of the contract, a humble Overbay remarked, "I figure I'm mathematically about half as good as Gary Matthews Jr, so the deal seemed fair."

NBA OK with MLK - The Wizards defeated the Jazz 114-111 on a special Martin Luther King Day engagement; at halftime, guests Mike Bibby and Jason Kidd delivered speeches about the importance of the holiday to their somewhat black heritage.

Apologies to our hordes or regular readers (no, mom, this is not what email is) but for absolutely no reason that I or any of my blogger friends could discern, Blogger would not allow me to post anything for about two weeks. I hope that instead of forgetting about our site, you've just been reloading it every day to read about the Sugar Bowl.

From now on, barring another instance of Blogger breaking down and not having any contactable customer support then magically fixing itself, I'll be back to posting stuff daily, about a third of which will be hilarious!!!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Headlines for Thursday, Jan 4

Pour some sugar on them - LSU defeated Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, 41-14, marking Notre Dame's ninth straight bowl game loss. Afterwards, Charlie Weis pleaded with voters to start Notre Dame ranked at negative eight next season so that when they inevitably drop ten spots, they'll still have the opportunity to get beaten in the BCS title game.

MVP Control To Major Tomlinson - LaDainian Tomlinson's 31-touchdown season earned him NFL MVP honors, taking 44 of the 50 first place votes; the other six votes came from writers sarcastically voting for the Colts' rush defense.

Tanks for the memories, police - Police raided the home of Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson, seizing 550 rounds of ammunition as well as some other items. Police have never confirmed if Tank's nickname refers to his massive stature, his obvious affection for firearms, or from the dozens of drug-filled actual tanks he keeps in his garage.

On the Lemieux-ve? - Mario Lemieux and Penguins owners met with Kansas City officials about a potential Penguins relocation, though the meeting quickly devolved into a "yo momma's so fat" rap-off about the cities' respective baseball franchises.

Handy Gone-son? - The Yankees are talking to several teams about a potential Randy Johnson trade, hopefully for Scott Brosius or Jimmy Leyritz or Paul O'Neil or someone who can play some fuckin' baseball, am I right??

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Teapot Dome Scandal INSIDER

In-depth insight into trade rumors and draft speculation that's so damn inside, if it saw the sun it would be like "what the hell is that??"

NHL - The Ottawa Senators acquire center Mike Comrie from Phoenix for some guy named Alexei Kaigorodov.

INsider Analysis: Comrie has pretty much been a third or fourth line center his whole career, but this trade still makes Ottawa instant Cup favorites, and when Kaigorodov comes off his current suspension, Phoenix will be unbeatable.

NBA - The Charlotte Bobcats acquire guard Jeff McInnis from the Nets for swingman Bernard Robinson.

INsider Analysis: A minor acquisition on paper, but this is likely Charlotte's first step towards trading for Kevin Garnett and signing Yao to make them an automatic perennial dynasty. Also, trading McInnis frees up New Jersey to win the NBA title this season and probably next.

MLB - The Pittsburgh Pirates sign utilityman Jose Hernandez to a 1-year deal.

INsider Analysis: The Pirates will win the World Series.
Headlines for Wednesday, January 3

Saban' the best for last - Nick Saban has reportedly accepted an 8 year, $32 million deal with Alabama, which should give him tremendous leverage towards an even more prestigious job two years from now.

More like Late Staying-out University - After breaking the team curfew, two LSU football players will be suspended for at least the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl, though the punishment might be more severe if the team has a decent lead after the first quarter.

Not Riled up - Pat Riley has taken a leave of absence from the Miami Heat for reasons which he described as "it's the regular season".

Young love - Titans QB Vince Young wins the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in a dramatic last-minute voting comeback.

Playing it safety - In another genius move by Jets coach Eric Mangini, Patriots safety Rodney Harrison has suffered an MCL sprain and will not play this weekend.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A 3:30 am phone call:

Nick Saban: Hello?

University of Alabama: Hey Nick!

Saban: Um, Alabama? Are you ok?

Alabama: Whatcha doin?

Saban: I'm home and about to go to sleep, I really can't talk, but nice to-

Alabama: So I've been thinking about things.

Saban: Yeah, I really don't have time for the drunk talk, please don't embarrass yourself.

Alabama: I'm fine, really, I stopped drinking at like 11 and I wasn't even that drunk. I was just calling to say hi, sorry you're in such a grouchy mood.

Saban: I'm not in a bad mood, it's just late, and I need to go to sleep.

Alabama: I'm wide awake - my roommate's away for the weekend, too, so it's really weird and quiet. You should come over and keep me company, haha!

Saban: Are you serious?

Alabama: Well, no. Yeah. I don't know, haha. You don't want to?

Saban: It's not... You know I can't, Alabama, please stop being all whiny and making me feel bad.

Alabama: I'm not! I just really want you to come over, it's really lonely and scary here, you can stay for ten years if you want and we can get 40 million dollars of Chinese food and I promise I'll behave!

Saban: Don't want to talk about this right now...

Alabama: You'll be completely in charge, I'll let you put recruiters anywhere you want!

Saban: That's filthy, stop talking like that.

Alabama: I can call someone else to come over too, I know Jimbo Fisher has a thing for you, I can offer him a couple million-

Saban: Stop. Just, stop. Alabama, I know you're lonely and I understand you're upset about Rich Rodriguez, but, I mean, you know I'm coaching the Dolphins now, and things are going really well, I think we're about to tap into Joey Harrington's upside, you can't keep calling me like this.

Alabama: Every other major program manages to find some marquee coach but when I pour my heart out and offer all this time and money and control I just get treated like shit and it's not fair!

Saban: It's really embarrassing when you cry like this.

Alabama: Why are you mad at me?

Saban: I'm not mad, I'm just... You're better than this! Look. I'm gonna hang up. Drink some water, get some sleep, and tomorrow, when you're feeling better and the Orange Bowl is over, you're going to call Bobby Petrino from Louisville and he'll help you out. I'm going to forget this conversation happened, even though I know the Dolphins aren't going to be happy that we're talking, but whatever, they can deal with it. You get some sleep ok? Ok, Alabama? [CLICK, DIAL TONE] Hello? Did you hang up on me? Jeeesus Christ.