December 22, 2005
Koren Robinson:
Consistently disappointing former high NFL draft pick is selected for his first Pro Bowl, as the NFC's kick returner. (More Pro Bowl picks below.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Redick or Morrison is a great debate: They're the consensus top two players in college hoops (although Villanova's Randy Foye certainly deserves a shout-out).

Who's the better player?

Give me Morrison, and allow me to dump on JJ for a minute, while I concede that he's having a phenomenal season and is an eye-popping player:

Redick is arguably the best shooter in college hoops history. But can he create his own shot as well as Morrison can?

Redick's improvement in that area is kind of fuzzy math: He was pretty limited before, so any improvement looks much better relatively. He's still only average at it.

Redick also has a lot more around him: A first-team All-American center. The consensus top freshman in the country (and another power player). Morrison does more with less.

(Of course, if Redick had Morrison's team around him, he might give Kobe a run for his money as a shot-chucker and easily average more than 30 ppg.)

Finally, there's my favorite balance-tipper: The vibe.

Redick has always had an aura of severity. To some, that's "intensity," but on the other hand, it has helped make him arguably the most hated college basketball player in a decade.

But everyone loves Morrison. Why? I'd like to think it has something to do with his look: The floppy socks. The rock-star hair. And that moustache, which is sports' boldest fashion statement of 2005.

Any player who can pull off the hottest 'stache this side of the adult-film industry -- and average 28.4 ppg -- has truly earned the "best" label.

More Damon Reax
It's obvious to anyone besides those wearing Red-colored glasses that the Sox were outmaneuvered by the Yankees on Damon:

*Boston's offer was significantly lower (by reportedly $12 million).

*The Sox misjudged a team poster guy's willingness to jump over to the rival.

*Boston has been left flat-footed to find his replacement in CF, with a "yeesh" list that includes Coco Crisp, Jeremy Reed and Dave Roberts.

The fan frustration isn't because they lost Damon; it's HOW they lost Damon.

MAC QBs: Toledo's Gradkowski throws 5 TDs in GMAC bowl W
Illinois: d. Mizzou by record margin for "Braggin' Rights"
Bernie Williams: Re-signs with Yankees for one more year
Tarik Glenn: Mistakenly told he was a Pro Bowler by NFL
Mariano Puerta: Longest ban (8 years) in tennis history
UNC: Young Heels get growing pains, upset by USC in L.A.
Pro Bowl Results
"Pro Bowler" is a résumé line: By the time they get to Hawaii, players will have opted out and replacements will have been named. Snubs will be righted. Pro Bowl bonus checks will certainly have been cashed.

But it's worth mentioning that the Colts had a league-leading 7 Pro Bowlers (though it would have been 8 if OL Tarik Glenn hadn't been told by the NFL that he was a Pro Bowler, only to get a follow-up call saying they had miscalculated the ballots and that he was actually fourth. Ouch!)

Kudos to's Len P for pointing out that the NFL lumps all offensive linemen together, so fans end up with way too many left-side linemen and too many snubs on the right side.

Spurs Whup Knicks
You've seen GMs give hot-seat coaches the dreaded "vote of confidence" that foreshadows an inevitable dismissal.

But have you ever seen a coach give a GM a vote of confidence? Yikes, here's Larry Brown on Isiah Thomas:

"I've been with a lot of pretty special guys in his position, and he has all the things that are necessary to build this thing the right way."

Hmm... oh really? Things like bloated salaries? Mediocre players? Matador defense? Stubborn coaches? Crazy media? Beaten-down fans?

(For those keeping track, last night's loss to the Spurs was the Knicks' 7th in a row. Wake me when Brown's "right way" kicks in.)

USC vs.
2002 Ohio St. was overrated: Sure, they beat the Miami juggernaut in arguably the most exciting college football championship game of the ESPN Era, but there's no way that Buckeye team of close calls and near-misses could keep up with USC.

(Next up: No. 9-seed 1969 Texas. 1969? How many users were even alive then? Expect another USC win.)

Meanwhile, I read a story which reported some LSU players were ticked because everyone keeps saying USC is going for its third straight title, when in fact in 2003 they only won half the title (and it was the unofficial media half). But which title do you think the media will recognize?

Favre '05 on Favre '06
"If I do come back, will I be committed? I think it's more than anything, 'Do I want to play?' There's no guarantees next year will be better or worse."

Wait: It can get WORSE?!

Bowlin': Thursday
Las Vegas (BYU/Cal): Is it me, or is there a cognitive disconnect between BYU playing in Sin City? (8 p.m., ESPN)

Poinsettia (Colo St./Navy): "Poinsettia Bowl Champion" guaranteed to be the least-worn T-shirt in the history of college football fandom. (10:30 ET, ESPN2)

Sidney Crosby:
Phenom left off the Canadian Olympic hockey team. How does this happen? (Meanwhile, Todd Bertuzzi makes it?! No warm/fuzzy Olympic story there.)
Today on
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Page 2 Index
Bowl Pick 'Em!
College hoops' best player
Lamarcus Aldridge
Sorry: Can't teach size to JJ
Rudy Gay
Getting better every game
Adam Morrison
Admit it fans: Can't play D
JJ Redick
NBA's next Trajan Langdon
Al Horford
Led young Gators to 10-0

More Red Sox: Maybe reports that they're interested in Kevin Millwood will help ease the Damon backlash.

MLB Hot Stove: Dodgers continue to firm weaknesses and sign workhorse Tomko; remember when Steve Finley for Edgardo Alfonzo would have been big?

Joey Harrington will start for the Lions this weekend, giving fans the opportunity to alternate chants of "Fire Millen!" with "Bench Joey!"

Sports conspiracy theorists might want to note that it took nearly a month for Matt Leinart's suspension to come out over verboten TV promos.

Federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Penn State women's hoops player against the team's coach and the university. Worth tracking.

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