Have an excellent weekend.
Tom Brady Reportedly Offered $1 Million to Model Calvin Klein Underwear: As much as we see his mug in the tabloids, we hardly see the star quarterback pimping products with endorsement deals. Maybe a commercial here or a commercial there, but nothing like Peyton Manning or Reggie Bush, who both seem to be everywhere on NFL Sundays. Well, Calvin Klein might see an opportunity, because according to SPORTSbyBROOKS, the company is courting Brady to model underwear:
Soon, You Will Read Joe Torre's Literature: Maybe Torre and his people (do managers have "people"?) were surprised by the swarm after his announcement; they're certainly seizing the opportunity it presented as quickly as possible, as Torre is set to publish a memoir detailing his 12 years in Yankee pinstripes.
Video: Lou Holtz Is Psychic or Something: Lou Holtz -- or "Holth" if you're being unkind -- has achieved something remarkable this football season, going from a universally loathed figure on a par with Mark May to everyone's slightly addled, slightly awesome distantly related uncle.
Skiles Hates the Media, Not Joakim's Mouth: Does he have a legitimate gripe? Well, Skiles is known for being sarcastic, but he's also known for being strict, so I can imagine it's hard for reporters to figure out what he means sometimes. If he was laughing when he made his initial comments, then I guess it's on the media for failing to convey the message in the proper context, because once the words get printed out it's impossible to decipher the intent behind them.
Video: Steve Nash (Intentionally?) Trips Felton: It sure looks that way to me. Now to be fair, a lot can happen between two players during the course of the game that we don't necessarily see, so it's possible that Nash could have been retaliating for something that Raymond Felton did to him earlier.
Shaq: 'I'm Still the Baddest': Shaq's right: When he retires, he'll be celebrated. But let's look at Hakeem Olajuwon, or Patrick Ewing. By their last, lost seasons, no one even thought "Hall of Fame" when these lumbering, battered dinosaurs wandered out onto the court. Just because he's been bad in the past, doesn't mean this badness will follow him always.
Stern: No NBA in Seattle If Sonics Leave: Stern's still sore about the lack of willingness to negotiate the Washington legislature showed; yes, the politicos acted in large part idiotic and silly. (Do we honestly expect more with a controversial topic like this?) But Bennett never made good faith efforts to stay. Stern's unwillingness to see Bennett's dark side mixed with his power-addled need to hold franchises over city's head in a 'built it or we will leave' fashion... that's robbed Seattle of any future NBA franchise?
Buyer Beware: 11 Current Free Agents Appear in Mitchell Report: With reports swirling that baseball GM's aren't too concerned about signing a free agent who may or may not be in George Mitchell's report on performance enhancers, they now have a reason to be slightly concerned. It is now a sure thing that some of those free agents are indeed on the Mitchell Report ... we just don't know who yet.
Boras Decrees Eric Gagne Will Be a Closer: So after Gagne's Red Sox debacle, now he only wants to talk to teams that will actually let him close? Is there any decent team out there willing to take that risk? Gagne was so bad with the Red Sox that he was a punchline in the playoffs.
Are GMs Hijacking A-Rod's Money? The union is acting quickly to sniff out what looks, to an impartial observer, like a bunch of GMs colluding against Alex Rodriguez. This isn't just griping; the labor contract between clubs and players prohibits this sort of collective cooperation. And why shouldn't it? It's up to Rodriguez, and every player, to negotiate a price equal with their value to a professional franchise.
Boom, Bust, or Bobby Bonilla: Sammy Sosa: The problem is, Sosa's reportedly asking for $7 million a year. No lefty-mashing pinch hitter makes seven million a year. That's a fourteen times more than the $500,000 that the Rangers paid him last year. I'm sorry, but a .779 OPS doesn't trigger that kind of raise, even if $500,000 was cheap for him last year. If he sticks to that demand, his playing career is definitely over.
Pickin' On the Big Ten, Week 11: echnically, all seven of the Big Ten's bowl slots are spoken for. But realistically, only two things are certain at this point: Ohio State is going to a BCS game (unless, somehow, they lose to both Illinois and Michigan), and Minnesota players will be home for the holidays. As for everybody else?
Clinton Portis Dress-Up Time Is Back: We have a new Clinton Portis character to add to the collection. Dan Steinberg reports at the D.C. Sports Bog that Portis showed up today as Choo-Choo. And here's what Steinberg has to say about the backstory of the Choo-Choo character.
Terrell Owens Fined for Waving Towel: Although Owens is correct that the NFL has some ridiculous policies on fining players, in this case I think the league was more than justified. As Pro Football Talk notes, Owens is selling the towels on his personal web site. If the NFL allows every player to wave personal items on the sidelines and then hawk those items on their web sites, NFL games are going to look like flea markets pretty soon.
NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: Most Likely to Cheat: Mangini learned at the knee of Bill Belichick, the guy who perfected cheating before pupil exposed teacher, and everything went to hell. Once known as Manboobs Mangenius, Mangini lost a ton of weight, and at 1-8, it's kinda hard to call him a genius. Which makes you wonder how, exactly, the Jets made the playoffs last year. Hmm.
NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: Least Valuable Player of the Half-Season: Larry Johnson his coming off back-to-back 1,700-yard rushing seasons, and last year, Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards looked like he was going to run LJ until his legs fell off. Johnson had 416 carries in 2006, making him the honorary Curse of 370 spokesperson this off-season. Through eight games, LJ is averaging just 69.9 rushing yards, at 3.5 yards per pop. And after injuring his ankle against the Packers next week, it's not clear when he'll return to the lineup.
NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: Biggest Baby on the Ravens: If Billick spent as much time finding a competent offensive coordinator as he did making excuses for why the Ravens have yet to master the forward pass, he'd be a lot less likely to lose his job in, oh, say, eight weeks. Baltimore makes the turn at 4-4, even though they had the league's easiest schedule. Now they'll face the Chargers, Colts and Pats in the second half of the season, before a Week 17 matchup with the team that did this.
NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: Overlooked Player of the Half-Season: After two seasons being called a first-round disappointment in Atlanta, Roddy White already has career highs this year in catches (36) and yards (585). Football Outsiders says White has been the ninth-most productive receivers in the NFL this season. The eight receivers who rank ahead of him have Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo or Derek Anderson passing to them; White has Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich.