What we watched: Chicago at Miami and the NHL All-Star Game. Eventually Chicago-Miami won out simply because the game was close and, you know, counted. Though Derrick Rose and LeBron both missed a pair of free throws in the final 22 seconds before Rose refused to pass the ball to a wide-open Rip Hamilton on the Bulls' final possession. It's only January, but these two teams are likely to face-off in the Eastern Conference finals, where hopefully we get to see something better.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Pittsburgh at West Virginia (ESPN) and Morgan State at Hampton (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 7. Connecticut at Duke in women's college basketball at 7 (ESPN2). Missouri at Texas in men's college basketball at 9 (ESPN). Texas Southern at Alabama State in women's college basketball at 9 (ESPNU).
"Fighting and Drinking with the Rats at Yankee Stadium": "But the overriding memory of all those hours spent wandering around beneath the House That Ruth Built remains the smell. If you grew up in suburbia, it wouldn't have meant much to you at all, but if you'd spent much time in a big-city tenement or in the stockroom of a grocery store or ever wandered beneath street level in a restaurant that abuts a subway line, the permeating odor of Decon, the rat poison, would have been familiar. My friend, John Schulian, must have recognized that smell too, because at some point in the late 1970s, he came up with a description of Billy Martin so apt that it should have been chiseled on Billy's gravestone: A rat studying to be a mouse." [Bronx Banter Blog]
Could Peyton Manning be joining him?: "Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell plans to join the offensive coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Ravens announced last week that Cam Cameron would return as offensive coordinator, but they still need a quarterbacks coach for Joe Flacco. Caldwell now appears to be the choice. [ESPN]
ESPN's Lisa Salters trolls LeBron: "LeBron, we were shocked when Derrick Rose missed two [free throws], and then you missed your two. What happened there?" [ESPN]
Don't worry, no one does: "'You don't really get to know them from watching them on TV. Everyone's just super nice. I like the Sedin twins. They're really funny. But I still don't know which one's which,' [Scott Hartnell] said with a laugh." [Puck Daddy]
Your Chimps Attacking A Mechanical Leopard Interlude:
Newfound hospitality: "Asked about the welcome he gets in Indianapolis, Belichick noted that the Super Bowl will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium, the same place where Belichick infamously went for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28-yard line late in the fourth quarter of what turned out to be a loss to the Colts. Belichick said that ever since that decision, which set up the Colts for their game-winning touchdown, the fans in Indianapolis have loved him. 'I never had too much hospitality here until I went for it on fourth-and-2,' Belichick said. 'Since then I've been greeted in a lot more friendly manner than I was in the past.'" [PFT]
Emeritus on Tom Coughlin: "When you think of the Giants, you think of Eli Manning, or their killer pass rushers, or even kicker Lawrence Tynes. You don't think of the crumply elderly fellow on the sidelines. Coughlin is a guy in charge of his team, but quietly so." [NY Mag]
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