What we watched: A little bit of this, a little bit of that. More noteworthy was the Mexican food delivery man, who, despite the torrential downpour, greeted me with sprightly cheer. Admirable, I must admit. The burrito was terrible, but that's besides the point. He made the obligatory "throw in a few extra bucks because it's raining" tip that much more palatable.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Harvard at Connecticut in men's college basketball at 7 (ESPN2). Pittsburgh at Philadelphia in NHL hockey at 7 (NHL Network). Cleveland at Pittsburgh in NFL football at 8 (NFL Network). West Virginia vs. Kansas State in men's college basketball at 9 (ESPN2).
Our friend Ta-Nehisi Coates on his Civil War: "In our present time, to express the view of the enslaved—to say that the Civil War was a significant battle in the long war against bondage and for government by the people—is to compromise the comfortable narrative. It is to remind us that some of our own forefathers once explicitly rejected the republic to which they'd pledged themselves, and dreamed up another country, with slavery not merely as a bug, but as its very premise. It is to point out that at this late hour, the totems of the empire of slavery—chief among them, its flag—still enjoy an honored place in the homes, and public spaces, of self-professed patriots and vulgar lovers of 'freedom.' It is to understand what it means to live in a country that will never apologize for slavery, but will not stop apologizing for the Civil War." [The Atlantic]
Congrats, DeMaurice: "The NFL Players Association is considering whether to award its executive director, DeMaurice Smith, a $1 million bonus for negotiating its new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the league this year, according to several people familiar with the deliberations. Those people, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are ongoing, said there is considerable, but not unanimous, support among the players on the union's ruling executive committee to award the bonus to Smith." [Washington Post]
Articulate, Ovie: "Ovechkin on Neil incident: ‘I'm not that kind of player...who would spear someone.'" [@ian_mendes]
Your Coolest Kid In The World Interlude:
Bobby Being Bobby: "‘I hate the Yankees,' Valentine said while surrounded by a herd of media members at the Winter Meetings. ‘I don't want to waste this valuable time talking about the Yankees. This is too valuable.'" [ESPN]
Your Chris Paul Update: "Chris Paul will not commit to signing a contract extension after this season with either the Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Clippers if he is traded to either team by the New Orleans Hornets, citing the potential financial hit if he were to do that rather than becoming a free agent and signing a new deal with a new team next summer, according to league sources. That has left potential deals with both teams in limbo." [NBA.com]
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