Your morning roundup for Feb. 26. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we're watching (all times EST): WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, fifth round (Golf Channel) at 12:00 p.m. Daytona 500 at 1:00 p.m. (FOX). Chicago at Anaheim at 7:00 p.m. (NBCSN). Indiana at Minnesota at 1: 00 p.m. (ESPN) and Wisconsin at Ohio State at 4:00 p.m. (CBS) in men's college basketball. NBA All Star Game at 7:30 p.m. (TNT).
The music catches up with the comedy: "SNL's recent musical performances have been such big pop-culture news that SNL itself has satirized them. After Lana Del Rey's iconic bungling of "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" on the show back in January, Kristen Wiig was on "Weekend Update" as Del Rey, skewering the singer's oddly aloof persona and the ferocious criticism her performance inspired on the Internet. Then, two weeks after Bon Iver seemingly went out of its way to embody every doddering soft-rock cliché during its listless SNL appearance, Justin Timberlake impersonated the band's leader Justin Vernon and played an even sleepier version of "Holocene" in a memorable sketch. As for the YouTube-endorsed lobotomy-pop duo Karmin, which was soundly mocked after appearing in the February 11 Zooey Deschanel episode, there's been no SNL parody yet, probably because Karmin is practically an SNL parody already. All of this has given SNL a curious reputation of late for bad (or at least polarizing) musical performances. Even Bon Iver, which has the best critical and commercial pedigree of this latest batch of SNL musical acts, looked a little unprepared for the show's spotlight-or, at the very least, nobody in the band seemed to recognize that playing something slightly more upbeat (like Bon Iver's rousing opener "Perth") would have played better on television than the deathly cheeseball ballad 'Beth/Rest.'" [AV Club]
Feb 26, 2009: Baseball Season Preview: Washington Nationals
John Henry apologizes to Carl Crawford for not wanting him: "Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford said today team owner John Henry was 'apologetic' about comments he made in October regarding his initial opposition to signing him. 'It went really well,' Crawford said about the conversation he had today with Henry. 'He was real apologetic, I told him there were no hard feelings or nothing like that. We all share the same goal and that is to help us win, get back to where we should be...It felt real good, I like those kind of meetings where you just kind of clear the air and make everything better. I think it's best for the organization and best for everybody that we all get along and that's the way it should be.' Henry spoke about the issue during the owner's Q&A session earlier in the day. 'I should have never made those comments,' Henry said. 'It was an off-the-cuff remark I shouldn't have made, so when I see him I'm going to apologize to him for it.'" [Boston Globe]
That was fun, let's do it again: "In the final scheduled game between Kansas and Missouri, it was only fitting the two bitter adversaries would need five extra minutes to decide it. Robinson's three-point play in the waning moments of regulation kept their 105-year-old rivalry alive, and Taylor's foul shots with 8.3 seconds remaining gave the fourth-ranked Jayhawks a dramatic 87-86 victory over the No. 3 Tigers on Saturday. 'That couldn't have been scripted a lot better for us,' said Self, whose team wrapped up a share of an unprecedented eighth straight conference championship. 'I'm not the most emotional guy, but that's about as good as it gets.' Missouri, which blew a 19-point second-half lead, never got off a winning try after Taylor's two free throws. Michael Dixon was boxed in by Robinson as he tried to get to the basket, and the buzzer eventually sounded on a series steeped in tradition. " [NBC]
Your—sorry, I just blacked out—Interlude:
NCAA claims Oregon violated recruiting regulations: "The NCAA has been looking into Oregon's recruiting practices since questions arose over a 2010 payment of $25,000 to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Lyles had a relationship with a player from Texas who committed to Oregon. Information that the university later produced that it said was from Lyles was largely outdated. The draft documents released Friday, which are heavily redacted, suggests Oregon's use of three scouting services 'did not conform' with NCAA rules, and the Ducks exceeded the number of coaches allowed to recruit. The documents state that the scope and nature of the violations 'demonstrate that the athletics department failed to adequately monitor the football program's use of recruiting or scouting services.'" [SI]
That's quite the assumption: "Coach Jim Calhoun's plan is to return to coaching Connecticut in the March 3 regular-season finale against Pittsburgh, assuming Monday's back surgery goes without a hitch, according to a source with knowledge of his situation. Calhoun, who has been on medical leave of absence since Feb. 3 because of spinal stenosis, was told by his surgeon that he should feel immediate relief after recovery. Calhoun said he has gone through 10 days of cortisone shots, and that walking and standing cause the most pain. The surgery, in which a piece of a disk will be removed to relieve pressure on a nerve, is not as invasive as other alternatives. Calhoun has penciled in his return for the Pitt game, at UConn, just three days before the Big East tournament begins March 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York." [ESPN]
Send stories, photos, and anything else you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.