What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Florida at Kentucky (ESPN), Iowa State at Oklahoma State (ESPN2), and Maryland at Clemson (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 7. Utah at Indiana in NBA basketball at 7 (NBATV). Los Angeles at Tampa Bay in NHL hockey at 7:30 (NBCSN). Purdue at Ohio State (ESPN) and Alabama at Auburn (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 9. Oklahoma City at Golden State in NBA basketball at 10:30 (NBATV).
Going undercover as a Wing Bowl Wingette: "Crouched on a confetti-strewn stage in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, Kobayashi cradled his distended belly and predicted his wing shits would last for the next 72 hours. Then he averted eye contact and giggled. In the three hours I spent following the world's most famous competitive eater around the massive arena, I had been pelted with garbage, felt up by a porn star, shouted down by racists, splashed with beer, and asked to show my tits. All before most Americans started their workdays." [Gawker]
Feb 7, 2006: How To Guarantee A Quick Divorce
Even those lines seem a little low: "The Giants may have won the Super Bowl, but does that mean Las Vegas sports books believe they're the best team in the NFL? Apparently not. According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, if the Patriots and Giants rematched in a Super Bowl next week, the Pats would still be favored by 2.5 points. Bell says both the Packers and Saints would be even greater favorites against the Giants on a neutral field. If those teams were to play the Giants, they each would be favored by 3.5 points." [Larry Brown Sports]
A selfless and honest star: "Dirk Nowitzki doesn't believe he should be selected as an All-Star for the 11th consecutive season when reserves are announced Thursday. The Dallas Mavericks superstar has struggled by his standards this season, averaging 17.2 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season in 1998-99. Nowitzki also recognizes that the power forward position is loaded in the Western Conference with talented young players. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was voted by the fans to make his first All-Star appearance as a starter. A couple of potential first-time All-Stars — the Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge and the Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap — and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, who was an injury replacement last season, are among the West power forwards who have made better cases in this lockout-condensed season than the reigning Finals MVP. ‘Averaging whatever, 15, 16 points, I don't think you should be an All-Star,' Nowitzki said. ‘But we'll just have to wait and see. I think there is a lot of great young talent in this league that deserves to go. I think LaMarcus Aldridge has been stiff the last couple of years. He's a great young player, fun to watch. You know Blake and Love are playing great. There is a lot of talent at my position.'" [ESPN]
Your Crying Pats Fan Interlude:
Losing weight like the rest of us: "With the added poundage not providing the benefit he thought it might, Lincecum took to using a counter-current pool to get down to around 175 pounds from 197. He also cut down on his famous trips to In-N-Out while eliminating other outlets entirely. Bad Ronald! ‘You take your first bite of a McDonald's burger and it's like 'Why did I buy this?'" Lincecum said to reporters. ‘You feel instantly sick. That's what ended up happening with all these places and why I started eliminating them. I take a bite and I'm like 'I can't even finish this.' So I just started going for stuff that made me feel better. I'm not crushing vegetables by any means, but I'm definitely eating better.' Lincecum said all of this while wearing a hat for Tacolicious, a San Francisco dining phenomenon that relies on local farmers for their ingredients. So perhaps he really is easing his way past the drive-thru routine of an early 20-something." [Big League Stew]
Brandon Spikes would not enjoy playing Madden: "We noted before last night's game that Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was rather fired up to play in his first Super Bowl. It's no surprise, then, that he wasn't as thrilled about allowing the game's go-ahead touchdown go right by him late in the fourth quarter. ‘It killed me,' said Spikes of the decision to let Ahmad Bradshaw score to give the ball back to the Patriots offense. ‘When the call came in to let them score, I was kind of like, ‘What? I'm here to do my job and it's my job to play defense and let them score?' It was tough. It definitely was tough.'" [PFT]
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