Your morning roundup for Feb. 23. Photo of Jim Harbaugh, in Indiana for the NFL scouting combine and moonlighting as team manager for brother-in-law Tom Crean's Hoosiers, via Larry Brown Sports. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we're watching (all times EST): WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (Golf Channel) at 10:30 a.m. Knicks at Heat (TNT) at 7. Canucks at Red Wings (NHL Network) at 7. Duke at Florida State (ESPN) and Alabama at Arkansas (ESPN2) in men's college basketball at 7. Murray State at Tennessee (ESNPU) in men's college basketball at 8. Louisville at Cincinnati (ESPN) and Wisconsin at Iowa (ESPN2) in men's college basketball at 9. Lakers at Thunder (TNT) at 9:30. Stanford at Colorado (Fox Sports Net) in men's college basketball at 10:30. Brigham Young at Gonzaga (ESPN2) in men's college basketball at 11.
In Germany, an American Jewish hockey player chooses the future: "A hockey jersey hung in each player's locker. It bore Germany's national colors, black trimmed in red and gold. The front was emblazoned with an eagle above the word Deutschland. This would be Evan Kaufmann's first time wearing the jersey. He removed it from the hanger and turned it around to see his family name spelled in capital letters. He would recall feeling a tingle of excitement. He felt something else, too, emotions that crisscrossed like the laces of his skates. He was proud to wear the jersey but also solemn about what history had done to the name on the back. His great-grandfather starved to death by the Nazis. His great-grandmother herded to extermination on a train to Auschwitz. His grandfather shuttled between ghettos and concentration camps, surviving somehow, finding a displaced sister after the war, pushing her from a hospital in a wheelbarrow after her lower left leg was amputated because of frostbite. On Feb. 10, Kaufmann finished dressing and skated onto the ice at a tournament in Belarus. With his initial shift, he became one of the few Jews to represent Germany in elite international sports since World War II, the first in ice hockey since the 1930s and perhaps the most visible to have had family members murdered in the Holocaust, according to sports historians and Jewish officials." [New York Times]
Jeremy Lin beat Michael Jordan, wearin' the 4-5 (in MSG ratings): "Jeremy Lin's drawing power—even in losses —is helping the MSG Network set ratings records. The loss to the New Orleans Hornets last Friday generated a 7.32 rating (which equals 540,788 local households). Then, Monday night's game against the Nets led to an even higher rating, 7.34. Those are the highest regular-season ratings for Knicks games since the 1988-89 season, when MSG began measuring its audience. Friday's game peaked at a 10.02 rating (740,259 households) between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., while Monday's broadcast had its highest rating of a 9.02 from 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. Both games exceeded the previous Knicks regular-season record of a 6.78 rating, for the 1995 game when Michael Jordan scored 55 points in his first game back at Madison Square Garden after he came out of retirement." [New York Times]
Linsanity takes its talents to South Beach: "How much are you willing to pay to see Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks take on the league's hottest team in Miami? Apparently, a lot. It's the hottest ticket on the planet right now. A long-time Heat official told me last night that the Knicks-Heat game on Thursday is the most requested game for tickets he can remember. More than last season's Finals." [ESPN]
Your Teddy Roosevelt on a Segway Interlude:
ESPNW's Amanda Rykoff, "mascot stalker," audtitioned to be one of the Nats' Racing Presidents: "I confess: I am somewhat obsessed with mascots. From T.C. Bear in Minnesota to Lou Seal in San Francisco, meeting team mascots on road trips has become as much a part of my ballpark experience as hot dogs and beer. I watch mascots during pregame introductions and festivities and always seek them out for photos. It has become a tradition I affectionately refer to as 'mascot stalking.' When I made my first visit to Nationals Park in 2011, I made sure I was in my seat in the middle of the fourth inning. I didn't want to miss the team's famous Racing Presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt — as they sprinted from center field, along the warning track, and down the first-base line to the finish line near the dugout.And on Saturday of Presidents' Day weekend (naturally), the Nationals hosted their sixth year of auditions for presidential hopefuls. When a friend familiar with my mascot obsession forwarded me the press release, I knew I had to be there. The opportunity to actually wear one of those hallowed six-foot-high heads and show off my craziest dance moves seemed too good to pass up. After a few emails and phone calls, the team extended an invitation for an audition, and potential humiliation. Yes, I was running for president." [ESPNW]
Roberto Hernandez is seeking a pardon for pretending to be "Fausto Carmona": "The pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, told The Associated Press he hopes to obtain a judicial pardon and return to the Cleveland Indians this season. Hernandez was placed on baseball's restricted list after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges last month. Authorities have said he is 31, three years older than the pitcher claimed. 'I'm doing all that is necessary so that when the pardon is granted, I won't have to wait long to play again,' he said Wednesday. Hernandez also said he keeps in touch with Indians manager Manny Acta. 'He has provided support,' he said. 'We don't talk a lot about the issue, but he is keeping an eye on me.' Hernandez's agent, Jorge Brito, said he is confident Hernandez will soon rejoin the team. 'We are working to resolve this situation, and we believe that Roberto will be able to pitch in the major leagues this year,' Brito said. Hernandez said he is meeting with young baseball players to warn them about the problems of using a false identity." [Detroit News]
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