What we're watching (all times EST): Hawks at Bulls (ESPN) at 4. Connecticut at Villanova (ESPN) in men's college basketball at 7. Ohio State at Penn State (ESPN2) in women's college basketball at 7. Capitals at Hurricanes (NBCSN) at 7:30. Celtics at Mavericks (TNT) at 8. Baylor at Texas (ESPN) in men's college basketball at 9. Vanderbilt at Kentucky (ESPN2) in women's college basketball at 9. Trail Blazers at Lakers (TNT) at 10:30.
John Fairfax, apprentice pirate, adventurer: "He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there. He made both crossings in a rowboat because it, too, was there, and because the lure of sea, spray and sinew, and the history-making chance to traverse two oceans without steam or sail, proved irresistible. In 1969, after six months alone on the Atlantic battling storms, sharks and encroaching madness, John Fairfax, who died this month at 74, became the first lone oarsman in recorded history to traverse any ocean. ... At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle. At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler. Mr. Fairfax was among the last avatars of a centuries-old figure: the lone-wolf explorer, whose exploits are conceived to satisfy few but himself. His was a solitary, contemplative art that has been all but lost amid the contrived derring-do of adventure-based reality television." [New York Times]
Feb 20, 2009: World's Oldest JuCo Player Declared Ineligible
When Josh Beckett says "distracted" he means "drunk": "Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett admitted on Sunday to some 'lapses in judgment' regarding his conduct in the team's clubhouse last season, which ended with a historic September collapse, and said he was 'distracted.' 'We made mistakes in the clubhouse, and that's about as far as I'll go talking about the clubhouse,' he said. Beckett would not elaborate on why he was distracted, but his wife gave birth to the couple's first child late last season. Beckett also insisted there was never a time he wasn't ready to pitch and when asked if it was fair to be singled out for being out of shape at the end of the season, he said, 'I put on a little bit of weight. I don't have a reason for it, but it happened. I'm looking forward to going forward from here.'" [ESPN Boston]
Kobe Bryant hates trade rumors not about Kobe Bryant: "Kobe Bryant lashed out at Los Angeles Lakers management Sunday night for leaving teammate Pau Gasol wondering whether he's about to be traded. In a postgame monologue punctuated by a couple of profanities, Bryant said the Lakers either need to trade Gasol or come out and say it won't happen. Bryant's comments came in the aftermath of a 102-90 loss at Phoenix on Sunday night. He said he doesn't want Gasol to be traded but it's unfair for his teammate to try to play when he doesn't know if he'll be somewhere else the following day. As Bryant put it: 'If they're going to do something, I wish they would just ... do it. Listen, he's been the consummate professional,' Bryant said. 'He's going out and he's trying to do what he can. But let's be real. If you didn't know you were going to be here tomorrow, if your head's on the chopping block and you feel like you're just waiting, it's tough to put all yourself in the game.'" [Yahoo Sports]
Your Reporter WTF Interlude:
Red Wings win record 23 straight home games. In hockey, we think: "Despite defeating the Detroit Red Wings in five straight regular season games dating back to last year—not to mention ending hockey season early in the Motor City the past two playoffs—the Sharks on Sunday became the latest visiting team to pack up and leave the visitor's locker room in a huff. The Red Wings downed San Jose 3-2 in a game televised on NBC as part of USA Hockey's "Hockey Weekend Across America" celebration and pushed their NHL record home-win streak to a jaw-dropping 23 games in the process. 'It's pretty amazing,' said Detroit forward Drew Miller, who led the way with his 12th goal and set up Darren Helm's game-winner in the third with a nice takeaway and feed to the slot. '[The old record of 20] was around for so long. We got a couple games past it, so it's going to be pretty tough to touch it.'" [NHL.com]
Miguel Cabrera is excited to be the second fattest guy on the team, for once: "Looking noticeably trimmer than last year and sounding happy as ever, Miguel Cabrera arrived in Tigers camp this morning. Before he headed to the indoor batting cage, the first-baseman-turned-third-baseman gave his first interview in camp. He talked about the various ways the Prince Fielder signing will impact him. 'I think everybody is excited to have a guy like that in the lineup,' Cabrera said. 'It brings a lot of positive things.' Cabrera said he understood fully why he has been moved to third base. It allows Fielder to enter the lineup and play first, his lone position. 'We are here to win games,' Cabrera said. 'We're here for one reason: to try to win a championship. My goal is always to lose weight and be in the best shape.'" [Detroit Free Press]
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