Your morning roundup for Feb. 3, the day Snooki really wowed us with her intelligence. Photo of the schedule in Ohio State's locker room courtesy Dr. Saturday, via Larry Brown Sports. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Rider at Loyola (Md.) in men's college basketball at 7 (ESPNU). New York at Boston in NBA basketball at 8 (ESPN). Cleveland State at Loyola (Ill.) in men's college basketball at 9 (ESPNU). Los Angeles Lakers at Devner in NBA basketball at 10:30 (ESPN).
On Blake Griffin: "No player since Vinsanity has taken up more space in the highlight economy. This means two truths are inevitable, neither of which have anything to do with Blake Griffin. First, he automatically becomes the most overrated player in the NBA. Second, his "winningness" will be discussed, dissected, and judged before it's ready. Which is too bad. Because, above all other things, Blake Griffin is the league's most interesting project. He is a thoroughly flawed player whose myriad clunks can all appear fixable. He could be a no-doubt Hall of Famer who racks up rings with Chris Paul and dominates both from 18 feet and around the rim. He could blow out his knee and end up his generation's Antonio McDyess." [Grantland]
Yeah, you were terrible in the dunk contest anyway: "Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was voted as a starter to the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday but said he doesn't plan on defending his slam dunk contest title during All-Star weekend. ‘As of right now I don't plan on being in it,' Griffin said Thursday night. 'Those dunk contests aren't my thing, I said that last year. There's a lot of guys that can put on a great show and do some good stuff.'" [ESPN]
ilemi.me: "Three days before Super Bowl XLVI, U.S. prosecutors said they seized 16 websites that illegally streamed live sports and pay-per-view events over the Internet, and charged a Michigan man with running nine of those websites. According to the government, the 16 websites provided links to give viewers easy access to other sites that hosted pirated telecasts from the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (‘WWE') and TNA Impact Wrestling. The latter is also broadcast on Viacom Inc's Spike TV. Prosecutors said such piracy costs leagues and broadcasters millions of dollars a year, and some of this cost is passed on to ticket buyers and sports network subscribers. ‘These websites and their operators deprive sports leagues and networks of legitimate revenue' in what amounts to ‘virtual thievery,' said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, who announced the website seizures. The websites are firstrow.tv, firstrowsports.com, firstrowsports.net, firstrowsports.tv, hq-streams.tv, robplay.tv, soccertvlive.net, sports95.com, sports95.net, sports95.org, sportswwe.net, sportswwe.tv, sportswwe.com, xonesports.tv, youwwe.com and youwwe.net." [Yahoo!]
Your Tap Dancing Cow Interlude:
Jerry West has had enough: "‘I honestly think I'd call their bluff,' West said in an interview on 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland show Thursday, not mentioning Howard specifically. ‘I really would, because I don't think any agent or player is going to leave $30 million on the table. I just don't believe that's going to happen. [...] 'If I were an executive on a team where a player says he's going to leave, let him leave,' West said on 710 ESPN's Max and Marcellus show earlier Thursday. ‘It would be better than saddling yourself with a bunch of players that are not going to fit in to what you're trying to do—high-salaried players, in many cases overpaid players by today's standards, that would burden you going forward. ‘I'd almost rather start over again myself. You're not going to replace that player, but there's an enormous penalty there and it looks like to me like the inmates are running the asylum if you let that happen.'" [ESPN, via PBT]
More non-news about Peytong Manning: "Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for The Indianapolis Colts. Team statement coming on Friday." [@JimIrsay]
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