What we watched: Thunder at the Clippers. Somewhere, Timofey Mozgov probably toasted the basketball gods now that Kendrick Perkins is the latest and soon-to-be most famous Blake Griffin posterization victim. We should, at the very least, commend the fearless Perkins for refusing to yield, even if his efforts were ultimately futile. This, it seems, is the shot-blockers' dilemma—for all the swats that save a few points here and there, what we often remember is that one brave failure. Because a great dunk over a defender feels like a metaphor for something greater, even if it's nothing more than an acrobatic way of scoring two points.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Stoke City at Manchester United in English Premier League soccer at 2:55 (ESPN2). Michigan State at Illinois (ESPN), Clemson at Virginia (ESPN2), and Tennessee at Kentucky (ESPN2) in men's college basketball at 7. Washington at Tampa Bay in NHL hockey at 7:30 (NBCSN). Denver at Memphis in NBA basketball at 8 (NBATV). Vanderbilt at Arkansas (ESPN) and North Carolina at Wake Forest (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 9.
That time a Michael Jackson impersonator took the stage with Michael Jackson at the Super Bowl: "For Scorpio, Jackson's decision provided an opportunity he probably never anticipated: the chance to appear alongside MJ in front of millions of people. By 1993, he'd found a niche as a Michael Jackson impersonator. The dancer, who was raised in Detroit and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, had a regular gig at Legends in Concert, a Las Vegas-based company that put on tribute shows. He also performed internationally, and had in fact just returned from a trip to the Philippines when he learned, via his agent, that he'd been offered a job at the Super Bowl. 'I was pumped up,' Scorpio said. The door to his dressing room at the Rose Bowl was even decked out with his name-in the middle of a star. That was a first." [The Classical]
Edumacation: "On Monday, the Giants quarterback shared a hilarious story about how Peyton used to ‘big brother' him when he was little. ‘His most popular move, he would pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC. I didn't know them all at the time, but I quickly learned them,' Eli Manning said with a smile. ‘It was a great learning technique. I don't suggest anyone else try it out, but it definitely made me learn the schools of the SEC. Once I figured those out, he moved on.'" [The Tennessean]
Rob Lowe might have been right: "Two unnamed 'league-affiliated doctors with experience in spinal fusion surgery' tell Cole that it could take up to a year for Manning to know if he can return to action. As Cole [of Yahoo! Sports] points out, Manning naturally remains optimistic and determined. But if the nerves don't improve, there's really nothing he can do. And so while his status with the Colts will be known with certainty soon, everything else about his future will remain uncertain for weeks, maybe months. Maybe longer." [PFT]
Your NYC Subway Singing Interlude
Nyjer Morgan is bored in the offseason: "Most people know Nyjer Morgan as the outfielder who won the 2011 NLDS for the Milwaukee Brewers in extra innings, or as the certified goofball who has a collection of alter egos ranging from the entertaining Tony Plush to the ‘city slicker' Tony Tombstone. But before all of that, he was Flash Morgan for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. Inspired to play after the 1988 Winter Olympics, the San Francisco native embarked on a short-lived but memorable junior hockey career, telling NHL.com that he was ‘just like that little pest on the ice, going around and giving people the business, like Sean Avery.' Last summer, Morgan appeared on Jim Rome's ESPN show while rocking a ‘No. 2 Plush' San Jose Sharks jersey. (Foul? Depends on if the team gave it to him or not.) ‘We knew he had a hockey background and when we saw him on Jim Rome wearing our sweater,' Sharks captain Joe Thornton said Monday in a press release, ‘[so] we wanted to invite him to get on the ice with us.' Yep: Nyjer Morgan/T. Plush/Flash Morgan will skate with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday during their morning practice." [Puck Daddy]
More dirt on Peyton: "So, Eli, what's it like playing the second Super Bowl of your career in Lucas Oil Stadium, where your brother has done so many great things? ‘I really have not thought much about playing in Indianapolis,' the younger Manning said. ‘It's not really a time to reflect right now on that. It's just a matter of trying to get ready for the Patriots and get ready to play this game, and get ready for their defense. We'll look back on the fact of playing in the Super Bowl in the town where he plays for the Colts.' And we'll look back on the fact that playing a Super Bowl in Peyton's … in the town where he played his NFL … uhhhh, you know plays for the Colts. So we'll look on that later.'" [Shutdown Corner]
Send stories, photos, and anything else you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.