What we watched: The Australian Open, surprisingly. Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer in three sets despite being visibly ill throughout the match. Djokovic theatrically kept rubbing his leg, putting his head in his hands, and generally looked puke-ish for a significant stretch, but it didn't matter. The night's highlight happened in another match, though, thanks to the fans of Kei Nishikori, who after each winner frantically waved large yellow signs that read "Great Shot" and "Love It" as if they were on an episode of Family Feud.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Villanova at Louisville (ESPN) and West Virginia at St. John's (ESPNU) in men's college basektball at 7. Detroit at Montreal in NHL hockey at 7:30 (NBCSN). Missouri at Oklahoma State in men's college basketball at 7:30 (ESPN2). Indiana at Chicago in NBA basketball at 8 (NBATV). Duke at Maryland (ESPN) and Kansas State at Texas Tech (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 9. Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers in NBA basketball at 10:30 (NBATV). Australian Open, women's seminfinal at 9:30 (ESPN2).
The bubble in which college student-athletes live: "When people ask how appalled I was by the CU recruiting sex scandal, which engulfed our school in 2004, I don't know exactly how to explain my insufficient disgust. When I'm out to dinner and the conversation turns to the Penn State scandal—and others are baffled by the overwhelming inaction of the authority figures on that campus—I don't know how to convey the unthinkable: that I understand how such a thing could happen. Those moments on the treadmill were only a few out of thousands. Each one was like a brick that helped build the house in which we, the student-athletes, lived: dining together at the training table, collecting our stipend checks, studying together in the lounge, collecting our gear from the back room, receiving our blank invoices for books from the student union, even worshipping together at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We were fed, clothed, housed and nurtured. If you spend enough time inside this culture, you begin thinking the arena roof is the sky: No higher power exists outside." [espnW]
Jan 25, 2006: Anna Benson Wants To, Uh, Help Kids Or Something
$214 million reasons to reconnect with your son: "Cecil Fielder, though, has already weighed in with some public comments about his estranged son. During a MLB Network Radio interview with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on Tuesday, Cecil—who played for the Tigers from 1990-96—said that he and his son are trying to repair their relationship. Said Cecil Fielder: ‘Well, we're having a few chats. We're doing a lot better than we were. Time heals all wounds, man. Everybody has to come back together at some point. Number one thing, I'm just happy for him. I think everybody was a little anxious for him to get signed. With what happened to Albert [Pujols], everybody was waiting for Prince to go off the board so I know there's a lot of stress off of him and I know he's happy so, hey, that's the most important thing.' Only Prince Fielder can confirm whether that statement is true or not, but it'd be a radical change from just a few months ago if it were. Back in June, Cecil told the Yuma Sun that the two hadn't spoken since seeing each other in Atlanta the year before. ‘I wanted to drop a right on him instead of talking to him,' Cecil said of the meeting, which obviously did not go well." [Big League Stew]
Hoe long until he gets fired?: "Former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has reached an agreement to lead the Silver and Black in the 2012 season, but contract details still must be hammered out. Allen informed the Broncos on Tuesday he was taking the Raiders' head-coaching position. The Broncos hired Allen as defensive coordinator exactly a year ago to the day. Allen had previous coaching experience with the New Orleans Saints' secondary unit." [Fox Sports]
Your Old Man/Cop Food Fight Interlude:
Super Bowl or bust?: "These are nervous times for the Ravens coaching staff because a year ago most of them were given one year deals, and many of those on offense were told they had to get to the Super Bowl, or they might be dismissed." [Baltimore Sun]
So the All-Star Game will still be endless: "La Russa concluded a 16-season run in St. Louis with the team's second World Series title in five years last October, stepping down after 33 seasons overall. Commissioner Bud Selig announced Tuesday that the 67-year-old La Russa will manage the National League in this year's game July 10 in Kansas City." [ESPN]
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