Sports Cards Uncensored talks about the Vikings' prospects, on the field and in sports cards.
When starters don't make it to mini-camp, backups get a chance to practice more (Star Tribune).
Roger Goodell is going to start fining teams when their players have discipline issues (Sports Illustrated). Frankly, I think this is getting a little ridiculous. Teams are already punished when their own players get suspended for their "personal conduct": they lose those players' services for a period of time. Now they get fined, too? And why are the teams responsible for everything the players do on their own time? I've said this before: by trying to curtail the "problem" of players' off-the-field conduct, Goodell has simply brought more attention and publicity to off-the-field conduct, in effect doing more to make it a "problem."
Marion Barber signed a nice contract with the Cowboys (Sports Illustrated). So, fantasy football drafters, does Felix Jones scare you?
Wages of Wins talks about the "competitive imbalance" of the NBA. I guess "the short supply of tall people" is an explanation, but I'm not sure it quite explains why the Celtics and Lakers usually end up with the best of those tall people and win most of the titles (30). Then again, the big market Knicks suck and the small market Spurs dominate, so I can't complain about big market/small market for the NBA. But I think there is another simple explanation for basketball's competitive imbalance: sizes of rosters. Football teams have 22 starters, so it is difficult to maintain and supplement a dominant roster for an extended period of time. Basketball teams have five starters, and so once you have a championship nucleus, it is not as difficult to keep it together, and there are fewer contributing pieces necessary to add.
Cold, Hard Football Facts calls the '82 Washington football team the last Old School football team.
Ballers, Gamers, and Scoundrels talks about the "hot seat" cliche.
We look for "Suspension of Disbelief" articles: Pancake Blocks calls it the "Puff Piece Detector."
Here's Chad Ford's Mock Draft. Please, Timberwolves, make the best of a disappointment (missing out on Beasley or Rose), and take O.J. Mayo. Kevin McHale may be thinking "we already have guards," but those guards were good enough to get you the third pick in the draft. Take the potential superstar when you can. But since when have the Timberwolves ever picked the player I thought they should pick?
Ian Thomsen's mock draft also has the Wolves taking Brook Lopez. He says " Going with a true center enables them to shift Al Jefferson to his natural position of power forward and saves him from being worn down against bigger players." OK, but why is that his "natural position"? On the day of his birth, did he pop out into the hospital room and the doctors said, "well, this is a natural power forward." Is it sort of like a Jedi Counsel deciding if somebody has enough of the Force to be a Jedi: is there some Power Forward Counsel that determines Al Jefferson is naturally, inherently, in his very essence, a power forward? And I'm still not entirely sure what the real difference between a power forward or a center is in today's NBA. Whatever: I'll get over it. Though I'd write something like "drafting O.J. May enables the Timberwolves to move players like Randy Foye and Rashad McCants to their natural positions of backup players."
James Walker talks about the Browns: what do you think of them? They should have a loaded passing game.
The Daily Norseman notes the NBA wise has a rookie salary structure that the NFL needs: the league's highest paid players shouldn't be the ones who haven't done anything yet.