By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particularly passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly (though some may become reoccurring).
The Jets face the Patriots on Monday night and the game could determine not only the division but who goes to the Super Bowl. It's the biggest game to date this season. You have one coach that seeks the spotlight and the other who avoids it at all costs. You have one of the top defenses vs. one of the top offenses. You even have the story of 5'7 Danny Woodhead who was cut from the Jets, picked up by the Patriots and has been a pivotal part of that team. But what story have I seen written about more than any of these? Is Tom Brady getting hair plugs??? And this isn't TMZ reporting this. This is major publications. I can't even tell you if these articles are written in a joking manner or not because I refuse to read them. Am I the only one who just likes watching sports and doesn't care about the gossip? Let's focus on the game and not whether Brady's going bald. Although, I recently read that Brady's going to be the first male to endorse UGG boots. Those are sooo five years ago. On to the awards!
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports wrote about a story that's been woefully underreported: Which way do you want to go with this Gene Chizik story? The man is one of only four undefeated coaches in Division I-A. He gives up next to nothing in terms of anecdotes, details or color. His own story isn't even in the top five on his own campus this week with Alabama looming.
As you can tell this was even before Auburn beat Alabama to remain perfect and Boise State lost to bring that number of undefeated coaches to three. Do you remember how unpopular this hiring was? And now he's on the precipice of taking his team to the BCS title game. Yet all the stories are about Cam Newton or even how Auburn is lucky to be undefeated. Maybe, but let's give the coach some credit for getting his team to this point.
Answering His Own Question
Thayer Evans of Fox Sports wonders why Auburn won't let Cam Newton talk to the media: So if everything is fine, why aren't the Tigers making Newton available to the media, especially after his historic heroics Friday in which he essentially struck the Heisman pose for most voters? ... But Newton's silence is telling, fair or not, at least in the eyes of the rest of college football, which is watching him and Auburn's every move with a Heisman Trophy and a national championship at stake.
They're not letting him talk to the media because of people like you. They're trying to protect him from having to undergo hundreds of the same questions that will inevitably result in "no comment." This barrage by the media has to take it's toll on the kid (guilty or not) and Auburn would like to alleviate some of that anxiety by not exposing him to all the questions. It doesn't mean he's guilty, it just means they want him focused and not distracted.
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times still think UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel can turn that program around: I like his relentless optimism, he can clearly motivate for big moments, and that 81-51 career record is surely no fluke. But he's going to have to shed his cool and dirty his hands to get it done.
Is he making fun of Neuheisel? "Dirty his hands?" If you don't remember, after he left Colorado, the school was found to have committed a ton of NCAA violations and he was also accused of multiple infractions while coaching Washington. So yes, maybe Neuheisel can turn that program around if he gets his hands dirty just like USC did.
Heat Dig of the Week
It's been a rough beginning to the season for the Heat and recently for Dwyane Wade. Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald makes an unfavorable comparison to Wade: In four losses, he has gone 4 for 16, 2 for 12, 1 for 13 and 6 for 21. That's not Dwyane Wade. That's Ricky Davis.
Somewhere Ricky Davis just read that and thought it was a compliment. Oh who am I kidding. Davis doesn't read.
Unintentional Jab 2? / Unnecessary Analogy
Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports gets two awards for this ridiculousness: The Big Three free-agent decision is the equivalent of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Bristol Palin agreeing to film a porno. Check that. I'd support that project wholeheartedly and would sit through several one-hour, Jim Gray-hosted infomercials about how the deal came together. Jim Gray: "Paris, will you
allow Kim and Bristol to bite your toenails?"
I'll say Kardashian is LeBron and Hilton is Wade? But it's pretty clear Bosh is Palin since she's definitely the worst of the three. Did he really need to bring Jim Gray into this though? This whole thing just came out of left field. Well, I guess that's not completely true. For Whitlock an analogy like this is common occurrence.
Most Unrealistic Proposal
Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal thinks the Big East should give up their BCS bid this year: The Big East should inform the folks running the Bowl Championship Series that the league doesn't have a team deserving of a spot in a BCS game this season. The league should offer to surrender its BCS slot for a place in a lesser game.
HA! Hilarious. Oh, you're serious? The BCS wouldn't even allow this. It would make it look worse than the Big East. Also, you never know what could happen in a bowl game. The Big East could win it and then the whole perception changes. Do you know what type of logistical nightmare this would be too? It's just a completely absurd idea.
Dan Shaugnessy of the Boston Globe believes there is no downside to the Red Sox making an offer for Derek Jeter: Blow Jeter away with dollars and years. At worst this would just mean the Sox would jack up the final price the Yankees must pay. It could be sort of like Mark Teixeira-in-reverse.
And if Jeter actually signed with Boston, the damage to the Yankees' psyche would be inestimable.