Over six years into his term as NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell has made the league more profitable than ever. In 2013, annual revenue will most likely surpass $10 billion for the first time. Don Van Natta Jr. writes for ESPN The Magazine that Goodell is balancing on knife's edge between player safety and entertainment value.
"If there's anything more pointless than putting a player at risk during an early March spring training game, it's pitchers hitting, and if there's anything pointless than pitchers hitting, it's pitchers hitting during spring training games." That's Jay Jaffe at SI.com, who says seeing designated hitters in both leagues is inevitable.
Unlike the rest of the NCAA, the Ivy League schools choose their tournament qualifier by regular season record. It's a bit of a postseason-avoidance tradition that also carries over into football, but Chris Mahr at Lost Lettermen says the Ivies need a conference tournament. The benefits: experience for coaches and players, increased fan interest, and the drama that comes with great postseason runs from teams with mediocre regular seasons.
Players for Notre Dame and St. John's got a little punchy towards the end of their basketball game:
Also... Manchester United dropped out of the Champions League after an iffy red card against Real Madrid.
A Turkish second-division player scored an awesome long-range goal off of a volley.
And Duke crushed Virginia Tech, 85-57.
Three for Seven
The three most popular stories on RealClearSports for the past seven days. (Previous position-days on chart.)
1. The New York Times reports that Rupert Murdoch's Fox Sports 1 is a true challenger to ESPN. (NA-1)
2. Bob Harig at ESPN calls Rory McIlroy's "tooth pain" story a fairy tale. (1-3)
3. Tim Kawakami and Cam Inman break down the deal sending Alex Smith to Kansas City. (2-6)