Quite a week -- accusations of racism in the clubhouse, a victory for academia in Cincinnati, those pesky French contrarians
and, of course, the return of an old favorite: high-stakes milk-drinking.
This Week's List
• Apparently, the words "Take a small portion of your stolen millions and hire a driver" mean about as much to this guy as "I think you've had enough": Sidney Ponson, drunk again, driving again.
• He's probably never even heard of Larue Martin: Alex Smith, who has raised eyebrows with his inability to do much of anything through the 49ers' first three exhibition games.
• Oh, so you think it's easy to think up insightful gags like that?: The Marlins' bat boy got a milk deal out of being unable to drink -- and keep down -- a gallon of milk in one hour, so the least Brad Penny should get is a guest-hosting gig on "Fear Factor."
• Watching all those 12-year-olds throw hard breaking balls in the Little League World Series should have taught parents one hard lesson: It's never too early to pressure your kids into becoming orthopedic surgeons.
• The two hottest pitchers in baseball, and they do most of their damage with changeups: Johan Santana, Noah Lowry.
• Three comments you're bound to hear if you find yourself listening to sports talk radio during a time of natural disaster or other tragic event: 1) "Well, it's times like these that sure put sports in the proper perspective"; 2) "It's kind of hard to talk about fun and games during a time like this"; 3) "Our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody battling this, and now to talk about the Bears' final preseason game "
• There's only one word sufficient to describe Mike Shanahan's belief that he could make Maurice Clarett into another in the long line of productive Broncos runners: Hubris.
• Think about it -- they were going to hand over more than $400,000 to someone who couldn't beat out Ron Dayne: Clarett's own hubris caused him to turn down a $410,000 signing bonus from the Broncos in favor of an incentive-laden contract.
• It's enough to make you pine for the geographically precise days when the Atlanta Braves were in the National League West: Hawaii, competing as the Northwest U.S. representative in the Little League World Series.
• Radical idea put forth by sports radio host and occasional TV talker Tom Tolbert: If the powers in college football truly want expert opinions on where teams should be ranked, they should consult the people whose livelihood truly depends on it -- Vegas oddsmakers.
• "Urine here! Get yer 6-year-old urine!": The hand-wringers who bemoaned the lack of pre-BALCO investigative reporting on steroids in baseball -- writers included -- need look no further than the reaction to L'Equipe's Lance Armstrong investigation to see how difficult it is to strong-arm public opinion when your main contention can be neither proven nor denied.
• If Lance is guilty, it'll shake an honest society to its core: In New York, six people pleaded guilty to making and selling fake LiveStrong bands.