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Monday, August 31, 2009
This and That

By Dick Vitale

Each week I'll give my thoughts on the world of sports:

• I am getting tired of hearing about Brandon Marshall's act in Denver. He is a talented young player, but he should grow up and act like a professional. I don't blame new coach Josh McDaniels for suspending him the rest of the preseason. Instead of catching a pass at practice, he knocked it away. Come on, are you serious? Marshall has been like a two-year old, upset that he didn't get a better deal. Then he asked to be traded, yet his actions hurt his value. Do you think any NFL team will give fair value for Marshall at this point, now that he has acted up time after time? It is time to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled brat.

• What a week for Heath Slocum. He barely made it into the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour. Then he goes out and beats the likes of Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington at the Barclays event. Slocum made a great par putt on the 18th hole to secure the victory. It was truly dramatic as he moved from 124th in the points race all the way to 3rd!

• As a Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holder, I was really disappointed with the decision to trade lefty pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Angels for minor league prospects and a player to be named later. The Rays are still in the thick of a playoff race, so giving up a left-handed pitcher like Kazmir did not make much sense to me. It had to hurt the morale of the club, and I know this was done because of one factor -- green. My friends, Kazmir is in the first year of a three-year deal worth $28.5 million, so the Rays just saved a lot of money long term. This is the time of year when playoff contenders try to improve their roster. Look a the Phillies adding Cliff Lee, the Red Sox getting Victor Martinez, the Cardinals adding John Smoltz, and now the Angels get Kazmir. How did the Rays help themselves for the stretch run?

• The U.S. Open tennis tournament gets under way and I feel it will be chalk city. On the men's side, Roger Federer has returned to his dominant form, winning the French Open and Wimbledon. Federer has won five straight U. S. Open titles and there is no reason to think he won't make it six in a row. Rafael Nadal's knees are still a question mark. Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic can contend, though Federer has to be the big favorite.

• On the women's side, Serena and Venus Williams would meet in the semifinals at the Open. Serena has won three of the last four Grand Slam singles tournaments, and I like her to win this one. It will be interesting to see how Kim Clijsters fares in her comeback to the Open.

• College football kicks off this week as well. I am going to predict a rematch for the national title. That's right, Tim Tebow against Sam Bradford, Urban Meyer vs. Bob Stoops. I am going with Florida to defeat Oklahoma to win the championship once again. Tebow is like the Derek Jeter of college football, a class act and a winner.

• Usain Bolt has said that he can run faster in the 100 and 200 meters, and his current records could be shattered in the near future. My friends, he is just 23 years old, so those remarks actually make sense. He should get better and better, and he is truly amazing already.