The Big 12 is having its media days right now, and has been dishing the PR spin that everything will be just great going forward as a ten team league. This morning Texas A&M made it clear again that the only reason they're still there is because of commissioner Dan Beebe's "I can get you 20 million a year, trust me" promise, and if he doesn't deliver they're bailing. Beebe reprimanded Tommy Tuberville for being honest that the conference isn't going to work longterm, but he can't do anything about this situation. Unless the Aggies get their money, the Big whatever remains a house of cards.
It mystifies me why Houston Nutt and Ole Miss are going to allow former Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli to enroll and play for the Rebels this fall. Masoli is a proven multi time criminal offender, including burglary charges. Beyond that, he can only play for a year. With him, the Rebels might win seven games if they're lucky. There are four games on the schedule they should win with my dog Mader under center, so we're not talking about a huge season changer here. Why would you bring in a bad guy, slow any development of QBs you have for the future, and do it all a year after signing Jamar Hornsby blew up in your face?
Sports Illustrated has come up with their list of the 25 all time most hated sports teams. Selected as the baddest boys on the block: the 1986 football Miami Hurricanes. Not buying that, although they ticked off a lot of people with their "we're wearing camo because we're in a war" routine. Lots more people care about pro sports than college on a national level. Number one should have been one of the Cowboys squads, possibly the 86 Mets or the Reggie era Yankees. LeBron's Heat team has a great chance to move up that list really quickly though.
On the subject of LeBron, something very strange happened yesterday. ESPN Los Angeles posted a piece by Arash Markazi which followed James on his recent Vegas excursion as a nightclub party host for cash (because if there's one thing LeBron needs right now it's tacky public exposure). The piece, which portrays James as a self-centered guy with almost no thoughts beyond whatever makes him happy at any given moment, was inexplicably yanked from ESPN's site soon after it was posted. You can read it for yourself right here. The question is what led to the piece being pulled - was ESPN worried about hurting recent business partner LeBron's feelings? They deny that, of course, but other reporting from that night verifies the truth of what Markazi wrote. Markazi's a well respected former Sports Illustrated writer, so there's no reason to doubt his version of things unless some specific allegation is made that it's incorrect. This is why ESPN had no business being involved in Lebron's ego trip TV show. Even if there's an innocent explanation for what happened with the Markazi piece, it comes off looking sleazy.
Washington Nationals fans were extremely unhappy the other night when rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg was unable to make his scheduled start due to tightness in his arm. The last minute fill in was Miguel Batista, who was booed but went on to pitch five shutout innings and get the win. After the game, Batista sympathized with the fans by saying, "Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, and you end up having Miss Iowa." The reigning Miss Iowa was not pleased to be portrayed as the disappointing consolation prize, and I can't argue with her since she's pretty much drop dead gorgeous. The best part of this story is that they've since settled the dispute - Batista sent Miss Iowa flowers and has been invited to serve as a judge at this year's Miss Iowa pageant. In the spirit of that agreement, I would just like to say Playboy playmates, SI swimsuit models, and the women of Hooters are all highly overrated. Oh, and really expensive steaks don't taste good either.