Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: We're On The Clock

↵Today's Calls: 15 minutes per pick vs. 10 minutes per pick, Glenn Dorsey vs. Derrick Harvey, DeShawn Stevenson vs. LeBron James, T-Mac vs. Haters, Cliff Lee vs. Joba Chamberlain, Frank Thomas vs. David Ortiz' jersey, Tampa vs. Orlando, Brett Favre vs. John Madden, Stanford vs. Larry Brown, Tony Stewart vs. Joe Gibbs and More! ↵

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↵The Opening Pitch: This year, we're ALL "on the clock." ↵

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↵There IS a game-changer in this weekend's NFL Draft, but it's not Jake Long or Chris Long or Glenn Dorsey or Darren McFadden or Joe Flacco. ↵

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↵It's No. 10. ↵

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↵As in: "Teams have 10 minutes to pick." ↵

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↵You can love the NFL Draft but still believe that the 15-minute wait between picks was ridiculous, endless and, ultimately, meaningless. ↵

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↵Presumably, teams needed 15 minutes to evaluate last-minute trades; it would be ludicrous to think any team didn't know exactly who they would take at any given spot, after 3 months -- if not 12 months -- of prep. ↵

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↵But now 15 minutes has been cut to 10, and the fan is the big winner: ↵

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↵Less empty, time-killing rambling from draft experts about "need" and "upside" (see "Last Word" for my annual Draft Buzzword Drinking Game). Less wait to get to what really matters in any draft: ↵

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↵"With the X pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Next Team Up selects..." ↵

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↵If 15 minutes between picks felt like a slog, 10 minutes will -- by comparison -- hopefully feel like a sprint. ↵

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↵More NFL Draft: (1) With Jake Long signed, "Who will go No. 2?" is a big intrigue, but my biggest question is: Who will get Darren McFadden, the most electrifying talent in the draft? ... ↵

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↵(2) QBs are always a hot topic, particularly in the first round: (A) Who will get Matt Ryan (Falcons? Ravens? Brady Quinn-style plummet?) (B) Will any other QBs crack the first round? (Brohm, Flacco?) ↵

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↵(3) For college football fans, the draft is about seeing where your favorite team's players land; I'm excited to see Florida DE Derrick Harvey go early, potentially in the Top 10, but no later than 15. It's a good year to be a skilled defensive end. ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: You can respect the fun the Wizards bring to the NBA even if you're not a Washington fan: ↵

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↵They import Soulja Boy as a fan, part of an ongoing trash-talk feud with LeBron (and the Wiz crowd played along, chanting "Over!-Rated!" at James) ... ↵

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↵They sport Mohawks and high-top fades (the high-top fade is SO coming back, by the way). Caron Butler shaved "TOUGH JUICE" into the back of his head ... ↵

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↵And they bounce back from a 30-point playoff loss in Cleveland with a 36-point win in D.C. Why can't every team be this entertaining? (Not-so-entertaining: The state of Gilbert Arenas' balky knee.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile, the Rockets turned the table on the Jazz, taking Game 3 in Utah after losing the first 2 games of the series in Houston, officially making this series the most unpredictable in years. (Notorious playoff choker Tracy McGrady scored 7 of his 27 in the final 3:30 of the game.) ↵

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↵Home-court advantage was somewhat friendlier to the Raptors, also down 0-2, but now seemingly back in their series with the Magic after beating Orlando in Toronto behind Jose Calderon's 18 points and 13 assists. ↵

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↵Brett Favre will be on the cover of Madden '09: What kind of jinx happens to a player who isn't playing? (And what kind of signal does it send that the NFL has so few active superstars that the most popular sports video franchise ever needs to tap a retired player? Coming next for the cover of Madden '10: Gale Sayers!) ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: ↵

↵*Cliff Lee continues his sick best-in-AL season, moving to 4-0 after a CG shutout (3H, 9K), lowering his ERA to 0.28 ... ↵ ↵

↵*If Joba Chamberlain is going to blow games late, the Yankees might as well have him starting them early ... ↵

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↵*Frank Thomas returns to Oakland: 0-for-3 with 2 BB batting cleanup in his debut (Fantasy Stud: Donnie Murphy!) ... ↵

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↵*Wild ride for Tim Lincecum fans: 6 IP, 9 K, 5 BB, 4 H, 0 ER ... ↵

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↵*Chipper Jones is 36? Wow, that should make both of us feel old ... ↵

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↵*The Rays completed a 3-game sweep of the Jays in Orlando, where the Rays are unbeaten all-time (hint: they should play MORE games there)... ↵

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↵*$175K for David Ortiz's jersey found in the cement foundation at new Yankee Stadium? I'm glad it's for charity ... ↵

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↵Surprise, surprise: Bud Selig won't punish any MLB execs involved in the sport's steroid scandal. ↵

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↵Roger Goodell vs. Matt Walsh: The Commish says he'd be open to punishing the Pats more if Walsh ends up revealing more dirty tricks. Here's the question: How bad (or, alternatively, awesome) will Garden fans be when the Pats' name comes up in the Top 10? Expect "Chea!-Ters!" and, hopefully, more. ↵

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↵NFL Trades: Who will get Jason Taylor? (Meanwhile, the Broncos got Dewayne Robertson from the Jets.) SN's Vinnie Iyer has more. ↵

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↵Did Stanford really offer its head-coaching job to Larry Brown? And despite being desperate enough for one more coaching job that he quit the Sixers, Brown turned it down! Things are THAT bad in Palo Alto, eh? ↵

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↵(Meanwhile, what other team -- collee or pro -- could possibly be dumb enough to send their franchise the "wrong way" to satisfy Brown's ego? When he realizes that, maybe he won't think Stanford is so bad.) ↵

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↵NASCAR: So Tony Stewart IS happy with Joe Gibbs Racing, but if he will consider other options, I'm making him one, if I am another owner. I think he's the most dynamic personality in the sport. ↵

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↵NHL: Avs. Wings. Awesome. ↵

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↵The Last Word: The annual Shanoff NFL Draft Buzzword Drinking* Game. Take the directed number of sips every time you hear the following buzzwords: ↵

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↵"Upside" (1)
↵"The next..." (1)
↵"Best player available" (1)
↵"Intangibles" (1)
↵"Value pick" (-1)
↵"Big Board" (2)
↵"Great hips" (-2)
↵"Character guy" (3)
↵"Physicality" (4)
↵Any trite quips about Mel Kiper's hair (5)
↵"But what do I know?" (10)
↵* - Age-appropriate beverages only. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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