Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: WNBA Brawl, SEC, Phils

Today's Calls: WNBA vs. Brawling, Tim Tebow vs. SEC Media, Brett Favre vs. Joe Flacco, Mets vs. Jimmy Rollins and More! ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Well, that's ONE way for the WNBA to hit the radar with fans who otherwise wouldn't care about the league. ↵

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↵Brawl. ↵

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↵*A nationally televised brawl. ↵
↵*At the Palace, of all places. ↵
↵*Involving new WNBA poster player, Candace Parker. ↵
↵*And its old poster player, Lisa Leslie. ↵
↵*And a coach (Rick Mahorn) shoving a player. ↵

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↵And, of course, there's full-blown, widespread video of it. ↵

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↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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↵It instantly becomes the defining moment of the WNBA. Passionate players? Fan-friendly arena environments? Dunks? Subordinated. ↵

↵The good news: More people will watch the WNBA today -- albeit through video replay of the brawl on the news or YouTube -- than ever before. ↵

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↵The bad news is that they're tuning in for the brawling, not the balling. ↵

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↵CFB Media Daze: SEC. The granddaddy of CFB media days is the SEC, which -- for something not involving an actual game -- is as obsessively (if regionally) covered as anything in U.S. sports today. ↵

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↵The star of this year's show in Hoover, Alabama, is -- obviously -- Tim Tebow, who takes the podium this afternoon in what should be nothing less than a circus. (Ooh: I can watch it live on my laptop?) ↵

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↵Given the past two seasons, the league is worth tracking if only because its champion will likely end up winning the national title. Georgia-Florida sizes up as a Game of the Year in college football. ↵Packers looking to trade Brett Favre? It is being positioned as merely exploratory -- the Ravens are rumored to have already said, "No thanks."* I can't believe it: The Packers look like they are going to cave on this and ship out the franchise icon to play for another team. ↵

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↵(* -- Please consider that the Ravens were apparently offered Brett Favre and took a pass, because they'd rather roll Joe Flacco style.) ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: The Mets are still haunted by the Phillies. If it isn't an epic September collapse, it's giving up 6 runs in the 9th last night. If the Phillies (and Jimmy Rollins) wanted to make a statement about who "definitely" rules the NL East, this was a big one. ↵

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↵More: Yankees win 9th in a row at the Stadium. ... Don't count out the A's: OAK ends 6-game L streak with win at the Trop. ... Dice-K has to have the quietest 11-1 record in MLB history. ... Fantasy Stud: Rick VandenHurk (5 IP, 0 H, 7 K, 5 W), as part of a 4-pitcher 1-hitter. ... Walk-Off Watch: Jeff Keppinger. ... K-Rod Tracker: 41 saves. ... The Cubs' run-scoring vacuum continues. ↵

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↵MLB Trade Mania: D'backs get RP Jon Rauch from the Nats for a minor-league infielder. No word yet on either Holliday or Teixeira. ↵

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↵Today's NFL Camping Kick-Offs: ↵
↵Ravens (Westminster, Md.): Flacco ready now? ↵
↵Browns (Berea, Ohio): QB controversy? ↵
↵Patriots (Foxborough, Mass.): Ready for 16-0 II? ↵
↵Jets (Hempstead, N.Y.): Eyeing Favre? ↵
↵Cards (Flagstaff, Ariz.): Leinart under glare? ↵
↵Bears (Bourbonnais, Ill.): Questions at QB, RB. ↵
↵Lions (Allen Park, Mich.): Millen still there? ↵
↵Saints (Jackson, Miss./Metarie, La.): Bigger Bush role? ↵

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↵NFL Trash-Talk: Carson Palmer has nothing to apologize for. ↵

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↵USA Oops: LeBron had to leave practice with an ankle sprain. Probably exactly what Cavs fans were hoping to hear. ↵

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↵Steroids Scandal, Cont'd: Kudos to the CEO of USA Track and Field for sending a letter to President Bush strongly urging him not to pardon Marion Jones, who actually had the chutzpah to ask for one. ↵

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↵New urine-based test for HGH? This could be huge. HGH has long been considered the drug of choice for athletes, because it was undetectable without an invasive test -- which no union was willing to agree to. Here's the rub: Do you really want to know how widespread HGH is? Once you go there, you ain't coming back. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Yes, they pay me, but I'd say this anyway: The first edition of Sporting News Today lands in e-mail boxes everywhere today. It's a totally new way to consume your sports news and opinion. Not a subscriber? Click here. ↵

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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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