Shanoff's W.U.C.: Obama, Gruden, Parcells

Today's Calls: Jon Gruden vs. Charlie Weis, Ray Lewis vs. Bill Parcells, Pat White vs. Rhett Bomar, Gerald Henderson vs. Greg Paulus, Mike Bibby vs. Paul Millsap, Jon Papelbon vs. Ryan Howard, Kirk Radomski vs. Roger Clemens and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: With everyone's attention focused on the Inauguration of Barack Obama yesterday, it's like the sports world took the day off, too. ↵

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↵Perhaps out of deference to the historic moment (don't you just want a moratorium on people using the word "historic" for, like, the next four years?), sports drama was at a minimum. ↵

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↵Jon Gruden to Notre Dame?!?! Not quite. ↵

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↵Bill Parcells leaving Miami?!?! Nope. ↵

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↵Jon Papelbon hates the Red Sox?!?! Hardly. ↵

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↵You heard the new Fan-in-Chief: Let's get to work. Day-to-day sports scandals won't happen by themselves, you know. ↵

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↵Jon Gruden to Notre Dame? He needs the work and you'd think that anyone would be better than Charlie Weis. But does Gruden really solve the problem? Here is the money question: An NFL lifer, what kind of experience does Gruden have with the rigors of recruiting? (BTW: ND is NOT happy with the rumors, as you'd expect. What's he going to say: "Ooh! Can we make that happen?") ↵

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↵Ray Lewis to the Cowboys? I love this idea. If, indeed, the Cowboys' problems are chemistry, not strategy or execution, then the league's best enforcer of team chemistry is Lewis. (Isn't it great to have to "enforce" chemistry?) ↵

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↵Is Bill Parcells leaving the Dolphins now that ownership has transferred from Wayne Huizenga to Stephen Ross? Don't count on it; new owner Ross made it clear: "Parcells is in charge." Hey, just like Tuna likes it! ↵

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↵Donovan McNabb Lawn Scandal: Busted! (Justice.) ↵

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↵NFL Draft: Wildcat Mania? The most intriguing player at the Senior Bowl is Pat White, who is not going to be a starter in the NFL, but whose unique skills make him an ideal candidate to run Wildcat-style packages inside the red zone. Which teams will want to incorporate that into their scheme? ↵

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↵NFL Franchise Carousel: So now that a stadium in L.A. has cleared a key ballot initiative, which team will go? Regionally, the Chargers make sense; otherwise, there remain the rumblings that the Jaguars are open to a cross-country move. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Perhaps lost in the enthusiasm for the Hawks' young talent is "old man" Mike Bibby, whose arrival in Atlanta was arguably the turning point for the franchise's climb. Bibby had a season-high 31 last night. (Fantasy Watch: Paul Millsap, with 28 and 15.) ↵

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↵Question: How many teams would have Rip Hamilton coming off the bench? ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Gerald Henderson is Duke's MVP. Kyle Singler gets the pub and Greg Paulus gets the traditional Duke loathing, but Henderson should be the team's go-to guy (see his dominating performance over Georgetown). Is last night's team-high 21 in a W over NC St a signal he is asserting himself? ↵

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↵Tonight's Big East Showdown: Villanova at UConn. ↵

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↵Bill Self Recruiting "Scandal," Cont'd: What's the big deal? He just said "Hi." Three things: (1) He said it to the top prospect in the country; (2) if Rick Barnes did it, Self would be going crazy; (3) IT'S AGAINST THE RULES. Maybe the rules are too strict, but you can't simply say "Well he ONLY said 'hi.'" The point is that "Hi" becomes a 15-minute conversation that becomes a race to the bottom of an already swampy mess that is high school recruiting. At a minimum, Self should be mandated not to recruit John Wall anymore. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: ↵

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↵— No arb for Jonathan Papelbon: A strong sign the Red Sox are MLB's best-run org? Theo Epstein has never let a player get to arbitration without coming to a deal. The streak continues with Papelbon getting a raise from $800K to $6.25M. ↵

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↵(Arb to watch: Ryan Howard — $10M from arb in '08; he wants $18M this year. Has he earned it? Yes.) ↵

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↵— No WBC for Vlad: The Angels won't let him, and I don't blame them. Patriotism aside, a player's first priority is to the team that pays him — if there is a risk the player's MLB performance might be hurt by participating in the WBC, the team has every right to put on the kibosh. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I don't believe [Clemens] at all. I believe my friend." ↵

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↵Surprise! Kirk Radomski believes Brian McNamee over Roger Clemens. ↵

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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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