Shanoff's W.U.C.: Tebow, Buehrle Are Perfect

Today's Calls: Mike Vick vs. Brett Favre, Tim Tebow vs. Virginity, Mark Buehrle vs. DeWayne Wise, Scott Kazmir vs. Roy Halladay, LeBron Dope vs. LeBron Dunk and More. ↵

↵Mark BuehrleThe Opening Pitch: Wow, so much for the summer slow season in sports. ↵

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↵Vick: Back!; Favre: Back?; ↵Tebow: Perfect!?; ↵Buehrle: Perfect!!! ↵

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↵Who's "back" is bigger: Mike Vick or Brett Favre? We all knew both would return to the NFL, but Favre's unretirement is hardly news. Given Vick's exile — and lingering stigma (not to mention lingering talent) — where (plus WHEN and HOW) he will play is THE story line of the fall in the NFL. ↵

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↵Whose "perfect" is moreso: Mark Buehrle or Tim Tebow? Buehrle threw just the 18th perfect game ever. The catch that saved his game was ridiculous. He got a shout-out from President Obama. On the other side: Tebow affirmed he is a virgin. Just when you thought his myth couldn't get bigger. ... ↵

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↵It is hard to lose in any of these arguments: Big things to talk about certainly beats nothing to talk about. ↵

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↵Sports is back from its summer vacation. ↵

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↵Mike Vick will be back in the NFL: He and Goodell met and reportedly the league will conditionally reinstate him. Expect plenty of NFL teams to use that tacit approval from the league itself to explicitly or implicitly show their interest, softening their fans for the idea of signing him. (Fans won't mind.) As for the four-game suspension? Teams can just see that as a few extra weeks for Vick to regain "NFL shape." He's not starting at QB anywhere anyway ... yet. ↵

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↵In case you missed it: TSB's Chris Littmann went through a very interesting exercise where he evaluated every team in the league for their likely fit with or interest in Vick. He came up with 7 even remotely possible teams: Bills, Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Rams, 49ers and Redskins. I do think Chris overestimates the "pariah" factor: Teams want to win. Fans want to win. Both will pretty much accept anything it takes to win. ↵

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↵Mark Buehrle Perfect Game: Has Buehrle been underrated? Overlooked? Not any more. "Perfect game" is one of those things that leads a baseball player's obituary, a club with only 17 other members, making it one of the most exclusive fraternities in baseball history. ↵

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↵(It was Buehrle's 133rd career win, but — obviously — his most notable. If "200 wins" is going to become the next "300 wins," Buehrle is one of the few active players — literally few: Wakefield, Halladay, Buehrle, Sabathia, Santana — with a shot at reaching it.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile, today's Name to Know: DeWayne Wise, the 9th-inning substitute outfielder — who has instantly retired the phrase "defensive replacement" — who made what will likely go down as the Catch of the Year. Go ahead: Try to picture a regular-season catch that will be more dramatic than this. Sick. ↵
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↵Even Barack Obama weighed in: "Today, everyone is a White Sox fan. [cheers] That's right. That was extraordinary ... I spoke to Buehrle on the phone, on Air Force One. That's one of the privileges of Presidents: You can call up a guy after he pitches a perfect game. I told him that he had to buy a big steak dinner for that centerfielder Wise, because he saved that perfect game." ↵

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↵Tebow Media Day Mania: The biggest rock star in college football proved it Thursday, treated like SEC Media Days' headliner with his own podium time — and his own sensational story line: Affirming that he is saving himself for marriage. The question was hardly irrelevant, given the way Tebow has uniquely combined faith and football into his myth. ↵

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↵Must-Read: Spencer Hall on Tebow. ↵

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↵(By the way, every coach who has spoken so far has claimed they voted for Tebow on the preseason all-SEC team. That leaves Chizik, Miles and — wait for it — Spurrier as those who haven't ID'ed their vote. My bet: Every coach SAYS they voted for Tebow ... and someone is lying about it.) ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵— Rumors: Are the Rays ready to trade Kazmir? (To Angels?) ↵

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↵— Yup, the Dodgers SURE are embarrassed by Manny. ↵

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↵— Don't care if he's a jerk: How can you not love Rickey? ↵

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↵— Always surprising when you see "Zito" and "win." ↵

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↵— Another game, another comeback win for Angels. ↵

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↵Brett Favre Watch: Is he coming back today? This was supposedly one of the deadlines to announce a decision. BTW, who is spinning an attempt to make his comeback look like the result of Favre "struggling" with the decision, combined with intense lobbying by the Vikings players? What's the point of that? Do Favre and his P.R. team think that Vikings fans will have a problem accepting Favre? Hardly. ↵

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↵NFL Camping Begins! The Bills start earliest, their vets start tomorrow. That gives T.O. at least a few days of the NFL camping stage all to himself. Well, except for Favre-Vick coverage. (Other teams bring in their rookies starting this weekend: The Browns today, and the Eagles and Texans on Sunday.) ↵

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↵NFL Draft Going Primetime: This is a brilliant idea and going to be huge. Put the 1st round on Thursday night, the 2nd round and 3rd round on Friday night and the rest of the draft over the weekend. It makes it that much more of a capital-E "Event." Know why they made the switch? Yep: Tebow. (Kidding.) ↵

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↵LeBron Smoked Pot In High School: This is the second non-story related to LeBron this week. First was the lame dunk; now is the leaked detail from LeBron's new book (written with apparent celebrity-journalist/shill Buzz Bissinger) that King James smoked pot once. Agree with Bethlehem Shoals: This is straight-up manipulation. ↵

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↵LeBron Dunk Tape cost ebaum $5,000: TMZ got a crappier version for $3,000 (you get what you pay for, I guess). ESPN offered $500, but was obviously outbid. All of this begs some very interesting questions about checkbook journalism in sports — a topic into which TSB's Dan Levy goes deep in a must-read. ↵

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↵CFB: Boise State vs. Virginia Tech in 2010. It will make it that much harder to accuse Boise State — in the event they go unbeaten (as they likely will this year) — of playing a schedule that 20 teams in the country could have gone undefeated by playing. ↵

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↵Let's give both teams credit for scheduling top-tier non-conference opponents, but let's not go overboard: If Boise State wins, it merely qualifies them as the top team in the ACC. Given that conference's recent history at the national level, that’s not saying much. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "The allegations against me are reckless and false." ↵
↵— Ben Roethlisberger. ↵

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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. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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

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