Shanoff's WUC: Plax, Rox, Lee, Rivers, Beaz

Today's Calls: Plaxico vs. Prison, Delaware vs. the Courts, Cliff Lee vs. Johan Santana, Ryan Spilborghs vs. Roy Halladay, Michael Beasley vs. Rehab, Phil Rivers vs. Mark Sanchez, Edge James vs. Julius Jones, Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech, Tim Tebow vs. Injury and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Oh my gosh. We have all made a TRAGIC MISTAKE about Plaxico Burress! ↵

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↵Wrongly convicted? Hardly.
↵Unfairly sentenced? Nope.
↵Sympathetic figure? Please. ↵

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↵No, the most stunning revelation of Burress's interview with ESPN (airing tonight) was that ... ↵

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↵He wasn't wearing sweatpants! ↵

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↵(Or so he claims.) ↵

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↵The "sweatpants" detail, of course, provided the key moment of levity in the whole mess. It allowed everyone to collectively laugh at him. You could argue that no one can ever mention "sweatpants" again without fans instantly thinking of what a numbskull (and club-fashion deviant) Plaxico Burress was. ↵

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↵And so does Plax use his platform to insist on his innocence? No. ↵

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↵He uses it to attempt to salvage what little dignity he can, attempting to change history about the Sweatpants. ↵

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↵It won't help. We will always laugh at him for the sweatpants. (Of course, the irony was that if he had been wearing real pants, perhaps he wouldn't have been able to fit the gun in his waistband -- or his finger wouldn't have accidentally grazed the trigger, setting off this whole mess.) ↵

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↵The ultimate lesson of Burress remains: Don't wear sweatpants out on the town. ↵

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↵Delaware sports gambling: Dream over? It appears so. The Federal appeals court ruled against single-game sports gambling in Delaware -- just a week before casinos were going to start taking bets. And it seems unlikely the Supreme Court will take on the case. Perhaps it is time for Congress to reconsider the law that makes sports-gambling illegal, which the court relied on. Heck: Let the NFL gamblers finance health-care reform. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• Cliff Lee for NL Cy: 5-0! ↵

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↵• NL Wild Card: Rox win on walkoff grand slam! ↵

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↵• ALDS Preview?: Tigers win in Anaheim ↵

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↵• AL Central: Are Twins making a charge? ↵

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↵• Adding injury to insult: Time for the Mets to shut down Johan? ↵

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↵• Wagner Watch: Paps can stop griping; Boston a no-go? ↵

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↵• Fantasy Dud: Roy Halladay?! (Battered for season-worst 7 ER) ↵

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↵Michael Beasley goes to rehab: Yes, this is news, but if "NBA player smokes pot" was really news, there wouldn't be much of a league left (which is why the NBA won't consider mandatory testing players for pot). The bigger question is whether Beasley has larger problems than just pot smoking. ↵

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↵Philip Rivers gets P-A-I-D: 6Y/$93M extension with $38M guaranteed. That would be the definition of "Franchise QB." Rivers money quote: "I don't think there can be any more pressure added." ↵

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↵MNF: Ravens tweak Jets. Sure, Mark Sanchez threw a pick-6 (rookie dud), but he also threw a TD strike to Leon Washington (rookie potential). Call it a wash: Enough to keep the starting job. ↵

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↵NFL Rumors: Edge James to Seahawks? Hmm... Well, it HAS to be an upgrade from Julius Jones, right? ↵

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↵49ers name Shaun Hill starting QB: Being QB1 in SF, you might as well add "Until Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy arrive next year" every time you say it. (Whoa: I just had this vision of McCoy as the second coming of Joe Montana. Bill Walsh would have gone wild with either QB.) ↵

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↵NFL Must-Read: Florio says "O!-ver!-ray!-ted!" Oh, wait: Maybe that's just me. Florio more politely argues these teams merely aren't as good as their fans THINK they are going to be. (Looking at you: Cards, Eagles, Texans, Chargers, Vikes) I obviously disagree about the Eagles, who I pick to win the NFC. ↵

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↵CFB SN Countdown: No. 11 Georgia Tech. With the funky flexbone offense, GT will roll over teams offensively; the real question is about its D. But if both pieces come together, GT could be a dark horse team to run the table. ↵

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↵Conference Preview: ACC (speaking of GA Tech, my pick to win the league), including those awesome superlatives. ↵

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↵Media: USC-Ohio State in 3-D? But it will look like Jim Tressel's sweater vest is popping right off the screen! (Not to mention that Pete Carroll's enthusiasm, in three dimensions, might give some in the audience a panic attack. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "Ran around head-butting people, so good to go." -- Tim Tebow, on the state of his sore lower back on Monday. ↵

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↵The bigger news is that Tebow revealed he had been getting postgame injections for a sore non-throwing shoulder every week of 2008. But if opponents thought they would take advantage of that, the window is closed now: ↵

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↵"It's more comfortable than it was last year or the year before," he said. "It's just so much easier now. I can take hits and smile, not grunt, now. That will be nice." ↵

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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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