Shanoff's WUC: Tiger, Kiffin, Wall, Griffin

Today's Calls: Tiger Woods vs. Sex addiction, Lane Kiffin vs. Phil Fulmer, John Wall vs. Anyone, Clemson vs. UNC, Blake Griffin vs. DeJuan Blair, Kobe vs. Dirk, NFL vs. American Needle, Mark McGwire vs. Charlie Brown and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: So Tiger Woods is a sex addict? ↵

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↵That much was clear last month, as the bevy of mistresses emerged to showcase Tiger's overactive libido. And so the latest revelation is merely ironic: ↵

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↵If Tiger had just come forward at Thanksgiving, claiming sex addiction, this entire mess would have been mitigated, immediately. ↵

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↵I'm not saying that he would have avoided some humiliation, but it certainly would have prepared people for the volume of dalliances -- by far the most shocking, sensational and brand-damaging detail of his scandal. ↵

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↵The "addiction" defense is a well-established tactic. Even if it is deployed cynically, people tend to respond to it sympathetically. ↵

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↵More important for Tiger, it would have immediately turned this into an eye-winking laugh-WITH-you joke rather than a jaw-dropping laugh-AT-you joke. ↵

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↵I'm not saying sex addiction isn't a very real condition, ruining plenty of lives with a net worth a lot less than Tiger's. But people respond to it differently than if you were a drug or alcohol addict. ↵

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↵Taking his addiction at face value (and, based on the rundown of women, that's no stretch), if he was just upfront about it, he would have been a brief and bawdy clubhouse story, rather than a lingering and skeevy national punchline. ↵

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↵Lane Kiffin introduced at USC: You can argue with Kiffin's methods and timing and personality and bona fides, but it's hard to argue with his contention that USC is a better job than Tennessee -- Troy is a program that needs no selling or rebuilding. That doesn't make Kiffin the right fit, just the luckiest coach in America. (BTW: Sounds like Norm Chow isn't leaving UCLA for USC.) ↵

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↵Tennessee coaching search: Phil Fulmer? Really? I thought that was just a joke. ↵

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↵I actually like Hayes' idea to hire Fulmer, but then give him a stud "coach-in-waiting" to take over in 2 years. That's probably the next-best option to hiring Texas' own coach-in-waiting, Will Muschamp. ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Ooh! DeCourcy's mid-season All-Americans makes for great reading. Obviously, it's led by John Wall, who isn't just the best player in the country, but still making a case as college basketball's best guard since Allen Iverson. ↵

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↵Speaking of Wall, he is a lock as the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. SN has an early Top 10 mock, with DeCourcy fave Evan Turner at No. 2. ↵

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↵Big win for Clemson, beating UNC by 19 -- the first time the Tigers have beaten the Tar Heels in 10 games. ↵

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↵NFL Divisional Lead-Up: Scouts like Favre's experience, Darren Sproles' edginess, the Colts' ability to score quickly and the Cards' depth at WR. Get more here. My picks coming tomorrow, but get Vinnie Iyer's right now. ↵

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↵NFL Awards Season: Chris Johnson wins AP Offensive Player of the Year, a nice change of pace from Peyton Manning (MVP), but there's a little cognitive dissonance going on. ↵

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↵Sean Payton wins SN Coach of the Year: The Saints really need to win this weekend, because it feels like they haven't had mojo in months. This is not the same team that shellacked the Patriots (and, looking back, beating the Pats was hardly that impressive.) One quibble: Wasn't the difference between the Saints this year and last year the arrival of D.C. Gregg Williams? You could make a case for Jim Caldwell, too. But even with Caldwell, was it about the coach ... or Peyton's brilliance? ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Blake Griffin done for the season, which is a shame for him, the Clippers, the team's fans and all NBA fans who were tantalized by Griffin's pre-injury summer performances. Now, he's simply "the next Greg Oden." ↵

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↵Arenas plea deal? I appreciate that Gilbert would like to avoid prosecution -- and that he is cooperating is very much in his favor. But the only detail that should matter to fans is whether the deal would allow the Wiz to void Arenas' contract. ↵

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↵Last night's star: DeJuan Blair, who had 27 pts and 21 reb in a 109-108 OT win for the Spurs over the Thunder. In comparison to Griffin and his knee problems, the ACL-less Blair's awesomeness is even more dramatic. ↵

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↵What balky back? In limited action, Kobe leads the Lakers over the Mavs; there should be no question about who the top team in the West is. ↵

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↵The "Dunk-In": At the All-Star Game, there will be a "Dunk-In" the night before the dunk contest to determine a final entrant in the main dunk event. I love this. Two words: JaVale McGee. ↵

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↵McGwire Watch: If all McGwire was doing was taking steroids merely to "get healthy," why does an FBI informant claim that Mac took more than he would need for health, but plenty to simply get bigger and stronger. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: As the whole thing fizzles out, I have yet to hear any of the McGwire apology apologists reconcile their criticism of people who found his apology a bit hollow with the way McGwire used an expert spin firm to craft the entire thing. ↵

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↵Expanded instant replay? YES, PLEASE. ↵

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↵MLB Good Read: Dan Levy asks the sensible question of why people are bugging the Marlins to spend more when they are perfectly competitive while spending less. ↵

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↵NFL vs. American Needle: "Needles to say" (ha!) the Supreme Court wasn't buying what the NFL was selling. Chris from Smart Football has an easy-to-understand analysis of the highlights. ↵Fun: Ever wanted to know what Charlie Brown's career stats looked like? ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I don't know that you don't know that we know what we know now to be inaccurate." - Lane Kiffin, at his introductory press conference last night. I know. ↵ ↵

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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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