Shanoff's WUC: Big Ben, Target, Tebow, OKC 8

Ben RoethlisbergerToday's Calls: Big Ben vs. Roger Goodell, Sam Bradford vs. the Rams, Target Field vs. Yankee Stadium, Prince Fielder vs. "Mauer Money," Tim Tebow vs. the NFL Draft, Thunder vs. Lakers, Tyreke Evans vs. Brandon Jennings, Wes Johnson vs. Ed Davis, Tiger vs. Phil and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: It's going to be a big day for NFL QBs. ↵

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↵— Big Ben is going to meet with Roger Goodell today, after yesterday's "no charge" — which doesn't/won't/shouldn't preclude the league (or, more likely, the Steelers) from delivering some kind of suspension. ↵

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↵— Sam Bradford is going to meet with the Rams. He is the draftniks' consensus top prospect, but presumably the Rams are more concerned with Bradford's signability than his throwing ability. (They should really be concerned with his as-yet-undetermined ability to take an NFL hit.) ↵

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↵— Tim Tebow is going to be a hot topic, yet again, for not being on the league's list of 16 players attending the draft in NYC. I don't think the decision is final yet. It would be more awkward for the draft's most compelling player not to be there than it would be if he had to wait through the first round and into the second. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵— Target Field verdict: Really nice. ↵

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↵— Of COURSE Mark McGwire got a standing O ↵

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↵— Um, who's gonna actually give Prince $200M? ↵

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↵— The A's are the new Mariners? ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Another HR for Vernon Wells? ↵

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↵— Today's Opener to Watch: Yankee Stadium ↵

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↵NBA Playoff Jockeying: The bad news: The Thunder got locked into the 8-seed in the West. The good news: Fans will get the most telegenic series of the West's first round, Kevin Durant's up-and-coming OKC versus Kobe's defending champ Lakers. (Pay attention: It might go fast.) ↵

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↵Milestones: Tyreke Evans joins the Big O, MJ and LeBron as the only rookies to average 20 ppg, 5 rpg and 5 apg. What a year Evans has ahead. I really like Brandon Jennings and think he deserves Rookie of the Year, if only for all the grief he took for his alternative route into the NBA. But Evans has earned co-ROY. ↵

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↵NBA Draft Early Entry: Wes Johnson, who will be a Top 5 pick — he is in the tier immediately after Wall (tier of his own), then Turner-Cousins. ↵

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↵Plus: Ed Davis, who would have likely been a Top 5 pick a year ago, is finally entering the draft. Now, he's probably still a Top 10 pick, but unlikely to be a Top 5 pick. Should have left school a year ago, big guy. His pro career would be better off for it. ↵

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↵(Also: Purdue's JaJuan Johnson, whose exit would hurt Purdue next season, perhaps even more than missing Robbie Hummel at the end of last season?) ↵

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↵NHL Playoffs: Craig Custance has a must-read preview of the West. ↵

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↵Business: Interestingly, Sunday did NOT set the all-time record for a golf event on TV. Huge audience, but not quite '97. People apparently like their Tiger as a phenom, not a scandal. ↵

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↵(There are no rankings in sports — not even the BCS — as ridiculous as golf's. How is Tiger Woods still No. 1? Of course, no one really pays attention to them.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: Happy birthday to the most die-hard Wake-Up Call reader out there — my mom. ↵

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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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