Shanoff's WUC: Ghost of Earl Woods Tees Off

Today's Calls: Tiger Woods vs. Earl Woods, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins vs. Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton, Don Nelson vs. Lenny Wilkens, Bobcats vs. Playoffs, Curtis Granderson vs. Yankee fans, Evan Longoria vs. Kelly Johnson, LeBron vs. Anyone, NFL Draftees vs. American Idol finalists and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Well, if it's any consolation, no one is talking about Tiger. ↵

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↵They're talking about Tiger's dad, Earl. The guy whose voice is speaking from the grave -- no, not freaky at all -- to a mute Tiger staring at the screen in a new Nike ad that has everyone talking. ↵

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↵On the one hand, the allusion to "questions" -- again, from Tiger's late father -- is more probing analysis than you will get from any live analyst on any portion of the Masters coverage you will watch on TV. ↵

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↵(Zombie Earl has a point: Heck, he provided higher quality questions in the ad than the sum total of the media sycophants who attended Tiger's press conference on Monday.) ↵

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↵Still: The backlash to the ad is less that Nike is trying to capitalize on Tiger's scandal to sell golf clubs. (I'll accept that they regularly produce loftier "statement" ads and at least they are talking about the scandal.) ↵

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↵The backlash is much more simple than that: The ad is creepy. ↵

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↵And the whole Tiger story is creepy enough already, isn't it? ↵

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↵Tee time at 1:42, everyone. Now, whether you like it or not, we finally get to the moment that will change the subject: ↵

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↵Tiger playing golf. ↵

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↵Kentucky sends 5 to NBA Draft: Wall, Cousins, Patterson, Orton, Bledsoe. And they are all projected to go in the Top 20, which makes the team's inability to get to the Final Four all the more of a let-down. (You can't knock any of them for leaving -- not if they are guaranteed to be 1st-round, perhaps high 1st-round, draft picks.) ↵

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↵More CBB Players Jumping: ↵

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↵• Evan Turner: No. 2 overall pick. ↵

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↵• Xavier Henry: Thanks for nothing. ↵

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↵• Lance Stephenson: D-League's Finest. ↵

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↵DeCourcy's Preseason Top 10: He picks Duke to repeat, with Butler at No. 4. (I'll give my friend a pass on ranking UNC in the Top 10, given he had the Heels as a preseason Final Four pick this past year. Blind spot!) ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• Yankee fans love Curtis. ↵

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↵• If MVP voting ended today: Longoria. ↵

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↵• Peavy 2010 ChiSox debut: Iffy. ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Kelly Johnson (2 HR, 3 RBI). ↵

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↵• Today: ROY contender Matusz, D-Train! ↵

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↵NBA Final Week: Congrats to Don Nelson, who set the all-time wins record, which gives Warriors fans a 3rd thing to cheer in this otherwise dismal season (No. 1: Curry, No. 2: Cohan selling the team.) ↵

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↵More NBA Milestones: The Bobcats made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Presume the stay will be short. ↵

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↵NBA Awards Season: LeBron is Deveney's MVP, and the only question is whether King James will become the league's first unanimous MVP. I'm sure at least one media person out there will find a contrived rationale to back his hometown star. (Deveney's full ballot here.) ↵

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↵CBB Coaching Carousel: Dino Gaudio is out at Wake Forest. Seems pretty late in the coaching cycle to find someone else, but getting hired into the ACC will be a big upgrade for some mid-major coach. ↵

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↵NFL Draft: Ever seen someone compare draft prospects to "Idol" finalists? Vinnie Iyer did it, and -- as an "Idol"-watcher myself (guilty pleasure) -- he's not wrong with these. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?" -- Earl Woods ↵

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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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