Mayo: The Heir Apparent: After watching Mayo leap over a guard to tackle a running back a yard from scrimmage, Vrabel drew his own conclusions. "It's almost not normal to move like he does," Vrabel said. "Nobody runs like that. He looks like a free safety out there." An awesome piece of sportswriting by Jackie McMullan.
Why don't you (bleeping) block somebody, Gonzalez.: A superb Joe Posnanski column from the Kansas City Star. As Bill Simmons writes, "It's incredibly hard to make a column work this well, with this much detail, when you only have 850 words."
24-Hour-A-Day Drama With #24: As Kobe Bryant sits out his third straight practice with allegedly tired legs, the trade speculation is off the charts in LA. Ironically, the holder of the league's only full no-trade clause asked for a trade a few months back; recently, owner Jerry Buss suggested he'd be amenable to trading Kobe. Is there any chance that the Lakers will actually trade their most popular player since Magic? Moreover, is there an end in sight for the staggering variety of Kobe melodramas that seem to consume every Laker season?
Patriots Caught Taping Jets Defensive Signals, May Lose Draft Picks: ESPN is reporting with some confidence that the Patriots have been found guilty of videotaping the Jets' defensive signals during Sunday's game. Commissioner Goodell, who never misses an opportunity to make an example of a transgressor, is said to be ready to strip the Patriots of draft picks as punishment, although the team will first be allowed to present a defense at a closed hearing. What repercussions might this cheating incident have on the Patriots and the league as a whole?
Billy Donovan's Magical Payday: On the heels of back-to-back NCAA titles, he turned down the Kentucky job and apparently decided to sign a long-term extension with Florida. But now, for upwards of $36 million over 6 years, Billy Donovan is headed for the NBA's Orlando Magic, according to the Orlando Sentinel and ESPN.
Gary Sheffield seeks The Calmness: The Tigers' newest slugger has a new book out. He takes swings at the Yankees ("the Corporation"), Joe Torre ("an owner's manager"), racism in baseball, steroid accusations and more in an interview with ESPN.
Chargers shut out Pats fans: The San Diego Chargers have restricted the sale of tickets to Southern California residents only. The Bears are reportedly employing the same tactics for their game against Seattle. Bad sportsmanship or cunning strategem?
Mr. Congeniality, Shea Hillenbrand: is cut from the Blue Jays after an expletive-filled tirade ripping the manager and the front office. Hillenbrand was furious with John Gibbons for calling him out in front of the team and with the brass for failing to congratulate him on adopting a baby girl. After being traded for Byung-Hung Kim in 2003 (a deal that freed up playing time for then-obscure David Ortiz), Hillenbrand called Theo Epstein a "fag". What a class act!