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Booger McFarland, Jarvis Green, Gabe Northern, Marquis Hill, Marcus Spears, Glenn Dorsey and now Chris Davenport?

Yes, Tiger fans, it’s official. After months of courting, LSU coach Les Miles received a verbal pledge from Davenport yesterday, making him the Tigers’ second five-star commitment of the 2009 recruiting class and the newest in LSU’s long and rich tradition of phenomenal defensive line play.


At 6’4 318, Davenport has the body type and frame to play at the next level right now, despite having a full year of high school eligibility remaining, so with 12 months before he resides on the LSU campus, the Mansfield senior will be looking to add some shape to his chubby frame.

But make no mistake, this kid is solid to LSU and Miles can lock the dead-bolt and throw away the key, because no other coaches have a chance to woo Davenport from Baton Rouge.

What a class the 2009 class figures to be for LSU. With the nation’s top quarterback, Russell Shepard on board and now Davenport, the Tigers have a backbone of superstar talents who can walk-the-walk, but can also talk-the-talk as they are wooing and persuading their fellow blue chipper friends to give their pledge to LSU, too.

With defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland and wide receiver Reuben Randle also high on LSU, the Tigers have a very real chance to sign three of the nation’s top six players in the nation in 2009, which would make this class the most talent-heavy in LSU history.

But with Davenport, LSU is getting a legit diaper-dandy to steal from Dick Vitale. He will be able to come in and play immediately at LSU and will have an impact immediately. With his size, he reminds me of Glenn Dorsey on the field and he can also be just as good in output if he can develop Dorsey’s quick first burst.

All-in-all, a huge day for Miles and the Tigers.
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The second big sports story came out of the WNBA yesterday as the Palace at Auburn Hills was the home for a basket brawl for the second time in a few years as this time it was the Detroit Shock teeing off with the Los Angeles Sparks.

The brawl was not heavyweight in content, but heavyweight in star power as Sparks stars Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie were involved as well as Cheryl Ford and DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Shock.

Tempers mounted between Parker and Milton-Jones throughout the entire fourth quarter of the game and it really is hard to point blame on any one culprit, because both parties are guilty, but this ruckus is more on Parker’s watch than anyone else as she is the player who made the initial tackle which caused all of the other players to pile on top.

All-in-all, this is probably a good thing for the WNBA. As silly as it sounds, this will generate interest in the league and build a rivalry that people will be able to relate to and come playoff time if these two squads are playing against one another, the WNBA can actually score decent ratings.

In other WNBA action, former LSU standout Sylvia Fowles returned from injury last night and only scored two points and pulled down five rebounds in limited minutes, but most importantly to her is that her struggling Chicago Sky were victorious over Indiana 68-60. Good to see Big Syl back in the fray as she is also on the Olympic team in a few weeks.
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Yesterday we began our newest countdown and we gave to you our No. 10 best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world. Today we continue to break down our list with a superstar who is battling an apparent breakdown of his own.

No. 9 best pound-for-pound fighter in Mixed Martial Arts: Quentin “Rampage” Jackson

Rampage has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past few weeks following his five-round loss to Forrest Griffin, but prior to the loss, Jackson was on top of the light heavyweight division since early 2006, winning six straight fights from October 2005-September 2007, including wins against Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell.

Jackson began his career as a middleweight, fighting in PRIDE early on. In PRIDE, Jackson had immense success, winning 21 of his first 25 professional fights, making Jackson a dominant fighter in two weight classes.

If he can get his head right, we fully expect to see Rampage headlining many more PPV cards in the future.

Stick around tomorrow for the No. 8 fighter.

For more on MMA, scroll down and read Cody’s latest MMA column about this past weekend’s action or click here.
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Headlines:

LeBron hurts ankle at Team USA practice – For Team USA to roll through the Olympics like many expect them to do, the USA needs LeBron. For the Cavs to have a chance to win more than 15 games, they need LeBron, too. Hopefully, America’s brightest young star will be OK.

Dungy expects Manning to be ready for Week 1 – Peyton Manning will make 16 starts this year. Just like he does every other year. Book it.

Suns sign Barnes to 1-year deal – This may be the best free-agent signing of the entire signing period in that Barnes actually will fit into the style the Suns will try to play. Great pickup and a great bang for the buck as he signed for the veteran’s minimum.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

I talked about it earlier. See it here for yourself. There’s nothing like a good catfight between the game’s biggest star and others.

That’s all for me today. Have a great Wednesday!

P.S. Fundraising is still going great. Thanks to all of you who have contributed. You know who you are.

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One minute and one second.

That’s how long it took Anderson Silva to knock out James Irvin.

36 seconds.

That’s how long it took Fedor Emelianenko to submit Tim Sylvia.

Want to talk about complete domination in a sport? Look no further than these two guys. Fighting for rival “organizations”, these guys put on a hell of a show. (I use the word organization lightly, because frankly, the Affliction pay-per-view proves nothing. Other than any clown with $$$ can put together a good show. Let’s see if he can run a good organization AND stay in business).

After jumping up 20 lbs. to the light heavyweight division, Anderson Silva left no doubt that he can hang with the “bigger” boys. James Irvin was not Rampage Jackson (who might I add was picked up again by police less than 36 hours after his initial arrest, more on that later), but he was also not James “the tomato can” Thompson. He was a perfect opponent for Silva to move up weight class on, and he also turned out to be the perfect door mat. In a movie/video game like sequence, Irvin threw a hard body kick that Silva caught, and then proceeded to punch Irvin square in the face, knocking him to the ground. This was followed by 6 straight shots to the side of the Irvin’s head, with the knockout punch to the chin coming 7th and one for good measure before Mario Yamasaki stepped in.

Total, Silva threw 13 strikes. He connected on 12 of them. I won’t post the video here, but venture on over to http://www.mmatko.com and you can watch for yourself the punching bag session that was the Silva v. Irvin fight.

So what’s next for Silva? He said himself his duty is to defend the 185 title. The problem is, however, is how do you defend something no one can/will attack?

As far as Fedor Emelianenko goes, to all those who questioned if he could fight hack it… well, apparently, the questions have been answered. Fedor was quick to submit former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia en route to winning the newly formed WAMMA Heavyweight Championship.

Now, this is an opinion column, so for those of you who do follow MMA and disagree with what I’m about
to say, I’m sorry, but this is just how I feel.

I really don’t think Fedor’s win proves anything aside from the fact that he’s still TOP 5 in the world. Not TOP 3. Not #1. Not the best pound for pound fighter. I’ve always thought this, and I’ll continue to think this after this fight, but IMO, Tim Sylvia is a tomato can. In two of his last four fights, I’ve seen him hit the canvas inside of 15 seconds, both fights he lost, and he’s actually only won 1 of his last 4. He’s been suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, and while he poses an impressive 26 win record, he also has 6 losses, 3 of which have come in the last year and a half. Sylvia’s still a top 10 heavyweight, but he wasn’t the guy to be fighting Fedor to determine if Fedor is P4P the best in the world.

I contributed heavily to this week’s Daily Countdown/Top 10 list that Casey is doing, and if you check in daily, you’ll see how I feel about the world’s Top 10 P4P fighters and why I have them where I do.

I’ll give something away for free now though. Fedor’s not #1. And if he wants to be #1, he’ll have to beat this guy.

The big news in the sports world today comes out of Louisiana as the New Orleans Saints finally got Jeremy Shockey from the Giants, sending a 2nd and 5th round pick to the G-Men in the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Saints had been courting Shockey since this past March, but discussions broke down when the Giants demanded more than the Saints were willing to part with.

But with training camp a few days from opening and Shockey still on the Giants’ plate, the Giants revised what they were demanding for the former Pro Bowler and the Saints swooped in and picked him up.

My opinion on the move is a little bit complex as the situation has pros and cons.

On the field, I think Shockey will help the Saints tremendously. How many times in the past two seasons have the Saints had an open tight end drop a pass or fumble the football? With Shockey in the fold, expect to see a lot more 3rd and 5’s get converted as he will be a good steadying force in the team’s short passing game.

(Can the Saints do what the Giants couldn’t and keep this sometimes selfish star happy?)

But the cons also run deep, too. On a lesser scale, Shockey’s health has to be questioned. The former Miami star is coming off a leg and knee injury and turning 28 before the season begins, Shockey is hitting that age where tight ends sometimes hit a wall.

But on a grander scale is the questions about Shockey’s attitude. Yes, he is a great performer, but yes, it is also true that an unhappy Shockey can be a bad thing for a locker room. There is a reason why the Giants got hot and won the Superbowl as soon as Shockey got injured this past season.

So we will see, but if Shockey is happy and healthy, this could be a pretty good move for the team.
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I forgot all about Football Monday in yesterday’s post, so I will take care of that today. Yesterday at the SEC Preseason Media Day meetings, the Preseason All-SEC Teams were announced and LSU was highly represented, leading all the SEC in total selections.

Below is the first team.

Offense:
QB: Tim Tebow – Florida
RB: Knowshon Moreno – Georgia
RB: Arian Foster – Tennessee
WR: Percy Harvin- Florida
WR: Kenny McKinley – South Carolina
TE: Cornelius Ingram – Florida
OL: Andre Smith – Alabama
OL: Michael Oher – Ole Miss
OL: Anthony Parker – Tennessee
OL: Herman Johnson – LSU
OL: Jonathan Luigs – Arkansas

Defense:
DL: Greg Hardy – Ole Miss
DL: SenDerrick Marks – Auburn
DL: Tyson Jackson – LSU
LB: Brandon Spikes – Florida
LB: Rico McCoy – Tennessee
LB: Darry Beckwith – LSU
LB: Dannell Ellerbe – Georgia
DB: Eric Berry – Tennessee
DB: Derek Pegues – Mississippi State
DB: Rashad Johnson – Alabama
DB: Captain Mannerlyn- South Carolina
DB: D.J. Moore – Vanderbilt

Special Teams:
PK: Colt David – LSU
P: Ryan Shoemaker – Auburn
RS: Brandon James – Florida

To see the second and third teams, click here
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It’s time to begin a new list, ladies and gents, and I think this one might be the most popular yet.

Today, we begin breaking down the top 10 pound-for-pound best MMA fighters on the planet. Special assist to my boy and our MMA guy, Cody for a hand on this list.

No. 10 MMA fighter on the planet – Lyoto Machida – UFC Light Heavyweight

Machida makes the list in the final spot on our list thanks in part to his dominating win against Tito Ortiz earlier in the summer.

But Machida’s resume is also stuffed full with wins over B.J. Penn in 2005 and Rich Franklin in 2003, so Machida’s undefeated record has been challenged by the best in the sport.

Look for big things out of one of the UFC’s budding stars as 2008 ends and 2009 nears.

No. 9 on our list tomorrow.
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Headlines:

Wie will again play on PGA Tour – I am real, real tired of this woman. Michelle and I have a lot in common. We’re both college students. We both haven’t won anything of significance on any level of professional golf. And we both do not belong on the PGA Tour. Why don’t you win one . . . Just one LPGA event before you try to roll with the boys.

Bush gives US Olympians send off – I am very, very revved up for these Games. Here’s to hoping the USA dominates and wins many-a gold medals.


Jones seeks commutation from Bush
– When Jones was found guilty of check-fraud, she got on television and said she wanted to be treated the same as “any other criminal” would be in her situation. Well, Ms. Jones, “any other criminal” not with your celebrity would have to suck it up and finish out his/her sentence, so I hope President Bush does the same.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Fans of “The Dragon” will love this one.

Enjoy.


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That’s all for me today. Have a fabulous day.

P.S. Day 1 of our fundraising went way better than I could have ever imagined. I have some special thank-you’s to hand down, but I will wait and do them all together in a post one day.

If you would like to help, either email me or comment and we will discuss what is going down.

Thanks again, guys!

An SEC high 14 LSU players were named to the Preseason All-SEC Team announced at the Preseason SEC Media Days.

More on this in tomorrow’s update.

Alas, freedom. The past few days have been a little bit hectic for me (in a very good way). My cousin got married and I was the best man in the wedding, so between the wedding and family gatherings, etc… I have had little time to spare and as a result, the blog has taken a hit, but I am back and have no foreseeable events on my calendar, so fasten your seatbelts.

The big news out of the day from Baton Rouge is in women’s basketball where one of Van Chancellor’s assistant coaches Yolanda Wells-Broughton accepted the head coaching position at Texas Southern.

A Houston native, Wells-Broughton spent one season in Baton Rouge with the Tigers and served as one of Van Chancellor’s primary recruiters in what was a highly-touted recruiting class.


As someone who has covered women’s basketball for the past 2 seasons, I can say that Wells-Broughton is a very fine person who deserves a head coaching post. In her one season with LSU, Wells-Broughton did not show a lot of emotion and was not as active in X’s and O’s, but her primary job was to keep all of LSU’s players happy off the court where the team was bridging the gap from the Pokey Chatman controversy and also had eight seniors who were planning their futures after graduation while balancing trying to get back to the Final Four.

With a larger responsibility, I expect Wells-Broughton to take her hometown team to the NCAA Tournament in a year or two.
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In the rest of the sports world, the British Open wrapped up and this year in golf seems to be the year of the injury. Following Tiger’s dramatic win playing hurt at the US Open, Padraig Harrington took home the Open Championship for the second straight year despite having a wrist injury that had many wondering if he would even lace them up on Thursday.

Harrington won the title by four strokes over Ian Poulter, thanks to a sizzling four-under par back nine.

54 hole leader Greg Norman folded with the lead again, continuing what might be one last chapter of failures for the Shark who shot seven over par on the day to finish six shots back.

Golf needs Tiger back. The good, feel-good stories can carry a tournament for a day or two, but eventually those stories end and golf needs Americans at the top and Tiger is the only American golfer in the world right now that is capable of winning regularly, and yes, that includes Phil Mickelson and Kenny Perry.

But for the rest of the season, the sport has enough decent headlines like the Ryder Cup to keep the season afloat. But the sport desperately needs it’s main-man back in action to have any sort of long-term stability.
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Finally, the end of our third countdown is here and we are to our number one stadium. This countdown was hard to do and if I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t have done this countdown at all, because with me not having been to so many of these places, I was sorting between hear-say and real-life experiences and it made things sort of a mess.

But I did my best and we are down to our final stop. Sure, I may be biased, but if it’s a 7:00 kickoff, this place is king.

No. 1 college football atmosphere: Tiger Stadium (LSU)

Death Valley. Where fans line up for miles and miles at 6 a.m. for a nighttime kickoff. Where the food is great and the fans are better. Where the Tigers always come to play and where the visiting teams rarely have a nice stay.

Enough with the rhyming, but for real, LSU has the best college atmosphere in the country. You don’t believe me? Visit any rival school’s message boards and you will see that LSU is on the top of everyone’s list of favorite places to play.

And that mutual respect is why LSU is number one on this list.

We will begin a new list tomorrow.
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Headlines:

Redskins get Taylor from Dolphins – I am glad this saga is over, because Taylor can still play the game at a high level and it would have been a shame to see his career end on a rotting team.

Pettitte dominates in Yanks win – This was the MLB’s game of the day as the Yanks swept the A’s in a pitchers’ duel. Don’t sleep on the Yanks. If they get healthy, it can be bye-bye Rays or Bo Sox from the Wild Card.

Childress considering leaving Hawks for $20 M in Greece– With European basketball becoming more and more popular, the NBA needs to be fearful of this happening: Other leagues offering their role players big-money and stealing them away. If Childress is the first to take the plunge and it works out for him, you can see many others do the same in the future.

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YouTube Video of the Night:

I don’t know about you, but I miss this fella.

That is all for me today. Have a blessed Monday.

P.S. With summer coming to a close and school nearing, that means it is almost football season. I have big plans for this place once football season hits and I need your help.

We are currently taking donations for a software upgrade we need to allow the blog to self-edit itself so that I can spend less time editing the blog and more time writing.

Anything you guys can part with will be much appreciated, whether it’s a penny, a dollar, anything helps us reach our goal faster, but the upgrade is necessary if we will be able to keep the site afloat once school begins, because without it, I will likely not have the time to keep the site up once school begins.

Please send your donations to cgisclair@yahoo.com .

We have a $200 goal and I will post all donations on the blog to make sure everyone that helps gets the proper recognition.

Thanks again.

hey guys.

My best friend got married today and I was the best man, so needless to say, I was not able to get around to make an update for today.

I will be back Monday.

Have a blessed Sunday

Ever since Tiger Woods went down to a Torn ACL and a broken tibia, following the US Open, people speculated if golf would be able to generate enough mainstream buzz to stay on the upper tier of the sports echelon with Woods on the shelf.

While the answer to that question can not be decided fully in one weekend, the British Open this weekend has the makings of a ratings machine, even with the greatest player of all-time out of action.

K.J. Choi leads all comers after firing a three-under 67 to put him in the 36-hold lead at -1. But the biggest stories lie in Choi’s competition.

The first challenger is 53-year old Greg Norman who has not been heard of in the golfing ranks in a cool 10-13 years. But despite the drought, Norman has looked cool in firing consecutive 70s to put him one shot behind Choi.


The next challenger is Columbian and former Florida Gator Camilo Villegas. Known as the Spider because of his unorthodox putting style, Villegas has been looked at as one of the potential future challengers to Woods, but has never quite panned out to his potential. A win in the Open could turn this blossoming petal into a full-blown rose in the golfing world.

The next challenger is everyone’s sweetheart, Rocco Mediate. The world fell in love with Mediate’s cool demeanor following his loss to Tiger Woods in the US Open. But Mediate has proved so far this week that Torrey Pines was no fluke, having shot 69, 73 to put him three shots off the lead going into the weekend.

Alas, there is David Duval. Solid player, turned dominant player, turned world’s number one player, Duval’s career has been in a downward spiral the past five years, having made just one cut this season. But the former Open champion, playing on his champion’s exemption, has put together two consecutive solid scores and is three back going to the weekend.

All-in-all, things are so unpredictable that no one knows how this thing will play out going into the weekend. With Choi, Norman, Villegas, Mediate and Duval all spoken for already, I can say that I do not believe any of the above players will win the championship. I feel that some of the more experienced players like Jim Furky, Padraig Harrington and Robert Allenby have more steady styles and are more capable of putting together the four rounds needed to take home the Jug. Also keep your eyes on Adam Scott, who is five back.

If you want a guy on the bottom of the board to look out for on moving day, take Tom Lehman. Lehman is eight shots back at +7, but Lehman always plays his best when conditions go sour. If the wind and rain continues to haunt the course tomorrow, Lehman can potentially shoot a level-par score and make up major ground on the leader board.

More on this as it unfolds.
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We’re down to two in our quest to find college football’s best stadium. This list was a grind and also tough to judge, because I have been to a lot of these, but have not been to a few others, so I had to rely on word-of-mouth for information.

But here goes:

No. 2 college football stadium: Beaver Stadium (Penn State)

Ah, yes, Happy Valley. With a capacity of 107,282, more than 110,000 Nittany Lions’ fans piled into standing room only capacity when Penn State is taking on the upper-level teams of the NCAA.

But what makes Penn State so high on my list is their student section. Always in their whitey-tideys, there is no better and more creative student section than Penn State, who’s students go above and beyond to cheer on their squad, while rarely crossing the line of stupidity that you get at other schools (and my own school).

So it is for that, and that alone that Beaver Stadium ranks so high on my list.

Check back for No. 1 tomorrow.
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Headlines:

Lakers allow Turiaf to join Warriors
– My sources tell me this makes room for the team to now pursue Hornets center Chris Anderson. Either way, good move for Golden State. Turiaf is very underrated.

Sabathia 3-0 as a Brewer – Man, has he been filthy or what? With every dominant outing and every complete game, his pockets get deeper and deeper to fit all of that money he will be making next season.

Rays end 7-game skid in 2-1 win – It was certainly panic time for the Rays. Had this gone on any longer, it would have been lights out. But good to see the streak is over and the team is back on the right track.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Anyone watching the fight tonight?

Enjoy. 🙂

That’s all for me tonight guys and gals. Have a great day tomorrow.

The big news of the day today came from Baton Rouge as LSU coach Les Miles announced that reserve offensive lineman Jarvis Jones was dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Jones was not expected to figure deeply into the team’s plans for this season, but he was slated to slide into the starting lineup in a season or two once he finished filling out his slender frame.

All-in-all, this is a tough loss on the depth chart, but not so much in the grand scheme of things, because Jones was developing a solid rap sheet and a kid can only be given so many “final chances” before it’s time to make him bite the bullet and I applaud Miles’ decision in this case.

With all that LSU has to offer a player in terms of academics and in terms of NFL prospects, if a kid can not realize how good of a situation he is in, then he does not deserve to be in that situation.
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After a horrible showing at the US Open in which most of my picks bowed out and were never in contention, I have come back with a vengeance in the Open Championship with nearly all of my picks at or near the top of the board.

US Open hero Rocco Mediate, Graeme McDowell and my pick Robert Allenby are all tied at -1 following day one with Australians Greg Norman and Adam Scott one shot back at level-par.

But possibly the most intriguing story of the tournament so far is on the bottom of the score sheet where you find prominent players like Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh who all struggled to break 80 Thursday and possibly shot themselves out of the tournament.

I was not excited about this tournament coming into the week, but I am now. With the wind chopping at 30 miles per hour and the rain falling, it is making for good theater and I can not see the winning score being anything better than a couple shots over par.

What the weather is also doing that I like is opening up the field to veteran players. With the advent of bigger and stronger players and more and more advanced clubs, the more modern players tend to hit the ball miles into the air and rely more on spin and distance. But with this week’s wind, the player with better ball control is favored, giving more guys like Greg Norman (E) a chance to compete.

It will be a fun championship all week and I look forward to seeing it all play out.

Contenders:
1. Ernie Els: +10 T136
2. Sergio Garcia: +2 T15
3. Justin Rose: +4 T38
4. Lee Westwood: +5 T52
5. Miguel Angel Jimenez: +2 T 15
6. Vijay Singh: +10 T136
7. Anthony Kim: +2 T15
8. Adam Scott: E T4
9. Stewart Cink: +5 T54
10. Stuart Appleby: +2 T15

Sleepers:
1. Colin Montgomerie: +3 T27
2. Hunter Mahan: +10 T136
3. KJ Choi: +2 T15
4. Mike Weir: +1 T7
5. Paul Casey: +8 T110
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I am pressed for time, so we will take a day off from our stadium search for now. I will give you the rest of our list over the weekend. I have had a long day and need to get some rest for another long day tomorrow.
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Headlines:

A’s trade RHP Blanton to Phils – Good move for the Phils. They get a run of the mill arm to help them down the stretch, which is what they desperately need as they have a shortage of starters.

Spurrier says he will stay with Gamecocks– This is good for both South Carolina and the SEC. The Gamecocks are on the way up and the Visor can get them to the ranks of Florida and Tennessee if he remains patient with his program.

Yankees reach deal with Sexson – What does a team with tons of overpaid veterans need more than anything? How about another overpaid veteran. The Yankees are a sinking ship about to hit bottom.

YouTube Video of the Day:

Our YouTube video today has nothing to do with sports and comes from a television show from the 1990s. Just with so many people complaining about how weird and how sacrilegious it is for Brett Favre to be considering playing for someone other than the Packers, I show you this to remind you that even the best, most closest kin have their disputes from time-to-time.

Have a great Friday, folks.

The big news of the day today came from our backyards as the Hornets made an free-agency splash and signed free agent forward James Posey to a four year deal worth $25 M.

Posey became relevant on the free agent market after having a solid NBA Finals in which he sunk several key shots for the Celtics and also did a solid job guarding Kobe Bryant down the stretch of games.

Posey will jump into the Hornets rotation and will probably take Bonzi Wells’ minutes at the 2 and the 3 as Wells is widely expected to sign elsewhere on the free agent market.

This is a good move for the Hornets, but it is hard to tell if it is the drop-dead, can’t-miss move that will put the Bees over the top in the West.

Posey had a solid last two weeks of the season, but let’s be real, who else even knew he was on the Celtics’ roster before then?  He will no doubt fit in, but I just see $6 million per season over four years a steep price to pay for a guy who is in his 30-somethings.

But what Posey will bring the most to the team is the perimeter defense that the team has lacked. The Hornets have all the offense they need. They have all the interior defense they need. What Posey will bring is that guy on the outside who is capable of taking on Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady or Manu Ginoboli and that defensive presence is something the team has lacked the past few seasons.

All-in-all, the Hornets could have done a little better with some of the other options as I see Posey as one of the most overrated players on the market, but they certainly could have done worse, too. Either way, the team is closer to the title now than they were 24 hours ago and that is a good thing.
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Today is Football Thursday and we wrapped up the LSU offense last Thursday by breaking down the offensive line.

Today, we tackle arguably the deepest aspect of the 2008 team, the defensive line.

Right End:

Tyson Jackson 6’5 292 senior

Jackson could have gone to the NFL and been a first day pick, but like many Tiger greats before him with the same opportunity, he chose to return to school to anchor the LSU defense. LSU has tremendous defensive line depth, but Jackson is at the top of the food chain and figures to have a dominant season.

Left End:
Kirston Pittman 6’4 260 senior

There are certain players who I cheer for regardless of the team they play for and Pittman is one of those guys. After a stellar true freshman season in 2003, Pittman had every injury imaginable from 2004-06 before returning to the field this past season. Pittman is back for his sixth season after getting a medical exemption and will provide LSU with a good rush off the edge.

Others competing for playing time on the ends:

Rahim Alem 6’3 252 junior
Tremaine Johnson 6’2 273 senior
Pep Livingston 6’4 258 sophomore
Sidell Corley 6’4 275 freshman

Defensive Tackle:
Starters:
Ricky Jean-Francois 6’3 281 junior

After missing all of the season because of academic issues, Jean-Francois returned with a vengeance in the National Championship game and blocked a field goal to help swing the momentum in LSU’s favor for good. Francois has the speed of an end and the strength of a tackle and can be as dominant or more dominant than Glenn Dorsey if things fall into place.

Charles Alexander 6’3 294 senior

Alexander missed most of this past season after tearing his ACL, and following his injury, the LSU defense never seemed to be the same as teams were able to more readily double team Glenn Dorsey. If Alexander returns to form, he and Jean-Francois will be a force to reckon with in the middle for LSU.

Others competing for playing time:

Al Woods 6’5 325 junior
Marlon Favorite 6’1 300 senior
Drake Nevis 6’1 285 sophomore

LSU has become D-Line U and this year is no different. Expect more great things from the front four for the Tigers.
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We are now into the Top 3 of our stadium search and yesterday we visited the Swamp. We stay in the same conference today and coincidentally enough, the same division of that conference.

No. 3 stadium: Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)

Whether it’s 100,000+ screaming fans or whether it’s the famous orange and white checkerboard end zones, something about Neyland Stadium is special.

What started as just a 3,200 seat facility in 1921, Tennessee University and the taxpayers of Tennessee have approved 18 expansion projects in the last 90 years to push the stadium to its current capacity near 107,000.

The Vols have taken a bit of a step back in the SEC Upper Echelon in the past nine seasons, but with good play comes loud, rowdy fans, making Neyland Stadium one of the most rockin’ places in the country.

No. 2 on our list will be named tomorrow.
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I will skip the headlines today and use the free space to break down the least talked about golf major in 10 years, the British Open.

Without Tiger in the field and without the hottest American player Kenny Perry in the field, things are wide open and anyone has a chance to take home the trophy.

Scratch Phil Mickelson off the list. Despite his status as the number two player in the world, Mickelson has had a sub-par season by his standards and has never played well across the pond, having just one Top-10 in more than 10 starts.

So with the three best American players out, I look at some of the Europeans. I like Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose a lot and their game suit’s the golf course, but I also like wind players like Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Here is my short-list of eight guys with a real chance and then my short-list of five sleepers.

Contenders:
1. Ernie Els
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Justin Rose
4. Lee Westwood
5. Miguel Angel Jimenez
6. Vijay Singh
7. Anthony Kim
8. Adam Scott
9. Stewart Cink
10. Stuart Appleby

Sleepers:
1. Colin Montgomerie
2. Hunter Mahan
3. KJ Choi
4. Mike Weir
5. Paul Casey

Sports Palace Official Pick: Robert Allenby- a long-shot, I know, but Allenby is a good wind player and I see him being able to grind out enough pars to outlast the competition.
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YouTube Video of the Day:

There has been a lot of Olympic talk in the news recently as we are just three weeks away from the Games. So in spirit of Beijing, let’s look at what I consider the best slam of all-time.

The Hornets and free agent James Posey have agreed to a four-year $25M deal, bringing one of the most prized role players in free agency to the Hive.

More about this in tomorrow’s update.

Flickr Photos

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