My people,

The LSU football team inched closer and closer to its season opener again today with a more healthy team and also a team that seemed for the first time to be doing minor things to prepare for its opening opponent Appalachian State.

Darry Beckwith, Ciron Black and Kirston Pittman all returned to the field after missing drills earlier in the week with minor bumps and bruises, but other Tigers like Charles Alexander are still being held out, despite being expected to be ready for the opener three weekends from now.

In Alexander’s absence, sophomore DT Drake Nevis has had a very, very strong camp and is pushing Al Woods and Marlon Favorite to be the team’s primary reserve tackle. Either way, LSU will be outstandingly strong at defensive tackle and is expected to control the inside of the trenches again this season, regardless of their opponent.

On offense, LSU worked on dink and dunk swing passes to the tailbacks and it is becoming clear that utilizing the tailback out of the backfield will be a trademark of the Tigers’ offense this season.

The LSU wideouts had another magnificent day today and seemed to have shook the problems that plagued them earlier in camp.

One player having a good camp is redshirt freshman center T-Bob Hebert. Hebert is currently third on the depth chart behind Brett Helms and Ryan Miller. But with Miller graduating and Helms possibly testing the NFL waters after the season, Hebert has showed the LSU staff that he is more than capable of holding down the starting job once he adds 20 or so more pounds in the next 12 or so months.

More info tomorrow.

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Okay. It’s time to get a new game rolling here. I already have the Top 10 list, headlines and the YouTube Video which are daily features, but today, I will let the gambling man come out in me and give to you guys my Bet of the Day and Upset of the Day.

So let’s rock and roll with the first installment of what I hope will be a fun game.

I will keep track of the standings of my two picks each day to see how I am doing.

Sure thing of the day:

Diamondbacks -140     vs. Astros – The Backs are a sure thing here. Brandon Webb is as can’t miss as there is in all of baseball and the Astros as due a loss, currently riding such a long winning streak. Take the Backs and pick up your -140.

Upset of the day:

Angels + 113   vs. Indians – Sure, I know Cliff Lee is on the hill and he has been lights-out dominant. But the Indians are still the Indians and I think if the Angels can muster 3-4 runs (which they seem to do every night), that they will have more than a 50% chance to steal this game, which is all you can ask for with an underdog anyway.

Current Standings:

0-0

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Top 10:

Alas, it’s time to do a new Top 10 list and I’ll follow suit from our last list and do another list ranking athletes.

I really had no clue where to go with this one, so I will follow the request of my best-buddy Mr. Boura and give my Top 10 NBA player rankings, so here goes, first stop in Utah with the Jazz’s franchise point guard.

No. 10 NBA player: Deron Williams

Williams made a mark on NBA radars with an amazing NCAA Tournament run in which he lead Illinois nearly single-handedly to the NCAA Tournament Finals, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot to continue to advance his team.

In the NBA Draft, Williams was behind Chris Paul on many draft boards, but the opportunistic and savvy Jazz snatched up Williams before Paul and have been blessed with one of the NBA’s budding young superstars.

Williams struggled to grasp Jazz coach Jerry Sloan’s system in his first year and experienced many growing pains. But the budding star has been lights-out the past 2 years, averaging more than 17 points and nearly 10 assists per game the past two seasons, while leading the Jazz to three playoff series wins in the past two seasons.

With Carlos Boozer also on board, the Jazz will compete for years to come.

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Headlines:

Redeem Team mauls Greece to advance to medal round – This was the first time Team USA really let it loose and played full-throttle defense for 40 minutes and it was a joy to see. Next up is a Saturday morning showdown with Spain.

Phelps wins sixth gold in 200 IM – This is getting sick now. Absolutely sick. Six events, six gold medals. Six world records. Phelps is a maniac in a pool and has been the USA’s brightest star in what has been a star-filled games for the Red, White and Blue.

Replay announcement to come soon in MLB – It’s about time. With modern technology that allows us to see every play from 100 different angles at 100 different speeds, there is really no reason any call should ever be missed in any sport. Much less in baseball where the rules are concrete: If it is over this line, it’s fair. If not, it’s foul, etc… Baseball should come damn close to 100% correctness with this system in tact.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Sure, Deron Williams is fine and dandy, but this will forever me by favorite moment of his career.

That’s all for me.

Take care, people!

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