1. Giant Heads and Talking Basketballs
Does the person who concocted the NBA's advertising campaigns have some sort of fetish with gigantism? I don't know when or how oversized craniums became the rage among America's youth--appearing on posters and in the stands at college basketball games and now in these bobblehead advertisements and talking basketball soliloquies narrated by Moe Szyslak that resemble a Timothy Leary fever dream--but it makes me think the American advertising industry is in desperate need of some new ideas, preferably packaged inside a case of Benadryl.
I confess: I did not watch enough of the NBA regular season to determine with any accuracy which teams were the favorites coming into these playoffs, but here's what I've realized: It doesn't matter. All that watching the regular season would have done is confuse me, as (with the possible exception of the final 8-10 games) it seems to mean less than it ever has before. The talent among the top 16 teams is dispersed enough that an eight-seed seems fully capable of defeating a one seed, which is a great thing for the NBA, but further proof that college basketball is far better, since in college basketball, this happens in a single-elimination format every single year.
That said, I will take O.J. Mayo's beard, followed by Pau Gasol's blithe nonchalance, followed by:
3.) Kevin Garnett's Nelson Muntz-like facial contortions.
4.) Derrick Rose's soon-to-be-depleted modesty.
5.) Knicks fans' delusional sense of self-importance.
4. Baseball's Problem...
centers entirely around the fact that Kyle Farnsworth is a competent closer.*
SI's Thomas Lake on the shooting death of Denver Bronco Darrent Williams.
The St. Pete Times' Ben Montgomery on the baffling disappearance of a local diver.
*And I say this as someone who drafted Farnsworth in a fantasy league, fully expecting to release him before tax day arrived.