Is there any week all year that is less exciting sports-wise than the week after the NFL Conference Championship Games but before the official kickoff of Super Bowl Week? Yes, every week of baseball season. But besides that, no.
Here is what's happening:
- Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals. I would have watched his match had any of the 11 websites I checked actually listed a start time for it instead of just saying it was the "5th match" on "Thursday." No indication of whether that is Thursday America or Thursday Australia or what the hell time the "5th match" started. Even Gary Bettman knows that fans would like to know when games start.
- Joe Starkey of the Trib got it done this morning, preempting the inevitable Roethlisberger-redemption stories by saying that no one knows what he is actually like now so people should stop pretending like they do know. People won't, obviously, stop pretending.
- Strangest stat of the NHL season so far: The Caps have been shutout 7 times.
- NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft is Friday night. Nick Lidstrom and Eric Staal are captains. The worst part of not having Crosby as a captain is that we won't get to see him not shake Lidstrom's hand after the draft.
- Huge Bachelor coming up on Monday. Maybe the biggest episode of the season so far.
- Scouting services put the Pirates' farm system as 21st out of 30 teams. The analysis: "This system consists of a few high-end prospects, including three teenage power arms, followed by a dropoff." Don't worry fans, there is no need to be concerned about this alleged "dropoff" because if the last 18 years have taught us anything, it's that the Pirates' young pitching prospects ALWAYS pan out.
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