Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sports Round-Up, Volume 9

Only the Raiders: Apparently, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has been interviewing potential head coaching candidates in the last two weeks, in case he decides to fire Tom Cable. If that seems backwards to you, that's because it is -- unless you remember we're talking about Al Davis. This is actually right up the Raiders' alley, though I gotta wonder ... if Davis is interviewing new candidates, hasn't he already made up his mind?

Not the Same: Some might ask how the situation in Oakland differs from that in Washington, where Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was talking to Mike Shanahan before Jim Zorn's firing. The situations are different because Zorn's dismissal was inevitable from the moment he had the play-calling duties stripped from him during the season. Cable suffered no such embarrassment, and quarterback JaMarcus Russell aside, there were signs that the Raiders might be on their way to respectability. Zorn never stood a chance; Cable did.

Journalism 101: In reporting a rumor that Tiger Woods has entered a sex rehab clinic in Mississippi on Tuesday, ESPN added the disclaimer that it "independently has not been able to confirm that Woods is at the clinic." I realize journalism has changed of late, but I remember learning in college that you never go with a story without either a) two trusted sources, or b) confirming with a source another outlet's report. If ESPN can't verify the report on its own, why is it reporting on it?

Shaq's on to Something: In light of LeBron James announcing he wouldn't compete in the NBA Slam Dunk contest -- despite claiming last season that he would -- teammate Shaquille O'Neal offered the following suggestion on Tuesday: get LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and one other big-name NBA star to compete in the dunk contest, with half of the prize money going to Haiti relief efforts and the other half going to the winner. Not only would the cause be immensely important -- especially in light on a 5.9 magnitude aftershock on Wednesday -- but imagine those stars dunking against each other. The dunk contest is in serious need of an infusion of energy, and this would provide just that.

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