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So after years and years of soreness and pain — not to mention years of complaining — I finally went and got a proper checkup of my right shoulder, thanks to the good and competent folks at UW Sports Medicine. It’s been eight years since I injured it — throwing a straight right in boxing class — and it’s been something I’ve ignored and ignored, figuring it would eventually heal itself. Well, after playing more tennis the last two years, it was something I just couldn’t put off.

And as the picture says, I’ve got a (partially) torn labrum. Note: That’s not my MRI image; I found it on Google by searching “MRI of torn labrum.” Evidently, a lot of people upload their MRIs to the mother web.

It’s finally good to know why my shoulder hurts and what was causing the pain. It wasn’t tendinitis, like one doctor surmised when I had it looked at before.

So here’s the conundrum. When do I have surgery? It’s going to be quite extensive — months of being in a sling and months of rehab. It will be at least six months until I can use it. If I have surgery now, I’ll be in a sling all summer (no tennis) but be ready for ski season (and my new skis). If I wait until the winter, I miss ski season, but get to enjoy the summer. Or I can put it off until next year or the year after or the year after that …

I’m pretty torn — no pun intended — right now. I can still play tennis and do everything I enjoy if I manage the pain (a couple of ibuprofen) and bear it out. I can keep doing that. And keep griping.

So is it worth six months to get this fixed (90 percent success rate, my doctor says)? I’m leaning towards waiting and having it next year.

What does everyone else think?

Now it’s officially official. I’ve joined AOL’s FanHouse.com as its Page 1 editor. I couldn’t be any more excited. There are a lot things appealing about the job — the fact I have a job is appealing in itself — but the opportunity to shape a major sports site and make it one of the premier destinations for sports journalism really gets my juices flowing.

FanHouse has added a stable of talented and respected journalists and bloggers — while other publications cut back. How could you not be thrilled, ecstatic, exhilarated, electrified, etc., etc., about a company that’s willing to invest and expand in this environment? FH wants to be at the forefront of the new media landscape, and I feel lucky to have a stake and voice in it.

Here’s the press release, which made me blush a little. And a story from MediaPost.

I’m going to get my hands dirty soon, diving into the site and getting to work. I hope you give FanHouse a chance and some of your page views (if you’re a true friend, you’ll make the site your home page). FanHouse — it’s going to be Fan-tastic!

Just doing my part to stimulate the economy.

Treating the P4s to a powder day at Brighton, Utah.

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This is one of my favorite pictures to go on the front page of ESPN.com (I love Kobe’s reaction, of course, but I also like the photographers and the random dude with the mustache in the background). This is from the 2006 playoffs, when Kobe and the Lakers were on the verge of knocking out the Suns (Phoenix would come back to win the series.) Sometimes, if you get the perfect image, the packaging writes itself. I could have written gibberish and no one would notice — they’d be transfixed on Kobe.

For those missing my work writing witty and not-so-witty headlines (and I know there are a lot of you out there), there is good, significant news. I’ll be producing the front page of another major sports site soon. Be prepared for more movie and music references, silly wordplay and basic tomfoolery. I’ll let you know which site deserves your clicks once I’m officially rolling. Until then, I need to brush up on my sports lingo and audacious alliterations.

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more about “Calhoun Addresses Alleged Violations …“, posted with vodpod

 

Here’s UConn coach Jim Calhoun responding to the Yahoo! Sports report alleging recruiting violations made by his program.

It’s a weak response, especially since this is the same coach who told a freelance reporter/activist who was questioning his $1.6 million salary (in a state that is facing a budget crisis — which state isn’t?) to “shut up.”

The comment that rankled me was his dismissive remark about where the report came from. It was from a “blog story, I guess, that appeared on something that I probably can’t get ahold of.”

Well, it wasn’t a blog — although it’s time for people still living in the stone age to stop believing blog is a dirty word — it was on Yahoo! Sports, the most trafficked sports site on the Web. The story was uncovered by Adrian Wojnarowski and Dan Wetzel, two reporters with extensive journalism backgrounds. Yahoo! Sports is a major online journalism operation, led by the former sports editor of the Los Angeles Times. I have to believe that they’ve sourced the story, verified their research and ran it through legal (not that a blog can’t do that, just pointing out what every publication should do on a story of this magnitude).

While we can debate the way Yahoo! Sports framed and packaged the story (as one former colleague was all too happy to knock this afternoon), we have to acknowledge the “break.” Breaking news online — whether it be TMZ, The Smoking Gun, etc — is here to stay.

While it may be just a blog report written by two pot-smoking dudes in a basement to Coach Calhoun, it’s also a report that could send the Hall of Fame coach into early retirement. Now that would be something to blog about.

To appease my many (two) loyal blog readers, here’s another old ESPN.com top. And in honor of Nate Robinson’s second slam dunk championship, here’s what ESPN.com looked like the night he won his first three years ago.

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My second Jordan book in three months. Halberstam delivers some incredible nuggets and anecdotes in the book. While “The Jordan Rules” was enjoyable, Halberstam digs deeper into the psyche and motivations of those Bulls teams.

The book did get me thinking about how things might have been different if the Sonics and Bulls had completed a Shawn Kemp for Scottie Pippen trade. George Karl wanted it, Jerry Krause wanted it. If I recall correctly, the deal was ready to be finalized on draft day on 1994 before then-Sonics owner Barry Ackerly got cold feet — bowing to fan pressure — and exercised his veto power.

If the deal had gone through, the Sonics’ starting lineup for the 1994-95 season: Gary Payton at point, Kendall Gill at the 2, Pippen as the small forward, Detlef Schrempf at the four, Perkins at the five.

I like that lineup, I really do. That’s a scary defense for any opposing team: agile, athletic, quick, versatile. Nate McMillan comes off the bench. Sure, the Sonics would be a bit undersized, but they make up for it by implementing a suffocating press initiated by their two floor generals, GP and Pippen. Karl’s dream team.

Offensively, Karl would have his favorite toys, a cadre of players who could bring the ball up or play off it. Back then (and now), Karl was all about playing uptempo; he relished a frenetic pace based on defense and transition offense. Pippen would step right in and fill the scoring void — the Sonics averaged 110 points per game that season — and create shots for every player on the floor.

The Supes lost to the Lakers in the first round that season. I blame the Tacoma Dome for the loss (the Coliseum was being renovated — poorly as we all found out — at the time). Tacoma is no place for NBA basketball (and neither is Renton). But what if we had Pippen instead of the Reignman? Cedric Ceballos would’ve been shut down, but Nick Van Exel still might vex GP. I might hop over to Whatifsports.com — my new addiction — to find out.

Of course, we can only play what if forever. Like, what if the Sonics were still in Seattle? Man, I miss my SuperSonics.

One of the storylines before and during the Olympics was the architectural wonders sprouting out throughout the city. On nearly every other block, there was a construction project or billboards advertising a future project. But no one ever asked the question, Who’s going to rent/buy/fill all that space? Nearly six months after the Games, we have an answer: No one.

From the LA Times:

Beijing went through a building boom before the 2008 Summer Olympics that filled a staid communist capital with angular architectural feats that grace the covers of glossy design magazines.

Now, six months after the Games ended, the city continues to dazzle by night, with neon and floodlights dancing across the skyline. By day, though, it is obvious that many are “see-through” buildings, to use the term coined during the Texas real estate bust of the 1980s.

The Bird’s Nest, the linchpin of the Games, is empty — even though it costs $9 million a year to maintain. The mammoth concrete Olympic plaza is empty. High-end apartments and homes are empty because no one can afford them. As the article states, at some point the banks that financed all the projects will have to “pay the piper.” And when that time comes, how will that affect China’s investments abroad? More specifically, China’s investments in the U.S.?

As Hillary Clinton said during her trip to China, the U.S. still needs China’s investements. Although I am no economist or financial guru, it’s not hard to envision a precipitous fall in China’s markets this year or next. And I wonder if China can still keep financing American debt if that happens. Perhaps we’ll find out once the piper comes out to collect.

I’m still getting used to ESPN.com’s redesign. It’s definitely taking some time to get used to the new layout and navigation. I’m on record for saying that I like the new look. Some of my friends, however, are not as enthusiastic. Here’s what my friend, right in ESPN’s wheelhouse demographically, had to say in an e-mail last week.

Subject:     you know what I don’t like about new ESPN.com?

When there is BIG, Breaking News…it’s relegated to the top of the “Headlines” section!

What the fuck!!

A-Rod confesses…and i got some dumbass picture of I can’t remember.

Miguel Tejada charged with lying to Congress and I get some big as picture of Kobe Bryant!

What happened to the timely, breaking news puns! Aigh. I hate it.

I know it is kind of old now, but I think you should know, I visit ESPN.com about 1/20 the time I used to. It requires too much time. It’s like it is only geared for people who stare at it for hours on-end.

It’s like having sex with a girl that you think is ugly.

My friend, passionate and eloquent, as always.