by Bomani Jones

Also Receiving Votes

  • Derrek Lee's hurt … so he began his suspension
  • Johan Santana fills second-half loss quota
  • Someone you've never heard of caught doping in Tour de France

Oddities

  • Reason Pedro Martinez's rehab is taking so long:
  • 5 to 1 Has not regained '03 geezer tossin' form
  • 3 to 1 Has not regained '98 Jheri curl form
  • 2 to 1 Has not regained '99 Who's Now form

Not In This Issue

  • Pimpin' Ken, Heidi Fleiss hit Vegas for the other WSOP
  • Starbury "disappointed" to lose Durant to Nike
  • Van de Velde sends tear-soaked socks to Hall of Fame
ESPN Conversations

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  • THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE PITYING AT JEAN VAN DE VELDE
  • 1 PETA'S GOT BETTER FRIENDS THAN MICHAEL VICK

    Even if Vick wins his legal battle, here's a hint that the PR war will be a bloodbath. In a show of its political clout, PETA sent a letter in conjunction with longtime allies Russell Simmons and Al Sharpton to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commish Roger Goodell and Vick's corporate sponsors condemning dogfighting. At every turn, people around Vick have anonymously thrown him under the bus. Coincidentally, PETA's friends use their names for the very same reason. Oh yeah, Vick's in bad shape. Really, is there a worse pair of enemies for one man to have than the animal rights lobby and the federal government?

  • 2 YAO MING FEARS HIS OLD LADY MORE THAN THE OLD COUNTRY

    Chinese sports officials are unhappy that Yao has taken his time to join the national team this summer. Yao's been busy planning his wedding and making appearances, neither of which impress the All-China Sports Federation. "No matter how sweet personal life is, it can't be compared to the exultation of capturing glory for one's nation,'' the article said. As an engaged man, I can assure you such exultation is trumped by that of Yao's fiancée, who actually got her man to do more in wedding planning than taste sample cakes.

  • 3 CARLOS ZAMBRANO WILL BRING BASEBALL TO THE APOCALYPSE

    Big Z's contract drive is going full speed ahead. Zambrano won his 12th game yesterday in the Cubs' 12-1 blowout win over the Giants. But somewhere, you can't help but wonder if Zambrano's success has Marlins GM Dave Samson preparing for the worst. Zambrano's looking for $18 million per season, and he just might get it. Paying $18 million for a guy hitting .250 this season, down 50 points from two seasons ago? To hell in a handbasket we go.

  • 4 KEVIN DURANT CONTINUES LONGTIME NIKE AFFILIATION

    Durant officially became filthy, stinkin' rich yesterday, signing a seven-year, $60 million endorsement deal with Nike. "At the end of the day, Kevin has been with Nike his whole career and he felt comfortable with them," says Aaron Goodwin, Durant's agent. Actually, at the end of the day, Durant will be 18. But we're talking about his career? Gotta love basketball in the new millennium.

  • 5 GOLF IS JUST A GAME OF SHADOWS

    Gary Player says he's heard through the grapevine that steroids will become a problem in golf, and that one player currently on tour is juicing. Well, let's go ahead and get to the bottom of this. You want to find out who's the guy on steroids? Send the caddies home and make these dudes carry their own bags at Carnoustie this weekend. The guy on the 18th hole, cranky as Happy Gilmore, skin like pepperoni pizza and the energy to play another round? He's the juice box.

  • 6 JAVELINS HURT EVERYONE

    The Masters Athletics World Championship, a track and field event for competitors over 35, announced it would move the javelin throw away from the track. This comes in the aftermath of an incident last week in which a French long jumper was struck by an errant javelin during a meet. "There are even people of 85 or 90," says Cesare Beccalli, president of World Masters Athletics. "It is important that almost all are well-prepared and accidents are rare." What, are old folks the only ones that don't want the business end of a flying spear? This would be a better idea at the Olympics, where the whipper snappers throw javelins hard enough to break skin.

Thursday July 19

  • 1 British Open: 7 am, TNT

    We'll all get our laughs at the expense of Jean Van de Velde this weekend, but let's remember the most impressive thing about his collapse at Carnoustie: He stood tall afterward and answered every question asked of him. Think about that when his gaffe is replayed every 15 minutes.

  • 2 "Top 10 Linebacking Corps": 5 pm, NFL Network

    During July, the NFL Network should change its name to "The Oasis." Training camps open next week!

  • 3 "The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame …": 10 pm, ESPN Classic

    Tonight's show hopes to absolve the Yankees of some of the rap for blowing their 3-0 lead to the Red Sox in the '04 LCS. My pick for the top of the list: God just don't like ugly.