1. Papiss Cisse: Magpie Magician
It's been 11 goals in 11 Premier League games for Newcastle's striker sensation, and I don't know that we'll see a more outrageous strike this season. (Van Persie's volley was better? I don't know, how can you figure that out?) Here's what I love about Cisse giving Chelsea the blues (wink wink): (a) It was his second in a match that had huge Champions League qualification consequences, (b) Petr Cech's struggle face, (c) Newcastle manager Alan Pardew's I'm happy/I'm nervous/Stop laughing/OK, we're laughing reaction, (c) Cisse's laconic trot over to the Newcastle traveling fans, (d) IT'S THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOOT WHAT IS HE EVEN THINKING?
2. B.J. Daniels: Practice Makes Perfect
Chuck Klosterman is naming his first-born "Spider 3 Y Banana":
I was re-watching all the Gruden's QB Camp episodes a few nights ago, and something occurred to me: Whenever Gruden wants to work out a prospect, he uses the University of South Florida receiving corps (the USF kids run the routes while the various QBs throw fades and slants and whatnot). It strikes me that this must be somewhat disenchanting for B.J. Daniels, who'll start at quarterback for the Bulls this fall. One assumes the best passer most college receivers have ever worked with is (typically) whoever starts for the team on which they play. This will not be the case at USF, where many of the core receivers have now experienced tight spirals from nine or 10 different guys, all of whom will get tryouts at the NFL level. This is like giving your son a cat for his birthday, but then arbitrarily letting him frolic with 10 awesome dogs for 10 days in a row. The cat will suddenly lack panache. I hope Daniels has a good personality."
3. Men's Tennis: It's a Sport!
Shane Ryan serves and volleys:
"I'm so excited for the Grand Slam season that I can barely sleep. On one hand, you've got Novak Djokovic coming off of a great year. On the other, you've got Rafa chasing him down and getting closer and closer to beating him in a major. (And he finally broke a long losing streak last week in Monte Carlo.) Then there's Roger, still incredibly talented and probably desperate to prove that he can still hack it with the best in the world, and the continuing plight of Andy Murray, the shrinking violet and fourth wheel who carries a country's hopes on his shoulders. We've been blessed with at least six years of incredible men's tennis, but this might be the best and most dramatic season of all. Sure, France is still three weeks away, but it's never too early to get excited."
"Let's give thanks for Alexander Radulov and Sergei Kostitsyn of the Nashville Predators, who were suspended by the team for Game 3 of their second-round series against the Coyotes after breaking a team curfew. Instead of spending the night watching The Grey on pay-per-view in their hotel rooms for the fourth time this playoffs, Radulov and Kositsyn reportedly went to the W Hotel in Scottsdale and ordered bottle service. Think about that for a second. There's not even a real club in the W Scottsdale, which means that these two Predators had to go out of their way to get bottle service. Can you just get bottle service anywhere if you're rich? Like, can I go to an airport bar and get bottle service if I was really that insufferable? Because that is a whole other world of douchiness that I am ready for."
5. The WAC: Whaled On
Michael Weinreb thinks Reno is lovely this time of year:
"The WAC is dying. I blame SeaWorld. This made me kind of sad until I realized all the teams I thought were in the WAC are now in the Mountain West."
6. Roger Goodell: Doesn't Want to Talk About It
Sarah Larimer says no one man should have all that power, but it is pretty amusing:
"Nothing says 'I'm sick of this shit' quite like notifying SportsCenter of Jonathan Vilma's year-long suspension before notifying Jonathan Vilma of Jonathan Vilma's year-long suspension. Amazing work, NFL. I salute you."
— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) May 2, 2012
7. The Europa League: Appointment Viewing
Brian Phillips is only into Athletic Bilbao's early stuff:
"I nominate the Europa League. How huge is the Europa League right now? Manchester United and Manchester City, two teams that couldn't even qualify for the Europa League semifinals, just played each other in a league match to a TV audience of 650 million people. Again: They weren't even good enough for the Europa League semis. So how many people are going to watch the Europa League final? 100 billion? A trillion? That's how this works, right?"
8. Bryce Harper: No Batter
Sarah Larimer has just finished her 'Bryce Is Nyce' needlepoint in time to write this:
"Bryce Harper made his MLB debut on Saturday and his home debut at Nats Park on Tuesday night, but I think we can all agree that the real highlight of the past few days is Harper playing softball on the National Mall. JUST SOME REGULAR DUDES OUT HERE. NBD."
9. Shep Smith: You Stay Classy, San Diego
Nice delivery, man.
10. Derrick Rose: Internet Thrilla in Manilla
Via Grantland's Senior Camotes Islands Correspondent, Rafe Bartholomew:
"Iba ang Pinoy! The literal translation of this Tagalog phrase is 'The Filipino is different,' but in this case, it really means something along the lines of 'unlike any others' or 'one of a kind." How so, you ask? What else but the country's obsession with basketball. This passion is expressed in a million and two ways, day in and day out, from the Camotes Islands to the town formerly known as Sexmoan (pronounced sess-moh-ahn, you pervs), but last weekend Pinoy hoop love popped up in a somewhat surprising new venue: Google Insights. According to Google, no country was more interested (or perhaps concerned) about Derrick Rose than the Philippines. His name is digitally ringing out from Chi-town to Cebu City, and if trans-Pacific good vibes could mend knee ligaments, Rose would be back on the floor by the Eastern Conference Semis."