Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sports Saturday

The Kid is in some serious limbo today. I'll definitely have to explain this at a later time.

But know this: Chicago has nudged its way into one of my three favorite American cities, and it's even better to share the experience with thousands of bright, talented, enthusiastic journalists of color.

That said, a Sports Saturday from Room 1114 at the Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile:

1. Caleb Campbell (pictured above), a seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, was thwarted in his attempt to serve the Army in another role. It's not really up to civilians like myself to debate whether or not the Alternative Service Option or "special skills" policy was a good one. But it's clear the Army botched the entire process as it applied to Campbell.

2. LA and Detroit, at it again on the hardwood. This time, in a WNBA throwdown earlier this week. This is somewhat unfamiliar territory for WNBA officials: people actually cared about something that happened on the court. Also, it's good to see Rick Mahorn hasn't lost his tender-loving touch.

3. Here's a shocker: Texas' steroid-testing program for high school athletes was a big flop in its first year. The program turned up two positive tests out of 10,000 athletes. That's about $1.5 million per positive test. Somehow, the UIL - the governing body for high school athletics in Texas - was encouraged by these results. To me it proves, one way or another, the whole proposal is a big money drain.

4. Atlanta's Josh Childress bucks a longstanding trend, leaving the NBA for the Euroleague. I've always wondered why this hasn't happened more often, especially with the Euro so strong and the American dollar so weak in recent years. Once American athletes become more familiar with the advantages of playing overseas, I really think we might see this sort of move happen a little more frequently. The biggest obstacle, of course, would be that hardly any American kid grows up dreaming of playing for Olympiakos as opposed to, say, the Pacers.

5. Miguel Cotto, one of boxing's best pound-for-pound fighters, takes on Antonio Margarito this evening in Las Vegas. This should be a great fight. Cotto is the WBA titleholder, undefeated at 32-0 and the pride of Puerto Rico. Margarito is tough as hell.

It's tough for me to believe that I once covered Cotto's second professional fight, a second-round TKO of some scrub on the undercard of a show in Fort Worth in 2001. I think, in my story from that evening, I dedicated one paragraph (if that) to the fight. Just goes to show that everyone has to start somewhere.

Ok. That's plenty. I've got to get out and enjoy more of Chicago.


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