Today in sports: the aftermath of Chicago Bear Sam Hurd's drug arrest, but fodder; the NBA owner who voted to kill the deal; and which college football team wears the best uniform anyway?
- The NBA starts this weekend! Finally. And as the Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay reminds us, there are five season-opening games on Christmas day. Plus, there are 13 NFL match-ups on Christmas eve. But how to catch them? Gay has some excellent tips on sneaking away to watch the game. For example: "1. Don't Go First. This is the essential rule. Don't be the first person to slip away from the holiday table—that relative always looks like an ill-mannered fool, and offends whomever made dinner. Don't leave second, either—you just look like a spineless follower. Go third: The exodus is clearly not your idea, and you can just explain you're "just curious what's going on in the other room." But don't go fourth. Fourth has to lie on the floor in front of the TV. That's the pits." [WSJ]
- The story about Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd's arrest last week on federal drug charges just keeps on giving. In a long-form feature visit to Hurd's hometown of San Antonio, New York Times writer Greg Bishop found a town still reeling in disbelief. He also found this little gem of a description of Hurd's ambitions (read it all the way through): "People who knew him here have become uncomfortably familiar with the details in the criminal complaint: $88,000 and marijuana found inside a car; the plan to buy up to $700,000 worth of drugs each week; the Chicago Bears receiver, their hero, accused of aspiring to become not just a drug dealer, but a kingpin, Tony Montana of Scarface and football’s Joe Montana all at once." Oh that is some fine word play. Slow clap (but actually serious). [New York Times]
- It is one of the sacred cliches of sitcom writers: The non-sports fan who pays more attention to the uniforms than the play. But don't act like you don't follow Oregon at least in part to see what weird fashion statement they're making this week. Awesomely, the Journal got some real-live fashion experts to rate the best and worst of the NCAA football teams. The winner: Michigan and its winged helmet. "Anyone that uses it, no matter what color you put it in, it's Michigan," SlamXHype editor Anthony Coleman told the paper. The loser: UCLA and its light blue jerseys. Coleman delivers the death knell: "The jerseys belong in one of those lingerie leagues," he told the paper. "Baby blue should not be a primary color in male apparel, ever." Ouch, Bruins. [WSJ]
- You know that labor agreement that allowed the NBA season to finally get underway? Not everybody likes it. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison said he voted against it to register his disapproval, though it already had enough votes to pass when he did. "While I did everything I could behind the scenes — and some not-so-behind the scenes — to get playing by Christmas, when you come down to it financially … it’s a tough financial deal for us," he told the Miami Herald. The paper reported: "Arison voted against the deal on principle, saying it was a vote of protest more than anything. At issue was the revenue-sharing model, which Arison said will force the Heat to funnel money to large-market teams such as the Clippers and Nets." So would he have voted against the deal if his vote would have actually killed it? " 'I won’t answer that question,' Arison said, sheepishly. [Miami Herald]
- In yet another lawsuit against the NFL over concussions some of the biggest names yet have put their names on the latest complaint, reports NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk. "The latest features several recent big-name players, including former running back Jamal Lewis, former running back Dorsey Levens, and former defensive back Ryan Stewart, now one of the 'Two Live Stews' of Atlanta sports-talk radio fame." The suit charges the NFL knew about the potential long-term dangers of concussions since the 1920s but kept the information from players, which seems like a bit of an exaggeration. Some half-dozen lawsuits have been filed against the NFL in recent months all basically alleging the league put players at risk of serious injury through concussion, the Los Angeles Times points out. Whether it did so for 90 years, well, let's just leave that one up to the judge. [Pro Football Talk]