Today in sports: Jeremy Lin won't be dunking during all-star weekend, the 3-point shot isn't just for guards anymore, and the Minnesota Vikings once again think they're close to a stadium deal.
When we heard Ron Jaworski was being removed from the Monday Night Football booth, we naturally assumed he was being demoted. Not so, per ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson, who broke the news to Jaworski. Williamson later told Sports Illustrated media reporter Richard Deitsch that the network decided to make the move when "it came to us that we think we can unleash Jaws and put him in a lot of different places to make us better in a lot of different places." To sum up, it's not a demotion, it's an unleashing. And it didn't come from Jon Gruden or Mike Tirico, who isn't a stranger to in-booth power plays. It was divine revelation, ESPN style. [Sports Illustrated]
Jeremy Lin won't be participating in the dunk contest at the NBA's all-star game later this month, because the Knicks already have one representative (Iman Shumpert) booked for the contest. Commissioner David Stern -- who last year vetoed the trade of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers because he didn't think it was fair -- apparently cannot or will not tweak the dunk contest bylaws to let allow two players from the same team to participate. But there's good news: Lin is going to participate in the Haier Shooting Stars competition on Saturday night. That's the trick shot competition in which each team is composed of an NBA, a WNBA player, and "one TNT on-air talent and legend" who try to hit baskets from various complicated angles. We think we speak for the world when we say, we'd rather see him dunk. Can't Iman Shumpert be persuaded to step aside gracefully? [New York Daily News via Deadspin]
CBS is changing its Web streaming policy for this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. In truth, it's not that bad: under the new restrictions, games on CBS can be streamed through CBSSports.com using a PC or Mac, but not through a tablet or smartphone. The same policy will be in effect for games carried on TNT, TBS and TruTV. (If you're a Time warner Cable subscriber, that's a problem, since Time Warner is the only carrier that doesn't authenticate TNT.com, TBS.com, and truTV.com.) If you absolutely have to be able to watch from your phone, you can do so, and it won't even be prohibitively expensive. For $3.99, you can register for the NCAA's March Madness on Demand package and get unlimited smartphone, tablet, and computer streaming access. [All Things D]
The 3-pointer -- once the preferred basketball shot of little guys -- is increasingly being attempted by big guys, at least at the college level, where the 3-point is in its 25th season. That created an incentive for big guys to at least try to shoot, but Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan says they've become more efficient thanks to the emergence of one specific play: the pick-and-pop. That's where "a big forward sets a screen for a guard and steps back to take a 3-point shot over the shorter guard who has switched to defend him," which is true, but the concept is easier to grasp (and more nuanced) when you see it in action. From 2008, here's UCLA center Kevin Love and guard Jordan Shipp executing the play to perfection on the road against California-Berkeley. [The New York Times]
Minnesota Governor and cock-eyed optimist Mark Dayton believes his staff and state lawmakers "may be getting close to a site, a deal and a bill" for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, despite the lack of a viable site and no agreement yet on how to pay for it. The reason for Dayton's optimism was revealed this afternoon, when Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale told reporters an announcement could be made "today or Friday" about building the new stadium in downtown Minneapolis, "along the back of the Metrodome," per the Star Tribune. But hold on: Mondale warned there are "five to seven items we need to button up" before the announcement about the site , which would clear the way for a vote from legislators. A Vikings spokesman, clearly not wanting to jinx things, would only say: "We're making good progress. There are a couple issues left to clean up. It's a complicated agreement." With lots of buttons still unbuttoned. [AP]
The Washington Redskins will decide in the next 30 days whether to let the District of Columbia build them a sparkling new training facility on Capitol Hill. D.C. has a rich civic history of exploring, and then abandoning, fanciful and unfeasible projects involving local sports teams. Building the new gold standard for NFL training facilities on 67 acres of Capitol Hill real estate would certainly qualify. Still, officials in Virginia's Loudon County -- where the team has been headquartered since 1991 -- are sufficiently nervous about the possibility of a D.C. facility that they're offering to build a team hall of fame at the existing facility. [DCist]