Today in sports: Bill Parcells is staying retired for the rest of the day, Vin Scully is going to miss the Los Angeles Dodgers home opener, and Peyton Manning's arm gets a boost.
Bill Parcells has apparently informed New Orleans Saints management that he intends to remain retired. So, everyone should get ready for one -- maybe two -- more waves of "Bill Parcells is having second thoughts!" stories between now and Monday, when Sean Payton's Bountygate suspension kicks in. [NFL.com]
Vin Scully -- the longtime voice of the Dodgers and the concept of summer -- will not be in the booth for the team's home opener Tuesday, because he has a cold. Of course, we hope Scully makes a quick return. He's been announcing Dodgers games for 63 years now, and summer has never once failed to occur under his watch. [via Dodger Thoughts]
Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker says that there is "no question" Peyton Manning still has the arm strength to play in the NFL and that the 36-year-old quarterback has been "throwing it great" during workouts at a Denver-area high school. Throwing it great! Decker's evaluation differs from that of the anonymous scouts who told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer last month that Manning's arm strength was declining even before he underwent multiple complicated neck surgeries. Who should we believe? Well, Decker spent the bulk of his first two seasons catching passes from Tim Tebow, so his idea of what constitutes a well-thrown football might be somewhat skewed. The bigger question is, how will Manning's neck feel after that first blindside hit from a blitzing linebacker? [via PFT]
The NCAA has parted ways with the very popular Greg Shaheen, who was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations for the men's basketball tournament for more than a decade. Shaheen spent the last two years as the NCAA's interim executive vice president for championships and alliances," which as New York Times national college sports reporter Pete Thamel explained earlier this month "essentially means he runs the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament and the organization’s 88 other championships." Later in the piece, Thamel raved Shaheen had "a comedian’s self-deprecation [and] a salesman’s gift to engage" and likened him to "a Shakespearean character whose biggest attribute, his prodigious work ethic, also proved to be a weakness." That might seem over-the-top, but based on the response this afternoon, Thamel may well have understated press row's affection for Shaheen. Even Dick Vitale called it a "bad move by Emmert." Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel admitted he was "dumbfounded the NCAA ran off Greg Shaheen, head of the tourney -- you know, the one thing they do right." ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas reserved his outrage for the NCAA's Web site, which barely devoted a sentence to Shaheen's departure. "That speaks volumes," Bilas tweeted. "Deplorable. Shame on you, NCAA." [CBS Sports]
This is rich: The Toronto Maple Leafs -- North America's most consistently mismanaged iconic pro sports franchise over the past decade, pound-for-pound -- have sent season ticketholders a letter apologizing for having another crummy, crummy season. Along with apologizing for "[falling] short of expectations," paying lip service to the franchise being "a public trust" and assuring fans that management doesn't take them for granted, the letter adds that ownership "believes in the plan for the Maple Leafs." Which is like saying, "We'll grovel for you and say nice thing, but we won't change anything, no sir." Which is the kind of thing you can when the waiting list for season tickets is still a mile long. [via Deadspin]
Former Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III -- who won the Heisman Trophy last year and is weeks away from being one of the first two players picked in the NFL draft -- has booked his first major endorsement deal. It's with Castrol, the motor oil people. Admittedly, shoe deals are flashier and sandwich chain endorsements are more intuitive, but the proposed campaign sounds pretty nifty. According to CNBC's Darren Rovell, the plan is to feature the very fast Griffin in "banner ads for the premium synthetic oil brand, along with a game that allows consumers to see how fast they can get him to run." People like games. Banner ads, not so much, but games are fun.[CNBC]