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What to read while lugging your Pope Benedict bobblehead to D.C.

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Because that's why you get into Vatican politics.

If you're trying to stay on top of all the latest NBA mock draft happenings, AND you enjoy eating food, well then here's a site that you should probably bookmark. I didn't look at all 42 mock drafts, but I was surprised at the number of the ones I did check out that had both David Padgett and Derrick Caracter being taken in the second round.

Regardless of how long - or, probably more appropriately, short - he stays, Ron English is exactly the type of guy our football program needs at this moment.

English looked and sounded distressed about the state of the defense after a particularly bad showing in a recent scrimmage. But he's trying to stay positive during this rebuilding process.

"We do have a long way to go, but their attitude has been good," he said. "There's some talent here; it's not like the cupboard is completely bare."

Whether the defense can get back to a respectable level remains to be seen. But if the players follow their coordinator, they won't lack intensity.

"Some of the people last year -- and I'm not going to say any names -- weren't all in like Coach Kragthorpe preaches," Heyman said. "Coach English is an all-in guy."

If you haven't yet, I'd suggest checking out Frankpos's interview with Scott Spicer, the guy who tears it up on the Thornton's Boogie Cam at every home basketball game.

Saturday's Derby Festival Classic featuring Terrance Jennings and Jared Swopshire figures to be a hot ticket, but if you live out of town or just can't make it out to Freedom Hall, the interwebs have you covered.

I couldn't agree more with noted biographer Mark Kriegel's (Pistol is a fantastic read if you have the slightest bit of interest in Maravich) take on Dick Vitale's recent induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

This year's selections, announced hours before the NCAA men's championship game, included Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Pat Riley, all obvious and entirely deserving choices. But ESPN offered little on their rather substantial contributions to the game. Instead, you got wall-to-wall coverage on Vitale's Oprah moment. He thanked. He cried. He offered platitudes. Then he did it all over again.

Dick Vitale wasn't a player. His coaching career -- culminating with a 34-60 record for the Detroit Pistons -- was a failure. And while the Hall recognizes media members with its Curt Gowdy Award (a distinction Vitale has already won), one cannot be enshrined as a mere broadcaster. So, again, how the hell did he get in?

Is he insightful? Thoughtful? Provocative? Courageous?

No, no, no and no. He's loud. He's a salesman. In fact, the very same qualities that served him so well on television have made him the perfect shill for Hooters. Also, he's relentless. As people in the basketball business know too well, Vitale has been lobbying for entry into the Hall for years. The movement, such as it was, was spearheaded by influential letter writers campaigning on his behalf, most of them famous coaches whose butts he's kissed for years. Foremost among them was Bobby Knight, the media-basher now cashing ESPN's checks. Vitale has been on air since 1979; the next tough word he has for Bobby Knight will be his first.

...

Understand that Vitale was one of the 15 finalists who came before the Honors Committee. In other words, his nomination came at someone else's expense. So consider some of the mere players who haven't gotten in: Chris Mullin, Marques Johnson, Artis Gilmore, Dennis Johnson.

They were great ones, sure. But they never did a Hooters ad.

Great guy? By all accounts. Good for the game? I think so. Hall of Famer? Absolutely not.

California blog Bears Necessity takes a look at the worst officiating calls of the 2007 college football season. I'll give you negative three guesses as to which play featuring a certain local team and a certain punt-returning asshat from Connecticut was featured.

Big East officials suck.

That's my blogging spring practice for the day.

Is this Gillispie to Oklahoma State thing really going to happen? Probably not, but God it would be hilarious. Although to be honest, I'd just as soon he stick around for a while.

Six-foot-six sharpshooter Taylor King is headed to the Big East. The freshman announced on Sunday that he plans to transfer from Duke to Villanova.

Despite ESPN experts continuing to tell us that Brian Brohm will not be drafted in the first round (I'm not letting it go), Minnesota is worried that he may not be available when it selects at pick 17. The Vikes met with Brohm over the weekend, and VikingUpdate.com wonders aloud whether or not the franchise can afford to pass on the former Cardinal QB if he's still on the board.


Enjoy the week, all.