I wanted to have a negative reaction.
Not just because people used to call me "Eeyore" in the newsroom.
Not just because when the Cardinals reached the Super Bowl, my first thought was "Wow, they'll have a really lousy draft pick next year."
I wanted to hate the new ASU logo and uniforms because, like Rod Tidwell, I went to Arizona State! I'm a Sun Devil, man! Ya know? Ya know?
Sparky is like a member of the family. And by gum, if he was good enough for me, he's good enough for today's generation. (Maroon and gold not good enough for you whippersnappers?
Try the gold-on-gold Larry Marmie used one year to snap the losing streak against Arizona. When the Devils burst out of the tunnel, they looked like mustard spilling across a picnic blanket.)
Alas, I can't be negative. I like the black. I like the lettering. And I absolutely love the pitchfork. There is still a tip of the helmet to Sparky, although his agent can't be too happy with the de-emphasis.
Heck, if you're gonna go 5-6, you might as well look cool doing it.
Did I mention I'm sorry?
Think Kobe Bryant knows what he's doing when it comes to playing defense for his image? After your reputation has rebounded from a rape trial, a gay slur caught on national TV is like getting a parking ticket outside Staples Center. He's got this.
Kobe's going to fork over his 100K - which he probably found in the seat cushions in his Bentley (after the union appeals the fine, of course). He put forth the most complete, thought out, self-effacing apology I've even seen by an athlete. It will be a blueprint for every agent whose player steps over the line for years to come.
He's made the national radio rounds, taking the apology even further (stupid, ignorant, etc.) and talking about the lessons he's learned. And now the Lakers have announced a working relationship with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Next thing you know, we'll see Kobe tweeting a photo of him wearing a GLAAD shirt, sitting next to Harvey Fierstein at a Liza Minnelli concert.
The Cycle of life
Hank Aaron never did it. Willie Mays never did it. Tampa Bay's Sam Fuld had it dead to rights on Monday, and ran right past it.
Needing only a single to hit for the cycle late in a 15-3 rout over the Red Sox, Fuld legged out a double instead of joining a group of 291 players who have achieved the feat in baseball history. No one would have begrudged him coming up with a little limp on the way to first base or getting a late start out of the box. He had to settle for two doubles, a triple and a homer against the team he cheered for as a boy.
You gotta admire the hustle and spunk. But even Fuld's teammate, veteran Johnny Damon, was quick to admit that "At this stage of my career, if that happened, I'm stopping." Other Devil Rays said they would have slid into first, just to make it official.
You can't win if you're an athlete: Damned if you're selfish, silly if you're not.
• The word from those in the know: The smart money still has the Coyotes staying in Arizona beyond this season, although Matthew Hulsizer's bid might not be the one that finally closes the deal. What that means is anyone's to decipher.
Do you think it was just coincidence that a story stating the Coyotes were bound for Winnipeg popped up in Canada just hours before Phoenix's first playoff game? The NHL shot holes in the story quickly and both sides of the fence remain cautiously optimistic Glendale will get the deal done.
• Speaking of franchises that could be leaving town, a tip of the cap to Sacramento fans who supported the Kings, only to lose them because billionaires want more billions. Ask any Suns player what it was like to play Chris Webber and Vlade Divac amid all the cowbells at Arco Arena. That home-court advantage will be gone at Honda Center with the laid-back OC crowd.
Instead of moving to Anaheim and giving the NBA three teams in southern California, couldn't the Maloofs just open another casino and finance a building in Cow Town?