The Wednesday Lineup thinks this is the perfect day to do crazy stuff. A year from now, the day won't even exist. There has to be some way to capitalize on this freak occurrence. Maybe Mark Cuban knows.

Must Reads Of The Day
The Angels' offseason moves have them poised as title contenders, but there's a bit of a mess in the outfield, and Tim Brown chronicles how two players, years apart, have to prove themselves this season to push the team over the top. Yahoo! Sports >>

UCLA and head basketball coach Ben Howland are under fire from the public for underperforming, and now George Dohrmann has a pretty epic piece about what's going on behind the scenes with the Bruins. Sports Illustrated >>

Michael Jordan is selling Chicago mansion for a cool $29 million. So, you know, get your friends together and see what kind of bid you can arrange. Curbed >>

Former Georgetown basketball head coach John Thompson is calling it a radio career and signing off from his daily show. Washington Post >>

Is viewer education the only thing holding back soccer as a major player in the US sports market? Martin Rogers tackles the question as it's currently up for debate. Yahoo! Sports >>

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When it comes to teams that should make American soccer fans' blood boil, the Mexico rivalry holds enough hatred for places one, two and three.

But as the US soccer team prepares for a friendly in Genoa, it's the perfect time to highlight the team that should receive the next level of the Stars and Stripes' rage: Italy. The US has never beaten Italy, though there have been moments that have lifted the Americans' hopes along the way, only to be crushed or ruthlessly frustrated.

Let's examine recent history, starting with the 2006 World Cup. After opening with a 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic, the US essentially needed a win against Italy to have a shot at advancing. It started awfully with an offsides trap failing and Italy scoring on a free kick, but was re-energized when an own goal evened things. Then Daniele de Rossi clocked Brian McBride with his elbow and busted his face open, first earning the outrage of the Americans and in turn, a red card for his actions. De Rossi is notoriously classy, gracious and a pro's pro, but for the purposes of this argument, in that moment, he was the dirtiest of the dirty. "That elbow was absurd!" I shouted at my TV. Off he went.

Of course, the rest of the game was just as infuriating. The US failed to really take advantage of the extra man, and eventually two US players were sent off, capping a game of absurd officiating by Jorge Larrionda. Italy, of course, went on to win the World Cup. And America was that close, and not close at all. Throw in a 1-0 loss to Italy in Rome during the 1990 World Cup, and you've got plenty of World Cup bitterness to work with. Plus, you can be mad about Tony Meola's 1990 mullet further embarrassing the red, white and blue, as well. Still not enough? Don't ever forget that 7-1 drubbing in the 1934 World Cup. That one still stings.

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I am not a casual NASCAR fan. I have no hate for the sport, and I certainly don't dislike racing. I'm immensely interested in F1 and have been obsessed with Ayrton Senna for many years. Racing is a blast, but I'm a casual fan that NASCAR hasn't managed to rope in.

But I watched the Daytona 500 on Monday night. In fact, I went out of my way to rig my girlfriend's TV (a TV that wasn't even connected to an antenna) to make sure I could see it.

I wasn't alone. Fox announced a ratings pull of 7.7. Last year it was an 8.2. In 2010, was a 7.0. Both of those races were held on a Sunday afternoon, of course. Most NASCAR races are.

Even though Monday night placement was the product of a massive amount of bad weather, the race getting pushed back created a question worth pondering: Would NASCAR be better off running some of its races on Monday nights?

The idea that the race was initially rescheduled to start at 12 p.m. ET on Monday never made sense to me. Why start the race when no one can watch? Why not just push it to primetime from the outset (unless, of course, approaching rain meant needing to get the race started ASAP)?

The change may not be as crazy as it initially sounds. Planning on a Sunday day of grilling and racing? Well, plan on a Monday night of the same. A rare event, that you're not used to having with friends, and well after football has stopped. If you were a Monday night football fan, your scheduled void could be filled by racing.

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The Tuesday Lineup thinks every NASCAR race should be on Monday nights. Also, it had enough explosions to be a Michael Bay flick with Megan Fox as Danica Patrick. That'd work, right?

Must Reads Of The Day
It had fire, rain and wrecks. Just another run-of-the-mill Daytona 500. Dan Wetzel recaps the strangest night in a while in NASCAR, and how it all wrapped up. Yahoo! Sports >>

The Daytona 500 was supposed to jump start a season of serious anticipation for Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick. That ended with a wreck right after the race started. Yahoo! Sports >>

And Jeff Passan continued his deadline fury with another piece on Brad Keselowski making a little history during the fire delay by tweeting. Yahoo! Sports >>

It's a busy time of year with NASCAR, NBA, NHL and NCAA basketball all in full force. Tough to fit all of them in one show, sure, but ESPN completely ignoring the NHL trade deadline? Ouch. Awful Announcing >>

Cool story by Hunter Atkins on Andre Emmett, and the perilousness of the 10-day NBA contract. The same sort of situation that led to Jeremy Lin's breakout. New York Times >>

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The Monday Lineup thinks the Muppets and Drive should have won every Oscar, and that this was hardly a racy move by Angelina Jolie. Also, Jennifer Lopez did not have a malfunction, but the fact that you want to believe it so badly is...troubling.

Must Reads Of The Day
'Given chance to win NBA’s 2012 All-Star game, LeBron James takes a pass'...Woj brought his blades to the all-star game in Orlando. Yahoo! Sports >>

Charlie Pierce defends Ryan Braun, attacks the 'undeniable idiocy of baseball's steroids "crisis"' in the process. Grantland >>

And while Pierce skewers the entire saga, Jeré Longman says MLB has a flawed system. New York Times >>

Dan Wetzel on why a move to primetime tonight isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to NASCAR. For what it's worth, we think it's going to be awesome. Yahoo! Sports >>

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't, but an ESPN analyst and former college football player won an Oscar last night. Awful Announcing >>

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The Friday Lineup is here to soak up all of your outrage over Ryan Braun escaping the clutches of MLB, it's time to get it all out, people. There can be no PED rage carrying into the weekend and ruining it for everyone else.

Must Reads Of The Day
Jeff Passan makes the Braun situation impossibly clear in the midst of a mess that is immeasurably hazy and chaotic. Yahoo! Sports >>

Not happy with the verdict by the arbitrators in Braun's case? Convinced he was guilty and got away with it? Sorry, can't help you, says Danny Knobler. CBS Sports >>

Cincinnati could have crumbled following an early season brawl with Xavier. Instead, the Bearcats have flourished and their coach has evolved. Yahoo! Sports >>

Check out the signature shoes that many of the NBA's best players will be wearing during all-star weekend in Orlando. The Score >>

Speaking of sneakers, one crowd in Orlando wanted a Nike release so badly last night that riots broke out and the police attempted to corral the insanity. Orlando Sentinel >>

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The Thursday lineup has a lot of inspiring reads, a few discouraging ones and a major push from South Beach for a certain hall of fame quarterback. It's Warren Moon, right? Has to be.

Must Reads Of The Day
Probably the best story you'll read today. Really powerful stuff from Pat Forde on the resurrection of Southern Miss head basketball coach Larry Eustachy. Yahoo! Sports >>

A special tribute and story from a team from before Gary Carter's MLB days, when "Kid" was known as "Skip." New York Times >>

No one is calling for an overhaul to the NCAA basketball tournament, but hey, what if they were? Presenting the NCAA champion decided by the UEFA Champions League format. College Hoops Journal >>

Dolphin fans are already campaigning online for No. 18. Manning To Miami >>

The fall for Elijah Dukes is a mighty one. Tried to eat a bag of pot when stopped by police. Tampa Bay Online >>

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Earlier this week, A.J. Burnett was traded from the New York Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His mercurial performance while in pinstripes, and even before, has been well documented.

While the dust has largely settled following the trade, one question still remains: Why did Burnett veto a trade to the Angels, the most competitive option of the three (Cleveland, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh) that were most discussed?

The answer? The most common reason that popped up was that Burnett's wife has a fear of flying, so it speaks to reason that multiple trips from the family home in Maryland to Los Angeles would be an immensely stressful experience. Some bloggers deemed this a perfectly rational explanation. Others chose to immediately call the pitcher "foolish."

Now, I'm not going to expend an immense amount of energy espousing the virtues of Burnett. The man is not without his flaws, with attitude and work ethic typically maintaining a steady hold at the top of the list. And I don't know who he is at home as a husband or father, nor do I think that knowing that changes the context of this debate.

The idea that his vetoing a trade to Los Angeles somehow reveals the weakness of his inner warrior, somehow connects to his poor attitude or inexplicably reveals a deep desire to escape New York and hide in mediocrity is a pretty hefty leap.

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The Wednesday Lineup ushers you through the halfway point with weirdness, as a race car driver is burdened by a sports car and an abusive pop star is called out to fight. I'm sure there are other things tucked in here that are awesome, but those just stand out. Go figure.

Must Reads Of The Day
Danica Patrick with a truly first world problem: she's decided the Lamborghini she owns just isn't practical, and has switched to a slick SUV. Amusing stuff from Dan Wetzel. Yahoo! Sports >>

A man is openly challenging woman-beating (the lovely Rihanna, no less) Chris Brown to an MMA fight via Twitter, citing that Brown's punishment, handed down by the courts, wasn't severe enough. The Big Lead >>

Jeff Passan visits the Red Sox in Ft. Myers, and checks out how Bobby Valentine's managerial style is working with his new club. Yahoo! Sports >>

Thayer Evans lays into Kentucky head coach John Calipari and what Evans deems his underachieving ways. Fox Sports >>

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The Tuesday Lineup simultaneously distracts you from Linsanity while diving further into it. Don't ask how, just nod and move on. Also, Martell Webster had an immensely unintentionally hilarious moment.

Must Reads Of The Day
In front of a packed house that included Kate Upton, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Deron Williams reminded everyone that he's the best point guard around New York City. No word on whether Linsanity now has Deronophobia. Yahoo! Sports >>

Whether you agree with it or not, seriously tremendous take by Ty Duffy on why ESPN's suspension of Max Bretos was harsh. The Big Lead >>

The Forde Minutes are here, and they're led by Jack Blankenship's disturbing facial expression and a Kentucky team that is rolling at the right time. Yahoo! Sports >>

The greatest video from yesterday, without question: Martell Webster dunks when a three could tie the game with seconds left. Ball Don't Lie >>

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