The Climate is a weekly look at what's good and what's not so good in the world of sports. Since last weekend's Pacquiao/Hatton fight was about as exciting as Sutherland/Rainford I, I've decided to make current matchups the theme of this week's Climate, with the hopes that at least one of these matchups turns out to be slightly more entertaining than Saturday night's.

Ian Kinsler vs. White Leather and Threaded Red Stitching

He's playing for the Rangers, so he may not get his due on the national level, but IAN KINSLER IS ABSOLUTELY KILLING IT (especially at home). Sunday night, he went yard, bringing his numbers up to .337 (.389 OBP), nine homers, 25 RBIs, 23 runs, seven SBs and a .991 fielding percentage.

BCS vs. Congress

After Friday, the day Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) thoroughly dressed down ACC commissioner John Swofford about the existence of the BCS, four things were made abundantly clear:

1. Even if he did at one point compare it to communism, Barton knows what he's talking about when addressing the inconsistencies of the BCS.

2. Swofford stood up for a system that is universally acknowledged to be a money grab. Even by Swofford.

3. It's good to hear from Utah and Boise State, as they've been repeatedly cheated out of a lot of money (and possibly titles), but it would've been nice to see representatives from more powerful schools joining the chorus.

4. This isn't anywhere near over, so stay tuned in the coming weeks.

Not that it'll do anything, but somebody should make a documentary tearing down the BCS by badgering important college football figures for interviews. Clearly the obvious option here is Kayvon of KayvonTV, provided that the BCS harumph-harumphers do all of their business outside of Toronto's luxury hotels. It could happen.

Alex Rodriguez vs. Pectoral Gravity

A-Rod, the book by Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts that details Alex Rodriguez's possible steroid use in high school and with the Yankees, comes out Monday and should do huge business this week. If you read or watch anything, the story has become completely unavoidable, which to some could grow tiresome. Tiresome, of course, until you find out about a loving clubhouse nickname that refers to some of Rodriguez's allegedly feminine side effects that may or may not be in the neighborhood of the term "Witch Grits." Also, his admitted use of steroids while with the Rangers and its alleged consequences means he becomes both the stereotypical male and female cast member of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Game-changer.

Kobe Bryant vs. Ron Artest

Is this matchup not what's great about the playoffs? The most complete offensive player takes on the best on-ball defender for a back and forth that will last four to seven games. In addition, the fact that they both relish getting in each other's face should make for excellent entertainment, especially since Yao Ming has emerged gloriously -- both on the court in the first round, and as Artest's personal laugh track. What's not to love?

The University of Oregon Ultimate Frisbee Team vs. Pants

Because of its refusal to wear pants, the nationally ranked Eugene Gentlemen's Organization (EGO) has been barred from competing in both the regionals and the upcoming national tournament. As both an Oregon alumnus and simply a person who is staunchly anti-pant, I don't think I'm overstating the stance EGO has taken by comparing it to the struggle and eventual social accomplishments of Mahatma Gandhi. Think about it.

Brett Favre's Retirement vs. the Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have said that soon they're willing to have conversations regarding Favre and the team's future. If there's any place that Fav-reh should make his new home, Minnesota actually makes sense. I'm pretty sure the Twin Cities have the coldest climate (hey-o!) of any NFL city, so when he presumably retires for the last time, maybe the city can send him out Eskimo-style on ice floe in the land of a thousand frozen lakes. This story has legs.

Lakers Fans vs. Stadium Noise and Support

With the NBA playoffs entering the second round this week, emotions run high, tension becomes palpable in packed arenas and Lakers fans, well, politely send Blackberry messages to their friends as they flip $300 haircuts out of their eyes. Keep in mind I'm a big Lakers fan and know fully well that L.A. has fantastic, passionate fans sitting in the upper level of Staples Center (that's closer to Venice Beach than center court), but really, if you're Aaron Brooks or Shane Battier taking a big shot this week, do you even worry about any psycho fans affecting your composure?

The Dodgers vs. Staying Undefeated at Home This Week

At first glance, this week's games all look winnable (the Diamondbacks followed by the Nationals), but you failed to consider the two words that have been synonymous with "streak buster" since the dawn of time (or at least 2003, and then 2006-present) -- "Jeff" followed by "Weaver." It ends Tuesday. Don't say I didn't warn you.

J.J. Redick vs. NBA fans

The most hated graduate of the most hated college basketball program has complained that fans' jabs are failing to impress. The Orlando guard claims he's heard "nothing remotely creative or funny," and hopes he'll hear more creative taunts now that he'll get some playing time in Round 2 of the playoffs. As much fun as thinking of ways to get under the skin of the Magic's ninth man is, random NBA fans seem to be thinking about things like, "Wow, Shelden Williams is averaging fewer points (4.1) than his pick number in the NBA draft (5) -- totally worth it for Mike Bibby!" or "In this economy, these insanely expensive Knicks tickets are totally worth it to watch Nate Robinson convince himself he has zero teammates!" Sorry, J.J., maybe next time.

Denise Richards vs. Human Ears

It appears that the Cubs have a list of interesting, likable celebrities and simply got to the end, crossed off the final name and promptly invited the ever-deplorable Ms. Richards to come screech Take Me Out to the Ballgame for what seems like an eternity. The only good part of the story is that when she was introduced, nobody really knew who she was, so they had to add, "You know ... the one from the pool scene in Wild Things who wasn't also in Scream," and then a collective "Ohhhhh" echoed throughout the crowd. True story.

Dan Rubenstein hosts and produces the SI Tour Guy video series for and co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast with's Ty Hildenbrandt. Feel free to mock his lack of followers on Twitter.

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