1. James Andrew Miller, who wrote the book on ESPN, is the guest on this week's Off The Board podcast. Miller expands on his belief that former ESPN President John Skipper was fired from ESPN and did not leave his job because of the substance addiction that he cited in his statement.
When asked if Skipper was pushed out by Disney, Miller said, "I think that's a fair characterization."
Miller later said, "I think that the idea that he left his job because of that [substance addiction], it just don't pass the smell test with me." ... "I don't believe he left on his on volition."
Skipper made the shocking announcement on Dec. 18. One of the many reasons people were taken aback by the news was that it was reported on Nov. 14 that he has inked a new deal with ESPN. However, Miller told Off The Board that Skipper had in fact re-signed with the World Wide Leader in the spring.
Many people have speculated that Skipper was left for a reason other than substance addiction but Miller says no. "I do not believe there is some lurking scandal out there about John Skipper," Miller says on the podcast.
Miller also discusses ESPN's Monday Night Football problem, the worst time in ESPN history and much more.
2. Apparently NFL contract negotiations between front offices and agents go to some deep, dark places.
3. Rockets guard Chris Paul unloaded on ref Scott Foster after Foster hit him with a technical during last night's game.
4. Lane Kiffin took to Twitter this morning to call the NCAA rankings a joke and retweet Taylor Swift.
5. Free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish seems like a reliable source for Yu Darvish rumors.
6. Some people criticized Browns fans for holding a parade to celebrate the team's 0-16 season, but at the end of the day, the parade was a plus.
7. Fifteen minute YouTube videos are usually a huge no-no, but when it's a compilation of news anchors losing it on the air and not being able to control their laughter, it's worth posting.
Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here. And check out Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board."
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BONUS ITEM: If the Patriots and Steelers meet in the AFC Championship game, New England would open as 5.5 point favorites.