Feuds of the Week

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Usually, the NBA draft is fun. Annual highlights are always the crazy suits, nutty family and entourage reactions, grainy, haphazardly shot highlight videos, awkward postdraft interviews and, well, more crazy suits. Not only did this year's draft seem more boring, but I'm not sure I understood half the things said during the broadcast.

Is a "junkyard dog" a good thing? Why do I always start seeing spots when Dickie V starts yelling via satellite? Can I start adding "-ability" to any verb in a real-life situation and get away with it? Why doesn't anybody question why a B-Teamer from a Spanish club (Christian Eyenga) was just drafted into the NBA?

The Verdict: There's not much I can do to improve my viewer experience short of watching it on mute or making an effort to stay up to date on every descriptive basketball term. Hey, at least my tremendous wingspan nicely complements my excellent mute-ability.

With Wednesday's victory over Spain, American soccer now has a signature win going into both Sunday's Confederations Cup final against Brazil as well as next year's World Cup.

Even if the U.S. can replicate the frenetic pace and sound defense, it likely won't be enough against Kaká and Brazil. But fear not, futból fans, at least it's exciting to see which borderline foul gets an American red-carded. Can't have an even playing field and let those vile Americans compete, can we? That'd be ridiculous!! This is soccer, people!!

The Verdict: Brazil wins, but America puts a little fear into the Brazilians and, for that matter, the rest of the world. Unfortunately for soccer, though, Stephen Colbert is still probably spot-on about the sport.

Lidge, who has been less than stellar in 2009 (after a perfect '08), was activated from the DL on Thursday. He reclaims the closer role after Ryan Madson did his very best Brad Lidge impersonation (not a good thing) while filling in the last couple of weeks.

It's hard to know if the rest the Phillies gave Lidge's inflamed right knee will do much to turn around the ninth inning, but if the team has any hope of repeating, Lidge will need to immediately ditch his Boeing-like ERA of 7.27.

The Verdict: The knee has been an issue all year. The head was a problem before last year. Lidge can become dominant again if he does something extreme to shake things up. My suggestion: Pull a Nuke LaLoosh and start breathing through your eyes mid-windup. Seriously, there's so much you can learn while watching a movie of Bull Durham's caliber.

Making fun the of the NL West was fun while it lasted, wasn't it? Sure, seeing the Giants attempt to surround their former cyborg left fielder with Double A talent was always good for laugh. And, hey, the Rockies sure were wacky losing all those 9-8 games. Then, the Giants had to go ahead and build around young, dominant pitching and the Rockies decided to start hitting and protecting leads, thus ruining all that was hilarious about the NL West.

The Dodgers still probably run away with the division, but if the Giants' pitchers stay healthy and limit their dubious upper-back tats, they can hang around atop the wild-card standings.

The Verdict: The West stays the best in the National League, mostly due to the inevitable Mets collapse and Philly's questionable bullpen. Don't count out the NL Central and Milwaukee, though -- Yovani Gallardois absolutely filthy.

Now that Cleveland appears to be done patching a sinking battlecruiser with Scotch tape and Orlando has traded away promising young talent for an aging, moody, all-or-nothing over-shooter, we can now make an early judgement of the future of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Cleveland becomes slower and less athletic, but gains an occasionally dominant presence inside with playoff experience. Orlando gets a guy who can occasionally jump over Europeans.

The Verdict: It seemed like the Magic were in pretty good shape without having to make a big trade. If Dwight Howard had any post moves and Rashard Lewis didn't disappear before Game 4 of the Finals, the Magic are in it. The Shaqaliers take the early lead.

The University of Oregon and Nike unveiled the Ducks' new uniforms for 2009 on Wednesday. While they're still drastically different than your more traditional college football threads, the players and designers toned down the look a little, replacing the shiny shoulder diamond plating with a razored wing look.

It's unclear whether the uniforms (with carbon fiber whatnot and titanium weighting) will actually play lighter and faster than other uniforms (as Nike claims), but one thing is clear: If they schedule a home-and-home with Zorgon A&M, they'll be outfitted appropriately.

The Verdict: As a proud alumnus, I'm constantly defensive, even if some of the combinations are pretty wretched. The new look is an improvement, and seems to do the job at hand -- attracting the attention of out-of-state high school players to a state without that much local talent. Furthermore, I'm positive that I'll talk myself into the razor wings by September.

The Verdict: C'mon, this isn't a fair fight.

Dan Rubenstein hosts and produces the SI Tour Guy video series for SI.com and co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast with SI.com's Ty Hildenbrandt. He can be e-mailed here.