Dan Haren vs. Tim Lincecum
This one's tough. The two best pitchers in baseball (in our book) are both in the NL West, both dominated at West Coast colleges and both have dubious hair situations. Seriously, look at them, they could wander into Bonnaroo and everyone would just assume they were roadies for the Kings of Leon.
Hair choices aside, it should be an exciting summer and fall of the aces dueling for the NL Cy Young award. Haren needs to battle his recent past of second-half fades, while Lincecum needs to continue to prove that he can hold up in only his second full season.
The verdict: The nod goes to the Giants' ace. Let's just hope he's not superstitious about letting his hair grow until he stops mowing down everything in sight. Nobody wants to show up at AT&T Park to the sight of Wayne Campbell wearing No. 55 and throwing a filthy cut fastball. OK, I sort of do.
Richard Gasquet vs. Poisonous Miami Club Girls
Gasquet, No. 32 in the ATP rankings, can resume his career after an International Tennis Federation panel ruled that his positive drug test was the result of the Frenchman kissing a woman who had traces of cocaine on her lips. To the ITF's credit, it came to a fair ruling by looking at the evidence and letting logic into the equation.
It's certainly one of the most intriguing reasons for a failed drug test since Elaine Benes couldn't go to Africa because of the levels of opium in her poppy-seed muffins.
The verdict: Somewhere, Martina Hingis just said, "Uhh, me too!" In any case, the lesson here is simple: Do whatever you can to avoid the allure of Cokey McSweetLips.
Lamar Odom vs. The Lakers
The Lakers can't seem to come to a contract agreement with the power forward, the sixth man on last season's title-winning team. It's a strange situation, as the Lakers don't have an alternative, while Miami, the only other team Odom appears to be considering, is a significant downgrade from the reigning champs.
If the Candy Man ends up signing with the Heat, I officially congratulate the agents of Odom and Trevor Ariza for diligently taking their clients out of the winning spotlight for identical money. Just a bang-up job, boys!
The verdict: If Odom ends up with the Heat, both parties technically would lose. While many other title contenders have improved, the Lakers would take a step back. Conversely, you'd be able to catch Odom playing out the remainder of his prime in the first and second rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Yawn. My advice: If you wind up in Miami, Lamar, stay away from the club girls -- they're up to no good.
Urban Meyer vs. Notre Dame
Another week, another chance for Florida's Meyer to deny any and all interest in someday accepting the head-coaching position at Notre Dame. This time, Meyer addressed it simply by saying, "I'm not going to Notre Dame. Ever." This, from a football coach, really means he either is or isn't. The bigger question, though, is why would he go?
He'd be leaving a school where he's piling up the championships and a state where you can't swing a cat without hitting a five-star recruit. If he made the move to South Bend, he'd be leaving behind everything that is great about college football for everything that was great.
The verdict: Other than the love and adoration of both Tom Hammond and Tom Lemming (and anyone else named Tom), I'd say there isn't much of a case for Notre Dame. The Irish will be fine without him. After all, somebody needs to beat up on Navy and Syracuse. Theoretically.
Lance Armstrong vs. Alberto Contador
Even though not too many of us are particularly familiar with the sport of cycling, everyone can get on board with a good ol'-fashioned showdown between an old legend and the boy wonder. Armstrong, with the always important Ben Stiller moral support quotient, is two seconds behind Astana teammate Contador and eight off of the lead.
After early tensions arose within the team over who would fill the role of alpha dog, Contador is supposedly the unquestioned leader of Astana. Armstrong remains in the unenviable position of having to consider both his team responsibilities and how close he is to the lead.
The verdict: Without an in-depth knowledge of the team politics of cycling, I'll go with the best cyclist ever in this one. From everything that I've seen and read, the matchup will be settled in the Alps. It's not often you can say things like, "Let's settle this ... IN THE ALPS!!" So here's to hoping Derek Zoolander gets in Contador's face and openly challenges the Spaniard with that very phrase.
Antoine Walker vs. The House
After making upward of $100 million in his NBA career, Walker now finds himself in debt for more than $800,000 to Las Vegas casinos. A warrant was issued after Walker issued bad checks and he was eventually arrested ... here it comes ... at a casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nev.!
You'd think that Walker would be content in knowing he had pulled one over on the NBA by getting paid tens of millions of dollars to chuck up one ill-advised three after another, but apparently, it wasn't close to being enough.
The verdict: The House always wins. Always.
The ESPYs vs. The Emmys
It's been a good week if you're a fan of awards shows: The ESPY Awards taped Wednesday night (airing Sunday night) and the nominees were announced Thursday for the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.
To be honest, the Emmys mean less and less each year (Entourage! Really!) and I've never really known how to react to the ESPYs since I found out that Norm MacDonalddoesn't host every year.
The verdict: Since both shows boil down to fantastically successful people patting themselves on the back, I'll call it a draw. The real winner here is Manu Ginobili, who could arguably be the first person to take home trophies at both ceremonies in the same year.