Feuds of the Week is a collection of the week's most pressing matchups. The column also refuses to acknowledge the existence and success of any 3-D movie whose plot revolves around secret agent guinea pigs. American cinema has jumped the shark.
After the New York Times' report that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez appear on the 2003 confidential list of players who tested positive for steroids, one person is particularly shocked that Ortiz ever injected himself with a performance enhancing drug ... David Ortiz.
Ortiz has been quoted throughout the past few years, and as recently as February, suggesting that steroid users should be banned for, at the very least, an entire season. On one hand, David Ortiz makes a valid point about justice for violators, but on the other hand, I feel like David Ortiz might want to take it easy on David Ortiz, given what he has been through. Let's just hope David Ortiz didn't specifically have David Ortiz in mind, as an Ortiz/Ortiz feud is nothing but bad news for the Red Sox clubhouse, as well as the game of baseball itself.
The Verdict: You'd feel bad for Red Sox fans if they actually cared that two of their premiere players were juicing during their historic 2004 season. Luckily, fans of teams don't actually care about their players doing steroids. The plus side for the organization, though, is now they get to re-release a special edition DVD box set of the 2004 season with a new director's commentary by Victor Conte. Ca-ching!
In a complete lapse of judgment, McMackin, the University of Hawaii's second year head football coach, used a homosexual slur to describe a dance and cheer Notre Dame fans performed the night before the 2008 Hawaii Bowl.
He immediately caught himself and instead of realizing the error of his ways, he opted for the tactic of persuading reporters to leave that part out of their stories, even though the sole purpose of the reporters' presence is to write things down that are said at the podium.
The Verdict: If I were McMackin, I'd plea ignorance and claim that the word I used meant something different in a rare dialect of a native island language. If that doesn't work, I'd claim everything was a misunderstanding due to the time difference and proximity to the equator. In a related story, I should never give media training advice to anybody ever.
Earlier this week, Shaquille O'Neal wondered aloud on a radio show (and later, Twitter) if he could stroll up to the security gate of the White House and be welcomed as an unsolicited guest. Well, he tried doing it ... and failed.
White House security, in doing their job, simply didn't let him in without an invitation. Like they're supposed to do. Because it's their job.
The Verdict: You can never tell with The Big Aristotle what's genuine and what's a goof, so it's a difficult call here. He's clearly enjoys testing his own celebrity, and I'm not sure I'd do anything differently if I were a beloved larger-than-life personality. In the end, this episode hurts his rep far less than any instance in which he drops the word "vasectomy" mid-freestyle.
With the news that Brett Favre will officially remain retired (for now), the long national nightmare of Favre's inconsequential decision to return to the NFL is officially over (for now).
It seems that Minnesota will press forward with the current quarterbacks on their roster, and Favre will press forward with seven-on-sevens on a high school field as he gets ready for the inevitable decision of whether or not he will appear on Pros vs Joes.
The Verdict: It is still yet to be decided whether Favre will appear on the Pro team or the Joe team during the tapings. Stay tuned, Rachel Nichols has the story at 11.
During the run-up to the MLB's free agency deadline, three National League teams seem to be mentioned more than any others:
The Phillies improved their pitching staff dramatically with the addition of last year's AL Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee, and less dramatically with the free agent signing of whatever it is that's left of the fumes in the Pedro Martinez tank.
The Dodgers bolstered their already-solid bullpen by acquiring Baltimore closer George Sherrill, but failed (so far) to land any sort of big fish to compete against the teams that have won the last two World Series championships.
The Cardinals, when healthy, have a murderer's row of Albert Pujols and myriad of other guys who will ultimately break Brad Lidge's once-again fragile psyche.
The Verdict: All three teams hit, pitch, and play defense to Tom Emanski's lofty standards. They have all recently played into October. Management for all three teams has looked to one-up other contenders. It was a hard decision, but only one team took the initiative to find enough fabric to put together baseball pants for Kim Kardashian to throw out the first pitch in. This is your year, Dodger fans.
UCLA, citing safety concerns, has decided to "call off" the campus run that students make in their underwear during finals time three times per year.
Supposedly, the event was "marred by fights, vandalism, and alcohol-related problems," by some of the nearly 10,000 participants. While it appears to be a pretty big setback to a healthy number of undie-loving Bruins, unofficial underwear runs are all but inevitable.
The Verdict: Let them run. Sure, there will always be incidents, but other than second banana college football status and the honor of being the alma mater of Star Trek's George Takei, what does UCLA truly have? Awkward, quasi-naked night galloping, that's what!
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 emailed here firstname.lastname@example.org..