August 07, 2009

Feuds of the Week is a collection of the week's most pressing matchups. Not included this week: GI Joe vs My $10. Sorry Dennis Quaid, maybe next time.

Michael Crabtree vs. A Season on the Couch

Crabtree, the 49ers' first-round pick, has indicated that he's fully willing to sit out the 2009 season if he doesn't receive an appropriate rookie contract -- one based on where he feels he should've been drafted, not where he ended up. You indeed read that correctly. Holdouts are obviously quite common, but holding out over mock-draft money? That's rare.

The plan would be to sit out the season and reenter the draft in 2010. The hope is that another team covets him and pays top dollar not only for receivers with sure hands and precise route-running skills but also ones who have amassed the most XBox Live time.

The Verdict: There's no way Crabtree sits. Not only does it hurt whatever he perceives his 2010 draft position to be, but it also limits the time that an eventually signed Crabtree has to learn the 49ers' offensive system of blocking for Frank Gore and getting consistently overthrown.

Prince Fielder vs. The Dodgers' Clubhouse

After Tuesday night's game in which Fielder was drilled by Guillermo Mota in the ninth inning of a 17-3 blowout, Fielder charged the Dodgers' clubhouse in looking to pick a fight with Mota (and perhaps whoever else stood in his way).

At the very least, you need to admire the bravado of a player looking to get into it with a player while he's among all of his teammates. It's quite impressive.

The Verdict: As much as I subscribe to the rule of thumb that gives the advantage in a fight to the craziest person involved, I'll take the group strength of the Dodgers' clubhouse here. OK, everyone except Jason Schmidt.

Lou Holtz vs. Congress

Briefly, it looked like Holtz, the longtime college football coach and TV analyst, was going to be running for a seat in Congress, representing Florida's 24th District. The speculation didn't last long, as Holtz announced Thursday that he wouldn't be seeking political office in the near future.

Congress would've been an ideal place for Holtz -- if you've seen him debate Mark May in front of Rece Davis' podium, you know that he refuses to back down when challenged and will always debate in a thoughtful, focused manner. Wow, could you imagine if I meant any of that last sentence?

The Verdict: As far as I can tell, it's a disappointing story for everyone involved: ESPN viewers continue to be deprived of sensical analysis, Holtz doesn't get to pursue his political aspirations, and I don't get to roll out any of my 73 Lou Holtz jokes I constantly have at the ready. I'm so lost.

John Smoltz vs. Major League Hitters

Smoltz, after getting shelled again Thursday in New York, has a 8.33 ERA in eight starts this season. The Yankees lit him up for eight runs on nine hits in a little over three innings.

There comes a time for every great athlete in which it's clear that his time is up. In the past year, it's happened to a number of the greats: Maddux, Favre, even Mutumbo. I, for one, will be sad to see Smoltz go. And so will Mark Teixeira. And Melky Cabrera. And Jorge Posada. And Johnny Damon.

The Verdict: Well, I can now say with pretty good authority that this guy was out of his mind a few weeks ago. Oops.

Tiger Woods vs. Bodily Functions

Of all the stories I've heard over the years that involve legendary golfers and um, health noises, the story of Woods allegedly letting one go during the Buick Open is among the best.

While Woods and his camp deny the incident, once you see the video of Woods giggling after the purported noise, one must enforce the "whoever smelt it, dealt it" law. And yes, I'm familiar with the "whoever said the rhyme, did the crime" addendum, but I stand by my interpretation of the law.

The Verdict: It happened. I have no proof of this beyond the original telecast, but I've decided that from this point on, I'm believing every story that points to a beloved star athlete ripping one mid-competition. Sometimes, you just have to take a stand.

Screech Powers vs. Zach, Kelly, Jesse, A.C. and Lisa

Apparently the cast of Saved by the Bell reunited for People magazine, but Dustin Diamond, aka Screech Powers, was left out of the reunion for his supposed tell-all book about the series. The book, which promises to unearth the skeletons of the young cast, comes on the heels of Diamond inexplicably releasing a sex tape called Screeched a couple of years ago.

There's no real argument to be made for Diamond here. Shouldn't the sex tape be the absolute last resort? What kind of tell-all book comes after the sex tape? Without having seen the tape, I'm assuming more than enough was told in that footage than can ever be conveyed by the printed word.

The Verdict: As someone who would've taken a bullet for Kelly Kapowski way back when, I'm siding with the majority of the cast here. That said, I still don't trust Preppy, A.C. or any of those jerks from Valley High.

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. He can e-mailed here.

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