Morning Jolt: August 9, 2011

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Tuesday, August 9

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Howard calls out Amway Center crowds

Nice building, the Amway Center, but Dwight Howard sympathized with a fan who reportedly fired off the following note on Twitter: "we sell out the Orena and 85% r just there to look good until the playoffs." Howard agreed, expressing concern about the Amway Center crowd. Howard wrote back, "that upsets me cuz I don't wait till the playoffs to play hard. I give y'all my best everynite. Y becuz some people don't get a chance to be at everygame. And I want them to always remember the nite they saw me play. So. I play for y'all. I feed off the fans. ESP at home. It's a different atmosphere in the playoffs at the arena. That same atmosphere should be during the season." (Orlando Sentinel)Comment

Yes, the Dodgers are talking playoffs

James Loney believes, really believes in the Dodgers playoff chances, and he may not be alone. There's no question every reporter and columnist in town is pulling for the Dodgers and their amazing comeback. The Lakers and Clippers are locked out, so go, Dodgers, go. "Realistically," [Don Mattingly] says somewhat unrealistically, "we've got to go out now and win four out of five all the time. If we can do that over a period of time and creep a little bit, you never know." Mattingly knows what it takes, all right. He played for the Yankees for 14 seasons, and in that time the Yankees went to the playoffs once. ... Mattingly's goal now, he says, "is to win every day." The Dodgers lost Monday night. (Los Angeles Times)Comment

Winning fans is last on Orton's list

Tim Tebow certainly comes from a different angle. Hey, Broncomaniacs. Did you get the message? Kyle Orton is glad you aren't picking the team's starting quarterback. "My last goal playing quarterback is to win over the fans," Orton said Monday. "That's my last goal." Orton is a solid NFL quarterback. ... But telling fans in a sports-crazy town they don't count for much? Not a wise move. In this quarterback competition, touchdown passes and interceptions won't be all that's thrown. There's going to be some mudslinging. Knowing the people want [Tebow], Orton must trust and pray the race for the No. 1 quarterback in Denver will be a football competition rather than a popularity contest. "Thank God," Orton said, "the people don't make the decisions." (The Denver Post)Comment

Must-See Photo

Minnesota Vikings' Cedric Griffin stops to sign autographs for fans after the morning practice in Mankato, Minn. (Landov)

Must-See Video

The best of Ricky Williams, who signed a two-year deal with the Ravens yesterday.

Game To Watch

Brewers at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m., ET

  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. St Louis Cardinals

SI Vault: More Wayne Gretzky

This Day in Sports

  • 1936 -- Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics, becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympics.
  • 1988 -- Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers is traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
  • 2000 -- Former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin was arrested on a Class B misdemeanor of possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.