He lives in federal prison, his prodigious gifts withering because he couldn't resist the underground culture of violence. He is a criminal. He is a victim. He is a star. Sometime next summer, if all goes according to the desires of those who know him best, he'll obtain his release and re-enter society committed to a single goal. Michael Vick will be motivated to prove he's not the monster you think he is. His vehicle to redemption is football. It was his ticket to celebrity and infamy; it can be his path to salvation. Once NFL commissioner Roger Goodell allows Vick to return to the league, teams are certain to start jockeying for the services of the quarterback, who could be available before the 2009 season. I can't think of a good reason why the Raiders wouldn't want to get in on the action. I suspect Al Davis feels the same way, given his history of offering second chances, his fixation with former No. 1 draft picks and his obsession with athletes who run like cheetahs. Vick would add a dynamic alternative to JaMarcus Russell, Oakland's presumed quarterback of the future. The job should be Russell's to have for as long as he can keep it. He represents a massive investment, and he possesses the raw tools to be outstanding. But Vick, who has been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40, brings an entirely different approach. He was a quarterback in 2004, when he signed a 10-year, $130 million deal - the NFL's richest. Should he return, he'll likely be a hybrid, lining up at quarterback or running back or wide receiver.(Contra Costa Times) Comment
The Red Sox may still have a shot at Mark Teixeira. While the Angels have made signing him their No. 1 priority and Teixeira himself would love to stay there, the problem is that the Angels' management style is to go in hard and get it done quickly, while agent Scott Boras would rather allow the market to develop and get other teams involved. For that reason, the Red Sox have a chance. (Boston Globe) Comment
The Irish lineup for the Boston College game could be different than the one that took the field against Pittsburgh, and it will have nothing to do with injury. Certain starters may be on notice. "There will be some frontline players that will definitely be challenged this week," Charlie Weis said. "I'm not getting into particulars. If they don't know right now, which they should, they will certainly know (Monday)." One player possibly climbing the ladder? Freshman cornerback Robert Blanton. After the loss on Saturday, Golden Tate opined that the Irish got "too comfortable" and therefore couldn't finish off the Panthers despite a two-touchdown halftime lead. Weis did not appreciate Tate's candor, for one. In an unrelated discourse about second-half offensive issues, the Irish also specifically cited an obvious mental error by Tate -- without mentioning his name. Now, it's Enter: The Censor. "Let's just say I'll talk with Golden and he won't be saying that anymore," Weis said. "Just like Michael Floyd was lateraling the ball in the North Carolina game." (Chicago Tribune) Comment
McLaren-Mercedes' Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, celebrates after he secured the 2008 Formula One world drivers' championship title by finishing fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. Hamilton, 23, is the youngest F1 champion ever. (Photo courtesy of AP)
1899 -- James J. Jeffries wins a 25-round fight against Tom Sharkey to retain his heavyweight title. 1962 -- Wilt Chamberlain of the Warriors scores 72 points in a game against the Lakers. 1989 -- In their first NBA game, the Minnesota Timberwolves lose to the Seattle SuperSonics 106-94. 1991 -- Ayrton Senna wins the shortest Formula One race ever (17 laps).
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