Hot Reads: January 5th, 2010

A little bit of holiday hangover has the first edition of Hot Reads of the new year behind schedule, but it’ll be well worth the wait.

The sporting landscape is dominated by two major events this week, the first and most prominent being the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Texas on Thursday night. And while the coverage is far to ubiquitous for us to even begin to encapsulate, some of the most engrossing attention has focused, and deservedly so, on the Crimson Tide’s Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. His charisma has won over even the staunchest of Toby Gerhart supporters in the LA Times Bill Plaschke, and the relationship with his incarcerated father and former NFL-er Mark, Sr. gives Lenn Robbins of the New York Post a view of what’s going on inside the helmet.

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While Heisman finalists Ingram and Colt McCoy of Texas are dominating the hoopla, Ivan Maisel points out that Alabama’s quarterback Greg McElroy is not to be forgotten in the equation.

The other major happening on the sporting calendars this week is Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame Election day by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The Sporting News recaps the voting experience of a first-timer, while veteran and Philly baseball guru Jayson Stark defends his full ballot, and Toronto’s The Globe and Mail argues the case for the sometimes All-Star, sometimes pariah Roberto Alomar.

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Elsewhere, for all you Philly fans, Dan Levy of the Sporting News recalls the 2008 World Series as his moment of the decade. Landon Donovan is set to embark on his Premier League challenge on loan at Everton, while New York Jets superfan Fireman Ed isn’t ready to travel anywhere with Chad Ochocinco.

On the business side of things, ESPN is set to launch a new 3-D channel in 2010 (oh, the joke possibilities are so endless). The recession means the new Meadowlands stadium is looking at becoming known as, well, the New Meadowlands Stadium, and the impending free agency of some of MLB’s biggest stars means that either Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, or Prince Fielder will likely be hitting in front of Joe Mauer as the Yankees’ DH in the next two years. (I included this link toward the end just in case I vomited all over the keyboard. I’m not out of the woods on it just yet.)

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Finally, the story of American snowboarder Kevin Pearce is a tragic story that hopefully still has a happy ending in store. And while Tigers’ Hall Of Famer and beyond-description announcer Ernie Harwell’s fate at the hands of inoperable cancer may already be decided, it’s not stopping him from enriching the lives of others, as he has always done, with the time he has left.

-Matthew De George ’10

Hot Reads is a new weekly feature compiled by The Hawk sports staff that packages the best offerings from the world of sports into a tidy, 500-word package. It will appear every Monday.

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