Hot Reads: January 11, 2010

It’s been a busy weekend, giving us plenty to write about, and that’s even without contemplating the changes the Eagles will be making in the coming months.

As we sift through the fallout from Mark McGwire’s big announcement today, I managed to find two pieces of commentary that reflected my thoughts on the matter: Gene Wojciechowski’s call for honesty, and Rob Neyer’s view on McGwire’s Hall prospects.

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Jumping continents, we find resolution in the Togo men’s national soccer team tragedy. The Sparrow Hawks, which originally said they would withdraw from the Africa Cup of Nations, decided as  a team to play in memory of the deceased, before changing their mind again and jumping a plane out of Angola. There were reports that they were hoping to return to the tournament later on, but any chance of that has been squashed, as African soccer’s governing body, the CAF, has diqualified them from the tournament for missing their scheduled opening game. With Togo’s track record of recieving hospitality (or basic humanity) this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendants spit in the peanuts on the flight back.

Pete Carroll’s suprise departure from USC for the head coaching position with the Seattle Seahawks “came out of nowwhere“, which if history is any indicator, may be exactly where his coaching resume is also headed. But T.J. Simers of the LA Times isn’t seeing the shock, though one of the NCAA’s many investigators on campus may be able to help him out.

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In local news, the future of the late, great Harry Kalas’ restaurant, Harry the K’s, is up in the air, but Phillies’ fans have high hopes that an agreement will be reached (sorry, I had to.)

For some on-field scoop, the Aroldis Chapman signing in Cincinnati (yeah, shocked me too) is broken down by a Reds’ expert, and Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators fires a warning shot at laser pointer-toting Canadiens.

On the funny side of things, Tom Hicks, Jr., the son of beleaguered Liverpool F.C., Texas Rangers, and Dallas Stars owner Tom, Sr., had to step down from his position on the Board of daddy’s soccer team for sending a, shall we say, colorful email in response to a fan’s complaint. The Washington Post also gives us some giggles thanks to a compendium of Gilbert Arenas gun possession jokes.

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And finally, one of the craziest scenes you will ever see on a hockey rink comes from Russia’s Vityaz Chekhov and Avangard Omsk, the latter of which is Jaromir Jagr’s new team. Here’s another link to the video; just check out the lack of interest shown by both the goaltenders and referees.

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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