Posted: Thursday March 22, 2007 10:11AM; Updated: Thursday March 22, 2007 12:22PM
1. The New York Daily News is reporting that youthful Giants quarterback Eli Manning got engaged Tuesday night. Eli needed to move fast while there were still women available who hadn't been impregnated by Tom Brady.
2. With the Sweet 16 starting up Thursday night, everyone is talking about college hoops. Of course, such talk is cheap -- unless you're an NBA executive.
3. Boxing promoter Don King had a front-row seat at Pope Benedict XVI's general audience on Wednesday. Hmm, not a great day to be in the second row. "Sir, please, your hair ..."
4. The Giants will install 590 solar panels at AT&T Park. During the day, the panels will be powered by the sun's rays. During night games, they'll rely on the glare from Barry Bonds.
5. No crickets here: As hard as it might be to fathom here in the States, the most dramatic sporting event currently being conducted in the world might not be March Madness but the Cricket World Cup. In Tuesday's edition, for instance, we explored "Pedalogate," in which England's vice-captain was suspended for getting drunk, swiping a paddleboat (what the Brits call a "pedalo") in the middle of the night and capsizing, forcing a wee-hours rescue. That might not even rank in the top 10 of intriguing story lines coming out of the Caribbean. Consider that Ireland stunned cricket power Pakistan on, you guessed it, St. Patrick's Day. That eliminated Pakistan from advancing in the competition though it still has one game left in pool play. Hours after the Ireland game, while fans back in Pakistan burned effigies of the team captain, the Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, was found dead in his hotel room in Jamaica. By Tuesday night, Jamaican police ruled the death "suspicious" and launched an investigation. Murder? Suicide? Natural causes? Nobody knows at this point. One thing we can pass along, though, is this Wikipedia link forwarded by 10 Spot reader Vanessa of Spanish Fork, Utah, that sums up the scandals that have been labeled with the "-gate" suffix, like Pedalogate. Our favorite is "Shot in the Face Gate," for Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident.
6. Now Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez concedes that the grill he's hawking on eBay isn't really his. Rather, Ramirez was trying to use his celebrity to help a neighbor fetch a higher price. Hey, you know Manny -- always the team player.
7. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has angrily denied a newspaper story that he called University of Texas star Kevin Durant on behalf of Nike. Personally, I never believed it. The only reason Kobe calls is for the ball.
8. The University of Illinois' athletic director will not be disciplined for his sideline outbursts during the Illini's first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament, which included yelling substitution advice at coach Bruce Weber and calling a player an "idiot." Apparently the NCAA would only have a problem if the AD uttered a war whoop.
9. Reader feedback: Ahh yes, more satisfied 10 Spot customers. Some Syracuse fans wrote in to protest the crack in Tuesday's 10 Spot that attributed the NIT-record crowd of 26,572 on Monday night at the Carrier Dome to a relative lack of late-winter entertainment options in the city. My favorite rebuke was from Tom of Syracuse, who evidently attended (or attends) one of those spelling-optional elementary schools: "Its had to explain loyalty to a man that is so self conscious he feels the need to cover p is bald head with a had in publicity photos. Maybe for your next one you can cut out a basketball and have that on your head. Stick to covering useless football games and promoting undiserving players to all star games rather than bashing fans for appreciating their teams." Several others wrote in to quibble with item No. 10, which purported that the Rangers' ballpark would be renamed The House That Humidity Built. Their point can be summed up by Greg of Prosper, Texas: "Dallas is not very humid but very hot. Houston is humid you knucklehead." Well, it's certainly getting a little warmer in here, that's for sure.
10. Bordering on insanity: It's been a tough week for Belarus' national rowing team. Since the reservoirs in Belarus are still frozen, the nation's rowers accepted an invitation to train in nearby Transdniestria (which is within the borders of Moldova and may or may not be an independent country depending on whose side you take) for the upcoming world championships. Then on Wednesday, the Belarussian flotilla of eight boats inadvertently crossed into Ukrainian waters, whereupon it was detained by border guards. The 10 rowers now face charges in a Ukrainian court for entering the country illegally. We hope the prosecutor is a Seinfeld fan and asks, "Is Ukraine border game to you?"