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danGilbert.jpgCleveland, as you may have heard, lost a basketball player Thursday night. But the city has something to fill the hole in its collective hear created by LeBron James departure to the Miami Heat via free agency - a burning hatred.

And outside of the fans turning out to burn James No. 23 jersey in the streets, perhaps no other Clevelander sums up passionate dislike more that Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of James' now former hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, Gilbert wants to leave nothing to chance in letting his former star and the city that worshiped him know where he stands on the issue, going so far as to issue an open letter to the universe declaring his distaste for King James. Some highlights:

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

...

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

...

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE"

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch. ...

OK, so, bitter much, Dan? Admittedly, though, understandably. But now you have a big promise to deliver on. Yes, you have some money to spread. Quite a bit, actually. But the aisles are starting to get a little bare in the free agent store.

But you do have spirit. And a city filled with the desire the see your promise come true, as much for spite as team and civic pride, but that counts, too.

Good luck, Cleveland. Now you just have to back up the talk.

APTOPIX NFC Championship Fo.jpg

The Watch is officially on. Brett Favre is doing his now annual retirement song and dance.

Favre, who spent the NFC Championship game getting pounded into the turf courtesy of the Super Bowl-bound New Orleans Saints, tells ESPN's Ed Werder he's leaning toward ending his career. Again. For now.

In fact, the 40-year-old, who said after his valiant, but losing effort in the Louisiana Superdome Sunday night that he felt more like 49, said he's "highly unlikely" to come back. If true - and until the middle of training camp, nothing is certain - Favre will end a brilliant career on an interception at the end of regulation.

Of course, the man's probably too beat up to get into his Wranglers by himself, so this declaration may end up meaning very little, as Favre retirement announcements often do. So Vikings owner Zygi Wilf would be well-advised to keep the corporate jet available and coach Brad Childress should have his Escalade gassed up for the trip to the airport.

And all NFL fans need to come to grips with the beginning of the Favre Watch season, which runs through mid-summer. Maybe we can make a drinking game out of it or something.

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The blast chamber of the Internet is buzzing over a barely perceptible slip of the tongue that Mike & Mike in the Morning co-host Mike Greenberg made Monday morning.

The popular ESPN sports talk show with Mike Golic kicked off with an uncomfortable mistake coming out of a commercial break. Greenberg seems to say "Martin Luther Coon, Jr." before quickly correcting to "King, Jr." The reaction has been everything from "racist!" to "tongue-tied." And there seems to be a rising call for Greenberg to address the slip.

Is this poorly timed much ado about nothing? Does Greenberg owe an explanation, or apology even? Or do you think it was an intentional racial jibe?

UPDATE: Reaction from Greenberg

Greenberg has released the following statement, clarifying the accidental nature about his comment:

I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner.

And I'm sorry that my talking too fast - and slurring my words - might have given people who don't know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me.

I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about.

I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I'm very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression.

Cubs Jenkins Maddux basebal.jpg

Greg Maddux is a Cub again. No, he won't be pitching, but he will be helping general manager Jim Hendry figure out what to do with his pitchers.

Maddux is about to be announced as a special assistant to Hendry, helping the embattled GM with player development. Maddux will be a season-long presence for player evaluation.

Maddux's will help Spring Training instruction for, as well as scouting during the season.

Maddux will reportedly be available anytime to Hendry during the season to evaluate minor-leagues and give the GM input on trades, free agent signeings and other player moves.

Maddux has always been touted as one of the smartest players in the game and his impact on young pitchers is second-to-none. But does he have enough mojo to turn the Cubs system around?

Gun-slinging quarterback Jay Cutler has had a tough year. No doubt about it.

But for one shining moment in a frozen game under the lights of a national Monday Night Football stage, the maligned Bears QB of the future could say he out-dueled the king of the gun-slingers, Brett Favre, in the most entertaining game the Chicago squad played in a dismal 2009 season.

Following what is now an almost predictable Adrian Peterson fumble in overtime, Cutler wasted no time making the Vikings pay. He hit a streaking Devin Aromashodu down the sideline for a quick-strike touchdown to cap a 36-30 victory.

Who knows what this victory means in the long run - other than a thorn-in-the-playoff-seeding-side of Minnesota. In fact, maybe it's best not to think about all the baggage waiting to be unloaded at season's end and simply live in this very un-Bear-like moment of victory. Just ask Jay:

"It's good for the team, it's good for the morale of going out there and putting up points and answering the bell, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime when you have to do it," Cutler said.

Auburn Tennessee Andrews Fo.jpg

The Erin Andrews peephole case against Michael Barrett has taken another turn for the weird. The FBI served warrants to Google and Yahoo on Wednesday over what may be yet another naked woman video, possibly on a Flickr account of Barrett's.

One of the items they want Yahoo to turn over is a video of another naked woman that was posted in June to Flickr.com by a user.

Authorities believe the Flickr account belongs to 48-year-old Michael Barrett, who pleaded not guilty last month to interstate stalking. Flickr is owned by Yahoo.

Barrett pleaded guilty in November to charges of interstate stalking over the now infamous hotel room nude scene.

LeGarrette Blount had plenty to say with his mouth heading into Thursday night's Pac-10, WAC top-20 tilt between the 16th-ranked Ducks and No. 14 Boise St. Broncos.

By the end of the game, a 19-8 win for Boise State, Blount was talking with his fists and being dragged off the field by coaches and cops. And for his troubles, University of Oregon suspended the talented back for the remainder of the season, including any bowl game the Ducks might play in.

blount punch.jpgBlount will, however get to keep his scholarship.

University president Richard Lariviere called Blount's behavior "reprehensible."

"We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon's loyal fans expect and deserve better," Lariviere said in a statement. "The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player's behavior."

Blount, who's own coaches say he has a lot of maturing to do and was suspended once in pre-season practice already, put the key quote on the bulletin board before Thursday night's rematch of the teams, saying Oregon owed Boise State an "ass-whoopin' " after the Ducks 37-32 upset loss last season at Oregon. Unfortunately for Blount, he forgot to open up his can during the game in the 19-8 loss. The closest he came to the end zone was in scoring four total points - two for Boise State in a safety and two for Oregon in a 2-point conversion. This in a game which saw the high-powered Duck offense manage zero first-half first downs and only 5:50 minutes of possession.

But it was after the game that Blount finally decided to start the whoopin'.

Following what appeared to be a quick taunt, Blount nailed sophomore defensive end Byron Hout with a cheap-shot right hand, caught by ESPN cameras. Apparently not satisfied with the impending suspension that will draw, he then started to go nuts on Boise State fans on the way off the field, forcing Oregon coaches and police to forcibly remove him.

steve-bartman-espn-documentary.jpgHe just won't go away, no matter how much Cubs fans want him to.

Steve Bartman and his active hands will be the subject of an hour-long documentary on ESPN. The film will be directed by Alex Gibney, who drew rave reviews for his documentary on Enron.

The project will attempt to answer the question: Can Bartman ever forgive Chicago? Prepare to be made to feel bad about yourself.

The project does not yet have a title.

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Erin Andrews, apparently performing a job few Webhead sports nerds knew she had.

Kyle and Kevin are the usual Erin Andrews documentary crew here at Sports Pros(e). And, frankly, their notable absence during the biggest news to break on the Erin Andrews Watch, the fact that the lovely and talented ESPN reporter has been filmed in nefarious fashion fresh out of the shower in her hotel room, is a bit suspicious.

When Erin is picked on, they're here to step up and defend her honor.

When Erin is physically abused on the diamond, they're here to sooth.

And when Erin steps onto the red carpet, K & K are on hand to approve of her fashion acumen.

Now she comes dangerously close to blowing up the Internet with a crazed search to find the blurry, pinhole video of her sporting the birthday suit, and they're nowhere to be found.

Yes, the video exists, evidenced by the this statement from her rep:

With respect to recent Internet postings of Erin Andrews, she has authorized her attorney, Marshall B. Grossman of Bingham McCutchen LLP, to issue the following statement:

"While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future. Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material. We request respect of Erin's privacy at this time, while she and her representatives are working with the authorities."

And no, you won't find a link to her natural goodness here. For a couple of reasons: 1) It's not right and 2) it doesn't exist in a simple URL anymore. Sure, you can download it at various file-sharing sites - or wait for the inevitable pay-for-porn release - but you can do the digging yourself, perverts.

Just be careful not to give yourself a virus in the process.

So let's just try to move along and respect the poor woman's privacy and decency, shall we? And if you see Kyle and Kevin, tell them we miss them.

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