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President Obama poses Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher at the White House.

The First Hoops Fan was thrilled to invite the Los Angeles Lakers to the White House on Monday, even if he had to throw some Bulls props in the mix.

Obama said he was especially excited to meet Lakers' coach Phil Jackson, who has won 10 championships, though he didn't hesitate to point out that six of those victories were with Obama's hometown Bulls.

"You remember that," Obama joked with former Lakers all-star Magic Johnson, who was on the losing end of the Bulls 1991 victory.

The President also commended the Lakers players not only for their athletic achievements, but also their work off the court. The players held a fitness clinic for Washington-area school children Monday, and several players are donating money to relief efforts in Haiti.

The Lakers won their 15th title last season agains the Orlando Magic.

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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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Weekends in the fall and winter mean one thing - football. NFL football.

By season's end, we're blessed with up to four days a week of hard-core football action, served up in three-hour bursts of smashmouth glory.

Or, at least it's three hours at a clip for the armchair quarterbacks. But according to the Wall Street Journal, your average NFL game doesn't even offer up a quarter hour of actual action - only 11 minutes of game play when all is said and done.

According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour. As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. In the four broadcasts The Journal studied, injured players got six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show.

So while you're gorging on NFL playoffs - and lots of heart-healthy snacks, of course - keep in mind that you really do have to hurry through your bathroom breaks so you don't miss a moment of action. There are so few moments to miss, it turns out.

As crazy coaching moments go, Gunnar Prokop tries to give his best Woody Hayes effort and ends up slightly less infamous, but no better than the disgraced THE Ohio State University coach.

When Hayes punched Clemson defender Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl after a game-sealing interception, he put himself on a one-way express train to loserville, being fired the next day never to coach again.

For his part, Prokop, coach of Austrian handball team Hypo Niederoesterreich, one-upped Hayes in that he hip-checked an opposing player in the women's Champions League game. But he doesn't rise to the level of incredulity since nobody outside the rabid Austrian women's handball fan base noticed.

Still, it's another coach gone after a crazy moment, though Prokop fell on his own sword without being pushed to make amends. Thankfully, he's already in the city Sigmund Freud made famous for psychoanalysis, so he'll be able to spend his newly acquired free time figuring out why he just had to hit a girl.

"I will go through this with a psychiatrist. ... I still can't understand why I've done this."

The match ended in a 27-27 draw. Handball's European governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Prokop. A ruling is expected before his team's match against Krim Ljubljana on Sunday.

We will, of course, be waiting to see justice done here.

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A preview to the upcoming Connecticut race for U.S. Senate, or simply World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Victoria using a choke hold on Stacy Keibler in Bridgeport? (AP)

If ever there were a whacked-out plot too big even for the squared circle of wrestling, a real-life bid for political glory is it, right?

OK, maybe not.

Looks like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon has resigned as the company's chief executive to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd. There's an announcement flying off the ropes.

McMahon's husband, Chairman Vince, will assume her duties as CEO, the company said in a statement.

Linda McMahon, 60, formally announced her candidacy Wednesday morning. She said Washington is "out of control" and Dodd has "lost his way and our trust."

McMahon is up against three other Republicans -- former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley. Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.

Linda and Vince McMahon, a professional wrestler, announcer and promoter, co-founded WWE together. Linda McMahon has served as CEO since May 1997 and served as the company's president from May 1993 through June 2000. Vince McMahon has been chairman since 1980.

A sneak peek of things to come if Shaq teams up with LeBron in Cleveland?

shaquille-oneal-lebron-james--05-nba-all-star-game.jpgThe pressure for the Bulls to up their game, literally, as the NBA Draft hits may have just gotten bigger.

Reports early Thursday morning say the Cleveland Cavaliers have sealed a deal to grab Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns to team with LeBron James. The Cavs would ship Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic, a 2nd round pick and cash west to complete the deal in a salary dump for the Suns and a belated move for Cleveland after being pushed around in the pivot by Orlando in the playoffs

ESPN.com reports that this is a move long-in waiting for Cleveland:

The trade gives the Cavs a player they've coveted since February. With center Zydrunas Ilgauskas starting to break down, adding Shaq to the roster gives them a dominant force in the middle. The Cavs were obviously unhappy with their ability to defend Dwight Howard in the playoffs and bringing Shaq into the fold should help.

Owner approval is apparently all that's left.

That puts the onus on the Bulls to beef up a low post that was too-often exposed last season. But with the 16 and 26 picks in the first round, there may be no help in the wings, dressed in pinstripe suits and shaking David Stern's hand.

There is, of course, still the possibility of a Chris Bosh deal with Toronto, depending on what happens with the Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon contract talks - Hinrich has often been rumored in a potential package for the Raptors' big man.

But for now the young Bulls will be facing a potential Shaq in the King's Castle as they try to make the next jump toward a return to glory.

Yahoo! Sports reports on the LeShaq deal. (Yahoo!Sports)

kobe.jpgAs if Kobe Bryant didn't have enough going for him, Lil Wayne has weighed in on the Los Angeles Lakers' star's greatness with a new song - the "Kobe Bryant Song" - he recorded just in time for the NBA Finals.

LeBron will not be happy this with lyrics like this:

"Kobe doing work / 2-4 on my shirt / He the greatest on the court / And I'm the greatest on the verse".

And it must have worked to keep Kobe pumped up. Bryant dropped 40 on the Orlando Magic to lead the Lakers to a Game 1 win, 100-75.

Lil Wayne, motivational rapper.

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