THREE UP ...
1. Can't wait to see middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik back in the ring. His absence hasn't helped the sweet science -- nor Kelly's bank account. There are big-money paydays out there for good fighters, and tough guy like Pavlik (aka "The Ghost"), sidelined 10 months with a string of injuries, should scoop up some of it. So news that he'll be fighting Miguel Espino on Dec. 19 is something to applaud.
2. I have a friend who lives and dies with the Raiders, so he has to be pleased that Bruce Gradkowski, the AFC Player of the Week, has emerged as the team's quarterback of the future. NFL teams have had their hits and misses at that position in recent years, so maybe instead of wasting No. 1 picks on quarterbacks, teams might be wiser to follow what the Raiders did: look for somebody else's discard. Who wouldn't take "Grad" over JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart or Brady Quinn?
3. I'm betting freshman John Wall will do a 'Melo Anthony: play one season in college, win a NCAA title and then head to the NBA. In this early hoops season, Wall has been as solid as the Great Wall and hotter than a wall of fire. There might be a better freshman than Wall, but he hasn't shown himself yet. Enjoy looking at this "great" Wall in "Bluegrass Country" while you can.
THREE DOWN ...
1. Some crooner once sang about fools falling in love, but someone also should have sang about how fools act like fools, as Greg Baker, the executive director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, did when he signaled that the museum will jettison the figure who helped build the institution. Essentially, Baker slammed the museum's front door in the face of Buck O'Neil.
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