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Original Issue

The Strike Zone

Tracking the week's news both inside and outside the confines of cool

OUTSIDE

Why does everyone have to have an argument for why Derrick Rose isn't MVP?

The Natural II, Electric Boogaloo: Robert Redford will play Branch Rickey in an upcoming Jackie Robinson bio.

Wayne smash!

As if women's soccer wasn't fighting an uphill battle already, Nike introduced these new Star Trek-ish U.S. unis last week.

Madden 12 will feature concussions, for realism. Because the game wasn't slow enough already.

Did the Lions really just e-mail their predraft player-visit plans to the entire league instead of the NFL offices? Of course they did.

LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who used his outfit's epic last show, at Madison Square Garden, as a soapbox to plead for N.Y. to allow MMA.

From the state that did chocolate-bacon-on-a-stick, Miller Park now serves a $7 Pulled Pork Parfait.

Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski's Yanks-Sox rivalry-themed ad for New Era, especially Bombers fan Baldwin's dis, "This is not a rivalry—just like fire doesn't have a rivalry with kindling."

Masters Day 1 was a barn burner, and yet the shortage of pimento cheese sandwiches—a tradition like no other—following a power outage at the sandwich factory was actually a news story.

Hey, Zito... . You've got, um, something on your, uh, lip there... .

Soccer that even Americans can appreciate: Barcelona and Real Madrid will likely play four Clasicos in the next month.

The earnestness with which the Nets are promoting Kris Humphries for Most Improved Player in a campaign that imagines him a green superhero called The Incredible Hump.

So much for Melo as NYC celebrity. He was less lively than a Muppet on Sesame Street and somehow made a Laser Cats skit worse on SNL.

One bad by-product of the soccer boom: celebrity training sessions. Ochocinco's was brutal. Justin Bieber's was worse.

Lost in the news that the utterly enjoyable boxing drama Lights Out might find a second life on another network: Wait, FX canceled Lights Out?!

Finally, mercifully, the USGA is working to eliminate fans' phoned-in golf DQs, which may be the silliest concept in sports.

LOW

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GREG NELSON (ROSE)

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JOSE LUIS VILLEGAS/SACRAMENTO BEE/MCT/LANDOV (ZITO)

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FC BARCELONA/REUTERS (BIEBER)

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SRDJAN STEVANOVIC/WIREIMAGE (MURPHY)

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JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (RONALDO/MESSI)

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FRANK OCKENFELS III/FX (LIGHTS OUT)

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PHOTOFEST (REDFORD)

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TWITTER.COM (PARFAIT)

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MATTHEW PETERS/MAN UTD./GETTY IMAGES (ROONEY)

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MICHAEL TRAN/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (BALDWIN)

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MARTIN BARRAUD/OJO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (MAN ON PHONE)

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FOOTBALL FASHION.ORG (JERSEY)

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JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES (SANDWICH)

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HEINZ KLUETMEIER (FOOTBALL PLAYER)

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GREG NELSON (ANTHONY)

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YOUTUBE.COM (HUMPHRIES)

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REBECCA COOK/REUTERS (LIONS)