I can almost hear Usher, at the NFL's kickoff concert, from here:
• After failing to draw interest from NFL teams, QB Daunte Culpepper has announced his retirement. Hey, it worked for Brett Favre.
• Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he expects QB Tom Brady to play this week. Let's just hope Belichick's not "misinterpreting" the medical reports.
• New Lions RB Rudi Johnson says the luggage swiped by the just-waived Tatum Bell mostly contained just "socks and boxers." Well, sure. Johnson learned not to leave valuables around while with the Bengals.
• MLB's new instant-replay system went into action for the first time last night when it confirmed a ninth-inning homer hit by Alex Rodriguez after the Yanks already had a comfortable lead. The only snag was that it took several minutes to make the call. Apparently A-Rod kept rewinding so he could watch his meaningless blast again and again.
• Former Kansas stars Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home from the NBA's rookie transition program this week for reportedly being spotted in their hotel room with marijuana and women. Apparently once you show you're ready to be an NBA vet, you don't have to stay.
• Oklahoma City's new NBA franchise will be called the Thunder. They'll be placed with the Heat, Sun and Blazers in the new Weather Division.
• Yesterday's Marlins-Braves matinee drew less than 600 fans to Miami's Dolphin Stadium. Man, it's a good thing they started it early, then.