Phil Mickelson celebrates with his wife Amy after winning the...

Phil Mickelson celebrates with his wife Amy after winning the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 11, 2010. Credit: AP

A laurel and hearty handshake to Newsday's Mark Herrmann for securing a Top 10 ASPE award in the big newspaper category for this story on Phil Mickelson's Masters victory, which included an interview with Amy Mickelson.

Well done, sir! Not bad for a guy who's even older than I am.

Speaking of old guys, nice to see Billy Packer being as curmudgeonly as ever in this story, in which Packer discusses the current state of college hoops and the new NCAA Tournament TV format.

Michael Hiestand's aforelinked column in USA Today also includes several notes I was going to mention on the blog today.

But since he already did the writing, I'll just cut and paste it all below. It's the magic of the Internet! (Thanks, Mike!)

Here goes:

U.S. TV rights for the next two or four Olympic Games should be settled by July, International Olympic Committee negotiator Richard Carrion tells Reuters, with the IOC not making any demand that networks bid for four Games rather than just two...

ESPN, says spokesman Mike Soltys, has dropped out of negotiations for the Belmont Stakes, putting NBC, which has the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, in position to land the entire Triple Crown....

ESPN signed 12-time MLB All-Star Barry Larkin, who had been at MLB Network, as a Baseball Tonight analyst...

Cable TV's CBS College Sports Network has been renamed CBS Sports Network, presumably to open the way for action beyond colleges...

In a first for ESPN, and perhaps a first for national TV college basketball, the channel will use a female play-by-play announcer and female game analyst on a men's game. Beth Mowins and Doris Burke will call DePaul-Providence on ESPN2 Thursday (9 p.m. ET).

That's it for the lifted portion of my post. One more thing: The fact the Times secured a jailhouse interview with Bernie Madoff and wrote a long story about it and saw fit to include exactly one paragraph about the "They Knew Nothing Twins," Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, puts into perspective for us sports geeks the relative importance of the Mets portion of the Madoff saga.

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