TIME TO ANSWER your e-mails and offer up another edition of Inman's Inbox:
Michael in Louisiana: "I read your article on Davis' (television) interview. Thank you very much for the article. I think you made a very good point that most people really don't understand Davis' impact on the game. "
Thank you, as well. When it comes to Davis' impact on the game, most people now cringe thanks to the past six seasons of turmoil.
Figueroa81: "Thanks for not bashing the man or our team. You wrote a great article (non biased). We need more like this. Everyone bags on us even when we have decent things happening."
Decent things happening? By the Raiders? Perhaps you mean descent, the verb for dropping fast out of the NFL sky.
Mark in the military: "Nice article on al davis. Al may be an ass but he is our ass! ... Al has at least got the team three Super Bowls -- something of which many teams have zero!"
Allow me to speak for Al and remind you he's gotten the Raiders to five Super Bowls, three of which they've won. That's a 60-percent completion rate they can only hope JaMarcus Russell matches with his passes this year.
Papermantom1: "You say Al Davis turns 80 today. That means he has just completed 80 years of life. (He has already lived 80 years!) Tomorrow, he will begin his 81st year."
Good catch. I used to have a Commitment to Excellent Math. Now I can't even count my bridge toll correctly.
Mike D: "The plane (of Asia Air decorated with Raiders garb) will rattle, shake and fill up with smoke as warning lights go off constantly for the first 80 percent of the flight, but the last 20 percent will go somewhat smoothly, leading everybody onboard to confidently declare that the flight finished strong and the next one will be even better as a result."
Spoken just like Tom Cable at the end of 2008. (Bonus joke from Mike on the Raider plane: "You can't buy a ticket to ride on the plane without first purchasing a personal seat license."
Felix D: "Give it a rest Art Spander Jr.. I was away from my home with your article in my hand about how Tiger was a cinch to win again. ... You are just another Tiger brown-noser. You probably thought Magwire was something special, too."
Tiger? Mark McGwire? Art Spander? All masters at their craft, indeed, regardless of what your personal feelings are of them.
Brandon E: "Interesting point you made on Patty (Mills) and turning in perhaps one more year. I agree, and I also had a similar debate with my fellow SMC alumns tonight and one of them made a good point -- with folks like Simpson and other seniors gone next season, his 'best case' scenario as far as a season goes might not be THAT promising. On the other hand (my take and I think yours), booking one more solid season -- and by solid I mean productive but mostly HEALTHY -- he would surely find himself in a first round slot?"
The only sure thing about the first-round of the NBA draft is that the Clippers and Warriors will be drafting high in it every year.
Garrett111: "The Giants already HAVE that offense producing outfielder. His name is Nate Schierholtz — and if you aren't familiar with him, you need to be."
Familiar with him? He's a San Ramon Valley High School product! Go Wolves. Or is it Wolf?!
Alex M: "As a Los Angeles transplant living in the Bay Area, I never realized that there was a Nor-Cal, So-Cal rivalry until I moved up here. Anyway, I remember reading your column -- 'Howard the rare No. 1 who'll win crown ... and beat L.A.!' -- and thinking wow what a prick, you really exemplify the narrow-minded a-holes I run into all the time up here, that hate any L.A. team just because they're from L.A. Well, on behalf of all the Laker fans in the Bay Area let me just say... Ha! you jerk."
True story: Our phone number in college was 544-JERK. One more thing: Beat L.A.!
Matthew S.: "Hi Carl, Stabler's comments are pretty spot on, but his assertion that the game does not come easy to JaMarcus is harsh. It was Kiffin-esque. And if he's saying it publicly it must mean, deep down, he thinks Russell really lacks the intangibles - true football instincts."
Carl? I'm Cam. Welcome to the show. Anyhow, Ken Stabler didn't say it in a derogatory way as much as he was trying to cut Russell some slack as he learns a NFL world that is much more complex than Stabler's days.
Bill S.: "Mr. Inman, very nice article and interview with Ken Stabler ("Listen Up Silver and Black", May 20th), concise, informative, and entertaining."
Mr. Inman? I'm Cam. Welcome to the show. Hope that is a concise and entertaining response for you. Thanks.
Jack G.: "Leaving Roger Federer off your pressure pack list was list was terrible. He should of won athlete of the year 2 years ago when Tiger Woods won it. He sometimes hits more balls in 1 game than Tiger hits in 18 holes! Basketball players should be left off your list completely. Throwing a ball through a hoop is really not that big of a athletic feat."
Making baskets is not athletic? You must clean up at the county fair where it's darned near impossible to shoot through those tiny rims.
Look for Cam Inman's Web-only "Candid Cam" takes whenever there's a breaking sports story, or whenever Cam's got something to say _ in short, just about every day. You can reach Cam at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.