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Wipe than grin off your face

So, those sneaky ESPN cameras caught Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson chuckling on the sideline during the Cardinals’ lopsided loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.AndersonBig deal.

I know, in the 24-hour news cycle, it’s being made a big deal. But big deal.

Anderson laughed. Have you seen the Cardinals play this season? If so, don’t they make you laugh?

I know it’s unsightly to see a player on a losing team yukking it up. I don’t blame fans for being irritated and I don’t blame the reporter who, in the post-game news conference, asked Anderson about it.

I blame Anderson for blowing this thing up bigger than the zit on the end of my nose. Instead of downplaying the situation and giving a reasonable answer, something like: “Something funny was said in the moment and I laughed. It doesn’t mean I condone losing or find anything humorous about our situation in Arizona,” Anderson went all ballistic.

Pressed for an answer, he lost his cool. And he ended up giving this silly little story more legs than it’s worth.

Look, I don’t even much like it when opposing players gather on the field to shake hands after an NFL game. If they want to greet one another and hang out, do so before or after the game in private.

But it’s really not a big deal, certainly not worthy of all the talk its getting today on sports-talk radio and on 24-hour cable outlets.

* LeBron James returns to Cleveland on Thursday night for what has to be one of the most uncomfortable returns in sports history.

This summer, of course, King James broke Clevelanders’ hearts by announcing he was taking his game to South Beach. That hasn’t worked out so well, has it? And you just know Cavs fans are dying to bend LeBron’s ear.

Surprisingly, James plans on going through with his pregame ritual of tossing power into the air in front of the scorer’s table before the opening tip. I can’t imagine that’s going to sit well with Cleveland fans.

I’ll be watching LeBron’s Cleveland return, hoping Cavs fans give him the kind of reception he deserves. The more I hear from James, the more I think he’s just another shallow athlete who doesn’t get it. Whatever “it” is. He doesn’t seem to have much depth, which is why he apparently cannot comprehend the foolishness of his “Decision” and its ramifications.

* The Cardinals finally made an offseason move, trading relief pitcher Blake Hawksworth to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Ryan Theriot.TheriotI give it a thumbs up, but only because I know the Cardinals aren’t through solidifying their infield. At least, they better not be.

Theriot was always a pesky hitter with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him to LA last season. He’s adequate defensively and looks to be in a utility role with St. Louis, one that should provide him around 350 to 400 at-bats.

The Cardinals also signed left-handed reliever Brian Tallet, a former Park City Cowboys pitcher in the National Baseball Congress World Series. Tallet, late of the Toronto Blue Jays, had a horrible season in 2010, allowing 20 homers in 77 1/3 innings. That won’t fly. But he was tough on left-handed hitters and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa loves him some left-handed specialists in relief roles.

Who is the Opinion Line contributor?

Yes, kiddies, it’s time for one of the most popular features of this blog. At least that’s what I tell myself as I ridicule people who take their precious time to post on The Wichita Eagle’s truly popular Opinion Line.

Here’s an actual Opinion Line post. My trick is to be able to identify the person who made the post, right down to their address. Of course, I’ll keep that private. Everything else, though, is on the table.

Here goes:

It is time to put things into perspective. Terrorism against aircraft is real. Grope me, pat me down, invade my person in the name of ensuring my safety.I see a lonely person, definitely a man. Grope me, pat me down, invade my person . . . that’s a man talking, folks. Probably in his 40s, this man isn’t married and can’t remember the last time he had a girlfriend. He’s most comfortable on a park bench. He’s the only known American who makes contributions to TSA.

And here’s another:

I had to move to Wichita in March for my job, and I have to ask: Does anyone who lives here actually want to be here?

Since this person isn’t a native, it makes identifying him/her a bit tougher. I’ll say it’s a man, probably from Chicago or one of those fancy places. In his 30s, missing the night life. And how dare he post this question. We’re all happy to be in Wichita. We have a downtown arena, a few coffee bars and the Wingnuts. What could be better? We have a strong city and county government, a really good college basketball team and someday we’ll have a nearby casino. Not soon, obviously, but someday. So yeah, buddy, a lot of us are giddy to be here. Wanna make something of it?

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