We're playing the name game

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Things were much sweeter for Maria Sharapova a year ago in New York, when she was launching Sugarpova and advancing to the semifinals of the US Open.

In case you were too busy mentally preparing yourself for the 'N Sync reunion at the VMAs (it's OK to admit it, we're all friends here), here's the best of the email and Gchat fodder you missed from the sports world and beyond.

Oh Maria, Maria, you remind me of 'West Side Story' (not really)

First, Maria Sharapova reportedly was going to legally change her name to "Maria Sugarpova" for the duration of the US Open as a shameless promotion for her candy line. Then she most likely read a little thing called the Internet, saw that every single person on the planet thought it was a horrible idea and decided against it. And then she dropped out of the tournament altogether due to a shoulder injury, leaving countless people who truly have nothing better to do than troll the Internet all day (OK, me) wondering WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Can I please have my last three days back?

Now please forget this ordeal ever happened and root for any player at Flushing Meadows who just plans on keeping her blatant promotional activities to clothing endorsements, sneaker deals, equipment sponsorships and playing table tennis in the streets of Manhattan for an airline PR stunt.

Welcome to college, kid, it will never get better than this

While many of us can claim to have had the best first week of college ever, most of us can probably not say we made our parents proud in the process. Enter Ball State freshman Markus Burden. The 18-year-old nailed a half-court shot at a Welcome Week event and earned free tuition for the spring semester.

If you think the crowd's reaction is priceless, imagine how his bill-paying parents must have felt. The prize doesn't include room and board, so it's not exactly a free semester, but let's hope it will reduce his years of paying off student loans from 20 to 18.

I didn't believe it until I saw it on multiple social media accounts

America's favorite selfie-posting daughter of a hockey Hall of Famer and America's 54th favorite golfer are tying the knot! I know, I know. Try to contain your excitement.

PGA golfer Dustin Johnson proposed to Paulina Gretzky, his girlfriend of at least six months, last weekend with a massive diamond ring that must have cost the winnings of at least two majors. Not that he would know how much that is. In true fashion, the, uh, professional self-promoter posted pictures of the rock and retweeted approximately 900 congratulatory tweets. Adorable!

I'm sure Paulina is completely distraught over all the attention she's getting this week. It must be horrible for her. Never mind. I just saw her latest bikini-clad Instagram post, and it seems like she's doing OK. Never change, PG.

Proving maybe you really can be too safe after all

In completely unnecessary news, J.R. Smith was spotted this week driving a $450,000 armored truck around New York. Either he's really concerned for his safety or is just thinking long term and wants to transport jewelry and valuables after his playing days are over.

After getting seemingly hundreds of questions on the topic, Smith finally responded in what can only be described as the most J.R. Smith response ever.

A war with the haters. Of course. It all makes total sense now.

Please allow me to introduce Nick Saban. He's a man of wealth and taste.

Nick Saban is featured in the latest issue of GQ magazine in a piece titled "Sympathy for the Devil." While everyone in the college football world seems to be in on the Saban-as-Satan joke, the Alabama coach isn't exactly thrilled with the comparison.

Saban shared with writer Warren St. John that the analogy hurt his feelings. Gasp! The devil has feelings?

"It used to upset me," he confided. "I would come and say to my wife, 'I'm not like that at all. Why do these guys say I'm that way?' And she would say, 'You ever watch yourself in a press conference?'"

While Saban's wife's honesty -- and fearlessness to say something like that to a man whose angry glance is enough to cause nightmares to those just watching on TV -- is fascinating, we also learn that he eats the same things for breakfast and lunch every single day: two Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies in the morning and an iceberg salad with turkey and tomatoes for lunch. He believes spending time deciding on something else to eat is a waste of time. Oh.

I heard the devil likes to eat the same thing every day too -- the souls of Alabama fans and the hope and optimism of any fan from a non-SEC school.

Basketball never stops

Here's a video of Nate Robinson dribbling around people at the airport. Nice to see him get a chance to play against people his own size for once. And by that, I mean children.

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