Playing the Field: Minor league football, and Serena Williams rapping

The NBA has the D-League, while MLB and the NHL have far-reaching, more complex minor-league affiliations. We’re guessing you’ve never been to a minor-league hoops contest, probably never even sneaked a peak on NBATV — psst, it’s OK, neither have we and we cover sports for a living.

Ditto for hockey. Baseball, however, is a different beast. If a Triple-A club plays in or near your hometown, it’s a fun and cheap day out with the family. Besides, there is always the possibility an injured star from the big club is on a rehab assignment.

So how about football? Would you pay to see undrafted rookies fighting for roster spots? Or showcasing their limited talents for the NFL? A few former NFL lifers are banking you will, as they bring back the once-doomed/semi-popular United States Football League (USFL). Right from the jump, they have made it clear they won’t compete against the NFL.

The new USFL will debut next March with eight teams hailing from cities that don’t already have established football or baseball franchises. Ahhh, screw hockey and basketball, they aren’t real sports.

“It’s a league for guys who are on the bubble for making NFL teams, and we will have complete open access for the NFL. We want to build a model that is sustainable,” said CEO Jaime Cuadra.

In a down economy, this could be a very good thing. First, NFL teams will be forced to hire more personnel evaluators and scouts to evaluate these USFL squads for any trace of Victor Cruz-like talent. Second, it also presents opportunities for guys like Marty Schottenheimer, Dennis Green and — hey, maybe even Bobby Petrino — to get a second chance at stealing headlines.

Serena Williams, rapper’s delight

Sometimes we don’t understand our obsession with tennis star Serena Williams. Do we want to take her out to dinner? Or arm-wrestle her, Over The Top style? I guess the former doesn’t matter since Serena recently swore off dating.

But it turns out failed relationships with rappers Common and Drake didn’t sour her on the rap game. Serena has released a track of her own — and, surprisingly, it’s not half-bad, with some slight Nicki Minaj undertones. She even shouts out her sister, Venus: “I win, I really mean it, swag out this world they should call me Venus, that’s my sister …”

Best line: “On the court, I serve ‘em up, no subpoena, I cook the track up like a frozen pizza …”

With Serena’s rap career in its infancy, we can’t help but think of the collab possibilities. Venus is the first name that comes to mind, obviously. But how about some Spanish flow from Rafael Nadal? Or a legendary guest rant from John McEnroe … that might go something like this:

“Judges trying to screw me, I’m just trying to do me. I treat umpires like Ike did Tina.” And conclude with Johnny Mac slamming down his microphone, Chris Rock style, like an old racket. No good? Well, we tried.

Sexiest NBA wife or girlfriend

Our good friends at PornHub have done it again, this time compiling a list of the sexiest wives/girlfriends in the NBA. You might remember their list of the hottest MLB wives.

According to a survey of their loyal viewership — we’d provide a link, but it’s definitely very, very NSFW — Eliza Dushku, “the smokin’ hot badass and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum,” topped the charts with 31-percent of the vote. Dushku is married to former NBA player Rick Fox. Second place went to Adriana Lima (Marko Jaric).

Interesting since Fox is retired and Jaric plays overseas. Highlighting those still playing hoops are: Gabrielle Union (Dwyane Wade), Vanessa Bryant (Kobe Bryant), LaLa Anthony (Carmelo Anthony).

By the way, did you know Omer Asik. The odd-looking, 7-footer who missed two potential, game-clinching free throws for the Bulls Thursday night is dating this girl? Yes, she also made PornHub’s list. We’re thinking he got over that Game 6 loss pretty quickly.

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