Let's begin with tonight's Ravens at 'Boys game. This appears to be a must-win for both teams' hopes of getting in the playoffs, making it almost a playoff game itself, yes?
While we're there, why only one game today? Wouldn't you have loved to have three games on the schedule?
Moving to college, do any of the early bowl games interest you? How did the number 9 and 11 teams in the country end up playing in the POINSETTIA BOWL? And who came up with the idea of having only five bowl games on New Years Day, three the next day, and one each of the following three days? Isn't this getting a bit nutty, or do you like it?
Anything else on your mind this last Saturday before Christmas?
What I find astounding is that the Gators are 10-point favorites. My amazement has nothing to do with the talent of either team. It's just hard to believe that on a neutral field the #1 team in the country is a 10-point underdog. Anybody else feeling my astonishment, or is this more a function of the Tide having an easier schedule this year, and they're overrated?
While the vast majority of political reporters have dropped off the snotty comments about the McCain-Palin ticket and their campaign messaging, that’s not true of the football writers at the Washington Post. In the chatty wrap-up of the NFL scores appropriately called "The Slant," Post sports writer Desmond Bieler could be called for unnecessary roughness on Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher. In Monday’s paper, he came up in summarizing the St. Louis Rams being thumped by the 49ers:
Remember when the Rams shook off their awful start and actually played pretty well for a few weeks? Well, they’re back to being about as relevant to the national conversation as Joe the Plumber. Over its past three weeks, St. Louis has been outscored in the first half by a total of 99-10. We haven’t seen lopsided figures like this since the numbers started rolling in on election night! Sorry, Joe.
I’m not sure anyone saw 90-10 numbers in the presidential race on election night, unless you count returns from D.C. (where it was 93 percent to 6.5 percent, actually.) This is not the first time that Bieler has worked Joe the Plumber slams into his football slant. From October 20, the awful NFL team to mock was the Bengals:
As expected Friday, the New York Yankees officially tendered an offer to free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia. The offer is expected to be six years in length and have a total value of slightly more than the record $137.5 million deal that pitcher Johan Santana signed with the Mets before last season.
If he starts 32 games and averages 90 pitches a game -- both lofty assumptions -- he'll make over $700,000 a game and $8,000 a pitch. He'll make more in one inning -- conceivably ten minutes of work -- than the average American makes in a year...in the middle of a recession.
Is there something desperately wrong with this picture as unemployment jumps and people lose trillions on their real estate and retirement plans -- let alone actually losing their homes! -- or is this just capitalism and the free market rewarding the most talented members of our society?
Well, the past two weekends, although the schedules looked thrilling, didn't really produce the greatest games as most of the marquee matchups ended up being blowouts. Let's hope this weekend is different:
Stocks are tanking, the economy's a mess, and if you believe the polls, our great nation is going to head much further left in ten days: wouldn't you like something to smile about?
Well, click on the embedded video to your right, and watch the heart-warming story of a 73-year-old man whose dream of returning to college basketball after more than five decades has come true thanks to the extraordinary kindness of a head coach in Harriman, Tennessee.
For some background, details about the amazing Ken Mink were reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel on October 4 (h/t InstaGlen):
My oh my oh my what a wonderful Saturday of college football should be ahead of us. If today's schedule doesn't send a thrill up your leg, nothing will:
No. 22 Vanderbilt at No. 10 Georgia. I know we've got Dawgs fans here. Can any of you point to the last game between these two teams that was this big?
No. 16 Kansas at No. 4 Oklahoma. Does this have the possibility of being another HUGE Big 12 matchup like last week's Sooners-Horns classic?
No. 12 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State. Did anyone point at this game in August as having so much meaning? This game has excitement dripping all over it!
No. 11 Missouri at No. 1 Texas. Oh baby, the Horns better have their A-game plugged in, because the Tigers gotta be furious about how things ended last weekend, and they're looking to show the nation what they're really made of. This could be a lotta fun!
Moving from the gridiron, can the Rays close this thing out today, or are the Sox gonna do it again?
Has Mike Barnicle called Sarah Palin stupid? Seems that way. In a Huffington Post column that Mika Brzezinski read on today's Morning Joe, Barnicle, referring to Palin, wrote of the:
preposterous pronouncements of a woman whose candidacy is an insult to intelligence.
Let's deconstruct. The normal formulation is an "insult to our intelligence," used to describe an assertion that is obviously unbelievable. For example, you might say Barack Obama insulted our intelligence when he claimed against all evidence during this week's debate that his only tie to ACORN is his past representation of the group in a lawsuit. But when Barnicle writes that Sarah Palin's candidacy is an insult not to "our" intelligence, but to intelligence itself, it's hard to read that other than as suggesting Palin is something other than smart. Throw in his reference to "preposterous pronouncements" and there's little doubt that the person Barnicle intended to insult is Palin herself. Mika seemed to acknowledge that Barnicle meant to slur Sarah, observing, after reading that last line, "that's rough stuff."
We've got a nice college FB schedule today beginning with Texas (5) vs. Oklahoma (1) in just an hour. Honestly, does it get better than this?
And closing out the day is LSU (4) at Florida (11). For several years, these SEC matchups have been BY FAR the most exciting regular season football of the year. Will the Tigers and the Gators live up to the hype this year and entertain the heck out of a Wall Street beaten-down nation desperately in need of some cheap fun on a Saturday night? Any other games to watch?
In MLB, are you surpised by the Phillies taking a 2-0 lead? And are the Rays running out of steam leading to yet another World Series appearance by the Sox?
Hockey is now well under way with the Rangers starting the season 3-0. Any predictions?
After last week's upset heaven in college football -- or hell depending on what side you were on! -- what will the big upsets be today? How about my son's Huskers taking down Mizzou?
What other games should we be looking at?
Talk about upsets, could the top teams in both leagues get knocked out in the first round of the baseball playoffs? If the Angels and Cubbies are gone, who becomes the favorites to go to the World Series?
During Monday's football game between Dallas and Philadephia, I commented in the Open Thread that despite hating the Cowboys, the post-game interview with quarterback Tony Romo instantly made me a fan of his.
Well, now there's something more to like about this fine young man, because on his way home from the airport after last Sunday's game, Romo actually stopped to help a couple with a flat tire.
The following story from the September 11 edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram is guaranteed not only to put a smile on your face, but also will renew your faith that fame and fortune don't corrupt everyone they touch (photo courtesy FWST):