This is one of those mornings where there are two stories so huge that they actually converge. In this case, it's LaDainian Tomlinson obliterating the NFL single-season TD record (with 3 games to play!) and the Saints obliterating the Cowboys (in Dallas) to pull into the NFC No. 2 spot and continue their dream season. Let's dig in...
The MVP case for Tomlinson: I don't like to curse, but there's only one phrase that comes to mind for what LaDainian Tomlinson is doing this season: Holy Shit.
"Holy shit" that he set the new single-season TD record (set only last season by Shaun Alexander) WITH THREE GAMES STILL TO PLAY. The ramifications of this are staggering: He very well could create the most unbreakable record in major sports.
And "holy shit": If we're watching the greatest single-season for an RB in NFL history, are we also watching the greatest running back in NFL history? Marty Schottenheimer thinks so, and – if you consider a single season an indicator – it's hard to argue with him. The MVP debate between he and Brees (presuming the Saints finish 1 or 2 in the NFC) will be phenomenal... and fierce. Because...
Saints: Best NFL team story ever? The question isn't whether the Saints are the NFL team story of the year; it's whether the Saints are the best NFL team story of all time.
Sure, it's only Week 14 -- there's plenty of time for the season to derail (though in the weak NFC, that would be a stretch) -- but after last night's primetime national-TV smackdown of the "contender" Cowboys (in
They were already the new version of
But now they have the second-best record in the NFC and control their own destiny not just for a home playoff game, but getting a first-round bye. And if you watched them steamroll the Cowboys last night -- and if you've watched the Bears recently -- the Saints are arguably the best team in the NFC.
Here's how good Drew Brees is right now: By almost every measure, LaDainian Tomlinson should be running away with the league MVP award; not only has Brees thrown himself into the argument -- at his current pace, Brees is going to pull it off. His 5 TDs last night will help.
There have been more dominant teams in NFL history, but none of those had the Saints' universal appeal. There may have been more likeable underdogs in NFL history (and maybe not), but none was this competitive. Stay tuned: It's the best NFL story you're going to see.
Vince Young is my hero: That and more NFL Week 14 analysis here (or in the post below.)
NBA: Whither AI? He's still inactive. Doesn't it hurt the Sixers every game they don't play him? Can't the league step in with a one-time exception to the salary-match trade rules that can make this a little easier on everyone?
Meanwhile, the Suns won their 10th straight game, behind Amare's 7th double-double in his last 8 games. It only took him six weeks to reclaim his position among the NBA's elite.
MLB Hot Stove: With a Thursday deadline, it's looking more likely that the Red Sox won't be able to sign Matsuzaka, which keeps him out of the MLB market – this season – but leaves the Red Sox open to the Yankees poaching him when he's a complete free agent a year from now.
College Hoops Parity Watch: A season after losing to them in the NCAA Regional Final,