In 2003, in the first month of the Quickie, I started a tradition of writing something tied into the day of President's annual State of the Union address about the "state of the sports union." So where do we stand in 2007? Here is a quick take on the current "State of the Sports Union":
NFL: New Commish Roger Goodell has set a high bar for future seasons after this one: More fantasy football mania. More TV viewer interest. More parity. The Saints' run. Vince Young's emergence. LT's dominant season.
MLB: Ryan Howard emerged as the new "Face of Baseball," and if last year proved anything, it's that the tyranny of the "YankSox" is over.
NBA: Tonight's Suns-Wiz game is a perfect symbol for the league's new telegenic, fan-friendly style. Teams need to adapt to this new wide-open philosophy or lose relevancy. Only one team can win a title; the number of teams who can entertain is unlimited.
College Football: It's cynical, but BCS controversy like the one we just had is the best thing that can happen to the sport. That the underdog blew out the presumptive champ only made it more compelling.
College Hoops: Enjoy these next few months – thanks to the unique one-year lag effect of the NBA age rule (plus a handful of key players staying in school), it's a brief, brilliant Golden Age of the Big Man.
NHL: The Rory Fitzpatrick snafu is only fitting. The league is even more niche than a year ago. If any sport can slide into the void that exists after NFL-MLB-NBA-CFB-CBB-NASCAR, it will be Arena Football.
Sports Media: Last year's emergence of Deadspin as the biggest counterweight to ESPN (mainstream sports media lost that battle years ago) merely scratched the surface of blog-driven sports coverage that only keeps getting better, faster and stronger.
Sports Ethics: Cheating with PEDs? Criminal arrest? Pundits may bark, but fans don't really seem to care. (But display a lousy attitude? Fans will crucify you.)
Comments Question: What's YOUR take on the State of the Sports Union? How are things great, perhaps even never-been-better? How are things bad, perhaps even getting worse? Looking forward to reading your analysis on this.