Today's Names to Know: Patriots, Bart Scott,
MNF: Pats escape
Then Brady-to-Gaffney happened, and 12-0 was the result.
For another moment, we were all Ravens fans: When Bart Scott drew two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, he reflected the frustration felt by ALL of us – every fan who would like to see the Pats lose and saw what might have been the closest things will get.
(Even if secretly -- or openly -- we would all like to see them go 19-0, if only for the history and to shut up those 1972 Dolphins alumni. Now, if we could only get accompanying quiet from Pats fans, it's something everyone could possibly get on board with. Unfortunately, quiet from Pats fans ain't happening. Ever.)
In the beginning of the season, the Patriots were blowing teams out; now, they are barely escaping – last night the closest finish yet.
But the fact is, the Pats are still winning: That the Ravens were leading with less than a minute to go is the power of the NFL's parity beginning to take its toll on the Pats, but the fact remains:
Pats fans can claim nervousness, but it feels disingenuous. They can claim continued arrogance, but it feels insufferable. The bottom line is that they can continue to claim they are undefeated.
Sean Taylor Funeral: Here's hoping it brings even a little bit of consolation (and perhaps even closure) to his family, friends and fans.
More CFB/BCS/Bowl Talk: The "Why Not Hawaii?" Movement. Yesterday, all that talk about
"Given the way many — including me — consider UGA the best team in the country right now, wouldn't a sudden contrarian surge of AP support for
(H/T to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for putting that quote in their BCS analysis roundup.)
But you can nearly feel it: By the time we get to the Sugar Bowl, there will be legitimate momentum behind the idea that if Hawaii beats Georgia (given the respect most "experts" have for Georgia right now), they will earn enough first-place votes in a "protest" vote by the AP to make the notion of a "split" champ interesting. (The first thing I think of is BYU in 1984, which would be the closest analogue.) Of course,
CFB Awards Season: Glenn Dorsey wins the Nagurski Award as CFB's top defender. I have a feeling Dorsey will sweep any/all awards in which he is a finalist. (No, Heisman doesn't count.)
MLB Hot Stove: Winter Meeting Mania! The Rays got rid of their second insanely talented (and possibly insane) outfielder by trading Elijah Dukes to the Nats, where presumably Dukes will fall under the tutelage of reformed wack-job Dmitri Young, whose brother Delmon was the first troubled-but-talented Rays outfielder to be traded this offseason.
Andy Pettitte returns to the Yankees: Not nearly as interesting as if they got, say, Johan Santana. The Yankees better not hope that's their big pitching pick-up of the offseason.
Speaking of which, while the Yankees seemed to take the hard-line with the Twins regarding Santana, the Red Sox are wisely saying, "Let's make a deal." When they get Santana and end up winning the next four World Series, the Yankees will be kind of bummed about their decisions this week.
More Hot Stove: What about Erik Bedard? If Johan Santana is out of your price range, how about Erik Bedard, who might be the second-most-talented starting pitcher available in the trade market. He could be a difference-maker to a contender.
CFB Coaching Carousel: Karl Dorrell out at UCLA. Now, UCLA isn't a Top 5 job, but it sure is intriguing. You play in a huge market with an insane recruiting base. They should have their choice of good candidates, and I'm betting they get
Baseball Hall of Fame Vets Committee: Marvin Miller not being in the Baseball Hall of Fame is probably the most egregious (and obviously intentional) slight of any Hall of Fame in sports.
NBA: Tim Duncan is only going to miss a few games with that sprained knee. Again: This just highlights how useless the NBA regular season is;
CBB Tonight: Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose -- all at Madison Square Garden. Arguably, these could be the first three picks of the 2008 NBA Draft, all in the same building and on national TV tonight. Beasley is arguably the best power forward in college basketball; Mayo is arguably the best shooting guard in college basketball; Rose is arguably the best point guard in college basketball. Needless to say, it's a big night.
NFL: Packers' board approves Mark Murphy as team president. Chalk another leadership position with a storied sports franchise to a Northwestern guy. First, alum Joe Girardi was named manager of the Yankees; now, the NU AD is put in charge of the most iconic franchise in pro football.
Finally, I intentionally didn't mention
Anyway, yeah: Florida is going to wax them, giving Lloyd Carr a send-off fitting a guy who spent his last season completely befuddled by the idea of defending the new-fangled spread offense. I would also like to see a small measure of beatdown for the temerity
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