Goodbye, Brett. Hello, Beijing. As you'll see in the lead of today's SN column, I'm a huge fan of the Summer Olympics, and I can't wait for things to get going, as early as tomorrow with some swimming finals.
There are a couple of non-athletic sidebars worth tracking:
(1) Protests, particularly by athletes. I remain unconvinced that NBC Sports' allegience to the IOC and their overlords in China won't trump their allegiance to a U.S. viewership that deserves to see all the athlete protests you know will happen.
(2) Pollution, specifically the athlete reaction to it by wearing masks that will be unavoidable on TV. Personally, I'd be wearing that thing 24/7 if I was an athlete. You shouldn't work for 4 years to get to this point, only to be derailed because you're too macho to recognize the debilitating effects of hyper-pollution on your body's finely tuned system.
Meanwhile, I like that other Brett who plays QB for the Jets. I'm not so sure about this Favre guy. This is a fling for him; for as much stake as he used to have in the Packers franchise, he has as little stake in the Jets. But let's reinforce the key point: As long as the Jets aren't going to make the playoffs (let alone the Super Bowl), at least Favre makes them relevant. That's the next best thing.
NFL Preseason last night: Wow, the Bears need another solution at QB... Reggie Bush is going to continue to not live up to his pre-draft hype... the Pats have now lost 2 straight (but Lamont Jordan is going to be a fantasy steal)... Darren McFadden begins the takeover tonight.
MLB: I think Raul Ibanez has locked up AL Player of the Month, and it's only August 8... Manny should be the leading contender for NL MVP... the Marlins aren't going away.
CFB: Does the season-ending (perhaps career-ending) injury to Florida TE Cornelius Ingram make me any less bullish on the Gators' chances of winning a national title? Perhaps a tad -- if they weren't so loaded with other weapons on offense. The question continues to be the D.
08-08-08: Should be a wild kick-off to the Olympics. More later today and, as usual, all weekend.
Full SN column here.