Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday 10/16 A.M. Quickie:
Phillies, Rays, BYU, Romo, Clips, More

Some might think I'm dogging Phillies fans in the lead of today's SN column. Far from it.

Few fan bases are more complex -- or have more complex relationships with their teams (not to mention complex relationships with success and defeat) -- than Philly fans.

What makes the Phillies such dramatic entrants in the World Series is that whether they win or lose, Philly fans will freak out. Roughly in the same way, which makes it all the more interesting.

Meanwhile, tonight could be the night for the Rays -- another step in their Cinderella journey: Dispatching the defending champs... the best-run team in baseball... in their house.

I know most folks are probably uninspired by the idea of a Tampa-Philly World Series (I can't imagine the ratings). But I love it: MLB's ultimate Cinderella story vs. the MLB fans who put the hard-ass in "hard-luck."

In college football, it's actually a really good game tonight: BYU at TCU. They are both in the Top 5 of non-BCS teams. BYU is the top contender to be this year's BCS-buster. If you haven't watched them this season -- beyond highlights -- this is your chance to be impressed... or not. TCU has about as stout of a D that there is among non-BCS teams (or, frankly, among BCS teams, too). The game being at TCU makes it all the more challenging for BYU, whose schedule ain't particularly tough -- beyond this game and the season finale vs. Utah.

Is it me, or does this season's Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday NFL coverage seem particularly lame? There just isn't much drama, and most weeks' games have lacked those signature moments or results that drive the conversation for a week. (No: Undefeated Titans or the Wildcat or the Raiders mess don't count. And all-Cowboys-all-the-time is really wearying...already.)

NBA: I have an odd fascination with Clippers rookie Mike Taylor, because -- beyond Brandon Jennings -- he represents a very unique path to the NBA: Drafted into the league directly from the D-League, after he washed out of college hoops. Aside from the money thing, why wouldn't a player go from high school to the D-League for a year, rather than play a year of college hoops. You get SOME money -- and maybe a shoe deal or other endorsements. And the D-League would LOVE you, probably making you their signature player of the season.

Taylor had a big game last night. (Perhaps not as big as Clips rookie teammate Eric Gordon, but a very good all-around game. He's NBA-ready and a draft-night steal.)

Complete SN column here. More later.

-- D.S.

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