OK, so maybe it won't be the Rays in 5. But it's not like they haven't been stifled in Game 1 of a championship series before. The last time it happened, they scored 31 runs in the next 3 games.
Still: As I lead in today's SN column, that was an impressive display by Cole Hamels, who is the new Josh Beckett -- untouchable in the postseason. And by Brad Lidge, who probably deserves NL Cy. And by Chase Utley, who -- for all the MVP hype for Rollins ('07) and Howard ('08) -- is the real MVP of this offense. And by Jason Bartlett, who even Philly fans can cheer, given that he swiped them (and the rest of the country) a free taco.
Meanwhile, looking ahead to Saturday, Texas-Oklahoma State is the headliner (yes, Penn St and Ohio St fans, with your game thisclose behind). But the real news is Colt McCoy confirming that he'll return to Texas for the '09 season, which should scare the hell out of people. If he's this good in the offense now, how much better will Texas be next year?
It seems unthinkable, but when McCoy's career is over, he will likely be considered even better than Vince Young. Not bad, considering Vince Young is one of the Top 3 college football players of the last decade (Young... Bush... Tebow -- go ahead and retch now).
What would McCoy need to top Young? Not just a national title -- how about two of them? And a Heisman -- or two. Two national titles and two Heismans? Yup, that would do it. (Yes, I recognize this projection is fantastical. Then again, I was perfectly willing to argue that there was no way Tim Tebow would win another Heisman after last season. And he won't.)
Wow, that was a bit of a digression...
I'll dig into the start of the NBA season next week, but am I that wrong to think that the Magic can push the Celtics to contend in the East? Dwight Howard is unstoppable (except at the FT line, of course); Rashard Lewis is a near-perfect complement; and Mickael Pietrus is a defensive stopper. There's something about central Florida this year, isn't there?
More coming later. Complete SN column here.