Is it me or has it been a while since a Monday Night Football game mattered? Not just between the two teams playing, but also in offering up a meaningful statement about either of them.
In the case of last night's game, we got that from the Panthers, who feel like they have been overlooked all season long, eclipsed by the Giants or Cowboys or Eagles or even the Cardinals.
Ignore them no longer: They took on a rush D that held the Saints (OK: It was the Saints) to 44 yards last week and the DeAngelo and Jonathan Show ran for 300 yards and 4 TDs. I actually crunched some numbers this morning in the SN column (but don't confuse me for Aaron Schatz).
Williams and Stewart may not be quite as prolific or "signature" as the Titans' White and Johnson, but they are the most effective running combo in the NFC -- watch out for the Panthers.
Meanwhile, K-Rod to the Mets? The money is there, and I think both sides are willing (K-Rod should be willing, even at 3 years; he won't see $11M a year from anyone else.)
Don't expect any clarity from CC today.
Colt McCoy is coming back to Texas next season, as expected, and I couldn't put it more plainly in the column: Texas should be the preseason No. 1 and heavy favorite to win the national title next year and McCoy should be the heavy favorite to win the Heisman -- even if Tim Tebow comes back to Florida. The Revenge of Texas is the theme of next season.
Dwyane Wade's 41 last night was notable, as was Durant's 41, as was Dwight's second straight 20/20 game. But the player to watch was OJ Mayo, who tied Magic Johnson's rookie record of 21 games in double-figure scoring to start a career. And it doesn't look like it's ending anytime soon. Mayo is my quarter-season pick for Rookie of the Year, even ahead of Derrick Rose. That could change (will change, I'm sure), but -- as predicted for the past 3 years -- Mayo is made to be an NBA shooting guard.
Stephen Curry at Madison Square Garden tonight. It's on ESPN, so everyone can watch. I'll be watching from the couch, too -- my attempt to secure tickets didn't work out. (I'm saving all my chits for the game on Jan. 8.)
Complete column here. More later.