There are two equally interesting outcomes to this year's World Series:
(1) Yankees win. Restoration of Yankees' glory... blah blah blah... Although I would argue that this year's Yankees team was under more pressure to win a W.S. championship than any team in history. World Series titles to bookend the decade. How fitting.
(2) Yankees lose. Even more epic. Failure, on the biggest stage -- and, per the above sentiment, under conditions where failure simply is not an option. Schadenfreude run wild! Oh, and the Phillies repeat as champs, making them the best team of the decade.
As you'll see in today's SN column, I am picking the Yankees to win -- I am rooting for the Phillies to win. It's not a hedge if you really don't care about the outcome. I would be thrilled for my "opinion" to be wrong.
Meanwhile, a friend who is a Mets fan said that the only solace Mets fans could take from seeing their two biggest rivals playing for the World Series is that the weather in NYC sucks, and hopefully Yankees fans are nominally miserable while sitting through it. Doubt it.
More in today's column:
I go fairly crazy on last night's 4 NBA season-openers. I do NOT plan on doing that for every game for every night this season. But there were four fairly interesting storylines:
*Celtics beat the Cavs -- the result itself is less meaningful than the hint that the addition of Shaq and Anthony Parker (and Jamario Moon) ain't enough to get the Cavs past the Celtics (who themselves added Rasheed and Marquis Daniels, who both were effective as subs).
*Lakers get their rings -- I picked the Lakers to repeat, and it will depend not on Kobe, but on the supporting cast. Bynum was terrific. Odom picked up from his best performances from last year. And Ron Artest's superficial stats weren't great, but his plus-minus led the team.
*How 'bout my Wiz! Gilbert Arenas had his best game in I-really-can't-remember-how-long. And, even without Jamison, the Wiz offense was very effective. Caron Butler was the 4th-leading scorer. I have no faith, however, that Andray Blatche will be consistent. Foye, however...
*OK, so I may have been drinking too much Morey Kool-Aid when I picked the Rockets to make the playoffs in the West. But it's not like the Blazers are chumps -- they are arguably a Top 4 team in the West. And, hey: Greg Oden gave a preview of the rest of his NBA career -- lots of rebounds, lots of blocks, zero offense. He's basically a bigger, vastly more expensive version of Chris Andersen.
Even more you'll find:
*Dez Bryant or not: OK State isn't beating Texas in Stillwater this weekend.
*Is Butler the best mid-major team in college hoops?
*A slew of non-SN must-reads, including Dan Steinberg's tremendous reporting from FedEx Field on Monday night.
*Andre Agassi was a meth-head? Did NOT see that coming.
BLOGPOLL UPDATE: Thanks for your feedback -- as a result, I moved Penn State up a few notches... and dropped Houston down. (Hmm: Would Houston beat Penn State on a neutral field in standard fall weather? The answer is: Yes.) Updated poll here.
Complete column here. More later.