Today's Names to Know: Devin Hester, Roy Halladay, Carlos Zambrano, John Updike, Ted Williams, George Blanda, Bill Polian, Gilbert Arenas and More.
40 years ago today: Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu. Today's the day to read it if you never have.
MNF: The Bears are 3-0, and they just dispatched the team most experts picked to win the NFC. The Packers played a sloppy game -- penalties, turnovers, letting 2010 Devin Hester look like 2007 Devin Hester.
(Parity rules: After 3 weeks, there are only 3 unbeaten teams left -- the Bears, the Steelers and the surprising Chiefs. It's worth asking: Which is most likely to collapse and not make the playoffs? I'll go with Chicago.)
MLB: Roy Halladay has been everything that Phillies fans had hoped he would be when they got him in the offseason. Last night's 21st win -- clinching the NL East title for Philly -- was an exclamation point on what will be a NL Cy-winning season for him.
NL West/Wild Card Thrill-Ride: The Padres lost their WC lead to the Braves when they lost a 1-0 result to rejuvenated Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs. They also fell a full game behind the Giants in the NL West -- less of an issue than the WC, because they play the Giants head-to-head to finish the season this weekend, a virtual "play-in."
Interesting story percolating about the Rays players being a bit nasty, publicly, about their low attendance. Rays fans may not be showing up for bad reasons (don't appreciate what an awesome team they have) or good ones (who has the discretionary cash to spend on going?), but the players are never -- EVER -- going to win by griping about it.
RIP George Blanda, who played in the NFL in four different decades (1949-1975), a Methuselaian achievement that included both passing and kicking.
NFL going to 18 regular-season games a "fait accompli?" Colts honcho Bill Polian says so, and I think he's tapped in enough not to float bad info so publicly.
NBA Media Days: Forget Carmelo. How about the transformation of Gilbert Arenas -- still one of my favorite NBA players -- from personality to all-business. I could see Arenas being the NBA's version of Michael Vick: Redemption story through on-field (-court) awesomeness.
Heat Mania (or Fatigue): LeBron couldn't be more wrong that this season isn't "Championship or Bust." Let's be clear: Anything less than a title this year is failure for Miami.
MLB Awards Week: Felix Hernandez is my AL Cy Young winner. Let's hope he doesn't make me look dumb when he makes his final start of the season later today. (Coming tomorrow: AL MVP.)
Bills cut Trent Edwards: Wonder if they wish they had drafted Tim Tebow? He would be struggling, but at least the team would be relevant.