Today's Names to Know: Heat, Patrick Chung, Tom Brady, Danny Woodhead, Justin Morneau, Mets, Terrelle Pryor, John Wall, Mike Vick, Chuck Cecil, Christine O'Donnell and More.
It could be the most anticipated NBA preseason game of all time: The Heat versus... well, it really doesn't matter, does it? The fact is that this is our first glimpse at the Superfriends -- or whatever they are calling themselves. And I will be tuning in.
Patrick Chung, Pats crush Fins: Here's a first -- the Pats became the first team to score a TD in ALL the following ways in a single game: Rushing TD, Passing TD, Pick-6, Kickoff Return and Blocked FG.
(Presumably if you had Pat Chung as your IDP in fantasy -- if your league uses IDP -- you crushed it this week. What didn't he do? Was it the most overtly dominating performance by a defensive/special teams player of the season? Let's include the fact it was on the national stage of MNF. As a bonus for Chung, he is the No. 1 trend on Google this morning.)
Milestones: Tom Brady was the fastest QB ever* to reach 100 wins (he did it in 131 games).
* - in the Super Bowl Era
Woodhead Watch: With every additional touchdown, Danny Woodhead grows taller by an inch. At this rate, he will look like Daunte Culpepper by the season's end. (Chalk one up to "system" over "star.")
MLB: I never like the lull between the end of the regular season of baseball and the start of the playoffs three days later. Give me some kind of mini-playoff -- expand the field. (There are some interesting arguments against -- most notably made by Joe Sheehan in a 2,500-word email he sent out to his newsletter subscribers. But the Wild Card is the single-best -- and probably the most popular -- innovation in baseball of the last 30+ years, and it is hard for anti-WC folks to argue around that.)
Justin Morneau out for playoffs: This isn't surprising -- he hasn't played in forever, because of that concussion. If he was in the NFL, he would have been back on the field after 2 weeks; is his concussion that bad? Or is the NFL that broken?
The Mets need a reboot: Mainly because of their massive payroll, they are stuck in this Knicks-in-the-00s vicious cycle of mediocrity. Why not implode the team and rebuild? At least fans can understand that. Frankly, if I was the Wilpons, I would offer $5 million a year and a piece of equity in the team to Matt Silverman, president of the Rays.
Coming tomorrow: Playoff picks. (Preview: Phillies over Rays for the title.)
CFB BlogPoll Reax: Oregon vs. Ohio State. Some very fair criticism rolled in about how down I am on Ohio State, while I am suddenly so high on Oregon. Folks are pointing out that we have some terrific evidence -- Ohio State stifling Oregon head-to-head in the Rose Bowl last year -- that favors ranking Ohio State ahead of the Ducks.
More NBA preseason: Lots and lots of openers today: Heat notwithstanding, I am paying closest attention to the untelevised debut of John Wall, who has instantly become my favorite NBA player. Among Wizards fans, I'm hardly alone.
Kobe vs. LeBron: Who ya got? On its face, I'd say LeBron, just for the size. But I'm actually going to take Kobe, who is smarter, a better shooter and -- frankly -- tempermentally less likely to choke.
Injuries: Vick out 1-2 weeks with a rib injury, and you always wonder how his body will react the first time (or dozen) he is crunched by a defensive lineman. The Eagles will flounder.
Penalties: Chuck Cecil is fined $40,000 for giving the ref the finger on Sunday. He's lucky he wasn't suspended a game, although it provided quite a bit of hilarity for the rest of us.
Ryder Cup: A game comeback by the Yanks (and predictable chokery by the Euros), but -- ultimately -- humiliation.
"I am not a witch." Just had to mention that.