Today's Names to Know: Brett Favre, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Gilbert Arenas, Josh Hamilton and Ron Washington, Fredi Gonzalez, Oregon, Vince Jackson, Tommie Smith, Lana Lawless, Chilean Miner No. 21, "Fanhoo!", Jonah Shanoff and More.
Today is my younger son's 2nd birthday. Like I feel about his older brother, I love him so much that I can barely contain it. He's just starting to find his voice, but I will say that he has shown a remarkable aptitude for shooting baskets on the mini-hoop. I'm going to try to dig up a video and put it on YouTube.
Favre Watch: Combining Brett Favre taking a football to the groin with the classic Simpsons "Man Getting Hit By Football" scene? Thank you, KSK.
(Meanwhile, the bigger issue for Favre is the tendinitis in his throwing arm -- will it cause him to sit out, ending his streak? Or will he put himself out there at well less than 100 percent, risking the win for the Vikings as a tribute to his own ego?)
Heat: Curious how the Heat would do without both LeBron and Wade? If last night's blowout loss to the Hornets is any indication, they would suck. Basically, it's like the Raptors with a sold-out arena and a dedicated ESPN.com section.
Gilbertology: I, for one, think it is an incredible sign that Gilbert Arenas faked an injury on Tuesday night (and fined for it) so that teammate Nick Young could get some run.
BlogPoll Top 25: Oregon is the new No. 1, in a nice contrarian outcome compared to the mainstream polls that used inertia as their No. 1 qualifier to move Ohio State from No. 2 to No. 1. (But 6 other teams earned 1st-place votes, including my pick TCU -- I wasn't the only one!).
Notably, South Carolina is No. 10 -- as it is in the mainstream polls -- and only fractions of a point behind Alabama. This makes no sense, of course, after last week's clear-cut Gamecocks win (which catapulted them to No. 2 on my ballot).
NFL: Vincent Jackson will apparently be back with the Chargers by the end of the month. They should play him on special teams.
MLB Playoffs: This wait between the end of the LDS and the start of the LCS is lame and interminable. If it wasn't for the fact that Halladay-Lincecum should be epic, I'd be griping more.
Good Read: Clay Travis nails the Rangers' appeal -- they went through TWO scandals (Hamilton's relapse and Washington's coke problem) and emerged unscathed because they handled the situations swiftly and transparently. Basically every other person in sports who screws up can take a lesson.
Fredi Gonzalez named Braves manager: That was quick. And that is precisely the point -- the Braves weren't going to let this manager thing hang in the air, like other less stable franchises would.
Most interesting story of the past 24 hours: Tommie Smith selling his shoes and gold medal from the 1968 Olympics (but NOT the black glove).
Name to Know: Lana Lawless, suing the LPGA over the league's rule banning transgendered women from competing.
Anyone else think that "Chilean Miner No. 21" will be a popular costume this year for Halloween? You have to convince two women to be part of the act: One's your wife, the other's your mistress. (It really is one of the most tremendously happy endings that have happened in recent years.)
Media: I am so totally publishing a post later today about what "Fanhoo! Sports" (the combination of AOL Fanhouse and Yahoo Sports, when the two companies merge) will look like. And I claim "first" on the short-hand "Fanhoo!"