Today's Names to Know: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Brett Favre, Miami Heat, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Derek Dooley, Free Darko, Paul the Octopus and More.
NBA Season Begins: Longer preview coming at noon-ish. But needless to say the world revolves around the Heat -- which is awkward, given that they aren't actually going to win the title. That said: Miami's failure makes the season a lot more compelling.
Read the complete preview later, but here are a few key picks:
Finals: Lakers over Magic
MVP: Durant (ROY: Griffin)
Heat-Celtics tonight: Speaking of which... here's a preview of how the playoffs might play out: With the C's KO'ing the Superfriends.
(Even if the Heat win tonight, the game quickly illustrates the NBA's "regular-season" problem: The games -- particularly between top teams -- are utterly meaningless. I mean, they are fun to watch for their own sake, but they foreshadow nothing as it relates to the playoffs.)
Giants end Cowboys' season: Well, effectively, anyway. Up 20-7, the Cowboys gave up 31 straight points -- that was the insult on top of Tony Romo's shoulder injury, which will keep him out 6-8 weeks. It's not like it matters: The Cowboys' season is over. They won't make the playoffs. They might as well tank to get as high of a draft pick as possible.
Favre Watch: "Everting avulsion." I have no idea what that means, as an injury. I do know that "avulsion" sounds like the feeling the vast majority of fans have for Favre. The larger point is that there is a good chance his 291-game streak of starting games could be over.
Here is the question: Why is this even Favre's decision? Why doesn't the coach say: "I'm going to play whichever QB gives us the best chance to win. And, this weekend, Gimpy McGee here simply isn't better than Tarvaris Jackson." Fin.
LeBron's new TV ad: It is entirely (if typically) provocative, and I end up walking away from it mesmerized by the aesthetic genius of the spot yet totally aggravated by LeBron's attitude. I presume that's the point. Watch.
CFB: What in the world was Tennessee coach Derek Dooley talking about? Protip: It's never a good idea to compare yourself to the Nazis. It's bad enough to reference the Nazis about someone ELSE, let alone YOURSELF. He's like Godwin's Law, run through a Tennessee translator.
Books: If you like the NBA, you'll love Free Darko's new book, out today. Highly recommended.
RIP: Paul the Octopus. A better sports prognosticator than 99.9 percent of sports "experts."