Today's Names to Know: Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Buster Posey, Felix Hernandez, Roy Halladay, Jason Terry, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, Steve Lavin, Jacob Pullen, Billy Donovan, Brad Stevens, College Hoops Marathon and More.
Just an aside: I love ESPN's 24-hour hoops marathon. I don't even care who is on -- just that I can get up at 5 a.m. (or anytime today), flick on the TV and see live college basketball.
Mike Vick wins Monday: That 1st quarter (and 1st play of the 2nd) was unreal. And here's a first: Vick became the first player EVER to throw for 300+ yards, rush for 50+, throw for 4 TDs and rush for 2 TDs in a single game. It was the most dominating performance by a single player of the NFL season -- and a pretty good snapshot of why Vick should be a legit MVP candidate.
Did Vick put up the best individual performance in Monday Night Football history? That's quite a claim, covering 30+ years. That one Bo Jackson game comes to mind -- and yet Vick's game felt more spectacular (certainly given how much was compressed into the opening quarter).
It is hard to find the superlative to assign to what he did last night, but there is no longer any question that Vick's resurgence this season is the No. 1 player storyline of the season. If it's not too late to finalize a vote for midseason MVP (it is), I'm going with Vick.
You might even say Vick "refudiated" his critics. (a: Can't believe that was the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year. b: Yes, I can. c: Speaking of the Palins, Bristol is totally advancing tonight on DWTS. Not that I voted. Or watch. But still.)
...versus Donovan McNabb: Vick's game was all the more entertaining because it came on the same day McNabb secured his own jaw-dropping number, a new 5-year contract with $40 million guaranteed (escalating much higher if he meets all the incentives). It prompted a flurry of "WTF?" and, given the Redskins' season so far, rightfully so. Was the team under pressure to sign him immediately? Do they really think McNabb is the answer for the long-term? (And I say that as someone who likes McNabb.)
MLB Awards: Buster Posey wins NL ROY (as mostly expected) and Neftali Feliz won AL ROY (as entirely expected).
Today: Cy Young, and most of the award-season drama, to see if voters recognize that Felix Hernandez was the best pitcher in the AL this season, regardless of his record. (The NL seems much more settled, with Roy Halladay as the clear favorite -- as he has been since the moment he joined the league.)
NBA Last Night: The Hornets finally lose, taking their first defeat in Dallas (big win for the Mavs, who are setting themselves up for another in their annual big-regular-season-only-to-lose-in-the-playoffs run)... Great shoot-out between Kevin Durant (30) and Deron Williams (31) in a Thunder win over the (previously) hot Jazz, who had won 5 in a row.
More CBB: Tough start for the Steve Lavin Era at St. John's, which took a loss at fiesty St. Mary's -- a rough game to debut an "era" with.
CBB Marathon: Things really pick up at 4, with VA Tech-Kansas State, followed by Ohio State-Florida at 6, followed by Butler-Louisville at 8. (Duke is on ESPNU at 7:30 if you're curious to watch them.)
TV Ratings: Cowboys-Giants are new NFL standard-setter. In a season where the NFL just keeps putting up crazy numbers of viewers, we had the biggest game yet -- the Cowboys' blowout win over the Giants was the most-watched game of the season.
(It makes sense: Dallas is the league's most popular team; the Giants drive a ton of audience in the league's biggest market. What is interesting is that it wasn't a primetime game, but "only" the late-afternoon game. And not even competitive.)
Seriously, though: Michael Vick....