Today's Names to Know: Thanksgiving, Auburn vs. Alabama, Kellen Moore vs. Colin Kaepernick, Hal Steinbrenner vs. Derek Jeter, Phil Jackson vs. Pat Riley, Duke vs. Miami Heat, Kemba Walker vs. Brandon Knight, Josh Hamilton vs. Miguel Cabrera, Joe Paterno vs. 2011 and More.
Thanks. It is one of the most enjoyable days of the year: The day before Thanksgiving, when everyone says what they are thankful for -- in sports and otherwise.
Let's start with sports: I'm thankful for -- among other things...
*The Saints' onside kick in the Super Bowl.
*The feeling I had when Gordon Hayward put up his OHITSGOINGIN! shot at the buzzer in the national-title game.
*Tim Tebow being a 1st-round NFL draft pick and sticking it to the draftniks.
*The Wizards winning the John Wall lottery.
*College football Saturdays with Mrs. Quickie and my kids.
*Every time the Heat lose.
Would love to hear the sports things you are thankful for. I'll try to update the comments as much as possible during the day.
And then I'm thankful, as always, for every single visit each of you has made here over the past year. It has been a great year in sports, and I sincerely appreciate that you make the time to commiserate about it here. We are into the 5th year of this blog, and just like the Daily Quickie years ago, I find the renewed enthusiasm every day to keep it going because of you.
Heading into the new year -- and this exciting new venture of mine -- I am hoping to have built a product you love to use. Thanks in advance for your support... and for your patience as I promote it like I have never promoted anything in my life. (Speaking of which: Have you liked the Facebook page or followed the Twitter feed yet?)
Thanks again, and here's to a Happy Thanksgiving for you and your families.
NFL Week 12: My Favorite Storylines
1. Thanksgiving football: My favorite tradition.
2. Vick Watch: At Chicago, not easy.
3. GOTW: Packers-Falcons
4. Leslie Frazier's coaching debut: In DC.
5. Titans without VY: Rally or fold?
CFB Weekend Preview: HUGE. And it comes on Friday, not Saturday: Auburn at Alabama, then Oregon hosts Arizona, then Boise plays its toughest game of the year, at Nevada.
We could enter Saturday with a totally shook-up BCS outlook... or it could simply be one more week of "Oh, sure: Oregon and Auburn"... although both could lose NEXT week, too.
Picks: Alabama. Oregon. Boise. (Remember, if you truly hate the BCS, you should be rooting for Auburn to lose, but still jump unbeaten Boise in the final BCS standings, even with 1-loss.)
Yankees play hardball with Jeter: I completely agree with the way the Yankees are handling the Derek Jeter negotiation, and yesterday's public comments from the team were the best yet:
Says GM Brian Cashman: "We've encouraged him to test the market and see if there's something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That's the way it works."
Says owner Hal Steinbrenner: "As much as we want to keep everybody, we've already made these guys very, very rich, and I don't feel we owe anybody anything monetarily."
Their offer to Jeter is MORE than fair, considering both Jeter's value to the franchise historically and his value relative to his age, skills and comparables around the league.
And they are spot-on to call Jeter's bluff: Derek Jeter knows that on the Yankees, he's "DEREK JETER... THE CAPTAIN!" On any other team, he's an overpaid, underskilled shortstop.
I hope the team holds its position. Jeter will take their deal. (And if he doesn't? The fans will be sad, but it's not like they're going to stop rooting for the team because of it.)
Heat Watch: Phil Jackson plays the Riley card. I love how Phil Jackson has dipped into the Heat's business by playing the "Riley" card. Jackson is more than likely not going to have to face the Heat in the Finals, and yet he is still playing mind games with them, just in case:
"The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene, is that eventually these guys that were recruited -- Bosh and James -- by Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, 'We feel you [Riley] can do a better job coaching the team. We came here on the hopes that this would work,' and whatever, I don't know." Oh, Phil, but you DO know.
CBB Last Night: Duke rolled over Kansas State, as expected. Here is the best way to put this: Duke is what everyone thought the Miami Heat would be. (So where's the Duke Index?)
More: OK, so UConn is much, much better than people have given them credit for. If the season ended today (ha!), Kemba Walker would be 1st-team All-American.
(Really looking forward to UConn-Kentucky tonight in the finals in Maui. Really looking forward to the Walker head-to-head with UK's awesome frosh PG Brandon Knight.)
MLB Awards: Josh Hamilton wins AL MVP. Along with Votto in the NL, a terrific story of redemption -- one of the best in recent MLB history.
Hot Stove: Victor Martinez went to the Tigers. I still won't draft him in my fantasy league, after the way he has historically hurt my teams when I have had him, with his injuries, etc. (Meanwhile, Aubrey Huff re-signed with the Giants. And why wouldn't he? World champs!)
NBA Last Night: John Wall is back. And even if he was held scoreless in the 1st half, he came back in the 2nd and scored 25 points, including 3 points coming on 3-of-3 FTs when he astutely put up an absurd-looking 3 while Jrue Holiday was fouling him with just seconds to play in regulation, allowing the Wiz to tie the score and win the game.
(Tonight: Heat at Magic. Think the Magic want some payback for that early-season drubbing?)
Joe Paterno to coach in 2011: Is it a net-positive for the program, relative to him retiring? Probably not. Has Paterno reached the point where he can do whatever he wants? Absolutely. (Reached that point? He's been at that point for 20+ years.)
Skidmore hoops wins in 7 OTs: Division III rules!
Catch you tomorrow and/or have a great Thanksgiving.