Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15 (Busy Weekend) Quickie

Am I still recovering from the Nats' excruciating loss on Friday night? Yes. But yesterday was Jonah's 4th birthday, so that party -- superhero-themed -- kept me occupied.

As there is no natural sports tie-in to Captain America (Jonah's favorite), then the hook is that one of his favorite gifts was a pair of Bauer hockey pants that he had been coveting to round out his hockey gear. Not going to lie: He looked faster/tougher on the ice on Saturday while wearing them.

Meanwhile, much like our house, let's zip around to clean up a busy weekend:

*NFL Week 6: The pivot point where early-season narratives (The Texans look like Super Bowl contenders! The Falcons and 49ers are the class of the NFC!) start to erode -- the Packers and Giants we saw yesterday are closer to what real contenders look like than the performances we see across the league in Weeks 1-5.

*Team of the Week: Seahawks! With all due respect to the Lions (let's be honest: the Eagles are not particularly good) and the Packers (who did nothing more than finally play up to their potential), Seattle's comeback win over the Patriots wasn't just the best win of Week 6, but the best win of the year -- the kind of awesome performance (with the whole country watching) that should make everyone forget about the MNF "Fail Mary" debacle that gifted them a win. The Seahawks earned this one, and in the process punched in the nose a team that most of the country can't stand.

*Player of the Week: RGIII: Not just a decent game coming off his concussion, but his best game yet in the NFL -- his 76-yard TD run to seal the win was arguably the most exciting play of the season so far, across the league.

(BTW: There's no question that Aaron Rodgers had the most impressive statistical game of the week -- and more than a little bit to prove after Green Bay's slow start. But RG3's concussion was THE story of the NFL this week -- that he came up as big as he did makes him the most intriguing player of the week. Let's also give some credit to Russell Wilson.)

*Nats hangover: I'd rather lose excruciatingly in the playoffs than either (a) get blown out in the ultimate game or (b) not make the playoffs at all. That said: Those of us who think the Strasburg shut-down was an epic mistake have that bitter affirmation to keep us warm during Hot Stove season.

*Yankees: If New York was going to poop the bed in the ALCS -- and that includes its fans simply tuning out (when they're not booing) -- they might as well have forfeited Game 5 against the Orioles and let a team (and fan base) with some competitive spirit have the spot.

*More Yankees: No, seriously, after Justin Verlander destroys them tomorrow and they're in an 0-3 hole, the only question is whether they'll have enough pride to avoid a sweep or just pack it in.

*Jeter: Much like Jeter's insistence that he keep his spot at shortstop when A-Rod arrived -- even though A-Rod was demonstrably better in the field -- I can't see Jeter doing anything but demanding he get to return to shortstop after his injury recovery, even if the reconstructed ankle will make him even more limited in the field than before (which is saying something). As with Mo Rivera, I hope he comes back at whatever "full strength" is for a 39-year-old -- ahem -- and has a productive year.

*NLCS: The only consolation for Nats fans should be that the Cards are going to hack their way to the NL pennant -- the Giants' starting pitching is a mess, and that is exactly what St. Louis feasts on.

*BCS: It's hard to get too worked up about Alabama-Florida at 1-2 -- if it all plays out like the computers seem to expect, they'll play each other in a knock-out game in the SEC title game (I don't even think Florida gets past South Carolina next week, let alone the rest of the schedule, including a trip to Tallahassee in the season finale that will be a season-maker for Florida State if Florida is unbeaten at the time.) The reality remains: It's going to be Alabama-Oregon in the NCG.

*More CFB Hangover: It was fun while it lasted, West Virginia. They can re-enter relevancy -- if not the national title picture -- by giving Kansas State its first loss of the season next Saturday.

-- D.S.

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