Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols. Pablo Sandoval.
Thanks to Mr. October, the "hit three home runs in a World Series game" milestone has an out-sized appeal with fans.
That it has only been done by a handful of players -- all legends -- extends the appeal. This is a club five times more exclusive than the "Threw a Perfect Game" crew.
That Sandoval was a non-factor in the Giants' 2010 World Series title run -- and largely an afterthought heading into this year's version -- adds to it.
That the Panda hit two of his homers off of Justin Verlander -- the most dominant pitcher of the current era -- makes his version more impressive than any of the other guys.
Just like that, Pablo Sandoval has ensured his little place of baseball immortality. If the Giants win the Series, what Panda did last night is what everyone will remember.
If the Giants lose the Series, what Panda did last night will still be the most memorable thing from this series (not unlike Derek Jeter's walk-off HR in the 2001 WS).
Typically, playoff series are said not to "start" until a road team wins a game. But given the expectations for Verlander, the pressure is on Detroit.
And if Pablo Sandoval does nothing else this series, he has done enough already.
NBA: SI picks the Heat to beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Don't disagree.
Kobe: Out for the rest of the preseason. Honestly, he could sit out half the regular season -- like Dwight Howard, all that matters is that he is healthy for the playoffs.
NHL: Islanders moving to Brooklyn. Clearly, I love this.
NHL Lockout: Was there even a question the full season wouldn't be played?
CFB: Braxton Miller will play vs. Penn State - it isn't the weekend's biggest game (it isn't even in the Top 5), but it has Upset Special potential, a season-maker for PSU.
What are those Top 5 games? In this order: (1) Florida-Georgia, (2) Notre Dame-Oklahoma, (3) Texas Tech-Kansas State, (4) Oregon State-Washington (Upset Special), (5) Mississippi State-Alabama. And watch Kent State upending unbeaten Rutgers.
CBB: Adding injury to insult, UCLA frosh Shabazz Muhammad -- dealing with NCAA eligibility issues -- injured his shoulder yesterday in practice. He is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of the NBA Draft next year. Given that UCLA has him for just a year, they might want to get him back ASAP; if I was Muhammad, I would err on the side of protecting my professional future.
NFL vs. Concussions: This Washington Post piece is worth a read.
Good read: Chuck Culpepper on Jeremy Lin, via SportsOnEarth.com.
NFL Week 8: Pink penalty flags are a great idea and will look awesome on TV.
Service-y! Don't forget to set your fantasy lineups, particularly if you have any Bucs or Vikings. (Pick: Vikes.)