Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday (Jam-Packed) Quickie

I'm actually in L.A. today, but arrived last night too late to zip over to Staples to watch the Dwight Howard Lakers debut. Probably for the best. So much to cover...

*NLCS Game 7: Not much more you can ask for. Two teams -- only the most recent two defending MLB champs -- that consistently win these kind of elimination games, so the slogan for tonight is "Something's gotta give."

*Game 6: After being down 3-1, it is pretty incredible that the Giants have gotten career-best starts from both Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong at exactly the moment they were most-needed.

*NFL Week 7 notes:

*MNF Tonight: This time it's personal. I'm tied in a fantasy match-up. I've got Calvin Johson and my opponent has Brandon Marshall. If that wasn't enough, I have Joique Bell and he has Mikel Leshoure. It is the most exciting fantasy finish I have ever experienced and the definition of why fantasy football rules.

*Sports x Politics: I'm kind of loving ESPN's campaign to get you to watch MNF via the (essential) WatchESPN app while you watch the Presidential debate on TV. Sounds good to me.

*CFB Hangover: There is no question -- Kansas State's resume is stronger than Oregon's (as is Florida's). If you avoid watching Oregon's insane highlights and simply focus on who they have played (and beaten soundly), they just aren't there yet. Two wins over USC (regular season and Pac-12 title game) and a win over a then-unbeaten Oregon State will help Oregon's cause tremendously. But until then, let's celebrate what a juggernaut K-State is.

*More: "Florida is Back" meme. I have been a Florida fan for 12 seasons and I can't remember -- and in asking more seasoned Florida fans than me, anyone else can't remember -- a Florida-Georgia game as big as this one coming up on Saturday: It is the SEC East title game. Forget Florida's position in the BCS or national-title picture -- winning the SEC East this year would be a HUGE accomplishment. (And, conversely, losing the game this weekend would be particularly tough.)

*Heisman Watch: Collin Klein surges into the lead, and as long as K-State stays unbeaten -- no matter what happens with the BCS -- he will win the Heisman, although Mante Te'o is a lock to earn the coveted "defensive player gets invited to New York for the ceremony" finalist placement.

*NBA: Dwight Howard's Lakers debut. The NBA quote of the season? Kobe to Dwight before the tip: "Let's play some mother-f@#$ing ball." Let's not get caught up in how Howard looked last night -- or any game this regular season. He and the Lakers will be judged entirely on whether they win an NBA title. (Not even wrenching the West title back from OKC will be enough, although it is necessary -- if not sufficient -- to the season's success.)

*Lance stripped of Tour de France titles: We all knew it was coming. It is still the most powerful symbolism of this entire affair, because it was the TdF titles that turned Lance Armstrong into LANCE and his story into the "Live Strong" campaign and charity that has done so much to fund cancer research and provide hope to people dealing with cancer, themselves or their family/friends. Earlier in this portion of the episode, I used to feel a lot of anger and bitterness toward Lance. As I read details of what a mastermind he was of all of this, I still feel angry. But mostly I feel sad for the people who put their faith in him. Then I feel angry again towards him. Hell of a legacy for him.

-- D.S.

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