Today's Names to Know: Jeremy Lin, Mark Sanchez, Jim Boeheim, RA Dickey, Serge Ibaka.
Jeremy Lin playing terrific against the Knicks last night in his NYC homecoming was as predictable as it was awesome to see. It was a reminder of 2012's signature moment in (non-Olympic) sports: Linsanity, the three-week stretch in February that captured everything we love about sports.
This time, the MSG fans weren't quite as hysterical as they were 10 months ago -- they're forgiven the smattering of boos, because they were so packed with self-loathing -- but if they got to re-live that glorious stretch from last winter even for a minute, even with the center of their attention/affection playing for the other team, it is worth it.
Mark Sanchez playing terrible against the Titans last night in the Jets' coup de crap was also as predictable... as it was awesome to see.
(Aside from following hilarious comments about the game on Twitter, I tuned in long enough to see Tebow's lone series -- how about that first-down run on his first play? -- and the debacle that unfolded over the final two minutes: Sanchez INT -- his 4th -- and then the first-snap fumble after the Titans had gifted the Jets a last-gasp chance inside the 25-yard-line. It was more than enough to get the gist.)
Actually, I spent my time last night putting the final touches on this year's Quickish list of the best sportswriting of the year, which will be published sometime this week.
900 wins for Jim Boeheim: It is a monumental number. His career highlight is clearly the title run with Carmelo in 2003, with the 1987 runner-up and '96 Final Four team rounding out the Top 3.
NBA: In the West, it's the (footloose and Harden-free) Thunder, then everyone else. Hate to read too much into a single regular-season game, but OKC dismantled the Spurs, and the key was Serge Ibaka, who had 25 and 17 with 3 blocks, looking every bit like a full-fledged part of a new Big Three. OKC has won 11 straight. (FWIW, the Clippers have won 10 straight, but it's hard to see LA competing with the Thunder in May, when it counts. The Spurs? Yes. Anyone else? No.)
MLB: Dickey deal finalized with Jays. The Mets don't want to pay him, so the Jays happily will, and the competitive dynamic in the AL East is affirmed as the must-see show in baseball next year.
CBB: Should Butler join Georgetown, Villanova and the rest of the "Catholic 7" spin-off/start-up basketball league? Absolutely. It's a no-brainer.
RGIII sets NFL jersey-sales record: One more indicator that the rookie is already the face of the NFL.