Monday, September 8, 2008

Recapping A 'Magical' Weekend In Sports

Magic Numbers are now being posted in baseball standings, which means the about 80% of the games played don't matter anymore. Thankfully the NFL rushed into the void to make Sports Center worth watching, because otherwise there would only be about five minutes of worthwhile highlights spread over the 60 minute show.

Sunday would have been quite a show to produce! What stories do you pick to squeeze into it? NFL week 1 and its myriad off-field stories (Brady's knee, Favre, Vince Young out, Panthers' finish, rookie QBs, etc.). NCAA Football and the USD Toreros holding the longest home winning streak in Division I. The U.S. Open and Captain Fist-Pump knocking off Nadal to make the Final against the "slumping" Roger Federer. Serena Williams' continued masquerade as a woman and her winning another Grand Slam. And then there was a high stakes weekend in MLB where five of the six divisions are separated by four games or less.

Here would have been my rundown:
NFL: Patriots 17, Chiefs 10 + Tom Brady is out possibly for the season. Trent Dilfer cited an anonymous but "very trustworthy source" within the Pats who said Brady is done for the year. But my question, is who the hell knows since his MRI wasn't completed until Monday? But if he is out, are the Jets the team to beat in the AFC East? I'd still go with the Pats because the gap between them and everyone else was so big last year and the Jets are starting all over. Sure Matt Cassel is new, but what better way to get comfy that with that offense?

NFL: Jets 20, Dolphins 14. The Brett Favre magic works outside of Green Bay as evidenced by the Jets scoring a touchdown on one of the worst pass-decisions or executions I have ever seen.

MLB: Mets and Phillies split a doubleheader. The Phillies had won the first two games of the series, crawling to within a game of the lead, but Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado pushed the divisional lead back to two and Jimmy Rollins went 0-5 and struck out to end the last game the Phillies will ever play at Shea. The Mets' Magic Number is 18. And Mike Schmidt is a huge ass.

U.S. Open: Serena Williams beats Jelena Jankovic to win the Open and Andy Murray hangs on in a rain-suspended match from Saturday to beat Rafael Nadal and advance to Monday's Final against Roger Federer. Murray is suffering from fatigue in his fist-pump muscles and the outlook for the Final isn't pretty. Roger Federer is in the worst slump of his career in 2008 and has only made it to three of the four Grand Slam Finals. Poor bastard.

NFL: Panthers 26, Chargers 24. I was getting ready to leave the house yesterday afternoon and turned on the TV just in time to see the Panthers lining up to go for the win with two-seconds left on the clock, down by five, on about the Chargers' 10-yard line. Instinctively I sprinted to the stereo to switch the audio from the TV feed to A.M. radio and tuned to 570. Alas, all I got was static, but I would have loved to have heard the Chargers' announcers, easily the worst in football, swallow this loss.

Actually, come to think of it, those are the only stories I care about in the least. I guess there were still only about five-minutes of highlights worth watching. Which is why I watched the show straight through three or four times.

I suppose including the Dodgers' sweep over the DBacks is big news. During the Mets-Phillies game last night, ESPN ran a commercial that showed Manny Ramirez with the title "1 Man: The Difference." I will give you that Manny has been fantastic and the team seems to believe and the fans are engaged, and they are in first place. But it has been six weeks since he's been in L.A. and are 19-16 in that time. Before we give the NL Pennant to the Dodgers after this eight-game win streak, let's remember that they are .500 in their last 16 games.

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