Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Favre-Watch 09 Hits ESPN, And MLB Blows Its Awards Season

Well, you can write it down. Week 11 was the first time that ESPN mentioned Brett Favre's future in the NFL and also the week that Mercury Morris was first mentioned in relation to the undefeated Titans. November 19 was the date of the Favre article and November 17th for the Morris article. Let the hype begin.

Sports Illustrated took a different tact in hyping the World Series champions. To be honest, I didn't really notice this when it happened because I was a little bitter that the freaking Phillies won the Series, but yesterday I got the NFL's official catalogue (35 shopping days till Christmas) and in it were quite a few Super Bowl items for the Giants. After subtly circling about 30 items in it and "accidentally" leaving it open on my wife's nightstand, it occurred to me that SI never did a "Phillies Win!" World Series edition.

I went back through the magazines from this month and found that I was only sorta wrong. The November 3rd edition features Rocco Baldelli colliding at home plate with a catcher with red protectors on - I assume that was the Phillies catcher. The headline is "The World Series" - not "The Phillies Win!" The article inside was a tribute to a well played series that no one watched, not to the champs' season. No where in the entire magazine was there a sentence that actually said that the Phillies had won the World Series - the assumption being that you already knew that. If I was a Phillies fan, I would be freaking pissed about all of this! But I would probably also be illiterate, so I wouldn't get SI and it wouldn't matter.

The November 10 edition kinda made up for this oversight. It did say "Phillies Win!" on the cover, but that article wasn't really about the team either. Rather it was about how to fix the Series, not a glorifying recap.

When did the World Series Champ start getting second-billing to the NFL's Midseason Report on fat guys getting paid more than they used to? If baseball is slipping into the background of the major American sports consciousness, the way they announce their awards doesn't help. They announce the managers of the years, Golden Glovers, Silver Sluggers, Rookies of the Year and MVPs weeks after the season ends. By this time, the NFL has taken complete control of ESPN, the NBA is in full swing, college basketball is already started and baseball fans have already put last year behind them and are already bitching about next year's roster.

And they don't even have press conferences where the winners are given trophies and get to thank their dads and high school coaches! They get interviewed over the phone most of the time. Clearly the intent is for baseball to stay in our collective consciousness between the Series ending and free agency beginning, but it doesn't work. It trivializes the importance of these mens' accomplishments, and being that these are the most accomplished men in the Game, it trivializes the Game.

As does the fact that most of the time, the MVP award is give to the best player, but not necessarily the Most Valuable one. I would pick Albert Pujols to start my fantasy team, or my real franchise, over anyone else in the National League, but how valuable was he to the Cardinals this year? They took 4th. I don't think he should have been eligible because he didn't play enough games, but Manny Ramirez was eligible and was third in the voting - how did he not win? The guy joined a team struggling to play .500 that was slowly withering and never going to put it all together and carried them to the NLCS. And keep in mind as you read the following argument that I hate the Dodgers and think Manny is overrated.

So the Dodgers only finished a few games over .500 - the moment he arrived in L.A., the West was won and everyone knew it. Then he went out and hit .400 for two months just to make sure. He made you think James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier could be All Stars. Sure, Pujols carried the Cardinals, but he carried them to a crappy finish. The measuring stick for MVP is this: if you took the guy in question out and replaced him with any other above-average player of the same position, what is the difference?

Put Conor Jackson, Joey Votto, Loney, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Carlos Delgado, Lance Berkman or Derek Lee in St. Louis, and they still finish fourth. But put any left fielder from any team in baseball in L.A., and the Dodgers miss the playoffs and possibly wind up behind Colorado.

Friday, November 14, 2008

If The Jets Beat The Patriots, And No One Was Watching...

Thursday night, the Jets got to get a real look at Brett Favre for the first time since he joined them. Sure, they've won six other games Favre threw six touchdowns in one of them and won another by 44. But this was one of the bigger games in regular season franchise history: on the road, tied for first, at New England, in the latter half of the season. And from what I've read, Farve was his usual spectacular self. Of course it wasn't on TV, so how would I know?

This was the second of the NFL network's eight televised games this season. Few people really noticed that they missed the Browns and Broncos last week, but this one hurt a little. You may remember from last year (when the debate got hot) and the year before that the NFL network is not carried on most cable companies so a huge majority of football fans cannot watch their programming.

The reason for the debate is that the NFL wants its network to be carried on basic cable like, for instance, ESPN. If placed there, they maximize their viewership and can charge boatloads more for advertising. However, the cable companies do not think that the channel is a viable choice for their basic packages since it is niche programming, it will fit better in their sports packages, and it is too expensive. The cable companies will have to pay the NFL network for the programming, so they will have to raise rates for their customers. Their argument is that rates should not raise for all basic cable customers, rather only the customers who want this channel. Clearly at some point, someone will notice that the way to solve this is a la carte pricing for cable. Until then, we are stuck.

Dish and DirecTV both bought into the NFL network and offer the channel on their basic services. But only around 20% of homes in the U.S. have satellite (and that number is a high estimate).

As a pretty big sports fan, I can say whole-heartedly that I do not want to be forced to pay extra for the NFL network and am thrilled that the cable companies haven't bowed to the NFL's pressure. So I missed last night's game. Bummer. But if I was paying for this network, that would be three-and-a-half hours of program I watched, followed by 164.5 hours till next week's game that I wouldn't watch. And next week is Cincy vs. Pittsburgh which I wouldn't watch. In fact, the only other game this season I might watch on NFL network is Arizona at Philly, but it is on Thanksgiving day, so I'd probably miss it anyway.

The NFL network folks like to say that for the price of a cup of coffee a week, you could get 24-hour NFL coverage. The problem is that makes 3.5 hours I want, and 8756.5 hours I don't this year. No thanks. Either put it into the sports package and let sports fan pay the bill or just put the games On Demand and I'll buy them individually (which is also where TV programming is going).

The funniest part of this debate is last season in Week 17: the Giants played the Pats with the undefeated regular season on the line, the Giants playing their starters in a "meaningless game," New York vs. Boston, etc. etc. There was so much of a stink raised around the country about that game only airing on 1-in-5ish TVs, that Congress stepped in and told the NFL network that they were being stupid and forced them to air the game on network TV as well.

So the moral of the story is that while most of us can't get this channel, if we really cared we would make it happen and still not have to pay for it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Two Amendments To The Sports Constitution Ratified

Last week, I wrote the Bill of Sports as the new (self-appointed) president-elect of Sports and made a few major changes to some of the big leagues. My chief of staff/brother suggested one change and while at the Kings-Stars game last night, I realized one other key error that I made.

Amendment I: If the NBA did not begin until after the Super Bowl, as I previously mandated by Article I of the Bill of Sports, once baseball ends there would be nothing to watch during the week from early October to Mid November when college basketball begins. In order to fill this gap, college basketball will be moved forward and will begin in the first week of October, the baseball awards will be announced during the first two weeks of October, and the NHL will now be televised on ESPN every night. The NBA is still banned until the day after the Super Bowl.

Amendment II: As noted in Article IV of the Bill of Sports, the NFL is fine and does not need to make any changes. However, two new rules shall hereby go into effect: A. Touchdowns are worth seven points. If a team chooses to go for eight, the current rules for a "two-point conversion" apply. No more extra points. Extra points will be required in the playoffs and overtime. B. The overtime rules shall hereby be amended to follow the college rules more closely: At the end of regulation, there will be a coin toss called by the home team. The winner of the coin toss chooses whether they want the ball or not, the loser chooses which side of the field they want. The first team starts 1st and 10 on the 25. Whatever their result is, the other team starts with the same scenario. Extra points must be attempted in overtime. If still tied after the first overtime round, teams must attempt a two-point conversion if they score touchdowns.

The Kings-Stars game last night was a perfect example of how exciting new rules changes can be when the league acts responsibly to make changes that are both fan-friendly, as well as fair to the teams. With one minute remaining in regulation and the score tied 2-2, there was a brawl. Two players were ejected and after all of the penalty minutes were handed out, the Kings had to play 4-on-3 for the final minute of regulation and the first two minutes of sudden overtime, before play returned to 4-on-4, with both teams still down a man due to the fighting penalties.

The Kings desperately held on to the tie during a frantic overtime and the teams then lined up their three best penalty-shot takers for the shootout. Of course, they were still tied after these first three rounds, so it went to a sudden-death shootout and the Kings won in the fifth round. What does this have to do with the Second Amendment, you ask...

The NHL changed the rules a few years ago to reward teams for losing in overtime to eliminate what had a a terrible tradition: in overtime, both teams used to play defensively and basically just made sure they didn't lose and go the point for a tie. Boring! So the league made it so that an OT loss counts in a different column as a regular loss. It encouraged teams to go for those two-points for a tie. unfortunately this made the records unwieldy: Detroit had the league's best record at 48-21-11-2 with 101 points in 2004. No wonder they lost fans.

So the league made more changes that eventually included the brilliant shootout. There is no such thing as a tie: just wins, losses and overtime losses. And the overtime was shortened from a full extra period (20 minutes), to just five minutes...then it is off to the shootout. This does not work in soccer because the goals are too easy to score in the shootout. But in hockey it is perfect. So again, what does this have to do with the Second Amendment?

It points out to key flaws in the NFL that were overlooked when Article IV was written: the games are too long (thanks TV) and the overtime blows.

By eliminating extra points, you save as much as five minutes per touchdown (lining up, "icing" timeouts, the play itself, potential penalties, etc.). Plus, kickers are converting extra points at a rate of 99.5% (660 out of 663) this season.

By changing the overtime rules, you address that fact that currently the overtime is a fan-unfriendly field position battle where one time just tries to go to the 30, then runs the ball into the middle and sits on it till third down, at which time they invariably win with a field goal. Boring. Perhaps the statistics do not show that the team that wins the OT coin toss has an unfair advantage, but that it not the inspiration behind this rule change.

That hockey game last night was between the two worst teams in the Pacific Division, indeed two of the worst in the League right now. But for the entire overtime and shootout the entire crowd was on its feet and from what it appeared, very few people had already gone home (even on a week-night). That kind of excitement rarely happens in an NFL overtime because it seems more like a procedure, a technicality, than a competition. When was the last time a college football overtime didn't make the crown go nuts? After all, under current NFL rules, an overtime can still end in a tie (as it almost did between the Jets and Raiders earlier this season).

Monday, November 10, 2008

USD Was Robbed, The Cubs Can't Buy One, And Raider Fans Steal Things

Similar to how the New York Giants won the Super Bowl and returned the next season with a chip on their shoulders after being written off as repeat-contenders and picked third in their own division, my alma mater's men's basketball team has been slighted after winning their conference tournament.

The San Diego Toreros knocked off two top 25-ranked teams (St. Mary's and Gonzaga) to win the West Coast Conference Tournament and then another when they beat UConn in the Tourney before falling in a heart-breaker to fellow Cinderella Western Kentucky.

So coming into this season, you might think that USD would get some respect in the national polls, or at least within the Conference! Rather, they were picked to finish third in the league and received just 1 vote for the AP top 25. Granted this was the first vote in school history, but it is still something of a slight. After all, they did not graduate a single player, nor did they lose their coach, and they added two top recruits (one of whom - Roberto Manfra - scored 21-points on 9-of-10 shooting in their season opener last weekend).

They are clearly not national title contenders, but for fans of college basketball, USD is one to watch this year (which won't be difficult since 15 of their games will be televised).

On Saturday, my wife and I watched Fever Pitch (which is a pretty good romantic comedy to fall back on if you are stuck having to watch a romantic comedy) and afterwards I was explaining why the "Curse of the Bambino" was such a big deal and how long it had been, etc. She said that it is just like that with her San Jose Sharks because they can't get out of the first round of the playoffs, and I didn't bother explaining that the Sharks have only existed for 17-years so it is not exactly the same thing.

But we got to talking about long losing streaks and curses in sports and of course, I mentioned the Cubs. I told her that they haven't won now in over 100-years. She asked if they'd ever been close and I said a few times, but mostly they have just stunk. Her response to this cosmically-cursed, haunted, agonizing situation was simply, "Why don't they do something about that?" I guess they just never thought about that - stop whining and go win something!

Finally, while I was in the San Jose airport last night (missing the freaking Giants game, but I am not bitter), I was watching a little boy who must have been about 1-year-old sitting in his stroller playing the the straps of the purse of the woman next to him. After a minute or two, I realized that he didn't know this woman, but he was just playing with her purse. I thought it was a cute moment until I moved up in line and got a better look at what was going on.

The kid had a Raiders' shirt on and I couldn't help but wonder how early Raider fans start teaching their kids to be criminals, if this 1-year-old was already working on purse-snatching.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Commissioner Of Sports Gets A Promotion

Earlier this week on Monday Night Football, Chris Berman asked both presidential candidates what they would do first in the sports world if they were elected president. Both predictably took pretty easy, populist choices. John McCain said he would get rid of performance enhancing drugs (a novel idea!) and Barack Obama said he would institute a playoff system in Division IA, thus eliminating the bowl championship system.

This got me thinking what I would do for sports if I was elected President. Earlier this year I wrote a column as the World's Commissioner of Sports and have re-posted that below. I still hold that these things would make sports better and in fact, at least one of them (instant replay in baseball) has been instituted in real-life. One thing I realize about that list, and about the new additions I will be adding to it now, is that I tend to be pretty anti-business. That is to say, many of the suggestions I make are to fight off the intrusion of money into the purity of the sports. So without further ado, as President of the United States of Sports, I hereby enact the following Constitution and Bill of Sports into law:

Article I: The NBA preseason will begin January 1. Teams may play as many preseason games as they wish. The regular season shall begin the day after the Super Bowl, and the opening game each year will be a rematch of the previous year's NBA finals. The regular season will consist of 30 games, and the playoff make-up will change slightly- the top eight teams from each conference, seeded by record, home court given to the team with the better record. There is no bonus invitation or home-court given to division winners.

The reasons for this change are many. For one, despite its current renaissance, the NBA still blows. The season is three to five games old and it is already clear which teams will make the playoffs. They will also tread water until February, when they will start jockeying for playoff position. To combat the utter boredom that is the first three months of the season, they will be eliminated. This will make the regular season games far more important and therefore they will be far more interesting. Currently only the fourth quarter seems to be relevant, but if they only have thirty games to get in and get home court, that intensity will be ramped up from the opening tip.

Article II: Any reporter or commentator who argues that Major League Baseball is out of touch and is a dieing sport shall be fined $500 for each incident, with the money going the the charity of his or her choice.

This past World Series was the lowest rated ever. This past NBA Finals was one of the highest rated ever. And only in that perfect storm of ratings did the NBA Finals out-rate the World Series. That had not happened previously since the ultra-popular Michael Jordan's Bulls were in the NBA Finals. The team with the lowest attendance in the Major League baseball in 2008 was the Florida Marlins, with 16,688 per game over 81 games. A full one-third of the NBA could not get that many people at only 41 games in 2007.

Article III: All divisions of college football shall have 16-team playoffs to determine their champion. In the case of Division IA, the first round will be played at the higher seeded team's home field. The quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game will be called "Bowls" and may keep their corporate sponsorships. The National Championship game and semifinals will rotate annually among the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. The names FCS and BCS will be eliminated and replaced once again with IAA and IA, respectively.

The major pro-BCS argument is that a playoff would generate less interest and less money than the Bowls do, and it would be bad for the student-athletes because they'd miss more class with a playoff system. Currently, there are five major divisions in college football (BCS, FCS, II III, NAIA), all but the BCS has a playoff with no negative consequences. Also, by allowing the playoff games to be called Bowls, the games keep their sponsorships and keep making money hand over fist. And if anyone really thinks that a college football playoff would not generate interest, they shall be deported. As for the argument that this only allows 16-teams to compete in postseason and eliminates many current sponsorship deals, any school not part of the tourney can play in any other postseason tournament (think NIT) or unaffiliated bowl of their choosing. This system allows for a far more fair way of choosing a champion and eliminates the problem of a team like USC this year losing once in September and being out of the running for a title despite clearly being among the top 5 (if not top 2) in the country. It also allows for smaller conferences to be represented in the field.

Article IV: The NFL and College Basketball can keep doing what they're doing.

Article V: Major League Baseball shall eliminate Interleague play and thus shorten the season by 15 games and approximately two-and-a-half weeks. The World Series shall continue to be played at the home stadiums of the two teams involved, but the All Star game shall not determine home field advantage, it will alternate every other year between Leagues. In addition to the replay rules listed below by the Commissioner of Sports, if both managers agree before the game, managers shall have one challenge per game on any play. They shall receive another after successful challenges. Post season games shall begin no later than 7 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Interleague play does provide a level of intrigue to the season, but it is inherently unfair. For instance, as part of the Interleague system, teams play local/natural rivals every season as well as one other full division. So if a team has a local/natural that is good every year, they will automatically play a harder schedule than teams in their own division that have weaker local/natural rivals. For instance, the N.L. East and A.L. east play one another next season. So the Mets play their rivals, the Yankees once and then they play the entire A.L. East as well. The Nationals play the entire A.L. East and then play the Orioles.

Additionally, eliminating Interleague fixes the problem of the season running too long. There has been debate about how the 2008 World Series was ruined by bad weather and the World Series should therefore be played at a more temperate, neutral venue. The fact that there was a rain-suspension for the first time in the 105-year history of the event does not mean the event is flawed; it means it rained this year. However, next season the World Series will potentially in the second week of November. This invites the weather to cause more problems (especially for fans) and also hurts the hallowed tradition of October being synonymous with the World Series.

A second baseman for a fourth place team having a bad inning in July should obviously not determine something as significant as the home field advantage for the World Series. Considering how advanced our television technology has gotten, it seems silly that it cannot be used to determine the correctness of calls on the field. When the managers exchange line-up cards before a game, they should also decide whether they will be allowed their challenge that day.

No doubt, there will be an Article VI and as both President and Commissioner of the United States of Sports, I hereby claim the to amend this Constitution at any time.

The World's Commissioner Of Sports

This was the last entry I wrote for my column at back in March.

March 31, 2008

Today is my last day writing for CBS, so I thought I would give a list of some of the many things I would do if I were named World Commissioner of Sport.
-Introduce the following sports into the Olympics: lacrosse, golf (four-person teams, best ball, round-robin tournament), ultimate Frisbee, rugby, baseball (no, it is not in the Olympics anymore),
-Each team gets three video-appeals on ball/strike calls per game, plus one every three extra-innings. They can use the same triangulation technique that is used in tennis, with the results shown instantly on the jumbotron.
-Institute a home run trot clock. If he doesn't make it in time, it is a ground-rule double.
-Shorten and enforce the pitcher's clock, and put it on the scoreboard somewhere.
-Allow immediate group celebrations in football, but don't televise them.
-Any player who holds out while under contract is automatically ineligible for a raise in next contract (all sports).
-Any player that I determine tanked in order to force a trade will be suspended for one year (all sports).
-A single positive performance enhancing drug violation will result in a two-year ban (all sports)
-The New England Patriots forfeit their season-opening win over the New York Jets for cheating.
-If a league finds a positive test for an illegal substance, it must hand the evidence over to the police for prosecution.
-All athletes who make more than $1,000,000 must give at least 5% of their after-tax salary to charity.
-College athletes will not be paid or compensated in any way besides academic scholarships, housing, equipment, on-campus meal plans, and priority class registration.
-The Division IA college football champion will be determined the same way that the champion of every other level of college football determines its champion – tournament. In this case, a 16-team tournament of the top 16-ranked teams at the end of the season.
-The NCAA men's basketball tournament will be comprised of 64 teams.
-Major League Baseball umpires will have access to instant replay for home runs, foul balls and catches.
-Television timeouts are hereby banned. If the teams don't want timeouts, they should not have to take them.
-Volleyball must use the side-out rule, not rally scoring.
-NBA officials will enforce the no-complaining rule, as well as traveling and carrying-over.
-Dunks are worth 1 point.
-The Olympics are only for amateur athletes.
-Public colleges and universities may only give scholarships to American citizens, unless voters in that state vote to allow it.
-All athletics venues must offer a hamburger/hot dog, soda and desert combo for no more than one hour of minimum wage.
-All venues must allow tailgating in their parking lots.
-Car racing, poker and fishing may not be called sports.
-No one can be disciplined for missing work the day after the Super Bowl.
-The football national championship game will be played on January 1.
-Announcers who repeatedly use improper grammar will be fired.
-More swimsuit editions

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Report: I Have Been Elected President In 2012

What is perhaps the most amazing part of the elections each time is the predictions that the networks and Associated Press make, or more accurately: how early they make them. Whatever formulas they are using to make these predictions need to be manipulated by someone so they can be used to predict sports outcomes and make a lot of money. And by "someone," I mean "me."

One thing that I discovered yesterday, while working in CBS' newsroom for the election coverage, is the the AP is far more conservative with their predictions than the networks are. It is relatively simple to deduce why: AP is a news organization dedicated to getting the story right. The networks are news organizations dedicated to getting the story first, and preferably right as well.

Now some of the time, these predictions are kinda obvious. A state like Oklahoma, which is a Republican stronghold and has polled very strongly Republican leading up to this election, was always going to be won by John McCain. So when AP called that results when not a single vote had been counted yet, perhaps it wasn't that surprising. McCain ended up getting 66% of the vote there.

During the course of the evening, AP called Oklahoma, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Vermont and Delaware before a single vote was counted in any of them. Every one of these was correct and every one was a blowout:
New York: Obama - 62%
Minnesota: Obama -54%
Wisconsin: Obama - 56%
Washington D.C.: Obama - 93%
Vermont: Obama - 67%
Delaware: Obama - 61%

There were some other amazingly early predictions as well: Maine was called with three votes counted. New York was called after just 405 voted were counted. But the most amazing thing about these predictions is that every single state was predicted correctly (with Missouri and North Carolina still up for grabs as I write this). The biggest winner for the prognosticators was New Mexico: This state was accurately called for Barack Obama after just 4% of the vote was in...and McCain was leading by 7,000 votes!

I firmly believe that these early predictions do hamper voter turnout and could be seen as borderline voter tampering. Yesterday's presidential election was called at about 8 p.m. PST, before a single vote was counted from the western states (although some were included in Obama's winning total at that point). But the race was reported to be all but over by 6:30. So for the last few hours of polling out west, the election was seen as over already - why bother voting?

This doesn't seem to affect the election too strongly, it doesn't favor either party, and the networks are not going to hold off on getting a scoop in the interest of journalistic integrity (how sad is that?), so this will not change in the future. In fact it will likely get worse: the President-elect will accept the concession speech by noon!

The best line I have read this morning with regards to the election is this, a headline from The (a satirical "news" source, if you are not familiar)...and you will have to pardon the language:
"Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress - President-elect Barack Obama did very well among women and young voters, who were most sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cowboys To Play In CFL Until They Get NFL-Caliber Talent

With baseball season over actual real-life rain falling in L.A. over the weekend, it seems a little silly to still write about Andruw Jones' unfathomable contract, but it is one of my favorite topics so I am torn. Fortunately, the Knicks' Stephon Marbury is proving that his deal is perhaps worse.

Which contract is a bigger burden is a tough call. Jones costs a lot of money and actually hurts his team when he plays. Marbury costs even more money but isn't actually on the roster. You make the call. As for now, the Knicks are 1-2 and Marbury has earned exactly $762,461.89 despite not playing at all. In fact he hasn't suited up for the last two. But it isn't because of injury, actually it is because coach Mike D'Antoni thinks he is such a cancer to the team that he refuses to play him so Marbury asked to be placed on the inactive list. Marbury is set to earn $20,840,625 this season and says he will not be bought of his contract for a dime less.

While I don't blame him, after all it's not his fault that Isiah Thomas was an idiot and agreed to the deal, I guess this will be the end of Marbury's run at being seen as a good guy for signing a sneaker deal that made inexpensive (around $20) sneakers instead of the normal NBA star shoes that retail in the hundreds. But then, I don't think there was ever a chance that this guy would be seen as a good guy. That ship sailed when he was run out of his second or third NBA city and then again when he tattooed his shoe-logo on the side of his bald head. Mike Tyson is jealous of this lunatic's committedness to lunacy!

Speaking overpaid, self-serving lunatics, did anyone else see the Cowboys get demolished yesterday? You know, when you root for a team and they win a game really, really easily over a long-time, hated rival, you might think it would be only natural to kinda wish it was a better game. You know, to root for the spirit of the rivalry. Perhaps that makes me unnatural because I revelled in every glorious moment of that game.

The talk among my co-workers at CBS was that it is a soft win because the Cowboys are so depleted. I think this is being a little generous to the Cowboys. How depleted are they? The offense is completly in tact besides Tony Romo. The defense is missing two starters. This is a team that had 12 Pro Bowl-ers last year. The Giants had three injured starters on defense: a defensive end, a cornerback and a linebacker, and the defensive end was the team's only Pro Bowl-er last year. So nearly everyone's preseason NFC favorite, the deepest, most talented team, with all those Pro Bowlers, couldn't move the ball or stop the other team from moving it.

Every team suffers injuries. Not every team rolls over like the Cowboys did Sunday. The last time the Giants beat the Cowboys, T.O. cried afterwards. That was pretty enjoyable as well.

This is why football is great: I have a full week to enjoy this.