It was a busy week in sports: A couple of schools maybe changed conferences, all the big-time major baseball awards were awarded, football happened as usual, and the Knicks continued to win, which is highly unusual. Oh, and college basketball began and there was a big UFC fight. What did all you weirdos who don't watch sports do last week? Read election post-mortem analyses? Watch a show about British zombies? Argue about Israel and/or rap music on Twitter? If sports is good enough entertainment for Nate Silver, it should be good enough for you.
- Georges St. Pierre won his big UFC bout on Saturday, and because I am Canadian like him, I've started challenging everyone I know wearing anything remotely American (USA shirts, Jets hats) to fights. "WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING OF IT, EH?" I tell them.
- Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke at the Harvard School of Public Health, which, I know, lol. Here's the transcript.
- The first chunk of games on Sunday were beyond awesome. The Texans became the first team to score twice in OT. Dallas won in OT against Cleveland, who really aren't that bad. Atlanta won even though Matt Ryan threw five interceptions and no TDs. In the second chunk of games, the Patriots ran up the score and their best player broke his arm on the last play.
This guy is p. cool.
- The Knicks started 6-0, which is pretty good for the oldest team in sports. Rasheed Wallace, maybe the most engaging figure in sports, has been a big part of this and said a lot of stupid (read: timeless) shit in their loss Friday. They won Sunday, probably because of Sheed singing or something.
- Mike D’Antoni has taken over the Lakers officially, but didn't show up Sunday because of the owies. Since Mike Brown’s firing, the team has gone 4-1 under interim coach Bernard Bickerstaff, which means he's the best coach in the NBA, right?
- 76ers big guy Andrew Bynum is out for a while because of an injury sustained while bowling, which makes sense to me, because you should never go bowling. Also, check out his hair. Does he look like Shaun Cassidy? Is it the most Philadelphia haircut in the history of sports? Have I just gotten the edge in my “maybe I can write 5,000 words on feathered athletic hair” argument with VICE? The answer to all of those things is, “Yeah, sure.”
Expect this to happen but with another guy next October.
- The Blue Jays got some All-Stars from the Marlins for a decent collection of prospects and big leaguers. It is a classic Marlins salary dump, the kind the team made in 1997 after winning its first World Series and have made periodically in the offseason since then, but it wasn't even the biggest fire sale of the week!
- More on the trade: Some people got really mad. Do they understand baseball? It was ugly, but a business move, and a smart one. Other questions have involved whether the Jays will win the World Series now—they probably won’t—and whether they'll hire Jim Tracy as manager. If they brought on Tracy to run their new team, it'd be like buying five racecars for your kids and then hiring a baby to drive them home.
- It was also awards week in baseball! Miguel Cabrera, the fat flawless power hitter, lousy defender, and Triple Crown champion, took home the AL MVP in a rout against Mike Trout, the better all-around player whose team won more games in a tougher division, and who has a great square head. While Trout was the clear choice, it's no big shakes he didn't win, since it’s baseball and not the election, and the younger writers with the right ideas will get future MVP votes more and more right. That said, we shouldn't forget baseball is awesome because of the fat guys.
- The rest of the award selections were mostly defensible: the champion Giants’ Buster Posey won the NL MVP for being a catcher who hit over .300—which nobody does. R.A. Dickey, the old-dude knuckleballer, picked up the NL Cy Young amidst trade talk. Everything else went to guys who made a lot of money.
- Apparently some reporters’ well-informed opinions say some important bigg doggs (namely, the Flyers' owner) want this no-hockey-playing bullshit to end, but it hasn't. Whether that means anything whatsoever in terms of young employed men actually playing live hockey for North Americans is another thing altogether, and something I can't rightly answer.
- OK, this was a busy Saturday. Kansas State and Oregon, ranked 1 and 2 going in to the weekend, both lost and are now not 1 and 2. Notre Dame, number 3 going in,beat the Demon Deacons, who have the finest name in sports. The order got all messed up and Notre Dame is number 1 now, which means we can hate them again.
- Rutgers and Maryland are in talks to enter the Big Ten (a midwestern college power conference that currently has 12 teams), basically for the potential TV money. It’d cost both schools a lot of money to leave their respective conferences—they aren't flush with cash, Pat Forde says—and neither are as good at football as the other teams in their new conference, though both come with big markets and will make it back and then some eventually. Still, 14 teams in the Big Ten? OBAMA'S AMERICA, EVERYONE!
- The NCAA eventually did the right thing and reinstated Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad was busted for getting help to go on an unofficial recruiting visit or something. I don't even know, it's so stupid. He got reinstated because of something a guy overheard on a plane. Is this real?
- Oh yeah, college basketball also started in earnest. Here's a thing we did last week about tripping balls during the first day that I think is super good.
- Some dude won because some dude quit. Man, what a season. Here is the New York Times's story, which is a fun thing to think about. "Hey we got the NASCAR thing in!" "OK, cool. Slide it under the Fieri bitch-slap and the tour of that banker's house."
Previously: The Lakers' Long National Nightmare Is Over