Wide World of Balls

The Lakers' Long National Nightmare Is Over

By Lou Doggs

Veterans Day was on Sunday, so sports teams and leagues made tribute to the military, naturally. The most striking thing anyone did, maybe, was Bears owner Virginia McCaskey's PSA during the first half of Sunday night's Texans-Bears game. She mentioned her father's, husband's, and brother's military service, as well as her grandson's, who's in active duty in Afghanistan right now. I don't mind saying that I'm pretty impressed that the grandson, who's obviously rich, joined the army. The Bears are pretty unique: They're the league's oldest team, and the franchise is run like a (fucking huge) family business. But I wonder if there's another NFL ownership family after the McCaskeys whose military service reaches down to the present day.

NBA:
- The Lakers, who came out to a terrible, slow start, fired their coach, Mike Brown, for, among other things, having a terrible working relationship with his best player, running an outmoded offensive system and dealing with an injured point guard. But they got a new coach, Mike D'Antoni, who was Kobe's childhood hero and teased two MVPs out of Steve Nash! Also, the Knicks are 22-6 since he left them; imagine how good the Lakers will be once D'antoni leaves.

- 76ers center and gross white dude Spencer Hawes was super bummed when Obama won the World Series of American Electoral Politics, which wasn't the first time he's criticized the Bigg Dogg. Hawes, meanwhile has averaged under ten points per game for his career, and his  major talent is "being real tall." So maybe he's not an expert in politics?

- The Knicks are good somehow. That’s the joke.

Football:
- Eagles quarterback Michael Vick left Sunday’s game with a concussion, and then his team lost. Again. Coach Andy Reid might be nearing the end of his tenure, and while the media vultures are circling, let's not forget that Reid's kid died this year, apparently of a heroin overdose, so let's not do that awful sports-radio thing where we yell HAHA THE OFFENSE IS SO MAD MR. HEAD COACH, WHY DON'T YOU KILL YOURSELF, alright? 

- ESPN reports that some California politicians are courting the Panthers’ owner to move the team to LA. The owner said no, but he didn't say, "No, never," and, not coincidentally, the team is trying to get North Carolina to help pay for stadium renovations. This is how I feel about this:

- The Rams and the 49ers tied on Sunday, which I believe means they resume playing Thursday night. Elsewhere in the NFC West, now mysteriously the best division in football, the Seahawks trounced the Jets thanks in part to a fun trick play. The Jets, for their part, look really, really bad, which is the natural state of the universe. 

Baseball:
- The Dodgers won the rights to bid on this super-good pitcher from Korea, so now they get to meet him and try and get him to sign. If they can't come to an agreement, it's no biggie, and they don't have to pay the negotiation fee. It's hard to say how good he'll be--opinions, as always, vary--but he better be good, since the Dodgers are going to have to pay his salary on top of the $25 million they paid just to get in the room with him. 

- Baseball awards are this week, and the finalists for the big dog awards are here. Not only did Rays pitcher David Price win a golf tournament Sunday, he’ll probably win the AL Cy Young as well. Some guys get all the genetics.

- Retired slugger and former MVP Jeff Kent got voted off Survivor. Turns out he was on the island with a busted leg. He also wants the show to be harder

NHL:
- Nothing yet. Check back later.

College Football:
- Notre Dame won again, and so did Oregon, and Kansas State, and Alabama lost. All that shit means that Oregon and Kansas State are ranked 1 and 2, and ND is outside looking in. Though it might not make a difference, and Alabama might get back in, anyways.

- University of Texas coach/legend/god Darrell Royal passed away on Wednesday at 88. The stadium there is named after him, and the team gave him a nice tribute. He’s also a music head and kind of made Willie Nelson’s career.

NASCAR:

This is the dude who caused the crash. If you look really hard, you can see him smirking.

- Stop laughing, NASCAR is awesome and Sunday’s race in Avondale may have been the most awesome. Brad Keselowski now leads the Chase with a race to go after season leader Jimmie Johnson had to veer his whip into the garage. Oh, and two drivers got in a fight when one guy slowed down on purpose to wreck the other guy's car.

@samreiss_

Previously: The Day the Running Stopped

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