I said October is best sports month of the year last week, and while nothing has changed in the past week to make that any less true, I should nonetheless qualify that by noting that March, which has both the NCAA tournamnet and less melting, disgusting snow, is a close second. Let's dive right into the pit of ball news:
- Playoff baseball is the best of baseball and the best playoffs, sort of like Seattle is the best of US and Canada and chili dogs are the best of the past, present, and future. Both League Championship Series are underway—Derek Jeter broke his ankle and he’s done; the zombie St. Louis team held out against the Giants—but the first round of playoff baseball was arguably the best ever and is worth revisiting. Here’s how it happened:
- The Giants made history by winning three straight on the road against Cincinnati. That led to a situation where they were literally sitting on the plane on the runway in Ohio waiting to see whether they'd be flying home to play the Cards or going to DC to go up against the Nationals. They went home and lost.
- The Yankees were pushed to five games by the Orioles, who were not a good team but had everyone fooled to the point that they might actually have been a good team. Going to five games messed up the Yankees’ rotation—Hiroki Kuroda started on short rest Sunday for the first time in his career, and he’s 40 years old or something—but a far, far bigger problem is Jeter's injury.
- Detroit’s offense is a bunch of strong fat guys (the best kind of fat guys) and their rotation is the best pitcher in baseball plus a dude named Fister. Haha, Fister! That means putting a hand up someone's sensitive parts! Oakland, the coolest team in the playoffs, was mostly assorted parts, and lost. Also, the New York Post is concerned that the Yankees aren't dating women who are famous or hot enough.
- NFL action! (Read that while listening to a country song with a slammin' guitar solo and a chorus about American cars for the full effect.) Aqib Talib of the Buccaneers got pinched for Adderall! The Seahawks beat New England and talked trash! Aaron Rodgers tossed six TD passes and whupped Houston!
- OK, on to the boring part of football news: Commissioner Roger Goodell changed Saints players’ bounty penalties to be less harsh, and one guy—Jonathan Vilma, who sued Goodell—says he wants the commish to recuse himself from the case because they hate each other. Scott Fujita, who’s one of the most thoughtful players around, and plays for Cleveland now, called the suspension a sham; so did Drew Brees, the team’s (not-suspended) superstar quarterback. Isn't it cooler when they throw balls a long way and not argue about lawsuits?
- The preseason in the NBA sucks on every single level. Unless you live in Atlantic City and are a jersey aficionado, in which case, how was the Nets game? They played Saturday night, (kind of) unveiled their road jerseys, and it wasn't on TV.
- Deron Williams, the Nets point guard, told reporters he hated losing so often last year, but was really pissed that no one else on the team gave a shit. (They’d joke around after games, win or lose.) Former teammate DeShawn Stevenson freaked the fuck out after reading it and called Williams a “Fake Muthafucker” via the joint Twitter account he shares with his girl(!). Stars, they get into chest-thumping internet beef just like us!
- No, there still isn’t any hockey, but talks resume on Tuesday, which is good. (Though the last round of talks didn’t go anywhere, and no one knows where it is. It’d be cool if they held it in Camden, New Jersey, or Montana or something.)
- Strike prognostications are so bad—many people think the season is probably done—that it's not only Alexander Ovechkin talking about staying in Russia if he doesn’t agree with the new CBA terms; another Russian guy is now talking about that, too. You know the NHL is in trouble when someone wants to stay in Russia for the winter rather than getting involved with it.
- Some white guy beat some other white guy in a white-guy contest. What'd he win? A lifetime supply of mayo and racism? Ha! Golf jokes!
- Texas lost real bad, and Mack Brown, signed through like, 2020, should not be.
- America won, which is awesome, but it was against Antigua, so it doesn’t mean anything. They're not even commies.
Previously: Talkin' Bout Playoffs