The Day the Running Stopped

This past week in sports saw the New York Marathon appropriately cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the NBA regular season kicked off, baseball free agency started and some important college football games.

It's almost impossible to overstate how unimportant sports are in the grand scheme of things. We sometimes forget this when we're cursing at our fantasy football teams, but then something like Hurricane Sandy comes through and reminds us that these games are entertainment, not real life. The New York Marathon is more of a civic ritual than a big-money athletic competition—ESPN isn't involved, no one gambles on it—but it still felt wrong to spend a lot of effort and money making sure a bunch of people could run through neighborhoods where other people are struggling to answer questions like, "Where am I supposed to live now?"  It wasn't held, and that was the right call. You know what was a better use of marathoners talents? Running supplies into Staten Island. Thanks, guys.  

Outside the areas affected by Sandy, sports keep happening as usual. There's been news, and we've compiled a bunch of it below, though if you think it's supremely important, you are either preparing for your Bar Mitzvah or have serious issues. 

- Professional basketball—that’s the kind where they put the ball through the hoop a whole lot—is in full swing, though this past Thursday’s Knicks-Nets opener was cancelled due to Sandy. Poor Brooklyn opened things up against Toronto on Saturday and won. The question is, where did the shirts made in honor of that nonexistent game go?

- Even with their insane win Sunday, the Lakers were having a hard time adjusting to coach Mike Brown’s Princeton offense. And that was before Steve Nash got hurt. It's a little early for Lakers fans to panic, but it's not too early for people who hate the Lakers to start pointing and laughing.

- James Harden 35-points-per-game average in his first few games is reminiscent of his teammate Jeremy Lin's hot start last year with the Knicks. Like Lin, Harden won't keep this up, and like Lin, he's an awesome player. Unlike Lin, he has a beard I bet it would be fun to run my fingers through.


- Chris Berman, the host of NFL Primetime and once-a-year Sportscenter anchor, will talk with President Obama and Mitt Romney, and it will make everyone who is serious about politics and likes sports very sad.

- The Steelers couldn’t get a hotel in New Jersey in advance of their Sunday game against the Giants, so they drove up Sunday and left that night. Ben Roethlisberger spent that much less time in the state, which is good for the women who live there. (You know what I'm hinting at, right? That Big Ben sexually assaults women? Cool, just checking.) Then the Steelers won, so good for them, I guess.


- Season’s over, dude. Free agency is on, guys are getting signed, though this year there’s this shit called "qualifying offers," where teams can offer players whose contracts have ended a one-year, $13.3 million deal—the average of the top 125 salaries—to keep them. If they decline that contract, and sign with another club, the other club surrenders a draft pick. Got it? If you don’t, there’s a good rundown here.

- OK, I don’t want to overdo it here, but the deputy NHL commish and the NHLPA's general counsel met and everyone might be watching hockey this winter (by "everyone," I mean, "the shrinking population of diehards who watch this sport").

College Football:

- Notre Dame looked like it was going to lose, but they didn’t, and because of that they dropped down to fourth in the polls.

- LSU almost—almost—beat rival Alabama, but shanked a kick and then Bama won because they’re a million times better.

College Basketball:
- It's starting soon, so memorize this ranking of the best teams that haven't played any games, or else.


Previously: The Giants Won Everything