1. Quick Hits
* New England crushed Indianapolis yesterday 59-24 but tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his arm.
* #1 and #2 in college football, Kansas State and Oregon, both bit the dust. So Notre Dame and Alabama are 1-2 in the BCS Standings.
* Maryland and Rutgers could be the next schools to exit their conferences and head to the Big Ten making it the Big Fourteen.
* NHL talks resume today.
* Brad Keselowski captured the NASCAR driving championship.
2. Going to the Polls
Can the college football playoff come fast enough? A 4-team championship begins in 2014 but this year will certainly leave lots of schools howling. With both Kansas State and Oregon losing, that leaves Notre Dame and Ohio State as the only major undefeated teams and Ohio State is ineligible for a bowl. So any number of teams with one loss will be clamoring to get into the championship game. But that’s the bowl system. Time was you needed a great record to play in a bowl game. My alma mater Syracuse is now eligible for a bowl thanks to its sterling 6-5 record.
3. The Melk Man
It will be fascinating to watch Melky Cabrera play for Toronto next season. Aside from the fact that the Blue Jays have loaded-up this off-season, which Cabrera will show up? The one who was an OK hitter or the Cabrera who suddenly became a .300 hitter the past two seasons? This year he was an All Star for the first time, winning MVP honors in the game. And he was fighting for the National League batting title before he got busted for testosterone. Credit the Giants for telling him to take a hike, even though his suspension ended in the post-season. They won the World Series without him. Will Cabrera be a real player next season in Toronto or just another asterisk?
The NFL owns the TV ratings in sports, and the good news for the NFL is it will only get better. We’re past the halfway mark of the season, and other than Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Carolina everyone is basically alive. Well, the Eagles and Rams are on life support. Baseball added an extra wild card this season to add some excitement in September. MLB can only look in envy how the NFL has virtually everyone still in the mix. Now if baseball would go to a 16 game schedule……
5. Frozen in Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took his deserved place among the statues outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday night. He joins Magic Johnson, Jerry West and announcer Chick Hearn who are immortalized, as well as Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya. I wonder if some day Lakers statues will rival the volume of Yankees retired numbers? Kobe will get a statue for sure, and lots of other deserve some consideration, among them Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal. Will it evolve into a sports stadium or a museum?
Happy Birthday: Gold medal winning gymnast Kerri Strug (featured in my new book below). 35.
Bonus Birthday: A couple of pretty fair yakkers, Larry King, 79 and Dick Cavett, 76.
Today in Sports: Pele scored his 1000th career goal. 1969.
Bonus Event: Four score and blah, blah blah. Abe made a speech at Gettysburg. 1863.
It’s not too early to buy a holiday gift for that young sports fan in you life. If you’d like to purchase a personally autographed copy of my new book The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs, please contact the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, New York at (516) 767-2650.