There are 17 gazillion things happening in sports right now, and as much as I’d like to update you on all the happenings of the opening weeks of the NBA and NHL, the World Series-deciding MLB rounds, College Football Playoff-ramification slates, and every NFL, EPL, MMA, boxing match, game, contest, and face-off in between, it would be impossible to adequately or intelligently talk about it in less than 5,000 words.
Honestly, if you can’t find happiness in the Yankees, Longhorns, or 76ers losing, maybe the Ducks, Tigers, Celtics, Blues, or Man City winning will brighten your mood. The Phillies-Padres NLCS has been 17 different kinds of drunk, and they keep throwing haymakers. Sports can often be frustrating and/or monotonous, and merely opening the schedule pisses you off. But it’s really difficult to be irate (or euphoric) during stretches like late October and into November.
Combine that with sold-out, care-free, and hopefully COVID-free buildings, arenas, stadiums, and ballparks, and it’s impossible to hate an entire 60 minutes of Sportscenter. You could be optimistic about the Giants, Cowboys, Blazers, Nittany Lions, or Penguins to make up for your misery over Liverpool, Nebraska, the Lakers, Rams, and Bears. Perhaps you’ve not been this excited about the Volunteers, Eagles, Trojans, or Jets in a decade or more (or less).
We’re all a few more heart palpitations away from a stroke, aneurysm, and/or panic/cardiac attack with the constant barrage of ups, down, favorable bounces, poor spots, and crunch time shithousery. The NBA League Pass trial is still active and so are the CFP hopes of Georgia, Clemson, and Alabama.
I don’t know who dubbed it the sports equinox. I just thought this time of year was sports fans’ own little secret, like that adulterous Nutty Buddy you buy at the gas station and inhale in your car with only the attendant in on the secret.
So in the spirit of our collective shame-viewing, I’ll (try to) give as quick a run down as possible.
Be prepared to root for the Astros or Phillies in the World Series
The nightmare continued for Yankees’ fans adamant that karma was on their side against MLB villain Houston. New York was blanked, managing only three hits in a 5-0 loss, and is now facing a 3-0 series hole.
The Phillies are a win away from the World Series themselves, and their 3-1 lead feels just as safe. San Diego gave up a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning and then a 6-4 lead in the fifth, eventually falling 10-6. Rhys Hoskins hit a pair of deep balls, plating four, and Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper continued to sizzle, combining for four hits and three RBI.
Three fewer undefeated college football teams
Even though this weekend was never going to live up to what transpired in Week 8, three top-15, previously unbeaten schools have their first blemish. No. 7 Ole Miss, No. 9 UCLA, and No. 14 Syracuse all lost. Clemson had to bench D.J. Uiagalelei to overcome the Orangemen, Brian Kelly showed Lane Kiffin how to wear a visor, and Chip Kelly and Dorian Thompson-Robinson still haven’t beaten Oregon in their time as Bruins.
Ohio State, Tennessee, and TCU were the other perfect Power Five teams in action, and they continued their winning ways, with only the Horned Frogs getting “tested.”
Three NBA superstars score 40 or more, but only one loses
It’s too early to overreact to the NBA, so read the next ensuing takes with as many grains of salt as you need. Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokunmpo, and Joel Embiid all had monster nights. They went a combined 45 for 67 from the floor for 124 points. Boston, Philly, and Milwaukee have a cumulative record of 5-3, but if you subtract the Sixers from the equation, it’s 5-0.
That’s right. The 76ers are winless. They also played the Bucks and Celtics in the first two games of the year, but losing to lowly San Antonio at home is alarming. Thankfully, the city of Brotherly Love has been too busy huffing the Phillies’ fumes to notice. By the way, cha boy James Harden had 12 points on 4 of 18 from the field.