NEW YORK, NY – I gotta say, these Wednesdays roll around a tad too quickly for my liking. I guess this is what happens when the world is on fire. Two nights ago, I watched around 2 seconds of an absolutely meaningless Monday Night Football game between the Packers and Raiders. The Raiders won, but no one really cares. Still, it’s better than watching the news, I suppose. Yessir, even when not exactly compelling, sports can still offer a bland but welcome distraction from the harsh realities we’re faced with on a daily basis. So… let’s talk some sports, I guess?
MLB Playoffs. As I write this, two 100-win teams from this season are on the brink of elimination from the playoffs. We’ll know the Orioles’ fate by the time this column posts (they lost), and the Dodgers will be fighting for their lives tonight in Arizona, of all places. The thought of the Rangers and Diamondbacks advancing is just plain depressing. The other day, a friend texted, “What do you have against Texas?” I texted back, “How much time do you have?” and proceeded to laundry-list the various atrocities associated with the Lone Star State, including many awful politicians, everything associated with the Dallas Cowboys, and the fact that JFK was murdered there. As for Arizona, it’s just not for me. Honestly, outside of the Phoenix Suns and college football and basketball, I don’t think they really deserve to have pro sports teams. In any event, at least the Braves/Phillies and Twins/Astros series look like they could go down to the wire. Go Twins!
NFL Pretenders. After the San Francisco 49ers absolutely obliterated the Cowboys last Sunday night, it’s become crystal clear that there are only a handful of teams that are really any good, and everyone else is just going through the motions. For starters, we can eliminate the entire AFC South from contention. Same goes for you, NFC South. Then you have a whole bunch of other doormat teams like my Vikings, the Cardinals, Broncos, Giants, and Patriots, that have zero hope of doing anything outside of maybe playing late-season spoilers to some other pathetic also-rans. I know it’s a long season and injuries can change the landscape in a hurry, but right now it clearly looks like San Francisco and Philly in the NFC and a jumble of maybe-they’ll-figure-it-out-and-lock-in teams in the AFC with Miami, KC, and Buffalo maybe the closest. Honestly, I think all three of those teams have serious flaws, especially when compared to San Fran. But, if you can guarantee me the Miami team whose offense can look unstoppable for stretches taking on the Niners, I’d say let’s just play that Super Bowl right now. And I don’t even like those teams. This is my drawn out way of saying: most of these games seem pointless, outside of the money being wagered on them.
I was going to comment on some college football stuff but, unlike University of Miami, I know when it’s time to just take a knee. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz and what better way to prepare for him than watching a clip from Paul Lynde’s 1976 Halloween Special.