|Articles||Go Fund Me||All-Species List||Hot Spots||Go Fund Me|
|Web Epoch NJ Web Design | (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.|
The Comeback Is Complete
[Posted Sunday p.m.]
NFL Quiz: What year did the schedule go from 12 to 14 games? What year did it go from 14 to 16? Answers below.
Tiger Wins No. 80...The Tour Championship
What a spectacular weekend for the sport of golf. Here’s what I did today...the same thing I imagine scores of golf fans did. I watched the first hour+ of the Giants-Texans, knew when Tiger Woods was teeing off at East Lake, and flipped to that after 2:00. I then watched the entire round, with just a few look-ins on NFL action (and briefly my Mets), and I’m waiting to see what today’s ratings on NBC were. Saturday’s round was the highest-rated third of the FedEx Cup Era, and today had to blow the doors off the NFL, at least in relative terms, which is slightly ironic given that the PGA Tour is readjusting its season-ending schedule next year to avoid going up against the NFL.
Yes, it was all about one Tiger Woods, and the completion of his incredible comeback from all manner of self-inflicted, and non-self-inflicted, injuries and PR disasters.
Quite simply, today we witnessed the completion of the Greatest Comeback in Sports History, and Tiger’s first win in five, tumultuous years. Save for his first two years as a pro, this space has covered Woods’ entire career, the highs and the lows. I shed a tear as Tiger walked up 18. I’ve criticized him harshly in the past, but I never failed to recognize his tremendous import to the game of golf, and like all of you, have marveled at what he has done this year leading up to today’s climax.
To think this is a guy who had four back surgeries in three years and he’s putting his body through all this stress...and winning?! Geezuz. With every drive and hard swing in the rough, I keep waiting for him to grab the back, or grab his knee (the two of them being operated on like five times).
But what super shape the sport of golf is in with his comeback. And to think that next year’s majors, aside from his favored Augusta, include Bethpage Black for the PGA, on which he won the 2002 U.S. Open, and Pebble Beach, where he had his historic 12-shot victory in 2000. Tonight, you won’t find any golf fan not believing the assault on Jack Nicklaus’ 18 career majors is back on.
And now with career win No. 80, Tiger is just two behind Sam Snead for the all-time lead in that category.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup, and the $10 million bonus, barely. You can see why next year’s changes in the formula will be welcomed by more than the casual fan...an attempt to simplify things...though I think NBC did a good job trying to lay out the scenarios as the fourth round progressed.
Finally, hats off to Tiger’s caddie, Joe LaCava. This guy stuck with Tiger through thick and thin. Through very long periods where Tiger was literally off the grid, let alone off the practice range. Tiger paid him, but LaCava could have had any mega-$million bag in the game and he stayed with Woods. That speaks volumes about both.
Much more next time...as the commentaries pour in. But it’s also time for the Ryder Cup, and NBC, for one, can’t be too upset how today ended in terms of a lead-in. Paris is going to be great fun.
The playoffs are taking shape. It was a weekend for a few teams to clinch berths, including the Yankees and Braves.
But in terms of the wild card, we still have races to see who is hosting the one-game playoff.
Oakland had a huge opportunity today as the Yankees lost to the Orioles 6-3 at the Stadium. But knowing this, the A’s lost to the Twins at home, 5-1, so the margin remains 1 ½.
Yankees 95-60... +1.5
A’s 94-62... –
In the N.L. wild card race....
Brewers 89-67... +2
Cardinals 87-69... --
Rockies 85-70... 1.5
*The Yankees may have lost shortstop Didi Gregorius to a torn carilage in his wrist for the postseason, but we'll learn more Monday.
--Us Mets fans care about only one thing as this crappy season winds down. Jacob deGrom. The righty continued his stellar campaign with another Cy Young-type effort, one run in seven innings the other night as the Mets beat the Nationals in Washington, 4-2, deGrom actually getting the win while evening his mark at 9-9, to go with his 1.77 ERA. Even I finally acknowledge the Mets ace should run away with the hardware at season’s end. Any baseball expert worth their weight understands that you toss aside the won-loss mark in what has been a truly historic season for the highly likeable star.
DeGrom extended his major-league record of consecutive starts allowing 3 runs or fewer to 28, and he set the all-time single-season record for 23 consecutive ‘quality starts,’ six innings, 3 or fewer runs; moving ahead of the mark held by Bob Gibson (1968) and Cris Carpenter (2005).
Jake will get one more start, Wednesday, and it would be nice to finish 10-9.
Thursday, the Mets beat Max Scherzer 5-4, though Scherzer had a no-decision. He nonetheless gave up 3 runs in seven innings (despite striking out 13), and his ERA rose to 2.57, to go with his 17-7 record.
The other contender for the Cy Young, Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola is 16-5, 2.44. So deGrom’s ERA lead, nearly 0.70 better than Nola, leaves no doubt who the award should go to. Plus it’s not as if Scherzer and Nola led their teams to the playoffs.
--The Orioles are 45-110, at .290 the worst winning percentage since the 2003 Detroit Tigers (.265) and the second worst since the ’62 Mets (.250...40-120).
Baltimore is 12-27 in one-run games. If this were the Premier League they’d be relegated.
--Texas fired manager Jeff Banister on Friday. The Rangers had a 64-88 record going into the game that night, after a 78-84 mark last season. But they were 88-74 and 95-67 his first two seasons, only to lose to Toronto in the ALDS both times.
--The Cubs placed shortstop Addison Russell on administrative leave Friday following fresh allegations of domestic violence by his ex-wife.
18 months ago, Melisa Reidy posted a photo on her Instagram account with a caption suggesting her husband of about 18 months had been unfaithful to her, and then later, a close friend of Melisa’s said Russell had “hit” his wife. He denied the allegation and the two were soon divorced.
Russell is batting .250, with 5 home runs and 38 RBIs.
College Football Review
[All comments written prior to release of the new polls.]
No upsets among the top ten this weekend, but there were a few big ones in Nos. 11-20.
No. 1 Alabama deserves every first-place AP vote after beating Texas A&M 45-23 in Tuscaloosa, as Tua Tagovailoa was 22/30, 387, 4-0 through the air.
The obvious comparison, in Week Four, is with Clemson, which played A&M two weeks ago and the Tigers eked it out, 28-26. Granted, ‘Bama’s was at home and Clemson’s on the road, but the Crimson Tide are a clear No. 1, at least this week.
For its part, the No. 3 Tigers whipped an awful Georgia Tech team, 49-21, behind Trevor Lawrence’s four touchdown passes and the running of Travis Etienne, who needed just 11 carries to amass 122 yards and a score. The Clemson ‘D’ held Tech to just 203 yards of offense.
No. 2 Georgia beat Missouri 43-29, a solid test, while 4 Ohio State rode the passing of Dwayne Haskins (21/24, 304, 5-0) to a 49-6 thrashing of Tulane.
But then we had 5 Oklahoma hosting Army. I wrote last time of the genesis of this matchup, going back to 1946, and what a spectacular effort by Army, as this one was 21-21, before the Black Knights succumbed 28-21 in overtime.
Army ran 87 plays (339 yards rushing) to just 40 for OU, but Sooner quarterback Kyler Murray was once again the difference maker, 11/15, 165, 3-1, plus 71 yards and a score on the ground.
The Sooner faithful gave Army a standing ovation at the end of the game.
The Black Knights have a very interesting game next week against 4-0 Buffalo. [More on the Bison later.]
No. 6 LSU beat Louisiana Tech 38-21.
But No. 7 Stanford, who I said was overrated, proved me wrong with a rather stunning 38-31 overtime win in Eugene against No. 20 Oregon, the Ducks blowing a 24-7 lead with just 2:40 to play in the third, when Joey Alfieri dashed 80 yards with a fumble for a Cardinal TD and the comeback was on. Stanford quarterback KJ Costello threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, while Bryce Love rushed for 89 yards, including a 22-yard TD run that cut it to 24-21.
Oregon, though, still had a chance to escape with a 31-28 triumph, but rather than take a knee at the end of regulation, which would have ultimately left Stanford with about 15 seconds to do anything, the Ducks ran for a first down and running back C.J. Verdell fumbled. Stanford recovered with 51 seconds left and zipped downfield for the game-tying field goal.
No. 9 Auburn whipped Arkansas 34-3; and the No. 10 Washington Huskies held off Herm Edwards’ Arizona State 27-20 behind Jake Browning’s three touchdown passes.
Penn State, tied for tenth in the AP poll with Washington, dismantled Illinois on Friday night, 63-24.
As for No. 8 Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish descended on Winston-Salem, N.C., to face my Demon Deacons of Wake Forest and boy did we suck. The defense is officially atrocious, especially the secondary, and Notre Dame romped all over us, 56-27 in a game that wasn’t even that close.
ND knocked out Wake freshman quarterback Sam Hartman, who was totally overwhelmed, while coach Brian Kelly’s decision to replace Brandon Wimbush at starting quarterback with junior Ian Book paid off bigly, Book throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for three more scores. The Fighting Irish racked up 566 yards of total offense.
But one moment early epitomized how this 2018 edition of the Demon Deacons is going to struggle to go 5-7 (even with an incredibly weak ACC this season). There we were, lined up for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, and freshman kicker Nick Sciba was nowhere to be found, the holder in position, looking around. Sciba was warming up on the sidelines, clueless. He rushed out in time, but he was obviously hurried and hit the upright and while we hung in there for a few more series, the game 7-6 after Sciba did manage to kick two field goals (Wake unable to take it in time after time from the red zone), it was 28-13 at the half in a flash.
For Notre Dame, this was easily their most impressive effort of the season to date and with the change in QB to Book, maybe they can be a true CFP contender after all.
Back to Wake, they still haven’t beaten a top-10 team since 1946!
*And this just in late Sunday...Deacon coach Dave Clawson fired the defensive coordinator! I admire the decisiveness. It seems that there will now be a group effort among the assistant coaches, as in, ‘Hey, you’re responsible for your unit, get it done!’ I can guarantee it won’t be worse than the state of the ‘D’ now.
In other games....
No. 12 West Virginia had an important 35-6 win over Kansas State, with Will Grier, a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, tossing for 356 yards and five touchdowns.
In a biggie, Kentucky moved to 4-0 with a convincing 28-7 win over 14 Mississippi State in Lexington. It was the Benny Snell Jr. show, Snell rushing for 165 yards and all four touchdowns as the Wildcats held MSU to just 201 yards of offense. Very cool. Kentucky should soar into the Top 25, certainly Top 20.
Texas Tech stunned 15 Oklahoma State 41-17 in Stillwater, a week after the Cowboys’ impressive win over Boise State that had everyone believing OSU was a legitimate playoff contender. The Red Raiders outgained the Cowboys 621-386.
19 Michigan continued its solid play post-its opening loss to Notre Dame, demolishing Scott Frost’s Nebraska 56-10, in a game that was 39-0 at the half. The Wolverines outgained the Cornhuskers 491-132. Yikes. Mr. Frost’s return to Lincoln has been less than stellar. Just a wee bit of work to do with this program.
Purdue shocked, and embarrassed, No. 23 Boston College 30-13, holding Eagles star running back AJ Dillon to just 59 yards on 19 carries, while picking off quarterback Anthony Brown four times. David Blough had three TD passes for the Boilermakers.
Syracuse is, startlingly, 4-0 for the first time since 1991 after a 51-21 whipping of UConn.
And then there was the true upset of the year thus far...Old Dominion shocked 13Virginia Tech in Norfolk, 49-35, as Blake LaRussa, who entered the game on the second series, led the Monarchs with 495 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
This is an ODU team that has been playing at the FBS level for just a few years, a Conference USA member (I had to remind myself of this, thinking they were still FCS), and a team that had lost to Liberty!, Florida International, and Charlotte to date. For ODU to then pull this off is absolutely remarkable and major kudos to longtime coach Bobby Wilder.
But as with the B.C. loss to Purdue, what an embarrassment for the ACC.
Lastly, we have Rutgers. I said I was starting a petition to expel the school from the state if it lost to Buffalo, and it was worse than that. The now 4-0 Bison annihilated the Scarlet Knights 42-13 in another contest that wasn’t even as close as the final score, Buffalo up 35-6 at the half.
Now, granted, Buffalo is a sleeper team, with an exciting, big-play offense, but there is real cause for my idea of sending Rutgers down to Boone, North Carolina, in exchange for Appalachian State and some Carolina pulled pork; the Apps a far better sports program, with more potential, than Rutgers. I think I hear moving vans descending on both campuses.
Steve Politi / Star Ledger (NJ.com)
“Can I have a mulligan on the whole worst-loss-in-Rutgers-history decree that I made, you know, last weekend?
“I thought the 41-piont loss to Kansas, which relinquished its title as the worst Power 5 program in the country in the game, was rock bottom. Turns out, the Scarlet Knights – who used to run onto the field with an axe – brought a jackhammer with them this this week.
“They can go lower. Buffalo, from the MAC, came to Piscataway and took a 35-6 lead at halftime in front of a friends-and-family crowd at HighPoint.com Stadium, and maybe the most stunning part about it is this:
“It wasn’t the least bit stunning.
“The 15,000 or so fans who bothered to show up (and, for that, each and every one of them deserves a medal) were treated to a team with a strong-armed quarterback, an innovative offense, a stud receiver and a defense that plays bigger and stronger than the heights and weights on the roster.
“That team, sadly, had to get on the bus and leave.
“No sugarcoating this, folks: Rutgers is a program in crisis right now. The lack of energy, the defensive meltdowns, the utter incompetence on offense – it all reflects poorly on head coach Chris Ash. He looks in over his head in his third season, and (gulp) the slaughterhouse portion of the Big Ten schedule is yet to come.
“Forget the $10 million he’s owed on that contract. When does it get to the point that Ash can’t reasonably recover from this? He’s supposed to show progress in his third season, but this humiliating two-game stretch makes you wonder if the program is heading in the wrong direction entirely.”
Like I said...back up the moving vans. And let’s give a warm Jersey welcome to Appalachian State! [I do feel kind of sorry for the good people of Boone. This really isn’t fair, but it’s in the national interest, and they’ll do the right thing...of this I’m convinced.]
As for the pulled pork aspect, trust me, Rutgers fans. Once you’ve had the real thing you won’t miss your Scarlets Knights in the least.
And now...the new AP Poll!
1. Alabama (60) 4-0
2. Georgia 4-0
3. Clemson (1) 4-0...I was almost right on first-place votes for ‘Bama
4. Ohio State 4-0
5. LSU 4-0
6. Oklahoma 4-0
7. Stanford 4-0
8. Notre Dame 4-0
9. Penn State 4-0
10. Auburn 3-1
11. Washington 3-1
12. West Virginia 3-0
13. UCF 3-0...huh...early respect
14. Michigan 3-1
17. Kentucky 4-0...Zoom!
22. Duke 4-0...congrats, lads
--The Giants played a superb first half in Houston and led the Texans 20-6 at the intermission, with Eli Manning coming through, 14/16, 184, Odell Beckham Jr. 6 receptions for 78, and Saquon Barkley with 75 yards on the ground.
The Giants then held on, 27-22, for their first win, Eli finishing 25/29, 297, 2-0, 132.3, Beckham 9-109, and Barkley, a non-factor in the second, 17-82-1.
Houston, despite DeShaun Watson’s 385 yards and two TDS, falls to 0-3.
--Kansas City took a 35-10 halftime lead over San Francisco and then cruised, 38-27, with Patrick Mahomes doing all his damage in the first half and finishing 24/38, 314, 3-0; 252 of his yardage in the first two quarters, and obviously all the TDs.
--Buffalo picked up its first win, 27-6 over Minnesota (1-1-1). How deceptive can stats be? If I told you the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins was 40-of-55 passing, you’d think he scored a bushel of points. Wrong. The 40 completions went for 296 meaningless yards.
Meanwhile, Buffalo first-round pick Josh Allen was an efficient 15/22, 196, 1-0, but also with two rushing touchdowns.
--Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz made a successful return for the Eagles, Philly moving to 2-1 with a 20-16 win over Indianapolis (1-2), Wentz going 25/37, 255, 1-1, 84.9. For the Colts, Andrew Luck was 25-of-40, but just for 164 yards.
--Washington moved to 2-1, defeating Green Bay at home, 31-17, the Pack now 1-1-1, as Adrian Peterson turned back the clock with 120 yards on 19 carries and two TDs. Alex Smith was his usual efficient self, 12/20, 220, 2-1, 110.4. Aaron Rodgers threw for 265 and two TDs.
--Miami is 3-0! The Dolphins beat Chuckie’s Raiders, 28-20, Jon Gruden and the Khalil Mack-less boys now 0-3.
--39-year-old Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time leader in completions, breaking Brett Favre’s record of 6,300, as the Saints (2-1) beat the Falcons (1-2) 43-37 in overtime; Brees going 39/49, 396, 3-0, 120.3. Matt Ryan had a helluva game himself in defeat, 26/35, 374, 5-0, 148.1.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara had 66 yards on the ground, but also 15 receptions for 124.
--Carolina beat Cincinnati 31-21, both teams now 2-1, as ‘Bad Andy’ Dalton showed up, four interceptions for the Bengals’ QB. Christian McCaffrey had 184 yards rushing on 28 carries for the Panthers.
--The Rams are now 3-0 after a 35-23 win over the Chargers (1-2) as Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
--Jacksonville fell to 2-1 in what had to be the worst freakin’ game to ever attend, 9-6, to Tennessee (2-1). The Titans outgained the Jags 233-232.
To speed up the Russia investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller should have had all those he is looking for information from attend the game. “Make this stop! I’ll tell you everything you want to know!!!”
--What a disaster, Thursday night, for the New York Jets. What a great night for the Cleveland Browns, who snapped a 19-game winless streak, the second-longest in the NFL since the 1970 merger.
The Jets took a seemingly commanding 14-0 lead in the second quarter in Cleveland behind a solid running attack and two touchdowns from Isaiah Crowell. The Jet ‘D’ was pressuring Cleveland quarterback Tyrod Taylor, with three early sacks, and in the second quarter he was taken out with a concussion.
Enter Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Recall, I wanted my Jets to take the Heisman Trophy winner, if they had the opportunity, but Cleveland grabbed him and the Jets then took Sam Darnold with the third selection.
So we suddenly had a comparison between these two, and Mayfield was everything some of us thought he could be. The guy is not only talented, he’s a leader, for sure, and he led the Browns on a terrific comeback, four scoring drives, 21-17 Cleveland...the fridges of Bud Light, that had been placed around the city for the Brownies first win, finally unlocked.
Mayfield was superb...17/23, 201, 0-0, 100.1. He was simply ‘as advertised.’
Darnold was pretty poor, though once again his mistakes weren’t all on him, as he went 15/31, 169, 0-2, a putrid 38.3.
Jason Gay / Wall Street Journal
“It’s really important to stay calm, cautious and cool-headed here – to be wise, and restrained, and not my usual moron self. I will not let the emotion of a few hours on Thursday night cloud my professional judgment.
“But I really don’t think the Cleveland Browns will ever lose another football game again. Ever, ever, ever.
“Because Baker Mayfield is here....
“Cue the Bakermania. Mayfield steps into the civic void left by LeBron James, who’s fled again, this time to Los Angeles. When Browns starter Tyrod Taylor departed after a second quarter hit to the head, the 23-year-old stepped in and completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards. It may as well have been 2,001. The Jets never had a chance. New York’s rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold, feels like yesterday’s news.
“Mayfield changed the entire mood of the contest. The Browns’ stadium practically lifted off the ground. People actually got excited watching Thursday Night Football – I thought that was illegal....
“Remember: Mayfield was considered a somewhat risky No. 1 pick. There was worry he was too short: too much of a swashbuckler; that he wasn’t a ‘system guy’ (got to love football terms); that he would prove to be more show than substance. There were unflattering comparisons to another Browns quarterback, Johnny Manziel.
“No longer. The fears are kaput. Mayfield’s confidence turns out to be a mighty weapon. He walked into a game the Browns trailed by two touchdowns and it suddenly felt like Cleveland was ahead. He didn’t go rogue; he executed when he needed to; he even scored a 2-point conversion when he caught a pass.
“Are Cleveland public offices and schools closed today? They should be. I believe they’re building a Baker statue on Lake Erie as we speak.
“I know what you’re thinking: Jason, you sound like an idiot. And it wouldn’t be the first time. After all, it’s just one game. They beat the Jets – not the ’85 Bears. The Browns have felt flickers of excitement before (even Manziel was good for a minute!) only for it to tumble apart like a circus act.
“But how can you not be happy for Cleveland and its loyal fans? A woebegone football team – a national punch line, so associated with misery that it ought to retire misery’s number – finally has itself an electric leader. Hope is in the building. On the Browns side of the field. In a bandanna....
“It’s Baker Mayfield’s town now. They can’t lose. For at least another week.”
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“Todd Bowles did one thing right Thursday night. One. When the game was over, when the Browns had turned 14-0 down into 21-17 up, cracking open Victory Fridges all over this town, when his team had been dutifully chased back to the visitors’ locker room at FirstEnergy Stadium the head coach of the Jets finally hit a proper note.
“ ‘I’m taking the whole ballgame,’ Bowles said. ‘The whole ballgame is on me.’
“Hell, yes, it was. This whole calamity falls square on the coach’s shoulders, all of it, from the scared-of-their-own-shadow game plan to the surplus of penalties that sabotaged them up and down the entirety of the game, up to the carefree cultures that pervades this team and allows two game-changing lapses in judgment and decorum. We keep hearing these will be eradicated from this franchise on Bowles’ watch.
“Things will change, he keeps saying, going on four years now.
“And yet: Nothing changes. Ever. The Jets were reckless and stupid and absent of any kind of self-discipline in Bowles’ first three years, and they remain the same lawless train wreck now. The last two years they were bad enough to where all of that was just a byproduct of being a lousy team....
“And what’s worse: It is becoming impossible to believe they will ever be different under this coach, who is now 11-25 for his past 36 games, who keeps talking tough when he’s talking to reporters but clearly doesn’t present nearly the same ferocious face when he’s talking to his players. They don’t fear him. If they respect him, as they insist they do, they have a funny way of showing it.”
The Bowles Regime:
2015: 10-6 [no playoffs]
--Golf fanatics have been concerned as to the impact of Hurricane Florence on some of the nation’s best resorts. But it seems the Myrtle Beach area, known as Golf Capital USA, with 75-80 courses, depending on how you define the region, escaped widespread damage, with one report having 50 of the 80 open by this weekend.
But there are some areas, like New Bern and Wilmington, that clearly suffered catastrophic damage.
--The only thing I cared about this weekend was Tottenham snapping their losing streak and that they did, a 2-1 win on the road at Brighton. With three more ‘wins’ coming up, one hopes, in Huddersfield, Cardiff, and West Ham, before taking on Manchester City, the Spurs have a chance to get back in the groove.
In other contests of note, Burnley picked up its first win, a 4-0 triumph over Bournemouth; Man City thrashed Cardiff 5-0 (after City lost its first Champions League match, at home, to Lyon, 2-1 on Wednesday); Liverpool continued its sterling play, 3-0 over Southampton; Wolverhampton picked up a big point at Manchester United, 1-1; and Watford showed a second consecutive week that it is not quite the team that started 4-0, drawing with Fulham 1-1.
Today...Chelsea stumbled and managed only a 0-0 draw at West Ham, while Arsenal won its fourth in a row, after dropping its first two, 2-0 over Everton.
So the standings after six of 38...W-D-L...points
1. Liverpool... 6-0-0...18
2. Man City... 5-1-0...16
3. Chelsea... 5-1-0...16
4. Watford... 4-1-1...13
5. Tottenham... 4-0-2...12
6. Arsenal... 4-0-2...12
7. Man U... 3-1-2...10
8. Bournemouth... 3-1-2...10
Relegated, as of today....
18. Newcastle... 0-2-4...2
19. Cardiff... 0-2-4...2
20. Huddersfield... 0-2-4...2
--NASCAR’s Big Three, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., finished 1-2-3 at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night, the second of the ten Chase for the Cup races. It was Busch’s seventh win of the season, matching Harvick’s seven, while Truex has four. Brad Keselowski’s streak of three straight ended, finishing ninth.
I didn’t watch to see if the Monster Energy Girls were in good form at the end.
--Anthony Joshua further boosted his claim to be the biggest active star in the boxing world with a booming seventh-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin of Russia, Saturday night before 80,000 at Wembley Stadium. Joshua thus defended his WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles.
The heavyweight division has been out of the limelight for ages, it seems, but Joshua is changing that and there is hope he will next fight the winner of December’s battle between WBC champ Deontay Wilder and former title holder Tyson Fury.
--The Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office has been telling inquiring rivals that they have no plans to deal All-Star Jimmy Butler, who announced he wants to play in a bigger market. [What a jerk.]
But as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports, owner Glenn Taylor has been telling his fellow owners that Butler is available, which is telling people that with this growing disconnect, a showdown is looming between Taylor and coach Thom Thibodeau, who is also president of basketball operations.
At this week’s board of governors meeting, other owners told Wojnarowski that Taylor is dealing Butler. Thibodeau, however, wants to keep him.
Meanwhile, Taylor and the team just signed All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns to a max, five-year deal.
Butler is eligible for a five-year, $190 million contract extension with the T’Wolves, or with a team that acquires him in a trade. He can sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a new team.
Butler said he wants a trade, by Monday, to a team that would give him a five-year max deal in the summer. Butler is prioritizing the Clippers and Knicks.
--Despite a computer glitch that resulted in wildly incorrect odds, FanDuel has reconsidered and agreed to pay a New Jersey man $82,000 for his winning bet on Sunday’s Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders game.
The company had originally refused on the grounds that the odds that Anthony Prince of Newark received on his $110 wager were “an erroneous price over an 18-second period.”
After consulting with state gambling regulators, FanDuel reversed course on Thursday.
“Above all else, sports betting is supposed to be fun,” the company said in a statement. “As a result of a pricing error this weekend, it wasn’t for some of our customers.”
Prince placed an in-game bet at FanDuel’s sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack as the Broncos trailed the Raiders 19-17 late in the fourth quarter.
Instead of getting what should have been the proper 1-6 odds (wager $600 to win a $100), Prince’s $110 bet was placed when the odds momentarily went to 750-1.
When Broncos kicker Brandon McManus hit a 36-yard field goal with two seconds left to win the game, cashiers refused to pay.
--In less than 24 hours, at the same spot off the north Queensland, Australia coast, there were two shark attacks, one critically injuring a 12-year-old girl, the other leaving a Tasmanian tourist and an avid snorkeler fighting for her life.
Local experts said there are four major shark species in the tropical area and the worst is actually the tiger shark, which is suspected in the two attacks. People have been asked not to swim in the area again.
The woman who is fighting for her life (though stories in the last 24 hours have her making a “miraculous recovery”) had the shark take a “huge chunk” from the inside of one of her legs. Queensland Fisheries has killed at least three tiger sharks in the area since.
The people who were on the scene, pulled her up onto a yacht “and quickly packed the gaping wound to help stem the hemorrhaging,” according to a witness. A rescue helicopter then pulled her up and rushed her to a hospital, where she underwent 18 hours of surgery.
Amazing courage all around.
--We note the passing of one of the greats, Uno the Beagle. He was 13. The cause was cancer.
No beagle had won the prestigious Westminster dog show until Uno did Snoopy proud, barking his way to the prized silver bowl in 2008. He was clearly the crowd favorite and fans exulted in the pick.
Uno soon became the first Westminster winner to visit the White House, with President George W. Bush and wife Laura greeting him in the Rose Garden, and presenting him with a red, white and blue collar.
Uno then rode in a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, took part in first-pitch ceremonies at Busch Stadium and Miller Park and even had his own bobblehead.
Uno spent years traveling, welcomed at hospitals such as Walter Reed as a certified therapy dog.
Top 3 songs for the week 9/22/73: #1 “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye) #2 “We’re An American Band” (Grand Funk) #3 “Delta Dawn” (Helen Reddy)...and...#4 “Loves Me Like A Rock” (Paul Simon) #5 “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose” (Dawn featuring Tony Orlando) #6 “Brother Louie” (Stories) #7 “Half-Breed” (Cher) #8 “Higher Ground” (Stevie Wonder) #9 “Touch Me In The Morning” (Diana Ross...can’t...different era, Di...) #10 “That Lady” (Isley Brothers)
NFL Quiz Answers: The NFL schedule was 12 games from 1947-60. Then it went to 14 in 1961. And in 1978 it went from 14 to 16.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday. The Ryder Cup.