It has been a busy time in the Toy Department — the start of the high school sports seasons, meshed in with a down-to-the-wire pennant race and two great starts in college and pro football. Also, does anyone know of a good cleaning service to send down to New Dehli to help India host the Commonwealth Games? They need some help.
The regional/national notebook is just overflowing with goodness. Here’s a sample:
• Buffalo Bills join others to allow NFLPA Union to decertify – http://tinyurl.com/2ao5ms3 – Seven NFL teams’ rosters have voted unanimously to allow the players’ union to decertify to fight off the NFL’s plan to lock out the players before the 2011 season. (By the way, this’ll help the players sue the league if they do truly lock them out for the season, a right they don’t have under labor laws in the US if they stay as a union.) I’ve talked about this one in the last post, so I’ll make it brief – get a deal done, guys, that benefits everyone. The only losses the NFL and its players will truly suffer will come from the fans. Don’t give them a reason to find something else to do on Sundays. Legal briefs, lockout/strike stories and the prospect of “replacement/scab” players next season can quell any NFL fan’s passion. Get it done…
• Seattle Sounders show their youth in loss to Monterrey – http://tinyurl.com/32fdn8u – When you are a second-year franchise, you’re going to have days like this. For 60-plus minutes, the Sounders held a commanding 2-0 lead over Mexico’s Monterrey on the road in CONCACAF Champions League pool play. At the full-time whistle, the hosts stormed back for three unanswered goals to secure a 3-2 win and the visitors hit the airport depressed. Sounders fans, as well as those who follow the MLS, felt as if the league’s first win in Mexico in this season’s CONCACAF CL play was in their grasps. A veteran club would have been able to weather the quick storm drummed up by star forward Humberto Suazo – two quick goals after his entrance into the match – to keep the advantage. A young club with players getting work in, which is what the Sounders fielded, was drenched by the wave of momentum that Suazo started. It is a learning process, one the Sounders can apply now and later – hopefully.
• Thank you, Bing, for keeping your wine cellar pristine – http://tinyurl.com/2wgs5bx – Bing Crosby, the man who crooned into the hearts of your grandmother in the 1930s/40s/50s and created the clam bake golf tournament at Pebble Beach (now the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), can now be credited for saving one of the most iconic baseball games ever – Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees. Crosby, a part-owner of the Pirates at the time, had a company tape onto five movie reels the entire NBC broadcast of the game. Everything from the opening credits to Mel Allen talking up Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run for the Pirates is there on those reels. MLB Network will get a chance to broadcast the entire game, including interviews from the ageless wonder (Bob Costas), in the offseason. Oh, by the way, it is the ONLY copy of the game, which hasn’t been rebroadcast since it aired on television. Radio accounts? They’re available to everyone. Now there’s the actual shot of the home run ball beating the Yankees. Thank you, Bing.
• Seahawks/Sounders pick new CEO – http://tinyurl.com/2wo2jsj – The Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders, both owned by Paul Allen, have a new CEO in charge – former St. Louis Blues CEO Peter McLoughlin. A business-oriented guy, he used to work for Anheuser Busch for 21 years and is excited to be in the Northwest. For Seahawks and Sounders fans, is this a big deal? Only if the franchises slip, as in less money coming in from corporate and advertising sales, tickets and other business-side activities. Less money coming in, less hope of getting that player who is needed for either the Seahawks or the Sounders. Most fans may not even hear from/about him, except when a new coach or a new hire is introduced. On the field, you’re not going to even think about him. Off the field, if he does his job right, you’re not going to even think about him. If we do, something is wrong. Remember that, OK.
• What happened to the World Series of Poker? – Nothing. With prohibition by the states and the federal government on on-line poker/gambling validated in the courts, the wave of poker fever that swept up in the 00s has receded. The tournament, however, lives on. With the final table now set, and delayed for maximum television exposure, you’ll get the new WSOP Main Event champion in November. Regionally, just from the state of Washington, there were 12 players who came away “in the money.” Out of 7,319 players, 747 came away with money. The prize pool: $68,798,600. Yeah, it isn’t going away anytime soon, even if ESPN ratings have dipped (slightly).
That’s all for a Thursday. I’ll post my NFL picks for Week 3, with some notebook items along the way on Saturday.