Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState … wait, we still have one? Yes, yes indeed. Sorry about the lengthy absence, and special apologies to Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken for missing the NHL’s season start. Anyway, getting back into the swing of things, here’s a quick glance around the sports world.
MLB — The World Series starts this Friday, October 28th, with everyone’s least favorite team, the Houston Astros, going up against everyone’s new favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies. This is Houston’s fourth trip to the Fall (and if it runs any later, Early Winter) Classic in the past six years, while Philadelphia is making its first appearance since 2008. The Astros have the experience, presumably no longer including beating on trash cans, while the Phillies have the mojo after taking down Atlanta and San Diego. It should be a lot closer than the Oz-Fetterman debate.
NFL — The regular season is trundling along, although it is beginning to feel more like a train wreck due to the ridiculous number of injuries. When your most memorable moment is Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa twitching, laying concussed on the ground after a seemingly routine hit, you’ve got problems. Be it excessively trained and chemically (legal or otherwise) tricked-out players that exceed what the human body’s design can produce and endure, “protective” equipment that has barely advanced since the leather helmet era, or most likely a combination of both, pro football has become something to watch with more a sense of dread than delight. Still, at least some of us watch and wonder if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is serious about a four-team European division.
NHL — Okay, Sammy and Karl, settle down. The NHL season is underway with, as of yet, no major surprises and, thankfully, no major injuries to report. The Vegas Golden Knights’ patchwork goalie situation is holding up remarkably well at 6-2-0, while Vancouver Canucks fans can be forgiven for eyeing their team’s sparkling 0-5-2 record and thinking maybe a wholesale roster transfer with Abbotsford is in order. For its part, Abbotsford (Vancouver’s AHL affiliate) is threatening to change its name from the Canucks to Please Call Us Something Else so as to avoid the present association embarrassment. And yes, Karl, if the season ended today, the Kraken would be in the playoffs. It doesn’t. So go munch on a salmon or play with your Buoy plush or something.
NCAA Football — If the NFL is serious about a European division, why not move the top four SEC teams there? No one would notice the difference. Seriously, college football remains the SEC’s plaything, although Ohio State might — might — be able to crash the party come playoff time. Meanwhile, every college football fan has November 5th circled on their calendar as Tennessee travels to Georgia and we find out if the Volunteers are contenders or pretenders for the national championship. If they can upset the Bulldogs in Athens, things are gonna get lit. Hopefully not including downtown Knoxville.
NBA — Last, and for most of you least, the NBA is underway. The Los Angeles Lakers are 0-3, and on track to be the worst-shooting team in NBA history. You’re individually and collectively heartbroken, I know. But take heart, NBA fans. Chances are better than excellent that within a few years, not only will the Seattle SuperSonics make their triumphant return to the Emerald City, you will be able to convince your significant other that a trip to Las Vegas is solely to see your NBA team in action against a Sin City expansion team owned by LeBron James. Good luck with that, guys.
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