From the "Talks too much" studios, let's start by saying that yes, that Brass Monkey is a funky monkey.
Are we sure this Columbus Day, and not Paul Revere Day? (MCA, get on the mic my man.)
The city of Boston was the center of the sports world Sunday and it became the comeback capital of universe thanks to the heroics of Tom Brady and David Ortiz.
Brady and the Patriots rallied from a four-point hole to score a TD with five seconds left to beat New Orleans 30-27. Brady marched his team down the field in a minute without any timeouts to escape the clutches of the previously unbeaten Saints. It was a hole made even more difficult by the careless interception Brady threw roughly three minutes earlier, but not unlike Houdini, the added difficulty only added to the legend. Brady made his mess and then he cleaned it up. Did he make a mistake or with more than 30 game-winning fourth quarter or OT drives under his gunslinging holster, did he want more of a challenge.
(Side point I: Yes, we have reached back into the old-school rap files and referenced the Beastie Boys and indirectly the magic of Houdini. Side point, II: Harry Houdini is the Babe Ruth of magicians, right? Dude is considered the best ever and is forever in the conversation of the best ever even if very few of us know the levels of his talent. Name recognition alone Houdini was a master. What's the Rushmore of magicians, all-time?)
Brady's magic act figured to be the high point of the Boston sports day, especially after Detroit Tigers stars Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera dominated from the start in Game 2 of the ALCS at Fenway Park.
Scherzer, the game's best right-hander with electric stuff, took a no-hitter into the sixth and left after whiffing 13 in seven dominant innings and carrying what seemed to be an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
Enter Big Papi. David Ortiz, the gregarious Boston DH, who is part teddy bear, part minotaur, and all-world when October comes calling, launched a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth. Boston won in walk-off fashion in the ninth, and the Tigers' certain 2-0 lead heading back to Detroit became a 1-1 series with enough doubt and speculation swirling around, this could be a Steven King novel.
So it goes. Just another day at the ball park, huh?
College football rewind
As we do around the parts on Monday, we take a moment and review the antics of the college football weekend that was.
Good times. Bad times. Times for pause and time for praise. Giddy-up.
Five things we believe this Monday morning:
• Marcus Mariota is fun to watch. The Oregon quarterback was amazing — as usual — in the Ducks' impressive win at Washington. As high-flying and fast-paced as the Ducks are, do not sell their efficiency short, and that starts with Mariota. Dude has 25 TDs (17 passing, eight running) and as many interceptions as you do. Yep, bagel. How dizzying is the Oregon offense? The six TDs it scored on the road at then-No. 14 Washington was good enough for a 45-24 win. It also was the season's low-point for the offense so far.
• Johnny Football is the coolest cat in college football. Dude exudes confidence, and walks around the field with a permanent thought bubble of, "What, me worry?" He had 470 yards of offense as the Aggies rallied to beat Ole Miss. Yes, the Fab 4-plus-1 picks missed that game, but it was fun to watch.
• Speaking of the Fab 4-plus-1 picks, we missed on a couple that featured late game rallies to cover the number. We also left a couple of correct picks on the cutting room floor. We finished 2-3 and are 21-13-1 against the number on the season.
• Hard not to feel sorry for Grateful Dawg and the rest of the Georgia fans around these parts. Hard, too, not to feel bad for Aaron Murray, who returned for his senior season to take a swing at title, and those hopes seem all-but-dashed because of the overwhelming wave of offense crippling injuries. Saturday's 41-26 loss to Missouri was a combo of the injuries, a defense that could not force a turnover or get off the field and an offense that turned it over too much.
• High times for the SEC. Record eight teams in the AP poll. Anyone have any more questions for Alabama? Yes it was Kentucky, but the Tide put the hammer down. Anyone have any questions for LSU, which is getting better defensively and has a coach who is wearing his heart of his hat — big hat and full heart, can't lose. And on this Columbus Day, the SEC fans in Columbia — both of them — have reasons to smile this morning as Mizzou is 6-0 and South Carolina quieted the drama for the time being in a 52-7 beatdown at Arkansas.
Monday Stock Exchange
Every Monday in the fall TFP we have a stock exchange reviewing the antics of the Bulldos, Mocs and Vols football teams.
The Vols were off this weekend so they were not included.
We're going to try to tweak that for the 5-at-10. Here our Monday stock exchange will be about who's stock is higher. Deal? Deal.
Whose stock is higher in Boston right now, Big Papi or Big Brady?
Whose stock is higher Marcus Mariota or Johnny Manziel?
Whose stock is lower, Matt Schaub or Rob Gronkowski?
Whose stock has the better future, Alabama's or Oregon's?
Whose stock should be held in higher regard, Columbus or the Pilgrams?
Discuss — and feel free to add some stock options of your own. (See what we did there, stock options... Like the guys on the Guinness comercial used to say, "Brilliant.")
This and that
— Shoutout to the Mocs, who handled their BID-ness against Furman. Homecoming crowd around 12K was about what we expected last week.
— In case you were wondering, the Jacksonville Jaguars covered the biggest spread in modern NFL history. The Jags were getting 26.5 at kickoff from the 6-0 Denver Broncos, who won 35-19. How do you sell that in the postgame speech. "Way to show 'em guys. We just terrible, rather than historically bad. We're No. 32; we're No. 32."
— Dy-NO-mite. Jimmy Walker won on the PGA Tour, ending a 188-tournament winless streak. Yep, you know what's coming. Wait for it. We're close. Good times.
— Dodgers have to win tonight or it's done. That is all. And if you want to know who we'd look at if we had an assistant GM spot open? How about the Cardinals' chief pitching scout? Dude is finding dudes who can sling it.
Discuss where you see fit, and feel free to offer some stock exchange advice.
If you'd like talking points, here are a few:
Is David Ortiz a Hall of Famer?
What was the biggest college football story of the weekend?
OK, we all know what Columbus back in 1492. Here's a Columbus Day question: Who in today's sports world you want captaining the Nina and Co.?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...