by John Walters
1. Harvey Danger
It went from Dark Knight to dark knight rather quickly in Game 5 of the World Series. Met manager Terry Collins tells ace Matt Harvey that he’s taking him out of the game as the Mets are nursing a 2-0 lead after eight innings. Harvey: “No way.”
Okay. Collins is a nice guy, he acquiesces. Harvey allows a leadoff walk off a 3-2 pitch to “He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie” Lo Cain, and you saw what happened after that. I was hoping that Harvey would get at least one strikeout in the 9th so we could say we saw both a marathon and a 10-K effort in New York in the same day, but instead we had to settle for a pair of New York City marathons.
The Met lose 7-2 in 12 innings, which means that in three of their four losses, they led in the eighth inning or later. The Royals win their first World Series in 30 years.
2. Suspensions of Disbelief
An eight-lateral kickoff return by Miami gives them the win over Duke. Penalties/things that the refs missed:
A. Probable runner down at :26, B. Clip at :38, C. Crack back block above the shoulder pads at :42
Did the refs miss these? Yes. Was nine minutes a little too long to decide whether or not the man’s knee was down? Certainly. Should a ref in the replay booth be given the onus of basically deciding who wins a game, which in this case he was? Your decision.
Here’s a similar play from Trinity University in Texas, 2007:
The refs blew it, certainly. To me, the clip was the most egregious miss. Still, a two-game suspension is rather excessive. Were any referees suspended during the Bush Push, which was also a climactic play that decided a game? (No.). And I’m not sure if any refs were suspended after the 5th Down game in 1990, either.
3. CFB’s Wild Weekend
“And that’s not all!” As wild as the Miami-Duke finish was — and it was — what was supposed to be a Somnolent Saturday in college football was actually quite thrilling. Nothing quite as good as that “Go Canes!” return in the first game of the post-Golden era but here’s a few things you may have missed:
Harvard, where they do go to “play school,” ties Ohio State for the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games. But it wasn’t easy as the Crimson trailed 13-0 at Dartmouth on Friday night midway through the fourth quarter before coming back to win, 14-13. The Crimson scored the game-winner with just :38 remaining. I KNEW I should’ve driven up to Hanover. That’s on me. My bad.
Michigan holds off Minnesota when Golden Gopher receiver Drew Wolitarsky catches a pass less than a yard shy of the game-winning TD, then the GGs fail to score from that close on the next two plays (a field goal from point-blank range would have sent it to overtime). Wolverines win, 29-26, and collect the Little Brown Jug.
Meanwhile out on the Palouse, Stanford was in trouble all night long versus the Cougars — someone wasn’t too happy about being passed over by College GameDay — but Wazzu’s Erik Powell missed a 43-yard game-winning field goal after already having made 5 ( from 46, 23, 47, 28 and 28 yards) in the wind and rain. Tough to blame him, though. Gotta be better in the red zone, Coach Leach. Stanford survives, 30-28.
Finally, how about this play by freshman defensive back Terrill Hanks of New Mexico State, against Idaho in overtime, that snapped the nation’s longest losing streak at 17 games? Hanks actually catches the ball with his ankles. Aggies win, 55-48.
4. Steph Child
The NBA plays an 82-game season, so I’m wondering why the Golden State Warriors, who have the league’s MVP, Stephen Curry, and happen to be defending champions, played a team with a man who has been heralded as a future MVP, Anthony Davis, twice before November 1? They’ll only play three times all season, which means you’ll have to wait 133 days before the Warriors and Pelicans next square off, for the last time this year.
Curry will miss them. He scored 40 in their first game last Wednesday night, and 53 on Saturday night.
5. Where In The World?
Friday’s Answer: Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Ol’ Man River
It’s “Show Tunes Week” at MH, and so we’ll begin with this showstopper from Show Boat. That’s William Warfield reprising the classic in this 1951 movie version; it was originally put on screen in 1936 with Paul Robeson singing — Robeson, you may recall, was an All-American football end in 1918 and 1919, which meant he was light years ahead of the integration movement in collegiate sports.
Here’s the Paul Robeson version:
NBA Coast to Coast
ESPN 2 8 p.m.
I have to give a little love to this show, because I’m glad someone at ESPN understands Short Attention Span Theater. It’s a long NBA season, and most of us would prefer to get a look-in on all the games on a Monday night in November as opposed to suffering through yet another 2 hours of LeBron (I know, I know, Susie B.: he’s magnificent; I’d just like a little variety). Tonight you’ll get look-ins on the Thunder and Rockets, plus LeBron, Steph Curry and Spurs are all in action. SAS is actually in NYC at MSG (too early) to atone for the most inconceivable loss of the NBA season last winter (it may have cost SAS home-court, if I remember correctly).
Above, that’s Russell Westbrook with the fierce put-back slam. Curry may be the NBA’s MVP, but Russ is the league’s FON: Force Of Nature.