Like them or not, you have to hand it to the New England Patriots. No Tom Brady? No problem. His replacement, one Jimmie Garappolo, lasted all of two games before HE got hurt. No Jimmie G? No problem.
Many, particularly the "expert" talking heads, thought the Houston Texans would defeat the Patriots on Thursday night. Enter Jacoby Brissett, back-up to a back-up. He threw for a couple hundred yards, no picks, and a couple touchdowns. This was the same guy that wasn't good enough to start when he was at Florida in college. So he transferred to NC State, not exactly known as a football powerhouse. The Patriots won easily over a pretty good Houston team with him at quarterback.
It really is amazing how they keep pulling it off. The Pats have a couple wide receivers maybe five foot ten, a make-shift offensive line nobody's ever heard of, and seem to lose a couple prize free agents every year. But the wins roll on.
True, they didn't make it to the Super Bowl last year, but over the course of the last decade and a half or so, has there been a team in ANY sport that has been so consistently good as the Pats? Hats off to Bill Bellichick and his staff -- whatever it is they're still doing.
The Detroit Tigers keep hanging around and hanging around hoping to sneak into the playoffs. Cleveland has all but clinched the Central Division and Texas the West. Boston has finally opened up some ground in the Eastern, but Baltimore and Toronto are still a couple games ahead of the Tigers for the two wild cards. Houston has been hot lately and has drawn even with Detroit. Seattle's a game back and the Yankees one more.
So basically, there's five teams duking it out for two spots. It could well come down to the last game of the regular season. In that respect, the Tigers have a bit of an advantage. Their last three games are against the god-awful Atlanta Braves. Wouldn't it be something if, needing to win the last game of the season, the Tigers were beaten by the lowly Braves? Could happen.
Maybe there's hope department.
Finally, somebody has come out and put US soccer goalie Hope Solo in her place. At least a little. You know, the loudmouth loose cannon jerk that somehow keeps her place on the team. She had called the Swedish team cowards after the Americans were defeated by them fair and square a while back. Teammate Abby Wambaugh said Hope the dope should be professional about it and acknowledge her team was beaten at its own game.
That would be a start. Dropping Ms. Solo on her head a few times for an attitude adjustment would be better. About six months with the Taliban would teach her some good old fashioned humility, but perhaps that's a bit excessive.
The Colin Kaepernick "no-stand" movement keeps morphing and growing. Many other athletes have joined in in various ways. In will be interesting when the NBA, a predominantly black league, starts in a few weeks. That's because the league itself has a rule that all players must stand for the national anthem. If the players sat en masse, would they fine them all? Or would the league give in and let it slide? This could be a firestorm waiting to happen, but something's gotta give.....