Seeing as though this was a pretty nondescript week in the sports department, here are a few ramblings about what’s going on in the wide world of sports.

Are you ready for some football?!? No, seriously, are you?

So, the NFL season is finally upon us. Last night, with all of the pomp and circumstance of a Super Bowl halftime extravaganza on crack, the National Mall was bumping and grinding to NFL Kickoff 2003. Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and many other performers that have absolutely nothing to do with football shook their money-makers before the Redskins-Jets game to try and bring in a more diverse audience. Regardless of whether Britney decided to hook up with someone a la the MTV Video Music Awards, I passed on this concert, and I think it’s safe to say that everyone who actually watched the game did also. I’m sure the average NFL fan doesn’t really dig her sound, though they may be familiar with her, um, body of work. I can see the NFL marketing geniuses at work. People watch concerts, people watch sports. Maybe if someone puts them together, people will watch concerts and football. Right. That’s got to be it.

Personally, I guess I’m not as excited as the average guy about the upcoming season because my heart is still lying cold and bleeding on the turf of the Vet as Warren Sapp dances around in an “NFC Champions” hat, but that’s just me. To top that off, I looked forward to an entire season of Mike Vick snapping ankles and turning heads. Unfortunately, the ankle he snapped was his own and he will be firmly planted on the bench until at least October. Nice. And let me tell you, I hope to see at least a thousand more of the Jeremy Shockey NFC commercials on Fox. I don’t know about you, but I love everything that he does and says, especially when it’s irrelevant and offensive. Bill Parcells, anyone?

But all in all, football is here and that’s a good thing. That means spending Sundays on the couch, procrastinating anything important and ordering way too much Domino’s. I guess fall really is here.

Would anyone not in the NL wild card race please raise your hand?

After the initial luster of the football season wears off, this will be the best story around. As I write this, seven – count `em, seven – teams are within four games of the National League wild card. The standings are in continuous flux and since many of the teams are divisional rivals, a good bit of them are head-to-head. Hey, if they put a few wins together, I think even the Tigers have a shot to be the fourth team in from the NL. Well, maybe not the Tigers.

And over in the American League, the race for the AL Central is heating up quite nicely. The Royals, White Sox and Twins are locked up within two games of each other and play each other constantly. The ChiSox play 14 of their last 23 games against Kansas City and innesota. The Sox made a lot of noise at the trading deadline, so it will be interesting to see if their moves will net them the title, or one of the small-market dynamos can seal the deal. This figures to be quite a dramatic race; I just hope it gets the national press that it deserves with the lack of a major market (cough, cough, New York, cough.).

How long has it been?

Georgetown sports, after a summer off, are finally stepping back to the spotlight. This afternoon’s Hoyapalooza barbecue/concert/pep rally will kick off the fall season in style, and is an indication that Hoya Blue plans on being a bigger figure in the campus sports landscape.

I know most people were distraught by the disastrous mass exodus from the men’s basketball program, but the fall season looks to have some good stories wrapped up in there somewhere. Cross country always contends nationally, and after their impressive performance in the D.C. College Cup the men’s soccer team is poised to make some serious noise.

Things are looking up.

While the last week in sports may have been pretty weak, starting this weekend things will pick up. Saturday afternoon, you can pick your poison, either going to the Georgetown football home opener against Colgate or watching the best rivalry in professional sports, the Red Sox and the Yankees. I don’t know what’s going on Sunday, though – you might catch a football game or two, given that it’s opening weekend and all. Nevertheless, the inaugural Monday Night Football of the season looks to be the pay dirt of the weekend. It’s the definition of a grudge match, and it will be interesting to see if the Eagles’ new stadium can live up to the rowdiness of the Vet. Hey, at least there’s something to look forward to.

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