A fairly minimalist week on the sports criminal docket front other than the announcement of former SDNY Judge Barbara S. Jones to hear the Ray Rice appeal against the NFL. She looks like a decent pick.
There is, however, a lot going on in the actual sporting world. Exciting MLB playoffs, and week five of college and pro football. But, by far if you look to the global sporting stage, the biggest news broke late yesterday: Sebastian Vettel is leaving Red Bull for Ferrari, and it seems almost certain that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is leaving the Scuderia for his old team, McLaren.
This is simply stunning. Frankly, not sure I have ever seen such a seismic shift with this much time left in the current season. Vettel is certainly younger (by about a decade), and would look to be with Ferrari for the long haul, but Alonso is for now a superior driver. For the next couple of years, not sure the boys from Maranello got the better part of this change. And the Circus is in Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Rosberg and Hamilton have the front row locked out after qualifying, and Suzuka is a great course. Worth the watch.
Then there is baseball. We don’t usually do much baseball here, but holy cow has there been some fantastic playoff action in the MLB. Especially any and all of the games involving the Kansas City Royals. First they beat the Oakland A’s in one of the most gripping baseball games you will ever see to make it past the initial knockout 1 game wildcard playoff game – in 12 innings. It was mesmerizing. Then they have followed it with back to back 11 inning wins over the Angels in Anaheim. Just wow. The Cardinals and Dodgers series seems similarly charged, and there are hard feelings between the two teams. And once again, Detroit, with all their talent, is self destructing in October, this time with two 8th inning collapses against the Orioles. Great stuff across the board for baseball.
In college football, I think we have to open with credit due for Rich Rodriquez who took his Arizona Wildcats to Autzen Stadium, knocked off the second ranked Oregon Ducks and walked out 5-0. Maybe Rich Rod wasn’t the problem in Ann Arbor. Sixth ranked Texas A+M at Mississippi State has the biggest buzz about it. Don’t sleep on the Bulldogs at home, they have a superb QB, Dak Prescott, and a tough fast defense. Same thing goes for Alabama at ‘Ole Miss. Big day in Mississippi.Stanford at Notre Dame, LSU at Auburn, and Nebraska at Michigan State all look to be good games. Before being exposed in the nightmare against UCLA the last time they took the field, I would have thought ASU at USC would be a good game. Not so much now, the Trojans will roll them.
Not a great week in the NFL. Man, the Packers just destroyed the Vikings on Thursday Night Football, and the Pack is back to 3-2 and looking better. The big game this week is – go figure – the still unbeaten Cardinals in Mile High against the Broncos. The Cards are a solid team, but won’t be unbeaten after Peyton is done. Could be a really good game though. Both teams are coming off a bye. Chiefs at 49ers and Bengals at New England are the only other really interesting games on the schedule. I will take the home team in both of those, though I am starting to wonder if Bill Bel, Brady and the boys deserve the respect any more. We shall see.
Okay, that is it for this week. Chat it up.