2. Cliff Lee. A year ago yesterday Lee made it back to the Indians' Big League roster along with a handful of September callups. He'd been demoted for all-around unimpeachable awfulness. Yesterday he became the first Major Leaguer to reach 20 wins this season after tossing a complete-game shutout. He's got the AL Cy Young all but on his mantle and has me (and likely many others) firmly esconced in first place in a fantasy baseball league.
3. College Football Overtime. Just when the cloying Sunday-night depression of Monday night was wrapping its burly arms around my sore-from-swimming shoulders there was a brisk, boozy breeze from Saturday that gave me, and us all, a reprieve from thoughts of imminent work and the discomfort of our day jobs. It was the Tennessee/UCLA game on ESPN. Or, it was the fourth quarter of that game and the ensuing overtime period. It was the wild, back-and-forth exchanges between Rick Neuheisal's Bruins and Phil Fulmer's Volunteers, highlighted by the night-and-day turnaround from third-string UCLA signal caller Kevin Craft, who after gifting the Vols four picks in the first half turned in some stellar play late in the game, including a two-minute drive to pull ahead with just 27 seconds remaining. Of course, it would have been great if this game would have gone several overtime sessions rather than ending on a missed field goal almost before it got started. But, complaining about that would be greedy as this game was a wonderful reminder of what is still to come.
4. Mike Westhoff. He's back. Who is he? Don't worry about it. Just be glad he's back. At least if you're a Jets fan. Westy was/is the New York Jetropolitans Special Teams Coach and is returning to the team after a break to battle his bone cancer. He's just finished off his ninth such surgery.
5. Chris Simms. Few players that were left off the pared down NFL rosters were as happy as Christopher Simms out of the University of Texas by way of Franklin Lakes, NJ. After a tumutlous five seasons and a sixth training camp aboard the privateering Gruden, berthed in Tampa - during which he quarterbacked the Bucs to a playoff berth and aloso had his spleen busted - he has walked down the plank. And, according to the Times, he couldn't be happier. Coincidentally, the New York Football Giants, where Chris's dad made his name have an opening at third string QB. I'd have to think, however, that Chris had no interest in being the guy who holds the clipboard guy's clipboard. He wants on the field and must believe he can regain his 2005 form when he was one dropped pass from a come-from-behind playoff win. I'd imagine Baltimore, who just named Joe Flacco the Game 1 starter, might take a look.