1) It is THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30. I'm buttoned down at Friday Page HQ today creating this week's NFL predictions. Click on Thursday Gem for the pick on tonight's Saints-Panthers game. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat opener, Heat Nation film, LeBron poll, CFP rankings, Duke Johnson new SOPY, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
On Heat's Opening Night win: The eye-candy Maserati left town, drove to Cleveland. The Heat is more like a sensible sedan this season. But we saw Wednesday night the engine can still rev. We also saw Chris Bosh (26 points, 15 rebounds) looking like a guy who's up to the go-to-guy role. Click on Sun Came Up, Moon Still Bright for my column from the arena on the impressive launch of Life After LeBron.
FSU VS. LEBRON IN THE BATTLE OF GUILTY PLEASURES: You know you'll be watching, Miami. Might not admit it. But you'll watch. No. 2-ranked Florida State risking everything tonight at 7:30 at Louisville on ESPN. And LeBron James' Cavaliers debut in Cleveland vs. the Knicks at 8 on TNT. There's Saints-Panthers, too, if you happen to have Drew Brees on your fantasy team. But, tonight only, the NFL takes third place, at least in Miami. Even if Miami won't admit it...
MALIGNED SEMINOLES: I cannot recall another unbeaten, reigning champion as criticized and doubted as Florida State is this year. Can you? Case in point: So many thinking the 'Noles will lose in Louisville tonight to instantly shake up Condoleezza Rice's new College Football Playoff rankings. Yes, FSU was better all-round last season. Also yes: They still have Jameis Winston, and Winston starts with a 'W.' Tally stays unbeaten tonight.
LEBRON's HOMECOMING: Yeah I'm already sick of the sappy LeBron homecoming ads, too. Especially the one with mom Gloria sounding all sweet and motherly (as opposed to that night in Miami when she was drunkenly brawling with a valet). But I am curious to begin to see how (and how quickly) the Cavs come together. No way Cleveland should be the favorite for the NBA title. That's driven by public sentiment, but, as a friend prone to wagering likes to say, "The masses are asses."
Admit it, though. You might be a Canes fan who hates FSU, or you might be a Heat fan who begrudges LeBron leaving (see poll results below). But you'll be watching some pretty compelling TV tonight.
Poll result: Views still mixed, but tide turning against LeBron: We had a second poll asking what reaction LeBron James will deserve when he returns to Miami for first time on Christmas. Bearing in mind a MiamiHerald.com blog might be weighted pretty heavily with Heat fans, we see an interesting shift againt LeBron:
Cheering 44.1% 28.7%
Booing 24.4% 27.9%
Mix of both 31.5% 43.3%
A REFLECTION ON WORLD SERIES AND GIANTS WIN: Game 7s are more rare than we'd imagine or like, and one that ends in a 3-2 game with the tying run on third base is pretty much the definition of excitement. So you have ample ammo to say Giants-Royals was a great World Series. It just didn't feel that way for me. Part of that is how much sweeter a Kansas City win would have been -- a team in its first postseason since 1985 vs. a team that just won its third WS in five years. But mostly I just found both sides starless and never escaped the sense we weren't watching the two best teams in baseball or even close. Series MVP a guy named "Bumgarner"? Perfect.
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