Thursday, August 30, 2012

8/30: Replacement Officials, Braves, etc.

Greetings! Couple of announcements... First, this is a "daily"-type post, but be on the lookout for the College football preview coming later this morning as we kick-off tonight... Secondly, I'll be running out division-by-division NFL previews before we kick things off on Wednesday... don't fear!

  • The NFL is going to have replacement officials in Week 1. The sky is falling! (lol) I really don't think this is a huge issue. For the diehards, we may notice some mess-ups in little things, but for the casual (read: nearly everyone) observer, the drop-off won't be noticeable, and people will forget that the referees are replacements until they disagree with a big 4th-quarter call. Quit crying.
  • Padres 8, Braves 2 - In short, the Padres should never score 8 runs in Petco Park. Tommy Hanson is officially scaring me as he sits in the high-80s with his fastball and doesn't show the type of power stuff that made him an elite prospect. At the moment, he's the clear odd man out come playoff time (provided the Braves get there), and unless he can return to the low-to-mid 90s with the fastball, I'm skeptical going forward.
  • Bryce Harper hit 2 home runs last night. And got ejected. Both of these things are awesome. 
  • One media note: Grantland (the ESPN spin-off site run by Bill Simmons) has stolen Zach Lowe away from Sports Illustrated for the coming NBA season. Lowe has established himself as one of the leading NBA voices in the online world these days, and this is a huge coup for Simmons and Grantland. They are amassing an NBA army with Lowe, Sebastian Pruiti, and Simmons himself. 
What to watch for on Thursday...
  • NCAA Football - #9 South Carolina @ Vanderbilt - 7:00 ESPN - The college gridiron season kicks off on ESPN this evening. South Carolina is a legitimate top-10 team with Marcus Lattimore returning to couple with an explosive defense led by Clowney and company. Vandy has given them fits in the past and the game is in Nashville so they should hang around, but I expect the Gamecocks to get a W.
  • NCAA Football - Washington State @ BYU - 10:15 ESPN - The Worldwide Leader is banking on the fact that people are football-starved... and they're probably right. Washington State should at least be watchable now in the Mike Leach era, and BYU is a nice program. 

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