Geez. You go away for a couple of weeks, and stuff happens:
* Was there anything more Derek Jeter-like than the way he kicked in the door to the 3,000-hit club the other day? A five-hit game, plus a dinger to crack 3,000, from a guy who's hit so few balls in the air the last few years pigeons perch on the Yankee Stadium facade and mock him ("Hey, Jeet-ah! It's great up here! You should try it sometime!").
* Kudos to the U.S. women's soccer team for its stirring, shorthanded victory Sunday over both Brazil and its co-conspirators, the noodle-brained onfield officials. Greatest sporting event of the year so far. And, yes, I realize it's women's soccer.
What's your point?
* Belated congrats, too, to Novak Djokovic for his win at Wimbledon. Such a nice guy, too. Loved the way he flung all his racquets into the crowd in a fit of post-finals giddiness.
* So let me get this straight: Ohio State did not spank Michigan 37-7 last year, did not win the Sugar Bowl over Arkansas, did not beat Indiana 38-10, did not beat Purdue 49-0.
These were all figments of our imagination, according to the powers-that-be. You didn't see 'em because the powers say you didn't. I mean, who are you gonna believe, your lying eyes or a bunch of suits whose job it is to preserve the (very lucrative) status quo in big-boy college football?
* On a related note, the Blob loves the fact that Ohio State's top recruit, offensive tackle Kyle Kalis -- a Lakewood, Ohio kid, no less -- has de-committed and will now go to archrival Michigan.
Actually, that's not quite right. What the Blob loves is what the kid said when asked why he was de-committing: "I can't go there (Ohio State) and take penalties for something I never did."
He's absolutely right, and it illustrates again the basic flaw in the way the NCAA deals with malefactors: The malefactors are never the ones that have to pay the penalty. It's always the blameless folk who come after.
I don't know how you remedy that, if you're the NCAA. But punishing people who didn't have anything to do with the crimes isn't right, and solves nothing.
* Tears for John Mackey, the first truly great tight end in the history of football. His sad losing battle with dementia, at the relatively young age of 69, should be a wakeup call to all the testosterone cowboys who think the NFL cracking down on helmet-to-helmet hits is somehow unmanly and a crime against the essential nature of the sport.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. What's a crime against the sport is that those who play it with the most passion should simply accept as inevitable that down the road their melons will be squash. No mere game is worth that kind of sacrifice, nor should it be.
* Kudos to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has never stood pat in the face of diminishing returns. Faced with plunging attendance at the Brickyard 400, it not only will it move the Nationwide race from Lucas Oil Raceway to the Speedway beginning next year, but will add a Rolex Grand-Am race on the infield road course to the weekend festivities as well.
The Blob has long pounded the drums for a road-course race at Indy; in fact, I wouldn't mind seeing the Brickyard 400 itself (or the Nationwide race) use the road course, because, frankly, NASCAR on the big oval has proved to be such a crushing bore. But the Grand Am cars on the road course will be fun, anyway.
So, good on them.
* Speaking of the Speedway, smart move by Speedway president Jeff Belskus to offer free admission on Friday of Brickyard weekend to any fan holding a ticket to the fiasco that was the Sprint Cup race in Kentucky last weekend, and $5 admission on Saturday.
In case you missed it, thousands of fans never made it into the track, sitting in gridlocked traffic for up to six hours. This is what happens when you build a track in the middle of nowhere and then triple its capacity without regard to, um, how you're going to get that capacity in and out. This would never have happened at Indy, where they know how to handle big crowds, and the proximity to civilization ensures multiple routes of entry and exit.
In short: Think, people. It really does work.