This is Diana Nyad for KCRW, and this is The Score.
It's that time of year when the sports pages are brimming with good stuff. Baseball's regular season is down to the last week or so and the Indians/White Sox showdown is on fire. Barry Bonds has finally come back to the Giants after three surgeries and many months out of action to quickly resume his home run power and silence many critics who wave placards with painted asterisks when he steps up to bat. And shouldn't we have known even back in May, when the Yankees were looking ineptly dreadful, that they would surge into their annual autumn contention? Sure enough, behind A-Rod's sublime versatility, the Yanks surged all summer and are now hunting down more than a desperate wild card slot. They're on top of their division and could stay there after an end-of-regular season face-off with their arch-rival, the Boston Red Sox. The October baseball scenario is shaping up with great promise.
The NFL, only two weeks in to its season, is sending up thrills that most sports don't reach until playoff time. Monday night's Redskins/Cowboys game was absolutely wild. The Cowboys dominated every aspect of the game all the way until the last four minutes. Announcer John Madden had just made the remark that the Redskins looked like a junior varsity team. Then, twice in 71 seconds, Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell pumped long and found speedy Santana Moss for scores. They basically only ran two good plays in the entire game but those two burned the Cowboys and both teams, not to mention those of us watching, were stunned when the final whistle blew.
And speaking of junior varsity play, the WNBA wrapped up their season this week with a terrific, scrappy series in which the Sacramento Monarchs beat the Connecticut Sun. A guy named William Lewis of Marietta, Georgia, wrote a bash letter to USA Today, saying "Women;'s professional team sports are boring exhibitions with no local ties. The WNBA looks on TV like a high school boys JV game in slow motion." Well, Mr. Lewis, I have a proposition for you. I personally invite you to sit courtside with me at a WNBA game next season. Then I want you to invite me to sit next to you at a boys' JV game of your choice. You have no idea what you're talking about. Have you seen top women's college basketball? Tennessee or Connecticut or LSU? These are lightning quick, great ball handling, thrilling athletes who are expertly coached and their games are superior athletic entertainment. Well, the WNBA is the cream of that college crop and the pro level is even quicker and more thrilling than the college brand of ball. Furthermore, Mr. Lewis, when you ignorantly say that women's pro teams have no local ties, I guess you missed the celebration in Sacramento Tuesday night where thousands of fans threw confetti from the rafters of Arco Arena and tears flowed because that was the first professional title for any team in the history of their city.
The NHL is back on the ice after 15 months of controversy. NASCAR accelerates into the final Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. The rare occasion of a promising heavyweight fight, between Wladimir Klitschko and Samuel Peter, is on tap for Saturday night in Atlantic City.
As I said, it's a vibrant time of year for sports. The only deadbeat event of the moment, in my view, is golf's President's Cup, which starts today. We already have the longstanding Ryder Cup, where Americans put together a team against the best players of Europe. The Ryder Cup started back in 1927 and has evolved into an almost raucous, chest-bumping, anti-genteel golf, team event. The President's Cup begins its sixth edition today and the point here is to pit an American team against a fully international squad, beyond just Europe. Most of us fans gear up for the Masters and the other three Majors. And we might follow the Ryder Cup because of its unique energy in the quiet world of golf. But yet another team golf event? Who needs it? Especially when there are so many other sports choices around the dial at the moment.
This is Diana Nyad for KCRW, and that's The Score.