* USA Today, a newspaper I read daily (a good idea with newspapers), has undergone a major re-design and it was rolled out in today’s edition. Wow! I kind of liked my USA Today the way it was; re-designs are always a dangerous proposition. But I’ve been through quite a few in my career and I’ve noticed that after some time, readers adjust. And readers even start to like the re-design, usually just in time for another one.
* I don’t like Jay Cutler. I never have and I never will. It’s all about his body language. Cutler’s body speaks 300 languages and I don’t understand any of them. He appears to be a bad teammate and just a so-so quarterback. The guy has talent, obviously. But he doesn’t seem to have the inherent qualities that most franchise quarterbacks have like leadership, intuitiveness and character. Paired side by side with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers on Thursday night’s NFL game between the Packers and Cutler’s Chicago Bears, wasn’t it apparent that Rodgers has all the intangibles and Cutler has none of them?
* I gave “The X-Factor” a shot this week. I didn’t watch at all last season because I didn’t want to cheat on “American Idol.” I’m nothing if not faithful. But this time I was curious about new judge Britney Spears. And who isn’t curious about Britney? Well, I watched the first night and didn’t watch the second, if that tells you anything. Britney doesn’t have it. And Simon Cowell, who left “American Idol” to create “The X-Factor,” really doesn’t have it. He’s too nice now. I won’t be going back.
* NBC’s “The Voice,” on the other hand, is a quality show. We like watching it. Who is “we,” you ask? My wife and I. We’re the only two in our household at this point. We’d love to have visitors, but no one ever offers.
* I lie about that. We’re actually having a group over to watch NFL games Sunday and we’re so excited.
* I’m going to pay attention to the Baltimore Orioles’ series with the Oakland A’s this weekend in Oakland. When the baseball season started in April, did anyone think this series in mid-September would be as important as it’s turning out to be? The O’s and A’s are two of the best stories in sports this year. Yet they’re overshadowed – drowned out, really – but the country’s fascination with the NFL.
* I don’t think we live in a healthy sports environment at the moment. I think the NFL has reduced every other sport to the point of insignificance, almost.That can’t be good. I have to admit, I love the NFL now more than ever. But I’m also playing more fantasy football than I ever have.But I don’t put down any wagers on NFL games. No, I would never do that.
* It’s too bad Arkansas’ season has started so poorly. First there was the injury to starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful Tyler Wilson, which led to the hard-to-fathom season-opening loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Now what was one of the most-anticipated games of the season – Alabama at Arkansas on Saturday – shapes up instead as a ho-hum game in which the Crimson Tide is favored by nearly three touchdowns. It has not been a good six months at Arkansas.
* I’m curious to see TCU play its first Big 12 game tomorrow morning at Kansas. Are the Horned Frogs a legitimate conference contender? I’m not sure, but they could be. As for the Jayhawks, the bar not only got lowered after last season’s inexcusable home loss to Rice, but it has disappeared. The expectation now is that KU will lose every game it plays the rest of the season.
* Thanks for reading. I’ll post some Saturday musings tomorrow as a bonus. Time caught up with me today and I’m headed out to the Wingnuts game with my wife, of course. We do everything together.