-- Chuck Amato's sad yet heartwarming return to Raleigh, where he coached N.C. State before getting canned, has been a big deal all week. Amato is an assistant at Florida State now, and the Seminoles play the Wolfpack tonight. But Amato had to go. He was terrible. His ego was bigger than his chest.
-- I'm thrilled that the Boston Red Sox advanced to the ALCS. I'm also thrilled that Tampa Bay is pounding them. The Rays are new blood, and all the critics that expected them to fold in August and September failed to appreciate Tampa Bay's superior pitching.
Somebody linked with Tampa Bay will undoubtedly say at some point in the next week, "We have the best baseball fans in the world." Somebody from a winning playoff team always says that. The Rays, however, don't have the best fans. They don't even have real fans. They have temps. Until the playoffs, they averaged about 900 fans a game.
But they have baseball's best team, as Boston is learning and Philadelphia will.
-- The best new show on television is HBO's TrueBlood. It's in my top five with Entourage, Californication, Weeds and Prison Break. Curb Your Enthusiasm is hovering. Not sure about Life on Mars, but I'll give it a cahnce.
-- Love what Dallas did, acquiring Roy Williams, the former Texas star who played for Detroit. Also love what Detroit did. As bad as the Lions are, draft choices, and patience, are the most reliable path to respectability.
The Cowboys now have two Roy Williams on the roster. In fantasy baseball, I once drafted all Guzmans. Hope Dallas has better luck than I did.
-- Highlights from Charlotte's loss to the Orlando Magic Thursday include: Raymond Felton hitting Gerald Wallace inside with a stunning pass; Wallace playing a strong game in every way; Adam Morrison making his 12 minutes count with eight points and two assists; Sean May showing what he can do early by hitting jumpers and spinning to the hoop; Matt Carroll taking a shot and the ball going in; and former Duke villain J.J. Redick giving fans no reason to boo him, not Charlotte fans, anyway.