1) Let’s lead off with the ladies. The U.S. women’s soccer team reached 75-straight home wins Sunday, defeating New Zealand 4-1 in San Francisco. The last time the world-#1-ranked women’s team lost on U.S. soil was in 2004.
2) And something was a little different at the Miles College/Lane College football game in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday night. Four of the seven-person officiating crew were women—the first time an NCAA football game has ever had a majority female crew. Perhaps Krystle Apellariz, Sebrina Brunson, Yvonda Lewis and Tangela Mitchell can credit the NFL. The league began a Women Officiating Now (W.O.N.) program this year as part of the Football Officiating Academy launched in 2010. The program is designed to help recruit and train female officials.
3) We’ve all seen “Rudy” enough to know the size doesn’t matter. Rice’s 4’9” running back Jayson Carter, who walked on in 2011, made his career debut Saturday with a one-yard gain against Texas El Paso (see video below). Rice won 45-7. And at a small school, another player was making a big noise. Division III Western Connecticut running back Octavias McKoy broke the NCAA single-game rushing record with 455 yards in a win against Worcester State.
4) The World Series is, as Bostonians might say, “wicked good.” There has been superb pitching, come-from-behind homers, players barely old enough to drink, and most of all, controversy. Saturday night, the Cardinals won an insane Game 3 5-4 after Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Allen Craig, resulting in a game-ending obstruction call. In other words, St. Louis won without a runner actually crossing home plate.
Luckily for Boston, they won Sunday night 4-2 in nearly as stunning a fashion. With the score tied 1-1, Boston’s David “Big Papi” Ortiz was seen giving the team a rousing speech in the dugout. You might remember Big Papi from his post-Boston-bomb speech f-bomb on live TV. Nevertheless, he must be effective because almost immediately after, Jonny Gomes—only in the game as a last-minute replacement for an injured Shane Victorino—popped a three-run homer off Cardinals reliever Seth Maness. The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 tonight in St. Louis.
5) I’ve grown accustomed to weird stories about Packers legendary QB Brett Favre. Last he was in the news was several years ago for sending lewd pictures to an NFL cheerleader. (In fact, if you type “Brett Favre” into Google, a term for a certain body part appears almost immediately.) But two weird stories in one week? So first, the 44-year-old has admitted he is having memory loss issues, most likely associated from his 20-year career. He was sacked 525 times, more than any NFL quarterback. Now he can’t remember his “daughter playing youth soccer.”
But Favre also got a nice compliment last week when the St. Louis Rams, whose starting QB Sam Bradford is injured, allegedly called Favre to see if he might want to suit up. Head coach Jeff Fisher would not confirm or deny the rumor. I’m just waiting for Favre to tweet all about it.