Ever have so much you want to talk about — or write about — that you can’t decide where to start?

Happens to us here at the Sun Journal all the time.

Instead of trying to narrow it down, let’s go through a handful of those items in brief:

• The Patriots-Jets fiasco, and Thursday night football

I don’t know who had the bright idea to begin playing NFL games on a Thursday night every week, but I have a sneaking suspicion (read: no doubt in my mind) it had something to do with attempting to boost revenue. Too many times, leagues don’t think things through enough, or turn a blind eye to the obvious flaws in a plan if they feel it will yield a higher paycheck.

Is the extra advertising revenue going to be worth watching more players get hurt? Is the extra money going to offset the fans the league will lose when they’re turned off by the poor display of football turned in by teams playing without enough rest, or without enough time to heal?

It’s an interesting question to which I don’t have an answer from a monetary standpoint. But if the goal is to try and showcase teams who are rivals, or teams in games that matter in the standings against one another, so far the results have been negative in every possible way.

And while we’re on the topic of that Thursday debacle, let’s recall the end of the game. The Jets’ offensive-linemen-turned-defensive-interception-chasers were wrong. Never in sport, I don’t care who you’re chasing or for what reason, should anyone, let alone a behemoth whose primary job is blocking, lunge at anyone’s lower extremities. It’s dangerous, potentially career-ending, and it’s just plain bad sportsmanship.

But some (not all, relax) of the blame must be pointed at Aqib Talib, as well. The interception he made came with less than one minute to play in the game. The Jets had no timeouts remaining, and the Patriots were in front. The catch he made (his second INT of the night), essentially ended the game.

So why did he dance around, continue to try and make the Jets miss, and try to gain yardage? Set aside for a minute that some in the Jets’ camp thought it was taunting (still 50/50 on that one), if he jukes and jives forward for a couple of yards and loses the ball, the Jets have a chance to recover, and they’re back in business. Get out of bounds. Get down on the ground. Do anything but try and be fancy in that situation.

• The Red Sox, the Yankees and the American League playoff race

On the flip side of the gaffe that is Thursday night NFL play, Major League Baseball made a feather-ruffling change of its own this season. With an extra wild card position, MLB hoped to not only make more money with an extra playoff (play-in?) game, but also to give more markets a chance to have a team in the hunt deeper into the summer.

Mission accomplished, at least in the American League.

As of the time of this writing (before Saturday’s games), six teams are within four games of each other, battling for two playoff positions. With the AL East all but decided after a torrid late-summer run by the Red Sox, the Rays and the Yankees are still embroiled in a playoff battle, joined by Kansas City (no, really, the Royals not only still exist, but they’re good this year. Sort of. Sorry Mark LaFlamme.), Baltimore and the Fighting Franconas (or Indians, whichever you decide to call them).

Nobody appears to be able to touch Boston right now. All comers have been defeated, at least in a series against the Red Sox, since August 16. The Yankees took two of three from Boston that weekend, but have since lost four of five.

Meanwhile, Cleveland, K.C. and Baltimore have been plodding along, plotting their strike as the season draws to a close. Tampa Bay has helped, thanks to an inability to get out of its own way, and even Texas has come back to the pack in the AL West.

The energy in Cleveland, in Kansas City, in Baltimore, about a potential playoff berth, is only going to help revive what had been loss-weary fan bases.

• The NHL opened pro camps this week

Hey, um, did anyone else notice this? The Bruins (and Canadiens, and Coyotes, etc.) are back on the ice this week.

Boston is fresh off another Stanley Cup Finals appearance, where the Bruins ran into the buzzsaw that was the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s two Finals appearances in three years for Boston, putting the black and gold on the cusp of a Red Wings-ian run. Detroit, of course, is the most recent team to truly deserve the too-often-used moniker of dynasty in the NHL. In the modern (post-expansion, fair-draft) era, few teams have enjoyed the run of success the Red Wings did from 1995 to 2002. In those seven seasons, Detroit went to the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and won three. Expand that through 2009, and the Wings went to the final series of the season six times, with four wins in 14 seasons. That’s a long time to stay relevant in this game. The Islanders went five times in five seasons with far fewer teams in the league, winning four. And the Oilers won five out of seven through the late 1980s with some guy named Gretzky on the roster.

But both of those teams fell — hard — after that.

Boston has a chance to become the next in that line. The core is there. The proper forward thinking is in place.

• The QMJHL’s regular season started this week

Speaking of hockey, three years ago, this week’s editions of the Sun Journal would have been awash in blue and orange and black. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s regular season started this weekend, the third such season to begin since the Lewiston Maineiacs were disbanded and distributed across the league.

Since then, six former Lewiston players have hoisted some important trophies, and many more have received accolades, appointments and chances to skate professionally.

This year, Val D’or named former Lewiston skater Samuel Henley the team’s captain. Christophe Lalonde continues to patrol the ice in Moncton, which is now coached by former Lewiston assistant Darren Rumble. And the Maineiacs’ last coach, J.F. Houle, begins his third season with the Blainville/Boisbriand Armada.


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