MUNCIE, Ind. – Brief and to the Point …
>> My Friday column follows a fun sit-down I had yesterday morning with Bill O’Brien. Really down-to-earth guy, the type I could see doing very well in recruiting the state. You’ll also find a brief video.
Curious to hear the reaction of you Penn Staters.
>> Last wave of pics until the pregame stuff Sunday …
I snapped this of O’Brien quickly while that standing reporter asked him something. Check the garb.
Bill Belichick’s news conference is bigger than anything the President holds, I think.
Rob Gronkowski is really big. You knew that. But did you also know he can wear a Winnipeg-looking toque? I’ll have more on him and the Woodland-Hills-to-NFL connection in Saturday’s editions.
>> Giants 34, Patriots 24.
I held out as long as I could on Gronkowski’s injury. And, even though he finally practiced yesterday, high ankle sprains take a while to heal. Ask Ben Roethlisberger or Maurkice Pouncey.
Gronkowski is a huge part of what the Patriots do, even with Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez still available for Tom Brady. Fact is, New England needs to score a lot of points to win this game, given their secondary. And they’re not going to score a lot of points without Gronk.
I just don’t see it being more complicated than that.
>> I’ll have a Brady feature for our Sunday sports section that I really hope people like. Tried to come up with something that’s a broader perspective than just this game. But I ended up finding out that this game can change that perspective dramatically.
>> Good piece in Canada’s Globe & Mail on Sidney Crosby’s NOT BROKEN NECK.
>> Breathtaking stuff. Little-known Sam Gagner of the Oilers is the first NHL player since Mario Lemieux in 1988 — yes, the five goals five different ways game against the Devils — to record eight points in a game. Because one of those points involved a slam dunk, Gagner even made it onto ESPN.
>> Pull for Josh Hamilton. That’s a lifelong, daily battle.
>> This is the chat transcript from yesterday. At one point, we had 489 readers on there live at the same time. That’s by far the highest such number I’ve had anywhere, anytime.
Can’t express my appreciation enough. Those things are lousy without great reader participation, and that’s what I’m very lucky to have.