Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Pats, 'Boys Seem Super

Today's Calls: Cowboys vs. Patriots, Redskins vs. Giants, Tom Brady vs. Dustin Pedroia, Randy Wolf vs. Carlos Zambrano, Mario Chalmers vs. the NBA, Beanie Wells vs. Percy Harvin, Serena vs. Venus and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: I'm not quite sure what to do. For more than a half-decade, I have consistently picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. I figured in any given year, I was probably 80 percent right. ↵

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↵But, as I noted yesterday, last year's Super Bowl completely rocked my sensibilities — everything we thought we knew, it turns out we didn't. So if the AFC looks like its top five spots are locked up already or if the NFC is so mediocre that it has an "obvious" winner, watch out. ↵

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↵That said, when I went through the schedule, I ended up with the most conventional Super Bowl pick you could ask for. ↵

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↵NFC: ↵

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↵East: Cowboys; North: Vikings; South: Saints; West: Seahawks ↵

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↵WC: Giants, Eagles; Champ: Cowboys ↵

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↵AFC: ↵

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↵East: Pats; North: Steelers; South: Colts; West: Chargers ↵

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↵WC: Jags, Broncos; Champ: Pats ↵

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↵Super Bowl: Pats over Cowboys ... Sigh: Some things never change. ↵

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↵ ↵

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↵NFL Opener Tonight: Redskins vs. Giants. A year ago, the defending champs started with a season-opening loss (two, actually). The rebuilding Redskins should provide slightly easier going. Pick: Giants. (Complete Week 1 picks coming tomorrow.) ↵

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↵Tom Brady "ready to go" for opener, despite reports of a broken foot. Normally reticent about injury talk, it's strange that Bill Belichick would comment on this at all. Does he protest too much? ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: There — was that so bad? The ump took 2 minutes and 15 seconds to make MLB's first replay call ... and it upheld the original call of a HR. And the game is better off for it. ... (How ironic that the first use of replay came on an A-Rod HR, whose problem with a bad HR call earlier this season helped trigger the decision to install replay at all.) ↵

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↵More: Sizzling Dustin Pedroia (3/4, HR, 2 R, RBI) and the Red Sox took advantage of the Rays' L to the Yankees to move a mere 3 games behind. ... AL Central: White Sox win, Twins lose (one more game for the Twins on their 14-game road trip, on which they are currently 5-8). ... What's worse for Cubs fans: The losing streak extending to 5 or the fear of what Carlos Zambrano's MRI today will reveal? ... Fantasy Stud: Randy Wolf (CG SO w/ 8 Ks vs. the Cubs). ... It's official: MLB turned down the Brewers and CC Sabathia's appeal for a no-hitter. Not unsurprising that MLB would back its local official scorer. ↵

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↵CFB: Beanie Wells has an injured big toe. Why would Ohio State even think about playing him this weekend vs. Ohio? The Buckeyes are going to win handily; don't they need Wells as healthy as possible for USC on September 13? ↵

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↵(I feel the same way about Florida playing Percy Harvin against Miami. I'm not sure they need him; why risk exacerbating his heel injury with a “bye week” ahead of the SEC opener at Tennessee?) ↵

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↵CFB: Troy vs. LSU postponed until November 15. If you're wondering, that will be a bye week before a home game against Ole Miss. ↵

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↵CFB Tonight: (24) South Carolina at Vanderbilt. QB issues under Steve Spurrier? You don't say! After last week's lackluster opener, the Gamecocks go on the road to take on a Vandy team that won in Columbia last year. Watch Vandy QB Chris Nickson (2 rushing TDs, 1 passing TD, 91 passing yds last week). Pick: Vandy! ↵

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↵NBA: It's official, it's the "Thunder." I'm not a big fan of the "weird-plural" names; I like a good "s" at the end of my team name. (And as one reader e-mailed me, the lame logo is "Thunderwhelming.") ↵

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↵NBA Rookies: Kansas didn't do much for its rep after Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home from the NBA Rookie program after allegedly not being able to leave the pot at home for a few days. ... The NBA has the most permissive policy in sports when it comes to marijuana; these kids couldn't go without — the one time of the year when they are expected to? ↵

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↵U.S. Open: Not sure when a 2-set sweep has ever been so much fun, with Serena coming back twice to beat Venus 7-6, 7-6. ... Meanwhile, it took Rafael Nadal 4 sets to dispatch feisty Mardy Fish. ↵

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↵NASCAR: Being part of a glitzy golf club is so passé. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Rudi Johnson vs. Tatum Bell, Continued. When the Associated Press is picking up this story, the hilarity goes mainstream. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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