Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Brady, Brady, Brady

Today's Calls: Tom Brady vs. His Knee, Brett Favre vs. Donovan McNabb, Matt Forte vs. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, Willie Parker vs. Maurice Jones-Drew, East Carolina vs. Ohio State, Dodgers vs. Cubs, Rafael Nadal vs. Serena Williams and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Tom Brady has met his karmic fate. ↵

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↵Perhaps the most blessed player in the history of the NFL — Super Bowl rings, all-time QB records, Hall of Fame cred after only eight seasons, supermodel girlfriend — could be done for the season. ↵

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↵This is big. Huge. Cataclysmic. ↵

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↵It throws into question the entire NFL season — the presumptive favorites are now starting ... Matt Cassel. (Unbeaten-in-08 Matt Cassel, but still.) ↵

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↵I guess now we will find out how good Tom Brady really is: If the Pats keep winning without him, maybe he was simply a right-place-right-time Hall of Fame game manager; if they start losing ... ↵

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↵... Well, at least it confirms Brady's greatness, right? ↵

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↵NFL Wrap: Back to last week's season preview: If Week 1 proved anything, it's that unpredictability rules in the NFL this season: ↵

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↵* Only a season-ending injury to Tom Brady could knock Brett Favre's successful regular-season debut from the top of the NFL headlines. ↵

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↵* Wow: Did ANYONE have the Bears thumping the Colts? ↵

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↵* Donovan McNabb: I salute you. ↵

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↵* So what was that about Willie Parker being washed-up? ↵

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↵* Rookie Sensation: Matt Forte (Runner-up: DeSean Jackson). ↵

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↵* Hey, what happened to Maurice Jones-Drew? (And on the other side of the field, was Vince Young pouting before he got hurt?) ↵

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↵* The NFL's reasoning for not putting ”Ocho Cinco” on Chad Johnson's jersey (or in the league's official play-by-play) falls flat. ↵

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↵* Fantasy Watch: Week 1 is your first chance to second-guess your drafting strategy. For example: WHY DIDN'T I TAKE MICHAEL TURNER?!?! Or: OHMYGODWHYDIDIDRAFTBRADYINROUNDONE? Meanwhile, Fantasy Week 1 MVP: McNabb, obviously (361 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT). ↵

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↵* NFL Must-Read: Mike Florio's 10-pack. ↵

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↵CFB Week 2 Takeaways: The only good that could possibly come out of that Washington screw-job at home vs. BYU is that perhaps the NCAA will tell refs to relax on this crackdown on post-TD enthusiasm. ↵

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↵Looking Ahead: Thanks to Ohio State's stinkeroo vs. Ohio, all of a sudden, Saturday’s OSU-USC game doesn't seem all that competitive. I'm not sure even Beanie playing could save the Buckeyes. ↵

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↵* Speaking of which: Michigan-Notre Dame is going to be painful to watch Saturday. (Although if anyone was laughing at West Virginia's folly at East Carolina, it was Rich Rodriguez.) ↵

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↵* Heisman Watch: Pat White is out; Knowshon Moreno is at the top of my ballot. And my analysis after Week 1 that Tim Tebow is not going to be a viable candidate in 2008 looks even better after Week 2. ↵

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↵CFB Top 25 Watching: I'm not sure Ohio State dropping a mere two spots — even in victory — seems like enough. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, I'm not sure it seems like enough that East Carolina is at No. 20 (Coaches') after putting together the most impressive pairing of Ws this season. (The AP is a lot more like it: 14th.) ↵

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↵Whatever happened to ranking by “proving it on the field?” If a “name” team had beaten a Top 20 Virginia Tech and Top 10 West Virginia in the first two weeks, they would be No. 1 right now. ↵

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↵My BlogPoll Top 10-tative: (1) USC (2) Georgia (3) Oklahoma (4) Missouri (5) Florida (6) LSU (7) Texas (8) East Carolina (9) Auburn (10) Wisconsin (Ohio St: 11th; BYU: Unranked) ↵

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↵(Drop by DanShanoff.com today to weigh in on my full Top 25 and influence my final BlogPoll Top 25 ballot, which I'll submit tomorrow.) ↵

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↵CFB Must-Read: Spencer Hall's weekly college football "A-to-Z." ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: Nothing gets short-shrift like baseball on the Monday after the first week of the NFL season, especially when the league's poster boy suffers what looks like a season-ending injury. ↵

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↵More: What a statement by the Dodgers to pull off a sweep of the D-backs, putting L.A. up 1.5 in the NL West. ... The Cubs get an off-day to think about the game that got away on Sunday, before a huge series in St. Louis. ... Huge win for Johan and the Mets to salvage a split in yesterday's doubleheader with the Phillies. ... Where was Chris Young's near-perfection when my fantasy season wasn't in ruins? ... OK, Cliff Lee, we get it: You're winning the AL Cy. ... Can it get worse for the Yankees? Yes: 4th place. ↵

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↵NASCAR: All of Kyle Busch's and Carl Edwards' wins this season won't mean much if Jimmie Johnson runs away with the Chase title. ↵

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↵Tennis: Is Rafael Nadal really the No. 1 player in the world if he loses to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open semis? If Roger Federer can stop the Murray Momentum in today’s final, watch for a new kind of momentum: Maybe Federer is still No. 1 after all? ↵

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↵Serena Williams wins the U.S. Open for the third time, which propels her to the No. 1 ranking. ↵

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↵CBB: R.I.P., Don Haskins. Haskins was part of arguably the most influential and important moment in college basketball history, when Texas Western became the first team to win a national title with an all-black starting five — made all the more symbolic by beating an all-white Kentucky team coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp. Condolences to his family, friends, players and fans. ↵

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↵The Last Word: The Post-Favre Era in Green Bay officially starts tonight, on the MNF doubleheader season premiere. Here's betting Aaron Rodgers performs better than Tarvaris Jackson, but Rodgers will be judged on Ws. Pick: Vikings ↵

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↵Broncos at Raiders: Denver is good enough to be a playoff team this season, and Oakland's Darren McFadden is good enough to be this season's Adrian Peterson. Pick: Broncos. ↵

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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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