Strike One:  Yesterday Adrian Peterson left the Vikings game in the first quarter with a wonky ankle.  The Lions are perpetually a Matthew Stafford injury from another lost season.  And the lowly Eagles had to make due with Vince Young after Michael Vick broke a couple ribs.  Some injuries can mean the end of a season for the player–other can effectively end the season for the whole team.  Jay Cutler broke his right thumb on Sunday, and he may not play again in the regular season.  Losing him casts a shadow over the Bears’ resurgent season (they’ve won five straight games), and may bring an end to their playoff hopes.  Which injuries or lost players have derailed seasons for your beloved teams?

Strike Two:  Five years ago, the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham, hoping to bring international credibility to the MLS and heighten the profile of futbol soccer in America.  Last night, in what is probably Beckham’s last American soccer match, the Galaxy won the MLS Cup.  Did Beckham’s occasional presence in American soccer heighten your interest in the MLS?  Has the increased profile of international soccer won you over as a fan?  What international sports/teams do you follow?

Strike Three:  The BCS had another shake-up this weekend, when Oregon, Clemson, Oklahoma (thanks a ton, Baylor), and my Oklahoma State Cowboys all endured upset losses.  Now the top three teams in the country all come from the SEC West, and look to be on a collision course as the season nears an end.  At least half a dozen other teams have some kind of path to the BCS Championship, requiring various kinds of help from the teams above them.  Where’s your rooting interest lie?  Who do you want to see playing for the crystal ball?

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