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Wake-up call: Rays, Reggie Bush, O.J. Simpson, Kimbo Slice

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First things first: After watching the Tampa Bay Rays take down the Chicago White Sox (poor Chicago ... it’s like a one-two punch to the gut, isn’t it?), I’m looking forward to the Rays playing the Red Sox. Game 1 is Friday, and the teams seem pretty evenly matched, though in 18 meetings this season, the Rays have 10 wins to Boston’s eight. Eighteen comes up again in the number of home runs each team had over those meetings. This may be the key: the Rays have home-field advantage and in the last two series of the regular season -- one at Boston, one at home -- they won two out of three each time. And you gotta love Rays Manager Joe Maddon, Mike Scioscia’s former bench coach. The brush cut and the glasses and the easy laugh. Scioscia is out of the playoffs, and so is Lou Piniella, the guy Maddon replaced. Sweet.

Party or no party: No party. The Las Vegas Review Journal was the first to report that O.J. Simspon had planned an acquittal party. How confident was that? But he was found guilty of robbery and kidnapping, so perhaps his question now is: ‘Can I get my money back on the champagne?’

Run or no run: Run, and run again. I wish the Saints would give Reggie Bush the ball a lot more, figure out a way to make him more than a punt returner. Those two touchdown runs, which tied an NFL record, were something last night against the Vikings. What bursts of speed ... so much fun to watch. Too bad the Saints lost, letting the Vikings rally at the end, 34-32. The ESPN ‘Monday Night Football’ crew loved Reggie’s runs too, and broke it all down for viewers. The picture here says it all. He got past these guys. And he did it not once, but twice.

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Run or no run II: There have been jokes about O.J. playing on a prison football team -- a la ‘The Longest Yard’ (the original version, which was good) -- but he is barely able to walk, let alone run now, thanks to playing for so long in the pros, his hips and knees etc. taking a pounding. No, he won’t be running anywhere now.

Real or not real: One question about Kimbo Slice’s 14 seconds of a joke of a fight Saturday night: How did Slice (born Kevin Ferguson) get so bloody? Was that blood real? I asked Dan Arritt, who covers MMA for us when we don’t have him on hockey, and he laughed and thought it was a good question. It’s interesting that CBS Sports online doesn’t seem to advertise its mixed martial arts coverage, despite their connection to it. If you go to videos and click more and then find the Slice fight ... well, then there is a long commercial. And, well, no you won’t see the blood -- or whatever it was -- you saw on TV that night.

-- Debbie Goffa

Top photo: Joe Maddon get a celebratory shower after his Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 and advanced to the ALCS. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Inset: Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints gets past a group of Vikings last night at the Superdome. He tied an NFL record by returning two punts for touchdowns in a game. Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images


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