The first World Series Game 7 between two teams that won 100 or more games since 1931 has arrived.

Bet you didn’t know it had been 86 years since that happened.

But the 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers and 101-win Houston Astros play the deciding game of a very fine World Series on Wednesday.

And I know you are dying to hear which team I think will be really happy late Wednesday night.

Uh oh, it looks like I’m not going to make it easy for you to find out.

Yes, I am making you click twice to see which team I am predicting to win Game 7 of the World Series.

Not because I suddenly care about the number of “clicks” I get on my website (I don’t care at all).

Not because the website I am linking to is paying me (they don’t even know I exist, I just like that they keep them up forever, unlike the bigger sports websites).

But you get to click on the stellar preview because there is valuable information enclosed that just shouldn’t be obtained super duper easy.

Because then you won’t appreciate this great piece of knowledge you will know all day Wednesday.

So here goes, I am picking the … ohhh, almost … you will find the pick inside the stellar preview: http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/baseball/mlb/astros-vs-dodgers-preview-and-predictions/215192/

Yeah, the last baseball preview of the season. Probably should count up someday to see how many I have written this decade.

But if I do that, I will want to count up all the NBA, NFL, college football and college basketball previews I’ve written too. And then the recaps. And then the breaking news. And on and on.

Yeah, so probably not that big of a deal to figure that out.

This World Series is much a bigger deal. Check out my pick and see if it comes through.

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What a great World Series we have all got to witness so far.

And think, we are just one Houston Astros’ victory away from it being even greater.

Oh no, I just hurt the feelings of a few Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans. I keep forgetting that some of them can read.

Yeah, there’s my cue — you can read the stellar Game 6 preview with prediction here — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/baseball/MLB/astros-vs-dodgers-preview-and-predictions/214868/

Seriously though, what a terrific World Series no matter who ends up victorious. In fact, what a comeback it would be if the Dodgers win the next two games.

Game 2 and Game 5 were two of the wackiest World Series’ games you will find. Two of the best of this decade — Game 6 of the St. Louis Cardinals-Texas Rangers matchup in 2011 remains the best.

Justin Verlander takes the mound on Tuesday and he has been fabulous since joining the Astros. But don’t forget this: He has never won a World Series game.

After the no-decision in Game 2, the probable Hall of Famer is 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA in four career World Series starts.

Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers and the obvious question is “for how long?” In fact, that should be the biggest worry of all Los Angeles fans: Is Dave Roberts going to overmanage and cost the team Game 6?

Think about it, Astros manager A.J. Hinch was the MVP in the 13-12, 10-inning game on Sunday that took five hours, 17 minutes. All because he pinch-ran for glacier slow Brian McCann with Derek Fisher right before Alex Bregman delivered the winning single.

Anyway, enjoy Game 6. So much craziness in this series. So many clutch hits. So many homers (hello juiced baseballs) seemingly traveling 3,000 feet. So much weirdness. So many pitching changes. So much drama. So much class and fun (well, except for that embarrassing racial gesture by Houston’s Yuli Gurriel).

So … who really knows what else is in store come Game 6.

Well, hey, Weekly Links is making a surprise appearance. So busy with the paid work this time of year that it is hard to fit in free ventures (sure hope you don’t think I am making millions on my cozy website!)

So here goes … a little baseball, a little more NFL and a little college football. Sorry, not posting NBA as the preview shelf life is limited and who knows where you might end up after you click.

 

The World Series starts on Tuesday and the main storyline will revolve around perhaps the greatest pitcher of this era.

But as we all know, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw hasn’t stood up well under the playoff pressure during his career.

So will be it regular season Kershaw or “Postseason Kershaw” when the Dodgers play in the World Series for the first time since 1988?

Kershaw was seven months old and sleeping in a crib the last time the Dodgers were part of the Fall Classic.

How long has it been since the Dodgers played in the World Series? Well, consider the San Diego Padres’ drought was 10 years shorter.

That’s pretty sad when you consider all the money the Dodgers spend.

But this is their time with a team that won 104 regular-season games … and they definitely need “Regular Season Kershaw” taking the mound … see stellar story here — http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/story.asp?i=20171020172054085065710&ref=rec&tm=&src=MLB

 

Tom Brady might get the most praise but I feel Aaron Rodgers is the most “valuable” quarterback in the NFL.

We start to see if that is assessment is correct when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Rodgers is out for at least eight weeks due to a broken collarbone and former UCLA star Brett Hundley will start in his place. Hundley has excelled in each of the past three preseasons but he wasn’t so hot when replacing Rodgers last Sunday as he threw three interceptions in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Hundley is a stellar athlete so it will be interesting to see how he fares. But no matter how he performs, we know this: He’s no Aaron Rodgers.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NFL/saints-vs-packers-preview-and-predictions/212295/

 

It was pretty fun to have the Week 1 assignment when the Chargers and Broncos played in Denver.

It was even more entertaining to watch the Chargers have their game-tying field-goal attempt blocked in the final seconds.

The Chargers lost their first four games after relocating from San Diego and their running defense is so poor that I’m thinking Terrell Davis could suit up this Sunday and threaten the 100-yard mark.

The Broncos haven’t played well lately — what a gag job that was against the woeful New York Giants last Sunday night — so that unfortunately means the Chargers have a chance to win a third straight game.

Sure don’t want that … seeing the Chargers fall to 2-5 and on the way to their consecutive double-digit loss season would be much more fun.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/nfl/broncos-vs-chargers-preview-and-predictions/212300/

 

I’ve been kind of wondering why we have to continue playing the college football season and having all this debate about which four teams should be part of the College Football Playoff.

Can you find three teams in the nation that can beat Alabama? How about two? OK, one?

Penn State, Georgia and TCU are the teams ranked 2, 3 and 4. How about we take the best players off those three teams and see if they can give Alabama a game?

None of those three teams will win the national championship. The list of teams that can ends at one: Alabama.

The Crimson Tide get to pound Tennessee this Saturday. Apparently, people around Tennessee have finally figured out Butch Jones isn’t an SEC-caliber coach. Things could really get ugly against the Crimson Tide.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NCAAF/-tennessee-vs-alabama-preview-and-predictions/212112/

Perhaps you remember the Exxon commercial that played over and over again for a month in the middle of the NBA playoffs.

The kinda-nerdy, kinda-cool woman introduces herself as … Kelsey McNeely, energy farmer.

So let’s borrow from that tone to help a Northern Illinois linebacker introduce himself to the sports world.

Antonio Jones-Davis, eye gouger.

Few people had heard of him before Saturday night but nothing like video proof that you are an eye gouger to get your name to go viral.

I was in the middle of my Saturday night work shift and had only looked at the television a couple times. But I happened to look up and a play had just ended in the Northern Illinois versus San Diego State game and all of a sudden I see a white-gloved hand go somewhere it doesn’t belong (yeah, save your Michael Jackson jokes).

I was stunned that Jones-Davis put his right hand inside the facemask of San Diego State star running back Rashaad Penny.

They showed the replay and that made it clear it was an intentional act.

Just like that — Antonio Jones-Davis, eye gouger was the proper label.

See this stellar story for more detail and information — http://www.sportsxchange.com/tsxfiles/?page_id=211&max_colums=20&story_id=177913.

Jones-Davis, eye gouger was suspended for one game by Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey. The coach said Jones-Davis plans to call Penny and Aztecs coach Rocky Long to apologize.

Carey asserted that the conduct of Jones-Davis was “completely unacceptable” and I think that is something we can all agree on.

Bad mistake and caught on tape. Not the way a college football player wants to become known.

But for now, there is only one way to address the young man … “Hey, aren’t you Antonio Jones-Davis, eye gouger?”

Monday is that dreaded night for San Diegans who vociferously supported the Chargers for the past 56 seasons.

Friday was the rough day for me because I happened to draw the preview assignment for the Chargers’ opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

I took that vow of journalistic objectivity a quarter century ago and play no favorites – or enemies – when being paid to produce work. Whatever needs to be written is done so and always in a professional manner.

But this preview was a different assignment in many ways.

It is the Chargers’ first game since abandoning a city that cheered them unconditionally, never more evident than the night 75,000 people filled the stadium on a Sunday night to welcome the team home after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

It is the same city that was treated rudely by Dean Spanos the past few years, never more so than 2016 when the club had to play in San Diego because NFL owners didn’t vote for the team’s Los Angeles relocation proposal. Spanos was crushed not to gain approval and imagine all the fake at-chance conversations he had with fans of the team he encountered (you know, on the days he actually wasn’t afraid to leave his La Jolla house).

So when it came to the sentence that needed to be written in the preview, I swallowed hard and said it in the proper journalistic way even though the most honest way would have been to write that “spineless Dean Spanos picked up his longtime squad of losers and will now mis-manage it in smoggy Los Angeles, where they don’t even care about his miserable organization.”

Instead, the professional way won out and rings out soundly as the wording reminds the reader of the travesty without bordering on a cheap shot … “while the Chargers play their initial game since unceremoniously ditching San Diego after 56 seasons.”

Read the stellar preview here: http://sltrib.sportsdirectinc.com/football/nfl-preview.aspx?page=/data/NFL/matchups/g1_preview_44.html

I went to dozens of Chargers’ games as a kid and later covered the team as a professional for seven seasons. Once you cover a team and are around that type of nonsense – lots of petty things that fans don’t see and can’t wrap their heads around – you really could care less about the team.

But yeah, remember last September when I said the Chargers would lose to the Cleveland Browns? And they came through in December when they visited Cleveland, being the ONLY NFL team to lose to the horrific Browns.

That is the memory that sticks with me as Spineless Spanos took his sorry team to Smogville. Losing to the truly lousy Browns.

Spanos failed to land a new stadium, he signed off on the move to hire Norv Turner as coach, he was fired up about the drafting of Ryan Leaf, and he promoted his own kids to top-level positions in the organization to run it for basically the next 30-to-40 years.

Who wants a guy like that polluting the San Diego sports scene any longer?

So instead of ignoring the Chargers on Monday night, I will turn on the game because it will be fun to see the Chargers do what they do best: Come up short just like their so-called leader.

Dang, imagine if I could write THAT type of stuff in the preview.

A co-worker labeled me as “our resident tennis expert” and I am still deciphering those words.

Guess I won’t be able to shed that label after pounding out a U.S. Open preview in 40 minutes.

The stellar tennis preview marks the return of Weekly Links — just one in this case: https://www.upi.com/Sports_News/Tennis/2017/08/27/2017-US-Open-preview-seedings-Rafael-Nadal-Roger-Federer-the-main-attractions/4621503877092/

Still trying to digest this “tennis expert” tag and whether I should view it as a compliment.

I mean, I didn’t even know what Stan Wawrinka looked like until a few weeks before he won the 2016 U.S. Open. And Agnieszka Radwanska was the No. 1 seed at a women’s tournament last week and I wouldn’t know who she was if she knocked on my door.

Oh yeah, I have never written the name of Novak Djokovic on this website. Well, until now.

I did attend the women’s tennis tournament at La Costa a few times before that event disappeared from the San Diego sports scene. But I wasn’t there covering people serving aces and delivering pinpoint backhands.

Oh yeah, I never paid admission either.

But click on the link and you will find the enticing angle of legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer possibly meeting for the first time at the U.S. Open should both reach the semifinals.

Let that sink in, those two guys have played 37 times and none of those meetings occurred at Arthur Ashe Stadium. And they have combined to win seven U.S. Open titles – five by Federer.

The women’s draw is far less compelling with Serena Williams away due to pregnancy. Neither of the top two seeds – No. 1 Karolina Pliskova and No. 2 Simona Halep – have won a Grand Slam event and both have developed a reputation for wilting under the pressure of the big-time events.

Oh wait, that bordered on something a tennis aficionado would know.

Hmmm, going to be hard to shake this label.

It makes me think about covering the Crew Classic rowing regatta in San Diego five or six times. Heck, spending a Sunday on Crown Shores Point wasn’t the worst spring-time gig but now I wonder if the former co-workers were calling me “our resident rowing expert” behind my back.

Yeah, certainly, the saying things behind my back part probably rings true. But please leave rowing expert out of the sentence.

Back to tennis — did you know if you Google Caroline Wozniacki, you find about 40 pictures of her in a bikini for each one in a tennis outfit?

She happens to be the No. 5 seed at the U.S. Open. And she’s 0-6 in finals this season.

There you go, the top-flight info that only a tennis expert can provide.

It was the eighth night of my trip called #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) and everything was superb.

I made an impulse decision to stop at the Walmart in Murphy Canyon and things disintegrated quickly.

I was in the men’s department checking out sports’ hats when a cute young lady was suddenly standing next to me. Before I looked at her, she spoke and asked “Who is your team?”

I looked at her and said “probably Padres” and she nodded. I returned serve and she offered a horrible answer.

“CHARGERS,” she said proudly.

She certainly saw my face turn to a look of disgust and I’m sure my tone of voice wasn’t so friendly as I interrogated her.

She blabbered something about how Chargers are like family and you have to stick with family.

The woman knew it was time to depart and said “Have a good night.”

Really? How am I possibly going to have a good night when I just encountered someone in San Diego being perfectly fine with the team no longer being in SAN DIEGO?

Vacation ruined.

For most of my 11 days in my hometown, there were very few signs the Chargers even exist. Nobody was talking about them and it was like out of sight, out of mind.

Which is exactly what the Chargers deserve.

So now that you know the lowlight of my vacation, check out all the highlights. The best thing for you is you don’t even have to talk to me to learn how awesome my latest vacation went.

Welcome to the latest version of Vacation by Tweets:

 

JULY 20

I don’t have a name for my vacation and I will be at the airport in less than 11 hours. … this is officially a problem.

 

JULY 21

At Boise Airport… #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is official name of vacation

#BoiseState gear already on clearance — before the first loss that empties the bandwagon. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link –https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888422128328081408

Outside the awesome San Diego airport … vacation is real … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888469959730384896

Really? The Today Show didn’t know if it was Idaho or Iowa? No problem – I didn’t even know the show still exists. #NonFactorThisCentury … The Great American Eclipse is coming: How to catch the best views http://on.today.com/2vkKjs4

Walking through the old neighborhood … and this appears … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888616543701024768

 

JULY 22

Hey, the recently unveiled Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway. … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888882965312290817

Great collection of Tony Gwynn memorabilia at AleSmith Brewing … would show you but no photos/video allowed … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Sources say this legend has a gig at the #BellyUp on Wed while I am in #SanDiego … talk about good fortune … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … https://twitter.com/JohnWaitesinger/status/888432605716111361

 

JULY 23

That highlight point of any vacation home has arrived … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889237257730875392

 

JULY 24

Sure looks like I am sitting front row for free for Mets vs Padres … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889674263325573120

Some 30-year-old guy named Dusty Coleman with ZERO MLB hits is playing shortstop for #Padres#MiserableFailures #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Cleaned my dad’s brick as people trampled to the exits at Petco Park … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889716630825050112

Watching news & the weather person goes by Dagmar Midcap – @DagmarNBCSD – & she is all kinds of amazing & fabulous #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … copy of Dagmar’s reply: Thanks but turtles make the best forecasters

 

JULY 25

Hey, Mona Lisa pizza. The absolute best in San Diego … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889947516002684928

Traditional visit to my dad’s gravesite … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889974632412987393

Thanks iPhone & Twitter for conspiring to post this picture upside down … no doctoring photos scandal here … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889974632412987393

Odds are high that I’m getting exercise at Lake Murray. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890043342708391937

 

JULY 26

What great fortune that legendary John Waite plays the BellyUp tonight. You know where to find me later tonight. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

The great John Waite signing the former No. 1 hit When I See You Smile at the Belly Up. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890429038774190081

 

JULY 27

Qualcomm stadium looking lonely and rundown. Will be lonely all football season. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890697884651331584

Apparently, CA beginning push to secede from Union. Hmm, would I need passport for future travel? Swear I didn’t vote for Trump? Or just LOL

High atop famous Cowles Mountain. If it weren’t overcast, we would see downtown San Diego. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890770533507186689

Concluding my seventh night in San Diego & haven’t seen one “Chargers” cap or shirt. Good riddance Spanos clowns. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

 

JULY 28

Who allowed this inside the Mission Valley Target? Rest of the row (14 more) San Diego State. #VacationWithNoCharge … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891059213077585920

Sources say a tire shop & Albertsons among first commits for prime corner at Eagle & Fairview. What a waste. Should build ballpark for Hawks

More In-N-Out!! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891148629729132544

Cute girl at store asks me “Who is your team?” When I return serve, she says CHARGERS. Terrible. Vacation ruined. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … OH SORRY, didn’t take a picture of said cute girl

Guess some people didn’t get the message the first time: Quit writing about Lonzo’s dad. Don’t answer his calls. Don’t think about him.

 

JULY 29

Barely hanging on Qualcomm through trolley window. #VacationWithNoChargers … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891439608952532993

Beyond RCF at Petco Park. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891477652686594048

Starling Marte, PED user, up at the plate. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891483589887406080

Padres win. Putting heat on the Dodgers. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891501562605879296

Ugh. Just saw old dude wearing a CHARGERS hat. In downtown San Diego. Must have CTE. This on Night Nine of #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Dang, someone just came on trolley wearing a Ryan Mathews Chargers jersey. Ouch. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

 

JULY 31

A second Mona Lisa pizza on one vacation! Being me rules! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/892119534999527424

Remember, #Dodgers haven’t been to #WorldSeries since 1988 despite tons of big trades & billions spent. #Padres were in WS in 1998. #Facts

Gone from 70-degree paradise to 100-degree sauna. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is over.

Making a Top 10 list of the 2017 NBA Finals could be done with just one player: Kevin Durant.

The move from Oklahoma City to the Bay Area has been a knockout success for Durant and he was the star of these NBA Finals as the Golden Warriors dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

Durant topped 30 points in each contest and was named MVP of the finals. He averaged 35.2 points and shot 55.6 percent from the field.

The good thing for Durant is he no longer has to listen to any nonsense about not having a ring. Now his only issue is trying to win another one.

The Warriors and Cavaliers have met in each of the past three NBA Finals with Golden State winning two of the crowns. It looks highly possible that the two teams could meet against next June.

The only possible problem might be Cleveland GM LeBron James — we know who runs the franchise — messing things up with his latest teammate demands.

Here are 10 takeaways from the 2017 NBA Finals:

 

10. Just how mad is Russell Westbrook tonight after seeing Durant celebrating his NBA title?

9. Television announcer Mike Breen yelled “BANG!” after a 3-point basket … which I’m sure families who have had somebody shot to death always appreciate while watching a SPORTING EVENT.

8. Did Golden State’s David West and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson kiss when they had that little love scuffle? Who proposed to whom in that scenario?

7. Kind of funny to me that some people are just discovering how good Kyrie Irving is — do they not watch basketball until the Finals?

6. My back gets sore just looking at Warriors coach Steve Kerr. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to battle spinal fluid issues.

5. LeBron James has been in the NBA Finals seven straight seasons. Was about to think how tough that is to do until I see Cleveland benchwarmer James Jones (eight minutes played in the series) has achieved the same thing.

4. No more Doris Burke questions for five months. Thank God.

3. Draymond Green’s annoyance level is now higher than his talent level, a sad development when you consider what a great story it was for a second-round selection to become a big star.

2. Games feel disappointing when Stephen Curry doesn’t make at least one 60-footer in a game.

1. Some buffoons at an Oklahoma City newspaper once called Durant “Mr. Unreliable” in a headline. Hopefully the entire staff was fired.

This will probably sound mean at first but I am really, really glad NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson had skin cancer surgery this week.

Of course, it isn’t that I wanted Johnson — or anybody else — to have a skin cancer situation. It is just that he is a very visible and well-respected public figure who can help awareness.

Johnson had surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma from his shoulder — and that type of skin cancer is something I know very, very well.

I’ve had too many basal cell carcinoma situations to count. My first experience was the scariest — the spot near my nose on the left side of the face required major surgery and the tumor was bigger than a quarter inside my face. Somewhere there is a Polaroid photo of the hole in my face before I was stitched back up.

Nobody I meet ever can tell this occurred without me pointing it out to them so my surgeon did a superb job. But it is hard to forget laying there and having your face cut open — it took 42 stitches to close me back up — and every time the doctor sensed I could feel it, there was another shot to the face.

A needle into the face.

Yeah, 3 1/2 hours of super, duper fun. Not.

I have had three others surgically removed and probably two dozen others frozen off with liquid nitrogen, which is negative 321 degrees. That is also the preferred way to be treated — a 10-second squirt and it freezes the area and the cancer falls off in less than two weeks.

Oh, another reason why I am glad Johnson was dealing with basal cell carcinoma — he didn’t hear the dreaded ‘M word.’

That would be melanoma. That’s the worst word you can hear when you are visiting the skin doctor and he or she identifies something suspicious.

Melanoma leads to things like chemotherapy and radiation and is a death sentence for some people. But basal cell carcinoma doesn’t spread, it is a local cancer and it doesn’t kill you.

Johnson learned the same thing I did during my first experience — if you have to get skin cancer, this is the type to get.

“Carcinoma doesn’t spread. It doesn’t go to the glands,” Johnson told reporters Friday at Pocono Raceway prior to this Sunday’s Pocono 400. “They just have to dig it out and you’re good to go. Once I understood that, my reaction to the ‘C’ word calmed down.”

Good time to mention to read this stellar story about Johnson’s experience — http://www.sportsxchange.com/tsxfiles/?page_id=211&max_colums=20&story_id=168468

Johnson grew up in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon and was often outside in the Southern California sun.

I can relate. When I was a kid you played outdoors all day and there was little talk about sunscreen. I went to hundreds of day-time sporting events while growing up to watch the Padres or Chargers play and I know I was unprotected most of the time.

The sun damage accumulates over time and I have to constantly be aware. I’m diligent and nearly always have sunscreen with me and I still regularly get a new spot or mole that needs to be checked.

There is better awareness this century and that is why I am glad somebody like Johnson can tell his personal skin cancer experience.

People listen to a legendary figure like himself — his Twitter post below from Monday has so far received 763 retweets and more than 2,700 likes.

“Wear sunblock kids. I’ve spent the morning on a table having Basal Cell Carcinoma cut out of my shoulder.”

That type of reaction doesn’t happen when I post about a new skin cancer. I don’t have that type of pull.

But Johnson does and that is why I wasn’t the least bit mad that he joined me as someone who deals with basal cell carcinoma. He is someone who can raise the awareness and I hope his experience leads to some people getting into the habit of applying sunscreen.

Welcome to the club, Jimmie. Hope you never hear the M word.

Are you familiar with Petra Kvitova? No?

Perhaps you should get familiar. She is one of the best sports stories of the year.

The two-time Wimbledon champion probably won’t win an ESPY because ESPN doesn’t know there are other athletes not named LeBron or Gronk.

But wow, the left-handed Kvitova is quite an inspiration after returning to tennis just five months after her left hand and forearm were severely damaged in a knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic.

Kvitova fought off the attacker in the Dec. 20 incident and underwent nearly four hours of surgery. Her tennis future was in severe doubt and she still doesn’t have full use of the hand.

Full details of the injury, the attack and the path of her return are detailed in this stellar story — http://www.sportsxchange.com/tsxfiles/?page_id=211&max_colums=20&story_id=167504

But there she was Sunday playing in the French Open, well ahead of schedule, and turning Roland Garros into a highly emotional tennis wonderland. And Kvitova not only played, she won her match 6-3, 6-2 over American Julia Boserup in her first time on a court since November.

“This match is special to me. I won for the second time, if I can say,” Kvitova said after her match. “I think I played well after six months off. I’m happy with the game, of course, but I mean, it wasn’t really about the game today.”

Kvitova’s attacker hasn’t been found so she treads carefully when discussing the attack. But her courageous return and first-round performance speak volumes.

She is highly popular on the women’s tennis tour and has received a ton of support. One of the social media congratulations on Sunday came from Boserup — the player Kvitova cruised past.

“Congratulations to @Petra_Kvitova for so much more than winning a tennis match today,” Boserup said on her Twitter account.

Hey, can you imagine LeBron congratulating somebody on the Warriors when the Cavaliers lose a game in the NBA Finals?

Neither can I.

LeBron can have all the ESPN love but it’s no contest when it comes to which athlete packs a more inspirational story.

It is Petra Kvitova in a landslide.