So our local XI has some issues. Here is a short list of other things to feel a little better about: *Team USA is dominating the basketball court in Vegas at the FIBA Americas Tourney. Top 2 or 3 go to the Olympics. The next few go to Europe for a last-chance qualifier. USA are undefeated through 7, stand 6-0*, win by huge margins, are already qualified for the Semi-finals, and tonight play A Ginobli-less Argentina. If you have seen any of the games, there is plenty of area for improvement as they do somewhat look like a team of individuals still. That will evaporate some as this group progresses in this tournament and goes to the Olympics. Also. team depth is the USA's biggest weapon as they have extended late against everyone. *The result from the game with the last place team from each pool is dropped from Round 1 before the cross-over games, so USA beat the Virgin Islands and is 7-0, but only 6-0 for purposes of Semifinal qualification. *The American Eagles start a hopeful campaign in the Rugby World Cup on Versus in about 2 weeks. I'm assuming they qualified, I honestly don't know. This the 15 on 15 Union version of rugby, not the very entertaining 7s version or the 6-down league version widely enjoyed. If you like sport at it's highest level, this event runs a close second to the soccer World Cup in terms of overflowing Natoinalistic jingoism combined with a very high level of pure sport. Hey, Kop, does Eng-er-land have a shot? Love the Welsh dragon, Fijians, and the Haka, BTW. *The KC Royals: They are winning some games, just took a series with contender Detroit, and are no longer in last place in their own Division. Butler is mashing, as is Gordon. KC's defense continues to progress at a good level. Pitching, a long-time problem is slowly improving. The pen is pretty good. Grenke is becomming a must-see. Team holes are shrinking. The Ozzie Gillen blow up is especially entertaining. If you have little to do tomorrow, why not work a half day and take in the rare split doubleheader at the K? KC v Minny 1:10 start. *Football starts back up with HS and college this weekend. *If you like unmitigated excellence in sport, in volleyball #1 Nebraska just won the annual Coaches Association Invititaion Tournament, crushing 2 ranked teams including #5 UCLA. Huskers hit an unbelievable for the competition level .340 for the weekend. At the high end, add 40 to 50 points and you have a comparible stat to batting average in baseball. .340 is what you do to pre-season cupcakes and conference also-rans, not venerated 1000-win programs like UCLA. NU has the last two NCAA players of the year, a stable full of All-Americans, a setting coach that runs USA National teams, and a bench that could compete to win most conferences nationwide. This in addition to a sold-out schedule and a HD broacast for every game. I could go on at great superlative length, but if you care it's all here: www.huskers.com They haven't done much yet and the Final 4 is not in Omaha this year, but NU does have the opportunity to be one of the very best NCAA teams at any level in any sport. *The outdoor track World Championships are still on Versus daily and nightly. Again, the very best of sport on display, not to mention the very best of atheletes. Me? Well, I also enjoy the Women's events. Smoking hot russian vaulters and scandinavian 400m runners...but that's me. USA winning often doesn't hurt. Pretty much your only annual chance to see the fairly impressive Hammer Throw and 3K Steeplechase also. The schadenfreud moment was an Albanian crashing face-first into a steeplechase hurdle. 7 stitches. Ouch. *Chris Klein with the bike v Pachuca. Pretty good stuff. *UEFA back in full swing *Locally, the Summit League (formerly the Mid-Continent) goes forward with UMKC as a member. I care becasue my North Dakota State Bison joined in all but football and wrestling. You should because UMKC is the only D1 school in KC and this conference is now better than it has been in every sport, even if basketball might be the only thing you pay attention to. *Aussie Rules is entering the Finals (playoffs) soon. Even if you don't have a team (my Sydney Swans are less-than this year), the system is unique. They call it a "double-chance" for the Top seeds. Top 8 teams make it. Top 4 and 5-8 play each other to seeds (1 v 4, 5 v 8 1 at home etc.). If you are in the Top 4 and lose you then must host a winner of a 5-8 game. Loser of 5-8 games are out as are all losers from this point forward. If you hate the abortion that is a two-game playoff, this seems a solution worth a look. The downside is no home game for the 7 and 8 seeds.