So much for that supposed Super Bowl hangover.
New Orleans kicked off its 2010 season exactly how it finished its 2009 campaign, with a win. The Drew Brees-led Saints edged Brett Favre and the Vikings last night 14-9 in the NFL’s season-opener.
There was no offensive explosion, no onside kick to begin the second half and no fourth-quarter comeback by the grizzled Favre, but there was plenty to note. SI.com’s Don Banks breaks down the many compelling storylines from Thursday’s opener, including the Saints’ reinforced defense and the Vikings’ potential problems.
With the NFL not rolling out its full slate of games until Sunday, here’s what else is going on in the sporting world today (all times Eastern):
Venus Williams (3) vs. Kim Clijsters (2) (12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., CBS) The women’s semifinals take centercourt in Flushing Meadows today when two of the game’s biggest stars square off for a berth to the finals.
Giants vs. Padres (10:05 p.m., MLB Network): A home run barrage helped the Giants down the Padres last night, 7-3, moving them within one game of the Pads for the NL West lead. The two teams meet again tonight.
By the Numbers
$18,000,000 – Average salary of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after signing a new four-year contract, making him the highest per-year player in the NFL history.
38 – Years since the Soviet Union defeated the United States in the infamous 1972 Olympic gold medal game. The U.S. gained a small measure of revenge Thursday after beating Russia in the FIBA World Championships quarterfinals, 89-79. Team USA faces Lithuania in the semifinals on Saturday.
16 – Seasons NFL center Kevin Mawae, 40, played before announcing his retirement Friday. Mawae made eight Pro Bowls over his career and is the current president of the NFL Players Association.