Baseball playoffs begin
The postseason, for those who may have forgotten the playoff format first used last year, is now a three-stage process, beginning with four Division Series, followed by League Championship Series, and then the World Series, which opens Oct. 18. Despite a late-season slump, the pitching-rich Atlanta Braves have to be considered the favorite to defend their championship.
National Hockey League season opens
Wayne Gretzky is with a new team again, the Colorado Avalanche are the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and the Montreal Canadiens prepare to play their first full season in the Molson Centre, which has replaced the venerable old Forum. Gretzky, the league's all-time scoring leader, went from Los Angeles to St. Louis last season and now rejoins former Edmonton teammate Mark Messier with the New York Rangers.
Penn State versus Ohio State (football)
The two top-ranked teams in the Big Ten Conference clash in Columbus, Ohio. Despite the graduation of Heisman Trophy-winner Eddie George, the Buckeyes are only one place behind No. 3 Penn State in the latest AP poll and hungry to earn their way to the Rose Bowl, where they last appeared in 1974 (amazing!). They blew it last year, losing to Michigan in the season's final game to ruin a perfect season and open the door for Northwestern to play in Pasadena. Northwestern lost this season's opener to Wake Forest.
Head of the Charles Regatta
Rowers from around the world flock to Boston to dip their oars in the Charles River and participate in the largest rowing event held in the United States. Approximately 1,000 boats, from single sculls to eight-oared shells, will go off at timed intervals. About a quarter million spectators are expected.