rry way?ESPN Pick: Boston love to cause a

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LONG POND, Pa. -- Jeff Gordon weaved his way through a mob of fans outside the media center, all screaming for an autograph from a driver they thought would never again wear a firesuit.He stepped over the tripod legs of three TV cameras lined against a side wall, patted a reporter on the back and took a seat on the dais where he was peppered with questions about how long his comeback tour might last.Ill be here as long as they need me, Gordon said. I say that very loosely.At Pocono Raceway, Gordon made it seem for hundreds of fans on Friday like he never left racing.Gordon 2.0 will last only as long as Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains sidelined with concussion-like symptoms. Earnhardt will miss his third straight race Sunday and Gordon will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet for the second straight weekend. There is no timetable on Earnhardts return.What should have been a leisurely first summer of retirement for a driver once sponsored by AARP has instead turned into a hectic world tour for Gordon. He was vacationing in France when team owner Rick Hendrick asked him to come out of retirement. He returned to racing at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. Then it was off to a sponsorship commitment in Mexico. This weekend, he looks to extend his track record for wins with his seventh.His busiest task?Doing some laundry, Gordon said, smiling.Gordon can handle the busy load, though hes unsure how many more weeks he will be needed as NASCARs most popular substitute. Earnhardt warned Monday that his return to NASCAR could take longer than planned. No decision has been made by Hendrick Motorsports about next weeks race at Watkins Glen.With an off week following that, the smart move could involve benching Earnhardt at least one more race. Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion who turns 45 on Thursday, would make his 800th career start at the Glen.Its pretty cool that he has the opportunity to come out of retirement, Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch said. Its neat to have him here, of course.Busch led the most laps last week at the Brickyard en route to his second straight Indy win. Gordon was 13th in his sentimental return to Indy.I never saw him on the racetrack, Busch said.Gordon could be more of a factor at Pocono, and maybe beyond. He starts 24th -- his old car number that has since been yielded to Chase Elliott -- in Sundays race.Its even more odd that it went from one race to two races, he said. And then will it be more? I dont know.Gordon and Earnhardt chat via FaceTime and Junior has offered some advice on the 88. Gordon has assured his one-time teammate that his recovery should be his only priority.Just get well at the pace that is the right pace to do it, Gordon said. Nobody is putting any pressure or time frame on that.Gordon battled through his own health woes over the second-half of his career, suffering in stretches from consistent, shooting back pain.I could fight through it longer if I had to. I prefer not to, he said.Gordon should be cashing in on the perks of retirement.Imagine, Gordon at home dealing cards on the blackjack table presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway while his gambling buddies take turns sipping from the 24 bottles of bourbon presented by Kentucky Speedway, or enjoying a perfect pour from an 18-liter wine bottle from Sonoma Raceway.Outside, the Shetland ponies from Texas Motor Speedway are stabled nearby to the Bandolero car from Atlanta Motor Speedway.OK, not quite.Gordon was feted with dozens of retirement presents from tracks in 2015, and hes too appreciative of the gestures to re-gift them to other friends. Most of the souvenirs are in storage.We havent done any blackjack and havent drank any whisky or wine or any of those things, he said.He paused and laughed, Well, I mean I have; I drank plenty but its just not from the collection I was given as a gift.Gordon would surely make an exception if he could bust open a bottle of bubbly in victory lane on Sunday.Gordon paused before he returned to the garage for a brief chat with track President Brandon Igdalsky (ever been to the south of France?) and opened the door where the crowd of pesky autograph seekers had grown.They waved No. 24 diecasts and No. 24 hats and No. 24 photos in his face.The fans should save their old memorabilia -- he remained adamant that no authorized merchandise of Gordon in the 88 would be produced.I have too much respect for what Dales going through, Gordon said.Yes, Gordons return has created quite the buzz during a lazy summer NASCAR season, but its not forgotten the excitement has come at the expense of the health of NASCARs most popular driver.I like seeing him, Igdalsky said as Gordon left, but I wish I didnt have to see him. 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The weekends are a time for getting out into the world and seeing friends and family; but youll miss all the action if you do that.There are only seven rounds remaining in the NFL season, and things are starting to heat up; in the NBA, meanwhile, every team is still filled with optimism about their chances during this season.So how can you be expected to catch up for coffee with friends when your team is on the TV?Heres what you do; fill up the coffee pot, buy plenty of snacks, set your TV to ESPN and invite your friends over. That right there is killing two birds with one stone.With so much action on, here are the cant-miss games this weekend.NFLNew Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers - Friday, ESPN @ 12.25pm (AEDT)Week 11 of the NFL season kicks off with a Thursday night showdown between two teams fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Saints emerged victorious, 41-38, the last time these sides met, back in Week 6, but what can we expect this time around?With the Saints possessing the worst pass defense in the league and the Panthers the eighth worst, expect both Drew Brees and Cam Newton to rack up the passing yards and put plenty of scores on the board.Both sides are coming off tough losses and will be hungry to get over the line. Can the Panthers salvage anything from this painful season or will the Saints march on towards a Wildcard spot?ESPN Pick: Brees to outgun Newton in an epic. 38-34Odds: Carolina $1.54 v New Orleans $2.50Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs -- Monday, ESPN RedZone @ 5am (AEDT)The Chiefs pulled off a miracle last week against the Panthers, scoring 17 points in the final quarter to steal one on the road by three points, 20-17. The Bucs had a much easier week against the lacklustre Chicago Bears, taking the points with a comfortable 36-10 win.Jameis Winston is coming into his own as a starting quarterback for the Bucaneers, but he will need to be on top of his game if he wants to get past the Chiefs. Winston has thrown 10 intercepts this season and the Chiefs defence -- with Marcus Peters and Eric Berry having a combined seven intercepts -- will be ready should one ball be thrown out of place.Kansas City are a tough unit to score against, and things could be bleak for the Bucs inside Arrowhead Stadium if Winston isnt on his A game from the opening kick.ESPN Pick: Chiefs D to cause mayhem. 23-13Odds: Tampa Bay $3.55 v Kansas City $1.30Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys -- Monday ESPN RedZone @ 5am (AEDT)The league-leading Cowboys welcome the Ravens into their home, and the hosts rookie sensations, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, will look to continue their stellar seasons.With Elliott leading the charge, the Cowboys average the most rushing yards per game in the league (161) but theyve never come up against a side like the Ravens.Possessing the No. 1-ranked rushing defence in the league, and also the fifth-ranked passing D, the Ravens smother teams and punish them relentlessly. Will the Cowboys put morre reliance on Prescott to throw big numbers or can Elliott get beyond the Ravens defensive line?Were about to find out what happens when an unstoppable force (Cowboys/Elliott) meets an immovable object (Ravens defense)?ESPN Pick: Prescott to air it out in a battle.dddddddddddd 17-13Odds: Dallas $1.30 v Baltimore $3.55NBAPhiladelphia 76ers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - Friday, ESPN2 @ 12pm (AEDT)This is a battle of up-and-coming stars, two teams with young incredible talent squaring off against each other.Philly fans have been trusting the process for a long time now, and, unfortunately, this season hasnt been any easier. Joel Embiid looks terrific, but things are still bleak in the City of Brotherly Love - where fans await the return of Ben Simmons.Minnesota on the other hand have a young core that is extremely fun to watch, and the signs all point towards a bright future. With Andrew Wiggins is starting to develop his offensive skill set and Karl Anthony-Towns is seemingly able to do it all; how will the 76ers cope?Can Brett Brown and his team grab their second win of the season or will the Wolves prove their process is the far superior product?ESPN Pick: Wiggins and Towns to carry the Wolves. 104-90Odds: Minnesota $1.12 v Philadelphia $6.30Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics - Saturday, ESPN @ 12pm (AEDT)Game one of the Saturday double header sees the self-anoinyed Super Villains take on the Celtics.Golden State are the No. 1 target for every other team in the league; theyre the biggest baddest wolf in the land, and everyone else wants to take them down. The Celtics never back down from a fight, and they will look to take it up to the Warriors.The Warriors have seemingly found their groove since losing to the Lakers, scoring at astronomical heights. Theyre averaging 119 points per game with the big four pouring in 89 points per game during that span.Can the Celtics stop the juggernaut or will the Warriors continue on their merry way?ESPN Pick: Boston love to cause an upset and will do so here. 117-111Los Angeles Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings - Saturday, ESPN @ 2.30pm (AEDT)The Clippers have been the best team in the league this season, opening with a 10-1 record and a streak of seven wins as they go up against the often dysfunctional Kings.The Kings DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most skilled big men in the game, and he can turn games almost single-handedly, but his frustration can get the better of him. Will the Clippers look to get under his skin and throw him off or will they just rely upon their weapons to get the job done?Chris Paul is leading the charge and Blake Griffin is back in full health, so this looks like a one-sided affair; but the Kings are such a difficult puzzle to understand that they could just pull off the upset.ESPN Pick: Clippers are rolling and dont look like stopping. 113-89 NBA markets: Cheap Throwback Baseball Detroit Tigers Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Colorado Rockies Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Houston Astros Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Kansas City Royals Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Los Angeles Angels Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Miami Marlins Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Minnesota Twins Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball New York Mets Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball New York Yankees Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Oakland Athletics Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball San Diego Padres Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball San Francisco Giants Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Seattle Mariners Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Tampa Bay Rays Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Texas Rangers Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Washington Nationals Jerseys ' ' '

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