It's hard to imagine how much time and thought goes into the selection of an athlete's intro music. Whether the intent is to build hype during a starting lineup announcement or prime an appearance at the plate, choosing just one song from a never-ending library of possible anthems must be hard. So if you're Kobe Bryant, making one of the most prominent returns to the court, where do you go for musical inspiration? The Dark Side.
In his debut Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers gave Kobe a spectacular pregame introduction. After the first four Lakers in the starting lineup were announced with status quo theatrics, the lights went dim at Staples Center and "The Imperial March", Darth's Vader inimitable anthem, began blasting. Into the spotlight stepped Kobe, who garnered a standing ovation from the home crowd and likely a warm reception from fanboys everywhere. Bryant wasted no time making plays, as he dished a sweet dime to Robert Sacre on the Lakers first possession. Though the crowd erupted in cheers every time Kobe got the ball, Toronto came away with the 106-94 win.
Primed for Pasadena
After weeks of shakeups and speculation, the final set of BCS bowl pairings came with no surprises. As expected, No. 1 Florida State will play No. 2 Auburn in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 6 in Pasadena. Meanwhile, No. 4 Michigan State will make its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988, taking on No. 5 Stanford.
NFC South Showdown
On a Sunday filled with improbable finishes, the New Orleans Saints left very little to last-minute chance against the Carolina Panthers. After Carolina scored the first six points of the game, Drew Brees threw four TD's as the Saints put up 31 unanswered points. A commanding 31-13 win gives New Orleans the top spot in the NFC South.