’Tis obviously better to be a tortoise than a hare.

The Nationals started the season 19-31 and wound up winning the World Series.

The Blues sat in last place on Dec. 31 and wound up winning the Stanley Cup.

In short, the Mariners — who opened 13-2 and wound up 68-94 — are going about this thing totally backward.

Headlines

• At TheOnion.com: “Pelicans HR informs Zion Williamson knee surgery not covered by insurance until 90 days into first season.”

• At @SportsPickle: “More like Nick FLUBB.”

Zip-and-8

Akron has lost its first eight football games this year by an average score of 36-11.

Win one for the Zipper?

One-finger discount

The NFL fined Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill $10,527 for giving a trailing Broncos defender the peace sign en route to a 57-yard touchdown.

So, it would’ve been $5,263.50 if he’d only used just one finger?

Attention, holiday shoppers

Adobe’s sixth annual “Holiday Predictions” report says online sales this holiday season will reach $143 billion in the United States.

And that’s just from MLB teams signing free agents.

Traveling violation

LeBron James’ no-longer-secret hairpiece shifted during last Sunday’s Lakers-Jazz game, exposing his balding pate.

Moving screen? No kidding.

Upon further review …

Somebody just carried out the best fake play of the football season.

A red-faced ESPN Events “terminated” its three-week-old agreement with DreamHouse to be the New Mexico Bowl’s presenting sponsor after realizing the purported film-production company doesn’t even exist.

Nothing to see here

On the NFL’s much-anticipated trade-deadline day, a disabled Ram got traded to Tampa Bay and a Washington tackle ended his holdout.

Even Geraldo Rivera — whose opening of Al Capone’s vault on national TV produced just a dusty bottle — had to say, “That’s it?”

Injury of the Week

Celtics center Tacko Fall — the NBA’s tallest player at 7 feet 5 — was placed in concussion protocol after hitting his head on a low ceiling at the team’s practice facility.

Belgian waffling

When it comes to asking for directions in Belgium, it pays to read the fine print.

Two hapless Liverpool soccer fans missed their team’s 4-1 Champions League road win over Genk because they went to KAA Gent stadium instead — in Ghent, 95 road miles away.

Talking the talk

• Syndicated columnist Norman Chad, on Yankee manager Aaron Boone’s quick hook with pitchers, no matter how well they’re pitching: “Boone would’ve pulled Michelangelo halfway through the Sistine Chapel ceiling job.”

• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, on the rapid demise of the Warriors’ NBA dynasty: “Mark Twain once wrote, ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’ I just checked, Twain is still dead.”

Forget second down

The Cleveland Browns turned the ball over on three consecutive first-quarter snaps — two Nick Chubb fumbles and a Baker Mayfield interception — in last Sunday’s 27-10 loss to the Patriots.

One-and-out, anyone?

Stop the music

ESPN has decided to scrap its Genesis Halftime Show live music performances on “Monday Night Football.”

It’s believed to be retribution for MTV never showing NFL highlights.

Quote marks

• @SportsPickle, on the NCAA allowing college athletes to cash in on their likenesses: “We are going to see some amazingly awful small-town TV commercials featuring SEC punters and linemen.”

• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, via Twitter, after ESPN’s MNF pregame “Mud Bowl” feature included an actress in a bikini top lounging in a mud bath: “Who was running the production meeting, Harvey Weinstein?”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after MLB umpire Rob Drake tweeted he would buy an AR-15 for the ensuing “cival war” if president Trump is impeached: “No wonder Drake was so tough on lefties.”

• Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com, after MLB banned two women who flashed Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole during Game 5 of the World Series: “The sad part is they will still probably be reinstated before Pete Rose.”

• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on the 0-7 Dolphins playing the 0-8 Bengals.on Dec. 22: “The Christmas turkey will be served early this year.”

This spells trouble

MLB umpire Rob Drake apologized for tweeting there would be “cival war” if President Trump is impeached.

So don’t be surprised fans henceforth heckle him with “One-I” taunts instead of “Four-Eyes.”

Tweet of the Week

From @SportsPickle, eavesdropping on an MLB World Series marketing meeting:

“Any ideas?”

“Well, you know the saying about how there’s no such thing as bad publicity?”

“Yeah.”

“Thoughts on an executive who hates women and an ump who wants civil war?”

“Baseball is BACK!”

Climb every mountain

Q: Who had more ups and downs than this year’s Washington Nationals?

A: Nepal’s Nirmal “Nims” Purja, a former soldier who scaled the world’s 14 highest peaks in a record 189 days.

As for his secret, Purja told ExplorersWeb.com: “I have to get back down, so that I can reach the next mountain. I listen to my body. You must have humility so that you can get home. You can always go again without oxygen if that is what is so important, but you can’t if you’re dead.”

Quote, end quote

• From Browns fan Donald Miller’s obit in the Canton (Ohio) Repository: “At the time (Oct. 10), the Browns were 2-3. There is some comfort in knowing he won’t have to endure the rest of the season.

• Jacksonville State defensive-line coach William Green, via Twitter, with a warning to recruits submitting video: “If you speed your film up, I can tell. Too many refs running 4.3 on tape.”

• J.R. Lind of NashvilleScene.com, on why ex-Titans coach Jeff Fisher would make a perfect fit for Vanderbilt: “Hiring Fisher will get people talking about Vandy football instead of groaning about it and wondering when baseball season starts. … Plus, you can’t go 7-9 in a 12-game season.”

• Mike Hart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, not a big fan of last week’s Dolphins-Steelers “Monday Night Football” matchup: “Staring at an Ant Farm for 3½ hours figures to be far more entertaining.”

• Former MLBer Ron Fairly, who died last week at 81, channeling his inner Yogi Berra during his broadcasting days: “Last night I neglected to mention something that bears repeating.”