Looks like 2021 is still suffering from a 2020 hangover.

Which is as good of an explanation as any that newly acquired Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker had to pick a different jersey number — 99 — because his preferred No. 00 is the one worn by team mascot Mr. Met.

Headlines

• At Fark.com: “Patrick Mahomes welcomes first child, Sterling Skye Mahomes, expected to play against Tom Brady in about 20 years.”

• At TheOnion.com: “U.S. broadcast of pivotal Chelsea-Manchester United match to stream exclusively on Best Buy display TVs.”

Wait’ll next year

Washington Football Team officials once again delayed announcing a new team nickname, saying it won’t happen until next year.

So what’ll they do when Jan. 1, 2022 rolls around, defer until the second half?

Wake up the videos

Notre Dame announced it won’t participate in the new EA Sports CFB video game.

Advertising

So let’s hear it for the South Bend Football Team!

Sweeter than 16

NFL owners are pushing to implement a 17-game schedule for this coming season.

“A$ you might $u$pect, we have our rea$ons for playing $eventeen,” said one.

Just another day

The most humdrum occurrence in Alabama last week was:

a) the Crimson Tide landing a five-star quarterback

b) the sun coming up in the east

Winning pitch

A stray dog who stole a player’s cleat and ran onto the field, interrupting a soccer match in Bolivia, has been adopted by Tigre player Raúl Castro — the one who caught the dog and carried him off the field.

In a related story, they’re still waiting for someone to step forward and claim the Super Bowl streaker.

Advertising

Political basketball

Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, under fire from her own Atlanta Dream players, sold her 49% stake in the WNBA team less than two months after losing in the Georgia runoff elections.

That’s what you call a fast break.

Talking the talk

• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, after an ESPN commentator described Bucs tight end/party animal Rob Gronkowski as “just a man living the American dream”: “Which in Gronk’s case appears to be life, liberty and the pursuit of happy hour.”

• Actress Shailene Woodley, on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” on her engagement to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: “I never thought I would be engaged to a guy who throws balls for a living.”

• Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, after Ravens coach John Harbaugh paid the entire $2,000-plus restaurant bill during a Baltimore charity event: “Harbaugh covered the spread.”

No gold watches

The first Friday in March, in case you didn’t know, is National Employee Appreciation Day.

Here’s guessing the lineup for this year’s Mariners celebration won’t include a Kevin Mather video.

Advertising

Quote marks

• Blogger Chad Picasner, after the Yankees — injury-plagued the past two seasons — lost pitcher Clarke Schmidt for three-plus weeks to an elbow injury on the first day of spring-training workouts: “At least everyone made it through the uniform fittings.”

• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “New rule: Any NBA player who complains that a colleague was snubbed in the All-Star selection process must name the player he’d remove from the team.”

• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on the sun wreaking havoc on the NHL outdoor games at Lake Tahoe: “So add to 2021 insanity … a major professional sporting event postponed because the weather was too good?”

• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, on the 11 minutes it took for radio signals from the Perseverance rover to get to Earth from Mars: “Or about the same amount of time it takes Bryson DeChambeau to choose a golf club.”

Start the music

We’re so old we can remember when the prize for playing musical chairs was a cake and not a $35 million-a-year quarterback.

Quote, end quote

• North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams, to reporters, on whether he had any regrets about scheduling Marquette after losing to the Golden Eagles: “We can’t operate in damn hindsight. … If you told me we were gonna lose, hell yeah, we wouldn’t have played the game. If you told me we were gonna beat the Lakers, I’d have scheduled them.”