Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea! I am the Optimist. You are Cavalier fans. And this is NEWS … AROUND … THE … LEAGUE. So, let’s get it on.

I’m back from a well-earned two-week hiatus. And I don’t mind saying that I desperately missed you guys while I was away. Unfortunately, we have way too much on our plate today to get bogged down in sentimentality. Let’s see if we can get through this column before we break out the hugs and handshakes.