'WE BLEW THIS ONE': The Newark Star-Ledger wholeheartedly endorsed Chris Christie last fall in the New Jersey gubernatorial race--an endorsement that led to a critical segment by our colleague Rachel Maddow. And while the Star-Ledger stood by their endorsement, they're not admitting they made a mistake: "An endorsement is not a love embrace. It is a choice between two falwed human beings. And the winner is often the less bad option," editor Tom Moran wrote on Sunday. "But yes, we blew this one."
RAND RISES: As the national spotlight on Chris Christie continues to dim, Sen. Rand Paul's star may be rising. The speculation for a Rand Paul 2016 campaign has been around for awhile, but as the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures becomes more and more complex, this may be the opportune moment for Paul to take the lead on the right. On Saturday, Paul spoke at a Harris County GOP dinner in Texas and warned Republicans that the party could be in danger. "What I do believe is Texas is going to be a Democrat state within 10 years if we don't change," Paul said.
Paul went on to discuss a range of issues, from immigration to Benghazi--and if all of that doesn't sound the "presidential campaign" alarm, just listen to the praise he received from Texas Sen. John Cornyn: "I've been particularly impressed with Rand's efforts to broaden the base and appeal of our party without sacrificing our principles...To me, that's the most important challenge our party faces."
TOLERANCE IN THE NFL: "I came to tell the world that I am an openly, proud gay man." Those words from pro football prospect Michael Sam on Sunday night have rocked the NFL. If drafted to a professional team, Sam would the first openly gay active player in the league. Sam has made it clear that this is not breaking news to his own University of Missouri teammates, who've known he is gay since last fall, but the question now is how the professional sports world will react. Anonymous league scouts and officials told Sports Illustrated that Sam's sexual orientation may affect him negatively. "I don't think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," one anonymous NFL player personnel assistant said.
IN OTHER NEWS...
- NUMBER OF THE DAY: 4--that's how many days are left until House of Cards season 2 premieres on Netflix.
- WEBSITE OF THE DAY: How many medals has the U.S. won so far in this year's Olympics? What about Canada? Or Switzerland? Or Great Britain? Keep track at medalcount.com.
- TWEET OF THE DAY: U.S. bobsledder Johnny Quinn got trapped in his Sochi hotel bathroom on Saturday, and with no phone to call for help, he did the only other thing he could think of: he smashed through the door.