Archive for December, 2010
In Women’s College Basketball, UConn went down! I repeat, UConn went down! The last time anyone could say that was almost 1000 days ago. The team’s 90 game winning streak was snapped by Stanford. The star player in all of college basketball, Maya Moore, came out flat. The Huskies never led the game at any point. They shot 33% from the field and lost a game for the first time since April 6, 2008. Now, UConn will look to bounce back and avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since the 1992 – 1993 season.
In the NFL, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 by the league for not cooperating with league officials in the Jenn Sterger case. Nothing was found to incriminate Favre, but the Commissioner finally made a ruling months after the scandal was brought to public attention.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: TUESDAY NIGHT NFL GAME, PRO BOWL TEAMS SELECTED, HEAT VS KNICKS, SPURS TAKE ON LAKERS
In the NFL, football was played on Tuesday night for the first time since 1946. Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Favre-less Minnesota Vikings. But, even without Brett Favre, the Vikings managed to pull out the big upset with the rookie Joe Webb at quarterback. The Eagles laid an egg, and with the loss locked themselves into the 3rd spot in the NFC playoff picture. Minnesota 24, Philadelphia 14.
Also in the NFL, the pro bowl teams for each conference have been selected. Highlighting each squad are the quarterbacks: For the AFC, Tom Brady is the starter with Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning as his back up; For the NFC, Michael Vick is the starter with his back-ups Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Other notable starters for the AFC include: Maurice Jones-Drew, Andrew Johnson, Troy Polamalu, and Darrelle Revis. The NFC’s notable starters include: Michael Turner, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, and Devin Hester.
In the NBA, two big contests took place on Tuesday night. The first was the Miami Heat against the New York Knicks. Dwayne Wade lit up the floor for 40 points, but the Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire kept it close with 30 points of his own. The Knicks are beginning to understand what it means to be a great team in the NBA. They have talent that they have not had in years and are finally competing with the big boys. Soon, after they get one more big time player, whether it’s Chris Paul or Carmelo Anthony, they will consistently beat the various ‘beasts of the East.’ Miami Heat 106, New York 98.
The second big game in the NBA was the hot San Antonio Spurs taking on the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs have lately been hot and playing in a much faster paced system than we are used to from a Greg Popovich coached team. For San Antonio, Tony Parker had 23 points, DaJuan Blair had 17 points, and 15 rebounds, while future Hall-of-famer Tim Duncan was held to only 2 points and 4 rebounds. San Antonio 97, Lakers 82.
In the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons hosted the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The tale of two quarterbacks on their way to greatness. Drew Brees, the defending Super Bowl champion, Sportsman of the year, athlete of the year versus Matt Ryan, the young hot shot quarterback from Boston College leading the Falcons to a 12 – 2 record, who already has been given the nickname of “Matty Ice” because of heading late comeback wins on final drives. Brees and the Saints came out on top. Despite throwing back-to-back interceptions to defensive linemen in the 4th quarter, Brees showed why the defending Super Bowl MVP is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. He orchestrated a drive culminating in a touchdown to take a 17 – 14 lead with less than four minutes to go. The Falcons then got the ball back and faced a 4th down around midfield and punted the ball with 3 timeouts left. Instead of the prevent defense, they should have blitzed Brees. They had gotten to him all day, and there was no reason to abandon that play, when they needed a stop the most. This game showed that the NFC is a wide-open battle for a trip to the Super Bowl.No comments
In the NFL, the New York Jets took on the Chicago Bears. The two teams, who have been known for their defense this year, did not play itself out the way it was expected. Each quarterback showed off their talents, but because the Jets defense couldn’t get any pressure on Jay Cutler, he tore them apart. The shootout was very uncharacteristic of the two teams, but fittingly the final play that knocked the Jets out was an interception on the sideline by the Bears’ Chris Harris. But even with the Jets loss in the Windy City, Rex Ryan was smiling and laughing at his press conference because his team, once again, backed into the playoffs. With the Redskins pulling off the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime, the Jets have clinched a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. Chicago 38, Jets 34. Washington 20, Jacksonville 17.
The New York Giants looked for redemption from last week’s epic collapse against the Eagles, but didn’t find the promise land. If they won, they were in the playoffs, but the Green Bay Packers had a similar goal. If they win their final two games, then they are in the playoffs. The Giants continued their yearlong problems of holding onto the ball and were the victims of 6 turnovers. And when you turn the ball over that many times, you are not winning. Aaron Rodgers, in a new helmet, to protect him from concussions, was phenomenal in his first game back since sustaining a concussion 2 weeks ago. He threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, distributing the ball to nine different receivers. The Giants now need to win next week and get a little bit of help to get into the playoffs. And to add insult to injury, they were stranded in Wisconsin, because Newark Airport shutdown all flights coming into the airport. Green Bay 45, Giants 17.
The St. Louis Rams are looking to make the playoffs after an abysmal 2009 season. The only way however, is to win the NFC West because the division is home to some of the worst teams in the NFL. Led by the rookie quarterback out of Oklahoma, Sam Bradford, the Rams look next week for a win over the Seattle Seahawks to go 8-8 on the season and host a home playoff game. But, the 49ers’ stole the show. 49ers head coach, Mike Singletary blew up on the sideline at quarterback Troy Smith and ended up benching him soon after. The ugly incident on the sideline ended up being the last straw for the San Francisco front office and fired Singletary immediately after the game. Right now, they don’t have a direction, so the front office said they will be looking for a general manager before they hire a head coach. Look for the team to get a head coach with a good pedigree, but not necessarily someone who will make headlines or cost the team too much. St. Louis 25, San Francisco 17.
The NFL also postponed their Sunday night game until Tuesday because of the same snow concerns that caused the Giants to be stuck in Wisconsin. The matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles will now take place on Tuesday night on NBC.
Some interesting scenarios in the football world this weekend. A couple teams know where they stand in the playoff race and have already clinched. A bunch are still in the playoff race with teams trying to catch them in the hunt. And lastly, there are teams that have no chance at making the post season and are in the process of figuring out personnel changes and looking forward to Draft.
The two surest playoff bound teams in each of the leagues are the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills this week and should continue their winning ways as they begin to prepare for the playoffs. Tom Brady continues to be hitting on all cylinders and with a win or tie this week can wrap up the division officially. Although Atlanta with a win over New Orleans will also grant them the title of division champs, the game is a little bit different. They will be taking on the defending Super Bowl Champs fighting for their playoff lives. But, the game represents more than that, it represents two quarterbacks battling for the title of “THE” NFC South Quarterback. Matt “Ice” Ryan will try to take the reigns from Drew Brees under the bright lights on Monday Night Football on ESPN.
The New York Jets are making the trip to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. Mark Sanchez however might not be starting. Although, all signs point to Sanchez toughing out the pain and play at less than 100%, Rex Ryan has said that he is fully prepared to put Mark Brunell on the field. The same Mark Brunell who has started 1 game since 2006 and has only attempted 31 passes since. But, the Jets offense won’t be the deciding factor in the game; it’s the defense. When Jay Cutler has a passer rating over 100, the Bears are undefeated. When opposing teams don’t get pressure on him and make him rush his passes, Cutler may be the best quarterback in the NFL. The Jets need to blitz Cutler and force him into making mistakes, if they want to have any chance at a win.
The biggest game of the week comes in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers, fighting for their playoff lives, welcome back their pro bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers to try and win their last two games and make a run in the playoffs at the Super Bowl. But, the New York Giants, fresh off their epic collapse look to right the ship. Eli Manning called a players only meeting, earlier this week, for the first time in his career. And that says he means business. The traditionally quiet quarterback seems to take the lead in getting vengeance for the Giants with the Packers being the victims.No comments
With the New York Knicks actually becoming a formidable team, the rivalry between the Bulls and the Knicks can be refueled. As the Bulls and Knicks square off on Christmas Day, will Derrick Rose shine in the spotlight or will Amare Stoudemire steal it from him at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden?
But even as big of a duel as the Knicks and Bulls is finally becoming, the two bigger matchups are that of Orlando taking on Boston and Miami making the trip out to Los Angeles. After wheeling and dealing, the Orlando Magic seem as though they are trying to keep up with the elite of the Eastern conference shifting from a defensive minded team to a more offensive mentality. This test for the Magic may seem too much before the players gel together as one team, but what a Christmas gift it would be to Magic fans to pull off the win against the staple in the Eastern conference over the past few years.
And finally we come to the Lakers and Heat. Kobe and Pau vs. Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. Lebron talks the match up down to be just another regular season game, but even though there’s nothing directly on the line, they all know its bigger than normal. The early stages of tradition have the NBA playing some of its best matchups on Christmas Day. Do the hot and streaking Heat have enough of a team concept to keep up with the defending champs? Dwayne Wade, who was doubtful to play against the Lakers, will play.No comments
The NCAA has suspended 5 Ohio State Buckeye football players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The student-athletes made a profit and received improper benefits of selling championship rings, jerseys, and awards. The NCAA suspended them for the first five games of the 2011 season, but is allowing the players to play in the upcoming Sugar Bowl against Arkansas on January 4th. The reasoning for this is because they “did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.” The Ohio State Athletic director took a lot of the heat for the violations, but is it still right for the players to play in the Sugar Bowl? If the violations were worth five games of the regular season, why weren’t the players just suspended for the next possible game?
The New Jersey Devils fired 1st year coach John MacLean and are now trying to salvage the rest of the hockey season. The only way they saw fit to save what’s left of an awful season was to bring back Jaques Lemaire. Lemaire is a hard-nosed coach, who will try and turn around an abysmal season. The Devils are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The coach at that time was Lemaire. New Jersey is 9 – 22- 2 and tied for the fewest points in the league with the Long Island Islanders. After signing Ilya Kovalchuk to a $100 million contract this past offseason, nothing can describe this season more than the word disappointment.No comments
After the UConn women’s basketball team won its 88th straight game on Sunday the 89th win came last night. The Huskies beat 20th ranked Florida State by 31. The 93 – 62 win, now gives them the longest win streak in NCAA Division I basketball history, passing John Wooden’s streak of 88 games at UCLA from 1971 – 1974. UConn’s coach Geno Auriemma has been at the center of all the controversy. He said that fans dislike women breaking men’s records. But, only time will tell how fans will look back on this streak when it is all done.
Five games this year will be played on Christmas in the NBA and Phil Jackson doesn’t like it. The son of a minister, Jackson said, “It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean anything to them anymore.” But, even though the majority of people in this country are Christian, this country is based on a melting pot of diverse people. And even more so, while the NBA, ESPN, and others can make money, the games will be played. This is because sports and holidays go hand in hand and in some cases are bigger than religion and holidays. Basketball on Christmas; and Football on Thanksgiving; they are traditions.No comments
OMG…that’s about the only thing you can say after the Giants disintegrated in the last few minutes of the game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. So many shockers in this game, it’s hard to even fathom. In the fourth quarter the Giants seemed to have a comfortable 31-10 lead. With a miserable defensive showing, the Eagles fought back to 31-17. Then the Eagles’ kicker David Akers made an onside kick with only 7:43 left on the time clock. The kick was recovered by the Eagles and then after that, everything went downhill for the Giants. Philly QB Michael Vick easily ran into the endzone to make the game 31-24. After Vick got the ball back again, he marched down the field and tied up the game with a pass to Jeremy Maclin. What happened next will go down as one of the greatest blunders in Giant’s history. Giant’s Coach Tom Coughlin told rookie punter Matt Dodge to punt the ball out of bounds…and particularly away from the Eagles star kick returner, DeSean Jackson. Unfortunately that message didn’t register because the kick was a line drive directly to DeSean and the rest is history. Jackson ran the ball 65 yards for the game winning TD as time ran out on the clock.
This game will be talked about for ages to come. People are still talking about the infamous “Fumble” in 1978 when the Giants were leading the Eagles (yes, same team) 17-12 with only 31 seconds to play. All they needed to do was run out the clock but the hand off to Larry Csonka bounced off his hip and the Eagles’ Herm Edwards ran the ball into the endzone to win the game.
Jets win at Pitssburgh
Manning holsNo comments
Thursday night football, the SF 49ers took on the San Diego Chargers and the Chargers came to play. QB Philip Rivers had a big day tossing three TD’s to Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson. Playoff hopes are still very much alive in San Diego and shockingly even with this loss, San Francisco is still not eliminated from the playoffs. Chargers 34, 49ers 7.
Watch for a big weekend of games that could determine who’s in the playoffs, who’s eliminated and which team will get home court advantage. So far, only the New England Patriots have already clinched a playoff spot.
The Miami Heat has traveled to New York to take on the Knicks Friday night. This game is televised on ESPN at 7:00 pm Friday night. With the Heat’s Lebron James facing the on-fire Amar’e Stoudemire, we could be in for an exciting game.No comments