Archive for September, 2011
The American League Wild Card race is just that… wild. It’s basically a race between the sinking Red Sox and the surging Rays. Last night, the Red Sox needed a win on the road in Baltimore or they were out. Of course, Baltimore put up a fight, rallying in the 9th inning and getting within a run of the Sox. But, in the end, the Red Sox prevailed to an 8-7 victory. Now the Red Sox and Rays are still tied for the Wild Card and, even though they’re not playing each other, it all comes down to the final game of the season. The Red Sox will take on the Orioles again in Baltimore with John Lester on the mound, and Tampa Bay will face the Yankees in Tampa with David Price giving it his all. The Yankees have already clinched, but might think that playing the Red Sox would be easier than this very tough Rays team in the post-season. So they have all the incentive in the world to try.
Elsewhere in the baseball, after a blown lead earlier this week, people were writing off the St. Louis Cardinals for the playoffs. But last night, they continued their post-season push against Houston. These guys have everything to lose, and that’s why the Cardinals came out super strong. They got some solid hitting from Nick Punto, who drove in a couple wins and cruised to a victory against the Astros. They will take on the Astros again in the final game of the season with Chris Carpenter on the mound — a very good pitcher. They have all necessary momentum to get the win, but can they pull it off… or will they collapse? If they win, it doesn’t mean they’re in, because they’re tied with the Braves, but the Braves have a tougher match-up in the Phillies.
Finally, in some rare NBA news, it looks like Miami’s Big Three will host a massive charity game. The game will include not only LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh, but also a slew of other young talent that will definitely draw a crowd. This includes Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Washington’s John Wall, Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Boston’s Rajon Rondo, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and New Orleans Chris Paul (among other young talent). It’s practically like an all-star game out there, and it’s rumored that #1 pick Kyrie Irving may stop by to play a few minutes. Clearly these NBA guys are making the most of their talents for a good cause.No comments
Week 3 in the NFL, and we’ll start with one of the most anticipated match-ups. The New England Patriots vs. The Buffalo Bills. The Bills are 2-0 on the season and seem to be jelling with the ‘Nobody Believes In Us’ mantra. Sunday, the Bills got a serious test against a Patriots offense that seems unstoppable. Instantly, the Pats got up to a 21-7 lead thanks to the remarkable chemistry between Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Welker finished the day with an amazing 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. Everybody thought the Pats had it in the bag, but they forgot to take into account the relentless spirit of this years Buffalo Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Fred Jackson led to them to a remarkable comeback. Suddenly the Bills found themselves on the Patriots 1-yard line with a tie game in the closing seconds. All they needed was an easy field goal, and… THEY GOT IT! With this win, the Buffalo Bills, yes the Buffalo Bills, are undefeated and in first place in the AFC East. Buffalo 34, New England 31.
Elsewhere in the NFL, another team that has a looooonnnnng history of losing was also looking to make a 3-0 start: The Detroit Lions. Could they do it? They would have to succeed in front of a raucous Minnesota crowd. Minnesota, behind Adrian Peterson and Donovan McNabb jumped out to a 20-0 lead by halftime. It looked like they finally had their act together and would cruise toward their first win of the season. BUT — Detroit is a team with a mission, and in the second half, their quarterback, the high-energy, never-say-die Matthew Stafford connected on 2 beautiful touchdown passes to amazing receiver Calvin Johnson. A few field goals would tie the game, where we would head to overtime. The Lions had all the momentum in OT, which led to a Jason Hanson 32 yard field goal to win the game. And the Lions… are 3-0. Detroit 26, Minnesota 23.
Finally, in Philly, the Eagles were hosting an injury-ridden NY Giants team. Everybody wrote off the Giants for this one, thinking the Eagles would simply dominate. Nope. The Giants were ready and had a ferocious ground attack against the Eagles. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs kept the ball moving to give the Eagles fits. Most of Eli Manning’s receivers are injured, but they found a new emerging star in Victor Cruz (out of… UMASS. Huh?). Cruz had 2 touchdown catches on the day as the Giants stole the road victory. But the worst news of the day for the Eagles… Michael Vick has a broken hand. It’s not his throwing hand, but still, playing with a broken hand is tough. He could be out for a few weeks. People had the Eagles in the Super Bowl in most predictions, but now, they’re 1-2. Not a good start. NY Giants 29, Philadelphia 16.
And in some rare NBA news, as we mentioned a few months ago, superstar dunk champion Blake Griffin is spending his lockout time not playing in Europe, but rather interning at Will Ferrell‘s Funny Or Die. The folks over at Funny Or Die decided to do a mockumentary 24/7 account of Blake Griffin’s time at the comedy sketch company. If you’ve got 5 minutes, it’s worth your time.No comments
The St. Louis Cardinals were making a big late run to try and get into the post-season as a wild-card team. They’re hot right now, but still needed to win every game in the remainder of their schedule. Thursday they took on a hapless New York Mets team in a must-win game. The Cards got up 6-2 going into the 9th behind some clutch hitting from Yadier Molina. But, to the Cards suprise, the Mets put on an amazing rally (or the Cardinals collapsed depending how you look at it). The Mets tied it up at 6, and then Willie Harris had a clutch hit to drive in 2 runs to win the game. Wow! With the loss, the Cardinals post-season hopes suffered a major blow. They’re now 2 games behind Atlanta and will need a miracle to get into the playoffs. St. Louis 8, NY Mets 6.
Also in baseball, for most of the season the Boston Red Sox were dominating baseball. However, in the past month they have been in a serious slump. One so dangerous that it might knock them out of the playoffs. The Red Sox will face the Yankees this weekend, and the Yankees actually have a shot to officially eliminate them from the post-season. This is made more interesting by the fact that Yankees catcher Russell Martin has come out and publicly said, “I hate the Red Sox, and would love to see them not make the playoffs”. Everybody knows about the rivalry, but rarely do the players comment on their ‘hatred’. Either way, it’s true, although Yankees manager would prefer that Martin not fan the flames of the rivalry any hotter than they already are. It should be an interesting series this weekend.
Finally, some bad news for NBA fans. This is typically the time of year when NBA players report to training camp. However, yesterday the NBA announced that they would be postponing training camp. It was Day 84 of the lock out, and when they postpone something like training camp, that’s a pretty clear indicator that the season won’t start on time. Then again, the two parties do plan to meet, but most likely nothing will be resolved any time soon. Plus, some of the players have signed some contracts overseas that DON’T have an opt out clause (mainly some of the Denver Nuggets). That means that if they do say, “Ok, there’s a season”, those players are still contractually obligated to play overseas. We’ll see how this pans out over the next few weeks.No comments
The Texas Rangers are practically a lock for the post-season, but they still haven’t clinched. They’re not worried about it, however, but interestingly enough, they just want to clinch so they can take the rest of the season off. Most teams try to push for the top prize — home field advantage at least in the first round. But the Rangers manager Ron Washington said he hopes to clinch as soon as possible so he can rest his star players. He said he wouldn’t try to put pressure on the Detroit Tigers to try and get home-field advantage — he’s fine starting on the road. He just wants to make sure that their pitching staff has rested arms for the post-season and are poised to make a serious run to the World Series. Most likely, the Rangers will clinch their playoff birth this weekend against Seattle.
In Chicago, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler publicly said that he’s not sure if he can finish the remainder of the season. Why? Because his offensive line isn’t doing a good job of protecting him. Just last week, the Saints sacked Cutler 6 times. This is a big deal, considering that each of those sacks is essentially akin to Cutler getting hit by a car. Most quarterbacks keep this type of news to themselves, but Cutler publicly told the media that he’s not sure he’ll stay healthy if the punishment continues. The coaching staff agrees with Cutler, knowing that the Bears offensive line has been very weak.
Finally, in Dallas, Tony Romo said he is going to try and play in Sunday night’s game against the Washington Redskins. Romo bravely led the Cowboys to an overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday, but broke his rib in the process. Now,Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall said he will target Romo’s rib this Sunday night. Of course this sounds vicious and downright mean, but in the NFL, it’s all about trying to STOP the other guy… whatever it takes. Hall is just saying that he’s going to attack Romo’s weakness. After all, if the Cowobys coaching and medical staff are willing to put him on the field, he’s susceptible to getting hurt. It’s not the defense’s job to purposefully protect Romo. Redskins star Brian Orakpo said it isn’t the Redskins main strategy to hurt Romo, it’s just part of the game.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: GIANTS PULL OUT MNF WIN, CONFERENCE SHAKE-UP IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL, STOOPS SIGNED TO BIG CONTRACT
In college football, Thursday was a much anticipated battle between #3 LSU and #25 Mississippi State. LSU is a projected National Title Contender, but Mississippi State is exactly the type of team that could burst their bubble. The game started out neck and neck, with both teams hoisting serious defensive units. Neither offense could get in a rhythm in the first half. But, in the second half, LSU really tightened Miss State’s air supply. They locked down on defense, and would barely let them get a first down, yet alone a touchdown. Mississippi State’s starting quarterback Chris Relf was playing so bad in the second half, that they brought in their back-up. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, he didn’t fare much better, and the LSU Tigers were able to steal the road victory. LSU’s schedule doesn’t get any easier from this point, however. LSU 19, Miss St. 6.
And in the NFL, after the Denver Broncos disappointing loss on Monday night, people in Denver are begging for a change. During the game, they were chanting “Tebow, Tebow, Tebow” during the 3rd quarter when Kyle Orton was playing poorly. Not exactly a way to instill confidence in your team. A group of Tebow supporters even said they would put in $10,000 for two billboards that say, in essence, ‘Make Tim Tebow The Starting Quarterback’. Tim Tebow said he appreciates all this fan support, but that he trusts his coaching staff to make all the correct and necessary decisions. He said he will be patient and wait his turn. Tebow may not have impressed in the pre-season, but everyone must remember that he won them a real game last year towards the end of the season. He has a relentless winning spirit that could give the Broncos the extra edge they need if they’re down late.
Finally, more news from the NFL. Chicago Bears superstar linebacker Brian Urlacher unfortunately lost his mother on Monday and needed to leave the team for a while to be with his family. Yesterday, he returned to his team and they were thrilled to have him back. Urlacher isn’t just their best player, he’s also the heart of their powerful defense. Many focus only on the leadership of the quarterback in football, when the Middle Linebacker is practically the quarterback on defense. He’s the one who makes sure that everybody is where they need to be, and also the voice that can tell someone at the last minute to move up or backs a few steps. Having him back in the line-up is crucial for this team, and most of his teammates think that his upcoming game against the Saints this Sunday could be one of the best of his career. After all… he’s playing for his mother.No comments