Saturday, January 9, 2010
Wild Card Weekend
It is Wild Card weekend in the NFL today, and like most sports, the first round is usually the most interesting in terms of upsets and wild games. Up at 4:30, the New York Jets are 2.5 point underdogs at Cincinnati. It would be easy to take the Jets on the strength of their 37-0 whitewash over the Bengals last week but that assumes the Bengals were 100% invested in that game, which they weren't. That said, the Jets will ride their fantastic defence today and pounding run game over a one dimensional Bengals offence that can't pass, and an up and down defence that struggles against the run. Jets win 21-10. The 8pm game is an NFC East battle that sees the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys. The 'Boys won both games against Philly this year, both unders if you care, including a 24-0 shutout last week. The Eagles are likely to throw the kitchen sink at Tony Romo this week unlike last week, but Romo seems to know when they're blitzing and is calling the right plays out of it. With a great rushing game going and a defence that hasn't given up a point in 8 quarters, hard not to love Dallas at -3.5, which I do in a 31-17 Cowboys win. Romo gets his first playoff win and goes on an A-Rod playoff cleansing this year. Downside? Likely means another year of Wade Phillips as coach.
Speaking of Wade Phillips and the Buffalo Bills, never heard about the Curse of Doug Flutie until yesterday. Seems neither Phillips nor the Bills have won a playoff game since then Bills coach Phillips yanked Flutie in favor of Rob Johnson with the playoffs at hand, and that ended up being the wrong end of The Music City Miracle for the Bills. For his part, Flutie wishes Phillips all the best, so hopefully that does it for the Cowboys.
MLBTradeRumors.com sums up the latest on Cuban defect Aroldis Chapman, now believed to be heading to the Toronto Blue Jays on the strength of a $23 million offer. If there is silence coming from the big boys in the division, they're either not interested for a material reason that doesn't include money, or they're waiting to quietly pounce.
Make that eight of nine for the surging Toronto Raptors after coming back from a double digit deficit in Philadelphia last night for a 108-106 Raptors win. Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani had big nights to lead the way. Next up: the Boston Celtics tomorrow at The Hanger.
Five snowed out EPL fixtures this week, including Hull City v Chelsea, Burnley v Stoke City, Sunderland v Bolton, Fulham v Portsmouth, and most disappointingly, Liverpool v Tottenham. That leaves only a couple games today, with Arsenal and Everton the more appealing.
Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight someone named Josh Clottey. Boxing does it again.
Pete Carroll is suddenly out as USC coach, which has to mean that there is serious trouble around the corner coming from the NCAA for some bevy of violations, and has already agreed to become next coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He must really have wanted to stay on the left coast to move that quick, as he'd surely be a hot candidate for any vacancy despite a less than stellar NFL head coaching resume from his time in New England. Yes, there was a time when Bill Belichick wasn't in charge.
This one comes from GBVH, and features the 12 strangest soccer stadiums. The last is an absolute gem.
Posted by TB at 9:58 AM