A couple surprises in the opening day of Champions League group play yesterday. Manchester United were held to a scoreless draw with Glasgow Rangers at home, a big disappointment for the Red Devils to say the least. Worse was losing Antonio Valencia to a broken leg for what looks to be the year. Defending Champion Inter Milan were also held to a draw, 2-2 with Dutch side FC Twente. And then there was Barcelona, who hammered Panathanaikos 5-1. Lionel Messi scored a pair, the second as awesome as a goal gets. 8 more games go today at 2:45, highlited by last year's finalist Bayern Munich hosting AS Roma, though Roma have struggled out of the gate in Italy's Serie A. Also of interest is Real Madrid hosting Ajax Amsterdam.
Toronto FC cleaned house yesterday, turfing Day One GM Mo Johnston after four mostly turbulent years, and his latest coaching hire Preki. Neither should leave feeling they'll be missed. TFC moves on with interim GM Earl Cochrane and interim Head Coach Nick Dasovic, Canadians both, and go right back at it tonight with a CONCACAF Champions League date at Real Salt Lake. Coverage on GolTV with a 10pm kickoff.
Tough break for the Green Bay Packers, losing starting Running Back Ryan Grant for the year with an ankle injury. The New York Jets will be minus Kris Jenkins for the year as he tore his ACL for the second straight year. I'm sure this will increase the concerns about moving to an 18-game schedule but seems to work just fine for the CFL. Besides, it's not like the 16-game schedule has helped the Buffalo Bills Paul Posluzny stay healthy. Yep, he's hurt again.
The centrepiece of the 416-bound contingent in the Roy Halladay trade from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Philadelphia Phillies - Kyle Drabek - makes his Jays debut on the mound tonight. Of course, most of the country won't see it unless they're Rogers Cable subscribers as the game is on SportsNet One. Such regard for their fans, them Jays. For all the heat over moving a pile of games to the channel, this is just throwing more gas on the fire.
There are still sporting outfits that are forward thinking. The UFC has another of its regular - and free - Fight Night cards on tonight. And where is it airing, you wonder? Why, SportsNet - coast to coast - of course, at 8pm. That will be followed by the first episode of Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, with coaches Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koschek.
In other MLS news, the league is expected to announce expansion to a 34-game regular season schedule for 2011. Also, the "Canadian" rule looks to be scrapped which will only increase the quality of players in the league overall, and on Toronto and Vancouver especially.
Scoring in the NFL was down in Week One, in case you were wondering.
This one is sure to get some people wound up. Here are the 11 most effeminate things about football, the gridiron variety.
The first peak at the 2011 MLB schedule can be seen here. The Majors are set to start on Thursday, March 31st with talk of a game going even the night prior, all with the aim of finishing the playoffs in October at the latest, unlike this year where it could run to November 4th. Still don't understand why they don't do the first couple weeks with all dome or warm weather teams at home to minimize weather issues in the northern cities.
Speaking of the playoffs, yet another piece on how expanding the playoffs would make for a better regular season. Me likes.
The Hot Tub Hottie is back with Week 2 NFL picks. No clue how she's doing, and care almost as little.
Yep, ordered NFL Red Zone yesterday. Jacked for Sunday. Mrs. Mango? Not so much.
If you missed Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis blowing up New York Jet Dustin Keller on Monday Night...enjoy.
Check out Manchester United's Antonio Valencia getting his leg broken in a fluke play. Can't imagine he comes back this season. Ouch.
Barcelona vs. Panathanaikos hilites. Lionel Messi's goal after a ridiculous buildup starts around :50...