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Monday, December 6, 2010

Mega Monday RandoMango

It is usually pretty violent when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens tangle, and last night might have been even moreso despite the NFL's desire to pull the game way back from the edge. Steeler tight-end Heath Miller got absolutely crushed (video at the bottom), and his QB Ben Roethlesberger's beak got re-arranged badly, as you can see at right.  The Steelers emerged as 13-10 winners, and it is the fourth straight game played by these two that ended with a three point margin of victory.  The playoffs need these two to meet again.  In the meantime, I suspect Roger Goodell will be dishing out some more fines this week, particularly when he reviews this hit which was about as dirty as they come. 

The Monday Night game tonight will see the New York Jets visit the New England Patriots. Both teams have had 10 days since their last game and should be amped up for a pivotal game in how the AFC East, and AFC in general, shapes up come playoff time. Tom Brady has led his Patriots to 25 straight home wins.  Tough to argue against that. As we all know, streaks only end once and you bet with them, so playing the Pats tonight at -3.5.

Phillip Rivers was 18-0 for his career in December, until yesterday's potentially season killing 28-13 loss to the Oakland Raiders.  Speaking of season killing, nice interception deep in Atlanta's zone with the game on the line, Josh Freeman, which let the Falcons hold on to a 28-24 victory. Oh, and you too, Peyton Manning, nice Brett Favre impression.  4 interceptions - 2 that went back for touchdowns - and a 38-35 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, who if this were an 18 game schedule, would be dangerous.

The Washington Nationals dropped a seven-year, $126 million deal on Jayson Werth, and Buster Olney says baseball execs haven't been this livid about a deal since the San Diego Padres blew up the salary scale on the Kevin Brown deal, including one who said now they'll lose games 9-4 instead of 9-1 (ouch).  Werth is a solid player, but he has 684 career hits and has never hit .300 or driven in 100 runs. That, and $126 million contracts are historically failures. See "Wells, Vernon" and "Zito, Barry". Interesting to note that in 2002, the Nationals were bought for $120 million.

Carl Crawford has to be pretty happy with that news given he's two years younger and a better, more proven player than Werth.  He could be eyeing 8-years and $150 million, which shrinks the field considerably.

Derek Jeter's new deal with the New York Yankees is 3 years and $51 million with player option for $8 million in the fourth year with an additional $9 mil in incentives in 4th year. At least one year too long there I suspect.

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak on the Phil Kessel trade from last season with Boston: "we'd take that deal every day of the week."  Really?  I mean, Kessel can score like few do, but a #2 overall pick last year in Tyler Seguin with another top fiver potentially on the way and Bozak is that certain?  Says something about he and his teammates.

When the Montreal Canadiens dealt goalie Jaroslav Halak, the thinking was the small Halak couldn't handle a big workload. Halak the last three weeks: 2-5, with a 3.42 goals against average and a plummeting .874 save percentage. Mix in the fantastic year Carey Price is having and it appears the Habs thinking was spot on.

It don't seem right, but the St. Louis Rams are slated to host a Wild Card game as things stand right now, while teams with more wins would be out of the playoffs altogether, most notably Green Bay who are actually good.

I wonder if soccer players were to watch interviews with any pro athlete - especially hockey players - on this side of the pond what they'd think. The former offer actual insight and opinion. The latter mostly offer clich├ęs and scrubbed down politically correct pap.

That's seven straight road wins for the New York Knicks, in a league where few teams even make .500 on the road. The Knicks pounded the Toronto Raptors yesterday.

The Toronto Blue Jays could have a busy week. They dealt Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers last night, much to the dismay of Toronto area buffet's. Canadian boy Brett Lawrie, a highly rated second base prospect drafted 16th overall a couple years back, comes to Toronto. The Jays are also hot on the trail of Kansas City Royal Zach Greinke, with a deal centering on Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider, for starters, going the other way. Problem is Toronto are on Greinke's no-trade list, but he's believed to be open to a move anywhere

Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks, is said to be interested in bringing a team back to Vancouver. And now comes word that the New Orleans Hornets are going under league ownership and hemorrhaging money badly. Make the connection as you will. 

Chelsea continues to struggle in the English Premier League, drawing 1-1 with Everton on Saturday. That, along with an idle Manchester United and a win by Arsenal, sees the Gunners go top of the table for the time being, with United holding a game in hand.

Auburn will face Oregon for the NCAA title of champion.  Strangely, the game opened with Oregon a 3.5 point favorite on Saturday afternoon, but by that night, flipped to Auburn by a point.

And under the premise of finishing up strong, a great day in the sporting world was capped off with a moment that really started the day. Mere minutes into a 38-14 win over the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre was buried into the Metrodome turf and has a sprained shoulder. Favre left the game in obvious pain and even better, the man he shoved aside, Tarvaris Jackson, had a solid day coming off the bench. Now to see if I can get me an Arthur Moats Bills jersey.

Here's a way to celebrate a goal: cuff a teammate in the head.

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