A different view of sports
Clearing my mind and notebook while celebrating the fact that my oldest son is finally getting married. Two down, one to go:
Conventional wisdom suggests Sunday’s Super Bowl LII will be a defensive standoff because Philadelphia and New England each ranked in the top five in scoring defense and total defense during the National Football League’s regular season.
The Eagles were second in yardage allowed (307) and fourth in points allowed (18.4 points).
The Patriots were third in total defense (320.5 yards) and fifth in scoring defense (18.5 points).
But the counter argument is that both teams also are explosive on offense, ranking in the top five in total offense and scoring offense.
The Patriots are second in points scored (29.5) and fourth in yardage allowed per game (391.0). Not to be outdone, the Eagles are third in total offense (395.0 yards) and fourth in scoring defense (26.5 points).
Does defense really win championships? We’re about to find out.
I tend to believe we’ll see a similar score as last year’s 34-28 victory by the Patriots. Only let’s hope the script is rewritten. The last thing we need is another epic collapse by one of the teams.
Well, unless its the Patriots.
Last year the Atlanta Falcons led 17-0 at halftime before Tom Brady added another chapter to his legacy to win his fifth championship.
Let’s hope the collapse is just a Georgia thing. Or is it merely a coincidence that the University of Georgia blew a 13-0 halftime lead in the national championship game last month to lose 26-23 in overtime to Alabama?
Tony Dungy, for one, doesn’t think defenses will rule the day on Sunday.
“I think the Patriots spread them out, throw the ball fast and quick to the inside guys,” said Dungy. “Philadelphia’s going to move the ball better than people think. I think it’s going to be an entertaining game, it’s going to be fairly high-scoring, it’s going to be tight.”
By the book
From Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Spotted on the reader board at Crossroads Community Church in Carver, Mass. ‘The Bible mentions Eagles 33 times and the GOAT 42. Patriots win by 9.’”
All Randall Margraves wanted was to be in a room alone with Larry Nassar. Sounds reasonable. After all, the USA Gymnastics doctor had spent time alone in a room with three of his daughters as part of his sick pursuit to sexually abuse female athletes.
Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham understood Margraves’ request, and probably would have granted it if not for vowing to follow the law and sentencing guidelines.
So she denied Margraves’ request for “five minutes in a locked room with this demon.” Once denied, Margraves asked to have one minute alone with Nassar. He was again denied.
And that’s when he snapped, making an attempt to get past sheriff deputies to land a few punches on Nassar. He was tackled before he could reach Nassar and led out of the courtroom.
His unruly actions could have landed him in jail, but Judge Cunningham wasn’t going to be the one to do it.
“I don’t know what it would be like to stand there as a father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in a courtroom. I can’t imagine that,” the judge said.
They said it
Patriots coach Bill Belichick to reporters when asked the difference between this Super Bowl and his previous seven: “This one is in Minnesota.”
Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: “MLB says all 30 teams will extend protective netting to “at least the far ends of both dugouts by opening day. So future generations of kids won’t be able to score foul balls (or get autographs) because this generation pays less attention to game and more to their phones.”
RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Bill Macatee asked Aussie Open co-host Martina Navratilova if it’s mentally tough to play someone you have a “lopsided losing record against.” How on earth would Navratilova know?”
Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com, on Washington earning kudos for landing QB Alex Smith after botching the Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins situations: “You shouldn’t congratulate a company for doing a great job of cleaning up its own toxic waste spill, though.”
Xander Schauffele to Golf Digest on why he’s still driving the same “scuffed up” Toyota Camry he had well before he won PGA Tour Rookie of the Year: “The lease isn’t up yet.”
NBC comedian Jimmy Fallon on the man who broke a Guinness world record by walking barefoot on a 120-foot path of loose Legos: “This beats the old record set by every dad getting up to use the bathroom at night.”
Money for nothing
Arkansas is on the hook for nearly $12 million dollars for the decision to fire Bret Bielema as football coach.
Bielema’s contract calls for him to receive severance pay of $322,567 a month through the end of 2020. It computes to nearly $4 million a year and it’s all guaranteed unless Bielema lands another job that pays more.
For lesser pay, Arkansas only gets to subtract Bielema’s monthly pay from its buyout sum. So if Bielema takes a job that pays him $125,000 a month ($1.5 million), Arkansas would only be on the hook for $200,567 per month.
Fark.com: “1 in 4 Americans believe God will listen to their prayers and not those loser fans’ prayers.”
TheKicker.com: “Generous? Patriots offer to spot Eagles 25 points.”
SportsPickle.com: “Breaking: Trump to replace Obamacare with NFL’s Head UP Football Initiative.’
TheOnion.com: “Cleveland Indians owner admits Chief Wahoo no longer compatible with modern revenue-growth expectations.”
SportsPickle.com: “America sick of Aaron Rodgers’ cocky behavior after learning he’s 1/16th black.”
TheOnion.com: “87 percent of Eagles home crowd listening to NFC Championship on car radio after getting thrown out of stadium
SportsPickle.com: “Ben Roethlisberger discloses he’s been given between 1 and 700 months to live.”
Fark.com: “Olympics athletes get ambitious condom allowance, enough for sex three times a day for 14 days.”
SportsPickle.com: “Report: NCAA considering death penalty for NCAA.”
In the first episode of the documentary series, “Tom vs. Time”, Tom Brady’s 5-year-old daughter Vivian interrupts him while he’s on the phone to whine about how she wanted a friend to sleep over so they could play soccer in the backyard.
Alex Reimer, a sports talk host for WEEI, called the scene “staged” and said Brady’s young daughter was an “annoying little puissant.”
Really? During a time when we’re raising a generation of very tech savvy but overweight video gamers, should anyone pick on a kid for wanting to have a friend over to play a sports in the great outdoors?
Pissant? It means someone is insignificant, worthless and contemptible? To say that about one of Brady’s kids is what’s contemptible.
The scene very well may have been staged. “Tom vs. Time” is meant to provide viewers a glimpse into Brady’s life on and off the field. While we can debate the wisdom of Brady shining that kind of spotlight on any of his children, it’s going to happen sooner or later. After all, their father is a NFL quarterback with five Super Bowl rings and their mom Gisele is a Brazilian Super Model.
And Reimer? He’s a radio shock jock, which makes him the true pissant in this story.
After the once unbeatable Rhonda Rousey had her mixed martial arts career shaken to its core with back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, it was widely assumed she was done with the fight game.
Suddenly. Rousey was no longer being billed as the meanest, toughest, scrappiest UFC female fighter. She also no longer craved the MMA spotlight, refusing to do interviews after her second loss.
No one would have been surprised if the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo went all in on Hollywood. She already had used her celebrity status to land roles in three movies, including Furious 7.
But it turns out that appearing on the big screen is not the only acting opportunities she’s pursuing. She’s decided to take the path to WWE stardom. A fan of former wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, she used the nickname Rowdy during her UFC days. In WWE, she has joined Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to form “The Four Horsewomen.”
Chelsea and Courey Marshall are Denver Broncos fans, so when it comes to Sunday’s Super Bowl clash between Philadelphia and New England, they don’t have a horse in the race.
But they’ll still be a strong bet to be the first ticketholders to get to their seats at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
That’s because the Marshalls won a Courtyard by Marriott contest to spend the night before the big game in a luxury suite inside the stadium.
”I’ve never been in a completely empty stadium, let alone the Super Bowl stadium,” Courey said. ”And to have my wife with me, and to wake up on game day in the stadium, that’s pretty special.”
The two were in Santa Clara, Calif., in February 2016 when Peyton Manning and Denver beat Carolina, 24-10, so it was a treat when Manning made the phone call to tell them they had won the contest.
”You’re right there in the dome and get to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff,” Courey said. ”Then you wake up on Super Bowl Sunday right there. Has to be a wonderful experience.”