Archive for December, 2012

If you were fattened up and loosening the jean buttons from the holidays, this weekend was a good one to hit the recliner or run the treadmill to some good battles. We got one of the most visually-scintillating Premier League matches of the year, a Saturday, bloody Saturday in Las Vegas, and one of the more memorable Week 17’s in the NFL in recent memory.

 

The Good

  • NFL’s final regular season week – If you’re not a fan of (insert eliminated team), the narratives for Sunday’s football slate was one of the best in recent memory. OK, so not as much if you’re an AFC fan, but Dr. Feelgood was in the office for lots of nice storylines. Whatever happened, we had a Cowboys-Redskins winner-takes-all contest to serve as last call, but it really lived up to the billing. Chuck Pagano led the Colts to a victory over a Texans squad that Indy played close with earlier this season. Even in a forgettable season for the Lions, Calvin Johnson had a chance to top 2,000 receiving yards (he came short), and made for good viewing fodder as the Bears kept their playoff hopes alive…until a more deserving Vikings team one-upped them in the late afternoon slot.
  • Take the playoffs All Day – He didn’t know, he didn’t care. Just like the younger generation probably doesn’t remember Bo Jackson, your kids won’t remember the year Adrian Peterson came nine yards shy and changed the way we view ACL recovery seasons. For that matter, Jamaal Charles suffered an in-season ACL tear, but he came back and only topped 1500 yards for a team that may as well have traded the farm for Shane “Footsteps” Falco to play QB1.
  • Revenge greater than anything ABC could dream up – Sure, Cain Velasquez probably put Junior Dos Santos out to pasture in the first round with a right that left him more disheveled than Gus Fring in a nursing home, something felt right about a UFC Heavyweight title clash going the distance. Was it one-sided? Sure, but Velasquez kept a moderate level of punishment up that would’ve been far less interesting if he hadn’t been on the other side of the coin in the first bout.

The Bad

  • Junior Dos Santos, period – No one’s saying the guy was unbeatable, and anyone saying the same about Velasquez is just as trigger-happy, yet where was MMA’s best boxer? JDS looked predictable, a one-dimensional boxer who would’ve gotten crushed against anyone with any concept of angles and defense, let alone size and power. Maybe Dos Santos gets someone like Antonio Silva next, blows him up as bad as Velasquez does and repairs his reputation as a stand. But even Daniel Cormier seems to stand a better chance at derailing someone like Dos Santos after Saturday’s evidence presented.
  • NFC East, A Year in Review – Dallas, we know it’s not all your fault. More on that in a minute. But the Eagles-Giants game this week was really a microcosmic one in regards to both team’s seasons. For the Eagles, maybe Michael Vick would come back this week and demonstrate a level of value for other teams to buy into him as a QB1 next season, but nope. The real tragedy is for the Giants, a team that played like the kid who always shows up two minutes after the bell rings for class but the teacher lets them in anyway. This time, the door was locked and they’ll be watching from the outside. At least Minnesota was more deserving of the playoff spot they would have occupied, as opposed to Chicago.
  • Defense in the BPL – Brilliant as Arsenal’s offensive output was Saturday night during their seven-goal assault on Newcastle in  London, the Theo Walcott hat trick was just a talking point as the continued defensive mishaps that have plagued even the elite teams in football’s elitist league. That’s not even to speak of the winning side, who allowed three goals of their own. Wide back Kieran Gibbs far-post defence was as absent as humanly possible. Teams like Manchester United will be aided by returns to fitness of Vidic and such, but an assessment of shortcomings for the Premier League’s best even seem to point mostly to the back four of most squads.

The Ugly

  • The New Tony Award – Best fourth quarter INT. Tony Romo has been scrutinized brutally, but it’s going to come hard and heavy this week and forward. That playoff botch might be the one he never lives down, but even as a sympathizer. the misread in the flat was like watching a fiery car crash. At some point, “Still, would they be 4-12 without him?” just doesn’t carry as far with re-runs like that.
  • Speaking of car crash, a parting image: Joe Lauzon.

    Joe Lauzon, bloody mess during and after his UFC 155 lightweight bout.

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